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Prose Equus 14: When it Rains.

By Mandroid
Created: 19th December 2020 02:14:45 PM
AIE Safe Anon OC Adventure Action Drama

  1. Prose Equus 14
  2.  
  3.  
  4. >It’s raining in Asgard.
  5. >Down in Midgard, most places considered rain and thunder an ill portent, signaling mudslides, flooded crops, and miserable times indoors.
  6. >Asgard, however, always saw rain as a reason to celebrate, as it was a symbol of their beloved princess turned God of Thunder, especially when she just returned to the palace after an extended time banished.
  7. >With her return brings an end to the reign of Loki, sole Princess of Asgard.
  8. >You sigh and rest your head upon your hooves, looking down at the city from your balcony while hiding under the veranda so as not to get soaked.
  9. >No-name returned from Midgard with Mjolna in tow the evening prior and the rainy celebrations had persisted since then.
  10. >Even from here you can hear every tavern in the city drinking their fill of mead and grog at the return of their princess. You hadn’t left your room.
  11. >You sneer as you think.
  12. “Mjolna…”
  13. >You’d been adopted into the royal family as a newborn, and Mjolna was about two or so at that time, meaning you’d grown up sometimes literally in the shadow of the pride and joy of the realm. In your studies, your training, even speaking to the populace, you had always trailed behind your older sister. It was only in your studies of magic and sorcery that you were able to excel, she choosing to play the part of the dumb brute with that mallet of hers.
  14. >Your sneer deepens. You loathe that mallet.
  15.  
  16. >No matter what you were doing, no matter what mischief you attempted to enact to brighten up your day, no matter what achievement you strove for Mjolna and her self-named mallet had always been there to stop you growing up. Praise would be lavished on her while you were scolded and forced to sit under her hammer for hours as punishment.
  17. >Her mere PRESENCE stifles your own and now No-name was the one to bring her back here, to YOU.
  18. “I met him first sister so GO AWAY!” you shout to yourself and your pet eels.
  19. >You will NOT hand over the sole living thing in this palace to give you the time of day in 15 years to her so easily!
  20. >Not counting Mother and Baldur. Baldur’s attention was annoying and attention from Mother was never good
  21. >You blow your mane out of your face and think, which you do best by talking to yourself.
  22. >It wasn’t weird at all.
  23. “If No-name were here…at the very least I could have him aid me in slaying some rock troll or something…I know where a few of those still are.”
  24.  
  25. >Unfortunately for you, No-name had been tricked into Mjolna’s returning revelries and had passed out in his room around sunrise. Another thing your sister took from you.
  26. >You look back to your bed where the box containing your half of the Palantir is hidden.
  27. “Without him here I can’t even peer through the amulet to spy on what Mjolna was doing now.
  28. >Another sigh and you try to think what No-name would suggest you do. You close your eyes and try to picture what the lumbering oaf would say to you.
  29. >He would stand before you, hands on his hips and chest out as far as he could put it before saying something like “HA! SITTING AROUND ALL DAY WON’T SEE YOU GET YOUR DREAMS DONE! LET’S GO RUN SIX MILES TO WARM UP FOR THE DAY! HAHA! FRIENDSHIP! YOUR MOM SUCKS!”
  30. >You open your eyes again.
  31. “Or something like that…”
  32. >As your eyes drift over to the magical gateway you use as a door, you conclude that your image of No-name was right about at least two of those things.
  33. >You hop to your hooves and done your robes, preparing to head out. You say a last word to your eels before you go.
  34. “Drifter, Woody, I am leaving. Bite anyone who enters here.”
  35. >Maybe this time they will listen to you, Baldur was decidedly un-bitten the last time he barged in.
  36.  
  37. >Your horseshoes clink against the metals of the stones floor as you make your way down from the tower where your room is kept. You first try to go find No-name in his room, but you hear his snoring from down the hall and quickly decide against that.
  38. “I’d prefer not to kill him today.”
  39. >And Baldur was OUT of the question.
  40. “Can’t even kill him if I tried…”
  41. >A rumble in the stones tells you that the storm outside is still ongoing, and heavy above the palace heights, meaning that your sister was more than likely close at hoof.
  42. “Better to avoid her if I can help it…”
  43. >You continue to move through the palace as you think of a plan when the shadow of an approaching guard begins to round the corner.
  44. >Princess though you were many were cautious at seeing you outside of your room, believing you to be up to something.
  45. >Even if they’re right, it’s still annoying, so you extend your magic and shed your form as easily as one would a pair of saddlebags. By the time the guard can see you, all he sees is another of his comrades patrolling the halls.
  46. >Your brain tells you “make small talk to keep suspicion low!” as you pass him.
  47. “…Nice weather today.”
  48. >The guard stops in his tracks and you can almost hear his neck strain to turn back to you. “It’s…raining?” he asks, confused.
  49. >STUPID BRAIN!
  50. “Yyyyyyyyyyesss…”
  51. >You turn back and give him an I’m-so-normal smile.
  52. “I like the rain?”
  53. >The guard sizes you up with his eyes, still visibly confused, before he turns back to his route. “Queens honor, friend.”
  54. “Y-you too!”
  55. >A spark of genius goes through your mind.
  56. >The quee-Mother! You could find her and whisper in her ear to maybe at least get Mjolna kicked out of the castle!
  57. “There has to be something she did to make her angry! Everything makes her angry!”
  58. >You hurry along to the throne room and lose your disguise along the way.
  59.  
  60. >The Throne Keep sits at the center of the Asgardian palace, with layers and layers of walls and other defenses insulating it from an outward attack so that Asgard’s symbol of power would stand in the face of any catastrophe short of Ragnarok.
  61. >A little known fact was that the palace was once just a single keep built by your forefathers in ages long past and that over time, additional keeps were built adjacent to it and absorbed into the central structure. The Throne had stood since the first founding of the Golden Realm and would stand until its last breath.
  62. >You think, anyway. The door was shut.
  63. >The doors tall enough for a frost giant, if any of them were around to use it, tower over you. You’ve never seen these doors closed, ever. Even when Mother entertained visiting dignitaries, the doors remain open in the event of an emergency.
  64. >You look to the guard on duty.
  65. “You there!”
  66. >”Yes, Princess Loki?”
  67. “The doors to the throne are closed, why?”
  68. >He straightens. “All-Mother Sleipnir has decreed that the doors are to be closed this day.”
  69. “Why?”
  70. >”I do not know?”
  71. >You frown in disappointment.
  72.  
  73. “Do you take your job so flagrantly that you will not even inquire as to why you are being ordered to do something like this? What if there’s an attack?!”
  74. >”Your highness.” He begins. You sense the unyieldingness in his eyes through his helmet. “What I take seriously is my life. If the All-Mother demands the doors be closed without another word, I obey Her.”
  75. >Your frown deepens, but his logic holds sound. No one argued with Mother, not even vicariously.
  76. “To Hel with you then.”
  77. >You leave the guard to his silent fate and travel up the hall bordering the throne. A slight hiccup was this, nothing more.
  78. >A wry smile crosses your lips.  For a sorcerer such as yourself, pushing your way through the atoms of the wall and into the throne was a simple matter.
  79. >You glance either way down the hall and, when you’re sure none are looking, slip through the space between realms and show that no barrier can keep you from entering this room.
  80. >Upon entering the world shakes and you wish you had stayed out.
  81.  
  82. >”YOU. DID. WHAT?” the booming voice of your Mother calls, threatening to bring the palace down on your head.
  83. “Eep!”
  84. >You quickly hide yourself behind one of the pillars nearby before you’re spotted.
  85. >Mother stands low on all eights with her face mere inches away form Mjolna’s. Sister looks confrontational too as she thrusts her own snout against Mother. She was, as ever, the only one stupid enough to do that.
  86. >”FIRST OFF. Say it! Don’t spray it, you old crone!”
  87. >You hear Mother snort from here.
  88. >”SECOND OFF, did I stutter or have you just gone half deaf in addition to half blind since I’ve been gone? I LOST. THE DAMN. HAMMER. I don’t have it anymore!”
  89. >WAIT SHE WHAT??
  90. >You instinctively look out again at hearing that. Mjolnir, the great mallet that means “Smasher of things” was a near beacon for Asgard in the hooves of Mjolna “she who smashes”. Its raw power and adaptability made it a superweapon in Asgard’s arsenal that kept enemies of the crown out for years.
  91. >If it was gone, that meant…
  92. >You suddenly feel like you don’t want to be a part of this conversation and make for the wall to escape.
  93. >Your blood turns to ice as you hear “LOKI. DON’T MOVE.”
  94. >How the Hel did she know you were here?! You look up and see a single raven looking down at you from the throne. It caws at you.
  95. >Stupid bird!
  96. >You had to act fast, but fast action often meant stupid action.
  97. “That’s alright Mother, I’ll just see myself o-“
  98. >A flash of magic envelops you and deposits you next to Mjolna, in the scornful gaze of your Mother.
  99. “…-ut.” You manage to squeak.
  100. >”Stay still. Stay silent. This will be a lesson for you both.” Mother says.
  101.  
  102. >Mjolna begins to protest, probably trying to get you out of her presence. “Oh Mother, don’t bring HER into this, she wasn-“
  103. >”SI. LENCE.” Mother demands, cutting even the brave Thunderer off. She whistles once and a pair of ravens, the one who spotted you and its twin, fly out the window. Mother thrusts her head close to the both of you. “Explain to me. How you lost. THE HAMMER.” She demands. ”NOW.”
  104. >A silence hangs in the throne room before Mjolna speaks. “…So, did you want me not to be silent now or-“
  105. >Mother shuts her up by headbutting her.
  106. >”OW!”
  107. >”DO NOT TOY WITH ME, YOU ARE STRONGER THAN THAT. WHERE IS THE HAMMER?”
  108. “Sistershesshoutingnow!”
  109. >”Grrrr I told you I LOST IT!” Mjolna shouts as she stands up from being floored. “I intervened in the mortals attack on the Tartarian Gates and I COULDN’T FIND IT AFTERWARDS!”
  110. >”IT FLIES TO YOU WHEN YOU CALL IT, GIRL!”
  111. >”WELL IT DOESN’T NOW!” your sister shouts.
  112. >Mother grits her teeth and you can physically see the sparks of blue and gold lightning flying between them. You want to run before you’re obliterated, but a pair of ravens flying in through the window stay Mother’s wrath.
  113. >They land on her neck and caw quietly into her ear and just like that, she loses interest in Mjolna.
  114. >”Hmm? You have? You’re sure?”
  115. >The birds flap their wings.
  116. >”Finally.”
  117. >The same flash of magic as before envelops all three of you.
  118.  
  119.  
  120. >When the flash subsides, you, Mother, and Mjolna stand at the shore of a water blasted island. Titanic waves crash at the shore and the dark clouds, ripe with rain, hang overhead preparing to discharge themselves.
  121. >A jagged castle rests nuzzled in a small range of mountains along a pathway that seems to be made of beaten bone.
  122. >”…Where are we?” Mjolna asks.
  123. >”South of Equestria. Where the hammer is.” Sleipnir begins walking along the path. “Follow me. Now.”
  124. >The ice in her voice freezes over the fire in Mjolna’s blood and you and your sister follow your Mother while lightning flashes in the clouds.
  125. >You can’t shake the feeling you’re being watched, probably because you are.
  126. >Nerves secretly playing at you, you sneer at your sister.
  127. “Not a day back and you RUIN my life again. Why am -I- being punished for your failure? How do you even LOSE a hammer like yours!?”
  128. >Mjolna rolls her eyes. “Nice to see you too, sister. Do I have another bastard nephew these days?”
  129. >Your own fury explodes from your heart in a way even Mother cannot tame.
  130. “DO NOT. INSULT. MY SON!” you shout, grabbing at her. Mjolna uses her superior strength to push you down.
  131. >”I’m not! I love Svao! That doesn’t CHANGE how he was born, Loki!”
  132. >You seethe and pick yourself back up.
  133. “See to it you CONTINUE to love him. Another word from your lips about him and I’ll turn your mane into melting cheese.”
  134. >”I’m shaking.” She retorts.
  135. >”Both of you, quiet.” Mother says. “We’re here.”
  136.  
  137. >In the center of the island, in the shadow of the castle, the three of you stand amidst the battlements of an army. Massive bipedal beasts line the hills and metal walls woven into the ground itself. The armor adorning them crackles with a familiar blue energy that collects in sigils upon their bodies and shoulders. Through beady eyes of cold malice, they glare at you and growl.
  138. >You stay close to Mother, while Mjolna glares them down.
  139. “Why are we here again…?”
  140. >Mother steps forward, stomping her hoof down and silencing the canyon. “I am Queen Sleipnir, All-Mother of Asgard. You have something that belongs to me, I would see it returned.”
  141. >The beastly soldiers look to one another and jostle their shoulders, then lean from their battlements and rush you at an unheard command.
  142. >”Heads up!” Mjolna says, snorting her nose and lowering her head.
  143. >”Hold.” Mother says.
  144. >As the enemy closes, they stop some hundred feet from you and encircle you in their stocky bodies, forming a wall of flesh and metal that surrounds you.
  145. >”Well, it’s rare our enemies walk straight up to our door.”
  146.  
  147. >The wall of soldiers opens enough to let two creatures through, an armored unicorn with a shattered horn and some…gerbil thing in a smock. The creatures show deference to her as she approaches Mother, who composes herself as she does all her approach her.
  148. >”Now…Sleipnir was it? All-Mother of blah blah…somewhere or another. Commander Tempest Shadow. You’re in the territory of the Storm King now, I suggest you show the proper respect.”
  149. >”Hey-!” Mjolna starts, but Mother silences with a single stomp of her hoof.
  150. >”Consider my “respects” shown.” Mother says.
  151. >Tempest Shadow narrows her eyes. “Right. Why are you here again? Something we have of yours?”
  152. >”A hammer.” Mother answers. “Metal, wooden rod, inscriptions upon the side.”
  153. >Shadow’s eyes widen in recognition. “Ah, you mean the Holy Smiter? I wondered where that came from.”
  154. “You mean you admit you have it?”
  155. >”Oh we do.” She answers. “The Storm Kingdom tend to take what we want. Our king found it laying in a field over in Equestria after the recent commotion at Tartarus and was able to move it by calling on the storm inside it.”
  156. >”Yeah! MY storm!” Mjolna shouts. “I unleashed that to save all those ponies when the gates were going down! Give it back!”
  157. >Tempest Shadow chuckles. “Haha…If you wanted to keep it so bad, you shouldn’t have thrown it like you did. We traveled inland to try and blindside the Equestrians while they were tied up at the gate, maybe take the Princesses hostage. Imagine our surprise when we found the Smiter in the ground after all that noise.”
  158. >Mjolna growls and digs her hooves in.
  159. >You just want to go home and get away from Mother when she had that look in her eye, and you’ll do whatever it takes to do that.
  160.  
  161. “They clearly it here, tell me where and I can grab it!” you whisper.
  162. >Mjolna sucks her teeth. “It’s…not on the island, I feel it out at sea.”
  163. >”The Storm King, taking it for a practice spin.” Tempest Shadow who apparently has excellent hearing says.
  164. >”Commander!” the little gerbil says, holding up a magical device. Shadow walks over to him and examines it, her eyes widening at what she sees. “Mother of mercy…you three have more magical energy than half the kingdom!” she exclaims. Shadow turns to her armored soldiers. “Present ARMS!”
  165. >From their armor, the soldiers produce small orbs that emit a noxious looking green smoke. It sets off your senses immediately.
  166. “Mother, magic from thos-“
  167. >”Hush.”
  168. >The little gerbil next to her laughs as Tempest smugly remarks you all. “Any last words?”
  169. >”Just one.” Mother answers.
  170. >”Afraid that was two.” Shadow answers with a cruel turn of her head. “Fire!”
  171. >The hundred-fold armored guard throw their magical orbs in unison and rain a barrage of noxious magical fumes towards you. Mjolna tenses up to leap at them, you reach through the space between realms to get your knives to defend yourself, Mother stands still as a statue and all the orbs freeze in the air in a golden magical grip before floating harmlessly up into the sky.
  172. >”What!?”
  173. >Tempest Shadow watches the orbs sail away and almost misses her and her gerbil being grabbed by the same golden glow. She pulls away as best she can, fighting Mother’s grip, but the Queen drags her through the acrid dirt until she sits before her.
  174. >Still holding the Commander tightly, Mother bends her neck down next to her ear.
  175. >”Last words…” she mumbles.
  176. >The Commander’s eyes widen as Mother turns her cyclopean gaze to meet them.
  177. >”Megidolan.”
  178. >You clench your teeth as the sky opens.
  179.  
  180. >To the south of Equestria, there was an island where the Storm King schemed.
  181. >It’s gone now; replaced by a hundred feet of land and the crashing waves that rushed in to fill the gap left by the force that just rained down from the heavens and pulverized the island. Rocks crash to the sea alongside the shattered remains of the castle that once covered the land, alongside the charred corpses of the monolithic Storm Guard under the command of Tempest Shadow.
  182. >The Commander watches in terror as the remains of the empire she served fall to the surface in bits no larger than her head while she and her gerbil remain safe under a shimmering hexagon of the same golden magic that binds them alongside you, Mother, and your sister.
  183. >”Wh-wha…?” she stammers out while the gerbil faints. Mother keeps her held still and stares, unblinking, into her soul. “You worship your usurper king as some kind of idol, little pony.”
  184. >Mother releases Tempest and lowers her shield. “Perhaps it’s time you embraced a new diety.”
  185. >Words continue to fail Tempest Shadow. “How-“
  186. >”The All-Mother speaks; the world answers.” Mother explains to the shell-shocked soldier. You feel some faint kinship with that wide eyed and manic gaze when one first sees what Mother is capable of, you had been there more than once.
  187. >”You stole from your betters, whelp.” She says. “Now, once more, before I punish you again. Where. Is. My. HAMMER?”
  188. >The sky itself answers Her as thunder claps at your rear.
  189. >”FORGET YOUR HAMMER, WHERE’S MY ISLAND!?”
  190.  
  191. >The four of you still conscious turn to face the noise. High in the sky, another biped covered in white fur and emanating lightning from his antlers grasps a sparking mallet in his hands.
  192. >The thief, it would seem.
  193. >”Tempest!” he roars “Where did my island go!?”
  194. >Tempest Shadow babbles nonsense between her liege and Mother, eyes darting between the two.
  195. “You won’t be getting words from her any time soon! Just put down the hammer and give up, you can’t win here, Storm King!”
  196. >He grits his teeth as he spins the hammer, calling the lightning to him. “Oh I’ll put it down! RIGHT ON YOUR HEAD!” he cries before he falls from the sky, screaming murder and winding up for a strike.
  197. >You sigh, the fool. From the corner of your eye you see Mjolna tense up again for a confrontation. Poor thing, she must have forgotten.
  198. “Don’t bother.”
  199. >”Huh?” your sister answers.
  200. >Behind the both of you, Mother glares at the attacking king. “Mjolnir, drop.”
  201. >The enchanted mallet is ripped from the hands of the Storm King and drops to the earth, landing with a thud next to Mjolna.
  202. >The storm King, now bereft of his weapon, blinks as he continues to fall towards the three of you. “…What?”
  203. >”Leviathan.” Mother’s voice echoes around you.
  204. >The crashing waves around the island coalesce from their waters into a polished silver trident made of the bones of a fish next to Mother’s head.
  205. >You catch the eyes of the Storm King for just a moment before the trident erupts towards him, catching him in the chest and sending him away in the blink of an eye until you lose sight of him.
  206. >Tempest Shadow’s eye twitches as she watches her lord fly over the horizon. “…Where did he go?” she finally asks.
  207. >”Saddle Arabia.” Mother answers, casting her eye to look down at the former-Commander. “He went to Saddle Arabia at Mach nine.”
  208.  
  209. >Mother walks past Tempest towards the hammer where Mjolna is already examining it. “In a day’s time, the natives of that land will find the sun-bleached bones of a creature they do not recognize, they will bury him and pray their deeds bring them good luck. That will be the end of the Storm King.”
  210. >Mjolna looks up to Mother the way she did as a girl as Mother nods towards the hammer. Mjolna leans down to grasp it in her mouth, but finds one of Mother’s hooves shoot out to hold it down.
  211. >”Mother?” she asks in a technique she somehow learned that allows her to still be understood with something in her mouth.
  212. >”Lose it again and I’ll make you get it by yourself.” The All-Mother answers.
  213. >Mjolna sneers incredulously. “Fine, whatever.”
  214. >Mother releases the hammer and lets Mjolna retrieve it before she turns her attention to you. “Loki, this is a lesson for you in keeping the things most precious to you safeguarded. Learn it well.”
  215. “I will learn any lesson you want if we can get OUT of here!” you plead. “All this death is…offending my princessly sensibilities!”
  216. >Mother is silent for a moment before letting out a single, brief laugh. “Very well.
  217. >The sky above you rolls and unleashes another torrent of energy, less destructive this time as a Bifrost tunnel forms some feet from you all.
  218. >Behind you, Tempest squeaks. “W-what about us?”
  219. >Mjolna looks over her shoulder and frowns a genuine frown of regret. “You stole my hammer…but…I’m sure the Equestrians will take you in like they did me. It…has to be better than here.”  She says before she turns and gallops off into the Bifrost.
  220. >You hurry behind her with Mother taking up the rear. As you enter, you can hear Tempest Shadow’s final question and silently give thanks that you aren’t her.
  221. >”You destroyed the island and whipped up the sea! How will we get to Equestria?!” she cries.”
  222. >Mother pauses before crossing into the Bifrost and looks over her shoulder.
  223. >”Swim.”

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