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Mother of Monsters

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Loki's title was meaningless to the one that mattered the most. To Thor, "the mother of monsters" would never had been a phrase he would describe Loki, irregardless to what his father or all of Asgard had to say. In his mind, the children borne of Loki were products of unfortunate circumstances, made worst by his father's actions, for that he forever bore a hatred for.
It was strangely ironic, that the liesmith would be the one who spoke of truths, while the pciture perfect basis of morality spoke of lies. Thor was kept in the dark for so long, he never had the full picture of what had happened to the three lost children. He knew as much as anyone, rumors mainly, that speclutated everything from the children being misshappen monstrosities that needed to be sent away, to Loki abandoning them across the Nine Realms in shame, or to Odin killing each in an effort to preserve Asgard.


He believed none of this.


His quest for answers lead him to a dangerous path, not only for the physical peril, but one that was more sinister. Thor used his travels to gain information, and the first clue was given by the most unexpected of sources. Tyr propelled his cause when he spoke of the lost children. Tyr was good at heart, only hampered by his bravery or hubris. But Thor trusted him, as one Aesir that was not swayed by Odin's words. He listened intently as the man regalled him with tales of hearsay from across the realms of the children mothered by Loki.


Tyr, first spoke of the oldest, Fenrir. The oldest was the most vicious, but not the most formidable. According to an old hag who spoke of prophecies, he was either a boy who was feral in nature, more like an animal than any child, or a beast, a wolf, larger than any wolf, men would ever see. The hag fortold of a future of only destruction and pain, (it was up to interpretation on who the recieving end of that pain shall be.) The boy or beast, no one knew for certain, lived at a cavern, located deep within Jotunheim. He was held by chains, but one that, the hag had fortold he soon will outgrow.
The Aesir laughed, loud and rumbling as he boasted that he would best the beast or man, the trickster's son would grow into, others around him watched in an intent enrapturement. He continued, as he knew that the eldest wasn't the most dangerous of all of the lost children, no he would save that child for last.


He spoke next of the second, a daughter, Hela. She was borne a normal child, Aesir in decent, the midwife swore, but within the hour of her birth had turned monstrous. She was bisected between the living and the dead. Half of her was decayed, and corpse-like, divercated from her other half, which remained as beautiful as her mother. This earned gasps of shock from his audience, and another chuckle from Tyr, continued, that according to the hag's predictions, she would rule the realm of the dead as it's queen, however as of now, the child is missing, some speculated that Loki had used seidr to conceal the child's monstrous half so that she can continue living her life as any Aesir child would. But more likely than not, the Allfather had a use for her. Some say her seidr matches her mother's in intensity, and that Odin trained her in combat, if only to use her vulnerability to his advantage.


Talk such of this would have been considered heresy, but in this feasting hall, gathered were the few Aesir that opposed the Allfather, a few of them, though would never admit to such, believed that Ragnarok would restore a balance that was unheard of. Odin abused his power, and the shift in power would return the harmony between realms instead of the tyrany that Odin runs.
Tyr cleared his throat, and gulped the last of his mead, as his eyes lowered and his tone darkened. The shift in his demeanor was palapable, and everyone quited to listen to his finale.
The last child of Ragnarok, was Jormungand. A daughter borne of Loki, destined to be a sort of salvation or retribution to the Jotun people. The hag spoke of a child, that would instill a reckoning to Odin for his crimes against Jotunheim. This child would be more powerful than the last, more so than it's mother, and would collect the dues that would devestate the Allfather.


Tyr wavered, and in a split second, the man thrashed as if he was mad. Eyes retracted to the back of his skull, exposing his stark white sclera. He smirked. The crowd watched in abject horror as Tyr spoke in a voice that was not of his own, and looked directly at Thor and with great conviction, said:
"This child, will be your undoing. You, the golden son of Odin will fall by the hands of Loki's daughter. The child was created under will of three Jotun, who live in unrest, waiting for the day of retribution against the Allfather. First, the boiling hatred of Bestla, who wished to undo the monster she bore. Second is of Loptr, the king's advisor and most trusted, who Odin murdered in cold blood, as he struggled in the throes of childbirth, with your brother, Balder, and third of Farbauti, who to this day, mourns the loss of his youngest child and the devastation of his people."
The voice was familiar in a way that Thor could not fully recall, feminine, yet harsh. Thor watched him, finding no words to speak.


"Your father will pay for his crimes, and there will be no greater retribution that to see the golden son of Odin dead. Asgard will fall into ruin, and Odin will be left with nothing." Tyr laughed madly in his foreign voice. "You would love the child, only adding to the devastation. She shall know no other father than you, but her insinct will win over whatver affection you may show her. You will be killed by the one you loved the most."


There was heavy hanging silence in the room, Thor balled his fist, and looked Tyr straight in his eyes. "Release him! Speak to me in your form." He demanded, pointing the mjolnir at his former friend.
"As you wish, Odinson. Speak to Loptr in my stead, he is much more reasonable. "


The voice spoke, as a dark smoke rose from Tyr's body, allowing him to slump to the ground, violently coughing. Others came to his aide, pulling him to the side as they watched in awe as the smoke materialized into a shape. The room had paused, the people around them stopped at their tracks, frozen in time like statues. Thor was alone, with whoever spoke through Tyr's body.
A tall figure, emaciated, and cloaked in black feathers. Thor's eyes widened, as he the figure's face came into view. He resembled Loki, face gaunt and sharp but beautiful, tarnished by bruises, and a jagged cut from his temple. His eyes were a dull green, and sullen, lips pale, but slightly bruised. His hair was a deep red, pulled into a loose braid. His back exposed a gaping wound, which bled freely onto the floor, the wound went through him, following an exit wound on his abdomen.


"Bestla's desire for revenge often makes for dramatic declarations." He mused, "I, Loptr, speak for the others when I say this retribution will not be swift, but it will be satisfying. You will carry this knowledge as a burden since you are not your father. I have seen into your heart, Odinson, you could not do what Odin has done, and for that I find regretable. The others are not as reasonable. I apologize that you will pay for your father's sins."


Thor swallowed hard, as he thought hard about the man's words. "I came to seek these children out, to undo the wrong my father has done. Loki suffers at his hand, and I could not bare to lose him, he wishes to die without his children. I accept my death if it means, rectifying the wrong. But how may I right the wrong done to you, or the others? What had he done for him to deserve such as fate as Ragnarok? And what of the child, what if she would not want this?"


"The child's choice determines your father and Asgard's fate. If the child could choose forgiveness, then all will be spared, but should she choose to condem Odin and his kin, then Ragnarok will begin." He explained quietly. "I have made sure of this, despite the other's objections. The child will always have choice."
Thor nodded, glancing at the puddle of blood that had accumilated by his bare feet. "What had he done to you, or Bestla or... Farbauti? Loki has mentioned that name before, but he never wished to speak about it."


Loptr smiled briefly, but it was not one of amusement, more of contempt and bitterness. "Bestla, is his mother, who had loved him as much as her other children, she bore three sons from Bor, who had died in battle protecting Asgard. Odin murdered Vili and Vé after a disagreement on who shall inherit the throne. When his mother found out, he sent an army to murder her as well. She fought alone for three days an endless barage of soldiers, before succumbing to her injuries. She laid in a pool of blood, atop the hundereds of slaughtered bodies, her pale features now stained red as she cursed her son in her dying breath. Farbauti is Loki's birth mother before Odin had stolen him from the temple as a babe."


He limped painfully to a nearby chair, holding the deep gash on his stomach, slumping back. Thor followed after him, watching in curiosity. "Does it still hurt?" He asked. Loptr nodded, "Death does not alleviate the pain caused by the living."


"He murdered his own mother... He told all of Asgard that she had left for Jotunheim, to die of old age in her homeland." Thor explained, "He never told me much about her, besides the fact that she was wild, and untamed, and to never marry a woman like her." He laughed bitterly.


"She was. A skilled warrior, but not much in the way of a lady's social graces." Loptr answered, amused.

 


Thor could not avert his gave from the steady trickle of crimson now staining Loptr's hands. "Did he do that to you?"
Loptr looked down, eyes now avoiding the thunderer. "Yes. His betrayal was most painful. More painful that any wound he could inflict on me, but not as painful as taking your dying breath, with the knowledge that you would not raise your babe. Tell me, does my son live well? I'm sure Odin would never admit to him his true parentage, but I had not given up hope of seeing him." The last part resonated with Thor, the pain in his voice heart-wrenching.


"He is well, perhaps not as you remember him. He is four now. He speaks of dreams where he and a person of your description sings him lullabies, and takes him to his favorite stream, where they would catch minnows. He's weary of bringing up the subject to father, afraid of any punishement, after the last time he spoke of it." He explained, "He has a fondness for Loki, saying that he resembled his 'dream mum'. Do you visit him in his sleep?"


"Not often enough, but as much as I can. Odin casts an interference when he catches me doing so. Talking to the living is taxing experience. I cannot do it often." He answered regretfully.
"Why did he do it? Divorce is a legality in Aesir law..." Thor started, trying to find an explaination to all of this, Loptr interrupted, "His murder wasn't driven by the fact that he loved Frigga. In fact, I refused his advances for as long as I could remember. My purpose to coming to Asgard was simple, I supposed to be his advisor, for until he could find himself a queen. I had been his advisor long before he met the lady Frigga, or had you. At that time, tension was high between Jotunheim and Asgard, war had not yet been declared, but rumor speculated that there was only a disagreement because of queen Farbauti's rejection of Odin." Loptr smirked with such bitterness, as he shook his head continuing.


Thor listened intently, the revalation made him grow angrier. It was a driving motivation to find the children, and to rectify the wrong done to his love, and to gain his personal retribution at man he once admired.


"I was young then, eager to see the realms at any cost. I fell for his lies. I was fifteen when he took me to his bed, he violated me with such verocity that I told myself that was how he showed love, that he had loved me. I stayed by his side for five more years, through every journey, I lent him my body, my advice and my seidr. I never once questioned his word. I allowed it to happen." Loptr now wept, tears streaming down his face.


"On our final mission, I had been close to birth with Baldr. I tried in vain to convince him not to go to war, if only for our son's sake. He assured me he would not, perhaps a mercy to pacify me. He took me to where we first met, a mountain top of Jotunheim, it had been difficult to walk much less climb. When we reached summit, he told me that I could not leave there, that he will leave alone with our son, that he had never loved me, and why would he, a Jotun argr would never had been a good mother." He looked downcast, but he continued a story that he never had a chance to speak of, one that had not been heard by even one soul.


"In the pain of childbirth, I was brought to my knees, the snow had long turned red beneath me, and I begged him to help me. He stood watching. He waited for Balder's birth, held my son in his arms as he wrapped him in furs, I held him for but a split second before Odin's blade had pierced my back. He assured me that Frigga will raised him well, a fitting brother to first born. He forced a kiss, tugging my hair back as I reached for Balder. Odin murmured that he had regretted the necessity of his act, but he could not trust my tongue. My last memories were of his boots crunching, Balder wrapped in furs in his arms. Who would have ever thought that a mother would relish their babe's wails?" Loptr stiffled a sob from escaping his throat.


Thor remained silent, getting to his kness as he cupped Loptr's chin in his hand, wiping away the tears. "No apology could alleviate the pain, but all the same, I apologize. I swear on my life that I will rectify his wrongs, retribution will be had." He offered softly. "With your help, I will find the lost children. Your heart is one of kindness and strength, but you carry an immense burden, will you find peace with Odin's demise?"


Loptr shook his head, "I will find peace when you reunite those children with their mother, when you raise them well, to keep the darkness from their hearts. My motiviation is not driven by the same tune as the others. With all that I have, I will help you, thunderer. My time and seidr is limited, soon the Nords will see I have escaped Hel. There is no time to waste, we must head to the tallest mountain of Jotunheim, there you will find the first borne son."