All things considered he guessed it could be worse. He was wearing his thickest wool socks, it's the little things really. He would take whatever small mercies he could find. Looking around at the crystalline landscape the twilight glittered off the ice and snow was gently falling, swirling in the bitter breeze. For a single moment Loki felt a deep sense of peace, before shaking himself out of it. Much like the sudden panicked jolt feeling of falling before one is sleep, and oh how he wished this could be a dream. The snow crouched loudly under their feet. The group feeling uneasy had automatically fallen into an offensive battle position.
" Where are they?", Fandral asked scanning their surroundings.
" Hiding, cowards always do.", Thor said accusingly, goading the jotunns to come out. Loki felt the desire to roll his eyes. Of course the "mighty Thor(read; doofus)" would challenge giants, on their home turf even. He had tried convincing them not to go. They were never supposed to get this far. He'll have to get that guard flogged for taking so long, he thought. Loki sent out his seidr, feeling the area for any sign of life. The little seidr he felt from the land itself seemed to caress his. It beckoned and pulled on the skeins of seidr he'd wrapped around himself, as if it wanted to join his very being. He had never felt anything like it. Alas he was not one to become distracted and pushed his focus back to scanning for life within the icy realm. Now scanning with his eyes as well he made a startling realization. They were walking into some kind of throne room.
" Thor...Thor", Loki whispered as loud as he dared, afraid a noise would alert someone to their invading presence. "Thor", he said again louder this time, but his brother ignored him. Then a low gravely voice hit them from across the ice.
"You have come a long way to die, Asgardians.", it was said not exactly as a threat but instead as if it was a statement of fact. King Laufey sat above them on his throne carved of stone and ice. Raised scars covered his body in a way that could only be seen as harsh and ugly by the Aesir. Jotun were rumored to have been carved directly from the planets ice itself and faced with their King, they found no visual reason to doubt it. Meeting Laufeys unwavering scarlet gaze Thor unshaken Loudly announces,
" I am Thor Odinson" Laufey quickly stops him.
" We know who you are!" We?, Loki thought. A cursory glance around them was all it took to realize his folly. While he was focused on the conversation the Jotunns had begun filtering in, ready to swarm them. Dread was rising up within him threatening to take over his sensibilities. They needed to get off this planet! Laufey's next words caught his attention and fueled his dread.
" The house of Odin is filled with traitors."
" Do not dishonor my father with your lies!", Thor snarled angrily as the Jotunns crept closer unbeknownst to the young Aesir.
" Your father is a murderer and a thief! And why have you come here? To make peace? You long for battle. You crave it! You’re nothing but a boy trying to prove himself a man.", Laufeys words left his mouth acccusingly a qiuet rage boiling just beneath the surface.
" Well this boy has grown tired of your mockery", Thor spat back with menace at the Jotun king. Loki knew he had to stop this before the idiot got them all killed. He grabbed his brother's shoulder to get his attention and said into his ear.
" Thor, stop and think! Look around you. We’re out numbered" Thor shrugged off his brothers hand and verbally whipped back with a growl.
" Know your place, brother." My place, Loki mentally repeated. His place always beneath Thor, standing within his shadow. The second best spare heir. It hurt every time he was reminded of this truth. Laufey's next words broke through his thoughts.
" You know not what your actions would unleash. I do. Go, now! While I still allow it." This was his chance, Loki thought. Quickly he took a step in front of Thor.
"We will accept, you’re most gracious offer.", Loki said bowing his head at King Laufey. Turning on his heels to face Thor who still had his glare focused on Laufey. "Come on, brother", Loki said and thankfully the rest of the Aesir followed his lead and began walking back towards the bifrost site. Now more than 10 paces had been passed when a voice drifted across the ice.
" Run back home, little princess." an unknown voice smugly said.
" Damn", Loki said already knowing the completely avoidable actions his brother had undoubtedly taken. Why can't that idiot just let it go!,he thought. One little insult was all it took. With mjolnir thrown the battle had begun quickly turning into a blood fueled frenzy. Falling into a familiar rhythm Loki picked apart his targets, only attacking those who approached him first. The Jotunns were not as tall as his childhood stories would have had him believe. He had imagined them as 30 feet herculean beasts made of razor sharp claws, gnashing fangs, and disgustingly scarred bodies. The Jotunn in front of him was 10 feet if he had to hazard a guess, and most seemed around that height as well. A sharp scream from Volstagg broke through his battlefield wondering thoughts.
" Don't let them touch you!", Volstagg yelled through pained gasps as his arm turned black with frostbite. Loki turned his concentration back to the battle. He sent illusionary doubles to "fight" Jotunns and keep them away from his brothers in arms. When he noticed one of the others having issues he sent a dagger into the opponent's neck. It may have been "dishonorable" to the others but he would personally rather be dishonorable and dead then dead and honorable. He sent his daggers toward a Jotunn approaching Fandral but it was too late. A spike formed from ice tore through the warriors chest. Fandral screamed in agony the sound tearing across the frozen plain. Sif yelled something as she and Hogun grabbed Fandral arms to lift him off of his impalement. His concentration was split and he missed her words as his attention was drawn in front of him towards the Jotunn attempting to stab him. Expertly twirling and slashing with his daggers between blasts of brilliant green pure seidr, his opponent caught him off guard. The giant deflected one of his blasts, stepping forward to grab his arm. Loki struggled to get free as his armor froze and shattered. He braced himself for the inevitable pain of freezing flesh, but it did not come. They both stared as his arm turned blue...jotunn blue. A million thoughts started to come forth from his panicked mind. Before any of them could come into fruition he felt something slam into him from behind. With it his world went blankly, perhaps even blissfully black.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Loki came back into consciousness like someone floating to the surface above from icy depths. Attempting to keep his breath even he ever so slightly opened his eyes to survey his surrounding. The first thing he noticed was dark obsidian metal chains covered in runes to block his seidr. The loss of his seidr even partially felt like he was half blind, as if a limb was amputated. Another sense in which he viewed and felt the world was gone in this contrast everything appeared ugly, dull, and lifeless. Looking past the contraption forced upon him he appeared to be in some kind of cell? or a bedroom perhaps, it was a bit too nice for a cell. It was reminiscent of a private healing room. Frosted glass...or was it ice...made up the walls. One side of the room shined, appearing almost like a mirror. Stone tile made up the floor. The room was fairly bare. He lay upon a surprisingly soft if huge cot. The only other furniture was a large chair in the corner, upon it sat a giant blue figure.
" Shit!", Loki yelled bolting upright attempting to take up a fighting stance before the giant stopped him.
" Calm yourself, I mean you no harm...I was just wondering how long it would take you to wake up...I..uh...Thrym hit you pretty hard, my apologies", the Jotun said surprisingly awkwardly. Loki was surprised by the giants disposition, he was fairly apologetic being his captor and all.
" Thank you for your concern...sir" Loki said unsure of the identity.
" Perhaps, I should have the healers look over you again if you can't recognize Jotunheim's King.", the giant said with a slight smirk. Loki was caught off guard but managed to keep his features schooled into his usual neutral mask, attempting to gain back some semblance of control he said,
" Ah yes, the man in charge. Let us just skip past the formalities then. What are your intentions with me?" the words said with the fluidity of an experienced diplomat.
" Nothing nefarious I promise you...I would like to tell you, but I doubt you will believe me.", Laufey said with hesitation.
" Perhaps I should be the judge of that.", Loki quickly rebuffed. Laufey did not appear to change his thoughts but continued with trepidation.
" I will fully explain the complete truth. But only on the condition that you listen to everything I say first before responding, and you must keep your mind open."
" I accept." Loki stated without hesitation, intrigued and somewhat concerned.
'Loki, you are my son." With this Loki immediately skewed his regal features into disbelief and outright disgust, opening his mouth to repute Laufey's words the giant stopped him. " Ah you said you accepted my conditions. I know your skin changed on the battlefield, that wasn't mere shapeshifting. I saw your family lines, you are no doubt my Loptr. I thought you dead, murdered in cold blood during the war...but that bastard Odin stole you."
" No! I am not one of you. I can't be... I'm not even the right size..." Loki yelled eyes searching for some other explanation." I'm not a monster", he whispered as if to convince himself. Although quiet Laufey could not miss those last words which stung his heart.
" No, you're not. Jotunns are not monsters, you are not a monster. Loptr, you are a gift blessed from Ymir.
" Ha! Blessed am I? I doubt that. I have never felt an inkling of this so called blessing." Loki snarled.
" Loptr", Laufey said in sad exasperation.
" No! I am Loki. Whatever son you lost I am not him... I can't be." he was now screaming, lashing out in desperate aggression tears leaving tracks down his face. Whatever nightmare he was in he wanted out. He had seen the impossible before but this, this must be some cruel joke. I am not a monster, his mind whispered to itself as a mantra founded in disbelief.
"You are. Perhaps you are not the same as you would have been, but you cannot deny this. Look at you, even in this faulty disguise you cannot truly hide who you are...what you are. I saw you flinging seidr moving as if you were the wind itself. Even in your appearance you are different. Black hair and green eyes, no Aesir is like you are. " Laufey walked over to Loki pulled him against his will to turn to the reflective wall. Keeping his hand firmly wrapped around Loki's upper arm he watched as the pale skin turned blue. "Look at yourself, look at your true self."
" I cannot be who you want me to be. This...(Loki said gesturing at his appearance) I may never have truly felt Aesir, felt like I belonged...but I...I" Loki started stuttering tears coming now in abundance. Laufey wrapped his large arms around Loki and pulled him into an embrace. To Loki's surprise he didn't resist or even want to.
" Shhh, you are who you have always been. Now you are just better informed." Laufey released Loki from his arms and walked toward the door before turning around." I will leave you for now and let you adjust to the news, I need to talk to your sire. I'll have some things brought in for you in the meantime." Loki stood there in some degree of disbelief. Then he realized what one of Laufey's words was. Wait...his sire?
Laufey did not look forward to breaking the news of their child to his mate. The fact that he was alive and well...mostly...atleast mostly physically, that he would be happy to share. What happened to their child in his time away from them, that he did not look forward to at all. While he was certainly furious about it, well... even at his angriest it didn't hold a candle to the rage Farbauti was capable of. So it was no large surprise when part of the conversation went as follows:
" How could they! They stole our child. They stole Jotunheims hope and...and" Farbauti was past screaming at this point.
" I know" Laufey said trying to avoid adding fuel to the fire. They had just redone the west wing of the palace, it would be a shame if something happened to it...again.
" He will pay. I will march straight up to Odin's pretentious gold throne, tear off his testicles and shove them down the bastards throat! That is if he even has any!"
" Then I will shove my hand so far up his ass I can make him talk like a puppet!"
"And then!..." Laufey started to drone out his mates rage filled plans. Let him get it all out now. Ymir have mercy on those who cross Farbauti "Cruel-Striker"
Talk to his sire? Loki thought. Wasn't Laufey his sire. He called him his son, and Laufey definitely appeared male. Perhaps sire meant something different on Jotunheim...yes that must be it. There was a lot of new information thrown at him but By Freya's left tit he was not birthed by a giant blue man.
True to his word an assortment of things were dropped off in Loki's room. A small buffet of food, some blankets, personal care items, and books. Loki picked at the food not particularly hungry and also not particularly trusting it. He mostly was interested in the books. They seemed to be very old and written in the Asgardian. He supposed they wouldn't have very recent books in that language after all. He picked up the book titled " A Study of the Jotnar and Their Society" flipped open to a random page and began to read.
" The average Jotun varies between 13-15 ft. when full grown. Although Jotnar never truly stop growing, it does drop off dramatically once they hit majority. The cellular regeneration only moderately slows with old age. There are multiple theories to the exact evolutionary reason. The most prevalent theories being for identification via family lines on their skin and or their environment. With the harsh terrain Jotnar would practically fall apart if their cells were not constantly regenerating. Thus a Jotun will never appear "old" as the other realms inhabitants normally do. Their skin does not become particularly wrinkled with age, so that their heritage lines are always clearly visible and identification is possible. A consequence of this cellular regeneration is their extended lifespan when compared to the other 9 realms. If a Jotun keeps perfect health, good diet, no injuries, ect. some researchers believe they could potentially stay alive indefinitely. Whether or not this is true is not proven. Our current research points to lifespan of anywhere from 15,000-20,000 years. When Jotnar do die, it is not usually from old age. Every body(death from natural causes) that we have recovered in our research appears to be in its prime.
There is an exception to the previously stated normal height range. This is if the Jotun is a "Valkr" a direct translation is not exact but the closest is "blessed". These creatures are a closely guarded secret. They reach a shorter height of 6-8 ft, not including their horns. Their mechanism is Jotun society is not exactly known but from our research they are highly regarded and treated sacredly. Reports vary on their abilities. They possess a connection to Yggradsil and Jotunheim as well as special abilities depending on the Jotun. At this time that is all this researcher can say for certain..."
Loki stopped reading, could he be one of these Valkr? Laufey said he was a blessing. Is this what he meant?