Eons ago, the Deity of White Qarin and the Deity of Black Marid existed in eternal conflict. To settle this dispute, they decided to create a single child. This child would be deemed a failure and banished from reality into The Rift. But the deities learned from their folly and started anew. Rather than a singular being in both their names, they each created an Avatar. The embodiment of Time, the Avatar of White and the embodiment of Death, the Avatar of Black were then created. From there, they created other Avatars embodying different aspects of what would become reality. The Avatar of White knew the process of creating Worlds would be a great and almost all-consuming task. So he created the World Builders, beings dedicated to this process. They’d traverse the multiverse and create Worlds the Avatars would define. His twin, the Avatar of Black, instead created a realm. Thus, the realm of Asgard was created as were the Æsir who called it home. Led by the All-Father Odin, he created the Disir to retrieve souls as needed across reality. His firstborn daughter Angela would salvage the pure while his firstborn son Grigori would harvest the corrupt.
“Ah, my children.” Odin says from his golden throne. He was an elderly man who seemed frail. He had a long white beard that matched his hair that flowed down to his shoulders. He wore a golden eyepatch over his left eye that matched the cloak he wore. He struggled to stand and approached two figures with open arms. One a man clad in a jet black cloak atop skeletal armor. An intimidating aura fitting for a Reaper. The other a Valkyrie with braided golden hair wearing a full suit of pearly white armor and a soft smile greeting the All-Father. “Thank you for coming.” he happily hugs the Valkyrie. “You’ve grown into a beautiful woman Angela.”
“Thank you All-Father.” she bows slightly.
“Grigori.” Odin turns to face the other figure. “Ever the tense one.” he sighs giving a somewhat disappointed expression.
“I live to serve Odin.” Grigori replies flatly.
“You can at least greet your father without that helmet.”
“Very well.” Grigori replies after a brief pause. Removing the bone helmet to reveal his pale skin and wild silver hair. His eyes were red with black sclera surrounding them.
“Was that so difficult?” he hugs Grigori who remains stoic before returning to his throne. “You’ve become a fine man Grigori.”
“You called us for a reason All-Father. I request to know what it is.” Grigori banishes his helmet and crosses his arms.
“We must create a new word to describe how tense you are.” Angela jokingly jabs at Grigori to Odin’s amusement.
“Indeed.” Odin chuckles heartily. “I wanted to introduce you.” he raises his right hand to signal someone to approach. On cue, the sound of thunder can be heard as a man appears a few feet in front of Odin in a bolt of thunder. He had blue eyes and straight ginger hair clad in a simple red tunic and brown leather boots. A cape made of fur around his shoulders and a small hammer strapped to the left side of his waist. Its handle putting little distance between the head of the hammer and the wielder’s hand.
“Yes, father?” The man asks as he stands. The air around him surging with electricity for a few seconds before dissipating.
“Thor, I’d like you to meet Angela and Grigori.”
“A pleasure.” Angela replies.
“Hmph.” Grigori scoffs.
“I’ve heard tale of you. The noble queen and brutal king of the Disir. Truly an honor.” Thor says politely. “Pray tell, is Baldr here as well?”
“No, your brother’s remain in Midgard. You were there yourself, yes?”
“Aye, I was observing the Builders. They continue their work in earnest. Protecting Midgard is tiring with so many new Worlds being created.”
“Not up to the task oh God of Thunder?” A voice echoes across the wind. After a few moments, the air begins to ripple like waves. Revealing a straight black haired man with a goatee adorned in elegant matching black robes. The trim a golden hue that matched the golden crown with small antlers worn on his head. “Perhaps if you had a better hammer this would be no issue.”
“Were it not for you I’d not need a new hammer at all Loki.” Thor hisses with lightning coming from his hands.
“A family reunion would not be complete without violence.” Loki chuckles to himself.
“You may be my father’s Blood Brother but you are no kin of mine.”
“Such poor manners on this one. All that power and no tact. What have you been teaching him Odin?”
Odin chuckles at the squabbling around him. “I teach him to explore and defend. Though he is a great warrior his mind could use a lesson or two from yourself.”
“Hmm…I suppose that could be an interesting venture.” Loki smiles cheekily.
“If you’re all done wasting my time. With due respect All-Father, have you called us to parade your eldest to us?” Grigori’s deep voice silenced those around him in an instant.
“Is it so wrong for a father to want to see his children?” Odin asks seemingly hurt by Grigori’s outburst.
“I only see one child here. One who needs not anything I can offer. So I ask once more…” he summons his sinister helmet once more. The eyes glow red as two terrifying horns spawn over the eyebrows and curve towards the back of the head. “What do you want All-Father?”
“Very well then, King of Reapers.” Odin sighs. “As Thor has claimed, the Builders continue to build new Worlds throughout Midgard. Asgard in all its splendor is not large enough to contain all the souls. As such, I’ve elected to grant both you and Angela your own realms. To Angela, I grant you Vanaheim. Grigori, to you I grant Helheim. Do with them what you will. You’ve both my blessing. Should you ever wish to return, the Bifrost is always open to you.”
“Thank you All-Father.” Angela bows.
“Very well. I shall continue to serve All-Father.” Grigori bows slightly before walking away. His black visage a stark contrast to the white marble palace that made up a majority of Asgard.
“Grigori!” Angela calls out to try and stop Grigori who keeps walking. Prompting her to follow him. “What is the meaning of this brother?”
“You’d not understand Angela. You’re too sweet.”
“Care to test my mettle?” she asks annoyed.
“Tis true the Æsir have their own duties. But they were born his children. We Disir were born his soldiers. He parades his prized Æsir in front of us and tries to pretend we’re something we’re not.” Grigori stops when Angela steps in front of him.
“We both know you don’t believe that. You were far more excited to see Odin than I.”
“You’re far too innocent for your own good sister.” Grigori pats her on the shoulder as he walks past. “Never forget these words. The Æsir are gods born of love and can do a Disir’s duty. But we are born Disir to serve and can never become a god.” he fades into his own shroud and disappears.
Back at his throne, Odin sighs slinking back in his char. “What will I do with that one…Where did I go wrong?”
“Not treating your eldest with proper respect?” Loki replies sarcastically sparking a scowl from Odin and Thor alike. “All of you are so sensitive. The Disir are your eldest yet they live only to serve. Were they mindless drones it’d be fine. But they’ve hearts and desires of their own. They’ve not the luxury we have.”
“Hmm…” Odin sits in thought.
“Do not listen to his silver tongue father.” Thor interjects.
“Don’t you trust me nephew?” Loki disappears and reappears with his head leaning over Thor’s left shoulder. Causing him to jump away from the mischievous god and draws his hammer. “Hahahaha!” he laughs. “Come now Thor, we both know how this bout would go.”
“Perhaps you could test your skills in combat after a visit to Jötunheim .” Odin suggests.
“Lokheim.” Loki corrects him.
“Yes…Lokheim…” Odin cringes slightly as he says the name. “I’d like you to spend some time with Loki. Learn from him for the time being. Midgard will last without your aid.”
“If that is what you wish father.” Thor bows begrudgingly and disappears in a bolt of thunder.
“Now that the children are gone. Why did you really call upon us brother?” Loki asks with a serious expression.
“I can feel the Zero Pillar weakening every day. Should it fall…”
“Ragnarök will be upon us…” Loki’s brow furls grimly.
“I’d hoped both Disir and Æsir could work together. Lest we get Grigori to agree we’ll be without a valuable asset.”
“Ah, so you’re missing another blade in your arsenal?” Loki replies slyly.
“That’s not what I mean.”
“Of course not. Though it seems you should take lessons in how to speak from me as well. Should you keep this up Grigori will never return. The last thing you need is to make an enemy of Iblis and the Reapers.”
“You are right.” Odin sighs. “I’m entrusting Thor to you Loki. Please, temper his mind so his hammer does not stray from its mark.”
“As you wish brother. But I’ve a request in exchange.” Loki walks up to Odin so they’re only a few feet away. “There’s a certain object I’ve been searching for. Surely you could ask Heimdall to assist me in this endeavor.”
“What object is this?”
Odin remains silent and stares at Loki. Both unwavering in their exchange. “Why do you seek the cursed black gauntlet?”
“Do you trust me?” Loki asks ignoring the question.
“Then trust me. Once I have it things will get…very interesting.”
“Would it be too much to ask what that meant?”
“Oh Odin, where’s the fun in that?” Loki smirks.
“…Very well then Loki.” Odin hesitantly replies.
“Thank you, now I must away. I’ve a stubborn Thunder God to tame.” Loki salutes and fades away.
Elsewhere, beyond the Rainbow Bifrost Bridge lay Lokheim. Formerly known as Jötunheim , it is a realm of giants. Giants who all served under Loki and Loki alone. It was a land covered in massive expansive forests and even larger mountains trapped in unending winter. A land of wilderness with seemingly no civilization to speak of. The only civilization to speak of was Loki’s very own palace. A pristine paradise of sleek black marble and spiraling towers. Ideal for the giants who called it home. Their massive frames ranging from 20 feet to several stories. The Bifrost itself stopped in front of a central plaza where a massive statue of Loki stood with arms extended outward. His head held high to the sky. Thor found the statue somehow less appealing than the man himself.
“Welcome to Lokheim nephew.” Loki exclaims with arms open as he appears standing in front of his statue in an identical pose.
“Hmph, tis no Asgard.” Thor scoffs.
“Of course you’d say that.” Loki lowers his arms and rolls his eyes. “I suppose you aren’t going to make these lessons easy are you?”
“I’m here at father’s behest. You’ll do well to remember that.” Thor scowls.
“Indeed.” Loki simply sighs unwilling to argue. “You spend much of your time off Asgard in Midgard yes?”
“Aye.” Thor responds.
“Then I suppose you’ve not seen much of the other Realms?”
“I’ve heard tale of them but my duty calls elsewhere.”
“I see.” Loki puts his right arm around Thor’s shoulder and pulls him close. He looks over at him and holds up his left index finger. “The first rule of the multiverse is that the laws and rules that govern them change between Realms. Second…” he raises another finger. “Though there are Worlds on Midgard, six of the Nine Realms has their own set. The World Builders you were so fond of following have been hopping between each rather subtly. Keeping certain…trends between Worlds to certain realms.”
“Really?” Thor says surprised at the revelation.
“Third.” Loki raises another finger. “There is much for you to learn dear nephew. So listen to uncle Loki and you won’t be steered wrong.” he says with a sly smile.
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