|Isobel Brandt \\ Persephone (praxidike) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-02-18 22:58:00
|Entry tags:||loki, persephone|
i faced destruction and you
Who: Nish [Loki] & Isobel [Persephone].
What: Loki's in a bind and asks Persephone for help. She's less than forgiving.
When: There and here.
Though a goddess of spring, light, and new life, Persephone was not at all unfamiliar with the dark. The great halls of the Underworld were a comfortable second home for her, but these...these caves were different. The small glow from her own skin was enough to offer some source of light so that she might see her own feet, and she kept one pale hand to the wall so she did not stumble; every so often, a handful of quakes shook the walls, sending gravel and rocks falling to the floor, scattering as though they were running from some horrible thing held fast at the center of wherever these caves led. Intent on finding out just what it was, Persephone continued on, pushing through the thick night until her light fell on a man.
He was bound by a rope made of sinew, tied tightly in three places so that he could barely move. Something dripped onto his face, causing him to scream; Persephone looked up, and saw a coiled serpent whose fangs were so overwhelmed with venom that they dripped into the victim's face waiting just below. A startled hand rose to her mouth, and Persephone started forward, but then was forced to stop when the man's pains shook the rocky walls around her.
His roars of pain echoed back at him in the cave, magnifying exponentially off the many surfaces in the small space. Rage, pure and white hot, was all that sustained him through his binding. The unfairness of it, the cruelty of it. All for a murder he did not himself commit. A technicality is what had him bound here, the remains of his beloved sons holding him fast. Rage and hate were his days. And revenge.
His head turned when he heard movement in the tunnel, suddenly grateful that his wife had returned. But it was not Sigyn...an unfamiliar woman stepped out of the shadows, shrouded by a soft glow that could only mean she was an unknown goddess. “Who are you?” he demanded, pain and anger evident in his voice. “Come to gloat over my suffering like the others?”
Persephone pushed off of the wall, drawing closer to the strange, bound man. He reminded her briefly of Tityos, the would-be rapist of Leto who was stretched out in Tartarus. Though this man wasn't having his liver pecked at by vultures, Persephone considered the serpent an equal punishment. She wondered what the man had done to deserve this.
"No," she returned, her voice soft as a springtime breeze. "I did not mean to be here at all, but now I am. My name is Persephone, the Kore; who are you, and why is this being done to you?" She restrained the need to immediately reach out and help; it was not her place, nor her responsibility, unless he could offer her good reason.
“I am Loki,” he growled, struggling against his bonds, “and I have been chained here for a crime I did not commit, by the cruelty of the Gods of Asgard.” Just as he spoke, another drop of acid fell to his face, blinding pain causing him to roar with anger and agony. “They bound me here, with the remains of my beloved sons as chains, while they eat and drink and laugh in their vaunted halls.” Slowly, as the pain ebbed, opportunity began to surface in his mind. Perhaps this woman, this unknown goddess, had the power to free him.
His explanation was a common one of all men who did not wish to be held accountable for their actions. Persephone let her arms drift into a cross over her chest, a less offensive posture than she wished to adopt, but she could not help the sympathy that blossomed in her mind. It was a woman's way to be the gentler, softer hand, wasn't it? But she did not wish to mistake a need for a demand, and Persephone would not release someone from a punishment that was well due.
"And what was this crime that you stand accused of?" She wondered how much discussion they might have with the serpent dripping on him as it was; spying a nearby bowl, she picked it up and drew close enough to hold it over his head, catching the poison as it dripped slowly from the serpent's fangs. She realized the soft chastisement her husband would have for her, but Persephone wanted to see this through in her own way.
Again he struggled in his bonds, even though it was useless. His face, at first contorted by rage and pain, shifted into surprise as he watched her delicate hands pick up the bowl, holding it aloft over his head. He hadn’t asked, she didn’t owe him anything, she didn’t even know who he was, but she was helping him. His features softened, something approaching gratitude on his face instead.
“Accused, but not proven,” he said, his voice softening into something more him, more like the fine velvet of his usual honeyed words. He was still trapped, still bound, but the pain had eased, and if he could convince her, perhaps his bonds could be cut. “The gods recently lost one of their own,” he explained, “the most beloved child of Odin and Frigg. Precious Balder, perfect Balder, beloved Balder…” even as he said these things he couldn’t keep the slightly harsh edge out of his voice. Even though he was dead, he still irritated him with his perfection. “They claim that I killed him.”
"You do not sound sorry that he is dead," Persephone replied, switching the quickly-filling bowl from one hand to the other. It was still light enough that she could balance it with one hand, but she realized she'd soon need two. She tried not to focus on it. "Why do they blame you? Were you enemies?"
“Is it a crime to dislike someone?” he asked reasonably. “Even - or perhaps especially - if that person is universally liked by everyone?” He looked up when she shifted the bowl in her hands, having seen Sigyn do that enough times to know what it meant. He clenched his jaw, but forced it to relax. “They knew that I did not like him, and so when he died - in an accident, I should add - they immediately assumed it was me.”
Persephone resituated herself, frowning. While what he said was true, she suspected it was not the whole truth. "How did this Balder die?"
He tried to make a dismissive wave with one hand, only it was bound to the table. “And tragic accident at the hand of his poor blind brother, Hod,” he explained. “You see, the gods loved Balder so much that the goddess Frigg begged of every thing in existence not to ever hurt him, and they agreed. And so now…invincible,” he said with a slight hint of jealousy, “the gods made sport of using everything they could to slay the child, and delighting in all attempts being deflected harmlessly away. A deadly game and, might I add, the reason for the poor gods death.
You see, poor Hod was blind, but he wanted to join in the fun. So I handed him a nearby twig and he shot it at his brother like an arrow. And then...his brother died.” Loki shrugged, as if to say ‘that's that, nothing to be done.’
Fixing him with a disconcerted look, Persephone wrinkled her nose a touch. "It was certainly helpful of you to help his disabled brother join in on the...violence. Are you certain that every thing agreed? Because if one were to believe your story, then Hod seems to be the one responsible for his brother's death."
“He does, doesn't he?” Loki agreed, attempting to appear innocent of this deed. “And yet, I am here, and he is not. Do you think that either of us deserves such a fate?” he wondered aloud.
She thought a moment, passing the poison-filled bowl to another hand as her arm grew tired of holding it. "What kind of twig was it?" she asked, innocently. He shook his head.
“And branch from a nearby tree...it could have been anything...but that doesn't matter does it? The brother is clearly the guilty party; he struck the killing blow. However unintentional it was.”
His evasion did not inspire trust. "But you gave him the branch. Clearly you were at least partly culpable. And that also implies that you knew something the others didn't; perhaps one way that this Balder could be injured, even killed.”
His eyebrows rose, stretching the wounds on his face painfully. “How could I have known it would kill him, when even the gods did not know?” he asked her. “He was supposed to be protected from all sources of harm!”
"It sounds to me that you took advantage of someone who had less than you, and even if you did not intend to kill Balder, you clearly had no desire to see him unharmed." Persephone rose from where she'd taken a seat, the edge of the bowl tipping poison perilously close to Loki's face. She put both hands beneath the bowl, holding it in place for a moment. Loki watched her with narrowed eyes, the splash having just barely singed his damp hair, but he bit back any epithets he might have spoken to her had it struck his face.
"And if this god was so beloved, I can see why they placed you here. They want you to feel their anguish, for as long as he is dead."
“So you believe that this punishment fits my supposed crime? Which has still not been proven,” he pointed out. “If I am innocent as I say, then this is a gross injustice, perpetrated by the gods because of their prejudice. However,” he added thoughtfully, “even if I am guilty...can one not argue that this punishment is excessively harsh? The death was unintentional, and I did not even loose the arrow that killed him.”
Persephone had heard enough; she wasn't going to split hairs with this man.
"You have already been judged, by those who know you better than I. It is not for me to offer you any further comfort." She pulled the bowl back, letting the venom drip anew onto Loki's face. She cradled the full bowl for a moment, then set it down on the rocky floor, carefully balancing it where it would not tip over. Either it would sit there, eternally unused, the hate born out of a pantheon's loss, or someone who visited him would decide what to do with it.
She stepped away from him. "Perhaps someone will take pity on you, but this is not my place."
He screamed in rage and agony as the poison dripped on his face again. “No!” he shouted as she stepped away, now all rage and anger. “Get back here! You must unbind me!” He struggled in his bonds, but they held fast.
Her face turned hard, an imperious cast changing her innocent demeanor to something more.
"No man commands me," she replied, her voice at once both deep and light, resounding through the cave with a dark but quiet tone. "And you reveal yourself, Loki. Enjoy your punishment." Persephone Praxidike turned on her heel, striding away from the man and his pain as it echoed through the cavern behind her. No more did she let her hand guide her along the wall; she knew the way out as she had just walked it. Wherever her husband's kingdom lay, she would find it in due time.