If you're still accepting, I've always loved the old Norse mythology and think this could be loads of fun to write. I've a few ideas to do with Hodr. If not, that's fine too, just'd like to know. Cheers.
@Raineh Daze@TheFake@PKMNB0Y Fremont tilted his head, scratching behind an ear. This entire situation was much, much less professional than he had been led to believe. He was fine with that. “Y’know Cloverfield, I think you’re right. I was well and truly wrong. Nice switchblade, I’m sure it’s as impressive as a big rabbit. Feel proud, you’re the regal knight who, through their best efforts, might not embarrass themselves in front of the convict.”
The convict patted the leprechaun on her tiny shoulder, stomach growling as he nodded to Fan. "Noted. Anyone else?" One good meal and several hours later, the resident colossus walked in the motley crew drifting towards the party. “Same question as the rabbit girl. ‘No casualties’ is a noble goal and all, but if someone shoots me I’m not gonna politely ask them to wait in the police car.”
Lundgren stared at the little chinese girl, eyes forlorn as she wolfed down the meal set before her. It wouldn’t have been so bad if she hadn’t been glaring at him as she did so, almost taunting him as the source of that wonderful, beautiful smell disappeared before his eyes.
It was honestly starting to feel like Soulflame was some kind of sick, unusual punishment for his past. Slick Rick in the corner over there really pulled the “food for the mind card,” and continued reading to himself. Like an asshole. Meanwhile, the Incredible Irish Preschooler was harassing him about not using her proper name, One Sale Dale was still trying not to wet himself, Lynch had shown up, the place was getting too crowded and then... Fan was talking about a raid.
His teeth throbbed. There was a fight in his immediate future, with heavily armed strangers that he was allowed to break in half. Slowly, the hackles settled back, his lips closed. Fremont relaxed, ever so slightly, then turned to address his new, assorted coworkers. No more bullshit, no more fake manners. Time to be frank, starting with the beanpole leaning against the corner.
“Slimjim. ‘No’ would’ve worked just fine. I get the feeling we shouldn’t kill randos on the street, probably bad business. Maybe you’d realize that if you remembered we’re supposed to be helping people and stopped quoting dates out of history books and snickering to yourself like a Bond villain.
Pint-size, you introduced yourself, unironically, with 'greetings,' and you are, by mass, a third of me. I literally cannot take you seriously. The other smallest person here can pull rabbits the size of a Buick out of her hat. You just speak like a German nun.
Sister rabbit, I’m not gonna eat your dinner. I'm jealous of it, but I'm not gonna. Calm down. I like the big rabbit, by the way.
Lynch, Fan, I’m bad at sneaking and good at everything else. Put me in the middle of the clusterfuck. I call dibs on the biggest one.
Little John, nice to meet you. I’m sure you're good at whatever it is you do that isn't deadly combat.
"That's outta the way. Now, we can all get on like one big, dysfunctional family. With that in mind, my last meal was 16 hours ago, and we have a fight coming up. I’m ordering take out before I eat this table. Anyone else want something?”
Fremont blinked back at the lupine beast. Horse-sized hare, small girl with rabbit ears. Magic shit. “...Right, that checks out.”
His ears twitched. Behind him, a stuttering mess of a man seemed like he was about to piss himself, and a straight-backed Irish preschooler was saying something about introductions and working together. Lundgren tried to ignore it, but they were close enough that she seemed to be talking to both the cringing wreck and the convict. Which meant he would get to work with an uppity girl scout and a businessman with the spine of a claustrophobic oyster. Great.
He glanced over his shoulder, expressionless as he gave each one of them a long look, assessing what he saw. Magic existed, and appearances could be deceiving. Probably. Still, it wasn’t impressive. The girl was damn near a dwarf, unarmed, and had just used “greetings” as a serious greeting. In real life. What a loser. At least the girl in the shop had shown obvious signs of competency, by having a giant rabbit. That probably meant she was good at magic, or… well, he didn’t quite know how to respond to that, but surely it meant something. This red-haired one just seemed to think she was important. He grimaced ever so slightly as he turned his attention to the suit beside her.
The man was even worse. He was sweating like a whore in church. He was a beanpole, pretty, more of a boy than a man. His eyes were dinner plates, and his posture screamed panic. Ordinarily, Lundgren wouldn’t mind. As the team’s official tough guy, at least in his own head, a little fear in people around him was good. Problem was that, apparently, he was gonna have to work this guy. Who was terrified of him. He might need to do something about that at some point.
The colossal man shook his head with a disgust. Regardless, there were more important matters which required his attention. He was still starving, and the smell of chinese food was all but overpowering.
He opened his mouth, displaying his sharpened teeth, glistening with drool. He still wasn't sure how to deal with these people, it was... fuck, the pen was so much simpler. There you could just punch a man and deal with the consequences. Hell, that was how he had made most of his friends in the later years. Now he had to be civil. He spoke falteringly, failing to completely hide his concern about the newcomers. "Sure. Nice to meetcha, girl scout. You and uh... This guy. Right. I'm Lundgren. Fremont Lundgren."
The convict stood in the doorway for a few more moments before deciding to continue towards the source of food. Lundgren shouldered into the building, his head almost scraping the door frame. It was... cozy. Stacks of books were piled all around, and a carpeted interior, counter intuitive to the amount of animals that seemed to live here, contributed to the atmosphere well. Still, it seemed clean. Maybe they were trained? Magic? Probably magic. He was gonna go with that.
He closed the door behind him.
The entirety of the shop was nice. That was the problem. This wasn't prison. The chairs looked comfortable, it was cool inside, and the food smelled palatable. He wasn't in Kansas anymore.
Lundgren glanced between the rabbit-eared girl and the cool guy reading in the corner, like an asshole. All momentum was lost. He knew no one here, no one was trying to kill him, and he still hadn't fought anyone in a month.
His teeth ached, the anklet chafing. The Wolf was always louder when the man was hungry.
Trying to focus on anything except for his rising hackles and sense of paranoia, he found himself once more lost in the hypnotic gaze of the giant rabbit. How the hell did they get the damn thing in here? Was there another door, did they teleport it? Could the girl teleport rabbits? Was she a rabbit?? He had so many questions, but he reigned it in for now.
Who do you want me to kill? ‘Oh, you’re not allowed to know.’ Fan-fucking-tastic. Lundgren stopped beside the car, watching Fan walk away. Now that he had spoken with his ‘legal representative,’ everything was so clear. Of course they wouldn’t tell him who he was supposed to kill, that would make life simple. That, and days without lifting or reading, he was gonna go fucking insane.
Lundgren growled to himself as he entered the old, grey apartment high-rise before him. He growled at the attendant at the front desk, a bored looking teenager wearing a uniform. He growled when he reached his room, and opened the door to find… it was actually pretty damn nice. The interior was nothing too special, but there was a bed big enough to accommodate his hulking form. A few chairs, ceiling fan. There was a small bathroom, a sorta… closet type deal? Freestanding though, he wasn’t sure what to call it. And more than anything else, what caught his eye was a small countertop with an oven, a stovetop, fridge, and a dishwasher. He had a fucking dishwasher in the middle of town!
“Well I’ll be goddamned…” Fuck, a helluva lot better than he had expected. Maybe it was the only place they could find that would fit him? That king bed couldn’t have been cheap...
...Or maybe it was meant to throw him off his guard. There was no way this place wasn’t bugged to all hell. Fremont was dangerous, they were hiring him to beat up fucking demons. A small potted plant in the corner caught his eye, one of two. He strode up, shoulders back, teeth bared, and lifted the tiny thing. It fit in the palm of his hand.
A close inspection revealed nothing obvious. Ever so slightly, the curling snarl on his face relaxed. Lundgren set the plant down. It was slightly wilted.
Lundgren took a glass form the pantry, watering the pair of houseplants, then turned to the closet. Nothing QUITE big enough, but there was a check coming his way at the end of the week. He’d fix that soon. The former inmate turned, heading towards the door when his stomach growled like he had earlier.
The fridge was empty, save for a pair of icemakers in the freezer.
There was no mess outside the pen.
An absolute monster of a man exploded through the front of the bookstore, slamming the door open with a manic gleam in his wild eyes. A small amount of drool was leaking from the slit edge of his mouth, wiped away by a well-scarred hand. His clothes were tightly wrapped around his body, a pair of surprisingly clean steel-toed boots on his feet. The sleeves of what was once a relatively nice plaid button-up were missing from the shoulders down, along with a good portion of the front buttons. A wifebeater preserved his modesty.
“Alright kids, I smelled this joint from a mile away, and I got 20 bucks to my name. Fan told me this was a bookstore, but so help me if you sell food you're gonna be my best goddamn... Why are there rabbits everywhere?”
Blaine snatched the ring with a deft hand as he sat, listening to Professor Rowan address the team.
A simple mission. Eliminate threats as they arose, sneak as best as they could. In theory, combat should be sporadic at worst. Quiet, sneaking. Just like the mountains back home.
Team Leader Iona was glancing about the room, doubtlessly assessing the team. Blaine would not disappoint. His weapons hung about him loosely, prepped and ready. In his hands he held his new quarterstaff, a simple lever, varnished and prepared to the proportions requested. Nothing too special, but it would serve him well, along with the few pieces of basic armor he had acquired. Ceramic and a weave of some kind meant to stop firearms, strategically placed around important organs. Between the staff in his hands, armor encasing his body, Leonids draped from his shoulders, and stilettos in a bandelier around his chest, Blaine wondered for just a moment if he was bringing too much… then remembered that his teammates were all carrying weapons which transformed into firearms.
If anything, he was carrying too little.
Still, the mission wasn’t what bothered him. He sat, eyes burning a hole in the wall immediately next to the new member of the team. He wore his most neutral expression, brow furrowed. A single bead of sweat traced the edge of his face. Once again, proper introductions were in order. He could be redeemed. This time, he would do things properly!
There had been no time to make a gift, but it would not be expected. This Yun had joined the team in the last few days, unexpected to most anyone. They were on even terms.
Noticing her glance his way, along with her obvious enthusiasm for the mission, Blaine made eye contact. He flashed a brief smile, sharpened fangs peering out from behind thin lips, eyes unchanging. This was a good sign of moral support, and a precursor to a true introduction. Good job, Blaine. Preliminary friendliness achieved.
With the first steps of a good foot forward, the mission was all but upon them. Focus was needed. His gaze shifted to the two leaders of men, allowing his lips to fall from their grimace, voice rumbling like a freight train. “I have two concerns, Professor Rowan. Firstly, how long will data extraction take? Second, Team Leader Iona. I trust your judgement, but think I should not carry these devices. I uh… have not used a computer prior to this weekend. I think this fair warning.”
In the backseat, Lundgren’s ears twitched, papers held loosely in an oversized hand. With his legs across the seat and his back pressed to the door, there was almost enough room for him in the back, but it was too tight. Clothes they gave were too tight, too. Made him tense. He picked at the ankle bracelet. A tracker. Another chain, different day.
Fremont grunted in the affirmative, a low growl from the back of his throat. Papers held a lotta good info, but nothing he hadn’t expected. He needed a little more, though. Fan didn’t seem like a bad man, but he acted soft. Didn’t mean much, but could be an issue down the line. Didn’t mean the lawyer didn’t know his shit. That courtroom felt like a fucking formality. Soulflame’s legal team was that damn good, or he was getting roped into a group with a little more pull than the old gangs. Either way, he was out of the slammer. Maybe the damn wolf would finally shut up.
The former inmate waited long enough for the pause to likely be uncomfortable for the driver, sharp eyes shifting to the reflection in the rearview before he responded. He'd been new to a system before, meant he had to establish his place quickly. They wanted a scary motherfucker, he had to act like it. “Few things.”
He moved to set the papers on the floor before leaning forward, steepling scarred fingers in front of a well-worn face. The car groaned, metal complaining at the shift in his weight. Good. “Who do we want dead? How long until I’m… fuck, deployed? Deployed. I haven’t cut loose in literally years. 'Sides, my teeth ache if I don't fight.” The ears twitched again, curling fangs shining through the open scar as he spoke. “I also want a gym membership and a library card. Nearest places to my pad would be good. Don’t have a vehicle. Last,” A scarred hand clapped over the back of the passenger seat’s headrest, pulling a face like a warzone into the gap between seats. Lundgren hadn’t blinked since the start of his speech, and his predator eyes rushed from the mirror to the driver’s actual face. He wasn’t close enough to be a threat, but close enough there wasn’t a difference between his space and the other contractor's. Lundgren’s expression was neutral, scanning the driver for any emotion. “We’re alone. I’m sick of dancing around it. Level with me, Fan. You're twitchy. Your people are pulling me out of literal prison for this. Nothing in these papers on who we’re fighting. Just how outgunned are we? We have other fighters. How many, who are they, and how soon can I meet them?"
Personality: Lundgren tries his best to be aggressive, territorial, proud, neurotic, and generally a bit of a bastard. His time in prison kicked off his paranoia, and he still has a hard time not seeing anyone as a threat first and anything else second. An introvert at heart, he tends to open up when others display weakness, but is usually afraid of initiating conversation if he doesn’t dislike someone. Once he does open up to them however, he sees them as “his people,” and heaven help anyone who would do them wrong. Generally good with animals, Lundgren does well in open air and dislikes closed spaces and the feeling of being chained down with a passion. In his time in prison, he developed a love of reading, and enjoys peace and quiet with a good book. His favorite subjects are romantic poetry, old survival stories, heroic myths, and anything occult he can get his hands on. The guy’s smarter than he looks, but gets a kick out of playing the part of dumb muscle and then surprising people. Still, he likes fighting just a little too much, and is a bit of a masochist, taking pride in “dealing well with suck.” He’s frustrated that fighting is pretty much all that he’s good with, and wants to learn other skills.
Born to a mother who didn’t want him, Lundgren was given up as a foster child the minute she finished giving birth. His childhood was spent moving from family to family, fighting and generally causing problems wherever he went. In this time, he developed a love of boxing, a vent for his aggression. He was a big kid, and it would’ve caused problems otherwise. Eventually, during his time with a small family of good people, his adopted little brother became involved in gang activity, dragging Fremont along with him. The problem was that Fremont took to it like a fish back in water, and the leader of the group, guy named DJ, got jealous.
Lundgren and his little bro were sent to a drug deal, but little did they know DJ had already called in a tip to the cops. Fremont’s brother got away, but the buyer got nervous and pulled a gun, firing at the police. Lundgren fled, but was captured after a short pursuit, biting two fingers off an officer in the process.
With aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, the uninterested, state-appointed attorney, and his refusal to speak for the sake of his brother and friends back in the group, the court threw the book at Fremont. He was off to the nearest federal penitentiary while DJ sneered from his seat on the street, back to business as usual.
The first and most important lesson that Fremont ever got in prison was that no one was on his side. The moment he set foot in the yard, a local thug noticed his size and tried to recruit him to his own corner. Fremont told him to stick it where the sun didn’t shine. The guy took it personally.
A riot erupted that week, and in the chaos, it turned out that the thug from earlier had more than a few friends. A group of skinheads pinned the kid down, a knife carving half a Glasgow smile into his face for being mouthy before the guards managed to reinstate order. He spent the next two months in the medical ward, then got sent back to gen-pop. This time, he kept an eye out.
For the next two years, betrayed by those he thought closest to him, Fremont got the everloving shit kicked out of him. He continued to grow, eating and exercising like an absolute madman, fighting like a trapped wolf. He tried to discourage conflict. He tried to be more trouble than it was worth, take chunks out of the others in the yard, but... An unaffiliated inmate, no gang ties to retaliate? He might as well have had a target painted on his back. More than one group used him as a proving ground for new members.
If it was one-on-one, he could handle himself. The problem was that new inmates arrived in bus-loads, and they always smelled the blood in the water. He was terrified, trapped, and pinned in like an animal. His life was a fight to survive from dawn till dusk, eyes peeled for the next shank, the next boot in his head. Over time, Lundgren became intimately familiar with the medical ward, spending his time bouncing between iso and gen-pop, the yard and a stretcher. It was only a matter of time before he was killed or worse.
The stress got to him. He started doubting his own sanity, hearing the same, gravelly voice in his head, promising strength and threatening dismemberment. In his search for clarity, answers, weapons, he found himself in the library often. He combed through records, fiction, fact, anything he could find that was remotely similar to his situation. It didn’t do much to help with his mental health, and if the library was more closely monitored, it would later be noticed that a certain musty tome on Norse myth had gone missing around this time. It soon became apparent why.
Lundgren’s cellmate took note that the man would just stare out of the cell’s window at the moon for hours at night, growling at himself and mumbling under his breath when he wasn’t exercising. His wounds would ooze, his hair seemed to grow faster than it used to. He became more and more detached, cackling to himself when he thought no one was looking, throwing back raw meat from the kitchens when he had a shift. One night, the blonde woke up the cell block with a colossal, hair-raising howl out the window of his room. The guards arrived, telling him to shut up and sit down. The inmate smiled, sharpened teeth peeking out from behind the jagged scar on his jaw, an awful clarity in his eyes. With a voice like the grating of two massive stones, Fremont responded that it was a joke, and returned to bed. After all, a growing man needs his rest.
To put it simply, Lundgren had snapped. The pressure had been too much, but his situation was a familiar one to a monster from his family’s old country, and he could become a useful tool in an active location. Fenrir’s voice seeped into the inmate’s broken mind, filling the gaps with instinct and anger. He was pulled back together, but he wasn’t the same as he had been. The fear was gone, rage in its place. The sadness had left, but the betrayal remained. He was changed.
He hit a growth spurt. He grew a full head taller, all of his hard work finally coming to light as his muscles swelled and his chest flared. Lundgren’s shoulders fell back, a predator confidence lending power to his steps. All at once, the fights started swinging back in his favor. He took three men. Five. Ten. Over the course of his next eight years in the Pen, he hospitalized 32 other inmates. He would’ve been convicted for it, but the fact of the matter was that every time it was ruled self-defense. He never started the fights, just finished them. The worst part was that to an observer, he was playing with them. It was a game, with the flicker of sharpened teeth shining in the sunlight as he tossed his opponents like rag-dolls. It swiftly became apparent that Fremont “Mad Dog” Lundgren was no man’s bitch, not anymore.
His life changed overnight. The library became his den and the yard his hunting grounds, daring someone to challenge him. He read voraciously, like a starving man. Anything he could unearth on the occult, anything that would explain his patron. The Wolf had told him so little but shown him much, and now he sought to learn. Though there was little that was of use, he found a sort of solidarity in the old myths. Heroes and monsters, figures larger than life. It all echoed his own life, and through the sliding of pages he found poetry, fiction. In the process, he became surprisingly well-read, picking up a small pack that he kept safe from the petty squabbles between gangs of the more hardened thugs.
Ten years after his imprisonment, a man came to visit him. The man claimed he worked for a group of similarly associated individuals, “Contractors” who had powers granted by divine beings. He said that there was a world beyond what the Mad Dog had seen, secrets in the night and monsters in the dark. The man wanted Lundgren to help his group, Soulflame, to combat the threats that faced humanity from the warring of petty Contractors. He could give the inmate his freedom, new territory, fresh air. Best of all, Lundgren would finally get answers on his patron, pantheons, and what the hell was actually going on in the world. The veil was going to be pulled back.
With a splitting grin, a spark flickered in the Mad Dog’s eye. “Where do I sign up?”
History tl;dr: Lundgren was a foster kid, liked boxing, got caught up in gang activity and imprisoned. In jail, he refused an initial gang offer, and got his shit kicked in for the next 2 years. Fenrir noticed the kid was super similar and in a convenient place, so made a contract with him. 8 years later, Soulflame sprung him from the slammer under parole and are using him as muscle.
Affiliation: Soulflame. They pay the bills. Level: Low Primary Contracted Party: Fenrir; Monster of the River Van; the Wolf at the End of Everything; That Hateful, Fluffy Sunuvabitch(Outlier)
Abilities: The contract with Fenrir is a simple one. As time goes on, he becomes more and more similar to the Famewolf. For now, this has resulted in his massive size and general physicality. He can rip a man’s arm off with his bare hands, bend iron bars, crush skulls, and is resilient enough to easily survive small-arms fire. Along with his size, resilience, and strength, Lundgren’s senses are rising to match. His hearing, smell, and reaction time are all heightened from human limitations. For now, this means that he can track via his sense of smell if unobscured by powerful odors like sewage, and he has the response time to deal with the basic supernatural threats. Essentially, he is "like a shitty Beowulf, but workin' on it." Though these powers have grown over time, with his current contract things seem to have plateaued. The Monster of the River Van will require a greater toll to further bestow his blessings.
Skills: -Unarmed combatant: With no formal training but a few years boxing as a kid followed by the school of Hard Knocks, Lundgren nevertheless spent ten years of his life fighting off groups of hardened prison thugs. He’s got practical experience. -Outdoor skills: He’s never had the chance to go camping, but has read a good bit on the subject and is eager to try his hand at wilderness survival. It may or may not go well. -Intimidation: He’s spent enough time as the biggest dog on the block to know how to put someone into their place. It helps that he’s about as physically imposing as he possibly could be.
Other: -It’s important to note, Fremont is on parole for “good behaviour,” as his reputation actually meant that he was one of the more well-behaved inmates back in Westwood. Unfortunately, this means that getting caught in the middle of a criminal offense means that the long arm of the law comes for him again. The guy’s gotta keep his nose clean. ...it’s a pain in the ass. -Contract stipulations: -“Boast.” The Famewolf got its name for a reason, Lundgren has to live up to it. A week passed without a great feat of strength to his name is painful, physically and mentally. There must be witnesses. For now, Lundgren makes a name for himself in the local powerlifting community as well as participating in the street fighting scene. It’s effective enough, technically not illegal, and combined with his time behind bars has given him a few criminal contacts. -“Spite.” Fenrir is a beast of grudges, and every crime against him must be repaid in kind. For now, this means that every fight the Mad Dog gets into, he needs a scar to remember it by. Long-term, it means payback. Eventually, DJ is getting what’s coming to him. Prison was a good warm-up. -Unrelated to the contract, the guy is pretty well-read. Likes poetry, in particular.