Hold the Mirror Still

Title: Hold the Mirror Still
Time Period: July 4, 135 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary:Jorn makes a visit to the fortuneteller. As is often the case, the cards don't speak as loud as one might like, but trusting his own voice is key.

In the dark, the fairgrounds are even more magical than the light of day; lumninaria and torches light the paths from one area of interest to the next, and the paint on some of the wagons seems to have been especially chosen to flicker in the firelight. The fortune teller's wagon is always a popular attraction, but in the evening, more people seem to take to the carousel and the ferris wheel, or stop by for a story around a campfire where Merripen's voice rises and falls like an instrument, drawing people in.

Two giggling girls about Cordelia's age dart out of Deya's wagon as Jorn approaches, it, clasping hands and lowering their voices to whispers when they seen the Norseman, no doubt having been told promises of romance, of daydreams made true.

When Jorn enters the wagon itself, he has to push through hanging strands of ribbons and beads, to find Deya sitting on a plush violet velvet couch. The wagon is small, really just two tiny rooms — the first is a tiny sitting area, and beyond a bed. Everything is covered in fabric, rich colors of gold and violet and greens and blues. Deya lifts one brow. "Good evening, Bear Man. Did you come to seek a future, or perhaps you wish another of my special store?" The cigars, of course.

To his credit, Jorn has the skill of being able to tune out teenagers entirely; selective hearing, someone once called it. He is sure there are other variants. The white of his pelt is orange at the fairegrounds, reflecting torchlight as well as what colored lamps he passes. He stands silently to the side when the girls exit the wagon, looking well past them into a middle distance before they pass by. After which he ducks in, hoping that as little people notice him as possible.

"Spakvinne." Jorn greets her with his usual half-smile, tipping his chin down- watching his head as well. A bane of being tall, is his uncanny ability to run headfirst into low-hanging objects. It has probably happened before, in this same wagon. "Possibly a little bit of both, if you would. I owe you for the first as it is, don't I?"

"T'was a gift, but if you've your own to share, I'm not the dame to say no," Deya says, dark, nearly black eyes sparkling as she lifts a hand full of jingling bangles to invite him to sit.

An ashtray is pulled out from under the little table, along with a lighter, and she gives him a wink. "What sort of fortune did you seek, my Northern friend? Do you have problem that needs answered, or do you seek to understand who you are? Do you want to know what bonny manishee you should bed next, or what pannie has the best fish for your bear paws to catch?"

"I know myself too well enough as it is." Jorn sits down as he is motioned to do so, letting out a bit of a sigh when he does; that vacation he had was hardly much of one, wasn't it? Right back to the wheel. "Luna Owens has filled me up on advice for my love-life…" There's a snort, then, as he draws the ashtray over. "Not that I'd complain about any more."

"I've been feeling my age, I suppose. Wondering about legacies, you know. Apparently on the mainland, they think that I've gone out to conquer Siberia with a band of armored bears." Which would necessitate an absence, but he wasn't sure how he felt about all that. Entertaining, surely. He has not exactly told Deya, what it is that he wants just yet; Jorn may only need some general direction. Could also explain his resident, current flakiness. A little of everything.

"And there's some mountain girl, thinks that I killed her father for this pelt. A tricky business." Jorn pauses, giving a sniff of breath. "I didn't, by the by."

She listens, noting no particular question being asked, and reaches for the cards set on her table. She hands these to him. "Shuffle these. Think about the things you need to mull over in that great big head of yours," she says. Her voice is rich, the accent Scottish and yet a bit exotic for all of her wanderings. "You don't need one particular thing on your mind, but if you have one, it'll come through. The cards speak, but they don't always answer in a line, you jan? Sometimes in circles. Sometimes in ripples. Sometimes whispers, sometimes signs. Sometimes through me."

Mulling, to him, means more than thought, it appears. Something that takes concentration, rather than absentness. He hums to himself as he takes up the cards handed to him, exuding an obvious attempt at being as nonchalant as he can be, yet, it feels as if he is trying to stay within a certain confine.

"Hopefully they are in a talking mood. Frigga, gi meg ditt oye." The latter is not directed at Deya, rather, the rest of the wagon, as it were. Jorn shuffles the deck thoroughly- perhaps too thoroughly- before he passes it back to the woman across from him.

"They always talk, Bear Man. What they have to say is sometimes not what we want to hear, or sometimes they hint when we want them to shout." She takes the cards from him. She holds them for a moment between her palms, closing her eyes and murmuring a few words in a different tongue — neither Scots nor English. When she is done, she sets the deck down, and begins to pull cards from their top to spread upon the table's lacy white cloth.

One, closest to Jorn, and then two side by side, then another in the middle, then another pair, and finally the last — a sort of diamond. She taps the solo card in the center of the spread. "Turn."

"Hold speil fortsatt." Jorn murmurs again, brow bent. Getting them to shout is something that he could use these days, but somehow he has the feeling it won't turn out that way. He reaches out only when he is gestured to do so, having been patient enough so far. His mouth visibly creases on his face before he turns the center one, and he pointedly avoids looking up to either see Deya's expression or give her one of his. Poker face, no- but he's going to give the woman the benefit of the doubt, and try not to give her too much reaction.

"Are you telling it to hold still? The cards won't be going anywhere," the older woman teases him with a smirk as she looks at the card he lifted. "This position, here in the middle, it is the root. It tells us what has gone before and it is related to what is now." The card she points to is auspicious looking enough, a man with three staffs stands looking out at the sea where boats can be seen in the distance.

"This is a card of beginnings and endings. Of being at the right place at the right time and going out into the world, beyond what you once knew. It tells me that you gained strength in those risks, that it took courage to do what you have done in your life, and that that strength and that courage is still with you now." She tips her head to watch his reaction. "Perhaps it is telling you you are stronger than you think you are." Two fingers tap, as if playing black jack, first one card and then another that sits beside it. "Flip."

Jorn laughs at what she gathered from his moment of talking to himself, and it seems to stay in his expression long enough to carry though her afterword. "I was asking wife Frigga to keep her mirror still, for me." If his own explanation gets through to Deya, Jorn does not wait for it. He perches one hand on his knee, the ghosts of pangs punctuating 'than you think you are'.

He reaches up to flip the next two, as she asks.

Deya smiles as she realizes he is a believer, if not in her own brand of magic, in at least that of the divine. "This card," she murmurs, tapping a regal looking woman, holding a sword, "shows the energies of love in your life, how your actions manifest in the physical world, how it is you see your relationships with others. It is not about romance, only, Bear Man, so do not take her for a Luna Owens telling you what to do or who to kiss, aye?"

She grins at that, tapping it again with her long nails, making her bracelets chime. "She is at trailblazer, and represents courage, intelligence, determinations. Revolution, confidence. She would not be held down by convention, but would make her own way. Sometimes she is perceived as being unsympathetic, perhaps, too in-control to show her feelings, this woman. Too proud, she is."

Deya looks up and arches a brow. "You are no woman, I'm fairly sure of that," she makes a playful glance as if to look under the table where he might be hiding evidence to the contrary, "but I do think this might be true of you as well."

She then taps to the other card, though she gives a moment to mull over the other. "Funny that Wisdom sits next to Love, no? And you have the Fool here, of all cards," she says with a broad smile, knowing it will be misconstrued. "Wisdom tells us whether you have used wise counsel, and also, maybe, to who or what you can turn for assistance when you need it."

"The Fool is not a bad card," she says first, but still there is something somber in her tone. "Reversed, upside down, as he is, standing on his head, you see, he means a missed opportunity, maybe. Or an insecurity that kept you back, a lack of confidence, or perhaps fear, that kept you from what you wished to do. As for a source, it could be someone that you would see as a child, someone with a childish attitude or a wonder of life, that perhaps might give you insight into the matter that troubles you."

True of him, perhaps. Also true of Ulrik's daughter. His hands knot together between his knees, calloused fingers hooking around one another for the time being. The Fool Card, however, leaves him at a bit of a loss. He's heard this and that about cards such as these ones, and that they are not always so literal- but even Deya's explanation puts a small look of puzzlement across his face. A thoughtful puzzle, rather than a confusing one. Even this is not so literal. Jorn realizes, to his advantage, that there are more people he knows that fit the Fool's disposition than he expected.

"There are so few like that, these days. But I know some. Fortunate." Then again, that proves another problem, of sorts. He waits to move on, until Deya tells him to.

"As many fools as there are in the world, there are very few that fill this particular shoe, I think" Deya agrees, reaching for his hand and pulling it to the top of the diamond, so that he can flip that card over. Another upside down card reveals a night sky with a bright star in it, a woman looking up from below. "This is the Oath," she begins again. "It tells us what you have dedicated your life to, until now, and how you work beneath such a vow. It can show us what is important to you right at this moment, what is burdening you now."

She studies the card, and tips her head. "This is the first card that makes me sad for you, Bear Man. For it seems a hopeful card, does it not? But when we look at it in the topsy turvy, it changes meaning."

She touches the card, as if to draw some sense from it, and then looks up at him. "This suggests a lack of hope or energy. It says that others have dictated your life, and that you have not always listened to what your inner voice tells you, that you have avoided the quiet, dark time that we all need to listen to such. That you might be missing out on the voices giving you wisdom."

Deya leans back, and raises her brows. "Your own voice included." She waits for him to take the darker meaning in.

"The last time that I truly listened to myself, I ended up half-dead in the loch." Jorn meets her dark gaze with his own, as opposite colors as earth and horizon. Even during his mongering days, they were always hired; Jorn did not lead a warband because he felt the desire to conquer. He wanted legends, and glory, and everything that a husky fisherman's son from Fosnavag would have ever gotten otherwise. And he got that all, if Octavia's stories led one to believe. "I do so love the quiet." But coming from the dark, he would hate to go back, now.

"But I also like what I do. I'm not sure what it is supposed to be telling me." Not Deya, but the card. Jorn is perhaps too literal for his own good. "What do I want? I want to not have to worry about everything else." But it is not in his nature to detach like that- to go from being a guardian, to being someone that forces himself to not care about anyone else's problems.

"Well, that's part of the answer, then. You don't want to worry about everything else, and the card tells us that you have spent much time being dictated by the desires of others. Ask yourself if there's something you'd rather do than to look after others, perhaps," Deya says, before bringing his hand to the next two cards. The left reveals a man on horseback wielding a sword. "Ah, that is a familiar sight, aye?" she says with a smirk. "This card is about our talents, our skills, our instincts, and I think this card knows you well.

She pulls a cigarette from behind one ear and lights it, taking a long puff then letting the smoke spiral upward. "This card tells me you are daring and heroic, but that perhaps you let your goals take priority over your relationships. You stand up for yourself and others, but your skill as a protecter bear comes before other matters."

She taps to the card beside it. "Karma." Karma today comes in the guise of another young man, one on a horse and holding a golden chalice. "Knight of Swords on one side, Knight of Cups on the other. Intriguing. This tells us if you are working toward good karma, and the answer is that there is opportunity and opening soon. There will be a chance to make progress, if,"

She lifts her eyes once more to him, before tapping an ash into the ashtray, "you have the courage and wits to move quickly. It can be about love, but it can be about making something right, as well."

She leans back. Only one card remains. "Perhaps that is something to do with your mountain girl?"

The sight is terribly familiar, yes. Jorn suppresses a chuckle of air, listening intently. He knows that cups were always a sort of emotional series of cards, just as cups symbolize water; it comes as no shock that it pertains precisely to how he feels when it comes to Eilin Tyrsson. He wants to make it right. But witless is he, with no way to do it. None that present themselves, anyway.

"Perhaps. I need to make that right, but I have no way to do so." Jorn tells her exactly what was on his mind just moments before, speaking low and breathless. "She holds my emotions over me like a man on a gallows, wanting proof of my fidelity to her father, which I cannot figure out how to give her." There is only one way he knows of, but it is not without its own snags.

Deya takes his hand and squeezes it. "You've an idea. Perhaps you need to believe in it, to listen to your inner voice and not doubt yourself, as the card says?" she suggests, eyebrows lifting, before she brings her hand to touch the last card, the one closest to himself. Before having him turn it, she says, "This is the outcome position, and it suggests a solution, perhaps, or maybe a source for your solution. Someone to seek for advice or counsel, or someone perhaps of your past you can borrow the shoes from, to walk around in, and see what they would do in your place."

She lets go so he can flip it, and the last card is yet another man on a horse, a knight on a horse holding a leafy staff, or wand. She studies it for a moment, putting her own hand over it after to close her eyes, and then looking back up into Jorn's face. "This symbolizes someone who is confident and generally well liked, but often unpredictable, mercurial. Our knight has an engaging temperment, but sometimes acts too rashly — though often those actions make sense when one can look back upon them from the distance given to us by time."

The cigarette is lifted and a long drag drawn, before she sets it back down. "I think," she says, "the cards whisper tonight, but that you might know their answers inside. You have problems, but you have ideas of solutions. You need to put the two together, aye?"

The Knight of Wands leaves Jorn even more puzzled than before, and he peers down at the card as if it might grow a mouth and speak up. No such luck. He draws his hand away, cracking his knuckles into a fist atop his other knee.

"And here I thought I was going to have to avoid airy people." Kind of hard though, when you interact with several over the course of any old day. Instead, it seems the opposite. And when you need them, it is harder to pin them down. Such is the element. "I fear what will happen when I do." Which is perhaps why it is the Wands that was last.

Deya laughs, a low, warm thing. "Well, it takes all sorts of people to make the world turn, aye? Airy people and earth people like me and fire people like that blacksmith. What do you classify yourself? Water and earth both, perhaps, Bear Man? Do you know this airy knight? Is he here in your present, or perhaps was someone already in your past? Or perhaps… perhaps it is a combination of both, what was and what is, to find an answer for what you will to be."

Asking Jorn if he knows an airy man is like asking him if the grass is green. He just smiles, somewhere between bland and knowing.

"I may know this knight. Or I could be fooling myself into thinking that I do." As for what type of person he is- Jorn does not argue with Deya's assessment. "I will be fortunate if I do. If not, well- I will probably have to keep looking." Who knows how long that will take?

She smirks as she pulls the cards in, putting them back on the main deck one by one. "We need the air, just as we need earth and fire and water." The cards all back within her hands, she shuffles them from one hand to the other, her bracelets tinkling as she studies him. "Not a bad fortune. There is hope in it. There are worse cards to lean upon, to be sure, Bear Man." The cards are wrapped in a blue scarf and stowed quickly in her blouse as she rises to her feet. She, unlike Jorn, is short enough to walk in the wagon without hitting her head on the rounded top.

"Come now, you'll walk me to town so I can get a peeve at the inn, aye? I'm tired of wine and we're out of the good stuff."

With that, she departs her wagon, assuming Jorn will do as asked. He is, after all, a gentleman.