Ty Lawson and his cousin, Frith Lawson, after leaving the army, have made their way to Las Vegas intending on a big blow-out and a week long bender before knuckling down with plans to start their own security consultant business. Their first night is a rousing success and they begin the game the morning after the night before, completely shattered after a big night out.
After suffering through the morning, and checking to ensure they didn’t have any more tattoos or piercings than they started with, the two cousins have tried (and failed) to remember most of what happened the night before (and Ty wonders why he has the name ‘Steve’ written on his arm, along with a phone number and a love heart). After a couple of disturbing flashback memories they both decide that it’s best not to remember anything and pointedly give up trying. Some things are best left in the past.
In the afternoon, after a quick meal of greasy food to help their hang overs, they decide to hit the gym and burn off their hangovers with some endorphins and exercise. Following this they decide on a big, big, biiiiiiig meal. After being advised by the staff at the Luxor, where they’re staying, that they’ve been banned after some kind of altercation the night before that they don’t remember, Frith remembers a bar and grill place not far from the Luxor. It’s roof-top dining, with a great view of the street, and they’re rewarded with enormous servings of ribs and beer. They happily start to pig out, enjoying their freedom and their time together, and are about to ask for second helpings when the waitress serving them screams and points out onto the street below. Ty and Frith peer over, the same as anyone else would.
Unfolding on the street is the end game of the Long Road to Heaven. Kane Taoka, wearing the black feather shroud about his shoulders, is screaming in the street, head thrown back and seeming to glow from the inside out with moonlight and lightning as he utilises the shroud to steal his mother’s power. They watch a massive red haired man (Eric Donner) throw himself at the figure only to ricochet off with no effect at all.
And then the massive viking longboat, made of fingernails, floating on out of the sky bearing a legion of fallen Norse warriors.
Kane is quickly overrun by the vikings who attack anyone in the way. With nothing to do but to fight, the six Scions down on the street do battle. Each channels their Legend and Ty and Frith see them in ways that no mortal will or could. The cowboy, coat flaring like justice and glowing like the noon day sun, shoots and slashes his way into the fight. The picture of beauty and love, borne aloft by the wings of an angel, is all but impossible to ignore for his heartbreaking appeal. The big redhead is like a giant of legend, powerful blows scattering his enemies before him as, along side him, the Japanese woman moves through the battle like water, flowing between barriers and dropping enemy after enemy with her blade that moves faster than the eye can see. The besuited man, fighting with scalpels in each hand, pounces and dodges like a jaguar, ferocious and merciless as a hunting cat and the strange woman in the grave diggers coat and top hat opens the way between life and death itself, raising the fallen to send back at the Norsemen.
Where the mortals flee, unable to understand what they’re seeing, Ty and Frith watch. They don’t know what they’re seeing, can’t explain it, but they know that something beyond the mortal ken is happening down there. And as the band of Scions on the street push the Norse warriors back and force them to flee in their longboat Ty and Frith realise that the mortals are all gone, and that somehow they alone were able to stay and watch and understand where all others have fled. The street is like a ghost town.
Enter Hans Gruber, who advises the pair that they must come with him. He tells them enough of what is going on to convince them that they are in danger, and that six gods and six Scions will surely bring more Titanspawn who will kill two unprepared young Scions.
Ty is curious. Frith is skeptical. Hans doesn’t care, as long as they come with him. He sounds more desperate than convincing, has clearly never done this before, but they go with him and away from danger.
Hans has a plane waiting. He, Ty and Frith have boarded the private jet, which is just starting to taxi away, when a trio of fire giants arrives too late to stop them. The giants, unable to catch the plane, take out their frustrations on the SUV Hans had delivered the cousins to the airport with. They make short work of it in almost no time at all. Ty is alarmed. Frith remains fairly hostile and unwilling to be convinced. She knows that something is happening, but is certain that Hans is trying to convert she and Ty into some kind of religious cult that will war on “monsters” (translations, people that don’t fit in with the cult’s desires). But the plane is away and Hans leaves the cousins to their own devices, to talk and think. Ty and Frith discuss their concerns that this is some kind of scam or human made holy war, rather than Hans’ notions of a celestial war on actual monsters. They mostly sleep on the plane ride, though, so Hans has a chance to try and recoup his spirit after seemingly failing to enrol the pair in how lucky they are and that they’re the children of gods. He’s glad for the respite.
The plane lands in Switzerland. Somehow, mystically, Hans passes through customs without being noticed. The cousins are alarmed, and decide to pass through customs to prove they were there (the better for their concerns that the “cult” will prevent them from leaving) and Hans takes them to another SUV. He drives into Germany and to a small town called Wolfsheim, a charming little old fashioned town with old style Bavarian type buildings. Their hotel, the Wolfs Mantle Tavern, is a converted hunting lodge. Hans offers the cousins rooms but they want to get this over with and get to their meetings as soon as possible, the better to challenge the notion that their fathers are gods and this is anything but some kind of strange sham. Hans agrees and takes them on a drive into the Black Forest, which surrounds Wolfsheim. His instructions are simple: walk into the forest until you get lost. You’ll become seperated and once you do your fathers will find you.
Skeptical to the last the pair walk until they’re lost. Despite being no more than a foot or so apart at any time the pair are somehow seperated and find themselves in the Dark Forest. Not in the mortal world, not in Overworld, they each wander in search of the other and find their fathers, who have waited in this place in hopes that they will be harder to find and their children harder to track down by Titanspawn. Not that it’s much safer in here than in the mortal world…
Ty enters a clearing and finds Tyr waiting, hefting a spear in his one hand and dressed in the manner of a Norse warrior. Having taken a tree branch earlier, for a makeshift weapon should he need one, Ty is somewhat surprised to find Tyr. Tyr explains that he is Ty’s father and when challenged by Ty further explains that he would have done well by Ty’s mother but that she would not have him, severing her relationship with him. The war errupted in earnest not long after and Tyr had been too busy fighting to come and see Ty or his mother at all.
Tyr challenges Ty to do battle, his spear versus Ty’s branch. Ty obliges and attacks and the two of them fight, Tyr easily Ty’s superior but this isn’t about mere winning. As the fight progresses it also changes. The weapons change. Spears to axes to swords to daggers to staffs to polearms. From foot to cavalry to tanks to planes, the pair fight through every kind of war that man has conceived of, from field encounters to trenches and mechanised battle before Tyr ends the battle by winning. Ty, awed by what has just happened, believes. Tyr expresses his pride for his son, who while loving war, also loves being on the righteous side. He hands over the spear, which he names Jötunnbita, Giant Biter, and explains that as well as channelling the power of War, the weapon is perfectly balanced, supernaturally potent and will change shape into any melee weapon Ty could imagine. Ty, still awed, is sent on his way to return to Frith believing finally that this is all real.
Frith finds Forseti waiting patiently, bearing a carved staff in his hands. Their meeting is less friendly. Frith, skeptical and hostile, questions Forseti and challenges him for answers that, when given, she doesn’t particularly hold with any real warmth. Forseti, like Tyr, advises that he wanted to right by Frith’s mother but that he was also rejected as Frith’s mother didn’t want to depend on a man for a lifestyle as her oldest sister has. He hands Frith a lap loom and advises her that in weaving, falling into the simple mind-wandering trace that comes from simple, repetative work, her mind will learn the answer to the mysteries that her keen mind is unable to logically puzzle out. The staff is called Peacemaker and is hers also, designed to bring peace either by negotiation or, when needed, force. When held one side up, with the carvings on that end depicting a peaceful gathering, the staff can convince strangers to come together and talk and listen in peace. When held the other way up, that end carved with scenes of battle, the staff can compel people to fight valiantly and to follow her. Also when held that way the staff is able to do terrible damage to her enemies.
Frith takes the gifts, rather unwanted and, while no longer quite so skeptical, is still not happy about all of this. Forseti, realising that his daughter needs time and space, doesn’t push the issue any further. He lets his daughter go, the better for find out the truth for herself. Frith leaves and bumps into Ty. He believes. Her, not so much so, but Frith’s bond to her cousin is a great deal stronger than her desire for this to not be happening and so she goes back with him to find Hans.
Immediately on finding Hans the cousins recognise the effects of their woken giant blood, in their increased statures. Hans returns them to the Wolfs Mantle Tavern wherein in typical Ty and Frith style, the cousins want nothing more than a big fried up meal and some beer. Hans leaves them to talk amongst themselves but they call him over to fill in a few blanks.
And there things end until next time.