The Rubicon islands were no sort of paradise. Barren rock strewn together with rocky gray soil speckled with brown moss and black lichen. Pools of water trickled down from the falls, the sky was murky under the layer of clouds separating the two masses of land. Loki became distinctly aware of a sharp pain in his left shoulder and of the blood trickling down his slight chest. He sat for a moment in the frigid pool. The chilled water soaked through his skin and he suppressed a shiver. Allowing his body to relax, the cold seeped into him and he was numb to its effects. Thor…
Loki remembered his brother and shook his head, quickly taking up a defensive stance, crouching and watching for any signs of movement. Only a foggy quiet met his senses. Loki swallowed hard, trying to fight back his fears as visions of Thor's body being drawn under the surface of the water and drowned drifted through his mind. Loki clutched at his shoulder, Thor had only been gone a matter of minutes he could not be too far along the path. He remembered when the times when they would hike together. Loki was always the more agile of the two. He could ascend the path much more quickly than Thor, and made a habit of leaving him behind. It would take his brother as long as an hour to catch up to him through the thick brush. Now Loki was the one being left behind in the cold and he could help but feel a sense of regret for those times when they could have walked together, rather than turning it into some kind of competition.
Loki's bare feet met the shore of slimy black pebbles, still sharp from crumbling off of the surrounding rocks. He climbed along the river bank, meeting occasional waterfalls here and there. His sense perked as the faint sound of a flute met his ears. It reminded him of the gypsy music played at the Fall Festivals in the North. He followed the sound and found a much larger waterfall concealing a cave. He could see the warm glow of a fire behind the fluid blanket and felt his spirits lighten just a tiny bit.
Inside the grotto, Loki froze as he heard, what he previous believed to be a pile of rags, speak very audibly. "I'm in no mood for lessons today, Hrogar." The old man coughed and sighed.
"Wh-who is Hrogar?" Loki's natural curiosity kicked in before he was able to stop himself. The old man turned.
"Ahh, a visitor. Well I'll have you know, I'm not in a generous mood either, so you can go ahead and take your troubles elsewhere."
"Excuse me sir. I am only searching for my, brother, Thor... He was caught in the falls…"
The older man growled an exasperated sound. "Thor, eh? Son of Odin?" Loki nodded feverishly and the old man chuckled. "Well I guess I have no choice in the matter then, hm? Can't have our little princess going missing now can we?" The man grinned, his teeth as gray as his rags.
"I believe he was entranced, sir. The Nyx… there are stories."
"Stories? Is that what they are now, stories?" The man rubbed his face. "The Nyx do have a nasty penchant for stealing off with the foolhardy. It's a sport for them."
Loki interjected. "So they are real, then."
"Who did you say you were, boy?"
"Loki, sir. Thor is my brother."
"Hm, well it was awfully foolish of you to venture down here alone to go after him. These are not exactly the royal gardens."
"Please, have you seen him?" Desperation weeded his voice and it did not go unnoticed by the elder. He sighed again
"No, I have not. You probably won't either." But Loki was already standing to leave. "Magic. They like magic, it can distract them."
Loki paused and turned. "Thank you." The man only grumbled.