Saga of the Seer

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Saga of the Seer

Post by Wildsword on Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:50 pm

Hail all,

Dark fantasy/ Norse mythology fans might enjoy this one. This is the first scene from a story I'm writing that is deeply rooted in Norse Culture and mythology. If it goes over well I'll post more.

Thanks for reading,

Cheers!


As he closed his eyes they appeared. Cloaked shadows in a deep fog, stalking silently in the solemn cold of an empty great all. Ash from a recently spent fire fluttered out of the braziers on a cold whisper of wind like limp grey snow. The night hid the cloaked figures features as they drifted across the floor like a pack of prowling wolves, heads swiveling this way and that, searching for prey.

The Guards stationed at the door leading to the bed chambers stood blind against the shroud of night. They exchanged idle words of the drinks and women they missed at the feast earlier and how eager they were to give the men of Brandr the cold kiss of their steel. One of them caught something out of the corner of their eye. A ripple of shadow. He felt a cold caress of steel and the warmth spill from his neck. The others go to cry alarm but forceful hands and blades stifle their cries in steel and blood. The cloaked shadows laid the corpses silently on the floor.

Silence entombed the king and his queen in their chambers. A peaceful, naïve silence, hanging above them in their furs and blankets. The cloaks glided into the room, surrounding the bed, clutching dripping black daggers. The king’s eyes did not open as the daggers rose. As they fell in a silent scream of malice they bit fur wool and flesh. The king’s eyes shot open and he lurched up as the daggers slid in and out of his body opening red, weeping smiles. His hands and arms lashed out, flailing wildly, desperately clutching for the sword hanging on the post of his bed. The more he flailed the quicker the blades fell. He tried to cover his wife, the swarm of steel hornets would not stop stinging, gnashing at him. He could see his wife thrashing, the daggers piercing her through her screams before the blood took his sight. His crown tumbled from his head clattering to the floor smeared with crimson.


Grey, searching eyes snapped open as the smoke coiled like silver serpents in the dark of the hall. The dancing light of the fire flickered across Hakon’s face in red and gold shadows. The large empty great hall hung ominously over him and the small audience siting in tense, expectant silence.

“What do you see Ravenborn?” Brandr, his chieftain asked, wild green eyes blazing with hunger for the answer. An answer of glory no doubt. thought Hakon bitterly. Brandr treated him well enough but the man’s ambition was dangerous, reckless. Too eager to be deserving of kingship. But Brandr was chief and this was the way of things.

“Men and knives in the dark, bleeding a king and his wife.” Hakon’s voice was flat and void of emotion.

“Haldrin?” Brandr’s voice was eager and expectant. Hakon nodded.

“He will fall.” Brandr’s eyes brightened with the joy of victory and a vicious smile spread across his face. Lady Siv’s cold blue eyes gleamed with joy and pride.

“Glorious news.” Her wintery tone could not hide her mirth.

“When he dies it won’t be long before his thanes bend the knee to me.” His tone was smug and full of pride. Siv turned her statuesque face on Hakon.

“Did the vision speak of when?” She asked coolly.

“In the night, this night mayhaps,. Perhaps a moon’s turn.”

“Either way we should start making preparations I want to be ready to move when the time comes. Our time will be short, we must seize it while we can.”

Brandr said, his eyes thought and scheme. The vicious smile still sat on his narrow, handsome face, lined by a well kempt, sharp beard of gold.

“Wise my king. Very wise indeed. In the chaos men’s hearts will be easily led.”Chimed Egil, the king’s advisor. His oily dark honey hair was combed back and his narrow, hollow cheeks made his face look ghoulish in the dim torch light. His plain ragged cloak and clothes hung on him like a faded shroud of flesh, hiding him. He was the one man Hakon could not see into and that troubled him.

It was a gift he had along with his dream sight. He had always had it, never having need of the runes he was a student of seidth magick, the way of power through trance in the great expanse of the mind and beyond. It had served him and the folk well. He would call them his folk if they saw him as such. Since his birth Hakon had known isolation from the folk. He had been born black of hair, unheard of among the folk. Some thought him jotun blooded, some say that he is a curse and the gods will punish him. All agreed he was not one of them, only fear kept him safe from their untrusting violence. He could thank the gods for that at least. That was the only solace he had but it was a thin comfort at best.

Brandr slapped his ornate wooden seat with an excited hand.

“Bless Loki for giving his mischief to Haldrin and not me.” Egil smiled a long, wicked smile.

“The trickster has his uses.”

“But his will and favors change like the wind, Wise not to put trust in a servant of chaos.” Hakon said sternly, eyeing Egil with a scolding scowl. He seemed to take no notice as he responded, his voice a thick, soothing honey of venom, ripe with false wisdom.

“But lord Brandr needs chaos, wise Ravenborn.” Egil regarded him with sly eyes. “One needs chaos before they can build order. There cannot be one without the other.”

“I put trust in nothing. Only fools trust what they can’t control.” Brandr’s tone was lined with annoyance.

“Wise my king. Very wise indeed.” Egil crooned with a bow. Brandr regarded him with a queer look, one that Hakon could not read.

“I only wish the trickster will speed his mischief. I grow weary of this war with Haldrin. It has proven most costly.”

“A heavy price for a great reward. Soon you will be king of kings.” Egil’s voice was all flattery, but Hakon could tell it was false.

“A heavy burden for any man to bear in such trying times with many hardships, many compromises ahead.” His words would not please Brandr, he knew, our king does not enjoy lecturing. Brandr gave Hakon a devious smile, fire dancing of his bright teeth.

“I am not a man of compromise, but am blessed to have a strong will and good council to rule justly.” Justly, thought Hakon, but not well. His rule will be all fire and iron. “I thank you for your news and council seer. But the hour is late and I have much to discuss with my council…” Hakon nodded and bowed his head solemnly.

“My king.”

“Haldur escort our seer out. See that he is given every comfort he desires, it has been well earned.” The mountainous, burly warrior nodded. His great red beard hung from his chin like a massive tangled flame and his thick chain hauberk whispered sharply as he strode forward.

“Come seer.” His voice was thick and gruff, his tone blunt like a lazy hammer blow on stone. Hakon followed Haldur’s hulking, armored frame out the door and into the settlement. As the cold breath of the night air met them Haldur spoke.

“Good omens. I welcome them seer. This war has been trying for us all.”

“The omens only favor Brandr. A noble man will be lost for his fortune.”

“Haldrin is the enemy.” Haldur said plainly.

“That makes him no less noble a man or great a king.” Hakon said softly.

“If Haldrin falls the war will stop most like. Lads will stop dying the blood will stop flowing and peace will return.” Haldur sighed deeply. “It has been gone fare to long…”

“I pray it will last. If it does return?” Haldur looked on Hakon with cold blue eyes.

“You have no faith in our king?”

“What has this war cost you Haldur?” He stiffened at the question, rigidly stoic.

“Two sons.”

“And five years of blood, for one man’s ambition.”

“He is our king. We are bound to serve him.” Haldur said stubbornly.

“I serve the gods.”

“And the folk.” Haldur reminded him. “That means serving the king, regardless of character. You fail the king you fail the folk, he holds their fate in his hands.” Wise words for a man of war. “Do you require food, drink…a woman?” Hakon shook his head.

“A flagon of mead sent to my chambers. I have much to think about.” Haldur nodded.

“It will be done. I bid you a good night seer.”

“And you brave Haldur.” With the slightest of nods Haldur lumbered back into the great hall.
Hakon’s walk back to his house was lonely and full of clouded, troubling thoughts. The vision spoke of victory but it rang hollow in Hakon’s mind. Haldrin was a great man, a noble man. Greater than our king. Brandr is all ambition driven only by power and the greed for more. There is nothing but more blood and ruin in his reign. The Norns are cruel to damn the folk to such a fate. The night offered little solace. The air was thick with chill and the wind bitter and biting as it whispered through the houses and tossed Hakon’s cloak about at his feet.

By the time the mead got to him Hakon was more than ready for a drink. The chill of the night and omens had sunk deep into the core of him. And his mind was a tangling nest of bitter thoughts. The warming nectar of sweet and spice flooded his throat has he drank deeply, chasing some of the cold away. When his horn was drained he filled it again and sipped it as he sat in the dark heavy with thought. He remained there for the rest of a cold sleepless night.




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Wildsword
Mist
Mist

Join date : 2011-09-02
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Posts : 47
Age : 31
Location : Martinez


http://greyhiem@comcast.net

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