CHAPTER 3.04 - WHAT HROTHGAARD HAS SEEN

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CHAPTER 3.04 - WHAT HROTHGAARD HAS SEEN

Post  Admin on Fri May 01, 2009 9:57 pm

Hrothgaard discusses events with Wulfram.
Shares information, in their own Scandanavian tongue, so the others on the raft will not understand.

"What have you seen since arriving here?" Wulfram asks.

Hrothgaard shrugs and replies that he has seen "a ruined tower" and he says he has wandered through "an abandoned, overgrown hamlet that lies further west of the stone circle, where the druids were encountered."

"What is this place?" Hrothgaard asks.

"This is the Woedenwood, infested by many of Liki's minions," Wulfram replies. "I am confused; why would you end up here? Why would Loki send you to a place where you could exact vengeance? What is the last thing you remember?"

Hrothgaard is silent for a moment as he recalls his arrival. "I was fighting, surrounded by many foes. I beat them down with my hammer then Loki strode forward casting all aside to confront me. He skewered me upon his spear and I felt it scrape against my ribs and pierce my heart and sever my spine. Then everything went black ... and I woke up here, in this woodland ... this Woedenwood as you call it."

Hrothgaard tells Wulfram "he would not be surprised if more of your kinsmen and my own were banished here. If Ragnarok is truly coming then the final battle will be fought on many fronts. Perhaps this world is one of them."

"We are between worlds, we are not in our world of fjords, ice and snow and ... we're not in Asgaard, Midgaard, perhaps. It seems that all these other people died elsewhere and were brought here by others whom we do not know," Wulfram tells him.

...

Wulfram introduces Hrothgaard to the Aranberghs. They greet Hrothgaard warmly and say he is most welcome to stay in their village when they return.

"What is the name of your village?" Hrothgaard asks Friedheim.

"Haastenmoord," Friedheim tells him. "It is our home within the darkness and the mist that constantly surrounds us. It is a peaceful refuge, a good place, that offers all good folk sanctuary beside this lake. We suffer few troubles and have been safe enough, in recent times."

"I look forward to staying there," Hrothgaard replies. "It is good to meet you Friedheim and your sons."

"It is a very simple place. Sounds peaceful, if it were not for the menaces I have already encountered." Hrothgaard says to Wulfram, returning to their Scandanavian tongue.

"Yes, and those menaces absolutely surround us. But only satyrs have actually entered the village," Wulfram tells him.

"Then what would would be keeping the other creatures away?" Hrothgaard asks.

"It could be the same power as ... the one who brought us here, to fight another day. Haastenmoord seems to be a light surrounded by the darkness. And ... Haastenmoord has a leader, a fallen holy warrior ... this Lord Crosstenmarch ... he does have faith, great power. He follows the faith of the cross as we know it in our own world."

Hrothgaard laughs when Wulfram mentions faith and says "Faith in what? Surely one's faith must seem of no consequence or benefit when one is damned to this place. Look where faith has got him!"

"I have felt his," Wulfram says. "Because of what I am now. Otherwise I would have ignored it."

"What ... you have felt this faith? Because you are a .... Daywalker? What is that? Are you ill, or empowered. What does a Daywalker do?"

"The curse has empowered me, yes. I have been cursed by Fenris."

Hrothgaard looks alarmed and stares at Wulfram, and grabs him by the shoulders, looking worried. "How advanced has the curse of the wolf
spread within your veins? Have you consumed the flesh of man yet?" he demands.

"No, it is not advanced." Wulfram says. "One of Reisen Morgus' large wolves did this, in a place named Griefswulde, before I entered the Woedenwood. So the agreement/alliance between Reisen Morgus and Loki is probably well established and may have been even when I first arrived. Daywalker is what I was called by him. Since then I have been able to control it and with the villager's help I have been able to take wolvenwort, a herb, to prevent me from changing."

"I see," Hrothgaard says, after assessing Wulfram's appearance and in particular studying his eyes. He relaxs his hold from Wulfram's shoulders and no longer looks alarmed.

Friedheim and his sons watch with interest from the far side of the raft but make no move to intervene, though they seem relieved that Hrothgaard has calmed down.

"I can assure you my friend that if I was a threat to these people, I would not be here and the Lord is aware of my affliction. He seems to have a personal grievance with Reisen Morgus and has not told me what that is. He did say never to speak of that name in the village. So my endeavour is to help this village and find the answers of why they are here. The village is always surrounded by mist and I have seen the visage of what could be a dragon flying over, indeed it flew over last night and circled for a while while I crossed the lake." Wulfram says.

"Then there is much to take in. I thought I was thrown here to fight on a battleground. It would seem that the battle has not reached us yet. If, as you say, there is a cycle of 20 years then it could be that our time to prepare is long indeed. But with Loki in charge now, who knows? The balance in Asgaard has changed and if this place is one of his realms then I would not be surprised if events became accelerated. How prepared is this village to meet the challenge, should Loki's minions test us?" Hrothgaard asks.

"I do not think this is entirely Loki's domain, otherwise we would not see the white stag, a will-o-wisp would not have helped me and Freya would not have a servant in the northern part of these woods. There are good powers here otherwise the village would have already been overrun. The Lord is powerful but chooses not to fight. Others have adequate skill but are naive. The wives do daily chores and carry on with little knowledge of events going on around them. This is why I speak in our tongue for much of what we describe would be of worry to them. They are a good people my friend, worthy to fight for and defend. They will make you welcome."

"Then that will be my purpose here also. To help and defend these good folk. I look forward to meeting all of them. Let us rest now, I have grown tired in my trek through that accursed forest."

Wulfram notices that Friedheim was watching them speak and he approaches Wulfram soon after, separate from his sons.

He says "I wish to thank you for your assistance back there and I am pleased to see you have also found one of your brothers. I couldn't help but overhear some of the words you you were speaking ... even if I don't know your tongue there are certainly some names you talked of that I recognise. Is everything OK, has the one we should not speak of been sighted again?"

"No," Wulfram says.

"Good, " Friedheim says. "Because that was my concern -"

"So you know of him?"

"Not directly. But rather more in tales of bloodshed and past history, as Lord Crosstenmarch once told us. All I know is that his name should not be spoken loudly because it will give him greater power. We believe in true names and naming things can give both advantage or disadvantage. But with that one, no weakness has ever been known. Only strength. therefore we are afraid of it."

"Strength is not in his name but in his numbers." Wulfram replies. "He exhorts himself to be more than what he is, otherwise on the day I met him he would have killed me, but he did not."

"And when you met him, Wulfram, did he name you?"

"Yes ... Daywalker ..."

"And you have accepted that?" Friedheim asks.

"Well, if a name is to have power, why not? I was bitten by one of his own so if he thinks to control me with that, then he will not succeed. I sense that this Daywalker has been mentioned somewhere before."

Friedheim looks little surprised that Wulfram has indeed accepted that name "-I don't know what it means," Wulfram says.

"But the simple act of naming you has given him power," Friedheim says. "Don't you sense that? The name and his directly giving it to you, along with his minion's infection, contributes greatly to your curse."

"I see accepting the name is accepting affliction, but I do not accept his control. I am Wulfram and I am a Daywalker. And if I face him and he calls me that I will say 'yes, but I am not your Daywalker'. He has no power over me."

"Then we will see when that time comes. Until then, you are one of us and a trusted brother."

"Hrothgaard will help me defend the village. He, like myself is a champion for his god."

"Then we are indeed very blessed to have two gods' champions assigned to us. We have much to be thankful for and long may our blessings last."

....

The day brightens and the thick mist clears from the lake, leaving only small drifting patches. Friedheim points ahead from the raft and all on board can see the outline of Haastenmoord by the nearing edge of the lake. Everyone talks excitedly about what has happened that previous night.

As they pull up by the lakeside, all of the villagers and Lord Crosstenmarch greet them warmly and, especially Hrothgaard who seems to be receiving some special attention.

"They seem to like you," Wulfram says.

"Yes, I find that unsettling." Hrothgaard says. "I am a stranger to these people, yet they greet me as a brother."

"As they did with my own arrival."

"- Our prayers have been answered," Lord Crosstenmarch announces. "The one true god has delivered us another warrior to face the darkness when the time may come. We must celebrate Hrothgaard's arrival tonight! Make preparations ... Viktoria and myself shall both be in attendance tonight. And my wife looks forward to meeting our new arrival ... Wulfram, would you be so kind as to show Hrothgaard around our village until we are ready this evening?"

The villagers are very excited. Lord Crosstenmarch returns to his manor, leaving everyone to undertake their individual and shared tasks.

...

Wulfram and Hrothgaard are shown to a private cottage, which is located beside Wulfram's own. It is gifted to Hrothgaard as his home. They are then left to talk about what has happened. After eating a small meal, Wulfram shows Hrothgaard around the village and its immediate surrounds.

[Hrothgaard and Wulfram talk more of the village, its immediate surrounds, Lord Crosstenmarch, and his wife]

"This Lady Viktoria wishes to meet me tonight .. you said she is a vampire?" Hrothgaard asks.

Wulfram says "She was - but no longer - her power has been contained by an item I obtained from a cavern far to the south."

"Then she is no threat to me. That is a good thing, for I do not wish to end up bitten and turned into some cursed thing. No offence, my fallen brother, but you do know what I mean." Hrothgaard tells him.

"Of course, for if I get out of hand I expect you to deal with me." Wulfram replies.

....

Wulfram and Hrothgaard rest, freshen up and change into clean clothes from supplies they find inside their cottages.
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