Fable - Ask The Tides of Fate

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    A land once ruled by Dragons and Gods opens, but not every secret of Arethil's past is safe to uncover.

    Titanfall

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Kol

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Southern Tundra
Ruvsá

Kol sat on the pebbled beach, cold wind air washing over his face as he looked towards the broken longship that sat before him.

The Dark Gods were mysterious in their way.

They guided his way, set him upon their paths. All of them whispered, all of them spoke, yet some pushed and pulled along the strings of his fate far more than others. He had thought himself set for the Southlands, he had thought another raid in order. Yet one tug, one great ripping of a string...and here he was. The Tundra surrounded himself, the frozen earth and the falling snow.

He did not know why.

Once again the Dark Gods had torn him from his own path and set him upon their own, grinning eyeless faces peering down at him as he sat upon the rocky beach, the remains of his great fleet sitting in front of him...not a man alive save for himself. Lips thinned for a moment, his tattered clothes falling by the wayside as slowly he pushed himself to his feet.

There was never a question that he would fall into line. Never a thought that he might deny what they had in store for him. Kol knew his place, knew that the Dark Gods had brought him here for a reason.

The Tundra was not his home, but it was close. Perhaps they thought something here important.

His head turned, a peak of snow, ice, and shaped earth in the distance.

The Sorcerer did not recognize it's form. It was not a village, not a city of the Nordenfiir or the Northman, nor the Giants who held themselves to the center. Yet it was there, a great empty fortress that sat among the snow. Perhaps that was where his path was meant to go.
 

Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá caught the scent of death on the air, and with just a thought shifted from her human form to her Svalen one.

Her father's death anniversary was nearing, and she'd always made a point--whenever possible--to spend at least a day in the wilderness in Svalen form, since his death and finding her Svalen had happened on the same day. She'd always been a little frightened of the wilderness since that day, but she'd created this tradition to make sure it stayed a healthy fear and did not become an irrational one.

But between finishing her time training as a Shield Maiden, and then joining Jorn Aggar's harem, it had been quite some time since she'd managed to keep the tradition.

She'd intended to find that solitude on this island, especially now that the mess in Indeholm had all been resolved and she was, at last, free of Jorn Aggar. But if there was death here, then clearly that was not meant to be, for just as her duty and loyalty as a Shield Maiden came before her allegiance to Jorn Aggar, it also came before her personal traditions.

The large black bear followed the scent of death around coastline, but began to slow as she scented something other with the death as well. It seemed there was a living man here as well, and even underlying his scent and the scent of death was something darker. Something she had no name for.

The wind off the sea shifted then, twisting the scents away from her, and through the cold mist she spotted a stone structure. The wind carried no scents from it, though, and Ruvsá determined that it had been abandoned for quite some time. Perhaps it would serve as shelter later, if the need arose, but for now she pressed on along the coast, until at last she came to a harrowing sight.

A man sat on the beach, surveying what was clearly the remains of a shipwreck. Broken bodies were strewn across the pebbled shore, and another deep breath confirmed what her nose had told her earlier--many dead, one alive. Their bodies would soon freeze, though, leaving little scent behind.

Appearances said that this man might be in need of aid, but the other darker scent that she couldn't quantify warned her to be cautious, and she stayed in Svalen form for now. If she'd been an archer, she would have shifted back and kept her distance, but if she had to choose between claws or knives for defending herself, if it became necessary, she'd rather have claws. And teeth.

"Greetings," Ruvsá spoke, her voice low and rumbling but still feminine. "Are you well, or are you in need of aid?"


Kol
 
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Kol

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Kol's head slowly turned, laughter echoing in his hears as one of the grins split apart in it's mockery.

At first he thought perhaps it was a regular bear, though that notion was quickly dismissed as the creature spoke to him. Lips thinned for a brief second, a breath filling him as he recognized the beast for what it actually was; Nordenfiir.

Cousins to the south.

Briefly his mind wandered to Brenna, and the eyeless grins that only he could see seemed to echo with even more laughter than before. They mocked him, as they always did. The taunts of the Dark Gods never died down. "I am well, cousin."

Kol said as he slowly pulled himself up from the rocky beach. He knew that many Nordenfiir did not feel any kindship with his own kind, and the truth was many Nordenwiir felt the same way. The Dark Gods had whispered the histories to him, but there was no telling if they were actually true.

Yet the Sorcerer knew to embrace them, knew that alone in a fight he could not kill even this bear.

Not without time.

"A storm pushed us off course, and now..." He gestured. "I am here."

Why make an enemy when you could make a friend? Friends were easier to kill in the end.
 
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Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá quirked her head at the use of the word cousin but made no comment on it. The man was not Nordenfiir, that was plain enough by his smell. The other dark, unascertainable scent she'd detected was coming from him, too, she realized, and all undercut with the scent of blood and death, though she thought much of that was from the dead bodies of what was, apparently, his ship crew.

As the stranger stood, Ruvsá shifted back to her human form. She wore no armor nor a sword on this excursion, but she knew better than to wander the wilderness unarmed, and her favorite fighting knives were at her side, regardless. She wore a dark blue tunic, dark gray trousers, and a black cloak, all made of soft yet sturdy wool, and her feet were shod with gray sealskin boots. A matching pair of sealskin gloves covered her hands. The cold didn't bother her much, but the cold wind combined with the misty sea spray chilled her fingers faster than anything. Her dark hair was pulled back in a braid.

"A storm pushed us off course, and now..." He gestured. "I am here."

"I fear the storm may soon follow you to shore," she spoke, glancing toward the choppy ocean with worry, then back at the body-littered beach. "Is there anything that can be salvaged? Food? Other supplies?"

She turned back to watch him, her instincts saying to be on guard, but she had no reason to be anything other than friendly yet. She'd bedded a traitor for over a year before finally leading him to his execution, so it was unlikely this man could do anything that she couldn't handle. Perhaps they might even have some fun, though she wasn't sure what kind of fun it might be yet.

She smiled a moment later after finishing taking her sight of him, finally categorizing him as someone who might be a threat but was not yet, and while her smile was friendly there was just a hint of danger in it as well. "You can call me Ruvsá."


Kol
 
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Kol

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His head shook. "No."

Another attempt thwarted. Another try at his own path chosen squashed by the voices that haunted him. The Dark Gods peered down at them with their taunting smiles, one of them whispering in his ears. Head quirked for a second, and he slowly frowned.

"There is nothing left." His men were dead, his ships were smashed against the rocks, and everything else had been soaked by sea water. "The storm took it all, save for what the Ravens enjoy."

Kol shook his head in disgust. "I am Kol, Twice Bloodied."

The Sorcerer said in introduction.

His head turned towards the storm that she had indicated, then towards the fortress.

"Perhaps we should seek shelter, I fear you are right." Lips thinned for a moment, and he pointed towards the odd stone and ice structure just over the slopes of the cliffsides. "That place, do you know it?"

The Dark Gods seemed to laugh as he asked his question.
 

Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá sighed quietly as the stranger said that there was nothing that remained worth saving. "I am sorry for your losses, Kol Twice Bloodied," she said after his introduction. She was curious about what 'Twice Bloodied' meant, but there would be time for questions later.

"Perhaps we should seek shelter, I fear you are right." Lips thinned for a moment, and he pointed towards the odd stone and ice structure just over the slopes of the cliffsides. "That place, do you know it?"

Ruvsá shook her head. "I do not. This is my first time on this island. I honestly haven't ventured out of the Eretejva Tundra proper before."

She turned and began to walk toward the fortress, surveying both it and the surrounding landscape. Kol would follow, she knew. There wasn't anywhere else for him to go.

There was little in the way of vegetation, which was nothing new to her. After filtering out the sound of the ravens and gulls scavenging on the beach, and the softly whistling wind which had her clutching her cloak a little more closely about her, Ruvsá tried to hear for any wildlife. She hadn't brought any hunting gear with her, though her knives would suffice if necessary, because she'd expected to be in Svalen while she was here. While eating raw game in Svalen form was one thing, it wasn't nearly as enjoyable in human form.

But... the closer she drew to the fortress, the less and and less natural life she sensed nearby. She could hear some things in the great distance, but they were too far away to identify. Anything was edible if you were desperate enough, though.

Ruvsá stopped, and turned back to Kol. "I will need to hunt and bring back game. This fortress seems to repel the wildlife, and there is nothing nearby. I do not know if it will be good shelter from the coming storm, but I fear we may not have time to find a cave instead, or to construct something adequate to withstand the ocean's rage."

She stepped off the barely-visible path leading to the fortress, and smoothly shifted back into her Svalen form. "You should gather any suitable firewood you find," Ruvsá said to Kol before vanishing into the mist.
 
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Kol

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As the woman disappeared into the thick mists of the Island Kol turned away from her and regarded the fortress that sat before him.

The Dark Gods continued their whispers as he looked up at the reaching spires, their voices telling a dozen conflicting stories. Each one was more tremendous than the last. Some mentioned the Frost Giants, others the Snow Elves, and some even spoke of his people having come south.

It was impossible to tell which was the truth, as it always was.

Lips thinned for a few moments, wondering if he should simply leave the Nordenfiir behind to die. He glanced back, looking up at the skies. Through the fog he could just barely make out the dark gray clouds. The storm was coming, and Ruvsá had been right.

It would be a bad one.

In silence the Sorcerer began to gather scraps of wood.

Fire never warmed him, not once in his life, but he would comply with his new 'friend'. Within a few short minutes he had gathered a pile of stick and planks, some clearly left over from other shipwrecks that had washed more inland.

By the time Ruvsa returned she would find Kol standing next to his gathered supplies, watching the Fortress ahead as though he were searching for something.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá navigated the foggy countryside by scent and sound, traveling north and west, until she came to a tree line. The evergreen trees were twisted and gnarled, stunted by the cold and saltwater, but still offered a small amount of shelter for native animals. She slowed, softening her footfalls. Only a creature with the most acute hearing would sound her out.

She waited in silence for several long minutes, letting the natural noises of the island settle around her. At last, she heard a quiet snuffling and caught a familiar scent. It was nothing like an Indeholm boar, fortunately, just a regular wild pig in this case. But it would make for good roasting. Ruvsá situated herself downwind of the wild pig. Fortunately, it headed straight for her and after just a moment, she made a leap and swiped for its throat with a heavy paw, claws extended. There was a brief squeal, then silence, and she nosed the pig then picked it up in her maw by the haunches, allowing the blood to drain out as she walked back.

Despite the unease she felt around the fortress, she headed there first and left the dead pig just outside the entrance. She didn't bother to shift back from her Svalen form as she followed the frozen stone path away from the fortress, back to where Kol waited.

She nodded satisfactorily when she saw the large pile of wood and shipwreck timber that he'd managed to gather while she was gone. She wouldn't need a fire to stay warm if she was in Svalen, so long as she had a place out of the wet and wind, but fire would help with cooking the pig, and they would probably need to melt snow or ice for drinking water as well. Hopefully there was an old pot or something in the fortress.

"I will carry the wood if you want to go on ahead," Ruvsá said and stood on her hind legs as she began to gather the wood into a manageable pile. "There's a dead boar outside the entrance. If you make it there before me and can find a knife, feel free to start butchering it."

She would have had to shift back to her human form to loan Kol one of her knives, even if she was willing to part with one of them. But they weren't just any knives. They were her fighting knives, and they were both valuable and sentimental to her, and she was loathe to let one out of her sight in a stranger's hands. And she wasn't about to provide someone with a weapon, anyway. Kol had not earned her distrust so far, but neither had he earned her trust.
 
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Kol

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Kol nodded his head. "Alright."

The woman could not have been any clearer in her distrust for him, and in truth he could not even blame her for that. It was a stark contrast to how Brenna had treated him upon their first meeting, almost amusingly so in fact.

Slowly he stalked passed the bear, not looking back at her once he had passed her by. His steps were slow, easy, passing up the rocky crag of the mountain side until he reached the steps that lead up to the fortress proper.

His gaze flickered for a moment towards the doorway.

There he saw a pool of blood, droplets of crimson leading towards the entrance, and then drag marks that denoted a body had been dragged into the fortress. His head tilted to the side for a moment, and he could hear the Dark Gods laughing.

Kol remained in place until he heard the heavy crunch of snow under paws behind him. His focus remained on the entrance as Ruvsá approached.

"You left the Corpse in the entrance, yes?" He asked, motioning to the fact that the boar was no longer there.

Something had taken it.
 

Ruvsá

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"At the entrance, yes," Ruvsá answered, and swore when she saw the streak of blood leading into the fortress.

She clutched the wood in her arms still, carefully scenting the air. The fortress still smelled empty, except for the dead boar's blood. Whatever was inside was either not flesh or had a way of completely obscuring its scent. The prospect of either one of those things was enough to send a chill through her, even in Svalen form.

"Are we sure we want to brave the fortress?" she asked Kol, suddenly suspecting that perhaps the open storm would be safer. And for her, it very well might be. She was Nordenfiir, and all she needed to do was find an outcropping of rock that could shelter her from the worst of the wind and rain until it passed, so long as she remained in her shifted form.

Kol, though, would not be able to survive the open elements, and even if he turned out to be someone unsavory, as a Shield Maiden of the Nordenfiir, Ruvsá could not in good conscience leave him to fend for himself alone against the storm's wrath.

"I may be able to find a cave, if I begin to search now," she said, though the wind was beginning to whistle at their backs, and daylight was fading, both as the sun began to set and the darkening storm clouds approached. "You are at the most disadvantage here, though, so the choice is yours."

Ruvsá was put out about the loss of the boar though. She was hungry. She would be fine without food for several days, though. It was just... annoying.
 
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Kol

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Kol almost seemed bemused by her concern.

He wondered if she knew what he was, what his people braved. The Lost Isles were a test in it of themselves, a trial that the Dark God's set upon them. Kol was confident that he could survive the storm, especially with the magics his patrons granted him.

But there was no reason to let her know that. "I trust in the Gods."

Kol said simply.

"Whatever is in there..." The Sorcerer began with a frown. "We will...manage it."

Between the two of them he was hardly concerned for a scavenger. Slowly he stepped forward before stopping for a second, looking back towards her. "Unless you are afraid?"

Kol challenged with a smile.
 

Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá shrugged. She knew that many races of humans believed all sorts of things. She participated in the most common, community rituals that revered Eogorath as the God who birthed the Nordenfiir, but she was by no means devout.

"Trust in whatever you want," she answered. "I'll trust my instincts and skills."

Whatever is in there..." The Sorcerer began with a frown. "We will...manage it."

Between the two of them he was hardly concerned for a scavenger. Slowly he stepped forward before stopping for a second, looking back towards her. "Unless you are afraid?"

The Shield Maiden rolled her eyes, though it looked rather comical on a bear's face. "Not afraid," she said. "But there is something about that fortress that makes me uneasy. Both my Svalen instincts, and my warrior instincts. If we venture in there, we should be prepared for battle."

For a moment, she wondered if she should simply walk away from Kol Twice-Bloodied. Perhaps this was all an elaborate trap, something he'd set up to lure an unsuspecting Nordenfiir. But while she felt she should be wary about him, this was also a terrible location for a trap, as none of the Norden regularly inhabited this island. She was only here by random chance.
 
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Kol

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He nodded his head. "I expect as much."

Kol said with the same ambivalence as before. It was not as though he were dismissing his concerns, he was simply curious. Life did not matter to him as much as it did the others, or rather, he was confident that even his death would bring him no rest.

The Dark Gods had more in store for him.

Whether he wanted it or not.

"Let us find out what lurks beyond." Kol told her calmly as he stepped first, hoping it would be taken as a sign that she was not being taken into some sort of trap.

His feet fell upon the massive carved staircase that lead up to the entrance of the fortress, a huge archway that loomed above the plateau. His eyes slowly passed over the trail of blood, walking alongside of it and moving into the building proper.

Darkness greeted him inside, the wind pushing at his back. When he stepped inside Kol almost seemed to disappear from sight, swallowed by the fortress.
 

Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá could hear hail begin to strike the pebbled shore behind them as Kol stepped forward. She followed alongside, pausing only to make certain of her footing on the staircase. The steps were icy, and she still carried the firewood. She almost set it down, preferring to have all her paws free, but she was loath to give it up without knowing what lay inside.

Her eyesight was sharper, more perceptive in low-lighting, in Svalen form, and while to mere human eyes Kol would have seemed to disappear in the shadows through the doorway, Ruvsá could still see his silhouette.

She stepped in a moment later, and set the firewood down just inside the doorway, shielded from the rain and hail that seemed storm down on her very heels. The sound of the storm was nearly deafening, and she couldn't make out any other noises at the moment. Waiting for the onslaught to lessen or pass, she stood on all four paws again, and lowered her head to sniff at the trail of blood from the wild pig before lifting her gaze to observe the space around them.

The architecture of the place was strange, but she wasn't sure how much of the ice and frost was there because of time or because it had been deliberately incorporated. There was a small opening of a room before them, but a hall branched off in both directions from the entrance they'd just come through, and the wild pig had been dragged down one of them.

"I cannot scent what has taken the boar," she said to Kol when the storm allowed. "It's more than a scent that I am unfamiliar with. It's that there is no scent at all."
 
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Kol

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He nodded his head, lips thinning for a brief moment as he glanced down at this bear companion. For a brief moment he thought that perhaps they should leave, but the sound of the storm outside put an end to that in almost an instant.

Lips thinned for a brief moment. "It is not just the smell."

Kol said quietly.

The storm made it difficult, the Dark Gods even more so, but Kol was accustomed to the shifting of sounds. He'd always needed to be able to shift his focus, to draw his attention to what he needed. A thousand voices scrambling in his skull did not make it easy, but he managed.

"There is nothing, no sound." He told her quietly, his voice echoing. "Nothing beyond the storm."

The Sorcerer drew himself up. "No echoes of steps, no guttural growls of hunger, no groaning of the stone or wind that should rush through the corridors."

He stepped forward, the sound echoing outward. A display of how the noise should have carried.

"Nothing." Kol turned back towards her. "This place is unnatural."
 

Ruvsá

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"I've not detected any other sounds, either," Ruvsá confirmed.

Unnatural. The word left Kol's mouth and Ruvsá glanced around the space one more time. When she'd passed it the first time, on the way to the beach, she'd thought it was merely empty. Abandoned. The lack of scent she'd detected then could have been explained if the windows and doors were boarded up to keep out wildlife. Either the fortress had been abandoned for so long that any blockades had decayed since they were put in place, or there was something else about this place that made the wildlife not linger. Considering the missing slaughtered boar, Ruvsá felt the latter had been confirmed. Now it was just determining what might be here.

"We should build a fire," she said, shifting back from Svalen to human. "Get some more light in here, and possibly cobble together some torches. If we're forced deeper into the fortress by the storm, we'll want them."

She withdrew a tinder kit from a leather pouch she carried at her waist, and began to stack the wood in the center of the room opposite the main entrance. The room itself was circular, but had no other entrances or exits than the one that branched off to the main hallway. The wood was damp, but she was still able to coax it to take a flame after several minutes of perseverance.

"Do you recall if you gathered any wood that would be suitable for a torch or two?" she asked Kol, and looked around the room again with a sigh. "It would be nice if there were some torches here already made."
 
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Kol

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He paused for a few seconds, looking among the wood that he had brought.

There were a few that would make for a good torch, and as he stepped over to them Kol grabbed the end of his own tunic and began to tear it. Without much effort he ripped it free, bundling the cloth and creating a makeshift torch.

With oil it would have done better, but it would due. "This will wo-"

The words died before he could speak them fully.

Just as he turned back to approach the fire that the Nordenfiir had made a great gale ripped through the Fortress. The wind howled, screamed in an echo throughout the entire fortress. The wind was almost enough to throw Kol from his feet, the fire she had built destroyed as it was washed away and out of the fortress.

As quickly as it had come the wind suddenly died, Kol turning back towards the woman as he opened his mouth to speak.

It was there that he saw it. A thick sheen of ice slowly crawling across the entrance that they had wandered through. His lips thinned, and without a word he suddenly rushed back towards the archway, the sound of his boots somewhat muffled as he moved towards.

His feet fell before the arch just as the ice reached the ground, a fist smashing into it with limp rage.

They were trapped.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá looked up when she heard fabric tearing, shaking her head a little as Kol tore a strip off the hem of his tunic. Whoever made that garment was an inferior seamstress if it was so easy to rip. The flames were just catching on the main fire, though, as Kol finished wrapping the fabric around the torch.

He turned back toward the fire then, beginning to speak, when the wind picked up. Inside the fortress. She watched in horror as Kol struggled to maintain his footing, and the meager flame she'd coaxed to life was snuffed out. She didn't expect the wind to fairly pick up the pile of wood and throw it out the doorway, though. The wind died again, and she looked back up at Kol with more than a little shock etched across her face.

Then his eyes latched on the arched entrance, and she twisted to the side to see what was happening, gasping when she saw the ice climbing down the opening to block them in. Ruvsá scrambled to her feet as Kol began to charge toward the doorway, but with each step he took it was like the forming ice gained speed, and it reached the ground just as he reached the now-solid opening.

Her heart began to race, a strange chill seeping into the air from all around them. Kol's fist didn't have any affect on the ice. Trapped.

A dull, thudding roar engulfed her hearing, and with barely a thought, Ruvsá shifted back into her Svalen. "MOVE!" she growled, not waiting to see if Kol obeyed, and charged blindly at the doorway. She rammed it with her shoulder, and when that didn't even make the ice shake, she let out a furious roar and slashed at it with her claws.

Not again! she thought. I will not be trapped again!

She backed away from the doorway, then charged at it once more with every ounce of strength she could muster.

But it was useless.

She fell into silence, furry head and paw pressed against the ice in resignation for several moments. Then she quietly shifted back into human form, turned her back to the iced-over doorway, and sank to the ground. She turned her gaze back to Kol.

"I'm sorry," Ruvsá whispered, not bothering to hide the agony in her voice or the tears pooling in her eyes. "That was careless. I... ten years ago, my father and I were caught in an avalanche. He died. And I... suddenly felt as helpless again as I was in that moment."
 
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Kol

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Among his people displays of emotion were...rare to say the least.

Showing emotion like this of any sort was dangerous. Those who broke down into tears were often thought of as weak. Even mother's discouraged crying in children. Kol had never known what to think on it, mostly because it had all been so...foreign to him.

The Dark Gods had set their roots in him early. He had always been different, never been capable of much feeling at all. Save for in that...strange place the witch had taken him to. Discomfort flickered over his features, and slowly he squatted down besides Ruvsa. "We are not yet dead."

Those were the only comforting words he could think to say.

"If we cannot go back, then we will go forward." Some of the whispers in his head urged him to leave her, to cut her throat and use her death as fuel to break through the ice.

Yet Kol thought better of it.

"There is always another way out." He told her. Fingers flexing at his side slightly. "We must simply find it."
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá gave a surprised laugh, not having expected Kol to offer any comfort at all. "No, we are not dead yet," she agreed, wiping away her tears and straightening where she sat instead of slouching. "I'm too young and have already been through too many hardships to let this strange place beat me."

"There is always another way out." He told her. Fingers flexing at his side slightly. "We must simply find it."

"Yes," she agreed, and looked around on the floor before swearing quietly. "I lost my tinder kit, with the rest of the fire, it seems."

Her right hand dropped to the hilt of her knife at her hip, and she rolled her now-aching shoulders as she looked around again.

"I can see fairly well in the dark, but better in my Svalen form," she said. "But I worry that the passages and doorways here may not all be as accommodating to my size in that form as they are my human one."

She wished she could just climb out a window back into the open countryside.

"What do you think?" Ruvsá asked Kol. "Should we go downward, hoping there might be a tunnel to lead us out of here that isn't... the den of some strange creature, or should we go up and see what else the fortress might have to offer?"
 
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Kol

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Kol glanced over at his companion. For a few seconds he considered her, wondered how much to reveal...how much to show her. Lips thinned, and then he regarded the fortress that lay before them.

There was a danger here, something that hung in the air which spoke of death. He did not know what it was, and the Dark God's were not willing to tell. Fingers tightened for a moment as he took in a deep breath. Then slowly he extended his palm.

"We go down." Within the darkness she would notice nothingness take shape. The Abyss seemed to take shape, black flecks of darkness wrought themselves into a blade.

The knife was short, curved, a thousand runes carved upon it.

Kol flicked the blade forward, his forearm extending just long enough for the knife to dig into his flesh. There was a draw of blood, a short line adding to the myriad of scars beyond his flesh. Crimson drew forth, though seemed to whisp away in an instant.

Within his palm a ball of light began to glow, it's glow casting over the walls of the fortress. "We'll find our way forward."

The Sorcerer said calmly as he began to move towards the tunnels.
 

Ruvsá

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"We go down." Within the darkness she would notice nothingness take shape. The Abyss seemed to take shape, black flecks of darkness wrought themselves into a blade.

Her brow raised at the sight of the knife taking shape from the darkness. Some of the runes carved in the blade looked familiar, but she'd not made much time for study beyond learning to read the Common tongue and becoming barely fluent speaking Fiirevik. She'd focused more on developing her skills as a Shield Maiden.

When Kol pushed back his sleeve and dug the tip of the blade into his forearm, Ruvsá sucked in a breath. So many scars... and as she watched his blood vanish rather than pool on his skin, her thoughts raced. Witchcraft was not tolerated in the Kingdom of Nordengaard, but witches were strictly female, and this island with its strange fortress... while part of the Eretejva Tundra, her authority as a Shield Maiden of the Nordenfiir was dubious at best, besides her own personal code of honor. So she said nothing, but continued to watch curiously.

Within his palm a ball of light began to glow, it's glow casting over the walls of the fortress. "We'll find our way forward." The Sorcerer said calmly as he began to move towards the tunnels.

Ruvsá snorted indelicately. "Well isn't that convenient."

She followed just a few steps behind him, her palms coming to rest on the hilts of her fighting knives. If she had to shift again quickly, she wanted to be able to throw her knives away and retrieve them in her Svalen form, or allow Kol to use one--or both--if necessary. If she shifted while they were still sheathed on her body, they'd be inaccessible.

"Earlier, at the beach," she broke the silence after a few moments, "why did you greet me as cousin?"
 
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Kol

Twice Bloodied
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215
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Kol smiled at her as she made the snide comment about the light.

Such paltry magic did not take much effort, though it was uncommon for him to create light. Usually he was the one snuffing it out. The ball did not give off any heat as it glowed within his palm, it's light casting their shadows along the walls.

The fortress was quiet still, the eerie silence breaking only as the two of them continued their journey down further into the fortress.

"I am of the Lost Isles." He explained, knowing that unlike with her own people there was really nothing that defined his people by sight.

"Nordwiir." He continued. "It is said within our histories that millenia ago our people were one."

Kol did not explain why they were no longer, though he would if she asked. The Dark Gods and their blessings were nothing he was ashamed of. "Our ancestors are the same, and the other Nordenfiir I have met thought it an appropriate greeting."
 

Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá knew of the existence of the Lost Isles, but little of those who apparently inhabited them, and she nodded as Kol briefly explained, though it was unlikely he saw the movement.

"The Nordenfiir were not always shapeshifters," she commented. "I'm sure there are many such distant relatives of the Norden who broke off from the main groups long ago, before we gained this power, that could also be greeted as cousins." She was curious to know what other Nordenfiir he'd encountered, but that could wait.

She was silent for a few moments, listening for anything new within the fortress. As they continued to descend, the sound of the storm became distant and muffled, and the air still. While she could walk nearly silently, whether in human form or Svalen, she noted that there was something about the place that seemed to absorb all sound, as Kol had mentioned earlier. While their voices were clear, it was as if they conversed in a bubble, of sorts.

"Do you think that this lack of sound works to help us at all?" she wondered aloud as they continued walking through the darkening halls. They were descending, slowly, but she couldn't tell if they were below ground level quite yet. "Or if, perhaps, only we are affected by the lack of sound, and whatever else is here can hear us plainly?"

Ruvsá was also trying to keep track of the directions they were moving. It wasn't terribly difficult yet, since they'd not come across many twists or turns or separate passageways. But if for some reason she was separated from Kol, without a light source of her own, she could easily become lost in the darkness. From what she could see of the walls and floor, everything was still made of stone, but every so often a line of frost would catch the light Kol directed.
 
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Kol

Twice Bloodied
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"One great big interconnected Tundra." Kol mused, with only a small amount of mockery in his tone.

She was right of course. If the Dark Gods were to be believed they all came from the same stock. Thousands of years ago, hundreds, it did not take that much time for things to change. He knew that some believed there were descendants of Giant's in the reaches of the Tundra, though Kol had no idea if that were true.

At least for certain he knew that his people and hers were connected. The Dark Gods had not lied about that, for it gave them no gain to withhold the truth. Not when it came to that.

When she asked her question her half turned. "I do not know."

Lips thinned as he slowly continued.

"But..." His fingers tightened on the globe for a moment, his feet coming to a stop as he glanced back. "I feel as though something is watching us."

Head turned back towards her. "Eyes staring in the dark."

Not those of the Dark Gods, not those laughing grinning faces that always peered down at him. Something else was watching, something withing this place.

As they stood there the ring of light that hovered around them seemed to ripple, as if something moved through it unseen. His head snapped immediately to the left, catching sight of what appeared to be a shifting shadow.
 
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