Fable - Ask The Tides of Fate

  • Distant lands call to you, Guest. The next world event coming soon.

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

    Titanfall

A roleplay which may be open to join but you must ask the creator first

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá's gaze shifted around the area as Kol stopped walking.

"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."

Instinct made her face away from Kol, trying to widen the scope of vision between the two of them. Sometimes she thought it might have been handier to be able to shift into an owl, rather than a bear.

"I've thought so, too, that we are being watched," she murmured quietly. "Maybe even herded somewhere, but whatever is here knows the fortress, and we do not." At least, she presumed that Kol did not know the fortress.

Before he could reply, Ruvsá felt a chill in the air, and a moment later--as she quietly unsheathed one of her knives, the hilt settling with a comforting weight in her left hand though she kept the blade concealed beneath her cloak--the light seemed to waver, though not from the source within Kol's hand. Rather, from the edges of the light inward.

Out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw movement, twisting her head in the same direction as Kol. Her eyes widened as she thought she saw shadow move.

"Perhaps we should have gone up," Ruvsá spoke quietly. While her blade was drawn, she wasn't about to wield it against an entity or creature she knew nothing about. "If the shadows are alive beneath the fortress, I would hate to be trapped where everything is nothing but shadow."

The thought of living shadow was nudging something in her memory, though. Something that had been discussed by other Shield Maidens during training days, something that Ruvsá had dismissed as a myth, but perhaps it hadn't been as much myth and story as she'd thought, and she tried to remember what it had been called.

"That light you have... is it something that can be learned?" Ruvsá asked as she stayed on guard, waiting to see if the shadows would move again, and if so whether it would be a strike toward them.
 
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Kol

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Kol's fingers slowly curled into a fist.

Within his grasp that odd curved knife began to appear once more, black flecks of nothing seeming to peel from the air and gather in the form of a blade. It seemed to pulse an odd color of red, a ripple running over it as it came into being.

The Shadows at the edge of the light seemed to bend and ripple, biting at the light as though it were consuming it. His lips thinned for a moment, listening as Ruvsa spoke about the Fortress. She spoke wisely, intelligently.

His head dipped in a nod as she mentioned being trapped. "Let's keep going."

There was no way out behind them, so going forward was the only way.

Slowly Kol took a tentative step, the light bending for a moment...and then the shadow before them giving away as though something had been forced through. A shudder almost seemed to run through the shadow as it moved.

Watching the shadow carefully now, Kol continued. The walls seemed to change as they moved deeper, carvings appearing upon them, strange intricate lines that seemed to have no end.

"Yes." He told her. "It is possible."

Within the bare hint of the shadows, where the light touched with just a wisp, Kol could see the Grins of the Dark Gods as he spoke. Their laughter echoed in his ears as he answered. "But it is a knowledge that comes at a price."
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá was out of her depth here, and she knew it. The closest thing she knew of magic was shifting into her own Svalen form, and while many of the Nordenfiir had some small skill in magic, at least, she had not prioritized learning any form of magic. She'd studied warfare instead. But what she'd observed so far in this fortress, with these strange Shadows, was that to battle them in any way would likely require light. And without her tinder kit, she had no hope of creating it.

But as she followed Kol and his conjured ball of light, she grew increasingly uncomfortable on many fronts. The fortress and the Shadows' presence within it was unnatural. Kol himself was... she didn't know fully what to make of him, and she wouldn't say that he was evil without actual evidence to that end, but she knew--much like herself, depending on the circumstances--that if it was a choice between self or other, he would choose self. But there was also a darkness about him that was concerning.

Ruvsá eyed the carvings that appeared on the walls, trying not to focus too much on the fact that every step deeper into the fortress's depths seemed like they were delving into a living mass of shadows. The carvings were no symbols or lettering that she recognized, and she wondered if they served some ritualistic purpose, or if they were information.

"Yes." He told her. "It is possible."

Within the bare hint of the shadows, where the light touched with just a wisp, Kol could see the Grins of the Dark Gods as he spoke. Their laughter echoed in his ears as he answered. "But it is a knowledge that comes at a price."

She sighed, the darkness beginning to weigh on her mind, but she did not want to be forced into a decision uninformed, either.

"What kind of price?"

If she were able to light her own way, in case she and Kol were separated, she would be less anxious. And yet... perhaps it might be better to chance her own skill with against these Shadows, even on lesser ground. Depending on the price.
 
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Kol

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As they kept walking and Ruvsá's curiosity began to grow, the Hallway that they had been following slowly opened up.

The walls began to fold away, the ceiling grew higher, and before long the narrow stretch they had been traversing turned into a Great Hall. The floor was still carved with those same unfamiliar runes, and though the light did not reach far enough Kol guessed the ceiling and walls were the same.

"My magic is born of Faith." He told Ruvsa, his eyes flickering to the edges of the light to watch the shifting shadows there.

The whispers in his ear grew louder as they continued to walk, some clamoring for his attention. They echoed in his ear, and then he heard one of them more clear than the others.

Draugr.

Kol froze for a second, his feet coming to a stop. There, at the bare edges of the light in the center of the Hall an altar had come into view. It was a think of granite, intricately carved and inlaid with lines of a strange black gem that glittered within the light.

Upon it rested a single hammer, large enough to march to war with. "The God's grant me my gifts."

The Sorcerer said slowly.

"Their boon is given, and then a price must be paid." Kol said as he slowly began to walk forward towards the alter. "Sometimes in blood. Sometimes in other ways."
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá slowed as the passageway began to widen, the ceiling lifting higher above them even as the ground continued to slowly slope downward. She still caught glimmers of frost lines on the floor and occasionally on what must be a wall even as they were directed into a room so wide that Kol's light did not reach its perimeter.

"My magic is born of Faith." He told Ruvsa, his eyes flickering to the edges of the light to watch the shifting shadows there.

She recalled her earlier words, when Kol said he trusted in his gods, and while she did not roll her eyes--she wouldn't give the shadows around them the chance to catch her off guard--she let out a quiet huff.

Her hand tightened around the grip of her knife, as they continued into the room, watching warily as the shadows undulated along the edges of Kol's light.

Shadowkin. The name she'd heard those years before finally came to mind. But what speculation she had heard, because speculation was all that the Nordenfiir had on the creatures, was that they were controlled by something else.

Kol's footsteps fell silent, and she brought her gaze away from the shadows and back to him, and then followed his line of sight. She observed the altar without a sound, its shape and structure and the engravings inlaid with the strange, black gem. She saw Kol fixate on the large hammer that lay atop the altar.

"The God's grant me my gifts." The Sorcerer said slowly. "Their boon is given, and then a price must be paid." Kol said as he slowly began to walk forward towards the alter. "Sometimes in blood. Sometimes in other ways."

While his words both intrigued and frightened her, his steps toward the altar were alarming.

"Stop!" her voice rang through the air between them. "You should not touch that carelessly. If we have been herded here, you do not know what you might unleash upon us if you violate something sacred. And at the very least, we should check for tripwires around the base."

I do not trust you with a weapon of unknown origin, either, she added silently in her thoughts as she came to stand alongside him close enough that he would feel the heat of her flesh, unwilling to have too much distance between them if he should decide to extinguish the light. You are clearly skilled with magic, and I am the one at a disadvantage here.
 
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Kol

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Kol looked over to his companion, a bemused smile touching his lips.

"Is it your rearing that makes you all so paranoid?" The Sorcerer asked. The other Nordenfiir that he had met had been the same. Though that one had been more weary of the world around her, rather than the people in it.

Briefly the Sorcerer glanced at the hammer. "I won't touch it."

He promised as he slowly squatted down in front of the Alter and extended the light above it. With careful eyes he peered at the runes, finding some familiarity within the runes.

Wiir, the language spoken by his people had no written form. They utilized runes for some things, but by and large one could not write a complete sentence. Kol had often found such a thing foolish, and thus had studied the old tongues.

Something the Dark Gods had helped with.

"This is an old tongue." He told her. "One of Giants."

Which explained the size of the hammer. Kol himself would have struggled to lift it, though for a Giant it seemed fitting enough.

He looked at the Alter for a moment more, then glanced up at Ruvsa. He was about to open his mouth to speak when the shadows at the edge of the light seemed to flicker. They pressed inward for a second, and then a loud screech echoed out from them.

The sound was piercing, painful, and yet as it echoed the shades seemed to flee from the light. They rushed away as the sound carried outward...as though they were afraid.
 

Ruvsá

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"My rearing? No," Ruvsá laughed softly. "My training, though? Yes. And some... other recent experiences." If they survived this, if Kol proved even remotely trustworthy and he wasn't in a hurry to get wherever he'd been going before the shipwreck on the beach, perhaps she'd tell him the story.

Her worry calmed some as he said he would not touch the hammer, his carrying a somber tone that her instinct said was reliable. As he crouched and examined the carvings on the altar, Ruvsá examined the shadows cast around the base of it, looking for the glint of light on wire or filament. She gave a sigh of relief when she spotted none. One less concern, though it didn't completely rule out the presence of traps in the room or the fortress.

Ruvsá lifted her eyes and scanned the room again. The shadows were still lingering at the edges of the light, but they'd quieted for the moment, and that quietness made her almost as uneasy as their agitation in the halls.

"This is an old tongue." He told her. "One of Giants."

"Well, if giants built this place, then I won't need to worry if I shift into Svalen," she commented, looking over at him again. "If they walked these passageways, then I will certainly be able to in that form."

Kol looked up then, opening his mouth to speak, when Ruvsá flinched, her eyes darting back to the shadows. The air had suddenly become oppressive, and when she saw the shadows flicker at the edges of the light, the hair on the back of her neck stood on end. Then the shadows screeched and the noise reverberated painfully through her skull. She nearly dropped the knife she held in one hand as she resisted the urge to crouch down and curl in upon herself and cover her ears until the sound and pain had passed.

Fortunately, as the sound receded the pain vanished quickly on its heels, and she took up a defensive posture, slowly turning to view as the perimeter the light formed. What made the shadows panic and flee? she wondered. Were they trying to escape into the light, for just a moment? If so, what lies beyond our sight that frightens shadows so much they'd rather risk the light?

"Perhaps..." her voice was hesitant for a moment, for Ruvsá couldn't believe what she was about to suggest to Kol after their earlier discussion, "Perhaps you should extinguish the light for a time. We are sitting ducks within the light, in this darkness."
 

Kol

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The Dark Gods did not cease their whispering. They spoke, they urged him onward. They told him they knew what it was he would do. What he had to do if they were to escape. Their voices became louder and louder. It seemed to resound and echo within his skull, becoming almost overbearing as the shadows fled in their screeches.

Kol looked towards his companion for a brief moment, fingers tightening as he glanced back towards the hammer.

He considered grabbing it, using it to break the altar as the Dark Gods demanded. Yet he resisted. A breath filled his lungs, and he slowly drew himself back. Fingers folded at his side, and he offered her a nod. "Perhaps you are right."

Kol said slowly, letting out a deep breath.

Slowly his fingers closed around the orb of light. It began to fade more and more, then slowly slipped away as his first closed. Darkness cast around them, light extinguishing Into nothingness.

For a brief moment it seemed to quiet thing, bring silence into the air.

Then the ground shook.

A loud, guttural moan reached through the depths of the fortress. It was a broken sound, a corpse falling into movement after centuries of frost.

The Dark Gods seemed to scream and echo with laughter.

"Somethings coming." Kol warned his companion, the ceiling shaking as beyond the darkness a massive figure slowly shuffled towards them.
 

Ruvsá

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As the light slowly faded away, Ruvsá turned her back to the altar, catching one last glimpse of what little she could see of the room before it succumbed fully to darkness. In the moment of silence which followed, she sheathed her knife and shifted into her Svalen form, the transformation reaching completion just as the ground shook beneath their feet. Ruvsá grunted, and shifting her weight forward and landing to crouch on all four paws as the sound of awoken death moved through the air.

"Somethings coming." Kol warned his companion, the ceiling shaking as beyond the darkness a massive figure slowly shuffled towards them.

Dust and frost fell from the walls and ceiling around them. There was little natural light penetrating the depths of the chamber, but just enough that Ruvsá could make out shapes and the occasional glint of light in the chamber.

"Yes," she growled softly, her voice signifying her change in form, "but I cannot make out much about it, except it seems to be far larger than me, even if I stood at full height in this form."

The large, lumbering form seemed to hesitate for a moment at the sound of her voice, as if gauging where she stood and at what distance. She wished she was able to make out the true sight of it, to see what they might be dealing with.

"It moves slowly, for now," Ruvsá stated, lowering her voice to as close as a whisper as she could manage in this form. "We should take advantage of that. Are you able to create that light and cast it to another part of the room, by any chance?"
 
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Kol

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The shambling hulk at the other end of the Great Hall seemed to creep forward like a glacier.

It was moving, that much was easy to tell from how the ground quaked and the alter seemed to rumble. Yet it seemed to almost be creeping, moving towards them as a matter of routine rather than in search of an intruder. Kol frowned for moment, glancing towards one of the grinning smiles now hovering in the dark.

"Yes." Kol answered quickly.

The light was one of the more base sorceries, something that could come with little power or sacrifice.

In his head he could hear his gods urging him to grab the hammer. To seize it and use it's power. Whatever that power might have been. He glanced over towards Ruvsa who had once again taken on the form of a great bear. Lips thinned, and he drew up his sleeve again.

"Before the…" They still had no idea what it actually was moving towards them. "Creature?"

He asked her as he placed the tip of his blade again his flesh.
 

Ruvsá

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"Yes," Ruvsá answered. "We need to see what it is. But let's also see if we can lead it away, make sure we can get back up the passageway if we need to. And we should split up. Between the light, and us two going in opposite directions, we'll give it three different targets instead of one or two."

Ruvsá began to step to the far side of the room as Kol began to summon the light again. She watched the room warily. The shadows had been shadowkin, she was sure of it, but she knew so little about them other than that they were usually controlled by something else. The shadows had probably moved into the fortress when they found it essentially empty. But this beast was something different, and likely the true inhabitant here, or a protector left behind by the fortress' original owners.

That could make things more difficult, though, if they ended up engaged in battle on two separate fronts.

As she slowly and silently slunk away from the altar and toward the wall--though she made sure not to touch any of the strange runes and lines inscribed there--Ruvsá kept her attention split between both the creature and Kol. She didn't know if she could trust him, but for now it was in both of their best interests to work together. This creature, and the fortress itself, would be impossible to tackle alone.

Ruvsá finally turned her attention to the creature, waiting to see what Kol's light would reveal.
 
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Kol

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Kol did not budge from the altar.

He did not want to remove himself from the hammer. Ruvsa might not have wanted him to pick it up, but he most certainly did not want whatever creature was shambling towards them to have it either. The tension in his muscles seemed to wind a bit more, knife digging into his arm.

In an instant the blood whisped away to nothing once more, and then he snapped his finger.

Light suddenly burst into life directly in front of the creature. It was revealed in an instant, the glowing ball disposing of the darkness around it's shambling hulk.

A giant stood before them, or what had once been a giant. He was tall, four or five times the size of Kol. His skin was desiccated and ancient, a dark blueish gray and clinging to a skeletal form. Strange steel plates were arranged around his skin, what had clearly once been a full set of armor.

Kol looked up at the creature, it's black eyes shifting over the light to reveal a great hollowness.

"Draugr." The Sorcerer said to himself quietly as the Dark Gods laughed.

Just as he said the word the Hulking Giant seemed to shift, and then with a sudden burst of speed his hand reached out directly for Ruvsa in a backhanded smash.
 

Ruvsá

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When Kol's magic burst into light, Ruvsá held in a low, rumbling growl that threatened to escape her. While the creature--the giant--was tall, and clearly something once-alive, it would be barely twice her height if she were to stand on her hind feet.

She looked upon the giant, perusing its form and armor, looking for weak points. It seemed to be corporeal, at least, so even if some dark magic drove it now, she should be able to at least damage it. The hollowness of its eyes--its face more skull than anything, anymore--was unnerving, though.

Ruvsá glanced back at the altar, noted Kol's protective stance between the hammer and the undead giant. Despite her hesitancy earlier, he was right. The giant could not get hold of the hammer. They would both be doomed if that happened.

But in that moment, she missed the giant's gaze shifting. It was only the faintest whistle of wind that gave her warning, and with a desperate leap she dodged, at least, the direct hit. The giant's hand smashed into the wall where she'd stood just a moment before, and shards of stone flew through the air. She threw up a paw to protect her eyes as the ground shook from the impact, nearly knocking her off her feet.

She gasped, and finding her footing once more, gave a low, rumbling growl which began to reverberate and echo around the room as she darted further into the shadows, moving behind the giant. So long as she was uninjured, she would at least have the advantage of speed, able to move far faster than Kol could.

"Do you have any idea how to defeat this creature?" she shouted to him. "I can try to distract it, but can't do so indefinitely."

Ruvsá watched the creature to see if it would respond to her voice and turn her way again, ready to move anywhere but where she stood at the moment.
 
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Kol

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Kol didn't answer, mostly because he was too busy thinking.

The Giant moved fast, faster than anything of that size should have been able to move. As it's hand slammed into the wall where Ruvsa had been standing dust and debris picked up in a giant wave, rushing through the inside of the room in a bursting cloud.

His eyes darted towards the woman...bear as she shouted, lips thinning for a brief moment as he peered back towards the giant.

"Keep it away from me!" Kol hissed.

A dozen spells ran through his mind. A dozen different ways of dealing with the beast, but only one would get them the answer that he sought. With one last glance towards the hammer Kol launched himself forward and over the Altar.

He bounded towards a large clear space in the Hall, his finger tightening on the hilt of the rune knife as he brought the blade into his forearm.

The tip of the knife carved through scarred and broken flesh, blood spilling over his skin and onto his palm. With quick and deft fingers he began to draw on the icy ground, quick flicks of his wrist seeking a symbol that began to take shape.
 

Ruvsá

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Ruvsá didn't bother to verbally respond to Kol's demand. Her attention turned back to the giant, and as it swatted at her again she threw herself to one side and rolled between its feet, slashing with her claws at its ankles. As her claws made contact with its enchanted flesh a cold biting pain traveled into her paws. The giant did at least stumble in its steps, and Ruvsá glanced around the chamber as she darted between the giant's feet and back out into the open.

It took her a moment to spot Kol, now in the open space on the far side of the altar, as she dodged another strike by the giant.

"How long will this take?" she growled, launching into the air toward the undead giant's torso, swinging for its throat with her extended claws. She felt her hit strike, felt the giant stumble backward, but it regained its footing all too quickly.

Ruvsá dug her claws in, scrambling over its shoulder as she felt air whoosh by her as it tried to swat her off. Once on its back, she made one more swipe for the back of its neck, but unsure of where exactly she struck as she finally lost her grip, falling through the air. Every time she'd struck the giant with her claws, the cold biting pain had sunk a little deeper into her flesh.

With a roar of pain, she reached out and dug her claws into its flank, desperate to break her fall even a little.

"Time's up!" she hollered to Kol as she yanked her claws free once more, leaping off the giant with a push into darkness, shifting back into her human form just before she hit the ground, rolling with the impact. She was sweating and trembling, but panted and gasped through the pain in her fingers and hands as she pushed herself back to standing and quickly moved, not willing to give the giant a still target. Ruvsá unsheathed her knives, wincing as she forced her hands to grasp them.

"What's our next move?" she called out to Kol.

She could fight for quite some time more, but not if she was fighting an enemy twice her size singlehandedly. She needed a breather, and soon, unless this beast would be dead or incapacitated within moments.
 
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Kol

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Kol didn't answer her, at least not at first.

He was too busy painting the symbol onto the ground, slashing his blood left and right, drawing the mark as though a painter might a peace of art. It didn't matter that the giant was rampaging, screeching, rushing to kill his companion.

If Ruvsa had to die for him to live? Kol was willing to make that sacrifice. He didn't want her to die of course, but if it happened...he would shed no tears.

Finally the last line of the rune was drawn, Ruvsa's voice calling out to him. "BRING IT HERE!"

His voice echoed loudly.

The Giant seemed to hestitate for a moment, the sound of Kol's voice apparently half catching it's attention before it slowly turned back in pursuit of the bear. The Sorcerer stepped away from his mark, his fingers tightening on the rune marked blade as he stepped back.
 
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Ruvsá

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"About friggin' time," Ruvsá muttered wearily as she heard Kol's voice echo around her. She saw the giant begin to turn toward Kol, but as she continued to gasp for breath, its attention turned back to her again.

"One more round," she hissed at it, clutching her knives in hand as she began to shift into her Svalen form once more. She was tired, but she'd prefer to have more of the brute strength she did in that form for this hopefully final mad dash with the creature.

With a deafening roar, Ruvsá drew the giant's attention to her, fully, again. The ground vibrated beneath her weight as she ran on all fours. Around the giant's feet, toward the altar in the center of the room, and Kol on the other side of it. She felt the giant's hand swipe past her, uncomfortably close both to her body and to the hammer on the altar.

She launched herself over the stone altar, barely noting the bloody rune scrawled onto the floor. Ruvsá immediately turned, roared at the giant again to keep its attention on her, and then leapt across the room toward Kol and the far wall. She landed next to him with a pained grunt, shifting back to human form once more. One of her knives clattered to the floor, but she quickly crouched to retrieve it.

"Whatever you've got planned, I hope it works," she said, waiting for the giant to to step onto the runes Kol had drawn. "My hands are frostbitten from where I attacked the giant with my claws."

It wasn't normal frostbite, she could tell that much. But she hoped, that maybe once the giant was destroyed, whatever residual magic had wounded her would dissipate.
 
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Kol

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Kol glanced at Ruvsa for just a brief moment as she slid over the altar and passed him, coming to a stop and turning to her human form. The clatter of a knife on ice could be heard, and his gaze flickered before he turned back towards the giant.

He looked at her hands when she mentioned, the strange ice there.

The Sorcerer opened his mouth to speak, but before the words could form the giant let out a roar of his own. It resounded within the room, echoing off the walls and only broken up by the sound of thunderous steps as the Draugr rushed forward.

It shook the earth, cratered the ice as it ran.

Kol let out a curse, grabbing Ruvsa and suddenly yanking her back just a few steps.

The Draugr continued it's raging path, running forward and stepping over the altar. It moved quickly, reaching out with it's fist to slam down onto the two Northerners...before it suddenly came to a stop. The beast's entire form froze, in place, as if it had been paralyzed.

A soft glow drifted from beneath it's foot, Kol's eyes flickering down to look at into which the Draugr had stepped.

Some of the tension eased from his shoulders. "That will hold it."

He said simply, glancing at Ruvsa.
 
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Ruvsá

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She saw Kol glance down at her hands, saw him start to speak, and then the giant roared again. Ruvsá winced as the sound reverberated around them, sharp and echoing in her sensitive ears. The ground shook again as the creature ran, and she barely heard Kol swear. She was surprised when he grabbed her and pulled her further back, though. She hadn't really expected him to be that courteous.

Ruvsá watched it step over the altar, saw it raise a fist and aim for them. She instinctively ducked, curling in on herself, dropping her knives and throwing her arms up to protect her head as she scrunched her eyes shut. Behind her eyelids, she found herself faced with the image of a roaring wall of snow as it raced down the mountain. For just a moment, she was frozen in place, bracing for the impact as she frantically looked around for her father again.

Then the roaring stopped, abruptly, and she forced herself to take a deep breath and open her eyes. She looked up, saw the giant's fist suspended over them, but stalled in its movement. She retrieved her knives again, hissing from the pain as she wrapped her frostbitten fingers around the hilts, straightening as she eyed the glow radiating from beneath the giant's foot.

"That will hold it."

He said simply, glancing at Ruvsa.

"For how long?" she asked, weariness underlying her voice. She sheathed her knives, then grimaced as she flexed her fingers, then brought her hands up to her mouth to try and warm them even a little. She was Nordenfiir. She'd never had truly cold hands before and it was disconcerting, and they ached.

"Do you think this thing can be killed, or do we continue on beneath the fortress?" she continued, slowing stepping forward, but careful to avoid Kol's runes. She warily eyed the hammer on the altar again. "We're fortunate the giant didn't try to grab the hammer. But why didn't it?"
 
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Kol

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"I do not think the weapon belongs to it." He said with a frown, looking up at the massive giant.

"The rune will hold." The Sorcerer was confident in that. The rune worked on a simple principal; the harder you tried to escape, the harder it kept you in place. If the Giant stopped fighting it would be released, but Kol counted on the fact that it could not apply such logic. "I am..."

He frowned. "Not sure."

The Sorcerer considered for a moment, listening to the cackles of the Dark Gods.

"It is undead...of a sorts. I believe it is a Guardian." He glanced back towards the Altar. "Brought here to keep this place safe."

Which of course only meant one thing. "We should venture deeper."

Find what it was this thing was actually guarding. Kol suspected that the hammer was a clue, a piece of the puzzle more than the puzzle itself. His curiosity was piqued, and the Dark Gods urged him to go onward.
 
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Ruvsá

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Ruvsá rolled her eyes. She'd surmised the giant was undead quite some time ago. What Kol said about it being a guardian made sense, though. It didn't seem like this creature had the intelligence to be responsible for trapping them here in the first place, nor did it seem to have a need for the slaughtered wild pig she'd, apparently, inadvertently left as an offering to... something.

"We should venture deeper."

She frowned, but nodded in agreement, though she still watched the altar warily. "If that weapon does not belong to this giant," she murmured, "then how many others like it, or more powerful, might await us?"

Glancing down at her hands, she realized she'd been far too foolish in this initial fight, and would need to be far more cautious from here on out if she hoped to survive this place. Kol... he would probably survive. He was far better equipped, with whatever magic he was gifted with, to tackle the things that lurked in this place. Herself, though... sure, she could shift into a bear, but that didn't offer her much of an advantage in this situation.

Pieces of their earlier conversation echoed through her thoughts again. This light... can it be learned? Yes... but it comes at a price. Ruvsá's brow furrowed for a moment as she debated asking about it again, but she decided against it. For now.

"Just a moment," she said, as another thought occurred to her. Quickly, she took of her cloak and spread it across the icy ground. Using one of her knives, she cut a narrow strip off the hem. She gathered up the strip of cloth, fastened the cloak over her shoulders again, then gripped the knife in her non-dominant hand and began to lash it in place with the cloth, making sure not to constrict the flow of blood in her hand. After a moment, she carefully stretched out her hand, holding up the two loose ends of the strip with her other hand.

"Will you tie this for me?" she asked Kol. "Then we can be on our way."

The damage to her hands did not, at least, seem to be spreading any further. But even in the dim lighting, she could see that her fingertips were pale, likely an ashen blue if she were able to see them better, but her nail beds were darker, almost blackened, and while she knew that her nails might regrow, in human form, if she lost them, she wasn't sure about her claws. While wounds normally transferred between both human and Svalen forms in the Nordenfiir, these were a strange type of wound, done by unfamiliar magic and inflicted on a part of her Svalen form that didn't directly translate to her human one. Who know what the long term effects might be...
 
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Kol

Twice Bloodied
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"I do not know." He looked at the Hammer for a moment.

The weapon was large, too large really for him to use it properly, but he was loathe to leave it behind. There was magic in that thing, he could feel it trace along every little nook and cranny. After a few moments he pulled his gaze back towards Ruvsa. "This place feels...as though it is hiding something."

He could not have said what, or who, but it was a creeping suspicion that was ever growing.

"There are few things with the Will to enslave Giants." Much less bring them back from the dead.

As she asked him to tie the bandages Kol Perked an eyebrow. He did not object however, and took a step forward to quickly finish off the bandaging. He slipped the knot into place, not dragging it too tight so she could still grip her knives if she needed.

After a few moments he spoke. "I could heal this."

He told her, though of course there would be a price.

There was always a price.
 

Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá watched Kol's expression as he eyed the hammer. She could tell he yearned for it, and wondered what about it he found so fascinating. She was also wary of leaving it behind, though likely for different reasons. To leave a powerful weapon behind for another enemy to find and use was foolish. But it was so large she didn't know what to do about it. Even in her stronger, larger Svalen form she would find handling the hammer, with its size and shape, to be nearly impossible.

"This place feels...as though it is hiding something."

He could not have said what, or who, but it was a creeping suspicion that was ever growing.

"There are few things with the Will to enslave Giants." Much less bring them back from the dead.

"It feels like a place that was made for secrets," Rusvá agreed. "The question is whether it was purposely abandoned in order to keep a secret."

She watched quietly as he tied the bandage off for her, securing the hilt of her knife to her palm, but not too tightly. She could still flex her fingers and wrap them around the hilt, but not worry about accidentally dropping the knife--again--if her fingers refused to respond.

"I could heal this."

He told her, though of course there would be a price.

"Could you?" she murmured, eyeing the drying blood still dripping down his arm and hand. "Without expending yourself too much?"

It was tempting, though, she realized, looking down at her unbandaged hand, flipping it over as she stretched and flexed her fingers. Who knew what else awaited them in the fortress, though... to have full use of her hands--her claws--would be the best option, and she wouldn't be so careless again.

"What would it entail?" she asked.
 
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Kol

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"The expense would not come from me." That was not how his magic worked.

The Dark Gods granted him power, but only at the behest of blood. His abilities could do great things, but only as those above him willed it. He did not know how it would affect the Nordenfiir, did not know what it would do, but he was very interested in finding out.

He looked up at her, his words falling to neither side. "There will be a price."

Kol told her.

"With healing it is difficult to tell what." Usually the price came from the body. Blood, a piece of flesh, a death. Yet that was not the Dark God's chosen cost when healing. "The Gods will take their price in their own way."

A sliver of her soul. A piece of her mind. A longing in the soul for violence.

It could be a dozen different things, and always their touch lingered.
 
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Ruvsá

Nordenfiir
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Ruvsá listened carefully as Kol spoke, weighing the options before her. His powers... made her uneasy. She'd seen a hint of dark wildness in his eyes and in his actions, and there was a more skeptical side of her that was leery of his talk of these gods. But if the undead giant was only the first of whatever creatures and traps awaited them in this fortress... she needed her hands. Her claws.

She wanted to live.

Quietly, she retrieved her other knife and swiftly--but carefully--sliced away the bandages that had just been bound. She sheathed both knives, without dropping either this time, and then held out her aching, trembling hands toward Kol, palms down.

"All right," she answered. "Do it."
 
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