(( OOC: The following chapter is looking back into his childhood and memories ))
Aksel rode towards the field with a knot in his throat and a stone on his heart...
It's been at least ten winters last time he was around there. He never had enough courage to return after how cowardly he acted... after he was thrown to the wolves. After all this time he finally decided to face his past, to look around the house he grew up in.
He stopped near the house, tying Chiara to one of the remaning poles of the fence, he stepped closer to the small cottage in the middle of the farm. The house was still standing, though the roof was mostly collapsed, the walls stained with burn marks and blood. The soil around the house was dry, full of weed. It has been abandoned every since the day it's inhabitants left... or rather were forced out.
The young woman stepped out of the door, the wind blowing in her long, brown hair. She was still very young, her face blushed, her clothes neat, though a bit dirty. She looked around the field with a content smile, as it was full of crops, a small patch of flowers and herbs near to the house. She kneeled down next to the flowers, observing them carefully, stroking her belly with her unborn child.
- LORNA! - a harsh voice shouted from inside the house - What are ye doing outside?
A huge, long bearded Cimmerian suddenly appeared at the door, glancing at the woman with a frown. He seemed at least fifty winters old, his dark hair having a hint of silver here and there. He was obviously a warrior, since his face and arms were cowered with battle scars.
- What are you doing here woman? - he glared at her.
- I was.. just.. checking my herbs.
- Checking ya herbs? When me weapon needs polishing? - he raised his massive hand as if wanting to strike the woman, who shivered in fear.
- Excuse me sir! I'll go and polish your weapon right away! - he rose up running into the house quickly.
The young Chieftain stepped closer, observing the walls of the house, as if looking for something. He suddenly started as he stepped on something, frowning heavily as he realized he was standing on human bones, half buried in the ground. Trying to kick the bones away, he wiped the walls with his hand, getting some splinters, but also finding what he was looking for...
Drawings. The wall was covered in carvings which were coloured slightly. The colours have faded during all this time, but the images were clear. They revealed a stag, a doe and their calf. Aksel smiled widely at the drawing, a tear running down his cheek.
- See how easy it is to draw honey? - the woman giggled, placing a kiss on the head of her child.
The boy could barely hold the coal, but he was drawing on the wall eagerly with his mother's hand leading him.
- It is mama! Look, i drew a bear! - he smiled, pointing at the squiggly lines which barely resembled anything, but a bear.
Suddenly loud gallopping was heard, the huge Cimmerian warrior, Slakjen approaching on his steed. The woman looked towards him wearily, but put on a sweet smile as he got off his horse, stepping near them.
- What... the bloody hell.. are ye doing to our son... you wench! - he growled, peering at the boy.
- Teaching him to draw.. and write.
- Draw? And Write? - he slammed his massive hand against the wall, breaking one of the wodden planks in the wall - No son of mine will become a sissy scholar!
The man grabbed the boy by his shirt, lifting him with ease.
- Come boy, it's time ye learn how to handle an axe! - he smiled proudly, putting him down once again, pulling him away by his arm.
- Goodbye mama... - he waved sadly, looking back at his mother.
- Make your father proud, Aksel! - she smiled as the left to the traning ground.
The young shaman looked in the direction of the trainig grounds, frowning heavily. He remembered all the shouting and beating he got because he couldn't lift his father's massive weapons.
He peered into the house, but it was too much collapsed and bashed to look anything like it used to. Aksel stepped inside carefully, looking around for anything he could call familiar. He suddenly noticed a blue scarf on the floor... just where his mother was killed. It had blood stains all over, but he picked it up without hesitation, smelling the old cloth.
The blue scarf danced in the air as the wind blew against Lorna, who even though many winters passed, looked exactly the same with her long, shining hair and blushed cheeks. She smiled proudly as her son approached with a small bag full of herbs and mushrooms.
- Look mama, i found everything! - he smiled widely, handing the bag to his mother. His greenish-yellow eyes shined brightly, his brown hair brushing his shoulders - Though one was very hard to find... excuse me for being late! - he hugged his mother tightly.
- What matters is that you are back honey. - she nodded, putting her arms around him.
- I can't wait to tell father what i learned! Last night i could wrap my own wounds! - he said, pointnig at the bandage on his arm proudly.
- I'm not sure it's... - she stopped as the gallopping was heard once again.
The Cimmerian got off his horse, his eyes burning of fury as he saw the woman and the child hugging each other.
- Is that what ye tell our son, Lorna? Is this what you teach him? - he glared.
- Look father, i was in the forest, collecting herbs! - the child ran towards the man, pointing at the bag of herbs.
- Ye.. collecter hebs? Instead of practicing the sword? - the man growled, hitting the small child with his huge palm, the child falling to the ground, tears filling his eyes.
- Slakjen stop! Don't hurt him! - the woman ran to him, grabbing his arm before he could aim another hit at the child.
- This is our son you wench! Not a bloody daughter! - he shouted, grabbing the woman by his hair, aiming several blows at her face.
The child sat on the ground, crying quitely, shivering in fear...
Aksel shivered. Suddenly hatred and sorrow filled his mind, as he hugged the scarf close to his face. The blood on the scarf was not on it because of the attack... but the constant agression his father shoved towards his mother and him.
He sighed, walking out to his horse, wrapping the blue scarf around his neck.
- I think i had enough of this place for now, Chiara... let's go home. - he smiled slightly, getting on the horse.
As he rode away the knot in his throat and the stone on his heart got even heavier... though the smell of the dirty scarf around his neck eased his pain from his memories somewhat.
- Ye can be happy if ye become a traning dummy with these arms, boy! - the man laughed, hitting the young lad on his arm.
- What if i don't want to be a warrior, father? - he replied, his voice deep and almost as tender as his mothers.
- What? - he growled - Don't ye dare saying that my son! Ye will be a warrior and join me on me patrols!
- Why can't you let him decide of his own life? - the woman walked out slowly, braiding her hair carefully, glancing at her son protectively.
- Ye dare going against me will, wench? - he glared at her, approaching her with an axe.
- Stop father! - the boy shouted, hitting his father on the shoulder with a large battlehammer.
The warrior turned around, looking at his son with rage, throwing the axe to the ground, grabbing the boy by his arm. The young boy dropped the heavy hammer, frowning heavily as his father dragged him away to the nearby forest.
He returned about a day after with many broken bones and swollen face.
- Ye dare going against me again, boy? - the man laughed, hitting him in the face once again.
The young lad shook his head, crawling into his bed as the will to kill his father took over his mind once again...
(From talk between Silvara and Zackita over the upbringing of Zackitas son Itafar. Zack in green, Silvara in red)
Is that what ye tell your god son, Silvara? Is this what you teach him? - she glares.
- Look mother, I was in the forest, collecting herbs! - Itafar runs towards the woman, pointing at the bag of herbs.
- Ye.. collecter hebs? Instead of practicing the sword? - the woman growls, hitting the small child with her palm, the child falling to the ground, tears filling his eyes.
- Zackita stop! Don't hurt him! - Silvara runs towards Zackita, before she can aim another hit at the child.
- Silvara takes her sledgehammer and wailing it over her head so she smacks Zackita on her side. Then as she stumbles to the ground gasping for air, Silvara steps over her making her crawl and gestures at Itafar to approach.
-“Come son, let me show you how to mend some broken ribs!” smiling warmly at the child
Last edited by Zackita; 6th October 2009 at 15:21..
The cleansing... and soothing gift of nature. Oh how i longed for you...
The young shaman opened his eyes, looking towards the skies. It was raining heavily, black clouds blocking the vision of the sun. It was all perfect. There was no wind, only a strong chill as the drops ran through his face.
As he rose, the rags around his waist revealed, wet and full of blood. Apart from that cloth and a fur of a bear thrown on his back, there wasn't much to cover his body. Most of the men, even the fierce warriors would've froze by the plain sight, but not him. He walked towards one of the trees, without a hint of feeling cold or suffering. No.. he was smiling. A true smile, one he hasn't put on for quite a while.
As he approached the tree and sat down by it, he wiped the soaked hair from his face, glancing at his arm, which was covered in bloody bandages. Aksel carefully unwrapped the bandages, frowning a bit at the sight of black skin, full of cut-like wounds, as if the skin was torn. It looked like it was rotting from the inside.
- Is this one of your games Imoteph? Another curse? - he chuckled, throwing the bandages aside. There was noone there he had to hide it from. The shaman didn't dare to admit, but he was deeply ashamed of the condition of his arm.
The chieftain closed his eyes, the smile of pleasure drawing on his face again, as he listened to the sweet sound of rain. Images started running through his mind... he opened his eyes just a bit.. revealing their colour, which was white as the purest snow...
A stag stepped out from the woods as the rain faded away. A beautiful creature it was. It's pelt brown as the earth, the mane green as grass, and it's antlers magnificent as the mountains themselves. One would think such creature is perfect, but it wasn't. As it started walking out to the plains, it revealed an injured leg, which made it's walking slow and clumsy.
It carefully approached a lake in the middle of a plain, where a doe revealed itself, almost as amazing as the stag. The doe was reddish coloured, like shining copper, it's eyes deep green, as the sea. It ran to the stag happily, but suddely, a wolf stepped in between them. A huge, black wolf, with scars all over it's body, growling at the stag, as if it was protecting the doe, looking at it as it's posession. But it was no ordinary wolf... it hissed, like a serpent. Soon other wolves approached, closing a circle around the stag, which stood there helplessly.
All the wolves were different in colours, shape and behaviour... one was pure white, with yellow eyes, seeming friendly, but was the first trying to attack the stag. Another one was brown, and rather larger than the others, growling loudly, stepping closer to the stag as if trying to aid it, but then backing off in attacking position once again. The one beside it was black, with crimson markings, hissing, just like the first one... it was the scariest of them all, it's claws drawing blood on the pure ground.
The last wolf was probably the most interesting. It had three heads, all of those growling differently, but their body moved together with all the heads. The colour of it was similar to the stag's, but a bit mroe different and unique.
As the wolves surrounded the stag, which cried helplessly, it started raining again. The doe tried to leap over the black one, which bit it, greenish venom flowing from it's fangs, and the wound.
The stag charged towards the black wolf, but juts as he moved, all the wolves jumped at it, wounding it wherever they could. The creature cried out, as the rain became heavier, a loud growl being heard from the distance. All the wolves looked towards the growling, which gave the stag a chance to get up, though it was very weak.
The raindrops ran down it's mane, blood staining the previously beautiful, clean grass.
The stag looked up towards the sky, it's eyes turning white, along with his body. By the time the wolves looked back, the stag was gone, an enourmus white bear standing in it's place. The bear was just as magnificent as the stag, three stripes running across it's muzzle. It didn't roar, but look around the wolves, rising above them.
The wolves ran away, except for one, the first one that attack the doe... the black, hissing one. It leaped to attack the bear, which just stood there with confidence in it's eyes... he was not the weak stag anymore.
Aksel startled, his eyes returning to their original, greenish yellow colour. He looked around himself, seeing nothing but the land soaking the rain in greedily. He looked up towards the sky once again, and saw the shine of the moon.
It was getting late, but that didn't stop him from enjoying his time. Besides, it was exactly thirty winters time he first came to be. Though he only felt truly born about fifteen winters ago... when he was thrown to wolves and was saved by a bear.
History repeats itselfs, eh, old friend? You saved me once... and now it's time for you to save me again. Though be careful... the wolves got stronger.
Galopping was heard outside the Fearghal an Dun gates. The Chieftain walked in on his horse, getting off with ease, handing the reins to the small stable boy, who took them eagerly, patting the horse.
- Welcome back, Triath. - one of the guards nodded.
Aksel nodded without a word, smiling faintly at the man, who was at least two times his size. He walked towards his house, when a young girl stopped him.
- Congratulations on your wedding, Triath! - she smiled brightly.
- Thank you lass. - he smiled warmly.
- You're very lucky... she's very pretty!
- Aye, she is. I'm the happiest man on this world now that we can finally be happy together.
- Why didn't you marry her earlier? - she asked, sitting down on a rock near them.
- I would've married her the day we met if i had the chance. - the young shaman chuckled, sitting beside the girl - Too many things were between us so far for it to be possible.
- Like what?
- War? Is that enough to separate two people who love each other? - she pouted. She was still too little to understand.
- It is, when you're a Chieftain. It would've been much easier if i carried on with my life as being a simple shaman, nothing more. Don't get me wrong, leading a clan is a great honour, but can also kill a person.
- Kill a person??
- Aye... the kind hearted shaman i once was is gone. - Aksel sighed, looking into the distance.
- Why? Can't you be a Chieftain and a kind shaman at the same time?
- Nay. As a Triath, i have to make decisions, horrible decisions, that i would never get into normally. I have to decide of lives, future... the complete opposite of what i'd usually do. And i fear this will drive my wife to be away.
- Noo! - she raised her voice, but blushed instanly as she noticed, lowering her voice back - If she loves you, she will love you even if you make horrible decisions!
- You think so? - he smiled at the girl - I wish it was that simple.
- Why did you become leader then if you don't want to be?
- Because Oculus wanted me to. This is the least i can do after all he did for me.
- But.. if you're not happy being the Chieftain, then why? You should do what makes you happy!
- It's not that simple lass.
- Yes it is! Let someone else lead us... like Einsof!
- That would be chaos. - he chuckled - But i am considering it. I miss being a shaman, following orders, instead of giving them.
- Tell them then! Bring lady Silvara home, and live here with her as a shaman! - she smiled widely.
The Chieftain sighed, smiling warmly at the child. She amazed him. The innocence, and the simpleness of the child was something he always loved. He looked up at the sky, remembering when it was all as simple as the girl said... he did what he wanted to do, not what he was expected to do. Thoughts ran through his mind about Silvara, as she feared of him becoming a leader.
- Just a thought... bye! - the girl jumped up, and walked away, smiling sweetly at the man, who didn't even notice her leave.
What if she doesn't want to marry a Chieftain? I can't put her to a life like this... she deserves a peaceful, happy life, not one filled with war and death.
- Triath? - a guard suddenly interupted his thoughts.
- Aye? - the shaman startled, looking at the guard with a worried look.
- The meeting is starting soon... would you like me to let the others now?
Aksel nodded, as the guard rushed away.
What if i went back to being a shaman... so i can be happy once again...
Wonderful. You are just my favorite enemy up north.
"My'lady Silvara" Zackita mocked her. "How would you like your husbands pie to be today, m'lady?" Zackita courtesied and tripped out to the kitchen. "The velvet dress looks nice on you m'lady" Zackita watched how Silvaras expression got more angry for every time. "I found the nails, I can put the mallet of yours up over the fireplace m'lady, and make a sign of you crushing the Stygian general with it m'lady. So they don't believe it is just for show m'lady" She ran out the back door laughing, with Silvara after her waving the two handed mallet.
Akslevee it has gone to her head. Make Ferron the new Triat. I vote for Ferron.
Last edited by Zackita; 15th December 2009 at 15:33..