Unholy ground
Maea Valair
Farmer

Age: 24 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Chan Offline
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Posts: 273
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#1
Maea
The kind of flawless they think I should be
Maea separated herself from the press of bodies and talk of Outlanders, Naturals, gods and who had the right to do what. She, Abandoned and weak in every sense of the world, had no right to anything, except perhaps her own meager existance, and so she removed herself from the discussion to explore.

It still felt wrong to be here. The Spire was taboo, a place you did not go to or talk about, something you avoided looking at and did your best to ignore. To have it so close, looming over her and casting a cold shadow for miles across the barren ground was terrifying. The surface was so smooth, it seemed impossible that anything as perfect as this could be made by mortal hands... But maybe it was fashioned by the gods? That would make more sense. Only perfect beings should be able to make something perfect, after all.

Inching closer to the dark structure, her feet scuffed up a cloud of dust with each step. Already had it seeped into her shoes to settle like fine powder between her toes, and she could taste the grit between her teeth with every breath. It was so dead here... even with the murmur of voices just a stones throw away. No grass, no birds, no insects... even the ground felt dead beneath her feet.

How odd.

Curious despite herself, Maea raised a hand towards the shiny surface of the Spire. What would it feel like to touch it... hot, or cold? Or maybe like the embrace of Ludo; everything and nothing at the same time?
The kind of flawless I wish I could be

Are Jormsson
Cobbler / Leatherworker

Age: 23 | Height: 6'4" (193cm) | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Wiggen Offline
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Posts: 301
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#2


Are
He detached from the throng, following the figure that had caught his eye but a moment before. Seemingly a dove among ravens, jackdaws and magpies, to Are suspiciously ill-fitting yet somehow made perfect sense in light of the past couple days of chaos. He found himself staring in awe, the stark contrast of meek white approaching ominous black rising out of the land a sword stuck in a defeated foe. A broken femur poking out of flesh slowly wasting away with the corpse of a bygone era.

Silence enveloped him as he, not by his own mind, closed the distance. Mesmerized by the perfect darkness of the structure. A chill sharp as breaking glass shot up his spine, rousing Are from the waking dream with a harsh reminder that he was the antithesis to what laid before them. Perfect death against flawed life.

"The gates are wide open, for those who dare leave..." he said, voice and gaze distant, as if in trance still. Are shuddered a second time and blinked, awake by the virtue of the feeling of impending doom that came as he got closer to the spire. "I mean... Heill..." he said, stumbling as if the language had suddenly left his mind when he realized how close to both the spire and the pale stranger he had gotten.
Force and magic use OK.
Maea Valair
Farmer

Age: 24 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 273
MP:
#3
Maea
The kind of flawless they think I should be
The comment from a voice so close startled the girl enough that she jumped. Pale fingers fell down without ever reaching the smooth darkness of the Spire - a good thing, probably - and she turned, to find Are staring up at the immense construct. Considering how he might view it, she followed his gaze, sought to spy the top of the building but found it hidden from view at this angle... She shook her head.

"No. Not yet. The Demon guarding this place might be dead, but the barrier still stand. And now Rory's mob stand between the Spire and anyone who might wish to enter."

A faulty safeguard, too little and too late. Ut would not be able to hold anyone back in the long run, because in the end they were only human. They needed to eat, and sleep, and tend to their farms... eventually some would leave, and then some would become most of them, until only a handful remained.

Fools. Yet she couldn't fault them for this, because she too bad stood there, blocking the way and discussing what to do. No one had been able to answer her questions, and it made her anxious.

Would she have to do something herself?

"Tell me, master cobbler. What was your world like? Was it much different from this place?" Gazing at him with colorless eyes, Maea regarded him quietly. A stranger, an Outlander... but there before her all the same. How did her world appear to his eyes? Was it... truly dying?

The kind of flawless I wish I could be

Are Jormsson
Cobbler / Leatherworker

Age: 23 | Height: 6'4" (193cm) | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Wiggen Offline
Change author:
Posts: 301
MP:
#4


Are
Conflicting emotions washed over Are as he chased the words to dress his feelings, like waves over the spring ice on the great lake. The first break of spring that cracks what little remains of another harsh winter, the feeling of joy at the warming sun and the smell of the frost releasing its grasp on the land. A world long lost to a place between worlds. Ginnungagap had claimed its pound of flesh, carved from the mind of the cobbler as he was allowed passage as unscathed as a mortal passed to Hel could ever hope to be. Memories of a home as distant as the place itself. Faded they seemed, but the people as vivid as he'd met them just the day before.

He smiled like he used to. Bordering on sad, as the worries tugged at the corner of his eyes. Melancholy though, not the same aching that cut deeper yet he felt for the heart he left behind. "My home, yes. It is, was?" he said and paused, the word tugged at the hooks still sunk deep in his soul. Reconciling with the new order of things wouldn't come easy, maybe never. "It was beautiful, no words could do it justice." he finally said, settling on the simple fact that nothing he could ever muster would describe Midgård just like it was. Not one to tarnish the memories he had he instead turned his eyes to what laid around them.

A cynic would call the world a ruin of something once great. The people clinging too it maggots writhing in the flesh of a corpse long since passed. Somewhere deep inside the cobblers mind the likeness was striking, it was Niflheim after all, a land of death and cold. But there was more to it than he had thought at first, a broken land maybe, but inhabited by folks hardy and kind in equal measure.

"This though..." he said, motioning to the grayish hills and faded skies. "Dead at first glance, but from death life will sprout. I don't see ruins, I see foundations."
Force and magic use OK.
Maea Valair
Farmer

Age: 24 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 273
MP:
#5
Maea
The kind of flawless they think I should be
Though he was not skilled with words, and protested her implications that his home was now a thing of the past - dead, or might as well be for all that he could not return - he did offer a different take on the situation. One that had Maea cock her head with interest, and look around again with fresh eyes.

Yes, it looked dead. This area was, too, in some fundamental way she did not fully understand. But in the distance, far off towards the horizon, there was still green. Where the wasteland and the Outskirts met, in a fertile circle that had yet to succumb to the wear of time and powers beyond imagining. Not dead... Not yet. It was true that they had been ground down, weathered and stripped to the barest bone of a region. Plants, animals, humans and gods alike. The excess vad been removed, discarded as unnecessary in a harsh world... and what remained was strong.

A foundation? That was a very positive way of seeing it, and Maea instinctively latched on to it. Like a drowning reached for anything that reminded of hope.

"I like the way you think" she smiled, and stepped away from the Spire, out of its shadow and into the light. It was bright, stinging her sensitive eyes but the warmth provided by the sunlight made up för the discomfort.

"What would you build on foundations like that, if you could dream? I've been thinking lately that we need to change the way things are done here... but I don't know how. Not in the practical sense that go beyond naming a leader. How did villages work in your homeland?"

The kind of flawless I wish I could be

Are Jormsson
Cobbler / Leatherworker

Age: 23 | Height: 6'4" (193cm) | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Wiggen Offline
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Posts: 301
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#6


Are
Walking with her, Are felt relief when they left the shadow of the colossus watching over the lands. As if he'd been holding his breath the entire time, he took a handful of deep breaths. The cool air not entirely unfamiliar too him. As his faculties all fired up again, reinvigorated by the warming light and words, he grabbed his chin between a thumb and index finger and pondered what the inquisitive natural had asked.

Neither a builder or a leader, not that he'd tried any vocation beyond cobbler and tanner, Are scratched at the stubble on his cheek and grumbled to himself. "I am a simple man, warm food, warm bed, warm company and honest work is all it takes to keep me satisfied. " Are said with caution, feeling as if he was walking into a some trap. "Upon the land I would build a place where all could prosper." he finally relented, no answer would please him for the moment, so he settled for the least specific he could think of.

"Work? Well, we all did what had to be done, those that didn't took care of themselves. Now I am no king, so my advice is best taken with a grain of salt, but I am a craftsman and let me tell you the lack of unity is odd." he said, voice growing steadier as he approached well known ground. "There are few skilled, unfortunately, but a guild would unite us. Keep us on the same page and prevent shoddy craftsmanship. Sharing knowledge, tools and materials would help everyone, not a single person would go unshod."
Force and magic use OK.
Maea Valair
Farmer

Age: 24 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 273
MP:
#7
Maea
The kind of flawless they think I should be
Nodding quietly while she listened, Maea struggled to wrap her head around his turn of phrase at times. His way of speaking was different, är though his tongue was used to a different way of forming the words, another language and pace very foreign to the speech she was used to. But though it was more of a challenge, Are did get his point across and Maea frowned into the distance, thinking as they meandered over the region so long forbidden to their kind.

"I think there are more skilled crafters here than it seems. We're... very isolated, you know. I don't know how much you've learned of this place yet, but the barrier that surrounds the Spire has been in place for three centuries now. No one leaves, and the only ones who ever entered was the occasional Outlander. Influence from the outside has been minimal, and trade is reduced to neighbors borrowing from each other."

Pushing a stray lock of ivory hair behind an ear, she tried to imagine a system larger than this, more complex... but imagination failed her, and all the saw was more of the same ruins, the same people shifting the same wares. Though logic and history taught her there ought to be more, Maea had never experienced it, and could not wrap her head around it.

"Because everyone needs to look after themselves, many skills are passed on rudimentarily to everyone. Some specialize of course, but out on the farms you have to be a farmer and a hunter, a builder and thatcher, weaver, sower and tailor all at once. Otherwise you won't get by. So the people have grown independent, stubborn and unyielding. And the result..."

She gestured with some exasperation towards the people gathered around the tower, too distant to make out any individuals but not far enough that the general pig-headed mood could be missed.

"When someone tries to force their hand, this happens. All it took was someone acting in their name without consulting them... and now it would take weapons and violence, or some magic of the gods to move them."

It was maddening, frustrating, because what she wanted to do was just as much forcing their hand as the attack on the demon.

The kind of flawless I wish I could be

Are Jormsson
Cobbler / Leatherworker

Age: 23 | Height: 6'4" (193cm) | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Wiggen Offline
Change author:
Posts: 301
MP:
#8


Are
Are nodded and tried interjecting, but let Maea finish down the path she had set out on. Very well aware how hard the muse was to come by and to not kill what had barely been born. He admired the way she weaved the words, the passion behind what the frail looking woman was saying. A lifetime in the harsh land that was Caido sure had it's effect on people, but to Are there was more to it than pure stubbornness. A special kind of tough determination that would take one to Vinland and back in two seasons, and alive at that.

Cooperation was necessary, that much the cobbler knew. Weather it was a handful of craftsmen exchanging materials, services and expertise or a whole people pushing towards a common goal, it was needed on a base level he understood was not there. Yet the people where good. They where kind to those in need because they knew what it meant to be on the receiving end, paying forward for the day they ended up in the very same spot. Needing.

The seed of an idea germinated within Are. Nurtured by the talk of dispersed talent and wasted effort, the mist in his head took the shape of a hall. One where those of the trades where free to practice and share, but also one that cared for and helped journeymen and masters alike. Are wetted his lips and sucked on his teeth for a brief moment, but leaving the unformed guild be for now.

"Looking out for another would take the burden off already burdened shoulders. Allow for freedom, and work." he mumbled, more to himself than to Maea. "They need a voice, farmer and craftsman alike. You speak like that voice, someone with an idea. Tell me, what would you have them do?"
Force and magic use OK.
Maea Valair
Farmer

Age: 24 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 273
MP:
#9
Maea
The kind of flawless they think I should be
That surprised, enough to stop and look up at the tall, kindly face of the Outlander. So different to herself, yet so similar. Tall and small, New and Old, yet living and breathing and thinking together on how to better themselves. What did it matter where they came from?

A voice... was she though? Could she speak clearly enough for everyone to hear? Could she rally and inspire like Rory had, to make individuals become a crowd that became a single entity?

"Well... talk to one another, for one. Share what they know and who they are, and leave a little room in their hearts for the plight of others. And... and then..."

Ger gaze softened as it got lost somewhere in the distance, seeing not the desolate expanse of wasted land but a ghostly dream of possibility.

"If they could come to an understanding, maybe some of what was lost could be rebuilt. Ruins restored, houses expanded. A whole new building for the infirmary, and a garden to grow all the plants they might need. A school, for those who would learn to care for others and who seek knowledge for it's own sake. Safety... from the monsters of the Long Night and the unknown beyond the barrier. Time for play, and laughter and..."

Maea blushed at hearing herself, the lofty nonsense she spewed like it could ever become reality. For any of that to happen there would have to be a surplus of food, of people to grow the food, of material and heads to think and dream of more than tomorrow.

"I would need the barrier to fall" she amended soberly. "And my gods don't wish for that to happen. Would that it could... but..."

It was a complicated matter. Difficult to choose between what her heart desired and what her eyes could see was needed. Was it even her choice to make?

The kind of flawless I wish I could be

Are Jormsson
Cobbler / Leatherworker

Age: 23 | Height: 6'4" (193cm) | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Wiggen Offline
Change author:
Posts: 301
MP:
#10


Are
People talk all the time, they need to listen first. he interposed acerbically, muttering through gritted teeth at memories of drawn out guild meetings. Through them he had came to despise people who loved to hear their own voice, never did they listen only waiting for their turn to speak.

Are heeded his own advice finally, allowing Maea's voice to trail away, leaving the statement hanging like the last tread on the loom. A fine tapestry waiting to be tied off and hung for all to admire. "Gods help those who help themselves." he remarked and crossed his arms over his chest and puffed up. "A man asks not for the war to be over but for the strength to see it through. Never figured it out. Kristinn myk..." the last words he spat on the ground as if the mere taste of them invoked bitter hate.

Suddenly aware of his sulfurous jab he blushed and averted his eyes. Choosing a very interesting speck of dust to study intently while mumbling apologies in his harsh tongue before picking up the dropped thread again. "No, to prosper it must fall, there are things out there that needs finding." he stated, voice thick with intent and a name at the tip of his tongue. If only he could utter it again.
Force and magic use OK.
Maea Valair
Farmer

Age: 24 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 273
MP:
#11
Maea
The kind of flawless they think I should be
"Maybe the gods are like that where you come from, but here they usually take a more active part in our lives."

Usually, unless you were of the blood and carried that spark in your soul which invited miracles. Then they wouldn't touch you with pliers, lest the poor human began to think themself favored and special. But even as she thought it, Maea found that she did not feel the same bitterness in her heart as she usually did. Black rags had wrapped around her heart in a soothing cocoon that eased her loneliness, disproving all the voices that said abandoned equalled unloved.

Perhaps the gods favored her kin less, because they truly had less need of protection? Because they were favored in other ways? Or was that just the hubris whispering in her ear again.

But it was something to consider. Others had asked for guidance and received it, asked about the Spire and the barrier and been answered. They were not to let the Voice escape, but neither Ludo nor Safrin had forbidden entry into the tower, not that Maea had heard. Did that mean they would leave the matter for the humans to decide?

The bit her lip and returned her gaze to the Spire, indecisive.

The kind of flawless I wish I could be

Are Jormsson
Cobbler / Leatherworker

Age: 23 | Height: 6'4" (193cm) | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Wiggen Offline
Change author:
Posts: 301
MP:
#12


Are
Again, her words surprised him. An underlying current of meaning to them, something so obvious to those of the land but which to Are barely felt real. Gods meddling in the affairs of mortals more than to avert their wrath in good times and rarely bless them in better. He was conflicted by what Maea laid upon his mind, the mere thought of gods poking in the small lives of men made him uneasy.

Yet he knew many tales of higher beings guiding and using those beneath them. The skalds had sung many poems of it, none of them ended well for those poor souls dumb enough to be outwitted by the schemes of Loke and his like.

Tricked, that was the exact word that sprung to mind. The uneasy feeling refused to let up, in fact, it only grew stronger as he pondered the meaning of it all. A world where gods steered mortals like pawns in some grand game of theirs. Are had the exact word for it, but dared not even think it as it might one day be him under the thumb of a god.

No, they wouldn't. What could a simple cobbler ever do?

He saw Maea in a new light, not a trace of doubt to be found. Stating things she'd seemingly always known, teaching a fool the lay of the land. "Why would they? What could they stand to gain? An honorless cobbler, why would the gods meddle with my simple life beyond making sure the sun rises and the rain comes?"
Force and magic use OK.
Maea Valair
Farmer

Age: 24 | Height: 156 cm / 5'1 ft | Race: Abandoned | Nationality: Natural
Level: 3 - Strg: 13 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 18 - Luck: 8
Played by: Chan Offline
Change author:
Posts: 273
MP:
#13
Maea
The kind of flawless they think I should be
The question pulled her from her musings, made her turn back to the man with cocked head, lips pursing as she considered the question. It was broad, and difficult - she was no god and could not speak for them, only speculate - and the easiest way was really to start from the beginning.

A long story, and not one she wanted to deliver standing. Finding neither rocks nor logs to use as perch, the girl simply sat down on the ground and gestured for Are to join her.

"Sit. It's not a simple question to answer, but I will try."

She pulled the ragged black fabric from her neck and draped it over her head, letting it serve as a veil to protect the sensitive skin from the sunlight and the chill of the wind. Pale and strange, with eyes that gazed off into the distance, she looked more than ever like a ghost gone astray, a spirit rather than a woman.

"I don't know how much you have been told about the gods or the history of this world. Bear with me if I repeat things you already know.

Caido created this world, and it was named after its Creator. With the world was also born three gods. Vi, Rae and Mort. Life, Nature and Death. They in turn gave life to the first race, and the people was known as the Accepted, for they were loved by all the gods. But Rae added something more to some of them, a deeper connection with nature; they became the Attuned, and they too were loved. Then, something unforeseen happened. Some of the people awakened to other powers, strange and powerful magic; they were called Acquired, and for a while they too were loved, and all was good.

But Caido withdrew from the world, and small differences began to chafe at the gods beloved people. The Acquired gathered more power and more knowledge and began to challenge the reign of the gods. They began to take that moniker onto themselves, called themselves the New Gods and waged war that spread all over Caido.

This barrier, this Spire was made to contain The Voice, one of the New Gods and her creations, humans she has altered and 'improved'. They are Ascended, hardly human any longer..."


She recalled with a shudder the moment in the Atheneum, where her vision har cleared for an instant, and realized that neither of her companions were breathing.

"Now, why would the gods meddle with us? In essence, we are their children. Like loving parents they aid us, guide us, and correct us when we make mistakes. We can pray to them, and if they are willing they will hear us and come. Some are more likely to be favored.... those who were known as Acquired are not so anymore. Their hubris in the past made the gods turn from them, and thus we-they are now branded as Abandoned. Forsaken..."

Pale fingers tightened around the edges of the rags, holding on as though the wind might carry it off and unmake the small sliver of hope she had been given.
The kind of flawless I wish I could be

Are Jormsson
Cobbler / Leatherworker

Age: 23 | Height: 6'4" (193cm) | Race: Accepted | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 3 - Strg: 20 - Dext: 12 - Endr: 20 - Luck: 6
Played by: Wiggen Offline
Change author:
Posts: 301
MP:
#14


Are
Sitting down was more than pertinent in hind sight. The sheer amount of information that poured from mouth of the woman had Are just silently nodding as the pieces moved into place, giving the whole world a little more color than before. Just enough for the cobbler to realize how out of his element he truly was. Spell-bound, Are sat squatted down opposite Maea and tried his damnedest to not dismiss it all as the ramblings of someone long since dead. The more she said the harder it was to fit it all into the neat little picture he had created for himself, assumptions crumbling like ancient daub as more and more knowledge washed over the little dam of ignorance he'd erected.

He truly felt like a child, alone in an unknown world filled to the brim with things he didn't understand. Things he didn't accept like he had with the world before. Somehow it all felt more real, as if Midgård had been nothing but a feverish dream and Caido was the waking realization the world was not what he once thought.

Are chewed on the inside of his cheek. Rolling the ragged, soft tissue between his teeth and pinching it in hopes he'd awaken again. As a canine sent a warm, iron tasting trickle filling his mouth he let the bad habit rest for the moment. He sighed and spat crimson over his shoulder, as much in scorn of his own dimwittedness as the taste his bad habit had left in his mouth.

"It's a lot." he stated, finally breaking the silence that had taken his tongue for almost a full minute. "Far more than I could ever understand. Still, I want more. So tell me, what am I in this whole thing? I know that to myself I'm a simple cobbler holding on for dear life, but it seems there is more to it. That could just be my imagination though, I once thought I would be a hero."
Force and magic use OK.


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