Fimbulvetr

Ren

Character OTS

OTS 1
OTS 2

Björn & Lirr

Couple OTS


Open Towers and Shadows

#1

It hadn’t been an exaggeration when Tywin admitted the journey home was long. They emerged from the Bifrost just after noon, judging by the sun’s high throne and the shadows lingering just below them. The Jarl eyed the shadows as they emerged from the mouth of the Bifrost. There was no tarry in his step as he traipsed the plaited bridge of root and stone. While smaller roots hung limply below it, clinging to what chunks of earth or rock they ensnarled in their ancient grasp, that fragility didn’t bleed into the passage and it held firm and strong beneath the weight of all three of them.

Before them, clouds clung to the high peaks of periwinkle mountains and the forests were ablaze with autumnal colors. Birdsong from the last of the local fowl chirped and thrummed through the trees as their journey continued, the sun warming what warmth the subterranean tunnels had leeched from them. Ever the gracious host, Tywin answered any questions or comments with his present knowledge of the continent with polished words but also genuine cordiality. It was only after their weary legs had carried them passed the Slidr River Lake – dazzling in the dusk light as the bruised sky reflected off of its surface – that the Arrhulan Jarl finally confessed they would make rest at the Tryggr border.

He hadn’t pushed the pace – hadn’t known the capabilities of his traveling companions, even relenting to allow them to set it from time to time to see how it adjusted their expected arrival. But as the temperatures dropped, the first icy claws of Vintr slipping down their backs in chilling seduction, they reached the very edges of Blar Stream. It was supple with the Spring waters, but Summer had taken its toll. The river shoreline had receded several feet – evident by debris left at the edge, leaving a path decorated in silver moonlight through the dense pine forest beyond. Tywin almost felt a surge of energy as he crossed that invisible border, the frogs of his hooves sore against the stone and pleading for reprieve. He stopped only after he ensured that they were well within the territory and therefore out of harms way – lest someone test the wrath of the sovereign.

“Welcome to the west, home of House Tryggr.” He proclaimed, hooves striking the river rocks as he came to a halt. “It would be best to rest here – the grounds are treacherous on a good day, I wouldn’t want to risk the footing in the dark, unless you would both like to press on.” Plus, it had become increasingly apparent the lack of his second eye had hindered his once keen eyesight. The shadows that stretched beneath the fir trees were jagged but somehow reassuring: they stood watch so that no one would come at them with ill intention, or any of Tryggr for that matter. The babble of Blar was a soothing melody as the steely midnight clouds breezed quickly by on the chilled zephyrs, tugging at the thick cloud and mist coverage of the one lonely mountain that rose from the forests before them. Even in the dim twilight it was a blackened silhouette, commanding and dominant across all it stood above. Tywin bobbed his muzzle towards it as a wind played with the inky threads of his forelock. “That is the lonely mountain, atop it Berg-Risi sits, and the sovereign king.”

With a flick of his banner, the thick locks toiling over one another but not scratching the ground, Tywin tossed his startlingly bright cerulean eye to his companions, allowing them to decide.


TAG: Ezariel & Alayaya
WC: 601
MUSE: 4/5
VOICE: Mads Mikkelsen
OOC: Sorry for the delay! I figured it would be fun to thread some of the journey rather than plop them immediately into Arrhule, hope you don't mind! <3

Image: magtox
Table and Coding: Raven


"SPEECH GOES HERE"
powerplay allowed
within reasonable limits!

Tag: @[Tywin]

#2
       

Ezariel & a l a y a y a

The conversation had been surprisingly easy, and comfortable. Ezariel and Tywin shared a knowledge of communicating what was important in words that seemed inconsequential. It was the language of ancient, dynastic houses and like all second languages when it was not learnt from the cradle it was always apparent. The specific choice of words, phrases, or silences that patterned meaning into what might otherwise be pleasantries. Its use, of course, did not need to be continuous – in fact, without occasional directness it would come to seem that all words were masks, and diminish the power of its simple mystery. It had been a long time since Ezariel had had anyone to share this native language with. Often, the speakers were so fluent that they themselves were unaware – it was in point of fact their only language; this was typical of old, curated monarchies where little princes and princesses spoke only to well-practiced courtiers, teachers, and their own kin. Those who had lived lives of more diverse reckoning were more likely to recognize it, for most people could not read the subtle intent and it required adaptation to communicate with the unenlightened.

Ezariel enjoyed the opportunity to say without saying, and hear the unspoken meanings; finding the right wording for a question; getting close enough to the right question without asking it to learn something subtler than geography and objective fact. Not that they spoke about anything terribly consequential – after all, the Jarl would be unlikely to indulge his curiosity on those things that were truly worth knowing and Ezariel was now invested enough to know that the future would be full of consequential conversations. It was refreshing, nonetheless, to find that months of talking to Alayaya alone had not dulled his language.

It was a long day; he and the filly had already been walking for some time before they entered the Bifrost but they had become accustomed to long days. The pressing season had inclined him to set an aggressive pace for some weeks now. The filly often flagged before they reached their destination, but was never without that brimming energy the following morning. Her people were nomadic themselves, built with perseverance for long roving days and nights of thirst out in an unpredictable wasteland of sand and sun. Ezariel wondered what impact the Jarl's earlier blood-loss might have on his endurance, but he showed no outward signs of flagging all day. It was still a curious thing - once out of the Bifrost there was plenty of light to reveal a lack of any appreciable wound (apart from the eye, of course). Something else, perhaps, that would be revealed in time.

Alayaya was fascinated as they crossed the terrain of Fimbulvetr; evergreen forests set along and within the looming white-capped teeth of the mountains as a backdrop of unfamiliar natural glory. She was effervescent in the afternoon sun, jewel-bright, her skin tone in almost crass juxtaposition to the autumnal hue of the alpine setting; rich dark greens, brooding purples, and the deep pink of the sun as it angled into the sky at day’s end. She couldn’t help but disturb the placid surface of Slidr Lake. The impish impulse of children to disturb what is resting proved irresistible, and she skipped through the shallow water and its muddy bottom with an unrestrained glee that was all but impossible not to feel in the air.

Her fascination staved off fatigue for longer than Ezariel would have expected. He had taken the opportunity that Tywin left to him to set a pace that he knew the filly could manage. She stopped occasionally to investigate a plant, or a stone, or whatever in her imagination animated these things – but Ezariel never slackened his gait alongside Tywin’s for these intermittent interruptions, and she could always be found a few moments later loping alongside them with a question about this rock’s name or that mountain’s inhabitants (and whether any of them were dragons, was a particular favourite today) directed at their guide. Or streaking ahead, pointing them at the newest feature on the horizon. The day wore on, and with it the chill of approaching night was more and more noticeable. By the time they came to the stream Alayaya’s last question had been an hour or more ago, and she kept pace but with an increasingly dragging step at Ezariel’s hock.

Ezariel followed Tywin across the stream. Alayaya hesitated on the edge as the cold water touched her feet, then charged across in a flurry of action – getting much more wet than she need have.

Tywin’s direction drew their attention, as it had all day, to the mountain striking up to the sky before them. Black against the inky navy of evolving night, featureless, except in silhouette. Ezariel contemplated it, the gray of his iris deepened in the falling dark, unsettled but determined nevertheless. ”Makes quite an impression”. Alayaya’s face scrunched in childish displeasure “Berg-Risi is a silly name.” Ezariel chuckled, ”It is a little on-the-nose, I’ll give you that. That usually means it is a very old name.”

Suddenly something was wrong, even Alayaya perceived the disturbance, ears flickering trying to find a soundless noise, and that languid exhaustion swapped for the tension of impending flight. Then the ground shook. Ezariel moved – clumsily as the tremor changed the purchase under his feet – closer to the filly. The bay’s eyes cast around in a quick inventory of danger. They were in the open; out of the reach of trees or stray limbs, far enough from the mountain itself to be spared falling debris.  The ground was not opening beneath them. It lasted maybe half a minute, certainly no more. It seemed to originate from somewhere behind them, out in the valley.

It faded as quickly as it had arisen, and there was simply the babble of the water behind them, and the soft whistle of the wind through distant rocks. They were all still a few moments longer, suddenly untrusting of the stability of nature, waiting for the other shoe to fall. Ezariel shook his head, letting out a quick breath, his gray eyes finding the cerulean one again. “I think you are right, it will certainly be a safer trek in the morning.” The sun had set fully, and lingered only in the ombre blues of the early night sky, stars in the east were already trying to make themselves seen. Alayaya’s gold was softened in the dark, less jewel-bright and more phosphorescent. The sky blue of her own eyes gently juxtaposed. She too looked up, full of apprehension, into Tywin’s steady cerulean gaze and despite her stature, even in subdued timidity she demanded attention. Her voice hushed by the sincerity of her concern;  ”Did I make it angry?”

 
power-play allowed, with all reasonableness
Tag: @[Ezariel]

#3

Although the jarl wasn’t one to loose laughter, he did toss a startingly bright – both comparably in hue to his darker pelt and with evident entertainment – glance over his shoulder as the golden filly declared the throne’s moniker as ‘silly’. That fraction of a smile had returned despite the evident fatigue that clung to the eldritch male. Rather than holding himself erect, composed, and tall there was just enough slack in the back to showcase the need for relaxation. Even an occasional cock of a hip to relieve pressure from tired frogs as the riverbed was less than comfortable or convenient. Tywin murmured a generic agreement to Ezariel’s claim of old names being rather on point, but his silvery tone fell quiet to an oncoming rumble.

Alayaya may have been the first to truly notice, but the details were lost on the Arrhulan leader. At the first tremor, Tywin considered perhaps Brekka had shifted again, but as it prolonged and strengthened, the instinctual flags that spoke silently to their host started to rise. Atop his crownless dial his obsidian harks shifted, listening, attempting to detect which direction that the tremor originated from. All their hooves clacked on the stone as they adjusted and readjusted their footing alongside the now gurgling stream. Tywin kept his hooves planted deep into the rocks and into the rising pitches of the ground for as long as his strength allowed, until finally his visage snapped back into the void of night behind them and towards the central terras of Slidr.

His single optic slit, wordlessly confirming both his suspicious and previous statements: the Valley was both beautiful and deadly. Through the intensity of his focus the Jarl could have missed the bay’s turn, but blue snapped to grey and his muzzle lowered to a more natural level despite the displeasure in turning away from whatever source had caused such a monumental shudder. His earlier query received it’s final answer, and for it Tywin couldn’t help but hold his companion’s stare. They were foreigners here and while they had been prefaced to Tryggr’s unforgiving purchase were they aware that what had just occurred was not what he had cautioned them against?

But he offered a curt nod, his ichor tresses bobbing alongside his chiseled face in further declaration. “Yes,” he mused, finally sparing a glance to the child at Ezariel’s side. “One can never be too careful.” And while Tywin pricked along the stream, eyeing the tree-line for a safe location to bed down and keep the smallest of them hidden in the off chance of predators, he could not help but feel a tightening grip inside him. It was like a string drawn through his body was slowly spooled, increasing the tension in increasing degrees until he thought very well he may snap asunder
What had happened to Arrhule?

Sharply Tywin turned from his inspections, confident that Ezariel had the necessary skills to spy something that would be suitable for all of them. From the skies a raven cried, a flurry of wings falling from the quiet as if magic had spontaneously created the avian. Moonlight winked along it’s beady eyes, but also a third at the center of it’s round skull – larger, wiser than the rest. The raven cried again, it’s croak echoing through the silence, as it landed upon a pile of rock and stone not far from Tywin. The Jarl didn’t spare his companions a glance, but educated them while holding the stare of the raven. “One of the Valley’s tricks – these ravens always appear to those who have a message to send.” Slate hooves carried him closer, to the void-like bird as it’s starlight gaze burrowed into Tywin unafraid and unyielding.

“I request an update on the state of Arrhule – both structurally, of the citizens, and of any other notable facts. Fly to the guards, deliver the message to the captain.” There was no need to request the return flight – whatever occult powers that weaved through these raven’s seemed to make them omnipotent. It would return as swiftly as it was able with the answers he required. Without any form of visible or audible confirmation, the raven took flight, riding the winds deeper into the western kingdom until the blackness of night absorbed its silhouette.

Several back steps transformed into a pivot as Tywin returned to the duo, tossing his singular vision towards the filly first, for he had neglected to answer her immediately. “You never know. The Valley, like the Bifrost, is alive in its own way.” He held that demanding stare of hers until content to look away, where he shifted his gaze but not his posture towards the guardian. "Though Berg-Risi is difficult to anger, I do not believe you provoked it." He offered to the child, a carefully constructed message meant for the bay. That tremor was highly unusual. “It will be best to leave as soon as dawn arrives.”



TAG: Ezariel & Alayaya
WC: 801
MUSE: 4/5
VOICE: Mads Mikkelsen
OOC: Sorry for the delay! I figured it would be fun to thread some of the journey rather than plop them immediately into Arrhule, hope you don't mind! <3

Image: magtox
Table and Coding: Raven


"SPEECH GOES HERE"
powerplay allowed
within reasonable limits!

Tag: @[Tywin]