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Asgard: An Epilogue

Type of Missve: View From Valehaven Posting
Date: October 29, 1019
Responses: N/A
((OOC: By Jason Rosa, originally published in the View from Valehaven))

The war between the Jomsvikings and the forces of Jarl Thorafin reached its dramatic apex, with Urlic’s forces finding themselves at last completely overmatched, the future looked grim. Yet, though he was not some great hero like those that had perished fighting the Black Death, Ulric was still a viking. He had still trained all his life to be a warrior, he still held the sanctity of his honor close to his heart. And with those warrior’s instincts and with that pledge of honor he had promised to keep clear the portal to Mane so that his allies from the Realms could arrive at Asgard. Now that the last of those heroes had stepped through the portal, Ulric had completed that duty, and he was resolved now to draw his last breath still in battle against those who would see all of creation destroyed for their own selfishness.

His remaining forces numbered but a few dozen. Battered from days of conflict, malnourished, ragged, little strength remained in the Jomsvikings to even make their last stand a glorious one. After all, they were not peerless warriors, they were small, humble men and women who had lived their lives without ever having done a great deed or having had a song sung in their honor. Yet, despite those things, each of them knew that they at least deserved to die on their feet, never having turned to flee. None of them would bear the shame of having a death-wound on their backs.

Certain now that he would perish in battle, blinded to everything but each next swing of his sword, it was almost impossible for Ulric to comprehend what happened next. All of a sudden, all throughout his ranks, the brightest of lights burst into existence and as each one faded in its place stood a man or woman fully armed and armored, complete understanding and purpose reflected in their glowing eyes. With nothing more than a cry of war these unexpected and inscrutable allies threw themselves into battle with a divine fury. Their strength was beyond comprehension, their actions thoughtful and coordinated and decisive. Jarl Thorafin’s warriors were immediately forced to give ground against their onslaught.

All across the six lower worlds this scene was repeated. In each of them were allies that the heroes of the Realms had made in their quest to set Norlund to right. In each of them were enemies united in purpose, to stop both the onset of Ragnarok or the worlds’ healing so that they might continue to rule in the anarchy of death that had gripped the lands. In each of those worlds war was joined and in each of those worlds, heroic allies born from bursts of light threw themselves into battle and started to push the enemy back.

The tide of of all of those battles swiftly and permanently changed.

In an empty but resplendently beautiful hall in the highest mountains of Asgard, holy energies began to stir for the first time in years. For months upon months the essence of divinity had drained from Norlund without pause, but that diminishing had now ceased. Instead energies poured into that room, originating from all throughout the multiverse, channeled through incomprehensible runes bathed in glowing light. Slowly but steadily, new Asir began to grasp their own egos and awaken to life.

Out of one great stone cairn a towering, imposing man took a confident first step. His skin was alabaster and about his shoulders was a great fur cloak adorned with armored plates. In one hand he held a thunderbolt, brightest of blue in color, crackling with energy. In the other an impossibly tall greatsword, blade emblazoned with runes, it’s terrible sheen speaking to the deadly fury with which it could be wielded. His name was Crow, patron Asir of Nivelheim, and he ruled over the domains of Fortitude, Thunder, and Vengeance. He looked about the otherwise vacant hall and saw the other standing stones beginning to birth his kin, but he also saw unused aspect tiles that lay all around his feet. He raised his arm into the air and set his gaze upon two of them. A flight of drakes, a woman with a fish’s tail. And gathering the divine energies that swirled though the room, Crow willed into existence his daughter, Thyra, Patron of Dragons and Mermaids.

Stirred to full awakeness by the giant man and his use of the temple’s energies, the standing stone next to Crow pulsed with light and another figure stepped forth. A slender woman with fierce eyes, who about her head wore a crown of swirling clouds. She was draped in a long purple gown that at some angles seemed to be cloth and at others appeared to be made of thousands of small feathers. On one of her arms was clasped a shimmering shield that gave the immediate impression of invincibility. In her other she held a long spear and dangling from it’s haft under the spearhead were two large golden rings, permanently linked together. Her name was Lormar, Patron Asir of Helheim, and she ruled over the domains of Storms, Defense, and Loyalty. Like her brother who was born only moments before, Lormar also took stock of the unused aspects around the room and with her spear pointed to two of them. One set with runes and swirling purple lines, one a pair of masks showing joy and sorrow. She then stuck the handle of her spear onto the ground and through it channeled the powers in the hall to beget her son, Birger, God of Magic and Theatre.

Life surging into the room inspired yet more life to join it. On the other end of the hall another cairn surged with energy and out of it stepped a man much different in stature than Crow. He was slight in his form, lithe and quick in appearance. Out of his brow grew two great golden antlers. In one hand he held a threshing flail, in the other a lantern emitting a warm glow. From his shoulders grew out several thin branches that knit together and fell down his back and they created a cape made of leaves and vines. What is more, his existence was altogether something incomprehensible. He was certainly an Asir of this world, as much so as his brother and sister that came before him, but his divinity existed elsewhere as well. And in that other place, his mother Gaia rejoiced looking over the temple in a place called Ashenmark that would be the seat of his power. There he was the just-restored god of Rebirth, but here in Norlund he held different aspects. His name was Vivant, patron of Jotunheim and his domains were those of hope, hearth, community, and the stag.

Meanwhile, in Nivelheim, an eerie, cautious calm had settled over the final battlefield of the war.

The otherworldly reinforcements had changed everything. As they had rushed forward almost ceaselessly from portals in each of the worlds, the heroic denizens of each plain happily got caught up in the fury of their battle and joined them in their fervor. The enemies that had all but conquered existence found themselves outnumbered and overmatched by not just men and women but giants and dragons and monsters unimaginable that had all joined the same holy cause. One by one the enemy’s strongholds fell. The heroes of Midgard, Jotunheim, and Helheim were the first to obliterate the foes that had at one point brought them to heel. Shortly afterwards, the heroes of Muspelheim and Svartalheim had taken hold of every defensible structure in their realms. Yet in Nivelheim things took a turn for the worse. Realizing it was the one battlefield where they had a chance at victory, the enemy used dark and secret ancient magics to rally all their scattered forces to that one world creating a force that could easily overpower the heroes. For a time, it seemed likely that Nivelheim would be lost to the enemy and become the seat of their power while they rebuilt and again readied for war. But that was not to be. Yet another miracle occurred as portals opened up in each of the other lower worlds allowing all the heroic warriors to step through and join together in one great allied army of all the realms.

The battle that was joined then was an epic one. Fire salamanders bit through the freezing hides of ice jotun, bone dragons crushed dark elves beneath their feet, vikings and dwarves, side by side, assailed wyrms and hounds and other monstrosities that would otherwise be far beyond their power. For hours the fight continued and the ebb and flow of the war shifted many times. At last with one final offensive push by the heroes the enemy army finally broke ranks and fled, leaving the combined army of the six worlds victoriously, ultimately, over their realms.

It was a long and hard-fought series of battles and their cost was incalculably high. But they were over. The heroic armies had won. And while new Asir were just being born in the realm above, Ulric looked over the remaining men and women of his Jomsvikings. Warriors who had pledged everything, sacrificed everything to win this day and help create a new future for themselves and for their children. No, they were not great heroes. No, stories might never be sung about the blood they spilled or the walls they scaled, but there was still an important duty left to all of them now. He communicated that duty with little more than a nod to all around him. At once a thank you and a goodbye to everyone who bled together to build a way forward for their world. And so, the denizens of the six lower planes left Nivelheim and returned to their homes to begin their final and most important duty. To rebuild.

Back in the Grand Temple of Asgard, another standing stone pulsed with life. Flames erupted into the chamber as a figure, swirling with fire, took a step out of the solid rock. In one hand they held a gigantic tome unburned by the blaze it endured, in the other they held a staff adorned with gemstones, surrounded by swirling torrents of every color of the rainbow. They wore a flowing white robe with a hood covering all but the lower part of their face, but of particular note were their feet, upon which were a pair of sandals that were tattered and frayed as if they were not brand new but had endured many lifetimes of use. They were Sovereign, patron Asir of Muspelheim, and their domains were that of Saga, Reality, and Progression. When it was their turn to set their gaze upon the unused aspects they chose three. A figure making strides up a steep hill, a white untouched field, and a compass and campfire. And from these Sovereign created their three triplet children. Their son Odgar, god of Effort, their daughter, Liv, goddess of adaptability, and their son Knud, god of Travel.

The fifth standing stone then burst with energy and from it emerged a man smaller in stature than his siblings but still giant by any reckoning. He wore long brown beard braided in three parts and his brow was furrowed in concentration. He was armored from head to toe in black shining platemaile, holding a great scale in one of his hands and a cudgel in the other. On each of his wrists was a shackle with a broken chain. His name was was Graynar, patron Asir of Svartalvheim, ruler of the domains of Law, Freedom, and the Balance between the two. He spotted an aspect tile adorned with a castle and a crown and from it willed into existence his son Bergernarit, the god of Leadership. Then he noticed a lone remaining tile depicting the image of a comet streaking through the starlit heavens and from it begat his daughter Apoc, goddess of the Night Sky.

As the new Asir and their children looked about the chamber and spoke to one another for the first time they began to conference about the fate of Norlund and how they could best fulfill their roles in making their universe again team with life and prosperity. Though each of them had existed for but a brief few moments in time, they intrinsically understood the state of their worlds and the domains over which they were to preside. In those first few moments of their being, everything about who they were and how they would bring peace to their realms began to settle.

Then the sixth, unnoticed, standing stone rumbled to life almost lifting itself off the ground in its ferocity. From the face of the stone stepped a single scaled claw, razor talons jutting from each digit. Then another. Then suddenly bursting into the hall was the final member of the new Asir. The being could only be described as a dilophosaurus, standing on two muscular hind legs, a pair of bright orange frills across the top of her head. Draped across her broad back and small shoulders was a surcoat of fine gold and silver threads, beautifully made as if by a great artisan, with a giant pair of dice embroidered on the back, showing a single pip on each. As the thunder-lizard regarded her brothers and sisters she opened her great toothy mouth and let loose an echoing high-pitched roar. This was Tychasaurus, patron Asir of Midgard, ruler over the domains of luck and fun, lord of all dinosaurs.

Certainly this development was an unexpected one, even by a new generation of Asir who already understood everything about their place in the universe. The rest of her divine family regarded Tychasaurus with a wide range of emotions. Crow was all too happy to have a sister who seemed well suited to do battle with their enemies. Lormar immediately understood that her reptilian sibling would be a great hinderance to the civility of their discussions. Vivant shared a kinship with her in their love for a fierce and untamed wild. Graynor was displeased knowing that this member of his family would never hold respect for the law of men, and Sovereign, they just shook their head in disappointment. And as Tychasaurus continued to roar out her greetings and the rest of the divine family struggled to comprehend her role in this new pantheon, something elsewhere in the temple was amiss.

In a dark corner, three aspect tiles sat torn asunder surrounded by a pool of ruined ritual components. If one was to inspect everything more closely they would have learned that the destroyed tiles were those of Death, Secrets, and The Hunt. Whatever happened in that place did so in such a way that the new Asir could not perceive it. Whatever occurred there was certainly something that was unnatural. And wrong.

Yet, regardless of that blemish of darkness, a great new light was spreading throughout all of Norlund. The erosion of the world had stopped. The energies focused from other universes and refined within the Asirunes had brought stability back to the realms and soon they would inspire growth to begin anew. The new Asir would grow in power as the denizens of the lower worlds learned of their existence, and a year from now the heroes of the Realms would return to complete one final task that would forever ensure the world they left behind would prosper.
Tags: Primary Source
Created by Rosetta (Eric Willisson) at 10-22-21 07:11 PM
Last Modified by Rosetta (Eric Willisson) at 10-22-21 07:12 PM