The Rift – Fjórir

The Rift: Part IV (Fjórir)

As Orrowyn walked through the camp he remembered how warm the Nordic lands used to be. That was over 75 years ago, and much has changed since then. Harald had his men constructing cheval de frise to surround the city it seemed. They wouldn’t do much good against the woodland elves Akhal-Teke, but it would slow down the humans. I’ll need to have Sharik and Ezadel reinforce those barriers with some magic, just to hold off as many men as possible

“Excuse me, sir. The King would like to see you.” Orrowyn turned and spotted a very young man, maybe 17 years of age. Not an ounce of muscle on his body or a scar that told a tale. Must be Harald’s new squire, Orrowyn thought to himself.

“Where shall I be heading young one?”

“Through those tents ahead. Then make a right and walk until you reach the stairs. Go up and follow the parapet around to the castle. Harald should be out front waiting for you.” 

The man turned and walked away without another word. Harald’s men follow his orders to a fault. I wonder if he is that much of a leader or if they’re all just scared for their lives. He was stopped twice more by Harald’s men while on his way to the castle. The first group of guards were curious as to what business he had at the castle. He told them the king had sent for him and they reluctantly let him through. The second time, however, he was stopped by an older man. He was well past his day but was still eager to fight for his king. He also knew of Orrowyn and his past. 

“Me mum use ta tell me stories of ya when I was a child. The Great Orrowyn, master mage and slayer of evil. She also told me ya had a spell that kept ya young, and invincible too. What say ya cast it on me so I don’t die fighting in this battle to come?”

Orrowyn chortled at the question. “Clearly your mother was mistaken, can’t you see how old I look now? Tell me sir, what’s your name?”

“Charles, but the men ‘round here call me Gaffer since I’m the oldest in the camp.”

“Well Charles, if I had that spell I would gladly cast it on you. You’re the only man in this camp who has treated me with respect since I’ve arrived.”

“Oh don’t take that personal, sir. Most of the men here just don’t know who ya are. Once they see what y’are capable of they’ll give you that respect ya seek.”

“Haha whatever you say, Charles. Thank you for the conversation. I’ll be seeing you again soon I’m sure.” The man nodded as Orrowyn began for the castle again. After another minute or so he could finally see it. A hulking stone beast that was originally hid behind towers and barracks for the king’s higher tiered soldiers. As he passed through the gate and neared the courtyard a few hundred yards away, Orrowyn could already hear Harald’s booming voice over the clanging of swords.

“NO. No, no, no, wrong, no! You all will get killed fighting like that. You must be quicker on your feet. The woodland elves will run through you all if you don’t. They fight with a subtle grace that is dangerous because you cannot always tell what they are going to do. They will not fight like the humans. Johan, come here and spar with me. I’ll show you how the elves will fight.”

Harald grabbed one of his men and pulled him to the center of the crowd of soldiers. The man looked absolutely terrified to be fighting against his king. Orrowyn stopped where he was to watch the two spar, as he didn’t want Harald to know he was here just yet. Harald slowly circled the man before starting his attack. The man put his sword up to block the attack but Harald side stepped with ease before slamming his sword into the man’s ribs. He fell to a knee and Harald proceeded to smack the flat of his blade against the man’s skull. 

“One of you come join Johan, I’m in need of a real challenge.” Two men stepped forward at once. They looked at each other and as the second went to turn away Harald began laughing. “Haha. Both of you, attack!”

They looked at one another again before they slowly walked to opposite sides of Harald. Johan was still rattled, but he stood and joined the other two. They all charged at once, yet not one of them landed their blow. Harald ducked under the first swing as he swept his leg around to knock Johan’s feet out from under him. The third man thought he had Harald. As he brought his sword down past Harald and into the dirt, Harald had dropped down and spun on his left knee to end up behind the man. He stood and kicked the man in the back of the knee before he even had a chance to turn towards Harald. All three men writhed in pain on the ground before their fellow soldiers.

“Do you see now? You must take this seriously! I am quick, but the woodland elves will be quicker. Start worrying about avoiding attacks rather than being the first to strike. Patience is key when fighting an elf, you must wait for the most opportune moment to strike.” Harald sheathed his sword and turned to say something else to his men, but that was when he noticed Orrowyn standing in the distance.

“Orrowyn, how nice of you to finally show yourself. Walk with me, we need to discuss our plan of attack against Daealla and Abel.”

Orrowyn began walking through the crowd of men towards Harald. As he neared the king, the two continued through the crowd and into the street behind them. They walked together for a few hundred yards before Harald began talking again.

“My scouts have told me that Abel and Daealla have began their march towards us. It will only take them two, maybe three, fortnights to make it to the pass. I’d expect the woodland elves to travel on the high roads above the pass and Abel’s men to stay down low, just to avoid an ambush from above. What say you so far?”

“I’d agree. There is no way they haven’t thought through every detail of this trek across Delahden. I highly doubt we will be able to surprise them, unless we attack from behind.” Orrowyn answered.

“And how in fuck’s sake would we get behind them mage?” Harald clearly thought Orrowyn was not taking this conversation seriously.

“My men can create portals for us. The problem is they don’t last very long and are incredibly obvious to those who know how to look for them.”

“So Daealla and her elves? You want us to give our location away before we even ambush them. I thought you were smarter than that Orrowyn. Plus you will not find a damned man in my army who’d be willing to travel through one of your portals. They have nothing against magic, but they will never use it themselves.”

“You’re a great leader Harald, convince them. We would only need about 1,000 soldiers to go along with myself and my men. That would be what, roughly five percent of your army? We would travel back to a place two days behind where your scouts have last seen our enemies armies. That should be more than enough for Daealla to not notice the portals. Your thousand men should be more than enough to intimidate the rear guard. Once the army is facing two directions, you encircle them with your riders and have the brunt of the force attack head on.”

“I don’t like it. Not one bit. I told you already, my men won’t go through your portals. It may be a solid plan, but I won’t do it.” Harald bit back.

“Well what would you have us do then, Harald? Simply sit and wait and let their army lay siege upon your city?” 

“DO NOT insult my intelligence Orrowyn. You damn mages always think that you’re better than us all. Of course I don’t simply want them to attack the city… But I do want them to think that’s their best option. I will send a scouting party of a few hundred to attack their forces and scare them. Make them think it’s an ambush and catch them off guard. Hopefully that will rattle their plans and they will be stupid enough to attack the city. Then you and your mages can teleport behind them and do as you please. My men will be able to hold the city without you. Now leave me, I have men to train.”

Orrowyn stopped and stared at the king in disbelief. He has already gone mad. Drunk of the little power he thinks he has. We will lose so many men with a plan this ignorant and half-witted. I must find a way to convince him of this folly. “Of course, Harald.” Orrowyn turned to leave, but Harald stopped him one last time.

“Oh, and Orrowyn… henceforth you will refer to me as king. Be sure to let your men know as well.”

The Rift – Part IV (Fjórir)

The Rift: Part IV (Fjórir)

As Orrowyn walked through the camp he remembered how warm the Nordic lands used to be. That was over 75 years ago, and much has changed since then. Harald had his men constructing cheval de frise to surround the city it seemed. They wouldn’t do much good against the woodland elves Akhal-Teke, but it would slow down the humans. I’ll need to have Sharik and Ezadel reinforce those barriers with some magic, just to hold off as many men as possible

“Excuse me, sir. The King would like to see you.” Orrowyn turned and spotted a very young man, maybe 17 years of age. Not an ounce of muscle on his body or a scar that told a tale. Must be Harald’s new squire, Orrowyn thought to himself.

“Where shall I be heading young one?”

“Through those tents ahead. Then make a right and walk until you reach the stairs. Go up and follow the parapet around to the castle. Harald should be out front waiting for you.” 

The man turned and walked away without another word. Harald’s men follow his orders to a fault. I wonder if he is that much of a leader or if they’re all just scared for their lives. He was stopped twice more by Harald’s men while on his way to the castle. The first group of guards were curious as to what business he had at the castle. He told them the king had sent for him and they reluctantly let him through. The second time, however, he was stopped by an older man. He was well past his day but was still eager to fight for his king. He also knew of Orrowyn and his past. 

“Me mum use ta tell me stories of ya when I was a child. The Great Orrowyn, master mage and slayer of evil. She also told me ya had a spell that kept ya young, and invincible too. What say ya cast it on me so I don’t die fighting in this battle to come?”

Orrowyn chortled at the question. “Clearly your mother was mistaken, can’t you see how old I look now? Tell me sir, what’s your name?”

“Charles, but the men ‘round here call me Gaffer since I’m the oldest in the camp.”

“Well Charles, if I had that spell I would gladly cast it on you. You’re the only man in this camp who has treated me with respect since I’ve arrived.”

“Oh don’t take that personal, sir. Most of the men here just don’t know who ya are. Once they see what y’are capable of they’ll give you that respect ya seek.”

“Haha whatever you say, Charles. Thank you for the conversation. I’ll be seeing you again soon I’m sure.” The man nodded as Orrowyn began for the castle again. After another minute or so he could finally see it. A hulking stone beast that was originally hid behind towers and barracks for the king’s higher tiered soldiers. As he passed through the gate and neared the courtyard a few hundred yards away, Orrowyn could already hear Harald’s booming voice over the clanging of swords.

“NO. No, no, no, wrong, no! You all will get killed fighting like that. You must be quicker on your feet. The woodland elves will run through you all if you don’t. They fight with a subtle grace that is dangerous because you cannot always tell what they are going to do. They will not fight like the humans. Johan, come here and spar with me. I’ll show you how the elves will fight.”

Harald grabbed one of his men and pulled him to the center of the crowd of soldiers. The man looked absolutely terrified to be fighting against his king. Orrowyn stopped where he was to watch the two spar, as he didn’t want Harald to know he was here just yet. Harald slowly circled the man before starting his attack. The man put his sword up to block the attack but Harald side stepped with ease before slamming his sword into the man’s ribs. He fell to a knee and Harald proceeded to smack the flat of his blade against the man’s skull. 

“One of you come join Johan, I’m in need of a real challenge.” Two men stepped forward at once. They looked at each other and as the second went to turn away Harald began laughing. “Haha. Both of you, attack!”

They looked at one another again before they slowly walked to opposite sides of Harald. Johan was still rattled, but he stood and joined the other two. They all charged at once, yet not one of them landed their blow. Harald ducked under the first swing as he swept his leg around to knock Johan’s feet out from under him. The third man thought he had Harald. As he brought his sword down past Harald and into the dirt, Harald had dropped down and spun on his left knee to end up behind the man. He stood and kicked the man in the back of the knee before he even had a chance to turn towards Harald. All three men writhed in pain on the ground before their fellow soldiers.

“Do you see now? You must take this seriously! I am quick, but the woodland elves will be quicker. Start worrying about avoiding attacks rather than being the first to strike. Patience is key when fighting an elf, you must wait for the most opportune moment to strike.” Harald sheathed his sword and turned to say something else to his men, but that was when he noticed Orrowyn standing in the distance.

“Orrowyn, how nice of you to finally show yourself. Walk with me, we need to discuss our plan of attack against Daealla and Abel.”

Orrowyn began walking through the crowd of men towards Harald. As he neared the king, the two continued through the crowd and into the street behind them. They walked together for a few hundred yards before Harald began talking again.

“My scouts have told me that Abel and Daealla have began their march towards us. It will only take them two, maybe three, fortnights to make it to the pass. I’d expect the woodland elves to travel on the high roads above the pass and Abel’s men to stay down low, just to avoid an ambush from above. What say you so far?”

“I’d agree. There is no way they haven’t thought through every detail of this trek across Delahden. I highly doubt we will be able to surprise them, unless we attack from behind.” Orrowyn answered.

“And how in fuck’s sake would we get behind them mage?” Harald clearly thought Orrowyn was not taking this conversation seriously.

“My men can create portals for us. The problem is they don’t last very long and are incredibly obvious to those who know how to look for them.”

“So Daealla and her elves? You want us to give our location away before we even ambush them. I thought you were smarter than that Orrowyn. Plus you will not find a damned man in my army who’d be willing to travel through one of your portals. They have nothing against magic, but they will never use it themselves.”

“You’re a great leader Harald, convince them. We would only need about 1,000 soldiers to go along with myself and my men. That would be what, roughly five percent of your army? We would travel back to a place two days behind where your scouts have last seen our enemies armies. That should be more than enough for Daealla to not notice the portals. Your thousand men should be more than enough to intimidate the rear guard. Once the army is facing two directions, you encircle them with your riders and have the brunt of the force attack head on.”

“I don’t like it. Not one bit. I told you already, my men won’t go through your portals. It may be a solid plan, but I won’t do it.” Harald bit back.

“Well what would you have us do then, Harald? Simply sit and wait and let their army lay siege upon your city?” 

“DO NOT insult my intelligence Orrowyn. You damn mages always think that you’re better than us all. Of course I don’t simply want them to attack the city… But I do want them to think that’s their best option. I will send a scouting party of a few hundred to attack their forces and scare them. Make them think it’s an ambush and catch them off guard. Hopefully that will rattle their plans and they will be stupid enough to attack the city. Then you and your mages can teleport behind them and do as you please. My men will be able to hold the city without you. Now leave me, I have men to train.”

Orrowyn stopped and stared at the king in disbelief. He has already gone mad. Drunk of the little power he thinks he has. We will lose so many men with a plan this ignorant and half-witted. I must find a way to convince him of this folly. “Of course, Harald.” Orrowyn turned to leave, but Harald stopped him one last time.

“Oh, and Orrowyn… henceforth you will refer to me as king. Be sure to let your men know as well.”

The Rift – Tveir

The Rift: Part II (Tveir)

Just outside the city of Rosewood was a small village named Bush Hollow. It was nuzzled in the heart of all four of Delahden’s lands, and was the location of this year’s Meeting of the Leaders. It was well into the fourth night, and even though most were asleep, the Norsemen were still wide awake celebrating another year of peace. Among them were a few of Daealla’s older sons, Orrowyn Brovkos, and Alexander Rudland himself.

Along with Alexander, were a few of his fathers men; all of whom had taken a liking to the young man early in his life. He was a remarkable boy – loved as much, if not more, than his father among the human race. He was one of the most talented bowman in the northern part of Delahden, which was an exceptional feat for someone only seventeen years of age. He was still a boy at heart and thoroughly enjoyed the frivolities of drinking with the men.

He had been talking with Harald Leif for most of the night now, and the two quickly developed a friendship. Leif was much older than the king’s son, yet that did not seem to matter to Alexander. There was somewhat of an age gap, but both seemed to have many similar tastes and interests, especially when it came to women.

One of the barkeep’s daughters busted through the inn’s door with more ale for the men, and both Alexander and Harald were mesmerized. She was a short girl, probably closer in age to the Norse leader, yet very youthful in her looks. She had long, dirty blonde hair that hung to her waist and a smile that lit up the entire room.

“Beautiful girl, come here. I want to ask you a question,” Harald yelled over the din of the group’s debauchery. She slowly made her way through the drunk men handing over the flagons of ale that she had brought from the store rooms and up to the table where the Norse leader sat.

“Good Evening Sir, is there anything I can do for you?” She didn’t seem tense at all that she was talking to one of the most dangerous men in the realm. That or she just had no idea who he was, which was probably better for her anyways.

“You can come sit on my lap, that’s what I’d like!” The men within the bar guffawed at their leader’s answer to the woman.

“I… I…”, and before the girl could react, Harald pulled her over to him and attempted kissing her. She pulled away almost immediately and ran off through a back door of her fathers bar.

“Hahaha,” the Norse leader laughed. “Seems as if the girl doesn’t have a taste for northern flesh tonight. Maybe I’ll convince her to warm my sausage for me on the morrow.” He looked out at his men who, Once again, were dying at the remark from Harald.

Alexander’s look of amusement dissipated almost immediately after the barkeep’s daughter had left. Harald asked him a few more idiotic questions, but Alexander was barely paying attention. He excused himself from the table and stumbled out of the bar deciding that he was going back to his Father’s tent for the night. His father’s men began to follow, but were quickly distracted by another one of the establishment owners daughters who had clumsily just spilled all of the drinking horns she was carrying.

Harald had paid no mind to the boy leaving, and didn’t even notice he was missing until he had finished three more of the clumsy girl’s horns of ale. He decided he was going to go find the barkeep and make him a proposition for his daughter. She was one of the most alluring women he had ever seen and Harald wanted her to finally make him a father. He had been unlucky in that regard with his prior three wives all dying in childbirth, and the children shared the same fate as their mothers.

He stumbled drunkenly around for a few minutes before noticing what appeared to be a lit lamp in the shed near the backside of the bar. He slowly made his way over, but stopped for a piss about halfway to the door. As he stood in silence attempting to urinate, he noticed could hear two voices in the shed, one of which sounded like Alexander’s.

Excited, Harald quickly pulled his trousers back up and rushed over to the door. “Ahh my boy! Alex who’ve you found for yourself ton…”, and as he shoved open the door the two of them stood there stark naked. Harald’s excitement quickly turned to disgust as the two love birds attempted to put their clothes back on. “What in the fuck are you doing with my woman?” he grumbled.

“She is not your woman, Leif. She has no interest in you, and the way you threw yourself at her earlier was plain disrespectful to her. And not to mention…”. Harald backhanded the boy before another word could leave his mouth.

“How dare you talk to me that way, boy. You should watch your tongue… just because you’re the son of a king doesn’t mean shit to me. He is not my King, and I will NOT tolerate insolence from a child.”

Alexander spat blood from his mouth. “A child!? I’m nearly eighteen and a man grown. My father will hear of this. He will remove your hand and feed it to you for laying it upon me.” Harald violently pulled his sword from its hilt, and then the girl screamed. In the blink of an eye, Harald had plunged the sword deep into her left breast. As he pulled it out blood spurted all over his face as the innocent woman dropped to the ground. He licked the thick, wet blood from his lips as he turned towards Alexander.

“You do not frighten me you coward. You… you… you will be punished.” Alexander bent down to grab his shirt from the ground, but before he stood upright again there was a flash of steel. The boy’s head was removed with such force that it flew through the thin wood of the shed. Harald sheathed his sword and then bent down to grab the blood soaked head. He slowly made his way back to the bar, wondering what he had just done. He lost his temper rather quickly, as most Nordic men, and when he saw red everything typically went black.

Upon entering the bar Harald noticed a lot of men had left, with all that remained being his men, Orrowyn, and Alexander’s guards. At first, no one noticed that Harald was drenched in blood, or that he was holding the boy’s severed head. After a minute or two, one of the king’s guards noticed that Harald had returned holding a head, and then he noticed who it belonged to.

“What have you done!?” He yelled as he reached for his battle-axe leaning on the wall behind him.

“Kill them, kill everyone besides him”, Harald mumbled to his men as he pointed at Orrowyn. Before the guards could react they all had axes and knives wedged into their bodies. Harald shifted his gaze back to Orrowyn and then slowly walked towards him. “You will tell them what happened here tonight mage, and if you’re smart… you will side with me in the battles to come. Men, pack up your things. We leave tonight.” Harald briskly walked to the door of the bar, turned back to give Orrowyn one last menacing lance, and then walked out. His men followed soon after, but first they hung the dead men from the rafters and carved their tribal signs into each body.

Orrowyn stayed within the bar after they had left for quite some time. He wasn’t sure how long after he stayed, but he pondered everything that had happened that night. He had his own issues with Abel and Daealla, but he would never go so far as to kill the king’s only son. As he walked outside into the muggy dawn air and back towards the camp, he noticed that all of the Norsemen’s tents were gone and in their place stood two spikes. On the first spike was the barkeeps daughter. They had removed her clothes, and it looked as if they had their way with her. She was impaled through the stomach with her intestines oozing from multiple wounds on her back. On the other… Alexander’s head. As Orrowyn walked near the heads he noticed a rolled piece of parchment in the boys mouth.

This is what happens when you overstep a TRUE king. I am through with your childish peace treaty. I’ll be waiting.


-Harald Leif, Ruler of Delahden

Orrowyn rolled the piece of parchment back up and stuffed it into his robe. As he made his way towards Abel’s tent, he decided that he did not want to be on the bad side of Harald. He turned around and went to a few of his men that were awake on their side of the camp. “Pack your things, and tell the others to do so as well. Leave as soon as you can, there will be bloodshed if you don’t.” As those last words sunk into his men, Orrowyn turned and vanished into thin air.

Abel Rudland awoke that morning to his steward telling him that the mages and the Norse men had vanished in the night. He quickly donned his armor and went out to see for himself, knowing that something awful must’ve happened. He roamed the fields and contemplated why the two groups would leave in the midst of the renewal of their annual treaty until he noticed a group of people encircling something off in the distance. Abel pushed his way through the crowd before he finally saw the two spikes. At first. He did not realize what everyone was staring at, it was just some bodies left behind to scare his people. But as he walked closer to the severed head he noticed the crest of his family on the boy’s earrings, he dropped to his knees and wept.

The Rift – Part II (Tveir)

The Rift: Part II (Tveir)

Just outside the city of Rosewood was a small village named Bush Hollow. It was nuzzled in the heart of all four of Delahden’s lands, and was the location of this year’s Meeting of the Leaders. It was well into the fourth night, and even though most were asleep, the Norsemen were still wide awake celebrating another year of peace. Among them were a few of Daealla’s older sons, Orrowyn Brovkos, and Alexander Rudland himself.

Along with Alexander, were a few of his fathers men; all of whom had taken a liking to the young man early in his life. He was a remarkable boy – loved as much, if not more, than his father among the human race. He was one of the most talented bowman in the northern part of Delahden, which was an exceptional feat for someone only seventeen years of age. He was still a boy at heart and thoroughly enjoyed the frivolities of drinking with the men.

He had been talking with Harald Leif for most of the night now, and the two quickly developed a friendship. Leif was much older than the king’s son, yet that did not seem to matter to Alexander. There was somewhat of an age gap, but both seemed to have many similar tastes and interests, especially when it came to women.

One of the barkeep’s daughters busted through the inn’s door with more ale for the men, and both Alexander and Harald were mesmerized. She was a short girl, probably closer in age to the Norse leader, yet very youthful in her looks. She had long, dirty blonde hair that hung to her waist and a smile that lit up the entire room.

“Beautiful girl, come here. I want to ask you a question,” Harald yelled over the din of the group’s debauchery. She slowly made her way through the drunk men handing over the flagons of ale that she had brought from the store rooms and up to the table where the Norse leader sat.

“Good Evening Sir, is there anything I can do for you?” She didn’t seem tense at all that she was talking to one of the most dangerous men in the realm. That or she just had no idea who he was, which was probably better for her anyways.

“You can come sit on my lap, that’s what I’d like!” The men within the bar guffawed at their leader’s answer to the woman.

“I… I…”, and before the girl could react, Harald pulled her over to him and attempted kissing her. She pulled away almost immediately and ran off through a back door of her fathers bar.

“Hahaha,” the Norse leader laughed. “Seems as if the girl doesn’t have a taste for northern flesh tonight. Maybe I’ll convince her to warm my sausage for me on the morrow.” He looked out at his men who, Once again, were dying at the remark from Harald.

Alexander’s look of amusement dissipated almost immediately after the barkeep’s daughter had left. Harald asked him a few more idiotic questions, but Alexander was barely paying attention. He excused himself from the table and stumbled out of the bar deciding that he was going back to his Father’s tent for the night. His father’s men began to follow, but were quickly distracted by another one of the establishment owners daughters who had clumsily just spilled all of the drinking horns she was carrying.

Harald had paid no mind to the boy leaving, and didn’t even notice he was missing until he had finished three more of the clumsy girl’s horns of ale. He decided he was going to go find the barkeep and make him a proposition for his daughter. She was one of the most alluring women he had ever seen and Harald wanted her to finally make him a father. He had been unlucky in that regard with his prior three wives all dying in childbirth, and the children shared the same fate as their mothers.

He stumbled drunkenly around for a few minutes before noticing what appeared to be a lit lamp in the shed near the backside of the bar. He slowly made his way over, but stopped for a piss about halfway to the door. As he stood in silence attempting to urinate, he noticed could hear two voices in the shed, one of which sounded like Alexander’s.

Excited, Harald quickly pulled his trousers back up and rushed over to the door. “Ahh my boy! Alex who’ve you found for yourself ton…”, and as he shoved open the door the two of them stood there stark naked. Harald’s excitement quickly turned to disgust as the two love birds attempted to put their clothes back on. “What in the fuck are you doing with my woman?” he grumbled.

“She is not your woman, Leif. She has no interest in you, and the way you threw yourself at her earlier was plain disrespectful to her. And not to mention…”. Harald backhanded the boy before another word could leave his mouth.

“How dare you talk to me that way, boy. You should watch your tongue… just because you’re the son of a king doesn’t mean shit to me. He is not my King, and I will NOT tolerate insolence from a child.”

Alexander spat blood from his mouth. “A child!? I’m nearly eighteen and a man grown. My father will hear of this. He will remove your hand and feed it to you for laying it upon me.” Harald violently pulled his sword from its hilt, and then the girl screamed. In the blink of an eye, Harald had plunged the sword deep into her left breast. As he pulled it out blood spurted all over his face as the innocent woman dropped to the ground. He licked the thick, wet blood from his lips as he turned towards Alexander.

“You do not frighten me you coward. You… you… you will be punished.” Alexander bent down to grab his shirt from the ground, but before he stood upright again there was a flash of steel. The boy’s head was removed with such force that it flew through the thin wood of the shed. Harald sheathed his sword and then bent down to grab the blood soaked head. He slowly made his way back to the bar, wondering what he had just done. He lost his temper rather quickly, as most Nordic men, and when he saw red everything typically went black.

Upon entering the bar Harald noticed a lot of men had left, with all that remained being his men, Orrowyn, and Alexander’s guards. At first, no one noticed that Harald was drenched in blood, or that he was holding the boy’s severed head. After a minute or two, one of the king’s guards noticed that Harald had returned holding a head, and then he noticed who it belonged to.

“What have you done!?” He yelled as he reached for his battle-axe leaning on the wall behind him.

“Kill them, kill everyone besides him”, Harald mumbled to his men as he pointed at Orrowyn. Before the guards could react they all had axes and knives wedged into their bodies. Harald shifted his gaze back to Orrowyn and then slowly walked towards him. “You will tell them what happened here tonight mage, and if you’re smart… you will side with me in the battles to come. Men, pack up your things. We leave tonight.” Harald briskly walked to the door of the bar, turned back to give Orrowyn one last menacing lance, and then walked out. His men followed soon after, but first they hung the dead men from the rafters and carved their tribal signs into each body.

Orrowyn stayed within the bar after they had left for quite some time. He wasn’t sure how long after he stayed, but he pondered everything that had happened that night. He had his own issues with Abel and Daealla, but he would never go so far as to kill the king’s only son. As he walked outside into the muggy dawn air and back towards the camp, he noticed that all of the Norsemen’s tents were gone and in their place stood two spikes. On the first spike was the barkeeps daughter. They had removed her clothes, and it looked as if they had their way with her. She was impaled through the stomach with her intestines oozing from multiple wounds on her back. On the other… Alexander’s head. As Orrowyn walked near the heads he noticed a rolled piece of parchment in the boys mouth.

This is what happens when you overstep a TRUE king. I am through with your childish peace treaty. I’ll be waiting.


-Harald Leif, Ruler of Delahden

Orrowyn rolled the piece of parchment back up and stuffed it into his robe. As he made his way towards Abel’s tent, he decided that he did not want to be on the bad side of Harald. He turned around and went to a few of his men that were awake on their side of the camp. “Pack your things, and tell the others to do so as well. Leave as soon as you can, there will be bloodshed if you don’t.” As those last words sunk into his men, Orrowyn turned and vanished into thin air.

Abel Rudland awoke that morning to his steward telling him that the mages and the Norse men had vanished in the night. He quickly donned his armor and went out to see for himself, knowing that something awful must’ve happened. He roamed the fields and contemplated why the two groups would leave in the midst of the renewal of their annual treaty until he noticed a group of people encircling something off in the distance. Abel pushed his way through the crowd before he finally saw the two spikes. At first. He did not realize what everyone was staring at, it was just some bodies left behind to scare his people. But as he walked closer to the severed head he noticed the crest of his family on the boy’s earrings, he dropped to his knees and wept.

The Rift – Einn

The Rift: Part I (Einn)

Long before The Age of Men ended, Delahden was inhabited by four races that spanned a massive continent. Each race was unique in its own way and was scattered amongst the land, yet all still managed to live in harmony.

In the northeastern corner dwelled the five Nordic tribes. They were hulking men and women, said to be direct descendants of Ymir himself, and well known for their ability to track, hunt, and fight. Their lands spanned roughly a third of Delahden and were plagued with steep, rolling hills and harsh climates. As one traveled further north the terrain became much more treacherous, which is where the leader of all five tribes could be found.

Harald Leif was the largest Norseman anyone had ever seen. He came from a long line of tribal leaders, all of which had led their people to unimaginable successes over the years. His great grandfather was the first to stop the fighting between the tribes, and his father had drafted the treaty that brought true peace to all Norsemen. Harald had no children, though he had been close many times. He was now on his fourth wife, with the prior three all dying during child birth. Unfortunately, the children perished as well, with none of them surviving more than a month before succumbing to the elements of the northern lands.

Moving west, stretching from the northwestern edge all the way down to the wooded peninsula and over to the Lake of Prosperity was where the human race resided. Their lands were covered in glowing sea foam fields of shin-high switch grass that stretched as far as the eye could see. Unlike the Nordic lands the terrain here was flat and almost void of danger.

The humans were the most populous of the four races and had known nothing other than monarchy for the last few hundred years. Their current king was Abel Rudland, the first of his name and longest reigning king of his kind. He had one son, Alexander, who he was most proud of. Both father and son were majestic swordsmen and would continue to lead the human race into prosperity over the foreseeable future.

From the southern corner of Delahden all the way to eastern coast, the fields of grass began transforming into thickets of Banyans and Sequoias. These towering trees housed the small-statured woodland elves as well as a remarkable array of flora and fauna. Many believed these elves grew straight from the trees themselves due to their woodish looking skin and affinity for protecting the trees at all costs.

Leading the woodland elves was Daealla Paeris, one of the most beautiful queens the elven race had ever seen. She was much larger than the other elves, yet still minuscule in comparison to the other races. She had nine young children, but only two of those were her own. The others all came from families that had befallen unfortunate circumstances, or in some cases had died unexpectedly. Daealla was known after all as the “Magnanimous Queen” among her people; she was constantly sacrificing something of her own to help better others lives.

In the south-westernmost point of the realm, the beautiful sea foam colored grass faded to a dark amber orange from all of the salt that sprayed in from the two surrounding seas. The thickets of trees that en-housed the elven race vanished, and the mages replaced their smaller neighbors on the larger of Delahden’s peninsulas. The mages were unlike all the other races in the fact that they typically were known as drifters, and because they were actually a mixture of multiple races. Most are some mix of wood elf and human or wood elf and viking, but all began their trek south in hopes of understanding more about The Gift. Those who develop The Gift earlier on clearly stand out from the ones who develop it later however. They mature at a more rapid pace than the late blooming mages, and have a knack for all things magical. All mages tend to outlive other races as well, since the magic that flows through their bodies is that of the gods.

In command of the mages was Orrowyn Brovkos. He was chosen as leader over fifty years ago, and many believed he was well past his two hundredth day of birth. He was the greatest mage Delahden had ever seen and it was rumored he had mastered all forms of magic by the age of seven. Orrowyn had also been working on a new branch of magic that involved scarce ingredients and more developed powers, but no one outside of his few trusted council members had any specifics on the matter.

Each year the leaders, their most trusted advisers, and their families traveled to the center of the realm to discuss the future of Delahden. They met for six days to discuss bettering their people’s lives and to trade for goods certain regions did not have. It was a joyous time for all as they explored each other’s cultures and celebrated another year of life. But of course, all good things must come to an end.

The Rift – Part I (Ein)

The Rift: Part I (Ein)

Long before The Age of Men ended, Delahden was inhabited by four races that spanned a massive continent. Each race was unique in its own way and was scattered amongst the land, yet all still managed to live in harmony.

In the northeastern corner dwelled the five Nordic tribes. They were hulking men and women, said to be direct descendants of Ymir himself, and well known for their ability to track, hunt, and fight. Their lands spanned roughly a third of Delahden and were plagued with steep, rolling hills and harsh climates. As one traveled further north the terrain became much more treacherous, which is where the leader of all five tribes could be found.

Harald Leif was the largest Norseman anyone had ever seen. He came from a long line of tribal leaders, all of which had led their people to unimaginable successes over the years. His great grandfather was the first to stop the fighting between the tribes, and his father had drafted the treaty that brought true peace to all Norsemen. Harald had no children, though he had been close many times. He was now on his fourth wife, with the prior three all dying during child birth. Unfortunately, the children perished as well, with none of them surviving more than a month before succumbing to the elements of the northern lands.

Moving west, stretching from the northwestern edge all the way down to the wooded peninsula and over to the Lake of Prosperity was where the human race resided. Their lands were covered in glowing sea foam fields of shin-high switch grass that stretched as far as the eye could see. Unlike the Nordic lands the terrain here was flat and almost void of danger.

The humans were the most populous of the four races and had known nothing other than monarchy for the last few hundred years. Their current king was Abel Rudland, the first of his name and longest reigning king of his kind. He had one son, Alexander, who he was most proud of. Both father and son were majestic swordsmen and would continue to lead the human race into prosperity over the foreseeable future.

From the southern corner of Delahden all the way to eastern coast, the fields of grass began transforming into thickets of Banyans and Sequoias. These towering trees housed the small-statured woodland elves as well as a remarkable array of flora and fauna. Many believed these elves grew straight from the trees themselves due to their woodish looking skin and affinity for protecting the trees at all costs.

Leading the woodland elves was Daealla Paeris, one of the most beautiful queens the elven race had ever seen. She was much larger than the other elves, yet still minuscule in comparison to the other races. She had nine young children, but only two of those were her own. The others all came from families that had befallen unfortunate circumstances, or in some cases had died unexpectedly. Daealla was known after all as the “Magnanimous Queen” among her people; she was constantly sacrificing something of her own to help better others lives.

In the south-westernmost point of the realm, the beautiful sea foam colored grass faded to a dark amber orange from all of the salt that sprayed in from the two surrounding seas. The thickets of trees that en-housed the elven race vanished, and the mages replaced their smaller neighbors on the larger of Delahden’s peninsulas. The mages were unlike all the other races in the fact that they typically were known as drifters, and because they were actually a mixture of multiple races. Most are some mix of wood elf and human or wood elf and viking, but all began their trek south in hopes of understanding more about The Gift. Those who develop The Gift earlier on clearly stand out from the ones who develop it later however. They mature at a more rapid pace than the late blooming mages, and have a knack for all things magical. All mages tend to outlive other races as well, since the magic that flows through their bodies is that of the gods.

In command of the mages was Orrowyn Brovkos. He was chosen as leader over fifty years ago, and many believed he was well past his two hundredth day of birth. He was the greatest mage Delahden had ever seen and it was rumored he had mastered all forms of magic by the age of seven. Orrowyn had also been working on a new branch of magic that involved scarce ingredients and more developed powers, but no one outside of his few trusted council members had any specifics on the matter.

Each year the leaders, their most trusted advisers, and their families traveled to the center of the realm to discuss the future of Delahden. They met for six days to discuss bettering their people’s lives and to trade for goods certain regions did not have. It was a joyous time for all as they explored each other’s cultures and celebrated another year of life. But of course, all good things must come to an end.