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Author Topic: Decades in the Making: The Highest of all Festivals  (Read 236 times)

Offline DC Viking

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Decades in the Making: The Highest of all Festivals
« on: December 27, 2016, 10:57:04 PM »
In Uppsala, in Viking Lands

Scenery Details:

It had been many years since Uppsala had seen the likes of Odin's blood in full revere, but there was a push this year to make things all the better, all the more perfect. Loki had been a near vicious task master, a solid perfectionist in the chaos of how he wished things done. The children of his lineage and Baldur's lineage were present in both fallen form and mortal, advanced or regular human form. The lineage of Thor had fallen to the wayside with his absence for so long. The lineage of Auriel and Doriel had not seen the sight of Uppsala since Zachriel/Runi had been stolen from his birth furs and both his older and full blood siblings were dispatched by the same Archonic family as had found their way to hating Seth well before he became Loki.

A quadrant had been meticulously decorated each week for the last month so the snows would be missed. The last week now as to prepare the food, but it was nearly the only portion that hadn't been completed with the warring to the south. These were warriors even if many of those were not of the Viking Tradition, none of the ones left were raised that way. But it was not as if they didn't know their blood was fighting. The Advanced humans and normal humans were pressed harshly in their attempts to keep the winged so they would not fail the task before them. While those of Baldur's lineage would not have suffered Loki's wrath, but Loki had no issue doling out punishment for those that made him look bad through failure that came from his own bloodline. If he would punish the Lykke, he would damned sure punish the lesser and weaker lineages.

Upon the entrances to Uppsala, large intricately woven baskets were placed. The baskets represented all the Gods of the Pantheon, both present and absent: Odin, Freya, Loki, Thor, Baldur, Sif... and so forth. Heimdahl was there in representation, but his was normally the last to be filled as he was seen as a Guardian deity, not a ruling deity. Well made spears, bows and arrows, shields and battle axes lined the outside of the first two buildings on either side of the entrances that housed the baskets. A large metal bowl with the diameter of a normal Viking male set 5 foot inside these entrances, chunks of coal and wood set inside a third of the way full, ready for the first lighting, either by Thor, Thor's representative, or Loki. With the absence of Thor, it was assumed that Loki would be the one to light the fire with his own magic instead of the lightning bolts that Thor was known for having when he battled.

Four of the largest cows were set to feeding in the enclosed pen they'd been brought to after their birth and weening. The four would be the sacrifices to start of the twelve days of Jul. Their sacrifices occurring at dawn, the skins stripped, the portions of the cows not believed edible, hooves, teeth, and so on, would be removed within the hour, then the cows put on spits to be turned over the fire to feed the hunters that would be returning no earlier than sundown with their kills. Boys would become men, Girls would become shield maidens, the tests of their adulthood would come to pass as the first day of Jul ended. They would soon be presenting Odin their kills and show their blooding.

12 toasts/12 nights:
The First will occur upon the day Odin arrives to start the festival. The ended of the toast all hail, "For victory and power the the King!"

The Second will occur upon the commencement of the first eating, to begin the rites of blessing for the upcoming year. The males toast to Njordr and Freyr and the women toast to Sif and Freya, for good harvest and peace.

The Third will occur the next morning to the Host of the festival, the naming or reconfirmation of the High Jarl (In this case Loki/Seth will be donning Kron's facade only because he has been doing so in secret for almost a decade now, and only his youngest half-blood children know and can confirm this and also know who he is).

The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Nights toasts will occur at the beginning of the meals, one day set aside for each male Deity: Odin, Baldur, Thor, then Loki. On the appropriate night, the children dedicated to the Patriarch, in other words, the newborn children within the lineages would be recognized, or those children not yet recognized due to the lack of full completion of the Rites and Nites of Jul.

The Eighth and Ninth Toastings were for the fallen warriors of passed days. The decorations would be shifted to look the mortal imagination dealing with Valhalla. It would be fairly close with the influence Loki had in the development of this year's celebration and his instinctual need to get it right this year but not knowing why.

The Tenth and Eleventh toasts would come from the deities themselves. These are the nights that the Gods and Goddesses of the North give blessing or not to those who come before them and honor them.

The Twelfth and last night the toasting would occur over something that none would be expecting as there wasn't need for any other ceremonies in the Elders' eyes. This is the ceremonial night for the renewal of vows or creation of them. There was set but one, but the need for two such ceremonies would be given, both in the same family, though not a single one expecting it. Secreting was a good thing for some in the family, but for now... a Third on the horizon was set in motion, but would ultimately be the only one planned for... Instead of just a party to end one year and begin another.

Prepared Post Jul Activities:

The rings were already prepared for the three days after the termination of Jul. Within each of these rings, this year there would be four, two opponents were to fight for three days, but not kill each other. The winner would be the one that could stand at then end of each battle round, narrowing it down to two on the third day, giving one of the deities a winner for the year. In years past, the winner would be the one breathing, but with the enemy being more noticeable lately, they needed all the able bodies to fight this war. The formalities of the festival were now over and now was time for unleashed but responsible fun. The ring fights would have all deities represented that had family, so yes, more than eight fighters would be within the rings on the first day, narrowing down to eight for the second day, then on the last evening... the champion and second place champion.

These festivities will run into Thurseblot as long as a battle did not interfere. This is the festival that honors Thor so that he will take command of the storm season to send the Jotuns back to the Jotunheim so Sif can bring forth the spring and the new life and growth she represents. This will be interesting this year with the change of body for Sif, who'd not been seen in centuries. Younger, but looking as if she could be from the Jotunheim with her icy white hair, cold icy light blue eyes and steely composure amongst strangers. 

Offline Dinai

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Re: Decades in the Making: The Highest of all Festivals
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2017, 04:01:19 PM »
(3 days before the Commencement of the High Festival, 506 km SSE of Uppsala and 77 km east of the Kattegat region of Viking territory)

The loss of Zita and the disappearance of David were nearly too much for this former Throne to handle. She felt gaping wounds in her chest that weren't actually there and Dinai's mind traveled to find her connection to the north, the one who could pose as a not-so-mindless beast of a Forsaken. Romanus's dispatch threatened her leaving safely from the south and traveling to the north. He was set to obscure her passage, now she would need another path. Rome was not as welcoming even if it was not her fault that Zita perished. She was not even present.

Dinai was not a foreteller of the future, but she also knew that Zita had had a daughter and she, at last check, was still safely set up in Giddah's trust Lieutenant's stronghold. Making and agreement with Jehoel, she ensured the property she had procured would be cared for, perhaps lived in by one of the lower nobles while she took to the north. Jehoel, luckily, did not question the semi-emotional state Dinai was in, though with as keen as his mind had proven to be, Dinai wondered how long it would be before the Tutor would realize what had changed her nature.

Adam's words riddled Dinai's mind near every moment that she was not working on something for the cause. His words of David, of her, of their children to come... and worse yet... though Adam may have figured the most potent words were overlooked.... Adam's foreboding words of his own departure from this world. Those words cut near as deeply into her revitalized heart as the thought that she might never see David again since he'd not touched base with her since leaving some time ago.

As the days passed and the news seemed worse and worse, Dinai found herself conferring with Chimerion of the First Legion who had access to intelligence reports of movements. She began working on her flight path to leave Rome and head north. Somehow, somewhere in the back of her mind she knew where Uppsala was. She knew of the places they spoke in the north. She could near, rightly, picture just where David had fleshed out the Thunderer's halls.

The last day in Rome, Dinai spent time with High Senator Bodaus. She wasn't certain why until she saw the sword over the mantle. Giving him sound advice that she gave all those in the Middle East to impart upon their leaders, breaking bread with their family, she was finally retrieved by Chimerion, given her last briefing and sent north. Chimerion gave her an exact location to go to, his other's former village in Vaxjo. While his mother had told him the village was destroyed and all taken prisoner, there was sure to be something in the area of use to hide her from prying eyes until one of Odin's trusted could usher her to hidden safety, albeit Odin's home or Thor's. Vaxjo was one of the most staunch villages who showed patronage to Baldur, that over the years of Roman oppression, and this is something Chimerion couldn't know... The village had been rebuilt every time it had been cleared. The Vaxjo natives believe that it would be there that Baldur would reappear to fight off Fenrir, the Great Dire Wolf in Ragnarok. Chimerion made certain to send her by way of the Frankish Lands through Wessex and Mercia then to Vaxjo, to avoid the enemy that she would have been protected from by Romanus.

Dinai's presence was far from masked, though she knew how to dress. The dark tones of her skin and her petite size spoke of a different region of the globe of where she could be from. Her Viking language was a bit rusty as she had spent the predominant portion of her Fallen years in Persia, though her Celestial years she was as fair skinned as the picturesque Valkyrie so highly worshipped as representatives of their gods. Vasko had meaning for her former self, unbeknownst to her, a very strong meaning. It was here she met the brothers three after having a near lethal argument with her mate. It was also here that the seeds to his fall from grace and glory began. Younger than all three, and born of one of the not so prominent lineages,  the murder of her parents, to her knowledge, was never proven to be of anything other than Archon on Fallen battle. It was she and her mate's squabble that brought an attack to their home. Not normally one to flee, Dinai's former self, fled back to Vaxjo to hide, but not after taking a serious enough blow that caused her to go into premature labor, and the death of her son, again... or so she thought.

Between the brothers three, the First and his mate, one very very few would know was also her aunt by marriage, Dinai's former self was healed, her baby was buried with appropriate funerary rites, and she was adopted into their family so she would not be alone. Only Adam and Auriel knew that Ouriel was Auriel's twin, and for the truth of the matter, the one that held near as much evil as an Archon was said to have. It was an amazement that Ouriel could even tolerate being around his chosen mate, but he turned what he at first thought to be a minus, into a big plus for him, at least until the day she returned to Vaxjo.

Her feet landed just inside the southern most border of Vaxjo as twilight began to dissipate. Her wings flexed, shook off the snow and ice that she had just gathered and began to wrap around herself as a cloak and protective barrier as she now had more to protect than herself. Dinai's feet moved steadily forward looking for the hut Chimerion said was of Baldur's high priest/priestess. The barking and howling of the dogs did not bother her as her eyes made contact with the pets and they fell into calm. It did however bring out a few of the warriors to see what was the matter. Her feet did not stop until she saw what Chimerion told her to look for.

« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 04:56:40 PM by Wenchie »

Offline Dinai

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Re: Decades in the Making: The Highest of all Festivals
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2017, 10:22:35 AM »
As a fairly large, light fur covered, female of flaxen hair and light blue eyes with vaguely familiar features stepped from the hut at the center of the village and came to meet with her stare, Dinai held out Chimerion's mother's amulet of Baldur and spoke in their native tongue, "The son of this woman, your former healer and god's wife, sent me to seek the wisdom and presence of Baldur on the night of his return."

Three battle axes were pulled with several disgusted grunts, almost accusatory in nature. The priestess suddenly barked, "INGEN!" (No!) Both her hands raising, her shield maiden axes visible on her hips. "She is protected by our Lord! Baldur, Lord of Light!" She lifted her nose and chin to the air just a bit more, her eyes glimmering such a blue that they almost looked like the purple gem amethyst for which she was secretly named. "She carries the scent of Lord Baldur's brother Thor. His fire she holds within her belly... Today is not the day to offend two of the sons of the AllFather... She must be also be blessed by the Lady of the North to have snuck into our village without Loki's servants or Loki himself noticing her.... "

She looked at the men as their axes began to lower. This female was using the correct words of reason to reach the minds of the males ready to slaughter anything that threatened their village again. Many were around for the last sacking of their village... they would rather have Helheim come to earth than leave, return and rebuild another time. "Her words, the words of a priestess's son, Baldur will return soon!" It took a moment, but suddenly the village was waking with the revelation of the priestess. Celebration was beginning, men readying to hunt to have the women cook for a grand feast in the coming night.

With the rest of the village now ignoring Dinai, the priestess took Dinai's hand, then shoulders and brought her into her hut. Seating her by the fire, the priestess spoke quietly in their native tongue, the language of the Fallen.
"I am Amethyst, daughter of Eletheurios and Serena, hidden and renamed Astrid after my father's death. But with your words, you seem to be saying he didn't actually pass?" She looked over her shoulder as she began to prepare a place for Dinai to rest after her long journey. "That sigil was last seen with Chimerion, my thrice thrice great grandson."

The Priestess's eyes flicked back and forth as she worked to read Dinai. "How long until my father is to return? Do you know? Did he tell you? I worried we would hear nothing from Chimerion after his mother was killed. Is he well?" Her mind seemed a flurry, but this one knew, that if there was a messenger, the returns had become. "Have you seen my father, the one they call Baldur? Or is it just a story? There was absolutely no evidence that his death was false."

Dinai started smiling, slightly only at first, but suddenly widening. "You ask many questions.... Would your father know you if he saw you? You may have to come out of hiding...." Oh so much she could tell this girl, but was she actually who she said she was. Dinai thought to err on the side of caution for now... she had to wait a few days anyway before allowing anyone to know she was here that she couldn't mentally contact. And if Adam was worried of Seth, he likely wouldn't pay attention to an area of light.... right? At least she thought so.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2017, 10:50:23 PM by Wenchie »

Offline Eli Gregorios

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Re: Decades in the Making: The Highest of all Festivals
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2017, 10:17:00 PM »
There was a chuckling suddenly from the far side of Amethyst's hut as his daughter started to play twenty questions with the unknown Fallen female, unknown to her at least. Amethyst, had she not Fallen, would have likely recognized this one as one of her grandfather's Thrones, but those memories were long lost. He didn't remember Dinai in that respect until his father told he and David. He stopped when he realize he could be heard. The suddenly stillness of Amethyst and her eyes darting around instead of answering Dinai's question right away gave Eli the best clue he'd been heard.

He'd not surprised Dinai, but that definitely didn't surprise him. He knew she was family and at their dinner, Dinai would have made certain to know those present by a near intimate mental touch. He watched and slowly brought himself into the light, though making sure he didn't cast a third shadow to get the attention of those outside his formerly missing daughter's hut, especially since he'd not employed the visage of Baldur just yet.

Watching the reaction, Eli came into the light of the fire, though not casting off a shadow to bring others back toward the healer's hut. Speaking quietly, "I see you take after your father in playing dead." Since Dinai had seen him, Eli had let his hair grow out. Areas were now shoulder length, unlike the close cut, near shave, he usually had his mortal wife do for him. He waited for his daughter to recognize him, hoping she wouldn't truly be angered with him. There were very few in the family that knew he was still alive, and now she was only one of five who kept residence in the north to know the truth. Bracing himself, expecting a flurry of punches, he was mildly surprise when the rush toward him rewarded him with a very tight embrace. After the momentary shock, his arms wrapped around his daughter's body and a wide smile warmed his features as his near tear-filled eyes threatened to leak down his cheeks came to look upon his newest sister-in-law. He kissed her head several times while reassuring her that it was truly him and she wasn't dreaming.

It was nearly five minutes before he could get his daughter to unlatch from him long enough to see how Dinai was truly doing. Being with his daughter and with her abilities, his emotional senses were sharpening. Kissing her forehead, he moved over to Dinai and knelt in front of her. Placing his hand on her belly, he locked eyes with her, "How are they doing?" A slight tilt of his head, "And how are you doing? Is David here as well?" He had no clue the can of worms he would open with those questions, nor was he expecting the need to be on guard with the little.... viper like.... striker.

Offline Dinai

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Re: Decades in the Making: The Highest of all Festivals
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2017, 09:06:46 AM »
Dinai was not surprised that Eli used her entrance to mask his own, at least in a way. With the temperature of his body and his calm state of his heartbeat and breath, she was able to deduce that Eli had been here since probably mid night. For a moment, she forgot her situation and herself and another smile started to warm her features seeing their reaction to each other. Knowing David as she did, she knew that their return to each other, if there was to be one like Adam said, would not be as warm as this one.

A pang in her heart hit as her mind came to David, not for one reason but for three. The first was not knowing how David was fairing since he never returned and for the words spoken to her by Adam. The second was knowing that Eli was without a mate, a true mate of equal stature, a Fallen mate. Of course she didn't know if this was by his choice or not. She had seen the Children of the Aegean as they grew and knew he'd been blessed by one within his own family, but she knew it wasn't the same. The last, the words of impending death that would rock the family. She didn't remember Seth, but she knew, whether he said it openly or not, that it would hit the baby of the three the hardest.

When Eli came over to her and placed his hand on her belly, her mind snapped out of her thoughts that almost brought the tears forth that could have flooded.
"They are fine as far as I can tell. I don't remember ever giving birth to winged children before now," her voice cracked as she reined in her emotions. Her face lost all emotion when he asked about David however. She didn't answer at first, but her eyes nearly bore holes through his into his brain.

She didn't have permission, but she spoke to him mentally as she didn't want to alert the niece that there could be more problems on the horizon.
<"He didn't come home after the dinner. Zita was killed in the palace along with the Amenophis representative while Gaius and Tiberius were being told of the Illimar's true nature. Tiberius's grandfather seems to be going through an awakening of sorts. Romanus in Carpathia was killed by the Archon that was trying to take over the pass, the one after Zita. And your father was well out of sorts when I last saw him.">

She left it at that and looked away to break the connection. She was not a worry-wart or a nae-sayer, so for her to say anything about what she was privy to would feel new to Eli. He didn't know who she had been to their family, though the feeling had been there the moment they were all reunited. Outwardly, "Thor has not heeded the call as far as I know, and I was not informed where his hall is located before he had to go into battle to protected Odin's youngest son, the Jarl that went to Rome." A slightly deeper breath than a normal one came before she added, "The movement of Valkyrie along the shores of the Mediterranean opened up Rome and Greece to infiltration, though by minor entities. Your father found me after the dinner and told me when to come north, though he didn't tell me what was going to happen to make me wish I had come sooner..."

Her eyes turned to Eli's daughter. "It was Chimerion who plotted the safest and least patrolled path to this village so that I would not be noted by Loki or any demon tainted entities along the way. I wonder how he knew?" Her eyes now glanced between Amethyst and Eli as if questioning them both about the rolls they played.

Dinai would not be surprised if Eli could feel the animosity coming from her. She very gently however, removed his hand from her belly, while she knew he was seeing how the children within were fairing. She rose and shook her head trying not to allow her emotions spoil the emotions of the children within. She'd hoped coming north would make that easier.
"The gypsy from the Carpathian hold I was guarding was assassinated along with the Egyptian representative, within the Palace as the Mercian king was before the games when the one named Amaros made himself known to Caesar." Anyone would have to be daft, dumb and blind not to note that that information was eating at her nerves. She paced slowly. "I stopped feeling comfortable as I started to see the signs of who might have committed the murders. I do not wish to believe he would break our agreement of over a millennium, but I am not certain there is another who could do what he did..." Her mind was working but it was working in circles with no answers given. "Without your brother's presence, I am losing my focus." At least that is how she saw it. "It feels like old forces are moving around Rome. Old forces I have not detected since I was charged with separating and hiding the two seer lineages."

She moved the fur that was covering the door way just enough to stand there and look outside. Focusing on the sunrise as if she wouldn't see many more, or many more in the north. "If I remember the conversations and legends correctly, Thor has a daughter? Is there a way to call upon her, or should I go straight to Uppsala?" She'd not remembered her time in the north, but she knew the direction of Uppsala from Vaxjo.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 10:35:46 PM by Wenchie »

Offline Eli Gregorios

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Re: Decades in the Making: The Highest of all Festivals
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2017, 09:55:15 PM »
Amethyst had been reading Dinai since she came into her presenceBalduy, even within that warm embrace she gave her father. She watched as her father took the same interest in Dinai's children as he had all of his own, mortal and Fallen. Of all the things he could have done to prove himself her father, this was one of the most potent. She herself after her father's death had stopped having Fallen children, but those of Vaxjo were of her lineage which she had just revealed to Dinai.

She spoke softly, "As far as I can tell they are strong and burning with fire like they should as they are from Thor." She gave a little smile, Amethyst was more comfortable on her own turf than perhaps many were. "However, unless one is close enough, this would not alert the Trickster of your presence. And to give you assurances, there were no agents of the Trickster within the borders of the village when they returned. Unfortunately, until recently, it was believed the Lykke lineage was exterminated by the agents of Helheim."

There was movement outside which is why Amethyst suddenly began speaking as if she were informing someone of import about the goings on in the north. It was not however said in a manner that would make them curious as she was nearly having these conversations every night. Baldur looked toward the doorway where Dinai placed herself. His eyes showed a great deal of concern as she started speaking. his hand went up to his daughter signaling not to speak at the moment.

Rising this time, Eli took the visage of Baldur in case someone entered, especially since he'd not stopped a male shadow from being cast by the firelight. Eli knew if his father had come to Dinai and spoke to her privately that he had told her what he could and his wisdom was for her, to prepare her for the future, perhaps this night, perhaps all of this currently unfolding, but he also knew better than to ask her to reveal the knowledge given her. His brother going off to fight, that wasn't surprising to Eli, David had always been more easily captured by the battle than by other things including family. "I will work to get word to him that you are here. I suspected he would have already brought Ragnar home to meet up at the Festival by now. Perhaps Chimerion didn't know where to have you meet him." Eli offered.

Looking upward toward the ceiling of the hut, as did Amethyst, Eli chuckled again. "The family has been reporting to keep mortal members to help with the troop movements we can spot. This diminishes the mortal losses, especially for our allies." He said nothing more, though looking to his daughter, he figured she had also talked to Chimerion to give reports since she didn't know he was living until now.

As Dinai stood in the doorway partially covered by the fur cover, Amethyst had the urge to pull her back inside. Eli stopped her and shook his head letting her know mentally that Dinai had been solitary for so long that she would need to come to the concept of family again on her own and the fact she'd paired with Amethyst's uncle, David, would also explain why she was standoffish.  Hearing what had transpired in Rome since he and David had left on not so great terms, was actually surprising and he wondered if his father knew, speaking such query as it came to his mind. "Have you alerted father of this?" Since he'd not felt Odin's presence, he knew what the answer possibly was.

It was once Dinai spoke of missing David in her own way that Eli approached and put his hands on her shoulders gently. Looking outside in the sliver of space he had with the way she was holding open the cover, he said nothing for a few moments. Finally speaking, he was quiet and pointed, "My brother's daughter is named Thrud. To Vaxjo, you shall be called Thordis, Thor's woman, until we know what your namesake will be to them."

Amethyst, from behind them, "I would prefer to call upon Thrud and bring her here before sending you to either Uppsala or the Thunderer's halls." Looking more to her father, "Skala and Birka were just entrenched in a battle together against Demons. Fen is missing and Hel was rescued by Thrud and the Thunderer's troops under the command of Thjalfi, Thor's regent. It is rumored that Loki is now a grandfather by Hel."

She stopped speaking when she realized her father had brought his index finger of his right hand to his lips looking down at the ground outside. There was a soft giggling and then the pattering of feet. What she did not see was the little boy that had come to realize that Eli was standing behind the foreign woman of the healer's hut as Baldur. The quiet signal was met with a nod from the boy to his god to keep the secret until Baldur was ready to reveal himself. "I will see if I can call my brother, but I promise nothing since our connection seems to have diminished over the centuries apart."

For a short moment Eli had to stop as he received several delayed reports from his children. One was surprising, but he would definitely need to check this one out and be prepared for the second most interesting one... the one that would potentially turn both of his brothers on their ears when it was fully realized.