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Author Topic: Decades in the Making: The Highest of all Festivals  (Read 430 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 DC Viking

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Re: Decades in the Making: The Highest of all Festivals
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2018, 02:29:37 PM »
Auriel, after leaving Kattegatt, went straight back to Odin's home where she had left Heimdahl. She attempted to find him, but was, at all turns, stopped by Marnit and Marna, her granddaughters through her youngest son. They were trying to stop her from attempting to stop Adam's punishment of Domiel for not telling him of Auriel's existence, especially right under Adam's very nose.  It was then she gathered what she did not worry of leaving and made motion to leave.

"Where are you going?" Marnit asked as Marna continued the gatekeeping duties they were picking up slack for until Heimdahl was done with punishment and Runi returned to the north to take up his father's mantle.

"Uppsala, if you must know." Auriel returned her response softly as the grace she never before displayed was naturally coming through in her movements. She looked over her shoulder as she heard the cawing of two Ravens and there was a smile. "And I know both of you heard me." She looked back to Marnit and did not change her tone as she wrapped herself in a thick cape. "I will be in the hut labeled for my being. I must prepare for The Coming for the first time now that my identity has been proven to me." Taking a breath as she picked up her pack, strapping it to her front so it did not mettle with her wings as they moved, "I am not running. I have been told where I must be to greet those who have missed me for so long." That is all she would say as she was made privy to some not so true deaths while she was in the south. The only one she wasn't privy to was Eli's/Baldur's, but it would not surprise her.

As she moved out of Heimdahl's chambers and through the main hall with naught but the ravens there, she brought her eyes to them and spoke incoherently to the non-animal ear but coherently to the ravens of her one true beloved, *~* "Let Odin know here I will be. My memory has returned, but according to Domiel's successor, it will not be for long." *~* She knew the message would be given to Odin as she took but a few steps and took off in flight to Uppsala where the humans would believe her the Lady of the North and not a Fallen/Valkyrie.

Auriel flew under the cover of the snow clouds that threatened a deep winter storm, but would be gone for the opening ceremony. She stopped just within the tree line and hid her wings from the world. She wondered just how long it would be before she would be face to face with the one she had avoided for so long, but the thought left her quickly as she realized that she was not alone as she stepped into the hut marked for Freya, the Lady of the North. Runi had made it there, but he was injured and healing, for the most part. Staring at him for a moment, she almost couldn't believe how much like Domiel he looked. "Runi?" She let part from her lips, but it was in such a whisper, her mind turning on the torches so that she could see him better.

The lighting of her torches signaled the rest of Uppsala that the Gods and Goddesses were now arriving. As Kron, Loki had sent many from the coastal-border village he was king over to serve as servants for Freya and Odin. The ones to be her hand/shield maidens were in tents around the ritual Queen's hut so the moment the torches lit, she would be bombarded with servants able to help. She didn't move until the hut door opened and three females came in, two gasping that there was a male in their Lady's hut that they didn't know about. Two pulled large daggers from their waistbelts and their started to move into action to take care of the male intruder. Suddenly Auriel moved her hand, "No." She said, her voice just above a whisper, but effective nonetheless. The women stopped and looked to her. "I know this one. Bring me hot water and bandages."

She then moved forward, motioning the one that had remained stationary and behind her forward with her. Kneeling beside Runi, she and the last and remaining shield maiden helped move him into the chair he was near and missed before he passed out to heal. Moving quickly, she used what she had to reset Runi's left shoulder and the compound fracture of his right humerus while the shield maidens were in her hut with her. After cleaning and bandaging him up, she had the shield maidens gather furs. This was more of a ploy to get them out of the hut so that she could check to see if Runi's wings had been damaged. Runi was running a slight fever, which concerned her, but with finding that his wings were without injury, she noted that his fever was still present. Brushing the hair from his face, she shook her head slightly, "I just found you my son, do nae leave me." She was unaware that the silent shield maiden had reentered until she dropped what was in her hands, furs and leather strap to hold them on, at the words my son.

Auriel's eyes darted over her shoulder and while she should have been angry about being overheard, she was not. The hiding she had been doing without her memory and without wanting to be told just who everyone thought she was was now over. She never raised her voice, "This Valkyrie is my son." The female looked confused, "But he looks like Heimdahl, not Lord Odin." It made her smile. "This I know. He is also a seer, was to be trained to replace Master Heimdahl should he fall, but he was stolen as a babe, and he had found his way back to us."  Her head lowered, "The Nnorns said that he might not survive The Coming... The Homecoming of all those that were believed lost to us." She looked back to the shield maiden. "But he has not been introduced to The Lord of the North because of the demons that plague us."

The woman quickly picked up the furs and leather straps and moved to Auriel's side. "Then we will make sure he survives milady." With that she started to care of the healing Fallen. "Then we will make sure he gets to the Nnorns for training. He will healed by the end of the Festival, I promise milady." The young shield maiden was definitely a good servant and she had been trained to heal, along with the other two by Loki himself, so that if he had to pose as injured as Kron. While his injuries were only faked, their training had not been. They had also been useful in the mortal end of battles in healing men they could have well lost. Watching her, Auriel finally asked, "Who is your Jarl? I shall have to thank him for seeing that you were trained so well." "Jarl Kron. He wishes to meet with the other Jarls here in Uppsala for something that will tie us all together." She smiled. Oh little did she know that Kron had been missing for several weeks now after hearing that there was proof that the Czar's people had lost control of a Viking seer they had stolen as a child. She had been here setting up the huts for the Gods and Goddesses of the North.

Their attention was suddenly taken from the task as there was a thudding at the door. Since it was known she was back, guards were posted on her hut door to ensure she wasn't bothered, especially after it was let slip that a Valkyrie had sneaked in under their noses and almost died. It was only known however by one mortal amongst them that this Valkyrie was her creation. Using the fact she was a deity in their eyes so she would not have to have had cheated on Odin to create this one, and she had had a plan for him, perhaps something the All-Father or the Nnorns had whispered to her in caution so that the North would always be safe. "Come in," was offered and as the door opened, the one stepping in had seen her briefly on the Iberian Peninsula, but it hit him where he'd seen her before, when he was younger, much younger... "Madonna?"

It took Auriel a moment to recall the name she was called and the name she was introduced to him by the Grecian Fallen she had helped, not realizing that was her son Eli... until... "Oalfr........ and...." Her eyes flashed to Runi and suddenly Naos sped forward to catch his grandmother as she lost consciousness. "Lady Freya!" The shield maiden exclaimed as Naos caught her and took her to her bed. Freya was not in a normal lack of consciousness however, her eyes were moving rapidly as if she were watching something.

Runi's eyes came open and his hand reached up and touched the shield maiden's who had been tending to him. "Have the warrior find the one named Rachiel." Runi spoke and looked to Naos, "Your eastern contact."

Naos's temper, much like his father's, became noticeable just then, "What did you do to her?!?!?!" He stood up quickly and moved around Auriel's bed toward Runi as if he were going to kill him. The shield maiden stepped into his path and just like his father, Naos's motion forward stopped so he wouldn't unduly injure an innocent. "Master Oalfr, please stop. The Lady of the North has brought him under her protection. She claims him as a son." Naos's eyes, which had been glaring at Runi, suddenly showed surprise and darted down to the tiny shield maiden who dared stop him. "What?"

"I am your father's half brother... through the Lady of the North," Runi confirmed. "I did not lie through Ragnar's seer, who is several generations my granddaughter." The males looked to Auriel. "She sees the memories she will soon lose. The only one that can slow the loss of her memory that I know and she knows is named Rachiel. The Lady fell and lost her memory correcting an injustice to three of her four children, your father, your younger uncle, and a daughter denied your grandmother." Runi tried to adjust himself to relieve the pressure on his wounds, lessening his pain. "I must call for Odin, you must find your father, his mate, your sister, and the Lord of the....." But the movement sent him to unconsciousness that he had been fighting. His eyes suddenly started moving in a similar pattern as Auriel's as Auriel's presence was pulling what had been safeguarded within Runi when he was stolen.

The female shield maiden quickly moved over to him and wiped his forehead and looked back to Naos, "Master Oalfr, Ragnar's seer is named Ragnhildr. I only know this because Jarl Kron was keeping tabs on Prince Loki and his children's movements. It is said Fenrir the wolf was summoned by Heimdahl's seer to save her from a demon attack when Hel went missing. It was also said that she captured the heart of the wolf and he can escape his sleep when the moon is missing from the sky to check on her and visit her. Truth or not, I am uncertain..." After covering Runi with a couple of furs, "As for this Rachiel, I know her not. But it is said that the Lady of the North never had a daughter... not even adopted?"

Naos knew of a Rachiel, but he had not heard from her in a few centuries, he thought perhaps she had been killed as he did not know of many Fallen in the area she vowed to protect. Listening to the female, he watched Runi, his jaw set. He worried for the woman that he just found out was his grandmother. "I just came from battle where that one," he motioned toward Runi, "Helped us through Ragnar's seer, defeat the enemy demons to save Ragnar's new family from the south. Thor has yet to return..." His eyes flicked to Auriel then back to Runi before settling on the shield maiden, "I must go find Thor, the other Valkyrie and Rachiel if she is still alive." He ran his fingers under her chin softly, noticing that Runi's hand had not let hers go as of yet, "He seems sweet on you. If you are spoken for, do not lead him to believe you are not. A Valkyrie with a broken heart is a dangerous thing." He took a breath, "From what I remember of Rachiel, a Valkyrie named Auriel hid her from the demons after her mother was assassinated by a male Valkyrie who was tainted by them. I have not seen her in a very long time... not since she disappeared to the east... with the Cathayans." Little did he know that was his grandmother's true name. It was not as if Eli had spoken much of the family since he had to remain in hiding and even Naos didn't know that Eli was supposedly dead up here.

Taking steps toward the door, he looked to the shield maiden, "If they take a turn for the worst, called upon Jarl Kron's messengers to summon the Lord of the North and to Kattegatt where Ragnar should be returning with Ragnhildr if they have not already. With what he said before the battle started I think the enemies of the North had stolen the Lady from the Lord and found a way to hide her from Heimdahl and the Nnorns. If she found her way home... this could be a turning point in this war for Midgard." He stopped and looked toward his family, trying to draw a connection with them, unsure if he should safeguard his heart as his mother had safeguarded his existence from these people, unto her death.

"Master Oalfr... who should we say summons them? You are not known to our people..." The shield maiden asked, only knowing a name, but never having heard it in reference to a God, Goddess or Valkyrie. Naos's hand touched the door to the hut, but instead of pushing it it open to leave, he looked back to the shield maiden and his hand paused. His eyes showed conflict as he thought about how to announce himself. He knew this would draw the attention of all about that wanted revenge against the man he was just told was his father only days before. "Ragnar and Ragnhildr fought with me, but Odin may not know who I am... Tell him, them...." He took a deep breath, "The son of Thor has come home..." The confusion upon the shield maiden's face was instantaneous, but the next words gave the woman what she needed to believe, as he shared similar features to the one he now named, "And no, not even Thrud knew... I was hidden from all because Thor and Loki were at war with each other after Baldur was killed and Sif went missing. " Naos's head turned quickly as the door to the hut was no longer against his hand and was pulled open with urgency. The moment the torches were lit, summonses were made immediately.... Who answered first?

Those who are in position at the festival at this point: Auriel, Runi, Naos (at least for now)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 02:32:21 PM by DC Viking »