• Closed • Wounded Faith

Scars stitched by belief.

It is said that when the Immortal Treid was slain, his heart was buried in the shadows of the ice, cursed by the Immortal Audrae. His people built a city atop the frozen wasteland in hopes of one day finding it and resurrecting their fallen leader.

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Norgrim Dyrdahl

Wounded Faith

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~3 Cylus 716~

A mundane gold necklace clutched in hand, Norgrim only knelt in silent prayer among his kin. The words of sermon falling upon ears not ready to hear, and a heart long to mend from it's grievous wound. The young man's eyes were closed tight, almost in agony as the words bought forth memories he was far from ready to come to terms with quite yet. Stories of Treid and his benevolence to the Ellune people along with his wisdom and kindness simply pried asunder the meager stitching which kept his agony at bay. Echoing through the cathedral archways, words seemingly drifting upon a wind which wasn't there as all who were present remained silent in reverence of their lord's slumber. Some perhaps understanding the pain of Norgrim's loss, others blind to it, one way or another such was shared amongst his kin which was clear within his currently addled mind.

Only his fist tightening, the man's mouth opening to utter customary prayers, all the while in his mind pleading for relief from his memories, begging almost through tears to Treid's slumbering body that the pain stops. However as always the sensation dulls as the sermon goes on, a cascade of multicolored light shone through true crystalline windows, bathing those worshipping in a gentle chill which almost was a reassuring embrace to Norgrim. Yet even the most minute glance at the trinket he carried bought all memories once more to the surface, the words of the Elder near the altar sounding more and more muffled, restricted if you would while this cycle continued within the young man. Using what willpower he had to keep himself from breaking down as all memories once more bombarded him, both pleasant and agonizing, even that moment of horrid discovery. Finding her corpse upon the floor, her hand reaching out, pleading silently for one to help her before finally expiring. That single sight alone causing his breath to hitch, Norgrim clenching his jaw while attempting to calm himself. Trying to force his own turmoil back below the surface so he could rise upon the Elder's conclusion, to appear as his "normal" self to all the Ellune about him when they eventually all looked ahead to the memorial statue of Treid. Such done in remembrance of their fallen father, all the while Norgrim only able to see the final, pain wracked image of his mother flash before his generally dulled gaze.
Last edited by Norgrim Dyrdahl on Fri Mar 11, 2016 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 422
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The dark tunnel heaved with a strong wind that carried with it a faint trickle of a monotone voice. The voice came and went with the intake and exit of the wind and imprinted the space with words like ‘pray’, ‘Treid’ and ‘father.’ The shadows of the tunnel were suddenly pierced by a blue icy light that came from the tunnel’s belly. As it approached, seemingly floating in mid-air, there followed three with the unmistakable grey, rough skin and hair that characterised them as Ellune. Clothed in ethereal robes, they did not care to hide the hidden icy daggers that were bound to their waists, for darkness concealed it for them.

‘Where are you leading us?’ one of the Ellune who was unmistakeably a female, whispered. The whisper was soft in sound but almost condescending.

The light stopped its floating path immediately as the one who held it looked back, straightened and did not return a whisper, rather a hiss:

‘Will you stop it already?' Suddenly the background monotone voice was replaced with a booming one and all three Ellune looked about. 'See! If you just use your ears, you can hear him now yammering on over there! Now come on!’

As they turned the bend in the tunnel, the third Ellune, taller than the rest, pointed to crack in the side of the tunnel from where the noise of a prayer could be heard clearly. The light cast from the crack illuminated the dark space, revealed an icy door that terminated the end of the tunnel.

'There it is! Let's move ahead, wait at the door until he enters his room...mind this crack in the wall.' He unsheathed his dagger and brought it to bear. The others followed suit. They crept past the crack in the wall, hoping none had seen them. They were so close now...
***
'If I may...' A voice rang out in the hall. Elder Pellan Morso, small and elderly, had suddenly interrupted one of the Elder's stories of the benevolent Treid. The Elder bowed and hobbled away to take a seat nearby. Pellan, cleared his throat. He was short and elderly and he looked over the few people that remained in the hall, revealing his soft wrinkled face that resembled that of an over-boiled cabbage gone mouldy.

‘Treid must be found, like he had found us!' He boomed aloud as he addressed the congregation of the people of Treidhart as he had always done when he wasn't in Public Council. 'He worked tirelessly for us. Without as much as a break! We too must do our part! We must dig! We must donate our money! We must donate our time! These are things we must do always! We must never fail Treid! For a world of death, in this world and the next, awaits those who fail...’

Pellan barely took a breath. The same vein of thought seemed to flow forth in an unending river of fanatical preaching. His voice echoed about the vaulted ceilings of the Hall of Statues, for which the side of the hall was reserved for services such as these. Now the few that sat in the long icy benches that were fabricated for the occasion would either be enraptured with his sermon or lost in their own prayer, silently wishing they could turn off their hearing. Sermons from Pellan were at certain points of the day and lasted only a short time before allowing the other Elder to continue.

As Pellan went on, a crack in the side of the glacial hall, glinted as something moved in the darkness within. Three Ellune figures had passed in a tunnel within, flashing the very few who sat in the congregation to notice. If one had been looking in that direction, one would have noticed their brandished daggers and slinking movements...
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word count: 653
Norgrim Dyrdahl

Wounded Faith

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A change in voice, a change in fervor stirred the young man from his own grieved musings. Eyes snapping open upon hearing such words, the plea of action for Treid again resonating within him. Norgrim took a moment to compose himself, his thoughts finally stilled by this new voice as it carried forth. Ignorant of how much time had elapsed, he wasn't aware until looking up that the main service closed almost an entire break prior. This voice speaking to those who remained, pleading for something as it were, something far beyond the mere money that was vocalized, or the time and strength to dig. No, at least to Norgrim such a voice wanted far more than mere physical possessions, in fact his eyes looked up, dried from their silent mourning only to gaze upon the man. His seat in the rear of the hall allowing for a large view of the area, taking in the full effect of the echoing it allowed.

Thoughts fluttered through the young man's mind, for his situation was in many ways a microcosm of the Ellune's existence. A parent torn from them, faced with their mortality and lost in a world where kindness is often punished by the ruthless. Compassion trampled underfoot the ironclad soles of men whose hearts hold an abyss greater than that of the Chasm itself. Due to such the motions within the walls crack seemed barely to register at all, only a cursory glance to a glinting which seemed at home amongst the ice laden archways. His stone clad visage turning to such before the Elder's words demanded his renewed focus, each statement passing through his lips causing thoughts to stir within the young man. Fist tightened around his mother's necklace before a silent muttering to himself voiced the male's thoughts in but the scantest whisper, absentminded and silent to the majority if not all of those present.

"Just as I wasn't supposed to fail her..."
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'How long is he going to talk for?' Complained the taller Ellune as he crouched down in the tunnel. 'Are you sure he will go in this room to change robes?'

'This idea is stupid!' The Ellune woman hissed at the leader. 'I'm fed up with waiting when we can just go out there and kill him now!'

'No!' Hissed back the leader. 'Just be patient, Sorvi. We have orders: that we must. not. be. seen.'

---

'...and so we must trust in Treid and in ourselves. But never should we trust others. Never those outsiders! For they would only love to destroy the Ellune. They did so to Treid.'

Pellan paused after his long tirade. He felt weary now from talking and he nodded to the congregation that he had finished speaking. He considered whether to change his robes, but he looked absently at the distance he was from the door to the change room and shook his head to himself. He was late to meet with some of the other Elder's elsewhere anyway. He motioned to the other Elder to continue his sermon and began to walk down the aisle, past the congregation. He tipped his head as he did so.

---

'He stopped.' The tall Ellune breathed, as silence took over.

'Oh no.' The leader gasped as he shuffled to the small crack in the wall to the Hall. He saw that Pellan had decided to leave and not change his robes. 'We missed our chance...we cannot return in failure.'

'Like hell!' Suddenly, Sorvi, the female Ellune had opened the icy door and slipped into the room. The other two hissed at her to wait, but the door was shut behind her.

'That's torn it. Let's get out of here!' The leader of the trio breathed.

---

Bursting out from the changing room adjoining the hall was a female Ellune with her knife now concealed between her forearm and her body. The light added a layer of detail to identify her. Her face was pretty but the softness had been hardened with determination. The Elder was startled with her presence and took moments to register as she walked past him. He muttered to himself that he would need issue a complaint about the cleaning staff of the Hall.

Sorvi began to approach Pellan's exposed back as he unwittingly continued to walk down the aisle.
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word count: 408
Norgrim Dyrdahl

Wounded Faith

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Having composed himself during the remainder of the sermon, Norgrim simply stood as the Elder proceeded to begin his advance out of the hall. The young craftsman appearing much as a stone cut figure versus the usual iced grace which accompanied most of his kind, yet all the same there seemed to be an odd resolution in his gaze. The memories sparked from this Elder's words stirred something within the wounded man, something that he felt had to be finished as it were. Only waiting for the moment to arise, Nogrim muttered to himself before the Elder was near him.

"At least one of them can be helped, if not her.. then our Father..."

A deep exhale releasing with an upturning of his gaze, Norgrim's figured looked unusually relaxed, at least in comparison to the typical for him given what occurred. Not quite acceptance but an understanding as it were of why things happened, if only a partial one at the very least. Pellan now nearing his placement near the entrance of the hall itself, Norgrim pivoted to grab the Elder's attention. A glinting of his hatchet was all that exposed the weapon's placement upon Norgrim's right hip, the chromatic display from the crystal windows casting almost a glancing ray from before Pellan's figure to through the doorway itself. His eyes having turned just to notice the female who seemed unusually brisk in her approach.

His left arm partially extended, eyes narrowed before leaving the approaching female. Only to step behind Pellan with his continued exit, his left palm coming to rest lightly upon the Elder's right shoulder before the young man's meager request echoed forth.

"Dear Elder, forgive my intrusion. If you wish we can speak as you exit this place, however something of your words struck me. I wish to only ask of how I may aid our Father, and if you'd be willing to point me in the right direction of doing such."
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Sorvi tightened her grip on the dagger, forcing the sharp edge to draw blood through the icy skin of her forearm. Her pace had quickened and features grew hawkish as she focused entirely on her target. There was no going back now. Her mind played her short life in flashes of pain and misfortune spent needlessly at the dig site as directed by her fanatical parents. She had felt brainwashed into the obsession to find Treid's heart, and paid dearly for it at the self-inflicted starvation of her family, blaming it on Elders like Pellan. While her intent was to punish Pellan, there were cracks of doubt in her logic. Would killing Pellan solve it all?

It was at this moment, that the target in her view was suddenly displaced by another Ellune, whose roughness of look was exacerbated by the beard that shot forth down his face, seemed to throw resistance to her pace. The cold steel of a hatchet flashed a warning upon her approach and the confidence with the way he eased into her path caused her determination to fizzle out. A tinge of relief seemed to sweep over her as quickly as the chances of killing Pellan diminished.

She turned abruptly and sat on one of the icy benches, tears emerging in her eyes, as the prayer of the Elder continued. She turned her hand, letting the icy blade clatter to the ground, followed by spots of blood that was now streaming down her arm. It was a sign of what could have been - her having stabbed Pellan but met with a hatchet to the back from this man - then falling to bathe in a shared pool of blood. She was eager to kill Pellan before but she had crumpled under the intimidation of another. She had truly and utterly failed...

In one of the many benches of the congregation, a section of an icy sword of bright blue vanished as it slid into its sheath. The blue light thrown on the wielder was extinguished and left a face of cold grey. The man leaned back on the icy seat and turned his bald, gaunt head side-long to gaze long and hard at a bearded Ellune who had just saved the life of Pellan.

'Who are you?' The bald man whispered to himself, our of earshot from everyone else.

As Pellan and the bearded man walked away from the congregation, the bald Ellune, rose and walked onto the central aisle to follow them. As he passed the female Ellune, his arm seemed to create a blue flash in her direction, unnoticed by everyone in the congregation as the Elder continued his prayer. After he left the aisle and the hall entirely, the female Ellune attempted to rise from the icy seat but suddenly slumped forward and fell to the ground with a dull thud. Members of the congregation attended to her quickly and turned her limp body over. Blood seeped from a small hole into her back and through the heart. She was dead.

----

Pellan felt a hand lightly touch his shoulder.

Dear Elder, forgive my intrusion. If you wish we can speak as you exit this place, however something of your words struck me. I wish to only ask of how I may aid our Father, and if you'd be willing to point me in the right direction of doing such.

Pellan turned his head sideward, and upon noticing that the speaker was taller than he, he looked upwards to place a face to the voice. The words that were spoken were sincere and was augmented by the man's general appearance which glowed with a strength that Pellan greatly appreciated. While Pellan preferred not to speak to commoners of the Ellune, he made this one a rare exception.

'You are too kind, young man. I am pleased to have inspired upon a fervor within to do good by our Father.' Pellan continued his slow gait out from the Hall. They were met with a soft dusting of snow, that clouded the rest of the city in a white haze. 'So that I may answer your question better, let me pose one to you first. What do you do here in this city?'
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Norgrim Dyrdahl

Wounded Faith

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Norgrim's hand lowered upon the Elder's recognition, his wearied gaze reminiscent of his own father in a way. Yet to Pellan's eyes there was an acceptance in such that made it perfectly clear just the kind of wisdom he held. As where most turned Norgrim away, even in regards to other Ellune, Pellan noticed something which prompted his reply to the young man. Ignorant of the attempt upon Pellan's life, Norgrim for the time following, listening to the inquiry posed by Pellan, such seeming a simple question yet one that all the same would decide the course of their remaining dialogue.

"You are too kind, young man. I am pleased to have inspired upon a fervor within to do good by our Father. So that I may answer your question better, let me pose one to you first. What do you do here in this city?"


Inhaling slowly, the dusting of snow while they advanced a welcome sensation for the Ellune craftsman. As he is usually plagued with the warmth of a workshop instead of the cold embrace that this land offered continually for his kin. Eyes turning his countenance upon the Elder again, only glancing upon his robes, the younger male taking care to keep pace by stepping slowly in order not to overtake Pellan's own leisurely gait.

"I am a leatherworker, wise Elder. I learned the craft from my father, and have moved here in order to provide more for the remainder of my family in Solaero."

His voice, while rasped, holding a certain pride as Norgrim's occupation was laid bare. In fact the only true thing he ever has pride in, such was a bought to the surface of his mind as the necklace he continued to grasp this entire time knocked upon one of his knuckles. Turning downwards to gaze upon the object, in the presence of this man such memories didn't hold their usual sting, the scar upon his heart at ease and Norgrim for a time surprised by the lack of anguish. Only responding silently with a faint upturning of his lips. Lifting the necklace to only place it within his pocket, secured against the man's thigh for the remainder of his encounter with Pellan's wisened countenance.
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I am a leatherworker, wise Elder. I learned the craft from my father, and have moved here in order to provide more for the remainder of my family in Solaero.

Elder Pellan nodded mutely at the man's reply and surveyed the city as they began walking along the bridge over the chasm that separated the glacial Hall and the city square. Pellan turned slightly to see a necklace nursed in the hand of the man's hand. The gold had cut through the haze of powder in the air and as quickly as it appeared, was hidden again by a clenched hand and pocketed. The profession, the new city and the necklace, seemed connected and generated a feeling of past tragedy and an attempt to make a new life. Contact with this personal story from an Ellune of Treidhart, made Pellan realize that his speech had lumped all of the people of Treidhart into a large, faceless mob. He felt, an addendum to his sermon, that made good some of his hasty words, was necessary.

They had begun to approach the main square that was hidden by a blanket of snow. Ellune milled about, leaving criss-crosses of footprints and sound of the hustle and bustle of the city.

'A fine occupation.' Pellan nodded. 'I am now armed with an answer to your first question.' Pellan turned and regarded the leatherworker directly. 'I have always said, that to successfully find Treid's heart, it will depend entirely on the strength of many efforts. We cannot all dig for Treid's heart, most certainly me in my aged condition. But I, and you, have other talents to support the city and make it great. This, in itself, is a service to Treid. But it is critical, that what we do is done to our best ability. Let us make proud the ones we love and the ones we have lost.' Pellan nodded wistfully to the necklace in the man's pocket. His wife had a necklace like this - but she died long ago. He placed it on her statue every year but she was gone, forever. At least there was hope with Treid, he thought.

'Now. I see my fellow Elder's in the distance. But before I go, I'd have your name if you please?'
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word count: 395
Norgrim Dyrdahl

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Norgrim only followed Pellan as they advanced, a simple glance of the Elder's eyes caused Norgrim's heart to hitch within his chest momentarily. The Elder, having slowed himself to a halt, turned to face Norgrim as he looked up into the young craftsman's eyes, the young man himself looking on with curiosity as to the response. Wondering just how he was to aid both the Ellune and Treid in their efforts.


"I have always said, that to successfully find Treid's heart, it will depend entirely on the strength of many efforts. We cannot all dig for Treid's heart, most certainly me in my aged condition. But I, and you, have other talents to support the city and make it great. This, in itself, is a service to Treid. But it is critical, that what we do is done to our best ability. Let us make proud the ones we love and the ones we have lost."

His breath stilled for a moment at those words, in particular the mentioning of those passed on. Norgrim had no particular idea just how the older male picked up on such a thing, for as far as he was aware the only trinket linked to her was safely tucked away in his pocket. However despite all this, and despite the glimpses of his past which were conjured from that simple reply, the young craftsman responded in kind by only looking into Pellan's eyes whilst the elder spoke. Both trepidation and relief upon the young man's face, as a faint smile returned once more to his roughened countenance. A simple final question from Pellan sounded off to Norgrim, the two currently still within the square. Other Ellune passing by as some cast glances to the conversing pair, most ignoring such as they dared not question the business of an Elder, only seeking to continue what contributions they could.


"Now. I see my fellow Elder's in the distance. But before I go, I'd have your name if you please?"


His eyes widened slightly, after all this time he hadn't so much as introduced himself to this man, only blindly asking for aid in how he were to assist the father of his kin. Shoulders lowering upon an exhale, Norgrim chuckled lightly as his words carried out, the young man's rasped voice hiding the slight embarrassment of such a mis-step from most, as he was accustomed to such already in social situations.

"Ah, I apologize for not stating such earlier wise Elder. My name is Norgrim Dyrdahl and this is city my birthplace, despite my family hailing from elsewhere."
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Pellan was used to the shocked reaction of those who were asked for their name. An authority who lead the masses, had little time to delve into the individual, but for Pellan, this was essential. For to understand the individual was to understand that the masses were not simply homogeneous, but diverse. Following the initial shock was a small laugh and Pellan felt it seemed to break through the mask of roughness, like striations of light piercing through cracks in a stone wall. He should do this more often, Pellan thought.

Ah, I apologize for not stating such earlier wise Elder. My name is Norgrim Dyrdahl and this is city my birthplace, despite my family hailing from elsewhere.

Pellan nodded.

'Well Norgrim, do continue to attend the sermons at the Hall. Perhaps we will speak again. I will take my leave.' With that Pellan turned on his heel and left.

At that very moment, the snowfall that began quite sparsley began to thicken all about. The cityscape slowly faded to white and soon Pellan's figure, too disappeared. All noise dissolved to silence.

'Norgrim Dyrdahl?' A voice grated from all around. A figure slowly appeared as he walked toward Norgrim out from the white snow. Details began to emerge. At first he looked like a figure hewn out of grey rock, but as he continued his slow gait, what was soon made clear was his gaunt face bald and stark, sitting squarely on a thin body, from which hung about was a cloak that floated about as if he were immersed in water. Firmly in a bunched fist was a scabbard from which hung icy tendrils that weaved patterns in the air, swishing about as he walked. He stopped some distance away, his eyes were sunken and glowering. 'I saw what you did back there in the Hall. You know something and that is important to me.' He murmured and pointed to Norgrim. 'Tell me what happened with that Ellune girl - how did you know she intended to kill Pellan? But be truthful in your answer, for we, the Black Ice, do not forgive those that give lies.'
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