Author Topic: Assorted tales of Godric Warbornsson  (Read 587 times)

BarticaBoat

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Assorted tales of Godric Warbornsson
« Topic Start: July 31, 2016, 10:35:53 PM »
The battle raged for quite some time. As the sun rose the foggy plains of Aeng became awash in blood and the screams of men whose days were to be short. The day was notable for the relatively clear skies, though any local would know by midday the clouds would return and leave these lands grey and bleak. At this time one could see the distant forests of Noritor and Enubec. The meandering rivers, swamps, and plains of Aeng offered the feeling of a land but tenuously part of the continent, at any moment able to be consumed by the plentiful waters.

The silence in Aeng is oppressive. Even as his cavalry charged the rebel lines Godric could barely hear the thunder of hooves. It was to be unnerving to his foe, then, for the horsemen were visible through the burning fog but the sound did not arrive until their eyes burned into their foes, hooting and screaming as axes flew and they crashed through the frontline men-at-arms. Godric Warbornsson saw his prey, King Starfall.

As he let loose his axe into their lines and drew his pike, Godric felt him. His armour was unmistakable, but the vita of the men was what truly betrayed them. The guard clustered to protect their lord, Starfall himself claimed to be an archer more than footman, their energies betrayed them. And Godric could feel himself feeding from it. The whispers of an Old God penetrate the fog.

He encountered what could be lazily described as a calm, but more akin to a stillness or emptiness or nothingness. In the moment Godric could feel all the vita of the battlefield, his own vita feeding and oppressing everything around him. His eyes met Starfall's and Godric knew him as if they were brothers, the oppressing stillness of Aeng letting him feel through him. The moment lasted less than a second but it felt a lifetime.

Godric snaps his attention forward as his horse is gored by a rebel spear, his own pike having found the gut of another man, and the cracking ribs of the other man his horse has just trampled. He is half thrown and half manages to aim himself away from flying directly into the mass of rebels, drawing his axe and snarling as he cuts down a man and withdraws to safety. His men retreat to protect their lord.

Godric does not know his father well. Most of his education has been from Toren tutors and opportunities to be alone with his father are scant. He is dark and scary. The Old Toren cuts another slice from his apple and stabs the dagger into the table to draw runes.

"Your thralls. They will call existence líf, or if pious, fjör. To you those words are līf and feorh."

Godric begins to speak but catches himself. His father snorts.

"I know. Līf is life and feorh is where food comes from. But in our old tongue, these words are liba and fehrwo. Liba is líf is līf. But fehrwo is the nourishing tree. A lesser god than Tor. And you can listen to it and as a servant of Tor make the tree kneel and feel the nourishment of all things. Not in your belly but in your heart."

The runes are slowly carved. Godric ponders his father's words intently.

"And this," Warborn Tórrarin points to a final word, "this is libjana. In the old tongue it means to live, but it also meant to cling or persist. Do not forget that. Toren do not die, we endure.

BarticaBoat

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Re: Assorted tales of Godric Warbornsson
« Reply #1: September 30, 2016, 01:47:15 AM »
The field of dead was staggering. Three of the mightiest armies in all of the East lay in tatters. Godric the Dukeslayer awoke amongst the corpses and carrion-crows; that is, he felt a spark in his energies he had never before. The familiar metallic taste of blood grounded him as he surveyed the ruin. He recalls the cavalry charge. As the distance was closed under arrow fire he did not feel powerful vita from his foes besides the Prime Knight of the Vix. That energy dissipated quickly giving way to fear and pain.

Fear and pain. That is what characterized the foe. Fearful of the southern power, of foreigners whom they've never met, from lands they've never seen. And the pain of ancient powers humbled by the upstart Imperium. That they should merit such attention. That a mass knighting would be so successful.

As he let loose his axe into the enemy lines and drew his spear for the charge Warbornsson looked back for a moment at the Legiones Imperi. The Phoenix of Xavax was scared yes, but they brimmed with excitement. A bubbling vita flowed alongside the fear and a zeal permeated the charge.

This day the Toren did not withdraw when the battle seemed lost as Toren are apt to do. His cavalrymen fought to the last. Tor pushed them forward, victory seemed so certain despite the odds. But perhaps this was the victory Tor intended.

The Old Toren growls as he forgoes technique and simply manhandles his sparring partner to the ground. Godric has been lucky to watch father practicing today but his abandonment of technique is curious. A clear mistake led to a disarmament and instead of drawing back Warborn reached forward and grabbed the extended swordarm of his opponent. He then stepped in close and heaved the man over his shoulder, sprawling to the ground. Godric does need to ask: father scolds his opponent with the answer.

"You forget that the only true existence is between life and death. You are afraid of the emptiness because it heralds death but that is when Tor speaks with us directly. Not every victory is true. You left yourself open to a far stronger man closing the gap."

Warborn Tórrarin holds out his shieldarm.

"And not every loss is true. I cannot twist my arm but it meant you could not twist and break my grip on you. Capitalize on your situation. This arm broke Valkyrja."

He does not say it but Godric Warbornsson is certain his father intends him to remember this.

BarticaBoat

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Re: Assorted tales of Godric Warbornsson
« Reply #2: October 12, 2016, 08:53:58 PM »
Godric sits with Otto and a collection of his countrymen. The family that once occupied this [email protected]#$-hole (Otto's eloquent verbiage) are outside suspended on wooden stakes. The 5 children were dispatched quickly through their chest, the mother had her brains dashed for daring to defend herself with a cast iron pan (she really wielded it quite well I was rather impressed remarked one man), and the father now laid alongside his slaughtered family, groaning and wailing from being impaled with the stakes. They had a rather impressive stockpile of salt-pork which the Torenmen are now enjoying over a fire out back.

"I'm telling you, fire and brimstone. All the scariest daimons are accompanied by it. Sort of poetic, no?" Wulfwyn, one of the men, gestures to the small hog farm.

Godric takes a bite of the (rather excellent) salt-pork, "no, if we burn it down then they can only imagine what transpired. We put in good work creating a horrific scene." He looks at the hunk of meat in his hand and washes down his last bite with some wine, "if I had known the pigs tasted this good I'd never have set them free you know."

"I wonder what they taste like up front" croons Liutpold edgily, finger running down the blade of his axe. Stupefied silence overcomes the Toren. Godric starts choking on his pork. Otto stands up and kicks down the young recruit.

"Is your blood diluted?" Otto kicks Liutpold in the side. "That's horrifying what's wrong with you."

Godric barks in Toren, pulling Otto back. "You know, everytime my father ate human flesh he said it was the most gamey, unpleasant meat." He snickers. "It's a show, lad. Half of Toren warfare is intimidating the enemy. But your family must have been tanners or farmers and didn't know that."

They left the hog farm standing, and as a thanks Otto left the father some salt-pork in his mouth.

The carrion-crows were circling. They would enjoy the pork too.

BarticaBoat

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Re: Assorted tales of Godric Warbornsson
« Reply #3: November 27, 2016, 02:47:57 AM »
After the rout in Noritor

All of his men slaughtered, his loyal captain Otto fighting for his life slung on the back of his horse. Such is the judgement of Tor, that only Godric was deemed strong enough to escape.

The formation had been incorrect. The infantry started too far back and the lone cavalrymen of Xavax, his Mounted Toren, charged the rebel ranks alone. It went as expected. Otto had been violently gored protecting his lord but it had given Godric the time he needed to retreat.

There is no dishonour to retreat for a Toren. After all, dead men fight no battles. The fates ordained this day a loss but the ravenous dirt lords of Semall and filthy western rebels will not see peace. Not white Godric Warbornsson draws breath.

Otto would later die just past the Gates of Xavax, last of the original Mounted Toren. The skalds say with a sigh he regarded the Eyrie of Xavax and returned past the veil. This greatly affected his lord. The next tale is before the triumph in Leibo which is to be immortalized in the Ballad of Uthred.

The fires sharpened the scowling features of the Torenman. Large nose, light eyes, high cheekbones all brought forth by the crackling. A great battle lay ahead. Fear pierced his heart. He had been this way since watching his friend Otto die at the gates of Xavax, wounded in the disastrous battle in Noritor. His faith did not temper the anxiety which coursed through him. He should be excited, such a battle would be bloody and bring him close to Tor. This is the battle where the great men of old would laugh and drink up until it was time and march, trusting that they would be brought into the battle trance by Tor. That space between spaces, the breath between life and death which lesser men taste once but that the chosen find everytime they will it. He recalls a memory of his father.

The Old Toren shows no emotion. Godric sure does. He is scared to be sailing off to the Far East. He was born in Astrum, the Shrine was his home, but it was time to find his own destiny. All preparations have been made and now the Dulbese galley is ready. One short stop in the East Continent where he will charter a Toren longboat to make the final journey. This may be the last time he sees his venerable father alive, a man with whom he did not spend much personal time but has showered him with a legacy. "You are feeling fear. In our tongue it is pfero. It means the same, a calamity, an ambush. But I recall an elderly uncle of mine when I was a child." The Old Toren muses a moment, remembering days some 70 years ago. "He said the word was once peruhw. It meant a risk, but also to try or attempt. You do not feel fear. You feel the weight of destiny. With my blood in your veins you will surely find greatness."

So Godric feels the weight of destiny upon his shoulders. He prays for Tor's strength that he will be able to seize it.

After the triumph in Leibo, the remarks of the Dukeslayer having witnessed Uthred's fall in person.

There was to be no peace this day. Scoundrels, vultures, rebels, invaders. All descended on Leibo. To fear is to feel the weight of destiny upon your shoulders but today Godric's destiny was to be part of the Ballad of Uthred.

Even after his men fled in panic, Godric saw Uthred fight on. Even after wounds that would have killed an ordinary man, Uthred charged forward, destined to be stopped under a hail of arrows. He was no mewling cub but today Godric was awed. Tor lived through men and on this day he witnessed it. The great men of old still walked this world. Uthred was an irresistible force only halted by the finite nature of flesh. The battlefield cowered beneath his presence.

On this day Godric witnessed greatness and resolved himself to it.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2016, 02:52:06 AM by BarticaBoat »

JeVondair

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Re: Assorted tales of Godric Warbornsson
« Reply #4: December 09, 2016, 06:58:57 PM »
poor Otto :-(
"Behavior that's admired is the path to power among people everywhere"

BarticaBoat

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Re: Assorted tales of Godric Warbornsson
« Reply #5: December 20, 2016, 07:16:55 AM »
After a private scolding from a young knight, Godric takes the quarrel public issuing a challenge to duel to the death. After receiving public words, the young knight Solomon Steele sees the error of his words and asks forgiveness. This forgiveness comes in the way of a duel to surrender instead. The young knight agrees to fight the seasoned warrior. This is as the skalds sing it.

Wrath of Godric son of Warborn: sing, heralds, and let it be known Tor's will done.

Duel
Solomon Steele, Knight of Tota meets his challenger Godric Tórrarin ka Habb, Knight of Xavax for the agreed duel till surrender. Godric Tórrarin has decided to use the 'trick moves' strategy while Solomon has chosen the 'defensive' strategy, giving Godric Tórrarin the advantage. The duel goes back and forth for a while. Finally, Solomon surrenders after suffering a light wound.


Godric Dukeslayer, light-eyed but stone-hearted, met his quarry. Upon a slight the product of youth the Son of Warborn cannot let it pass. A pendant to Tor around his neck, today he wields a spear. He dreamt the night past of a wolf in the tundra. Maddened by hunger it brought a spear in its jaws. The omen was to be heeded.

His armor is chainmail from shoulder to knee. With spear is the shield, blade ever ready at his hip. His vita preceeds him as his presence dominates. The herald cries the names of the duellists and the clash begins.

Tor does not stir. This battle does not interest him. Sir Steele fights cautiously, wary of the superior warrior. His blade is caught on Warbornsson's shield, again and again, the spear thrusts forth but narrowly missing. His strength is undeniable but his strikes are slow. Like the wolf he is toying and circling ready to strike.

It is done in a flash. Steele's blade drags on the shield opening a small window to strike. The Dukeslayer does not miss, like a wild bull he charges, throwing the spear it slashes the flank of his foe. The wound is not deep. Sir Solomon is ready to fight but Godric has already drawn his blade for a killing blow. Steele's eyes show fear but his voice does not tremble. A warrior speaks. "I yield."

So the duel is won by the Dukeslayer, his respect is restored. The duel is won by Sir Solomon Steele, for he has earned the respect of Godric Warbornsson. No man may call him a coward.

BarticaBoat

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Re: Assorted tales of Godric Warbornsson
« Reply #6: February 27, 2017, 06:51:06 AM »
During a recent excursion into the wastelands of Betholm, ravaged by the Xavax Wars.

Godric was not a fan of Betholm. Not that it was a purely distasteful region, he reserved that disgust for Aeng, but it was deeply unsettling. The war had ravaged all lands of the south, but even then Betholm was always different. Most regions relied on the rich Xavax soils, but some regions like Betholm and Enubec and Oc Lu Pesh were blessed with great forests. Enubec stood aside from the others, able to rely on those same soils to support significant farming. The main difference then was that while the great road from Isadril to Ibladesh ran directly through Oc Lu Pesh, it formed the border for Betholm. Truly a backwoods region, rich wildlife and dense forests supported a relatively dense population in Betholm.

What is so unsettling, then, is that everyone in Betholm is dead. Or close to it. With the war the wildlife has been poached or fled and the once well-managed forests are overgrown with dead and rotting trees. And there is scarcely a soul. The air clings like fog to a barrow. Godric is no stranger to death, but these airs are foreboding. That many people cannot die so quickly without empowering... something.

***

Godric leads the patrol. Betholm has been recently returned to Imperium rule and orders were sent to seek out rebel forces and arrest them. Splitting into two groups, one led by his Captain Eodred and the other himself, they have set off to patrol a section deep in the forest. The horses are finnicky so late at night, they do not want to be here, every sound has them whinnying and jittery. The Torenmen are not afraid but somewhat alert: perhaps not as alert as Godric would hope. Proceeding down a narrow path in single file, he stays them with a hand. The winds blow. Finally a scream, from far off. Godric frowns, “Likely criminal scum torturing someone.” He turns his horse off the path into the brush towards the sound. The full moon can scarcely penetrate these woods and there is so much dead wood they cannot risk torches. The scream is heard again, a clamouring in the distance. The patrol tries to hurry, Warbornsson grimly leading. They finally come to a clearing, moonlight pouring forth. Godric halts them just within the dark, his eyes fixated on the far end. The horses nervously shuffle and his men try to keep quiet but begin whispering. Godric does not take his gaze off the far end. “This should be a sacred grove. But something is wrong. Mōna brings seiðr...”

The scream again, it must be from some cabin just on the other end of the grove. A few men try to push ahead but Godric stretches out his arm and whispers, “It is a champion. Stop.” The men freeze, processing what their lord has said. Squinting eyes make out a figure in the far darkness. Tense moments pass. A man groans. The hairs on Godric’s neck stand on end as he snaps his head around, “Fly, you fools!” A cacaphony of noise erupts as horses whinny and men cry praises to Tor. Scattering, Godric finds the misfortune that his horse has elected to dash directly into the clearing. Reining in, he wheels about to see he is quite surrounded. Corpses begin shambling towards him. They are very poorly constructed, probably laying traps to find flesh to strengthen themselves. The champion stalks into the moonlight, sinewy but powerful. It’s evil eyes watch Godric, analyzing. Godric slides on his warmask and helm, drawing out his spear and shield he sits as tall as he can atop his horse. As his mind flies, trying to calculate where to break through and how to flee, the champion begins stretching its jaw. A powerful voice finally crackles out, “n̥widstós.” It grins cruelly, raising its powerful right arm into the air, black magicks almost visibly swirling, it then steps to the left, bringing the arm to its opposite hip. It repeats this step, cruel grin growing wider.

Godric’s mind swirls. He has seen this before. The corpses clamour and shuffle, clacking, they are unsure what their champion is doing. Finally he remembers some fourty years ago as a young boy. His father, engaging in a duel. An ancient ritual challenge. He dismounts his horse and sends it off; he is unsure if it will be allowed to pass, but doesn’t wait to look. Stretching tall, Godric takes in the champion who repeats the challenge. He takes a moment to recall the exact steps... he raises his right arm into the air, spear held high. Stepping left he touches dirt, shield to his side, arms come aloft and he stomps his right foot and bellows. Clacking his spear on his shield, he roars, "I am Godric, son of Warborn, whose blood and life was given by an eagle of Tor."

The champion licks its lips. Right arm held high it steps to the left, bringing both fists to its left hip. Raising both arms, it stomps then slaps its chest, foul scream bursting forth. The other corpses screech and howl. The champion calls its ancestry, “unwitē... haljō.” Godric readies himself but his heart trembles: it is speaking the language of his father.

***

In the desecrated grove,
Where gods once sat and undead now sit,
Unafraid, Godric answers,
The challenge of the lich-kind.

This I witnessed, with my own eyes,
Just out of view, past the trees.
Unafraid Godric answered,
The challenge of the lich-kind.

Corpses clamour in the clearing,
Dukeslayer surveys his quarry,
A fatal wind blows through,
Singing his Saga for all near.

Eagle-son with strength and power,
Spear finding undead flesh,
Bellowing as he strikes,
Reveals the weakness of his foe.

The champion strikes back,
Wildly but with inhuman strength
Warbornsson scarcely has a moment,
To catch it upon his shield,

Inscribed with runes to Tor,
The Dead God speaks: it shall not break.
The clatter rings throughout the grove,
The Dead God spake, it did not break,

The undead bellows at our hero,
But he is unafraid, he has no weakness.
With the strength of his people
God-strength cannot fall

Circling they watch each other,
Spear strays through sacred soil,
Staining with desecrated blood,
Almost as if a blót.

Hundredslayer throws his spear,
Severing the undead’s leg,
But through dark and foul seiðr,
The wound does itself mend.

The beast strikes with great speed,
Before our hero can draw his blade,
Through his armour the claws dig,
Greedily grabbing flesh.

Warbornsson cries out and bellows,
The corpses tremble where they lay,
Striking the lich-kind with his shield,
Its face is crushed but its grip remains.

Our Dread Lord lays a challenge,
A branch falls from a tree.
Eagle-son accepts the challenge,
Throwing his shield aside.

Forearms like oak, he reaches up,
And swinging round in a circle,
Hundredslayer roars his answer,
Ripping clean the offending arm.

The champion trembles and it howls,
The other corpses screech in fear,
Speaking direct with the aether,
Dukeslayer is emboldend.

Diving forward at his quarry,
Warbornsson speaks not life nor death,
Rolling through the sacred grove,
He finally liberates its head.

Standing tall, the head aloft,
Cursing all the lesser gods,
Eagle-son bellows forth,
The corpses tremble in fear.

Driven by fear and anger,
Fourty corpses attack.
Our Patron is unamused,
A clap of thunder in the grove.

When the light subsides all that stands,
Is our hero, head still aloft
Fourty corpses lay crumbled,
The champion forever slain.

So it is sung.

During a battle in Itor Boss, where Xavax forces crushed the five armies.

Kuda Hitam (8) take 1572 hits in close combat, which cause 57 casualties, wiping the unit out.Walsh Adam, High Justice of Minas Nova, Count of Jariedma has been wounded by 2nd Mounted Toren (19).

A Toren cavalry charge is not like a regular cavalry charge. The Toren have no mounted combat tradition. Godric has largely pioneered the skill, having been on the opposing side of a cavalry charge one too many times. The 2nd Mounted Toren did not proceed with the rest of their men. They held. Their lord spied an opportunity. The hated Kuda Hitam, who killed his Xerarch once. Tor allowed her to return to life but revenge is a sweetness enjoyed by the living.

They proceeded, cautiously positioning themselves. And when the time was right, they charged. A Toren cavalry charge is a bunch of burly men atop horses flinging spears and axes and occasionally themselves. After the charge is complete they dismount and finish the job on the ground. Godric typically charges with his horse, who is geared in quite heavy armour, then dismounts to savour the kill. Today was different. The 2nd Mounted Toren charged the enemy position. At the front is the Dukeslayer, Godric Warbornsson, Hundredslayer of men. He is standing atop his horse, screaming, spear and shield ready. His men are mowed down by arrow fire, Godric even sustains a wound. But he has a mission.

***

Godric sees him. The hated one. Even as a bodkin stings his leg he will not be stopped. He knows his oaths. Just before his horse crashes the lines Godric throws his spear and shield: he won't need them. He leaps off directly towards Count Walsh. Knocking him from his horse he lets his anger flow. He flings Walsh's sword away and rips off his helm. Great oaken arms come down and he begins strangling him and smashing his head into the ground. Before he can be certain the job is finished Kuda Hitam close in. Warbornsson draws his sword and backs away. In his bloodlust he can scarcely remember but when he is done they are slain and dismembered around him. He looks for his prey: Walsh is being dragged away to safety. The bloodied High Justicar is unconscious but unfortunately still breathing.

"Not next time." Godric vows.

BarticaBoat

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Re: Assorted tales of Godric Warbornsson
« Reply #7: May 17, 2017, 07:17:18 AM »
After the disastrous battle in the Mines of Isadril, following the allied defeat in Domus.

A calm wind blows.

22 noble heraldries on each side, but the reality of established and ancient kingdoms facing off against the upstart Imperium. Out numbered nearly two to one, it is indicative of what has been a short but difficult existence.

Godric would have it no other way.

Captain Eodred, who once was a touch fearful before battles, is trotting up and down their ranks shouting of their impending victory. The weak will die, so if you are strong you will have no fear. Padded and hardened leather and occasionally chainmail clothe these men, perilously perched atop their horses. Toren, a people with no mounted tradition, yet these men have become legends in their own right.

The horns blow and the armies march.

Godric is irritated. The sky darkens as over 1000 arrows fill it in the span of a minute. There is no reason to be fighting so far back. The sky fills with the twang of bows and whistling of arrows, shuffling as the armies march, thundering cavalry charge ahead: Godric has bid his men wait, lest they trample their own.

Countless men are felled in the charge. There are no more melee troops. They have no choice but to provide cover for their inferior ranged forces.

The drums beat as Eodred begins a song. It is time to charge.

***

Godric God-Eagle charges forward
Fearless for he trusts in Tor
His men follow their great þegn
Through the fire they will thole

Six-hundred and sixty arrows
Scattered across the sky
Raining down upon the warriors
Were to reap a painful price

Sing, O! Fates, not of their doom
But of the men they drove away,
Our fated warriors fearless were they
Did not meekly die this day

Sixty-six slaves they slayed
Some fifty more fled in fear
But thirty-seven Toren killed
And thirty-one wounded


***

Disaster. Caught by a crossbow bolt in the thigh, Godric and his Toren fled, unable to even drag their dead from the battle field. Eodred died quickly. His head was cracked open by a bolt during the charge and his brains splattered all over Godric. An unfortunate end to a man Godric had warmed up to and even started to appreciate.

They fled into the hills of the Mines, four men succumbed to their wounds on the way. Their þegn taken ill with a fever, his men tend to their own wounds and attempt to keep Godric alive.

Then the hunting begins.

Semallians begin their ambushes. Unable to keep camp the Toren can scarcely stay ahead of the search parties. Little by little their numbers are whittled away until they are caught atop a knoll. The fighting was swift, outnumbered and unarmed the men fought valiantly but could not protect Godric from capture. They all gave their lives.

The Semallians cheer and celebrate, quipping about excitedly as they discuss the reward for the capture of an enemy noble.

They are unaware it is highly inadvisable to awaken a sleeping Toren.

***

Chatter. Filthy, smelly hill-bandits. Godric stirs slightly but remains still, listening, acclimatizing. The damned wound in his thight stings, he must have caught a fever. A few moments pass, they are discussing the ambush and fantasizing of the rewards for his capture. That will not do. Godric's mind races as he calculates his next steps. His hands slide to the usual locations of weaponry: nothing. They are dragging him with a tarp back to their camp. Eyes still closed, he begins murmuring a prayer to Tor, anger welling within him.

Slow breaths.

An explosion as he rolls backwards and leaps up, eyes wide: a score or so of men, short swords and crossbows, likely trained, they are surprised, Godric is not. He roars as he leaps to the closest one bear hugging his arms close, teeth clamping on his neck, then drives his thumbs into his eyes. The man's screams are foul and only serve to make the situation more alarming. Godric leaps to another man and clasping him firmly by the balls takes his other hand to squeeze and break his trachea. He takes a self-indulgent moment to savour this before looking up, they are starting to notch up their crossbows: in a flash Godric disappears into the forest.

He spends the rest of the night fleeing towards Oc Lu Pesh. None who see him are allowed to live, no man, woman, or child. An old hag is killed because he needs to dress his wound and she caught him rifling through her things. Creeping through a small logging village a young girl, scarcely a woman, sees him. He does not enjoy when he must do so, but he snaps her neck with little remorse. A group of young men, chatting and drinking on the outskirts of a farm have the misfortune of meeting Godric. He kills all six of them, the last one he chased as far as the door to their family home where he quietly bashes his head in with a large rock. He leaves the bodies. They deserve to live in fear.

Word spreads of a demon, madman, reaver, passing through the lands. And so it was in Oc Lu Pesh, a small village off the road to Betholm had formed a sort of guard against the madman but by this point Godric had found a knife. He creeps out of the brush, eyes wild, hair disheveled, covering the man's mouth and driving the blade through his throat then up through his chin so all he can do is gurgle and whistle as life slowly drains from him. His two comrades wheel about in awe and fear, their farm axes would not save them. Skillfully Godric drives forward castrating one man who falls to his knees, the other hesitates and that gives Godric the time to tackle him to the ground, the knife plunging gleefully between his ribs. Standing up, covered in their gore, Godric finishes the job with his boot. Turning back to the other man, moaning and rolling on the ground, Godric snorts. He is young, probably early twenties. Godric does not care. He kicks him in the head until he is unconscious, and with a practised skill, scalps both hair and face. He tosses it aside. He is not dead yet but there is no way to survive what Godric has done to him. So be it. His travels become a blur of death and slaughter.

Betholm is much quieter. It is already a land of death and Godric is familiar enough with it to not need to follow roads. A young boy is mercifully drowned when he catches Godric stooping for a drink of water. When he finally reaches a distant guardpost of Xavax, the guardsmen can scarcely believe it is a noble until he produces his seal. A caravan ride back to Torrenhal and then a bath. Godric convenes his court, mead is poured, and discussion begins.

There is still work to do.

The 3rd Mounted Toren were founded, ready to honour those who served before them.