Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Kampi's Saga: A Cruel Turn of Fate

This is will be the last entry of Kampi's Saga for some time that directly relates to in-game events until I again attend Medieval Chaos as this particular character. In less than a week's time I'm going in for an operation; taking care of that concern on my kidney. Being a complex procedure, the success of the surgery will dictate my recovery time and ergo when I am physically fit enough to attend as a fighting PC like Kampi, much less a non-combatant.

Speaking of a non-com character, I've got one in the works; He has his debut the week prior and I'm bringing him out again this coming Saturday for my last day at MC. If I feel he warrants it, I mayhap start a blog series on him.

Wodin's Day, the 17th of the month of the Sun
Local Year 5315

Rune: Othila
Divine Association: the goddess Frigg, consort of Wodin and matron of the Æsir
Literal Meaning: Inheritance
Interpretations: Estate, Heritage, Tradition
  • Right-side: Endowment, Familial ties, Legacy
  • Inverted: False Entitlement, Loss, Separation

Tomorrow, at dawn's light, I am to leave Arrakis. 

There is a ship awaiting me in the harbour of Helm's Deep, bound to the far northern lands of this realm. It is there I seek perhaps a landmark or culture that may provide proof that the homelands of my kin may be reached by physical journey.

I did not make such choice to leave on a whim; believe me that I deeply ruminated upon it. What I've been feeling for the past months, is a growing compulsion; a strong desire that I believe to be almost divine in nature. Though recent events and my own desires compel me to stay, I have sworn oaths and made sacrifices to the gods of the sea and travel for their favour and after seeing several portents I will not change my decision.

I was hoping my fellow shipwreck-survivor, Volm, would have returned from his journey east before I departed, but he has yet to do so and it has been sometime since I received word from him, so I must travel alone. The desire to reconnect with any of my remaining kin, to let them know what happened to myself and my fellow mariners during that ill-fated voyage drives me to tarry no longer, despite the incidents of the past laugardagr

As I mentioned, I saw many a divine omen that day: the first was an encounter with a follower of the God of Thunder whose faith in his calling had begun to waver: Elfranco, I believe is how his name would be spelt. It seemed that his former master, a member of the mercenary group known as the Butchers Bill, abandoned him mid-tutelage. His incomplete training and sparse knowledge of the god he followed combined with the recent complete schism between the false church of Thor (now known as Khorne, one of the four chaos deities collectively worshipped as the Undivided as they are called) and the true Guardian of Asgard, Thonar (or Thor as he is better known locally) has left this young pupil doubting his future.

The unsavoury site of worship to these chaos deities occupies the previous site where the hospital was originally planned to stand, and I was to aid in its construction. I have several reasons to dislike this cult, but this furthers my mistrust: The fact that the mentor to this young disciple abandoned his charge is disgraceful; the bond between mentor and student should be sacred.

But, if this turn of events has shifted Elfranco toward to the true path of the God of Thunder, or at least to a master of a noble deity much better suited to training him than his previous one, then I cannot discount the entire affair for it is the will of the gods. I would train him myself, but I do not feel as I am yet ready for such a full responsibility; though the Allfather is my guide, I have made it my duty to know all members of the pantheon of the Æsir and he seeks the path of the Cleric just as I do. I thus tried to impart some of my wisdom and knowledge to him as best as I was able to during our short time together. If I return to this land, I hope to see him in a position of stronger faith.

The next omen I saw that day was a raven, which I felt must have been one of the two belonging to the Lord of the Golden Hall, either Huginn or Muninn. How do I know this? For it is under the watchful gaze of this sacred bird, there was a deepening of my belief: I felt that my reserve of faith was greater and that I could preform new acts of credence; even my mail and the small shield I had begun to carry (aptly named Lillhlif, which means Little-Shield in the tongue of my people), which before that point had felt ungainly, now seemed almost intuitive bulwarks that would keep me from harm. All of this I instinctively knew was but a temporary boon granted by the Æsir to see if I would prove myself worthy as a acolyte of their divine will.

And set forth to prove my convictions I did when a threat arose against the town (as is often to occur); I rallied behind a fighter by the name of Oenomaus, whom I met of recent, having approached me claiming to be a friend of Kail and one of the few ex-members of the kingdom of Hrogn (a kingdom in which many of the members have caused me grief as of late, it was comforting to meet one no longer bound by their service).

Though at times we became separated and I fell often to death (mostly by powerful magic or the balls from flintlocks wielded by honourless cowards, things neither my combat-prowess nor my protective gear could avail me), I did prove my mettle by felling many a foe by my sword Sváfnir (Slayer), and by my sæx Hrafnefr (Raven-Beak), with the aid of my comrades in arms. There were a few times I was able to lay my hands upon a fallen or wounded ally and through my newly gained revelation I was able to restore their vitality in measures. 

The pair of recently painted holy symbols that I bore upon my the fore and aft of my tunic (three intertwined drinking horns representing the vessels containing the mythical Mead of Poetry the Chief of the Æsir acquired through cunning and craft) when combined with my clerical foci further lessened the toll such acts would have dealt my reserves of will. It pleased me much to discover the addition of such revered images to my vestment provided directly beneficial that day.

Alas, I became overconfident of my new-found abilities, for when I paused to pray and replenish my exhausted willpower, I requested my smith friend Seppo (who is a master artisan above all in the ways of working metal and leather), to work his talent upon the restoration of my damaged armour whilst I was making my devotions.

That was the moment of hubris that caused the fall from the grace granted to me by the Allfather

I was presumptuous to believe my connection with the Æsir was firm enough not to be distracted by Seppo working upon my mail. I was wrong for I see now the connection was made tenuous and even if the gods were able to hear my worship, perhaps they did not answer my prayers to teach me a harsh lesson: the true faithful shall not seek to benefit during their time in prayer from desires of a physical nature. 

I now see that my overconfidence masked my diminished faith; and I can see now that when I last laid my hands upon an ally to restore them to life, I had only half the willpower needed to bring them back from beyond the veil; the remaining portion must have been given directly by the gods. Praise be to them for finishing the task this too-eager disciple had set forth but could not complete on his own.

I then soon came to learn of the err of my ways when the boon of a greater faithful servant began to fade with the coming of twilight. I had failed their test. I was not yet considered worthy of such responsibility. I shall remain a humble apprentice until I am deemed fit to rise again to their challenge.

The battle was fierce but desperate that day, against grim forces consisting siege jötunn, vile creatures known as feastlings, dishonourable goblinoid pirates, and other, perhaps worse beings, the culminating events ended more dire: our foe collectively succeeded in a ritual to summon a being of near godlike power known as Yog'So'Thoth. Even the bravest warriors fled before this winged, tentacled horror that walks as men do. I did not chance to glance upon it myself, but many have described this loathsome creature to me. Below is a composite sketch:

After it and its forces suddenly disappeared to who shudders to think where, news began to spread of the horrendous deeds done in their wake: Amongst the counted dead was the warrior Oenomaus, who witnesses tell me he suffered great indignities before that vile creature: the entity tore and twisted each of his limbs, caused him a magically-induced pain, silenced his screams of agony before finally devouring his very soul.

I shall see you in Valhalla one day, brave Oenomaus.
I cannot help but contemplate on the nature of that horrid creature; it nearly defies description, but surely it must have some root in the sagas of my people. I initially thought it was a form of the Midgard Serpent given it's visual affinity for water, but after careful consideration it must be an aspect of the Malice Striker, Nidthogg, a creature that forever gnaws upon the roots of the cosmic tree that keep it imprisoned. It's freedom is one of the heralds of Ragnarök as the tree begins to wither and die from having its roots torn.

I heard tell that this was not the first time the inhabitants of this land have encountered Yog'So'Thoth; that must mean That-Which-Forever-Gnaws is able to escape its imprisonment in Náströnd to wreak havoc upon the realms of mortals. This begs the question, has it fully succeeded in severing the root keeping it bound and we are but a step closer Ragnarök, or if it was only able to escape through ritual summoning does that mean the root remains somewhat whole but forcing it back to the realm whence it came may ensure the inevitable death of Yggdrasil? 

All these dark thoughts and dire events make it even more difficult to leave. I do not want to be seen a coward fleeing from these troubles, but I have already sworn to embark upon this journey and the signs further direct me to the north.

After all that had transpired I became deeply sullen and took to drink. I stated my intentions to leave to my closest friend Tobias and his companion Ori, and we said our farewells. Afterwards I met again with Seppo and by his suggestion we journeyed to the river to wash away the grime of battle on my skin and the tarnish upon my soul. Thrice immersing myself in those waters lifted my spirit a bit and gave me some measure of hope for the future. Soon after darkness fully came and the stars began to appear in the heavens; a line of three in the western sky caught my notice: each one progressively brighter towards the northern sky. Surely this was another omen, that of Wodin's mystical spear Gungir and the spearhead pointing my way home.

Before I took my final leave of those lands and began the long journey here to Helm's Deep I met with the sole individual that I owe my very life to, as she perhaps above all deserved the explanation of my departure. With my account I also gave a gift to her and our master Relan; a set of rings each embedded with a stone the colour of bright honey; for the deep appreciation I feel for the kindness and aid the church of Ithus had given to this lost mariner during his time in this land.

In return Sprig sung to me a song which moved me to tears. The words sung are as follows:

"May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And the rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
Until we meet again
May you live well, in the heart of your home
Until we meet again"

Upon reaching Helm's Deep I also received a poem written by her hand:

"To search out the home he knows no more
To seek the far and shrouded shores
Away for kind and friendly folk
Will he return? I do not know
As off to Sea, the Mariner goes"

I shall keep both close to my heart upon my journey.

I pray that my travels lead me to what I seek, but I perhaps hope even more to return someday to the lands of Arrakis and to the folk family here I care about so deeply.

Praise Be To The Æsir 

-Ref 'Kampi' Vandillson

A song for those departed, both living and dead.