Oct 30, 2011

Tales of Tyria - Chapter Two: Bear

If you missed it, here's a link to the previous Chapter.
Skoldur awoke late in the morning with only a mild hangover from the previous night's revelry.  His stomach was upset about something; although he couldn't tell if it was hunger or nervousness caused by his anticipation at meeting the Havroun.
Looking out his room's window he could see that yesterday's threatening weather was getting worse.
The sky was dark grey and flurries were starting to fall.  As he looked, he thought he saw some flashes of lightning from the centre of town.  Thinking that there might be a battle, he jumped out of bed and then fell back into it as a wave of vertigo swept over him.
After getting onto his feet again and taking a closer look out the window, he realized that there wasn't any battle going on outside and that his stomach woes were due to hunger, so he headed down to the tavern to get an early lunch. Once there, he asked the innkeeper about the lightning.
"Oh that!  It's those crafty little Asura and their gate.  You can ask them about it, but you won't be able to understand the little buggers.  I've figured out what they're trying to say though: it sparks when they use it while it's snowing.  Ha! Takes them twenty big words to say that" the innkeep laughed.
Skoldur bartered for some food and took a table in the corner so he could be alone with his thoughts while he ate.  What would the Havroun have to say to him?  Would he finally be able to become the Bear?
After polishing off a whole roasted chicken, half a large loaf of not-quite-stale bread and a couple mugs of dolyak milk, he felt much better.  At least his stomach did -- his mind was still racing with thoughts of what the Havroun might say to him.  Finally pushing his plate away, Skoldur got up and ventured out into the growing storm.
It wasn't a long walk from the inn to the lodge of Bear, but the snowfall was picking up and Skoldur's beard and hair looked white by the time he entered the hall.  Taking a moment to shake himself dry, Skoldur looked around and was amazed at the size of the hall.  The roof towered many stories above him.  Braziers set along the walls provided both light and heat.  Despite the cavernous size that would seem to invite every sound made there to echo indefinitely, it was eerily quite inside the main hall of the lodge -- the space was so large that sounds died out before they could echo.
As he stood there gaping at trophies and architecture a large Norn approached and said "Greetings Skoldur, welcome to the lodge of Bear."  Although it is every Norn's ambition to be recognized by strangers, it was not something that had happened to Skoldur before and he found himself at an uncharacteristic loss for words.  Before Skoldur could find his voice, the stranger continued. "I am Alarrin, speaker for the lodge of Bear.  We received your letter a week ago and it was brought to the attention of the Havroun."
This news woke Skoldur from his stupor and he blurted out "So can you take me to him now?"
"No." Seeing the look of disappointment on Skoldur's face, Alarrin continued. "But he did leave me with a message to pass along to you."
"Yes?  What is it!" Skoldur demanded, his disappointment, verging on the edge of frustration, momentarily getting the better of him.
"First", started Alarrin, "you must understand that the Spirits can not tell the future; however, they can commune with all of their children and therefore see that which we can not".  Skoldur wasn't sure he understood what the Speaker was implying, but he bit his tongue and let him continue.  "The Havroun said that Bear can not extend his blessing at this time". Skoldur almost exploded with rage but managed to keep his composure so as to hear the rest of what the Speaker had to say.
"He did say that it is not a question of your parentage -- your father is the man you know as your father.  You are a full blood Norn, albeit a little on the short side." Skoldur was glad that Alarrin had managed to say that without even a hint of a snicker. Still, if there was no question of his lineage, then why wouldn't Bear bless him?
Alarrin continued speaking, "Bear is aware of a cave bear that has been turned to the service of Jormag.  It is known as Cracktooth.  Bear has asked that you head to the border of the Charr lands, find this beast and slay it."
Skoldur bristled with pride at the thought Bear had assigned such a heroic task to him!  This was something that would prove his worth.
"One more thing", said Alarrin, "Bear said that even if you are successful, he will not be able to bless you.  This is merely the first step on your way to discovering your true destiny."
Skoldur was disappointed, but at the same time intrigued.  Bear wouldn't bless him, but implied that he had a larger destiny?  Of course, Alarrin had said that the spirits couldn't tell the future, so his destiny might be nothing more than to become a meal for Cracktooth.  Still, Skoldur left the lodge and returned to the snow storm that had settled over the mountains.  He hoped it would pass quickly because he was eager to start the hunt for Cracktooth, but wasn't so crazy that he would set out in the middle of a blizzard!
Continue reading Chapter 3... 

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