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stnylan

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Herbert West said:
(Can you see the image now?)
Presuming you are referring to a rather pretty (if somewhat bleak-looking) image of a droplet of rain or dew on a a thin-ish branch - yes :)
 

Herbert West

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Sorry, no updates until freyasdag, exams approach.
 

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Herbert West said:
He knew that he had to accept the burning of one world, so that another could be born out of its ashes. But those ashes were the ashes of the life he knew, Loki be damned!
He knew, but he felt it hard to believe.

Great conception. :nods:

I truly appreciate the belifs of your characters.

And great image! :D
 

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Depending on my moods, I intend to post one (if I fail the exam), or two (Iif I make it) updates, so wish me luck:)

I deceided to explore the aforementioned beliefs a little more before confronting the king and his magickan.

Edit: woohoo, past the 1000 mark:)
(24 views per post, 125 views per update!)
I am happy:)
 

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As you command, Eightdeer

: opens windows to the brewing strom:
: put Wolves in The Throne Room into the mp3 player :

And here we go. Well, I failed my exam anyway:)

I must admit, this has already outgrown what I though it would become, at least, in my head. I had to start and write down random ideas, titles, plots and inspirations, as I cna no longer keep everything inside my head.
 
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Walk the path of Sorrow​

01_31_18_johnson-curtis_dark_forest.jpg

The warriors camp, three days later


Yngve was polishing his armour, a pasttime that was quite uncommon for him. He was and ulfheddin after all, and such things like glamour didnt mean too much to him. While doing this, as he always felt, rather boring chore, his mind wandered.

What would his city of Uppsala look like? He heard the old godis stories about Holmgard, Milkagard, Ásló and Niðaróss about cities far, and cities near. He saw the images the old mans voice painted vividly every time he closed his eyes and imagined those places.

He had heard of the Great Temple from the one who now feast with the other godis in Hel's Halls, and almost felt the strong, stone temple decorated in gold and silver and amber and medals and gems and other plunder, the great ash tree standing in the middle of all the wealth of Scwarzalbenheim. He could almost see the corpses of the Great Blot hanging on the trees nearby, hear the ravens feast upon the sacrifice.

Then came this new godi, and told him that the Great Temple of Frey had been thorn down by the followers of the Nameless God, who erected a new temple above these sacred grounds. He was deeply sorrowed and enraged by this. The most sacred place in all of Midgard, defiled by the Nameless One! Even Loki would not dear to do such a thing!

What senseless beast must these new believers be? Surely, they are now better than to be used as thralls!

But, then again, Bureus was of the New Faith as well. This soothed his raging spirit a bit, his thought cooling down. If he found the Gods, perhaps others would do this as well.

He was very awed by Bureus's skills and his stories of lands afar. He himself knew something about the runes, and maybe, he could have been a seidr had the Wolfmother not chosen him. But that choice was a fact of the past.

The past
? He saw it going down in flames, burning everything he held dear. The euphoria of this quest, the force of the Wolf cleared his mind from sorrow and doubt on the way, but now, he had time to think. Too much time. He thought of his mother and his father. They were old when he was born, and they regarded him as a gift from Freya. Sometimes, he regarded himself as a gift. The day the Wolf chose him, he was very proud, and could feel the godess smiling upon him.

The sweet memory derailed him from his troubled though-line for a bit, but then, as he though of his father again (how proud his smile was when he saw him don the wolfsskin the first time), he fell back to sorrow. And what of his mother? Would she have a good time in the Halls of Hel? Would she meet those ancestor she was always talking about when he was younger?

And his little sister, even more precious to his parents, and more precious to him than everything else on the world. He remembered the last he saw of her. Her bright smile did not fade as the flames licked their way up to the shacks roof, and then rained down on her face. And the face of his parents. Yet, none of thme let ouit even the smallest whisper. They were smiling at him! They sacrificing their own lives for him! His hearth was smothered at the memory of this.


Then he remembered what the old godi told him about ragnarok, and took his Mjolnir from his shirt, looked at the hammer-like medal, held it in his palm and sowly began to prey to all of Asgard. He knew this was how it had to be. All was well. All had to be well. A lone tear flow down from his eye, slowly, and leaving a little ball of ice in the snow as it landed.





Elsewhere, Þórri was preparing the deer he had caught, roasting it on a slow fire so that the meat would remain tender inside. His thought wandered off as well, and he suspected, so did those of everyone else. They had set up a camp in less than an afternoon, and now, they had nothing to do except to wait and to go foraging for food.

He was much older than Yngve, and only becouse the Bear-father favoured him, did he stay at the head of the berserkers, even at his age of 50. His thought were grimmer, too.

He remembered the face of his wife in full detail, her expressionless face slowly melting away under the assault of the flames. Was it worth it? He did not know. Loki be cursed, why did they have to burn down their whole past? Why? For this new godi who only knew their customs, their secrets, their traditions, but Þórri was not sure that Bureus understood these. When having to defend his home from an attack, he saw what false masks of decency and love those of the New Faith wore.

Angered by this memory, he spat into the fire. He stared into the fire for somer time, but, instead of quelling his spirit, it enraged him further, reminding him of that fire more that three weeks earlier. Angered at everything, he threw his knife, with a piece of deer-felsh still on it, into a tree nearby.

Then, as quickly as his rage came, it dispered itself, thrown out of his soul like that knife he threw into the tree. What was done, was done, there was no point in arguing about that. The Norns only know what and why they weave.
 
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Khaosliege

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Herbert West said:
And here we go. Well, I failed my exam anyway:)

Too bad.

Paraphrasing Gaio Flaminio after the battle of the Trebbia during the second punic war, you must have failed not because of your lack of study, but because you did not make the right sacrifices to the gods. ;)
 

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Terribly sorry guys, real life is hectic right now, but as soon as I get the time, I'll write updates, hopefully, on friday.
 

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To turn the wheel​

uroboros.jpg


Outside the kings court, the same day



Bureus was nervous. Very nervous. He had spent the last three days with preparing for this moment, yet, he felt all his prepared words flow away like dust in the wind. He tried to concentrate on other things (like that letter he got from his old friends, the Count of Saint-Germain, or the message on one of his space-windows from Bombastus. All these soothed his troubled mind when he read them, they were a welcome change of routine from the upheaval of the last three months), but it did not help. The last time he felt so nervous was alsomst a lifetime away, he thought to himself, with a mixed feeling of self-irony and sorrow about the loss of the then-precieved innocence of the world. His mind was stopped in its tracks by a harsh voice:

The King awaits you!


The old man nodded the guard, and stepped into the lavishly decorated court of Gustav Adolf. As the door was closed behind him, he bowed deeply, and greeted his worldly master:

May the grace of god shine upon you, my King!

As on you, old mentor. It is good to see you again. You have been away for long. I almost feared having to ignite that powder.

What matter now is that I am back in your fair city.

Enough of the plesantries, tell me, how was your journey?
Tiresome, Bureus smiled.

Really? What a surprise! - the king catched on to the more ironic and light theme the conversation would take.

I had to travel all the way back from my destination on foot.

Impossible! Even the best of my men would get lost, frozen, eaten, torn apart, name what you want in those God-forsaken frozen woods!

I did not come alone. Bureus was gratefull for this turn, it would have been difficult to tell the king of his companions in another context.

What? How? Whom? What godless savage would you take as a companion

The old man had to force himself not to slap his king, his blood boiling at those words. Godless savages? These people?! They had more pure humanity in them that this whole rotten stone prison! Savages? Savages!? What did this spoiled idiot know of them? Did he see the unflinching determination in their eyes when they thorched their own homes?

These are not savages, my lord. They may not be like you, or me, but they are most ceratinly not savages.

I shall see -the king replied dryly - where are they now?

They have set up a strong camp about a day from this city.

A strong camp? How many of these savages have you brought here?


More than two-hundred strong man, my lord.

You have brought two hundred heathen within a days walk of my city? How dare you! You thrice-damned word-twisting mage!

Bureus could take it no more.

Silence, you ignorant fool! I have seen more of truth than you will ever see in your life! Stop this saintly hogwash when you speak to me! Oh, how christian you become when someone speaks of heathens! Do tell me, what are you when you visit your lovers in the night? Tell me, do they greet you, the defender of the true protestants with open arms and legs? Now, listen like you used to before all this "power" you claim robbed your mind!

The steam had been let out, the dam had been broken. Bureus continued in a much calmer voice:

Forgive me, majesty. I know you plan to attack the catholics to the south within some years. You know of the trouble brewing there as good as I know. These man are of exceptional powers, both in body and in spirit, and their knowledge is very usefull to me, and thus, to you and yours plans of conquest. Let them stay, they will teach those of your army who are worthy, what they know of battle.

But! But! How in all that is holy do you dare to ask me to permit these godless ones to stay? I might not be a saint, but I am a true christian, sometihng you seem to have cast away many years ago! My army, clear in heart and mind, will purge them from the woods!

Interlude:

Fields of Asgard


Freya was looking at this scene trough her mirror-water.
We have to intervene, Cloacked One!

Well, then this little "king" shall hear of our power!


That will do for now, but what of later?

Do not worry, Nótt will not be kind to him.


Back in the courtroom




True in heart? Your majesty, this is a courtroom, not a theather! And if you take even a step against them, I will leave you, they will leave you, and every one of your subjects who still has a little spark of what he was left in his downtrodden heart will leave you!

You can all go, I do not care for you scum!


Scum? Look into your heart! Do you feel that emptiness that not even the most pious of your prayer could fill? That is the spot of truth, the spot where the Old Gods should be. Take off this mask of sainthood, and accept, Loki-be-damned!

At the end of these words, a loud and strong wind shattered the window of the room, throwing the standing king back into his chair, while Bureus was visibly suported by the onslaught of air.

Mesmerized, confused, and a bit unsure of his own self, the King replied, in a voice more suiting for a shocked mouse than a ruler:

The-the-theee-they ca-ca-can stay, mentor.


This is settled, then. I will report you of their knowledge once you are ready for it. And I hope you do not intend to let them stay outside the city walls. Oh, and think of my words, self-doubter!

With these word, Bureus left the room, the door opened and closed by the wind, leaving a much-shattered king behind.

The wheel had been turned again.
 

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I worked very long on this chapter, and then threw all notes away, so, please, those who usually only lurk, comment on wether its any good.
 

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Blót​


Midvinterblot.jpg



Sessrúmnir, in the fields Of Asgard

Freya kept looking at the new godi trough her mirror-water. Though his way of persuading the king might not have been the most fine and eloquent, but it certainly worked, the God had to admint. He was an extraordinary human. Odin had made a good choice.

Right now, she could see the thoughts of the old man as he lay on his back.
"What if the king takes my head for my actions? What of all the knowledge I have bee enthrusted with? What of all those unsung songs I know? What of the Old World? Something must be done!"

She saw what actions he would take now. She knew trough those mirrors that view all that there were many priests in Uppsala, and in all of Svealand who doubted the Nameless One, and were always searching to fill the void the departure of the Aesir and Vanir left in their hearts. Bureus would need to search them out. Freya decided to help him. And hopefully, the Cloaked One would help as well. Those ravens could deliver messages into the hearts of Man very effectively, she had to admit, remembering the many bets and games she had played with Oden.

Time flows in strange way where the Gods walk, for the next thing Freya saw happened many a day later in the World Of Man.

Bureus gathered some of the finest of the warriors around him. All of them knew something of magic, and of the runes, some of them would eventually become godis and guardians of knowledge when the old man would be feasting with her, or with Hel, only the Norns know, and they do not tell.

He told them of many things, of their duty to train some of the finest of the kings men, so they may stay in Uppsala, of their new quarters in the city, of all those everyday and menial things that life consists of when one moves, and of things only to be whispered, of things to come, of the gratness of the Aesir returning, and of the first steps towards this. Then, he led them into the temple of Uppsala.

Deep inside the age-old crypts that spawn underneath the temple like a spider-web, forgotten by those alive, and only inhabited by those who do not talk anymore in tounges understandable to man, those whose bodies have long withered away to nothing but dust, whose souls have despite this not found their freedom, becouse the pearly gates reject them, and the Halls Of Hel are closed to them as well, those, who converse in tounges that sound like leaves falling down, like wind blowing, like the night and like darkness, a few living made their way ever deeper into the earth. At their helm was a man of many a year, clad in robes fit for a renessaince kaballist, but with a heart of an old godi.

After three long hours, spent in the utter darkness of this strange place between life and death, they arrived in the deepest crypt. Bureus remembered this place, and so did the Godess who watched him. It was the place where the most sacred stone from the Great Temple was hidden from the christians. Bureus remebered it for other reasons, as this was the spot one of his old teacher took him for a lesson on the runes. He did not see the need for such a journey then, but he saw it now. He hated the journey even more than he did when he was young, though.

The man surrounded the stone in silence, and one of them opened the sack they carried with them, producing the badly beaten body of a whining cut-purse from it.

Freya could hear his cries, echoed by the empty halls, stirring the dead from their eternal conversations, and ensuring that the thiefs soul would have a very uncomfortable journey into the Halls. For he would be killed in a minute, Freya knew. She could already feel the energy of the ritual streaming up the Great Ash, filling her with power. She heard the steps of other Aesir in her hall. So, they felt it too. Very well then, she said to her guests, and bid them a seat and a mirror-water without taking her eyes of her own, only gesturing with her hand.

The ritual continued. All Aesir and Vanir felt the power of age-old, almost forgotten chants slowly make their way up from the plane of Midgard to the Home Of The Gods. They all heard the death-scream of the thief, they all felt his warm blood splattering the moss-and-web-covered stone, they all felt Bureus' hand smearing the warm blood all over the stone, while the selected warriors continued to chant prayers to them.

And then, they did their part of the ritual. The Ash shook at the power they sent back into the stone, making it almost glow with energy and heat shimmering, holy radiance. A loud thunderbolt hit the top of the Church, melting the cross upon it into a hammer-shape, and a new sproutling began to grew on the filed where the Old Ash Of Uppsal stood manyyears ago. The Old Temple had been restored.

Having done their part, the men in the mirrors took up the stone, and left the rotting corpse of the cut-purse behind. The carried the stone all they way trough the crypt, the deathless souls passing before them, and sighing almost audibly, for now, they were finally allowed into the Halls Of Hel. As they reached the inner church, they hid the stone under the main altar. Some of them wanted to tear down the markings of the Nameless God and of White Christ, but the time was not yet right, so Bureus told them. The Gods would, for now, only whisper into the hearts, not speak with the thunderous voice they used to.


And deep in the shadows, a rat scurred away quickly, unseen by the mirror-waters


Freya was proud of this mortal. He had alone achieved what would take weaker man many lifetimes. Now, there was time to feast, again. She bid all her guests to stay, and offered them the finest wine she had made from the fruits of Iduna in many a century.




Deep inside his cave, Loki was smiling with a crooked, plotting smile.
 
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Herbert West

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Please, guys.

Edit: whining removed.

Aslo, how do I make that horribly big picture fit into the page?
 
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Khaosliege

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Herbert West said:
Aslo, how do I make that horribly big picture fit into the page?

Absolutely no idea. :p
On the other hand I see it fine, but that may be due to the fact that I have a 16:9 monitor and not a 4:3

But I need to ask: what is that picture?

I truly appreciated the description of the crypts, very powerful.

The idea of the power of gods depeding on the number of followers they have and on sacrifices offered to them looks to me a bit odd, but I will try to accept it as this is narrative and not a treatise on metaphysics. :)

Carry on with the good work!
 

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The pics is: Carl Larsson: Midvinterblot

And i think this believer-power ration thing suits the norse thinking of "the gods are still there, they just dont listen becouse we dont talk" quite well.

About the crypts: well, I stole some expressions, and at least half of the feekling from Neil Gaimans Stardust:)


Today update will be a short one, and a bit of a commemoration of the "medieval" "festival" I have been to today.
 

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No update before midnight, sorry, real life is calling.

I'll try to post two tomorrow.

Stay tuned (and comment)!
 

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Nordegard​

barbarianhelm.jpg


The berserkers camp, two days after the events at the Great Temple

Yngve was quite dazed by the events that unfolded before his eyes a few days ago. He had been amogst the chosen few to do the very first Blót in Uppsala for more than five hundred years. He had been chosen by Bureus to be one of his students in rune-craft, so that the knowledge Bureus now commanded would not die with his death.

And finally, he had been the herald of very good news. They, his folk, and the berserkers as well, would today move into Uppsala, into a great bulinding emptied for them by the king.

He saw the city during their excursion into the temple. It was a bit of a let-down, as he imagined it would be like Milkagard, only closer and more home-like, but he was also happy to recognize all those patterns in the city, both in stone and in spirit that showed him that the faith in the Old Gods did not die out enterily. Still, he knew that masons laid the houses, maidens sang the songs, and man wrote the letters in such mannners unconsciously, guided by that hole in their hearts and the yearning desire to fill it, than by the educated hands and minds of godis. Nevertheless, all this proved to him that the task is not in vain, that the hole needs to be filled.

The clanking of armour interrupted his thoughts. His man were prepared.


Some hours later, at night, in Uppsala

The kings guards opened the city gates for them, and than stood there, with the awe and fear visible on their faces. And they had all reason to be awed, Porri agreed.

The warriors were a magnificent sight. Their shadows, cast onto the walls by the many torches they carried, danced and dazzled on the cold stone. The night-silent street was aloud from the clanking of metal upon metal, as the berserkers and ulfhednar stepped ever forward, clad in all their armour, carrying all their belongings on them. The bear and wolf skins gave them a fearsome appearance, it seemed as if they were not man, but fierce animals intent on conquering the city. That the howled and growled, mainly for their own amusement and laughter at the sight of one or two scared city-dwellers did only enforce this picture. Then, at the sound of Porris and Yngves horns, they all fell silent. Their new home was near, and they did not intend on entering it like a ragtag band of vagabonds.

As they came within sight of the building, all warriors were a bit dissapointed. They expected a strudy, well-kept stone fortress-build, not a broken-down heap of stones barely fit for rats. Some began to whisper doubts about this king, some even wanted to go back into the woods, back into the welcoming embrace of nature, and not to sleep upon the cold and hard stone. Their leaders soon silenced them. It was unfit for a norse warrior to whine about the place he lived in, and even more unfit for them, who were not only skilled in the craft of killing, but in the craft of building as well, to complain about a house that could be repared.


The king watched them all from a balcony of his palace, still unsure wether or not he had made the right decison. With a little adge of irony, he thought to himself that at least the building wouldnt amount to huge costs if he had to blow it up.
 
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Herbert West

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Patterns Of The Soul​

Rampage_of_the_Soul.jpg


The kings quarters, a week later

Gustav Adolph had difficult nights. Sleep would elude him for hours, and when it came, strange dreams would plague his soul, making his heart, mind and body more exhausted in the mornings than the days before.

Tonight would be another one of these sleepless, troublesome nights. He tried to exhaust himself even further by training with his royal guard, but they were to kind to him, leaving him to score many a hit, while they played sitting ducks. He had to order them to be a bit more resistant, but they refused to harm their king. Very well, if harm would not do it, pleasure had to do it. But the words of his old mentor echoed in his mind even as he made love to his selected concubines in the finest borthel of the city. Damn him! Damn the old gods! Damn the whole band this wretched old man came back with!

Angry, he sat his way back to his castle, into his own quarters, and threw himself onto his bed, clothed as he was. Sleep, the blessing of a little death, eluded him again. He hated this state thoroughly, his mind wandering into places he did not like, his heart plunging into the hidden-away thorns he had collected over the years, his body lying in the midst of all this like a husk. Perhaps, prayer would help.

Fader vår som är i himmelen!
Helgat varde ditt namn;
tillkomme ditt rike;
ske din vilja, såsom i himmelen,
så ock på jorden.
vårt dagliga bröd giv oss idag;
och förlåt oss våra skulder,
såsom ock vi förlåta dem oss skyldiga äro;
och inled oss icke i frestelse
utan fräls oss ifrån ondo.
ty riket är ditt och makten och härligheten i evighet.
Amen

He spoke the words with an almost silent tounge, at first. He searched the dept of his soul. The prayer did not help a bit. Then, he raised his voice a little, hoping to scour away those demons that plagued him within. Still, the emptiness remained. The prayer did not ease the weight on his soul, did not soothe the wounds, heal the fragments and fill the voids of the night as it used to. Now, the prayer filled the whole room with a loud murmur, but it did not fill his soul even a bit. The last parts, he almost threw out of his mouth, spitting them out with the anger of an unsatisfied child.

Raging with anger, but unable to let out his steam, as there was no target, he started to trod along the walls of his lavishly decorated bedroom, and, being no longer able to restrain it, his mind wanderd onto the topics he tried to avoid by daylight.

What if the old mentor was right? What if all this pomp and all this white stone he surrounded the christian god with was false? What if the Old Gods were the true gods for his folk? Nah, this is heretical talk, he flagged himself.

He got up, and went to his private little shrine, to pray even harsher. It did not help, on the contrary, it only worsened his inner situation, tearing at the thorns and holes in his soul and heart with the ferocity of a beast.

He could not take it any more, and smashed the Crucifix onto the parket, and broke down, crying.

Why hast thou forsakne me, my Lord?- he sobbed, in a more archaic tounge, hoping to call to his God thus.

Only the silence of Heaven answered him.

Filled with anger, guilt, and foremost, terror at the loss of Redemtion, he made his way to the Great Church his ancestors had bulit upon the place whee once a great heathen temple stood.

He saw that the recent thunderstorm transformed the cross upon the peak into a molten hammer-form. At first, this angered and frightened him, but as these, learnt reactions faded, he began to feel happy at the sight, and feel the void in his soul diminishing. This upset him even more, and his christian chastity began to falgellate itself in his heart, almost causing pain that can be felt by even the body, not only the soul.

Barley wlaking from exhaustion, both within and without, he almost fell onto the main altar, and began to pray. Now, it seemed to work, though tired and confused as he was, the words he uttered sometimes werent the words he wanted to utter, and these were words he did not know, but ones he did feel coming up from a place in himself he always tried to fill with prayers. It transformed the protestant, and now, seeminlgy distant prayer into something more heart-felt, warm, and somehow, more natural. The names of the arch-angels slowly transformed thmeselves into the names of the Old Gods, into names of Aesir and Vanir, the names of the infernal ones, againts whom he wanted protection, transformed themselves into names from Múspelheim, the recitativo pf the christian prayer turned into a light chant of an Old Prayer, though much of this, he did not notice, or did not dare to notice. Some of this change made its way trough his ears into him mind, though, and this experience proved to be the final cut in his sleep-walk-like state, and with the names of the Old Gods on his lips, he fell onto the altar, sleeping for the first time in many a day without nightmares.
 
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Khaosliege

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Herbert West said:
About the crypts: well, I stole some expressions, and at least half of the feekling from Neil Gaimans Stardust:)

I will give him a try then :)

I am pleased with the fact that the king is finally understanding that true power and joy lie where Burzum says they are ...
... now I can't wait to see what happens next... you are skilful in creating suspense...
 

Baneslave

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Update, that I haven't read yet! Great!

Very good writing style, I like. Two thumps up!