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Herbert West

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This is, as of yet, a non-gameplay AAR. Ingame pics will come if and when I decide that they are needed. Besides, in the story, we are barely in the 1630's.
 

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This is a most excellent AAR and I look forward to future installments!

I wonder, might some backwoods Lithuanians who claim to follow the Church but truthfully observe their yule be brought into the fold as well?
 

unmerged(81390)

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Herbert West said:
This is, as of yet, a non-gameplay AAR. Ingame pics will come if and when I decide that they are needed. Besides, in the story, we are barely in the 1630's.
Will the AAR go on for another 200 years?

:D
 

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Ahura Mazda said:
Will the AAR go on for another 200 years?

:D

To be honset, I figured I'd finish the introductory story in about 10-20 updates.

Then came this thought, that circumstance, a new person to introduce, a new concept to explore, and so on, and so on, and now I have a lot of ideas swirling in my head i need to write down, and the end is nowhere in sight. I guess what they call "the story taking a life of its own".

Plushie: maybe, yes:)
 

Herbert West

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Not really, the university is chewing up time like there is no tomorrow.

So, sadly, I have to announce that both my AARs are now put into an on-hol-esque state, meaning that updates will be rather the exception then the law. I wanted to write updates today, but then I'd have no time left for RL.

Sorry.
 

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I hate to pester you, but might you be working on any updates for this? I saw you updated your Templar AAR and I came running here, this is currently my favorite Vicky AAR and probably my favorite AAR overall.
 

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Epic necromanicng, though I am happy for it.

As stated in my Ink Well post, I am planing to finish Baphomet, and then turn my awareness towards this piece, but I may rewrite some of it first, as I personally feel that some parts have a serious lack of quality.

But rest asured, Bureus and the Norseman are not forgotten, neither by man, nor by the gods.
 

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Awesome. Take your time, I'd rather have an excellent AAR later than one you feel isn't up to snuff sooner.
 

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Oerdin said:
Fewer random pictures and more game shots. This is supposed to be an AAR.
This is an AAR, and a damned good one.

Great work, HW. Nicely dark and brooding. Very descriptive with some really good scenes. I enjoyed the way you blended mythology into the events of the backstory (though the scenes of the gods watching the mortals in the mirror-pool kind of reminded me of Jason and the Argonauts :) ). But, it's obvious you've done a lot of research on the subject matter, which has added immensely to the feel of the story. I'm even learning Old Norse... :) Another thing I noticed was how much your writing has improved from installment to installment, like you found your comfort zone.

Keep it coming.
 

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Thank you!

To be honest, I wanted to create a feeling in which there is no distinction between the mythological and the "real", to re-create the (pre-)medieval feeling of "the Gods live among us", though, as the story has (much to my own surprise) not progressed far yet, this is not yet fully possible, considering that the Norseman still listen to the Nameless God.

As for the mirror-waters, I have no knowledge (though this is certainly a fault on my part, not on the sagas) on how the Gods used to observe the mortals, and this common trope seemed to be fitting.

My style. Well, I am still not, and possibly, will never be satisfied with it, but its good to hear that it seems to be improving. The thing is (and I noticed this while writing Baphomet), that whatever I read at the moment influences me greatly, or at least, that is how I feel. And of course when the mood swings, so does the pen.


And to conclude this epic necromancing: No, its not dead. Nor will it ever be as long as I live:)
 

unmerged(97871)

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I've just read it, and the only thing I can say is: GREAT!

I hope you will write an update every once in a while, since I can't wait for you to turn the norsemen in to plundering pagans once again! :D
 

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Apologies for the necromancy, but I have a question for you guys.

I have some semblance of an urge to continue this, in two ways.

I'd really like to revisit Bureus and his time, age, and influence, but every time I try, it seems like a very, very daunting task. I feel like every character I introduce should get his own backstory, which takes up time, space, and most importantly, will to write.

I have now reread the last few chapters, and they don't seem half as bad as I though they would be, but still, I am a very harsh self-critic. I tried to write a short update now, commemorating that I once again wont be there at Wolin, but I deleted the whole thing, as it left the bad taste of sub-par work in my mouth. Its so very, very hard to write something that does not feel like a fucking cliché. Everything has already been written down, everything has been watered down to a cliché by the huge mass of substandard dross humanity choose to drown itself in.

Anyways, I had the idea to write a few short, unconnected stories from the time of the renorsification of Sweden, and paint a picture of the day-to-day life and the important event of Sweden and the Norse Sweds.

At the moment, I feel that such short stories wont bog me down, as this AAR has. Do not misunderstand me, this is still the story I love the most, but its, well, huge, and a bit ungainly, and I have lost myself in it. Which is good if you are a reader, but bad if you are a writer.

Okay, end of whining.

Do you want:
a, a straight continuation of the story so far
b, a few splices and pictures of Norse Sweden
c, a mix of both
d, nothing

Yes, I do realise this is, in a bit, a cry for reassurance and motivation, but frankly, I am in need of it.
 
Last edited:

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Herbert: You do whatever is necessary to get you writing again! If it need to pump out a few short stories, so be it. I just want to see more from this universe, because it's absolutely fascinating to me. In fact, a mix would be delectible.
 

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Vinterblot greetings


May Frey and Freya grant you their riches in the new year!
May Freya fill your heart with love and your bed with passion!
May Frey fill your purse with gold, and your basket with meat!
May the dwarves brew you mead that flows as thick and sweet as honey!
May Odin fill your head with wisdom, clear your mind of impatient rage, and put in its place patience and clairvoyance!
May Nótt gift you with sleep in the night, and may Baldur give you endurance in the day!
May Thor's Hammer smite your enemies, and clear your path to success and greatness!
May the Gods of the Nine Worlds gift you, may your offering please them, and may you see Ragnarok in the Halls!

 

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In Memoriam Quorthon


The story of the man who single-handedly changes the Northern Kingdom from a nation of apathic people burnt out due to a lost war and the apparent ineffectiveness of the youth culture of the last twenty ears, began in a typical worker-class suburb of Stockholm. Born into a time where the old morals and ideals were considered as stale and unsuited for the day, while the newer, imported ideals of liberalism and a consum-oriented society failed to fill the void, the society Quorthon grew up in was slowly coming apart at the seams.

Some say the Gods themselves whispered into his ear and crept into his fingers as he recorded his music in a garage like any other, in a suburb like any other. Whatever the truth may be, the sound that crept out of the garage, cutting like a buzzsaw and pounding like hammers, changed music history, changed the northern people, and changed the world. The notes coimng from every Bathory album would forever etch their place into history.

His music was darker, angrier, and more hateful than anything man had produced beforehand. Punk may have had its hey-day in the Kingdom, with its fair share of riots, but Quorthons music channeled the frustration of the underground, the subculture of his generation. They were fast-paced, madly thrashing songs, for people who wanted to see the world burn, and rebuilt anew in their image.

His style, with black leather clothing, spikes, heavy boots, and a black-and-white facepaint that the media soon dubbed "corpsepaint", was emulated by many, as was his musical style.

Slowly, but steadily this culture, that began to call itself black metal, spread from Stockholm into all reaches of the Northern Realms, from the frozen port of Valkyrjagrad to the thick, green forests of the Kistsilberg, catalyzing the anger of a lost generation into wild concerts, many writings on self-definition, and a general, almost nihilistically self-destructive rejection of everything "modern". A mere three years after Quorthon had released his first album, there were hundreds of new bands, and the subculture expanded into hundreds of thousands.

Black metal became more than a musical subculture, it became a youth movement. The government of the Kingdom was at the time was headed by a strongly liberal, strongly pro-integration party, who paid little attention to the scene, regarding it as yet another short-lived youth culture.

And it may even have been that, if it were not for one album. The first fire lit by the black metal movement, the first Black Flame was slowly dimming in 1990, when Quorthon re-defined the genre.

Rumors and legends have the album, Hammerheart, written by the Northern Gods, as a beacon of guidance in the troubles of the century. Others say that Quorthon saw that while black metal had only been destructive until then, it needed to build something on the ashes. But all this matters little. What matters is that Hammerheart focused on the origins of the Northern Identity, on the sagas, the Vikings of old, on tales of battle, of courage, of strength, respect, honour, and beauty.

While previous black metal offerings were only circulated in the still comparatively small subculture, Hammerheart found its way into the barracks of fresh recruits, into the homes of disillusioned officemen, into the players on cars, on the streets, and in radios and TV channels.

The musical style changed from fast thrashing to slow, and mid-spaced guitar work heavily influenced by folk music, clear vocals, and long songs fit to be sagas sung.

The next album, Twilight of the Gods, brought even more people into the folds of this refreshed and reborn movement, which now sought to restore the Lands of the Northmen to their ancestral, original, and Gods-given ways. There were protests on university grounds, there were marches in the city, there were huge celebrations of long-ignored festivals with attendance numbers not seen since the Second Northern Awakening, there were fires on Midsummer Nights that flickered into the halls of Asgard, the barracks and houses and streets were alive with the songs, thundering them at a volume that was to shatters the walls of apathy.

The government, however, cracked down on the movement, banning the music from public networks, ending concerts with police razzias, and confiscating casette tapes and CDs at every turn.

It was not until the King wore a Bathory sticker on his otherwise very ceremonial vest during a TV address that the government lifted the ban. From there, nothing could stop the movement.

In elections a year later, the conservative Vikinglir Party swept the elections, ousting the liberal ideals from power, and awakening the North from its decades-old slumber.

Bathory coverart was now openly used it the decoration of military vehicles, platoons, brigades and entire divisions adopted Quorthon's songs as their marching hymns, and society as a whole embraced its cultural heritage, its past, and looked forward to a future more glorious and bright than ever before.

Quortohn, on the other hand, remained in seclusion after Hammerheart, rejecting the mantle of the prophet, and choosing to remain what he always saw himself as: a simple musician who just writes and sings what his mind and his heart tell him too. He gave few interviews, and refused to speak about anything else than music, preferring not to be mired in the oft unstable discussions of the revitalized Northland. Nevertheless, the nation regarded him as a hero, a prophet, and often referred to him as a skald.

His last two albums were the beginnings of what was to be an epic saga of the ancient Northland, cut short by his untimely death.


Quorthon was granted the highest possible honor a Northson can be bestowed, his name etched into the Frieze Of The Greatest in the Wall Of Remeberance, and he was buried at sea, in a traditional burning boat burial, in the Bay of Gustav. More than two million people flocked into the city to pay their respects, and his deathday was declared a national day of mourning, while the date of Hammerheart's publishing was declared a national holiday.

Quorthon's legacy is bound to outlive him a thousandfold, and wherever Northern boots trample the ground, wherever Northman succeed, whenever a Northkin seeks inspiration of guidance, his music can be heard.




In memoriam Tomas "Quorthon'" Forsberg, 1966 February 17- 2004 June 3.

May you forever dine at the side of the Gods!



Intended background music: Bathory - Great Hall Awats a Fallen Brother
 

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I have been inspired. I offer the writings below, and all the joy and excitement they will bring, to The Gods. May the Nameless God be silenced in your lands, and the flames never cease to burn before your altars!





Frigga's wager

The canopy of the great Ash was bustling with activity, the branches that support world now trembling and bending and rejoicing in their new strength. What Was, What Is, and What Will Be spun their thread with newfound joy, and Ash-gnawer ran up and down delivering idle chit-chat, heavy foretelling, and useless rumours from here to there. From the sacred roots, the waters flowed ever on from the Wells, separate, to water, to give life, and to unite again, and fall into the Void in an everlasting stream, until End split the stream in two, and its separated rivers went hot and cold, one frozen solid, one heated to vapour, hidden away from the eyes of time, and death, and doing, and happening, awaiting the time when their source would run dry from heat, and they would once again meet in the New Beginning.
A bit below the Well, there was a turbulence in the water, a strange rock had dammed the flow, and of the Thread, there was a tangle with many a broken-of comb-tooth in it. Somewhere, poison dripped on bare rock. But all this is just to come. Now, happiness reigns in the Field of the Gods.

High on the throne of Hliðskjálf, Odin and Frigga sat, looking down on the Nine Worlds. Suddenly, without warning, Web-spinner sprang up from her seat, her chariot, pulled by a mighty boar, now underneath her feet, and thundered through the Fields before Old One-Eye even saw that she was gone. Wotan may see far and wide, but Frigga's web is thick and with many a curve. Laughter reached his ear, joyful, prideful, that laughter of a mother, a loving, caring partner, and the tempting, boasting, and enticing laughter of blooming womanhood, of long nights in hard embraces, of soft caresses, of tender kisses. Hair the gold of ripe wheat glimmered in the distant.
Two wolves lept forward, and two ravens flew into the skies, Far-Seer searching for his love and wife. Perhaps this was a game.
A spear flew in the wind, and the chariot swung to the sides to evade it, the metal tip hitting dirt and rock with a loud, clear sound that made the other Gods raise their heads and focused their attention. Eight legs thundered across the planes, The Crack-Slipper treading unending miles under his feet.
They raced through the field of endless battle, the stone hall made even louder by their noise. Memory swooped down to reach Fate-Seers cloak, his beak sliding of falcon feathers, and an arrow flying by him, setting loose a tail feather to land softly on the leaves. Thought fared no better, for he was unable to see through the Tangle Of Fate, his mind a whirling mess, his eyes clouded.
Eight hooves trod the ground, following many paws, and Odr soon saw the flowing hair of his beloved, her body now naked and young and very, very inviting. His horse galloped ever closer, but now there were two chariots, one pulled by a boar and carrying a goddess vaguely in the shape of a distaff, the other pulled by many cats, with golden hair and falcon feather and a shining necklace on top of it. Ten legs, one horse, and two Gods followed.

Chariot crossed path witch chariot, again and again, until there were cats and boars speeding distaffs and feathers, and boars and cats and webs and golden fair and the smile of a young woman and the smile of a mother and the full breasts of seduction and the nurishing breasts of motherhood and bows and staffs and clothing and nakedness in a whirls that no man, no woman, not the Aesir, not the Vanir, not even the Norns, not even She themselves, and certainly no Jotun, could tell apart one from the other. And hunting them were speak and armour, sword and shield, four paws, four legs, and four wings, running, galopping, flying, hounding, shouting, a cloud of movement after a cloud of gold.

In the thinnest of branches, so far from the High Seat that not even Heimdall would have been able to see it, the two coluds met and embraced and argued and fought and bit and caressed and kissed and scratched and meowed and growled and crooed and roared, and, above all, laughed. It had been centuries since any God had seen such fury, such action, such love for simply being as they witnessed now.

Oh, my love, you are still as fast and as nimble as the whitests of snow-rabbits.

And your spear is as sharp and well-aimed as it was when we first rode into our halls together.

Ah, I remember. I think we wagered even then. You got the better of me back then, you Valkyre-Queen!

Indeed, I did, Old Fool - and underneath her gold and silver hair, the godess laughed with such joy that even the Undying Boar smiled on the roast, and with a tiny tingling sound of spite that she new would make Wanderer respond in kind.

Old Fool, eh? Was it not I, who brought our people back to our folds, who though them to worship their Gods, and not the Nameless Threat? Is it not a man who you have to thank for your new joy?

Hah! And who bore that man? Who give him his milk? Who changed his clothes? - Friya called out.

And who thought him, who helped him study, who showed him, stalwartness, dedication, and our secrets? - Grey-Hair said in a raspy tone.

So, you think man are better converters than woman? I got the better of you thrice, and I shall do so again. Let us wager, my love.

All-father threw his head back, and his laughter shook the Ash. - A wager? Now, this is the Godesses I love! Very well. On what?

I say that my woman can turn more of our people back to us than your boring priests and withdrawn shrine-keepers! - Freya was no fool. Win or lose, they needed more people to believe in them. The first boost of Bureus and the Berserkers would only last so long.

Ha! A good thing to bet on, you clever old matron, you, said Old Grey-Hair, and kissed her on the cheek. Now, what to wager, then?

You like warriors, do you not? If I lose my bet, I'll give up first pick of the fallen, and the Valkyres will send the dead to you first, and only then shall Seat-Room be filled in my Holy Fens.

And if you win?

Then we shall both accept woman and man to our halls, and we shall accept not only those who die in battle, but those who serve in life. It is no use to fill Hel's Halls with those who have been good to our people and true to themselves.

Woman is Valljahöll? The Einheir will not like that.

Dont take me for a scared virgin, you old Hungry-Spear! Do you think I do not hear them sneak into my Halls, do you think I see them not in the forests and meadows, embracing their wives whom I quarter in my hall?

True, true, every warrior needs the embrace not only of mailed chests, but of loving bosoms and warm loins. But they wont like having woman in the Hall. It is a place of manly boasting, and of getting drunk and eating until you puke, not fit for squeamish girls.

Squeamish girls? - Frigga slapped Wodan, although with a loving caress afterwards. Have you lost your other eye? Who do you see cleaning up after you, setting your tables, warming your mead, roasting your boar? Are they not woman? Are they not maids, mothers, grandmothers and lovers already?

Good-good - grey hair obscured a face hung in shame, and a cheek red with fingerprints - but what about those not slain in battle? What use are poets, farmers, traders, craftsman against giants and wolves and Loke?

Spears break, swords brittle, shields bend, halls fall apart, cups rot, coins disappear, memory fades if left unsung. Would you deny the sons of Heimdall their due place just because what had slain them was illness and cold, and they died in bed and perhaps with loving care, rather then in rotting mud and cold steel cutting their veins? Are those who serve the fighters not worthy of respect and a good life in the canopy, equal to those they enabled to die in battle? Who will sing in the Halls, if you dont let any skald wormfood in?

Hah, never argue with a woman! However, Vallhalla is too small for all these.

Indeed. We shall build a new, greater hall then, on the field where my Fen and your Meadow meet. We shall name it Verdighalla, the Hall of the Worthy.

If you win, mind you, my temptress the gold of ripe wheat. The mothers, daughters, loves of the slain shall go to our halls. I shall have first pickings, to give my Einherjeri their wives back, and they shall live in the stone Halls below Valljahöll. You shall have second pickings, and quarter them as you wish.

The dwarves will help us dig and build. How I have missed the sound of their hammers.

And the gold of their toil. But for all these Halls, what about those who sneak to and fro from Vallhalla to Sessrrumnir and back again? Should they not have a roof to call their own?

Why, you Grey-Hair with Sword Of Red Head, is it not better to embrace under the sky?

How right you are! - All-Highs words muffled in the embracing bosom of Freya.



Down by the Wells, ninety-six teeth smiled.











Authors note: I have taken the liberty to at least partially merge Freya and Frigga, as well as Odin and Odr. Norse paganism usually allows for such "aspectisation" (see if you can pick up all the places where Freya and Frigga are mixed together. What aspect mixes with what?), and the centrepiece requires Odin to give in wager something very dear to him, and for it to have a fitting counterpart, both in Asgard, as in Midgard. First pick of warriors, as well as broader opening of Asgard both in sexes and is situations, seemed appropriate. I also rewrote the Tri-Godess from Virgin, Mother, Crone into Temptress, Mother, Crone, since this makes so much more sense for a culture that is not deathly afraid of female sexuality, like the worship of the Nameless God is. I hope the Gods don't take offence.

Suggested musical background: Hagalaz' Runedance - Frigga's Web (for all their importance, both Frigga and Freya are rather abscent in the folk/folkmetal spectrum. Shame.)

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