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Viking Au Writing Pieces

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Viking Au Writing Pieces Empty Viking Au Writing Pieces

Post by Deathcap Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:15 am

Setting: Early Spring, The group is out hunting. Dalian just arrived at the clan recently, the group is around 13-14 years old at this point. Dalian is a year older than the rest.

“I don’t know, that doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen before, and I’ve seen a lot of creatures out on the Cloudmoor.” Dalian proclaimed confidently.
“It’s just a black-bear.”  Raven grumbled. “It’s not heavy enough to be anything else.”
“No, look, the claws are too long, it has to be one of those cave bears” Dalian argued. “It could be a cub.”
“That size? At this time of year?”
“Maybe it’s a runt.”
“Maybe it’s not a cave bear!”
“Maybe you don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“I’ve lived in these woods for years, and there’s no cave bears around here!”
“What are you trying to say?” Dalian snapped.
“That you’re wrong. That’s all.”
“Because I’m not from around here.”
“No! Because you don’t know shit about bears!”
“Have you ever seen a cave bear?”
“Then how do you know it’s not a cave bear!?”
“Have you ever seen a cave bear?!”
Dalian snorted indignantly. “Of course I’ve seen a cave bear. I..I killed one when I was with the bandits. A nasty one, a man-killer!”
“Oh really? Cave bears must not be very big then.” Raven remarked coolly, looking the other boy up and down.
“Shut up! You’re one to talk; I’m bigger than you! We’ll see what you do when this bear hears all your girly screaming and tries to eat you!”
“If a bear shows up, I can run faster than you.”
“Hah, you would run away!”
“Because I’m not stupid enough to fight a bear!”
“What are you trying to say!?”
“What do you think I’m trying to say, Dalian!?

Unavyre drowned out the boys, shivering at the thought of a cave-bear shambling through the woods; sniffing them out and hunting them down. She glanced at Pel to see what the other thought, but the girl only stared at the prints in the soft mud intently, ignoring the two boys as they knelt and fought over the unfamiliar tracks, both frustratingly determined to prove themselves right.
Pel sighed audibly, getting to her feet and brushing off her tunic.

“What do you think, Pel?” Raven finally questioned as he broke off his argument with Dalian.
The girl frowned without looking up at him. “Definitely a black-bear.”

Dalian scoffed, getting to his feet and wiping the mud off his trousers, strolling past Unavyre and walking on ahead as he followed the tracks. Raven was quick on his heals, not to be outdone.
Unavyre took a deep breath, watching the two boys exhaustedly as she fell back to walk alongside pel. She walked in silence for quite a while, glancing nervously through the old pines as they walked along.
Eventually, she glanced at Pel, speaking up hesitantly.
“I really hope you’re right. You… you don’t think there’s any cave bears around here, do you?”
“I don’t know what it was. But it wasn’t a cave bear or a black bear.”
Unavyre blinked. “Then why-”
“So they’d stop arguing.” Pel puffed softly.
Unavyre nodded, thinking. “Uh, Dalian really gets Raven excited, that’s for sure. Why can’t they just get along?”
Pel shrugged, treading carefully over the leaf little as they followed the tracks; far more careful than the two boys up ahead. “They might both like you? They’re trying to show off, like Wallace and Agnar do with Allia.”
Unavyre flushed at this thought, glancing at Pel in disbelief and wrapping her arms about herself. “A-hah, me? I don’t think so.” She wasn’t sure how she felt about either of the boys, she thought of Raven as a brother, and Dalian was funny, but she would much rather spend time with Pel.  
“Why not?” Pel questioned.
“I’m not very, uh…” Unavyre glanced down at her wide, awkward limbs; she felt more like a lumpy, unsteady thing than the elegant, strong women that the men in camp chased and told stories about. She admired them, but she felt nothing like them.
“What, beautiful?” Pel questioned dismissively. “Unavyre, you’re braver than anyone I know, and tougher than any stupid bear. You just have to act like it.” Pel told her sternly, giving her a hard pat on her shoulders.
Unavyre winced and glanced at her friend uncertainly, warmth stirring in her chest despite her unease. Pel really thought that? She didn’t think she’d ever heard the other give a complement before. Unsure of how to reply, she dodged the question, changing the subject. “I’m pretty scared of running to a bear, actually.”  
“Hey, you’re smart too.” Pel joked, giving a rare smile. “We’ll be fine, it can’t eat all of us.”
“Ah…Forget it, just try and believe in yourself, okay? I didn’t mean to upset you about the boys, don’t worry about them. You’ve got lots of reasons to be confident. Unlike those two up there.”  Pel encouraged, gesturing to Raven and Dalian as the pair broke into hushed arguing again, crouching behind a tangle of briars.  
“I think they found something.” Unavyre whispered. Pel gave a nod but said nothing while they made their way carefully up to the boys.
“What is it?” Pel questioned as she reached Raven’s side.
“I saw something, in the bushes.” The dark-haired boy whispered.
“He’s just scared.” Dalian informed Pel.
“Shut up, I-” Raven’s voice cracked in his throat, breaking into a high-pitched scream as a sooty bear rose up from the prickly leaves, maw stained purple from feasting on the fruits in the bush,  paws tucked against it’s chest, and ears flattened at the unnatural sound.
Unavyre backed up, nearly stumbling over Pel, but tried to hold her ground, knowing far too well the mistake of running from a bear.
Dalian, however, seemed to forget himself, and took off, nearly falling into the mud in his haste to escape, while Raven scrabbled back helplessly in the leaves.
Pel seized her friend’s arm roughly and pulled him to his feet, for once, the girl looked terrified, her usually rosy cheeks flushed a deathly white.
The bear chuffed and sniffed curiously at the air, leaning forwards as the group backed up before dropping menacingly to all fours.
Unavyre stood in front of her friends protectively but felt like she was made of ice; frozen with terror as the beast stepped closer. Pel’s words rang through her head. She was brave. She was brave. She just had to act like it. Unavyre desperately tried to muster up whatever courage Pel had told her she had. She took a hesitant step forward, giving a halfhearted gesture for the bear to clear off, waving her arms and taking another hesitant half-step, trying to put her weight forward and frighten the dark animal. Without thinking, she let out a guttural scream, raising her arms and lunging forward, roaring at the beast with all the air in her chest.
Raven, Pel, and the bear all shared the same bewildered look as the bear backed up slightly, flattening it’s ears and watching them tentatively.
Still, the two followed her lead, yelling out for it to shoo and clear off. Raven was still trying to regain himself, but Pel drew her blade, waving it. “Go on, Get out of here!” “Get out!” She cried, stepping forward  beside Unavyre.
The bear loped back quickly beyond the thicket before pausing to watch them, wary but seemingly not convinced.
“Shoo, go away!” Raven added, voice still crackling as he tried to yell at the slowly retreating beast.

Backing up, the group found Dalian further back on the trail, and made their way hastily in the opposite direction.
Following a long, silent and fearful trek back home, Raven suddenly broke out into giddy chuckles.
“What is it?” Unavyre startled at the sudden noise.  “What’s so funny?”
“You- You just roared at it.” He gasped between fits of laughter.
Unvyre felt her face flush hot. “Well at least I didn’t scream like a little girl!” She growled, scooping up a wad of the dirty spring snow and hurling it at the boy’s head.
‘Yeah, that was pretty funny too, you sounded like-” The blond chipped in at a chance to ridicule the other boy.
“Shut up Dalian, you ran away!” Pel broke in.
“At least Unavyre did something! Some warriors you two are!” She grumbled, but her voice wasn’t malicious.
Raven ashamedly wiped the snow from his neck and cheek. “I yelled too!”
“Are you supposed to yell at bears?” Dalian questioned.
“I thought you were the bear expert?” Raven retaliated.
“You’re supposed to yell at black bears, and play dead with cave bears.” Unavyre informed.
“Huh.” Dalian nodded. “But there's no way that was a blackbear?”
‘It looked like a black bear to me.” Raven added matter of factly.
Pel sighed heavily, but Unavyre could only feel herself smiling affectionately at the other three as they made their way back to camp.

Posts : 2269
Join date : 2014-08-12
Age : 26
Location : Canada

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Viking Au Writing Pieces Empty Re: Viking Au Writing Pieces

Post by Deathcap Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:02 am

Setting: Winter storm. Raven, Dalian, Pel and Unavyre are young adults here.

“It’s terrible weather for a hunt.” Unavyre cursed to Raven with a cloudy breath, and the boy smiled back pityingly through the near-blinding snow.
“Tsk. Lazy girl, if it’s too cold for you out here, you can head back to camp and help with the broth and warm your arse with the rest of those summer lilies. Raven told me you wanted to join up with the men and that you’d be useful. Was he mistaken?”
“No, of course not, Sir, I-,”
“Then stop your sniveling. This is the life we men live. Get used to it or find yourself a husband.”
“I’m sorry, Agnar-“
“Aak! why don’t you check down by the river, girl, make yourself useful. Meet us in the meadow. And make sure your whining doesn’t scare off the game.”
Raven watched Agnar’s back with hatred stirring in his chest as Unavyre hurried away, not able to take his eyes off the other as they trudged through the snow.
Could he really do it? There had to be some other way; some way to reason with him, to avoid this.
He glanced away into the trees quickly when the man craned his old head to look back at him.
“Hah, a little bad weather, and the girl was the only one who volunteered to come out.” He sneered.
Raven nodded, avoiding the other’s eyes.
“And you, you’ve never failed me, have you boy?”
He glanced up in surprise, meeting the other’s eyes. “I hope not, sir.”
“Stop that pitiful submission, would you? You’re a man now you know. You have been much longer than many of my older warriors. That’s why I named you my sword-hand; slave or not, you’d fight to the death for me, and you will for my son. You’ll be a fine protector to him as well.” He man grumbled pleasantly but Raven could only swallow uneasily as he walked up beside the man. “You know, I never thought the old bitch would give me a son.”
Raven remained silent, listening quietly, but his thoughts were elsewhere. Please gods, don’t make me do this. His hands trembled violently as he followed the other.
The chieftain grunted dismissively and bent over to check fresh tracks along the ground. An old doe. The chieftain drew his bow, and Raven followed suit, trekking after him.
“Speaking of which, you can take a woman, you know. I’m surprised you haven’t yet.”
“I…” Raven’s thoughts raced at this, maybe, if…
The chieftain glanced back. “You have a girl in mind?”
“Pel.” Raven blurted. “Pel, I… If anyone, I want to marry Pel. I love her more than anything.”
The chieftain straightened out, looking surprised, and then broke into a hearty laugh, while Raven watched him in worried anticipation. If the other would leave her alone, then-
“Ah, boy, if you were anyone else, I’d knock your teeth out. You think I’d give that pretty maiden up? You must know she practically comes crawling to me every night?”
Raven stared at the other in shock and expressionless disgust.
Agnar grinned at this and patted him hard on the shoulder, drawing closer. “Ah, don’t look so heart-broken, boy.” He chucked, before considering. “Perhaps we can share her some night; I do miss you.” The man remarked, reaching out to brush Raven’s jaw gently with an open hand, stroking his cheek with a cold thumb. Raven raised his chin in discomfort, revulsion and terror twisting in stomach as his throat closed up, but he stood unable to move, watching the other silently for a painfully long moment until he drew back and continued down the trail. As Raven let go of his held breath, he felt his fear bloom in cold rage and spread through his chest.
“Come along,” the other sounded dissatisfied. “The deer is close.”
Raven followed numbly, hatred singing in his ears as the other trailed the deer, growing silent as they crept up on a thin brown animal, stripping bark slowly from an old tree under the cover of the pine-boughs.
Agnar drew his bow, aiming with a slow steadyness.
Struggling to still his thoughts, Raven knocked the arrow and drew back; hands shaking as took aim short of the deer, drawing a shuddering breath.
A stick snapped beneath his unsteady foot.
The doe rose its head and flew through the snowy trees.
Agnar cursed and raven flinched and the arrow slipped crooked from his fingers.
Raven stood frozen in horror at the sudden, sodden thump, and the man stumbled forward and lost his footing, the arrow just high of his heart.
He began to scream.
Raven felt dizzy alarm as Agnar wailed. Broken, feral screams escaped his heavy form as he writhed. His yells filled the clearing, spilled into the sky, echoed through the trees.
Blood thundering in his ears and boiling in his veins, Raven dropped the bow, stumbling and then rushing towards the man as he drew his knife with a death-grip.
Agnar struggled on the ground, his life spilling out of him and filling up his lungs.
“Y-You stupid boy, you shot me! Gods, you fucking shot me!” He gasped wetly, trying to reach the arrow and turning to look at Raven, piercing eyes wild with terror and pain and his face bright with anger. “I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you!” He croaked. “Help me damn you! Help me!” The chief roared breathlessly as Raven dropped to his side.
“Shut up!” Raven yelled in panic, driving the knife down towards the other’s chest, but the man was too quick; shock in his wide eyes as he caught raven’s wrist and fought back desperately, crying out from the effort, or perhaps the fear.
“Help! Help me!” He screamed, breaking off into a strained yell with the exertion as Raven climbed forward onto his leader, pushing the knife down with all his weight.
Agnar’s bloodied hands slipped up Raven’s wrists and the boy felt shocked revulsion as the knife pushed through the other’s ribs, sinking into muscle and organ.
The man gave a wheezing scream. “Stop y-you, you- ”
Agnar’s breath choked up as Raven brought down the knife again, moving on instinct now, desperate to silence the man. Blood sputtered from the man’s lips and nose as the knife came down again, his hands sliding helplessly across his killer’s chest and throat, and slowly faltering as the blade punctured his chest, his lungs and heart, over and over.
A breathless whistle escaped his bloody, gurgling mouth as he glared up at the boy with desperate hatred.
“Shut up, Shut up!” Raven sobbed, shutting his eyes and mouth in a broken, muffled cry at the sting of hot blood across his face, barely feeling anything but the slide of the knife through Agnar’s body.
The boy’s hands slowed as he took in the silence around him, gasping for air.
Understanding slowly that the other had gone still, Raven remained, frozen in place as he became aware of the snow settling and melting away on Agnar’s still-warm face, falling over his open clouded eyes, mixing with the blood splattered over his thin lips.
He uncurled his stiff hand from his knife, searched the other’s face numbly, drawing away as he pushed himself up with shaking, stained hands and staggered back from the beast in horror of what he’d done and retching at the stench of iron.
It no longer held any semblance of his human shroud; its body lay contorted; open mouth still gaping for air that wouldn’t come, eyes staring up into the bleak storm above. It was no more than a wolf torn up by his kin and left to freeze. It would taste no more blood. It would kill no more of the flock.
He had slain a wolf.
Only a wolf.
Raven’s gaze was torn away as a branch snapped at the edge of the clearing. He turned quickly, feeling a wave of apprehension crash through him as met Unavyre’s horrified eyes; round as moons with shock.
He flinched as Raven turned and took a step forward, moving back.
“Unavyre,” He said, reaching out, but the other stepped away and whirled clumsily, running into the forest; back towards the village.
Cursing, Raven gripped his sword and rushed after the other, thoughts a panicked blur as he raced after the boy. He raced through the pines as fast as he could manage, but overtook the other quickly, catching up as the red-haired warrior stumbled down a root-tangled slope. “Unavyre!” He thundered in warning.
The other glanced back in shock, crying out in fear and stumbling as a root caught his ankle. He turned, falling on his back and crashing down the slope into the frozen creek below. When he came to a stop, he tried to pick himself up from his back, but looked up in horror as Raven hurried after him, and tried to back up, kicking at the snow and dead leaf-litter until he connected with the opposing creek-bank.
Raven slowed as he reached the creek-bed, looking over his friend in anxious silence as the other watched him, frozen and panting, terror in his green eyes.
“You murdered him! You murdered our chief!” He wailed, the betrayal and shock in Unavyre’s voice making Raven’s stomach twist with nausea.
“Shh!” Raven hissed in panic, stepping closer to the other and putting his hand up, urging the other to be quiet, wild with fear that someone would hear them.
“I did what had to be done.”
“Oh, no, no, Raven, what were you thinking, how could you just-” The boy sobbed, flinching away.
“For Pel, I had to protect Pel, I had to protect the clan, he was a monster, Unavyre!” Raven cried.
“Oh gods,” Unavyre carried on in shock.
“You won’t speak of this.” Raven warned, kneeling beside the other and catching Unavyre’s arm.
“Are you going to kill me too?! Raven, I-” Unavyre burst out in panic, trying to get his arm free in panic.
“Shh! I’m not going to kill you, Unavyre,” Raven got out, voice breaking at the other’s words, new horror washing over him. “I did this to protect us. I won’t hurt you, or anyone else, but you must never speak of this to anyone.”
Unavyre watched him wordlessly, terror plain on his face.
“Swear it. I’ll never let anything happen to you. Please, Unavyre.”
“You murdered him, you killed him in cold blood! After he made you his Sword-Hand! Who have you become?” The boy sobbed, tears spilling down his freckled cheeks.
Raven winced but kept his voice level, getting a better grip on the other’s arm; trying to get him to listen. “I couldn’t let him hurt anyone else. I’ll protect our people, above everything else. You have to understand that Unavyre. What about your sisters? What about Pel? You know what kind of man he was. I had no other choice.” The boy pleaded desperately. “What would you have done?”
Unavyre broke his gaze with shocked silence, looking about as if he was searching the snow for answers as Raven watched him worriedly.
He eventually glanced up, swallowing as he slowly met Raven’s eyes again, nodding.
“Swear. Swear that you won’t tell. Please, Unavyre.”
The boy nodded weakly. “I… I swear. You’re my brother.”
Raven stepped away from his frightened friend, reaching his hand out and wishing the other hadn’t had to witness this. Why had he had to come? “Thank you.” He told the other, his own voice shaking as Unavyre got unsteadily to his feet. “I’m sorry, Unavyre. I’m so sorry.”
“What will you do? Who will lead the clan?” Unavyre asked, standing uneasily.
“Don’t worry about that now. Go back to the clan. Tell them you lost us in the storm South of here.”
Unavyre nodded, and Raven searched the other’s face, grasping at anything he could say, but he felt empty as he turned from the other.
Hurrying back through the woods in the falling light, Raven’s thoughts were tangled and blurry. He had to get rid of the blood, of the body.
Raven stumbled resolutely through the storm. He couldn’t feel the cold anymore as he walked into the clearing, looked over the torn-up snow, the droplets of blood splattered over the now buried, frantic footprints.
In the mess of white and red, the beast was gone.
Raven stumbled forward in disbelief as the snow cascaded down, covering the ragged ground steadily.
Following the trail of blood, the boy found himself standing over the bleary smears where the wolf had drawn his last, but there was nothing but the stained snow.
Raven looked around wildly, drawing his sword, eyes darting about the trees as he turned, searching.
There were no distinguishable footprints; the snow fell too heavy now, only marred by the cooling blood.
The wolf was nowhere to be seen as Raven stumbled back to camp, the blood cleaned from his hands. Yet the boy couldn’t shake the feeling of something looming in the crooked trees, the sound of strangled breath just too soft to hear, of blank eyes watching him from the darkness.
Nearly out of the woods, he felt a hand brush his side and hot breath dance over his neck and whirled, crying out in alarm; turning and drawing his blade so quickly he nearly fell.
But there was no wolf, only the snow. Only the shadows shifting beyond the trees.
Swallowing the bile in his throat, he fought not to look too long into the darkness, for fear of what he might see, and trod on, panic fluttering in his chest like a wounded bird.

When he stumbled, numb-footed back into view of the camp, he was met with a muffled yell, and felt his stomach flip with panic, but it was only Dalian and Wallace, rushing up to meet him.
“Gods, you were gone so long, you must be frozen,” The man remarked, and Dalian stepped forward to throw his own cloak around Raven. “Any sign of Agnar?”
Raven could only shake his head, lips trembling with cold.
“You’re covered in snow, let’s get you inside.” Dalian urged, rubbing up and down Raven’s back in an effort to warm his friend.
“No, no, I have to go back out.” The boy was surprised at how his lips trembled with the cold. He could barely feel it.
“Your lips are blue, Raven, we’ll find Agnar, he’s a tough old bear.” Wallace remarked. “Get in by the fire and warm up.”
“Come on,” Dalian chided, unusually soft. “You silly fools, going out in that, you could’ve frozen. And Unavyre’s been worried sick. He was crying when he came back.”

“Is he alright?” Raven got out guiltily.
“Ah, you know him, he’s fine. You should be worried about you right now.”
Raven walked unsteadily to the central fire , barely able to focus on anything but the dancing flames until Dalian pushed a bowl of soup into his hands.
“Hey, are you alright?” Dalian asked. “You’re starting to worry me now.”
Raven nodded, gazing down at the soup and feeling his stomach turn. “Just cold.” He breathed, but set the soup aside. “I can’t, Agnar’s still out there.” He whispered.
“You can and you will, you’re not dying on me you dumb rabbit.” Dalian teased, but his voice held a hint of genuine worry before he picked up the soup and tried to raise it to Raven’s lips.
Raven caught the bowl in his own hands and reluctantly drank back the broth down quickly, barely tasting it but with no fight left in him to push the bowl away or throw it at the other.
When he had finished, Dalian looked much less worried until Raven got to his feet again and headed for the group assembling at the edge of camp.
“Whoa, come on, you need rest.”
“I need to find Agnar.” Raven snarled and tugged his arm back. “I drank your soup, now leave me alone, damn you.” He strode away quickly, despite the other’s protests until he flinched at the sound of his name as he passed Isar’s home.
He glanced up to see Pel, walking towards him, and felt the ice in his veins melt, inexplicably feeling as though he suddenly wanted to cry.
She froze when she met his eyes, searching his face in a silent question. Raven gazed back, nodding gently.
Tears filled her eyes as she watching him in disbelief, before stepping forward and gripping his cloak tightly, burying her face in his shoulder. He drew a shuddering breath, holding back a sob as he stroked her hair once, and then held her desperately. It was over.
Things would be better now.

Posts : 2269
Join date : 2014-08-12
Age : 26
Location : Canada

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Viking Au Writing Pieces Empty Re: Viking Au Writing Pieces

Post by Deathcap Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:01 am

Spring. Raven and Pel arrived at the clan during the fall and planned to escape following the spring thaw. Both are children at this point

Raven ran on desperately into the dark pines ahead, legs soaked from the lingering snow in cool spring air, but he barely felt it; the fear overwhelming his small form as he looked nervously over his shoulder. Pel hurried alongside him.
The girl bumped into his back as he stumbled short of the looming trees, catching the awful thump of hooves across the sodden earth. He tried to move, but felt his body grow as stiff as the frozen earth under his feet as Isar emerged from the trees atop his horse.
Pel screamed in terror, running past him as he stumbled back, the air gone from his lungs as the bone-pale man dropped down from the horse and strode towards them, his mouth opening and bleeding meaningless sound as his gnarled hand grasped out and caught him roughly.
Raven fell back into the dirty leaves, movement returning to his legs as he kicked back and turned but struggled in vain as he felt the other’s arm wrap around his middle and hoist him up.

Pel watched in terror, out of reach of the monster, but she couldn’t take her eyes from Raven, wide eyed and frozen in the other’s grip now.
“Raven,” She yelped pitifully.
“It’s time to come home.” The man growled, his voice drowning out all else in the fading light, but she could only hear her friend’s panicked struggles. “You won’t survive in those woods, my dear.”
Pel glanced back into the looming shadows behind her, dizzy with fear. The unknown of the darkening forest stretched out forever, threatening to swallow her up.
“Come here, it’ll be alright little mouse.” He rumbled, kneeling and stretching out his hand to her.  “You must come back; Agnar believes you both fled and he is very angry. But I know you both were only lost.”
Pel swallowed, feeling dread stir in her stomach as she drew closer, despite every part of her that screamed for her to run. She walked slowly into Isar’s reach. As she did, he took her hand and stood, setting the quiet, trembling boy up in the saddle of his horse.
She tensed as he drew her up next, placing her behind the boy in the saddle. She clung round raven’s waist and to his shoulder, feeling her stomach flip as the animal shifted beneath her. The boy’s hands clutched at the animal’s mane as he shrunk back from Isar’s hands as the man pulled the reigns of the beast around.
She held tightly to her friend as the horse was led on, fearful for what was to come.

As Isar brought them into the village, Raven felt pel’s grip on his shirt tighten, and felt his own stomach twist at the sight of the place.
He stared back tensely at the strange-speaking villagers who came out to look at them, meeting eyes briefly with little Unavyre, peaking from behind her mother’s legs.
When Agnar approached, Raven shrunk back in the saddle, flinching as the other snarled directly at them, speaking far too quickly for the boy to catch all of it, but he understood.
“Where did you find them?” He roared, trying to round on them.
“At the edge of our territory.”
“Why’d you bring them back?” The man met Raven’s eyes, a strange fury in his own blue ones. “Do you know what happens to run-away slaves, you little imps?” He chortled viciously.
“They were only lost, Agnar. They were terrified and cold when I found them."
Raven watched, fearful, as Isar stepped in front of the man, obscuring him from view.
“Who let them wander off?” Agnar demanded.
“No-one, I suspect. They were bringing buckets from the stream and heard a noise and were frightened. They were trying to find their way home when I found them.”
“Heard a noise!? Heard a noise! By gods, all this trouble for overactive imaginations.”
“Perhaps not. I came across wolf-tracks near the edge of camp. We should keep an eye on the other children as well.”
“Ah, the gods nearly blessed me, I’d be free of all this trouble if only a wolf had got them.” The man snarled.
Raven tensed as Isar turned to lift him from the horse and set him on his feet. He stumbled and moved back nervously before Pel was plopped down beside him.
“They’re freezing and hungry. I’ll look after them.”
“As they should be for wandering off.” The Chief ground out, but Raven was pushed in the opposite direction by Isar’s hand and hurried along, keeping his head down.
The two followed Isar nervously as he sheltered the horse and led them to his house near the center of the community. When he forced the crooked old door open, Raven hesitated at the entrance, looking about fearfully until the man huffed impatiently and nudged them forward.

Inside, dull light flickered from the embers in the hearth, dancing over the dust and rocks scattered across the floor and lighting the dark stone and logs of the walls. Raven stood uneasy and shivering in the center of the room, Pel close at his side, while the man fed the fire and hung a pot of water from the hearthstones.
When he turned to look back at them, he seemed frustrated, and strode over. Raven froze up as he was picked up again and set on the straw bed. Isar quickly retrieved Pel as well. Raven tensed at his friend’s frightened yelp, but Isar set her down gently beside him. “Easy now, it’ll be warm soon.” He grumbled and reached into the shelves above them to pull down a folded blanket.
Raven flinched back as he shook it out, not taking his eyes off the other as he draped it around them, tugging it around their shoulders.
When the man turned away, Raven pulled the blanket tighter around himself, still shivering bitterly, and Pel scooched closer to him.
Raven watched in silence as Isar cut up potatoes and added them to the pot, alongside milk and greens. Then the man sat back while the soup bubbled softly, stirred the embers of the fire, and attended to other things in the cabin. He waited for the stone faced man to yell at them, or send them outside once their pant-legs had dried of snow-melt, but the other said nothing as he loomed about.
The boy felt his uneasiness bleed slowly into exhaustion as the room gradually warmed and filled with the creamy scent of the soup. He strayed from watching Isar as the man did nothing eventful, and felt his stomach turn hungrily.
The man’s icy eyes caught the light of the fire as he eventually brought over bowls of soup to the two, and sat in a chair by the fire. Raven watched him suspiciously as he drank back the meal, before his hunger got the better of him and he did the same.
When they had finished the soup in silence, and Isar had set the bowls aside, the man sat down beside the two; the straw sinking heavily with his weight. Raven watched him warily as he ran his hand over Pels hair in a soothing manner.
Pel herself tensed, but glanced up falteringly as the man spoke, drawing back and curling his hands around the edge of the bed-frame.
“You two must not run away again. I know you are scared, and miss your parents, but if you got lost in those woods, there are all sorts of animals who might eat you, and even if you escaped the woods, there are other clans out there; dangerous warriors, and bandits. And if Agnar had caught you instead, he would have hurt you. This is your home now. You are safer here.” He carried on, before looking up to meet their eyes.
Raven stiffened, glaring back.
“Do you understand me?”
The boy hesitated, but nodded. Pel nodded quickly.
The man dipped his chin, watching the fire for a long few moments before raising his dry voice again.
“No more sleeping on matts in the stable. It is getting cold outside. You may sleep here tonight. You may come to me if you are hungry, but no whining, no crying, no leaving a mess. You clean up after yourselves, and you do exactly as I say. Do you understand?” He demanded, all tenderness fading from his voice.
Pel nodded again, and Raven followed, still watching the other uncertainly.
Isar got to his feet, then, dusting the hay from his clothes. “Sleep then. I suspect you will have extra duties come the morning, after taking off like that.”

Raven waited for the other to step away, and then curled up uneasily on the straw with Pel, pulling the blanket over them as she curled up beside him. He watched Isar uneasily as the man settled in the chair by the fire.

As the room grew quiet, Raven blinked open sleepy eyes as the sound of muffled sniffles. Pel cried softly, trying to muffle her mouth with the blanket.
She was scared, or maybe she missed her mom, Raven thought, but he felt worry twist in his chest, glancing past Pel to where Isar was seated, and looked back to his friend, reaching out to touch her shoulder, not sure how else to comfort his little friend.
He flinched back as she cried a little harder, tears dripping freely down her face into the straw.
“Shh, shh.” He tried to sooth, rubbing her arm like his mother had when he cried. “It’s okay, Pel.” He tried to comfort, feeling worried. Isar had told them not to cry.
But his soothing did nothing, and Isar looked over from where he sat by the fire, and got to his feet.
In fear, Raven scooched closer and wrapped his arm around pel, trying to hush her as Isar strode over and sat down on the straw. Pel went silent, choking back her sobs, and Raven felt his stomach twist in worry.
“Come here,” Isar spoke, voice barely above a whisper.
Pel looked up fearfully as Isar separated her and raven gently with an arm, pulling her closer and tugging her up onto his lap. To Raven’s confusion, the other wrapped her in his arms and stroked her hair again, and Pel broke into louder sobs as he rocked her slightly from side to side.
Raven watched them worriedly, but Pel’s cries eventually turned to whimpers.
Fretful but exhausted, Raven slowly laid back down, watching and struggling to stay awake as Pel’s voice faded into silence as she softened with sleep.
Isar shifted and rested her back on the hay beside Raven, tugging the blanket up around her sleeping form, and tucking it over Raven’s shoulders as well.
“Easy. Go to sleep now.” The man said more softly, before returning to the fire.

Summer. Raven and Pel are young teenagers. Before Dalian arrives at the clan.

Raven washed the clothing by the riverbank, watching the tree line anxiously as he waited for the sound of hoof-beats or voices. He glanced up as Pel made her way down the bank, carrying a basket of blankets that looked larger than herself.
“Have they found her yet?”
Raven shook his head anxiously as the other knelt down beside him. “Do you think she could’ve made it beyond the river?”
“I… I hope so. I hope she’s okay.”
“Isar’s out there, if he finds her, at least, there’s no way he’ll hurt her.”
“But what if Agnar, or Allia…”
Raven swallowed, continuing the washing and sending a silent prayer that Sora was safe. She would make it back to her children, wherever they were. If anyone could make it out there, it was her. The woman hadn’t been with the clan long, but she was intelligent, she knew how to fight; she had even taught Pel how to use a knife.  
“Maybe she could fight them off? Maybe Isar will let her escape? I saw him speaking with her last night, by the fire. They were smiling.”
Raven felt a sliver of hope. “Maybe, I just hope-” The boy was cut off by the sound of commotion on the other side of the village.
“I think they found her.” Pel breathed, meeting his eyes worriedly. “Come on.”

The two rushed back, and Raven felt a rush of relief as Isar came to view, atop his horse but obscured by Agnar and some of his men.
He hurried forward, worried, but as he pushed past Allia, he felt his heart drop.
Sora hung lifeless over the horse’s shoulders, her lifeblood coating its flank and pattering still over the earth beneath.
He froze, watching in horror as Isar dismounted and pulled the woman’s body to the ground, dropping her into the dirt like a sack of salt.
Pel stepped back beside him, and he heard her breath catch in her throat.
“He killed her.” She breathed, voice quivering.
Agnar stepped up to the Sword-Hand, tsking in disgust at the woman’s bloodied body. “What a waste of silver.” He grunted dismissively. “Call the others back.”
Raven watched as Isar said nothing, gathering the reigns to his horse again and stepping away as Agnar ordered Wallace and another to drag her off, cursing and warning the other gathered slaves with threats.

Raven stood in frozen silence beside Pel as the clan slowly dispersed from the scene, returning to life as normal.

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Post by Deathcap Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:58 pm

Pel looked around in confusion before she spotted Raven, fully clad in his armor, sitting among the resting sheep. "What is he doing?" She muttered to Unavyre, watching as the young man scrunched and pet the wool of a sheep that had settled with it's head on his lap, while another of the beasts nosed at his back and nibbled on the leather of his cuirass.

Unavyre beamed. "He's making friends, good for him!"

Pel scoffed in disbelief, watching the grumpy warrior settle peacefully with the noisy, stupid, wretched-smelling animals. Maybe they had a lot in common.

"Raven, we should leave if we want to get to the next town before sundown. Say goodbye to your girlfriend." She called over.

The man looked up, frowning. "Shut up asshole, I'm petting sheep!"

Pel tsked angrily. "We have work to do! We can pet more sheep in the next town!"

"I'm petting these sheep!"

"Forget the dumb sheep!"

"How dare you?! Apologize. They're lovely creatures."

"Gods Raven, I'm not apologizing to sheep, get your ass up!"

"Well then I'm not moving. The sheep are better company. They don't yell at me." Raven grumbled, stroking the sleeping sheep. "Do you, sheep?"

"What in the world is wrong with you?!

"Sorry, I can't hear you. Maybe after you apologize for calling my friend stupid."

Pel looked up to the sky and groaned in exasperation, praying for the gods to smite her. "I'm sorry I called the dumb sheep dumb."

"What do you think, sheep?" Raven questioned the sleepy animal. "Sheep thinks you don't mean it."

Unavyre yelped worriedly as Pel screamed in rage and lunged to climb over the wooden fence, gripping the girl and hauling her back while the sheep scattered and Raven stumbled up, startled and sad as he watched the animals flee. "Okay, Okay, gods. I was kidding." He grumbled, climbing awkwardly over the fence.


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Post by Deathcap Sun May 17, 2020 10:47 pm

Dalian and Raven near the clan, the summer after Pel was exiled.

Raven sat quietly beside his friend near the crooked oak at the edge of the field above their home, drawing his knees to his chest and crossing his arms over them, while Dalian dropped down onto his ass and laid back, puffing.
“Nothing again.” Muttered Dalian.
“I almost wish we had something to worry about. I’ve never felt this lazy.” Dalian complained.
“Gods, be grateful for a little peace, would you?”
“Raiding is in my blood, I’m not meant to lounge around like a log. I need a good fight, some stolen wine – that blackberry stuff. The smoke in the midnight air! A pretty bride riding away with me into the forest, after I rescue her from her fat, ugly husband.” Dalian envisioned, waving his hands in the air above him in wild gestures.
Raven raised an eyebrow at the other. “How many raids have you gone on?”
Dalian frowned. “A few, or well, when we fought those bandits?”
Raven snorted. “That’s not a raid, and no woman wants you to carry her off. Raids smell like blood and shit and there’s a lot of screaming and crying.”
“Whatever, I want a fight, I want to get my blood pumping and have a go with a mean bastard! You’re making us all plump and weak! Pretty soon we’ll forget out to use our swords.”
“I’m making us scarce!” Raven snapped. “After last winter we don’t have the numbers to take on Hagr or any other clan. It’s best to lie low for now.”
“We don’t have the numbers because we aren’t raiding –“
“If you want to have a go with a mean bastard, keep talking, I’ll break your nose.” The younger growled.
Raven ignored the blond as he gave a long, drawn out sigh from where he lay, puffing his chest up and deflating.
“Gods, you’re such a thorny bastard. You need to let it go, man, move on.”
“Let what go?”
“You know what I mean… Pel. You’ve been mean as a wolf since winter, and acting like you’re going to lay down and die other days.”
Raven’s stomach twisted painfully at the other’s words and he broke Dalian’s gaze, looking off down the hill as frustration and pain came welling up despite himself. All he could do was to not think about it, and Dalian wasn’t helping.
“I know you’re stuck on her, but there’s plenty of young women in the clan who you could try your luck with.”
“What?” Raven blinked at the other in bewilderment.
“What do you mean, what? It’s been months since Pel left. It’s no wonder you’re so frustrated all the time.”
Raven frowned at the blond in confusion before realizing what the other meant. “What? Oh, no- no, Pel and I didn’t… we weren’t…” A strange heat rose to his cheeks at Dalian’s shocked expression.
“You weren’t?”
“No! I mean… not really, we…”
“Wait a second, have you never been with a woman?” Dalian questioned with growing amusement.
“t-ft- Of course I have!” Raven snapped defensively, sitting up straighter.
“Who then!?” Dalian demanded with a grin, pushing himself up on his elbows.
Raven paused and narrowed his eyes, sitting back. “None of your business.”
“You haven’t!” The blond cried, sitting up.
“Why does it matter!?” The younger snapped.
“Are you too shy? Or do you have trouble?” Dalian teased with the same smug look.
Raven glared at the other with hatred in his eyes. “I said I have!”
Unconvinced, Dalian continued on. “Or… is it men you like, is that it?”
Startled, Raven fought to respond, stuttering for a retort. “No! I love women, I sleep with all kinds of women!” He protested weakly. He felt like the wind had been knocked out of him.
Dalian furrowed his brow in confusion. “It’s… okay if you like men. I didn’t mean..”
Raven paused, meeting eyes with his friend for a moment, before looking away again, falling into quiet.
“So… Have you been with men, then?”
Raven glared angrily at the other’s persistence. “Yes. And a woman. Not Pel. Not like that.”
“Why not?”
“Why would I want to?”
“Why wouldn’t you?” Dalian asked, raising an eyebrow again.
Raven held his knees tighter to his chest. “It hurts, I hate it.”
“What do you mean it hurts?” Dalian asked in confusion.
Raven glanced up at Dalian’s expression before he looked away again, uncomfortable and wishing he didn’t have to explain. Why was Dalian teasing him if he didn’t even know how it worked?
“You know, when… like… inside… I always felt like I was going to throw up. It’s horrible. Why does anyone like that?” Raven shuddered, trying to push down the memories, and watching Dalian’s horrified face with bewilderment.
“It’s not supposed to hurt…” Dalian spoke up with a grimace. “It’s supposed to feel good.”
“Well it felt horrible.”
“Raven… who did that? Who were you with?”
“Agnar.” Raven muttered, still not sure of Dalian’s questioning. The name feeling dark and heavy and cold despite the warm sunshine.
“Raven… that’s not normal. When… when you’re actually loving someone, both people feel amazing. It’s not supposed to hurt.”
Raven watched the other quietly as he spoke, considering the other’s words, but still not sure Dalian wasn’t making everything up.
“I’m sorry Agnar did that.”
Raven blinked. “What?”
“That he hurt you. I’m really sorry. “
Raven shifted uncomfortably, not used to apologies from his mouthy friend. “I… It’s okay, I guess. I still don’t know if you’re making shit up.”
“I’m not, trust me. I’m being honest. You know, if it would help, I mean… If you want, we could try-“
“No way in hell.” Raven snapped, watching the other warily.
Dalian put his hands up. “Yeah, Yeah. Take it easy. Just an offer!”
Raven wrinkled up his nose in disgust. “Gods you’re desperate.”
“What?” Raven grumbled.
“I’ll listen. If you need to talk. That too.”
The younger puffed in annoyance, not sure how to show how both grateful and frustrated he felt towards Dalian. “…Thanks.”
He watched as the blond laid back in the sunshine, then turned his gaze back to the village in the distance, running his hands absently through the grass.

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