Stories : The Reaper Chronicles
In those brief moments, Grenth came through on his promise, the child writhing in cold pain, began to cry. From the edge of the forest, came a white wolf, almost ghost like, it had an eerie green glow from its eyes. It began to lick the mucus off the baby, causing the freezing to stop. It then clutched the back of it neck in its mouth, much like how a wolf grabs it cubs. It carried it for miles, and miles, until it fond a norn campfire. There the norn saw the child, thanked the wolf spirit, and began to raise the child as their own. They named the child after a famous wolf, Wotan, the reaper of wolf totem. When translated from the norn scrawl, it becomes Reaper. This would become his human name.
As they raised him, they noticed he began to form bonds with a unique group of kids. See, in norn culture, you do not pick a totem, but rather you are a totem. He was friends with a group of kids that were very tight knit, almost like family. They would tell they were family, thats how close they were. For a human, he showed to be very resilient and quick to heal, a common trait in some norn, but a odd one in a human. Even though he grew tall for a human, he never was quiet as tall as his friends. They never saw this as a weakness, but those outside of their group did. They often used him to go to smaller areas, or do things the elders wouldn't allow, as he was less likely to be caught. However, his punishment was always worse if they were found out. Norn society didn't take kindly to weak-lings, and being human made him seem like one.
It came for them to pick their work placement, and him and his friends were all discussing what they wanted to be. Many said hunters or mages, a few said folk-lore masters. Reaper said Animal Handler. His friends saw that coming for the respect he always had for animals, all norn have it there blood to do this, but Reaper was human, and he showed it more than them sometimes. As they graduated, they would be given their totems by an elder, and there bestial forms would be ingraven into their bodies. It was a painless process, but it never appeared so. As they sat around the camp fire, all of Reapers close friends were bestowed with the wolf totem, and the wolf spirit danced in the flames. They said Reaper also showed traits of the wolf, even though he was human. His friends began to change to show off there pelts. They had many fun that evening, because they knew the next morning would be when they would all have to work together for their first hunt. Reaper was thrilled.
In the morning, Reaper was barely waking when he heard the screams, wendigos had attacked the camp, slaughtering the elders, the rest of his friends had changed. They had entered a bloodlust, killing every enemy insight. Reaper grabbed a near-by weapon. It was a crude weapon of human design, trade by a man who claimed to be from the desert far to south. It had a long handle, and a blade that was similar to a banana. He began swing, there were more wendigos than the norns could hold off, they have killed to many experienced fighters in their sleep. Reaper watched as his friends, his family, was killed. Tried as he might, he ultimately failed, he was knocked back by a wendigos charge. As he laid there, preparing to die.
The unthinkable happened, a wolf, lunged at the wendigo, slamming into the ground, it had latched onto its throat, and it had crushed it. As Reaper regained his footing, he realized they were retreating. This wolf came up to him, and he stuck his hand out, palm down, like they had shown him how to do with war hounds. The wolf slowly came to his hand, and if began to lick the tips of his fingers. He knew the wolf was friendly from that point forward. He knew he couldn't stick around long, norn culture said it was bad luck to stay in areas of great pain and perish. Reaper grabbed his back-pack and pouches, and he drug a wendigo corpse with him. He had a plan, he was going to make a Forsaken Suit. Norn never wear hoods, unless forsaken or mourning. Reaper planned to make one from one of the very wendigos that killed his family, as a reminder, as beautiful as nature can be, it has its evils aswell.
In the Underworld,
Grenth smiled at how reaper had taken to the scythe, and how nature was willing to help him. If any man could stop Dhuum from retaking Underworld, Grenth knew Reaper would be the one. He just had to find a way of snaring him into his power. This was going to be interesting.
Reaper made a crude camp fire, he made it for light more than warmth. The cold never bothered him, besides he was seething with enough hate it could even warm the Crystal Desert at this point. He took the wendigo corpse and begin to skin it with precision. He realized in this moment, if he had chosen to become an armorsmith, he would have done well. He realized one wendigo would not provide enough materials to form the armor, he knew he was going to have to get creative. He realized selves would not be necessary, so he didn't plan for it. He kept the fresh white fur to form the hood, and took the less hair under belly and waist areas and formed a one piece robe. As he began to cure it, stretch it, and mend it, A few tears appeared. He took apart the rib cage, and began using different bones as patching material, and decoration. He noticed most of the rib cage was still intact, he decided to use it to form a lining around the chest area of the robe. Any pain this caused him would remind him of the family this creature made him loose.He began to disembowel the corpse, he began taking some of the larger organs and cleaning them out and curing them to use as a back-pack and other pouches. As he began to do this, he had an eerie sensation come over him. The odd feeling that he wasn't alone. Then a thought hit him, but before it even truly registered in his brain, he heard a growling from across the fire. He saw a set of amber eyes looking through the fire, he knew it was the wolf form the earlier fight. The sun broke dawn, but neither of them broke concentration, Reaper knew this wasn't going to last forever. He knew it wouldn't attack unless provoked. So, he continued his work on his robe, putting a few finishing touches and began working on the shoes, using the paws as padding for the soles. The wolf, annoyed by the lack of interest, moved around the campfire, and stole a piece of uncooked muscle from the corpse, Reaper acknowledged this, but it was customary for norn to share meals with nature. The wolf didn't care for this, he began to take his muzzle to Reapers shoulder, pushing gently. Reaper was mildly annoyed and spoke up, "By the wolf, Have you no pack? Go on creature, doesn't nature beckon you?" The wolf whimpered, and laid down next to him. Thats when a thought entered Reaper's mind, what if he had no pack? The wolf laid there, glancing toward him every now and then, but often looking into nothing. Reaper had finish making his clothes, and was about ready to set out for Gunnar's Hold to tell the tale of his family, but he wasn't about to leave this wolf by itself.
He knew of an old norn spell, he wasn't sure if it would work for a human, but it would be worth a shot. All it required was a sacrifice from both parties, and then they could briefly communicate telepathically. It was used by norn beast master to better understand how to break a beast. In this case, it might give him an insight as to why this creature was being so damned persistent. He plucked a small hair form his head, and slyly pick one from the wolves head, the wolf didn't care for this. It gave a brief growl, then settled back down. Reaper wove the two together, then threw them in the dying fire.
It picked up in a blazon blue, and in that brief moment he heard, "Why did he just pick a piece of my fur, a silly... what the hell did that beast just do to that fire." Reaper thought back, "It worked, can you hear this." The wolf raised up looking at the human, "Yes, but how can you... how can I... whats going on here?" Reaper thought about the spell and the idea he had to figure out why the wolf was following him. The wolf seemed to take it all in, and coyly laid it head back to the ground and thought back, "I'm Lunar, of the arctic born, born in the midwinter moon. I am the last of my pack. I was stalking the wendigos that killed my family, and yours. When I say that your people, and you, had thinned their numbers, I saw it as an opportune moment to strike. As I did, I brought down the one you saw, and another you didn't." Reaper seemed to understand, he was on a quest of revenge, he asked why he was following him. Lunar stated, "Cause you survived, I never expected to live through my attack on them, and you showed compassion, even in a hard time. There are much worse creatures to follow, believe me. I have no family, neither do you, I have no exact purpose, you seem to. I simply need a reason to live, I was hoping you could give me one." Reaper stood up, slid on his robe, grabbed his scythe, strapped it in place on his back. He thought to Lunar, "Follow me, then. We'll find a purpose together, but first, I have a story to tell." Off towards Gunnar's Hold they went.
Something stirred in the shadows, then quieted, nothing noticed the movement.
Reaper made his way through the crowds of people checking out the latest weapons, or the newest armor. The dwarves were boosting a new held secret on how to kill the destroyers. A simple merchant was begging someone to buy something, to feed his family, but judging by his belly, he probably wasn't that bad off. Reaper caught a brief glance of one of the norn explorers, he was holding an interesting weapon that Reaper would have liked to asked about, but the norn was leaving. He knew it wouldn't be wise to annoy an experienced norn, unless of course you are going to compliment them. He made his was to the local story teller, this man had many years on him, but even more battle scars. He had one bad leg, and was probably the reason he wasn't fighting right now. He looked up from the dim fire before him and said, "Human, what brings you hear? Do you wish to hear the tale of Gunnar Poundfist?" Reaper stared the man in the eye and said, "No, I know the story well, I wish to tell you of the north expeditionary squad. I am human by descent, but I am also just as norn in culture as you." The norn held his head up high, and let out a deep laugh shaking the nearby ground.
As his laughing began to soften, he began to speak, "Boy, you're human, I'll admit you got guts, maybe even enough to make some young norn to at least fear you a little, but norn in culture? Hardly my boy, no human will ever compare to a norn." Reaper said nothing, he simply stood up, dropped his hood and removed his upper robe. This revealed a massive amount of scars, and the norn mouth dropped. He said, "Well, then you are a norn, in spirit at least. Tell me, what happened to the squad? Was their final battle Grand?" Reaper sat back down, he placed his hand on Lunar's head. He began to tell the tale of his fallen comrades. This went well into the night, and it was a tale that would have his family remembered well. He knew this, all norn knew this. It was once said, and is still true today, norn do not fear death, they fear being forgotten.
Across Gunnar's hold sat a shadow amongst the drunks, they were far to gone to notice the man, he was watching Reaper intently.
As Reaper made his was to Eye of the North, Lunar spotted a bunny running down into a ravine. Not thinking, rely entirely on instinct, he dashed after it. In that moment, Reaper heard the sound of an assassin teleporting, he turned around in a quick move, whirling to block the stab at his back. He managed to block the first attack, he swung wildly, but every hit he landed did nothing more than bounce of his armor.In a quick moment, Reaper noticed the mans eyes were glowing green, and in a quick moment, he slashed. This cut Reaper's hand off at the wrist. He feel to his knees, paying no mind to the man, who was now poised for the kill.
As the blade was about to come down on Reaper's head, Lunar jumped, seizing the man's hand in his mouth, blocking his attack against Reaper. He then dragged the man to the ground. Lunar then attempted to maul the man, but quickly regained his footing. He swung wildly at Lunar hitting him a few times, but Lunar was managing to dodge him. In that moment, as Reaper was starring at the empty space where his hands should be he heard a voice, "Give me control of your body, I will give you your hands." Reaper could only blankly nod. In that moment, a force seized Reaper into the air, making him hover briefly before landing on his feet. His hands were now forged of ice, his eyes had an eerie light blue glow, and he had a green aura around him. He then walked over to the man, now swing his blade it Lunar, causing him to fall in exhaustion.
Reaper seized the man by his neck, and threw him to the ground, he placed his hand on his chest. The eerie glow left both their eyes, but reapers hand stayed in their icy form. The man sputtered and said, "Damn, Dhuum, I said I could do this, you didn't have to do that!" The voice came back to Reaper, "You will obey me, or I take back your hands, ask him about the one he calls Dhuum!" Reaper, without hesitation asked who, "Who is this Dhuum?" The man, now focusing on the towering Reaper infront of him laughed and said, "Hes a god you should avoid at all costs, trust me, but it looks like that might not be possible for you." the man began laughing again, he raised to his feet, and by his feet had fully hit the ground, he took of in a dash. Reaper yelled, "Whats your name?!" the man shouted back, "Assassin, or well, thats all you need to know!" Reaper now regaining his focus, saw how beaten Lunar was. He picked him up and cradled him in his arms, he was about gone. Reaper was now sprinting for Eye of the North. He was hoping he could reach the gates in time.
"What's your business in the Eye?", a voice asked. "What?", Reaper responded. "Whats your business?," the voice repeated. "Did you not see my wolf?," Reaper said astounded. "Yes, and you'll be paying for Mehnlo's services." Reaper beginning to calm down, said," Ok, I planned on it, then whats with all this?" The voice said, "Very well, you seem harmless enough, the charr wouldn't send a weakling through the front gate like that anyhow." In that moment, Reaper could see. It was an illusion, by the talented Mesmer standing in front of him.
"Welcome to the Eye of the North, it'll be one platinum for Mehnlo's services," the mesmer said, "call me Gwen." Mehnlo came walking down the steps to the large chamber they were standing in. "Nonsense, he will not pay, I was sworn to save all creature, its the creed we Kurzick monks take House Zu Heltzer," the monk said cheerfully. Lunar came slowly down the steps as well. He was still limping, but he was feeling much better. Once close enough, he weakly tackled Reaper, and Reaper fell to the floor out of playfulness. Menhlo was beaming, Gwen was rather uninterested. Menhlo spoke up, "Gwen, look at the monument, he's a chosen. Thackery was wanting you as well, he's in his study. I am going to settle another dispute with Cynn, lets leave these two." Gwen, trying to look uncaring, looked giddy when he mentioned Thackery. She hurried out, but Menhlo paused for a moment, he turned and said, "Chosen and those hands, those are quite unusual, I daresay, you must be chosen by Grenth." The name reminded him of the human gods the Norn had taught him when he asked about his heritage. Menhlo silently turned back and left.
The wolf look into Reapers eyes, and he heard the thoughts. Grenth, wonder if he is like one of my gods. Almost taken aback at this, thought to Lunar You have gods? The wolf looked as if he thought it was silly for them to not have gods. Yes, we have six. The wolf, Ice Frost, he lives here in the north somewhere, he calls the dead spirits to walk amongst him. The Bear, Fire Paw, He lives in the far south, and has never been defeated by any living creature. The Phoenix, the Mirage, she lives in amongst humans in some city, though she only shows herself to those worthy. She is beautiful and can shape the minds of those around her. The Lynx, Earth Mother, she lives south of here, in a place once beautiful, but now torn apart and destroyed, she is master of all of the natural elements. The white raven, Light Wind, who is constantly roaming, she has power over the light and air. Finally, the newest addition, who destroyed Dark Tooth, a shark cast to the darkest depths of the Ocean, she is a blind lioness, she is the god of truth and hope.
Reaper noticed that each time the wolf thought the name of the creatures, their image would appear in the water in the central pool of this room. He noticed what Menhlo was talking about, being chosen. This room was a shrine to the gods. Not the human gods, but THE gods, the one who ruled across all races and creatures, Reaper identified the gods that Lunar was talking with the human gods he had learned long ago. Lunar heard Reaper thinking these things. He thought to Reaper, Then I must tell you, there were two others, who aren't gods, but not mere animals either. Theres Dark Paw, he's Fire Paw's brother. Many suspect he doesn't exist in our plane, but torments Fire Paw in his sleep. and theres the other... Lunar almost didn't want to continue, but could tell Reaper was listening intently. The other used to walk the earth in place of Frost Paw, until Frost Paw froze him in a solid wall of ice, there he sits waiting for the thaw. A moss spider, he was the god of death. He came silently, and acted swiftly. Many thought he was more of a legend than a true god, that was until Frost Paw froze him.