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Sneak Peek Jan 25, 2017
Hello there, I thought I might post a sneak peak of a CC I've been working on for one of my first two characters to be created for the forums. This is an excerpt from the history of my character "Hlíf 'Ulfr." Enjoy.
The man known now as "Hlíf 'Ulfr" was once a child with no name or at least one long forgotten replaced by the insults hurled, spat at him since his earliest memories. His father was a drunk, cast out by his people, the Skaal, for reasons beyond the boys grasp that his mother dare never share. His younger years revolved around a small cottage, a short distance from a sparsely populated mining town, and the comings and goings of his father. When his father arrived smelling of the sweat of labor and the sharp bite of liquor he lived in fear, doing all he could to escape detection. Yet despite his efforts the sting of words, the welts, bruises, cuts, and broken bones could not be avoided, changing him to resemble more his mother than his father. Tears stained his skin, the screams of his mother ringing in his ears replaced only by the hollow silence as he beat her and the years progressed. He knew not his name, he knew not his age, but he knew as he slept on the cold wooden floor that he was nothing but a dog to be kicked.
If he was to remember now it brought nothing but pain, her raven hair, her nearly translucent skin and his eyes, their eyes. Though he was still a child he could see her fade away to the point where she was no longer a human, just like him, but a thing. They would sit in silence so often, waiting, knowing what was to come but with nothing but her own pain to consume her not having any comfort to give, no love left to offer. She was beautiful, but she was empty and so he could not love her. She could only appreciate the relief it gave her to have his attentions turned to the boy, and the relief of some menial tasks he presented. At time she would blame him, that she could not run for his sake but he knew better. In years to come, he would see that she would never run, because she was too weak.
There was no chance to breathe within those walls, heavy with all of the pain that they held, all of the secrets. However, as the boy grew and his body was able to bear the weight of labor he was thrust outside of this world and into another completely. From the haunting quiet of the forest to the mines he was sent, to make some use of himself. Though the women would talk amongst themselves of his origins and of his young age it was a terrifying respite for him and he would not have relinquished it. Paid at half the wages of a grown man he worked in silence, afraid to make the slightest disturbance, to have a single question addressing his scars and injuries. In this way, he drew little attention and though he faced the same cruelty, the same cold floor as he returned home his body began to strengthen itself in a way his mind and heart could not.
It came to be, however, despite his best attempts, that he did draw the interest of one of the towns residence. An elder warrior past his time of usefulness looked to the town to rest, a place to end his days. Widowed and without children, the man brought no more than a tent, bent on having his home built for him, specific and uncompromising in his old age. In the boy, approaching tentatively a taste of manhood, perhaps he saw himself or perhaps he saw only the abuse that plagued his image and actions. Whatever the cause he set about striking a hard-won friendship that consisted of little words but many small actions. The boy with no name was good at heart as well as a hard worker and the warrior wanted for little else. Offered full wages and with the begrudging permission of his father and harsh beating the warrior had won himself a worker. This is not to say that there were not others but these men came and went when there was need, there was always room for the boy.
Despite the warriors liking for the boy, the work was not easy, and the boy was offered no shortcut in any aspect. Though some of the more entitled men would gripe about his lack of experience wishing the position had been theirs to take, the man could not have been more pleased for there was not a more zealous laborer to be found. The motive, however, went beyond a simple need. The boy had a great desire and capacity to learn, to share in something more than pain with another human being but no knowledge of how to have such an experience. Likewise in the man having fathered no children, there was a void, a need in his age to pass on his skill and the good in him that was left. So the two slowly bridged the gaps, and began to each one fulfill their hopes. The boy began tutelage in basic reading and in a variety of subjects in which the old man had knowledge. Predominantly, however, he was taught in the ways of war.
The man had managed to grow old not by chance but by the wealth of his skill and all he could impart he passed to the boy. It was the way of the shield that he was taught as well as how to wield a weapon most effectively alongside and how to carry oneself under the weight and protection of plate. It took time to develop, but under the gentle guiding hand of the warrior the once silent boy bloomed, gaining confidence despite the home he returned to every night. It was beautifully blissful, though unfortunately it could not last.
The downfall began with a number of harsh beating, brought on as his father sensed what he was becoming, or perhaps simply because there was more coin for the drink. The boy, now adolescent was bound to him home, for days at a time, unable to work for his injuries. As the warrior grew weaker, and the beatings continue his heart grew heavier and though he had kept the boy on upon his homes completion to do menial labour, it pained him more daily to see the burden the young shoulders bore. His own body had little more to give, but he wished to see the boy's progress continue. Gifting him a shield, the man made himself a promise to free the boy and give him all the opportunities he deserved.
The shield would remain hidden however in a cache in the forest until the night that the warrior's plan would come to take shape. The boy had been asked to arrive later that day, he felt it odd as with dusk approaching there was little work that could be done. The warrior was also absent, which was unusual in itself. However, the boy was not one to disobey and for some time sat rooted on the porch. It was not until the moons had risen into the sky and the eerie howling of the wolves had begun that he took his leave, fearing his father's wrath would continue to worsen with each minute spent astray.
Upon arriving at his "home" he entered tentatively to find only his mother present. She had become listless and grown ill since the last season's change and refused him any answer, turning her head from him though it was clear that something was wrong. Back out into the night, he left the cottage, for the last time as he retrieved his shield. Nearing the chopping block, weapon in tow, he was met with a grisly sight. As the wolves howled once more the light of the moons revealed to him the bloodstains that decorated the woodpile and surrounding foliage, along with a blood trail he followed as if in a trance. As he came upon the light of the lantern everything became clear.
His father had killed the warrior. Approach by the man with a large sum of gold for the boy's freedom the drunk had become enraged and turned the ax upon the elder man. He lay now, in pieces in the hole his father had dug, and was now covering, glowing eyes looking on hungrily from the darkness. It took the boy, who slowly became a man as he stood watching the only kindness he had ever felt die, time to move or even breath. He grieved in that moment, in a way he never had for his own lost life, or that of his mother's letting the hurt grow and evolve into something far more dangerous.
Stepping forward he drew the attention of his father who spat more vile words in his direction, lifting the shovel to strike him, but it never landed. Swinging the shield across his body the young man impaled his father on one of the spikes, after which it seemed as though all control left him. As though he was watching himself from somewhere outside of his body he beat his father endlessly, falling to his knees as the wolves surrounded them. They did not attack, however, letting the young man finish off their prey. Kneeling in the blood of his abuser he was reborn. No longer without a name, no longer living under the hand of his tyranny.As the wolves moved into feast, leaving him untouched he rose the shield wolf, Hlíf 'Ulfr.
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