Patrick Secret 5
Geirulfr opened his eyes and got out of bed. He could see out his nearby window onto the countryside. It looked peaceful, rested, flourishing; just how he had left it. It was his scheduled day of mourning and he had to go to the old graveyard today, so he put on his cloak and high boots (for the area was quite swampy of late) and walked out his door. The day was beautiful; warm and sunny. The old gods were gone, and with them the frost and harsh temperatures had left the world, making way for the new generation. Geirulfr let the sun radiate on his face and warm his soul. His days of fighting were long gone.
He tromped through the murky ground, old willow branches languishing in the warm wind and small reptiles and amphibians hiding in muck and underbrush from his massive form. The journey was not short, but it was good for him to walk through the marshes rather than around them; in the shadowy water he could see ghosts of all the friends he had lost and the goblins he had slain. This was all that was left of the Myrkvior, the rest taken for the endless engines and puffs of steam and smoke that came from the city he once knew as Mecone, though its name has changed since then. Geirulfr, though he went by Brother Eldjárn now, was the last memory of Odin and his family, and the only person around whom ravens would sometimes circle.
Brother Eldjárn arrived at the graveyard, an old place that once held meaning. He opened the gates, black barred and covered in ivy, and they creaked with an ancestral feeling. Brother Eldjárn could feel the presence of the old gods, resting in peace and anguish in this place. He walked first to an old gravestone. It was flat and gray without much ornamentation or concern, as though it was planted without thought or care. On it read “The Museum of Technology and Progress; Died the day it was born.” You were the one who dug this grave out of respect for Snotra, goddess of wisdom. You can still remember her screams as the place burned to the ground, she clawed at the doors and begged to the gods to let the place remain if only they would take her instead. You pulled her out of the building and onto the snow, her body melting the ground around her as her eyes watched you mournfully. They were the only part of her body that hadn’t been incinerated, these stark white eyes surrounded by blackened and popping flesh. She asked you why. You stood and dug the grave for her.
Brother Eldjárn had paid his respects to the memory of Akademos’ legacy. He moved on to a grave that was large with a massive Valkyrie statue guarding it, looking down on the soft earth. On it was inscribed “He who Challenged our greatest Foe, Rest well Kormak” The stone had worn off much over the years, but you have not forgotten him, your friend and guide; Vali, god of vengeance. You can still see the dagger that sat lodged in his back, the small insignia of Iphigenia on the handle, and poison dripping from his festering wound. It was the death of blood-feuds and justice and you dug this grave for him within an hour of his passing. But you never forgot his death.
Brother Eldjárn had paid his respects to the memory of Akademos’ justice. He moved on to a massive Sepulcher. Gargoyles, stone axes, and champions held the ground of this place and invited him to descend the stairs into the cold dark rooms below. This is one place he had never entered. The doors remained shut and chained, and he was not allowed in to view the last resting place of the great Achaean’s whom he loved more than anything. Silently, you look at the doors and remember bringing Sol, goddess of the sun, here. Her death was gruesome, amidst battle and bloodshed, as it should be. Or was it humiliating, under the watchful eye of the Council as she was charged with treason and regicide? You can’t remember. Perhaps she died from a drop of poison? An arrow to the head as she marched triumphantly towards the Inner City? You fall to your knees, angry with yourself at having lost your mind, raging at your inability to remember. Frustrated, you weep.
Brother Eldjárn had paid his respects to the memory of Akademos’ ambition. He looked to the sky and breathed deep, letting his tears dry as he lets go of Akademos’ memory. He turned and left the cemetery, feeling free of the past and that which he could no longer change. He walked again through the swamp and looked at the murky waters as he always does. It was then that he noticed something peculiar. You lean down almost to the waters and look at your face. On it is an odd symbol, a brand of sorts, that looks like an eight pointed star, but with three bars on each star point, a half-moon circle on the end of point, and a full circle around the center. It glows with a pale light and your face shifts and molds itself with the waters. You realize that the swamp is not where you are and you look up in terror.
King Tiresias grabs you by the throat and lifts you into the air, blood pouring out of his eyes and mouth, and a hole in his throat that fills slowly with pooling blood. He brings you in close and you can see through the hole in his throat a woman behind him. She is Achaean, regal, and hateful. On her clothes is an insignia that looks like the insignia of House Chrysippus, but slightly different. Chrysippus’ insignia is a snake eating itself. This insignia is a circle of thorns. She smiles as the King bleeds.