The Swordlands

The End Is Nigh (Part 1)

Arriving in Augenbricht later that day the companions found a town torn in two. In the square a large crowd of Norse men and women gathered around a statue of Lady Snowshoes, who in this instance was depicted as a buxom fertility goddess. The statue had been split asunder, apparently by lightning. The crowd howled, wailed and wept, crying that the gods had left the land and that the end of time was upon them. At the center stood an elderly priest who led the crowd in their grieving.

“Gods of Aelfheim, why have you forsaken us in our hour of need? Why must you leave us to die in this world all alone? Have we not served you with truth and devotion? What must we do, what sacrifice can we offer that will call you back to us?”

Thunder pushed his way through the crowd and strode up to the priest, punching him hard enough in the face to knock him down.

“People of Augenbricht,” began the Warforged soldier, “Are you not Swordlanders? Are you not born to live and die in the shadow of Ragnarok? Surtur will come and Thrymm shall follow, all that is will turn to dust and blow away in the wind. Every man, woman and child is born to the world knowing this as the only certainty of life itself. I am The Promise Of Distant Thunder, I am Einherjar, I will be here with you until the end as is my sworn duty. I am a servant of Kord, who has ruled these lands since long before the time of Faerie. The gods of Aelfheim are no more in this land but their agents remain. This is Aengus Conleadh, he is a direct descendant of the Arch-Fey and is their living agent on this earth. He too will remain here unto whatever end awaits us all, and if we must fight then fight we shall.”

Thunder’s rousing speech, together with the impressive spectacle of his newly arrived adventuring companions, succeeded in swaying the crowd. Soon the grieving was replaced by a subdued sense of hope. The party was greeted by a girl named Bryony, who was dressed in the ceremonial flower-bedecked robes of The Maiden Of Augenbricht, and who had been chosen as the living embodiment of Lady Snowshoes until the year was out. She told the party that she was the daughter of the lord of the town, Braer, who would no doubt be eager to meet them and hear their tale of hope.

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Joe

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