|Bethesda Softworks Forums
|The Imperial Library
|2 January 2012
|The Seven Fights of The Aldudagga
Fight Four, "The Tenpenny Winter...Again"
This is a fragment of the fourth fight. Linked in the author's comment is an illustration, "Talos Farewells the King of Atmora".
These were the days of Rebec the Red, she-captain of the longboat Nail-Knock, whose Reaver-Husbands were [long loved] by High King Ysgrim [Shorebreaker] and all the Sons and Daughters of Kyne...[and so great was their renown] that grim-bearded Shor himself shouted his lamplight back into some of their hearth-fallen after the Sack of Sarthaal from [his Ten Tusk Chair (?)] in faraway Svongarde.
And these Returned were as ash, [and impaired] against the Winds at times, [so they were] specially armored to vouchsafe their old forms, wearing hang-wigs for beards built by the [War Wives of Clan (unspecified)] for theirs had blown away in the gust of the Tenpenny Winter wrought by the Fool of New Kreath, his Cleverness cut into throat-ribbons for his trespass into climate magic [and whose] neck-remains became a meat-string game for all the children of Rebec the Red…[text lost]…and still yet for the eight Returned, they lived their [Again Chance(?)] as best they could, and made manly unmention of their ash-make, and instead were properly grateful…[for] in those days, [in that kalpa], the skies of the Rim were plagued by dragons, and so many of their countrymen had suffered Burning but [they] were not by their individual glory similarly Returned.
Three god-guisers came to the ice-lined shoreline of Rebec's holdings, to see these ashen stalwarts of the Nords, all dress-fleshed in Greybeard aspect. The first of them was tall and long of limb, whose [flanks] could not fully hide the scale-bright hide of his true celestial station. He was the Aka-Tusk, a somewhat foreign spirit (yeah, right) from the Totem Wars, and known mainly in the tongue of Men as the enemy-brother of Shor, and he said, "Look on them, my friends, and how the North has gone insane with the beating and beating of the Doom Drum, whose father they fool-talk call their All-Maker."
The second was full-bound in furs, [his bulk] so great that he looked more like the shaggy centipedes the Orc Tribes herd than a true Greybeard…[he needed so many furs] because he refused to surrender his second set of war arms even in this preset parley (plus he was just plain cold) and [nor did he undo his horns, despite] the [text lost] advice of his companions…but the legendry fatness and odd-wrought shape of Merry Eyesore the Elk, the Greybeard Deer (what, you thought animals couldn't join the Men of the Throat?), was his hope for excuse should he be seen by the shield-thanes or warriors of the icy shore holds of Rebec the Red. And the Dagon said, "Who gives a ****? I'm FREEZING out here, and see no lesson to be learned that really I care about at all. Aka, while my exile in the utter dark is no fun either, pray send me back to [the oblivion] if all you've done is bring us here to lament [the Silver (?) Convent]. Yet again."
And the third, who looked akin to a Karstaag-man, [gigantic], and adorned in storm cloud and endless, endless yellowtooth… [he] was Alduin the World-Eater, and he only said, "Ho ha ho."
"You will eat nothing here, aspect Ald," said the Aka-Tusk, sensing trouble. "Do not forget that it was Heaven itself that shed you from me."
"Who cares," the World-Eater said, "You speak of the Prolix Laws, which do not bind me if you strain our kinship. You awoke me. That bell-sound has consequence. And the Dagon here, well, he's going to tell me right now where he's hidden all the additions to the World he has hoarded in the long aeons of salmon-leap which he calls his own survival."
"I am no salmon!" Dagon said. "I'm just smarter than either of you. If that grants me an association with the ineffable ocean, I'll take any weirding I can, and in red. The ocean, in the end, will avail us no answers we can acceptably parse. Bring it, big man."
Now [what] hasn't been said up until now is that a very bored Nord was listening to all of this, Korl-jkorl the Pity Husband of Rebec, whose clan was destroyed at Sarthaal and, unbrave, he was not one of the Returned but [rather] one of the Running instead. (A tally has always been kept of Those That Ran from the Sack, mind you. Sometimes our memories won't let things go, even if thinking on the same thing too much risks a frozen thought-set. Anyhow.)
Most of those that are Pitied accept their station. These are those Nords who, for various sanctioned reasons (Orc rape, unforeseen winter-taking, ashamed-but-acquiescent affiliation with the Borgas Clan when Wufharth Roared most of them straight past the Underworld into [Hell])…these are wed to their new Wives or Husbands in the special traditions of Mara, the Handmaiden of Kyne, whose pity is endless and especial.
Korl-jkorl had been spared because of [it doesn't matter], but he had never been comfortable with his taking of the saving-ring from Rebec the Red (though he probably should have been), and so often wandered mooncalf-fashion to the extents of her holdings, thinking his [hope-to-finally-thaw (?) thoughts]. This day, though, and his arbitrariness interrupted, Korl-jkorl watched the three Powers [of the Around Us] bicker, lament, and tummy-rumble their various agendas and he found himself most upset. This was god-talk, and we Nords have always felt nuisance with that. We blame having to live in the here and now for the most part for the most for that.
So Korl-jkorl revealed himself, saying, "Get off this hilltop, all three of you; [your intrusions] have only ever caused upset and you full well know it. What authority do you have to observe the lands of Rebec the Red with such potent intent that has yet to be decided among any of you?" And then, like most Nords when they are ready to settle matters, he brandished a weapon, that Nordic gesture which really translates to "I don't really care your answer to my question."
Alduin said, "Oh ho, good. A fight. Finally."
The Aka-Tusk straightened, surprised that their guises had been so easily [seen through], and purposely sighed enough to let [dragonfire] out to perhaps frighten the mortal standing before them. But, as has been said, dragons were at flight in the skies in these days, and this type of fear, if even halfheartedly divinely-wrought, didn't work on Korl-jkorl. "Wait," Aka said, and those around him felt his hold on Time. "We came merely to look upon your allies in ash, fallen in a place you regard in glory and that the Drummer has seen fit to--"
"No, we didn't," the Dagon said, shifting in his furs. "Who knows why we came, except at your summons. And if this Northman wants to fight, I agree with Old Ald here: good." And the Lord of Tumult and Foul Tempers then shed his guise, and held weapons and High King heads in each of his fists.
"Come then, little Nord, let me beat you dead into the snow with the brainpans of your ancient forebears."