Friday, January 15, 2010

Mortok's Treaty

A response to Nathaniel Lee's "Remembrance of Me" in Mirror Shards.

Mortok dropped the bar across the doorframe even though he had instructed the servants not to disturb him, it wasn't wise to take unnecessary chances. He wore all black, not that it mattered where he was going, and sat on the gray stone where the first rays of sunrise would strike. It was still his fortress today and even if that traitor had signed it away in the treaty, that didn't mean treaties couldn't be changed.

The sun rose crowned by orange fire that reflected off the clouds. Mortok took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and envisioned the diamond rune. He opened it like a door and behind him the first light of dawn on the cold stone floor faded into darkness. Ahead of him stretched a path that glowed with faint pinpricks of light like stars. He walked until he arrived at a mountain that arose out of the black nothingness. The path led to a granite chair hewn out of the rock. A layer of black feathers covered the armrests and the seat. It was cold and Mortok shivered. He sat down and covered himself with the feathers that provided insulation and he felt his fingers tingle as they warmed. He wasn't here for warmth.

Two ravens flew towards him, darker shadows against the stars in the ethereal path that he had walked. Mortok waited. The ravens alighted upon his shoulders.

Mortok closed his eyes and guided his thoughts so that they were slow and the images bright. He pictured himself walking through the rain in Fridsholm, no home left. He pictured the red-haired others living in his fortress and worshiping other gods. He pictured weak men and hairless horses and rusting iron.

He was done and opened his eyes to see if the ravens had understood. Their dark eyes looked at him and Mortok felt the ravens' talons tighten on his clavicle drawing beads of blood that trickled down his chest. The raven on his left, Huginn, leaned forward and pecked out Mortok's eye. Mortok fought to sit still and when the raven had finished he watched the world blackout as he blinked his right eye.

The ravens spread out their wings and with strong beats they lifted off Mortok's shoulder. Mortok watched them wink at him as they flew away, leaving a black feather that floated into his lap.

Mortok got up and walked home along the starry path. He smiled. Odin had said yes.

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