The Soul's Rising

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The Soul's Rising

Postby Penny_to_pay » Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:44 am

There is much that maybe done in life and some people are born with a purpose so that they may fulfil their lives to the max. Everyone is born with purpose, but some have a higher purpose.

An old man stumbles along in front of a younger man, leading donkey drawn cart. Broken limbs droop from every bar on the back. The old, oaken wheels of the cart creek in the silence that has smothered the roar of battle. Only the sound of the wheels and the spitting of the piers can now be heard. The old man is a Judge. A Judge sorts the bodies of the fallen, the Noble from the Common. His job is to rescue the bodies of the great men, to secure their armour and their person from the vultures that would steal everything away, with out care, with out honour. He is in the employ of the House of Calbar. Each great house will have a Judge. The pay is good, but it is not needed. The Judges are born into the job. In exactitude, they are left into the job. They are orphans or unwanted children, left at the back door of the Manor of a great house, there, to be put to a job, whatever the job should be, whether house servant, stable boy, gardener, or Judge. The Judges are grateful for their employ, bed and board. The money they earn is to be passed on to another needy child, with or without parents. They have no respect within society, but they have a social place. They are at the bottom, and there shall they stay.

The boy turned his pale face upwards, towards the darkening sky. He saw small lights flickering over head. He saw the trails that they made as they flew skywards. He followed them down. He saw auras spreading from body to body, lifting upwards and making the lights as they gathered in the dusk lit air.

“What are they, Master Judge sir?”
“Them, lad, are souls.”
“But you told me that there was no such thing, master?”
“What I said, lad, was that I didn’t believe in such things.”
“So why are they there?”
“The fact that they are there is precisely why don’t believe in them. It’s because I know they exist. I don’t need the belief, like as some persons do. The belief is what drives people to do the things we have to clear up after. They never have to see this picture of the manifestation of their belief. If they did they would stop believing in it. They would loose their purpose and position if they knew it was there because that something that burns inside them would no longer be there. Great Lords and warriors believe in the Rising Soul because otherwise they wouldn’t be able to do what they do.”
“And what do they do Master?”
“They are what govern our land. They are the ones who raise armies to protect us from the evil Waste Landers. They are our Land; they embody everything that is us, as a people, as what makes us tick inside.”
“But what do they believe that makes them so powerful. How can something so insubstantial and yet so meaningful control a people and change humanity?”
“That was a bit intellectual and philosophical for you lad. Well ok, it works a bit like this.
Some people believe that the body is nothing more than a vessel for the soul. The soul has another shape inside the body, the body forces the soul to take the shape of the body. And the soul is released once the body is dead. However, the soul keeps on living once the body is dead, although living is the wrong word. The soul exists, but it does not have legs, so it can not walk, it has no voice so it can not speak, it merely exists, with no purpose, except to find a suitable body, usually that of a young child. The body of that child then becomes the bearer of that soul. Soul and child then grow together, until that child dies as an adult and the soul is then released once more.

As he talked the old man began to slow in his stalking of the bodies, as if he was mumbling some old lines he had once heard as a young man. It was in fact what his master had told him, when he was an Apprentice Judge. He had asked about the nature of the world. It had been on the very field that he begun to understand what the old man had meant when he had explained.

“Mangled bodies lie three thick over the field. Smoke rises from the first piers. Broken helms and swords rest in severed arms. The stench from the fires and the rotten flesh call the carrion birds to feast on the eyes of once great and noble men. They once thought war was glorious, now their souls shall curse it as they drift and look for rebirth. Everything becomes black and red in the face of this death. A death by each others hands. They fought for a higher purpose, and now they no longer have any. For all the knowledge they possessed they had not wisdom to control it. And because of that, warrior souls shall have no rest this night but a new generation of fighters shall be born with no wisdom, only knowledge. The minds must learn what the body can not.
In amongst the decrepit and desiccated corpses, spirits rise from their fallen vessels, floating on the breeze as their search for a new home begins. Souls have no feet. This has given rise to the belief that it was good luck to die in a strong easterly breeze. The living will only inhabit the east banks of rivers. No body would live on an island, surrounded by both east and west. East and west are the directions that govern the lives of mean. North and South are the ways to adventure and mystery. They are not understood, they are only remarked upon in songs and stories of old warriors, but they are few and far between. There is no such thing as an old warrior. Even heroes must fall in battle when their time is come.
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Postby Penny_to_pay » Fri Jan 13, 2006 6:49 am

As the Judges picked their way through the desiccation of the battle field, other figures, that of wives, daughters and sons sorted their men folk from the pitiless scatter of disjointed limbs. It would take them hours to find all that they sought. Others went through and mercilessly removed any valuables they could find. Everyone has to eat and the spoil from the dead would keep many alive for several months.

One figure strode alone; dark were his garments, like that of a judge but heavier and worn from much travel. Its foot fall was light considering the height from which the head looked out upon the world. The heavy, mud spattered boots left little print in the churnings of hooves and blood of bodies. The result of battle. The figured stalked through the eerie silence of the field as if deep in thought or concentration but the head would jerk up at a cry of a woman or the flutter of a crow. The figure appeared to be searching for something; turning over shields and disgraced armour. The search led the hooded person close to the centre of the slain, where the pile of bodies was greatest. Centred upon a mound of slaughter and disarticulated bodies was a flag, the only one to have survived the burning oil poured on the grass. It bore the battle emblem of the House of Angramar, one of the most ancient and powerful of Houses.
‘The powers of the Houses are weakened by this battle. No victor, no victory. It was a shame and needless waste of Noble hearts, and all they will do now is re-arm and fight again.’ The figure appeared to be thinking private thoughts out loud for when they had seen him coming, all those searching the pile for their dead, had moved away unsure of this new character.
Powerful hands were raised from their positions by their sides and felled the folds that surrounded the figure’s face. The light of evening fell upon heavy, dark features, well defined but a mass of scars. Upon one whole side of the face ran a swirling, meandering tattoo and upon the ridge over the left eye a series of black iron rivets glinted in the failing evening sun. Bright blue eyes began to scour the heap, searching.
After five minutes of digging in blood with strong arms, there came a piercing scream. There was no pain in that scream however and no animal could make that sound. No man either, for all that lay in that region of the field were dead and all lay silent.
The man pressed his muscular arms into the heap of dead again. He felt his hands close on something soft and warm. It squirmed at his touch, but ceased to scream. It gurgled. Deep-padded fingers closed around the tiny source. The man re-coiled his arms and with it came a bundle of what had once been pure white cloth. Wrapped in the cloth something small, but alive. As he stared down at the child in his arms, the man felt a minute hand grasp his seemingly old and damaged fore-finger. It was strong and he felt as if it would never let go.

Two days later, in the pale light of dawn there was heard the soft sound of boots, making their way to the back door, the door to the kitchens and servant quarters. The house was just starting to wake and the first up were the kitchen staff. Smoke was already rising from the stove chimneys when the cook, busy planning out the forth coming banquet’s menu, heard a gentle rap on the heavy oak door, leading to the yard. She huffed, rose from her seat by the fire and bustled over to the door.
She opened the door wide, letting in a cool draft of air. She looked around saw no one, then looked down. Below her, nestled in the groove made by the passage of many feet, was nestled a bundle of what had once been pure white cloth, now coated in blood and mud. She stared for second, then bent and scooped up the child in her large, weathered hands, cradling it. It was then that she saw the envelope of heavy parchment tucked in the outer folds of the swaddling.
‘Well there’s fancy. This one’s got a letter.’
Upon the parchment next to the wax seal, were the words:
‘To the Lord of Angramar’
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Postby blackthorn » Thu Jan 19, 2006 4:37 pm

Nine of them stood facing each other with out a word spoken but communication was not lost to them. For each was in deep meditation. There thoughts traveled from one too the other with out the use of speech. The voices sounded load and hollow in each mind.

They stood among a ring of standing stones in the pitch of night with only a finger nail moon to light them. Each wore the same dark drown robe, with there hood covering, hung down. There hands were tucked up each sleeve and they stood facing one another inside of the stone ring. The need for the meeting was most argent, for the council was never summoned for fifty years. Something had happen but individually know one could tell what the darkness was that covered there all seeing eye.

The voices rang out in each mind as the meeting began.

“What is the reason of the dark cloud that binds my sight,” Echoed one voice.

“This, Don’t know,” came another.

“I have seen, the future is cloudy to me, I have only come to such knowledge buy the dark road. The path of the light is bared on this day.” The voices discussed back and forth about what was to come and how this tragedy come to pass. After some time the one voice that had been silent through out the mind talk finely spoke up.

“There had been a child found on this day,” He said know more.

“What of this brother, you speak upon?” the question was asked buy everyone.

“I know…,” the voice trailed off over run buy mental voices asking other questions.

“Silence, allow our brother to speak,” the voices died down to a mere whisper, “Go ahead, Brother,” came a hollow voice.

There was a moment of silence before he spoke again. “I have seen a child, he is not of the power, he outside of the powers.”

“How can this be? Surly you have seen wrong? Ware is this child you speak of?” The voice sounded with slight fear.

“I, see what I see and this is all that is foretold to me, Perhaps in time it will reveal it’s self to me more, I am directed north to seek out this child and restore the balance of dark and light,” there he spoke no more.

“Then go brother and solve this mystery, It seams the gods have chosen you for this task and we can’t defile the will of the god’s in this matter,” the voices stopped but one, “please make hast for we need to see into the harts of men to guide them and show them the path before it is to late, All hopes will lye with you brother, may the god’s have mercy on us all.”

The group bowed, and each turned and walked between different standing stones. As soon as they past the thresholds of the great monoliths they disappeared in to the night.

The one Brother who seen this child stood meditating upon the meeting for some time before he turned and followed as the rest had done. He stepped between the stones and entered the magical corridors.
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Postby Penny_to_pay » Sat Jan 28, 2006 9:30 am

Once he had set down the child at the house, Axel made his way down to the town that lived in the shadow of the Manor. He felt he had done something that he now had no control over. He felt that it was not his decision to take the child to the Angramar. He had found a child in the pile of Angramar dead; therefore the child somehow belonged with them.
‘But what if it was an omen of the fate of the Angramar, and I did the wrong thing?’ he thought as he paced his way down the steep, broken road. ‘Then it was fated to be so. I cannot go against all I have seen and been taught. The Gods play games with the fates of Men. It is not for you to decide what should or shouldn’t occur.’
As Axel justified his actions to himself, his feet strode their way to the lower levels of the Mountain, where a bubbling stream strung from the living rock as a fully fledged flow, seeing the light for the first time from its start, deep in the mountain side. This river was the known as the Rockchild. The name that it had been given by the Ancients was forgotten along with their language, but it was known that they had fist built dwellings on and in the shadow of the Mountain. The first of these dwellings had been recorded as being the town of Revelwater. The name meant ‘clear stream’ and it suited well for the river that almost entirely encircled the town. It ran so clear that the bottom, some twelve metres in places could be seen even by star light. The town had stood for nigh on five centuries and had at times been occupied by many of the Houses, due to the constant raging wars that sprung from the intense and bitter rivalries that existed between them.

Axel steadily, with long, measured strides quickly made his way to the far reaches of the town on the east edge of the ramparts that were built on the town side of the settlement. This part of town was the oldest, being the closest to the water and founded on hard, solid rock, while most of the town was on soft ground, with great piles driven deep into the earth to support houses as the town had expanded beyond optimal building ground.
Here was the first forge placed. The Smith had held a great standing amongst the leaderless communities before the forming of the Houses. The Smith was a symbol of Man’s ability to transform his surroundings and bend it to his own will. The transformation of rock and then iron, copper and bronze into useful tools, for farming, or for war, was witness to the place of Man in his landscape. The Smith was the singular person in a community that defined its success and growth. If the Smith was good then the community grew and continued through time. The Smith of Revelwater was often thought o be the best of all the Northland’s workers of metal.

‘Smith!’
The Smith looked up from his furnace, where he was concocting bronze. The furnace required almost constant attention to ensure it was the right temperature. It was often the job of an apprentice or the children of the Smith to do this, on their way to learning their chosen trade.
‘Axel! A pleasure it is to see you my friend! It has been to many months since I saw you last! How goes it with you?’
‘All well. I can assume the same with you?’
‘Most assuredly! Come in, come in. Will you have some water? Kerry! Kerry, come here and mind the furnace will you. It’s almost done so it’s not to taxing. Tell me when it’s cooked will you?’
A small girl came from the shadow of the racks where she had been polishing the hilt of a sword. She said nothing, but came forward at her master’s command and sat on the small stool, recently vacated by the Smith. She could have been no more than a decade in years.

‘Your new apprentice?’ asked Axel as he placed himself on a spare anvil.
‘Yes and no. She was found wandering on the far bank of the river, by a fisherman. He felt that her place was at the Manor, but when she was taken there, the Attendant said that she was to old to of any use to them, so I took her in, me not having anyone at the moment.’
‘She good?’
‘Best I’ve seen in a while. She’s stronger than she looks. She can almost lift the Hammer’
Axel, glanced across to the far end of the forge, where a large heavy hammer was laid. It was used for beating out shields and horse armour. Its weight was the heaviest in the forge by a considerable way.
‘She must be strong indeed. Are you teaching her then?’
‘She mainly teaches herself, just by watching me, but I help her here and there, when I have a spare moment.’
‘I’m guessing you’ve been busy lately?’
‘So you saw the battle then?’ The Smith could be very quick of mind when it came to questions.
‘Aye. A harsh sight on the eyes it always seems to me. Why do they do it to one another?’
‘No idea. I just makes the swords. What have you been up to then?’ said t6he Smith, quickly changing the subject. He didn’t like to think of what his works of skill were being put to. He hated the idea of war, but as a Smithy it was his path in life to fuel it.
‘I was away down in the South Wards until three weeks ago, but that is not important. I came to ask you a favour.’
‘Oh yes. And what could, Axel, the Wanderer ask of a Smith.’
‘You know I hold you high regard so there is no need to prostrate yourself in front of me. I need you to make a sword.’
‘But you have one already, and your axe. Damn fine axe if ever I saw one or made one. I put an edge on that thing that could slice a Minion in two in one go.’
‘The sword is not for me.’ Axel watched the Smith across the rim of him earthenware mug. The Smith, as Axel rightly guessed, was trying to work out whom the sword could be for.
‘No matter,’ said the Smith when he realised he wasn’t going to get any more out of those cool eyes. ‘What design do you want? Broad? Short? Cutlass?’
‘Scimitar. And I need it to be made out of these two blades.’
From under his cloak, Axel drew two blades. Both were broken about a foot from the hilt. Useless as swords, they were, but the metal was still clean. Both hilts were the same metal, inlaid with gold and bronze, curving designs. The quality of work was worthy of a Lord of a House.
‘Now, they are pretty trinkets. Where did you pick them up from? Actually, I don’t want to know. Well, a Scimitar out those two? When do you want it for?’
‘When ever you can do it for. I will collect it my self when I come back again.’
‘And when will that be?’
‘I am not sure, but I have one request for when you do it. Let the girl have reign over the design and carving on the blade.’
‘What?! She can’t do that. She’s good, but she needs to learn more before I can let her touch a sword. You know the Rules!’
‘But still. I would appreciate it none the less.’ Axel stared at the Smith until the man visibly sagged under the gaze. The man nodded.
‘Very well, but I warn you, she might, you know, get it wrong.’
‘She will not.’ The voice that Axel sounded was so deep and heavy that Kerry looked up from her staring into the furnace and stared. She had never heard a sound so resonant and she thought ‘It sounds like the earth would sound if it could speak’. She said nothing, except ‘The bronze is done.’
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