Einherjar General pt.1(for Koric)

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Tasan
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Einherjar General pt.1(for Koric)

Postby Tasan » Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:35 am

The dancing firelight of a thousand torches burning brightly upon the walls reflected down upon the ruddy cheeks of an ancient dwarf. The shining light from the roof of shields above gave an extra bit of red to everything in the room, and this dwarf's features were no exception. His beard seemed ablaze almost as it cascaded down the front of his torso, nearly covering his barrel chest. Bits of meat thickly covered with rich sauce stuck out from many places within the beard, and much of his mouth was foamy with overspill. A great tankard of mead or ale rested in his left hand, and he drank from it often as he gorged himself upon the feast laid before him. His name was a simple one, yet there was more contained within this Einherjar than many of his companions at that particular table in the great hall of Odin.

Koric looked down towards his stomuch with a grimace as he saw the unstately shape of his beard. He stood up and shook himself, sending bits of meat flying. He picked a few more chunks out of the matted hair, before returning to his seat, seemingly pleased with his condition. He peered down the line of faces to his left, each similar in overall demeanor. They all bore the scars and heavy looks of one who has seen more than their fair share of battles. Each face also bore the hearty look of a well-fed and inebriated man enjoying himself fully. Koric looked to Odin's high seat, and saw that the dignitary had taken his leave. Feeling a bit weary himself, he excused himself from the table and went for a walk.

The windy dirt path from the great doors of the Great Hall was dotted with various small plants attempting to reclaim the land as their own. Koric's steps brought him slowly toward Bifrost, and a meeting with Heimdall. Being one of the few chosen of Odin's private guard, Koric was allowed free reign within the borders of Asgard; an honor Koric never took lightly. As he crested the final small hill before the bridge, he saw Heimdall's form standing near it's edge. His stoic form was painted black in the shadows surrounding the bridge, and he seemed entirely still.

Heimdall spoke in a deep baritone as Koric approached him from behind. "What brings you down to the bridge at so late an hour, traveler?". Koric replied slowly, "I seek your counsel and your mind." With this Heimdall turned and smiled greatly at the smaller being. He extended a hand to Koric's shoulder, quickly embracing it and returning his hand to his side. "Does this night find you better than others, Koric?". Koric looked beyond the God for a second, before staring up into his benevolent face. "My thoughts wander of late, and I wonder where Odin has been keeping himself. He has again left the Great Hall early this night, as he has several times this past week. Do you know what keeps him away?". Heimdall looked away to the stars for a moment, before returning once again to Koric. "There is trouble between Muspelheim and Jotunheim. Much as it has always been, but a new element has arisen. Odin seeks to find out the meanings of the signs he has discovered. The ravens have been to the far ends of the world many times over these past few days. Only Odin knows of what they speak."

Koric thought for a moment before nodding and excusing himself. He wandered slowly back towards the Hall, thinking on what he'd heard from the Bridge-watcher. He reentered the Hall and went to his designated resting place, and faded quickly.

Upon the great fields the next day, the Einherjar went back to the daily battle, and Koric was at the head of a great line of dwarven heroes pushing themselves around the flank of the other force. Koric's thoughts however were not on the events of this day, but on those of the night past. When the sun had been driven down below the horizon, Koric went to seek out the One-eyed God.

Koric found Odin in his throne room, in counsel with his twin ravens. Odin motioned for him to enter and the two exchanged muted greetings. Koric stepped lightly towards a chair near the throne, and sat his frame down. He quickly got to the point of asking of the trouble, and Odin's eyes seemed to drift away someplace. He answered slowly back to Koric and detailed the new problems arising in the world. He told Koric of a band of mortals that used magic to disrupt the usual tides of battle between the fire and ice giants. Surt had been seen consorting with several drow and yuan-ti mages in the past weeks, as well as some notable other beings. Many spies had been seeing coming and going from Surt's palace as well. Odin had sent Loki to discover what was going on, but the trickster had vanished. Odin's eyes grew heavy for a moment, and his head sank a bit. He looked again at Koric and waited for the coming answer. Odin expected the meeting for awhile, and now only awaited what he knew he would hear.

Koric sat unblinking, staring into the old God's eyes. He thought hard, but quickly, and offered to go as Odin's emissary to find out what was going on. Odin smiled grandly at him, and bade him take whatever supplies he required for his journey from the stockpile in the Hall. Odin granted Koric the ability to leave Asgard, and to wander freely in the world, but he warned him as well. "Though here in Asgard you will live forever, and find immortality in the walls of the Great Hall, you will become mortal again when you leave the rainbow bridge behind." Koric understood what this warning meant, and he nodded solemnly. "Return home soon, Einherjar. My guard will not be the same without you." Koric agreed, and made his exit quickly and quietly. Odin spoke quickly to his raven's, and each flew from his broad shoulders and into the air, seeking the skies of Asgard.

Koric suited up for the journey slowly, taking his time to make his preperations complete. He wrapped a giant cloak about himself, and pulled the cowl high over his head. He hoped to wander unnoticed among the giants despite his stature. It took two days for him to be fully prepared, and when the moon had been driven high into the sky on the second night, he said his goodbye to Heimdall at Bifrost, and walked cautiously down the rainbow bridge and away into the night.


Hugin and Munin soared across the fiery plains of Muspelheim, tracking the moves of the smallish figure trudging his way towards the great palace of Surt, the fire giant king. His travels were mostly during the night, and in secret. He watched great armies of fire giants march away from Mount Siva, and towards the ice plains of Jotunheim. Koric saw little other beings in the hot and abrasive environs of Muspelheim.

Three days passed before Koric reached the palace gates, and he took up a vigil behind a hillock surrounded by thick ironwood trees. For a week, Koric foraged off the land, and made notes of those coming and going from the palace. He was beginning to fall asleep on the last day of the week, when an unusual sound attracted his attention from away from the palace. A group of fire giants were coming out from a rocky expanse on the edge of the nearby mountain side. Koric was sure there had been no path their previously. He waited for them to move beyond range, before searching the area for this hidden entrance. Several minutes of searching brought nothing, until he noticed a trail of faint footprints seemingly leading to a rough staircase. He followed the pathway upwards, before coming to a dead-end. All he could see among the clouds was a straight line to a tower upon the edge of the palace. He was stuck for the moment, with no way to cross the open air before him. He sat down to think a bit, but didn't get a chance as Munin and Hugin flew down before him.

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Thoughts flowed through Koric as the birds took to wing, each dragging his bulk with what strength they could muster. He slowly rose into the air and was carried swiftly across to the parapet beyond. The twin ravens deposited him gently upon the stone wall, and flew away into the fog. Koric took stock of his situation, while looking around carefully. He had no way to escape now, and his hand was forced into secrecy and stealth; Not his strength. He wrapped his cloak around himself tightly, and drew the cowl high over his helm. He began circling the tower to find the stairwell inside. The walls of the castle were made from magically hewed stone, all perfectly cut and mortared. The doorway itself proved to be much more massive than the burly dwarf could have imagined. He quickly slipped down the large stairs, and off into a hallway leading along the edge of the Great Hall. Tapestries and murals were everywhere as he snuck down the corridor, allowing the dwarf moments of rest in relative secrecy. He waited patiently before continuing each time, careful to listen for a coming patrol or stray giant. He was not at all sure what would become of a dwarf found roaming the castle without permission.

It took him quite awhile to find a hallway leading towards Surt's seat of power. He moved quickly around giant suits of armor, propped up with poles like sentinels guarding the hallway. He found his way to the chamber, and snuck quickly through a small opening and towards a shadowed corner. There he took stock of the room.

He was the only person present for the moment. Nothing moved or stirred in the room, at least... not at first. Koric looked around the room, straining his eyes to see through the wispy smoke thrown off by the torches upon the walls. What he first mistook as a huge pile of fabric, he now realized was rising and falling ever so slightly. He perked his ears up and heard the low whistle of breathing; the labored breathing of a large beast. Presently the notion that he wasn't alone was shattered by the sounds of booted feet travelling towards the hall. The doors were thrown open and a host of giants strided quickly into the room. Surt was at their head, and he quickly took his seat upon the throne, removing his famous crown and setting it upon the back of the chair. He barked something, and the beast that lay dormant before him awoke with a start. Koric's eyes widened as the beast unfurled it's bulk, and rose to it's full height. He knew it was a dragon immediately, and wondered at the power commanded by Surt. The dragon lumbered to the giant King's side and lay once more where the giant could reach him. Surt turned towards the host, and spoke aloud to each in turn.

Koric picked up most of what was going on. These were commanders in Surt's army, and each was being assigned a specific detail. The meeting lasted only a few minutes before a knock upon the great doors brought everyone's attention to the back of the room. Surt motioned for the doors to be opened, and in walked a small group of humanoids dressed in heavy black cloaks. 3 drow, 2 yuan-ti and a strange creature with tentacles ascended the dais and bowed low before Surt. He rose his hand to wave off the commanders, and they left quickly. Each of the newcomers removed his cowl, and Koric again watched as Surt conferred with these beings.

What was said is hardly important to this story however, and only the knowledge that Koric gleaned from the meeting remained relevant. He knew that the giants were providing a diverted presance towards the forces of Utgard-Loki, forcing his army to move far into the mountains away from the palace. The drow at the head of the group indicated that they would infiltrate the palace by secret means and sabotage a part of the walls, thereby allowing the fire giants to storm the castle at it's weakest point. The terms of the agreement however were the most important thing Koric heard. Surt agreed to allow the drow to setup a base of operations within the borders of Muspelheim, completely free from Surt's control, and even guarded by fire giants.

Koric knew what the drow intended, and knew that Surt didn't care.

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After waiting for hours for Surt to abandon the room, Koric finally was able to escape the throne room and wander his way back to the parapet. By some random chance, he found the invisible bridge that led from the parapet to the mountains beyond. He moved as fast as he could for 4 days, finally returning to the rainbow bridge. His footsteps faltered as he neared the far side of the bridge, and he started to fall. Heimdall stepped in and caught him, and noticing the dwarf was beyond exhaustion, he carried him to the Great Hall.

For 2 days Koric slept off his weariness, waking only to take what food he could find the strength to eat. On the morning of the 3rd day, he met with Odin and told his tale. Odin listened with a heavy heart. The drow would have their base, and would extend their power towards Asgaard that much furthur. It weighed heavily in his mind how to deal with the threat, but time and wisdom gave him what choice he needed.

=========================================================================

And here stood the Einherjar once more. Dressed for battle. At the head of a host of his brethren. A valkyrie soared high through the air in front of them. And they waited.

The cold winds of Jotunheim blew heavily across the plain, whipping up snow, and causing visibility to drop heavily. It was out of this snow that Koric first saw the black cloaks of the evil band. They moved along the edge of the mountains, between large rocks and crevices, keeping out of sight... from those who didn't expect them. Koric raised his hand, and backed slowly before turning and moving to flank the group. The host of 30 Einherjar behind him moved silently in a wave with him, charging towards the coming storm.

The first blow came not by sword, or by word, but by attack of the mind. Koric bent to his knees in pain, grabbing his skull. A hand seemed to be squeezing his brain. His vision blurred, and he was hardly able to make out the tentacled companion of the drow. It had turned it's full attention towards him, and it's eyes glazed over with hatred. The host spread to phalanx formation and advanced towards the much smaller group, but no easy battle would it turn out to be.

The drow at the head of the group raised his hand and thrust it quickly towards an oncoming Einherjar, dropping him quickly to the ground, his body crushed by an unseen force. 2 more of Koric's companions were felled by a fireball which seared through the group. Koric struggled to his feet once more and charged onwards. The entire area became an awesome fray of magic and might, and blood stained the snow-covered ground in a 100 foot radius. The tentacled being rose into the air, and like a sudden blast of wind, the area was buffeted by force. All the gathered Einherjar were thrown to the ground, except Koric. Seeing the host incapacitated, he charged quickly into the spindly thing and lopped it's head clean off. He turned just in time to deflect the heavy blow of a staff aimed in his direction, and he slid his axe down the shaft, slicing deeply into a yuan-ti's scaly hand. He wrenched the blade free, only to see the wounds begin to heal themselves. Behind him, the 2nd snake-creature was praying head down with his hand towards his racial brother. The yuan-ti stepped back and uttered a single word which stunned Koric momentarily. Koric could do nothing but watch as the staff came down upon his arm, breaking his wrist and throwing his shield to the ground. He was able to dodge a second blow, before regaining his senses, and launching his axe at the scaly backside of his foe. The swing was true, and the axe imbedded itself deep in the spine of the creature, taking it to the ground. Koric looked over his shoulder to see the other yuan-ti being dispatched by a lone Einherjar. Koric looked around and saw many of his host decimated, or panicking. He raised his head to the air and shouted commands to them to rejoin the fight and bring honor to themselves. He moved once more towards one of the drow, and felt the air contract silently. His breathing ceased and he fell to the ground gasping for air. Then, as he could only watch, a great wall of flame tumbled it's way across a group of recovering Einherjar, charring the bodies of the heroes.

Koric stumbled again to his feet and charged into the drow with his shoulder, pushing him back into his companion and taking them both to the ground. He tried to rise again, but his body would not obey his will. Exhaustion and pain wracked his body, and as he raised his axe for perhaps the last time, a staff rapped against his helm. His axe flew from his hand and sliced a wound across the invoker's stomuch. The mage could only look down in horror as his entrails spilled out upon the snow; steaming with silent pain. The other mage completed his speech as he rose from the ground, and his skin took on a visible change. A blade rang off the mages skin, denting it to uselessness. The mage returned the gesture to the attacking Einherjar and squeezed the last breath from his lungs. Koric was exhausted, injured and could hardly think, but he needed not to think. He closed his eyes momentarily and crashed once more into the mage. The mage fell backwards but did not look harmed at all. As the mage stood, Koric again threw himself into the mage, and both sprawled out across an icy patch. Neither could find the footing to stand for a second, and Koric noticed something that might be his only chance. The mage found a snow patch and rose to his feet. Koric was scrambling to rise, and was only managing to fall forward. The mage began a spell, and Koric heaved himself at the drow's feet. And mid sprawl everything stopped. His muscles all contracted at once, and he slid helplessly along the ice paralized. His bulk slammed into the mage's feet, and knocked him through an open patch in the icefloe. The mage sank quickly beneath the broken ice and was carried away by the current. And Koric passed into oblivion, exhaustion finally collapsing his mind and body.
Danahg tells you 'yeah, luckily i kept most of it in my mouth and nasal membranes, ugh'

Dlur group-says 'I have a dead horse that I'm dragging down the shaft with my 4 corpses. Anyone want to help me beat it?'

Calladuran: There are other games to play if you want to play with yourself.

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