28th Day of Skerpa (the month of Mai)
Local year of 5315
Literal Meaning: the god Yngvi (an older name for Freyng)
Interpretations: Fertility, Potential, Virtue
- Right-side up: Friendship, Inner Growth, Loyalty
- Inverted: Futility, Inner Confusion, Spiritual Crisis
Again the Ingwaz rune shows its portents, both positive and negative; a week ago it was more so focused upon negative elements and I was in a dark place since that past laugardagr, until today: I met a traveller on the road to Dagger Deep that lifted my spirits and the events of the day restored my faith. I feel that I have taken the first steps to redeem my recent misdeeds.
|The Lovely Avana|
When we reached the town proper, I gave her to the best of my ability a tour of the layout. Whilst doing so I purchased a bone talisman from a local with the thrice-stacked Tiwaz rune of the God of Courage, Tyraz, carved upon it. Later that day, to praise the bounty of Freyng and the fortuity of his rune, I carved an Ingwaz on the obverse as a reminder of the memorable fortnight I had experienced as of late.
After a tour of the village grounds I retired to my private spot to commune, creating potions of healing and praying to the Æsir, whilst Avana gathered nearby edible berries for us to enjoy. Her knowledge of the uses of plants of this land is remarkable; I feel that she would be most beneficial to the folk of this land if she shared her knowledge with other like-minded healers versed in the herbal-arts.
Once we returned to town we enjoyed a late midday meal of fruit we gathered, come dried meat I had, and a bowl of stew a local shopkeeper was selling whilst we discussed things of a somewhat metaphysical nature: Avana and her people do not worship the divine nor believe in any sort of afterlife; they believe the departed soul returns to the earth. As a long-lived race, they pay respect to their venerable elven fore-bearers but do not beseech them for aid, nor do they receive any beyond what they consider magical boons from the vættir of the land.
I have heard similar things from my friend Tobias, though I believe he acknowledges that the gods do exist, or at least he is unable to explain the small miracles I am able to bring forth nor the larger ones of other, more gifted individuals.
Whilst I am writing upon the topic of faith, I will mention that this seemed to be a prevalent subject of this day for a large band of pilgrims (many armed) wandered into Dagger Deep soon after our arrival. Dressed in stark white vestments with azure features and the symbol of their deity, Om, they preached about the salvation and protection their god granted to their faithful, particularly from the dark lich figure that seems to plague this land.
They handed out pendants bearing this 'Ω' rune of Om and they claimed it protected the wearer from having their soul ripped out of their body by powerful magic. One of their followers offered me such a pendant, but I politely declined motioning to the amulets of my own faith that I wore; I was not about to forsake the Æsir for a single god despite their supposed ways of peace or how tested my faith has been as of late.
Though what their leader, Brutha, preached sounded positive, I, amongst others, was wary of any large force that comes here bearing words of peace but is also heavily armed. When at last the 'Omnians' tired of attempting to convince the stubborn and diverse collection of proud individuals that populate this town to their faith, they quickly labelled all who would not join their cause as heretics and decreed we shall all be cleansed with flame. Battle was joined and throughout the day we fought against those who would seek to assimilate us.
Several of us faithful banded together with the Bishop of Ithus and Guildmaster of the Divine ways (my mentor) Relan, as we fought off first wave of the Omnians. Upon driving off their force from the south of the town, Relan discovered a book belonging to one of the Omnians and set about translating it the divine runes it contained to see if any information pertaining to their faith could be used against them. During this time a few of us took a lesson in learning the first three divine runes for the common letters A, B, & C.
Personally, I am sceptical that this is the script set forth by the Æsir as a means of writing; it is said the All-Father hung himself for nine nights on the cosmic tree yggdrasil, pierced by his own spear gungnir, without food or drink in self-sacrifice before he received the mystical runes. As I have studied, the arcane script used by the magic-users of this land is incredibly similar to the elder futhark of my people and I believe this is no coincidence; Wodin is the god of magic, ergo that is the script of the Æsir. I am willing to accept that these so called 'divine runes' are perhaps the script of the Vanir or other such gods...
Unfortunately for several of us, we were so intent on studying and uncovering the truths contained within the text we failed to heed the warning the perceptive Avana voiced just before we all lapsed into unconsciousness and then death. When I awoke from the deepest of slumber, a verdant-clad warrior was pouring a potion of resurrection down my throat; the one I recognized Relan bestowed upon me after I requested it, for I believed my feeble miracles wouldn't be strong enough to avail Avana if she by chance fell as a newcomer to this land.
Upon assessing my surroundings, I saw that Relan was missing and two others lay dead, one of them Avana. I quickly removed to restore her to life with a potion of my own that an individual by the name of Jackrym had traded to me for a 'favour'. I am not one to make oaths where I do not know the resulting deal, but I believe bringing Avana back was worth it and shall hold true to it though I do not entirely trust him.
|Could this be the mask Jackrym alluded to?|
The question now is, how much would I give for the chance to safeguard this item? Wodin gave his eye for a drink from the well of wisdom. Tyraz gave his hand so the monstrous Fenris-Wolf could be bound. Would my sacrifice be for personal gain or for the betterment of my community?
I must dwell deeply upon this, yet I stray from recounting the events of the day:
We had soon learned that Relan had been abducted by the Omnians and they were keeping him held in Rowanoak. Eventually our foe were driven from the fortress and Relan freed. Once again a group, we made for the holy grounds of Ithus, we much needed to pray to our gods and restore our faith.
Whilst we were prostrate, we were again attacked by the followers of Om; the seemed content on capturing Relan, either as the prophet of Ithus or as the primate of the divine guild. We drove them off after suffering casualties.
Our reserves of faith were low and each time we stopped to pray, the Omnians would harass us and wear down the small amount of divine energy we'd gain from our devotions. Though taxed to our limit, we eventually captured one of the leaders, the more peaceful 'mother' and scattered the remaining worshippers of Om before they burnt King Willumarius alive. Fighting beside my mentor and defending in the name of the Æsir felt righteous; it has restore confidence in myself and my abilities and I spoke briefly with Relan about further serving those I trust by further becoming a warrior-priest.
The remains of the day were spent taking care of personal business, relaxing and talking with friends, new and old, about a great many things: ethics, morality, faith, etc.
The late hours of the evening were constantly disturbed by the antics of a troupe of madcap fools, enraging several patrons, including those of our table like Shiny and Sendill. Our discussion was cut short before I could inquire if Sendill was familiar with the gods of our homeland. Even though he mentioned his interest in the mages of Illodia, another faithful follower of the Æsir would not hurt to broaden their presence in this land, and with his concerns of poetry and magic, Wodin may be of much interest to him...
I pray I will meet my friends again in good health, especially the lovely Avana, for she may have been the one who most raised my spirits the most.
Praise Be To the Æsir
-Ref 'Kampi' Vandillson