Author Topic: ⚔ The Vindhåre's Spirit: Nielsine Roesdahl ⚔  (Read 3482 times)

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⚔ The Vindhåre's Spirit: Nielsine Roesdahl ⚔
« on: September 23, 2015, 05:26:56 PM »

Name: Nielsine Roesdahl
Age: 22 Yrs.
Race: Human
Religion: None, formerly The Lawgiver
Swordswoman/Runaway
Origin: Abora, Nova Vaasa (Ravenloft Native)


“The Lawgiver meant for Nova Vaasans to ride, and He provided a horse for each of us.” ~ Nova Vaasan Proverb

Absolute Zero - Stone Sour (Nielsine's Theme: Contains Profanity)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 06:47:12 PM by emptyanima »

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♞ I: She Bucked & Bolted
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2015, 07:09:45 AM »
[Vindhåre, lit. "Wind-Manes": a major bloodline of Vaasi horses, prized for their speed and notorious for their ill temper.]

I

Pursued by the early morning sun as it rose over the horizon, Nielsine thundered across the plain of the Pommel. Riding her beloved Vindhåre, Angsar, they moved at a full gallop through the havgraes. The tall, chest-high grasses brushed Angsar's blue-black coat swiftly, like a second, softer whip, encouraging him on. Nielsine fixed her emerald gaze on the way before them, straining to hear over the sound of bending havgraes, as she pressed toward the coastal-facing town of Abora. She wore a near-wicked grin, revelling in the sound of the grass, and the swift beating of hooves against the earth. She revelled in the sound of her hair as it whipped about behind her, as a banner of russet defiance. Her heart fluttered in her chest as she drank in the taste of freedom. Suddenly, Angsar gave a loud whinny, skidding almost to a stop, and began to buck. Nielsine gripped tightly to the Vaasi-leather bridle, scanning the tall grass for whatever had so spooked her steed, barely remaining saddled.

A jet-black Blood-Cat pounced, its large, clawed paw throwing Nielsine from Angsar's back. She gave a pained grunt as she fell, near-lost in the sea of tall grass. The Nova Vaasan fumbled for her rapier, clambering almost to her feet before being knocked back by the Blood-Cat as it returned. Her hair encircled her head like a fiery halo, and she roared, wrestling with the cat as it tried to claw at her face. Rolling away finally, having sustained a few scratches, she quickly leapt to her feet. A metallic ring sounded as she unsheathed her blade, hurtling then at the cat which had sought to overwhelm her.

Though she might tell a different tale, this Blood-Cat was not full-grown, and while it still put up a laudable fight, her eventual victory had not been wholly unlikely. Her hair was wild and bore stalks of havgraes as she eased herself back into the saddle (for Angsar had not gone far when the fight broke out), panting for breath. The nostrils of her firm nose flared as she recovered, rendering her almost as equine as her mount in appearance. With her pride more hurt then her body, she encouraged Angsar into an easy canter, making once more for Abora.


The sun had almost reached its midday zenith when Nielsine finally stabled Angsar. She trudged in her well-worn riding boots into the reception hall of her family's home. They had made their wealth as affluent merchants, trading leather goods via ship, voyaging across the Nocturnal Sea to Darkon in the north. She could see that very sea as she ascended the stone steps, peering out of the window at the view the pane afforded. In moments, she had reached her room. Off came her riding-boots, her jodhpurs and shirt. On went a simple gown, the simplest she could find. She swiftly took a brush to her hair, and so attired and prepared, she resigned herself at last to finding her parents. They were taking lunch together; it was a rich spread that greeted Nielsine when she arrived. She sat down, saying nothing, but took a breath in preparation. A matronly voice soon sounded.

"Nielsine, we missed you at breakfast."

"I was not hungry, moder, so I did not come." At the other end of the table, her father rose. He approached Nielsine with firm steps, his boots striking the wooden floor like a judge's gavel. He lifted his daughter's chin, wearing a heavy frown. Soon, she felt his hand fall sharp across her face, soon followed by the painful, stinging hum of beaten flesh. He returned to his seat, followed by his daughter's scowl.

"There are scratches on her face, and stalks of havgraes in her hair. You are ever the disobedient child, Nielsine. We have told you not to go out riding on the Pommel alone. All this business needs to stop. No riding alone, and no fraternising with the townsfolk. You are above them."

"I will do as I please, julemand. We are not the same as the painted warlocks after all. We do not keep slaves." Nielsine's father scoffed.

"You are not a slave, Nielsine. You are my daughter, and you will obey me." He paused, eyeing her coldly. "Your insolence will not go unpunished. If you choose to be as ill-tempered as the Vindhåre you so love, then I am left no choice but to tame you. Angsar will be put down, and your riding gear will be burnt." Nielsine's eyes widened.

"No, julemand! No! I will not allow it!" Nielsine slammed her hands on the table, over and over, leaving more and more destruction in her wake. Goblets tumbled and china rattled.

"Nielsine!" He thundered, "That is enough! It is clear that your angry passions must be tempered. You will be tamed, and with this in mind, I will be writing to Viggo. You require a husband to subdue you." Nielsine screamed, snatching up the glass goblets and throwing them against the wooden floor. Her mother hid her face behind her hands as she wept.  As the glass smashed, her father's voice came louder. "Pin her down! I will return with the whip." Although she put up a fight, eventually, she was held down by her mother, two manservants and the housekeeper. She continued to howl against the wooden floor. Moments later, there came thundering steps, and then, the crack of the whip.


As Nielsine ached, sprawled across her bed, she came to a decision. She had bucked against tradition for the last time; now was the time to bolt. Wincing, she donned her riding garb again, pulled on her boots and took up her rapier. She strapped a crossbow across her back, then hurried to the kitchens. She grabbed whatever food she could fit into her leather satchel. Sprinting now, she made for the stables. With all her practice, saddling Angsar did not take long. Across the way, the stable-boy turned the corner, then gave a loud whistle as he espied Nielsine. Boldly, she kicked Angsar firmly (but not cruelly, for there is a difference) into a gallop, thundering across the cobbles and through the gates. Traces of her reading echoed in her mind.

She wended east.

Several days passed before her passage was found; night blanketed the region as she and Angsar reached the Hazlani border. Mist swirled before them, the entrance to the Skyggeskøv forest foreboding in the extreme. Angsar's ears flattened against his head-- the proud gelding eyed the woodland with keen fear. With tears in her eyes, Nielsine dismounted. She approached Angsar's face with the tenderness she reserved for her dearest companion. She gently ran her gloved hand over his neck in an attempt to calm him, and while the boisterous boy was peaceable enough compared to his wild fellows, she could see in his bottomless, black eyes that his fear would not abate. Sighing heavily, she whispered to Angsar.

"That woodland to you... it is like the future my parents set out for me. It is dark and unknown, and you feel hemmed in. Trapped. It would be unfair to subject you to the same life I am fleeing, Angsar. My friend, find your fellows. Go and roam the Tørdenmark for the rest of your days. Be free." She removed his saddle, shoes, and bridle. She kissed Angsar's muzzle, then struck him across his rear. She watched him run, unchained, as the wild Windhåre does, and she wept.

Finally collecting herself, the sound of hooves on the plain long gone, she turned to face the Skyggeskøv. Taking a deep breath, and murmuring a prayer to the Lawgiver, Nielsine stepped forth into the misty forest.

Nielsine stepped forth into freedom.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 08:55:19 AM by emptyanima »

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[A journal bound in black Vaasi leather.]
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2015, 04:18:32 PM »
[The journal is written in the Nova Vaasan dialect of Vaasi.]



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♞ II: A Mother's Guilt, A Daughter's Freedom
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 04:31:43 PM »
II

Each night since her disappearance had been the same; nightmares snatched the woman from wakefulness. Darkness, her hair and her nightgown clung to her tired, matronly form. Slowly, shakily, and perspiring like a mare in labour, she steadied her breathing.  She turned then to the sleeping man beside her, studying him. She recalled their brief courtship, the knowledge of their distant, but present, relation. She recalled their concern when she did not swell with child. She recalled his absence at sea, and her own betrayal.

"Oh, Iron Lord," she whispered hoarsely, "the blame lies with me."

Her bastard daughter, oblivious, was gone without trace.


[The journal is written in the Nova Vaasan dialect of Vaasi.]


« Last Edit: October 01, 2015, 04:48:24 PM by emptyanima »

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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2015, 11:50:36 AM »
[The journal is written in the Nova Vaasan dialect of Vaasi.]


« Last Edit: December 27, 2015, 03:58:53 PM by emptyanima »

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« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2016, 12:03:05 PM »
[The journal is written in the Nova Vaasan dialect of Vaasi.]



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♞ The Crucible ♞
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2016, 09:04:57 PM »
[The journal is written in the Nova Vaasan dialect of Vaasi.]




The Nova Vaasan woman's temper was as taut as a bucking stallion's tether, barely restraining her. She was in agony, her flesh and spirit crying under their heavy load. How much more ore was Magda going to need? And what was the point, if she was simply going to cast the fine steel aside? Nielsine suppressed that ball of rage within, fearful that a single poorly-chosen word would mark the end of her training under the Barovian woman, and what then? She would be incomplete.

Such a prospect was untenable, and the thought of it shook the woman to her core. But still, Magda's campaign of mockery and rough treatment continued, fed by the coin that Nielsine continued to pay, and at last came the inevitable.

She issued a loud exclamation as she snapped, sinking to the floor. Her limbs screamed and spasmed still from the burden they had carried, her eyes remaining fixed on the Barovian woman at her work. She struggled in her search for the right words, until at last, Magda asked her if she was going to speak or stare.

"I don't want you to send me away, Magda, so I am holding my tongue." Nielsine said, as well as a loud Vaasi obscenity. Magda approached her, peering down at Nielsine, who was slumped wearily against a column.

"Bloody hurts, doesn't it?" Nielsine lifted her chin to look at Magda, her jaw tightening in anger. Magda snorted. "Iadul, I want you to hear you beg a man trying to cut your throat. Please, can this be enough?" The Nova Vaasan trembled, still staring in silence at her. "You have something to bloody say, girl? Stand up and say it. Don't bloody cower on the floor." Unable to contain her frustration a moment longer, Nielsine sprang to her aching feet.

"I came here to be your student, not your bitch! So stop treating me like one, like some foolish child!" She heard the slap a second before she felt it, the stinging spreading quickly across her cheek.

"You feel that? You bloody feel that?!" Magda shoved Nielsine against the column. "You can't do a thing about it. Not a bloody thing. Bloody arrogant girl. You are bloody nothing. You are a worm. You are a rat. You are a wretch." For a moment, Nielsine's blood ran cold, and she tried to strike the Barovian woman. True to form, Magda avoided it, and took a fistful of Nielsine's blouse in her grip. "You are weak. You cannot demand anything of anyone. Weapons are made of steel. The girl you are is soft. Girls like that need to die. You need to die."

Nielsine could taste something metallic, bitter. So driven by that rage, she and Magda fought. It was a fight of evasion and stamina, however, and eventually, Nielsine crumpled to the floor, out cold. When she came to, she struggled for several minutes to think through all the aches and pains. When she finally broke through it, all she found was confusion. Dragging herself to her feet, she again approached her harsh swordmaster, her voice more restrained. Magda questioned her desire to learn, believing she had not seen the value of the lesson she had just been taught. They locked horns verbally for some time as Nielsine sought to understand what Magda's intentions were in pushing her to breaking point.

"You don't get it." Magda said, simply.

"It seems I don't! What kind of sense does it make for you to try and tear me down when I am supposed to be improving?"

"Because a weapon has no bloody place for pride. A weapon has no bloody place for whining, or cringing, or complaining. A weapon kills until it is no longer useful."

The two threw more unpleasant words this way and that, a clashing of origins and upbringings. At last, Magda found the point of weakness she had known to exist in her-- the Barovian's cruelty reminded Nielsine of her father. All measure of pride was gone from the Nova Vaasan. She would only have been begging more fervently if she had got onto her knees.

"How do I purge myself of that weakness, Magda? Tell me how, and I will do it." Magda pointed to a smelter at the end of the hall.

"Do you know how that bloody thing works?"

Nielsine nodded. "It separates what is pure from what is dust and stone, ready to be made into something strong."

"Then you bloody already know the answer." Magda was right. At that moment, the realisation hit her full in the face, sharper than any punch Magda had thrown her way.

"You say that I must become the sword, but I must be new. And you cannot make a new sword from one already made without... first breaking it apart. Only then can you reforge it."

"Yes." Magda said, simply.


Nielsine stared at her naked form in the full-length looking-glass. She saw the rapier that Magda had made for her, and the black eye that the Barovian had also given as a gift. Other bruises and cuts littered her body, testament to battles both won and lost.

"You cannot make a new sword from one already made... without first breaking it apart." She whispered to herself, bringing the blade down over her reddish locks. They tumbled across her back like leaves from an autumnal tree, curling up in uselessness as they hit the floor. Soon, what hair remained just met her shoulders. She studied her own expression, then frowned. "It is not enough. That girl... the girl I was has to die. Only then can I be reforged."

She knelt slowly to the floor, dipping her pale fingers into a foul-smelling pitch-coloured mixture. The stench of burnt fruit, dark vinegar and cold reptile blood filled her nostrils. She shuddered, taking a steadying breath. With all the zeal of a priest putting the Legion to the sword, she raked the dark dye through her hair, wiping out all trace of red. Once she was done, she peered into the mirror, running her blackened fingertips over her face as she studied it anew. She smiled.

While she could not change her dark green eyes, they were indeed different. Deeper. They were the eyes of a woman who had begun to truly live.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 06:28:22 AM by emptyanima »

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Guided By Steel
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 05:48:24 PM »
[The now somewhat-battered journal is written in the Nova Vaasan dialect of Vaasi.]



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Frustration
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2016, 05:48:01 PM »
[The now somewhat-battered journal is written in the Nova Vaasan dialect of Vaasi. A single line is written]



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Bloody Shell
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2017, 07:11:03 PM »
~The now somewhat-battered journal is written in the Nova Vaasan dialect of Vaasi. A new entry fills its pages~




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Pariah
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2017, 04:59:42 PM »
~The now somewhat-battered journal is written in the Nova Vaasan dialect of Vaasi. A new entry covers several pages.~