Author Topic: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor  (Read 2596 times)

CrazedElkPie

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The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« on: January 27, 2023, 08:37:18 AM »
Here now I sit with the Vistaani people at a place called the "Tser Pools". I'm yet to get the meaning of the place out of them, but that may be for the best. After the performance at the Souk of the Sands I feel drained and in need to some quiet. And so, I felt it appropriate to record some of my thoughts. This is especially important now as I have found myself in this new land...alone. No clan at my side, no Skalds from across the Moonshae to swap tales with, no sea and longships with which to raid on.

Alone.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2023, 10:53:38 AM by CrazedElkPie »
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Ljot Solvor, the Skald

CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2023, 09:36:05 AM »
The beginning then. We had just pushed off after a successful raid against the Ffolk, our southern neighbors. As Northlanders it was almost tradition to raid them, to keep our skills sharp and to blood new warriors. And, I admit with some reluctance, it was fun. To see great men and women you have known since birth take up arms and achieve great acts of skill and bravery... it is magnificent.

Still I shouldn't let my thoughts wander. Ships full of the wailing prisoners and the spoils taken, we pushed off. As was customary to one of my craft, I stayed up late into the night. I stared out into that inky darkness and noticed a fog coming towards us. It was then that those crafty Merfolk has assaulted us from below! Horns blew, people cursed, and battle was joined. I sang out, emboldening our people as I dispatched a Merman, a grin has he spilled his insides. The fog kept coming, enveloping everyone and everything as it all grew quiet. My eyes had grown heavy and against my own will, I had fallen to slumber. 
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2023, 10:33:50 AM »
I learned early what this land had to teach me. It wasn't quite so unlike the more hostile islands of the Moonshae. Thankfully, there are less bugs, though that is not counting the rather large beetles in a hole close to Vallaki. Or the giant ants I fought with a, well, maybe there are as many bugs. The point is, I learned that we needed to be ready to fight and to flee. Just like the raids.

However, I also learned that there was time for music now. And a need for it. What with how dour things can be here a song is just what some people need. When I play in the Lady's Rest, I can transport people away from their thoughts of the day, help them relax. The music may not always land exactly with people but that is fine. Even the locals who have a distinctly different taste in song are at least outwardly polite and applaud. Performing is how I have met many of those I would call friend now.

Ser Anders was the first, a Knight with a Lion's Jaw on his head. He looked as if he was some ancient king of my people. Or Alice, a mysterious woman who is so cheery I am immediately put in a good mood. I can't forget Nebet Neferet as well, the Akiri woman who has given me the opportunity to perform and pushed me to be better than I imagined. She is also quite the seamstress. There is also Aeric, a stoic man who says they were a member of "The Kinship", who is willing to listen to this Skald sing and help others in need. There is Mortimer the researcher, and quite clever as well. And Carlyah, a well meaning woman who can, Tempus bless her, hardly handle her liquor.

Many more are bouncing around this head of mine, but to write them all would take more hours than this night includes. For now, I will leave off, secure knowing that even though I am without my Clan, I am not without allies. And dare I say it... Friends.

 
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2023, 10:11:28 AM »
My mind rested, throat wet with cider after an impromptu song at the Lady's Rest, and with some time to kill I can get some more thoughts in order.

I spoke with a man named Ignis to some great length of time today. At the Souk of the Sands when we were performing, I had seen him as one would see a burning pyre on a hilltop. With tanned skin and a fiery mane, I admit to being intrigued and had hoped at a chance to speak with him. During our talk of "Fire and Ice" as I had so cleverly noted, we spoke of a mutual appreciation for the beauty of flame and of his upbringing to a degree.

He rather amusedly spoke to me a tale of how he was found in a cottage that was burning down. A priest had happened upon it and while enjoying the flame, had heard the cries of a babe from inside. Summoning their courage the priest entered, finding Ignis apparently, and taking him to the priests temple where his life began as a conduit of that god's will. I gave him a wry smile, bluntly asking if even he believed such a tale. "Even I have some trouble in believing it" he told me with a haughty grin, and I knew we'd be fast friends with such an honest and amusing remark.
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2023, 10:52:12 AM »

Aeric and Myself decided to clear our heads today. We went for a nice walk to an orchard of all places. As we walked, I dug into the mind of the man I've come to call friend in this new land. I found out he's a Paladin of the Judge of the Dead. I had not known that, but knowing of the more fanciful claims made of Paladins, I was immediately put on edge. As I dug deeper it became apparent to me that he was a serious man about his work, his calling. I was soon overcome with thoughts of being judged for my deeds in the Moonshae, for the actions I'd committed and committed to.
We then arrived at the Orchard in a bit of an awkward silence. It was quiet, beautiful, and unlike the last one I was in, not on fire.

I should admit to myself, finally, that I am a woman of two halves. One is Ljot the Skald, a singer and speaker of great deeds. I lift the spirits of the weary and soothe the minds of the troubled. The other is of Ljot the Axe, as I was once known, a woman with ice for blood and thirst for raiding I'm surprised I was taught to sing at all. I'm lucky in that my teachers saw something more in me than just another tempus-mad axe woman.

But I digress, when we arrived I felt compelled to level with Aeric. I thought it fair he knows that I was unsavory, that he may share a frontline with a murderer, but that I was remorseful. Stoic but warm as always, he spoke to me plainly what he expected if we traveled together. It was refreshing, such honesty. I'd say it even helped me come to grips with myself better. At least now, we are aware of what the other is. We'll see what the future holds.

I just hope Ljot the Skald is my future.

« Last Edit: February 11, 2023, 04:04:40 PM by CrazedElkPie »
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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2023, 11:20:28 AM »
Today I was Ljot the Axe. I took my first steps into what was dubbed "The Mistways", the heart of this new world I find myself in. The "Core" as it is called. In it I was awakened to all manner of beast and creature I had, up until now, didn't even know existed. I traveled with people who I could only label as Heroes in their own right. Such feats of strength, majicks, and subtle skills I was almost relegated to detached observer had it not been for my vocal talents.

Even so, I found myself in awe of those around me. Hale the Hero or Beast as he says, Lyrabelle who seems to be Hale's fated wife and priestess of near mythic ability, the Sharpshooter Rap whose arrows never seemed to stop, Sylla the Druidess of great strength, Aeric the Scale of the Judge, and still more I had embarrassingly forgotten to properly meet.

Together we were quite capable. They cleaved through our enemies in the mist. It was then I learned of their shifting nature. It was as if they actively sought to bewilder and confuse us. In fact some of us had even ended up in the land of Har'Akir on accident. Separated and dangerously so, we decided to press on to the settlement. Those great amber dunes gave way to massive scorpions and other creatures. Soon enough we came to civilization and to the Vistaani. Giddy with laughter and adrenaline I broke into fits of laughter at our success.

It was as good a raid as I had ever been part of. I look forward to meeting more threats but with my own blades this time. I wish to hear them sing their song for me as I would sing for others.
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2023, 12:25:00 PM »
After a successful trade and fun conversation with my recent friend Ejiro, I have some time to kill before the performance of Rory Blake. So, why not collect my thoughts and put them to paper once more. Even though naught but me will see it, it is cathartic to write it down lest I forget who I was. A funny thing, the mind. Always suppressing thoughts like unruly serfs or commoners to keep the whole thing lurching on.

My mentor, Djort the Harp, was a kind man. A bit on the heavy handed side when I would make petty errors or slept too late but that's expected. He was a Skald of some renown and would not have his time wasted by anyone, least of all me. I entered his service at the behest of our chieftain after my parents fell in an ambush to Merfolk, on their return voyage no less. Snot nosed and puffy faced, Djort hugged me and told me "Tomorrow we will sing their passing and you will learn then what life will offer."

After the coals of their pyre turned dark, my throat raw from singing into the smoke, he guided me to my new home. He was welcoming and his wife made sure to treat me as if I was their daughter. The days were filled with memorizing the Epics while the nights became time to study song and how to read and write. On occasion the Chief would visit and teach me to fight with twin axes, all the whole my mentor would goad or cheer me on depending on the lesson. Those lessons would soon make me a Battlesinger.

Ten years went by and I was on my own, Djort having moved on when the recent winter claimed his wife. He was already having issues with our new chief and his calls for more raids, so I think it was a good reason for him to go. Still, he gifted me his old axe and a new lute knowing I'd need one more than the other. "Which one?"
He simply smiled and said "We'll see."
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2023, 11:58:11 AM »
I caught myself claiming to be "Ljot the Axe" today instead of "Ljot the Skald". I am... unsure if the name from my raiding days is appropriate to use now or not. I've made strides to distance myself from my bloody past. Singing, telling tales, even woodworking and black smithing! Nebet Neferet has even given me a place inside of the Souk to work and sell my wares, to which I am eternally grateful. She is an honest woman and seeks to bring out the best of me. But all of this is to separate myself from that hazy period of raids and drink and blood and war...

War. Tempus be praised and Umberlee be sated.

It was war that drove me deeper into my craft. "Battlesinger" is what the Chief called me, his "War Maiden" that would sing our victories and lament our honored dead. Songs to embolden and make our enemies cower. It was war that I saw such fine deeds of courage and brotherhood. It was war that I claimed my first kill that I am unable to shake the spectre of.

In a twist of fate that only an Epic would be proud of, I took battle against my old mentor Djort. The raid itself had begin poorly as we were assaulted from the shore by majicks. The village had hired, who else, clanless mercenaries to defend them with fireballs and necromancies. As the lead longboat exploded in a tangle of corpses and flaming wood every soul took and oar and rowed for our lives to the shore. They wanted a fight and by Tempus' will we'd deliver. As far as firsts go, this raid being mine, I was as shocked as I was amped. Hand and voice shaking  we rowed and sung until we hit the beach.

Jumping overboard we made a mad sprint towards the village and its defenders. Intent on taking not only their goods but their lives, we smashed into their shields with battlecries on our lips...


The writing trails off, stains of what looks like Tsuika are left on the page.
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2023, 09:35:45 AM »
I swear I can feel those empty eye sockets on me still. That damn thing and it's constant bony tapping. Or those rotten orbs looking upon me with disgust. It called ME a coward, the karking nerve of it!

...but it was right, because I didn't go out in a flurry of Axe and whip. Oh sure we blustered and barked like some wild dog, but I kneeled to it and it's...


The writing, already shaky, stops. Instead, the drawing of some feminine sinister winged creature fills most of the page. It has a look of both approval and malice. The detail is as good as can be expected with quill and parchment from a practiced hand.

I want to go home.
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2023, 10:25:50 AM »
Finally, some peace. After help from a man named Yahtzee, a night of discussion with Nebet Neferet, and a final retelling and discussion with Mortimer, I've settled this matter of the Lich and her Death Knight as I have learned them. While I'm still unnerved at what I had to do to survive, I won't be a slave to it. Unless I'm actually unknowingly enslaved to it. In which case maybe I'll roll my dice of fate again and see what happens.

At any rate, penning my thoughts helps me to relieve the tension and make sense of my scrambled thoughts. I have found myself becoming more and more willing to dive into trouble to save others. A wholly unrewarding practice but it is worthwhile I suppose. Apparently two "retired" adventurers were trying to show their grandchildren I think it was, the ropes. Unfortunately for them the local Kobolds were rather strong. So strong in fact that when I volunteered to rescue them one actually managed to stab me. After a hearty laugh and a learned lessons talk I went to the outpost to work and think.

Maybe I'll find the will to continue retelling why I think I'm here. Maybe not.


Diagrams of the intricacies of coating arrowheads and throwing axes with portions of distilled essences follow. Several rude remarks about the making of crates follow after.
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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2023, 04:45:58 PM »
Since Nebet Neferet is away and I'm minding the shop it's good to take time and record my thoughts again. While nothing as intense as before has happened, many good things have happened that are of note.

Firstly, I have taken up apprenticeship under Hale. The man is as welcoming as he is knowledgeable. It was fortuitous that we'd ran into each other when we did. He was happy to give me a place to start in regards to that next step of blacksmithing. Afterwards I had given my well wishes to Nebet Neferet for her journey and made the trip back to Barovia along with a priest of Pazrael.

They and I had gone back and forth for some time as he answered questions as to his belief. I expressed I was curious and I hope to hear their sermon in person tomorrow.

It was another day or two later where I found myself singing in the rain to nobody in particular. The silence was maddening and I hadn't performed in a week or so. So, tapping my halberd on the ground I began to hum and sing a song for many a young raider. Then, as if summoned from the shadows themselves, a pale beauty appeared at my shoulder. I'd have thought her a shadow until she told me "Do not to be startled but your voice is beautiful."

Well, more or less that's what she said. Natalia was her name and I think we became fast friends. She is easy to speak to and I had no problem speaking of home or even my parents. For holding myself so far from others I was surprised to be so open. I look forward to knowing her better and maybe opening up more. I can't let the past and my own failures keep me away from people forever.

Or, maybe I can. Maybe I should. If I'd even go so far as to kill Djo-



Furious scribbling fills in the rest of the line

At any rate my hard work is paying off. Arrow sales are increasing as well as the sale of steel weapons. I hope to add basic armors to the mix soon too. Nebet Neferet is counting on me and I shan't let her down.
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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2023, 02:23:51 PM »
My time recently has been filled with much joy, and now, much apprehension. I find myself selfishly falling into a cycle of  cynicism and pessimism. She dances a fine line and does so selflessly. But I'm unable to say the same of myself. I've never been that way and I don't see that changing.

Growing up in the Moonshae is something I remember fondly but I know I've whittled those memories down to the gems. The feasting hall, the time with lovers, and even walking endless meadows plucking my Mandolin are but rare moments mixed into the greater swamp of emotions. When my parents were lost at sea, or murdered depending on who you asked, I was forced to consider what everyone's intentions were all the time. Maybe that's just growing up but I'd never truly allowed myself to get close to another.

She claims honest intentions and I want to feel she's earnest in those claims... But that's doubt for you. The difficulty I face is trying to accept they really don't have an ulterior motive, something impossible for me to fully accept. They've all had one, some "use" for me, something to chisel and pry from me to complete their own machinations. In turn hers may show when I least expect it, and I'll need to be ready.

And so I'll continue to do what I've always done.

Survive.
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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2023, 02:46:09 PM »
I swear it feels like it's been weeks but, in truth, it's only been a few days. With the end of winter fast approaching I am fasting to make myself ready for the "Last Storm" ceremony. Eskel and Wicket have both generously offered to assist me in the preparations needed for such. In fact, it is in part because of them that I have decided on the path I currently find myself on.

I should say that this isn't some campaign of coercion so much as it is a natural evolution of thought. My people and I are, at the base of all things, Northlanders. We're hardy, loud, passionate, Auril fearing raiders. While my travels as a Skald have broadened my scope and helped me to embrace the talents of my parents... I have always been a better raider than song writer. So why not embrace such, and take up position as a member of the hunt?

Am I as dedicated or dogmatic as Eskel or Wicket to the hunt? No. I'm not saying I'm not dedicated to them, just, as Auril herself I will remain with some degree of detachment. Though as I expressed to Eskel, there's a certain being whose head I wouldn't mind attaching to the hook on my belt. And if the hunt gets me there then all the better.

Does this also mean an abandonment of my love for the arts I practice? Absolutely not. My life is not the hunt, rather, the hunt is now a part of my life. I would sing to embolden my friends, to inspire them to great heights and bring recognition to Lady Frostkiss. But I also yearn to freeze the hearts of my enemies with my song, to see them rimed in frost and unable to escape the cold clutches of the Frostmaiden and her servants. Then, freezing and immoble, my haunting melody the last thing they hear, that ice should spread to encompass more and more until the very earth they stand on freezes dragging their loved ones and more into the frozen realm of


The writing breaks off sharply, a large ink splotch soaking a chunk of the page.

Shakily, it begins again.

I must finish the fast and my prayers. Auril guide me, I am but your humble servant.
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2023, 01:27:44 PM »
Sitting here, now, by a roaring fire with strong drink and spiced meats I feel much more myself again. However, I feel much more than myself after the ceremony, the "Last Storm" of this winter.

True to their word the other members of the Furies, Eskel and Wicket, aided me in this ritual to appease and seek guidance from Auril. It's one thing to suffer in the cold normally, but it is another thing entirely to have those talented in majicks attempt to freeze the flesh off your bones.

Hesitant for only a moment, and understandably so, Eskel dealt the first blow. The cold seared my flesh and I nearly lost the ability to scream were it not for my Northlander blood. At the top of my lungs I called to Lady Frostkiss to bless me, that she was all and we were blessed to feel her beautiful chill. It was at the end of my supplications that Wicket delivered to me the final blow. A cold so intense my already seared skin became truly burned and brittle. The air froze my lungs, my heartbeat sluggish and irregular. Then, through freezing eyes I saw a glimpse of the Winters Hall before I succumbed to the slush pulsing under my blued skin...

I awakened to strong hands and encouraging words, my companions telling me to embrace Auril's touch and to fight through the chill. Shivering and through chattering teeth I made one final thanks to Auril.

Once my limbs returned to my control I attempted to treat my wounds. While most of them were mended magically, patches of the frost and reddening from the burns remains, most notably on my cheeks and hands. Cold to the touch they gave my quite a start when I noticed them. A blessing to be sure. A clear indication I am on the right path.

Now to see where that path will lead me, for I am the Frost Maiden's chosen.

 
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2023, 03:17:35 PM »
Lounging around until my performance at the Gaping Wound I find myself itching to put quill to paper. While not much has happened since the heady evening of the Final Storm ritual, what has happened, has left it's mark.

The closing of the Souk may be the most important. With tearful smiles, Neferet and I bid each other farewell. She is on a journey to find a cure for what ailes her mother, a journey I am unable to accompany her on. I love that woman as my own blood and truly wish her luck in her pursuit. She gave me the push to be what I am now. Our talks, while few, left impacts on me I will hold dearly for the rest of my days.

I met an elf woman in the woods soon after. Well, more likely I scared her half to death when I dropped my invisibility while walking up to her as she was meditating. I respect her enough not to detail too much of what happened but we spoke at length about our beliefs and ourselves. She seems upfront and honest, even confiding in me. I look forward to speaking more in the future.

Then there is Hoof, as he calls himself. A tiefling I suppose, from some place he aptly called "The Cage", or Sigil. I quite literally stumbled upon him outside of some crypt on one of my walks, bleeding to death with nary a foe in sight. I patched him up and after he put aside his rightfully suspicious attitude, we got to talking like old friends. A quick walk back to the outskirts punctuated by walking gravestone constructs of unimaginable horror later, we bid each other goodbye. He was quite different from the Tiefling earlier in the day responsible for one murder and several, I assume, accidental ones. It was as amusing as it was alarming.

And now this "Ancestral Choir", a faith built upon song and ancestor reverence. How peculiar, and it's priestess, friendly and inviting. Surely it's a con or some trick, but they seem genuine enough. I'll see where it goes perhaps. Maybe it's the change for me, the chance to let go of my people's faith and live for me.

Or maybe not. Who is to say? 
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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2023, 01:31:26 PM »


After an exhausting trip and an even more exhausting night of revelations I had not originally intended for, I find myself for once feeling truly at ease.

And trapped.

I know it now. A piercing of the veil, so to speak, occured during my talk with Yahtzee. The nature of "ending up here", a topic I had always dismissed as fruitless. Of course this was a test, brought into my from the gods I had begrudgingly followed. When I'd found the point I'd achieve it and then return to the Moonshae, richer for the experience. To be told emphatically elsewise, and it be confirmed by many a folk now that I think on it, was as shocking as it was unbelievable. And yet, I find myself wholly at ease with the thought.

Cut off from the fickle retributions from the gods of my people. Cut off from the Chieftain that adored me as some gilded bird in a cage, a prize on his wall. Cut off from my life as a blood crazed raider. Cut off from the sacrifices, late night murders, and the Gnoll raids.

Free now, to take what built me, what was useful of it, and make anew the woman known as Ljot Solvor. Free to follow in the footsteps of those such as Voghiln the Mighty, albeit, a bit more realistically. The chance to take the tapestry woven for me so far, and instead, weave more with thread of fate of my own making.

My life in the Moonshae is not forgotten. In fact, I will embrace it. I am a Skald of the Moonshae, their living memory. I am an orator that emboldens her allies and drives her enemies deep into the depths of misery. I am a raider that lives for battle, for the hunt, and unashamed to say so.

I am Ljot Solvor, the Axe and the Lute, forever more my own.


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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2023, 10:22:18 AM »

It seems I'm rarely able to write as much as before. But here, now, before teaching a friend of mine how to play the Lute I find such time.

Since the Souk had closed I've found myself with no shortage of work. Raids have become more frequent and their locations far deadlier. Though I am around others I would deem worthy of being heroes in their might, one wrong move and it's to the pyres for us. Still, it's helped me to improve my fighting capabilities and has helped me to improve my song crafting. So much so my melodies can bolster the exhausted, the weariness washed away in the flood of notes from my Mandolin.

I've also taken up employ with the Guild Exotica. They are as foreign to me in their speech and mannerisms as my songs of sailing the seas might be to someone who dwelt underground all their life. Still, I admit to having been curious when Bes and Belias both approached me in regards to maybe joining. An interview with Karliah several days later and I was deemed worthy to join. I'd not record our happenings in any great detail, lest this book fall into someone's possessions. But it has been quite interesting so far.

And that Belias, the ever persistent romantic, never far from me. Though if I'm honest I do find his presence calming I'm unwilling to let anyone get truly close to me. He knows why, kark, I even threatened to remove his hand once for the most innocent of touches. His swift and honest apologies quickly made me reign in my outbursting temper. And so I shared with him my reason, my Valkyrie Clipping. I'll not write it to spare me a night of restless sleep.

It's not that I'm afraid, but after all of that I'm in no rush to sprint into the arms of another. At least not yet. When your own mentor leers at you during the most demented and torturous moment of your life, it makes it hard to trust again.

Still, isn't this what joining a guild in the first place was about? Trying to trust others, shake off the lonely Skald facade? It is, in fact, part of my motivation. In truth if not for my talk with Isabel during a quieter night at the Wound I may not have even bothered. She cautioned me in the idea that just because I wander does not mean I can't have ties and roots. So I'll dedicate myself to the Guild, and the Ilharess. Do my best to prove the worth of this Skald beyond mere performance.



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Ljot Solvor, the Skald

CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2023, 10:32:31 AM »
On the page is the scratched drawing of a trio of women on a bridge. The women are surrounded by spiders the size of rodents. The expressions of the women, while maddeningly beautiful, are equally insidious.

The words "Avoid at night like the plague" are written heavily. Additionally the recipes for a tonic to remove the taste of spider ichor and webbing from ones mouth and throat is detailed.

- 1 Beggars cup
- 1 Woundwart
- 1 glass of strong spirits
- Mix together, heat, and drink quickly.
- If taste lingers, seek Karliah for stronger drink.

Imagine crawling back into the body you are -certain- still has a spider inside of it. Kark that bridge, kark those women, and next time I'll bring more fire.
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CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2023, 11:01:15 AM »

Reading back on my previous entries I find it amusing how much my life has changed in the months since my arrival. The people I've met, foes I've faced, and hardships endured have all left an impact. I hope dearly that Nebet Neferet has found the trail of what she set out for, if not the cure itself. I'll always remember her fondly and her gentle push to help me along to who I am now.

I can't help but smile at the gently snoring beauty to my right as I sit at this desk, penning both my journal and a small goodbye note to her. I'll be gone before she wakes, make it easier on both of us until my return. We'd much to discuss and cracked through those walls we've thrown up just enough to have a far better understanding of each other. She's one of two people I've told of my clipped wings, I trust her. I remember quite vividly the tall tale she spun to impress me, unaware I was familiar with the real contents, or the cheesy romantic lines she spoke. But leaving before she wakes... She'll understand.

Performing for the Midnight Rose was an absolute treat. A night to forget all the foulness and celebrate triumphs. Singing alongside Rory as a duet was quite enjoyable and we made quite the impression. She was far too generous with a gift to me, and Lady Ellavyra was absolutely pleasant to speak with in person finally. Ta'ell was pleasant too though I only spoke with them briefly.

After our performance, I took Yahtzee up on his offer to teach me how to dance. After several stumbles and some confidently calming words, I took to it quite well. He's like the father I... Well. He's quite kind and willing to listen without judgement. There's few like him and there will be fewer still as time marches on.

And the Guild. I've nothing but respect and appreciation for my time in the Guild so far. It's members welcoming, steady work, and the chance to make something I'd always wanted to try; A play in the Dyad. With Belias I'm sure we'll have no trouble at all meeting the expectations of the Ilharess. She's high hopes and high confidence in us and I'll not disappoint.

I suppose I'm getting long winded here, a delaying tactic to avoid leaving. I'll pen my goodbye and be on my way.

Calm seas.

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Ljot Solvor, the Skald

CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2023, 09:59:29 PM »
A drawing of a boat at sea, broken in half in choppy waters is drawn on an entire page. Another boat sails in the distance.


I left a bag of coin and a promise to build a couple more chairs with the innkeep. She glowered at me but took my offerings in good faith. Told her I was drunk and got a little too excited with an axe and that's why her furniture was in splinters. A sigh, a muttering of outlanders, and I left.

It was a quiet trip other than the ferryman counting his coin and speaking of the fine time he can have at Midway now. I smiled and told him not to spend it all in one night, then made may way to the pass. The Ogres wisely stayed quiet, enjoying a previous hunt or off in search of one. Good luck to them.

I'm not even sure why I'm writing. Maybe it is a fine distraction. Like all things since the fever took her, just a distraction. Another way to avoid looking at what I didn't want to think of ever again. Maybe one day I'll be able to cope with it. Maybe not. For now I'll look to my immediate future; the play. "My Jarl's Revenge" we called it. Hopefully I don't let them down though with the effort we've put in surely it'll be fine.

Annabelle had fine words for me and I was very thankful she gave me some time to speak. She's a kind soul, I hope I did not overburden her.

Suppose I'll stop right here as I've little else to add. The writing simply isn't doing it for me.



The writing abruptly stops.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2023, 12:52:40 PM by CrazedElkPie »
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Ljot Solvor, the Skald

CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2023, 02:29:02 PM »

With time to pursue my crafts once again I find myself as well with time for writing. Long days of hammer and forge have left me calm of mind and steady of heart. Not that my matters of the heart have become any simpler; nay they are maybe more complex than before. Now that I'm out of my shell so to speak, I am drawn in many different directions, threatened to be overwhelmed by it all. But with time to think and advice from those I hold in high regard... I suppose we'll see what happens.

In the afterwork of the play, which, went better and was better attended than I thought, I've gone back to form. Smelting metals, forging blades, and singing in taverns. Some raids against the desert trolls in their hideouts as well as less admirable grave robbing has also taken my time. The experiences harden my soul in preparation for its harvesting into a piece of my armor. A process that is both laborious and dangerous but one that will benefit me to no small end.

It is during these times I grow more in tune with my brethren in the Guild Exotica. So much so I anticipate actions of my fellow enforcers on the battlefield as well as smooth ego wrinkles of some before they may ruin our finely woven tapestry of achievements. It is a curious place I find myself in. A Northlander Skald amongst a mixed company of Ilythiiri, Scro, and other cast outs. But it is not an unwelcoming place and even better, it is a place I feel a fine part of. And as I said to brother Argon, it is as good a family as I may find for a raider like me. Speaking of Argon he is a firm friend and a fellow blacksmith to boot.
Be it with our hammers or halberds there will be few obstacles we can't work.

But as always there is more work and this order will not fill itself. "Idle hands make for poor rowing" as the Housecarls would say.

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Ljot Solvor, the Skald

CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2023, 11:59:38 AM »
A scratched diagram of a halberd and of a rapier are drawn onto the page with some detail. Measurements and notes on quenching oil written alongside them.


"Make some memories that won't simply just fade" he said. Well, I think today was a fine step for those memories. We'd only suffered from one hiccup as she took a mighty blow to the chest from a lucky scrag that I'd soon after filled with a dozen holes from my Greatspear. But a quick hum with my curative and she was right as rain. I hope to surprise her next time with a fine rapier, gilded if I'm lucky. To do so will require a rather herculean effort on my part so I shouldn't doddle.

Apart from that I was able to deal with my old friend Mortimer again. I'd missed his wit and while brief, it was a fine time. I even had cause to put hand to my Mandolin and play a tune for those gathered. A lullaby of sorts it did the trick of calming spirits and weary minds. I then had a fine talk with Anen finally. A long time in the making though the topic at hand was not as cheery as one may want. Such talks usually aren't and yet, are the most important. It's one thing to share tales of mirth and lazy summer days. It is another to bare the hurt of your heart and soul. Like all of us I hope he presses on.

I should also make a more solid note of my learnings of new languages as well. I've always had a knack for it and I've forgotten more tongues than I care to remember I'm sure. As a Skald, language is of course, my finest tool. When I first arrived here I took to Balok fairly well though my Luskan bleeds into it occasionally. And now, finally cracking into the aptly named "undercommon" and the Elven tongue. Though I probably sound like a child with my fumbling of words I'm confident I'll only continue to improve. With a bit of luck my standing will rise too but we'll see.

I suppose I've delayed long enough. I've soot and sweat to wear in a forge now, so aluve and calm seas.

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Ljot Solvor, the Skald

CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2023, 12:08:34 PM »

It's a curious sensation, being hoisted into the air by means of a halberd spike through your guts. And yet, there I was, impaled and staring down into the blackness of that beast's hollow visage. Mine own Greatspear forgotten, blood pouring from my split open abdominal muscles trying desperately to flex and prevent us sliding down the spike, I screamed in agony. Gods it hurt so much and it hurts still. The ghostly tendrils of that sudden and savage impalement linger like a lover knowing the morning comes to steal their love away. The priestess assures me the sensation will fade but if it is like the other deathblows I have succumbed to it never truly leaves. But, no matter. I'll have an extra drink and push on as always.

Evenin is its name. No more a man than my boots, brought back to unlife at the behest of some cult of Necrosavants if the ravings can be believed. Which, of course, why shouldn't they be? Far be it from me to disbelieve its own words. But I'm getting ahead of myself. The creature saw my impalement as punishment enough, or perhaps it grew bored, and so tossed me through the open chapel door. Laughing about curfew and reveling in the screams of it's slaughter, it allowed me the time to crawl for help. Leaking blood and the contents of my entrails I made it just in time. Luckier than the others, whose severed limbs and split skulls mingled with the cold snows outside.

Evenin is a harsh reminder of the twisted nature of the way of life here. In my confidence I had assumed I was prepared to meet those that may wish to stand against this Skald. And much like the young bloods on their first raid, I was swiftly robbed of my attitude of superiority. That's not to say I won't try again, better prepared of course. But when and how? Tempus alone knows.

I'll tell you one thing I know for sure though: I should have just went fishing.

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Ljot Solvor, the Skald

CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2023, 10:14:31 AM »

What does it mean to be a Drengr?

If you'd listen to any number of Skalds, Houscarls, or the common warrior they'd tell you the same thing: A mightily courageous warrior allowing the waves to smash against them and remain undaunted. These waves are figurative but their meaning, of course, is well received by my people. Any raider worth their axe sees themselves as the Drengr. Some are slain thinking so, some realize they never could or will be and turn to the drink. A few achieve it though, and one I knew, albeit briefly, has left us. Good luck to her and Tempus guide her steps.

As I continue to exist and, dare I say, thrive, in these lands many such reflections like the Drengr or the weavers of fate strike at me. Friends and allies fade away or are taken too soon. Those left behind are left as well to pick up the pieces and consider the worth of it all. One such friend and I spoke just last night on such matters. Unusually sullen he said something that very few consider asking themselves. He asked "Do you forge your own way, Ljot? Do you see value in your existence here, or are you enslaved to the land you came from?"

I answered him truthfully as I do with any who have my respect. This place, "The Core",  has given me more value and life than I had the right to expect from my previous life. A lost daughter, withered marriage to my Jarl, and my torture led me here. That here is where my real life began. He seemed to value my answer and I feel our bond of brotherhood strengthened after our talk.

As he trundled away to contemplate our shared words I contemplated more of his. We can't guarantee our future and the value it will have. Nor, as he said, should we cling so desperately to the past we see no value in any else. Instead, we should see the gift of the present. That gift which we are given the chance to take with every breath, that frjálsi, is what matters. So stand strong, Drengr, stand and let those waves crash amongst us. Where others fall we will remain.

It is our duty, our gift, and we mustn't squander it.

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Ljot Solvor, the Skald

CrazedElkPie

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Re: The Axe and the Lute - The tale of Ljot Solvor
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2023, 03:48:30 PM »

There is something about the hammering and sharpening of metals that is so comforting to me. Just as my mentor taught me, I in turn, have taken another under my wing to teach now. Yahtzee seeks to learn and with our lessons I am sure he'll pick up the art in no time. Were his muscles matching his earnestness he would be unstoppable. However, through determination alone he will make good progress.

I also had the good fortune to bump into Rayo and Laika again. The two of them have the makings of the Drengr should they survive. And in this land they'll need to keep those attitudes or they will crumble when the true waves crash against them. Much like Aeric did for me, I have given them some aid when I can and to bolster their spirits. Though in true Moonshae fashion I would not rob them of the struggle they are owed, as it is that struggle that will temper them. They also owe me a fine tale, something through their eyes truthfully told and not brushed with spectacle. Like I said, leave the spectacle to the Skalds.

I've also found myself far more comfortable in my martial abilities. My new polearm, a Voulge, is quite adept at tripping up my foes and smacking the blades from their hands. If I get any stronger I may have to call myself Ljot the Broga, a true terror! I jest mostly, but my attitude from then to now certainly reflects how I've changed. I suppose this change is also reflected in my companions, stout warriors and learned majick crafters of all stripes. Comparing and contrasting traditions and skills with the Ilythiiri known as Xalfryn being just as enjoyable as comparing metalworking techniques with The Huntsman, Fearghas. I suppose now I am just writing to write, and should get back to my task at hand: a duel of equals.
 
Out of the mist she arrived and simply requested such, a duel. It was strange but I accepted as honestly, I'd always wondered which of us might fare better in such a martial contest. To take it seriously I must go through my daily routine. First a swim to warm up and then drills in my chain. If there is time, a hearty meal and a large mug of my brewed mead.

Come whatever may in my future, I'll naut be found wanting for a lack of preparation.



Characters Played:
Ljot Solvor, the Skald