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Author Topic: Frida Dottir of Skuf:  (Read 458 times)

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Frida Dottir of Skuf:
« on: March 22, 2024, 02:52:36 AM »
Chapter 1: "Origin"


Origin:
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Frida, the dottir of Runa and Skuff, exhibited a notably introspective and reserved nature during her childhood, setting her apart from her seven siblings. To comprehend each family member fully, one must first understand Frida. Indeed, the fabric of our identities is intricately woven with the threads of those we hold dear.
Her mother, Runa 'of the moon' was the dottir  of Anders 'the brave'  At the tender age of 15, Runa's hand in marriage was settled over a simple exchange of mead and three of her father's prized sheep. Frida often reminisced about her mother as a clever and resourceful individual. Despite their modest means, Runa and her family seemed to navigate life without undue hardship. In matters of trade and negotiation with their kin, Runa took charge, overseeing inventory, proposing sale prices, and managing the financial intricacies. Though diligent and occasionally stern, Frida understood that circumstances had shaped her mother's demeanor. Contemplating the past, Frida often wondered about Runa's childhood aspirations and silent reveries. She pondered whether motherhood was the path Runa had envisioned for herself. Despite enduring fatigue, Runa never voiced complaints, always expressing gratitude for her blessings. Oftentimes, Frida grappled with feelings of inadequacy regarding her own level of gratitude compared to her mother's unwavering thankfulness. Gazing at the night sky from the lofty boughs of towering pines, Frida questioned the extent of knowledge she sought and whether her quest for understanding would forever taint her appreciation for the ignorance she currently possessed.
   Her father, known as Skuf 'the Strong,' possessed a robust and imposing presence, towering over most doorways with a stature that commanded attention. Broad in both height and width, Skuf's powerful arms instilled fear in many for the havoc they could wreak, yet Frida remained oblivious to such potential destruction. As she gazed at her father, she witnessed a man content in the life fate had woven for him. Despite his frequent departures from the farmstead in Tunesberg to embark on voyages lasting months, if not years, he always returned to the family he cherished. Each homecoming revealed a slightly weathered version of him, as though the trials of his experiences had etched themselves upon him. Nevertheless, in the presence of his loved ones, particularly his dear wife Runa and their seven daughters, (and later the addition of his son!)  his countenance radiated with a light that seemed to dissolve all hardships. Frida never questioned whether her father found joy in his existence; she simply knew he did. He took pride in each of his daughters, embracing them warmly as he crossed the threshold, leaving behind the weight of sternness, anger, and warfare to revel in the warmth of his home. His boisterous laughter, resonant and hearty enough to rattle the very table, characterized a man devoid of conventional attractiveness or wealth, yet rich in undeniable happiness. Frida, in admiration tinged with envy, observed his innate contentment, contrasting it with her own ongoing pursuit of happiness as a deliberate choice. For her father, happiness seemed not a pursuit but a state of being—a quality she strived to emulate.

Their first child, the eldest dottir possessed unparalleled beauty. Ingrid, with her lustrous golden hair and captivating sage green eyes, epitomized allure, captivating every gaze in the village of Tonesberg. She was both favored and envied for her exceptional charm. Despite Frida's modesty regarding her own artistic abilities, recognizing herself as not the most skilled poet in her family, let alone in Tunesberg, Ingrid's melodic voice and natural talent set her apart. Her kin lauded her, showering her with adoration. However, standing in her radiant shadow might have been somewhat jarring for her siblings to follow.
Following Ingrid, the next daughter in line was Helga, who emerged merely a year later. Helga stood in stark contrast to Ingrid, being a formidable figure in terms of stature, weight, and presence. Her assertiveness was evident in her commanding voice, resonating as deeply as the sea and as powerfully as the mountains. Unconcerned with appeasing her male counterparts, Helga embraced her individuality unabashedly. Her devotion to her family, martial pursuits, and later, to mead, defined her character. She staunchly defended the sacred and remained indifferent to trivialities. Frida admired her courage, recognizing in Helga the unmistakable lineage of Skuf. This unspoken connection was what Frida sought to embody.

In the ensuing winter, Astrid emerged as a figure of note. Possessing a keen intellect, she distinguished herself from her sisters through her striking features – dark raven hair and captivating ocean-blue eyes that underscored both her beauty and astuteness. Her passion lay in the realm of agriculture, where she delved into the intricacies of plant cultivation from a tender age. Engaging in frequent experiments to discern the optimal timing for sowing seeds, she meticulously recorded and analyzed weather patterns day by day and year by year. Diligent, intelligent, and unwaveringly dedicated, Astrid's acumen mirrored the grace of her character. In times of agricultural adversity, she generously imparted her knowledge to neighboring farms and extended aid when resources allowed. Revered within her community for her wisdom and sharp wit, Astrid captivated many suitors, yet only one could capture not just her affection but also her admiration. Frida, inspired by Astrid's quick wit and audacity, found herself occasionally falling short in comparison.

Three years later, Frida was born, a character seemingly lacking in intrigue within her own narrative. As a child, Frida exhibited proficiency in various pursuits but mastery in none. Her interests and pastimes seemed borrowed, drawn from her siblings, parents, or even mythical sources. Often reticent, she limited her daily dialogue to a mere handful of words. Amidst her idyllic existence, Frida harbored dreams of escaping her circumstances, grappling with the prevalent violence deeply ingrained in her culture, a disdain she couldn't fully suppress. Seeking solace in apprenticing with the midwife and caring for infants, Frida found solace in the infant's indifference to her perceived inadequacies, recognizing perhaps that her kindness outweighed her perceived shortcomings.

The subsequent child, Una, quickly gained a reputation as the 'troublesome child,' demanding a significant portion of her mother's attention. Una exhibited a somber disposition, fixating on death to an unsettling extent, along with an inexplicable fascination with fire. Displaying a propensity for cruelty towards her siblings, Una often resorted to inventive and distressing methods to torment them, both publicly and in private. Despite occasional displays of decency, these instances were excessively lauded due to her mother's increasing fatigue from managing a growing household, resulting in more relaxed rules and expectations, inadvertently shaping Una's behavior. Concurrently, Frida harbored envy towards the attention Una received, despite its predominantly negative nature, pondering the experience of living in her mother's light.

The last three offspring of Skuf were Ragna, Yri aged thirteen winters, and Onam aged five. Due to their mother's fatigue and significant age disparity, Frida assumed a maternal role towards the youngest trio, showering them with unwavering affection. Tragically, Ragna succumbed to a premature death at the tender age of five, an event shrouded in silence by Frida, who bears the weight of immense guilt for the circumstances surrounding Ragna's passing. This devastating loss instilled in Frida a deep-seated fear of motherhood, harboring a persistent dread that her own children might face a similar fate beyond her protective reach. The incident wrought a profound change within Frida, leaving her burdened with indescribable sorrow and simmering resentment, emotions she typically conceals but occasionally surfaces in moments of vulnerability.


Helga And The Baltic Pines:

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In the fields of Tonesberg during the summer, Helga informed their parents that she and her younger sister, Frida, were heading to the fields for martial training. However, this was merely a pretext to indulge in Frida's beloved Baltic pines. As they strolled through the forest hand in hand, Frida, likely no more than eight years old, displayed a slight tremor in her hand.
 "You're shaking like the seas, Fred."

"Sorry," she murmured, retracting her hand and wiping the perspiration onto her dress. "No need to apologize; they won't notice."

"But they might," she fretted.

"They won't—do you know why?" Helga turned Frida towards her, affectionately grasping her shoulders.

 "...Because we're not going to tell them?" Frida ventured tentatively, her voice barely audible. "Exactly!" Helga grinned, enveloping her sister in an embrace and leading her deeper into the forest.

 Frida sighed as if bearing a heavy burden. She despised lying; it twisted her stomach into knots and stirred a boiling rage within her. Their journey led them to the foot of the pine tree. "I bet I can hang on longer." Helga playfully slapped her sister's back before swiftly ascending the tree branch with her unrestrained strength. Following hesitantly, Frida mirrored her sister's actions with little confidence, until she reached the same branch. For the ensuing hours, the sisters engaged in friendly competition, hanging from the tree limbs with girlish delight, falling and climbing again in a repetitive cycle. Though Frida never emerged victorious, she learned early on that not all endeavors are about winning; some are simply about the experience. As time passed and darkness descended, the sound of their mother's horn called the girls back to their homestead.
Their mother awaited by the hearth, casting a scrutinizing gaze upon them. With flushed cheeks and panting breaths, the two girls faced their mother. Astrid sat by the fireplace, mending their father's clothing with Uma's mischievous assistance, while Runa, heavy with child, observed the scene.

"You did not return at the first horn."

"We didn't hear you, mother," Helga responded promptly.

 "You should have, considering you were in the fields," Runa interjected swiftly.

"The field is vast," Helga averted her gaze. Frida stared at the ground, sweat glistening on her forehead. Ragna approached and knelt before Frida.

"Is there something you wish to confess, Frida, dottir of Skuf?" Her tone was gentle yet firm, demanding honesty. Frida bowed her head in resignation, making no attempt to deceive.

 "We were playing in the trees." The weight of her small transgression seemed overwhelming, her eyes welling up with tears. Runa straightened, sighing with a hint of disappointment but refraining from undue severity.

 "I understand," she remarked, her gaze shifting between her daughters.

 "Your training is essential. While you may spend your life within the confines of a home or field and never venture to the seas like our forefathers, should danger approach, you will wish you had listened and trained to safeguard what is sacred. Who is Freyja, Frida?"

 "The goddess of love," Frida replied with a somber expression. "And war," she added after a moment. Runa nodded once, embracing Frida briefly, her fingers entwined in her braid.

 "You cannot love, what you cannot protect."She kissed Frida's forehead before exhaling deeply and turning to Helga.

 "...It was all Frida's idea," she asserted loudly. Runa cast a dubious glance at Helga before sighing.

 "Very well. As punishment, Frida, you will take the night watch of the sheep tonight. Now, come. Let us dine. Fetch your bowls." With a single clap, Runa led the way to the kitchen, leaving Frida alone with Helga.

Frida gazed at her sister in silence. Helga chuckled and nudged her with her elbow. "It's not my fault; I said not to tell her!" With a snort, Helga departed, leaving Frida to contemplate her actions. That day, Frida learned two valuable lessons: to embody qualities akin to Freyja and that her sister could be a real fette.


« Last Edit: March 22, 2024, 03:07:19 AM by TherapyCat »

TherapyCat

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Re: Frida Dottir of Skuf:
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2024, 06:28:29 AM »


chapter II: Uma & The Unnatural
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"Mir is not going to allow you to keep that dog, Frida," remarked Helga with a mix of amusement and disapproval, leaning casually against her rake. She observed Frida cradling the scrappy, undernourished mutt as if it were a cherished possession.

"Why not? We can provide for it," protested Frida, her tone somewhat whiny, though she was just a ten-year-old; who could blame her?

"We lack the resources," interjected Astrid, meticulously inspecting the crops' leaves. "Especially with Mother giving birth to offspring every other year," she added, her expression betraying a hint of stress.
"Can we not call our siblings 'offspring'" questioned Ingrid from her stool, braiding her hair under the sun's warm rays.

"Why not?” Astrid responded quietly, shielding her eyes from the sun with her hand.

"It makes them sound like livestock." Helga snickered, breaking into the conversation as she resumed tending to the earth.

“Are we implying that’s /not/ what Uma is now? " muttered Astrid under her breath. The group of young women turned to glance at Una, fervently attempting to ignite a flame by rubbing sticks together, to no avail, leading to a burst of laughter across the fields of Tonesberg.
A horn sounded in the distance, signaling the arrival of their mother, Runa. The girls hurriedly made their way towards the house upon hearing the familiar call of the horn. In a rush, Frida concealed the cherished dog in a water bucket, covering it with a blanket.
"Stay hidden, at least for now," she whispered, planting a kiss atop the dog's head.


On a day unlike any other, the weight of guilt on Frida's countenance eluded Runa's usual perceptiveness. This singular day etched itself indelibly in her memory, destined to linger into her adult years. Frida, with hands soiled from toil, clandestinely placed a puppy in a pail under her bed in the shared girls' bedroom, returning somberly to the dining table. The once vibrant atmosphere, brimming with laughter and vitality, now hung eerily silent, punctuated only by the voracious consumption of butternut squash soup and dill bread.
Seated at the head and foot of the table were Frida's parents, their gazes no longer exuding admiration but rather harboring veiled resentments. In due course, Frida's father, Skuf, tentatively broke the silence.
"...You have prepared dinner masterfully, as always," he uttered, his voice laden with hesitation.
"Indeed? I had assumed you preferred dining at Anna's table," Runa retorted acerbically, her tone laden with implicit accusation.
Skuf swallowed hard, his discomfort palpable before responding, "No. I know where my loyalty lies."
"How reassuring. I had feared time might have eroded that loyalty..."
A fleeting expression of guilt flitted across his features. "You could never be a stranger to me, Runa."
"The sentiment is far from mutual." Runa's eyes flickered with a tinge of animosity as she rose from the table, her gravid belly lightly brushing against its edge as she distanced herself from him. Skuf, witnessing his wife's departure, hung his head in defeat before abruptly rising to pursue her. Meanwhile, Frida, disenchanted, left

When she reached out to stroke the dog behind its ears, she was met with coldness. The dog had passed away, simply slipping away in the night. Caught underneath the blanket it could not breathe or thrive there.
Filled with self-disgust and profound regret, she grabbed a bucket and dashed barefoot outside to the fields, weeping until her tears streaked her cheeks and her eyes flamed with sorrow. She sat in solitude, heartbroken, until the sound of light footsteps drew near — it was Uma.
"I would have tethered it to the pines with a rope myself," Uma remarked in a tactless manner, patting Frida's shoulder.
"Just because you're better at concealing your secrets doesn't make you wiser than me, Uma," Frida retorted to her younger sister, pointing a finger with biting acidity.
"No. It makes me ponder whether some individuals are destined to live within their secrets while others are fated to evade them," Uma expressed with remarkable depth for a nine-year-old, kneeling beside Frida.
"Fine," Frida responded, giving Uma a sideways glance that betrayed her bewilderment. She lacked the emotional maturity to process such profound statements at that moment.
Uma traced a life rune in the earth, a "Y" symbol with a line through it drawn upside down, then smeared earth on Frida's hands, linking them together.
"I wish I had your kindness," Uma confessed to Frida, who looked puzzled.
"You could," Frida chuckled, clearly perplexed.
"Some things are destined to remain unchanged. You embody light and purity," Uma affirmed, pressing her forehead affectionately against her sister's. "It's your essence, not mine. I'm aware of people's perceptions of me."
Frida, understanding, turned her head slightly, lacking a rebuttal.
"That's okay," Uma shrugged, offering a peculiar smile.
"Nature manifests in various forms. Death is a part of it," Uma indicated, gesturing toward the bucket. Reluctantly, Frida handed it over. Uma dug a shallow grave in the upturned soil with her bare hands, gently placing the blanket-wrapped dog within, covering it with care using twigs, thorns, and weeds. Once the task was completed, Uma approached Frida, sitting beside her and resting her head on her shoulder.
"This is my nature," Uma confessed with a heavy sigh. Frida remained silent, contemplative.
Under the moon's gentle glow illuminating the shallow grave, the two sisters sat on the earth, mourning a love that was never truly theirs, and grappling with the repercussions of living contrary to their inherent natures.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2024, 06:36:57 AM by TherapyCat »