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PostSubject: Berserker   May 22nd 2017, 1:55 pm

"I need you to do me a favor, Samuel." The Montriarch informed her manservant the moment he entered her study. He approached the antique desk she sat behind, but nearly stopped short when he noticed what she was holding in her hands.

"Please tell me you're not serious contemplating-"

She gave him a cold, somewhat harsh glare which was something she almost never did. "Several thousand years ago, I made a vow to protect the Human race, Samuel. By any means necessary, even if it meant sacrificing my own life. I will do whatever it takes to ensure it's survival. Trine has returned. He is a very real threat to not just Sanguine, but to the entire world. I need you to prepare the rooms."

He sighed softly, shoulders lowering in what was a gesture of defeat. "Very well, my Lady. How many rooms should I prepare?"

"All of them."

There was a grimace that passed his festures briefly before he expertly schooled it into an expressionless mask of indifference. "I will see to it at once."

"Thank you, Sam."

The moment he left the room, Draven sat back in her chair, the pad of her thumb brushing over the ancient metal of the oath bracelet, an ancient piece of her past. With the trinket in hand, the Montriarch slowly closed her eyes and breathed deep. Within seconds, a disorientated sensation washed over her. It was always that way when transporting yourself to another location. It took a great deal of power for the Dimensia to accomplish such a task, but for her it had become as easy as picking out a memory.

Norway, Uppsala

The first sign that alerted her to the change in her surroundings was the noise. Cheery voices reached her ears, speaking in a language she had not heard in centuries. She picked it up rather easily, almost as if her own thoughts were translating it into English. The hand carved wooden thrones had been blissfully empty. She had not known or expected them to be when she had transported herself here, nor would she have doubted if Ragnar would have cared if she had simply landed in his lap. She sat as casual as could be, her piercing green gaze just as watchful as they had been when she had first set foot here under the guise of Ragnild. Her lithe frame was enveloped in black leather from nearly head to toe, seeming to blend seamlessly together. Her left leg was crossed over the right in a gesture that was both feminine and seductive. Her right arm rested against the raven carved into the arm of the throne when her left was bent at the elbow, fingers toying absently with the oath bracelet in her grasp.

"Valfǫðr." (Valfothr, Father of the Slain, Odin) It had become a nickname, a pet name of sorts between Draven and Ragnar. The power of the blood in her voice carried it over the music and jovial celebration. Almost immediately, everything quieted. The noise dropped so suddenly that she could heart each heartbeat of those that were still human that had joined the gathering here. Hundreds of eyes turned in her direction, glimpsing the Montriarch seated on the throne of their own King.

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 22nd 2017, 3:47 pm

Ragnar barely noticed the roaring party all around him. His hand held firm to a mug of blood tainted mead, the sounds of jovial celebration was a common occurrence here. The Úlfhéðnar were known to continue a feast well into the morning and afternoon. Though Ragnar rarely found himself in the limelight during such events. Mainly the reserved observer, meandering about sharp blue eyes that tend to betray that rumor of barbarism. Maintaining a well trained eye on his people, and their interactions with the humans. The Úlfhéðnar could easily underestimate their strength with those who had come to admire, to serve, and some even looking for the gift to be bestowed upon them.

Tonight was quiet, his charges did well to maintain that almost bestial nature that resided just beneath the surface. A boiling pit of unadulterated rage just yearning to be released on the first one foolish enough to cross an Úlfhéðnar. The cup was brought to his lips and a small sip was taken. For so long they had remained here in the mountains where they belonged, where a twinge of winter could still be felt on a summer's eve. This is where they belonged, it was their way, and if was the safest place for them to be; for the sake of others.

They were warriors, they were not clandestine. They were not meant for precision, they were the hammer striking down upon the anvil, forging peace by brute force. So at the behest of the Montriarch, and for the Olde ways they remained. Ragnar had always thirsted for knowledge, it had been one of his many driving influences when he had warred his way through Europe. So long they had remained here, Ragnar was getting a sense of cabin fever, he wanted to see what the world had become, and now there had been something more, a sense of dread in the air. The smell of danger in the ozone. Some would find pause in this, a nervousness. It certainly made Ragnar anxious, he was ready for the world to come crashing down. A reason to let that Rage loose.

Imagine then his surprise, when a visitor had found her way to his throne. He had felt it before the other's did. The tingling on the back of his neck, a familiar flare of excitement. Blue eyes had already peeled away from the bottom of his cup staring past the hundreds of bodies in his way, to where his throne sat; occupied.

"Valkyrja" Ragnar responded. His own pet name for her, what better for the woman who carried him past death's door, and delivered him into his own personal Valhalla, where he and his chosen trained for the day they were needed. The Viking's eyes slid down to the oath ring she had between her fingers. Lips pulling back into a slight smirk. Cup was lifted once more and drained of its contents, before he turned, and started making his way back to the throne. The room was still in utter silence.

"It has been some time since you last visit... So long that you have brought awe to my warriors." He turned to face the gawking masses, arms spread to the side to insinuate the whole mass before them. He turned again, stepping onto the raised platform that made sure the throne was visible from anywhere in the large hall. The masses seemed to begin drinking once again, the the octave had certain fallen many levels, and now words were spoken in silence, hushed queries on what her visit could mean.

"I was beginning to think that you had forgotten me, Ragnild." There was a slight humor to his tone. His hands reached down gripping at the arms of his own throne. The Viking leaning in close in overt fashion. "What brings you to my hall, Fair one? Have you come seeking the nostalgia of olden times? No... Perhaps... You have come missing the furs of my bed?" Smirk seemed only to widen at his own brazen words. "Or has Ragnarok finally come?"
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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 22nd 2017, 4:07 pm

They both knew she allowed him to approach her. With a wave of her finger, she would have easily swatted him aside, Berserker or not. That had never been the way things were between them, however. They had always been...acclimated to each other. Often finishing a sentence or a train of thought before it was voiced. Her eyes moved about the room, taking in Ragnar's warriors as he mentioned them. Some she recognized, others she did not and there were faces of those she were hoping to see and yet were not there.

When the Viking moved closer, crowding into her personal space and placed a hand upon each arm of his throne, Draven merely tilted her head back, settling it back against the fur that blanketed the wood beneath her.

"One can never forget you, Ragnar."  She answered in a slightly hushed tone, though her words were loud enough for his keen ears to hear. His commentary about her missing the furs of his bed merely caused a corner of her mouth to twitch in her own gesture of a smirk. Still full of himself as she remembered. "Oh, aye, though I think you have that backwards, Ragnar." She countered with a sensual purr so that the R's of his name rolled off her tongue with ease. "I think perhaps it has you that has missed the warmpth of my touch in the furs of your bed."

The Montriarch trailed the cool metal of the oath bracelet over the taunt skin of his right forearm, her eyes locking with the fasceted blue of his. "I am calling the Bloodline for aid, Ragnar. There is a threat that seeks to destroy what I hold dear. He will stop at nothing to harm those I care about, both Human and Immortal alike. I find myself at an empasse. I feel almost empty."

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 23rd 2017, 6:42 pm

Ragnar knew quite well the capabilities that Draven had at her disposal. He had seen the extent of it before. During the Vampiress' darker days. He had accepted her then, just as he accepted her now. He had made an oath, and the Úlfhéðnar's word was resolute. He had come to know her well, and she knew him better than he knew himself at times. A bond that even the great sway of time had not been able to fell.

Ragnar's gaze was transfixed on her, even when she leaned back, her head tilting against the fur backing of his throne. Though he didn't lean in any further, this proximity was good; for now. That light smirk returning as she began to speak. From her hushed response of he being unforgettable, to the sly response to his own lewd comment. A brief escape of air past his lips, the soft conception, and death of a laugh. "I do not think I could refute such truths, Valkyrja. " Grip on the arms of his thrown tightened, causing the wood to groan and creak under his grip, strengthened by vampiric grace. "I certainly missed the sound of mine name, slipping from your tongue." Tone took an almost bestial tone to it, wolfish in nature.

Though attention turned as he felt the cold touch of metal to his forearm, glancing down upon it. He knew it could only mean one thing. War. Silence over came the Viking, staring down upon the intricacies of twisted metal, and copper ends shaped into wolves heads. His smile widened as he looked back to her. Eyes alight with something... Dangerous.  There was no fear, nor worry; but excitement. "Then I shall shatter my way through this impasse... As for this empty feeling." He stood up, stepping away from her. Feet carrying him backwards, his gaze still on her until her turned, gazing over his compatriots who fell silent once again.

"The Montriarch has come calling! Not for the pleasantries of Sombel, nor to hear the tales of old. A monster encroaches upon the kingdom she holds dear. On those she holds dear..." Ragnar paused for a moment, dramatic effect that was met again with that unnerving silence. Then Ragnar held up his arm, holding the oath ring she had placed upon his arm. "So now, she calls for the wolves!" That moment the silence was broken by the sound of men howling like rabid dogs, War Cries screamed, and echoing through the ancient hall. Ragnar turned now to face Draven, picking up to mead horns from the table. Holding one out to the Montriarch. That same dangerous look in his eyes that seemed to bore into her own ethereal stare, with one burning question. Are you empty now?
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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 23rd 2017, 7:42 pm

The howls of the Úlfhéðnar was like music to her ears. She was one of the last living decendents of a culture that predated the Vikings. Her people had essentially been the ancestors of them, had paved the way for the traditions and beliefs that they still held dear. The Montriarch had not been born as Draven, nor as Ragnild. Both names she had adopted when the time had come for her to shed her old paths and begin a new one. As the cacophony of howls reached it's zenith, she closed her eyes as it brought a memory of her past to the surface.

Vigdis could feel each sharp and agonizing tear of the blade against her skin, but despite the pain it caused her, she would not give them the satisfaction of vocalizing it in a scream. Her nails bit into the palms of her hands even though they were bound tightly at the wrists, supported by makeshift wooden supports. Her arms were spread wide, like the wings of a great bird. At some point, the pain had shifted, becoming cold rather than hot as it grew in intensity. Fine tremors made her fingers twitch, but she still didn't utter a sound. Brokk leaned forward, the grizzly bear of a man dwarfing her smaller frame. His gutteral voice growled in her ear as the so called Berserker spoke a few taunting words.

"The Gods do not favor you, Vigdis. You will scream for mercy before I am done."

She took a shallow, shuddering breath, even as she felt her own flesh being peeled back. Blood ran down her skin like a macabre river to pool beneath her in a crimson hued pool.

"I will not give you the satisfaction." Defiant to the end. Perhaps that was what had caused Brokk to betray her to begin with, to turn her own people against her. It mattered not, for the Gods knew the truth and would be waiting for her on the other side.


How true that had been. She had been marked at birth, sporting a rare trait that some had seen as an omen. An omen which had been divinded almost equally between good and bad. Her left eye had been a brilliant blue while the other had been a rich earthy brown. Her mother had always said she had been touched by Odin himself.

When the howling died down and the music began to play once again, the Montriarch finally opened her eyes and glanced up at Ragnar who stood before her once again, this time holding out an ornate drinking horn made from blackened bone. She took it graciously and almost immediately brought it to her lips. Though she had become a nomad, a wanderer there had always been two places she felt at home the most, Sanguine and here among her own kin. The moment they had accepted her call for aid, it was almost as if a great weight had been lifted off of her shoulders.

"Though I know you have always had a great dislike for him, I thought it privy that you knew Dasani has been killed. Upon his return from the other side, Trine killed him and Radraven as a message for me." Draven explained loud enough so he heard her over the symphony of sound. "He took their heads." She continued softly, but her fingers holding the horn were anything but. They tightened around the bone hard enough that it shattered, splattering blood laced mead down her left arm. There was that Rage that Ragnar and his kin were known for, boiling just beneath the surface. The Montriarch just needed to find a way to unleash it. Her calm demeanor, and perhaps her memories of the Berserkers of old prevented her from fully embracing it.

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 23rd 2017, 8:40 pm

Ragnar watched her as eyes had slid closed, reminiscing to the sound of the Úlfhéðnar issuing their bloody war cries. He knew not the memories she pondered upon, but he had known for sometime that her time on this world had been long. To a time all but forgotten by most, all that was left were stories of dark times, and those that had come before them. Those that had paved a path of blood, and conflict, that the Vikings soon followed upon. When her eyes finally opened, he was there holding out the drinking horn. Letting her drink to her content, and listening silently as she spoke of what this new enemy had done. Trine, he had heard the name before.

The Viking King's eyes snapped to her hand as the horn crumbled beneath her malice, splashing the red stained mead down her arm, and blackened bone went scattering across the floor. It was true, he had never liked Dasani, purely selfish reasons. He had always yearned for the Montriarch, since the first day she had walked into his Hall as Raginhild, and saved him from the treachery of the King who held the mantle before him. That desire, that love had never died. Ragnar's hand reached out, taking her mead stained hand in his. He'd try to urge her to her feet, and if she complied, the brazen king took his throne, and would motion to guide her into his lap. Ragnar would stare out over his compatriots.

"You are right, I disliked Dasani, but I understood what he meant to you, and to take Radraven..."

The Montriarch's Rage, he could feel it, he didn't fear it, and he understood her pain. Yet, it brought a thrill to him. This driving sensation to witness the violence that was sure to ensue.

"Gaze upon them, Ragnhild... Your people... Our people. This slight against you, it will be paid back to Trine, ten fold; we will aid you, we will finally step foot into Sanguine.We will protect what you hold sacred, and you, you will take your vengeance with your own hands. I can feel your rage. I know it exists, and you supress it. It's time now, time to allow yourself to feed from it."

Ragnar's eyes closed, his head leaning in. Eyes closed as he slowly inhaled, nostrils flaring as he took in that familiar scent.
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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 24th 2017, 2:47 pm

She allowed him to pull her into his lap, moving almost as if she was a puppet on strings, but both of them knew she was far from it. Those of the Úlfhéðnar watched over the rims of their horns, their eyes flashing a blazing silver as they reflected the torchlight that lit the hall. Though it appeared as if they were stuck in the Old Ways, their attire was more modern. Leathers, mostly with the occasional pair of jeans. They reminded her of that TV show Sons of Anarchy. Tough, brutal, aggressive but there was a protectiveness in them, a gentle side that was shown mostly through their actions rather than words. The Montriarch took in each face, but when her eyes latched onto the brute of a man at the back of the Hall, she stiffened, even as Ragnar's arms slid around her waist. She would certainly know him anywhere for he had been the instrument of her destruction and her creation. She turned her head towards the Viking King beneath her, a single dark brow arching upwards in an unspoken question; almost as if to say: "And what is he doing here?".

Without waiting for an answer, the Vampiress stood, fingers lingering for a brief moment on Ragnar's arm as they slid away from him. She moved with precision and grace, hips swaying almost as if she was intentionally using her movements to seduce and enthrall. All eyes followed her movements as she walked by the long table, the tip of her red mead stained finger trailing lightly over it's wooden edge.

"I see that the centuries have not been all that kind to you,, Brokk." Draven taunted, ensuring that her voice carried well over the music. Several people peeled back away from the large man with both amusement and awe as they watched the much smaller Montriarch approach.


They both knew it was a comment meant to get under his skin. He still looked as he did when he had betrayed her.

"Vigdis." He replied, his deep voice showing only a hint of surprise. He had not seen her since she had forcefully embraced him into this life. She had been brought back from death to exact revenge on those that had wronged her. In her rage, she had slaughtered their entire village. There was no man, woman or child who was spared her wrath. Not even him. For him she had saved a special torment. She had embraced him, made him like her just so he could watch as she slowly tortured his family to death. Starting with his children and ending with his wife.

"Vigdis died centuries ago. She was killed by your hand, Brokk."

A grimace flashed across his features. Was he finally showing remorse for all he had subjected her to? Perhaps, but which one of them would be the first to put this fued aside? They were both far too proud and far too stubborn.

"You branded her a traitor. Pushed the blame for your misdeeds, your lies onto my shoulders. I paid for the crimes you should have been tried for. Your hand brandished me with the Blood Eagle when it should have been you!" Those piercing green eyes flashed silver and without warning, without thinking, Draven lashed out. Her daintly fingers with their claw like nails gripped the larger man's throat and dug in. Dark blood immediately trickled down her hand and over her arm. Her lips pulled back from her teeth in a snarl as she forcefully slammed Brokk against one of the large wooden beams. It splintered with the force, chunks of wood embedding into the muscled expanse of his back as she swung him around as if he were a rag doll. With one hand she picked him up and threw him onto the table, uncaring if he landed in the middle of the feast. She let go momentarily, only to dig her nails into the underside of his chin. With another inhuman growl, she dragged the seven foot tall warrior down the table's length.

"You are to show your face here?" The Montriarch snapped.

Brokk grabled a response, but with her fingers digging into his trachea, it was hard to get the words out.

"You mudered my family." He managed to croak out, but those words only seemed to fuel her anger. With a nearl feral scream of rage, Draven leapt up onto the table, crouching like a deadly predator over him. Her face was inches from his own, eyes blazing red and sinister.

"And you murdered me!" She hooked her fingers beneath the skin. There was no use of Magick just sheer brutality as she ripped the flesh from his face. Blood splattered in a harsh arc, covering her face in a crimson hued mist and splashing over those who stood close enough to witness the carnage.

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 24th 2017, 8:39 pm

Ragnar had been pleased as she had allowed him to guide her into his lap. A light smirk upon barbaric features. He had just been getting comfortable, snaking arms around her when he felt the tension in her forms, and the look in her eyes as she turned to glare at him. His own brow quirked as he followed her gaze to the man that had caught her attention. He had known the man briefly, a vampire who had entered his halls looking for Sanctuary. Brokk had been his name. He returned the woman's glance and was about to offer this information, but soon the Montriarch was up, and pacing like a wolf on the prowl towards the brutish man. Part of him was dismayed, he had just succeeded in settling her into his lap. The other part? He felt something in her at that moment, there it was, already the top to the kettle was rumbling as the Rage in her began to boil over. Eyes widened, watching as men twice her size quickly stepped out of her way. Who was this man? What had he done? He didn't care, whatever it was... It was exactly what Draven needed. A catalyst to awaken what he knew resided within her. The very gift that she had offered to him.

Ragnar sat forward in his throne, eyes wide as he watched the spectacle began, even from here he could her every word. He called her Vigdis, a name she had never mentioned, though he had learned some time ago that the Montriarch's monikers could fill a tome all on it's own. It was escalating, and as Draven spoke the Wolves around her began to swarm, filling behind as they would their alpha. Ragnar grinned, and stood then. Whistling loudly, and when the Úlfhéðnar looked back to Ragnar, a slight hand gesture told them to stand down, and stand down they did. Draven didn't require the pack to descend upon her prey. In fact, this was something she needed to do. Ragnar slowly came forward, all the while silently goading the Montriarch on, even if she could not see the excited flare in his blue eyes. Yes, that's it... Let it free Ragnhild The thought swirling in his mind like a violent tempest, and as per the norm; Draven did not disappoint.

Brokk soon found himself smashing into a pillar hard enough to snap it like a dead tree in a gale force wind. The ceiling above them crumbling with pieces of mortar falling to the floor. Ragnar stopped there, watching within the audience as the Mother of them all lifted the brute and smashed him onto the table as if he weighed as much as a feather. Smirk widened as she drug him down it's length, stopping just before him, as if he knew that was exactly where she would stop. The crimson in her eyes, it had been some time since he had seen her with the Úlfhéðnar's stare... Eyes red with malice. The quick jerk of her arm, sprayed crimson heavenwards, casting it across Ragnar's face; he didn't flinch. His eyes closed, and for the briefest of moments he reveled in it. Until he was stepping up and onto the bench, kneeling down her drew in closer to her, offering the faceless vampire a brief side glance before he was whispering in Draven's ear.

"And you always wondered where my Rage came from..." His tone was amused, and almost sensual in it's execution. His hand was slipping behind his back, grabbing the shaft of one of his axes, and sliding it out of his belt. His free hand would take the wrist of her hand that was not hindered by the gore stricken remains of the Vampire's face. Slowly, he'd slip the axe into her fingers, urging her to take hold. "Don't stop now, don't call the wolf off... Embrace it, Valkyrja. Let him pay homage to the fury he has created." He was goading her, he knew what war meant, what Draven may have to do to protect what she held dear. The Montriarch was a beautiful, dangerous and ever fatal rose, and it was time for her to blossom.
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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 25th 2017, 2:49 pm

The fingers of her ungored hand closed briefly over the handle of the axe Ragnar pressed into her grip. Her gaze flicked down to it briefly but she disregarded it, tossing it with a flick of her wrist. It spun end over end until it stuck with a loud thunk dead center at the top of the high back of the wooden throne.

"I don't need a fucking axe, Ragnar." The Montriarch all but snarled. "That would be to good of a punishment. She tilted her head slightly, the blood that painted the lower half of her face making it seem like she had eaten Brokk's face. The larger man attempted to buck her off him and raise his hands towards his now ruined visage, but she casually slapped his hands aside as if she was swatting a child for attempting to touch a hot stove. "Hmm, no, Brokk. I know of a vastly more fitting punishment."

She raised her head faintly, red eyes searching out for Jar, Ragnar's right hand. The moment she spotted him, she gave the subtlest of gestures with blood stained fingers. "Bring him outside the temple. He will serve as an offering to the Gods. I declare him a Blood Eagle."

Jar and another man she had not met grabbed both of Brokk's arms and hauled the bleeding Vampire up off the table. Draven watched with an almost calm detachment as they dragged the yelling brute away.

"I trust you still have the blades I gave you?" She asked Ragnar, finally turning her still red eyes in his direction.

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 30th 2017, 11:57 pm

Ragnar watched as the weapon spun end over axe head before biting deep into the top of his throne. He glanced towards it with a slight scoff.

"Centuries... I have kept that throne pristine, you are here but a moment, and now it has an axe at it's mantle, and they call me the Destroyer." The Norseman spoke with a sense of humor to his words. "Fine, no axe." A concession that seemed to stem more from his curiosity than fealty. Her anger was apparent, but unlike most who had taken Ragnar's gift. She had complete control of it, she wasn't blinded by her rage, more it was fueling this vindictive mental state of hers; he loved it.

Whatever reason this one-called-Trine had crawled back from past the veil of death, and declared war upon Sanguine, and Draven. Ragnar would ensure she was ready to end it. Attention returned to the moment, she had deemed a more worthy punishment for the burly one named Brokk. Inquisitive brow quirked, and his head even gave a slight tilt to the side. Almost wolf like in nature. Blood Eagle That is what she had proposed for him.

"That I do."

He stated simply, sly grin upon his features as he slipped back towards his throne. Hand reached out to snatch his axe from the top of the high backed chair. Slipping it back into his belt. Letting the axe blade act as a hook to keep it in place. Ragnar kneeled down afterwards, pulling from below the throne. A wolf pelt roll, held tightly by three leather bands. He'd make his way back to the Montriarch, holding the roll out to her.

"You could have done it, with the axe."

Stated in humored tone. Ragnar would wait for her to take the wolf pelt roll.

"Just as they were given to me, sharp, and well oiled. May they serve you well, Ragnhild."
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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   May 31st 2017, 6:18 pm

No, not just any old blade. Nor an axe. It had to be these blades for they had been the very same ones that Brokk had used on her. With blood stained fingers she removed the wolf pelt that had been carefully wrapped around them.

"These blades had been used on me by Brokk himself." The Montriarch explained softly, almost calmly. "You know of my lengthy past, Ragnar, but you do not know of how I came to be what I am now. I have always avoided that answer anytime someone asked."

She carefully slid the ancient knives from their careful protective barrier and held them aloft. The blades were still as sharp as they had been several thousands years ago. "Brokk was, by all appearances, a happily married man with children. I had been promised to the Jarl, but Brokk had other plans for me." Draven paused, running the tip of a blood stained nail over the edge of one of the blades. "His wife had taken the children to visit Uppsala. He had stayed behind to tend to the Jarl. Brokk cornered me as I was making my way to the long hall. He took me to the stables and he raped me."

She finally turned her gaze up to Ragnar, the red in them seeming to glow brighter by the second. "Before I could speak to the Jarl of what had happened, Brokk had convinced him that I had come onto him. He was good with manipulating others and had managed to get nearly the entire village behind him, supporting him. I was judged for his betrayal and trechery. My punishment was to be strung up for all to see. Displayed as my back was sliced open to the bone. My ribs were removed by axe and my lungs were pulled up and out over my shoulders like the wings of a great eagle. If I screamed or begged for mercy, the Gods would not permit me to enter Valhalla."

She grew silent as she rewrapped the blades, holding them nearly to her chest as she closed her eyes against the phantom pains of the memory.

"I can not begin to describe the sheer agony, the humiliation of every eye watching you with anger that should not have been directed at you in the first place." The Montriarch took a shuddering breath and let it out slowly as she reopened her eyes. "I died that night. I remember a vast darkness so thick that it was almost palpable. Then there was a light so bright and sudden I thought for a moment I had survived. But the man I saw before me assured me I had not. Odin. The All Father himself stood before large golden doors. Beside him, Freya fanned by a small army of her Valkyries. I was in awe and I dropped to my knees before them."

Her arms clutched the fur wrapped parcel even tighter to her chest. "They were horrified at my mistreatment for I was one of Freya's blessed. She had gifted me at birth. I had been born with an eye of the Earth and an eye of the Sea. One brown, the other blue. She had said that I had been meant for greatness, that she had picked me as her heir for commanding her legion of Valkyries. My unexpected death had not changed that, but it had changed the plans. They gave me a choice. Join them in Valhalla where I would feast until my heart's content, or return to the world of the living to command their warriors."

"Seeing the rage burning inside me, Odin smiled. He knew of my decision even before I did. With a clack of his spear upon the ground, I was thrown back to my body. The blood that had pooled beneath me and had dried to a congealing mass liquified. It was as if my body soaked it back up like a spongue. One by one, my lungs inflated and slid back where they belonged. My ribs snapped back into place and my flesh reknitted. The first breath I took of my rebirth, I screamed. Not with pain, but with rage. So much anger and hatred that I was blinded. I blacked out and the next thing I knew, the entire village lay slaughtered at my feet. Brokk was still alive, almost as if my instincts knew I had wanted to save him for last. Only, I had a much better idea than to simply kill him. Death would be to great of a reward for what he had done to me. Instead I turned him, acting on pure instinct. I made him into what I was so that as the long years passed him by, he would remember. He would live with the knowledge that he had caused this."

Her eyes opened and they locked onto Ragnar. "Death is still too good for him. Perhaps I am hung up on revenge. It has been centuries since then, many centuries and I do not regret what I have built for our people. I regret not being able to live a normal life as these mortals do. I value their mortality, for it is something I can never have again. We covet what we want most."

------

The rhythmic drumming seemed to vibrate through the very air, creating an atmosphere that was almost ritualistic. Beneath the very bowels of modern Uppsala, hidden far below the earth was an ancient and almost forgotten temple. Carved from the earth and stone. Wooden statues depicting the Old Gods stood proud in a circle with Odin at the very center. Just before the large statue of the All Father, a dias had been constructed, carved from a large tree and formed into a well sized platform. Jar had brought in wooden supports in which they had tied Brokk to, both his arms secured to them and held out wide. The Montriarch wore a simple robe of white tied securely around her lithe frame. Her feet were bare as she walked across the temple and stepped up onto the dias. Torches flickered around the entire perimeter, casting shadows dancing among the earthen walls.

No words would need to be spoken. Everyone here was Vampire, not one mortal would be present for this. There would be whispers, rumors of their barbaric customs, but they would be brushed under the rug just as swiftly as the whispers started. The blades had been meticiously cleaned and placed on a small wooden log just beside Brokk's strung up form. For centuries she had been waiting for this moment.

This is not necessary, Draven.

She knew that voice. Her gaze quickly snapped up and scanned the crowd. There, just as the back stood Dasani. Grief swamped over her. He was dead, wasn't he? They had confirmed his body had been among the remains of the European Council.


Her eyes closed briefly as she reached out and gripped onto one of the knives with a trembling hand.

Mother, please. Don't do this.


Sweet Radraven. The Montriarch's eyes shifted to her beloved daughter who stood behind the image of her father. Were they really here or just some spiritual manifestation of her doubts?

I must.

Why? What does this prove? You are better than this.

Her fingers tightened on the handle of the blade and with her free hand, she reached up to slide Brokk's hair over one of his shoulders.

But I am not. This is what I am, what I have always been. I am not Human. I can't be Human, not even for you.

Her eyes opened against the assault of emotions and before she could let their words influence her actions, Draven sliced into the flesh of the man's back.

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   June 4th 2017, 8:10 pm

Ragnar had known those blades had not been meant for battle, they were too small, honed to a razors edge instead of a sturdier edge meant to take the brunt of biting through armor. No these had a more vicious purpose. A ritual meant for the disgraced seeking a place of honor. As the wolf pelt had been handed to her. There was that look in her eyes, he had seen it before. Gazing out from the abyss of an ancient battle field.

The sounds of battle raged around them. The clashing of swords, the bashing of shields and the meaty clunk of flesh being cleaved. It was almost as if she was moving to some inner rhythm, some beat of war drums that only she could hear. Ragnild moved with precision and grace. Each gestured was so fluid, it was almost as if it had become a dance. A dance of war and death. She held an axe in each hand as she expertly deflected an incoming swing of a sword. She pivoted on her opposing heel and whipped around, bringing the blade of the other axe around with her. As she turned, cleanly slicing the throat of the Englishman before her, Ragnar caught sight of her from where he stood across the field. The Tracker stood alone in near dead center of the encampment. A little of bodies lay strewn at her feet, but that wasn't what had caught his attention. No. It had been her near god-like grace with the battle itself. She had single handedly taken out an entire troop. He had nearly panicked when he saw her surrounded, but by the time any of them could reach her, it would have already been too late. But he had never expected this. She wasn't just a Tracker. She was a Valkyrie, a Goddess of War and Destruction.

She must have caught sight of him, or perhaps she felt the intensity of his piercing gaze on her, for she turned directly in his direction. Blood painted the lower half of her face, stark crimson against the paleness of her flesh and for a moment, Ragnar could swear she wasn't Human. She looked to be a Goddess of Death, but the image quickly faded. The blood, however, did not and he noticed it not only covered the lower half of her mouth but stained her neck as well, almost as if she had dipped her hand into a bucket of blood and painted herself with the gore of her enemies


The memory was still vivid, it had been after that moment that she had gone to visit him upon that rock, where he sat cloaked in bear furs.

You are not of this world, are you?

He had known then. He had asked for this gift, and he never looked back, there was no regrets of unending life. The life of his sons had come, and gone. Each one had found glory in their own way. He had been freed from the binds of a loveless union. Instead, he had done just that, until she had gone, leaving the empire that had built in Uppsala, to create her own kingdom to the west in a new world. Why hadn’t he gone? A question that had brought him great conflict. She had changed much since then, as he had. Enduring others taking their place at her side, and each one of them disappointing her.

The Norseman listened intently as she spoke a tale he had never heard, one he had asked her before, and she would never speak of. This man, had been a cause of great grief, and in the end, she had chosen to return to have her vengeance, she took much, and even now she was right to wish this retribution. Though the question remained. Was she still that Goddess of Death? Destruction once was her ethos, a warrior with an insatiable desire to kill, but centuries had now been spent creating, protecting.

You stood before the gates of Valhalla, and Folkvangar, and you chose to return? It was for more than vengeance, or to command. You were not ready to Midgard, and look at what you have accomplished. This was not because of Brokk, he does not deserve accreditation for what you have done. He was merely the catalyst. The spark to ignite the flame.

Ragnar would say no more, following her quietly down into the subterranean temple. The atmosphere was tense, the crowd had come to see blood, and Draven seemed quite ready to give them what they desired. At this place in front of the gods. The sensation was palpable. Ragnar followed her onto the dais. Before everyone, and the bound Brokk, prepared for the ritual. Wolfish blues watched on, almost devoid of emotion. That all changed when he saw Draven, in that moment she had faltered. Hesitation, he could see her hand quivering as it took upon the battle. He understood at that moment.

Why she had left, why he had not come. She wanted more than power, and blood. Normalcy wasn’t something she could have, so instead she protected those who had that gift. Gave them a chance to live without the chance of it being taken. It was why she had finally come, knowing what she was willing to risk protecting that. Scream havoc, and let slip the Dogs of War. That old Roman saying slipped into his mind. Ragnar didn’t hesitate. Stepping forward and taking her wrist, just as blade began to pierce the flesh. He stepped in close to her, his head slipping against hers. Lips lingering close to her hear.

Don’t do this.” Ragnar whispered to her. Still trying to pull the knife away from Brokk’s skin, and if able to reach with his other hand, to take the knife from her hand. “This is not who you are anymore, Ragnhild… I was wrong to think this is what you must do to defeat the coming storm… No, that is why you have called on me.” The knife released, he’d cut the bindings hold Brokk up, the large man falling face first into the stage. Ragnar stepped forward.

What would become of you… Of Sanguine if you allowed yourself to revert to what you once were? Would that will to protect remain? Would you still know compassion?

Ragnar was stepping forward, as the other had started to pull himself up onto his knees. Ragnar dropped the knife. His arms began to tense, and the curvature of the muscular frame drew flesh taut against it. He had stepped in front of Draven hiding the changing hue of his eyes, that stark blue tainted by a seeping crimson bleeding into the irises. Glowing with that ethereal rage.

No… Your rage… It was passed upon to me. To your wolf, centuries ago.

The Viking king reached down, fingers slipping into the raven locks of Brokk’s hair, harshly jerking  him to his feet. The man turned on the shorter Ragnar, and brought about a burly fist that hand connected with enough for to shatter his jaw, and rock his head to the side. Ragnar lurched, before slowly returning his gaze back to Brokk. Jaw unhinged quickly seeming to snap back together just as the Norseman released a blood curdling war cry. His body slammed forward with inhuman strength. Arms wrapping around Brokk and the two flew off the stage and hit the hard compacted dirt with a dull, unceremonious thud. Ragnar scrambled and glowered over Brokk, fingers clenched into fists, the motion causing the resounding cracking as his knuckles took on the strain. Ragnar’s arm shot out, slamming into the man’s already disfigured face. Blood and gore splattering across Ragnar’s form as the force of the hit decimated facial structure. The other arm, alright primed to strike, slammed down not a moment after. Again, and again fists shot back and forward in a slow, repetitive fashion. All the while Ragnar’s blood splattered face was contorted into a visage of unadulterated rage. He kept swinging until the only response from Brokk was the twitch of the body as every strike hit. When Ragnar had finally stopped, where Brokk’s head had once been, there was only a pile of gore, smashed into the dirt. His only movement was only the occasional twitch of the booted foot, as nerves fired, and waited for a returned response, that never came. Ragnar’s chest heaved with every raged filled breath, and in one last anger fueled reaction, the carcass was kicked into a fire pit. Sending sparks and logs flying, causing the audience to back away significantly, letting what was left; burn.

Slowly, Ragnar seemed to phase out of that rage, coming back only to hear the silence that had befallen the temple. He turned then, glancing up to Draven, his front covered in blood, and fragments of bone, and grey matter. A wicked smile curling across blood stained lips. He could only wonder, if it had been like that day. The day he gazed across that ancient battle field, at the Goddess of Death that had remained.
It is done… Let that past be nothing more than a memory.

Ragnar stepped back up onto the platform where she stood. Walking closer, stopping just in front of her.

I am your rage, I am your beast, and we are your wolves. I should have come with you long ago, but I did not see then what you saw… My pride, and my unwillingness to change, costed me greatly; it cost me you. No more… Your wolves are ready to leave these mountains, it is time that we… That I rejoin your world.
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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   June 5th 2017, 2:05 pm

Sanguine and Ragnar? Oh, what an interesting combination that would make. The Montriarch was silent for so long that a palpable tension hung in the air. At first, her peridot eyes flicked over each face before they finally settled on Ragnar. She stared at him, into those ethereal blue eyes for another long moment. She nearly became as still as a statue, standing in virtually the same spot she had been when he had taken the blade from her hand. Blood had splattered her white robe in a very fine mist, but otherwise she had been spared the gore.

"There is nothing that I would not do to protect the Humans, but it is not just the Humans I am willing to throw everything away to save. It is Sanguine. The very safe have I have built for all the preternatural kind. It is a place where everyone can go to be free. Where they can live without fear of betrayal or judgement. At least no judgement until the Laws are broken. I have put my blood, my sweat, my tears, my heart and what is left of my soul into ensuring it's safety. I will not sit idle while my Children go to war. I am War, Ragnar, and I will defend it to the end.

Draven finally moved, standing at the edge of the dias. She turned her gaze onto the warriors behind their King. There was another long pause, another gap of silence but there was less tension in this one and more anticipation.

"Ready your ships. You leave for Sanguine in two days time." Though she could teleport, the Montriarch would not be able to teleport everyone. Even that would be too much for her.

She felt a presence at her back and turned to glance over her shoulder. Dasani and Radraven stood, framed by the flickering light of the torches. Their expressions were nearly peaceful as they watched her and though she was still filled with grief, her heart was just a tad bit lighter.

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   June 10th 2017, 2:44 pm

Ragnar's lips curled back into sly grin, so many years ago she had offered him a similar choice. To go with her to create this haven. He had turned her down, argued vehemently for her to stay here in Uppsala where his kingdom had been growing, but what she created there, could have never flourished here. Centuries he had spent, sitting in the shadows, and biting cold of the mountains, only hearing word of what she had created, those who had taken a place at her side. Even when she left, he had promised to always come to her aid in time of need, and it had never happened. Not until now. Her command was met with a silent nod.

The Norse King glanced over his shoulder, at the now burning corpse of Brokk. Wolfish blues shooting up to the crowd around them, the Úlfhéðnar glancing between their King and the Montriarch.

"Well, you heard her... Ready the ships. "

Two days later...

Ragnar stood on the deck of one of the many ancient ships. It had been sometime since he had sailed, it didn't hold the same feeling to it, the adventure was lost on him. Navigation was easy, what lied beyond the waves was what gave him that new sense of wonder. He knew much about Sanguine. He heard stories, often from Draven herself. Now he would see it first hand. This kingdom she had created, a kingdom now threatened by a being who had transcended from the depths of Hel to return to this world, an abomination. Something strong.

The thought brought something to the Viking's facial features, not fear, and anxiousness, nor a sense of trepidation. No, it was Serendipitous. How he had stagnated, and for too long now. It was time to  emulsify the old with the new, to become what he should have been years ago. His eyes turned to the side, glancing down the row of ships, ancient in their design, and having withstood the passage of time. He was sure this would be their last journey. To carry the wolves to their new home. All that was missing now, was the montriarch.
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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   June 10th 2017, 3:57 pm

The ships, all unique and beautiful in design had instilled both wonder and fear into the hearts of those who had glimpsed their sails along the horizon. She remembered well the times she had accompanied Ragnar and his ban of warriors, searching for riches in strange and foreign lands. Lanterns hung from the ornate bows. Several of his Vampires sat behind the large oars. Their rowing power during the night would allow them to cut the time nearly in half until the Humans took over for the duration of daylight. She stood on the dock, watching for a moment as supplies were stored and secured to the streamline vessel. Upon her shoulder was one of Ragnar's Ravens that had seemed to have clamored to her almost the moment she had arrived in Uppsala. The Viking King had mumbled something like "traitor" to the black feathered creature. Both the Montriarch and the bird turned their heads in unison when he shouted an order to one of his men. Almost instantly, the Vampire snapped to attention. Surprising in a way considering their normally aggressive and brutal nature.

Draven stroked the bird once with her opposing hand before she stepped off the dock and onto the boat. The looks that passed her way were filled with both surprise and awe. Perhaps they had assumed she would have simply teleported back to Sanguine instead of accompanying them on this long voyage and for a while, she had considered it. But to be honest with herself, she had missed this ban of Berserkers.

"I trust you were not going to leave without me, Ragnar." She announced her presence softly, and since all conversation had ceased the moment she had stepped on board the ship, she knew she was easily heard.

"You are not teleporting back?" Jar inquired almost cautiously and his words seemed to almost die out the moment her piercing gaze locked onto him.

"Now why would I want to do that when I have the fine company of gentlemen like yourself?" She teased and was rewarded when the large brute mumbled unintelligably and glanced down at his feet. She chuckled and clapped the larger man's shoulder. "You, Jar and your Brethren are as much part of Sanguine as any of the others. I would not miss the opportunity to get to know all of you."

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   June 13th 2017, 12:45 pm

Ragnar grinned when he heard the Montriarch's voice behind him. He didn't glance over his shoulder, he did not need to. He had been awaiting her arrival, when she had remained for the two days, he had known she meant to travel with them. The last couple of days had only strengthened his resolve. Uppsala felt different when she was there, not only breaking away from the monotony of the day to day, but she brought back that spark in him. A sensation that was even stronger than that perpetual rage that fueled the fire within him.

"I would not have dreamed of it, Raginhild... You or the damned bird."

The Norseman finally glancing over his shoulder at her and the Raven perched upon your shoulder.

"It would seem he has missed you."

The notion was obvious, and perhaps carried a dual meaning. He'd turn then to watch her converse with her wolves, the usual burly, violent men all but rendered into tallow by the power of her words. Not that he could blame them, she was a sight to behold, both her feminine graces, the respect that she commanded, and the sheer power at her fingertips. She was a sight to behold certainly, Draven the mother of Vampires, the Montriarch of Sanguine, but to him, she would always be Ragnhild.

"I hope you would not mind, but since we are all coming... I have decided to bring the idols from Uppsala since there will be no one here to protect the temple. We will use the wood from these ships to build a new temple in Sanguine. A place for the Úlfhéðnar to call home, and a place for the Gods to reside. It seems only fitting, that you give the call to set sail... When you are ready, Montriarch."
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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   June 13th 2017, 3:57 pm

Draven took a moment to run her bare fingertips over the wood of the ship, caressing it almost like a lover. She took a deep breath of the clean, crips air. Quite possibly the last time she would breathe of her homeland. She wanted to go and yet there was a part of her that wanted to stay here, to remain in Uppsala. Her fingers dug into the wood momentarily as the urge to call off the voyage grew strong. She refrained from breaking the boat, if only just. There was no spoken command. The Montriarch simply raised both arms, palms facing upwards. It was Jar's barking command that released the sails. The sound of them unfurling brought a chill to her spine. She had to go back to Sanguine. There was no escaping that. The City needed her, the people needed her.

With a sigh, she turned away from the land and moved towards the bow. A sense of de ja vu swamped her and a smile curved a single corner of her mouth. Over 1,200 years ago she had stood on the very same spot when they had raided many foreign lands. If she was honest with herself, it was probably here she had fallen for the Viking King, but circumstances had forced them apart. He had broken her heart, refusing to even meet her half way. He had Raged, his anger forcing her to use the powers only she had, against him. That night she had left everything behind.


There wasn't much contact between them. He had been too proud, too stubborn.

The Montriarch glanced over her shoulder, watching Ragnar dish out last minute orders. It wasn't that she didn't trust him, she did. But with her heart? She wasn't so sure. He had broken it, shattered it into a million pieces. He had been her first love. The one man she had allowed her centuries cold heart to lay in his hands and he had turned it back on her. Blew the fragmented pieces back into her face. Reaching up, Draven rubbed at the phantom pain in the center of her chest bone. She had seen far too many loved ones die.

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   June 13th 2017, 5:24 pm

Ragnar stared oceanwards as the orders were given, watching as the sails unfurled and the boats lurched forward. Part of him knew, that this would be the last time he stepped foot in Uppsala. He had awaited this moment, locked away in his mountain kingdom, waiting for his chance at redemption. In a sense, Ragnhild had given him everything he had ever desired, she had helped him lay the foundation for his reign, warned him of a King's betrayal. Gifted him with a long life to see over it, and in the hand, he forsaken her. For all her hard efforts, he had fought against leaving, against her leaving. The truth was, that the pride, and stubbornness had made him stay, but it was his own heart breaking that had brought about his rage. He couldn't stop it at that moment, and when he woke up she had gone.

They didn't speak for lifetimes, pride, stubbornness and shame kept him silent. He had learned the cost of pride then, broken for years the Norseman hadn't known the love of a woman since. How could he when his heart still called out for hers. He turned just in time to catch her glance, and for a moment, with the distance of the boat between them. He'd just silently stare with those wolfish blues. He offered a light smile before his eyes broke the gaze as he turned to sit down at the bow of the ship, looking back as his men settled in for the long journey. Ragnar's gaze once again fixing upon her. This call to arms, it meant more than just fulfilling an oath he had made to her so long ago. It was his hopes of rekindling the flames he himself once snuffed out. Much had changed over the years, with nothing but time to regret his actions.

If she still held his gaze, he'd give a soft up nod, before glancing down to spot next to him at the head of the ship. A silent way of gesturing for her to join him. If she would was another story all together, but the offer had been made, even if it had been done in silence.
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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   June 13th 2017, 7:56 pm

She crossed the ship with that silence grace of hers, that swaying walk that made it appear as if she were floating rather than walking. "If I remember correctly, Ragnar, it was that same sort of gesture that you called me with the very first time I set foot in your long hall in Kattegat." They both knew that the Montriarch had a near photographic memory, there was no detail left unturned, nor unrecorded. She was like a book of living memories, collected through nearly 7,000 lifetimes. She sat down beside him, shifting the black fur cloak she wore and crossing her black suede clad legs. Her boots were knee high and made from the same suede. They buckled along the sides by several straps that spanned from her ankle to the side of her knee and gleamed silver in the moonlight.

Around her neck was the old sword pendant Lagertha had given her, the blade of it made from a black stone that Draven had never identified. "Ever the vigilant man. Watching, waiting, calculating and planning. Yet nothing ever prepared you for what happened in England. A part of you knew I wasn't Human but you were still left standing with your mouth agape in wonder."

She paused for a moment and tapped a claw like nail against the oath bracelet on his wrist. "You have prepared centuries for this. Sanguine is nothing like Uppsala or Kattegat. There are rules to follow, Laws that have been set to ensure everyone's safety. All I ask is that you heed them. I do not want to be forced to Judge you for breaking them. That will break me in ways you can not imagine."

Before she could elaborate further on the matter, Jar shoved horns full of blood laced mead into their hands before he shoved his larger frame between them.

"I for one am looking forward to seeing this mythical Sanguine. I hear that there are millions of willing donors. Women, Ragnar!"

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PostSubject: Re: Berserker   June 14th 2017, 11:54 pm

Ragnar's gaze followed the Montriarch as she made her way to the bow, and sat beside him. As she brought up that night, a slight smirk pulled at his lips. He remembered the night well, his memory was not as sharp as hers, then he had been only human. His aspirations small compared to what they had become over the passing centuries.

"If only I knew what I was getting myself into."

His tone was jestful, they both knew that even if he had known what would transpire after that fateful meeting he still would have beckoned to her. She had always been a sense of awe to him, a creature that he just could not peel from his mind. His arms situated on bent knees, The Norseman still adorned in the furs and leather, as if he had been plucked from those ancient times and settled upon the boat. Though he knew the time of old was coming not to a close, but to a transformation. An emulsification with this new world Draven had created. As Draven continued heralding their past, Ragnar settled in, a soft hum reverberating from his core as he recalled coming upon her, naked, and covered in the blood of Englishmen.

"I had suspected you were not just a tracker, but it didn't really dawn on me, until that day we landed in Umbria... When you dispatched of those men like they were common vermin playing a muck in your basement. Yet it was still hard to believe, until you were nestling my head in your lap, my heart racing as I stared upon you with dying eyes, and you offered to me this gift. To see what the world would become, to live longer than any mortal. I was ready to enter the All Father's hall, until you spoke those words to me, and yet... I squandered it all for my glory in the mountains."

There was a twinge of regret to his words, though it was quickly swallowed down, and good that he did so, as she began speaking of the laws of Sanguine. He glanced over to her for a moment, those icey blues staring unblinkingly, as he let her statement mull over her words. Had it been anyone else, anyone but her, those words would have been considered a threat.

"Do you not trust me Draven?" He asked softly just as Jar made his entry. Ragnar's attention shifted and he took the mead horn, and sipped from it softly. Chuckling to himself at the wonderment in Jar's words.

"Do you tire of Scandinavian women my old friend? How the ladies at home will weep at your absence, all the while you're drinking bountiful from the necks of the boundless Sanguinian women."

Free hand raised to come down hard on the burly man's shoulder gripping it tight.

"There will be time to taste from the finer things of this new kingdom, but first the wolves must protect it yes, let the woman motivate you not to destroy the city in a Beserker rage, hmmm?"

He offered the man a heart filled laugh before drinking from his horn again, those icey blues once more transfixed upon Draven, if only for a brief moment, before being casted back to the sails, and the starry night sky behind them.
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