1626, Earth Season
After a Heroquest, it is required to ensure a Hero is not a danger to the temple, and to learn from them any secrets or mysteries that have been hitherto unrevealed. Jarangsdottir being unable to report in a timely fashion to the Temple of Battalion is invited to give her examination in Boldhome, and has accepted that invitation. There is no indication of wrongdoing in this inability.
A transcript of examination. Questioned is Berra Jarangsdottir, Initiate of Humakt, Warrior of the Battalion of Nochet. Present: Eril, High Sword of Humakt. Heenith Egilson, Sword of Humakt. Eril leads questioning.
~ Jarangsdottir… Tell us of Kero Fin. It is permitted to reveal all Humakti mysteries within this chamber.
~ Yes, High Sword. But there is a matter which is Orlanthi.
~ This need not be revealed, but may, depending on your judgement.
~ Kero Fin. It was cold, wet, and I hate walking.
~ Just the Quest parts, Initiate.
~ My apologies. Uh… So, the cold is important. It’s a test of a person. There are others – secret knowledge of the mountain I shall not say, but on the higher slopes there were visions given to us. This is the mystery. Can I have some water?
High Sword signs assent. Questioned is given water.
~ I was an air spirit. There was an Air Rune on my shoulder, where the Death Rune is now. I had a body – I think I was male, but I might have been a wind. But when I had a body… I’d been dancing before, and I had been taken away from that, I think.
Questioned makes sign of query. ~ Maybe?
~ You will be swearing to this, and others may be guided by it – if it is of import. Only say what you would be guided by as fact, and for all other things indicate you are unsure. Do not query what you should say.
~ Yes, High Sword. I am sorry. Um… I’d been doing a thing that was a lot like dancing. If I had a body, and sometimes I did, it would be dancing, but it was mostly blowing around the peaks. But Humakt, the young Air God, called me to him and put me in his temple. It was at once a great hall, and a longhouse, but also open air. Mostly open air – roofs and turrets and long, clean places with snow. It was made of stone but there was ice on much of the stone. I… I…
Questioned takes time to think, shakes head. ~ No, that part is gone. I’m sorry. It took a while to get back here. But there was something about the hall that pulled at me.
~ I was in my hall, with… no, I was on my patrol. I was very proud of it. With my axe. I… I, Berra, recalled partially that I was Humakti. I tried to force the Sword, not the Axe. I was angry. My sword was missing. I was Humakt. I… I was very angry. Someone had taken it from me. Then I saw Eurmal. He had it.
~ Describe your surroundings.
~ Uhhh… They were cold stone. An open platform temple, paved, but with rime frost in details. The frost pleased me. Some was in patterns I recognised then but I’m afraid I can’t remember them now. Sorry.
~ Anything else?
~ The way he was standing-
~ About the surroundings, Initiate.
~ Oh. Um. Sideways. Sidewards. I don’t know anything existed to the sides. I didn’t turn my head, because all that was important was in the Death Rune… Oh. The platform. The Temple. It was a cross. He was outside it. I’d made it that way, when before it had been long halls. But I was still the wind, and making swords wasn’t my current habit. I knew how to, and the one Eurmal had stolen was special.
Questioned drinks water. ~ It was Wind Tooth, that was how much I loved it. And more. Because it was my special one. And he had it.
~ And… without a contextless comparison to the world in which your body resided?
Questioned considers. ~ Um, contextless. Oh, right. Sorry, long words confuse me sometimes. Without a contextless comparision… It made me angry he had taken my thing, that I… I didn’t love it. I owned it. More than I owned anything else that I’d ever made. Like I owned my name, or my North Wind. That much.
~ He said I could have it if I abandoned my friends. I … I think he… that is, I felt two meanings, High Sword. He lied, but he also told the Rune-Truth. To truly have it, I would have to Sever, although I did not know that then. Later, his words came … would come… that bit is confusing. I should say nothing lest I lead others astray. I was in God-time, remembering. And he also wanted to trick me and get me to fall. I knew that. I knew his weakness and I taunted him. He ran at me and I took the sword.
~ I… I was taking it back. It was very similar to …. to taking it from him the first time. But also I went with him to find it, and then he took it from the darkness and then I had to do that then – make him run at me. It was not in that shape yet. It was formless, because it was a secret and a mystery. I knew I had to make it into a Sword, because that was me. I make swords. But I think I dreamed that, High Sword. Later. I… on the Mountain, there was just a hint this was familiar.
~ And later?
~ Mostly I thought about it in the… context… of Whitewall, High Sword. If Eurmal had been cruel then, I would have gone wrong.
Questioner holds up hand for silence. ~ Indeed. Do you have anything of value to add?
~ Uh… I don’t know. That’s probably for you to judge.
~ Yes. Passing on from your imagination, have you anything more to add about Kero Fin?
~ The rest is Orlanthi, High Sword. There is nothing in there for Humakt.
~ You may go.
Questioned rises to go.
Sword of Humakt speaks. ~ Initiate. You will bow appropriately to those present on leaving.
Questioned bows to High Sword.
Further transcript not required.