Author's Note: Show
Sunny Days of Yore:
A Prologue to the Adventures of Agnar Gunnrulf
A Prologue to the Adventures of Agnar Gunnrulf
They charged at each other, a noble Breton warrior with his long two-handed long-sword & his opponent, a proud & able Nord, toting a single one-handed blade. The two soon clashed, locking weapon for weapon, the furious song of battle echoing across the fields as these two great men fought for their homelands.
"What kind of Nord are you that you can't overpower some decadent, half-Mer spawn?!", the breton shouted, only to be met with a bellowing retort from the Nord, "If you'd simply stand & fight like a man, instead of dodging all the time like a coward I would've won by now".
The twin weapons slipped from their lock, and with one final swing the two struck at each other, the Nord's weapon hitting the Breton's blade with such force that it flew out of his hands. The Breton warrior wasted no time & struck low, knocking the proud Nord off his feet, he raised his sword preparing to issue the death blow--
"Come back inside you two! It’s getting dark! You don't want to be outside when the Frostbite Spiders come, do you?", a stern but mischievous voice said from the nearby house.
The two "men" snapped back to reality at the sound of Elyna's voice, beckoning her young Breton son, Verick, - who was off playing wargames with his best friend, Agnar - to come home, whilst urging the young & incorrigible Nord boy to return to his residence.
It was getting late, the sun was setting behind the wondrous, frozen peaks of Skyrim, leaving behind a orange-ish-red hue in the sky, the two boys, while no strangers to adventures in the cold dead of night, thought it best to part ways & make for home.
They happily parted, Agnar taking the long way home through the forest, he was no stranger to his woodland home, his sister Aeri was, despite her youth, a talented up-and-coming hunter & scout, who delighted in passing on her skills to her younger brother... In between scolding him for any faults she could find, not that it bothered him much, for such was their relationship - built of playful torment that conceals a deep familial love for each other, for as harsh as they may tease each other, neither of them could imagine life without the others' presence in their lives.
It was getting darker now, but Agnar could pick up on the familiar, comforting scents of home emanating from his family cottage & seeping into the air. It wouldn't be far now, he thought whilst joyful expectations of what he'd return to threatened to consume his focus entirely. Their father, Erikr, was seldom home, he often left the two young children in the care of Verick's family when he was summoned off to be stationed in some Divines-forsaken land in the name of the so-called 'Empire', which was becoming more & more these days less a proud cosmopolitan organization founded for the good of mankind & more of a congealed mess of squabbling politicians each vying for power at the expense of the common man - this... Might not have made much sense to young Agnar, but it was roughly the general consensus amongst his town as tensions grew between the proud & noble sons & daughters of Skyrim & their Imperial Overlords.
Still, for the moment, everyone was where they should be, he'd just have to enjoy these moments while they last... These brief, shining moments--. His trail of thought was interrupted as he came around the bend & caught sight of his home - a weather-worn cottage situated just on the edge of town, certainly, it had seen better days, and by far there were better places to live, but it was home. It was where his family lived, and that was enough to make any place seem like Sovngarde.
The young boy trotted inside the cottage, kicking the door closed with the back of his foot. He gazed around the room, bathed in the warm light of the hearth. To his surprise only his sister could be found, sitting by the fire tending to a quiver of handcrafted arrows, gently filing the wooden tips to ensure maximum penetration.
“Where has father run off to?”, he asked in bewilderment, although deep down he already knew the answer.
“Recalled”, she began, “just like every other time he comes home”, she threw the arrow that she was busy finely honing to the ground in frustration, although she quickly sought to supress it in front of the young boy – he had enough reasons to be upset over this, he didn’t need her adding to a already bad situation.
Once more he scurried out the door, more blur then boy, as he rushed to try to catch one last fleeting moment with his beloved father before he would leave under the very real possibility that he might not return from this one – he had heard the stories of the men he fought, fierce men who were masters of the blade & willing to die rather than surrender; they called these men the Akaviri – fierce warlords from a foreign land, a land rumored to be nothing more than a barren desert wasteland, devoid of all sentient life.
It was not uncommon for his sister to be brought along on his marches as his unofficial squire, but this time he had pointedly left her behind – perhaps he was scared for her life this time? Maybe he wanted more glory to himself? Maybe he just worried that much over his son that he felt he needed someone extra to protect him? Who knew, all they knew is that she was left behind… just like Agnar… just like his son.
He dashed through the woods towards the village center, where, he thought, they’d be most likely to round up the contingent before heading out. By the time he reached the village, however, everyone who took up arms in the name of Skyrim was gone, leaving only their families & those to weak to fight behind.
Quite a sad scene, he thought to himself, most of these people wouldn’t see their family members again. While Agnar had never been in a war himself, the stories he was told made the harsh reality of warfare clear to him. It wasn’t like sparring with his friends, where once you lose you can just get back up & fight again. No, most of the time once you’ve fallen, you never get back up again. The thought brought a tear to his eyes & filled his mind with sorrow, what if his father was the next one to fall? Who next? His sister? All in the name of a Empire who fails its subjects time & time again…
His sorrow turned to anger at the concept, but quickly shattered & become a sort of depression, the young lad ambled about town without purpose, merely doing it for the sake of a distraction from his thoughts &, to a greater extent, reality itself.