“Rise, Valarjar. Rise, Battlelord.”
Odyn’s metallic voice boomed through Skyhold’s great mead hall, the echo it had in such a vast space lost among the shouts and cheers of the assembled Valarjar.
Mason looked around as he pushed himself up from his position kneeling before Odyn’s throne. All around him, the worthy dead raised horns and flagons of drink to him, warriors both clothed in flesh and in gold-tinged steel, runecarvers, and shieldmaidens. Even the val’kyr flanking the throne joined in the praise.
“You have proven yourself worthy, little human, to bear this title, coveted among the Valarjar. You are not the only of your mortal kin to bear this name, but on this day, the honor is yours alone.”
“It is an honor, High Keeper. I thank you for your…confidence in me.” The new battlelord’s voice was minuscule in the hall, surrounded by nearly-giants and standing before Odyn himself.
The assembled Valarjar knelt as Odyn stood, his laughter rumbling through the mead hall, “There is no need for thanks. You have earned it by your own merit. You have proven yourself when Stan’brekar, blade of Atli Giantslayer, shed its stone prison and joined you in battle. You have proven yourself on the Broken Shore when you rushed to help complete strangers in their battle, and would have given your life if not for my val’kyr Sigfa, once guardian of Atli, and now yours. You have proven yourself in the Halls of Valor themselves, and even against me in honorable combat. Come, there is much to be done, little champion, and little time for thanks.”
Blinding lights danced in Mason’s eyes for a moment as the world shifted around him.
A moment later, Mason stood on a gleaming golden platform, decorated in elaborate vrykul knots, floating in the shimmering clouds surrounding Skyhold. Beside him stood Odyn, towering over the human.
“As you know, the keepers of Ulduar have yet to answer the call of the Gjallarhorn. I suspect you can figure out why. They are, after all, not oathbreakers. The Legion is not our only concern, however. Helya, the great nemesis of these halls, still lurks below, plotting in her wretched Helheim.”
The colossal being fixed his one-eyed gaze upon the smith, so far below, “Her time will come soon, but before the noble dead are safe from her depredations, we cannot bring the full might of the Valarjar to bear upon the Legion. Her curse hinders our immortal spirits too greatly.”
Odyn raised a massive, silvery hand, and the clouds below parted, revealing a shimmering image of Stormheim. Flickers of sensations and sights bombarded Mason’s mind. Demons yet preyed upon the Tideskorn, all while their very souls were dragged to the murky depths by the Helarjar. The Valkyra strove to ascend in Skold-Ashil. Servants of the dead God-King retained their tenuous dominion over the Thorignir.
Mason tilted his head back to meet Odyn’s gaze, “And before we can strike at Helya, we need t’ do two things, right?”
The High Keeper nodded at the smith to continue.
“We need t’ stop her flow of souls - protect th’ mortal vrykul still loyal t’ these halls. And we need t’ gather support down there t’ match her Helarjar.”
“You speak well, young one. I entrust these tasks to you, for you know what must be done. A battlelord is not simply a brute with a weapon, but he is - as you are - a tactician, and a man who can win the hearts of his charges.”
As quickly as the pair had traveled to the overlook, they were once more in the mead hall.
“Go now, my Battlelord, and prepare the way for the might of the Valarjar. We will be watching.”