anonymous asked:

Can you give us some book recommendations?

Okay book recs. Oh my god I have so many. I have a question after this that say’s POC book recs, so I’m going to keep this post to book recs that arent poc to keep these separated just for the sake of the anon’s that asked. 

Red Rising by Pierce Brown (Trilogy with a new book - a ‘spin off series’ coming out next year) - I will fucking promote this book series until I die. This is hands down, one of the best books I have EVER read. Honestly, for me it sort of beats out Harry Potter (Which if you know me, I’m obsessed with. I mean, I had a Harry Potter Sweet 16. [I’m from Long Island. Everyone there has a Sweet 16]) Not only is Red Rising extremely diverse and beautifully written,  but the storyline is incredible and the characters literally jump off the page. I dont think I’ve ever read a more human character than Darrow. Honestly PICK UP THIS BOOK. IT NEEDS MORE FUCKING ATTENTION. 

^^^^bolded it so people know that this is the best book ever and needs the read. 

Abarat by Clive Barker (Four books so far) - Now, this may not be everyones cup of tea. Maybe because I’m a painter, I appreciate him more. But his books are wonderfully illustrated with his paintings that follow along with the beautiful storyline. I recommend this book to the fucking stars. Its a fantastic story with amazing paintings. (Clive Barker, for those who don’t know, also created Hellraiser [Pin Head] and Midnight Meat Train along with a plethora of other stories. It’s worth the read.)

Song of Achilles (novel) - I mean, If you want to fucking CRY  then this is the book for you. It’s so fucking depressing but so FUCKING GOOD. I mean, if you know the story of Achilles, then you know why its depressing. But that doesnt take away from the beautiful story between Achilles and Patroclus. Definitely recommend this book. 

Along with that last book, a book that I feel goes hand in hand with it:

Captive Prince by C. S. Pacat (trilogy) - Now. A lot of people have a problem with this trilogy. I personally, as a (mixed, black) poc, have no problem with this book. It’s about two kingdoms, one of poc, Greek-like, and the other of boujee af french-like, white kingdom. In short, the Prince from the Greece inspired Kingdom is framed and shipped away to the french kingdom as a slave. Now, he becomes a slave (as a dark skinned man) to a white prince. There are a lot of things that happen like he gets whipped and other horrible shit. People have a problem with the book because of the dynamic between the two. They find it racist and insensitive. Here’s a great post as to why people don’t like the post, and the second comment is why I read it. I honestly find it to be a beautiful story that develops amazingly over time. I definitely recommend it. 

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (novel) - I’ve just recently read this book and I absolutely fucking loved it. It’s an extremely diverse, beautiful story. Personally, I found the story sad, funny, heart warming, and inclusive. They brush upon the difficulties that black men specifically, have with the judicial system, by having an African man whom is loving and kind, constantly blamed for crimes that he did not commit. Again, it’s a really lovely book and this stuck with me for a very long time. I really recommend it. 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (novel) - If you don’t want to fucking SOB then don’t read it. If you want a beautiful story, I recommend this book to the stars. Honestly, I went into the book not knowing shit about it, just that people loved it. Then I realized that it was about fucking cancer and I was about to throw my god damned book because I don’t fend well with sad things. THEN I found out that it’s also now a movie with Liam Neeson. Ugh. I havent seen the movie yet, but damn was this book magical and heart breaking and wow… Read it. I personally fucking loved it. 

Fangirl  by Rainbow Rowell (novel) - I mean, I feel like this book actually summed up my early college experience lol! I was writing fanfiction, roleplaying, cooping myself up in my room - the only difference was, I didnt have a quirky, beautiful, sweet man to hold me as I read outloud to him (if you read the book, then you know what I’m talking about). Honestly, this was a fucking amazing book and I loved it so much. it was feel good and extremely nostalgic for people of my generation (’94-’96 specifically) really well. If you loved Harry Potter, grew up with it, went to the midnight book releases and movie screenings, submerged yourself in the fanfiction, then you will love this book. I thought it was fantastic. 

which leads me to this rec. 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (novel) - Ugh. So in fangirl, there’s a fanfiction that the main character is writing. I know that this book is not the fanfiction, but it is named the same thing - so thats a nice connection. Again, if you love Harry Potter, if you love shipping Drarry (i dont because I find it problematic. But I feel if you like Drarry) then youd love this. I mean honestly, if you just like a cute story, with ridiculous spells, and adorable love, then read it. If you love Harry Potter ESPECIALLY READ THIS BOOK. 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (Trilogy) - Okay. Honestly, I havent seen many people promote this book series, but it is amazing and arguably, one of the most beautifully written trilogies that I have ever read (besides Red Rising. Ahem. Read it). It’s a wonderful story that comes together beautifully and is such a different book from your usual YA. 

The Archived by Victoria Schwab (Series of two) - So, if Victoria Schwab sounds familiar, that’s because she also goes under V.E. Schwab okay. Listen. I know that everyone loves A Darker Shade of Magic. I havent finished that book yet and I bet it’s amazing. However, we cannot forget the other amazing books she has written. The Archived is such a lovely, creative story that deserves more credit. Honestly, I’ve never read a book like it before and it stuck with me for an extremely long time. Apparently there is a third book coming out that I have actually been waiting for forever. I’m not going to say much about it, but these books are wonderful and deserve the read. 

Speaking of V.E. Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab - This book deserves more recognition. Not only is the cover absolutely AMAZING, but the story is fuckign awesome. If you like Brandon Sanderson books, if you like superheros or Marvel and DC, read this fucking book. It’s fantastically written and needs to be read more. Get on it people. 

I mean, these are just some books. I purposely stayed away from some YA  series because I feel like a lot of people know about them. But I mean, some YA series that are well known that I like are:

Obviously Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

The Darkest Minds  by Alexandra Bracken


So anyway.. i think this is all I’ve got right now haha. I’ll put my favourite books written by poc in the anon above this!  

Cold Hearted (Prince AU) Part 6

Originally posted by sugaglos

Requests are closed!

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7

Word Count: 6559

Warnings: Blood, Smut (in later parts)

Jaebum sat on his bed and untied his boots. He pulled off his jacket and undid the cuff links of his shirt, going through the simplistic motions of getting ready for bed as he did every night.

He wasn’t used to these feelings. He didn’t consider himself as very emotional, war tended to favour the more stoic man; someone who did not get shaken by death or get jerked around by feelings.

Keep reading

Kingdom of Cards AU

{Palette’s backstory}

Dream was a village healer, not many excitement happened in his life. Until after a war…He was recruited by the King too help any wounded soldier. Granted…Dream thought the job was a huge deal so he took it willingly, but ended up getting sick from lack of sleep. Ink…or the original King of Hearts saw this and felt slightly bad, so he took Dream and took care of him back in the castle. A few months had passed, Ink and Dream had become very close. Ink wanted Dream to become the Queen…Dream then accepted in some shock. Even more months passed and the Kingdom kept growing, new people going in and out, a thriving market, everything was beautiful, and when word got out the Kind and Queen were going to have a child…Well the whole kingdom was overjoyed! And so the day came, the baby was born with the mark of a ruler. When a King or a Queen has a child, if the child is to carry on the throne it takes the mark of a kingdom. The young boy or “Palette” as he was named was born with a heart to replace one of his star shaped eyes. Ink was proud that the legacy would continue; Dream was just happy in general! Growing up the kingdoms positivity gave Palette a cheery disposition, he would most commonly be found helping out with anything he can in the main village. Years had passed and the time had come for Palette to rise to the throne, however it was very quick as Ink was stuck in a battle with the “Demon of Mischief” *cough cough Error cough* Nevertheless Palette was thrilled and took the Kingdom into his own hands both proudly and carefully. A few months then passed and everyone was happy except for the royal family…Ink was gone, taken prisoner and no one dared to go after him. Dream was trying his best not to grieve. However Palette was bothered by the fact he had to find a wife…it bored him. Until a meeting of the 4 Kingdoms…2 out of the 4 Kingdoms were always closed off to the public. But Palette couldn’t help but stare in awe at one of the new leaders…

{Goth’s backstory}

Geno was the original King of Clubs, the kingdom was quiet and never involved in much which made it perfect for him. However another leader had his eyes (or lack there of idk) on Geno for quite awhile. Death…the King of Spades would always tease the other leaders after Kingdom meetings, almost never stopping especially not when it came to the Kingdom of Clubs. Geno mostly would ignore Death but then the comments started to become flattering. Now Geno never thought ANYONE could actually like him…A few years after, Geno and Death had gotten friendly…too friendly XD. Death wanted Geno to become his Queen but he knew Geno had his own Kingdom. But Death asked anyways…and Geno accepted. A new ruler rose to the throne in the Club Kingdom, then closing the boarders for good. The Kingdom of Spades was dull, the citizens were rude and judgmental, not to mention didn’t seem to like the royal family. Eventually a prince was born. He was born with the mark of a ruler…however it was a club not a spade. Death felt some what enraged but decided not to show it; Geno was worried as this meant the deal he may with the other Kingdom would break perhaps leading into a war. Goth as the prince was named grew up lonely, hiding his marked eye from any outside of the castle. The Kingdom grew to know him as ‘The Isolated Prince.’ Therefore when his parents mysteriously disappeared one night, Goth was forced to take the throne at a fairly young age. Many citizens questioned his rule as no one had seen his eye, which led him to close the borders to any other kingdoms or people, he did this to avoid suspicion. Years passed, Goths parents had not returned and he’d been pestered by the thought of finding a loving partner. He knew no one would be able to put up with him, no one could match his personality or his attitude…Months passed and he finally had to leave and go to a Kingdom meeting, but he couldn’t concentrate with a certain leader staring him down…

Wow…this took forever!!! Oh well designs will be out later!!

KoC AU - Me and @pwnage101

Goth - @nekophy

Palette- @angexci

Lines of Love and War

Here is the first chapter of the Mulan inspired Nessian fic! It takes place in the ACOTAR realm, but with slight variations to fit the storyline. Nesta meets with the town’s matchmaker and discovers that her potential husband is tied in with a war that is about to unfold against Hybern. It is up to Nesta to join the ranks of fae and human alike to save not only her sister, but all of Prythian. 

Lines of Love and War : Chapter 1

The twittering of maids about the drawing room put Nesta in a state of disinterest that shifted to annoyance. One of the maids was brushing her hair in an attempt to control the golden brown locks. The regal and untamable air Nesta held about her made many compare her to a lioness with a personality to match as well.

A sharp tug of the brush made Nesta almost emit a snarl. Her inner wildcat itched to be free from this conventional ritual of preparing her for a visit to the town’s matchmaker.

The very thought of it made Nesta sick with worry. Not because she was anxious that she wouldn’t find a match. No, she feared that the matchmaker would pair her with one of the men in town.

More like savage brutes. Nesta thought as she glared at herself in the mirror.

Her makeup was done in an attempt to make her look more warm and welcoming. Nesta almost laughed at the maid’s efforts. No amount of makeup could ever take away her cold and serious demeanor. Her blue-grey eyes were a brewing storm beneath rose gold eye shadow and a thin line of kohl.

The makeup was better suited for sweet Elain. Of course all this primping and glamouring was all for the sake of her little sister. Nesta had already lost one sister. She couldn’t bear to lose Elain either. If Nesta could secure a marriage then Elain would be free to not be forced into one.

“It is time,” Mrs. Laurent said. The older woman stood waiting in the doorway with Elain looking on with a smile lighting her face.

“You look so beautiful Nesta!” Elain took in the efforts that the maids put forth.

Nesta stood from her chair. A queen rising from a throne. Her lavender gown trailed the floorboards with sheer folds that resembled smoke following her every step. Her hair was undone except for a few intricate braids that were pulled up to resemble a bun.

“There’s just one thing missing,” Elain trailed off and brought forth a gold bracelet inlaid with one small diamond. It was their mother’s bracelet. Elain delicately slipped the bracelet on her elder sister’s wrist.

It felt like a shackle to Nesta. The thin gold band mocked her in the gleaming morning light that streamed in the window. It seemed as though Nesta would be forever caged to duty and suffocation of the customs expected of her.

“Thank you Elain,” Nesta murmured for what else could she offer her sister. Her slight breathless tone not caused by awe of the gift, but by how tight her corset fitted her body. Still Elain’s actions were good in intent. Nesta could not fault her sister in that regard.

“Let’s not dally any longer,” Mrs. Laurent broke in rather abruptly. “We must head to town immediately. With any luck you will be matched with a husband by the end of the day.”

As they walked out the doorway Nesta heard one of the maids whisper that they had all better pray to the gods if they ever hoped that Nesta Archeron would tempt a husband.

Nesta held back a string of words. She was not one to take gossip and insults at face value. So long as the people she loved most truly understood her, then that was all that mattered. And Nesta could not care less for meddling maids.

Nesta, Elain and Mrs. Laurent boarded a carriage that took them to the matchmaker’s home. Nesta stepped out of the carriage with a ceremonial candle that must remain lit during the procession ladies conducted outside of the matchmaker’s home.

It was ridiculous in Nesta’s mind how a woman seeking a match would have to wait another month if her candle flickered out during the turn about the property. A gust of wind could blow out the flame as anyone walked the path leading to the doors of the home.

She was half tempted to blow out the candle herself, but after having done so three times already in the previous ceremonies was starting to bring shame to her family. If she couldn’t even handle keeping a tiny flame from going out how was she to be expected to take care of a husband and household? 

Townspeople already spread rumors about Nesta. She couldn’t care less, but then those rumors turned toward her family. That was the moment when Nesta decided to see this day through without a problem. Or at the very least try. Still she felt that she was going to need a lot more assistance to get through this day that would test her patience.

Gods hear my plea. Nesta thought silently. I ask only one thing. Please protect my family. Whether it’s at the cost of my happiness or my chance to be free.

She would give anything so long as her family was safe. No matter the price she would pay it.

And so it began. Nesta followed a line of girls making her the fifth and last to walk down the cobbled path toward their destination. The townspeople followed not far behind. Elain and Mrs. Laurent watched from within the crowd with their hopes set high for a good match for the eldest Archeron sister.

Elain could only hope that her sister found a suitable partner that would truly love Nesta.

The flame of Nesta’s candle danced as she treaded down the stones. It was amusing to watch. It seemingly begged for attention and its small warmth was the only comfort on Nesta’s walk. Her lips revealed the smallest of smiles at the small glowing fire.

Too soon the group arrived at the doors of the matchmaker. They kneeled on the small colorful rugs laid out for them so that their dresses would not get dirty. No sooner had they reached the ground the doors clamored opened revealing a woman holding a notebook and quill pen.

“Nesta Archeron,” The matchmaker called with her quill poised on paper.

Nesta rose and in a neutral tone announced her presence.

The matchmaker made a noise of disappointment and marked something in the notebook. “Speaking without permission…”

Annoyance flared in Nesta as she trudged up the steps to follow the matchmaker inside. The doors banged shut behind her.

“Have a seat,” the woman directed to a small table with two chairs and tea set.

Nesta sat down in front of the matchmaker and placed the still lit candle on the table. She found her gaze occasionally straying to the flame during the questions and tasks that the matchmaker asked her.

Pour the tea. Speak only when first spoken too. Use a demure tone of voice.

The matchmaker paused in making her notes after drinking a bit of tea Nesta had poured for her. From the disappointed look on the matchmaker’s face Nesta could only assume that her marks were not satisfactory.

“Let us presume with the readings,” the matchmaker unfurled Nesta’s birth chart with circles, numbers and symbols. Her fingers began skimming the paper. Pausing on certain marks and making notes to the side of the paper.

Nesta watched intently. She wondered how a suitable partner could be found with such charts. Apparently readers could determine many things based on these symbols and overlapping patterns that Nesta could not understand.

“Oh my…” the reader stopped and looked back and forth between three symbols.

“Am I to forever be a spinster,” Nesta joked lazily. “Or maybe it says I am to meet my end while walking down the steps to my home.”

The matchmaker looked up at Nesta. Panic seizing her eyes before blinking to contain her concern.

“Your chart mostly consists of lines that overlap so closely together that they almost form one joined path, which itself is quite rare. Those lines denote inner power of control and the ability to shroud your intentions, but they are such thick lines that it represents a vast amount of strength.”

Nesta didn’t say anything. Many knew she was closed off and was not a person who formed many friendships. Still…the woman’s claim was too close to the truth. The truth that she and her sisters descended from a mother who was fae. And that Nesta’s ability did involve a form of a mental shroud from those who would seek to read her thoughts or alter her perception of the mind.

The matchmaker paused. “Your family line meets with two lines…one of love and the other of war…and those two lines actually brush against each other.” She pointed at the pink and red lines that did indeed touch, but never crossed.

“They are not overlapping yet they still connect,” the matchmaker explained a bit perplexed. “This means that you will meet your husband due to some event related to your family from some sort of battle. Whether that be internal or external is impossible to decide.”

“So that means my husband is a soldier perhaps?” Nesta quirked a brow. There was talk of an impending war. The fae and human lands knew that Hybern was becoming a threat they could no longer dismiss. Maybe a regiment would come through town and Nesta would be proposed to by some poor soul who was going to war to face monsters that could only be dreamed up in nightmares.

“Your line of love and war directly connects your birth sign with a sign across the chart,” the matchmaker pointed out Nesta’s swirl shaped birth symbol linked with one resembled a sun with a dot in the middle. “That sign,” the matchmaker tapped the sun, “is your…significant other.”

On the table the candle’s flame flared brightly and swayed back and forth excitedly. Yet no wind stirred in the home.

Nesta and the matchmaker watched the flame in awe and shock. Nesta personally felt spell bounded by the display. Too soon the flame calmed, but the smell of earth, sweat and spice filled the air. Distantly Nesta thought she heard a clang of metal along with a deep laugh.

“Strange,” muttered the matchmaker toward the flame. “Although this would make sense considering your potential husband is a fire sign.”

“Great,” Nesta said sarcastically. “That means he’s more than likely loud, rambunctious and out of control.”

The matchmaker shrugged slightly as if it wasn’t her problem before turning back to the chart. “There is another line though that grabs my attention.”

“You say it as if it means something terrible,” Nesta pointed out the nervous halting words the matchmaker spoke.

“That is because I see that your line of death crosses the ones of war and love,” the matchmaker admitted cautiously. “And it is tethered between the start of your war and love lines leading through the section of ascendance and between two birth symbols.”

“Which means?” Nesta implored.

“Death can mean many things beside the literal term, but either way your path to it starts the same time that you will begin the path of love and war. With it running into the ascendance that means sacrifice on your part. And the catalyst of your death is strangely pointing directly in the middle between two signs. So your death could be the cause of two people or –”

The matchmaker sucked in a breath. As if a fright overtook her.

Nesta sat at the edge of her seat. The hairs on her neck rose. Foreboding filled the air.

“Or what?” Nesta breathed.

The matchmaker looked up at Nesta. Fear clear in her eyes.

“Or something inhuman. Something that is best to be avoided.” The matchmaker stood up suddenly. “I believe you should leave at once. Your session is over.”

“Can you not tell me more?” Nesta questioned. Something about her chart set her on edge. She wasn’t one to believe in such things, but her feelings did not sit well at the moment after the latest reveal.

“No,” the matchmaker began pushing Nesta to the door. “And do not ask me again.”

“But –” Nesta tried to question the woman more, but the doors opened and the matchmaker all but tossed her out.

“Do not return!” The matchmaker wildly exclaimed. Loud enough that the townspeople heard and gasped in shock at the sight before them. The doors closed and Nesta was standing there perplexed beyond anything until the whispering of the townspeople stirred her to move.

She walked pass them all with her head held high. Elain weaved through the crowd and clutched her elbow.

“Nesta?” Elain worriedly looked up at her eldest sister. Confused at the matchmaker’s apparent distressed actions.

Mrs. Laurent stepped in front of them before Nesta could say anything. “To the carriage. Now.” Her face was unhappy and disappointed. It was obvious that a match had not been made for Nesta to be married.

Nesta didn’t argue and neither did Elain. Soon they boarded their carriage back to the manor. It’s green roof and gardens planted by Elain gave Nesta a sense of ease. But she knew something was coming. A storm brewed violently and Nesta knew she had to act.

When they arrived home Nesta went to her room to remove the makeup and hairpins. No sooner had she pulled out the last pin a maid knocked on her door and entered at Nesta’s reply to enter.

“Miss there is a…fae man outside requesting an audience with the head of household,” the maid wrung her hands nervously.

Since Nesta’s father was away on trade business in a neighboring country that left Nesta in charge.

“I will be down momentarily,” Nesta replied still seated on the vanity seat and removing the last piece of jewelry from her body. The maid left to go back downstairs to notify the fae of Nesta’s soon arrival.

It was a matter of importance that Nesta rid the fae from their property. Enough fae folk had ruined the Archerons. She did not intend for any to linger and cause more trouble for her family.

Just thinking about the time when Feyre was stolen away by the High Lord of Spring made Nesta clench her fists into her dress. It had been months since Nesta had last seen Feyre. She was a changed being. Literally.

But so too was Nesta and Elain after all these years. The three Archeron sisters gifted with fae powers.

Nesta glided down the stairs and toward the front entrance. Outside there was indeed a thin looking fae male. He wore glasses and dressed more like a scholar compared to the two fae guards that accompanied him.

“I presume you are the eldest Archeron?” The male asked.

Nesta stood firm just outside the doorway. She closed the door so that the conversation was private from the ears of the prying staff.

“I am,” Nesta replied. “What business do you have with us?”

The male pulled out a parchment. “We seek soldiers for the upcoming war with Hybern. It was agreed between both the human queens and the high lords and ladies of the fae lands that each family must have one member volunteer for the armies.”

“But my father is away on business and my sister and I are the only ones here,” Nesta supplied. “Do you expect families to offer soldiers when no member is suited for battle? What of the families with younger children? Would you take their fathers from them for this war?”

“If we do not have soldiers then those children will have much more to worry about then being fatherless,” the male admitted. He handed her the rolled up parchment. “You or your sister must join the ranks. If not then the paper will enact a curse upon your household and randomly select one of you to be chosen.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” Nesta growled clenching the paper tight. “I will die before letting Elain anywhere near a battlefield.”

“Then I suggest you make your decision by nightfall,” the male pointed toward the paper. “Use your blood and thumbprint as a signature on the contract. Once that is completed you will be magically transported to one of Prythian’s forces where you will be trained.”

“Which army will I be selected for?” Nesta knew Prythian had seven courts. Each had an army of it’s own.

“The magic will take you to the one that you are destined for,” the male eerily replied.

Nesta stared the male down. Hating the fae even more for jeopardizing Elain. They had already taken Feyre from them. She wasn’t about to lose another sister.

“If there is nothing else for you to say then our business is done,” Nesta concluded stonily. A clear sign the fae were to leave at once.

The three males didn’t say farewell as they walked back down the road from which they came. Nesta imagined that once they hit the tree line they would whisk away with magic.

Upon returning inside Nesta met Elain as she walked in from the dining room.

“Who was at the door?” Elain asked with a tray of tea in hand.

The war contract felt heavy in Nesta’s hand. Discreetly she stuffed the paper into the folds of her dress making it impossible for Elain to see.

“Men who had lost their way and needed directions,” Nesta lied. “They have left now so we need not worry about them.”

“Oh.” Elain cocked her head to the side. “Well I suppose we could have tea together in the study perhaps? I’m sure you want to finish the book you’re reading right now. And maybe we can talk about what happened in the matchmaker’s home?”

Nesta would tell Elain that her potential husband was a fire sign, but the other details would have to be left out. She wouldn’t worry Elain about the death and war lines that were crossed.

Instead Nesta put on a rare smile solely reserved for her sister. One in which she removed her indifferent mask and revealed a more gentler side that few had ever seen.

“I wish you could have seen the matchmaker’s face when she saw my love line,” Nesta said. “Or the horrid fact that it connects with someone with a fire sign.”

Elain giggled. “Only someone of fire could handle you Nesta. It will be exciting to finally meet him! Especially after you broke off the courtship with Thomas.”

Nesta’s throat lodged at the mention of Thomas. That monster had left horrible memories. The sound of her dress ripping. His fingers gripping her wrist so tightly that bruises marked her skin. Luckily she escaped before it went any further, but the fear of his name still lingered.

The sisters entered the study with Elain softly humming a tune that was secretly known to help flowers blossom. The roses on the small table proved that point when their color turned a more vibrant healthy shade of red.

Perhaps one day Elain could live in a place where she didn’t need to hide her abilities. A haven where she could flourish like the plants she helped thrive. Nesta too wondered if there would be a place for her as well. But her powers brought destruction. Not life like her sister.

Even Feyre had shown promise in her abilities before being taken by the High Lord of Spring. But it was too late to change the past. And now Nesta focused on ensuring a safer future for Elain.

Hours later the Archeron estate was silent in the middle of the night. A thunderstorm could be heard rumbling in the distance. Nesta sat alone in her room in front of the unlit fireplace using the light of the moon to read the papers that would bind her as a soldier in the war against Hybern.

She read over each line carefully. Scrutinizing the words until she could practically recite them back from memorization. Then the noises of the night quieted. Dead silence filled the air and Nesta looked up from the paper.

“Hello human,” a voice spoke out from the room’s shadows. Nesta startled. She rose from her chair and snatched a letter opener from the table.

“No need for that,” the voice said. It sounded old and young, beautiful and grotesque. “Your meager weapon would be no match against my kind.”

My kind.

“What are you,” Nesta questioned in a ragged breath wondering what sort of monster lurked in her room.

“You’re not asking the right questions.” Click, click, click. Its fingernails tapped against something in the dark.

“What are you,” Nesta demanded again.

Quiet. Then a scratchy release of breath that reminded Nesta of an annoyed sigh.

“I am a creature of no Court and older than the bones of this world.”

Nesta’s heart pounded in her chest. “Then you’re a fae from Prythian?”

A rasping laugh from the darkness sent Nesta’s skin crawling.

“My kind are called Suriel, but I had expected that the eldest Archeron would ask better inquiries. It’s no fun if you don’t play.”

“You think this is a game,” Nesta took a step forward brandishing the letter opener. “I have read about your species. Do not think you can toy with me and give riddles for answers.”

“So you are smart for a human,” the Suriel said. “But then again you’re not entirely human.”

Nesta froze. She stared deep into the obscured corner of the room where the Suriel waited. Slowly the shadows of the room stretched out. But those were not shadows. Dark tattered robes moved into the moonlight. A tall, thin veiled figure appeared with spindly arms sticking out from the sleeves.

The urge to run flooded Nesta. Flee and warn Elain to escape from this frightening faerie. Run and keep running and never look back.

“Now,” a lipless mouth spoke around too-long teeth. “Ask me the question.” Milky white eyes of death and sickness watched Nesta deliberate the statement she just heard.

“Why are you here?” Nesta asked quietly.

“To assist you on your journey,” the Suriel replied. “For you have potential.”

“You speak about the war.” It was not a question. What other journey would Nesta dare to take with the threat of her sister being taken in her place if she didn’t? “And how do you propose that a wraith should be beneficial?”

The Suriel placed a long yellowed nail to the corner of its mouth. It tsked in disappointment. “Have we not established I am a Suriel? It would seem obvious what I can offer in times where you are confused and in need of answers.”

“So you’ll just come at my beck and call?” Nesta snorted in disbelief. “I very much doubt that and I don’t intend to have a debt hanging over my shoulder for your assistance.”

“My presence will come forth when I choose so and a form of payment will be made upon my answers given to your questions,” the Suriel agreed. “Most of the time I prefer coats, but lately I’ve been desiring socks.”

Nesta considered the words. Having the Suriel as an ally would be an incredible asset. “Fine. But I leave tonight for war.”

The Suriel gave one nod with a sharp smile. “But of course. I already knew that.”

Without a second thought Nesta tossed one of her crocheted scarves at the creature. “That is your payment for tonight. Next time I expect clear-cut answers. No toying around with words. And no damned answers with hidden meanings.”

“Oh, but we shouldn’t make promises that can’t be kept,” the Suriel sprung across the floor in a flash and darted out the open window. It was all but a dark blur in the moonlight as it escaped to the Wall bordering human and fae lands.

Nesta heaved a sigh of relief and closed the window. Her gaze returned to the parchment on her writing desk. It would be midnight soon. Her time to be spirited away to one of the Courts was drawing nearer.

With her remaining time left Nesta wrote a letter. One that explained to Elain that she was going to be away to help the fae and humans fight against Prythian. She asked Elain not to follow her, but instead look to safety in case the war did not end in their favor. She apologized to her sister. Wishing things were more peaceful and that their home was whole and full of love that had been taken from them years ago.

A shuddering choked sob caught in Nesta’s throat as she signed her name along with her hope to see Elain in the future again. Softly Nesta crept out of her room and down the hall to Elain’s room where she placed the note and their mother’s bracelet on the bedside table.

As the final hour of the day was about to draw to a close, Nesta used her sharpened letter opener to make a small cut on her thumb. The blood welled on the skin before enough had been drawn out.  Steadily Nesta brought her thumb down on the paper. Immediately she felt magic thrumming after she had sealed her life to battle.

Her own magic swelled from within the deep trenches she kept it buried. It coursed through her veins in a matter of seconds before suddenly the ground disappeared beneath her. Nesta tumbled in darkness. Panic rushing in her stomach as she fell into nothingness.

Then her body collided on something hard and cold. Nesta sucked in air with a gasp as she stared up into darkness. No. There was something bright shining above her in a sea of darkness.


Nesta was alive looking at a night sky filled with stars. She sat up and rubbed her back which took the brunt of her landing.

“Damn fae magic,” Nesta grumbled thinking it was quite a ridiculous way to transport people to and fro. She couldn’t imagine how the humans dealt with such an abrupt method of travel.

She turned her body around at the sound of deep laughter and male voices in the near distance. A camp of sorts was set-up a little over 100 yards from her. Large fires pits illuminated the area filled with crude tents that were constructed a safe distance around the burning flames. Along the tree line a dozen buildings of gray mountain stone stood tall as smoke puffed from the chimneys.

Nesta shivered in her attire. She had worn a long nightdress to bed with boots for her journey, but this cold seeped deep into her bones. Wind howled like wolves across the bare rock and mud that Nesta walked on. Her feet carried her closer to the camp. Each step closing the distance between her and a fate that danced with war and love.

And Nesta’s gait did not falter in the face of what was to come.

Next Chapter

✯  Masterlist of Chapters

Viserys x Female Reader

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Imagine being Viserys’s wife and queen of the Seven Kingdoms where you are known for your feisty yet caring nature.

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\ Request from anonymous /

You have no idea how much I’ve missed your imagines!! I was wondering if you could do an AU plot where Viserys is Lord of the Seven Kingdoms and the reader is ruling with him as his Queen? ♥ Hope you’re having a wonderful week and thanks in advance, darling~!

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Keep reading

Queen Kagome

A little scene @mustardyellowsunshine and I headcanoned ages ago. 

Inuyasha stood beside the throne with his arms crossed and a sour expression that he directed at the so-called noblemen standing before him. 

“Inuyasha,” called a voice softened so that only he would hear.
He glanced back, saw a young Queen on her velvet covered throne and looked at her carefully. Despite the straight-set of her shoulders and the elaborate clothing, complete with a delicate silver crown, he could still see apprehension in those blue eyes he knew so well.

“Don’t worry,” he whispered back. “I have all my men on high alert and everyone in the assembly was checked thoroughly. I even did a twice over of the place before I let you come in.”

She nodded, but still, he sensed her uneasiness.
A small reassuring smile found him then. “Kagome,” he intoned softer. “I’ll be right here the whole time. Nobody’s going to try anything today. And even if they do, you know I’ll protect you with my life.”

Keep reading

FE8 Paired Endings, English vs. Japanese

For the most part, the English endings were pretty faithful to the Japanese versions, but I found some interesting points that were either lost or ambiguous in the English version. Because of the way the languages work, the Japanese version can fit more info than the English version can. So most of the paired ending changes amount to having an extra sentence or so.

Tana and Cormag - The Japanese version has an added detail that Cormag quickly became Tana’s close aide after he was knighted into Frelia’s service, and she placed an enormous amount of trust in him.

Joshua and Natasha - JP version states that the reason why the nomadic Joshua stayed put was because he had a beloved wife at home. But nothing changed his gambling addiction.

Joshua and Gerik - In terms of the ending, it’s not much different. But it details that in Jehanna’s prosperous years after Joshua’s rise to the throne, Gerik was always by his side.

Eirika and Seth - Their ending in the JP version makes a bit more sense than the English one, given the context of their A-Support. Seth was opposed to the marriage between a royal and her vassal, but with Ephraim’s matchmaking and Eirika’s strong will, he decided not to suppress his feelings anymore and agreed to marry her.

Franz and Amelia - It details that their daughter had Franz’s faithfulness and Amelia’s cheerfulness. Also, it’s implicit in the English version but the JP version explicitly says that their daughter served in Renais’ army.

Vanessa and Innes - Vanessa and Innes became lovers and were never married (English version just says that she moved into Castle Frelia, JP version explicitly says she moved there to be Innes’ 愛人, which means mistress/lover). When they had a child together, nobody kicked up a fuss and their child was regarded as a blessing to all, so possibly Innes never married to begin with (or Frelia has no stigma against these things).

Garcia and Ross - Ross’ son’s favorite phrase was “I want to be manlier than even dad and grandpa!”

Kyle and Lute - The biggest change I’ve seen so far. The “and Kyle dedicated himself to his [son’s] upbringing” doesn’t exist in the Japanese version at all. Instead, it takes the “Lute studied their son’s baffling habits” line that’s also in the Artur-Lute ending.

L’Arachel and Innes - Like Seth-Eirika, this pairing makes more sense in the JP version. It explains that because of their constant attempts to outdo one another, sea trade between their countries flourished like never before. And then they fell in love.

Gerik and Tethys - Details that the two were perfect partners, and they lived happily ever after. (This “lived happily ever after” appears a lot in the JP FE8 paired endings.)

Myrrh and Saleh - At first, the villagers wanted to worship her from a distance, which made her withdraw from them. Saleh served as a mediator and communicated her feelings to the villagers.

Ross and Amelia - Also ends with Ross’ son’s favorite phrase, but without the grandpa part.

Innes and Eirika - The feeling of the ending is a bit different. Unlike the English version where she “acknowledges” her feelings for him, the JP version uses the same language as with Seth in his ending with Eirika; she couldn’t hide her feelings for him anymore or she realized just how much she liked him.

Ghost King Danny with an ice crown

Idk if he keeps the crown or if he just summons a new one if he needs it, I just thought an ice crown would be rad. The Far Frozen made him that cloak in commemoration of his rise to the throne. It’s not really Danny’s usual style, but neither is the crown so he just kinda stopped complaining. XP

ALSO I’ve been wanting to talk about Danny being heir to the throne after the fight with Paraih Dark- what if Vlad was also a candidate (because he’s the one who locked the sarcophogus), but the “high council” or whoever’s in charge knew that they didn’t want him in a position of power, so they forced it on Danny. Danny argues that he doesn’t want to and he’s too young and he’s still human and all these other reasons why he shouldn’t be king, but they’re basically like “deal with it!” because they know that the other guy wouldn’t turn the job down.

anonymous asked:

Any thoughts on the songs and epics that will be written about the kings' rise to their thrones? Preposterous fabrications, campy retellings and romantic operetta..? There ought to be legendary verses dedicated to Laurent's hair..

If Damen wrote it, there would definitely be whole verses on Laurent’s hair. 

However, I suspect Laurent is far more likely to write his version of their history and seed it in various court performances or maybe just insert it into the official records.

Damen: I did not say–

Laurent: It’s in the official record.

anonymous asked:

Please elaborate on the high school hamlet wolf 359 headcanons this is all I need in life

one time eiffel went into the prop storage room to find something and found a box that said EIFFEL on it and now he won’t go back in despite the fact that he’s the stage manager


“Alright,” Minkowski said, frowning up at the stage from the front row. “Time for notes.”

“Excellent,” Kepler said, uncrossing his legs and rising up from Claudius’ throne. “I have a few thoughts - “

“Jacobi,” Minkowski interrupted pointedly, “I’m not sure about the direction you’re taking your scenes with Claudius. It’s not… bad, but it’s not in line with the way you play him the rest of the time.”

Jacobi frowned. “What does that mean?”

“It means that just because you want into Warren’s pants doesn’t mean Laertes does,” Lovelace said lazily from where she was perched on the edge of the stage.

As Eiffel audibly dropped something in a fit of laughter backstage and Jacobi started yelling something about harassment, Minkowski leaned back in her seat, placed her script over her face, and wondered how many years she’d get as a juvenile for murdering her entire cast.

Jealousy Pt. 4


Robb watched as Arya got into a fight with one of Aegon Targaryen’s men. He couldn’t hear what the two had been talking about, so he didn’t know what had started the fight, though he had a fairly good idea. All Robb knew was that Arya had thrown the first punch. Now she was rolling around on the ground, straddling the man and landing punches where she could. At first, the man didn’t seem to want to hit her back and settled on defending himself, but when Arya hit his nose so hard it started bleeding, the man’s face contorted in rage, and he lashed out.

When the fight had first begun, Robb had been amused. But then he’d met his lady mother’s eyes, and she had mouthed at him desperately to go intervene.

Robb was halfway across the hall when another figure was swiftly accosting Arya. The next moment Gendry was clutching a struggling Arya in his arms while the man cursed at her from where he lay sprawled on the ground, blood pulsing from his now crooked nose.

One cold, threatening look from Gendry later, the man shut up, though he continued glaring daggers Arya’s way. Gendry half-dragged, half-carried Arya away and back toward the high table, toward Robb. She was still struggling, even against Gendry’s arms.

“He was calling you a bastard and a liar and a craven,” Arya snarled over her shoulder at Gendry as they neared Robb.

“Who cares? He’s just sore because I beat him and his little friends in the practice yard.” Gendry tried to reassure her.

As they approached him, Robb grinned. “You gave him a good beating, little sister. Best hope it doesn’t reach the prince’s ears. He won’t be happy to hear you bloodied one of his men.”

Arya’s eyes flashed. “Best hope he doesn’t reach me or he’s next.” Arya snapped. “He’s the one going around telling everyone Gendry didn’t really fight in the war. And he’s saying all Gendry did back then was dishonor me.”

Robb’s cheeks pinked at the implication about his sister, but it was Gendry who responded.

“He’s another one who’s just sore ‘cause he lost to me.” Gendry chuckled to the girl half gathered in his arms. Robb knew he wasn’t referring to the practice yard either.

Robb fell into step with the smith as they headed toward the high table and away from the ruckus.

“Put me down,” Arya finally stopped struggling and just grasped at Gendry’s hands wrapped tight around her middle.

Gendry stopped there in the middle of the hall then. “Only if you promise not to go back and finish him off.” Gendry’s voice was firm, though it hid a laugh.

Arya glared over her shoulder at him. “You’re right,” she finally relented, “he’s not worth it.”

Gendry relaxed his arms around Robb’s little sister, and she slid down to her feet, still leaning against the smith.

“You don’t believe anything they’re saying, do you?” Gendry was leaning down to murmur into her ear.

Arya spun around and punched the smith so hard in the shoulder that he flinched. “Of course not, you stupid!”

“Arya,” Robb warned. “Mother is watching.”

Gendry had caught Arya’s wrists in one hand. “Then what does it matter what they say? As long as you know what’s true.”

Arya groaned in frustration. Heeding Robb’s words, her eyes on the high table, she let her arms drop.

Robb turned to see Catelyn staring sternly at Arya. Catelyn’s eyes met Robb’s. She jerked her head towards Arya, and Robb knew his mother wanted him to escort Arya away before she got into more trouble. When Robb turned back to do so, however, the smith was, as always, ten steps ahead. He had Arya’s elbow in one hand and was leading her out of the hall.

Another pang of impatience colored Robb’s insides. Robb was glad the smith had been close at hand to stop Arya fighting, especially before the other man had managed to retaliate in kind, but he also felt a pinprick of irritation. He’d been on his way to carry his sister off and would have gotten there in enough time. He hadn’t needed Gendry’s interference. Robb shrugged the feeling away. It was good Gendry had been there.

The smith usually was though, before anyone else. Just the week before, Arya had climbed halfway up the broken tower to rescue an injured crow that perched on a broken brick that jutted out and away from the tower. Robb had run with a long rope, up to the castle parapet and along it until he came to the broken tower. He had planned to drop the rope to her so she could tie it around her waist in case she fell. When Robb had gotten to the tower window, the smith had already climbed the tower behind Arya. Gendry had held the injured bird delicately in one hand and climbed down slowly below Arya to catch her in case she fell.

Another time, Arya had gotten into a fist fight with Elmar Frey, one of the hostages that Robb’s lord father Eddard had demanded of the Freys for the assurance that they would not rise against the throne. The man was larger than her and managed to throw in a few good punches that left Arya bruised. Then Gendry had been there, had tugged Arya away from the fray before replacing her fists with his own. Aegon’s man today had only been lucky because he hadn’t had the time to hit Arya back. The Frey boy had been bedridden for weeks. Robb’s father had forgiven the infraction only because Gendry had been coming to Arya’s defense, as much as Arya insisted she hadn’t needed the help.

To put it mildly, when it came to his littlest sister, Robb felt misplaced these days. Ever since she’d finally come back. The Starks had all been so happy to see her, the last of them missing. Arya was alive. That was enough. No one wanted to make her do anything she didn’t want to do lest she run away or disappear again somehow. Be a lady. Be polite, even. Wear a dress. No one made her stay away from the smith either. Soon, before they realized what that really meant, it was too late. Now, Gendry went wherever Arya went, and she didn’t need her big brothers anymore. Like the rest of them, Robb had been surprised that, out of all the Starks, Arya had been the one to come away from the war with a true match.

The next morning, Robb rode out with Gendry, Arya and Rickon, along with a handful of his lord father’s guard, to the wolfswood to ride and hunt. Ned Dayne and Aegon insisted on tagging along. Despite Arya’s obvious proclamation of a choice of suitor on her name day, along with his brother’s legitimization of Gendry, Dayne and the prince both did not seem to be getting the hint. At least not enough to stop pursuing his sister.

Gendry and Rickon led the column side-by-side, followed by Robb and Arya, the rest of them trailing behind. Arya wore her brand new sword, from Gendry, proudly on her hip. Her name day gift from Robb, the bow and arrows, she wore slung over her shoulder.

To Dayne’s obvious pleasure, Arya rode her new sand steed; from where he rode behind them in the column, the boy kept reminding Arya of her promise to race him on the horse.

“A sand steed,” Aegon snorted. “I’ll bet you a hundred gold dragons my courser can beat yours at any race.” The prince challenged the Dayne boy haughtily.

Dayne watched Arya as he spoke. With a chuckle, he said, “I’ll take that wager, but you may as well hand the gold over now.”

Meanwhile, Arya was laughing at something Gendry had just told Rickon and was not paying the slightest attention to the men behind her. Rickon had taken almost as well to the smith as Arya had. Most like because of his experience with Arya, Gendry was good at anticipating Rickon’s wild tantrums or outbursts. Nothing the boy said, no matter how bloody or shocking fazed the smith.

“A stag!” The younger boy shouted excitedly. With that, he bounded off across the open field, digging his heels into his own horse, a spear, one of his only remnants remaining from Skagos, clutched tightly in his right hand.

Gendry turned swiftly toward Arya, as if for permission. “Go,” she urged, and Gendry trotted off after the younger boy.

Robb laughed along with Arya, watching the bull chase the wild wolf. Gendry was still not perfectly accustomed to sitting a horse, and his large size made him look awkward in the saddle.

“When is the wedding, little wolf?” Robb teased Arya so as not to be overheard.

She turned a bright red. “Shut up!”

“Lady Stark and Lord Baratheon.”

“Don’t!” Arya threw a chestnut at him now from her saddlebag. It bounced off his leg. “It’s just Arya. And Gendry. Or stupid, if you want.”

Robb laughed. “I can’t be calling my lady sister stupid.” He protested in jest.

“I meant him,” Arya growled, but started to laugh along with her brother all the same.

“They’re off to kill a stag, and he is a stag.” Robb nodded towards the retreating backs of Gendry and Rickon.

“He’s not a stag. He’s a bull.” Arya protested. “A stupid, stubborn one.”

Robb laughed again. “Aye, that’s more fitting. You’ll be needing a new sigil then.”

Another chestnut got Robb in the side of the head, and he laughed as Arya argued, “I’m still a wolf. Don’t make me prove it.”

“Well, then, little sister. You going to make him take your name and sigil then?”

“And why not?” Arya challenged him, then scoffed. “Who says we have to get married anyway? Mother?”

Robb was almost taken aback. “Don’t you want to?”

Arya was, in turn, taken aback. “What’s the difference? Whether we marry or not, he’s mine.”

Robb laughed now. “Might be the only way to get rid of these buggers.” Robb tossed his head backwards to indicate he meant the prince and Dayne.

Arya spared a moment to frown their way. “We’ll see.” She shot back.

“Ready to race?” She asked the two behind them bluntly.

Both boys rushed forward on their horses.

“Will you give me your favor, my lady?” Dayne winked at Arya, and Robb had to hold back a groan.

Arya just grinned wickedly. “My favor will be not throwing you off your horse, Dayne.”

“To the lake.” Arya commanded.

Robb completed the count. At ten, the three were off, their horses kicking up clots of dirt and grass in their wake.

Robb and his father’s men trotted behind them at a distance. From where he was, Robb could see that Arya had quickly gained the lead. It wasn’t simply that Arya was lighter or knew the terrain better than the other two. She was a true horse woman of the north. She’d been riding since before she could walk.

Slowly, Dayne was gaining on Arya, and Aegon on Dayne. A light mist began then. The morning had been cloudy and the sky had threatened thunder and rain. Arya nearly stood now in her stirrups. She disappeared over a knoll, Dayne and Aegon as well seconds after. Robb raced ahead now, somehow uneasy. Nymeria, Grey Wind and Shaggydog had disappeared to hunt almost immediately after they had left the gates of Winterfell. Robb didn’t like losing sight of his sisters outside of Winterfell. He usually didn’t mind, as long as Gendry or Jon were with her. But Jon was far away in King’s Landing and Gendry had run off after Rickon.

Robb finally crowned the same knoll, to see that Arya and Dayne were neck and neck, Aegon trailing a yard behind.

Suddenly a chill ran down Robb’s back. He felt the shadow approach before he actually saw it. Looking overhead as he rode forward, he saw the unmistakable shape of a large flying beast, obscured by the clouds. Viserion. Ahead, Aegon, looking unconcerned, was slowing his horse to a trot. As the dragon descended, Aegon stood nimbly in his saddle. The dragon neared the three riders. Arya only just then noticed, swiveling sideways in her seat. Her face was one of pure annoyance. Obviously Aegon thought he was being clever; if he managed to mount the dragon, he’d arrive to the lake before the other two with long moments to spare.

Suddenly, as Viserion fanned his wings out to their full width in order to reach the height of Aegon’s horse, Arya’s steed reared. With her eyes still behind her on Viserion, Arya hadn’t been expecting it. She fell sideways in her saddle, losing the reins. She would have tumbled off completely, except her left foot was caught in the stirrup. She hung off the side, her face and hands dragging along the rough terrain until she hoisted herself up as high above it as she could. Robb choked back a breath and spurred his own horse, already foaming at the mouth, forward that he might catch her before she was dragged again or thrown off completely.

Ahead was pure confusion. Aegon didn’t seem to have realized that Arya was in danger. He was swinging himself precariously onto Viserion’s back. Dayne was spurring his own steed, so as to catch up to Arya’s. Dayne was gaining, but on the wrong side of the horse. Were Arya to fall at that moment, Dayne’s steed would trample her. Robb’s own horse began to rear as it got closer to Viserion, who was again beginning to ascend. Aegon, it seemed, had only begun to grasp the consequences he had wrought with his stunt.

Robb kept a tight hold on the reins of his horse, urging it forward. Standing in his own stirrups and leaning forward, he found himself catching up to Arya and Ned Dayne. Dayne was attempting to lean off his own horse and pull Arya back up. Instead, he should have been trying to get control of the horse. Arya was yelling something unintelligible at Ned while, at the same time, trying to lift herself up with only the strength of her middle. Her face was red and scratched from where it had dragged along the tree roots and stones before managing to lift herself up. Her face was pale and twisted in pain, and Robb could now see that her leg was twisted at an unnatural angle.

Worry and anxiety rose in him like an overflowing fountain. If Dayne had not sidled up so close, Arya would have been able to twist back up into her saddle and gain control of the steed. The steed. Robb cursed out loud. He shouldn’t have let Arya race on a horse she was unfamiliar with. This was the first time she’d ridden the beast, so it could not know her, and she could not know the horse.

Dayne finally seemed to have gotten the message and was falling back to swing around Arya’s horse. But Robb had finally gotten there first. He swung his own courser around Arya’s steed and rode side-by-side the steed, leaning over unsteadily until he caught the reins in his gloved hands. Slowly, Robb eased the horse to a trot and then to a stop. Ignoring Dayne’s pleas and request of Arya’s well-being, Robb hoped lithely off his horse, throwing the reins at Jory Cassel, who had been on his heels the entire ride.

“Arya.” Robb’s hoarse voice begged.

She was groaning in pain, hanging directly down off the side of the horse now. “Get. Me. Off.” Arya said through clenched teeth.

Robb circled around her and lifted her torso up. She hissed in pain at the way that movement jostled her leg.

“I’m sorry, love.” He held her close, as Jory untangled her leg from the saddle and stirrups. Arya cursed the entire time, and to his own pain, Robb saw tears streaking her dirt ridden face.

Dayne was at his side now and helped Robb drag Arya down off the horse and to the floor. Arya cried out loudly when her leg hit the floor.

Suddenly, before Robb could stop her, Arya had reached her left arm out and smacked Dayne stingingly across the face. He stepped back in shock, holding one palm up to his red-tinged face. Robb crouched down next to her and held her hand. She squeezed his own hand painfully.

“I told you to get away,” Arya was sobbing and clenching at her knee, toward her ankle, with her right hand. Several of the cuts on her face were bleeding freely, her blood mingling with the salt of her tears and running down her face. “I needed the space to sit up and grab the reins.” She cried out again when she moved her own leg accidentally by shifting where she lay.

“I’m sorry, m’la-.”

“What’s going on?” To his credit, Aegon’s voice was genuinely worried.

“You!” Arya snarled through tears. Though it caused her great pain, Arya wrenched her hand out of Robb’s, reached over her shoulder and nocked an arrow to her bow, quicker than Robb could stop her.

Aegon’s mouth was an ‘o’ of surprise, and he lifted his hands slowly in surrender. Thankfully, he’d left the dragon far behind, else they might all be charred by now.

“What made you think,” Arya said through clenched teeth, “it was a good idea to bring a dragon down on horses?”

“Arya,” Robb said carefully in a low voice. “That’s your prince you’re aiming at. The king wouldn’t be pleased to know it.”

“Jon would do the same,” Arya argued with a glare, but she lowered the bow all the same.

Robb couldn’t say she was wrong.

“I thought you were supposed to be clever.” Arya told Aegon coldly, then looked away as if neither Dayne nor Aegon had ever been there.

“We have to get you back to Maester Luwin, Arya,” Robb urged.

Arya’s eyes were closed now, and fresh tears, from pain more than anything, came pouring from her eyes. She nodded slightly, but when they tried to lift her, so she could ride on Robb’s horse with him, she cried out and clung to the ground.

Robb stared down at her worriedly. “Is it broken or…” He looked anxiously at Jory.

“-dree.” Arya cried incoherently.

Robb crouched quickly down next to his sister, putting an arm comfortingly around her shoulders. “What was that, love?” He grasped her hand again, letting her squeeze it painfully.

“Gendry.” She pleaded. “I want Gendry.” Arya’s face was pale, her teeth clamped down hard, her jaw set.

Robb’s heart stuttered. He kept her hand clasped and stood, looking out across the fields for the smith. How far had he been? Would he have heard the commotion?

“Where’s Gendry?” Arya squeezed Robb’s hand ever harder.

Robb’s brow furrowed and he took a knee again by his sister. “He’s not here, love, and we have to get you back to the castle. It’s going to hurt like hell, but you just squeeze my hand as hard as you have to. Maester Luwin will have milk of the poppy for you as soon as we get there, and all the pain will go away.” Robb tried to comfort her, but knew somehow, it was not enough.

Arya leaned into Robb, but she shook her head. “Gendry.” She repeated. “I need Gendry.”

Suddenly, a racket of noise exploded from deep within the woods behind them. Jory and his men began to unsheathe their swords, but soon three large direwolves were darting out of the thicket. Then, thankfully, Robb saw two more riders barreling through the trees, one his little brother, the other the smith.

Gendry’s eyes were surprised at the sight of them at first, then fearful when he caught sight of Arya cradled in Robb’s arms. The smith was off the horse before it had even stopped galloping; the horse ran off on its own, stopping nearer the middle of the field to graze.

The smith, meanwhile, landed heavily, but was not deterred. He rushed to Arya’s right side and when she saw him, she sighed his name in relief. Robb felt her leave his grasp and curl into Gendry’s.

When he spoke, Gendry’s voice scorched. “What happened?” Gendry held Arya’s head to his chest and his fingers trickled lightly down her leg toward her ankle.

In a low voice, Robb quickly explained why and how Arya had been dragged through an acre or two of land. Without moving, which would have made Arya uncomfortable from pain, Gendry looked up at both the prince and the lord of Starfall with a look that told them he would kill them both if he could. His blue eyes looked afire with fury, and his mouth twitched in anger.

Then Gendry looked back down at the girl in his arms, and his eyes softened. He used the back of his hand to wipe blood that was trickling down Arya’s forehead and towards her eyes.

“You’ll be alright,” he promised her.

“Stupid bull,” Arya muttered into the smith’s jerkin. “Where have you been?”

Gendry chuckled, stroking Arya’s hair. “I leave you alone for five minutes and you go and get yourself nearly killed.”

“My lord,” Jory Cassel spoke, “we should get my lady back to the castle.”

Gendry looked startled when he realized Jory was speaking to him and not Robb. “Can I pick you up?” He asked Arya softly.

Hesitantly, Arya nodded her head.

“Fear cuts deeper than swords,” Gendry murmured softly into her hair. Arya’s lips, previously twisted in pain, tilted into a weak smile.

From beyond, Aegon called out, “I can take her back on Viserion. It’s the quickest way.”

Both Arya and Gendry ignored him, though Robb sent him an appreciative smile.

“If he speaks one more time-.” Arya started.

Gendry silenced her with a kiss to the top of her head. “What will it be, m’lady, dragon or horse?”

“A bull.” She grunted in pain, as he began to lift her up. Robb gently adjusted her leg in Gendry’s arms so it would be more comfortable.

Gendry chuckled. “Dragon it is.”

“Not with him,” Arya moaned into Gendry’s neck.

“Viserion.” Gendry called loudly.

Across the way, the prince flinched. He didn’t like it when Gendry addressed his dragon directly. Nor when Gendry rode either of the other dragons. Nor indeed that all three dragons had taken easily to Gendry and had developed a fondness for him that hardly any others inspired in their reptilian hearts.

A gust of wind blew across them as Viserion floated down from above to land in their midst. The horses all about reared, and Jory and the others struggled to keep them under control. Carrying Arya, Gendry walked gingerly toward the dragon. Aegon appeared at the smith’s side.

“If you hand her up to me, I can-.”

“Gendry’s taking me.” Arya snapped, her voice muffled from where she hid her face in the gap between Gendry’s neck and shoulder.

“As m’lady commands, coz.” Gendry shrugged nonchalantly at Aegon who only had a defeated set of eyes for the woman in the smith’s arms. Though he referred to Aegon as his cousin only to annoy him, there was truth to it, as they were distantly related through Gendry’s great grandmother.

Viserion, who seemed to understand Arya’s precarious condition, crouched low to the ground. With Robb’s help, Gendry clambered over Viserion’s wing and settled Arya into Aegon’s saddle. Robb and Gendry secured Arya’s leg against Viserion’s side so it wouldn’t shift while up in the air. Gendry settled into the saddle behind her and wrapped one arm around her.

As Robb turned to go, Arya grasped his hand tightly. “No.” She mumbled. “You too, Robb. Please.”

Robb was surprised at the plea, though it also warmed him to know his sister still needed him sometimes. “Of course, little one.”

Robb glanced at Gendry who blinked a smile at him. “It’ll be safer to have you in front, so she don’t move around a lot too.” Gendry agreed.

Robb gave orders for Jory and the other men to take his, Arya’s and Gendry’s horses back to Winterfell with them. He argued for a few moments with Rickon who wanted to ride with them desperately and refused to get back on his horse until he could; it wasn’t until Aegon promised to take Rickon flying on Viserion once they got back that the younger boy sullenly agreed to get back on his horse, though Shaggydog’s hackles were raised by then.

Robb once more ensured that Arya and her smith were secure in the saddle before picking up the dragon’s heavy reins.

Sōvēs.” Gendry uttered from behind. The Valyrian word for fly, Robb knew. He’d seen both Jon and Dany fly often enough to remember.

Soon they were soaring, and Robb could see the towers of Winterfell’s castle in the close distance. His belly swooped when he looked down, Viserion’s wings jarring him as the dragon turned toward the castle. His sister’s small hands gripped the top of his cloak. Robb reached one hand up to his shoulder and covered her warm hand with his.

Soon, they were landing in the castle courtyard. Robb helped Gendry lift Arya from the saddle, gingerly so as not to jostle her leg. Even then, she flinched and cursed several times. Finally, they made it up to Maester Luwin’s tower where the maester tutted at them and muttered under his breath about Arya’s recklessness.

Robb clapped the maester on the back. “No more reckless than Jon and me at her age.”

Maester Luwin scoffed. “Much more.” As he gathered herbs to make a poultice for the pain, he went on to recount the last several times, all in the past week, that he’d healed Arya in some way.

Across the room, Gendry was slowly coaxing Arya into drinking the small cup of milk of the poppy Luwin had thrust into his hands. Robb helped the maester gather what he needed, helped him grind the herbs into the paste. Now Gendry was using a cool, wet cloth to wipe the dirt and blood from Arya’s face. She was smiling somewhat now, if still a bit pained.

Only moments later, Luwin was shooing both Gendry and Robb out of his chambers. He gave them two large bowls to fill with the snow that refused to melt outside of the castle gates.

Robb followed Gendry down the tower steps, both of them taking the stairs two at a time in the rush to get the ice to soothe Arya’s ankle.

As they walked side-by-side across the courtyard, Robb glanced at Gendry only to see him looking uncertain, as if he wanted to say something but didn’t know how.

“She’ll be alright.” Robb assured him.

Gendry glanced Robb’s way as if surprised he’d said anything. “Thank you.” His voice was gruff when he spoke.

It was Robb’s turn to be surprised. “For what?” He blurted.

“I mean…” With the hand that was not holding the bowl, Gendry clutched the back of his neck almost nervously. “For saving her. You stopped her horse.”

Robb almost bit back that of course he’d saved her, she was his little sister, but knew Gendry hadn’t meant it that way. Gendry also looked incredibly pained when he said, “She could have been killed.”

Robb felt pity for the haunted look in Gendry’s eyes. “Aye, but it’d take a lot more than a stupid Dornishman and a dragon to finish her off.”

Gendry couldn’t help but chuckle. “I hope so.” He responded, but his eyes darkened again. “I should have been there. She should’ve known better than to race a horse she’s never ridden before.”

Robb silently agreed on that last point, but out loud, he said. “It’s not your fault, Gendry. Once she puts her mind to something, it’s impossible to talk her out of it.”

As they crossed over the moat and towards the forest, a handful of his father’s guards shadowed them. Under his father’s orders, none of the Starks were to leave the castle grounds without protection.

Gendry had that stubborn look on his face that he got when Arya was arguing with him about something particularly stupid. “It’s still my fault.” His face was twisted almost in confusion. He hesitated before saying, “If I hadn’t waited this long to ask for her hand…” He glanced sideways at Robb almost worriedly as he spoke. “These bloody buggers would have cleared off by now.”

Robb snorted with laughter. Gendry joined in.

Using the cups Luwin had given them along with the bowls, Gendry and Robb shoveled snow into the bowls silently for a few moments.

Robb thought hard before he spoke. “Is it marriage for a certainty then?”

Gendry got that pained look again. “If she’ll have me.” The smith paused in his shoveling, hesitating again before speaking. “I wanted everyone’s blessing first…”

Robb blinked at him, as he packed the snow down into the bowl so he could fit more.

Gendry spoke again before he could. “I mean, I’d ask your father first, but…what I mean to say is…I’d want all of your blessings. I think it would mean a lot to her.” Gendry finally looked away, scooping more snow into his cup.

Robb looked away too. He was conflicted, one part happy for his sister and the smith, another part apprehensive. “Will you move her to Storm’s End with you?” He said suddenly. Though it had been a few years now, it still felt as if he’d only just gotten his sister back.

Gendry gawked at him. “St- Storm’s End?” Gendry looked genuinely concerned now. “Will your father make us go there if we marry?”

“Of course not.” Robb now felt one part confused, one part amused and another part relieved. He laughed. “Don’t you want to claim your land?”

Gendry shook his head vehemently. “It’s Edric who knows the land, the castle and the people, not me. It should go to him. If he ever comes back.” Gendry looked apprehensive now as they stood to deliver the snow back to Luwin. “I’d go if Arya wanted to, but she never would. The North is her home. I could never take that away from her. Not for a whole kingdom.”

Robb smiled brightly. It had been the right thing to say. “Well, then, Gendry. You have my blessing.” Robb paused, unsure if he should go on. Then, “You’re a good man, Gendry. I’m glad my sister found you.”

Gendry looked self-conscious. “And I, her.”

Robb grinned sideways at the smith. “When will you ask her?”

“Tonight, if it means the bloody prince and Dayne will leave right away.”

They shared a laugh as said prince and lord trotted up the Kingsroad towards them and the castle, both looking the worse for wear and completely downtrodden.

“What are you two smiling about?” Arya asked suspiciously when they re-entered the maester’s chambers, snow in hand.

“At the beating you’re going to give those two idiots later when you’re better,” Robb said, making Gendry and Arya laugh. Even the maester cracked a smile as he scattered snow delicately over Arya’s ankle so as to bring down the swelling.

“Who says I’m going to wait?” Arya growled.

They laughed again, but Gendry said, “I do,” as he smoothed her hair back away from her face and took her hand in his, hoping to distract her from the pain Luwin was causing by probing her ankle.

As Robb went to inform his mother of Arya’s injury, he watched the two interact. Arya’s eyes softened almost every time she looked at the smith, unless he was the cause of her ire. And the smith, in kind, looked at the girl as if she was the only thing that existed. Yes, Robb was glad Gendry had come into her life. He wondered if he should warn the rest of his family the smith would be visiting them very soon with a surprising request. No, he smiled, he’d let them find out on their own.


Tudor Book Recs; 2016 edition

so i definitely did not get as much tudor reading as i would have lived over all this year, but i decided i’d post some 2016 publications that may have gone a little under the radar, most of these i haven’t read but i hope to do so

Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never was by Sean Cunningham: this one i did read, and i really liked it, as we all know arthur had a very short life and we really don’t know that much about it, mostly this book is discussing what arthur’s life and duty as prince of wales was like

The Temptation of Elizabeth Tudor by Elizabeth Norton: if you don’t hate thomas seymour by now you really will after this, this book goes into detail about the events of the summer of 1547/48 and how they would affect elizabeth for the rest of her life

The Rise of the Tudors by Chris Skidmore: this is a 2013 publication but i really, really liked it so i’m going to fit it in here, the best account i’ve read on henry vii’s rise to the throne, it explained henry’s ancestry and family background very well and gave the best portrait of henry as a young man

Henry VII: The Maligned King: i haven’t read this one but there are so few bios on henry vii that as soon as i can get my hands on it i will

The Lives of Tudor Women: elizabeth norton is probably my favourite tudor historian right now so i will recommend all of her books, she does her research she knows her stuff

Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years by John Guy: i doubt i’ll like this as much as lisa hilton’s biography of elizabeth but i also aim to read every elizabeth bio so i’ll go for it soon

So Great a Prince by Lauren Johnson: most bios on henry viii begin in the mid 1520′s when he meets anne boleyn, but henry had been king for over 15 years by then, the 1510′s are often an overlooked period of tudor history, mostly because everyone wants to get to 1525 and forgets that england was a very different place in the early years of henry viii’s reign

The Other Tudor Princess by Mary McGrigor: you may have noticed that alison weir’s book on margaret douglas is not here and i’m keeping it that way and given you another book on margaret douglas written by scottish historian mary mcgrigor and i haven’t read but i’m sure it’s better

Katherine Howard: The Tragic Story of Henry VIII’s Fifth Queen: now i am cautious recommending any book on katherine howard because there is so much trash out there and i’m doing this cautiously as well because i have not read this work yet i have my sources that it’s pretty good so i’m hoping it’s true

Part 2 ~Odin The Father Of Gods And Men.

Originally posted by zelenka

(Gif Was Created By Zelenka) 

Odin, Wuotan, or Woden was the highest and holiest god of the Northern races. He was the all-pervading spirit of the universe, the personification of the air, the god of universal wisdom and victory,and the leader and protector of princes and heroes. As all the gods were supposed to be descended from him, he was surnamed Allfather, and as eldest and chief among them he occupied the highest seat in Asgard. Known by the name of Hlidskialf, this chair was not only an exalted throne, but also a mighty watch-tower, from whence he could overlook the whole world and see at a glance all that was happening among gods, giants, elves, dwarfs, and men. 

“ From the hall of Heaven he rode away 

To Lidsldalf, and sate upon his throne, 

The mount, from whence his eye surveys the world. 

And far from Heaven he turned his shining orbs 

To look on Midgard, and the earth, and men." 

Balder Dead (Matthew Arnold)

Odin’s Personal Appearance None but Odin and his wife and queen Frigga were privileged to use this seat, and when they occupied it they generally gazed towards the south and west, the goal of all the hopes and excursions of the Northern nations. Odin was generally represented as a tall, vigorous man, about fifty years of age, either with dark curling hair or with a long grey beard and bald head. He was clad in a suit of grey, with a blue hood, and his muscular body was enveloped in a wide blue mantle flecked with grey - an emblem of the sky with its fleecy clouds. In his hand Odin generally carried the infallible spear Gungnir, which was so sacred that an oath sworn upon its point could never be broken, and on his finger or arm he wore the marvellous ring, Draupnir, the emblem of fruitfulness, precious beyond compare. When seated upon his throne or armed for the fray, to mingle in which he would often descend to earth, Odin wore his eagle helmet; but when he wandered peacefully about the earth in human guise,to see what men were doing, he generally donned a broad-brimmed hat, drawn low over his forehead to conceal the fact that he possessed but one eye. Two ravens, Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory), perched upon his shoulders as he sat upon his throne, and these he sent out into the wide world every morning, anxiously watching for their return at nightfall, when they whispered into his ears news of all they had seen and heard. Thus he was kept well informed about everything that was happening on earth. 

” Hugin and Munin 

Fly each day 

Over the spacious earth. 

I fear for Hugin 

That he come not back, 

Yet more anxious am I for Munin.“ 

Norse Mythology (R. B. Anderson)

At his feet crouched two wolves or hunting hounds, Geri and Freki, animals which were therefore considered sacred to him, and of good omen if met by the way. Odin always fed these wolves with his own hands from meat set before him. He required no food at all for himself,and seldom tasted anything except the sacred mead. 

” Geri and Freki 

The war-wont sates, 

The triumphant sire of hosts;

But on wine only 

The famed in arms 

Odin, ever lives.“ 

Lay of Grlmnir (Thorpistr.)

When seated in state upon his throne, Odin rested his feet upon a footstool of gold, the work of the gods, all of whose furniture and utensils were fashioned either of that precious metal or of silver. Besides the magnificent hall Gladsheim, where stood the twelve seats occupied by the gods when they met in council, and Valaskialf, where his throne, Hlidskialf, was placed, Odin had a third palace in Asgard, situated in the midst of the marvellous grove Glasir, whose shimmering leaves were of red gold.

This palace,called Valhalla (the hall of the chosen slain), had five hundred and forty doors, wide enough to allow the passage of eight hundred warriors abreast, and above the principal gate were a boar’s head and an eagle whose piercing glance penetrated to the far corners of the world. The walls of this marvellous building were fashioned of glittering spears, so highly polished that they illuminated the hall. The roof was of golden shields,and the benches were decorated with fine armour, the god’s gifts to his guests. Here long tables afforded ample accommodation for the Einheriar, warriors fallen in battle,who were specially favoured by Odin.

” Easily to be known is, 

By those who to Odin come, 

The mansion by its aspect. 

Its roof with spears is laid, 

Its hall with shields is decked, 

With corselets are its benches strewed.“ 

Lay of Grimnir (Thorpe’s tr.) 

The ancient Northern nations, who deemed warfare the most honourable of occupations, and considered courage the greatest virtue, worshipped Odin principally as god of battle and victory. They believed that when ever a fight was impending he sent out his special attendants, the shield-, battle-, or wish-maidens, called Valkyries (choosers of the slain), who selected from the dead warriors one-half of their number, whom they bore on their fleet steeds over the quivering rainbow bridge, Bifröst into Valhalla. Welcomed by Odin’s sons, Hermod and Bragi, the heroes were conducted to the foot of Odin’s throne, where they received the praise due to their valour. When some special favourite of the god was thus brought into Asgard, Valfather (father of the slain), as Odin was called when he presided over the warriors, would sometimes rise from his throne and in person bid him welcome at the great entrance gate. 

Besides the glory of such distinction,and the enjoyment of Odin’s beloved presence day after day, other more material pleasures awaited the warriors in Valhalla. Generous entertainment was provided for them at the long tables, where the beautiful white-armed virgins, the Valkyries, having laid aside their armour and clad themselves in pure white robes, waited upon them with assiduous attention. These maidens, nine in number according to some authorities, brought the heroes great horns full of delicious mead, and set before them huge portions of boar’s flesh, upon which they feasted heartily. The usual Northern drink was beer or ale, but our ancestors fancied this beverage too coarse for the heavenly sphere. They therefore imagined that Valfather kept his table liberally supplied with mead or hydromel,which was daily furnished in great abundance by his she-goat Heidrun, who continually browsed on the tender leaves and twigs on Lerad, Yggdrasil’s top most branch. 

” Rash war and perilous battle, their delight; 

And immature, and red with glorious wounds, 

Unpeaceful death their choice: deriving thence 

A right to feast and drain immortal bowls, 

In Odin’s hall ; whose blazing roof resounds 

The genial uproar of those shades who fall 

In desperate fight,or by some brave attempt.“ 

Liberty(James Thomson)

The meat upon which the Einheriar feasted was the flesh of the divine boar Saehrimnir, a marvellous beast, daily slain by the cook Andhrimnir, and boiled in the great cauldron Eldhrimnir; but although Odin’s guests had true Northern appetites and gorged themselves to the full, there was always plenty of meat for all. 

” Andhrimnir cooks 

In Eldhrimnir 

Saehrimnir ; 

‘Tis the best of flesh; 

But few know 

What the einherjes eat.“ 

Lay of Grimnir (Anderson’s version)

Moreover, the supply was exhaustless, for the boar always came to life again before the time of the next meal. This miraculous renewal of supplies in the larder was not the only wonderful occurrence in Valhalla, for it is related that the warriors, after having eaten and drunk to satiety,always called for their weapons, armed themselves, and rode out into the great courtyard, where they fought against one another, repeating the feats of arms for which they were famed on earth, and recklessly dealing terrible wounds, which, however, were miraculously and completely healed as soon as the dinner horn sounded. 

” All the chosen guests of Odin 

Daily ply the trade of war ; 

From the fields of festal fight 

Swift they ride in gleaming arms, 

And gaily,at the board of gods, 

Quaff the cup of sparkling ale 

And eat Saehrimni’s vaunted flesh.“ 

Vafthrudni’s-mal (W. Taylors tr.)

Whole and happy at the sound of the horn, and bearing one another no grudge for cruel thrusts given and received, the Einheriar would ride gaily back to Valhalla to renew their feasts in Odin’s beloved presence, while the white-armed Valkyries, with flying hair, glided gracefully about, constantly filling their horns or their favourite drinking vessels, the skulls of their enemies, while the scalds sang of war and of stirring Viking forays.

 "And all day long they there are hack’d and hewn 

'Mid dust, and groans, and limbs lopped off,and blood ; 

But all at night return to Odin’s hall 

Woundless and fresh : such lot is theirs in heaven." 

Balder Dead (Matthew Arnold”)

Fighting and feasting thus, the heroes were said to spend their days in perfect bliss, while Odin delighted in their strength and number, which, however, he foresaw would not avail to prevent his downfall when the day of the last battle should dawn. As such pleasures were the highest a Northern warrior’s fancy could paint, it was very natural that all fighting men should love Odin, and early in life should dedicate themselves to his service. They vowed to die arms in hand, if possible,and even wounded themselves with their own spears when death drew near, if they had been unfortunate enough to escape death on the battlefield and were threatened with “ straw death,” as they called decease from old age or sickness.

“ To Odin then true-fast 

Carves he fair runics," 

Death-runes cut deep on his arm and his breast." 

Viking Tales of the North (R. B. Anderson)

In reward for this devotion Odin watched with special care over his favourites, giving them gifts, a magic sword, a spear, or a horse, and making them invincible until their last hour had come, when he himself appeared to claim or destroy the gift he had bestowed, and the Valkyries bore the heroes to Valhalla. 

” He gave to Hermod 

A helm and corselet, 

And from him Sigmund 

A sword received.“ 

Lay of Hyndla (Thorpe’s tr.)

When Odin took an active part in war, he generally rode his eight-footed grey steed, Sleipnir, and bore a white shield. His glittering spear flung over the heads of the combatants was the signal for the fray to commence, and he would dash into the midst of the ranks shouting his war cry: ” Odin has you all! “ 

"And Odin donned 

His dazzling corslet and his helm of gold, 

And led the way on Sleipnir." 

Balder Dead (Matthew Arnold). 

At times he used his magic bow, from which he would shoot ten arrows at once, every one invariably bringing down a foe. Odin was also supposed to  inspire his favourite warriors with the renowned ” Berserker rage “ (bare sark or shirt), which enabled them, although naked, weaponless, and sore beset, to perform unheard-of feats of valour and strength, and move about as with charmed lives. As Odin’s characteristics, like the all-pervading elements, were multitudinous, so also were his names, of which he had no less than two hundred, almost all descriptive of some phase of his activities. He was considered the ancient god of seamen and of the wind. 

” Mighty Odin, Norsemen hearts we bend to thee ! 

Steer our barks,all-potent Woden, 

O'er the surging Baltic Sea.“ 


Odin, as wind-god, was pictured as rushing through mid-air on his eight-footed steed, from which originated the oldest Northern riddle, which runs as follows : ” Who are the two who ride to the Thing ? Three eyes have they together,ten feet,and one tail: and thus they travel through the lands’“ And as the souls of the dead were supposed to be wafted away on the wings of the storm, Odin was worshipped as the leader of all dis embodied spirits. In this character he was most generally known as the Wild Huntsman, and when people heard the rush and roar of the wind they cried aloud in superstitious fear, fancying they heard and saw him ride past with his train,all mounted on snorting steeds, and accompanied by baying hounds. And the passing of the Wild Hunt, known as Woden’s Hunt, the Raging Host, Gabriel’s Hounds, or Asgardreia, was also considered a presage of such misfortune as pestilence or war.  

"The Rhine flows bright ; but its waves ere long 

Must hear a voice of war, 

And a clash of spears our hills among, 

And a trumpet from afar ; 

And the brave on a bloody turf must lie, 

For the Huntsman hath gone by! " 

The Wild Huntsman (Mrs. Hemans). 

It was further thought that if any were so sacrilegious as to join in the wild halloo in mockery, they would be immediately snatched up and whirled away with the vanishing host, while those who joined in the halloo with implicit good faith would be rewarded by the sudden gift of a horse’s leg, hurled at them from above, which, if carefully kept until the morrow, would be changed into a lump of gold. Even after the introduction of Christianity the ignorant Northern folk still dreaded the on-coming storm, declaring that it was the Wild Hunt sweeping across the sky.

” And oft-times will start, 

For overhead are sweeping Gabriel’s hounds, 

Doomed with their impious lord the flying hart 

To chase forever on aereal grounds.“ 

Sonnet (Wordsworth) 

Sometimes it left behind a small black dog, which, cowering and whining upon a neighbouring hearth, had to be kept for a whole year and carefully tended unless it could be exorcised or frightened away. The usual recipe, the same as for the riddance of change-lings, was to brew beer in egg-shells,and this performance was supposed so to startle the spectral dog that he would fly with his tail between his legs, exclaiming that, although as old as the Behmer, or Bohemian forest,he had never before beheld such an uncanny sight.

” I am as old 

As the Behmer wold, 

And have in my life 

Such a brewing not seen.“ 

Old Saying (Thorpe’s tr.) 

The object of this phantom hunt varied greatly,and was either a visionary boar or wild horse, white-breasted maidens who were caught and borne away bound only once in seven years, or the wood nymphs, called Moss Maidens, who were thought to represent the autumn leaves torn from the trees and whirled away by the wintry gale. In the middle ages, when the belief in the old heathen deities was partly forgotten, the leader of the Wild Hunt was no longer Odin, but Charlemagne, Frederick Barbarossa, King Arthur, or some Sabbath-breaker, like the Squire of Rodenstein or Hans von Hackelberg, who, in punishment for his sins, was condemned to hunt forever through the realms of air. As the winds blew fiercest in autumn and winter, Odin was supposed to prefer hunting during that season, especially during the time between Christmas and Twelfth- night,and the peasants were always careful to leave the last sheaf or measure of grain out in the fields to serve as food for his horse. This hunt was of course known by various names in the different countries of Northern Europe ; but as the tales told about it are all alike,they evidently originated in the same old heathen belief,and to this day ignorant people of the North fancy that the baying of a hound on a stormy night is an infallible presage of death. 

” Still,still shall last the dreadful chase, 

Till time itself shall have an end; 

By day, they scour earth’s cavern’d space, 

At midnight'switching hour, ascend. 

“ This is the horn, and hound, and horse 

That oft the lated peasant hears ; 

Appall’d,he signs the frequent cross, 

When the wild din invades his ears. " 

The wakeful priest oft drops a tear 

For human pride,for human woe, 

When, at his midnight mass, he hears 

The infernal cry of ” Holla, ho ! ’ “ 

Sir Walter Scott. 

The Wild Hunt, or Raging Host of Germany, was called Herlathing in England, from the mythical king Herla, its supposed leader ; in Northern France it bore the name of Mesnée d'Hellequin, from Hel, goddess of death; and in the middle ages it was known as Cain’s Hunt or Herod’s Hunt, these latter names being given because the leaders were supposed to be unable to find rest on account of the iniquitous murders of Abel, of John the Baptist, and of the Holy Innocents. In Central France the Wild Huntsman, whom we have already seen in other countries as Odin, Charle magne, Barbarossa, Rodenstein, von Hackelberg, King Arthur, Hel, one of the Swedish kings,Gabriel, Cain, or Herod, is also called the Great Huntsman of Fontainebleau (le Grand Veneur de Fontainebleau, and people declare that on the eve of Henry IV.’s murder, and also just before the outbreak of the great French Revolution, his shouts were distinctly heard as he swept across the sky. It was generally believed among the Northern nations that the soul escaped from the body in the shape of a mouse, which crept out of a corpses mouth and ran away, and it was also said to creep in and out of the mouths of people in a trance. While the soul was absent,no effort or remedy could recall the patient to life; but as soon as it had come back animation returned. 

As Odin was the leader of all disembodied spirits, he was identified in the middle ages with the Pied Piper of Hamelin. According to Medieval legends, Hamelin was so infested by rats that life became unbearable, and a large reward was offered to any who would rid the town of these rodents. A piper, in parti-coloured garments, offered to undertake the commission, and the terms being accepted, he commenced 'to play through the streets in such wise that, one and all,the rats were beguiled out of their holes until they formed a vast procession. There was that in the strains which compelled them to follow, until at last the river Weser was reached, and all were drowned in its tide. 

” And ere three shrill notes the pipe uttered, 

You heard as if an army muttered ; 

And the muttering grew to a grumbling ; And the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling; 

And out of the houses the rats came tumbling. 

Great rats, small rats, lean rats, brawny rats, 

Brown rats, black rats, grey rats, tawny rats, 

Grave old plodders,gay young friskers, 

Fathers, mothers, uncles, cousins, 

Cocking tails and pricking whiskers, 

Families by tens and dozens, 

Brothers, sisters,husbands, wives “ 

Followed the Piper for their lives. 

From street to street he piped advancing, 

And step for step they followed dancing, 

Until they came to the river Weser, 

Wherein all plunged and perished ! " 

Robert Browning. 

As the rats were all dead, and there was no chance of their returning to plague them, the people of Hamelin refused to pay the reward, and they bade the piper do his worst. He took them at their word, and a few moments later the weird strains of the magic flute again arose, and this time it was the children who swarmed out of the houses and merrily followed the piper. 

” There was a rustling that seemed like a bustling 

Of merry crowds justling at pitching and hustling; 

Small feet were pattering,wooden shoes clattering, 

Little hands clapping and little tongues chattering, 

And, like fowls in a farmyard when barley is scattering, 

Out came all the children running. 

All the little boys and girls, 

With rosy cheeks and flaxen curls, 

And sparkling eyes and teeth like pearls, 

Tripping and skipping,ran merrily after 

The wonderful music with shouting and laughter.“ 

Robert Browning. 

The burghers were powerless to prevent the tragedy, and as they stood spellbound the piper led the children out of the town to the Koppelberg, a hill on the confines of the town, which miraculously opened to receive the procession, and only closed again when the last child had passed out of sight. This legend probably originated the adage ” to pay the piper.“ The children were never seen in Hamelin again,and in commemoration of this public calamity all official decrees have since been dated so many years after the Pied Piper’s visit. 

"They made a decree that lawyers never 

Should think their records dated duly 

If,after the day of the month and year, 

These words did not as well appear,

’ And so long after what happened here 

On the Twenty-second of July, 

Thirteen hundred and seventy-six: 

’ And the better in memory to fix 

The place of the children’s last retreat, 

They called it the Pied Piper Street " 

Where any one playing on pipe or tabor 

Was sure for the future to lose his labour." 

Robert Browning.

In this myth Odin is the piper, the shrill tones of the flute are emblematic of the whistling wind, the rats represent the souls of the dead, which cheerfully follow him, and the hollow mountain into which he leads the children is typical of the grave. Bishop Hatto Another German legend which owes its existence to this belief is the story of Bishop Hatto, the miserly prelate,who, annoyed by the clamours of the poor during a time of famine, had them burned alive in a deserted barn, like the rats whom he declared they resembled, rather than give them some of the precious grain which he had laid up for himself. " 

’ I, faith,'tis an excellent bonfire ! ’ quoth he, ' 

And the country is greatly obliged to me 

For ridding it in these times forlorn 

Of rats that only consume the corn.”' 

Robert Southey. 

Soon after this terrible crime had been accomplished the bishop’s retainers reported the approach of a vast swarm of rats. These, it appears, were the souls of the murdered peasants, which had assumed the forms of the rats to which the bishop had likened them. His efforts to escape were vain, and the rats pursued him even into the middle of the Rhine, to a stone tower in which he took refuge from their fangs. They swam to the tower, gnawed their way through the stone walls,and, pouring in on all sides at once, they found the bishop and devoured him alive. 

“ And in at the windows, and in at the door, 

And through the walls, helter-skelter they pour, 

And down from the ceiling,and up through the floor, 

From the right and the left,from behind and before,

From within and without, from above and below, 

And all at once to the Bishop they go. 

They have whetted their teeth against the stones ; 

And now they pick the Bishop’s bones ; 

They gnaw’d the flesh from every limb, 

For they were sent to do judgement on him ! " 

Robert Southey.

The red glow of the sunset above the Rat Tower near Bingen on the Rhine is supposed to be the reflection of the hell fire in which the wicked bishop is slowly roasting in punishment for his heinous crime. In some parts of Germany Odin was considered to be identical with the Saxon god Irmin, whose statue, the Irminsul, near Paderborn, was destroyed by Charle magne in 772. Irmin was said to possess a ponderous brazen chariot, in which he rode across the sky along the path which we know as the Milky Way, but which the ancient Germans designated as Irmin’s Way. This chariot,whose rumbling sound occasionally became perceptible to mortal ears as thunder, never left the sky, where it can still be seen in the constellation of the Great Bear, which is also known in the North as Odin’s, or Charles’s,Wain. 

” The Wain, who wheels on high 

His circling course, and on Orion waits ; 

Sole star that never bathes in the Ocean wave.“ 

Homer’s Iliad (Derby’s tr.). 

Mimir’s Well - To obtain the great wisdom for which he is so famous, Odin, in the morn of time, visited Mimir’s (Memor, memory) spring,” the fountain of all wit and wisdom,“ in whose liquid depths even the future was clearly mirrored, and besought the old man who guarded it to let him have a draught. But Mimir, who well knew the value of such a favour (for his spring was considered the source or headwater of memory), refused the boon unless Odin would consent to give one of his eyes in exchange. The god did not hesitate, so highly did he prize the draught, but immediately plucked out one of his eyes, which Mimir kept in pledge, sinking it deep down into his fountain, where it shone with mild lustre, leaving Odin with but one eye, which is considered emblematic of the sun.

 "Through our whole lives we strive towards the sun; 

That burning forehead is the eye of Odin. 

His second eye, the moon, shines not so bright; 

It has he placed in pledge in Mimer’s fountain, 

That he may fetch the healing waters thence, 

Each morning, for the strengthening of this eye." 

Oehlenschlager (Howitt’s tr.).

Drinking deeply of Mimir’s fount, Odin gained the knowledge he coveted, and he never regretted the sacrifice he had made, but as further memorial of that day broke off a branch of the sacred tree Yggdrasil, which overshadowed the spring, and fashioned from it his beloved spear Gungnir. 

” A dauntless god 

Drew for drink to its gleam, 

Where he left in endless 

Payment the light of an eye. 

From the world-ash 

Ere Wotan went he broke a bough ; 

For a spear the staff 

He split with strength from the stem.“ 

Dusk of the Gods, Wagner (Forman’s tr.). 

But although Odin was now all-wise,he was sad and oppressed, for he had gained an insight into futurity and had become aware of the transitory nature of all things, and even of the fate of the gods, who were doomed to pass away. This knowledge so affected his spirits that he ever after wore a melancholy and contemplative expression. To test the value of the wisdom he had thus obtained, Odin went to visit the most learned of all the giants, Vafthrudnir, and entered with him into a contest of wit, in which the stake was nothing less than the loser’s head. 

” Odin rose with speed,and went 

To contend in runic lore 

With the wise and crafty Jute.

 To Vafthrudni’s royal hall 

Came the mighty king of spells.“ 

Vafthrudnis-mal (IV.Taylor’s tr.). 

Odin and Vafthrudnir - On this occasion Odin had disguised himself as a Wanderer, by Frigga’s advice, and when asked his name declared it was Gangrad. The contest of wit immediately began, Vafthrudnir questioning his guest concerning the horses which carried Day and Night across the sky, the river Ifing separating Jotunheim from Asgard, and also about Vigrid, the field where the last battle was to be fought. All these questions were minutely answered by Odin, who, when Vafthrudnir had ended, began the interrogatory in his turn, and received equally explicit answers about the origin of heaven and earth, the creation of the gods,their quarrel with the Vanas, the occupations of the heroes in Valhalla, the offices of the Norns, and the rulers who were to replace the Æsir  when they had all perished with the world they had created. But when, in conclusion, Odin bent near the giant and softly inquired what words Allfather whispered to his dead son Balder as he lay upon his funeral pyre, Vafthrudnir suddenly recognised his divine visitor. Staring back in dismay, he declared that no one but Odin himself could answer that question,and that it was now quite plain to him that he had madly striven in a contest of wisdom and wit with the king of the gods,and fully deserved the penalty of failure, the loss of his head. 

” Not the man of mortal race 

Knows the words which thou hast spoken 

To thy son in days of yore. 

I hear the coming tread of death ; 

He soon shall raze the runic lore, 

And knowledge of the rise of gods, 

From his ill-fated soul who strove 

With Odin’s self the strife of wit, 

Wisest of the wise that breathe : 

Our stake was life,and thou hast won.“ 

Vafthrudnis-mal (W. Taylor’s tr.). 

As is the case with so many of the Northern myths, which are often fragmentary and obscure, this one ends here, and none of the scalds informs us whether Odin really slew his rival, nor what was the answer to his last question; but mythologists have hazarded the suggestion that the word whispered by Odin in Balder’s ear, to console him for his untimely death, must have been ” resurrection.“ 

Invention of Runes - Besides being god of wisdom, Odin was god and inventor of runes, the earliest alphabet used by Northern nations, which characters, signifying mystery, were at first used for divination,although in later times they served for inscriptions and records. Just as wisdom could only be obtained at the cost of sacrifice, Odin himself relates that he hung nine days and nights from the sacred tree Yggdrasil, gazing down into the immeasurable depths of Niflheim, plunged in deep thought,and self-wounded with his spear, ere he won the knowledge he sought. 

” I know that I hung 

On a wind-rocked tree 

Nine whole nights, 

With a spear wounded, 

And to Odin offered 

Myself to myself; 

On that tree Of which no one knows 

From what root it springs.“ 

Odin’s Rune-Song (Thorpe’s tr.). 

When he had fully mastered this knowledge, Odin cut magic runes upon his spear Gungnir, upon the teeth of his horse Sleipnir, upon the claws of the bear, and upon countless other animate and inanimate things. And because he had thus hung over the abyss for such a long space of time, he was ever after considered the patron divinity of all who were condemned to be hanged or who perished by the noose. After obtaining the gift of wisdom and runes, which gave him power over all things, Odin also coveted the gift of eloquence and poetry, which he acquired in a manner which we shall relate in a subsequent chapter. 

Odin, as has already been stated, took great interest in the affairs of mortals, and, we are told, was specially fond of watching King Hrauding’s handsome little sons, Geirrod and Agnar, when they were about eight and ten years of age respectively.One day these little lads went fishing,and a storm suddenly arose which blew their boat far out to sea, where it finally stranded upon an island, upon which dwelt a seeming old couple,who in reality were Odin and Frigga in disguise. They had assumed these forms in order to indulge a sudden passion for the close society of their proteges. The lads were warmly welcomed and kindly treated,Odin choosing Geirrod as his favourite, and teaching him the use of arms, while Frigga petted and made much fuss of little Agnar. The boys tarried on the island with their kind protectors during the long, cold winter season ; but when spring came, and the skies were blue, and the sea calm, they embarked in a boat which Odin provided,and set out for their native shore. Favoured by gentle breezes, they were soon wafted thither ; but as the boat neared the strand Geirrod quickly sprang out and pushed it far back into the water, bidding his brother sail away into the evil spirit’s power. 

At that self-same moment the wind veered, and Agnar was indeed carried away, while his brother hastened to his father’s palace with a lying tale as to what had happened to his brother. He was joyfully received as one from the dead, and in due time he succeeded his father upon the throne. Years passed by, during which the attention of Odin had been claimed by other high considerations, when one day, while the divine couple were seated on the throne Hlidskialf, Odin suddenly remembered the winter’s so journ on the desert island, and he bade his wife notice how powerful his pupil had become, and taunted her because her favourite Agnar had married a giantess and had remained poor and of no consequence. Frigga quietly replied that it was better to be poor than hard-hearted, and accused Geirrod of lack of hospitality - one of the most heinous crimes in the eyes of a Northman. She even went so far as to declare that in spite of all his wealth he often ill-treated his guests. When Odin heard this accusation he declared that he would prove the falsity of the charge by assuming the guise of a Wanderer and testing Geirrod’s generosity. Wrapped in his cloud-hued raiment, with slouch hat and pilgrim staff," 

” Wanderer calls me the world, 

Far have I carried my feet, 

On the back of the earth

I have boundlessly been,“

” Wagner (Formans tr.). 

Odin immediately set out by a roundabout way, while Frigga, to outwit him, immediately despatched a swift messenger to warn Geirrod to beware of a man in wide mantle and broad-brimmed hat, as he was a wicked enchanter who would work him ill. When, therefore, Odin presented himself before the king’s palace he was dragged into Geirrod’s presence and questioned roughly. He gave his name as Grimnir, but refused to tell whence he came or what he wanted, so as this reticence confirmed the suspicion suggested to the mind of Geirrod, he allowed his love of cruelty full play,and commanded that the stranger should be bound between two fires,in such wise that the flames played around him without quite touching him, and he remained thus eight days and nights,in obstinate silence,without food. Now Agnar had returned secretly to his brother’s palace,where he occupied a menial position,and one night when all was still, in pity for the suffering of the unfortunate captive, he conveyed to his lips a horn of ale. But for this Odin would have had nothing to drink - the most serious of all trials to the god. At the end of the eighth day, while Geirrod, seated upon his throne, was gloating over his prisoners sufferings, Odin began to sing - softly at first,then louder and louder,until the hall re-echoed with his triumphant notes “ a prophecy that the king, who had so long enjoyed the god’s favour,would soon perish by his own sword. 

” The fallen by the sword 

Ygg shall now have ; 

Thy life is now run out : 

Wroth with thee are the Disir: 

Odin thou now shalt see : 

Draw near to me if thou canst.“ 

Samunds Edda (Thorpe’s tr)

As the last notes died away the chains dropped from his hands, the flames flickered and went out, and Odin stood in the midst of the hall, no longer in human form, but in all the power and beauty of a god. On hearing the ominous prophecy Geirrod hastily drew his sword, intending to slay the insolent singer; but when he beheld the sudden transformation he started in dismay, tripped,fell upon the sharp blade, and perished as Odin had just foretold. Turning to Agnar, who, according to some accounts, was the king’s son, and not his brother, for these old stories are often strangely confused, Odin bade him ascend the throne in reward for his humanity, and, further to repay him for the timely draught of ale, he promised to bless him with all manner of prosperity. On another occasion Odin wandered to earth, and was absent so long that the gods began to think that they would not see him in Asgard again. This en couraged his brothers Vili and Vé , who by some mythologists are considered as other personifications of himself, to usurp his power and his throne, and even, we are told,to espouse his wife Frigga. 

” Be thou silent,Frigg ! 

Thou art Fiorgyn’s daughter 

And ever hast been fond of men,

Since Vé and Vili, it is said, 

Thou, Vidrir’s wife, didst 

Both to thy bosom take.“ 

Semunds Edda (Thorpe’s tr.).

May Day Festivals -  But upon Odin’s return the usurpers vanished forever ; and in commemoration of the disappearance of the false Odin, who had ruled seven months and had brought nothing but unhappiness to the world, and of the return of the benevolent deity, the heathen Northmen formerly celebrated yearly festivals, which were long continued as May Day rejoicings. Until very lately there was always, on that day, a grand procession in Sweden, known as the May Ride, in which a flower-decked May king (Odin) pelted with blossoms the fur-enveloped Winter (his supplanter), until he put him to ignominious flight. In England also the first of May was celebrated as a festive occasion,in which May pole dances, May queens, Maid Marian, and Jack in the Green played prominent parts. As personification of heaven, Odin, of course, was the lover and spouse of the earth,and as to them the earth bore a threefold aspect, the Northmen depicted him as a polygamist,and allotted to him several wives. The first among these was Jord (Erda),the primitive earth,daughter of Night or of the giantess Fiorgyn. She bore him his famous son Thor, the god of thunder. The second and principal wife was Frigga,a personification of the civilised world. She gave him Balder, the gentle god of spring,Hermod, and, according to some authorities,Tyr. The third wife was Rinda, a personification of the hard and frozen earth, who reluctantly yields to his warm embrace, but finally gives birth to Vali, the emblem of vegetation. Odin is also said to have married Saga or Laga, the goddess of history (hence our verb ” to say “), and to have daily visited her in the crystal hall of Sokvabek, beneath a cool,ever-flowing river,to drink its waters and listen to her songs about olden times and vanished races.

 ” Sokvabek, hight the fourth dwelling; 

Over it flow the cool billows ; 

Glad drink there Odin and Saga 

Every day from golden cups.“ 

Norse Mythology(R. B. Anderson). 

His other wives were Grid, the mother of Vidar ; Gunlod, the mother of Bragi ; Skadi ; and the nine giantesses who simultaneously bore Heimdall ” all of whom play more or less important parts in the various myths of the North.

The Historical Odin -  Besides this ancient Odin, there was a more modern, semi-historical personage of the same name, to whom all the virtues, powers, and adventures of his predecessor have been attributed. He was the chief of the Æsir, inhabitants of Asia Minor, who, sore pressed by the Romans, and threatened with destruction or slavery, left their native land about 70 B.C., and migrated into Europe. This Odin is said to have conquered Russia, Germany, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, leaving a son on the throne of each conquered country. He also built the town of Odenso. He was welcomed in Sweden by Gylfi, the king,who gave him a share of the realm, and allowed him to found the city of Sigtuna, where he built a temple and introduced a new system of worship. Tradition further relates that as his end drew near, this mythical Odin assembled his followers, publicly cut himself nine times in the breast with his spear, “ a ceremony called ” carving Geir odds,“ ” and  told them he was about to return to his native land Asgard, his old home, where he would await their coming, to share with him a life of feasting, drinking, and fighting. According to another account, Gylfi,having heard of the power of the Æsir , the inhabitants of Asgard, and wishing to ascertain whether these reports were true,  journeyed to the south. In due time he came to Odin’s palace,where he was expected,and where he was deluded by the vision of Har, lafn-har, and Thridi, three divinities, enthroned one above the other. The gate keeper, Gangler, answered all his questions,and gave him a long explanation of Northern mythology, which is recorded in the Younger Edda, and then, having finished his instructions,suddenly vanished with the palace amid a deafening noise. According to other very ancient poems, Odin’s sons, Weldegg, Beldegg, Sigi, Skiold, Sasming, and Yngvi, became kings of East Saxony, West Saxony, Franconia, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, and from them are descended the Saxons, Hengist and Horsa, and the royal families of the Northern lands. Still another version relates that Odin and Frigga had seven sons, who founded the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy. In the course of time this mysterious king was confounded with the Odin whose worship he introduced, and all his deeds were attributed to the god. Odin was worshipped in numerous temples, but especiallyin the great fane at Upsala, where the most solemn festivals were held, and where sacrifices were offered. The victim was generally a horse, but in times of pressing need human offerings were made, even the king being once offered up to avert a famine. 

“ Upsal’s temple, where the North 

Saw Valhal’s halls fair imag’d here on earth." 

Viking Tales of the North (R. B. Anderson).

The first toast at every festival here was drunk in his honour, and, besides the first of May, one day in every week was held sacred to him, and, from his Saxon name, Woden, was called Woden’s day, whence the English word ” Wednesday “ has been derived. It was customary for the people to assemble at his shrine on festive occasions,to hear the songs of the scalds, who were rewarded for their minstrelsy by the gift of golden bracelets or armlets,which curled up at the ends and were called ” Odin’s serpents.“ There are but few remains of ancient Northern art now extant, and although rude statues of Odin were once quite common they have all disappeared,as they were made of wood ” a perishable substance,which in the hands of the missionaries,and especially of Olaf the Saint, the Northern iconoclast,was soon reduced to ashes. “ There in the Temple, carved in wood, The image of great Odin stood.” Saga of King Olaf (Longfellow). Odin himself is supposed to have given his people a code of laws whereby to govern their conduct, in a poem called Havamal, or the High Song, which forms part of the Edda. In this lay he taught the fallibility of man, the necessity for courage, temperance, independence, and truthfulness,respect for old age, hospitality, charity,and contentment, and gave instructions for the burial of the dead. 

“ At home let a man be cheerful, 

And toward a guest liberal; 

Of wise conduct he should be, 

Of good memory and ready speech; 

If much knowledge he desires, 

He must often talk on what is good." 

Havamal (Thorpe’s tr.).

Thanks for reading and please excuse any typos 

anonymous asked:

re corporate-conspireshipping, who did seto fall for first? was he aware of the conspireshipping going on in the background beforehand, or was he the 'first' of the harem (bc we all know ryou's in charge obvs) to appear?

I sort of answer that in this old post, but here’s an extension to the beginning bit. (So to sum up: he falls for Ryou first, but not until well into the RPG. Yes he knew about the the corporate fracturshipping going on beforehand. Ooops, I just realized that fracturshipping and conspireshipping are different ships [like just this moment realized you said conspireshipping instead of fracturshipping], but I already wrote this so, um, have an extra Bakura on the house?)

Card games, Seto wanted card games, but it was more than card games, Seto wanted the passion. He wanted to be challenged, he wanted the drive to push himself further than he’d ever had before and come through that trial of fire in a new transcended state, and one person had ever given him that level of intensity.


 Thus, Seto restored the Puzzle, fought Diva, acquired the Cube, and build a ship that would allow him to penetrate that impenetrable veil between this world and the Other. In that moment he saw him, the Pharaoh, rising up from a golden throne with an amused grin. There, in the land of gods and spirits, Seto had put everything on the line with a challenge to a card game.

 “If I win,” Atem said in a warning voice. “You can never come back. It’s not time for you to be here, Seto.”

 “Oh I don’t plan on returning.” Seto smirked. “Because after I win, you’re coming back with me.”

 Atem sighed as if he expected no less but didn’t have the heart to tell Seto that his desire to bring Atem back was impossible. Atem descended down the steps, a duel disk that matched Seto’s appeared on his arm. He stood in place- as fiery, determined, and set on winning as Seto remembered him.

 “Let’s duel!”

 Hours later … Seto won.

 And Atem came back.

 His idiot cheerleaders rejoiced. They thanked Kaiba, as if he did it for them. They recounted the old times and explained everything Atem had missed since he left, but Seto didn’t care about any of it. He wanted another match. He’d beaten Atem in one world, now he’d beat him again in this one. Their rivalry picked up where it’d left off, only far more fierce, until one night the tension broke when Seto slammed Atem against a wall and smashed their lips together with angry, graceless, force. Atem grabbed Seto by the hair and pulled them closer, breaking the kiss only to add bites to Seto’s throat.

 They wake the next morning sore, and scratched, and exhausted despite the hard sleep. They do it all again after the next card game, and the card game after that. It’s everything Seto ever wants.

 Except all the empty moments in between.

 The Pharaoh has many admirers, and he loves Yugi most. There are many nights without cardgames. Seto buries himself in work as usual, swears he’d glad for the opportunity to get things done, but there are too many long nights, and too much caffeine. Seto also finds himself being dragged to group gatherings, and he hates it. Seto often forsakes Atem altogether in those moments, and goes off to a quiet room to catch up on his emails via his cellphone, or take a powernap on a spare couch. During one such nap during Honda’s birthday party, Seto can hear voices entering the room. He’s a light sleeper, so it wakes him, but he doesn’t want to participate in the conversation, so he keeps his eyes shut in hopes that the speakers will see him and move on.

 “But how can you live with him? After everything he did to you?”

 It was Atem’s voice, so Seto cracks an eye open, wondering what the conversation is about. The next voice is Ryou’s.

 “I keep telling you, I didn’t bring back the Spirit of the Ring- Marik did. I was trying to rescue the Thief King.”

 “I thought they were the same.”

 “They are, and they aren’t, the spell made them two separate people, although they’re still a little connected. It’s complicated.” Ryou exhaled. “The entire thing was complicated, but no one was really happy until we all came together.” Ryou tapped the spot on Atem’s chest where the Puzzle used to sit. “Our own puzzle, all our broken edges fit together.”

 “But they said Bakura still has Shadow Magic.”

 “Quite honestly,” Ryou said in a straight, upfront manner. “I don’t think he’s completely human, not physiologically. He’s more of a chimera.”

 “Then how can you blame Yugi for asking me to talk to you?”

 “I don’t blame Yugi for anything. I know he’s concerned, and I’ve tried to assuage his fears on multiple occasions, and I do appreciate that everyone cares enough to worry about me, but I’m not leaving them. Atem, I love them all.”

 “But, Ryou-”

 “Oh look, Seto’s asleep on the couch.” Ryou walked over to the sofa and pulled the throw off of the back in order to tuck it around Seto’s body. “We shouldn’t wake him. Let’s go back to the party and finish this conversation later.”

 Seto shut his eyes when Ryou approached, so he didn’t see them leave, only hear footsteps. Before he opened his eyes again, he heard Ryou speaking directly to him.

 “Sorry to use you as a scapegoat, Kaiba, but I had that conversation with Yugi a dozen times already, and I just don’t have the energy for it tonight.”

 “You knew I was awake?” Seto opened his eyes.

 “Of course, unlike Atem I pay attention. I’m sorry if we woke you” Ryou dropped to the end of the sofa, leaning back, but keeping enough space so that he didn’t press too closely to Seto’s feet. “It’d be different if I was bruised, or hurt, or if I cried to them about being mistreated, but things like that never happen. They’re all very sweet to me, even Kek.”

 Seto made an acknowledging sound to show that he was listening.

 “You know, we finished our last Monster World campaign last week, and next week we start a new one. You should come play with us.”

 “I prefer Duel Monsters.”

 “Yes, of course, and I normally wouldn’t invite you, but you see, our next campaign is a dragon universe, and I think you’d love it.”

 “… I’m listening.” Seto tried to resist, but couldn’t. Dragons were the one thing that could still distract him from anything, even Atem.

 Ryou shifted to his side so he could look at Seto. His left arm braced against the couch, making white hair spill down his left side.

 “It’s a world where characters form telepathic bonds with a companion dragon. It makes for an interesting battle system because each character has to play as their job class and as their dragon class, and there’s several species of dragons. There’s a species the size of a large house cats, it’s sort of meant for thief classes. The most common species is a type of wyvern the size of a horse used for knights and mages. There’s even huge, shapeshifting dragons that can masquerade as humans- which also means there are half dragon offspring of all the major races as well.”

 “That… does sound interesting,” Seto confessed. It sounded amazing, actually. Part of him felt like he did as an excited orphan hearing about the Blue Eyes White Dragon trading card for the first time.

 “Join our campaign. It’s only once, sometimes twice, a week, so you’ll still have plenty of time for card games.”

 Noise from the party that went on without them echoed through the closed door. Seto glanced at the barrier keeping Ryou and himself isolated from the rest of the group. Seto never really fully belonged in that group, and he supposed Ryou had always been standing on the edge of it as well.

 And dragons!

 That boyish excitement filled Seto. He could be a dragon knight on a white mount. He could bond with three dragons. Even if it wasn’t part of the campaign, he was sure he could figure out a loophole and do it. He could-

 Spend a night doing something that didn’t involve waiting on his royal majesty to grace Seto with his presence, something that wasn’t work or staring at the ceiling.

 “Okay,” Seto heard himself saying. “Next week. Give me your address and I’ll be there.”