[Book] War on the Shore-Dreugh

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[Book] War on the Shore-Dreugh

Post by Tristior » Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:17 am

Alteration skill book

War on the Shore-Dreugh
Or, The Value of Tempered Ambition

At the Return of Ysgramor to the warm and fertile south, the ships of his fleet - crewed by those unparalleled Companions - reaped a grim and total harvest amongst the treacherous elves who lived scattered upon its shores. Amongst these ships was the Norfryk, which had sailed with Ysgramor from the hulking shipyards of Jylkurfyk and which was captained by an old and respected sea-jarl. Ralek was his name, and proud ambition burned from his brow like a beacon glimpsed within a fog.

The crew of the Norfryk were filled with a love of slaughter, and its boards with a thirst for blood, and its captain Ralek with a lust to discover a new race of elves by whose extermination he could reach below and claim the knowing of Ysmir. And so the Norfryk, and all its attendant parts, turned away from the southern shore - for Ysgramor’s Companions had rendered it elfless - and cut its way back out to sea.

At the bow hunched Black Gjestr, Norfryk’s navigator and the man so favoured as to ride upon its prow. The memory of Black Gjestr was the greatest in all Ysgramor’s fleet, and he was known to gorge himself on words; devouring them only to regurgitate them whole, as he likewise did with people. So it was that as a squall grasped the sails and lifted the Norfryk through the ocean, Black Gjestr heaved his song-heavy bulk upon the prow and turned to face the wild-eyed crew, reciting:

“Lo! Swiftly did salty Shor swim against the swells
Diving deep below the dreary breakers that tolled
Upon the shingled shore, like the singing iron bells
That call the Father’s clan to contemplation.

At many depths the mighty diver assailed enemies
Never lingering at their now-lifeless mess
For Shor sought the heart-stealer’s hearth-mate
Its deadliest kin, the darkling dreugh-king.

In the most sunless trench mighty Shor found the meerschaum throne
Attended by screaming faces of four-facing mirrors
And breaking all before him the brawny god did bring
The heart’s cairn’s place from the lips of the king of dreugh.”

Hearing these mellifluous and sensible words, the crew of the Norfryk whet their oars to harpoons and turned their fury against the shore-dreugh, who plagued these waters and who must surely know the resting place of Shor’s mighty heart. Captain Ralek listened to the storm and knew that these beasts were elves like any other, and that only by their extirpation could he join the hallowed few called Ysmir, and his hunger for immortal recognition grew wild enough to cut the anchor of propriety.

Working swiftly, the crew of the Norfryk sewed their horker-skin cloaks into waterless bubbles of fur and blubber, leaving only the smallest aperture through which to wield their harpoons, which Black Gjestr taught them to seal with words that kept out the sea. Thus were they able to take the air they breathed with them into the shore-dreugh’s domain, and make war upon them, and bring such ruin that the Dreugh-King’s folk never returned to those waters. Captain Ralek, his ambitious brow burning unbearably bright (such that his men could see his form even through his fatty bubble), charged alone into the deep and tenebrous palace of the Dreugh-King, for by now he craved the knowing of Ysmir above all reason. And though he fought with great skill and fury, the air kept within his horker-skin cloak could not sustain both the sea-jarl and the mighty fire of his ambition, and thus did both sputter out and drown in the darkest depths of the Sea of Ghosts. And so it is that the crew of the Norfryk, and their generations of children that comprise the Rotting Dreugh Clan, learned the perils of unchecked ambition.

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