Adventuring through twisted time.
Devon's eyes shot open. He was laying in bed, but still had the sensation of not being able to move. It took him a few moments to finally shift his arms and he looked at his wrists and rubbed them gently, still feeling the phantom binding that had been there in his dream. Wiping the light sweat from his brow, he sat up in bed and slowly stood, taking a moment to look around the room almost expecting for them to be there. It was another reoccurring dream that he had been having for a couple of months. A woman named Clarice would visit him in his dreams and tell him extraordinary things about his destiny to which he would laugh off. At first Devon believed he was making up the woman claiming to be a sorceress in his head, but then she began to prove her power by telling him immediate, future events which turned out to be true when he woke the next day and began his normal routine. Everything she had predicted in his dreams had come true and he was more than a little wary of going to sleep now that she was visiting him every night.
He was not a man that believed in destiny. People had control of their own lives; their choices their own. Clarice was making it clear to him that he had a set road to walk on and a plan to his life that was more important than most. Devon was still skeptical to believe it and had threatened the sorceress that he would not follow her words as the two got into a heated arguement. The sorceress had bound him and did something he didn't expect by bringing in an ancestor who confirmed the words she was saying. A man named Tristan who fought side by side with the great king years ago. Clarice then showed him a vision of the world burning in ash if he didn't find the sword imbued with magic and keep it safe from the wrong hands. Of course he had asked the impatient woman why she couldn't find it herself with all her great powers and it was then Tristan explained that the sword could only be found by a member of the Pendragon bloodline. The only tip he was given was the rumor that the sword may have fallen into the hands of the visiting vikings who had been making a nice collection of armory in their travels over the seas as of late.
Now here he was, standing in his bedroom that he shared with his younger brother and staring out the window in deep thought at the very stupid thing he would have to do next. Devon placed his forehead against the cool window glass as the sun was just beginning to lighten the sky and knew this was going to be the only chance he would be able to get away without the questions. As quietly as he could, he packed a bag and turned back one more time to look at his younger brother before moving to his sister's room to say a silent goodbye. He placed his back against a wall in the hallway where he could hear his mother moving around the kitchen like she always did before most of the world was awake. He closed his eyes and let out a breath, wishing he could tell her and his step-father the truth, but knowing they wouldn't believe him.
Soon he was out the second story window and moving across the rooftops quietly. It didn't take much convincing to get his two most trusted friends to come along with him as they had known each other since they were children and trusted the leader of the Rogues for what he was telling them. "So, vikings?" Milo asked as the three stayed crouched behind some barrels at the dock. They were scouting out the ships and had easily found the crew of vikings who were visiting England in a chance of a peace treaty. The men were prepping to head back to their camp and Devon had come up with a plan to get aboard. A very stupid plan.
"Yes. Vikings." Devon replied with a sigh and lead them to their possible capture. The men dumped out the gunpowder of three barrels and hid themselves inside one each with the hopes of being taken onto the ship without being noticed. It seemed like an eternity as they waited with their breaths held until soon they were being set down below deck and the rocking of the ship indicated they had moved off shore. Devon pushed the lid off the barrel and climbed out, dusting the powder from his clothing. He walked over to the porthole and peered out as the coastline of England became smaller by the second.
It had only been a day and a half and the ship was coming to shore in the middle of the night. The three looked to each other with some confusion, never believing the vikings' base camp was so close, let alone still in England. Devon even knew the area somewhat as he had visited one of the towns to help with provisions when they were in dire need during the winter. However, that nearest town was miles away from where the rising tents of the vikings held their base now. His heart beat faster in his chest as the adrenaline was pumping through him. They were going to have to sneak into the camp which was no doubt swarming with at least forty or so vikings as well as hope that this internal compass to find the sword would start ringing when he was near. "Devon!"
Devon turned his head and hadn't realized Will was whispering to him frantically as they had just about made it to shore. They eased themselves through the cargo and made their way to the top deck, climbing over the stern and waiting till the time was right to jump into the darkened water. They quickly swam further down the shoreline and trudged through the woods, making sure they were far enough away from the base camp to start a fire and not alert the vikings. They quickly stripped themselves of their wet clothing and changed, appreciating the warmth of the fire and eating some of the rations they'd brought. Not that Devon had much of an appetite. His nerves were making him uneasy as he drifted deep into his thoughts while staring at the dancing flames. Everything in him was telling him this wouldn't work, but the itch of knowing if he really was some keeper of this lost sword was something he needed to scratch. "Let's go."
The trio had snuck through the darkened trees and remained in the shadows as they watched the dozens of vikings move throughout the camp. His eyes followed the men who were bringing in the various trunks, barrels, and crates into a large tent near the edge of the encampment. That was the most likely place the sword would be. He nodded towards his friends and they quickly moved towards the back of the tent. Pulling out his dagger, Devon cut a slit through the tent's fabric and stepped inside. His eyes adjusted to the dim lighting of the torches inside and there were endless amounts of containers to go through. "Please tell me you feel something..." Milo muttered. Devon gave him an exasperated look as his eyes scanned the stockpile. This could take a while and he wasn't sure how long they had before someone caught wind of their presence.
The taste of Spring was almost caressing the tip of her tongue as she stood out beside the dock of Kattegat - the weak sun slowly, but surely gathering enough strength to begin to warm the air; the city were becoming excited as it was now nearly time to go raiding across the sea. Of course, there was a lot of preparation to take place before any of that could happen - this included the town’s walls, and protection as many of the stronger warriors and the shield maidens would be taking leave for the raids which would often than not leave Kattegat weakened. There were debates to whether or not Astrid should too, join them across the water and she couldn’t help but resist, despite knowing her presence in England would be very much needed and would up their spirits; but she also knew of the constant threat in Denmark and the title to her throne. There were many that still did not like the idea of a Queen sitting there, despite the fact that she was Valkyrie and shared blood with The Gods - many were still too stuck in their ways to see the bigger, and brighter picture. Astrid was aware that her decision to join these raids would be difficult, and as she looked out to the sea, she could feel the natural draw she had; even though she could fly to England a lot quicker than what a ship could take her.
Teeth clamped down upon her tongue as the breeze picked up her blonde strands which were repeatedly pushed back to rest against the back of her ear; her decision was made. She would go, and in the meantime, she would train those who were staying to protect what they had built together; after all, not all of the strongest warriors had to leave, since there were still Vikings making settlement out in England. The Valkyrie Queen walked back into the heart of the City, saying Hello to her people as she did so, and nibbling on pieces of bread which were offered to her; she was also offered a small bracelet which was made out of the growing flowers; how her younger Sister, Torvi would be in her element right now. Astrid took a slight sniff of the Spring flowers before meeting up with Valkyries and Warriors alike in the Great Hall; all of whom were sat around patiently to hear of her decision. She took a seat at the head of the table, a servant girl automatically offering her a horn of the latest batch of ale; not that Astrid particularly needed it, but she accepted - primarily down to the idea she may not get as good alcohol in England.
“Skol” Astrid raised her glass in the air before taking a swig as the others echoed her toast before following suit; their eagers on her as they anticipated her answer. “I have decided, I will travel to England; but some of you will have to stay - to keep Kattegat in order” She responded, her vibrant blue hues gaze round to see if anyone would stand up to offer to remain, which a couple did; Astrid nodded her head once in approval and in thanks. Over the course of the evening, plans were made and set for both, the parties who were leaving and those who were staying which ultimately made Astrid more relaxed and comfortable at this rocky time to leave her home once again; after all, the last trip she took was to try and recover the wings of The Goddess Frejya with The Gypsy. Once the decision was made, members of their town began to enter the hall to begin the celebrations of Spring and the upcoming prospects for their livelihood and stock.
The sun broke through the windows, waking Astrid from her slumber - indicating it was now time that they set off for England; her first job was to say goodbye to her sisters, and give Ivarr his orders to keep the place running smoothly, which by all means he took smugly. If it were not for his love for Astrid, she firmly believed he would have challenged her to the throne. The journey to England was a lot calmer than she had remembered and she, and the others could not help but thank the Gods for their safe passage as the shore of England came into view; the Vikings had began to ready their weapons, knowing that the Saxon’s would still see them dead if they had the chance. Yet, the greeting they received from their own people was a sight to behold, and the moment they were escorted to their camp, celebrations had began; particularly with those who had never seen a Valkyrie up close. Of course, a series of conversations popped up and despite Astrid only being in camp for a few hours, she needed to know just how much stock they had to send home. “Harald!” Her soft sounding voice echoed through the trees as she rolled her index finger, beckoning him to her.
“I need to see what stock we have, Spring is almost here” She spoke with authority, she had trusted Harald with this area of England and she knew he would not fail her; and she could tell by the glistening spark in his gaze as he glanced over her shoulder to a tent in which men and women alike were entering and leaving. Her lips curled up on one side in a smirk as she roughly patted Harald on the back, allowing him to lead the way through the trees; the soft glows of torches lit the way as she wrapped herself up in her furs. A brow quirked suddenly as Harald came to a sudden halt - the brow soon forwarded as his hand came out to stop her from taking any further step forwards. “For the love of The Gods, Harald! It’s probably still some of your child warriors in there” Astrid muttered under her breath, her head shaking in some disbelief that he reacted the way he did; for she knew that anyone would be a fool to try and sneak in to a Viking Camp.
“Better to be safe than sorry, Astrid” He glanced at her from over his shoulder, offering her a glance that not many would survive; the two of them soon reached for their swords - he knew better than to tell her to wait outside whilst he checked the area. She watched how his fingers curled, to bring a few men towards them for back up, just in case. “I will go first” She looked at him sternly, before pushing past the brutes, and entering the tent - the sound of slight rummaging ringing in her ears.
Devon let out a breath and stared at the overwhelming task in front of him. He wondered if this was quite possibly the stupidest thing he'd ever done before and was quickly believing that in fact, it was, as he moved about the hoard of goods. The worst of it was bringing his friends with him on this quest. He hadn't wanted to involve them, but he also knew this was a monumental task to try on his own and they were willing to do anything to see that it was done. He quickly quieted his nerves as the vision of destruction throughout England with fires spreading further over the land creeped into his mind again. Trusting the sorceress would be foolish, but something about his ancestor made the tale a lot more believable when he could see the shared distaste for the woman. He wondered the history between the two, knowing it couldn't have been favorable.
His fingertips glided over the various boxes and crates until he could suddenly feel a thrumming inside of him. As he pushed forward, the soft tingling sensation intensified and he was starting to become a believer. "Do you feel that?" he whispered. However, he didn't wait for an answer or stop as he continued walking forward until he eventually spotted a long wooden box that was in no way outstanding from the rest of the cargo surrounding them. Devon began moving closer, knowing he'd found the sword. "This is it..."
A blade suddenly slid out from behind one of the mountains of goods and moved directly to Devon's throat. He slowly lifted his hands in the air, but never taking his eyes from the box that was only a foot away. There was more movement behind him and he knew his friends were in no better a situaton. The viking attached to the sword that now held him within an arm's grasp of Excalibur stepped from the shadows. A woman. Devon's eyes moved over to her face as the torch light bounced off her features. Her icy blue hues were stern and her sword did not waiver as it remained steadfast beneath his chin.
Another soldier quickly moved forward and removed the sword on his hip, patting him down for any other weapons. His gaze didn't move from the woman's as his hands were bound behind him. He knew the look well. She had every intention of spilling his insides on the floor if he or his friends attempted any sort of resistance. As he was a gambling man, Devon would put his money on her over most of the men that were gathered here in this tent.
They were roughly led outside and walked through the rest of the camp. Having the eyes of an entire small army of vikings on you was not something he would soon forget as the three were led into another tent that was vacant of anything but a few torches. The three friends were bound to each of the wood poles that were the foundation of the tent before being left with just the woman and another man who he assumed must've also been in charge. He hadn't thought of a valid explanation to tell them why they were there in the tent that night, but really, what possible excuse could be good enough that they would be able to walk out of there with their lives. No, Devon knew the ruthlessness of vikings and their only option was escape. That was a plan he was still working on.
The moment her stern words departed her tongue, the rest of the men around her soon bowed their heads and took a slight step backward to allow her through; she knew they had her best interests at heart but nevertheless, she did not need their protection not when the likelihood was the beings inside the tent had no more than five men compared to the hundreds she had at this location alone. “Thank you” Astrid muttered and moved forward, pushing through the curtain of the tent with her sword now completely in grasp; besides the sound of the footsteps of the men behind her, she could hear the rummaging, the gasps as her intruders found something worth of value. She supposed she could not blame them, and it certainly came from the rich so they were things that even they were unlikely to come across unless they were lucky enough to bed one of the Princesses. Astrid despite being cautious and wary, was at the same time, contemplating who the hell would be foolish enough to even attempt to walk into a heavily populated camp of Vikings; nevertheless, she respected their bravery.
It took all of her might not to taunt out to those scavengers and remain silently but she managed to and eventually she came face to face with one of the men; and followed his gaze towards a box. Astrid noted the longing and somewhat awe gaze he had for the box and wondered what could possibly be inside; he looked at it as if he was deprived of a woman. The Valkyrie remained silent as she extended her arm, the sword following suit until the very tip came into contact with the man’s Adam's Apple. Astrid lifted her own chin, however, kept her gaze upon the male opposite her as she gave permission of one of her men to come along and remove any other weapon he may hold on his being; and much to her delight, he did not even attempt to resist. She glanced sideways to find the other men had also been caught and she inhaled deeply as she considered her options; she could slaughter them like pigs this very second and continue with more pressing matters - yet, she wanted to know what made them so brave to even attempt to enter her camp. “Take them” She spoke in her Mother tongue, and stepped away to allow her guards to take the prisoners to the nearest vacant tent.
Astrid held back for a moment and took a moment to glance in the box one of the males was drawn too and quirked a brow as she noted it was only a sword. “Interesting” She muttered, and closed the box once more, tucked the box beneath her arm and made her way towards the tent where her hostages were now tied up to the main wooden beam. “Leave” She ordered her men in her Mother tongue, and put the box to the side - noticing how the blonde male followed it’s every move. It was not very often that she spoke the language of her prisoners, and she highly doubted they could speak her own, so she would need to try and recall all the lessons she once had from her past husband. “Which one of you is the leader” She circled the men as she spoke. “Which one made the decision for this… Suicide Mission?” Astrid paused in front of the weakest looking male who was clearly shaking in his boots, she severely hoped he would not soil his trousers; her ice blue gaze drifted from his head to his toe and back again before laughing. “Well it is certainly not you”
Devon sighed out and rested his head against the pole. The soldier looked at them with a slight smirk that seemed to grow with the scar lining his face, no doubt which he received in one of the many battles he'd likely been in. Devon and his two friends were no strangers to fighting as that's what tended to happen when you were a part of the Rogues. Each of them could handle a sword, better than the average man in London and most of the guards; Devon better than even that. However, he would not place a wager on them winning should they have to take on their current captors, despite their favorable number. Vikings were legendary fighters and were bred for battle since the moment they came into the world.
His blue hues lifted to meet the woman's as she goaded them into talking. "Me," he said plainly before gazing to the box which she had brought into the tent. The low thrumming continued as the weapon called out to him from across the space. To think he was so close and yet so very far away from taking it. "I'm the leader." Devon looked up to the female viking from their seated position on the ground. "You've stolen something that belongs to my family and I'd like it back." Brave words and also the truth. Not that it mattered much, their fate was in the hands of their captors and Devon already knew they would not be shown an ounce of mercy. "I came into the camp hoping to find what is rightfully mine. I knew you would not give it back if I just asked for it, so we attempted to steal it." It was the truth. Mostly.
Devon could feel everyone's eyes on him in the tent when all he wanted to do was look at the box. The sword continued calling to him and it was like an itch he couldn't scratch. The flaps of the tent suddenly opened and one of the soldiers whispered something into the woman's ear. Even if the man hadn't kept his voice low, Devon and his friends would not have understood most of the conversation anyway. He'd begun picking up some of the language over the last few years now that their lands were becoming shaky allies and more vikings could be found at the local pubs in the major city ports. They sure did like to gamble and Devon didn't mind taking their coin and other valuable goods if the opportunity arose after they had had quite a few pints in their bellies.
Whatever bit had been said to the woman, it apparently got her attention. A few words were exchanged back and the only parts he could understand were an accusation of something he knew could move their death sentence up. "Scouts? No, no, we are not scouts." It appeared none of them were truly expecting that Devon would understand what was being said. "I've told you the truth. I just want the sword and that's all. We are no scouts for anyone." It seemed the woman was trying to determine the weight of his words and if he was indeed speaking the truth. The other male in charge spoke in their native tongue again, but the only words he understood were 'put to death'. To him, it was the most important part of the conversation.
There was a lot of movement that could be heard from outside the tent and it seemed the camp was preparing for what could be some type of attack that they were not expecting. Devon looked up to the woman's gaze again which held fast to his. She still seemed to be determining whether or not he was working with whatever enemy might be closing in on them and soon it was decided. With a few quick words to her second, she quickly turned to leave and handle whatever seemed to be happening beyond what he could see from the inside of the tent and the viking they were left with pulled his very large sword from his hilt.
Devon frantically pulled at the ropes, but there was no point. The man stalked closer to them with the disturbing smirk he had held before and raised the weapon high above his head. Somehow this had caused the sword he'd been after to call out to him even more as if it wanted to protect Devon from the fate he was about to receive. Regardless, there was nothing he could do as he waited for the inevitable blow.
A sudden force ripped through the tent and the sound of the beams supporting its structure splintered. The entire thing began to collapse and the distinct smell of fire rose around them. The camp seemed to be in full battle as the shouts of vikings and clash of metal filled the air. The fabric of the tent was covering them, but it appeared Milo had been able to get free after the collapse as he saw his friend crouched next to him. The friends were soon free and when they were able to finally see around them, it was hard to understand what they were looking at. Indeed, the camp was under siege, but not by men, but by something Devon had never seen before. Creatures he'd never seen before. The three stared in disbelief for only a moment before Devon quickly found himself back under the covering of the tent to find the sword, hoping the fire had not swallowed it.
It was no surprise to her that when the blonde male spoke up that he was indeed the leader of the group which were foolish enough to try and steal from her people; despite their foolishness, she did somewhere, respect their bravery. It was bravery that got people somewhere in life, and even if that meant death, it meant they lived with The Gods until Ragnarok. And if he was a believer of her kind, and of the Viking’s religious beliefs, she would have no qualms with her picking him to sit in the grand hall of Valhalla. Her brows pushed upwards at his bold statement and her lips twitched ever so slightly, teasing her features with a slow smile. “If it meant so much to you, why was it not on your being?” She queried, her sword and shield always remained close to her, even when she did not intend on wearing them that day or evening. “That is bold of you to assume, we’re not always so cold hearted” She smiled, her accent thick compared to his well spoken English. “Although, it would not have been handed over just like that”
Astrid would have made him fight to the death for it, give a little show to her men, shield maidens and to her fellow Valkyrie; and perhaps she could still offer that as an option, he seemed desperate enough for the weapon and perhaps even a fight. Yet her attention and her thoughts were disturbed when one of her other warriors stormed into the tent without much of a pardon, and came up to her so that his warm breath caressed her ear. Her brows knitted together at the hushed words; it was no coincidence that they had found these men in their settlement at the same time in which an attack was looming. Astrid simply nodded at the man before turning to face Harald, her expression tightened and it was only reflected back from his before the Saxon spoke up. Astrid allowed him to speak, before she walked over to him and crouched down to his eye level; her striking blue gaze piercing his own as if she was looking into his soul - which was completely possible given she was drawn to certain ones.
She hummed to herself before she took her leave, her hand reached round to remove her own sword as she exited the tent to help her men and women tackle those who dared to attack them; now that England were beginning to accept that her people were not going to leave, huge attacks had begun to settle down, thus, there was a slight surprise that this was happening. Astrid ordered her people to their places, made her Archers storm up to higher land to be able to shoot from above; yet the first move was not made by them, it was made suddenly and it took her people by surprise. Astrid felt her body move gracefully against the creatures which buzzed around her, they were not human; it didn’t take a genius to figure that one out.
Vikings were dying all around her, and her blood soon began to soar through her as she knew she would soon make the decision as to which souls she would take with her to Valhalla or to the other realms. With a series of grunts she began to behead the strange creatures which had attacked camp, yet they were losing the battle; it was rare for her to allow her wings to be freed in battle like this, but there was no time and many of her people knew who she was. Astrid shuddered as her golden wings arose through her armour and soon enough she was attacking from above along with her archers. Yet the scene below her was a huge concern; if anyone were to survive this, it would be a miracle. Astrid wiped the blood from her face with the back of her hand as she found the tent had fallen; meaning her prisoners could have gone free.
Astrid moaned and in a split second knew she needed their help, especially if they were still alive beneath the fabric which was soon catching alight. The Valkyrie lowered herself to the ground. “Saxon” She roared over the screams, the clashing of swords and the cries of the creatures which surrounded her. “Fight with me, you get your sword back. You have my word” Her words were almost drowned out as she scanned beneath the fabric to see if she note any movement; although she was not hopeful.
Though the heat of the flames was making every fiber in his being that was built for the sole need to survive scream at him to turn around, it was the smoke that caught up to him first. Devon's eyes began to water and the air was thick as his lungs burned for air. The fallen tent was trapping the toxic fumes inside, but he knew he couldn't stop now. The idea that he would now be willing to put himself in these dangerous and stupid circumstances that could and would most likely get him killed made the logical side of his brain go suddenly mute as he fell to his knees and began to crawl along the earth with only one goal in mind.
The sword still hummed to him as he closed his eyes, using his instinct instead to guide him through the fire. His hands had finally touched the crates and boxes that were piled with the vikings' plunder and as the thrumming of the sword grew louder with every box Devon knocked over, the relief of finally finding the right one gave him renewed energy. He pushed the crate over and watched as it splintered the wood open, making just a large enough hole for him to see the blade. There were runes and markings he didn't recognize etched into the metal. He was no expert on the matter, but of course he knew it was imbued with some kind of magic at the hands of a magi. The once humming buzz the sword made only intensified into the whispered words of voices he couldn't understand that were egging him on to pick up the weapon. The sudden collapse of another section of the tent made him break from its trance and finally reach out to grab the hilt of the blade.
Devon instantly felt the bond that seemed to flow between him and the sword. It was suddenly like an extension of his own arm as if this missing limb had been absent all his life. The runes began to glow as the power surged, causing a ripple of energy to push outwards and the tent to billow enough that Devon pushed the blade through the fabric and ripped a hole through it with ease. The air outside, though thick with smoke still, was a welcoming refresh as he coughed uncontrollably. His eyes landed on their captor who stood there covered in the blood of the enemy that was ravaging her camp, but it was the large golden wings that extended from her back which made him falter for a moment. Devon had only recently come to grips with the fact that there was magic in the world and now seeing her in this form made him wonder how much of this unknown was really out there. He breathed deeply and took in a gulp of air before answering. "No, need," he replied with a spin of the hilt in his hand before continuing with an air of sarcasm and annoyance now that the very thing they came for was in his possession. "But I'll be glad to fight alongside you since I'm thinking that's my only option right now."
Will and Milo flanked to his sides with the swords and shields of the fallen nearby. Their gazes immediately went between the woman and him for answers as they tried to process what they were seeing. "Don't look at me, I don't know what she is either." His hues went across the camp as the vast number of vikings that once populated this land were falling drastically to these dark creatures made up of smoke, black ichor, and glowing eyes. Devon raised the sword higher in preparation to fight and it seemed all of the monsters turned their attention towards him as if it were a beacon. He looked down to the weapon with confusion and then to the viking warrior with the sudden realization of their purpose. "They're here for this." Devon's words were barely audible, but it was clear enough to see what he meant as their force instantly charged through the remaining soldiers to make their way towards the four.
In the many years she has been alive and the countless battles and wars she has been a part of or witnessed, it was safe to say she had yet to see anything even remotely close to what they were facing right at this moment in time. Of course, she had heard of such tales and horror stories of creatures that shouldn't exist; creatures that had crawled out from Helheim just to cause havoc in the realm of the living. Yet, that was all they were and if anyone shared a story of encountering them, they were typically old and their memory often questioned; adults often disregarded the stories and scolded them for offering their children nightmares on a plate. Her eyes remained alert, and a confused expression found her features; she was watching her people die and despite it being how Vikings wished to perish, she couldn’t help but wonder what Odin would think of the new recruits in Valhalla.
They would certainly bring a great conversation to the table when they meet the warriors passed and the Gods; yet that didn’t make the processing any easier. Astrid, and the Kings before her had promised their people a better life in England, yet here they were, being slaughtered by creatures that shouldn’t be. Her sword remained ready but her eyes continued to dart between her surroundings and the tent in hopes the human would somehow crawl out of the burning fabric; and much to her dismay, she found herself somewhat relieved that he had survived. If he was stupid enough, brave enough to attack a Viking camp, he would probably be the same and eager to fight the creatures.
Astrid found herself somewhat confused by his own baffled expression as he glanced her way; and she slowly followed his and finally his men’s gaze to her wings which grew from her back. “Oh” She muttered under her breath, it had not occurred to her that they did not know of the Valkyrie lot, particularly when they were not from the same belief. Hell, they may not even know of the possibility of other creatures out in the world other than the mortal, mundane race. Well, that was the cat out of the bag. “If you survive, I’ll explain this later” She confirmed, assuming that they had many questions about what they were just seeing - although she did wonder if they had ever seen creatures like this before.
Her eyes glanced down to the sword, and the sudden shift in attention that came because of it. “Why the hel would they be after the sword?” She shouted amongst the screams, before turning to face the incoming creatures; her grip upon her sword tightened and she lifted herself up from the ground to attack from above once again. Their red eyes had the ability to see right through to her own soul, she was sure and their strength was next to none; with only one swipe of their claw, her flight faulted. The smite was powerful enough to cause her wing to bleed, and her own roar erupted from her as she plummeted the sword into the creature's stomach.
The blood that pumped through Devon was something unlike he'd felt before. He'd been in plenty of scuffles and fights before, but never in the middle of a battle like this, let alone one where magic seemed to be all around them. Even now he knew that the power which coursed through him was due to the weapon he grasped, but it wasn't as if he knew how to harness its true nature. The impromptu visit from his ancestor and the magi was abrupt and vague and there were never any instruction on what to do with the sword once he'd finally reclaimed it. The only thing he knew was that he was meant to keep it safe and as he looked around him at the murdered vikings and hellish creatures, Devon didn't know if he could keep to his word when he was just a human in the end.
There was no way they would be able to take on this dark force when their only goal was to get to him and the sword. Devon glanced to the woman as she inquired why they would be after Excalibur and he scoffed in response, taking the opportunity to repeat her own words back to her. "If you survive, I'll explain this later." He watched as she took to the sky again and glided like a hawk after its prey with a ferocious grace that was almost beautiful to witness until an unworldly growl came from next to him. Several of the creatures were almost upon them and Devon tightened his grip on the hilt of the sword, willing whatever magic was imbued into it to flow from inside.
The first of the monsters had easily went down and that was solely from his normal swordsmanship, but as their numbers only increased, the sword seemed to take over and he was along for the ride. The Rogue seemed to move faster than normal and cut down several at a time with one blow. The creatures screeched painfully as the blade went through them and turned to wisps of smoke and ash before disappearing into the air. His body felt like he was in a cold fire and his skin tingled the more that the sword took control and soon Devon could no longer contain the will of the magic.
He staggered in his step, barely avoiding the blow from one of the creatures. The axe that it held cleanly cut through the thin fabric of his shirt and narrowly missed his delicate skin underneath. The world was spinning as if he'd had far too much rum. "Will..." Devon fell against his friend who had to lift his shield in order to block a blow that would've surely killed him. They had felled enough of their enemy that a short window to a path into the woods was open to them if they moved fast enough. "Horses." The word was hoarse in his throat and he could no longer stand to endure more of Excalibur's magic. Devon fell on his back and looked up to the sky where time seemed to slow. He could see the viking still fighting and covered in the monsters' blackened blood before falling into the dark oblivion of his mind.
Astrid couldn't help but scoff when he repeated her comment back to her; yet after seeing, only briefly the impact the sword had on him, she had no doubt he would survive this battle. She could feel whatever magic the sword was laced with radiate from him and somehow, she too found herself attracted to such fine swordsmanship; therefore, part of her could understand the very desperate need these creatures had for it. Soon enough, she turned her attention away from the sword and took to the air to attack from above; thankfully these creatures had yet to show that they too could leave the ground and fight in this manner. Astrid glanced up, and she saw some fellow Valkyrie doing the same and it pained her to see them struggling with wounds inflicted by these creatures; despite being immortal, their bodies were human and any wound could cause them a great amount of pain.
She nodded to a couple of her girls, trying to be as reassuring as possible yet she doubted she looked great or that healthy either. Yet the magic that did pump through her veins gave her the surge of energy, she could report today to Odin if she was graced with his presence after delivering him more fallen warriors. Perhaps he had some idea of what was happening, although she didn't hold out much hope; their relationship was still rocky after his relationship with Freya became known. Despite her mind being elsewhere, her body was very much in the present and it was almost fighting these monsters in autopilot yet when her mind caught up, she flew upwards to get a better scope of the land; her crystal eyes widened at the sight - the creatures kept on coming, they were outnumbered with absolutely no hope of survival.
"Get to safety! We'll return later to collect their souls" She ordered the Valkyrie to safety before glancing to the ground to see the humans struggling to move the one who desperately needed the sword. Astrid wobbled as her feet found the blood stained ground, her wings retracted as the men continued to look at her strangely. "There is a cabin not far from here, we need to move now" She wiped her brow and shuddered as the movement made a claw smite wound upon the top of her back, and the base of her neck cry out. Astrid noted he was still holding the sword as if it was his lifeline and exhaled, the creatures were drawn to it, particularly in the moment he took hold.
She delicately removed the sword from his unconscious state and felt the sword's vibration dwindle; if it was the vibrations that called to the monsters, the small party of four may have a slight chance to get ahead. "Place him on the bed over there" Astrid asked as they entered the miserable looking cabin before she began to scope out the area; exit points, and weak spots if they were found. She placed the sword upon the table and examined the rune work, before glancing at the men fuss behind her; she muttered briefly and ripped some cloth off from the curtain before throwing it at one of his men. "There is a small river nearby, he needs to work through the fever"
Sleep was never really kind to Devon. It usually ended in some bad dream where the world was burning and the few numbers of people who remained looked to him in silence. Their faces were dirty and covered in the ash of the bodies which burned around them, with expressions that held that of disappointment. A disappointment in him. He was meant to keep them protected, but failed in the end. The worst part about it was he hadn't even try. His back had been turned to them and his hand empty with the absence of a weapon in which to protect them all. It was his fear of taking up the mantle like he was supposed to. He didn't want the responsibility that was expected of him and though Devon had started to walk the path given to him by his ancestor, the dreams of failure never went away.
Opening his eyes, he saw the shabby ceiling above him where light from the outside peaked through its construction. The world was spinning slightly and his vision blurry. "Will? Milo?" His voice was raspy and weak and he wasn't even sure of the volume behind it from how disoriented he felt. More importantly, his hands were not clasped around the reason for their mostly failed journey in the first place. Devon tried to sit up, but his body ached in rebellion. "Where is it?" He tried to focus on his surroundings, but it was the pull from Excalibur which drew him in. It was nearby and for that he relaxed only slightly as he sat up feebly looking around.
Milo was next to him in seconds. His friend knelt before him and placed a hand on his shoulder, blocking Devon's view, and a clear look of worry on his face. "You look like shite," Devon muttered, making the man shake his head with a chuckle because he was sure he was worse for the wear. His hues suddenly fell to the Viking woman who had fought alongside them. She was motionless at the window. Her gaze was unwavering and like a huntress. Devon was suddenly becoming quickly aware that they were not out of the woods yet, literally speaking.
"Thank you," Devon said, speaking to the warrior. Moments ago they were enemies and now she had most likely been the one who had taken them to some type of safety to regroup. He was sure they were going to have an interesting exchange of words at some point when the time would allow and he hoped she could be a continued ally instead of the alternative as before. The door suddenly opened and Will came through with a bucket and rag which he brought to the bed. "I'll not have you two nursing me." Devon reached for the cloth and nearly toppled forward if not for Milo keeping him upright. He gently pushed Devon back to lay down and the Rogue was not going to put up a fight. His lids were heavy and his body was weak, but the cool rag was welcoming despite the shivers that accompanied them immediately after over his entirety.
It wasn't long for the darkness to take him again and the fever dreams to take hold of his mind; The same disheartened faces to return. Devon's hands were still empty of Excalibur and the world around him continued to burn away.
Astrid was partially surprised that the two other men followed her orders when it came to their leader, and she supposed, their friend. After all, only an hour or so ago, Astrid had them tied up and taunted them with a superiority that no longer existed; that was if she disregarded her relationship with the Gods. She nodded to the one male who was brave enough to leave the cabin to fetch the water to help the other male battle through. The room was eerily quiet, yet that was expected when it came to a room of strangers and with one of them possibly on the brink of death; and in this silence, it was her cue to think forward, of how her people were doing. They needed her, they needed their Queen and Friend to support them through this time; she had her seconds in command, but sometimes that was not enough. They knew for sure she had not died in battle, and a search party would soon be ordered. Astrid chewed upon her lower lip as she moved like a ghost towards the window as she looked out over the horizon.
The minutes turned to hours and she jumped ever so briefly at the unexpected voice of their leader who offered her his gratitude. Astrid glanced over her shoulder and one side of her lips curled upward before she dipped her head. “I would like to think you would do the same for me” She commented, and watched how darkness overwhelmed him once more; with that, Astrid inhaled and exhaled - her muscles relaxing a little but the ache of the claw shaped wound just above her shoulders cried out. Her footsteps receded from the living space they were in to find a separate room where she could undress and examine her wound; which was incredibly hard given the mirror which resided there - covered in dust, mud and Odin knows what. She would heal, and it would not kill her but she desperately needed a healer of sorts and these men, well.. She suspected they weren’t natural healers themselves given she had to order one to get a dampened cloth.
Returning to the room, she glanced at all three. “I will be back, and I will return with more of my people. Four of us will not get far” She glanced at the blonde headed male and swiftly left the cabin, her wings giving off a loud ‘whoosh’ like sound as she did so. It wasn’t hard to find her people once she had an eagle’s point of view and it was saddening to see how many were injured and this would likely impact their advances upon the Kings of each Kingdom of England. Perhaps going home to regroup would be their best approach, but she was a woman of her word and she had to return to men she had left.
Her people had fixed her up, and had helped her escort the fallen souls to their designated hall. Upon her return to the cabin, Astrid had secured three more Shield Maidens to help the next part of their task, or mission, or whatever that may be. “I see you have found the ale” Astrid smirked at the two men whose eyes had grown at the sight of the additional women in the room. She approached their leader and pressed the backs of her fingers to his forehead. “It is magical… Strong. Only the Gods can save him” Astrid whispered before turning to them all. “We must leave this place, the sword is their beacon and it will bring them here soon. Are there more of you?” She questioned.
More fire. More darkness. More bodies of the dead lay around him. He was getting tired of these horrible images that remained burned into his mind. He just wanted to go back to his simple life with the Rogues and deal with the problems he knew how to handle. Well, it wasn't so simple, but those messes he was comfortable with. Whatever this stupid curse was that had befallen his ancestors before him, it seemed to only trickle down the line of his kin and now was somehow brought to be his burden. Why was he chosen to keep the sword from the wrong hands? Devon didn't know if he'd ever get an answer to that, especially when the ones who had told him were ensuring their distance from him and keeping the mystery alive. The obsessiveness he was having to keep this sword safe seemed to be the only thing he could focus on ever since coming within a short distance of it and that could cause for mistakes which would cost peoples' lives. It almost did his own friends.
Friends. He could hear their muffled voices in his mind as it started to clear. The horrible images began to fade and he found himself searching for the path to consciousness by following the sound of his companions. He could hear the worry in their tone despite the joking manner in which they tried to rouse him, reminding him he'd gone through worse than this before. It was the story of how he'd been chased out of a certain home on an early morning when a particularly angry mother was not too pleased to find him in bed with her daughter. He'd had to run from the house with his pants halfway around his legs while ducking the barrage of attacks by an iron pan as he ran down the street. They'd laughed about it for hours at the inn. The memory made the smallest twitch in his face as a smirk tried to come through.
Still, it wasn't those closest to him that brought him around. Instead, it was the sound of the newly acquainted viking and her words to heed that instead lifted the rest of the fog in his mind. The sword was a beacon. She was right. He just didn't know what to do with that knowledge now. "No," Devon replied to her question with strain. He opened his eyes again and saw her face first. Her features were set in determination and fierceness. He wondered if they ever softened or was she always the warrior. "It's just us. I'm not so lucky to have an army behind me." Devon reached for the ale his friend had and drank the entirety of the cup. It soothed the burning in his throat which was one small relief. "I had no intentions of looking for a fight, but I knew you and your people wouldn't just give me the sword either."
Devon lifted himself to sit up. He did not like the idea of being a burden any longer. Gaze moving around the room, he noted the new faces among them. They too had the fierceness of their leader and he had a feeling they could put he and his men on their asses without too much effort given. "I'm sorry for the loss of your people," he began, looking back to the woman. "I don't know much about the sword or why others would want it besides the fact that it's a powerful weapon. I was told it can only be wielded with its true potential by a person of my bloodline. What good it would do in the hands of another.." he shrugged. "Doesn't seem to be too much concern for them. Whatever those things are, they didn't hesitate to die for a chance at getting it."
She was right though. They needed to leave. Devon shakily stood, but refused to give into his body's lament for doing so. "This is Milo and Will," he introduced, nodding to each respective Rogue. "I'm Devon." He offered his arm to her in greeting. Allies was something he didn't know if they could be just yet, but he had to hope for now they could coexist to deal with what was in front of them. Was the sword something she and her people would want for themselves? Maybe. This could just be a way for her to learn more as this situation unfolded and it would be something Devon would keep in mind, but for now, he had to put some trust in her. "Do you know of a way we can cloak the sword?" He was new to this world of magic and other types of people walking among them. Hell, he didn't even know what she was, but he was up for ideas when it came to figuring out a way to slow the ones after them.