Northblood - Prologue
Two forms are locked in combat.
The skies thunder with their fury. The earth trembles under their might. The waters shudder at their power. Fierce waves batter the rugged, rocky shores. Snow falls upon the shaking world with the furious howls of the northern wind.
The first is a beast, a burly being covered in thick brown fur, behemoth of bony plates and wicked spikes.
The second is a dragon, a ghostly white, winged creature of pale glowing eyes and forward-facing horns threatening his adversary.
“You do not understand, Beast,” the deep, raspy voice of Bromdaahl comments to the other. “Foolish cur. It is necessary.”
Ristaang, the Beast, answers with a challenging bellow, the otherworldly sound rising well above the agonized howls of the cold winds. The earth, her element, quakes underneath her might, while her roar scatters the snow and winds, the dragon Bromdaahl’s own element.
The dragon snorts his frustration. “Very well, then. You leave me no choice, Mother of Beasts.”
Bromdaahl conjures sheer cold to his maw, but Ristaang stands her ground stubbornly. She cares not for avoiding the dragon’s attacks; such would be weak, and Ristaang - the Beast - is not weak. She chooses to humor the dragon by allowing him to strike her, to mock his power and to remind him where his place is: below her.
The blast of cold washes over Ristaang’s shoulder and back, instantly forming a sheet of spiked ice over her powerfully muscled body. With a shake of her head and a snort, Ristaang snarls and pounces. Bromdaahl struggles to remain airborne, forced to beat his wings with a lot more vigor to support his and the furred creature’s weights. He grits his teeth as Ristaang mauls his frosty form with her fearsome claws and closes shut her toothy jaws around the dragon’s neck.
Airflow cut completely and cold blue blood flowing out of the holes carved by the teeth and claws, Bromdaahl musters his leg to shove Ristaang off. Though kicking the behemoth off proves to be a challenge given her strength and bodily weapons firmly embedded in his flesh, he manages to accomplish the feat.
As the bear-like creature tumbles onto her back with a tremor, the dragon rises higher into the snowy atmosphere.
“Furry mongrel!” shouts Bromdaahl.
Around Ristaang, the winds swirl like a typhoon, curling around her in a twister of icy droplets and frozen air. The winds pick up in speed, surrounding her in a frozen tornado and making her fur flutter. Ristaang, defiant and thick-headed, roars. A massive stony paw breaks the side of the twister suddenly and Bromdaahl does not have time to fly out of the way. Five long claws, driven by brute strength, draw an arc in the air, soon painting the cold northern atmosphere with blue arcs of freezing blood as the thick appendage whacks the side of the white dragon’s face. His skull, smacked by the powerful hit, is broken open and nearly sent flying off his neck. Mind scrambled, the dragon nearly crashes to the snow-covered ground below.
“Enough. It ends here,” announces the dragon as blood drips steadily from his maw.
With his mind, Bromdaahl wills his icy twister to batter Ristaang. The burly behemoth furiously paws at her face to rid herself of the hail stabbing at her fur, but she is incapable of removing them. Before long, Ristaang finds herself frozen over, struggling to move even with her great strength.
Unable to keep her balance, the frozen beast teeters forward and topples over with a resounding thud. Even with the tremendous impact, her icy prison does not break, for Bromdaahl prevents it from doing so.
The dragon of the cold winds lands on top of a jagged mountain peak that he covers in snow and produces numerous spears of ice high in the air. Freezing mist surrounds them in a cold aura.
Even from vast distances, animals on Solveig can witness the icy javelins falling like a rain of frozen arrows as they pierce through the clouds and head towards their creator: the Great Beast Ristaang.
The sound made when they impale Ristaang strikes terror and sadness in the hearts of the creatures.
It feels as though the entire world is holding its breath as Ristaang writhes and spurts blood from her tusked maw and wounds. Bromdaahl, however, knows not to let his guard down. He knows Ristaang is tough.
Yet, even he feels a newfound respect and fear when the Beastmother rises to her feet even when pierced through the chest and numerous other places across her body. His eyes widen as Ristaang turns around to face him with a hard glare. She plucks one of the spears stabbed into her furry belly and pulls it out in one swift motion, causing a squirt of blood to exit the wound and drip onto the behemoth’s expansive stomach. With a downwards swing of her arm, Ristaang the Beast thrusts the bloodied javelin into the earth. She folds her arms and flexes her muscles, breaking the rest of the icy arrows and spears dotted across her body with a few twitches of muscle alone.
Her point has been proven. The dragon will not defeat her so easily. He knows. His only chance of defeating the Beastmother...
Cold eyes hardening, Bromdaahl bellows, issuing a challenge to the Beast that she is all too eager to accept. The dragon flaps his wings just as Ristaang pounces towards him.
His only chance of defeating the Beastmother is to pierce her heart itself.
At the last second, Bromdaahl flies off the spiked peak, and the hot-headed Ristaang recognizes her mistake too late; driven by gravity and her own powerful momentum, she finds herself impaled atop the jagged mountain.
Bromdaahl grins over his victory. He watches as Ristaang’s blood flows in rivers down the craggy surface of the mountain, painting the snow and sea red. Aware that spilling Ristaang’s blood has consequences due to its ability to spawn creatures, a trait quickly demonstrated when burly creatures rise from the blood and wander around in the snow, Bromdaahl chooses to flash-freeze the Beast to stop her bleeding. Although he initially wanted to appropriate her power as he has done to the other Aspects, he decides that with Ristaang incapacitated, the might he already has has nothing to fear. Nothing can stop him now.
Rime creeps across the inert body of the Beastmother, soon covering her in a sheet of magical ice. Her body, along with the mountain, are completely frozen over. He chooses to ignore the critters spawned by the blood of Ristaang; for how can these brutes pose a threat to him when he has defeated their mother?
The dragon unleashes a mighty roar of triumph, startling the creatures below as they look up curiously. He takes flight and promptly disappears in the snowy, clouded heavens, leaving the shaggy critters alone with the frozen body of their mother.
Although her body is wounded, Ristaang’s spirit is well alive. And it is laughing. By shedding her blood and ignoring the consequences, Bromdaahl has practically set himself up for his own downfall.
He will learn - only the foolish do not fear the wrath of Ristaang.