”Is that really what you wish for? ” Asked a raven perched on a mans broad shoulder.

The mountain pass was filled to the brim with soldiers. Grotesque chimeras, half-golem half-beast, climbed the fortresss fourth defensive wall, more awaited in ruins of the fifth and sixth next to men wearing bear skins.

”You once told me that every destination has a journey. ” His cold blue eyes scoured the horizon from the mountain, his braided red beard fluttered in the bone-chilling wind along his shoulder-length crimson hair. ”But every journey always starts with a first step. So… for my selfish desire of glory, honor, power. ”

The ghost who has followed him since childhood appeared by his side.

”For those that came before and will come after. ”

On the walls, defenders fought to the last man, trying their best to keep their home safe, fighting against a never-ending tide of enemies.

He could sense their despair.

Their struggle.

Their will to live.

”For those striving. ”

Enslaved jotunns, blue giants as tall as the fortresss walls, marched against their will, chains around their neck and ankles shining red with runes enforcing commands given by humans a tenth of their size.


”For those, Ive lost. ”

Fireballs blanketed the sky red, raining death and pain upon the defenders. A protective magical layer formed around the entire fortress, nullifying half the blazing projectiles until it shattered, condemning those below too weak to survive the blast.

”Even if I must bath Ulreon in blood, I will bring this accursed era to an end. ” He looked to his left into his companions dark eyes, seeing sympathy, cunning, and friendship. ”And restore the shattered Balance. ”

The raven peered into the distance, thoughtful. Finally, it nodded. ”I acknowledge your words, kid. Youve certainly grown, but you still have many truths to uncover. ”

”Then I will rely on you to guide me if I err, master. ”

The raven flew off into the distance, its size increased, rivaling that of ancient dragons, casting a foreboding shadow on the assailants.

Sensing the pain and unwillingness of those soon to join the Void, the red-haired man clenched his fists.

A bestial roar surged out from his throat, resounding, echoing throughout the entire mountain pass, piercing the chaotic sounds and veil of war. As if stunned by his mighty voice, the fight came to a temporary standstill.

”Hear me, Bear Clan! ” Energy flowing through his vocal cords augmented his voice. ”I am Erik Stormfist, the Golden Basilisk Slayer, the Bane of the Frozen Sea, the son of Skadi Bloodaxe! ”

Below, defenders and assailants alike turned their eyes southward to the mountain. Immediately, those in command hastened the army to form up ranks against the new threat.

”Carve this into your goldfish memories, you filthy wretches! For soon, the skalds will write my name in stories, eclipsing those of yore! For soon, my name will echo in taverns far beyond the seas into Damnation itself! For soon, all will utter my name with awe or cower at the mere mention of it! ”

The traitors laughed at what they thought were empty boasts, their numbers so overwhelming he could hear them from up there.

Sparks of blue electricity came to life around him, circling about his bare fists, lifting his red hair. Thunder growled, shaking heaven and earth.

”But none of you shall live to see that day, that I swear on my wyrd. ”

Their laughs came to a sudden stop.

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