Merlin 3:51 "Tripartite"
A camp in the woods of elves tall and pale, the forest stretches and the nearest village hides in the trees at the base of a distant mountain. The moon of Midgard shares the sky Nivlheim and the days become confused and light for only pairs of hours, dark then light then dark again, until joined by the moon of Alfheim, once every twelve years, where the sun disappears and the moonlight matches dusk for 13 days. The trinity lunar event reflects most onto the elven west and they call this time, the fire of night. They use this time to purge those monstrous beasts born of darkness that which do not go willingly without brute force.
Elven hes and shes, sharpening arrowheads and tying fletches, pelt pouches hang on lines being filled with arrows as kettles warm on small fires to melt the pitch that coats each sharpened point, and movement by all with industry.
A fallen tree shaven to a table and a warrior dwarf wearing twenty blades, two hatchets, and an ax, making flutes and runes and supper tools of spare bones, brushes his finished trinkets into a bag to keep working as an elf brings new bones. He watches them work, he watches the mountain ridge for a third moon to rise, he watches his stewpot.
Their leader and magistrate, Völund, warden of the central province of Landedge in the western elf realm stares at the grassland watching an empty flat-wagon approach.
Trohoc: You know, I wouldn’t call you younger in front of the team, but if you let that wagon get much closer without slowing I might have to mention it.
Völund: Our informant.
Völund: The poisoner with the wrinkled hair, they’ll see us from their distance by a count of 200.
Trohoc: Should we meet them?
Völund: No, they’re tattered, but alert everyone just in case, and hide that damn dwarf.
Trohoc: You always did have better eyes.
He leaves the king to watch of has passed to be their present tense, the unadulterated memories of their past haunts them. The horse is young and hungry, almost stopping at occasion to eat grass and walk whenever a wagon wheel meets difficulty rolling over clump of grass or rabbit hole. Belladonna’s clothes are burnt, torn, muddied, singed, and disheveled, much as her arms and face, all minor scrapes compared to her brother who has a splinted leg, a crutch, and bandaged head and hands, one eye bruised by several days past, she sees their camp and warns him to endure strongly as they make desperately for the encampment.
Völund: Rangers, meet our new arrivals.
The soldiers among them run on foot to her, she sighs relief at their distant sighting and relaxes in the wagon letting the horse feed.
Bella: Goodness we need help!
Trohoc: Dismount the wagon.
Bella: Neither of us can walk.
Jimson(Jim): I won’t be moving. Are we in the elven?
Trohoc: What’s in the box?
Jim: You really don’t want to know.
Bella: We see Völund of Landedge, he will vouchsafe as artifice. We are nightshades of his employ.
Trohoc: Open it.
Bella: You won’t like what’s in it.
An elf opens it. The disagreeable frown pallid and unsavory.
Flena: Fucking witches.
Flena: Why do witches need a head, today, pray tell?
Bella: It’s to finish what we’ve started. Will you send word to Völund or not? Time does not heal, all wounds!
Trohoc looks to Völund who nods his head from 1000 yards and they proceed leading. Flena whispers to Völund.
Bella: Völund! Völund thank the nine worlds, marshal in the right and just! You have to let them help him!
Another nod and they rush to help Jimson.
Bella: You are wise in years and time, thank you.
Völund: What news for your aid? And why the head?
Bella: (hugging him at first) …the arbitress witch only wanted the vampire castle Vermillion the whole time, blood magic lifting an army to strength unnatural, falling in the sortie she retained her magic shared and pressed into the mountain, only to lose to a necromancer, and with her death the anchor on my brother’s heart was pulled under stirring seas of salted blood. The witches are three –
Völund: - and one carrying -
Bella: In hope they share their magic as by minions, I’ll see if the head can give my brother his stolen manna.
Völund: And the newcomer Merlin, what of him?
Bella: With castle Vermillion it seems, and a girl, pregnant as that mothering of the three Norns.
Völund: How pregnant?
Bella: Short of a moon, mayhaps two.
Völund: The plague carrying Sino then….?
Bella: Sino and this Merlin fellow seem to, not, be on good terms, despite the company of the bloodthirsty.
Völund: Food and wine.
Bella: Tell-Odin, yes.
Völund: I wasn’t asking I was telling.
Bella: There I have seen and couldn’t possibly imagine much but disjointed faction the blood driven.
Völund: We will sit as you describe every second of your days, and when your brother is well you will spy on Merlin.
Bella: (famished eating) Why Merlin?
Völund: I have a Halfling here that says his comrades of ill manners and disrespect for Midgard law know them both.
Bella: What kind of Halfling?
Varin [Halfling]: Mother human, father elf.
Völund: You will ride together and my hunters will follow unseen if possible. They will find and cut the largest root of the problem, of my woes with these arbiter witches and warlocks.
Bella: But why, my lord Völund?
Völund: The secrets of the dead are better put in pages than in dark hearts. Now shut your mouth and eat.
Varin: And if that root is Braden?
Völund: Embracing your truest heritage hath that answer wit, to now, doth wait in due time, and if he is the devil then bring me his head, for my now unnecessarily growing collection. I bet we can fix that wagon, bring me that damnedest stoutly dwarf!
Bella: There’s a dwarf?
Bella: A real one?
The stitching of a nearby surgery causes Jimson to scream through his teeth and the branch between them.
Völund: Anything else to share?
Bella: Why the hunting party?
Völund: The red auroch and bison are stomping thru the trees, this is a culling, this is the fire of night. What you find, the Halfling will hunt, your brother will mend here without you both.
Bella: Why that is absurd, for what purpose?
Völund: That a battered man doesn’t wander the streets looking for trouble like a bleeding worm in a chicken coup. I callous hands and you question me?
Trohoc: Presence more so than their question, and to commence loquacious bellicosity.
Völund: I suppose.
Bella: What is he hunting?
Völund: A demon’s witch of a distant world.
Bella: And what when we find it?
Varin: If you’re intelligent, just a view, and if I view her, hopefully something smart.
Jimson pains again.