29 January 2017

Of Immortality & Ice

There are many tales of heroes come and gone, as poets let them live forever, building sagas from rumors a story lives a long time. An immortal man, living as if he had no time to spare was punished to be a statue for 1,000 years, and one day he escaped, as all immortals eventually do, to see a world memorized for the first time as what it had become. 

So he wandered with a dead language learning the world with only a few phrases taken from his captors and other prisoners, doing good for the world and making many mistakes, and in a quiet place learned of a wizard to end his eternal boredom freeing him from immortal duty. In this low place he met a witch of fire who giveth him light living forfeit to burn with his passion for her. 

In three years time she was with a child born in the first winter storm, their magic powers against the violent skies bore a child like the mother with the gift of fire, you may now this story from the people near her statue carved by the immortal man at the base of the black mountain Palidrias. They say for childbirth a mother's water "breaks," now I would have you imagine what fire would do instead. 

The immortal can recount many experiences more than there is time to hear just a few by so many that he knows, but for his family's safety he made it that only a precious few knew their life after the childbirth other than the gods and ghosts. 

Now, as trees sleep, being immortal and in that most dangerous magic of love the wife and child could live extended lives while supernaturally bonded to his soul, and they hid in the child's birthplace in the mountains titled by the unused name for the poisonous flowers that grow in the snowline. The fire magic allowed mother and daughter to burn away the toxins and the immortal would die and wake from time to time, learning that even having walked the world he lived in a place unknown to him. 

In three years neighbors were met, traditions of fire magic celebrated in old ways that humans and most cities wouldn't. Terribly, three years later the child became sick, with magic it was postponed and this new tale of loss to the immortal frightened even he who is usually without fear. The mother and her coven tried to burn the illness and the child's blood would not purify, and so they tied more of the immortal's essence to their auras. It almost killed him, not waking until the spell was diminished. 

Offering to sleep for the child's life he rested in a silo, to channel him his immortality required offerings of life that would wilt in his presence, and the child was not dying, but not healing, and in only days what things once wilted now quickly became ash. 

The mother became rage and fire as one and drew a circle on the ground and summoned that wizard that her immortal husband once sought, promised, and abandoned. The magician was thrown from the ground with a tear and a laugh and held accountable for all things in time, whose quick response was to offer her a diamond made of pure coldness and night sky to offer the immortal. 

For reasons of honesty, there is too much to understand in this story to explain both why and how a puddle in mud became a mirror, from it three men without mouths crawled from it without ripple, which then became muddy waters again, and the druid has better places to be right now. 

The immortal man grasped the cold-star and woke, fear-driven eyes he worried his awakening meant his child's demise he ran toward his home, the mother chased behind. 

The child was getting much worse, more as they ran, the child began burning in magical fire to heal and running outside to breathe, seeing the stone ran to them, taking the stone and collapsing. A silence consumed everything and they watched as flames died and child rose, black veins receding toward the neck until the eyes black. 

"Are you well, can you see?" they asked.
"I can see...I can breathe..," smiling first in weeks, "but I am, ...warm?" she asked, almost complaining. To relieved to worry they hugged their child.
The mother asked, "Can I see the stone?"

When the mother took the diamond it burn her deeply, matching her pain with her magic fire to heal the child, intending to make holy fire burned a shade of green, making the wound worse. 

The immortal moved the child away taking more damage to his clothes than any danger, asking the mother, "Are you healing?" 
"I am, not by that diadem shard," she replied, healing herself, holding his hand. 

They watched as the child quickly learned what still looked like familiar fire made mountain grass brittle and water eventually freeze. Putting the stone on the ground made the child sick again, troublesome veins and making bones to strains. Putting it to their decision that if the child was warm they would move up the mountain and left for a tethered ridge with a common breeze. 

It was only days before winter, in a few weeks they had to build a cabin where the treeline meets the stone of the world itself, and still the child would often sleep outside, such an altitude that even their resilience needed fire to cook and keep warm, but mostly for comfort. 

The stress caused hate, the most common of elements, to be uncovered and derided, and caused a contemplative tear from the child that quickly turned to snow and drifted into the wind. This mixture of magic and melancholy made a sound only deities of ice can hear, of wolves and spears in distant echoes.  The immortal opens the door to the rising storm of the summit skies and the child is gone, footsteps and heavy sleeted wind he chases his daughter austerely for the track's path could erase it. 

He followed the tracks until they vanished, in the growing storm the mother also went looking for the child, running until escaping the snow into a clearing of blue sky and sunlight. He is snow-laden and damp, his child sat on the ground to the side and one hand, smiling at the immortal man. 

"Fair greetings, my father, you are very snowy," the child said.
"Out of breath, ...out of my mind, ...who in all the hells, ....are you, ...?" he gasped.

There stood a woman, dressed as priestess throwing the seeds of the poisonous flower on the ground as would a farmer on a spring morning.
"Your child has something that doesn't belong here," she said. 
He replies, "And again, who are you so I can decide to run with my child."
"I am Skade, this is my storm, every stnowflake is mine, and there is a bear in your house."
The immortal kneels, "I know your name, in your audience I ask you heal my daughter for the diamond."
Discontentedly, "It is not a stone, it is an eye, and there is no cost, one cannot keep things from me."
"Then please, my child is sick, my 'little torch' is sick, unable to fight the poison flowers like the wizards and witches, heal this child or tell me what it is that I can fight with my aching heart!"
"Witches of fire suffered a plague when their home-world split during Ragnarok, they called it "the night root," and unable to get a cure from another realm they nearly died. Your child is descendant of them, altho it is rare the risk is more so from being surrounded by the green poisonous flower."
"I am well aware of the worlds having been, but i cannot guess who has the cure, that stone is the only thing keeping 'the child' alive"
"'Cure?' You will sadden at the pain, and you will hate the reason."
"I am ready for everything when by living I am not alone, one way or another."
"Taking the stone, the child will not enjoy, curing the child, you will not enjoy."

Skade walked to the child and raised her hand to the immortal, freezing him in his footsteps almost unable to move. The trees stood still watching snowflakes hover, she knelt over the child and tore it from tiny hands. The more the poison turned the child's veins against them, the more the child screamed. The immortal can move slowly, but Skade notices him as he almost cut her throat. 

"An immortal? in this forest? we will freeze your time more so for your patience," she said. 

She slowed the immortal to a total stop, the toxin moved faster thru the child, and Skade began pulling out the black veins faster to compensate, pulling at threads like fates. A very black blood was everywhere and the child didn't move when Skade finished. 

Skade stood and release the immortal man from frozen time, the wind blew, the storm circled and he knelt at his child. 

"What have you done!?" he asked.
"Your hearts may beat as one again, " she said, but then her voice became many voices with the powers of time and space, "Stand, give yourself selflessly, and the child will live!"
"I surrender to the cosmic balance."
"Sleep," she said as she touched him on his face. 

He fell directly to the rugged and jagged ground, into he bloodpool with the child. The mother, burning dark colors to survive the storm in squall surrounding the the other two, enters the utopia without cloud or shadow. Seeing the mother's face Skade collapses that utopia, the storm retakes the entire summit in earnest. The sky diamond is gone, the witch's fire is all that protects them.