Bjorn Chapter 6: Long Winter Sudden Spring

The Ironbreaker was scared and out of breath, the wind whipped at his face and ice chunks tore at his skin and armor, he was caught in a snow drift sinking every step so he couldn’t get away, and He was coming. He heard the crunch of ice feet behind him he turned around only to be picked up like a child by the largest man he had ever seen, dressed only in a raggedy loincloth. He brought the Ironbreaker face to face and looked at him like his father looked at him after he caught him trying to lift the grown man’s axe as a child, with slight amusement in his eyes. The Giant opened his mouth and with a voice of deep bass, rumbled. “My dear little Bjorn, you are mine, you have always been mine.”
The Ironbreaker screamed back with rage and futility “I AM MY OWN ULFRANDR, I DENY YOU”
The smile on the giants face quickly turned to a snarl and he slammed Bjorn down into the snow and brought his foot crashing down on his chest.
The Ironbreaker awoke with a start grabbing his ax and almost letting out a howl, it took him a moment to realize that he was in his own bed in the corner of a his room. let out out a sigh he let the ax fall to the ground and sighed, the dreams were getting worse, The Wolf Runner had touched him in his dreams, for the last few weeks he had been slowly gaining in his dreams but this was the first night that He had caught him. He had heard tales of men dying in their sleep from bad and evil dreams but for the time it looks like he was alive. He got up and prepared for the day. he worked the paints over his face in their practiced forms, Red for clan, the Ironbloods best fighters in the North, Blue for his chosen color, stability, wisdom, and strength, the runes to remind everyone who he is and where he’s from. Next his necklaces each a story to themselves, the wolf, the lion hanging next to each other his past and present. After that his shirt he looked at the pile of armor that was by his bed and considered leaving her but then remembered what happened last time he didn’t wear armor and quickly put it on. Lastly his sash, Blue for his color, marked proudly with the Stamp of the Metalli, he would rather be naked than go without that sash, it marked him out as a Merchant belonging to one of the best guilds in the world as far as he was concerned.
He slipped through the open room of the place he staying and smile and nodded to everyone he met, Undying was eating a chunk of meat he hoped was game, Balthazar was, as usual, in a constant state of movement through the room bouncing from here to there, Walt he hadn’t seen in a few days and Florence was most likely out in the city already, she was always the first up. Ironbreaker looked at the Shield by the door and lightly grazed his hand over its symbols then feeling ready, he walked out into the world. The streets as usual smelled like garbage and human waste the first step he took out of his door resulted in sinking ankle deep in the mud that always seemed to be present in these southlanders cities. shaking his head he started to move to the workshop were the lists of orders demanded his constant attention. Moving through the silent hooded crowds never got easier, they all looked the same to him, and a quote from his father echoed through his mind, “the age of heroes is dead, The Lion God has killed it, leaving humankind with nothing but weeping martyrs, fear and shame.” Hearing their whispers as he moved through the streets and saw their sideways glances, someone had started the damn rumor that he was baptized and it had spread like wildfire he wanted to smack that person for causing him a world of trouble. It had been months since he had lowered himself to the Gods and the fear that once gripped him was over. He was tired of the Gods both old and new throwing him around as their plaything, he remembered the inquisitors words and his promises but for some reason that seemed like a long long time ago. All he was left with was stubbornness and spite, and with his beloved leaving the valley there wasn’t even any soft comfort waiting for him.
The Ironbreaker reached the Guildhall, opening the door he waved to Borso and Bakara who where pouring over some papers, and maps, he should really learn how to read he thought to himself. he went int to back of the guild hall where his workstation was adorned by bones of bears, wolfs, and eagle feathers, the stones around the forge where the fire danced were marked with runes of power said to make the iron stronger and the coal last longer, in the back of his mind he knew it didn’t do anything but it was traditional that all proper forges have them so he placed them around it. it felt almost like home, picking up a bag of coal he poured it into the forge and started a small flame. The Ironbreaker then picked up a piece of Hard Iron and looked it over feeling the raw ingot in his hand. “Now what shall I do with you I wonder?” he said aloud and he placed it on the coals and started to work the billows. It was a bad winter with nothing getting done so he had to work hard to catch up on everything he slacked behind during the winter, but the day was new and the sun was just about the peak above the horizon he took the red piece iron out and placed it on his anvil smiling he picked up his hammer and like his namesake broke the raw iron so he could make it into something beautiful.

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