Origin of the Valkyrie
I was proud. I was only twelve, yet Odin had chosen me to become his next warrior. He had taken note of my power, and my parents were thrilled. But my siblings, they weren't as happy for me. Myst especially. He had always insisted that he was the better, but my parents would never let us see who was, for fear of dissension. But my ascension was the final straw for him.
I bid farewell to my parents, my mother intears. I tried to comfort her, but she realized the truth: That once I became the full Valkyrie, I would become immortal, and will live on beyond even my grandnephews and nieces. Rythe, though she still resented me, hugged me, and wished me the best of luck. But Myst... He always despised me, and wouldn't even say goodbye.
I left, waiting for some sign as to what to do next. It appeared in the form of a woman. Not much older than me, probably twenty, and absolutely stunning. It wasn't her face thatwas the source, nor her beautiful clothes, but her strength. She was a true warrior, if ever I saw one. Every inch of her body was pure muscle. I was in awe.
"Greetings, young warrior." she hailed to me. "I am Lenneth, trainer of the Valkyries. Odin has asked me to take special care with your training. So, let's get started."
Myst watched as his sister walked off, armed with only a training spear and her wits. He felt no sadness or remorse, only pure hatred. 'Why was she chosen,' he wondered to himself. 'I am the true warrior, so why wasn't I chosen by the gods!?"
He brooded for weeks, making his already worried parents even more concerned. But they never thought he was brooding out of hate, but worry for his sister.
"Do not worry, Myst," they said to him one day. "Robyn is surely doing great in her training."
Myst slammed his hand down on the table. "I don't care about her! Why was she chosen, and not me!" He left for bed then, but actually used that time to prepare to finally leave to find his destiny.
He left that night, without saying a word to his parents. He wandered for days, looking for some sign of what he should do. It came to him, in the form of a bandit.
"Your money, 'good sir' ", he said with dripping sarcasm and a knife in his hand.
"Actually," Myst said, " I think not". With speed unknown to even the gods, he delivered a punch to his stomach that left a gaping hole in his body. They both stared at his fist.
"H-how could I do that? I was never that strong!"
"Then it is true." The bandit wasn't dead yet, he was even starting to recover rapidly. "You are to be the next Warrior of the Wyrm."
"The- The Wyrm?" Myst asked.
"The Wyrm is the spirit of destruction. It was once the spirit of balance between the Wyld and the Weaver, but went mad. Now, it is bent on destroying all creation. Now, come with me."
It wasn't a question, but an order. He couldn't refuse, and followed the bandit. Eventually, they came upon a grotesque statue, so disgusting, that no one sane could have carved it. (And that was actually the case.)
"Oh, Lord Steele," the bandit cried to the statue, "I have brought the Warrior that you have spoken of."
The statue came alive, and standing there was a human. How old was he, no one could say, but he was so filled with obvious hate and rage that people knew better than to cross him.
"So. You are Myst." It wasn't a question, but a statement. "I see you will definitely be a great warrior.
"I am Lord Steele, Warrior of hate. You could do well, if you swear loyalty to me. Do you?"
Myst had to think. If he was to swear loyalty to him, who knows what he'd have him do? But he had to ask something first.
"Would I be strong enought to defeat my sister?"
At this, Lord Steele laughed. "You worry about if you can defeat your SISTER!? With the power that the Wyrm can grant you, no one could defeat you."
At that point, His fate was decided.
"My liege," he saidas he kneeled.
"Okay," Lenneth said, "first, let's work with basic weapons. How are you with a sword?"
"I- I could never handle them that well," I stammered. Now that I was officially a trainee of the Valkyries, I was really nervous. What if I messed up, and offended someone? "They just seem a bit too uneven in my hands."
"Hmm. How about the axe?"
"Well, I can handle a bow fairly well, but it isn't my best weapon."
"So, I am guessing that you are a spearsman."
"Yep!" I cried. Then I saw her odd look at me, then I blushed. "Erm, I mean that... Yes, my best weapon is the spear. I always preferred having a wide space between me and my enemy."
"I see. Well, you are not to touch a spear for the next few months."
"WHAT!? But... but the spear's the only weapon that could save my life!"
"Exactly. What if you were in a situation where you had to use a sword, or your bare hands?" I said nothing. Lenneth continued. "For the next two months, we are going to work with swords. Now, follow me. We must decide which sword you should train with." She walked off towards the Armory, and I followed sullenly. No polearms for a few months? But the only time I ever feel complete is with the long, slender weapon in my hands.
I knew that these next few months would be my longest ever.
"Mother?" Rythe asked. "Why are you so sad?"
"Oh, my dear Rytheling," she said, calling Rythe her pet name, "I am sad because your sister is now immortal, and can never see us again, and Your brother is gone, possibly dead."
"He isn't dead, dear mother. But soon, he'll wish he was."
Her mother looked up sharply. "What did you say?"
"I said that I'm sure he isn't dead."
No, after that. You said something about him wishing he was dead."
"I didn't say anything after that, dear mother. Are you alright?"
I- I don't know. I guess the strain is too much for me. I must rest."
Rythe watched her mother walk off to sleep. She was worried about her. What did she mean, he would wish he was?
later that night...
"Too late, dear sister. The Reign of Lord Myst starts now!"
Robyn charged Myst, and drove the broken shaft of Gungnir into his Heart.
Myst stared down at the wound. And laughed. "Oh, bravo, dear sister. I didn't know you had it in you. But I'm not out yet! MORPH!"
Rythe awoke with a start, panting heavily. 'What's happening to me?' she wondered to herself. 'These dreams... they are not normal!'
She sat there crying for a long time, until footsteps are heard outside her door, followed by a knock.
Mom entered the room. "Rythe? Are you okay?"
Rythe sighed. "I'm okay. I just had a bad dream."
"Oh, okay. good night, honey." She started to leave.
"Wait, mom." She turned around. "Mom, do you know anything about... visions?"
"Visions? Well, your grandmother used to be a prophetess, why do you-" She stopped at that moment, and realization dawned on her. "No, not you too, Rythe! Please say it isn't true!"
Rythe never got the chance to finish, because Mother suddenly broke down crying. "No! I won't lose you too! I don't want to lose you all!"
Rythe didn't know what to do. Her mother was really worried that she will leave forever! She did the only thing she could think of.
"I won't leave you, mother. I promise."
"No, child! You are too defensive! How can you kill me if you can't even hit me!"
I held her sword above her, deflecting the blow Catla tried to deliver. She barely held her ground.
"Why do you continue to call me child? I am almost fifteen!" I thrusted at Catla, who sidestepped it easily.
"Because, my dear, although you may be almost a Valkyrie, you are still too young. Why, you are half the age of Katryna, and she was supposedly selected far too EARLY!" She punctuated that last word by slashing hard, and thus knocking my sword out of my hand.
I rubbed my hand. "I may be young..." I stopped talking to deliver a punch to Catya's face, did a roll to grab the sword, and held it to Catya's neck. "...but I am a bitch to face in combat."
"Well done, Robyn." Lenneth walked out onto the training ground, a smile on her lips. "You even beat Catla. I am impressed."
I bowed to Lenneth. "Thank you, Lenneth. Umm..." My next words would probably be met with a punch and extra training, but I had to ask. "Does this mean that I can soon start training with polearms soon?"
Lenneth frowned. "You really want to use a spear again, don't you?"
"Forgive me, but I do not feel complete unless a spear is in my arms. Without it, I feel naked."
"Well, go get dressed. We start training tomorrow."
I actually jumped for joy. "Oh, Thank you, Lenneth!"
"And I was beginning to think that you were mature." I flushed. Why had everyone choose this moment to start the group practice?
"Oh, hello, sisters. I was just... That is, I..."
They all laughed. I flushed even more.
Finally, daliah spoke amidst the laughter. "DO not feel embarassed, child. It is just so refreshing to see such spirit around here."
"Yes, it is," Lenneth agreed with a grin. "Now, come, Robyn. It's time for you to feel... clothed again."
Lenneth traveled to a different room of the training ground. Here, every weapon known to man and some that aren't are hanging on walls, waiting to be used.
"Okay, Robyn, take a spear."
Lenneth waited patiently while I looked over the many different types: Pikes, Halberds, Glaives. But she soon got impatient after I passed by all of them.
"Come now, Robyn. Surely it doesn't take that long to decide."
"You don't understand, Lenneth. The Spear is my life. I have never found the one that suits me. I hope to find it here, but I shall settle for now."
I picked up a normal glaive, and looked at Lenneth expectantly.
"Now what do you want me to do?"
"I want you to attack."
I didn't hesitate, knowing that she would attack first if I didn't. But the many months without a spear in my hands severely hampered my abilities.
I charged her. My speed was lacking, and she sidestepped me. I decided to keep running, then jumped off the wall and did a dive towards Lenneth. I had discovered in my training that my enemy will become immobile during this attack, often stemming from amazement and wonder at the altitude. Lenneth wasn't of that sort.
She immediately jumped towards me, an attack I actually expected. I did a flip, and Lenneth felt the heel of my boot slam right into her chest. That actually surprised her, but I didn't give her the chance to counter. I did a wide swing, and had the glaive slam into her side, followed by a quick stab.
"Heh... Pretty good, Robyn." She flew towards me, and grabbed the glaive. "But you leave room for improvement."
"You haven't seen the least of what I can do." I surrendered the glaive. "But I'll leaver you wondering."
Lenneth looked at me in surprise, then threw her head back and laughed.
"Ah, Robyn. You still have much to learn.
"Come. We start your next level of training now. You are now going to learn clerical powers."
"But- but Lenneth, I'm a warrior, not some namby-pamby mage!"
Lenneth was actually leading me by hand to the Hall of Odin, a place of extreme power of the Gods.
"Being a cleric and being a mage are two different things. As a cleric, all your powers will depend on your faith. Now tell me, how sure are you that Odin exists?"
"Well, considering he passed me in the hall last night and said hi, I'd say pretty damn sure." I know I was being an ass, but I couldn't help it. Faith was never a point with me.
"But, how strong is your faith in Odin? That will decide it." We entered the Hall, and there Lenneth stopped. She pulled out her sword, and stabbed herself in the stomach.
I gasped. "Are you MAD!? We may be immortal, but that'll still hurt like hell!"
"I know. Now, heal me."
"Heal me. Channel your faith in Odin, and close this wound."
I stared at her. She expected ME to ask ODIN for a favor? Well, what the Niflheim. Can't hurt. Me, at least.
"Erm, Odin, cure this woman?" Nothing happened.
"No, Robyn, use your belief!"
Why couldn't she understand, I HAD no belief!
"I can't! I don't believe in Odin!"
"What are you saying, Robyn! You know that Odin exists!"
"No, I don't! I think I see Odin, but I don't know if he is!"
Lenneth was appalled. Robyn doubted the All-Father?
"Robyn... Do you realize the severity of this? A warrior of Odin, who does not believe in Odin?"
"I... I'm sorry, but I can't believe. Not now."
Lenneth patted my back.
"I understand. Give it time. Now, I guess we should go practise some more."
But neither of us were to understand how severe this would be. Not until I was called to see Odin himself.
"Arise, Valkyrie Robyn."
I did as Odin commanded,and looked at him. Why had he called me to the Court?
"I have heard from... Reliable sources, that you doubt my existence."
'Reliable sources'. I know he's talking about Thought and Memory, but I dare not speak. I was already damned.
"Now, this really intrigues me. Why do you serve someone who You don't believe exists?"
"I know that you exist, my Liege. I just doubt your identity. I have sworn loyalty to you, and I will keep it, but I still doubt that you are the All-Father."
"I see." He said only two words, yet I could feel the power that backed up those words. Power that could crush me.
"So, even though you think I do not exist, you still serve me. This is true loyalty."
"Robyn, you are to stay here, and continue training with the other Valkyries for one month. Then you will return here on the last day of that, and I shall give you a test. Pass, and I'll show you that I am truly Odin. Fail... well, just don't fail. Understood?"
I nodded dumbly. I had basically admitted to blasphemy, and yet Master Odin still let me stay!
"Now, go. You have only a month to learn the ways."
And that meeting was what finally made my life start moving.
I trained for the rest of the month, although I didn't try clerical magic again. Instead, I focused mainly on my physical abilities, perfecting them until could defeat every Valkyrie in combat.
Then, the day came. Odin summoned me, but this time, the Court was totally filled with all the major gods and several minor ones.
Odin spoke. "Approach, Valkyrie Robyn." I did as he bid me. "You have served me faithfully, despite the fact that I don't exist." He chuckled at this, and all the others followed his example.
"So, normally you would now be a full Valkyrie, but because of your doubt, I must give you a test. Do you accept this?"
I nodded, knowing that I probably just signed my death warrant.
"Then, by the power of Odin, I order you to retrieve the Weapons of Legend."
Every single person there gasped, save for Odin and I. I could not believe my ears. The Weapons have been missing for centuries!
Odin spoke again. "Despite what most people believe, the Weapons do exist. The reason they have not been found is because they are not on ths plane."
"Long ago, after the first Cataclysm, the Legendary Weapons were forged. They all held amazing powers.
"The Twin Swords, Murasame and Masamune, the katanas which decimate their weilder's enemies.
"Excalibur, the Holy broadsword, whose legends have been told for centuries.
"The Dragon Claws, kaisers weilded by only the most skilled martial artists.
"The Kris Knife, the knife of eternal bleeding, whose wounds will never close.
"The Magus Staff, carved from a blessed Oak by Silvanus, which increases the wielder's magical abilities severalfold.
"The Dawn Bow, the longbow of true aim, whose arrow never misses it's mark.
"And Gungnir, the Holy Lance of Justice, and my weapon.
"These weapons, and more, were sent to different dimensions, so that evil forces could never hold them all. but I'm afraid that there is tell of a new enemy, one with powers unseen for centuries.
"Robyn, you are to retrieve those weapons."
I was totally oblivious as to what was going on around me. Thoughts were racing through my head.
I was expected to get the nine major weapons? I!? Was Odin mad?
I was jilted out of my thoughts by the realization that ODin was talking to me.
"...and you will only recieve what you can carry, including your weapon. Lenneth will help you prepare for your journey."
"My Lord," I finally said, "I'm afraid I don't understand. How will I traverse these dimensions?"
Odin smiled. "Why, through the X-Zone, of course!"
"The What?" I asked.
"The X-Zone, dear." Lenneth was helping me pack for the journey. I didn't really have much, just a spare set of clothes, provisions, and a spear. "It's a spell, used to traverse the dimensions. I guess you will have to learn it."
I did learn how to cast it, though I cannot say how, by Odin's decree. I was standing at the entrance of Asgard, getting ready to leave, when Thought and Memory appeared. They dropped a scroll, and flew off.
I picked up the scroll. It had the seal of Odin on it! I opened it, and read it's content.
"Robyn, this scroll is the only help you will get in finding out the dimensions. You will have to figure everything else out yourself. I suggest, though, you see your family one last time, seeing as how planeshifting can be iffy at best, and you might not survive.
"The locations will only appear once you have found a weapon, but here is your first clue.
" 'Look for the world where magic is dead, and look for the Prince of the desert kingdom.'
"Good luck, Robyn, and may I smiledown upon you during your travels."
I rolled up the scroll, and thought about what it said. I hadn't seen my family in a year. It was time to pay them a visit. I hopped a ride with a winged horse, and dropped off about half a mile from home. Didn't want to tell them I was home yet.
When I knocked on the door, a beautiful young woman appeared.
"Yes? May I- Oh, Odin. Robyn!?"
"R-Rythe?" I stuttered. She had changed in the year! Her normally short hair was reaching down to her legs, and her face was so beautiful.
"Oh, Robyn! You look so different! You're so muscular!"
"I've been training non-stop. Umm, can I come in?"
"Oh, of course! Sorry!" She stepped aside, and I finally got to look inside. I wish I hadn't.
The house was a mess. The walls had so many cracks, the roof was leaking, and there was almost no furniture left. There was the table, which had definitely seen better days, and three chairs. Other than that, nothing.
"I know," Rythe said when she saw my reaction. "Times have been tough, since you left."
"What happened, Rythe? Where is everyone?"
"Well, a few weeks after you left, Myst left for good. We haven't heard a word from him, and I fear for him. Dad died a few months ago, after a bunch of bandits came. They stole everything of worth, and... Left." She started rubbing her arm now, a habit of hers when she's hiding something. I knew what it was, and swore revenge on those bastards.
"And what of mom? Where is she?"
Rythe looked down. "I think you should see for yourself."
"Mom just broke down last month. She has lost almost all touch with reality, and is only an inch from death."
Rythe showed me the way to Mom's room. The room looked almost exactly the same, except for the woman trying to break down a wall with a fire poker.
Mom really had changed. Her normally cheerful face was totally devoid of emotion, and her frame was dangerously thin. Her hair was a mess of knots and tangles, and she was babbling.
Rythe quickly took the poker. "Mom, Robyn is here."
"Robyn?" Mom looked around wildly. "Where is she? She's late for dinner, you know."
"I'm here, Mother." She didn't see me until I spoke, and then I saw her eyes. they no longer had that happy look in them, were totally unemotional. "I'm here."
"Robyn? Oh, you naughty girl, you've been playing down at the creek again, haven't you? Oh, your father was so worried!"
She really was insane now. I felt so... guilty. "Don't worry, mother, I'm here. but I need to leave soon."
Rythe looked up at this, but said nothing.
"Oh, do you, now? Well, goodbye, and I hope we can see you again, stranger. Be careful now, there are bandits out there, ready to jump anyone who looks like easy prey."
"I will, mother." I couldn't stay any longer, for fear I might stay for good. I stepped outside, and Rythe followed.
"Take me with you."
I turned to stare at my sister. "What?"
"Take me with you. I can't stay here any longer."
"LISTEN, Robyn! I can't do this anymore! Mother has gotten worse, and will die tomorrrow anyway, so-" But she realized her slip, and shut up.
I wouldn't let her. "What do you mean, she'll die tomorrow?"
Rythe looked down at her shoes. "The rrof will collapse tomorrow, killing her. I would have been outside, trying to hunt for food.
"I'm a prophetess, Robyn. I can see the future."
I couldn't believe this. My sister, who never thought about the future at all, could predict our mother's death? I knew it was wrong, but I had to say it.
"Come on," I said grudgingly. "We're going."
"So, how does this work?"
"I don't know, Rythe. I never actually cast X-Zone on myself." I threw up my hand.
The world distorted, then shifted to new surroundings. We appeared in what seemed to be an endless void, with millions of doorways.
"Rythe, do you have any idea about where we should go?"
"Erm, I think that one." She pointed to one in a cluster of doors, with the letters "Gaian VI" hanging over the door.
"Okay, hope you're right." I grabbed her arm, and we both just floated towards the door. We entered it, and we immediately realized that we were in another world.
We were on a small island, that much was sure. There was a small mountain, almost a hill, north of us, and a small house about a mile south. The island looked like it was just recovering from disaster, what with the very sick looking plants.
I sighed. "Come on, Rythe. Let's see if anyone's home."