Against the Lord of the Pit, Part 2: The Song of Goroth

Goroth was a fierce son of the frozen north, from the lands of ice and snow, of the midnight sun, where the hot springs flow. (*wink*)

He was a cousin to the heir-apparent of the Ice clans, and therefore had royal blood in his veins - as was evidenced by his snow-white mane, a family trait of the ruling bloodline. That meant he could, if he could prove himself worthy of it, stake his own claim to the crown and seize it from the head of his cousin, Erik. And once crowned King of Ice, he could lay claim to the Throne of the Eerikki, the Forever King, ruler of all the Stormlands (the lands of Ice, Snow, and Frost). There hadn't been a Forever King in the north since the time of the giants - it was a title shrouded in the mists of time and now only heard mentioned in the oldest songs.

But in his heart, Goroth knew that it was his destiny to rule the north.

It was for this reason that he left the Stormlands and ventured into the south (which, to an Ice barbarian, means everything besides the lands of Ice - even the lands of Snow and Frost; every Ice barbarian knows that they're the only true north-man!). He would seek his fortune in these far lands and return to the north, the skalds of all the Stormlands singing songs of his deeds, and would prove himself worthy in the eyes of the Dead Kings to be the rightful ruler of not just the Ice Lands, but of all the Stormlands.

That's how he came to find himself in a region on the edge of civilization called The Borderlands. He fell in with a small band of fortune seekers that had as their headquarters a dilapidated townhouse in a small keep, from which they were planning a foray into the wild lands to the east. His comrades were wary of his barbarian ways, but there could be no doubt that his massive bulk, so obviously touched by the ancient blood of giant-kind, would prove invaluable in their coming venture.

The barbarian had a garret room in the townhouse, which - although cramped, especially given his nearly seven-foot frame - suited him just fine. The cold draft through the eaves felt far more comfortable to him than the hearth-warmed rooms below. It reminded him of home.

Still, he had trouble sleeping the night before the group's excursion into the wild lands - not because he was nervous, but because he was so eager to make his mark upon this land. He tossed. And turned. And tossed.

And turned - flopping onto a warm, small-framed, golden-haired girl that had suddenly appeared in his bed.

He pulled back in surprise. The girl - naked as the day she was born, except for a few bits of odd jewelry and a pair of ill-fitting leather bracers (which the barbarian found alluring, for some reason) looked at him as if she were lost. Not shocked, just confused.

Then, she seemed to notice his nudity - and her own. She snatched up the bed furs and covered herself.

"Who are you?" she said. Then, looking around the moonlit room: "Where is this?"

Her voice was lilting despite her confusion; her accent one that Goroth - despite having traveled hundreds of leagues from his home atop the world - could not place. It was softly pleasing - like a gentle breeze whispering over a field of heather on Midsummer's Day. It was also fierce, but nowhere near so much as her glare.

He heard the girl, but found himself entranced by her pure beauty. He'd not seen anything like her, neither in the north nor in his travels. She combined the powerful beauty of the women of his homeland with an ethereal quality he couldn't identify. Her pale flesh looked  impossibly soft and smooth - he instinctively reached out to touch it.


The girl placed her foot on his bare chest and shoved him away. The move took him by surprise, and despite her small frame, the large warrior toppled backward and fell from the tall bed. He hit the old wooden floor with a resounding "Crash!" that shook the whole house.

It was only moments before his adventuring companions were at the door, lanterns burning, swords drawn...

. . . . .

This would mark the beginning of the song of Goroth. He would go on to bed many women, several of them worthy of songs of their own (much more on this, later), but this first bedding would be different. It would also be the true start of an epic tale that would encompass the fate of all of the kingdoms of the world.

(It would probably mark the only time the White Wolf, as Goroth would come to be known, would be kicked out of a woman's bed.)

After assuring his companions that there was no cause for alarm, Goroth and Hildy made each other's acquaintance (in an entirely platonic manner). He noted her bracers, which bore a stamp he knew to be a mark of one of the prominent Snow clans. She had received these from her father (in her previous life), so it appeared there was some tie there between her bloodline and the bloodlines of the north.

Th next morning, Hildy was introduced to and officially joined the adventuring party. They ate, equipped themselves, and set out for the east, where it was said that tribes of humanoids protected vaults of stolen treasure.

Adventure awaited them - but it would turn out to be unlike anything any of them could ever have predicted...