Deep in a forest stood a moss covered stone building. Tall, ancient trees stood in attendance near the building, and a short distance from this ancient hall a lake loomed. Wolf lake, it was called, and the darkly mysterious waters held old and magickal secrets. Strong and unknowable powers dwelt in these woods, seen by only a few travelers and residents. Most avoided this dark valley nestled between the arms of tall mountains, Wolf Dales it was called, and some brave souls did travel here.
A lady walked the path that meandered purposely through the forest, her strong stride and her confident bearing told of her experience in matters magickal, and of her knowledge of the arcane arts. Even so, she was acutely aware that straying from the path might put her at great risk. There were powers in the deeper parts of the wood that were not always friendly to her kind. She sensed, with senses honed by years of study and practice, awarenesses and attentions paid to her passing, but on the path, she was relatively safe.
As she approached the moss and lichen covered building, she heard the hammer of the smith ring. She knew this was no ordinary smith, but one of power, one able to put his will into what he crafted, and she was intrigued. She felt, in passing, a barrier breached, and looking to her left into the forest, she noticed an iron stave driven into the ground, it’s top worked in mysterious runes that emanated with power.
She sensed the forge surrounded by wrought staves of power, both protecting from, and drawing in energies of various kinds. The doorway to the forge stood open, and the lady, not yet wanting to make her presence known, stood closely, hidden in the shadow cast by the iron bound, oaken door. More runes were graven upon the door, a protection against those who might mean harm to the smith, and to protect secrets from those who would steal what was not theirs.
A strong voice came from the depths of the darkly lit forge, and she heard the roar of the furnace. Her eyes began to adjust to the dimly lit scene, and she heard galdr being chanted over red hot metal, intent and power being sung into the steel as it was being struck by the hammer held in strong hands. She saw the smith, singing power chants, his bare back above short breaches sweaty and muscled, deeply intent upon the forging. The feeling of power was intense, and she felt it in her body, her nipples rising and hardening in response to the swirling eddies of magic being worked. Her body grew warm and her desire grew apace.
The smith, finishing the galdr over the hot metal, swung with an easy movement and placed the work back into the forge. She could see the forge hearth better now, it was shaped into the likeness of the fire giant Surt, the mouth held the white glow of the superheated flame. The smith, having sensed her presence since she breached his outer barrier of Runestaves, now turned to face her…the connection was made.
By Mark Huizinga
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