How about no? Remember, this Saga will be finished, by hook or crook.
In general, I am a very bad person, and a liar to boot. I offer updates of recompense.
[ ] And yet, perhaps there is truth more truth in her words than you would like to admit? You need a moment to think.
The answer lies clear before your eyes, aye, it is to deny her words, to find an explanation to push away the thought of loss and lament, to leave the possibility without heed. So much easier would it be to lie to oneself.
But ever is knowledge persistent, wisdom finding its way through the twists and trammels offered by the most steadfast denials. Often does pain follow, as it does when you find yourself face to face with the truth that your family is long gone, when you know that you shall not see them again in this realm, perhaps not even in the next.
"Aye, those I count as kin are gone, this I know, for a man may travel a thousand leagues, riding sleek sea-steed or sure-footed stallion through the fiercest storm if he has but skill and strength, but not even Asgard's lords can find the paths twisting back through time." You slowly declare, feeling sorrow's rain suddenly beating down upon your cheeks.
"Even if Valhalla is my fate, a thousand years lie between father and son, lifetimes of countless men, such an age that not even the wisest skald could remember the names of his ancestors." You turn your gaze towards the firewitch, seeking not comfort but the truth, for she alone would know. "Tell me, everliving witch, does memory keep sharp as steel when life's years grow greater than the stars in the sky?
The red-eyed woman meets your gaze, in your eyes suddely seeming just as ancient as she claims to be despite her youthful beauty. "Well." She replies, without malice yet with words that hurt as harshly. "It rusts away just as fast."
"A thousand years, yet he feels but the blink of an eye. It is not the sleeping song-smith that would suffer." You growl, voice twisted by sorrow and growing embers of rage. "A thousand years, a son lost, seat empty in Odin's hall. What father could rest among the fallen knowing that his son must be cast down into Hel's cold halls? What mother could find peace if her son fell without honour?"
"By Odin and all the gods," You hiss between your teeth, feeling your sorrow fade away before something far stronger, a great and terrible need seizing your very soul "This will not stand."
Thus, so that your kinsmen may know that their long-lost son has not forgotten, and so that all men in this eastern realm may know, though it is long overdue, you are faced with the final obligation all noble men have to their sire.
"Time enough for sorrow there shall be," You finally declare, struggling to keep your voice steady as you weave the words. "Greater are the demands of duty."
"Well now, what would you mean by that?" The silver-mane wonders, curiosity colouring her voice.
"Answer me first, silver-maned Mokou, where men of this eastern land gather to honour their dead." You inquire, for ill would it be to remain ignorant of this fact.
"That depends. But a temple like this is a popular place." She replies, her features still revealing a slight hint of puzzlement.
"Aye, then it shall do." You mutter under your breath, then turn your head towards the silver-maned sorceress and give answer. "For greatest of a son's duties to his sire, is to see that men will remember. Nothing of worth can a man leave behind after death, but the memory of his honour. Shall he who I called father do any less?"
You turn your eyes toward your dear dollmaker, finding a blue gaze meeting you, her eyes steel-sharp as she simply nods towards you. A small gesture, yet you feel strangely comforted by it.
Your intention thus duly declared you utter a soft prayer to the far-sighted god, Asgard's great guardian, to let you find the hidden and the holy resting beneath the ground of this eastern land, aye, you whisper the name of the eagle-eyed one as you open your eyes and see. Boring through soil and earth, your gaze finds what you're searching for, you follow the twisting path before you until your eyes look down upon the moulded shape of the first giant's flesh, yet your gaze is fixed on the sliver of bone buried beneath.
"Hail, you spirits scattered among splintered shards of great giant's body, listen, you stone-spectres who linger within Ymir's bones." You chant, reaching out with spirit and soul to the hidden powers bound within stone.
Though slow to answer, they respond with a hundred voices, a deep spirit-sound´rumbling within your mind.
Satisfied with their reply, you plunge your hands into the soft soil and grasp the splinter of old Aurgelmir's bones, now feeling the ones living beneath, every spark of power stirring deep below. A few moments are spent in struggle, then you manage to get a firm grip and wrech the slab of rock from the arms of the earth.
Thus you raise the stone upright without much struggle, for stronger and stronger do you feel the spirits of stone flowing beneath the surface of the shard of giant's bone, their strength, though sluggish, lending an inexorable power to your limbs. You whisper to them of sorrow and duty, as the words are spoken you feel their power flow into the cold rock and stir the stone into awakening, the spirits answer, and beyond them something greater still stirs, half-glimpsed like a great ship on mist-shrouded sea.
Dirt and soil rain down from the stone at your command, leaving a grey slab nearly as tall as you are. Not the red rock of the north, known to all wise men as the best for carving, yet it will do.
"Stone did Sigurd raise,
For Thorgrim his father.
For Hilda his mother,
Kin to honour with memory."
Words you utter, tongue's sons sending spirits scurrying through the bones of Ymir, their power gouging grooves into giant's bone, turning twisting thoughts from fleeting into firm.
"Harald's son, mighty Thorgrim
Many deeds did he bear
Up to Odin, among the slain
His place won with honour
Gunnlaug's's daughter, wise Hilda
Rightly ruling, kept hearth and home
Wise counsel, noble heart,
Four sons sent forth with honour.
Let all men know, far away they fell
In age past, years unnumbered."
A scattering of dust settles down as you inspect your work, the runes running in a long row over the giant's bone, carved upon it ships and sea, great groove-wrought tree rising from the earth to the top of the rock.
It will do, so you deem it and draw breath to seal the sacred stone's spirit-signs.
"Sigurd song-smith spoke the staves,
with words did he carve."
The stone-dust swiftly settles down as the final staves are brought into being. Long does the row of runes wind, the signs wrought as finely as if by the most skilled carver over the sacred stone, your words locked into place for all time. So that they may be known, so that men may remember.
"Throughout nine realms, let these words be heard." You cry out, willing your voice to rise above the heavens themselves, releasing every shred of your pent up emotion and power in a single mighty shout. Thunder cracks from a blackened sky, Thor, lord of thunder answering your cry with his power.
And thus, with your power spent and your might expended you fall down upon your knees, the power of the runes drained from mortal man, carved into stone by rune-cunning song-smith.
Though strength has faded, though magic has flown, you see the carved words wavering before your eyes, spelling words of power and might. In truth, for ages untold are they carved by Odin's chosen. You hear the whispered voices, their words veiled, though you know that they are echoes from another god's might.
But even so, even when your heart is filled by Odin's name and power, you stil feel a sliver of unease piercing your will and wishes. To rise towards the gods or to remain among mortal men. Which shall you choose?
[ ] Meet your fate, feel the power of the gods. One who is the chosen of Asgard's lords
[ ] A man to face Odin's call, you shall be a Gothir of the One on High
[ ] Mortal man among others, your might shall be your own