Each month we share excerpts from the illustrated novel Dreams of Ýdalir with our followers. Each excerpt is accompanied by an exclusive “sneak peek”/”work in progress” of the concept art work, created by Roberto especially for the main theme and mood of the chapter it comes from.
Remember, if you want the WHOLE chapter and full finished image (plus so much more!), you can subscribe over at our Patreon Project – new issues come out on the 15th of each month.
Now for the excerpt and art:
“I was known to this generation of the tribe as a descendant of the first shaman and in those times I still traveled widely on Midgard, teaching these ways to more and more humans, often with different animals, the ones that were the most plentiful to their regions. But I always returned to this tribe because they were the descendents of my first human contact. Due to my high status and that of Elen’s, (likely our otherworldliness played a role) the tribe desperately wanted us to join. She was a delightful girl, turning more woman by the day and I had never had a mate in all my years. Maybe by then I had spent too much time around the humans, their lives so fleeting that they filled their days with as much love and pleasures as they could. I may have aspired to that myself. But whatever the reasoning, after a time I desired this union as well, and I was still a young God though decades had passed in human years.
Elen and I were married in the tradition of her people with reindeer skins on our backs and antlers on our heads. Through my illusions and much drink running through the tribe’s veins, what they saw at the height of the ceremony was the joining of a white hart and hind. In seeing this, their belief that this was a match for the good of the people was confirmed and they concluded this was a union blessed by the Gods, and it was, especially by one God in particular. Our joining blessed the land for our reindeer relations and the people themselves, many who had guessed at my otherworldly nature by this time.
In Asgard, oaths, regardless of the weight of them, were always sworn with horns full of mead, generally after much drinking of said mead. We had neither mead nor horns to drink it from when I joined with Elen, but I wanted us both to have a lasting reminder of the promises we made to one another. So I fashioned 2 rings made out of bone as a way for us to remember that we were to be loving partners, always. Later, this swearing of oaths with rings would become part of the tradition in Asgard as well, a ceremony still remembered of me, but that is a story for another time.
Though the revelry and celebration would last long into the night, like most newly wedded couples, Elen and I sought our privacy. Earlier in the day, the women of the tribe had moved her belongings into my dwelling and someone had lit lanterns so that when we entered, she would feel welcomed into what would now be our home together. There was a fresh reindeer hide covering the bed where we would lie as husband and wife, and someone had littered it with wildflower petals. There were also sweet smelling herbs burning in the corner of the fire pit. The whole place had a welcoming feeling of peace and comfort.
The fine drink was still coursing through my veins and through the dancing and heat from the flames my body was beginning to feel desperate to alight the pale white skin of my beloved; but her questions deep in the dark of the night burned the brightest and would be answered.
“Elen, my wife, your nearness to me fills me with a strong desire to draw you close to me, will you let my body warm your skin of moonlight this night?”
“Husband, this I too desire, yet there are questions that burn in my mind and must be answered before I give myself to you in the flesh. I have grown much older since you first came to us many winters before and yet you have not aged, still as fine to look upon as ever before. How can that be? I have seen what you can do with the winds and I know you speak to the animals as I do, but where is your tribe? Who are your people? How come you to such knowledge of how to tame the herds, something only one in every generation could do before you arrived, and yet now many work with our animal companions? Many of the people say you are not of our world and your knowledge and skill comes from across the veil. I would know the truth. Before our bodies succumb to fleshly desires, and become as one, I wish that our minds and hearts will become as one first. I seek truthfulness between us always, no secrets, no lies, no hiding our true natures. I want our love to be based on the full exposure of both body and soul.”
“Yes, my love, this is wise. I shall tell you all that you wish to know.”
Elen knew me from the start. “You are the son of the stars and of the light.”
And so we spoke long into the night taking pleasure first in each other’s words and stories, in our fears and longings and hopes for the future. I told her of my life in Asgard, my travels through the nine worlds, my love for humans and my quest for self, much as I have told the same words to you this day, Fawn.
She shared with me her fears of never being more than a tool to the people of her tribe, and her fear of what would become of her if she suddenly lost her powers to call the herds, and therefore her position within the tribe. She knew her people feared her and her gifts, and fear of the unknown can sometimes lead to unfortunate ends. I understood all too well being a pawn in someone else’s game, those games being a fair pastime in my homeland and I assured her that her place beside me was secure, come what may. I promised her truthfulness in all things; to be true partners to one another.”