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[Crowslayer's Vow] The Moon Was Silent

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Play both of these tracks at the same time.







Bralt did not know how long he spent on the tallest cliff on the bluffs of Valwyck, overlooking the frozen sea.


Eventually, though, he straightened up. It was Spring, though the sea wind still carried the biting chill of winter as it whipped at Bralt, blustery and strong as it rolled off the icy ocean. It was a clear night, with an array of vivid stars and constellations bathing the land in silvery light, crowned by a full moon. More captivating than even the moon and stars, though, were the northern lights shimmering out above the ocean, swathes of blue and teal glittering like a wave in the stars. The lights of the stars, moon and aurora borealis beamed down on Bralt as he stood before a mound atop the cliff, mounted with a small rock that read ‘AKO’ in jagged, uneven writing.


Bralt had dug the grave alone. He had not joined his Scyflings as they retreated from their successful raid on Valwyck, captives in hand. He did not join on their triumphant songs and jokes. He barely noticed their existence. He wasn’t really sure if anyone had expressed concern when he took off alone to build the grave of the Scyfling Shaman who had died that day in the attack. He couldn’t remember. What mattered now was that he stood on the cliff, letting the wind beat at him and the northern lights shine down, alone. Truly and utterly alone. He closed his eyes for a moment, letting the sound of the tumultuous waves smash against the cliff face far below, and the long grass sway and rustle in the bitter wind.


When he opened his eyes again, he stared up at the moon.


“What’s the point of this?!” he roared up. The words did not really register in his head; the words had simply come out. “What’s the point of any of this!?” He bellowed from the top of his lungs, and he already felt his throat grow strained and hoarse. Despite that, the din of the churning waves swallowed up his voice before it travelled very far.


The moon, of course, was silent. The Scyflings did not worship gods like the Crows did; rather, they prayed to the forces of nature to be kind of them. They prayed to the earth for good harvests, to the skies to end droughts. The moon, Scyflings believed, was the most powerful force of them all. For without the moon, absolute darkness would claim the world at night. The belief went that the spirits of the fallen travelled to another world in the light of the moon, but Bralt did not believe that. Not really, and so nor did he believe anyone was listening to him now.


“Crowslayer’s Vow, bringing peace, ending fighting … What’s the point of any of it!?” he continued. “How many others have to die to save my own people?! Even if I do succeed, how long will that last?!” The last question had begun to haunt him more and more. Even if he did bring peace for a time, if he fulfilled Crowslayer’s Vow and became king of all Scyflings … would peace only last for his lifetime? Would it even last that long?


The moon was silent. Bralt stared up at it, his throat aching, with a thousand questions spinning in his head. He was not sure what he had really expected to achieve when he set out from Athera to fulfill the Crowslayer’s Vow, but he had not expected … this. He knew blood would be spilled in order to fulfill the prophecy, but he had proudly resolved that any cost in blood would be worth the result – it would be worth the salvation of the Scyfling people from their fatal culture of violence and raiding. But now that the cost was laid bare before him … the amount of men, women and children, both Crow and Scyfling, who had died so far …


Abruptly, he doubled over, and began to vomit on the ground next to Ako’s grave.


“Well!?” he roared up once again, throat burning now between the vomit and his yells. “We’re all just doomed to fight each other, aren’t we?! There’s no such thing as real peace! It’s not meant to be!” He clambered to his knees, glaring daggers up at the moon. “Why doesn’t it just end?! Why should anyone be forced to live through this cycle of bloodshed, over, and over, and over again?! Why should children be born and raised in this world?!” He grappled his axe, using it to clamber to his feet before he brandished it at the moon.


In that moment, Bralt thought that, if he had the power, he would have killed every mortal living. Not out of hatred, or envy – but rather out of pity. Pity for the world, and those who lived upon it, so neither were condemned to this bloody cycle any longer. “Well?! Go on! Just end it! Kill us all now!” He flung his axe at the moon; it sailed up, silhoeutted by the silver light, before it dropped, plummeting down into the ocean. “Can you hear me!? God, Aspects, Spirits – anyone?!”




Without his axe, he sank to his knees again. He did not know how long he lay there, waiting for anyone, for anything, to answer him.


But the moon was silent.




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Darien hunted a boar on his way back to haense. As he arrived to his house he started to cut the meat and start the fire to begin cooking his dinner he started to think about Bralt's eyes, he thought and said " That man....., his end is near" he said with a cold voice. Darien stopped cutting the meat for a few seconds and said to himself "......I wonder what will they do to him" he was talking about the Duke's son

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Keaton did not even watch the woman walk away. Stood at the gate of the Vanir keep, looking out across the scarred and blasted Vasiland, a strange feeling arose in him. Very strange indeed, a man of war to think so deeply. But watching the flames rise over some of the still unattended parts of the North, hazy black smoke becoming more and more visible in the dawn sun, the strange feeling that Keaton could barely voice before was forming, taking shape. It was beginning to make sense.


How many had died? Thousands? Tens of thousands? Haenseti or Scyfling, it did not matter, but those lively souls, who may once have stroked their pets and murmured lullabies to their children, those souls who wished for nothing more but another day of contented existence, were now bones bleaching beneath the sun. Scyfling desperation, Haensetian stubbornness; what had been achieved in war which could not have been achieved through peace? What restrained diplomacy? What strangled the efforts of either side to make amends, to come to the table and end all bloodshed? Nothing. And yet the war raged on?


That feeling, like a fire catching kindling, roaring into visible life. This war was madness, without reason and without end. If the Scyflings fell, another would come. Not even from Athera. Just another enemy would arise, and each side would bleed each other until nothing but grief and regret, regret that things could not have been solved more happily, which soaked the soul and crushed the will. This world was madness, not this war.


”It will all have to end. Some day soon.” And then down, down to the dockside, Keaton went, with a changed look in his eyes.

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Vorion sat under a small campsite in the middle of the ruined town of Nenzing . His newlywed wife laying by his side, eyes closed, thankfully able to get some sleep in the bitter highland cold, with harsh winds whipping past their faces. It had been a rough trek out of Valwyck, a place they both called home, and a place they had just been forced from, blamed for the loss of a child. The fortification and navy of the Scyflings has made them travel west, to find roads that would let them go south to New Reza, and to a new home.


The groom looks up into a perfectly clear night sky, and starts to watch all the constellations drawn across its face. One shape he was never taught as a child looms back at him: a crow, its wings outstretched, in beautiful flight. Then he cocked his head, as the tapestry of the heavens unfolded in front of him. The crow turns its head to see another constellation chasing it across the sky. With a frown, these stars to started to take shape too: the dots taking the form of the boar.


He blinked, shaking his head. He hadn’t slept in days, it felt like, and it must have been getting to him. Sure enough, as he opened his eyes, the specks dotted across the endless night returned to their places, sitting still once more as they should. But there was something he somehow didn’t notice; the moon shone brightly above them both, casting its full rays upon Arcas below.


For some reason, he just couldn’t sleep. A simple quill sits in his hand, pieces of moonlit parchment resting under it. A single word sits at the top of the page: ”Crowslayer.” Vorion had suffered from writers block all his life, what writer hasn’t? But there was something troubling about the thing he seen that day. He had seen eyes into a man who had slain and called it mercy. He had seen into the eyes of a man who had led men unto an end that he knew he might never see. He had seen into he eyes of a man who had, knowingly or not, sacrificed his humanity so that others may find theirs.


What haunted him was how similar it all seemed.


He remembered a man, his brown hair starting to be covered in patches of grey, kneeling down and telling him he was going to be home soon. He remembered smiling toothily at this man, his young, happy eyes coming to meet empty ones, where nothing was left. He remembered the man taking off the sash around his waist, and putting it into his hands. He remembered taking it, and calling one last goodbye to his father as he left, a man he would never see again.


Vorion crosses out the word at the top, and pens his own:




Kill the Boar, turn red the shore,
Bring them sword, and break their oar.
Slay the horde and end this war,
Then peace be ours again.


Kill the Boar, let vengeance roar,
Send iron to them, have justice soar
Bring honour on kings of yore,
When we have found the end.


Kill the boar, sen...

He yawns, eyes drooping in the moonlit night. His quill slides from the page, sending a long black streak along the vellum. He looks to his side, at the pile of golden hair, cast white in the moonlight, and smiles, eyes closing as he slips into a dreamless sleep.

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Ser Demetrius Ruthern looks at the moon "Damn, it is quite pretty tonight" he comments before falling back asleep, snoring loudly.

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