Prinsessen Og Udyret

Title: Prinsessen Og Udyret
Time Period: March, 127 A.E.
Characters Appearing:

Summary: A northman interrupts what is otherwise a pleasant afternoon.

Seasons of resisting wind have set the large oak on a path growing out as much as up. Now, hundreds of years later, it stands as tall as it can. Alone in the middle of a meadow. Around it, wild blue flowers bloom under a golden sun. The knee high grasses providing the comfort of a bed as much as entertainment as the puffs of pollen float about the air. Spring always comes early in this particular patch of the forest.

Fergus is asleep, or passed out. Too much drink and herbs have taken their toll on the poor lad who lays deep in the throes of a pleasant dream. He might be a puppy or something else that growls and chases things, by the look of his hand motions.

His company, a young woman by all standards, is chasing some of the pollen fluffs across the meadow and near the woods. Her laugh sparkles as much as the water of the loch nearby. Her white dress trimmed in lace and ribbons seems to glow against the brilliant green of the grasses. She's singing, nothing in a language anyone there has heard. It's an old song, a song her mother used to sing to her as a child. The same song her great grandmother sang to her mother when she was a baby.

The mild winter has long bled into early spring days in some parts of the wilderness; and in turn, some of those hold favor with forces outside of mankind that make them blossom and bloom into life, before the mercurial end of season chooses to invade again. The oak may not be simply an oak, after all. The flowers and grass not simply flowers and grass. The roots of the tree form a most rudimentary triskelion, and the buds sprout in threes and fives. The field is flanked by woodlands, and in one crest of hill against the shadows of pines, quiet shadows wait out the twinkle of the sun and the song and dance of the maid at the bottom.

The drum of boots is muffled there in the wood, and the smoke of charcoal fires even further in the distance is smothered down by branches and tangles of treetops. It was the scout that saw her first. He doubled back to the camp to fetch others, and returned with roughly a dozen men that find themselves biding behind the dark. Nords, Teutons, Gauls, Celts. Most of them studiously interested in the valley below, sitting silent in armor and furs. A strange land, indeed, for more reasons than are clear and untouched by magic. After a time, just one of them breaks out of the treeline and begins to make his way slowly down the hillock towards the field proper. While the men remain in wait, Jorn Wartooth moves onward.

Dark of hair and light of eye, Wartooth is a head taller than most men in Dornie; the white fur draped around his shoulders feigns further broadness, and he moves with a purposeful, careful gait into the tall grass, his gaze set upon his destination at the young maid's side.

Kneeling in the grass, the blonde woman plucks a few blue flowers. The first is tucked into her hair, behind an ear while the rest are layered into the crook of her elbow as her long fingers balance the green ends of the cradled bouquet. The song turns to a hum of the same tune as she continues to pick only the most perfect blossoms to add to the mass in her arm.

It's the shadow that reaches her first and fearing a cloud, she pauses, placing a finger to her eyebrow in an effort to shield the golden sun from delicate storm blue eyes. She's pale, as pale as the women from his homeland but slight in stature with delicate facial features. Her eyebrows twitch toward each other in a confused frown when the giant oak seems so much closer to her than it should be. And she didn't remember it having fur.

That he does not startle her when she turns comes as a surprise; Jorn hovers nearby, the flowers parted around his feet and the hem of his cloak. The armor he wears underneath appears heavy, laden with outer plates, and layered with leathers and mail. The last few steps clink together, and his gloved hands reach up to draw down the shade of the cloak's head from over his own. At his back is a tall greatsword, similar in height and wider compared to those carried by wilder Scotsmen, no doubt an impressive weapon outside of its sheath.

"En nydelig sang." Jorn's voice is low, and his step circles him around her, the tip of one hand to the taller wildflowers. The accent he speaks with is thick, like a mouth full of molasses. "Are you sidhe?"

The norseman is followed with a slow turn of her head. There's a strange quality to her eyes, pupils a little too large and it's almost as if she's staring a long distance in order to focus on him. She doesn't stand but cants her head a little as her lips part into a small 'o' of further confusion. "Sidhe?" she repeats, her own accent much crisper than his own. "Nae sir, selkie— kin."

Her darker eyes trace the outline of his shadowy form until they adjust to the backlight and then focus on the great sword at his back. Flowers are dropped in a heap and she scrambles backward, both hands trying to find purchase on the soft soil to push her to a stand. "Troll?" She's never seen one, or a norseman, but he is furred and she's frightened enough to forget to look for a tail.

Jorn's eyes trail over the edge of the woods in the distance as he circles around, pausing there and flicking back down to examine the young woman more thoroughly. He moves a step closer as the flowers drop from under her arm.

"Nae." The northman mimics, somewhere between gentle and taunting, volume kept low enough to menace. "Isbjornen." Another step takes him closer still, and she can make out the pale ice of his irises, the firmly set jaw, and the Nordic details of his armor. The claws of the pelt clutch across his chest. "Tch, and you so far from the water… but how far from home?"

She shrinks, folding her arms around her chest and wrapping her slender fingers around opposite shoulders. A curtain of fair hair falls over her pale face to hide it and she huddles in a crouch at his feet. "A mile, perhaps two at the most.." comes her frightened whisper. It's too far to hear a scream, she knows this much. A leaf is picked from inside her cuff and she holds it close to her mouth, then bites into it. Her clothing and hair still carry the faint odor of the herbs while her breath is heavy with the scent of wine that's stained her lips red.

"Dornie," is her next whisper.

She looks up, wide eyes round with terror at the looming man in strange armor bearing a weapon much larger than necessary. "Where's your home?" The curious squeak is as much to delay that weapon from being drawn as it is an earnest question.

The troubled girl that Jorn Wartooth has found himself with earns an almost sympathetic look from him, as he looks down upon her hair and shoulders.

"Dornie." The confirmation comes with a breathy noise from his nose, and a quivering shift to his lips. "Oh, min lille due. North." Both he and his men know that he will not attempt anything uncouth- but she does not. The northman leans down and grabs the girl by her arm, yanking her forcefully upwards. Luna's heels will probably feel air before they feel ground again, provided she does not attempt to wrench away. Wartooth can smell the wine as if it had just been poured, and the sting of the plant just behind it. Though beautiful enough, the girl acts like no sidhe he has ever heard tell of. Likely not even kin.

"Where the sun shines at midnight."

The mint leaf crushed between her molars provides a sting of clarity as she's pulled to her feet by the giant. His hand is able to wrap completely around her arm, at its thickest part, with enough room left that his thumb is able to cross his fingers. The sheer first layer of her dress billows out while the satin of the under layer glues to her form. A ribbon trails from the empire waist, winding through the air at sudden movement before settling down again at her sternum.

"Please don't hurt me," she whimpers and she twists her head to look toward the oak where a boy roughly her same age lays sleeping. He looks nothing like her, a shock of flaming red for hair as well as a smattering of freckles over his nose compared to her own skin that bears only two small spots at her cheek as blemish. "My da', he has enough wealth, I'll make certain you get a claim if you let me go."

A glance goes up towards the old oak tree, examining the tree more than he does the boy sleeping underneath of it. Jorn looks down to Luna's face when he tears his gaze from the scene behind her. His free hand lifts up to brush flaxen hair from her face, the rough texture of leather glove grazing against her cheekbone and at her ear, when he pushes the hair behind it. Both brows are knitted on his forehead- hawkishness in a small dose as he watches her face shift between words.

"It will all be mine, before long. I do not need your empty promises." The northman murmurs, bringing his fingers around to cup fair chin. He smiles thinly at Luna, but it is an expression that will produce more unease than it does calm. "Or you, for that matter. Not like this."

Jerking her head away from the rough glove, she digs her feet into the soft ground and tugs, attempting to free herself. "Let me go," her lack of muscular mass inhibits escape, "I'll scream." She doesn't give the man time to decide whether to comply or not, the next breath is let out in a shrill note that (if close enough) could damage an eardrum.

It carries, whether or not it's loud enough to reach the village is questionable. What it does is wake the young man, who jolts and fixes his green eyes on the norseman. Fergus is still for a brief moment, still trying to establish which part of the scene is dream or reality. "Luna!" he calls out and then claws into the bark to pull himself to a stand. Then he looks down at himself and back up at Jorn. Jaw going slack, he pivots on one foot and sprints in the opposite direction.

Jorn does not let her see the shrill scream get to him- he grits his teeth and grips her tighter when she does it, and over at the treeline, those dozen men in waiting tenuously break the dark and position themselves along the edge of the wood. A few are like Jorn- tall and firm- and the others are reminiscent of the militiamen of Dornie, save for the fact that they look roughly ten-times more menacing, regardless of stock. Going by the armor, weapons, and the airs they seem to put on, they came with something in mind. Jorn levels his gaze to Fergus, watching the ginger boy wake up and scramble to his feet, only to leave his supposed friend behind to save his own hide.

"That was kind of him. You need better friends, Luna." Wartooth repeats her name deliberately, almost at a whisper. "Or, braver ones. He would let me have you, just like that."

The scream is strangled into a whimper and tears slip from her lower lashes to streak down her face. "N-no," she argues, half hearted in both conviction and execution, "he's only gone to fetch me help. Soon the whole militia will come to rescue me. You don't know who you've got." Swallowing audibly, Luna attempts to gather more courage in the face of the most terrifying sight she's ever been witness.

"I'm Luna Owens and my da' will have you flogged for layin' a hand on me." If he doesn't flog her first for being in the situation. This wouldn't happen if she stayed home and studied, like she's supposed to. The blonde wrenches at her arm again, this time letting off yet another scream. "Help!! Someone help me!!" Emphasis on the last word simply because it's the most important.

"I hope that for the sake of your people, he says nothing." Jorn's grip relaxes, but he does not let her go just yet. "I already have my hand on you, silly girl. Lucky for you I am not my men, and they heed me." He gestures with his free hand towards the treeline. "And that my scouts came to me when they saw you dancing about like an old goose."

"Listen to me, now." The northman gives her a shake to stop the yelling, speaking firmly. "Go home, and do not return here. We shall meet again soon enough, Luna Owens." With that, Jorn Wartooth releases his grip on her.

Fear melts away to anger and insult when her footwork is compared to that of a waterfowl. "Old goose? How dare you?" When the grip is released, she reaches up and the palm of her small hand land's flat against the norseman's bearded face in a slap. Luna freezes, realizing then what she's done. But only for a split second before the material of her dress is gathered up in her hands and lifted above the knee to facilitate a run through the tall grass.

Long blonde hair bounces as she makes her way toward the opposite end of the field. Somewhere off in the distance the grey curl of smoke winds from factory chimney, leading the way home. In a matter of moments, the young woman has disappeared into the treeline.

Jorn watches Luna's departure with vague interest, his hand scratching at the part of his rough jaw where she had slapped him. Though it felt like a wet leaf, her point was made- though it also causes him to laugh, and Wartooth does just that on the way back to his fellows, intending to debrief them on their current location provided by the young miss. Perhaps not such an old goose, then.