Noor

This story is part Dutch mythology, part pen-and-paper RPG. Noor is the character I play in our Pathfinder games, this is a tiny bit of her backstory. She is a warpriest to the Goddess Baduhenna, Goddess of war and madness. Baduhenna, however, is a ‘real’ Goddess from Dutch mythology. I wrote about her here. So who knows, maybe this is how the Frisians actually won the battle against the Romans {grins maniacally} Are you ready? Here we go!

The rage burned in my stomach, the taste of revenge like blood on my tongue. The forest was filled with the sounds of battle, the screams of our oppressors. Although they were greater in number, the forest was on our side tonight.
I spotted him then, my prey. My vision blurred red as I advanced on him, the rest of the world falling away. It felt like I was about to burst out of my skin, like the fire inside was consuming me. Burning away all that made me sane. A feral grin spread on my face as I embraced the fire, embraced the madness. “Relanius!” I called.
The man before me turned to face me. For a moment, his face looked like that of a demon, evil curling around him in tendrils of shadow.
“You will pay with your blood for what you did to my sister, to my people,” I growled. “I swear it!”
“You cannot win this, Noor!” He called back. “This little rebellion will be struck down, just like the rest of your people.” This was the monster that killed my sister, and tossed her bloody and battered body onto our doorstep. This was the man who broke my parents and because of that, something within me finally broke free.
I wanted to wrap my hands around his throat and squeeze until the life left his eyes. I wanted to cut him for every pain he had caused my sister and watch his blood paint the forest floor red. I wanted his life.
“Yes.” A voice whispered on the breeze. “Now.”
I charged, my attack too wide but made up for by force. I didn’t draw blood, but the monster staggered. I kept advancing, blow after blow. He was more trained, but I was wilder and stronger than I had ever been. The rage within me like fire through my veins, strengthening my strikes.
The shadows over his face swirled like smoke, giving me a glimpse of eyes wide with terror before they burned with hell-fire once again.
I had scared the monster, I realised. A laugh tore out of my throat, ringing through the forest. Part of me wondered what this made me.
“Good” whispered the wind.
A larger part of me agreed with her. With each blow, which each drop of blood spilled, the red haze grew, until the entire world was pulsing like a heartbeat. The only thing that existed were me and my prey. Both of us locked in this fatal dance.
I was losing myself, a distant part of me realised, but I couldn’t stop it. I could only hate and laugh and strike.
Suddenly everything fell silent.
Clarity.
Pain.
So much pain.
The forest around me turned from red to green and black again in the light of the moon overhead. I looked down to the sword protruding from my chest in disbelief.
My killer had the same shock in his eyes, like he hadn’t believed he could win.
Blood filled my lungs. My sword clattered to the ground as my body lost all its borrowed strength. The forest was dimming around the edges, darkness coming to claim me. The gladius was pulled from my chest, a spray of blood coming with it. As my back hit the forest floor, the world went black.

The darkness was cold and absolute. A whisper of feathers sounded behind me and I turned, but still saw nothing.
“I heard your vow.” A female voice whispered, the same one I had heard in the forest. “Blood for blood. The blood of those invaders for the blood of your people, for your sister.”
“Yes.” I answered.
“I felt your fire. I feel it even now.” Her voice came from all directions and curled around me, like a cloak of ink and feathers.
“Yes.” The rage was still there, tempered now, away from the heat of battle.
“Do you wish to return? To finish what you had vowed to do?” She asked.
“Yes.” No hesitation.
“Will you not rest until your task is complete?” The voice filled with power, with promise.
“Yes.”
“Will you bleed them all for what they did to My people, to My forest?”
I realised then, who I was talking to. There was only one answer.
“This is my vow to you, Baduhenna, Goddess of our forest. Upon my blood and my soul, you have my word.” At these words warmth surrounded me.
“Rise, then, my daughter. Rise and show them that which they should really fear in My forest.”
I felt cold lips upon my forehead, the taste of blood once again on my tongue. I opened my eyes and looked up to the night sky.
Crows flew past the moon, their battle cries mixing with those all around me.
I pushed to my feet and took up my sword again. My body took a step forward without conscious thought. I felt distant, like I was one step behind myself, looking through the eyes of a stranger. Baduhenna, I realised as my hand reached out to touch an attacking enemy.
His eyes turn black, like a crow, before he turned to his closest ally and with a manic laugh threw himself at him.
A next attack was struck down with one swipe of my sword, the second blow digging deep into the man’s neck.
The Goddess was using my body to walk across the battlefield. A touch for one enemy, a fatal blow for the next. Another touch, another strike. On and on.
Feathers, black as night, always at the edge of my vision.
When dawn broke, the battle was done. Before me lay the bodies of my enemies.
“Is it done?” I asked my Goddess.
“No, my child, many cowards ran. The monster who took your sister lives still. They will scatter like the wind, but we will find them.” Answered She. “Your journey has only just begun.”
I smiled. “Good.”

So there you have it! A bit of mythology, a bit of fiction, a bit of geekery, a lot of blood {muaha} I need to wait a little bit longer to know if I made it to the top 10 of the story competition, but as soon as I know, you’ll know! Let me know what you think about this one, I’d love to hear from you guys! ‘Til next time!

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