We’ve stayed the night at the Gränstorp central inn – a small, quiet town where reality wears a crack. A good night’s sleep has at least restored some of my patience. Still, I don’t blame the innkeeper for the wary looks he’s giving Hräsvelg. My ‘companion’, despite the large variety of elementals visiting this small town, stands out in his rugged, almost archaic appearance. This could be overlooked, but unfortunately his behaviour does little to compensate. I’m starting to wonder if Hräsvelg has been around people at all. Perhaps he’s a solitary creature. But if he were, why does he stay around? I’m not keeping him, and I’m not convinced my figuring out whether or not he’s actually invisible when he flies is enough to keep him at my side. Something is though, and it makes me rather suspicious.
I decide to visit the market. I need a moment to think, and strolling between the many stalls, quietly observing this mysterious eagle shifter, is just what I need.
He doesn’t object, and after a while he’s guard goes down, he even talks to the merchants and procures a few items.
“Are you a raven?” a small girl suddenly asks me. I’m sure my lavender skin and raven black hair gives me away. My eyes flick to her, and I can see that she’s cautions and curious all at once.
“Yes,” I reply, not sure why she asked.
“You look so beautiful!” she gushes. “Can you steal me away, pleeeease?” she begs.
“W-what?” I ask, startled.
“Ravens steal folks, right? I’ve heard the gossip… I mean, not that I believe in everything grownups say… But… I mean… Everyone knows ravens steal people away…,” she says in a flurry.
“Sorry, but it’s not true. Ravens don’t steal people away. Perhaps if they fall in love they might,” I say, hoping I sound friendly enough.
Out of the corner of my eye I notice that Hräsvelg has stopped, appearing busy to look at the stall in front of him, but I know he’s listening – keenly.
“Oh,” the girl says, her shoulders dropping in disappointment.
“Why do you want to leave?” I ask.
“Mother says I must wash up the dishes every day,” she says, with such a pained expression you’d think she was dying.
“I think you Mother would be very sad if you went missing. And you know what, I think she really, really needs your help,” I whisper-reply, as if this is a secret shared just between the two of us.
“But why is she like ‘do this! do that!’ then… She could just say she needs help. I’m good at helping,” the girl says, her face adorably scrunched up in annoyance.
“Maybe she’s afraid you’d say no,” I suggest.
“Oh,” the girl says. “It was nice meeting you!” And then she’s off. I can’t help but to chuckle to myself – even if it bothers me that other elementals think ravens steal people away. We most certainly don’t! We like shiny things – not people. The people who join our kingdom Ravnea does so because they want to and choose to.
“Who’s spreading such rumours?” I mutter to myself.
“Maybe the same one that’s saying eagle shifters eat dead people – as if…,” Hräsvelg says in a low voice next to me.
“I’ve never heard of that,” I reply.
“And I didn’t know ravens steal folks,” he says.
“We don’t,” I argue.
“My point exactly,” he grins – actually grins – and even if it makes him a lot more approachable, it only annoys me more. Because a part of me don’t want him to be. It’s easier to just keep the distance.
“Are you done?” I say, sounding snarky.
“When you are,” he says, watching me with a strange glimmer in his eyes. He’s got eyes like an ulfhednar – they too have glowing yellow eyes.
“Let’s go,” I say, leading the way out of the town. The little patience I got from a good night’s sleep has vanished. Perhaps it was simply imagination all along. We take to the sky, and I take care to keep the right angle as to not get caught in the new winds Hräsvelg produces. It’s clear these new winds spread in all directions. I didn’t know there was an elemental in charge of the winds, but then again, this is an enchanted realm – I shouldn’t be surprised.
We zigzag between the tall trees, and I feel the difference in the air. It’s not only the air. The many colours of magic are fading too – we’re close to the crack between worlds. I’m expecting Hräsvelg to turn around any minute, but he doesn’t. I should shake him, but I don’t know how to… Right, he wanted to know when he’s invisible. I speed up and dive in front of him to try to see if he really is invisible from this angle. He’s coming straight towards me, perfectly visible. I flap my wings higher, disappointed it didn’t work. Then the last wisps of magic are gone, the forest has changed. There’s very few varieties of trees, everything looks the same. I feel slightly disappointed. I mean, this is another realm and all and it doesn’t look anything special.
We continue for some time, then I land at the edge of the forest where a small cabin sits. I recognise this place – it’s exactly as Venla described it. It doesn’t take long to find where she’s hidden the key and we go inside. There’s an old fir in a corner, all the needles on the floor.
“Is this your house?” Hräsvelg asks.
“It belongs to a friend,” I say, annoyed he’d think I’d live in such an abandoned place.
“I’ll light the fire,” he says, and gets to work.
I take out the tree, careful to remove all decorations first – so this is the type of decorations a ‘real’ Christmas tree would have. The one us ravens arranged for Venla was, well, a bit more enchanted. I quickly sweep the floor to get the brown needles out, along with some dust that’s been gathering over the floor. To truly get it clean I’d probably have to use soapy water. I don’t. I’m not planning to stay long.
I head into the small cooking area and make a face seeing the unrecognisable food there. I clear it out. There’s the canned food too that Venla told me about, and I set to prepare some. It smells foreign. We eat in front of the fire. Even if summer is close the evenings are still raw. I’m annoyingly grateful Hräsvelg’s gotten a good fire going.
Feathers and lore,
There’s much, much more,
We’ve stayed the night at the Gränstorp central inn – a small, quiet town where reality wears a crack. A good night’s sleep has at least restored some of my patience. Still, I don’t blame the innkeeper for the wary looks he’s giving Hräsvelg. My ‘companion’, despite the large variety of elementals visiting this small […]
I’m still staring at him – this stranger that I’ve apparently flown into unwittingly. I can’t wrap my mind around how it happened. I was so careful reading the winds and the landscape – I should have noticed another flying creature. Well, I’m supposing he flies, how else could he have been up there in […]
All set. I take one last look at the petite city behind its protective wall, surrounded by tall mountains. There’s something about this place – wild and tame all at the same time. The stone cottages, and the winding streets. A restless part of me can’t wait to leave, another can’t wait to come back […]
I’ve just come back from an ambassador assignment. It took me away from writing. Perhaps you’ve learnt by now that there are many, many kingdoms in the Elemental Realm? Or Fairy, on the other side of the thin borders, faultlines – or whatever you choose to call it. I’ve just come back from Fenilya, which […]
My raven ancestors have always been carefully keeping notes of the realm, the different elementals, the kingdoms, special occasions, interesting decisions and fates – it serves as our lore, inspiration and guidance for future reigns, future leaders and elementals. To falsify the historical notes was considered a very grave crime, not only in the present […]
Hamingja is an internal part of our self, of our spirit, but something that’s still been regarded as a separate entity. Some believed that their ‘hamingja’ could be inherited by children in their linage, to which I’m doubtful. But what is ‘hamingja’? It translates as ‘luck’, and has over the ages deteriorated down to skill […]
Perhaps you are aware that many elementals (elementals are human-like beings with affinities for different elements like air, fire, water and earth) have more than one skin – ‘eigi einhamir’, meaning ‘not of one skin’ in the old language. Hamr is our body, our skin – and because of my raven nature I can alter […]
I’m restless when I’m here, back in the little town of Ravnea, and the raven kingdom, that I suppose will always be home. I’m observing the folks that do call this home, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t feel the same. Where I find Ravnea a quint, little town, the shops satisfactory […]
Black feathers, and a croak that’s heard for miles. I’m not aware of time when I fly. Endlessness and eternity breathe the existence – and all I am is thought.