MidReal Story

Frostbound Fury

Scenario: a barbarian woman leads an army against an evil force in the frigid north
Create my version of this story
a barbarian woman leads an army against an evil force in the frigid north
The chilling cry pierced the cold, dark dawn, and I jolted awake, heart pounding in my chest.
The cry was not a human sound, but neither was it that of a common animal.
It was an eerie, wailing screech that seemed to come from somewhere deep in the wilderness, its source unknown.
It echoed again, louder this time, and I realized that no one else had heard it.
The warriors around me were still sleeping soundly, their bodies wrapped in furs and their breath misting in the frigid air.
We Nords were a hardy people, used to the biting cold of the northern wilderness, and so we had no need of tents or other such luxuries.
We slept out in the open, our bodies toughened by years of training and battle.
I threw off my furs and stepped out of my tent, shivering as the cold wind hit my bare skin.
The campfire had burned down to its last embers, and I could see the dark shapes of my warriors huddled together for warmth.
The sky above was still black, but the first faint light of dawn was beginning to show on the horizon.
And there, hanging low in the sky, was a sight that filled me with dread.
It was a comet, a bright red ball of fire streaking across the heavens like an arrow loosed from a bow.
But it was no ordinary comet.
It left a long trail of crimson light in its wake, turning the dark sky a sickly shade of red.
And it was coming right for us.
I had seen comets before—portents of great events foretold by our seers—but never one like this.
This was an omen of death and destruction, a sign from the gods that terrible things were about to happen.
“It’s Sigurd!”
one of my warriors cried out as he too saw the comet hanging in the sky.
“Sigurd is coming for us!”
Fear gripped the hearts of my warriors as they looked up at the terrible sight above them.
But not me.
I had faced true horror in my life, and the sight of a blood-red comet was nothing compared to the nightmares that still haunted my dreams.
I turned away from the terrible sight above and went back to my tent.
It was time to break camp and move on.
We would need to find a new place to make our stand, somewhere where we could prepare for the battle to come.
And prepare we would.
For I had sworn an oath to protect my people with my dying breath, and I would not rest until I had kept my word.
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I would be in my grave before Sigurd set foot in Nordheim.
I was born in a blizzard.
My mother went into labor as the first snows of winter began to fall, and she died as the blizzard raged around us.
It was a hard birth, for I was a big child—bigger than any child had a right to be—and I was born feet first, a bad omen for any child in those days.
My poor mother did not survive the ordeal, but I did.
And so it fell to the wise women of our clan to raise me as their own.
They were fierce warriors who went into battle wearing only their armor and their weapons, for they believed that any woman who showed fear before her enemies had no right to call herself a warrior at all.
I grew up among them, and they taught me everything they knew.
I learned how to fight with a sword and shield, how to track game through the wilderness, and how to read the signs of the land and the sky.
They also taught me how to read and write, for these were skills that they believed every warrior should have.
As I grew older, they told me that I had been born to be a great leader of men.
My father was the chieftain of our clan, and he had many brave warriors who followed him loyally into battle.
But he had no sons to carry on his name and his line when he was gone.
And so it fell to me to take up that burden instead.
I was the daughter of a chieftain and the blood of kings ran in my veins.
A seer had foretold that I would be a great queen one day, and that my name would be remembered long after I was gone.
But such things meant little to me back then.
I did not seek power or glory for its own sake.
I only wanted to lead and protect my people—to make sure that they had enough to eat and a place to call home—to see that their children grew up strong and healthy and wise.
This is what my mother had wished for me before she died.
She had held me in her arms as the blizzard raged around us and the wind howled like a pack of wolves at the door.
“Beware the sorcerer Sigurd Blackthorn,” she had said to me in a weak voice.
“He is a servant of the dark gods, and he will bring ruin to our lands.
” And then she had died.
I did not know who this Sigurd was or why my mother feared him so.
But I never forgot her words, and I swore that I would avenge her death if I ever had the chance.
Now, as I watched the blood-red comet streaking across the sky, I knew that my time had come.
Sigurd Blackthorn was coming for us, and he would find that we were not so easily defeated.
I called for my two best warriors, Bjorn and Astrid, to stand with me as I prepared to face the coming storm.
Bjorn Ironclad was a big man with broad shoulders and a thick beard that covered his face from ear to ear.
He was one of my closest friends and most loyal warriors, and he would follow me to the ends of the earth if I asked him to.
Astrid Frostblade was a different sort of warrior entirely.
She was small and agile, with icy blue eyes and silver-white hair that fell past her shoulders in a long braid.
She was also my sister, for she had been born to the same mother as me all those years ago.
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Astrid and I had shared a womb, and a bond that was deeper than blood.
When they heard me call their names, they both came running at once.
Bjorn was carrying his warhammer, a massive weapon that was almost as big as he was.
He held it in one hand as if it weighed nothing at all, and his blue eyes were bright with excitement.
Astrid was carrying her bow, a sleek weapon made of dark wood and silver wire.
She carried a quiver full of arrows on her back, and a long knife was strapped to her thigh.
The hilt of the knife was carved in the shape of a snowflake, and Astrid never went anywhere without it.
They saw the comet burning in the sky and they knew what it meant.
Bjorn pounded his fist against his chest in salute when he saw me, while Astrid fell in beside me without a word.
I looked at them both and felt a surge of pride in my heart.
They would stand by me, even when the rest of the world turned against me.
And I would need them, more than they could ever know.
Bjorn saw the look on my face and he smiled grimly.
“I’ll take the right flank,” he said to me.
“Let’s see what this sorcerer has got.”
He hefted his warhammer and started off towards the treeline, his chainmail jingling with every step.
“Stay close to me,” I told Astrid, as I followed after him.
The woods were dark and quiet, but I could feel the presence of the enemy lurking just out of sight.
My skin prickled with goosebumps as we made our way through the trees, but I refused to be afraid.
If Sigurd Blackthorn wanted a fight, then we would give him one.
I did not have time to say goodbye to my sister or my friends or my people.
There was no time to prepare or plan or pack for a long journey ahead.
We had to move quickly if we hoped to catch the sorcerer before he reached our lands.
And so we went, without looking back, without regret.
We rode hard through the night, our horses’ hooves pounding against the frozen ground.
The wind howled around us, and the snow fell in thick white flakes that covered everything in a blanket of white.
We rode without stopping, only pausing to rest our horses for a few minutes before we set off again.
We rode until the sun rose high in the sky and the air grew warm, until the trees thinned out and the ground grew rocky underfoot.
And there, on the horizon, we saw them.
Our warriors were standing at the edge of the valley, waiting for us to arrive.
They had heard the news, just as we had, and they had come to meet us on the battlefield without question or complaint.
They were looking at me, their faces grim and serious, their eyes filled with hope and fear and determination.
They were expecting great things from me, because they trusted me to lead them, even when it seemed like all hope was lost.
I looked at them and felt my heart swell with pride, even as it sank like a stone in my chest.
We rode down into the valley, our horses’ hooves kicking up clouds of dust as we went.
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It was a long journey from our lands to the place where the sorcerer would arrive, but we had made good time despite the obstacles in our path.
I had chosen a small band of warriors to come with me, so that we could travel quickly without attracting too much attention along the way.
There were just a hundred of us all together, but I knew that we could take on an army twice our size if we needed to.
I could see the mountains in the distance, their peaks covered in snow and hidden by clouds.
We would have to cross those mountains if we hoped to reach the sorcerer before he reached our lands, and it would be a long journey ahead of us.
But I did not fear the road ahead, because I knew that my people would follow me wherever I led them.
As long as they believed in me, we would stand a chance of winning this fight against the sorcerer, no matter what it took.
The wind was blowing hard against us as we made our way up the mountain pass, making it difficult for our horses to find purchase on the slick ice-covered rocks.
I could feel the cold seeping into my bones, like a living thing, trying to freeze me from the inside out.
I had worn my thickest furs, but even so, I was starting to feel numb and weak from exposure to the elements.
My breath was coming out in white puffs of steam that froze in an instant, turning my beard to ice as I exhaled.
The rest of my men were faring no better, but they pressed on without complaint, knowing that we had a long road ahead of us before we could reach our enemy’s stronghold.
I could see the support of my people as we passed them by, their campfires burning bright against the dark night sky, casting a warm golden light over the snow-covered landscape.
They had come out to watch us pass, to cheer us on and wish us luck as we made our way towards our destiny, whatever it might be.
My heart was heavy with doubt and fear, but I refused to show it on my face, even as I looked at their expectant faces, wondering if I was leading them all to their deaths.
Astrid was walking beside me, her bow slung over her shoulder as she trudged through the snowdrifts with ease, her eyes scanning the darkness for any sign of danger or threat.
She was my best friend, my sister, my blood, even though we had grown up apart, in different worlds, we were still closer than anyone else could ever be.
I looked at her now, at her fierce expression and icy blue eyes, so much like my own, and I felt a swell of pride in my heart that almost choked me with emotion.
She was all that I had in this world that was good, true, and beautiful, and I would do anything to keep her safe from harm for as long as I lived.
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I looked around at the faces of my other warriors, at the men and women who had joined us on this wild and desperate quest, knowing that they trusted me to lead them to victory.
I would not let them down.
I would do whatever it took to make sure that we succeeded, no matter the cost.
And if I died in the process, well, that would be a small price to pay for making sure that Sigurd Blackthorn got what was coming to him.
I had sent one of my men to go and fetch Harald and his warriors from their encampment, and it wasn’t long before I saw him striding towards us through the snow, his furs flapping in the icy wind as he came to meet us.
He was a massive figure, nearly seven feet tall and built like an ox, with huge biceps and a barrel chest that looked like it was covered in steel.
When he spoke, his voice was deep and rumbling, like distant thunder in the mountains, and it echoed in the stillness of the night.
“Freya Stormrider,” he said gruffly, by way of greeting, giving me a short nod of his shaggy head as he stopped in front of me.
We had already met, but it had been in the heat of battle, so we hadn’t had much chance for conversation up until this point.
“Harald Bearheart,” I replied, nodding back at him.
“Thank you for coming so quickly.
I know that we don’t have much time to spare.”
He looked at me with a scowl on his face, as if he didn’t quite believe what I was saying.
“I have to admit, I was surprised to receive your summons,” he said gruffly.
“I didn’t think you would be so quick to put aside your differences with us, especially after what we did before.
But if you’re looking for help, then you’ve come to the right place.
We will stand with you against your enemy, as we promised.”
I just nodded, grateful that he was willing to put the past behind us, at least for now.
We needed all the help that we could get if we were going to have any chance of winning this war.
But Harald was frowning again, as if something was bothering him.
“Still,” he began slowly, choosing his words with care.
“I can’t help but wonder what sort of enemy would be so great that you would need this many warriors to fight them off?It doesn’t make sense, Freya Stormrider.
And I don’t understand why you are so convinced that we will need to go all the way to Thrymheim to face him.
Surely there is some mistake here?
Why not just tell us what it is that you’re so afraid of, and we can decide for ourselves whether it’s worth the risk?”
I shook my head at him, even though I knew that he was only trying to look out for the safety of his people, and for that, I could not fault him.
But we didn’t have time for this now, and besides, it was more important that we all were on the same side if we were going to win this war.
So I just looked at him and said, “I can’t tell you right now, Harald Bearheart.
But trust me when I say that it is something that you must see with your own eyes if you are ever going to believe me.
I know it sounds crazy.
I know how it must sound.
But you have to trust me when I tell you that it’s true.”
He still looked doubtful, but after a moment, he nodded and said, “Very well then, Freya Stormrider.
I will trust you for now, but only because you are the daughter of my friend and my king.
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“I hope it will be enough,” I replied.
The next few hours passed by in a blur of activity as I led my warriors through the snows of the north.
We were all grimly aware of what was waiting for us at Thrymheim.
Despite my best efforts to keep it a secret from them, my warriors had all heard the rumors, and they knew what sort of foes we would be facing in battle today.
But they were with me nonetheless.
We had come this far together, and none of us was willing to turn back now.
As we reached the mountain ridge and prepared to continue on our way toward our enemy’s fortress, I could feel Astrid standing beside me, her hand resting on the hilt of her sword.
She was as fierce as ever today, her icy blue eyes burning like coals as she stared at Blackthorn’s castle down below.
I could see her fingers twitching with excitement as she waited for the signal to attack.
But even so, she didn’t move.
She knew better than anyone how important it was for us to remain hidden until the last possible moment.
If our enemy knew that we were coming for him now, it would be far too easy for him to stop us.
So we waited instead.
And while we waited, I saw Bjorn standing on my other side, looking at me with a small smile on his face.
He was as tall and broad-shouldered as ever, with his long braided beard hanging down to his chest like a curtain of iron, but it was his eyes that caught my attention today.
They were filled with a quiet sort of confidence that I had never seen there before, as if he knew that everything would turn out all right in the end, so long as I was leading him into battle.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about that, but even so, I couldn’t help but feel grateful for his support.
It gave me strength when I needed it most.
There was a sudden swirl of snow and leaves as Njord appeared before us, so quick and quiet that I almost didn’t see him coming.
He looked down at me with a smile on his face, as if he had been expecting me to come all along, and said, “Greetings, Freya Stormrider.
I trust you’re not in too much of a hurry?
It’s not often that we get visitors up here in the north, so I thought you might like to stay for a while.“
I wish we could,” I replied with a grimace.
“But as much as I’d love to catch up with you, I’m afraid that our business is far too urgent for such pleasantries today.
We have an army to defeat and a sorcerer to slay.”
Njord smiled at me again and nodded his head in agreement.
“I thought as much,” he said with a sly grin on his face.
“That’s why I’ve come here today—to help you on your way.”
He looked down at me with a serious expression on his face and said, “We’ve been watching this place for some time now, Freya Stormrider.
And according to our reports, there’s a white dragon guarding the path to Thrymheim these days.”
I felt my heart skip a beat at that announcement, and I could see Astrid and Bjorn both tensing up beside me as they heard what he was saying too.
We had all been hoping that it wouldn’t come to this, but I guess it had been too much to ask for after all.
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