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Wales, Aprox 10,000 BCE

 

The last ice age had come and gone, and was consigned to oral mythology along with beasts and demons and cruel Gods of frost and ice. This was a time of humans, scavenging, hunting, and living primitive lives in the forests, hills, lakes and rivers. It was a harsh time, but there was time still for stories and worship, rituals and myths, and even magic. 

 

And sometimes, the magic worked. 

 

The prayers of the Chief had been answered, for through time - further than ever before - Dreadnought fell, to land in the middle of an vast forest, in a valley with clear water, surrounded by the tribe, with a fire, hot in the centre. 

 

Dreadnought could hear plenty of speech but not understand a word of it. But the tribes reaction was clearly startled. With stone spears and hand axes, they kept shocked eye on the giant. They were clean of body, wearing furs and skins, often with red hair, many with scars from accident and ritual. They were young to, by and large - for life was not long in this world, at least by modern standards. Rotten teeth, blemished skin, and sickness marred those even thirty years old, and few indeed would be called old. 

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Why'd it always have to be in the middle of the air, dreadnought wondered to himself, he understood it was something to do with the earths orbit and axis changing and altering as time passed, but still, he'd yet to be buried under tonnes of bedrock or anything of the sort...maybe that was more of a future thing.

 

He allowed himself a brief moment to gather his bearings on gravity, face down in the foilage of the undergrowth before pushing himself up and back onto his feet, regarding the people surrounding him for a moment before offering his hand out in a upright palm, giving a small wave.

 

"Hello there." hoping tone and body language would communicate what spoken language could not as he looked around at his surroundings.

 

Wow, this is pretty far back huh...stone spears and everything

 

he'd be lying if he said it wasn't still slightly distressing to fall through time, though for some reason or another he simply didn't remember much of the void between now and then.

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GM

 

The babble of voices did not stop, and could not be understood. 

 

Bar one. 

 

The Chief, a man of middle years, with few teeth and plenty of vigour. He was fast, and strong, and scarred from many rites of passage, his hair shocking red, and his eyes gold and green. He wore many furs and a few ornaments. 

 

"The Gods give me the gifts of tongues, giant! We have called you here, to the ever burning fires, so that we might be...."

 

There was a crashing and a howl like the coldest wind. 

 

And from the forest something cold, black and nasty slithered. Like a snake it was, with a dozen slimy limbs each clawed and ghastly, with no eyes, and barely any form. Twenty feet long and with an oily mist around its form. It was hard to look at, as if not quite there, or transparent, but the stones and moss parted beneath its flesh, such as it was...

 

"Saved from the Ice demons!" gasped the Chief, who was bold and brave, but knew he - like his tribe - were facing something beyond spear or claw!

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"I see, thats quite useful." dreadnought sighed with relief, before the big slithery snake demon thing appeared from the forrest outline, he would have to converse with the the chief later it would seam.

 

With a bellowing battlecry, announcing his intentions to the surrounding tribe and to draw the beasts attention squarely onto himself, he lowered his helmeted head and thundered forwards rushing, quite litterally headlong towards it like a inexorable force of nature and gravity, it would be best to overpower this creature as quickly as possible, he reasoned, clearly unnatural in origin he need not hold himself back any in battling it with his fullest might.

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GM

 

The thing hissed, a tongue a few feet long and full of cold mist like its breath. With speed, it slithered forward giving it a lizard like appearance. 

 

But it was hard to look at; not quite here, not quite there. Hard to see. It seemed so hard to look at, like it was there and not there. It circled Dreadnought, agile and fast, but not smart. Its limbs flailed forward, the water in the stream around them splashing and chuning, the central fire flaring embers dramatically. 

 

But Dreadnought could take a few steps back away from the flailing limbs. The stones cracked under the force from the creature. It was strong, fast, but lacked skill in its attack. 

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A Mighty gutteral roar issued from dreadnoughts mouth as he pounded his fists on his chest with great force, enough to rattle the ground around him and make his tremendous power known to the beast , seizing upon a percieved moment of hesitation and stillness he stepped in and brought his fist forward in a meteoropic arc that would've turned all but the most resilient of materials to dust beneath his knuckles

 

"Take this you big dumb millipede!" he boomed feeling his knuckles connecting with strange serpentine scales and the bones beneath it. "uh i mean, Snake thing!"

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

The Ice thing cracked and split with the force of the blow - and for a moment it might have been that it would be sundered in half, but although Dreadnough plunged his fist right into the fleshy thing, it did not stop moving, nor flailing away. 

 

As Dreadnought pulled his fist out, it felt cold and empty, and a nasty blue mist circled his hand as if feeding on it. All in all, it was an uncommonly Eldritch, horrible experience. 

 

He took a few steps back through the stream, which was starting to ice over. The flailing limbs cracked stone and ice where he had been. A glance to the trees sore the scattered humans fearful but hopeful that Dreadnought would win. And yet, for all that hope, the central fire seemed to diminish in strength...

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"hmm...tricky thing huh, well lets see how you like...this!" he boasted as he trundled over towards one of the currently unoccupied trees and sinking his thick fingers into the base of its truck, ripped it from the ground as if it were but a twig, lowering its leaves into the failing centeral fire to bring it to ignition he then spun himself bodily towards the creature, his burning, colossal club swinging awkwardly through the air towards his foe.

 

Not his best work admittedly it was a cumbersome weapon to bring to bear on an agile foe, but testing how it reacted to fire was important.

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GM

 

It did not react well. The tree splintered just in front of the thing, less than an inch from what passed as its head. Embers and shards of cracked wood exploded into its face, and the sheer force of the blow sent a shockwave through the earth and deep tremors into its body. 

 

A mist came from it, and it seemed a little more visible now - not that seeing it clearly was pleasurable - far from it. It was like an elditch lizard from some terrible dimension. A wailing flute like music came from its mouth. Perhaps what passed for a scream, but it was surely too alien for such concepts. 

 

It flopped to the ground, the ice freezing over around it. 

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"ahah! had enough have you? Well im not done with you yet!" continuing to boom with all his thunderous power, he loved fights like this, fights against things that didn't have high and mighty beliefs and complexes about the world and universe and mans place in it at large, fights where he could be angry and righteous and not question if what he was doing was for best, where he had to watch history take its natural course through the mud and blood of suffering.

 

he had been looking around all the while, mostly to check that none of the surrounding tribespeople had been caught in the icey aura the creature seemed to give off, he assumed that it would prove deadly to a being less resilient than himself, such intense cold as to freeze the ground and dull the flames of such a fire at such a distance!

 

Figuring that now he'd explored and learned something from his battling the creature, now was as good a time as any to start swinging for real and so dropping the remains of the shattered tree made his way forwards towards the creature at his fullest speed, intent on delivering a blow that would dwarf the previous strikes so far exchanged.

 

He could feel the reverberation where his skull met its even through his helmet

 

This is gonna be messy.

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

The lizard thing writhed, full of cold and fury, but took the force of Dreadnought square on. It seemed to crumple in on itself, blurred, misty, oily. 

 

For an awful second, maybe two, it squirmed on the icy stream, and then seemed to melt away, seeping into the stream that was now flowing again, something black and nasty. It dissolved into a residue. 

 

One could not say it disintegrated, for its residue was still on wood, stone, and moss, but it was clearly gone - for all intents and purposes. 

 

And from the trees, came roars of praise to the gods. 

 

"Victory! We are saved!" said the Chief, hailing his hands to the sky above. 

 

"For now..." muttered an old man, long of beard now white rather than red. He was stooped and thin, but his eyes burned with determination. Scars and tattoos littered his body, and he wore little, seemingly not feeling the elements. 

 

"Ah! My seer!" said the Chief, full of mixed assessment of the man. "He has the tongue of the Gods, too. He is crazy!" he muttered, less than pleased. 

 

"Crazy, I may be..." said the old man, picking his bald head, as if trying to unthread long gone hair from his scalp. "But I see things nobody else does. The things from the icy ages are not gone. This was just one...."

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Dreadnought felt himself huffing as the oily residue splattered over his armour, digging his heels into the ground to bring himself to a complete halt, his head was spinning a little bit from the excitement of it all, for all his power and durability it would seem he remained quite an anxious fighter all the same

 

Should talk to voin and frosty bout some training fer that when i get back.

He mused to himself, splashing himself with water from the now unfrozen stream to clear the residue from his helmet and the face beneath it, allowing himself a brief moment to bask in how cool the water was and how clear and brisk the air felt against his skin, modern society was great and all but he couldn't help but feel like maybe some things were just...better off back in the ancient times, though looking at the tribes folk as they celebrated the demons defeat and their various maladies was as much an argument against it.

 

he almost expected the seer to appear and make his dire warnings known, magic was a tricky bint, that much he knew for sure, having felt its wrath not that long ago and quite a while from now in the victorian age, though the creature had been too blind in its fury to hit him he could feel the eldrichness of the beast from his proximity to it.

 

"I see...tell me more whilst i recover at the fireside, Maybe i could drive them out entirely." he offered in ernest " as he trundled towards the now blazing bonfire.

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Having grabbed a sufficiently large rock and taken a seat by the fire, he listend intently to the words of the seer and chief both, being the only people he could understand he found it easy to filter out most everything else as he worked away on his letter in the stone.

 

Mr Murk

 

You may not know me at the time you recive this letter

But suffice to say I know of you and in turn you will learn of me

Currently i find myself trapped in a time just after what i believe is 

The Ice age, somewhere in the celtic lands, wales or ireland i couldn't say

 fighting Things the locals call "Ice demons" 

what they are exactly is beyond me and them but all the same it is my duty to fend them off

At the time of writing im preparing to head into the belly of the beasts lair as best we know where it is.


yours Eternally
D0

 

over all he was quite pleased with how neatly his nails could carve the stone.

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GM

 

The Chief and the Seer observed Dreadnought's scribing. 

 

"Tis witchcraft" muttered the Seer, pulling non existent hair out of his scalp. 

 

"WItchcraft" murmured the Chief. He took a glance over to a young woman, wide hipped and dressed in furs, with the longest, reddest hair that Dreadnought had ever seen. "Touched by fire..." he muttered even more softly. 

 

"FIre is what we need now. It is through fire that we shall survive. Through the sun, through the earth, through the fire. The Gods shall provide, look - they sent this giant to defeat the Ice demon!" proclaimed the Seer, quite mad but quite correct - in his own way. 

 

The Chief looked more balanced, although he was clearly devout. 

 

"Tell me, giant" he asked Dreadnought. "Can you destroy all the Ice demons? Are you truly sent from the Sun Gods?"

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Dreadnought ponders a moment, this was gonna be a tricky one it seemed, but he could handle it with tact and grace he felt, well, as much as he had to offer anyway.

 

"I have taken their measure and found them hard to hit, but for me at least, easy to hurt, many of its attempts to defend itself or assail me proved fruitless as you saw." he states "As for whom sent me, I know not, only that i find myself here and now, outside of my own place and time, your gods may indeed be involved I do not know." he confessed honestly "but i will fight these demons in the heart of their nest and see them destroyed, for they are ice and as such break." he said solemnly

 

He would need to find a place to set this rock, somewhere out of the wind and rain, free from errosion and damage as much as possible so it would survive as much as it could into the future.

 

"because battling evil is the duty of all mankind, whatever form it might take, on whatever battlefield it sprouts, in thoughts, words and deeds, demons must be slain."

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GM

 

The Seer and the Chief both seemed impressed, although the Seer seemed to be twitching. Then again, he always seemed to be twitching. 

 

"These are wise words" said the Chief. "I think you are sent from the Sun and the Earth. Praise the Gods!"

 

"But..." interjected the Seer. "...we do not know from whence these creatures came. They are hard to see, hard to see....I have the eyes of the Gods, but not enough. Even for me..."

 

The Chief nodded. "Our Seer is indeed touched by the Gods. Yet it is beyond his vision. Not even staring into the fire that burns for three days, without sleep, without food or water, in a trance. It yielded but fragment visions. We do not know..."

 

"We must be one with the fire..." said the woman, kneeling down by them, fierce and determined. "It is the vision of fire that can see!"

 

"My daughter. The only one more mad than the Seer" muttered the Chief. 

 

"Hehe" chuckled the Seer, playing with his imaginary hair. "Who would want to have the eyes of the Gods? I do, and it is a curse. I can feel the demons plucking my hair! haha!"

 

the Chief nodded. "Let us rest now. The fire shall reveal...let us pray!"

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Dreadnought didn't know what to say to that, he'd never really been very spiritual, even back in the days before his taking to the heroing, he believed in the here and now, whenever and where ever that might've been and that whilst faith in higher powers was all well and good, faith in one another was far more important and solid a foundation to build upon.

 

No offense Horus

 

but without any further insight in to the ice demons there was no harm in asking for a helping hand from the aether either, politely refusing food and drink that migh've been offered to him he stared intently into the dancing flames of the immense fire, letting it hypnotise him a little as he fixated on its flickering form and reaching out in what he supposed might've been a poorly worded prayer

 

I am not very good at this

 

Pretty good preface he thought

 

but if you are involved in me being here then you knew that already, as much as everything else you've selected me for.

 

either way I am in for the long haul now; show me where these things are and promise to do everything that is reasonably within yer power to protect these people whilst i go deal with em and ill smash them ice demons to slush

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GM

 

After a few hails and mutterings, a few dances (sometimes without clothes), and various rubbing, throwing, and licking of powerful magic items and symbols, they settled down to a feast. 

 

Of course, cuisine was different in those days. But there was meat, roasted in the holy fire, and various nuts and berries and even the basics of herbs and spices. It could certainly be a lot worse, and for the celtic tribe it was certainly a feast. Much was offered Dreadnought. 

 

The Seer was not there, instead he was staring at the fire, muttering, and trying to pull the invisible sky pixies out of his head. 

 

The Chief however, was, accompanied by his voluptuous red daughter, who studied Dreadnought carefully. 

 

"Tell me of yourself, Giant! What is the sky made of? What halls do the Gods feast on? Is the Sun blown across the sky by the lungs of the Cloud-maidens as they say?"

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Of course, dreadnoughts meditation wouldn't last that long, though he required no food or drink he retained his sense of taste and smell and the delight of eating quickly drew him from the bonfire as he indulged gingerly, making sure not to make others go short for this simple pleasure, they would need their strength in this ancient world and he had limitless ammounts to spare.

 

What truely brought him out of his shell however was the cheifs daughter, ever a fan of beautiful women in any age at any time he happily turned his full focus from the fire and food to her.

 

"Those who know me Call me Dreadnought, The lands of creation are vast and varied and even I haven't traveled them all so far,  nor have i ever been invited to the feast in a gods hall, that is reserved for the souls of mortal men  and women who live good lives, but they are many and varied from what i have heard and seen." he answers, not wanting to outright lie to her nor risk loosing her interest either, of all his fleeting pleasures beautiful, fierce women were the greatest and whilst a physical relationship was all but impossible he still enjoyed the attention and company the most, especially the heroic kind, it helped sooth his troubled mind and heart and numbed him to the pain of his missing brother and dead family.

 

"I hear tell that though the sun takes a long path around the land, blown by cloud maidens, pulled by great beasts and carried on mighty rafts from one side of the realm to the next, a grand and daily quest across the sky, though it has been a while since i have seen it make its journey in full, I spend most of my time in deep slumber, having been abandoned by my birth parents for my freakish size and strength, i was raised by people not of my own blood, but my great size and strength prove troublesome so i sleep to avoid burdening them, only to be awoken in times of greatest need by those who know where to find me."

 

"and what of you? you're proud and fierce a woman as any demigoddes i have yet encountered, i'd like to know more of such a being."

Edited by Exaccus

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GM

 

"Ah! The cloud maidens! Mighty is their breath! Mighty is there bosom! Haha!" said the Chief, cheerfully. He translated to his tribe who all cheered. 

 

The feast was most sating, and the Cloud Maidens puffed away until the sun had set for the day. The air was cool but not cold, and the fire still burned. The tribe started to sleep, although some stayed up - for the danger was not past. 

 

Many touched and stared at Dreadnought, but as the moon moved, sleep fell upon one, then another. 

 

Except the Chieftans daughter. 

 

Morgen, her name, and her eyes dark. Her freckled face showed no fear, and her countenance was curious and determined. 

 

"Are you really from the Sky?" she asked, boldly. "I have the sight, but I do not see clear..."

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"I walk upon the earth, it is true, though you would need to walk for many, many years to come to where i am from." it was a simple way of explaining it without going to deeply into it and still had a hint of mystery to it, ladies liked that sometimes he found.

 

"How i came to be in the sky i cannot claim i fully know,  presumably whatever brought me here put me there, perhaps to make a small spark of joy in the face of impending danger, strength of the body is only so good for as far as the spirit can carry you." he reasoned to himself as he louged against a fairly mighty rock he'd brought over to support himself with as he relaxed by the fire, keeping an ever vigilant eye out for threats, be it ice demons or prehistoric megafauna

 

"Though it is getting late Morgan, i assure you i am not going to vanish, you should rest and we can talk more tomorrow, i must confess it makes me rather happy to have so much possitive attention from you and your tribe, i will stay with you until this task is done at least." he said with a wink and a smirk.

 

"As you and the seer have said, this is only the beginning, conserve your strength for the storm that is to come."

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GM

 

"The storm will never end. We cannot see" explained Morgen, restless. "When you fought the Ice Demon, did you see it? Properly? It is hard to see, is it not?" she explained. "And that is when it was here, up close, next to the fire that shines light on all things" she added. 

 

"I am sure you can fight another. And win. And another. And another still. Maybe a dozen, maybe more. But they will come and come again. Can you fight forever?" she asked. "Will you stay forever?"

 

"Unless we stop them coming even the Gods will grow weary. We can hope that they will stop coming, and the Gods have answered our prayers, but we mortal souls must see..."

 

She gazed at the fire. 

 

"I must see. Will you help me?" she asked. 

 

She drew out a knife. It was a rather good knife, made of bronze and with some style. 

 

"I will cut out my eye, and burn it with fire. Then, I will have the fire-sight, and see as the Gods do..."

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Dreadnoughts resting rock tumbled over with a soft boom as he jerked upright in suprise at her mentioning she intended to cut out her eyes and throw them into the fire, he'd not seen that coming at all it caught him completely off guard.

 

"Ahh...no you mustn't do such a thing Morgan." he said, a slightly louder whisper than orignally shared with her "no god would ask such a thing of their champions..." he said, lying through his teeth, he'd read about it and heard about it, he could feel his desperation beginning to build, he didn't want anyone to hurt themselves, he was invulnerable, and unceasing strength and stamina and here he was, somewhere it was no use.

 

"I am...unaging, i will remain with you and your tribe through out all the days as i search the land for these demons, i will find their nest and crush them at their source." he vowed anew to her personally as he had done to the tribe and the cheif and seer previously

 

"If Nothing Else, Give me but a few days and i will find some great sacrifice to offer the flame instead for your vision" he could feel his own eyes start to dampen with sadness "Do Not hurt yourself for me or anyone else."

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GM

 

Morgen stared at Dreadnought carefully and precisely, as if looking at more than his flesh and face, but deeper still, to his bones and brains. 

 

"Do you not trust in the Gods? Do you not trust in me? I speak the tongues, I know the fire" she said, softly, but hard. There was no doubt of this woman's will. 

 

"The ever burning fire is alive, you see it? Ever changing, giving warmth. It is Ice that is death, for it never changes, it is just still. It is in Fire that we seem we act, and in Ice that we sleep" she said, almost singing the words. "I make no sacrifice, I only transform. I lose an eye of flesh, I gain an eye of fire, that can see the worlds and skies beyond" she explained, quite convinced. 

 

"I trust your strength, Giant. I trust your heart. But you cannot fight what you cannot see!"

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Joseph had nothing to hide, his heart Loved, Raged, Hated and soothed with all the faces of the omnipresent ocean he'd learned to love over his life as a shipwright in liverpool, he'd learned a deep sense of love and community from the harshness of the work and the camadere of his fellow workers, many of whom had followed him into making the ironclad charity.

 

That anyone he could call a friend would injure themselves on his behalf was utterly intollerable to him, perhaps he was just a big lug, but he simply couldn't allow it to transpire, not whilst there were other options.

 

"If Dreadnought is blind, it is dreadnought who must be made to see..." he said to her softly as he rose and strode across her,  always mountainous in stature his walk was no slightly more purposeful, gently touching morgan's shoulder as he passed her and stepped unblinkingly into the fire, letting the flames lick and consume the cloth of his costume.

 

"Oh God of fire,  spirit of flame that burns for three days and gives light and warmth to mankind, i prostrate myself before you" he began, holding his arms aloft as the fire continued to climb his body like the vines of a creeping plant.

 

"your tribe is strong in heart and body, they readily prepare to sacrifice of themselves to grant me the sight i need to find the demons and crush them to dust in my hands, i would have them not need to do so, so i beseech you, if you require strength to give morgan her sight of fire, take it from me and not her, i have limitless power to draw from, i will not miss it." he asks sincely as the winds blow across his now more exposed form

 

"Do this for me and i will swear myself your instrument on the earth, now and forever more, sharing my immortality with your chosen apostle to be directed against your enemies as you see fit." he offers hopefully.

 

"Do this for me so i can find these demons and crush them to dust between my hands, to see them scattered to the winds of the earth." he vows resolubtely

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