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"The demon was fierce, our battle shook the sky and sundered the earth" he explained "In truth it could've gone on for foreverif i had allowed it too, but i tapped my fullest might and the stone fist of dreadnought fell upon it, the demon was unable to resist and horrifically injured fled to its nest, it will be many many years before it recovers sufficiently to trouble mankind again." he rose his arms and fists high into the air.

 

"Victory is ours! the demon's fangs are broken and it has been driven from our world!" he boomed "The age of ice is over, now begins the age of mankind!" striding like a giant, poetically as well as physically towards the dormant fire and resting his hand upon its logs "By the grace of ember and the vision of fire i have turned back the wind of winter!"

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Ember, for his part, crawled out of Dreadnought. It hurt. A horrible tingling in his skin that erupted into burning pain in transient bursts. It was a horrible feeling that seemed to extend to his heart and dark, primitive parts of his brain. 

 

The tribe gasped and called thanks to the Gods as Ember seeped back to the ashes of the fire that does not die, and swirled into a regular fire. For now, Ember was gone, replaced by a nice hearty fire. 

 

The blackened burn skin of Dreadnought faded, but slowly and not completely - for now. The pain lingered like an ugly embrace, but the skin and pain would get better in an hour or so. For now, there was at least some relief.

 

But Dreadnought felt something of the fire on his skin linger. Some mark, some change. For Ember was not merely a fire, but what was behind the fire.

 

Destruction. Transformation. Creation. 

 

"Thank all the Gods!" said the Chief as the Seer danced madly. 

 

"Giant! Your story shall live forever in our histories! And beyond forever, for it must never be forgot! The Sky Maidens shall sing of your victory with every wind that blows the Sun! I can hear them now!"

 

Morgen was more cautious in her celebration. 

 

"What will you do now, Giant? Return to the Skies to feast with the Gods?"

 

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"Even as it fled the demon cursed and swore its return to the world, I will remain here on the earth with your tribe if you are willing to watch over me as i slumber through the days, so that i might be awoken to resume my battle with the beast." he answers morgan simply but honestly, as he ever was.

 

"I Will not abandon you to the whims of fate, but remain watchful and hidden from the world until i am needed again, though before i fall to slumber i would like to spend more time with you and your so my dreams will be deep and pleasant and i should not forget my purpose." a simple offer and request it might've been, but these were simpler times.

 

"Where i rest shall be a secret kept by you and your tribe throughout the ages, that they might rouse me from my slumber when i am needed."

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A few thousand years later, give or take a few thousand years....

 

Tribes came, tribes fell. Even the landscape shifted. But this was still old, old times, and the lands of Wales were forest, hill and green, with grey rains and flowing streams, unspoiled by the wonders and horrors of modernity. 

 

And around this time, Dreadnought was awoken. 

 

A small man, only four feet high, or thereabouts, was sitting on a rock beside him, leaning on a twisted cudgel. He was unclothed - but hardly naked, his body a mass of moss, branches, twigs, and leaves. He was brown and green and his eyes looked ancient. It was actually rather hard to see him, he blended in so well with the nature around him. 

 

"The Giant awakes!" he grumbled, voice low but friendly. "How is your head?"

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"Haha, Indeed he does." he says, rising to a sitting position from the hefty stone he'd ground flat to make a make shift slab to rest on as he pondered things and bringing his hand to his head almost as the man asked after it.

 

"Little woozy, laying still in one place quite so long, you know how it is." he stated, anyone who'd ever had a hangover would've known the likes of it, he began to appreciate the comfort of the clubs facilities all the more

 

"and what date does he wake in?" he asked after the stranger as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes with his thick digits, quite a build up after the millennia no less. "How fares the world and your people?" he asked, assuming the man, knowing of his resting place must've been some descendant of that same tribe he'd spent such a short but passionate time amongst.

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"Date?" replied the little green man. "I don't know about date"

 

He shuffled a little and played with some of the vines on his body. 

 

"Its after the past and before the future. That's the only date I know!" he chuckled. "I was told to awake you some moons ago. I lose count of these things. I have lived so many moons I don't really keep track of them" he explained. 

 

His eyes were very old. 

 

"But old as I am, somebody older still told me to wake you. I believe you know him? Murk, he said his name was, although I am sure he has many names. I have met him once or twice before. The Blind Man who sees, they call him around here..."

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"Aye, He and i know each other quite well, or will come to know each other quite well i imagine...time is a finicky thing." he sighs as he slides off his resting place and onto his feet, streaching himself out a little bit more before looking around for his helmet breifly, before recalling that it may just have rusted away into nothing in the long ages since passed.

 

"I'd best not keep him or you waiting then, though do regale me with news of the world, i have been in this cairn a long time, i'd like to catch up a bit."

Edited by Exaccus

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"Things die, things are born, the circle turns" replied the little man. "I am Y Dderwen, the green man of the land. Or maybe the land is of me. I don't worry myself about it" he said, slow and ponderous. 

 

"Much happens, of course, but I do not know if you would see it of importance, Giant. An old oak splintered by lightning, or a bountiful long summer with every leaf basking and every flower blooming. A swarm of bees or a blight of disease. As I said, much happens, but your eye would not be looking". 

 

He stretched out, curiously graceful. 

 

"Murk said he read your granite letter. He said he could see your future, and I do not doubt him, although the vision of obscured and vague. He said you would protect this land in times to come, and I would trust him. You are hence of one heart with mine on this" he explained. 

 

"He said I should find you, and wake you. It took me a moon to find you, and a moon to wake you. He said you would go back to sleep, but he wanted to know where you would sleep, and when he should wake you again, for it would be a different world then" he added, a little perturbed by the thought. 

 

"And he asked if you knew about the sleeping Maid in the cold hill"

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"I fear i may have damaged the land in ages past, battling the spawn of lemuria for that very purpose." he confessed, he felt guilty about what he'd done, necessary as it had seemed to him in the moment to see the creature driven back.

 

"Its lair may be the cold hill our friend spoke of, though the maiden i would have to see to know if we'd met before." he ventured openly, honestly curious as to whom it might be, perhaps voin or maybe another future or potential recruit to the codus...though if they were slumbering perhaps they were like him, stranded in time and waiting the return to their own era.

 

Either way, it bears investigating, Murk only wakes me up when its important.

 

"Lead the way my friend, i fear i would butcher your name with my clumsy tongue."

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And so...

 

Thousands of years had indeed changed the landscape, but perhaps by not so much. In any case, Y Dderwen moved through the forest as if he was born from it. Which, arguably, was quite true. 

 

The scar of the meteor had not evaporated, but it had perhaps muted. Moss, grass and wood claimed everything, in time. The hill looked familiar, distorted from the massive impact. And there was the faintest chill in the air. 

 

"What happened here? I felt the fire from the sky from halfway across the country. Felt the burn and the wound" said Y Dderwen in his low slow voice. "I listened to the tribe and their stories of a Giant and the Ice Demons. Maybe it was true. Must have some truth to it" he mused, walking all the time. 

 

"And I can feel the hill, too. The Air always has a chill around it. Like an echo. For all my wisdom, I cannot fathom...."

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"a terrible monster, the last vestige of an age of ice, bitter about its ending era." he confessed as he walked across this land he'd so damaged in his battle with the beast, memories of its hissing voice "it turned to vindictive murder of the tribe folks in the surrounding area with the intent of "leaving scars" on the world till they rose again." 

 

"for the sake of others, I made battle upon them but my blows proved ineffective on the creature, though their force carried on through it; the land and the sky shook and in desperation i hurled a great stone into the air, so that it fell like a hammer upon us both with such speed and fury it was wreathed in fire, the demon, horribly injured fled the battle to tend its wounds and I entered a deep sleep to await its return." he owed the guy an explanation at least he figured.

 

"I regret that such destruction was necessary, but i do not for a moment doubt that it was necessary, I can only ask forgiveness and hope against hope it is not necessary ever again."

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"Rocks do fall from the sky. It is the way of things" said Y Dderwen, without malice. "Your tale is that of saving the land, not destroying it, and this is good!"

 

He stopped now, as they approached the top of the hill - or at least what remained of it, after the impact of the meteor and the erosion of time. It was slightly cooler here. Nothing like the chill he had felt before, but cooler. 

 

He went to one knee and parted the moss with his hands, carefully, like a gardener tending his earth. He was skilled, soft, and slow. But he buried carefully through a few feet of earth until he came to something that glistened. 

 

Like Icy stone, or stony ice. Cold to touch, partially transparent. A coccoon. 

 

Inside, Dreadnough could see Megen, her hair raid, asleep, or at least eye closed and immobile. 

 

One eye. 

 

Her left was a scar of burnt flesh. 

 

"The sleeping maiden" announced Y Dderwen. "Do you know her? In your dreams?"

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"Aye..." he whispered to himself as he looked down upon her in the ice, at first he was disheartend to see that she had eventually gone through with her intentions and cast out her eyes, though he remembered what ember had said what must've been thousands of years ago now.

 

She is bold and brave, and would transform herself. One eye flesh to see in the mortal world, one eye fire to see the world beyond

That she had chosen to do this was not to be pitied or looked down upon, that she had done so, of her own choice and not in desperation given the situation she and her tribe had found themselves in was to be respected and admired

 

"She's the daughter of the tribes chief."  a brief summary but not inaccurate "She was willing to dismember herself to save her people, i tried to save her from that, but i think its something she wanted."

 

"So, From what I know, it'd be a bad idea for me to smash her outta this thing, being that she's encased it'd travel through it and her right? gotta start a fire and thaw her out."

 

 

Edited by Exaccus

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And so...

 

It was a matter of fine manipulation, and bull headedness, lighting a fire. Wales was damp, and lighting fires was not so easy. But, there was no pressure for time for either of them. Y Dderwen was as immortal as Dreadnought, and seemed to get his sustenance from sun and earth. But he did offer some berries as a treat. 

 

The fire did, as predicted, chill the tomb of Morgen, and the icy stone melted from her. 

 

With a sudden gasp she became animated and looked around with eye of flesh and the scar that ran down her cheek. 

 

"What...? When? Giant you are here!" she gasped more, and then caught sight of Y Dderwen who was, admittedly, hard to see. 

 

"And what spirit are you?" she asked. 

 

"I am Y Dderwen. Many names, many names. All the same in the end" smiled the little green man. "Good morning, sleeping woman who sleeps no more!"

 

"How long was I asleep, what happened? Are the Gods still in the sky?" she asked Dreadnought. 

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"By my wager, Morgen, we have slumbered for thousands of years a piece, as for what happened, i was going to ask you." he states calmly but warmly.

 

"it is good to see a familiar face, I and my friend here were sent by our mutual friend, Mr Murk to find you, I believe he's foreseen something big is coming and that we will play a part in events to come." he explains straight laced as possible "As for the gods, they as always, will be watching what transpires."

 

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"Mr. Murk?" asked Morgen, curious. 

 

"An old fellow" chipped in Y Dderwen. "I do not believe you have met, or at least, Murk did not mention you"

 

"I have not met him" answered Morgen "At least, not whilst awake. When you left, Giant, our Seer turned mad. The Tribe could not do without a seer, and the hole in the hill was not fully sealed. I asked the Gods many times for guidance, but I heard nothing. Then, I seized fate by my own hand, and by the fire that never dies, I did what had to be done..." she explained, pointing and the burn scar along the left side of her face, and the white scarred eye that was there. "Now, I see much, and many things...."

 

She was wistful, for a moment or two. 

 

"I know much that I did not before, and not all of it pleases me" she whispered, almost like a song. 

 

"I cannot see the future, but I see now the hidden things, and all worlds beyond our own. It is...frustrating" she conceded, ashamed. "And much of it dangerous. Growing, like the spirits in the sands far south of here. Ghosts of serpents. Golden temples and Insects bearing plagues..."

 

Her earthly eye seemed to snap back into focus. 

 

"I went to sleep. It is the future that intrigues me and calls me, not the past. I stayed with my tribe for many winters, but I had to leave. I made them...uncomfortable. For the Gods they worship are not clearly seen by them, and they do not abandon or change belief lightly. No, now is not my time. The Ice on the hill beckoned, and I went to sleep..."

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"I see...yeah, you lived in a rough time i gotta say." he confessed "gods and demons walking the earth like they own it, disease and the like..." he confessed "It gets better with time of course, though i have no idea when we are now..." he spared a glance to Y'Dderwen hoping for some hint or clue about sojme world event that was easily placed.

 

"anyway, maybe you can help me with mr murks message now you have that sight of yours?" he asked hopefully "what was it again Y'Dd? Sorry, im always a bit...fuzzy after a long sleep like this." he half explained and wholey apologized.

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"Murk, ha! Ever are his words murky. They named him well" replied Y Dderwen. "I am never entirely sure what he means. I am never entirely sure he knows what he means, either" he laughed gently, like falling moss. 

 

"He told me to find you and wake you. To find out when he should wake you later, and where he should wake you. It was all a little...complicated" he said, frowning. "Something about you having to be woken in order, or something like that. I didn't quite understand..."

 

"Oh! And he asked me about the sleeping woman, too. And asked me about the ice, and the fire. I know much, but on this, I did not know. Perhaps, though, you can tell him when you wake up again, Giant. I suspect that was his true intent?"

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"oh well in that case its rather simple, he sould wake me when he needs me, when anyone needs me, though my native time period is 2018, AD" he states simply "I will be where you found me most likely, baring a crisis that requires my intervention before then of course, i'd never be able to sleep through that." he say sincerely.

 

"Morgen is as she stated, a seer of her tribe who sacrificed for the sake of others and my friend from a time now long passed i imagine." he said with a sad sigh...it felt like only yesterday he'd been talking and interacting with people who were now, thousands of years dead and gone, or so he presumed.

 

"A worthy ally in any pursuits."

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Y Dderwen nodded sagely, contemplating. Like most wise men (or women), he could look wise and contemplative even when he was thinking, for instance, about doing the washing up or taking out the trash. 

 

Morgen was studying everything and more. He face looked a little sad. "In all these cycles, the world has not changed very much, has it? I have outslept my tribe, but the wonders of days to come are yet to arrive. We do not know the Gods more now, than before"

 

She took a deep breath in. "I must sleep some more. If I can....there is little left of the last age of Ices, but what remains of that spirit, I shall use" she said with determination. 

 

"Giant, I trust you have all the answers you came for. Perhaps we shall see each other again. If not, I must thank you again for your skyborn arrival" she said, nodding deeply. 

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"My pleasure, Im always happy to help whenever i can." he says solemnly with a soft smile "I live in fear of a day coming when theres nothing i can do." he confesses as he cricks his neck a little "Please call me Joseph, all my friends do." regarding both Y'Dden and Morgen with a smile.

 

"Great things are coming, that much i will promise." he said softly "till then my friends, I will return to slumbering and waiting for the time to reappear in the world, till then, I wish you good dreams morgen and to you, may you days be filled with peace, though if you should have need, you know where to find me."

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And so it was...

 

Morgen the Scarred went back to sleep, awaiting days of wonder to come. Her body entombed in Eldrich Ice. 

 

Y Dderwen went wandering the lands merry for the most part, and yet, as Men and their wonders grew, he became ever more sad, and wondered what he was protecting. His story continued for many many turns, his cudgel and vines employed by the Vanguard to come, until eventually he withdrew from the world in uncertainty. 

 

And Dreadnought, the Giant blown to the land by the Sky-Maidens, he once again slumbered in the hills of Wales, for thousands of years...

 

Until...

 

~ Fin ~

Edited by Supercape

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