Skuld Swordborn

Skuld Swordborn

A scene written to test my second Icewind Dale campaign character.


Clouds gathered. Trees swayed. Leaves rustled. Wind tore at Skuld’s body like claws seeking purchase in flesh and bone. Storm was coming. Home was too far out. Best find shelter here and now.

Lightening flashed. Something crashed through the leaves and limbs. She grasped her talisman and prayed for mercy. Light pierced the canopy and kissed the scorched carcass. When she reached the fallen wren, it was miraculously alive. Praise Mielikki. She made a quick offering of thanks to the goddess, a shard of amber ringed by acorns.

Thunder boomed. She raced for the north end of the woods, where the foothills were pockmarked with wolf dens. Ahead, a bear appeared and disappeared in a blink. No, it’s an illusion. A trick of the weather or weariness. Yet the lingering weight of power said otherwise.

Rain fell, laced with sleet. She scanned the rise of earth and rock for footprints or refuge but found neither. The bear flickered into being again, seized her by the scruff of the tunic, and hauled her into a split in the shale.

The bear nuzzled her ribs.

She cuffed its ear. “I’m fine on my own.”

“No doubt,” he rumbled, stepping from the bear’s skin into his own. “But I’m not.”

“It’s storming something fierce outside, Hallbjorn. Let’s not start storm inside?”

He leaned into her. “I’m done pretending. Are you?”

She wanted to hold onto the pretense but her fingers curled into his shaggy mane and she let herself go.