This is the next blade of the prophecy listed in [link]
It refers to both itself and its wielder as Einherjar. The current warrior who wields the blade is a half orc norsewoman who wanders the ice tundra aiding those she finds. Strong and solid, she still retains a beauty about her, though she is well into her forties, an age older than most on the tundra. The weapon speaks to it's mistress alone, and has a definite feminist view of things. “Come to me, mine Einherjar.”
came the whisper, floating across the winds. A beguiling and haunting call that caused her to look up again at the endless stretch of snow to the looming mountain ahead. Clutching the edges of the wolfskin around her armored form once more, she set forth, breaking through the foot thick layer of snow with the strength of her powerful legs, the thick muscled thighs of her form, flexing with exertion. In rhythmic, almost mindless repetition, she continued her journey, and, with nothing else to occupy her time, the woman’s thoughts drifted to the fateful encounter that had begun her quest.
“Far from home, now you do roam?” came a lilting voice from the traveler across from her. She had looked up, startled that any person would address her, she was no one, a wanderer, taking refuge in the meadhall of the land’s tribe, accepting only the shelter and food given as general hospitality by the lord of the tribe. Already she had shared all that was deemed valuable, the weather, the news of her tribe’s slaughter, and the approaching danger. Across from her sat a figure, wrapped in the voluminous folds of a black cloak until only a set of gray eyes was visible, looked at her curiously. With a non-committal grunt, she lifted her flagon and sipped what was left of the bitter warm beer within. Not the best stock, far from it, but it was better than the dirty melted ice she had been living off of for a long time, and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. The gaze of the stranger hadn’t left her, and she suddenly felt uncomfortable at his scrutiny. Without taking his eyes off her, he held out a black-gloved hand in a beckoning gesture. Almost as if by magic, one of the maidens of the hall set down a flagon of mead, a roasted fowl of some sort, surrounded by steaming potatoes in rich gravy, and a half round loaf of bread. The smell of the rich food in such proximity made her stomach growl and she hastened to lower her gaze again to her own fare, a thick slice of goat cheese and a quarter loaf of day old bread. Bringing the hard crust to her mouth, she tore off an unappealing bite and chewed, trying to ignore the banquet across the table. “Pleased to share, and break thy fast, and all Puck asks is tales of past.” The figure spoke as with engloved hand he lifted the pitcher and poured amber mead into her cup. Setting the container down, he waved an inviting hand at the platter. She looked at him cautiously, but could not ignore the smell any longer. With strong hands, she tore off the drumstick of the bird and sank eager teeth into its flesh, hastily bringing her now full cup to quell the heat of the fowl in her mouth. The leg was stripped of meat in almost seconds and she paused, looking at her benefactor before pulling the other drumstick and holding it out to him. He gave a gracious wave and she began to repeat her earlier performance, though now slower, and able to savor the flavor. After the second portion, she drew out a short bladed dirk from her belt, spearing a roasted potato for herself, and settled back, looking across the table in curiosity.
“What do you want to know?” she asked as she took a bite. The figure paused for a moment before replying.
“The blood of Orc runs through your veins, an oddity upon these plains, Puck wonder now, the story how, and why that of your tribe, just you remains.” Her eyes widened in sudden terror, and her grip shifted on the knife and she glanced fearfully at those around them, ready to slice and strike away to gain her freedom. When no one even looked at her, she relaxed slightly, but kept glancing from side to side. “Be not afraid of a lingering ear, While Puck remains, no one will hear.” The figure assured her as he unwound the cloak’s mantle from his face and drew back the hood. Hair as pale as new snow settled against the black fabric as a fey face looked at her calmly. She started at his foreign features, and then felt herself relax, if an elf was willing to reveal himself within the meadhall of a tribe, as prejudiced as they were, then there must be some magic at play.
“I am part Orc.” She admitted bitterly, “My mother ran afoul of one of their scouting parties long ago. I was the reminder of that meeting.” She speared another potato and bit into it. “My tribe, they… accepted me, but I was never fully one of them. When the time came, no man wanted me for his bed. I was destined to be alone.” She swallowed the rest of the potato in one large mouthful, drawing an amused smile from her companion.
“Yet from here I see, a mother be, the signs do state, that was your fate.” She looked at him incredulously.
“How can you know that?!” she sputtered. She stared in mute shock at the figure in front of her. After a moment, she sighed and picked up her cup again. “Yes, my half sister died in childbirth, the father was one of those who went a viking and I raised the child as if she were my own. Freyja I named her, after the lady of beauty and battle, and she became a beautiful young woman. Married a smith and bore a beautiful girl of her own.” She stared into the depths of her cup. “She died, they all died. All but me. Slaughtered like sheep by wolves. Torn and ripped by claw and fang, their lives lost because…..” she grew silent.
“Forewarned their fate and still they stayed? That is how the past has played?” Her eyes narrowed again at Puck as he spoke.
“You seem to know an awful lot of someone who is asking me questions.” She almost growled. The Fey lifted a hand in a soothing gesture.
“Much I know, that is agreed. But who you are, is what I need. A task, a quest, a simple test, Maiden, Mother, Matron blessed. Three in one, awaiting thee, waiting far, cross icy sea. Long I’ve searched, for your hand alone. Now at last, please bring it home.”
“You want me to find something for you?” she grunted. Puck nodded solemnly. “What is it? A treasure, a corpse, a stack of badly drawn paintings?”
“A blade abides, but not for me. It allows only the hand of three. A maiden, a mother, a matron as well, all three titles in one mortal shell. Only you can gather the blade, and with it’s edge find those betrayed.” She sat, staring slack-jawed at him, the wooden cup halfway to her mouth. How could he know of her plans? How did he know that there were survivors still in the slaver chains brought into her village by the greed of the chieftain’s son?
Blinking her eyes against the snow, she still had no idea who the mysterious figure had been, nor how he knew of her plight, but his instructions had been as clear as a rhyme could get. Travel north to the Silver Spire Mountain and look for a cave set within its base. There within should be the promised sword. It was only this last night that she heard the voice calling her, urging her closer, another testament to the truth of his promise. To her it was only one purpose; this blade could save her people, save what was left of her family. She would prevail. Another night, sleeping huddled in the lee of a boulder for warmth and she would reach the cave. Then she would find her hope, or die.”You have come.”
Said the voice contently. She stared at the weapon in front of her. Its ebony black blade was embedded in a shard of ice so pure, it looked like crystal, which obscured nothing of the golden knotwork that was the blade’s only ornamentation. The hilt was wrapped and double wrapped again in thin brown leather along the grip and lead to an intricate pommel of overlapping designs set with gold within it’s valleys. Of interest also were the wings of the crosspiece, each inlaid with a teardrop of knotwork as well. But the most unusual thing, if you could say anything was normal about a talking sword, was that the blade, deadly and dark as it was, was split down it’s center for two third’s of it’s length into a pronged tongue of steel. The weapon was massive, easily meant for one of strength and fair height, with a grip designed for two-handed use as well as one. It was a thing of beauty, and an item of fear, and it was calling to her. “Welcome Einherjar.”
It warmly echoed in the cave. “Welcome Maiden, welcome Mother, welcome Matron. I was forged as sister to Gram, Dark Blade of Woden, meant for the hand of the chosen of Frigga, goddess of love and family, as she was mate to the All Father, and Shield Sister at his side. Only she who bear the titles of the three forms of woman, sacred to Her, may wield me and become mine Einherjar, my lone warrior.
“Do you have a name?” she asked curiously. The sword seemed to laugh. “What need have I for a name? Need I boast like a man? Need I strut and preen? No, I am a part of my mistress, I am Einherjar, the same as she who bears me. I serve and protect. I need no name.
“Will you serve me?” she hesitantly asked. “I have family in chains, and none to save them but myself.” Again the sword laughed warmly. “May I serve you, Mistress?”
The sword replied. “It would seem that the one known as Puck has chosen well.”
She started at that declaration.
“The elf?” she asked curiously.“The Fey, Mistress.”
the blade corrected. “I asked for a champion, he sent you. Fitting, I think. Let us free your family.”
She reached for the blade, warm to the touch in her hand and slid it from its icy embrace.“At last!”
the sword sighed happily. “We shall find those who have wronged thy kinfolk and correct their insult.”
“One last thing.” She paused, remembering the old tales of the skalds. “I’ve heard legends that Gram will shatter when Woden's favor wanes. Will you too fail when I need you?” She asked as she turned again to the cold tundra of the cave opening. “Mistress,”
the blade chided. “Only a man goes to pieces when they are truly needed most.”
She laughed at the swords response and walked out into the cold.