Solstice

The full moon hung over us as the fire crackled and snapped. The frost had claimed most of the grass around us, and Mani’s light twinkled and danced in each straw.

Grandfather Fire had been fed and paid by our food and drink, and he repaid us with warmth and light. Grandmother Smoke had already brought tears to our eyes and clogged our throats when we spoke folly.

Around the fire Grandfather Aslak had placed thirteen pieces of firewood. One for each of the thirteen tribes. Twelve were standing, and one had fallen. The bone was carved with the moon, and Grandfather Aslak told us to keep the bone warm throughout the moot. That the cold should not take hold in it until we were done with it.

Fenja with the weaver-tainted leg spoke of the Spindler Spire growing on our land. We had attempted to find out what it was, her and I. We had failed and now the Weaver had token hold in her leg and my arm.

Jord held a rite over his father, and we learned of a Loving Father, a Lying Father and a Father Who Must Die.

We learned that war is brewing among the spirits on our land. On one side, Aros, my pack totem and a spirit that has been slumbering for too long. On the other side, Silt, the old lady. She has crafted her banner and spirits are rallying to it. It has been foretold that there will be a battle. And so we who run for Aros have begun readying ourselves for battle. We asked our sept for help, and reluctantly they agreed. This is a battle where it doesn’t matter much who wins. We’ll lose, one way or the other, for we have failed to protect and care for the spirits on our land, and now they’ve been too divided that we can bring them together again.

Katla, first among us, is with child. She tried to hide it from the sept, but Fenja smelled the truth on her. Is a Jarl obligated to hold her own word high against herself? We spoke of many things, and Katla, first among us, was accused of hypocrisy for not tearing the child from her womb, as she had sworn to do with any pregnant female in our circle.

The pup barked and screamed, his frustration painted on his face and carved in his words. As so many young he still has the luxuries of thinking in absolutes, and does not yet fully understand our ways. We tried to console him. To explain that when we laughed at his words, it was not a laughter filled with mockery or spite. Rather we see something we all once were in his words and acts. And so we laugh at ourselves.

And Magne, furious and mad Magne, scolded the pup for not listening. For not understanding. For his impatience. And he spoke long of the responsibilities that come with rank. That you should take it. That just hold it, before you can take it.

As the moot drew to a close we thanked the spirits we had called upon and pledged ourselves to. Grandfather Aslak threw the bone on the fire after tipping the twelve tribes into embers and we settled down to hear stories.

Bror and Magne shared a story of a rat king, that made their midden it’s home and throne. The pup told of his first change and the life it had cost both him and his lover. It was a beautiful night, and the sept split recharged with energy for the days to come.