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Valkyries (part 2)
Chapter 5 - dum vivimus servimus

Nadilynn dipped her blood covered hands into a large clay washing bowl and began to scrub them clean. Various surgical instruments were sprawled out across a small pedestal. Next to her lay a woman in a bed. The woman’s face was pale and caked in blood, leather straps were wrapped around her head criss-cross covering her eyes.
In the back of the room two other onlookers stood and watched as Nadilynn cleaned her hands. The first a fiery haired elf rogue, clad in black leathers, casually leaned against the far wall, her arms crossed against her chest as she watched silently from the shadows. The second a pale skinned elf deathknight, in heavy plate, stood holding her helmet not far from Nadilynn.
Nadilynn finished washing her hands and turned to the woman in the bed leaning over so her lips were close to the woman’s ear.
“Winlayna, can you hear me?” Nadilynn whispered into the woman’s ear.
The woman nodded.
“You do not have much time and you need to make a choice. You were mortally wounded at the battle of the Temple and were frozen in an icy tomb made by the titan Hodir. The spear that pierced you was cursed with the Lich King’s magic. We were able to free its grip on your soul but your body, despite my best efforts, still dies. We used small doses of altered scourge potion to preserve your body and keep you alive; enough to free you from the ice and bring you here.”
The woman reached up and touched the leather straps covering her eyes.
Nadilynn continued, “If we use any more of the scourge magic, your body will die and you will become forsaken. Without it you will die and your spirit with leave this world forever.”
“The Council has ruled it must be your decision”
Nadilynn went silent and waited. The others in the room leaned forward slightly.
Winlayna lay motionless and silent.
The three elves exchanged a look of concern. Nadilynn turned back to the woman at her side, leaned in close to her ear and whispered “Winlayna, you are the last…”
Winlayna interrupted Nadilynn and spoke in a firm tone “dum vivimus servimus”.
Nadilynn and the other two elves quickly bowed to Winlayna and replied “cor aut mors”.
After a moment of reverence, the deathknight rose and strode forward producing a large clear crystal vial filled with a bright green liquid. She set it on the pedestal with the other surgical instruments.
Nadilynn quickly put on long thick leather gloves and a mask that covered her eyes and face. She picked up a long metal tongs and grasped the crystal vial with it. Slowly she positioned it over the woman’s mouth. She turned it over slowly and the thick green liquid dripped in the woman’s mouth. As the first dropped touched her lips, her body lurched and began to convulse.
Winlayna opened her eyes to see the star painted sky shimmering with bright green streamers of the northern lights obscured only by a few branches above her. Thunder echo in the forest in an eerie cadence: boom, a short pause… boom, a short pause… boom.
She was cold, very cold. She felt a sharp pain in her side. She tried to reach for it, but could not move.
She realized she was moving. She strained to look around at her surroundings. She was cradled among large branches, the ground below her was moving. Jutting from her side was a large black spear; blood soaked her animal hide armor.
A voice groaned like a massive tree bending in a gale, “Ressst….littlllllle….one”.
Winlayna lay cradled in the branches of this massive elder as it ambled through the forest. Moments later it emerged into a familiar clearing home to the Temple of Life. Among the ancient pillars surrounding the temple, Winlayna could see Freya standing there looking into her eyes.
“Earth moth...” Winlayna’s words were cut short as blood choked off her voice and gurgled out of her mouth. She felt death’s icy grip begin to claim her body.
Freya spoke, “You three have a great destiny”
At the mention of three Winlayna’s spirits were lifted. She tried to muster her remaining strength to turn her head and look for the other two. She needed to see if they were well.
Freya went on, “It will take centuries for you to understand the importance of what you did today. Your people condemn what they do not understand. But you three fought for the lives of the innocent at the risk of your own. You remain immune to the influence of that which as corrupted your race. Like those that you saved, a path of destiny you have had since birth.”
“As a reward for the destiny you fulfilled, your spirits may rest here forever in peace at my side or you may have life anew to serve me yet again. This new life will be a curse as much as it is a blessing.”
In that moment the three saw in their minds the life that Freya would give them. Winlayna saw the life of an immortal. She witnessed the life of death of loved ones, the rise and fall of kingdoms, the death and destruction of war, and she saw the prisons of the old gods. As she gazed on the forms of the old gods in her mind’s eye, Freya’s plan was revealed to her.
There was a moment of silent contemplation, and then Winlayna spoke “dum vivimus servimus”.
The other two responded “cor aut mors”.
Freya smiled and looked to the sky. The green ribbons of the northern lights descended down from the sky and swirled around the temple. It then enveloped the three women cradled in the branches of the elders.
Freya lifted her hands and commanded “Rise my Valkyries”.
[Image: 2295174RBdsr.png]

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