Rise of the Ravenborn
As my eyes closed in Lion's Camp, they opened elsewhere.
I was not looking at the tent's roof anymore but the starlight, even that looked different. Each of the flickering lights had an unnatural, extended teal glow, and the clouds had turned into strange filaments of the same colored bright.
"What... is this?" I said as I sat. The tent was gone and I laid on the short grass that filled the mountain floor. Each of the leaves' tips glowed, so did every boulder on their edges, and as I looked the forest cast the same light as the sky. I pondered that I was not in Ivernia anymore, or at least not the one that I knew.
The sudden gurgling croak of a raven shocked me from behind, and as I looked, I saw the bird, hanging from one of the small trees that lied at the entrance of that small mountain spot. Its eyes reflected the same glow as the rest of the elements in that strange world, and they looked me in a cold way that sent a shiver down my spine.
I tried to ignore it and stood up, walking towards the precipice of that mountain range.
I turned again.
The sight of a dark shadow - the raven, now flying towards me with supernatural speed - was all I could gaze upon as I felt its sharp claws hit me in the head with enough impulse to upset my balance over the edge and fall. I shrieked out of terror as I saw Aquilax' spot disappear among leaves and branches engulfing me. I rolled and hit myself with trees, rocks, my descent into the mountain did not stop until I was all the way down into the forested valley. My body smashed against the ground, my head cracking over a boulder.
I felt my blood's warmth as it twinkled across my temple and into the ground, soon creating a small pool, and one of my eyes had lost its sight. I tried to move but the pain and the numbness in my legs and arms impeded me.
That voice again, I thought. I could not gauge where the raven had decided to rest. Perhaps he was behind me. Despite my condition, my one good eye opened and tried to see through the blood that had already begun to cover my face. It did not have to look beyond a few meters, for the raven stood before me, looking at my sorry state with stoic mockery, or so I thought.
The voice. It came from the bird!
The raven unleashed a guttural croak. It came closer and poked by eyebrow with its sharp beak.
"EYE. HEAL." the voice shouted.
"H-how?" I asked.
No answer. The raven waited.
Damn it, think you stupid... You're going to die again!
The pain made it difficult to concentrate.
The fear of death was taking me, I began despairing. However, a new sense of energy suddenly flickered inside me. Like with my fight with Falax, I did not reason it, not as much as I would when lifting a finger or simply moving a limb, even more so than breathing. I could feel sudden warmth in my good eye as I knew there was something else there. I simply knew; it was just that I had not used it before.
I noticed how the light in the tips of the leaves and the rocks, even the little insects that appeared in the ground below me, was suddenly pulled in an incandescent and light blue string towards my eye. I felt unnatural energy suddenly coursing through me as I commanded it to come to me. The light was obeying me!
The raven was growing restless, seemingly after watching some progress on my part. I had somehow obtained strength, how did I distribute it? I closed my eye and sought to contain it there for a moment, fearing a moment of doubt would make it abandon me. That worked, containing the light made it burst across my body. I wondered if just by wishing it would the light heal me, as the raven instructed.
The more I focused, the more I could feel my strength renewed, now I could feel my limbs, although some of them had to bend and crack back into their rightful place. It hurt a bit, but the pain dissipated once my dislocated ribs and arms, even my face, was suddenly healed.
I still had a large stain of dry blood preventing me from opening fully opening my eyes. My curiosity about what had happened pervaded any anger towards the bird for tossing me into the abyss.
"What are you?" What is this place?" I asked.
The bird remained silent for a moment, but then flew and stood in a tree a few meters in front of me.
"Come, wash first."
I eagerly stood up, the pain in my legs long gone, and tried to clear the blood as much as I could while following the bird. I noticed that the light in the flora and fauna that had helped me recover slowly regained their glowing nature, which made me somehow happy that I had not killed them in the process.
We walked for a few minutes. Apparently this raven had all planned, for we suddenly found a pond enlightened by the claire of the moon.
"Wash first." the bird ordered.
I indulged myself as I dived my head into the water, its cold and refreshing touch was so that I eventually dived my whole body. It was here that I realized my body was covered in the same linings as the sky, only surging with icy blue energy. As my head resurfaced, a memory suddenly came to me.
This was the place where I first arrived.
"This... Seideria..." the raven said, standing on a close branch.
It croaked once, which I took for a yes.
"Seideria? Is this not Ivernia? Why am I here?"
That word, I never heard it before but my mind, my memories from my past life bore their fruit. Seidr, a word I had read but never actually enunciated due to its unlikely use in daily life. Like my name, Baldur, it had a horse origin. It was the magic that Viking shamans used.
"I can use Seidr?"
"No... you Seidr," The raven insisted, "You commune with the elements..."
I looked at my body, the light was not blinding, and so I could see strange energy that flowed inwards towards my head, towards my eyes. I looked at the bird again.
"So who are you...?" I asked.
The raven remained silent.
I came out of the pond and saw that I was naked, like when I had arrived, earning a nice knock out punch from Aquilax.
"Follow." The raven said, then it flew past me.
"You are not going to answer that? Fine..." I came out of the pond, the normally cool winds of the valley turned icy on me. I shivered a bit but the feeling went away after a few running steps and some good stroking with my arms.
For some reason, my body felt light, perhaps the effects of being in a seemingly astral dimension.
I ran behind the bird, making sure I did not lose him in the dark, yet bioluminescent forest. We crossed some of the dense branches that surfaced over the ground, giving away the gigantic trees that ruled across that valley, also hinting their age. However, the terrain was surprisingly steep, with few hills and rocky formations in the way, it mostly consisted of what I would relate to a taiga forest with loose relation to temperate deciduous forest flora. The trees were considerably separated from one another and their leaves predominantly fell over the grass, making it difficult to move undetected.
After a few minutes, my eyes swiftly spotted a humanoid shape in a distant, small yet clearly open field of grass surrounding a giant boulder in the center, blessed with the light of moonlight. It had a contour of a different light, a red light.
I stopped, as I was merely scouting my surroundings then, mostly admiring its incandescent lights. However that figure stood out of the rest, it did not look normal, it looked alien, not at all synchronized with the colors of the woods. The raven soon following suit, looking at me, agitated.
"Do not!" The raven ordered.
"Do not! Dangerous!" it repeated.
The figure took a more detailed form where face, clothing, and ornaments materialized. A feminine figure, hooded and sporting a clean, simple mask with two holes for eyes, which glowed with intense, burning orange. I was far from the woman but my eyes somehow spotted everything, even her unusual red rod and reinforced shield that displayed glowing runes like burning carbon, and thick fur and leather armor covered her, with rabbit and other rodent pelts hanging from her waist.
The woman pointed towards Lion's Camp, apparently nonexistent in the world of Seideria, and a scorching ball of fire appeared before her rod, and by the apparent command of its creator, hurled itself towards the mountain.
"She's..." I uttered, as I began to see what was happening.
I had never seen a Noad before, but as the ball of fire began to crash down upon the mountain, I began to realize.
Another one appeared in the same fashion, only that the woman aimed it at a different spot. Both impacts caused a great explosion of fire, burning trees, and bushes in their wake.
"Do not!" the raven implored, flying towards me and snatching my hair with its claws. However, my gaze was already set on the attacker, and I waved at the bird so that it would fly away. I clenched my fist as my mind recalled all the moments the people in that camp were nice to me. They were few, yes, but good nonetheless.
Lion's Camp was under attack, and I had to do something.