THE STORMBRINGER
BY VESK LYRICAHL


As a flying fisherman flies over the land, resplendent in its grey, white, and silver feathers, the people of the Mithral Coast tell a story of its origins. Arriving always on the eve of a storm, the sea bird has been aptly named “Stormbringer”. With sorrow this tale is told, yet there is a lesson to be learned: it is not wise for mortals to seek out the gods as surely we were never meant to behold their eternal splendor.


illenia ago, when Marduran was a young town and Grothar was worshiped for the first time along the Mithral coast, a young maiden came to the temple of the Rainlord, seeking to become an apprentice. Every village along the Mithral Coast claims that their temple is the one mentioned in the tale, refusing to see reason even when their temple proved to be nothing more than a willow tree upon which prayer strips were hung! Among the coastal settlements, Marduran seems to have the most valid claim to being the origin of the myth with its majestic temple crafted of white marble.

With azure eyes reminiscent of the pale sky upon a winter morning and blonde hair akin to wheat in color, her beauty outshone that of the other girls, a rose blooming amongst thorns. Every lad loved her from the moment her gaze came to rest upon them, a sparkle of merriment ever present in those sapphire hued eyes, yet she cared naught for the boys or other girls for that matter. Often she could be found absently staring skyward, a knowing smile upon her lips as though she beheld her beloved. A soft sigh would escape her lips as the wind stirred to caress her golden locks, relishing in the sensation as if it were a lover’s gentle touch. Even as a storm raged she would stand unmoving, turning her face upward as cool raindrops fell upon her lips, silently welcoming them as she would a kiss from her beloved. Spoken words could not rouse her from her reverie, only by being roughly shaken would she awake.
 

Years passed and her beauty only ripened with age, her body developing the sensual curves for which the fairer sex is known. Ever beautiful, she was sometimes sought after as a bride for the lads from the nearby town, yet she loved only the eternal Grothar. Never focusing upon her studies and often absently daydreaming, she was quickly surpassed by the other novices as they became priests of the temple. At first an all consuming rage burned within her eyes at such an injustice, yet slowly her anger became a profound sorrow for not being able to serve Grothar as his ever faithful cleric. Without her beloved, the King of the Skies, to serve her life possessed no meaning and her destiny of becoming a cleric remained unfulfilled.

One night as a storm raged, its gusts of wind howling as those with sense remained indoors, her footsteps led her unerringly to the cliffs upon which the massive waves of the Adanian Sea crashed as if the sea sought to conquer the land with its very ferocity. Her gaze was resolute as she purposefully strode toward the edge of the cliff, straining against the wind as it blew from the turbulent sea as if Grothar himself would not allow her to end her existence in such a manner. Slowly she prevailed against the wind as she came to stand upon the edge of the cliff, declaring her love for Grothar in a melodious voice lost to the wind, before leaning forward and plummeting to the rocks below.

The winds swirled around her descending body, bearing a cape woven of a fabric unknown in this world, crafted from the evening sky itself by the Rainlord. With a final clap of thunder the storm ceased, its winds slowly calming into nothing more than gentle breezes. Time itself seemed to slow as her fall became eternal, forever upon the cusp of death. As if wrapped around her body by the soothing touch of a lover, the cape settled over her shoulders as one delicate hand reached up to fasten the moonsilver clasp. With radiant hues such as winterberry blue and Santhran violet, the beauty of the cape complimented that of the maiden.

With a startled gasp, she realized that her descent had halted as she now stood upon the air as if it were solid ground, only a few fores above the rocks destined to end her life. Gaily she soared through the sky as she flew ever upward, seeking the eternal abode of her beloved. The storm returned with a fury surpassing that of its earlier rampage, yet the elements touched her not, the rain parting as a curtain to allow her passage and the winds flowing to either side of her, taking care not to stir a single hair upon her head. Passing beyond the sight of anyone watching the skies that night, she arose above the clouds and into the realm of Grothar.

The fate of the maiden varies with each telling, yet each agrees that upon perceiving the youthful Grothar the cloak was lost to her as she either carelessly tossed it aside or it simply disappeared as it was no longer needed. It is here that the tales vary as some claim Grothar pitied her and changed her form into that of a flying fisherman, slightly larger than those commonly seen off the coast with a majestic wingspan. The colours often associated with Grothar, grey, silver, and white respectively, are said to ripple along the bird’s feathers, bestowing upon it an ethereal beauty that transcends that of a mortal bird. Whenever this particular bird is seen soaring along the Mithral Coast, farmers and sailors alike claim it to be the herald of a storm and have aptly named it “Stormbringer”. Skeptics refuse to believe that Grothar possesses such mercy or even that such a cloak or maiden ever existed. Those willing to admit the possibility of the tale stemming from a seed of truth claim that the girl fell to the sea below as her body was lost forever to its chaotic waters.

 

Story written by Vesk Lyricahl View Profile