Warnings: Death mentioned in graphic detailing, night terrors, SA implied/mentioned, overall sexism because it is the 9th century. MDNI, 18+
Pairing: Osferth x OFC
Word Count: 2099
Summary: Torn from her home country, Keavy finds herself trying to survive across the Irish sea. She happens across Uhtred and his motley crew, and finds herself befriending a monk who is determined to become a warrior.
Author’s Note: This will be a hybrid of the books and TLK show. The timelines will be adjusted for the plot and the names will match the Old English/9th Century. Please be mindful of chapter warnings as this shit will have dark moments and mature themes.
Thank you to my darling beta reader @aspen-carter for helping me with this first chapter and to my darling @killergirlfuria to help me with the summary, as I am terrible at them.
Please let me know if you would like to be added to the taglist! Dividers are by @saradika
Taglist (Tumblr kindred spirits): @aaaaaamond @sirenofavalon @annikin-im-panicin @watercolorskyy @schniiipsel @aspen-carter @aemondx @fan-goddess @babygirlyofthevale @randomdragonfires @httpsdoll @tssf-imagines
The day was warm and bright, a beautiful day suitable for the celebration of the marriage between Æthelred of Mercia to the trueborn daughter of King Alfred. Wessex swelled from the festivities, with the bittersweet smell of ale, foods, and sweat that meshed with the wave of bodies gathering within the city walls.
Osferth was tall and lithe, able to see over the heads of the crowds and surefooted to slip in-between the masses as he searched for one man in mind, as his uncle had encouraged.
Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
His life had been spent in the shadows of the monastery, well aware of his paternal heritage and unallowed to breathe a word about it. His clandestine confinement consisted of the repetition of scripture and prayer, and it did not feed his faith, but instead allowed his bitterness for his banishment to fester within.
This changed on his thirteenth name day, when Leofric came for a visit; he remembered him to be large, his voice low and grizzled as he regaled his time spent with the Dane slayer and even shared about his mother. She had died during childbirth, but his uncle swore her strength was passed to him.
“I know you are angry, little man, but this is the safest place for you right now,” and his large palm rested on his thin shoulders, a fatherly squeeze for reassurance.
Osferth was heartsore when he learned of his death; the memory of the days they spent together was something he cherished, replaying in his mind and becoming a balm for his bitterness. There was a moment of complacency until his eighteenth name day when the abbot brought him a sword and a piece of parchment; the scrawl of the words he realized belonged to his uncle and they brought a newfound peace and drive with how he spoke that a man could be set on a path, but on his steps could create his own destiny.
The letter ended with a mantra, destiny is all.
So he left the monastery, wearing his weather-beaten albe and with the baldric wrapped around his slim waist, holding the gifted sword sheathed at his side.
He traveled, following the trail of celebrators to Wintanceaster until he saw him ahead, lounging on the steps and surrounded by his men; their eyes were watchful as Osferth pushed forward, only stopping when he saw the blue eyes of the ealdorman of many monikers focused on him.
“Lord,” he began, “you knew my uncle, Leofric.”
He saw how his eyes softened at the mention of the name and Osferth knew he held his attention. “Leofric was a great man,” his head tilted up, looking over the young man.
Osferth nodded. “I have come to serve you, to be at your side as my uncle had.”
The motley men that surrounded Uhtred varied from Dane to Saxon; he heard the scoff and lilt of a dark haired, dark eyed man who muttered how they had no need for a baby monk. Osferth swallowed, “I have come to serve as a warrior, lord.” His eyes did not leave Uhtred.
He could see the quiet assessment from Uhtred, how his blue eyes surveyed him, and he then heard a smaller man, who was standing apart, who spoke out loud of his heritage beyond Leofric, that he was Alfred’s bastard.
“You are Alfred’s son,” Uhtred said, in part a question, but also a clarification. “Your father would not be pleased to learn you’ve come to offer me your sword.”
“And what has he done for me?” He struggled to smooth the bitterness that edged his tone. “Sent me away so I could become a priest or a monk, to be forgotten or simply denied my very existence altogether?” It was his turn to scoff. “But if I were to stay in Wessex, what would I expect to find? Favour?”
Uhtred raised his brows with his words and looked at his Irishman, who only shrugged in response. “You may never see Wessex again,” his eyes did not break away from him.
“Then I would give my thanks to God for that,” and their looks showed Osferth it was not the expected reply. “It is the stench, lord,” he clarified, his eyes flitting around the people crowding the city.
Uhtred grinned, but before he could speak further, a guard called to his attention that the king called for him. Osferth shifted his weight under the guard’s gaze and Uhtred stood, his eyes rolled over him once more before he said, “If you have a sword, you may stay,” and followed after the guard.
His lips curled with what he considered his small victory and his hand fell to the hilt, a pat on the pommel to reassure it was there. He felt the dark eyes of the Irishman focus on him. “Can you wield that, baby monk?” he asked Osferth.
“Well enough,” he replied and he heard a chuckle, looking behind to see a Dane with his arms wrapped around a woman whose auburn hair burned more red in the sunlight. “Though, I am willing to learn…”
“Well, thank the gods for that,” and the Irishman stepped down and placed a palm onto his shoulder, a squeeze to show comradery, or perhaps to feel for his strength, with a hold that reminded him of his uncle; his grin showed beneath his beard. “Let’s leave this noise and see what you are capable of then, baby monk.”
+ + + +
Keavy would allow her mind to return to the days she spent at the nunnery, a brief reprieve that allowed her to relive the only bit of peace she experienced since she arrived in Wessex.
She remembered the pitied look of the abbess when the slavers rolled through; she was barely ten years of age, thin, quiet, and did her best to stay hidden. There was warmth in her kindly brown eyes when the abbess looked to her and called for the cost of the little girl.
He had scoffed at first, but when she pressed he only requested a cup of ale in exchange and it was quickly provided. Keavy watched the bob of his neck, how it spilled from the corners of his mouth and stained his tunic as he downed it. He belched when it was finished and shoved her forward. “She is yours, nun, but know that she has been cursed.”
She fell to the ground, her legs weak from the weeks at sea, unable to stop herself from hitting the dirt path. Keavy felt the burn in her scars that lined the left side of her jaw and cheek, a parting gift of desperation from her mam the night their village was raided.
It was a night seared within her blood and that often returned to her with violent flashes when she slept. She remembered the cries from the villagers, how her daid handed her his dagger before taking a sword and leaving to fight with the other men. Her mam had begged and screamed for him not to leave, as anyone could see the flames curling from the rooftops, licking the night sky to the blood soaked earth that this battle was already lost.
Stories had terrorized the coast of Irland of the blood-lust traders and slavers who ravaged the shores to take whatever they deemed profitable. They spoke of how villages would be nothing but ashes, how the men would be sold off as slaves, of the horrors of what would happen to women and girls.
Her hands shook as she tied the belt around her waist, hiding the sheath beneath the layers of her skirt while her mam continued her screams. Keavy clung to the dagger as if it would keep her tethered to her daid, crying when her mam ripped it from her hold; her own hands shaking as she attempted soothing sounds that were choked by her tears. “I will not kill you, child,” she breathed and Keavy saw the manic fire in her blue eyes. “But you are far too pretty to survive across the sea.”
Her daid kept the blade sharp, his prized possession that came from his father before and his before that. She did not feel it until it nicked her jawbone and only then did she cry, the blood spilling onto her clothes; she screamed for her mam to stop and fought back to pry it from her hands when the door barged in.
They were faceless, large and covered in blood and grime. Her mam was killed without so much as a scream and another grabbed her, searching for cloth for her wound and unaware as she tucked the dagger back into its sheath beneath her skirts. He tore fabric and pressed it to her face, before dragging her from her home, dragging her towards the shore.
She would never forget the heat of the flames, how she choked on the soot and smoke as she stumbled over the fallen bodies around; her hand pressing the cloth on her face and the other gripping her side, holding the handle of the blade. There was a bold moment that seized her chest, to plunge it into his side and run to find her daid, but then she saw him, one of the dead amongst the many bodies, with his sword in his hand and his eyes empty as they bored forward.
Keavy remembered how the fear replaced and gripped her heart and her vocal chords; she would not scream because she knew that no one would come for her.
She did not know how she survived crossing the sea, nor could she remember much more than the crude stitches that were given onboard and the burn of her fever that ached her bones. “It is because God has a plan for you, little one,” the abbess would tell her.
“I am cursed,” she would say, partly in defiance, partly to watch the reaction of the abbess and her wide brown eyes.
“Hush, child,” she would scold her, as always. “That man was a godless heathen and knew not what he said. He thought your worth was equal to a cup of mead!”
The nunnery she was brought to was built to overlook the rolling field of Ebchester, with a river that curved through the hills. Here the abbess was relentless for the salvation of her soul and Keavy would allow the repetition of her fables and scriptures, palming the Celtic silver cross she wore beneath her plain tunic.
She remembered the day Lady Gisela arrived, the kindred spirit called to her and the lady was all too pleased with the bold Irish girl who shadowed her steps. The abbess allowed her to stay, Dane or not, and Keavy was delighted with her company over the other Saxon nuns.
Gisela had a kind smile and took care to answer her questions about her life before Ebchester. Keavy admired her worldly insight and her attention was rapt to the stories she told her about the love she shared with Uhtred of Bebbanburg.
“My lady, how do you know he will come for you?” Keavy asked, with a genuine curiosity of the faith Gisela held that seemed comparable, if not stronger, to the faith the nuns held for their Christian God.
“It is something you know,” Gisela smiled and it was as bright as the sun that warmed them. “You will know this when you are older.”
Keavy saw a glimpse of Uhtred of Bebbanburg, of Uhtred Ragnarsson when he arrived as the savior promised. The day began with the arrival of strange men who spouted of the power of their God and how it allowed them to marry Gisela against her wishes; the abbess held onto Keavy tightly as she struggled forward, choking on the same helplessness she felt the night her village burned.
Uhtred was a force when he arrived, barging through the doors; when the abbot refused to be quiet, he killed him to silence him. The nuns cried, but Gisela and Keavy watched him. “Child, look away,” the abbess had whispered, but she was a young woman now and could not help the sense of satisfaction she felt as she watched the abbot bleed out on the wood floors.
Keavy remembered when they had left and for the first time, she had prayed, not to a deity in specific, but the quiet prayer for Lady Gisela to enjoy her happiness. The stories she had shared stayed with her and allowed a sense of hope that she had not felt before.
Chapter 2 | masterlist
The Heathen and the Christian
Ivar the boneless x reader ( OC)
Word count: 3401
SUMMARY:When a young anglo-saxon meets Ivar in the woods, she thinks he is a nice innocent boy, only to be shocked when she finds out who he REALLY is and what he is capable of.
A/N:This is my 2nd time writing with Vikings. I hope yall like it. I am also apologizing for (possible) mistranslations of irish and icelandic. I might do a part two to this series cuz i like how its going. Also not readproof
1-Oh Cernunnos god of the forest bless me and guide me.
3-That one is mine
4- Do that again and you`re dead
Wandering the woods at this time of the year, gave any passer-by a spectacular and magical scenery. The rays of sunshine were breaking through the branches, illuminating the forest in the most wonderful ways. Summer was without a doubt the best time of the year. The weather was finally favorable for farmers, crops were flourishing and nature was thriving. But there was a downside to it. This season naturally brought along raiding parties coming from the north, with the intention of pillaging and eradicating every village in sight of any gold or treasure.
Villagers were adivsed to be extremely wary of their surroundings, and in case of any suspicious sighting to report to the guards.
Walking out of the small one-room cottage, Frigyth took her woven basket, hanging it on her left arm and took steady steps towards the neighboring woods that surrounded her village. She was a young maiden, '' ready to be married'' according to her parents, who took her tasks very lightly. She came from a typical peasant family, with three other sisters and one brother. She was at that age where she cared more about enjoying life than actually being helpful around the house.
She begged her mother days in a row to let her go harvest some berries from the woods, seeing as that was her only opportunity to explore nature and relax a tad bit. She took her already forming path that led her into a meadow, hidden from view by some on-growing bushes. She found a larger boulder, and took a seat in a dent, placing her basket next to her. She had plenty of time to finish her task, she thought, so for now she could enjoy a little bit of warmth.
Clasping her hands in a prayer-way, she took a glance around her, making sure she was alone, and started chanting an old prayer she used to hear as a child from her grandmother.
Ó Cernunnos Dia na foraoise
beannaigh dom agus treoraigh
mé tríd an bhforaois...
From a small distance, the prayer spoken by the girl was heard by a trespasser, that was lurking around in the woods seeking some alone time. Instead, the stranger took a detour and followed the voice, leading him into the hidden meadow. upon his arrival, he analyzed the young lady up closely, noticing how she had her eyes closed, and was in a vulnerable state. It would`ve been very easy for the young Viking leader to take his dagger out and kill her on the spot, which was what he should be doing, otherwise he risked getting noticed by the saxon girl, who in return would alert the whole village of the presence of Vikings.
Or perhaps he could kidnap her, get any valuable information out of her and THEN kill her. That seemed like a better idea.
The warrior got lost in his thoughts for a few moments that only when he heard the girl gasp did he snap back to the current situation he was in. The young woman that was not so long ago sat in a peaceful position was now standing up, grabbing her basket in front of her, as if she thought it would protect her from the unknown boy. You did not need to be a schooled noble to notice that the stranger`s attire was different from the regular anglo-saxon clothing, and the weapons well secured around the belt hugging his waist were a big tell-tale sign that she had just ran face to face with a Viking.
Frigyth was not sure what she could possibly do to escape this situation. If she ran, would she meet other Vikings? Or perhaps if she yelled for help, the barbarians would much faster come in to the aid of the mysterious boy and do her in. Her mind along with her heart were racing, blood pulsing through her whole body, as if it was preparing for whatever would happen next. Feeling a giddy feeling in her stomach, she spotted her way out, then she got into a running position, one leg in front of the other, slightly leaning on it and being ready to sprint at any given time.
The Viking however, seemed too lost in his tracks to think of what he should do to her. He was observing her. Long, curly hair, with a vibrant color that glimmered in the sun. He felt sort of... entranced by her?
Before he let her go, he wolf whistled at her, gaining her attention. '' I am Ivar.'' He spoke in a very thick anglo-saxon accent. Frigyth did a double-take, not being sure she actually heard him speaking in HER language. While on the outside she remained frozen, her mind was filled with multiple questions. Probably because she has never heard foreigners speak her language- or because she has never faced a norman before.
'' What is your name?'' Asked the Viking in an iritated tone. The young girl was not sure it was a good idea to tell divulge her full identity. But realizing she had no other choice, she defeteadly answered.
'' Frigyth.'' It was a simple and short answer, for which she hoped it would suffice. But by the looks on the warrior, he smirked slowly at her, watching with predator eyes as she was shifting uncomfortably her weight from one foot to the other.
'' What was that prayer you were saying earlier? It did not sound like your language.'' The maiden`s heart started beating at an alarming rate. Deep down she knew, that the prayer she was chanting earlier was considered heresy and it was forbidden among the christians. But it`s not like him, a Viking, would go and tell on her to a guard. After all, weren`t they pagans as well?
'' It`s an ancient language. I was praying to Cernunnos, the god of the forest, fertility. I- It`s forbidden to pray to any other god other than the One True God. But my grandmother used to tell me that the old Gods never left and are ever present.'' She finished, admitting what has been laying in her heart for many years, sighing in happiness when she mentioned her grandmother.
To say Ivar was shocked at the newfound information was an understatement. In all his life, he had never encountered a christian praying to a different deity. He was getting more and more intrigued by the girl, and the logical part of his brain that was constantly nudging him to kill her was shutting down completely.
The young leader-who had previously found a good sitting spot on the grass- nudged his head towards the empty place next to him, indicating to her to take a seat. With careful, calculated steps, she approached him, leaving a few centimetres between them, just in case he was going to strangle her, or who knows what else.
'' So... tell me...'' He trailed off, in hopes that the girl would tell him something about herself.
With frowning brows, she kept silent, waiting for him to continue with a question. Ivar rolled his eyes, and asked her about her family.
'' We`re but a family humble peasants .'' The Viking could tell she loved cutting straight to the chase, not giving out any other detail unless asked.
Gaining all the courage she could muster, she turned slightly towards him, asking the dreaded question.
'' Where did you come from?''
Raising his eyebrows, Ivar chuckled darkly, shaking his head softly.
'' I don`t think you want to know.'' He admitted cynically.
'' Will that get me in trouble?'' She asked shyly.
'' You could say that.'' Smiling softly, Frigyth directioned her eyes to the ground, trying to ignore the burning stares of the curious Viking whose hand was slowly reaching up to her face, pausing for a second and taking a hold of a piece of her hair, and twirling it around his finger -almost lovingly so- which made her flinch for a second, before relaxing back and letting him play with strands of her hair.
The atmosphere between the two was peaceful, even though there was silence, but it was a welcoming one, in which neither felt the need to interrupt it. It was as if an unspoken rule was set. Both simply wanted to sit down and get lost between the thousands of trees and take a break from their societal obligations. Ivar leaned back on his elbows, straightening his legs in front of him, to give them a stretch, which gave the girl a full view of his crippled legs. She widened her eyes in surprise, but quickly gained her composure when she noticed Ivar clenching his jaw in anger, averting her eyes elsewhere.
It felt like they were there for an hour or two, when Frigyth sighed sadly and stood up, clenching the handle of the backet in her left fist and started taking small steps towards the hidden entrance marked by two bushes with a beaten track in between them. Ivar frowned, his eyes following her figure sharply, similar to a wolf following his prey.
'' I should go.'' Looking at her feet, she was swinging the basket slowly in her hand, as if waiting for the boy to stop her from going, although, deep down, she knew she was running behind with her tasks and she was bound to return home eventually, and her mother would not be happy if she came back empty handed.
Ivar nodded stoically, breaking his eyes from the girl and with a loud groan, he rolled onto his back, and began crawling towards the girl, ignoring her stares of bewilderment at his methods of traveling.
'' I should probably go too.'' He responded and begudgingly so.
'' It was nice meeting you.'' Frigyth complimented, with a small voice.
'' We will meet again, christian.'' He winked at her, which caused the maiden to let out a nervous laugh, having no idea what he could have possibly meant by that, and on that note, they both departed their own ways.
Upon her arrival back home, she was welcome by her worried mother, who seemed to have a look of concern mixed with irritation displaying across her face.
'' Where have you been?! It`s almost dark outside. And what is this? This is all you gathered in all this time you were gone?!'' She pointed at her basket, which was barely filled with any berries.
Frigyth shrugged off the hand her mother had placed on her shoulder, sprinting inside the cottage. The one-room hut was warm and all her family was gathered round at the table, chatting lively amongst eachother. Her presence was sensed by her father, and one by one her siblings all paused mid-conversation, to look at the newcomer. Her father smiled warmly at her, motioning with his hand to take a seat next to him.
'' We were wondering when you would come back Frig. Your mother was worrying terribly.'' He laughed, patting her back twice.
'' And I had all the reasons to. You know what they tell us, the priests. The woods are no longer safe.'' Her mother huffed angrily, stepping into the cottage and slamming the door shut, checking the small window incorporated in it for any intruders that might be lurking outside their homes. She took her seat, next to her husband and continued eating her freshly cooked pottage.
Frigyth`s father let out a breath of air, rubbing his face with his face. The rebel daughter rolled her eyes, pretending to be oblivious to what her mother was saying. Should she tell anyone that today she has met and spoken to a possible Viking? If she did, then she would reveal to everyone that she had been slacking rather than actually gathering food for the family, and she risked losing the task she was given, and probably forced to return to her old duties, which were mostly around the cottage. So she took the smarted option, and never mentioned the encounter with the stranger.
'' I know. Aelflead and the other blacksmiths think that we are to prepare for an attack.'' The father confessed sadly.
'' What makes you think that, dad?'' The youngest sibling asked, with her curious natured eyes.
'' Because sweetie, we have been ordered by the king to forge as many swords and shields as fast as we can manage. But when we tried asking the guards why, he refused to tell us. They were all acting suspicious.'' He shrugged, ripping a piece of the wholemeal bread and dipping it in the stew.
Frigyth was starting to get nervous. What if they are about to be attacked? But again, Ivar did not look dangerous. Evenmore, he was crippled. Surely that meant he was maybe thrown out of his tribe and forced to die alone. And even if she decided to tell her family about her encounter, in what way would that help them escape the fury of a Viking raid?
The contact she had with the mysterious boy was what kept her awake most of the night, and by the time her body was exhausted and allowed her to fall asleep, the rooster was already crowing, alerting the family that it was dawn and that meant time to go back to work. However, something felt odd. While Frigyth`s family members were grumbingly getting out of bed, the young maiden heard screams and clanks of swords outside. When realization hit her, she alerted her family to be silent for a second in order for them to pay attention to what might have been going outside.
''Haeddi, take the girls and hide in the barn. Wilfred and I are going outside to see what is happening.'' The father instructed his wife. ''Here, grab this.'' He threw a newly forged seax to his son, and he took an old rusty looking blade for himself, gesturing with his head towards the door. '' Let`s go.'' With one solemn look, Frigyth`s father glanced at his girls, holding a strong and loving eye contact with his wife, silently reassuring her that everything was going to be all right.
When the girls were left alone, Haeddi looked at her daughters, trying to contain the tears threatening to spill from her eyes. '' We`re going outside. Stick close to each other. Once we reach the barn, find a hiding spot. Underneath the hay, behind it. I don`t` know. But do it as fast as you can. We don`t know what awaits us out there.'' The four girls looked at her mother, nodding shakily and following closely behind her towards the door. The mother was counting with her fingers how many seconds they had left before she would open the door and the chaos would start. Frigyth could hear the faint screams of terror coming from the villagers and once the door was open and they started running, everything went in slow motion. The action outside became more vivid. The shrieks and cries of pain were amplified and all of those made the girls run faster than they had ever done so in their entire lives.
Once they safely reached the barn, her mother grabbed the youngest offspring and she chucked them both behind some haystacks. The other two sisters went off climbing on a ladder and finding a safe space to bury in.
Frigyth was looking around, trying to find the first hidin place and duck under it, but to her terror, she was forcefully grabbed by her arm by a very muscular man, that looked like he could eat her alive. She gulped, eyes wide open and heart drumming against her chest, almost as if it was ready to jump out of her chest. He gave her an animalistic smile, that sent shivers down to her spine. Her sisters and mom were watching terrified from the hiding spots how poor Frigyth was going to get killed...or worse.
With an unmatchable force, he turned her around with her back facing him, and raising his axe and readied himself to cut her thin linen dress open, ignoring her pleas and screams to stop, but a powerful voice made him pause mid-action.
''BÍÐA!'' Both the cruel man and Frigyth turned their heads to look at whoever just stopped the brutal Viking. The girl couln`t believe her eyes. Sitting in a single seated strange looking carriage pulled by a beautiful white stallion, sat the very guy that around this time the other day she was enjoying her time with in the meadow.
''ÞESSI ER MINN!!'' Ivar approached the enormous barbarian and pulled him away from his victim by his hair, holding his dagger against his throat.
''Gerðu þetta aftur og þú ert dauður!!'' He spat with venom, letting go of him. When he looked at the shaken lady, he softened his eyes, offering a friendly hand for her to take. She shakily shook her head no, losing any trust she had in him.
Seeing how reluctant she was, Ivar huffed annoyed. '' If you come with me, you`ll be safe.'' He promised. She glanced back at her mother and sisters-who were terrifyingly and confusingly observing the interaction between the two-, looking back and forth between them and him. He instantly put two and two together, and rolled his eyes playfully. '' They will not be harmed IF... you come with me.''
But before she had any chance to speak, her father and brother came rushing to her aid. Wilfred, her brother, seemed unharmed, except for a few cuts here and there and some blood staining his blade, but her father seemed to have a pretty deep cut on his side, that was bleeding alarmingly.
'' STAY AWAY FROM MY DAUGHTER!'' Her father yelled, pointing his old and chipped sword at the Viking.
Ivar mockingly raised both his arms in surrender, faking a terrified expression. After a few moments, he then grabbed his trusty dagger, swirling it smoothly around his finger and pointing behind him at the army that was currently ravaging the village.
''See that? I am the leader of all of them. I can order them to stop anytime if I want to. That is why I am asking YOU again.'' He pointed his dagger in Frigyth`s direction. '' Are.You.Coming.With.Me?'' He asked slowly, putting an emphasis on each word, to ensure he was being understood.
The curly haired girl looked with saddening eyes at her dad, who was still clutching his sword with all his being, as if believing THAT could actually help her, then at her brother, who was copying his father`s movements, but with less confidence and then at her mother and sisters, who were all shaking their heads no and crying silently, not knowing what the outcome of this woul be.
There was no backing out of this. She had two simple but impactful choices. She either went with him, probably ending up a slave, but at least her family was safe, or so she hoped. Or she could refuse, and get killed by the previous Viking.
With determined steps, she approached Ivar, making him smirk in victory. Her father yelled at her angrily to get back there behind him, but she was already climbing Ivar`s carriage. The young ruler grabbed her hand softly, guiding her to sit on his knees, that she now got to observe, were covered in some sort of metallic braces.
Once she took her seat in his lap, he stroked her hair with one hand, while whispering in her ear. ''Good girl.'' She sat frozen in his lap, letting him wrap a strong arm around her waist to keep her steady.
She took a one last glance at her family, waving sadly at them and struggling to keep her composure.
'' They will be safe, right?! You promised!'' She asked desperately, glacing back at her house, which was now growing to be more and more far away.
'' On my arm ring.'' He pledged, placing his palm over his bracelet for a moment, showing her that he was serious about his oath. Grabbing with one arm the reins and with the other gripping her tightly against him, he yelled something in Old-Norse to the other men, fleeing the village afterwards towards an unknown location to the girl, from where a new life was about to start for her. She could only hope it was going to be good.
Etymology of the Martell and Sand’s Names
Doran, Dorea: Doran is an Irish and Gaelic name that means "fist, stranger, exile." It could also be an invented masculine version of the name Dora, which derivated from the Greek word doron (gift, freely given, without cost). Dorea was probably named after him.
Mellario: her name is an actual Latin adjective derivated from the word mellarius (of honey, related to honey, beekeeper).
Arianne: a variation of Ariana, which itself is a latinized version of the Greek name Ariadne (most holy). In Greek mythology Ariadne was the granddaughter of the sun god Helios, helped Theseus escape the labyrinth by giving him thread and married Dionysus, the god of grape-harvest, winemaking, orchards and fruit, fertility and festivity.
Quentyn: misspelling of Quentin, a French name derivated from the Latin name Quintinus (the fifth).
Trystane: misspelling of Trystan, a Welsh name that derivated from the French word triste (sad, sorrowful).
Elia: probably after the sun god Helios in Greek mythology or a shortening of the Late Latin name Aeliāna, the feminine form of Aeliānus (of the sun). It could also be a shortening of the Hebrew name Eliana (my God answered me, God answered my prayer) or a misspelling of the Old German name Ellia (other, foreign).
Oberyn, Obara, Obella: Oberyn is probably a misspelling of Oberon, the fairy king from from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare. The name Oberon is derived from the Old High German name Alberich, composed by the words alb (elf) and rih (ruler, king). Obara is probably named after him, unless she’s named after obara, the Slovene meat and vegetable stew that was usually prepared for celebrations. Same with Obella, unless her name is a misspelling of Abella, which comes from the Hebrew name Abel (breath, vapor).
Ellaria: could be a misspelling of the Hebrew name Elliora (God is my light) or the Old English name Ellerey or Elleree (alder tree).
Nymeria: probably an invented name compounded by the Greek word nymphe (young woman, bride, young wife) and the Greek name Maria, which derivated from the Roman surname Marius and could come from Mars the war god, maris (male) or mare (sea). Maria could also derivate from the Hebrew name Myriam (rebellious) which once was mistranslated to Latin as Maryam (drop of the sea). It could also be a misspelling of the Greek name Nereides (clear, unmistakable, true) which is also the patronymic of fifty sea nymphs that accompany Poseidon, god of the sea, and often help sailors in Greek mythology. It could also be delivered from the Arabic noun nimer (tiger) but I don't think it very likely.
Tyene: could be a misspelling of Tine or Tinah, both variations of Tina, which itself derivated from the shortened version of Latin female names like Bettina (diminutive of Elizabeth (God is my oath, God’s promise), Christina (follower of Christ), Constantina (constant, steadfast), Martina (follower of Mars) or Valentina (strong, healthy). It could also be a misspelling of thyme or of the Spanish verb tiene (he/she has).
Sarella: probably a misspelling of Sarah, an Hebrew name derived from the word sar (chief, ruler, prince), with the female suffix ella added at the end.
Loreza: either a misspelling of Lorenza or Lorena, both derivated from the Latin surname Laurentius which derivated from the noun laurus (laurel, laurel tree).
Masterpost: Frīg's Handmaidens Project
Who are the Handmaidens?
In the Prose Edda, twelve Goddesses are listed after Frigga as Ásynjur: Fulla, Gefjon, Hlín, Syn, Eir, Sága, Gná, Vár or Vór, Snotra, Vör, Lofn and Sjöfn. Modern Heathens sometimes refer to Them as Frigga's Handmaidens. (This is a piece of shared gnosis, not an historically attested term.) For many of the Twelve, this is all that survives in the way of attestations.
What is the Project?
Gradually over several years, and more intentionally recently, I have been building a devotional cultus around these Goddesses. As part of that, I've been putting together primers on each of the Twelve on my longform blog -- detailing Their surviving attestations, Old English God-names and epithets for Them, my own personal experiences and upg, a prayer, and devotional icon art -- as well as essays and modern myths exploring other aspects of Them and my cultus to Them.
Although I use Old English names for Them and honour Them in a syncretic heathen practice drawing on influences from across the British and Irish Isles, I hope these may be useful and/or interesting for practitioners working in a Norse, Continental, or other context. Or for anyone worshipping and building cultus to lesser-known and lesser-attested Gods!
I will update this post periodically, but if you like you can subscribe to my longform Wordpress blog for updates when I post.
Essays and other posts
Introduction to the Project
Essay on abundance, ānanda, and Fulla
Essay on Frīg and Her importance to my cosmology
The Wren and her sister: a myth of Frīg feat. Ār and Gnæ
Essay on marriage as initiation, feat. Lofen, Siofen and Āþ
Today is the anniversary of the death of St Cuthbert, celebrated as one of England’s greatest saints, he died on 20th March 687AD.
St Cuthbert was a monk, bishop and hermit of Lindisfarne who lived in Anglo-Saxon Northumbria. A wee bit geography for you, during St Cuthberts time, the area that is now Scotland was divided into three areas: Pictland, a patchwork of small lordships in central Scotland, the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Northumbria, which had conquered southeastern Scotland; and the kingdom of Dál Riata in western Scotland. Anglo-Saxon Northumbria stretched from on the East coast, the Humber, where it got it’s name, on the west from the river Mersey, up the the Firth of Forth, and what is now Dumfries and Galloway in the west.
Cuthbert was born (perhaps into a noble family) in Dunbar, now in East Lothian, at the time the region was still largely Pagan, although King Edwin of Northumbria was spreading Christianity having been converted about ten years previously. Incidentally some claim that Edwin might have given Edinburgh it’s name, but it is generally accepted the name derived from the area being known as Eidyn, from the time the Roans left, into the dark ages, the name Eidyn itself’s origin is not known.
Back to oor Cuthbert, he is known to have grown up in what is now The Scottish Borders, we know that he tended sheep on the hills above the abbey at Melrose when he was older.
t seems, from stories about his childhood, that he was brought up as a Christian. He was credited, for instance, with having saved by his prayers, some monks who were being swept out to sea on a raft. There is some evidence that, in his mid-teens, he was involved in at least one battle, which would have been quite normal for a boy of his social background.
His life changed when he was about 17 years old. He was looking after some neighbour’s sheep on the hills. (As he was certainly not a shepherd boy it is possible that he was mounting a military guard - a suitable occupation for a young warrior!) Gazing into the night sky he saw a light descend to Earth and then return, escorting, he believed, a human soul to Heaven. The date was August 31st 651AD - the night that Saint Aidan died. Perhaps Cuthbert had already been considering a possible monastic calling but that was his moment of decision.
He went to the monastery at Melrose, also founded by Aidan, and asked to be admitted as a Novice.
For the next 13 years he was with the Melrose monks. When Melrose was given land to found a new monastery at Ripon, Cuthbert went with the founding party and was made guestmaster. In his late 20s he returned to Melrose and found that his former teacher and friend, the prior Boisil, was dying of the plague. Cuthbert became prior (second to the Abbot) at Melrose.
In 664AD the Synod of Whitby decided that Northumbria should cease to look to Ireland for its spiritual leadership and turn instead to the continent the Irish monks of Lindisfarne, with others, went back to Iona. The abbot of Melrose subsequently became also abbot of Lindisfarne and Cuthbert its prior.
Cuthbert seems to have moved to Lindisfarne at about the age of 30 and lived there for the next 10 years. He ran the monastery; he was an active missionary; he was much in demand as a spiritual guide and he developed the gift of spiritual healing. Cuthbert was said to be an outgoing, cheerful, compassionate person and no doubt became popular. But when he was 40 years old he believed that he was being called to be a hermit and to do the hermit’s job of fighting the spiritual forces of evil in a life of solitude.
After a short trial period on the tiny islet adjoining Lindisfarne he moved to the more remote and larger island known as ‘Inner Farne’ and built a hermitage where he lived for 10 years. Of course, people did not leave him alone - they went out in their little boats to consult him or ask for healing. However, on many days of the year the seas around the islands are simply too rough to make the crossing and Cuthbert was left in peace.
At the age of about 50 it is written that he was asked by both Church and King to leave his hermitage and become a bishop. He reluctantly agreed. For two years he was an active, travelling bishop as Aidan had been. He seems to have journeyed extensively. On one occasion he was visiting the Queen in Carlisle when he knew by second sight that her husband, the King, had been slain by the Picts doing battle in Scotland.
Feeling the approach of death he retired back to the hermitage on the Inner Farne where, in the company of Lindisfarne monks, he died on on this day in 687AD.
His body was brought back and buried on Lindisfarne, well for a time anyway, after long journeys escaping the Danes his remains "chose", as was thought, to settle at Durham, causing the foundation of the city and Durham Cathedral. The St Cuthbert Gospel is among the objects later recovered from St Cuthbert's coffin, which is also an important artefact.
Pics are depictions of Cuthbert, the second featuring his incorrupt body from the Life of Cuthbert, a 12th century manuscript.
I have two (probably stupid) linked questions. Firstly, do we know what the purpose of skaldic poetry was? I was under the impression that it was effectively entertainment for nobles, but is that right? And secondly, do we know if kennings (specifically for gods) were used beyond skaldic poetry? Like do we know if they would they historically have been used in prayers or similar? Thanks!
For the first question, here's a relatively short paper that covers it in brief: https://gripla.arnastofnun.is/index.php/gripla/article/view/477/466 It's a little old for Norse studies but I think the general points are still considered relevant. Here's the simplified, bullet-pointed portion of the author's opinion of what skaldic poetry was for:
To serve as a medium for the chiefs' propaganda for themselves and their power.
To be the chiefs' lasting monument.
To describe the feats of ancient warriors as a model conduct.
To bring to the notice of the chiefs serious discontentment among their subjects.
If you want to look at that more in-depth, I'd recommend A History of Old Norse Poetry and Poetics by Margaret Clunies Ross (chapter 3) and Snorri Sturluson and the Edda: The Conversion of Cultural Capital in Medieval Scandinavia by Kevin J. Wanner; the latter is especially looking at its purpose at a broader sociological level much moreso than most other studies (p. 58):
Those who produced and consumed skaldic verse were not just an intellectual elite, however, but also a social/political one, and skaldic poetry was not just a form of aesthetic play, but a discursive tool capable of erecting and maintaining social and political distinctions.
On the second question, simple kennings are used throughout Norse poetry, skaldic or otherwise. The Poetic Edda is full of them I think basically anyone in the time period would have been familiar with kennings and could create or understand basic or common ones, and what makes dróttkvætt poetry's use of kennings distinctive is the level of complexity and compounding. Old English, and even some Proto-Norse inscriptions use kennings of no more than two elements (Eggja stone: nᴀseu, probably 'corpse-sea' = [blood]). These examples do come from contexts that are more specialized than everyday ones but do illustrate how widespread they were. They're also used in Irish poetry, but unfortunately I don't know much about that. We know from the Bergen runic inscriptions and other runic inscriptions that they were at least a part of the poetic culture that intersected with runic literacy; whether or not that means that people in somewhat earlier periods would also have used them is uncertain but it increases the odds.
So I don't know that I can say confidently that everyday people who weren't poets would use kennings in prayers, but it seems they were at least available to them theoretically. I also expect that while everyday people may not have been reciting poetry from orally-transmitted lineages, they were exposed to it, and probably would have at least partially seen that as a model. They're probably less common the further you get away from dróttkvæði but I expect most people knew what they were and could use them if they wanted to.
There probably are ways to answer this with more precision -- looking up kennings from runic inscriptions and then analyzing the inscriptions for social and temporal context; maybe there are studies on whether or not speech in the sagas is believed to be a reliable witness to the way people spoke. It would be interesting to study, but would take a long time.
Good evening! I’m a new follower and I have been really enjoying the takes on your blog. As an ex-Mormon, one thing that caught my eye was that you describe yourself as a Mormon folk practitioner. Do you mind elaborating either what that means to you or what that may entail? Only if you feel comfortable, of course! (Also, I sincerely hope you feel better soon!)
Hello! Your comment on one of my posts was very sweet, thank you! And no, I don't mind talking about Mormon Folk Healing at all! I think it's actually a really important part of our history that's been stolen from us that more people deserve to know about.
A lot of people are unaware that Mormonism is a syncretic religion that blends Christianity, Ceremonial Occultism, and English (and Welsh and Irish variants of) Cunningways. And as a part of that, they are likewise unaware that Old Mormonism had a rich healing practice which sat at the center of the faith until actually quite recently.
Mormon Healing was a blend of Indigenous and Old Word Herbal Healing + Prayer, Baptisms, and Oil Blessings based on Biblical scripture + English / Irish / Welsh Cunningways. And it formed two major lines of practice: A robust Temple Ritual and Liturgy practiced by both Lay and Clergy alike (predominantly centered around Nauvoo) -- and a robust Folk Healing Practice participated in predominantly by the Lay People (especially after Nauvoo was decentralized); neither were seen as superior, but the later rose out of the former based on accessibility as the Mormons moved Westward, and the Church actively supported both variations of the practice.
Originally it was practiced by all genders within the Church, and all were ordained with both Healing and Prophetic abilities during their Priesthood Blessings. As time progressed, though, it became the primary domain of Mormon Women even within the Temple variants- with them being the ones to not only perform Bathings and Baptisms, but also to even pass on the remaining liturgy to other women. Eventually, however, it was near-completely abandoned and the (by that time) two remaining rituals were consolidated under the male Priesthood entirely in the 1920's; the primary of those two remaining rituals is the Pouring of the Oil ceremony- which is a ceremony Elder DO has openly spoken about, at minimum, at least as recently as the 2010 General Conference.
If you're interested in learning more about the really interesting (and now nearly erased) magical syncretism of Mormonism and its rituals, I have quite a few suggestions and links floating around here as I putter about my own research into the topic- including 'Visions in a Seer Stone: Joseph Smith and the Making of the Book of Mormon' by William Davis and 'By Our Rites of Worship: Latter-Day Saint Views on Ritual in History, Scripture, and Practice', by Jonathan Stapley (my Library has more books on Mormonism in the "Abrahamic" category), plus my "Mormon Folk Healing" tag. There's also a lot still left in my que, since I'm actually still in the process of moving over content from my old blog.
I'm an ex-Mo Apostate, however. My name has been formally stricken from the records, and it took me a lot of time to get that formalized. So while I do practice these rituals, I don't personally do so as a Mormon- but from a historical perspective as someone whose Ancestors were some of the first Mormons and therefore claims Right-to-Magical-Inheritance. And I practice all of my Christian syncretic magics (including my likewise unsanctioned Braucherei) in the names of HaShem, Adam, and Chava, in honor of my Jewish ancestors from Ukraine; I talk about this a little on my "Definitions of my Craft" set of pages (especially on the "Healer" page, in regards to these two).
Thank you for the well wish <3 I really appreciate it! If you have any more questions about it, feel free to ask them!
White Picket Chemtrails (Part 3)
Jack Nelson x OC Louise (Jack’s mistress) x OC Elizabeth (Jack’s wife)
Summary: Jack Nelson is married to the perfect society wife with two sons to carry on his legacy, but when Jack’s young mistress falls pregnant he can’t let her go. Who will he choose?
Author’s Note: This is a bit longer than Part 1 and 2 because I hope to finish it with the next part I release. I feel it may be slightly unclear in the story so I will clarify here that Sean is working for both the Italian mafia and the Irish mob which will cause problems later.
Warnings: 🔞, smut, language, pregnancy, cheating, mention of childbirth, assault, kidnapping
Part 1, Part 2
“Jack, what’s she doing here?” Elizabeth asked in a controlled voice. She had to be quiet unless she wanted the entire congregation to hear her.
“Who, Betty?” Jack whispered, looking up from prayer to glance around the church.
Elizabeth nodded her head in the direction of Louise and Sean, sat in the pew three rows behind them across the aisle. “She’s attending mass with her husband. Leave them be,” Jack said curtly.
“Since when is she married?” Elizabeth continued her questions undeterred.
“I don’t know, a few months I think the fellas said,” Jack brushed her off before lowering himself to kneel.
After mass Elizabeth was caught up in a conversation about an upcoming church function and Jack was able to slip away in the crowd. He quickly found Sean and hissed at him, “They don’t got churches in the city anymore? What the fuck do you think you’re doing here?”
“Relax, Jack, Louise wanted to see her sister. I didn’t think you’d mind,” Sean said nonchalantly. He could tell Jack was upset, but he was enjoying making him suffer a little for the things he had done to Louise.
“Where’s Lou? You need to get her out of here before my wife comes over,” Jack said uncomfortably.
“Bathroom,” Sean said jerking his chin toward the hall. “See, there she is,” he said face lighting up at the sight of her.
Louise brightened when she saw Jack, although her eyes didn’t meet his as she beamed a radiant smile in his direction. As she came to stand next to Sean, her gaze seemed to be only on her husband. Jack hoped this was all part of their act as a happily married couple, but it still didn’t sit well with him. He wanted Louise on his arm, draping herself over him. She was beautiful in her lilac dress and hat, a rosy glow painting her cheeks.
“You look well, Louise,” Jack said wanting to take her by the hand and run with her, lead her anywhere he could devour her plump lips like he used to every day in his office. He glanced at her hand on Sean’s arm once more and wished her brightly colored nails were raking through his hair. Before his daydream could continue, Elizabeth surprised them.
“Is that you, Louise?” Elizabeth said in a saccharine voice. She greeted Louise like an old friend, but Jack knew better.
“Good morning, Mrs. Nelson,” Louise said demurely, clutching onto Sean more tightly and fidgeting in her shoes.
Elizabeth continued, “You know, I really couldn’t tell. You spent so much of your time in my husband's office on your knees. I never got to look into your eyes." Turning to Jack, her smile disappeared as she adjusted his tie to an uncomfortable tightness, "I’m sure Jack never did either."
Jack captured her delicate wrist in a painful grasp. “Elizabeth, you’re being rude. You haven’t even introduced yourself to Mr. Doyle, sweetheart,” he said through gritted teeth.
Elizabeth pulled away with a breezy laugh and extended her reddened hand to Mr. Doyle. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Doyle. Is Louise your secretary now?” she quipped.
“Louise is my wife, ma’am,” he said. Extending a hand to stroke Louise's swollen stomach protectively, he added, “We’re expecting our first child in the fall.” Out of the corner of her eye, Louise noticed Jack’s fist clench by his side at Sean’s words and she looked away unable to bear the lie.
“I see. Well, you have been a busy little bee, my dear,” Elizabeth said continuing to misbehave.
Feeling the tension rising, Sean said, “We really should be going, Jack. It was nice to meet you, Mrs. Nelson."
“One more question if you’ll indulge me,” Elizabeth said sweetly. Sean and Louise stood in awkward silence, dreading the thought of what she might say next. “Where did you two meet? I love to hear stories of young love,” she said looking between them with a wicked smile.
“The laundromat”/“The pictures” they answered at the same time.
“How interesting,” Elizabeth said. “I’ve never been anywhere like that. Have you Jack?”
Without answering her, Jack began to lead Betty away by the arm, “Enjoy your afternoon,” he said over his shoulder.
She broke free saying, “Get the car, I want to go home where we can talk. I have a few things I want to say to you.”
Once they had returned home and the boys were outside playing, the arguing began.
“How fucking stupid do you think I am, Jack?” Elizabeth said throwing a bottle from her vanity at him. “It’s obvious that man never saw her before in his life! They couldn’t even tell me where they met!”
“How should I know? The girl left my office months ago," Jack said attempting a rebuttal.
"Three months ago, Jack. What is she six, seven months pregnant now. I can do math. Can you?" she said angrily tossing a hairbrush at his head.
"I don’t know her life. She got knocked up and got married. So what?” Jack said hoping she would run out of energy soon. There hadn’t been anything damaging connecting him to Louise's fake marriage so he felt safe denying the accusations.
Elizabeth stalked over to Jack and stood directly in front of him, studying his face. Running a hand across his cheek she said, "I know you, baby. I saw the way you looked at her today. You fucked up, didn’t you? Tell me.”
Jack took Elizabeth’s shoulders in his large hands and caressed her softly. He held her gaze for a moment before saying, “Betty, I swear to you, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The continuous lies were more than she could bear and Elizabeth smacked him across the face before pummeling him with her fists. Jack allowed a few blows to strike his arms and chest before restraining her. She continued to thrash and kick before he pushed her against the wall harshly. She was breathing heavily, hair hanging in her face as he brought his lips to her ear.
“How could you think I’d want anyone but you? You’re the mother of my children.” Jack tried to flatter her. He held her jaw in his hand as he placed open mouth kisses to her neck until he reached her mouth. Elizabeth kissed him back and when she felt him relax, she bit down hard on his lower lip. Jack stumbled backwards, placing a hand to his bleeding lip as he heard Betty cry, “And now Louise is too. How could you let this happen?”
She straightened her hair and clothes and went to the closet. When she returned she flipped open the top of her suitcase and began packing her things with a quiet sense of calm that unnerved Jack. Elizabeth was a passionate person who always said she would fight for their marriage no matter what. Her sudden lack of concern for their fight was deeply troubling to him.
“I’m going to the beach house with the boys, but I don’t want you there,” she said moving to the boys’ room to gather their things. Jack tried to grab her arm, but she dodged him flashing him an angry look. “Don’t touch me,” she warned.
“Can I call you?” he asked finally as she carried the suitcases to the car.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. At least not until you’re ready to tell me the truth,” she said calling the boys over.
Jack watched her pull away and went inside for a drink. He wondered how the day had gotten so out of hand. He replayed every moment of their conversation punishing himself. As he sat pondering, the maid arrived to cook supper. Jack dismissed her telling her he wouldn’t be needing much as his wife and children were taking an unplanned vacation.
“Should I call and cancel with the ladies in Mrs. Nelson’s bridge club? She was going to host it here this week, sir,” the maid informed him.
“Yeah, sure,” Jack said sitting back in his chair, rubbing his temples.
She excused herself into the hall to begin the phone calls and Jack’s ears began to burn as he listened to her first call. “May I speak with Mrs. Mike Kelly please?”
It had been one month since Elizabeth had taken the boys and Jack hadn’t heard much from her beyond the occasional call she allowed the boys to make. The smell of her perfume was beginning to fade and he wondered if she would ever return. In the days they spent apart, he began thinking of their history together and how she’d always been by his side to strategize each new move he would make to become more successful. She told him he had to be bold and ruthless in order to get what he wanted. Sometimes he thought she was speaking more about herself.
She aligned herself with powerful friends which is why her bridge club was filled with so many influential people. Jack had known this, but as husbands often do, he had forgotten the details of his wife’s day to day life. How he had managed to forget Patricia Kelly’s presence in his home once a month was beyond his rational mind. However, his preoccupation with Louise and their situation had taken a great deal of his concentration recently. He had no doubt Patricia was the one who had informed Elizabeth about Sean. Being a clever woman, Elizabeth would have put the pieces together connecting Sean and Louise. If Jack hadn’t been so livid, he would have stopped to realize how impressed he was by his wife’s cunning use of banal social occasions to spy on him.
Meanwhile, Louise was trying hard to forget Jack. Sean provided solace from the harsh reality of her relationship with her former lover. If she could still call it a relationship. He only turned up occasionally for dates as though it were more of a chore than something he genuinely enjoyed. It made her feel like an obligation.
The place she felt most at home now was curled into Sean, her back resting against his chest and her hand intertwined with his over her belly. She found her thoughts drifting to a future with him instead of Jack. Sean had proposed a plan to leave Boston and work for the Spinietta family in New York. He was already in contact with them so the move would not be difficult. However, she felt guilty for considering it because Jack was the father of her baby. Leaving Boston meant denying him the right to get to know his own child. Despite the problems in their relationship, she couldn’t imagine being so cruel.
It was hard to deny the way Sean cared for her though. In fact, she woke the next morning to a blissful sensation in her core. She tried to rub her legs together only to feel Sean’s large hands keeping them apart. Still sleepy she moaned and writhed in pleasure as she heard him hum against her, “You taste so good, baby.” She tried to arch her back and push her hips closer to his tongue and he hushed her, “I got you, sweetheart. Lay back and let me make you feel good, hmm?”
She nodded and fell back against the soft pillows, enjoying the feeling of Sean’s hot breath ghosting over her. He took his time drawing lazy circles around her clit with his tongue before moving away to suck lightly on the skin of her thighs as his fingertips teased her entrance. She whined for more, but Sean continued a slow path to her release. Fucking her slowly with his tongue, nose bumping her clit until she came softly in gentle gasps.
Pulling away to suck softly on her oversensitive clit, he pushed two fingers inside her and hooked them into the spot that drove her wild. She let out a strangled moan at the feeling of being forced to the edge again so quickly and another blinding orgasm hit her soon after. Sean continued stroking her walls, watching with delight as her legs shook, enjoying the feeling of her clenching around his fingers, wishing it was his cock. He listened to her breathing even out before he withdrew his fingers, licking them clean. Then he placed a long, slow kiss to her mound. Joining her on the pillow next to hers, he stroked her hair and praised her lovingly, “So good for me. You’re so beautiful.”
“M tired now, Sean,” she mumbled.
“It's ok. Rest, angel,” he said rubbing her stomach with care. He pulled the blankets over her body gently and watched as her eyelids closed. He couldn’t help the overwhelming need he had to protect her.
As Louise’s due date approached, Jack became irritable and short tempered. Elizabeth was still away and Louise was acting oddly. He could feel her affection for him fading whenever he would visit. He couldn’t tell if it was her advanced stage of pregnancy altering her mood, but he knew something was off. She was never far from Jack’s thoughts, however, even as he entered a meeting with Mr. Kelly that afternoon.
“We have a serious problem on our hands with the Italians, Nelson. An entire shipment of our finest merchandise was stolen last week and nobody seems to know anything about it. Although, I hear it’s all over the New York market now, so do you care to tell me what happened?” Mr. Kelly said as he sat back in his chair smoking a cigar.
“I’m aware, sir. We’ve recovered nearly half and we’re trying to find out who gave them the location. Trust me, I’ve been as persuasive as possible,” Jack assured him gesturing toward his weapons.
Mr. Kelly slammed his hand on the desk, “Goddammit, I want a name! Nobody steals from me, you understand?”
Jack clenched his jaw, “Yes, sir.”
Mr. Kelly stroked his mustache thoughtfully, “I trusted you when it came to that business about Doyle a few months ago and now this. I hope I didn’t make a mistake trusting you with so much responsibility.”
“No, sir, I’ll handle it,” Jack said turning to leave.
“One more thing,” Mr. Kelly said calling after him. “You're not focused these days,” he said stubbing out his cigar in the ashtray with a dissatisfied look. He leaned forward saying, “It’s none of my business what you do at home, but Patricia tells me Elizabeth’s been gone for awhile.” He wagged his finger at Jack as he proclaimed, “When a man loses a woman like that, his whole world falls apart.”
“It’s not like that. She’s on vacation with our boys,” Jack said flatly, hoping his boss would drop the issue.
“Well, I’d get her back here if I were you. You’re shit without her,” he said bluntly.
An order from Mr. Kelly meant something and knowing his wife, Patricia, would be checking, Jack reluctantly picked up the phone to call Elizabeth. He still didn’t know what to say to bring her home, but he knew he had to start with an apology.
Calling his wife from a pay phone he was surprised when she didn’t immediately hang up. Listening to the sounds of his sons playing rambunctiously in the background, he smiled to himself before beginning, “You’re right, Betty. I fucked up and I’m sorry. I miss you and the boys more than you know. I want you to come home,” he said realizing how much he meant the words as he spoke them.
“Why now, Jack?” she asked simply.
“I gave you space, Betty, but I can’t do that anymore. There’s gonna be a war with the Italians soon and I can’t protect you if you’re so far away. I know you don’t trust me much right now, but you can ask Patricia and she’ll tell you the same.” He knew adding that detail would prove he knew she had connections that would keep him honest. It would be the insurance she needed to accept his invitation to come home and for the sake of her boys, she did.
“Louise, I need an answer, please. Are you coming to New York with me or not?” Sean said desperately.
“Sean, I can’t travel now. You know what the doctor said,” Louise explained.
“I would never ask you this if it wasn’t urgent. There’s been a problem and it could be bad for me if I don’t go now,” Sean said cryptically.
Louise approached him carefully taking his head in her hands. Looking deep into his eyes she asked with concern, “Is everything alright?”
He laced his hands over hers and took a deep breath. “I don’t want you to worry,” he said.
“You didn’t answer me, Sean. I need to know we’re safe,” Louise said feeling herself becoming upset.
Brushing the hair from her face gently to calm her, Sean finally revealed, “Sweetheart, look, I’ve had to make some deals with the Spinietta family that are going to make the Kellys unhappy for awhile. It’s nothing for you to worry about, but we can’t stay in Boston.”
Louise chewed her lip, thinking of Jack once more. Her feelings for Sean were overwhelming now and she could no longer deny that he was the man she wanted. Without another thought she agreed, “Yes, I’ll go with you.”
However, before a single bag was packed, Louise went into labor and Sean rushed her to the hospital. It wasn’t until after the birth that either of them thought to call Jack.
“Where’s Lou?” Jack asked rushing into the maternity ward.
Sean stood to greet him and said, “No one’s allowed to see her yet. She had a rough time, Jack. The baby's two weeks early. They both could've died.”
“What do you mean? She’s alright, isn’t she?” he asked nervously.
“Sure, the doctor said they both need some rest is all,” Sean nodded. The men waited together until they were allowed back to see Louise. Jack entered the sterile room hesitantly, unsure how he would find Louise.
She sat in bed, looking tired, but as beautiful as ever. She smiled when she saw him and Jack took that as an invitation to pull up a chair beside her. He held her hand and asked with a wide smile, “Hey, baby doll, how ya doin?”
“I’m okay, I guess,” she said. Looking over at Sean she asked, “Did you tell him?” Jack’s eyes flicked to Sean who shook his head.
“It’s a girl,” she said proudly.
“He knew?” Jack asked, obviously feeling hurt.
“The nurses told him when I was delirious, Jack,” Louise explained softly.
“Sure, sure,” Jack said trying to brush off the slight. “Have you thought about a name?” He said rubbing a thumb over her hand. “I was thinking maybe Joan? My mother’s name was Joan. I don’t know if I ever told you that,” he said quietly.
"Jack, about the name..." Louise began, but she was interrupted by a knock at the door.
A nurse entered the room with a clipboard. “Mr. and Mrs. Doyle, we have the birth certificate paperwork for you to sign. I’ll leave it here,” she said placing it next to Louise.
When she had left, Jack studied the document. Reading it aloud he said, “Maryanne Doyle. Mother: Louise Doyle. Father: Sean Doyle.” Trying to control his temper he looked at Sean angrily. “You put your fucking name on my daughter’s birth certificate?”
“What did you expect? We’re married, Jack, it would look odd if I didn’t,” Sean replied in an even tone, attempting to avoid a fight. He had no interest in engaging Jack in a pointless argument that would only upset Louise.
Jack looked to Louise whose eyes had gone wide with fear. “Lou, we said you’d only list your name until we could change it, remember?”
“I don’t ever want a record that she’s a bastard…Besides, I don’t believe you anymore,” Louise answered honestly. Jack sat in stunned silence as she continued. “You keep saying you want me and the baby, but all you really want is to keep us from belonging to someone else.”
“So you want to belong to him? Is that what you’re telling me?” Jack said clenching his jaw at the thought. Louise dropped her head into her hands and wept softly. Sean came to her side and offered her a handkerchief. She accepted it and leaned into him for comfort.
In that moment, Jack realized she had made her choice. He ran a hand over his face and let out a long sigh along with the sad exclamation, “Jesus Christ.”
“Can I have a minute, please. I don’t feel well,” Louise said. Sean gave her shoulder a squeeze and nodded his head toward the door indicating Jack should follow.
Sean closed the door quietly and stood facing Jack awkwardly. “I want to see my daughter,” Jack said without making eye contact.
“You shouldn’t say that here,” Sean said quietly, leading him in the direction of the nursery.
“What the fuck did you say to me?” Jack said loudly turning on his heel to come nose to nose with Sean.
“For God’s sake, lower your voice. Don’t make this worse for Louise,” Sean implored putting his hands on Jack's chest to keep him away.
Grabbing Sean by the collar, Jack threw him against the wall, hissing “You piece of shit! You were jealous so you tried to screw my business and my girl? That was a big mistake!” Leaning in closer, he whispered one last threat, “But it's not me you have to worry about anymore. You'll be dead in a year because the Spiniettas and the Kellys want you dead now.” He threw him away and Sean stumbled to regain his balance, coughing and sputtering, under the towering form of the taller man. Sean glared at him before wordlessly returning to Louise’s room.
Jack straightened his jacket to compose himself before looking down the corridor. He continued to the nursery, intent on laying eyes on his baby girl. Shoving his hands in his pockets, he surveyed the babies in their bassinets carefully, until his eyes rested on the the name tag reading “Baby Girl Doyle.”
His gaze immediately softened as he caught sight of the smallest infant in the room. Sleeping peacefully under a pink cotton blanket with silk edging was a perfect copy of Louise. She had a shock of dark hair and a button nose. Jack inhaled a sharp breath at the sight of her.
He held his large palm to the glass, wishing he could touch her. As he watched her bring a fist to her chubby cheek, he felt a surge of love course through his body, followed by a deep sense of remorse for everything he would be unable to give her.
A nurse appeared and said, “Sir, visiting hours have ended. Unless you’re one of the fathers, I need to ask you to leave.” Jack stood watching his daughter’s tiny chest rise and fall, transfixed by the sucking motions she made with her mouth. “Sir, are you the father of one of these babies?” she repeated with a bit more urgency.
“No,” he said swallowing harshly. “I’m not,” he said turning to leave without glancing back.
The next day, Elizabeth and the boys returned home to Jack. He had never been so happy to welcome them. With Louise fading from his mind, Jack was determined to rebuild Elizabeth’s trust.
One month later…
“Such a lovely child!” One woman stopped to coo at the tiny baby in the carriage.
“Darling!” Another woman said sweetly, leaning in to see for herself.
“Thank you,” Louise said smiling shyly, as she straightened the blankets over her baby girl. She always got this kind of reaction when she took Maryanne for her daily stroll in the fresh air. Although the baby was still a bit frail from being born prematurely, she was a beautiful child and garnered lots of attention. It made Louise beam with pride.
As Louise rounded a bend toward a secluded part of the park’s path, a dapper looking gentleman in a suit leaned over the carriage to compliment her as well. When she looked at him to offer a polite smile, she noticed his grin turn sinister. Then Louise felt someone grab her from behind and clap a hand over her mouth. Thrashing wildly and attempting a muffled scream, the man in front of her hushed her.
“There’s no need for hysterics, Mrs. Doyle,” he said holding up a gloved hand. “We’re not here to hurt anyone. We just need you to relay a simple message,” he said reaching into the carriage.
Seeing him touch her child caused Louise to fight back with renewed desperation, but she quickly became dizzy from lack of oxygen when he placed a hand around her throat. As her vision started to turn black at the corners she heard the man say, “Tell your husband, business is like family. We have nothing without trust in each other. You'll get your daughter back when he's learned to show loyalty.” He began to walk away with the screaming child as Louise lost consciousness and fell to the ground in a heap.
Continue reading Part 4
Tag list: @retromafia, @daddyjack-nelson, @shelbydelrey, @theshelbyslimited, @kittycatcait219, @peakyswritings, @evita-shelby, @tommydoesntpayforsuits, @peakyrogers, @wandawiccan60, @easilyobessedbutflighty, @severewobblerlightdragon, @kpopgirlbtssvt,@lovemissyhoneybee, @renderedspeechless, @slytherisstuff, @watercolorskyy, @cillmequick
The Priest and The Apostate
CW//Mpreg, Non-Con, Religion, Demons, Tentacles, EggPreg
That morning was quiet, a typical Monday after seeing the local congregation all together at Sunday Mass, and now all had to return to their daily lives until next Sunday. Father Fox didn't mind it all too much, he enjoyed the moments of solitude he got after dealing with every little old lady in town barricading him, thanking him for such a beautiful service. The people of the town respected him as their only clergy man and so attention was constant, not unappreciated, but just overwhelming and sometimes he needed a good reason to get away.
There was peace in the church, the only signs of another human was a fellow older gentleman, lighting a candle and soon leaving the building after a quick prayer, along with Sister Saoirse leaving the sacristy before wishing Father Fox a cheerful farewell. After all, it was starting to get late and Fox would soon have to return to his parochial house to settle down for the night.
Although the old man took to the habit of sitting in the confessional boothe before returning home, in case any anonymous people wished to have their sins forgiven. But Father Fox, now used to the congregation, knew the voices of everyone, so there wasn't much secrecy on who was on the other side, but he would keep such things between only him and God.
He rested himself on the hard wooden seat in the confessionals, smoothing out his cassock to prevent creases. Taking a deep breath and sitting in silent prayer. There was some unusual favours he prayed for from God, or whoever up there cared to listen.
His whole life he had spent studying for priesthood and as soon as that was achieved he had been sent to the smallest parish known to man in a village in a small county and now in his old age, close to retirement, he prayer for at least one thing new to happen.
But, never considered that he should be careful for what he wished for.
He was suddenly pulled out of his moment of prayer only to hear the large, wooden front door being tugged open and slamming shut, and soon footsteps. At first, Fox assumed it was Sister Saoirse, but the footsteps were too heavy and intrusive for such a shrinking violet as herself, so more likely was it one of the older nuns, like Sister Assumpta, she always let her presence be known. Yet again, it still sounded to heavy too be her own, and last he recalled, the old woman never wore heels that made loud and ear shattering clacks against the hardwood floors. There was also a distinct smell as the unknown figure came closer to the boothe. That of... Cigarettes? No, smoke, from a fire. If it were not for the unusual and unfamiliar sounds of the footsteps, he would have assumed that it was some old farmer who just got back from burning down bushes on his land.
Of course, Father Fox's attention was met and his arms were open to any lost soul wishing to pray their sins away. The unknown figure did after all, take a seat in the boothe, on the other side of the panel. Fox couldn't see much from the dotted, metal sheet that separated them, but he could make out jet black hair and a sort of beard... Then the figure spoke.
"Father. I wish to confess, for I have sinned."
The voice was so unfamiliar. It didn't sound like the typical Irish country man, nor did it sound like anyone he knew at all. He must not have been from the town, of course that was no excuse to turn down any child of God.
"What troubles you, my child."
The stranger cleared his throat with a cough, which seemed to allowed his breath to be so intrusive and Fox could soon smell it. Once again, it just smelled of smoldering ash, burning rumble, fire and even Satan's own sulfur. Fox tried to find reasoning for this, assuming that maybe this man worked in some sort of factory.
"Well father. I'm a restless man, a vagabond. I've been from town to town. And I've caused a lot of trouble."
Father Fox cocked his brow.
"What troubles have you caused?"
"Well, you see. I like to drink, father."
Fox couldn't really judge him too much for that, he himself enjoyed a tipple of sherry or port some nights.
"And well, it makes me become, more promiscuous."
This was the part that made Fox blush. Never had he really heard about much in the ways of Lust, besides the few lonesome people that come to tell him about what they did alone in their bed that night, and wished not to see the fires of Hell for.
"You see, I just get so drunk that I'll fuck everyone. And I'm rather popular with everyone I sleep with and they always come back for more, so I can't help myself."
The sudden rudeness of his words made him jump out of his seat almost. Not hearing anyone mutter such words around him.
"Well, first of all, that's two Hail Marys for that language."
"Ah, sorry Father. As I was saying. I just can't seem to keep my cock in my trousers."
Father Fox got startled by such words again, blessing himself for hearing such profanities.
"Not too long ago I was in another village, not too far from here. Lovely place. But they had a new priest. Fresh out of Seminary School. Young man, a little wet behind the ears. You know. But needless to say he wasn't cut out for the job, cause I had him riding my cock in no time, and he wouldn't stop begging me for it afterwards."
Father Fox felt as if he was going to have a heart attack with what he had just heard. Another priest committing such acts with a stranger like this. He almost couldn't speak, from the sudden shock.
"You probably don't know him. He was quick to leave the place."
Fox's throat was all choked up, he couldn't say a word, he couldn't move a muscle. He was almost sick from the thought of the profanity of it all, but then he felt something unusual. Something he hadn't felt in a long time.
"There was another priest. Another parish of course, but he was an older man. A real arsehole, who wasn't much fun. Somehow I convinced him to let me plow my cock into him."
That's what Fox felt. A sudden, sickening arousal from the man's words, no doubt the same words to entice those other priests.
"Yeah, I had him face down behind the pew, ramming him cock into him until he was screaming my name. Begging that I don't stop."
Fox felt the arousal creep through every inch of his body. First his cheeks felt flush and his stomach clenched and his limbs went heavy. A spark of adrenaline rushed through his body, followed by the slow precession of ecstasy that waded through his very begin, from mind, into his body, cascading into his soul, and causing the blood to rush right to his penis, making it stand up right, forming a small tent in his cassock. It was a feeling he hadn't felt in years. Not since he was a lad, not since his adolescent years when he was first sent to seminary school and would come to realise his desires towards his own sex.
The years he had spent with pent up arousal had dimmed with age, but now it was all coming back.
"Of course I wasn't just done with that old man. Of the amount of nuns, monks, priest, bishops, decons, archbishops I've had my way with. I think I knew a Pope well."
The mysterious stranger began to laugh. His once shy and regretful sounding voice now became one of joy and laughter, and if only Fox knew of the Sadistic turn it would take.
"I recall some of them, because I used to leave parting favours for them. Almost like my own little form of a calling card."
There was a sudden feeling, that of something slimy and slug like, maybe even more like an aquatic creature, inching it's way up Father Fox's leg, jolting from his ankle, up his calve and latching on to his inner thigh, feeling it's sharp suction cups, that of a cephalopod.
The tip of this tentacle like appendage reached out in the direction of Father Fox's groin, which now was pulsating with excitement, despite the thoughts of fear and uncertainty, confusion and dismay that cycled through his mind.
"You know the story of fallen angels. I'd assume so. Well they were also well known for their dalliances with humans and the creatures they left behind. I'm no stranger to it myself."
The tentacle was now crawling along the base of Father Fox's cock and running up the shaft to reach the tip, causing it to ooze his pent up seminal liquids.
Another tentacle raced up the side of the wooden chair that the old priest was now stuck to, and darting straight for his behind, slipping its way under his cheeks to soon been stopped by the fabric of his clothes, not allowing it entrance at first, but one or two cut seams later and soon the auxiliary tentacle was scurrying its way up his rectum.
"I think you're just like those others. Sure, to the these people you're a good man of the cloth, but on the inside you're just as sick and perverted as any other man or woman. You too long for the excitement of lustful persuits. But not to worry, be glad that I helped you find this out."
How could Fox even hear, nor concentrate on such monologuing, when he was now being fucked by something so demonic and ungodly as the feeling of a sea monster ravaged his insides. Spreading his whole and pushing forward until meeting with its sweet spot.
The stranger went silent, only the sound of the wriggling, pulsating tentacles could be heard. It was soon replaced by the slithering of another appendage that now crawled its way from a passage made by the man on the other side. It didn't look like the two other tentacles. It resembled more of a tube like shape or a siphon. It followed the way of the second tentacle that had crawled its way up Fox's backside and was even led in by it.
Only one three words could escape Fox's quivering lips.
"Please. Don't. Stop."
And why would he, now he had Fox in place and the siphon was now crawling up his hole and reaching to the end where the other tentacle was stopped. There was a sudden bulge at the base of the siphon which pushed its way up, but then stopping when reaching Fox's cheeks, not being able to get underneath.
For a moment the stranger thought he would have to call upon another tentacle to help the priest up and to allow the turnip sized object to get through, but it seemed the old man was compliant now, pushing himself up from his seat and allowing the object to make way.
At first of course the object was stuck, pushing at Fox's opening. It was simply too large to fit, but it wouldn't seem to allow such resistance against it, giving it one more push before shooting up his body and into his stomach, causing it to suddenly bulge.
Fox's stomach felt heavy. The object felt like it weighed at least a kilo, which wasn't great for Fox as another object made its way up the siphon and into his stomach, weighing roughly the same as the other one and causing his overtaxed stomach to stick out even further.
Five more of the same sized things followed behind the last, each one shooting up into his belly, causing sudden surges, but each time would make it feel as if he was being roughly fucked by some large demon, shoving it's cock in and out of his begging whole.
Another three eggs followed behind the five, except they looked a tad larger, maybe the size of a celeriac. And like the other five they shot right into his stomach, finding room within his now vast belly.
Fox's mind could only process so much, but when he glanced down he noticed a huge change in his once, tall and slender figure. His stomach was gigantic. Full of these strange objects, now that he could see the outlining shapes, looked like giant eggs. They rummaged around in his belly, looking for a cozy spot to nestle into and expand. Sweat dripped down Fox's face and all over his exhausted body as the eggs finally found a nice place to settle and once they had a sudden rush of fluid came from the siphon, filling up the rest of Fox's belly with the thick liquid, which turned his belly from tight and squirming with eggs to a soft one sloshing all over the place, the pressure causing his navel to pop, and his cassock to finally tear, revealing his huge, red, stretch mark covered pregnant belly.
The two tentacles and the siphon slowly slipped out and away from the panting priest and back of the direction of their owner, who gave a remorseful chuckle as he stood up and opened the door of his boothe.
"I promise not to hit the bottle so often father. Five Hail Marys and ten Our Father's. Will be done. Slan now father."
And as soon as the stranger had arrived, he was gone. Leaving Fox with a belly full of ten eggs, so large and exposed, so painfully obvious.
The sheer size of it made it almost impossible from the man to move and the constant moving of it was sheer signs of life in it and perhaps the superstitious and God fearing people of the village wouldn't really like.
Maybe this was his true excuse to leave this old place.
Did the irish convert peacefully to Christianity?
Well short answer, no.
There is evidence to show that the druids initial reaction to christianity was not a pleasant one.
This 5th Century account describes a cup of poison being given to St Patricks (who was a British man) by one of the druids.
They attempted to poison him.
There are myths in folklore mentioning that it is bad luck for christians to even go near the fairy forts. Which shows that there was some resistance.
150 Druid Books are said to have been burned. On the Hill of Tara St Patrick is said of have caused a competition with a Druid Book and the Bible to be thrown into a barrel of water – needless to say the Druid Book sank proving that the Bible was a better book.
He also prayed for an old Druid to die – we are told that Arch-Druid Lochru was lifted up high in the air but Patrick knelt in prayer and the Druid fell and was dashed to pieces upon a rock.
(What peaceful man prays for an old man to be smashed to pieces on a rock. NO WONDER THE DRUIDS WANTED TO POISON HIM!!)
St Patrick is said to have caused the murders of almost eight hundred Druids. (https://www.celticdruidtemple.com/thetruestoryofstpatrick.html) This is not hard to believe cause the Romans were murdering pagans everywhere.
St Patrick is apparently said to be the one who got rid of the snakes in Ireland, however there is no archeological evidence of snakes in Ireland. Which eludes to a more suspicious and gruesome side of the story. Many historians have debated whether the snakes actually represented the druids.
And still, it wasn’t til later that a large number of people actually fully converted. Even after all that.
If they were such a resistant civilisation against conversion, then why did so many of them still end up being Christian?
According to tree ring dating, there is evidence to show that the Irish were severely weakened by a climate event. Before converting to Christianity. (https://www.rte.ie/radio/podcasts/21968916-of-comets-and-kings/ )
Irish paganism was very dependant on nature.
Because we were dependant on the seasons. The winter king and the summer king. Caileach the winter goddess who is portrayed as a hag. Nature and fertility were honoured.
This podcast describes a commet as Lugh with the long arm. Lugh was the god of the sun. And the people of Ireland perceived a very destructive as though it come from their god. This comet was destructive to the eco system and lead to a ten year winter.
The early 6th century at the time of the comet the rate of christian conversion increased exponentially.
The pagan gods were seen as no longer giving good harvests.
The Christians seemingly erased this climate event from their own records because they didn’t want their deity to appear responsible.
The belief that paganism was sinful was promoted by the church. In the Irish christian prayer, they have lines such as “lead us not into druidry”. Because they viewed Paganism as a sin.
There are a lot of arguments told by the christian narrative that the pagans willingly converted.
But it took the destruction of nature itself and everything their religion stood for, for them to convert.
A big part of conversion was a catastrophic ten year winter likely being blamed on their “primitive” pagan belief by the christian “missionaries”
Similar to the Irish Famine of the 1800s, a catastrophic event can lead to further persuasion and conversion from those in power.
Samhain as a Kemetic
Happy Samhain everyone! I hope this time of darkness brings you all great joy.
As the light turns to darkness, trees turn red as blood, and the winds grow cold, I wanted to share a little bit about what I do to celebrate Samhain even though I'm Kemetic.
What exactly is Samhain?
Samhain is a Gaelic festival that marks the end of summer and the beginning of the harvest season. Grazing animals would be led to the winter pastures, cattle would be slaughtered in preparation for winter, and bonfires were lit so the people could dance and chase away spirits.
Samhain, All Saints' Day, and All Souls' Day were all syncretized into what we know as the modern-day Halloween.
The name "Samhain" (pronounced sow-en) comes from Old Irish samain, meaning "gathering" or "assembly".
Samhain is celebrated differently by all pagans throughout the world, and even non-Celtic pagans celebrate it! It marks the half-way point between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, and is a perfect time to celebrate the coming darkness.
I often use this time to pray to Anpu and Wesir. I do a lot of baking this time of the year, especially breads and teacakes. I like to make my own teas around this time as well, and one of my favorite blends is oranges, pumpkin, and cinnamon! In the future, I'll share some of these recipies!
Divination is also something I do during this time. Fire, water, and oil scrying are my main methods of divination. I occasionally attempt dream divination, although I believe my dreams are a bit too confusing. Specifically when it comes to Samhain and winter solstice, my favorite divination way is fire, as it allows me to feel warmth during these cold months.
I also venerate my ancestors during this time! I take time out of my day for a few weeks to lay down some offerings and thank them for all they've done for me.
Finally, I would like to end this off with four prayers to different deities. To Anpu, lord of the dead. To Wesir, lord of the underworld.
To Lord Anpu
Dua Anpu! Master of secrets, lord of the sacred land. Bless my heart, and bring your scales of justice onto this world during this cold time. I ask for your wisdom and your grace, so I may use it in your glory.
Dua Wesir! Lord of the underworld, and great brilliant one! I salute you, and offer you bread, alcohol, and praise. Bless my heart and my soul, so that I may survive these winter months and one day stand before you in all your glory.
please don’t say you love me - s. crosby
rosemary driscoll never saw it coming. in a matter of 45 minutes, she went from a college senior wrapping up her fall semester abroad in the rainy city of london to losing both of her parents, and becoming both an orphan and guardian to her two little sisters…all two weeks before christmas. with a city and an entire college community rallying behind the mourning family after their devastating loss, rosemary is left to make the life altering decision of choosing to follow the path she’d spent almost her entire life planning perfectly and dreaming about or become the full caretaker of her two younger sisters. and no matter how heartbreaking of a decision it is, their newfound lesson that life can change in an instant, has rosemary pushing aside her own dreams to make sure her sisters are happy, healthy and taken care of.
sidney crosby’s life is great. he lives in a city that feels like home away from home, he has a swarm of friends, he plays on a once again stanley cup contending team…he’s living the dream he’s always dreamt of since he was a child…except he couldn’t help but think that something was missing. he has all of these things, things anyone could ever want and he was successfully playing and sealing a legacy in a league where an average of 34% of drafted players, make it into. but no trophy, new record, new furniture or shiny thing could ever fill the gap he’s spent years trying to fill. and as his teammates continue to get married and start their families— start their lives, he starts to wonder if the one thing he’s missing the most…is the thing he had sworn up and down that he didn’t want.
until he meets an outgoing 10-year-old at one of his little penguins events who swears up and down that they’ve met before, and her older sister who looks like she’s carrying the weight of the world, a look he’s known all of his life, and finds himself wanting to do nothing more than help her carry it too.
this is a super rough draft summary to my future sidney fic, so please don’t roast me lol. beneath the cut are character aesthetics for the story and some dialogue from them that’ll be in the book. i got a random splurge of inspo to make these, so i hope you like them 🥺 and if not and this totally flops…let’s just pretend it never happened 😇
sidney “sid” crosby — french ~ saint denis — age: 35
"you need to go in there and take charge of the narrative. that man already took enough from the three of you, don't let him take away your courage to speak about how what he did effected your lives. don't let him get the last word."
rosemary “rose” driscoll — latin ~ dew of the sea — age: 23
"they're gone. they're gone and there's nothing i can do to bring them back, any of them. i failed them all. i failed my parents, i failed my sisters, i pushed you away because i was scared of failing– and now that i have i... i just thought i knew what i wanted to do, but i don't. i don't know anymore and i just feel so lost and alone."
arabella “bella” driscoll — latin ~ yielding to prayer — age: 13
"i don't really hate you...i mean, i know i said that i did, but i don't. it just feels like it's easier to blame you...for what happened, but i know it's not your fault and i'm sorry for saying all that stuff."
louisa “lou” driscoll — latin ~ renowned warrior — age: 10
“you pinky promised me that you wouldn’t hurt my sister, sidney crosby and you lied. you’re a liar and i hate liars, so now i hate you.”
the driscoll girls — irish ~ descendant of the messenger — est. 1998, 2008 + 2012
"you may be as different as the sun and the moon, but the same blood flows through both your hearts. you need her, as she needs you." – george r.r. martin
sidney + rosemary — dna doesn't make a family
"just because he'd known a life without them and learned to live after them...after her, didn't mean he really wanted to live that kind of life again."
2897 audubon court pittsburgh, pa — the driscoll residence
"a house is made of walls and beams; a home is built with love and dreams.” – unknown
i’m so sorry in advance for being an obnoxious Catholic for a minute, but i wanted to offer all the fabulous fanartists drawing Jonathan Harker some info you may not know:
in order for a cross to be considered a crucifix, it HAS to have Jesus hanging on it. so if you aim for Perfect Accuracy in your art, you gotta include a Suffering Little Guy on the necklace that sweet old lady gave Harker
Jonathan also mentions beads on this necklace and i think refers to the necklace as a rosary once or twice? If it is a rosary, that means it’s a specific prayer tool that follows a very specific arrangement for its beads, and that the crucifix hangs from an extra dangly bit, like so:
(id in alt text)
Now, in my (USA-assimilated) Irish Catholic congregation growing up, it was considered pretty gauche to wear a rosary like a necklace, so i personally tend to imagine Harker’s crucifix as a normal necklace that just happens to have some decorative beads around it. But I know that there are Catholics out there who do wear rosaries and hey, you gotta do what you gotta do to protect yourself (or the poor pathetic Anglican who stumbles into your village) from the big bad vampire
anyway yeah tl;dr, crucifix = cross with Jesus nailed to it. Yeah it’s weird and gruesome, so i’m not judging artists who decide not to add that to their fanart — i just wanted to share the info so you can make an intentional decision as you create your fabulous work!
Etymology of the Stark’s Names
Eddard, Ned: misspelling of Edward, a name of Anglo-Saxon origin composed by the words ēad (wealth, fortune, prosperous) and weard (guardian, protector). His name could be a reference to Edward the Confessor, patron saint of England, the monarchy of England and difficult marriages, or to Edward the Martyr.
Catelyn: a variation of the Irish name Caitlin, which derivates from Katherine and has long been associated with the Greek word katharos (pure, immaculate). Her name could be a reference to Saint Katherine, the patron saint of unmarried girls, maidens and spinsters, craftmen who work with wheels (potters, spinners, millers, knife sharpeners, mechanics), dying people and nurses, jurists and lawyers, educators in general (scholars, archivists, students and schoolchildren, philosophers, librarians and libraries), secretaries and preachers.
Robb: from Robert, a name of proto-Germanic origin composed by the words hroth (fame, glory, honour, praise, renown) and berth (bright, light, shining).
Jon: either a misspelling of John, which is the transliterated and contracted form of the Hebrew name Yehochanan (Yahweh is gracious, merciful) or a shortening of Jonathan (Yahweh has given). There are a lot of saints called John, but the most important is John the Apostle, patron of love, loyalty, friendship, writers in general (authors, scribes, editors, publishers), burn-victims, poison-victims, art-dealers, examinations, scholars and theologians. There's also a Saint Jonathan, whose attributes are bow and arrow and who represents friendship and honesty.
Sansa: most likely named after the stanza, a group of lines within a poem, usually set off from others by a blank line or indentation.
Arya: most likely named after the nymph Aria or Areia, which in Ancient Greek means "warlike." In music, an aria is a self-contained piece for one voice, with or without orchestral accompaniment. Given that all the metaphors for songs and dances being battles and wars in the series, her name could be foreshadowing some crucial role in the War for the Dawn 2.0.
Brandon, Bran: it could be a variation of the Irish name Breandán (prince, king, chieftain) or the Anglo-Saxon surname Brandon, composed by brōm (gorse shrub) and dūn (hill) or brant (deep, steep) and dūn (hill). I'm pretty sure there was a variety of gorse called the lupine, but don't quote me on that. In Old Welsh, the word Brân means "crow, little raven." It could also come from the surname Brand (sword) which derivated from the Old French word brandon (burning material to set fire).
Rickon, Rickard: Rickon is a surname which means “son of Richard.” Rickard is a variation of the name Richard, a name of proto-Germanic origin, composed by the words rīk (ruler, leader, king) and hardu (strong, brave, hardy). Maybe foreshadowing Rickon becoming King in the North? There's also a Saint Richard patron of Wessex.
Benjen: from Benjamin, an Hebrew name which means "son of the right (hand)" although it could also means "son of my days." Often used for the youngest son of a family, specially if the parents are unlikely to have more children.
Lyanna: most likely a misspelling of Eliana. In Hebrew, the name can be literally translated to “my God answered me” or “God answered my prayer.” Eliana could also come from the Late Latin name Aeliāna, the femenine form of Aeliānus (of the sun), or from the Greek name Helen or Helene. Lyanna's name was probably picked to parallel her to Elia, both victims of reproductive abuse at Rhaegar's hands, and as a reference to Helene's abduction.
What’s your least favorite myth? I don't really look at it that way. I'm certainly not fond of the ones involving consent violations.
What’s your favorite myth? Again, I don't really look at it that way. I suppose I like the ones that are just plain weird.
What pantheon(s) do you worship? I'm effectively an omnitheist. Depending on how one itemizes pantheons, I've had at least brief contact with more than I'd like to try to count. But the pantheons I relate to consistently enough to have permanent marks on my body for are: Vanir, Aesir, Orixa, Loa, Irish, Welsh, Hellenic, Kemetic, and an infinity symbol for the Whole That Is Divine. I'm also an animist.
Who is your least favorite ancient poet/philosopher/old guy who said “smart” things? Probably Thomas Aquinas. Not that he had much to say about my faith, really. But I had to read some of his work in my Religious Studies and Philosophy classes in university and am definitely not a fan.
What’s your favorite snack to share with the gods? (Curtesy of @luminarycanary) Honey is sacred to nearly all of them. I collect varietals.
Do you pray daily? If so, do you have a prayer schedule? I don't have a schedule. I have everyday prayers, but I say them as the impulse arises, not literally every day. They go well before a meal, and before undertaking ritual work. But they're specifically centered on the Vanir, who are Family/Home to me, so I have other set prayers/songs for other purposes, as well as whatever extemporaneous expression arises.
Do you do any rituals or celebrate any holidays/festivals? Yes. Many. MANY. I should make this its own post.
How often do you make offerings, and what is your most common offering to give? The most common offerings are a candle, a libation, or a song. Candles happen several times a week these days, if only for the Community Well Being Altar. Libations are less common. They used to be several times a month, but the reasons for that have fallen away over the last few years. Still, at least monthly. Songs are connected to specific prompts, which have also fallen away over the last couple years. Those, too, are closer to monthly right now.
How many altars do you currently have up, if any at all? Uhhhhhh *counts* 8-12, depending on how you count altars, I think? Some people distinguish between altars and shrines, at which point I'd have to say most of those are shrines. If I itemize the individual deities, I have easily dozens, but they’re mostly clumped together by pantheon or domain. I have one, maybe two working altars going most of the time lately.
Have you ever made a travel altar? In the sense of making a specific small portable altar/shrine thingy, no. In the sense of packing up a small box of whatever it seems like I might need for travel, many times. I’m not opposed - it sounds like a fun craft project. But what I need with me varies a little too much, beyond what I carry in my purse all the time anyway.
What deity do you think your taste in music best represents, regardless of who you worship? Probably Brighid. With a side of Ghede.
What has been your favorite interaction with a deity so far? I have absolutely no idea how to answer this.
What is your favorite devotional act? Singing!
Would you say there’s a certain “type” of deity you follow? Or are you more broad, without rhyme or reason? Most of the gods I work with at all frequently are on the Life/Death axis, or are Tricksters. But I will work with almost any deity who drops by, if there's a reason for it. Magic is also a pretty common domain around here.
Have you ever worked with a deity? As opposed to what? Well, regardless, by just about every definition that might have been meant by this, yes. Working with deities is pretty well my job. I'm ordained Vanatru clergy, a spirit worker, dreamworker, oracle, and witch.
Have you ever been to a religious site (for your deities)? Several. It seems like every time I get to go on vacation, the Powers find a way to turn it into a pilgrimage. Gamla Uppsala in particular was wonderful.
Do you have any UPGs? Quite a few. Mostly about the Vanir.
What is your favorite way to communicate with the gods? Possession trance is extremely helpful, but there's a lot of places to introduce error into the process, and it can be damaging to handle it poorly. Still, ecstatic trance states in general are a major focus of my practice, when possible.
Do you just worship deities, or do you worship heroes, spirits, etc. as well? My practices include animism and ancestor reverence. I tend to focus less on "heroes", and more on personal connections, and general interconnectedness.
What’s something new you want to try in your worship? Herbalism. Fragrance blending. The overlap between my list of craft interests and my list of worship interests is very high.
What would your ideal practice look like? I wish I knew! The last few years have changed a lot, and I'm frankly at a bit of a loss now. It's been exhausting. I can't keep up what I had to build during lockdown, and the extended community practices that supported me before don't work anymore. Figuring out what I and we need to do henceforth is a big, big task on my plate right now. More than I can really address, yet.
Have you ever received a dream/a big sign from a deity? I'm a dreamworker, so my sense of scale for this is probably skewed. But yes, several times.
Are there any new deities you want to contact? I already have more deities on my list than I know what to do with. I won't refuse newcomers, but I'm not seeking them out.
How do you define devotion vs worship? “Worship” is the expression of love for divinity. Forms of worship correspond to "love languages": praise, offerings, services, etc. “Devotion” is a deeply personal relationship with a specific entity. They’re different points on a continuum. Roughly the emotional difference between enjoying a party to honor a member of your community you think well of but don’t necessarily hang out with much personally, vs. paying personal attention to your best friend, lover, sibling, etc. Either way, the point is the relationship.
What is your favorite symbol of your deity(ies)? I am rather fond of the Vanatru Boar symbol.
Cheers @mistressaccost for the tag! <3
Three ships: hmmmm hard to choose but Enjolras and Grantaire from Les Misérables of course, ans Boris and Theo from the Goldfinch which I have recently become obsessed with (keep me in your prayers) and I guess Aziraphale and Crowley of Good Omens, my favourite fictional old married couple.
Last Song: Less than Zero by Elvis Costello and all of Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars >:)
Last Movie: I recently rewatched Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch again which I love as well as Boy by the wonderful Taika Waititi, definitely some of my favourite films.
(Also yeahhhh I love whisper of the heart sm!!! That violin boy is living MY DREAM)
Currently reading: listening to the audio book of David Copperfield read by a lovely Irish fella called Taig Hynes. It's really good Dickens is so ahhh. The characters are all so perfect and spot on and his storytelling is just top tier, his novels are definitely classics for a reason. also a couple of other books I've started and haven't finished like A Movable feast, 3 musketeers, A Christmas Carol etc etc.
Currently watching: I was watching The Last of Us with my family and The White Lotus which was really fun and interesting. And Lucia was hot and I'm glad she scammed that boy out of his money
Currently consuming: lolly cake!!! Delicious nz baking go look it up
Currently craving: hmmmm peppermint tea I reckon
Tagging @chernychnyi @shamedumpster @gayavocad0