Bearsark

July 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Word Portrait.

The bearsark is clad in rough-hewn plate, bronze and iron and copper all dulled and scarred through heavy use. The stories say they go shirtless into battle but this one clothes themselves in metal, holds their shape to human with will and caution. They are armed and armored, solid-standing, watchful-eyed.

(Do you see the marked bear pelt beneath the chipped and tarnished mail? No? Look close. Look careful. Approach slow and steady, and maybe you can glimpse it.)

The bearsark moves with the stiffness of old wounds and healed scars. They move with the coiled power of long training and applied skill. They move with the carefully conserved energy of one who has experienced much and knows not to overspend themselves.

(Do you see the callouses and the scars on the skin beneath the iron plates? Do you see the bloodstained cloth and guarded stance? Look close. Look careful. Approach unarmed and unarmored, and maybe you will be allowed to see.)

They stand watch. They stand guard, and hold the meeting-place for the safety and comfort of others. They smile, readily; the armor is well-worn and rigid but they have a ready friendliness and camaraderie to them, a clap on the shoulder, a hard hug.

The mead-hall shines with firelight and merriment in the long hours of the night, and the bearsark stands at the door facing into the darkness. The mead-hall bustles with music and passion, and the bearsark holds the entrance. They greet and clasp hands with those entering and leaving; they drink a cup now and then; they share a dance here and there; they entertain with a joke or a story that diverts curious stares. They are part, yet apart. They maintain their human shape within their armor and stand steady.

(Have you seen the ferocious glory of the bear-shape, the beauty of claws and jaws and fur? Have you seen the battle-frenzy and the passion-fire? Don’t flinch. Don’t shy away. Have you seen the wide wilderness and smelled deep loam, old bones within the cave, the heavy heady musk of predator and primality?)

They are ferality tightly caged, they are wild and wounded, they are strength held in check, they are a warrior’s pride and disciplined focused power and a tender ferocity. They are taut grace, an immense force under tension and under pressure.

Creature of the Wood

July 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Word Portrait.

They are the primal wild come home to dwell. Dressed in court finery, the gilt and glamoured gleaming of Sidhe regality. They move like dancing, like a hunting cat, like a courting crane. They are a horned creature dancing around the Solstice fires, head high and crowned in holly leaves, or perhaps in laurel or in ivy. Yet there is no ferality here, but an older kind of civility, the gentry of another world: a fanged smile, gilded hooves, an elegant bow.
They are the heavy shadows beneath ancient tree roots given form in city and court. There is an intensity and a deepness in their gaze, the world woven into a dance between two spirits.  They are an elemental force and there is something fey about them, a glamourie of searing passion to draw in the touch-hungry and bright-eyed. Nowhere else will you meet a more gentle and charming hunter.
The Sidhe are always hungry and ever yearning, after all.
They are coiled grace and passion wound taut beneath the skin. There is a core of them that is incandescent and pulsing, a fire that needs so so much fuel to sustain it and yet gives out warmth and light and heat in return. That heart can scorch and sear and burn, too; no creature survives long without defenses.
(Can you glimpse such a heart without going blind, without burning your sight out, like looking into the heart of the earth, like looking into the sun? Will you be elf-struck and lose yourself? Or are you a thing of wildness and brightness and darkness as well, who can walk into fire and wood and cave and come out again?)

The Beast Below

July 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Word Portrait.

They are a slippery skittering thing, evading grasp, evading definition. They are layered softness and shifting forms. Moss grown thick and lush over once-shining chitin. The chitin a carapace to protect the tender furred creature within.
They come from out the barrow, and the barrow is their home. They live beneath the earth with crawling things and slithing beasts, growing moss on their hide, fungi in their hair, the roots of the world entangling in their soul.
Listen, listen. The rhythm of their heart is a chittering insect sound but you have to listen close. The sound of their breathing is that of the wind over the heath. Spiders wove their spirit and cicadas sing their thoughts.
Look close. Burrow into the mud and grit of the underbelly of the world. Let the centipedes roam through your fingers and the worms taste your sweat. Learn to love the scent of decaying leaves. Be quiet and still enough to hear the small insect sounds of the underbrush, the brief bold lives of the people of the earth.
They are the soft rich yielding of grave-loam and the fire-heart beneath the earth’s crust and the heavy shifting of tectonic plates. They are the murmuring contact of ants and the biting defense of spiders. They settle into safe separate solitude beneath leafmold and winding roots where few will venture for fear of crawling things and imagined horrors, they befriend the many-legged and no-legged things of the warm dark of earth and heart, and they peer through the cracks of the world.

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