SoD: ISSGRYM - THE HUNT
The land of ice and snow is a harsh place to live. Some dwarves have made it their home earning the moniker, Ice Dwarves. Hear then a tale of Issgrym, the dwarf who would be chieftain of the Bear Stone clan.
(a #shadowofdeath tale)
Like the wilderness we live in, our people are tough, fierce, and formidable. We are strong, we are close, and if anything were to happen to us or the land upon which we live, neither would survive. Know then that it pains me to see my people abandoning our principles and it boils my blood to find that some force is stripping my people of their indomitable spirit. I am charged with my clan’s protection and to protect them I must leave them, find whatever power is polluting them, and remove its influence. Even if I must sacrifice myself so that they may live free again. - Issgrym, Chieftain of the Bear Stone Clan
Rampaging Bear earned his name for several reasons, chief among them was his appearance. With his snow-white hair on head, beard and body, ice-blue eyes, and larger than average stature, Rampaging Bear was often described as a polar bear in dwarf’s clothing. On the battlefield, he looked the part. Bull-rushing right and left in only shaggy fur and leather armor, he took on the mightiest of beasts and walked away with hardly a scratch.
Ferocious in battle, Rampaging Bear was gentle as a kitten at home with his wife, Vella, and son, Issgrym. It was always a treat for Vella to enter their alcove in the cave and find Rampaging Bear holding little Issgrym in his arms and singing to him a song of the tundra in his deep gravelly voice.
While not easy, life was simple for the Bear Stone dwarves. They would hunt and trap enough for meat, clothing, shelter, and tools. After returning from a hunt, they would break the animal down and use every last bit. Whether it was using the ligaments for string, the intestines for sausage casing, the bones for tools, and the hides for shelter and clothing, not one bit of the animal went to waste. As many cultures do, they thanked each animal for sharing its life with them and enabling them to live on. They were close to the land, living in harmony with it.
As time wore on and Issgrym grew, he began to learn what it was to be one with both his people and his land. Rampaging Bear would take him on hunts, first telling Issgrym to stay back and watch, then allowing him the less dangerous task of herding the prey, lastly, as Issgrym began to put on the muscles of adulthood, Rampaging Bear gave Issgrym the honor of slaying the giant walrus that was to be their food for part of the winter months.
The struggle had been fierce, dwarves with nets and spears had maneuvered the creature into a canyon with icy walls that reached far higher than the giant walrus. The canyon had narrowed and now the beast was cornered. Trying to steady his breathing, Issgrym hoisted his ivory javelin, aiming at the mighty beast’s head, anticipating the creature rearing backwards as he had seen many do before. He put all his energy into the throw, the javelin whistling a song of death as it flew. The walrus reared and the javelin sunk deep into the creature’s heart, stopping its music of life. With a final moan, the walrus toppled over, dead.
“Great throw!” “Excellent aim!” “Well done boy!” the cheers of his clansmen echoed in the cavern, filling it with exultation. The clan would eat this winter and the heir apparent had proved his worthiness of their dedication. Issgrym remembered that moment for as long as he lived. He felt full of love for his people, full of gratitude for the beast who gave its all for them, and full of respect for his father who had been leading his tribe in this hunt for hundreds of years.
Issgrym Berezhon, his story, family, and friends are creations of Rachael Murphy (yours truly)