The thin silhouette, almost feminine in shape seemed to hover above the large planks of pine that constructed the floors of the partly crumbled temple. This was a long forsaken place. A once sacred Hòf dedicated to forgotten gods from before the arrival of the first tribes. Now, unattended by man, it became the abode of every creatures from the thick dark forests, for nature had taken her rightful rule over the rotten wood and fallen stones once again. And the frozen breath of Ùllr, the winter god, blew violently over the remains.
The slithering form moved stealthily through the rumbles of old idols that had succumbed to the ravage of time and the elements. Crudely carved multi-faced deities lay about, their lidless eyes gazing to the stars, abandoned by those who have brought them to life with their primitive yet skilful craft. Amongst the ruins, a greyish haze floated in mid thigh, reeking of putrefying remains of dead animals and something else unnameable. Thus, the black shadow made its way to what seemed to be the once main ritual chamber. A large circular room with a conic shape roof that was partly fallen to let the snow in. Everything was made of thick timbers placed horizontally on the lower half the walls while the upper half were placed to the vertical. The timbers that remained to form the ceiling converged to its apex through which the largest of the age old pillar protruded outside and towered down to the floor below like the world pillar Yggdrasùl that held all the nine worlds together. That center piece was still richly ornamented after all this time. At least thrice the height of an average northmen, which is no dwarfish city dweller, the wooden behemoth managed to sustain the wrath of the winds of time while all around it had fallen prey to nature’s laws.
Carved in its centuries old wood were cryptic runes in an ancient and lost dialect that hasn’t been uttered by man since the time when the frost giants roamed the northern lands. Near the top of the totem, a grim and menacing bearded humanoid face was carved with great precision. Its wide opened eyes staring down at whoever stood before its piercing gaze, as if aware of ones presence. There at the base of the wooden god that the remains of what seemed to be an altar made of stones laid in rumbles. And it was before this that the dark form, until now only a shadow, threw back its cloak to reveal its true shape. And it was not that of some devil spawn from the icy realm of Hol beneath or some grotesque abomination of nature roaming on two legs like men, but an almost normal humanoid form if not for its abnormally elongated limbs that seemed to waver like a mirage in the moonlight penetrating the temple. Its body, lithe and genderless, tilting to and fro in the wind offered no discernable indications as to its intrinsic nature. Even that which would normally be its head and face was noting but impenetrable darkness from which no life emanated, only cold and timeless void.
Then the thing uttered a sound. It was more like an echo carried upon the wind than a human voice, but it was clearly a language. Archaic and long forgotten. The sound took shape as a certain rhythm began to structure its chanting into some form of tribal incantation. And as the sound grew in intensity and loudness, the very environment began to change. The wind began to blow more violently and the gathered snow that lay upon the rubbles of the broken altar flew up into a twisting blizzard that engulfed the mighty towering god of wood. Debris of wood and stone crashed all about as the confined snow storm picked up in momentum accompanied by the equally intensifying chanting of the dark shape. And as the deafening sound of both nature’s fury and unnatural summoning climaxed to a thundering choir of sheer madness and chaos, an eldritch ghostly light beamed from the totem’s eyes and bathed the circular room in reddish hues as if the very air were aflame with hell’s fire. Amidst this maelstrom boomed a terrible growl that shook the temple’s remaining foundations, and even, vibrated enough to cause another part of the roof to collapse. In that low tuned sound could be heard one single audible word, if a word it was: Gröööööööönnnnndrrrrrrrrr… The guttural vibrato that reverberated throughout the whole temple stretched for a long moment before it began to fade through the cracks of the ruins and out into the night’s sky.
Then all went silent. The swirling debris fell straight to the ground and the eldritch light dissipated, returning the room to its previous primordial blackness. Only the dark humanoid form remained before the sleeping god. It stood there for a moment without moving save for its ever wavering outlines; a spectral apparition in a frozen tomb. Thus it stood under the shadow of its god and finally, it spoke. This time, in a clear human voice, with the long lost accent of the northern tribes. It spoke grim words of hatred and of a doom that was soon to come.
“Aye my lord, the blood of Kholdbjörn will perish…”