Letters from the Shiverpeak Mountains
Letters from the Shiverpeak Mountains
I've never had a pen pal before, have you? I don't really know what to write, I guess I'll start with a bit about myself. You already know my name, Hans. I'm an engineer, I started off as a civil engineer, building roads and whatnot, but that got pretty boring so I decided to go with something more action oriented. A guy I grew up with, Mikkel, says I'm now a very uncivil engineer. I hate him so much.
We got into a fight last night. Like, stitches were needed at the end of it. I know Norns look a lot like big humans, but there is another difference between our races - we Norns really like drinking and fighting. I know you'll probably say you like drinking and fighting, but - and I don't mean to be rude - seriously no. Back to the point, there was a moot (Do you have them? They're like big celebrations with lots of drinking and music and fighting) to herald The Great Hunt today and I got hammered.
You know that stage of drinking where your eyes don't feel like they are blinking at the same time and you can't say anything because you know you will throw up? I was at that stage and I had just told an awesome joke about moots and Mikkel said if I made anymore jokes about moots he would beat me to death. I stood up, looked him straight in the eye and said 'Well it's a moot point now!' and went about wiping his fist with my face. It was brutal - as I said, I needed stitches at the end of it. As an engineer I'm more about strategy than brute force, so getting wasted and belligerent probably wasn't a good idea. He was really annoyed at having to wash all that blood and vomit off his clothes though.
I felt awful when I woke this morning, awful enough that I nearly skipped The Great Hunt today altogether. It's really important in Norn culture to carve your name into history however and I would not have been able to live down the shame if I missed it. So I entered and I think the chief saw how wrecked I was still, because he insisted I prove I was capable of hunting by bringing back a trophy. I had barely walked outside the fence when I saw a big ass Minotaur though, so it was barely ten minutes later when I slapped the bull's head down on the chief's table with a "Hell Yeah!" He glared at me the entire time he rang for everyone to get ready for the main event, I think he did it a couple of extra times just because he saw how much it hurt my head.
The Great Hunt this year took the form of Issomir, a giant wurm brought for us to slay. I was in awe of the guy who brought it - he dragged a giant (and I mean giant, this thing was three storeys tall) rock throwing wurm, trapped it at the top of a mountain, just for us to have a challenging fight?
I actually felt bad for the wurm afterwards though, I was hardly capable of making it all the way up the mountain without passing out or throwing up and I still killed it dead. Iíd lost my turrets and my elixirs and could barely pull the trigger on my two pistols - let alone fire off anything more complicated than a regular shot and I still stole its life and the life of its children. Everyone calls me ďThe Slayer of IssomirĒ now, but Iím fairly certain they are being sarcastic.
I donít know what you know about Norn customs, but our respect for nature is one of our best features. We show reverence in our rituals and it is out of respect for our fellow beings that we challenge them. I think itís because I havenít been doing anything of the sort lately that things have been going so shabbily. If I want respect, I have to give others respect - you know? To that end, I went to visit the four main animal shrines, to try to get my legend up and going.
I started with Raven, partly because Raven was my spirit guide and partly because Raven was closest. Do you have spirit guides? Spirit guides come to us in visions and help us out - when I was younger Raven came to me and told me I should grow a beard and he was totally right, because the girl I was chasing at the time was totally into beards. Raven knew that her dad had a beard probably. Then once I wasnít sure if I should buy one pistol or this other one and Raven popped up and said ďPick both!Ē so I did and Iíve never looked back. I broke my leg a couple of years ago and when it healed, I knew I had to work out and get back in shape - but then Raven came to me while I was eating breakfast and said ďDonít do it, fat guys are jolly and friendly, everyone loves a fat guy!Ē and now the closest I come to running is a slow jog!
Raven represents intelligence and cunning, which Iím obviously all about, so to show due deference I had to answer all of his riddles. They were ridiculously easy - the kind you asked other kids when you were little. Stuff like ďI can go anywhere but am banished by fire, poor people have it and rich people want itĒ and the answer is a candle, or a potato, or something. I donít remember right now, but you know what I mean.
I followed that up with a trip to Snow Leopard, Wolf and Bear - them being the other three main spirit animals. All animals have their own spirit of course, but the Raven, Snow Leopard, Wolf and Bear helped the Norn when we came South and settled in Shiverpeak. (Do humans have spirit animals? I guess you guys would have spirit insects probably, since you are all so little?) and then I went to help Eir - the huntress who fought the Elder Dragons (!) and we found out the Sons of Svanir have been scaring the minotaur spirit.
The Sons of Svanir is this group of Norn men who hate women and worship the dragon Jormag. There are hundreds of them. Iíve killed so many of those douchebags that they are like flies buzzing about my head. Iím not saying that to show how tough I am though, I just donít understand how they keep recruiting more members. They donít allow women in their ridiculous club and yet it seems like every time I turn my back more of them turn up.
I wonít tell you what they were doing to the minotaur spirit, itís just weird. Needless to say though, I stopped them. What? Yeah, I saved the spirit of the freaking minotaurs. I am saying that to show how tough I am. It was awesome. Naturally, Iíd gone and grabbed my turrets and stuff by then - I have a healing turret, a rocket turret and rifle turret. Iíd sobered up quite a bit, so I was back on board with my twin pistols and I could do all kinds of fancy tricks. My static shot zaps multiple targets (I have to be careful with it though, because lightning does not discriminate and the last thing you need when youíre fighting a group of angry manly men is to piss off a herd of nearby minotaur.) I can also spray a burst of searing hot fire at anyone in front of me - perfect for the Svanirís pet ice elementals - and I can cover the ground with glue to keep my opponents in place.
Iíd toyed with the idea of trading my pistols in for a rifle, or just trading one in for a shield, but I canít do it. I do this thing with a rifle where I jump in the air and blast everything in a small circle beneath me that I like, but itís too slow to load and fire normally. And while I really like the shieldís added defense - and can do some pretty cool things to soften up my enemy with it besides - thereís something about coating an area in sticky glue and blasting my foes with flames. It smells like victory.
Oh, so I find the Sons of Svanir with the minotaur spirit and they are kicking the crap out of it. They had a magic guy with them and he went on - as they do. Eventually he must have realised Iíd stopped listening though, because he shut up and started attacking. I quickly blasted him and his pals with lightning, then threw down my rifle turret and set it to automatic fire. I donít think they expected a guy as fat as me to dive as quickly as I do, but I need to make up for my crappy leather armour somehow and you learn quickly on the edge of death.
I only have about two decent rolls in me before white dots start flashing in my eyes though, so sometimes I have to take a punch. I felt about half dead when I threw down my healing turret - and Iíd done it just in time, because Eir had taken quite a bit of damage too. I realised why when I rolled past the three guys whoíd ganged up on me - they had ballistas! They had two freaking siege weapons, plus a dozen guys, against a fat man in a beard and a monocle and a retired huntress!
And they lost. I threw down my rocket turret and dived for the closest ballista - my three attackers close behind. I switched the rockets to explosive and zapped all four of them in the face, then dove back and set all of them on fire. They hadnít even reached the Ďrollí part of fire safety procedure before my rockets exploded them to pieces. Some other guys had knocked out Eir and taken down my rifle turret, but I quickly set down a second one as I caught my breath for a second. Then it was off to the second ballista - who really didnít stand a chance, considering he was up against me, an automatic rifle and rockets. I think his friends were confused by how thoroughly I had just wiped the floor with their pals, because they hardly knew what to do with themselves. I made the decision for them in the end.
I helped Eir up and we made plans for our next Svanir targets - I donít want to spoil anything, but we dressed up as beer merchants, got them so drunk they couldnít stand and murdered them. Anyway, this letter has gotten huge! Um, how are you? Queensland sounds awesome. Is the queen hot? You have to tell me all about yourself when you write back, Iím really looking forward to it!
P.S. I met a Shaman of the Hare Spirit! I didnít even know those guys still existed. Youíd think a Rabbit priest would be kind of pathetic, but he totally hooked me up with the merchant chick who had stopped at his camp. She kept trying to shill her trinkets onto me though, and I donít need that kind of trouble, you know what I mean? Plus, Eir is totally banginí. Christina Hendricks hot. She still calls me Slayer though, so I probably donít have a chance. Do you have any tips for picking up chicks? I hear human ladies are easy.
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Tue 27 Mar 12, 2:06pmsquidassist
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