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We of the Valkyrie
 Part 3 - Prophecy
Warner Bros.
We of the Valkyrie - Part 3 - Prophecy

By Dagny Chalice (alternately known as Danika, Valkyrie Chieftess)
As told at Valkyrie Campfire Meeting 7-9-17

Previously in "We of the Valkyrie" - Part 2 - Black Sun, there is division in the village of Selasund as the Earl and Dagny confront each other and villagers take sides. But an attack by a great sailing force from the Wends brings much bloodshed and destruction to the village. Dagny attempts to escape a larger attacking wave along with her shieldmaidens and some villagers. The volva traveling with them predicted sky wolves and a black sun, a trick that saves them. But now sailing northward, they come under another attack from the dark shoreline. Here now is the Part 3 installment:


Storm clouds have been quickly gathering directly ahead of us since the attack of the fire arrows began. The northern lights and field of stars rising from the sea I had watched with such longing moments ago are now smeared and hidden from view. The winds pick up, the waves becoming rougher. In almost no time, our longships are rocking wildly, bows heaving high up on peaked wave crests and slamming down hard as we plow northward into the turbulent sea. With the last of the Torva women safely aboard our longship, we watch the stern of their vessel tip vertically above the choppy waves, then dip, vanishing into the dark churning waters.

Three more flaming arrows arc out of the somber night sky landing mid-deck. Two of our shield maidens grab buckets dipping them port side to collect seawater, dousing the flames before our mast can catch fire. Another volley of fire arrows burst from the shoreline setting alight two more of our nearby longships. We manage to move alongside men and women struggling to swim between floating pieces of burning wood rescuing a few more from the sea. Another vessel from Torva nears us and helps to pull people out of the water.

It is a frightening challenge not to be washed overboard while pulling people from the violent sea or get an arrow to the back with so many falling from the sky. We nock and shoot arrows from our starboard side toward the forested shoreline. The Torva vessel joins us and launches a salvo of arrows to the shore.

Our ships are loaded down with too many people now. The storm is completely upon us, the winds shrieking in our ears. And with all our heavy supplies, it will be too dangerous to seek escape out into the open raging sea. We row as hard and fast as we can, our small fleet moving together with us, following the coast but struggling to keep some safe distance from it, continuing further north. Still, we are taking hits from flying fire arrows and dousing the flames with buckets of sea water as fast as we can.

I can see across the dark distance, through the foam and salt spray to the shore, our attacking mob running through the forest like dark ghost forms outlined only by the torches they carry flickering between pine branches. The enemy is tracking our course at sea, running to keep up with us. Their arrows can still reach us - pounding waves make it very difficult for us to put more distance between them and us, especially with our heavy burdens. At least the fierce winds make their arrow flights less accurate. But the unpredictable arrow can still find and kill its mark.

And then I see it. A light flickers and burns from a tower further up the coast. Bright enough to illuminate what looks like back-lit gnarled sea monsters rising out of the sea but are really massive rock columns closer to shore.
"They will be dangerous to navigate through," I shout to Gauti, "but we have to come ashore. I have an idea." I hurriedly explain my plan, winking to him saying it is a shieldmaiden idea. He laughs and nods. I whistle to our crew and signal to make a heading north by northeast weaving crazily between the rocks as we pull closer to the coastline.

Gauti signals to Reginleif who signals to the ship owner and soon enough the rest of our small fleet are following us. The monolithic rocks act as shields blocking many of the fire arrows. The trick is to keep a steady course in the stormy sea and not collide with the islands of rocks; they could easily rip our ships asunder. The idea seems to work as we use the rocks as a shield barrier from many of the arrows while we swing around them, nearing closer to the shore, following the light into a narrow inlet away from the rocks.

Two more of our longships trailing far behind are on fire. I say a little prayer, quietly questioning Thor's timing for this storm. But when the rain begins to fall hard, it douses the flames on our burning ships. I whisper thanks to Thor, or whatever fate hides behind the roiling storm clouds.

When we are close enough, I can see the source of the light, a weathered, cone topped stone tower standing high on a hill. An immense black cauldron hangs silhouetted in the arched open air windows burning brightly. With the shifting sea winds, a gust carries some of the acrid smoke from the light house tower to our ships rocking in the churning waves. I catch a whiff of what smells like a mixture of pitch and fish oil. The bright tower light and smell guides us closer to an old dock near the tower. We all land and quickly jump out landing on the wooden deck with heavy thuds and begin running. In the distance we see the outline of a ruined small village and some of our men are signaling to run to it.

Lights flicker between forest pines further behind us and I realize these must be torches from the ones shooting fire arrows at us. They are coming for us. I signal to Mist and Reginleif shouting to them to take positions on the rooftops, pointing to a dilapidated longhall, and to an old ramshackle tall building near the stone lighthouse, and to several smaller buildings. They swing grapples and direct the others to climb onto the roofs. The ones that cannot climb are helped and lifted up.

I run past barrels clustered outside the lighthouse and am struck by the strong smell from them. Instinct makes me stop and investigate, sniffing them more closely. More pitch and fish oil in the barrels! Fuel for the lighthouse. Gauti runs up to me and he and I look at one another nodding. He is the first to say what we both seem to be thinking.
"We can fight their fire with an even bigger fire," he says.

"Brilliant!" I say and we call some of the men and shieldmaidens over. Together, we roll the barrels along the entrance to the village and taking out our axes, Gauti and I chop into the barrels spilling their contents all over the ground. The others understand what we are doing and take out their axes cutting open the remaining barrels of oil. We pour the oil in a line fronting the village, then spread it out more widely soaking as much of the ground with its dried grass and weeds as we possibly can. We hack the barrels to pieces scattering the wood so they are mixed in with the oil drenched ground. Then we turn and run taking positions on the rooftops. With the falling rain, I hope it will douse their fire arrows, but not be too much to dampen our trap.

Men emerge from the dark forest, passing the docks, charging toward us. Raising my hand, I call to Reginleif,
"Hold your fire a moment, wait for my signal," who passes this request over to the next rooftop and they pass the message to the other rooftop positions. Some of us further apart whistle bird call signs we used while hunting in the foothills beyond Selasund. Gauti tells me he needs time to create a fire and already has his fire-steel out, striking his flint with it and blowing. The attackers are emerging into the clearing near the dock, shooting fire arrows at us, some landing on the rooftops. I grab one that has landed between us and pull it from the roof.

"Gauti, why wait? I think this would be quicker than your fire-steel," I say with an anxious wink passing him the burning arrow. He smiles as I call to Reginleif, "Quickly, collect those and return them to our guests. Fire them back onto the oil grounds - now!" She nods and immediately calls out the order to the others. More bird calls go out across the rooftops.  Our thralls and bonds avoid incoming arrows and stomp on the burning rooftops or slap the fires out with their coats.

We fire back the flaming arrows just as the attackers enter our oil field. The flaming arrows strike the ground at their feet. There is a rush of fire as the oil field bursts into huge flames plunging the attackers into a wall of fire. The ones that survive charge out of the blazing inferno, some on fire. We shoot a hail of arrows at them bringing down most of them.

Reginleif, some of the other men, shieldmaidens, Gauti and myself slide down the grapples landing on top of the remaining attackers that managed to enter the village, surprising them, swinging our swords, cutting down the last of them. The ground assault ends as quickly as it began.

In the early morning light, we survey the ruins. Some of the houses were burned to the ground. Other buildings, the longhall, still standing look ravaged and we soon discover upon closer inspection, looted. Our attackers had already been here earlier to plunder and destroy this place.

There is a small shop resembling an apothecary still standing. Gauti and I enter inside. Rubble on the floor everywhere. But some stocks still remain on the shelves. There appears to be herbs and medicines in bottles. Some dried fruits and meats. A few barrels of mead. Maps on the walls. We pass through a beaded curtain separating a smaller room. A store of barrels in this room. Colorful jars of dye and hanging fabrics along the wall catch my eye. Gauti kicks over one of the barrels and we hear a woman
's shriek from behind a wall of barrels that tumble down. Gauti draws his sword. A woman wearing an ornate green dress, head scarf and veil peeks out from behind the fallen barrels. "Please don't kill me," she cries out. "I am a simple merchant, mapmaker, and scribe. At your service, if you will allow me, in exchange for my life."

"We won't kill you," I say. "Just tell us, what is this place?" We learn from her the village was mostly abandoned over many years. But there were some villagers that had returned and have been living here and this was seasonally a trade point. The ones that attacked us with fire arrows last night had been here hours earlier to loot what remained of the place.

"This is an outpost village. It is called Grenvik," the woman in green says. My eyes widen, looking at Gauti who looks at me, then peers at the lady.

"This is Grenvik?" I say incredulously. We must have traveled faster, further, than we realized with a strong wind, I say to Gauti. I ask her who was looting this village and why? What does it have of any value that they would be so far north?"

The woman in green replies, "The Wends. They were searching for a special plunder." I grow impatient.

"What plunder?" I ask.

"They seek the summerstone," she says. I pause a moment, considering what she just said then ask her what the summerstone is, but she cannot tell me because she does not know or understand what it is or why they seek it. She knows only that the summerstone has been sought for a long time and is spoken about in hushed tones by only a very few. It is time for me to learn more about this place and perhaps find clues to the summerstone.

I explore the village, crossing a narrow rickety bridge passing the foothills of a glacier mountain peak and waterfall, and a cold rushing stream beneath my feet. Walking out to the edge of the forest, I gaze up at black ravens gliding high above the jade spires of pine touching burning azure. And I have a feeling of being watched. There is a circle of standing stones in the clearing behind the pine. Tall runestones with faded ornate etchings. Groa stands in the middle of this circle uttering odd incantations, raising and lowering her arms and staff as she chants. I have so many questions but I wait for her to finish.

White feathers drift down over me like snow, landing in my hair, shoulders, near my boots. I look up to see a birch tree with white feathers lodged between some of the branches. A small flash of white emerges from behind the snow capped glacier. And I see them, a group of white ravens hovering high overhead against sunlight breaks in the passing storm clouds! Some of them land in the birch tree and look down at me. More feathers drift down to me in the breeze. I smile, gathering up the fallen feathers and stuff as many as I can pick up into my leather pack. They remind me of the mottled gray and white pied ravens we sometimes saw in the mountains behind our village. But these ravens are pure white with eyes of blue and red.

I notice Groa has stopped chanting and is watching me.
"What is the summestone?" I blurt out.

"You are on a quest for the summerstone it seems. This is why you are here," she says. "You must find it and then perhaps you and I will know what it truly is."

"You do not know what the summerstone is?" I ask. She says nothing more and gathers up her things  and walks to the bridge toward the village. I quickly follow her and into the apothecary where Groa is already gathering up some of the herbs and dyes. "Why the dyes?" I ask.

"Why the feathers," she replies.

"I think the feathers are pretty," I say.

Groa smiles amused.
"And I think the dyes are pretty." I press her again to tell me what she knows about the summerstone. "These burns on my face, my arms," she says, pulling up the sleeves of her robe to reveal her arms, pushing back her hood to reveal more of her cheeks, displaying the burn streaks on her skin, "came from the summerstone. I did not understand it at the time. The gods have not revealed to me what the summerstone is. The future is unclear. You must go further into this forest and find it. "You could die on this quest. I am unable to see behind the veil what will happen to you."

She again becomes quiet and I am left to ponder what to do. I spend part of the day sitting in the circle of standing stones thinking. Before leaving, I gather up more of the white raven feathers without really understanding what compels me to do this.

Some of the women we rescued from the sinking Torva longship carry red and yellow patterned round shields, the colors of their banners representing the Torva. Their colors are unique to them as are our own blue and white banded shields and banners, the colors of our village, Selasund. Named for the seal-sound cries along our craggy coastline. A few days after we land in Grenvik, I return to the apothecary and gather up indigo dye. With Mist
's help, we dye the white raven feathers indigo blue. Finding clasps in the shop, we pair one blue and one original white raven feather together and wear them forked in our hair like wings.

The other shieldmaidens from our village see our feathers, and as a source of pride and to honor the memory of our ruined homeland and all we left behind, dye more of the raven feathers and soon we are all wearing blue and white.

When the Torva women see us, they smile and point to our feathers. Before long, they have talked me into giving up some of my stashed feathers and raid the apothecary of the remaining crimson and maize   dyes. Soon they are wearing forked pairs of feathers like we do, but in their native village colors of red and yellow. These small moments of mutual pride confuse our men, but the feathers give us a sense of comfort, of family and belonging and identity in the midst of uncertainty and our dire homeless situation.

Meanwhile, the men rebuild the village. The stone village sign for Grenvik lies shattered in the mud. Njal, a stonemason and fisherman from the Torva village offers to make a new sign. We decide we will be here for a while, hiding from the Wends, so why not. Building shared pride in our temporary home could not hurt.

A Torva shieldmaiden steps forward and offers a new name for the fallen village. I ask her what name and she replies,
"Torvavik." I look around at Gauti, Mist, Reginleif, our own villagers, warriors and shieldmaidens, and at the eager faces of the Torva men and women, then down at the stonemason seated at his wheel with the raw stone ready for carving. I shrug and nod.

"Why not," I say. "Torvavik. It is a good name." Everyone nods in agreement. A week later, the stonemason has finished the newly engraved village stone and with the help of some of the men, erect it at the entry to the village facing the dock. The new old village of Torvavik officially renamed with a small gathering of our mixed people sharing cake and mead at the ceremony.

A month passes. We all have worked hard collectively building defenses around the village, fortifying buildings, stocking our supplies and planting seeds. We are sitting all together inside the stone circle, Mist, Reginleif, the other shieldmaidens from our village, and our volva. I once again press Groa about the mystery of the summerstone. I want to know what it is and to seek it out. She says to me,
"Then the time for your quest has begun. Hrafn Forest awaits you and your sisters. This forest has another name. Valkyrie Forest."

My mouth drops agape. "The Valkyries are only a story. A legend. They do not exist," I say. "They are enjoyable stories. But what use would the gods have for the Valkyrie? And why name a forest for something that does not exist?"

"The Valkyrie is a prophecy. One told again and again in the chronicles of our old religion," Groa says quietly. "They are yet to come. Like other prophecies such as Ragnarök weaved into our sagas, their time will come. This forest attests to that." The others listen in silence. I look at Groa puzzled. She repeats an earlier prophecy she made to me. "If you knew what they seek, what awaits, you would hide under the boulders and wish not to come out. You must go to the Hrafn Forest. Your answers lie in the forest of ravens and within the temple of the dead and the Norns. It will be a perilous journey. Only the women may make this trip with the exception of a few thralls. You will build fortifications against the Wends deep in the forest."

And so the next day, fully packed, we are ready to begin our journey into the forest. Before leaving the village, Gauti hugs me tightly and we kiss deeply. I am crying, torn between staying and leaving. But I promise I will return to him. One of the Torva shieldmaidens whispers to me that three women chieftains from her village are in hiding but soon will come to Torvavik and speak about joining forces with the women of Selasund. We can be stronger together and meet what fate awaits us. She offers to send some of her shieldmaidens along with us. I agree. And so together we set out.

The forest is deep and we follow a northeasterly path alongside a meandering river. Groa goes with us, walking steadily with her staff. She has given us a general direction to an ancient temple at least a week
's journey from the village. She remembers the place when she was a young woman. We push through dense, towering pine, sunlight sparkling through the branches, and look up to see so many ravens flying above us. Again I have the feeling of being watched. Mist tells me she feels watched as well.

We camp at night, take turns at keeping watch and then push on at daybreak. There are plenty of streams crisscrossing the forest with fresh, clean drinking water and several times during our journey, we jump into the cold, clear waters just long enough to clean up. True to Groa
's words, the journey takes a week of walking. We drop down into a shallow path passing runestones, then rise up a hill where we see it at last.

Ahead of us is an old weather-beaten bridge. And beyond in the clearing is a mesa. The temple mesa Groa reminds us. Grand waterfalls drop down the sides of the cliffs. We cross the bridge reaching the mesa. Towering mossy covered gray stone cliffs rise high up becoming hues of blue when the sunlight shifts angles.
"Bluestone cliffs," Groa tells me. "The summerstone is a bluestone variety like these cliffs."

We enter through a partially open derelict rolling stone door ascending worn steps to the top of the mesa. There are trees and grass and flowers growing up here. And another stone circle at the far end of the mesa. We find a stone trap door next to a petrified tree and roll it to one side descending a wooden platform into a series of tunnels. We carry torches with us, lighting long extinguished torches along the walls bringing illumination to the dark corridors. There is evidence of mining down here. Groa tells us this was first a spiritual temple site during a long ago forgotten age. But more recently, a mine. As far as I can tell, exploring the tunnels and damp grottoes, the mine was abandoned.

Rounding the corner of one of the tunnels I discover standing there against the wall a giant statue of a robed and hooded woman. We find two more large robed and hooded female statues in other parts of the tunnel. Each holds thick chords hanging like ropes in their hands. These are the Norn statues, Groa explains to me. Each representing the fates. And yet again, I feel as if I am being watched. The others share the same uncanny sensation, like we are being watched. Perhaps it is the trick of the flickering torch light and shadows, but when I look at the face of one of the Norns, her eyes appear closed one moment, and now slowly open watching me. It seems as if her eyes turn and follow me. I shake my head in disbelief and the gaze becomes stony and static again.

Groa takes my hand and walks me to the statue that seemed to be staring at me moments ago. She reaches around my neck and removes my Vegvisir amulet. Turning it around and removing a dagger from her belt, she inserts the tip into a small notch at the bottom of the amulet and opens the back side. I blink. I had never imagined it could be opened. Inside the amulet chamber is a white crescent shaped stone. I think, moonstone. Groa removes the stone from inside the amulet and places it on the square stone pedestal supporting the statue. She slides a small panel to one side on the pedestal and places the white stone into a small chamber. The walls in the corridor dimly light up as if there is an unseen power in the stone.

She tells me I have a piece of the summerstone, that I have been carrying it all along all these years. It takes me a moment to recover from the shock of this discovery, but then I ask her if this is what burned her. Groa tells me no, the white moonstone will not bring harm. The part missing is a special bluestone, much more powerful and will burn. She once held it and it did burn her. But when the bluestone is fitted together into the white moonstone, it becomes one stone, the complete summerstone and is tamed and stable. It will no longer burn. But it is more powerful. Placed in this same chamber with my moonstone, the walls would glow more brightly. It can bring light and life and healing. It can also bring destruction. Like a double-edged sword, the summerstone can cut away the boils of ignorance and make great things happen or misused can cut off your own head.

"You told me you did not know what this summerstone was," I remind Groa. She explains she does not fully know its purpose or where it came from. Only what she has read and shared between a few sister volvas. I insist Groa is too modest and she does know much more about it.

"You have to find the missing piece before the Wends do," she says firmly. She found it here in this chamber long ago, but now it is gone. And she warns me the Wends will come here and find us. That we must fortify this camp.

In the days and weeks ahead, we put the thralls to work chopping trees and helping with building huts and fences, fixing the broken gates in the mines, and repairing the stone roll door at the front of our new camp.

Standing on the ledge of our camp a month later with the rest of our shieldmaidens from Selasund and Torva, gazing out over our home, over the quickly passing clouds casting a symphony of light and shadow over the forested land, we give thanks to the goddess for our new home in Valkyrie Forest.

I see a lone raven flying against the sun and declare to everyone gathered, Selasund and Torva villages are now just memories. We are the new keepers of the Valkyrie Forest. And we will bear a new name for our clan of shieldmaidens. We will from now on be called the Valkyrie.

One of the Torva winces and says,
"This is blasphemy." I look to Groa for her reaction. She is gazing up at the same raven. I ask if anyone else protests but none speak up.

"We will fulfill the prophecy," I say. In a gesture of our new union, I open my pack and take out two sets of feathers. One blue and white pair worn by us. And one red and yellow pair worn by the Torva. I unbind and remove the red Torva feather and then unbind and remove the white feather from our Selasund band. I replace the white feather with the red Torva feather creating a blue and red pair of feathers. When I have finished binding the feathers together, I tie the pair to the left side of my hair and raise my arms smiling as I slowly turn around, presenting for all to see the new blue and red Valkyrie feathers.

Groa produces some of the dyes she took from the village and we make more blue and red feathers. We wear our feathers with pride. A sign of unity. It will bolster our spirits in the time ahead. Blue for the air color of the Valkyrie. Red for the fire passion of the Torva. Together, fire and air, one sisterhood. Raven feathers as straight and sure as the guide feathers of an arrow. Groa warns me again, the Wends are coming. And the quest for the summerstone beckons.

I tap my new feathers. We will need the strength represented in these feathers and our new namesake. I can sense what is coming. The rumblings of a great war following on the heels of the brief, separate peace we shared together in the Valkyrie Forest.

Copyright Danika Meyers
In the beginning, the Valkyrie came from the far north, many as free women and shieldmaidens from the lands of Vikings and Torvaldsland. Journeying south, settling in the forests of ravens, a place called Valkyrie Forest, they took the name Valkyrie Panthers for their band. They and their bonds and thralls carried with them some of the rich cultural heritage and influences of the  northern customs. The Valkyrie were led by Danika Stenvaag.

One day, the Torva Panthers, journeying from the forests of Tharna in search of a new home, came upon the Valkyrie in their forests, soon joining them. The Torva were led by Robin Dancer. Together, they became the Valkyrie Torva Panthers.

Entering Valkyrie Forest, you are in a world shrouded in spires of jade-hued pine... a  place of snow-clad, glacier peaks and waterfalls, clear cold  meandering streams, and long forgotten standing Runestones. You  have journeyed far north into the Northern Forest and are close  to the border of Torvaldsland... This is Valkyrie Forest, an  upper region of the Northern Forest.

Take a few moments to stop and enjoy the peace of the forest.  While you are in meditation, take note of the Valkyrie Ravens flying overhead; they are always watching over the lands. They may even be watching you. It is magical.

While the site is down, view some of our photos...
Visit our site on Flickr here:

Valkyrie Torva Panthers Photos on Flickr

This site is under reconstruction. Now be a good surfer and come visit our new site again soon. Thanks for your patience!
The Valkyrie Panthers have become a treatment and story concept (Warner Bros.) but are years away from production. In the meantime, story concepts are played out on controlled gaming platforms and virtual reality. The original platform was developed in Second Life by a young female college student during her freshman year at UCLA with two other female friends and continues today as a live action roleplay game in a virtual Valkyrie Forest found here:
Below are some sample albums of the Valkyrie Torva in Valkyrie Forest from their Valkyrie Flickr web site. The photo albums are not current, going back years to 2011, and as such are in desperate need of updating. The photo samples presented here were taken during the flexi era, before mesh builds became mainstream. Expect them to be updated with many more photos coming soon. For now, some of the albums presented here reflect the seasons in Valkyrie Forest. A recurring theme are the Valkyrie feathers, blue for the air color of the Valkyrie, red for the fire passion of the Torva that joined them. Together, they are elemental like air and fire, found in the seaons... One sisterhood... Click the photo links to take you to the albums.
Valkyrie Winter
Valkyrie Summer
Valkyrie Main Site Flickr
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