Veiadokuur

Agrat the Wanderer

Another Blackskull tale, this time about Agrat’s namesake. I plucked this out of the longer narrative to share online. This is another one that I should have included more about what the legendary Agrat actually did during his time a-wanderin’, but as I wrote it, I worried it would distract from the rest of the narrative too much.

For context, Agrat here has just come out to his mother, Grasha, about being transgender. He wasn’t certain whether she’d take his feelings seriously, so he’s feeling pretty ashamed and embarrassed about himself. Both of them were exiled from the Blackskulls, Grasha’s tribe, because the Blackskulls carry some nasty cultural beliefs about racial purity, and Agrat’s a half-breed. For all their faults, I still enjoy writing about the Blackskulls and who they are as a people

Originally Posted: September 28, 2016
Word Count: ~1600
Rating: G
Warnings: None

“Come,” Grasha said, and opened her arms. Agrat stared at her a moment, then crawled up to her. She hugged him tightly. “I should have seen this long ago. You are my son, Re—no, you need a different name. Do you have one in mind?” He widened his eyes.

Just like that? So easily?

His mind spun a bit before he thought back to his dreams and fantasies. He’d tried on a few different names and none really fit him perfectly, but one cropped up a little more frequently.

“Helmun,” he said. Grasha stared at him and rolled her eyes.

“That’s a human name,” she said. “You’re more orc than human, kaluk.” Agrat set his jaw forward.

“I’m half, though,” he said.

“You’ll figure it out someday. And either way, orc names are better,” she said and grinned.

(more…)

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Rokag the Rider

While building the world of Veiadokuur, I wanted to include myths, legends, and histories that the characters would know of and be able to reference. Actually writing these out made the task more interesting for me, and gives me something to do when I need to take a break from working on the main narrative. Plus it’s fun to write stories like this, where gods interact with mortals. I scratched this one out in basically one sitting at my parents’ house, then revised it when I typed it up later. I wish I’d gone a little further with Rokag the Rider’s legendary exploits, but this is an origin story more than anything; in Blackskull tales, Rokag appears again and again with their trusty steed.

Originally Posted: September 26, 2016
Word Count: ~2000
Rating: G
Warnings: None

When Rokag was born, Rek’gor was already an adult. The sister god still visited us in those days to share her wisdom and her stories, and give us insight into the workings of the world. She also stood present at each and every Blackskull birth, guiding the caretakers and the parents in the process. Rokag’s body was tiny—thin little arms, sunken eyes, and skin as thin as a crinkled leaf and ashen as the northern, icy fields. The weak cries the babe made hurt Rek’gor’s kind heart. After the birth, Rek’gor said to Rokag’s parents, “Come—let me hold your child.”

Rokag’s parents trusted Rek’gor completely, as all orcs do. They handed her their little loved one and Rek’gor embraced the child. Rokag stopped whimpering, warm and comfortable, and looked up into the goddess’ eyes.

“You wish to be stronger, don’t you?” Rek’gor said, speaking to Rokag’s heart of hearts. “Strong you shall be, young one. You can be anything you desire—here.” She touched Rokag’s chest with her great palm. Rokag’s skin darkened to the color of the most fertile soils, and after just one day, vitality flowed through the small one’s body. Rokag’s mother and father wept and thanked Rek’gor, who was only pleased to give their child health.

But something else changed about Rokag. (more…)