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Standing in the shade of Yggdrasil, Conversing with Norns


The Confederation
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"An ash I know there stands,

Yggdrasill is its name,

a tall tree, showered

with shining loam.

From there come the dews

that drop in the valleys.

It stands forever green over

Urðr's well."

-An ancient Völva's words to Odin

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On the steep slopes of Tanzband castle--where the wind lashes the ancient walls and flies through the narrow passages and roads between them--everything seemed eerily calm. It was an incredibly warm spring day, nearly 25 degrees, and the light breeze tickled the faces of those standing watch over Königsberg and the Prussian people.

"You know...I haven't seen it this calm for quite some time. Atleast not since Herr Mannelig and Empress Gebiv met at the Temple of the Norns. Either something fantastic or utterly horrible is about to transpire."

The words of the guard who spoke them quietly whisked into the air and was muffled by the shuffling of wind on the nearby trees.

His relief straitened his uniform and jested,

"Heh, or both."

The now off-duty guard smiled and saluted his replacement before beginning his trek to the barracks in the lower levels. Catching one last glimpse of the quaint landscape, he sighed with relief.

"No...something great is going to happen...I feel the will of Huginn speaking to me."

----

The Kaiser's desk was a complete cluttered mess. With the recent reforms brought upon the now completely Martencist Aristocracy, Prussian and Nordic law texts were thrown about with placers marking their respective areas of dictum.

He was in an utter panic, he was due to meet a very special foreign dignitary at his private airstrip in fifteen minutes and he had neither his notes for the meeting, or the correct uniform to wear.

An aide--a smart looking woman in her mid-twenties--chimed in on the office-intercom.

"My Kaiser, your vehicle has been refueled and is ready for departure. I know how much you like to beat security, so I have not informed them as of yet."

The Kaiser cracked a nervous smile and rushed out of the office in his working regalia. This meeting would have to be done off the tip of the tongue and at the virtue of the Norns.

He rushed to the motorpool and activated his favorite vehicle--a gift from Scolar Visari. Screaming out of the bomb-proofed parking garage, the Kaiser rushed his vehicle on the closed and barricaded roads to his personal Airport, nearly 5 kilometers away.

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"If I really hurry, I can get there in three minutes."

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Being busy meant that the world was still in order, Sarah always figured that as long as she was constantly running from place to place on diplomatic business the Hansa would remain safe and normally the world would remain safe. It wasn't that she was the reason, but like any diplomat, she took it upon herself to do the bidding of the world's people and the meeting was Kaiser Tanzband was no different. To be honest, Sarah had not been to Europe in a long while not since attending Visari's victory parade in Berlin as to honor the White Cross. Peace had returned to Europe, at least for a time and while much of the world looked on the Hansa's movements as confiding with the enemy Sarah regarded the comments as true posh. Europe was her birthplace and war in Europe cut into the depths of her very heart, she had wished the Russo-Nordic War had never come to pass, but it had, and now it was time to rebuild and she would make a promise to herself. The world would never again reach into the darkness that had existed in the Great Nuclear War.

The plane touched down on the tarmac in Königsberg and as the door opened, Sarah took a deep breath. The warm European air once again filling her lungs. It was rejuvenating than anything she had ever felt in her life and in the distance she could see the rolling forests and hills of Poland and Prussia and it almost, almost brought a tear to her eye. A contingent of Prussia soldiers was their to greet her and as they clicked their heels, she heard the sound of wheels screeching in the distance. A black Benz roared into the run way and exiting out was the Kaiser himself. Sarah grinned to see her friend from so long ago. To be honest the last time they had really talked was while she sat crying in a bunker after Helsinki had been nuked.

"Kaiser! Albert! It is so good to see you again!" Sarah jumped into the Kaiser's arms and hugged him tightly. "It feels amazing to be back in Prussia again and this time with such happy terms. Peace has finally returned to the world."

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Sarah was the most beautiful woman Kaiser Tanzband had ever seen. Indeed, she reminded him of the Valkyries of his dreams--a strong, beautiful woman, yet somehow delicate. She was a true enigma to him, and his feelings for her could hardly be suppressed. At her very sight, the Kaiser began to uncontrollably giggle...then laugh...then shed tears of happiness.

"Well if it isn't the one and only Sarah Tintagyl!?"

He wiped his eyes, noticing that the security escort had not caught up...it would be a thrilling ride back home.

"How do you like the new Prussia? The last you saw her, we were knee deep in green goo and the forests were on fire."

He smiled, but simultaneously, his heart ached and his mind flashed at the atrocities of the war.

"Now, you know the protocol with these rides back to the fortress...let's hope you're not as weak hearted as that Pons fellow!"

A sense of urgency rushed through the Kaiser while he opened the upright doors for the beautiful lady of the Hansa. As she stepped into the vehicle, their hands accidentally touched. Pulling quickly away, the Kaiser panicked and blushed as if he were a stereotypical school girl.

Rushing around the back of the vehicle, he gestured toward the planecrew to load the lady's luggage on the incoming security convoy...it would arrive at the castle shortly after the Kaiser and his guest would.

Rushing through the security gates and the now populated streets of Königsberg was a challenge, but the car arrived in the stockade where it belonged. It was like they had never left.

A GROM agent standing guard at the elevator simply smiled: he was in on the Kaiser's running joke.

"Now, let us go to my study to catch up, it has been quite some time. I have ordered a luncheon of Prussian and Hanseatic foods...like the old times. You also have business to do in Prussia, yes?"

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As they drove away towards the castle Sarah chuckled watching the speedometer rise faster and faster and faster. It had been awhile since she had actually driven fast, the limousines taking her to and from meetings in Brisbane were notoriously slow. "Oh the good Doctor, I pity his health for riding with you in this kind of car. Though I think I would be able to take it much better."

They rushed through the streets of Königsberg like nothing else she had ever seen and the culture of the city was even more magnificent, the old buildings still rising up into the sky of brown and black stone and the medieval feel that still hung around in the city nearly made her laugh out loud, it feel good to be here. As they pulled through the outskirts of the city itself, Tanzband castle loomed in front of them and once in the stockade as the guards let her out of the car, she turned to the sky, marveling and the architecture around her. "Stunning Albert. Truly stunning, I wasn't able to appreciate things like this last time. But there isn't any green goo anymore either." She laughed.

Stepping out she turned back to the Kaiser who after inviting her up to lunch and the natural acceptance of such an invitation took his hand in hers. "Just like the old times, agreed." Her eyes widened. "But yes, I do have business, but we can mix the two. I realized after the last war that the Nordic Confederacy was extremely helpful with the workings of the White Cross and I would love to talk more about how we can involve the organization more in European operations, especially humanitarian ones. As long as the nation realizes the basic human rights of course, which I don't see being a true problem." As they boarded the elevator she turned to him, her contacts had dulled her eyes, but the light still aided some sparkling. She couldn't tell Albert just yet about her similarities to Martens. "But I also wanted to ask about your foreign policy as of late, I want more than anything to have seen the Russo-Nordic war as the last war that touches this continent and I just want to hear it from a mouth I have always trusted that this is true and of course if there is anything that I can do to help. Europe does not need anymore suffering." Sarah shook her head, ridding herself of the frown. "But the lunch sounds amazing, and I'm quite hungry anyways."

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They sat in the Grand Hall of the Library, meal plates cleanly ordained on the elegant table. As soon as they sat and became acclimated to their surroundings, servers rushed their meal to the table.

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"This crab was caught in the morning off the coasts of Old Hansa, let's hope it's quality rivals that of the people it produced."

He raised a flute of champagne and smiled, gazing into the eyes of a Valkyrie. He reflected on the past what may become of the future, and it was good.

A song played quietly in the background, most likely from the waitstaff's preparation rooms.

( http://www.imeem.com/jukeboxmusic2/music/V...-unforgettable/ )

The Kaiser smirked, but quickly gained control of himself. He thinks "Odin...you're really looking out for me today."

He spoke.

"You know Sarah...whatever happened to the world? We get caught up in silly things such as war and hate, and forget one of the most important...no...the most important pillar of society and mankind. Love. Be it love for another, love for a nation, love for an idea. We skirmish as nations, and forget that the emotions and ability of a single person far exceed those of entire societies."

He sighed, composing himself.

"I truly believe the world began to lose sight of what is right and correct in this world around the time of the Hanseatic Evacuation of Europe...a time that burns and hearts of every man on this planet."

He placed the napkin over his mouth and patted it dry.

"Ms. Tintagyl...in addition to discussions you originally have come to Prussia for, I wish to add another item to the agenda. That being the reinstatement of the Hanseatic State. The reinstatement of humanity on this planet."

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The crab was exquisite, she hadn't tasted really good, fresh Finnish crab in over three years and her mouth literally gave in to watering the minute it touched her tongue. But when Albert mentioned the exodus Sarah began to slow her eating and when he brought up the reinstatement of a Hanseatic state in Europe she dropped her fork and choked for a moment on the food that was sliding down her throat. "Us, in Europe again?" To be honest, Tanzband's compliments had made her blush almost through the entire dinner. Sarah was used to having a bit of romance with about every male leader on the planet. It was just something that she couldn't avoid, but the Prussian Kaiser had true class and Sarah had missed talking to someone that treated her as an equal and not just a leader to flirt with to get economic or military favors from. But Europe again?

She rubbed her eyes and played with her fork for a moment. "Albert that is a huge request for me, especially considering that I already moved my people once, I doubt I could do it again." Her heart began to ache. "Don't get me wrong, I love Europe will all my heart and soul and I would love to come back. But the Hansa is more diverse now that it has ever been and people's homes are in Australia. For me to tell them to pack up and leave again, it would be disastrous." Sarah chuckled. "The reinstatement of humanity you say, I have to say Your Majesty, my reputation proceeds me, everywhere I go I hear compliments such as this. I am only a young girl trying to lead her country as best as she humanly can." But try as she could she couldn't get the though out of her head. "I cannot leave Australia entirely, but I would love to hear the rest of this proposition. You've peaked my curiosity to the highest degree. Please Kaiser, please explain this reinstatement." Sarah said as she began to eat again.

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The Kaiser sat back, expecting her very reaction. You see, he had been playing through this moment in his mind for weeks.

A polite smile was followed by a flood of pure emotion and disclosure.

"The plight of the Hanseatic People is the plight of Europe. It is my plight. You already know that the Prussian people have come into possession of the lands once known as Byelorussia. It is the land where the Varangians first stepped foot in their conquests of the East, after a long journey from their homes...originally near the former Hansaland. When they arrived to Byelorussia, they discovered a tree with roots wider than any they had every seen, a tree in which the entire world rotated upon, the tree of the world, Yggdrasil. They toiled away, building a wonderful settlement, one of iron, gold and silver at it's base. They called it Valkurheim, a city fit for even the Gods. Through time, the city was lost in history, and so was the great Yggdrasil."

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The Visit of the Varangians...a journey that parallels that of the Hansa

He paused for a moment to collect his thoughts.

"Now, it was not by any single action that the world lost these great spectacles of creation and man's ability. It was the collection of man's own greed, hate, and fear that accumulated to create a monstrosity that wiped the land from the face of our planet, leaving a massive scar in the earth. The name of the demon--Níðhöggr--is the root of our modern definition for the word "War". With the destruction of Valkurheim, an age of war and hate came upon man, and has continued to this day. However, with the unification of Europe in peace, that age must be ushered away."

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Níðhöggr, the bringer of hate, eating the roots of the great Yggdrasil

"Volklore speaks of a time when peace has truly been returned to the world, a Valkyrie from the Northlands will live in exile. However, she will not be a Valkyrie of War, she will be one of Peace. She will ride north, and oversee the rebuilding the great city of Valkurheim. The city of iron, silver and gold."

He smiled playfully.

"That Valkyrie is you, My lady Hansa. It is undeniable. Your beauty, intelligence, and determination toward peace is undeniable."

He stood but soon took a knee of respect near her place of restful sitting.

"My Lady, please, allow me to ceed the lands of the Ancient Varangians to you. Allow me to build you a city of iron, and gold and silver lining the streets. Allow me to establish it in your namesake. My Valkyrie of Peace, please, let us usher in a new age of peace and prosperity...together.

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The Valkyrie of Peace and the Valkyrie of the Hansa riding north to reclaim the lands rightfully owed to them by the Gods

Edited by Brian Reimer
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Sarah smiled down at the Kaiser in his kneeling position. Prophecy, it was almost to good to be true, so chivalrous, so kindhearted. Bending down she kissed him lightly on the forehead and held his shoulders tightly. "I have never once in my life been compared to a such a figure as a Valkyrie my dear Kaiser and the compliment is almost too much for me to take." She sat back in her seat and fiddled around with the contact lenses. "I never paid attention much to prophecy, especially not one of my own religion and trust me I will always remain Catholic, but things have changed so much for me." Taking out her contacts she looked back down at the Kaiser with her ruby-red eyes. "Martens...he visited me...he changed me. My life has changed so much since the Great European War, everything about me has changed and now I am supposed to be the heroine that leads her people back to their rightful place." She turned and smiled. "I could never turn an offer like this down my friend and I accept, I will, we will build Valkurheim into the golden city not of just Europe, but of the world. It will be the center of peace and diplomacy and more importantly, culture."

She lifted herself from the chair and walked over towards a window looking out towards the fields below. The sun shown directly on to her body and if the Kaiser's imagination played with him, Sarah seemed to be transfigured then and there into the goddesses of the past. "The world needs help and if I can provide it, I will yank tranquility from the depths of hate and conflict." She turned back towards Tanzband. "Together we will achieve peace and if the prophecies are to be true? Then I will become this Valkyrie of Peace and the people of the world will live in harmony for once. Thank you so much Albert. You changed me in a way as well and I will never forget this." Sarah turned back around and beheld the grasslands of Prussia. Her journey now once again had made a sharp turn and where she would end up now, she knew not, but indeed Martens was right. She had ultimately escaped her previous being, she was much more now, with the strength to save the world and led them to something greater.

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Tears ran down the Kaiser's face. It was the happiest moment of his life, for the dreams of his father, and his father's father, and his father's father's father. The dream of peace had finally been achieved, grabbed by the neck by the Savior Valkyrie. Finally, the world would know peace and the Nordic peoples would be united by their ancient ties.

There was a knock on the door, and the Kaiser quickly composed himself and called the visitor in.

"Am I...intruding?"

The voice was silky smooth and oozed sex appeal and power.

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"No...no...Valkyrie Selvaria, have you met Valkyrie Eydis...the Valkyrie of Peace?"

Selvaria's eyes shot up and shock.

"No...no...indeed, it is an honor."

The Kaiser smiled worryingly...he could not imagine the problems that would arise if Prussia's two house Valkyrie were in conflict. Quickly thinking, he decided for Selvaria and Eydis to spend more time together, and what better than to allow them to converse on the way to Sarah's new quarters. The Kaiser's Pavilion at Königsberg Catherdral, two kilometers walk away.

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Königsberg Catherdral, The Temple and Home of the Valkyries

Edited by Brian Reimer
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The two women walked silently from the Great Library towards Königsberg, Sarah her eyes still in wonder now that she was able to behold the city not from the seat of a racing car, but from the ground around her, while Selveria walked with military precision the entire way, her boots clicking sharply on the stone ground underneath her. Escaping from the dark insides of Tazband Castle, the sunlight of the Prussian afternoon enveloped both of them and as Sarah turned to look at the woman beside her, Selveria's face had not changed in the least, they were as one could describe, utter opposites.

Never to be out done, or perhaps more, forced to be silent Sarah piped up when they arrived in the city streets themselves. "Beautiful weather." She smiled and clasped her arms behind her back. As they walked the people on the streets quickly made way for the two women, though Sarah noted to herself that with such a domineering figure that was accompanying her, it really wasn't shocking. Of course, her face was widely known across the world as well, so to be honest, the Prussian citizens probably had not seen a pair like this walking around in broad daylight often at all.

"It is. You will like Byelorussia Eydis, the land is calm and the people are friendly. From what I have heard before about you, many people in the world rely on your constant hope and will."

"People need a shoulder to lean on Selveria, its something I've believed since I was a little girl and I had always asked for my father's shoulder but I was told to, even as a girl, to toughen up." Sarah frowned. "Those same feelings made me the leader I am today, I want to be the shoulder for the world to cry and hold on to, because I was never given it when I was young. I think it would better serve the world that this constant bloodshed."

Selveria for once chuckled in only for a moment and laid a strong hand on Sarah's shoulder. "I don't know whether you are just naive or if you are idealist. Naivety would not be becoming of you, because of what you have went through in the past and therefore you are idealist and therefore you should know that idealism rarely works in the world today." The white haired Valkyrie turned and stared down at the small blonde girl in front of her. "Men have been killing each other since the time of the immortal, the gods have killed each other and we have yet to see the final battle and when it comes all will cease." She blinked. "You aren't aware of the Norse religion." Selveria thought for a moment. "But you Christians are just the same, Cain killed Abel and thus began the world correct?"

"Yes but..."

"We live in an evil world Eydis and the only way to rid the evil in this world is to destroy within our iron fist. You wear no gauntlets and yet you fight an extreme struggle, full of hardship and chaos. You have the strength to rival some of the greatest people in this world for sure, perhaps even some of the goddesses and that is why you are of our being. But you are foolish, because there will never be peace, there is and there will only be war."

Sarah turned to the ground as Selveria released her from her grip. "You need to have hope Selveria." She said quietly. "If you have hope you can accomplish peace and that is what the world is missing now and it is something that I will never give up on." She laid a soft hand on the Valkyrie's shoulder and smiled. "I don't want to inspire a golden age of peace or wealth. I want to inspire a golden age of hope."

"Hope." Selveria turned and flashed a half-smile.

"Yes. Hope."

"Well we shall see. We shall see if the Kaiser's Valkyrie of Peace can do such a thing." She brushed Sarah's arm off of her shoulder and walked into the Cathedral ahead of her. Sarah smiled for a moment, she was a hard soul and she would never believe in true peace unless she saw it with her own eyes. But the inspiration was there and it only took a world where no one would fight one another. It could be done. It must be done.

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