The Word’s Weaving

From The Scrolls of Aphyr:

In the formless days, long before the rise of the Church, all spells were woven of pure causality, all actions were permitted, and death was common. Many witches were disfigured by their magicks, found crumpled at the center of a circle of twisted, glass-eaten trees, and stones which burned unceasing in the pooling water; some disappeared entirely, or wandered along the ridgetops: feet never touching earth, breath never warming air.

As a child, you learned the story of Gullveig-then-Heiðr, reborn three times from the fires of her trial, who traveled the world performing seidr: the reading and re-weaving of the future. Her foretellings (and there were many) were famed—spoken of even by the völva-beyond-the-world—but it was her survival that changed history. Through the ecstatic trance of seidr, she foresaw her fate, and conquered death. Her spells would never crash, and she became a friend to outcast women: the predecessors of your kind. It is said that Odin himself learned immortality from her.

To this day, all witches owe Heiðr a debt. Few delve into the ancient, unstructured magic nowadays. The very languages in which your spells are written are stabilized with seidr in their syntax, channeling the energies you summon through safe paths—more or less. There are still occasional explosions, of course. They’re just… more of the eyebrow-singeing variety, rather than the type that result in new and interestingly-shaped fjørds.

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