We slept poorly last night, with the howls of the Lost Winds roaring around our ears, it is good because sleeping too heavily before a battle is never a good idea. When we awoke, the Sky was the deepest blue, without a cloud in sight. Many thought this was a bad omen, but we are descended from Heler, kin to the Blue Sky and we knew it boded well for us. When I awoke, Eurmal's Rod was upon me and I wished that Morella was here to share it with her, but she sleeps with our children, so I walked down to the river's edge for all to see.
The water was cold as I slipped inside, remembering when I first took Morella from her father and Eurmal took his Rod from me so that I could walk again without the eyes of my comrades upon me. I washed carefully, knowing that each step in the ritual was important as the other. When I had finished, I alighted upon the bank and began to cut the hair from my face and chin, leaving my moustache and top-knot the way that Heler had ordained that we wear it. I brushed the blade against my chest and my body, removing the hair that would otherwise hold back the woad. I gasped as I saw the sun reflected in the blue of the obsidian blade and knew that things would go well today. Once shaved, I took a breakfast of boar's flesh and blue-berries, washed down with a single goblet of mead, honouring the Blue Boar, Berry Maid and the Honey Master whom we cherished.
I returned to the river bank with my comrades as they dressed themselves for battle. I watched them don their pants, tunic and armour and burnish the metal so that it shone like the angry clouds and I wondered how they could bear going into battle this hot morning encased in leather and bronze. I said a prayer to Orlanth and opened my jar of woad, taking the jar in my left hand and spreading the woad upon my exposed skin. As the blue spread across my body, the old tattoos caught the colour and seemed to shine once more, their spirals and patterns weaving around my body, showing all who had eyes to see the story of my deeds and my powers. When I was finished, the Blue Sky reflected from the water of the River and from the Blue of my Skin and they all glowed so that all around looked at me in admiration.
I knelt at the river's edge and drank once more, this time drinking the pure water to cleanse me of any taint that may harm me in the fight ahead. A shout sounded and we saw the sun reflecting from the armour and swords of the warriors of the Bramblevine clan as they came around the bend of the river. My comrades jumped up and formed into the groups that we had arranged, the warriors standing in shield-walls and the thanes beside them. I took up my position upon the flank as our Thunder Priests chanted their prayers, making the clouds boil in and the sound of Orlanth's Voice above us. The Bramblevine warriors marched towards us and took up their position across the river. Now was our chance to avenge the dishonour that their chieftain had caused on the women of our clan. Our shouts matched their cries and the ford was filled with the clashing of sword against shield. My Thunder Voice joined the others and our ears rang with the clamour. Then a bolt of lightning struck the water in front of us and silence filled the air. We mouthed our prayers and prepared our weapons. Those of us who were closer to our gods said our prayers and our shields and swords began to glow. My sword, which Heort himself had given my grandfather on the Other Side glowed with borrowed magic and my shield grew heavy with Ernalda's Earth, the Strength of the Wind filled my sinews and my feet grew swift. When the second lightning bolt struck the river, we roared again and charged the Bramblevine lines as they charged ours. Our warriors ran through the water but I had Morella's magic on my feet and ran on top of the water and was the first to reach their ranks. Now, we could be avenged on the Bramblevines and I could purge the memory of what Morella had told me at last.
These words were recorded from a slave spirit of the Kitori clan on the Shadow Plateau. It is not known how it made its way there, but the Bramblevine Clan did trade with the Kitori and we know they returned Heort's Sword to the Kitori.