18. Grace and the oneads of Terra

Grace Hunter – Bretonia

I shall begin with myself. ‘Born’ in 1818. Mate unknown – most likely human. Unaware of my song – apart from a few notes that continously resonate in me. Raised by Eileen and Fred Smith from 1819-1832. He turned out to be a demon, and I killed him. Spent 5 years (1832-1837) in Nightingales Asylum for the Criminally Insane, until I was rescued by Cassandra Edwards and her father. They introduced me to the Society that battles demons – amongst other things.

I trained for a number of years and became and active agent in 1840 – tasked mainly with killing demons, something I am very good at. I have always been able to sense the presense of demons and other magical and/or supernatural creatures. I was however unaware of my nature until 1849, were several incidents revealed new strange talents: the shaping of rocks around my body (or ‘walking through stone’), transforming my skin into stone and unusual speed (or ‘slowing down the world’). I have since also learned how to ‘hear’ the rock’s song.

I left the Society in 1851 after an unfortunate incident with titan magic that turned my hair stone grey. This incident made me realize that I must learn more about my nature, and my search for other halfblood oneads began.

Skin: assorted city stone (cobblestones, marble, brick)

Petra Steinfrau – formerly of Thalaheim

Petra Steinfrau became the first onead of my own kind that I ever met. She will always be special to me. ‘Born’ 1783. Mother/mate known – another halfblood onead travelling Thalaheim. Aware of her song, albeit fragmentet. She has mated with humans a few times – who are too soft to really hold the song. When I met her she lived secluded in a small Thalaheim mining community. She worked as a mining specialist. She was very gifted in sensing the stone, and could locate precious metals, soft rock, unstable rock etc for the company she worked for.

She knew some things about mating, but nothing of our origin. Except that the demons – the titan sons – are our mortal enemies. They are angry that our mothers rebelled against the titan king, and blame us for their fall. The fight between the daughters of the titanesses and the sons of the titans is very personal and founded in deep hatred.

She taught me how to control my onead powers, but most of all she helped me with my selfconfidence. She was the onead mother I had never had, and became a very dear sister.

Petra was beginning to feel the urge to mate, when we met, and thus came with me in order to search for her mate along the way. She found her in Götaland (Martha Berg) and is now reborn and living in Götaland. I miss her.

Skin: White marble

Kamen – Tyrovpinsk

‘Born’ 1799. Mate/father: Dedushka Ivan Ivanovitch. No song. Ivan is of the impression that Kamen was a gift to him and his family from the goddess Rod-Rodzanizy, a goddess of the night. Everything indicates that the ‘goddess’ was Kamen’s previous incarnation, who thus secured herself a safe environment in which to grow up. Kamen has lived with Ivan’s family ever since. She is treated with reverence. The children adore her and brag about her fists of stone, when someone annoys her or when giant mosquitoes need squashing. The family work in the cobber mines in Tyrovpinsk. The one we found her at was newly begun.

Kamen was completely ignorant of her nature as an onead. She can hear the stone – and can locate the cobber. She is not regarded as an expert as Petra is, but as a gift from Rod-Rodzanizy, who helps them find the riches in the rock. 

Kamen had had encounters with demons, which she had to kill. This understandably has made her a little wary of strangers, including us. She is very well integrated with her human family, and is very much loved by them. She was suspicious of us at first, but when she had let us in, she was very friendly. She was very curious to learn all we could tell her.

Skin: Dark flint

Agate Vanegård – Denamarsk

‘Born’ 1790. Mate/father: Rasmus Nielsen. No song of rememberance, but has like me a piece of melody that stays with her. The family story is that she descents from the vana-goddesses (like our titanesses, I suppose). She runs a flint quary with her six sons and their families. She has mated so often with humans that she is almost human herself. Human enough to bear human children at least. Her husband died in 1835. She knew nothing of her nature, before we came, but does have an uncanny ability to find the flint in the chalk in the quary.

I spoke to her father, Rasmus Nielsen, who told me that her mother died giving birth to her, and that it was always a wonder to him, that mother and daughter looked so alike. I assume that Agate has so much human in her now that her procreation process is very much like the human one, and that ‘dying’ giving labour is a natural consequence of that in stead of turning into a stone egg.

Agata is extremely friendly, and staying in her home was comfortable and fun. Her sons are very keen on the playing of football, and they all laugh a lot and joke a lot.

Skin: unknown, as she couldn’t transform.

Bergdis Vanadottir – Nordal

‘Born’ 1819. Mate/mother: Fjatl. Has her song several incarnations back. Fully aware of her origin and nature. Is a professor in geology at the University of Nordal. She is very selfsufficient, and well established as a scientist. She moves from one university to another, pretending to be her own daughter and starts over again and again. The Vanadottir name is very renowned within geology spheres.

Bergdis has some very interesting scientific theories about oneads. She rather disbelieves our divine origin, but instead theorises that all living things are built of tiny building blocks. Humans are built of one kind and oneads of another. By some strange coincidence these building blocks were able to merge, so that onead and humans could ‘mate’. It was a bit too educated and scientific for me, but an interesting theory that I would like to investigate. Or have investigated. I am not sure I understand even the basics of it.

Bergdis is a very cool and together person. A bit bossy and know-it-all-ish. Even if I can’t understand everything she says, I believe her theories are important.

Skin: Light granite

Fjatl – Nordal

‘Born’ 1638. Mate: unknown. She certainly has her song. And more! Fjatl is unusual and scary and fascinating! She is 213 years old, and she is the closest thing to a fullblooded onead I have met. She spoke in riddles or in verse. She was very difficult to understand at times. She found Bergdis to be ‘too fast’ and ‘too human’, but it was clear that she loved her deeply anyway. She was very unimpressed by our ‘human ways’. Her life seems to be a constant battle against the titan sons, and she had gone to extremes in protecting herself (we saw her eating titan flesh to cover her scent!). It was clearly a very lonely life in constant terror, and I pity her. I have since considered asking her to join the fullblooded oneads in Dunkirk (if Mackenzie approoves of it). Maybe she could be safe there?

The most extraordinary thing happened when we met her. We found her on a secluded rock in one of the fjords. And when we first approached her, and she spoke her strange words, she grabbed me in a flint grip. And I heard a song – a familiar song. It was the beginning of time – mountains grew and withered away. Civilizations came and went. Stars appeared in the sky and died out. Again and again those notes that sounded so familiar, resonating in me, and then I realized why I found them so familiar. It was Callum’s song to me. It was a song I have sung my whole life, which he had put into his song for me. It wasn’t like a song that made me remember who I was before, but it was a sort of tether to myself. The essense of me. What a gift to receive! Petra had seen the same visions, but heard a different melody – a ditty from her homeland. Her song. Fjatl also sang to us about the mating, and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard. Petra was completely in pieces after that, and I too felt a little bit of longing. I do so hope I get to mate one day. But not just yet – I have too much to accomplice before that.

Fjatl was a paradox of wonderful and terrible experiences. I am afraid she is a bit insane after so much time alone. I could wish for her to mate and begin anew, somewhere safe.

Skin: Dark granite

Martha Berg, Frida Berg og Astrid Berg – Götaland

‘Born’ 1815, Martha (mate/mother: Astrid in a previous incarnation), 1792, Frida (mate/father: Björn Visaberg) and 1839, Astrid (mate/mother: Frida). They seem to take turns being mates to eachother, with the occasional human thrown in for variety. They are goat herders and live in the mountains half a day from the village of Visaberg. The villagers are very protective of their ‘trollfolk’, who make the best goat cheeses and sausages in the region. They all have their songs, in Frida’s case many generations back. Whatever gets lost in the human intervention, the other two remember. It is quite extraordinary!

They are also the first oneads we’ve met that do not work with stone as such. But they do use their onead skills when surviving in the mountains (Wolves can’t bite through stony skin and it is so much easier to hide, when you can turn yourself into rock). Also they all make some very lovely figurines in stone.

They were interested in hearing about our travels, but we could hardly teach eachother anything new. They were, however, very interested in the idea of creating a network between oneads. They had found power in being together. They were not a vulnerable as lone oneads. And they stayed true to nature when looking out for eachother.

The most extraordinary thing that happened there was off course Petra’s mating with Martha. It was clear from the minute we arrived that Martha was the mate Petra had been looking for. They practically lit up both of them at the sight of eachother. Frida and Astrid was beside themselves with joy that someone new would join them. And Martha was relieved to find out why the urge to receive had been so great, when neither Frida nor Astrid had shown any indication towards wanting to mate. Petra was sensible enough to make practical arrangements regarding her house in Thalaheim and her cats (I posted her letters to her solicitor for her), before giving herself over to mating.

It is perhaps a bit outside what my report of the oneads was meant to be, but I must describe this otherworldly experience.

The three götaland oneads knew just what to do all along. When night fell the five of us went up into the mountains. Petra and Martha were holding hands. Petra was almost glowing, and her song was thrumming in my ears. Soon it was in the air around us, echoing off the mountains. Our own songs sounded as counterharmonies to hers. It was like walking into a strange new world. The mountains seemed more real, sharper, harder. They seemed to be part of all this as well. The night was brighter, the stars closer. My heart was pounding. I was rejoicing for Petra, and mourning for myself, for loosing her. I had wished perhaps that in time it would turn out to be me she was looking for. We stopped in a valley. Petra and Martha stood closely togehter, the songs almost tangible around them like streams of light. Then Petra reached out towards me and I went to her. She cupped my face in her hand and leaned in, and whispered words to me that I will always keep safe in my heart. And then she turned back to Martha and the mating truly began. Frida, Astrid and I danced around them to the gloriuos song that was Petra. Petra and Martha were completely engulfed in light. I cannot really explain the feelings rushing through me. It was joy and longing and a deep sense of belonging to the earth and the rock and the oneads around me. I lost track of time and at some time I must simply have passed out. I woke in the early morning, surrounded by mist that was beginning to fade. Frida and Astrid was only just waking too. In our midst sat Martha with an oblong rock in her arms – white marple with specks of granite – with a look of joy and wonder on her face. We wandered home, and within the day Petra’s rock cracked and there she was. A tiny, beautiful baby! I stayed for another week, and I could have stayed even longer, if I had not found it urgent to return to Bretonia. My mind was made up: I would quit the Society and devote my life to my fellow oneads. I will find a way to connect us all, to help lone oneads, to help those born without a song. I don’t quite know yet how or where or when, but I will make it happen.

Offentliggjort af Den tatoverede børnebibliotekar

Bibliofil rollespiller, Æventyrer, lystløgner, mor og zeppelinerstyrmand. Jeg har knytnæverne resolut plantet i siden og med en kappe, der blafrer i vinden

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