Origin of the Valkyrie
Into the blood-splattered snow, the lone warrior fell to one knee and shuddered with weakness. Still an arm shot out to raise a sword against the oncoming legion.
Her dented breastplate swallowed her small form.
The winds howled, her hair whipping in them, but she still heard the twang of the bowstring unleashed. She screamed in fury; the arrow punctured the center of her armor, the blow sending her flying back.
The arrow had pierced through metal, then barely through her breastbone, just enough that her heart met the point with each beat. The beating of her own brave heart was killing her.
But her scream had woken two nearby gods sleeping together through a brutal, wintry decade. They stirred and looked down upon the maiden, seeing in her eyes courage burning bright. Bravery and will had marked her entire life, but the light ebbed with death and they mourned it.
Freya, the female god, whispered that they should take her courage and preserve it for eternity because it was so precious.
Wóden agreed, and together they gave up lightning to cleave through the ether and strike the dying maiden.
The light was violent and slow to fade and made the army tremble.
When blackness cloyed once more the healed maiden woke in a strange place. She was untouched, her human mortality unchanged, yet soon an immortal daughter would be born from her that possessed her courage, Wóden’s wily brilliance, and Freya’s mirth and impossible beauty. Though this daughter enjoyed the power of lightning for sustenance, she also inherited Wóden’s arrogance and Freya’s acquisitiveness, which merely endeared her to them more.
The gods were content and the maiden adoring of her new baby. Yet after an age had flickered past, the gods heard another female call out for courage as she died from a battle against a dark enemy. She wasn’t a human, but a Furie, one among the Lore—that stratum of clever beings who have convinced humans that they exist only in imagination. Scarce moments had the creature—in the freezing night her breaths were no longer visible.
“Our halls are great, yet our family is small,” Freya said, her eyes sparkling so brightly a mariner in the north was briefly blinded by the stars and almost lost his way.
Grim Wóden took her hand, unable to deny her. Those surrounding the dying Furie saw lightning rent the sky once more.
And it would strike again and again in the coming years, continuing on well after female warriors—be they human, demoness, siren, changeling, or any brave creature from the Lore—knew to pray for it as they died.
Thus the Valkyrie were born.