Prologue

A man will live, and a man will die. A brave man will stare into the eyes of the wolf and raise his sword, daring it to move, to act, to strike. But it is a hero that will dive into the mouth of the dragon and give all they have in trade for nothing, sacrificing without mind, without body, acting only with the calm, steady beating of their heart, so that another may have the chance to live another day. They are a spark, an ember, a flame that cannot be quenched.

It is said that the Ragnarok will come, that none will be able to prevent it. The Wolf will break free, and Surt, the Fire Lord, will rise, bringing ash and thunder, earthquakes and night. Men and Gods will wage war upon the realms, and like all living things, they will fall and die. The scourge of branches will sweep across the world in waves, unbroken, unstoppable, undaunting. It is not until those who have been chosen by the gods, the brave, the heroes, the warriors of Valhalla, give all they have to give that Surt’s reign of terror and fire will be silenced, and the realms restored, born anew…

…if the stories are to be believed, of course. The truth is in history, not legends, and certainly not stories. History shows that heroes exist, so what is the need, then, for stories? Stories show us that heroes can be found in the most unlikely of places, in the darkest of places, in the smallest of things, and in the youngest of things. What follows is but another one of those stories: a story of a girl who went to Valhalla.

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