The boy walked deeper into the forest and the gods looked on curiously.
Many years had passed since anyone had ventured past the tree line and into the darkness within. The boy had heard the stories the elders told of the gods and their wolves, serpents and warriors. The gods had called and the boy heard.
The god of thunder, defender of the realms, laughed at the boy and slammed his mighty hammer against the side of his chariot. The sound grew louder and the earth trembled and shook. The boy stopped in fear but did not turn and run. The boy took another step into the darkness and the god looked down and smiled.
The trickster, god of chaos, next took aim at the boy and sent forth whirling winds and towers of sand, magical images of rock giants and water dragons, but again the boy stood trembling and waited for these to pass.
The wanderer, master of the realms, next gazed down upon the boy in wonder at his audacity and sent forth his wolves and with them his ravens. The wolves stalked the boy in the deep forest and salivated at their prey whilst the ravens taunted the boy with their cries. The boy stood his ground and yelled I am not afraid of you. You can stalk me and taunt me but I will not give up.
So the boy kept on his path as the forest became darker and gloomier and upon time he came across a clearing. The clearing was filled with men and women laughing and talking. A great silence fell upon the crowd there in the clearing and they parted ways for the boy to enter.
The boy eyed a man in a long cloak, a distaff in his hand and a patch upon his eye. Beside him stood a woman of such great beauty it hurt his eyes to look upon her. When she spoke her words came to him like those of a song, gentle and kind, hypnotic and dangerous. Come boy, warm yourself before our fire and eat with us.
And so the boy walked through the quiet bystanders and as he walked he looked upon their faces, many from lands far from his home, and noted they all looked down upon him with a twinkle in their eye and a gladness on their faces.
The boy reached the blazing fire in the middle of the clearing and watched a large pig roasting there and the boy was happy. In his village great feasts were held at the changing of the sun and a pig was always served, as the elders called it the food of the gods. The boy sat and took a cup and drank and ate with the men and the women. He listened to their many tales, tales of battles won and lost, of journeys to far off lands, of friends and foes, of families borne and passed. One by one those who appeared revered, came and sat beside the boy and one by one they told him of many tales, gave him sage words of wisdom and counseled him on many things. The boy sat and listened to all he was told and wondered how he would ever remember all that he was told.
After a time the boy became full from the feast and warm from the drink and the boy realised that the stories he was hearing were those stories he had heard from the elders. The boy knew he sat amongst the gods and goddesses and their warriors. As the boy laughed with the gods the boy knew that this was where he belonged and these were his family.
So it came to pass that the warriors stood and each came to the boy and patted his head or slapped his back and each bade their farewell. We are off now to prepare they said and each was joyful and eager. The boy turned and was met by the gatekeeper, watcher of the realms. Come boy I shall walk with you back to the forest line. It is time now for you to return to your family and people.
So the two wandered away from the din of the clearing where the tables and chairs were being cleared away, into the darkness of the forest and after time it began to lessen and the rarely worn path became clearer to navigate. Upon a ways the boy and the gatekeeper stopped and a great warrior stepped out of the forest onto the path in front of them. The boy looked upon the man in awe and noted his battle worn armour, the many scars he bore and the loss of a hand. Boy you walked into the forest whilst many others dared not come. You turned your back on what was familiar and safe. Be careful boy for the world survives on lies and many of those in it are fat and lazy. A great battle is coming boy, a time we call the twilight of the gods, but you are now the Keeper of Knowledge. Remember all you have learned here tonight and tell those who are ready to listen. When you leave here the Keeper of Order and the Keeper of Chaos will greet you. You three will lead those who are brave, strong and loyal. Although they are few, they are everywhere. Go now, time is short.
So the boy and the gatekeeper kept to the path and upon a short time the boy began to see the tree line. The gatekeeper stopped and turned to the boy. A great fire will consume the land boy and there will be three winters at the turning of the sun when there should be no darkness. At this time those who have turned their backs on us, who have chosen the life of decay and greed will perish. You boy with she who knows order and he who is the bringer of chaos must gather together the strong, the loyal and the brave and move through the madness to come. Go now, remember all you have learnt here.
So the boy turned to face the tree line but before he stepped forward he turned to thank the gatekeeper. Behind him was only darkness and the sounds of the wild. The boy grew confused and yet in his heart knew all he had seen and heard to be the truth. He swore then an oath to the old gods that he would find and lead those who were not tainted by the poison, to a new beginning.
As he stepped out of the forest he was greeted by the Keeper of Order and the Keeper of Chaos and together they heard the sound of a distant horn. A sound that was carried on the wind and yet, only heard by a few.
This ‘story’ came to me in a dream the night before last and this is word for word as I remember it