The Nøkken

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Freida is someone who loves music and her own environment however not everything is as it seems...

Submitted: December 22, 2017

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Submitted: December 22, 2017



Erramun toldhis daughtermany important things, lessons she had to learn. Many of these he told hey would often sit on the wooden walkway outside their house, a walkway which in turn extended out over the large lake. On-top of this walkway lay their village of Seu raised above the water on stilts, which was surrounded by a ring of mountains deep in the Rhern mountain range.


Erramun was an older father being e when his daughter, Freida was born. Erramun had once had dark brown hair but now it was becoming grey as time went on, he had large ears that kept close to his head while his nose was long and thin matching his square face. His body was tall and thin yet muscular, and everything about him seemed to be carefully made as though he had been crafted by hand slowly over time. His eyes were kind and he was always accepting of every situation, for his life had not been an easy one and in his lifetime he had experienced many strange things.


ida was, in looks, dissimilar to her father and had more of her mothers’ facial features. Her build was stocky, muscly and with wide shoulders. of it and long thin eyebrows. Her ears were smaller than Erramuns’ but larger than her mothers’ while her eyes, mouth and nose were average size and shape.


On one particular night they were satwith their legs hanging off the edge of the walkway looking out over the still lakeThe sun was setting before them into the westFreida was resting her head on her fathers side and her small fingersmanaged to just about reach the middle of his back. Erramunwas solemn yet warm as he embraced his daughter, laying his arm around her.

They sat together in a comfortable silence as the sun slowly set amidst the faintly singing and gentle banging sounds could be heard as Freida rocked her legs back and forth over the water. A soft breeze filled the air in the dimming light and along with it came quiet music from a violin, just a whisper but enough to add something to the atmosphere around the pair.

Freida whispered .

Music my sweet.” replied.

Where’s it coming from?” Freida questioned.

from that dwell there. Creatures who play Erramun thenCreatures that hide many dangers.”

and naivety. Asmilingand replied,

Listenthe music but Enjoy the melodies but be wary of those who play it. Music for its beauty hides many things. Pain, death everythingall sound so sweet when played on an intrument it . olisten but never follow it my child.”


This lesson was so important ashe did not know it at the years passed,would take control and this lesson was remembered, it would be too late.


Duing the years that Freida grew, herself,and all those in the village aged but the land around her did not. er elder brother, Heli, into the woods to learn how to hunt animals, deer and in the high plateaus with her father. They would spend days up in the mountains, days her mother spent worrying about the dangers they could get themselves into and all the dangers that could find them.

Din the mountainsfew, as the men fresh and deadliest of As the old poem goes,


In the mountains many deadly creatures lie.

Snakes and bears lie in wait in the grasses and the meadows.

And foul spiders and goblins lurk in dark places.


Giants roam all across the great Rhern mountains.

But beware for the dragons which dwell there also.


For giants eat dragons.

And dragons eat us.

But none quite knows what the giants will do to us.


Due to this reason for nthey have only seen them from afar. Giants stay away from settlements and human nor do they have any giants roam the mountains . For that we do not fear the giants, we thank them and wish never to break this peace we have with them.


Freida had always been fascinated about giants, their mysterious protectors while her brother Heli knew the mountains well enough to have an idea about what they would really be like having to Heli was 3 years older than Freida and like her he too had a stocky and muscular physique. Despite his body shape he had tremendous balance and was able to scale rock faces with ease. His large, rough hands, like Erramuns’, allowed him to climb and hunt with . On his wide face he wore a tattoo which lay on the upper left hand side stretching from his hairline to below his eye. It was the mark of the mountain men, an ancient symbol used by the old civilisations of Jordfaldgiven to the men who had immense knowledge about the mountains and a special connection the men could appreciate and others could admire. Helis’ dark brown hair was identical to that which Erramun had had, Helis’ wider facial features.


Heli would spend weeks in the mountains and from the ground and off cliff faces he’climb. small ledgesskilful animalcould get to, kill animals with his ready baseIoand avoid becoming preyhe would and crevices to avoid all .went with him once into the mountains and it was there shigh peakshe , the meadows and all the danger that lay within its’ beauty. intrigued how Heli climbed, so light on his feet and always knwhere to place his hands and feet. Heli climbed by intuition,

ou do not need strength when you have balance.” He had told her. I my body Freida, I thing. Wand how I should move it in relation to everything else. about the you can

Dfollowing Heli’s instruction this Freida never got the hang of it. Instead over the years she other kinds of Hfiltered water, how they of the soil and irrigated crops making clothes withIn the evenings the were too dangerous to go into, even giants must sleep so in the night dragons come to feast. dragonscome down to the village, it’s just marsh to them and nothing lives there as there is plenty in the mountains for them.


Oa beingd somewhere by the lakes’ edge. wlistening to it, these tunes filled her teenage mind with amazementIn the quiet night she heard tapping behind her, turning she saw a girl her own age dancing to the sound. name was Philyra, had would playfullyce her waist she with her feet bare on the walkway, each move soft patter on the wood like rain falling from a height. d and symmetrical and each of her features very sat sitting just aboveer lips, matchto the colour of her blushing Her magnificent chunky eyebrowsbig brown eyes.


In nights that followed of her house watch Philyra dance while listening soft music in the air. ver the years Philyra taught Freida to dance while Freida showed Philyra the high meadows where Philyra would dance to the ing of the wind.


1years later.


In sunrise one day, outside her houseDressed in her ankle length dress she looked out over the lake. Her dress had been woven by her mother, who was the main in . Their lives revolved around itemsfrom the plants that grew These goodthey would sell Kaynan skins made from the catches the men brought back with them from the mountains.


Evie had a wide build yet her figure was beautiful and her ginger hair complimented her skin. and hsmall. Her heart was kind and she always worried a little too much but her love was strong for her children.


Tseamstressesusethe stems of plants, pith, making dusing d a chemical that the like to keep a secretThe flowers used for dyeing the clothes are grown in the fields above the village, in the fertile that . was could Fisherman also dotted around the village, in order to sell fish at the small village market. Women mostly the role of making the clothes and items as well as making up 50% of the farmers and fishermen workforces.


For Freida’s father and men, their roles d around teaching the boys to hunt in the mountains just as they d, what . They also boys how to horses, how to lead them down the small road to Kaynan and how to barter to get the best prices at the market. offerguidance to the girls about the world around themd Seu.


Evie asked her daughter one morning.

Yes mother, I am going with Philyra and

to becausehe’ll keep you safe.”

I know mother, dragons hide in the mountains so we must not draw attention to ourselves.”

remember that the giants don’t roam this far down the valley.”

Freida told her mother with a groan.

Fto Philyra’s house where she knocked and stood humming a tune, allowing her feet to move to the beat while she waited. After a moment Philyra appeared also clothed in a dress, but unlike Freida’s, her dress was a pale green colour with a white underlay, it was thin and but just as and undecorated as Freida’s garment.

Ttravelled meadow the where they laughed, danced and played. Unknown to them something had followed them into the mountains, the creature had crept through the trees, s legsIt had been drawn to the women through the village together. hadits eyes upon them, and it was clear that this creature wanted themFrom dark places it had watched them, seeing where they could be lured and how best it should entrap them.


Later that week, on a still evening when mist had descended on the village lying low to the water a faint sound came from somewhere within the fog. The sound drifted freely in the air, it was so beautiful that Freida felt herself drawn to it. In the mist she saw nothing but the music was as clear as day. She walked in the cold air down to the water to try and get a clearer view of who, or what, was playing. A figure it, about the same height as Freida and standing on two legs could be seen with a string instrument in its’ hand, which was most possibly a violin. The figure, who was merely an outline in the mist, seemed to be calling her into the fog with the tune itplayed. The cold air stopped her however and a few moments later the figure was gone and the music fading.


The next morning Freida left to collect water, she got it from the well in the village and was on her way home when she bumped into Philyra.

Hey, what are you up to?” Freida said greeting Philyra.

Helping my mother, she wants me to get her a new basket.” Philyra Freida nodded for no apparent reason but then her gaze strayed from Philyra to the lake and the lake just lakes edge in the lilies. “What are you looking at?” Philyra asked, as she her attention towards the lake.

Do you see that?” Freida said pointing at the figure. Philyra was silent for a moment as she looked to where Freida was pointing.

Yes that figure by the water. I see it.” Philyra replied. In the distance the figure lifted up a violin and started to play, it took only a moment for the music to reach the women’s ears.

I think he’s playing that.” Freida muttered.

He?” Philyra questioned Freida. Freida headed home putting the bucket of water down by her front door before heading tolakes’ edge As soon as she got a clear view of this figure Freida stopped, Philyra standing next to her they just looked at this man.He was tall and slim with thin facial features and gently rolling dark hair which drifted softly in the wind. He was focused with his eyes shut moving his hand smoothly along the violin which created atmosphere. All his movements were gentle on the women’s senses and they felt tranquil in his presence. He finished and looked up at the women smiling slightly as though he was expecting them,

Hello fair maidens” The man greeted them before bowing before them.

The music you play is unlike anything I’ve ever heard” Philyra uttered softly. At this the man’s ears twitched slightly and he came up to look upon them once more.

I play only that which would please such honourablewomen as yourselves.”

What a magnificent gentleman you are. I am Freida and this is Philyra.” Freida said stepping forwards towards him.

In these lands I am known as Feilo, it is lovely to meet you ladies.” Then gracefullyhe kissed each woman’s hand.

Lovely to meet you at last, for we have heard your music from the village.” Philyra explained to him.

I am pleased that my music drifts that far on the wind.” Feilo replied.

Why don’t you come and play in our village not alone out here by the waters’ edge?” Philyra asked him.

I would but part of me is connected to this land, I am happy here playing amongst the rushes and the reeds.” smiling at Feilo as he said these words until Freida remembered something.

I’m awfully sorry Feilo” Freida spoke abruptly , “We are meant to be on errands and your music distracted us from our work, we should go. But I pray that it is not long until we see you again.”

Then go and work in the rest of the day.” Feilo kissed Freida’s hand after saying this, then added, “Until we meet again.” As Feilo went to kiss Philyra’s hand, she curtsied.

You are most fair and I shall return to your sweet song.” Philyra whispered in a soft voice.

As are you. I shall play a song just for you in the day after tomorrow.” Feilo replied. As the women turned and headed back to the village Feilo raised a hand behind them as a gesture of goodbye.


Over the rest of that women worked and when they met all they talked about was Feilo and the music he played. Each waiting for when they would hear his music again and therefore could return to In the rising sun of the next day Philyra was outside her home dancing to the soft rustle of the rushes, meanwhile Freida was humming as she prepared for the day. It was around midday that they heard the music flow on the air to the village, the women dropped their affairs and went In the woodland just as before, Feilo stood playing his violin effortlessly and without anymistakewhere transfixed by the notes he was playing becoming more and more unaware of their surroundings. They were being serenaded down to the water and as far as they were concerned, this was the most beautiful thing they had ever experienced.


However as they neared the waters’ edge Freida began to experience a feeling of thereStill hearing the call of the music she looked around for what it may be, but she couldn’t see anything.

“Philyra.” attention where Freida. Something s not right.” , “We should go back.”

At this Philyra turned away from Freida and back to Feilo who had halted on the lakes shoreline, he was still playing but at a slower pace and was looking directly at both women now.

said, in a louder voice. She was looking around, on guard ready for and as she looked back, “Philyra!” Freida called out with a raised voice Something had made her heart skip a beat causing her to draw her friend back to her, only she didn’t know what had caused her to do thatFeilo stopped playing,

lowering the violin to his side.

I think we’re in danger, we have to go. I’m sorry.” Freida told Feilo in a stern voice.

Come back tomorrow, I have a new song to play you.” Philyra briefly turned and caught Feilo’sas they left.


Back in the village Freida turned to Philyra letting go of her hand, like a mother about to discipline her child.

Freida sternly told Philyra.

yt’s not doing us any harm. aggressive tone.

s Freida replied, tried to calm the situation down.

for whole andit’s never done us any harm.Philyra objected, confused at Freida’s words.

Freida affirmed.

Philyra asked.

I can’t say, I’m not quite sure what it is.” Came Freida’s reply.


Mlooked out of her window into the calm morning. Getting up and dressing herself, a thought crossed her mind. clothed indress with bare arms and bare Freida went with a hurried pae.

loudly on the door, . She turned to look out across the water, she knew Philyra wasn’t home and she knew she calling for Philyra.


She had realised who, or rather what Feilo was. The name Feilo, as Freida had coincidence that something followed them into the mountains only days before Feilo serenaded followed them, he had tracked them for months before they even knew of his existence. It was in this moment she remembered what her father had told her. Pain, death everythingall sound so sweet when played on an intrument it . oFeilo in the marsh and he never came to the village, so where did he live? Freida concludedin horror that Feilo was a creature of the lake, and he was going to kill Philyra.


Soon a sound came through the trees, a soft violin pon the wind. Freida followed the sound but numb now to the songs sweet melodysaw a figure stood on the shore and rushed to that spot. She left the cover of the trees to seewho was standing on the shore.

Philyra!” shouted but walking towards she had not heard Freidawatched as Feilos’ hands drifted over the violin but his eyes were firmly To Freida’s ears the music changed now to a twisted tune where all the notes seemed sour and the melody sounded any decent a musical ear would play. Philyra ing Feilo ing deeper into the water until she was submerged up to her shoulders.

Philyra!” Freida screamed but she dared not enter the water. and appeared to as he waded in deeperheld in a as her mind focused sound that only she could hear. Freida watched in horror as Feilo put a hand to Philyra’s instantly her frienddrifting toFreida stoodas an unknown force prevented her from entering the water Philyra, so all she could do was watch. Tears rolled down her cheeks as Feilo gently lowered Philyra into the water with one hand on her cheek and the other around her shouldersleaving her to fallgracefully into his arms. Then they were gone, beneath the waters’ surface.


As though breaking out of a trance Freida came to her senses and waded into the water without She dived under the and then . A fair few meters bher body resting beside her fully submerged was a grotesque monster. In the darkness she couldn’t make out its exact shape shining between the plants. Staring right at her it seemed to be made up of a mixture of mud, twigs and human hair that appeared swirling darkness . Freida there was nothing swam to the surface, raced out of the water and her legs woul.


She raced through the trees like a wild animal She jumped onto the wooden walkway, and simultaneously buminto her father. She looked fell to the floor weeping as he came down to join her. Embracing his child hesaid,

Oh my child, why didn’t you tell me?”

There was no time. By the time I knew that Philyra was in danger it was too late.” between tears, then buried her head into Erramun’s chest.

Hush my child, hush now.” He reassured her gently rubbed her arm, “It is not your fault, the men of the water are tricksters.”

They sat there for a while, Freida crying in her fathers arms. In her fathers embrace she felt her heart start to warm,

You know them?” She said slowly.

I met one a long time ago, a nøkken. The water spirit who changes shape in order to lure their prey. I should have explained the dangers to you better.” Erramun gently told his daughter, holding her tight.

It was hideous, I went after her and I saw it.” Freida recalled. “When we first met it, it was a beautiful man who I could have easily made my husband but under the water it changed, itturned sour like the music it played on it’s violin. It took her, stole her away from me.” Freida looked up and spoke softly now, “I saw her, dead by his hand. She looked so calm as though she was in a pleasant dream floating on the surface amongst the lilies.” Resting her head against Erramuns body on the walkway on many nights before, only now behind the music.


After a few days Freida left the house, wrapped in her blanket and with a messy complexion she walked silently through the village. She passed houses where children played outside and fishermen sat on the walkway fishing into the lake. To the marshes edge she went, which was women were crouched down collecting plant n opening them to get the pith inside them. She came to a woman who was collecting plants slowly, Freida knelt down and began to help her. After a few moments the woman turned and her eyes met with Freida’s. Both as though they were about to cry but instead they smiled at one another and kept workingPhilyra’s mother.


Each day after this Freida went to the marshes and helped Joyann. As time moved on they started to smile and laugh together,

My dear Freida.” Joyann said to Freida one evening in the fields all day, “you are bright and young. I know for both of us the shock of Philyras’ death has passed but you must start living life as Philyra did. Find your passion, do good in this village and do it for her.” and smiled. ed into Joyanns’ eyes for a moment before standing and heading home. Thinking about what Joyann had said Freida thought of the mountains, of climbing with Heli and of mechanics. As she thought about what she wanted to do, she passed a child. He was sat on the edge of the walkway with a rope in his hand, pulling up and taking the bucket with him into . Freida watched as the boy climbed a small ladder and poured the water from metal sphere, the water maon the metal, then it passed though a metal grate and drained from the basininto a pipe which ran out the back of this warehouse. Going round to the back of the warehouse Freida found herself looking down into a well. At the bottom of this well Freida s base off frShe then and every It’s location in-betweenwalkways hanging over the water and the edge protecting it from small wooden doshe looked down into the metal sphere where edges was muddead fish. The whole place smelt rotten andFreida left the warehouse just as the boy ran back in with another bucket of water. Freida watched the boy again wondering who would let him do this job then she looked out to the lake and realised that in the lake there were things a lot worse than dead fish that could end up in the water supply.


Over time that became Freidas’ project, fresh water to the village. She started thinking of the mountain streams, theirfrom a spring then down over rock. Using mechanics she thought up many solutions about how to in the marshes the water s must be that would allow clean water to be accessed when people wanted it while having the water flow in its usual direction when it was not in use. Erramun helped Freida with how the valve should work as he works. s renowned for its technology, specifically revolving around producing power from steam clockwork devices.


Due to this Erramun was able to work with Freida to create a valve the compression of a spring pulled open causing water to in the village. mountain water rather than water filtered from the lake. In order to carry clean mountain water down to the valve they planned to build a pipe from a stream in the mountains, putting a its entranceto stop any pebbles or fish from entering the pipe,from there it would go to within meters of the village was then diverted back to the marshes. At the point where the pipe was directed back to the marshes the valve would be put in.


It took a Freida could travel to the market in Kaynan, purchase all the parts she needed for the piping and the valIt took another 2 months for Freida to build the valve and for it to work successfully. Over the following year she and a workforce of 30 men and women dug the path for the pipe, laid the pipe and covered it over. After a few adjustments the new water outlet was working in the village and the warehouse where filtered Instead Freida ended up employing who also ended up employing his older brother, Micha,to maintain the outlet, valve and the piping.


Over time Freida grew and became known due to her et. She went on to design many more mechanical systems with the help of her father. Time went on and Frewatching Pacha wriggle around her father’s arms attempting to watch the sunset in seemingly odd positions that Freiy called for her daughter's attention.

“Pacha” she called again taking hold of her daughter's hands. Pacha turned to look at her mother with her big brown eyes. Micha handed Pacha to Freida slowly upright in her mother’s lap.

Freida asked Pacha.

Yeah.” child’s voice.

Do you see how the sunlight plays on the water?”

Yeah.” “It's beautiful.”

“that's what Philyra thought.” Freida continued looking out to the lake.

interrupted.Freida looked down at her as she said this.

Yes, my friend. Do you know what happened to her?” Freida asked her daughter. Pacha shook her head as Micha glanced to discerning look. Despite this Freida continued, got hurt. got carried away by the beauty of the lake and she got hurtAt this Pacha paused for a moment.

Pacha decided after some thought.

“For Beauty hides many things,

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