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The Antagonists We Love to Hate #2
What is an antagonist?
In storytelling, the antagonist is the opposer or combatant working against the protagonist or leading character and creating the main conflict. In conventional narratives, the antagonist is synonymous with the “bad guy,” while the protagonist represents the “good guy.”
Rof Breocht Woden
Bass drums thunder into the roiling madness of hell torn asunder
While screams coalesce into whispers of wants.
Angels shimmy seduction on stilettos and guitars shriek like sirens in heat,
Yet on the edge of darkness, I linger patiently.
As the devil snaps his fingers
In time to the chaotic symphony of his creation
I lurk in the shadows, along with those unlucky enough to venture within.
Sweating, I inhale nicotine’s deep addictive essence.
Flicking discarded ashes about me like spent lives.
Knowing my time will come again.
As the band plays on.
“I’ve majored in many mythical studies, and I am in agreement with the others. There is one mystical being that has been banished from our realm on more than one occasion. One such time was early in the rise of modern-day Christian religions, like the Catholics and Protestants, due to his status as a godlike being of early paganism.
“There are others, but this one, strangely, comes to mind time and time again because of his background and also because there were no reports of his spirit after he’d hanged himself in Windsor Forest. Rof Breocht Woden—the Bright Strength of Woden. It is believed he has to return to this realm only through a living soul. There is much speculation as to the accuracy of this, but these readings from various writers and historians may shed more light on what he is.
“This quote from one of my studies sums him up. ‘Woden is the Woodland Spirit and the Lord of all Nature. His son is the Hooded Man, the English folk hero who will deliver us from oppression. Woden’s Folk.’”
“The Hooded Man? Not talking about a Robin Hood-type dude here, are we?” Carol asked.
“You are most astute, young lady. I’ll get to that in a moment. Woden, who is often portrayed with horns, has come to be associated with Wicca and other earthly Pagan beliefs, like the Green Man. But this was not always so. Horned deities are an extremely ancient Indo-European tradition with even earlier precedents. We find paintings on French Paleolithic caves and Woden could be found in the Indus Valley of northern India where he was known as Rudra or Pashupati. But he was most famously known to Northern European Celts and Teutons.
“The Romano-Celts gave him the name of Cernunnos. Or more commonly, Herne the Wild Huntsman. It is believed that in certain parts of England, he leads the howling spirits of the dead through the forests.
“This merges with the newer legends of Robin Hood, who was, according to English legends, the reason Herne himself rode the night skies after committing suicide in Windsor Forest by hanging himself from an oak. It is thought he did something evil and couldn’t live with himself, but that hasn’t ever been proven true.”
“So, are you saying he is evil inside himself as well?”
“I think he struggles with being so good that he despises the badness in the world and overreacts to wanting to get rid of it. Now, the Anglo name of Robin Hood is actually also a variant of the Saxon name Rof Breocht Woden—the Bright Strength of Woden.”
Carol glanced up at Brad who had a most quizzical smirk on his face. “I’m thinking we’ve one half here in Rosie and possibly the other in Nathan, hence why they are linked and why he reached for his sword as my sister told me.”
“And you suspect we’ve a version of this Rof Breocht Woden dude here, coming back?”
Brad nodded, “There’s much more from him and some other bloggers, but the more I read, the more it begins to jibe with me. You did say she mentioned his name.”
Carol thought a moment. “Yes, he said, ‘I am Woden.’ So you mean we’re mixed up with not some dead person coming back but some kind of mythical crazy-ass being?”
Oh, Agnes, how do you get me into this kind of insanity?
And in this scene we have Woden hunting Carol in her dreams.
“Let me take you on a journey.”
Carol rolled over as the words entered her dream of being intimate with Brad. Images of his naked body faded away.
“I smell you. I hunt, for you.”
Damn, can’t get lucky even in my dreams. Unfair. What journey? I don’t…
Around her, grass fluttered in a breeze. She was in the middle of a clearing. Tall, tall trees surrounded her. Carol opened her eyes. She was still in the clearing.
Supple greenness stretched as far as she could see, and she knew she was in his world.
“Yes, you are, and I am coming.”
She planted one foot in front of the other and began to run.
What am I doing? This is what he does and what he wants.
“Yes, I smell the fear.”
Carol stopped and stood still on the edge of the forest. I am not afraid.
A howl broke the air. He was near and, she knew, very hungry. Carol walked up to a rotted log, and, glancing inside, she saw it was hollow. There was one that could help her. She crawled into the trunk and closed her eyes.
Glyffy, if there was ever a time I needed your help, it is now.
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