Here’s a short outtake out of my manuscript to whet your appetites a bit.
The Priesthood of Bifrost
Ancient beyond written history, the Priests of Bifrost have always been a powerful faction in Swedish politics. Their power stems from an ancient connection to a power they claim is the ancient god Heimdallr, and the nature of that power is the ability to breach the walls of reality and travel long distances in an instant by opening portals to the rainbow bridge of the gods, Bifrost. This ability was used to great effect in the Revolt, when the Priesthood switched their allegiance to the Swedish crown and allowed the Swedes to invade the Danish royal palace directly through a gate they made.
The Priesthood surprisingly is, despite their unnatural talent, to a significant degree secularized. They are aware of their position as an asset to the crown and their relative vulnerability. Members tend to either join the cult at Uppsala on a permanent basis out of religious belief or to learn their secrets. The Priesthood doesn’t frown on individuals who just want to learn their secrets, in their opinion it serves as an important conduit to secular power. Most of their recruits come from the lower tiers of nobility who can use the talent to find gainful employment serving the crown. What the Priesthood doesn’t allow is for their current or past members to serve anyone not approved by the Swedish crown. They’re allowed to police themselves and even sentence member to death. The Priesthood owns the fort Almarestäket in Uppsala which serves as their headquarters and temple. According to tradition, it used to belong to a highly placed servant of the God Forgotten and it had fallen into ruin before the Revolt. The Crown gifted the fort to the Priesthood in exchange for perpetual service to the state.
The Bifrost Priesthood needs to leave a mark on a place or an object to be able to travel to it. This mark is done with the caster’s blood. The marks are permanent but they can be destroyed either on purpose or through the ravages of time. To open a portal, a wizard needs to physically tear the fabric of reality apart with their hands, a thing that frightens many people.
The portals appear as oily slicks in the air, shimmering with color. A strange high-pitched whine and tearing sounds are heard whenever a portal is opened and the portals themselves leak a strange liquid that’s the color of the portals themselves. Once through the portal, the ground of Bifrost below appears to be made of clear bluish glass and the air shimmers with all the colors of the rainbow. As far as anyone knows, there are no landmarks on Bifrost and apart from the ground, nothing at all. For some reason, travel within Bifrost always takes an hour – no more, no less. Most travellers lose track of time inside Bifrost and are frequently unable to tell how long they have been travelling on it. Members of the priesthood are gradually introduced to Bifrost during their training, so they are accustomed to the otherness of the experience. Travel along Bifrost tends to be extremely stressful for those who aren’t accustomed to the experience. Something in Bifrost tends to make people lose their cool and panic due to fear of being marooned on Bifrost.