I am Asvaldr, son of Kronar. Son of man, as he is, and his fathers before him.
Lesser men of the pure bloodline might call me daughter. Lesser men might hide me out of shame, or kill me. But Kronar raised me as his son, and that is who and what I am.
I am Asvaldr.
There are only three people that know the truth about my birth: my fathers, and the shaman that helped birth me. None of them can explain why I am what I am. But it does not matter. Kronar has declared me his son, and that is enough.
When I was five, he gave me the honor I was not born with. It was the finest carving I could have dreamed of; I could strap it on, and I did, most of the time, except when the chafing of the straps grew unbearable. As I grew older and larger, and learned the ways of the sword and axe, he promised me a better honor, one that would not shame me in battle.
“I thank you, Father,” I told him, “but that will not be necessary.” And I showed him what I had taken as loot not a month earlier: a detachable penis, made of flesh, that by sorcery would stick to me when I willed it but could be taken in hand or lent out.
I showed him how I could use it, and his eyes filled with tears of pride.
“My son,” he said, and then grew so choked up that he could not finish. “I am proud of you,” he managed to say after some time.
I would have answered that I was proud to have him as a father, but my mouth was currently full. I think he knew it anyway, for he patted me on the shoulder and left.
When I grew of age, I went out in the world to seek my fortune and to uphold my family’s honor. I wore armor made of wolf pelts that Kronar my truefather had made for me, and a horned helmet that my father-who-carried-me gave me, and a sword that I had fashioned myself. The last was a thing of pride, for it was no shining delicate thing that would shatter like glass. It was solid and brutal and ugly, as things made for war should be, and something I could wield with respect.
I wielded my cock with much more respect, of course.
One of the enemies that faced me mocked me for being beardless, and asked if I were a child or, worse yet, a woman.
“If I were,” I countered, once I had him in a position of defeat, “would I be able to do this?”
He allowed as how, no, he had not yet met a woman who could.
“Do not worry,” I assured him, “women have their own ways of doing things. Like this,” and I removed myself from him and replaced detachable flesh with my (non-detachable) fist; and he groaned and writhed beneath me. I could feel his pulse throbbing around my bare hand.
“What are you?” he gasped out finally, when I had finished with him.
“I am the son of Kronar,” I told him. “I am Asvaldr. And you would do well to remember me.”
He assured me as how he would.
“I heard,” someone said, loudly enough to be heard over the noise of the tavern we were in, “that Kronar the Barbarian has no sons — only a daughter.”
The tavern fell silent, or at least as silent as any tavern can get.
I rose to my feet. “Say that again,” I commanded.
“Ah, are you Kronar’s shame?” It was another barbarian speaking, but a face I did not find familiar.
“No,” I said. “I am Kronar’s son, and I make my fathers proud.”
“But you are tainted,” the man sneered.
I tilted my head and regarded him. He was drunk, enough to loosen his tongue and slow his reflexes, so there would be no glory in defeating him, either in combat or in speech.
“No son of Kronar bears any taint,” I said, and then sighed and gave in to my bloodlust. My sword tasted blood; he yelped; and his honor lay severed on the floor.
I picked it up and handed it to him.
“Now you are tainted,” I said, and smiled at him, and walked away.
It was not entirely truth. I had shamed him; but a loss of honor was not the same thing as taint, which came from inside. As far as I could tell, he was already tainted. I had just shown the world.
Or, at least, the tavern. Most of the world wasn’t paying attention.
The only man I could not dominate either by force of will or force of honor was a mercenary, with long braids of green like weathered copper. It turned out that he, like me, had been born with a man’s spirit inside a woman’s body.
(When I remarked on this, the mercenary glared at me narrow-eyed and said that he had a *woman’s* spirit inside a woman’s body, thank you very much. That was, of course, ridiculous; he might not be a warrior of true blood, as I was, but he was still a fighter, and an honorable one, and therefore a man.)
He had no interest at all in my honor, but I had interest in his — a strapped device, like I had worn as a child but much larger — that he was planning on using for a job in the north. I allowed him to try it out on me, and it was so pleasurable that we did it again but with my own penis in my honor-hole at the same time, which was even better.
I had the mercenary promise not to tell anyone of our tryst, and he gave an amused smile and said that he was very good at keeping secrets.
(I keep secrets as well; I did not even tell the mercenary that I was making plans to travel north, so that I might, purely by coincidence of course, run into him again.)
I am Asvaldr, son of Kronar, son of man.
I cannot have sons of my own; even with sorcery, my honor does not allow that. But someday, I may bear another man’s sons for him.
And if any of them are born as I was, I will teach them strength, and I will teach them honor, and if their true-father does not accept them, they will be sons of Asvaldr.