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GOD OF WAR PLAYTHROUGH
Part 4 - The Witch of the Woods
Passing through a derelict old fort in the foothills, Atreus and his father reach an overlook with a clear view to the mountain. The boy whispers, “I wish mother was here to see it.” In front of them now stands an intricate mechanical doorway, locked by ancient rune magic. As we are, we two, we three, as I alone can never be. This phrase is etched into an ornate bowl affixed atop a stone pedestal. A mechanical puzzle reveals symbols which Atreus recognizes as depicting the word Family. Writing the symbols into the rune bowl opens the magical gate to reveal a cavern.
The cavern leads through the headwall and out to a pristine creek, flowing through a lush valley. In the days of lore giant creatures must have roamed here. Atreus stares in marvel at the petrified bones towering off the valley floor, remains of some ancient giant long since reclaimed by the wild. But his wonderment is soon thrust aside by the hazards of the present when a Giant Fire Troll unleashes a furious attack. Brenna Dauoi, the last of his tribe, betrayed and wiped out by the Norse Gods lays claim to this valley. The sins of the Norse Gods mean nothing to Kratos and unfortunately for Breanna he picked a fight with an even deadlier God, the God of War.
Soon after, Atreus spots a strange looking wild boar eating aside the stream. He readies his bow and follows Kratos’ guidance. The arrow takes flight hitting its mark but simply bounces off as the boar runs away. Never the doting father, Kratos barks at him to get after it. Descending through a foggy valley they pass through a burnt out village before finding the boar once more. Atreus takes aim again and this time the arrow strikes true. The Boar squeals and runs away at the arrow tears through its hide. Atreus gives chase and in his haste he drops his mother dagger. Kratos stops to pick it up but when he looks up his son has vanished into the fog. He calls out but Atreus is too far ahead.
Kratos sprints through the fog and the winding trail now heading into the rocky bluffs. In the distance he hears Atreus pleading for forgiveness as a strange woman shouts out in anger, “What did you do?” Frantically Kratos squeezes beyond a narrow crack in the crags to find Atreus and a strange woman kneeling over the wounded boar. She tells Atreus the boar is her friend.
His father explains the boy was only following his orders. She turns to him and takes Kratos by the hand. “Then fix this,” she pleads. “The last of his kind in all the realms and you shoot it?” She asks flummoxed as she recites an incantation and attempts to mend the beast. It’s not working so she asks Kratos to carry the boar back to her home where she can properly heal him.
“She’s a witch,” Atreus notes.
The path opens up to a lush and beautiful forest painted by autumns dawning, trees ablaze with fiery shades of red and orange. To Atreus’ great excitement her home is located under the belly of a giant tortoise. Sending Atreus to gather herbs from her garden she turns to Kratos. “I can tell you are a God, and not one from here. The Gods of these realms don’t take kindly to outsiders,” she warns. “And the boy, he does not know? This secret can’t be kept from him forever.”
After the boar is mended she offers them a raft to use to reach the Lake of Nine, the largest lake in all of Midgard. An underground river flows near and she shows them the way down. Paddling downstream they exit the watery cavern and pass by a giant statue of the God of Thunder. Thor’s statue is all but drowned by the lake and only a portion of it still stands above the water. Atreus remembers stories his mother used to tell him of the Gods. Kratos asks if she ever spoke of one who felt no pain? “That sounds like Baldur,” he replies. “An Aessir God, son of Odin and Freya,” he continues. The Aessir or Asgardians are one of the two factions of Gods vying for control of the Nine Realms.
“And Odin is King?” Kratos asks.
“That’s right. Why do you ask?” But his father doesn’t reply, his grimace only grows colder.
In center of the lake they come to the top of a different statue, a soldier holding a sword and shield. An inscription on the shield reads; Sacrifice your arms to the center of the water, awaken again the cradle of the world. Kratos launches his Leviathan Axe into the water and nothing happens. Attempting to recall it, he stands confused. “The axe did not return.”
Without warning the lake begins to churn and the boat is thrashed to and fro. As if a hole opened in the middle of the lake, the water drops away. Out of the mist and spray of the tumultuous waters a giant serpent emerges, its eyes alone twice the size of Kratos. Atreus gasps, “It’s the World Serpent!” The towering monster spits out the Leviathan Axe and moves in close. Kratos guards his son but the World Serpent means them no harm. It attempts to speak but neither Kratos or the boy can understand his language. As the serpent moves on, Atreus remarks the entire lake has gone down and more of the statues are now visible around the lake along with a giant golden temple in the middle.