Einarr once more offered Jorir the hilt of his sword in token of their pledge, and the dwarf grasped it without hesitation. “A test, my lord?” Jorir… Read more “3.21 – Enticement of Food”
For a long moment, darkness and silence held sway. Einarr strained his eyes and his ears, but no light seeped into this cavern from above, and the… Read more “3.13 – Darkness”
The chatter of kalalintu from above rattled Einarr’s nerves. They were starting to feint at diving, trying to keep their prey from escaping, nudging them ever closer… Read more “3.6 – By Man & Monster Beset”
“What’s this?” Erik paused to look back at Einarr. “Stop and listen a minute. Hear that?” After a moment, a growl came from low in Erik’s throat.… Read more “3.5 – Between Wind & Water”
Blue sky greeted Einarr’s eyes when they opened, and grass beneath his hands and neck that was soft rather than scratchy. He furrowed his eyebrows, trying to… Read more “2.26 – Jorir’s Pledge”
The days following the battle with the Valkyries were somber, as well they should be: five Vidofnings fell to the Order’s hunters. Three of them had remembered Raenshold better than Einarr himself did. Those five had ridden the enemy ship to the afterlife in a blaze of glory, and left five more empty berths on the Vidofnir.
If there was one bright spot, it was the treasure they had found in the Geirskögul’s hold, packed into every spare inch beneath the deck boards of the Vidofnir. The morning after the funeral, Stigander had directed them north to a friendly port, only a little out of their way. No-one could quite get out of their head, though, what those five newly empty berths meant.
I’m going to regret this, Einarr thought even as he fell. The darkness was nearly complete. Nearly, because the Isinntog about Einarr’s neck gave off a faint white glow.
Einarr’s legs plunged into the moldering kitchen refuse of the jotün and his dwarf. The smell that assailed his nose nearly made him vomit. Putrid meat, rancid fat, and rotting vegetables all mingled together in a slimy slurry that, by some miracle, only came to Einarr’s waist. He covered his nose and mouth with a hand.
After what felt like an eternity of creeping, during which he kept expecting to hear the creak of hinges or feel the vibrations of the giant’s steps on the floor, he made it to the pillar on which he had glimpsed his goal.
The dwarf stood from his seat at the table and brushed his hands off on his trousers as Einarr pocketed the king Runa had sent with him. He did not miss that his guide hooked an axe onto his belt before setting off, nor that the dwarf evidently felt no need of a cloak where they were going.
With the morning light came the sound of metal striking metal from deep within the cave, rousing Einarr from his uneasy rest. The glow of fire lit the walls, even though Einarr’s had long since burnt itself to ash.