The Shadow Wolf Sagas are a weekly writing exercise that I engage in because it is fun. The first story arc, Blade Breaker, can be found here. The first story of this arc, Red Fangs, can be found here. The previous week’s post can be found here.
(I made a slight correction to last week’s post. Two people named Thyra in the same series is bad.)
Berkhilda strode into her father’s receiving room, her massive axe resting on her shoulder as if she was going to wade into battle and fell a giant.
“I’ll want that brandy delivered to my house, and make it a half dozen bottles, Lazar,” I said. “Berkhilda Furisdottir, follow me.”
We left Lazar’s manse at midnight.
“Are you sure you want to carry that thing?” I said, eyeing Berkhilda’s axe. It looked like it weighed more than a solid steel maul, and was definitely enchanted. I have learned to be wary of strange magical weapons.
“I have a permit for it, Ragnar Skyggeson,” replied Berkhilda.
“That may be so, but wouldn’t you rather have a weapon that is better for close quarters?” I said, trying to reason with her. “I mean, most of the places that I have faced Cinder’s men don’t have room to swing.”
Berkhilda stopped and looked me in the eye. She held up a gauntlet and made a fist. “This is for close quarters… as are these.” she showed her fangs. “I assure you I need no other weapons.”
I dropped the subject. “What are your ideas on finding Cinder?” I asked as we walked down the carefully manicured streets of the Old Town Isle, our path lit by a constellation of wrought lanterns. If the guards payed any care for Berkhilda’s armaments, I did not see it. It is nice to fit in, I suppose.
“I have arranged a meeting with some of my… father’s kin,” said Berkhilda, snarling a little. “The type of people who have eyes in places our quarry frequents. We will meet them near Highward Grove. I do not wish to be late, so walk briskly, if you please.”
I shook my head and followed after, hoping the potential for disaster heralded by a Vampire from a clan of temperamental berserkers was somewhat offset by access to her father’s contacts… and his brandy…
“I have read much about your Clan, Ragnar Skyggeson,” said Berkhilda as we stepped off the bridge from Old Town and into the city proper.
“That never bodes well,” I muttered.
“The Shadow Wolves have a reputation for relying on underhanded methods,” said Berkhilda.
“I’m not here to defend my clan, Berkhilda,” I said with a shrug. “But surely a vampire can see the harm in allowing the actions of a few to taint the image of an entire group.”
“My father kin deserve their reputation,” said Berkhilda, “Why do you think that Cinder has escaped them so far?”
“Then why is Lazar letting you help me?”
“Because Cinder has grown large enough to threaten his position, I suppose,”
“That may be so,” I answered. “But Cinder needs to be stopped. Good people have died. Friends of mine Berkhilda. I don’t need a rich, spoiled–“
I caught the scent of blood and steel at the same time as Berkhilda and whirled, weapons flying to my hands. Myrrhn at night is not a place for the unwary, Masked men with weapons drawn blocked the end of the narrow street that we were navigating, with another group coming from behind. Cinder’s men? Thugs sent to kill me as part of an attempt to get at the Twins? All I knew is that there were a lot of them, and they were moving toward us with deadly intent.
“Back to back Berkhilda,” I said.
“Let’s see how well you fight Grimfang,” she growled.
And then they were upon us.