Hello! this is my weekly serial, written raw as a writing exercise. This week as a bonus I was sick and exhausted to boot!
You can find the first post in the series here.
Last week’s post is here.
“Your dog left this behind when I sent him running, lord.”
Holding up some charred fur from Ulfgorr for all in the Great Hall of Cassander’s Shield I will admit that I enjoyed the look on Wolki’s face immensely.
Ulfgorr has a notorious reputation among the Nordan; as rage driven as a berserker from clan Bloodaxe and yet cunning, and given to ambush. As the champion of Clan Shadow Wolf, few could match him in battle and fewer still in the shadows. Like Wolki, he was unpopular with the other clans because of his scheming. The skalds would tell of this, I knew, even though I was an exile.
Wolki’s handsome face was a mask of barely suppressed anger. His men looked ready to kill me, their hands on blades and knives, faces red with outrage. Then the anger vanished from Wolki’s face replaced with his customary half snarl. Before he could unleash his words upon me, however, the silence in the hall was broken by booming laughter.
“I see that the rumours of your cowardice appear to have been greatly exaggerated, Grimfang,”said the Sea Wolf.
The speaker was tall and broad-shouldered, wearing the heraldry of Clan Sea Wolf. He looked familiar, but I could not place him; I had been too long from the North. The way his men deferred to him, made me think he was of high rank.
Laughter rippled through the hall as the stranger clasped hands with me. Wolki sat down haughtily, ignoring my presence while sending one his men to retrieve the piece of Ulfgorr. I knew he would remember this moment though; Wolki’s only flaw as a leader was that he never let go of a grudge.
“You have the advantage of me, lord,” I said. “I have been too long from the North.”
“I am Birgir Hurnsson, called Wind-rider,” he said. “You knew my father well enough I wager.”
I smiled. “I did. How is old Tharn?”
Birgir chuckled as did his men. “My father is the Jarl of Clan Sea Wolf now. He is old and grey, and getting fat from too much sitting around and attending to the high king.”
“The honour is well-deserved, though he must miss the open sea.”
“Too true, Grimfang. He used to love these halls. Clansmen of ours came to the North with tales of your bravery in a battle against The Devout and a treacherous assassin. My father was pleased to hear it, said your exile always struck him as unjust. Come, sit with with us and tell us of your battle with the Ulfgorr the Destroyer.