The Nordan are not revered as great builders, like The Archaeans or The Dwarves of Old Mithras. Our architecture is mostly wooden and quite functional. The one structure that people take interest in outside of The North is the Great Hall, our equivalent of palace, barracks, and forum all rolled into one.
This is my weekly serial, written raw as a writing exercise.
You can find the first post in the series here.
Last week’s post is here.
King’s Hall was the Great Hall of the first High King of The Nordan, built when our gods still walked our lands, under the direction of Garm and Helma. At first it was merely a grandiose version of other Great Halls, built to house the representatives of all the clans and decorated with carvings and runes telling the history of our people.
Over time wood was replaced by stone and metal. Walls and towers were added in layers over time, after wars with enemies who could not be turned back by simple fortifications. Scars of particularly impressive sieges became trophies of their own, like the skull of the Dragon Racknir or the fortified camp of King Orlos of Dragmaar.
And as the Great Hall had grown, so had the little town in the bay that it overlooked. unity under the High King brought power and prosperity, which in turn brought trade and the needs of diplomacy, learning, and specialized craftsmen.
King’s Hall was not nearly as large as Myrrhn, and certainly not as cosmopolitan, but it was clean and it seemed to hum with purpose and vigour, and it’s markets were filled with goods from around the world.
It was a fine sight for eyes that had not seen Nordan lands in two decades. It was glorious, all of it, though I found myself looking to the statue of King Siggurd, my king, again. I frowned, once again thinking of that day on The Spearmarch, how he fell, and how I would soon have to confront his killer.
Sadly, I did not think that it was fated to be a glorious confrontation.
A score of Brighthelms, the guardians of King’s Hall, met us at the docks. The mists were now dissapating and their polished armour glittered in the sun. A golden haired woman stood in front of them, dressed in familiar heraldry, the arms and armour of the King’s Guard but with the iconography of the royal lineage in place of clan markings.
“A hero’s welcome, Ragnar!” said Thyra. “The King’s Sister herself has come to meet you.”
In spite of myself, I smiled. I remembered Svana as a young woman, awkward and shy, always trying to stay out of the way. She had grown tall and strong and regarded me with no hint of shyness.
The people of the north do not bow to their kings and queens, but I inclined my head to Svana as an old gesture of respect. I hoped that she did not harbour me any bitterness. Her expression did not shift.
“Ragnar Skyggesson,” said Svana. “\I have been commanded to escort you to King;s Hall for an immediate audience. High King Athelbjorn wishes to speak to you about matters of import and will not tolerate any delays.”