THE SONS OF NORRLAND
The Norrland Saga
Copyright © 2015 by Jack Alriksson
Cover by Sorina Ion
Find an even greater adventure in The Norrland Saga: The Call Of Gelduur http://www.amazon.com/Call-Gelduur-Norrland-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B011AEG4D6
Like it on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheNorrlandSaga
There are few things more beautiful
in life than the Kallindrian spring nights. The air smells of fresh green woven together with the scent of the wild flowers, something that seems to draw even the stars closer to the realm. And closer they come, for the moon watches over them and fills the souls of mortals with peace. They would lie down in the grass and watch the stars in wonder, but none would think to raise their hand and snatch one from the deep dark blue. During such nights, the heart is troubled no longer. There is no fear. There is no anger. There is only serenity.
Gorm Neversober took another sip and put his tankard down beside him. He watched the stars as well and, as his gaze wandered freely from one to the other, he muttered mostly to himself:
“It was a night just like this…”
The moon was rising above the trees and, as the saying went in Norrland, it also lifted the spirits of the mortals in its passing. Hearts turned lighter and, with them, the secrets of the heart were often unveiled under its light. But secrets are like the hunted: chase them and they run away, leaving the hunter with nothing – or even less than nothing – for next time the hunted shall know better than to cross the hunter’s path. No, secrets must be lured into the open.
“Yes, it was just like this,” said Gorm a bit louder this time. “Stars shining peacefully in the spring and a feeling of peace that overwhelmed the man’s nature. Then again, the sky was bit reddish, ‘cause his entire house was set ablaze, burning and hissing just as that nest of vipers deserved.”
He took a long look at Ivar and Halbjorn and then continued:
“Let’s drink to that.”
Three tankards met above the fire and then were emptied.
“I feel like telling stories of the past,” Gorm muttered. “They’re grim and unknown, for I feel little pleasure in telling them. But you deserve to know. Don’t ask me why. Just shut up and let me spread my words.
“The man deserved to die. He should’ve been dead for many years, but someone had been a weakling!” he gritted his teeth. “Remember when I told you of how I first heard of Ingorle? A man had come to my father and they got drunk together and shared stories about their raids. He had done that many times and we all knew and loved him, for he was the merry kind and a silver tongued bastard on top of that.
“In his great wisdom, my father had decided long before I was born that his neighbors were of wretched kind and thus he had gathered his household and moved to an island in the north-east. It bore no name at that time and I doubt it bears one now. It’s littered with caves and plagued by bad weather, but it was peaceful. However, aside from our own, we had nobody to talk to, so you may see why I treasured that man so much.
“I did… until one day. One cursed autumn day, when rain was whipping the sea and the wind howled like mad when trapped by the rocky shoreline. That man and his crew entered our house uninvited and asked for food and beer. They were bloodied and grim, talked little and cursed a lot. They spoke of a battle south of Ingorle and how they had been betrayed and lost almost everything. Winter was close, they said, and couldn’t go back home empty handed.
“Unlike most time, when I’d sit on his knees as he told his stories, this time I stood hidden under my blanket. I was not afraid, mind you. There was plenty of time for that.
“The drinking went on for most of the night and I remember I was amazed that my father would allow those wankers to act the way they did, as if that was not our home, but their pigsty. I remember I wanted to ask him to kick them out as they deserved. But then I saw my mother’s eyes…
“She had beautiful eyes, my mother. Blue as the sky and warm as a summer day, that’s how I remember them in my dreams. That night, however, they were different: they looked petrified with fear. ‘Why would you be afraid, mother? There’s nothing to fear. Father will see to that.’
“And so he did. ‘The sun is rising. You’ve been our guests long enough. It’s time you left.’ ‘We will,’ his friend replied ‘but we won’t leave alone. We’re in great need and need is beyond friendship. Aspian fleets are still looking for strong slaves in the South Seas. You and yours will help us pass this winter.’ Barely had he finished speaking when they tossed away their tankards and tried to grab us. Well, the first one only managed to grab his bloody head, split open by father’s axe. He fought them all, along with my brothers and my sisters. I never saw how they fell. I buried my face in my blanket and only heard their screams. None of them screamed for mercy, though. That I remember well.
“And none of them were spared. By the end of the battle, one of my brothers fell over me and that’s when I rose screaming from under my blanked and jumped through the window and ran as far as my feet could carry me.
“It wasn’t that far, though. I fell in the bushes just outside the house and watched as those bastards dragged the bodies of my loved ones outside. They piled them up and left them there to rot. Then, they got back inside and continued their feast. It seems that, in their drunken rage, they had forgotten about me. I stood all day in those bushes, drenched by rain and whipped by the wind. I could not scream, I could not cry. When the rain stopped, the bastards took all they could, set fire to the rest and left. Still, I couldn’t move until the next morning.
“By then, I must’ve been a wreck. I was cold, tired and hungry, not to mention a bit mad. I took out a boat and set sail, riding the waves to wherever they felt like taking me. I drifted for many days. I remember little from that time: just the cold autumn sun, the waves and my mother’s bloodied face, which came to me every time I closed my eyes. And I did close them a lot, hoping each time that it would be the last.
“Finally, some fisherman from Skjorlund found me by the shore. He sold my boat and kept me for a while. I fled. He gave me little food and much beating, for which I repaid him by stealing his good boat and carving a hole into the other. I drifted again, from village to village and from island to island.
“As time went by, I became famous for my sailing skills. Young headmen and two-bit chieftains would seek my help and I gladly went along. I was far from being a man when I first saw Aspia. I had yet to grow a beard when I arrived in Ingorle. I had forgotten how many times I had crossed Norrland before I could wield a sword.
“I had forgotten the faces of my loved ones. Time had blurred them away and, even though every now and then I dreamt of them, I didn’t know if it was really them or just faces I had met in my long years as a drifter.
“But never mind that. I still hadn’t forgotten that bastard and one day I saw him. It was a Joining and he was looking for men. I felt my hand burning to feel the hilt of my dagger. I felt my blade yearning for his blood. Still, there I stood, stupid and silent, unable to raise my arm and do what was to be done. I cursed myself for that moment of weakness and sometimes, I still do.
“A few years passed and I was no longer the wonder boy of the helmsmen. I was a young man, or so the women of Skjorlund used to say when their husbands were away. I became friends with the best tramps that island had to offer and I made my plan. The years had not passed in vain: I knew who he was and where to look for him. I knew he was now a rich man, a little something that easily makes men to share one’s thirst for revenge.
“We arrived there at nightfall. I stood before his gate and for a moment, all the grief from the past swarmed over me. I saw red before my eyes and I shouted so loudly that I thought his house would crumble on top of him. Something which I wouldn’t have liked. He was mine. All mine.
“I smashed his door down and dragged him out. I crushed his legs and made him watch how I cut down all of his loved ones. I set fire to his house and together we watched it burn to the ground while I still shouted in his ear ‘Cringe, you bastard, cringe, for you deserve it!’ ”
Gorm stopped for a moment. His eyes had become bloody. His voice had become hoarse.
“Finally, I ran him through and let him die in a puddle of blood, shit and piss. My lads looted the place and we left with plenty of gold and silver, enough for any man to settle down for a few years. But while they were looting, they found two small children. ‘Kill them,’ the men urged me, ‘so that they won’t kill you in a few years.’ I knew they were right, but I couldn’t. I spared them. I took them on my ship and, on learning that they had blood in Skjorlund, I sailed back and found those people. ‘I killed your kin,’ I told them. ‘What do you want now?’ they asked. ‘I want to give you his offspring, to raise them as your own. I ask no price for them, for they bear no blame. Also, I will pay the price of blood, so there will be peace between us. Will you agree to this?’ They did and so we sat down and bargained over the price. They asked for little gold, much less than I’d expected. Maybe the blood runs thin in their breed.
“After that, I broke away from my friends. They sailed with Gjorn to the South Seas and I never heard from them again. Truth be told, I didn’t feel like it either. For many days I stumbled from tavern to tavern, drinking for victory. Drinking for revenge. Drinking for sorrow. Drinking for all the years that I never got to enjoy.
“That’s how Neversober was born.
“In the end, I fell asleep. I dreamt again about the island, about mother, about father, about brothers and sisters. But now they appeared clear to me, just as I knew them long ago. They were no longer wounded. They were no longer frightened. They were no longer angry. They were at peace.”
Gorm raised his tankard and took a long sip. He looked away from the fire for a while. Ivar and Halbjorn remained silent. For now, there was nothing to be said.
“But enough about me,” said Gorm with his usual merry voice. “I want to hear about you, lads! I want to hear,” he grinned, “about how our mighty chieftain turned out to be the one who likes to… read?” he said mocking Skullcleaver.
“The one who likes to read,” Ivar echoed him with a faint smile.
Hazard will sometimes give the weirdest gifts to a man. You wield a good sword. Ride a fast horse. Admire a beautiful woman. Fuck that same woman. But reading? What kind of a gift is reading? It gives nothing to see, hear or taste, and always leaves you wanting more. Nevertheless, it was Ivar’s gift from a young age and the chieftain had grown to hold it close to his heart.
“I know this seems strange to you,” Ivar said. “I’ve heard words drifting through the camp. They are amusing. The men speak of a mountain that’s unconquerable, even though one of their own looks upon them from high above.”
“Stop beating around the bush,” Gorm muttered. “The bush surrenders.”
“You might remember the time when Gjorn gathered together all the great chieftains of the North and lured them and their crews to the South Seas, to plunder and kill at will. It was a long time ago, so stretch your memory – don’t worry, it won’t hurt,” Ivar added grinning, just to piss Gorm off.
“Aye, I’ve heard about it. Almost all the chieftains of Norrland agreed to sail with him. Unlike a chieftain I know, Gjorn was much younger back then, but had them all bent to his will, as I heard. They all followed him,” Gorm stung back.
“They did. They sailed down and put everything in their way to fire and sword. Much gold and much fame were gained during the Great Raids. And much blood was spilled at the end, when Gjorn’s tongue was no longer able to keep the crews together. The crews broke away one after the other and fought one against another. They would wait for those whom they thought to have gained more and ambush them when the beer was tastier or the sleep was sweeter. Men would waste weeks going around for fear others might be waiting for them at the passes. Those who wouldn’t and sought to briskly return home lay in wait, hoping that ships from Norrland would come for them and bring them home. Alas, they waited in vain, for the ships lay beneath the waves and nobody would see them.
“Among those who did return, a great deal of them lost all of their spoils and barely made it back with their lives. Which, in the times heralding the winter, was really not much. But you already know of such men.”
Gorm nodded in silence.
“Fortunately for Norrland, there were men who made it safely back home. Father was such a man. His ships reached the shores of Norrland in the time of the red leaves and many were amazed to see so much prey come from them. He didn’t bring slaves, however, as his men had done. His share had been sold while they were still sailing home. None understood that, even my mother, who, from time to time, would mutter angry words about needing some more help around the farm. ‘Hush, woman, gold is better than slaves,’ my father used to smile, making my mother even angrier. Many plates bit the ground and broke during those days. But, in the end, she did shut up, right about after the first blizzards, when the harsh Norrland winter claimed his prize and few of the southerners lived to see the snow melt in the springtime.
“But aside from that, another weird thing happened. I’ve told you that father had sold all of his slaves. I lied. He did keep one. At first, everyone thought he did so because no man would’ve bought him anyway, as he was old and unworthy of any task fit for a man. Many had advised my father to run him through and dump him into the sea, for it was worthless as a slave and a shame to be owned by a great warrior like himself. ‘I’ve spilled the blood of warriors,’ father always told them, ‘and he’s definitely not a warrior. My blade would cringe if put to such a use. Besides,’ he also added, ‘my farm has mice eating more than he does. I know that some of you would battle their mice if they could, but I’m not such a man. There’s plenty to eat at my farm.’ So the old man kept his head and father grew even more in the eyes of his men.
“There was, however, a moment when the blade called for the slave’s blood. As father said, he had found him hidden in a tower and, instead of begging for mercy and promising mountains of gold for his release, he had just one demand ‘My life is in your hands,’ the old man had told him, ‘so you know that I stand nothing to gain from lying to you. Take this wooden chest and trust my word, as I swear on my life, there is much more wealth hidden inside it than you have ever dreamt!’
“The chest was taken and, as all things, it was put somewhere along the rest of the spoils and forgotten. Father did not believe the story of the old man, but, as he said, there was little reason to brush it aside. Something good might’ve been in there and, in times of need, it could be used.
“Meanwhile, the old man continued to be feeble and useless. If sent to bring water, he’d return all drenched and, with a bit a luck, with a cracked bucket. If wood was of need, he’d come with half of stack, while the rest was proudly littered across the yard. And one time, as I remember, father had him go and cut a chicken for dinner.”
“Let me guess, the geezer cut his fingers off, didn’t he?” asked Gorm with a large grin and barely waiting for the bloody result.
“No” – and Gorm’s hopes sunk. “Mother had the good sense to give him a blunt axe. There was no chopping, but he did crush a few fingers and that hand was of no use for a few weeks. Not that anyone would’ve noticed.
“He did, however, have a special gift and this gift was worth a lot of gold during the gloomy winter days. No matter how hard he’d fuck up, he always managed to keep his good humor. I remember that after the chicken disaster, mother was dressing his hand and he, although in pain, looked up to her and said ‘I’m sorry, mistress! With my hand as it is, it seems I won’t be able to do half the work I don’t do anyway!’
“Mother had taken a liking to him and, little by little, had lured father into liking him as well. At night, she’d have the old man weave his stories about ancient kings and forgotten realms, of cities that lie beyond the South Seas and of monsters that fly above them. He was always happy to comply and wiggle his tongue, especially if said tongue had felt the touch of strong beer. Half a tankard for half a night, that’s not a bad deal at all.
“Being the youngest of the brothers, I used to spend a lot of time around him as well and I remember how I’d shout, sometimes in anger, ‘More! More! More!’ He’d laugh at my impatience and continue, just to hear me shout again later. After a while, as I grew, he took me aside. This time, however, I didn’t hear his merry voice. It was deep and serious, as if coming from another man. ‘Young master, how would you like to know these stories by yourself?’ ‘And how would I do that? Crack your head open and let them fly away before my eyes?’ ‘Oh dear,’ he sighed. ‘A Norrlander is a Norrlander, no matter how hard this old fool tries to change his ways. It’s something else. It is a magic that lifts a veil from your eyes and shows you the hidden signs for what they are.’ I agreed as soon as I heard of magic. My older brothers always tormented me – to be able to spit magic in their faces, now that would’ve been great!
“Alas, things proved less interesting as they began to unveil. The first day, the old man drew signs in the dirt and demanded I learn them by heart, how they looked and what they sounded like. The second day, I’d already given up. The third day, father was inclined to kill the old man.”
“The old man had reminded father about the wooden chest. He still had the key and father, impatient as any man would be after being reminded to treasure, opened it with his dagger.”
“And then he raised the dagger to carve the old man, because inside the chest were only parchments.”
“Pa… what?” asked Gorm with great astonishment.
“I see. Worthless crap, eh?”
“That’s how father saw it as well. He thought them fit to light a fire good enough to roast the old man for making him carry the chest. But mother intervened. ‘Burn these things,’ she said, ‘but leave him alone. He’d old and old people are quite mad, no use harming him over the whims of age.’ That meant, of course, that the old man would still get a good beating, but being unable to walk for a week was better than being dead. However, the old man didn’t see it that way. For the first time since he had arrived to Norrland I saw him being brave, something that he must’ve picked up from our men. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘if you wish to burn my parchments, then know that I shall hurl myself in the chest and die along with them. For all it matters, I did not lie to you: there is great treasure hidden within this chest, but it’s a treasure that must be unlocked by savvy eyes. It bears neither gold, nor silver – it bears knowledge. Keep your fire away from them and let me pass their teachings on to your son. In time, these scribbles will provide a treasure much greater than the one you’ve gained by sword. It will be a treasure that a man can never be robbed of.’ ”
“And I bet there was no roasting,” said Gorm.
“I never knew if father let him live because his words meant something or for he saw them as proof of his madness,” said Ivar gazing at the sky and utterly ignoring Gorm’s sarcasm. “The old man took the chest and repaid us with amazing stories in the following days. Mother was happy again and father used to mutter from time to time ‘I should threaten to kill him more often, it yields great results.’
“Meanwhile, I was back learning the damn signs and it bored the crap out of me. The old man, however, was sly. Seeing my interest waning by the moment, he promised special stories and, since I was more curious than lazy, he lured me little by little until the magic of writing was unveiled before me.
“I shall not tell you everything I read and learned from those scribbles. It’s enough said that a new world opened before my eyes and the old man proved always keen to continue from where the scrolls had finished. Day by day, until, one morning, I woke up to find Norrland much smaller than I thought it to be. I was still on my island, but my eyes didn’t stop where the sea met the sky. They traveled over the horizon, to places I had yet to see, even though they had been unveiled in all their glory.”
“That’s all? Stories about other places? You can get dozens of them in Skjorlund!” said Gorm.
“Yes, and most of them are told by men who heard them from others, and those, in turn, heard them from others as well. A story is born seven seas from Norrland and, by the time it reaches its shores, it has been twisted so many times that it no longer resembles the first one. Besides, the old man had other things to teach as well. Things I believed to be childish and useless, but which I’ve grown to appreciate as time went by.”
“I remember one time,” said Ivar, “when the old man spoke to me about wisdom, and why it is to be treasured more than strength at any time. ‘Wisdom,’ he said, ‘is what makes great men. And great men, young Ivar, are what make truly great chieftains!’ ‘You’re wrong, old man!’ I snapped back, for, you see, I was at that age when you know everything. ‘You just need bravery and a good sword and men will flock to your side!’ He smiled. ‘Any fool can wield a sword, but few can wield a thought. Tell me this, young Ivar, what if you were a chieftain and another chieftain waged war on you? You’d fight until one of you fell to the ground for the last time, right?’ ‘Right!’ I said. ‘And many people would die until then. Many, many brave warriors would fall for nothing and, by the time of the Joining, you’d be just a minor pawn, looking to get as many men as to fill at least one boat. You might’ve had crews to fill many boats, but they’d be all dead, wouldn’t they? Imagine, however, that this whole conflict could be settled as a fight between chieftains. Man against man and may death take the weakling! You arrive at the field of battle. Your foe arrives as well. You pick up your shield. He picks up his. You draw your sword and raise it above your head, causing your men to howl for your victory. He draws his sword and aims to do the same, but his men remain silent while yours laugh at him, because he’s only holding the hilt in his hand. The blade is still with him, at his side, but who cares about it anymore? He’s been disgraced and he has disgraced his men. Kill him if you see it fit. But then, don’t turn around. Don’t taunt his men. Go to them, proud and fearless as they know you to be. Talk to them. Lure them to your side. Find the right words and they will flock at your side. No more war. No more bloodshed. Young Ivar, I’m trying to make you see that strength alone will win you a battle, but not the war. Bloody wars are won in the will. Great wars are won even before the first sword had been drawn. And that, young lad, is the way of wisdom.’
“At the time, it seemed to be that wisdom had a lot to do with luck, for I’d heard of no chieftain to have suffered such a shame. ‘The mind has ways to lure luck to its side,’ the old man used to say, ‘and what may seem to others as a stroke of fortune may be days of careful planning. But don’t go and ruin their beliefs. Rulers should always guard their secrets.’ ”
“That’s why you’re such a secretive bastard?” Gorm asked merrily.
“Perhaps,” said Ivar, still gazing into the past. “I’ve often found during my years at sea that men are stupid and turn to pigs should one unveil the depths of his heart. Such gems should always be kept in secrecy. And unveiled, but only when the time is right and those who see them are also close to one’s heart.”
The three men filled their tankards again and drank in silence. There was no need for words.
Gorm leaned over to Halbjorn and whispered softly, so softly that the silence of the night was cut in half.
“How about you, my lad? Don’t you have a story of boredom, I mean of bravery? A tale in which you cut down your foes with one hand and eat their children with the other?”
Seeing that Halbjorn had tasted his joke and, in return, felt like making him taste his fist, Gorm spoke again, but this time in the voice he had when telling his story:
“Come, lad, speak. Ivar and I both see you yearn to.”
“The chieftain was right,” Halbjorn unclenched his teeth, “this world bears treasures more dear to man than fame and gold. I’ve had my share of gold and fame. When I arrived in Skjorlund I was looking for something else. Something that had been denied to me in Norrland.”
“I can’t imagine someone brave enough to deny you anything,” said Gorm. “I mean I do, but he usually has no limbs. And he keeps begging for mercy.”
“It hadn’t been always like this. When I was young, my brothers and I got along fine: we beat each other senseless. I have been strong even since I can remember and, by the time of the first sword, I was besting them at will. Not all of them, but most, and that was enough. I picked up the trade from father, but since one blacksmith and three helpers were enough for those parts, I was left with watching over the cows.”
“And wrestling the bears in your spare time,” Gorm added.
“They did attack the cows,” said Halbjorn. “Anyway, it was as it was and it never bothered me at the time. But then father passed. It began to bother the others. The farmland was poor, the cows were few and raids had gone bad in those years. As I saw it back then, they were my brothers and we would stand together through thick and thin. Alas, they did not. One day, I found them all gathered in our courtyard, weapons drawn and ready for battle. ‘Go!’ they shouted, ‘Leave this place and never come back! Now it’s ours and you’re one too many!’ I felt like grabbing my axe and cutting them down, one by one. But, at the same time, I felt so much disgust just by looking at them: four men, trembling before one of their own. I left. As I later heard, they ended up killing each other over what father had left them and to this day I don’t know who among them survived. Nor do I care.
“I drifted from island to island and lent my skills to whomever sought them. I’ve been a guard for wealthy men in the Free Cities and that went well for a while, until one day the bastard I was working for raised his voice at me. I threw him out the window and he made a huge splash when he fell into the sea. After that, I was on the run again. I ended up in a kingdom far in the east. As I was walking towards a city, I found myself surrounded by a dozen of thugs. Too bad for them. I swung my axe and five of them bit the ground. I swung again and only two were left. They threw down their weapons but did not flee, a thing I found most troubling at the time.”
“ ‘We beg of you to be our new leader,’ one of them said. ‘Your skill and our knowledge will open any pouch.’ I was a drifter, what did I care? I went along and they proved to be right. Together we’d stalk the less traveled roads and loot just kept piling on. Whenever we split it, they insisted I take more than them, being that I was their chieftain and they just my minions. I was delighted. Ever since I had left Norrland I had grown to distrust everyone. With them I felt differently. They were my friends.
“Meanwhile, our doings had not gone unnoticed. There was a prize on my head, appealing enough for any fool to come and die by my axe. I didn’t care about it much. At the time, I simply thought that we should move elsewhere, somewhere where people had yet to hear about my fame. My friends, however, thought otherwise. We were set to leave the next day. The loot had been packed and we were spending the last night at the hideout. I drank as a Norrlander would drink and the more I drank, the more they urged me to drink some more. I got tired and went inside, where my bed was waiting. But before I went to sleep, I grabbed a large chunk of smoked meat. I always get hungry when I drink and, since I was dead drunk, I was dead hungry as well. I lay in bed and put it on my chest, so it would be easier to take a bite whenever I felt like it. But I fell asleep.
“Meanwhile, my good friends were neither drunk nor sleepy. They were waiting to hear me snore. They thought that if a man is dead drunk and asleep, it would make little difference to him if he was also dead in the simple way. They waited until the hut was humming and slowly entered, careful step after careful step. They got near my bed, drew their daggers and stabbed me in the chest countless times, so they’d be sure I’d never rise again.
“The smoked meat sure died that night, but I didn’t. I woke up as the tips of their daggers pierced through my skin and unleashed a shout that made them freeze. It was dark inside the hut, I did not know who was attacking me, so I grabbed the one closer and smashed his head into the wall. The wall cracked and so did his skull. The other ran outside and I chased after him, still drunk and still unaware of who were my attackers. He was slimmer and faster than me, so I grabbed a stone that lay nearby and hurled it after him. It broke his legs and pinned him to the ground. I grabbed him by the throat and threatened to crush his arms as well should he not tell me what had happened to my crew. ‘Where are they?’ I shouted at him with great rage. ‘Did you kill them as well?’ The bastard never answered, no matter how much pain I made him feel. At last, the moon broke loose from behind the clouds and set its light upon his face. It became clear to me.
“I snapped his neck like a twig, torched the hut and left those parts for good. I began drifting again, not caring where the winds would take me. I had hoped from friendship and all I got in return was treachery. Fuck friendship! If I were to be alone, then so be it.
“I returned to Skjorlund just in time for the Joining. I won’t speak about that time, for it still makes me grind my teeth. We sailed to Ingorle, I came upon the Wrath and then there was darkness. When I woke up, the first thing I saw was the chieftain struggling to keep you away from death. He was bound by nothing and still he did, day after day, until he fell exhausted. That was, in my eyes, true friendship and even though I’ve been burnt before, I felt I wanted to be part of it. That’s why I took Gorm. It stung to carry the man who had shamed me in Skjorlund and plunged me into this raid. But now, looking back, I regret nothing. I’ve chosen well.”
Gorm looked at Ivar and Skullcleaver agreed. Neversober filled all three tankards, drew his dagger and was the first to have his blood drip into the beer. Three blood brothers raised their tankards and one voice was heard, speaking for all three:
(Not quite) The End.
Hey there. Thank you for taking the time to read this bit of a story. If you happen to like it, then you might want to continue with a far greater adventure in The Norrland Saga. The Call Of Gelduur starts here:
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Call-Gelduur-Norrland-Saga-Book-ebook/dp/B011AEG4D6
Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-call-of-gelduur
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/560522
What is “The Call Of Gelduur”?
[_- A delightful adventure in a fantasy world inspired by an Europe at the dawn of the Viking Age _]
[_- A story of conquest, vengeance, friendship, bravery and subtle manipulation _]
[_- Battles. An obscene amount of battles. Land battles, sea battles, sieges, duels, slaughter, a bit of torture (not much, though. The author is not very fond of it), basically every act that can be performed by upstanding pirates, cutthroats and murderers _]
[_- Plenty of twists and unexpected turns of events that are overcome with the most powerful form of magic. The magic of the mind _]
[_- A bit of humor and a lighthearted story. Just because the characters are busy slaughtering each other doesn’t mean the tone of the novel has to be dead serious. _]
– These three lovable bastards. And plenty more characters to love and hate.
If you want to get in touch with me, my Facebook account is secretly hidden here (https://www.facebook.com/jackalriksson) and the official page for the series lures websurfers with candy and then eats them alive here (https://www.facebook.com/TheNorrlandSaga)