Tag: Vold

8.10 – Parley

Hi, Everyone! Allene here. We’re going to try something special with book 8, assuming I don’t exhaust myself in the process. In an effort to get my rankings higher on TWF and RRL, I’m aiming to post two chapters/day for the next two weeks (so, 28 chapters in 2 weeks, or what will probably be most of the book), and then go straight into book 9 when it’s done. Wish me luck!

In the morning, whether by excellent foresight or an excess of caution, Captain Kormund ordered that they continue rowing under sail, as the wind remained favorable. He also doubled the watch off their stern. No-one seemed surprised, and if there was grumbling about all the rowing, it was directed at the accursed Imperials who seemed intent on running the Eikthyrnir to ground.

Indeed, come midmorning, a shimmer on the horizon swiftly resolved itself into the all-too-familiar shape of an Imperial dromon under full sail. Another round of cursing traveled around the deck of the ship, and some of the men muttered darkly about effeminate Imperial magicians and enslaved spirits.

Captain Kormund had a whispered conference of rather fierce intensity, and then an order was given that really got the sailors talking.

They dropped the sea anchor and furled the sail. Evidently, the Captain intended to wait for the other ship and confront them directly.

The men readied for boarding. Some of the rasher of their number likely looked forward to taking the fight to their pursuers. Most of them, however, were not so angry as to forget what happened the last time they tried to fight this ship.

The dromon accepted the invitation. Over the next several hours, they watched the ship grow incrementally closer. As it did, two things became plain. First, the ship itself did shine, although in the full light of day it was harder to tell. Second, the nearer the ship drew the harder it was to be angry about it and the easier it was to admit, at least to oneself, that they were afraid of it. Like hiding in a hunting blind while a giant bear searched for berries above your head, as Vold had described it. Naudrek and Hrug looked at Einarr, and he could see in their faces the very thing he was thinking.

Finally, the dromon, too, dropped its sea anchor. They were within hailing distance, if only just. Captain Kormund strode to the bulwark and called across.

“Hail, enemy ship of the Order of the Valkyrie! You are within Clan waters, pursuing a vessel on peaceful errand. If you do not break off we will be forced to seek an alliance against you.”

Einarr tried to think who controlled this area, between the ruins of Langavik and the svartalfr stronghold. Did the thane over Langavik still care? Or had he ceded control to the cult?

“Hail, pirate scum!” Came the reply from the other ship, spoken just as coolly as Kromund’s initial call. Predictably, a dull roar of protest rose up off the deck of the Eikthyrnir.

“We have reason to believe that you will soon be in contact with those responsible for unleashing a curse of corruption upon the peoples of Langtoft and Southwaite, and that they have among their number those capable of ending this affliction.”

Einarr froze. None of the cultists had gotten away, that he knew of, so how…?

“Our information suggests that one of their number may be aboard your ship. If this is so, we will gladly accept him as a guest on the Arkona, but we must still ask that you guide us to those we seek.”

The Captain, to his credit, did not hesitate. “We refuse. I say again, return to your port and leave us be.”

“We refuse. We cannot and will not abandon these people to such a fate. Moreover, the Order holds that responsibility for this curse rests with the Clans, as its origin, which we have just yesterday visited, is within Clan waters.”

Einarr bit off a curse.

“Then it seems we are at an impasse. I had hoped to avoid fighting…”

“You are welcome to try.”

“Wait.” Einarr stepped forward. “I know only one way of ending that curse, and it is bloodshed. If you wish to stop it in its tracks, then burn Langtoft and Southwaite to the ground. Leave none alive, and pray you do not have one of the horrors in the region.”

“You are the one Hrist spoke of?”

“Perhaps. It is true that last summer my father’s ship pursued some kidnappers into the island we just left, and as we escaped we did battle with the svartalfr cultists who lived beneath it. Some of the elder Singers were able to cleanse us of the corruption, but only with the aid of a divine artifact.”

“Then we would ask you to finish what you started, and cleanse these islands of the plague you released upon them, and bring with you the artifact.”

“I cannot go with you.” So long as one of those horrific creatures that had escaped the cultists’ hulls was not in the area, burning it to the ground was still the surest way to ensure it did not spread. “I can warn you not to let the black blood touch you, and I can sincerely wish you the best of luck eradicating the corruption, but it is not me you need, nor any of the Vidofnings. Only the stomach to do what is needed, and the knowledge that those with the black blood are no longer men but monsters.”

There was a long pause from the dromon. “Hrist assures me that your presence will be necessary on the archipelago, and wishes me to mention a… black kraken.”

Now he blanched. “I had hoped that thing would die of its wounds. It was all we could do to keep it from destroying our ship.”

“We would follow you to speak with your father, whatever you say.”

Einarr sighed. “He will tell you what I have told you, and at that point you will be farther from the afflicted towns. But-” and he turned to Captain Kormund. “It is true that the horror of the black kraken would likely still be bound in the hull of a demon-ship called Grendel if we had not fought them there.”

The captain’s nostrils widened momentarily, then he nodded. “Very well. We will escort you as far as this man’s port. But if you do not wish to invite further attack, I recommend sailing in our wake. It may be wise to run up your white flag, if you have such a thing.”


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Hi everyone. Thanks for reading! 

If you like what you read, it would really mean a lot to me if you clicked through to Top Web Fiction and voted for Einarr there. It’s a visibility boost in the ever-growing genre of web fiction, and that helps me out a lot. There’s no sign-up, and votes refresh every 7 days.

If you’re all caught up and looking for something a little longer to read, I also have other works available on Amazon.Or, if you happen to not like Amazon you can also get the Einarr ebook through Draft2Digital, B&N, Apple, Kobo… you get the idea. Direct links are available here.

Lastly, if you really like what I’m doing, I also have a Patreon account running with some fun bonuses available.

8.9 – Into the Night

Hi, Everyone! Allene here. We’re going to try something special with book 8, assuming I don’t exhaust myself in the process. In an effort to get my rankings higher on TWF and RRL, I’m aiming to post two chapters/day for the next two weeks (so, 28 chapters in 2 weeks, or what will probably be most of the book), and then go straight into book 9 when it’s done. Wish me luck!

As the Eikthyrnir retrieved the two men on lookout on the cliffs, Einarr and Naudrek were the first to step up and offer them a hand back to the boat. Both men seemed shaken and pale, as though they had just seen some sort of apparition.

“What happened out there?” Einarr asked without thinking.

Bjar, the first of the men, shook his head. “Where’s the Captain?”

“Here.” Kormund stepped forward from his position near the mast. “Go ahead.”

“That ship… There’s somethin’ not natural about it.”

Kormund audibly rolled his eyes at that. “Yes, we’d all gathered that much already.”

Bjar shook his head, though, swinging it wildly from side to side. “Once that ship got up close, we couldn’t have blown that horn if we’d wanted to. Was all I could do to stay on the ledge.”

Einarr and Kormund both turned their attention to the other lookout.

“Is that so, Vold?”

The other, smaller man nodded as vehemently as Bjar had shaken his head. “It was like… when you were a boy, did you ever see a bear while you were hunting?”

“Of course…”

“Well, think how this would have felt. Your ten-year-old self is out hunting with a friend. You build a nice blind, and you’re in a prime spot to bring home some venison for dinner. Now imagine if the biggest bear you’ve ever seen, big enough maybe to swallow you whole, came up and started sniffing around that blind. That’s more or less what it was like being near that ship.”

That was certainly an… evocative description. The captain turned back to Bjar, an eyebrow raised.

“Er… yeah, that’s basically what it was like… although I think you’ve been spending too much time around the Singers.”

“So the ship moves faster – far faster – than it should,” Einarr mused. “It glows, and it can scare the living daylights out of grown men just by being there. If it wasn’t for that last one, I might give some credence to the rumors of bound wind spirits.”

“You can’t bind wind spirits,” Naudrek objected. “It’s against their very nature.”

“We can’t bind wind spirits. We can’t get magic out of paint, though, either, and the Coneheads can. Who knows what other strange magics they might have.”

Naudrek raised an eyebrow at him, but did not say what they were both thinking – what if it really was the Valkyrie he’d fought in the tower, out to finish what she’d started? Father would kill him if he became Einherjar now. …The thought almost made him laugh. Instead, he asked “Captain, what did Hrug’s divination show you?”

The Captain sighed. “Not as much as I hoped, honestly. I saw them chasing us, dogged as any hound, but not an inkling as to why.”

Einarr wanted to kick himself: that was why they should have done the full divination, of course! He should have seen it at the time. It still would have been a problem to set up the array on the deck of a moving ship, of course. Still, the time for that had passed. There would be other ways, now, of figuring out what the Order was after.

“You’re sure they’re actually gone?” Naudrek was asking the two watchmen.

“As sure as we can be. They sailed off out of sight, but we were sort of stuck against the side of the island.”

The Captain nodded and clapped Bjar on the shoulder. “Good work. Let’s get back on the water. I want us rowing under sail again, as long as the wind is with us. Let’s not give them a chance to catch up so easily again.”


All that afternoon and into the night they sailed on. No-one was yet willing to believe they’d actually given the Valkyrian ship the slip, but that night an undercurrent of excitement filled the gossip.

“That ship shined like gold,” some said.

“The wood must come from alfheim,” others answered.

“It’s not the wind carrying that ship along, it’s an otherworldly team of horses!”

“Are you sure,” Naudrek asked him quietly, after the ship had settled into its night routine. “That Valkyrie you told me about isn’t after your head?”

Einarr slowly shook his head. No, he wasn’t. She had said she was unsatisfied by the result of their duel – as well she might have been. He had survived five exchanges, barely. A sixth likely would have done him in. But so far as he knew the Order of the Valkyrie did not actually have anything to do with Wotan’s harvesters of the slain. They were, perhaps uncharitably, a group of mercenaries running a protection scheme on outlying Imperial villages. Why, then, would a real Valkyrie want anything to do with them? “It just doesn’t seem likely,” was what he said.

“If you say so. There’s just a lot of little things that start to look an awful lot like that ship has some sort of divine help.”

Einarr grunted. He couldn’t disagree. “They don’t seem to want to fight us, though. But what do they want us to show them? That’s the only other purpose I can figure out.”

“Is there anything we really want an Order ship to see in Clan waters? You’ve said it yourself: they hunt us for sport.”

“No, nothing I can think of. I just don’t know as we have a choice other than leading them along right now. What are we going to do, lay another ambush? Not likely, the way they shot us down before.”

Naudrek groaned. “I don’t know. I’m out of ideas. What do you think we should do?”

“The only thing we can do. Sail on, and wait. I’ve got a hunch they’ll tell us what they want. I think they might even do it in such a way that we can make a choice.”

“What makes you so sure?”

Einarr barked a laugh. “Do I sound sure? This is all gut feeling and conjecture. We’ll see, come morning, if the Captain agrees.”


Vote for Vikings on Top Web Fiction!

Table of Contents


Hi everyone. Thanks for reading! 

If you like what you read, it would really mean a lot to me if you clicked through to Top Web Fiction and voted for Einarr there. It’s a visibility boost in the ever-growing genre of web fiction, and that helps me out a lot. There’s no sign-up, and votes refresh every 7 days.

If you’re all caught up and looking for something a little longer to read, I also have other works available on Amazon.Or, if you happen to not like Amazon you can also get the Einarr ebook through Draft2Digital, B&N, Apple, Kobo… you get the idea. Direct links are available here.

Lastly, if you really like what I’m doing, I also have a Patreon account running with some fun bonuses available.