The Bloodaxe Saga Book Three: Mayhem, Magic and Miracles/ Forward

Forward

The expedition to Mount Gunderbad to recover the Torque of Asgaard was set to leave within the week. Garr sat alone in the library of Fjellhiem with thoughts awhirl. Things had progressed with such speed that he’d hardly had time to take it all in. For days he’d been trying to find time for a bit of quiet introspection and now he had it. It was still early, sunlight barely graying the eastern horizon as he sipped a cup of strong tea and tried to order his thoughts. He knew that Arnaald and his friends and compatriots were pushing for him to be Norgeve’s first inter-tribal king. If things worked out the way Arnaald had hoped, he would be the first king recognized by all the peaceful races of Norgeve. He was not at all sure that this was what he wanted. He realized that the land needed such a unifying sovereign, he just wasn’t sure that he should be it. Over the years he’d come to value fairness and compassion as well as honor and a firm hand and believed that with good council, which was certainly in plentiful supply, he could make a good leader, perhaps a chieftain. But king? Did he want it? He considered Blothe and realized that while he’d known all his life that he was called King, the man commanded no respect and only derision. He realized that he wasn’t even sure what the role of king entailed. He thought of what a peaceful country life with Leorrelai would be like; the comfort and peace of mind to settle in with his lady-love and raise a family seemed like a dream. The reality, he knew, was a much different and pressing matter entirely. An idyllic life would be impossible with the threat of trulls running rampant under the manipulation of Doden, a dark figure from the north of unimaginably malignant power. And now there was the added threat of goblins, a factor much more dangerous than an army of trulls. And if what Arnaald suspected was true from information Smuntley Kwerm had provided, there was also the threat of the undead draugs, in undetermined numbers. How could he not rise to the challenge when so many were counting upon him? But conversely, how could he? What did he know of such things? He was barely nineteen years of age and certainly well trained, but no warrior by any stretch of imagination. He’d never killed a solitary soul and by all accounts there would be such horrors aplenty in his future and maybe soon. He did not doubt his courage, but his resolve…

He thought of this trull, Igar Pusboil, that had been captured and brought to Fjellhiem by the Svartalfar and realized that the odds of meeting face to face, the captain that had sacked Josdahl, his home village, here in Fjellhiem was beyond coincidence and, as Arnaald had pointed out, was likely a test of the Norns. It was certainly a test of the resolve he currently pondered. He had every right to hate and even kill Igar and yet, he was facing feelings of pity for this repugnant creature. Igar had openly expressed a self-loathing that went right to Garr’s soul. Now in the gray light of dawn, he tried to imagine what it must have been like to grow up in such an environment as Igar must have known. Now that he had time to wonder what it would be like to suddenly realize that you have human feelings warring at odds with the influences of trull up-bringing and worse, military training, the concept was staggering and he realized, at least to some degree, what torment Igar must be going through and still the creature exhibited a degree of pride and character. He was certainly the oddest enigma Garr had ever confronted and he realized that before he left on this impending expedition, he would have to spend more time with Igar. Arnaald would have said of such musings, that this kind of human understanding and compassion was exactly the mettle that qualified him as a candidate for kingship.

Garr rose and went to the window overlooking the training grounds and was delighted to see that trainees were orderly forming up for the days rigors under the ministrations of diligent captains. He knew things would be playing out in like manner out on Fam Moor and that Lai and Ilsa and others would be readying the days meals and preparing all manner of medicines, salves and unguents at the apothecary. All the buildings and fortifications were now completely constructed and fields cleared for plowing and planting. Things were moving at a magical pace. The willingness of the population went well beyond the high council’s hopes. That these simple and stout-hearted people understood what they faced was obvious and he stood in wonder that the average soldier may well have at least as good a grasp of the situation as he, himself had. And he was to be king? He smiled and shook his head.

At the far end of the library, Algar and a few of the scribes filed in to ready the day’s lessons and recordings. Algar noticed Garr at the window and after some last instructions to the scribes, joined him there.

“You’ll be leaving for Gunderbad soon.” Said the elderly Elf. Garr smiled and nodded. Algar continued,“I’ve spent the past few days researching the area and putting together all manner of information…maps and such. I’ve even located some vague references to the Wyvern graveyard that I believe point to its being somewhere on the southeastern slopes.”

Garr smiled and clapped Algar on his shoulder. “Algar, there is not a doubt in my mind why Briar reposes so much faith and trust in you.” He drained his cup and said, “I’ve been mulling over this kingship thing that Arnaald and some of the others are pushing for. I still don’t know if I take it seriously, I fear. Even with the proof of my bloodline and all that, I frankly don’t think I’m a good choice and don’t know what is expected of me. I can think of any number of people who far out-qualify myself. Yourself, for instance.”

Algar smiled and held up a staying hand. “Nay, nay, my lad. Don’t be wishing such things on poor old Algar. I covet it not.”

Garr considered for a moment, “Well, I have to survive any number of adventures first. Who knows? If I survive, mayhap by the journey’s end I’ll be ready to plop my tired old arse upon a padded throne. Perhaps I’ll run like hel.”

The Bloodaxe Saga Book Three: Mayhem, Magic and Miracles/ Forward

George Yesthal

Brodheadsville, United States

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 1

Artist's Description

Book 3 of The Bloodaxe Saga.

Artwork Comments

  • JRGarland
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10% off

for joining the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.