Blenda : Sweden's Greatest Heroine
Blenda Sends The Fiery Cross
The person she had met at the Christian Council Meeting was a kind and gentle young man who was just a few years older than herself. While the adults attended the conference Olof had escorted her down to a swift river that flowed over a small, but quite beautiful, waterfall. And although they had just met Blenda had succumbed to his charm and allowed the older boy to steal a kiss from her.
People, change over the years however. She had watched King Alle as he became more tempermental and warlike over time, while his son Adolphus transformed into a loving and thoughtful young man who cared more for preserving the sanctity of life than destroying it. So it did not come as a complete surprise to her that the boy who had once kissed her was now a blood thirsty tyrant bent on raping, and conquering her ancestral lands.
Blenda was lost in her memories when she heard Eirik raise his voice.
" Did you not hear me ! ? Do you not understand ? ! " he asked without waiting for an answer.
" We have to abandon all the villages ! Everyone has to flee their homes and head north to either Vastergotland or Ostergotland ! " he shouted, hoping his louder tone would emphasize his words.
Blenda thought for a long moment.
" No ! " she shouted as she pulled the ' Dagger of Destiny ' out of her belt.
Eirik shook his head sadly and sighed deeply.
" My dear,.... that knife,... that ' Dagger of Destiny ', will not protect you, or your folk, from a blood thirsty army of Danes ! " he told her with a hint of frustration.
Blenda reached out and placed the sharp point of the bejeweled weapon almost up against Eirik's nose.
" So you do not believe in Smalandish traditions ? " she asked.
Eirik chuckled sarcastically.
" Not when it comes up against an entire army, my dear young friend. " he told her in a much calmer voice.
Blenda grinned, for she had a plan evolving in her mind. A daring plan, if it worked, which could destroy the Danish army, and save Smaland from further destruction.
" Maybe so,..... but combined with the beauty of an army of sultry women, and with the aide of enough ale and food,.... we might just be able to stop these evil marauders, and preserve our independence from these Danes ! " she told him with a confident nod.
Eirik again shook his head in frustration.
" If you had,... let us say, for the sake of argument, three thousand female warriors, how could you hope to destroy an entire Danish army ? " Eirik asked.
Blenda placed her dagger back in her belt and gently tapped her finger on Eirik's nose in a playful way.
" Because even a female can kill a man who is stuffed with food, and drunk to the point of collapse ! " she explained with a wicked grin.
Eirik had to quicken his pace to keep up with Blenda. She had not told him exactly what she was about to do, and the old warrior had no idea what she was up to, which had peaked his curiosity. When she came to the small stave church and threw open the doors he was even more perplexed.
" Does she want to pray to God first ? " he asked himself in a whisper.
Blenda did not stay in the church long enough to say even one short prayer. She angrily strutted over to the wall behind the pulpit and pulled down a large wooden cross that was attached with a single nail. Without saying a word to Eirik she walked passed him and left the church. Eirik raised his eyebrows and quickly ran after her.
Blenda continued at her rapid pace to the pen next to her hall, where the animals were housed, and picked up a young goat. As Eirik looked on in horror Blenda pulled out her knife and slit the animal's throat wide open. As the goat spurted blood, from the deep wound in it's neck, Blenda placed the cross under the sacrificial flow.
" This is sacrilege ! " Eirik shouted indignantly.
Blenda gave the old man an angry look, and narrowed her eyes before answering him.
" This knife was made, and blessed, in a different time ! It belongs to the age of the Vikings, and war, and therefore it requires a blood sacrifice to the old Gods to reinvigorate the old blessing ! " she told him in a stern tone.
Eirik said no more. He was not quite sure if Blenda actually knew what she was doing, or if she had completely lost her mind. For the moment, however, he could not take it all in, and headed back to the hall. As he slowly walked in deep thought he was trying to decide what he should do next. Here in the Konga Harad he had no authority. It was Blenda, who was descended from nobles who ruled here, and it was only she who had the right to decide the fate of her fellow countrymen, and women. As he reached the entrance to the hall he contemplated his next move. Before he could enter the hall, however, Blenda, followed by the old shield maiden Torhilda, pushed past him, and entered the hall first.
In stunned fascination Eirik watched from the open doorway as Blenda walked over to the firepit and placed the cross onto the white hot coals. The dried wood immediately sparked into flame. Using a metal rod Blenda moved the cross around until it became charred on every surface. Then she flicked the cross out of the fire and onto the floor. With an old blanket she smothered the flames. As the cross lay on the floor smoldering Blenda turned to Torhilda.
" Take the fastest horse from my stable and ride to every village and farmhouse. Show them the ' Fiery Cross ' and tell them if they wish to save themselves, their children, and Smaland itself from theses Danes, they must meet me on the Bravellir armed and ready for battle ! " she told the shield maiden.
Then Blenda turned her attention to Eirik.
" If our new God will not protect us, I am sure that our Old Gods will save us from our enemy ! " she explained angrily.
Eirik was not exactly sure what was happening, but he admired Blenda's decisiveness, confidence, and strength of will. And if this ' Dagger of Destiny ' helped to give her that strength, then all the better for the people of Smaland.
- End Chapter 7
- Next : Chapter 8 : The Plan Revealed
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2016.