A New Beginning
It took weeks to clear away all the debris and many months to rebuild all of the dwellings. Sigvaldi was very pleased and proud of how his people pulled together and helped out one another . No one acted out of selfishness, and everyone worked deep into the night until every family had a descent place to live. When the work was nearly completed Sigvaldi decided to reward his folk for all their hard work. He sent his warriors out to tell everyone to meet in the market square at high noon to hear a wonderful announcement.
The word spread through the village faster than the Jotuns had destroyed it. As Sunna settled in the sky directly overhead every man, woman, and child, left what they were working on and made their way to the market place to hear what their Chieftain had to say. When it appeared that everyone had arrived Sigvaldi and Geirny marched into the square followed by their army and shield maiden leaders. The crowd parted as they walked by, and the merchants closed their stands and carts to hear the proclamation.
Sigvaldi jumped up on an ox drawn cart, and then reached down to help Geirny up onto the empty hay cart. Her arm had healed well, but it still gave her some discomfort from time to time, so Sigvaldi was careful and lifted her by the hips. Sigvaldi then nodded to his commanders, who began to motion for the crowd to gather around and quiet down. When the last whispers died out Sigvaldi addressed the villagers.
" My people .... my friends .... we have suffered through an ordeal greater than anyone in the past has ever had to endure. With the Gods' help not only have we survived, but we have become a stronger and much more tight knit community of Northmen and women ! " he told those gathered in the marketplace.
Then Sigvaldi pointed to the new temple that they had built to the Gods, and with great pride continued his speech.
" On the day that I have proclaimed to be Thor's day, at high noon, in that magnificent temple which we have built to honor our Gods and Goddesses, I will be bound in sacred matrimony to the lovely shield maiden Geirny ! " he said proudly as he placed his arm around Geirny's shoulder.
A cheer rose up from those in the square the likes of which had never been heard before. Skalds would later say that their joy reached all the way up to the God's realm of Asgard. They were so happy in fact that husband's hugged their wives and children danced around over the wonderful news.
After a few moments Sigvaldi raised his arms high over his head and waved his hands to calm down the happy villagers, but still it took a long moment for them to quiet enough for the Chieftain of Tofte to once again speak.
" And furthermore ...... all of you .... the great people of Tofte, are invited to the great wedding feast to be held afterwards in my new great hall ! " he exclaimed happily.
So great was the villager's joy that the market place remained closed for the rest of the day.
The marriage ritual was wonderful, and the wedding feast was such a great success that it was spoken of for years afterwards. Over the months that followed the defeat of the Jotuns some of the survivors from the destroyed villages and towns from the north came to Tofte looking for sanctuary, and a place to start anew. They were welcomed with the utmost hospitality into the community by the villagers, who helped these misplaced individuals build homes of their own at the edge of the village where there was open space. Others returned to their own villages and towns, and slowly, over time, rebuilt a community of their own.
Several years after what was to become known as the Great Jotun War, the Chieftains from all around these villages and towns came to Tofte to meet with Sigvaldi. Many were struggling to rebuild their villages, while others found themselves in heated disputes with their neighbors, and feared that an armed conflict was inevitable. They came to see Sigvaldi because tales of his great wisdom were being told throughout the Southern part of the Northway. They also came because Sigvaldi had the most formidable army ever seen in these northern lands.
Over the years Sigvaldi, through his wisdom and his deeds, consolidated this region and called it Viken. And in time he was no longer known as the Chieftain of Tofte, but instead was called the King of Viken .... and by his side, in peace and war, stood faithfully and lovingly Geirny his queen !
- The End
- Next : Fugitive From Hel
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2016.