The Queen Of Pain
Same Old ( All - ) Thing.....Different Result
The weather was not quite as pleasant as Queen Birsla had hoped for on the way to Gulen, but the light rain and morning mist were more of an inconvenience than a hindrance. Silfast, because of his advanced age, was most troubled by the inclement weather, and the old Lagmann slowed down the entire army. So much so in fact that they arrived on the morning of the Gulaþing instead of the night before as the queen had planned.
Queen Birsla had Ragnvaldr position the Rogaland army on a field in full view of the assembly at the Gulaþing. Once the army was in place she instructed Vetr to take Silfast behind some large boulders close by and stay out of sight until she called him. Queen Birsla then took her rightful place at the assembly, sitting next to King Ljufvini, and Queen Alfhilda of Hordaland on one side, and Queen Irpa of Fjordane, and her husband, King Olrekr on the other .
Skorargeirr, the Lagmann, opened the proceedings by recounting what had taken place at last year's Gulaþing. When he finished the Lagmann looked around and asked :
" Does anyone have anything they would like to add ? "
Just as he was about to open this year's business, Queen Birsla stood up and pointed a menacing finger at Skorargeirr.
" I believe that the Kingdom of Rogaland has unfinished business from last year's Gulaþing ! " she informed the gathering in a perturbed tone.
" On what matter ? " Skorargeirr asked in a sarcastic way.
" It is about the territorial rights of Rogaland over the Sunnfjord ! " she replied with a wicked grin upon her face.
Skorargeirr laughed slightly before replying.
" Ma'am, that was decided at last year's Gulaþing. But let me summarize for you again. Any waterway that is a territorial boundary betwen two kingdoms can be used freely by both lands ! " he repeated to her with a hint of impatience in his voice.
Birsla stared angrily at the Lagmann !
" Ma'am ! " she shouted.
" You will address me as Queen Birsla ! And I am here to expose you for the lying piece of dung that you are ! " she stated angrily at the Lagmann.
A collective gasp rose up from everyone at the Gulaþing ! The title of Lagmann was a sacred and venerated position of honor, almost on the level of a king or a queen at the All - Thing. To have spoken is such a way to a Lawspeaker was unheard of !
Skorargeirr sat back down and smiled.
" You are calling a Lagmann a liar ? " he asked.
Queen Birsla grinned from ear to ear.
" Yes ! And much, much, more ! " she replied in a softer tone.
Queen Birsla very slowly walked over to the Law Rock, and placed her hand upon its smooth surface.
" There is not a law that was agreed to years ago that states that if the waterway's source is to be found solely in one kingdom, then that waterway belongs to the realm of its origin ? " she asked almost politely.
" Where did you ever get such a silly notion ? " he asked with a snicker.
Queen Birsla smiled at the Lagmann's ignorance.
" From the most respected Lagmann who ever sat in that great seat of honor ! " she said as she pointed to where he was seated.
Skorargeirr's smile vanished.
" Vetr ! Bring Silfast the Lagmann before the assembly ! " she commanded with great authority.
Skorargeirr's expression turned to one of horror.
" No ! No ! He died...... didn't he ! ? " Skorargeirr whispered to himself.
Vetr and Silfast came out from behind the boulders, and walked over to the Law Rock. Silfast slowly turned and faced the pupil he had once mentored. The old Lagmann angrily shook his fist at his former student before speaking.
" I did not teach you to lie ! And I did not teach you to distort the law to suit your personal whims ! You are a disgrace, and a dishonor to the post that I passed on to you ! " the old Lagmann angrily scolded the young man in a shaky voice.
Queen Birsla turned and faced King Ljufvini.
" And how much did you pay the Lagmann to lie for you ? ! " she asked bitterly.
The king of Hordaland looked stunned, but said nothing.
" Twenty gold coins ! " he announced unexpectedly.
Queen Birsla shook her head and laughed.
" Is this what the Gulaþing has become ? Lies and payoffs ! ? " she asked all those who were assembled around her.
" No ! No !! NO !!! " rose up from those in attendance.
Queen Birsla turned to Silfast.
" Will you please take your rightful place as the Lagmann at this year's Gulaþing . " she ordered more than asked Silfast.
" Yes, Queen Birsla ! I would be very proud to sit once again in that honored seat. " Silfast replied. By the time Vetr helped the old Lagmann up to his seat Skorargeirr had been forcibly removed, and arrested by warriors of the Gulen guard. After Silfast sat down he pointed down at Queen Birsla.
" Please continue, great queen of Rogaland ! " he said with a smile.
Queen Birsla nodded to the Lagmann.
" The people of Rogaland do not wish to prohibit our neighbors from using the Sunnfjord. We simply wish to be paid for the use of our property. The king of Hordaland paid the " former Lagmann " twenty gold coins to lie, and cheat our people, ...... because of his deceitful actions we will expect two hundred pounds of gold, to be paid each year at the Gulaþing, for the use of the Sunnfjord ! " she told her audience.
King Ljufvini stared angrily into Queen Birsla's eyes.
" So that is why you brought your army to the Gulaþing ! " the king of Hordaland exclaimed.
Birsla grinned from ear to ear.
" You are correct ! You owe Rogaland two hundred pounds of gold for this year, and two hundred pounds of gold from last year. My army is here to make sure that you do not leave here until it is paid in full ! " she informed King Ljufvini.
Queen Irpa of Fjordane turned to her husband and gave him a little nudge in the ribs with her elbow.
" Now that is a wise queen ! " she told her husband in a low whisper.
Her husband, King Olrekr, reluctantly nodded.
" Yes ! She is a leader who deserves the respect of her equals ! "
- The End
- Next Story : The Úlfhéðnar
And coming in September : Queen Birsla returns in, ' The Queen Of War ! '
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2016.