The Sea - Draugr : A Tale Of The Undead
The Will To Live
Aegir almost felt giddy as he carefully studied Bragi' s reaction. For the first time in his life the sea Jotun understood the power that a good story teller had over his audience. His chin rose proudly as he mimicked Bragi and also took a sip from his horn. " Yes ! Yes ! Very sad ! " he said repeating the sentiments of the God of Poetry. Then there was an awkward moment of silence.
Bragi looked up from his horn, and glanced over at Aegir. Then with a wicked grin on his face he spoke to Aegir in an impatient tone : " Is this pause for effect, or are you leaving me in suspense to annoy me ? " he asked with one eyebrow raised.
Aegir laughed heartily. " I assure you my good friend that my intentions are neither. I was simply enjoying my fine ale for a moment before continuing. " he told Bragi with an innocent look on his face. Aegir then smiled. " I think I will now tell you of my wife' s roll in all of this..... "
" From the great depths of her ocean hall, which sat on the sea bottom, Ran could taste death all around her. With a great flicker of her huge tail the Queen of the seas propelled herself out of her underwater hall, and up toward the distant surface of her vast domain. As she quickly rose she instinctively licked her lips hungrily in anticipation of a great feast for her and her nine daughters. Near the surface of the ocean, that had now been whipped up into foaming waves, she came across the first victim.
Ran grabbed hold of the huge warrior, who was now floating with the tide, and held him upright in front of her. As she felt her mouth water with delight, she sensed something odd within this human. The Sea Goddess could feel emanating from the warrior a strong will to live. And to Ran' s dismay this " will " was driven by something with which she was very familiar . The aura of revenge seeped from his dead body into the surrounding water like blood, and Ran knew what she must do.
Ran could have ripped the warrior in half and feasted on his dead carcass, but instead she pressed her lips up against his, and blew into his mouth. Instantly the warrior's eyes flickered, and then opened wide. When the human became aware of his surroundings he began to struggle. In Ran's iron grip, however, he was not going anywhere. With a flick of her massive tail Ran swam straight to her great underwater hall with her captive.
As Ran entered her hall through massive doors encrusted by a millennium of hard shelled sea creatures, the water was held outside her palace by a force that only the Goddess fully understood and controlled. As she passed over the threshold between her water world, and the world of air, her tail was replaced by two legs. With a strength greater than a hundred warriors Ran forced the human onto a high seat made out of a giant clam's shell. The Goddess looked the warrior up and down before speaking : " I can feel your anger, and your strong desire for revenge. " she told the human . The stunned Midgardian sat before her, and simply nodded. Ran smiled in an approving manner. " I like revenge ! I crave revenge !! " she shouted at the human. Then with an evil grin upon her face she added : " I think I am going to allow you to go and avenge your death, and the death of your crew ! " she told him with a wicked grin.
Ran walked over to the human, and with nails sharper than knives, reached into his chest, and with practiced ease ripped out his heart. Ran smiled as she devoured the heart, bite by bite. " Now you are mine ! A sea - draugr to sail the Midgardian seas for an eternity. " she told the warrior as his blood ran down her face. " You are neither alive, or quite dead, my little pet. First you will gain the revenge that you want, and so deserve,..... and then..... well, then you are mine forever ! " she added with a little laugh.
Ran opened the doors to her hall and placed her head outside into the water. With a voice that sounded more like a whale song than a human voice she called to her daughters to bring the rest of the crew to her great watery hall. Himinglaefa, Dufa, Blodudhadda, Hefring, Unn, Hronn, Bylgja, Drofn, and Kolga immediately did as they were instructed by their mother. Although the nine daughters of Ran were disappointed that they were not to be allowed to feast on these unfortunate victims of the sea, they obediently brought the dead warriors to their great hall, and left them at their mother's feet. One by one, Ran ripped open their chests and pulled out their hearts and ate them.
With each of these humans transformed into sea - draugr, and under the command of Ran herself, the Sea Goddess sent her daughters out looking for a suitable ship wreck that lay upon the bottom for her crew of the living dead to man. Near the coast of Iceland they found a ship that had capsized several years earlier, and brought it back to the great underwater hall.
Ran invoked the wind and the sea to bless this ship of the dead. Over and over she chanted a magical spell, which sealed the hole in the side of the vessel, making it once again seaworthy to sail on the seas. Her daughters then sewed together the tattered remnants of sails that had floated down to the bottom over the many years to make a new sail for the sea - draugr. Ran's offspring then sealed the sail with the sailors blood, which made the ship their's to command, and dyed the sail cloth bright red.
When all was ready Ran ordered the sea - draugr to board their sunken ship. Once everyone was aboard, Ran, along with her daughters, then swam under the vessel and pushed the ship to the surface. The ship broke into the clear salty air in a geyser of water, and was held their by Ran and her daughters until the sea - draugr could bale out enough water for it to float on its own.
With the ship bobbing in the water without fear of it sinking again, Ran chanted another magical spell and clapped her hands twice. One by one the crew began to wake up from Ran' s spell. Some manned their oars while others hoisted their colorful sail . Within moments the ship was underway, and heading back to the evil source of all their anger. The will for revenge oozed from their bodies like the stench of dead fish decaying under a hot summer sun. It was a scent that made Ran and her daughters smile as they waved goodbye to the sea - draugr .
- End Chapter 6
- Next : Chapter 7 : The Journey Back
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.