The Spirit Tamer
Sailing To Kvenland
Naddoður could not decide which aggravated him more, as he lay in bed rubbing his eyes. Was it the fact that the visitor pounding on the outside wall of his hut had disturbed his wonderful dream, or was it that he simply was still tired, and wished to sleep longer ? Whichever it was the Shaman felt he had no choice but to get up to see who was at the door. As he tried to roll out of bed he bumped into Alva, who was still sleeping next to him. Naddoður stood up on the bed and stepped over the full size Elf to reach the floor. As he did he could not help but be amazed that her skin was just as perfect in real life as it was in his dreams.
" Shaman ! The king wishes to see you ! " the visitor yelled through the bear rug that had been hung to replace the door that was destroyed in the brutal battle between the real Mare and the Elf - Mare.
" Hold on to your britches ! I will be there in a moment ! " Naddoður muttered under his breath.
Naddoður quickly put on his hooded cloak to hide his nakedness, and then slowly pulled back the rug.
" Shaman, the king wishes to see you at once ! " the warrior repeated.
Naddoður shied away from the bright sunlight that flooded into the dark hut, and tried to block Sunna's blinding rays with his free hand.
" And why does King Magsefni need to see me at such an early hour ? " Naddoður asked.
The warrior grinned as he answered.
" It seems that you have a very important visitor who has come a very long way to see you ! " the warrior explained.
Naddoður frowned before taking a long breath and exhaling.
" Alright then ! Give me a moment to get dressed. " he replied reluctantly.
Moments later Naddoður emerged and followed the warrior back to the king's Great Hall. As they entered a guard stopped them for a moment, and shouted to the King of Hringarik.
" My Lord ! The Shaman Naddoður is here to see you ! " he said in a clear voice.
The king stood up and motioned for them to come ahead. As Naddoður walked up the main aisle to the king's high - seat the warriors on both sides of the aisle bowed their heads to the Shaman as he passed. Naddoður quickly began to realize that this " visitor " must be very important indeed for the king to put on such a show of pageantry.
When they reached the edge of the purple runner, that marked the end of the royal throne area, both Naddoður and the warrior bowed to the king.
The warrior spoke first :
" I have brought the Shaman, per your orders, my Lord ! " he said in an official sounding tone.
The king nodded.
" Thank you , Uddi ! You may go now ! " he told the warrior.
As the warrior departed King Magsefni pulled a small cloth pouch out of his pocket and threw it to Naddoður.
" Twenty - five gold coins for your invaluable service. And may I add that they were honorably earned. " he told the Shaman with a smile.
" Thank you, my Lord ! " Naddoður replied, happy with the generous pay he had received.
The king then held up another pouch and jiggled it up and down to make the coins jingle.
" And this gentleman to my right is offering ten gold coins if you will go with him,.... but I think I will allow him to tell the story. " the king said deferring to the man who stood to his right in full battle armor.
" My name is Halldorr, and I have been sent her by King Faravid of Kvenland to seek your assistance in ridding our land of an evil and dangerous Ajatar. My king will pay you handsomely if you succeed, and if you fail you may still keep the ten gold coins King Magsefni is holding as compensation for your time. " he explained.
Naddoður reached out and took the pouch from the king.
" When do we leave ? " the Shaman asked.
Halldorr breathed a sigh of relief and smiled.
" At once,... if you can. I have three ships waiting for us in Vingulmork to take us north to Kvenland. " he replied.
Naddoður grinned and nodded to the Kven warrior.
" Then I will gather my things at once. " he said before turning to leave.
Naddoður smiled as he walked through the bearskin door and saw Alva still sleeping.
" It is time to get up ! " Naddoður whispered to Alva as he gently shook her.
As Alva's eyes fluttered open she transformed herself back into fairy form, and sat with her feet dangling over the edge of the bed. The Elf stretched as she yawned, and then she noticed that Naddoður was packing his things.
" Are we leaving ? " she asked.
Naddoður rolled everything into his blanket , and tied the ends before turning and answering her question.
" Yes ! The king of Kvenland has asked me to come to his realm to help rid his land of an Ajatar. " the Shaman told her as though it were the most wonderful thing in the world.
Alva looked up at Naddoður with a sheepish little pout.
" Can I come too ? " she asked as if she were unsure of the answer.
Naddoður had just grabbed his trusty staff when she asked. With a smile on his face that did not match his rough exterior, the Shaman knelt down on one knee and looked deep into the blue eyes of the little fairy.
" You must come with me. You are my assistant,... and my friend. I need you ! " he said to the worried little fairy.
Alva flapped her wings until they buzzed, and then she flew over to where the door once was and pointed to the rug.
" After you, my love ! " she said with a huge smile.
Naddoður was surprised that the little fairy was able to fly so well. The other day she had been unable to fly at all and now she seemed to be fine.
" You heal quickly ! " he told Alva.
Alva simply grinned from ear to ear, as she buzzed back and forth in front of the bear rug to show that she was fine.
Naddoður could not help but laugh like a little child who had just fallen in love for the first time. As he pulled back the bear rug he pointed outside.
" No ! After you, my dear. " he told her.
Naddoður could not have been more overjoyed when they reached the fjord in Vingulmork, where the three ships promised by Halldorr sat on the shoreline awaiting their arrival. The Shaman absolutely hated riding horses, and once again the journey had left him chaffed, and sore. Before boarding Halldorr's ship he took a short swim in the cold waters of the fjord to calm his burning inner thighs that bothered him with every step he took.
When they reached the point where the Fjord spilled out into the sea Halldorr set a course south and slightly east. Each day Alva sat on top of the side of the ship while Naddoður whispered to her the lands that they were passing. If he was unsure of their location, Halldorr, a seasoned mariner, was more than happy to check his surroundings, and tell the Shaman where they were.
As the days passed they rounded the southern end of Norway and headed northwest, hugging the coast as they went. Hordafylki, Sygnafylki, Firthafylki, Sunnmoerafylki, Raumsdoerlafylki, Northmoeri, and Jamtaland, all went by fairly fast. For the most part they had favorable winds, and weather that did not impede their progress.
On the 39th day Halldorr proudly informed Naddoður that they had reached Halogaland, and that within a few days they would be sailing up a fjord to meet the Kven army that awaited them. It was then, however, that the weather turned against them.
Gale force winds tossed the ships around like children's toys. Rigging broke, sails ripped, and several men were washed overboard by the rough twenty foot waves. Those " few days " took them almost two weeks, and cost the Kvenlanders one of their ships with the loss of it's entire crew. The loss of so many brave sailors was felt by everyone aboard the remaining two ships, but no one felt worse than Naddoður. For the Shaman now fully realized that these men had given their lives to bring him to Kvenland. Naddoður, as they entered the fjord, and sanctuary from the brutal open sea, vowed that he would do everything in his power to rid the people of Kvenland of the evil creature that plagued them !
- End Chapter 14
- Next : Chapter 15 : The Ajatar
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.