The Spirit Tamer
The Duke And The Bishop
" My father awaits us in his throne room. " Henry told the Shaman as they passed through the massive wooden doors.
Even in the badly torch lit room Naddoður could not help but notice the man wearing the strange headpiece, who was dressed in purple robes, and had a large Christ cross hanging from his neck. If he had been standing anywhere in the Duke's court he would have stood out like a sore thumb, but positioned next to the seated monarch, he was impossible to miss.
Duke Otto frowned as he pointed to the man who stood before him in a dirty gray cloak.
" Has my son brought me another Pagan to condemn ? " he asked.
Henry bowed slightly to his father, and the bishop, before replying.
" Before you sentence this man to death, I think it would be wise to hear him out father. "
Otto looked at the stranger and then back at his son.
" And what does this Heathen have to say that I would want to hear ? " the duke asked.
Henry, who was not a patient man, decided not to wait for his father to ask the Shaman why he was here.
" This man is Naddoður. He is a Shaman who has come from the Land of the Kvens to help us rid our Duchy of the evil Nachtkrapp. " he informed his father.
The Bishop's eyes lit up like candles upon an altar when he heard the word Shaman. With a look of horror and indignation upon his face he pointed at the Pagan and screamed.
" He is a worshiper of the devil ! Evil incarnate ! This Heathen may be the very reason that the Nachtkrapp plagues us !! " he screamed at the Shaman with wild angry eyes.
Naddoður shook his head in disbelief. He had heard that these Christians could be theatrical, but he never thought that they could be this unreasonable.
" I have come to help save the children from the Nachtkrapp, not to listen to a crazy man spread lies about me ! " Naddoður told the duke.
The Shaman's words only infuriated the Bishop further.
" His words are blasphemous, Duke Otto ! Do what is right and just, and burn the heretic ! " the bishop shouted before the duke could reply.
Duke Otto glanced over at the bishop and shook his fist at him.
" You have prayed,... held special high masses,... and even tried to exorcise these creatures from my Duchy,... and yet all of your holy words have done nothing to cleanse my lands of these Night Ravens ! Maybe it is time that we use what you consider evil to fight the evil that preys on our children ! " he screamed back at the Bishop.
Bishop Theoderich was flabbergasted by the way the duke had addressed him in front of the entire court.
" I was appointed by Pope Bonifacio VI to see to the spiritual needs of the Saxon peoples. And I will tell you now that I will not be spoken to in such a manner ! " he shot back at the duke.
" Can you rid my kingdom of these evil creatures ? " he asked.
Bishop Theoderich grabbed hold of his cross and held it up in front of him like a shield.
" God willing, I will chase these creatures from these lands ! " he exclaimed proudly.
The duke laughed sarcastically as he turned away from the Bishop.
" Well, .... in the meantime I will hear what this man has to say ! " he replied angrily.
When the duke's eyes looked into Naddoður's they stared at one another for a long moment. Otto was waiting for the Shaman to look away, or show some sign of weakness. The Shaman's eyes, however, remained locked on his, and he was satisfied that at the very least this man was not a coward.
" How can you help us ? " the duke asked.
Naddoður, feeling that the duke had given him a little respect, bowed slightly as he answered.
" If we can find where it is that they are nesting, we might be able to come up with a plan to destroy them all." he explained to the Duke of Saxony.
Just as the duke was about to ask another question the Bishop walked in between the duke and the Shaman and spread out his arms wide, as though he were acting as a barrier between the two men.
" I will not allow this ! If you continue on this path to damnation I will send a message to the Pope and have you excommunicated !! " he shouted at the duke.
Otto lifted himself up off of his throne, and with a look that could kill, grabbed hold of the puny bishop by the shoulders and squeezed him.
" Guards ! The bishop is looking very tired. Would you please escort him back to the cathedral so he can get some rest.
" he ordered through gritted teeth.
Two guards with spears in hand immediately stationed themselves on either side of the Bishop. The Duke, who had had enough of the bishop's lecturing words pointed to the door.
" I hope you have a pleasant nap ! " the duke told Bishop Theoderich.
The Bishop did not resist when the guards gave him a little shove to get him started, nor did he dawdle on his way out. As he passed through the door he did however shout over his shoulder one more threat.
" You can expect a visit from the Cardinal very soon ! "
The king shook his head, sat back down, and then turned his attention back to the Shaman.
" Now you were saying something about finding the Nachtkrapp's nesting area ? " he asked.
" Yes ! If we can discover where they roost we may be able to find a way to kill these evil Night ravens. " the Shaman explained to the Duke of Saxony.
Duke Otto grinned.
" Then tonight you will dine with us, and tomorrow my son will take a part of my army and help you find these evil creatures. " he told him.
Before he dismissed his son, and the Shaman, he asked one more question.
" And where would you find such a creature? "
Naddoður placed his hand over his head to show height.
" I believe we will find them near the top of your highest mountain. " he replied.
Henry rubbed his chin.
" Then tomorrow we will be traveling to the Weiß Berge,.... or as you say, ' The White Mountains ' .
- End Chapter 21
- Next : Chapter 22 : The Distraction
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.