The Spirit Tamer
Later, after all the money had been distributed, and the feast had begun, Bishop Theoderich was disappointed to hear that the " Archangel Alva " would be arriving late. Naddoður, however, assured the bishop that she had something very important to do, and that the " Angel of Minden " would return before the night was over.
And come back she did ! As the night turned into the next day, and the feasting evolved into a contest of who could drink the most, the doors of the Burg were opened for the late arriving winged Elf. As the guests, most of whom were quite intoxicated, became aware of her presence the hall became almost totally quiet. Only the rattling of silverware, or an occasional belch could be heard. When the room became silent Duke Otto rose unsteadily off of his bench, at the head of the table, and with his goblet of wine held high overhead spoke such words of eloquence that even the Bishop was surprised by them.
" Whether Elf, or fairy, or an angel sent from God himself, matters not. For when we speak of the great silver winged Alva, today and everyday in the future, we will remember her for her great beauty, her incisive wisdom, and most of all for her physical strength that she used to help save my people, and of course our precious children ! A thousand years from now when you become a legend like Sigurd, Arminius, or the Valkyrie Brynhildr, you will still remain in the hearts of the Saxon people ! " he proudly told those gathered in the great hall.
The Duke then bowed to Alva and raised his goblet high in the air.
" Cheers to you, oh powerful one, and may you be blessed ten times for every time you help someone in need ! " he shouted before draining the goblet.
Everyone raised their goblets and saluted the great winged " angel " , including Bishop Theoderich, who after draining his chalice invited the heaven sent entity to sit with him, and then proceeded to talk her ear off the rest of the night.
The drinking went on until the wee hours of the morning when finally one by one the guests stumbled out of the Burg and made their way back to their homes. For years afterwards it was considered to be the greatest feast ever held in Saxony, and it's legend grew in size with each new telling.
Being the guests of honor, Naddoður, Ossurr, and Halldorr, who was given a bed to lie down on while he enjoyed the festivities, were the last to leave the duke's feasting hall, and return to their dwelling in the middle of Minden. They were also some of the last to rise the next day.
It was late afternoon when Naddoður and his Kven comrades dressed and headed over to the Burg to say goodbye to the duke and the Saxon people. The guards proudly opened the doors and bowed to them as if they were foreign dignitaries when they passed into the duke's court. All three were shocked to see the main hall of the Burg packed to capacity with warriors all dressed in their finest clothes, and with their weapons polished, waiting for them.
As they approached the throne Naddoður and his comrades could not help but notice a second seat was now located to the right of Duke Otto. Seated there was Henry the Fowler, the heir to the Duchy of Saxony. The Shaman smiled when he glanced to his left and spotted Bishop Theoderich still standing by the duke's side like a watchdog.
The duke rose up off of his velvet throne and opened a gold box in front of the three men.
" You would not take my money when I offered it , but I ask that you honor me by accepting these gold handled daggers. " he told the heroes of Minden.
Duke Otto first placed the box in front of Naddoður, who took one of the daggers. After he nodded his thanks the duke presented the other two to Halldorr and Ossurr.
" I am sad to see you leave my Duchy. For I have enjoyed your company immensely, and I am proud to have met such brave men as yourselves. " he told them in a quiet tone.
" My son Henry will escort you safely back to your ship, and I have provided you with a wagon so that Halldorr can travel comfortably instead of having to ride a horse all the way to the coast. " he informed them.
Then, suddenly, as if awakening from a dream, the duke remembered something very important.
" Where is Alva ? " he blurted out.
Naddoður grinned as he reached down and opened his pocket.
Alva, back in fairy form, flew out and buzzed around the throne room. At first the warriors gasped at the tiny winged creature, but then a spontaneous applause, and a raucous cheering filled the duke's court. When it finally died down the Bishop asked Alva one last question.
" You never did tell me why you were late to the feast last night. Will you tell me now ? " he inquired.
Alva flew over to Bishop Theoderich and hovered in front of him as she spoke.
" I returned to your White Mountains and destroyed all of the eggs that were left in the Schwarz Nachtkrapp's nests. I counted fifty-nine in all. " she informed him.
The Bishop nodded.
" Then we owe you one more debt of gratitude ! " he told her.
" The happiness and safety of your children is my reward ! " she assured the Bishop.
The bishop held back his tears, and took off one of his gold rings.
" It is not enough ! " he told her as he placed the ring upon her head as if it were a crown.
Henry rose up off of his throne and nodded.
" We can never repay these four for what they have done for our Duchy and our people. " Henry told them.
Naddoður took a deep breath before announcing :
" I think it is time that we should be going. " he said sadly.
Duke Otto tried to keep the mood light by changing the subject and asking another question.
" Where are you four going next ? "
Halldorr shook his head negatively, and turned to Naddoður.
" You are now a Triad of Heroes. For I am too injured to continue with you,.... but I will be honored to take my friends to their next destination. " he explained.
Ossurr looked nervously over at the Shaman.
" And where are we going ? " he asked.
Naddoður grinned from ear to ear.
" Well, I understand that in Northern Sweden there is a town that is having trouble with a Vittra,... and in Uppsala there are Sjora causing all kinds of mischief, ..... and then back in Norway I am told there is a Troll that has been harassing the children in Tønsberg.
Ossurr put his hand over Naddoður's mouth.
" Enough ! Let us go before I change my mind ! " he told the Shaman.
The Saxons did not understand the meaning of what had just happened, but when Naddoður translated their words the entire court erupted in laughter.
- The End
- Next : Story 69 : The Valkyrie's Daughter
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.