The Spirit Tamer
" And what may I ask is a Brunnmigi ? " the king sarcastically demanded to know.
Naddoður grinned as he shook his head up and down .
" It is said to come in many forms,... a shape - shifter,... if you prefer that term. It has come to some as a Troll, to others as a deformed fox, and some say it is nothing more than an evil creature of the night that likes to cause mischief throughout the northern lands. " he explained to the chieftain.
Valtar could not help but grimace over the descriptions of the creature by the Shaman.
" And you, .... what do you think this beast is ? " he asked.
" I simply know it as a Brunnmigi,... a well - pisser. " he replied.
Naddoður then decided it was time to get down to the business at hand.
" I will need someone to take me out to these wells. Preferably someone who knows this area like the back of his hand. " he explained to the chieftain.
Valtar clapped his hands together, and gestured for a man from the back of his hall to come forward.
" I have already arranged for that ! " he told Naddoður.
As the man approached he bowed to both men before being introduced by the chieftain.
" This is Eyvaldr, a nearby landowner, who knows every parcel of land in this section of Sygnafylke. He will take you anywhere you wish to go, and show you whatever you need to see. " the chieftain told the Shaman.
Naddoður, satisfied with the choice, nodded his approval.
" Then we will leave first thing in the morning. " he informed the chieftain.
Valtar, who had been very kind and calm till now, suddenly jumped up off of his high - seat, and pointed his finger at Naddoður.
" You will leave at once Shaman ! " the king quickly corrected him.
" I will not have any more pure water sources in my land poisoned by this thing you call a Brunnmigi ! " he told the Shaman angrily.
Naddoður did not react to the chieftain's sudden bluster. He simply nodded, turned, and with his guide in tow, headed for the doors.
" As you wish ! " he replied without turning back to face the angry chieftain.
Valtar had made available to Eyvaldr and Naddoður two of his strongest and fastest horses, on which they mounted themselves, and quickly headed out to the farmsteads where the wells had been defiled by the creature. They reached the first well just as the sun was disappearing behind the far hills. Eyvaldr introduced the Shaman to Thorkel, the owner of the land, who then took them both out to his well.
The first thing that Naddoður noticed as they approached the well was how close the woods were on three of the four sides of the water source. Hidden by the dark cover of tall trees, that covered it's approach and escape, it was an ideal target for a mischievous Brunnmigi who wanted to cause trouble for humans. The well also had a stone wall around it which made it easy for either a male or female Brunnmigi to defile the well. The final piece of evidence was provided when Thorkel brought up a bucket of water from the well. The unmistakable stench of urine emanated from the contents of the bucket confirming that a large animal had poisoned the well.
As darkness settled over Sygnafylke, Thorkel invited Naddoður and Eyvaldr back to his house for a meal and to spend the night. Over a hot meal, and much refreshing mead, the three discussed at great length the events that had been taking place over the past year or so. Most of the information that Thorkell and Eyvaldr told him did little to shed light on the whereabouts of the Brunnmigi, but when Naddoður asked to be shown, using the table as a map, the locations of all the wells that were known to have been spoiled, a clear pattern began to emerge.
" The Brunnmigi is traveling east ! " Naddoður told his colleagues.
Eyvaldr nodded and pointed to a spot on the table just past the last known poisoned well.
" Then we should head here in the morning ? " he asked.
Naddoður shook his head negatively.
" No ! We should go here instead ! " he answered, as he placed his finger one spot further than where Eyvaldr had indicated.
Thorkell nodded in agreement.
" We will leave at first light ! " he told the other men before draining his horn.
The next morning, tired but very eager, Eyvaldr and Thorkel mounted their horses and joined Naddoður as he headed eastward in search of the Brunnmigi. It was late in the afternoon when they came to the well that the Shaman had pointed to on the imaginary map back at Thorkel's home. And no one was more disappointed or surprised than Naddoður when they found that this well too was spoiled !
" Is there time to make it to the next well before it becomes too dark to ride ? " Naddoður asked impatiently.
Thorkel thought for a moment before answering.
" Yes ! If we skip our midday meal we should reach there just as Sunna is about to ride behind the mountains. " he informed the Shaman.
Eyvaldr ran over to his horse, placed his foot in the stirrup, and hauled himself up onto his mount.
" Then we should not dawdle here ! Let us ride like the wind ! " he told them before galloping off into the distance.
Naddoður and Thorkel quickly mounted their horses as well and took off after him.
Thorkel had been wrong in his estimation of how long it would take them to reach the next well, but it was a lucky mistake, for Sunna was still riding just above the distant white capped mountains.
Once again Thorkel examined the well carefully, and this time he found that the water was fresh, and without contamination. The Shaman then pointed to a patch of thick brush off in the distance.
" We will make our camp there, and watch the well all night. We appear to be fortunate, for Mani is beginning to rise as Sunna falls, and The Grey God of the Night is showing us his full face tonight, which will provide us with good light to observe the creature.
As Mani slowly crossed the sky and began to descend on the other side, the three men, without a fire, or food to eat, waited for the creature. Just as Thorkel and Eyvaldr began to get restless, Naddoður pointed off towards the forest, and cautioned them to be quiet. The Shaman had seen something in the distance. A mere shadow at first, but soon all three men could make out the silhouette of a misshapen animal in Mani's diffused glow. The creature sniffed the air as it lumbered towards the well. Naddoður watched with great fascination as the creature lifted it's huge leg over the edge of the well and began to urinate. The Shaman knew now that it was a male Brunnmigi, though that made little difference when it came to getting rid of it. Eyvaldr and Thorkel wanted to jump out and kill the beast right then and there, but Naddoður held them back with his staff and would not let them leave the safety of the brush.
As he shook his head back and forth to indicate not to leave, in an almost inaudible whisper he told them why :
" We are not prepared. And if we don't kill it with our first attempt, the creature may get away, and could go into hiding. And then we may never find it again ! " he told his comrades.
Then he added with a grin :
" Tomorrow is another day,.... a better day to kill the Brunnmigi ! "
- End Chapter 3
- Next : Chapter 4 : " How To Kill A Brunnmigi "
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.