The Yule War
( The Greatest Gift )
The Gift Of Greatness
From the pleasant conversations that Knutr had with Albrikt, the commander of the army had discerned that he was not in any significant trouble with the Queen of Hedemark. And yet the captain of the guard avoided answering any and all questions that pertained to why he was summoned to Hamri. Something wasn't quite right, but Knutr could not put his finger on what it was, and it was beginning to make him feel rather anxious !
When they arrived at the front doors of the Queen's great hall Knutr and Albrikt dismounted and waited patiently while Geirdis was helped down from her horse by Vedarr. Knutr then watched as the guards took the horses away, presumably to the stables. Albrikt nodded his head to the two warriors who guarded the hall before opening the door for Geirdis and Knutr.
Albrikt closed the doors, and then hurried to get in front of Geirdis and Knutr so he could properly escort, and formally introduce, the visitors to the queen's high - seat. A few feet from the queen Albrikt knelt down on one knee and bowed his head. Geirdis and Knutr quickly followed the captain's lead and knelt as well.
" Queen Magdalena ! I have brought Knutr and Geirdis as you commanded ! " he announced in a very official tone.
" Thank you Albrikt ! Please rise ! " she told the captain in a soft, but authoritative tone.
The queen then turned her attention to Knutr and Geirdis and added.
" I am sure you are wondering why I summoned you both. "
There was an awkward moment of silence before the queen spoke again.
" I was a noble woman in Romerike before I met Prince Nagli of Hedemark. I quickly fell in love with the prince, and our families decided that our marriage would be a good way to bond our two kingdoms together. I have had many happy years here in Hedemark, and I will cherish those memories for the rest of my life. " she told the commander and his wife.
The Queen of Hedemark took a deep breath and slowly stood up. She looked Knutr straight in the eyes, which made him feel even more uncomfortable than he already felt.
" My husband was a good king, .... but he was not a very good commander of our army. I have been told that if he had waited for you and your army, as you had so skillfully planned, that he, and his army, would not have been massacred.... "
Knutr nodded respectfully, but he felt the need to interrupt the queen.
" King Nagli, .... your husband, was a brave man ! " he told Queen Magdalena.
The queen shook her head in agreement.
" Brave,... yes,... but headstrong and impatient as well. " she replied before continuing.
" On Thor's day I will be leaving Hedemark and returning to Romerike to live with my kinfolk. I do not wish, nor am I qualified, to govern this kingdom as it's leader. And that brings me to why you are here Knutr of Hedemark....... " she started, but then paused to walk over to Knutr to place her hand on his shoulder.
" If I ask you for a favor will you promise to do what I ask ? "
Knutr nodded unsure of what she was trying to tell him.
" If it is in my power I will do anything that you wish me to do ! " he replied.
Queen Magdalena smiled.
" On your oath ! ? " she asked.
Knutr straightened up and replied proudly :
" With all my honor ! " he boldly stated.
" Good ! " On Odin's Day you will be sworn in as King of Hedemark, ..... and you Geirdis will be his queen ! " she told them both with a little grin.
" My lady !! " Knutr and Geirdis shouted almost in unison.
Magdalena narrowed her eyes and stared sharply into Knutr's.
" Will you not honor your pledge to me !!? " she asked angrily.
Knutr bowed his head before answering.
" It is not that my lady,.... it is my duty to do as you wish,... but.... "
Magdalena did not allow him to finish. She turned her back on the Commander of the Army, walked back to her high - seat, and sat down.
" You will not have any problems with the army, or the local chieftains. It seems they had little confidence in my husband's military prowess, and all are very happy that you will now lead them. " she told Knutr.
Then the queen could not help but chuckle.
" You see Knutr they all believe that you have the gift of greatness ! " she told him.
Then the queen smiled at Geirdis who seemed stunned and unable to take all this in at once.
" If I had children it might have been different, but I cannot bear them, and I will not rule alone. Take a lesson from my circumstances and have many children Geirdis. " she advised the shocked queen to be.
Before Knutr or Geirdis could say another word, Queen Magdalena turned to Albrikt and gave him orders.
" Take Knutr and Geirdis over to the warrior's hall. I understand that they have prepared quite a feast for the future king and queen of Hedemark. " she commanded.
" Yes, my lady ! " Albrikt answered quickly.
As they left the queen's hall, and made their way over to the warrior's hall, Knutr and Geirdis walked slowly behind the captain in stunned silence. Albrikt stopped at the front of the hall and gave the future king and queen a huge smile before he opened both doors revealing what awaited them inside. As their eyes adjusted to the lower light inside the building they saw that every bench in the great hall was occupied by warriors, about three hundred in all. As they entered, a large man named Eirik, who was the commander of the local garrison, stood up and raised his horn to the heavens.
" All hail King Knutr and Queen Geirdis ! " he shouted boldly.
Then, almost as one, all three hundred warriors rose up and shouted :
" All hail the new king and queen of Hedemark ! "
Geirdis felt as if she would feint ! A few weeks before she thought that she would die at the hands of the Upplanders, and now,.... now she was to be made the Queen of Hedemark. It was truly the greatest gift of all !!
- The End
- Next : The Spring Troll © 2017.
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.