Thorgest : The Life And Death Of A Viking Warrior
For The Good Of All
" Burn this cursed place to the ground ! Kill everyone !! When you are done come to Lord Melaghlin's hall ! " he ordered his subordinate.
Ceteadach rolled over and on bent knees looked up with pleading eyes at the king.
" Please ! Don't do this ! " he begged.
The king snickered as he kicked his horse forward and trampled the prostrate abbot under his mount's hoofs.
" Don't take too long Egil ! I may have need of my full army in Westmeath ! " he commanded as he waved the main part of his army forward.
Egil had never disobeyed an order in his entire life, and prided himself on his loyalty to others, but this was too much even for him. The commander burned down the monastery as instructed, but he refused to destroy the village or kill the monks, farmers and craftsmen who supported them. Surprisingly none of the Norsemen under his command objected to their commander's disloyalty. For they too had watched Thorgest change from a king who could lead them to great riches and fame to a demented leader who no longer had any concept of right and wrong.
King Thorgest was not happy with the reception he received when he arrived at the Lord of Westmeath's great hall. He had expected to be greeted by Melaghlin with his entire army literally behind him bowing to his overall authority. The honor he received, however, fell well short of his great expectations. Lord Melaghlin sat upon his horse surrounded only by his personal guard, and a few foot soldiers to acknowledge the presence of the King of Dyvlinarskire.
" Where is your army ? " Thorgest demanded to know.
The Lord of Westmeath dismounted, bowed slightly, and placed a false smile on his face before answering the king's question.
" Greetings and felicitations King Thorgest ! " he began.
" I am afraid that I had to send the bulk of my army off to fight against a local clan that wishes to usurp your power, and mine of course, and claim this kingdom as their own. " he explained to the king.
The king slid out of his saddle and hit the ground with a hard thud.
" And who are these traitors ? ! " he asked forcefully.
Melaghlin bowed slightly once more.
" I believe they belong to the Ui Failge clan my king. " he responded with a smile.
King Thorgest shook his head in disgust.
" They must be rooted out and killed ! All of them !! " he shouted angrily.
" Yes, my king ! Does my lord have any suggestions as to the best way to accomplish this task ? " he asked.
King Thorgest pursed his lips angrily before answering.
" The same way you get rid of an invading flock of birds which are damaging your crops. If you destroy their nests they will never return ! " the king advised.
The Lord of Westmeath, knowing full well that his army had not gone to attack the Ui Failge, grinned broadly.
" Yes, my king ! That is the best way to get rid of your enemies ! " he agreed.
The king suddenly pointed at the Irishman as if he had just remembered something important.
" I wish to see my wife at once ! " he demanded.
Lord Melaghlin bowed his head slightly.
" I am sorry, my king, but she has yet to arrive. " the Irish Lord lied.
Thorgest nodded his head several times.
" Well, ...., send her to me the moment she arrives ! " he ordered.
That night the Lord of Westmeath held a great feast in honor of King Thorgest. The food, which was varied and plentiful, adorned every table, and the wine and ale flowed from the pitchers like water over a falls. All seemed to be going well until the king became very drunk and his inhibitions disappeared like the mist before the morning sun. He took advantage of every maiden who came over to fill his horn or offer him food, by groping them mercilessly. Melaghlin watched uncomfortably as the king abused the women, but with his army away, and not due back until tomorrow, he held his tongue.
Suddenly, as if a bolt of lightning had struck him, Melaghlin saw this egregious behavior as an opportunity to get the king alone.
" Would my king like me to send one of these fair wenches to serve you later ? " he asked with a grin and a raised eyebrow.
King Thorgest waved off the offer with his hands as if he were swatting away flies.
" No ! None of these servants are pretty enough to satisfy my needs ! " he replied.
Melaghlin's grin disappeared.
" I am most sorry, my lord, that our women do not please you. " he stated somewhat coldly.
Thorgest reached out with one of his huge hands and grabbed hold of the back of Melaghlin's neck. With an angry yank he pulled the Lord of Westmeath close to him.
" I hear that your daughter is quite the beauty ! " he remarked with a demonic look in his eyes.
The king pushed Melaghlin away and gave him a drunken stare.
" I wish to meet her now ! " he insisted.
Melaghlin could not hide his disgust, but he felt he had no choice but to give into the king's request. The Lord of Westmeath slowly rose up and called over to the maiden's table.
" Aibreann ! Aibreann !! Come here daughter ! " he stated loudly.
King Thorgest's eyes nearly popped out of his head when the red haired beauty stood up and faced her father. And as she walked over to their table his stare became transfixed on her ample bosom that rose and fell like the tides upon the shoreline with each step. Without the restraints of sanity to keep his passion in check he reached down and touched himself as his eyes followed her. Her skin was perfect, as white as sand upon a beach, and her eyes shone as green as the brightest emerald he had ever seen. Only the sound of the Irish Lord's voice broke the spell that she cast over him.
" King Thorgest ! Allow me to introduce to you my daughter. This is Aibreann, my lord. " he told the king.
Thorgest grinned from ear to ear before reaching out and pulling her onto his lap. As he spoke he thrust his hand up her skirt.
" Now this is a woman ! Send her to me ! I will be waiting in my quarters ! " the king commanded.
Melaghlin's first instinct was to draw his sword and kill the Norse king right then and there, but his actions were tempered by the fact that there were almost as many Vikings in his hall as Irish warriors. With all the restraint he could muster the Lord of Westmeath bit his lip hard, and responded as cordially as he could manage under the circumstances.
" As you wish my lord ! " was all he could think to say.
The king grinned at the Irishman before grabbing hold of his daughter's face and kissing her on the lips hard. Thorgest chuckled as he pushed Aibreann off of his lap and staggered to his feet. The king was about to turn and leave when he suddenly had a clear thought.
" Why are you named Aibreann ? " he asked.
The maiden, who was terrified, wiped the king's drool off of her mouth before responding to his question.
" I was born in the month of April,....., my lord. " she finally managed.
With his brief moment of clarity gone Thorgest fell back into his drunken stupor.
" Well, Aibreann of April, make sure you are clean before you come to me ! " he commanded the maiden, much the way he ordered around his warriors.
The moment the doors closed behind the King of Dyvlinarskire, Melaghlin escorted his daughter out of the hall. Once they were outside, and alone, Aibreann grabbed hold of her father, and shook him violently.
" Will my father stand by and allow his daughter to be raped by this brute of a heathen ? ! " she asked with tears welling up in her eyes.
Melaghlin grabbed his daughter's arms and pushed her away.
" He will NEVER touch you my dear ! " he responded to her accusation.
With her lips quivering, and her body trembling, she asked her father what they could do.
" How can you prevent this ? " she inquired as the tears fell down her cheeks.
Melaghlin pointed to the woods.
" You will go into the forest and hide until such time as I come for you. " he instructed his daughter.
Aibreann pouted her lips.
" And what shall you do father ? " she asked.
Her father grinned from ear to ear as he responded.
" I am going to do what is good for all ! " he told his daughter, before pushing her gently in the direction of the woods.
King Thorgest had several more goblets of ale before staggering out of his clothes, and into a bear skin coat. When there came a knock upon the door he shakily stood up to greet the woman he would soon bed down with, and the one who he would make his queen once they returned to Dyvlinarskire.
" Allow my bride to enter ! " he yelled out to the guards he assumed were still guarding his hut.
Thorgest suspected nothing as the veiled one, who he was sure was Aibreann, entered the room flanked on either side by maidens. The king could not be quite certain exactly how many maidens attended to his new love because his vision had receded to the point where he was seeing double, or possibly triple, what actually existed. In the king's twisted mind he did not care how many maidens there were. If he tired of Aibreann he could always bed them as well !
Melaghlin had chosen these ' handmaidens ' very carefully. He used only young beardless warriors in this deception, and clothed them in elaborate dresses. The one who was acting as his daughter was one of his best young warriors, and despite being almost completely naked under his robes, he had a metal club up his right sleeve. The Lord of Westmeath gave them only one instruction.
" Beat him senseless if you have to, but do not kill him ! For that pleasure is mine, and mine alone !! " he ordered.
Thorgest staggered a few steps forward before realizing it would be better if Aibreann came to him. When she finally stood before him, the king grinned as he reached out to remove her robe. Thorgest, in his drunken state left the veil alone, for he was more interested in seeing her breasts, than her pretty face. His lust was his undoing !
As the robe fell away the king could not believe his eyes. How could a woman who had shown such a lovely cleavage just a short while ago now be completely flat chested. When his eyes gazed further down, however, Thorgest had his answer. It was the last thing he saw before he collapsed onto the floor from a hard blow to his head.
Egil decided to visit the ring fort at Lough Ribh before joining up with the king at Westmeath. What he and his warriors found there horrified them down to their very core. The fort itself had been burned to the ground, and judging by the embers that still gave off heat in the largest posts, this had been done only recently. When they saw the heads of their comrades on stakes all around the perimeter, of what was once the fort that they had built themselves, they all vowed vengeance upon those who had dared to kill their comrades. Egil, however, decided to be much more cautious in his actions. He was not absolutely certain that Lord Melaghlin was behind the massacre at Lough Ribh, but his suspicions were leaning in that direction. And if the Lord of Westmeath was responsible for this, then King Thorgest might already be dead, and he and his men could be riding into a trap at Lord Melaghlin's hall !
- End Chapter 14
- Next : Chapter 15 : The Death Of A Viking Raider
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2018.