Blenda : Sweden's Greatest Heroine
Love And War
While King Alle prepared his army for war, his eldest son Adolphus began to spend more and more time with the maiden Blenda, and much less time with his father. At first Alle did not think much of their relationship. He considered it a quick romance that would not last. But as time went on it became apparent to the king that his son had serious intentions of marrying the maiden from the Konga Harad.
King Alle did not have anything against the maiden Blenda. To the contrary, he was well pleased with her ! She was the eldest daughter of the Jarl of Konga, and was a woman of noble descent in Varend. No, it was not the beautiful maiden who disturbed King Alle, it was the timing of the relationship that worried him. While he was trying to put his kingdom back on a Viking war footing his son was playing love games ! The king could not allow this and decided it was time to sit his son down and have a serious talk with him.
Adolphus was not surprised when the king's guard came with the message that his father wished to see him at once. He had been absent from far too many of the army's practice maneuvers as of late, and he was sure that his father was not very pleased with him. Adolphus assured the guard that he would come as soon as possible, but the warrior told him curtly that he had been ordered to immediately escort him personally to the king's hall.
King Alle was not sitting on his high - seat when Adolphus entered the great hall. Instead the king was waiting for his son on a bench at the great dining table. A large meal was spread out on the table before him, and a serving maiden was pouring the king another horn of mead as his son approached.
" Sit ! Sit ! " the king commanded, as he pointed a chicken leg at the bench across from him.
Adolphus slowly sat down on the bench and looked over the small feast with one eye, while suspiciously watching his father with the other.
" Your guard made it sound as though you wished to speak to me on an important matter. " he told his father.
As his father took another bite of the chicken leg, he quickly added :
" Or did you simply want to eat the midday meal with me ? " he asked.
King Alle finished off the leg, and then wiped his sticky hands on a towel that sat on the table near his plate. The king took a deep breath as though he were searching for the right words before beginning.
" I wish to speak to you about Blenda ! " he told his son bluntly.
Adolphus dropped his head and sighed.
" I will not change my mind father. I love Blenda, ... and she loves me as well ! And I know that if mother was alive she would love Blenda also ! " Adolphus told his father defiantly.
Alle laughed !
" Yes ! Your mother would have liked Blenda very much. She is as beautiful as your mother, and Blenda has a strong independent will like your mother. I am sure they would have enjoyed each other's company immensely. " he replied in agreement.
" Then, .... why have you summoned me here father ? " he asked.
King Alle suddenly became very serious.
" I have asked you here because you do not seem to understand that although you may have won Blenda's heart, to win her hand in marriage you must first perform deeds of honor, and bravery. Blenda is of noble birth in the Konga Harad and her family will certainly expect that the man that she is to be bound to in sacred marriage to be a warrior of great honor much in the fashion of Beowulf,... or possibly Sigurd. " he explained to his son.
Adolphus shook his head and chuckled.
" Has that skald who visits our court filled your head again with stories of dragons and walls of impenetrable fire that the hero somehow must overcome to win the heart of the fair maiden ? " he asked sarcastically.
Before his father could answer he added :
" Shall I kiss the sleeping maiden to awaken her from Odin's curse ? " Adolphus asked mocking his father.
King Alle's face became distorted with anger !
" How dare you mock our ancestors ! What right have you to speak of the brave deeds of others when you have done nothing heroic in your entire life ? ! " he yelled at his son.
Adolphus jumped up off of the bench and pointed his finger at his father.
" Must I kill another man just to be with the woman I love ? ! " he shouted back at his father.
Alle slowly rose up off of his seat and leaned forward placing his nose almost up against his son's face.
" If you wish to marry Blenda, and become the next King of the Geats, you must earn these ' rights ' in battle. Only after we return victorious against our enemy in Norway can you lay claim to either of these prizes ! " he told his son adamantly.
Adolphus was shaking with anger when he in turn asked :
" And if I refuse ? ! "
King Alle sat back down, and grabbed another chicken leg off of his plate.
" Then I will give both honors to one of your brothers ! " he explained to Adolphus in no uncertain terms.
Adolphus sat back down before punching the table with all his might.
" Then you leave me no choice ! I will join you and help lead our army against the Norwegians. " he told his father reluctantly.
King Alle smiled before chomping down hard on the chicken leg and stripping a huge piece of meat off.
" Good !! And when we return I will throw the greatest marriage feast ever given by a father to his son ! " he told his son in between chews.
Adolphus immediately began to spend every moment of his time working with his father to make the army ready for their war with the Norwegians. To his great disappointment the king sent Blenda and her father back to Varnslanda, so that the fair maiden could no longer be a distraction to him. The move paid off immediately ! Adolphus realized that the faster the army was made ready for war, the sooner they could march off to Norway. And he knew that the quicker the war ended, the faster he could return and marry Blenda. With this in mind Adolphus worked tirelessly night and day to insure that the army was ready to march west after the last snow had melted away.
In the meantime King Alle had ridden throughout his kingdom recruiting brave warriors to their cause. Not only was the king able to add to his army men from Vastergotland and Ostergotland, but he also was able to obtain the services of the Southern " riding " Geats from Smaland to act as cavalry in his ever growing army.
As the first buds appeared upon the trees King Alle, with Adolphus by his side, was very proud of the huge army that they had gathered, armed, and trained in such a short time. The king watched with great satisfaction as thousands of able - bodied warriors marched by him heading northwest toward Ranrike, and the Norwegian lands that lay just beyond. If the king had looked back, however, he would also have noticed that he had left no one behind to defend his kingdom. His dreams of glory in the north had blinded him to the dangers lurking to his south !
- End Chapter 4
- Next : Chapter 5 : The Danes
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2016.