Odin' s Legion
The Marriage Ritual
Rushing the marriage ritual of course meant a lot more work for the host and hostess. King Sigtrygg and Queen Geirny had chosen to hold the ritual in their great hall when Queen Dalla had insinuated that her daughter becoming pregnant was completely Prince Viglund's fault. Both the king and queen of Varmland decided it best to placate Queen Dalla and pay for the entire wedding ritual and feast.
The harvest had gone well that year in Varmland, and there was plenty of food for the week long wedding festivities. King Sigtrygg had his own warriors sent out to hunt for snow hares, boars, and deer for the great feast. King Sigtrygg also had several of his own cattle killed to add to the daily menu. Local maidens ground wheat into flour, and then the elder women of the village baked it into bread and cakes at a feverish pace to get ready for what the king and queen of Varmland hoped would be a lavish affair. Queen Geirny herself helped to brew the honey mead for the wedding couple. The ancient tradition was that the honey mead had to be made in such quantities that it would last the newlywed couple for a month after they took their wedding vows. This was known as the " Honey Moon ".
Geirny was happy that Queen Dalla did not show up empty handed to the wedding. The queen of Romerike brought with her two cart loads full of fish, and a cart of smoked herring. Dalla of course, as was her way, made sure that everyone clearly understood that she was not under any obligation to do such a generous thing, but that she had done it purely out of the goodness of her heart for her beautiful daughter.
King Sigtrygg of Varmland, and King Ogmund of Romerike cared little about the hardships of putting this wedding together at a moments notice. Nor were they overly concerned by Aldisar' s pregnancy. They both saw this marriage as much more than a simple joining in marriage of their children. This wedding would be the final joining of two great kingdoms in an alliance that both hoped would last forever. And the child that was now growing in Aldisar's belly would one day, after they had all passed, be the king who joined both kingdoms into one.
While the relationship between the queens was cordial but distant, King Sigtrygg and King Ogmund were the closest of friends. As youths they had taken a blood oath to each other, and that sacred vow had grown over the years into a bond that could not be broken. Although the two kingdoms were separated by a definable border, their friendship knew no bounds. They would gladly kill or be killed for each other !
When King Harald of Viken attacked Varmland, King Ogmund was the first to assist King Sigtrygg in what became a long and drawn out war . And when King Ogmund ran out of gold to fund his kingdom it was King Sigtrygg who came to his aid. As their children grew into adulthood it seemed only natural to set in motion the final bond that would hold their two kingdoms together for eternity.
Aldisar was very nervous as she knelt before her parents, and the king and queen of Varmland, who sat hovering above her on their high seats. If she had not become pregnant, in that one moment of indiscretion, she would not be feeling as awkward as she did at this her happiest moment. She was very glad that the Gothia had removed the kransen that she wore in her hair. This symbol of her virginity had mocked her everyday since she became aware that she was with child. Now it would be put away until the day when she would give it to her daughter. As Aldisar looked over at Viglund her fears faded, and she smiled when she realized that she would be spending the rest of her life with him.
Viglund could not have been happier as he knelt before the kings and queens of Romerike and Varmland. He had fallen in love with Aldisar when they were young children, and his feelings for her had only grown stronger over the years. And now as he received the blessings of their parents, he held the hilt of his ancestor' s sword proudly in his hand. This symbol of lineage was given to the groom to mark the continuation of the bloodline through marriage. At that moment Viglund was sure that he had never been happier in his entire life.
Once the blessings were given to the bride and groom , they were asked to rise. A bowl containing a goat's blood was carried into the hall by the presiding Godi, and handed to King Sigtrygg. Normally the animal would have been sacrificed right in front of the couple instead of on an outside altar, but the weather was such that the wedding had to be held indoors, and Queen Geirny did not want blood all over her hall. The Godi handed a twig to Sigtrygg, then bowed and stepped away. The king was careful not to dip the twig too deeply into the goat's blood. He wanted to gently spray the wedding couple with Thor's blessing, not saturate them. Sigtrygg flicked the twig twice at Aldisar and twice at Viglund before handing the bowl and twig over to King Ogmund, who repeated the blessing.
Viglund turned to Aldisar, pulled out his ancestral sword, and handed it to Aldisar. " To you my wife I give my life, and my ancestor's bloodline, forever to be intertwined. " he told her proudly. Aldisar took the sword, and through lips that were trembling she replied : " I accept this sacred sword of your ancestors, and take an oath before the Gods to pass it on to our son one day. " Aldisar then placed the sword in the empty scabbard that she wore around her waist.
King Ogmund then stepped forward and handed his sword to his daughter. " I give to you my daughter the sword that has protected you since birth. What say will you do with it ? " he asked. As she took the sword from her father a tear rolled down her cheek. " I will give your sword to my husband, Viglund of Varmland, so that he may protect me and my family from this day forward. " she told everyone in the hall proudly. Viglund took the sword from Aldisar and held it up for everyone to see. " With this sword I swear to protect my wife and her family from this day forward ! This oath I take before these witnesses and the Gods ! " he shouted boldly.
Viglund then reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold ring. He placed it carefully on the end of his new sword, and knelt before Aldisar. " To bind ourselves together forever I offer my wife this gold ring as a token of my love and devotion ! " he told her as he looked deeply into her eyes. Aldisar took the ring off of the point of the sword with shaking hands and placed it on her finger. The bride then took her sword out of its scabbard and placed the ring she was to give to her husband on it. As she knelt, and stretched out the sword with shaking hands towards her husband, the ring fell off and began to roll away. Aldisar gasped in horror as the ring rolled in between two handmaidens, who bent down at the same time trying to pick it up. With a loud thud they banged heads and fell backwards, landing on the floor of the hall with a hard thump. The great hall erupted in laughter as the maidens sat on the floor rubbing their heads. Even those in the wedding party could not restrain a small chuckle over the mishap.
The ring rolled over to a large warrior who reached down and picked it up. The man then walked over to where Aldisar was kneeling, and gave the kings and queens a respectful nod with his head. " My name is Lambi, and I am the Chieftain of the village of Saurby. " he told them. " May I ? " he asked as he pointed towards Aldisar's sword. King Ogmund laughed. " By all means ! " he told Lambi. The chieftain placed the ring back on the end of her sword with a sly grin on his face, then turned and nodded at the kings and queens before walking back to his seat.
This time Aldisar held the sword firmly with both hands as she presented the ring to Viglund. " To bind ourselves together my husband, I offer to you a golden ring as a token of my love and devotion. " she told him. Viglund took the ring and placed it upon his finger. The couple then joined hands, and faced their parents. King Ogmund spoke first. " Viglund do you swear upon your sacred ring that you will love, cherish, and protect my daughter ? " he asked. Viglund raised his head slightly in a proud manner. " I swear upon this ring to love, cherish, and protect my wife Aldisar ! " he told his father - in - law proudly.
King Sigtrygg spoke next : " And do you Aldisar of Romerike promise to love, cherish, and care for my son ? " he asked. Aldisar began to cry tears of joy. " I do ! " she told him with a shaky voice. Sigtrygg and Ogmund nodded to one another and then spoke in unison. " Then as witnessed by this gathering, and blessed by the Gods, you are now man and wife ! "
Suddenly someone from the back of the hall shouted : " Kiss her so we can start drinking ! " As the newly wed couple kissed for the first time as husband and wife the great hall erupted into a chorus of whistles and cheers !
Frigga, sitting upon her high seat at Hlidskjalf, wiped the tears from her eyes, and then smiled at her husband who was staring at her. " You know I always cry at weddings ! " she told him. Odin tenderly wiped away her tears. " It was a nice wedding ! I am so very happy for King Sigtrygg, and I cannot wait for the birth of Aldisar and Viglund's child. I will bless him more than any other human who has ever lived !" he told his wife.
From the freezing cold seat of his ice palace Spellvirki watched the ceremony. " Wouldn't it be a shame if Odin' s favorite king' s son were to have a mishap !? " he whispered under his breath. He then looked down upon the hall and using magic whispered into Lambi' s ear. " Find me a way to kill King Sigtrygg' s son ! "
- End Chapter 3
- Next : Chapter 4 : The Feast
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.