Most of what Lambi heard was small talk between local chieftains and the kings. Many of these village leaders saw the wedding feast as an opportunity to ask the kings for favors, or to air out their grievances to the leaders of Romerike and Varmland. Some, however, were more interested in discussing the military situation that had once again heated up with King Harald of Viken. Lambi listened in on one chieftain's conversation with King Sigtrygg, and overheard that the allied armies would soon be moving against the forces of Viken as soon as the wedding feast ended.
When Lambi tired of the small talk, between the leaders of eastern Norway, he moved to the back of the hall and sat discreetly near Queen Dalla and Queen Geirny. The chieftain of Saurby pretended to be interested in a talented juggler, who was juggling axes and swords, while in reality he was listening intently to every word the queens said. Lambi sat there for quite some time, but the queens seemed to be more intent on commenting on the way the other women ,who were in attendance, were dressed, or how they had their hair done. None of which was of any use to the Frost Giants.
Lambi also tried to gather information from the prince and princess, but they were only interested in each other . The chieftain was beginning to get worried ! He had promised Drifa that he would obtain information that could be used by the Frost Giants against King Sigtrygg, but as the night wore on he felt that time was running out for him. Lambi did not want to disappoint Drifa, who he had fallen hopelessly in love with, and he feared angering the Frost Giants . He kept hearing Spellvirki' s voice in his head : " Find me a way to kill him ! " It was then that he noticed a man dressed much like royalty moving through the crowd toward the two kings. Lambi slowly, but deliberately, began to drift to a spot within earshot of this well dressed man.
Lambi positioned himself to the side of the kings and with his back to them. In front of him several warriors were having a series of arm wrestling matches for which others were placing bets on the winners. Lambi pretended to be watching these games while he was actually listening to what was being said behind him. The first voice he heard was someone addressing King Sigtrygg : " My lords ! May I present to you Halldor, an emissary from the land of the Swedes. " The second voice that spoke he recognized as King Sigtrygg : " Thank You Vandrad ! I was wondering who this warrior was who had entered my hall. " he said suspiciously. Then Lambi heard King Ogmund speak up : " Why has someone from Sweden come to see our children united in marriage ? " he asked. The next voice Lambi was not familiar with so he assumed it was the mysterious Swede : " I have been sent here as an emissary of King Sweyn of Sweden to wish your families well, and to deliver a message to you both from my lord. " he told them. There was a short pause before King Sigtrygg spoke up : " And what might that message be ? " he asked.
A large man with huge arms defeated a lesser opponent as the Swede was answering, and the cheers drowned out the beginning of what he said. When the noise died down Lambi heard : "........ and King Sweyn believes that the alliance of Romerike and Varmland will defeat King Harald of Viken, and he would like to enter into a treaty of peace with both of your kingdoms. King Sweyn has sent me here to invite you both to Uppsala to attend a great feast and to talk of an alliance between our three kingdoms. " he told them. Vandrad's voice was the next that spoke up : " Is the king of the Swedes afraid of our alliance ? " he asked. King Ogmund interrupted before the Swede could answer : " I do not believe that the great king of the Swedes has anything to fear from our small kingdoms Vandrad ! " the king replied sternly.
At that moment another arm wrestling match ended and Lambi lost the conversation for a few moments once again. The first voice he was able to discern was King Sigtrygg's : " King Ogmund and myself are about to take our armies into Viken, and therefore would not be able to attend ourselves. " he told the emissary. Then there was a pause as if the king was thinking. " If we were to send my son Viglund, the Prince of Varmland, and his wife Princess Aldisar in our stead, would that be acceptable ? " Sigtrygg asked. The Swede then asked abruptly : " Would they be given the authority to enter into an agreement with King Sweyn ? " King Ogmund answered first. " I do not know if I want my daughter to travel to the land of the Swedes, but I trust my daughter and Prince Viglund, and if I agree to send them I would give them the right to speak for my kingdom. " he told the emissary. Then King Sigtrygg chimed in : " I see no harm in sending them Ogmund ! And I would of course be willing to let them act on behalf of the kingdom of Varmland. "
Lambi listened intently to pick up anything he could as the wrestling match became rowdy once again. When the commotion quieted down he heard King Sigtrygg speak : " Then we will send them back with you to Sweden to meet with King Sweyn ! " King Ogmund then asked : " And when will you be leaving for Uppsala ? " Halldor the Swede answered : " I would like to leave tomorrow if that is agreeable. " Ogmund broke in : " That is rather sudden ! Our childrern are newlyweds Sigtrygg ! " Sigtrygg laughed : " Our kids can consider this to be their honeymoon Ogmund. I am sure it would be a very memorable one for them ! " he told his friend.
It was then that Lambi heard a female voice, and turned slightly to catch a glimpse of her out of the corner of his eye. Queen Geirny and Queen Dalla had obviously left the juggling exhibition and had rejoined their husbands. Geirny spoke first as Lambi eavesdropped : " I believe it is time for Viglund and Aldisar to begin their wedding night. " she told the kings. Dalla giggled a little. " Yes, I believe we have detained them for long enough ! " she said with a huge grin.
Lambi turned and watched as King Ogmund and King Sigtrygg went back to their high seats. King Sigtrygg asked the guests to be quiet for a moment, but to no avail. Then King Ogmund placed his fingers in his mouth and whistled as loud as he could. Everyone in the hall stopped speaking and turned to face the high seats. Ogmund looked at Sigtrygg and nodded. " I believe I have gained their attention ! " he told his old friend with a huge smile.
King Sigtrygg raised his horn high as he spoke to his guests. " I would like to make one more toast to my son, and his new bride before they...... well..... before they turn in for the night ! " The intentional pause was met with laughter, cheers, and whistles. When the laughter died down Sigtrygg shouted to his audience: " I raise my horn to the unbreakable bond that has been forged this day, not only between my son Viglund and the lovely Aldisar, but also between the kingdoms of Romerike and Varmland. May they have a long and happy life together, and one day rule a united eastern Norway ! " As King Sigtrygg took a long drink from his horn the hall erupted into wild cheering. King Ogmund then stepped forward and waited for the room to quiet. When it was calm enough he spoke : " I would also like to make a toast to the continued friendship between our two kingdoms that have now been forever joined by marriage as well as by alliance ! " he shouted to a cheering audience.
Prince Viglund and Princess Aldisar slowly walked hand in hand through the throng of guests towards the door of the great hall. When the door was opened for them they were glad to see that a path had been made in the snow that lead to their lodging for the night. With three warriors and three maidens leading the way through the darkness with torches, these "witnesses" escorted the bride and groom to their bed chamber.
When they reached the door of their lodging, and as their guests watched from outside the great hall, Viglund pulled out his sword and laid it on the threshold of the doorway. This he did to protect his bride against any evil spirits that were sometimes thought to congregate in the doorway of homes. The prince then picked up Aldisar and carried her over the threshold to further protect his wife from any harm these evil spirits might perform. Once safely inside Viglund went back and picked up the sword. The prince then took his sword and plunged it into one of the pillars as deep as he could. This was done as a gesture of good luck. The witnesses then lit the torches and the fire pits inside the house before leaving.
Lambi watched the proceedings until the door closed, and then while everyone else went back into the great hall to continue the celebration, he went over and saddled his horse. As he slowly rode through the snow back to the village of Saurby he smiled from ear to ear. He could not wait to get home to tell his lovely Drifa the news about the prince and princess traveling to Sweden.
- End Chapter 4
- Next : Chapter 5 : Spellvirki' s Plan
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.