Odin' s Legion
From Anger Comes War !
Halldor could not bring himself to look at the kings as he answered. " Dead ! " he said glumly. A collective gasp went up throughout the great hall. Sigtrygg grabbed Halldor by the shoulders, and shook him. " What do you mean dead !? " he shouted into his face. Halldor involuntarily swallowed. " I am afraid that I have come here to inform you that Prince Viglund and Princess Aldisar were killed in a massive avalanche that occurred just over the border in Sweden.
Queen Dalla ran over to Halldor, and grabbed him by the arm. "Oh, no ! How could this happen ? This must be a mistake ! " she screamed at the Swede. Halldor once again replied without looking up. " There was no warning. By the time they reacted it was too late. " he explained. In the hush of the moment, and off in the distance, could be heard Queen Geirny sobbing and repeating over and over : "No, no, no, no, no, NO !!!! "
King Ogmund pulled out his sword and placed the point against Halldor' s throat. " And how is it that you and your men managed to escape this disaster !? " he demanded to know. With the point of a sword against his throat Halldor had no choice but to look King Ogmund in the eyes as he spoke. " We were up ahead making sure that the path was safe when the avalanche hit behind us. " he told the king. King Sigtrygg walked over and forcibly lowered Ogmund' s sword. " Obviously you did not do your duty very well ! " Sigtrygg shouted at the Swede. Halldor took a deep breath as he rubbed his throat. " I am truly sorry, but there was no way to see this coming. " he explained.
King Sigtrygg placed his other hand on Ogmund' s shoulder. " Let us not make this tragedy worse than it is already by laying blame for it on the Swedes. " Sigtrygg told his old friend. In a fit of anger Ogmund swung around and pointed the sword at Sigtrygg. " You are right ! I should not be blaming my daughter' s death on the Swedes ! The blame lies clearly on your shoulders Sigtrygg ! You suggested that my daughter go to the land of the Swedes to represent our kingdoms ! And I will never forgive you for the death of Aldisar !! " he screamed at Sigtrygg. Ogmund walked over to his grieving wife and placed his hand on her shoulder. Queen Dalla wrapped her arms around her husband, buried her face in his chest and began to wail. Ogmund pushed his wife away. " Let us not do this here !" he told her sternly. Ogmund grabbed her hand and lead her out of the hall. When they reached the doorway he turned and shouted angrily : " There will be a price to pay for my daughter's death ! " Dalla looked up, and with tearing eyes and trembling lips said quickly and angrily : " You, you bastards killed my daughter ! I hope you all die !! " she screamed hysterically.
King Sigtrygg did not have time to ponder the comments made by the king and queen of Romerike. He assumed that Ogmund and Dalla were simply in shock and would soon come to their senses and realize that this tragedy was no ones fault. Besides, he was too wrapped up in his own grief to give it much thought. Queen Geirny was a mess, and he needed to concentrate his time and energy to console her. It wasn't until Vandrad, Sigtrygg's most capable commander, came rushing into the hall with ominous news that King Sigtrygg was jolted out of his fog of dismay.
" King Sigtrygg ! You must come at once ! King Ogmund is taking his army back to Romerike ! " Vandrad told his king while out of breath. Sigtrygg let go of his wife, and hurried out of the great hall. What he saw disturbed him greatly. A column of Ogmund' s warriors were already heading out on the road back to Romerike. When Sigtrygg spotted Ogmund mounted on his horse, he ran over to him. " Do not leave like this old friend ! We should discuss this like rational people !" he shouted to the king of Romerike. King Ogmund stopped his horse, and turned in his saddle to face Sigtrygg. " All treaties and agreements between our two kingdoms are now dissolved ! " he told Sigtrygg angrily. Queen Dalla, who was riding in a carriage pulled up behind her husband. " You are no longer welcome in Romerike ! You and your wife are nothing to us now but strangers! " she told the king of Varmland with a look of disgust on her face. King Ogmund turned back and kicked his horse into a gallop. Queen Dalla quickly followed. Nothing more was said between the kings.
Spellvirki sat atop Jotunberg grinning from ear to ear. Standing on one side of the Jotun king was Skjalfi, and other stood the snow maiden Drifa. Spellvirki turned to Skjalfi first. " You have done well my friend ! You killed the Prince and Princess and you have destroyed the friendship between Odin' s favorite king and the king of Romerike. The seed of hatred has been planted by you my friend . " he told Skjalfti. The king then turned to Drifa. " Now that the seed has been planted we need to allow it to grow and flourish. I need you, lovely maiden, to nourish that hatred, and allow it to grow unchecked !" he told her. Drifa smiled. " And what is it that you will have me do my lord ? " she asked. Spellvirki laughed. " Send Lambi to King Ogmund to spread malicious rumors and lies about King Sigtrygg. " he told her. Drifa bowed respectfully and answered : " Yes, my lord ! " The young maiden then turned herself into snowflakes and flew out of the ice palace before either Spellvirki or Skjalfti could say any more.
Drifa gave the human Lambi a night of great pleasure before telling him what the king of the Jotuns wanted him to do next. To show Lambi that he would be rewarded well for his obedience, Drifa produced a small chest which she sat down on the bed in front of him. Slowly Lambi opened the lid . When the greedy Midgardian saw what the box contained he looked up and smiled at the Jotun maiden. " I will be more than happy to travel to Romerike, and convince King Ogmund that he should escalate tensions between the two kingdoms. " he told her. " Maybe, just maybe, I can talk Ogmund into killing King Sigtrygg ! " he added with a smile. As Drifa slept that night Lambi sat up counting all the gold coins in the box.
Lambi spent months in Romerike. At first King Ogmund did not trust the Varmland chieftain, but after a while, and with the help of many lies, he became a regular at the court of the Romerike king. Lambi went so far as to tell KIng Ogmund and Queen Dalla that their daughter was killed by a curse placed on her by King Sigtrygg of Varmland. He told the Romerike king that Prince Viglund was supposed to live, but the curse had proven to strong and he had lost his life as well. Lambi went on to explain that the loss of their son had made King Sigtrygg bitter, and that the Varmland king had sought out a powerful witch who had placed a new curse on the Romerike kingdom. When King Ogmund asked how to stop this new threat to his domain, Lambi smiled : " Why all you have to do is destroy Varmland, and kill King Sigtrygg ! " he told them.
Lambi' s mission to Romerike was made easier by Queen Dalla. Everyday, from morning until late into the night, she goaded her husband to do something about the death of their daughter. She gave her husband no rest, telling Ogmund that if he did not avenge their daughter that he was as guilty as KIng Sigtrygg for Aldisar's death. Dalla went so far as to call her husband a coward . After months of this constant torture, and from the grief of the loss of his beloved daughter, King Ogmund began to slowly go mad !
Then one day an emissary came to Romerike from Varmland. He had with him a message from King Sigtrygg calling for them to meet to discuss the rift that had developed between them over the past months, and to try to work through their anger and mistrust. As King Ogmund read the last lines of the message he laughed. " Understand this King Ogmund, " it said, " Friendships are destroyed by anger, and from anger comes war ! "
King Ogmund' s reply came a week later when a Varmland warrior found the emissary's mutilated body outside of King Sigtrygg' s great hall. Pinned to his chest was a vellum note. It read : " Then war it shall be ! "
As the two great armies of Romerike and Varmland prepared for war Odin watched from his high seat in Asgard. The All- Father was greatly disturbed by what he saw taking place in Midgard. His plans for a peaceful unified kingdom in eastern Norway had died with Aldisar' s child, but now what was taking place was worse. Much worse ! Odin did not fully understand how what the Norns had weaved could be so radically changed. But the one thing he knew for certain was that the humans were not the ones who changed the course of history !
- End Chapter 7
Next : Chapter 8 : The Great Battle
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.