Forbidden Love :
A Story Of The Goddess Lofn
A Fateful Decision
Like Sigurd leaping his great steed Grani, a descendant of Odin's horse Sleipnir, over the flames to reach Brynhild, Myrgjol leaned back and held on tightly to the reins as her horse, a gift from the King of Eystridalir, hurdled over the raging campfire. Warriors scattered in all directions to avoid the sharp hoofs of the airborne horse, and soon curses followed in her wake. If not for the fact that she was the king's daughter they would surely have gone after her and given her a good thrashing for such a dishonorable deed.
Myrgjol pulled back hard on the reins to stop her horse, which skidded to a halt mere inches in front of her startled father and brother. As she swung her right leg over the saddle to dismount, she began to tell her father of the imminent danger.
" Father ! Brother ! King Ring has deceived us ! The King of the Swedes has turned his army around and is marching here at this very moment ! " she shouted despite being out of breath from her hard ride.
" And how do you know this sister ? " Almsteinn asked sarcastically.
Myrgjol pointed back the way she had come before replying.
" A woman named Lofn escaped from the clutches of the Swedes and was a witness to this event brother. " she explained in a slightly annoyed tone.
Vifinnr placed his hands on his hips and grinned.
" Lofn,...., like the Goddess Lofn ? " he asked.
Myrgjol shot her father an angry stare.
" What difference does her name matter !? Mother has a handmaiden named Freyja ! King Ring will soon be here with his entire army of Swedes, and we must prepare at once for his arrival ! " she reiterated with a hint of frustration in her voice.
Almsteinn glanced over at his father and exhaled slightly.
" If only King Harjulf had not left.... " he began but was quickly cut off by Myrgjol.
" Heinrekr has ridden south to bring the Herjardalr army back. He suggests that we draw the Swedes south with a fighting withdrawal. " she informed her father and brother.
King Vifinnr's chin slipped down to his chest in an involuntary show of despair.
" But will Heinrekr be successful ? " he asked to no one in particular.
After several hours of hard riding Heinrekr caught up with the rear guard of the Herjardalr army. After explaining the situation to Rumfari, the captain of the flank, the warrior gave Heinrekr his fresh mount to make his way to the front of the column as quickly as possible. As Heinrekr passed to the right of the long line of marching Herjardalr warriors only one thought stuck in his mind. " Would they be in time to save King Vifinnr, and defeat the Swedes. " If not both kingdoms would be lost !
Heinrekr was not surprised when his father, who led the Herjardalr army south, did not stop, or even slow his horse, as he pulled up next to him. King Harjulf refused to even look at his son as he spoke to him.
" What is the matter son ? Did that little bitch spurn you and return to her father ? " he asked coldly.
Before his son could answer he laughed.
" Did you really think I did not know where you went ?! " he added.
Heinrekr narrowed his eyes, and let his mouth spew forth all the venom that had built up inside of him over the many years of abuse he had endured from his father.
" You never liked me, so how could I possibly expect you to love and accept Myrgjol. If I had been a female you would have had the midwife take my body out to the forest to die ! All I am to you is an heir,...., someone to keep your good name going after you are long gone. Well let me tell you something father, I will one day marry Myrgjol and rule over this kingdom, and everyday I will travel to your grave and piss on it ! In the meantime, however,...., father, the entire Swede army has returned to Jamtaland with the intention of conquering the Northlands ! " he shouted at his father bitterly.
Harjulf raised his hand and the entire army began to halt behind him as though an invisible force was stopping them. With a look of great suspicion on his face the King of Herjardalr turned to his son and asked:
" How do you know this ? "
Heinrekr stared into his father's eyes angrily as he responded.
" Because that, " Bitch ", came across a slave woman who had just escaped from the Swedes and warned her ! " he fired back furiously.
King Harjulf sat on his horse and did not move for a long moment. As he saw it he had two choices. Either leave King Vifinnr to fend for himself, and build a defensive line in his kingdom to await the inevitable invasion that would come after his defeat, or turn his army north to aid the Jamtalanders, and try to stop the Swedes before they came after him. He knew it would be a fateful decision.
Then, as if he were suddenly transported to another place and time, he was once again tied down and felt the sharp sting of an axe against his back. He winced involuntarily in the saddle with each blow, and when he felt King Ring's hands reaching into his body he rose up in the saddle as though it were as red hot as a furnace.
Heinrekr gave his father an odd stare.
" Father ? " he asked.
King Harjulf returned from his memories of that horrible nightmare, and after waiting for a little shiver in his spine to recede he turned to his son.
" I have decided to help King Vifinnr. We will march back to the Jamtalanders encampment at once ! " he told his son.
Heinrekr shook his head violently from side to side.
" No ! Myrgjol has told her father to engage the Swedes in a fighting retreat towards our border. " he explained to his father.
King Harjulf reluctantly nodded.
" That is good. Now help me to turn around my,...., our army. " he ordered in a voice that was suddenly more fatherly than that of a king.
Before his son rode toward the back of the line Harjulf added :
" Myrgjol may have saved all of the Northlands from Swede domination. " he told his son with an unexpected look of respect on his face.
Frigga looked over at Lofn and smiled at her handmaiden.
" Very well done my dear ! Every man has a weakness, and you played upon King Harjulf's fear of being blood-eagled to perfection. " she told Lofn happily.
Lofn nodded, but her face continued to reflect her concern.
" What will Odin think of me, All-Mother ? Will he not be angry because I used trickery to win what he considers to be merely a game ? " she asked nervously.
" You need only worry about King Harjulf and King Vifiinr. Continue to turn their minds to permitting this marriage, and allow me take care of my husband. I will deflect his anger from you my dear. This I promise you ! " she told her handmaiden with a little grin.
- End Chapter 15
- Next : Chapter 16 : " Move Against Their Flanks ! "
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.