Forbidden Love :
A Story Of The Goddess Lofn
" They Are Nothing More Than A Pestilence ! "
" And why are we heading south before turning back for home ? " he quickly added before his father could answer the first question.
The king turned in his saddle to look back, and shot his son an evil look as he answered his second question first.
" I intend to circle around so as not to meet King Harjulf's army again. "
" And to answer your first ridiculous question, what purpose would it have served me to stay and wait for King Harjulf's entire army to arrive ? ! " King Vifinnr fired back.
Almsteinn shrugged his shoulders.
" It might have given King Harjulf pause to attack us again ! " he responded.
King Vifinnr shook his head slowly from side to side.
" You need to start thinking like a king and not as a boy pretending to be a great warrior ! We were extremely fortunate to find a small division of Harjulf's army separated from his main army. We caught them by surprise, in their own territory, and were able to destroy them with few losses to our own army ! But that terrain was flat and gave us no advantage if and when Harjulf's entire army came up in support. Besides son, the Herjardalr are only one of many enemies of which I have ! To the west Sparbyggjafylki, Verdaelafylki, and Stiordaelafylki would love nothing more than to take land from us ! And to the east, of course, the damned Swedes can never seem to be able to decide whether they wish to be our ally or our enemy ! These people from the north are merely one of many who wish to take from me what is rightfully mine ! They are nothing more than a pestilence ! And I will not risk my entire army on ground where I have no tactical advantage over my foe ! Is that not a good enough reason for you, boy !! " he screamed at his inexperienced, but eager son.
Almsteinn hung his chin low against his chest, and allowed his horse to fall a few steps behind his father's mount, so he could not witness the tears that welled up in his eyes. To be admonished by one's father was no disgrace, but to have it done in such a harsh fashion in front of part of the army was quite an embarrassment for him. Even more so at this moment because the Jamtalanders seemed to be in good spirits over their easy victory over King Harjulf's army.
What fueled his father's hatred of the people from the south Almsteinn did not know. Many kings, and Jarls for that matter, had tried to encroach upon his father's kingdom, or usurp his power, but in those instances he remained calm and approached each calamity with wisdom and restraint. When it came to King Harjulf, and his people, however, there seemed to be no way for him to stem his fury. The mere mention of Harjulf's name would set off his father into a profanity laced rant that could last for quite some time, and propel him into the next war with the Herjardalr. Of course what set off the king's tirade was much less important than staying out of his way until it had ended !
As he watched his father bobbing up and down on his horse he could almost see in the tenseness of his shoulders, and the stiffness of his movements, that what he had asked had set his father of again. And he was not surprised in the least when his father reined in his horse and pointed to a hill in the distance.
" There ! On that hill over there ! On that rise we will set up our defenses and wait for King Harjulf to meet us in battle on terrain that I have chosen ! " he shouted angrily to his commanders.
As King Vifinnr watched his warriors being positioned on the hill the stabbing pain, that reached down deep into his soul, and which had plagued him off and on for some time, slowly began to ease, and once again he began to feel like himself. As the tension slowly eased it was almost as though he could not remember what had compelled him to fight here in the first place. But to stand and fight on this hill was his destiny.
Frigga laughed as her husband pounded his fist upon the golden arm of his high-seat at Hlidskjalf. Odin narrowed his eye and his lips tightened with anger as he realized that once again he had been outmaneuvered. His wife, using only the power of her mind, had cast a spell over King Vifinnr which clouded his mind and filled him with anger. Although she could not be certain that this move would win her the war, she was confident it would greatly upset her husband's strategy in the game.
" Did you really think that I would be satisfied with such a small victory ? No, my husband, I want to win the entire war ! " she asked, and then answered her own question.
Odin narrowed his eye, and stroked his beard furiously, as his able mind shot back and forth between the many options that were available to him.
" No, my dear ! I may have underestimated you in the past, but I am now older and much wiser. I fully understand how well you play the game of war. You have become as skilled as any man ! " he told her.
Frigga smiled from ear to ear.
" Well, my husband, I believe it is your move ! " she responded happily.
- End Chapter 2
- Next : Chapter 3 : One Eye, Plural Vision !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.