King Thorkel had learned much from his father. Over the years Rognvald taught Thorkel that you can never be too cautious. The first order he gave as king was to have his warriors set up sentries along the border to guard against any agression and intrusions from his brother. King Thorkel also sent twenty of his best warriors to the temple lands to guard the temple, and protect the Godi. King Thorkel knew that sending his men into the temple lands could be construed as an agressive act, but his father had told him when he first built the temple that he would protect it with his life. Thorkel was determined to keep his father's promise. When the sentries came back and told the king that they had seen activity on the other side of the temple lands, King Thorkel sent two hundred men as an advanced guard to his own border, and gave them orders to be ready for action. All Thorkel could do now was wait for his brother to make the first move. He did not have to wait long !
King Hrolf held council with his best warriors to discuss their strategy to reunite the kingdoms, and of course his mother sat in as well. The first matter on the table was their lack of access to the coast with its valuable bays and harbors. Hrolf thought that they should strongly demand a corridor of land to the coast to be seeded to his kingdom. Queen Busla gave her son an angry look before telling him not to ask for what you can take by force. " Your brother is weak, and will give you what you want if you use a show of force ! " she said boldly. The positive reaction from his warriors forced Hrolf' s hand, and he had to agree with his mother, or look weak.
Two days later an armed "delegation " of twenty men rode to King Thorkel' s hall to demand a land route be given to the realm of East Hordaland . King Thorkel allowed them to make their " proposal " and then declined their offer. When he asked the East Hordalander's to leave, they drew their swords ready for battle. King Thorkel had expected treachery, and as they moved forward thirty archers who had been hidden on both sides of the hall stood up, and aimed their deadly arrows at the delegation. King Hrolf' s men thought better of starting a battle right there in Thorkel' s hall, and were sent back to Hrolf with their tails between their legs, and without their weapons.
When King Hrolf saw his angry and embarrassed warriors ride up to his hall he knew all had not gone well. After hearing what had happened, he realized that his mother did not give Thorkel the respect he deserved. Being nice did not mean being weak, and Hrolf decided not to underestimate his brother again. King Hrolf called together a council of war, and all his warriors agreed that the time had come to crush King Thorkel, and take his harbors, ports, the temple lands, and reunite the lands once again. One very vocal warrior shouted that they would take Queen Ingigerd as well and present her to King Hrolf as a gift. A cheer rose up throughout the hall, and they all drank many a toast to the upcoming war.
Ingigerd detested war. For that matter she did not like violence of any kind. She was a quiet, polite woman, who never seemed to have a bad word to say about anyone. As she lay in bed she asked her husband if it was really necessary to go to war with Hrolf. Thorkel assured her that with someone like Hrolf there was no other way to insure the peace other than to defeat him on the battlefield. Ingigerd propped herself up on an elbow, looked Thorkel in the eyes and asked : " Will you kill your own brother my husband ? " Thorkel did not look away, but kept her gaze as he replied : " I will do whatever I have to do to protect my people, and my father's lands from those who will do them harm. " Thorkel kissed his wife, and told her that he would be leaving in the morning with the main army. Ingigerd lay back down, turned away from her husband, and cried herself to sleep.
While Hrolf celebrated with his warriors in his great hall, Queen Busla secretly went out to the forest with a large rooster under her cloak. After some searching she found a large rock to use as an altar. On nine sticks she carved nine runes which she laid out on the rock. With a sharp seax knife she cut the roosters head off, and let the blood flow over the sacred sticks, as she called to the Gods an incantation, to come and help her and her son, in the coming battle. Over and over she called to the Aesir and the Vanir, until she felt the wind pick up, and the stars went out of the sky.
Slowly Queen Busla turned around to see a grinning God dressed all in gold. " Your seidr is strong woman, I heard your call and came at once. " Loki said slyly. Queen Busla started to tell Loki about her plans, but Loki cut her off in mid - sentence. " Do you think I am not wise enough to know why you have called me tonight ? I will help you, and your son, under one condition. " Loki paused on his last word. " Anything Loki ! Anything ! " Busla cried out. Loki grinned from ear to ear as he answered : " King Hrolf must kill the temple Godi, named Odd, and bring his head to me ! " Loki shouted ! " King Hrolf will then turn the temple into a shrine to me for all Midgardians so they can honor me properly." Loki added. Queen Busla smiled as she answered : " As you wish my lord ! " Loki was laughing hysterically as he vanished into the night mist.
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2013.
End part 6
Next : Loki Visits Hel !