Forbidden Love :
A Story Of The Goddess Lofn
A Hatred Most Intense
King Harjulf sat upon his favorite steed Gulltoppr, a white horse with brown speckles, and a mane that was light brown but which looked gold in the sunlight. As he rode his horse slowly he stared around at the bloodstained battlefield. The meadow, which lay directly on the borders of Herjardalr and Jamataland had just the day before been a scene of blooming flowers, and hopping hares in a field of beauty and tranquility. Now that serene picture was gone, replaced by a horrifying view of the aftermath of battle known all too well as human slaughter. When the sea of the dead became to thick to navigate from his saddle the king dismounted.
As Harjulf slowly guided his horse forward among the mutilated bodies, the great steed resisted his pull as it carefully stepped in between the tangled bodies and appendages that seemed to lie everywhere. With its eyes opened wide, and its head thrust back in a manner that showed the animals revulsion to what it was seeing, it reluctantly made its way through the sea of bloated bodies that gave off an odor that made both the horse and the king wince with every breath.
At times such as these Harjulf liked to escape the present and think back to how he arrived at this point in his life. At one time he had been the bearer of the king's banner at the head of King Halvdan Svarte's army. That honor ended when in a drunken fury he killed the king's favorite commander with a silver horn. The blow was so severe that not only had he crushed the man's skull, but he broke the king's horn as well. King Svarte quickly put a price upon his head and outlawed him. With no other choice he was forced to flee the king's lands or be killed. From that moment on he was known to all as Harjulf Hornbriotr ( Harjulf Hornbreaker ).
Harjulf smiled when he recalled how he had sought out, and found refuge, with the king of Uppsala. King Anund at first welcomed him with open arms, but when he was discovered in bed with Anund's kinswoman Helga, they both were forced to flee from the Swede's wrath.
Not quite knowing where to go to find freedom from those who wished to do him harm, he traveled to the north, winding up in a lonely valley. Here at a place called Sliarosvellir, where a river known as the Sylvan flows, he and his wife settled down and found peace. Making himself the king of what he declared was now Herjardalr he built up an ever increasing army to conquer more lands to add to his new kingdom. At first the acquisition of land was fairly easy. After defeating a few weak Chieftains, and minor Jarls, most others were more than eager to join his army and become commanders, or even hirdmen under his leadership, to avoid banishment or death. With his massive army he rode proudly under a banner with the image of a broken horn upon it, and marched his warriors south, east, and west, pushing aside what little resistance the local folk could muster with ease. When he struck northward, however, he met the man who would become his arch nemesis. For here, in Jamataland, resided a most determined king called Vifinnr, who would neither join him, or surrender to his will. And so began a bitter war that had now lasted six years, and killed thousands on both sides.
King Harjulf Hornbriotr was not quite certain what fueled his intense hatred of his rival to the north, but his loathing towards Vifinnr had grown exponentially over the past six years to the point where he now spent all of his time, and much of his kingdom's wealth, trying to destroy the king of Jamataland, who was at this moment trespassing on his lands to the south.
With each dead body that he passed on the bloodied battlefield, most of whom were from his army, Harjulf's fury grew to the point where he could no longer hold it in . When he finally reached the outer perimeter of the battlefield he pointed his finger southward.
" I know that you can hear me King Vifinnr ! We will meet again,...., and this time I will kill you !! " he shouted to the empty hills that surrounded the meadow.
King Harjulf Hornbriotr was hoping that the king of Jamataland could actually hear him, though he suspected that in all probability Vifinnr was actually miles away. What the king of Herjardalr did not realize, however, was that he was being watched very closely by a king, and a queen, who were much more powerful than any human monarchs !
- End Chapter 1
- Next : Chapter : 2 : " They Are Nothing More Than A Pestilence ! "
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.