The Little Shield Maiden
When they reached Eyvind's great hall three warriors brought out Queen Gunnhild in chains, and made her kneel before Freydis and Margad. Freydis was appalled ! " Unchain her at once ! " she demanded. Margad simply told the guards : " This does not honor us. Release her ! " After she was unchained Freydis gave her a little hug. " I can never again call you mother, but you were always good to me, and therefore I will simply see you as my friend. " Gunnhild had expected to be humiliated and executed for being Eyvind' s wife, but instead she was allowed to keep her dignity, and in some ways even her royal status. She was always with the Freydis and Margad when they held court, and her knowledge of those who were beneficial and honest to the new kingdom was invaluable to them. The new king and queen also learned who was not to be trusted, and who would have to be eliminated from Gunnhild.
Erling Arneson became one of their most loyal commanders. He kept the army strong, and even lead several daring raids into the land of the Franks, and the Isle of Britain. The gold and silver that he brought back from his Viking voyages made Agder a rich and powerful kingdom, and made him a man of great honor. He enjoyed his notoriety very much, and never spoke against the new king and queen as he did against King Eyvind.
The coronation and the wedding, of Queen Freydis and King Margad, took place on the same day, in a ceremony that was the largest event ever to take place in the Northway. All of the local kings, queens and chieftains came, as well as King Haldor of Ranrike. The biggest surprise was when King Sorkason of Svearike arrived at the wedding and coronation. The King of Svearike seldom if ever came to see anyone from a minor kingdom. It is said that he wanted to see for himself if Freydis' eyes were really as blue as the sky itself. He was not disappointed ! Queen Freydis made it a point to send out riders to all of the local villages in Agder, Vestfold, and Viken to invite them to the festivities as well. Many did not believe the messengers when the told them they were invited. " Simple folk are not allowed to go see a king and queen get married ! " they would say. Those who did have the courage to go, became a part of history, and talked about it for years to come.
Freydis and Margad had three children. Two boys, and a little girl with hair as yellow as her mothers, and eyes that were emerald green like her father's. The boys who were named Lodver, and Hjalti, after her father and brother, grew up to be strong warriors, and when the came of age they were made Jarls. Lodver was given Vestfold to rule over, while Hjalti was made ruler of Viken. In an unprecedented move their daughter Rannveig, who they named after her grandmother, was made the Jarl of Agder. Few, however, called her Jarl. Most simply called her " shield maiden ", because she was a brave and skilled warrior.
Queen Freydis and King Margad every year, on the anniversary of the Ljarborg massacre, would travel to that tiny village to visit the grave mounds of her parents, and her brother. Freydis had Agder's finest stone carver make a beautiful rune stone to mark their grave mounds, and to commemorate their bravery on that tragic day all those years ago. Freydis, the little shield maiden, Queen of Agder, Vestfold, and Viken, let go of her angry past, and lived happily for the rest of her life.
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2013.
My next story will be ' Child Of Destiny '
( Coming soon to a website near you ! )