Wednesday, 22 May 2013

He, quite literally, went 'berserk'

For the first part of this story, please feel free to read 'What a waste of good pork'

They lay, panting, against the rocks.  Behind them, all that was left of the Magus' tower was the huge rock that it had originally sat on, a few fluttering pieces of paper and the smoke from the still smouldering pigs.

'der var tæt...' Breathed Rasmus.

'Close? I'd say it was a damn site worse than close!' Exclaimed Mal, they all looked at each other and laughed.

They had only got down as far as the second floor when they were forced to jump by the accelerating magical disintegration of the blocks that made up the tower.

'Thank the Gods we were jumping onto sand.'

'Jeg ville foretrække at springe i vandet.' replied Ewald.

'Yes, jumping into water would have been even better, but there's not a lot of that around here, in case you hadn't noticed.' They all looked around, to see the unending, shifting sand in every direction, 'although, whilst we're on the subject, we'd better start heading back to the boat. Alfrun will think that we've been having a holiday.'

His new wife, Alfrun Krakensdottir, had been the head of the Kraken clan since her Father had been killed.  She was known for her beauty and her fairness, but not neccesarily for her patience.  She didn't agree that he needed to continue his Bounty-hunting, instead believing that he should be at home, defending the clan and making babies.

He recovered his leather armour and pulled the compass from his pack, pointed at the southern horizon and started to trudge towards the horizon.

It took them two days to reach the coast, as they climbed the dunes towards the landing, The Hunter held up his fist, the group stopped and knelt silently in the sand.  He sniffed the air and listened.

'Can you hear that?'

'Jeg kan ikke høre noget...'

'Exactly, a longship full of norsemen, sat on a beach, waiting for us, with enough heather ale to drown an ox.  Shouldn't we be able to hear the screams?'

'ja du har ret...'

'I know I'm right, that's why we're still alive.' He slowly craned his neck and looked over to top of the dune, down towards the ship, 'Bertrum has a green shield and a handaxe, right?'


'But he doesn't have black hair does he?'

'på, rød.'

'Then that's not Bertrum.'

They all lay along the ridge of the dune and one by one identified that none of the people stood next to the longship were actually their men.  They were wearing their clothes, but that's where the similarity ended.

'hvad skal vi gøre?'

'I tell you what we'll do...' He thought, and then thought again, and try as he might, he couldn't think of a way that they could get around twenty enemy soldiers, take the ship and get it into deep water before losing a kidney or an eyeball to an accurate arrow.  And then it hit him.

'Algot, Runar tells me that your mother entertains rabid badgers in her bed, is that true?'

Both Norsemen turned to him incedulously, 'Hvad?'

'Yes, and Ewald, Jarne says that both he and Razmus have enjoyed the charms of your sister, both together and seperately, many times, and she enjoyed it too most of the time.'

Ewald launched himself at his kinsmen, screaming, 'Du har vanæret min søster, jeg vil afskære dine testikler!'

The scream, obviously, attracted the attention of the men guarding their ship, and within seconds they were charging up the other side of the dune, all pretence at stealth thrown to the winds.

'Look, they're coming!' Yelled Mal, as he pressed the button that extended the blade of Lyssvaerd.  Immediately the berserking Norsemen saw their enemy howling towards them and forgot their ficticious petty differences and descended to meet them.

The clash as the two sides met could be heard all the way to Svalbard, or so it seemed.  Instantly the Norse warriors started to hack blindly at their foe, arms were lost to axes, hammers were dodged and Lyssvaerd flew through gaps between armour and shield with clinical precision.  In minutes they were knee-deep in gore and the berserker rage had hold of them all.

They had fought their way down the dune and across the beach, Jarne had sustained a wound to his forearm that would need attention before the day was out and Runar was bleeding from a deep cut above his eye.  Other than that they were completely unscathed. The few defenders that were left guarding the ship were easily dispatched. Algot even managed to pin one to the bow through his neck, luckily above the waterline.

As they clamboured onto the deck of the ship, the smell hit them.  It wasn't the remains of the crew, it seemed that they'd been dumped into the sea, Then they saw it, in the bilges of the boat was an oily scum, it was moving against the rolling of the sea and slowly gathering towards the bow.  As the heap grew, it took on the features of a slouched human with a pointed head and long, grasping fingers, at least eight feet high and getting taller all the time.

'hvad i al helveder er det?' gasped Razmus.

'I don't know,' Replied Mal, 'But let's see how easily it dies!'

They screamed out a battle-cry and charged towards the giant, teeth bared and weapons ready.

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