6.6 – Guardians of the Forest

Allene R. Lowrey

Einarr stumbled a little as their captors shoved him into what looked like a duelling arena, or perhaps a Thinghall – although, as with the camp fire, Einarr was puzzled what possible use forest spirits could have for such a thing. The floor was ringed with log benches polished more from use than craft, and other than the open door at his back there was only a single, guttering torch for light. In the center of the open, packed-dirt stage in the middle of the room, Jorir, Erik and Irding were just turning to look at who the newcomer might be.

“Ah, there y’are!” Jorir exclaimed.

Runa stepped up beside him, and the door behind them closed, leaving the five with only the flickering light of the nearly dead torch, and no sign of this “Auna.”

“We’re all in one place, at least.” Smiling a little, Einarr scanned the faces of…

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6.5 – Capture

Allene R. Lowrey

“Wait!” Einarr called out even as he took half a step back. He lifted a knee high up to his chest and stepped over the bramble that had ensnared him, and even then it nearly knocked his back leg out from under him. The fleeing woman did not even glance back over her shoulder. Hair the color of pine needles streamed behind her as she ran, miraculously not snagging in anything.

“Go.” Runa jerked her chin toward the girl. “The huldra may be able to help us.”

Einarr did not hesitate: he ducked his chin down in a nod and kept it there as he dashed after the forest spirit. Why did she flee? And why was she letting him see her while she fled? Something was very wrong in this forest. He tried again: “We’re not your enemies!”

The huldra (if that’s what Runa said she was, that’s what…

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Grandpa (Tell Me ’bout the Good Old Days) – McMillan Family

Brought tears to my eyes…

Rhythm In Life

We had an amazing thanksgiving weekend with our family. Amongst all the beautiful moments, our baby girl wanted to sing with her papa. Over the years he has played guitar to the grand babies and I know that those memories are for a life time. Our boy loves drumming and oh well, he took the part in this beautiful duet.

It’s just beautiful sharing moments like these that can never be compared to anything else in this world. I am thankful for the love our children share with their papa(Grandpa)

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6.4 – Silence of a Startled Wood

Allene R. Lowrey

At least, Einarr thought, the ground in the forest was not sucking mud. It was, however, one of the few hopeful prospects about it, and most of the issue was a result of how ridiculously dense the wood was. Most of the trees they passed were of insufficient girth to serve as a mast.

Here and there the wood would open out into a meadow, where the sun could reach the forest floor and where underbrush had begun to grow up – only to be viciously cut back and trampled over by whatever creatures lived here. It was almost as though rutting stags had been induced to rage and kept there to battle the whole year through. Or perhaps, instead of stags, there were mad bears loose. Einarr struggled to think of what else could have caused the massive gouges marring earth and trees alike. They were far too large…

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6.3 -Engimýri

Allene R. Lowrey

Behind them lay the sandy beach they had just climbed. Ahead of them, on the other side of a good-sized meadow, lay the blackest forest Einarr had ever seen – darker and more imposing by far than the giant wood on Svartlauf. The trees were all of the ordinary size, but packed so densely it would be impossible for sun to reach the forest floor, with needles darker than the darkest fir. In that spot, a strange reluctance seized their feet and all of them paused, staring at the wood ahead of them and the cliffs beyond it.

“Something in there ought to do for a mast, anyway.” Jorir broke the silence that had fallen as they contemplated the steps ahead. “I mislike the look of that wood, though.”

Einarr and Erik both hummed in agreement, and Einarr was reasonably certain their hesitation had nothing to do with the old…

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6.2 – Stew

Allene R. Lowrey

The old man led the five castaways up the beach, offering no conversation over the howling storm. The building they stopped at was a fisherman’s shack that, even in the darkness, looked nearly as weathered and beaten as the man they followed. A gust of wind caught the door as their host pulled, yanking the cord from his hands and striking the wall with a solid thump.

Inside, three more lanterns like the one the old man carried hung from hooks on the wall so that the inside of the shack was a blaze of light and warmth. An iron stew pot bubbled over a pit fire, and Einarr’s stomach was not the only one that could be heard rumbling.

“Make yerselves at home, such as it is,” their host grumbled. He tossed his oilcloth cloak over a hook without looking and moved slowly over toward his seat by the…

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6.1 – Landfall

Allene R. Lowrey

Runa coughed. Again. And again, Irding’s face fell into a scowl. Erik paid his son no mind, merely continued to row. Two weeks had passed since they had escaped the Tower of Ravens, and for two weeks they had been becalmed. Which meant rowing. A lot of rowing meant a lot of singing, ordinarily, to keep their strength up – but Runa’s voice was unused to such long labor.

Einarr’s hands tensed on his fishing line. Fights had sparked from less in the last week. Jorir gave a tug on his own line, and the sound of the sinker pulling through the water defused the moment.

The Gestrisni was low on water, and in two weeks there had been no sign of land where they might find fresh. Which meant that Runa’s voice was in bad condition even when she could sing. This might not have been a problem with…

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