10.16 – Command Decision

Allene R. Lowrey

When the final boat sat with the waves lapping her hull and their crews sat resting their shoulders and their thighs on the shore, a figure appeared in the door of the hermitage. He wore the skin of a bear as a cloak, the creature’s snout extending past the old man’s head.

Einarr was the first to notice him. He raised an arm in greeting. For a long while Gotlief, the hermit, did nothing more than stare at them. One by one, though, the rest of the fleet greeted him in silence – all except Bea, who watched with one eyebrow raised. Do the Imperials not have holy monks?

Finally, when the old monk was satisfied, he raised both arms into the air, the bear’s paws moving with his own clenched fists. Then a war cry broke the stillness, and even Einarr jumped at the ferocity of the man’s voice…

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10.15 – Forest Road

Allene R. Lowrey

When the sun set that evening, Einarr was as glad for the end of the day’s labors as he was for the return of their scouts. Lundholm would recover: probably without too much trouble, even, for while Urek had instructed his raiders to do as much damage as possible, they had avoided doing much to the villagers themselves.

Still, the cleanup had been back-breaking and tedious. Erik, rising from his work at the boathouse, inspecting their ships, was the first to spot them. He lifted a big hand high in the air and waved. “What ho! Welcome back!”

That signalled the end of work as surely as the setting sun and everyone made their way to the green to hear from the scouts.

“It’s not an easy road,” Troa warned. “Even without the ships, the way is steep, and the forest presses in on either side.”

“In two separate places…

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10.14 – Reconnaissance

Allene R. Lowrey

Kaldr awoke to the smell of smoke with the rising of the dawn. A low growl rumbled in his throat as he sat up. Those idiots.

That they would conduct a raid was expected. He had given leave, after all – as much because he was certain Urek would have sent one anyway as because it was good to make sure the rebels remembered they were there. But this was not the smell of wood smoke. He smelled meat.

He looked around the deck of his ship: most of them seemed unaware anything was amiss, and that was as it should be. Some, though, wore scowls as dark as Kaldr’s thoughts.

“Thjofgrir?”

“Yes, sir?”

“Find Skon. Send him up the fjord. Reconnaissance only. I want to know what was destroyed and how many died. Tell him to be quick, but not to let himself be seen.”

“Yes, sir.” No sooner…

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10.13 – Inferno

Allene R. Lowrey

Sorry for the delay, everyone. Our internet is still being spotty, but if you’re seeing this at least I managed to get the chapter through.

The fire was spreading rapidly deeper into the smokehouse and Lundholm’s food stores. The runes were once again his best chance of putting out the blaze, but he didn’t dare draw them. Not with the arsonist himself right there, Einarr’s blood on his axe. The man hardly noticed when he twisted Sinmora to draw her free.

Einarr brought his blade around again, but the arsonist caught it on his axe handle. “Who sent you?” He hissed. “Was this Kaldr’s plan?”

The man’s teeth pulled back from his teeth in a snarl. “That coward? Never. The glory of this raid belongs to Lord Urek.”

Einarr sprang back. That explained a lot, if “frothing” Urek had given the order here. Even as the thought crossed his mind…

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10.12 – Arson

Allene R. Lowrey

Einarr and Jorir stood, back to back, as the three remaining wolflings at the boatyard came warily forward. He would be a prime target, he knew, but whether his uncle would want him alive or dead was an open question. It seemed, though, that the two of them had some reputation already.

Some unspoken word seemed to pass among the wolflings: all at the same moment, they broke for the cover of the trees. Einarr turned to race after them, but then something else caught his eye.

Smoke. There was still at least one of the raiders around, trying again to set a blaze. Einarr growled. “Jorir! Stay on them. I’ll search out the rat.”

Jorir gave a grunt of acknowledgement even as he jogged off into the forest. With a shake of his head, Einarr took a deep sniff of the morning air. The smoke was coming, it seemed…

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10.11 – Night Raid

Allene R. Lowrey

Now that the ships had been brought fully onto land, their crews moved to sleep among the villagers. Some managed to find space on the floor in a man’s home, but most crowded onto the village green. Einarr thought, although he could not confirm, that the villagers were happier to have them there, as an added measure of security against the wolflings.

Well, they would do what they could, at least. Poor recompense to the villagers was the least of the reasons they did not want to allow the town to be raided and razed. A watch was set, two men from each ship at every change of the guards. When they all finally bedded down with full bellies and clear heads, the sky had been dark for hours already.

Einarr started awake to the sound of the watchmen’s cry in the darkness just before grey dawn. The rattle of…

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10.10 – Preparations

Allene R. Lowrey

“Traitor!” Urek’s face turned from red to crimson, and his eyes bulged out like a toad’s. “Coward! Lord Ulfr will hear of this!”

“Lord Ulfr is well aware of my opinion regarding his mother. And I will thank you to keep a civil tongue in your head. There is more to strategy than attacking, Urek, and if you could understand that we’d have captured them already – alive, as commanded. But -” Kaldr peered pointedly up into the sky, towards Raenshold. “But, unless I miss my guess, the message is already on its way to our Thane. I trust, Urek, that you will be willing to eat those words when we accomplish our task.”

Vittir’s voice cut the air behind him with his sneer. “If you intended to accomplish our task, you’d be sending us up the fjord without delay.”

Kaldr turned to face his new uninvited guest, his eyebrows…

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Prosecutorial Misconduct in the Trial of Christ

A Lawyer's Prayers

“Sanhedrin in Session” (1883 encyclopedia illustration), Author Wrongkind707 (PD-Art, PD-Old)

In First Century Jerusalem, the Great Sanhedrin was a court both of civil and criminal jurisdiction, comprised of 71 judges.

During the trial of Christ, there were multiple instances of procedural error and prosecutorial misconduct.  Here are some:

Illegal Arrest

  • The use of an accomplice to effectuate an arrest was forbidden.  Since Judas had aided Christ in His ministry, he would have been considered such an accomplice [1A].

Improper Timing

  • Christ was tried for a capital offense during Passover, though this was forbidden [1B].

Secrecy/Bias

  • The Sanhedrin was lawfully in session only between the morning sacrifice at 9AM and the evening sacrifice at 3PM.  Christ was arrested and tried there during the night [1C].
  • Contrary to Jewish law, Christ was examined by a single judge at each of two private preliminary hearings – first by Annas, Pres. of the Sanhedrin…

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10.9 – Seige

Allene R. Lowrey

Stigander frowned out over the water. The four ships were near enough that you could make out the wolf’s head on the prow. Much closer, and they risked being seen in turn. “That’s them, all right,” he said again.

“I had hoped to have a few more days before they showed up,” Einarr mused.

“Bah! That was never going to happen, son. Not after they chased us from Eskihus.”

“I know, Father. I still hoped. But let’s face it, we haven’t been near here in more than a decade.”

“And they live in these waters. Yes, exactly.”

Kormund cleared his throat. “And they are continuing straight for the island. Might I suggest we draw back at least far enough to have tree cover?”

Hasty nods and grunts of agreement were heard from all around, and everyone save the village scout started walking back to Lundholm.

“Elder Vilding assures me we…

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10.8 – Promenade

Allene R. Lowrey

The conference between the three captains and Elder Vilding stretched long into the evening. Well before the end of it, Einarr was very conscious of a pair of eyes trying to bore holes in his back. Every time he glanced over his shoulder, Runa was very pointedly looking elsewhere. She was very plainly expecting something from him, and he hadn’t the faintest idea what. No matter. I’ll be sure to take her walking after supper. Whatever was the matter, even if that didn’t help it should at least point him in the right direction.

The conference did not break for dinner, however, and by the time they did stop for the night nearly everyone else had retired to the ships. When the Elder invited the three of them to sleep on his floor for the night, and both Stigander and Kormund agreed immediately, it was with a sense of impending…

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