11.6 – Thorn Deep

Tangled Threads Publishing

Another week past their encounter with the accursed ship of the demon cult saw a small, dark island appear on the horizon. According to all the charts, it had to be Thorndjupr.

The sense of gloom hanging over the island only grew more intense as they approached. It wasn’t just that the trees were black pine: it was almost as though the color had been leeched from the world around that island. There was hardly a cloud in the sky, but it was grey and so was the water below.

At the very least, Einarr thought, they weren’t going to have to scale any cliffs – at least, not immediately. As they approached, the surface of the island looked to be as smooth as a hilltop on the plains save for one tall pillar of a mountain in the very center. It was as though a giant had stood still…

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11.5 – Demon Ship

Tangled Threads Publishing

For more than a fortnight they sailed on, following the charts as best they could as they weathered the ordinary spring storms. While there had been more than a few cold, wet nights, Einarr was just as glad that was all they had faced so far: an island that could drive Grandfather out, and that had earned the name of “Thorn Deep,” was sure to have something unpleasant waiting – especially given Einarr’s calling. Thus, he took the blustery weather as a blessing.

Right up until black storm clouds appeared out of a blue sky off to the north and began speeding toward Einarr and the Heidrun.

It was Troa who spotted the clouds first, and announced their presence with a dread-laced “Oh, Helvíti.”

Einarr looked up and understood immediately. “Cult ship approaching! Prepare for battle! Guards to the Singer.”

Captain or not, heir or not, Einarr was…

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Mayflower Compact

A Lawyer's Prayers

“Interview of Samoset with the Pilgrims” (1853), Source Baharris.org (PD)

A foundation stone for democracy on this continent, the Mayflower Compact was the first document under which the Plymouth Colony was governed.  The agreement, which established an elected authority all would obey, was signed in 1620 as the Mayflower rode at anchor in Cape Cod Harbor.

For the Sake of Freedom and Equality

The Pilgrims were actually comprised of two groups:  Separatists and non-Separatists.

The Separatists sought religious liberty, specifically the right to separate from the Church of England. They had initially emigrated to the tolerant Netherlands, but found the Dutch culture at odds with their own.

The non-Separatists — like many to follow them — sought economic and social opportunity, and the chance for a better life in America.

In the broadest terms, all risked their lives for the sake of freedom and equality.

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11.4 – Farewells

Tangled Threads Publishing

Two days after his conference, at dawn as he was preparing to launch his Heidrun, Einarr looked up and blinked in surprise. There, coming down the pier in her full armor, her spear across her back, was Beatrix.

“Good morning! I didn’t expect to see you here.”

The Imperial Princess offered Einarr a friendly smile. “I’m sailing for Kem this morning. I’ve stayed too long already, I’m afraid. Who knows what my siblings have been up to while I’ve been gone…”

Einarr nodded. “Good luck, then. And safe travels.”

Einarr hadn’t minded having Bea around, really, and if her work with Father went as well as they thought it had the friendship with the Imperials would be valuable. On the other hand, it was for the best she left before the wedding. The last time she and Runa had been in the same room together, you could have cut…

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11.3 – Coming and Going

Tangled Threads Publishing

That night, Raenshold feasted in celebration of the victorious return of the Vidofnir and the Heidrun. From his seat by Father’s side, Einarr grinned across the table at the unflappable Kaldr and took a deep draught. He was mostly glad to be home, but it was hard to pass up a chance to nettle the man. “What you need,” he said, wiping the foam from his beard with the back of his hand, “Is to relax a little. Isn’t that right, Jorir?”

The dwarf, at Einarr’s side, chuckled.

Kaldr gave one of his trademark placid looks to the heir apparent. “I fail to see what is so relaxing about playing the fool.”

“Ease up, Einarr. That is relaxed.”

Einarr rolled his eyes in mock exasperation and picked up a joint of rabbit from his truncheon. “You, too?”

Jorir’s eyes twinkled with mirth. Plainly the dwarf knew something Einarr did…

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11.2 – Triumphant Return — Tangled Threads Publishing

Einarr staggered a little under the weight of the unconscious Jarl slung over his shoulder as he returned to camp. The smell of smoke hung heavy over the meadow: here and there, someone had set a rabbit or some fish to roast, but the fires from the battle nearly overwhelmed the smell of meat. That […]

11.2 – Triumphant Return — Tangled Threads Publishing

The Adventures of Einarr Stigandersen

EINARR STIGANDERSONTHORNISLANDBook 11: Einarr and the Island of Thorns

A year has passed since Einarr and his allies retook their homeland from the vicious Weavess Urdr and her son, Ulfr. Over the intervening months, they have put out many fires and consolidated their hold over the lands Raen had once unified.

There are two months until Einarr is to wed his beloved Runa, but he still lacks one thing he needs for the wedding: a sword belonging to his ancestors, to present to his bride during the ceremony. Only, Grandfather Raen has never spoken of the land he came from, not even to Stigander. Now Einarr must venture back to the land of his ancestors and discover what drove his grandfather out in the first place.