Einarr spent the first morning after they sailed restless, worrying simultaneously that he had done too much and too little. But, as the grey skies over the grey lands slipped back over the horizon, he turned his attention to more pressing matters. Namely, arriving home in time for his own wedding.
Based on the charts, he and Naudrek had agreed that they should be able to make it to Blávík, resupply, and be back on the water with enough time, barring unforseen circumstances, to get him home with a few days to spare. Read more…
More than a little unnerved, Einarr and his companions stepped up their pace. Not one of them wanted to be anywhere other than the deck of the Heidrun when the sun set that evening. The only thing that stopped any of them from thinking of sailing that very night was the memory of the fishing boat caught out in the harbor. Read more…
“Nothing?” Eydri repeated, aghast.
“Nothing,” Einarr answered. “That gem isn’t magical, and these people aren’t cursed. Now, Hrug, I don’t think the purification circle will need to be very complex. A simple fire rune started the process.”
Hrug nodded. Even with the issues they had with magic here on the island, they should be able to manage that much this evening. Read more…
Einarr could hear the sound of the draugr wriggling, trying to work Sinmora loose, over the crackle of flames that burned slowly, like wet logs.
It smelled an awful lot like wet, rotting wood in here, too, now that his focus was slightly removed from the abomination that wanted nothing so much as to devour him. Read more…
The creature laughed again, this time with what sounded like real mirth. “A Cursebreaker? In my line? Oh ho, that’s rich.” The sound of feet scraping against the stone signaled that he’d turned again, even though Einarr couldn’t see his eyes. “Very well then, Cursebreaker. Face me. It’s the only way to get the sword.”
“How did I know that’s what you were going to say?” Einarr sighed and settled into a wrestler’s crouch. Read more…
Dawn came far too quickly for Einarr’s liking. He almost wished he hadn’t bothered to sleep. And yet, he and Hrug had come up against a blank wall. There simply didn’t seem to be anything else to learn from the ruby. So far as either of them could tell, the only magic about it was the rune that glowed in its center, promising misfortune to whoever saw it.
Eydri’s eyes grew wide and she raised her hands to cover her mouth. “Oh, my.”
That got Finn’s attention. He came to look over their shoulders. “What is it?”
“Oh, no. Oh, my,” she said again. Finn looked at her for a long moment before she answered. “Unless I’m very much mistaken… Hrug, that rune is a Merkstave Fehu, yes?”
Eydri swallowed. “That means… this is the Fehugim.”
“That… doesn’t sound bad, though? Fehu is prosperity, right?”
“No. No it definitely is bad. All the lore claims the gem is in the treasure vault of Wotan, though.” She closed the lid, gently.
Hrug tapped a finger loudly on the bound tablet sitting on the floor by his knee. Read more
The skeletal draugr milled about outside their door, in numbers like they had seen during their panicked flight the night before – only this time, their interest had been caught by the people in the room.
“Do you they want the gem?”
“Almost certainly.” Eydri’s voice echoed Troa’s just a heartbeat behind.
“They were just milling about, like we’ve seen before, until right after you opened that box,” Troa explained.
“The only thing draugr seek more than wealth is flesh,” Eydri added. “Even if I hadn’t named the thing, one of them could have seen it.”
They were starting to press at the door, now. Further back, Einarr thought he saw the large, fleshy bodies of stronger draugr. “Fine. This still doesn’t fit with their behavior last night.”
“This is Hel’s domain.” Eydri’s voice was low and flat. “Care to lay odds that she wants it?”