Source: Rescuing Ourselves
The rest of that day and into the next morning, there was still no sign of Runa at the Hall, and that left Einarr unaccountably anxious. While he was assured that all was well, none would tell him where she was. When Stigander informed him the three of them – Einarr, Bardr, and himself – were headed for the village boatwright that morning, he nearly refused.
“What good will it do to sit around here?” Bardr elbowed him in the ribs. “Beyond that, we’ve matters to discuss.”
“Fine.” Einarr resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he took another bite of the morning’s mash. “Fine. You win. I’ll come. I’d just… hoped to see her already.”
“And who wouldn’t, in your shoes? Come on. Finish up and let’s go. Captain’s already waiting.”
“Why didn’t you say so earlier?” Einarr lifted the bowl to his mouth and started to shovel…
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This blog post will help bring a little more serenity to your life.
Book two of the viking saga. One talented author! (Not me 🙂 )
An empty seat awaited Einarr near where his father lounged, surprisingly far back in the hall. “Not bad, for your first go,” Stigander muttered in his ear. “Did you think to take anything for yourself?”
He shook his head. “The Isinntog was my share.”
His father grunted. “Generosity is well and good, but never forget that running a ship is costly. If you fail to provide for yourself, you fail to provide for your ship and your crew.”
He grunted again. “So long as you understand. Now come on, and bring that dwarf friend of yours. The three of us had best have a chat with Bardr, don’t you think?”
“Yes, Father.” Einarr did not have to look long to find Jorir: the dwarf had taken up position along the wall near the door, his new shield resting against his legs. At a gesture from Einarr, he fell…
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By the time the Gufuskalam made landfall in the Kjelling lands, not far from where the Vidofnir once again moored, nearly a month had passed since they departed Kem. The seas were smooth and the wind friendly, thanks probably in part to the presence of the Isinntog, and Erik could now move about with the aid of a crutch acquired during their resupply.
Erik was at the rudder as the Gufuskalam approached the shore under the orange light of sunset, his mending leg extended out straight ahead of him. Einarr, for his part, was just as glad to have to row: it helped distract from the gnawing anxiety that had built over the course of their return. I have the Isinntog in hand, he reminded himself. And I have a friend who is explicitly loyal to me. Surely this will settle things.
It was no longer even strange thinking of…
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Einarr took off at a sprint down the pier. The two could not have got far yet, and he remembered their faces. Jorir kept up admirably well, despite his shorter legs.
“You remember what they look like?” Einarr asked between breaths.
They pulled up short where the pier met dry land. There were only two ways the boys could have gone; a disturbance in the dockside market crowd said the answer was left. A heartbeat later Einarr, too, was dashing off after the ripples his fish made as it swam through the crowd.
He did not hear the dwarf’s footsteps pounding after him; a glance over his shoulder revealed Jorir examining something on the pavement. A glance was all he could spare, however, as the crowd was reluctant to be shouldered aside a second time in so short a period.
Scowling, Einarr gathered his breath without slowing. “Stop!…
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Einarr had been sure the map was because the harborman didn’t expect he could read right up until he saw the directions that were sketched therein. “Many thanks,” he said, gesturing with the paper. Then he had set out with Jorir into the twisting warrens of Kem’s back streets, glad he had left the bag of treasures stowed under the Gufuskalam’s deck.
“Have you ever been here before,” he asked Jorir quietly.
“Not recently enough to be any help,” the dwarf grumbled back.
“Wasn’t after help. Harborman’s map covers that.” Einarr glanced sidelong down at his new liege-man. “What’s got you so sour of a sudden?
“A man’s life hangs by a thread, and mine’s tied t’it. You’d be sour, too.”
Ah. That. He turned to the left down a not-quite-muddy street, shaking his head. “My apologies. Neither Tyr nor I doubt that you’ve done everything in your power…
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