Chapter 21 – Castra

It was only now that they could see the Haltija pass in front of them that Jarl and Knud could appreciate the enormity of the Riddari mountain range. On their journey from Einn along the small roads and paths which ran alongside it they had not realised just how much the landscape rose up to… Read More…

Chapter 20: Little Kings

The armour was new and stiff. Halvard squirmed uncomfortably inside it and tried to resist the urge to pull the trousers down at the crotch. They were far too small for him. The line of soldiers stretched all the way from the Royal Palace to the entrance of the catacombs. Halvard was stationed a few… Read More…

Chapter 19: Three

Astrid took a deep breath as she walked back towards Jarl and Knud. She could see condensation forming from her breath in the cold night. Before she said a word, she piled the wood she had collected onto the fire and sat down on the rocks. Her face was exposed for the first time that… Read More…

Chapter 18: Treachery

Melrakki groaned and turned over for what felt like the hundredth time that night. Her lower back ached and her stomach was heavy and swollen. She was miserable and so tired that her brain felt as if it had been removed from her skull. Ulf was snoring beside her, his arm across her protectively. Normally… Read More…

Chapter 17: Questions

“You don’t understand!” the elf exclaimed as they walked past the elf dorms to leave. “She cut off my ear.” “Last night there was nothing wrong with your ear,” the harassed monk replied. Astrid’s face was utterly emotionless as they walked away. Her calm expression was so convincing that Jarl almost believed her, despite what… Read More…

Chapter 16: Back

Holmvé opened the door as little as she could and kept her hand on the bolt, ready to slam the door shut the minute she suspected their caller was another ‘relative’ who wanted to congratulate her good fortune. It had been truly incredible to experience over the last few weeks just how quickly word of… Read More…

Chapter 15: Half

For the eighth time, the bells in the communal dorms echoed up to her room. Astrid groaned and buried her head under the blanket, trying to drown out the sound. She was still exhausted. While it was easy for her to survive on very little sleep for days, even weeks at a time, she always… Read More…

Chapter 14: Horse Riders

Ulf watched Melrakki as she slept. He noticed the shadows under her eyes and the blankets tightly pulled around her. Dawn had long since passed, but for the first time in years, she had not woken up before him. Ulf did not wake her. Instead he carefully moved his half of the blanket over her… Read More…

Chapter 13: The Salt Monastaries

It was cold. The sun had only just risen high enough to peak over the edge of the mountains and the early morning mist still clung to the slopes. Astrid could barely see ahead more than a couple of feet, but she was untroubled by the lack of visibility. She always wondered how elves and… Read More…

Chapter 12: Elder

“Damned brojóta burðr bitch!” Three hundred and seventy nine, Halvard thought. I wonder how many more times he’s going to use that word before we reach Einn. He had already decided that as soon as they reached Einn he would leave as fast as he possibly could. Any doubts he may have had about the… Read More…