Wednesday, October 8, 2008

520 continued: Well...we found Norway!

Lucius here...

Since I am not sure if I will see my tutor/scribe again I will leave this record myself.
My companions and myself trekked all over a region of mountainous vales. They said this was once a home of Giants and to see the size of these mountains I have no doubt that Giants once resided here. Nothing in Britian can compare to even the smallest of these northern peaks.

After a few weeks of travel we met a " King" Wigulf and we visited his great hall. We all got the creeps from him even though he showed reasonable hospitality. Count Edar asked him about Queen Elaine but he said that he knew nothing of her except a rumor that farther north the Trond tribe was said to have a woman matching that description. Edar thanked the creepy little shit and we went north the next day. One basic problem that you have when traveling with an earl like Edar is that he must always exude power and strength, so he ALWAYS has a huge retinue. Well, these 40 people and mounts were a real nuisance and we had to send them all back with our squires before reaching Trondheim. The 8 Danes who led us would go on however, as would Finn the dwarf, prisioner of Hrothgar and leader of this expedition to Trondheim. We sort of discovered earlier on the sea voyage to Norway that Finn was said to know a great treasures location. Im sure it was no coincidence that this cave of treasure was near Trondheim, or that it had a powerful guardian that the Danes , i'm sure, hoped could be placated with a few British sacrifices as fodder. Finn is a surly rascal and had been quite rude to both myself and Sir Bledri. I let the matter go of course in a civilized manner because I could never use force on a small person. Bledri I soon discovered had no compunctions about it and threw the little piece of seal shit overboard, prompting Olaf to rescue him. Thats when we learned of the dwarfs value.

At Trondheim we were treated well and The King told us that it was Wigulf who was not to be trusted and was disliked by all other Danish Lords. Edar trusted the mans word I do believe, so we prepared to soon leave. That night a bard of sorts entertained us all, and we soon discovered that these northmen had a favotite pastime: Riddles. I am not one for riddles and Im afraid most of my companions also were stumped. The mans accent was the cause Im Sure... " Velcome to my Vooden Willage".........Absured! And humourous as well. Somehow even with the silly accent Sir Amadis was able to get the correct answer first. FIRE!! He blurted out and then everything fell silent and still. We waited and a feeling of unease crept over everyone. Even Sir Gwalchnai the Firelover was a little uneasy. Then the door blew in and a torrent of flame covered the inside of the building. All was white hot flame. We all made it outside and soon saw the cause of the disaster. A huge Dragon! Not wyrm or drake, for those words are small... too puny to describe with any real accuracy the thing that flew above us blotting out the very sun. Dragon! He burned down most of the village and then left. We soon discovered that the dragon in its fury Killed the King, who's son would be taking over the position. Im sure this " King" had a name but I dont remember it. ( For those of you who have never met a Nothman , their names are notoriously similar and are all ugly affairs and brutish. Ok, ork, Thork hork , etc.. ) you get the point. Anyway we soon discovered the reason for the attack. Finn the dwarf had run away in the night and entered the dragons lair and stolen a single gold cup from its monstrously huge horde. The dragon noticed the one piece missing and punished all of Trondheim for it.

I felt a little bad for these Danes but as I tried to point out to Edar, his wife wasnt here so there was no reason to stay. These danes fancy themselves great warriors so let them deal with it I said. But Edar in true Candlebee fashion( I now understand the root of the problem with Candlebees: Decision making!) wanted to slay this dragon and win the adoration of these pelt wearing oafs, so I concurred as well. ( In truth and to my embarrasement, I actually supported the plan with a good will). We tracked the dragon to its cave and it met us outside along the way and flew around us burning many to cinders. Our plan was ..well..... half assed. The dragon was an awful site and to my shame, when I saw Bledri give into his fear so did I and we ran towards the only shelter available... Its cave! Amadis , gwalchmai, Edar and the danes all fought it however. Even theDanish women friend of Amadis'...Scathi or whatever her name is fought. (I Dont understand why hes so infatuated with her. Her parents must have been an Ugly bear and an even uglier badger. Really though, the women has actual muscles. And her breasts could be used as whetstones they are so hard. Its filthy actually... filthy..).

In the fight I tried to find a way out of the cave but could not. Bledri could not resist the treasure. He was a a man possesed, and began stuffing pockets with plunder. In the fight outside Edar was wounded badly, and found his way to the safety of the cave. All the danes were slain save that bull-faced trollip Scathi and she helped Gwalchmai and Amadis fight. As the creature swooped down Gwalchmai cut its guts right out of it with one mighty swing. I have never before seen such a mighty blow, nor do I ever expect to see one again in my lifetime. I am hard pressed to believe that even the mighty Brandegoris of the hambone could have delivered such a blow. ( though his stench I am told might have kept the creature at bay). The Dragon flew to a nearby peak to rest and to our horror we saw it begin healing! the devils power to be sure! In a moment of utter lunacy I watched as Amadis , Gwalchmai, and scathi took off all armor and climb the mountain after the thing. It was sheer desperste madness, and I knew they would die so I renewed my efforts to find another escape.

Minutes later I heard Count Edar shout in triumph as the ground shook beneath my feet. we went otside to discover that thye Dragon was dead, thanks to Gwalchmai's powerful sword arm, and Amadis and she-dogs bravery. After I get over my shame of abandoning the fight I will say more of it.

With our packs full of treasure we went back th the new king of Trondheim and he went to the cave himself. He was , in my opinion, not overly generous or grateful, but Edar seemed content with him. We hired merchants vessels to go back To king Wigulfs People. When we arrived we went up to his city and it seemed abandoned except for a lone porter. Where were Edars people? I tried to bribe the porter to let us in and tell us what was going on, and gave him four large gems from my trasure share( i didnt deserve any treasure anyway. I was a coward.).He wouldnt let us in but did explain that a beast called a troll( which after hearing its description, reminded me a little of Scathis grandparents... Seriously, I dont know how to stop Amadis before he marries her!!I thought it a bit funny at first but now its just disturbing!) was terrorizing these lands and Wigulf had went to sacred ground to offer sacrifices to the troll. Foreign captives as it turned out. After getting directions we hurried on and I was a little behind because I was dragging my treasure pack. The others left theirs on the merchants vessels, but I was NOT that silly, ya know? Besides I had a plan.

We got to the sacrificial mound and saw many peasants and about two-dozen of Wigulfs warriors. Somehow the Candlebees among us thought these odds were acceptable and Edar walked through the crowd and demanded the realease of his people. After much amusement on Wigulf's part he said no and his men attacked us. But it was okay because now was the time for my plan!!!!!!!!!!!! I know the greedy hearts of men are their undoing so I scattered all my treasure upon the field to test their loyalties , knowing that they could not resist 3o lbs. of loot............. they did. Oops!

So we fought as valiantly as we could, and in the end were all captured. I was so close to death that I saw a white tunnel and was going through it towards 20 Beautiful, virginal, roman senators daughters , when the rough hands of Sir Bledri brought me back to the dismal shores of Norway. Count Edar arranged for his wifes ransom, and his retinues and us knights. It took oaths and over 6oo libra to do ( half is still owed, Thanks to the arrogant and dimwitted Queen Elaine who refused a 1 librum ransom in favor of 300L. Shes worth it she said. Silly Nobles).
All were let go except Count Edar. He was kept to ensure the delivery of 300L At a later date. We were all sent away to Hrothgar's hall where we will certainly book passage and go to logres in Utter shame at having failed our count. We DID get the High Kings sister, but lost a count. Arthur will NOT be pleased I am afraid. I Never want to see those accursed lands again as long as I live. Poor Edar. I hope Daneland or whatever its called is destroyed by God in a most horrible manner.

Sir Amadis here...

I never thought I'd say this, but Dane-mark isn't so bad. My beautiful warrior-woman resides here,'s not Norway. Now THAT is a horrible place!

I have been painfully aware that if I want to do well in life I must succeed as a knight, now that this previously impossible station in life was made available to me through the tragedy of Bardon...and to be successful as a knight means Glory. Through Glory and devoted service I shall acquire the means and station to support my family, not only now but after I die fighting for my count.

But I keep coming up short. Sir Bledri throwing that bothersome dwarf overboard—pure Candlebee move. Everybody in Leicester admires the Candlebees: men who went from vassal knights to penniless refugees to freedom fighters to the lords of this land and advisors to our High King Arthur...Count Edar even married to the king's sister! A bard couldn't make up a better story than that.

Now, sure, some have tales of a different nature regarding the Candlebees, especially some of the older folks around Medbourne. But even they realize that if it weren't for Candlebee bravado there would be no Leicester. Maybe not even a Britain.

So I want to do my part as a young knight and Leicesterman.

Plus, I have a woman to impress.

So when fire filled the king's hall (wooden hall, Christ!) I put myself beside Sir Bledri, between the fire and Count Edar. Ouch. Watching my charred clothing fall from my body brought to mind William Miller's young son back in Netherby, the one who fell in the cooking fire and died.

But the Candlebees didn't complain, and Scathi was here, too, so I didn't say anything. Then when they decided to go after the dragon and avenge the dead of Trond, I just borrowed some clothing and sucked it up.

Then the dragon actually came back! I was hoping it wouldn't and that we could "do a Padern" as Sir Edward used to say and load ourselves up with its treasure. Instead we were hard-pressed to fight back as our party scattered or dropped dead. So with Edar to defend and Gwalchmai hewing chunks off that serpent's body, I didn't stop to think what might be prudent but what would get me Glory and the notice (admiration?) of the Candlebees, and lay about with my trusty spear, then take off after Gwalchmai as he followed the dragon up the mountain. (Surely there is another word for these monstrous mountains!) Perhaps Scathi felt the same way because she also followed Gwalchmai.

Between being breathed on by the serpent (ouch again!) and sliding down the scree of the mountainside, Gwalchmai managed to reach it where it lay wounded on the mountaintop...and you may say I was delirious from the pain but I tell you it was so: that crazy knight actually climbed onto the dragon and started hacking away from the top down. The dragon leapt up, then crashed back down, very nearly cut in half....then the two halves and Sir Gwalchmai tumbled down the mountainside in a cloud of dust and smoke. I thought that was surely the end of our beloved fire-starter, so I turned my attentions to retrieving the badly-injured Scathi from the scree slopes. Between Bledri and I we bandaged ourselves up (except for those crisped beyond help) and limped back to the hall.

And damned if Sir Gwalchmai did not survive that fall after all! That man must be half wizard...well, Candlebee blood was up now, and we took a ship back to King Wigulf's lands for a reckoning (said Bledri) and to retrieve our companions (said Edar). We got there just in time for the cook-out. You know, the one where the savage pagans roast the unsuspecting guests on a spooky hill to some blood-thirsty god of soon as we realized what was about, Edar said arm up and form up, and we charged. I don't know about Lucius and Bledri, but I know that Scathi and I, and Edar and Gwalchmai, were already sorely hurt. It didn't take long for all of us to be knocked down and out by Wigulf's men.

Now we sit in Hrothgar's hall in Dane-mark waiting for ships to ferry us back to Britain, where we will raise the rest of the ransom...maybe this is what the original Candlebees felt like after the Saxons first swept through Lindsey: no arms, no horses, borrowed clothes, and wondering where they would get the money to keep fighting another year.

Maybe being a Candlebee isn't such a good thing.

Sir Bledri the Runner-awayer-from-dragons:

Edar left in the hands of the traitorous Wiglof! That is the sorry state of our quest. We might have ransomed everyone but for Elaine's pride. She gained nothing by her arrogance, and cost her country a great and respected leader. Somehow I doubt Hrothgar will help us, and somehow I doubt Arthur will be able to field an army to invade and destroy Norway. Damn these heathen Norwayites! Surely God wishes us to destroy them.

Though I left my father's homeland of Lambor because I found it void of honor, I did take something useful with me: wisdom in battle. Say what you will about my father the Marshall of Lambor; he could lead men in war. And I have remembered all the things I learned from him. I have no small skill in the directing of armed men in battle. I hope I will be able to lead our forces to victory until Edar returns. Glorious boots to fill, but someone must. Arthur better ransom Edar back.