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As the deadline nears, and I see others entries entering the forums, I'm beginning to face up to the fact that what with college work, shop work, and real life getting on top of me, I won't be able to find the time to finish my entry for the fluff competition. However, rather than waste the 1000 words I have written, I'll post them here, see if anyone likes them, maybe finish it during summer hols. or in a few year's time, who knows
Also, there're a few puns in here I'm fairly proud of, shame to waste them~A TALE OF FENRIS~
“You can’t be serious!”
“Alright” the Innkeeper conceded, “A carved bench and 3 woollen jerkins, for 2 casks of ale.”
“Now you’re being sensible. But we need somewhere to stay tonight; the bench and 3 jerkins, for the casks and putting us up bed and board for tonight, and I’ll throw in a free wood axe.” Retorted the trader, his dour, Fenrisian face splitting into a wide, easy-going grin. Still the innkeeper looked uneasy. “Come on!” he insisted, “You can’t say no to this axe. Look at that blade! That’s good iron, that; from the forges of the Iron Masters themselves.”
The man frowned, as if sizing up the claim of this outlander trader. But, the Season of Ice was fast approaching, those jerkins would come in handy, and it was hard to get hold of wool in the Islands, where most garments were made from tanned Orca hide, which was durable, but no-where near as warm as well-spun wool.
“Alright.” The Islander repeated. “Bed and board for three?” The trader nodded. “Alright. I’ll have my boys deliver the casks and pick up the bench tomorrow. You can have the room at the back. Should be big enough. D’you want breakfast, Outlander?”
“If you would be so kind,” he grinned, “And it’s Bjorn, by the way, Bjorn Svaldson. Shall we shake on the deal?” The innkeeper extended a hand, which Bjorn clasped and shook vigorously.
“’M Erick.” The man admitted, grudgingly. “Erick of the Waveriders.”
“Pleased to meet you!” Bjorn grinned and looked around the Islander’s tavern. “Nice place you’ve got here.” Which wasn’t entirely true; he wasn’t too fond of the fashion of building from sea dragon and orca hides, stretched over a latticework of their bones.
But, it was the only sensible way of building on the turbulent islands, where the frequent earthquakes and deep-sea eruptions during the Season of Fire meant that stone buildings were likely to collapse and crush all inside, and wood would catch fire too easily, were a lamp or candle toppled. Yet, he still preferred the flint cottages of his own, relatively peaceful valley. But that was a long way from here... mayhap, one day, he would barter for passage on a longship to the valley of the Iron Masters, and from there, the long land-voyage along the coast… But he had thought such thoughts for years, and he still traded further and further away.
Seabirds cawed and swooped through the air as the early-morning sun filtered through the clouds to bathe the landing docks in a warm glow.
“Easy there, Sven!” Bjorn bellowed from the quay, “Gently, man, gently! That’s it! Tie it off!” Sven dutifully did so, and released his grip from the rope. Even though he’d used the block and tackle to move goods from their small ship to varied docksides a hundred times, it didn’t irk him that Bjorn always insisted on supervising. It was just his way. He’d spent 8 seasons as the trader’s companion, bodyguard, and general odd-job man, and he’d long got used to his controlling habits. Sven swung himself over the side of the boat and clambered over to where Bjorn stood, overseeing the loading and unloading. The trader smiled at his old friend, and stared down at their island-hopper, dwarfed by the mighty longships that surrounded it. The boat was relatively small, it had to be, with only three of them to crew it, though it had quite a spacious hold for its size. It would have to be sold soon, though… there was already a hint of a chill in the air, reminding the men of Fenris that this brief, calm interlude between the Seasons of Fire and Ice would be over in, say, 50 days? 70 at the most. Less than a full hundredday before they’d swap the boat for a sled and hounds... Bjorn shook his head, trying to focus on the activity below him, but by Russ it was hard… He had definitely drunk too much last night… and that Spiced Orcameat had tasted dodgy too.
Nonetheless, it had been quite a good trip, he mused… the Islanders were snapping up woollen garments in preparation for the Season of Ice, and their tough armour, their finely-crafted bone jewellery and their distinctive ale would do well amongst mountain-folk.
“Hmm?” he looked up, jolted out of his silent reverie by something Sven had said. “Sorry, was leagues away... what was that?”
“I said, where’s Hrolf?” his friend repeated. “I haven’t seen him since he got bladdered last night, and started singing that song about the Wolf and the Troll.”
Bjorn grinned at the memory. “Probably still under the table at Erik’s Tavern. Go and see if you can find him, eh?” Sven nodded and started to walk off “Oh! And don’t be too gentle about it either!” Bjorn added with a grin.
The wind howled across a frozen expanse of ice and snow, where, merely a half-hundredday before, there had been a sea teeming with life and traffic. The three men sat around a small fire in the lee of a dragongut windbreaker, which protected them from the worst of the wind and snow. Bjorn rubbed his hands and took a swig of ale from the drinking horn, before passing it onto Sven. It had been a bad few days, travelling over the frozen wastes. Their lodestone had gone haywire, and they had no real idea where they were. They definitely should have reached the next island by now, but he feared they’d strayed into the great World Sea, that surrounded the islands, the mountains, the valleys, even the great land of Asaheim, and continued until the world’s end, where a great serpent encircled the Lands of Fenris. Or at least, so the sages of his village had told him, and who was he to doubt their wisdom?
Bjorn smiled grimly at his companions, and saw the near-despair etched on their faces. But there was something else there, he saw it in their eyes as they looked at him; hope? No, not quite, something more than mere hope… trust. Trust in him, that he would lead them to safety. Bjorn knew he should, that he couldn’t fail them, but he honestly had no idea what to do, except continue in what he hoped was the right direction. But he couldn’t let the others sense his despair; he had to keep their spirits up. With that thought, he slapped his hands together, and looked over to the hunched form of Hrolf.
“By Russ you two are quiet!” he exclaimed, “Unpack your harp, Hrolf, let’s have a tune.” The young man grinned and foraged in the back of one the sledges for his instrument, eventually retrieving it from near the bottom.
He cradled it in his arms, plucking the odd string and adjusting the tuning. “Right.” He said. “What’ll it be? Russ’s Triumph? The Dawn of Fenris?”
“Men of Harilek.” Grunted Sven.
“No…” Bjorn stared into the fire, thinking. “How about... The Saga of Odis Iason.” At this, Hrolf smiled, closed his eyes, and strummed a few chords before launching into a tale of a warrior, far from home…
The wind howled, the snow fell, and a man’s voice, lifted in song, carried over the land.
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC
Perfect, All its really needs is some connecting passages between the paragraphs, to make the story flow more smoothly.
Other then that, I say it would not need anything more and its a good story as it is.
Me, Ambivalent? Well, yes and no.
thanks mate. Maybe I will enter it after all, then... After making some connecting paragraphs. Although, this was only meant to be a sort of introductory thing, and skipping forward 40 or 50 days in one jump stopped me getting bogged down, I found.
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC