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@seonhyang that was a great post! I'm really looking forward to watching Gedda grow as we get further away from the "old country".
Hey team! Post on my days off (Starts Wednesday). Anyone who wants to post by then, please do. There will be some fighting, finally, as we run away to fight another day.
@Nightbringer some tension! Excellent!
Arch Lector Strauch




"No."

"What do you mean, no?!" Baron Fritz Gerlich, Lord of Helmgart, sputtered in indignation , his hands flapping uselessly in front of him. "You cannot refuse!"

"One does not tell an Arch Lector what he can, or cannot do, except the Emperor himself. Are you the Emperor, my lord?" Strauch stood tall in the Barons personal chambers, his shaved head gleaming in the sunlight that streamed in through a massive arched window that rose from floor to ceiling. One hand was gently stroking a long blonde beard as he stared at the tall, reed-thin Nobleman in front of him.

The Baron looked at a loss for words as he stared at Strauch. A fine silken shirt was half hidden by a breastplate that showed signs of battle, and a noticeable limp attested to the Barons own service in the armies of the Empire. A Greatsword, nearly as tall as Gerlich, told the story of his own history. The Arch Lector, for his own part, wore a humble blue robe with a fine chainmail woven into the fabric, Book of Sigmar hung, as it always had, over his left hip, by a simple chain of forged steel. A one handed mace hung from his belt and he felt it bump comfortingly against his thigh; he was never a man without a weapon.

"I have not been sent to Helmgart to sort out the childish mistakes of your kinsmen." Strauchs voice was a deep, almost pleasant, rumble. It brokered no argument, even from a distant cousin of the Emperors Chamberlin.

"Well, that is quite unexpected..." Gerlich said with a sigh as he sat in a small chair, the red cushion giving a poof of dust that cascaded through the sunbeam. His long fingers drummed for a moment on a grey table that held a bottle of port and two glasses. He had not offered the Arch Lector one, nor would it have been accepted if he did.

"I am glad we understand each other, my lord." Strauch bowed his head slightly and then turned to go.

"You don't think it'll lead to war?" Gerlichs voice was so quiet that Strauch almost missed the question. He paused for a moment in the doorway before turning to look over his shoulder. Helmgarts commander was sitting slumped on his chair, staring out the tall window - an old soldier remembering old battles - and fiddling with the hilt of his sword.

"I would like to say no, but I both think we know that men are foolish. I, for one, will not take part. There are far greater enemies afoot."

"Yes, so you said..." Gerlich glanced up and his green eyes met piercing blue as the two men regarded each other. "Sigmar protect you, Arch Lector."

"And you, my lord." Strauch bowed and swept from the room.


An Arch Lector of Sigmar? I think so.
@seonhyang if you feel up to introducing the Anglo-Saxon attack, I’m all for it!
Alright crew, another post to bump us along a bit. Next week we flee for our lives. Feel free to crank out a post!
VIKINGS


Kjartan Knudsen




A large bonfire roared as Åse danced around it, twirling and stomping her feet in a rhythmic pattern to music passed down through the generations. It’s flames soared high into the skyShe was accompanied by the few other Norse women who were among their party, interchanging partners as they made rotations around the flames. Their dance celebrated those who have passed in the battle, having moved on to greater things, and their joys of having triumphed over their enemies. Eventually men started to join in their circle, their veins burned of mead and bellies swelled with delicious food.

She celebrated late into the night, only stopping to catch her breath, eat, and drink. In the coming days the young woman hoped to be setting sail into unknown waters with a ship filled with supplies and an able crew, so tonight was the night for Åse to start letting go of her grief. She had to focus on their journey ahead as her life would no longer be her own.



The night was cold for mid-spring, cold enough even that one might see their breath, or the rise of steam from urine as it spattered into the night. The fire in the church had long burned to embers, the coals still glowing red in the centre of the darkened space like some great eye. Snoring came from every angle and slumbering forms shifted, snorted, and passed wind everywhere about the space.

For Kjartan there had been no sleep. Wrapped in thick furs, he stood at the doorway to the church, staring into the darkness beyond. Out there, hidden by the purple dark of night, slumbered a thousand sword danes - drunk near as like - and with them all their dreams of plunder and word fame. They would march in the morning, like as not, south and further into East Anglia to punish those Saxons who had turned against their Danish lords. Most would, at any rate.

He had moved among the revellers that night and spoken to those who would listen. Segrim the Black had been among the first, he had been a loyal man sworn to Erik and it seemed that loyalty had passed easily enough to Åse. Kjartan cared nothing for the mans past for he had proven himself a fine warrior and more than able to stand in a shield wall. He would be a welcome addition to be sure.

Two others, twin sisters who looked so thin they might blow away in a strong breeze, had quickly agreed to the notiin of serving a female lord. Their size prevented them from standing in a shield wall but they had proven savage fighters in close quarters, raven black hair tied into tight braids that were said to be strengthened with steel so they might be used as weapons. He could not say for certain where they were from for the black hair was strangely at odds with intensely green eyes that dared any man to come to close.

Tosti Magnison has sought Kjartan out himself, quietly appearing from the darkness and placing a firm hand on the big mans shoulder. Their conversation had been short, little more than Tosti offering his services and Kjartan accepting gladly. The mans skill with an axe was well known and he plied the oars of any longship with quiet stoicism.

More than a few of Eriks oldest companions had chosen to remain and Einar Haraldsen was among them, and a welcome friend he would be too. He and Kjartan had shared more than a few shieldwalls and even in the most recent battle the two had been at the swines head when it shattered the East Anglian right flank. They had slaked themselves on the blood of their enemies and killed until their arms could barely lift a sword.

Perhaps the most surprising to accept the offer of a voyage west was Fair Gedda. The man was young, quick with a sword, and would certainly have no troubles finding himself a suitable wife. Kjartan had accepted the young mans reasons for joining the voyage - be they true or not - it was of no concern to him. He needed strong arms to pull oars and blades to serve Åse, he did cared little how pretty their wielder be.

There had been others of course, strong men who wanted to be shot of Englaland. Their ship lay ashore nearby in the Wiggenhall Eau. The treacherous network of small waterways had allowed the Danish army to move deep into East Anglia and turned the Saxon flank, forcing this battle at the edge of the great mire. The same mire that now echoed with the small sounds of an army revelling in its victory.

Somewhere beyond the edge of the encampment an owl hooted and Kjartan had to nerve himself not to duck as bats flitted overhead. Men might slaughter each other but the natural world continued as it had for years before, and would continue so for years afterward. It tended to make a man feel small.

He hitched up his furs and scratched at something on his leg, wincing as it turned out to be a scab. He flicked the piece of flesh into the darkness and felt the warm trickle of blood down his leg. He would need to ensure he cleaned the wound, though it would wait till they were at sea. The salt water would do a fine job of it.
Post is half done! I'm working into it having talked to all of you, as well as some others who will be joining us. Waiting to see if Saix wants to add to mine for a collab to keep this wabash cannonball rolling, or do her own post.

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