Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Tales of Halfnir

Halfnir slung the hoary axe in a wide arc slicing flesh, sinew and bone. "From my dead hands you damned mongrels." From a high arc, the keen blade sundered a helmet and sheared through bone and brain. Halfnir crouched like a leopard ready to spring as as arrows sliced the air and those below him stood back. He leaped from the gory steps into the midst of soldiery below, shattered shield and breaking bones.

"There is no hope for you! Give me the jewels or you will die here and now!" A mounted soldier bellowed over the din of fighting. Desperation shrouded his words and those who faced death at the end of Halfnir's axe sensed that in their commander. Several ran away down long empty streets avoiding a death beneath the blade of the black eyed foreigner.

"Come and get them witless fool!" Halfnir swung his bearded axe in deadly crescents, cutting men down like wheat in a crimson harvest. A heap of dead and dying men lay before him. With a furious lunge, Halfnir sprang forward deftly avoiding sword and spear and knocking aside those who stood in his way.

The leader of the guard reigned his horse up, attempting to bring the animal's hooves down upon the charging outlander. Halfnir's axe struck first, shearing horse hide and cracking ribs only to lodge deep in the animal's chest. He then grasped the horse before it came back down and thrust forward, straining his muscles until the horse tumbled backwards with rider in tow.

With this, the remaining guards fled into the ruins and amongst the darkening shadows of night. Halfnir stood over the captain of the guard. He lie paralyzed with a broken back and half beneath his horse. An ever widening pool of blood gathered on the cracked flagstones around the captain. Halfnir glanced around, insuring the others had fled.

He then bent over of the captain. "Your back is shattered. You will die here tonight, eaten by wolves or other vermin. Unless I kill you now."

"I don't fear wolves nor death. Kill me now or let me lie."  The captain's voice cracked with pain.

"You wear the emblem of Firstenfeld. Who is it that sent you here? Tell me now! Who sent you and how did they know I was here? If your answers satisfy me, I will give you a painless death."

A few minutes later Halnif had retrieved his axe and a name. He strode down a narrow track through the brooding forest to a road many leagues away. From there, he would make his way to Firstenfeld.     

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