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IC Glory of the Svartrsung

Greg 1

Some Guy
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Ivor's blue eyes light up. "Do you mean it?" he gapes at Havardr, but doesn't wait for an answer. He's off and away, dodging the serfs that walk to and fro carrying broad wooden plates loaded with food, and the great brown and white elkhounds that stalk the food and snap at scraps in the straw.

As serfs come and go, the feast on the table grows, filling the air with the scent of roasted meat and vegetables. Jarl Olafir the Swineherd has sacrificed many fine pigs, and goats and geese as well. Fresh baked bread with slabs of goat butter and cheese, piles of roasted seasonal nuts, and vats of ale and honey-mead jostle for space. For Havardr and Eyvald, honored huscarls, there's strong cider in cattle horns. As the table fills with food, so it fills with Svartrsung.

The table jostles as old Torsten Breakshield slips and catches himself on it's surface. Javardr amd Eyvald are not surprised to see that he's already worse for wear from drinking. Torsten plops grandly into his chair, legs wide apart, and surveys the table with beady black eyes, set in a thin, white face, framed in long, lank, white hair. His green cloak is worn, but it's clasped with a fine silver broach in the shape of a willow leaf, won in battle against the Gunnardung when he was a young warrior. He points at Bjorn, and turns to Havardr and Eyvald. "By Freyr's rutting cock, what is that? Is it a troll, up from the caves underground? Or did a bear fornicate with an elk? Or is it..." He seems lost for a moment. Then it comes to him. "Or is it just a giant pile of shit?"
 
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Greg 1

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OOC: What is Torsten refering to as a "pile of shit?"
OOC: Torsten is asking you what Bjorn is. One of his guesses is that Bjorn is a giant pile of shit. Bjorn is certainly gigantic.
 

Medley

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Havardr

As the hall fills with the din of feasting and endless streams feed small lakes in ox horns, Havardr withdraws himself from the carousing somewhat, content with taking small draughts of the hard cider. Truthfully, he would have preferred his cider closer to apple-sweet, but he accepts the honor regardless.

Once Torsten Breakshield stumbles along, ever the drunken, clumsy oaf, Havardr puts down his horn of cider with distaste. Here again is another old man in Havardr's way, one of the very bold possessors of slow and old honor, recounting naught but past glories. The way Torsten carries himself is the proof: neglectful and shabby everywhere but for that silver brooch, the one prize of a battle long settled. When Torsten turns to Havardr, Havardr rises from his seat, placing both hands on the table before him. Even as he stands, he does not rise above Bjorn's head as the latter sits. To Torsten, he says,

"I worry, Torsten. Old age seems to have clouded your eyes, but allow my sight to make up for your lack. Here before you is our clansman, Bjorn, one of the Svartrsung, same as you and I are. He has just declared his intent to go to Fiskrfjordr and seek his fame against the Gunnardung, as you once did. Will you give this man your blessing?"
 
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Greg 1

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Validated User
Torsten wipes his scraggly beard and raises a bushy white eyebrow.

"Oh, he's the same as you and I, is he, Havardr the up-down?" He leans forward scowling, poinging his finger. "I knew both your grandfathers, boy! Leif Fairface was a viking and he ate Angles for his breakfast. Where this great boar, wandering out of the forest and into the homes of men, cannot even speak a few words of honest Norse, your grandfather Erik the Bald was a poet, and knew the tongues of the Swedes and the Danes and could parley with others beside. They were proud men, lad, proud men, and they cared for their place in the world and the names of their ancestors. You've got the blood of men in your veins, you young whelp, and don't you forget!"

He takes a deep drink from his horn and takes a moment to catch his breath before returning to his theme. "Same as you and I? Why he's twice you and I, with a pair of Gunnardung whores on our shoulders. Did his mother give birth, or did she just burst like a wineskin? Does he chew his meat like a man, or swallow a goat whole? My blessing? My blessing? I'm not blessing it until I hear it talk! Admit it, Havardr, you've shaved a bear and brought it to table as a joke!"
 

Bira

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Bjorn sets his food down and slowly rises, savoring any astonished looks others might throw at his immense size. He faces Torsten squarely, looks at him for a moment, then laughs loudly, hands in hips.

He turns around towards the others, arms wide. "I am Bjorn of the Svartrsung! I come join my kin in glorious competition at Fiskrfjordr!"

Then he turns back to Torsten. "Keep your blessings to yourself, old man, for if your wit is so far gone you cannot tell a man from a beast then I shall do better without it!"
 

Greg 1

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As Bjorn's shadow falls over Torsten's face, the old man's face turns dark and his eyes flash. His whose body tenses as his right hand moves towards his belt, likely for a knife, and he grits his teeth in a canine snarl.

His mouth hangs open, as the woodsman makes his speech. And then he roars with laughter, sending bits of pork flying from his teeth. He rocks in his chair, slapping his leg violently. Heads all around are turned to to the two of you. The serving thralls freeze in their steps for a moment, watching.

"So it can talk! It can laugh like a man. I should have known it stank too much to be a bear. A proud young Svartrsung is it? Off to Fiskrfjordr to join it's kin for glorious competition, is it? There's bold!" He howls with laughter again. "Come, proud young Svartrsung. Bring your ugly, shaggy head here and I'll give you that blessing!"
 

Medley

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Havardr

As old man Torsten speaks, Havardr feels a vein in his forehead bulge, and he presses his fingers onto the table until they show bone white. When finally the hawing and jawing comes to an end, Havardr doles out his own words, cut from ice.

"I have not forgotten the deeds of my forefathers. Indeed, I know them well. I know yours as well, and sure enough all present here know your achievements to be so meager that there is no question why you must boast of other men's honor to supplant your own. Age has not made you venerable; all that stands before me is an old man made fat and stupid in his idleness, with naught to offer but beer spittle and empty jibes. Stay your hand and still your tongue, Torsten Breakshield, and we will forget all this as a mere joke, lest by our laws and traditions an insult given be repaid."
 
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Greg 1

Some Guy
Validated User
The serving thralls are no longer frozen. They are now backing away, doing their best not to trip over dogs and children. Men sitting nearby grow silent and shift in their seats, ready to move when trouble starts. Torsten sits perfectly still, his pale blue eyes studying Harvardr. Then he reaches for his oxhorn and drains it. He pushes his chair back, climbs up onto it, and then up onto the tabletop. He stands in the middle with his hands on his hips and his dirty soft leather shoes in the food.

He throws his arms open wide to the crowd and shouts,

“My name is Torsten Breakshield and all men know of my deeds.
In the four corners of the world, they know me.
In swan-white Lapland, where the ice never thaws, bearskin-cloaked hunters speak my name.
On the green fields of Normandy, where the proud horses stomp and the warriors have mail for skin, they know Torsten.
Priests in Eire fear me, and pray to their gods for protection from me.
By the green river Volga, long-haired Slavs hide their treasure from me in the endless forest.
In the endless forest I have hunted. I have killed elk, red elk, boar, wolf, bear, and men.
I have split helms and shattered spears. They call be Breakshield.
I have made war in the lands of the Halvordung and Gunnardung.
This broach I had from the Gunnardung Egil the Silent. Now he was a man!
Strong like an elder tree. That lover of the spear!
I sent him to Valhalla, to glory in the house of Odin.
I stood here in this hall, by the side of heroes in Spjǫrheimili of the Svartrsung.
When Kjelding Vikings came, an army of wolves that filled the glen.
Here stood Skarde Grim, his shield a wall of stone,
When a Kjelding axe opened his face and he smiled at last.
It rained blood that day. Blood fed the earth at Spjǫrheimili of the Svartrsung!”

He has everyone's attention. At the head of the table, white-haired Jarl Olafir, flanked by his closest huscarls, watches with dark eyes. Torsten holds out his hands in the Jarl’s direction. He cries,“Jarl Olafir, I will go to Fiskrfjordr! To Seggrhalla, house of the Gunnardung, for my glory and the glory of the Svartrsung! I and Bjorn Bearface will go, and we will bring you back armbands of bright gold. While men without balls quail and clasp their wives”—he looks directly at Havardr—“we two are Svartrsung, true sons of the Foe-Burster! And if we can’t beat the clans in fair contest, Bjorn will just pick up their warriors and eat them! Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!
 
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