16. Homecoming

     The returning expedition is nearing the mouth of Oddson's river when Poul had a revelation about his son. As they arrived in the area, a skiff sailed up to the boat. A servant of Tosti the Golden was aboard, and informed them that the whole expedition was invited to Syfjaöurholur for a homecoming feast. Poul and Tind (of Raudarbank) were quick to accept.

     As they approached, Thorgerd borrowed a dress from Lofthaena to look proper, although it was ill-fitting and needed some alteration due to Thorgerd's height. When they came to the feast, they heard various news. Ari the Learned's only son Hoketil was drowned when a storm drove his ship onto a rocky beach on the North shore of Longeysund (by the territory of the Narragansett). He has taken in Hoketil's foster brother Ingjavald, who is a tall but scrawny young man who is well-read.

     The first speech was of course by Tosti. He praised the fine qualities of each of the notable warriors, ending of course with his own sons Lief and Arnor. He did not mention Thorgerd, however. Poul spoke next, and included Thorgerd in his commendations. Later, Skallagrim made a speech where he emphasized the need for continued vigilance against the Redaxe threat. Shortly thereafter, Vagn of Tjaraholt accused Thorgerd of murder.

     Since Thorgerd did not reveal her true identity when she announced the killing of Killer-Gest, he claimed that she is guilty of murder. This quickly lead to heated debate. Kjartan scoffed at the accusation. Arnor tried to think of something to say, but ended up simply punching Vagn, resulting in a brief fight that was quickly broken up.

     At the end of the evening (?), with the urging of his nephew and niece, Poul decided it was time to tell Maushop who his real father was. He had disappeared for part of the evening with his foster-cousin Honiahaka. When informed of this, he screamed his denial, said that he was Hiawatha's son, and ran off. Caught before running too far, he sulked for a time.

     Upon returning home, the were welcomed by their relatives. Aud welcomed Thorgerd and praised her, but privately questioned her carefully about whether she felt that her vengeance was complete.

     Poul began to raise his son Maushop, while Kjartan took a hand with his foster-cousing Honiahaka. The Redaxe boy was considered a difficulty. After some time, Aud advised that Honiahaka be fostered elsewhere -- so that Maushop would lose his ties to the Redaxes more quickly. They agreed that they should offer this to Ingirid the Wise of Tjaraholt, whose daughter Lofthaena could speak with the boy.

     Poul and Kjartan visited Tjaraholt and were welcomed by Ingirid and her family. The child Honiahaka was upset at first at being taken away from his foster cousin, but he seemed mollified when he learned of the mystic status of Ingirid's family. Herdis the Old referred to Honiahaka as Maushop's brother -- which strengthened the suspicion that he had lied about being only a cousin, and was in fact Hiawatha's son.

     A few weeks later, as the harvest began in earnest, Aud the Deep-Minded called in her grand-daughter Thorgerd for a talk. She announced that in spite of the difficult situation, she had arranged a good marriage for Thorgerd... to Arnor Tostisson of Syfjaöurholur. Thorgerd is quietly relieved that it was not Brom, and blushed fiercely since she had already had a crush on him. Aud expressed surprise that Arnor seemed amenable to the match, with a comment on the ways of the young.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Wed Aug 21 17:41:13 2002