18. The Hunt for Solvi's Bane

     The last session had ended with the call for a hunt after Solvi's Bane, the beast attacked the Tjaraholt household the prior night. Bront and his son Brom lead the call, which was quickly taken up by Poul and his nephew Kjartan and others. Ingirid gave her foster son Honiahaka permission to go as long as his foster sister Silksif looked after him. Thorgerd determined to go as well, and has an unusual encounter as she prepares. A Lagakin servant in the household comes to her and asks if she is the one who killed Gest. When she responds yes, he gives her a small bag to wear, saying that it will bring good luck. Inside is a charm of shells tied together.

     The morning was bright and clear, but still bitterly cold (below 0 Fahrenheit). As they set out, Bront and Skallagrim took the lead in searching for tracks. As they began their search, though, the Redaxe child Honiahaka insisted on a separate track which caused some dissension. Skallagrim scoffed at the young savage, but Bront agreed to follow the tracks he found.

     Following that lead them to a lone man who ran when the Thorgerd and Kjartan called out to him. He appeared to be a Lagakin, and moved quickly over the snow. Skallagrim, who was trailing, noticed that the tracks they were following lead approximately to where the man was. The hunting party chased him for a time, but then agreed that he was making a distraction and was probably leading them away from their quarry.

     They circled the Tjaraholt hill and found another set of tracks heading south. This lead them to a den in the side of a hill. Thorgerd first crawled in, but then stopped when she heard something just out of sight ahead in the cave. Brom pushed past her when suddenly an enormous wolf tackled him, pinning him at the mouth of the cave -- with Thorgerd behind it in the tunnel. A furious battle ensued where Brom's shoulder was mauled. Eventually Skallagrim dealt it a telling blow with his axe, which sunk deep in its ribs. It ran past Thorgerd back into its den.

     During this time, Silksif had talked to the spirits. She found that there were the ghosts of eight Lagakin braves in the area, who had been brought there for some reason by an unknown party. They were unfriendly to her, and felt that they were at odds with her and her people. She concluded that these eight must be the ones that Gest Steinsson had killed. And indeed, when the hunters went into the den, they found only the body of a Lagakin shaman dead from an axe-wound to the chest. From his clothes, it appeared that he was from the Tappan tribe.

     By that time, Bront had returned to Tjaraholt to tend to his son Brom's wounds. The others returned with the body. They agreed to say that it was a Lagakin sorcerer, but withheld what his tribe and motivation were.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Tue Jan 7 11:36:08 2003