19. Kitgari's Vengeance

     The last session had ended with Silksif and the guests returning to Tjaraholt with the body of the Lagakin. They announced that he was a shape-shifting sorcerer and Solvi's killer, but withheld that he was from the Tappan tribe.

     The Brygjafaelers find an excuse to question the servant who gave Thorgerd the charm. He first denies any knowledge, but when encouraged he admits that he had dreams where a man came to him and told him of looming danger and what he should do to protect himself. His dream was a vision of dark doom within Tjaraholt, and he felt that the man in his dream wanted to wipe it out rather than let it continue.

     Later, the Brygjafaelers meet out by the barn when a Lagakin man walks in on them. To their surprise, it turns out to be Poul's brother-in-law Kitgari. He explains that he has been hiding out to look for signs of evil magic, and was planning on lying in wait for anyone who might come to the barns to perform rituals. Silksif then joins them, and she expresses her doubts about his conclusion. However, they leave him to his plan.

     When they return to the longhouse, however, Bront confronts them in a burst of anger. He saw them speaking to a man outside, and accuses Kjartan of keeping secrets and even conspiring with the enemy. He pushes Kjartan, and when Kjartan replies scornfully he hits him. His kinsmen allow them to fight. Bront breaks his hand when Kjartan picks up a chair to defend himself. He then grabs Kjartan, but then mysteriously slips and falls, knocking himself out.

     After Bront's accident, Kjartan leaps up on a table and describes the events of the hunt in poem. He mentions the Lagakin outside, but takes care to emphasize the threat of Gest's ghost and put the blame upon those who do not oppose it's evil. Feverish from his wounds, Brom cries out in his sleep at that point -- saying that ravens feast upon the horses and the goat. Vagn argues with Kjartan and Skallagrim some, then takes his seat and asks them to leave. He then belatedly understands the line about the Lagakin, and orders them to stay while he goes with his carls outside. The others follow him, but he finds nothing outside.

     Later, some who recognize him notice Kitgari disguised as one of the Lagakin servants. Skallagrim asks him for a drink. Silksif signals him and goes with her grandmother Herdis to speak with him in the spirit world. He says that he wishes to search the members of the household for signs of evil magic. He has, with help from the servants, but a sleeping drought in the drink and intends to search their belongings. Silksif tells him that he can search any of Ivar's children, but he may not search Herdis' family or Gest's widow Bara. He agrees to search Ivar's children first, and asks to speak again later that night based on what he finds.

     They meet again in the spirit world later that night, and Kitgari says that he has found evidence. He describes a bag full of ritual tools including a long knife and a rune-incribed bowl used for blood. However, he does say that it did not seem to have been used for a while. Herdis believed that Ivar had taken Gest's belongings, but did not believe him to be a sorcerer himself. With some negotiation, he agrees to leave dealing with Ivar to Silksif, while he will take the implements and kill Gest's horses.

     In the morning, the Tjaraholters awaken to find that the horses of Gest have been killed. What is more shocking, though, is the black disease of the horses which shows in their entrails. After checking the other animals, Ivar is actually thankful that they were killed and has the goats in that barn killed as well.

     The Brygjafaelers return to their home that day, which is Christmas eve. Kjartan receives a runestone of his poem of the lightning raid, which is to be planted at a crossroads in commemoration of the event. Thorgerd receives a beautiful linen dress. After the present-giving, Skallagrim is secretly told that there is someone willing to sell his land, which is Steingest the ex-husband of Alfdis Ivarsdaughter.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Wed Oct 2 00:55:40 2002