20. Skallagrim's Proposal

     The last session had ended with Christmas. The remainder of the winter passes without much incident. Skallagrim endeavors to learn how to run a farm in preparation for the following year. Silksif is learning new magic from her grandmother Herdis, who has several bouts of sickness in the latter half of the winter.

     At the Althing, there are many greetings made. During the initial days of lawspeaking, Skallagrim busies himself with finalizing the deal for the land he has bought. Others have their private concerns as well.

     Poul visits the camp of Vigfus the Proud, carrying the suit of Skallagrim for his daughter Borgny the Sharp-Tongued. Vigfus agrees that the match would be a respectable one. He expresses concerned over Skallagrim's fortunes, but he says that Borgny will have her own mind about that (as she has over many other things). Poul then speaks to Borgny. Borgny at first expresses surprise, and describes how her impression of Skallagrim has been from feasts where he came across as a drunken lout whose speeches she couldn't understand a word of. Poul responds that Skallagrim is an honorable man, a courageous warrior, and is a respected leader whom Aud thinks has great potential. Borgny asks how he is as a follower. Poul responds indignantly to this, and they exchange some harsh words. This is broken up when Poul realizes that Borgny's daughter Vagnhild is there, and is red-faced and speechless at her mother's brash words. She lashes out with a tirade that her mother should be making matches for her, not collecting men for herself. At this, Borgny asks Poul to leave and apologizes to her daughter more privately.

     Meanwhile, Silksif visits the sachem of the Tappan tribe who has come to the Althing. She finds that the buowin (shaman) Kitgari is also there. She finds that no ominous events have occurred since midwinter, and that Kitgari and the Tappans are content to leave the situation in her hands. She reports that Ivar has done nothing unusual, allaying their suspicions of his sorcery.

     After the lawspeaking is complete, lawsuits are held. Ari the Learned has been set as judge to hear the charge of murder brought against Thorgerd. Before ruling on the evidence, he explains to those assembled that should the murder charge be upheld that it would retroactively replace the civil lawsuit brought against Brygjafael. It takes a few moments for it to sink it to Vagn that if he wins, it would mean his weregeld is invalid and would have to be returned. Vagn then waffles on his charges, saying that he simply wanted the correct charge done. Ingjavald makes a sarcastic remark on his integrity, to which Brom responds with "Shut up, you bird-necked geek", and labels Ingjavald with the epithet "the Crane".

     The Brygjafaelers are later invited to a feast at Vigfus' camp. Thorgerd is congradulated on her upcoming wedding. She talks with Thjohild Ketilsdaughers, who is eager to hear about her romance with Arnor. Thorgerd talks up her cousin Kjartan to Thjohild, telling her of Kjartan's duel with Brom. Meanwhile, Borgny meets with her suitor Skallagrim, and has a questionnaire prepared for him. She asks about his history, his plans for the future, and what his qualities as a father are. She also asks whether there are any women he knows who can recommend him. He suggests Silksif. Borgny seems satisfied by his answers, and goes to talk to Silksif. Meanwhile, Skallagrim talks to Vagnhild about the possibility of being her stepfather. He asks to know what she thinks of that, to which she responds "Do you really want to know what I think?" He answers yes, and she launches into a tirade that her mother is so abusive that no one but a poor and inexperienced oaf would marry her, and that she has no respect for such a man. However, she has a change of heart after he apologizes and leaves.

     Also at the feast, Poul speaks to Vigfus about plans for an expedition. He says that he has a manuscript translated into Latin from Arabic which talks of steelmaking, and that this may be a key in western exansion. Vigfus suggests that he could consult with the iron-makers in Hvalrik besides those in Raudarbank that he has already talked to. At the end of the feast, Borgny agrees to the match.

     Later, Poul visits the Syfjaourholur camp to speak with Ari the Learned and his foster son Ingjavald. He asks for their help in deciphering the manuscript on steelmaking which he has. Ingjavald is intrigued by the challenge and agrees to help. While there, Poul picks up that Ari is preparing to match Ingjavald with Katrina Tostisdaughter. He suggests to Ari that Ingjavald needs more experience and confidence before he is married, and suggests that Ingjavald come on the upcoming expedition. Ari is amenable, and thanks Poul for the suggestion.

     At the end of the Althing, the families gather to prepare for the marriage of Thorgerd and Arnor.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Wed Oct 2 13:43:39 2002