32. A Feast at Brygjafael

         The session begins with the Vinlanders receiving gifts from the new grand sachem Rowtag. He is now the leader of a very powerful tribe, and is generous to those who helped him. He gives choice furs, wampum, and luxury goods to all of the Vinlanders. To those who came to speak for him (including Silksif), he gave roughly 8 cows worth of goods. To the others (Thorgerd, Arnor, and Hrapp) he gave roughly half this amount.

         On the trip home, they stop by what Hrapp says is the site of Ormholt. There is no sign of the settlement he spoke of, only a Mohican village. At first, he is enraged, blaming the barbarous Mohican's for razing his settlement. He is then convinced to go with the others to the south, and Skallagrim mentions that he has need for farmers on his stead.

         That evening, while Hrapp is away the others talk about him[1]. Thorgerd is openly skeptical of him, saying that he may well be some dupe or dangerous spirit. Silksif says that there is no way for him to physically wander in the spirit world, and that she knew of no process which would carry a man through time like that. They are cut off in their discussion, though, as Hrapp returns.

         The longship then arrives back at Brygjafael, where Aud prepares a feast to welcome the strangers and celebrate the battle and the ascension of Rowtag. Skallagrim sends for his family to join him from Grimholt. At the same time, Poul sends presents to his fiancee Alfdis in Tjaraholt: a cow and an equal value in gifts. The presents are taken by Kjartan, who tries to discern what Alfdis thinks of the marriage[2]. He finds that she is nervous about it, not knowing much about Poul. However, she is also eager to leave Tjaraholt -- though it has improved recently.

         During the feast, Katrina asks Thorgerd who the hunky rich guy is, indicating Melnir of Raudarbank. Thorgerd says that he is a good warrior, who fought well and was practical of mind. Katrina is briefly scornful, saying that she isn't interested in his sword-swinging... at least not that sword. She pries for more details, mentioning that she thought one reason Thorgerd went on these expeditions was to see men bathing. They gossip for a bit. For his part, Melnir also seems interested in Katrina[3]. He asks Poul for his view. Poul thinly disguises his opinion of Katrina's promiscuity, but does say nice things of her.

         Thorgerd also goes to talk with Aud to talk about problems she has been having with her father-in-law Tosti. Tosti has been critical of her for her adventures, implying that she should be spending more time at home building a home for her new husband. Arnor does not believe this, but he is not strong in standing up to his father. Aud does not have any immediate answers, but she is supportive of Thorgerd and says she will look into it.

         Skallagrim's family also meet the new huscarls of the family, the wanderer Hrapp and former Mohican chief Matunaaga. Vagnhild in particular has a strong first impression of Matunaaga as a possible romantic interest[4]. Borgny talks to her husband, congradulating him on doing well with gifts, but informing him that the weregeld for his killing was the worth of 10 cows. She has also heard by rumor that Thorgerd would have to pay 7 cows worth for her killing, as judged by Tosti.

         Later in the night, a war council is held of elder males to discuss plans for future dealings with the Mohicans and red-axes. Poul proposes that with a buffer state now in place to the north, it was time to look west. Melnir gives his impressions of the tribes to the west, which are largely disorganized and provide no interference to red-axe raiders.

         After the war council, Katrina meets Melnir and talks to him again. However, while he has talked to her at various times in the evening, Melnir has had his eyes on Silksif[5]. After Katrina intercepts him after the council, Silksif has pity on his being so deliberately lured by Katrina's wiles, and interupts them. [6] Melnir politely steps away from Katrina, saying that he has important questions for Silksif. He asks what she thinks the affect of the horned serpent's curse would be if it has acted on Rowtag's leaders. Silksif explains to him her view, that it would lead them into treachery where they would strike out at those nearest to them. However, she soon realizes that his question was just an excuse to talk to her, and he is paying more attention to how the light plays on her hair than to her words.

         After the night of the feast, the season passes on. The harvest is stocked away and preparations are made for winter. At Grimholt, Skallagrim and Borgny consider their choice of godi. As a free household, they have their choice of which godi they choose to represent them at the Althing. This is the democracy of the Commonwealth. The most closely related ones would be Arnkel of Brygjafael, Tosti of Syfjaourholur, and Vigfus of Groenholt. However, they are currently out of favor with Borgny's father Vigfus and to some degree with Tosti as well. Skallagrim also wants to avoid being seen as having close ties with Brygjafael.

         Borgny suggests that they should visit their most prominent neighbors to the East in ??? (Scarsdale), whose patriarch is also a godi. Thus, they visit the household of Vignir the Bald. There they are welcomed and pleasantries exchanged. Skallagrim questions Vignir on his political views, posing the particular question of his weregeld. He says that it does not seem right that he should have to pay the same amount when the opposing side attacked him unprovoked. Vignir said that it is a good question: that there are those who feel that government should have more of a hand in determining morality. However, the system as it exists leaves that question out, and there are good reasons for this.

         Meanwhile, at Tjaraholt over the winter, Ivar's condition worsens. He has been having digestive problems, likely related to the gut axe wound he received from Skallagrim in the fall. He is in a foul mood and distrustful of Silksif and all others [7], sometimes not leaving his bed-closet for days.

         Near the start of spring, Thorgerd has a strange dream. She is standing in a field, when her mother appears leading a white horse. Her mother congratulates her, and tells her that just as she has two swords, she now has two men in her life. One is a sword of vengeance, the other is a sword of neccesity.

  1. A "Things are Not as They Seem" Wyrd card is secretly played by Bill at this point.
  2. The gift-giving was established at this time, but it was retroactively added in later that Kjartan would deliver it and interact with Alfdis.
  3. The result of a "Romantic Development" card played by Liz
  4. The result of a "First Impressions" card played by Jim
  5. The result of a "Misguided Love" card played by Laura
  6. The result of a "Pity" card played by Bill
  7. The result of a "Greed" card played by Liz

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Mon Sep 8 18:37:19 2003