In the previous episode, Karyna had just about accepted that her future was going to be spent with an abusive husband and threatening sister-in-law. With little hope left, she lay in her bed then quietly asked for help. To her surprise, readers voted that Odin, a powerful wizard, comes to her aid in a dream.
Darkness surrounded her as she listened intently, the voice echoing in her head. It was strangely familiar, but also unearthly.
This time the call was accompanied by a glowing light suddenly appearing to her left. She stared at it silently, watching it grow slowly as if someone was approaching through the darkness. Uneasily, Karyna remained silent, refusing to answer the call.
“It is alright, child. I will not hurt you.”
The light with an ethereal glow was now only a few feet from her in the outstretched hand of an old man dressed in gray robes and a green cloak, a hat pulled down over his eyes, his long white beard and nose visible beneath the brim.
“Who are you?” Karyna asked warily, eyeing the glowing ball of light. This man must be a wizard, and after dealing with Freydis, Karyna did not like the idea of being around magic. The man’s beard twitched slightly, but otherwise he remained still. “Why are you here?”
“You wanted aid, did you not?” the man asked cheerfully. “A way to escape this place?”
“Did Einar send you?” Karyna asked hopefully.
“No. But I sent him.”
“You sent him?” Karyna asked, startled. First the elf, now a wizard? Why was she so important to these supernatural beings?
“Of course. I could not let someone as strong as you be reduced to a sniveling maid, could I? But it seems I am too late. You have already given up.”
“No!” Karyna said forcefully, taking a step forward without thinking. She no longer cared if this man was a threat or not. If he could get her away from here, she did not care what fate had in store. “Please, help me! I will do anything you ask.”
“Hmm, we shall see,” the old man said. “I can assist you, but I require something in return. I will get you out of your prison, but then you must steal the teeth of Eyulf from the Wolf Slayer. You and I both know he does not deserve the title he has been given. I want you to take those teeth and return them to the rightful slayer of the great wolf.”
“Who is that? Where do I find this person?”
“Einar has already given you your destination,” the man said simply. “Steal the teeth and go find your answers.” Karyna was blinded as the light in the old man’s hand suddenly expanded, engulfing him in a bright white flash.
Gasping, Karyna sat up abruptly. She was still in her room, darkness surrounding her. The only light came from a tiny window under the eaves where the light of the waxing moon shone through, illuminating a small square at the foot of her bed.
It had all been a dream. The old man, the glowing light, the promise of freedom; she had so desperately wished to be free that for one minute she believed it could actually happen. The glowing light had only been the light of the moon slowly moving across the bed as the night passed around her. She was just about to lay back down in defeat when a shadow flickered across the window. Looking up, Karyna listened carefully the sound of rustling feathers breaking the silence.
A soft thud near the wall brought Karyna to her feet, cautiously looking around the dark room for any further signs of movement. She hated to think that a bird had become trapped in this room just like her. She might not be able to fly free, but perhaps saving something would help ease the pain.
She paused as her foot struck something small, causing a scrapping sound to echo in the confined space. She bent down, carefully running her hands along the floor to find whatever it was, hoping that it was not a nail that would stab her in the finger. She was unsurprised when her hands met something small and metal, but as her fingers closed around it, she felt her heart leap into her chest. It was a key.
“Did Garik drop this?” she wondered out loud, remembering him slumped on the floor. He had a key when he entered, after all, and it could have been lost when Freydis pulled him off of her. Her musing was cut short by the fluttering of wings. She had momentarily forgotten about the bird. But as she looked up towards the sound, she caught sight of a dark shadow sitting under the eaves. With a soft caw and the ruffling of feathers, the shadow disappeared out into the night.
Staring down at the key in her hand, Karyna felt her mind slowly click, the reality of what had just happened hitting her and bringing her to her knees as tears filled the corner of her eyes.
“Thank you, Odin,” she said softly, clutching the key tightly in her hand. It had not been just a wishful dream. The All-Father himself had come to her aid, giving her hope and sending one of his ravens to bring her the key so she could escape. She would make the most of this opportunity, she told herself firmly, rising to her feet once more. Slowly, holding her breath in anticipation, she fitted the key in the keyhole. The click of the lock made her heart pound rapidly, her hand on the door handle as she eased it open gently, peering out onto the landing. She sent another grateful prayer to Odin that the guard Magni was not outside as she slipped out of the room, locking it quickly behind her.
Stepping outside, she sighed in relief, feeling the cool breeze stirring her shirt and hair. But she was not free yet. She had to do what Odin asked. She had to steal the teeth. Sending another prayer to the gods, she started towards the Great Hall, hoping that all the men were still passed out from the alcohol. The quicker she could get this done, the better. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.
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