Lies of Wolves by Rachael Ashdown

wolves75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, Garik confronted Karyna about the rumors she was spreading, she realized that Freydis is using her to get an heir. She still needs to find a sword as the Valkyrie Hildr instructed, and as the readers suggested, she will get it by taking one from a guard as she is brought to her wedding.

Episode 16

“The people of Birkholm are such arrogant creatures. Oh, how I loathe them.”

Loki, god of mischief, prowled through the cavernous halls of his lonely fortress, brooding darkly. He had underestimated them, especially the witch. He did not know how she managed it, but she had somehow found a way to stop his pet Eyulf.

He had released the great wolf for amusement, to watch the insignificant, miserable humans cower and whimper in fear. Long had he hated the line of dark sorceresses that controlled the island, for if their power spread beyond their own coast, it could challenge his own magic. After the death of the matriarch, he thought the line would end. But no, another witch had taken her place. This upstart was the reason his pet was dead.

“Now they will all pay. But how to do it? That egotistical little boy thinks that he is a hero. And that woman thinks she is untouchable. We shall see if their people sing their praises when corpses litter the village, their houses in splinters and their children crying. They will learn to fear me once more. No witch will stand in my way!”

Loki let out a wild cackle, the sound echoing through the stony chamber. In these halls, he could find the answer to his dilemma. His path led him to a dark staircase carved into the rock, descending deep into the earth. The smell of death and decay was strong in the air, and Loki inhaled with relish, his glee evident as he danced down the steps, singing a mad song of destruction and chaos. The wolf may not have been able to destroy Birkholm, but that pestilence upon the land could be erased by other means. There were, after all, creatures more resistant to magic than a fell wolf. Ones that even a Valkyrie would have trouble slaying.

For many miles he danced, deeper and deeper into the void. Eventually a splash echoed through the cavern, indicating Loki’s feet had reached the damp floor at the end of the staircase. The rank and foul pit hummed with the breathing of some enormous beast hidden in the blackness. Loki grinned with malevolent delight as he tapped a silver dagger upon the rock wall, the sound reverberating around him ominously. The rumbling breath turned into a moan that shook the stalagmites above, showering the god with dislodged flakes of rock. From out of the darkness a deep, shuddering voice spoke.

“Why do you wake me, Loki son of Laufey?”

“I have need of your skills, Hallvardr the Ravager, Bane of the House of Finnr. I need you to visit the island of Birkholm, to ruin the wedding of the Wolf Slayer, the arrogant boy that calls himself the butcher of Eyulf. Kill him and his kin. Do as you wish, as long as they suffer. It has been many years since you have feasted on human flesh. It is time you reminded them of your greatness.”

A sound like thunder echoed through the cavern. The rumbling laughter of Hallvardr the Ravager shook the very foundations of the earth. The great beast was pleased.

“To taste flesh once more would be a treat. Too long have I wasted away in this prison. Free me from these chains, and I will do as you ask. The Wolf Slayer shall know fear.”

Loki joined in the laughter of the Ravager, the two maniacal voices spelling doom for the island of Birkholm, the people of which were just waking up. The villagers, ignorant of their fate, were looking out into the stormy skies, their thoughts on the joyous marriage of their false hero, only a few hours away. His bride to be, unaware of the true danger, had much darker thoughts. Today was her wedding. And though she did not know why, she knew she needed a sword.   Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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