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War-Journal of Bue Geirsteinson - Part I

by Jacob Skytte

Vatermont 14th, the year 1000 After Crowning of the First Emperor of the Thyatian Empire

The talk with father did not go well at all. I met with him in the clan's winter hall in Zeaburg. He was pleased to see me, pleased that I was still an instrument of death, a warrior strong and true. What I had to say would not only break my heart, but his as well.

"Father, there are things we need to discuss. The invasion you have planned, it cannot come to pass," I started.

"What say you, son?" he replied. "Ah, I see. You have found a weakness in my plan. You have spent your time here scouting out the city and looking for weak spots, and you have found a better way of invading it than the one I have planned. You are a good son, share with your father the secrets of Zeaburg, and you will be insured your place as prince of Ostland."

"No father, you are wrong. I am the son you raised. Zeaburg has no weak spots. It is strong and impregnable, and it will stand before your assault with no risk of falling. Like its king will. Hord Dark-Eye is not the weak, cruel man you have told me about. He is the one chosen by our Lord Odin the All-Father to rule Ostland, and your attempts at a coup will fail, for you are not the man he is."

My father's face twisted into a mask of rage. "What are you saying? What have you done, whelp? You have betrayed me to him, have you not? He has gotten to you, made you turn from your clan, from your birthright! You insolent cur! After all that I have done for you, after all that I have promised you. I raised you to become a prince, but you have chosen to betray me! You are envious of your brother, not content to be second in line. You wish to take over rulership of the clan. But it shall never come to pass. You are no longer of my kin, I forsake you as a son, as you have forsaken me as a father. You are no longer of clan Noslosford!"

Though his words hurt me, my heart flaring in pain, I would not let them defeat me. "You are wrong father. I am your son, the son you raised to believe in the will of Odin. His will has been revealed to me. I am flesh of your flesh, blood of your blood, and that cannot be denied. But flesh and blood are nothing to the All-Father. His will transcends such mortal frailties, and it is to His will that I must bow. Seeing that you wish to defy His will, I have indeed revealed your dark desires to the king, Hord Dark-Eye, he who is chosen by Odin the Kingsmaker. Your plans are for naught, you have been defeated before the battle even began."

My father's voice took on a cold, hard edge. "You are a fool, young one. In betraying me to the monster, Hord with the Darkened Eye, you have doomed your entire clan to die before his hand. He will not rest before each of our warriors has been slain, our women and children taken as thralls by his loyal servants. Their blood will be on your hands, their fate sealed by you."

"Father, again you are mistaken. It is you who have chosen our fate by rising against Odin's Chosen. But while king Hord could indeed have claimed the lives of our clan in retaliation, he has chosen to spare any man or woman, who will swear continued fealty to his throne. If you will but lay down your arms and surrender to the king, you may still save the lives of our clan. But if you choose to persist, war will come to Noslosford, and the blood of our clan will run like rivers into the sea. And to serve my king, to serve the will of Odin, you will find me at the front of the army come to punish your treachery and to save the honour of our clan."

His face was an image of intense and bitter hatred. "Your noble heart will yet bleed. I still have a loyal son in Lot. You will find both him and me waiting for you at Leirbotn. The blood of your former kinsmen will be on your hands before this war is over. Your family will lie dead, slaughtered by you. Your mother, your brothers, your sisters, and, of course, myself, your flesh-and-blood father. See if the All-Father can replace us as your family. You will become the loneliest man alive and your heart will never stop bleeding, your conscience will haunt you till the end of your days, where you will die alone and forsaken. This do I predict for one such as you."

Tears came to my eyes. "Father! It need not be so! Please give up. And if you won't, at least spare our family. My sisters, my mother and my young brother need not lose their lives. If they will but say that they followed you out of fear or that they knew not your plans, they will be spared."

He laughed long and hard. "You delude yourself, young one. Your mother would not leave me or betray me as you have. She loves me and believes in me still. As for the young ones, Oda would never follow you, and Lis and Hjort, well, they are coming with me whether they want to or not. They are too young to make such a choice, and I will have them by my side, when we are slaughtered by Hord's men. You will not escape this punishment."

With that he left me, preparing to travel back to Noslosford, preparing for the inevitable war.