Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
hengist would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

A Tale of the Sons of Jomer: The Long Ride of Sverrir and ValR

By hengist All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Fantasy

Chapter 1: Trellborg of Kjarrskal in the foothills of the Scurthyrshlaew, Jarldom of Westholt

ValR held his hand up and Ketill, Eirik and Grim quickly stopped as they were trained to do and listened. Through the wood of the vertically planked wall, they could hear a woman's voice start low and rise to a crescendo, punctuated by the sound of pottery shattering. ValR set his shoulders, flicked his braided and clubbed pony-tail behind him and motioned them down the muddy lane between two of the smaller houses and toward the noise.   
ValR started to enter the open door when crockery smashed on the door post, hurtling shards past his head. Startled, he ducked around  and carefully peered back into the main room. A shrieking woman with a heavy, long black braid and startling blue eyes picked up another clay pot as a tall man with luxuriant blond mustaches made a placating gesture.  
“Bastard! Goat raping Whore-son! Skuldri curse your loins and tongue!” she screamed launching another pot at Sverrir.    
“Helga, my love, please, if I could just explain.” said Sverrir, wincing as the pot bounced off his shoulder.  
Ketill snuck a look past ValR before ducking back, barely dodging a whirling plate. “Who's that?”  
“My brother.” said ValR, swinging his shield off his back and braving the door. A pot shattered off the center boss as ValR advanced up to his brother and covered him with his shield.   
“Got a minute?” said ValR over the screaming din as another clay projectile shattered off the shield.   
“Just.” said Sverrir as he glanced quickly around the shield. Helga was panting and growling, searching for more crockery.  
“I need another on patrol.” ValR watched as Helga found another cache of cookware and started another round of screeching and pot throwing.   
“How long?” said Sverrir grunted as a small jar bounced off his thigh.  
“Couple of weeks.” said ValR over Helga's yelling.  
“Patrol in force?”  
ValR shook his head. “Milk run.”  
“Perfect,” said Sverrir, stepping out from the shield, “Helga, my alder blossom, duty calls me to the March. We can discuss this when we are both in better spirits.”  
“Sverrir Jomerssen, Tormalan help me, if you leave, don't even think about coming back, because I'll cut your balls off and feed them to you in the night if you do!” snarled Helga launching another plate, forcing Sverrir behind the shield again.  
“That is a horrible thing to say, my sweet,” said Sverrir from behind the shield.  
“Gear?” said ValR starting to back out the door.  
“Back up at the barrack stables on the horse. Was out on a patrol. You're lucky I came back today.” Sverrir said, backing out with ValR.  
“I'm the lucky one?”   
“Yes, well.” said Sverrir, dodging more broken pottery as Helga followed them out, incoherent in rage, and started launching the remaining cookware at them as they went outside. Sverrir started when he saw the three young Rangers staring at him.  
“ValR, who are these fine fellows?” said Sverrir.  
“New recruits to the March. I'm Grim Haakonssen,” said Grim. A plate whirred past his head and landed wetly in the mud. 
“It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.” Sverrir bowed as ValR rolled his eyes and blocked a clay mug from braining his brother.   
Confounded by the shield, Helga took aim at the young Men surrounding Sverrir and ValR, still shrieking imprecations against his manhood and dubious parentage.   
“Now what?” said Ketill, bewildered, dodging pottery.  
“Now, we run.” said Sverrir bolting up the lane.

   They rode along the muddy road out of the trelleborg with a couple of pack horses in tow, Sverrir in the lead, the pennon on the end of his spear snapping in the morning breeze. ValR brought up the rear, making sure none of his charges meandered away. People called out to Sverrir as he passed. He smiled and waved, occasionally shouting replies that often left the onlookers laughing.
They continued up the road as it wound through the wooded foothills and last snow drifts until it petered out into a trail under the spread of the pine trees that coated the mountains flank.
Sverrir reined his horse in slightly, waving the younger Men to pull ahead of him on the trail and he fell back abreast of his brother.
“ValR, what is the real reason you brought me along?” said Sverrir quietly.
“I told you, I needed another experienced hand on this patrol.”  
“Right and a bull gives milk. Seriously, ValR, why?”
“A couple of the lads shouldn't be Wardens. They haven't the knack. I was hoping you could talk to them.”
“And provide a reasonable alternative, such as being a Warder or a member of a comitus instead?”  
“Yes.”  
“Was that so hard?”
“Yes.”
They rode for most of the day before ValR called a halt under the pines. A neatly stacked cord of wood and blackened ring dominated the clearing to one side of the trail. The recruits led the horses to a semi permanent corral and started to set up camp as Sverrir studied the surrounding forest.
“What's the matter?” said ValR.
“Nothing. Just, I have the nagging feeling someone is following us,” said Sverrir, shaking his head.
ValR examined the forest around them. “I'll double back and see. Stay here with the boys?”
“ValR, it's probably nothing, just the paranoia of not having been at the mercy of the mountains for a while.”
“Better safe than sorry,” said ValR, hefting his longbow and fading back into the woods along the trail.
“Where is Master ValR going?” said Ketill, bringing back a pot of water from the spring.
“Humouring his brother,” said Sverrir, “quite the campsite you have here. I didn't expect to have this kind of accommodations on patrol.”
“There are a number of them we've established along the trails,” said Ketill dumping the dried meat into the pot with some tubers.
“Really? When did this start?” said Sverrir driving his spear point first into the ground next to the fire ring.
“We've always done it,” said Grim, placing the bedrolls under the lean-to near the paddock.
“Here, place my bedroll and ValR outside.” Sverrir pointed to a comfortable spot.
“Sorry, sir,” said Grim.
“Don't be sorry, you didn't know. And Grim? Don't call me Sir. I work for a living.”
“Yes, Si, uh, Sverrir,” said Grim.
“If it makes you uncomfortable to use my name, call me File-Leader,” said Sverrir.
“Yes, File-Leader,” said Grim.
Eirik and Grim were washing the dishes and Ketill was attending the horses by the time ValR returned. He sat down next Sverrir at the fire and Sverrir handed him a plate of food. ValR took the food without comment and started eating. The recruits started to stand at parade rest around the brothers.  Sverrir waved the young Men back to their chores. ValR set his plate down when he finished eating and Grim collected it.
“How much do you remember about the trail lore?” said ValR.
“Not much, truth to tell. I could probably keep us going in the right direction if you set my feet upon the path. Why?”
“I have an errand to run no later than tomorrow afternoon.”
“So was someone following us?”
“No.”
“Care to elaborate on the errand?”
“No.”
“Just point me in the right direction and I'll try to get us there in one piece. By the way, who started these camp grounds? I thought places like this, they were an affront to Strathhaum?” said Sverrir, with a sigh.
“They are. NorvegR thought they'd give some of the younger recruits something to do, practicing woodcraft and short unsupervised patrols to give the lads more experience without the additional hazard of being exposed to the elements.”
“Don't tell me you approve of this?”
“I don't. But no-one consulted me beforehand. And if it displeases Strathhaum enough, NorvegR will find out soon enough,”
Sverrir snorted and shook his head.
“I'll be gone before dawn. Stay on the trail until early afternoon and turn off at the rock marker where the hemlocks start. Ride uphill until dusk. I'll meet you where you camp,” said ValR, getting up and going over to his bedroll.


Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Nymeria: Really can't get enough of this story. It flows well, it captivates the reader from page 1, and throws you into such a well-written, well conceptualized world that you'll believe it's real. Everything in the book is meshed together really well. From character backgrounds to plot twists, you can t...

Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...

snowview03: This is the first book I have read on this app and I loved it! When I read the title I thought about the hunger games, but this novel is so much more. Some book have a comparison between other books that fallow like premises so i will do my own: Arena has the compellingly emotional stresses and t...

Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Dina Husseini: It was a great hook. I do not like reading scifi because they end up being like all the rest but this one kept me wanting more.

Marijana1: The melancholy present throughout this story has the power to influence and etch into the minds of the readers, to stay there and refuse to leave even after they have finished reading the story. This is a deep, powerful story, making the readers wonder about everything – about love, about their e...

Krupa Kataria: the detailing is really awesome ....the characters, ur plots jst too Awsm ,m waiting for the further chapters please do complete it ...like m really craving for those ones ...great job with words too ..please complete the further parts ...

genlynne2379: I read the other review of this book and I must say that I disagree with it wholeheartedly. I do not believe the author put the apostrophes in the names just to be unique, but because the characters are supposedly of a different race than humans. They are Anmah. They should have different names a...

SPepper: I had a hard time putting this book down even to go to sleep. The story is compelling and beautifully character driven. I hope author will make this a series.

More Recommendations

Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...

ahattar4096: The only part. Get annoyed of is how they ask soooooo many questions here and there and it just makes it a bit boring for me. Like so boring that even some I skip through and after I do it has nothing to do with what they will next talk about in the story. My opinion is tha mabye the questions th...

spec4huff: Thank you for creating this world. I am a 6'3" veteran that thinks himself tough. But the piece of literature you have created made me misty eyed on a number of occasions. I want a love like this. Thank you again, I would totally buy this book and hopefully the sequels to this ever enchanting lov...

ynez2005: I LOVE THIS BOOK SOOOOO MUCH!!!!Though you really need to make another book,more Princesses!!! Whoooo!!!Girl Power!!!Mabey it could even be Devona's BFF???That would make it even better!!!Plus can you pleeease make Akki come back,together with Thea and Authur amd the whole family is back!Other th...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.