King Sigmund cowers before the glowing serpent eyes as the dragon Fafnir raises out of the water, his form changing. Serpent no longer, now twisting into an obscene figure of a Jötunn. A sea giant with hands three times as big as the red sailed karves.
His dark face is a great foaming tangle of white sea slush, and his body is scaled with the rich blue of ice and water.
His strength, bestowed by the Gods, is legendary.
His anger today is for what was taken.
With a mighty crash, he brings the sounds of hell and death down on the sailors. His fist strikes many karves, sending men flying into the freezing waters. They will not rise to the surface again to fight this horror. No, instead, they now seek a seat at Odin’s feast in Valhalla.
He will welcome them graciously, and as the heroes, they died as.
Then a wave catches the King’s own Karve. He thought himself ahead enough.
He was wrong.
“Oh, the terror!” his brother cries as the boat lurches upright, some but not he, falling into oceans wreckless waves.
The air is filled with screams and battle, and theirs is lost around them.
Sigmund deems the battle glorious and knows he will sing about it forever.
With blood rage, the ringing clang of swords beat on the beasts armor-like-flesh. The din is deafening, but not a slice or puncture does damage, but death is dealt with each of the creatures blows in drowning and crushing. A few are chewed in half and ripped like paper. Many parts lay among the debris.
Yet the Vikings fight on.
Death be yet another adventure, or at worst dinner with a boastful one-eyed god.
For this, they do not fear its advance.
They move to meet their destiny.
“The Jötunn bastard will not stop though either. He will kill until his treasure is returned,” it is an obvious comment by the man to Sigmund’s left. The man who will die to stand by his side. They are brothers. Now the last that battled from the same womb.
“And I should have taken his head also,” says King Sigmund, the Vǫlsungr, the son of Rerir.
They look on the battle with stoicism, soon the giant will be done with the rest and on to them. Forced to join the fray.
But first, the King makes a plan. Death may be glorious, but not necessary.
He watches the battle from the bow of his longship. The boat hangs low in the water under the weight of his theft and of the abuse sustained already. A great treasure lays under his feet, one that he has no plans on letting the giant carry back to where it was got.
In Sigmund’s hand, the sword called Bran.
The blade glows blue with the power of Odin and is shaped like a bolt of lightning. It was made to kill Gods and Sigmund flexes his fist around the pommel in readiness to kill this ungodly creation.
On his head is the Helm of Awe. On his chest is the golden mail.
His heart is battle-hardened, and his face is set in rigid acknowledgment, he may dine with Odin today, but first things first.
“For glory, brother,” and with a salute, dives into the freezing cold waters beneath him.
With a nod to foolhardy bravery, his brother follows.