Torvaldsland Mysts Ch. 01bysimply_cyn©
The slender girl stood in the temple of Kassau, encased in a cap of white fur of the northern sea sleen. It was almost unbearable in the heat of the close confines of those pressed within, the heavy clouds of incense adding to her misery and boredom. She removed the cape to expose blonde tendrils that hung down her back, threaded with filaments of golden wire and scarlet yarn. Glancing around for some diversion, she seemed quite bored with the whole spectacle that was supposed to be paying homage to the Priest-Kings that apparently lived in the Sardar. But Karina was more apt to believe in the gods of Odin and Nordic barbarians which many of the people from Torvaldsland chose to follow over those pressed close around her, lifting their hands and prayers in hopes of the blessings from the mountains.
Yawning, she glanced around once again, her eyes falling upon a large dark-haired barbarian a few rows back. His blue eyes seemed locked on her, his gaze steady as he seemed to appraise her quickly from where he stood and Karina's eyes narrowed, chin tipping haughtily as she quickly put him in place with her icy stare, dismissing his tall broad form with a toss of her hair and turned her attention elsewhere.
A slight smile creased the Torvaldslander's lips as she turned away, knowing, in time, that she would never turn from him again. And then his eyes scanned the crowd once more before he pushed through the crowd back the way in which he had come. He had gotten a close enough glance and now it was time to prepare for the surprise that awaited the temple. Tyre Aquinoth was a tall Torvie, like most of the Norsemen from his geographical area and he stood somewhat over most but scattered about the temple there were others and as he took his position by one of the great doors that led into the temple, he nodded his head towards the others in preparation for what was to come.
As the High Initiate turned to face the congregation there seemed to be a tense, hushed feeling to the crowd. Karina looked around a bit and then towards the Initiate, standing on her toes encased in black shoes a bit, trying to look over the shoulders of the woman in front of her. "Praises be unto the Priest-Kings!" he called out. His cry was repeated by the Initiates around him.
Suddenly the temple around them seemed to explode in a cry of alarm and a bustle of fear as a roar of laughter was heard resounding through the throngs of now horrified onlookers. Hurling the shroud that kept his true identity hidden, and to the stupefied horror of the High Initiate, Jal Karun, High Jarl in the northern part of Torvaldsland leapt to his feet, towering an impressive seven feet in height, a great curved single-bladed ax of hardened iron clutched in his right hand. "Praise be to Odin!" he cried.
The temple was suddenly filled with the beams of the doors being thrown into place, locking the screaming and frightened people within. The cloaks of the men of Torvaldsland were hurled from them in revelation as the magnitude of this sudden raid was made known, each one holding at least one of the great axes known as weapons of choice by the huge Norsemen of the North. The enormity of the situation was suddenly apparent as these men seemed to become a vision of terror from one's darkest nightmares; eyes wild, screaming, striking amongst themselves almost blinding with their axes.
Jal Karun ran to jump up on the altar itself, the High Initiate seemingly frozen, disbelieving as the giant Norsemen took over his sacred temple. Then, with the great ax, Karun, with a single sweep, cut the head from the body of the High Initiate, spattering blood across the altar as he turned, facing the fleeing crowd with no where to run. "The men of Torvaldsland are upon you!"
The following moments seem to be in suspense of time ... blood-curdling screams pierced the air, silence filled with the heavy swing of an axe, crunching bone and splitting flesh punctuated by the whistling sound of swinging axes. There is no true description of the horror that was suspended in those moments. The smell of blood mingling with the heavy scent of incense seemed to choke those scrambling to find relief, their instincts carrying them to the doors only to be cut down or forced back to the center of the temple where they huddled together in frightened groups. The blood-shed seemed to come to a halt as the looting began ... golden plates and vessels tossed into cloaks and strewn furs, sheets of gold pried loose from the walls beneath torn tapestries. The temple was quickly and efficiently stripped of its golden riches meant to salute the Priest-Kings, becoming, instead, prized loot for the High Jarl barking out orders to his men.
And then, as the cries of misery rose from those gathered still, Karun turned his great axe, using the handle to draw before him, in the dirt floor of the temple, what is known as a bond-maid circle. There were wails of understanding from the women trapped within the temple and cries of misery lifted from those that loved them. "Females to the far wall!" he barked out and amid their cries of horror and desperation, they ran, trembling, to follow his will before they, too, were cut down with the axes surrounding them. Then Karun, himself, began the trek down the line of weeping, trembling women ... stripping from then what he could add to his loot of stolen treasures: jewelry, bracelets, necklaces, rings, purses filled with coins. As he trod along the line, he barked for those older, less beautiful, to quickly return to their place in the middle of the temple, their cries of relief heard as they hurried back to their loved ones. But behind, in their places, stood the younger, more beautiful specimens that had graced the temple's inner walls of sanctuary this day. Karun's taste was flawless. Among them stood the blonde girl known as Karina.