Thorvald, Son of Snaggi

THORVALD, SON OF SNAGGI

Thorvald, son of Snaggi, son of Thorbrecht, son of Thorgeld, son of Johan, has a heavy heart and a tale of woe.I met my bride to be on a sunny June day, just after a beautiful snow, with skies as clear and blue as could be asked for. But no matter how blue and beautiful and wide the skies, they were no match for the blue of my bride’s eyes, nor the beauty of her face, or the grandeur of her life.Our’s was a love like new fallen snow before man nor creature sets a print upon it.  Pristine, unmolested, pure and sparkling.I was the son of a merchant, son of a good hard working man in Gotland. We had coin.  We lived life with a certain measure of ease and comfort.  But we owned no one, and no one owned us. We spoke our minds, read books, practiced fighting in the Town militia, and lived.As my bride and my’s wedding day approached, she came up with the idea of visiting a fortune teller to see about our future together.  Confident in a good outcome, we walked hand in hand to the old crone’s hut, laid down two denarius, and asked the old women how many children we would have.She said none.We asked her how many years together as man and wife we would have.She said none.

We asked her how many months, days, even hours we would have together as man and wife.

She said none.

My bride wept.  I became angry, turned over the old crone’s table and stormed out of her yurt. As we left, the old witch pointed a finger at me, and laughing, said that my bride and I would never part, and never be as one.

I dismissed this as the ravings of an old women, and prepared for our wedding day.  But my bride held on to the prophesy as one holds onto a cold.  It began to eat at her.  It cast a cloud.  But forward we went.

On our wedding day, the skies were blue, snow had just fallen, and everyone in the Town who was anyone came to watch us be joined.  My bride was happy, and the cloud seemed to have lifted.

Our cleric of Odin began the ritual, and I said my vows.  As you, the reader, would predict, clouds began to form off in the horizon.  I admonished the cleric to speak faster, but his cadence remained constant.  As it came to my bride’s vows, she began.  She smiled, and the world was new and fresh and nothing could be wrong.  Except for me.  I was wrong. The world is a terrible place.

The winds picked up, lightning from Thor’s hammer crashed amongst us, and my bride’s voice faltered. Suddenly, three spirits whirled out of the maelstrom, and the town began to fight them.  Sword on sword, screams of terror, it was an epic battle.  A battle for the tables of Valhalla.  Not a man of the Town paused, and soon, the three spirits were but one.  My father advanced on the last spirit, who revealed itself in the visage of my mother, Helga Springton.  My father had not seen her living for a score, having died in my birth.  He hesitated, and that was all the spirit needed to end my father Snaggi.  Then the spirit turned to me.

I charged.  I was vengeful.  All of my score years with my father came pouring out in my sword.  I wailed on the spirit, and had it down to its last. I was not to be denied.  As a last desperate act, the spirit caused a cloud burst of swirling smoke and darkness to envelop us.  But I would not be denied.  I spied the spirit’s shape in the cloud, and drove my sword into its midsection.  The cloud dissipated in an instant, and the spirit held in front of it, in long beastly talons, my bride.  The spirit had used my bride as a shield, and I had slain my bride.  With her last breath, my bride had a look of sadness, or despair, as if asking why I had harmed her.  Then the light of the world went out.

Still grasping my brides now still corpse was the old fortune teller, with mirth in her eyes and laughter in her throat. She pointed to my bride, my light of the world, my Ingrid, and said the spirits could not permit such a pure love to exist in the world, as it would encourage mankind to hope and strive.  That could not be allowed.  She then reminded my that my Ingrid and I would never part, and then the spirit vanished, with a trail of laughter.

My Ingrid and I have not parted these last three years, nor will we ever.

Thus is the first verse of the Song of Thorvald, son of Snaggi.

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