“We will find him.” Kóri ran his tongue over his dry lips, admiring his warlike
bride. “Your father will be sated with the battle mead you serve.”
- Awaiting Valhalla
- Bóthildr Smith's daughter
- Bóthildr Warrior
- Iron Age
- Randulfr Ragnarsson
- Gudhlek Eriksson, father (deceased)
- Jorunn Sigurdsdotter, mother (deceased)
- Saga Gudhleksdotter, sister (deceased)
- Gunnemar Gudhleksson, brother (deceased)
- Erik Gudhleksson, brother (deceased)
- Sigurd Gudhleksson, brother (deceased)
- Kóri Brandrsson, husband
- Vigar Kórisson, son
- What's your name
- Bóthildr Gudhleksdotter, which means Bóthildr, daughter of Gudhlek
- How old are you
- I have seen nine-teen midwinter feasts
- What do you look like
- I have blonde hair down to my shoulders and green eyes. Kóri calls my hair golden and my eyes 'vivid green', but he is a poet at heart
- Where were you at the start of the story
- Fleeing from my burned down village and my dead father
- What did you want, when the story started
- To restore my family's honour by killing the foreign mare who murdered my father
- Who are your parents
- My father was Gudhlek Eriksson, smith in Grotjby. He was killed in an attack by foreign raiders. My mother was Jorunn Sigurdsdotter, and a talented merchant. She wasted away in a sickness that almost took my father as well
- What was your education like
- Nanna taught me herbs and basic cures, my mother taught me to count, keep a household and magic, and my father taught me to shoot a bow, hunt and trap
- Do you make friends easily
- Yes, I think I do
- Do you have a best friend
- Arna Gormsdotter. We grew up together, and when she lost her husband during the attack, Kóri and I took her and her unborn child in
- Can you get people to do what you want them to? If so, how
- Not really, unless it is very important to me
- Do you have scars? Where did they come from
- Several, from when I helped fight of the Dál Riatan invaders
- Can you navigate without getting lost? To what degree
- On the ocean, you mean? Some, but I have only been out to fish, never on longer trips
- Can you bake a cake
- Yes, of course. My favourite is a nuts-and-blackberry
- Do you know how to perform basic maintenance on a car
- A what?
- Is there something you do that most other people don’t
- Most women do not know how to fight. Most people do not know how to weave good luck
- What is the most formative moment in your past
- I am unsure. Either the first visit from Kóri where I realised what being his wife would mean, the death of my mother, or the death of my father
- Do you have any phobias
- What are some of your bad habits
- I crack my knuckles and hum to myself
- Do you have a moral code? To what extent are your actions dictated by this code
- Of course. Honour and the family is more important than anything else
The axe smashed through the Dál Riatan’s jaw, cleaving it. Kóri tore the axe free, spinning to attack the enemy coming up behind him. Green eyes in a face streaked with dirt and blood met his, before Bóthildr pulled her spear out of the man behind him.
“Get back.” Kóri used the momentary lull to frantically look for an escape route. “You will die!”
“Then may Freja take me.” Bóthildr’s eyes flashed in anger. “This is my fight as much as yours.”
He cursed silently over stubborn womenfolk, but the moment had passed. All he could do was pray. “Back to back. If you die, I die.”
“I will not lose you.” She turned her back towards his, close enough for him to protect her—and she him—but distant enough that they both could move. With Kóri’s focus on his axe, he felt more than saw the man charging Bóthildr. He and Bóthildr took the battlefield on together, back to back. The rain invaded his cloak, his chainmail, his undershirt, leaving his hair stuck to his neck.
Bóthildr growled, taking off on light feet, gripping the spear tightly enough for her knuckles to pale.
“What …? Bóthildr!” He followed her, scanning the enemies ahead. Her tense back and singular attention convinced him she was not fleeing. He wiped blood and rain out of his eyes with the back of his hand.
Bóthildr growled again, thrusting the spear into a man fighting with Hallbjórn. The man stumbled back in shock, and Hallbjórn tossed her a surprised glance.
“He is mine.” She spat in the Dál Riatan’s face. Around his neck a bronze cross glittered in the few rays of sun breaking through the dark clouds. “You killed my father!”
Hallbjórn dodged out of her way with an approving grin, flanking her right with his shield locking with hers. Kóri flung himself in the way of the Dál Riatan’s sword, blocking it with his axe and joining her on the left. The two skilled warriors on either side of her granted her the chance to sacrifice defence for offence. She turned the spear in her hand minutely. While the thrust was shallow, it sliced into the tunic and stained the iron. The man’s dirty face displayed shock and surprise, and he seemed to be pulling his blows. Because Bóthildr was a woman? Insulting and irrelevant. She was of Ranrike.
The Dál Riatan ducked under their weapons, displaying uncanny skill. His early hesitations faded in the face of opposition, and a single blow cut into Bóthildr’s ribs. She slammed the shield into her foe, driven by searing rage and pure will.
Other defenders joined the single Dál Riatan, but more Nordmenn also joined the three. With a final thrust of her spear, Bóthildr impaled her foe. Glaring down at his dead body she leaned on the spear and pinned him to the ground. She ripped the bronze cross from his neck, holding it high in triumph. Gudhlek Smith would rest in glory, his death avenged.