Heorogar, son of Halfdane.

Fear had set in amongst his men now.
There was no way out for them but a violent end
At the hands of the demons spirit bound to protect this place.
Even now the undead hags, eyes black as coal, rustled in the dark mazes of rough hewn tunnels that surrounded the crypt.
Teeth and claws like knives, skin pale and hard as granite, killers of men.
He remained seated on the cold ground, eyes closed, legs crossed, sword across his lap.

A rustle from behind him.
A young man rushed forward wild-eyed to the northernmost sarcophagus,
Fear of death overwhelming common sense.
The great sword Bezra lay across the top of the sarcophagus
Its sharp edges glittered in the torch light.
The young man, Sigurd, son of Ecglaf, reached for the fabled weapon.
His gauntlet just grazed Bezra's hilt or perhaps it never touched at all.
In a shimmer of blue, the light in his eyes went out,
The smell of thunder filled the air.
His body crumpled to ground without so much as a whisper.
The great ones had spoken from that place beyond.

The others shook in fear, a miserable and broken lot.
No help for ones damned by the gods.
He sat as his men murmured amongst themselves.
Some sobbed; the reality of their situation sinking in.
He would die here, they all would.
Of that he was certain.

The four sarcophagi, laid out at the ends of a raised marble cruciform,
Beckoned with promises of false salvation.
He was not fool enough to seek the contents of the sarcophagi in this cavern
Let the great ones rest.

Their presence here, though unintentional
Was a transgression against the long dead.
They were not pure, not worthy of the right.
The gods, long his allies, had turned away from him.

He closed his eyes and called on the Old Gods
To preserve his soul from the wretched evil that tainted this place.
He prayed that his vorpal sword would be able to bite
The hardened skin of the demonesses.

Behind him screams rang out;
Calls to arms and unanswered cries for mercy.
The unearthly voices of the dark ones rose above the clamor
Chilling him to the bone.
In his mind's eye he saw their visages.
Faces carved in the maws of hell itself.
The sounds of bones snapping and the
tearing of sinew from sinew danced in the air around him.
His men called for him, but he answered not.

Soon the screams died down and the din of battle grew quiet.
His men, stalwart in action and brave to the last, perished.
The smell of offal filled his nostrils.
The demon hags were about him now.
They whispered his name "Heorogar, son of Halfdane...."
They lusted for the blood of a hero. To feast on his very soul.

He rose from the dust
Eyes opened, he thought of the warm hearth of his home and
his rage boiled over.
Heorogar, son of Halfdane, lunged into the darkness
His blade tasting demon flesh, singing a song older than the Geats.

Posted by Pernicious at October 15, 2006 12:20 PM

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