Once we return, again, friends to the tales of the mighty companions, Borga, the pigless, Warg the one harmed, Jolnir the bold, and the whacking, mighty giant, Hrokkvir, “Tree” with his druid, Ragnar. As Grond, recently, daughter of Trond, and Uhtred, wolf brother, attended the carcass of fallen Kraken, the three brave companions, perhaps desiring to redeem their glory to those of their peer who had just almost single handed slaughtered the great beast, decided to open the 3rd door themselves.
As per the pattern, a circular room with a well at its center greeted them along with the ever creeping vines that stalled their progress. This time, the temperature dropped as they entered, and ice and snow blanketed the ground as they tread. Bold Jolnir climbed them and ascended to the ceiling, even mindful of the treasure, and the monster guarding it. Wise Ragnar slipped on his ring that made the cold now his friend, while Borga, her back against the wall, stood sentinel with her bow. The companions wearily approached the well that no doubt lead to to Jotunheim, land of the frost giants, when suddenly, before Ragnar could summon might whacker “Tree” a troll materialized before the companions roaring its battle cry!
The Pigless pummeled the creature with all her arrows, but seemingly could not get through its thick armor, while Jolnir jumped down from the vines and positioned himself to advantage. Warg, in an effort to stall the beast placed alka upon alka upon the ground, and summoned a mighty gust of wind to push the creature back into them and against the far wall. The brief respite was all Ragnar needed to call upon the earth to summon mighty “Tree”, who whacked the troll with a mighty thundering blow. Warg cast more alkas and again backed the troll into it, where, still dazed him Tree’s mighty blow succumbed to its wounds dying only mere minutes since the beginning of combat! The vines receded and the room shook, as a pair of gloves fell from the ceiling. With nimble fingers, Jolnir snatched it out of the air and the companions retreated out of the room.
According to Warg, the pair of gloves were the property of the wolf brothers, and any who were not of their sect would be treated as thieves. At once all agreed that this a treasure only worthy of Uhtred and proceeded to the fourth door where they were plunged into completely darkness! Lighting lanterns, they proceeded with vigilance into the room, with dauntless Jolnir once again ascending to the ceiling on vines. Such unnatural darkness could only mean that the well doubtlessly could only lead to Svartalfheim, home of the dark elves!
As Jolnir reached the well while the others hung back to provide illumination suddenly a blast of darkness enveloped him and blinded him. To the companions dismay, they could still not spot their foe, though they knew well enough from experience that they were not alone in the room. Gradually, the wily enemy snuck up upon the brave Vikings and one by one their world was plunged into complete blindness as the invisible nightmare struck. Ragar, the first to suffer the mind assault lost control of his spell. “Tree” disappeared from the battle. Sight gone, and increasingly desperate, Ragnar, Borga, and Warg retreated him the room, attempting to shut the door to at least try to slow down the mighty demon pursuing them. Alas, they were too late! The thing escaped the room pursuing its blind prey.
In their most desperate of hour, Borga’s keen sight and tactics proved true, and in the light of the outer room from shadows reflected upon the far wall, she managed to spot the horrible creature hovering the air.
“There!” She pointed to a spot between the three outside the room, before moving to the far wall out of the radius of its blind blasts. The mighty beast that had almost bested them turned out to be a mere grinning dark pixie!
The brief signal was all Ragnar and and Warg needed, as both leapt into the air casting alkas, which luckily just reached the small winged sprite, impeding it, and, ironically, blinding it. From there it was quick work again to summon mighty Tree to crush the little devil into a small stain on the ground.
Inside the vines receded, and indeed, it was only again through Jolnir’s deft catch that the treasure did not descend back into the well. It was a mask, which Warg claimed.
All in all, as their tale of this day was recounted over mugs of mead, the great lesson wise skalds often tie in for young warriors: the size of the enemy indeed does not its danger speak!