Curse of Etter. Fantasy novel.
Year 5746 from the creation of the world. Land of Etherrlings.
(Sorry. Translated by Google from original rus lang)
Author Alexander Krokhmal (BagaturKhan)
- You called me, my-king? - A voice was heard from the giant doors.
King Hruntin Haraldsson was finishing to sign a new letter of appointment Jarl eastern province. It was necessary to consider not only these issues, but also a petition by the merchants from the southern territories. They complained of higher taxes. The king immediately put down his pen and paper, and turned back.
In his chambers he entered his own native son Athelstan. He was clothed in a solid coat of mail. On his head gaped conical hat, which was the main protection for the head of the palace guards. They were the best armor in the kingdom.
- You can not officially - Haraldsson said, turning to his son - I need to talk.
- What is the father? - Questioned Athelstan - Something urgent?
- Yes, I think - said the king, and his hand pointed at a small empty seat next to his desk - Sit down next to me.
Athelstan obeyed. He took off his helmet from his head and went into the office. Then, bowing slightly to his father, he sat down on a chair. Armor it was heavy, and the chair of such a sudden load almost cracked.
- I would like to reveal to you one of his secret - Haraldsson said, putting his sinewy hand to her son's shoulder.
- Secret? - I inquired in amazement Athelstane - I did not know what more you keep any secrets from your family?
- It is - the king responded Hruntin - This is the last of the mysteries. Your mother already knows. Understand, this is very important.
After these words Haraldsson rose from his chair and walked to the side of a giant bookcase, which was glazed. Right next to it hung a huge painting of the victory over the Crimson Jarl. It reflected the greatest historical event Etterlingov powers. On that day, a young Haraldsson troops defeated the rebel forces of the Scarlet Jarl, who wanted to separate from their possession of the kingdom. Scarlet Jarl worshiped dark gods, and even thinking of introducing a new religion. But his plans were in vain.
Hruntin came to a picture of her and deftly pulled off the wall. He put it on the floor and then pointed a finger at his son a strange hole in the stone wall. Inside the wall was a small door, the size of a cage for small exotic birds. Haraldsson took from the pocket of his long robe small key. Then he put it in the hole of the door.
- You did not tell me of hiding behind the picture - surprise said Athelstane.
The king did not answer, but merely continued to turn a key, intending to open the lock. Soon the door was open, and Haraldsson instantly took out a strange box. He put it on the table right in front of Athelstan.
- What is it? - Asked the king's son, with a puzzled look on his father.
- Something interesting - responded Haraldsson.
Having said these words, he immediately opened the box. What he saw there Athelstan, plunged it into the wildest amazement. He could not have imagined that his father keeps a relic in his castle.
She looked like a scarlet magic stone that was used by the ancient priests. It was all used up by some unknown symbols. This Athelstan did not understand the language. But he felt emanating from the stone, a strange energy that somehow mysteriously inspired fear. Athelstan trembled with emotion, surging out of nowhere at him. Son of the king's eyes widened in fear and amazement.
- I found it during a campaign against the Eastern giants - said Haraldsson - Then we made a campaign against the king of snow giants. Do you remember? I finished this miserable worm. But before his death, the king of the giants said to me that, so I did not touch debris. A strange expression, noticed? He said that the chip will bring only death and after siih words he threw the hoof. I had no idea what he said, until he found the box in his cave. Strange thing ...
- This stone? - Questions Athelstan - You found him in that cave?
- Yes - it responded to the king - his name. I disobeyed the words of the leader of the giants. I took the box itself as a trophy. But then .... then ... with time, I began to feel a strange force of it. At first, I woke up in the morning and suddenly saw his own ghost, who was standing right next to the wardrobe.
Haraldsson pointed to a bookcase, near which was located hiding place and with the casket.
- Can you imagine? - Continued Hruntin - Own ghost. When I looked into his eyes, I saw that he had not. They were taken out. I was watching my own disfigured and blinded double, and then it quickly disappeared. Then at night, I suddenly heard a strange voice, which also resembled my own. He repeated the words of the king of giants ... He said that chip will bring only death. And last night, when your mother and I would like to indulge in mutual love, I suddenly discovered that instead of it looking at me strange creature, just like me ... I saw her dark eyes ... They were like a bottomless abyss. And out of his mouth it could be seen pitted with sores and language. I recoiled, your mother seriously frightened. I have so much time suffer from this disease. And in reality and dream. I'm tired of hiding. And I told her everything.
- You think that's all because of this stone? - Athelstan asked in amazement. - Do you think that all the evil in it?
- I'm sure of it, - said the king, - And so, I want you to get rid of this stone. Take it to the Earl Ragnar in Purvill. Tell him to bury it so deep, that no mortal could not find. I know that the damn stone you need to take to him. He has already had to deal with similar subjects ... He knows how to do them.
- You should have to listen to that giant - the son said, - Why did you not say to me before?
- I do not know - Hruntin said - Maybe this is again due to the magic of the stone the devil. Please, get rid of it. Take it to Ragnar.
- I'll do it - bowing, said Athelstane - I'll do it to you never saw.
- So fulfill my order now! - He said with some anger Hruntin - Save me from him! But you do not have to touch him ... Do not you dare do that! Do not dare!
After these words Hruntin closed casket. A strange cold energy emanating from the stone nonetheless not disappeared.
- No need to worry about the father - son said, - I now go to Purvill.
- Did so - for more than a soft voice whispered Haraldsson - so did ... This stone should disappear.
- Veleta send to you a healer? - Questions Athelstan.
- No! - Cut Hruntin - No doctors. Just fulfill my order.
Athelstan seized the box and bowed to his father, immediately headed for the door. Redbeard king again sat down at his desk. His son took this demonic artifact, and now maybe all these visions will be gone forever. Athelstan of doors closed, and the king was forced to go back to his state affairs.
But yet, as soon as he looked at the petition of the merchants, it is not found there is no text. Letters it was not simple. It was like some unknown magic.
- Great Wotan, what is it? - He growled fiercely Hruntin.
He shook his head slightly, then looked back at the paper. The petition is still no letters. It was completely blank sheet of paper. No text on it simply did not exist.
- Damn stone - swore Haraldsson - Is it still valid?
Haraldsson realized that hallucinations have not disappeared. Initially, these own twins, and now and it is. King pulled a blank sheet, the former once the petition of the merchants from the southern lands. He was horrified to find that all the papers lying on his desk, were completely empty. No text. Again, no letters or symbols. No signatures and even seals.
"Now konsilarii will understand", - said the King to himself, "If I'm going crazy, it really probably my advisors are in good health Let Jarl Revel check documents.".
Haraldsson got up from the table and was about to follow him out of the office. But he could not do it. He just was not allowed.
As soon as the king turned back toward the door, he found that he was not alone in his office. Right before his eyes there was still the same private double that chased him for a long time. He was a hair's breadth Hruntina reminded the king, but only one detail betrayed the difference. The eye in this ghost was not. For a place in his eyeballs holes could be seen silver coins with the image of King Hruntina. The Ghost smiled Haraldsson. His smile began to expand, and eventually spread to the whole face. Roth ghost torn, exposing all his teeth, which suddenly became noticeably sharpened. Double Hruntina faster and faster monsters acquired traits.
- But who are you? - With a wild horror king inquired.
He abruptly pulled out of its sheath small dagger and put it in front of him. He believed that he could defend against this unknown creature.
- The question is not who I am - rustled monster - But who are you? Protector of his kingdom. Or his destroyer.
With these words, the monster put their arms bent forward and threw a powerful magical wave Hruntina ago. Haraldsson flew across his office and with all the force crashed into a stone wall. His head was shattered in an instant. The body of the once mighty king Hruntina collapsed on the floor and no more signs of life.
- He thinks that the stone would hide from us - smiling maliciously, snarled monster - he can not even imagine how foolish he did ... But then ... He's just a man.
- Forward! Forward! - Enthusiastically commanded Rogvold Fairhair, spurring a white horse - Forward!
His fighting the beast, who was called Sfaltenom with whinny raced forward. He was the only one of the mounts that wore armor. However, he reminded his master. Rogvold always loved the shells that were making the northern blacksmiths. They did such a strong armor that could save a few enemy crossbow bolts.
The guards, who were traveling today with the earl, seeing his frantic speed, also followed his example and spurred their horses.
- Where are you headed so, my Jarl? - Torgeir grinned at arms, who was riding behind his master.
- There is where you are! - Earl Rogvold responded, a second wrapping head back - Ragnar we've been waiting for! Great Gods Fjords, I was so hungry, that would be devoured, and all of you!
- Ehhh .... - and heard the voice of the red-bearded and smiley Sveneld - I'm looking forward to delicious food, incredibly tasty mead and redheads busty girls! Hurry to see it all. Ehhh ....
- Still have time! - Came the reply from Rogvold - We are there for a good two day visit will be! And will drink and with all sexy girls!
- You do not rest so loins! - Here I began another combatant on behalf Tukvald - Where are you girls again, then? Look, your Morgenstern will soon become very lean!
Wild laughter of the other soldiers almost deafened Jarl Rogvold. Tukvald could boldly joke.
The guards had already crept up to the sturdy wooden bridge that led to the other side of the river. A little more, and get to the soldiers Rogvold possessions Jarl Ragnar. It was the frontier land Etterlingov. There were no mountains, and extended great and vast plain. Turning to the other side, the terrorists drove past the stately stones, scribbled runes. They were lined up in a circle and served as an altar for the priests of the ancient gods. Now there was no one with them.
If you drive a little bit more, it is already beginning to be seen magnificent city Jarl Ragnar. It was a border town Purvill, which once belonged to the tribes skasonov. But the king did Haraldsson Bear land of their own tribes, and local people ordered to kill. In Purville King set Jarl Ragnar. And just today it was heading to his cousin Rogvold Fairhair, Jarl of Alfhida. He had not seen the precious family member, and to this day is bound to be significant for the ruler and the valiant Alfhida viceroy. Day long-awaited meeting.
- Something quiet, like Arngrim between the buttocks - Tukvalds voice was heard - I do not like starts.
Now he was not joking, and his voice, on the other hand, sounded like something strange and a little insecure.
Rogvold tried to listen. City Jarl Ragnar was already pretty close. But really nothing could be heard. What a strange, nowhere grafted and frightening silence. Druzhinniki slightly slow down the speed of the fighting beasts. Rogvold found inside some signs of emerging fear. It is a strange feeling suddenly began to increase strongly.
- And indeed, something did not hear anybody - said Rogvold Fairhair, looking around - usually the noise Purvilla almost deafening, even from afar. Mirandesanskie traders out there who are in bulk, their cries even a dragon slaughtered.
- Yes, we remember four years ago with Rogvold traveled here, - he heard the voice cuirassier Torgeir - There has been a lot of people. Even at the altar, we saw four of the priests who conducted their magical rites. Tukvald rights. Something is wrong.
"Something is wrong," - murmured the voice in the head of Jarl Rogvold, "Something happened .... something bad."
- I remember that we are still in the distant past on Arngrim went - there was a thundering voice Sveneld - I still remember how they cut our entire village. All gnawed even the bones have left. When our cavalry close to the settlement, was almost the same dead silence. I still remember her ... And then we went to the village and saw a bunch of vile bodies ... ...
- Do you think, at Jarl Ragnar someone made a raid? - The question here Torgeir, killing companion - But who?
- Ragnar Lands are bordering with Mirandesa - said here Rogvold Fairhair - But our king is not in war with mirandesans. We have a peace treaty with the thirty-ninth year. Had he decided to break it? No ... something is clearly wrong.
- Can Arngrim do it? - Heard voices and other warriors. - Maybe it's them again raid?
- I'm starting to seriously worry - Sveneld said, - You know, I still can not forget the village ....
- Spurred the horses! - Rogvold commanded, drew his sword from its sheath, - Let's see what happened in Purville. Now is not the time to speculate! It is better to see for ourselves!
- Wotan help us - quietly whispered Tukvald, he spurred his horse.
Riders greatly accelerated. Many of the warriors drew their swords and povyhvatyvali due sinuses battle ax. Any thoughts on the festival and the sweet pleasures immediately disappeared from their heads. With possessions Jarl Ragnar something happened, and it's something that was clearly not good. Rogvold felt a strange surge of cold, which soon covered his entire body. Despite the fact that he was at full gallop, Earl felt inside an ice block. Goosebumps ran over his skin. He pochuvstval pungent smell of smoke.
After passing a few vents, Rogvold realized that it turned out to be a combatant can not be right. Languages ??Jarl Ragnar were attacked. As soon came to the city, Earl saw that the gates were destroyed.
City Purvill by King Haraldsson was surrounded by a wooden, but the strong ramparts. To strengthen the working day and night thousands of slaves, whom the king soldiers drove from the north. Purvill it has been strong for many armies or enemy hordes. But now Rogvold saw only the charred ruins. The whole town is just underway. The smell of smoke was so strong that one of the combatants Rogvold terrible cough. His lungs could not withstand such a malicious stream.
Drive through the broken gate, retainer Rogvold were in the city. Now the thought of idols and luxury completely left the warriors head. Their eyes were focused, and weapons ready for a possible battle.
Rogvold felt anger rising within him. It was the possession of his cousin. He who destroyed the city, should bear the terrible punishment.
- Nowhere is killed, - a voice Torgeir who closely surveyed the ruins Purvilla.
Indeed, not a single dead body was found. The city was burning, but its inhabitants mysteriously disappeared. They seemed to be here and not there. But Rogvold knew it was not true.
When they reached the palace Jarl Ragnar Rogvold discovered that he survived. Surprisingly, because the enemy had burned everything here. But the palace meanwhile has remained completely intact and did not even have damage.
Here are just a statue of King Hruntin Haraldsson on the area was broken into pieces. Enemies seen hated enemy Etterlingov, once so fiercely destroyed it.
- Great Wotan, - said Rogvold saw the wreckage of the once majestic monument - Whoever did this obviously hates the great of King Haraldsson.
- Why they left the palace in one piece? - Amazement said Torgeir - Strange it all ....
- I have it all starts to irritate - a voice was heard Tukvalda.
Warrior Berserker is now looked sullen cemetery ghouls. His eyes glowed all fierce fire. It would seem that he is now ready to break and destroy everything around her two-handed ax.
The riders dismounted by Jarl order. They have carefully checked their weapons. Horses were told to leave the square. It was not just mounts and trained these intelligent creatures. They did not even have to tie. They knew his masters voice and appearance, and always come to the rescue.
Jarl soldiers left one of the young warriors to protect their animals. It is not yet sufficiently well proved his loyalty, and Alfhida Bishop was going to check it.
- Ingvar! - She said in a commanding tone Rogvold - Watch the horses. Meets the head.
- Yes, my Jarl, - responded the one who named Ingvar while bowing, - I'm glad to help you.
Soldiers with weapons drawn proceeded to the huge front door, leading to the palace Jarl Ragnar. Despite the feeling of hunger and some fatigue, the soldiers moved forward with a confident and determined look.
"Oh, we could not celebrate a feast" - thought to myself, Sveneld, "But there is nothing in the world ... Eternal Battle dishes even more than here."
- Follow me, - ordered the earl Rogvold.
Voiiny almost came close to the door. They were slammed wide open. Strange ... After all, during a raid enemies usually left all the gates wide open. But here someone obviously waiting Rogvold and his comrades. Someone powerful already knew that he would come here.
Rogvold held his sword at the ready. He was ready for any attack. In his head Jarl already cranked plan, as will be possible to fight an opponent who emerges abruptly opened its gates from Ragnar's palace.
Suddenly the silence was interrupted by the neighing of the horses in the distance, behind the crowd of soldiers. These sounds are not published Rogvold horses. Earl and his vigilantes immediately turned back.
- To us someone jumps! - Ingvar abruptly shouted, pointing his spear on the street behind.
- All ready! - I shouted in all throat Rogvold - built in the shield wall!
- Ingvar Throw horses, come to us! - I heard a scream Sveneld.
This event is almost caught by surprise Jarl soldiers. Suddenly there was a thundering sound of the horn. This is even more alarmed many retainers. But the earl felt some relief in his chest. He knew it could not be enemies.
This horn and sound were long familiar Rogvold. Royal horn. King Hruntina Haraldsson Horn.
- Stop! - Shouted Rogvold - This horn Haraldsson.
- Indeed not enemies - he said Sveneld also hear the familiar sounds.
To the pillar at the door of the palace Ragnar soldiers approaching six heavily armored riders. One of them was clothed with a coat of armor from head to toe and red tunic with a dragon. He stood out among the other soldiers. In his hand was visible a long battle sword. The guards were dressed in ordinary mail. They held long spears.
Rogvold immediately recognized the face of the detachment commander. It was not just any royal court. They rode himself Athelstan, son Hruntina Haraldsson, and the Crown Prince of the Kingdom. Now he held the position of head of the palace of King Guard.
- Crown Prince granted - Torgeir said, - It is evident that something serious.
Riders past the ruined monument Hruntina and approached the crowded Rogvold retainers. Athelstan abruptly stopped his horse, and immediately dismounted. His weapons he did not let out of the hands.
The guards of the king also followed the example of the commander and poslezali with their horses.
- Athelstane! - Loudly said Rogvold, running forward to his old friend. - Athelstane!
His sword Earl put into the sheath, and then abruptly hugged fellow. Rogvold knew Athelstan a long time ago. Moreover, he was his mentor martial arts from his early youth. Children at Rogvold was not, and because he loved the boy like his own son. He could still remember every detail of his sword lessons.
- Rogvold Fairhair! You? - I asked the Crown Prince in amazement, - What are you doing here? What's going on here?
- This is what we would like to ask you, Your Highness, - a voice was heard Tukvalda - What happened here ... Jarl Ragnar possessions looted and devastated. Everything is burnt to ashes, okromya his mansion. Who did it - it is not known to any of us.
- Like me - he responded Athelstane - I come here on behalf of my father. Secret mission. We need to talk to Ragnar eye to eye. But I feel I have that this will not happen.
- And we came to stay with him - said it Rogvold - I have not seen your favorite cousin. He comments yarlstvo Hrolfu and arrived here with the best warriors. But everything went to pieces. We are extremely worried.
- In any case, you have to enter the palace and find out what happened to Ragnar, - Crown Prince said, - I need it urgently.
the palace gates appeared closed only from the outside. Rogvold believed that the enemy may be hiding in the monastery of Ragnar. And he immediately threw all extraneous thoughts, when he saw the giant doors start to open. Opened unto them extremely slow and creaked badly.
- Weapons at the ready! - Athelstane shouted, raising his sword to the top.
The soldiers began to be built in the shield wall as fast as they could. It took them a few seconds to create an excellent barrier against enemies. Rogvold and Athelstan stood shoulder to shoulder and holding shields in front of him. Next to them was heard fierce growl berserk Tukval, Who was willing to turn any enemy into a pile of bones and meat.
- Wotan! Wotan! Wotan! - Heard the battle cries of warriors, to publish them in all throat - Wotan! Wotan!
Huge palace gates began to open up faster and faster. And then, because of them seemed a huge bloody warrior. He was clad only in a loincloth. His eyes gleamed scarlet magical fire. His whole body was covered with ritual tattoos, beard braided in three knots, and her hair disheveled, so that he was more like the inhabitants of Helheim, rather than per person.
In the hands of the furious and terrible berserk held a giant two-handed ax.
Fury of being amazed even Tukvald, who was considered the strongest druzhina Rogvold.
An enemy soldier growled so loudly that Rogvold nearly ruptured eardrums. The roar was so deafening that the remaining glass in the small window of the palace immediately cracked and split.
Seeing the combat system vigilantes Rogvold and Athelstan, berserker ax lifted up and at a breakneck speed rushed to the soldiers. Rogvold did not expect such a sudden turn of events. This was truly enormous berserker, two and a half meters tall.
But suddenly the enemy slowed their movement. There was a crossbow shot whistling. The arrow flew from outside the palace and drove straight into the back of the head berserk. The enemy immediately stopped and cried. From its head stuck an arrow, and hair stained with blood. But berserk nevertheless was still alive. Despite sticking out of their heads arrow, he growled again, like a wild buffalo.
Then the doors of the palace flew again and a crossbow bolt pierced the enemy's back. But the berserker did not pay any attention to it. He again continued his movement towards Rogvold and his comrades.
There Tukvald violated building wall panels. He threw the shield away and flew down ahead comrades. With breakneck speed and wild roar he approached berserk and with all his strength struck him with a battle ax at the enemy's torso. He drew a bloody line on the belly of the enemy. Berserk cried out in pain and dropped from the hands of heavy weapons. Then again Tukvald snarled and struck a crushing blow on the head with the enemy. Axe split berserk skull into two parts, and the blade stuck in his brain. Enemy Tukvaldu blood spattered face. That's just the enemy was not going to die at all. He was still alive, in spite of an ax sticking out of his skull.
The enemy fell to his knees and looked fiercely at his killer. Magical red lights in his eyes lit up even more.
- Well, who are you, what - furiously yelled Tukvald, and then picked up enemy weapons. A two-handed ax has seemed somewhat heavy for a warrior, but he sustained her weight. With fury buffalo Tukvald brought down the ax at the enemy's body and cut it into two halves.
- There was one enemy was two - heard the nervous laughter from the crowd Sveneld warriors - Heh-heh-heh.
Horrible Berserker was defeated. But Rogvold still concerned by the question. Who was shooting at the enemy from the palace?
- Well, who he is something, - said Athelstane, getting closer and closer toward the open doors of the palace Ragnar - Tukvald it a hundred times already killing had. But he is not to die.
- I have a loss in the wild, - heard the voice berserk Tukvalda - I told him in a crushing Bosko struck. And he kept moving and still looking at me. And with his eyes that something was wrong. Red lights some. Oh, bad smells ...
- I do not like it, - said here Rogvold - Smacks of something dangerous. Sorcery.
- Help .... - suddenly heard almost sepulchral voice from the side of the palace.
The doors were opened to him. None of them did not come out more. As soon it sounded that voice, pleading for help. A voice full of despair and madness. And the worst thing that Rogvold learned one who screamed. It was none other than Frolaf, butler earl Ragnar. Rogvold long known the old man. He served in the palace even during the time when Ragnar was not born.
- Frolaf there! - Cried Jarl Rogvold - Forward. Let's help him.
Judging by his voice, butler was shot and seriously with it. Soldiers with weapons drawn ran to the palace grounds of Ragnar. They immediately found themselves in honey Hall, where Jarl usually received visitors, consulted with his subjects, held courts and feasting. Honey Hall has not changed since the old days. The same wooden walls, the same candlesticks, the same great picture and tables. Here are just a few details distinguishes the new Hall on what Rogvold so often seen in the past.
Tables were completely empty, and everywhere on the floor was littered with bodies of soldiers slain Jarl Ragnar. In Ragnar had excellent crossbowmen. They were considered the best in the whole kingdom Etterlingov. When King Haraldsson announced a campaign against what a hostile tribes, he always called warriors yarlstva Ragnar. Their crossbows always found its target. In addition to firearms, the soldiers were famous Ragnar and superb craftsmanship in possession maces. Here are just now these valiant warriors were defeated.
Throughout honeys hall lay the dead body of the great warrior Ragnar.
- Great Wotan! - He shouted in horror Rogvold - Who did it? Who created such evil?
- Jotun .... - again suddenly heard the faint voice rannenogo cupbearer.
His body was somewhere among the fallen soldiers. Athelstane also knew that old man. Even in his early youth, he attended Ragnar possession, and had a long conversation with the butler about the magic and geography. Saki was not only a servant of the earl, he also defended his master from the enemy, kept his secrets and mysteries, and even in the absence Jarl ruled possessions. Frolaf was a master of all trades.
- Jotun .... - again heard the voice of the butlers, - They were Jotun ..... .....
Athelstan finally found the body of an old friend. Old sender Jarl was clad in chainmail combat. All the wounded, he was lying in front of a wooden chair, which once sat one of Ragnar's warriors. Frolaf dying, but still firmly held the sword in his hands. His eyes were already rolling.
- Jotun .... - staring into the void, croaked Frolaf - They clouded mind Ragnar ...
- What you said? - With astonishment Rogvold inquired, approaching the old man dies, - dizzy?
- How are you, old friend? - I heard the voice of Athelstan, who squatted down and hugged his old friend.
But Frolaf only cried out in pain. He was so wounded that every touch of his body seemed sharp dagger blow for him. Athelstan immediately let go of the old man, but remained sitting beside him.
- What happened here, Frolaf? - I cried Jarl Rogvold - Who attacked you? Why did you say that they clouded the mind of Ragnar?
- Because .... - I responded the old butler - Because .... it's all he killed.
- He killed? - With wild amazement I asked the earl.
The news came like a sharp blow hammer for him. Behind him he heard voices and puzzled vigilantes. If Ragnar really did it, who then burned the city and killed all its inhabitants? Then who perpetrate all this carnage? And who was the same terrible berserk, they finished off with a wild hard? And who finally fired to insane warrior in the back with a crossbow? In the minds of the soldiers brewing hundreds of questions.
- He killed? - Echoed Athelstane Jarl - How?
- He's waiting for you - a barely audible voice whispered Frolaf - He knew ... that you come here. But he needed .... you ... ... son of Athelstan Hruntina. You've brought something here ... right?
- How did he know? - Said the Crown Prince in horror, - How?
- Just give it to me, and I will spare your ing oslopasov - fiercely growled old Frolaf.
His voice was not weak and dying. On the contrary, the old man spoke firmly and with undisguised hatred terrible. Athelstan immediately recoiled from Frolafa. The Crown Prince and the soldiers around even more horrified when they saw that the old man's eyes filled with crimson fire. Pupils in them mysteriously disappeared.
- Just give me the ing stone, the son of a harlot port, - growled guttural voice Frolaf - Just give it to me! Or I'll break your little pozvonochnichki of your puny backs and break them into hundreds of pieces! I have to cut you like pigs!
the old man's voice became louder and louder. A second later he had already spread like a deafening roar.
- I'll eat your damned head completely! - Continued the roar of a monster - I chew your bones! I will cut your warriors a thousand different parts, and you ....
But to finish the old man had not possessed. Rogvold with full force thrust into his body combat blade. He could no longer listen to that horrible demonic roar.
- Teyvaz Kenaz! - Shouted in all throat Jarl Rogvold.
It was one of the spells that were once used by priests. Yes, in today's world, the real magic was not easy to find, but still Jarl Rogvold had some knowledge. He had many good teachers more at his own father. He had studied the ancient runes, and learned how to use them. Just today he has applied for the first time now fighting spell.
Once Rogvold plunged into the body of the old man his sword, the blade immediately suffused with dazzling blue flame. The flames were so bright that the soldiers around almost lost vision. It became brighter and brighter, and then there was a still more dazzling flash. The resulting shock wave after it, rasshvyryala all the soldiers in different directions.
Rogvold at breakneck speed crashed into one of the tables, narrowly after breaking his head. His blade has remained stuck in the body of a monstrous monster, the former once the old Frolafom.
When the witching effect has passed, the warriors have found that the old man is no more. His body is unknown manner evaporated. But with him gone and knows where Warblade Rogvold.
- Great Mother of the Gods! - Furiously blurted Athelstan, looking at this spectacle - Rogvold, and you know how to surprise.
- Rune magic - responded to this earl, - she taught me a long time ago. I thought that all these tales. But today was convinced of the opposite. That's just where zapropastilsya my sword ....
Warriors around yet did not have time to recover. They are great navidalis in your life exciting and scary things, but such magic they are for all those years had never seen even once. And fall on them all the impact is not the best way. Sveneld was no longer with them. This valiant warrior fell badly. He and all his might hit his head on a huge priestly stone that Earl Ragnar put in the palace as a talisman. Skull Sveneld just could not resist such a strong impact.
But so far the deaths retainer has not seen the rest of his teammates.
- It's all because of the stone, - finally said Athelstane, looking stern look on Rogvold - Father instructed me to deliver it to Ragnar that he hid it deep down. He told me that the stone is strange visions and he does not give plaguing quiet. And I brought him here. And now I understand that someone's after him ... This was cursed debris.
- Show us - an angry voice said Earl.
His surviving combatants approached the standing crowned heads.
Athelstan obeyed the orders of his friend, and pulled from his pocket a strange kind casket. She was a small, but nevertheless Rogvold felt a mysterious power emanating from her. In his hands began nowhere grafted, tingling.
And then he heard a strange and unknown whisper that came from somewhere in the depths of the universe. He did not hear the words uttered a whisper, but clearly know that the stone is clearly a dangerous thing. The magical energy is clearly made itself felt.
- What kind of stone? - Questioned Rogvold - Where is it found?
- Father found during a campaign against mining giants - responded Athelstan, stronger and stronger clutching the strange demonic artifact casket.
Torgeir between pochuvstval sharp headache. She came not from the fall, and by strengthening the magical effect of the unknown witch's stone.
- He found it when he killed their king, - Crown Prince continued, - Father said that the king of the giants had warned him about the danger from the stone. He called the stone strange word "chip", and also said that no one should touch it. What stone is cursed ... and that he will bring only death ....
- What demon - furiously cursed Rogvold - Haraldsson And it took him? How ing trophy?
- With all due respect, sir, - he heard the voice of one of the royal guards, - But you're talking about our konung Hruntine Haraldsson, not some merchant in.
- you! - Angrily shouted Jarl - you all! My father would never in my life did not take this stuff yourself! You do not know that there is. You do not know what evil may sit there. Have you heard the legend of the wreckage?
- No, - answers were heard from all sides - not heard.
None of the fighters, including Athelstan, and did not know about these myths. As soon as one Rogvold knew the terrible secret.
- My father and the priests told me about it. - Said Rogvold - Thousands of years ago created a great race Jotun magical weapon against Gods. They called him the key to Ragnarok, the loss of everything. This ancient weapon could let the universe of real evil. They are intended to release their dark creator, who was imprisoned in the lower worlds of gods. But the gods prevented Jotun do it. They defeated the army of Jotun, found a ready-made artifact and split it into several parts. And then they rasshvyryali it in all the world, so that no one could find them again. And, behold, thou, Athelstan, brings one of them here. I even now feel the dark power emanating from this diabolical stone. Your father has ruined us all, Athelstane!
- But you said that a lot of Flinders, - said the Crown Prince in amazement, - It's just one of them!
- Even one can carry the death! - Shouted in a frenzy Jarl Rogvold - even one! Now Jotun know that we have the artifact. They will try to find it! Kill all in your path! Destroy the city! Now I understand why all this happened! They already know that the chip have! They already know everything!
- God, what did he do - beside himself with horror whispered Athelstan - My father ... It was his biggest mistake.
- Now we are all waiting for Ragnarok, - said furiously Rogvold Fairhair - All of us! You ruined our world forever!
- Maybe better we will divide the box and destroy yotuns rubbish to pieces? - I heard the angry voice Tukvalda here.
Valiant berserk with one blow knocked the box from the hands of the hands of Athelstan. The Crown Prince gave a warrior puzzled look. But Tukvald did not pay any attention to it. He deftly swung two-handed ax, and with all the forces unleashed it on the box.
But he could not cause her any damage. The blade ax rebounded, and with all his strength Tukvaldu pierced in the head. Berserk screamed in extreme pain and clutched both hands on the weapon. All his attempts to pull the blade failed. He grunted loudly and then fell to the floor already lifeless. Blade and remained stuck in his head. Another valiant combatant Jarl went to the World of Walhalla.
- It can not be destroyed! - Said Rogvold - human weapon can not do that!
As soon Rogvold Fairhair said these words as the casket suddenly, as if by magic, flew into the air. She did not rush to the ceiling, but only hovered right in front goggles gaze warriors.
And then she immediately rushed straight to the place where he stood Athelstan. He stared at this magical phenomenon that did not even notice how magical box pierced through him. She flew out of his back with a fountain of blood, and then ran in the other warriors standing in the lobby. Torgeir had no time to dodge the flying object and yotunskim casket with stone pierced him in the Adam's apple. She flew out of the back of his body and set to the other soldiers.
In those few seconds Rogvold clearly watched all his soldiers were killed one by one. Everyone he knew a long time ago, just destroyed. Casket cut up bodies of many warriors of the kingdom, and then came close to Rogvold. Earl tried to dodge this diabolical object, but then found that the casket stopped. She completely stained with blood. Again this witching object floating in the air, and then began to rapidly rotate around its axis.
And then nowhere grafted heavy carcass fell on Jarl and knocked him down. Rogvold rolled across the floor, but then forced himself to rise quickly. He caught lying on the floor with a battle ax and prepared to reflect the impact of the opponent.
He again heard the furious howl berserk. It was exactly the same roar that published the mad warrior is going to attack the fighters at the gates of Ragnar's palace.
No sooner had Rogvold think about it, how again it struck a heavy body and dumped on the floor again. The ax flew from Rogvold poskolzit hand and on the floor.
Jarl again forced his body up and jumped to his feet. Not far from him lay a spear of one of the soldiers. He immediately grabbed him and put in front of him.
But this time the enemy did not attack him. It is that Rogvold saw it was not the enemy. He had known the man. He even comes to his distant relative. Rogvold remembered all the moments that he spent with the once-mighty warrior.
It was his own cousin, Ragnar. But now he had changed noticeably. His eyes glowed crimson magical fire, exactly the same as he had seen in that crazy berserk. Ragnar was clad in black armor with lots of thorns. On his head gaped high hat with long bull horns. In the hands of the former Earl of holdings held that mysterious box Athelstan. It was one of the most powerful artifacts in the entire universe.
- I will not kill you, my brother, - guttural voice growled Ragnar, crimson eyes staring Rogvold - But you should know one thing. Jotun always get what they want. This stone was needed them. And I'll give it to them. Farewell forever!
- Brother! - I shouted in all throat Jarl by throwing himself forward with a mad cry.
But Ragnar did not hear it. The once mighty Jarl simply disappeared into the dazzling bright bluish flash. He disappeared into the unknown and carried with him a box with the artifact. Damn stone was forever lost to Rogvold and all Etterlings.
- God, what have we done, - whispered in wild horror Jarl Rogvold Fairhair.
And then he just fell down. His legs could no longer carry his body. Rogvold collapsed to the floor, covering her face with her hands and sobbed loudly. Everything was lost. Today, they have lost the battle, and the enemy has triumphed.
But it was only one battle. One small battle in the whole vast universe. The battle but not the war.
The war has yet to be!