ãsmiðian fram mè a gylden
Magically skilled Smithy make of me a golden
Eyvindr was relieved he had made the decision to split his family on this, the first part of their journey on Wihtland. Friðuswiþ and the girls remained at the Mead hall,
much to their delight. The hall attracted a constant flow of visitors from all over the island.
and her older sister
Ælfswiþ swanned around with bright smiles and beguiling
expressions at most of the young men while Friðuswiþ,
losing her sons to the Smiððe could no longer mourn, and became her name Bright
The morning was crisp,
bright with an azure blue sky. As he walked towards the
ruins of Berandinzium Villa, flanked by his sons, Eyvindr
felt the now accustomed heavy air around him. His
Ðriddafæder had come, and no wonder at that he thought. The
terrible stories of how Old Eyvindr has survived the cruelty
of the Romans had seeped under his skin like tar. Now he
felt the real impact of them on himself. The whip lashes and
the attacks on his gentle soul. For he knew how sensitive
Ðriddafæder had been.
“We are twin souls are
we not Fæder,”
he whispered to Old Eyvindr
“Uh what is that Fæder?,”
“Ic geswídian, nothing”, he replied, walking on towards the
heavy oak doors that kept the cracked and dirty Corinthian
columns from falling over. The portico and colonnade lay in
rubble, overgrown and barely visible. Little remained of the
limewash walls. But the stairs to the upper level remained
and this was to be their quarters until the hūs was built over in the next meadow where the slèan occupied a good space. It was a working smithy,
large and so Eyvindr spent little time within the battered
walls of the villa. He strode out to inspect the new
workplace, knowing he would live there. He needed to leave
all the memories dogging him, behind in the terrible edifice
unaware of their Fæder’s internal war. They made a fast pace over to
There were two working
foundries’ in fact, occupying the whole area of the meadow beyond the villa and closer to the estuary. Eyvindr screwed his eyes against the strong mid-day sun to see far beyond to Everelant Ealond where
the tall trees of a forest strode up the steep incline. There was an industry of Smiððe
beyond the water, which lapped lazily on the windless day.
It was those trees that fed the hungry Slèans,
and he quickly surveyed what materials he had at his
Set up at the far end of
the enclosure were the clay ovens, tall and smouldering,
making charcoal. There were a group of thralls who spent
their days collecting wood and managing the ovens. Carts
laden with wood were making their way, two oxen to each
cart. They were larger than anything Eyvindr had seen. The
clatter of thrown wood by the thralls echoed as elm and
beech logs joined the growing mountain. It was evident that
the Wihtwara had continued where the Romans had left off.
stood hands on hips, a broad smile spreading across both
their young faces.
“Fæder, we have thralls,
servants to do our work!”, Acca enthused nudging his older
brōðor, “ Now we can make our seax!”
“Our Cyng certainly has
a plan”, Eyvindr murmured, “ he is no Hearth Cyng, that is
certain. Peace is not on his mind. He is not Warinni or
Anglii. He is Eudose, a Jute”
They walked into the
burgeoning heat, a blast of searing hot air fed their lungs,
and it was welcome, they were home once again. There were
four men tending two forges at either end of the large
brick-built hūs. And the array of hammers, metal tongs, chains
with weights, all manner of wooden and metal vices were laid
out in neat order that left Eyvindr and his sons speechless.
One of the men looked
Stop men, the Wahls from Ytene Weald have arrived!” Work was
suspended with some relief and the shedding of leather
gauntlets that led to Suevian
greetings which took some minutes to complete. All in good heart and with relief, Eyvindr knew they had landed well. It transpired that all four men were, like themselves, wholly related to each other and from the Eudose, Wihtgils kindred.
And their task, as Eyvindr could plainly see was building an impressive stockpile of seax and
sweords. Shields with large bosses were laid out in line also, welded, hammered and decorated.
The trappings of battle
were before him, and he shuddered. But his boys were
enraptured and could hardly contain their enthusiasm.
Eyvindr suddenly felt inexplicably bereft, ice shards skittering down his spine. Where in all the years within the beauty of Ytene Weald had the thrill of battle been
laid? And he suddenly experienced the desperation of his wíf,
there was no concealing it now.
“May we create our
asked formally, “Finally after all these years. We have
practised long enough. It is now our time to walk onto the
fields and do what we must!”
“Giese”, came the
reply, Eyvindr shaking his head looking down to the earth,
to Nerthus, for some miracle to prevent this from happening
at all, “ But first you must go into prayer, meet with your
Æll Fæder for guidance before I let you even near the
And just as he said
those words, a dark shadow was caste over them. Standing at
the entrance to the slèan, Sunni casting a halo all around him, stood a
giant of a man, shaded, his silhouette slowly moved towards
Eyvindr who became transfixed, leaden and yet feeling energy
pulsating through him as if meeting a god himself. Weyland!
he silently shouted to himself. And as the man came forward,
Eyvindr was able to discern the ancient quality this man
brought with him. He was ageless. Skin lay on him like the
thinnest of sheaths. Bones protruded and joints crackled
with effort. Yet he was perfectly calm and breathing easily.
Clothes seemed an afterthought.
When he spoke, it was
deep, guttural, just above a whisper and yet clipped and
“Eyvindrson, leave these
whipper snappers to their play, come with me. We have
important work to fulfil.” And with that he turned, Eyvindr
following like a new apprentice following the old master.
They made their way to
the smaller Slèan,
situated at the farthest end of the meadow, shaded by trees
and encircled with aging box trees, relicts from the Romans,
that were tenaciously refusing to die. Unmistakably, this was the
Eyvindr issued a silent prayer to Weyland, to Wōden and anyone else that
might be listening. The old man smiled. Chuckling quietly,
he took Eyvindr by the arm and said, “ Eyvindrson, you may
know what is required from you. Also know you have been
chosen by me because you are magically skilled. Humility is
good sometimes, but not now, I assure you.”
Within the shadows of
the Slèan, laying quiet and idle, as no work was
progressing here, stood Hild and as Eyvindr gasped, by her side was the Boy,
who managed to stop his heart yet again. The boy moved
towards him, his eyes, never wavering from Eyvindr’s own,
extended his arm, fingers outstretched, web-like. Eyvindr,
thinking he was in Suevian greeting extended his, but the
boy ignored him and placed his hand right over Eyvindr’s
heart, which was already pounding and racing away.
The life he was in
receded completely and he was, yet again,
at a scene of violations and torture for the Wihtwara, his people, descendants on their knees bowed before a gilded cross, incantations made in high screaming voices heard over the screams of the dying.
Men Women and children defiled before this damnable cross. Evil men! And amongst them stood a descendant of the Betrayer. And before him stood a Cyng, defiant and proud, battling for the survival of his kindred.
removed his hand and Eyvindr gasped breath into
his lungs, shaken and speechless.
the boy said
gylden onlícnes fram
weardian hís tèars fram Lufian, Onweald und Hopian
swã hè willan libban ongean in
“This WILL happen! And
you will make the golden statue of Wōden hold his tears of Love, Power and Hope forever
so he will live again in this land.”
The look of luminescent power that shone from the boy’s eyes, made Eyvindr certain Wōden was shining though him and his own tears
welled up, head bowed it took a few moments to recollect
“Shed not your tears,
Weyland admonished gently, “ Your skill is pure. Do not
taint it. This is the work of your entire life, so be it!”
He stepped back into the deep shadows of the slèan and was gone.
Hild came forward,
holding the smallest glass vial he had ever seen. Inside
clinging to the edges and making the smallest puddle at the
base , were the tears of the
“How?” came his choked
Halíg Stãn wèpan.
Come we will show you,” she said, leading him out into the
warm Sunni afternoon, taking him to Wōden’s Golden eye sanctuary, to see for himself.
… … … … … … … … …
And see for himself, he
did. The power from the stone face of Wōden extruding from the cliff wall itself again
robbed him of air. He was becoming quite accustomed to the
sensation and hyperventilated in return. It was needed. Hild
took him to a lower level, where the earth- fall was even
more fresh and unstable. He looked at the cliff face and saw
a golden eye. A young ash tree lay close, its exposed roots
clinging desperately to find some purchase on the slippery
rock face. Tenaciously it dug in, the nerve endings
pulsating with energy as the upended head of the
Æll Fæder in
the cliff face, gifted Yggdrasil his power, his brain in
Nerthus’ crumbling earth. A foothold to the future.
Eyvindr breathed in the
heavy, fecund aroma of deep earth. He turned to Hild, “ I
will be needing the gifts from Nerthus herself to create a
Gypsum, where can I find this crystal?”
“Oh, we will go to
Wahlpenneclinz,” Hild smiled, “ to your kindred, the Wahl.
Protectors of the stone. They know where the island diamond
clusters abide. And they know where they may hide too.”
“But are they not at
Sudmōr?” Eyvindr queried, frowning at this discovery. He
knew nothing of it.
“ Long since past,
Eyvindr. Where have you been?” Hild chided him, “ they
suffered grievously at the hands of the Romans. Many moons
while all the kindred were in ceremony at the Hãlig
they came with axes and levers, swearing and desecration of
our sacred circle. Our ancestor’s burials, all upended and
destroyed. They stole the stone, you see, for their damned
Dagrun Wahl, womful.
Mãndǽd!” An Act of evil,” Eyvindr hissed. “And a
desecration before our
He sank to his knees, praying and offered the rune stone
Tiw, incised in copper bronze, nudging it into a cleft,
praying for justice.
“Where are my Ancestor’s
bones and her goods?” he turned to Hild.
“She is safe, rescued
and held with the Wahlpennes”, Hild touched his shoulder
gently, “We must go now before sundown. Easing their way up
the knotted rope that had been held by many hands now,
received them at the cliff edge, he remained in silence and
yet received Eyvindr with a warm hand. In an unspoken
acknowledgment, they would be travelling this journey
… … … … … … … … …