The Raid

The waves lapped against the side of the boat. There were several new faces that were filled with fear on this trip. For many it would be their first raid. Ragnar looked over the group and found many of the fresh young faces to be wanting. Gods willing this would be Ragnar’s last outing with a raiding band. The current generation did not impress him.

Within the group was Ragnar’s brother, Kalfr. Trained as a fighter by Ragnar himself since he could hold a sword, Kalfr was the only one among the younger men that Ragnar held any confidence in. The brother’s stared at each other and an excited smile began to cross Kalfr’s face. He knew his time was approaching.

As the two brothers looked at each other in silent communication, the call was given: land was not far off. The men in the boat began a slow, rhythmic chant. Swords clanged against shield, spear beat against spear, and iron shod feet stomped down on the sturdy hull of the long boat. The oarsmen kept the pace set by their comrades, with the blades of their oars disappearing into the sea to the tempo of the chant.

As the shoreline approached, the tempo became faster and faster and the longboat gained more and more speed. The closer the boat got to shore, the closer Ragnar and Kalfr moved to the bow. Before they left, the brothers had made a bet with each other as to who would be the first to touch the shore. Ragnar was not about to let his brother win said bet.

Ragnar kept his eye on approaching land, and when his timing was right, sprinted to the front of the and leaped off the bow and into the air. Kalfr stared in wonder at his brother, not anticipating the older vikings willingness to do whatever it took to be the first to land. As Ragnar landed, he used the momentum he had built to roll forward and then transition into a dead sprint up the beach. The other members of the raiding party shouted words of encouragement behind him, but he was too far ahead to pay them any mind.

Ragnar came upon the village and began the task he was born to do. Any villager that was foolish enough to stand in his way was swiftly sent on a one way visit to their god. After a few minutes of work at depopulating the village, the others joined in. With the full fury of a Viking horde brought to bear against them, the majority of the villagers chose to flee.

As the Vikings cheered at their victory and began to sack the huts for any valuables, Ragnar sought out his brother. Upon finding each other, the two brothers embraced each other in joy.

As they walked up to the nearest building to began scrounging for their share of the spoils, two men sprung out and thrust a spear directly into Kalfr’s face. In an instant, Ragnar flew into an uncontrollable berserker’s rage and cut the men down. His anger not being satisfied, he began to sprint in the direction that the villagers had fled. His fellow Vikings came to investigate at the sound of his cries, but arrived only to the corpse of Kalfr and Ragnar running off to find more suitable outlets for his rage.

As he came upon the fleeing remnants of the village, a few of them cried out and some of the braver members turned to face the Norseman. As Ragnar drew upon them, spears began to rain down around him. Two made lucky hits, but in his berserker rage he knew no pain. As the distant between the barbarian and his brew closed, one of the villagers managed to loose an arrow straight into it’s targets skull. In an instant the great Ragnar was brought down, but was not dead. He lay face down in the mud, his whole being consumed by anger but unable to act on it.

As blood began to pool around his, Ragnar felt as if his body was being lifted off the ground. He managed to look around and saw two great warrior women mounted on winged steeds lifting him from the mud: the valkyries had come to carry him to Valhalla. Knowing he had served his people well, Ragnard looked forward to an eternity of drinking, fighting, and feasting.