Middas, 24th Hearthfire, 4E 201

After teleporting to Whiterun stables, we briefly discussed the tactics The New Order would use when attacking the city.

  • Dhali: Are you positive that Whiterun will be their main objective?
  • Wulf: Yes, it is the logical choice, plus Rigmor has had a premonition involving a significant battle here.
  • P’Sua: Was her premonition for the battle on the grasslands because I doubt The New Order would use this narrow road to attack the city?
  • Shiva: A Nord shield wall supported by berserkers would prefer this road, which Ulfric would choose. Altmer prefer open plains with heavy infantry supported by archers.
  • Wulf: The premonition was a grassland battle, which is, as Shiva pointed out, what we expect from Altmer.
  • Khao: As usual, the nice neat formations would soon give way to chaos. Small pockets of violence will leave piles of corpses when multiple formations swarm a singular formation.
  • Wulf: That is especially true when archers are attacked by heavy infantry. The archers are usually the first to break, and their panic can often cause a route.
  • Inigo: I have never fought in a battle. It sounds like plans soon give way to desperate survival.
  • Wulf: That is where Legionnaires prove superior. They tend to hold formation longer than other troops. It comes down to discipline and a belief in your abilities.
  • Inigo: My friend, if I am to experience my first battle, I would like to do so by your side.
  • Wulf: We might be able to arrange that. I don’t expect I will bloody my sword till late in the battle, if at all.
  • Dhali: Let us look at the battleground.

I approached one of Ri’saad’s scouts.

“Good afternoon, Regit.”

“This one is pleased to see Lord Welkynd.”

“I assume Ri’saad knows about the imminent invasion.”

“Indeed, Emissary Baa’Ren-Dar told Ri’saad of this thing. That one has ordered his caravans to assist in the defence of cities but only if behind walls. This caravan will stand on the walls of Whiterun and provide other support.”

“I’m sure Jarl Balgruuf is most appreciative.”

“He is, and so is Irileth. That one is not as hard as she seems. Irileth loves her city and its people. Nobody thinks Dragonborn, friends, and armies will fail to defend Whiterun, but caution is always good.”

“We shall try our hardest, Regit.”

We moved onto the grasslands and stopped.

  • Dhali: There are many places to set up a command post and have a good view of the battle.
  • Wulf: I expect the visibility to be abysmal.
  • Dhali: Rigmor’s foresight?
  • Wulf: Yes, but I would make it so even if she hadn’t seen lousy weather.
  • Inigo: My friend, can you change the weather?
  • Wulf: Yes, in a limited area for a limited time. If they have a lot of archers, reduced visibility, rain, and winds will nullify them. Then they become vulnerable to heavy infantry.
  • P’Sua: This ground is not suitable for cavalry. There are too many hidden rocks and holes.
  • Shiva: It will be an infantry-only battle.
  • Khao: As well as killing enemy commanders, I suggest we mages take care of catapults and trebuchets.
  • Wulf: I hate those things! It is bad enough when they sling random death onto the battlefield. It is unforgivable when they sling random death into cities and towns.
  • Khao: Usually, an army’s advancing speed is restricted by the slowest unit, which in most cases is transporting those devices.
  • Wulf: If destroying those random death machines means The New Order moves faster, it is a good thing. Fewer innocents get killed, and we get to destroy the enemy faster.
  • Khao: Then consider it done. None of those weapons will reach Whiterun.
  • Wulf: Now we shall check Fort Greymoor and decide if its garrison needs increasing.
  • Dhali: A large contingent there would worry any enemies on this battlefield.

We encountered a turf battle as we approached a small farm opposite the watchtower. A giant seemed intent on smashing a troll. The troll was attacking a riderless horse. A wolf was tackling the giant, and the farm’s chickens ran for their lives.

As we dashed over, the troll killed the horse and chased the farm’s cow. The giant killed the wolf and decided my furry friends needed squishing. There was no sign of the farmers.

I quickly disposed of the troll.

The giant was swinging its massive club with tremendous speed and force.

I timed my charge and then hip and shouldered the giant.

While the giant was off balance, I cut across its midriff and killed it.

Inigo laughed, then said, “Only you, my friend, could run into a giant and make it lose balance.”

“It’s physics, Inigo. Shiva will teach you.”

“After she almost killed you with a kick, I think I shall remain blissfully ignorant.”

Shiva protested, “Hey, it was not my fault that Wulf was distracted!”

I replied, “No, it wasn’t your fault, Shiva, and I didn’t almost die. I had some good bruises, though.”

As we approached Fort Greymoor, we could hear the sounds of battle.

We ran towards its entrance and saw some barriers had been destroyed.

A huge bandit gang was in danger of overrunning the garrison.

We charged, and the bandits fell like wheat before a scythe.

It was getting too congested for my liking, so I leapt over the primary melee.

That allowed me to dispose of many bandits with my dance of death.

I watched my friends slaughter the last bandits. The enemy had little time to realise how outclassed they were before death arrived.

When the last enemy fell, I looked at the carnage. If we had not arrived, there would have been no Legionnaires alive.

I recognised the gang leader from wanted posters. Unaerica Oath-Singer and her husband, Mekgruuf Oath-Bane, were wanted for many crimes. They were not here when we cleared Fort Greymoor months earlier, but we knew it was one of their hideouts. It seems they tried to take it back.

Inigo asked, “Why is she wearing that armour?”

I replied, “Unaerica and her husband were once wealthy merchants in Falkreath until Skooma was found in one of their shipments from Morrowind. They swore it was a setup and disappeared before they could be arrested. Afterwards, they became powerful bandit lords but still had a softness for their home city. You will find several associated gangs whose leaders also wear similar armour.”

“Do you think they were innocent of the Skooma charges?”

“Logic says they were making plenty of profit as their legitimate businesses, so the Skooma was planted. However, their actions in later years made them murderers and outlaws.”

We entered the keep, and a Legionnaire told us where to find Legate Gorella Torbifkdottir.

The young Legate looked dishevelled when we found her. She stood to attention with a worried expression.

I said, “Legate Gorella, the last time we spoke, I was Lord Welkynd. As you can see, I am now General Wulf. How did a bandit gang almost wipe out this garrison?”

“I had taken a platoon to inspect the approaches to the fort in case The New Order were to come this way. After the inspection, I decided that we needed more soldiers. We found the bandits swarming the fort on our return.”

“It looks like you lost more than half the garrison.”

“Yes, General, but they fought bravely against the odds.”

“Do not blame yourself, Legate. I will recommend to General Tullius that your company be restored to full strength and another company added until the end of the civil war.”

“I watched you and your friends carve through the enemy. Are there many of you with such skills.”

“A few dozen. My friends will give The New Order a bloody nose and, later on, inflict fear and suffering on whatever Stormcloaks are stupid enough to stay with Ulfric. I will leave you to deal with your dead and dispose of the bandits. The Legionnaires did fight bravely, and they deserve respect.”

When we exited Fort Greymoor, we saw a lone bandit in the distance.


Mekgruuf charged at us.

Inigo brought him down with two arrows.

I looked back at Fort Greymoor and shook my head. Once the civil war ends, I will hunt down as many bandits gangs as possible. We then teleported to Aurane.

My friends dispersed as I looked for Rigmor. She found me when returning from the kitchens.

I asked her, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Yes, Wulf. I think I have to do it to heal.”

“Okay. Then we shall head for Yngol’s camp.”

“I will make them scared of what The New Order plans to do. I will make them want to fight because it is the right thing to do.”

“Did talking to the kitchen staff help?”

“Yes, because they are normal people with normal wants and fears. They represent the people you constantly risk your life to protect.”

“They are like the majority of Bruma citizens.”

“Would the veterans refuse to fight because I am not leading them?”

“I would hope not. It would be a pity to tear apart their reputation for such idiocy!”

“Dad would expect better of them.”

“I will be right beside you.”

“I know. So how are we getting there?”

“We shall teleport to Kynesgrove and walk from there.”

“Do you have Morgan’s armour and sword in your Journal Case?”

“Yes, why?”

“I might want to wear the armour, at least. I haven’t made my mind up yet.”

“Are you ready?”


It was not a long walk from Kynesgrove to Yngol’s encampment. When it came in sight, Rigmor said, “I want to wear the armour.”

“I will help you change in the bushes to your left.”

Rigmor watched the encampment from the bushes and remarked, “There are many more Stormcloaks there than the last time we passed it.”

“They will all be fighting at Whiterun if that is where we think The New Order are heading.”

We moved further into the bushes and out of sight of the encampment. I can read Rigmor like a book. She was terrified of what she was about to do.

I asked her, “I don’t think this is necessary. Are you sure you want to do this?”

“Just help me get into Morgan’s armour.”

It took about twenty-five minutes to get Rigmor kitted out.

I said to her, “We can go. You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes, I do. Just hand me the sword.”

I reluctantly handed the sword to Rigmor, who winced and then sheathed it.

Rigmor stared at the encampment. She was afraid, and I feared what this might do to her.

I asked, “My beloved, how do you feel?”

Rigmor turned and asked pleasantly, “Do you really want to know?”

“Yes. How do you feel?”

In an instant, Rigmor became a snarling misrepresentation of what she truly is.

She growled, “I feel invincible. I am an unstoppable force. A born killer, a widow maker. A true Nord Warrior and my enemy’s worst nightmare. The scariest thing is it excites and invigorates me. It is all I have ever known, and I feel good. But once this is done, know this. It will be over. So, don’t you ever ask me about it again! Do you understand me?”

“I understand complete bullshit when I hear it!”

Rigmor’s face went from feral to sad in an instant.

I continued, “Rigmor Ragnarsdottier, the woman I share my soul with, is none of those things! You certainly do not enjoy battle or killing. You hadn’t killed a single person until just over two months ago, so it is not all you have ever known in your eighteen years! On the contrary, you have known the love of many people. Therefore, I will ask again. Tell me, my beloved, how do you feel?” 

“Terrified. Sickened by the touch of the sword. I wonder why I am wearing this armour and what I could say to The Sons of Talos.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“I am not doing this for Casius or Yngol. I know you don’t want me to. I am doing this for my dad. It is what he would have wanted. I owe him this much, considering my failure so far. You know, he might even forgive me.”

“You could not have stopped his arrest. You never gave up the search for your mother, found her and rescued her against incredible odds! You have wreaked bloody revenge on those who ripped your family apart. Despite all you have been through, you are compassionate and empathetic and see the beauty in all things. Why would Ragnar’s chest not be bursting with pride? What is there to forgive you for?”

This trip to Yngol’s camp was a mistake. I risk undoing all the progress since I rescued Rigmor by stupidly agreeing to this idiotic and unnecessary farce!

“Please, Wulf, I want to do this.”

“And I said I won’t stand in your way. I might not like it, but it is your choice. But don’t be what you aren’t, Rigmor. Make these men want to save their loved ones and fight for reasons other than following Ragnar’s daughter!”

Rigmor briefly smiled, then turned and marched determinedly towards the encampment.

As we walked, The Sons of Talos yelled out how they fought beside Ragnar and how they knew her father, etcetera. Young Stormcloaks wondered what the fuss was all about.

We were getting hemmed in. Yngol saw us and yelled, “Back off! Let her through. Back off and let the child through!”

As Rigmor climbed the stairs to a platform, I approached Yngol.

I said, “Rigmor is a grown woman, not a child! Despite being on death’s door days ago and still very ill, she insisted on addressing The Sons of Talos.”

“By the gods, she truly is her father’s daughter.”

“This has nothing to do with her being Ragnar’s daughter! The decision to come was Rigmor being herself!”

“That is rather distinctive armour, Wulf. Are you declaring what side you support?”

“It was made for me by Lord Talos. Rigmor met him when I went to Aetherius to retrieve it. I can tell you Talos is not pleased with Ulfric’s claims that he is fighting for the right to worship him. Has Ulfric ever provided proof that Talos wants all this bloodshed? You should know more about Ulfric before you shed more blood in his name. If you want to know the truth, ask. I will not tell you lies, Yngol. If the civil war resumes, I will kill all who oppose me in Stormcloak armour. Ulfric will die at my hands for his blasphemy, the murder of High King Torygg and other crimes.”

Yngol saw the truth in my eyes and wisely moved aside.

I climbed and stood to the back and Rigmor’s right. The Sons of Talos and regular Stormcloaks in the audience rapidly grew in number until only a trickle was making their way to us.

The audience recognised Rigmor was ready to talk, and the talking quickly subsided till all were silent.

At that point, Rigmor did not hesitate even a second. Her voice was commanding and confident.

“You asked me to come. Here I am!”

Hurrahs came strong and loud.

I know you all loved my dad, and most of you here, Sons and Daughters of Talos, will have followed him and fought beside him with loyalty and honour.

You are here today because a new wind blows from the north. And on it rides a new danger, ready to sow the seeds of war.

This homecoming is a testament to your love for your homeland. This calling of arms, my brothers and sisters, is a testament to your love of our people.”

Those who watched stood transfixed. Rigmor will make a formidable Countess of Bruma if she accepts the offer.

“The truce with our former enemy is a testament to our peril. For a short time, the enemy of our enemy shall become our friends.”

Rigmor sounded like a Stormcloak sympathiser when that is far from the truth. She may be better equipped for Cyrodiil politics than either of us thought.

“From the north, a new enemy is coming and waiting to strike at our homeland. It is a new danger, never before seen, where no one is safe.

The New Order comes not to take away our freedom. The New Order comes, not to occupy and enslave us…BUT TO ANNIHILATE US!






There was more cheering and clapping. Rigmor was magnificent!





All of the Stormcloaks, young and old, started cheering and banging weapons on their shields and calling Rigmor’s name.

Rigmor turned to me, and she was drained both physically and emotionally. I was ready to carry her out of there!

I told her, “I wish to say a quick word to them. Then I shall take you to the farm, and you can rest.”

Rigmor nodded, and I stepped to the edge of the platform. The crowd still cheered and banged shields, so I used my Thu’um.


The startled troops once more became silent as my Thu’um echoed.


A few Stormcloaks vehemently denied the rumour. The veteran Sons of Talos looked at their feet or anywhere else but at Rigmor or me.


This news was met with gasps and looks of shock.


I offered my arm to Rigmor, who lent on me. The audience spoke to each other in hushed tones as we walked to Yngol.

I told him, “Do not tell me how magnificent she was or how she reminded you of Ragnar or any other fucking bullshit. This speech was unnecessary! Rigmor might not be well enough to fight The New Order or even want to. Any Son of Talos who refuses to fight if Rigmor is not there will find The Dragonborn telling all of Nirn of their cowardice. It is an insult to Ragnar that Rigmor had to do this. It would insult all of Nirn if they refused to fight!”

“Vayu didn’t tell me how ill Rigmor is.”

“That is irrelevant. This speech was a blight on these veterans.”

The Stormcloaks made way for Rigmor and me. I would have punched any that didn’t.

We made it to the clearing then Rigmor let go of my arm and ran to a tree.

She doubled over and then vomited hard and long.

I helped Rigmor to her feet and gave her a water canteen which she gladly took and washed out her mouth.

I told Rigmor, “Come, my beloved. Let’s get you out of that armour. Then I shall teleport you to the farm, and you can get some sleep.”

“I am so tired, Wulf. I will take the armour off at the farm and store it in the chest at the bottom of my bed.”

“Okay, and for what it is worth, that speech was magnificent. Ragnar would be so very, very proud!”

We teleported to the farm, and as Rigmor made her way inside, Silah came out of the ether.

She said, “Wulf, we need to discuss an urgent matter.”

I watched Rigmor enter the house as Silah landed nearby.

I knew what memories Rigmor had yet to recover. She had forgotten Ragnar loved her as a little girl and his daughter. Ragnar did not want a son or daughter whose only skills were as a warrior! That is what the girl in her dreams wants Rigmor to remember. That is what she needs to remember.

The armour Rigmor wore when I first saw her was flat-chested and meant for males. The shaving of her hair was another sign of her trying to be the son she thought she should be. Her guilt at being unable to save her family at fourteen years of age is still with her. Ragnar wanted her to be a son in one sense, but he never wanted to lose his daughter. He made Jenny for his little girl. That is why Jenny is the key.

I walked over to Silah.

“Yes, Silah, what is it.”

“Lady Kynareth detected something strange happening on Solstheim, so at her request, I flew there to investigate.”

“What was strange.”

“She could detect something wrong with the air and the use of the Thu’um.”


“Yes, he has ensorceled the population. All day, the citizens of Solstheim work to create structures atop the All-Maker Stones. Their ultimate purpose is unknown, but at the moment, they are the conduit for enslavement. When I flew over Miraak’s temple, I had to fight a compulsion to join the construction.”

“What do you think he is trying to achieve?”

“I will not speculate, Wulf. I advise you to speak to Lord Talos and learn about Miraak.”

“Okay. Before you go, is The New Order’s fleet still heading towards the coast north of Morthal?”

“Yes, it has not deviated. Landfall could be late tomorrow.”

“Therefore, if I go to Solstheim, I have at least a week before Whiterun is in danger.”

“If they do a forced march, yes.”

Silah took off and flew away at great speed.

I walked over to Celestine.

I asked, “Did you hear what Silah said?”

“Yes. You have time to visit Solstheim. Vayu has things under control here.”

“Rigmor spoke before The Sons of Talos, and I think she has regressed somewhat.”

“I think she is resisting certain memories and still has not purged all of the concoction.”

“We shall have another squad take over tomorrow. I want you ladies to rest and be here when the fighting starts.”

“Okay. If you go to Solstheim, who will you take with you?”

“The Ka’Po’Tun and Inigo. The Dunmer will think they are all Khajiiti, so I should meet less racism.”

I willed myself into my Aetherius Room. Father appeared and hugged me.

I laughed and said, “Father, your hugs always precede a request worded in a way that I can’t refuse.”

“Then I shall abandon hugs altogether if you are that cynical.”

“Sure, and I will grow wings and fly.”

“Well, your mother is supposed to have given birth to the Minotaur.”

“How is her first husband?”

“You know they never married, and what makes you think I have met Lord Morihaus in Aetherius?”

“Oh, am I speculating again?”

“Sit down, Son, so that we can talk about something more serious.”

“And you can ask me to do something.”

Father shook his head as we headed for the table.

We sat, and I asked, “Why must it be so bright here? It makes you look like an albino.”


“Okay, when I came to collect this armour, you stopped by briefly and then left for a meeting of The Divines. I assume that meeting had to do with Miraak?”

“Yes, Lady Kynareth detected something strange with the air in Solstheim and the use of Thu’um. We weren’t sure if it was Miraak.”

“But no Shout was used. Otherwise, The Greybeards would have summoned me.”

“Correct. We asked Silah to take a break from coordinating the scouting in Skyrim and investigate. Every All-Maker Stone was emanating a Thu’um-based ensorcellment. The first part of the dweomer compels all bipedal mortals, including Riekling, to touch the All-Maker Stone. Once they do, they are ensorceled and compelled to spend hours building a structure around the All-Maker Stone. Silah does not know if the mortals remember their time enslaved or why the whole island is not panicking.”

“Silah had to leave because she was at risk of being ensorceled.”

“Yes, when she passed over the Tree Stone, the All-Maker Stone in the middle of Miraak’s Temple, she felt a strong compulsion.”

“I assume that after Silah’s report, The Nine met once more.”

“Yes, and the logical conclusion is that you should visit Solstheim and investigate.”

“My presence is not required for The New Order to be defeated. However, I want to be there for Rigmor when Tilar Aedriath is eliminated.”

“The Nine ask you to investigate and decide what danger Miraak presents. From there, you can decide the appropriate steps.”

“Miraak was the first mortal blessed by Lord Akatosh. Is that correct?”

“Yes, he was the first to have Dragonblood and Dragonsoul. Your mother was the first to have the Dragonblood needed to light The Dragonfires.”

“I assume Lord Akatosh didn’t choose a random mortal.”

“Dragon Priests, including Miraak, were benevolent rulers till Alduin’s promise of power corrupted them and many Dov. Lord Akatosh chose Miraak as he showed the traits desirable in a mortal champion. Things went astray when Miraak realised that The Ancient Tongues could not bring Alduin to the ground. As you know, Alduin could not be harmed whilst in the air. We believe Hermaeus Mora offered him a solution, so he and several other Dragon Priests rebelled again the Dov. Lord Akatosh cannot be sure, but he thinks Miraak’s motives were not selfish, and his refusal to aid the Ancient Tongues was due to a belief his solution was better.”

“But Lord Akatosh cannot be sure, so I will try and determine Miraak’s motives before acting against him. Has Miraak been used by Hermaeus Mora?”

“No. The Greybeards would have detected any use of the Thu’um in Mundus by Miraak as that of a Dragonborn. Similarly, Lady Kynareth would have known.”

“For thirty-five centuries, Hermaeus Mora has had a powerful mortal within his realm and not used him. Mora tried to recruit me as champion, suggesting Miraak was not under his control. It would take considerable power to defy a Daedric Prince within their realm.”

“We have no idea what happens in Oblivion, Son. However, that is sound logic.”

“Okay, I shall take the Ka’Po’Tun and Inigo on a boat trip to Solstheim and investigate. Hopefully, I can speak to Miraak and ascertain his motives before a violent conflict ensues.”

“Lady Kynareth has gifted you Shouts invented by Miraak and known because he shared them with The Ancient Tongues. However, he may have unknown Shouts at his disposal.”

“I thought Dragonrend was the only shout invented by mortals.”

“All Dragon Priests were well versed in Arcana. Many of them, including Miraak, achieved Lichdom. Therefore, he was undead when he invented several Shouts. Hermaeus Mora may also have gifted Shouts to Miraak, which he passed on as his inventions.”

“I admit, Father, I am keen to unravel the mystery of Miraak and what he is doing on Solstheim.”

“Lord Akatosh also asked me to tell you he is pleased with how you utilise your Dov allies. Every Dov that existed or will exist was created in seconds at the beginning of the kalpa. Their numbers can only decrease, and using them as soldiers in wars resulted in too few still flying the skies of Nirn.”

“Perhaps one day I can restore some of the fallen.”

“That would please The Nine.”

“Who are The All-Maker and The Adversary?”

“I left that as a puzzle for you to figure out on Roscrea. So, Son, who do you think they are?”

“I don’t think they are singular entities. I think The All-Maker is a concept that represents all gods that created Mundus and mortals. Conversely, The Adversary represents all gods that want to destroy Mundus and mortals.”

“Okay, and what about the power of the All-Maker Stones being abused by Miraak?”

“I think it is evident that power is derived from the same source as Skyrim’s Standing Stones and Cyrodiil’s Rune Stones. What that source is, I do not know.”

“Why do The Skaal refer to The All-Maker and The Adversary as singular entities?”

“The concepts are singular. Mortals, Aedra, and Daedra cannot understand all the metaphysics of Aurbis. Instead of becoming fixated on what they can’t understand, The Skaal have refined two opposing forces into singular concepts and given them names.”

“I assume you read many esoteric and dusty books to develop this theory?”

“Yes, quite a few.”

“You have come to the same conclusion as me, Wulf. There are gods I do not know, but we know how Mundus, Nirn and mortals came to be. No singular god created them, and no singular god wants to destroy them. As you say, The All-Maker and The Adversary are opposing concepts, not opposing entities.”

Father and I discussed my experience in The Ash Pit and what I thought of Malacath. Then I received another hug before willing myself to the farm. I had not manipulated time while in Aetherius and had been gone for about twenty minutes.

When I entered the farmhouse, Sigunn stood with a hand on her hip and an angry scowl. I suppressed a laugh as she reminded me so much of her daughter. I surmised her mood was due to Sethri sitting at the table in his underpants.

I approached Sigunn.

She asked, “How is Rigmor’s memory?”

“Rigmor has been doing very well, but we just had a bit of a setback. I think she could do with sleep and me sitting by her bed again.”

“What kind of setback?”

“I think Rigmor is having difficulty with memories of Ragnar and has been trying to live up to false expectations.”

“We still haven’t had a chance for a long talk, mother to daughter.”

“She needs to discuss something important with you. Hopefully, she can do that soon. Are you and Sethri getting along?”

“What an obnoxious person! He took a bath in the lake and hasn’t gotten dressed since. He has been annoying Angi too. You might want to tell him to put some clothes on.”

“Did you ask him?”

“I tried telling him earlier, but he insists this is his farmhouse. Therefore, he can do whatever he likes.”

“I will tell him what Imperial Laws say about his attire, and he had better listen.”

Rigmor called out, “Wulf!”

I said, “Excuse me, Sigunn, I am being summoned.”

Sigunn laughed, then scowled at Sethri as I entered ‘Sorella’s’ bedroom.

Rigmor was sitting on the bed in her kimono. A clean and neatly dressed Sorella was with her.

I closed the door and then walked to the pair.

“Rigmor, I am here. Are you okay?”

“Thank you, Wulf.”

“Thank you for what?”

“For being here for me.”

“We are here for each other. An inseparable pair. I will always be around to annoy you.”

“I love you, Wulf.”

“And I love you with every fibre of my being. Please, Rigmor, remember that you do not have to do anything you don’t want to. Not now and not in the future. Now lie your head on the pillow and get some sleep!”

“Wulf, will you guard me tonight?”

“Yes, Rigmor. I will be here all night.”

Rigmor removed her kimono. It seems she still gets a fever from the concoction. She lay down, and I kissed her on the forehead.

Sorella moved to her bed. I turned to her and asked, “Hello, little girl. My name is Wulf, and I am wondering where Sorella is. What is your name?”

“It is me, Wulf!”

“Glad to meet you, Me.”

“No, Wulf, it is me, Sorella!”

“Mesorella? What a pretty name.”

Sorella put her hand on her hips and looked ready to put an arrow in my head.

I laughed and said, “I know it is you, Sorella. How do you like being clean and in a dress instead of smelly furs?”

“They tricked me, Wulf! Sigunn said Lydia had brought me a new dress and shoes, which were in my bedroom. Angi grabbed me and tried to undress me when I walked in, but I bit and struggled. Then Sigunn joined her, and when I was naked, they put me in a bath with soap and everything!”

“Oh, you poor thing! Did they scrub all that dirt off you?”


“That’s not fair. You spent so long collecting it!”

“Then they washed my hair and poured buckets of water over me, and I nearly drowned!”

“Was it fun when they brushed your hair?”

“No! There were many knots and tangles, and Angi taught me new swear words as she did it.”

“What colour was the bathwater when you got out of the tub?”

“A muddy brown and things were floating on top like twigs and other things, and I have no idea what they were or where they came from.”

“Sorella, we all loved you when you were grubby and pongy. We don’t love you more now you are clean and not pongy. However, don’t you like being clean more than grubby?”

“Yeah, I suppose so.”

“If you bathe regularly, you might find it fun.”

“That is what Celestine said. And Lydia did buy me this dress. Oh, and new shoes and pretty underwear and a nightgown. Angi says she will get new furs and leather armour for when we are hunting, but a little girl should look like a little girl when she can. This dress is warm, and Angi said it would have cost a lot.”

“I hope you don’t mind me sitting and looking after Rigmor while she sleeps.”

“You did it the other night, and I didn’t mind because you didn’t snore or blow off. Unlike Sethri, who thinks blowing off all the time is funny. He walks around in his underwear, which is rude!”

“Tomorrow, I will tell him the rules. But I will sit close to Rigmor for now, so she has no bad dreams.”

“Wulf, I hear a lot of what is being said. I know there is a civil war, whatever that is. But now the bad guys who hurt me, Mum, Dad, Rigmor and you have an army. Are they coming to hurt us again?”

“They will try, but we have better armies to stop them.”

“Will you have to kill a lot of bad guys?”

“Yes, Sorella. I dislike killing people, but fewer innocent people like you and Rigmor will get hurt if I do.”

“I understand. I wish you didn’t have to kill people.”

“So do I.”

“Meeko says he likes me not so pongy and buried my old furs far away from the farmhouse!”

“I haven’t had much time to spend with him.”

“He is friends with everybody and gets lots of pats, even from Angi. He thinks it is funny he is bigger than Svinnr. When I told him it was rude to laugh at my pony, he farted! Then I laughed, and Svinnr thought I was laughing at her. I had to cuddle her for ages to make her feel better, and while I did, Meeko kept farting. I think he and Sethri belong together.”

“Okay, no longer pongy, Sorella. It is late, so you had better get to bed.”

“Turn around while I put on my new nightgown.”

I turned my back to Sorella, who quickly donned her nightgown. When she said it was okay, I sat in the chair.

After a few minutes, Sorella said she wasn’t sleepy, so I tried a trick Mother used on me. I did a big, loud yawn.

I suppressed a laugh as Sorella immediately caught the yawn. A few minutes later, she was asleep.

Rigmor’s breathing did not immediately lull me to sleep. Even within Our Quiet, I could not suppress a feeling of guilt. I have no right to dictate what Rigmor does and would never try. However, I felt I had let her down by not insisting she avoid visiting Yngol’s camp.

2 thoughts on “Unnecessary

  1. Sometimes, the hardest decision to make isn’t the most obvious choice. It may not be the choice we want or we would make, but it is the choice they need to make. Thank You Mark

Leave a Reply