|This article is about the memory of Eivor Varinsdottir. You may be looking for the group.|
During her travels, Eivor encountered six former members of Ragnar Lothbrok's Great Heathen Army.
Eivor entered the cave system called Hildesvini's Crag, and after some freerunning, came upon a bigger cave with a man living in it.
- Erik Loyalskull: If you come looking for bears, there are none living here. Not now. But I have a better proposition than a rousing hunt. If you are a true drengr, a warrior with honor running like sunlight in your veins, then you may help me fulfill my destiny.
Eivor walked up and talked to Erik.
- Eivor: You're a long way from any warm hearth, warrior. Is this where you call home?
- Erik Loyalskull: My name is Erik Loyalskull. The great King Ragnar Lothbrok named me such, when we fought, tearing up the fields of England. We built families, overthrew kingdoms, sailed mountains, fought for whole seasons, and now ... now he is gone.
- Eivor: All of Norway laments the passing of King Ragnar. I cannot imagine this sorrow his warriors now feel.
- Erik Loyalskull: We are but six who remain, his most loyal drengir. Yet without his guiding light, his strength and video, we are lost. It was in this cavern that I knew my life was tied to Ragnar's. We were young, hunting a bear, when we chanced upon this spot. He killed it with nothing but a knife. Leapt on its back, held tight, writhing like a fly on a dragon, he stayed put and it was done. Together we celebrated the kill, as if we had felled the beast together. That is when I knew I would live and die for this man. I did not die beside my lord in Ælla's pit of snakes. But I can make amends. Fight me, warrior. Send me to meet him in Odin's hall.
(Not now - "I'll need some time to prepare. I will return.")
- Eivor: I must wait for the ideal time to fight such a warrior of your class, drengr. Have patience.
- Erik Loyalskull: I will wait.
(Accept – "It would be my honor, drengr.")
- Eivor: It is with great honor I will fight a true drengr. When you're ready.
- Erik Loyalskull: Very well. For Ragnar Lothbrok, the true King of Norway.
- Erik Loyalskull: For Ragnar, for glory, for the wandering drengir do I raise my blade.
You honor me with your skill and ferocity. That is all that matters.
You are a true drengr. Ragnar would have liked you!
Eventually, Eivor defeated Erik Loyalskull.
- Erik Loyalskull: A fitting end to honorable warring. Now I go to see my brother, he who laughed at death, scourge of all England, Ragnar Lothbrok.
- Eivor: Farewell, drengr. Listen for hoof-beats, and follow the Valkyries home.
Erik died from his wounds and Eivor knelt over his body to deliver final rites. Before leaving, she found a note in the cave.
- Note Written in a Shaky Hand
I hope my words will fly you into Valhalla.
I remain confined to Midgard.
I alone of the drengr have returned to our homeland.
It is not the same without you.
A burial pit could not be more lifeless.
Helheim would be better than this.
I pledged you my life, now send me a good death.
Eivor approached a large fishing settlement surrounding a shallow lake outside Northwic and saw a man fishing as he talked to his son.
- Thor the Fish Monger: The nets are well set, you have stocks for a hundred moons. You will live a long and hearty life.
- Thor Thorsson: But father, you are not too ill to stay!
- Thor the Fish Monger: But I am. The weavers have sent me many portents. I only await a proper death, 'til the family axe of honor passes to you.
Eivor walked up and talked to Thor.
- Eivor: The air is filled with the smell of fish guts. Your catch appears generous. Your nets overflow with silver stock. You are lucky.
- Thor the Fish Monger: Good warrior, you carry yourself with the spirit of a drengr I am a drengr too.
- Eivor: In fish monger's slacks? Is this your way of hiding? Or protecting those around you?
- Thor the Fish Monger: My life has had many chapters. Ragnar Lothbrok himself started as a farmer, you know. He often envied my choice.
- Eivor: You rode with the Great Army of Ragnar?
- Thor the Fish Monger: I did. And it was here in England that I saw a land so fertile you could spit and food would grow. Waters teeming with fish. I met a Saxon lady, Æthelswig, and we have made a fine life for ourselves. The best clams in all of East Anglia. But now I must show my son the way of the drengr. How to die with honor.
- Eivor: I respect your desire for an honorable death.
- Thor the Fish Monger: I want my son to watch. He should have the final word when I pass. He will not see me die on a bed coughing like a crow.
(Accept – "I will fight you, drengr.")
- Eivor: I accept your fight. We will show your boy how drengr do their bedding.
- Thor the Fish Monger: Do you hear this son? Today you will see the color of the blood that made you! The color of courage and honor above all. Any weapon will do!
Thor waded into the lake and prepared himself for battle as Eivor readied her weapons.
- Thor the Fish Monger: Now you see son, we are drengr.
The two Vikings began their duel, with Thor using his two fishing spears to deadly effect.
- Thor the Fish Monger: Ah yes, the boil of battle! Its heat returns to me!
Watch me son! A true drengr can win a battle with a twig or stone!
Son... do not look away! My end is near!
After a grueling duel, Eivor defeated Thor the Fish Monger.
- Thor the Fish Monger: I have reached the glory-gate. Think of me, my boy. My dear love. Now you know.
Thor the Fish Monger died from his wounds. His son knelt at his body in remembrance.
- Thor Thorsson: Father, I... I understand. I see the glory you spoke of. Go now to Valhalla, and join Ragnar in the war-eternal.
- Eivor: Your father is a fine warrior. A drengr to the end.
- Thor Thorsson: One day I will honor him. And make myself a drengr.
- Nokkfylla Shine-Eye: I am not normal. I am beyond anything that any man has ever witnessed. I am a wound that festers. A shit that stinks in the sun. Trolls fear me. I am mind-fucked. Once a drengr, now a draugr. A walking dead. Rotten within and without. Fuck.
Eivor walked up and talked to Nokkfylla.
- Eivor: Greetings. Is this battlefield yours?
- Nokkfylla Shine-Eye: This is the gutter of an unchained drengr. A lost drengr. That is what I am I am vile. I should not be allowed to suck on clean air.
- Eivor: A drengr kills honorably, with glory and pride. Were these men not innocent?
- Nokkfylla Shine-Eye: Many of them were. Many were not. Their blood is now mingled and it stinks of the iron of my blade. What an end. Beloved Ragnar Lothbrok, he always kept me in check. He steadied the ship of my hugr (mind). Without him, I have lost my bearings. I scare myself. Not a thread of decency remains. The drengr I was, I have lost him. Would you end this suffering? For me?
- Eivor: You live with a great pain. One that cannot be eased by a weregild (penance), nor a reckoning.
- Nokkfylla Shine-Eye: Yes. You know my pain. And you look as through you could end it. Do this, then, a final kindness for an unworthy wretch.
(Accept – "I will fight you.")
- Eivor: Lost drengr, I will fight you. And help you find what Ragnar gave you.
- Nokkfylla Shine-Eye: Loki's children, take me one and all.
Immediately, Nokkfylla drew the large Danish axe from his back and began fighting Eivor, alternating between delivering wild swings and leaping to strike as he landed.
- Nokkfylla Shine-Eye: This one arm has learned the tricks of both! Beware!
Odin owes you!
Death to us both!
Go meet your god!
Gar! Odin! Trolls! Bra!
Take your last breath!
After a grueling duel, Eivor defeated Nokkfylla.
- Nokkfylla Shine-Eye: You have lanced me, Nokkfylla, the fetid boil. Let this death be the only good I have done since my master's death.
- Eivor: Odin welcomes all kinds, so long as they war louder and drink faster than the last man.
At an immaculately clean estate at Eurvicscire, Eivor found a man looking towards the horizon.
- Gotafrid Fairrobes: My weapons are polished and prepared, if you wish to dance.
Eivor walked up and talked to him.
- Eivor: Hail, warrior. You keep this estate?
- Gotafrid Fairrobes: I do. I am Gotafrid Fairrobes, celebrated drengr of the Great Heathen Army. Trusted golden helm of Ragnar Lothbrok. I intend a clean and honorable battle as my days grow old and rotten. I wish to keep myself dignified in my death-rattle.
- Eivor: Your upkeep is impressive.
- Gotafrid Fairrobes: My war garments are unblemished. Well-groomed and pristine. Ragnar taught me self-respect when we summered here.
- Eivor: A clean conscience, unblemished oaths, and immaculate loyalty are of higher value than any well-dusted piece of armor.
- Gotafrid Fairrobes: A resonant thought. Now will you oblige me? An honorable and clean battle is all I ask for now.
(Accept – "I desire a fight, drengr.")
- Eivor: May Odin visit us in this dance. Let us fight.
- Gotafrid Fairrobes: Prepare your garb for a last drenching of raven-wine.
The two Vikings began their duel, with Gotafrid using many weapon combinations, including a Danish axe and shield combination, and a double shield one.
- Gotafrid Fairrobes: My battle-irons are in prime condition.
Immaculate strike. Such precision.
My weapons are dulled and impure. I shall only use the sharp and aseptic. Only the purest.
Eventually, Eivor defeated Gotafrid Fairrobes.
- Gotafrid Fairrobes: Ah, my wounds bleed clean. Thank you for this last song of well-wrought iron and immaculate blows.
- Eivor: Go to your shining, flawless victory ... farewell, honorable drengr.
Eivor arrived at the snow-covered location of Thynghowe, Snotinghamscire, and overheard a woman talking.
- Skegjold Frenzy-Seeker: For Odin, for Thor, for Freya and the Valkyries, and the Saggy-Britches. Come to me, Ragnar. Find me in the Frenzy. Hommm....
Eivor walked up and talked to Skegjold.
- Eivor: Hail, warrior. Are these wetlands your longhouse? Your meadhall?
- Skegjold Frenzy-Seeker: This is a drengr's ritual chamber. I am Skegjold, pledged to Ragnar Lothbrok in hugr (mind) and body. Iron and soul. I seek one willing to take the ritual and engage me in combat to the death.
- Eivor: I understand. For an opponent you could do worse than me.
- Skegjold Frenzy-Seeker: Join me then, in Drengr-Seiðr. Ragnar taught it to me at Uppsala for nine moons and I never stopped. I will only fight one who enters my frenzy, for if we are not in the same state, I will have an unfair advantage.
- Eivor: What is the potion then? Mead and rotten bread?
- Skegjold Frenzy-Seeker: A sacred ale of high volatile spirits. And Thor's fungus, the Amanita Muscaria. Ragnar and I would quaff this great elixir before each new raid. I often saw him transcend the laws of battle. Drink of the brew that bubbles here in my pot. Then we will enter the frenzy together, and only one of us will leave.
Eivor drank from the bubbling pot and began their duel.
- Eivor: May you walk the Bifröst with heavy steps, drengr.
Skegjold immediately attacked Eivor with her sword and war hammer.
- Skegjold Frenzy-Seeker: This is for the lady of many names!
Now the All-Father sees me. He opens his arms, ready to receive!
Eventually, Eivor defeated Skegjold Frenzy-Seeker.
- Eivor: You fought well, and our journey was fair. Now yours continues.
- Skegjold Frenzy-Seeker: Now I transcend. Farewell. It is my turn to see the god of poetry.
Upon scaling a mountain at Hordafylke, Eivor recognized the signs of a drengr.
- Eivor: This is drengr territory. One of Ragnar Lothbrok's wandering warriors lurks here.
Eivor walked up and talked to the warrior.
- Eivor: You carry no blade, only shields?
- Orwig Neverdeath: I am impervious to all but the iron of a true drengr. Ragnar Lothbrok knew this, and bade me carry only boards. As a challenge. Now he is gone, and I remain. I wish to die, but I cannot. For he made me too strong. Now I spend my time longing for his company.
- Eivor: You must have a weak point.
- Orwig Neverdeath: None that I am aware of. I was always at the center of Ragnar's shield wall. He trusted me with the defenses of his great army. My flesh, scarred and trained by Ragnar, is now like an iron weave. It pains me. How can I join him if none can kill me in battle? I see no way in which this can occur. Unless, you prove me wrong, fair challenger.
(Accept – "I'm ready, drengr.")
- Eivor: Let me do the honor of breaking Ragnar's shield wall.
- Orwig Neverdeath: I hope you will. Let me now prepare the shield wall. Lord Ragnar, will this be the day?
The two Vikings began their duel.
- Orwig Neverdeath: Stand fast, warrior. And if Loki rules the day, you may have a chance.
I am a fortress impenetrable. This is my skill. This is my curse.
I am Orwig Neverdeath. I wish to die.
Yes! Break me, drengr!
I ... I never thought I would feel this! Vulnerable. Death, lurking near!
Eventually, Eivor defeated Orwig Neverdeath.
- Orwig Neverdeath: I ... I have been breached. Victory is yours. Victory is mine...
- Eivor: Stand fast and tall, he who cannot die. The gates open for you.
After sending the six drengr to Valhalla, she found a scroll.
- Eivor: A scroll recounting Ragnar Lothbrok's death.
- The Krákumál of Ragnar Lothbrok
So I must write. Many a skald is willing to chirp and gossip about some endless heroic greatness in order to secure a pouch full of silver. However, I come from rich Northumbrian stock and have no need of gilded reward for my words. You see, I was an enemy of him for whom I write. Let me tell you the real Ragnarsdrápa and what I saw in one instance when Ragnar Lothbrok was sent to his end. I met the warriors who trained under him, behind him, in front of him, but mostly FOR him. Pledged were so many, Never have | seen so many oaths taken for one man. They called themselves Drengr. And though he died, he loved them all as sons and gods and daughters and queens. That I am certain of.
I was a mere minor officer in King Aelle's army, which is why I can bare the faces of what happened to this great warrior. Many moons after I was captured by Ivarr the Boneless, and amidst the Dane warrior class, I learned the extent of Ragnar Lothbrok's violent sinew. Ragnar Saggy-Britches, Ragnar the Unifier, Ragnar the Roar of All Drengr.
I saw his death, but it was no death. lt was merely another page having been written in a saga like none other this world has seen. All those soldiers under King Aelle were changed that day near Stamford Bridge by the pit of snakes.
- The Krákumál of Ragnar Lothbrok
Eivor made her way to the location in the scroll.
- Eivor: This pit. It fits the description in the letter about Ragnar Lothbrok.
She descended into the pit, dealing with the snakes before approaching the fallen cage.
- Eivor: There is the cage that held him. The site abandoned, as if used once for a ritual, and never again. Here. This is the place where Ragnar Lothbrok met his end. He must have been naked and bloodied, every drop draining into the pit. This supreme drengr of all men, now King Aella's prize.
In her imagined reconstruction of the happenings at the pit, Eivor pictured Ragnar.
- Ragnar Lothbrok: "I have seen this day a thousand times! Baldr keeps a cup of mead for me. I welcome my entry into the land of champions!"
- Eivor: Mocked, ridiculed, humiliated, his honor did not budge. Dragged by cowards, thrown to snakes. They were more afraid than him.
- Ragnar Lothbrok: "I face death with a thirst on my lips. My reputation cannot be unwritten, inscribed on the hearts of those who fought beside me!"
- Eivor: Set upon by venomous snakes, he stood and spoke with honor and spine, for all those who live their lives for glory alone.
- Ragnar Lothbrok: "O, how the young pigs would grunt if they knew how this old boar suffered! You will meet them, Aella! One day, they will come!"
- Eivor: His men came too late to save him. Those who fought for him, they loved him dearly. Their oaths, unbreakable. I have sent your drengr to meet you, great king. You will be with them once again.
Breaking free of her reverie, she noticed something shiny.
- Eivor: There, where he fell. Something glints in the soil. There is something in a pit. Something left behind?
She brushed aside some dirt.
Eivor recovered the Drengiligr and left the pit.
Eivor sent Ragnar Lothbrok's men to meet with him in Valhalla and learned about his death, allowing her to recover his dagger from the pit.