Book 9 - The Mist in the Darkness - Chapter 14: Memories

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httyyd
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Me these last two weeks of figuring out more of the story and where I will end up taking things:

 

Hope you are all doing well.  I've gone back to school for my final semester of college.  I'll be busy with that, but I still want to write, so I will do so when I've can as I have been doing.

 

Hope you all enjoy the new chapter!

 

 

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Book 10 - The Shattered Axe

Chapter 17 - Back on Track

 

The Jarl Mollerson Mystery Series

All Chapter Links
 

 

Destiny in the Dark

Chapter 3 - Friends and Enemies

 

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Here are links to the chapters of my fan-fic series.  The books go in chronological order.

 

The Clue of the Missing Socks.

Chapters 1 and 2                         Chapter 3                                       Chapter 4

Chapter 5                                      Chapter 6                                        Chapter 7

Chapters 8 and 9                        Chapter 10                                     Chapter 11

Chapters 12 and 13                     Chapters 14, 15, and 16             Chapter 17

Chapter 18                                    Chapter 19                                      Chapter 20

Chapter 21 and 22                      Chapter 23                                     Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26 - There is a hidden surprise.  Can you find it?

Chapter 27                                   Chapter 28, Part 1                         Chapter 28, Part 2

Chapter 29                                   Chapter 30                                       Chapter 31

Chapter 32                                   Chapter 33                                       Chapter 34

Chapter 35                                   Chapter 36                                       Chapter 37

Chapter 38                                   Chapter 39                                       Chapter 40

Chapter 41                                   Chapter 42                                       Chapter 43

Chapter 44                                   Chapter 45, Parts 1 and 2

 

The Mysterious Frozen Fire

Chapter 1         Chapter 2         Chapter 3         Chapter 4         Chapter 5         Chapter 6

Chapter 7         Chapter 8         Chapter 9         Chapter 10       Chapter 11       Chapter 12

Chapter 13       Chapter 14       Chapter 15        Chapter 16       Chapter 17       Chapter 18  

Chapter 19       Chapter 20      Chapter 21        Chapter 22, Part 1       Chapter 22, Part 2 

Chapter 22, Part 3

Epilogue/Preview for my Third Story!

 

Thoughts of Guilt

Chapters 1 and 2          Chapters 3 and 4          Chapter 5          Chapter 6          Chapter 7

Chapter 8          Chapter 9          Chapter 10          Chapter 11          Chapter 12, Part 1

Chapter 12, Part 2          Chapter 13         Chapter 14         Chapter 15         Chapter 16

Chapter 17 and 18         Chapter 19         Chapter 20         Chapter 21         Chapter 22

Chapter 23         Chapter 24         Chapter 25         Chapter 26         Chapter 27

Chapter 28         Chapter 29         Chapter 30         Chapter 31         Chapter 32

Chapter 33         Chapter 34         Chapter 35         Chapter 36 and 37

Chapter 38, Part 1         Chapter 39, Part 2         Chapter 40, Part 3         Chapter 41

Chapter 42, Parts 1 and 2         Chapter 43         Chapter 44

Chapter 45, Part 1         Chapter 45, Part 2

 

On the Edge of Mystery

Chapter 1          Chapter 2         Chapter 3        Chapters 4 & 5    Chapter 6, Parts 1 and 2   

Chapter 7          Chapter 8         Chapter 9            Chapter 10       Chapter 11        Chapter 12

Chapter 13        Chapter 14       Chapter 15          Chapter 16        Chapter 17       Chapter 18

Chapter 19        Chapter 20       Chapter 21          Chapter 22       Chapter 23      Chapter 24

Chapter 25        Chapter 26       Chapter 27         Chapter 28        Chapter 29 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 30       Chapter 31       Chapter 32 and 33                         Chapter 34 Parts 1 and 2 

Chapter 35 Part 1         Chapter 35 Part 2        Chapter 35 Part 3        Chapter 36

 

The Secret Symbol

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7     Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21   Chapter 22   Chapter 23   Chapter 24 and 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29 and 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39

Chapter 40 and 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43, 44, 45, and 46

 

The Legend of Shadow Mountain

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5

Chapter 6    Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapter 10

Chapter 11    Chapter 12    Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15

Chapter 16   Chapter 17    Chapter 18    Chapter 19    Chapter 20

Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23    Chapter 24    Chapter 25

Chapter 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29    Chapter 30

Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34    Chapter 35

Chapter 36    Chapter 37    Chapter 38    Chapter 39    Chapter 40

Chapter 41    Chapter 42    Chapter 43    Chapter 44    Chapter 45 & 46

Chapter 47    Chapter 48    Chapter 49    Chapter 50    Chapter 51

 

Teaser "Trailer" for Book 8 - Conquest of the Truth

 

The Crimson Storm

Chapters 1 and 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4    Chapter 5    Chapter 6

Chapter 7    Chapter 8    Chapter 9    Chapters 10 and 11    Chapter 12

Chapter 13    Chapter 14    Chapter 15    Chapter 16    Chapter 17    Chapter 18

Chapter 19    Chapter 20    Chapter 21    Chapter 22    Chapter 23

Chapter 24    Chapter 25 and 26    Chapter 27    Chapter 28    Chapter 29

Chapter 30    Chapter 31    Chapter 32    Chapter 33    Chapter 34

Chapter 35 and Epilogue

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httyyd
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Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

Here is the music mix for this chapter: 1 Hour of Sad War Music | Music for Sad War Scenes | Writing Music

 

Note point of view: Jarl's Dad

 

The Mist in the Darkness

 

Chapter 14

Memories

 

Sigvald's Point of View

 

         After two days, not sure who was more eager to go after Vixxen: Klarp or Ragnarok, even Jarl grew impatient as the hours came and went.

         On first light of the third day, we set out to follow Vixxen’s trail she said she would leave.  Though Vixxen told us to give her three days, both Klarp and Jarl reasoned, “By the time we get there, the three days will be up.”

         They are nearly correct.  We searched the camp on Wengo Island and found Vixxen’s clue.  It pointed to the west.  Flying out this direction, we saw her markers, and now have spent most of the afternoon continuing our heading west.

         From Berk’s knowledge of the maps of the area, the islands this far to the southwest are quite unknown.  Dagur’s maps provide a bit more detail, seeing he is the commander of The Armada.  But unless one’s life is a trader or sailor, living such a live makes much more of the reality of the world and the darkness it holds made known.  Sometimes to the point, you do not want to expose others to it.

         After the third marker, Klarp informs the group about Draython Cove.  I know it well.  With a target, the group pushes on:  Klarp, Annabeth, Jarl, Cazi, Valkarik, Ali, Aiyana, Svana, and me.  Klarp is riding Ragnarok.

         We come upon Draython Cove a few hours before sundown.  The sight we see from a mile away is not encouraging.  The closer we come the more the urgency rises in the group.  The scene:  A row of various ships all but obliterated with some small sections, mere shells torn apart from the whole.  Without the presence of sails and masts, there is no indication that the carnage was at one-point seafaring vessels.

         The frantic search through the wreckage is our worst fear of our friend come to pass.  This was no ambush for supplies, as is the case with most “business opportunities” on Draython Cove.  This was a planned, well-coordinated, massacre!

         So much debris to comb through, on the shore and in the water is making our job much harder.  A half hour goes by, yet it could have been an eternity to some.  By the looks of those vikings, it easy to start losing hope at the sight we are seeing.  The longer this takes, the more a reality is realized, one we never saw coming.

         “Over here!” yells Jarl.

         Jarl’s voice came from an area just entering the harbor.  Everyone immediately flew to this location.  My son is still reeling a bit from his injury and is unable to take initial action.  So, Klarp is the first to jump off a dragon and dive into the water.  I follow him.

         Jarl points out the spot for Klarp and me to then swim to.  A body in the water pinned underneath a fallen mast from a ship with a lot of dragon proof armor.  This armor is weighing the ship down, or what is left of it, and causing the mast to fall and sink in the water bringing anything with it.  The only thing stopping it from doing so is that the mast landed on the edge of a ship next to it.  It is merely leaning on it and on a downward trajectory.  Any irritation to either ship or the mast could cause the mast to follow through on its intent.  The problem lies in where Vixxen is at.  The mast is about to break in half the smaller ship where Vixxen is pinned between it and the mast.  There is enough weight in the mast to start to submerge this smaller ship to the point where Vixxen’s body is nearly under the surface with her head barely sticking above the water.  One could not see this spot from flying over because the sail is draped over the area, hiding the peril we see.

         Klarp is horrified but focused.  Is focus is reassured when we find her still breathing but sounds of creaks and subtle splintering in the wood around us indicates the mast will take her under at any moment.  However…

         I tell Klarp, “We cannot move Vixxen without risking her being pulled under by the mast.  Not to mention there are ropes from the mast wrapped around her.  Anything we do will just accelerate the motion of the mast.”

         “If we don’t do anything,” Klarp starts but pauses.  “I’ll take that risk.”

         As quickly and gently as we can, we start removing the ropes around her either by cutting them or pulling them out.  Both increases the loudness of the creaks and splintering.

         I dive below and check Vixxen’s feet, surfacing, I inform, “There is some debris around her feet which kept her feet from fully being crushed.  If we move it, the mast definitely falls.”

         Klarp adds, “If we don’t, it falls anyway.  We’re going to have to let the mast do its thing and free Vixxen under the water.  You take care of the debris; I’ll take care of getting Vixxen out.  Jarl.”  Klarp calls out.  “Bring Fredrick from underneath for me to have a quick getaway.  Just go underwater way out in the harbor so as not to disturb the water here.”  Dragon wings flap away as Klarp says, “Once we see Fredrick beneath us, we need someone to push the mast off the other ship.”

         Minutes later, we both see the Thunderdrum come up to us.

         Klarp asks me, “Ready.”

         I nod my head.

         Klarp orders, “NOW!”

         Menacing creaking and splintering occur slowly and then suddenly snaps.  From us hanging onto it, the mast pulls us under too and at a rapid pace.  I reach for the debris and pull it out.  It needs several pulls to release Vixxen’s feet.  Once they are free, debris from all around us is sinking creating hazards not to be caught and pulled down further.  Fredrick dove with us as we sank and the moment, we were free, swam up to us…  And closes his mouth over us, taking us all in!

         Seconds later, he pours us out onto the shore.  Getting our wits about us, Klarp drags Vixxen to shore and past the water line.  Laying her down and putting an ear to her chest, he checks her heart.  All of his color escapes his face.  He immediately starts thumping her chest with both of his palms, trying to start her heart pumping again.  He the breathes into her mouth and then thumps again.

         After the third time, Klarp whispers, “Come on, Thorgunna.”

         Fourth time.

         Five.

         “COME ON!”

         Six.

 

         Coughing and gaging on the water she had swallowed, Vixxen sits up with help from Klarp.  Giving her the time, she needs, Vixxen soon calms down.  Seeing us all around her, she notices who has her in her arms.  Taking in her first thorough breath in a long time she leans her head on Klarp.

         Minutes after this, Vixxen reaches behind her and brings around a small cantina from her belt asking Klarp, “Do you need some water?”

         Klarp closes his eyes and begrudgingly grunts, letting out an extended, “Oooh.”

         Taking a deep breath, Vixxen continues, “Usually when you find someone in trouble or just come back from seeing the lights of Valhalla, you offer them water.  But seeing how that is what nearly brought about my downfall, my own husband offers it to me.  Haha.  I did a funny.  Would you like me to show you where the nearest cliff is?”

         “Yes please,” Klarp replies.  “So, I can jump off of it.”

         “Well, wait for me, why don’t you.  I was patient enough to wait for you…  Relaxing on the water as I was.  Or was I in the water already?  Anyway, how long has it been?”

         Klarp tells her, “Two days.”

         I add, “It has almost been three.”

         That statement got a punch in the right side for me from Svana.

         If Svana’s look was bad enough, she voiced what her expression already told me, “Are you an idiot or just plain stupid?  You don’t tell that to someone who just came back from the brink.”

         Vixxen manages to chuckle, waving her hand, “Don’t worry about it.  Klarp no doubt was trying to stick to what I said:  Three days.  But decided to leave early because by the time you got here it would end up being three days.  Guess you are fashionable early as usual.”

         Svana jests, talking under her breath but loud enough to be heard while also looking away, “Fashionably early?  Wish I had a husband who would be early.  Better late than never.”

         “Which is what I feel like right now,” Klarp extends.  “I should have never let you go alone.”  Vixxen starts to defend, but Klarp has none of it.  “I know you’ve been on your own before and done this many times.  Things are different now.  We can’t just use any means we want to get out of a situation.”

         Jarl is in the back but mentions, “Like arrows?”

         “Thank you for your concern.  I’m glad I’m okay too,” Vixxen expects a warmer welcome but Jarl then echoed the sentiment Vixxen stated.  Vixxen sighed, “I knew this was coming.”

         Jarl repeated, “What was coming?”

         Now a bit irritated, Vixxen answers, “You know what.  Me using arrows.  But not just that.  The way in which I used those arrows and the intent I had with my aim.”

         Even now knowing Vixxen is alright, Jarl is in a very despondent mood, “Look, I’m glad your okay.  But do you realize what went down here?”

         Vixxen gently implores Klarp to help her up.  Grimacing as she goes, Vixxen puts her arm around Klarp to help her steady.  Testing her feet, she cannot put any weight on her left foot.  So, working together, Klarp and Vixxen take a few steps towards Jarl.

         Confidently, she tells utters, “I do indeed know exactly what happened here.  But I am thinking you don’t.”  Jarl tries to say something but Vixxen speaks over him, “You think you can always do things your way and protect everyone.”

         “But did you have to kill?” he questioned.

         “Did I-?” she started but stopped before going on.  “Oh, well, I’m sorry.  I did not have time to ask the attackers where they would like to be shot.  They looked pretty content with taking down anyone who stood in their way with any means necessary.”  She looks at Jarl, “Life isn’t all fun and games with puzzles and mysteries to be solved.  Reality sometimes hits you hard and fast.  And the truth is, when faced with an impossible situation, a situation between yourself and someone else and that someone wants to live just as badly as you do, you have to make a choice.  I took the choice to stop everyone I could who was attacking…  So that they did not take someone else’s life.  That is a truth I thought you of all people would have figured out by now.”

         Vixxen then walked past Jarl and went further into the island.

         Klarp wonders, “Where are we going?”

         “I remembered something I need to see something for myself.”

         We all walk in behind Klarp and Vixxen as they peer into the cave.

         Vixxen looks down and mumbles, “He’s not here.”

         Ali speaks up, “Who’s not here?”

         “Ondott.  He was here when had to leave him.”

         “Leave him?” Ali echoes.

         Vixxen leans on the entrance wall to explain, “The night after I left you guys, I stowed away on a ship to find out where this ‘business opportunity’ was and what it was about.  While on the ship, I crafted the markers I’m sure you found them to find this place, though I knew Klarp knows about Draython, I figured Sigvald and Svana did too.  Once I got you guys to head in this general direction, you would be able to find this island quite easily.  Getting back to the business opportunity, I know my way around this island quite well as Ondott and I, then later Klarp even joined our many ventures.  We as did many others profited from using this island for its intended and unintended purpose:  Set up meetings to buy, sell, and trade black market goods while also raiding other meetings to take stuff for ourselves or destroy what was being sold.  What happened here two nights ago was any typical meeting set up here.  Exclusive invites to a small number of players in the black-market deals in the area.  The host has something to sell to everyone else, if they wait.  If everyone is impatient and afraid of staying on this island too long, they can trade amongst themselves and just leave.  If they all wait, then the host will greet them and trade and sell with them using some of the unique and most times dangerous things you’ll ever see.  Whether for scrap to make for something else or to be actually used, these things would always need practically your entire treasure hold collected from the last six months.  Whatever it was, it would always be worth something to someone involved.  Yet, as you can see, sometimes it is very one sided.”

         Klarp jumps in, “Things were never this bad.  Whoever did this, is not messing around and is on a mission.”

         “A vendetta is how I would put it,” Vixxen persists.  “The meeting was ambushed at the exact time the host was about to bring out their prize treasure or item or whatever it was.  I was up above the meeting, able to eavesdrop, but when Griselda the Grievous said, ‘Kill them all,’ only because her meeting was ambushed, I jumped into action to save Ondott.  The ambushers have some type of smoke screen bomb, very similar to how our own smoke screen bombs operate, but these seemed to have a paralyzing affect one everyone.  Once inhaled, the body would start coughing and then quickly collapse to the point of paralysis from the neck down; only able to use the head, maybe the arms.  I am thinking, one has to be in the bomb’s initial area of impact to fully receive the side effects of the paralyzing bomb.  Otherwise, I was able to jump down and only start to feel the effects.  Ondott pleaded with me to leave him so that I would escape.  I tried to buy some time by dropping the fireplace down, blocking our first attackers, but the whole island was over run.  Seeing there was no way to make a defense, everyone had only one goal.  Escape.  Some of the ships were already being taken over, so random vikings from crews there banded together to try and escape on any ship left intact.  They just kept coming.  Seemed like there was no shortage of manpower from our attackers.  Even with the odds stacked against us, we started to make out on the smallest of the ships here.  Yet, something exploded as if they had laid a trap on said ship that if anyone tried to escape, they were doomed too.  After the explosion, everything went black for me.”

         Svana instantly went to her for a hug, sincerely saying, “We were all happy to see you were alright.  But after seeing this, I know we are that much more thankful to see you in one piece.”

         “Thank you,” Vixxen’s smile is short lived.  “I am just hoping Ondott is alright, if not still alive.”

         A moment goes by before Jarl says from behind the group, “Whoever ambushed the island, they were in a big hurry and did not bother taking any of the stuff on the ships.  Or at least it looks that way.  There are many tracks here on the beach going every which way.  Places on the beach where a body had been clearly laying yet is no longer there.  Places where vikings fell, only to pick themselves up and continue on.  Whoever attacked, had something very specific in mind.  Once that was accomplished, they went on their way leaving everyone and everything behind.  As you have said that this Griselda the Grievous told her soldiers to, ‘Kill them all,’ there is a second group of fighters here.  One I think we would all be surprised to see.”

         Jarl pushes one body of a viking over.  Straight off, everyone knows what Jarl will say, “The mark of a Stormheart.  Their subtle warpaint is found on everyone who gives their allegiance to Stormheart.  And in lieu of what happen on Berk in the last two days, there is definitely another player involved and it just might be Stormheart.  We had gone back to Berk for my mother wanted me to be checked over by Gothi.  While we were there, Stormheart openly attacked our island.  Thankfully, Dagur and some other crafted some defenses because of the stunt she pulled against the School with the Triple Stryke.  She sent wild dragons at us that were overly aggressive.  Then it turns out that the statue she gave us in ‘good faith’ turned out to be a trap.  It caused totally chaos on Berk, affecting some of the wild dragons now living on Berk.  Stormheart quickly left while the wild dragons kept the rest of us busy.  The statue turned out to have an encased Triple Stryke egg as well, which the previous Triple Stryke that started the first attack on the School was trying to get at before flying away again.”

         “Using the Grimora as a weapon, Stormheart could disable any dragon, distracting those involved, to then get what she was looking for with no one being the wiser.  Using these types of methods seem very similar to what happened here.  However, the means upon which they completed their plan is very extreme and…  Is unlike something I ever seen before.  There is yet another player involved in all this, someone in addition to this Griselda.  To have these many different forces all vying for something in our world, no one is escaping their grasp, but,” Jarl finishes while making eye contact with Vixxen.  “That doesn’t mean no one can challenge that.  If others escaped, then…  I don’t see why Ondott didn’t escape as well.”

         Vixxen lets out a deep sigh, probably letting out some frustration too, “That’s what I’m hoping.”  Vixxen then wonders, “Where is Annabeth?”

         Only now, I just realize Annabeth has not been with the group since after pulling Vixxen out of the water, Annabeth is nowhere in sight.

         Ali informs, “Oh, I saw her walk off to the north.”

         Valkarik looks at Ali, Ali corrects, “Poor choice of words.  I ‘saw’ her when she nearly walked into me once Vixxen was halfway through explaining what happened on the island.”

         I am surprised Jarl did not notice Annabeth had gone somewhere.  He is usually spot on with noticing the things no one else does.  Something else is on his mind and we now know what.

         Letting Klarp and Vixxen rest until it is time to leave, the remaining vikings in the group start looking at the sand for signs of a trail.  Svana spots the tracks that Star Scream left, her blue Titan Stormcutter.  We all follow them around to the north.  Before long, we see the blue Titan sitting on a plateau slightly raised above the ground where we are.  Annabeth and her dragon are looking to the north.  We all stay back while Jarl goes to inquire of his wife. It is only a hundred feet long, so we would be able to offer any help if needed.  One other thing, Star Scream’s wings are almost look like he is trying to console her.

         Jarl is able to walk up to Annabeth completely without her noticing he is behind her.  One might think she would be startled by Jarl reaching out to her, but she does not flinch; doesn’t even respond.

         When Jarl turns Annabeth to him by her shoulders, he notices something in her hands clasped to her chest, “What is this?”

         Complying, Annabeth opens her hands up and Jarl answers, “It’s a belt buckle.  Where did you find it?  What does it stand for?”

         Annabeth tries to speak, but her voice is so quiet not even Jarl could hear.  Realizing, Annabeth clears her throat to speak up.

         “Things have been good for so long, I forgot all about my past,” Annabeth describes.  “But seeing what reality can be and what the people in this world can do, it reminded me of something.”

         Jarl guessed, “Your first home.”

         Annabeth nods while looking down, “This belt buckle…  This insignia…  This symbol was worn by and displayed on the sails of the attacking force which destroyed everyone I knew and loved once.  I never thought I would say this, Jarl, but I think I need to go home to where the rest of my life began.”