Book 10 - The Shattered Axe - Chapter 23, Part 1: A Threatening Revolution

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httyyd
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Joined: 10/12/2013

3 months since I last posted a chapter...  This summer has taken forever yet has also gone by in a flash so far.

 

What I have been up to?  What have I not been up to?

 

The first month was getting hooked on South Korean historical dramas, most notably The Flower in Prison (Link takes you to where you can watch it too) that my family binged watched in about 2 weeks.  I started in around episode 25 or so, as I thought the first several episodes were a bit slow.  But going back now and watching the beginning episodes, I misunderstood the timeline of a couple of things, so actually it was anything but slow.

There are several awesome historical dramas on the site.  I know it would be another streaming platform to add to the bucket full of others, but if you are looking for something fresh yet exciting and don't mind reading subtiles, there are several shows on here that are epic.  One I recently finished, The Red Sleeve, is one of the best I have seen on the site from a cinematography stand point.  The production company behind these shows have come a long way from their early shows to current day.  The progression of the presentation of the shows is impressive, yet no matter how the show is shot, many of them have excellent stories.

 

I should probably move on from them before I keep talking about them.

 

After the first month of no chapter, my family had an event at my house to honor our veterans for Flag Day while also talking about the Spiritual Warefare Christians are in.  That video can be seen on my YouTube Here.

 

Once that event was done, work got extremely busy, probably the most since I started working there last May.  I am a parts delivery driver for O'Reilly Auto Parts.  Before June, we would average up to 30 deliveries per day.  June's average went up to 35 if not 40 on multiple days.  Then into July, the trend continued.  That being said, downtime at work became non-exsistent which is when I would typically be able to write in my notebook for the next chapter.  Slowly, but surely, I did write, but it was no where near what I wanted.

Thrown in between last month's stuff, I turned a year older to 26.

 

Then the last week of July and the first week of August, so back-to-back weeks, one of our guys that is a driver and one who has a drawer (meaning, they can help for retail sales for our walk-in business as well as our commercial side of sales, which is where I am at as a driver), took a 2 week vacation for a wedding and honeymoon he had gone on.  The couple went to various parts of the state where I live while most of the vacation was a simple vacation from work.

In these 2 weeks alone, more happened than in the previous 2 months combined...  Or at least that is what it felt like.

 

The average for these 2 weeks was 40+ deliveries, some nearing 45.  And this is with 2 drivers on a good day.  I say that because the first week I had nearly 5 hours of overtime because the other driver had to cover the morning shift plus part of the afternoon, so he would get to leave at 3pm and I would be the only driver available from 3pm to 6pm when I get off.  So, 4 out of the 5 days that first week I didn't get to leave work until almost 7pm.  A twice, I was the only driver from the entire day, main driver that is.  We have reserve drivers to help out if we get swamped or drivers call in.

To top off the week, I got sick.  Thankfully, it was only a 3 day cold.  Out of all the stuff in the world right now, this is the first time I have ever had the plain, ordinary... Flu.  Seems like a forgotten virus at this stage.  I missed last Monday of work, but was good enough to go Tuesday.  I was at like 75-80%...  But last week was a repeat of the previous week before that.  40+ average delieveries and a couple of times me being the only driver... Which was also my first day back after feeling better.

 

After saying all of this, I dare say things are starting to get back to normal at work.  The one guy is back from vacation.  (Going forward, an important position like his, back-to-back weeks of vacation should be outlawed.  But if you have the vacation days saved up, you should use it.  Had I not been sick, the weeks would have been much better.)  Still dealing with congestion, allergies, and a nagging but small cough because of the cogestion, things are getting back to normal.

 

Finally, after 3 months of getting half of this chapter written, I sat down tonight to get the other half done.  But, still, it isn't where I want to be as my arc right now needs another chapter, so this will be the first part.

 

I plan on writing this in the coming days, but plans have the habit of changing when I don't want them to.

I have ideas for a book during Httyd 3, post Httyd 3, and a "Conquest for The Truth" style book well past Httyd 3 and even past Homecoming.  So, I have not forgotten this series.  Much to the contrary.  I have been dying to get back to my weekly postings.  I am going to do my best to get back into that pattern.

 

Above all else, thank you for being patent with me.  I love this series we have created together.  All who have created a character and/or plots to do and those who simply just read, thank you very much.  This has been something I never knew I would love doing, I just wish life would allow me to do more of the things I want to do.  But, sometimes, when you have a little bit of time, you have to make yourself sit down and complete it.  And that is what I did tonight.  About 2 and a half hours of writing and here we are.

 

I hope you all enjoyed reading my TED Talk on where I have been these last few months...

 

And I hope you all enjoy the chapter!

 

By the way, what happened to the "edit" button for the original post?  It was back when I posted the last chapter.  Now it is gone again.  Bring it back!!!

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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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Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

The epic music mix for the chapter:

NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER | Best Epic Heroic Orchestral Music | Copyright Free Music

 

The Shattered Axe

 

Chapter 23, Part 1

A Threatening Revolution

 

Jarl's Point of View

 

         All that has transpired is causing mixed emotions for myself not in just the last couple of weeks, but last night alone, is putting it very mildly.

         I am glad I have captured Samantha, but have I just sent a friend into exile, or worse?

         I now know Samantha did not murder that woman on the cliff, but the more I try to persuade myself that Samantha did not murder Gladstone, more evidence is discovered to say otherwise.  What has Samantha gotten mixed up in?  Has she changed as a person just because of a clue she found that would point to her family she has been searching for?  Will nothing be so low as to get swallowed up by Khaos in their own wicked plans that has her scared to even ask help from our crew?

         Am I trying to defend and prove the innocence of someone who should be found guilty?

         By encouraging the racing to continue, am I putting more vikings at risk with the increased presence of Khaos?  Their interest in racing, has it become a security threat to whoever dares host a race now?

         By trying to stop Khaos, am I placing my crew in harms way in putting an emphasis on stopping anything Khaos is doing which emboldens my crew to go out on their own to risk life and limb for mere clues which leads only to the possibility of a solution?

         All these questions went through my mind as I tried to talk to Samantha.

 

         When the crew had finally left Aberdeen Island for Berserker Island, I thought Samantha would open up now that she was away from peering eyes of Khaos.  She would not speak a word.  Once home, we put Samantha in the court jail in the main village to separate her from the low lives in the underground prison.  For the some who are caught in our area, Berserker Island is a stop gap before the criminals are transferred to Outcast Island.  But Samantha is truly Berk’s prisoner since the crime she is charged with occurred on Berk.

         Staying up into the night for the next couple of hours, I tried to grill Samantha on the information she knows from Khaos, anything about her family she has uncovered, or simply if she knew of anyone who would have motive to murder Gladstone.  No matter how much I tried to relay the seriousness of the matter to her, she is tight lipped about something.  I thought if it were just me and her on familiar ground, she would open up.  Yet, if she did not do it on the flight back, why would she here?

         She is not trembling, so she is not nervous.  In her eyes, she is not visibly fearing something or someone.  It is just she is choosing not to tell us anything and will not make eye contact with me.  If I move into her line of sight, she turns her head.

         However, after all of this, when I mention, “If you don’t look like you are being forced to act like a traitor, then all I can report to Hiccup is that you in agreement and colluding with Khaos.  Do you know what kind of consequence that is?”

         She briefly made eye contact, narrowing her gaze, before looking down.  But now, her eyes begin to dart.  That struck a chord, yet she does not look desperate, more like she is meticulously searching a gameplan book in front of her to find a specific move as if this were Maces and Talons.

         My last course of direction is to tell her what my next move is, desperate to get a reaction so I can have a surer heading in my move, “One of the players in this game could be the difference maker since everyone else is after his piece of information.  If we only knew where Grizzy was.”

         Samantha lifts her head, opens her mouth to speak, yet hesitates and then clamors up again.

         “You will be questioned by Hiccup, the inspector from Aberdeen Island, and probably a representative of The Iron Conclave.  Even if they did not like Gladstone, whoever they send will try to manipulate you and twist your actions.  They will be ruthless compared to me or Hiccup.  I guess if you play the role of the ‘quiet sheep before its shearers’ with no reaction, no one will suspect you.  However, in Christ’s example, He was innocent of every charge before him.  You, on the other hand, are portraying yourself as guilty with evidence to corroborate such a role.  If you don’t speak up soon, your destiny is set, and no one can stop it.”

         A sigh is all she answered with.

         I leave her in one of the cells of the court prison to wait until morning where Annabeth and Cazi will escort her to Berk.

         Rebecca and Dotta, or whatever her name is, will try to attack me through Samantha once they know the suspect in Gladstone’s murder has been caught.  Though they hated Gladstone, now that they are in charge of The Iron Conclave, they will bring charges against Samantha.

         Finding Griz Kadal is the biggest lead we have.  Grizzy, as everyone prefers to call him because of his personality as I have heard, at one point was a business partner with my parents from their adventurous sea faring days.  It long before any of my siblings or I came along.  My parents know Grizzy better than any of us, so it is a tremendous help to start there for he has certain islands he used to frequent.  Also, there are rumors my parents would hear of a viking, small in stature, in the southern reaches of the Barbaric Archipelago gaining wealth, spreading good cheer, and growing a network of business dealings that could rival anything the Dragon Hunters ever did.  Yet with Grizzy, he did it with information and recruiting vikings like my parents to collect his prosperity while also benefiting those he helped.

But I feel we are behind everyone else trying to find him.  What Grizzy saw or heard, must be so revealing, and incriminating for everyone and their crew involved to be after him no matter the stakes.  Whatever it is, it must be connected to Samantha’s family, or else why would Samantha go to such lengths to throw her life away just to know what Grizzy knows?

         The more I try to answer a question, three more appear.

         On this quest to find Grizzy, the crew I have chosen is as follows:  My parents, Vixxen, Klarp, Dagur, Eret, Dawn, and Aiyana.  One might notice a theme with these crew members.  All the connections they had in their former lives will be able to assist in not only finding Grizzy but taking it one step further.  I must know why Khaos is desperate to find him.  He is either in trouble for knowing too much or is wanting to take down Khaos, so they see him as a threat to be extinguished.  Either way, Khaos cannot have their way in anything because I fear what they are planning cannot be good for anyone.

         Annabeth wanted to come with me but knowing the crew and I might get into something more serious than a tavern fight of which we retreated from, – I – did not want Annabeth there.  Protecting Samantha and overseeing a prisoner transport is very important too.  It must be properly done without a hitch so that all who are interested parties in this case can see that Berserker Island is better than what it once was and can be a role in the greater success of the archipelago.  In shorter words, it is a political win for Berserker Island to show how prisoners are treated yet dealt with.  Annabeth, as the sister to the King of Berserker Island, she has duties to perform, things she more and more welcomes and is blessed to do.

         The Royal family is something I do not talk about much – if ever really – neither does Annabeth, so it is always good that we remind each other that it is not just my crew that looks to us, but a whole island.

         This is the one thing I had not fully grasped when I married Annabeth is whether I like it or not, I am now in the political theater.  Vikings on the outside may appear like we are all brawn, but the level at which an island is ran is way more complex than I thought it would be.  This is why I wanted to find other avenues to keep me occupied.  On this, I do understand the pressure Hiccup must feel on a daily basis.  Although, I am still the same viking whether I am married to the heir of the Berserker Throne or a viking trying the solve a mystery, I do my best to be who I am and do the right thing.  I will not let the pressures of those around me change who I am.  People have tried to change me in the past by being my rival and foe, yet with each one I am the same.  The only difference from the first until now is my experience in dealing with what is in front of me.

         As I think the final thought through, I have in my brain, I see what lies before me.  A bed.  Then one more thought comes to mind, so I think it.  I completely forgot I raced.  I do not even remember how many laps it was.  I am tired.  I am sore.  Time for sleep.  Annabeth had stayed up for me, but I do not remember much after that from last night.

 

         Now in the morning, after I finished reflecting on what did happen, I find myself strapping the last bit of gear to my saddle on Fredrick.  My crew is packing and gearing up for a fight if it comes to that.  With all our weapons and armor, we will be prepared for trouble.  While we are not looking for trouble, trouble may leave us alone once it sees we mean business.  The crew I picked is quite unique and strange to be apart of.  For once, I am the youngest one here.  The experience and perspectives the crew I picked has should lend us well in trying to find Grizzy.

         Annabeth grabs my hand as I turn towards her, she says, “Have a good trip and be safe.”

         We kiss and hug, “You do the same.  If we’re not back in three days, you know what to do.”

         “Yeah,” Annabeth winks.  “Start searching on the second day.”

         I chuckle, “We shouldn’t be more than a day, but who knows.”

         Mounting Fredrick, Annabeth leans in to tell him, “Take care of Jarl for me.”

         An affirmative snort is his reply.

         “Ew, Fredrick,” she wipes her clothes off.

         Fredrick laughs.

         Annabeth comments, “What is with dragons and their need to coat the ones they love in the thing we hate the most?”

         Now I wink at Annabeth, “Sounds like a you problem.”

         I take off with Fredrick before she had a chance to return a quip of her own.

         The crew and I head south to check the place where my parents were thinking of starting first.

 

         Five hours, three islands, and one sea trader later, no trace of Grizzy let along a lead or a clue to where he might be.

         “Well,” I say as we fly away from the trader’s ship.  “I don’t know why I expected us to be able to find him straight off when everyone else is trying to find him and cannot.”

         My father comments, “Grizzy has a knack for finding you first, before you can find him.  And when he does, he will ask for help first before he will help you.  Whatever it is, he will always test how far you will go to help him, testing your morals and principles, to be able to get what you are seeking.  Just because he does want the good for everyone doesn’t mean he won’t try anything to get it.

         “Ah,” I give a dry, sarcastic chuckle. “Sounds like a charming fellow.”

“Thanks to your mother and me, we believe we instilled in him the notion that doing the right and good thing will be profitable for him as well as everyone else thus increasing the value of his business.  But I don’t know.  People can change or be swayed to another side if they don’t stand up for what the truth and right is.”

         My mother adds, “He is the business type, but more about trading goods and information than conquering islands or killing dragons, compared to the foes you are used to, Jarl.  And as your father says, he understands that by doing good and right creates a strong customer base that will return to him many times.  However, he will deal with anyone willing to pay for the goods or information or hire vikings to risk their lives to collect rare goods or sensitive information for the clients he has.  His main silver lining is he always rewards those who do something for him and will tirelessly try to push his competitors out of the market who try to take advantage of his people and customers.”

         Dawn cracks, “Sounds more like everyone else we have delt with.  You guys are too positive sometimes.”

         I summarize my parents’ comments, “So, he’s an honest conman who can talk you into doing something right that also happens to benefit both of you?”

         My parents nod in agreement, father confirming, “Pretty spot on.”

         The next stop on our quest is another island I have not been to before.  The three previous ones I have not gone to either, although, they are relatively small with few people on them and used as trading waypoints on the way to larger islands.  This next island is something else entirely.

         Eret speaks up, “At this rate, we should be arriving to the Isle of Svartrbal in the next hour.  This island is the last major island before one reaches the mainland.  Much commerce happens here.  Back in my Dragon Trapping days, this was the place to buy, sell, and trade hides and dragons alike.  Business types of all sizes flock to this place.  The worst of the worst has been here and continues to be.  After saying all of that, the business shifted after Hiccup defeated Drago Bludvist and his Dragon Army.  Hiccup and his command of dragons is legendary in their eyes.  It has opened up the eyes of many not to the benefit of having such a companion in a dragon, but the prospect of training them for their various purposes.  This place is not going to change anytime soon, so don’t get any ideas of thinking you can ‘save’ this place.  It is beyond saving.  But the one thing that it does have is all it wants to do is do business and make gold.  As long as the status quo is met, no trouble is made.  If you go there looking for business, no one causes trouble.  But if you have any ulterior motive, they will either try to join you or take you out.”

“As I said before, this island is something that you, Jarl, have never seen before.  Based on asking the rest of you if you have, Vixxen, Klarp, and your parents have been to this island, though a long time ago.  Dagur, Dawn, and Aiyana have heard of it, but never been.  The only other one to have been here would be Lilah, Dawn’s mother.  The entirety of Isle of Svartrbal is one ginormous village, with buildings of multiple stories even down below ground.  Rows and rows of docks for all types of ships.  It has one giant market square in the center of the city.  Numerous smaller stalls and shops liter this area with giant statue of a viking warrior everyone has since long forgotten or care who it was.  This isle is what you would call a city.  This city has no farmland, no forests.  This city is strictly to sell and make a profit.  If you live on this island, you are out to make a name for yourself or you work the various shops and business on the island.  For entertainment, the casual brawl at the tavern or tales spun by old sailors, all with the background of music.  You go here to do business.  If you don’t have any, then move on and don’t stay.”

         I get the sense the older adults are trying to shield me from something.  The scum of one Traitor Johann, Viggo Grimborn, Truvor, Skygge, and others, all the way up to Einar Verodfellar I have seen and dealt with.  But the way Eret is trying to soften the blow of what is on this island, gives me pause as to what I will find.  And based on my parents’ expression along with Eret, Vixxen, and Klarp, this entire time the plan was to go to this island.  It is like they were hoping Grizzy was at these other islands that they knew he had gone to before and only wanted to go to the Isle of Svartrbal as a last resort.

         A feeling of caution rises in me the closer we get to this island.  This is by far the furthest south I have gone.  In fact, this island is less than an hour’s flight to the mainland.  All my life, the only thing I have ever known is islands.  I have never seen a land mass that did not have water completely surrounding it.  Though the tales of the old and young sailors alike that pass through the Barbaric Archipelago tell of lands and cultures much different than our viking one, I never thought the world would be this big.  It is amazing and frightening all at the same time.

         Obviously, Aiyana is the perfect example of a much different land and culture.  She is a Greek from the lands of Greece.  Her descriptions of the city of Corinth come to mind as Eret describes Svartrbal.  If what Aiyana’s family had to go through while living in Corinth is any indication as to what Svartrbal is, then my parents call to caution is duly noted.

         Another thirty minutes later, smoke on the horizon starts to appear.  The closer we approach, the more the scene becomes apparent.  A ship is being attacked by three other ships.  The three ships look to be equipped with various weapons while the ship under attack is barely putting up a fight.

         Looking at my crew already preparing for a fight and their dragons narrowing their gaze, I do not even have to tell them that we are going to go intervene.

         “It goes without saying,” I call out.  “But attack the three ships.  Do enough damage to chase them off.  We don’t know who in this fight is the bad guy, yet three verses one is a bit unfair.  Dive bomb on all three ships then quickly get out of range.”

         I point out who to go to what ship.  There is one to the left and right, with one behind the lone ship.  My parents and I take the ship behind.  Vixxen, Klarp, and Dagur aim for the ship on the right.  Eret, Dawn, and Aiyana, the ship on the left.

         With the element of surprise, we all fire at our targets.  My parent’s stream their Nightmares’ fire into Fredrick’s sonic blast, creating a sporadic array of smaller flames spraying on the ship.  Looking back, I see Vixxen’s Snow Wraith pummel their target, knocking it off course.  Klarp’s Nightmare and Dagur’s Triple Stryke douse the ship in fire.  The ship on the left recieved less fire, however, received the brute force option.  Eret’s Rumblehorn rammed the side of the ship, knocking the sailors off their catapults and the archer’censored the deck, Dawn’s Sand Wraith hybrid shot some covering fire blasts while shooting her dragon’s tail spines through the fire, and Aiyana’s Sliquifier coated the artillery with the acid shots both destroying a few and leaving the others unable to touch due to the toxicity of a Sliquifer’s shot type.

         Regrouped and out of range, we see they other ships have not gotten the idea that we want, so I direct, “Dagur, Dawn, Aiyana.  Draw their fire.  All the Nightmares, cover the dragons’ flanks.  The rest, give them the idea that we want them to be gone.”

         With the three dragon’s speed and agility, they with ease dodge all the incoming fire and the Nightmares prevent the second volley of archers and spears from ever firing.  Vixxen, Dagur, Eret, and I rotate back around from the original attack angle and use the brute strength of our dragons to push and shove the ships away from the lone ship.  We all scream various forms of, “Go find someone else to pick on.”

         After our second attack wave, the sailors on all the ships comply and quickly get to their stations to maneuver the ships on a retreat vector.

         Vixxen suggests, “We should probably stay with the ship for a short time to insure there is no counterattack.”

         “Agreed,” I acknowledge.

         Turning our attention to the ship we protected, we circle the ship.  There is only a small crew of sailors who came out from cover.  They look uneasy.  Though who would not be if nine dragons who just protected you, are now surrounding you.

         To help with that, I ask, “Permission to come aboard?”

         A voice of an older male viking responds, “Please do.”

         My parents and I land our dragons on the ship, but the rest of my crew perch their dragons on the edges for there is not enough for all the dragons to land on the deck.

         “Greetings,” I state.  “Why were three ships trying to attack a single cargo ship?”

         The captain, I assume, who speaks up first is a man of medium stature, brown hair, common trader gear on, “This is no ordinary vessel.  We have a wide variety of excellent goods ranging from materials from the far east to the ink of rare squids.  We also have the highest quality array of weapons and tools for any need and-.”

         “We didn’t come for an inventory of your ship, we came for information,” My father then asks.  “Do you know a viking by the name of Griz Kadal?”

         The captain’s eyes widen, and his joyous expression flees from him, “The name sounds familiar, but what do you want with him?”

         Father elaborates, “Grizzy and I go way back.  When Svana, that is my wife,” he points to her.  “And I roamed the seas, we often did business with him.  We would like to pick up where we left off with Grizzy for we have a proposition we would like to give to him.”

         The captain is speechless but in a nervous way.  They are clearly fearing something, even the small crew starts to fidget.

         My mother seeing the hesitation then leans forward, “Do you need any encouragement?”

         She reaches for her money pouch…  Yet the crew of the ship becomes startled and draws their weapons!  This spooks the dragons and…

         “Whoa, Whoa,” I immediately take care of Fredrick as do the other riders’ their dragons.  “Easy.  Take it easy.  Vixxen?  Maybe you and the rest should fly out in a holding position.  The dragons are towering over us, so they would be a bit intimidating.  We’ll join you in a couple of minutes.”

         As Vixxen follows the suggestion, leading the rest of the crew away from the ship, the tension subsides as the ship crew return their weapons to their sheaths.

         “Now,” I take mother’s money pouch and walk to the captain, revealing its content of gold coins.  “We just want some information for our heading, then we will be on our way.  We did just save all your goods from being taken or sunk to the bottom of the ocean.  For our deed, we only ask for information that we are willing to pay.  Sounds like a bargain to me.”

         Putting it that way, the captain’s next breath relaxes him to be more open, “Sorry for our demeanor, but the seas are becoming increasingly dangerous to roam.  The threat of The Warlords and their desire to hunt dragons lead mercenaries and pirates to become more brazen to prey on any ship that comes along.  The name of Griz Kadal does sound familiar, but I can’t quite place where he is.”

         The captain holds out his hand to receive the payment we offer.  I start at five coins yet end up at fifteen before the captain begins again.

         “While I don’t know where Grizzy is right now, for he is a busy man, I know where he will be.”  The captain stops again, motioning to for more coins, but then reaches for the entire pouch.

         I do not let go of it and remind, “I could let out a dragon call and bring those dragons back over to be intimidating again.”

         His face looks at Fredrick, who snorts with a small growl, the captain relinquishes his grip on the pouch, “Fine.  Grizzy will be at the Fiery Serpent tonight on the Isle of Svartrbal for a big meeting with his latest partner.  If you insist on claiming your connection with Grizzy now, all I can say is:  You are on your own.”

         I am curious, “Why would you say that?”

         “Grizzy has made some enemies that have been trying to capture him for the last several years.  He had eluded them for years, so I thought they had given up.  But something happened recently that ignited a new fury to find Grizzy.  It must have something to do with The Warlords, or else their ships would not be constantly going to and from Svartrbal.  Regardless, a meeting is taking place.  Looking at the angle of the sun, it is probably soon too.  If you hurry, you might catch up to him.”

         Randomly, I question, “Who is your first officer?”

         Caught off guard, he points him out, “Hord, there.”

         Hord walks over to stand besides us.  Hord is a scruff looking viking, with tattered common clothes yet still look well maintained for a working man.  Brown hair, a beard and mustache in need of a trim, blue eyes, six feet two, and a quiet voice answer, “I am here, sir.”

         I instead address him, while still looking at the captain, “Hord?  Go buy yourself and the rest of the crew some nice clothes and any needed gear to improve the ship.”

         The captain gasped at my move as I handed the entire gold coin pouch to Hord.

         I then look at Hord, “One more thing.  Did your captain truthfully relay the information he heard?”

         Glancing at the captain to spot his reaction, the captain glares at his First Officer, who wavers.

         “Hord,” I suggest a course of action. “With that money, you could buy you some new gear and find a new ship, a better ship.  Maybe if you are nice, you can help this captain improve his business by buying some actual quality goods without having to upsell the value of your stock with smooth words.  Trade them for even better goods you could then sell and make a bigger profit that is in that pouch.”

         “What do you say?  Better yet, captain, would you like to correct any of the information you gave just now?  Though we saved you from pirates, looks like you still might lose the ship.”

         The rest of the crew fold their arms and look ready to stand up to the captain.

         I chuckle, stating plainly, “Looks like a mutiny…  But you could also gain a loyal crew and a better business.  Funny when you stop thinking of yourself and look to those around you, you can gain so much more by working as a team instead of just for yourself.”

         “Alright, fine,” the captain abandons his play.  “Griz Kadal is having a meeting at the Fiery Serpent, but I don’t know what for.”

         My father adds, “How do you know where he is?  Or is it because of something more?  Is he your brother?”

         “How-?” the captain begins but stops himself short.  “I was better off with the pirates.”

         “Don’t feel too bad,” my father reveals.  “Your opening verse on trying to sell us something on your ship is nearly verbatim what Grizzy does to sell merchandise to a newcomer.  While you may have exaggerated most of the details, your eyes failed you.  They scream of regret and longing.  You were either close to Grizzy, or family.  I wasn’t sure, but your lack of an answer answered my question.  The resentment you have towards your brother over his success verses your failures, Grizzy often talked about, wanting you to learn the business for yourself.  The ability to plot your own course is something any sailor wants.  But to be successful, you have to have a crew to support you.  Without getting too philosophical, take this opportunity to pass the lesson Grizzy wanted you to learn for so long.  And that longing I see, you still care for your brother and worry for his safety yet are powerless to do anything because of your lack of success.  But part of that has kept you out of harms way, which is what Grizzy has wanted all along.  Plot your own course and don’t make the mistakes he did.  Help us, and we will make sure your brother stays safe.”

         The captain lets out a deep sigh, confirming, “While I hardly know where he is because of the enemies he has chasing him, he still stays in contact with me.  He wanted me to set up a meeting at the usual place, the Fiery Serpent.  Says this could be the deal that gets us both what we want and more.  And that is truly what I know.”

         Father bows, “Thank you for the information.”

         My parents and I return to our dragons to mount them.

         As we do, I hear Hord call out, “Hey kid?  What’s your name?”

         Sitting atop Fredrick, I respond, “Jarl Everson of Berserker Island.”

         Typically, I do not reveal where I am from, yet I feel he earned opportunity to ask such a question.  While the captain may have nearly lost his crew, I believe we have gained an ally in Hord and his band.

         Father and I exchange statements of seeing the holes in the captain’s story and how we each handled the situation.  Mother then pipes in, “Speaking of which…  Why did you hand Hord that entire pouch?  That was our gold coins.”

         “When the gut feeling that the captain was related to Grizzy came, I knew we would get a solid lead on where Grizzy might be.  Besides, I enjoy tossing a pouch full of coins to someone in that situation.  Also, Dagur was going to help reimburse any expensive on the trip.”  My parents relax, so I then turn the tables on them.  “But I have another gut feeling.  One that is telling me that this was – your – plan all along.  From father’s statements, he knows Grizzy has a brother who is in the trading business.  Furthermore, you two were a bit too eager to come along, nearly inviting yourselves on this trip.  As you reveal that Grizzy is trying to teach his brother a lesson, I get the feeling you two are trying to show me something.  Everyone kept acting a bit odd as I led the search on the other islands.”

         Father smiles, “You have grown quite a lot in your perception and attention to the details around you.  You solved that mystery.  We are trying to show you something.  It is something your mother and I have put off long enough.  That is your next mystery.”

         “If it is something you’ve wanted me to learn for a while now, why not just tell me know.”

         Mother chimes in, “I want to tell you, but Sigvald and I made an agreement when the time was right, we would show you, Asvord, and Elsa.  But here’s a clue.  You have already seen it, know it well, yet know very little of it.  When you had to grow up before your time to be the man of the house when we thought we had lost Sigvald, many things your father and I wanted to show you and your sisters got pushed aside.  Slowly as certain moments came and nearly caused problems, we knew we had put them off for too long.  You are still our son, even if you are starting a family with Annabeth and the life with the Berserkers, we want you to not make the mistakes we did.”

         “Now I am thoroughly intrigued on what the lesson is.  But one thing I do know.”

         Mother wonders, “What is that?”

         “I see where I got my cryptic way of saying everything while saying nothing at the same time.”

 

(Small note:  I ended here because there will be a slight time jump to get the crew at Svartrbal)

Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/24/2017
Hello there!   Great to

Hello there!

 

Great to see another post from you, my dude.  It has definitely been a bit.  Thanks for the update on life.  I really enjoyed reading all of it, and it sounds like you have been really, really busy.

 

As for me, sorry for just vanishing for a bit.  I got a Summer job, and that absorbed all my free time for a month.  Besides for that, there's been some other busy work.  Good news though is that I was recently preparing to get back into you 9th book, and hopefully catch up.  I should be able to dive back in here in a few weeks.  I should also be able to write a much longer update to you in the following weeks too.

 

This will sadly be all for now.  Glad life is treating you well.

 

-Lack

__________________

 

AFTER ALMOST A YEAR OF PROCRASTINATION, LINKS TO MY THIRD HALLOWEEN STORY ARE NOW UP IN MY SIGNATURE!

 

 

LACK LUNASON

(I figure you've probably already figured that out, but I thought I'd play it safe.)

 

    Hi, I'm Lack Lunason. I'm called that because I lack many things, and I'm a lunatic. I just put son on the end to make it sound more like a viking name. I'm also a Christ follower.

 

      Here are just a few more things about me:

  1. I am a procrastinator.
  2. I'm pretty nice (mostly).
  3. I am most definitely kind (don't listen to those that say otherwise).
  4. Adventurous.
  5. Lazy.
  6. A dreamer.
  7. And I'm slightly crazy.

     I've been around SoD for a long time. I think I was one of the first thousand to leave Berk and sail to the school. I'm happily part of the bold clan known as POTATO BROTHERS. I have over four-thousand trouphies, although, I don't like racing much. On the other hand, I'm a Master Farmer.  (Don't you dare ask me how fishing is going!  We don't speak of that!)

 

      On the ranking on the forum, I've completed/on the following: Jarl, Forager, Wilderness Explore, Viking Warrior, Dragon Trainer, Drott, Dragon Master, Chief, Berk's Power Player, and......

 

SUPREME VIKING CHAMPION

(Respect my Authority!)

[because no one else will]

 

(Sorta) Current Trophy Count:

4725

 

Now onto some random stuff. This part will grow over time.

 

WARNING:  THE REST OF THIS THREAD IS GUARDED BY....

 

BAT-MAN THE VAST (Also known as Bat-Stoick)

(By The Dragoness)

 

Fan-Fiction And Short Stories:

 

Shrieks From The Shadows Series:

 

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

Chapter 1    Chapter 2    Chapter 3   Chapter 4   Chapter 5

 

The Terrifier

Chapter 1  Chapter 2  Chapter 3  Chapter 4  Chapter 5

 

What Lurks in Ebony Swamp

Chapter 1     Chapter 2     Chapter 3    Chapter 4   Chapter 5

 

Things I am a Fan of

 

How To Train Your Dragon

 

 

GODZILLA

 

TEETITANS

 

Quotes I love

 

"Once I set the sea alight with a single fiery breath....

Once I was so mighty that I thought my name was death....

Sing out loud until you're eaten, song of melancholy bliss....

For the mighty and the middling all shall come to THIS...."

The Green Death, How To Train Your Dragon: book 1. Cressida Cowell.

 

"WE WILL FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES! WE WILL FIGHT THEM IN THE BRACKEN! WE WILL FIGHT THEM IN THOSE BOGGY MARSHY BITS THAT ARE SO DIFFICULT TO WALK THROUGH WITHOUT LOSING YOUR SHOES! WE WILL NEVER SURRENDER!"

Stoick The Vast. How To Train Your Dragon: Book 5. Creessida Cowell.

 

"I sailed so far to be a King, but the time was never right.....

I lost my way on a stormy past, got wrecked in starless night....

But let my heart be wrecked by hurricanes and my ship by stormy weather....

I know I am a Hero...and a Hero is....FOREVER!

In another time, another place, I could have been a King....

But in my castle's ruined towers the lonely seabirds sing.....

I burned up my Tomorrows, I cannot go back ever....

But I am still a Hero....and a Hero is.......FOREVER!

Up with your sword and strike at the gale......

Ride the rough seas for those waves are your home......

Winters may freeze but our hearts do not fail.....

Heroes.......Hearts......FOREVER!

You are never alone if the sea is your friend......

Riding the waves of impossible quests.....

If it doesn't end well, then it isn't the end.....

A Hero.....Fights.....FOREVER!

The hero cares not for a wild winter's storm.....

For it carries him swift on the back of the wave.....

All may be lost and our hearts may be worn.....

BUT A HERO.....FIGHTS.....FOREVER!"

Grimbeard the Ghastly's Last Song. How To Train Your Dragon: Book 11 and 12. Cressida Cowell.

 

      That's about it. I give full credit for...well, everything, to GOD. Have a good day.

 

Bye for now!

 

 

FURTHER CONTENT IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION 

 

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Wait, you're still here?

httyyd's picture
httyyd
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

I knew it had to be something important.  Very great to hear from you.

 

Seems like we both got really busy.

 

My eagarness to hear what you think of Book 9 is beyond the great beyond.  The whole plot of the books was inspired by you to challenge what the characters have been through and to go in a few directions I've never been before.  I kept your comments from a while ago in mind as I wrote Book 9.  I would think, my most well rounded book I have written on the first edit.

 

I've tried to continue that with Book 10, but life has prevented me from being consistent with my posts.  Yet, sometimes you just have to make time and exchange something fun I have been doing in my free time to do something I have been wanting to do for a long time, which is write.

 

I still appreciate it all the same.  One, I was excited to see a reply to a chapter post, doubly excited to see that it was you.

 

Thank you, be safe and don't get too stressed yourself.  Do you best and you'll have no regrets,

 

Drums

Lack Lunason's picture
Lack Lunason
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 09/24/2017
  Hey!  Since it

 

Hey!  Since it has been a few weeks, wanted to post an update real fast.  I've gotten back into Book 9, and I think I finally caught up to where I last left off.  However, I believe it was Chapter 15, so I am only 35% through your book.  Still, it is progress, so I wanted to let you know.

 

Anyway, I hope you are doing well.  Don't cause too much chaos...without inviting me.

 

Until next time.

 

-Lack

httyyd's picture
httyyd
Offline
Supreme Viking Champion
Joined: 10/12/2013
Drums R Round. Pi R Squared.

Thank you for the update!

 

Looking back on Chapter 15 to see where you are...  Oooo...  The end of Chapter 15...  One of my favorite moments of the book!

 

You are always invited...  Because who can have chaos without you.  You are the inspiration for the chaos of Book 9!

 

Talk to you later!

 

Drums