The Shield Ring
the tale occurs in England presently after the Norman Conquest. excessive up one of the mountains of the Lake District is a mystery valley the place the Northmen (Vikings) have their final stronghold - or safeguard ring. The Normans are looking to overwhelm this final team of Northmen and convey the entire nation less than their keep watch over. To this finish they construct a fort in Carlisle and ship a military north.
Life is going on within the valley: lambing, shearing, spinning, harvesting, and making a song and storytelling within the nice corridor within the evenings - as narrated via youth. Frytha is a Saxon lady, who fled to the valley after the Normans burnt her domestic, and Bjorn, the Bear-Cub, is the foster son of the previous harper.
As the folks of the defend ring cross approximately their lives, they remain prepared for a Norman assault. Bjorn's foster father teaches him to play the Sweet-singer, a different harp that the previous harper owns, and regardless of Bjorn's enthusiasm, a mystery worry burns contained in the boy: if the Normans catch Bjorn, he may perhaps succumb to torture and show the trail to the hidden valley.
When the Northmen have to scout the level of the Norman military, Bjorn volunteers: he speaks sufficient Norman to get via and a harper can cross wherever. The younger guy units out for the Norman camp, no longer understanding that Frytha, an best friend, follows him. He does understand that if the Normans notice his espionage, even though, he'll be tortured, and his mystery worry from formative years may possibly develop into a fact.
because it flowed around and earlier her, until eventually she reached the little furry shepherd, and checked to invite breathlessly: “Grim, have you ever obvious Bjorn this way?” Grim checked additionally, having a look down at her thoughtfully in the course of the black hair of his face, whereas Vigi thrust a chilly muzzle into her hand in greeting. “Aye, he have been heading up yonder,” he acknowledged after a second, jerking his head again towards the excessive sloping shoulder of Whiteless Pike. “Happen he doesn’t wish company.” after which, elevating his voice as she.
With him, and room and welcome made for them at the benches, because the grey colossal carried Frytha excessive opposed to his shoulder up the Jarl’s fire corridor, and thrusting open a door on the finish of it, right into a position past. right here there has been softer, clearer gentle from a lamp, and ladies have been accumulated around the relevant fire, combing and braiding their hair as Frytha’s mom had used to do while she made prepared for mattress; and one among them, who used to be tall like a spear, with a cloud of faded hair around her head, rose.
Month the Normans have been into Burgdale. They made their base camp on a section of emerging flooring simply south of the outdated cattle-steading of Keswic, and fortified it with earth-works and stockades, regardless of the entire determined assaults that the Northmen hurled opposed to them. From there they have been a risk to Butharsdale itself; and the Jarl, confronted with this threat, may well in simple terms assemble each guy in a position to carry a spear from the complete of Lake Land and pour them in to swell the War-bands of Skiddaw and the Derwent.
“No extra! No more!” “Erland, stop!” Frytha shrieked, determined for a few skill to stick the dirk. “How can we recognize that there's not anything to be realized from him? if you happen to kill him the following and no questions requested, like adequate we will all rue it later!” “Kill first, and query after, is an efficient word,” Erland acknowledged; yet he looked as if it would waver an fast all of the similar, and Frytha up her virtue. “Question whilst it's too late,” she flashed. “He is unwell now— you will discover that he's sick—and he can't.
Is in my middle that we will win this struggle, yet what percentage folks shall endure domestic our shields from the successful is one other factor. If i'm killed this day, then it really is so you might preserve. And if it be—you, Fryth, then nonetheless it's so that you can preserve. And if it's neither of us—then provide me again my ring at sunset.” Frytha took the hoop and slipped it directly to her finger, the place it hung hot and heavy; free because it were on Bjorn’s while he first wore it. “I will bind a blade of grass around it, that I lose it now not.