Father grabbed a rag from the bar table and began wiping blood away from his hands. Slowly he turned around and looked over at Urian’s friend’s over at their table. The two men looked like they just watched their boss get his head smashed in. Oh wait, that’s exactly what happened.
These two lackeys were probably a bit younger than my father. One was taller and skinny, and the other was shorter and thicker. The two men looked like alcoholics. They stunk, their clothes were ripped all apart.
“What are you two looking at? Go clean up your friend and get him out of here. Understand?” Asked my father with his usual calm tone.
The two men stood up and cautiously moved closer to my father. “At once Bran. We want no trouble with you.” Stuttered the shorter of the two men.
“Very glad to hear it. Now get to it.” Ordered my father as he stepped aside to let the men through to Urian’s body.
The men lifted up Urian’s body at both ends, and began walking his corpse out of the Alehouse. “Alrighty folks! You all saw what happened here! Urian threatened Bran’s son’s life! He had every right to kill this man!” Declared Finnin loudly.
The rest of the occupants of the Alehouse who had been dead quiet since the bashing started, all began shouting, yay! In favor of my father. “Bran! You fiesty old devil! Why do you have to make such a mess so early in the morning?” Shouted Acelin, who was emerging from the crowd.
Acelin is one of my father’s oldest friends. He was around the same size as my old man. He had long blonde hair tied back in a pony tail and a beard to match. Acelin is also a renowned warrior just like my father. Together they have fought many battles together.
My father looked over towards Acelin. “Acelin! My friend!” Shouted my father happily.
As Acelin reached my father, he gave him a big bear hug. “Don’t you worry Bran, we all saw what happened here today. Urian threatened your boy’s life. Any honorable man would have done the same thing.” Exclaimed Acelin as the two men separated.
“I am not worried about my actions. Our Chieftain and our Gods will know what I did was just.” My father remarked.
Acelin balled his hand into a fist and gave my father a couple pounds on the chest. “Good! Now I’m on my way to the Great Hall. I have a little business with our Chieftain.” Stated Acelin while rolling his eyes a bit.
My father chuckled. “Well good luck with that my friend. That old man is as greedy as he is rich. Which is very.”
Acelin chuckled in return. “I bare you all farewell.” Acelin looked down at me and gave my head a shake with his big hand. “Stay out of trouble little Effy.” With that he left the Alehouse.
My father looked over at Finnin who had begun cleaning up the bloody mess. “Finnin, will you go see if my sister is awake before I must go see the Chieftain?”
“Of course I will.” Replied Finnin. Finnin retreated through the door behind the bar.
“Why are we going to the Great Hall now?” I asked my father confusedly.
My father had a slightly puzzled look on his face. “Have I never told you that law before, son? If you murder someone you must report it to the Chieftain. He will then determine your date for a trial to be held. Most of the time the Chieftain will let you go home until your trial date. If someone were to try and run he would have such a high price on his head he wouldn’t make it over the mountains. This is just a formality. Usually they are quick and easy.”
My heart began to beat a little faster. “Well they will know your innocence! The Gods know you are…” I began blurting out before my father interrupted me.
“Don’t fret Effy. I’m not worried about my fate. If I were, I would surely let you know.” Chuckled my father.
A few moments later my aunt Ragna and Finnin came walking through the bar door. Ragna came around the bar right square in front of my father. She stared at him for a few seconds. Then as about as hard as she could, she slapped her brother across his face.
“STUPID!” Shouted my aunt. “I can’t believe you are so stupid! Do you know you are an idiot, brother?”
My father looked back at Ragna and smiled. “It’s nice to see you too, sister.” My father said in a light hearted voice.
Ragna glared at my father. “Do you think you can just go killing whoever you want? Whenever you want to? There are consequences to such actions brother.”
My father couldn’t stop snickering. “You think that the Gods will be upset with me for protecting my son?”
“What if someone that knows Urian will want to seek revenge?” Asked Ragna aggressively.
“Then they kill me and I go to Neftlyn. And we all meet there, and we laugh and we drink.” My father replied amused.
My aunt didn’t look amused one bit. “So you’re okay with leaving your son to go to Neftlyn when he still needs his father for guidance.” Spat Ragna furiously.
Suddenly, my father no longer looked amused. “I just wanted to see and make sure you are doing well before having to go to the Chieftain.” Stated my father seriously.
“I’m doing just fine. It’s you I’m worried about. You need to think of your son…” began my aunt before my father cut her off.
My dad had an unhinged look in his eyes. “Don’t you DARE!” My father started to shout before he stopped himself abruptly. He took a deep breath to compose himself.
I could see the slight fear in Ragna’s eyes. “I apologise sister I did not intend to kill anyone today. I’m sorry that you feel anger towards me. Now my son and I must leave.”
As Ragna looked at my father the anger in her eyes seemed to calm. My aunt hugged her brother hard and tight. “I love you, brother.” Said Ragna softly.
My father began hugging Ragna in return. “I love you too, little sister.”
They then broke up their embrace. “Now you know the law brother. You two better get going.”
“Right you are. I’ll see you and Finnin soon.” My father exclaimed with a little nod.
We all said our goodbyes, and my father and I started making our way towards the Great Hall. The Hall was found closer to the bay. It was a vast building made of the finest wood in all of Nordun. There were wooden statues of the Gods scattered throughout the Hall, inside and out. In front of the entrance was a beautiful garden filled with special and rare flowers and trees.
The main doors to the Great Hall were massive. There were a bunch of ancient runes and symbols carved all over the doors. My father pushed open the huge doors, and we walked into Great Hall.
There were tons of rows of long wooden tables and chairs throughout pretty much all of the huge Hall, with about a quarter of them filled with town folk. At the end of the Hall was the Chieftain’s and his Chieftesses thrones. The thrones were made of the strongest stone, and we’re covered by great furs. To the right of the thrones was the Chieftain’s table where the he and his family and friends eat, and also where some business is held.
As we approached the end of the Hall, I could see what looked like Acelin talking to the Chieftain. By Acelin’s mannerisms, it appeared the conversation wasn’t going too well. “Right then, I guess that settles that. I will not ask until then, Chieftain.” Groaned Acelin.
“Good, I’m glad we understand one another. Now go, have a drink Acelin.” Ordered the Chieftain. Acelin began walking away in our direction, with a smug look on his face.
“Good luck, friend. You’re gonna need it talking to that man.” Muttered Acelin to my father under his breath as he walked by us.
My father and I approached the Chieftain. The Chieftain was a tall older man with long grey slicked back hair. He had a short grey goatee. His frame was on the slender side, and he had intense dark black eyes like no one’s I’ve ever seen before. As he noticed our arrival, he gave us a smile that creeped me out to my core.
“Look what we have here! Bran the Bone Crusher! And his kin. What do I owe this rare pleasure?” Asked the Chieftain in his easy going purr of a voice.
“Well you know me, Taranis. I tend to keep to myself most of the time. I’m here because I must report to you that I have murdered someone.” Replied my father. He went on to explain everything that happened at the Alehouse in great detail.
“Well, well. What a shame. Urian was one of Nordun’s best fishermen. Don’t you think you may have overreacted just a little?” Inquired Taranis.
“Not at all! Wouldn’t you do the same if someone threatened one of your son’s?” Asked my father intensely.
Taranis chuckled. “No one would ever dare threaten my family, dear Bran.”
“And why is that?” Asked my father quickly.
Taranis answered just as quick. “Because people would know better. What point are you trying to make here, Bran?”
My father looked annoyed. “If anyone looked at your family members the wrong way you would have them skinned alive.” Declared my father.
Taranis’s dameaner shifted. “Do not tell me what I would or would not do. Show your Chieftain respect and watch how you speak to me. Then maybe your boy will learn some respect from his father.”
Now my father definitely looked mad. “I am not disrespecting you. I am just speaking my mind. Now show me some respect when you speak to me in front of my son.” Spat my father.
Taranis looked at my father like it was taking all of his will power to not stab my old man in his face. “Well then. I think this conversation shall be postponed for now. I am a busy man.” Snapped the Chieftain as a smile began to grow on his face.
“Right. When do you want me back for my hearing then?” Asked my father.
“I’m not sure yet. But I think it best if we hold you here until your hearing.” Purred Taranis.
My father looked stunned. “You can’t be serious! You can have one of your men ask anyone at the Alehouse! There were more than twenty witnesses! You know me! How many times have I fought for you!” Shouted my father.
“That is your duty to your Chieftain and our Gods. Now do as your Chieftain commands! Guards!” Ordered Taranis.
Three men in battle armor came up and grabbed my father. Immediately they started pulling him away. “Father!” I cried out.
Right away another guard grabbed me from behind. “Effy! Effy, stay calm and be strong! It’ll be fine!” Yelled my father desperately.
As my father was almost out of eyes sight he began shouting at the top of his lungs. “How many men have I killed for you Taranis? HOW MANY?”
“Shout at me again and I’ll kill everyone you have ever loved, BRAN!” Screeched Tarinis. My father was finally out of sight.
Taranis shifted his gaze towards me with his creepy eyes and smile. He took a couple steps closer to me and grinned even wider. The Chieftain now appeared to be examining me from head to toe, and then suddenly spoke with a delighted tone.
“My little Effy. How you have grown my young man!”
To be continued…