The Varmandi were no longer a war clan. Baranthos, Gunnar, Heorl, Theya, Arndala, and Vostina were on the Ring.
Baranthos suggested visiting the wyrm's cave, but Heorl spoke against it, waring of the wyrm's curse.
Korol and Baranthos proposed offering Erland the Varmandi's help against Namold in exchange for ending the feud with Orlev. Maniski spoke against this, but Vargast eloquently backed them up, and Varmand decided to go ahead with the plan, and gave them six marks of gifts.
They were received by Erland, who was discussing land with his thanes. Erland bluntly asked why they were there, expecting tribute. Korol offered Varmand's gifts of silver and bronze, and asked for a gift that only a king could give -- resolving the feud. At first Erland refused to help with the feud agains this friend Orlev, but when Korol said that the Varmandi would accept his arbitration, he agreed, if everyone present would be a guarantor. He also stated that his decision would be influenced by how well the Varmandi helped him against Namold.
At the feast, there was much boasting, but everyone agreed that Erland had won. Horselegs made a fool of himself in the contest.
Varmand had misunderstood the plan, and was upset that he had been committed. Theya countered that Varmand had forced them to do this, by depriving them of their last friend when he vowed vengeance against the Three Trees tribe. Varmand laid into her, then told the guarantors that they were responsible for raising the fyrd to help Erland.
Theya's brother Illig wasn't happy at the prospect of making peace with the Orlevings, bringing out Utag's sword as a reminder.
Korol stirred up the clan to avenge Varmand against Namold, and the fyrd agreed to attack. Varmand then announced that six people had, with his permission, negotiated with Erland to try to end the feud with Orlev. He vowed to back the settlement, but wouldn't demand help from anyone who didn't want to.
60 Varmandi joined Erland's forces. The Isolting clan had apparently been split into three new clans. In all, Erland had about 330 men under his command, while Namold had only 150. Namold and his herald rode forward, and had a long discussion with Erland. Finally, Erland announced that King Namold of the Three Trees would pay tribute to King Erland of the Malani.
Varmand was furious, and marched his troops off the battlefield.
Erland extracted 100 marks of silver from Namold, and gave 10 to Varmand.
Part 13 | Part 15
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