Heorl cast a divination to determine who should live where, throwing sticks in the air to see where the wind would carry them. The clan began clearing new land. Theya, Arndala, Enderos, and Jarstakos each built large steads. Onelisin and Korol's children moved to Enderos's stead.
Vargast assembled 23 men for a cattle raid against the Lonisi. The herders fled, and the Varmandi made off with 12 cows.
Not long afterwards, 12 Lonisi showed up, led by Heortarl the chief. Ingard challenged him. Ingard landed the first blow, then Heortarl cut deep into his left shoulder. Ingard stood back up, but could no longer hold his shield. Heortarl asked who he was, and then paid compensation. Then the Lonisi made off with 7 cows. Ingard made it back to the stead, where his mother and Enderos's grandmother Vostina tended to his wound.
In late Fire season, there were three weeks of festival at Theya's stead, and the five weddings that had been arranged with the Colymar were held.
Ingard traded horses in Clearwine.
A delegation visited the Karandoli, and learned that Iskalli Orlevsson had died of the wounds he received from Vargast. However, the Black Boar was killed by an Orleving hero, Kjarnstan Orlevsson the Strong, who tore out its tusks as did Aram-ya-Udram. Maniski Firebreath was looking old, and his sons often spoke for him.
In Earth Season, Brenna became initiated into the Orendanae, learning many secrets before returning to the Vamandi tula.
Darkness season was spent working on the new steads and hunting. Horselegs and some other warriors patrolled close to the steads.
Theya and Brenna enacted a ritual to appease the local darkness spirit. The spirit came and was angry, attacking Theya. But Theya was resolute and managed to placate her. She sacrificed to the darkness spirit and created the Cult of the Lady of the Wild for the clan.
Svar and Gunnar went hunting the Oakland Back. They were foully ambushed by Orlevings, and Svar lost his head. Gunnar fled back to his mother's stead. The Orleving war party of Kjarten Boartooth, Orlev the Tall, Bolik Firebreath, Oddi's brother, and two other Orlevings arrived at Vargast's hall. They boasted of killing Svar and threw his head down. Vargast railed angrily and the horsemen retreated behind sylphs.
Lead by Illig's chants for vengeance and the Jarang family's cries for Svar's body the Varmandi demanded action. They agreed on doing two things. First, they would send a large group to reclaim the body. They would then attack the brock, and finally move down and burn Svar's body on an Orleving stead.
The next day twenty-seven Varmandi warriors, along with Brenna, Theya, and Svar's grieving wife, rode out to find the body. They arrived to see Argarl the Old leading the Summons of Evil over Svar's dead body. Kjarten Boartooth had been blessed by the entire Orleving clan. After suffering Kjarten's taunts, Vargast was ready to fight him one-on-one, but Heorl retold the story of Orlanth fighting with his people against Vadrus. Vargast took the jibes and the Varmandi attacked together.
Argarl's thunder roared down and several of the younger warriors fell down. Heorl, Vargast, and Horselegs returned it, and Argarl was killed. Then the ragged lines met. Heorl was knocked down by Orlev the Tall, but Theya healed him. Gustand Boddisson rushed in and chopped Uma Dandersdaughter's head off. The fighting was as fierce as the hatred between the two clans, as many massive blows knocked down peoples on each side. Endaros Umasson struck a mighty stab that slew Gustand, the killer of his mother, and Dunorl Heorlsson killed his first man.
The battled ended inconclusively, with the Varmandi recovering Svar's body and the Orlevings taking back their wounded.
Rumors from the Malani land came that Orlev's uncle and sons held off Vargast Varmandsson and the entire Varmandi clan. but Orlev's uncle did die.
Ingard was extremely distraught about listening to the bragging of Dunorl, Gunnar, and Endaros as all three bloodied the foul Orleving.
Part 26 | to be continued...
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