The Feud with the Orlevings

by Martin Laurie

A dictation by Varmand the Strong to his grandchildren enscribed by Heorl, Lawspeaker of the Varmandi

How did the Varmandi feud with the Orlevings start?

Well insult and raid had set the fire but the sparks that lit it were struck by the battle between the Colymar, with the Varmandi in support, and Mad Blood Malan's forces.

We Varmandi, being a non-Colymar Clan were placed on the left, the least honourable position but as fortune would have it this placed us opposite the Orlevings. I sent forth Killer Korol to issue challenge to Orlev. Let the weak Orleving leader face me sword to sword I cried and I told Korol to speak at length of Orlev's passion for sheep and lack of manliness. My words were proven as he refused to meet me in combat and the battle began before I could insult him further.

The Orlevings attacked us strongly but our shield wall held firm and we slew them in heaps and set the Orleving women to wailing for their menfolk who fell to Varmandi swords and spears..

I, as Clan Chief, stood with my Carl Guard in the centre around our banner but could see that the fight did not go well for the Colymar in the Centre and on the Right. I knew something must be done or all would be lost. At that moment Orlanth roared his warcry to me and I was seized with his passion, cunning and righteous fury. Summoning my Slyph and and Orlanth's blessings to myself and my Huscarls I rose into the air and dived down upon Orlev and his Banner like a thunderbolt from Umath.

Orlev quailed under our attack and powered by Orlanth's strong arm I struck left and right among his Huscarls, opening a path for my own. My route led straight to Orlev and I roared out once more my challenge but the craven fled before me so I chopped down his bannerman with a mighty stroke, from chin to thigh, and seized the Orleving War Banner to be used later when I next relieved myself.

Though the battle was a bloody draw and though we fought in a losing battle in Colymar lands, the Varmandi were not destroyed yet our plight was grim. We had a new Colymar King to our South who had seen us fight against him and he demanded tribute for our survival. This we had to give or be destroyed. To the North were the Malani, ready to gut us if we showed weakness and desperate to crush us regardless.

Malan had one War Clan and two Normal Clans who paid him tribute to support his War Clan state. I knew we would suffer greatly in the winter if we paid tribute to the Colymar so I summoned a moot and we resolved to strengthen ourselves and weaken Malan at the same time.

On the day after the Harvest Festival when all the cattle and grain would be gathered I led the whole Varmandi Fyrd against the Orlevings. They were totally unready. They had lost their war banner and their fighting spirit for not one Varmandi died on the raid though we stripped them of over 80 Cows worth of plunder and most of their remaining weapons.

Alas though I raged to his Hall, Orlev was not there, he was away on business with Malan, the coward. Heorl, the Lawspeaker burnt his Hall down for which I toasted him greatly that night and we went home happy. Many Orlevings starved that winter but it was either them or my own people and they could no longer pay tribute to Malan so it was a double stroke against our foes.

Now. Now those stupid Orlevings claim feud against us for their own failings in battle and protecting their steads. Hah! It matters not if a thousand thousand Orlevings were in feud with us for we are Varmandi and they are but the leavings of a dog!

Other versions of this story are told in the Saga of Korol Sure-Strike, and by Theya Two Mothers.
Last updated 1 Jun 97 drd

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