[NorthWorld] Thorgaut Kabbisson: Chapter 12 – Trap! – Dave Bailey

[NorthWorld] Thorgaut Kabbisson: Chapter 12 – Trap!

Thorgaut finally gave up looking for his sword. He decided to head back the way he had come until he found something that looked familiar. He knew he must have made a wrong turn somewhere along the way.

He hoped to find something familiar that would point him in the right direction. If that didn’t work, he could always head back towards the sun until he came to the plains. But he didn’t know how he would find his way back to his friends from there.

He walked slowly, paying close attention to everything around him. He often paused to look at the view from the way he had come. It was slow going, but still, he didn’t see anything familiar.

Thorgaut kicked himself mentally for not waiting until his men were ready. He should have brought them all along with him. He knew they didn’t mind having the day off yesterday to kick back and relax. They deserved it after the all the raiding and looting they had done on this trip. Their ship was already full, and they wanted to get home.

But Thorgaut had wanted to press inland a bit farther to see what the opportunities the land held and were available. Opportunitmeaning cities to raid and kingdoms to conquer.

Thorgaut and his friends had left most of the men guarding the ship. Then he had traveled up the river towards the black mountains. He had brought Liut, Bior, and Grimar, three of his best soldiers and closest friends. Katla, the shieldmaiden wanted to tag along, so he had let her come too.

But after three days he had decided to turn back. They hadn’t seen anything impressive. Besides, his friends were chomping at the bits to return to the comfort of their village and loved ones. They had left the town more than two moons ago, and they were already coming upon the third.

They were running low on supplies, so Thorgaut told them to take the day to hunt and fish to restock. It hadn’t been entirely necessary. They could have made it back to the ship with what they had, and even killed some game along the way. But Thorgaut’s adventurous spirit urged him on just a little bit further. He told them he was going hunting, but they all knew he what he was up too and his desire to explore.

Thorgaut trusted them and had confided in them of his plans to take the King Mar Bolverksson’s place. They knew he planned to conquer the Northern regions. They knew he was ambitious and respected him for his leadership and fighting skills. He also knew they each of them had their own secret dreams and ambitions of gaining a commanding position by his side.

So, his friends had taken the time to lash up some simple shelters and set up camp for a few days. Then they had gone fishing for the night. They were still sleeping when he left them. He imagined they had fished all day and then feasted well into the night. But by now, they would be worried about him and wondering what to do.

Most likely they would be out looking for him by now. Liut was an excellent tracker. He would be able to find Thorgaut with the help of those two hounds of his as long as it didn’t rain. If worse came to worse, Thorgaut knew he could set up camp and wait for a day or two till they showed up.

Thorgaut didn’t like the idea of stopping, but it would be better than wandering in circles. It would take his friends longer to find him. Thinking about them made him feel happy. It was good to have a group of loyal friends he could count on. He smiled as he thought of them.

But at the same time, he wanted to find Halldora again. If his friends showed up, they would make him head back to the ship and go home. And then he never would locate Halldora again. She couldn’t be far though. All he had to do was…

Thorgaut heard a loud crack and something pulling at his feet. The ground slipped away from under him. The whole world flipped upside down, and the trees spun wildly around him. He waved his arms and tried to make sense of what was going on. He felt nauseous and almost lost his breakfast. The spinning started to slow down, and the trees stopped whirling around his head. He looked at his feet and saw a rope tied around them.

“Oh, great!” he muttered. “Caught in a trap. Just what I needed.”

Looking on the bright side, he hoped someone would come along soon to check it.

“Hey! Hello. Anyone out there.” he yelled. He paused to listen, but there was only silence. He instinctively reached for his sword and knife belt but came up empty-handed. He remembered that he hadn’t found it earlier. He swore under his breath.

Thorgaut reached behind his neck for the pair of axes he kept with his quiver of arrows. The pair of battle axes were made from the finest steel. The man who sold it to him said it had been forged in the most potent furnaces of the mountain dwarves.

Not that Thorgaut believed him. He grew up hearing stories about elves and dwarves all his life. But he had never seen them. His mother often told him stories of dwarves and other strange creatures. She was a great storyteller. She told the stories as if they had happened to her. She even claimed to have seen the dwarves herself in the lands beyond. That was before Thorgaut’s father had raided her village and slaughtered her family. Then he had made her his shieldmaiden.

His mother was smart. She had wooed her master and convinced him to marry her. She was a good woman and bore him many children. She performed as dutifully as any earl’s wife ever did to keep her position.

Jorwen was a beautiful woman and made for a lovely wife, and mother, and queen. Thorgaut had always been able to tell though that she didn’t truly love his father. Not that she had too. Most earl’s and other members of the royal clan, married for convenience and to expand their power; not necessarily because they were looking for love.

But still, his father hadn’t chosen to marry her to extend his throne and power. He had chosen her for some other unknown reason. Well, he always said it was because he loved her, but Thorgaut knew there was more to the story then he was letting on.

There were whispers that his mother had elven blood flowing through her veins. Others even said that she had used her elven powers to cast a spell and charm his father. He had asked her about it once, but she had laughed it off and denied it.

Thorgaut continued to tug at the axes and pull them out, but they were heavy and pulled down on his neck. They had scrunched up under the quiver since he was hanging upside down. He could only reach back and touch them with his right hand because of the way they had shifted off to the side. He tried to hold the first one between his fingers and pull it free. But it was too heavy, and he lost his grip on it.

The first battle ax slipped from his fingers and fell to the ground below him. Thorgaut sighed in frustration. Things were going so badly for him these days. He was always on top of things and in control. But nothing seemed to go his way out here in these woods. It would have been embarrassing if anyone had been around to see him like this.

Dave Bailey

Dave Bailey started writing short stories when he lived in Brazil to help his students learn English. Now, he lives in Florida again where he continues to write fun and inspiring sci-fi and fantasy fiction stories. You can read his weekly short stories here on his blog. Make sure to join his advanced reading crew so you know when new stories become available >>> https://davebailey.me/go/crew