14th of Coldeven 382 ONT, Beaches just south of Hellrick
Tiril walked among the wolfships with a basket in her hand, the river eddies had gone out and she scoured the beach for freshwater clams. Every so often she would look down the beach to assure her daughter did not tarry too far. The girl held a basket identical to her own, and was quick about her work. Tiril did not have much time this morning, the Oldvik was not a forgiving man, and had little patience with those who were tardy. The thick morning fog lazily danced on the river as it slowly seeped out of the town. She pulled her furs closer around her, it was cold; and it would be late Readying before any true warmth visited Hellrick. She bent down and collected another clam, hefting her basket, experimentally, if Stina collected half as much then they would be fine she considered
“Morning Tiril” a voice called from the deck of one of the beached vessels. She turned and smiled seeing Jarl Orest. The old sea wolf was standing towards the stern of his vessel with a steaming cup in his hand and a thick bear hide wrapped around him.
“Morning Orest, you are up early” she called back to him
“It is in the early morn when the most beautiful of sights are to be seen” the old sailor called giving her a hungry appraising look
“Poetry is not your strong suit Orest, stick to weapons and ships” she said with a laugh
“Any time you like Tiril I am happy to show you my mighty weapon” he said making a crude gesture to accompany his witty words. She was about to respond with an equally crude joke when Orest stood straight and began to gasp
“Orest? Orest are you ok?” she called taking a few steps towards the ship. The old man seemed to be flailing his arms over his head trying to reach something behind him. She took another step forward, then stopped as he fell forward, revealing a large javelin in his back. Her eyes popped open wide as she looked around in a panic. Further down the beach she saw large Wolfships, three of them, with red and yellow sails come out of the mist. On instinct Tiril dropped her basket and through herself flat. She her two arrows thump into the ship behind her, and a cold hand grapped her heart as panic began to rise. She crawled on her belly back the way she had come, back to where she had last seen Stina picking her way through the tidal pools
“STINA!” she called “STINA!” her daughter did not answer her. She could her the war cry’s of the men as the jumped from their vessels; axe, sword or spear in hand with large shields as they charged up the beaches towards the settlement Hellrick. “Machra, lend me your Icey furry” she prayed as she scrambled to her feet and began to race down the beach. “STINA! STINA!” she yelled. She heard the gentle rush of air as the wolfships of Hellrick were set alight, now the city bells were ringing, but much damage would be done before her people could muster any kind of real defense. She cast her eyes about for her daughter, desperately trying penetrate the mist and the smoke “STINA”
“MOR! MOR!” she heard her daughters call, screaming for her mother. Tiril raced through the mists to find her. There being dragged by two brutes, her shirt half ripped from her chest was young Stina. A deep rage ran through Tiril as she charged her daughters assailants empty handed. They heard her roar and one turned laughing easily as she approached
“Looks like we won’t have to share after all” the one with axe said. He companion smirked easily throwing Stina over she shoulder and wielding his sword one handed. Tiril flung herself at the axe wielder grabbing his beard and pulling him down with her as she barreled into him and fell to the ground. The man staggered and flung her off, but not before she could pull the long knife from his belt. The two stood and faced off against each other. A large chunk of the man’s beard had been ripped from his face and now it openly bled. “You’ll pay for that bitch”. He said stepping forward and swinging his axe at her. She side stepped the blow and two other, her eyes always locked on the other man who was loading her daughter onto his ship. She stepped under a swing and slashed with the knife, she felt it connect likely breaking several links of the man’s chainmail but having no other real effect. The man stepped in close and balled his fist punching her in the nose. She felt it crack and her eyes began to well as blood poured freely. He followed up the maneuver by smacking her in the temple with the haft of his axe, her knees went weak under the blow and she fell, the man throwing himself on top of her and ripping at her clothes. She shook the daze from her vision and clawed at the man as she felt her breeches begin to rip.
“MOR!” she heard the distant call of her daughter, the fear in her child’s voice and felt a new strength come upon her she screamed in rage reversing the grip on her dagger and plunged it down hard, harder then she thought was possible, it went right through his steel helm and his skull. The would be rapist stared at her blankly as he slumped forward dead.
“NO!” she screamed as she shimmied and struggled to crawl out from under him. She focused using every ounce of strength she had and rolled the beast off of her. She could hear the sound of her people now, she could hear the fight taking place along the beach. She staggered to her feet, taking a moment to claim the axe of her assailant. Then off into the smoke and mists, she raced towards the ship she had heard her daughter cry from. Making it to the edge of the mighty river. The ship has cast off already and was rowing away “STINA! STINA!” she screamed as she raced along the river bank, desperately trying to catch the ship…. “STINA I’M COMING!” she cried as she watched her life sail away.