Still clutching the parchment, Gunter held up his battle scarred hands and gazed at them against the leafy oak and rowan trees. How many battles had he fought? How many had these hands slain?
Battles against worthy opponents differed from the slaughter of peasants fighting to protect their families. Gunter had done both, willingly following the clan’s orders. Vikings were trained from birth to be warriors who conquered, slayed, and returned home triumphant.
The parchment in his hands gleamed as sunlight glowed through it. The colors of ink, the drawings done by a now-dead hand, and a silent message in the strange letters—all intrigued Gunter. Why does this parchment seem more precious than any silver goblets from the church we destroyed?
Abruptly Gunter arose as he stripped off the bloodied armor and reverently tucked the parchment safely inside his linen tunic. Leaving the sound and stench of the settlement behind him, Gunter strode off into the forest. There had once been a monastery some distance inland, one the Vikings had sacked years ago.
The sword lay forgotten by the stream.
Maybe the answer will be there…
Gunter, the apostolic barbarian, now searched for answers.