The soft snowflakes came to rest in Stefnir’s beard, littering its brown hues with white splotches, making him appear older than he actually was. The cold penetrated his furs in some places, but it was of no consequence. His was a land of both beauty and bitterness. It was a land of untamed fire and ice. The cold was a companion and a friend.
Stefnir’s gaze was fixed on the horizon; on the distant glow he saw at the edge of the world. He had watched as the dark morning peace had been interrupted by a sudden blue glow somewhere over the sea, eastward. Doubtless some new trickery by The Exiles. March’s raids had escalated the violence and surely Erik would be hot with anger and planning his revenge.
But could it be them? The Exiles hunted and fought with the same weapons as did Stefnir’s people. They warmed with fire and took women to bear their children.
No, he decided, this light is unnatural.
Perhaps the Gods were descending upon them all, with all the strength of Valhalla’s honored dead.