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Tales of Midgard - Part 9

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  • Tales of Midgard - Part 9


    Sibling Rivalry

    The twins had always fought, for as long as either of them could remember. “They pinched each other in the cot,” their mother said, “And it only got worse as they grew.”

    They fought over ballgames and for the leftovers at the dinner table. Then, later, they fought over girls and over father’s estate.

    Now, the stakes were higher. Life or death.

    They faced each other across the dungeon, weapons raised. One under the flag of the ancient Order of Light. The other, a sworn member of the Brotherhood, their arch rivals. The war with the Dark Lord raged on, and another battle - for control of Luxis and its armies - had broken out between the disparate and secretive guilds of Midgard.

    For these two brothers, a lifelong battle had reached its climax. Only one would survive. The commanders raised their arms and the men charged. Steel clashed against steel as the brothers hacked and stabbed at each other, mercilessly. They were, as ever, perfectly matched.

    As to the winner, some say it was the brother from the Order who bled out last. Others say his twin from the Brotherhood lived a little longer.

    At the funeral, they lay side by side, and neither one even tried to pinch the other.

  • #2

    You Bet Your Life

    “Be off with you, man, you’ve lost enough,” grumbled the fat old gambler, swatting at the unlucky barbarian with silk rag as his men held the red faced giant back.

    “One more hand!” roared the barbarian, straining at the bodyguards’ hold until one arm was free. He slammed his hand down on the gaming table and opened his fat fingers to reveal a small golden ring. The fat man laughed.

    “A-ha-ha-ha! That trinket isn’t worth the metal it’s made from. Your shield on the other hand…”

    The gambler eyed the barbarian’s fine golden shield, studded with rubies.

    “Alright,” grumbled the barbarian, “My shield against everything you’ve won so far.”


    “And that,” said the old barbarian, “Is how I came to lose my arm in battle. So… let that be a lesson to you.”

    He picked up the ivory dice at his grandson’s feet and clipped the boy’s ear - only playfully - with his carved wooden hand.

    “No gambling,” he chuckled. “Now come home. It’s supper time.”


    • #3

      A Battlefield Souvenir

      “A finer blade you will not find, Sire, I assure you,” said the merchant, “Do you see the folds in the steel?”

      “Aye, it is a fine blade,” the knight agreed, turning the weapon in his hands, “I’ll warrant it’s seen action.”

      “A thousand battles, Sire!” the merchant continued, warming into his patter, “Why the Dark Lord’s armies would be a good deal larger today were it not for the last brave man who wielded that sword.”

      “You knew the previous owner, did you?” the knight asked, peering at the bejewelled crest on the sword’s hilt.”

      “He was a dear old friend, Sire. Almost a brother, in fact. Having no heirs, it was his dying wish that I inherit the blade. But I am no warrior, Sire. I’d rather see it put to good use by a knight such as yourself.”

      “Oh, I’ll do that,” said the knight. He grabbed the merchant by the collar of his robe and thrust the tip of the sword between his ribs. Surprise and fear showed on the merchant’s face as blood bubbled to his lips.

      “This is my family crest,” said the knight as the merchant’s eyes flickered and closed, “And my father’s sword. Taken from his body as he lay dying on the battlefield. What better use could I put it to?”