Of the sagas and songs Freyga can call upon to warm a fellow’s ears, the youngest is her own. She sings it alone to herself, strumming her harp, eyes closed, rocking with the rhythm of her word-waves. It begins now, dreamed of but unwritten, recorded only by the mindful repetition of words that pop like pollen from a fresh bloom. It ends when she ends and will leave to others the tale of its telling.
Five gold coins was the price of my husband. Five gold coins for the slaying of Osgar son of Hincmar, a well-respected man in Aldburg. Five gold coins for a strong youth killing his weakened elder. Five gold coins for my beloved’s blood spilling out of his body. Five gold coins for the man I loved most to die in the darkest of nights, sputtering and gasping for breath. Five gold coins is a paltry sum. What fee can buy a husband’s love? A father’s care? A freeman’s fealty? That was no worthy trade.
The last words of Eorland the Bowman, sung to Audelwyn of Harwick in the alliterative style traditional to the Rohirrim. Along with his parting words, he leaves her the worldly possessions not buried with him, including his horse, hauberk, horn, and cloak.