Sigmund went down to the port to assemble a crew for the trip to Horger. Through loyalty he
quickly assembled a first rate crew to join him. This would be a difficult and dangerous voyage
despite the short distance. Plans were made and cargo loaded. A great fire to appease Odin was built on
the beach. The night before they left as Sigmund and Nisaa were preparing to go down to the feast and
lighting of the fire, Sigmund asked Nisaa” are you prepared to go tomorrow?” Nisaa grabbed his arm
as he head out the door” I am not going with you”
“ I have my reasons” she said not wanting to concern him
“ we have always told each other what was in our hearts”
“ very well, sit down....”
Sigmund sat on an wooden chair centuries old. He looked into Nissa's eyes “ what is it” concern in his
“ Something wonderful...I carry your child”
Sigmund smiled broadly. He was going to be a father. “Then tonight is a double celebration” joy
evident in his voice. Nisaa smiled..rubbing her stomach the first of a thousand times to come. They
walked out and down to the beach where the villagers had bid his father goodbye many years ago and
lit the fire. Sigmund looked into the fire for a moment then looked up and saw his mother standing
there.”Mother..I have wonderful news..Nisaa is carrying my child” then he saw his mother
“ you resemble your father so much. The very last time I saw him was here years ago when we said
goodbye. It brought back a flood of memories”
Sigmund took her hand and she smiled. “did you hear me?..Nisaa is carrying my child”
“much as I was, here saying goodbye”she said without emotion.
The words struck Sigmund. Was history going to repeat itself?..He did not know but he knew he must
Dawn broke over the village. Bright light blue skies with a gentle wind. The perfect weather for
sailing. As the men packed the last of the cargo suffering from the after effects of the celebration
Sigmund was saying goodbye to Nisaa as were the men of the village to their wives. Soon they
gathered at the pier and boarded. Only one more ritual before they set sail. An ancient and time
honored ritual of the flaming shield toss to scare off ocean spirits. The ceremonial shield was carried
forth onto the deck and following tradition the cabin boy took the shield and prepared. He stood at the
side-rail and assumed the throwing position. His arms were shaking from nerves..so many people
watching he wanted to make a good toss. Sigmund whispered to him..”relax my boy it only has to
clear the rail.”.the boy laughed nervously and nodded his head. Sigmund lit the shield and as the fire
raged on its surface the cabin boy leaned back and tossed the shield on a straight line far into the water.
He turned to Sigmund with a broad beaming smile and Sigmund tousled his hair..and they both
laughed from deep in their souls. Sigmund called out “Gentlemen...we sail!!!!” to the cheers of the
townspeople. As the boat edged away from the pier and began its voyage, Annaliese and Nisaa talked
together and walked back towards the castle. Annaliese began” Sigmund is much like his father was,
full of life and a sense of adventure”Nisaa broke in”but he is haunted by the three sword business, it's
deep in his soul” “he may not like what he finds if legends are true”Annaliese said
“ that the ship contained one passenger”
“ that I do not know , I do know she was exiled by the king”
Suddenly some of what Olaf had said made sense..it wasn't exhale and while...he had tried to say
exiled...and it was too late to tell Sigmund.
The beginnings of the voyage went without event, the sky remained blue and the seas calm.
Eventually the land faded from view and the voyage continued. The sun shone down on the blue seas
before them. So far so good.
Hours passed and the afternoon sun began to set on the horizon. The skies were full of
brilliant reds and oranges as the sun dipped under the sea and night set in
The sun light faded and faded until the sky was black and full of stars. One by one the crew
went to sleep until Sigmund and the cabin boy sat at the fire keeping warm.
Sigmund started” What is your name boy?”
”my name is Petr”
” do you know my name?”
“yes sir your name is Sigmund the king”
“You are partially correct Petr..my name is Sigmund but I am not a king.”
“if you call me Sire I shall throw you overboard! “ said Sigmund as he burst into laughter
Petr was shocked when heard about overboard but began laughing too.
Sigmund looked into the skies and saw the stars disappearing under cloud cover as the seas began to
swell. “what is it?..Si....Sigmund.” “a storm in our path awaken the men”
“ yes Sigmund”
“thats more like it” Sigmund smiled with a wink at Petr
“you'd better get below”
As the men joined Sigmund at the wheel the oceans began tossing the ship about. They struggled to
stay on course. Waves pounded against the wooden hull. The wind tore at the sail. Drenching rains
pelted the crew. Knocking even the heartiest sailor to his knees. Except Sigmund..He stood ramrod
straight at the wheel controlling the vessel the best he could. “All men on deck!” bellowed across the
ship..”if we are to die we die like men”..Waves washed over the side tossing the ship like a rag
doll..”SNAP” the main rope holding the sail broke free and the sail flapped uselessly in the wind.
“Helgar grab the rope!” Helgar being the most experienced sailor ran across the swaying deck and
grabbed a hold of the rope...then fought his way back to the rail to tie it down. Sigmund could now see
the outline of Horger Island. Helgar finished tying the rope and raised a fist in victory to Sigmund.
Sigmund smiled and when Helgar turned back an enormous wave swept him away over the
side..”Helgar!!!!!”Sigmund screamed into the wind but he was gone..He ran to the side but saw no
trace. He turned away from the rail to see Petr running towards him screaming “NO!!!!” “ he is
gone””he was my father!” Petr wailed..the salt water pelting him and the heaves of the sea almost
knocking him off his feet..As Horger Island became closer the storm eases considerably. The wind
dying and the ocean calming. Sigmund down the ladder below deck to see about Petr. He found him
crying on a crate “it was our first adventure together, my mother begged me not to go but my father
insisted.” “ The sea is in our blood Petr, either in battle or on the sea is the most honorable way to die, and Helgar died saving us all.” that brought a sense of pride to Petr.
“We will be heading ashore soon... prepare some supplies”
“ Yes Sir...Sigmund”
The crew had survived somewhat unscathed from their journey, bruises and cuts..sprained limbs were
the extent of their injuries. Except for Helgar. Another victim of the mysterious curse of Horger Island.
The crew manned the smaller boats and started towards the shore. Horger Island was a barren as the
legends told, the trees ringing the beach ,small and wind beaten..clumps of sea grass. Cold..under dark
skies full of dark purples , rain and lightening. A miserable place. Far off in the distance lay an apparent
abandoned castle..overgrown and decrepit. As the boats approached the shore the men could feel the
boats nudge on the bottom. The men jumped over the side and waded ashore the final few feet.
Sigmund gave the orders to set up camp for the night. Wood was collected but when they tried to light
the wood they were unable to. “even the fire wont burn here”said Sigmund mystified. “We must find
shelter” Sigmund noticed fresh footprints in the sand but was too tired to care. The sailors made camp
among the scrub brush that surrounded the beach, huddling to keep warm on the cold barren edge of