Humakti warrior. DAZ Studio and Photoshop. Click for full-size image.
Dangerford Death Song
They were not.
Too silent to be real, they appeared—eleven gaunt and empty warriors—out of the fog-cloaked gors at dawn. Black cloaked, blood-banded, they sought the fyrd fight, the game of iron.
Halting but a spear-throw from our fires, the sword-troop stood motionless as sentries raised our sleeping camp.
Black-cloaked, horse-crowned, lacking in armour. Kin-less ones, their clan markings faded and pale. Death-hungry.
Our spearthane hefted his great ash and bellowed a challenge.
The answer came on the world’s breath from nine ragged throats. A song, a summoning, gentle and in an ancient mode, as if uttered by maids calling kin to a wedding.
The sundered ones began their advance with slow and measured step, singing their swords. Each held a blood-band, iron-black and high of hilt, gleaming against the dawn with blueish unlight. They came not as a shieldwall, but as blood brides, arrayed in three open columns, their order wyrded by lot. Three firsts would fight till felled, then one behind would step to take their place. Their feet were wrapped in rune-pocked leather: there would be no healing.
This was not mercenary work, this was death song.
We raised shields. Wall-holders we, fyrd-strong, our band some six hands in number, and none a stranger to the emnity of edges.
The foe advanced. The spearthane weighed our wyrd, gave voice to thunder.
Wind-born, storm-swift, we fled for the safety of the trees.