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The night was wrapped in velvety blackness. The wind howled in the woods, pressing down the trees to the ground. Some of them crushed under its might, the snap of wood lost amidst the gale. The sea ferociously battered against the rocks in the fjord.

All wildlife huddled in their burrows, dens, and nests. It was a night not even the most rapacious thug would dare to poke his moss-covered head to ambush the chubbiest of all travellers.

The Æsir themselves would think twice before leaving their halls on a night like this. If anybody still believed in gods these days, that is; days filled with merchant coin clank, petty court quarrels over a quarter of an inch of nothing but rock plots, and men skilled more in teasing their tangles than in wielding an axe. Only Máni shone a light on this spectacle of horror, evidently taking twisted pleasure in watching how the shadows menacingly danced in the tree branches.

Yet, high on the fjord, a feast took place in jarl Björnson's castle, another day that quickly descended into drunkenness. However...

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