include_once("common_lab_header.php");
Excerpt for Treason by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The Children of Ribe





TREASON



by

C. S. Woolley



A Mightier Than the Sword UK Publication



©2018



The Children of Ribe:

TREASON


By C. S. Woolley


Cover design by C. S. Woolley

Map by Inkarnate

A Mightier Than the Sword UK Publication


Smashwords Edition


Copyright © c. s. woolley 2018


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of the publishers.


To prevent unauthorised copies of this book being made a number of intentional errors have been included.





For

Big Nick







Contents


Author’s Note

Characters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Historical Note

Also by the same author

Out Now

Coming Soon



Author’s Note


TREASON is a book that I was so excited to write, mainly because stepping back into this world felt like coming home. This is the ninth book in the Children of Ribe series and the first book in the Bergkonge story arc. This second story arc is set twenty years after the first books took place, so there are some changes that readers may notice, but you can be assured that the elements of adventure and magic remain. As an adventure story I hope it will inspire the children that read it to embrace adventure and conqueror their fears.


The Children of Ribe books have been written to help encourage children to read, especially those that suffer from dyslexia and attention deficit disorders. I hope that the children who read these books will learn to love literature and also a thirst for adventure ad knowledge.



Characters


Erland Kalebsen

Saviour of Ribe. Wielder of the arm ring of bravery and warrior.

Dalla Ingeborgsdotter

Saviour of Ribe. Völva and wielder of the arm ring of hope.

Christian Andersen

Saviour of Ribe. Warrior, wielder of the arm ring of compassion and husband of Eva.

Eva Axeldatter

Saviour of Ribe. Shield Maiden, wielder of the arm ring of courage and wife of Christian.

Riki Andersen

Saviour of Ribe. Warrior and wielder of the arm ring of cunning.

Beatrix Anderdatter

Saviour of Ribe. Wife of Þiagn and wielder of the arm ring of loyalty.

Camila Anderdatter

Saviour of Ribe. Wife of Joas, leader of Hedeby and wielder of the arm ring of determination.

Þiagn the Ljósálfar (Pronounced Thia-gn)

Son of Amma, One of the Elves of Álfheimr. The Guardian of Beatrix’s arm ring of Yngvar and her husband.

Joas Ottarsen

Saviour of Ribe. Warrior, husband of Camila and leader of Hedeby.

Oleg Olegsen

Saviour of Ribe. Warrior and leader of Schleswig.

Pieter Mateosen

Saviour of Ribe. Warrior and wielder of the arm ring of faith.

Ragnfrith

Saviour of Ribe. Berserker.

Aldís Oleksdatter

One of the Disir. The guardian of Erland’s arm ring of Yngvar

Thormar the Dragon

The dragon of Fyn. The Guardian of Riki’s arm ring of Yngvar

Oda the Ellepige

The ellepige in the lake. The Guardian of Dalla’s arm ring of Yngvar

Pernille the Pesta

Guardian of Pieter’s arm ring. Tormentor of the people of Lund

Tokki the Draug

Guardian of Camila’s arm ring. Raised the spirits of Dreng and Fet.

Maren the Havsrå

Guardian of Christian’s arm ring. Seducer of the men of Roskilde

Stefan the Dvergar

Guardian of Eva’s arm ring. King of the Dwarves.

Frigg Broddatter

Mother of Erland, wife of Kaleb, shield maiden and elder of Ribe.

Kaleb Pavsen

Father of Erland, husband of Frigg, warrior and elder of Ribe.

Inga Ragndatter

Mother of Eva, wife of Axel and elder of Ribe.

Axel Lokesen

Father of Eva, husband of Inga and elder of Ribe.

Harri Nickolajsen

Storyweaver and elder of Ribe.

Ander Åsmundsen

Father of Christian, Camila, Riki and Beatrix, and husband of Gretel.

Gretel Ørjandatter

Mother of Christian, Camila, Riki and Beatrix, and wife of Ander.

Lie Enosdatter

One of the council of Jelling. Represents Vorbasse. Sister of Cora and mother of Righer.

Steffen Staksen

One of the council of Jelling. Represents Lindholm

Daniella Bramdatter

Elder of Roskilde.

Dyri Ottarsen

Brother of Joas, Hefni and Gerulf, husband of Signe and father of Sofie, Thorith and Elef.

Hefni Ottarsen

Brother of Joas, Dyri and Gerulf, husband of Maja and father of Grimulf, Helf and Farman.

Gerulf Ottarsen

Brother of Joas, Hefni and Dyri, husband of Justina and father of Hwit, Folki, Ulfger and Catharina

Tekla Amrdatter

Wife of Pieter and mother of Valdís and Valka.

Una Aleksdatter

Wife of Riki and daughter of Aleks and Cora.

Andor Christiansen

Son of Eva and Christian.

Lydik Christiansen

Son of Eva and Christian.

Valdís Pieterdatter

Daughter of Pieter and Tekla

Valka Pieterdatter

Daughter of Pieter and Tekla

Magnus Joassen

Son of Camila and Joas

Viggo Joassen

Son of Camila and Joas

Fet Joassen

Son of Camila and Joas

Dreng Joassen

Son of Camila and Joas

Rambi Rikisen

Son of Riki and Una

Edvin Rikisen

Son of Riki and Una

Krusa Þiagnsen

Son of Beatrix and Þiagn

Yrsa Þiagndatter

Daughter of Beatrix and Þiagn

Þrima Þiagndatter

Daughter of Beatrix and Þiagn

Righer Liesen

Son of Lie, nephew of Aleks and Cora, father unknown.













My name is Harri Nickolajsen; if you are sitting comfortably then I will begin. The tale I am about to tell you is one of the greatest heroes of our time. When they were about your age, they left behind their homes to search for the arm rings of Yngvar.

They found themselves in strange lands with enemies all around them, but no matter how hard things were or how bad things looked, they never gave up.


Their names were Erland the brave, Riki the wise, Beatrix the true, Dalla the just, Christian the kind, Camila the undeterred, Eva the fierce, Pieter the unwavering, Joas the strong, Oleg the swift and Ragnfrith the forgiven.



Chapter 1


Wifrith the bear stirred in his sleep. He had lived in Ribe for the last twenty years and had been the constant companion of Eva Axeldatter. She had found him in the wilds around the town of Ribe not long after the machinations of King Viggo and Queen Rena had been thwarted.

He had been very useful over the years, especially protecting parties of travellers as they went to visit friends and family that were now scattered across the Danelands.

Eva smiled down at the bear from the chair that she sat in. She was busy repairing the clothes of her two sons, Andor and Lydik. The two boys had been learning to fight like their mother and father. Their grandparents Inga and Axel, as well as Kaleb and Frigg, had taken up the challenge of training the younger generation in the ways of the warrior.

It had been a humbling experience for all the children, but more so for Andor. The young boy had been certain that he would easily master the skills of a warrior given his lineage, but this wasn’t the case.

It wasn’t that the son of Eva and Christian Andersen wasn’t naturally talented when it came to fighting; it was his attitude that held him back. His attitude was so bad that he didn’t listen to anyone that was trying to help him, even when his parents were the ones telling him where he was going wrong.

After talking to Eva and Christian, Frigg had decided that the best thing to do was to push him to his breaking point. He would then either listen or he’d give up; it wasn’t what Eva had wanted for her son, but it was the only option left to them.

She had spent hours thinking about her sons whilst she repaired their clothes, but thinking about Andor was depressing her. Instead she let her mind drift to how things had changed in Ribe since she had found Wifrith the bear cub.

The storyweavers Sibel and Alessia had passed their mantle onto their friend, Harri before they had died. Sibel had been very sick for five years after the battle of Ribe, but she had lived long enough to see Harri return to the town.

Alessia had been so upset when Sibel had died that she had only lived for a few weeks more than her sister.

The deaths of Alessia and Sibel had only been the start of the changes in Ribe. Pav had been the next of the elders to die. He had been hunting with Kaleb, Christian and Axel when he had fallen off his horse and broken his neck. There was nothing that anyone could do. The three men had carried him back to the town so that he could be buried in the ancient way.

Word came from Ragnfrith that Joke and Fjori had both died in their sleep on the same day that Myrtle and Aran both died in the same way. This meant that only Harri remained from the elder generation of Eva’s youth.

Kaleb, Inga, Axel, Frigg, Eva, Harri and Christian were now the members of the elder council in Ribe. Between the seven of them, they made decisions for the future of the town and upheld the law.

Between sitting on the elder council, raising two sons, training every day and helping to provide for her family by leading some of the fishing and hunting parties, Eva rarely had time to sit and think on the past.

Christian was out with the boys, visiting his father and mother. Normally Eva would have gone with them, but tonight, something had made Eva feel that being on her own was the best thing. To say that she was on her own was not true though, as a bearer of one of the arm rings of Yngvar, Eva was never alone.

“Your mind seems rather troubled this evening,” Stefan said as he appeared next to Eva.

“No more than normal,” Eva shrugged in reply. Stefan, Dvergar King, was the guardian of Eva’s arm ring of courage. He was never very far away from her side, but it was rare that he would appear without being called on.

“I see, then maybe it is my mind that is troubled,” Stefan frowned and sat down on the floor next to Wifrith to think.

“I doubt that, you never seem to let anything weigh down your thoughts for too long. But there is something strange in the air tonight,” Eva sighed and put down the boys’ clothing.

“You’re not finished,” Stefan said distractedly as he noticed Eva abandoning her work.

“No, but I think that we both need some fresh air,” Eva replied and stretched as she stood from her chair. Seeing his mistress move, Wifrith yawned and lumbered to his feet.

“Maybe you’re right, where are we going to?” Stefan asked.

“To the spot in the forest where we always go,” Eva replied.



Chapter 2


Erland Kalebsen looked up at the sky. The stars were all where they should be and the ocean was as calm as any sailor would want it to be. There was a slight wind that helped the boat skim across the surface of the water and there were waves enough for spray, but not enough to threaten the boat.

Yet, Erland still felt like something was wrong. He had spent his life on the sea under the captain that helped him and his friends on their journey to find the arm rings of Yngvar.

He often missed the home he had given up so much to protect. The captain made sure that they sailed to Ribe at least once every few years, but every time he visited the town, Erland found it harder to leave.

“Something on your mind?” the captain asked as he joined Erland at the rail.

“He doesn’t know what it is,” the disembodied voice of Aldís the Disir floated around them. She was the guardian of Erland’s arm ring of bravery and had a habit of talking without showing herself.

Over the years the crew and captain had become used to hearing the Disir talking from nowhere, but it still frightened people in the ports that they visited.

“Do you?” Erland asked Aldís. The Disir materialised beside Erland with a thoughtful look on her face.

“No, but it is strange,” Aldís admitted.

“What are the two of you talk about?” the captain frowned at the pair.

“There is something that I cannot put a name to,” Aldís replied with a faraway look on her face.

“I think we need to get to land, sooner rather than later,” Erland sighed.

“We’ll be making port in Lund tomorrow afternoon,” the captain clapped his hand on Erland’s shoulder, “if you need to stay ashore, the crew will manage without you.”

“Thank you,” Erland forced himself to smile with gratitude; though the unsettled feeling in his chest made smiling the last thing he wanted to do.

Aldís stood next to the man and stared out at the waves.

“I think we will be making land sooner than tomorrow afternoon,” she said as she noticed something moving on the horizon.

“And why is that?” Erland asked looking sideways at her.

“Thormar is coming,” Aldís replied as the shape on the horizon grew bigger.



Chapter 3


Dalla sat outside her hut and looked at the setting sun. She had spent twenty years living in the middle of nowhere in order to train her powers as a völva without harming others.

The hut that she lived in had once belonged to another volva called Ciara. When the children had been searching for the arm rings of Yngvar, Ciara had held Riki, Eva, Erland, Dalla and Christian hostage there for several days before Riki had engineered their escape.

When Ciara had been killed in the battle for Ribe, Dalla had decided to come back to the hut to learn more about her magic. There were books and ingredients for potions in the house as well as giving the girl the peace and quiet she needed to focus. Over the years, the völvur had come to visit her and Dalla had learned what she could from them.

Now that she was seen as a master of her abilities, three young women had come to live and train with Dalla. They all had different abilities and were of different ages, so the process was a challenge, but Dalla found that she enjoyed having the three girls there.

She had sent them into the forest earlier that day to look for some rare herbs and plants. They were not needed for anything in particular, but the girls needed to be able to identify plants in the wild as well as in the jars in her hut.

So Dalla had passed the day on her own, aside from the company of Oda the ellepige, guardian of Dalla’s arm ring of hope.

“You seem restless today, is there anything wrong?” Oda asked as she stood in the small pool of water that Dalla had built for the ellepige to live in.

“I don’t know; I have felt like there is something just beyond my grasp that is happening. Like something important that I have forgotten and cannot remember no matter how hard I try,” Dalla sighed as she leaned on her staff. The staff looked like a simple stick to anyone that was unfamiliar with völvur.

“It is the same in the spirit world. There is something that is causing great unrest, but none of the spirits that I can reach know what it is,” Oda worriedly paced about on the surface of the water. Dalla stood up and walked over to the stone basin that stood next to the pond.

The volva reached into a small leather pouch that she wore at her waist and pulled out her bone runes. She held them in her hands over the stone basin and closed her eyes. She thought of the question she wanted to ask them and then, holding the question in her mind, threw the bones into the basin.

“The bones say that we are needed elsewhere,” Dalla pursed her lips as she studied the runes.

“Where are we going?” Oda asked.

“To the south,” Dalla replied.



Chapter 4


The town of Hedeby had suffered a lot under the rule of King Viggo Odinsen. To begin with, he had done right by his people, but after he met Rena, his mind had no longer been his own. The people had suffered and been taken to war, and it had been up to Camila and Joas to repair the damage that had been done.


Purchase this book or download sample versions for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-19 show above.)