It was a bright morning, the sun was out and the sweet smell of dew still lingered in the air. A light rain had fallen last night and the great nectar seeped into the roots of flowers and trees. Gorgeous flowers sprung up from their long slumber, energized and ready to glow. Everything seemed so perfect to behold as the sun’s rays shimmered through the tree branches. Yet all this beauty hid something dark. Here, in this very forest, an entire society was lost without anyone knowing how or why. Until one day a boy found the book that answered it all…
As Emerson walked home from school, he pondered what they had discussed that day. They had learned of the great Vikings of the Northland, and how they had been fearless warriors. Emerson thought of himself, alone and weak. “What if I had been a Viking?” he thought to himself. Then he remembered how the Vikings had mysteriously gone missing on a quest to conquer a new land. Which land it was no one knew, but it was there that the Vikings had met their fate.
Someone out there knew the answer, and Emerson was determined to find out who that was. But where would he start?
“Someone out there, before my time or now, knows what happened to the Vikings of old. I’ll find out whom, and then I’ll learn where the Vikings are.”
Emerson may have been small, but he had the determination of an English Bloodhound. He kept walking along and thinking to himself when suddenly his best friend Freya ran up to him. Freya was actually named after the Norse goddess of justice and fire, and that description certainly matched her personality. The two of them had been friends since the moment they met, and always stuck by each other, no matter what stood in their way.
“Hey Emerson, you still thinking about the Vikings?” She asked curiously.
“Yeah, but I think there is something more to the story than what we are told. How does an entire civilization disappear, without any traces of their demise?” He replied.
“I’m not really sure, but if you want, I could help you find out. It could be our own quest, just like the explorers of old!”
“That would be great Freya! Meet me at the village green tomorrow after school, and try to sneak as much supplies with you as you can. Then we’ll sneak away and start our journey.”
With that, Freya’s smile lit up and she dashed away. Their quest was set, and they were ready to go. At this point nothing could stand in their way. It was a quest for ancients to find them worthy of embarking on. Only time would tell of their success.
When he got home he took a seat and began to eat his meal. The thoughts of the Vikings kept racing through his mind, and he imagined himself in their old stories. His mind drifted back to a time of dragons and legends of elves and other mystical creatures. Then he began to question if it were all real, or just another tale made to fascinate the minds of children. It did not matter; he was going to find the answer. As the sun began to set he returned to his bed and slipped into a blissful dream.
Morning arrived a little too early when Freya snuck into Emerson’s bed room.
“Come on sleepy head, its morning!” she shouted in his ear.
Emerson jerked and flailed to the floor as her words jarred his brain awake.
“Let’s go, I already packed everything we need. We have food, water, rope, everything.” She told him hurriedly.
“Everything but patience.” He replied with a tease.
As soon as he was dressed for a long trip they departed. A map that Freya had brought along pointed them toward the Great Marsh of Eidenhelm, an ancient Viking stronghold. It was close to a four day travel, provided the weather would be clear. The two of them snuck through an old tunnel they had dug as children, which led them out of the city past the Guardians. Sunlight warmed their bodies as they emerged from their passage. They peered around themselves and that could be seen was the greatest span of land ever known. And so they departed, on a quest of proportion that rivaled even that of the ancients.
On the fourth day they arrived at Eidenhelm. The walls and buildings were old and decayed; moss grew from every crack in sight. The two of them crept along, wary of any traps that might spell the doom of a casual explorer. Even as they moved, the sounds of the marsh sounded like earthquakes in their heads. Something was hidden here, Emerson could feel it. It was then that they noticed an old decrepit library.
Every book in sight was molded and unreadable. Emerson began to believe that hope was lost for his quest. Suddenly Freya squealed with delight.
“Is something wrong?” Emerson asked quickly.
“Look what I found! We found what you came here for!” She squealed.
As Emerson looked over the book it read, “Eidenhelm: Voyage Log”. He read through the book and found every quest the Vikings had launched. Even why they had gone missing…
“13th of White Dawn, 22LK. We have launched a failed attempt at conquering the dragon Birsengrel. Our entire Legion fell to his mighty waves on the Diamond Sea. Those who survived landed in Drogs Burrow. Contact has since been lost with our brethren.”
“The Vikings… They didn’t make it…” Emerson said sadly.
Freya looked down at the book with saddened eyes. They had finished their quest, but not the answer they wanted to find.
“Freya… We will continue their legacy. The Viking story will forever live on with us.”
She nodded in agreement and the two of them began their journey home. Home… home to Drogs Burrow.