(( The references of these legendary characters made to the Valkryie Kara, Sigrún and Sváfa, Helgi, and king Hjörvarðr were found from Wikipedia, the only thing that was mine was the twist that merged the legend with the plot-
Holmgang: was a duel practiced by early medieval Scandinavians; recognized as a way to settle disputes))
The hard echoes of the slamming doors rang as they hit the stone walls as they were forced open shook the castle halls, and as the monarchs made their way to meet their daughter in haste, they learned of the friend whom Merida lost.
"Wait, wait, let me get this straight," Fergus echoed, " You're friend's brother was kidnapped?"
"No, no-" Merida cut in as she decided to approach the situation in a different way for it looked like they'd still had that blind boy in mind when she spoke of the one who sliced her arrow.
Taking a deep breath Merida turned to her mother and grasped her arms, "Mother, Malik-Malik-" she stuttered.
"Take a deep breath, I won't be able to understand anything if you're stuttering." Caressing her daughter's face just looked upon the worry stricken image and as Merida closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath she calmly explained. "Malik, she's been kidnapped.."
It had been about an hour since that moment the duo came crashing in. "Darling, you can't expect me to go after every missing farmer now can you?" Fergus explained. In his logic, going after a mere peasant wasn't very wise, specially at this late hour.
"But father-" Merida pleaded. "She's my best friend! If Lord MacGuffin went missing wouldn't you go after him?" her eyes were stricken with tears at this point.
"But that's different!" Fergus prompted only to meet his wife's firm stare, how his Queen managed to keep so calm when their only daughter had gone ballistic he didn't know, but he was glad someone had a firm head upon them.
"How is it different father?" Merida argued, "You had a bond, as strong as any chain they say, how is it that different then what I've found?" she was on her feet at this moment as she whipped her hands at an angle at her lower sides to make an emphasis.
"Merida! That is enough!" came Elinor's stern lyrics.
Derek who'd kept silent quickly stepped in and fell on one knee and bowed a deep bow, "My Lady, please don't take it so hard on Mer-" catching himself corrected, "On her highness, she has a kind heart and-"
The King looked to this humble farm boy feeling agitated that this cocky character could just plainly address his wife in such a manner, and what's more talk about his daughter. Then again on a different note he couldn't help but find that inch of amusement that such a lad would dare address Elinor directly.
Merida just looked awe struck as she turned to Derek and mouthed a silent " What are you doing?"
Derek kept his eyes focused and just glanced at his friend for but a moment before pleading once more, this time a regal aura seemed to befall him. "Please you Highness, she's all I've got in the world..I would do anything."
The Queen who'd been lost in thought looked at Merida who also chimed in, "I will do anything you want mother, please..we have to go save her."
Elinor approached her daughter sternly walking up to the youth, "So you're willing to risk your life for a lass you hardly know?"
All Merida could think of at the time was Derek's happiness, and though she didn't know Malik very well she still had to try. The girl in this short amount of time had shown her a world she had only glimpse of, a side that she yearned to see.. She didn't want to lose that speck of light. Then there was Derek..If finding Malik was the only way to see Derek happy she'd do anything to secure it. Taking a deep breath eyed her mother in a challenging sort of way, "Yes."
Before the Queen could utter another word a loud crash echoed as the three young Lords crashed in, "Is Merida all right!?" The sight of the peasant boy kneeling down gave the first impression that something had occurred between the two, and Eric had taken up his sword and held it up against the side of Derek's neck. "What had he done your highness?"
Merida's eyes widened at the mess that had found its way into their Great Hall.
Eyes closing as she had rubbed her temples, Elinor had to once again calm the tension hanging in the air and invited everyone to sit on the dinner table excluding the young princes'.
Merida had soon lost patience as the night drew to a late hour, the last note of Malik being passed around over and over much to her irritation. Fingers grasped her skull as they wove through her red curls as she wore a face that would scare any ghoul.
"Smells like..pine..sea salt.." Eric picked at a white strand of hair, " They were riding white horses, or at least one of them were.. and-"
Coal quickly whipped it out of Eric's fingers and inspected the hand writing, "The ink shows that this was written a little after noon, and the slanted letters show that she was in a rush. " Looking up added, "It's safe to say that she knew they were coming and had written this note in haste."
Mac on the other hand paid more attention to the words that were pecked at. The word Valkryie was one of them and it bothered him so. In his studies of history, when foreigners from across the sea came to invade their lands, they brought with them all sorts of beliefs and deities. The Vikings for instance, seemed to believe in such things as the Valkryie who'd chose who died in battle and who didn't. "What was her mother's name?" he quizzed out of the blue.
Derek eyed Mac quizzically, "Kara why?"
"Do you have any idea as to why Malik would be kidnapped? Or better yet, who would have an interest in taking her?"
Derek fell silent and dropped his gaze making Elinor speak up, resulting in Merida turning to face him, " We can't help you if you're not completely honest with us," came Elinor's stern lyrics. All the while Fergus had been lost in thought, it seemed like he was on the same page as Mac and excused himself from the table.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you.," came the prompt words filled with discouragement.
Standing up Elinor walked over to the young man making him stand, " We are trying to help you."
Derek met the sincere eyes of the Queen and sighed as Elinor continued, "You're the adopted children of Martin and Lucinda Everdeen." Turning to view Marida from over her shoulder added, "They've been our ally and friend s from the very beginning and had offered their services to us for many a generation," she added as she looked to the boy who looked up at her. "We are your friends, so please tell us all you know." This act of informality seemed to put everyone on edge in a confused light. Never had they seen this side of her majesty, though it didn't take long to figure out why Elinor was acting this way..it was for Merida.
"The Valkyrie." Derek finally voiced.
Everyone aside from Mac who was already pondering over the possibilities seemed surprised, while Merida lingered in her shadow of confusion. And as much as Lady Elinor wanted to hide her worry, her first expression was enough to tell Derek that it wasn't the first time they'd heard about such forces. "How-" Elinor was interrupted when Fergus boomed from the back end of the room, "I found it ha-ha!"
By then Mac had decided to stand beside Merida-an attempt at reassuring her everything was fine.
Everyone's eyes followed the bulky character as he cleared the table in front of him and slammed a big heavy dusty book. "I got this from an old Viking trader in my younger days " winking continued, "I knew it would come in handy some day." Without looking up the King flipped the dry pages and voiced, "You said her mother was called Kara, was it by any chance ValKara?"
Taken aback Derek just stared back, his eyes glued on the dusty book.
Taking the boy's silence as an affirmative answer continued on his rant, " It was said, that a Valkyrie named Sigrún was a reincarnate of the Valkyrie Sváfa who in days of old had been a part of a band of nine Valkyrie. She was also the daughter of King Eylimi who married the son of king Hjörvarðr who had fallen for her at first sight when he'd sat atop a hill and witnessed a band of nine Valkryie riding by. The young prince had stayed silent throughout his childhood, and now a young prince who had no name since he spoke no words was finally given the name Helgi by Sváfa. It was customary for a gift to be given and when Sváfa asked what would he like, he said nothing if he couldn't have her. She then spoke of a great sword engraved with snakes and magic runes and throughout his life she'd always watched over him during battle, and kept him safe from harm's way. When Helgi had made a name for himself he'd asked for her hand and her father gave them his blessings. Helgi however fell during a Holmgang and as the fates would have it Sváfa and Helgi would be reborn as Helgi Hundingsbane and Sigrún. Their happiness would be short lived for Helgi is killed in another duel; Sigrún died early because of sadness and was reborn as the Valkyrie Kára and Helgi was Helgi Haddingjaskati. Kára was the daughter of Halbadaniz - the legendary king of the Skjöldung Clan." Fergus looked at the now confused crowd before him and chuckled as she stated the facts simply. "Looks like you lost yourself a princess lad."
Derek was just awe struck, and wide eyed. This he definitely didn't know, though he often wondered what was a girl like her doing with a sword with similar markings, he now questioned the whole situation including himself.
"Still want to go after her laddeh?" came Fergus' sly play of words. "You'd be taking on the demigods of old should you decide to go on this quest," he added dramatically.
The only thing that went through Merida's head at that very moment was the thought of adventure, and the importance of returning a lost princess back to her kingdom- knowing very well how it could fall should an important piece be removed from its station.
Mac on the other hand looked at Merida and cut in, "A union with the mighty Kingdom of Dunbroch with the Danes would certainly be an asset," he thought out loud as if trying to entice the monarchs into considering such a venture.
Elinor just sat down, it was obvious that this time they'd bitten off a bite they couldn't chew. Last time magic spilled over into the kingdom, it was due to a wish and a faulty witch, this on the other hand.. was something way out of their league. Taking on the demigods of Odin..shuddering at the thought jumped at the sound of a crows call then the whole room fell silent.
Fergus felt chills run up his spine and as his eyes fell upon the group of youths. "Well what say you?"