Mark Sadler

Dabbler

This letter is dedicated to the nearest modern-day equivalent to a viking raiding party - the anons at /b/.

Mark Sadler

Dabbler

The first man I killed was a monk. I know nothing of him save the year of his death (793AD), the place (on the island that our navigators refer to as Lifstænjorde, though it is known by other names) and the manner of his passing.

I tossed him from a sea cliff. He fell silently through a blizzard of gulls who parted in the sky and allowed his body to go past. The white surf at the foot of the cliffs allowed him to go past. It was the dark rocks hidden beneath the waves that did not yield.

After this man there were six others. They offered murmured repetitive prayers to their god in the heavens but kept their heads bowed. They would not make eye contact with the cliff nor with the churning sea. These holy men who have turned their attention to matters of the spirit do not like to look too closely at the world.

I heard fear rising like a spring tide to engulf the words of these holy men who hide themselves away in solitude, where their convictions are seldom tested. Their faith wavers like the flame of a candle in the draft that rushes in through the splintered door of a chapel. Their faith is a blackened smouldering ghost extinguished forever by the waves.

They died because their god did not care enough to save them. The action I used to bring about their end was the same one I used when loading our ship, when sacks were thrown across the shore from man to man. I was one man charged with the passing of these seven souls into the cold embrace of the sea. Each one in his turn saw my face before he died.

You are the bones of a man who would strike at his enemy from a distance. You know nothing of the identity of your killer who has repaid you in kind.

The gains that you fought for lie far removed from your grasp. They are gathered up in the hands of powerful men who do not know you, or care to save you. You stand as a proxy in the footprints of another man who is too old and too wealthy to fight.

You are in some ways like the monks who I cast into the sea many centuries ago. These helpless men and their absent god who deemed their exit from the world an acceptable sacrifice. Like you their names have been lost to history.

Ingimund Bolverkson

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