In the land of the Danes in the kingdom ruled over by Hrughkhar, son of Phlegm, the forest grew deep and dark around the great hall that held the old king’s throne. And the mood in the hall was as deep and dark as the forest outside for the king and his people lived in fear of Grendelsdottir, evil and mighty offspring of the now-vanquished Grendel who bellowed unearthly noises through the night and struck dumb with terror all from the mightiest man to the mightiest womanchild.

For ten years the timid folk sought a hero to save them but their cries went unheard for they were suffering a cashflow crisis and could not afford to pay a reward.

But a warrior from the north came into the hall one evening and proclaimed that his name was Beofoxe, a champion to his own people, defeater of the Four-legged, Chihuahua-headed Serpent of Kold Fjord, slayer of Baldur The God Of Tears’ Stable Boy Les, taunter of Grizgraz The Grumpy Goat, and that he would rid the land of Grendelsdottir in return for a wooden carving of the king’s likeness by the greatest woodsman in the land. And the king who was vain and drunk ordered it so.

And Beofoxe, wounder of Champion The Wonder Moose, left the great hall and strode bravely through the dark and deep paths that wound through the dark and deep forest until he came upon the clearing of Grendelsdottir. In the centre of the clearing lit dimly by the blood moon there was a small bog and there rested by this bog a hollow tree trunk. The brave warrior drew his sword, which he called Stabby, and advanced toward the tree trunk.

“Come out Grendelsdottir!” cried Beofoxe, chess partner of Ethelred the Unsteady. “Stabby longs for your demon blood and Odin will sing of the mighty hero Beofoxe while Loki taps his toes and hums along before this night is out!” And the terrifying creature leapt from his resting place and landed on all fours at the edge of the bog. Fully three inches in height and with skin green and damp, the mighty Grendelsdottir let out a croak that echoed through the tree trunk and became an unearthly bellow. And Beofoxe, pusher-over of The Cow That Slept Standing Up In That Field That Time, dropped Stabby and ran for he was deathly afeared of amphibians.

The following Summer an owl carried Grendelsdottir off to feed its young and the curse on the land was lifted and there was much prosperity. However, Hrughkhar had been unable to pay the woodsman for his carved likeness and had been declared bankrupt by this time.

Rugburn’s Saga
Rugburn’s father was advisor to the king of West Gotaland between Norway and Sweden and he invested his money wisely so that when Rugburn became a man at the age of eleven he had a considerable fortune to call upon. Although his father wished that Rugburn would succeed him as royal advisor Rugburn longed to sail across the sea to the rich island countries of the south and west and so he sought an audience with Honest Hagar, merchant of new and used longboats, whose advertisements were pinned to every tree.

Rugburn wanted a longboat the colour of his hair – red – with oars twenty-one to a side for that was how many fingers and toes he had. The sail was to be made from eastern silk and coloured like the sky – grey with patches of blue – so as to appear invisible on the sea. The prow would be like a wolf and the longboat should move through the water like Thor’s lightning.

But Hagar told Rugburn that the basic red would fade in the sun and he should pay extra for metallic. Twenty-one oars was good but you could move more like Thor’s lightning if you went for the next model up which had twenty three oars. And Rugburn agreed to the suggestions.

After a month Hagar called Rugburn back and mentioned that if Rugburn wanted he could have the new “sackcloth” material instead of silk – it was more hardwearing – and there was a free extended warranty at no extra cost. Rugburn was not sure and asked his father but his father was not an advisor of longboat matters so Rugburn decided that he would on his own.

Then Hagar told Rugburn that there was a problem at the carvers and that there would be a delay with wolfshead prows but if he wanted to he could have a pigeon as they were in stock and normally they’d be more expensive – what with the feathers and stuff – but Hagar could do him a good deal and split the difference. But Rugburn was adamant and said he would wait for the wolf to be completed.

A season passed and Rugburn asked Hagar when his longboat would be ready. Hagar told Rugburn that the sackcloth they’d ordered from their suppliers just wasn’t up to scratch so they were waiting for a new batch. Rugburn said he would take the silk instead then but Hagar mentioned it wasn’t a standard option on the twenty-three oar model unless he fancied going for the next longboat up in the range which included alloy shields and leather tiller handle. Rugburn reluctantly agreed.

Eventually, the longboat was ready but the sails were coloured like a cow owing to a mix-up at the sailmakers. Rugburn decided not to complain.

Thus ends Rugburn’s saga.

The Tale Of The Warrior Princess Brunhilde And Her Quest To Valhalla
Brunhilde was having woman problems and decided not to go.

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