The bodies were laid on the snow in front of Erlend. Six. They removed their helmets to identify them: Gudmund, Tufi, Ingrid, Bardi, Dotta, Bjorn. When they took Dotta’s helmet off she moaned, but her wounds were too serious to even consider bandaging. Without a word a quick knife moved and sent Dotta into glory. It lacked ceremony or dignity, but the bodies were thrown into the burning drekar which was pushed out into the water. It did not make it far before sinking.
Of his remaining twenty three, four were injured. Without a Skald or a wisewoman even small injuries could be deadly. The cold here would be less than in Stormhome, and they had stumbled into a village that was well provisioned for much more than twenty three mouths. That had been a mercy. Perhaps not all the gods had abandoned them.
Erlend knew better than to relax, though. Whatever clan called this village home would be sure to seek revenge, and they would know the territory. They would rest tonight, but tomorrow they would go to work fortifying their new home.