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The Werg
The Werg

The Werg

Franc68Lorient Montaner
1 Review

There are runes of sundry tales amongst the Saxons that conjure the indelible images of supernatural ones that inhabit the realm of the mortals. The tale that you shall read is about the foul creature that had terrified the minds of the children and women of the Saxon villages. It was said that this creature was once a mortal man, who had forsaken his soul for the covetous grasp of power and was condemned to the existence of his monstrosity. Whilom his name was Edwig, but he would be known then as the Werg. From one village unto another, its name was deeply embedded in the apprehension of the Saxons. Whither, its engrossing terror would spread and be thus immortalised in the wrath that it wielded. The kinsmen would remember it for its cruelty and its devouring hunger for its adversaries. Within weeks that had elapsed, these consequential episodes of terror would reach the forum of the council of the eight. The harrowing foe the Saxons would engage was one that they had never met on the battlefield ere. Wherefore was it dreaded? It was because, it was the vile embodiment of an apparent evil that had displayed no ruth.

The Saxons who had once frolicked with the harmonies of their music and bliss, were profoundly troubled with the encroaching menace of the Werg's armies. The unfortunate tidings about the persistent slaughters and destruction of the villages of the Saxons had alerted the council of eight to react against this implacable threat. The dwarves and the elves had made a sacred pact with the Saxons to assist them in their defence, as the Saxons had sworn allegiance to them through this honourable pact invoked. There were several messengers that were sent to warn the Werg that the Saxons would not yield control of the entirety of their lands to him. None would return, except one who would tell the council of eight of the terrible horrors of the Werg. He would bring back some of the heads of the Saxons dissevered from their bodies, in a large, silver chest full of dried blood and putrid flesh.

The lands of the elves and dwarves had been plundered as well, and the elves like the dwarves were committed to rid themselves of the Werg and his horde of maniacal assassins. They had suffered tremendously, and their territories were in extreme danger of being totally obliterated, if they did not stop the madness of the Werg provoked. How it came to power was still a lingering mystery unresolved. No one knew its veritable origin or the names of its ancestors, except when it was human it was supposedly the bastard son of a king of the Vikings, and an anonymous Saxon woman whose name was never revealed. A brutal curse had fallen upon the family and Edwig that would condemn him to the hideous guise of a wretched beast. Due to the temptation of greed, he had forsaken his mortal soul and had become the ferocious Werg. This was the actual story that had spread from the mouth of the soothsayers erstwhile, who foretold of the arrival of the creature. Garwig, a wizened man in features was bright in his wisdom and had forewarned about the nightmarish swevening.

Beneath the morning rays of the sun, the council of the eight had gathered to choose from amongst their worthy rank of proven warriors, one man that could defeat the invincible Werg and drive his sinister influence out of their native lands. The athelings had offered lands for any one audacious enough to defeat the beast. The stouthearted hero that was selected was born with the name of Oswin, who took the solemn oath to slay the Werg and not return until that was achieved. He was the first-born son of a highborn man, and had seen numerous battles before in the immemorial valleys, where warriors were shaped into the douth of manhood, not atheldom. The difficult task that would be imposed upon the young warrior was to be one that would lead him unto the far away lands of the unknown and undiscovered territories that were, beyond the dry and rigid mountains of death. For manifold centuries, it would be a region that had lied on the outskirts that was deemed inhospitable and forbidden to enter for the Saxons. No man would be foolish to dare to defy the portentous words of the sagacious elders. That was until, they were confronted with the horrendous outcome of enslavement and persecution by the Werg.

Oswin never once doubted his ability to battle the unyielding threat of the beast, whose legions of daemons had overwhelmed the Saxons from the beginning of their sanguineous battles upon the valleys of death. He was taught to be a fierce warrior ever since he was a stripling. Along with eighty men, he would depart the confines of his land to reach the secret lair of the Werg. Oswin was a man who had seen twenty-five moons and suns beyond the yuletide. His hair was chestnut brown and long, his constitution was chiselled from a natural brawn, and his hazel eyes were teeming with confidence, as he held the hilt of his sword with the conviction of his might and main. In sooth, few men had seen the Werg and lived to tell about his horrifying encounters. What was known about the creature was that it was stealthy, and it would attack amain, when least expected and appear, when most feared. It would emerge from the depth of the thester shadows, like a wolf searching for his prey with the scent of blood, amidst the blustery gust of fury.

The grure of the Werg had no limitations, as long as the Saxons had yet to overcome its gruesome conquest. Henceforth, they were in a constant battle with the evil that had reigned and the laden torment that took the lives of those, who resisted his superior might. The men of the Saxons knew that they would meet a foe that was brath and unmerciful in his punishment exacted. Their unremitting valour would be tested over and over, and few of them would ever return to see their homes and families afresh. Time would be the lone witness to the savage nature of their enemy and record the horrific battles they would withstand against the determined forces of the Werg. The men would depend on the mastery of their swords and shields to protect them, but it would be the bravery of Oswin, who would impel them to victory. Whilere he had been given a unique weaponry by the council of eight that was a sharp sword, a steel shield, a flexible bow and a pair of piercing arrows.

Upon that portentous day, the Saxons would depart their land to find and defeat the insidious creature at once. They would join forces and allegiance with the dwarves and elves, who were alerted by the goddess Ingrei Frea of the Werg's intention to conquer more lands, including theirs. They would wend and tread for days and nights, upon the filthy waters of the swales and the tall grass of the dales. Along the way, they would witness the absolute destruction of their villages and the remnants of their ruination left, as a dire warning for other Saxons to heed. The throats of dead women and children were slit. It was said that the Werg from his throne would drink the dripping blood of his victims from an alabaster skull. Forsooth, the ruthlessness of his vengeance would not cease, with just the destruction of the villages of the Saxons, the dwarves and elves. The creature wanted more, for it would not settle for anything that was not the conquest of its relinquished foes. The Werg had demanded for the Saxons to be submissive to its rule and authority.

It was within one of those open dales that Oswin's forces would battle the massive forces of the Werg. A thick mist of clouds had formed into the spectral creatures that were known as the wraiths, who would attack the Saxons and others with sheer intensity, as the Werg would stand to watch the battle from afar, with malevolence seen in its large alabaster eyes. Countless men of the Saxons, dwarves and elves would fall to their death. The Saxons would invoke the god Thunor. The courageous men with the assistance of the god would gradually defeat the devious forces of the Werg. The powerful breath of Thunor would sweep the mist of wraiths into the depth of the river below drowning them, as he had covered the river with hardened ice to prevent them from fleeing. Thus, the wicked wraiths were made prisoners of their inescapable fate.

The intrusion by Thunor would enrage the Werg and cause him thereafter to summon the towering thurses, who were under his behest. A loud and thumping sound was heard, as it shook the ground of the valley with great force. It was the twain thurses that were approaching nigh. With their huge feet they began to step upon the helpless bodies of the Saxons, dwarves and elves, as they had scattered to the knolls to flee from the giants. When it had appeared that the thurses would crush all the Saxons and others into torn pieces of flesh, once more Thunor would intervene and with his mighty hammer would open the ground of the valley like a shaking earthquake, causing the giants to fall into a profound chasm of no return. They would be devoured by the earth. This would enrage the Werg even more. He would blow a blazing ball of fire on to the Saxons and others, killing several of them, as they had perished under their burnt shields. Then, he would depart the area, returning to his castle in defeat.

Those who had survived the onslaught of the Werg's armies would be weakened, by the strife of the draining fight. The mouths of the Saxons had begged for thirst, their stomachs had begged for food, and their legs had begged for rest. It was a long and wearisome journey they were forced to endure on foot afterwards. The griffins who had accompanied Oswin were forced to leave during the battle, for they were attacked by the Werg and sought shelter in the mountains, till the battle was over. The weather had not treated the men and others well. It had delayed their advance. The rain had soaked the garments underneath the byrnies of the Saxons, and their supplies that had been reduced caused some of the men to become weaker in their fortitude. They had not calculated the distance and time that was required in their mission, but upon reaching their destination, they would be left completely in awe of what they would descry. The twilight had arrived with a daunting omen that brought the fainting light of death. Drear days that was marred in the uncertainty along the journey were quickly endued, by the haunting realisation of the bleak and bare lair of the Werg.

There before their astonished eyes, stood erect the lofty stronghold of the beast, as the echoes of thunder were heard and the refulgent flashes of lightning were visibly seen across the mountain range. An ominous shade of darkness had started to encompass the tall castle that was on a steep cliff, beneath the hovering clouds of the fog. The men of the Saxons were prepared to give their lives in the midst of battle, but this was a battle that not many of them had ever envisioned as their honourable glory. For the Werg was no ordinary enemy to be easily defeated or conquered. Thuswise, there was a great measure of caution taken in their approach. The caliginous castle of the creature had intimidated them with a distressing impression. The pervasive breath of death was felt through the passage of the eerie gateway.

Upon the top of the towers of imposition, there were ghastly gargoyles that were observing the Saxons as they had approached near. The impregnable walls of the sable castle were made of pure, solid masonry. The men had seen the fierce gargoyles, but the beasts would not attack so suddenly. They had remained vigilant and were under the command of their lord. The Saxons could not know that the Werg had foreseen their arrival. His unsightly image would be frightening. Instead of attacking the Saxon warriors, the Werg had allowed them to enter and seek his lurking presence. He had remained hidden within his stronghold. As the men had passed the gateway and stood before the heavy front door made of solid steel, the door would slowly open wide. It was a welcome that was foreboding and unsettling in its nature.

There was a certain trepidation in some of the men, who had sensed the imminent peril that was awaiting their entrance. Reluctance was a natural sensation experienced, but it was not enough to make them desist in their task of destroying the Werg. There was no turning back then. Oswin had instructed some of his men to stay behind with the elves and dwarves, in case they did not make it alive out of the castle. He and his other men had entered anxiously to confront whatever was lingering in the constricting shadows of darkness ahead. They were guided only by the reflection of the light of the torches that were hanging from the walls of the narrow corridors. There was an eerie silence throughout the creepy castle, with the exception of the whistling wind from outside. There were innumerable halls that were abandoned and every place that they had passed or entered, there was no sign of the Werg. It was difficult to know where the fiend was concealed at any time.

The emptiness of the castle was a cunning deception that was utilised by the Werg. None of its enemies who had entered its lair had ever walked out, as survivors of its nightmarish terror. It commanded with such an imperant dominance. Whoever durst to betray it would succumb to it immediate chastisement. It had gained it unmerciful reputation with the irrefutable course of its actions. Verily, the question for the Saxons was who was the Werg essentially? What was known about its character were its illimitable power and irrepressible menace. Its doomed enemies would dwindle in numbers and be reduced to cadent memories. Its obedient armies were growing and spreading unto the lands of the Saxons and other tribes. Within the span of a month, half of the lands of the Saxons were either destroyed or conquered.

They had raught a hall that had a mysterious pit. There they halted their advance. Curiosity had made them wait in anticipation of what was to betide. As they had waited, from the bottom of the pit rose to the edge, a throng of daemons that then immediately attacked the men without notice. The Saxons had resisted with their swords and shields, but were quickly overrun by the sheer numbers of the daemons. Sensing what was occurring, Oswin had ordered his men to retreat, where they did. Those that had survived would scurry unto another hall that was adjacent. The heavy door from outside would close, surrounding them. They were completely trapped then inside the castle, at the mercy of their uncertain fate. Without any succour, the Saxons were alone to fight off the threatening daemons.

Outside the castle, the men who had remained there along with the elves and dwarves were then attacked by a group of grisly gargoyles that flew down from the mighty towers. The gargoyles would penetrate with their sharp claws the byrnies of the Saxons and the others, killing several of them instantly. The men and the others were cornered by the gargoyles, as they fought bravely against their foes. The elves and dwarves were the most unprepared for the attacks of the gargoyles. They would suffer the intensity of the attack and lose many of their kindred in the strife. It was then that from beyond the horizon of the stronghold, a group of white griffins sent by Ingrei Frea would appear to defend the Saxons and their allies. They would attack the unrestrained gargoyles and allow the men and others to escape, taking shelter in a nearby cave, protected by the influence of the goddess.

The battle inside as well as outside the castle was fierce and bloody. While the battle was happening in the exterior of the castle, in its interior, Oswin and his remaining warriors were huddled in a wall anxiously, with their swords ready at hand. For some apparent reason unbeknownst to them, the daemons from the pit did not follow them unto this other hall. Oswin's instinct had told him that Werg was close by, and he had instructed the daemons to not attack them. The silence of the castle had prevailed once more, with still the whistling wind from outside to be heard. The torches that were hanging became brighter, and the draught became colder. Despite the eeriness of the castle, Oswin knew that he had to slay the Werg, or face the horrid consequences of his actions, which was the enslavement of his people and the downfall of the Saxon kingdoms. He would not permit this.

A mist of a poisonous vapour had then entered the hall, attacking the lungs of the men, who fell to the ground or tried to avoid its inescapable clutch. Some of the men would suffocate and die, whilst others that had covered their faces with pieces of their garments underneath had managed to survive. They began to scurry from hall to hall, until they had raught the place where the Werg was present. At first, he had appeared humanlike in his constitution as he sat on his golden throne, but then he quickly changed into the Werg. Was it an illusion that was meant, as a ploy of deception? His blue eyes became alabaster, his brown hair was shaggy and onyx, his body was transformed into the hideous disfigurement that was the Werg. The creature stood over seven feet tall, with large claws that were protruding. Its jaws were massive and powerful.

Oswin knew that what he was confronting was an evil that would require all his strength and bravery, if he and his men were to survive. The Werg had then attacked the men, as they watched the creature emerge from its singular throne. Its attack was like a swift bolt of lightning that had pierced the byrnies of the Saxons without notice. They could not match the speed and astuteness of the Werg. It would slice apart the flesh of the men and savour it with its crushing teeth and long tongue. Their dilemma had increased twofold. On one hand they could not overpower the Werg, and on the other hand, they were unable to escape its vindictive wrath. It was then that Oswin had pulled several arrows from his side and took out his bow. He shot the arrows through the body of the Werg, but the creature would not die. Instead, the arrows only had made it angrier and determined to execute the remaining Saxons.

One by one the other Saxon warriors fell to their agonising death. With the magic of Ingrei Frea, the front door of the castle was opened. It had allowed for Oswin and a few other men to flee, whilst the Werg was butchering the other unfortunate men, who would perish under the horrible slaughter. The elves and the dwarves would enter with the Saxons. They had sworn an allegiance to Oswin. After the Werg had finished with his murderous spree, he saw the presence of the others that had entered, in particular, Ingrei Frea. The goddess had durst to enter the domain of the Werg, unannouncedly. It was a confrontation between two powerful entities. For a moment the Werg did nothing, but stare as it stood on its two hind feet. It would rapidly disappear, into the mist that had formed before its brash departure.

From the reign of fear came once more the dauntless daemons of the Werg. A wild horde of them had emerged from the darkness to attack the Saxons and the others. Using her magic staff, Ingrei Frea would stir the rousing winds that were whistling to create a sudden whirlpool in which it would suck up all the daemons that were attacking in it, choking them all to death. Thereafter, giant black ravens would arrive from beyond the hillside to attack the Saxons, elves and the dwarves. This would cause the goddess to lose her staff, and when she tried to retrieve it, she would be knocked over the cliff to land down below in the mouth of the darkness of the river. Due to the misty clouds that were hovering above, Oswin could not see her image, where she had supposedly fallen. He and the others that had survived the onslaught of the sable ravens hid within the cave, where the others had once hidden previously. This would not dissuade the Werg.

It would send its loyal legions of wights to enter the cave and destroy the remnants of their enemies. Quickly they entered. When it had seemed that Oswin and the others still standing were doomed to their daunted finality, the thunder bolt of Thunor would be heard, as he would appear and save them. His mighty hammer would cause a huge boulder to seal the cave, trapping the wights inside indefinitely. The wicked Werg from the tower of his castle then sent the large ebony ravens and the dreaded gargoyles to attack the forces of Oswin, with his stern command. But Thunor would blow his powerful breath and send the ravens down the long cliff above the mouth of the river below. The griffins would return to finish off the gargoyles. The battle had yet to be declared a supreme victory. There was a challenge that was waiting for them in the form of the Werg to be conquered.

The last true vestige of Werg's influence was represented in the flaming dragon that was its servant who would protect the Werg at its beckon call. The Werg had summoned it. From afar the emerald dragon could be seen gliding through the thick patch of clouds, as it had raught the edge of the mountain top, where the stronghold was erected. Thunor had told Oswin, the dwarves and the elves to hide inside the castle to seek refuge. He did not think that the Werg would have the dragon destroy his own lair. Thunor would battle against the ferocity of the colossal dragon. Once the dragon had seen him, it immediately began to attack him. First with a blazing fireball, then with a swift lash of its long, pointed tail, but the mighty god with his shield would resist the dragon's attack.

Thunor would use his potent hammer to strike the face and tail of the dragon directly. Back and forth the strife lasted, until Thunor would strike its scarlet beady eyes, blinding the dragon for the nonce, until he was able to rip apart the mouth of the blazing dragon with his brawn, causing its demise. Thenceforth, the once indomitable armies of the Werg had all been defeated, and it was then left to remain defiant with his imperant posture at the tower. The Werg was desperate. Its madness would ultimately lead to its abrupt downfall. Sensing that it was close to defeat, the Werg would swoop down from the tower in the direction, where Oswin had stood boldly before it at the entrance of the castle. The suspense had intensified, for it was to be a perilous duel to the death betwixt the Werg and Oswin.

The difference in stature was clearly evident in their height. The Werg was massive compared to the smaller stature of Oswin, who as a Saxon was considered tall. The Werg had uttered only the words that would echo in a haunting manner with a deep voice, "Today is your day to die, Saxon!" The was fire in its eyes. This did not frighten Oswin, for he was resolute in his bravery to destroy the Werg. He would respond, "Today is not my day to die!" Although he had carried weaponry, Oswin was at a clear disadvantage. No weapon that he had could really kill his impetuous foe. This was what he thought. The Werg had taunted him and mocked his valour. The dwarves and the elves were helpless to assist Oswin. Thunor had stood watching from the distance. There was nothing he could do then. It was a battle that Oswin would have to earn his victory. He had been chosen by the council of eight to destroy the Werg. That was his mission. Failure was considered unacceptable.

Oswin had a mighty sword and shield to protect him in his battles. Little would he know that these things were purely magical in their genuine essence. It was a concealed secret that the council of eight, who had given him the weapons had not told him about their magical powers and abilities. Oswin would discover this, when the Werg had charged at him like a blistering beast. It came like the brath roar of the wind, but Oswin the Saxon would thwart its advance, with a heavy swing of his sword that had knocked the Werg unto the ground. The Werg would try again and once more, he would be knocked unto the ground as before. This had infuriated the Werg. No man had ever shamed the beast. It was determined to not permit Oswin to be the first to claim victory upon its disgrace.

The Werg felt that Oswin had one weakness that was his loyalty demonstrated for his fellow brethren and the dwarves and elves. He had threatened to kill them. Oswin for the first time had felt helpless and uncertain of what to do. He had come face to face with the dreaded Werg and had halted its conquest with their battles. His thew was not enough. The loathing seen in the inflamed eyes of the Werg was discernible. It would not let Oswin leave alive from its domain. The remaining daemons that were not destroyed that were inside had brought out from the castle, the others as hostages, the remaining Saxons, dwarves and elves before the Werg. As the desperate beast was about to murder the others, Ingrei Frea had emerged from the bottom of the cliff through the mist of clouds. She had not perished, for she was a goddess.

Ingrei Frea would inform Oswin about another peculiar weapon that was magical that he was not aware of its relevance. It was a magical arrow that he had brought with him given specifically by the council of eight before his journey. With this he would slay the indomitable Werg and save his kindred. As the beast had lunged at the others, who were at its mercy, Oswin from his bow would shoot that magical arrow that would pierce straight into the heart of the Werg. The beast would fall unto the ground to never breathe again. Its heart would not beat any longer. Gone was the grure of the Werg. Oswin had made sure that the horror that was tormenting the thorps of the Saxons was eliminated. The stronghold of the beast would begin to crumble and tumble unto the bottom of the mouth of the cliff. The death of the Werg had caused the others to cheer and call out the name of Oswin. He was victorious in the end. His name would be forever mentioned and elicited in the tales and runes of the Saxons.

Upon his return, Oswin would relate everything that had taken place on his journey and the harsh battles that he and his men were forced to confront. The remaining men along with those dwarves and elves that also were left alive were welcomed as heroes and were granted the honour of the acceptance of the mead that was said to have been made by the goddess Ingrei Frea herself. Oswin was given land in the east to cultivate and populate as his own. He was honoured as an imparted member of the supreme nobility and was rewarded handsomely by the established kings of the Saxons. A new Saxon village that was built upon the ashes of the destruction of one of the former villages that was destroyed by the Werg. This was the selection that Oswin had preferred. He did not want the destruction of these villages and hamlets to be forgotten or their memories be in vain. Instead, thither he would build a vast area of dominion over the valleys of the proud Saxons.

Before he would leave, he said these inspiring words to be heard by those who were present, "Ye noble and doughty Saxons, I stand before ye all. Not as a mere hero, but as one man who has returned to his brethren and kindred with honour bestowed upon him. In sooth, I have slayed the Werg. To accept the rewards of my deed is to speak unwisely and not reveal the whole truth. For it is those brave Saxons, dwarves and elves who fought and strove until the end by my side, who are the true heroes. They have gained my respect and earned the right to be revered as warriors. Our battles with the Werg were fierce and intense. Not one man was intended to raise his name in glory, when glory is a thing that was inspired by manifold warriors. Thus I stand united with all of these warriors, who I shall call each my brother. Let us not forget those men of valour, who perished for the just cause. Let not their names be forgotten. Nor the names of Thunor and Ingrei Frea. For the Gods and Goddesses have not abandoned us in our hour of need. Though these warriors were buried in a far away land, they died with honour. We shall remember them and raise our cups to toast in their names. I shall end my speech, with these memorable words, long live the pride of the Saxons. Long live the kingdoms of the Saxons."

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About The Author
Lorient Montaner
About This Story
18 Mar, 2024
Read Time
25 mins
3.0 (1 review)

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