Engenulf took a secret stair and pushed open a hidden door. He passed through the chief's private meeting room and out into his trophy hall. "Nosnra!" he called and Thiodolf ran from Nosnra's door.
"He's putting his boots on," said Thiodolf. "He'll be out in a moment."
A pair of elder warriors came down a northern corridor. The outer door let in a rush of cold night air and a blast of noise from howling wolves.
"Enemies are near!" yelled Engenulf, "Set the wolves loose, let the entire pack give chase."
"Gosfrith has been given word. He will be leading them out even as we speak." said one.
"Good!" A voice called from nearby. Nosnra stood bleary-eyed but steady on his booted feet. "I hear the alarm sound. The steading is roused again, another sleepless night. Thiodolf take charge. I will follow Gosfrith and the wolves. What of you Engenulf?"
"I will come with you, my friend," said Engenulf.
They passed through the northern door and out into an empty yard, a length of open ground within the walls where the wolves and children played in quieter times. A dozen giant warriors had gathered there and waited for word from their thegn on where to go or what to do.
"Eight of you come with me. Breme, you pick four and stay behind, Thiodolf is in charge till my return." said Nosnra to a balding, heavy, warrior.
Two ran and opened wide the eastern gate that lead from yard to fields beyond, but as they passed through Engenulf gave a terrible cry and clutched with both hands at his eyes.
"Engenulf..." Nosnra grabbed his friend and held him up; the witan groaned and sagged at the knees. Nosnra lowered him to the ground. "Engenulf..." he said again, and the witan's face ran red with blood-like tears flowing from each eye.
"I live, the spell has passed. Here," he said to Nosnra, "Help me to my feet.
"Your eyes!" Nosnra said, "Can you see?"
"They bleed, and they hurt, but I can see." Engenulf wiped a ragged cloth across his face and dabbed gently beneath his streaming eyes.