15). The Raid
Bodvar, Heidrek, Hersir and Olaf are the first four over the castle walls into the keep.
Bodvar is an older warrior and leader of this raid. He is a tall mad, as are most of the Norsemen with him. His bear is plaited and white, though some blond can still be seen among the silver. He is an experienced warrior, still strong and quick, but also well trained and skilled with sword and shield. He bears a blade from eastern lands but his shield is plain. His armor is said to have been crafted by dwarves, the links do not rust and they dull the edge of swords as if the mail were stone. His helm is from the south and east. A great captain wore it and Bodvar looted it from his corpse after defeating him in desperate combat. His cloak is made by elves and the pin he wears is of gold that gives him strength.
Heidrek stands behind his warchief. A lifelong companion to Bodvar and is his trusted lieutenant. He is immensely strong though not as quick as his friend. He too is grey and his hair is cut so short beneath his helm that only the tattoo on his skull of a raven in flight can be clearly seen. His axe returns to his hand if thrown, a thing of awesome magic, and his sword glows a bluish light if enemies are near. It always holds a keen edge and never dulls. The helm was crafted for him and always can he see in darkened rooms. No flare of light can blind him or illusion fool his eyes while he wears that helm. He bears no armor except a tunic soft as silk but strong as the breastplate of a Roman chief. His shield is made from the bones of great birds. It is light as a feather and like a feather it causes Heidrek to land if he should fall or jump from a height.
Hersir is shorter than his companions. Once a thrall to Bodvar but long ago he proved his worth and paid his debt of servitude. Now he is one of the Warchief's sworn companions. His hair is dark, the grey just streaking his beard. He is furtive and quick, agile and a shadow in the darkness when he wants. Hersir acts as a scout. First upon the wall and through the door. His spear belonged to Hjalmar, a great man among his people, but he lived long and sat upon a throne when the Raven King called him to die in battle. Bodvar raided his hall and Hjalmar fell to Hersir's knife between the shoulders as he turned to run. Hersir claimed his spear, true and sharp enough to pierce a Dragon's hide. His sword looks plain but at word it will dance before and fight as a battle-brother beside him. His dagger is a terrible weapon said to have been taken from the cold realm of Hel. A cut from the blade can freeze a man in place. It smokes like warm breath on a cold day when it is drawn. His shield was crafted by fire spirits and no touch of flame will harm Hersir while he bears it. His armor is simple padded stuff, but strong as chain and light as a thin shirt. His helm is taken from a mounted warrior chief of the Dumnonii. When wearing it no stone, bolt or arrow can touch him.
Olaf is thin, but wiry and still strong though he is older than the others. He was a boon companion to Bodvar's brother and serves him loyally, but he has heard the Raven King's call and no seeks glorious death in battle. His gear and weapons are simple. His shield is always on his back as he wants the honor of seeing his deathwound and his slayer. His sword, his sword is of great power. It can shear through armor as if it were cloth. It is called Dvergar's Kiss and it sings a song that gives strength to Olaf and all his companions when it takes a life or severs a limb. Olaf does not plan to return from this raid.