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Wrath of Rán – Prologue

This is a prologue for our upcoming new collection titled Wrath of Rán.

A storm is brewing

It was still early dawn when a group of warriors gathered at the shore. The sea was uneasy and dark clouds were gathering in the horizon. The men started to prepare their longboat so they could get it in the water for the voyage ahead. Thorleif looked at his fellow seafarers, all well built fighters, ready to take on any enemy. But despite their strong stature, deep in their eyes Thorleif could see that something was troubling his fellow brothers. 

The night before when they had sacrificed a goat to Rán, to bring them safety on the waters, they had chosen a weaker specimen, to keep the strong ones for the coming winter. Now the men started to doubt the choice they made the day before and the consequences it might have on their journey. The worry in the men’s eyes was not so much because they were afraid of the enemies waiting across the great waters, but because they feared the dangers lurking within the sea itself and what might await them away from the safety of the shore. 

On the water

After the men finished preparing the boat, they pushed it into the water, climbed aboard and started to row as hard as they could through the strong current near the shore. To set the sail they had to first get away from the shore to catch the right angle on the wind. 

But the storm that before had been on the horizon was now right over the men. The wind and the current grew harder and no matter how hard they pulled the oars, the boat came no further from the shore. It was as if the water itself kept them in place, like an invisible hand keeping them from going any further. They could hear the hull of the boat crackling, like something was tightening its grip. 

From all sides they started to hear sounds, not just from the waves hitting the nearby skerry or from the howling wind, but sounds that could only come from something that was alive. The worry in the men’s eyes grew even deeper, could this be their fears being turned into reality? 

The Wrath of Rán

A huge wave came over the boat and pulled the man next to Thorleif off the boat and slung him out into the darkness of the sea. From the starboard side of the boat a large arm emerged, grabbing the nearest man and pulling him back down into the water. 

Several of the men, now tired from rowing and scared, panicked and let go of their oars. Without the firm rowing of all the men, the men quickly lost control to the sea and the boat was slung into a nearby skerry, smashing several of the men dead on the sharp rocks and the boat into pieces. 

Thorleif now lay in the water and could hear screams from all sides. From the sparse light coming through the dense dark clouds, he could see glimpses of men being swallowed by the sea all around him. One was taken by a creature with huge jaws and another by a huge breaking wave. 

After a while, Thorleif could not see any of his fellow warriors anymore and the screams had faded. He started to swim towards the shore, but again he heard an unfamiliar sound. He turned around and glared into two dark blue eyes, deep as the abyss of sea. Before he could react the creature pulled him down into the cold sea and his lungs started to fill with water. He fought everything his father had taught him, but he just went deeper and deeper into the abyss. Until everything was pitch black and he finally stopped struggling as it dawned on him: There is no fighting, the Wrath of Rán. 

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