In the next heartbeat Sinmora was in Einarr’s hand. He pressed himself against the central pillar as he raised the sword to parry the dwarf’s blade. That was a long drop off the other side – one he definitely did not intend to take himself.
Axe struck long sword and the dwarf jumped backward, eyeing the drop himself.
“You could have just opened the door and been on about your business, you know.”
Erik’s weight on Einarr’s narrow shoulders slowed him considerably as he made for the inlet where the Gufuskalam waited with Tyr and their supplies. The man had tried to protest, but every time anything so much as brushed his injured leg he paled.
The Gufuskalam launched out of the storm and into the calm waters beyond it. Rain and sleet still pelted Einarr’s back, but he hardly noticed it now. Black, water-slicked cliffs shot from the ocean’s surface up fifty feet or more. Above, the black-leaved forest where the fimbulvulf was said to dwell loomed over them, rapidly…
Mid-morning the day after Einarr and Tyr reunited with Erik, no kalalintu had yet shown themselves on the island. This, they agreed, probably related to the albatross heads Erik had staked around his camp, which in the darkness neither Einarr nor Tyr had noticed.
The Gufuskalam glided backwards along a path pointed by the anchor line, but the two men aboard paid it little heed. Of much more pressing concern were the kalalintu that swooped at them from above, attacking them directly, or rocked their sides from beneath the waves. As for the men themselves, they fought off their attackers with all the strength they could muster. Not infrequently, the flying kalalintu were knocked, dazed and bleeding or already dead, into the water.
Einarr tore the wax from his right ear with a curse. “We can’t leave him there.” “You want to take on an entire island full of those things?” Tyr yelled, his ears still stopped. Einarr rolled his eyes and gestured to his ear. Yes, it was a risk, but they had to plan this carefully…
For more than a week, the only real trouble that fell on the three men was the occasional spring rainstorm. Three days into the second week, the day dawned clear and still, and so Einarr and Erik drew out the oars and left the tiller to Tyr for the morning.
The morning after Einarr’s defeat of Trabbi, the Vidofnir set forth in search of the Grendel missing three of its crew – Einarr, of course, plus two of their hardiest warriors: Erik and Tyr. It was all Stigander could spare. The morning after that Einarr led his companions down to Runa’s cove and the waiting skiff, newly dubbed the Gufuskalam. Runa and the Jarl came to see them off, she looking worried and he relieved to see them go.