Two manly, burley men had fought together as allies for their whole lives. They had known each other since birth. They were raised together, both as warriors. Both of their fathers were highly accoladed war chiefs, putting the pressure on them to become great. The two men had been great friends due to the strength of each other. They were much stronger than the other boys when growing up, but always matched each other in speed, strength, and skill. They had never quarreled until one fateless day.
“Ragnar, our fathers are commencing the raid on Kjalfgrun tonight.”
“Yes, and do you plan on accompanying them, Dalgram?”
“Only if you plan on it!” he smacks Ragnar on the back heartily.
“Hush, Dalgram. Someone approaches.”
A strange, cloaked man confronts the two warriors.
“Halt! Tell us your business, stranger!” Dalgram demanded of the stranger.
“Eh? You ‘ave nary a clue as to who I am, do you, lad?” wheezed the suspicious stranger.
“Aye, you’ll be mincemeat soon if you don’t state your business!” barked Ragnar.
“Hold, hold. I am Nefarian, the wizard who foresaw your fathers’ rise to power.”
“Ah, splendid! You can see the future! Hear that Dalgram?”
“Most believable, Ragnar!” boasted Dalgram skeptically.
“You’ve no belief for the supernatural?” questioned the wizard.
“‘Tis but the tales of children.” grunted Dalgram.
“When the moon bares the sun, beware. Your demise will be that of which held you together for years.” taunted Nefarian as he moved his finger back and forth between the two warriors.
The wizard departs and the two men share a laugh.
“Ha! You shall die within a day, Dalgram!” mocked Ragnar.
“Aye! And you shall have your riches stolen by a petty thief!” spoke Dalgram in a joking manner.
“That wizard speaks of that which he has no knowledge in.” ridiculed Ragnar.
“The future is long. It cannot be grasped by commonmen.”
“Let us retire, Dalgram. We have an arduous day tomorrow.”
The two leave and prepare for the morning. They wake up and meet on the battlefield with their fathers and the other warriors.
“Dalgram, over here!” shouted Ragnar to get Dalgram’s attention.
“Mind you we are in battle, Ragnar.” bellowed Ragnar’s father. “There is a time when you need to fight alone. You won’t always be paired with Dalgram.”
“Aye, sir.” moaned Ragnar obediently.
“Men! The battle you face today may not be one of numbers, but your foe does have strength!” roared the general. “We outnumber them five to one, but their skills outmatch ours the same! It will take all you have to defeat them! I have full confidence in you valiant warriors! Now, ho!”
The army fights off the enemy and wins, but Ragnar’s father, the general, is fatally wounded.
As Ragnar sees his father fall he cries out, “Father! No, you must live! You and Alteir lead these men, they need you!”
“Ragnar what is wrong?” Dalgram rushes over to see the now lifeless corpse of his friend's father. “There is nothing we can do now. Let us bring his body to the pyre.”
The two give the general a proper send off and retire for the evening. They start to discuss who the next general should be.
“Dalgram, now that my father has perished, who will accompany your father as general?”
“Maybe he can lead the men alone.”
“No, he needs a partner to keep those barbarians in check. A strong partner at that. I think I should be the new general.” asserted Ragnar.
“Preposterous! Alteir is my father! I should lead alongside of him!” retaliated the offended Dalgram.
“But it was my father who previously held the position. I should take his place. There should be one leader from each of our bloodlines!” Ragnar explained trying to calm Dalgram down.
“Our bloodlines are strong indeed, making us both worthy of the title.” confirmed Dalgram.
“Allow us to ask your father who he thinks should lead with him.” suggested Ragnar.”
“Aye, lest we claw each other to pieces.”
The two men go and talk to Alteir who offers little help in the situation.
“Are you two not men and fierce warriors? I shall not decide who is strongest between you two. Have at each other for you know that is what I and Tylind had to do to reach this position.”
“You suggest we duel?” questioned Dalgram.
“To the death!” fired Alteir sternly. “Lest you fail me and perish, son, you shall no longer be worthy of being called so.”
The two men went and they pondered this heavy task.
“It seems this is the right way to resolve this issue.” stated Ragnar. “I would hate to have to kill you.”
“Ha, as if you could kill me!” laughed Dalgram. “You know we are both evenly matched in strength!”
“Aye, that we are. Alas, we must do this. Meet me at the battlements tomorrow morning at the raven’s call.” deadpanned Ragnar.
The two men departed once again, thinking about how he might have to end his friendship with bloodshed. Once morning came around, Dalgram went to the agreed upon location but didn’t see Ragnar anywhere.
“Raaaahhh!” Ragnar pounced at Dalgram from the bushes.
“Hast you no honor?” barked Dalgram as he swiftly dodged the ambush.
“Honor is not something to consider when fighting to the death!” screamed Ragnar.
The two exchanged blows for a while, blocking and dodging the thrown attacks.
“Agh!” Ragnar grimaced as he was struck in the shoulder.
He swung his axe hitting Dalgram in the leg.
“One for you and for me I suppose.” Dalgram quips after being hit.
They continue to swing their weapons at each other, blocking, dodging, and getting struck.
“It seems we are still an equal match for each other, Ragnar!”
Dalgram swings and strikes Ragnar in the chest.
“Aye, but it seems we are both holding back!”
Ragnar swings his axe and hits Dalgram in the hand, cutting away two fingers.
“Agh! I guess I should really go for blood now!” grunted the bloodied Dalgram.
They fought and fought slowly hacking at away at each other until they both blocked the other’s attack and struck each other in the neck simultaneously. As they both lay on the battlements dying they hold one last conversation.
“I finally understand, Ragnar.”
“I understand what that wizard prophesied. Look, the sun.”
Dalgram spat out blood as he pointed at the sky.
“‘When the moon bares the sun, beware. Your demise will be that of which held you together for years.’” quoted Ragnar, remembering the wizard Nefarian’s words.
“And the thing that held us together for years was our friendship and strength.” groaned Dalgram.
“Now look at us, a bloody heap of mutiny!”
The two of them laughed as their bodies failed and their consciousnesses faded. The mighty warriors had not been able to be felled by any other man but their own brethren whom they spent their life growing with. Even the greatest can fall at their own hands.