Thursday, 10 January 2013

The saga of Rikkard Threadcutter: Part I - Youth

This is the first part of the saga of Rikkard Threadcutter, the White Wolf and Jarl of Fyf.

This account is relayed by Jorn, Skald of Fyf.

Click for Rikard's showcase!

It is good to be here again, brothers. Too long have I slept, or not long enough. I don't know.

I have been asked to tell once again the saga of our Jarl, Rikkard, known as Threadcutter, known as The White Wolf. Let me begin at the very start.


Rikkard was always a man marked for leadership. Back before he was taken by the Sky Warriors, he was the eldest son of the Jarl of his tribe, the Godi, and thus next in line to lead in their dynastic culture. The Godi were renowned fishermen, but their boats also doubled as warships. Such things were vital as they controlled rich fishing waters of which rival tribes were jealous.

Raids were common, but no tribe could ever really muster the strength to threaten the Godi's position. The Godi became arrogant and lazy in their defences, and failed to see the signs of alliances developing amongst their rivals. Perhaps such a thing could not be foreseen as alliances are highly unusual on Fenris, where all must fight for their own survival.

Eventually, the Godi's Aett was attacked by their rivals and with their defences not what they should have been, the enemy was soon in amongst the homes of the Godimen. As son of the Jarl, Rikkard was in the Great Hall with his father, his Thanes, and Huscarls when the attack occurred  Surrounded, he looked on as his father prepared to make his final stand. Rikkard desired nothing more than to fight beside his father; indeed, he had been trained from an early age by his tribe's finest warriors to wield an axe and shield and had become quite capable despite his young age. However, Rikkard was denied a place in the bulwark on his father's command, instead directed to protect the women and children who had been locked into the upper room on the Great Hall, alongside the other junior warriors. Enraged, but loyal to his father's wishes, Rikkard did as he was bade.

The Great Hall was of solid construction, given the dearth of building materials available to the primitive peoples of Fenris, but nevertheless it was breached. Rikkard could hear the battle taking place on the floor below and while the other young warriors were cowering in fear, he was pacing, agitated that he could not be down there defending his Aett and his kin.

Eventually, the lure of battle proved too much for the tempestuous young warrior to bear and, defying his father and his jarl, he unbolted the door and charged downstairs into the melee. The sight that awaited him in the hall below very nearly unmanned the boy. Bodies littered the floor in gruesome poses, blood was splashed on every surface, and warriors attacked each other with furious blows.

In the middle of it was Rikkard's father, but not as the boy knew him. What he saw was nothing more than a bloody parody; a man, wide-eyed and soaked in blood, with a look on his face Rikkard had never seen before. Briefly, their eyes met and Rikkard was not sure whether he saw a look of betrayal or admiration play across the face of his father. Whatever the truth of it, Rikkard's father fought on with renewed rage. Swallowing his fear, Rikkard himself approached the maelstrom.

And so it was a boy fought men in the enclosed space of the Godi Great Hall. Rikkard made a good account of himself, felling several more experienced warriors with the clumsy but passionate strokes of a youth. But the situation was hopeless and the Godi were hopelessly outmatched. The Jarl and his men fought like cornered bears, but one by one their threads were cut. The Jarl himself fell, his skull cleaved in two by an unseen blow. The boy Rikkard witnessed what no son should witness, but it did not break his spirit. Perhaps this quality was what marked Rikkard out from other youths under the watch of the Sky Warriors. Rikkard fought on, with forlorn hope and expecting nothing but death.

A stranger

The remaining Godimen fought beside their fallen Jarl's son and soon were backed into a corner. Rikkard still stood, with just three warriors beside him. It was then that a mysterious figure stepped into the Great Hall. He was a giant, clad in strange black armour and with a snarling skull for a face. The giant strode through the foes surrounding the last of the Godi warriors, slaying any who stood in his way, knocking them down with a great golden club or smiting them with blows from his giant fist.

A strange lull fell upon the battle as this personification of death strode up and stood before Rikkard and his kinsmen. The giant reached out for Rikkard and in his fear, the youth struck out at his arm but it was as if his axe struck a great bolder, it barely even marking the stranger's armour. The giant grabbed Rikkard and lifted him clean off the ground. "I have come for you," he said in a strange inhuman voice. Rikkard struggled and one of the Godi leaped to aid him but another held him back. "No," said this warrior, his name lost in time, "let him go. He is chosen by the Sky Warriors."

All the warriors present, friend and foe alike, stood and watched this giant carry the boy away, all knowing they were witnessing a rare event that none would see again. Rikkard still trashed in the iron grip of the stranger. "Help us," he pleaded, "help my kinsman!"

"No," the stranger replied, "that is not our way."

And so it was Rikkard, the last of the Godi, was taken by the Sky Warriors.


Jorn, Skald of Fyf, continues his account tomorrow.


  1. This is great. The thing that first got me interested in the Space Wolves was their background before they became astartes.

    1. Thanks, cpyke. There is a lot of background to explore on the people of Fenris, I hope Black Library tap into it some more. Both in Prospero Burns and in Bill King's Ragnar novels I particularly enjoyed the stuff about the tribes and normal people.