Ivarr stood alone near the prow of the ship and breathed deep the salt sea wind. He closed his eyes and reveled in the feel of the wind and sun on his skin and the cries of the sea birds. This was his first time at sea, but it haunted him like the great Northern forests he called home. It was so different from the forests, but he loved it already and could imagine spending an age at sea.
The heat he could do without. He had stripped to the waist and let his warrior’s tattoos drink in the cooling sea wind. He was comfortable with the wind on him, but he dreaded donning his gambeson and haubergeon of mail and the thought that the wind might die down on the island that was coming into sight. It seemed so innocuous and a lovely shade of green. It was their destination. Rakhan Island and a new job as a bounty hunter.
This was certainly not what he had envisioned for himself, but the giants had changed that, hadn’t they? The terrible memories came rushing back like a seizure. Thunderous footsteps, booming voices, evil laughter, his mother screaming, pleading. He shook the memories away and gripped the rail with all his strength, his eyes flashing open and locking on the sea and the island in the distance. They would feel his wrath. The Frost Giants would suffer for taking his family, but first he must build his strength and skill. He must become a powerful warrior indeed before the blood debt would be repaid. He must find one of these vermin on the list of hunted. The one who had led the giants to his home.
He took several slow, deep breaths and listened to the sea, the sounds of the ship and crew. He felt pity for the poor dwarf whose stomach had long since emptied, her body now trying to vomit up her toenails. The sea was not a happy place for a dwarf. Soon they would make port and she would feel better thereafter.
The island was coming closer. Time to gather his gear and arm himself for the job ahead. Time to focus his mind. Time to earn his keep as a ranger. Time to track men and bring them to justice or send them into the next world.