Ragnar Wolfsbane stood in the shadow of Meerand Castle. He gripped a blunted iron shortsword and battered pine shield, sweating, dirty, aching, and bloody. He gazed across the training ground as the older boys’ shield walls clashed. Swords, axes, and spears collided, bringing with them the clatter of oak and steel.
Many of the lads would come away with scars and bruises, but Creation blessed those who fought proud and true.