“Come on… you… you wonderful women. Say something, eh? Come on…”
He stank of alcohol, and every second that went by seemed to illustrate just how immensely intoxicated the man was, his fingers twiddling, arms waving, and legs struggling to keep him barely upright. The two Valkyries didn’t quite know what to make of him. He was obviously a scholar, or at least an educated man – perhaps even royalty – for he spoke the language of the land as though he’d known it from birth, despite the golden skin and white hair that no-one upon these shores was born with. But he didn’t dress like a scholar, and even less like royalty. For starters, he didn’t even have a shirt, something that begged the question of what exactly he had been drinking, because it had obviously made him numb to the biting cold. The baggy trousers that covered his legs looked like they had seen better days, held up by a cord of rope, and his footwear was as nonexistent as his top. The only other thing he wore was a globular, foreign-looking flask tied to his hip, from which drifted the smell of some exotic ale. He was fair, though – in fact, they’d have gone so far as to say that he was beautiful, far more so than any man they’d ever taken to Valhalla.
Even more peculiar were the surroundings they had found him amidst. They were on the coast of Denmark, the snow laced with the blood and flesh of dead and dying warriors. It had been a minor feud between settlements, nothing of true importance, but it was a battle nonetheless – so why was this man standing here, as if at ease in his own ale-house, merrily bathing in the after-effects of gratuitous drinking, without even the merest scratch upon his golden body? He stumbled forwards a little, raising an arm as if to support himself upon one of the bewildered Valkyries’ shoulder. She backed away, disgusted at his conduct before a maiden of Valhalla but too surprised to cut him down. The man squinted quizzically at her. His eyes were forges of light.
“Say… are you, uh, are you… are you, perhaps… frigid?” He giggled and moved closer, breathing a satisfied stream of alcoholic miasma. “You can ‘ave some of this if, if, siff, it helps…” a hand tapped at the flask at his side. “It’s called sake, ‘s… is’ from somewhere far away, far faaaar, away, where they’re all. So. Small…”
Apparently unable to retrain himself any longer, he released a long, impressive cackle. It was followed closely by a groan.
“Listen,” he made a beckoning motion, although he seemed undeterred when they refused to move. “Listen, I’m not a, a, a one-woman-man, you see? Hmm? Haha. And there’s, two, of you, uhuh. So that’s perfect, isn’t it!?”
In his current state, that probably did make sense to him. It didn’t amuse his audience much, though, and their bafflement was quickly overridden by anger.
“Dishonourable knave, we’ll have you head for such”-
“Waitaminute, or moment, I s’pose…” he forced himself even closer, scrutinizing them, until finally a look of vague realization spread over his features. “I know who you are! I know! This is… grand… don’t think I, I’ave, I’ve met your types before… hey, listen, hey… listen…” he winked conspiratorially, but overdid it somewhat and ended up looking somewhat as though there was a muscle-spasm wracking his face. “Let me show you something… funny…”
He staggered away from them, sifting through the bodies strewn through the snow, until with a victorious yelp he managed to pry a sword from the hands of on very decapitated Norseman. Taking the blade in both hands, he swung his head back dramatically, and plunged it straight through his chest. It didn’t seem to bother him so much, at least, not in any life-threatening way. He unleashed a roar of laughter, almost keeling over.
“Look, look…” he lost his breath amidst the laughing for a second, before composing himself to speak once more “…look, I’ve died gloriously on the battlefield! Take me to Valhgalla or Garhalla or whatever you call it…”
He brought the flask to his lips, sputtering as he drank.