Heimdall’s 8 Section 4
Letter ‑ J
Name ‑ JARA
Meaning ‑ HARVEST (KARMA)
Planetary Rulership ‑ MERCURY NEUTRAL (VIRGO)
Gemstone ‑ CORNELIAN
Flower ‑ CORNFLOWERS
Number ‑ 4/12/1 YEAR
Arthian ‑ KARMA
WEATHER ‑ SUNNY LIGHT CLOUD
Reward, justice, law, fertility
Wherever a tangible result is required in exchange for an expenditure of money, time or trouble. The tangibility of the result need not be financial, it can take the form of kudos, honour or preferment. Help in legal matters.
Reward for effort expended. Legal matters contract advice etc. Look to pared runes. The fall or time of harvest, Things coming in their own time you can’t rush the corn.
“What do you think you are doing?” snarled Sigyn.
Tuborg stopped caressing his wife in their bed. “I’ve been at sea for three months. And before that, you always had a reason not to.”
“Away for three months and you brought nothing back! Do you think you deserve to be rewarded for that?” Sigyn pulled away and turned so that her stinking breath blasted into Tuborg’s face. The small, private room they shared in the back portion of his mother’s house had wattle and dab walls and a tapestry covering the doorway.
“It took everything I earned to pay off last year’s cargos. I had to fulfil the contracts, or they would call father before a thing, and that would have cost us. The next run will be pure profit. What’s more important, keeping the ships and fields, or you having another bobble to wear?”
“If you hadn’t told Brunn that you wouldn’t go to Ath Cliath.”
“I won’t peddle in human flesh. Not the way they treat them in the cities.”
Sigyn sniffed. “They’re only thralls!”
Tuborg rose from the bed. “I’ll sleep on the ship.”
“Fine by me. Not much use for the other anyway.” Sigyn shifted her considerable bulk to occupy all of the small rope bed they shared.
Tuborg pulled on his tunic and trues and left his mother’s house. The night was warm. A torch burnt at the base of the docks.
“Sleeping on the ship again?” asked a soft voice.
“Hello, Gerda. Sigyn isn’t feeling well.”
The pretty, dark-haired thrall moved beside Tuborg and kept pace with him. Over the last year, she had transformed from a pretty child to an exotically, beautiful woman. “She never is when you’re ashore.”
Tuborg hung his head. “Maybe I should stay at sea. I’m sleeping on the boat most nights anyway.
“I wouldn’t like that.” Gerda took his hand. “Let me help.”
Tuborg looked in the young thrall’s face and was shocked by what he saw. “Gerda, there are things I will not command of a thrall.”
“You cannot command what is willingly given. I’ve watched you all my life. Dreamed about you. I hate how Sigyn treats you. You deserve to be happy.” Gerda closed the distance between them, and their lips met. Two years without a woman’s touch, the sense of emptiness his loveless marriage left him, the crushing need for human contact. Tuborg reaped the harvest of the courtesy and kindness he’d shown the young thrall over the years, and unknowing, Sigyn reaped the harvest of her neglect and cruelty.
The next morning Tuborg met Sweyn as he pulled up in a wagon full of grain.
“This should be the last of it. The ship’s mine free and clear,” Sweyn leapt down from the driver’s seat.
Tuborg walked up and inspected the load. “Whose farm did it come from?”
“Svafnir’s, he crewed with me to get the seed grain.”
“I’m glad that worked out for you. At least our stores are full for the winter. With my brother only getting half the fields planted, it could have been grim.”
Sweyn’s voice dropped to a near whisper. “What happened there?”
Tuborg snorted. “I can’t be everywhere at once is what happened. Oski may be my brother, but he’s useless! Keeps saying he doesn’t have enough thralls to do the fieldwork, but won’t shift himself for an honest day’s labour. And it would be Odin’s own furry if mother and Sigyn had to give up the household thralls for a weak. Might kill them to fetch their own water or make a bit of sup.
Father would have put the fear of Surt in the lot of them, but he caught that cough and ain’t been right since. I worry about him. I…I think he might take ship this winter. Mother hasn’t said much, but I can tell she’s worried too.”
Take Ship: die.
“The Valkyries harvest who they will. And that harvest shows us the life that came before.”
“Still, it’s hard. When Inga’s mother went to Freya’s hall, it left a hole.”
“It will be hard, but… Truth to tell, it may be for the best. My father fears the straw death. I half wish someone would raid so he could leave Midgard with honour. Like, won’t happen though. The important thing, my family, has enough grain to get through the winter. Now I just need trade for the ship. I haven’t told mother, father or Sigyn, but I’m short cargo for the autumn runs.”
Sweyn nodded and seemed to consider. “I’ve more grain than I can haul. I’ll cut you in for a share, if you can take it down the cost for me.”
“You are a good friend, Sweyn.” Tuborg smiled.
“You harvest what you sew. Brunn took me as crew when I decided to forsake my family’s trade. He taught me how to sail. He shouldn’t see what he has built fade away. We’ll work out the split. I can have you stocked by day after tomorrow.”
Toborg looked over to where Gerda was in the washhouse, an open-walled structure build over a bend in the stream that passed near the house. Stones had been arranged to make a crude basin that the water pooled in before flowing on towards the sea. She was washing his household’s clothes. He smiled. “Can we make it the end of the week. I… I have a reason to stay for a little while.”
Sweyn shrugged. “As long as it’s done this autumn.”