The Runeseer and His Keykeeper as told by Leidolfr at Tall Tales Feb. 7 2019
“What? Love story? I *Leidolfr’s eyes start to dart back and forth and he gulps a few times before continuing* "Love… story?”
Bahka Firetotem says, “Come up tell your tale.”
She over me in Tribe. So, I… I tell something. *Leidolfr tells the audience gathered.*
*Leidolfr stands up and walks to the center of the circle.*
Runeseer and Keykeeper story. I think this love.
*Leidolfr swallows again before beginning his story.*
Runeseer is leader of Bonespeaker Clan. Vrykul Clan in Stormheim, where I taken by raiding party. Me slave to them. Bonespeaker care for dead. Runeseer bond with Keykeeper. This many years before I am, uh, there.
Keykeeper is powerful in clan. All in clan answer to her. Give information on family, on life, on meal. She tell Runeseer all. Help him lead. She mid-wife, she lead women in duty to clan, … she healer, even to Vrykul slave. To me.
*Leidolfr shifts back and forth on his feet for a few seconds, his brow furrowed in thought before continuing.*
She stand with Runeseer when all meet. She help him know what all need. Even before they ask. Maybe Runeseer know how help already. But much she help him. Clan know he need her and she wise. After Runeseer say I am free, she help me learn read runes, understand runes. He help, too, as seer. But she teach to see. He teach know what mean.
One time, I work with clan, Bonespeakers, and we come to hearth after night fall. It not surprise… she is no alive anymore.
*Leidolfr’s voice has softened and he ducks his head.*
She old when I meet her. And she cough much, not look well. Wise women, healers, no one help, they say. I find her with Runeseer stand over body, maybe he forget what we must do. I stand with to give time. Say nothing.
He say I have to leave. I say, I help him prepare her body. He say yes. You will help me, but then you will leave. It is not safe now for you to stay here.
I not sure why he say, but we place her body on litter, wrap with cloth and fur. We take her things, a small bowl she make, cloth she like in hair, her rune bones. We take from camp, all this, and prepare her body.
*Leidolfr chokes up and swallows hard.*
Runeseer no admit, but tears fall. I say nothing. Just help. We dig dirt. We light candles keep night back. Place candle on stones at head, spirit can see where go as we bury the body. We chant and then he tell Helya to let her pass so that she go to Odyn, to place of Valor. To no stay in Helheim. He tell Helya all good Keykeeper do, for him, for clan… even speak of me.
I think with all heart that Helya listen. Only one speak for one dead. It is Bonespeaker way, to prepare body, to bury, and only one to speak of deeds of Valor, Might, Will. He finish and look at me. He say words I no forget.
"Helya will not let her go. So, when I die, let none speak for me, so that I may stay at her side forever.”
*Leidolfr pauses and then nodding finishes his tale.*
I think is love.