Thus ended the story of the wolf, leader of wolves, born from the land, grown into forests, fated to the ocean; who fell for the sea and led his pack into its turmoiled waters, into the waves and their fury. Thus, he fulfilled the destiny woven for him by the Norns before even his birth. Thus, him and the daughter of the sea achieved the unthinkable, defying the rules of the world and their kin; defying war and death. Defying even their loyalty.
The wolf died, but in the sea, sang the name of brave heroes who he desired would be noticed by the gods. The wolf never forget his heart and the good land had given him. Often, he came up to the surface and watched the deep forests which reminded him of a time lost long ago. Often, his mermaid wife joined him and often, he called other wolves, hoping them to answer his call. His mermaid wife; Gisla, the mermaid who cried, fell in love with a human and defied the sea. Gisla, the first mermaid to have done all those things; Gisla the curious and Gisla the brave.
The wolf became merman; the wolf married a princess of the sea... a king of the sea he became with her father's blessing and Ran's. The first merman king who was ever graced with a red tail. In the sea he became a legend and on land, a myth.
Many men followed his footsteps and Jormungand's teeth never died truly in spite of the many battle the island fought against Gramr and Ragnhild the vengeful. Many children were born with the blessing of the sea and his. Many ships he sank and many he protected. His legacy never died entirely.
As for Ragnar, vengeance and greed for fame died with his brother. With him gone, life had lost its meaning and often, he went to look at the sea, wondering where his brother was and if he was happy in Ran's hall. No longer he wanted to slay mermaids, for he knew they were his only remaining link to his brother. He wanted to keep it. That way, Rollo would still live.
His wife, Aslaug the sorceress kept weaving victory and loss and bit by bit, Ragnar's warmth for her came back. But a woman never truly forgives nor forget and his Summer could never melt her Winter.
Lagertha, the mighty shieldmaiden kept fighting until she couldn't and her legend grew so much she seemed small compared to the giantess the scalds depicted her as. She was loved and admired; and she died on the battlefield as she fought for the man she had always loved.
War cannot vanish. Death cannot be avoided. The ancient ones died while their heirs carried their stories and memory.
And I, Sigurd, carry this memory as well as king Herleikr the new wolf of the sea. I was told the story. And following my father's wishes, I keep it alive for Rollo must be alive as well as his mermaid. The shieldmaiden Alfrid wanders on the seas with her fleet of women, following Alfhildr's story, repeating a pattern, only changing bits of colors. Sigrid the queen protects her people like my mother, the mighty Aslaug did. The shieldmaiden Ida built her legend like Lagertha, and Thora, the sorceress, proved herself worthy of my mother's legacy. Valtar the brave accomplished deeds greater than himself and my brothers... well... my brothers fought. Some ruled and some decided to escape those petty fights to other lands. Some married princesses and some became rich men while my beloved sister, Gyda, became a wise woman loved and admired, courted by all kings and gods.
I am a storyteller, children. I repeat what I have heard from others who had heard of deeds greater than I. A story is what it is; it inspire, it entertain, it gives comfort. A story is true or untrue. What matters is the words and the way it is told. I told that story. My mother told that story. You will tell that story. And it is up to you to repeat patterns I used or use your own.
I am a storyteller. This is the end of this one. But another will follow. Hush now, and listen, for stories are infinite and so long as men have tongues to speak, a man's legacy will always live on.
Two years after I began to write this story, after all this time when writing I thought I would never see the end of it, I must tell you all that this is it. This is the end of Crashing Waves, that big monster of words I wrote to please a friend and my mermaid-obsessed ass. I wish to thank you all for reading it. Thank you for your insights, feedbacks, corrections. I wish to thank fireman23 for his constant reviews, Ran for her inspiring presence, for her enthusiasm and all of you who have followed this story for so long. It is kind of sad posting the last part of it because it has been so long it was a WIP and it feels like the end of an adventure. Know that the ending was planned from the start, although I didn't know it was gonna be a double prophecy. Know that Rollo's sword is named Skuldillhildr which basically translates to 'battle of ill omen', that Herleikr and Valtar's story is far from ended and that Alfrid might as well be a central character for a 'sequel' to Crashing Waves. The sword has an important place in the saga I wanna write about those Norse mermaids and that the mythology behind it is expanding to a point it is a bit too much. I am confident enough, with all those sagas I read lately that I might be able to give it the dimension I desire.
I hope you enjoyed it overall and I hope I managed to convey the right emotions. Thank you all, with all my heart for your constant support. Know that this story wouldn't have been as good without it.