This Cold Land

A Merlin Fan-Fiction by Emachinescat

Summary: Raiders from the North attack Camelot, but plundering the coastal villages isn't all they want. They want the prince, but having never seen him before, accidentally grab the wrong man. While Arthur sets off on an impossible quest to find Merlin, the servant himself miles from home in frozen lands across the sea, the captive of brutal Vikings who think he's the prince.

A/N: Yay! I'm back, this time with a brand new, full-length Merlin fan-fiction! :) This is actually a sort of combination of fics that have been circling in my mind for a while. Inspired loosely by the episode Lancelot and Guinevere in season 2 and John Flannagan's The Icebound Land, this is a fan-fiction that is going to take Merlin further away from Camelot than he's ever been and into more danger, adventure, and whumpiness than he knows! :D Expect whump, BA!Merlin, bromance, action, magic, adventure, chaos, Vikings, and lots and lots of snow! XD Enjoy, and please read and review!

This Cold Land

Prologue: Onäm the Mighty

Onäm the Mighty was the most feared man on the longship, perhaps in all of Holbaek. He stood well over six feet tall; he had an enormous barreled chest and bulging muscles defined his arms and legs. His hair was a matted, braided mess of red, brown, and gray as was his beard, and his face was so scarred that it seemed to have been carved by an inexperienced sculptor. His nose was once long, but now it curved downward drastically, due to the seven times it had been broken. He wore a sleeveless tunic and thin breeches, with only a helmet and breastplate for protection. Attached to his belt was a broad sword and a mace. He never wore or took anything more into battle, yet he always came out victorious. His bloodlust and lack of mercy were both admired and feared by allies and enemies alike. No one crossed Onäm, and if they did, Odin rest their souls.

Despite his fervor for battle and his notorious knack for leaving no survivors, Onäm was not the most intelligent Viking in the land. Still, what he lacked in brains he made up for in brute strength and no mercy. He had been chosen to lead this latest pillage with his crew because someone with the power and bloodlust like Onäm was needed to procure the most valuable prize in this endeavor While plundering the coastal villages in the great land of Camelot was the plan, there was something other than food, slaves, or riches, and Onäm would stop at nothing until he had procured his quarry.

He stood on the ship's deck, a spray of salty, frigid ice water hitting his disfigured face. A small, brown-haired lad, his servant, Kol, scurried to his side. "Sorry, Sir, but after the storm yesterday, the Captain said we're a bit off course. We'll be a few days off our planned schedule."

Onäm gripped the rail of the deck, his steely blue eyes glowering out at the endless ocean, the dragon-headed mast of the longship, and finally his gaze landed on Kol's anxious face. "Well, we'll just have to make up for lost time by being extra vigilant in our attack," Onäm mused, smirking. "We've never raided so close to Camelot before; those worthless villagers should get to know the wrath of Onäm. And then, I shall have the ultimate prize. By this time next year, the ransom will have been paid for Camelot's beloved prince and Holbaek will be the wealthiest village in all the Frozen Lands."

Kol nodded. "And then you won't have to go on any more raids for years."

Onäm smiled wickedly. "No. But that does not mean that we won't! Soon you will learn, Kol, that there are some things you do not do simply for the money, but for pleasure itself. And what I do… brings me great pleasure." His smile darkened and a hungry gleam took over his eyes. "Now go back to the Captain and tell him to make sure we move as fast as the winds will take us. We're going to have a guest soon, and I simply cannot wait to meet him."

Kol scurried away as quickly as his scrawny legs could carry him, and Onäm made a note to punish the boy for the Captain's delay later. He then stared out at the frothing ocean and imagined the fear in the eyes of the villagers when they realized that their homes were under attack. He thought of the prince, and how much fun it would be to break royalty, to show Camelot's heir who held the true power in this world. It wasn't the great cities and empires like many believed, but the villages, the plunderers, the outcasts. The Vikings.

And Onäm was the greatest Viking to ever live.

Of course, there was still the small problem of not knowing what this brat of a prince looked like, but Onäm figured it would be easy enough to find him. And if for some reason, he wasn't able to discern which noble was Prince Arthur, well… Onäm wasn't against slitting a few throats in order to acquire the information.

In fact, he was counting on it.

A/N: As you guys can probably tell by the description, things don't exactly go as Onäm plans when it comes to capturing the prince But as for how and why, you'll have to wait and find out! ;) I really hope you enjoyed even this little introduction, and just know you are in for the ride of your lives! Please review, and I'll update as soon as I can!

~Emachinescat ^..^