blood kin." The lawspeaker corrected them by saying, "This is true. However, when a son passes who has not yet become a man by his own right, then he is a man child and a child's property goes to the mother. So the thrall and the blacksmith's other properties that had passed to his son the moment Bjord died will go to the mother." "How can that be so, when they both died?" protested Thorn. "This is because the moment when Bjord died, his son still lived. At that point, all of what was Bjord's became that of Sven's. Then when Sven died, all that was Svens went to his mother, Gwenda." clarified Alvis. "That is nonsense!" objected Thorn. "In accordance to the law as has been recited by the lawspeaker," Jarl Erling declared. "All that was Bjord's had became Svens and all that was Sven's became the property of his mother Gwenda. The thrall and all of Bjord's that is now Sven's is now the property of Gwenda. This is the law, there will be no further arguments on it." Oleg sat down hard upon a bench in disappointment, but accepted the ruling. He had no choice. To go against the law as recited by the lawspeaker and decreed by the Jarl would make him a criminal. Thorn, hoping to gain a thrall and his brother bjord's properties stormed out of the hall without any further word. 'Woman, take claim of your thrall." said Jarl Erling as he pointed to Rowan, whom had been standing there confused as to what all just took place. "Thank you, my lord." Gwenda, assisting her mother, left the Hall with Rowan gratefully following behind them. Rowan wasn't sure of what all had just taken place. Everything seemed to have gone by so very quickly in extremes. Nevertheless, he was glad to be out of the Jarl's Hall. He was no longer being accused of murder and no longer facing an almost certain horrible death by execution.
Chapter 11 - A Plan
Rowan laid in his bedding, which was essentially nothing more than a sack made from scrap cloth stuffed with straw and an old worn deer hide laid over it. But all things considered, it was more comfortable than sleeping on a bench or on the ground. He laid there lost in thought as he stared out the open door into the curtain of darkness outside. It was a humid sticky night and they'd left the door open to let the cooler breeze of the night air come in. It was relaxing to hear the nocturnal creatures at night go about their nightly routines with the smell of the fresh night breeze cleansing the stale air inside the building. His thoughts raced through the events that had passed over the past few days. Quite a bit had happened. Life changing events that had forever changed how things would be from now on. Not only was the household of which he belonged permanently changed with a now uncertain future, but the line that divided what was real and what was fantasy was also now blurred and obscured. As Rowan stared outside he noticed a small pair of eyes looking back at him from just outside the door in the darkness. He was instantly alarmed by it and hastily sat up. Rowan was afraid that perhaps the dead walker had returned in some other form. Like it did when it showed up shape shifted as a cat. It could perhaps be some other creature with ill intent as well. He had no way of really knowing. He only knew that now he trusted nothing. Rowan reached for his ax while still peering outside at the eyes cloaked in the darkness. The reflection in the eyes did not seem to be those of a critter, although by their size and proximity to the ground, it had to be a small creature. Armed with his ax, Rowan got out of his bed and gingerly approached the door. He didn't want to wake anyone else up in the house, in case it was just a woodland creature or some other harmless critter looking to nip some food. As he got closer to it, there was a degree of familiarity about it. Yes, the eyes in the darkness were familiar to him. Indeed the eyes were not those of a hare, lynx, or even a fox. As soon as he stepped outside