Merroc

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Merroc was a chieftain of the Schwarzvolf tribe and father of Valkia the Bloody. [1a]

Appearance

In his prime in his twenties, he was broad shouldered, well-muscled and tall with long dark hair, streaked with silver-grey, his face battle-scarred. [1a]

History

His family had held the chieftain’s cloak for seven generations. [1a]

In his youth he formed a friendship with Ammon who would become the tribes Warspeaker. [1a]

His first living child, Valkia was born when he was 16, his wife 14 years old, a second daughter, Anya was born but did not survive her first year and he had three still born sons before his wife, a shield maiden, died fighting a rival tribe. His lack of a male heir led him (and others) to wonder if he was cursed. [1a]

After a year of war, he led the tribe against the enemy that had killed his wife, [1a] and despite his initial misgivings his ten-year-old daughter joined the shield wall. [1b] As the two lines of battle clashed, Merroc led the veterans, bursting from the shield wall to crash into the enemy with his two-handed battle-axe. It was a hard-fought conflict but as Merroc and Radek had expected, they had more shields and better discipline and soon it began to tell - Merroc ordered his warriors to capture the enemy leader alive. [1c]

The wounded man was dragged before him and Merroc gave his spear to Valkia to complete the victory - She stabbed the enemy in the heart, not flinching as blood covered her and filling her father with pride. [1d] When Valkia turned thirteen, he announced that she was available for marriage proposals but to his annoyance she discouraged them with her foul language and attitude and where necessary, physical violence. [1e]

After two years passed and she had chosen no mate and no grandchildren seemed forthcoming, he took Kata to his hearth, encouraged in this by Valkia who had become friends with her since they met in her first battle. Kata gave him two daughters and a son. [1e] Under his leadership, the Schwarzvolf became the largest tribe in the north and their journey to the Vale where they spent summer was uneventful and they found plentiful food when they arrived. [1f]

He and his daughter became increasingly estranged, barely able to tolerate each other although she supported his decision to remain in the Vale past the summer, breaking tradition. Unknown to her, Merroc was ill. Matters came to a head, when feeling better he went hunting and Valkia bluntly stated that he was weak, something he could not deny. [1g]

As the moved through the woods they came across a magnificent black stag - a sacred animal to the tribe. To his shock, Valkia suggested they kill the beast but he threatened to disown her if she did, provoking her in turn to warn him that would make him her enemy. Before any more was said, Radek found them warning them that there were potential enemies nearby. [1g]

They group turned out to be the remnants of a local hill tribe of farmers - they were seeking the protection of the Schwarzvolf from their enemies. Merroc saw them as potentially useful additions to the tribe as did Valkia who offered to escort the women and children to safety, giving her word to their leader Eriach. [1h]

Eraich asked Merroc if he intended to kill the few men and keep the women and children and the chieftain admitted that it was what Valkia intended. When Valkia returned, Merroc tried to persuade her to spare them but she declared that the tribe was becoming soft and defying him ordered the warriors with her to slaughter the male refugees. [1i]

He tried to again intervene for Eraich but Valkia pushed him aside and finally told him his time was done, although he could see she saw this as a kindness, as much as she was capable of now. His last words to her were: Have a care Lille Venn. After this day, after you kill me here, you will be completely on your own. [1i]

However, it was Radek who struck him down from behind, a quick clean kill to prove his loyalty and love for Valkia even though he knew it would likely mean his own death. [1i]

Quotes

They say that when the Axefather is pleased with our efforts, the tides of the sky will flow and ebb withdarkest red, leached from the blood of our enemies. On the day that happens, Lille Venn, our people will rise far above all others.

~ Merroc to Valkia. [1a]

Sources

  • 1: Valkia the Bloody (novel) by Sarah Cawkwell
    • 1a: Chapter One: The Schwarzvolf, pg. 7-13
    • 1b: Chapter One: The Schwarzvolf, pg. 19
    • 1c: Chapter One: The Schwarzvolf, pg. 22-25
    • 1d: Chapter One: The Schwarzvolf, pg. 28-29
    • 1e: Chapter Two: Ambition, pg. 32
    • 1f: Chapter Two: Ambition, pg. 42
    • 1g: Chapter Three: The Black Stag, pg. 52-58
    • 1h: Chapter Three: The Black Stag, pg. 61-64
    • 1i: Chapter Three: The Black Stag, pg. 66-70
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