Season 13—Adventure 11—Deadwood! Episode 2—Scene 1… High over the Black Hills…
Ragnar Skjeggestad was thinking of his late brother Olav—and how he died—shot by a mere, ordinary human. He imagined how often they flew here—high over the Badlands of Dakota Territory.
High over the Badlands of Dakota Territory.
They were born 34 years ago in northern Minnesota to Karl and Nissa (Nee Carlson) Skieggestad.
The Skjieggstads had emigrated from Norway in 1830, seeking a better life in America—they moved to northeastern Minnesota and settled in the small hamlet of New Oslo.
They could speak very little English, something which wasn’t uncommon in New Oslo—but it was something that would keep them from fully realizing the “American Dream.”
Ragnar and Olav, being native-born Americans, did well in school—but didn’t do well with other children—who thought them odd.
They were odd—but didn’t really know it.
It seems GENTLE READER, they were descended, on their mother’s side of the family, from a minor, yet by mortals’ standards—quite powerful, Norse gods.
One day in the forest Ragnar came across a foal—not an ordinary foal, mind you, a foal with wings!
He couldn’t wait to tell Olav.
He probably should not have told his brother, as Olav became very jealous—and set-out to find his very own foal.
Olav found a foal—a near twin to his brother’s.
When the boys were in their teens, they each learned to ride their winged friends—taking care to only fly at night.
They were, to their complete surprise, also changelings. Olav could change into a hawk, and Ragnar a bald eagle.
They could each control their human alter-ego from their changeling form— simultaneously.
In their late teens they decided to leave New Oslo for the Dakota Territory, as by then their father had died, and their mother was a raving lunatic.
They flew by night, and camped in secluded places during the day. With their rapidly dwindling assets, they each bought a horse and became highwaymen.
They were pretty successful—but not successful enough. They hit upon a plan—they’d used their winged friends to swoop-down upon wayward travelers.
Things went well for some time—until Olav decided they should go back to Minnesota.
Olav assumed the name “Hawk” or in the Native tongue “Gekek¹.”
It was there he died.
At the hands of a mere human.
A human who must pay—but how?
These humans seem almost supernatural—as Ragnar learned during his recent visit to Moosehead County. He knew he couldn’t rely on other mere humans—he needed to find completely evil humans—or demigods.
And now—finally he found six—six men who he could train to do his bidding.
One by one, they moved to Deadwood and took jobs in the gold mines. When needed, they’d be called upon to rob a stagecoach, or a wagon load of gold.
He called them “Eagle Riders,” and had them dress in shades of gray—as he did.
With Ragnar (in eagle form) over flying them, they were very successful—but not used often—there was no sense in calling too much attention to themselves. At most they’d be used no more than once a month.
That worked well—until…
¹ “Welcome to Moosehead City” 15 Feb 2016 https://jaymerton.wordpress.com/2016/02/15/welcome-to-moosehead-city/
To be CONTINUED…