A Glibertarians Exclusive: Season of Ice IX

by | Dec 5, 2022 | Fiction | 51 comments

A Glibertarians Exclusive:  Season of Ice IX

At the homestead

One evening as they sat in their chairs in the house’s main room, watching a fire burned down to coals, Hengist asked her about the magic academy that lay on the Beretan coast.

“My sweet,” he explained, “there are a fair number of Ikslund captives held there.  You’ve remembered that yourself.  How difficult for my men and me to take the academy, and free those captives?”

“Impossible,” Mabinne replied.  “It’s not just the students.  If it were, you could probably manage.  Even one of the instructors, you could probably deal with, one way or another.”  She remembered all too well how easily Hengist had overpowered her on their first meeting, powers notwithstanding.  “But there are at least a dozen instructors.  Their specialties run the gamut – fire magic, ice, wind, you name it.  But still…”

“What, sweet?”

Mabinne leaned forward in her chair.  “You could take one advantage.  You see, you know those magic-users are there.  You have a fair idea of their powers.  They, on the other hand, will see only a horde of raiders with swords and axes, and will suspect they’ll be able to handle you with ease.”

Hengist knew she spoke truly so far as it went; Ikslunders weren’t much for the magical arts.

“But if you took me along,” Mabinne continued, “I could immobilize the instructors before they could respond to your attack.”  A note of pride entered her voice.  “I was, after all, a distinguished student; old Master Etienin said I was one of the most powerful ice-magic users she had ever seen.  And they won’t be expecting me.”

“If something went wrong, your own folk wouldn’t take kindly to your helping us.  You’d be hanged as a traitor, sweet.  I don’t know as I want to take such a chance.”

“I know the risks.  I know what would happen in that case.  And I’m willing to take that chance.  I want to help you, Hengist.  I didn’t know how much your people had suffered at the hands of Beretan.  And nobody deserves to be held in bondage.  Not anyone, anywhere.”

“As I held you,” Hengist said softly.

Mabinne reached out and took Hengist’s big, rough, callused hand in her own soft, long fingered one.  “That was before,” she assured him.  “I’m here of my own accord now.”

Hengist squeezed her hand gently.  “Let me think on it, sweet,” he said.

Three days later, a rider came and left a leather message-container in Hengist’s hands.  Mabinne saw him unroll the message, read it carefully, and give the rider a reply before the young man rode off.

That afternoon, while Mabinne was feeding the ducks, Hengist called to her.  “Sweet?  Could you come here a moment?”

“Yes?” Mabinne answered.  She walked the few feet to where the big Ikslunder stood with a slight smile.

“Hold still a moment.”  Hengist reached out, tapped the contacts on the binding collar, then placed his thumb on the stone.  The collar fell to the ground.

Mabinne felt as though a dagger of ice had entered her chest.  She felt the cold swelling within her.  Her eyes flared with an awful blue light, as the cold swelled, swelled within her; she had never felt anything like the incredible surge of power.  Hengist’s eyes grew wide as the temperature dropped suddenly around his Beretan wife.

“I’m sorry,” Mabinne said through gritted teeth.  “It’s been a while… Have to gain control…”  Slowly, the cold faded.

Mabinne held up her right hand, looked at it.  A slight sheen of frost lingered on her fingertips.  “I seem to have gained some power,” she said, “while restrained.  I wonder how that happened?”  She prudently didn’t mention all the times she had tried to overpower the binding collar.

“Hengist,” she said after a moment, “Walk to the dock with me?”

“Of course, sweet.”

They walked to the end of the dock.  The lake was open now in the warm spring sunshine, but Mabinne knelt on the end of the dock and put a hand in the water…

The lake froze over almost instantly.

Mabinne withdrew her hand from the glaze of ice.  “It will thaw by tomorrow,” she guessed.  “I only froze the very top.  I just wanted to see how much I’ve gained, and it would seem to be a lot.”

Hengist nodded.  He was looking at the ice.  “Good,” he said after a few moments.  “The men are already putting my ship to rights.  We’ll leave for Port Stronghold day after tomorrow.  The raiding season is upon us, and those captives in the academy are waiting for us to come free them.”

A ten-day later they were at sea.

Hengist had argued through their first evening in Port Stronghold and through most of the next day to get his men to accept Mabinne’s presence.  Only after an explanation of the proposed attack on the magic-users academy, after which his second in command Jorgunn gave in and agreed, did most of the men accept her on the crew – all but two who refused to go to sea with a woman on the crew.  They left, and Jorgunn recruited three youths to take their place.

Now Mabinne stood in the prow of the ship as it made its way down the coast, her long hair trailing in the wind like a battle flag.  She wore all Ikslund garb:  Heavy tunic, leggings, stout boots, and the heavy coat Hengist had bought her in Port Stronghold the year before.  She looked much like any other member of the crew save that, when she wasn’t wearing her heavy coat, her clothing could not quite hide her gently curved figure – or her beautiful (and beardless) face.

“There is a large river,” she had told the men the night before sailing, “that empties into the sea a few leagues south of the academy.  If we can row up that river there are a number of small villages, and many small farms.  They won’t be well-protected that far south.”

The farms and villages proved to be just as Mabinne predicted.  The first village fell almost at a stroke.  As the ship approached a cry of alarm went up.

“Get the ship in to the bank, as fast as you can!” Hengist roared at the rowers.  “It’s a good-sized village, we can’t let them get any defense ready!”

They didn’t have to wait to hit solid ground.  As the rowers moved the ship close to the bank, Mabinne put her hand in the water and froze the river solid.  “Go over the ice,” she told the raiders.  They did, slipping and sliding over the frozen water, and swarmed into the unprepared settlement.

A magic-user proved to be in the village.  One of the raiders was burned to a cinder by her first attack, but Mabinne’s long-denied magic proved stronger; she froze the girl’s hands together in a block of ice, preventing her from further action.  The raiders put a binding collar on her and took her captive, looted, and burned the village, then moved on upriver.

As they rowed upstream, Jorgunn came to sit next to Hengist and Mabinne.  “Chief,” he said, “that went very well.  I never thought of having a magic-user on the crew, but we would have had a deal more trouble in that village without her.  That fire witch, she could have burned half of us before someone got to her.  Now, she’s just another prize that will fetch a good price in the markets at Port Stronghold.”

“A practice Ikslund should look at,” Hengist agreed.  “We have never considered having women among our raiding crews, and most magic-users are women.”  His eyebrows raised a notch.  “Why is that, sweet?  We have few magic-users in Ikslund, but the ones I have seen have all been women.”

Mabinne considered that; it was a serious question.  “At the academy, almost all the students were girls, as were all of the instructors.  We were told that women have an affinity for magic that men lack.  Now that I think on it, I can probably count the number of male magic-users I’ve encountered on one hand.”

Jorgunn grinned.  “Now I’m more inclined than ever to take this magic-users academy.  We’ll take some good captives, and we have enough collars for quite a few.”  He tapped a heavy jute bag with the toe of his boot.  The bag clanked; there were at least thirty binding collars inside.

On the afternoon of the next day, the ship grounded near a small farm but the old man who lived there, apparently alone, scrambled on a horse, and rode away to the south before the Northmen could stop him.  As evening was approaching, Hengist decided they would butcher a couple of the old man’s goats for the evening meal and plan their next move.

“That old man, he’ll return with a company of provincial guards within a day, bet on it,” Jorgunn said around a mouthful of cooked goat.  He, Hengist, Mabinne and two other senior raiders sat around a fire, eating roast goat, and drinking Beretanian ale, which the Northmen reckoned weak stuff but better than no ale at all – and the old farmer had a big barrel full.

“They’ll know we are here,” Hengist agreed, “if they didn’t already.  But we’ve a fair profit already, and I’m not inclined to move farther upriver and give the guards a chance to cut us off.  Better, I think, to head down river, to someplace they won’t be expecting us.”

“The academy,” Mabinne said.

“Yes,” Hengist said.  Jorgunn and the others nodded.  “It’s time.”

“Good.”  Mabinne leaned forward and scraped a patch of dirt clear with her boot.  Most of the raiders would have used a stick to draw in the dirt, but Mabinne extended her hand, and ice congealed into a three-dimensional model of the academy where it sat on a bluff overlooking the sea.

“The problem is approach,” she explained.  “There is a road coming to the academy from inland, but the two towers you see facing inland are used by the watch; one of the instructors is always on duty in each of those, and we’d be cut up badly before we could even get to the gate, much less breach it.  Now, on the back, the academy is open, as the walls only go to the edge of the bluff.  There are wards around the edge that would make it impossible to get around there, but there is nothing but gardens and grass behind the academy proper to the edge of the bluff.”

“Looks like a hard climb up from the sea,” Jorgunn said.  He leaned forward and squinted at the model.  “No good place to land the ship there, either.”

“No, but there is another way.”  Mabinne explained for some minutes.  “Even now, it won’t be easy, but I think I can do it.”

By the time she was done, the Ikslunders were all grinning.  “Damn me for a fool, Hengist,” Jorgunn chortled, “but I was almost persuaded to vote against bringing your girl there along.  Thought for sure she’d be bad luck.  Gods take me if I wasn’t wrong, and I’ll be the first to admit it.”

“We’ll make contact with the raiding fleet first,” Hengist said.  “Some ships are always laying a way off the coast, planning their next moves.  The take from this will be considerable, we’ll need several ships for loot and captives.”

Everyone agreed.  “Good,” Hengist said.  “Get some sleep.  I want us on ship and moving down-river before sunup.”

About The Author



Semi-notorious local political gadfly and general pain in the ass. I’m firmly convinced that the Earth and all its inhabitants were placed here for my personal amusement and entertainment, and I comport myself accordingly. Vote Animal/STEVE SMITH 2024!


  1. pistoffnick

    Ohhhh. the plot thickens…

  2. WTF

    This just keeps getting better and better.
    Thanks Animal!

    • UnCivilServant

      “That’s why we consulted Goats!”

  3. Fourscore

    Again, Animal, you changed directions when I thought I had figured out everything.
    Damn it, another week to wait. Thanks

  4. juris imprudent

    Nothing like a life or death gamble to put it all in perspective!

  5. Tundra

    Did not see this coming.

    Thanks, Animal!

  6. kinnath

    Insert “It’s a trap!” gif right about here.

    • Grumbletarian

      Yeah, I see raidersicles in the future.

      • Fourscore

        Be careful what you wish for, Hengist.

    • Penguin

      Sorry for the OT – I’ll find out if she gets him to take off the collar in a little.

      kinnath (and everyone else interested) the Drinker interviews Matt Marsden. It’s a good interview – and Marsden seems down-to-earth.

      • kinnath


      • kinnath

        great interview

    • The Other Kevin

      I see a reply by Fist.

    • The Last American Hero

      Important to remember if anyone thinks law enforcement or the military will stand up to would be tyrants or do what they’re told.

      Yes, cops don’t equal military but I haven’t seen much evidence that there would be any major pushback.

      • Drake

        More a matter of who will and won’t volunteer. Military recruitment is off by at least 25% because so many of their usual volunteers don’t want woke training and don’t want to do the bullshit neo-con wars that our country seems hell-bent on.

        Walking away after you volunteered is a lot harder than just avoiding.

      • kinnath

        This popped up in my head last weekend for no apparent reason.

      • The Other Kevin

        The very institutions that covered it up, and many other things our government has done, are the ones people want determining what is “disinformation”. People today are such idiots.

    • KK the Porcine Pearl-Eater

      Yes – it’s Fish’s friend. A bunch of us have eaten there

      • Tundra

        I guess if there is a positive, it’s all over. Malice and Cernovich both retweeted it.

      • R.J.

        The time line in the article indicated the owner did not comply with a ruling about selling alcohol. That is always a big deal to local grifters. Sounds like the appeal went on for some time.

    • Mojeaux

      Don’t know if he is, but I followed him anyway.

    • DEG

      Oh no.

      Yes, Lt. Cmdr Fish is a friend of his.

  7. Penguin

    For no raisin, I feel compelled to say “my” representative” in the House is a guy named Max Frost. I didn’t vote for him, but the name seemed to fit in with the story, so I can pretend this is an on-topic post.

    Oh, and also, the hateful, racist Republicans had in that primary 3 black people (2M, 1W) and 2 Vietnamese people (M & W). I don’t even remember if there was a white ppl in the race. I didn’t care anyway, as I wanted the Vietnamese guy to win the primary (best policies), not that it matters in Deep Blue Orange county. But the Republicans really need to step up their game if they want to be considered racist in the future.

  8. Sean

    For no raisin, I feel compelled to say “my” representative”

    That’s some grape quotation mark work there.

    • Penguin

      I did it just for the Ted’s.

    • The Other Kevin

      It’s a bit early for one of our pun vines, but it is the holiday season, so anything goes I guess.

      • Rebel Scum

        Tbf they only take so long to ferment.

    • Ted S.

      At least Penguin’s reply is properly threaded.

    • Penguin

      Also, stop wining.

      • Penguin

        Huh. That was meant as a reply to Sean, Not Ted, in case anyone was scratching their head. I appreciated Ted’s comment.

  9. Penguin

    Ah, fuck. It looks like the Ukrainians are sending our missiles inside Russia. Ryazan bombed.

    • Ted S.

      If it’s legitimate for Russia to bomb civilians in Kiev, it’s legitimate to bomb Ryazan.

      • Penguin

        If our dipshit government hadn’t gotten us involved, I wouldn’t care one way or the other, and agree totally with your statement. But now, they’ve sent over all our guns and ammo, weakening this country so they can get kickbacks from Raytheon and General Dynamics. It’s our bombs and guns hitting Russia. We’re stuck in this mess, something that should never have happened. And all the leftist dildoes with Ukrainian flag emojis in their Twitter or Mastodon profiles gleefully obey their masters and cheer at the thought of giving the Azov Nazis (actual, factual Nazis, not amorphous, vague “white supremacists”) billions of our tax dollars to flirt with nuclear war.

      • Scruffy Nerfherder

        If our dipshit government weren’t involved, there most likely wouldn’t have been a full-blown war.

      • Penguin

        But Trump had meen tweets!!!!11!!

    • Rebel Scum

      That was quite the slavo.

    • R.J.


      • Penguin


    • Scruffy Nerfherder

      Why stop with just bone cancer?

  10. R.J.

    Thank you for this next installment, Animal! I am waiting to see what happens in the confrontation!

  11. The Other Kevin

    I’m late in saying this, but another great installment Animal. I can honestly say I have no idea where this is going.

    • SDF-7

      I’m expecting the duck family she accidentally froze in place on the other side of the lake to appear soon so they can pay the bill for their incautious acts.

      Or Hate Birds, The Birds That Hate.

      • Penguin

        Well, since Jimbo doesn’t seem to be around…Duck family. You have to root for a single mom.

  12. DEG


    I’m thinking about how Mabinne shanks Hengist and his raiders.

    • R.J.

      I am not sure. I think some horrible soap opera secret is going to come out about the raid that killed her husband. Like she finds out her people were actually the bad guys.

      • kinnath

        She helps get rid of the instructors, takes over the school, and then enslaves the raiders.

        Like I said. It’s a love story.

  13. Necron 99

    Great story Animal, I’m really enjoying it. Where are Mabinne’s loyalties? Can’t wait to find out.