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The Gift of Hadrborg is a divine amulet belonging to the god Hadrborg.

Background[]

The Gift of Hadrborg was crafted by the god Hadrborg, the creator of all varls. It is shaped like a shield and is the size of a human's palm, while containing an image of the god with his tongue sticking out. The relic was said to contain the god's essence and thus able to revive any varl who had died, though it is not known whether the story was true or just a fable, or whether it even retained any power after Hadrborg's death during the "Death of the Gods".

It was eventually acquired by the fourth Varl King Throstr during the Second Great War, though there are many accounts of how he came to possess it. Some state that it was gifted to Throstr by Hadrborg himself, after the former had prayed to him for salvation from the marauding dredge, who were attacking the varl settlements. Others state that it had been gifted to the third king Skrymir and passed on to Throstr, who discovered its true abilities.

The amulet's reputation for resurrecting the varl, whether true or false, and giving them a hope that their race can live on, rallied them to beat back the hordes of the dredge continuously attacking them. The relic was eventually passed on to the varl warrior Torstein after the war, and he bequeathed it to his kendr Ulfvalgr and Olaf to guard it before his death.

Ulfvalgr did not want to stay in a mostly uninhabited place like Torstein and Olaf, but still wanted to protect the legacy of the varls and decided to divide the amulet in half. When Torstein forbade him from doing so, Ulfvalgr decided to lie about it to Olaf and gave him half of the amulet, which the latter decided to place in a shrine so the varls could retrieve it whenever they needed it. Ulfvalgr also secretly hid the other half in Olaf's tower shield and lied to him that he was taking it with himself.

Recent events[]

Kjallak, a former kendr of Torstein, went farther north than any varl had been, deep into the freezing plains of Valkajokull where the dredge resided, after being exiled. He started believing that the dredge would soon attack the varls and humans again, for which he needed to acquire the Gift of Hadrborg and claim the throne in order to rally the varls.

After taking control of the Mársmidr gang in Strand, Kjallak sent out Johan and two other gangsters to Olaf's shrine about four months before the Third Great War, in order to steal the half of the amulet stored there. While Johan was successful, he started using it to blackmail the gang into letting his brother Hallvard back in after reaching Halsar, and was slain by Skoegir, who took the piece to his master Kjallak.

Olaf went after Johan and soon learnt that the half of the amulet was taken by someone else, and tracked them to Karlshus. Ulfvalgr also followed him after learning about the theft, but the Mársmidr stalked him in the belief that he possessed the other half. He however soon found out he was being followed and fled to Karlshus, where Olaf had learnt the identity of the gang who had stolen it from Broddi. The two varls then set out for Strand along with the boy Stefnir.

Kjallak soon learnt of the arrival of his former kendrs in Strand and offered to help them against Freusteon, who they believed was the leader of the Mársmidr, in order to steal the other half of Hadrborg's shield. They accepted, unaware he was the one pretending to be Freystein, but were saved by the intervention of Eirik and Valgard, members of the Governor's Guard. Eirik later convinced them to join forces to take down Kjallak and stop the power grab he was planning with the Vak'auga and the Aetla Hilmir in Strand.

After Eirik and his new allies captured the Mársmidr lieutenant Ottar during a fake tournament match they had organized, Olaf found the other half while trying to repair his shield that been damaged during the match. He attacked Ulfvalgr for the deception, but learnt that he did it so the legacy of the varls would remain safe. Realizing the shield would be in more danger of being stolen if it remained with him, he gave the half to Stefnir for safekeeping.

Stefnir was however soon caught by Skoegir along with his friend Runa, and he found the other half on him, giving it to Kjallak. The Mársmidr leader then hosted the varl warlord Vilmundr at Hadrborg's temple in the northern part of Strand, and with the help of the mender Melkorka and some of his men making the varl skeltons move while hiding inside their cloths, successfully convinced him that the amulet still had the power to raise the dead varls.

Stefnir however exposed Kjallak's charade to Vilmundr, with the rest of his allies soon entering Hadrborg's temple to take him down. A fire broke out during the violent melee and Kjallak became trapped with the amulet, which he had embedded in a metallic tower shield. Ulfvalgr was however able to save it and tossed it to Olaf, who fled with others as the fire killed the two former kendrs of Torstein.

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