Gauk Sotisson

Stjordvik » Hollenvik » Gauk Sotisson
Gauk Sotisson was the Eorl of Hollenvik, and devoted follower of Erik. He abided by the druids' teachings and kept the forest healthy.
While he was still a young man, Gauk adventured with Njalgrim Frostisson, Haakon Ylvarrik, and his sister, Wittafridth Sotisdotter. Together they discovered the Ravenscloak for their patron and sometime companion, Snorri Snidilsson, prince and later king of Stjordvik. As a result of their adventures, Haakon married Gauk's sister, Wittafridth, and Gauk married Njalgrim's sister, Kostbera Frostisdotter.
As time passed, Snorri became King, and Njalgrim, Haakon, and Gauk become eorls of the realm. They pursed few quests in these days, but fought many wars against all of their neighbors. This was a great age of Stjordvik. However the wars exhausted the treasury of the realm, and Snorri, though a mighty soldier, was no statesman and his wars made for him many enemies. Yet, as long as Haakon was able to bring his marvelous axemen, Njalgrim his invincible spearmen, and Gauk his famed archers, victory was always at the end of the campaign.
Gauk was not only an adventurer and archer, but a great steward of the forests. Some called him Gauk the Ranger. But while his care of the forest and of the realm were he pride of his achievements, he left one lasting legacy which undid his line. Gauk was a loyal man, but he was given to temptations of the flesh. Many beautiful women shared his bed despite his marriage to a woman he truly loved.
One such woman was no more than a thrall run away from Rjuvik with lovely auburn hair. One of the gods took offense at the woman's escape from servitude or upon the adultery committed, for the progeny of this union, Guthrim Gauksson was born with a terrible physical deformity that made him disturbing to look upon. Gauk took care to keep Guthrim out of sight during his childhood because his wife, Kostbera, despised the bastard especially, both for his deformity as well as the infidelity. The elder of her beautiful sons would one day be eorl, and there was, in her opinion, no place for this freak.
Indeed, Gauk and Kostbera did have two heroic boys and a lovely daughter. The older boy, Arik Gauksson, was fostered in the house of his uncle Haakon, Eorl of Arvaald and took to the axe like his uncle. The younger son, Harald Gauksson, though fostered in the house of his uncle Njalgrim, remained an archer like his father. Snaewitta Gauksdotter was stunningly beautiful and graceful. Indeed her beauty attracted the love of Olvis Asbjornsson and the ire of Isagel Ylvarrik, who wanted Olvis for herself.
Though Guthrim had the misfortune of his deformity, it was his brothers and sister who suffered the greater misfortune. Guthrim proved skilled at appraising value, and helped his father establish guild holdings in forestry and fishing. Arik was killed in battle against raiders from Rjuvik. A noble death, and one which ultimately drove off the raiders, for though Arik died the housecarls under his command succeeded in driving off the raiders. Kostbera was hit hard by the the death of her older son, and died during the following cold winter of a fever which the healers could not cure. Gauk, himself now an older man was defeated by the double blow and lived no more than two years after the death of his wife. Harald succeeded his father, but was assassinated only months into his reign. Guthrim who had taken to the roads at the death of his father, returned and became eorl. Snaewitta, no longer protected by her family, was kidnapped and put under a spell from which she would never awake. Olvis eventually found her in a ruin and was able to break the spell with a kiss.

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