This is a one-act play I wrote in December 2006, after going to see the one-act plays put on by a friend’s school. I came away somehow inspired.
It’s pretty self-explanatory. The basic concept is – a stranger walks into a bar, gets into a fight, people die, except set in Viking times.
Incidentally, the character “þ” is pronounced “th”.
þe Hall of Valhalla
written by Tvrin Hvrinson
ALVISS “All Wise”, a traveling bard. He has a red shirt and brown breeches, and carries a small harp. He is unarmed.
INGMARR “Fertility-god-famous”, a jovial drunkard who doesn’t want a fight. He is clad in simple brown peasant’s garb.
HEIDRUN “Heath”, the waitress at the mead hall. She wears a black dress with red lining.
VOLUND “Battlefield”, a warrior. He is not armored, but he does have a sword. He is fairly wealthy, having a black cape and dyed clothing.
KOLI “Coal-complexioned”, an elderly, depressed drunkard. He is old, and carries a staff. He wears a gray robe.
LOGMADR “Lawman”, the police, such as there is. He has a helmet on, and leather armor. He carries a battle-axe.
ODIN the Norse god. He is magnificently clad in metallic plate armor, and carries a great spear. He wears a patch over his left eye. His cape is red.
IN THE MEADHALL…
The story takes place in a mead hall in a vaguely Norse town, some time during the Viking Age.
INGMARR is sitting in the middle of the mead hall table. KOLI is on the left-hand end. ALVISS is on a stool in left-hand corner, with a harp in hand. ALVISS plays a few chords; INGMARR takes a drink of mead. KOLI appears to be asleep.
ALVISS: Swâ begnornodon Geáta leóde
hlâfordes hryre, heorð-geneátas,
cwædon þät he wære woruld-cyning
mannum mildust and mon-þwærust,
leódum lîðost and lof-geornost.
Hark, friends, to a bitter tale.
INGMARR: Aye, but true that… [takes another drink of mead]
Enter HEIDRUN, who leads VOLUND to a seat on the right-hand side of the table.
HEIDRUN: ‘Ere, if you please.
INGMARR: [looking up from his drink] Aye, and who be this?
HEIDRUN: This is – what’s your name again?
VOLUND: Volund. A carle from the north.
INGMARR: Hail, Volund. Slain any dragons lately?
VOLUND: [short pause] And… who’re you?
INGMARR: Oh, right. Ingmarr, my friend… I hight Ingmarr.
VOLUND sits, INGMARR takes another drink of mead. enter HEIDRUN, with a mug of mead. ALVISS plays some more chords.
INGMARR: So… answer my question. Slain any dragons lately? What’s a warrior from the north doing here?
KOLI: Shut up and drink yer mead, Ingmarr…
INGMARR: Ah, you shut up! Don’t mind him, he’s just a bit in the drink…
VOLUND: I get around. Not slain no dragons, though. Never seen one. Doubt they exist. But if they did, I’d fight ’em. And beat ’em… Well, I was in town, heard this hall’s got the best mead, so I came here. [sniffs] Might’ve been a bad move.
KOLI: Don’t tell me… to shut up, Ingmarr… Aye, Heidrun! More mead.
HEIDRUN [within]: Wait a moment!
VOLUND: What’s your name, man? You a warrior?
KOLI: I aint a coward, if that’s what yer asking.
VOLUND: No, I asked your name… What is it?
KOLI: Koli. Why?
VOLUND: No reason… Koli.
INGMARR: Ah… here, let’s have some music! ‘Ere, Alviss, give us a song.
ALVISS: Nu sceal sinc-þego and swyrd-gifu
eall êðel-wyn eówrum cynne,
lufen âlicgean: lond-rihtes môt
þære mæg-burge monna æghwylc
îdel hweorfan, syððan äðelingas
feorran gefricgean fleám eówerne,
dôm-leásan dæd. Deáð bið sêlla
eorla gehwylcum þonne edwît-lîf!
KOLI: You sure you never seen a dragon?
VOLUND: Never. They lived whilom, but not now.
KOLI: A strange weird, to be born in time of peace…
HEIDRUN comes in with a mug of mead, gives it to Koli, and leaves
VOLUND: True. True.
KOLI: Not for you though. Damn atheling.
VOLUND: Do not damn me, or I’ll stick a bill through your throat.
KOLI: Nathless, I have done it. Damn earl. Damn atheling. Want to fight me over it?
INGMARR: Now, now, let’s not be so violent… this is a mead hall, after all!
KOLI: Ah, shut up. They fight in Valhalla, or so I’m told. All the damn time. Then they come back… [rises and shakes his head, then bangs his hand on the table] A mead hall’s a fine place to fight! Saying I’m wrong?
VOLUND: Are you desiring of a fight?
KOLI: Mayhap I am.
VOLUND: If you insist. But I warn you… you will die. And I will not.
VOLUND stands up, knocks over KOLI, and draws his sword, pointing it at Koli’s chest. Meanwhile, INGMARR stands up and backs away from the table. ALVISS continues playing his harp.
INGMARR: Enough, enough!
KOLI: Kill me rathe, if you dare.
VOLUND: [sigh] Very well…
VOLUND slays KOLI.
INGMARR: Ah, what’d you do that for? Koli was me friend…
VOLUND: I’ll pay you a weregild, if you like. But the man deserved to die. Hel, he’d fain die than live.
INGMARR: Doesn’t mean you had to kill him. He didn’t have no battle-sark on, no bill nor byrnie…
VOLUND: And I’ll make blood ransom.
INGMARR: We were getting along so well… why’d you kill him?…
Exit INGMARR, muttering. VOLUND sits back down. HEIDRUN enters, upset.
HEIDRUN: Look, man, you can’t be reaving me of my business like this! Get out of my meadhouse.
VOLUND: Very well. May the mere-currents drown this mead-hall!
VOLUND rises. Enter INGMARR, accompanied by LOGMADR, with an axe. Exit HIEDRUN, hurriedly
LOGMADR: Hight Volund?
VOLUND: Yes. Who asks?
LOGMADR: And is it true you just now slew one Koli, bairn of Hafdan, in this very mead house, with that very brand?
VOLUND: Soothly, it is.
LOGMADR: Then give me your blade and come with me.
VOLUND: Who are you? What are you talking about?
LOGMADR: Hight Logmadr. I’m the lawman in this town… such as there is one. You have slain a man. You will be punished for it. Now give me your blade.
INGMARR: I’d lief you were dead than have a “weregild”, Volund… mickle good gold does a dead man.
VOLUND: Out of my way, or begear to die. I will not perish in this town.
VOLUND attempts to walk out the door. LOGMADR stops him, and VOLUND draws his sword. They begin fighting. INGMARR attacks VOLUND as well. VOLUND goes into a berserk rage. He slays Ingmarr, Logmadr, and ALVISS (accidentally)
Enter ODIN, THE NORSE GOD
ODIN: So! Four noble warriors, slain. A sad event? Perhaps. But, all told, I see four more warriors for Valhalla. Come!
All the slain rise from the ground
Come, my friends. To Valhalla. This day, you shall feast with me in Asgard.
ODIN leads the FOUR WARRIORS offstage to Valhalla. ALVISS attempts to follow, but the door is slammed in his face. He turns around, looks confused, returns to his seat in the corner, and sits down.