The scream woke him from a drunken slumber, jolting from the bed, he ran outside where the scream originated from in nothing but his undies.
“What the hell Mom?” Hiccup started turning red, trying to cover his whole body with both arms, when he realized half the village was outside his house.
“Hiccup, it’s a nigstand.”
“A what?” Snotlout snorted. “Sounds kinky.” He laughed at his own joke.
“Even I know what that is, dolt.” Ruffnut snorted.
“Yeah, like, like, it’s bad. Like cursing bad.” Tuffnut cackled.
“Exactly.” Valka whispered. The rest of the village had fallen silent. Hiccup stared at them all baffled, seeing the same cluelessness on only his cousin’s face. He had no idea what a Nigstand was or what it meant. Or what the hell Tuffnut meant by cursing bad either or why his mother was agreeing with him.
Agreeing with Tuffnut of all people.
It was insane.
“Hiccup…” Valka started, the look in her eyes sending chills down his spine.
“Daddy.” Cazi called from the house, her voice weak and nearly inadubile.
“No.” Valka whispered when the harsh coughing echoed through the silence.
“What?” Hiccup turned on his mother. “What the hell is going on? Why the hell is there a pole with a horse’s head in my front yard!”
“Hiccup, it’s a cursing pole. Something only to be used to cause great strife on your enemies. I don’t know who placed it, who it’s for, or what the curse is. I haven’t had the time translate the runes. They’re unlike any I’ve seen before. I don’t know what language it is.”
“Daddy!” Cazi’s cries could be heard along with the harsh coughing. With one last withering look at his mother, Hiccup ran into the house, slamming the door behind him against the rest of the world.
“Come here, baby girl.” Hiccup hushed his daughter, cradling her in his arms.
“Hiccup, this isn’t good.” Valka tried to prepare her son, knowing that he would be unreceptive.
“Just tell me Mother. What is the curse. I already know it’s on Cazi.”
“I don’t know son. What’s written on here makes no sense to me. It’s just gibberish.”
“What’s it say?”
“To death behold,
Runes of Death,
Cursed for life,
Cursed in Death,
Agony and Terror,
Demise to be set.
She shall perish
“What the hell does that mean?” Snotlout sneered, glaring at the pole still standing in the front yard.
“I’ve no idea.” Valka sighed, shoulders slumping.
“Well how do we stop it?” Snotlout demanded, but Hiccup remained stoic. He already knew the answer.
“Normally a simple, but powerful, counter-curse would put a stop to the nithing.”
“Well do it then, what are ya waiting for?” Snotlout crossed his arms, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“I already did. Nothing happened. It had no effect. The runes used and the spell, while it derives from our own Nigstands, it’s not the same, they’ve twisted the tradition and seemed to have created a new curse all together. As to what it is, I do not know.”
“But I might.” Halldora came out of her room, a book in her arms.
“What do you mean, dear?” Valka was the first to speak.
“I noticed something on the pole that seemed familiar so I started doing a little research. As it turns out, one of the books I had gotten from Trader Johann his last trip here, had what I was looking for. Based on the grainy texture and look of the ink it’s from a far Eastern Tribe I’ve never even heard of. According to this, there’s a legend circling around that particular ink. Something to do with an Empress? But there’s not much here to go on. Now the style of the runes, I found in a later chapter. Those are from a Southern Tribe. As to what connection that has I don’t know because that chapter is about how the tribe settled down from roaming and began farming. There are some instructions for planting written in the native language, that’s all I’ve got.”
“That settles it then.” Hiccup spoke.
“Settles what?” Valka watched her son walking away.
“We’re going on a trip. Well, more specifically, me and Toothless are going on a trip. We need answers, and my guess would be that tale of the Empress and that farming tribe will be the keys to breaking this curse.” He explained over his shoulder, walking down the hill to his house.
“And what are we to do?” Valka followed along with Snotlout and Halldora.
“Well I’m going to head the front to the war and deploy Fishlegs and the twins to find out who cast this curse, don’t know about you two though.” Snotlout ran past them all towards the village in hot pursuit of the twins.
“Halldora keep looking and mom don’t stop trying to find a cure and please, watch after Cazi.” With that, Hiccup ran away, whistling for Toothless.