Sjofn pulled her hood off over her head, baring her throat and the leather collar about her neck. "Please. I'm a slave of the wizard Vegtamr, and you have to help me. He hanged himself four days ago."
"Well, good riddance," said the dark man mildly.
"I've not heard of the man, but wizards make bad neighbors," he added. "For anyone."
"You don't understand. He's a runecaster and a priest of Odin. He thrust a spear into his belly and hanged himself, as Odin did. A sacrifice to himself."
Both men looked disconcerted. "They're crazy, the Odin priests," the redhead muttered. "He sends them mad."
"No one has done this in years," she explained. "Few have succeeded since the Allfather did it, but Vegtamr will. All his life, he has been preparing for this. For nine days and nights, he will be dead, and then he will come back, and he will bring the power of the runes with him from out of the Ginnungagap. Not just little spells, like you carve into a shield or a knife-hilt, but all the power of the runes, at his command. He'll be able to do anything the gods can do. He could..." She looked around at the town about them, and made a gesture to indicate it being swept away.