Viking raiders, p.1

Viking Raiders, page 1

 

Viking Raiders
 


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Viking Raiders


  Time Hunters: Viking Raiders

  Chris Blake

  Travel through time with Tom and Isis on more

  adventures!

  Time Hunters: Gladiator Clash

  Time Hunters: Knight Quest

  Time Hunters: Viking Raiders

  Time Hunters: Greek Warriors

  Time Hunters: Pirate Mutiny

  Time Hunters: Egyptian Curse

  For games, competitions and more visit:

  www.time-hunters.com

  With special thanks to

  Marnie Stanton-Riches

  Title Page

  Dedication

  Prologue

  Chapter 1: Scary Movie

  Chapter 2: Erik the Red

  Chapter 3: Joining the Crew

  Chapter 4: Setting Sail

  Chapter 5: Storm at Sea

  Chapter 6: Spelling it Out

  Chapter 7: Land Ahoy!

  Chapter 8: Looting and Pillaging

  Chapter 9: Valhalla Bound

  Chapter 10: Viking Funeral

  Chapter 11: Back to the Film

  Who were the Mightiest Vikings?

  Weapons

  Viking Raiders Timeline

  Time Hunters Timeline

  Fantastic Facts

  The Hunt Continues…

  Copyright

  About the Publisher

  Five thousand years ago

  Princess Isis and her pet cat, Cleo, stood outside the towering carved gates to the Afterlife. It had been rotten luck to fall off a pyramid and die at only ten years of age, but Isis wasn’t worried – the Afterlife was meant to be great. People were dying to go there, after all! Her mummy’s wrappings were so uncomfortable she couldn’t wait a second longer to get in, get her body back and wear normal clothes again.

  “Oi, Aaanuuubis, Anubidooby!” Isis shouted impatiently. “When you’re ready, you old dog!”

  Cleo started to claw Isis’s shoulder. Then she yowled, jumping from Isis’s arms and cowering behind her legs.

  “Calm down, fluffpot,” Isis said, bending to stroke her pet. “He can’t exactly woof me to death!” The princess laughed, but froze when she stood up. Now she understood what Cleo had been trying to tell her.

  Looming up in front of her was the enormous jackal-headed god of the Underworld himself, Anubis. He was so tall that Isis’s neck hurt to look up at him. He glared down his long snout at her with angry red eyes. There was nothing pet-like about him. Isis gulped.

  “‘WHEN YOU’RE READY, YOU OLD DOG?’” Anubis growled. “‘ANUBIDOOBY?’”

  Isis gave the god of the Underworld a winning smile and held out five shining amulets. She had been buried with them so she could give them to Anubis to gain entry to the Afterlife. There was a sixth amulet too – a gorgeous green one. But Isis had hidden it under her arm. Green was her favourite colour, and surely Anubis didn’t need all six.

  Except the god didn’t seem to agree. His fur bristled in rage. “FIVE? Where is the sixth?” he demanded.

  Isis shook her head. “I was only given five,” she said innocently.

  To her horror, Anubis grabbed the green amulet from its hiding place. “You little LIAR!” he bellowed.

  Thunder started to rumble. The ground shook. Anubis snatched all six amulets and tossed them into the air. With a loud crack and a flash of lightning, they vanished.

  “You hid them from me!” he boomed. “Now I have hidden them from you – in the most dangerous places throughout time.”

  Isis’s bandaged shoulders drooped in despair. “So I c-c-can’t come into the Afterlife then?”

  “Not until you have found each and every one. But first, you will have to get out of this…” Anubis clicked his fingers. A life-sized pottery statue of the goddess Isis, whom Isis was named after, appeared before him.

  Isis felt herself being sucked into the statue, along with Cleo. “What are you doing to me?” she yelled.

  “You can only escape if somebody breaks the statue,” Anubis said. “So you’ll have plenty of time to think about whether trying to trick the trickster god himself was a good idea!”

  The walls of the statue closed around Isis, trapping her and Cleo inside. The sound of Anubis’s evil laughter would be the last sound they would hear for a long, long time…

  “I want to go to the cinema too!” Isis said to Tom over the breakfast table. “Please take me with you!”

  Her pet cat, Cleopatra, who was sunbathing on the kitchen windowsill, mewed in agreement.

  Tom stared at the mummified princess in disbelief. She was sitting on the edge of the table, right next to Dad, and had helped herself to a slice of his toast. Loose strands from her bandages drifted down into his porridge. Luckily, Isis was invisible to everyone except Tom. But even if Dad had been able to see or hear her, he was in a world of his own, reading Archaeologist Weekly.

  No, he simply shovelled the porridge, now flavoured with five-thousand-year-old bits of Egyptian mummy, into his mouth.

  “Mmm,” Dad said. “Crunchy.”

  Tom suddenly lost his appetite. He jumped up from his chair and dropped his half-eaten cereal bowl in the sink with a clatter. Returning to the table, he took Isis by her crumbly arm and pulled her into the hall.

  “Hey! I’ve not finished breakfast yet!” Isis grumbled.

  “You don’t need to eat breakfast – you’re dead!” Tom said, letting go of Isis’s bandaged arm. “And you can’t come to the cinema with me because I know what you’re like – you’ll mess about and distract me.”

  Ever since he’d accidentally smashed a statue in his dad’s museum, setting the Ancient Egyptian princess free, Tom had been stuck with Isis and her pet cat. And he’d continue being stuck with her until they found the six amulets that Anubus, the god of the Underworld, had scattered throughout the most dangerous times in history. So far they’d found two, but there were four more to collect.

  “If you weren’t such a troublemaker, we wouldn’t be in this mess,” Tom added, reminding Isis that their task was her punishment for cheekily trying to steal one of the amulets from Anubis.

  “You’ve never had so much fun in your life!” Isis scoffed. “All these adventures! Since you met me, you’ve trained as a gladiator in Ancient Rome and met King Arthur! What do you offer me in return? Chess? History books? A GAME OF FOOTBALL?!” She started to make snoring noises.

  “You’re only saying that because you’re rubbish at football,” Tom said. He glanced into the kitchen and saw that Mum was busy wiping the worktops and Dad had his nose in his magazine.

  Isis waggled her foot at him. “It’s not easy kicking a ball when you’re wrapped in bandages.”

  Tom breathed out heavily in frustration. “Do you even know what a cinema is?”

  he asked.

  Isis shook her head sheepishly.

  Tom explained that it was a place where stories were told along with moving pictures. “Everything on the screen is about ten times its normal size and the best bit is that it’s really, really loud,” he finished.

  “Oh, I love stories,” Isis said, clapping her hands in glee. “The priests in Egypt wrote the most amazing ones, with beautiful pictures on papyrus scrolls. They used to read them to me when I was little. Sometimes, because I was so beautiful…”

  Tom spluttered, but Isis ignored him.

  “… they wrote me into the stories too!”

  Tom hesitated. If he took Isis to the cinema, at least she wouldn’t be able to cause mischief at home. He sighed. “All right, then. You can come with me.”

  Isis shuffled stiffly over to the front door and called out to Cleo. “Come on, Fluffpot! We’re going to the cinema!”

  Inside the cinema, the screen flickered brightly as the characters in the fil
m blew up an old building containing fireworks. Kaboom! Rockets fizzed up into the nightsky before exploding in a shower of colourful sparks.

  As Isis cowered behind a row of seats Cleo yowled and clambered on to Tom’s lap.

  “Take cover, Fluffpot!” Isis cried to her cat. “The world is ending!”

  Tom chuckled. “It’s OK, you know,” he said, reaching into a giant tub of popcorn. He put a fistful of the sticky kernels intohis mouth. “It’s not real. The pictures can’t hurt you.”

  Isis held her hands over where her ears would be. “What about the noise?” The explosions were quite loud.

  “You’ll get used to it,” Tom told her.

  “Are they gods?” Isis asked, pointing to the characters on the screen.

  “They’re just actors,” Tom explained. He thrust his tub of popcorn towards Isis. “Here, try some of this. And be quiet because you’re ruining the film for me.”

  Isis sat back on her seat nervously. She plunged a hand into the tub and stuffed some popcorn through a hole in the bandages that covered her face. “Mmm, this tastes great,” she said, jaws creaking as she chomped away.

  “Leave some for me!” Tom said.

  Somebody’s dad in the row behind leaned forward and tapped Tom on the shoulder.

  “Hey! Keep it down, son. I didn’t pay to listen to you talking to yourself for an hour.”

  Tom slumped down in his seat. He was glad that, in the dark of the cinema, nobody could see his cheeks glow.

  Isis giggled and kept hold of the popcorn tub. “You heard the man,” she said. “Stop ruining the film for everyone!”

  Tom looked longingly at his popcorn.

  “Can I have some, please?” he whispered, checking that the man behind wasn’t listening.

  Isis ignored him. The yellowy bandages on her face glowed white as she stared up at the flickering light of the screen. Isis started to laugh as the hero of the film said something funny.

  Tom could tell she was utterly absorbed in the thrilling story. “Isis!” he hissed, giving her a good poke with his elbow.

  “Shh!” she hissed. “This is a good bit.”

  Tom’s stomach growled. “I bought that popcorn for me. Give it back, will you?”

  He was just about to snatch the tub out of her hands when their row of seats started to rumble and shake. Tom looked up at the film. Was it part of the action? Were the special effects really that convincing?

  “Look!” Isis suddenly yelped. “Anubis!”

  There, looming above, staring down at them through angry red eyes, was the Egyptian god of the Underworld himself.

  “Enjoying the show?” Anubis boomed.

  His voice bounced round the cinema. He stood with his fist on his hip, baring his sharp teeth and twitching the pointy ears on top of his jackal’s head.

  Tom gulped. It was as though Anubis had stepped right out of the screen. But everyone else in the cinema was still laughing and saying ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’, as though they could only see the film they had come to watch.

  “Why did you have to turn up now?” Isis said hotly, throwing a handful of popcorn in Anubis’s direction. “Get out of the way! You’re blocking my view.”

  Several people looked round and tutted loudly, as the popcorn rained down on them.

  Anubis growled. “You know why I’m here, you cheeky girl,” he boomed, making the curtains at the side of the giant screen flap. “It’s time for your next quest.”

  “Not yet. I want to see how the story ends!” Isis shouted.

  The ground started to shake violently. Tom was sure their entire row of seats had started to edge forward.

  “You will do as I say, Isis Amun-Ra, or you will never enter the Afterlife,” Anubis roared. “You are leaving to find your next amulet RIGHT NOW!!”

  The three travellers hurtled through the tunnels of time, twisting and turning through the ages, as though they were on the scariest roller coaster in the world. They shot out of the end and flew through the air. One by one, they landed on the ground with a thunk, thunk, flump.

  Tom was shaking so hard from the cold that he felt his chattering teeth might fall out. “I’m f-freezing,” he said. “Where on earth are we?”

  Standing up and stretching, he looked about. They had landed on a riverbank that was covered with frost. Alongside them, a wide river flowed fast. Its choppy waters glittered in the winter sunshine.

  “I d-don’t know,” Isis said, blowing on her hands. “But I th-think my f-fingers might f-fall off.”

  Tom glanced over at Isis. Apart from the sweeps of black kohl round her eyes and the beaded black plaits that made her look unmistakeably like an Ancient Egyptian princess, she was back to being a normal ten-year-old girl again. And Cleo was back to being a cat, covered in stripy fur.

  Tom peered down at himself. “We’re wearing trousers and tunics, like we did in King Arthur’s time,” he said. “But these cloaks are made from animal skins.” He pulled his heavy, furry cloak round him more tightly to keep out the cold. “And this doesn’t look like England.”

  To their left, Tom spied a dense forest of fir trees. It stretched right down to the river in a dark line. A big, brown moose with enormous antlers emerged from the forest and walked down to the water on its long legs.

  Isis pointed to a ship that was moored just beyond where the moose was drinking. “What kind of a boat is that?” she asked.

  Tom frowned. The vessel seemed familiar. It was very long and quite narrow. In the middle was a single, thick mast to which was attached a giant, square sail. Oars stuck out on both sides, like legs on a giant centipede. At the back of the ship was a curly tail. But at the front…

  “Look at that!” Tom said to Isis. “See the dragon’s head carved at the front of the ship? I recognise that style from the Viking room in Dad’s museum. It’s a longship.”

  “That’s great, but where and when are we, Professor Smartypants?” Isis asked, wrapping a shivering Cleo under her cloak.

  Tom beamed. “Moose. Pine forests. Freezing weather! I think we’re in Scandinavia,” he said. “We’ve landed in the time of the Vikings.” As he rubbed his hands together to warm them up, he caught sight of a pile of weapons and armour in the longship. The axes and swords glinted at him dangerously.

  “What are Vikings?” Isis asked, jogging on the spot, her frozen breath looking like puffs of smoke.

  Tom thought back to everything he’d read about the Vikings in his encyclopedia. “Vikings were warriors that were brilliant at sailing. They conquered the sea in those amazing longships. The men were called things like Ulf and Olaf and Magnus.” He decided not to mention the part about Vikings being murderous, axe-wielding giants, who went on the rampage in search of gold.

  Isis tutted. “I’ve never heard such silly names in my life. Ulf! It sounds like a small, barking dog.”

  “I think it means ‘wolf’,” Tom said.

  “Never mind. Anyway, we’ve got to find the amulet for the big old wolf himself,” Isis said. “Come on. Let’s see if my magic ring will tell us where Anubis has hidden it.”

  Isis wore a gold scarab-shaped ring with an image of a goddess sitting on a chair. The goddess, also called Isis, was the protector of children and the dead. Isis had worn the ring when she was alive, and had even been buried in it. It had helped them out on their quests before.

  “Where is my amulet, oh, beautiful and clever goddess?” Isis asked the ring now.

  Silvery letters wafted up out of the scarab, into the air. They arranged themselves in sentences, which Tom read aloud.

  “Fly abroad, across stormy seas

  On a dragon’s back, long and thin.

  Fighting, looting, as you please

  ’Tis treasure you need to win.

  If Vikings die, they are not pained,

  Their souls for Valhalla yearn!

  When flaming arrow on boat is trained

  Be sure that jewel won’t burn.”

  Tom stuck his tongue in his che
ek and frowned. “Right,” he said to Isis. “Maybe the dragon’s back means the longship.” He pointed over to the boat’s carved front.

  Isis nodded and stroked a purring Cleo. “Yes. It seems pretty obvious that the riddle is talking about a journey over the sea.”

  “Perhaps we’ll be going somewhere in that boat,” Tom suggested.

  Just as he opened his mouth to ask Isis if she knew what Valhalla was, they heard shouting and loud voices coming their way.

  Tom looked round and spotted a group of tall, terrifying men. They wore helmets and fur cloaks. At their sides, they carried the longest broadswords he had ever seen. They were running, like a herd of angry moose, down to the longship. The only obstacle that stood between them and their vessel… were Tom, Isis and Cleo.

  “Are those the Vikings you were talking about?” Isis asked quietly.

  “Yes,” Tom said, gulping. “I’m afraid so. They tried to look as fearsome as possible in the hope that their enemies would keel over with fear just at the sight of them.”

  “Well, that little trick won’t work on me,” Isis said. But Tom could tell from the quiver in her voice that she didn’t feel as brave as she was pretending to be.

  Cleo yowled when she saw the strangers and darted into the folds of Isis’s cloak.

  At the head of the group, Tom noticed a Viking who was as tall and broad as a door – a hulking, muscle-bound man compared to the others. Bright-red hair hung down his back in wild, matted clumps. His bearded, ruddy face was covered in freckles. In his huge hand he swung a gleaming axe.

  “Do you think that axe is meant for us?” Isis asked.

  The red-headed giant thundered towards them. His steely gaze was fixed on Tom.

  “We’re about to find out,” Tom said, trembling like a jelly. “Please don’t kill us!” he shouted, holding his hands above his head in surrender, as the stranger came to a stop and loomed over him. Hardly daring to look into the Viking’s fearsome face, Tom stared at the man’s boots instead. He had the most enormous feet.

 
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