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Warning! This page contains spoilers for The Brotherband Chronicles.
In Skandia there is only one way to become a warrior.
Boys must form into groups called Brotherbands and undergo grueling training in order to qualify.
Hal becomes the unwilling leader of a group of eight boys, outcasts, rejected by the rest of the Skandian society. Together they join and form a team called the Herons.
The Outcast Edit
Six years later, when Karina, Mikkel's wife finds a drunk Thorn on her doorstep, she wakes him up by having her ten-year-old son Hal Mikkelson pour a bucket of water on "crazy old Thorn". Once Thorn wakes up, Karina talked sense into him to stop drinking and wasting his life away, then hires him to help around her eating house, teach Hal about being a warrior and to help him get prepared for brotherband training. Another six years, and Hal is almost 16 and is on his way to brotherband training. He shrugs it off and keeps walking. Thorn and Stig had become his best friends. He owns a boat, the Heron which he and Stig had continued building together with some help from Ingvar and the twins, Ulf and Wulf . When she was finally finished, they took her out to sea and was delighted that she performed wonderfully. She was even better than a typical Skandian wolfship because of the special triangular sails (shaped like a heron's wings; thus the name) he made for her.
Hal and a group of boys that the other teams don't want are made into a third team by the oberjarl Erak, and Brotherband training begins! Ingvar helps decide the team's name and Hal's group all agrees to name themselves the Herons after Hal's ship. After a unanimous vote, Hal becomes their team skirl. The Herons then go to win the brotherband compititions.
The Invaders Edit
After Hal and the Heron Brotherband flee Skandia, they end up in a sheltered bay named Shelter Bay. They spend a few nights sleeping on the boat, the Heron, while they create a shelter. The weather, which was horrible in the first place, worsens for several days. With nothing to do, the brotherband begins to fall apart. Stefan and Ulf argue about their sleeping spots in the shelter, and Hal ends up making them swap spots. Thorn berates Hal for neglecting the brotherband’s weapons skills, and soon after, Hal appoints Thorn as the trainer.
Thorn devises a series of exercises that perfect the brotherband’s various skills. One day, after Thorn gives the Herons a break from training, Hal and Ingvar reveal what they’ve been working on at night: a huge crossbow capable of shooting a 50-centimeter long bolt 300 meters. Hal says that when they get to the pirate Zavac, who has the Skandians' most prized artifact, the Andomal, in his possession, the crossbow will decimate them. Hal decides to mount the crossbow on the bow of the Heron, and the brotherband names the massive crossbow the Mangler.
Hal and the Heron brotherband set sail, as they need more supplies for the Mangler’s bolts. They head towards the nearby town of Skegall. They find out that Zavac’s ship, the Raven, has been sighted in the area. Thorn buys a new sheepskin vest because Hal used it for upgrading the Heron, and he points out that Hal now owes him quite a bit of money. They set off again. While Zavac is sailing around, he captures a trading ship. Zavac discovers emeralds in the ship and tortures the captain until he tells Zavac where he got the emeralds: a hidden mine in the town of Limmat. Zavac prepares to invade Limmat and get to their emerald mine by going to a Magyaran pirate meeting place and recruiting the crews of several other ships. Zavac deploys one of his captured trading ships, making it look like it’s sinking. The ship heads towards Limmat and they open up the gate for the ship. However, Zavac has stowed his pirate goons on the ship and they overrun the town. The crew of the Raven join in on the fight.
Meanwhile, Lydia, a 16-year-old from Limmat, is hunting in the forest with her atlatl, a tool that makes darts fly faster and a lot farther. She realizes that the town is being attacked, so she escapes with a borrowed skipper. Stig, Hal’s first mate, alerts Hal of a lone figure on a small figure waving to the Heron. The figure turns out to be Lydia, and Hal lets her stay aboard. She tells Hal about the location of the Raven, and Hal begins to sail towards Limmat in the hopes of catching Zavac and retrieving the Andomal.
Wolfwind, a Skandian wolfship, soon joins them. They sail to Limmat and meet up with the villagers who survived the invasion, who are hiding in the forest. Barat, their leader, immediately becomes super-overprotective of Lydia, who tells Hal and Stig that he’s been like that for ages, announcing that they’ll be married, etc. Lydia hates him for it. Hal hatches a plan to conquer the pirates. Using Wolfwind and the Heron, they’ll ferry the villagers over to the other side of the town under the cover of darkness. That way, the pirates will never expect them coming. Then, Hal will attack the watchtowers and the gate with the Mangler, burning them down with some bolts that he’ll set on fire. The pirates’ attention will be focused completely on the burning watchtowers and not the villagers, who will be slaughtering the pirates left and right.
Of course, Barat finds some way to argue with him. He says that the wind will be coming straight from the town, but Hal shrugs it off. The sail design on the Heron allows him to cut through wind like it’s no big deal. Meanwhile, Hal is racking his brain with ideas on how to get the gate to catch fire. It’s wooden, so it’ll burn eventually, but it might not catch anyway.
He decides that drenching it with oil is his best bet, but getting the oil there would be a problem. After a fitful night of sleep, Hal devises a plan. One night, while Stig is ferrying the villagers to the other side of town, Hal and Jesper are floating around on a log in the middle of the sea. They swim to the beach while looking like driftwood and Jesper uses his skills as a thief to sneak to the gate and hang a bladder of oil there. Stig picks them up right before they drown and they sail back. Soon, they mount an attack on the pirates. Hal and Ingvar work together to burn the watchtowers and the gate while Lydia picks off any archers that are getting too good with their bows. Barat leads the villagers, armed with an assortment of weapons, into Limmat and they take over the town. However, Zavac escapes before they can catch him.
Afterwards, a celebration is held. Barat claims to have created the plan to save Limmat, but Stig mutters to Hal that “All he did was sit around and argue.” When the Heron Brotherband leaves, Lydia decides to come with them because she really doesn't want to stay anywhere near the possessive Barat.
The Hunters Edit
Hal and the Heron Brotherband are sailing around after the ferocious battle in Limmat, searching for the Raven and its captain, Zavac. Zavac currently holds the Skandian’s most prized artifact in his possession, the Andomal. Rikard, a pirate that the Herons have captured, tells them exactly where Zavac is going- the lawless fortress and pirate haven, Raguza. Ingvar, one of the Brotherband, has acquired a horrible fever. Edvin, the brotherband’s healer, decides that a few days on solid ground will do them good. Hal docks in a sheltered bay and they quickly construct two tents, one for Ingvar and a larger one for the rest of the Brotherband. Thorn, as usual, decides to sleep in the Heron.
Several days pass and Ingvar doesn't show any signs of improving. In the middle of the night, Rikard slips away, even though he was tied up to a tree- he hid a knife on his body, just in case he had to use it. Lydia, the most experienced tracker, and Thorn, the most experienced fighter, vouch to go after him. Lydia finds traces of Rikard’s passing with ease, like footprints and even bits of thread on a bush. After a day of tracking, they smell the wood smoke from a fire that Rikard has made. They find Rikard and Thorn knocks him unconscious with ease they drag him back to the camp. This time, he’s tied up much more firmly.
Back at the camp, Edvin reads through the basic healer’s manual that he received as part of Brotherband training over and over again. The only thing that he finds to cure fever, other than what he’s already doing, is a vague note about southern people and willow bark. Two of the Brotherband find a willow grove and take back as much bark as they can carry. Edvin makes a tea out of the bark and forces Ingvar to drink it, and his fever breaks. The brotherband get back on the Heron as soon as possible and make for the town of Krall. Krall was a small town, but with plenty of traffic from ships, so they would get all of the supplies that they needed while getting closer to Zavac. They find a one-legged man in a tavern who tells them all about Zavac and his whereabouts they’re overheard by one of Zavac’s crew- left behind to pick up some rope, apparently. The man kills Pegleg with a sneaky knife between the ribs.
The crew of the Heron are leaving Krall when they’re stopped by a bunch of guards who try to arrest them on charges of murder. They released Rikard the night before, and Zavac’s minion killed him in a back alley. However, the guards don’t know that, and they think that Thorn killed Rikard. Hal manages to show them that if they thought about it logically, none of the Herons could have had a chance to kill Rikard. They leave Krall and end up in Bayrath Zavac had been in Bayrath a few days previously. He had a quiet word with the Gatmeister, or lord, of Bayrath, and it had involved quite a few gold coins and an exchange about delaying the Heron. Permanently. Zavac had lied about them killing Rikard, and Doutro, the Gatmeister, had swept ten large gold pieces into his desk drawer.
The Herons are taken into a dungeon, and Lydia, through a cleverly fabricated lie, manages to get shipped to a cell with less security. She escapes by stealing a jackknife and a wooden dowel, and with those she opens up a locked window and clambers out of it. She finds the dungeon where Hal and the crew are being held, and Jesper tells her that if she can get his lock picking set, the entire brotherband can break free.Lydia sneaks onto the Heron at night, evading the sentry posted there. She retrieves Jesper’s supplies and slips them to him through a thin window. Jesper picks the lock on the door and the brotherband devastates the guards posted outside of their cell.The brotherband, while escaping, toss a lit torch onto Doutro’s personal yacht, as revenge for making his men beat Hal unconscious when he didn’t reveal the location of his strongbox. The entire yacht is doomed before the Heron even pulls out of the harbor The Heron heads down a river and through a series of rapids.
Before the crew knows it, they're almost at Raguza. They see a ship, Seahawk, one of several escorts that make sure that trading ships get around the pirate-infested waters safely. Seahawk’s skipper, Mannoc, is initially suspicious of them, but after a brief, heart-stopping battle with several pirates, Mannoc strikes up a friendship with Hal. Hal begins to form a plan to get into Raguza.Some time later, the Heron is flying a black flag, the sign of a pirate. Seahawk is chasing them, trying to capture them, and the Herons are desperately rowing towards Raguza. The gate opens up for the Herons, and the Seahawks are shut out.Of course, Hal needs to pay a hefty fee to the Korpaljo, overlord of Raguza. His name is Mihaly, and he demands a tenth of whatever the Heron has on board. They give him a large emerald, in a shade of green that is extremely rare- and from Limmat. They also know that Zavac must have given Mihaly some of these emeralds, but he tells them that he’s never seen any emerald quite like the one that the Herons gave him. Zavac therefore loses 25 of his emeralds instead of the 5 that he would have given if he didn't cheat Mihaly.
The crew of the Heron start growing restless, knowing that the Andomal is so close, yet so far away. They can't sneak up to the Raven at any time of the day unless they want to be seen.
This problem is fixed when Hal challenges Zavac to a duel- a duel of ships. The Heron and her crew will fight the Raven. Mihaly agrees, seeing how he can profit from the arrangement.The duel begins. The bets are placed and Hal finds out that three out of every four people are betting for the Raven. During the duel, the Mangler, the giant crossbow mounted on the Heron, breaks and lands on Hal. After a terse couple of minutes, Hal manages to wriggle free of the Mangler with the help of Ingvar, and the battle continues. The Herons board the Raven and begin to slaughter the crew, and Hal darts over to the side where Zavac’s sleeping quarters where the Andomal is.Hal finds the Andomal, but Zavac comes charging in with a dagger in hand. He nearly kills Hal before Thorn barges in and takes out Zavac with a quick blow to the head. With the Andomal secure, the rest of the Raven’s crew is decimated and the Herons win the battle.
When the Herons return to Skandia, they’re welcomed home with open arms. A huge feast marks their return. Jesper and Stefan celebrate with a saga that barely rhymes, and The Hunters ends.
The Slaves of Socorro Edit
Hal and the rest of the Herons have returned to Hallasholm where they have been awarded for returning the Andomal. Thorn is beginning to find love in Karina, and Hal finds himself a new companion in a dog named Kloof. All of the Herons have also started helping convert some of the Skandian ships to the newer, faster model Hal designed. However, Erak feels the group is getting too comfortable and decides on a new mission for the Herons.
Hal and his brotherband are dispatched to Araluen to serve as the Skandian coast guardians for a years time. Their primary missions will be to help stop smuggling, occasionally stop raiding, patrol the coastlines, and provide transport for emergency messages for the king. On their way to Araluen though, they come across a ship that is sinking. It has been attacked by pirates. Hal and the Herons agree to help the ship, but they are soon shocked when they learn that Tursgud and his renegade crew are the pirates that tried to sink them. The Herons hope they will never see him, but they worry about the image the renegade will cause their country.
The Herons soon arrive in Araluen where their fellow countrymen inform them all their housing and food will be taken care of. They also tell them not to expect too many missions for King Duncan as they've had one in the years time they've been there. However a message in a mysterious cloak arrives less than a week into their stay. The Ranger Gilan has come needing a ride up to the castle for a secret mission.
Before the Herons and Gilan can depart though, a man wanders into the Skandian camp from a nearby village. A group of pirates has kidnapped 12 Araluen's and is planning on making them slaves. When the Herons learn the wolfship being used was either a dark blue or black, they realize it is Tursgud and his crew. The Herons set out in pursuit hoping to capture and sink Tursgud before he can escape Araluen. However Tursgud has employed the help of some Araleun traitors and comes close to sinking the Heron while escaping.
Rather than try to pursue him on the open sea, Hal, Gilan, and the rest of the Herons set sail for Socorro, home of the nearby slave market. On the way they make some changes to the ship, knowing that Tursgud would recognize it if they didn't. Lydia and Gilan are also sent into the city to scout a way for them to rescue the kidnapped Araluen's. Little do they know there are many obstacles that will stand in their way, and even if they overcome them all they must deal with Tursgud and his superior numbers. Do the Herons have any chance of rescuing these citizens? And what was the mission the King asked Gilan to come in for? The Brotherbands adventures in Araluen are only beginning, but they will only serve to make the Brotherband that much stronger.
Scorpion Mountain Edit
Hal, his Brotherband crew, and the Ranger Gilan have freed the twelve Araluens sold into slavery. Returning to Araluen, Gilan is given a new mission by King Duncan: protect his daughter’s life. Princess Cassandra has survived one attempt on her life already, and now whispers of a second attempt have reached the kingdom. A deadly sect known as the Scorpion Cult is thought to be behind the assassination threat. Not waiting to see if the knife will strike true, the Brotherband again team up with Gilan to track down the would-be killers. In this fifth book in the Brotherband Chronicles, old friends re emerge to take on new enemies as the worlds of Ranger’s Apprentice and Brotherband join forces in battle!
The Ghostfaces Edit
When the Brotherband crew are caught in a massive storm at sea, they’re blown far off course and wash up on the shores of a land so far west that Hal can’t recognize it from any of his maps. Eerily, the locals are nowhere in sight, yet the Herons have a creeping feeling they are being watched.
Suddenly the silence is broken when a massive, marauding bear appears, advancing on two children. The crew springs into action and rescues the children from the bear’s clutches, which earns them the gratitude and friendship of the local Mawagansett tribe, who finally reveal themselves. But the peace is short-lived. The Ghostfaces, a ruthless, warlike tribe who shave their heads and paint their faces white, are on the warpath once more. It’s been ten years since they raided the Mawagansett village, but they’re coming back to pillage and reap destruction. As the enemy approaches, the Herons gear up to help their new friends repel an invasion.
The Caldera Edit
In Hallasholm, Stig is contesting the annual Maktig competition to decide Skandia’s greatest warrior. But a late-night knock on the door brings someone Stig never expected to see again, along with a request the Herons are hard-pressed to refuse: a rescue mission of epic proportions.
Across the ocean, the southern city-state of Byzantos is plagued by a crew of pirates who’ve kidnapped the son of Empress Justina. Slipping out of Hallasholm under the cover of darkness, the brotherband sets sail to recover the boy from his kidnappers, heading south to the island of Santorillos where a near-impenetrable fortress stands atop a cliff, surrounded by a lagoon—a caldera—formed by the crater of a volcano.
Books in the SeriesEdit
- The Outcasts
- The Invaders
- The Hunters
- The Slaves of Socorro
- Scorpion Mountain
- The Ghostfaces
- The Caldera
A list of the main characters in the series, for a complete list go to the character list page.