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Call the midwife! Oh, wait, she's already here.

Not far from where Ethelfried spoke those words, a baby was being born. Or at least, it was trying to be born. Unlike Kel's labours less than two weeks before, Ragnarok's were proving to be a long, drawn-out ordeal, just as Mrs. Leppiäinnen had warned.

Now, at last, the pangs were becoming more frequent, even as Ragna's cries and her breathing were becoming fainter. Guðrún, the Icelandic-born witch, second cousin of the Witch Queen and Duchess of Dungill Fens, was rarely worried about anything - she had survived the wrath of her royal relative, political intrigue at the Clwydian court, a rival's attempt to saw her head open and remove her brain and Tamlin's gang's bumbling efforts to rescue her (which had resulted in the destruction of an ancient castle on Iceland which she had hoped to inherit, or else steal, one day). Through all these troubles, she had at been able to keep worry as far from her mind as was necessary to get on with the job of coming out on top.

Now, however, she was muttering to herself in Icelandic even though she was sure no one was eavesdropping. This was not her kind of job. There was nothing to it. She was going have to call on another, more experienced witch for help.

Just before she passed out again, Ragna briefly wondered how many other women had a duchess for a midwife...


Gurn reaches her limits The URL of this comic is http://www.rocr.net/?p=20011224



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