An Uncivil War
( Part Two Of The Ítreksjóð Trilogy )
" This must end . " Motsognir told the representatives of the Earth Dwarves and the Rock Dwarves, when they reached Durinn's underground hall .
Durinn stared at his father with a shocked look of horror etched upon his face.
" It is not the Earth Dwarves who have caused all the problems over the years. Three wars, multiple incidents of violence, and now the kidnapping of both you and Ivaldi, ...... these are just a few of the many infractions that these violent Rock Dwarves have perpetuated against us ! " Durinn recounted angrily.
Dolgthvari could not believe what he was hearing.
" Oh ! And you Earth Dwarves are so innocent ? You mine gold from the ground along with other precious metals,... and then you build furnaces,...heated with the coal you pull from your underground tunnels,... and you make precious objects for the Gods,.... and get paid outrageous sums of money for doing so ! And do you share any of this with us ? No ! We Rock Dwarves have no mines, no wealth, and no prospects for a better future ! So naturally we fight for what we need,... and what we want ! " he shouted back at Durinn.
Haur jumped in quickly and joined the debate.
" Rock Dwarves are a poor lot ! Hunter gatherers are we ! Often we go hungry, while these Earth Dwarves eat lavish meals, and sleep comfortably in their underground homes. " he added angrily.
Motsognir had heard enough and held up his hand.
" Great Dwarves, calm yourselves . Please let us be civil. Do you not see that there are simple solutions to all of these problems ? "
Durinn shrugged his shoulders.
" When there is such a disparity in wealth between our two societies what can be done to correct this gap ? " the leader of the Earth Dwarves asked.
Dolgthvari jumped in and quickly answered for Motsognir :
" You can give us some for starters ! " he yelled angrily.
Durinn smacked his lips in disgust.
" Why should we give away the wealth that we have earned through our own sweat and toil ? " he shot back.
As the three leaders stood silently giving each other angry looks, and it appeared that violence might break out at any moment between them, Ítreksjóð, the quiet God, who had been a mere shadow in the back of the chamber, stepped forward and spoke .
" Trade . " the Dragon God replied softly.
Motsognir smiled and turned toward the God's voice.
" I see that you have inherited some of your father's wisdom Ítreksjóð. " he told the God.
Then he turned back to where the Dwarves had been arguing.
" I cannot see you, and yet I see the solution to your problems better than any of you. The Earth Dwarves make wonderful knives, but always with gold and silver handles, do they not Durinn ? " Motsognir asked.
" Well,... yes ! What else is there to make handles out of ? " he asked in return.
" Polished antler makes a wonderful handle,... as does a boar's tusk. And I believe that the Rock Dwarves have a huge stockpile of deer antlers, and boar tusks. Is that not true Haur ? " the Wise One inquired.
" We do not have much use for all that we have. And yes the Rock Dwarves would be willing to trade, or sell, our surplus to the Earth Dwarves. " the new co - ruler of the Rock Dwarves replied as he slowly began to understand what the Wise One was telling them.
" Our females do like bear skin blankets for their beds, and deer hides are very warm as well. We could pay the great hunter Rock Dwarves for these items. " he agreed.
Dolgthvari thought for a long moment before joining in.
" And our females make wonderful garments from the wool they sheer from our sheep ! Yes ! I see where this is leading,.... maybe we could trade these woolen garments to the Earth Dwarves for some of the delicious mushrooms that grow so plentiful here in these caves. " he added .
Durinn suddenly became excited about the opportunities that were presenting themselves in the discussion.
" We could trade our healing roots, and herbs, for meat ! " he blurted out .
Just as the negotiations looked to be making real progress the Earth Dwarf Gloin came running into the village interrupting the talks.
" Durinn ! Durinn ! We have a visitor ! Odin is here !! " he managed in between deep breaths.
Motsognir smiled as Durinn's joy and hope for the future turned to fear.
" I will go to see him. " Durinn replied dejectedly.
Haur looked over at Dolgthvari and they nodded to one another.
" If it will help we will go with you to the surface and tell Odin that all the Dwarves are changing their ways. " Haur told Durinn.
Motsognir's smile grew even larger.
" Let us all go together ! " he sad happily.
Ítreksjóð gently grabbed hold of Motsognir's arm and led him to the surface. Durinn followed, with the Rock Dwarves keeping to the rear. As they neared the entrance to the cave Durinn insisted that he be the first one to see, and speak to Odin.
" I have made this mess, and it is I who shall take the punishment for my deeds. " he told the others as he walked slowly past Ítreksjóð and Motsognir.
Odin seemed bigger than usual as Durinn looked up at the Lord of Asgard. He tried to read Odin's expression to determine how angry the All- Father was, but it was no use. Odin had a stone face that was often impossible to decipher.
" I have come for compensation ! " Odin stated without greeting the Dwarves.
Durinn hung his head low, and took a deep breath, before asking the question for which he feared the answer.
" And what does Odin want ? " he finally managed to ask.
Odin tried to hide his expression, but a small grin turned up one corner of his mouth.
" I wish for your craftsmen to make a sword, for my son Ítreksjóð, that will burn like the fire in a furnace. " he replied.
" And ....? " he inquired.
Odin could not help himself any longer, and smiled.
" And take these damn Dwarves off of my hands ! They never shut up ! " he said turning to the side and pointing behind him.
Durinn looked up and could not believe what he was seeing ! When he realized that his eyes were not deceiving him, tears ran down his face. For standing there behind Odin were Heptifli, Virnir, Igni, Fal and Ginnar. Odin had released his warriors from the blocked tunnel, and returned them to Svartalfheim. More importantly their return meant that Odin had forgiven the Dwarves for what they had done !
With tears streaming down his face Durinn looked up at Odin and smiled.
" My Dwarves will make Ítreksjóð the finest sword ever seen in all the nine worlds ! " he told Odin proudly.
- The End
- Next Story : Nøkken : The Water Spirit
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.