An Uncivil War
( Part Two Of The Ítreksjóð Trilogy )
The Ransom Tablet
Fjalar and Galar sat upon the rock ledge at the back of the Great Rock Arch, which served as their thrones, grinning from ear to ear as Motsognir and Ivaldi were pushed and pulled by Hnullangur, Gneiss Skarn, and Rapakivi into the hall. Chert led the way, and when he reached the brother's granite thrones he bowed slightly before speaking.
" My Lords ! I have escorted the Earth Dwarves to the Great Rock Arch as you requested. " he told the Dwarve kings.
Fjalar and Galar both were pleased with their comrades, who had captured the Earth Dwarves, and brought them to their court. What they were not pleased with was the surprise and indignation that some of their other subjects in the hall were exhibiting over the treatment of Motsognir, who although he had chosen to live in the Earth Dwarve's domain, was much revered by the Rock Dwarves as well.
At one point those gathered in the Great Rock Arch became so unruly that Galar decided that he needed to say something to calm the situation. Galar turned to Chert, and with a pretend scowl upon his face yelled :
" And what is this Chert ! Why has our guest been so badly treated ? " he demanded to know.
Chert, realizing that this was merely an act, played along.
" Sorry, my Lord ! My comrades do seem to have gotten a little rough with the Wise One . " he replied apologetically to Galar before turning to Motsognir.
" My sincere apologies, most wise one ! You are here as a guest, and should not have been treated in such a fashion. " Chert told the eldest of the Dwarves.
Chert then waved away the guards and took his place on the right side of the rock ledge, where he and Arkose, who was positioned on the left, always stood guard when the court was in session.
When the Rock Dwarves had calmed down a bit Fjalar looked at Motsognir and smiled.
" I am so happy that you have decided to stay with us for a little while. " he told the Wise One.
Motsognir could tell more from the tone of the Rock Dwarves voice, and the inflection given to each word, than a being with sight would be able to detect from looking in his eyes, at his expressions, or by studying his mannerisms. And he was not fooled by his false welcoming words.
" Why have you brought us here, and what is it that you want from us . " Motsognir asked calmly, but firmly.
Fjalar and Galar had a momentary laugh, as if only they knew a secret, before Galar answered the Wise One.
" Why,.... we Rock Dwarves simply want you Dirt Dwarves to share some of your wealth with us ! " he explained happily.
Fjalar then added :
" And you will be our guests until that " sharing " takes place ! "
Ivaldi had been silent until now, but he could not hold his tongue any longer.
" That is blackmail ! You cannot hold us for ransom ! " he replied angrily.
Galar laughed sarcastically.
" Technically it is kidnapping,.... but I assure you that we can hold you, and will keep you here until we receive the compensation that we Rock Dwarves rightfully deserve ! " he explained loudly.
Motsognir remained calm as he explained the situation, as he saw it, to the brothers.
" The Earth Dwarves will not let this stand. They will fight to free us, and they will not pay for our return. " he told them in no uncertain terms.
Fjalar stepped off of his high - seat and walked down to Motsognir. He placed his hand on the back of the Wise One's head and pulled him close.
" That would be most unfortunate for you and your friend ! " he whispered angrily to Motsognir.
Motsognir wiped the spittle off of his face, and smiled.
" No . That would be unfortunate for all of you Rock Dwarves who live here in Svartalfheim. " he explained calmly.
Galar, tired of all this senseless banter, spoke to his guards.
" Chert ! Arkose ! Take them to the guest quarters ! Make sure they are comfortable,.. for we wouldn't want anything to happen to our guests,.. now would we ? " he ordered.
As they were taken away Fjalar pointed to the two guards who were standing guard at the entrance of the Great Rock Arch.
" Cabbro ! Pelite ! Take this ransom tablet to the entrance of the Earth Dwarve's domain . Keep it covered, and tell the Gods guarding the entrance that it is a gift for Durinn ! " he commanded.
The two guards took the stone tablet from the side of the ledge throne, covered it, and then carried it out of the hall. After they had left Fjalar turned to Galar and asked :
" Do you think they will pay the ransom ? "
Galar shrugged his shoulders.
" We will find out soon enough ! "
- End Chapter 5
- Next : Chapter 6 : War Cry !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.