The Trap !
Aurvandil grabbed his axe and went out to the nearby woods to chop logs for the fire. He himself did not mind the damp coldness of Jotunheim, but Groa, who was more witch than Jotun, preferred to be, " cozy ", as she put it, when she got out of bed in the morning.
" And what a beautiful morning it is ! " Aurvandil whispered out loud.
It was cold, damp, and miserable. Everywhere he looked around him he saw the beautiful frost glistening in the dim light of their distant sun. A beautiful fog of cold mist blanketed the ground, and extended all the way up to his waist.
" Yes ! This is a wonderful morning ! " he said again as he raised his axe to split the first log.
Just as he was about to swing his axe, Aurvandil saw a group of Jotuns quickly making their way across a hill in the distance. Although he could see only the top half of the Giants due to the mist, he could clearly make out that it was Hrimgrimnir followed by Hringvolnir, Oskrud, Grimling, and Hruga.
" I wonder why Hrimgrimnir left Midgard ? " Aurvandil asked himself.
" And where is he going in such a hurry ? " he added after a pause.
Aurvandil was about to go back to chopping wood, when out of the corner of his eye he saw another figure, a smaller one, walking much further behind the Jotuns. A figure with flaming red hair !
" Thor ! " Aurvandil exclaimed out loud.
Aurvandil could now plainly see that Groa was right. Hrimgrimnir's attacks on Midgard had done nothing to gain his people their " living space ". All that the killing of hundreds of Midgardians had done was to bring Thor's wrath down upon them once again. Aurvandil, out of sheer disgust, buried the blade of the axe into the log, and cursed the day he met Hrimgrimnir. Then Aurvandil turned and faced his hut.
" Sorry my love, but I must warn Hrimgrimnir that Thor is hot on his trail. " he told the cold silent hut.
Because the hills that the Jotuns were traveling on bent slightly towards him in the distance Aurvandil knew that if he walked on an angle he would intercept them before Thor caught up to them. He made up his mind right then and there that he would warn his former comrades, but he would not under any circumstances stay and fight the Thunder God.
" I am a brave Jotun, not a crazy one ! " he told himself as he began to make his way to his former comrades.
The distance was much greater than Aurvandil had anticipated. It took three days hard walking to catch up to Hrimgrimnir, and his warriors. When he finally came to a large boulder that overlooked their camp he noticed that something was not quite right below. Hrimgrimnir's Jotuns had set up a small camp in the middle of a shallow valley. They had taken the time to make a lean - to , which was odd for anyone traveling as fast at they were, and there was a raging fire burning just a few yards from the lean - to .
As he looked around he asked himself : " Where are the warriors ? "
It was then that Aurvandil spotted a movement on the other side of the shallow valley. A Jotun.... it appeared to be Hrimgrimnir.... was signalling across the valley to someone. Aurvandil looked across the valley, and there on the other side stood Oskrud, who was waving back at his commander. As Aurvandil looked around closer he also spotted Hringvolnir, Grimling, and Hruga strategically hidden among the trees and boulders, around the camp.
While he watched the two Jotuns communicating back and forth with hand signals he remembered what his wife had told him years ago.
" If a Jotun does someday manage to kill the Mighty Thor, then the whole weight of Asgard will come down on us like a mountain. The Gods, both Aesir and Vanir, will come to Jotunheim and kill us all ! " she had told him.
Aurvandil suddenly changed his mind. It was Thor who needed to be warned, and not Hrimgrimnir.
" It is better for our race to lose a few war - like Jotuns than for the Gods to destroy our entire civilization ! " he convinced himself in a nervous whisper.
Carefully and quietly he withdrew himself from behind the large rock that had hidden him. Then Aurvandil quickly made his way in the direction that Thor would be approaching from. With every step the Jotun took his heart raced with terror. For he was not sure that Thor would listen to him. And there was a good chance that the Thunder God might just raise his hammer and strike him down for his effort.
It was not long before Aurvandil spotted Thor coming down the trail that passed by where he had hidden himself. As Thor approached his position he called out to the God of Thunder.
" Thor ! I have come to warn you. There are Jotuns up ahead who wish to kill you. They have set up a trap with which to destroy you ! " he yelled out to the God.
Thor grabbed his hammer from his belt and spun around.
" Come out you coward and show yourself ! " Thor demanded.
Aurvandil stood up, but left himself partially protected behind the rock. The Jotun was taking no chances !
Thor looked the Jotun over carefully before speaking.
" Who are you ? And why would a Jotun help the Avenger of Midgard ? " he asked suspiciously.
Aurvandil took a deep breath and stepped out from behind the rock. As he did he raised his arms to show the God that he was unarmed.
" I am Aurvandil, husband of Groa the volva. I live in a valley not far from here, and I do not wish for your death to lead to a war that will lead to the annihilation of my people ! " he explained to the God.
Thor slowly and cautiously walked over to the Jotun and looked him over from head to toe before replying.
" I have heard of the volva Groa. " he told the Jotun.
" You speak of a trap ! Show me how your fellow Jotuns would attempt to kill me ! " Thor demanded.
" Then you must come with me. " Aurvandil told Thor.
Thor nodded warily.
You will lead the way...... and if you do anything suspicious, you will be the first to die ! " he told the Jotun angrily.
- End Chapter 4
- Next : Chapter 5 : Turning The Tables On The Jotuns !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.