The Blue - Eyed Warrior
For most the scene below would have been horrifying. Hundreds of shattered bodies lay motionless on the hallowed ground of the battlefield. All were covered in thick congealing blood. Some were missing arms and legs, while others had their internal organs hanging outside of their ripped open flesh. Thousands of flies had converged on the corpses to lay their eggs in the open wounds, and the air above was filled with scavenger birds ready for a feast. Yes, for almost anyone else this would have been too much to take in. To a Valkyrie, however, this horrific scene meant something much, much, more. As Odin' s Maidens circled overhead what they saw was pride, honor and glory !
Skogul, like all of her sister Valkyries, was greatly honored by her sacred duty to Valfather Odin. As she circled overhead, on her great white winged steed named Harbinger, she could not remember a time before she was chosen to serve Asgard's Lord, and at a moment such as this, what had come before did not matter. For she, along with her sisters, had been handpicked to serve the Gods, and there could be no greater honor. She needed nothing else to fulfill her needs. Skogul was happy, and very content to be a Valkyrie in Odin' s service.
As she pulled on Harbinger' s reins the great winged horse slowly descended down to the battlefield, which lay on Midgard, in Southern Norway. Each Valkyrie knew instinctively which of the honored dead had been chosen by Odin to join the einherjar in Valhalla. It was almost as though their souls radiated the glory they had achieved in their last moments of battle. This " glory " attracted the Valkyries much the way moths are drawn to fire light. With the skill of a great horse handler Skogul gently landed her steed next to the honored warrior, who she was charged with bringing back to Valhalla.
Skogul lifted her leg over the saddle and slid off of her magnificent white horse. She landed softly on the ground next to the warrior, and knelt down beside him. Several birds were ripping at the man' s flesh as she hovered over him, but this did not bother the Valkyrie, for what she came for resided within the man. With experienced ease Odin' s valiant maiden reached her arms through the birds, and into the warrior's body. The birds did not take notice of her presence as she pulled the essence of the great warrior from his body, and threw it over her shoulder. For the living could rarely, if ever, see a Valkyrie.
Lying next to the chosen warrior lay a man barely alive. He was pleading for someone, or anyone, to help him. Skogul knew that warriors who still remained in the land of the living could not see her so she payed little attention to his pleas. That is until their eyes met !
At first Skogul assumed that the dying human was looking through her, and into the distance, but as she moved the injured warrior's eyes followed her every move. As she carried the chosen warrior back to her steed, Skogul kept looking over her shoulder at the human who stared back at her with pleading blue eyes. The Valkyrie watched closely as the warrior managed to sit up and point at her. " Help me ! " she heard the human say in a hoarse voice. Skogul continued on to her steed, and draped the honored warrior over Harbinger's back. She was about to mount her horse and fly to Valhalla when she heard the warrior speak again. " Please, help me ! Please ! " the dying man exclaimed in a pitiful voice.
Skogul became curious and walked over to the severely injured Midgardian. For a moment she and the human stared at each other without saying a word. Then the warrior reached out his hand to her, and repeated his plea "Help me ! Please ! " Skogul, not quite knowing what to do, bent down on one knee, and looked directly into the blue - eyed human's eyes. " How can you see me ? " she asked . The warrior reached out and grabbed her hand. " Help me ! " he told her as he squeezed her hand tightly.
Skogul was shocked by his touch ! Not only could this warrior see her, but she had both form and substance in his presence. This was not supposed to be possible, although she knew it was not totally unheard of. She should have ripped her hand away from the warrior, or drawn her sword and ended the dying Midgardian' s life, but she did neither. As Skogul looked deeply into the warrior's big blue eyes she began to have a warm feeling deep inside of her that she had never experienced before. And what she did next surprised even her !
The Valkyrie noticed that the warrior's other hand was pressed hard against his chest to stem the flow of blood from what appeared to be a deep wound. With her free hand Skogul reached into a pouch she wore around her waist, and pulled out a cloth that had been given to her by the Goddess Eir many years before. The Goddess, known as " The Best of Physicians ", had told Skogul that the cloth could " heal any wound no matter how severe. " While still holding the warrior's hand, she used her free hand to raise his other hand off of the wound, and as the blood began to trickle out, she placed the cloth over the gaping hole in his chest.
The warrior instantly arched his back in pain as she placed the cloth over the wound. He squeezed her hand even tighter as she pressed the cloth harder against the bleeding hole that had been ripped through his flesh. When the human could not take the pain any longer his face turned bright red, and he screamed in agony. As the Valkyrie calmly held the magical cloth in place the human shook violently for a few moments before slumping back down spent from his ordeal.
Slowly the pain subsided, and the human released his grip on her hand. Skogul could barely stop looking into the eye's of the warrior, as she lifted the cloth and checked the wound. She smiled at the warrior when she saw that the bleeding had stopped, and the wound was healing. Skogul slowly leaned over and whispered into his ear. " You will be fine now. " she told him softly. As she pulled her head away from his the warrior leaned forward and kissed her on the lips. Skogul knew it was wrong, but she had never felt anything as wonderful, and so she allowed herself to kiss him as well. It all seemed like a dream, a wonderful, beautiful dream !
" Skogul ! We must be going ! " Gondul shouted from the clouds up above. " Gather his soul, and let us fly back to Valhalla ! " the Valkyrie added as she circled overhead. Suddenly Skogul was shocked back to reality ! " What am I doing ! " she said to herself as she gently pushed the human away. The Valkyrie quickly jumped up and ran back to her horse. Skogul mounted her steed in a single jump, and rose into the air to catch up to her friend Gondul.
" What were you doing down there ? " Gondul asked her sister Valkyrie as she pulled up along side her. " Nothing ! " Skogul answered nervously. " I thought the warrior would die, and I was waiting to see if his soul was chosen as well......, but he lived ! " she added. Gondul nodded that she understood, but she was suspicious of her friend' s nervous mannerisms. " We have many to collect for both Odin and Freyja . We must be quick with our work this day my friend. " Gondul reminded her. Skogul laughed as she kicked Harbinger into a fast gallop. " Then why are we wasting time talking ! " she told her friend. Gondul kicked her steed as well as the Valkyries sped back to Valhalla with the honored dead.
From behind a tree Geirahod had witnessed every shocking moment of what Skogul had done. The Valkyrie was appalled that one of Odin' s maidens would have used her powers to save a Midgardian. And when they had kissed she was sickened by the sight ! Skogul had broken her oath to Odin, and the pledge she had made to her sister Valkyries. There was a price to pay for such disloyalty, and Geirahod decided at that moment that she would seek justice.
Before Geirahod brought her warrior back to Valhalla she walked over to the human and stood over him. The Valkyrie waved her arms back and forth in front of him, but she received no response. Then Geirahod looked around before clearing her throat. " Human ! Human can you see me ! " she screamed at him. The warrior did not react to her shouting. The Valkyrie shook her head back and forth. " Maybe I am mistaken. " she told herself. Could it be that I did not see what I thought I saw ? " she asked. Geirahod looked up at the sky. " But I will keep my eye on you Skogul. One more treacherous act like this, and I will go and see Odin ! " she cried out as she shook her hand at the clouds.
Skogul returned to the battlefield later that day to bring a warrior to Freyja' s great hall Sessrumnir in Folkvang. Although this warrior was slain on a different section of the battlefield, she first went back to where she had left her blue - eyed warrior to recover. He was gone ! Skogul, for the first time in her life, felt an emptiness inside of her as vast as Ginnunga Gap itself. As she rode back to Folkvang Skogul began to cry..... and she did not know why !
- End Chapter 1
- Next : Chapter 2 : Second Meeting
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.