Then one day, after Odin' s maidens had gathered up all the honored dead from a battlefield in the Midgardian kingdom of Sweden, the Valkyries Geirahod and Herfjotur came to Gunn to lodge a formal complaint against their sister. Herfjotur had counted the amount of dead each of the Valkyries had carried to Valhalla and Folkvang, and the lowest total by far was Skogul' s count. Geirahod and Herfjotur respectfully asked the elder Valkyrie to punish Skogul for being slack in her duties. Gunn, however, decided against disciplinary action, and instead asked Skogul' s good friend Gondul to speak to her first to try and ascertain what the problem was. Gondul, wanting to keep the peace, and help her friend, agreed to talk to Skogul at once.
Gondul found Skogul sitting alone on the shore of the lake that lay a short distance from the great hall in Valhalla. As she approached she noticed that Skogul was staring off into the distance as though she were daydreaming. " A horn of mead for your thoughts ! " Gondul said cheerily as she sat down beside her friend. At first Skogul did not answer. In fact, she barely seemed to notice that her friend had joined her. Finally, Skogul tossed a pebble into the lake and said : " Oh, hello Gondul. " in a sad tone.
Gondul shook her head. " What is the matter with you Skogul ?! " she asked sternly. Skogul threw another pebble into the lake before responding. " I am fine. Why do you ask ? " Skogul replied. Gondul stood up and looked down upon her friend. " Are you serious ! You are not fine ! You are a mess, and all the other Valkyries have taken notice of the changes in you ! " she shouted at her friend. Skogul looked up at Gondul and began to do something that Valkyries seldom if ever did. She began to cry.
Gondul shook her head again. " Oh, my ! You my friend are truly a mess ! " Gondul exclaimed. " Tell me what is wrong !? " she demanded. Skogul wiped away her tears with her hand , and then patted the ground beside her. " Please sit down my friend. " she told her sister Valkyrie. Gondul sat down next to her friend, and reached out and held her hands. " Now tell me what vexes you so, my friend ? " she asked in a gentler tone.
Skogul looked into Gondul' s eyes for just a moment before lowering her gaze in shame to the ground. " A while back, on a battlefield in Norway, I was retrieving one of the honored dead when a living warrior begged me to help him. At first I thought he was simply pleading for assistance from anyone, but he could see me, and he was begging me to save his life. I didn't know what to do ! His face was so handsome, and his eyes so blue, that I felt pity for him, and saved his life ! " Skogul told her friend before she once again broke down in tears.
Gondul shook her head from side to side angrily . " You have broken Odin's laws ! " Gondul shouted. " How could you have done such a thing ? ! " she asked her friend. Skogul put her hands over her face and wept as she answered. " I am in love with him ! " she managed through trembling lips. Gondul pulled Skogul' s hands away from her face. " How did you manage to fall in love with a human ? " she asked. With eyes red with tears Skogul looked up at her friend. " He kissed me ! I have never felt anything so wonderful in all my life. It was as though everything inside of me melted, and all of my emotions awakened at once ! " she explained to her friend.
Gondul put her arms around Skogul and held her as she began to cry harder. " It is alright. Everything is going to be alright ! " she told her weeping friend. Skogul raised her head and gave her friend a sad look. " Are you going to tell Gunn what I have done ? " she asked. Gondul pushed Skogul away to arms length, and wiped away her tears. " No, not for the time being. " she answered. " But you must not become lazy with your duties to Odin and Freyja. All of our sisters are watching you Skogul. You must forget this unfortunate incident and move on ! " she told her sister in no uncertain terms. Just then both Valkyries felt a coldness run up their spine. Gondul took a deep breath. " The dead are calling to us sister. We must leave at once ! " she yelled as they both jumped up off of the ground.
As the friends rode through the air side by side, Skogul looked down and recognized the area they were heading toward. Her heart began to beat faster as she flew over the battlefield where she had seen " Blue Eyes " on that fateful day. It raced faster yet when the Valkyries landed only a short distance from that battlefield to collect the newly fallen warriors. Skogul was extremely nervous as she escorted the first of the honored dead to Valhalla. She felt the eyes of the other Valkyries watching her every move. By the time she had retrieved and delivered her third warrior, however, she had calmed down and became immersed in her duties. The next of the fallen to be escorted was to go to Folkvang. As she thrust her hands into the warriors mutilated body she caught a glimpse of a warrior walking a short distance away. At first Skogul thought nothing of it, but when the warrior turned and their eyes met, she realized it was " Blue Eyes " !
Skogul withdrew her hands from the body of the honored dead, stood up, and stared at the human. When the warrior stopped in mid - stride and returned her gaze Skogul' s heart began to flutter, and her breasts began to heave up and down
as her breathing became much more rapid. The human was very tall, with broad shoulders, and a muscular chest. His face, although rugged, was handsome in appearance, and it was surrounded by sun bleached blonde hair, and a beard of similar color, that was carefully braided on both sides. The man' s massive muscular arms, and thin waist, completed what to her was the perfect male, human or otherwise ! The longer she stared at him the more the ache of love embedded itself into her very being. And when the human began to walk toward her Skogul felt herself shiver deep inside. It was a powerful feeling, and one that she had never experienced before !
As the warrior came nearer his stride changed from a walk into a run. Skogul, not knowing exactly what she should do, instinctively drew her sword and held it out in front of her. Seeing this, the human stopped and drew his sword as well. For a moment the Valkyrie and the Midgardian stood only yards apart feeling out each others intentions. Finally, the human smiled and lowered his sword . " I mean you no harm ! " he told her with a slight nod. Skogul kept her sword at the ready as she replied. " What do you want human ? " she asked nervously. The human gave a short chuckle before answering. " To thank you of course...... for saving my life ! " he told her.
Skogul lowered her sword for a moment before raising it again . " You should not be able to see me ! " she shouted
at the human. This time the warrior laughed heartily. " It would be a shame if I could not gaze upon a beauty such as yours ! " he replied . Skogul felt her eyes begin to water, and as a tear coursed down her cheek she finally lowered her sword. The human returned his sword to its scabbard, and walked over to the fair maiden who stood before him. " My name is Kolskegg ! " he told her as he gently wiped the tear from her face. " Are you really a Valkyrie ? " he asked as he allowed his fingers to linger on her soft cheek.
Skogul trembled inside at the warrior's touch. As she slowly raised her head to reply she caught sight of his blue eyes. They were as blue as the noon sky, and as big as the heavens, she thought to herself. Skogul lost herself in them as she nervously answered him. " I am Skogul..... and yes, I am one of Odin' s maidens. " she told him. Kolskegg smiled as he kissed her on both cheeks. Then as if it were merely a natural progression he kissed her gently on the lips. Skogul felt herself go limp in his arms, and she dropped her sword on the ground. She knew it was wrong, but she returned his kiss anyway, and placed her arms eagerly around him .
Gondul had been keeping a close eye on her sister when she noticed the warrior walking towards Skogul. At first, because Valkyries can not be seen by most humans, she paid little attention to him. As she kicked her steed into flight and began her return to Valhalla, however, she caught, out of the corner of her eye, Skogul drawing her sword as the human approached. Gondul reined her horse around, and quickly swooped down on the human, who now appeared to be restraining Skogul ! When she felt she was close enough Gondul drew her sword and waved it over her head ready to strike at the attacker.
Skogul could sense the danger coming and pushed the human away. In one fluid motion she bent down, picked up her sword, and swung it as hard as she could at the approaching danger. The two swords met only a few feet from Kolskegg's head, as the sharp clanging sound reverberated throughout the surrounding hills. The force of the blow was such that Gondul was thrown clear off of her mount . The Valkyrie landed with a dull thud next to the warrior that Skogul was charged with bringing to Folkvang. From an emotion that she neither understood, nor could control, Skogul screamed at Kolskegg. " You must go ! NOW !! "
Kolskegg did not understand Skogul' s actions because he could not see the second Valkyrie as she swooped down to kill him, but he recognized oh too well the urgency in Skogul' s voice when she told him to leave. Kolskegg turned and ran back in the direction of his camp almost immediately. " We shall meet again fair maiden ! " he yelled just before he disappeared in the distance.
Hidden behind a large pine tree not far away, Geirahod stood in stunned silence as she watched the events that unfolded before her. " Odin shall hear of your treachery ! " she whispered to herself. Having seen enough the Valkyrie mounted her horse, and swiftly made her way back to Valhalla with the warrior she was charged with retrieving. This time, however, Geirahod was returning with more than just a warrior. Now she had a sordid tale to tell her sister Valkyries !
- End Chapter 2
- Next : Chapter 3 : Geirahod' s Promise
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravenheart ), © Copyright, 2015.