Odin mulled over in his mind the charges brought against Skogul by Geirahod again and again. Valfather did not like to punish his Valkyries, but he could not see any way out of the situation that Skogul had backed him into. He could not afford to look weak, or indecisive, in front of his Valkyries. Odin pounded the arm of his high seat . " This can not stand ! This will not stand ! " he shouted. Valfather then stood up and called for his serving maidens. " Hrist ! Mist ! Come here at once ! " Valfather bellowed.
Skogul was grooming her great steed Harbinger when she noticed the Valkyries exiting the great hall. Her sisters seemed to be in a hurry as they left Valhalla ...... and they were heading across the courtyard straight toward her ! Skogul stopped brushing her mount, and turned nervously to face them as they came closer.
" Skogul ! Odin wishes to speak to you at once ! " Hrist told her without a greeting. Mist then added : " The Valfather is very angry with you ! " Hrist and Mist walked on either side of Skogul as they walked back to the great hall. When they had reached a point halfway to the hall Skogul stopped. " I do not need to be escorted to the great hall ! " Skogul told her sisters angrily. Hrist turned to Skogul and looked her directly in the eyes as she replied : " Odin has ordered us to personally bring you to him. " she told Skogul sternly. Mist with a little grin added : " And unlike one of Odin' s maidens we do as the Valfather commands ! "
Hrist and Mist scooted quickly up the stairs ahead of Skogul . Each grabbed hold of one of the handles on the massive golden doors and opened it for their sister. As she passed them Skogul gave each Valkyrie a nervous look. Once inside she saw, in the reflected golden light, Odin sitting on his high seat at the other end of the great hall. Skogul took only a few steps before she heard the great echoing sound of the doors being slammed shut behind her. She was now alone with Odin, and the thought terrified her !
Skogul had not gone very far when she heard the Valfather speak : " Come her child ! " he commanded. The tone of his voice surprised her somewhat. It was authoritative, but it did not seem to reflect anger. Although the distance from the entrance to Odin' s high - seat was not that great it seemed that it would take forever to reach him in Skogul' s mind. " Yes my lord ! " She replied dutifully.
When Skogul finally reached the great throne of Odin she lowered her head and folded her hands in front of her. " You have requested to see me my Lord . " she replied, not as a question, but as a simple statement of fact.
Odin took a deep breath before beginning. " I am very displeased with what I am being told about you Skogul ! " he told her. " You have not only broken your solemn oath to me, but also your vows to your sister Valkyries ! " he explained to her with his voice rising in volume with every word.
Skogul sniffled as tears welled up in her eyes. " I am sorry great one . " It was not my intention to fall in love with the human Kolskegg. " she told him regretfully.
Odin jumped up out of his high - seat ! " Your love for the human is by far the lesser of your crimes Skogul ! You have attacked one of your sisters..... one of my maidens.... and injured her in battle ! " he told her angrily. " Why !? I demand to know why !? " Valfather asked .
Valfather's eye glared down upon her as brightly as Sunna' s rays on a clear day . Fearing his wrath Skogul decided she would tell her story, and accept whatever punishment Odin gave to her. " Geirahod was taunting me, and threatening me. She became physical and pushed me several times, and when I could not take it anymore I drew my sword, and fought with her. The contest quickly got out of hand, and in the heat of battle, I injured one of my sisters. " she told him. Skogul then bent down on her knees and pleaded with Odin. " I ask for your forgiveness great one ! "
Odin could be as hard as a hammer at times, but he also had a great fondness for his Valkyries, and did not enjoy having to reprimand them. " I do not like punishing my battlefield maidens, especially in this time of great wars on Midgard, but in this instance I have no choice. You will apologize to Geirahod in front of all of your sister Valkyries, and ask for her forgiveness. You will, in addition to your regular duties, help the serving maidens in my hall for four seasons. And you will NEVER see that human again ! " he commanded .
Skogul looked up at Odin with red tear- filled eyes. " I will be more than happy to apologize to my sister Geirahod for what I have done, and I will serve the einherjar for as long as you command, but I cannot stop seeing the man that I love ! " she cried out.
Odin stepped down from his high - seat, grabbed Skogul by the shoulders and lifted her off of the ground. " That was not a request Skogul ! " he shouted in her face. " You are banned from ever seeing that human again ! " he added angrily as he gazed deeply into her eyes.
Skogul felt the vise - like grip of Odin's powerful hands release her as she fell to the floor. The Valkyrie lay there for a moment on her side crying like a child before replying. " Please ! I love him ! " she blurted out through her trembling lips.
Odin hovered over her like an eagle about to pounce on a snow hare. " You should be grateful child. When Brynhild disobeyed me I pricked her with a sleep thorn. From that moment on her life was cursed by tragedy ! " he told her in a firm but calmer tone.
Odin turned and walked back to his high - seat and sat down. " I have said all there is to say on this matter ! Leave me, and never let me hear of anything like this again ! " he told her as he pointed the way out of his hall.
If the walk into Odin' s hall had seemed great in length, the exit out of Valhalla seemed to take forever. As Skogul slowly moved footstep by footstep toward the golden doors, under his piercing gaze, she trembled as if she were naked in the land of the Frost Giants. Skogul did not look at Hrist and Mist as she left the hall. Such was her shame !
- End Chapter 7
Next : Chapter 8 : Freyja Becomes Involved
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.