Loki Visits Hel
Loki laughed at the horrible sound. His laugh, however, turned into an involuntary shiver as he felt something cold and dead upon his shoulder. " You are as cold as ice, Hel. " Loki told her when he recovered. " It is good to see you too father ! What brings you to the land of the dead ? " She said in an icy tone. " How do you know that I did not come to Niflheim to see you my daughter ? " Loki said with a smile. " Because I myself would not come to visit anyone in this Gods forsaken place, father ! " Hel said in a harsh voice. Loki laughed : " You have a good point child ! " Then Loki had a serious look come over his face. " I have been dishonored by a Midgardian who refuses to honor me, and this time I intend to seek revenge . " Loki whispered as though someone might overhear. " Father, why do you care what a human creature does, or does not do ? " Hel replied. Loki turned, pointed his finger at Hel, and yelled in an angry voice : " I am always ridiculed by the Gods, I will NOT be mocked by these puny MIDGARDIANS ! "
Hel, who had experienced so much misery was not taken by surprise by her father's outburst. She simply, and calmly asked : " What is it that you want from me father ? " Loki blurted out : " A favor child ! " Hel replied patiently : " I am listening father. " Loki stroked his chin before speaking. " I need a human to kill the Godi, named Odd, because he is protected by the Gods. I am, as we speak, putting brother against brother in a great war. Many will die, and when my king wins he will kill the Godi and bring me his head. " Loki told her. " And once again father, how can I help you ? " Hel asked. Loki gave his daughter a smirk and then replied : " King Hrolf is a weak king, and his warriors are not as skilled as King Thorkel' s men. I would like you to allow me to take a hundred of the worst, most fierce fiends, from Nastrond to add to Hrolf's army to tip the balance of strength in his favor. " Hel frowned as she asked : " You want to use the walking dead to win a human war ?! " Before Loki could answer she added with a smile : " That is awfully devious father ! " Hel and Loki both gave out an evil laugh as Hel led the way down to Nastrond.
Nastrond was bitter cold, and the mist here was twice as thick as it was in Niflheim. The stench of death hung over Nastrond like a black cloud, and the screams of the tortured were hideous, and blood curdling. Humans standing naked in slimy water, in near freezing temperatures, were being ripped apart slowly, over and over again, by a dragon of immense size and strength. Their screams of agony did not phase Hel, but even the great trickster flinched occasionally at the horrid cries from these wretched humans as they were ripped limb by limb by the great serpent. Nidhogg barely acknowledged the existence of the newcomers because they were not dead, and therefore not food for him. It was too busy feeding on the never ending supply of flesh and bones to care .
Loki turned to Hel, and said casually : " I need 100 of the worst of these vile creatures...... and give me the worst of the worst to lead them . Choose for me daughter. " Hel clapped her hands, and Nidhogg stopped feeding. A quiet stillness fell over Nastrond. All that could be heard was the venom dripping from the ceiling into the water below. Hel shouted in a monotone voice : " Grim, Drope, Pox, come here ! " Loki watched closely as the three slowly made their way over to them. Two of them seemed too weary even to be standing, but the third human seemed strong and still quite defiant. Loki thought to himself that if a human could still be this confident and defiant in a place like this...... well imagine how much more he could do leading my army of the dead ! Loki looked the man in his dead eyes, and asked him his name. With anger deep within his soul, and hatred on his lips he spat out : " I am Droge ! " Loki smiled and said : " Well, Droge, today is your lucky day ! "
Loki spelled out his plan for Droge in great detail. When Loki told him that he was going to lead an army of dead warriors into battle, Droge laughed an evil laugh, and then asked : " And what is to be my reward for my services ? " Loki nodded to Hel who then replied without emotion : " You will be allowed to leave Nastrond and live out your years in Niflheim. " Droge walked over to Hel and put his dead face as close to Hel's, and asked : " And how do I know that you will keep your word ? " In a dead voice Hel answered : " You have my word ! " Droge figured he had nothing to lose and at least something to gain so he agreed to the terms.
Droge was allowed to handpick ninety nine other warriors, from the worst that humanity had ever produced, to join the ranks of his legion of the dead. Loki outfitted them with swords, axes, spears, and shields, and then Loki himself personally led the " Horrible Hundred " as he called them, out of Nastrond, through Niflheim, and back into the world of the living.
That night Loki came to Queen Busla in a dream and revealed his master plan to her. The last thing that Queen Busla remembered before waking up was Loki telling her to bring her son' s army to the temple lands. The Queen knew that the bargain had been struck. There was no turning back now !
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2013.
End Chapter 7
Next : Chapter 8 : Odin' s secret council