Ítreksjóð : The Guardian Of Asgard's Treasure
The Advice Of The Wise One
It had been a long time in coming. The Dwarves for a number of years had complained to their leader Durinn that they were growing tired of the many slights, and outright instances of disrespect and violence, perpetrated against them by the Aesir Gods. Each new act of aggression and discrimination added further weight to their argument that something had to be done to avenge their mistreatment, and to compensate them for the misery caused by these overbearing Gods. The Dwarves were tired of being the great craftsmen of the Gods, while at the same time receiving little praise or monetary compensation for their fine work.
Durinn had been hearing the cries of his people for quite some time. But what could the weak Dwarves do against the mighty Gods of Asgard ? Skadhi, who was angered when the Rock Dwarves killed her wolves, had shown how truly weak Dwarves were in battle when confronted by a God. And she was only one God among many ! Yes, Durinn heard his folk, and wanted to help, but he was unsure exactly what he should do. There was, however, a Dwarf, much older and wiser than he, who might know what to do.
The leader of the Dwarves packed himself enough food and water to last several days, rolled it into his blanket, tied it up, and threw it around his shoulder. The Dwarf then left his dirt hut and followed the village road past the mushroom forest to an ancient path that led deep down into the earth. Durinn took a long deep breath before he removed his glow globe from it's pouch, and held it up to light the way. For from this point onward the luminescent mold that grew on the walls of the caves ceased to grow, and only darkness lay ahead.
The path descended sharply for the first day, which placed a considerable strain on his knees. Although Durinn was not old by Dwarve standards, he was not a young earth dweller either, and the constant pounding pressure of the downhill grade burdened him greatly, forcing him to make more and more frequent stops to rest the further he went.
On the second day the path began to level out, which both overjoyed Durinn and let him know that he was getting closer to the dwelling place of the wisest of the Dwarves. Much older than himself, he was the first Dwarf, and his name was Motsognir. Sometimes, however, knowing you are close to your final destination can make the journey seem longer. Impatience has a way of seeming to slow time to a crawl. Carefully, in the dark caverns, Durinn pressed on hoping that around each new bend in the tunnel he would see the wise one's dwelling place.
Finally, far off in the distance, Durinn saw a faint light flickering which made him breathe a sight of relief. He had once asked Motsognir why he chose to live alone, deep within the earth's crust. The wise old Dwarf had smiled at him as he replied :
" Down here, away form every breathing creature, I can think more clearly and deduce, from a multitude of possibilities, the wisest course to take. "
Durinn agreed with his methodology wholeheartedly. He compared Motsognir's solitude with his own busy life, and he knew that when his wife was yapping in his ear all the time he could barely think at all !
Motsognir was seated on the floor of his little cave dwelling in deep contemplation when he heard a pebble that had been disturbed echo through the chamber. Without moving from his sitting position he called out to the visitor.
" Come forward. Don't be shy. I am a recluse not a monster. " he said calmly in an even tone.
It is I,... Durinn,... wise one ! " the visitor shouted back.
Motsognir allowed his thoughts to slowly come back to the real world from the wise altar of knowledge in his mind where he had been contemplating many questions. Whether he had been bathed in the light of that sacred altar, deep within himself, for hours, days, or even a week, the old wise Dwarf could not say. For time had no meaning when one was lost so deep within one's own mind.
As Durinn entered the opening in the rocks, that acted as home and temple for the old wise one, he placed his glow globe on an opening in the wall. He then sat down next to Motsognir. When he was seated the older Dwarf laughed.
" Durinn, you have visited me many times,... and each time you sit next to me instead of across from me. May I ask why ? " he inquired politely.
Durinn held his chin down on his massive neck and took a deep breath before answering.
" It is your eyes wise one. They are both fascinating and disturbing at the same time. I have never seen any creature whose eyes are pure white and do not have a colored center within them. " he replied almost apologetically.
" I have no need to see, nor the desire for sight. Like many of the small creatures that scamper and crawl within this cave I am blind. And yet many come to see me because I, "see", much more than they do ! " he explained.
" Yes ! Your wisdom has a far greater range of foresight and understanding than any other Dwarve here in Svartalfheim. " he replied in full agreement.
Motsognir did not acknowledge the compliment, but instead went on to a much more important topic.
" Why have you come, my son ? " he asked.
Durinn appreciated the wisdom of such directness and came immediately to the point.
" Our folk are demanding that I retaliate against the Gods for the ways in which we are being treated. But how can we fight against beings as powerful as the Asgardians ? " Durinn asked.
Motsognir did not hesitate when he answered.
" You cannot ! " he told his son.
Durinn held his head low after hearing the answer.
" Then there is nothing to be done. " he replied dejectedly.
Motsognir shook his head.
" That is not exactly what I said Durinn. We Dwarves cannot attack the Gods directly because we are not strong enough. But the Jotuns are powerful and can do battle with the Asgardians. You need to make an alliance with Ymir's descendants. " the wise one explained.
Durinn looked at his father, the first Dwarve, with a puzzled expression etched upon his face.
" I agree that the Jotuns hate the Gods as much as we do, but what incentive is there for them to help us ? " he asked.
" Gold ! Gold and silver ! No one in all the nine worlds has more of these precious treasures than the Asgardians. Go to Farbauti, offer half of all you can steal from the Gods to him and his Frost Giants. He will not refuse such an offer. I am sure that the leader of the Jotuns will be more than happy to ally himself with us if it will in turn enrich his coffers while at the same time embarrass the Asgardians. " the wise one explained.
Durinn understood the wisdom of the old one's words.
" Then I will leave for Jotunheim at once ! " he told Motsognir.
- End Chapter 1
- Next : Chapter 2 : Farbauti : Lord Of The Frost Giants
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.