Ítreksjóð : The Guardian Of Asgard's Treasure
A Gathering Of Jotun Might
"Ifingr the river is called, which divides the earth
between the sons of giants and the gods;
freely it will flow through all time,
ice never forms on the river." - Vafthrudnismal
Farbauti gathered his forces at the edge of Jotunheim on the Frost Giant's side of the river Ifingr, and readied them for war.
Unlike previous attacks on Midgard or Asgard this time they did not try to hide their presence or cloak their plans . On the contrary, they made as much noise as they could to be sure that Heimdall's immense ability to hear sound would detect only the Jotuns, and not the sounds of the tiny Dwarves as they moved across the river toward the Rainbow Bridge.
When all was ready Farbauti sent some of his Frost Giants, under Stigandi, to what was known as the crossroads of the Cosmos. Here, where the Dwarves tunnels meet the Midgardian world under the Icelandic waterfall known as Gullfoss, Stigandi led his warriors into Midgard to attack the tiny villages and towns of this little island. While the Dwarves made their way to Bifrost to begin crossing the underside of the greatest bridge in the universe, Stigandi reduced Midgardian farms to ashes, and tortured the inhabitants.
" Surely ", Farbauti thought, " their pitiful cries will drown out the noise of the Dwarves beginning their crossing of the Rainbow Bridge, and at the same time force all the Asgardians to come to the aide of these weak little humans, who Odin called his children. "
Heimdall could not help but take notice of the cacophony of noise coming from Jotunheim. The stoic sentinel of Asgard immediately traveled to Hlidskjalf and alerted Odin to what he believed was a gathering storm ready and waiting to invade either Midgard, or possibly even Asgard itself. The All - Father, upon hearing of such disastrous news, sent Heimdall back to his post, and immediately called for a council of war with the twelve elder Gods. It was while the war council was still meeting that Heimdall heard the cries of the Midgardians, and sent Hermod to Hlidskjalf to inform the All- father that the Jotuns had attacked the human world.
Odin immediately dismissed the council and sent them home to arm themselves.
" We will all meet at Himinbjorg, and from there proceed to Bifrost ! " he told those on the council.
Odin took on the shape of a great eagle and flew over all of Asgard. His high - pitched calls to arm were heard from Bilskirnir to Noatun, and by the time he returned to Hlidskjalf the Gods had already begun to make their way to Heimdall's mountain hall. After quickly gathering up his shield, and his mighty spear Gungnir, the All - Father mounted Sleipnir and galloped at full speed to Himinbjorg, arriving before many of the Gods.
Thor was the first to make his way to the great mountain hall, and as always he demanded that they begin the attack at once. Forseti, as patient a God as ever his father was, calmly insisted that they wait for the others to arrive. Odin, who saw much of his departed son in Forseti , quickly sided with the sound reasoning of the God of Justice. Thor could not go against the word of the All - Father and had no choice but to wait, but he muttered curses under his breath until all the Gods had arrived.
When all the Asgardians were finally gathered at Himinbjorg Odin informed the Gods and Goddesses of what he had been told by Heimdall about how the Jotuns were gathering on their border, and that the Frost Giants had already attacked the Midgardians.
" Once again these evil Frost Giants have chosen the path of war over peace and tranquility. They threaten our realm, while at the same time destroying the farms and towns of the defenseless Midgardians. The question I put to you, is will we stand idly by and do nothing, or will we let the sounds of our weapons ring in our enemy's ears ! ? " he asked the Gods and Goddesses.
A cry of , "War, War, War, !!! ", rose up from the Asgardian warriors led most vocally by Thor and Tyr.
The elder Gods Bragi, Freyja, Freyr, Njordr, Skadhi, Bragi, Hoenir, Gna, Hlin, Syn, Sif and Odr, were just as enthusiastic as their younger members such as Magni, Modi, Thrudr, Vidar, Vali, Forseti, and Ullr, as they cheered for the defeat of the Jotun horde gathered at the Ifingr. It was then that they heard Heimdall blowing his gjallarhorn, which made a hush come over the gathering of Gods.
Odin thrust Gungnir high in the air and yelled at the top of his lungs :
" To Bifrost with all speed ! " he shouted as he jumped onto Sleipnir's back.
Farbauti waited until he was certain that the Gods had heard Stigandi's attacks on Midgard and then he moved his Frost Giants across the Ifingr. When they reached the other side Farbauti blew into a special horn that only Jotuns could hear to alert Stigandi to halt his attacks and come back as fast as he could. Durinn had asked for as much noise as possible, so Farbauti had his warriors yell and scream as loud as they possibly could to make sure the Gods knew they were coming, and to continue to cover the minute sounds of the Dwarves as they made their way across the underside of Bifrost.
The leader of the Frost Giants stopped his warriors at the bottom of Bifrost and waited for Stigandi. Farbauti knew he was taking a gamble by splitting his forces, but he had to make sure that he enticed all of the Gods out of the Golden Realm to defend Midgard and Asgard. If only a few of the Gods stayed in Asgard it might be enough to stop the Dwarves from accomplishing what they set out to do. For what seemed like an eternity Farbauti kept one eye on the top of Bifrost to see if the Gods had arrived, and the other behind him hoping that Stigandi would return in time.
For once the Jotuns luck held out ! Stigandi arrived a short moment before Farbauti spotted Odin sitting upon Sleipnir at the gates of Asgard. Before he ordered the attack the Lord of the Frost Giants addressed his warriors.
" Remember, my proud Ice Giants, we are here to keep the Asgardians occupied, and not to try and defeat them in battle. Take no chances, defend more than attack, and fall back when I order you to. Once the Dwarves have the God's treasure we will disengage and return to Jotunheim. This is one time when we are fighting for a stalemate, and not preventing a defeat, or trying for victory. Fight hard ! Fight long ! Make Ymir proud of you my Frost Giants !! " he screamed as he headed up the Rainbow Bridge with his ice sword held high.
- End Chapter 4
- Next : Chapter 5 : The Dwarves Infiltrate Asgard
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.