Ítreksjóð : The Guardian Of Asgard's Treasure
" For All The Nine Worlds To See ! "
Ítreksjóð was deep in sleep when he heard the crashing of boulders off in the distance. It took time for the dust particles to reach his sensitive nose, but when he breathed them in he knew that soon he would awakening to a new day. He had been born many millennium ago and shortly thereafter hidden by his father in this chamber of the cave to protect Asgard's treasure. No one knew of his existence, except the Norns, and not even the great Heimdall could hear him buried here deep within the earth. Today, however, Ítreksjóð knew that he would be reborn, and revealed to the all the realms of the cosmos.
The great dragon God remained in a semi - sleep state until his sensitive ears heard what to him sounded like a crash of thunder, and it was much closer than the first distance crash. Someone, or something, had disturbed the God's treasure, and it was time to make them pay for their foolish indiscretion !
Ítreksjóð opened his eyes, and saw a pudgy little finger reaching out to him. Then, in an instant, it was gone. In the feint light of a glowing ball the Dragon God saw the round distorted face of a strange being. A creature who had obviously just realized that he was half hidden under the God's treasure !
Ítreksjóð slowly rose up out of the mound of gold and silver coins. As the treasure slid off of his back and head it made a horrifyingly loud noise that echoed throughout the cave. With sight that was much more adapted to darkness than even the Dwarves eyes, the dragon saw that these creatures were slowly backing away from him in an attempt to escape.
Though the Dwarves could not tell, Ítreksjóð was grinning from pointed ear to pointed ear. As the great Dragon God awoke from his slumber, within his lungs a great furnace was lit. As the flames were stoked inside of him with every breath, Ítreksjóð could feel his power growing. Slowly each of the bony plates on his back began to glow bright red which, with the reflective help of the gold and silver, lit the cave with an eerie glow that allowed the intruders to see the full scope of just how large he truly was !
" Run ! " Durinn managed in a terrified hoarse whisper.
" Run!!! " he repeated in a loud scream when he found his voice.
The Dwarves did not have to be told a third time. Despite stubbly little legs, and top heavy frames, the Dwarves scurried like frightened mice in a desperate attempt to outrun what they knew was coming next. Luckily for the Dark Elves there was a warning before the inevitable burst of flames. And it was something that they were very familiar with. It was the same sound that was made when the bellows fanned the flames of their furnaces.
" Press yourselves up against the walls ! " Durinn shouted.
Moments later a shot of flames boiled up out of the chamber they had just left, and spilled out all around them. Most of the Dwarves fared pretty well, but a few were rolling on the floor of the cave because their clothes had caught on fire. As Durinn began to run again he was overwhelmed with the smell of sulfur and burned hair, which almost made him sick to his stomach. Stopping to become sick, or any reason for that matter at this point, would mean certain death, and all the Dwarves knew it.
Ítreksjóð felt stronger than ever before as he waddled up the tunnel after the intruders. His legs, which were small and stubby, were perfect for moving within the confines of the low ceilings in the caverns, but his wings, despite being folded back, made the going a little tight as he moved along. And although he was slightly slower than the intruders he caught up to one of them who had fallen to the cave floor. The little creature got up and tried to run again when the dragon reached him. Ítreksjóð could have ripped the intruder apart in his strong jaws, but instead he took a deep breath and released a long hot flame that encompassed the entire tunnel.
Niping had just extinguished the flames that had burned the clothes off of his back, and was once again running as fast as he could to catch up to his comrades, when the tunnel once again lit up with a fiery glow. Moments later he heard someone scream, " Hit the ground ! ". Then he felt the hair on the back of his neck stand straight up. Next came the inevitable blast of intense heat that pushed him forward and knocked him off of his feet. The last sensation he had before his lungs filled with fire killing him, was the intense pain of his flesh sizzling as it bubbled and burned off of his body.
Ítreksjóð lumbered after the thieves, stepping on the still smoldering body he had just incinerated along the way. Each time he spewed forth his flames another Dwarf became a flaming torch. Some were far enough away from the blasts, and were able to get up and continue, but many fell back due to their injuries, and were burned to a crisp by the next breath of lethal air from the dragon's lungs.
About halfway out of the cave Durinn began to wonder why they had not triggered any of the trip wires as they went. It was then that he remembered that when they made Gleipnir it was impervious to everything,.. everything that is except intense heat. The same hot flames that were burning them to death, was ironically destroying the invisible cords, and allowing them to continue without being buried under rocks, or speared to the walls.
Then the Dwarves caught another lucky break ! The cave - in that had killed Fili and Thekk now allowed them to scramble over the pile of rocks and escape, while the dragon had to use it's massive jaws to remove the obstruction to continue the chase. It allowed the Dwarves just enough time to escape the cave before the dragon emerged. The Dark Elves, knowing that in their injured condition they could not use the rings to return the way they came, cowered under the Rainbow Bridge when they finally reached it.
Ítreksjóð blinked it's large golden eyes as it waddled out into the bright light of the Asgardian day. As his eyes slowly adjusted the Dragon God spread his wings, and flapped them several times to relieve many years of stiffness and inactivity. Then Ítreksjóð, not seeing the intruders who had infiltrated his dark realm, rearerd up, flapped it's massive wings, and rose into the Asgardian sky.
The great Dragon God was drawn to the sounds of battle on the Rainbow Bridge. As he folded his wings back slightly he descended upon the bridge roaring like a waterfall crashing down upon the rocks below. Although Ítreksjóð had never met any of the Gods, he could easily distinguish the beings, who looked like his father, from the one's who were blue - gray, and much larger in size. And in the distance one of the Gods seemed to be losing his fight with one of these giant beings. Ítreksjóð narrowed his eyes, and dipped his wing, to turn in the direction of the God in trouble, then, when he was lined up, he folded his wings back and dove on the creature the God was fighting.
Freyr, without his magical sword, was having a hard time in his battle with Farbauti. The Vanir God had tired under the relentless pounding of the Giant's ice hammer, and he began to feel all was lost. Across the way, Thor, who saw that his friend was in trouble, hurled his mighty hammer at Farbauti. With a great crash the Frost Giant's ice hammer was shattered by Mjolnir's might, sending shards of sharp ice up into Farbauti's face, and forcing him to retreat.
Seeing that this God no longer needed his help the dragon looked for another target. Ítreksjóð quickly spotted his father doing battle with two of these Giants. With a quick dip of his other wing he changed course once again and headed straight for them. When he came within range he flapped his wings hard to stop his descent, stretched his neck forward, and let loose a stream of fire that blew the two Jotuns completely off of the bridge.
Farbauti, who had just recovered from a face full of ice shards, watched in horror as the great dragon hovered over the battlefield attacking his Frost Giants. Before he could say anything his Jotuns were retreating back down the Rainbow Bridge shouting :
" Fire ! They have a fire dragon !! "
Farbauti shook his head in disbelief ! He knew that his Frost Giants could not stand up to a fire breathing dragon. Without hesitation he turned and ran after his fleeing comrades. As they all ran for their lives from the flying furnace that was chasing them, Farbauti whispered to himself :
" Durinn recruited the wrong Giants for this battle ! He should have enlisted the help of Muspelheim's Surtr and his Fire Giants ! "
Heimdall frowned as he pointed to the sky and exclaimed :
" What is that ?! "
Odin slapped the usually silent sentinel on the back, smiled from ear to ear, and proudly stated :
" That is my glorious son, Ítreksjóð,.... for all the nine worlds to see ! "
- End Chapter 7
- Next : Chapter 8 : The Stench Of Death
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.