Ítreksjóð : The Guardian Of Asgard's Treasure
The Stench Of Death
Many of the Gods wanted to chase after the fleeing Jotuns, but Odin would not allow his Asgardians to risk themselves further. There was nothing to gain by chasing the Frost Giants back to Jotunheim. Yes, they might kill a few more of the Jotuns, before they reached the safety of their realm, but the Gods had been very lucky to have suffered no losses in the fierce struggle, and Odin wished to keep his ranks strong for the larger conflict that loomed in the not too distant future. The All - Father could also see that there was a need to attend to the injuries of his Asgardians, many of whom received wounds ranging from minor lacerations to stab wounds that could, if left untreated, lead to the deaths of his brave warriors.
Thor protested vehemently, and cursed Odin's decision to let the Frost Giants escape to fight another day, but the All - Father's word was law, and no one, not even the Mighty God of Thunder, would disobey the Lord of Asgard. While Odinson complained to Tyr, Modi and Magni, there suddenly came a loud roar from high above them. As the Gods looked up at the immense being, which had flown back to Asgard after scattering the Jotun forces, they wondered what the creature truly was, and where it had come from. Odin had called the creature Ítreksjóð, and referred to the winged dragon as his son. But how could that be they wondered ?
While the Gods were attended to by Eir, with help from Frigga's handmaidens, Odin turned away from the gleaming towers of Asgard, and headed to the rocky region close to the edge of Bifrost. As he neared the entrance of the cave he thought back on how few times he had visited Ítreksjóð over the many years. It saddened him to finally realize that he had neglected his son so badly. And yet, despite his lack of fatherly love, his son Ítreksjóð had shown himself to be as brave and faithful to Asgard as any of the Gods.
At the entrance to the cave Odin found the charred remains of a Dwarf. As he examined the floor and walls just inside, which were not scorched, it became apparent that this Dwarf had been set on fire further in, but had somehow managed to reach the opening before the flames consumed his final breath.
Odin shook his head in disbelief.
" And all for the greed of gold ! " he whispered to himself.
A little further on he found the body of another Dwarf. This one died by some other means than fire, as the first Dwarf had. It was then that Odin became acutely aware of the pungent stench of death. What was once the Gods repository for shining gold and silver had now become a tomb for the broken and mangled bodies of these Dwarves. If not for the fact that they were attempting to steal from the Gods, he could have had pity for them.
Soon Odin was having to step over bodies that littered the cave floor, many of which were still smoking from the dragon's flames, that burned away their clothes, and hair, and left only blackened flesh to begin the process of rotting in the damp humid air of the tunnels.
The All- Father quickly came to the junction where the main tunnel split in two. The second tunnel, to the right, was blocked by huge boulders. Odin grinned when he remembered how he had set the trap in place using the Dwarves invisible cordage. His grin turned to an angry frown when he heard the faint cries coming from the Dark Elves imprisoned inside the blocked tunnel. Odin walked on showing no pity for those who had tried to rob Asgard of it's wealth.
" I will deal with them later ! " he whispered to himself.
Up ahead Odin heard coins being rustled about, and he knew that he had reached his destination deep within the cave. As he approached, two golden eyes appeared out of the darkness, and All- Father could feel the heat emanating from each breath of the great dragon. The warmth made Odin smile.
" You have done well my son ! I am honored and proud of what you have done here this day ! " he said proudly .
Ítreksjóð's eyes beamed brightly in the cave as he slowly transformed from the great winged creature he was born to be, into a God. In every way, after the change, he looked like Thor, or Tyr, in stature and muscular tone. But in one way he was unique. His eyes remained those of a dragon.
" It is my duty to protect Asgard's treasure from intruders such as these, but it was more of an honor to be of service to you father ! " Ítreksjóð told Odin as he pointed to the charred bodies in the chamber.
Odin could not contain his emotions, and his eye teared up as he spoke to his son.
" I accept your honor, but do I have the right to be called your father ? " he asked, then paused.
" I took you from your mother when you were so young,.... and I placed you here,... in these dark caverns all alone. I never showed you any kindness, and rarely came to see you. No ! I do not deserve to be called your father ! " he finished, answering his own question in the process.
Ítreksjóð walked over to his father and placed a hand on his shoulder.
" You gave me life ! You gave me purpose ! And it was you, great All- Father, who gave me my immense strength. I feel your love in each ounce of your blood as it pumps through my body with every beat of my heart. I am Odinson,... and that is more than enough for me ! " he stated proudly.
Odin hugged his son for the very first time, and then pushed him away.
" No ! It is not enough ! Tonight you will feast with the Gods in my great hall ! I will introduce you to your brothers, and fellow Asgardians. Yes ! I will proudly show off my son Ítreksjóð ! " he stated emphatically.
Ítreksjóð gave his father a shocked look.
" But who will guard Asgard's treasure ! ? " he asked.
Odin laughed !
" Everyone,....someone,... no one ! I do not care !! For tonight I will be celebrating with my son Ítreksjóð, the Dragon God ! " Odin proudly replied.
- End Chapter 8
- Next : Chapter 9 : Half Of Nothing !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.