The Final Defense
As Atla and his remaining warriors slowly moved forward, feeling their way as they went, they peered down into the open pits to their left and right. Six more Jotuns lay impaled on sharpened sticks, killed by these " puny humans " . In addition to Hala and Bakrauf, Ryg, Eld, Midi, and Im were now lost to Atla at the bottom of these death pits.
The Jotun leader was furious ! They had to be careful and step slowly as they moved forward, but this was delaying them, and allowing the humans to escape. Out of sheer frustration Atla began to scream at the Midgardians as they once again ran away.
" We will show you no mercy ! My warriors will kill each and every one of you ! There is no escaping your final destiny !! " Atla bellowed across the forest despite knowing that the humans could not understand him.
Sigvaldi and his men heard the guttural language of the Jotun commander, and knew that the leader of the Giants was very, very angry ! As they fell back they joined up with the shield maidens, and other warriors, to confront the Jotuns once they were netted. No one spoke. For there was no need at this point. They all knew that if the nets could not hold back the Jotuns then all was lost !
The villagers did not have long to wait. Once the Jotuns made it past the death pits they walked quickly, but cautiously, to the edge of the forest. Here they could see the humans standing in the clearing with their weapons at the ready. This time, however, they did not rush ahead rashly as before, but instead came to almost a completed stop at the end of the tree line, and fearing another trick, began to feel the ground in front of them once again for traps.
" You can fool me once, but never twice ! " Atla whispered to himself.
Sigvaldi could not believe their luck. He had been concerned that the Jotuns would be moving too fast for the women, who waited in the trees above, to drop their nets accurately on. The slow moving Jotuns, however, made for easy targets as the brave women dropped the nets one by one on the Jotuns below.
The Giants had expected their trouble to be at ground level, which made the aerial assault all the more surprising for them. Sivor and Geitla, who were moving forward on the left of the Jotun line, were the first to be caught in the large heavy nets. As they fought to free themselves a dozen Midgardians led by Arngeir's warriors, and some of Geirny's shield maidens, began to stab viciously at the two trapped Jotuns with their long sharp spears. The Giants thrashed and screamed like trapped wild animals as their bodies were punctured over and over again. Slowly, their frantic movements became no more, and their cries were muted by the silence of death.
On the right, Fjolverk and Ver were the next Giants to be caught up in the huge nets. Once trapped in the netting the more the Jotuns struggled the more they became entangled in the strong mesh. Their pitiful cries for help and high pitched screams from the torturous stabbings also died out to a mere whimper, and then went silent as the cold hard iron did its deadly work. Not even the mighty Jotuns were a match for human made iron weaponry.
Atla began to run as soon as he saw Fjolverk and Ver killed. The Jotun leader looked up just in time to see a net dropping on top of him. With the quick reflexes of a wolf the Jotun dove to avoid the trap, and rolled just past the edge of the huge net that was meant for him.
Leifi, Thorn, Ymsi, and the injured Am, also escaped out of the forest unscathed. They then began to take out their anger and frustration on the Midgardians . Many of the human warriors and shield maidens were killed by the furious Jotun attacks . The rest scattered in all directions. Those who could circled around and ran back to join the shield wall at the docks.
As Atla watched the humans retreating to the water's edge he picked up an injured Midgardian. With one hand firmly holding its chest, the Jotun ripped the human's head off of its body with the other, and threw it at the fleeing cowards.
" Now you will all die ! " he screamed at the little rats as they ran away.
Sigvaldi knew it was over ! They had made a valiant attempt to stop the Jotuns and save their village, but it had not been enough. The village Chieftain mounted his horse and rode up to the dam as fast as his horse would gallop. If his people were to die, and his village be destroyed, then so too would the Jotuns die ! When he reached the dam and broke the boards that held back the lake, the rushing waters from the dam would cleanse his village of these Jotuns once and for all !
Atla spotted the human as he rode off into the distance, and he had a bad feeling about it. He sensed that this Midgardian was their leader, and that he was surely planning something new to kill his warriors. Atla reached over and grabbed Thorn by the shirt and pointed in the direction that the human had rode off in.
" Follow that human and kill him ! " he screamed at his warrior before pushing him in the direction of the Midgardian.
Odin had seen enough ! These Midgardians had impressed the Lord of Asgard with their honor, bravery and determination. Now it was time for the Gods to intervene. With his mind Valfather reached out to Magni and Modi and let it be known that it was time for them to act !
- End Chapter 11
- Next : Chapter 12 : Divine Intervention !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2016.