Njord : A Jealous God
A Stop Along The Way
" Love will make you climb the highest mountain , and force you to cross the deepest sea.
Only when you have struggled and fought for your love, can your love set your heart free ! "
The trail was steep and very slippery. Njord at first grabbed hold of small trees to steady himself as he slowly climbed step by step up the side of the mountain. After a while he stopped, and cut a small tree into a walking stick with his ivory knife. The stick gave him better balance, but Njord still fell from time to time. His hatred of mountains grew with every step ! About halfway up the mountain, the trail leveled out onto a small plateau. Njord noticed multiple footprints in the snow all heading towards the side of the mountain , and drew his sword as they led him to an entrance of a large cave. He entered the opening cautiously, walking very slowly for about a hundred steps until his eyes became acclimated to the low levels of light. A little while further on the cave opened up into a great cavern filled with rock huts that were lit by burning torches. Njord had stumbled onto a Dwarf community hidden away deep within the side of the mountain !
Suddenly a Dwarf woman came out of the hut closest to him ! For a moment they just stood there staring at one another without moving. When the Dwarf maiden gained her senses she dropped the basket she was carrying, spilling the roots it contained on the ground, and began to scream. " Intruder ! Intruder ! Help ! We have an intruder ! " she screamed as she ran away. Immediately Dwarves seemed to appear out of everywhere ! They scrambled from behind rocks, crawled out of crevices, and came streaming out of many of the little rock huts. Most of them were carrying rock weapons. Some had a rock club, while others had rock knives.
Njord stood firm with his sword at the ready for the attack he was sure would come. The Rock Dwarves that opposed him stopped a short distance away from him, and waited motionless. Njord was not sure why they did not simply attack him. They had him outnumbered a hundred to one, but seemed to be waiting for something..... or someone ! Then Njord noticed a well dressed Dwarf exiting a large dwelling in the center of the rock village. He wore golden robes, and as he walked towards Njord the Dwarves parted like the the sea before the prow of a moving ship. He stopped just out of striking distance of the Vanir God's sword and spoke : " I am Virvir. I am King among my people here in this settlement. " he said regally.
" Why has a God come to our cold and desolate land ? " King Virvir asked. " I am the Vanir God Njord ! I have come to see Ullr of Ydalir ! " Njord told him. " If you please, I am not sure of the exact location of Ydalir. Can you tell me where it is located King Virvir. " Njord asked putting away his sword.
King Virvir laughed ! " Ydalir is not located in the mountains, but in a valley between two high peaks. Ydalir means the " Yew - Dale", and it lies in between this mountain and the next, but I guess a Sea God would not know much about such things. " the king said with a chuckle. Njord raised an eyebrow in surprise. " You have heard of me ? " Njord asked. " Yes, of course ! We are greatly honored to have you in our mountain abode great God of the winds ! " Virvir told him with a huge smile.
" Please tell me that you can stay the night my friend ! I would very much like to honor your visit to my kingdom with festivities and a grand feast, great God of Noatun ! " King Virvir asked anxiously. From behind the king a chorus rose up from his subjects almost in perfect unison : " Stay ! Please stay ! " they shouted.
Njord did not really want to pause his journey, but how could he refuse such a wonderful request from these little people. For the first time in a long while Njord felt the pride of being a God worshiped and loved by those around him. Of course the Midgardians honored him, and asked him for wealth, property, and to calm strong winds, but he was not allowed, as were all the Gods, by a decree of Odin's to meet them without being disguised. It was nice to be honored face to face for a change !
" Of course I will stay for your feast ! " Njord said proudly. A great roaring cheer rose up from the Dwarves, and echoed around the cavern, as the Dwarves danced around in joy after hearing the great news !
The feast was wonderful, and was at least for a short period of time a much needed distraction for Njord, who was able to put aside his troubles, and his anger, and simply enjoy himself for a while. The food they served him was a stew of sorts made out of all types of roots, vegetables, and nuts. As he spooned a small amount of this odd looking mixture into his mouth to sample it, he made a sour face, which disheartened the maiden who had served it. But when he tasted the stew Njord smiled, and nodded his approval to the Dwarf serving maiden. " This is exceptional my dear ! " he complimented her. The woman gave him a polite nod, and replied with a smile : " I made this dish especially in your honor my lord ! " Njord leaned over the table, and gave her a little kiss on her large forehead. " I am greatly honored my dear ! " he told her with a pleasant smile.
After dinner the Vanir God was treated to the Dwarves best drink, which was made partially from fermented bark, and was entertained by performers who sang, danced, and told stories to entertain him. The festivities ran deep into the night, and Njord became quite drunk before the party broke up. So drunk in fact that it took four Dwarves to help the Sea God to his bed in the king's hut !
As morning came his foul mood had returned, and it was not helped by the pounding pain in his head from all the spirits he had consumed the night before. By the time Njord had said his final farewells to his new Dwarf friends, and headed back out into the freezing cold air of the mountain, he was even angrier than he had been the day before. The only consolation Njord had was that now he knew where Ydalir was located. " I would never have guessed that an archer God like Ullr would live in a valley ! " he said to himself. " I thought hunters always lived in the mountains ! " he told himself as he finally reached the top of the mountain, and looked down at the valley below !
End Chapter 4
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright 2014.
Next : Chapter 5 : Njord Confronts Ullr !