Odin' s Revenge
Fjalar And Galar
The journey did not take long, and soon the Gods were dismounting at the mouth of the cave that led down into the dark damp world of the Dwarves, also known to some as the Dark Elves. Odin never truly understood why the realm was called the dark world. As the light from the mouth of the cave entrance faded it was replaced by the luminescence produced by a moss that grew on the cave walls. It was not nearly as bright as Sunna' s glowing rays, but it certainly was not dark as they descended deeper and deeper into the Dwarves realm.
As the tunnel leveled out it opened up into a huge cavern the size of a Midgardian kingdom. It was here that Kvasir took the lead. " A few years ago when I was traveling through Svartalalfheim I came upon these two magnificent craftsmen named Fjalar and Galar. They have a knack for mixing together potions that can do wonderful things. " he told Odin. " Making a net is not the difficult task at hand my old friend, it is shrinking the weaving to such a size that not even the smallest of snowflakes can escape that is the problem. " he added with a smile. Odin nodded thoughtfully. " I look forward to meeting these friends of yours ! " Odin told him.
Without the sun as a reference, time had no meaning in the enclosed environment of the Dwarves underground world. It may have taken a full day or possibly several to reach the stone hut in the middle of what appeared to be a rather large village. Kvasir led Odin, not up to the front door of the little hut, but instead took him to the rear of the dwelling where two Dwarves were busy mixing various items into a large bubbling cauldron. Kvasir motioned for Odin to stop, and then quietly came up behind the busy Dwarves.
" And how are my good friends Fjalar and Galar on this fine day ?! " Kvasir bellowed in a loud booming voice. Fjalar immediately dropped the spoon that he had been stirring the pot with, and Galar was so startled that he jumped up and ran back into the hut through the back door. Fjalar narrowed his eyes as he picked up the spoon and wiped it off with a rag.
" Kvasir ! Must you be so loud ! You nearly scared my brother half to death ! " Fjalar told him in a scolding tone. Galar was not so kind as he peeked out of the doorway. " You are a dragon' s ass ! " he cried out. " Are you trying to kill me ! " he asked half joking. Kvasir waved his hands in front of him as he laughed heartily. " No ! No ! I assure you that I was not trying to harm either of you ! " he explained.
When Kvasir gained his composure he told the Dwarves that he had come with a friend who needed their unique skills. Fjalar looked over at the hooded man, who he had not spotted earlier, before speaking. " We do not know you all that well Kvasir." the Dwarve told him. " So why would we do a favor for someone who we do not know at all ? " he asked. Kvasir smiled and walked back to his friend. " Because this is a very special someone ! " he told them. Odin looked at Kvasir and then slowly removed his hood to reveal his true identity.
" ODIN ! " Both Dwarves shouted in unison. When the shock wore off both Fjalar and Galar kneeled before the All - Father who had helped create them from the creatures that squirmed like maggots in Ymir' s flesh. Galar spoke first. " What can we, as humble servants, do for the great Odin ! " Fjalar then chimed in. " Yes ! Yes ! " Whatever you need we will try our very best to make it for you ! "
Odin smiled at the Dwarves, and nodded. " Thank You ! " he replied gratefully. " But first you must get up off of your knees. Such displays are unnecessary ! " he told them emphatically. Fjalar turned his head sideways slightly and asked : " What is it that you command us to create great lord of Asgard ? " Odin placed his hand on the Dwarf' s shoulder. " I am asking that you make for me a very special net. " he told him. Galar gasped in surprise. " A net ! My people are afraid of this device ! Our cousin Andvari was captured by Loki with one of those contraptions ! " he told Odin with a voice filled with fear. Fjalar stepped away from Odin, and the All- Father's hand fell from his shoulder. " And why does the great Odin wish for us to make him a net ? " Fjalar asked suspiciously. Odin came closer, bent down to their level, and whispered : " I want to capture snow flakes with it. " he told them.
Fjalar and Galar looked at each other with eyebrows raised. They then responded almost simultaneously : " Snowflakes !? "
Odin then added : " Well not just snowflakes, but all the snowflakes that make up a snow maiden ! " he told them. Odin and Kvasir both chuckled when they saw the startled faces of the Dwarves. With a smile Kvasir then asked. " Do you think that you can make such a device ? " The Dwarves looked at each other again, and then they looked up at the high roof of the cave while stroking their chins in deep thought. Fjalar then pointed his finger in the air. " It would have to be very tightly woven . " he said to no one in particular. Galar turned to his brother and exclaimed : " Yes ! Yes ! And very strong as well ! " Odin stepped forward. " Yes ! It would have to be very strong, for I wish to capture a large snow maiden with it ! " he told the brothers.
Fjalar scratched his head. " Let me see ! Let me see ! Our folk made a fetter for you a while back. " he told Odin. " What was it made of ? " he asked his brother. Galar snapped his fingers. " I remember brother ! It was made from the noise a cat makes, a woman's beard, the roots of a mountain, a bear' s sinews, the breath of a fish, and ..... and .... Before he could finish Fjalar chimed in : " And bird spittle ! Yes, definitely bird spittle ! " he yelled proudly for having remembered .
Suddenly it was as if Odin and Kvasir were not there . Fjalar and Galar became lost in how they would make such a wonderful thing, and totally ignored the Gods. Galar turned his back to the Gods and asked. " But how will we make the weave tight enough to capture something as small as a snowflake ? " Fjalar ran over to his brother, and with an excited expression shouted. " We don' t ! " He then smacked his brother on the forehead. " Remember that formula that we used to shrink that dragon to the size of a mouse ? " he asked. Before his brother could answer he told him. " We will simply make a net with as tight a weave as possible, then dip it it into that same potion, and shrink it to the size that we need ! " he told his brother proudly.
Galar jumped up and down. " Perfect ! " he shouted joyously. " I will get the magical materials to make the net, and strengthen it, while you make the potion that will shrink it to the proper size ! " he told Fjalar. Both brothers went in separate directions leaving the Gods alone. Odin looked over at Kvasir. " And what do we do ? " All -Father asked . Kvasir lay down on the soft moss that covered the ground. " I believe the wise thing to do is rest and leave the Dwarves to their work. Odin laughed and lay down across from his old friend. " Good plan ! " he told Kvasir.
The Dwarves moved to and fro like busy beavers making a dam. They each would throw ingredients into one of the two cauldrons, stir it, and then scurry away to find the next item they needed for their magical potions. Odin and Kvasir quickly became bored and fell asleep watching them as they worked frantically in the dim light of their world.
The Gods were awakened from their sleep by the Dwarves loud shouting. " It is wonderful Galar ! " Fjalar exclaimed. " It is better than wonderful Fjalar, it is perfect ! " Galar shouted back at his brother. Fjalar looked at his brother proudly. " I believe that we are the best craftsmen in all of Svartalfaheim ! " he told Galar with a grin. " You will not find me arguing that point brother ! " Galar told his brother with a giggle.
When the brothers realized that the Gods were awake they rushed over to them with the net. " Fjalar held up the net in front of the Gods, while his brother pulled out one side to show its ample size. " Isn't it magnificent ! " Fjalar shouted. Odin and Kvasir turned and gave each other a questioning stare, before returning their gaze back to the Dwarves. What they saw made Kvasir angry, because what he saw was nothing at all. " All this time and you have nothing to show for it ! " the wise God shouted at the Dwarves. Fjalar was hurt and stunned by the God' s comment, and he flung his arms at Kvasir. Suddenly, right before Odin's eyes, his old friend disappeared ! Startled, Odin stepped backwards. " What have you done with Kvasir ?! " Odin demanded. Galar placed his hands on his hips and told the God angrily. " My brother has covered Kvasir with the net, which by the way is not only very strong and tightly woven, but is also invisible ! "
Odin rushed over and threw his arms around the little Dwarf. As he picked up Fjalar he said over and over again. " Thank You ! Thank You ! Thank You ! " Galar gave the All - Father a disappointed look, and was about to walk away when Odin reached out and picked him up as well. " And of course I thank you as well my little friend ! " As Odin was bouncing the Dwarves up and down joyously he heard a muffled voice coming from the ground behind him. " I am afraid I am in need of a little help here. This net is incredibly strong ! " Kvasir told them from inside the net with a pleading voice. Odin laughed as he placed the Dwarves back on the ground. " Do you think we should let him out ? ! " Odin asked without trying to hide his pleasure.
Odin was very pleased with the net that the Dwarves had made for him, and the God in turn was very generous with his payment for their fine work. Odin gave the Dwarves so much gold that it trickled out of their hands as he poured it from his pouch. So full were their hands that as the Gods left they could not wave, but instead nodded gratefully. As the Gods headed toward the cavern's exit Fjalar turned to Galar and held up the many gold coins that Odin had given him. " There is much gold to be made from these Gods my brother. " he told Galar. Galar nodded. " Yes, Fjalar ! And the next time that Kvasir comes to visit I know a way for us to become very rich ! " he told his brother with a sly grin.
As Odin and Kvasir approached the cave's entrance Sunna' s rays painfully blinded the Gods. As he shielded his eyes Kvasir suddenly understood why sunlight could kill a Dwarf. For if being underground for such a short time, as they had just been, could cause such discomfort when exposed to the solar rays, then living a lifetime in the dim light of their realm would surely make the light of day fatal.
Odin mounted Sleipnir first, and then gave Kvasir a hand up onto the tall eight legged horse' s back . Before Valfather commanded his great steed into a fast gallop he turned to Kvasir. " I thank you for your help old friend, and I will ask of you but one more favor." he told him. Kvasir nodded. " If it is within my power I will be more than glad to help you old friend ! " he replied. Odin looked his friend in the eyes. " Help me to capture Drifa ? ! " Odin asked Kvasir forcefully. Kvasir paused for a moment before answering. " I will assist in Drifa's capture old friend, but I will not do anything to harm the snow maiden. For I was born of peace, and will not be a party to violence. " he told Odin adamantly. Valfather smiled. " I understand completely my old friend, and again I thank you for your assistance . " Odin replied as he kicked Sleipnir into flight.
- End Chapter 5
Next : Chapter 6 : A Compassionate God
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.