Skadhi : Allegiances
The Return Of The Ancient One
As they all stood there mesmerized below the great rock formation, suddenly the cracks opened into eyes, a nose, and the largest fissure opened up into a mouth, startling all those below. Even the mighty Thor took one step backwards ! Then the rock spoke : " I am the ancient one. I am Ymir the old ! I am flesh of your flesh, and blood of your blood ! I am what was before the worlds were created ! " The rock bellowed. All below the ancient Jotun stood as if in a trance. They did not move, nor did they speak. Even " Death " and the other wolves stared up at the immense talking rock in awe. Then the Ymir rock continued : " Long ago I was killed by three Aesir brothers, and my body used to make the world known now as Midgard. Many of you, my Jotun descendants, see this as a massive injustice. However, it has always been, and will always be, a blessing and a great honor for me to have been transformed in this way. Nothing in the nine worlds lives forever, and yet here I am still existing. No ! I am not simply existing ! I am alive ! I am a living breathing world that supports life. All life ! From my flesh were born the race of beings known as the Dwarves. The Aesir then transformed them by giving them form and thought. These are also my children ! " Ymir told them.
Then the great rock formation turned, and lowered its head towards the ground. " You ! Hrym of Jotunheim ! What right do you have to condemn those you hate in my name ! " The Ymir rock bellowed. Hrym, greatly humbled and shaking, replied meekly : " I was thinking only of your honor great one. " With a great grinding sound the rock head moved from side to side. " No my son, you were thinking only of revenge ! I was simply the tool you used to accomplish your goal of war ! " The rock cried out. " What would you have us do great Ymir ? " Hrym asked. " Stop this nonsense and go home ! All of you ! " Ymir shouted as he looked around at both Gods and Jotuns.
The rock slowly began to lose form, and the eyes, mouth, and nose, became once again simply cracks, and fissures within the rock face. Hyrrokkin walked away from Skadhi, and went over to where Hrym was standing. " What do we do now Hrym ? " The Giantess asked in a whisper. Hrym looked at Hyrrokkin, and then back at the great rock formation before answering. " After many millennium Ymir has spoken to us. To come back and speak to us after so long gives this moment great importance. We cannot disobey the ancient one ! If the Gods will let us go we will leave peacefully. " Hrym said in a whisper while looking at Odin. Hrym then walked slowly over to Odin, and with a touch of bitterness still in his voice said : " We will leave for now Aesir God. Not because we fear you, but because Ymir has commanded us to do this ! " Before answering, Odin looked around at the Aesir who were assembled there, some of whom were wounded, and then he replied slowly : " We will allow you to leave, not because we are weak, but because this is not a war that we wanted. " Thor strode up beside his father with an angry look upon his face, but Odin stopped him with a hand to his chest. Odin did not say a word to his son, he simply shook his head in the negative, and Thor backed off.
As the Jotuns were heading back down the mountain, Jarnsaxa rode up on her steed. Behind her sat the Jotun Bjorgolf. Odin walked over, and greeted the Giantess with a sly smile. " Did you have any problems getting past the guards my friend ? " Odin asked. " No, they did not live long enough to be a problem All - Father. " Jarnsaxa replied with a smile. Bjorgolf slid off of the tall steed, and stood before Odin." Why did you save me Aesir God ? " Bjorgolf questioned. Odin put his hand on Bjorgolf's shoulder, and looked him in the eyes. " Let me answer that by asking you a question. Many years ago, when I was a youngster fighting with my father Bur, you and I met on a battlefield in Jotunheim. I had broken my weapon, I was injured, and I was laying vulnerable on the ground, and yet you did not strike me down. Why ? " Odin asked. " You were defenseless ! I saw no honor in killing an injured boy, who had no weapon. " Bjorgolf answered. " That was an honorable deed ! And one that I have now paid in kind my friend ! " Odin said as he patted Bjorgolf on the shoulder.
Within hours only Skadhi, her animal friends. and Bjorgolf remained at Thrymheim. Skadhi, knowing that Bjorgolf would never be able to return to Jotunberg, and as a favor to All - Father, asked the old Jotun to stay at her great hall. Skadhi and Bjorgolf spent most of the morning burying the unfortunate animals who had been killed in her traps. She felt especially sorry for Swift Runner who lost two from his pack in the battle. After everyone had gone the rock formation disappeared as mysteriously as it had appeared. Even without the rock formation Skadhi would never look at Thrymheim the same way again. It was now tainted in her eyes !
The next day on a rock , on a nearby mountain overlooking Skadhi' s great hall, a Jotun sat staring at Thrymheim. As he sat there in the cool mountain breeze, the tree he was sitting under suddenly transformed into the image of a Goddess. As Jord moved around in front of Utgard - Loki she smiled pleasantly at the Jotun. " It is a nice clear day my friend. " Jord stated. " Yes, the weather is nice and cool World Goddess. What is it that you want of me ? " The Jotun asked. " I would like to know why you helped me to stop the war, master illusionist ? " Jord shot back. Utgard - Loki thought for a moment before answering ; " We Jotuns and Gods have fought almost since the beginning of time Goddess. What has it gotten us ? So many deaths ! So many generations never born ! So much sorrow ! It had to be stopped ! I had to stop it ! " Utgard - Loki said with tears in his eyes and anger on his lips. " You could have raised the rock formation yourself Goddess. You did not need me for that. " The Jotun told Jord. " Yes, but only you my friend could make the rock speak ! " Jord replied. They said no more to each other. They simply sat together, a Jotun and a Goddess, on the rock enjoying the great beauty of the day.
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2013.