Surtr : The Great Fire Giant
Sinmara : The Keeper Of Weapons
Surtr left the meeting, and was about to head home when a few of the commanders, led by Gufa, confronted their leader. The ever irascible Gufa grabbed Surtr by the arm and looked him angrily in the eyes.
" So this is it ?! We just give up, go home, and wait a few years for King Aska to wipe us off the face of Muspelheim the way he has anyone and everyone else who he decided was in his way ? ! " Gufa asked in a furious tone.
Surtr took a long deep breath.
" What can we do ? " the rebel leader asked. " We are too small in numbers to confront them at this time, and unless we can find a new weapon to overcome their superiority, there is nothing more we can do ! " Surtr yelled back out of frustration.
Logi, who was one of the very few Jotuns ever allowed to live in Muspelheim because of his unique qualities, stepped forward to ease the tension between the two Fire Giants.
" If it is a special weapon that you want, my Fire Giant friend, then may I suggest that you seek out a Giantess who lives in the northernmost part of Muspelheim in a place called Skafta. " he told Surtr with a slight grin.
Surtr shook his head dejectedly from side to side. " And who is this female, and why do I need to speak to her ? " Surtr asked Logi.
Logi grinned from ear to ear. " Her name is Sinmara and she is known as the Keeper of Weapons ! " Logi explained to his leader.
Surtr's eyebrows rose slightly, and his eyes brightened at what his Jotun comrade had just imparted to him. " I will go and see this mysterious Giantess who lives at the edge of our world ! " he told Logi as he patted him on the shoulder.
The next day Bergkvika came out to see his friend off. He wanted to travel with Surtr, but the rebel leader told him that he was much too valuable to their cause. He explained to him that it was important for him to stay behind to watch over their aggressive commanders like Gufa and Vikrar, and keep them out of trouble.
Surtr thanked Bergkvika for coming, but he told his friend in strict confidence that he felt his journey north would accomplish nothing significant. Then Surtr told Bergkvika something that sounded rather ominous.
" If I do not return, you are to take command of the rebel forces. " he told his friend glumly.
Bergkvika had never considered that Surtr might not return from his journey north. As he waved goodbye to his leader, and good friend, it was now all that he thought about.
Once Surtr left the settlement region the route north was full of dangers. He had to navigate through a rugged rocky terrain where the landscape shook regularly, and huge boulders would, without warning, break loose and fall from the heights. Geysirs would throw scalding hot water hundreds of feet into the air, with only a slight tremor to indicate its eruption. Lava flows, after a quake, would suddenly change direction forcing Surtr to detour around them to avoid being trapped by the magma. This desolate, volatile area, as Surtr quickly discovered, was not a place that you could let down your guard even for a moment !
The journey took several weeks of strenuous effort to reach the area that Logi had described as Skafta. Here the landscape was slightly more moderate, though there were several huge volcanoes off in the distance. As Surtr sat and rested for a moment he looked around and realized that he had no idea where to find the Giantess named Sinmara. And worst of all there was no one to ask in this desolate region !
Surtr spent days searching around the area, but he could not find any signs of another living being. Not even the fire dragons seemed to nest in this forsaken land ! The Fire Giant was about to give up when he saw smoke rising from the side of a mountain a short distance off. Surt quickly ran over to a small rise to get a better look, and saw that the smoke was coming out of what appeared to be a small cave in the mountainside.
It did not take long for Surtr to reach the base of the mountain, and with renewed vigor he began to climb the side of the mountain directly below the cave. Halfway up the cliff he began to smell wood burning, which told him that the fire was not a natural occurrence. The last ten feet or so was the steepest, and Surtr almost lost his grip as he was hanging on to the top of the cliff near the cave's entrance. With a final effort he was able to swing his leg over the ledge. and roll his body onto the flat surface in front of the cave.
As Surtr lay on the ground catching his breath, he noticed a fire burning in the back of the cave. Quietly Surtr lifted himself up off of the ground, and entered the cave. The rebel leader headed slowly toward the light, but was careful to keep himself in the shadows. Surtr stopped, and pressed himself up against the cave wall when he suddenly saw a shadowy figure up ahead !
He watched for a while as a female figure stirred an odd looking pot that was hanging over a fire. On the side facing him, near the top was an opening, and sticking out of this opening was a spillway that allowed the bubbling mixture to stream down onto an object on the floor of the cave. As Surtr squinted his eyes in the darkness he saw that this object was the blade of a sword. The mixture that streamed out of the pot had a strange glow to it, and as the liquid covered the blade it almost seemed to become one with the metal.
Suddenly the woman spoke, breaking the silence !
" If you wish to see what it is that I am doing, I would suggest that you come closer ! " she said, presumably to Surtr.
Surtr reluctantly stepped out of the shadows. " My name is Surtr, and I have......
The female did not let him finish. " I know why you are here, son of Eldur ! You have come for the same reason that beings have visited me for a hundred years....... You seek a weapon to defeat your enemies ! " she told him.
Surtr's eyes widened. " Then you are the Giantess they call Sinmara ? ! " he half asked.
The Giantess stepped forward into the light of the fire. " Yes ! I am the maker and keeper of ..... let us call them unique weapons. " she told the Fire Giant with a sly grin.
As Sinmara' s face came into view Surtr stood silently mesmerized by her great beauty, which in spite of the soot that covered her face, was hard not to notice. Surtr had expected her to be an old hag, or maybe an evil witch like the ones from the old tales he had been told as a child. He did not, however, expect a maiden this fair and beautiful.
Sinmara in turn could not help but smile when she saw the Giant in the firelight for the first time. He was handsome, rugged, and had eyes as black as coal. The weapon's keeper did not even try to hide her feelings as she smiled seductively at the Fire Giant.
Surtr suddenly remembered why he had come, and snapped out of his daze. " I need a special weapon, or weapons, to defeat the Southern Army led by KIng Aska ! My rebel force numbers less than four hundred, while my enemy can put onto a battlefield well over ten thousand. " he explained to her.
Sinmara laughed ! " Not even Volundr's great sword Laevateinn could win you that war my friend ! " she told the Giant.
Surtr' s chin fell down to his chest dejectedly. " Then our cause is lost ! " he replied.
Sinmara walked over to Surtr, looked him in the eyes, and smiled at him seductively. " For a price I will tell you of a legendary weapon so powerful that nothing, and no one, can stand before it ! " she told him with a wink.
Surtr eyed the maiden with a suspicious look before asking. " And what is this " price " for the information. "
Sinmara leaned forward, and kissed him gently on the lips. Then she whispered in his ear : " Spend the night with me, and I will give you the throne of Muspelheim. "
Surtr smiled, and gently stroked her cheek. " I do not seek the throne of Muspelheim. I simply want my people to be free from tyranny ! " he told the Giantess.
Sinmara kissed him again, and then grabbed hold of Surtr's hand . She led the Fire Giant to the ledge just outside of the cave, and pointed to a distant volcano that was blowing out black smoke. " Then you must travel to the Volcano that rises high over the land of Skafta. Its fury has earned it the name Skaftareldar, ( The fires of Skafta ). In the volcano itself you will find the greatest weapon ever forged ! " she explained to him.
Surtr studied the volcano for a moment, and then asked. " You spoke of a legend. I wish to hear this ancient tale if you please ! " he told her.
Sinmara smiled from ear to ear as she began to tell the old lore. " At the beginning of time a flaming sword was forged in the fires of the largest volcano in Muspelheim. The first Fire Giant, your first ancestor, Muspell he was called, climbed up the steep cliff, and down into the fury that existed in the cone of the volcano. With nothing more than his own faith to guide him he reached into the molten lava, and pulled out a great flaming sword. Muspell ruled these regions for many millennium with the help of this fiery sword. When he realized he was dying, and had no heir worthy of wielding such a great power, he climbed back up to the top of the volcano, and threw the sword back where it had come from, in the hope that a Fire Giant would one day be born who was honorable enough to deserve its power. " she explained to him.
Surtr looked deep into Sinmara's eyes, and then back at the volcano. " I could die a hundred times, and a thousand different ways, and never reach the lava inside the great volcano. " he told her.
Sinmara' s smile disappeared. " Yes ! " The journey up the volcano, and into its molten interior could cost you your life.... but the one who is worthy of the sacred flaming sword will be protected by it from the moment he grabs hold of its glowing hilt, until the day that life drains from his body. " she explained to him to give him hope. " Remember ! You must reach out with your faith if you are to possess the great flaming sword ! " she added
Surtr turned away from the volcano, and looked deeply into Sinmara's eyes. " Then I must leave at once on my quest for this all - powerful weapon. " he told her.
Sinmara turned her back to Surtr. " Then you will not spend the night with me ? ! " she asked through trembling lips.
Surtr spun the Giantess around and kissed her. " If I return..... No, when I return ! I will spend every night for the rest of my life with you ! " he promised her.
Sinmara smiled as he stroked her hair. " Then I will be waiting here for you when you return ! " she replied as she hugged him tightly.
- End of Chapter 5
- Next : The Flaming Sword !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.