The Bastard Son
Loki stared at his blood brother with an evil grin upon his face. The God of Mischief was savoring every moment of Odin's confusion and indecision as though it were a fine wine to be sloshed around in one's mouth before being swallowed. The Valfather had always prided himself on making the hard decisions, and standing by them no matter what the outcome. But now he was perplexed by a situation that he had allowed to occur, and it seemed to Loki as though he had no idea how to fix his mistake.
Loki had discovered that many years before Odin had intervened in the struggle between King Palni and Jarl Alfrekr. He had allowed the weaker force of Alfrekr's to win by using the great power of the Goddess Jord to destroy Palni's army. But now King Alfrekr was the weaker man, morally and physically. His fondness for women had spawned a son , who had grown into a strong and honorable young man. And much like Alfrekr all those years ago, this bastard son had now come back for revenge. And Odin knew in his heart it was a revenge that Oski deserved to seek.
Odin sat looking down upon Midgard from Hlidskjalf and stroked his beard. After the destruction of Palni's army, Alfrekr had consolidated his kingdom, and it appeared that he was making all the right choices. But then the Norns intervened, as they often did, and everything that he had put into place seemed ready to fall apart. It was Odin himself who had placed the idea in Alfrekr' s mind, in a dream, to send Eydis and her baby to the land of the Rus to stay with his cousin King Ingvar. Out of sight, and out of mind, was Odin's thinking at the time. Then the Norns became involved again and weaved a different pattern into the future of those involved, and the bastard son grew into a mighty warrior, and it all grew into a much more difficult problem for All - Father to solve.
Odin had considered killing Alfrekr in much the same way he had disposed of King Geirrod of the Goths all those many years ago. In that case he had allowed the king to drop his sword and then trip onto the blade. And just as he had replaced Geirrod with his son Agnar, he was now considering the wisdom of replacing Alfrekr with his either his bastard son Oski, or his legitimate son Gormr, who unlike his father was a man of strong will and great moral fiber.
Oski, however, was also a fine man, and a great warrior, and leader. Odin admired the young man very much, and did not want to see him die. Valfather felt that the death of either Gormr, or Oski would be a great loss to the lands of the Northmen where so many weak willed men already ruled kingdoms.
As Odin stared down from his high - seat he became so lost in his own thoughts that he forgot that Loki had come to visit. And when Loki began to ask Odin a question he barely heard what he was saying. His mind was only able to focus at the end, and he heard just the last sentence.
" ... Yes ! It is quite the conundrum isn't it my old friend ? ! " Loki agreed with Odin.
Odin turned in his seat and asked.
" What is ? "
Loki walked around to the front of the high - seat and placed his hand on the arm of the great chair. As he did so he was able to look down upon Midgard, and here he saw the same vision of the battlefield at the border of Ranrike as did Odin.
" I was saying that on the one hand, or side of the battlefield in this case, you have Alfrekr and Gormr, who represent the history that you have put into place, while on the other side you have the bold, and vengeful, but very honorable warrior who the Norns have weaved into the mix. I am simply curious to see who will prevail, .... your will or that of the Norns ! " he told Odin with a sly little grin upon his face.
Odin looked up from the view of the battlefield, and stared suspiciously at Loki with his good eye. What he saw on the face of his blood brother he did not like ! Loki had always been a smug bastard, but he was enjoying this uncomfortable dilemma of his far too much !
" For the moment I am going to allow events to play out as they will. This decision is far too momentous to be made quickly, or without great thought ! " he told Loki with a hint of anger in his voice.
Then Odin rose up out of his high - seat and walked out of the viewing room. As he did he added under his breath :
" The entire history of Norway hinges on the decision that I make concerning this most important matter ! "
Loki grinned from ear to ear as he fell in behind his blood brother.
" And I will enjoy every moment of your discomfort ! " Loki said in a whisper to himself.
- End Chapter 12
- Next : Chapter 13 : The Sea Battle and Stalemate
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2016.