The Fire Dragon's Quest
( Part Three Of The Ítreksjóð Trilogy )
Now You See It, Now You Don't
Stigandi, from his guard post at the doors of the Great Ice Palace, could not help but notice as Farbauti placed a small object on his thumbnail, flipped it up in the air, and then caught it before it fell to the floor. It was not so much that he had done it once or twice that had caught his attention, but the fact that he kept repeating the process over and over again, that made him curious enough to walk up to the leader of the Frost Giants to ask what it was that he was flipping.
" Is that object of some importance ? " Stigandi asked his Lord.
Farbauti smiled at Stigandi. He flipped the coin one more time before holding it in between his fingers to show the palace guard.
" Durinn gave me this one gold coin as payment for helping the Dwarves steal the Asgardian's treasure. " he told him.
Stigandi looked at the tiny coin as though it had a story to tell. After a long moment he shook his head in disbelief.
" That is not very much compensation for the blood that we Frost Giants shed in aiding the little Dwarves ! " he replied.
Farbauti laughed heartily, and then squeezed the coin tightly in his hand.
" It is not the quantity of payment, but the significance of this one coin that makes it important ! " he explained to his subordinate.
Stigandi frowned, and shrugged his shoulders, before asking :
" And why is that ? "
Farbauti slowly opened his hand again and placed the coin close to Stigandi's face.
" It is important because this is the only coin that the Dwarves managed to steal from Asgard ! " the Lord of Jotunheim replied in an annoyed tone.
Stigandi once again shrugged his shoulders.
" Yes, but it is not Draupnir. It is only one small coin that will not reproduce itself over time,... and if you look closely at it's surface you will see that it has been scorched by the dragon's fire. " he told his master.
Both Farbauti and Stigandi came to the same conclusion at once !
" Ohhhhh,...... " both of the Frost Giants blurted out simultaneously. "
Farbauti stood up and pounded his hand on the arm of his ice throne.
" So that is why that little bastard was so eager to give me this coin. It is cursed by the fire of the dragon,... and Ítreksjóð will be coming back to look for it's property ! " he shouted angrily.
Stigandi nodded in agreement.
" A fire dragon here in Jotunheim, and an angry one at that, could cause a lot of damage ! " the guard added nervously.
Farbauti held the coin up in the dull light, and looked upon it in a whole new way.
" This tiny piece of Asgardian treasure could be the end of Jotunheim as we know it ! " he told Stigandi with his eyes wide open in fear.
Then the Lord of Jotunheim thought for a moment before pointing toward the blue ice doors of the palace.
" Saddle my wolf Stigandi ! I am going to pay our Dwarf friend a little visit ! " he commanded so loudly that it echoed throughout the entire hall.
Stigandi grinned from ear to ear.
" It will be my pleasure, my Lord ! " he replied before leaving the palace.
Though not as fast as Odin's famous eight - legged horse Sleipnir, Farbauti's wolf Hríðarbylur made good time through the mountains, and they were soon nearing the entrance to the Dwarves deep domain. As Farbauti neared the opening he slowed Hríðarbylur down to a fast walk. The Lord of Jotunheim had not expected to see Asgardians still watching the Earth Dwarves homeland.
Magni and Modi could not believe their eyes when the Lord of the Frost Giants rode up to the cave entrance riding a huge vicious looking wolf. Thor's sons eyed Farbauti warily as he slowly dismounted and walked over to them. Modi turned to his brother, winked at him, and pretended to sniff the air as the Frost Giant approached.
" I smell a foul odor Magni. Do you smell it too ? " Modi asked his brother.
Magni grinned widely.
" It smells like a dead Jotun and the wolf he rode in on ! " he replied with a chuckle.
Farbauti stood up to the Thunder God's sons and stared them down.
" I do not think that your grandfather would be pleased if another Aesir - Jotun war began over this little encounter. I have come here to see Durinn and do not wish to start something that will eventually encompass both of our worlds ! " he told the brothers.
Realizing that Odin would be furious if another war broke out because of them, the brothers moved aside and allowed Farbauti to pass.
" After you ! " Modi told the Jotun sarcastically.
Farbauti gave Modi an angry stare.
" Look after my wolf while I'm visiting Durinn. But be careful boy ! He can be a bit much for some to handle ! " he told the Asgardians.
Magni grinned broadly.
" Oh, I will take good care of your little pet ! " Magni assured Farbauti.
The Lord of the Frost Giants had to duck as he passed through the cave opening to the Earth Dwarves domain, and despite the high ceiling of the cavernous tunnels, Farbauti had to remain hunched over as he descended into their realm. By the time he finally reached the main chamber, where the Earth Dwarves had built their village, the Frost Giant's back was sore, and his temper was up !
Farbauti was much too large to enter the Dwarves limestone great hall, so the giant threw open the doors with his fingers, and shouted inside.
" Durinn ! Durinn !! You little worm ! Come out of your hole ! " the Frost Giant demanded.
Durinn slowly and reluctantly walked to the now opened doors and peered out.
" I did not expect to see you so soon, great Lord of Jotunheim ! " Durinn told Farbauti with a forced smile.
Farbauti motioned for the little Dwarf to come out of his hall.
" I believe that you did not expect to ever see me again ! " Farbauti exclaimed as he showed Durinn the gold coin.
The angry Frost Giant placed the coin on his finger and pushed it into the Dwarf's chest. After Durinn took hold of the coin Farbauti picked up the Dwarf with two fingers and lifted him up to his eye level.
" If not for the Gods who are guarding your realm I would squash you like a bug ! " Farbauti informed the Dwarf before letting him fall to the cave floor.
As Durinn was falling he noticed that the Frost Giant's pocket was open just a little. With quick hands he dropped the coin into the Giant's pocket, but in doing so he paid a high price.
Farbauti laughed as the dwarf hit the ground hard, but his demeanor quickly turned sour once again.
" This is not over little creature ! " he warned the Dwarf.
Durinn managed a little grin despite his immense pain.
" No my friend, I believe that it has only just begun ! " he whispered to himself as the Frost Giant turned and left.
Farbauti was glad to see the light of day just up ahead. Walking stooped over for so long had taken a toll on his back, and after he exited the cave he stretched every muscle in his body in an attempt to relieve some of the fatigue and strain. It was as he was stretching that he noticed Hríðarbylur lying on the ground bloodied and motionless.
" What have you done to my wolf ! " Farbauti screamed furiously.
Modi and Magni laughed. Magni showed the Frost Giant his bloody hands, while Modi held up his blood soaked sword.
" Your wolf,... well,... it became a little unruly while we were looking after it,... so we killed it ! " Modi explained trying very hard not to laugh.
Farbauti pointed a blue finger at the Asgardian brothers, and shouted :
" You will pay for this, you ugly pale creatures ! "
" Nice to see you too ! Come back anytime ! " he told the Frost Giant jovially.
Farbauti took one last look at Hríðarbylur's mutilated body before storming away on foot. Just as he began his climb back into the high mountains he caught sight of the dragon flying towards Svartalfheim off in the distance.
" Left just in time ! Goodbye Durinn,... old friend ! " he whispered to himself as he hid himself behind a large boulder.
- End Chapter 2
- Next : Chapter 3 : Ítreksjóð Confronts Durinn
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.