Freyr Meets Beli
The evergreen forest was literally split in two by a gravel road that led directly to the gates of Gymir's great hall. For Jotuns the large gravel stones may have been comfortable to walk on, but Blodughofi found the going hard and painful. After his horse stumbled several times Freyr pulled Blodughofi off the stone road, and traveled parallel to the path in the woods on the soft forest floor. As Freyr approached Gymir's hall he was a little disappointed by what he saw. In his dream the fence that surrounded the great hall was made of silver, and the gate was made of pure gold. In reality, however, the fence, which rose it seemed almost to the sky, and the gate, were both made of thick wood. Judging by the surrounding forest Freyr guessed the wood was pine.
A split second before Freyr caught sight of the great beasts that guarded the immense gate, the dogs spotted him. Freyr had never seen uglier beasts than these two mangy looking creatures. Their heads, which housed glowing red eyes, seemed to be out of proportion with their bodies. And protruding out from each of their skulls was an enormous jaw filled with a multitude of sharp jagged teeth. As they growled ,and barked at the intruder before them, they slobbered slimy saliva all over the gravel below them. Freyr quickly placed his hand on the hilt of his sword to be ready in case they attacked. As he came closer the great beasts rushed at him ! Freyr drew his sword, and prepared himself for the attack ! Then suddenly both animals stopped just feet from where Freyr stood ready to strike. The chains that they were tied to had reached their limits, and the best the dogs could do was stand on their hind legs, and howl at him in frustration. As Freyr looked to the right and left of the gate, looking for another way into the hall, he noticed that there were animal bones piled up on the ground within the limits of the chains that bound the horrible creatures who were frantically trying to kill him. As he winced, from the awful breath of the great beasts, Freyr noticed among the bones hart antlers, and something much more disturbing. Among the bleached white bones were the skulls of beings like himself !
Suddenly Freyr heard a great door creak open, and then slam shut ! He felt the vibrations of the Jotun's footsteps long before he heard the gate open. When the Jotun stepped through the gate he seemed to be half as tall as the great fence. Freyr started out looking at his knees, and had to stretch his neck almost all the way back to see the tall Jotun' s face. " Be quiet Bone - Crusher ! Silence, Flesh Destroyer ! " The Jotun yelled at the two vicious beasts. Instantly the two guard animals put their long mangy tales between their legs, and lay back down on either side of the road at the gate entrance. Then the Jotun bent over and looked down at the uninvited, and unwanted visitor, with an evil stare.
" And what have we here my little pets ? " the Jotun asked his dogs. In response his " pets " growled angrily. As Freyr stepped forward to speak the great beasts stood back up, and growled menacingly. Realizing that he had just stepped into the area the beasts could reach, Freyr took a step back before speaking. " I am Freyr of the Vanir. " he said very politely. Greetings, my Jotun friend ! " he then added. The Jotun stared Freyr in the eyes for a long uncomfortable moment. " I am the Jotun Beli ! Son of Gymir, and Aurboda, and you are not welcome here....... ally of the Aesir ! " the Jotun replied. " I have not come here to argue, or to pick a fight with you my friend. I have journeyed to Jotunheim to speak to your sister Gerdr on a personal matter. I ask that you announce my presence, and allow me to enter Gymir's great hall. " Freyr said to the Giant as pleasantly as possible.
The Jotun pulled a stone club off of his belt, stepped forward, and rammed it into the road directly in front of Freyr. The Vanir God had to shield his face as the stone club scattered the road gravel in all directions. When everything had settled Freyr noticed that the stone club was almost as tall as he was. " As I told you, my friend, I have not come here to start a fight ! " Freyr shouted at the Jotun. " Then you should leave now before this thing gets out of hand Vanir God ! " Beli shot back. " I will leave after I have had a chance to speak with your sister ! " Freyr told him. Beli laughed as he lifted his club off the ground , and tapped it against Freyr's chest. The " tap " knocked the Vanir God backward several feet ! " You will never see my sister ! As long as I breathe I will protect my sister from the likes of you puny one ! " Beli yelled confidently at the intruder. Freyr considered pulling out his magical weapon, but stopped himself. He felt he could easily kill the Jotun and his beasts, but he did not want to kill the brother of the woman he so very much wanted to meet. Freyr pushed the stone club out of his face, and into the toe of the Jotun, who although he tried not to, flinched from the pain as it struck. " I will call another time then my Jotun friend ! " Freyr told Beli. " If you do you will be met with the same reception Vanir God ! I will never allow the likes of you to see my sister ! " Beli shouted back . " We will see about that ! " Freyr said under his breath as he walked back to Blodughofi. Freyr reluctantly mounted his horse, and headed back the way he came . Beli watched him carefully until he was out of sight, and then with a chuckle went back into the great hall.
As Freyr reached the plateau he again saw the herdsman. " I tried to warn you stranger ! Beli will not allow anyone to enter Gymir's hall who has not been invited ! " the sheep herder yelled at him as he passed. Freyr did not bother to turn, or to respond to the herdsman, but kept on riding. Freyr was angry and disappointed. He was fast becoming obsessed with meeting the shimmering daughter of Gymir. The Vanir God also began to realize that he was falling in love with a woman he had never seen nor met . And the thought that he might not be able to meet her made him anxious, and very depressed on his long ride back to his hall.
End Chapter 3
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright 2014.
Next : Chapter : 4 : First Glimpse