Gifts And Curses
Skirnir nodded respectfully, and placed the apples back in his bag. Next he laid a magnificent gold ring on her lap. " This ring, fair maiden, has the unique ability to reproduce eight more rings every ninth night. " he said as if he were making a sales pitch. " Think of how rich you will become with such a wedding token ! " Skirnir told her with a broad smile. Gerdr picked up the ring, and looked at it for a moment before throwing it on the floor of the hall . " I share in my father's property, and my father has no lack of wealth ! " she told him with little respect. Skirnir did not take kindly to her mistreatment of the sacred ring, known as Draupnir to the Aesir. As he picked up the gold ring, he gave the fair maiden an evil look, and with it came a dramatic change in his demeanor.
Skirnir stood up stoically before Gerdr . He slowly lifted the hilt of the magic sword from its scabbard in a threatening manner. " It would be a shame for someone as fair as you to have their head removed from their shoulders ! " he told her in a menacing tone. " I still refuse your lord's proposal ! And I will not be forced into a marriage by any man ! " she replied bitterly. " My father Gymir, if he were to encounter you, would avenge my death, and kill your lord as well ! " she added angrily. Skirnir pulled the sword completely out, and showed it to Gerdr. " This is a magic sword that fights by itself maiden ! Your father will not live through our ' encounter ', but will before me meet his doom ! " he told her sarcastically.
Skirnir could see by the look on Gerdr's face that she was not impressed with his threat . " Obviously death does not frighten you Giantess, but maybe an eternity filled with torment, and ills, will change your mind ! If I strike with my magic Gambanteinn wand you will be tamed, and much more amiable to my proposals. " he told her. " And you will never be seen again by the sons of men. I will sit you on an eagle's mound, facing Hel, and food shall more despised by you than crawling creatures are to men. " he added. Gerdr could not hide a slight twitch this time when he threatened her, and Skirnir did not miss her discomfort . " It was time to up the stakes ! " Skirnir thought to himself. " I will turn you into something so ugly and despised that Hrimgrimnir will glare at you ! You will sit gaping through bars in a state of madness, howling in pain and suffering with unspeakable desires ! You will weep great tears of despair . " Skirnir paused for a moment and smiled at her. " In misery all alone ! " he finished with an evil smile. Then Skirnir walked right up to her, and placed his face right in front of hers, with their noses almost touching. " But worst of all, the Gods Odin and Thor, are angry with you, and Freyr will hate you if you turn him down ! Your people will be killed by the Aesir, and you will be sent below Nagrind, at the roots of the world tree, and you will have nothing to drink but goat urine ! " Skirnir shouted into her face. Skirnir noticed that Gerd's face had turned bright red with worry, and that she was squirming a bit on the high seat. Skirnir decided it was time to seal the deal with one last threat. He pulled out his knife from his belt, and carved three runes into the chair where she sat. " These runes will plague you for an eternity ! They will cause you lewdness, madness, and an unquenchable desire. " he told her. " Of course, I can destroy them just as easily as I have drawn them. The choice is yours maiden ! " Skirnir told her, and then waited for an answer.
Gerdr had had enough ! Though she did not want to marry at this time, she knew that a marriage to a God would be beneficial to both her people and to the Gods. It would also elevate her in both status and wealth. She thought of her brother lying dead in the next room, and did not want the same fate for her mother and father, or for any of her people for that matter. Gerdr stood up, and walked over to the table. There she lifted a gold trimmed drinking horn, filled it with mead, and handed it to a stunned Skirnir. " I welcome you to Gymir's hall, Skirnir, and offer you a drink of our delicious mead. I never thought I could love a Vanir God, but you have persuaded me to change my mind with your well chosen words. " she told him with a smile. Skirnir raised the horn to his mouth, and took a short sip of the mead. He raised his eyebrows in surprise at its wonderful taste, and nodded his approval to Gerdr. " My lord will want to be married as soon as possible Giantess ! " he told her with a smile.
Gerdr thought for a moment, and then looked over at the door to the bed chamber of her dead brother. She wanted time to bury him properly, and to mourn his death. She took a deep breath before addressing Skirnir. " There is a tranquil grove, known as Barri, that I am sure that we both know very well . In nine nights, in this wonderful forest, I will grant the son of Njord delight. " she told him. " Then I will take my leave of you, and inform my lord of your decision. Farewell maiden ! " Skirnir told her. He drained the horn, bowed to the fair maiden, who would now be his lord's wife, and then left the great hall.
Freyr was sitting in his hall, sick with worry, when Skirnir rushed in to tell his lord the great news. Freyr's loyal servant was too excited to tell him the whole story ! In a rush of enthusiasm Skirnir just blurted out that in nine nights, in the forest known as Barri, they would be wed ! To his surprise Freyr did not seem happy with the result of his journey. Freyr raised his head and shook it from side to side : " One night is long. Two are even longer ! How can I think of a third !! Many times a month has seemed shorter than will be this weary waiting ! " Freyr told his servant in despair.
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.
This tale continues in my short story : ' The Wedding Of Freyr And Gerdr '.©