Hrindi : Queen Of Illusion
A Stop Along The Way
Often Hrindi had to rein in her great dragon. Fjallið Drekinn, not liking the way the bird of prey had treated it back on the rock in the valley, tended to fly off after the birds that were riding the thermals in between the mountains. With a great chomp of its massive jaws the bird would disappear with only a few feathers fluttering back down to earth to mark its last location. Hrindi would let her pet catch a few of these birds of prey occasionally, but she wanted to reach Old Jotunheim as quickly as possible, and would pull hard on the reins to let Fjallið Drekinn know of her displeasure. Several times when the great dragon could not get close enough to snap up the birds in his jaws he would let out a great burst of flame, and the bird would catch fire, slowly tumbling to the forest floor below. The great dragon was intelligent and knew that he was being disobedient, and as the bird fell in flames from the sky he would look back at Hrindi to catch her reaction. After a while Hrindi just shook her head back and forth and smiled at her draqon friend. What could she do ?! Her dragon was merely getting revenge for past wrongs, which was exactly what she was about to do.
Hrindi knew they were getting close to Old Jotunheim when she saw in the distance the great mountain that held the cavern that was the entrance to the land of the Dwarves, known as Svartalfheim . As they passed over the path that led to the Dwarves cave she saw a lone figure walking along the path. The stout little Dwarve was slowly struggling up the side of the steep mountain, and had almost reached the top. Hrindi pulled on the left rein, and Fjallið Drekinn turned back to take a closer look. As they circled far above the tiny Dwarve, Hrindi recognized the little fellow. It was Bofor, coming back from delivering Hrungnir's message to Thor's children ! " I will make you pay for what you did to the ones who freed me from my tomb ! " she said under her breath. Hrindi whipped the reins around and kicked her dragon so they could reach the cave entrance ahead of Bofor. Fjallið Drekinn responded with a burst of speed, and headed for the ground.
After Fjallið Drekinn landed on a ledge next to the mouth of the cave, Hrindi jumped off of her dragon, and paced up and down in deep thought. She wondered what kind of death she could conjure up for the evil little messenger. Then, it came to her as though she were struck by lightning. Hrindi smiled and shouted softly to herself : " Yes ! Oh, that is such a perfect way for that little Dwarve Bofor to die ! " With a wicked grin she touched the ground with her hands, and then lifted them in the air as though she was pulling something out of the ground. Suddenly, all around the path thousands of little mushrooms began to spring up out of the ground . Then she waved at them with the back of her hand and they started to pop up all the way down the side of the mountain. " Dwarves love little mushrooms ! But I don' t think these little mushrooms will like Bofor very much ! " she said with a laugh. Hrindi closed her eyes, and began to chant a magical spell that cursed each and every one of the mushrooms.
Bofor was very tired. First he had been summoned by Hrungnir to his great hall, and then he was sent by the Jotun to deliver a message all the way to Asgard. And now..., now, he had to make his way up the side of this steep mountain just to reach the cavern road that led down for miles into the earth to his home Svartalfheim. Out of breath, and covered in sweat from his climb, Bofor needed to rest for a moment . The little Dwarve found a flat rock under a tall evergreen to rest on for a moment. Suddenly, Bofor was struck by a great hunger ! As he sat down he noticed that all around him were growing his favorite delicious mushrooms. Bofor rushed over and quickly gathered up a handful, sat back down, and began popping them into his mouth one by one. He had never known this species of mushroom to grow this far outside of Svartalfheim, but he was very hungry and did not question it further. Bofor thanked his good luck as he washed down the mushrooms with a long cool drink from his flask.
After a few minutes rest Bofor got back up, and rejuvenated by the energy the mushrooms gave him, began to make his way back up the mountain. With the mountain top within sight the little Dwarve began to get chills and a cold sweat. Then the nausea swept over him like an avalanche. As he reached the top of the mountain sharp pains began to hit him hard in the pit of his stomach. Bofor became so ill that he had to crawl the last hundred feet or so to reach the crest of the mountain. Through blurry eyes, and racked with pain, he saw at the mouth of the cave a Jotun woman, and what appeared to be a large winged dragon. At first the Dwarve attributed this vision as one of the symptoms of his illness, but when the woman walked over , and stood above him, he knew she was real.
" You do not remember me do you little one ? " she asked the Dwarve. " No, I do not ! " Bofor replied clenching his teeth in pain. Hrindi smiled. " Well let me refresh your memory my stubby little friend . You came upon my grave mound on your way to Asgard, little messenger. Of course then I was just a ghost trapped in her grave, and I could not stop you from hurting my friends. Now as you can see I am free from my tomb, and as you can also see my little enemy.... or maybe I should say feel ,.... I am making you pay for what you did to Thor's children, who are now my good friends ! " she told him. Bofor wretched several times before he was able to speak. " I only delivered Hrungnir's message, nothing more ! I did not hurt anyone ! I am innocent ! " he managed before having to wretch again. Hrindi laughed. " Yes ! As innocent an act as picking mushrooms and eating them ! " she replied sarcastically. Bofor tried to plead his case, but he suddenly went into violent convulsions. The little Dwarve spasmed on the ground for a few moments before spewing forth blood with his last breath. After Bofor became still the dragon went over and sniffed at the little Dwarve, but Hrindi warned Fjallið Drekinn that the Dwarve was poisoned . The dragon took one whiff of the vomit and blood, and quickly waddled away. Hrindi laughed : " Don't worry my green friend . The birds you hate so much will eat him, and then they too will die." she told the dragon. Hrindi knelt and placed her hands above the ground, and then brought them down against the ground as though she was pushing something into the earth. Slowly the mushrooms began to shrink back into the ground, and within moments had disappeared altogether . " We can' t have innocent travelers eating poison mushrooms now can we ? " she asked her dragon friend.
Fjallið Drekinn knelt down, and placed his tail in front of Hrindi. " Why thank you my large green friend ! " she told the dragon with a polite bow. Once she was safely seated, and had the reins firmly in her hands, the great dragon flapped his wings, and they rose up over the entrance of the cavern and headed into the clouds once again for Old Jotunheim. As they flew away from the mountain they saw birds already circling over the Dwarves' corpse. Fjallið Drekinn did not try to go after these birds, for the dragon already knew their fate !
It was not a long journey from the home of the Dwarves to the mountains of Old Jotunheim. Soon, off in the distance, Hrindi spotted the familiar spires of their fortress homes, and the horrible memories of that place began to flood back into her thoughts. " It is time for me to collect what I am due from these Jotuns . And what I am owed is their blood ! " she shouted with a shrill laugh.
End Chapter 3
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.
Next : Chapter 4 : The Sweet Taste Of Revenge !