Hrindi : Queen Of Illusion
The Sweet Taste Of Revenge
Hrindi slid off of Fjallið Drekinn' s back, and pet the great dragon on the head. " Stay close my green friend ! There is no telling what will happen once I enter the rock city of Old Jotunheim ! " she told her green friend. The great flying serpent let out a breath of liquid flame, and then licked Hrindi' s face with his hot tongue. In a very short time the Queen of Illusion, and the flying dragon had become very good friends. Hrindi was depending on her new pet to get her out of Old Jotunheim if something went very wrong. Somehow when she looked into its glowing red eyes she knew she could trust her large green firing breathing dragon. Hrindi carefully climbed down the crag, and then up a steep hill to a small plateau at the top of the ridge. As she stood up at the edge of the cliff she could see, not far off, the shining marble spires of the ancient city. Each had been formed by many centuries of weathering by the fierce cold winds of the Jotun winters, and each was the home of one of the ancient Jotuns. In the center of this pointy city was a spire that rose twice as high, and was three times as wide as the others. Hrindi remembered this place very well ! This was the great hall of the king of the Old Jotuns. His name was Lut, and it was here that the king of the Old Jotuns conducted the court that had tried, convicted and sentenced Hrindi to eternal imprisonment . Then the memories came flooding back as if they had happened only yesterday. She remembered vividly how the courtroom broke out in laughter every time Lut, who also acted as judge, made an accusation against her. Hrindi would never forget the hatred in their eyes, the bitterness of their words, the finger pointing, and most of all she could never forget the moment when she heard the final verdict. The words " Eternal imprisonment " that came off of King Lut' s lips were burned into her memory forever. It was then that the sorceress, Munnharpa was called into the courtroom. This true witch began to chant ancient spells that bound her arms and her legs, and quieted her speech. Once she was bound the Jotuns carried her to the border with Midgard, where the dug her grave, threw her in, and then carved the rune stone that was placed on her mound to forever bind her to that spot. The deeper she went into these painful memories the angrier Hrindi became ! It was time for revenge !
" Halt ! " Hrindi suddenly heard someone yell from behind her, shocking her out of the past and landing her right back in the here and now ! As she turned she saw a huge Jotun who she recognized all too well. It was Morn ! He was one of the Jotuns who had picked her up and thrown her body into the deep grave that would become her prison. As she turned the Jotun came to the realization that the woman who stood before him was an old enemy ! " Hrindi ! ? It cannot be you ! It just can' t be ! You are forever cursed ! " Morn shouted at her in disbelief. Hrindi Laughed . " I have come back from the grave my old Jotun enemy, and I am here for blood ! " she screamed back at the sentry.
In a voice that echoed around every spire in Old Jotunheim, Morn shouted as loud as he could : " Jotuns, Jotuns, Jotuns ! Brothers and sisters we are under attack ! " Morn drew his razor sharp marble sword, and placed his shield firmly out in front of him, and stood before Hrindi ready to attack. Suddenly, just as he was about to strike, there were two Hrindi's ! Then to the Jotun's astonishment there were four, then eight, and twelve witches from the grave standing in front of him. After a few moments of indecision Morn decided it was time to stop counting and attack. " I will kill you no matter how many illusions you make of yourself. " Morn yelled as he attacked the first witch. Hrindi understood all too well that Morn would eventually find the real Queen of Illusion, and kill her. She also realized that she needed to end this quickly because his shouting had alerted everyone in Old Jotunheim to her presence. While her projected selves fought with Morn, Hrindi turned and reached out with her hand in the direction of an especially pointed spire. With her mind she made the point snap off and come falling towards the ground at great speed. Using her powerful magic she redirected the falling spire point at the Jotun sentry. Morn saw the stone point coming towards him , and did the only thing he could do to protect himself. He placed his stone shield in front of him, and braced himself as best he could. It was not enough ! The marble rock point cracked the shield in half, and then continued on into Morn' s chest, knocking him off of his feet and impaling him to the ground. As the real Hrindi stood over Morn she heard his final words : " It cannot be real ! " he said as he coughed up blood with his final breath.
From every spire home emerged at least one Jotun ready for a fight. In the courtyard beneath the great stone hall they gathered, each brandishing their favorite killing weapon. Some carried marble swords sharpened to a razor's edge, while others carried clubs, spears, and even a few of the older whetstone weapons . From an opening near the top of the great stone hall, King Lut, and his queen Munnharpa, stood stoically, and watched as the battle began. As the Jotuns moved forward to attack Hrindi, Queen Munnharpa turned to King Lut and told him calmly : " They cannot defeat her . " Lut gave the sorceress a nod. " I know that what you say is true. We must once again imprison the witch ! " he told her. Munnharpa gave her husband a wicked grin. " I understand ! " she told him as she walked back into the great hall.
Hrindi was quickly confronted by several hundred very angry Jotuns running as fast as they could directly at her. Unlike the first time she was attacked all those years ago, this time Hrindi showed no fear at all as they swiftly approached. The Queen of Illusion reached calmly into her pouch and pulled out the pieces of the runestone that Magni and Modi had destroyed to release her from her grave. Without even blinking an eye she rolled them on the ground in front of her. Hrindi then used her magic to make them grow into the size of great boulders. Using her powerful mind she made them roll faster and faster towards the Jotuns.
Ryg, the fiercest of the Giants, led the Jotun mob out from under the shadow of the great hall. Moving behind him was a solid wall of Giants, four deep, all running as fast as they could, and howling like rabid dogs. The Jotuns watched Hrindi as she placed something on the ground, and then saw the stones rise out of the earth into larger and larger boulders. Ryg could sense that his Jotun brothers and sisters were slowing down as the boulders began rolling in their direction. Ryg turned around and faced his Jotun warriors while running backwards. " It is only an illusion created by the witch ! There is nothing to fear my friends ! " he shouted back at them. The Jotuns responded by again picking up the pace behind Ryg. As Ryg turned once again to face Hrindi, the first boulder rolled over him crushing every bone in his body. The great stone then rolled on cutting a path of death all the way to the doors of the great hall. The other boulders took a high toll in terms of Jotun casualties as well as they crushed anything and everything in their paths. The Jotuns who could get out of the way stopped where they were, and no longer showed much enthusiasm for attacking Hrindi.
King Lut looked on in horror at what was taking place below his great hall. Hrindi was a major threat as an illusionist, but now it seemed that she had mastered the ancient art of magic as well. There was now only one way to stop the witch ! As he watched Lut could sense a presence behind him. As he turned he saw Bara and Skorkir holding a large stone with ancient runes carved deep into its surface. Standing directly behind the stone was Munnharpa who nodded that she was ready. " I am glad that you agreed to carve a second stone all those years ago my husband. " she told Lut. The king smiled . " And I am glad that I had the sense to believe you when you told me that someday Hrindi would escape her tomb ! " he replied.
Hrindi was about to roll a few more pieces of the broken runestone on the ground when she suddenly felt something grip her. The Queen of Illusion knew what was beginning to grab hold of her, and it was not a Jotun warrior, but a curse of great power. As she gazed up at the great hall in the distance she saw King Lut and Munnharpa standing on either side of a runestone . A runestone that looked exactly like the one that had been placed on her grave mound all those years ago to lock her in her eternal tomb. ! Hrindi did not have to hear the words that they were chanting. She could feel the power of the magic spell they were casting. As she slowly became bound, Hrindi could feel her strength being drawn out of her. With all her might the Queen of Illusion tried to reach out with her mind, and put forth one last magic spell to free herself. No matter how hard she tried, however, she was could not find enough strength within her to break the invisible bindings that held her. As she stood there frozen, and helpless, she heard the Jotuns begin to cheer and laugh at her. The same laughter that she had heard a millennium ago when she was imprisoned for the first time. Hrindi stood silently before the Jotuns, and awaited her fate, as tears rolled down her face.
When the last line of the runestone had been recited King Lut and Queen Munnharpa looked at each other and smiled. Disaster had been averted, and Hrindi was once again their prisoner. In triumph King Lut stepped forward to address his fellow Jotuns from the great hall's balcony. Just as the king was about to begin his speech he felt that something was not quite right. He felt as if he were being watched ! Munnharpa had the same feeling, and as their eyes met they slowly turned to see who, or what, was producing this " feeling " . Both Jotuns gasped in horror when they saw what hovered above them. On the side of the spire above the balcony where they stood, and gripping the marble with long sharp yellow claws, was a huge ugly green dragon ! King Lut and Queen Munnharpa did not even have time to scream as the dragon' s liquid fire engulfed them and turned them both into fireballs. King Lut fell where he stood, but Munnharpa slipped over the balcony, and fell like a rock hitting the ground in a fiery explosion !
Fjallið Drekinn did not fully understand what was happening, but he knew that somehow that strange stone was hurting his friend. As the great dragon grabbed the stone in his mouth, Bara and Skorkir tried to stop the monster. One short stroke of the dragon' s spiked tail quickly took care of both of these foolish Jotuns. Fjallið Drekinn then flew high above the Jotuns and dropped the cursed stone in their midst. In her frozen state of paralysis Hrindi watched as the Jotuns scattered to avoid being crushed by the great stone. The Giants below barely managed to avoid the runestone as it crashed into the ground and broke into a thousand pieces. Their relief was short lived, however, because when they turned back they saw that Hrindi was no longer bound by the stone's magic. She was now free, and very angry !
When the runestone broke Hrindi immediately felt the spell that was binding her dissipate. Free to move again she held out her hand to the great dragon, which swooped down and landed gracefully in front of her. A few Jotuns acted as though they would attack, but a short blast of liquid fire dissuaded them from approaching. The Queen of Illusion slowly walked up her dragon' s tail, and mounted Fjallið Drekinn. As she did the Jotuns threw down their weapons, and fled in every direction back to the city of spires. Hrindi gently kicked her dragon into flight, and soon they were circling over Old Jotunheim. With each turn high above the city Hrindi became angrier and angrier ! Finally the great Illusionist, and magician supreme, focused all of her years of anger, and hatred at the Jotun city. As she transferred these intense emotions into a powerful burst of magic, the whole mountain that Old Jotunheim was carved out of began to shake. It started as a low rumble, but soon became a loud roar as the entire city began to crumble under the great earthquake Hrindi had conjured. The spires were the first to fall, but it was not long before the entire mountain city collapsed in upon itself, killing every single Jotun in Old Jotunheim. Hrindi, ironically, had done to these Jotuns what they had done to her all those years ago. She had buried them in a tomb . Unlike her grave mound, however, this tomb truly would hold them for an eternity !
End Chapter 4
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.
Next : Chapter 5 : Do You Not Remember Me !