Hrindi : Queen Of Illusion
Do You Not Remember Me ?
Fjallið Drekinn looked back at Hrindi and watched as she wiped a tear of off her cheek. When their eyes met Hrindi patted her friend on the neck, and pulled on the reins to make the dragon turn out of its circling pattern. " Let us go to Jotunheim, and end this once and for all ! " she shouted to her pet. Then she bent over and kissed her dragon on its long neck. " And thank you for saving my life ! " she whispered to Fjallið Drekinn.
The flight to the main settlement of Jotunheim was a short one . This time, however, she decided that instead of sneaking in through a back way, she would walk right into the Jotun city, and let happen whatever would happen. Hrindi set down Fjallið Drekinn a short distance from the outskirts of the great Jotun city, and slid off of the huge dragon's back6. She walked over to the dragon's massive head, looked it in the eyes, and ran her hand over his cheek. " If I do not return my friend you are free to go ! I thank you for everything you have done for me ! " she told the dragon. She then kissed the dragon on the snout before turning away. As Hrindi walked towards the Jotun city she turned back to take one last look at Fjallið Drekinn . The creature seemed sad and unsure what to do. Hrindi knew her friend would not understand, but she waved none the less.
The Queen of Illusion had come to the Jotun city at its busiest time. Jotuns were milling around the streets, some were selling their goods, while many others were doing their daily shopping. From every corner she could hear the vendors shouting : " Fresh reindeer meat ! Best in the mountains ! Nice young boars for sale ! Best tasting meat in all of Jotunheim ! Get your mead here ! Sweetest mead in all the nine worlds ... And its only one silver coin ! " Hrindi watched as vendors and their customers haggled over prices, quantity, and quality. And as Jotuns could sometimes be harsh, a few of the transactions turned into shouting matches . Hrindi walked to the center of the square, and decided that it was from here she would begin her battle. Just as she was about to raise her arms to summon a great wind, Hrindi saw a Jotun mother carrying a child in her one arm, and holding the hand of another. The Jotun woman was asking the vendor for a few extra chestnuts to be added for the same price, but the salesman at the stand was reluctant to give her any more. Hrindi' eyes became transfixed on the little boy she was carrying. The child reminded her so very much of her Utgard - Loki when he was that age. His coal black hair, thick bushy eyebrows, and wide thick nose that was set close to his face, brought her back to those wonderful times when she would carry Utgard - Loki around everywhere she went . That was a happy time. A time before they were accused of being evil witches.
" Ma'am ! Can I interest you in some fresh and delicious vegetables ? I have the best selection in this part of Jotunheim ! " a vendor barked at Hrindi. As she spun around the vendor placed a large ripe melon under nose. " Can' t you just smell how sweet and delicious that is going to taste ? " the salesman asked. Hrindi was startled by his pitch, and did not quite know what to do or say. She then looked around, and noticed that no one was paying any attention to her at all. Hrindi turned back to the vendor and said boldly : " I am Hrindi ! " The salesman nodded. " Well,..... alright ..... I am Kendi. " he replied slowly. " But tell me honestly Hrindi, isn' t that the sweetest melon you have ever smelled ! " he added sticking the melon under her nose for a second time. Hrindi was at a loss for words. Finally she muttered : " Yes, very nice. " The vendor smiled from ear to ear. " And it is only three bronze coins for this melon Hrindi ! " he whispered as if he was giving her the bargain of a lifetime. " What do you say pretty Giantess ? Give one a try ? " he asked waving the melon in front of her. Hrindi could not think what else to do so she reached into her pouch, turned three small pieces of the runestone into bronze coins, and handed them to the salesman. The vendor gave her a puzzled look. " You must be from another realm ma'am ! You are supposed to haggle ! " he told her. The salesman then came close and whispered : " Here take one coin back... and remember to bargain with the other vendors for the best price. " he told her. Hrindi thanked the salesman and slowly walked away from his stand. In the center of the square there were several rock benches, and she walked over to one and sat down. As she looked around she carved up the melon and began to eat it piece by piece. " He was right ! " she said to herself with a giggle. " This is a sweet melon ! " Then it dawned on Hrindi. Maybe the Old Jotuns kept what they had done to her a secret from their children and grandchildren. Their dirty little secret may have died with them under the tons of rubble in Old Jotunheim ! These people may not know her at all, and if they did not know her they would not harm her or her son ! And if this was true, then she in turn had no reason to harm them either ! To be sure, however, Hrindi spent the whole rest of the day walking around Jotunheim introducing herself to everyone she met along the way. With every handshake she looked them straight in the eyes and judged their reaction. No one seemed to know her, or had ever heard of her. She was actually quite relieved that she would not have to harm these friendly Jotuns.
As the sun began to set over Jotunheim, Hrindi left the city. She decided to walk back to where she had left Fjallið Drekinn, but she did not expect to find him there. Hrindi had freed him, and the dragon had no reason to stay. As she anticipated, the field where they hand landed was empty. Hrindi took a deep breath, and said to the wind : " Goodbye my friend ! " Hrindi looked around for a large sheltering tree to sleep under for the night, and found a nice large oak tree with a large canopy of leaves. Hrindi wrapped herself in a blanket, and using her magic turned a pile of leaves into a pillow for her head, before lying down to sleep.
When Hrindi awoke in the morning she felt warm. Very warm ! As she sat up she noticed a huge fire on the ground in front of her. And then she felt a presence behind her. Hrindi dropped her blanket and turned around looking for Fjallið Drekinn. At first she did not see her dragon friend, but as she squinted her eyes, and looked behind the oak tree, in the darkness she saw her old friend curled up with its head resting on its paws as it slept. She began to cry as she thought to herself : " First Magni and Modi, and now you Fjallið Drekinn ! I never dreamed that I would ever have such wonderful friends again ! " Hrindi ran over and gave her dragon a big hug which woke up the great beast. At first Fjallið Drekinn gave her an evil look, but when he realized that his companion was back he let out a great roar, and belched out so much liquid flame that the oak tree caught fire. Hrindi was startled by the flames, but quickly recovered, and used her magic to put out the fire. " I am glad you did not leave me my fiery friend ! " she told the dragon. " I would like to try and find my son Utgard - Loki . Would you like to come with me ? " she asked the happy dragon. The great fire breathing dragon responded by turning around and placing his tail on the ground directly in front of her. " My aren't you the gentleman ! " she told her friend with a laugh.
Utgard - Loki' s great hall was not very hard to find from up high in the air. In the middle of a desolate valley, with little vegetation all around it, stood a shining golden hall. As Hrindi set Fjallið Drekinn gently down by the great hall's massive doors she quietly said to her great dragon : " Well I see my son has not lost any of his flair for extravagant illusions ! Only he could imagine a great hall this magnificent ! " The great dragon cocked his head to one side, and then looked back at the golden hall, as if in agreement.
Hrindi slowly walked up the numerous golden steps that led to the massive doors of the hall. The doors of course were made of solid gold as well, and each one had a large knocker in the shape of a dragon's head. Hrindi smiled as she grabbed hold of the ornamental ring. " Wait until he sees my dragon ! " she whispered to the golden dragon knocker. She pushed the knocker against the door several times to be sure those inside heard her. Slowly, and if from a great distance, she heard echoing footsteps as they approached the doors. Then she heard the metallic sound of a lock being released, and the doors slowly creaked open. The old hag who stood before her introduced herself as Elli, but said no more as she ushered in the guest. The hall was quite impressive ! Huge golden tables with silver benches sat in the middle of the room on both sides. The roof was covered in pure gold, and the walls were done in a highly polished silver that mirrored every reflection. In the back of the hall was a great marble staircase that appeared to lead up to the bed chambers. It was massive ! It was beautiful ! But it was not real .
At the back of the hall sitting on a high - seat was the one who she had come to see. Utgard - Loki motioned for her to come forward. " Who are you, and why have you come to my hall without being invited, old woman ? ! " he demanded. Hrindi walked slowly over to the rude owner of the hall, and with a smile on her face, and tears in her eyes spoke : " Do you not remember me ? " she asked. Utgard - Loki looked down upon the woman, but he did not recognize her at first. There was something very familiar about her eyes, however. He gazed into the old woman's eyes for several minutes, becoming lost in their depth and beauty. Then as though he had suddenly been struck by lightning he was hit with a great realization !
" Mother ? " he cried out. " Mother is that really you !! " he shouted through trembling lips. Utgard - Loki jumped off of his high - seat, and fell at his mother' s feet. He wrapped his arms around his mother's legs, held on tight, and wept with joy. The master illusionist was so overcome with emotion that he could not hold the illusion of the great hall in his mind, and it faded like smoke in the wind. Hrindi stroked her sons thick black hair to reassure him. " Do not worry my son, we will build a great hall in this valley, and it will be just as spectacular as your wonderful illusion. " she told her son. Utgard - Loki looked up at his mother with red tearful eyes. " It has been so very long ! " he managed choking back the tears. " And I have missed you so very much ! " he added, and then broke down again. " I am here now, and NO ONE will ever tear us apart again ! " she told her son. Suddenly there was a great roar, and flames shot across the sky ! Utgard - Loki let go of his mother's legs and fell hard on his backside. Hrindi laughed when she saw the astonished look on her son's face. " Utgard - Loki I would like you to meet my friend Fjallið Drekinn ! " she told him with a chuckle. Her son looked up at her with disbelief on his face. " Is that real mother ?! " he asked. Hrinda held out her hand to help her son up. " Yes, my son, it is real ! " she told him as she lifted him off of the ground. Utgard - Loki raised his eyebrows at his mother to show that he was impressed by her new powers. Hrindi kissed her son on the cheek. " I have much to tell you my son ! " she told him. Hrindi then made the great hall reappear and walked inside with her son. As the doors clanged shut Fjallið Drekinn walked up the steps of the great hall and curled up by the front doors. Everyone was home at last !
- The End
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.