Idunn' s Revenge
The Search For Ingalf
Idunn took a deep breath before she knocked on Freyja's immense golden doors. As the doors slowly opened she saw a little girl standing a short distance from her. Idunn looked at the child strangely, and was about to ask the little one how she opened the door, but was cut off by her shouting : " Mommy ! A pretty lady has come to visit ! " she screamed at the top of her lungs. As Freyja came from around the corner she scolded her daughter : " Gersemi ! Is that anyway to greet a guest here at Sessrumnir ? " she asked wagging her finger at the child. " Did you even say hello first ? " Freyja asked. " No. " Gersemi said with a little pout. Freyja then turned her attention to her guest. " Please excuse my daughter's rudeness Idunn. " The Vanir Goddess told her apologetically. " Come in my dear. My father and mother are here as well, and I am sure they will be glad to see you again ! " Freyja said as she escorted the Goddess of Youth into her hall. " Yes I know Freyja . I wish to speak to your mother. " Idunn replied.
After the usual polite greetings between the Gods and Goddesses Idunn apologized for being so forward, but got right down to the reason for her visit. " Skadhi, forgive me, but I need your help ! " she told the Mountain Goddess with tears in her eyes. " If I can I will be more than happy to help you my dear ! Now, what troubles you so ? " Skadhi asked. Idunn broke down and fell to her knees crying. " My brother Ingalf has been missing for an entire cycle of Mani, and we have had no word from him ! He traveled to Svartalheim to have our half - brothers make him a new sword, but he has vanished without a trace ! Oh Skadhi, I am so afraid that something very bad has happened to him ! " she sobbed. Skadhi' s demeanor changed at once ! She turned to Njord and said apologetically : " I will have to leave you my husband. I have a friend to find ! " Njord smiled. " I understand completely. Be careful my wife ! " Njord told her before kissing her on the cheek. Skadhi then turned to Idunn and said : " Give me a few moments my dear, and I will meet you in the garden with my friends . " Idunn nodded. " Thank You ! " she whispered as she dried her eyes. Skadhi changed her clothes, and gathered up her gear, including of course her bow and arrows, as Freyja showed Idunn out to the garden.
Idunn was shocked by Skadhi's transformation ! Moments ago she was dressed as beautifully as any queen, but now she wore animal skins, and furs. Her hair was tied back off of her face, and she wore bracelets over her sleeves to keep them down. What startled Idunn the most, however, were her two companions. Standing on one side of the Mountain Goddess was a huge wolf, and on the other was an even larger bear ! " Are we ready child ? " Skadhi asked the young Goddess. " Yes. " Idunn answered warily.
As Idunn walked on one side of Skadhi, the bear the Mountain Goddess called " Little Growler " walked on the other. Her wolf, who she referred to as " Swift Runner " was well up ahead, " keeping the scent " as Skadhi had told her. Idunn felt small and insignificant next to Skadhi, and yet at the same time she felt very safe. Idunn smiled as she thought to herself : " Skadhi may be a woman, but she was a woman who did not fear anyone or anything ! " Although she was now a full grown woman, Idunn felt like a little girl walking with her mother. To Idunn it felt very nice.
After they had journeyed for the length of a day, Idunn wondered when they would stop to eat. And she was also curious as to what they would eat, for they had not packed any food for their journey . All Idunn had with her were a few of her golden apples. When they reached the middle of a small valley Skadhi went off the trail, and headed down a small hill to a deep stream, followed closely by her faithful bear cub. The Mountain Goddess pointed to the stream, and yelled out a command to Little Growler. " In the stream with you my furry friend, and catch us some dinner ! " Then Skadhi turned back in the direction of the trail and howled like a wolf. Within moments Swift Runner returned and stood on top of the hill looking down on the Goddesses below. " I am going hunting, stay here and protect Idunn ! " she shouted up to him. Swift Runner quickly ran down the hill and positioned himself by Idunn's side, startling the young Goddess slightly. As the wolf looked up at her, Idunn swore to herself that the wolf smiled at her ! " I will be back in a little while Idunn. Gather up some wood for a fire, and place this in the middle of the stack. " Skadhi told her as she handed her a black rock. " It is a little present from my kinsman Logi . " she added with a smile.
Idunn went around the woods by the stream, and gathered as many branches, and pieces of wood she could find. Swift Runner mirrored every step she took, which both frightened, and reassured her. After Idunn stacked the wood into a large pile she placed the rock Skadhi had given her into the middle of the stack at the bottom. After a moment it began to glow bright red, and then suddenly burst into flames igniting the dry firewood. Idunn had just sat down on a log by the fire to rest when she heard someone, or something coming. She looked in the direction of the sounds, and then down at Swift Runner, but the wolf seemed unconcerned by the approaching noise. Just as Idunn stood up she saw Skadhi coming over the hill dragging a rather large deer behind her.
" Dinner ! " Skadhi bellowed as she dragged the deer by the side of the fire. Idunn watched in sheer fascination as the Mountain Goddess dropped the deer, and strutted down to the stream. " Only six trout !? " she shouted with a laugh. The little bear cub hung its head low as if embarrassed by his labor, and then headed back to the stream. " Come back here fur ball ! Six will be enough. " she told him as she gathered up the large rainbow trout. The little bear cub jumped up and down with delight as they headed back to the fire. Idunn tried not to laugh at the comical little bear, but she could not help herself. " I hope that two fresh trout, and these berries I picked will be enough for you my dear ? " Skadhi asked Idunn as she pulled out a handful of very large red berries from her pouch. " Oh my, that will be more than enough for me ! " the little Elf Goddess replied sheepishly. " I am sorry Skadhi . I feel that I do not have much to contribute on our journey to Svartalheim. " she said apologetically. Skadhi smiled as she placed an entire deer leg and thigh over the fire. " Did you bring your golden apples ? " she asked. " Yes, of course ! " Idunn answered. " Then that is more than enough my young friend ! " Skadhi told her.
Idunn was amazed at how much Skadhi ate for her dinner. Between herself and Swift Runner the deer was reduced to nothing but bare bones. That evening, before they bedded down for the night, Idunn told Skadhi all about her brother as they sat around the fire. Skadhi listen intently, as she ate a golden apple given to her by the Goddess of Youth, but she herself said very little . Skadhi kept looking up the hill in the direction of the trail. The Mountain Goddess had a very bad feeling about this trip, and her feelings were seldom wrong.
As the days passed Skadhi and Idunn became closer, as most do when they are thrown together in a common cause. Their journey through Midgard was a pleasant one, and the weather was beautiful as they reached the border with Jotunheim. Idunn craned her head all the way back to look up at the high peaks that were the home of the Jotuns. Skadhi laughed when she saw the look of astonishment in the eyes of the young Goddess. " I assure you little one you will be fine . If the rocks along the way become too much for you I will carry you on my back ! " she said with a smile. Idunn smiled back at Skadhi, but inside she was a little worried as she looked straight up.
Skadhi was as good as her word. With Swift Runner leading the way, the Mountain Goddess, picked up Idunn, and carried her all the way up the highest peak. Idunn hung on for dear life as she was bounced back and forth by her giant strides, until they reached a plateau where the road to Svartalheim began. As Skadhi carefully placed Idunn on the ground, she noticed that Swift Runner had returned. The great wolf stood before the Goddesses with his head down, and his tail between his legs. Skadhi quickly strung her bow, placed an arrow on the string, and commanded Swift Runner to lead the way. Idunn ran after them, but her strides could not keep up. As she came upon a small ledge Skadhi yelled back at the young Goddess : " Stay there child ! " she shouted. Idunn disregarded Skadhi's warning and ran around her legs to see what Swift Runner had found. As she passed Skadhi she saw propped up against a tree the frozen body of her brother. " No ! NO ! " she screamed as she ran over and knelt down by her brother's side. Skadhi slowly walked over to the young Goddess, knelt down on one knee, and placed her arm around Idunn's shoulder. " I am so sorry my dear ! " she said softly. Skadhi then picked up the sword that lay at Ingalf's feet. " It looks as though your brother was trying to defend himself when he was struck down. " Skadhi told her. Suddenly Swift Runner, and Little Growler froze ! Seeing this, Skadhi picked up Idunn by the shoulders, and looked directly into her red swollen eyes as she spoke. " We should not remain here my dear ! I will carry your brother's body back down the mountain, but we should leave NOW ! " Skadhi told her in a worrying tone. Idunn was crying too hard to answer, but she nodded that she understood. Skadhi picked up Ingalf, placed his body over her shoulder, and headed back down the mountain. Idunn started after her, but stopped suddenly. " I want his sword ! " she cried as she ran back to the tree. As she picked up Ingalf' s sword she noticed the carvings on the blade. Through teary eyes she saw written in secret Elf runes that only she could read : Fjolverk killed me / Avenge me sister . Off in the distance Idunn could hear something big coming her way ! Before running after Skadhi, however, she looked at the distant horizon, and made a pledge to her brother : " I will avenge you my brother ! I will find a way to kill this Fjolverk ! This I promise you Ingalf ! " she told the wind as she turned and ran to catch up with Skadhi. At the edge of the plateau, where the trail headed down the mountain, Swift Runner waited to show Idunn the way.
End Chapter 3
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.
Next : Chapter 4 : Ingalf' s Funeral.