One day after defeating the king of Romerike in a minor battle, he came upon one of his warriors threatening a skinny, sickly looking man, who was protecting something tightly against his chest. King Rognvald ordered his man to stop, and asked the warrior what the problem was. The warrior, who' s name was Tosti, stepped forward and boldly said : " We are going to kill that little dwarf of a man, and take his gold my lord." King Rognvald slid off of his horse, and called the man over to him. The king could see that the man was terrified, and noticed that he had pissed himself out of fright. The king looked the man in the eyes and saw fear in them, and yet he admired the man for refusing to give up the gold object that he had wrapped tightly against his chest. King Rognvald asked the man his name, and through trembling lips the man replied : " My name is Odd. I am the Godi at the main temple in Romerike." The king replied softly : " Odd show me what you have in your arms. " Odd whose legs had started to tremble, unfolded his arms to reveal a gold statue of Thor. Rognvald asked pleasantly but firmly : " Are you willing to die to protect your Gods ? " Odd who was now crying replied : " Yes, my lord ! " King Rognvald turned, pointed at Tosti and commanded : " You will protect this man with your life ! " " My lord ?", questioned Tosti. " If anything happens to my new Godi I will have you outlawed. Do you understand ?!" King Rognvald demanded. Tosti nodded in agreement and the army continued on its way back to Hordaland. All of the warriors called the new Godi, " Odd Shaky- Britches", behind his back, but because the king had personally chosen him they treated him with at least some degree of respect.
Upon reaching Hordaland, Odd was taken to the temple. He was amazed at how much bigger it was than the one he presided over in Romerike. In the back of the temple were three statues of Gods. Thor stood in the middle, with Odin on one side, and Freyja on the other. All were much larger than he, and were carved in great detail. An altar stood before the statues, and fire pits sat on either side of the idols. The fire pits were close enough to be warming, but far enough away not to damage the wooden statues. Four windows had been cut into the walls to mark the passing of the seasons. The Autumnal equinox was upon them, and the light that streamed directly through the opening hit the rear of the statues, and caused a shadow to fall over the altar, and those who stood there. Odd was very proud to tell all those who came to sacrifice that they were standing in the shadows of the Gods.
Although Odd was a weak and sickly man, over time he became respected for his devotion to the Gods, and his willingness to perform a sacrifice to any of the Gods at a moments notice for all those who came to the temple seeking the Gods blessings. King Rognvald was so pleased with Odd that he stopped performing the sacrifices before battles and had his new Godi perform them for his army instead. In gratitude the king had statues made out of pure gold crafted by his finest artisan for Odin and Freyja . These were placed next to Thor's golden statue that Odd had protected from Tosti . King Rognvald felt that the temple and its lands were the perfect answer to all of Hordaland's problems, but little did he know that it would someday become the cause of all of his realm's difficulties.
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2013.
End Part 3
Next : Loki : The Jealous God !