Odin had his head bowed, and his hands pressed up against his forehead in the shape of a roof on a longhouse. He did not react immediately to Thor' s words, but instead kept staring off into the distance. It was almost as if the All - Father was looking through time itself for the answer to his son' s question. Slowly Odin lowered his hands, and looked over at his sons. " With anger comes war ! " he said softly. Vali and Vidar glanced questioningly at Thor, and then all three turned their attention back to their father. " Once, a very long time ago, I accused a member of the Vanir of using witchcraft against us. " he told his sons. " I consider myself to be a wise and sensible God, and yet it was I who cast the first spear that struck her down. My rashness led to the great war against the beings of Vanaheim. It was a battle between Gods of magic, and Gods of might, but it was a futile battle that neither side could win. Since Balder's death I have held within me much anger, and I have allowed this powerful emotion to cloud my judgement. " Odin continued. Then Odin turned his attention to Thor. " For the moment I will quell my fury, and seek the truth before committing to another war . " he told the Thunder God.
Thor shook his head back and forth in disgust. " If you will not be in need of my help father, I will take my leave of you. " Thor told him. The God of Thunder then turned and walked away. As the loud pounding of his steps echoed through the hall Vali called to his brother. " Thor ! Do not leave like this ! " Vidar looked at his brother and shook his head. " Let him go Vali ! Thor is built for war . He seeks battle, not the truth. " he told his brother with a smile.
Odin looked over at his two remaining sons. " Yes, let your brother go for now. When he hears the trumpet of war resounding in his ears he will come back to us. " he told them. Odin slowly rose from his high seat, and placed one of his hands on both of his sons shoulders. " You two are also free to go for now. " All - Father told them with a little smile. " But stay close ! I may be in need of your might very soon ! " he added as he walked away.
Frigga walked into the bed chamber as Odin was changing. The strong and powerful God, who only moments ago sat regally on his high seat in Hlidskjalf, had now transformed himself into an old Midgardian man. As he put on his cloak, and placed the hood over his head, he turned to his wife and smiled. " How do I look my dear ? " he asked. Frigga narrowed her eyes a bit as though she were studying every detail of his appearance. Finally she spoke in a gentle, but worried voice. " Where is my husband going in the guise of the wanderer Gangleri ? " she asked.
Odin reached out and brushed back a lock of hair that partially covered his wife' s face. " I will travel to Midgard to seek answers to the tragedies that I have witnessed. " he told her. " But first I must travel to the Well of Urd to speak to the Norn Skuld. For only she knows by who's hand the future was changed ! " he added with a hint of anger. Frigga kissed her husband on the cheek. " Then I will leave you to your work, and wish you all the best in your endeavor my love . " she told him.
Odin waited until his wife left, then reached over and grabbed hold of his mighty spear Gungnir. Gently he tapped the tip on the floor three times as he chanted a magical spell. Slowly the great weapon of war transformed into a crude walking stick with runes carved upon the sides of its handle. Odin spoke to the stick as if it were an old friend, or at the very least an acquaintance. " Come Gungnir we have a long distance to travel, and not much time to work with. " he said out loud to the inanimate object.
From a window Frigga watched as her husband slowly disappeared into the distance. She had experienced the loneliness of watching him leave so many times that she had become numb to its effects. With a deep breath she turned away from the window and silently went back to her spinning. For there was no telling when her husband would return, and keeping busy made the time seem much shorter.
Yggdrasil' s root was as big as an entire world, and as long as the entire universe. Odin followed it slowly down to where he knew the Well of Urd lay. As the root began to taper, the All- Father suspected he was getting close to the end of his journey, and when he heard the soothing sound of bubbling water he realized that he had reached his destination. Ratatosk did not stop to speak to Odin as he passed, for he was carrying a message from Nidhogg to the great eagle who sits on the highest branches of the world tree. The inquisitive squirrel did take note of the All - Father's presence though, and decided to tell the eagle as soon as he arrived in the tree top.
Skuld did not turn, nor did she stop weaving as the uninvited visitor came up behind her. " I know why you are here, but you should not have come. I cannot, and will not, divulge the name of the being who stopped my hand and tore apart the fabric of time that I had weaved. " she told Odin without ever turning to acknowledge him.
Odin slowly walked over to Skuld, and place his hand on the Norn' s shoulder. " Of course you know why I am here. This, all of this, was weaved by you. Every moment has been carefully and precisely crafted by your skilled hands. " he told her. " I am surprised, however, that you are not angry. " he added. Skuld wriggled her shoulder, and Odin released his hand. " I do not know of your emotions. I weave with a steady unbiased hand, Odin of Asgard . " she told him. Odin stepped to the side to see the Norn' s face, and for a moment Odin's eye met Skuld' s eyes. " I commend you on your restraint. For I myself would be very angry at the perpetrator of such a bold act as changing the future....... the future that you, and you alone are responsible for ! " Odin exclaimed. The All- Father then watched closely to gauge her response.
Seeing no reaction, Odin took a deep breath. " Well then ! It is obvious that there is no knowledge to be gained from staying here, so I will be on my way. " he told the Norn as he began to walk away. Skuld looked up from her weaving, and without any hint of emotion spoke. " I am ....... concerned...... that someone would have the audacity to change that which I have weaved, but my oath prevents me from naming those who did this......, but the answers you seek can be found in a field on the outskirts of a village on Midgard called Saurby. " she told him.
Odin stopped for a moment and partially turned his head back towards Skuld. " Thank You ! " All - Father shouted to her before resuming his journey. Odin grinned to himself. " Saurby on Midgard ! I know of that place. It is in the land known as Norway. "
As she heard the God's footsteps slowly disappearing off into the distance, Skuld stopped weaving for a moment and turned to where the All - Father had stood behind her. " Do not thank me high one . No one has the right to change the future. Not even one of my own people. " she whispered.
End Chapter 1
Next : Chapter 2 : The Old Woman
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.