Idunn' s Revenge
The Family Outing
The deer was long gone before the carriage pulled up at the water's edge, and the Elves stepped off into the meadow' s thick grass. Ivaldi was rather proud of himself ! He had chosen the perfect day for their family outing. A fact that he made sure the other occupants of the carriage were well aware of. Idunn and Bragi had rolled their eyes at each other every time the elder Elf mentioned their great fortune, while Ingalf, Idunn' s twin brother, was more brazen and actually chuckled after the first few times his father mentioned how lovely a day it was.
Idunn placed a beautiful woven blanket, that Mother Frigga had given to her as a wedding present, on the ground for them to sit on. With Ingalf ' s help she laid out in golden bowls salted fish, dried meats, fruits, and breads. The dried meats were for her husband . The Alfar did not consume much meat, preferring instead fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains as part of their diet. The Aesir on the other hand loved meat, and plenty of it ! Idunn then handed each of their little entourage a golden plate to fill with whatever their appetites desired. As his wife dealt with the food, Bragi gave everyone a golden goblet, and filled it with a delicious apple flavored wine. The food was delicious, and the scenery was so beautiful, that the Alfar family did not speak much during their midday meal. Ivaldi, however, could not resist, and mentioned yet again how wonderful it was that he had chosen the perfect day for their outing. This time Bragi and Idunn could not control themselves, and laughed right along with Ingalf. Ivaldi tried to act as if he were hurt by their response, but he too gave in and giggled right along with them.
After their meal Ingalf and his father set up a golden game board on a flat rock, on the lake's shore, and began to play. Ivaldi, in between moving his pieces, kept a father's watchful eye over Idunn and Bragi. Having been recently married they had not yet settled into the routine of marriage, and were still as playful as children with each other. Ingalf too watched the loving couple as he studied his next move. He was surprised that his sister had jumped into marriage so quickly. Idunn was a reserved young woman, who was very quiet and polite, and yet she had become smitten with Bragi early on, and they soon became inseparable. Even Ivaldi, who was very protective of his daughter, could not deny their love for each other and quickly gave in to his daughters request to be married.
As day slipped gently into night, Mani and the stars in the heavens painted a new picture upon the surface of the smooth lake. The Elves looked longingly at the stars in the heavens. These bright beacons in the sky meant much more too the Elves than just a light show, or a pretty image on the lake. Bragi, who had only recently learned why the stars meant so much to the Elves, played a pleasant tune on his harp, while the others engaged in quiet conversation as they gazed at the heavens. All was quiet and peaceful until Ingalf mentioned his damaged sword. " I think that I shall have to travel to Svartalheim and have my brothers there make me a new sword to replace my damaged one . " he told his father as he bit into an apple slice. Bragi stopped playing his harp as soon as he heard his brother - in - laws plans. Ivaldi turned away his gaze from the stars and shot his son a concerned look. " I have many swords my son. Why not take one of mine ? " he asked his son. " Thank you father, but my Dwarve half brothers promised me that they would make me a wonderful sword, with a jewel encrusted hilt ! And I want to travel to Svatalheim, and take them up on their generous offer. " Ingalf replied. " You will have to travel through Jotunheim on your way down to Svartalheim my son. The Aesir have angered the Jotuns, and I am not sure that it is a good idea to journey through their lands at this time . " Ivaldi told his son. Bragi then chimed in : " Your father is right Ingalf ! Odin and Thor have infuriated the Giants with war after war over Midgard' s boundaries. It might be a good idea to heed your father's warning brother ! " Ingalf smiled as he reassured everyone. " I promise to be careful. " he told them. " Besides the Alfar did not participate in these land wars. The Jotuns have no reason to hate us ! " he added. " Still you must be careful my son ! " Ivaldi said in a serious tone.
Bragi struck a faster tune on his harp, and began to sing an ancient traveling song which Ivaldi could not help but join in. Idunn walked over and sat down next to her brother. With the end of a small stick she drew strange runes in the dirt. Ingalf recognized the odd shaped runes immediately. He and his sister had developed these " secret " runes as children so that they could could communicate with each other without anyone else knowing what they were discussing. In this way the twins were able to keep secrets from their parents. Ingalf glanced down at the message and smiled. It read simply : " Please be careful my brother ! " Ingalf took the stick from his sister' s hand , and scratched in the dirt below her message : " I will. I promise little sister ! " Idunn reached out and squeezed his hand as they too joined in the singing.
End Part 1
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.
Next : Chapter 2 : To Svartalheim