At First light Thor awoke, and called to Thjalfi to arise. They had a busy day ahead of them, and Thor wanted to get an early start. Thjalfi went to wake his sister, but she was not lying where she had been the night before. Worried, Thjalfi began to call for his sister, but was quickly silenced by Thor who yelled at him, " Boy do you want every Frost Giant in Jotunheim to know we are here ! " Thjalfi apologized, and asked Thor if he could go and look for his sister, but Thor said that there was no time to waste. If there were Frost Giants in the cliffs above the valley they would soon be upon them. They needed to move now ! Thor and Thjalfi did not even stay for breakfast, but ate as they walked.
As they approached the mouth of the valley Thor and Thjalfi were both struck by the absolute silence of the place. The echoing whispers had stopped, and the wind that had howled so fiercely the day before had ceased as well. Thor and Thjalfi slowed and began to walk in a more stealthy way so that they would not give their position away. As they rounded a corner just before the valley entrance they heard something coming down the mountain at a fast pace. Thor moved foward and raised his hammer to strike, while Thjalfi moved silently behind him. Then in an instance something jumped out in front of them ! Thor raised his hammer to strike down the intruder but when he saw his hammer reflected in a little girls eyes he stopped himself. " Stop ! " shouted Roskva at the top of her lungs. " Don't go into the valley, it is a trap !" Thor gave her an angry stare that she had never seen before, but this time she did not shrink away as she often did when he was annoyed with her. Instead she looked Thor in the eyes and shouted, " The frost Giants know you are coming and are waiting for you on the cliffs above. I hid in their camp all night and I know their whole plan.
Thor and Thjalfi looked at each other with a look of stunned surprise on their faces. When Thjalfi recovered he ran to his sister and scolded her for doing something so foolish and dangerous. Roskva, who was tired and hungry, was not intimitated by her brother either, and simply looked him in the eyes and asked if he wanted to know the Frost Giants plan or not ! Thor looked at Roskva and said with a smile: " I for one would like to hear about this plan gir....." Thor caught himself in mid - word and finished his sentence instead with " Roskva. " The fact that Thor had called her by her full name caught her by surprise. Normally he would call her little one, or if he was really mad he would call her girl. Thor had shown her respect, so she in turn walked over to Thor and in an adult tone, and filled with pride, told Thor everything that she had heard at the Frost Giant camp.
When Thor and Thjalfi heard what she had to say, they talked among themselves, and came up with their own plan. Thjalfi would lead the way, instead of Thor, and draw the Frost Giants attention. If their plan worked they would be through the valley and into the Frost Giants homeland by nightfall. To Roskva's dismay, she however, was left on a large hill that overlooked the valley for her own safety. They would come back for her once the valley was clear.
Thjalfi entered the valley alone and made himself very visible by making quite a lot of noise as he walked along. As Roskva had told them the Frost Giants started to roll down great boulders of ice at him in the valley. Thjalfi easily ran out of the way of the first one, and even after they started rolling down two or three at a time, Thjalfi was able to run with his great speed in between the boulders and escape unharmed. Thor would never have been able to move fast enough to escape theses fast rolling boulders, but for Thjalfi it actually became a game. Thor stood at the mouth of the valley with a broad grin of satisfaction on his face, while Roskva from her hilltop cheered her brother on.
Ismir, however, was beginning to tire of this game being played by the little human, and ordered that the catapults be loaded with ice spheres. When all were loaded he gave the command to fire. First one fired, then all of them started a rapid fire. On the ground in the valley a large explosion knocked Thjalfi off of his feet. Thjalfi knew that it was now Thor's turn to confront the Frost Giants, and as quickly as he could he took cover behind some rocks. Thor then ran into the valley with his eyes flashing red and his hammer held high. Just as he stopped an ice sphere headed directly for his head ! Thor swung his mighty hammer at the sphere, and it exploded harmlessly into little crystals. As the barrage became more intense Thor swung harder and faster destroying everything they threw at him. Roskva thought it looked as though he was swatting away gnats from his face.
As she watched the catapults on the cliffs firing Roskva noticed that some of the Frost Giants had started to move, and that some had already appeared on the opposing mountain on the other side of the valley. From the valley Thor and Thjalfi could not see these encircling movements by the Frost Giants. She needed to warn them, but to enter the valley herself would be too dangerous. She had to do something, or Thor and Thjalfi would have to face an attack from two sides at once, and she could see that that would be too much for even the Mighty Thor to handle. Then she notice that over the original position of the Frost Giants, and just above the catapults, was an overhanging sheet of snow and ice. If she could work her way up there before the Frost Giants got into position on the other side, maybe she could somehow make the snow and ice fall on them and stop them from firing from that side.
It was a much shorter distance for her to get to the top of the mountains above the Frost Giants, than it was for the Frost Giants to get all the away around to the top of the opposing mountains, and she arrived there with time to spare. Once above the Frost Giant position she was careful to stay on the ledge of rock, and not on the overhanging ice and snow. She started to walk up and down the ledge, and jumped up and down on the edge of the mountain as hard as she could. Nothing happened ! She tried every spot she could, but she could not get the huge overhang of snow and ice to fall. When she looked across the valley to the mountains on the other side she now saw that they were almost completely covered with Frost Giants. Then she looked down into the valley and saw Thjalfi and Thor dodging missles and boulders, unaware of what was happening behind them. Roskva was angry, scared, and confused, but she kept on trying. Finally she sank down to her knees, and begged the Gods for help !
On a ledge just a short distance from where she was kneeling a little evergreen tree suddenly formed its branches into the form of a woman . Then Jord spoke : " Child take ten paces to your left, and jump up and down on that spot. That is the weakest point along the ledge. Roskva counted off ten paces, and as she was told jumped up and down with all her might. At the same time Jord caused a small tremor to occur at that spot. Suddenly there was a tremendous sound as tons of ice and snow broke loose causing an avalanche of epic proportions. The Frost Giants below tried to flee but they could not outrun the great wall of snow, and were swept away and buried under the great weight of the wall. Roskva had slipped foward, and almost went over the edge of the cliff herself when the ice and snow gave way. At the last minute she was able to grab a hold of a rock, and was dangling over the cliff. Her screams could be heard throughout the whole valley as she hung on for dear life. Thor and Thjalfi, who had taken refuge half way up the other side of the mountain to avoid the avalanche, looked up helplessly in horror at her.
Just as Roskva's strength was waning, and her grip was slipping she felt something beneath her feet. Slowly she was lifted back over the rock ledge to safety. When she looked down at what had saved her she saw an evergreen branch in the shape of a hand . She looked further down and saw Jord's smiling face looking up at her. With a wave of her branch the evergreen turned back into its tree form, and Jord was gone. Roskva smiled, and cried at the same time, she was too exhausted to do anything else.
Ismir, who had led the force of warriors that had gone to the other side of the valley's mountain tops, was horrified by what he saw ! Over half of his men had been killed by a puny little human female. All of his weapons were gone as well, and all he had to fight with was his depleted force which had only ice spears and ice clubs for weapons. He thought of attacking with what was left of his warriors, but decided it would be better to wait and join forces with the other Jotuns and make a combined attack on Thor and his bothersome little friends in the fields that lay beyond the valley.
The Frost Giants disappeared just as quickly as they had appeared. When the danger had passed Thjalfi ran up the side of the mountain, and saw his sister who was still sitting on the ground in the snow crying. Thjalfi helped her to her feet, asked her if she were alright, and then hugged her. Roskva assured her brother that she was fine, and after a few minutes they slowly headed down the mountain together. When they reached the valley Thor met her with a frown upon his face. "I thought I told you to stay safe and only watch us from that hilltop ?! " Thor scolded her. " Do you never listen Roskva ! " he added. Then Thor turned to Thjalfi and said with a smile: " Thjalfi, I am very hungry will you make lunch for me and Roskva. " Thjalfi understood what this meant, and did not question Thor. He had never prepared food before but he did his best. Thor then looked at Roskva and said : " Sit Roskva let us talk of our adventures this day. " Roskva smiled from ear to ear ! Thor usually only spoke about his adventures with other warriors !
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2012.
Next : Part 5 : The Final Battle.
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !