In a great field beyond the valley Ismir had assembled a great force of Cliff Giants, Frost Giants, and Plains Giants. He had then arrayed them in three long lines that stretched from one end of the great field to the other, each with more warriors than the line before it. Jotun's who took the form of eagles patrolled the skies, while on either side of the warrior lines were legions of Jotun cavalry, some riding horses, and some riding monstrous wolves. These fast moving warriors would protect the flanks of Ismir's army. Ismir laughed as he thought to himself that not even a God as powerful as Thor himself could withstand such a vast army. Ismir stood with his generals, and gave his warriors a short speech : " We are fighting for our homeland against the Aesir invaders, and especially against our most hated and despised enemy Thor. We are fighting for the lands formed from the body of our ancestor Ymir. These lands should be our lands, and will be soon ! Today we fight for both our ancestors, and our children's future. What we do here today will live on in the memories of those who come after us. For a brighter tommorrow we must fight with all our strength, and if death is our reward..... so be it ! Remember our ancestors ! Remember Ymir !! " Ismir shouted these last words at the top of his lungs.
From a distance Thor could hear a mighty roar explode from the fields beyond the valley, and he knew it was the Jotun warriors. Thjalfi and Roskva helped Thor put on his iron gauntlets, and his belt of strength. Roskva with great concern in her voice asked Thor a question that Thjalfi was thinking about also. Roskva with a quiver in her voice asked : " Mighty Thor how will you defeat and entire army of Jotuns ? " Thor looked beyond Roskva in the direction of the battlefield, and said to no one in particular: " Sometimes we must do that which we deem impossible no matter what the odds. It is the righteous thing to do, and honor demands it ! "
Roskva and Thjalfi knew that this was one time that they could not join their Lord and companion. They stood on a large out -cropping of rocks, and watched as Thor slowly walked to the clearing that was soon to be a bloody battlefield. He stood in the shining sun like a monument to bravery. Roskva could not hold back tears of pride for her Lord. When Thjalfi saw the tears coursing down his sisters face he reached down and held her hand. His sister squeezed his hand tightly in return. Then suddenly, something flashed by the rocks they were standing on ! All they could see was a blur as the object streaked by them. It made a sound a little like a rock - slide which scared both of the children. Worst of all it was headed straight to the battlefield where Thor now stood !
Thor did not even turn when he heard the noises behind him coming up fast. When the object stopped by his side he said in a matter of fact way: " Why have you come father ? " Great Odin, who sat upon Sleipnir, answered with a little sarcasm in his voice : " Your mother thought you might need a little help. " Then something landed on the other side of Thor which did startle him slightly, and he raised his hammer in defense. From under a falcon coat emerged Freyja in full battle dress. Thor looked surprised and said : " I would not have thought that you would have come Freyja. " Freyja smiled at him and answered with a soothing voice : " We are no longer enemies my Aesir brother, but allies." Freyr and Njord will be her shortly also", she added matter of factly. Then a voice from behind him shouted : " We are all here my half - brother ! I would not have missed this for all of the nine - worlds ! " said Balder with a laugh. As Thor looked around he saw that all of the Aesir, and many of the Vanir had come to help him battle the Jotuns. Only Loki was not to be seen.
Ismir was surprised when he saw that an entire army of Aesir and Vanir lay before him. Surprised, but not afraid ! When the battle lines had been drawn, both sides rushed at each other at full speed. There was a crash when they met that cannot be described, but must be heard for oneself. The fighting was generally single conbat with weapons and shields, but in some cases it degenerated into hand to hand combat. The Jotuns used their catapults to keep the Aesir cavalry away at a safe distance. The Aesir used Ullr and Skadhi much in the same way as they shot their deadly arrows into the ranks of the Jotuns with deadly accuracy. Skadhi thought of the little children that the Frost Giants had killed every time she let loose an arrow. She did not like fighting her own kind, but when Jord told her that innocent little children had been killed during the raids into Midgard she was infuriated with rage, and made her choice to fight.
Overhead in the sky there was a battle raging as well. The Jotuns in eagle form were being attacked by the falcon coated Vanir and were not fairing very well. Many were falling from the skies, and landing on the battlefield lifeless. When Ismir saw that the battle was not developing the way he thought it would, he ordered his cavalry to charge at the flanks of the Aesir lines, to try to get behind them. Freyja would have none of this, and as soon as she saw what they were trying to do, she stretched out her arms to the heavens, and conjured up a blizzard that forced the Jotun cavalry to retreat . Out of the corner of her eye she saw her brother fighting several Giants at once and smiled. His famous sword was slashing away at them with a mind of its own.
The battle raged on for hours with the Jotun forces slowly being pushed back across the field, and into the mountains beyond. Ismir, seeing that all would be lost if he did not retreat, sought the safety of the mountains where he was sure the Gods would not follow. As he sat on his horse supervising the last of his warriors through a mountain pass, a huntress took careful aim from an adjacent outcropping of rocks. The arrow flew true, and struck Ismir in the chest knocking him off of his horse. Only Skadhi knew the mountains well enough to follow, and make such a perfect shot . Ismir was lucky, however, as the arrow missed his cold heart by a fraction of an inch.
When Thor returned Thjalfi and Roskva were shocked that Thor was cut and bleeding from several wounds. Thor assured them however, that they were of no concern, and that he would be fine. Roskva with tears in her eyes hugged Thor's leg, which surprised the injured God. He patted her on the head, and assured her once again that no one could kill the Mighty Thor. Seeing that the other Gods were gathering there, Thjalfi reached down and picked up his sister. He told her that Thor needed to rest now, and that they would speak to him later.
That night the Gods and Goddesses held a great feast at the stronghold in honor of their victory. Much food was passed around the tables, and the horns were kept filled with ale, mead, and wine. Roskva and Thjalfi were standing in the background watching the feast, when suddenly a large man appeared in the shadows. He bent down and picked up Roskva and Thjalfi in one swooping motion. Then they saw the patch over his eye, and knew it was All - Father Odin. Odin looked at both of them, and said with a smile: " Warriors do not hide in the shadows ! Move over Aesir warriors, and make room for two more on our benches. Tyr and Bragi moved down a little, and made room for them, and Odin plopped them on the bench. A Valkyrie stood over them with a stern look, but then smiled and placed a plate full of meat and fruits in front of them. Thjalfi and Roskva sat there stunned and smiled at each other. They never thought that they would ever be invited to join the Gods in a feast ! Bragi, the great storyteller, raised a toast in honor of their brave little warriors ! Everyone raised their horns in their honor. Then Bragi did something very unexpected, he looked very intently at the children, and asked them to tell him the story of how they defeated the Frost Giants in the valley. Roskva and Thjalfi were very honored indeed ! Overlooking the great feast table was an evergreen tree in the shape of a woman. The branches of the mouth formed a smile as Jord watched from above.
As Ismir lay recuperating in his Ice Palace he was told by his attendant Frosmir that he had a visitor. Ismir said that he wanted to be left alone, and did not wish to see anyone. Frosmir, however, insisted that he would want to see this Jotun visitor. As Ismir looked up from his ice bed he saw an imposing figure standing in the doorway. " I have heard that you have had some problems with the Aesir of late my friend, " bellowed a confident sounding Jotun. As he came into the light Ismir could see that it was Surt from Muspellheim. Ismir looked at him and smiled as he said : " Sit down my friend, let' s talk ! "
The End ?
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2012.
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !