The Wisdom Of Odin
Without turning around Odin bellowed : " Are you going to stand by the door, or are you going to come in and join me for a drink, Loki my old friend. Loki silently laughed as he shook his head from side to side in disbelief. " How does he do that ?! " the trickster said quietly under his breath. Loki could understand that Odin could sense that there was a presence in the room, but how did he always know who the guest, or intruder, was ? Loki laughed heartily. " I believe I will join you my old friend ! " Loki replied as he sat down on the golden bench next to him. Odin reached over, grabbed a large horn and slammed it down on the table in front of Loki. He then slid a large pitcher of ale over to Loki, and with a smile told him : " You can pour it yourself, blood brother ! " As Loki poured the ale into his horn he looked up and asked : " And what are we celebrating today, my old friend ? " Odin took a very long drink before answering. " I have chosen once again a king to live, and for another to die ! " he replied.
Loki took a drink from his horn, and then placed his hand on Odin' s shoulder. " Old friend why do you so often choose the weaker man to be victorious in battle ? " Before Odin could answer Loki continued : " I personally would rather back the stronger warrior king ! " Loki boasted confidently. Odin gave Loki such a sharp look that the trickster removed his hand from Odin' s shoulder. Odin then looked Loki in the eyes and said in a half whisper : " There is more than one type of strength, son of Laufey . To judge a man simply on his physical prowess would be foolish ! " Odin lectured. Loki had to compose himself before replying. " I disagree ! A strong skilled warrior would be my choice every time, over a weaker man who is wiser ! You would have to prove to me that the weaker man will make a better king for me to change my mind ! " Loki told him in a condescending tone. Odin looked over at Loki, and grinned. " Then that is exactly what I will do my old friend ! " Odin replied confidently.
Odin stood up and walked over to a golden door at the end of the great hall. He then motioned for Loki to follow him. Loki quickly emptied his horn before joining his blood brother at the mysterious golden door. Then All - Father opened the door and pointed into the room. " After you my old friend ! " he told Loki graciously. As the trickster cautiously entered he noticed that there was nothing in there except two ornately carved chairs that sat on a raised platform in the middle of the room. The floor, however, appeared to him to have a strange look about it. As he stood upon the floor It reminded Loki of standing atop a great white cloud. Loki gave Odin a questioning look, but All - Father ignored his curiosity.
Odin walked over and sat down in the high seat that was farthest away. As he did so the floor suddenly changed ! The clouds seemed to blow away, and Loki found himself in what appeared to be the air. And he was falling ! Loki jumped into the empty high seat, and clung on for dear life ! " What is that ! " Loki demanded to know. Odin laughed and said calmly : " Why that is Midgard my old friend. " Loki looked down into a great valley nestled in between two tall mountains. On either side of the valley floor stood two great armies moving into position to do battle. " Are we still in Asgard ? ! " Loki asked with a note of concern. Odin gave his blood brother a sly grin. " I assure you we have not left my great hall Loki. " Odin replied. " But how can this be ! ? " Loki demanded. All - Father looked at Loki as a teacher looks at his student. " Here in Hlidskjalf, upon these high seats, my mind can journey to anywhere, and show me everything that is transpiring in the nine worlds. All I have to do is think of what I wish to see. " Odin told him.
Loki tried to concentrate on what he was seeing below him, but he was having an uncontrollable bout of vertigo that was preventing his mind from grasping what was happening. The trickster clung onto his high seat as though it were the reins of a horse that he was breaking in. After a time the sensation passed, and he composed himself enough to look over at Odin and ask : " What is it that I am looking at exactly ? " Odin did not return his stare. He was concentrating intently upon what was taking place below. Finally All- Father answered : " You are about to see the kings I have chosen. Today one will live, and the other will die ! "
End Part 1
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.
Next : Part 2 : The Players