Just as everyone seemed to be reaching the breaking point, Chief Sviar called out : " Someone is coming down the mountain ! " Everyone turned to see a lone figure wearing a blue hooded robe slowly walking down a narrow trail into the valley. As everyone became fixed upon the stranger the tension relaxed, and both sides became more at ease. The robed individual walked slowly with a wooden walking stick. Carved into the stick were figures of animals, and runes, which gave the stick the look of a king's staff. Halfway between the Gods and the Dwarves the stranger stopped, and slowly pulled back his hood to reveal his weathered face, and a patched eye. Odin spoke in a calm voice as he asked the Dwarves : " How are you today my little friends ? " Once the Dwarves saw who was under the hood they dropped down to one knee, and cried out in unison, " Hail, All - Father ! " King Haur bowed his head in respect, and answered : " When we were nothing more than maggots in the earth you gave us form All - Father. We honor you now as you honored us then. " Then Haur made his case before Odin: " Great Odin these Gods have invaded our valley, and killed my people ! We deserve justice ! No, All - Father, I demand it ! " he said angrily. " Odin", Skadhi shouted, " These dirty little creatures have been killing my wolves, and I have come here to stop them ! " Odin looked thoughtfully at King Haur, and said after a moment : " Then your people will die, and my people will die. " Odin turned and looked at Skadhi and Ullr and said in a sad voice : " Have we not had enough of war my fellow Asgardians ? First the Aesir - Vanir War, and then the Frost Giant War ! And everday my son is fighting with the Jotuns ! How many more must fall Skadhi ?! How many more of the Gods gone forever Ullr ?! " Then Odin turned and looked back and forth, first at King Haur, and then at Skadhi, before saying : " And this time you want to go to war over wolves ! " No ! No ! NO ! " Odin shouted.
Odin then walked over to a rock and sat down. He motioned for the Gods, and King Haur and Sviar, to join him. King Haur tried to speak, but Odin stopped him with a simple wave of his hand, and then commanded : " No ! You will all listen to me, and listen well ! " Skadhi, you will tell your wolves to stay out of this valley and the next valley as well ! All game that comes into this territory belongs to the Rock Dwarves ! Odin then looked over at King Haur and Sviar, and said calmly : " You in return will kill no more wolves. If they stray into your domain you may capture them, but you will return them to Skadhi. " Odin directed his next remark at Skadhi without actually looking at her : " Skadhi, you will be responsible for any game that your wolves kill in these valleys. " he said forcefully. Then he added : " If you kill any more Rock Dwarves you will answer to me ! " Odin then shouted for all to hear : " There will be no war ! I who am All - Father to Gods, men, and the creator of the Dwarves has spoken ! " Odin stood up pulled his hood over his head, and walked over to Ullr. He spoke loudly enough for everyone to hear when he said to Ullr : " This was not your fight, you should not have been involved in this. " Odin then smiled and said quietly : " Thank You ! I will tell your mother Sif, and my son, your step - father of your exploits. He winked his good eye at Ullr, and then slowly walked away the same way he came.
King Haur looked over at Skadhi and Ullr and said in a low raspy voice: " I will keep to Odin' s bargain if you will Mountain Gods ! " Skadhi looked at King Haur, and replied : " Let us seal it in blood Dwarve King. " Skadhi pulled out a dagger, and cut her hand. King Haur pulled out a stone knife, and sliced into his flesh as well until it ran red. They stepped towards each other, and clasped hands tightly to seal the treaty. Then both Haur and Skadhi looked over at Ullr with raised eyebrows. Ullr looked back at them and said in disgust : " Oh, great ! " Ullr then pulled out his blade, cut his hand, and placed it over both of theirs. King Haur looked Skadhi in the eyes and said : " Remember this oath well Skadhi ! " Skadhi peered deep into King Haur' s eyes and replied : " This day and forever ! " As King Haur was walking away Chief Sviar gave him a puzzled look before saying ; " That 's it ! We just walk away ! " King Haur smiled at Sviar, and said quietly : " Great Odin has spoken ! It is over ! "
As they turned to leave, Skadhi asked Ullr if he would join her at her camp so she could thank him for his help. He smiled and said with a laugh : " You should thank Great Odin as well great huntress. It was he who told me to follow his ravens to glory ! When I saw his ravens over your camp I figured he wanted me to help you . " Then Ullr looked down at his still bleeding hand, before saying : " Yeah, I guess a hot meal is the least you owe me " Skadhi looked at his bleeding hand and said sarcastically : " I think you will live my friend ! " Ullr then said to no one in particular : " Who came up with that wonderful way to seal oaths anyway ? " Skadhi looked off into the distance, and explained : " It was started long before you and I existed. We honor not only our bargain with the blood oath, but also honor the memory of our ancestors with our blood pledge ! "
As they were walking back through the valley Skadhi noticed out of the corner of her eye a small brown head peering over a small boulder. Skadhi stopped and shouted : " Come on Little Growler. Hiding and shaking will do you no good now that it is over ! " The little bear jumped down from the rock, and followed closely behind Skadhi' s footsteps. Then the Goddess looked over her shoulder and said curtly : " And we will speak about that little stunt you pulled with the Dwarve later my little fur ball. Didn't I ask you to stay back at camp ? " Little Growler walked with his head down for a few paces before Skadhi added : " Thank you , my little friend ! " Little Growler picked up his pace and rubbed himself up against Skadhi's leg. Skadhi and Ullr both laughed at the little bear cub. As they walked out of the entrance to the valley, the wolves one by one fell into line behind Skadhi and Ullr, until both packs were together, and being led by Swift Runner and White Paw. Many were limping, and some were bleeding, but they all had their heads proudly held high as they left the valley .
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2012.