Surtr : The Great Fire Giant
The Rjufendr Attack !
One of Surtr's first acts as leader of the rebels was to have maps drawn up showing the routes of as many of the north-south hraun - tupa as was possible. The rebel leader had asked his commanders if they knew of a good cartographer, and all of the rebels pointed to Bergkvika. When Surtr asked his second in command, Bergkvika told him that he had a little Fire Giant under his command in the Southern Army named Hiti, who was considered the best mapmaker in Muspelheim. Then Bergkvika smiled when he added that Hiti had defected to the north with him. Surtr sent Goshver to find him immediately.
It took months for Hiti to map the largest and longest of the great lava tubes. The map maker at first worked on charting only the tubes that ended in the deep southern portion of Muspelheim, but eventually he also charted the hraun - tupa that ran east and west as well. Many of these east- west tubes went over or under the north - south tubes, depending on whether they were older or newer. Hiti, a brilliant strategist in his own right, laid out his maps in front of Surtr and his commanders, and showed them that if they dug through the walls of the tunnels where they met they could interconnect them, which would give them quicker access to the south, and more escape options should the southern army discover their tunnels.
Surtr was impressed by the little Fire Giant, and immediately had every rebel in the hraun - tupa digging through the hard rock to interconnect the tunnels. The rebel leader was amazed at the accuracy of Hiti's maps. Time after time they broke out of one tunnel, and into another, exactly where the little cartographer said they would.
Once again Surtr inspired his commanders by working side by side with them in the tunnels. It was back breaking work in stifling conditions, but Surtr gained their respect by working as hard, if not harder, than his men. Vikrar, a Fire Giant not easily impressed, commented to Bergkvika that Surt was a Fire Giant worth fighting and dying for !
The rebels worked for well over a year, but when the Rjufendr felt they had made a fairly good interconnecting network of hraun - tupa, it was decided that it was time to arm their warriors, and begin to garrison the tubes. Bergkvika, Vikrar, Reykur, Goshver, Gufa, Gigur, Logi, Hraun, and Bruni were all given a group of warriors ranging in size from two to three dozen Fire Giants. Surtr and Hiti attached themselves to Bergkvika's post, which was then considered the command center. Before they departed for their garrisons Surtr gave his commanders a few simple rules to always follow : 1. Never allow the enemy to see you exiting or entering the hraun - tupa. 2. Never attack an enemy force that is larger than your own. 3. If the force is larger send a fast runner back for reinforcements. 4. Be merciless ! Unless otherwise instructed kill the enemy to the last Fire Giant.
As Surtr watched his brave warriors leave, he wondered if what they were about to start would be successful, or if it might be a complete and utter failure. Despite an occasional defector from the south that added to their numbers, the Rjufendr only had three hundred and fifty four warriors to start the rebellion. Awaiting this tiny force King Aska had over ten thousand Fire Giants at his disposal.
It did not take long before an enemy formation was spotted near a hraun - tupa. Gufa, who was patrolling an area just south of his tube with several Fire Giants, spotted a small battalion of thirty soldiers returning from a patrol near the northern border. Gufa continued to shadow the enemy while he sent a fast runner back to bring his warriors up to their position. Gufa carefully followed the enemy warriors, and left markers behind for his Giants so they could find his location.
As evening began to settle in over Muspelheim the Southern army soldiers put down their weapons, and set up a camp in a small crater that had once been a vent for a volcano which had long since gone dormant. Gufa studied their movements closely, and to his great surprise he saw that they posted no one to guard the camp. The rebel commander assumed that the southern warriors felt safe now that they were away from the northern border. Their complacency made his attack that much easier to plan.
Slowly the veil of darkness fell, and the southern warriors bedded down for the night. Gufa laughed when he saw that the southern warriors still had not posted anyone to guard the camp. Keeping his Giants hidden below the rim of the crater, he slowly positioned each one of his twenty five warriors around the small volcano vent until they completely encircled the southern soldiers position. Then, as the double moons that circled Muspelheim reached their apex, Gufa gave the signal to attack.
Each warrior rose up, when they heard the dragon call that Gufa used to signal them, and jumped over the lip of the cone. As they ran down into the center of the vent they began to whistle and holler as loud as they could. One southern warrior must have been a light sleeper, because he quickly jumped up and faced his attackers. This lone warrior put up a valiant struggle to defend his comrades, but one Fire Giant was not enough to hold off Gufa's warriors. All of the other southern warriors were killed either as they slept, or as they stirred from sleep. The moons had barely moved in the sky in the short time it took the rebels to kill everyone in the camp.
Before heading back to their hraun - tupa Gufa had his Fire Giants gather up all of their enemy' s weapons. The Rjufendr needed every spear, sword, axe, and shield they could get their hands to arm their growing little force. The rebel commander also decided to leave what would soon become the symbol of the rebellion carved onto the body of every dead southern soldier. Each of the dead enemy warriors had an 'R' cut into their foreheads.
As soon as Gufa and his warriors returned to their hraun - tupa, the commander sent a fast runner back to Bergkvika' s tunnel to report the first victory for the Rjufendr against the southern army in the rebellion. Gufa had his messenger give Surtr a few of the captured weapons, and told his subordinate to embellish the story somewhat. Gufa made sure to instruct his messenger to leave out the fact that their were thirty of the enemy compared to only twenty five of his Fire Giants !
- End Chapter 3
- Next : Chapter 4 : Kveikiefni Fights Back !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.