Part II : The War Of The Gods
Behind their great wall, with his horse cavalry, and holding the middle of the line, Odin held overall command. On his right was his son, Thor, and Tyr held steady on the left. Odin did not know how they sneaked past Heimdall into Asgard, but in the fields outside the great wall the Vanir looked weak, and very unimpressive. They were far fewer in number than the Aesir, and seemed spread out and disorganized. Some wore no armor at all but seemed to be covered in feathers. Odin decided to clear the fields outside of the great wall of these unwelcomed trespassers. He decided to attack ! He did however, leave Balder and Hodr in reserve behind the wall to defend Asgard just in case. Odin never took foolish chances if he did not have to ! The great gates were opened and out poured first Thor's legion on the right, and then Tyr's legion on the left. After lining up in perfect lines of battle they shouted a great war cry and ran at full speed directly at the Vanir. Then Odin, with Loki riding by his side, streamed through the gap between Thor and Tyr, and attacked at full gallop ! Then one of the Vanir, a woman in full battle dress, who Odin recognized as Njord's daughter Freyja, knelt down and raised her hands to the sky. Odin smiled, there would be no surrendering now ! But great warrior Freyja was not surrendering, she was summoning. Suddenly the thickest fog that had ever hit Asgard rolled in and enveloped everything. Njord blew up a breeze that blew it further past the wall and into Asgard itself. None of the Aesir warriors could see their hands in front of their faces, let alone the enemy that lay before them. Freyja rose up and shouted for all to hear, " Attack " ! Njord with his son Freyr on his right and his daughter Freyja on his left moved into the fray. The Vanir were able to use their magic to see right through the fog and pick out their foes with ease, while the Aesir could only flail wildly at the perceived enemy in their front. The Vanir warriors, with the feather coats, took to the air and attacked from above. Odin sensed that they were in a bad way but pressed on. He did however tell Thor, through his mind, to go back and reinforce Balder and Hodr, and act as a last line of protection for the citizens of Asgard. Thor obeyed at once !
The Vanir easily rolled up the Aesir lines that stood before them, and pushed them steadily back to the great wall. The carnage was horrible ! The clang of sword against sword, and the dull thud of swords hitting shields was deafening. The screams of the wounded and dying was almost unbearable. The Aesir, though valiant, could not fight an enemy that they could not see. Those who could retreated behind the wall and awaited what they were sure would be the final blow. Then they heard a sound they thought they would never hear, the walls of the great wall being demolished. Thor alone moved foward, his eyes red with fury, his hammer held high ! Thor no longer cared whether he could see the enemy or not. He went as wild as a berserker, swinging his hammer back and forth in the gloomy mist. Savagely he laughed when he heard the dull thud of his stone hammer hitting the soft flesh of the Vanir. He laughed even more wildly when he heard the breaking of bones. When he heard the fluttering of wings above his head he ducked and swung his great hammer over his head in a circular motion, until he heard the hammer make contact. He moved foward slowly beating a path back to the breach in the wall. Balder and Hodr moved foward with him, proud of their great prince and willing to die for great Odin and Asgard. When the Vanir became backed up against the wall Njord signalled for a retreat to their original position outside of the wall. Thor would have chased them all the way back to Vanaheim, but Odin, in his wisdom, shouted for Thor to stop ! Thor looked back at his father with angry eyes, and a heart burning with fury, but kept going. Odin then said more gently, " Son, we cannot afford to lose you, come back within the walls of Asgard. " Thor understood his father's tone and understood the wisdom that lie behind it. Though Thor had beaten back the Vanir, and avoided total defeat, Odin considered the battle a loss, because of their great losses, and the wall being severely damaged. Parts of Asgard, near the wall, had also been heavily damaged. The battle had been won by Vanir magic, and Odin realized that the Vanir were a formidable enemy who could no longer be taken lightly.
A stalemate then ensued between the Aesir, protected behind their hastily repaired wall, and the Vanir who were encamped outside the great wall. From time to time both sides would send out raiding parties to feel each other out, but all this accomplished was further loss of life. On one of these attacks Balder and Hodr tried to attack under the cover of darkness, but Freyr made the sun shine and they were discovered. In their ferocious fight back to the walls of Asgard, Hodr was struck across the face by the mighty sword of Freyr, and lost his sight forever. Balder carried his blinded brother back behind the wall with tears streaming down his face. Odin, seeing this, realized there had to be another way. No matter what plan was tried, or what magic was used, neither side was going to win this horrible war. Across the field of battle, Njord, I wise man in his own right, was having similar thoughts.
End Part Two
Next - Part III : The Peace
Glenn Bergen, Copyright 2011
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !