Freyja tried to look about Asgard, but could not see the hand in front of her face. The fog that had descended over Asgard was not a natural occurrence. Freyja could sense that just as easily as she could feel the power that had conjured up the thick mist. She reached out with her open mind, and felt the great force that was close by. As she turned in the direction of that which was emanating the powerful magic, Freyja shouted angrily : " Hnoss ! What have you done this time child ? Odin will not be happy with you this time my little treasure. " From out of the mist Freyja heard a little giggle.
With a wind that seemed to blow up from out of nowhere the fog was thrust out of Asgard, and into the great void that exists beyond. " Is that better mother ? " Hnoss said with a hint of sarcasm in her voice. " Why would you do that my daughter ? " Freyja questioned. Before Hnoss could answer little Gersemi shouted: " Because Hnoss is a wicked little girl, mommy ! " Hnoss gave her little sister Gersemi an angry look before turning back to her mother and answering her question : " I just wanted to see if I could reproduce the fog that you created in the Aesir - Vanir War that helped the Vanir breech their wall and defeat the Aesir. " Shush Hnoss ! " Freyja said softly. " We should not bring up such things now that we are friendly guests here in Asgard ! "
Then from behind a large tree came a bellowing voice : " Do not be too hard on the little one Freyja ! " Odin said as he pulled back his hood. " She is powerful, maybe even more so than you great Vanir Goddess. " Odin added raising an eyebrow. " Yes All- Father, I believe you are right, but she has not yet learned the discipline of the magical arts. Seidr can be very powerful and is not something to be played with as though it were a toy. " Freyja shot back. Odin looked at Freyja with his all seeing eye and shook his head : " Yes Freyja, I saw that quite clearly when you taught me Vanir magic, but she will learn discipline in good time. She is young and is exploring her new found powers. We should be patient as we teach her what is right and what is wrong. " Odin said and then turned to little Hnoss. " We must remember little treasure, that everything that we do can affect others, and we must keep that in mind when we practice our Seidr. " Hnoss looked up at Father Odin with sad eyes and said : " I' ll be more careful next time. I promise ! " Odin laughed as he bent down and whispered in her ear : " Oh, how can I be mad at someone as precious as you little one. " Odin lifted Hnoss off of the ground and placed her on his hip, and then motioned to Gersemi to come over. Gersemi jumped up and mighty Odin caught her with his other arm and put her on his other hip. He spun the little Goddesses around in a circle as he said laughing : " Your little girls always brighten up my day Freyja ! "
Freyja smiled as she watched All - Father Odin swing the girls back and forth. Odin seldom showed this side of himself to others, and it was wonderful to see. As Freyja watched Odin play with her daughters she became very worried at something Odin had said. " She is powerful, maybe even more powerful than you great Vanir Goddess." Odin was right ! Hnoss was powerful, very powerful....... maybe too powerful !
Freyja wished that Odr was at home instead of traveling far and wide as he too often did. Odr had a way of speaking to someone, anyone, in such a fashion that even though he was reprimanding that individual, the person did not feel that they were being scolded, or punished. Freyja, on the other hand, knew that she was much more to the point, and often said exactly what she needed to say in a more direct, forceful and hurtful way. Freyja took a deep breath before she went through the doorway and entered her eldest daughters room. Hnoss was sitting on the ledge of the window, and was giggling at all the animals that were outside of her window. Freyja narrowed her eyes, and said in a terse voice : " Skadhi is able to gain the trust of the forest animals by speaking to them. She does not need to force them to come to her. They come because they respect her. " Hnoss turned and looked at her mother with an angry scowl before saying with a sly smile : " That is because she is not as powerful as me mother. "
Freyja walked over to Hnoss, and was about to scold her for her answer, when Hnoss raised her hand, and in a fluid motion waved it at the animals. The animals awoke as though out of a deep sleep, and realizing where they were, ran back into the cover of the forest. Freyja gave out a little involuntary gasp at the sight before collecting herself, and joining Hnoss on the window sill.
Freyja looked her daughter in the eyes, and said in a tone not much louder than a whisper : " With great magical power comes the responsibility to control it. " Before Freyja could continue, Hnoss rudely interrupted : " Mother, do you really think that I would hurt anyone, or anything, with my powerful Seidr ? " Hnoss asked. " No ! I don' t think that you would hurt anyone willingly, but sometimes our magic can go beyond its intended target, and unforseen consequences can occur my daughter. " Freyja said calmly. " That may be the case for someone who is not as powerful and practiced as myself mother, but I can see, and control, the limits of my magic. I control it mother, it does not control me ! " Hnoss replied arrogantly. Freyja was taken by surprise by her daughter's response, stood up, and started to leave. As she reached the doorway Freyja turned and said : " Yes, my child, but still we MUST be careful ! "
After Freyja left little Gersemi ran into her older sister' s room and asked : " Why does mother look so worried ? " Before Hnoss could even answer Gersemi giggled and added : " What did you do this time ! ? " Hnoss looked at her little sister and smiled before lifting her up, and putting Gersemi on her lap. " Mother is worried that I will not be able to control my Seidr, and someone, or something will get hurt or damaged. " Hnoss said matter of factly. " I think that mother is a little afraid of you ! " Gersemi shot back. Hnoss gave a little laugh before answering: " Yes, my power is great, but don't you worry little sister I will be careful. However, I need to practice my Seidr so that I can become strong ! "
The next morning little Gersemi woke up and looked around the great hall, but she could not find her mother or her sister. When she went out to the garden she saw Hnoss sitting on a bench arranging a bouquet of flowers. Gersemi walked up to her big sister and asked : " Where did mother go ? " Hnoss, who was used to having to care for her little sister, picked Gersemi up and placed her on her lap, then answered with a little bitterness in her voice : " She has gone away to look for father again. Heimdall told mother that he had seen him in the land of the Midgardians." Gersemi looked up at her big sister and asked : " Will she be gone long ? " Shaking her head Hnoss replied : " I hope not little one ! " "Are you bored Gersemi ? " Hnoss inquired. " Yes ! Father promised me a horse to play with, but he hasn' t returned yet. I don't have anyone to play with ! " Gersemi said pouting.
Hnoss placed Gersemi back onto the floor, stood up and said with a big grin : " If it is horses that you want little sister, then it is horses that you shall have ! " Gersemi looked up at her big sister, and thought to herself : " uh - oh ! " Hnoss raised her hands above her head, and said in a quiet but forceful voice : "
Four legs, and six and eight,
I summon Asgard' s mighty horses,
I command you, do not be late,
for I control the mighty forces,
my anger grows the more I wait,
As I call to you from ancient sources ! "
Gersemi pointed to the sky and clapped her hands in joy as she saw the first of Asgard' s horses coming. Hofvarpnir was the first to make it to Sessrumnir. He was the quickest because he could fly through the air. Next came Sleipnir galloping hard, his eight legs kicking up turf as he went. Coming up behind Sleipnir were Glad, Gyllir, Glen, Lettfet, Skeidbrimnir, Silfrtopp, Sinir, Gils, Falhofnir, and Gulltop. When all the horse stood before the young Goddesses Hnoss began to sing a magical little song. The horses on command began to strut a little dance around the girls. Gersemi giggled and clapped her hands in time to the magical lyrics that Hnoss sang as the horses circled round. Hnoss then changed the tune and made the horse do a little dance with each other which made both the girls laugh with delight !
Off in the distance, however, trouble was brewing. A group of Gods and Goddesses had gathered, and they were asking where their horses had gone. Odin especially was angered because he and the other Gods needed to leave for the Spring of Urdr to hold their daily court, but they had no horses to ride over Bifrost. Odin said under his breath : " Thor may like to walk to the Spring of Urdr, but I do not wish to do so ! " Impatient, Odin went over and sat on his high - seat, Hlidskjalf, and looked out over the nine worlds. He did not see them in Midgard, nor Alfheim, or even Jotunheim. The last place he looked was in Asgard itself, and when he spotted the horses he could not believe what he was seeing ! Hnoss was playing with the Gods horses . No, she was controlling them ! This was not a cute little prank being committed by a child Goddess, but an intrusion into the daily business of the Gods of Asgard. Furious Odin rose up from his high -seat and said in a voice that was furious even for him : " Follow me, brothers and sisters ! "
As they got closer to Sessrumnir, the Gods became angrier and angrier. Heimdall especially said unkind words about Freyja' s children when he saw his beloved horse Gulltop prancing around under a spell performed by Hnoss. Gersemi was the first to see the Asgardians approaching and tugged at her sisters dress. Hnoss put her hands down and stopped singing in mid - verse when she felt the tug. " I think we are in big trouble ! " Gersemi said with fear in her voice. Hnoss smiled at her little sister before saying quietly : " Let me handle this Gersemi, you just be still ! "
Hnoss never had a chance to handle the situation. Heimdall yelled at the girls as soon as he was in ear shot . When he came upon Gulltopp he grabbed him by the neck and stopped its foolishness. His tirade at the girls was long and loud, and even before he finished Gna began to yell at them. Gna scolded the girls repeatedly for keeping her from her important errands. " Frigga will be furious with you both if I cannot finish the errands that she has given me to run today ! " Gna shouted in a furious tone. Then it was Odin's turn to reprimand the girls, and he reminded them of how important it was for the Gods to get to the Spring of Urdr to hold their Court of Justice. Odin finished : " My son, who walks to the court, will be there waiting for us because you have delayed us with your nonsense ! " Then Odin did something that Hnoss did not expect. He grabbed the two girls, and carried them into Sessrumnir to their room. Then with words well practiced he locked the door with a spell, and as he walked away he shouted over his shoulder : " And there you will stay until you realize how wrong your actions were this day ! " As Odin mounted Sleipnir he turned to Heimdall and said : " I need you to stay today here in Asgard and watch over these two because I cannot not trust them on their own. When Odr and Freyja come back to Asgard I shall speak to them personally about this matter ! " Heimdall nodded before saying : " I will watch over them as I watch over the Rainbow Bridge All - Father ! "
Hnoss and Gersemi had heard every word that Odin had said, and this made Hnoss angry. Very Angry ! She could not believe that Odin, who had always treated her with so much kindness, could do and say such awful things to her ! In a fit of anger she turned to her little sister, and with rage in her voice said : " I will not stay here in Asgard any longer ! Here in Asgard I am only one of many with great powers, but elsewhere I could rule with my magic ! " Gersemi frowned before saying to her older sister : " Odin has locked us in Hnoss, how can you go anywhere ? " Hnoss looked at Gersemi with a wicked smile before saying slyly : " Odin is not the only one with magic little one. " Hnoss closed her eyes and in an instance the lock disappeared from the door. " True I cannot undo the spell that locked the door, but I can make the lock itself disappear ! " Hnoss said as she laughed. Gersemi looked at her older sister and in a mature tone beyond her years said : " Odin has punished us ! We cannot go against the All - Father's will ! " Hnoss gave her little sister an angry look before saying : " I am leaving tonight whether you come or not sister ! " Gersemi put her head down and kicked the floor before replying : " I don' t want to stay here all alone ! " Hnoss kneeled down and looked Gersemi in the eyes : " Then we leave when night falls."
As Sunna' s light was receding from the Asgardian sky, Hnoss and Gersemi headed out for the Rainbow Bridge. What Hnoss did not realize, however, was that she was being watched by the ever vigilant Heimdall. As Heimdall walked away from Bifrost another had noticed that Heimdall was not as attentive as usual. Utgard - Loki had shaded himself into the colors of the rainbow bridge, and had hidden himself, and a few special warriors there until the time was right to come foward. Normally the Jotun would not have been able to avoid Heimdall' s careful all - seeing eyes, but Heimdall this night was not as vigilant because Odin had asked him to keep an eye on Hnoss. As Heimdall left his post to intercept Hnoss, Utgard - Loki, and six of his best warriors sprang up out of the colors of the Rainbow Bridge ready to attack Asgard and its inhabitants. " Now I will destroy Asgard before Thor and the other Gods return from the Spring of Urd. " These Asgardians are too dangerous and powerful to be allowed to exist. Foward now my warriors and destroy all that you see ! "
As Hnoss and Gersemi were walking quietly towards the Rainbow Bridge, Gersemi turned to her older sister and asked : " Hnoss how will we ever get past Heimdall? Father says that he can see everything in the nine worlds, and can even hear the grass grow ! " Hnoss smiled as she said slyly : " I will cause a fog to rise that not even mighty Heimdall can see through, and I will create a howling wind so loud that no one, not even someone with ears as sensitive as Heimdall' s can penetrate. "
Just as Hnoss finished her last word Heimdall stepped out from behind a large tree startling the girls, and said in an unpleasant voice : " And where do you think you are going little ones ?! Odin has decreed that you be confined to your rooms until he feels that you have learned your lesson, and fully understand the gravity of what you have done this day ! " Hnoss, who was a little afraid of Heimdall gathered up her courage and replied : " I will not stay in a land where my power is not appreciated ! I am headed to ..........."
Hnoss never had a chance to finish the sentence before they heard screaming coming from the direction of the Rainbow Bridge. Heimdall turned to the girls and shouted : " Go home and stay there ! Asgard is under attack ! " Heimdall reached down with his hand for his horn, Gjallar, but it wasn' t at his side. He had left it at his post on the Rainbow Bridge when he went after the girls. Heimdall took a deep breath, pulled out his sword, raised his spear over his head, and ran at full speed back to Bifrost. The last thing the girls heard as he disappeared into the distance was Heimdall shouting : " For ASGARD ! "
Gersemi tugged on her big sister' s hand : " Come on we have to go ! " she said in a fearful voice. Hnoss was stunned, and was crying as she looked down at her little sister. She knelt down and said quietly, but forcefully : " No ! This is all my fault ! If we had not left Sessrumnir then Heimdall would have remained at his post guarding both the Rainbow Bridge and Asgard. I have endangered us all ! I need you to go home Gersemi. I am going to help Heimdall. " Gersemi looked at her big sister with an expression of horror on her face and shouted : " No, Hnoss ! No ! We must go home ! They are Jotuns ! " Hnoss stroked Gersemi' s hair, and said quietly : " I know, but I caused this ! Mother was right, my power did have unseen consequences, and now I must make this right. " Then Hnoss stood up, and gave Gersemi a stern look before saying : " Go home little sister, I will join you later ! "
Hnoss then ran in the direction of the Rainbow Bridge as fast as her little legs would carry her. As she approached the bridge she saw a horrible sight . Five Jotuns were fighting with Heimdall, while another much larger Jotun was standing by enjoying Heimdall' s predicament. Although one Jotun was lying motionless on the ground it was obvious that Heimdall was losing, and he already had several visible wounds. Hnoss felt anger build up inside of her that she had never felt before. In a fit of rage she yelled at the top her voice : " Stop, or I will kill all of you ! " The huge Jotun stepped foward, and laughed at this insolent little child. " Who dares to threaten the great Utgard - Loki !? " The Jotun bellowed. Little Hnoss had to look almost straight up to see the face of the Jotun, but although he towered over her, she was not afraid. " You heard me ! You WILL stop now ! " Hnoss snapped back at him .
Utgard - Loki raised his fist and thrust down upon Hnoss with all his might. Hnoss, however, envisioned a mighty wall above her, and the Jotun' s hand hit solid rock with a fleshy thud. Utgard - Loki turned and writhed in pain from the unexpected shock of his own blow. Utgard - Loki shook his hand until the pain subsided, and then screamed at the little girl : " You Little witch ! I am going to crush you like a bug ! " Utgard - Loki ran up to Hnoss and brought his leg back to kick the insolent little child. Hnoss seeing this went down on one knee and put her hands out in front of her. She envisioned a large boulder in front of her, and just as Utgard - Loki was going to kick her the great boulder appeared, and the Giant crashed his toes into solid rock. The Jotun immediately doubled over in pain, and rolled onto the ground.
While Utgard - Loki writhed on the ground in great pain, Heimdall continued his fight against the other Jotuns. He had killed a second attacker, but his strength was diminishing and he did not know how much longer he could hold out. Just then, behind this epic battle, tiny fingers picked up the Gjallar Horn which lay where Heimdall normally guarded the Rainbow Bridge. Gersemi had not listened to her older sister, and had come to help. She trembled slightly as she placed the horn up to her lips, and blew as hard as she could. To her amazement the horn made a tremendous sound that reverberated throughout the nine worlds. Utgard - Loki looked up from his agony with an expression of disbelief on his face. The Jotun lay there thinking to himself : " How could two little girls cause him so many problems ? ! "
Odin was calling for a final vote in an arbitration case at the Court of Justice when the Gods heard the call. They froze for only a moment, and then obeyed the call at once ! Each God ran, mounted their horses, and rode as fas as they could back to Asgard. Even Mighty Thor jumped onto Sleipnir' s back behind Odin. This was no time for anyone to be on foot !
Utgard - Loki slowly picked himself up off of the ground. He had decided that he was not going to take anymore nonsense from these two little girls ! He looked at Hnoss with an evil glare, and screamed at the child before him : " You want magic little girl ? ! Then I will give you magic !! " Suddenly a fireball appeared before him and he threw it at Hnoss with his mind. Hnoss, who was just as angry conjured up a wall of water which extinguished his flames. Again and again Utgard - Loki tried to penetrate the wall of water but he could not get his fireballs to penetrate.
Utgard - Loki then conjured up winds of hurricane force and blew them at Hnoss to blow her off of the Rainbow Bridge. Hnoss used her powerful Seidr to make winds of equal force to stop the Jotun' s gale. The Giant was now so enraged that he was screaming as he reached deep within himself and brought forth boulders which he threw at Hnoss with all his might. Hnoss reached deep within herself and found a new level of power she had never realized existed. She shattered the boulders as if they were nothing. Then she stopped and raised her hands over her head as though she were surrendering. Utgard - Loki threw another boulder at the defenseless little girl. Gersemi screamed as the boulder appeared to hit her . Then she looked again and stared in amazement . The boulder had simply gone right through her ! Utgard - Loki sent a few more boulders her way before he stopped and just stared at the little girl in disbelief !
Now Hnoss understood this Jotun' s evil ways. Utgard - Loki was not a wielder of magic but merely an illusionist. If she did not believe in what she saw being conjured up by the Jotun then it simply did not exist. Utgard - Loki had fooled Thor, Loki, and Thjalfi all those years ago because they believed that his tricks were real, and if you believed in them they could hurt you. Now, however, Hnoss understood, and had no reason to fear his tricks. Hnoss stepped foward and looked up at the Jotun who was staring back at her in total disbelief, and said confidently : " Your magic is poor, and are merely slight of hand tricks. I have had enough of your games Jotun ! " Hnoss clapped her hands and Utgard - Loki was blown off of Bifrost, and back to Jotunheim.
As Hnoss watched Utgard - Loki fall into the void, she did not realize that one of the Jotuns had broken away from Heimdall, and was now behind her. Just as the Jotun raised his sword to strike her down he notice he was on fire. Behind the Jotun stood Gersemi with angry eyes and an unforgiving heart. " You leave my sister alone you evil Jotun ! " Gersemi screamed. The Jotun ran screaming down the Rainbow Bridge as the fire consumed his clothes, and then he jumped off the bridge and joined Utgard - Loki in the void, his flaming figure slowly disappearing into the darkness. Hnoss turned, raised an eyebrow, and then smiled at her little sister. Gersemi looked at Hnoss with a smug look and said with a smile : " Mother teaches me things too sis ! "
Heimdall was still fighting the final three Jotuns when Odin and the remaining Aesir rode over the Rainbow Bridge. When they saw the Gods approaching they threw down their weapons and surrendered. As Odin dismounted he looked the Jotuns over and said with an angy tone : " I will not soil my hands with the blood of these vile creatures. " The Jotuns breathed a sigh of relief. Then Odin turned and pointed to Thor and said : " But my son would like to have a few words with you ! " Thor took the Jotuns away, and they were never seen or heard from again.
Odin walked painfully slowly over to Hnoss and Gersemi. " Do you have any idea how much trouble you two have caused here today ? I should banish you both from Asgard forever ! And your parents as well ! " Heimdall, who was visibly shaken by what had happened, stepped foward and stood before Odin. All - Father, I ask that you not be too unkind to these girls. True, they caused this situation, but they also helped to save Asgard...... and me as well. " Odin studied Heimdall' s bloody face carefully and then reflected for a moment. " Heimdall, I will leave their punishment to you then. What say you in judgement old friend ? " Odin asked slowly. Heimdall looked at the two terrified little girls who stood before him with their heads bowed, and replied : " I demand that they finish serving their original punishment, and be locked in their rooms until they realize that what they have done is wrong ! " Surprised, Odin looked first at Heimdall, and then at the girls before saying " How can we trust them ? They have already disobeyed my decree and escaped once ! " Hnoss knelt before Odin and said in a meek voice : " All - Father I know now that what I have done is wrong. Very wrong ! I promise that I will remain in my room, and cause no more problems for you ." Odin helped Hnoss to her feet, looked her in the eyes, saw her honesty, and then said with a sense of pride : " Then take your little sister home, warrior child, and stay there until I come to call upon you. " Hnoss nodded to Odin and then said respectfully : " Yes, All- Father. As you wish ! "
As they were walking back to Sessrumnir Hnoss looked over at Gersemi and said with a twinge of pride in her voice : " Thank you, sis ! You are a brave little girl aren ' t you ? Someday your Seidr may be as strong as mine. " Gersemi reached out and held her older sister' s hand before replying : " Maybe I' ll even be stronger ! " They both laughed as they reached the edge of the garden just outside of their home.
When Freyja returned home she had to face the wrath of Odin ! And of course as always she had to face it alone because she was not able to find Odr. When she heard what the girls had been up to she became furious ! She was very embarrassed as she sat for hours being scolded by Odin for the way she had raised her children. When she returned to Sessrumnir she decided to have it out with Hnoss. As Freyja turned the corner, and slowly opened the door to her room, she saw Hnoss sitting on the ledgeof the window playing with several deer. She became furious at the thought that her daughter was cotrolling the beasts with her magic again especially after how much trouble her magic had caused already . Just as Freyja was about to scold her daughter, she realized that her daughter was not controlling the animals with magic, but was speaking to them instead. As Freyja stood there and listened she heard her daughter say : " I always thought Skadhi was foolish to converse with animals like you, but mother was right. Kindness and respect are the best kinds of magic . Now go and play amongst yourselves, for I have to reflect upon the evil things that I have done . When Odin comes to call I want to make him proud of me again ! " Freyja smiled, and quietly shut the door. Hnoss was becoming a responsible young woman, and more importantly she was becoming a vital asset to the defense of Asgard !
Freyja next went over to check on Gersemi. As she opened her youngest daughter's door she gasped in horror. Gersemi sat on the edge of her bed and was staring at a small blue globe. Freyja realized at once what it was, and yelled at Gersemi : " You put that back where you found it young lady ! Thor will be so angry if he finds out about this ! Midgard is not to be played with ! "
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright 2012.