The Wisdom Of Odin
Odin' s Great Wisdom
Loki watched intently as the Ranrike army began to walk across the valley towards the Viken position. Halfway across the valley the warriors broke into a slow trot, which turned into a full sprint as they approached the waiting Viken shield wall. He was very surprised at how fast a huge man like King Hallkell could move. The Ranrike king was easily five yards ahead of the rest of his warriors, who were struggling to keep up with him. Loki was also amazed at the great poise that King Eyjolf showed his men as he fearlessly sat on his horse, and stoically awaited the battle to come to him. And standing just to the side of the king's great horse was Odin. Loki, almost as a reflex, looked over at the empty high seat to make sure that his blood brother really was gone.
Just before the two armies crashed into one another a great roar rose up on the battlefield from both sides. And then there was a sound that Loki had never heard before. It was a cacophony of yells, screams, swords thudding against shields, and the sharp ringing of swords striking other swords. Loki was overjoyed by what he was witnessing, and literally moved to the edge of his seat as though he were trying to get a better view. The great trickster grinned from ear to ear as the battle heated up !
King Hallkell was everything that Odin had said he was. He ripped through the Viken shield wall like a man possessed ! No Viken within the reach of the Ranrike king's sword remained standing for very long. Loki noticed at once that King Hallkell was fighting his way through the Viken army, and heading straight for King Eyjolf . No one seemed capable of stopping such a determined, and skilled warrior as King Hallkell. Many refused to even try !
Loki was surprised when he saw King Eyjolf dismount and begin to fight on foot. He was even more shocked when he saw how well the old warrior fought. King Eyjolf did not have the brute strength of KIng Hallkell to overpower his opponents. Instead the older king used years of practiced skill, and technique to defeat his opponents. The Ranrike warriors fell almost as fast by his sword as the Viken warriors fell by King Hallkell' s weapon. The carnage of dead and dying warriors was growing by the moment as the two came closer and closer.
The battle went on for quite some time, but Loki was not bored at all. He could not believe how exciting it was to see men's arms and legs cut off, or their innards come spilling out of their belly's when hit by a slicing sword. Even Loki, who was familiar with the horrors of war, had to recoil slightly when he saw a sword crush a man's skull, or slice through their necks decapitating them. Loki was amused, however, by a head that landed in the thick of the fighting which was being kicked around like a ball. But then again Loki could find humor in almost anything.
It was then that Loki noticed that King Hallkell had fought his way to where King Eyjolf was fighting. Two of Eyjolf's men tried to intercede on their king's behalf, but they were quickly killed by the Ranrike king. In a show of respect KIng Eyjolf tipped his sword at his opponent. King Hallkell laughed at the gesture, but returned it none the less. As the two king's stood facing each other it was as if the rest of the battlefield faded from Loki' s vision.
The battle began with King Hallkell violently swinging his sword at King Eyjolf. He was obviously trying to end the struggle as quickly as possible ! Eyjolf was fleet of foot for a man of his age, and was able to dodge, or block the larger man' s blows. This only made Hallkell angrier and more determined. With a series of very fast hard strokes Hallkell was able to knock Eyjolf to the ground. Hallkell then placed both hands on his sword, and swung hard down on the prone king's head. King Eyjolf quickly rolled out of the way before Hallkell' s sword could strike him. King Hallkell screamed in frustration when his sword hit only dirt, and went after King Eyjolf as he tried to stand. All Eyjolf could do was put his sword out in front of him, and wait for the blow to come.
As King Hallkell was running he raised his sword to strike again. Suddenly a spear caught his leg, tripping the king up. Hallkell tried to keep his balance, but he fell forward onto the sharp sword of King Eyjolf, piercing his heart, and killing him instantly. Hallkell' s weight was such that it knocked Eyjolf backwards, and the Ranrike's king fell upon the Viken king pinning him to the ground. King Eyjolf struggled, but he could not free himself from the massive warrior who lay over him. Suddenly Eyjolf felt the great weight lift off of him. Standing above the king stood an old warrior with a patch over one eye. The warrior gave his hand to KIng Eyjolf, and helped him up. The two looked at each other for a moment, but there was no time for words as the battle once again closed in around them.
Loki noticed immediately after Hallkell's death that the battle was shifting in favor of King Eyjolf and his Viken army. King Hallkell' s army seemed to have lost the will to fight when their king was killed, and was slowly retreating the way they had come. King Eyjolf, sensing that the battle was turning, lead his men forward, and slowly began to push the Ranrike army across the valley. " They had no respect for their king, and therefore the Ranrike warriors no longer feel they have to honor him by fighting hard. " Odin told him as he reappeared in the hall. Loki jumped in his seat ! " How do you do that ! " he shouted in surprise and anger. Odin just smiled. " See how King Eyjolf' s men fight desperately for the king they deeply love ! Over many years he has earned both their admiration and their honor ! " Odin told him.
As the battle began to wind down Loki looked over at Odin. " So you saved the life of the weaker man, and now have the king on the throne that you wanted. Does that make you happy brother ? " Loki asked sarcastically. Odin placed his hand on Loki's shoulder. " You could not be more wrong my blood brother ! " It is true that my actions gave the Midgardians of both Ranrike and Viken a great and honorable king. " he told him. Then Odin pointed to the battlefield where King Hallkell lay dead. As they watched a Valkyrie picked up his spirit, mounted her horse and flew away. " But what I most wanted, my old friend, was a great warrior like King Hallkell to sit in my great hall in Valhalla and feast with my other Einherjar. He will be a great addition to my warriors and a wonderful asset in the Gods future fight against the minions of Hel ! " he explained to Loki.
Loki looked deep into Odin's eye, and then back to the Valkyrie who was disappearing into the distant horizon. The trickster shook his head in disbelief, and whispered to himself : " You are truly wise great one ! "
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.