A Game Of War
" My Husband's Enemy Is Now My Friend ! "
In the guise of a seamstress Frigga went from village to village, and door to door, in the Northlands pretending to seek work from the local women. Most of these housewives were quite skilled in the art of sewing and needed no help from a stranger. The few who allowed her to repair a garment, or add a stitch or two to the hem of a dress, gave little or no useful information that would lead her to the Queen of Seidr.
With time running short, before King Guðbjorn moved against Heinafylki, Frigga became desperate. She begged women to allow her to do any type of sewing, no matter how small, so she could ask them questions about a witch who was said to be walking among them. A few of the womenfolk allowed her in, but when asked about the existence of a witch in their midst they dismissed such talk as fanciful nonsense.
One day, while walking out of the village of Liðstaðir, Frigga was approached by a middle-aged woman who had a kindly face.
" I have heard that you are looking for work seamstress. My name is Arnheiðr, and I have many older garments in need of repair. " she told Frigga.
The All-Mother did not doubt that the woman had work for her, but there was something in the woman's eyes that intrigued her. This woman seemed to have a story to tell.
" I would be most grateful for the work. If you cannot pay me in coin, I would accept a warm meal for my labor. " she replied with a smile.
Arnheiðr nodded and pointed to a small hut near the edge of the village.
" My home is right over there. I have a stew cooking over the fire for which you are most welcome to partake in eating. " she informed the seamstress.
Frigga entered the small hut, and was immediately met with the sweet aroma of a rich stew which filled the room with its wonderful fragrance.
" The stew smells delicious ! " Frigga said to make small talk.
Arnheiðr did not answer her. With a wave of her hand the small cozy hut turned into a damp cave lit only by torches that were stuck into the cracks and crevices along the walls.
" I do not think that Frigga, the Queen of Asgard, is interested in sewing, or a meal. I know that the All-Mother is looking for a practitioner of seidr ! " the woman blurted out rudely.
Frigga took a moment to look around at her new surroundings, before turning back and addressing the woman who was obviously a witch.
" Then I will not mince my words, nor will I hide behind this awkward disguise. " she told the witch as she transformed back into God-form.
" Yes ! I am looking for a witch. A Vanir Goddess who walks here in Midgard named Heid is who I seek. " she explained as she closely studied the face of the being who stood before her.
One moment Frigga was staring into the eyes of a middle aged Midgardian woman, and then, in the next instant, she was looking at a radiant Goddess standing with her arms folded in front of her. And one who had a mean look upon her face at that !
" Be careful what you wish for my dear ! Your husband tried to tame me and he quickly found that I am no Goddess, or female, to be trifled with ! " she told the Queen of Asgard angrily.
Frigga tried not to show her discomfort, but she swallowed hard none the less when she saw the burning glare in Gullveig's eyes.
" I,..., I am here exactly because of your hatred of my husband. " she managed nervously.
Gullveig's eyebrows rose high onto her forehead, and the angry glow in her eyes quickly turned into a magical twinkle, upon hearing the All-Mothers interesting words.
" Well ! You have found me ! Speak your piece ! " she shot back with a curious grin.
" My husband and I are engaged in a game of war. I am only playing to protect the lives of the Midgardians, but my husband wishes to unit all of the Northlands under one pagan king. In doing so he will undoubtedly kill untold thousands of innocent humans to reach his goal, and of course win the game. " Frigga explained.
" And you want me to help you beat your husband at his own game and protect these weak Midgardians ? " she asked in return.
Frigga's head fell to her chest with disappointment as she replied.
" I was hoping..... "
Gullveig put her hand up and stopped the Asgardian in mid-sentence.
" Does Odin want to win very badly ? " she asked.
" Yes. " she said meekly.
A huge smile covered Gullveig's face as she responded to the All-Mothers response.
" Then I will be most happy to stop this war ! " she replied with a chuckle.
Frigga tried, but she could not hide her frown.
" But how will you stop a war you know nothing about ? " she asked.
Gullveig's smile turned into a wicked grin as she walked a few feet away to where a globe topped staff stood leaning against the cave wall. As she placed her hand upon its shaft the globe on top began to sparkle and glow.
" I am a seer skilled in prophecy. My magic staff will tell me all I need to know. " she informed Frigga.
As the globe grew brighter and brighter in intensity Gullveig went into a deep trance. Frigga watched as the same glow that emanated from the globe began to sparkle in the witch's eyes as well. And when the seer spoke it sent a chill up the All-Mother's spine.
" I see two armies,....,one from Raumariki, the other from Heinafylki, meeting on a great battlefield. The cause of this conflagration is that Odin, in the form of the Heinafylki king, has kidnapped the daughter of Raumariki's king. The vision shows me that the Heinafylki army will fight long and hard, but will lose the battle to the superior force commanded by King Guðbjorn. " Gullveig stated as fact as she watched the events play out before her eyes.
Frigga shook her head impatiently.
" Yes, I know ! But how do we stop this from happening !? " she asked.
Gullveig's eyes narrowed angrily.
" If you will let me finish I will tell you ! " she shot back, annoyed at the interruption.
Frigga once again swallowed hard.
" Sorry ! " she offered apologetically.
Gullveig thought for a long moment and then nodded her head.
" When there are only two pieces left on the game board to play,...., well,....., you cheat and add more pieces ! " she told Frigga.
Frigga shook her head once again.
" But there is so little time ! " she explained.
As Gullveig grinned from ear to ear the globe stopped glowing. Slowly the witch turned herself into an old crone.
" My dear friend, I will have to leave you now and go see several of the kings in the Northlands. " she explained in the shaky hoarse voice of an elderly woman.
Then she laughed.
" These Midgardians are so easy to sway. I will show them my vision of the future, and they will become mere pawns on our game board. " she stated before vanishing like smoke in the wind.
Frigga placed her hand over her mouth, and gasped in disbelief as the cave disappeared, and she found herself once again outside.
" What have I done ! My husband's enemy is now my friend ! " she whispered to herself.
The whistling of the wind seemed to echo the witch's laughter as it blew through the treetops.
- End Chapter 15
- Next : Chapter 16 : The Great Battle That Wasn't
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2018.