An Uncivil War
( Part Two Of The Ítreksjóð Trilogy )
War Cry !
As he rounded the last bend in the path, he could finally see the entrance to the cave in the distance. To his dismay the Gods Magni and Modi were still guarding the gateway to his underground realm. At the moment, however, it was only a minor inconvenience in the overall scheme of things. For he had gone to Jotunheim, and come back alive ! And more importantly, he had gotten rid of the coin that he knew would curse it's holder by giving it to Farbauti,.... so what difference did it make that a few Asgardians were keeping watch over them. In the grander scheme of recent events it was inconsequential.
Durinn nodded to the Gods as he passed them to enter the caverns. As he did, a huge hand, half the size of his entire body, reached out and grabbed him, pulling him back out to the entrance. Magni placed two of his fingers on the Dwarves head and turned it toward the covered object that lay up against the side of the opening.
" Two Dwarves left that for you. " Magni stated.
Modi then quickly added.
" They said it was a gift ! "
Durinn, who was in no mood for games, instinctively asked :
" Well ! Who were they ? "
Magni and Modi looked at one another. Modi, who seemed most annoyed by the question, answered :
" They did not give their names, little maggot ! " he replied angrily.
Magni immediately looked over at Modi and narrowed his eyes.
" Are you trying to get us in trouble ! Grandfather will not like it if he hears that we were disrespectful to the leader of the Earth Dwarves ! " Magni reminded his brother angrily.
Modi gave his brother a furious stare before bowing to Durinn.
" My apologies, oh high one,.... who attacked our realm, tried to steal our gold, and almost got some of our friends killed in the process ! " he replied as sarcastically as he could manage.
Magni shook his head in disgust at his brother's arrogance. But there was little he could do or say. Modi lived every day of his life angry at the nine worlds. As a child he had been removed from the nursery because he would crawl over and hit the other Asgardian babies that were crying. This isolation did nothing to improve his disposition towards others, as he got older.
Durinn ignored the insults from the son of Sif and reluctantly walked over to the object that was covered by a canvas bag. After setting his bedroll on the ground he lifted the bag slowly, being careful not to allow the object to tip over in the process.
The Earth Dwarf was surprised when he saw that it was a rock tablet, but as he began to read what had been etched upon it's surface his surprise turned to shock !
' MOTSOGNIR AND IVALDI WILL BE STAYING WITH THE ROCK DWARVES UNTIL SUCH TIME AS YOU EARTH WORMS PAY US 1000 TIMES THEIR WEIGHT IN PURE GOLD '
" Did you know of this ! ? " Durinn asked the Gods.
Magni and Modi walked over to the stone tablet that the Dwarf was pointing to, and read the inscription.
When he was done Modi laughed !
" I guess Motsognir did not make it to Asgard ! " he blurted out.
Magni, always the calmer of the two brothers, scratched his chin.
" What will you do ? " he asked.
Durinn shook his head back and forth in disgust.
" I will have to discuss this with my fellow Earth Dwarves . " he replied sadly.
Durinn placed his hands on both sides of the stone and lifted it, intending to bring it down to their settlement. After two unsteady steps the little Dwarf tripped and fell. Modi laughed at the Dwarf's weakness, but Magni helped Durinn up with one hand, while picking up the ransom tablet in the other.
" Lead on little one ! I will carry the tablet for you ! " Magni told Durinn in a kindly voice.
When Durinn and Magni reached the Earth Dwarves' settlement, Magni set the stone up against a hut in the middle of the village, and then turned and left. After calling out his thanks to the powerful God, Durinn began to yell to his comrades to come out and join him in the village center.
Slowly, one by one, the doors began to open and the Dwarves came out to see what all the fuss was about. The last to arrive were the Dwarves who were tending to the mushroom fields. When all had arrived Durinn called their attention to the tablet which he read out loud to them. Judging by their faces Durinn could plainly see that his Dwarves were both shocked and outraged by the taking of Motsognir and Ivaldi, and of course the demand of ransom for their return.
Durinn climbed up onto one of the stalagmites and yelled out to the angry crowd.
" We have been through much over the past few weeks, but now it seems that we must once again steel our nerves and decide which course of action we should take regarding the seizure of Motsognir and Ivaldi. " Durinn told those gathered around him and then paused.
" .....shall we bow to the Rock Dwarves demands and pay this outrageous sum of gold, or will we take a bolder course of action,... the decision is yours ! " he told his fellow Dwarves.
It started as a low murmur, which quickly grew in tone and ferocity until it reached full fervor, and became what the Earth Dwarves call a ' War Cry ' !
Satisfied that he had been given an answer to his question, Durinn pointed at the crowd.
" Then it is unanimous ! We have chosen to fight !! " he yelled to his comrades.
- End Chapter 6
- Next : Chapter 7 : An Unlikely Ally
- Glenn Bergen ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.