An Uncivil War
( Part Two Of The Ítreksjóð Trilogy )
Safe And Sound
Fjalar and Galar sat majestically on their rock bench throne listening to complaints, and rendering judgements for and against defendants. The night was quiet, with only the occasional wolf howling in the valley far below to break the silence. It was a good time to be the rulers of the Rock Dwarves. Now that their dispute with Skadhi had ended, there was peace and harmony within the Rock Dwarves territory, and more importantly there was the hope of receiving gold and silver from the Earth Dwarves to add to their meager treasury.
As Galar glanced over at Motsognir and Ivaldi, who were chained to a rock like dogs, he felt a rush of power that he had not felt in years. And out of the corner of his eye he saw the shadow of his brother Fjalar whom he had shared power with since the passing of their father. Galar grinned as he thought up various ways in his mind to dissolve that partnership.
What Galar and Fjalar missed as they reveled in their glory was the twenty or so Rock Dwarves who were absent from the court that night. It was not compulsory to attend the court of the rulers, of course, but it was considered high entertainment to watch as the judgements, and verdicts, were handed down. Their lack of attention to this point would soon come back to haunt them.
Dolgthvari and Haur led the rebel Rock Dwarves up the cliff to the right of the Great Arch Hall, while the Lovarr, commanded by Eikinskjaldi, scaled the steep right cliff. When each group reached a certain height, agreed upon earlier, they would give out a loud wolf's howl. One for the first level, two for the second, and so on. As they made their way up the cliff they did not have to worry about being detected, because they had already planned for that possibility. The two guards on duty at the entrance that night, Har and Dori, who were also sympathetic to the cause of releasing the Wise One, had agreed not to sound an alarm as they approached.
Haur became concerned when they were only halfway up the mountain side. They had already reached the fourth level, while the Lovarr, who were more accustomed to the soggy conditions of the wetlands where they lived than this rocky mountain terrain, were having a much more difficult time climbing the steep cliff, and had only reached the third level. When the rebel Rock Dwarves reached the sixth level, and Dolgthvari had still not heard the signal from the Lovarr for the fourth level, he seriously considered attacking the court alone.
Haur, however, was a very patient Rock Dwarf, and convinced his comrade to wait. While Dolgthvari nervously paced back and forth on the bluff below the court, Haur rested against a rock as though he had not a care in the world. But when the sixth howl finally came from the Lovarr, Haur, Dolgthvari, and all the rebels, scrambled over the final line of boulders and onto the rock shelf that the Great Rock Arch sat upon.
Galar had just rendered a decision in favor of Norite, which made Schist pay back money that the ruler judged was illegally won in a game of marbles, when he heard an odd howling off to his right. He frowned for a moment as he tried to decide why it sounded so much different than the normal howling of wolves, but when he could not figure out why it was strange, he dismissed it and called the next case.
" Who is next to stand before the Lords of the Rock Dwarves and be..... "
Galar never had a chance to finish. Dolgthvari and Haur came rushing up to their slab high - bench with their spears thrust out in front of them, while the Lovarr, with Eikinskjaldi in charge, bounded into the court screaming like eagles and disarming all those in their path. A few of the Rock Dwarves tried to escape out of the Great Rock Arch, but Har and Dori, who guarded the entrance to the Great Rock Arch, simply turned around and threatened them with bodily harm with their rock spears, forcing them back inside.
Fjalar was incensed by the interruption to their court, while Galar was indignant with the treatment those in his hall were receiving. And when their comrades Dolgthvari and Haur thrust their spear points up against their throats, the co - rulers of the Rock Dwarves became downright angry.
" How dare you treat our Dwarves in such a way ! " Galar shouted.
When Fjalar became emboldened by his brother's words he grabbed hold of Dolgthvari's spear shaft. This was a mistake ! The rebel Dwarf simply pushed the point a little deeper into his neck.
" Sit Down ! " he told the co - ruler, who did not immediately comply.
Haur pushed his spear against Galar's chest .
" That means you too, Great Galar !! " he insisted angrily, as he pushed him down onto the hard slab.
Fjalar finally let go of the spear and sat down hard on the rock slab, but he immediately bounced back up.
" Who in the nine worlds do you think you are ! ? " he demanded to know.
Dolgthvari took the blunt end of his spear and rammed it into Fjalar's stomach.
" I said sit !! " he repeated with a furious edge to his voice.
As Fjalar slumped over, Dolgthvari answered his question.
" We are the descendants of Motsognir the Wise, and we are appalled at the disgraceful way you have treated our elder. " he shouted back at the injured Dwarf.
Galar narrowed his eyes.
" So ! What do you propose to do now !? " Galar demanded to know.
" The Lovarr are going to escort Ivaldi and Motsognir back to their underground homeland,... and then we will discuss what is to become of you two scoundrels. " he explained to the co - rulers of the Rock Dwarves.
While Fjalar and Galar were held at spear point Eikinskjaldi, and two of his warriors, Xinnar and Fid, helped to release both Ivaldi and Motsognir. As he loosened the bonds that shackled the Wise One, Eikinskjaldi patted Motsognir on the back and said softly to the Dwarf elder :
" Are you ready to go home, my old friend ? "
Motsognir, never one to become overexcited, calmly looked in the direction of where he had heard Fjalar and Galar speaking before whispering :
" If I asked for a favor would you honor me by doing as I say ? " he asked.
" For you Motsognir I would part the clouds so the sun would shine ! " he replied happily.
" Thank You ! Please have some of your warriors escort Ivaldi back to our underground home,.... and then I need for you to take me someplace very special. " he told the leader of the Lovarr.
- End Chapter 8
- Next : Chapter 9 : The War That Wasn't
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.