The Jotun warriors moved quietly as they approached the rock pass that led into the land of Midgard. This " pass " was not merely an entryway made from dirt and rocks, it was a passageway through space and time that allowed the Jotuns to move freely from world to world. Hrimgrimnir, the leader of the marauding Jotuns, knew all too well that they were not truly free to move through the universe. And especially not into Midgard ! For this was where their arch nemesis Thor roamed as earth's protector, and the God of Thunder was the cause for them being as cautious, and quiet, as was Jotunly possible.
The Jotun race made no secret of the fact that they needed living space to expand their civilization. Jotunheim was cold, rocky, and for the most part barren. There were a few regions, the ones closest to Muspelheim , such as Thrymheim, that held a temperature high enough to remain green all year round. But these rich fertile lands were too few and far apart to support the Jotuns ever expanding population. So the Jotuns looked to the blue world, with its rich forests, and many freshwater lakes and rivers, for their " living space " . The Giants felt deep down inside that this world belonged to them anyway. For it was the Gods Odin, Vili, and Ve, who created Earth from the body of their first ancestor Ymir. After they murdered him of course !
Everywhere they went in Midgard they were reminded of the first proto - being. The Gods used his flesh for the earth, and his bones formed the mountains. His skull became the heavens, and his blood filled the great seas. This world was the last resting place of Ymir, and therefore was theirs for the taking !
Attacking Midgard was one thing. Holding it was quite another ! The problem with occupying these fertile lands was two - fold. First, shortly after the world of Midgard was formed, a great force from out of the cosmos came to this world. This being was a Goddess called Jord, and she existed in every living thing upon the planet. It was impossible for anyone to move anywhere in these immense lands without the Goddess sensing their presence. Every blade of grass they trampled, every flower they brushed past, and every root of a tree that they stumbled across was a living part of the Goddess. She was everywhere and in every living thing.
Jord, however, was not powerful enough to protect her world on her own, so she seduced the God Odin. In a coupling of heaven and earth a new God was born. His name was Thor, and he protected his mother's domain, and the beings that his father and his brothers breathed life into. He achieved this great feat with his immense strength, and his mighty hammer called Mjolnir. In the many millennium that have past since his birth the hatred between the Jotuns and the God Thor has grown deeper than the deepest ocean on Midgard....and yet still the Jotuns came to Jord's domain seeking new lands to conquer and settle upon.
As the Jotuns approached the village in Southern Norway called Borre, Hrimgrimnir, the leader of the marauders, had his Jotuns fan out, and surround the settlement. When his warriors were in place they each made a different bird sound that told Hrimgrimnir that they were ready. Aurvandil was the last to signal as he took up his position on the far side of the village. Satisfied that all was set, Hrimgrimnir made a coyote cry, and the attack commenced.
The Jotuns ripped through the small village as viciously as a wolf pack tears into its prey. With hones, axes, and swords flashing under the northern skies, houses were leveled with one blow, and Midgardians torn apart with a single flick of a Jotun wrist. The attack lasted only moments, and when they were done a village that was once the home to over a hundred Midgardians was obliterated !
That night while the other Jotuns sat around a huge fire drinking and laughing Aurvandil stood alone by a small stream looking up at the stars in the heavens. The Jotun was horrified by the memories of the events he had participated in earlier that day. When Hrimgrimnir recruited him the Jotun leader assured him that they would merely force the Midgardians off of their lands. Aurvandil was not stupid, however. He knew that a few Midgardians would stand and fight to the death. He could accept killing a warrior who was fighting for himself, his family, and his village, but the killing of defenseless females and children was too much for him to deal with. As Mani rose to the middle of the night sky Aurvandil made his decision.
While the others slept Aurvandil packed up his things and quietly left the camp. By late that morning the Jotun had reached the " pass " , and by evening he had returned to his farmstead in Jotunheim. Before opening the door to his home he took a deep breath, and thought for a moment on what he would say to his wife. No matter what excuse he told Groa he knew that she would not be happy with him !
Groa did not need to use her powers as a Volva. She could tell by the look on her husband's face that something was wrong the moment he walked through the door. He looked tired and very disappointed to her as he closed the door behind him.
" My husband is back early ! Have you scared all of the humans out of Midgard already ? " she asked with a grin.
Aurvandil placed his knapsack on the floor, and his bed roll on the table. He sat down beside Groa and held her hands.
" Hrimgrimnir lied to me . His intentions were never to push the Midgardians off of their lands . He plans to annihilate every human he can lay his hands on, and steal their lands in that manner ! " he told his wife angrily.
Groa gasped in horror !
" Did you kill humans as well ! ? " she asked excitedly.
Aurvandil lowered his eyes before he spoke.
" I was destroying a dwelling ....... it seemed like so much fun..... but there was a female inside who was crushed by a blow from my hone. I did not realize the full extent of what I had done until a little boy ran over, placed his arms around the corpse, and hugged his dead mother. It was horrible.... It was not who I am ! " he told his wife dejectedly.
Groa narrowed her eyes.
" Were you able to save the child ? " she asked in a concerned voice.
" No ! Before I could react Aurnir crushed the child with his weapon ! " Aurvandil replied glumly.
Groa rose up off of her seat, and began to unpack her husband's knapsack.
" Then it is good that you left Midgard and came home. For you know as well as I do what happens to those Jotuns who kill Midgardians ! " she said quietly as though someone might be listening.
Groa angrily threw the empty knapsack on the floor.
" It is because of Jotun's like Hrimgrimnir that Thor comes to Jotunheim seeking revenge ! " she added scolding her husband.
Aurvandil shook his head in agreement.
" Yes ! I am sure he will avenge the deaths of the Midgardians with Jotun blood ! " he told his wife sadly.
- End Chapter 1
- Next Chapter 2 : A Call For Help !
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.