Ítreksjóð : The Guardian Of Asgard's Treasure
Ítreksjóð : The Dragon God
' They laid the hearth of a forge and made in it hammer and tongs, and all other tools of the craftsman. They went to work in metals and wood, and also in gold. So much gold did they have in fact that they made their household utensils, furniture, and their game boards were also fashioned from gold. That age was called the ' Golden Age ' - The Eddas
No matter how many great halls, temples, and spires that rose up in Asgard to grace the heavens, the supply of gold did not diminish. In fact it grew in size every season until finally, when the amount of gold and other metals such as silver became too overabundant, Odin decided it was time to find a safe place to store it away from prying eyes. For despite these precious metals having little or no value to the Asgardians, their enemies, the Fire Giants and Frost Giants, placed great importance and wealth on these soft pliable metals. And even the little Dwarves showed an interest in obtaining as much as they could, usually in the form of payment for their skills as craftsmen.
Odin searched everywhere in Asgard to find a large place to keep their gold, silver and precious gems. After much searching the All - Father found a very deep cave near Bifrost that was perfect for the storage of the tons and tons of their treasure. This large cavern was situated only about a mile from Heimdall's great hall Himinbjorg, and at first he thought that the ' White God ' as he was known, could guard not only the Rainbow Bridge but the the caverns as well.
Over time, however, Odin decided that he needed someone to live within the cave to watch over their great wealth. But how could the All - Father ask any of his people to stand guard in the deep damp caverns beneath Asgard. The Dwarves would be right at home in the tunnels, but he was sure that they could not be trusted , and would more than likely find various ways to steal the Asgardian's gold.
Then Odin remembered how, in the time before they were nearly wiped out, dragons often guarded treasure in dark caves. But now there were so few ! Where was Asgard's Lord to find one,.... and one that would agree to take on such a lonely responsibility without having any real allegiance to the beings it was serving. Then one day a wonderful, almost impossible, thought popped into his head ! If he had a child by a dragon, then not only would it be accustomed to the dark and lonely existence it would be tasked with, but it would do it out of loyalty and obedience to it's father !
From Hlidskjalf Odin peered down into the eight other worlds in search of a female dragon with which to mate. Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months as he looked for this elusive creature. When the months turned into years the All - Father began to become impatient, and at one point almost gave up. Then one morning he overheard two farmers talking in a land known as Iceland, on Midgard.
" I tell you I saw the Eldur Dreki the other day ! It dragged itself to the mouth of the Víðgelmir and spewed out a breath of fire before it retreated back down into the lava cave. " claimed the first human named Eirik.
" You are crazy ! Dragons do not exist ! You merely saw the lava coming to the surface as we often do here in Iceland ! " the second man, who called himself Uddvarr, explained with a hint of impatience.
Then Uddvarr added sarcastically :
" Yes ! Maybe it was the dragon which helped chase the evil wizard out of the fjords. You know, the wizard that King Harald Bluetooth sent in the form of a whale to find a good beach on which to land his ships for an invasion ! "
Odin searched Eirik's mind with a magical spell and saw what he had seen, and the All- Father knew that the man was telling the truth about the fire breathing dragon. And what made him most happy was that the image he saw in the human's mind was that of a female dragon.
Odin jumped from his high - seat and ran for the doors of his great hall. He flew them open while at the same time whistling in a high pitched tone. Within a moment a white horse with eight legs galloped up, stopping directly in front of the golden entrance.
" Sleipnir ! To Iceland, on Midgard. And hurry my old friend ! " Odin shouted as he mounted the great steed.
Within the blink of an eye Odin could see Bifrost approaching rapidly. The All - Father barely had time to wave a greeting and shout : " I am off To Midgard, Heimdall ! " before Sleipnir flew past the stoic sentinel.
Over the massive bridge the greatest of horses raced, and then down the curved burning rainbow it flew with Odin holding on tightly so as not to be thrown off. When the All - Father saw the great falls, known as Gullfoss to the Midgardians, in the distance he pulled up on the reins to slow down his eager mount.
Once on solid ground once again Odin kept Sleipnir at a slow gallop as they headed for the lava tube cave that the human Eirik had called Víðgelmir. The All - Father did this to watch out for humans, for he did not wish to interact with them without a disguise. And, of course, he did not want to miss the cave entrance altogether because of his steed's great speed.
When he reached his destination Odin dismounted and entered the cave. Once safely inside, and away from prying human eyes, Odin shape - shifted into the form of a male dragon, and began to waddle down the cavern. He did not have to go very far before his eyes met the stare of another dragon. As their glowing golden eyes met it was love at first sight for the Eldur Dreki, who had not seen another of it's kind in a millennium. Odin spent many nights with the great serpent, and when he was sure he had implanted his sacred seed of life within his mate he left as quickly as he had arrived.
The All - Father did not abandon her altogether, however, for he watched her closely day after day. And when she had her brood he mounted Sleipnir once again and returned for the pick of the litter. Odin left the two smaller runts and took a fine strong dragon pup back to Asgard. The Eldur Dreki was not disappointed, or angered, to give away one of her own, for now she was not alone and had two others to share her life with.
Odin raised the dragon pup on top of a mound of gold and silver. The All- father gave his newest son the best food and drink that was available in all the nine worlds, and he taught his son that it was his responsibility to guard Asgard's treasure from anyone and everyone who was not Asgardian or Vanir. He taught his son to hate Jotuns, Dwarves, and even the Light Elves. And he decided that his son should be called Ítreksjóð, because under his watch Asgard's treasure would never diminish, but would continue to multiply forever !
- End Chapter 3
- Next : Chapter 4 : A Gathering Of Jotun Might
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2017.