Týr : The God Of War
" You should have seen the immense courage, and great skills as a fighter my son demonstrated against the Frost Giants ! None who stood before him walked off the battlefield, and in his wake he left nothing but carnage and misery ! " he bragged to everyone and anyone who would listen.
Týr's father was only partially right. The young tenacious warrior had tilted the balance of the battle in their favor, but he had not killed everyone who had confronted him upon that now hallowed ground. For Farbauti had stood up to Týr and fought him to a draw, though he too did not actually walk off of the battlefield,...., he limped.
Hvítrbrún was the first to see that Hymir's praise was making her son headstrong, and extremely hard to handle. She persistently asked Hymir not to fill Týr's head with false visions of grandeur. Occasionally he acquiesced to her wishes, and did not place his son above all others, but most of the time he ignored her warnings. Brunniþoka, who was equally as proud of her son's glory, constantly scolded Hvítrbrún for berating her husband, and for trying to hold back Týr from what she considered to be his true glory.
" My boy will one day rule the Rock Giants no matter how hard you try to deny him his right to rule over others ! " she told Hvítrbrún when she tired of her nagging.
Hvítrbrún, outnumbered, and fearful that her lover's constant praise might push her son over the edge, refused to back down.
" You want him to fight,...., you need him to win,..., and you live for his glory, but do you truly love and care about Týr ! ? " she asked angrily.
This sentimental nonsense made Brunniþoka laugh.
" He loves to do battle, and he needs to feel the thrill of the kill ! Strength is Týr's weapon, glory his shield, and victory,..., well,...., that is his reason to live ! " she shouted back at their husband's pale mistress.
Night after night the two females battled verbally over what was right for Týr. Echoes of their screaming reverberated through the mountains, making each Jotun in their realm fully aware that all was not well in Hymir's household.
The constant bickering only served to further Týr's anger and instability. Soon it was no longer enough for the young warrior to pick a fight with Rock Giants who were bigger than him, he now had to injure them, sometimes gravely, to prove that he was not only stronger, but also superior to them in every way. And when several of the Giants banded together to protect themselves from his fury Týr made them pay for their unity with their lives.
Hymir, his wife, and his mistress, protected Týr for as long as they could. When a distraught father came to their mountain home, carrying the lifeless body of their son, they made up lies, telling the father that their son could not possibly have done such a thing because he had gone south to visit friends and was not at home. Each distraught mother who came with tears flowing down their cheeks over the loss of a husband, brother, or son, was chased off of Snaerfjall with a quick blast of Brunniþoka's flames, and told never to come back. But no lie, no matter how well told, could hide the truth about what their son was doing, or what kind of monster he had become.
Then, one night Týr strolled into their mountain home carrying a bloody sack. After he tossed the canvas bag onto the table, he proceeded to proudly tell his family how the son of the wisest Elder tried to belittle him with his knowledge. Týr bragged to his parents how he quickly showed the son of the Elder, and his father, how wisdom and knowledge were no match for brute strength. And then, to their horror, Týr pulled the heads of both the Elder, and his son out of the sack and held them up for all to see. Hvítrbrún immediately became physically ill, while even Brunniþoka, with her strong constitution, could not bring herself to look at the faces of the murdered Elder and his son whom she had known for quite a number of years.
Hymir, for the first time, saw that his son had become the uncontrollable monster that his mistress had tried to warn him about. He also knew that he could not wait any longer to try and stop Týr from making things worse than they already were.
" Give me your axe-hammer ! " he demanded.
Týr paid little attention to his father, and laughed at the thought of handing over his weapon to anyone.
" Give me Dauði now !!! " Hymir screamed at his son.
Týr threw the heads at his father and pointed a bloody finger angrily at him.
" Why don't you try and take my weapon father ! " he shot back with a slight grin.
Hymir and Týr drew their weapons almost simultaneously. Surely they would have come to blows if not for the intervention of Brunniþoka and Hvítrbrún who both stood between them. Týr feared not killing his father, or his dragon mother, but every son, no matter what age, has a place in his heart for his real mother, and the troubled youth finally backed down when he saw her crying pitifully.
Týr laughed at his father, turned abruptly, and was about to leave, when suddenly loud shouts echoed up from the valley below. As they grew louder, and more intense, Brunniþoka waddled out to the edge of the mountain and peered out with her sharp golden eyes to see exactly what was happening. To get a better view she spread her wings, jumped off the ledge, and flew in a wide circle over the valley. What she saw below sparked fear in her soul, and it only grew worse when a moment later she spotted, not a few, but hundreds of torch carrying Rock Giants coming down the valley towards Snaerfjall. A moment later she landed back at the cave and nervously shouted inside.
" Týr ! Týr !! You must leave now ! They are coming to kill you to avenge the death of the Elder and his son ! " she told her son in a frantic tone.
Hymir and Hvítrbrún glanced at one another in shock before quickly adding their voices to the urgency of the dangerous situation that now presented itself.
" Go ! Now !! " Hymir screamed.
Hvítrbrún was more loving with her tone, but she was just as adamant that Týr had to leave at once.
" You must leave this place, my son ! Go far away and find the goodness that I know exists in you ! " she told him with tears in her eyes.
Týr shook his head in disgust at the weakness of their words.
" I will stay and kill them all ! " he replied confidently.
Brunniþoka had heard enough of her son's nonsense, and grabbed his arm tightly with one of her claws.
" There are hundreds of Rock Giants below in the valley ! Not even you, with all of your strength, can defeat that many warriors ! You must leave now while you still can ! " she scolded him.
When it seemed that Týr would not heed their dire warnings, Hvítrbrún made one last attempt to make him leave.
" I beg you Týr ! Please leave before harm befalls you ! I do not want to watch my son die !! " she cried out before sinking to her knees.
The angry youth threw off Brunniþoka's tight grip on his arm and walked out to the ledge. As he looked down into the valley at the small army coming for him he felt no fear, but common sense, and the heartfelt pleading of his true mother, weighed upon his decision. Without looking back, or saying goodbye to those who had raised him, Týr climbed up over their cave dwelling, and began to make his way down the backside of the mountain. At first their was not much urgency in his pace, but once he reached the valley floor on the other side of the mountain he was spotted by another group of Rock Giants whose blood was up for his head, and it was then that he decided it was now a good time for him to run for his life.
All through the night, and into the early morning, he ran through valleys, climbed over mountains, and swam across a huge lake of near freezing water, which was the boundary between the Rock Giants lands and that of the Woodland Jotuns, to escape those who wanted to exact upon him revenge for the killing of the Elder and his son. By the time the weak Jotun sun rose over the distant mountains Týr was wet, cold and very hungry. His effort had, however, paid off for he had easily left the Rock Giants long behind. Here in this new land it dawned on him that he had been exiled from his homeland, by his own kin. His only enemy now was the cold that made him shiver, and the hunger pangs that made his body ache.
Then, as Týr staggered forward looking for shelter, he saw in the distance a flickering light in the early morning mist. As he cautiously approached he saw a shadowy figure roasting meat over a roaring camp fire. Týr reached down and took his mighty axe-hammer out of his belt, and looked around for the best way to approach the stranger. When he spotted what appeared to be a trail that seemed to lead behind the stranger's camp he quietly made his way in that direction.
" This morning will be your last, old one ! " he whispered to himself with a grin.
- End Chapter 6
- Next : Chapter 7 : A Home Away From Home
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.