Týr : The God Of War
A Home Away From Home
" You should have sat down old man, for you would have had a shorter distance to fall ! " he thought to himself.
With his right hand holding Dauði over his head, Týr decided that he would make the stranger's death quick and painless. He spun his weapon to the sharpened axe end and extended his arm higher to deliver the final blow. Týr directed his attention to the back of the stranger's neck as he thrust Dauði to the point of where the decapitation would be centered. Then, In the blink of an eye, and before Týr could react, the old one thrust his staff backwards.
The axe-hammer hit the top of the staff with a strange metallic, 'clang', that startled Týr more than the fact the old one had been able to deflect his blow. In that brief moment of indecision the stranger, who hardly moved at all, lifted the bottom of his staff off the ground, and thrust it upwards catching him directly in the groin.
Týr tried to hang on to his weapon, despite the intense agony, but he involuntarily released it to grab hold of the injured area, before toppling over onto the ground. And there he lay for a long while, curled up in the fetal position, rolling first to the right, and then to the left. As most male beings know, however, only time can relieve the pain of being hit in the groin, and Týr had to wait for the agony to slowly dissipate.
Finally, through watering eyes, Týr looked up at the old one, who stood hovering over him with a contemptuous look upon his face.
" You,...., bastard ! When I get up,...., I am going to,.... kill you ! " he managed despite not being able to take full breaths.
The old man pulled back his hood and without emotion spoke to him.
" You can try. " he replied calmly.
Týr watched as the old man slowly walked to the other side of the fire and nonchalantly began to cook the meat again that he had been incredibly able to hold onto despite the attacks. He thought the stranger an odd looking figure. He was too large to be a human, but too small to be of Jotun stock. A dark patch covered one eye, while the other seemed to see more than if he had the use of both. His beard was long, but neat and clean, and was braided on the edges. The old man's calm demeanor, however, only served to infuriate him further, and as soon as Týr was able to he forced himself up onto his knees, and reached over and picked up his weapon.
" Alright, it is time for you to die, you old buzzard ! " he shouted as he stumbled to his feet.
Týr hobbled over to the fire and raised his weapon menacingly at the old man. The stranger watched him closely, but did nothing to protect himself, and showed no fear despite being threatened. In the past he could always tell what an opponent would do by reading the fear in his eyes, or the anger that formed an expression upon his face. But this old man, or whatever he was, stood like a statue, and appeared not to be moved at all by his threatening posture.
With a sudden rush of fury he attacked the stranger again ! With all his strength he swung his axe in a wide arc meant to decapitate the old man. However, instead of cleanly cutting through flesh and bone, he felt only a hard unyielding force that stopped his weapon in mid-flight, and which reverberated in the form of a sharp pain through his arm and up into his shoulder. As he grabbed hold of his aching forearm he stared at the stranger with a look of shock on his face. For a long moment he seemed uncertain exactly what to do next.
After composing himself Týr once again felt the anger grow within him like a volcano ready to erupt. This time, before he renewed his attack, he turned Dauði around with the intention of breaking the stranger's walking stick. The young Jotun grinned as he aimed his weapon at the vulnerable mid-section of the staff. Once again, however, his mighty weapon was met with only a sharp ' clang ' instead of the expected sound of cracking wood.
This time the old man struck back. He placed the long end of the cooking stick into the ground, and began to spin his stick around like a water wheel, which placed the youth into somewhat of a trance. And when the Jotun seemed helpless the old man thrust his staff into the face of the agitated Jotun, knocking him to the ground. As he looked down at the stunned Rock Giant, the stranger spun the staff around again until the butt of the staff dug itself firmly into the ground at his side.
" If you will put your weapon away I will share my meal with you. " he told the youth as calmly as if nothing had happened.
Týr, for the first time in his life, felt helpless. He was trembling, much like a child who had been punished by his father, and he was baffled over what he should do next. At first he held up his weapon as though he might try once again to smite the old man, but the pain in his groin, arm, and now his face, made him think carefully about what his next move should be.
" What is your name old man ? " he asked.
The stranger, who had gone back to the fire to cook his meat, stared at him for a moment before answering.
" I am called Odin. " he replied calmly.
Týr frowned as though the name should have some meaning. But he could not recall hearing of a warrior who went by that name. After taking a deep breath he placed his weapon back into his belt, and nodded.
" My name is Týr,...., and I believe I will accept your generous offer. " he replied trying not to show his growing trepidation.
Odin pointed his staff at the fallen tree.
" Then let us sit and eat, for the meat is cooked. " he told Týr.
Odin sat down first. He pulled a knife out of his belt and cut the meat in half while it was still on the stick. He then reached out and handed the bruised and battered youth one half of the stick. Týr nodded, and took the skewer from the old man named Odin. After taking several bites of the succulent meat the Jotun's curiosity began to rise, and after a few moments he gained the courage to ask the old man a question.
" Why is an old one such as yourself wandering around here in the land of the Woodland Jotuns ? " he asked before ripping off a huge chunk of meat with his teeth.
Odin took a small bite of the still sizzling meat, chewed it well, and swallowed it before responding.
" I have come to Jotunheim to save someone. " he finally told the Jotun.
" Who ? " he asked.
Odin's eye seemed to widen as he answered.
" You ! " he replied.
Odin held out his skewer to the Jotun youth.
" Will you hold this for me ? " he asked.
Týr took the stick from the old one, and was about to ask why, when suddenly a dozen Rock Jotuns came crashing through the woods towards them. The young Jotun watched in stunned silence as Odin pounded his staff into the ground three times. Within a tremendous burst of light the walking stick turned into a great three bladed spear. The old man, who had barely moved when defending himself against him, quickly rose up, jumped over the log, and attacked the Jotuns.
Týr dropped the meat, but before he could remove Dauði from his belt to aid the old man, Odin had already thrown himself at the attackers. Týr watched as Odin skillfully disemboweled one Jotun with his spear, and then spun his weapon around and decapitated another. Before the Jotun's head hit the ground this, "old man", had killed five more of his kinsmen, and chased the others off !
Once again Týr felt like a little child being taught a lesson by his father. The young Jotun was astonished by the incredible fighting prowess of a man who was at least three times his age. He could not understand how anyone could react so quickly to a threat as Odin had just demonstrated.
Týr nodded his head, and thought to himself :
" I could learn much from this,..., being. "
As Odin returned to the fire Týr greeted him with a sheepish grin.
" Where did you learn such skills ? ! " he asked.
Odin ignored the question.
" The Rock Giants will soon return, and since it appears that you have ruined our meal, I think it is best that we leave. " he told the young Jotun as he stared down at the meat that now lay upon the ground.
Týr nodded that he agreed.
" I have been trying to find a place to hide from those who wish to do me harm, but without any luck. " he explained to Odin.
The Lord of Asgard shook his head.
" There is no place here in Jotunheim that is safe for you ! " Odin replied.
Týr shrugged his shoulders.
" Then what will I do ? Where can I go ? " he asked.
" You will come home with me to Asgard. My realm of gold and plenty will now be your home away home ! " he explained.
- End Chapter 7
- Next : Chapter 8 : " Murder Is Not War ! "
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.