When Magic Ruled The Worlds
" We Must Go On ! "
" Get out of the way ! " The little Elf screamed as he tried desperately, but unsuccessfully, to move the Jotuness.
After several futile attempts to move Vidolf the sorcerer raised his wand, pointed it at the Giantess, and shouted in a shrill impatient voice.
" Move ! "
A short burst of cosmic power lifted the Giantess up off of the ground, and despite her great weight, threw her thirty feet to the edge of the knoll. The sorcerer had no time to see if he had injured the seeress with his magic and immediately turned his attention to Vilmeid who was writhing in pain on the ground. Svarthofdi winced as he noticed the Dwarf's mangled arm lying on the ground near where he was standing, and despite his best wishes he could see that he could not reattach a limb that had been so badly damaged.
" Hold still ! I need to examine the wound ! " the Elf shouted impatiently to his badly injured friend.
" Help me ! Help me ! " Vilmeid cried out pitifully as he continued to rock back and forth in a fetal position.
Seeing that the Dwarf could not, or would not, hold still long enough for him to assess the gravity of his wound, gave the Elf little choice. With narrowed focused eyes he reached out with his wand and tapped it up against Vilmeid's head.
" Be still this frightened creature ! " the Elf commanded with an authority normally wielded by a God.
With a strength much greater even than that of a Jotun the wand channeled cosmic energy at Vilmeid which held him firmly in place. As Svarthofdi carefully examined the wound he quickly became very discouraged with what he saw. First, as he expected, the arm could never be reattached because of the way in which the wolf had ripped it off. The ragged edges were more uneven than he had expected, and the Elf quickly realized that he would have to make the wound straight and clean if he was to save his friend's life. He also could not help but notice that Vilmeid was losing blood at a truly alarming rate.
Wasting no time Svarthofdi placed his wand in his left hand and reached over with his right to grab hold of the axe that the Giantess had left in the creature's skull. With a quick yank, which cracked the skull in half, he extracted the sharp weapon. With the Dwarf held in place by the cosmic energy, the sorcerer took a deep breath before carefully aiming the axe blade at the edge of the wound. With a steady hand he brought the axe down upon the wound shaving off a small piece of the Dwarf's upper arm, just below the shoulder, in the process. Despite being nervous, and unsure of himself, Svarthofdi was well pleased with the look of the wound. What worried the Elf now, however, was the increased flow of blood that was pouring out of the enlarged opening.
Svarthofdi ignored the Dwarf's pleas to let him die, and commanded his wand to glow as red hot as a piece of iron that was just pulled from the coals by a blacksmith.
" Forgive me, my friend ! " Svarthofdi told Vilmeid as he pressed the tip of his wand up against the exposed wound.
Vilmeid's body became rigid and he continued to scream in a high pitched tone, like a wild animal, as his flesh and meat sizzled and cooked under the scorching heat of the Elf's wand. He was able to relax for only a moment when Svarthofdi re-examined the smoking wound, but when the Elf returned the wand to seal and cauterize more of the hemorrhaging tissue he again screamed in sheer agony.
When the torturous treatment finally ended all Vilmeid could do was whimper pathetically as the Elf placed a clean cloth tightly around the small stump of what was left of his right arm. When he finished bandaging the wound Svarthofdi pushed the Dwarf's dirty blood matted hair to the side, and looked sympathetically into his teary eyes.
" Rest now my friend . " he told Vilmeid in a soothing tone.
The Dwarf began to cry as he looked over at his amputated arm.
" You should have let me die. What use am I now to anyone ? " he asked the Elf.
Svarthofdi shook his head from side to side.
" You are very wrong my friend. You have proven time and time again that you are brave, and I believe that you will be as beneficial and powerful to us with one hand as you were with two. " he explained to Vilmeid with a forced smile.
Vilmeid smirked and shook his head, but he said no more.
While Vilmeid rested Svarthofdi cleaned off his wand, and although he heard the Giantess stirring from time to time he did not look in her direction or address her. The Elf figured that eventually Vidolf would summon the courage to come over and speak to Vilmeid.
Vidolf was ashamed of her pitiful action, or lack of action, to help her friend in his time of need. She had watched helplessly from the edge of the knoll as the sorcerer acted with a strength of character to save Vilmeid that she had never before witnessed. And now that his strength had overcome her weakness she had no idea how to explain her incompetence in the face of fear. When it appeared that Svarthofdi was finished, however, she rose up and meekly walked over to where the Elf was kneeling with his back to her.
" Will he be alright ? " she asked with her head hung low with shame.
Svarthofdi turned and looked up at the Giantess and once again forced a smile to form of his weary lips.
" He will live, but I cannot say what affect this traumatic experience will have on his mind. " he explained.
Before the Giantess could speak again the Elf quickly added.
" I apologize if I hurt you. " he told Vidolf.
With tears welling up in her eyes, and her lips trembling, she replied to his kind words.
" I was useless to Vilmeid,...., what else could you do ? "
Svarthofdi stopped cleaning his wand and stared up at the Giantess with an angry gaze.
" Useless ! Useless ! " If you had not killed the Aufhocker, or whatever it was when I restored life to it, it would have ripped Vilmeid to pieces and then turned on us ! " he shot back angrily.
Despite the Elf's kind words Vidolf could not bring herself to look at Svarthofdi as she replied.
" Be that as it is, I think that it would be best if we went no further. " she told him as she nearly choked on her own words.
Svarthofdi's demeanor softened, and before addressing her new thoughts on their journey, he placed his wand back in his belt, and threw the bloodied rag onto the ground. As he stood up he reached up his right hand and took hold of one of the fingers on the left hand of the Giantess.
" If you feel the need to return home, then take Vilmeid with you. For I will not be leaving. " he explained.
As the Elf awaited her decision another voice made the choice for them.
" No ! We must go on ! I will not leave here now, having lost my arm, without accomplishing our goal of destroying the dragons ! " Vilmeid replied in a shaky, but defiant voice.
- End Chapter 17
- Next : Chapter 18 : Winged Death
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.