When Magic Ruled The Worlds
Svarthofdi's Plan : Phase One
Vidolf, for one, liked the plan that the Elf had laid out for them to execute. It seemed quite simplistic in almost every aspect, and if it worked, it would remove the dragons from Midgard forever. What most concerned her about Svarthofdi's plan, however, was the integral part that Vilmeid's rune stick galdr would play in what the sorcerer called, " Phase one ". It wasn't that she distrusted the Dwarf, for he had been a loyal comrade throughout their long ordeal. The problem, as she saw it, was that Vilmeid's spells had, in the past, been,..., well,..., hit or miss in how well they worked. And for Svarthofdi's plan to succeed the little wizard would have to make the same spell work time and time again.
Vorstapp, who assumed that Vilmeid's powers were as strong and reliable as the little Elf's magic, was totally sold on the plan. Like the Giantess, however, the the leader of the Trolls also felt the plan seemed almost too simplistic in form. First Vidolf, the seer, would locate each of the dragon's lairs with her insightful powers. Then, lead by Vilmeid, they would climb up to the creature's nests, where the Dwarf, using his galdr magic, would place the female dragons under a sleep spell. The Trolls job was simply to gather up the dragon eggs, which would later be used to lure all of these horrible creatures back down into the valley. To Vorstapp it seemed as easy as one, two, three. But would it actually work as well in execution as planned ? That was the question yet to be answered !
That night, as the Trolls cooked dragon meat over a fire sparked into life by Svarthofdi's wand, Vidolf sat alone under a small tree that had acorns growing on it. It took only a few moments for her eyes to gloss over, and for her mind to be engulfed in dreams of the future. From the perspective of a spirit following the living, she followed the Dwarf led Trolls as they entered each of the dragon nests and robbed them of their precious eggs. In her mind she made a mental note of the exact location of each and every cave entrance as it was shown to her in the dream.
Two images stuck fast in her mind, which she clearly retained upon emerging from her dream-like state. The first was that in each lair the dragon was clearly, and safely asleep while the Trolls took the eggs, and the other was the odd image of Vorstapp carrying not one, but two bags to hold the eggs they had gathered. As she mulled over these two images in her conscious mind she considered that quite possibly the Trolls had brought extra bags in case they needed more than one each. That seemed like a very normal thing to do, and yet Vidolf had learned over the years that what she remembered most clearly was usually somehow the most important, and her interpretation seemed to trivial to remember.
While Svarthofdi practiced the sleep spell with Vilmeid, the Giantess drew up a map of the locations of all the dragon nests for Vorstapp. She chose to give the map to the leader of the Trolls, not because she did not trust her friend Vilmeid, but because the Trolls, having lived here most of their lives, knew these mountains much better than the Dwarf.
When the moon reached its highest point in the night sky Vidolf suggested that they all try to get some sleep because they were going to have a very busy day tomorrow. Everyone agreed except Vilmeid, who felt that someone should stand guard until morning. Vorstapp quickly eased the Dwarf's mind by assuring him that the dragons were not nocturnal, and that whatever predators may have existed at one time in these valleys had by now surely been wiped out by the winged creatures. Vilmeid took comfort in the Troll's words and quickly fell asleep.
The Trolls were the first to arise at the crack of dawn, and quickly went over to where their magical allies were sleeping and shook them awake. Svarthofdi marveled at what he viewed as a great spark of hope which was fueling the Trolls enthusiasm for this dangerous mission that they were about to embark upon. The Elf wondered, however, if they would have been quite as eager to risk their lives if they had seen and experienced the same horrors that they had witnessed over the past months.
After they had gathered up their things, Svarthofdi and Vidolf wished Vilmeid and the Trolls the best of luck, and then parted ways with their comrades. Their part in the plan was to keep the male dragons busy, and away from the nests, while Vilmeid cast his sleep spells, and the Trolls gathered up their eggs. Vidolf and the sorcerer, however, were still discussing exactly how they would perform this almost impossible task as they made their way into the center of the valley.
As they talked Vidolf could see the Trolls in the distance helping the one-armed Dwarf up the side of the mountain. When they reached the halfway point the Giantess turned to Svarthofdi and spoke firmly to the little Elf.
" We can no longer delay, Svarthofdi ! Our friend's lives depend on what we do here in the valley to keep the male dragons from their nests ! " she told the Elf.
Svarthofdi grinned as he pointed towards the edge of the forest that began just past the meadow in the center of the valley.
" In there is what will bring the dragons to the valley floor. " he told the worried Giantess.
Before the Giantess could ask what he meant, the sorcerer spun around, pulled out his wand, and pointed it at the sky.
" And up there in the sky I will cause a great barrier that will keep the dragons from returning to their nests. " he assured Vidolf.
Vidolf shook her head from side to side in a state of confusion and disgust.
" What in the nine worlds are you talking about ?! " she asked.
Svarthofdi ignored her anger and began to chant.
" From within the forest let there rage the dragon's breath,
Force out into the open the woodland prey to their death,
Let winged predators rain down from the clear blue sky,
Allow the dragons to choose which live and which shall die ! "
Suddenly, from out of the dense forest, Vidolf watched as a great multitude of animals began to emerge into the open valley as if they were being chased by an invisible predator. Moments later the Giantess witnessed what was causing their panic. Fed by a strong wind, a wall of fire was shooting through the dense woodlands like an arrow through the air. As the thick smoke rose into the sky hundreds of male dragons began to circle overhead to see what was happening in the valley below.
Unlike the terrified forest animals the dragons did not fear the flames and quickly picked out the prey of their choice, before diving down upon the unsuspecting animals below. One by one they chose a deer, a boar, or if they were extremely vigilant, a huge bear to sink their claws and teeth into. The carnage on the valley floor was hard for Svarthofdi to watch, but he had to keep a close watch on events so that he knew exactly when to spring his trap upon them.
When all the dragons were either on the ground, or near the valley floor, Svarthofdi redirected his powerful magic towards the sky.
" Rise billowing ash and embers, fill the sky with thick acrid smoke,
Become dense and impenetrable, for our friends become a cloak,
Imprison the dragons here in the valley, for now let them not escape,
Keep this barrier in place, until such time I decide for it to undrape. "
As if a great force was pushing the smoke and ash up into the sky, the valley was soon cloaked in darkness by the great formation overhead that the sorcerer had created. Vidolf could not help but marvel at her friends incredible power over natural forces. She watched the dragons try again and again to fly through the great ashen barrier only to be forced back down into the valley below, with the meal they had killed for their mate still being clutched firmly in their talons.
Unlike the Giantess, who seemed to have become preoccupied with watching the dragons trying to escape, Svarthofdi quickly noticed that the dragons on the ground were beginning to take an unhealthy interest in them, When a dozen or more of the winged creatures stood staring menacingly at them with their gold unblinking eyes, the sorcerer tapped the Giantess on the hip to get her attention.
" I really think that we should take cover in those rocks at the base of the mountain. " he told Vidolf as he pointed to a number of rocks which appeared to have fallen in a landslide.
Vidolf was about to ask why when several of the dragons roared menacingly at once. Seeing the danger for herself the Giantess nodded that she agreed.
" I do believe that you are once again correct sorcerer ! " she replied as she picked up the little Elf and made a mad dash for the rocks on the far side of the valley.
- End Chapter 22
- Next : Chapter 23 : Phase Two
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.