When Magic Ruled The Worlds
In A Flash Of Light
While the Dwarf and the Giantess frantically looked for an escape route, Vorstapp's stare seemed to be transfixed on the eggs that lay one hundred yards away. Vidolf, thinking that they might be able to make it to the base of the mountain and climb to safety, was about to pick up the leader of the Trolls under her arm when she noticed that he had a shocked look on his face, and that he was pointing to the center of the valley with a shaky finger.
" Magic ! " he said as if he were in a state of shock.
Vidolf narrowed her eyes and followed his trembling finger to where the eggs lay, and was soon as hypnotized as the Troll by what she saw. She tried to speak, but only a little gasp escaped her gaping mouth. Vilmeid, who was below the top of the rock, and therefore could not see what the Giantess and the Troll were staring at, tugged at Vidolf's pant leg to get her attention. When she would not budge he climbed up onto the rock and followed her stare to the center of the valley.
The Dwarf, Giantess and Trolls stood and watched in almost a catatonic state as each of the dragons disappeared moments before they would have landed next to their eggs. First their heads were gone. Then their wings vanished. And finally their tails disappeared as if they had never existed at all ! One by one the creatures flew into oblivion, as if they were being drawn to their deaths by an unseen force, until the last of the great beasts faded into nothingness.
As the trio watched, with horrified fascination, the eggs suddenly disappeared as well. To make sure that nothing remained of the great winged creatures they each carefully scanned the valley, the cliffs, and of course the sky above. But nothing had been left behind to indicate that the dragons had ever existed in this realm. It was then, when everything became quite still, and very silent, that Vidolf and Vilmeid began to feel a great sadness for the loss of Svarthofdi.
" He gave his life so that we could complete our mission. " Vidolf stated with a quivering lower lip.
Vilmeid, though saddened by his friends death, looked up at the Giantess with an angry glare in his eyes.
" Svarthofdi knew what he was doing. He was more than willing to sacrifice his life so that we might live. " he responded with a hint of pride in his voice.
Vidolf reached over and placed her arm around the stubby Dwarf and pulled him close.
" You are right Vilmeid ! I was wrong to put our mission above the importance of his life, or our friendship. " she replied sadly.
Vorstapp, who was listening closely to what was being said, continued to stare into the center of the valley where something new had caught his attention. When he realized that he was the only one who was witnessing this unusual phenomenon he slapped the Giantess on the shoulder and pointed back out to the other side of the valley.
" Why does the valley shimmer with all the colors of the rainbow ? " he asked.
Svarthofdi and Vilmeid glanced up and shaded their eyes to better see what the Troll was trying to describe to them. Quickly, and without much difficulty, they too saw a shower of glimmering lights in the distance. And they appeared to coming their way !
" Vilmeid ! Gather up your galdr sticks, if they are still there, for we may need them to protect ourselves from this new threat ! " she told the Dwarf.
Vilmeid immediately ran out to where the eggs had once been piled. He was glad, and much relieved, to see that his rune sticks had not disappeared with the dragons and their eggs. When he bent over to pick up the first stick, however, it disappeared ! Then, one by one they vanished right before his eyes until they were all gone. Vilmeid was about to curse his luck when the lights that had been at the valley entrance suddenly appeared right in front of him. The terrified Dwarf took a step backward, but when he saw that his rune sticks were dangling in mid-air within the lights he rushed forward, grabbed hold of them, and then, with his prized galdr sticks in hand, he turned and ran back to the rocks as fast as he could.
For a long time Vidolf, Vilmeid and the Trolls remained behind their rock fortress watching the lights as they floated in the air like leaves in the breeze. Despite the shimmering lights being quite beautiful, and having caused them no harm as of yet, Vidolf turned to the Dwarf and pointed at his rune sticks.
" Can you cast a spell that will blow,...., whatever that is out of the valley ? " she asked.
Vilmeid set the sticks on a rock and searched for the one that he felt would hold the magic he needed. When he found the stick he wanted he walked around the rocks and placed the rune stick on the open ground at the edge of the valley. He then ran back to the safety of the rocks to think up a chant that would cause the spell to work. When he was quite sure that he had the right words he began to chant.
" From North and south, and east and west, to this valley bring a mighty gale,
Make the earth's dirt fly, loose rocks slide, and the strong roots of trees fail,
Vilmeid stopped the moment he felt Vifdolf's hand press down hard on his shoulder.
" Look ! " she told the Dwarf as she pointed to the floating lights.
Vilmeid shook his head, not once, but twice in disbelief.
" What is it ? " he asked.
Vidolf shrugged her shoulders.
" I have no idea ! " she replied.
As they watched the ever changing color of the lights in the middle of the valley, they also noticed that they seemed to be somehow coalescing into a form. To the onlookers it was as if they were watching something slowly emerge from a thick fog. It was Vilmeid who recognized what it was first.
" Svarthofdi ? ! " The Dwarf whispered under his breath.
Soon Vidolf, Vorstapp, and the rest of the Trolls, saw what the image that the Dwarf was seeing. Then, before anyone else could speak, in a great flash of light, everything was gone.
Vidolf awoke from what she surmised was a horrific nightmare. As she lay on her rock bed, in her cave dwelling, she strained her eyes to look around in the early morning light, which was just beginning to filter into the cave entrance. Despite feeling that the dream she had was horrific, Vidolf had no memory of it. Instead of feeling anxiety she felt a calm peacefulness that she had not felt in sometime. The Giantess no longer feared the dragons, and she could not see in her mind the children of Jotunheim being carried away by these evil winged creatures any longer. With a serene smile on her face she lay her head back on her pillow, and thought only of getting a little more sleep before she had to get up and do her chores. Moments before sleep was able to overtake her conscious mind she caught sight of her axe sitting on the table next to her bed. All thoughts of sleep quickly disappeared when she realized that it was covered in a thick coating of dried blood. Startled, Vidolf jumped out of bed and backed away from the weapon, as if it were an enemy about to attack. It was then that she had the strange feeling that she had forgotten something very important !
Vilmeid looked nervously around Mod Sognir's great hall as if he was reliving an event that had taken place before. As he narrowed his vision to only the table in front of him he noticed that it was covered with hundreds of diamonds. Was this a dream, he thought ? When the King of the Dwarfs spoke, however, it quickly brought him back to the stark reality of the here and now !
" I have heard that you can make one item turn into two, and two become four, and so on and so on with your magic. I command you, as King of the Dwarfs of Svartalfheim, to double the amount of diamonds that I have laid out on my feasting table ! " he told the wizard.
Vilmeid closed his eyes, and nervously mouthed the words that he hoped, for his sake, would double the amount of diamonds on the table. When he began the verse a second time there was suddenly a great flash of light, which he could detect even with his eyes being shut. Suddenly, Vilmeid had an urge to run out of the king's hall, and put as much distance between himself and this place as quickly as he could. He raced towards the exit, stopping only for a moment to grab a torch. As he reached out for it his eyes widened in total disbelief. The appendage that had served him so well all these years was no longer there ! When the shock subsided he grabbed the torch with his other hand and ran away as fast as his stubby legs would take him.
" This had better be a dream ! " he whispered to himself as he ran down the tunnel.
After King Mod Sognir's eyes readjusted to the dim light of his hall he looked frantically around his court for Vilmeid, but he was nowhere to be found.
" Why did Vilmeid run away !? His magic worked perfectly, and now I am a much wealthier king ! " he cried out as he stood admiring all of the beautiful shimmering diamonds in his hall.
The king then pointed around the room.
" Please ! Go find him ! For I wish to reward him handsomely for such fine magic ! " the king commanded.
Svarthofdi appeared before the Council of Elders in a flash of light. This time, however, it was not they who had summoned him, but he who had boldly arrived uninvited. And this time it would not be the teachers who would tell the student if he had passed, but the student who would lecture the Elders and tell them how it would now be going forward !
" I am Svarthofdi, master sorcerer, and defender of Ljosalfheim. I have passed your test at great cost to myself and my friends. I will never again allow you, the Elders of Ljosalfheim, or any other body convened here in our realm, to tell me what it is that is expected of me. From this moment forward I am independent, and no longer fall under your influence. " he told the council curtly, but without raising his voice.
The All-high leader pounded his gavel on the judgement bench, and pointed it at the impertinent little Elf.
" You will do as we say, for we are your Elders ! " he shouted back angrily.
Svarthofdi pointed his wand at the Elders, and without saying a word, directed a great cosmic energy which hit them like a bolt of lightning, throwing them up against the far wall with a loud thud.
" I do not believe that you heard me correctly, so let me begin again. I will obey you no more forever. " he explained once again.
As the protector of Ljosalfheim turned to leave he added sarcastically :
" And if you have no objections, I am now going to see my friends, for I have much to tell them ! " he informed them as he grinned from ear to ear.
When the door to the hall closed the All-high leader looked over at his fellow councilmen and smiled.
" Svarthofdi has done well ! "
- End Chapter 24
- Next : Epilogue
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright 2019.