When Magic Ruled The Worlds
A Harrowing Beginning
Vilmeid did not really want to go to Midgard to fight the creatures that Vidolf and Svarthofdi had described to him, while they were still in the cave in Jotunheim, but what choice did he really have ? If he returned to Svartalfheim he would be at best imprisoned at hard labor for the rest of his life, and at worst he would be publicly executed for his failure to multiply the diamonds in Mod Sognir's great hall. He could have remained behind in Jotunheim, but here too he would be risking his life among a species of beings that did not like his kind. So here he was taking the lesser path of the two evils with a sorcerer and a sibyl, who were on a quest to change the future of two worlds. Despite feeling safe for the moment he could not help but wonder if the sound of his feet crunching in the snow would sound similar to his bones breaking as one of these Midgardian creatures crushed him to death.
For days the trio walked across the frozen ocean between the worlds, braving stinging snow, and battling winds that from time to time nearly knocked the Elf and the Dwarf off of their feet with its fury. The days were nearly unbearable, but the nights were much worse. Without the sun's dim, but somewhat warming rays, the temperature plummeted to a point where even Vidolf could barely stand it. The Jotuness, however, knew how to survive in such a hostile terrain, and showed her tiny comrades how to build a hut out of snow to shelter themselves from the bitter cold and the high winds. Each night in their tiny shelter the three travelers huddled together to keep themselves from freezing to death.
In this place of extremes time seemed to lose all meaning. However, during what Svarthofdi reckoned was their third week in this desolate land he, along with the others, began to notice a subtle change in the weather. The snow at first turned to sleet, and then gradually to freezing rain. The wind, which had been as dangerous as the cold, became calmer and not as bitter as before. And as they reached the end of the frozen sea they came to the base of a mountain, which although snow covered, had a few evergreen trees dotting its side. This, the first sign of life since their journey had begun, gave the Elf and the Dwarf hope that things were soon to get better.
Vidolf, however, having already had visions of what was waiting for them on the other side of this mountain, placed her arms around the shoulders of her smaller companions, and kissed each of them on the cheek.
" Yuck ! What did you do that for ?! " Vilmeid cried out as he wiped his face with the back of his hand.
Svarthofdi was not as disgusted by Vidolf's display of affection for them, as was the Dwarf, but he did give the Giantess a rather odd stare. Seeing his reaction the sibyl laughed heartily at her companion's discomfort.
" Both of you should be most happy ! Once we cross this mountain we will enter a realm of heat and humidity ! " she informed them.
Vilmeid's mood changed instantly, and he wrapped his arms around her waist as he shouted out with great relief.
" Finally, warmth ! " he replied happily.
Svarthofdi, being a much more practical being, tapped Vilmeid on the shoulder. When the Dwarf turned his head around the Elf reminded him of why they had come.
" High heat, humidity,....., and monsters. That is what awaits us my stocky friend ! " he replied with a sense of dread.
The Dwarf's happy expression disappeared and was quickly replaced by a worried stare.
" Well,...., I am not concerned at all ! " he said with a little involuntary gulp. " I am traveling with a strong Jotuness, and a powerful sorcerer ! What could possibly go wrong ? " he replied in an unsteady and unconvincing tone.
Vidolf suddenly let go of her comrades and stared at the mountain as though it were trying to divulge its secrets to her. Vilmeid was about to ask what was wrong when Svarthofdi grabbed him by the arms with one arm, while placing a finger to his lips to quiet him. Several long moments passed before she turned back to her companions and spoke.
" Be afraid my friends ! Be very, very afraid ! " she told them with a frightened look upon her face.
The seer had barely finished her sentence when the trio heard a strange bellowing moan that reverberated through the mountains like a clap of thunder in the heavens. All three stared back and forth at one another for a long moment before turning to look back at the mountain. Vilmeid tried his very best not to show any emotion, but his body soon began to tremble from head to foot with fear.
" But I was already afraid ! " he whispered to himself under his breath.
- End Chapter 3
- Next : Chapter 4 : First Encounter
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2019.