The Temptation Of Balder
Despite Aeola's murder being an intricate part of his plan to ruin Balder, and shame Odin, Loki could not help but feel a twinge of regret over her death. Freyr had been absolutely correct when he described the little Elf as being surpassed only in beauty by his sister Freyja. He felt bad as he remembered how the sparkling light faded from her eyes, and how she fell limp upon the ground. The thought quickly faded, however, when he considered what the outcome of the plan would mean to Balder's status among the Gods.
" You cannot fry the eggs without breaking a few shells ! " he told himself with a wicked grin plastered upon his face.
For now, however, all the Jotun could do was wait quietly here in these woods to see how well his little scheme had worked.
Fritia had grown thirsty during her early morning chores, and when she realized that both her pitcher, and her bucket were empty, she floated down to the well to quench her thirst. As Fritia approached the great natural spring, that flowed up from deep within Ljosalfheim, she noticed something lying on the ground just behind the stone wall of the well. At first she was merely curious as to what it was, but when she came closer, and the object came into better view, a spark of fear ran up her spine. And when she fully accepted that what she was seeing was real, and that the crumpled figure lying on the ground was her friend Aeola, she stopped and let out a scream so high-pitched that only Elves could hear it.
The Light Elves formed a long procession as they made their way to Freyr's great hall, from the spring. Willa, Fritia's mate, carried Aeola's lifeless body at the head of the mourning marchers, while she brought the bloodied murder weapon to their lord and master's abode. While they slowly moved along they sang a sad song to the midday sun.
Freyr knew who the sword belonged to the moment it was shown to him. The question he could not answer, nor did he even want to contemplate, was why an Aesir God, especially one with a heart as pure as Balder's, would come to Ljosalfheim to kill a Light Elf, when it was well known throughout the nine worlds how peaceful and kind these little beings were to all those who came to their realm. When the Vanir God asked if anyone knew of any reason that Balder would commit such a heinous act it was Fritia who came forward with a possible explanation.
" A few moon risings ago Balder and a Jotun came to our world to see us dance in the moon beams. Aeola danced with the God, the owner of this sword, and became one with him. " she related to the Lord of the Light Elves.
" Perhaps the revelation of such ecstasy was too much for the normally moral and restrained God. " he told the Elves, who were looking for answers to the senseless act that had befallen one of their own folk.
After retrieving his magical sword, and taking the murder weapon from Fritia, Freyr addressed the Elves he was sworn to protect.
" I will seek out Balder to demand justice for Aeola. First, however, I will travel to Vanaheim to speak to Odin, the Lord of Asgard. If there is to be a severe punishment handed out for this dastardly deed it must come from one of their own ! " he told those gathered in the courtyard of his great hall.
Willa lifted Aeola's body higher to show the Vanir God how her once shining face had been drained of all its beauty and grace.
" We will wait here for you to return and give us the justice we seek, and that Aeola demands. " he told the Vanir God.
Freyr understood all too well what the Light Elf was implying. They had never questioned his authority, nor had the Elves ever defied him. But if he did not receive from the Gods the compensation that the Light Elves were demanding they would lose faith in him as their lord and master. How he handled this critical situation could change his standing in Ljosalfheim forever !
With a nod the Vanir God agreed with the Elves. Then, not having his boar Gullinborsti to ride, he spoke a magical spell and disappeared in a shower of sparkling light.
Freyja sensed her brother's arrival long before the cosmic light announced his presence with a flash. When the brilliance dissipated the Vanir Goddess smiled at her brother, and greeted him warmly.
" Welcome brother ! I did not think that you were coming this day to honor those lost during the Aesir - Vanir War. " she stated with a sense of surprise in her voice.
Freyr did not return his sister's greeting, but instead turned to Odin who was standing nearby with Frigga.
" I am here, great Odin, under the most dire of circumstances ! " he told the Lord of Asgard in a formal tone.
Odin could see the seriousness of the situation etched on the Vanir God's face and nodded.
" Please tell me what weighs heavily upon your heart Freyr . " Odin replied.
Freyr bowed his head slightly as he showed Balder's bloodied sword to the Lord of Asgard, and his wife.
" There is evidence that your son Balder has murdered the Light Elf maned Aeola, my Lord ! " he explained in a grave manner.
Frigga gasped in horror as she looked down at her son's stained weapon.
How dare you accuse Shining Balder of such a deed ! Blood on my son's sword does not prove his guilt ! " the All- Mother shot back indignantly.
Odin looked over at his angry wife and shook his head.
" That is true, but the evidence presented by Freyr is compelling, though circumstantial. " he replied with a look of great concern on his face.
Frigga reached out and grabbed Freyr's arm and shook it violently.
" Then we shall travel to Breiðablik and ask Balder. He will not lie ! My son would never lie !! " she told the Vanir God angrily.
Freyr shook his head from side to side.
" How can I go back to Ljosalfheim with a mere denial of such charges by the one who is accused of them ?! " he asked sarcastically.
Odin exhaled as if his breath had been sucked out of him. With his right hand he removed his wife's hand from Freyr's arm.
" Asking Balder about the crime that he is accused of having committed would not be evidence of innocence.... " he began.
Freyja laughed, shocking the Gods who fully understood the seriousness of this situation. Frigga was incensed by the insensitive laughter spilling forth from the Goddess of Vanity !
" Then who should we ask to solve this mystery ! " Frigga barked at the Vanir Goddess.
" Why Aeola of course ! " Freyja replied with a giggle and a smile.
Stunned and confused by the Goddess of Seidr's words the Gods frowned at each other before returning their angry stare back at Freyja.
" Aeola ! " they all said in perfect harmony.
- End Chapter 11
- Next : Chapter 12 : Incapable Of Hatred
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravnsheart ), © Copyright, 2018.