( Gna's Glory )
Never Again !
" You have summoned me my queen, and I have come ! " Gna said proudly.
Frigga smiled pleasantly at her new messenger.
" Rise child ! " she commanded.
" My husband and I would like to once again congratulate you on your most honorable victory in the messenger challenge ! " she told Gna.
Frigga tried to hold back a huge grin, but she could not resist her emotions.
" And we would each like to reward you with a gift to honor your wonderful victory ! " she explained to her messenger.
Odin stood up and reached behind his high - seat. Valfather slowly lifted a beautiful spear over his throne, and held it out to Gna. The handmaiden was awed by how beautifully the weapon was made. The spear blade was fashioned from highly polished steel, and the point looked to be razor sharp. The wooden shaft appeared to be made from the finest ash, and like Odin's walking staff, had runes of protection carved onto its surface. At the end of the shaft was a beautiful golden cap, to balance the spear, with her name emblazoned on it. Gna had never seen such a beautiful weapon !
Frigga's messenger proudly grasped the spear in both hands and bowed her head to Odin.
" Thank you Valfather ! It is a great honor to be awarded such a fine weapon from the Lord of Asgard ! " she told him humbly.
Odin nodded and then patted the maiden on the shoulder.
" The Dwarves tell me it is almost as fine a weapon as my Gungnir ! " he told her with a little grin.
Gna held the spear at her side and stood at attention.
" I promise I will use your gift to honor yourself and All - Mother Frigga ! " she said confidently.
Frigga then rose up off of her high - seat and began to walk to the entrance of Fensalir.
" You will have to come to the courtyard if you wish to see the gift that I have for you ! " she told Gna with a smile.
Odin laughed !
" Hurry child ! " he told Gna as he pointed towards the entrance.
Gna ran after Frigga and caught up to her just as she was opening the doors. At first Gna was blinded by the light, but when her eyes became accustomed to the brightness she was able to focus on Hermod who was holding the reins of a magnificent horse.
" Good morning Hermod ! Thank You for bringing Gna's gift to Fensalir ! " she told Odin's messenger.
" It is, as always, a pleasure to serve you All - Mother ! " Hermod replied.
Gna placed her hands over her mouth and let out a little gasp.
" This fine looking horse is for me ! ? " she asked.
Frigga walked over to the large horse and stroked its neck with her hand.
" Its name is Hofvarpnir, and it comes from wonderful parentage, I assure you ! Hamskerpir got this exceptional animal with Gardrofa, and it has the ability to ride through the air and across the sea ! " she explained to Gna.
Gna walked over and gently petted the muscular front leg of the horse, and then wrapped her arms around the horse's neck.
" Is it really mine ? Is it really ! ? " she asked All - Mother excitedly.
" Yes, child ! It is a gift to show my gratitude for your fine showing in the messenger challenge. " Frigga explained.
" Besides, I cannot have my personal messenger riding anything but the best ! " she added with a smile.
Gna let go of Hofvarpnir, and hugged Frigga.
" Thank You All - Mother ! " Gna whispered in her ear.
After a moment Frigga gently pushed Gna away to arm's length.
" Thor wishes to return the staff called Gridarvol to the Giantess Grid in Jotunheim. My husband feels that this will be a good first test for you my dear. " she told her handmaiden.
Odin, who had been watching by the doors of Fensalir walked over to Gna and handed her the staff that Thor had borrowed.
Odin smiled as he spoke :
" Ride like the wind ! " Odin said with a laugh.
Gna nodded as she took the staff.
" Yes, my Lord ! " she replied.
Hermod held Hofvarpnir while Gna mounted the great horse for the first time. When Frigga's messenger was securely in the saddle Hermod walked behind the horse and gave it a sharp smack on the rump.
" To Jotunheim Hofvarpnir ! " Hermod shouted.
As Gna disappeared into the distance Frigga turned to Odin and whispered.
" If anything happens to her I will not forgive you my husband ! " she exclaimed.
Odin smiled, a confident smile.
" Nothing will happen to her ! " he assured his wife.
Gna could not believe how fast Hofvarpnir could gallop. The messenger barely had time to wave to Heimdall, who had anticipated her departure and opened the gates to Asgard, as she past his post. In what seemed like the blink of an eye she had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, and was racing through Midgard at a dizzying speed. Frigga's handmaiden had never felt so free and alive as she approached the entrance to Jotunheim. Then, in an instance, everything changed !
Gna could feel herself being lifted off of her saddle as she came into the rock pass. A moment later she was flying through the air ! Unlike Fulla and Syn before her, however, Gna suspected that the Jotun might be waiting for her at the pass, which is why she kept her horse that could fly on the ground. In midair the warrior messenger gained control of herself, and as she hit the ground she rolled to lessen the blow.
It had snowed in Jotunheim overnight and the fresh powder helped to cushion her fall as well as she slid the last ten feet up against a large rock. As she looked up she saw hovering above her an ugly hairy Jotun. The Goddess also noticed that Hofvarpnir had not abandoned her, but was waiting a short distance from the rock.
" Puny little Goddess ! I will take all that you have, .....and your life as well ! " he shouted at Gna with a sinister laugh.
Gna showed no fear as she grinned up at the large Jotun.
" So you are the one who attacked Fulla, and boldly stole the God's gifts ! " she replied.
" Yes ! My name is Vipar, and I will take whatever I like from whomever I like ! " he told her confidently.
Gna laughed !
" Catch me if you can ! " she shouted.
Gna giggled as she ran between the Jotun's legs towards Hofvarpnir. After sliding to a halt at the great horse's side she took from a holder on the saddle her great spear, and then she whacked the horse on the ass.
" Fly Hofvarpnir ! " she commanded the horse, as she ran for the dense forest just beyond the rock pass.
" Why you little bitch ! " Vipar screamed as he ran after the Goddess.
Gna had learned many lessons from Frigga's Challenge. One of which she used to her advantage now. As she moved through the thick forest she kept her back arched, and her head lowered. This allowed her to run through the forest under the low hanging branches with ease. Vipar, however, could not avoid the foliage no matter how far he bent over, and it caused him to fall further and further behind the Goddess.
Several miles into the forest a large river split the woodlands in half. Gna did not hesitate !The moment she reached the water's edge she dove in ! With the spear shaft held firmly in her teeth Gna swam as fast as she could for the far shore.
Vipar emerged from the the forest and tumbled down the muddy bank of the river where he stopped half in and half out of the water.
" I am going to crush you like a bug when I catch you ! " Vipar screamed across the water.
Gna heard the splash as the Jotun dove into the water, and she immediately began to kick her legs furiously to reach the far shore. The Goddess did not bother to look behind her as her feet finally touched bottom. She did not want to waste the precious moments it would take to turn. Gna raced up the muddy bank, slipping a few times before reaching the firm ground on the top .
" Here was where she was going to make her stand ! " she told herself.
The Messenger Goddess took a deep breath as soon as she heard the Jotun splashing at the water's edge. Instinctively Gna spun around , sighted the Jotun, aimed, and threw her spear in one quick motion.
Vipar was shocked as he stood at the water's edge . He had expected the Goddess to continue to flee, but instead she stood above him about to throw her spear at him. Vipar quickly reached for his hone weapon, but he was too late ! As the spear point pierced his heart he dropped his hone, and fell mortally wounded upon the muddy bank.
Gna jumped down onto the bank and stood above the dying Jotun. She was angrier than she had ever been in her entire life ! With both hands she yanked at the spear, turning it slightly to cause as much pain as possible, as she removed it from the Jotun's chest. Gna enjoyed the loud groan that Vipar made when the tip finally came free. Then with her fury peaking she thrust the spear point into the genitals of the Jotun. The Giant let out one more agonizing scream before he died.
" That was for Fulla, you ugly bastard ! " she screamed at the corpse.
The messenger Goddess reached for her sword, pulling it free from its scabbard as if she were angry with it ! Gna then jumped onto the Jotun's chest, and placed the sword against Vipar's neck. She raised the sword high over head, and swung it downward with all her might chopping the head off of the Giant with one mighty blow.
" And your head is for Frigga ! " she yelled as she watched it roll down to the water's edge.
Skadhi, who was hidden behind a large tree that overlooked the river bank, had her arrow sighted on the head of the Jotun as he emerged from the water. The Mountain Goddess watched in amazement as Gna killed the great Jotun with her spear, and then decapitated the Giant. As she placed the arrow back into its quiver, and the bow over her shoulder Skadhi looked down at her wolf - friend Swift Runner, and smiled.
" Odin need not have worried my little pet. Gna passed the final test with great honor ! " she told her little canine friend, who looked up at her with its head slightly turned.
" Once again Odin's wisdom has ruled the day ! Now let us go home to Thrymheim for we are no longer needed here ! " she told Swift - Runner as he led the way to her mountain hall.
- End Chapter 10
- Next : Chapter 11 : A Return To Normalcy
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.