Idunn' s Revenge
Idunn' s Plan
As Sunna rose to her midpoint in the sky Idunn loaded dozens of golden apples onto a reindeer, kissed her husband, said her goodbyes, and headed off for Asgard. Handing out the golden apples to longer than usual this day because every God and Goddess she met offered their condolences to her over the loss of her brother. Quietly she listened to each Asgardian as they honored her brother with praise, but inside she was becoming impatient. Words were not going to help her brother now, and these well meaning Gods were keeping her from avenging her brother. Instead of heading home after her deliveries were finally done she journeyed instead to Vanaheim. It was here in that magical ancient world that she would put the first phase of her plan into effect.
As Idunn stood before the great golden doors of Sessrumnir, she feared what Freyja would say when she asked for the favor she needed. Before she could attempt to knock, the doors swung open. This time a different child stood before her. Easily as beautiful as the child she met on her first visit, this little girl, however, was a little older. " Hello, my name is Idunn " the Goddess told the child. " I know ! " said the child with a smile. " And you are here to see my mother about a curse to kill a Jotun ! " the little one added, and then motioned for her to enter. " I am Hnoss, and my mother is waiting for you in the second room on the right. " she told Idunn as she pointed towards the room. Stunned, Idunn stood there for a moment before responding. " Thank you very much Hnoss! " Idunn answered. Hnoss nodded politely, and then disappeared. It took Idunn' s mind a moment to realize that the child had actually disappeared. Vanished into thin air ! Shaking her head in disbelief she said quietly to herself : " It is no wonder that the Aesir lost the great war to these magical Gods ! " As Idunn entered the chamber she found Freyja sitting on a high seat at the other end of the room.
Before Idunn made her way half the way across the room Freyja raised her hand as though to stop her. " I cannot help you with what you seek my friend. " Freyja told her in a commanding voice. Idunn's heart fell into her stomach when she heard the Vanir Goddesses words. When Freyja saw the young Goddess stop and lower her head in despair, she smiled. " Don' t be sad child ! I said that I cannot help you, but I will take you to see someone very special who will ! " she told the Goddess of Youth. Idunn perked up immediately, and ran the rest of the way to the high seat, and gave Freyja a big hug. " Thank You ! " Idunn whispered into the Vanir Goddesses ear . " Don' t be frightened my dear. Everything will be alright ! " Freyja told her.
Freyja had her golden cart brought to the front of the hall. Idunn giggled when she saw the cats that were harnessed to the chariot. Freyja smiled at the young Goddess, and stroked her hair . " They may look too small and feeble to pull my cart, my dear, but I assure you they are more than capable. " Freyja told her. As they stepped up into the cart Freyja took hold of Idunn's hands, and placed them firmly on the top edge of the cart. " Hold on tightly now my dear ! " Freyja warned her. As Freyja snapped the reins there was a great jolt that surprised Idunn, who lost her grip. Freyja acted quickly, and braced Idunn until she was able to grab hold of the cart again. " Oh my ! You were not joking when you said they were more than capable ! " Idunn said as she held on for dear life. Freyja smiled from ear to ear at the pretty little Goddess as they made their way to the very edge of Vanaheim.
Idunn did not like the looks of the place where Freyja stopped her cart. Along the way they had passed high majestic mountains with beautiful waterfalls cascading down from great heights. Wonderful halls of gold and silver, lined their way, many situated in flowering meadows, and idyllic valleys. Here, however, it was dark and ugly ! Old gnarled trees surrounded a single dilapidated hut that had a foul smell coming from its smoking chimney. As Idunn stepped off the cart she shot Freyja a worried look. " Do not be afraid child, I will go in with you. " Freyja told her in a soothing tone. As they entered the dark smoke filled hut, Idunn noticed a woman slumped over a cauldron that hung over the fire. As she slowly turned Idunn expected the woman to be hideous, and braced herself ! However, when the woman walked away from the fire, and into the light, she was not ugly at all. She was older than Freyja, and not quite as pretty, but still lovely in her own way. The tattered clothes that she wore did not seem to fit her looks at all, but when her eyes met Idunn's her cold stare made the Elf Goddess shiver.
" Hello Freyja ! How are you my dear ? " the woman asked. " I am fine Gullveig, and how are you this day old friend ? " Freyja shot back. Before Gullveig could answer Idunn gasped in horror, and took a step backwards. With one eye on the young Goddess Gullveig answered : " I am well also my friend . " Then Gullveig took a step towards Idunn . " Do I frighten you my dear ? " she asked her young guest. " A little ! I have heard many bad things about you ! " Idunn answered as she stepped closer to Freyja. " Ha, Ha, Ha ! " Gullveig laughed in a high pitched tone. Her evil laugh pushed Idunn right up against Freyja, who placed her arm around the young Goddess. " Now Gullveig ! Do we really need to scare little Idunn ? " Freyja asked the Queen of Seidr. " She should be afraid my friend ! For what she is about to do is very dangerous ! " Gullveig shot back. " Will you help her my old friend ? " Freyja asked. Gullveig smiled, a wicked smile, and placed her face close to Idunn's face, which made the young Goddess cringe. " No one understands revenge as well as I do my dear ! Odin tried to kill me three times, but my magic saved me each time ! Odin's indiscretions lead to the Aesir - Vanir war little one, and in the end the revenge was ours ! " Gullveig said with a cruel smile. Idunn looked up at Freyja who smiled down on her. " That means " yes " my dear . She will help you ! " Freyja told her with a giggle. " Of course I will help ! I already have the cauldron boiling ! " Gullveig told them as she turned and pointed to the pot on the fire.
Idunn and Freyja sat at a small moldy table as they watched Gullveig slowly add more and more ingredients into the cauldron' s brew. With every new item she placed in the boiling mixture Gullveig circled her hand over the thick rim of the cauldron, and chanted a magical spell. Idunn listened closely, but she did not understand the old language of the Vanir people. She looked over at Freyja for answers, but the Vanir Goddess had none to give. Freyja put her finger to her lips in a shushing motion, and smiled. Gullveig, sensing Idunn's questioning stare, turned and looked at Idunn. As she began to laugh in a high pitched tone that hurt Idunn's ears, the Elf Goddess noticed that Gullveig was changing into something wicked and ugly. The laughter went on and on, until finally Idunn could not stand it any longer, and clasped her hands over her ears to block out the wickedness, and then buried herself against Freyja. The Vanir Goddess put her arm around the young Goddess and gently stroked her hair to soothe her fears. She wanted to tell Idunn that Gullveig had to become as evil as the curse she was concocting for it to be as potent as Idunn needed, but she was forbidden by the old laws to tell any of the secrets of their Seidr. Only once did she break her oath of silence, and that was when she taught Odin the Vanir Seidr after the Aesir - Vanir war. That, however, was part of the peace agreement that they had made with the Aesir, and was therefore acceptable.
After what seemed to be an eternity, Idunn felt her hands being pulled away from her ears, and heard Freyja whisper : " It is over my dear . The cursed potion is ready ! " Idunn slowly opened her eyes as she moved away from Freyja's protection. To her surprise Gullveig had resumed her former appearance, and was gently stirring the contents of the cauldron. " The curse is done child ! Dip your golden apples in the poisonous potion, and anyone who eats the golden fruit will suffer much agony ! That is before they die of course ! " Gullveig giggled . As Idunn dipped each apple into the mixture one by one, she was careful to hold the magical fruit by their stems. When she was finished she smiled at the Queen of Seidr. " Thank you, Gullveig ! " Idunn said sincerely as she turned to leave. Gullveig reached out, grabbed Idunn's arm, and looked her straight in the eyes. " No ! Thank you my dear ! I love revenge ! " she told the young Goddess with a wicked smile.
End Chapter 5
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2014.
Next : Chapter 6 : Idunn The Seductress !