From all across Jotunheim they came to the harsh lands of frost and snow, and stood outside of the great Ice Palace of the King of the Frost Giants Ismir. They had been told that they were summoned to this unforgiving land for a meeting of the highest importance to the Joutuns. No one standing in the bitter cold, however, knew what the true purpose of their invitation was, but because it was Ismir who had summoned them they came without question. They came riding horses, and wolves. Some even turned themselves into eagles and flew, but many simply walked to the frozen lands to hear what the great Ice King had to say. Most did not enjoy their journey to these frozen wastelands, and when they arrived many were in a foul mood. Being forced to wait outside the Ice Palace in the cold did not help their demeanor either !
Once they were finally inside the great palace of ice they quickly seated themselves among the hundreds of benches around the great hall. Although they were all descended from Ymir, the first of their kind, they sat segregated from one another by group. The Plains Jotuns sat near the back of the palace where they could be warmed by the great fires that were roaring there. The rear of the palace was cut into the rock of a mountain and therefore was not affected by the heat. The Cliff Jotuns who did not like to be too warm congregated in the middle where the temperature was a little more moderate for them. The Frost Giants all sat in the front of the great hall just beneath the great ice throne of their King Ismir. The chatter and banter that was being tossed around the great hall was very loud, and it sounded as though fights would break out at any moment.
Because of their interactions with each other none of the Jotuns noticed when Ismir came in and sat down on his throne. Ismir was large even amongst the biggest of Jotuns. He was considered to be the wisest, and stongest of the Frost Giants, and was respected by all of the other Jotun kings for his fearlessness in battle. After his father had died in battle against Odin and his brothers, Ismir had to fight for his father's throne against his brothers. These mighty battles were very bloody and had already become legendary throughout Jotunheim. Even the great leader of Muspellheim, Surt, had great respect for Ismir. Surt was not invited by the Frost Giant King, however, because they did not always see eye to eye. Ismir doubted he would come anyway because he loathed traveling to his cold kingdom from his lands of heat and fire.
After seating himself Ismir gave a simple nod to his attendants, and they blew a few notes through their ice horns to get the attention of those in attendance. The horns rang out like the sound of thunder, a sound which all Jotuns hate, and everyone in the great hall stopped talking, and looked up at the Jotun who sat in the high seat above them. When Ismir had what he considered the full attention of his invited guests, he tapped his 6 inch nails on the ice arm of his throne, and with his cold blue eyes stared out at the Jotuns before him. He waited a second or two, for effect, and then in a coarse voice began to address his fellow Jotuns.
First he thanked his guests for coming, and then began speaking slowly and in angry tones. He spoke of Aesir injustice ! He spoke out against the new alliance between the Aesir and the Vanir which only further threatened their Jotun homeland ! He complained of how the Aesir had confined them to these inhospitable lands, and that now they were too many in numbers for such a small living space. He commented on their need for more, and better, lands for their people. With every point that Ismir made the Jotuns cheered in full agreement. Then Ismir came more to the point of his speech, " And who is to blame for these injustices? " bellowed Ismir . " The Aesir ! " rang out around the hall in perfect unison. Ismir continued: " When Bor's sons killed Ymir they declared war upon our people, and our lands. If not for Bergelmir and his wife, we Frost Giants would have been erased from history. And what the sons of Bor did next was even more despicable. They tore Ymir apart, and made from his body the earth; from his bones the rocks; from his life giving blood they made the very seas they sail upon ! Then they hemmed us in by building a stronghold out of Ymir's eyebrows, and gave these lands, now called Midgard to those puny humans. And now these insect humans infest the lands built out of our ancestor's remains. The ultimate humiliation is that Odin himself has placed his son Thor as the protector and guardian of these puny intruders. My brother Jotuns, Midgard belongs to us ! We have grown strong over the millenium, and now it is time to take back what is rightfully ours ! My brothers it is time to fight for what was taken from us, and re-claim these lands for ourselves, and re-name them Ymirheim! " With those last words the hall exploded into shouts and cheers. Slowly a chant was started quietly in the back of the room, and grew to a great crescendo. " War, War, War, War......", was all they shouted !
Next : Part 2 : Thor Becomes Involved.
- Glenn Bergen, Copyright, 2012.
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !