Part I : The Call To War
The Gods were sitting in the beautiful meadows that surrounded Asgard playing games on golden gameboards. The Goddesses were gossiping while they weaved gold and silver threads into beautiful garments and blankets. Their children, who they watched carefully, played in the fields running and laughing to and fro. The Gods and Goddesses never knew of war or strife. Behind their great wall, built long ago by a Jotun, they were sure they were safe from any and all harm. That is if an enemy could get past the watchful Heimdall ! Their world was their heaven and they were peaceful and content. Idunn visited with each God and Goddess, giving them the golden apples that they trusted only with her. They loved this shining fruit as much for its taste as for the rejuvenating power that it had. Every bite of this rich fruit gave the Aesir the promise of eternal youth. Everyone in Asgard was happy and content on this day, as they were on all days. Everyone that is, but one.
Odin, from his high - seat in Hlidskjalf, was very concerned ! From this sacred seat he could see out over the nine worlds and know what was happening. Nothing missed the All - Father's watchful eyes, and he did not like what he was seeing. Events were changing in the nine worlds that could be very detrimental to the Aesir. The Jotuns had multiplied in strength, were becoming restless, and were ever so slowly pushing towards Midgard. The three Jotun - Maidens were great cause for concern as well. They were monstrous to look at, and had recently set down laws for men to follow, and were starting to control the destiny of mankind. Odin also felt threatened by their knowledge of the past, present, and especially the future.
Odin was most concerned, however, by the resurgence of the Old Ones known as the Vanir. These Gods lived in the world known as Vanaheim and were using their Seidr, ( magic ), to upset the balance of the universe. Odin thought on this long and hard, weighing all possibilities and options. Finally, Odin decided it was time to take action !
Odin held council with the other Gods, and they carefully considered the situation that was developing before them. They discussed for long hours the prospects of both war and peace. Finally, everyone was in agreement that something had to be done about the Vanir, who had trampled on their honor. And that revenge was required to restore it. The decision was made, they would go to war, and annihilate the intruding Vanir Gods. Not one of the Gods, not even mild mannered Bragi, talked of peace that day !
When the Vanir heard of these threats made against them, they sent their envoy, Gullveig, to meet with the Aesir. In the great Asgardian hall Gullveig warned the Aesir council that any and all credible threats, or encroachment of any kind on Vanaheim, would lead to war. To back her warnings, and give strength and meaning to her words, she showed them her powerful Seidr. Odin, who's council had already decided on war, was furious by her brash show of defiance. And she did it right there in his sacred hall ! Odin could take no more, he broke his own sacred decree about spilling blood in the ancient holy hall; he picked up his spear Gungnir, and shot it into the host. Countless spears were cast at Gullvieg that day to no avail. In Odin's hall they burned her body three times, but three times she was re - born.
When Njord heard of these atrocities, he called the Vanir into council, and asked for a vote of war. Freyr jumped to his feet, raised his mighty sword, that fought by itself, and cried out, " Revenge for our Queen of Seidr, Gullveig. All then rose in unison, lead by Freyja, and shouted war. It is said that the shout could be heard in all the nine worlds ! Njord simply said quietly, " Then war it is !" They put on coats of mail, bright silver helmets, and belted sharp swords on their sides. All was made ready for an attack on the great citadel of Asgard. Most rode on white horses to the field of battle, some however, wore feather coats and flew above the horse soldiers. The peace was over, the war about to begin !
End Part One
Next - Part II :The War Of The Gods
Glenn Bergen, Copyright 2011
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !