Tweet of the Day: Merry (RAWR) Christmas
Somewhere deep in Jötunheimr
I held aloft a single flame that kept both the night’s darkness. The cold wormed itself through every cranny of exposed skin. It tore away at our resolve as our feet sank ever deeper in the snow.
Owen’s teeth chattered loudly in the dark, “Gwen we need…we need to find shelter soon or else. This cold is unnatural.”
“Of course it is Owen, we are traveling through the Otherworlds, nothing here is natural,” I said with anger that burned as hot as the flame in the palm of my hand.
“That’s not, okay fine lets just move on, okay?”
A light appeared in the distance. It could be anything and that anything was bound to be deadly to mortals. Long muzzles pierced the circle of light around us. They belonged to a pair of gigantic grey mane wolves who growled as they circled us.
The light in the distance stopped,”Leave them be, you two. You will get your fill soon enough. And travelers, follow me and ye shall find shelter this horrid night.” We approached the light with the wolves at our flanks. A large man held a burning torch on one hand while he pulled a thick rope over his shoulder. The rope was tied to a long birch trunk.
“Well what are you waiting for, come on,” said the man in the burly dark coat.
Our little group pressed on through the dark. The sight of another light marked our destination, a turf home buried under feet of snow. The interior was far larger than the entrance hinted at. The enormous elk skulls decorated the walls alongside multicolored round wooden shields.
“Leave your weapons by the door, this is a feasting hall after all,” said the man in the dark coat. He handed the coat to a middle aged woman with long golden tresses and slid the large log into a fire pit that ran through the center of the hall.
The two wolves laid down by the fire. The woman tossed them bits of raw meat. They devoured them with gusto.
“I’m not going to-” said Owen.
“Rules of hospitality Owen, we break them at our own peril,” I said.
I laid Excalibur by the door. Owen did the same with his daggers. Two long tables ran parallel to the fire pit. The smell of roasted venison filled the air. The man, with his long grey beard, chatted with the woman. A black eye patch covered his right eye.
“My name is Angan, Angan Friggjar, this is my wife Frija. Welcome to our humble abode. Come sit and talk. If I may be so bold, what brings you out into such a cold, dark, Yule night?” Angan asked.
“Don’t lie,” squawked a raven atop one of the elk skulls.
“That won’t do,” said another perched on the opposite side of the room.
Twin wolves, twin ravens, a wife named Frija and an eye patch. Another deluded wizard or perhaps the real thing.
I sat down, “We seek the Jötunn.”
“What the hell are you doing?” he whispered in my ear.
I ignored the wave of anger that emanated from him, “The ravens are right. Lying simply will not do.”
Angan walked toward the door, “You seek the giants?”
Frija laid down a plate of venison in front of me, “That is not wise my dear.”
Angan pulled out Excalibur, “A fine blade. A blade of power,” he closed his eyes, “My Lady, that is what they call you, is it not?”
“Indeed it is, Father Wõden,” I said.
Frija bit her lip.
Angan slipped the blade back into the scabbard, “Some have called me that. It is an old name, even here, where time seems to pass eternal. Even now our children are out and about, dealing with their…chores. And I, well I am a very, very old man,” he sat in front of me. “And yes, your friend here is right to be weary. This is not the world of mortals. If you intent on fighting-”
I cut him off, “I intent on talking to them first, if possible.”
“Oh, now that is interesting.”
“Interesting indeed,” said the raven above my head.
“Quite you. Do you think you can convince them to stop the war on your kind?” Angan asked.
“You mean our kind, old man,” said Owen.
“Perhaps once we were once and the same. We are of the Blood, but time among the Worlds changes people and things. I am a man with many names, and none of them belong to me. Whoever I was is long gone,” he said with a sigh.
“Right,” muttered Owen.
Frija sat beside her husband, “We know of the changes that are coming to your world. If you intent to talk to the giants then maybe there might be a chance. Take this,” she handed Owen a small barrel.
“What is this?” he asked.
“Mead. Share it with their king and perhaps you may find the peaceful solution you seek,” she said with a small sad smile.
Owen rolled his eyes, “You want me to get drunk with a giant?”
“What we want is immaterial, what you seek is what’s important. You can not stop what is to come, but you can shape it,” said Angan. One of the wolves laid its enormous head on my lap. “Now eat and be merry for tonight is Yuletide.”
And that night I had the best and strangest dinner of my life.