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Subj: The Peaceful Home of Skaddi and Njord part 1 of 3
Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 01:23:35 pm EST (Viewed 103 times)
This story is based on the traditional myth.
Hopefully it finds it's own very different way as it progresses.
Clearly, this is not the MU.
Hope you enjoy it.
The Peaceful Home of Skaddi and Njord
All Father Odin sat on his towering throne, Hlidskjaf, in his great hall Valaskjaf , and his sigh echoed across the length of his mighty court. It was the first time in weeks that he could close his one remaining eye without pondering a host of troubles and complaints. His ravens Hunin and Munin circled gingerly around his shoulders. They spied a rare chance to rest on their accustomed perch undisturbed. No one else dared approach the King of Asgard.
What a trying time it had been.
First, the frost giant Thiazzi, King of the Jotuns, blackmailed Loki into kidnapping the beautiful Idunn along with her golden apples that granted the gods immortality. His massive blue hands held the mischief-maker in their grip, while he laid the Tricksterâ€™s predicament out before him.
â€œLoki, dark and many are your plots against Asgard. I have gazed from my mountain castle and seen them all. You will use your famous wiles to lure Idunn to me. If you do not, trespasses of yours as yet uncovered will be revealed. Dire then, will be your plight.â€
â€œ Long is the life of Jotun kind but my time is running out. Why should the Aesir refuse to share the many gifts of their beautiful goddessâ€™ magic apples? Why should Asgardians alone live forever? Am I not a king? Do I not have power enough to give the warriors of the Vanir and Valhalla pause? Bring me those apples so that I may live until the end of days Loki, or this day shall be your last.â€
Then, because nothing could be hidden long from Odin the All Seeing, the plot was uncovered. The King of Asgard forced Loki to help Thor rescue Idunn and the apples. The Aesir hovered at deathâ€™s door without the fruit that gave them life eternal. Thor dragged his reluctant assistant to the land of Jotunheim as fast as he could.The life of Idunn and the existence of all their brother and sister gods hung in the balance.
â€œThiazzi, the warriors of the Aesir do not suffer theft of property or kidnap of Asgardian women lightly. Return them both or meet the fate of those who would challenge the will of Odin.â€
â€œThink you to threaten me here in Thrymheim, Thunderer? This is my family castle. The blood of my grandfather paid for this mountain. I have used my strength and wits to win Asgardâ€™s greatest prize. You will not come into my home and retrieve it easily.â€
The battle cost the avaricious Thiazzi his life. Idunn and her apples were returned to safety. The gods ate the fruit of eternal life. Happiness reigned in the shining realm. It seemed that Asgardâ€™s troubles were over.
That did not prove to be the case.
The trials of the All Father were just beginning. Skaddi, the daughter of the deceased giant king, brought all of her power to bear on Asgard. She demanded atonement for her fatherâ€™s death.
â€œMy father claimed by royal right, the same gifts and privileges that you Asgardians have horded for time eternal. For this his penalty is death? All things seek to live, Odin One-Eye. Would you kill a plant for stealing sunlight? Would you snuff out a river for taking water from the sea? Do not think you are blameless in this incident. Do not comfort yourself that a daughterâ€™s righteous vengeance will be less frightful than had my mother borne a son.â€
By storm and spear Skaddi proved her will to challenge the Aesir made her fatherâ€™s bold disdain pale by comparison. Tyr, Prince of War, and Loki, the Trickster, both suggested Skaddi be given the same treatment that ended her fatherâ€™s days. Odin disagreed.
â€œA war is best won when the cause is just. This lamentable situation has an unpleasant complication. Skaddi argues that her father fought for his life. That is a powerful argument in his defense. Both sides share grievance and blame. I want an end to this violence and the tragic vendettas that might follow.â€
So, Odin the All Wise, negotiated with the Jotun Princess to find a way to redress the loss of her father.
First, the All Father dealt with her tears by daring Loki to make the notoriously ill- tempered giantess laugh. Loki, God of Mischief that he was, met the challenge with bawdy panache. By the end of his story, Skaddi was holding her sides with laughter.
â€œThough my blue skin turns red from embarrassment at your tale, Trickster, there is no denying that you have done what I thought impossible. You have transformed my icy tears of grief into the warmer tears of mirth, if even for a moment.â€
Next, Odin Borson eased the loss of her fatherâ€™s love by tossing the eyes of the dead Thiazzi into the heavens and using his powers to turn them into stars. In this way the grief stricken daughter would always know her father watched over her from above.
â€œThank you Lord Odin. I will never again feel his hand upon my head, or hear his strong voice tell me of his paternal love, but at least I shall know my fatherâ€™s eyes still see his devoted daughter and all my days I shall strive to fill them with pride.â€
Lastly, the King of Asgard addressed the loneliness that now beset Skaddi by agreeing to find her a husband from amongst the gods of his realm. To prevent the giantess from wielding too much power in his court however, Odin added a wrinkle to the selection of the groom. At Lokiâ€™s suggestion, the prospective husbands were lined up behind a curtain that covered them from the top of their heads to the base of their ankles. Skaddi would have to choose from her suitors by their feet alone.
â€œSo, Lord Odin, your generosity extends only so far. With one hand you give me the gift of a companion with the other you take away the happiness of choosing one that pleases me. No matter, it will be no hard feat to choose the fairest from their feet.â€
Lokiâ€™s groan was drowned out by the polite chuckles of the court. It was clear that Skaddiâ€™s eloquence was best voiced in her anger and her grief but this was not the time to play the critic. The rest of the Asgardians understood that this was no small moment for them or the subjects of the Jotun Princess. Her happiness would decide the course of the following daysâ€™ events. Would her choice bring a wedding or a war?
Throughout the nine worlds one god above all was revered for his beauty. Gentle Balder, God of Light, was considered by every woman be she Jotun, Vanir, Aesir, or Midgard- born to be the most desirable male alive. Skaddi was no exception. Even from her fatherâ€™s mountain castle she had seen the fair one and fallen under his spell.
Now Skaddi saw a chance to rise from the sorrow of her fatherâ€™s loss to a new life beside the most desired husband in all the known realms. It was not the eternal life her father had sought, but it was a life all others would envy. King Thiazzi delighted in the jealousy of others. A marriage to Balder would surely win favor in her father's distant eyes.
â€œLoki, too long have you lived away from your fellow Jotuns. Think you our wits are so feeble that such a simple ruse could confuse our purpose? Look here, these feet are narrow and long but thickly muscled. They are meant for speed so they must belong to Hermod the Nimble. The next pair are hard and coarse. Only Heimdalâ€™s endless vigil as Guardian of the Rainbow Bridge could wear on them so. Ah, these feet are beautiful and fairer than all the others remaining. I choose these feet to carry my husband, for they could only belong toâ€¦â€
With that the curtain was dropped to the ground.
â€œNjord, the Keeper of the Sea! Njord? Njord! Why he is not even a true Asgardian. He is some Vanir orphan. One of your hostages, forgotten here by his kind after your bitter war with Vanheim was over. Oh, I should have known. Odin the Cunning! Loki the Trickster! I was a fool to think I could receive fair treatment inside Asgardâ€™s walls.â€
Skaddi was so consumed with indignation, so focused on her grievances, that she did not notice the Sea Godâ€™s face turn from a picture of joy as the curtain fell to one of shame as he listened to her words. From the moment he laid eyes upon her while she hurled her assault against the walls of Asgard, Njordâ€™s heart was completely conquered. He even pushed the powerful Tyr out of the line of suitors in the hope that fortune might smile upon him. Now he saw that his victory was a hollow one at best.
â€œYou would foist this salt smelling god of mackerel and squid on a Jotun princess who rules from Thrymheimâ€™s highest peak? You would throw my fatherâ€™s memory to the sky only to bury me beneath the sea? Long have we in Jotunheim wondered why Loki Luafeyson stayed here instead of returning to his kind. Now it is obvious. For Asgard is the home of falsehood and justice here is but a joke to be played on hapless visitors.â€
â€œ I am sorry lady, that I am such a disappointment to you. I am not afraid to say that my heart soared at the prospect of a life with one so spirited as you. It is hateful to me that I should ever bring you disappointment and most repugnant of all that your sadness should be caused by the thought of receiving my love. If Balderâ€™s beauty is all that you desire, I will not be an obstacle to your happiness.â€
Balder himself was pink with embarrassment. He did not know this unpleasant giantess. He had never met her in his long life. Now his failure to have feet whose beauty matched his face was causing an incident of epic proportions. As he had so many times before Balder wished that people did not set so much importance upon how he looked. He had no hand in it and the attention brought him no honor as far as he was concerned.
â€œPrincess Skaddi, you are soon to be a queen. While you are a woman of some stature and your interest in me is flattering, would you not be more honored by a wedding to a Lord of all the Sea than to a godling like me who still lives in his fatherâ€™s home and has won no greater victories than the passing interest of some ladies who have never made my acquaintance? Beautiful is as beautiful does. Njordâ€™s generosity is known in every land that has a shore.â€
â€œWorse and worse! Kinder would it be to slap my cheek and fill my ears with slurs beautiful Balder than beg off my affection with so weak an array of excuses. Asgard make ready. If your favorite son will not receive my love then all your children shall feel my hate. Make ready for battle. Make ready forâ€¦â€¦â€
Lord Odin rose from his throne. All in attendance were shaken by his voice. Rarely did the King of Asgard show his ire. Now it was clearly in attendance. The hall crackled with the power of the All Fatherâ€™s displeasure.
â€œSkaddi, your grief is understood by all present but do not think my empathy is infinite. We have all felt the loss of loved ones. We have all known disappointments of the heart. That is no cause to risk the lives of others in a war of petulance. You do no credit to your father or the honor of your people with this behavior.â€
â€œI will not be....â€
â€œDid you, Skaddi Thiazzidottir, give your word to abide by your choice of husband, unusual as the courtship might have been?â€
â€œYes, Lord Odin.â€
â€œAre you, Princess of the Jotuns, a giantess of your word?â€
â€œYes, Lord Odin.â€
â€œThen look upon the face of your husband, Njord of the Vanir, Lord of All the Oceans, and know that you are a bride who has received the finest wedding present of all, a husband whose heart is true and wholly thine.â€
The wedding was held the next morning. All Father Odin joined the coupleâ€™s hands together, a somewhat less than passionate kiss was exchanged, and the couple was sent off to Njordâ€™s palace in the sea, Noatun, for their honeymoon.
â€œWell that settles that.â€
Odin lay in bed that night next to his wife Frigga.
â€œYouâ€™re very sure of this my husband?â€
â€œOf course. Is Odinâ€™s word not law? All is well. Now for sleep.â€
â€œIf you say so my darling.â€
Everyone congratulated Odin on his wisdom in settling the matter. The All Father,the Aesir, and even the Jotun giants turned their attention to other concerns. Asgard and all the nine worlds were at peace.
That peace lasted for all of nine days.
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