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Punchdrunk

Subj: The Peaceful Home of Skaddi and Njord part 2 of 3
Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 at 01:34:26 pm EST (Viewed 81 times)



“Lord Odin, you must help us!”

The cry came from all the sailors whose ships carried goods and treasure across the water from one land to the next.

“Princess Skaddi says that she cannot sleep with our constant traveling back and forth.
She tells our patron Njord that in her homeland trespassers are executed on sight. To please his new bride the Sea King blows gale winds that send us far off course or sucks us down into giant whirlpools that spit us out on the other side of the world where the stars are strange to us. He does this to spare our lives and bring peace to his home. We cannot find our way back Lord Odin. Our families will never see us again. Our precious cargoes will never be delivered. All Father, help us!”

“Hmm, this is troubling.”

“Lord Odin, you must help us!”

This cry went up from the fisherman of Midgard and all the other realms who used the sea to feed their hungry.

“Njord has taken all the fish from our nets and channels to offer to his new wife Skaddi. The giantess finds none of them to her liking. Nothing pleases her. She heaps insults on every fish from the sturgeons to the eel. In his sadness the Sea King banishes them to the depths so that she will never see them again. We never see them again either great Odin. Help us. We are starving!”

“ By grandfather Burri’s beard, this is more troubling still.”

“Lord Odin, hear our plea for mercy!”

This cry came from the most unexpected source of all. The giants of Jotunheim fell on their knees and begged for Odin’s ear almost as one.

“Lord Odin, a powerful people are we Jotuns, but our strength resides in the snow and ice that are as dear to us as the air we breathe. Princess Skaddi says the seas of her new home make her feel too soft and warm. The heat of Njord’s devoted love threatens to melt her icy heart. She does not want to return his love, Odin Crow Shoulder. She has used her will to pull the cold from her mountain home of Thrymheim all the way to the frontier lands of Griantunagardar where the outlaw giants dwell, to cover her heart in a wall of ice. Lord Odin, without our native cold we are melting. Even the giant wizard, Utgard- Loki’s spells have failed to save us. If you do not intercede you will no longer have us as your faithful foes. How will the heroes of Asgard prove their mettle when our greatest warriors have melted away?”

“I have heard enough. These troubles must be ended.”

“Husband, may I suggest you try another tack? Perhaps the couple has.....”

“Wise you are dear wife, a change is called for. Since they cannot live peacefully in Njord’s home, I shall move them to the land of giants. Thrymheim is Skaddi’s palace now. There they will trouble us no more.”

“My love, are you sure that it....”

“What a helpful wife you are dear Frigga. Yes. The matter is settled. Odin’s word is law.”

“If you say so my darling.”

So the edict was handed down from Asgard’s throne. Skaddi and Njord repaired to their second marriage home with the same lack of enthusiasm that had marked the couple’s honeymoon.

The fish returned to the waters. The sailors set their bearings and began their long voyages home. The giants basked in the icy cold that marked the return of their princess to her castle. All was right with the world. Odin nodded as his subjects thanked him for this peace.

This peace lasted another nine days.

“Lord Odin, help us!”

This cry came from the water elves and sea nymphs of Alfheim.

“Odin, Verse Singer, hear our cries for deliverance. Known as the greatest ship builders to live beneath Yggdrasil, the world tree, are we. Now that he is in his bride’s icy castle, Njord no longer monitors the foulest creatures of the depths. The great kraken, sea dragons, and fish too hideous to bear a name, rise up against our vessels undeterred. All our fleets are destroyed Lord Odin. No one, be they man, god, or giant will dare set out upon the besieged waves. The great sea bridge between all our lands is now impassable. Save us.”

“By Grugnir, this was unexpected.”

“Lord Odin help us!”

The cry went up from Svartelheim where the dark elves and dwarves lived under ground.

“All Father, our tunnels and mines, forges and workshops, where the most wondrous and magical weapons, tools, trinkets and jewelry are crafted, lie buried in snow and earth. Princess Skaddi screams so loudly and her watery spouse blubbers so inconsolably during their nightly rows, that the mountain ranges surrounding her home are in a constant state of avalanche. Great miners we are wise one, but we cannot keep up with the snows that flood our underground realm day and night. Help us Lord Odin or the dread weapons the gods wield in battle and the jewels that adorn the goddesses, shall be seen no more.”

“By Sleipner’s hooves this is a dreadful turn.”

“Lord Odin, hear our plea for mercy!”

This cry came from the fire giants and demons of Muspelheim.

“Odin Runemaster, never have the sons of Muspel sought your help but now we turn to you to save us. From Jotunheim come swarms of wolves, so many that even our great strength is overrun. Njord of the sea complains to his giant wife that the wolves of her mountain home howl the whole night through. He cannot sleep for the piercing sounds of their cries. The Lord of Noatun drives the Giant Princess mad with his complaining and now she has banished all the deadly wolf packs from her homeland. You must help us Odin Whitebeard, they are eating us out of house and home. Soon, we will all be gone. When our tyrant king Surtur has no more subjects to torment here, what will distract him from commencing Ragnarok, the destruction of all that is?”

“No more! For the good of the realm, this marriage is at an end!”

“My Lord, if we tried…”

One look from her furious husband’s baleful eye stifled Frigga’s voice.

“Say nothing Frigga! I know that you have doubted the wisdom of this union from the moment it was formed. More fitting for one known as the All Wise would it have been for me to heed your wifely counsel when first I heard it. Now I shall be headstrong no longer.”

“Dear husband it was not...”

“From this day forward Njord of Vanheim, Lord of the Seas and Skaddi Thiazzidottir, Princess of the Jotun, shall be separated in total. No word shall they speak, no touch exchange, no night beneath a single roof shall they spend with one another.”

“My love I am still troubled by their....”

“No need good wife. The matter is closed. All our troubles are ended. Odin’s word is law.”

“Of course, my darling.”

So Skaddi and Njord went their separate ways. The elves of Alfheim rebuilt their ships. The dwarves of Svartelheim dug out their mines. The wolves returned to Jotunheim, singed by Muspel’s flames but still hungry. The world returned to normal.
The troubles were ended.

The troubles resumed at the end of nine days.

“Odin! Odin! We are lost! Help Us!”

The cry came from all across the Nine Worlds. All the creatures of the ocean, all the birds of the sky, the demons in their lairs, giants, elves, dwarfs, men – all the animals who could commune with the All Father were in turmoil.

“ Lady Skaddi is uncontrollable! She wails all day and all night and will let no one near her. Her loneliness threatens us all, Wise One. She stands on top of Thrymheim’s highest tower keening. The storm she has created covers all the lands from Asgard’s border to beyond Muspel’s fiery perimeter. Only Thor, the Thunderer and blind Hoder the Winter God have kept the storms from crossing into your land. Lord Odin help us. “

“This is beyond reason!”

“Odin! Odin! You must save us!”

The people of all the lands that bordered the seas and all the creatures who dwelt within them cried out for Odin’s aid.

“Njord is beside himself. He cares for nothing and his tears fill the oceans past the shores.
Great waves the height of mountains turn the sea to chaos. Rivers are flooded and cities swept away and still the oceans roil. Lord Odin, nothing can survive these tempests. The Sea God, usually so kind in spirit, has become an engine of destruction. He sees and hears nothing but his despair. Lord Odin, you must come to our aid.”

“This madness must be stopped! Call all my counsel to Valaskjaf!”

As the Aesir and all the trusted counsel of Asgard’s court assembled in their King’s great hall the All Father stood with his back to the chamber staring out across the world.

“I sought to right a wrong and bring peace and happiness to all our lands by joining two mighty houses. This was not to be. To forestall a war, I doomed the whole world to disaster. How could such a simple union threaten the end of all things? The answer to this eludes even me. Now, too many lives are endangered by the insanity that grips these two. The time for peace has past.”

Odin turned. His eye was red. His voice was iron.

“We go to war with the Mountain Princess and the Sea King! If they cannot live together nor can they live apart, then they cannot live at all.”

The roar from the hall was deafening. Many of the gods were tired of the patience that had been accorded Skaddi and Njord. Tyr made clear that a battle with Skaddi’s army at the beginning would have spared everyone torment. Other, less refined, versions of the same sentiment were voiced. Odin was too distracted by his own thoughts to quell the growing din. Suddenly a gentle voice was heard throughout the chamber.

“Odin’s word is law.”

Frigga Fjorgyndottir, Queen of Asgard, stood at the entrance to the room. Regal and calm she barely raised her voice but it resonated against the chests of everyone present.

“Think you now that my husband is a fool? Would you second guess the wisdom of the All Father? Tyr, would your longed for war with Jotunheim have been so bloodless and so swift? Loki, would your schemes have gained a happier outcome? Doubtful am I, since your treachery sowed the seeds for this bitter harvest.”

“My husband took bold action to bring happiness to all. His choices were clear of purpose. No mind could have reasoned better. I watched and listened. I did not interfere.
I am the Goddess of Loving Marriage. To me all couples turn. After millennia of observation, this I can tell you. Learn all you can of letters and figures. Gain any wisdom the mind can attain. Win with all your intellect the knowledge that can be mastered. You will still find wanting your understanding of the heart. Of all the great powers in this room, none can rival the might of love.”

“So great it is, that even the lowliest mortal can be formidable when under it’s spell. Think then how powerful this force is when one of us whose shrug can shake the sky is in the grip of love’s embrace. How does the loneliness of a mortal life compare to solitude for eons? How are the ecstasies and sorrows that drive Midgard’s people to embrace their best and worst natures expressed by we who can break the firmament with our unchecked enthusiasms? Not even my all seeing spouse could have foretold the chaos unleashed by the union between this immortal and this giantess.”

“Love is at the root of our current predicament. One does not battle it with sword and spear.”

“As I said, Lord Odin’s word is law. I ask my husband, here before you all, to stay his justice but a moment. I ask that we give Skaddi and Njord an audience both before us and more importantly with each other. Lord Odin, if this conference does not satisfy you that the realm is safe from the threat of their unruly passions then martial punishment will remain an option. However, at the conclusion of this hearing, we might find that Skaddi and Njord may yet do much good for each other and the many whose lives they touch.”

The room turned in unison from Frigga to her husband. Odin gazed long moments at his wife. He took a deep breath, slowly exhaled, and then gave a single nod.

Frigga close her eyes. She tilted her head upward.

“Njord, hear my summons, Sea God. Calm your spirit and join me here before your cousins. ”

Frigga said no more. The hall was quiet for some time. The door opened.

“Lady Frigga, I am here to answer your call.”

“Ocean Rider, I ask that you trust my counsel. Have patience and your torment may be eased.”

“Good lady, trusting you is an easy thing but I fear finding an ending to my sorrows is beyond even your great reach.

“We shall see.”

Again, the queen looked up and closed her eyes.

“Lady Skaddi, I call you to me. Stay the wildness in your heart. Journey to us for a gathering of the mighty.”

Njord’s face broke. A groan came from deep within him. Frigga gestured to him from across the room as if her hand was caressing his cheek. The Vanir was calmed at once.

The hall was silent. The restlessness of those assembled was kept in check by their curiosity about what would happen if the Giant Queen joined their gathering. Long moments passed before steps were heard outside the great hall. Tension swelled amongst all present. Skaddi strode into the room and stood before the queen.




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