“The Beautiful Guest”- Fiction/UPG

“Silver Hair” by nell-fallcard source: http://nell-fallcard.deviantart.com/art/Silver-Hair-446945412

Awaiting Ragnarok, the Aesir, Vanir, and the God-made dead were restless in Asgard-  The first cock had crowed, stated Skadi formerly of the Jotunr, and time passed by slowly for any indication of further movement on the event of Ragnarok.

Heimdallr, the Watchman- arrived into the halls of the Aes silently (as was His nature) along with a beautiful naked youth covered with Heimdallr’s own cloak out of hospitality- beautiful beyond all description with eyes that changed and flowed with a myriad of colors upon each glance and long, flowing hair the color of snow that seemed to be drying as if this person had to endure cold rains without protection prior, yet did not shiver- skin luminous the color of the moon reflected upon waters.

Before leaving, Heimdallr urged caution to all, especially the youth whom He called “Dreki'”- and referred to as a “Him” whether out of convenience or Truth, and quickly Vidarr gathered clothing from among the Aes to clothe Him- returning Heimdallr’s cloak to Him before Heimdallr expressed his need to return to His own duties.

Dreki’ was offered a seat in the grand hall- a place of honor before the head table and remained inscrutable- watching the hall alight with action of bringing out the finest foods out of hospitality for this stranger who radiated such enormous power they were certainly a God, but one that was anonymous and truly enigmatic. Dreki’s brightness shined like stars- not a Godly brightness like fallen Baldr, but the brightness of a nova-in-flesh with the Northern Lights shining in His or Her eyes.

When asked from where Dreki had came, the reply was

“I have returned from all of Midgard.”
And it was Bragi who cried “A God who travels among men! Noble of poetry!”

Dreki replied, “No- I am not worthy of your noble poems, Poet-God- for all I wish I could be.”

When asked of his parentage, he met Woten’s eye and said “I am nephew to the Allfather by blood, and for that reason I have come.” to which Woten nodded quietly and did not speak- but showed great courtesy to the Guest by granting Him/Her the same foods of the Gods, the apples of Idunn, peaches, mead, and wild boar.  Dreki ate a single bite politely and concentrated on drinking from his cup delicately. Kind to all who served Him- He spoke with quiet grace, did not boast, and gave no answers except in the art of being vague.

“Cousin,  why do I not know You?” asked Thor/Donar, son of Woten.

“I wish I could answer you Donner-Thor, bearer of Mjollnir- but I do not know why You do not know Me.”

It was clear a select few others in the room knew Dreki, Woten, and Tyr kept their own council and even sweet Frigg was silent- Vidarr did not speak, but showed courtesy and recognition.

It was a pity that the Aesir who could have spoken most freely was self-Oathed into silence.

Freyr spoke: “I see that you are wet, but none of my rains have touched you- how have I not seen you before?”
“I live in places your gentle waters do not touch, Yngvi-Freyr, Father of elves-  your waters are kinder than the ones I have known.”- Dreki replied politely.

As His hair dried it proved to be fair enough to gleam even within the halls with it’s own light, when asked about the light, Dreki replied:

“When I am not here, the light does not stay with Me- it is only the power I have, manifest.  In my natural form you will only see darkness for the light is Myself unconstrained in this form.”

“What brings you to this Hall, cousin- and what news do you bring?”- asked Freyja  “Has Ragnarok come?”

“I bring you a chance to avoid Ragnarok- at great effort and great expense on My own.  I ask to wrestle three of you unarmed, and if I succeed- I ask for a single boon of my Uncle, Woten… If I lose, then I shall leave you in peace.  If my boon is granted, or if I fail to win against the three Aesir who would fight me, Ragnarok will not come.”

The hall laughed, and Thor began to remove Mjollnir from his side:

“Not Donar,  I will not fight my cousin Thor in combat, for there is no sport in fighting the strongest of you unless it is needful- but I will fight both Sons, Magni and Modi until submission at once, if you allow it.” stated Dreki calmly.

“…That I would Indeed like to see!” exclaimed Thor. “My Sons together are greater than I.”

“Do not shortchange yourself, Thunderer.” Dreki replied coldly.

“No one can avoid Ragnarok, and no one has the power to stop or delay it.” stated Tyr.

Dreki rationed, “Perhaps that is true in the first, but the second?  I claim that power- and I ask you to witness the Oaths of this room, Oathbreaker, elder of the Aesir and kind scholar.”

Tyr’s expression was grim as he replied,
“‘Dreki’ speaks truth in this, and I know Them well, for it was upon my own knee I taught you, Dreki and also your siblings.  Your Sister is well.”

“My Brother, however, is not well, and nor are you, Unsmiling Teacher.”

“I cannot deny that observation, ‘Dreki’- and I will not disclose your better names for you are not untruthful.”- Tyr replied stoically, “But, what holds the world together without Your power?”

“The world held without me prior to my birth, and it will hold after.”

“…And it will ever hold through frost and fire.. even if it lies in state.” replied Tyr, “Do you come here without malice or venom, ‘Dreki’… and in the peace of Godly hospitality?”

“I do. I come unarmed and in Honor- I bear no ill will in mind or body to harm anyone in this hall, I arrived naked and unarmed as a God among other Gods, and I am no trickster.  I do not lie, and I do not boast.  This is the most I have spoken and to so many in my time existing.”

Tyr looked more concerned than usual and stated steadily,
“I vouch for this child to Asgard, and know These words uttered to be true when spoken to Me directly in such a way.  I know this God well, and it is your peril for those who do not.  I cannot deny this request for battle, for this God calls for nothing more than what our Laws provide in letter.”

“…and what would that be?”  asked Skadi.

Tyr replied, “Justice.” and would answer no more.

With Woten and Frigg Silent, Tyr watching silently looking grimly upon the hall, the blood from his stump ever-bleeding, Freyr confused, and Thor looking upon the scene with great interest-  Dreki stood out like a star even against the glory of Asgard- standing with hands empty and in no position for battle.

Since Woten and Frigg would not speak, Tyr stood at the open place between all tables as an arbiter of the battles, grim and humorless to oversee the honor of the competition.

Magni ran at Dreki only to find himself pinned instantly as if he weighed nothing going from Dreki’s hand to beneath the foot of the Guest which seemed to only hold him by the lightest of touch.  Modi called a war cry at the insult of seeing this unknown stranger subdue His brother without even a lost breath.

“Who ARE you?!” He gasped,
“I am your cousin by-blood.” replied Dreki dryly.

Modi’s battle lasted slightly longer, getting in a single hit that harmed his hand to throw as Dreki stood still with Magni still beneath his shoe.

Dreki did not insult Modi’s attempt, and stood still and allowed several more blows which fell off of him uselessly, the only thing protecting Modi’s strong hands from injury were Dreki’s borrowed clothing.
Neither laughing nor smiling- Dreki kept eye contact with Allfather Woten during this time, expressionless, and then grabbed Modi’s hand- mid-assault, and brought mighty Modi to his knees in submission.

Without color to His voice, Dreki ended the contest with Thor’s sons “You both fought with Great Honor- but it is clear you have lost to Me.” Looking to Tyr who simply nodded in agreement, and  he released Magni from beneath his foot and released the grip of his hand upon Modi- Dreki grasped their arms in a sign of respect  for both before they departed from Him.

“I call to my uncle, Allfather Woten- would you wish to fight Me?”

“‘Dreki’, this future is written-  I will not fight you and wish you no ill will.”

“Nor do I wish you, Allfather, but ‘ill will’ is what I am attempting to remedy-  I still ask for the chance of redemption of this world and universe, is that dishonorable?”

“It is indeed Honorable.”

“Then why will you not fight me?  I am unarmed- I arrived naked and I am clothed in what You have provided for Me.”

“We both know why- ‘Dreki’- I will not fight you.” replied Odin sternly.

“And as for I, it is dishonorable to fight a man without an eye, Uncle-” Dreki turned his attentions to Tyr, “Nor, despite being Lord of Battles by some, would I fight one without a hand.”

“I would not fight you, ‘Dreki’, even if asked of me,  for I know you will not win your boon-even if I could give it.”
“Then you would be twice an Oathbreaker, Father-of-Skies.”

Instead of anger, Tyr answered sadly, “That…is a matter of perspectives.”

Thor was enraged his sons were beaten by the Guest, and demanded the opportunity to fight.
“How can we entertain this coward?  A child who fights our Children-  Why am I not permitted to test my strength against this stranger?”

Odin then spoke, “For you have already lost twice to Him.”- and then, too- Thor was silent and brooding, and no small amount enraged, but he met Dreki’s eyes with his own.

“I understand,” growled Thor, “I understand what it means for Me to fight You.”

“Then you understand I cannot fight You here.”

“No, we cannot fight here in Asgard.  You are correct and clever… two have fought you and you have beaten them fairly.  Who would you ask to fight of all the Gods in this hall?  Surtr lies in Musphelheim.”

“But Vidarr stands here before me-  allow me to test His strength against Mine- and although I know of the enchanted footwear, I will not ask Him to go without- for He has given me boots as well.”

The hall stood in silence- to fight Vidarr was most assuredly death- already marked by the Norns for life after cataclysm and as the future avenger of Woten.

Vidarr met Dreki upon the middle of the hall and clasped both His arms with the Guest’ out of stolid respect and then parted from Him.  Circling cautiously like a hunter, Vidarr examined Dreki for weaknesses for a time using his eyes and battle skill to determine Dreki’s weakness and could find none.  Dreki stood not for battle, but confident of his inability to be harmed- but Vidarr took too much time. To which- Dreki sprung upon Vidarr with speed almost imperceptible and pinned him upon the floor with a single finger resting upon Vidarr’s chest:

“Remember this, Close-Cousin-Vidarr-  Do not hesitate in battle- I call upon Tyr to ask if I have won my challenge against the Aesir.”

“Dreki has indeed won without contest, please release noble Vidarr.” sighed Tyr.

“With great courtesy I release Vidarr, and say it is no dishonor to lose to Me.”

Vidarr nodded, and allowed Dreki to offer an arm to help Him to His feet.  Vidarr’s boots were untouched,

“My weakness and strength is like my Father’s….it lies within My mouth- but with my mouth closed that would be unseen to you, Vidarr.  You have not failed today if you have learned, and it was My honor to fight You.” Said Dreki

“And what boon do you ask of the Aesir?”  Asked Freyr.

“I have come to ask for the release of my Father, who is held captive beneath the worlds and my Brother I hear struggling against His chains.  I have come in peace, I have met your challenges, and I offer you a chance at another future, one without erasure, suffering, or spite.

My Father acted in compliance with my Uncle’s wishes- He did not lie, and His reputation has been harmed for speaking truths.  My Brother is chained for no sins except for strength and has threatened no-one, and my Sister and I can calm Him if I am allowed to return Him to our Mother for healing and the chance once more to run free in the Iron Woods with our true people.  I can assure You that in His running, it would not ever be back to Asgard after the abominations committed against Our kin: I watched my Mother burned thrice upon a Pyre live for Living, My Brother was beaten except for Tyr’s intervention and then later deceived by that same hand.
For me?  I was tossed into the seas for being a Jotunr shapeshifter- when all here who are not ascended Wights of land or fauna, or humans-ascended, are also Jotunr with the same abilities to change appearance as I to suit them.  I am beautiful, I am sexless. I am no threat to any in this hall under the right and rites of the Hospitality born among all born into Godly royalty.  My Father may have been your Fool- but my Mother remains a Queen of Her realm.”

The hall was stunned into silence realized this beautiful creature was the world serpent, Jormungandr, suprisingly eloquent and fair.

“Release my family, and I will defy the Norns by the Oaths of my father, and my own Honor taught by Tyr…who would teach such “monsters” as my kind have been labeled, as you hide your own monstrous natures only to hiss and scratch like angry cats when confronted.   The Water brings all sounds to my ears from all realms.  I know what has transpired in this hall, and I lie between the laughter of Your feasting and the screams of my tortured Father and the howling of my Brother,  I mourn my dead.
I am not without My Father’s wits, but entirely without His guile- there is no use for deception with this terrible strength I hold inside and outside of Myself.  Grant me what I have earned and Thor will live, You all will live- for No one but Donar-Thor or Surtr can destroy Me.”

Allfather Odin stepped down from the high table to meet Dreki,
“Jormungandr…” Dreki met his single eye without blinking, defiant and determined.  “Jormangandr- I cannot unchain your brother for what holds Him, none can break Him free until Ragnarok”

“Then let Me break his fetters after Fenrir Oaths to come with Me in peace to our Mother, Angrboda, Tyr may have broken His Oath to our family, but that does not imply We are also Oathbreakers- and I do not wish more violence among the peoples of the realms.”

“…And therein lies the problem,” Spoke Freyr, “The problem is violence and beauty are the currencies of this age- with violence being the greater of the two.  This world needs to die for the new to be born.”

“Does it need to die with my Father chained with the entrails of My half-Brother?”

“Loki will be freed, as will Fenrir- at the time of reckoning…. When bound, they were bound so that none may free them before the prescribed time of Ragnarok.”  Freyr replied regretfully.

“Then allow ME to free them Myself, show Me my Brother and bring me to my Father so I might bite through what chains them.  What my teeth touch does not live.”

“But what is already dead cannot die again.”- replied Woten.

To fulfill the oath, Dreki, now known as Jormungandr was permitted to visit His brother Fenrir, and despite every attempt of power or magic, could not free Him.  Fenrir howled in pain at these attempts at times, which would stop ‘Dreki’ from changing and bring Him back into human form to whisper words in their native tongue into his ear and sooth Him.

“I cannot free my Brother- I am a creature of more strength than Magic, and these magics are greater than I…please, allow me to see My Father and poor Sigyn.”

Allfather Odin Himself escorted Jormungandr with Tyr down the long path to the cave beneath worlds- where again, there was no success.  In trying to kill the serpent, Jormungandr  found that his teeth found no purchase- and when attempting to poison the mighty snake with Jormungandr’s own venom- found it to be immune.  Jormungandr embraced his father and allowed the venom to drip upon His own back as he wept, and could not rip the bindings from His father Loki- the first time showing any emotion while Sigyn emptied the cup made of the skull of His own half-brother of the venom She collected to save Loki from suffering.

“Why this?  Why cannot you just kill my Father and release Him to Helheim rather than endure this?” Jormungandr raged at the two Aesir unchained… but it was neither Odin or Tyr who replied.

It was Loki Himself:

“My Beloved Child- because I cannot die before my time, nor can anyone or anything created.  You are young, You will die, and You will return as will we all.”

“Why must you endure this suffering?” asked Loki’s Child.

“So I have reason to anger, and for as much as I longed to see you- My anger is increased at seeing Your pain in Your innocence on the ways of this time and these worlds.  Please depart and know I love you.  Return to the seas and wait for Your destiny.  I will come to You before our deaths and We will be reunited.”

“That is not sufficient for me, and I find all of this brutish and unforgivable.”

“And that…is why it should end.  So the world can start new without angers of the past and present poisoning all realms.”

Where the venom fell, spots developed on Jormungandr’s back where He protected His Father.  With a roar that shook the realms, Jormungandr expanded in blinding light and returned to the seas where He learned to hate by viewing the suffering of His family so intimately once more, and yet, could not save them from their suffering despite all strength and power possessed within.

For that, Jormungandr decided the universe and all worlds were indeed tainted and not worth saving.

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2 Responses to ““The Beautiful Guest”- Fiction/UPG”

  1. ladyimbrium Says:

    Based purely in my own understanding of individuals involved, I could see this happening. And it breaks my heart just a little bit more.

    • Me too…then I discovered there was an anime character who resembled the UPG I had…trippy (never watched it, though.)

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