In the years after the World Making, the tally of Middangeard’s folk were starting to grow. Thunor’s folk grew as well. Many of the Éotens and all of the Thyrses, wished for lordship of the Seven Worlds, over all of the others living in it. They were growing bold and harrying men and wights alike. Great was their might. Thus the Ésa, who led men, and the Éotens are locked in an endless fight.
A day came when one Thunor would be of age. He sat in his seat in his hall, Wolcenheah. Seeing the bloodshed of the feud with Éotenkind, and the ill that had been brought by it, he sought to shield his folk. Those who had come to look to him. That his folk may be well and grow.
So, to meet this threat, and show his worth, he called upon his folk to gather. The Great Folkmoot. As they looked to him to lead them.
“My folk, I wish to keep us hale and stop those who threaten us. Yet, with my wooden cudgel, I can only do so much. I am not much for spear head or sword edge, they do not help me. I have shielded you with all that I can. Though I need more.”
The Idesa, wise folk mothers, spoke:
“You may look about our lands, and find nothing that helps you. If you wish for no sword like the great Tíw, whose name is known far and wide, nor Ingui the Elf King who went East some time ago. No spear like Woden, who never misses his mark. Though, at least look through what we have here. Take up spear and sword, so that we know if you need aught else. ”
Heeding the words of the Mothers, he took up a spear, with a sharp head, fastened atop the wood of an ash tree. He gripped it in his hand, and threw it at a wooden board. He missed the board, and the spear was buried deep in the earth. The Idesa laughed, and handed him a sword.
Thunor swung the sword, he then spun, so much that he fell light headed. In anger, he sundered the sword, and it fell in two halves. More laughter could be heard. With this, he was not willing to wield the war seax that was offered next. He could not help but feel as though this may be a fight he could not win.
“It looks as though you were right. As not sword, nor spear, nor war seax are well in your hands, we’ve no arms in this hall that will do. We shall send you to Weyland. A greater smith there is not in all the seven worlds. He shall be watching for you. Go forth, to the Middangeard. Meet him. Get that which you seek, and know we are with you in that which you do.”
Thus, Thunor went. Onward he went to look for Weyland, who lived at the edge of a small town, before a stream, as smiths often do. He made his way to find Weyland. As he went about, he noticed the awe in which many of the townsfolk gazed upon him. He had made it there, and saw Weyland sitting near his smithy. As he rose, and limped forward to greet Thunor, he spoke:
“I knew you would one day come to greet me. The Idesa sent you to me? Well, you see, nothing is so easily given, even to you, as loved as you are in this town. I make weapons worthy of the greatest, such as yourself. Though much ails our town, and thus brings me great worry.”
“If deeds are what you wish, see them done in my hands! If I’ve to show my worth to my folk, then I may be of help you? Let me, in three risings and settings of Dæg’s Queen, do that which you may ask. I, Thunor, oath it thus!”
Weyland smiled. Then, he again went stiff, he says this:
“I shall give three tasks to you. See them done, and I will craft you a weapon that will be the token of right and good to those who love you, and of fear to your foes. There have been folk falling in soreness in this good town. Find out from where this comes, and I will consider it toward your worth. You are known for your strength, but I’ve no use of that right now.”
Dæg’s Queen rose to meet the world. Thunor left to look about the town. A yell was heard, a man fell, clutching his shoulder in soreness. Thunor swore he heard a laugh at a whispered tone. Yet, he saw no smirk upon the mouths of the townsfolk. He heard leaves blowing in the wind from the woods at the edge of the town. He then went out to look about the trees.
Footsteps could be heard. More laughter as well. Thunor stomped thrice upon the ground, and out of a tree fell two Elves. Fire began to burn in his eyes. They looked upon him in fear. He went to grab one and the Elf leapt over his shoulder. The other ran under and between his legs. He turned again, and they stopped in fear.
“Your anger does not do you well, Red Bearded. You see, if you do us harm, our Lord will come to make even. He, Ingui, will call upon us to fight against your folk, and none will be left to give worth to you.”, one Elf spoke. ”It is best you let us be!”, spoke the other.
“Ingui, you say? I know him well. You would break this bond with your play? You would have my kin to war with your kin? If your play is worth your death, I could give it to you. I will let you shoot me first, with your bows that I see. Or, you could leave the townsfolk be, and Ingui need never know? Or I could quell you now…” Thunor fought back a laugh, drawing out his cudgel.
The two Elven brothers looked to each other and ran. Thunor laughed as they ran in fear. Knowing the nine herbs that Woden once gathered long ago from all of the seven worlds would heal the townsfolk of the Elf Shot. He went back that night to Weyland to tell him the tale.
“All in the town will know of your deed, Warder. Tomorrow I will see what else there is for you to do.”
Thunor rose with the dawn.
“The maidens of the town have been led out of their beds last night, taken away in their sleep! We have yet to find out who has done this. Though, we think that they were led out of the town, and through the woods. To the peaks beyond, where Éotens dwell. I am sick at the thought of what such foul wretches may be doing with them. They made a hard bid by asking the fee of one maiden, one moon past, and we did not give it to them. Go, now!”
With that, Thunor left for the woods. He stopped to ask the cunning Elves he found the other day, showed his cudgel to bring the point to mind. They led him out of the woods, to the foothills, beyond which all feared to tread. For this was the lands of the Éotens and Thyrses. He looked out upon the misty peaks, the high stone hills looked to be empty of life. For but a short while, he had halted, yet, to fulfill his right deed, he had no other way. He went onward.
For here, there was no frith. Nor love of home. No warm fires at the hearth. All seemed missing from this land. Far off, there was a great hall, which was to be seen. Where sorrow seemed to take hold. As if it were the home of Death. Echoes of footsteps. A slight shake of the earth. A great Thyrse then came forth.
“Hold spot! Do not step forward! You come where you are unwelcome. Turn back, or I shall tear you limb from limb!”
“I come for the maidens of the town. I was told may have been brought here. Though, if you speak to me in such a way once more, I will break you in half. So that not the most skilled Dwarf crafter, nor spell of even the most skillful Drymann, Witch, or Galdor will put you back together!”
This Thyrse, made of stone, laughed. “You could not even lift me, let alone fight me, weakling!”
“As boastful as you are dim witted. I know that I can lift you.” Thunor’s red beard sparked in anger.
The Thyrse told Thunor to fulfill his boast. “If you can lift me, and bear me, I will lead you. Though, if you strike me, it will no doubt wake my father, Drugotha who lives in the Stānsele, beyond these peaks.”
Thunor heaved and lifted with all his might. He began to rise! Thunor bore him upon his back until high midday, when he heard something. He could hear the sounds of battle. The maidens of the town would not bow down without a fight! They could not prick the Stone Thyrses with seaxes, but Thunor could hear the sound of the iron striking the stone. Something about that called to him, and he now knew where he was going.
Though he did not tell the foul Thyrse this. He wanted to see if he would keep his word. The sound of the iron to the stones rang so true that his ears could not take it for something else. For there was little time, he feared, that the young maidens had before things unspeakable might happen to them. Thunor was not going to let such things come to be.
The Thyrse lied, as Thunor had thought. He tried to lead the High Ward another way, higher up, where Ice Éotens dwell all year long. That is when Thunor dropped him. “You lie to me! I know the way now, it rings in my head.” The Stone Thyrse, cold of heart, spoke, “I would not help the likes of you. I would leave you to the Ice Éotens, and let them have at you. Father and I have much to do, and you will not stop us. I have had enough of you!”
He struck for Thunor, but he missed, and the high peak shook, for the Ice Éotens were sure to have been unstilled. Not that Thunor knew this. He took his cudgel, and struck hard. A wound was left in the head of the Stone King’s son. “You cannot kill me with that wretched stick of wood!”, he yelled, and Thunor knew he was right. He could hurt him, but not end his life. Though, he did have another thought.
“Come forth then, I cannot give you death, but you are unwell.”, Thunor knew what he was doing. The Thyrse went at him, and Thunor grabbed him, heaved, and threw him off the top of the heights! The Thyrse cursed his name as he fell under. Thunor then turned for the hall. A hard working this was to be, for he would have to get the maidens out, and would not have the to bring an end to his foes.
Thunor burst into the hall! He bellowed, and took eyes away from the maidens. They then fled, and sat outside the hall, for they knew not to go wandering through a place they did not know. Thunor swung his cudgel in anger, he kept up his bellowing, and the Thyrses did not know what to do. All while Drugotha seemed to sleep. The unstillness was enough that Thunor loudly shut the hall doors, and it looked as though like the Stone Thyrses were fighting each other! All looking to bring about a foe’s death.
Thunor then lead lead the maidens down the stone hills, and back into the woods. Without any more foes in the way, and back to the town. The townsfolk were glad as Thunor arrived with the weary maidens. One maiden, whom they called Eastre, was the first to give thanks, and then led the other maidens to their homes to rest. Before she fared away, though, she told Thunor that a Wyrm crept in the night, and that his stare bewitched the maidens to follow him. Something about this made Thunor very unwell inside. For what could be worse than a foe he could not even find?
Before another thought could be had, the townsfolk asked what they could gift him. He said not a word, but pointed to two large goats, one white, one black. Thunor then bound a cart to them, and made way for Weyland’s house.
Thunor came in, and sat with Weyland. Telling his tale of what happened earlier in the day. Weyland was working to keep up with how fast and how much Thunor was eating! After eating half of the cooked lamb, three loaves of bread, and enough cheese to fill a vat, Weyland wanted to say that Thunor’s last deed should be to bring him more for his food hoard!
The next day would be the third day. Thunor slept well past sunrise. Weyland woke him, freezing. “Wake, you! The town is set by Ice Éotens! They come for our our fields that we have just sown one fortnight past! Do this, and I shall have a weapon of the greatest worth for you. I almost have it finished. Go, Thunor, lest we all starve, or freeze!”
These were the same Éotens that were unsettled on the peak the day before, Thunor saw this as his own doing. He learned that his anger could do harm as well as it could do good. Though, he had no time to think. With eyes alight, he went out to meet his foes. There were three, they saw Thunor’s anger, they hid and fled in fear. Thunor grabbed his club, “Come foul ones!”. For Éotens are often without good name or boldness. So, they set upon him. Each bared their teeth and claws. Only to have Thunor strike each with his cudgel. They came upon him again, and in a great strike, Thunor swung his cudgel, and broke all three in one mighty blow!
The ceorls, when the fight ended, came to greet him. Some with hands bitten by the Éotens in their own fight to fend them off. With the Éotens gone, their hands began to heal. Thunor lit a fire, so that they may warm their hands. They brought him one of their oxen. He had said to them that they had already given him two goats, and that was well. They said, “No, my lord. This one is to eat!”. They knew of his hunger. Together the farmers and Thunor feasted, and he ate half of the ox himself!
With great need, and after more than his share of mead, Thunor rode on his wain, also gifted by the townsfolk, back to Weyland. When he arrived, Weyland, the Great Smith, opened the door, and did not speak. He reached from the anvil, and the weapon to Thunor. A hammer as long as a man’s forearm. The handle made of oak, which was the same wood that made up the trees of his grove at home. Often Thunor spent his time in that great oaken grove.
The head was made of iron that held so tightly that it could not break. Weyland then took him him outside, to a large stone. Thunor struck it and it broke the stone down to pebbles, and shook the very earth! The light from the hammer looked as if fire struck from the heavens. “Heofonfŷr!”, Thunor let out with a mighty yell. “So it is named, so all who see it shall know.”
Thunor saw that under the stone, the grass was burned. With a light stroke of the hammer, it met the earth. The next thing he knew, it started to grow back to life! The soil beneath it smelled sweet, and was dark and fertile. Through this hammer, he could bring death, or life. He also knew that in his hands, Heofonfŷr could shield those who sought his help. He could now shield his kin better than ever before. As Thunor thanked Weyland, he struck one of his goats with his hammer. So that they might eat once more.
After the meal had been done, and the bones and hide placed, he touched the pile with his hammer, and the goat rose back to life! Such a great gift from Weyland. Though, as it was, he earned it. He earned the troth and love of Men that day anew. He gave, and they gave back, and to this day, such a gifting goes ever on.
The next morning, as he left Weyland’s home, and made his way back to his own home, then Hama stepped near, he had rode out to meet him. “Thunor, I sought you out to tell you that our lands are set by Thyrse foes. I hope that you have done what you needed to do, and have been given that which you have sought. Drugotha comes for us. We have heard that he is looking for you. He lords beyond the fens in halls of stone. He wants blood for his son.”
Thunor thought back the day in the fens, and the father which the Stone Thyrse warned him about. He stepped upon his cart, and thus the first Thunorrad began. With Heofonfŷr pointed ahead. He went swiftly to the town gates.
With wind strength, he stirred the leaves of Eormensyl itself as he went by. He went forward to meet his foes from the outside of the town wall. The pounding of stones could be heard, and the land seemed empty of life. The earth began to dry beneath the Eotens.
Thunor saw these Stone Thyrses everywhere. The arms bearers had told Thunor that their swords and spears did not work. After all, try to carve or thrust stones! Thunor pulled out Heofonfŷr and his eyes were alight. He heard his folk call his name, and saw that now he would have to shield his home, his kin from these Thyrses and stop them from taking Middangeard, which he had come to love. He had his wish, but it seemed as though he was alone. If he were to make his way back to the gate, he’d have to do it on his own.
So, he began. With a mighty roar, and swing of his hammer, upon his cart, his goats went forth, and he swung along the way, breaking Thyrses apart, making way for any trapped armsmen to enter the hall. Unhalting, they followed Thunor back through the gates. Thunor then turned to face his foes. Their stroke upon the fields dried them, the fields of Neorxnawang would dry, with Middangeard to follow.
The Stone Thyrses brought drought with them. The fields were soon drying, and in the middle of the band of Thyrses, the Drugotha led them on. Thunor stepped off of his cart. He bellowed, and they saw him, he then struck so hard that nine fell in one blow. He spun as he struck, breaking to nothing their bodies, as they went flying and hit the ground hard, and in pebbles. Some pieces fell to Middangeard, and can sometimes be found if you look around.
He then found himself in front of Drugotha. The foul Thyrse looked upon him, as he saw his son, the same who was struck by Thunor before, torn asunder. In a fury, he struck Thunor, who caught the mighty Thyrse’s arm, and shoved him back with a mighty yell. He then lifted Thunor and threw him to the ground. Thunor got up, and struck twice with Heofonfŷr. Drugotha sent him upward.
The might of Drugotha sent Thunor high above. There was fear in the lands as none could see him. However, they heard him! His yell shook the earth, and the fire in his eyes could be seen from the heavens. The Red Bearded held Heofonfŷr in his hand, and as he fell, Heofonfŷr sledged into Drugotha, breaking him, and freeing the water. He had overcome Drugotha! It was good!
The waters came back to the seven worlds. Running down Eórmensyl, it was so. The folks of Middangeard then offered up oxen as well. In thanks to the Rain Bringer. In thanks to the Man Friend. Middangeard’s Warder. In thanks to Thunor.
The lands came back to life. Thunor blót his goats to share his gladness with his folk, and they settled in for a great meal. Much meat and much mead were ate and drank, and much merriment was had. Thunor had kept hale his home, they, the folk of the burh were glad to be known as Thunresfolc. He took his place amongst them as their warder. The Ésaburhs, where each Ésa sat high in their halls, were glad at this, for Thunor would shield them all.
Those in Middangeard who knew his deeds oathed steadfastness to him as well. Thunresfolc live in Middangeard as they do in Neorxnawang. Turning to him for when there is need, as they moved from the Old Lands to the New Lands.
With the Idesa beaming with gladness, the Wyrdæ weaving his thread long, from the roots of Éormensyl, to its very top. Along the thanks of other folks for a fight they did not want on their own gates, all went well. When Thunor awoke the next day, he made a light stroke upon the bones and hide of his goats with Heofonfŷr, they woke, and he led them to grasses to feed.
Thunor looked at his old cudgel. It had helped him well, and he did not forget it. He sat it in front of his hall, standing upright. With Heofonfŷr, he drove it into the ground, and then softly struck it thrice. From this old club, a great tree of oak, the wood from which it was made, grew from that very spot! The only things falling from it was three acorns, and one green leaf with nine nodes. All staying where they fell.
In all of this, the Éotens looked upon it with hate. They would seek to rise again, to take, again, what was not theirs. The Hammer Holder, Red Bearded, Lightning Striker, Thunor, will stand against them.