Heavenfire

In the years after the World Making, the tally of the world’s folk were starting to grow. Thunor’s folk grew as well. Many of the Ettins and all of the Thurses, 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 Gods, who led men, and the Ettins are locked in an endless fight.

A day came when one Thunor would be of age. He sat in his seat in his hall, Wolcenhigh. Seeing the bloodshed of the feuMiddangnkind, 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. Go forth, to the Midyard and meet him. Get that which you seek, and know we are with you.”

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 saw the awe in which many of the townsfolk looked 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. 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.”

“What would you ask of me that I may have one?”, Thunor did ask.

Weyland smiled. Then, he again went stiff, he says this:

“You must do three good deeds for my folk. We live on the mark with the Ettinlands. Foul deeds happen here far more than good deeds. I would see that not be so. You may be my guest the while.”

 Thunor left to look about the town, as many wished to meet him. As he walked, a yell was heard, a man fell, clutching his shoulder in soreness. Thunor thought 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 will call upon us to fight against your folk.”, one Elf spoke. ”It is best you let us be!”, spoke the other.

“Ingui, is your lord? I know him well. You would have my kin to war with your kin? If your play is worth your death, I could give it to you. Or, you could leave the townsfolk be. Better to be living, is it not?” Thunor fought back a laugh, seeing their fear.

The two Elven brothers looked to each other and ran. Thunor knew 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. On your first day here, all the better!”

Thunor rose the next day. He went out upon the town, but there was weeping from the folk that lived there. He had halted a Man and asked him what was wrong. “Our daughters, lord. Someone, or some thing has taken them away. In the night, nothing was heard, but that of folks getting out of bed. We thought nothing of it.”

Thunor went to gather the townsfolk, and Weyland did tally them, all were there, “Whomever took them may have went to the stone hills beyond the woods, or something of the like. Look in the woods first. I should fear if they are not there.”

With that, Thunor made his way back to the woods. The two Elves from the day before were there, and Thunor asked them if they saw anything not right the night before. They did say, “All we did hear was the footsteps, and what sounded like slipping and sliding of a great snake. To the stone hills they went!”  Thunor went to the stone hills. High amongst the stones and ice.

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. Here, sorrow seemed to take hold. As if it were the home of Death. Thunor could hear footsteps. A slight shake of the earth. A great Thyrse then came forth.

“Hold spot! Do not step forth! You come where you are unwelcome. Go back, or I shall tear you limb from limb!”

“I come for the maidens of the town. 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 Dru, Witch, or Galdor will put you back together!”

This Thurse, made of stone, laughed. “You could not even lift me, less so 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 Thurse 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 wake my father, Drugotha who lives in the Stonehall, beyond the heights.”

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 go down without a fight! They could not prick the Stone Thurses 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.

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 Thurse wanted to lead the High Ward another way, higher up, where Ice Ettins live all year. That is when Thunor dropped him. “You lie to me! I know the way now, it rings in my head.” The Stone Thurse, cold of heart, spoke, “I would not help the likes of you. I would leave you to the Ice Ettins, and let them have at you!”

He struck for Thunor, but he missed, and the heights shook, for the Ice Ettins were 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 Thurse cursed his name as he fell under. Thunor then turned for the hall.

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 Thurses did not know what to do. All while Drugotha seemed to sleep. The unstillness was enough that the Thurses started to fight 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. 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.

Before another thought could be had, the townsfolk asked what they could gift him. He said not a word, but pointed to a great grey bull. Thunor then bound a cart to him, 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 steer, 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! Ice Ettins have come! They come for our our fields that we have just sown one fortnight past! They came from the stone hills. Something must have bothered them. They are mighty angry!”

These were the same Ettins 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 Ettins 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 churls, when the fight ended, came to greet him. Some with hands bitten by the Ettins in their own fight to fend them off. With the Ettins 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 one, 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 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 his 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 down to pebbles, and shook the very earth! The light from the hammer looked as if fire struck from the heavens. “Heavenfire!”, 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 lively. Through this hammer, he could bring death, or life. He also knew that in his hands, Heavenfire could shield those who sought his help. He could now shield his kin better than ever before. As Thunor thanked Weyland, he struck his bull 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 bull 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 Thurses. Drugotha comes for us. We have heard that he is looking for you. He lords beyond the woods in halls of stone. He wants your blood for his son.”

Thunor thought back to the day high in the stone hills, and the father which the Stone Thyrse warned him about. He stepped upon his cart, and thus the first Thunorrad began. With Heavenfire pointed ahead. He went swiftly to his foes.

With wind strength, he stirred the leaves of Eormensyl itself as he went by. The cries of Thyrses could be heard, and the land seemed empty of life. The earth began to dry beneath the Ettins.

Thunor saw these Stone Thurses everywhere. The fighting men had told Thunor that their swords and spears did not work. After all, try to carve or thrust stones! Thunor pulled out Heavenfire 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 Midyard. 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 Thurses apart, making way for any trapped armsmen to enter his 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 Heavenfields would dry.

The Stone Thurses brought drought with them. Drugotha led them on. Thunor stepped off of his cart. He bellowed, and they saw Thunor, 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 Midyard, and can sometimes be found if you look around.

He then found himself in front of Drugotha. The foul Thurse 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 Thurse’s arm, and shoved him back with a mighty yell. He then lifted Thunor and took him to the ground. Thunor got up, and struck twice with Heavenfire. 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 left Drugotha fearstruck. Thunor held Heavenfire in his hand, and as he fell, it 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 the Irminsul, it was so. The folks of Midyard then offered up oxen as well, in thanks.

The lands came back to life. Thunor bled his ox 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 gladness 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 Godhalls, where each God sat high above the world, were glad at this, for Thunor would shield them all.

Those in Midyard who knew his deeds oathed steadfastness to him as well. Thunresfolc live in Midyard as they do in the Heavenfields. 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 Wyrd Sisters weaving his thread long, from the roots of Irminsul, to its very top. When Thunor awoke the next day, he made a light stroke upon the bones and hide of his ox with Heavenfire, they woke, and he led him 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 Heavenfire, 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 it! Only three acorns, and one green leaf with nine nodes fell from that tree. All staying where they fell.

In all of this, the Ettins looked upon it with hate. They would seek to rise again, to take what was not theirs. Though, so long as Thunor lives, their will cannot be done for long.

 

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