Thunor and the Helldraca

Cold was the chill that touched the nose of the Éoten Queller. From his long sleep from the Géol Feast, he stirred. His wife, panic struck, had tried to wake him. “Husband, you can sleep no longer! Impossible you are to wake! Our cows are gone! Taken in the dark of night. Not even Hama saw it happen!”

“Does Hama not see all, dear wife? It is like them to huddle together if they are cold. Perhaps you did not look long enough?”, Thunor spoke to calm his wife, but his assumption did not do this. Her face was turning to a hot red that could rival his own. “I believe you, my dear.”, he spoke quickly. “Let me speak to Hama, and see if he saw anything.” Hama did see all that passed through the gates. Had his cattle been lost, he should know.

Thunor stepped out to look over the fields. His wife was right, as always, it seemed. It was now his face that burned, and he marched his way to Hama, demanding answers. “I saw nothing, Thunor. Your hot heartedness is more trouble than it is worth, at times! We must sit, and think.”, Hama spoke. “Nay, Hama! We must act and do!”, Thunor retorted.

“Do what about which you know nothing? Red Bearded fool.”, with that, Thunor flashed his hammer, but he knew he would not hurt the All Watcher. “Aye. Watch your tongue, though, before I tear it from your mouth.”. A threat for a threat, but it did little to quell his temper and impatience. “I shall speak to the Folk Mothers.”, Thunor at last had such an idea. He parted from Hama, and went to see them.

“We saw your coming. There may be one who moves with shadows, that none may see. An old foe from the first days, banished by Woden to the depths.”, the Idesa spoke. “The Deep Dweller, Foul Hoarder, The Draca below the Worlds.”, Thunor remembered tales of his misdeeds. He was not a foe that Thunor, even, was eager to fight. He could change shape, and it was only guessed that the Draca was his true form. Though, none really knew. “What you must do is clear, Hammer Holder, our dear son.”, the Idesa had a voice that soothed him. Second only to Sibbe.

“I care not who he is! He comes to my home, takes from me. He takes from all to whom I give. He will die!”, Thunor bristled with resolve. There are two bulls in Thunor’s care that even the Helldraca dare not take. Those two are the bulls who pull his cart, Hléowa and Wolcena. Steadfast and loyal, they are. “Come forth, and let us go down Eormensyl, my friends! A well meant slap on their hindquarters, and they were on their way down.

They moved quick for such large bulls, and in due haste they were in Middangeard. What they saw was a most unfamiliar sight. The land was swarming with Ice Éotens, and Folde was hidden amongst them. He would look to find her, as all Men hid in their homes. She was uncomfortable, but dressed in a gown of white. “What has happened here, in this place that was once so green? Have Ice Éotens gained so much ground since my rest?”, Thunor asked Folde when he saw her. “Ice Éotens have sway over the land. To keep your cattle hidden, the Helldraca lets them reign free.”

“They shall reign free no longer!”, Thunor bellowed with a war cry! His bulls charged forward, wind swift, and with the might of Heofonfŷr, he smashed into Éoten hoards! They charged and charged him, but none were a match for him. They screamed and howled, cursing his name! Without fear, Thunor kept going. Stout Hearted onward, and Ice Éotens shrieking as they were caught in the horns of the bulls, and the blunt force of Thunor’s hammer.

The Ice Éotens pushed back. Their horde would not back down without a fight. They pushed Thunor back, and he pushed forward. Back and forth, Thunor and the Ice Éotens clashed. A woman watched the battle, and called Thunor’s name. She had for him a barrel. “Come, Thunor! Take this, and drink!”, she shouted. “The sweet scent of mead, I’d never reject it! But who are you, lady?”, Thunor asked her.

“I’m a friend of your wife’s. They call me Hrethe. I’ve come to give you this to help you fight. My sister will not return until these Eotens fall.” , and Thunor picked up the barrel, and drank the golden brew. Warmed and readied for war, he stepped forward again to meet his foes. He swung Heofonfŷr with all of his might, and the Ice Éotens fell all around him.

As he made his way, one Éoten, so large that even Thunor in mead joy had second thoughts about approaching him, stepped in his direction to meet him. “So, it is you who have slain my children? How dare you! Foul and ugly, stupid brute!”, Freóriga, the Ice Éoten King, shouted.

“Your home is in the mountains, and far in the North. You have no right to be here!”, Thunor shouted back. Freóriga picked up Thunor’s bulls, and hurled them a furlong away. This made Thunor more angry than before, Freóriga struck Thunor, and Thunor hit the ground. However, Thunor grabbed his massive, frost ridden arm, and twisted it, and then with Heofonfŷr, smashed his head! Freóriga was shattered! He scurried away with what he had left. He fled like a coward.

What he saw after this was what he knew was coming. From a cavern that went deep into the ground came the World Bane himself. The noises of Thunor’s cattle could be heard. They were in a frenzy, but voices soon calmed them. The sound of Thunor’s bulls, who made their way back. They were hurt, but still able to walk well. Their voices calmed the other cattle.

The Helldraca spoke. “You take a world away from me, Thunor. I try to rule this world, and you will not allow it.” “You have neither the right to rule, nor the good deeds to ever be a ruler, Lútian! You have no right to this land, nor right to my cattle! If you do not give them to me, you will die here!” Thunor bellowed, and had little interest in anything else the Helldraca had to say. For the Great Outlawed, Eormensyl gnawer, lord of Wyrmsele, spoke poison when hos mouth was open. He of foul deed.

The Helldraca was so large that it was said he could fly around the world in a few paces of his wings! His eyes were like looking into death, entrancing to his foes. Only he had the Mægen to match Thunor, ill Mægen it was. His skin was like a snake, but hard as stone, and his wings foreboding. His claws were sharper than swords, and his breath was fire. This, the only being that could truly be a match for the Hammer Holder. Thunor, though, had no room for doubt.

He struck Thunor with his tail, and Thunor struck it with his hammer. Then he tried to grab it away with his claws, and Thunor struck his hand! He lunged to bit off Thunor’s head, but Middangeard’s Warder grabbed his jaws! The Helldraca tried to close them, but Thunor held his mouth open. Then the Foul Wyrm closed them, but too late! Thunor backed away, and they looked each other in the eyes. Thunor spun and struck at the Helldraca!

Around and around he went, and just as he stopped for but a moment, the Helldraca tried to clamp his jaws again, but Thunor backed away, and struck the top of the Foul Wyrm’s head with all his might! Heofonfŷr struck true! The Helldraca was dead!

Thunor pulled his corpse away with all of his might, and his cattle ran to him! Thunor felt weary and tired, he went to his cart, and his bulls pulled him home. Behind him, the birds that once filled the land with their song were flying back! The Dawn Maiden, Eastre followed them, and even Sunne looked to be returning from her trip south.

With Eastre came the herbs that healed men, that Woden taught them long ago how to use, and many more. Thunor cleared the way, and they followed. He made his way home to a cheering hall. He feasted upon his bulls, and drank many barrels of mead. He then went into the arms of his wife, and together they went to their bed.

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