Not your average undead warrior: This is how I imagine the awakening of Loki. Â (Picture from the entirely unrelated anime HSD Kenichi.)
Instead of words of timeless wisdom, here’s a page of fantasy drivel. It is something I could write for NaNoWriMo, if I am still around and able to write by then.
The setting for this story is Norway sometime around our age. To teenage cousins, a boy and a girl, are contacted by an elf. The elf is not quite what they expected, even apart from being real. Almost real, at least. It can disappear, passes through things, and appear again on the other side. The reason for this, the elf tells them, is that it comes from another dimension: The world of Yggdrasil.
It turns out that the world described in the Norse mythology was actually real, just not in our reality. It is somewhat unclear whether it always existed, or was brought into being by the power of the collective imagination and belief of the Germanic peoples of northern Europe. Anyway, it is in trouble. The gods have left.
It appeared that Loki, the trickster god, had a change of heart eventually. He asked the gods to free him from his chains just once so that he could undo his life’s greatest mistake, his sons Fenrir the Wolf and JÃ¶rmungand, the Midgard Serpent, the monster which encircles the world and is fated to kill Thor during RagnarÃ¶k, the end of the world. Without its mightiest defender, the gods will not be able to overcome their enemies, led by just Loki, and the world will be destroyed and reborn. So say the sagas. But according to our elf visitor, Loki was freed but put under strong guard as he went to do battle against his own sons. In the ensuing fight, Loki was killed, but not before killing Fenrir and mortally wounding the serpent. A fitting end for the great oath-breaker.
With the greatest enemies of the gods dead, the Aesir and Vanir pressed their advantage, bullying Hel (Loki’s daughter and ruler of the shades of the dead) to give up Baldur, who (according to the gods at least) did not rightly belong there. Â Baldur, the god of heroism and purity, went to Muspellheim to negotiate with Surtr, king of the Fire Giants, who was slated to set the world on fire at the end of days. Â Impressed with Baldur’s personality and earnestness, Surtr swore by his sword to not destroy the world and to keep the Giants away from Midgard – the world of men – in exchange for the gods also leaving Midgard alone forever.
This done, and the future secured, the gods decided to leave the dimension and ascend, leaving the lesser races to rule themselves. Â On the completion of their ritual, every one of the old gods disappeared, their grand halls empty and gathering dust.
It was all a Nemesis plot.
Loki had prepared a spell of soul exchange, a spell not known by the gods, and had, a heartbeat before his death, changed souls with one of the hindmost of the Einherjar (immortal soldiers) who guarded him. Â These inhabitants of Valhall were not part of the ascension, and over time they became bored. Â Restless immortal armies are not a good thing, especially when one among them is always spreading rumors, making them dissatisfied with their lot and feeling betrayed and abandoned. Â Loki, still under his other name, eventually became their leader, and under his masterful strategies they conquered the other worlds and set up a military dictatorship encompassing almost all of the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil. Â Only then did Loki reveal his true identity, and is now ruling with an iron fist.
Some of the Einherjar serve Loki gladly, enjoying their power to dominate others and take what they want. Others serve him out of fear. There is an underground resistance, and parts of Utgard are nominally free, being old allies of Loki. Vidblainn, the holy refuge of the Light Elves, is still untainted, but none but the purest souls can enter there. Surtr still holds the Sword of Fire, and is the only being Loki still treats with respect. Â As Loki plots the invasion of Earth, Surt likewise ponders whether to destroy our world rather than let it fall into Loki’s hands.
This is where our heroes come in. Descendants of the Norse gods through the ancient kings, the bloodlines have diverged and converged innumerable times over the centuries, but by the strange weaving of the Norns (Fates), the old blood has gradually concentrated until in these two it is almost back to its full strength. Frode and FrÃ¶ydis are, in short, the last heirs of the Aesir and Vanir.
The Elven resistance has cobbled together a spell that lets them travel to Alfheim, home of the Light Elves. From there, it is up to them to travel the Nine Worlds and rally the races as the rightful rulers of the land, to throw off the usurper and make peace with Surtr before it is too late, before Earth along with the worlds of Yggdrasil is thrown into RagnarÃ¶k.
Hey, that’s 803 words just describing the basic premise. Â Should not be too hard to get to 50 000. And if I should fall short, it would be easy to add some youthful lustÂ … eh, teenage romance.
Actually, this may be my excuse to write a NaNo in my mother tongue, New Norwegian. It is not like people outside Scandinavia know about the Aesir, the Jotnar or Yggdrasil after all.