Great was the cocomotion on the Field of The Gods. Andhrímnir was preparing the fireplace, for soon, the first flames would have to lick the underside of Eldhrímnir many a time, for not only would Sæhrímnir be cooked today, but a long list of other fine meals was to be served. Not far from the soon-t-be great fire, a series of other fires burned, cooking fine stews, delicious soups, vegetables, meat, and in some, even more exotic things, like honey and cane syrup and mead and honey-wine and almost all delicacies in the Nine Worlds.
On other fires, great boars, oxes, cows and sheep roasted to finely-crusted, sweet meals, potatoes and other vegetables from the western edge of Miðgarðr among them. In huge boxes, spices from the eastermost lands of Middle-Earth stood, ready to enchance the taste of any meal.
Not far away, the Keep On Fólkvangr bristled with activity as well. The fallen ones were decorating the Great Hall Of Freyja with golden and silver shields, with age-old, finely crafted weapons of war, and with many a thread of thick, earth-smelling, green moss. Valhöll did not remain behind Sessrúmnir in decoration, thought the Hall Of Odin had a more rustic way, with most new and festive decoration made out of wood and stone carvings, and elaborate patterns of weapons arrayed on the walls and floors.
Týr and Þórr, the two great warriors of the gods, were entertaining the Einherjar and the warriors of Freyja, and of course, themselves, with a mighty and elusive battle, parring, charging, roaring, laughing all the time.
Frigg and Óðinn were observing all this happy activity smiling. And indeed, they had all reason to smile. It was the fest of Middansumar, after all. Iðunn had given them two apples this day, something she does only once or twice a century.
Slowly, the couple wlaked down from their thrones, and settled in the midst of the Great Field, the gods, warriors, servants, and each and every soul, mortal or divine, in Ásgarðr and Vanaheimr, even Heimdallr, who had been relieved of his duty for this day, for not even the Jötnar would attack on such a day.
The Gods raised a pole of pulsing energy, covered with the very essence of nature itself, with golden, silver, green and blue and red and black and white leave-strings hanging from its top, and slowly, a procession began to dance around the maypole, each member, be he or she mortal or other, took one of the strings and thus, at the end, the pole was covered in all colours from top to bottom.
As this was finished, Þórr took one of the greates couldrons filled with mead, and began to drink it empty, then banged in onto the earth, and shouted to everyone to eat, drink, and be merry, or leave at an instant into the darkest depth of Hel. The guests needed no further invitation, and soon, all of the Crown of The Ash was aloud from the sound of a merry meal.
Uppsala, House Of The Wolf And The Bear
The festivities below mirrored the festivities above. Days earlier, the cityfolk learned of a very great fest of Midsommar that the newly arrived woodsman would give. Many of them were very curious, mainly becouse these man looked so different, so out of place, yet somehow, deep down, familiar. They were drawn to them. They had already adimired their expertise in wood and stonecrafts as they watched them renovate their house. They awed at the finely crafted jewles these warriors wore. The woman were enchanted by their masculinity, the man honoured by their strong, adherent behaviour.
But mostly it was simple curiosity that bought more than two thousand of the cityfolk to the field behind the House. The maypole was already standing, and the warriors, and many of those woman they courted, were already arranging finest roeasted meals and great jugs of mead onto the tables. Bureus, on the faraway edge, was observing the building of the huge pile of wood that would be the bonfire. Also, a little later, he carried a small, finely carved wooden statue of Óðinn near to the maypole, then, be went back for more statues. They crowd payed little attention to the bearded old man, the rich food and good company keeping them all too preoccupied. Half an hour later, Bureus had arranged all the god-statues around the maypole, and unveild its head, displaying the head of the Great Ash.
Suddenly, drawn by the power of their original gods, the people, took some offerings, meat or mead, and smeared the statues with them. Then, they took the strings hanging from the pole, and, while some berserkers pounded an ever-quickening rythm, danced around the pole, energized by the warmth of the summer unnight, the mead, and the power of the Gods. Most of them would forget this act by the next day, or blame it on the sting of the mead, but some would recoginze their own Gods, and only pretend to pray in the churches of the Nameless God.
Filled with the same fervor, they all, all the two-three thousand, gathered around the huge bonfire, whose light would rival that of the Sun, not to speak of that of the Midnight Sun, and danced around it, their spirits lifted high adove the ground, closer to Ásgarðr then ever before. Freyja, godess of love, watched them with amusement. As the crowd slowly began to tire, she spreyed them with her magic, letting the power of affection and sex make its way into their hearts, minds and bodies.
The moans, cries, laughter, cheers and overall merriness could be heard miles away, and penetrated the darkened room of the kings study as well.
For it was darkened not only by the lack of light, but by the lack of mood, and the happiness disturbed him now. Dark winds were blowing form the South. Winds of War.