I have been inspired. I offer the writings below, and all the joy and excitement they will bring, to The Gods. May the Nameless God be silenced in your lands, and the flames never cease to burn before your altars!
The canopy of the great Ash was bustling with activity, the branches that support world now trembling and bending and rejoicing in their new strength. What Was, What Is, and What Will Be spun their thread with newfound joy, and Ash-gnawer ran up and down delivering idle chit-chat, heavy foretelling, and useless rumours from here to there. From the sacred roots, the waters flowed ever on from the Wells, separate, to water, to give life, and to unite again, and fall into the Void in an everlasting stream, until End split the stream in two, and its separated rivers went hot and cold, one frozen solid, one heated to vapour, hidden away from the eyes of time, and death, and doing, and happening, awaiting the time when their source would run dry from heat, and they would once again meet in the New Beginning.
A bit below the Well, there was a turbulence in the water, a strange rock had dammed the flow, and of the Thread, there was a tangle with many a broken-of comb-tooth in it. Somewhere, poison dripped on bare rock. But all this is just to come. Now, happiness reigns in the Field of the Gods.
High on the throne of Hliðskjálf, Odin and Frigga sat, looking down on the Nine Worlds. Suddenly, without warning, Web-spinner sprang up from her seat, her chariot, pulled by a mighty boar, now underneath her feet, and thundered through the Fields before Old One-Eye even saw that she was gone. Wotan may see far and wide, but Frigga's web is thick and with many a curve. Laughter reached his ear, joyful, prideful, that laughter of a mother, a loving, caring partner, and the tempting, boasting, and enticing laughter of blooming womanhood, of long nights in hard embraces, of soft caresses, of tender kisses. Hair the gold of ripe wheat glimmered in the distant.
Two wolves lept forward, and two ravens flew into the skies, Far-Seer searching for his love and wife. Perhaps this was a game.
A spear flew in the wind, and the chariot swung to the sides to evade it, the metal tip hitting dirt and rock with a loud, clear sound that made the other Gods raise their heads and focused their attention. Eight legs thundered across the planes, The Crack-Slipper treading unending miles under his feet.
They raced through the field of endless battle, the stone hall made even louder by their noise. Memory swooped down to reach Fate-Seers cloak, his beak sliding of falcon feathers, and an arrow flying by him, setting loose a tail feather to land softly on the leaves. Thought fared no better, for he was unable to see through the Tangle Of Fate, his mind a whirling mess, his eyes clouded.
Eight hooves trod the ground, following many paws, and Odr soon saw the flowing hair of his beloved, her body now naked and young and very, very inviting. His horse galloped ever closer, but now there were two chariots, one pulled by a boar and carrying a goddess vaguely in the shape of a distaff, the other pulled by many cats, with golden hair and falcon feather and a shining necklace on top of it. Ten legs, one horse, and two Gods followed.
Chariot crossed path witch chariot, again and again, until there were cats and boars speeding distaffs and feathers, and boars and cats and webs and golden fair and the smile of a young woman and the smile of a mother and the full breasts of seduction and the nurishing breasts of motherhood and bows and staffs and clothing and nakedness in a whirls that no man, no woman, not the Aesir, not the Vanir, not even the Norns, not even She themselves, and certainly no Jotun, could tell apart one from the other. And hunting them were speak and armour, sword and shield, four paws, four legs, and four wings, running, galopping, flying, hounding, shouting, a cloud of movement after a cloud of gold.
In the thinnest of branches, so far from the High Seat that not even Heimdall would have been able to see it, the two coluds met and embraced and argued and fought and bit and caressed and kissed and scratched and meowed and growled and crooed and roared, and, above all, laughed. It had been centuries since any God had seen such fury, such action, such love for simply being as they witnessed now.
Oh, my love, you are still as fast and as nimble as the whitests of snow-rabbits.
And your spear is as sharp and well-aimed as it was when we first rode into our halls together.
Ah, I remember. I think we wagered even then. You got the better of me back then, you Valkyre-Queen!
Indeed, I did, Old Fool
- and underneath her gold and silver hair, the godess laughed with such joy that even the Undying Boar smiled on the roast, and with a tiny tingling sound of spite that she new would make Wanderer respond in kind.
Old Fool, eh? Was it not I, who brought our people back to our folds, who though them to worship their Gods, and not the Nameless Threat? Is it not a man who you have to thank for your new joy?
Hah! And who bore that man? Who give him his milk? Who changed his clothes?
- Friya called out.
And who thought him, who helped him study, who showed him, stalwartness, dedication, and our secrets?
- Grey-Hair said in a raspy tone.
So, you think man are better converters than woman? I got the better of you thrice, and I shall do so again. Let us wager, my love.
All-father threw his head back, and his laughter shook the Ash. - A wager? Now, this is the Godesses I love! Very well. On what?
I say that my woman can turn more of our people back to us than your boring priests and withdrawn shrine-keepers!
- Freya was no fool. Win or lose, they needed more people to believe in them. The first boost of Bureus and the Berserkers would only last so long.
Ha! A good thing to bet on, you clever old matron, you
, said Old Grey-Hair, and kissed her on the cheek. Now, what to wager, then?
You like warriors, do you not? If I lose my bet, I'll give up first pick of the fallen, and the Valkyres will send the dead to you first, and only then shall Seat-Room be filled in my Holy Fens.
And if you win?
Then we shall both accept woman and man to our halls, and we shall accept not only those who die in battle, but those who serve in life. It is no use to fill Hel's Halls with those who have been good to our people and true to themselves.
Woman is Valljahöll? The Einheir will not like that.
Dont take me for a scared virgin, you old Hungry-Spear! Do you think I do not hear them sneak into my Halls, do you think I see them not in the forests and meadows, embracing their wives whom I quarter in my hall?
True, true, every warrior needs the embrace not only of mailed chests, but of loving bosoms and warm loins. But they wont like having woman in the Hall. It is a place of manly boasting, and of getting drunk and eating until you puke, not fit for squeamish girls.
- Frigga slapped Wodan, although with a loving caress afterwards. Have you lost your other eye? Who do you see cleaning up after you, setting your tables, warming your mead, roasting your boar? Are they not woman? Are they not maids, mothers, grandmothers and lovers already?
- grey hair obscured a face hung in shame, and a cheek red with fingerprints - but what about those not slain in battle? What use are poets, farmers, traders, craftsman against giants and wolves and Loke?
Spears break, swords brittle, shields bend, halls fall apart, cups rot, coins disappear, memory fades if left unsung. Would you deny the sons of Heimdall their due place just because what had slain them was illness and cold, and they died in bed and perhaps with loving care, rather then in rotting mud and cold steel cutting their veins? Are those who serve the fighters not worthy of respect and a good life in the canopy, equal to those they enabled to die in battle? Who will sing in the Halls, if you dont let any skald wormfood in?
Hah, never argue with a woman! However, Vallhalla is too small for all these.
Indeed. We shall build a new, greater hall then, on the field where my Fen and your Meadow meet. We shall name it Verdighalla, the Hall of the Worthy.
If you win, mind you, my temptress the gold of ripe wheat. The mothers, daughters, loves of the slain shall go to our halls. I shall have first pickings, to give my Einherjeri their wives back, and they shall live in the stone Halls below Valljahöll. You shall have second pickings, and quarter them as you wish.
The dwarves will help us dig and build. How I have missed the sound of their hammers.
And the gold of their toil. But for all these Halls, what about those who sneak to and fro from Vallhalla to Sessrrumnir and back again? Should they not have a roof to call their own?
Why, you Grey-Hair with Sword Of Red Head, is it not better to embrace under the sky?
How right you are!
- All-Highs words muffled in the embracing bosom of Freya.
Down by the Wells, ninety-six teeth smiled.
: I have taken the liberty to at least partially merge Freya and Frigga, as well as Odin and Odr. Norse paganism usually allows for such "aspectisation" (see if you can pick up all the places where Freya and Frigga are mixed together. What aspect mixes with what?), and the centrepiece requires Odin to give in wager something very dear to him, and for it to have a fitting counterpart, both in Asgard, as in Midgard. First pick of warriors, as well as broader opening of Asgard both in sexes and is situations, seemed appropriate. I also rewrote the Tri-Godess from Virgin, Mother, Crone into Temptress, Mother, Crone, since this makes so much more sense for a culture that is not deathly afraid of female sexuality, like the worship of the Nameless God is. I hope the Gods don't take offence.
Suggested musical background: Hagalaz' Runedance - Frigga's Web
(for all their importance, both Frigga and Freya are rather abscent in the folk/folkmetal spectrum. Shame.)