The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) -Chapter 4 – Three Gifts (Odin)

Happy Saturn’s Day

Odin frowned.  The whole situation was an odd one.  The man called Beorn Erickson was certainly a brave man.  Magic that can cross the boundaries of world is no small matter and to take on the risk of death was worthy of Valhalla.  The man had courage, if he died in battle the Valkyrie would certainly take him.  Freya would probably do it herself.  Beorn was an old name but Odin had already started to call him his title – The Grey Wayfarer.  It was easier to think of him that way as the man who might bring about Ragnarök.

Odin sat in his chair in front of the fire, pondering.  Frigg was busy getting some gifts ready for The Wayfarer.  Gifts that had been prepared long ago but now needed to be presented.  Foresight was a terrible thing to live with.  The Grey Wayfarer was a man whose death would bring the end, if all the visions Frigg and himself had seen were true.  That last vision of Fenrir’s jaws closing about him had haunted his dreams.

Beorn completely recovered in a couple of days  He was walking about and stretching his limbs.  Odin gave him some small-clothes as well a tunic to wear around the cabin. He certainly had a good appetite and the wolves and ravens had taken a liking to him.  Probably mostly due to the fact that like Odin, the Wayfarer gave them meat as treats.  The two of them would converse and Odin had learned a great deal.

Beorn had acquired the amulet from a wizard of sorts.  He had begun to only suspect its power and then he finally did try to use it a couple of times.  One test had resulted in a great deal of pain.  The time it actually did work, it was extremely painful.  There was a price in pain to be paid to change worlds.  Odin nodded and approved.  He himself had paid the price for knowledge a couple of times.  His missing eye reminded him sometimes sacrifices had to be made.

Finally the day came where the Wayfarer would receive his gifts.  Odin would then set him on the path.

“Beorn, tomorrow you will set out on a journey.  Frigg and I always will offer you hospitality, but there are greater forces at work and your arrival will not be unobserved by those who know magic.”

“I understand.  I too am anxious to begin.  I have felt this wandering in my feet for a long time.  It’s why I came here.  I am looking for something and I don’t know what it is.”

“Destiny is not fate.  Your choices are your own and they will show you the path. I can show you the way, but not your ultimate destination.  I also would not send you on this path without aid.  It is perilous and you can still die.  There is no fate here, just emotion that says certain ends will take place.  We see your end but not the journey.  That journey could be short or long. That is up to you.”

“I must All-Father, thank you and Frigg for your hospitality.  I thank you for your advice and the information you provided me,  I suspect my journey will be long and interesting.”

“You are welcome.  This is only one of my dwellings.  Valhalla is another.  Asgard is still the realm of the gods.  You walk now in Midgard but all the nine realms are represented here.  Remember that and those that dwell in each place.  It may very well be that your path will touch all of them. But now, there are three gifts we wish to give you.”

The first gift was a set of traveling clothes.  It was pants, tunic, boots of leather, a belt of leather.  There was a cape to go over the shoulders that had a hood that could be pulled over the head. The cloth was made of an unknown fabric. Beorn couldn’t place it.  It was a medium grey color.  The whole thing from head to toe. It was comfortable and fit him like a glove.

“The fabric is unique, one of Frigg’s inventions.  It will keep you somewhat warm from the cold but also breathes very well in the heat.  It will keep you from getting wet.  Of course if you fall in a river it will need to dry off but it is resistant to dampness and the elements.  It won’t mold or rot. Is it comfortable?”

“Yeah, like it was tailored for me.”

Frigg was standing behind Odin and she smiled.

“Good. Now I would not set you out on a journey without a way to protect yourself.  So I give you this.”

Odin stood and crossed the room and retrieved a staff of ash wood that had been leaning on the side of the fireplace.

“Like my spear, this staff is made from the ash wood of the world tree. It has other powers but I cannot tell you exactly what they are.  You must discover them as you go on your journey.  For now it is a strong staff and a thus a good weapon to fend off those that would try to rob you or the beasts that would try to eat you.”

Odin handed the staff to Beorn, who when he touched it swore he saw runes appear along it briefly.  The shimmered in a glowing white and then were gone. He looked at Odin.

“Like I said, it has powers, you must discover them.”

Odin sat back down.  Frigg left the room, when she returned she was holding a satchel like handbag. It was made of grey leather.

“I had Frigg make this for you.  Take off your cape and drape it across your shoulder.  Yes, like that.  This satchel is much larger on the inside than it appears outside.  It also reduces the weight of what is inside it significantly.  You can carry a lot in it and it won’t encumber you much.  If you ever get a sword or axe, you can wear them to the appropriate side with the satchel on the other.

“All-Father and Lady Frigg, thank you.  I do not know how to repay your kindness to me or why you are giving it.”

“We have our reasons, but we cannot say what they are.  I can only say these things will make your journey easier in some ways.  Other things we have foreseen will be painful no matter what gift we give.  I suspect the other gods will either help or hinder your journey as they see fit. I trust I do not have to warn you that all of them are here in this place.  Be mindful of who you are dealing with.  The legends you may know may contain some truth but also may contain some falsehoods.”

“I understand All-Father.”

Odin looked at Frigg, seem to hesitate and then he spoke again.

“One last thing.  That amulet is more powerful than you know. It does much more than you have discovered. It is a key that opens doors and allows you, as you have already discovered, to cross boundaries.  Do not take this power lightly and know that many will try to take it from you.  Guard it well.  My advice would be to never take it off.”

Beorn nodded.

That night Frigg laid out a fine meal.  A feast really for the three of them. Odin of course only drank the mead as he never eats.  But Frigg and The Grey Wayfarer ate and all three of them had pleasant conversation.  They agreed that at morning light Beorn would set out on his journey.

After Beorn went to bed.  Odin sat in his chair pondering.  The flames of the fire danced in his eye.  Frigg found her way to his side and placed his hand on his shoulder.  He looked at her and smiled. He put his arm around her waist and pulled her to his lap where she sat wrapping her arms around his neck.  They kissed each other.  After a moment of holding one another Frigg stood up and headed to their bedchamber.

Odin smiled as he watched her walk away.  After all these years, her moving curves still pleased him.  He thought to himself that no greater wife could a man find.  He downed the last of the mead in his cup.  He stroked the ears of his wolves for a minute. Then he stood himself and followed Frigg to the bedchamber. Both the ravens followed him with their eyes.  They cawed softly.  He looked back at them and nodded.  The Grey Wayfarer would begin his journey on the morrow and everything would change.  He entered the bedchamber, the curtain falling behind him.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.

Skaal!!!

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