Crossing Bifrost – Gods and Goddesses – Freya: Goddess of Love

Happy Saturn’s Day

I know a lot so scholars point out the massive similarities between Frigg and Freya, but as someone who can see why certain things would change.  There are some personality differences in my opinion and I doubt Loki would have challenged the wife of Odin and basically call her a slut without some real proof out of fear the Odin would take it out on him.  Oor is Freya’s listed husband it is said she cries tears over his absence and the similarity to Odin makes people think that maybe Freya and Frigg are the same goddess with different names,

I would point out however that while Freya is a mother, her motherly attributes are subordinated whereas Frigg’s stories seem to have her motherly aspect front and center, particularly for Balder her son.   The fact is that the two goddesses are also said to have different children and their encounters with the other gods and goddess are distinct in the stories. Frigg is Aesir and Freya is Vanir along with her brother Frey.  The only evidence that seems to suggest they are the same goddess is the similarity in their husband’s names and those husband having a tendency to wander.  Sorry in all other aspects they are pretty distinct and different.

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Freya is the goddess of love, fertility, beauty, and fine possessions.  The Greek goddess Aphrodite might be a good comparison except Freya has very Norse qualities. Most notably she will suit up for battle when necessary.  She also presides over the realm of Folkvang, one of the realms of the dead. Freya’s duty is to pick half the slain in battle to dwell here while Odin gets the other half.  There is no criteria it seems for who get to go where, just her choice.  This makes her one of the Valkyrie.

Some scholars call Freya, the party girl of the Norse gods. Loki basically accuses her of sleeping with every god and every elf including her own brother.  Her defense is not denial but that it is not considered a taboo for a woman who is married to not take a lover when she wants to, just like the men. There is really no denial. In short Freya is the kind of girl a guy likes when he is single. Her attachment to the forces of fertility, love and beauty draws her into the realm of passionate sex. The image you can see is a girl who can drink, play and fuck all night long.

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The one other quality she has is that she is the very definition of a person who practices the magical school of Seidr or the magic of fate. She can see the future through prophecy and can pronounce curses or blessings that stick.  It is she, when the Vanir-Aesir War ended, that brought this magic to the gods and taught it to them including Odin. It is probably a significant thing this happened; as from then on, Odin and all the gods are focused on altering the future fate of their realm.  It drives them and their actions and the whole concept of Ragnarök becomes center stage.

In popular culture, Freya does not appear very much.  Except it is she who were probably conceptualize that the Valkyrie the most.  That sexy, scantily clad warrior goddess is something her image probably brings to us. She appears once in Marvel’s Thor the comic book in 1993.  She is merely a supporting character. She is much more than that in the mythology.  She probably has had many appearances in video games as far as image and character than anything else.

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Freya speaks to us of prosperity, knowledge and abundance and all the pleasures thereof.  She is connected to cats and fairies. Her sphere is love, lovemaking and pleasure.  But she also is one of the goddesses that can see the fate of men and chooses the slain of sword for her realm and Odin’s Valhalla.  A prophetess who sees the future and says – “It’s not going to end well; everyone dies, so let’s party while we have the time to party.

In my own series The Grey Wayfarer, it is why I chose to separate her from Frigg.  She will give me a goddess character to counter the more motherly Frigg. She is the woman who will be the good ‘naughty girl’ who tempts my protagonist. But in the end will also see his fate and weep as much over him as her lost husband.

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I find Freya to be a great character and one that is distinct and full of potential. There are two very interesting sides to her; as well as a bunch of nuances, that make her a very fleshed out goddess.  Definitely underused in popular culture by her proper name, but her image inspires a lot of characters of fiction and lore.

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


The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) – Chapter 5 – Evil Intent (Hel)

Happy Saturn’s Day.

Hel sat on her throne brooding over the god standing in front of her.  She was wearing her black robes which hugged every curve of her body which was a shapely.  A body which the right side was simply a beautiful strong Nordic Woman with very pale skin and golden blond hair.  The left side of her body was akin to a freshly dead corpse.  Not the rotting death described in most mythology. Rather deathly pale, Lips on that side were white and her left eye frosted over in death. Hair was white as the grave.  The skin was not broken but had that wrinkled quality of a corpse that had been dead for maybe a few days.  She was a pale looking monster really. Like a living beautiful corpse.

She, however cared little for such things as most of her existence she was the absolute monarch of Helheim, the realm of the dead. Those who died of hunger, thirst, disease and other natural causes found their way to her realm.  The honored dead found their way to Odin’s Valhalla.  The rest of the dead were her’s.  Not that life in Helheim was a terrible one.  It was just life continued only in a world of grey with little pleasure.  She was sure some of its citizens still had sex but it was the dull motions of a temporary relief from boredom.  Mostly people continued to work and exist, but there was no feasting, no mead and very little laughter in Helheim. The only person who seemed to gain any happiness was Hel herself and only when the world of mortals tried to cheat her or make a deal for their souls. She liked such deals and they often actually made her smile.  Something she very rarely did as most of the time she was grim-faced. She was much like her father in her love for such dealings.

Her father was the god standing in front of her throne. Loki, the trickster god. She was his daughter along with her two siblings Fenrir the Great Wolf and Jormungand the world serpent. Fenrir also dwells in Helheim, still bound waiting for the last days and Ragnarok.    The world serpent still surrounded the world, though it was the world of this island realm of Odin’s preservation magic. All Children of Loki and the Giantess Jotunn Andgrboda.  Such an unholy union produced to fierce creatures and only Hel herself even resembled anything human and to most she was a monster as well.

Her father by contrast was a hansom looking god.  His face and body one that women swooned over. His hair long and brown, his face clean-shaven and his grey eyes that would melt the hardest heart.

“Hel, are you even listening daughter?”

“Sorry father, I was thinking of something.”

The voices contrasted.  His masculine and melodic and hers otherworldly and haunting.”

“Damn girl, this is important.  This new human player could ruin everything.”

“I don’t think so father.  I would wager that Odin fears him as much as Fenrir. Frigg seems to think him the one of her dreams.  This Grey Wayfarer.”

“Perhaps, but Ragnarok can be delayed.  How many times delayed now?”

“Too many to count father.  Fenrir grows inpatient.”

“Fenrir is always impatient. Hel, my dear. I have struggled to be the king of the gods now for centuries and with no result.  I have come to see Ragnarok as the only way to have a chance of a new beginning.”

“Or end it all, father. Leave us all with nothing.”

“Better that than the eternal servitude that has been Asgard.  This Grey Wayfarer must be helped along the path toward the end we want, not what Odin wants.”

“Playing with fate father? I thought you would rather set back and see what happens.”

Her tone was sarcastic. She knew full well her father could not help but meddle.”

“So what is your plan father?  Negotiation, tricking him to doing things your way?”

“No daughter, my plan involves throwing you at him.”

“Me, but I would have to leave Helheim.  That has never gone well for me father.”

Truth was her powers were absolute in Helheim, even Odin would think twice about challenging her here.  He after all gave Helheim to her to rule. That changed the moment she stepped beyond is borders. Not powerless to be sure, but far less in power. Vulnerable.

“I know.  But it also necessary for all of us to take risks at this time.  Truth is, I will be taking a few of my own. I want you to befriend him and lead him towards our ends.”

“He will take one look at me and distrust me.  He knows the legends father.  Unlike you, I cannot disguise who I am.”

“Which is why I commissioned the dwarves to make this for you.”

Appearing in his hand was a mask. It was silver and looked the face of the woman.

“What is it?”

I put a little of my shape-shifting power in it.  Hel my dear daughter, this will make your left side look like the other.

“Interesting, but what if I refuse anyway.”

“Worried about the prophecy about you, my girl?”

Hel scoffed looking disgusted.

“What my dear girl.  Is it so impossible that you could fall in love. That the heartless Queen of Helheim might be capable for love after all?”

Hel actually laughed. It was unnerving and the walls of Helheim reverberated with its echo swallowing the mirth of it in absolute sadness.

“If that happens father, the end is truly upon us.”

Loki laughed this time.

“And that is what we want dear daughter.  Fenrir wants to bite Odin, I want the throne of the gods.  The world serpent wants to ultimately feast on the world and you my daughter, what do you want? Yes, the souls of the dead that will die in Ragnarok outside the confines of battle will be legion. Your ranks and power will grow.”

“I already have enough servants.”

“Yes, but how many are like Balder or some of the other warriors you have robbed of Valhalla.  I mean do you ever figure out why he didn’t go to Valhalla?  You have to admit you can appreciate the delicious irony of a great beloved warrior ending up here instead of Odin’s Mead Hall?”

Hel smiled wickedly.  Yes, it had been to her a delicious feast for her soul to see the one greatly loved now wondering her halls with the same lost expression as all the rest.  No feasting, fighting to drinking for Balder. Just the long night of an ordinary life with no end. He father had a point, if she could find the way he missed Valhalla and do it to other great warriors that would be enjoyable.  Robbing Odin and Valkyrie of their champions would bring a smile to her face.  This Grey Wayfarer might be just the one to show her what she needed to do that to a lot more warriors.

“Very well father.  I will do what you ask.  Leave the mask and I will use it.”

“Excellent.  Befriend him and push him our direction.  While you are doing that you will have all the time you need to perhaps uncover the secret to robbing Valhalla of its champions.”

Loki set the mask down next to Hel on the table that held her empty plate and knife. He then smiled that disarming smile at her and then turned and left.  Hel looked at the mask. To have both sides of her look the same.  To just be the beautiful daughter of Loki.  The thought made her feel ‘alive’ like she hadn’t felt in decades. This was a worthy quest. Ragnarok would come and her and her two brothers would know vengeance against Odin and the citizens of Asgard.  The Grey Wayfarer might very well be the key she was looking for.

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


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.


The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) – Chapter 3 – Awakening (Wayfarer)

Happy Saturn’s Day

The man in the bed stirred.  It was the first time he had moved on his own power since the whole thing began.  His eyes fluttered open but he immediately shut them again.  Things were too bright.  Gods his head hurt.  No telling where he was now.  He was either in his intended destination, the hospital or the morgue. If the last was true, he was waking up to what lies beyond the veil of death and that brightness was the afterlife.

Somehow though he suspected that it was not the afterlife or the hospital.  You don’t hear the sounds of lovers making love in a hospital that often and he could smell smoke of a fire. No, unless something truly unplanned had happened, he had arrived in his intended destination.  He just couldn’t move or speak or see it in truth yet.  He opened his eyes once again and the blur came into focus.

He was in a room with a bed and a wash basin on a small wooden stand.  There were  towels draped over the stand as well and the fabric was exquisite.  Not made by a machine but much better in many respects.  He tried to move his arm and succeeded only to lift it a little. Then he looked a little to the edge of the bed only to see the face of a huge white wolf staring back at him. Their eyes met and strangely he didn’t feel afraid of the wolf.  The wolf looked at him for a few moments and then walked out of the room past the curtain that separated it from the main room.

A few moments later a large man entered the room. He was muscular but looked older with hair that was white.  He only had one eye and the other was covered with a patch. He was wearing a simple grey tunic and on his shoulder was perched a large raven.

“Well, you live after all.  I will wake up my wife and she will tend you,” the man said in a commanding deep voice.

Then he disappeared.  The man stirred a little more and after a couple of minutes a woman in a white dress came in. She was blond, blue-eyed and stunningly beautiful.  She smiled at him but he could see a knowing sadness behind her eyes. He wondered about that, but she came along and sat beside him and touched his forehead and chest.

He couldn’t get over how beautiful she was.  Her proportions were perfect and her skin flawless.  He eyes were stunning like they looked right into your heart and her golden hair radiant beyond belief.  No super model, with the most skillful of Photoshop work done, could look like she did.  It was then he realized his nakedness under the blankets and began to feel a little self-conscious.  She smiled again.

“Be at peace, you are safe here,” her voice was like soft music.

She leaned a little closer like she didn’t want to be overheard.

“Besides, you have nothing to be ashamed of.”

He blushed slightly and found his hand absent mindedly going to the Thor amulet around his neck.  It was still there.  He wondered at it now as the story that had been told him had been true.  It was magical.  It had drawn him to this place, wherever that was.  He began to relax a little more.  It was hard not to do so in this woman’s presence.

“You know you have been under my care for a day and I still don’t know who you are?  Can you speak?”

The Man looked at her and smiled.

“My name is Beorn Erickson. I guess you could say I am a scholar of sorts”

“Well Beorn, I am Frigg, goddess of motherhood and home. Welcome to our home.”

Beorn didn’t show any reaction to the statement that she was a goddess.  He actually  relaxed even more. The amulet had worked and now he could move on to other things.  He decided to choose his words carefully.

“So the mythology isn’t mythological after all.  So the man I saw; he is Odin, the All-Father?  Your husband?”

Frigg raised an eyebrow.

“Yes, he is Odin.  All Father and King of the gods of Asgard. It is not often that mortals hear of the gods and react as you do.  How is this possible?”

“You could say I have been looking for you.  Mostly though I wanted to prove this amulet worked.  The magic in it is unique and very powerful.  Besides if legend is correct, the gods and goddesses of Asgard prefer actions of worship, not the groveling prayers of other religions.”

“A wizard, not just a scholar then? My husband might be very interested in that.  He is a wizard himself and a warrior.”

“Yes, some of the legends and stories remain.  Many are lost though.  I guess you could say this was a research trip in that regard.”

“A seeker after knowledge.  Yes, My husband will respect that.  The issue he will have is whether or not you are willing to pay the price for knowledge that is sometimes needed.”

“Yes, those stories remain.  His hanging from the world tree and his sacrifice of his eye.  They also speak of your powers to see men’s fates.”

Frigg’s smile faded; but it was not anger that replaced it, but a sadness.

“Yes, I can, but it is not very helpful.  There is little that can be done to change the fates of men.”

Beorn decided not to press this.  He knew she was speaking of her son Balder and he didn’t want to bring up painful memories.

“Well, I suppose that would be a heavy burden to bear. I didn’t mean to cause you sadness.”

“No, it alright.  It was a long time ago that I lost Balder…that Asgard lost Balder.  You seem strangely emphatic for a wizard and scholar.”

“I wasn’t always a wizard and a scholar.  I once was a priest. A Christian priest.”

“That explains your gentleness.  You gave that up?  I wonder what reason you could have for that?”

“I am not very good with celibacy for one.”

Frigg laughed and Beorn with her.

“I can also say that celibacy would not allow you to share one of your better assets with the world either.  You shouldn’t deprive women like that.”

They laughed again.  Beorn felt so at ease in her presence.

“I imagine though that there are other deeper reasons.”

“It was the beliefs.  The god of the cross doesn’t make sense to me anymore.  So I went looking for others.”

“Well, it seems you found a couple.”

“Yes, I have. The amulet worked and drew me to you.”

Frigg paused.  The two looked at each other for a moment.

“Well Beorn, I can’t see that you are ill or in any way sick.  Just drained of energy.  I will make some food to help with that, and bring you something to drink.  My husband will want you fully rested and restored before he speaks with you.”

She got up and headed toward the curtain.  As she started to pull it back, Beorn spoke once again.

“Frigg, thank you for your hospitality. There was one other reason I left the priesthood.  Love.”

Frigg smiled.

“I would say that was related to the first reason you gave, but I understand. I suspect you broke her heart or perhaps…”

“She broke mine.”

“Ah, well perhaps you will find love again.”

“I hope so, it’s a good thing to be in love but also dangerous.”

“Yes, it is.”

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


The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) – Chapter 2 – Frigg’s Vision (Frigg)

Happy Saturn’s Day

Frigg stood on the porch of her and her husband’s cabin.  It wasn’t much, just a few rooms and a central chamber with fireplace.  Not that the cold mattered to her or her husband as being immortal, cold was simply a hardship to be endured.  The other two rooms were a large bedroom for her and Odin and another bedroom for guests.

She stood puzzled at her thoughts and feelings that morning, a stern look on her milky white face.  She brushed back her long golden hair as the small but steady breeze kept pushing it in her face.  He ice blue eyes scanning the edge of the woods waiting for her husband’s arrival.  She knew he would be bringing someone with him.  Someone who was going to  change everything. She after all was a practitioner of seidr, the magic of fate.  She didn’t use often anymore.  Knowing the future of a person and their fate was, as she discovered, an awful burden to bear.

She used both hands to brush down her dress which was white and made of a slightly see through fabric. She wove it herself. Her body was perfectly curved and her proportions would have made any artist long for the chance to paint her.  The dress she wore shimmered and on occasion one could see her skin underneath.  Perhaps her sister goddess Freya would smile at her lack of modesty in her choice of dress. Freya being the goddess of sex and love was rarely modest about either subject in both action and words.  Frigg was the mother goddess and so hearth, home and marriage were her domains.  A wife should be modest but she was with her husband alone so modestly was less important.

Frigg however was unconcerned about the opinions of another goddess.  Right now her concern was on a vision she had of her husband finding a body on the beach.  She could see the body of a man whose fate was one to bring change to the gods.  Great Change. She could not as usual see all the details. Only that the man over her husbands shoulders was fated to bring change. What and to what extent she could not say.

In a few moments, two ravens appeared and flew to her.  One landed on her forearm.  Huginn.  He whispered to her and she smiled and nodded.  Huginn flew off and joined his brother Muninn.  In a few more moments, she saw her husband and the wolves round the bend of the beach and start approaching the house.  Odin walked with confidence and assurance of the king of the gods.  Her heart always swelled with pride when she saw her husband.

She frowned when she turned her attention to the naked man he was carrying.  Odin’s wolves ran ahead and greeted Frigg and she greeted them back.  Odin’s stride closed the distance between them.

“Frigg, I have a man who needs your attention.”

“I know, but relax his fate is not to die.  Rest your mind, hansom husband.  Take him inside to the guest room.”

Odin sniffed a short snort and carried the man inside. His wolves followed him in and the ravens flew through the open doorway.  The ravens found their place on the fireplace mantel and the wolves lay by the fire in front of two chairs that faced it.

Odin and Frigg then placed the man under the blankets in the guest bed.  Frigg smiled at the man.  Older but still fit and….well equipped.  Freya her sister would laugh to know her thoughts.  Odin smiled at his wife and Frigg actually blushed.

“Looks like I am going to have to get my wife to forget something she saw tonight.”

“Fear not husband, I was only smiling at what Freya would think of our stranger. But still it has been a few days since we…”

Odin laughed and slapped his wife’s backside to which she blushed again and grinned at him.

“Tell me wife, is he the one?”

“Yes, he is fated to bring great change to the gods.”


“His thread of life ends at the same time your’s does, my love.”

Odin’s smile faded.  His vision of his end was the eyes and teeth of Fenrir the great wolf.

“My love, that does not mean he will cause Ragnarok, just that he will be there at the end of the world. I caution you my love, remember we can think we are stopping fate by our actions but in truth we are actually making it sure.”

“I know, Fenrir taught me that.”

She nodded.

“What’s wrong with him, my wife?”

“Nothing, there is magic at work here my husband.  I need to open my seeing eye.”

Frigg’s face went blank.  Odin waited knowing that she would see a vision of some sort. He hated this part of it though.  There was always some fear in his heart that the love of his life would stay in that glazed over state forever.  But once again she returned.

She turned to Odin.

“It’s him.  The Grey thread, the Grey Wayfarer.  That amulet has allowed him to cross the barrier into our world from his.”

Odin grunted.  Damn.  So change and perhaps Ragnarok after all.

“Well, there is nothing for it my wife but to set him on the path he must walk.”

Frigg frowned, “I know but…”

“Sorry, my wife.  I believe at long last our end has come.  As you said to fight fate might bring it about and hasten it.”

“Should we tell him when he awakens, my king?”

Odin was taken back.  Frigg never called him ‘my king’ anywhere except in court at Valhalla.

“Nothing my queen.  It would only bring on the risk of hastening fate as well  No, we tell him nothing, equip him and then set him on the path.  He must walk it himself and that will bring about the end quick enough.”

Frigg rose to her feet and then walked to her husband and put her arms around his neck.  She kissed him deeply and his arms when around her.  He pulled her close, and when their kiss broke, she whispered in his ear.

“Take me, my love.  Make love to me like it is the end of the world.”

“I shall my love, because it is.”

Odin scooped her up in his arms and carried her out of the room and into their bedroom.  There they made love as only gods who are finally facing mortality can.  After her husband fell asleep, Frigg lay there naked in the darkness for a while but couldn’t sleep.  She left the bed and wandered to the guest room where she looked at the man again.

Tears filled her eyes.  She didn’t know who to weep for more.  The gods who were about to face mortality or the man laying in the bed in front of her.  His fate would end with theirs, but the pain he would suffer would be more than most gods could endure.  Yes, the gods had good reason for sorrow.  But the Grey Wayfarer… may the gods have pity for him.

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


The Grey Wayfarer (Fantasy Serial) – Chapter 1 – The Body (Odin)

The old man walked along the beach. at least he appeared to be an old man.  Indeed he had been alive for many years but age had done very little to stop him or slow him down.  He was wearing a grey cloak that went all the way to the ground and a hood was pulled over his head.  In the occasional flash that peeked out from underneath the cloak one could see the glint of a grey chain mail shirt as he moved.  In truth if one could see under the cloak one would see a hardened male body, muscled and scarred with many scars.

The one thing that could be seen is his face if one looked straight on at him.  It was wise and aged but still very strong.  His blue eye smoldered with life and fire.  His other eye covered by a patch.  He had given it up long ago for wisdom. A grey beard trimmed and braided into two braids than hung down his chest.  The other thing that could be seen was his strong right hand which grasped a spear that was a couple of feet taller than him.  Made of ash wood and tipped with shiny unstained steel.  Balanced to the point of perfection, it could strike a target no matter the skill of the one who wielded it. The man smiled as he recalled this, he had only one eye so this came in handy.  More importantly to him though was that no oath swore on this spear could be broken.

The man was after all no man at all – but the Norse god Odin, the All Father. For all the good that did him anymore.  Gods are dependent on worshipers for the extent of their power.  Odin knew his power was not what it once was when he took on the Frost Giants all those millennia ago.  But it was enough that brave deeds were in the world and some men still searched for knowledge.  The Norse gods never did expect the fawning type of worship other gods demanded.  Just respect and to live bravely in front of them and show that by actions not words.  In this humanity still supplied some strength to him and his fellow residents of Asgard.

The place he was walking now had been saved by him centuries ago.  He sensed the fall of humanity’s worship toward Asgard.  The Religion of the Cross slowly grew in power until it pushed his out.  Probably only the fact that the Christians so readily combined Pagan and Heathen rituals and celebrations with their own that he and his fellow gods been allowed to survive.  But in those last days where his power still had enough significance, he had created this island.  Built by him through sundering a small portion of each of the nine worlds and taking a branch of the one world tree, he was able create this place.  This Island where the power of the Old Norse gods was still preserved.  He frowned.  How far they had fallen.

The specific beach on which he was walking was stunningly beautiful.  The blue ice-cold ocean lapping its waves against the sand.  The tall forest trees of all types on the other hand.  Bushes and other temperate vegetation providing cover for small animals and birds.  The beach sand itself was the light tan strewn with pebbles and the occasional rock.

As he thought of this, two crows came down the beach toward him.  The were large crows and ancient.  Huginn and Muninn, his old companions.  Their caws caught his attention for they were signalling that they had found something.  One of them landed on his right shoulder and the other perched on his left forearm. It was Huginn on his arm and the bird informed him with its whispers that there was a body of a man down the beach. Odin raised an eyebrow as he got the full report and then raised his head and whistled.

In seconds two wolves appeared. Both of them were huge, standing as tall as a tall man’s waist. One was snow-white with blue eyes – Geri. The other was midnight black with red eyes – Freki.  Both of them ran with speed to their master who greeted them warmly.  He then sent the down the beach ahead of him to find this body.  His voice was strong and commanding as it always was, he being king of Asgard.  He told them to guard it until he got there.  The Ravens left him and followed the wolves, flying above them.

Odin headed out at pace but he lost sight of the wolves for while as they rounded a curve on the beach.  His ravens still circled above the treeline and he could see where they had started to circle over where the body must lay.  As he rounded the bend in the coastline, the picture came into view.

Laying face down, spread-eagle was a naked man.  Odin could see by comparing his size to Geri who was standing next the man that he was easily as tall as himself.  He was also muscular and his hair, cut short, was black but it was salt and peppered with grey hairs  along with white temples. An older man who took care of his body apparently.  Muninn swooped down and landed on Odin’s shoulder and began to whisper in his ear stuff for Odin to remember. Odin nodded as he approached and listened to the bird.

When Odin reached the body he bent down next to it.  It was puzzling and he could not see any stitch of clothing like someone who had during storm had survived it.  No this man was clean naked like he had been stripped of it.   Only the glint of a silver chain around the man’s neck could be seen.  Muninn cocked his head sideways and also looked quizzically at the man.  Huginn was still circling overhead and Geri sniffed the body.  Freki stood some distance away, standing guard and staying alert.

Odin reached over and turned the man over. The man’s face was also younger looking than it probably should have been.  He had a goatee which was black and grey like his hair.  His faced was etched with some signs of age but not many. One the chain around the man’s neck was a pendent.  Odin took it in his fingers.  It was a symbol of Thor’s Hammer.  There was something odd about it though.

Odin closed his one eye and then opened it again,  Now the eye glowed with a soft white light and he looked at the man up and down.  He paid particular attention to the pendent though and then he chuckled the laugh of the old and wise when they discover something they should have seen as obvious, but missed it.  He closed his eye again and when he opened it back up it was once again its normal deep blue.

“Not from here are you.  You are from the world outside.  Now the only question is how you got here? Huginn and Muninn, head back to the cabin and tell Frigg I am coming with an unconscious man who will need her healing hand.”

Huginn and Muninn took off without hesitation heading back the way they had come.  Odin laid his spear in the sand and then hosted the man over his shoulder.  He then grabbed his spear again in his right hand and stood effortlessly.  He walked as easily as if he had before unburdened.  His pace was the same.  A god’s strength comes in handy at times.

The man was a puzzle to be sure.  Not of the Island that was for sure.  Odin reflected that he had, when he had created the island, pulled in parts of various Viking clans.  This man was not part of any one of them.  He had the look of some one with an easy life but one who deliberately put himself through physical activity to keep himself strong and athletic.  How long had it been since the last person had gotten through the barrier?  Centuries at least.

Odin pondered this as he always did.  Ragnarok always was in the front of his mind.  The great wolf Fenrir’s face coming at him, the jaws clamping down on him.  Not the fault of Fenrir but his own treachery against the wolf had caused that.  A mistake in the judgment of the gods. They feared Fenrir too much and it had cost them.  It had made them a powerful enemy.  Odin had spent his life trying to delay the end of the world that Fenrir would bring about – Ragnarok.

His concern was his dreams and visions had not told him everything.  Something as simple as a man arriving from the old world outside the island could be the start of the end.  A harbinger of doom is what his man’s appearance could be.  Or it could be nothing.  The amulet though was not of Viking make, although it was the symbol of Thor’s hammer, and it was infused with magic.

The man himself did not look injured.  But his breathing was very shallow and his heart beat very slowly.  Odin hoped Frigg would know more.  He sighed deeply.  So much was lost; and yet, the world he had made here had become loved and familiar to him,  He had wandered its places many times.  While not as great a joy as the world of the One World Tree, he found it stimulating.  He would miss it when Ragnarok actually came.  He hoped that now was not the time.  But he knew that one time, something would signal the end.  As pondered these things, the house he and Frigg called home at times came into view.

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