Here is something which ties in with a novel I wrote, although I haven’t decided how they will be connected yet.
Ragnarok, the End of Days. The vikingr stood on the front steps of Valhalla, Odin’s hall for the dead, and looked down on a blighted world. In one glance he saw high mountains, deep valleys, vast oceans, winding rivers and boundless plains. He blinked and looked closer, seeing armies of men in bright armour bearing flags of many colours as they advanced into battle against foes in rags and tattered leather.
Everything was coming to an end. King Christus as the Norsemen called him, the one they had all mocked, was triumphing over the old gods. His followers had come first in bare cloaks with worn books in their hands. Next they had grown in numbers, wearing woollen tunics and toiling behind their ploughs in His name. Now they came with iron and cloth, boot and hoof, sword and spear.
“What do you think?” The skald asked.
His body was marred with deep punctures and long gashes which bled into the snow at their feet. The skald had been fighting a battle which stretched over centuries and new scars prepared to form over old.
“Are you going to die?” The vikingr asked.
“Of course I’ll die. You could say I saw it coming.” The skald replied.
“Will that be the end of everything?”
“Everything will end and then everything will start again. Don’t you know this, vikingr?”
“Where will you go?”
“I’ll go back to where I was, young and impulsive like we all were.”
“And where will I go?”
“You will go down there, vikingr.”
“Will I remember?”
“Of course you will.”
“That is good, skald.”
“You’ll remember for a year and then forget once you learn to speak. You can’t have everything.”
“Bah!” The vikingr barked. “You’re a trickster.”
The skald face grew stern and a dark brow lowered over his one eye. His tattooed hand gripped the sleeve of the vikingr’s shirt.
“Beware of the trickster, vikingr.” He said. “Now go, before they leave you behind.”
Tall men and women with trailing, golden hair swarmed down the slopes below. They were armed for war and bellowing their readiness for battle. Hordes of Norse heroes gradually disappeared into the deep snowdrifts of Asgard’s foothills. The vikingr turned from the skald, lifted his foot from the wooden step and placed it on the hard, frozen earth of the mountaintop.
He began the long journey towards the fray as any march begins, whistling a tune. An army of Norse seafarers and shield warriors who had not known life in a thousand years was returning to Midgard.
To read more about my novel, Vikingr, click here.