Midgard, 999 A.D.
Sometime in the middle of the night Gullveig had a vision. Her eyes rolled in the back of her head, and she began to see flashes of what could only be fire. A bone chilling scream came from within, as if someone was being burnt alive. Once her vision ended, she asked her servant to read out the prophecy she had foretold.
"A great power's vanquishment is near. For, tomorrow evening, they will depart this life. Only through fire will they be reborn, and rise from the ashes like a phoenix. They will set the world into chaos. This great power will be the cause of a divine war and the demise of thousands of people." Her servant read the scribbled writings from a piece of yellowed parchment.
"My mistress, may I be as bold to say, that this prophecy may be speaking of you defeating Odin." The human girl smiled broadly at Gullveig, her green eyes staring at the sorceress with delight.
"Now, my dear, we don't know that for sure." But the wheels were already turning in Gullveig's head. Without thinking Gullveig grabbed her gold silken robe from the chair beside her bed, and pushed her auburn hair behind her shoulders.
Gullveig walked over to her shelves full of spell books, and ran her finger along the ripping spines, until she found the one she needed. It was one of her mother's, and her grandmothers, and great-grandmothers. After she grabbed it off of the shelf, she lightly blew the dust off if it, then carefully opened the Book of Shadows. She flipped through the browning pages looking for a certain spell. Once she found it, she read, and then closed the book. She had decided she wouldn't use the spell until the moment was right. As soon as she uses it, she has no doubts that the disgraceful people of Midgard will alert the gods. But looking outside at the, nearly, full moon, she knew the moment was right.
As she put her spell book away Gullveig smiled happily at thought of Odin's demise. It gave her a thrill to know that what she desired most would soon be hers. She grabbed the ancient silver chalice, and the blade that sat next to it.
"Alfhildr," she called to her servant, who stood in the corner of the room watching
Gullveig's every move with interest.
"Yes, mistress?" Alfhildr asked.
"Would you follow me out onto the terrice my dear?"
"Of course, mistress!" The girl quickly agreed with delight.
Gullveig had found the girl on the streets, skinny enough to just be a skeleton. She had invited the girl to be a servant and apprentice to her. Given that Gullveig had to children, and never intended to have any, she needed to have someone to pass her dark gift down to. She believed this girl had the power to be able to harness the dark magic.
Out on the terrace the moon, only slightly obscured by clouds, shined brightly down on them. Gullveig asked Alfhildr to stand close, and the girl obliged. Gullveig held the chalice close to the girl, grabbed the knife that she had asked the girl to hold, and slit the girls throat. She quickly put the chalice under the slit, and held the girl close.
"It's a shame," Gullveig said, once she let the girl drop to the ground.
"You were such a beautiful girl. Now, I'll have to find another willing servant to keep me young." She turned away from where the girl laid sprawled on the ground, eyes opened wide with surprise. She placed the chalice on the ledge, and dug the knife across her hand, then squeezed the blood into the chalice.
"Come to me." She called to the sorcerer's that lived, some in secret, in each of the nine worlds. "The time has approached, and it is our time to rise!" She waited for them to come.
No one came.
Angered by their absence, Gullveig threw the chalice and the knife to the ground. It seemed that if she were going to invade Asgard, it would have to be alone. Gullveig hadn't exactly expected them to come, and a little part of her didn't want them to come, but it would be very challenging taking on Odin by herself. Burning with rage, she didn't even begin to think of how she would get away with her plan. She didn't think of how hard it would be to get past Valhalla, where the souls of fallen warriors resided.
Gullveig threw open the doors to her wardrobe and grabbed the first cloak that she found. It was red and made of silk. She pulled off her robe, then put the cloak on, pulling the hood up over her head. As the anger burned deep within her, she could feel the dark magic pulsing through her veins.
'I can do this on my own, I don't need anybody else.'
She thought to herself. And so she began her journey to kill Odin.
Just on the the edge of Midgard stood Bifröst, the rainbow bridge that connected Midgard to Asgard. It hovered brightly just above Midgard's serpent Jormungand. Even in the dark it could still be seen shining. As Gullveig reached the bridge, she noticed three adolescents playing near the edge of the water.
"Just touch the water with your toe!" A tall blonde girl said to a curly headed boy. Gullveig watched as the boy touched the water, with just the tip of his toe.
Gullveig thought, just as Midgard's Serpent grabbed the boy by his foot, and swallowed him whole.
The other two adolescents screamed, as the giant serpent rose from the water. In a sweeping motion Gullveig changed the direction of the wind, and caused it to push the remaining boy and girl towards the giant red serpent. She watched as Jormungand ate the children in one bite. Just as Jormungand went back into the dark abyss, Gullveig placed a foot onto the bride. Just as she did so, it began to go dark, to turn black.
It was then that she began to run. Surely the gods would have already been warned. As soon as any type of darkness touches the bridge, it quickly turns black. Gullveig had been aware of this, but it was the only way to and from Valhalla. She quickly ran up the bride, with each step the rainbow darkened. Just minutes later, she halted.
Beyond the silver throne that sat in her way, she could make out the doors that led into Valhalla. Valhalla is a hall in which Odin created. It is filled with the souls of the fallen warriors. But Heimdallr was standing in her way, along with his nine mothers.
"Gullveig, what a pleasure to see you again," Heimdallr smiled. She could make out his golden teeth, even from the distance she was away. They were just as noticeable as his pallor skin. She knew him to be the whitest of all of the gods.
"Let me through Heimdallr,"Gullveig demanded.
"Now, why would I do that my dear? I've already warned Odin of your arrival. And let me just say, he is not pleased."
"Good. He especially won't be pleased when I slaughter him, and his family." Gullveig said happily. " Though perhaps I will kill his children first. After all they have all turned out so beautiful, I think it would destroy him. He will be easy to kill."
She watched as Heimdallr placed the chalice he was holding down on the ground beside him, and accidently knocked it over with his foot as he stood up. The amber liquid surrounded the ground by his foot.
"Well, look at what you made me do. That was perfectly good Mead, a gift from the beautiful Greek Goddess Aphrodite." Heimdallr sighed, and Gullveig noticed a distracted look upon his face.
She had seen that look before, and it was what got her dimwitted mother in trouble.
Gullveig took advantage of the distraction and quickly placed a curse on him, which seemed to take no effect.
"My dear, do you honestly think I am stupid enough to fall for your magic tricks?"
The nine mothers then stood on either side of him, prepared to attack. Heimdallr and Gullveig stood, staring at eachother. Then, unexpectedly, Heimdallr began to laugh.
"I have no interest in fighting you. I'll just let Odin deal with it. Mother's stand down, and let her through."
Gullveig stood there for a moment, as Heimdallr and his mother's parted. With a flick of his hand Heimdallr's throne moved to the side.
The giant wooden doors of Valhalla came into view. Gullveig realized it had been too easy to get past Heimdallr, but she wasn't about to let this opportunity pass her. She was prepared to fend off the souls. She pushed the doors open and waited for the warriors to attack. But they didn't. In fact they went along their business, and paid no acknowledgement to her. There was an ominous feeling about it. They knew she was there, several of the souls turned to look at her, and then quickly turned away.
Across the hall, she could see the opening. The warriors did not stop her from making her way across the hall. She wanted to believe that this hadn't been planned, but in doing so she was giving herself false hope. She knew, that as soon as she had stepped upon that bridge, it would mean war. What seemed to surprise her though, was how easy it had been to get to Asgard. Gullveig knew the gods had something up their sleeve. She just wasn't quite sure what it was just yet. Once she reached the other side of the room, Gullveig took a breath, and then stepped into Asgard.
A chill ran through the air and Gullveig felt something ominous as soon as she stepped out of Valhalla. She knew, the gods were waiting. The ground beneath her was made of the softest clouds, and golden archways surrounded Asgard. In fact, the whole kingdom was made of gold. Gullveig made her way to the palace, not surprised that she didn't encounter anyone along the way. Asgard was just as silent as Valhalla, she realized. When she reached the palace, the Valkyrie were waiting for her. Herja stepped forward and greeted Gullveig.
"Gullveig, you've arrived. The gods have been waiting for you." Gullveig watched as Herja made a movement with her head, and the rest of the Valkyrie split, and made a path for her. "You may now enter Odin's palace." She was walking right into a trap, and she knew it. But, it still didn't stop her from going inside.
As she reached the doors, two of the women opened the doors for her. When she walked in, she was immediately hit with the smell of mead. The gods always had an abundance of it.
"Ah, Gullveig, we were wondering when you would finally arrive. We've been waiting to start our festivities." Odin said to her. From the look on his face, he didn't look pleased to see her. Though she knew he wouldn't be. The gods had never welcomed her in Asgard. They all looked down upon dark magic, especially on hers.
When Gullveig looked around the room, for the first time she noticed that the Norse gods were not the only ones present. Zeus sat to the right of Odin. He stared at her in amusement. On Odin's left side, sat Ebisu. Gullveig had met him once, when he threw her out of Japan. It seemed that he didn't appreciate her teaching his subjects the dark art.
"Zeus, Ebisu, Dažbog, how great to see you all again." Gullveig gave them a tight smile. They did not say a word. Instead they just sat there and stared, as did the rest of the gods that were present.
"I know why you are here Gullveig," Odin said, as he stood up. "You are not getting the gold. I have told you this before. I've put an irreversible spell on it. Which I assume you have realized by now, my dear."
"I'm not here for the gold." Gullveig denied. "I'm here for my mother."
Odin laughed loudly. "No, you're not. You came here to kill me. You thought if you killed me, you would finally get what you have always desired. You could not care less that your mother is rotting away in our dungeons."
"I don't know what you are talking about."
"Yes, you do." Said a new voice.
"Hello, Morana. How lovely to see you again."
When Morana didn't reply, Gullveig turned back to Odin.
"Well then, I'll just be leaving." She told Odin.
"I can't allow you to leave. You have caused too much trouble in Midgard. We can no longer ignore your dark influence. You are finished."
"Oh, Wednesday," Gullveig sighed. "You can't keep me here."
Gullveig turned around. It was then, she realized, Odin did plan to keep her here. The Aesir stood, guarding the entrance. She had no way out.
"Unlike your mother, you want be allowed to live. We are finished with you, and your time is up. You have nowhere left to run." Just then, everyone stood up, and turned to face her. She noticed a small smile appearing on Loki's face.
"Shall I?" Morana asked Odin, who nodded. She watched Morana as the goddess left the table and walked over towards her. Gullveig wasn't surprised by what was about to happen. But she wasn't going down without a fight. She lifted her hands, and pointed them toward Morana and ice shards shot out from Gullveig's fingertips. She watched the pierce Morena, who hadn't been expecting the attack. She took advantage of the distraction and turned around, preparing to take her exit out. But suddenly a wall of fire surrounded her.
Gullveig could feel the heat radiating off of the wall, though, it was closing in around her, it didn't seem to burn. After a moment of shock, she began to laugh maniacally.
"You think this is going to kill me? Don't you realize, I can't die. The more you try, the stronger I get. So, go ahead, burn me. But I will kill you all, and I will start with your families first. Your sons are looking awfully tasty. I think I'll have Balder before the others. "
She knew how to push Odin's buttons. She watched and waited, and planned carefully, she knew just what to say. Tonight though, she hadn't planned. She had acted. Which is exactly what led her into this predicament. But she didn't fear her death, because she knew she wouldn't die. She had sold her soul for the magic and immortality. When her time was right, she would be taken.
"Gullveig," Odin said, staring at her, as though he could see her through the fire that surrounded her. "Your reign of terror is over. No longer will we let you haunt Midgard. You are done teaching your dark arts to the unsuspecting. It is time to pay for the mayhem you have caused. Your life is over."
Just as Odin finished, the wall of fire engulfed her. All she could feel was the searing pain. Everything went from hot to cold, back to hot again. Until she could no longer feel anything. She felt weightless, just like a leaf falling from a tree. Suddenly, the weightless stopped. And then there was nothing.
The gods stood, staring at the ring of fire that had surrounded an evil sorceress. They all watched in amusement as the fire went down, and saw that only ashes remained. Odin laughed loudly.
"Let's toast!" Odin said loudly. He lifted his chalice full of mead, and continued speaking. "To the extermination of the dark arts. May Midgard now be in peace."
Then the feast began. The chatted happily to one another, all managing to ignore Loki in the process. Loki watched the fire curiously. He wasn't sure why everyone was celebrating. He knew the truth of her. Of what she had done. He also knew she wasn't dead. She couldn't be killed. Not until his daughter, Hel, took her down into her home in the Underworld.
As the fire went down Loki began to smirk. The ashes laid on the floor, but just a moment later came a baby. The gods watched in horror as the baby quickly grew into a child, then an adolescent, and finally a young woman. A new woman.
"Morana, burn her again." Odin demanded.
The goddess sighed, and made her way over to the woman. Morana snapped her fingers, and once again a ring of fire surrounded the sorceress. They heard her screams, loud and clear. They echoed through the halls. Then, just like before, they suddenly stopped. They watched her body burn once more, assuming she was dead. But Morana did not move from her spot. She waited until the flames were gone. Once again all of the gods stared at the ashes, and just like before a baby arose from the. The baby grew until it turned into a woman different from the last.
The goddess snapped her fingers again, and the ring of fire burned the woman alive. But just like before she didn't die, and was born a new person. The gods were baffled. A loud echoing laugh startled them. Odin slowly turned to Loki. And began to grow suspicious.
"You knew," accused Odin.
"I did not know anything of the sort," Loki said, as he took a sip of mead. Just as Odin turned away from Loki, the room began to shake, and the ceiling collapsed before them.
The young sorceress didn't know who she was, or where she was. She just needed to get away. Out of an instinct, that she wasn't sure of, she lifted her hands up the the ceiling, and pulled it down. The women guarding the door had left. She threw the doors open, and came to face several tall women. Without thinking, she could feel the energy building up inside of her. It felt as if she were just about to combust, then she let it out. The air around them turned, so quickly, it blew the women off of their feet. But the sorceress stood, just as she had been. She took that as her queue and began to run. They would be after her, and she knew she had to run. She had to hide some place where they would never find her.
The world began to fade, then everything went black.
"She ran, and she hid. They always found her though. There was nowhere she could go. The could see all. As time passed, and as she died several times over, she began to see the light. She began to see the world for what it was, and she became a protector. The gods never trusted her, they still don't. Nicoline Young, you are the protector. You must stop the evil that is threatening Asgard. If you don't, the Scandinavian countries will be the first, out of many, to be eradicated."
Then there was nothing.
Nicoline Young's eyes opened widely. The light from the moon, shown down on here. With a shaking hand, she wiped the damp hair that stuck to her forehead. Her sheets stuck to her sweaty body.
"It wasn't real," she reminded herself, as she often did. But she could still feel a tingling sensation in her fingertips. Just like every night before this one, Nicoline stayed awake, watching her clock, as the minutes ticked by.