hel followed with him
July 3, 2014 5 Comments
This episode isn’t even 600 words long, and it was easily the hardest one I’ve written so far for this series. Hard because I know what Arawn needs to know, but devising a way to get the information into his hands was not easy. Perhaps if I had been more comfortable twisting the mythology of these characters further, it would have been easier.
As it is, I’ve already pushed these characters well past their mythological roots. I think that’s fine. Such is fantasy fiction. However, I don’t want to depart completely from the core of who each is. Loki, for example, is a trickster. He will remain so in this story. Hel is…well, Hel. She’s misunderstood and her relationships with other gods are strained. They rejected her. Odin took pity on her. Humanity has forgotten or demonized her.
She has good reasons to help Arawn, not the least of which is the fact that his success could hurt her father. However, there’s more to her than that. I think I’ll save the other bits I have in mind for her meeting with Arawn.
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, here. Things I know that you’re not supposed to know yet. That’s what made this hard. I’m setting the stage for a sequence that follows. If I screw this up, I risk holes in the story, or worse, a break in suspension of disbelief.
But, this is a first draft. I can always clean it up later. There are plenty of other sections that will require the same.
If you’re new to my website, you should know this story is just one part of a longer series. You’ll want to read the other parts before jumping into this one. Just click here. The posts will display starting with the first, so you can kick back and read them in order.
hel followed with him
The Völur are not three, but nine, though humans typically only see three at a time. Gods rarely see any of them. The Völur prefer to communicate through humanity, even when their message is for the gods. For that reason, Seers are a valuable commodity.
Arawn had no Seers, and his connection to the Völur was strained at best. As a result, he couldn’t count on their insight into the future to guide him. Only a complete moron (or Odin–debatable the same thing in Arawn’s mind) would trust Loki. What Arawn needed was information. Information he could trust.
He wasn’t overly worried about Ormar and Kenna. Those two would spend days poking around in Glenwood and out on the Hanging Lake trail before they’d get anywhere near him. Even then, it had always been his plan to subdue Kenna and use her to lure out Skadi.
It was, as it always is in battle, a matter of timing. Too soon, and he would expose himself necessarily before he’d gathered as much strength as possible. Too late, and his enemies would be better prepared than suited his plan.
He had no choice. He would have to contact Hel.
Hel was Loki’s daughter, though the two could hardly be considered close. She hated her father. Arawn had never asked why. She didn’t strike him as the type to work through her feelings via conversation.
Ruler of Helheim, one of the realms of the dead, Hel is an often misunderstood deity, due largely to her appearance. Mortals have forgotten her acts of valor and kindness, remembering only her face. Her position, a gift from Odin, had become a prison. She longed to break free. Arawn understood the sentiment well. Indeed, she had nearly followed him when Mathers completed the summoning. The portal had simply not been strong enough for the both of them.
She did, however, have an impressive network of informants in the mortal world. She might be able to confirm Loki’s information. She would certainly take pleasure in assisting if she knew her father would suffer for the effort.
Arawn considered her an ally, at least for the time being, but summoning her, even just for a conversation, would not be easy. It would require blood. Human blood.
“Max,” Arawn said. “I need a diversion.”
“Gather the pack. Make for the area around Sunlight Resort. The northern slopes. Pick off a skier. There’s no need to be discreet. I want a scene. I would prefer witnesses. Make at least one kill, and then retreat. You’ll have time. It will take hours for a search party to follow. You can easily use water to cover your trail on the way back.”
“Fair point,” Arawn said. “I will lend you some of my power to facilitate haste. You should be able to make it to the mountain by early afternoon if you sprint the whole way. Come.”
Max walked to Arawn, who placed his palms on the dog’s head. There was warmth and then a transfer of power from the god to his Alpha.
“So long as the pack stays with you, they will benefit from this gift, as well,” Arawn explained. “Now, go.”
Max bolted, making for the doggie door in the kitchen.
The pack had grown since the kills on the Hanging Lake trail. They had, in fact, doubled in size. With Max, they now numbered 13. They would have no problem carrying out these orders, even with so much ground to cover.
In the meantime, Arawn would gather supplies to summon Hel.