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The Apples of Idunn

ByDr.Pockerkutty K

Fire is life. That aphorism had spread through the North Realms as thoroughly as the mists themselves. Fire could hold those freezing mists at bay. But all fires dwindled, and still, the cold remained, hungry, waiting to devour man and beast. And Loki was left alone to tend the flame. Fate bound him, hurled him ever forward toward a destiny of anguish and despair with only the barest ember of hope remaining. Hope for a better future than this dying world. The hope that for once, if he kindled the flame high enough, it might endure and offer a lasting bulwark against the cold and the dark. Likely, it was a delusion he clung to like a man wandering in a blizzard, convinced shelter lay just beyond the next pass. A figure drifted in on the mist and sat across the bonfire from Loki. Few among the Realms of man still remembered Loki’s guest. Those who did called him the Mad Vanr. The sorcerer-king who had walked away from his throne after looking too long and too deep into the dark and losing himself there. Loki could empathize with such a failing. Long ago, pyromancers had stared into flames such as these, seeking answers from the perilous future. Few remained with such talents, and those few, like Loki, felt the burden ever more keenly for it. The Vanr cleared his throat as he warmed his hands before the fire. “I passed beyond the edge of the Midgard Wall some moons back.” Mundilfari, his people had called him, in ages past when he sat upon the throne of Vanaheim. This wretched figure had once been the sorcerer who protected Midgard against the chaos and darkness—for which he lost his humanity and spiraled into depravity, falling ever deeper into the dark between Realms. “I passed into Utgard freely. There are cracks in the wall, fissures that widen with age.” Loki poked the fire with a stick. “Naught lasts forever.” The Vanir—most of all Mundilfari himself—had raised a mighty wall out of the mountains, a barrier to encircle most of Midgard, separate it from the lands of the jotunnar. That very act, calling upon such forbidden depths of the Art, might have been the point that sent this Vanr plummeting toward the abyss of madness. Now, uncounted centuries later, the sorcerer had fought his way back from the edge. But to use his Art once again, he’d risk falling deeper than ever and, like as not, find himself becoming a vessel for some horror of the Otherworld. So he had visited Utgard, perhaps needed to see for himself how the World had changed beyond the wal


Publication Date
Aug 9, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
Edited by: Dr.Pockerkutty K



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