The Hammer Edit
He was resting in his bed, the sun had just set, but a few rays were still lingering around the room making the thick and heavy wooden furniture look even more ancient. From the exagonal window facing East he could still see the outline of the Eldfell hill, guarding and protecting the town; in a few minutes it would be engulfed by the night.
Olaf, only a boy in his early forties, was wondering about his father who had been travelling a lot more lately. He wondered in what town or city he was right now, or when he would be back this time; watching the Eldfell disappearing meter by meter in the darkness, he counted how many months ago his father Eymundr Broghart left. Eleven months and thirty days. It would soon be a whole year since the last time he saw him.
A small, blueish, slow light appeared on top of the hill. And that was the day Olaf's father almost broke the promise of never being away from home for more then a year.
"I'm back!" said Eymundr dropping his bags, but holding onto a massive warhammer on the ground and trotting towards his wife. He was a lively old dwarf with a healthy laughs, but a not so healthy body; nonetheless he always travelled with not so many precautions. Arna Frustberd, his wife and Olaf's mother, was stoically waiting on the door steps as the tradition wanted, her arms tightly folded on her chest, anger, joy and relief flashed on her face.
"Where is Olaf? call him for me! I want to greet my son!" ordered to the house servants while kissing and hugging his wife (and still holding onto the hammer). Olaf was getting into his cerimonial garments as quickly as he could, but his father bursted into his room before he could fit a chestpiece nearly too tight for his build. "Son..." said Eymundr holding back the tears "I made it just in time, but by Heimdallr was it worth every day of it; I have great stories to tell you, my son".
And stories went to and fro for days and nights; Olaf listened deeply, postponing his hundreds questions. A whole year of travelling surely changed his father, Olaf thought. Did he always look like this? maybe he was getting older. Beneath that flourish of colours and expressions on his face, there was something unknown. His laugh still echoed through the house, but with a different note. And that hammer that he could so seldomly let go. Olaf saw the blisters and scars on his father's right hand. He wondered.
Now months have passed since Olaf officially recieved the hammer from his father along with its story. Eymundr couldn't stress enough how important for their people that artifact was. How it would save their pleagued and fallen legacy. Was he raving? Nobody else seemed to take the hammer into much account, but he never showed them how much he cared about it. "Find its righteous owner and bring our Clan to its age old splendor" said Eymundr now feeble and sick, old. What else could Olaf do, but finish what his father started?
Olaf sat down on a flat, welcoming rock and exhaled thoroughly. The damp air of the cave he and his companions just exited stagnated on his wiry beard, forming tiny droplets. Olaf cared to wipe them out with a corner of his tunic. Mud and goblin blood were all over his face now. One step at the time Olaf had to calm himself again; the rush and ecstasy of the battle was starting to wear out, leaving space for the rational realization of what just happened. He could hear the deep voice of Mighty Heimdall faiding away from his thoughts, sated and pleased. But Olaf didn't feel sated nor pleased, with the guts and stench of those powerless goblins on his conscience; he thought about and perused the reasons of his early fervor, almost mad fervor. He enjoyed disposing of those creatures and indulged in his own superior powers. But his God was sated, and content.
A thought periced Olaf's mind. The twisted realization that he was the one getting dirty in blood and guilt, whereas Golden Heimdall was as pure and unscathed as ever. Olaf felt the cunning grin of The God mocking his mortal nature and soon anger and disgust started growing in him. "He's in his mighty throne eating my prayers away, playing me like a puppet and I'm..." A sudden blow shook Olaf's mind, his vision darkened and for a moment he forgot where he was. A quicksilver thunder broke in pieces those mischievous thoughts and Olaf came back to senses, still sitting on that placid rock. He recalled the poem the instructors in the seminar used drill into him and his brothers; it came to his mind quickly as if tendered: "Efasemdir mínar eru sterk, Trú mín er sterkari, Guð min kurteisisorð, Leiða Hamar minn" He chanted the words slowly and melanchonically and made the last syllable resonate as long as his lungs allowed, as the tradition wanted; and all his doubts were dispelled.
Olaf thoughts gazed back to the day of his initiation. Those were rowdy times for the political stability of his clan. Castled between the hills, in the village of þrumurhjàlm new ideas and opinions were starting to brew both in thecovert credle of the night and beneath the scourging light of day. Dwarfs don't like new concepts, they don't like change; They find perfection and they stick with it for as much as they can. especially when such Dwarfs praise and worship the Mighty Heimdall, who is the God of knowledge, civil engineering and social classes. It was a tought time for him to undergo the ritual, too much to think about, too many worrying thoughts. His family divided by the social uproar: one half still loyal to the Cast, was firmly hanging onto the old and fair traditions of the clan, the other half (from his father's side) was already celebrating victory and the dawn of a new generation of Laws and protocols. Olaf shook his head hoping to clear his mind before stepping into the Ljòsherbergi, the light chamber, none nor nothing should hinder this holy ritual; this was the Olaf's passage from childhood to adulthood and it was the most important step of his life. A literal step, in a sense. All that Olaf had to do was step inside the chamber....and wait. Wait for the God to call him. For the Gods to come down upon him and wage war to his untouched spirit and purge from the mortal coils of Sin. In the meantime his father, too weak to partake to the holy event, was in his bed writing letters of recomendation for the members of the new Progressive Council, effectiely spitting on everything Olaf believed in. And then, just a step forward and Olaf knew.
The Ordeal Edit
"What is wrong, Olaf", a voice asked.
He stared pensive ahead of him, into the dark foliage of the woods.
silence stagnated along with the stench of rotting leaves; a comfortable death.
The armor so shiny and blessed beneath the dirt that now dressed it.
"I had a great vision" Olaf said, his reply was tainted with sorrow.
"A song fortelling ecxeptional deeds; 'twas twisted, abnormally Hollow.
OLAF! it boomed; the final F dragged like a mighty mountain gale,
so pure and clear with aeons of wisdom, his voice did speak
reminding me of that old teacher I so fondly admired."
"And stories of courage, faith and strenght were once more plucked
from the tapestry of our world, that within the rocks does slumber;
into my ears, and into my soul, by Heimdall's sovereign will were planted"
The vision was clear now, the hammer merely an Index,
a far more important relic was promptly needed: a Codex.
Such Heimdall spoke to Olaf, in his truthfull words:
"Young Olaf, the hammer leads the way you must follow,
find the rightous Light within the darkest Hollow.
But beware of the Stars, with their amiable glimpse:
They hide such ominous secrets you heart couldn't bear.
Now go, and be in peace for the time is unripe;
may your feet thread among the friendly kinds."
The leafs, shaken from his armor pooled on the ground.
Olaf stood up, looked at his hands, then at the Hammer:
like coal it was black, but innerly fired... like cinder;
a kindled companion in such dark, soul proving times.
Away from his home, so far from loved ones and family,
he remembered his days in cherished Fjölskyldanstaðr.
The games he played with his brothers and sisters:
Aldný, so easily upset yet strong in her will;
Gunnleif, the smart one in the family, always enthralled;
Rikka and Rikki, young twins made from different seeds;
finally Grethe, whom raised him like a child, now old in her bed.
He stomped on the ground and leashed his mind,
A Codex, an Index, a Hammer and Him, the God said.
His home is behind, yet his heart is ahead,
a quest to fullfill: now the stars are alligned.