Short Story: War of Gods Part 3

“Odin I curse thee,” Asalrek swears. “All the gods in Asgard as well as the gods on Olympus, none shall be spared! All will fall to the mightiest warrior of the world!” With this oath Asalrek is approached by Charon, the ferryman of Hades. “Pay your toll,” the boatmen calls, ‘”or wander the shores for eternity.” “I am Asalrek!”the warrior cries. “I shall pay no toll, nor wander any shore. I will defeat the gods, all of them, no more shall they toy with us mortals. No more shall they play their games.” “I have been a slave to the gods for centuries.” Charon says. “Go back to the land of the living, climb Mount Olympus, defeat the gods, free Loki from his chains, he will know the way to Asgard. But first I am afraid; you must defeat the pet of Hades, Cerberus. He lets souls in, but few have ever made it out.”

Behind him sat the monster, three heads and a mane of serpents down his back. Asalrek had herd tales of those who had overcome him; Heracles used his strength and wrestled him to submission, while Orpheus lulled the monster to sleep on his flute. Asalrek was no master of the arts, and decided to do as Heracles had done; after all, they were equal in power. This proved much harder than the warrior had anticipated, for Hades had trained the beast, so it wouldn’t be beaten again. The great dog roared a mighty roar and the fight was on. Asalrek tried to get a hold of the beast but the snapping snakes got the best of him. His sword, yes, he still had his father sword, with Thor’s hammer carved into the hilt. Heracles did not want to harm the beast, but Asalrek cared not. He carried on, hacking away at Cerberus until nothing was left. The door to the world of the living opened and Asalrek walked onto the sea whipped shores of Taenarum.  “Now,” Asalrek said with a grin, “to cross Greece and climb Mount Olympus.”

The journey was quick; time had ceased to exist for the not quite living, not quite dead warrior. The base of Olympus was scattered with items meant to appease the gods that resided there. Mount Olympus was the home of the gods, and the highest mountain in all the land, but thanks to Asalrek’s supernatural strength he scaled it with little effort.  “So this is the home of the Olympians.” Asalrek muttered. He had walked in unopposed, not a god in sight, they were all watching over the Olympic games, for years the gods had taken interest in competition of man. All except Hephaestus, he had no time for such foolishness, he had to continue the forge of weapons.  This was working out all too well for Asalrek.  Hephaestus was but a cripple, a cripple with the ability to forge almost anything. Asalrek approached the Olympian, “Oh great smith Hephaestus,”the warrior said, “I request armor that will allow me safe passage across the rainbow bridge to Valhalla, I also ask a sword able to pierce the earth itself.”  “Why should I grant you this desire, you have no allegiance to us,” the blacksmith replies. “Oh but I do,” Asalrek called, “the god of war Ares himself has bestowed upon me great strength and unlocked my full potential, it would be a great service to your brother if you would complete this task, my only other request is to use my father’s sword for your work.” “For Ares? So be it, it shall be done.” Hephaestus says.

Asalrek traveled to the north, not a soul met him on his way. He reached the snow frosted mountains, the mountains where Loki has been imprisoned for killing Baldr. The only one in his way is Sigyn. Asalrek finds the passage into the mountain.  There is Sigyn, collecting venom to pour onto Loki. Asalrek grasps his father’s sword and with one swipe the head of the goddess hit the ground. Blood poured forth from her headless corpse and the bowl of venom hit the ground, melting the chains that bound Loki. “You have freed me mortal, why?” Inquired the god of mischief. “I am Asalrek, I was denied access to Valhalla by Odin, Ares used his slippery tongue to accept his power, I will make the gods pay for toying with mortals, and I require your help.” the warrior answered. Loki laughed, “Nothing, my dear friend, would please me more than to watch Odin die. What is your plan?”  “You are the father of Odin’s horse Sleipnir.  I need you to call this beast so I can ride to Asgard, there, I will slay the beast and brand it with the seal of Ares.  Ragnarok will come, yes, but it shall not be as foretold, it will be by my doing, our doing, which all the gods will fall in total war with each other. I shall steel Odin’s spear, gungnir, and destroy him once for all.”

On the back of the eight legged beast, Asalrek traveled through dimensions and time, before finally reaching the rainbow bridge to Asgard.  He rode the horse of Odin to the gates of Valhalla, drew his sword forged by Hephaestus and slew the great beast. Leaving only the seal of Ares behind as token of war, he left. Across the rainbow bridge back to the earth.

And so it was done, Sleipnir was dead, and Ares was to blame. The gods declared war. The earth was scorched with fire and lightning. Gods fighting gods, it was as Asalrek dreamed.  The bodies of Apollo and Freyr, the shells of Njörðr and Poseidon, all have fallen, never to command the forces of Earth again. Asalrek smiled with a nasty grin and headed into the fight, he commanded the strength of the gods and slayed his patron god Thor; he whispered a prayer and moved on. The one he is searching for is Odin. The one who would not give him entry to Valhalla, the one who looked away in his plea for the berserkers rage, instead Ares gave him the power, the power to kill the gods. Loki had disappeared, no matter to Asalrek, Loki would die with the rest of them.

Look out for Part 4

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