Reflections Wlvn-7 part 1 of 3

Wlvn got free of the firelight and began to count the stars.

“Beautiful night out, isn’t it?” A woman spoke. Wlvn turned toward her. He did not feel surprised by the visitation and assumed it had to be yet another one of the gods. He looked again at the stars and noticed that the moon had not yet risen.

“Yes. I was just wondering how my brothers and sister are doing,” he said.

“I suspect they are doing well. Vrya is very good with children, and her brother Vry is there to help her.” The woman looked up at the stars with him.

“And you are?”


“Of course, the moon has not yet risen.”

“Soon. I must rise soon into the midst of all of that starry splendor.” Wlvn held his tongue. “Sometimes I think I am the luckiest person in all the world, and I would be happy but for one thing.”

“I will try to rescue Eir.” Wlvn said it before she could ask. “That is one reason I am doing this.”

“You have many reasons.” Nanna sighed but looked relieved to hear those words. “I am glad you remember her.” A tear came to the woman’s face, and Wlvn could not remember seeing a god cry before; except Mother Vrya. Nameless saw Mother Vrya shed some golden teardrops a time or two. Even as he thought that Nanna began to rise from the ground. She paused long enough to place her hands gently on his head. “I know the others have already given you gifts, but I believe this may help most.” She let go and rose higher in the sky, but not before she said one more word. “There are four night creatures still behind you. I am sure Loki thought you would be dead by now. They have yet to cross the Dnapr, but it will be soon, perhaps by tomorrow evening. I am sorry. I cannot say more. Remember Eir.” That last was very faint, coming from so far away. As soon as she went out of sight, the moon began to rise. It looked nearly full, as Wlvn knew it would.

Wlvn felt sorry for the woman. Eir was her daughter, and as far as Wlvn knew, the girl had grown up in a cage, a childhood Eir’s mother Nanna, and father Baldur, would never know. “I will save her.” Wlvn felt that in his heart, but he knew it was Nameless speaking, and so he responded down the corridors of time. “I know you will.” He went back to the campsite in silence and lay down and slept. He dreamt about Vash, Perun, Zmey and spent the whole night hoping he did not run into that crowd.

They cut across country in the morning and there appeared to be animals on the hoof, everywhere, like a hunter’s paradise. Toward the evening, Wlvn called them to halt so he could do a little hunting and they could all do a little eating. Wlvn waved his cloak in the wind first to be sure it seemed only a cloak. The others watched. Then he reached into his cloak pocket, the one on the white side, and pulled out a bow and a dozen metal tipped arrows.

“Oh!” Elleya verbalized. “What a wonderful magic trick.”

“Next I’ll pull a rabbit out of my hat,” Wlvn said, and Elleya spent the next ten minutes looking for his hat.

The bow was not the fancy, compound bow he expected, but a much more primitive weapon. The arrows looked primitive too, and none of them silver tipped in the Artemis tradition, but they looked to be expertly made. Badl had his hand out.

When Wlvn handed him the bow, he hardly touched it before pronouncing his verdict. “Elf made,” he said. “Probably woodlanders, though I am sure your sword and knife were made by the dark ones under the earth.” He held his hand out again.

“I thought Hephaestus made all of this stuff,” Wlvn said, as he handed his weapons to Badl for examination.

Again, Badl barely touched them before he spoke. “The gods don’t make weapons, not needing them much. They made some at first for the Titan wars, but that was probably even before your time. Now it is just mostly armor and such to look good, you know. Ah! See here? This is the mark of Krom of Akalantis, and the long knife came out of Vesuvius. I am almost certain.”

“Not made by the Gods?”

Badl shook his head. “Strictly elf made. The gods never touched these.”

“Huh!” Wlvn felt surprised to hear that, but then he remembered Thor’s hammer would be made by elves or dwarfs as well, so it was not that much of a surprise.

“By the way,” Badl said, and he reached up while Wlvn leaned down to examine his weapons. “I got something for you.” He laid his hands on Wlvn’s head and took Wlvn completely by surprise. “Tyr, the God of War told me to manifest and stick with you, to help if I could, and he gave me a present for you. No idea what it is, but he said I should put my hands on your head and that would do it.”

Wlvn sat and shook his head. Now, he knew everything he needed to know about swords, knives, bows and arrows, spears, and a dozen other weapons he never heard of before, and he knew how to use them all, and how to fight like a true warrior. Of course, it would all take practice, but suddenly, Diogenes no longer needed to teach him. He looked at Badl and his look was not exactly kind. Badl cringed a little.

“It never came up before,” Badl offered an excuse.

“And all that business when we first met, about hiding and wanting to eat the horses and all?”

“Yeah, well, you had Wlkn with you. I don’t traffic much with humans. They stink, no offense. And horses do make good eating. I wasn’t lying, but I see they got other uses, too.”

“And that business about how we had to hurry and leave that place?”

“It was true.” Badl defended himself, but he backed down a little under Wlvn’s stare. “But I was going with you, I was.”

Wlvn shook his head again and wondered what the gods were doing to him. First the horses and now the weapons. He could breathe underwater, and frankly, he was afraid to try Thor’s gift of strength, figuring he could probably pull a mature tree right out of the ground, roots and all. He was not sure what Frigga or Nanna gave him, but he imagined it was something to help him against the Titan. He guessed that was what this was all about, but if they kept this up, soon there would hardly be anything human left in him. Even if Ydunna’s golden apples were not effective in turning him into one of the Gods, he was getting to be near enough that way all the same by the slow gift method.

“Hell,” he said, and took everything back. He replaced his weapons; and then he strung his bow and twanged the string once or twice to get a good feel for the weapon. It was certainly far better than anything his village could make, and with that, he turned toward the wilderness only to see Moriah come jogging into the camp with a roe deer over her shoulders. Wlvn’s first thought was this girl had to be stronger and in much better shape than he thought. His second thought was, “Hey!”

“I figured you were going to talk away the hunting time. I had to teach myself to hunt when Mother got sick, but I think I got pretty good with the bow. I took this one with one arrow. Of course, I had to use three on the big cat that wanted to take this deer away from me.”

Wlvn frowned. He handed Moriah his long knife. “Help yourself,” he said, and as an afterthought, he added, “Good job.”

“Thanks.” Moriah responded with a big smile. “You know, you’re all right even if I’m not going to marry you.” She immediately began to cut up the deer for the fire.

“Never fear.” Wlvn responded as he unstrung his bow and put it away in his magical cloak pocket. “It is against my religion to marry any of my own, even half and halfs.” He looked at Badl and Badl hid his grin.

“I’m not yours.” Moriah spoke softly, with her mind on her work, not really paying attention to her own words. “I don’t belong to anyone but myself.” Moriah’s cheeks reddened a little and she paused. Her eyes got big. She looked at Wlvn again as if for the first time, but he wandered off for some alone time.

“Never you mind,” Badl told Moriah. “He is our god, god of all the elves and dwarfs. That’s just your elf blood talking to you. Better you pay attention to what you are doing before you spoil my supper.”

Moriah’s eyes shot back to Badl. They were still big at first, but quickly got small again as she looked down and appeared very submissive, as she had been taught. She smiled and her face reddened around her freckles and the points of her ears. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I got lots of cooking practice for Mother and the old lady. You will get plenty.”

“Know how to make deer bacon?” Badl asked.

Moriah looked up again with a sad expression and shook her head. “No.”

Badl rubbed his big hands together and grinned. “Allow me to show you,” he said, and they went at the deer together.

Wlvn looked back once and saw Badl and Moriah in a deep discussion about the food. Elleya and Wlkn were beside a tree, talking quietly to each other; well, Elleya talked and Wlkn listened, but still, Wlvn thought this could work out very well, and most importantly, he would not have to marry either girl. He smiled, but only briefly. Obviously, the girls were yet another thing the gods were tempting him with. Kill the Titan and marry the girl of your choice; or maybe both if you want them. Yet, for the life of him, Wlvn could not figure out why the gods didn’t just kill the Titan themselves. He walked away from the camp with the hope of getting a bit of time to consider all of this when he ran smack into a man who seemed to be waiting for him. Wlvn took one look and had no doubt about who he was seeing. Baldur was reported to be the most beautiful of the gods, and that was true, if you did not count his daughter, Eir.

“Good evening.” The god said as he looked innocently at the sky. “It looks like a lovely evening, nice clear sky. The stars should be out soon, and the moon is nearly full.”

Wlvn let out his biggest frown. “I already talked to your wife. I will be trying to save Eir. So, what is the girl’s name? And here…” Wlvn leaned over, not in a bow, but to put his head within easy reach of Baldur’s hands. He became terribly rude.

“I’m sorry?” Baldur looked taken aback.

“No, I’m sorry,” Wlvn said, as he straightened up, and had a change of heart. “I apologize. I’m just frustrated.”

Baldur looked at Wlvn closely and seemed to have a revelation. “You’re not five hundred years old, are you? You are just a young human boy after all.”

Wlvn had to think a minute before he nodded in agreement. “It doesn’t add up that way, exactly. In fact, right now I remember seven lifetimes, but they are all lives I will live in the future. I don’t remember any lives at the moment that I lived in the past, except maybe Faya, and the most recent, Kartesh. And that is seven future lives only if I count Amphitrite and Nameless, who I haven’t heard from in a while…”

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