August 24, 2007 at 6:38 pm #32424
- Markshire PCs: Grottle, Gruzk, Ashimar
Of Gods and Giants: The Universe
The Entropy of Ginnungagap
The void, known as Ginnungagap, held nothing in it until a random thought created a spark. This spark led to another spark and another until entropy reigned supreme over the void. This bursting of chaos slowly increased until the void was brimming with chaos.
It was then that the chaos began to assume order and poured forth from the brim of the void into two directions. To the north it slowed and froze forming fog and ice. To the south it sped and flew forming fire and smoke. The frozen land became known as Niflheim and the fire plain became known as Muspelheim. The two new lands grew and grew.
Eventually, the Void was made smaller and smaller until it coursed like a mighty river between the two lands. Always separated but always near. Soon the river of entropy resembled a true river of water as the ice from the north melted from the flames to the south. Water flowed among the sparks and coursed the length of the two lands.
Ymir the Giant
Now a mighty river of water and energy, the Ginnungagap flowed between the two lands but as with any mighty river it pulled pieces of the two lands into itself. This silt collected and stirred and eventually formed an island. The island built and built upon itself and crested the surface of the Ginnungagap. It was here that sparks gathered along the shores and eventually pooled in the center of the island.
The pool of light or Well of Fate slowly filled with glowing waters until one day a hand emerged from the surface. Then a scalp and a pair of eyes attached to a monstrous head. The Giant known as Ymir pulled himself from the Well and stood upon the island.
It didn’t take him long to become hungry so he reached into the Well and drew forth the cow, Audhumla. The great cow used the rime ice to the north of the island to nourish itself while in turn it fed Ymir. The giant spent much time alone on the island until one day he saw a shape in the ice Audhumla was licking. Peering close to it he saw the shape of a head and torso.
Buri the First
Bewildered, Ymir watched as the cow continued to lick the ice into a humanoid form. Once the form was free of the ice color appeared on the outer skin. All but the feet of this creation was finally cleared of the ice. With a snap the tiny form of Buri stepped clear of the ice.
He looked up at the great cow that had formed him and smiled. Enamored with her creation the cow slowly made more. Slowly many shared the island with giant Ymir. He was troubled that his creations would not walk and talk like Audhumla’s. He wrung his frustration from island and caused concern among Audhumla’s children.
Ymir grabbed up a great rock in his rage from the water and was ready to smash Audhumla’s children. He stopped as the water dripped from the rock to his head. The water ran into his eyes and he tossed the rock aside to clear them. When he pulled his hands away from his face he felt the water on his hands. Slowly he rubbed them to get the water off of him and as he did so a figure formed between his palms.
Fascinated he continued to work his hands together until the shape resembled something similar to the cow’s creations. Though bigger and blue the creation in his hand did resemble Buri. He set it upon the ground and it towered over the First. Named for their creator, the Giant known as Bergelmir was the first of his kind. Later the children of Audhumla called the giants, Frost Giants, for their resemblance to the blue rime ice to the north of the island.
The Death of Ymir
Pleased with his work, Ymir left his creations to their own pursuits and sat upon an outcrop of rock to the east of the island. Eventually, he was lost to his thoughts and responded to no one.
Time passed and the island shrank in a way as the children of Audhumla and the Frost Giants had children of their own. It wasn’t long before the two sides would argue over the space. One of Audhumla’s children, the grandson of Buri and son of Bor, known as Odin, was enraged by Bergelmir. It was the first act of violence.
Enraged the very young Odin slew the giants between him and Bergelmir. Bergelmir fought the first warrior and the battle shook the island. War then erupted between the two factions. Many died but the children of Audhumla won. All but two of the giants were slain. Bergelmir’s sons escaped. Thrym, who took after his father fled to the north. Surtur, whose skin was black as the night, fled to the south.
Emboldened Odin stood upon the chest of the slain frost giant, Bergelmir, and howled his triumph. Ymir stood at the noise and strode forth from his perch to the east. Confronted with the destruction of his creations he became enraged. Odin, flush from his victory, attacked the first Giant as he cried his rage to the stars. Within moments the great giant was dead.
Odin had felled the giant but his rage did not rest. So he pulled apart the giant and fashioned the earth from his body growing out from it fertile and lush covering the rock and the ice. Blood seeped from the giant’s body and pooled along the earth forming oceans, rivers, and lakes.
Continuing his work, Odin pulled the skull from the body and threw it high in the sky to form the moon. Many say the side we see is the back of the giant’s skull and that when the end of time draws near we’ll see the face of the giant once more. Odin did not stop to admire his handiwork. No he pulled apart the bones of the giant and cast them across the land plowing up furrows and burying them in piles forming mountains.
From the remains of Ymir a tree sprouted. An ash tree of immense size, Yggdrasil grew and grew until it supported the universe with its many branches. The pool of light known as the Well of Fate lay beneath its three great roots. Two more springs were formed as well thus providing the tree with water.
The gods, as Odin renamed his brethren, gathered near one root and waited upon Odin. Odin shook the root and a path formed leading to the gods’ new home, Asgard. As the gods ascended this path the second root shook forming the path to Jotunheim. Thrym found this path and he ran to claim it as his own. The third root struck deep beneath the earth and formed a path to Niflheim.
Among the branches of the tree grew leaves and as the leaves fell to the earth the formed shapes. Animal shapes of all kinds formed from the leaves. Slowly they spread and grew and the earth flourished.
One squirrel, called Ratatosk, remained behind and lived in the branches of Yggdrasil. It lived there many years gathering its horde of nuts.
Odin’s gods stayed in their realm and Thrym’s giants stayed in theirs but Thrym resented the gods and especially Odin. It wasn’t long until the two began fighting. It was one such occasion upon the plains of the earth that a tremor was unleashed that shook the great tree.
Ratatosk’s horde fell from its perch among the branches and landed among roots. Odin noticed them as he paused in the war. Picking one up, he considered it and the tree above him. After a time, he placed the nut upon the ground pushed it into the soil with his spear haft. He pulled his bladder of water from his belt and poured some of the water from the Well of Fate upon the mound he had created. Once finished he returned to the fight.
The war raged and the nut sat in the ground for a long time. Thrym eventually retreated to Jotunheim and the Asgardians returned to their home. The earth had been saturated with their blood. Slowly the seed Odin had planted spouted but not a tree or a plant but a man. The first of his kind he wandered the earth. Over time many of the other nuts that had fallen from Ratatosk’s horde grew to be other men and women. Thus the human race was born.
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