best selling author, sci-fantasy

Infinities Gate – III

3
Odin, the All-Father of the Norse Gods. Finding him was going to take time. He was known for going about in disguise, as an old man, or a wanderer. Why would he be forcing the time of Ragnarok? The world had long ago left the worship of Asgard and the Gods who resided there.
Caladan and Sebastian were in deep conversation, they had discovered that to find Yggdrasil, they would need some kind of map. They had consulted the Archives but to no avail. Somewhere, there had to be a map, they needed to find it. They went to an ancient Viking place in Iceland, and on the wall of a cave was a drawing, it showed the Yggdrasil and how the worlds were connected, and it also showed the pool that they needed to find. It was somewhere beyond the fjords in the Netherlands. Returning to the sea cave, the gathered the women and left for the Inn where they were staying. They would leave for the Netherlands once they returned to the Scottish Mainland and went to talk to Lady Macleod and Connors.
Arriving at the manor, they were received by the butler and went to wait for Lady Macleod. Connors was away on business. When Lady Macleod entered the drawing-room, she was relieved to see them.
“Lady Macleod, thank you for welcoming us back into your home.” It was Caladan. She nodded, and said, “Did you find what you were looking for on Skye?” Caladan nodded, and then taking the initiative, he began. “We came here to mark Pict sights as we stated, but not for the reason he said. Two of our dearest friends disappeared at the onset of the Winter Solstice, and we are here to find Infinities Gate, and rescue them.”
Lady Macleod was pleased with the honesty. “Caladan, you have come to the right place. Here in the manor, down in the deepest cellar is a room that my ancestors prepared for this day. James has been trying to discover its secrets but doesn’t know the truth. It is someone such as you and your party that is able to use the gate, it is here.”
They were surprised, the gate was here the whole time, now they needed answers before opening the gate.
“Sebastian, you are one of the Watchers are you not?” he nodded, and then she turned to Caladan, “you were the keeper of the Vault. It was told that when the Keeper and the Watcher came, they would open the gate, and do battle with Wotan and prevent him from releasing the dragon and bringing Ragnarok. My friends, be prepared, the way is dangerous, and you will face many trials once you pass through the gate.”
Trudy, who had remained silent, spoke for the first time, “Do your legends talk about us?” Lady Macleod looked at her and smiled, “they do if you are a sorceress.” Trudy thought for a moment and said, “what is on the other side of the gate, where does it lead?”
“The entrance leads to a place where time, magic, legend, and myth intersect and time stands still. It is the place that only Wotan uses to travel between the Nine Worlds and hides there waiting. He is powerful, and if your friends were taken there, it is a dangerous thing. He is looking for someone with the power to unlock the gate from the other side, but that can only be done by one of the Blood, and that would be me. I choose not to use magic, even though it fills every fiber of my being.” They sat in stunned silence. “Follow me, we are going to go down to the cellars now, and mind this warning if you see the dragon, do not wake him, for Ragnarok will inevitably fall if you do. Wotan has been trying to wake him, but the Guardian of the Pool has prevented that so far. You are different, you are mortals, and you are the only ones with the power to wake him.”
They followed Abigail down the steps leading to the cellars. Behind a stone wall was an oaken door, bound with iron and set with silver runes. This was the entrance that Conner had been seeking. The door had no handle, or lock, Abigail raised her hand and placed it in a circle set with the infinity runes. When she touched the door, it opened inward, and the room illuminated from within. In the center of the cellar was what looked to be a well. The room itself was covered in runes set in silver, protection symbols.
The four of them entered the room, Abigail remained outside and told them that she would not enter the room with them, but that they would discover all the secrets the room held once she closed the door. Making a circular motion with her hand, she closed the door and sealed the wall. This is a narrow entrance into the realm of Infinity, a place where time and space had no boundaries.
Once the door closed, the four Sorcerers were astonished by the transformation of the room. It became a throne room, and the well was a pool. Looking into the pool, they could see Yggdrasil, the pool at its base, the guardian of the pool and the sleeping Dragon. They were in a perilous place, if they made a mistake, they would find themselves lost with no way home. Trudy noticed something along the edge of the room. There was an inclined ridge that ran around the room and led to the brink of the pool.
At the beginning of the ledge was a large silver chalice, decorated with a dragon motif one side and a tree on the other. Realizing how the gate opened, Trudy went to the pool, filled the chalice, and poured the water into the small channel that was in the center of the ridge. She had read the rules and knew to open the gate would require a blood token, one from each of them.
As they each added one drop of blood to the rivulet of water coursing down the channel, the room began to whirl, and the same blue vortex appeared as above Stone Henge. Sucked into the vortex, they could see the world spinning around them, sound, space, and time blended into a kaleidoscope of colors, and the very air began to shimmer and pulled them through the eye. Intense white light surrounded them, and each was bathed in an iridescent blue glow.
The light faded slowly as they appeared on a grassy meadow with the largest Ash tree they had ever seen. It had nine branches, and each branch held a world. In the tree was the biggest eagle any of them had ever seen, as well as four massive buck hearts, Dainn, Dvalinn, Duneyrr, and Durapror. The Dragon, Niohoggr, was asleep, curled around the base of the tree. Next to the tree was a pool, calm, and clear, and a hooded figure who watched.
They approached cautiously, they had dealt with Warlocks and evil Djinn, but this was a God, Mimir, Norse God of Wisdom, and he kept Mimisbrunnr safe from Wotan. He spoke to them, “Welcome to Mimisbrunnr, my home, the place I watch the world from and protect from Wotan. I know why you have come, to find your lost companions, they aren’t here, but I will tell you where to look.” They were stunned, he knew they were coming.
Caladan was about to ask Mimir when he raised a hand to silence him, “They are in Hvergelmir, taken by Thor, to protect them from Wotan. Wotan is coming, he wants to destroy all that I have made, and release Nihoggr, upon the world with his children, the Ice Dragons.” They stood there silently waiting. “The way you seek is along this root, follow it, until you find the entrance to Hvergelmir, there you will find your companions. Be warned, the way is fraught with perils, and you must pass each test. One of you may die, one may be maimed, but you may pass through without harm if your hearts stay true.”
Caladan spoke, “Mimir, why have you chosen us to do this, wouldn’t this task be better suited to one of the Aesir?” Mimir, looking directly at Caladan, pushed his hood back and stood, “If the Aesir get involved in this, Ragnarok will happen. I am going to send the eagle to watch over you, but you must pass the trials. He can advise you, warn you, counsel you, but he cannot get involved.”
The eagle descended from the tree, and when he stood next to Mimir, he was as tall as Mimir, and he spoke to them, “I will show you the way, it is a hard journey, be steadfast and faithful to your task, and you will make it okay. Do not stray from the path, there are false places along the way, and from some of them there is no escape.”
The eagle vaulted into the sky and began circling the tree waiting for the travelers to depart from Mimisbrunnr. Mimir gave them a gift, not something he was known for, to each of them he gave a cloak, similar in style to his, and told them never to take them off while in this plane. He pointed them along the way they should follow and issued a final warning, “Stay on the path of this root, if you find you have misstepped, get back on the road immediately, the dangers are gre*at if you leave the road.”
The four companions traveled along the route pointed out by Mimir. The eagle flew overhead as they went and whenever they misstepped, he would get them going again, after a couple of hours they could see the difference between the main path of the root, and the smaller hearts that wandered off in all directions.
Caladan was deep in thought as he and Trudy walked together, Sebastian and Helena were whispering, this was a dangerous place, with many ways to be killed or hurt. They were not God’s, Aesir, or Vanir, they were mortals and could die quickly. This was a treacherous undertaking that could get them all killed without ever rescuing their friends from Hvergelmir and the spring that flowed there, according to Mimir, Infinities Gate was a mortal name for the portal that brought them to the pool, but the real danger lay within Uroarbrunnr, and being caught by Wotan. If they were, the only means of escaping would be if Thor intervened and saved them from his father.
If that occurred, Ragnarok would be unleashed, They were in a precarious situation. Wotan, out to start the final war of the Aesir, and to destroy the world leaving one man and one woman alive, and the Vanir to become the new Gods, they had to rescue Tamara and James and get back to their own dimension without setting the world to destruction.
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