Posts Tagged ‘Andreas’

Two Tales of a Cousin Nearly Lost: Part Two

Heimdall the Barbarian

Our well-rested heroes found themselves no worse for wear following the evening’s disruptions. Had there been any dark evil in the city of Dubh Linn, it had vanished since the arrival of the cousins. Therefore, the two gathered their belongings and ventured West, having sensed in their dense, indestructible bones that their enemy had fled in that direction.

Bounding across the land, Heimdall and Andreas eventually found themselves in the city of Corcaigh. The city yielded no evil, but the filthy river that ran through the locale was enough to send them away in a hurry.

In that same day, they happened upon Castle Blarney and began scouring the grounds, weapons in hand. Hearing the laughs of nearby travelers, they followed the noise beyond the hex’s cave to the inner halls of the castle itself. It seemed that many had gathered here to kiss an infamous stone in the wall of the structure near to the very top. Intrigued, Andreas followed his cousin up a staircase into the sunlight. They inquired with a peasant waiting in line as to the meaning of such stone molestation. This farmer responded with trembling voice, “It is said to give one the gift of eloquence in speech, fine sirs.”

The cousins glanced at each other for a moment with looks of bewilderment, and then broke out in uproarious laughter. “Imagine,” said Andreas, “that we should ever need a gift that we already so perfectly possess!” They laughed near to the point of retching, then pushed their way through the line, wiped their posteriors on the stone, and jumped from the height of the castle back to the castle garden. Satisfied at having found no evil here as well, Andreas turned to his cousin and said, “Come Heimdall, let us go.”

But something did not seem right with Heimdall. He appeared frozen in time. Then, with his brow furrowed and eyes squinted, he awkwardly threw up a pointing finger at the son of Donald and said, “You’re the one who needs to do the going…”

Apparently finished, he stood there with finger frozen in midair and a look of expectation on his face. They stood with the small distance between them for some time before Andreas broke the silence. “I’m not sure what you’re trying to do, cousin, but I assure you that you are doing it incorrectly- perhaps another time? As for now, let us be off.” Dejected, Heimdall’s finger retracted and he nodded in assent, mumbling to himself, or perhaps Jimmy, “Dang…”

From Blarney they ventured to Cill Airne and managed to procure two velocipedes. It soon became apparent that no evil resided in the town, so they mounted their contraptions and headed into the dark forest close at hand. The foul stench of wickedness laced the air faintly as they travelled. They increased the speed of their hunt with great fervor, convinced that their unknown enemy was within their grasp. The pair rushed pass monoliths, falls, lakes, and all variety of creatures in pursuit of this nemesis. Having taken the lead because of his acute perception of evil, Andreas followed the path with fixed determination. As they came near to a highway, Andreas noted the faintest whiff of depravity, and veered suddenly to his left onto a rarely used dirt path. He shouted back to Jakob, “I sense the need to pursue this course.” Certain that he had heard the agreement of Heimdall, Andreas followed the path for a furlong. Yet when he did not hear the familiar sound of earth crushing beneath the weight of his cousin, he stopped on the side of his route and faced the road he had just taken. The hero had vanished in the foliage.

Andreas waited several moments before turning his locomotive means around. Before he could begin pedaling, however, faint creaks and heavy breathing broke through the tree line.

Heimdall lumbered around a distant oak, covered in scrapes and bruises, and pedaling with some difficulty. In shock, Andreas asked, “What happened?!?”

With a gasping huff Heimdall responded, “Jimmy fell down!”

Relieved to see his cousin no worse for wear, Andreas laughed for a minute before returning to the path before them.

As they rode back toward the town, they began to consider whether Heimdall’s stumble might have been the work of an evil force attempting to hinder their progress. Upon reentering Cill Airne, they took note of the gatekeeper, who stared intently at them and seemed to be gesturing for them to join him in the shadows on the side of the road. The cousins glanced at each other, nodded in agreement, and veered from the main path into an alley.

The gatekeeper was a wrinkled old man, bent over with the weight of time. Before they could even ask him his reason for impeding their journey, the man sputtered, “Beware the wizard who endangers your path; a mystical man known for his power to control the lightning of Thor. He has claimed this island as his own and regards you as trespassers on his territory. If you pursue this journey further, it will end with the loss of life…”

The cousins stared with interest at this weathered man, then responded together, “Yes, the wizard’s life.” They laughed together and thanked the man for his fortuitous insight. Surprised at their lightheartedness regarding the matter, he volunteered more information, including the advice that they venture north to the highest seaside cliffs on the south of the isle. Taking their leave of the gatekeeper, they returned to their inn and bedded down for the night.

Early the next morning they began their journey to the cliffs known as Mhothair. The journey lasted the entire day, however, as they went from town to town seeking accommodation. Only when they had reached the bottom of the cliffs on the northern side, were they able to find an inn in the town of Doolin. The place had little more to offer than a bed in which to sleep and a lonely ass wandering around in the solitude of his enclosure in the middle of the town.

Early in the morning, the duo set out for the cliffs- a perilous journey that put them on the edge of the earth with waves crashing hundreds of feet below. Having spent more time in the mountains than his flat-landed cousin, Andreas quickly found himself leading the way, bounding from rock to rock. He carried on this way for some distance until he took note of a groan from behind.

“Dude can we wait up a second?!” bellowed Heimdall. “I twisted my ankle and it hurts real bad. I think it might be broken.”

Somewhat irritated, Andreas apologized and walked back to his cousin. Jakob Freyr sat on a stone, holding his knee with both hands in order to suspend his foot in midair. He began to slowly rotate it in circles. “Sssss… no, I can move it, so it can’t be broken. Maybe it’s sprained…” Heimdall muttered as he winced in pan. It appeared that they were on the right track, as the wizard began his attack on the lower appendages of this great hero. Nevertheless, Heimdall recovered and they found themselves on the path again.

A short time later, Andreas felt slightly ashamed at not having been more sympathetic to his cousin. So, he turned his head in the direction of Heimdall and asked over his shoulder, “How is your ankle, cousin?”

Heimdall responded, “Well it is a bit sore, but I th… HUAHWOAHOWLUHAOH!” Andreas turned quickly to watch his cousin tumble down a small hill and come to rest in a little clearing, sitting upright with legs directly out in front of him. A bit disoriented, but without any permanent damage, Heimdall cautiously rose to his feet and proceeded forward.

Inexplicably, the wizard’s magic suddenly changed him into the dress of a magpie, no doubt aimed at humiliating him.

“Everything would be fine if I could keep the ground from moving under m… HUDDAHHIYAHOOOLAOW!” he shrieked as he tripped and fell down the next hill, this time landing perilously close to the edge.

He sat there with his legs dangling over the cliff and noted, “I would be fine if I could simply stop falling.” Andreas helped him to his feet and, enjoying this trip substantially more, he continued to lead the way to the pinnacle of the heights.

They followed the precipice for a mile before they came to the end of the natural trail. It seemed that a local farmer wanted his fence to run to the very edge of the island, so that he could maximize the size of his land. Several yards from the edge, however, this same farmer had provided a small stoop that led over his fence for foot-bound travelers. Standing on the stoop, Andreas lifted his mighty leg over the fence, planted it firmly on the ground on the far side, and then brought his other leg over as well. He then took a few steps in the direction of their goal.

As he trudged forward several steps, the son of Donald realized that something was amiss. Was it the air? The grass? Something had registered in his subconscious that he could not quite articulate.

Then it came to him: the fence! He turned around in time to see his mighty cousin at the barrier, giving it a looking over. Being shorter in stature, Heimdall could not simply step over like his cousin. So, before Andreas could utter a word of warning, Jakob Freyr stretched out his hands and firmly grasped the steel cable before him in order to push it down. Unbeknownst to our hero, the wizard had concentrated all of his wicked power into this implement.

Don’t touch it! It’s a trap!

Heimdall felt the surge of lightning course through his body into his torso. Quickly, he released the fence and clutched his hands to his chest, shouting, “Holy crap!”

Yet, he winced in pain only momentarily and speedily regained his composure. It seems that this wizard had not taken into account the might of this warrior, and it would prove to be his undoing.

Heimdall carefully stepped over the fence, and rejoined his cousin on their path. Within the hour they found themselves at the topmost reaches of the cliffs. A lone tower stood there, guarding the coast and bidding the sun farewell every evening. The pair sensed the waning power of evil from within, so they hastily drew their weapons and destroyed the door with a heavy-handed blow.

As they stepped inside, they found a feeble old man cloaked in gray lying on the floor. His face bore the signature of time in a preponderance of wrinkles and his hair likewise with the absence of pigment. He seemed repulsed at their appearance, yet he gathered enough strength to raise his left hand and point at the mighty Heimdall. “You have destroyed me,” he said in a faint, raspy voice. “I vested all of my magical energy into one final trap: the fence. Using a deep and powerful magic known descriptively as ‘electronic,’ I put my very self into the trap, expecting that you should die and I should absorb your life-force…” He wheezed and coughed for several minutes.

After gathering his strength again, he whispered, “but my plan has failed and you have absorbed my power, my very life. You have become more powerful than ever, and shall, therefore, no longer be known by a name of your past might. From this moment forward, you shall forever be regarded as ‘Tron!’”

Two Tales of a Cousin Nearly Lost: Part One

Jakob Freyr Hartmann- Heimdall

These stories, though at their time this author thought they would end as eulogies, have become legends- shaped by time, whispered by the shadows, and striking fear in the hearts of all evil creatures across the empire. It is said, if one listens carefully, they can even hear the trees and grass murmur to one another the epic of Heimdall.

Our story begins in the year 2005 of our Lord with the young cousin of our hero swimming the Rhine through the territory of the Saxons in the land of Germania. Having swum for two days straight, this young warrior, Andreas “the Tall” of Donald, reached the ocean and procured a ship for the remainder of his journey. He battled with the monsters of the deep for one week before coming to rest on the shores of Britannia, the outer limits of the Roman Empire. In haste, Andreas made his way to the city of Oxenaforda. Rushing through the cobbled streets, he came to a small inn with a lone light in the upper story window. Rushing up the flight of stairs, Andreas found himself at an aged oak door, which he promptly kicked in with the might of his sinewy shanks.

Sitting on a small stool and reading by the light of the candle, Andreas found his legendary cousin: Jakob Freyr Hartmann, known to most in the world as Heimdall. He is regarded as both a warrior and a scholar, thereby striking fear into the deepest of depths of his enemies’ souls. Heimdall waited for the flickering candle to still after the gust of wind caused by his enormous relative so that he could finish his book. Then, setting it aside and brushing the splinters out of his hair, he let out a deep, bellowing laugh. “Ha ha ha! Jimmy is pleased to see you cousin” (he had long been convinced that an angel named Jimmy accompanied him throughout his life, whispering words of wisdom into his ear and protecting him during battles). “Likewise,” replied Andreas, “Please, tell Jimmy I said hello.” After a moment or two of what seemed to be a heated discussion with Jimmy, Heimdall turned his attention back to his relative. “Jimmy knows why you’re here, dear cousin,” he remarked in his booming voice. “Then,” Andreas responded, “Should I explain or shall we simply take our leave?” Heimdall stroked his beard for several minutes between his thumb and forefinger, and then said, “Proceed- for the sake of the story and so that we can be sure Jimmy is correct.”

Andreas then relayed his plan for a journey to Eire, where stories had arisen of evil running amok throughout the land: giants abusing the peasants and a sinister, dark magik at work in the island. Heimdall listened intently, still stroking his beard, sighing on occasion as if to say his (and Jimmy’s) suspicions were confirmed.

Andreas observed his cousin as he spoke. He was a stout, strong man of many battles and books. He was not called Heimdall by mere coincidence. No, like the god of Norse legend, he was the “whitest of the warriors”- a trait shared with him by Andreas- with skin color that bordered on translucence. Years later, he would become the patron saint of albinos. His similarities with the Heimdall did not cease here, however. For like his namesake, he had an acute awareness of his surroundings at all times, such that he was unable to sleep undisturbed, thus heightening his perception and enabling him to foresee any coming-battle years in advance. It was said that our Heimdall would announce with the actual deity that Ragnarok was upon us. These are tales, however, that history cannot confirm.

When the son of Donald finished his account, Heimdall rose from his seat and walked to the corner of his room. Whispering something about sausages, he quickly snatched up his sword, turned to his cousin, and said, “We mustn’t tarry another moment. To the Green Isle we shall go!” With that, Heimdall took the candle and set the building alight, for little reason other than dramatic effect. Nearly one hundred people perished in that fire as Heimdall rushed off laughing.

They came to the shore where Andreas had moored his ship, only to discover that a remaining monster had devoured it out of spite. Looking somewhat distraught, Andreas paced for a minute until a thought that should have come to him long ago dawned. Whistling loudly through the inner-ear tube of one of the sea monsters, the cousins soon found themselves engulfed in a nearly unbearable light. Andreas had summoned the Phoenix. It came to rest in front of the two warriors and revealed his immense size. The Phoenix nodded to Andreas as a signal of their historic friendship, then he turned to Heimdall and stared. “Did you start that fire, Hartmann?”

Heimdall paused for a moment before replying, “Um… yes.”

“Nice,” said the Phoenix. “Well, good sirs, how can I be of assistance?”

Andreas knelt and responded, “Oh great Pheonix, we require transport to Eire, but, alas, my ship is lost…” Andreas stopped when he felt a tug on his cloak and turned to see his cousin shaking his head profusely. “I canna do flying,” muttered the brave warrior. “But we haven’t any other means of transportation. The ship is gone. No one will lend us a ship, especially after you burned down a building on them. It is our only option.”

Heimdall stomped away in a huff, perhaps conversing with Jimmy, only to return moments later. “Okay,” Heimdall said, “but only if we take a ship back and not a word of the flight is shared with others.” Andreas agreed, but had no idea of the manner of agreement into which he had entered.

The two climbed on the back of the Phoenix, who flew quickly to the nearest coast of the neighboring isle. Heimdall spent the majority of the flight keeping Jimmy calm, while Andreas watched in amazement. Eventually, they came to rest at the city of Dubh Linn. The Phoenix bid them farewell, and then turned to Andreas, saying, “You owe me big time,” before flying off into the starry sky.

Everything seemed fine with Jimmy again and the night was young, so the warrior pair ventured into the city to find accommodation for the evening before they were to head out in search of a fight.

They found an inn close at hand. The owner showed them the accommodations available and those with whom they would have to share a room. Three wenches had taken the beds on the other walls, including two sisters from the Frankish kingdom and a young woman from the Holy See. After a brief introduction, though they needed none, Andreas and Heimdall deposited a few belongings with the innkeeper, and left to scour the city for evil. Instead they came to a brewery, enjoyed a strong mead, and then returned happily to their lodgings for the evening.

As it would happen, the inn had closed for the evening and most lights had been extinguished. The cousins quietly entered their room and crawled into their respective beds. Heimdall, the ever-alert, bid everyone goodnight and crammed pieces of beeswax into his ears.

Andreas remained awake, however, for something did not sit well with him. The room was somehow different. Then he noticed that there was one more occupant than before: a man of great stature in the bed beneath the woman from Rome. It seemed that a giant, one of the Jötunn, had decided to bed at the same inn for the evening. His body was so large that the mattress could not contain his extremities, and his legs projected for several feet beyond the bed’s end.

Generally, the Jötunn are known for their wickedness and short-tempers, but this one appeared to desire little more than sleep. Convinced that there was little reason for alarm, Andreas laid back in his bed, sword in hand, always ready for battle.

Before he could even shut his eyes, though, an enormous roar sounded through the room. Andreas was already on his feet, sword in hand, shouting, “You shall die this night, Jötunn!!!” But the warrior met no foe. He stood in the centre of the room, barely clad peering into the dark. Again the noise bellowed forth, followed shortly thereafter by the laughs of several maidens. As his eyes adjusted to the blackness of the night, he realized that the Jötunn did not desire a battle, but had entered into the deepest of slumbers, during which his lungs, like enormous bellows, attempted to suck all of the air out of the room. This sleeping giant was snoring. Andreas let out a hearty laugh, “Ha ha, good wenches. I apologize for my partial nudity.” Quickly he leapt back into his bed, which was positioned over the sleeping Heimdall.

Unfortunately, the snoring prevented the rest of any of the three maidens and Andreas. Yet the noise was so amusing they could not help but laugh. The Roman woman even attempted to silence the giant by striking him with her pillow, but she nearly lost the object and herself over the edge of the bed. As the group chuckled about the incident, Andreas heard stirring in the bed below him.

“Mm…hmm… wha… what is that?” scratched a voice. “What!… Oh my gosh… Are you serious?!? Does anybody hear that?!?… Grrrragghhhh!!! You have got to be kidding me!” It seemed that Heimdall had been disturbed from his sleep, in keeping with the name that he bears. The others laughed at his outbursts, as the beeswax prevented him from hearing himself. “Someone has to do something about this!” said Heimdall as he threw off his sheets. A seasoned warrior, he did not take the time to cautiously walk over, but leapt from his bed nearly to that of the slumbering monster. Andreas reached out his hand and attempted to warn him, but even were there no beeswax, Heimdall’s rage would still have deafened him.

Heimdall attempted to rouse the giant. “Hey, buddy… hey! Wake up. You’re snoring…” No response. In his restrained fury, the warrior began to pat the giant vigourously upon the foot. “Hey, buddy… hey! You’re snoring… no one can slee… d’you speak English?… Look nobody, we can’t sleep. Roll over,” he said with wild gesticulations. It seemed that he had caught the giant off guard, or in the midst of a very deep sleep, for he simply mumbled and returned to his rest.

The Encounter

Somewhat triumphantly, Jakob Hartmann marched back to his bed speaking words of affirmation to himself. The rest of the group continued to laugh. Before his head hit the pillow however… “SNOCCCGGGGGKKKHHHHHHPP!!!” The same noise came from the direction of the giant.

“Oh my gosh!!!” roared from under Andreas’ bed. Heimdall tried to wait in the hopes that the snores would dissipate, but his raging temper got the best of him. Again, he found himself smacking the bottom of this giant’s foot. “Buddy, hey… hey, buddy… you’re snoring… yeah, snoring… no one can sleep. Roll over… roll over,” he said again making circles with his hands. Everyone, excluding Heimdall, of course, continued to laugh. Angrily, he stomped back to his bed hoping that this would be their final interaction. The next minute, however, proved his desires were for naught. This pesky Jötunn continued his snoring as though uninterrupted.

At this point, Andreas could feel the heat of Jakob’s rage from the bed below. Heimdall began to speak in a manner unutterable by the average man- in booming depths, screeching heights, and all range of scratches and howls. For a moment, Andreas thought he could even hear Jimmy. No attempt to assuage the hero would have succeeded. The group continued to laugh while Heimdall flew to the feet of the giant. He began to slap them with such speed that his hand became a blur. “Hey, buddy! You’re snoring… Roll over!!! You speak English?!? English?!?… Roll over! Roll over!” Amazingly, the giant seemed to comprehend him this time and rolled over. The group tried to gasp in amazement, but were too near to the verge of vomiting from laughter that they could offer little more than a hiccup.

Victorious, Heimdall marched to his bed, exhaled a sigh of accomplishment, and shut his eyes.

His victory was short-lived, for “SNOCCCGGGGGKKKHHHHHHPP!!!” filled the air yet again. The others burst into laughter, but Heimdall, deaf to all, shouted, “I don’t know what to tell you guys. He rolled over. We’re just going to have to put up with it.” Begrudgingly, he pulled up is sheets and rolled away from the sound. The others continued laughing to the point of exhaustion and they all eventually faded into sleep.

The next morning, as the light began to peer through the window, Andreas was stirred by the sound of heavy feet. He looked below to see Heimdall peeking from his sheets at this giant of a man gathering his belongings and taking his leave of the room. It seemed that he had no memory of the various pedal-assaults he suffered the evening before.

Later, as Andreas and Heimdall gathered in the dining hall for a meal, the younger observed how enormous that giant had been and commended his cousin for such bravery. Jakob Freyr responded, “In all honesty, I did not grasp the immensity of this man until I placed my hand on the sole of his foot. In the midst of all that patting, I was wondering, would you have come to my aide, should I have been in need?” To which Andreas replied, “Strange, all the time you were yelling at that giant I was wondering how I would explain to your mother that you died at an inn in Dubh Linn!” The two burst into such great laughter that it sent all of the patrons running in fear.

Thus ends the first tale of a cousin nearly lost…