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Harbinger of the End A Tale of Loki and Sigyn by Nicki Chapelway Book

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Harbinger of the End A Tale of Loki and Sigyn by Nicki Chapelway Read Book Online And Download

Overview: A reluctant bride.

A trickster groom.

The lineage of a god comes to an end.


Long ago, Loki and Odin swore an oath of brotherhood. Since then, Loki believes that it is enough to love one soul, and wreak havoc on all else, until he learns that he is the one who will be responsible for bringing about the Twilight of the Gods. In a desperate attempt to forestall Ragnarök, Odin betrays his brother and forces him to take a bride. A Valkyrie, someone who will be loyal to Odin, and doubtless keep the god of lies in line. But if Odin believes that Loki will be controlled by the whims of one woman, then he is terribly mistaken.


Sigyn has never regretted the decision she made to leave behind her life as a mortal princess to serve Odin as one of his Valkyries, until now… When Odin orders her to marry Loki, Sigyn feels trapped by her duty and the oaths she swore. Even worse, to marry means that she will no longer be a Valkyrie, and she will lose all immortality that comes with it.


Tricked during his wedding vows, Loki finds himself exiled to Midgard and bound to a mortal. Now he must keep his new bride alive long enough to find her a new form of immortality or risk being dragged into death with her. Sigyn seeks to find a new purpose after everything that she once believed in betrayed her. Allying themselves to great mortal heroes, they set out to slay a dragon, claim a legendary treasure, and unite kingdoms. All the while, seeking to discover the truth to the question that could change their lives forever—what makes one worthy of becoming a god?


Harbinger of the End A Tale of Loki and Sigyn by Nicki Chapelway Book Read Online And Download Epub Digital Ebooks Buy Store Website Provide You.
Harbinger of the End A Tale of Loki and Sigyn by Nicki Chapelway Book





Harbinger of the End A Tale of Loki and Sigyn by Nicki Chapelway Book Read Online Chapter One


One of the most annoying things about being eternally labeled as a trickster is that there are so many misconceptions about you, and most of them are your own doing.

Oh yes, of course it is fun to keep people guessing. Predictability is the death of humor, and I would never want to be accused of being dull. But sometimes you look around and realize that no one knows you for who you truly are and that makes you feel… lonely.

I hate negative feelings. I’m a god, for Asgard’s sake; I should be above such things.

So, I decided that there was no better way to allow people to know me better than for me to tell them who I am. So, here we are all the way at the very beginning, and I will tell you the unaltered truth—if you would believe such a thing coming from a person like me.

It all started the day I was born, but that was an age ago and would make for a terribly long tale, so I’ll skip past all the boring things such as what being raised by a giant and the childhood of a god looks like. I only have so much of an attention span and if I am to show you who I, Loki, the god of mischief, lies, trickery… rulebreaker, shapeshifter, silver tongue, protector of misfits… Well, I’m getting carried away again. Hefty and no doubt impressive titles aside, the goal of this tale is to show you who I, Loki, truly am. I can’t very well do that if I get bored and give up on this story before it is through. I’m not a skald. As you know, they sometimes don’t know when to end a tale. I’m a god, and I have far more pressing matters to attend to, such as supposedly starting the end of the world.

So, no childhood. Unless the Norns gift you a tragic one, those are always boring anyway.

No, I shall pick up this tale somewhere else, never mind that I promised I would start at the beginning. Since I do love lies so much, I will gladly label something wrongly. Which means that even though it didn’t all start here, this is where I want to begin the story. And I don’t feel like finding some other way to introduce this tale so I’ll simply keep it to this:

It all started the day I met him.

Odin.

Some may call him the Allfather, some the god of wisdom, to others the one-eyed one—although he had both of his eyes when I met him—but as for me, I always just called him friend.

It wasn’t a grand meeting, nothing as ground-shattering as the uniting of two powerful gods should have been. He had just left home in search of knowledge. He wanted the answer to every question in the realms, and I had been kicked out of my father’s home for being too small… and for all of the pranks that I played, but mostly I think it was for being too small. I did not inherit my giant father’s, well—giant stature like my brothers. Instead, I took after my mother, Laufey.

So, there I met Odin. Perhaps it was fate that we happened to be on the same branch of the Tree of Life, but perhaps the Norns had nothing to do with it. There weren’t too many other people to run into back at the dawn of time.

We were two Aesir, and I suppose we knew a kindred soul when we saw one. Odin invited me to join him on his travels seeking wisdom, and I agreed.

I had nothing better to do at the time.

Regardless of what Odin’s or even my mortal followers choose to believe, Odin and I are close. Tied together by more than simply blood, although there was some blood involved. We are united through the oath of brotherhood we made to each other.

We two are like brothers. Closer than brothers, even. I had two brothers, but I’m not overly fond of them and this story isn’t about them. It isn’t about Odin either. It’s about me—Loki. And to an extent Odin because he is important to me. And less so about my brothers, because I really just don’t care about them, just as they never cared for their mischievous runt of a brother.

Odin and I have been on a good deal of adventures together—too many, if you ask Freyja—so for the same reason I will not recount my whole childhood, I will only share two stories of our youth. A time when our friendship was young and we were simply Odin and Loki. He was not yet the Allfather and I was not labeled the accursed one.

These stories, while vastly amusing—how can they not be? They feature me— are important to the tale I am about to tell you. The Norns would have you believe that every thought and action you have is connected, ready to guide you down the path of your fate. I’m not entirely sure if I would agree, but I also know it is folly to disagree with the Norns. So maybe my life is connected in much the same manner that Yggdrasil connects the nine realms; it holds them together and yet is unseen by mortal eyes. Perhaps, despite being a god, I cannot see what the Norns do.

All the same, out of everything that has happened in the past, these two tales are more connected than most.

The first tale is perhaps the end of the beginning. It is the story of how Odin lost his eye.

Now I know that most mortals and gods alike think that they know the story of how Odin sacrificed his eye to drink from the well of Mirmir and gain all-knowledge, but it isn’t as simple as all that. Because I was there too, and things are always interesting when Loki is involved.

I remember how the snow crunched under our boots. We had explored much of Yggdrasil by this point and were now journeying along its roots. Yggdrasil had three roots, but Odin was particularly interested in this one because he had heard rumors that these roots drew water from a source that would gift him with the ability to know all things. At this time he had only pretended to be a know-it-all, but after this point he truly would know everything… Insufferable oaf.

His birds had flown ahead and confirmed that there was indeed a body of water of some sort at the end of this root. The end of infinity, for what truly was past the southernmost tip of the tree of life?

This land was known to be the home of the Frost Jotunnn, but I was hoping we would not run into any. I dreadfully hated being shorter than people. It was why the form I preferred to take was a good few inches taller than Odin, though do please keep that a secret from him. Then, Odin was never one to care about how he looked. Usually around me he was young, with bouncy brown curls and an infectious smile. However, whenever he goes to Midgard he takes on the form of a dreadfully old man with a white beard and wizened face. He thinks that it makes him look wiser, and I told him that the form struck fear into the hearts of the mortals.

I had been lying at the time. I thought it would be quite humorous for him to arrive thinking he was frightening, when in reality he was nothing more than an elderly stranger. Who would be scared of an old man? But the superstitious people of Midgard ruined all my fun. They caught on pretty fast that the old man was Odin and now whenever he arrives the sight of him fills them with terror.

Things are never good for mortals when the Allfather gets involved in their lives. Sometimes he will help along a strapping young warrior, but his help always comes at a cost. Those warriors die in the end.

All mortals die in the end—that’s sort of inevitable—but these warriors don’t tend to reach the age Odin portrays himself to be. Some people believe that is why he takes that form, to represent what his chosen heroes will never have. Old age.

I, however, know the truth.

The idiot is only doing it for the dramatic effect.

Anyway, I am getting off topic. So, there we were, traipsing down the root of Yggdrasil. For those who have never traveled along the Tree of Life, they are probably imagining us walking on a larger-than-scale tree. That underneath the snow there should be bark. That the path wasn’t very perilous and if we headed up the tree for a while, we might just find some lovely leaves to give us shade. How quaint an idea!

No. What you small-minded fools must understand is that Yggdrasil holds all of the realms in its branches and roots, with Midgard in the center of its trunk in everyone’s way. The tree is as expansive as thought itself. The very roots we walked on are as large as a whole world. As far as the eye could see stretched frost, snow, mountains. And somewhere in there, a water source called Mimisbrunnr that would grant Odin his deepest desire—the knowledge of everything.

I shook my head, running a hand through my hair. “What will you even do when you finally know everything?”

Odin shrugged, glancing back at me, his curly dark hair was ea wild array across his head and his gray eyes sparked with inquisitive knowledge and sheer superiority. “I will tell you then.” Looking at Odin one would almost assume that he was the god of mischief. Perhaps that was the beautiful irony of our relationship. He made himself look how everyone would assume I would look, and I? I was certainly handsome and regal enough to be assumed as the Allfather. 

We liked confusing people at a first glance… or a second or third glance. Sometimes we played a game to see how long it took people to realize who was Odin and who was Loki. It’s a difficult game for anyone else to win when we are a pair of shapeshifters.

I crossed my arms; I have made it an art to keep my face impassive. Odin had taken to calling it the Loki face, but I have dubbed it the bluff. People cannot know if I am lying or not if my face gives no cues, if my voice doesn’t change at all, if I crack no smile. I used to laugh all the time at my own jokes. I can hardly blame myself—they were hilarious. But my family caught on pretty quick that I was the one who was playing the pranks and well… you know how that ended up for me. “That’s reassuring. I cannot believe that you dragged me all the way out here and you don’t even have a plan.”

Odin slapped my shoulder with a snicker. “The problem is, my friend, that I don’t have all-knowledge yet. Once I have that, you will be the first person to know my plan of action.”

I looked out across the vast expanse of white land and mountains, and presumably a frost jotunnn or two hiding somewhere. “I’m the only person here.” Who else did he think he would inform of his plan?

“I’m the god of wisdom, Loki. That fact is not lost on me.”

I huffed as I continued forward. Being a god is an interesting business. I’m not entirely sure what makes me one. Did some higher power select me and Odin?

We are both Aesir, a new breed. Both born of giants and yet we aren’t giants. My mother and his father are who we inherited our traits from. My mother was a goddess in some form or the other, but she never spoke of what she was the goddess over. She always said that it was not for me to know. She said that at my birth I heralded the era of the New Gods. The Old Gods were now obsolete, so what did it matter what she did?

Odin’s father, Borr, I know even less about.

All I have is the knowledge that somehow, I, Loki Laufeyson, am the god of trickery, mischief, and lies. It’s almost inherent, to know what I am always supposed to do.

The same goes for Odin. I don’t know who went ahead and made him a god—the god of wisdom no less. They must have been flat out mad to give that title to him. Yet god he is, and what a pair we make. Both of us too clever for our own good, Odin with his inquisitive knowledge and me in my quest to know how everyone works so that I can utilize it against them.

Yggdrasil trembles at our boots.

“What if you see something that you don’t like?” I inquired again after a short time had passed, our solitary footsteps leaving a long path behind us.

“Like what sort of thing?” Odin snorted. “Last I checked we were both immortal and impervious. What force of power could even kill a god?”

“You’re assuming that you would see our death. Perhaps our friendship could come to a far more unnatural end?” I would be pretending if I didn’t admit that our relationship was the only thing that either of us had to lose at that time. While I oftentimes enjoyed pretending that I cared about nothing at all, at this moment I didn’t feel like it. We had nothing else, and we didn’t need anything else, but that friendship was important to us both.

“Death is the only thing that can come between you and me, Loki.”

I paused, my foot faltering. For some time, I had begun to regard Odin as a replacement for the family that could not accept who I was. He laughed at my pranks, even the ones that were directed at him. Many a long night was spent with us locked in an epic game of tafl, at a standstill of equal skills. He was the only person with the intellect to rival my own, and I am the only one who can converse with him without driving him up the wall with incessant stupidity.

We are each other’s companions out of sheer necessity, because we are the only ones that understand each other.

For that he is invaluable to me.

Although I would never admit that part out loud.

If Odin hears this tale, I wish to add that I never admitted to it. This part was altered by some human through translation; it is not the original.

I had turned to him and looked him over. “Do you really mean that?”

“You’re the liar, Loki,” Odin said with a half-smile.

I crossed my arms. “You lie nearly as much as I do.”

“True.” Odin let out a small huff, doubtless remembering that instance with the cows and the dried grass. “Very well. How about if I swear it? You swear it too, so that I know that you aren’t lying.”

“I will only swear if you swear.”

Without a word, Odin pulled out his sword and sliced it across his palm. He held it up and after a moment’s hesitation I also slid my palm across the blade of his sword, the steel of a fellow god’s blade slicing through my flesh where not much else could. I glanced down at my palm and the gaping wound with the blood spilling out, marring my white flesh. Then I pressed my palm against Odin’s.

He nodded once. “I pledge myself to you. Our blood now shared so that we may forever be brothers.”

“Forever brothers,” I replied.

Then Odin put the sword away and we bound up our hands, each complaining about how much it had stung, but I think that secretly Odin was pleased that we had pledged our friendship. I am loath to admit how I felt, only that it was an emotion that I had never experienced before.

We continued on our way and soon found the giant Mirmir sitting beside the half-frozen lake, a drinking horn cupped in his hand. “I knew you would come,” he said, which was a terribly convenient thing to say after someone has arrived. It was quite difficult to refute such a statement.

“Then you know what I want?” Odin stepped forward.

“Aye, and I know the price of what you want.”

“No one said anything about a price,” I argued.

“Relax, Laufeyson. This cost is not yours to pay.” He turned to Odin, looking at him with his bulbous eyes. I had forgotten how ugly the jotunnn could be. I have always wondered what my mother ever saw in them that she would marry one. “The price I demand from your companion is one that only he can give.”

“And what is that?” Odin asked.

“Your right eye.”

Now I want to take a quick moment to note that, no, this is not a part of the tale that was mixed up or gotten wrong. Odin did indeed lose his eye in exchange for knowledge of everything. What some tales don’t say is that he literally ripped it out of his skull and threw it into the very waters he wanted to drink, as an offering of sorts.

I am as appalled now just remembering it as I was then.

“You aren’t actually going to take him up on the offer?” I asked, a sneer overtaking my bluff face.

Odin shrugged, glancing at me. “We came all this way. I’m not about to turn back empty handed.”

“How about with an empty eye socket? Imagine this: all of eternity having to turn your head just to see who is talking to you.”

“I’m about to gain knowledge of everything. It seems like a fair trade to me.”

I turned away waving my hand, my nose still wrinkled. “It’s your eyeball.”

Behind my back I heard a sickening sound and pressed my eyes shut with a shudder. There was a plop and Mimir hummed.

“Drink, Borrson.”

So that is how Odin drank from the well. I told you that you didn’t know the full story of it. The tales always leave me out of it, even though I was the only voice of reason there. If Odin had only listened, the story of our lives would have been different, which is why I should have been included. The opposition must always be included in every proper tale.

Which is why my tale has Odin in it.

And his tale has me.

Or so his vision of the future would have you believe. However, Odin waited to tell me what it was he saw and so I shall wait to tell you, because I am all about fairness… Either that or spite. I am definitely interested in one of those ideals.

I never found out what happened to his eyeball, although I’m sure many people—including Odin—sought it out.

Some point later, Mimir lost his head. Now Odin keeps it around his waist when he is feeling like making a point. It whispers phrases of wisdom and Odin considers it one of his most trusted advisors. Between having to lose one eye or his whole body, I suppose that between him and the giant, Odin is the one who came out the victor.

Still, I wouldn’t have traded my eye.


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