Each Deity of the old faith waxes and wanes as the moon, but over much longer cycles. These cycles are not bound by the ageing of the world and the turning of the seasons, however.
Events enacted by higher powers beyond even the gods determine the nature of the ageing, whose influence may wax full mighty or wane into nothing.
In the first age the master of the forge, Skjöli, who could smelt worldstuff from the ore of raw creation gave breath to her mighty furnace, and with care and love wrought a world of purest iron, so that the people who lived thereon could dwell on a foundation as solid as could be, and never lose their footing or suffer their foundations to fail.
She then took the spent ash from the forge and dissolved it into a great lake. 3 days onwards, the lake boiled and bubbled, and the first men swam from its depths and stood tall over the world of metal.
They were a race far mightier than any born since, as they had still within them the heat from the worldforge, never cooling and lending them its strength eternal.
These men loved the forge master and erected great halls in her name, and spread out across the land as its sole custodians and inhabitants. They did not need food nor rest while the heat from the forge still glowed within their chest.
But there were other gods who watched from the void, and one grew jealous of the forgemaster for the adoration of her worshippers. Yngwa, Lady of empty places and watcher without, sought to take from the forgemaster her world, as she herself could create nothing.
Yngwa would creep through the earth, unbeknown to the forgemaster, leaving a trail of rust behind her and steal away people who ventured off alone. She would corrupt her prisoners, giving them tools of war to encourage them to worship her instead of the forgemaster.
After many years, the forgemaster noticed that her power was growing weaker and sought out to discover why. When she discovered that Yngwa had been stealing her followers, she flew into a mighty rage and struck at her rival with increasingly destructive creations. She created the beasts of the earth to trample and maul at Yngwa, but Yngwa struck them down with boils and fever. Skjöli created heavy trees with writhing roots to entangle her foe, but Yngwa blighted them.
The battle would rage on for days as the people cowered and huddled together to brave the storm of creation and destruction howling around them. Finally both gods lay spent on the ground and the people could take stock of the field of battle.
Where once pure iron made foundations, there was a mixture of broken trees and rotted things that made a fine loamy soil. Where once stood tall cities, there were melted and broken ruins. And where once burned the heat from the worldforge, there was only a growing hunger. The people wept for what they had lost and the gods who looked upon their worshippers felt shame that they had ruined their world in their blinding rage.
Then from a once mighty but broken Aspen, Fryja, lady of fertility, fecundity and rebirth emerged and crooned to the weeping people she spoke thus:
“Do not despair. Though the world of iron is rusted away, I will make the soil fertile so that you may plant crops and conquer your hunger.
Do not weep, for though the strength of the worldforge has left you, find strength anew in your people. And when it wanes, know that your children will carry your burdens when you fall.
And be not defeated. Though the tools of war Yngwa had given you are broken, forge tools of battle from what iron remains in this world, and fight not for your gods, but for your hearth and your home.”
Fryja then speaks to Skjöli and Yngwa,
“You strike at each other so vehemently, yet in your battle have you not realised that you have become that which you fought? Yngwa, you lusted after creation because you could not achieve it, but with the belief of your stolen followers, you did not see that you have it now. A piece of Skjöli’s power taken from those she entrusted it with.
And Skjöli, you hated having your followers stolen so much that you sought only destruction.”
The two prone gods, recognising that their age has come to an end embrace in despair but arise as one, “Kynvall the warden”. The god of creation and destruction, the guardian of the sphere, who is entrusted with the protection of the world against any more interference.
However, one small remnant of the battle remained unnoticed at the core of the world. A creature born of creation but filled with the need to destroy. A godling dire wolf awaiting his age, patient and growing in strength.
As the Age of Fryja was becoming, the rusted iron world began to break and crumble. The people cried out in terror, but with a softly spoken word, Fryja bid the tree from which she had emerged, pushed its mighty root into the soil to shore and bolster the broken world, and stretched its branches high to cradle the sky before it could fall. Fryja named the tree Agadrasil and told the people to always guard the old trees in the deep woods, as they were the children of Agadrasil and would carry the burdens when the age of Agadrasil and Fryka comes to end.
The Godling wolf in the core of the world felt the roots of Agadrasil coil around it. Ravenous it began to gnaw at them. Gaining strength.
The world we live in today is still supported by Agadrasil and his children, but perhaps with the crops dying in the fields and war ravishing the lands, the age of fertility and plenty may be coming to an end, and the Godwulf may have nearly reached his full strength.
When that day comes, the Godwoulf will break the trunk of Agadrasil and gorge itself of the flesh of Fryja. And the deep woods will burn as the sky falls onto the once more broken world. And Kynvall will weep, as her vigil from outside threats could not protect us from what grows within.
As one sustained and bound by the world tree, the Godwulf hates the woodlands and would see them all burn. The age of the Godwuolf will be heralded with ash.
13th August 2022