You will not talk with me, nor wed my daughters, you have turned down this feast before you, what do you want here? Gudmund asked.Â Thorkil, thought for a moment, making sure to choose his words wisely. They only wish to see the Thorâ€™s fire bolt and Geirrod in his hall. They desire to see the giantâ€™s daughters that lay at his feet. They want witness firsthand the splendid treasures made by elves and dwarves before the time of man. We ask for safe passage there a back, Thorkil asked with a stern but polite voice.
Yes, I grant you safe passage to Geirrod, and I will not interfere with your return. But be warned, do not touch anything, Gudmund told them. He led them back down to the river where an ancient arch bridge that crossed. Follow that trail and it will take you to Geirrod, he told them, before heading back to his castle.
The path wound to and fro across dunes of sand and rock, before opening up to flood plain the stretch off into the distance. They had journeyed for hours before the trail ended at a causeway as they entered Geirrodâ€™s lands. Their eyes transfix on the hellish terrain that lay before them, a place that no mortal was meant to see. The land rolled like the sea while belching green vapor that snaked into the air with a stench that could turn a billy goat stomach. Pikes adorned with decaying heads lined the walkway that disappeared in the mist.
Not to be deterred they marched down the trail into the foul mist, past dilapidated houses of a forgotten village with torn animals bodies and rubbish littering the streets. Ghostly figures floated around the buildings and dark alleys. Shades that spoke is a strange language as they shrieked trying to get the men to come to them.Â With faces black as a moonless night, they watch as the company of mortals walks through the town, toward a solitary mountain on the horizon.
Up the mountain they went and across snowfields the men trudged on until they came to an enormous castle on the mountain pinnacle. The massive charred doors leading into the Geirrodâ€™s castle stood before them, beckoning them to enter.Â Thorkil reminded them not to touch anything as they filed into the enormous room carved directly into the mountain.
Bloated and partially decade human shapes that were at least thrice the size of a man laid scattered across the floor. Faceless shadows swirled and coiled along the walls, and the roomâ€™s stench was unbearable. Sitting at the end of the room was Geirrod with a massive blackened spear protruding from his midsection. At his feet lay his daughters with broken backs, only able to turn their heads. The adventurers skin turned pale as they struggled to hold down what little food they had left in their stomachs.
Off the main chamber was a tiny room with its door dangling by one hinge. Inside, dwarven tankards made of gold with bands of silver and inlaid gems, ornate ivory tusk with rings of gold and platinum. There were gold bracers and armbands in the shape of a snake, drinking horns made of gold and silver. Fine woven robes and ornate weapons filled the room, as the Northmen stood in awe. They had never seen so much treasure so close and yet so far, for all they could do was look.
Three men could not resist, and charged into the midst of the horde, one grabbing the tusk, it shivered thrust itself into the manâ€™s chest. One pick up a gold and silver snake armband that came to life and sucked the life out of him, leaving a dry, mummified body where he once stood. The third picked up a one of the gold drinking horns, an image of a dragon flashed on the side of the horn and the man collapsed on the spot.
Thorkil commanded them to leave, they have seen the treasure of old and it was time to return before they all succumb to the temptations of the room. Even Thorkil couldnâ€™t forbear and felt a soft blanket that lay in a pile on a stone pillar.Â Turning toward the door, they found it blocked by scores of shades and faceless creatures, even the shadows on the walls were alive and were advancing. Piercing screams, snapping jaws, and sharp talons attack the Danes as they fought their way out of the castle.
In an organized movement, the Northman clashed with the demons, as one man fell another would move in the fill the space. Down the path, they hurried fighting for every inch. The Northmen dropped what was not needed as they sped down the causeway and through the town and the noxious vapors. As they entered Gudmundâ€™s lands, they listened to the screams of the angry specters behind.
Only twenty of the original three hundred made it back to the ships. Leaving two ships behind they took the fastest and headed for home. For centuries, bards sang about Gorm and Thorkil and the returning men that crossed into the ancient realms. Â Where the dead still rule.