In Alfheim, the land of the light elves in Asgard, the god Freyr (of the Vanir, though later given to the Aesir during their conjoinance) was said to live. Though his name was invoked by those in search of fecundity and plenty, he had not earned the right to sit upon the All-Father's throne, and it cost him his heart.

When he saw the fair giantess Gerd in distant Jotunheim, he was afflicted with a commonplace but deleterious ailment: the conviction that he must have her, no matter the cost. Even the elf-beams of his home seemed dim contrasted with her radiance.

His servant, Skirnir, offered to assist him, but the cost was high - Freyr's dark-eyed, fire-faring steed and a blade created to kill giants. It was a successful venture, for though Gerd stood unswayed through Skirnir's bribes (she refused eleven golden apples of immortality, so set was her heart!) and threats of force, the curse he nearly placed upon her was too cruel to suffer. She would meet him nine days hence, in a wood that they both knew.

Come the end of all things, it is said that the fire-giant Surt will take Freyr first; for having made a gift of his weapon, though he struggle long and mightily, what hope has he?


A Magnificent Apple Tree