The Age of the Giants
Frodi walked with Alfyn through the woods, pondering what they had seen in the towns : the folk taxed, oppressed, treated like serfs.
"These people are cowering in fear," said Frodi, with compassion and disgust. "Their overlords and priests frighten them with tales of demons, and then if they don't obey, they actually summon the jotunns down from their mountain castles. This is tyranny. Something has to be done."
Alfyn sighed. "We elves have given up on trying to save humans from their follies, long ago."
"This is different," said Frodi. "From childhood they are terrified with stories of bogeymen, and the priests even ask sacrifices for these idols, no doubt feeding these jotunn's cannibalist appetites." He shook his head, remembering his youth amongst the elves. "You of all people should have compassion for them. You remember what it was like in Alfheim under Beli."
Alfyn turned his head. "You are right, milord, we should not forget, nor shall we forget our human brothers in a time of tyranny such as this."
"These bishops and bailiffs rule through fear," said Frodi. "Well, they shall soon learn the power and might of FREEDOM. I would not have my people beholden to fear."
"Gather a contingent of elves. I want you to teach these men how to wield a bow. I want you to teach them woodcrafts, that they might survive in the thickets away from the tyrants. I will teach them to call upon the name of my sister, Our Lady of the Woods, and she will teach them magic and tricks to fool and confound these demon-lords."
"Right away, milord."
"They will no doubt, call this 'witchcraft' and 'sorcery'. They will call these arts demonic. The King, Ermanerich, has after all decreed that the giants are here for our 'protection'. But we know that the King's wolfish heart is being fed lies by Sifka, and you know who is advising Sifka."
Alfyn sneered. "Loki."
"That is correct," Frodi observed. "And they will call the free magic of free men by the very name of the practices they practice to hold their power : the black arts. And for taking down tyrants they shall call my Free Spirits murderers, for living with free merriment, adulterers, and no doubt, for consorting with you, my friend, they will call them worshippers of demons." He laughed his hearty laugh.
Alfyn snorted. "Who ever heard of elves being called demons?"
"Don't put anything past Loki. He knows how to twist things around until all that is backwards seems forwards."
"Why is he doing this?" asked Alfyn, exasperated.
"Who can tell?" answered Frodi. "He once told me that the gullible get what they deserve, and so he loves to test men to see if they can keen the lies from the truth."
"Sounds like an excuse for malicious mischief, if you ask me," said Alfyn, disgusted.
"That's Loki," said Frodi. "But we mustn't mistake this all as his scheme. He has no concern for power. He only loves capitalizing on chaos and mayhem. There's something else behind this scheme. The giants are trying to retake their ancient lands from humans, and kings with wolfish hearts like Ermanerich are letting it happen. And as fear and misery are the main weapons against the folk, our job is to cheer and encourage, with freedom and frith weapons mightier than any giant."
"I'll toast to that," said Alfyn. "And I sure won't mind helping these men to put a little of their fear back into the hearts of those giants."
Frodi's eyes twinkled. "Let the fun begin."