- Havi: He has made the base already? The Builder works fast. A bit too fast.
Havi continued on to the forge, inside a cave below the city. There, he found both Ivaldi and the Builder.
- Ivaldi: Havi! Tell this rump-cloud that he can't just wander about Asgard, poking his pecker in every cavern he pleases!
Havi approached them.
- The Builder: I was only curious, dwarf. I meant no offense. I am merely a seeker of knowledge.
- Havi: The dwarves give nothing away for free.
Ivaldi nodded in agreement.
- The Builder: Apologies for the distraction, master blacksmith. I'll leave you to your work.
The Builder left the cave.
- Ivaldi: Well, what shall I craft for you today, High One? Bottomless breeches for soiling yourself on the battlefield?
- Havi: What were you and the Builder discussing?
Ivaldi waved Havi off and went back to his anvil, but Havi followed.
- Havi: I have one more need. Can you forge me an unbreakable chain?
- Ivaldi: Chains are overrated. One weak link and it's worthless. Let me craft a cord that Thor himself could not break.
- Havi: It must be strong enough to bind a powerful beast.
- Ivaldi: I will sluice my sweat into this cord, Havi. All knowledge I have and skill I own will define it. And what will I get in return?
- Havi: My thanks and my hospitality. What more could you need?
Ivaldi rolled his eyes and turned away to a table.
- Ivaldi: Bah. You cannot barter with a man who's squeezing your balls.
- Havi: You may always return to the Land of Fire, Ivaldi. And die as your brothers did. Roasted on a spit.
Ivaldi frowned, suspicious.
- Ivaldi: I smell bait, what's the trap?
- Havi: No trap, no trickery. Forge me this cord, and you shall be free of my service.
Ivaldi glanced back, silent and solemn, for a moment before looking away again, rubbing the back of his neck.
- Ivaldi: Hm... to craft such a cord, I'll need a few impossible ingredients.
- Havi: Name them.
- Ivaldi: Eye the list there. I have a bear's tendon, a fish's breath, and...
Havi took the list from Ivaldi, looking over it.
- Havi: "A cat's footsteps" and "the root of a mountain". How do I find these?
- Ivaldi: How the fuck would I know? The riddles will guide you.
- Havi: I have no patience for riddles, dwarf.
This clearly offended Ivaldi.
- Ivaldi: Those riddles are as ancient as the world. With lore passed down from Nyi and Nithi to Northri and Suthri, Austri and Vestri, Althjof...
Seeing Ivaldi was not about to stop anytime soon, Havi cut him off.
- Havi: I understand. I will return shortly.
As Havi walked away, Ivaldi continued his rant.
- Ivaldi: Dvalin, Bivor, Bavor, Bombur, Nori, An and Anar, Ai, Mjothvitnir, Veig and Gandalf, Vindalf, Thrainn, Thekk and Thorin, Thror, Vit, and Lit, Nar and Nyrath, Regin and Rathsvith...
- Ivaldi: Aha! I know a cat's footfall when I hear one. Bring it here.
- Havi: I found everything you asked for.
Havi passed the ingredients to Ivaldi.
- Havi: How soon can you finish this unbreakable cord?
- Ivaldi: As soon as it wants to be made. You cannot rush this kind of magic. It flows with a speed all its own.
- Havi: Find me as soon as it's ready.
Havi turned to leave, but Ivaldi stopped him.
- Ivaldi: By the way, after we spoke of the hugr, a cousin came by with his own spirit tale. I don't trust coincidence, so this one's free.
- Havi: What did he say?
- Ivaldi: He told me his sister's husband Borin drank a mead brewed in Jotunheim... and it sent his hugr into a goat!
- Havi: The spirit of a dwarf in the body of a goat?
- Ivaldi: Stranger still, his sister didn't even notice!
- Freyja: Havi!
Havi turned to look as Freyja stormed down the steps to the forge.
- Ivaldi: Don't drag me into this!.'
Ivaldi retreated quickly.
- Freyja: The tower is nearly finished!
- Havi: Do not fret. The final hours are ticking down.
- Freyja: Not fast enough. I feel the jaws of a trap closing upon me.
- Havi: Knowing you are in a trap is the first step to avoiding it.
- Freyja: You don't care if I'm married off to this Builder, do you?
- Havi: You are the Queen of Asgard, the Host of Folkvangr, the shepherd-of-the-slain. Of course I care.
- Freyja: Yet you act as if I'm some treasure to be traded about.
Havi cracked his knuckles.
- Freyja: A limp apology, but it will suffice for now.
Freyja paused on her way out.
- Freyja: Once the Builder is dealt with, turn your spear on Loki. Every chance he had, he dug us deeper into this mess.
- Havi: If Loki is up to something, I will see to it that he is punished, blood-oath be damned.
Ivaldi agreed to make the cord Gleipnir after Havi had collected the correct materials.
Behind the scenes
The names of the dwarves that Ivaldi recites are taken directly from the section of the poem Völuspá in the Poetic Edda commonly referred to as "Dvergatal", or the "Catalogue of Dwarves", which recounts the dwarves made from the remains of Ymir, who is separated into two distinct figures called "Brimir and Blain".