Eivor drank the potion Valka made for her and lay down, slipping into dreams. A tunnel of clouds gave way to a view of an island holding a great city. A bridge of light led to it from a smaller isle, and behind the city stood an enormous tree, branches reaching across the sky. A raven flew over the city to the highest tower where it landed upon a throne, in which sat Havi.
- Havi: The prophecies of the Nornir are as clear as daylight. The Æsir are doomed. All Asgard is doomed.
Havi looked over a pedestal set before him, covered in the blood of a sacrificed bird. Around his throne stood the Nornir.
- Havi: Repeat the last passage.
- Urdr: Brothers will fight one another and kill one another.
- Verdandi: The home of the gods turns red with gore.
- Skuld: It will be an age of storms.
The Norns drew closer to Havi.
- Urdr: An age of wolves.
- Havi: Not this! Further along... the foretelling of a wolf, a great beast.
- Verdandi: The wolf Fenrir howls terribly before the gates to Hel.
- Skuld: The beast will break its bonds and run.
Havi leaned forward in his seat.
- Havi: And my part. What about me?
- Urdr: Then comes the second great sorrow...
- Verdandi: ... when the Havi goes to fight the wolf...
- Skuld: ... and falls to Fenrir.
- Havi: And falls to Fenrir! It's there you see? You have foretold my death. Your Havi will die.
Havi stood and the Norns stepped closer again.
- Urdr: We speak what we see.
- Verdandi: We know your fate, your destiny.
- Skuld: Have you gleaned enough, O Wise One?
The Nornir turned and walked away, vanishing in clouds of white motes. Once they were gone, Havi walked to the edge of the tower platform to look out over Asgard.
- Havi: Riddled words only cloud my thoughts. A storm is brewing, not in the clouds but down below. Does our final battle draw near? Is this how Ragnarök begins?
Before leaving the tower, Havi found a note on a nearby pedestal.
- Heimdall's Report
The attacks grow more fierce and I must venture from my tower. What I hear with my Hidden Ear worries me, and now I must see it with my eyes.
I beg you, once again, to assign me a serious apprentice. Loki clearly resents his role as gatekeeper and bristles at the lightest of requests. He will need some supervision in my absence. Not that he can do much harm without my key, but the wards have been weakened, and he would be next to useless against a full Jötnar assault. Best that he be reassigned--or expelled from Asgard altogether--despite whatever fool's bargain you've struck. I swear he will be the death of me.
Havi performed a Leap of Faith from the tower into a pool of water far below.
- Norse Warrior 1: The Havi returns to lead us to victory!
Emerging from the pool, Havi neared the table in the Great Hall, where the other leaders of Asgard argued.
- Tyr: We must devise a strategy to deal with these invaders, Thor! You cannot smash your way out of certain death!
- Thor: Who crushed the skull of Thrymr, King of the Jotnar? Who slew Geirröd the Gargantuan with a flaming ball of--
- Tyr: Ja, ja, ja, ja! And it was all well done! But the past is settled. It is our future we must decide!
- Thor: You don't decide the future, you strangle it! By Mjölnir, I will hunt down these invaders to the ends of Asgard if I must!
- Freyja: And leave our halls undefended? Without your hammer, we'll soon be overrun!
- Thor: More danger, more glory! Búri's balls! We are Asgardians! We don't skulk around like elves. We fight!
Freyja rose from her seat.
- Freyja: We are fighting! For our homes, for our people. But some problems can't be solved with the hard end of a hammer!
- Thor: Name one!
Tyr shook his head before spotting Havi's approach.
- Tyr: Havi! Break our stalemate.
Havi stepped up to the table and looked over the map spread across it.
- Havi: What is this, another invasion?
- Tyr: Warriors from Jotunheim! They attack from all fronts.
Tyr leaned over the map, pointing at locations on either side of it.
- Thor: While we sit on our trembling hands and scratch our bums!
- Freyja: Not so, Thor. Many Aesir have been sent to the four corners of Asgard, leaving we four to defend the Great Hall.
- Thor: Havi! Lend me a score of your warriors and I will lead them into Jotunheim myself!
- Freyja: We cannot afford such a loss. The Einherjar (champions) must hold back to defend our city.
- Tyr: I would bring them here to hold the Great Hall itself. This invasion is too large to spread ourselves around.
- Thor: All this prattle solves nothing! Battle or death!
Havi slammed his fist down on the table.
- Havi: Silence, all of you! We will take the fight to the enemy before they cross the Bifrost.
- Tyr: Well said, Raven-Feeder! Name those who may fight beside you!
- Havi: I need only one. You, Thor, Lord of Thunder. Together we'll cripple the enemy before they grow too bold.
- Thor: Rouse every warrior who can hold axe or hammer! We're hunting Jotnar (giants) heads!
- Havi: I need only one. You, Tyr, Lord of Justice. We'll gather our forces and scatter the enemy like grains.
Havi patted Tyr on the shoulder. Thor cursed and stormed away.
- Tyr: Yes! I will fight as a thresher through a field of wheat, Mad one.
Freyja nodded, while Thor cursed and stormed away.
- 'Freyja: I'm with you, Havi. Let the Bifrost shimmer with the blood of their dead.
Havi started to leave but stopped after only a few steps, the Nornir's words weighing heavily on him. He turned back to Freyja and Tyr.
- Havi: Were any creatures among the Jotnar? Draugr? Trolls... or wolves?
- Freyja: What troubles you, Havi?
- Tyr: Does your far-sight tell you something?
Havi looked away, troubled, but the conversation was interrupted by a warrior rushing in.
- Norse Warrior 2: More invaders! They gather at the Bifrost bridge!
- Tyr: Where's Loki? He should be guarding that door!
- Havi: Warn the others. The fight begins.
- Thor: Einherjar! Here is the battle you died to attain! For Havi. And for Asgard!
Havi led the charge from the Great Hall with Thor.
- Thor: Jotunheim scum! Welcome to your doom!
Havi led the charge from the Great Hall with Tyr, Thor joining them.
- Tyr: They're pouring in from Heimdall's tower! We must clear the bridge!
Freyja stepped up.
- Freyja: Come Havi! Tonight we drink and swive! But now's the hour we prove our might!
Havi smirked and together they led the charge from the Great Hall, Thor joining them.
- Freyja: If they've breached the gate to Jotunheim, someone must close it!
Havi and the warriors of Asgard ran through the city toward the Bifrost, many Asgardians fleeing past them toward the hall.
- Havi: Warriors, with me! The rest of you, guard the Great Hall!
They reached the Bifrost.
- Havi: With me! I gift this battle to myself!
Halfway across the bridge, a fog filled the air, blocking view of the other side.
- Thor: Einherjar! Bring the Havi your blades! We'll drown our enemies in blood!
The warriors of Asgard reached the invading Jotnar and the battle began.
- Havi: Blood for Asgard! Say hello to Jörmungandr!
- Jotun Soldier 1: Kill the Aesir! Burn their halls!
Havi fought his way to the other end of the Bifrost.
- Havi: Cut them down!
Havi reached Heimdall's Tower. As he ascended the stairs, he saw a group of Jotnar waiting. Before he could reach them, Thor leapt from a cliff above them.
- Thor: To Helheim with you!
Thor crashed into the group with Mjolnir and killing them all with a wave of lightning, and laughed.
- Thor: You break too easily!
Havi continued up the stairs, where more Jotnar came from the open gate to Jotunheim. While the warriors of Asgard fought most of the invaders, Havi headed for the door where a large Jotun waited.
- Jotun Soldier 2: Asgard will fall!
- Havi: Not while I stand! Return to your Jotnar masters!
Havi killed the soldier and pushed shut the heavy door to Jotunheim. It closed in a bright flash of light and frost.
- Havi: Loki was charged with guarding this gate, and yet it was left open.
The Asgardian warriors killed off the last of the invaders as Havi stepped back from the gate and heard someone begging.
- The Builder: Please! Have care! I've done you no harm!
- Havi: What's that?
- Loki: You've done us no favors either, Jotun (giant).
- The Builder: Wait, no, you're mistaken! I'm no Jotun. I was only passing through from one land to another!
- Loki: Would your song be the same if the Jotnar had won this fight?
- The Builder: Yes, of course, of course! Are you calling me a liar?
Havi approached where Loki stood over a human-looking man lying on the ground.
- Loki: Havi! I found this one lurking in the shade, shying away from battle. Shall I extract some teeth to get him talking? Or pluck out an eye?
- Havi: You were told to guard this portal, Loki. What happened?
- Loki: The portal opened, and these soldiers came bleeding through. So I sent warning straightaway.
As they spoke, the Builder stood. Loki grabbed him by the throat.
- Loki: And I captured this one, the soggy-jowled sheepherder.
Loki shoved the man away, sending him falling to the ground again, and laughed. Havi shook his head disapprovingly, then kicked the captive lightly in the leg to get his attention.
- Havi: What is your name, stranger?
The man stood.
- The Builder: I'm called the Builder by most.
- Loki: He wants your name, not your trade.
Loki stepped towards the Builder threateningly, but Havi put out a hand to stop him.
- The Builder: If I have another name, it's not within my memory. Builder it's been for as long as I've been... building things.
- Havi: Do you come from Jotunheim?
- The Builder: I do, or I did. That is to say, I passed through. But I am not of that place, which pleases me well, for I hated it.
- Havi: Had you any dealings there?
- The Builder: As a builder, yes, for a time. But they took a dislike to my methods, which are... shall I say, magical in nature.
Havi paced to the other side of the Builder, inspecting him.
- Havi: Is that right, Builder? Are you a gift horse... or a secret curse?
- The Builder: Neither, High One. I am only a tool. One with hopes to be well used.
Havi turned to look at the gate to Jotunheim again.
- Havi: This portal has been a source of misery for some time. I want it sealed.
- The Builder: With respect, this is not the only way the Jotnar can enter Asgard. May I propose a more encompassing solution?
- Havi: Quite a coincidence that you came when you did. At the tail end of a brutal attack.
- The Builder: That I came when I did was by design. I have been among your enemies for so long, I know how they hunger for your demise.
Loki began to walk away, but Havi stopped him.
- Havi: Loki, halt.
Loki stopped and sighed.
- Havi: I will go to the well. You must find this Builder a clearing for his display.
Havi walked past and Loki hurried to cut him off.
- Loki: No, no, it's no trouble, Havi. The damp and the dark appeal to me.
Havi fixed Loki with a searching glare, then stepped in closer.
- Havi: Go with the Builder, then return to the Great Hall with news of our next step.
Loki bowed his head as Havi walked away.
- Loki: As you command.
Loki began to lead the builder across the Bifrost.
- Loki: An interesting offer.
- Havi: A curious coincidence.