Even though the bell had gone around ten minutes ago, there were still many latecomers flooding through the door. The teacher, standing at the very front of the room, rolled his eyes while observing what seemed like a never-ending surge of students. Glancing up at the clock, which showed a time later than he would have liked, he decided to get on with the lesson and leave the register for the end of class.
“No point in wasting any more time.” He mumbled quietly to himself, or so he thought. Faenrys, sitting near the back of the rather large classroom, soundlessly agreed with him. She was not among the group of unpunctual students. For her, time wasters were immensely annoying which was a particularly bad mix when you added her impatient traits and incredibly short temper. Since everybody had managed to find their seats, the teacher started the story that would begin the introduction to their latest history topic.
“Loki had fathered three children with the giantess, Angrboda. They were destined to bring the destruction of both worlds, human, and god. These three children were a monstrous serpent, Jormungand which means the serpent who circled the world. Hel a giantess, whose name means the realm of the dead or goddess of the underworld. Lastly, there was Fenrir, a great and terrible wolf. The name Fenrir means fen-dweller, as well as another name for the wolf, is Fenrisúlfr which similarly translates into swamp wolf but would have originally meant ‘Wolf of hell.’ With names such as these, you wouldn’t need to guess what happens next. The gods took action against the three to keep each under their control to prevent the downfall.”
A rustle of books, pens, and papers threatened to drown out the teacher’s words, so he stopped speaking, wishing that he would have more prepared students next year. On Faenrys’s desk, her books were already laid out, one hand with a pen poised and clenched tight into a fist. Her red polished nails were starting the break through her skin, so she unclenched her hand and started to tap her nails on the desk to alleviate some of the irritation. A boy slumped over the desk in front of her, turned to complain about the noise. All he received for his efforts was a muttered ‘fuck off’ and continued tapping until the story was started again.
“First attempted was the plan to kill and rid the world of the soon to be monsters. This strategy, however, failed after only managing to eliminate Hel. It proved to be even more useless than before when Angrboda attempted to bring her back using old magic. Although the spell failed to work, bringing her back to a state in between, she was still alive, and the threat to gods and man had not gone away.”
Faenrys sat at her desk, mulling over what the teacher just said. Surely, she thought, bringing someone back to life would make them a vampire or zombie type creature.
“Is she still a giant?” She asked, sticking the end of her pen between her teeth.
“She would be something more like a lich.” She tapped the pen against her teeth trying to recall ever hearing the word lich, but she drew a blank.
“Which is what exactly?”
“A lich is a type of undead being. It is the result of a transformation either by a someone skilled in necromancy or one who used a spell or ritual to achieve eternal life.”
“But Hel already had eternal life, right? Because she was a giant and daughter of a god, so how was it that they could kill her?”
“That is correct, but she was killed with one of the rare weapons that will bring the death of a god, and her mother’s intentions were to bring her fully back to life to her former state but she returned only half alive which is why she is classed as an undead.” How can you only return half alive? Why didn’t the spell work? Missing ingredients maybe? She quickly jotted the questions and notes down before asking another question.
“Was there any price for the spell, like with the myth of vampires you have to drink blood to stay alive.”
“Do you recall when I said, ‘she returned only half alive’?”
“Well, that directly applies to her appearance as well as her state of existence. Hel is depicted with half her original face and the other half is most often a skull or some other demon looking ensemble.”
“No more questions?”
“Good, we still have a story to finish.
After the attempted murder of the three backfired, the gods decided a new approach should be tried. Instead of trying to rid them of existence, imprisonment would prove to be worthwhile.
Hel was cast into the depths of Helheim, which is essentially Hell. Her sole purpose then became being the goddess of all things dead and undead. Jormungand and Fenrir were harder to deal with. It became apparent that the gods would not be getting close to either the serpent or wolf without getting maimed by their sharps teeth, claws and talons. They were not deterred by this, however, instead, a powerful shaman was sought out. Rhearn is the matriarch of all magic wielding people. She was commanded to perform a spell that would transform both serpent and wolf into man form.
While Jormungand was caught off guard in his new appearance the gods rushed to throw him to the human world. He fell to the ocean where he managed to shift back to his serpent before he hit the water and sank down to its depth.
Fenrir, after seeing his brother tossed down, tried to shift. The new human form caused him to be vulnerable, inexperienced with moving on only two legs. The shaman was forgotten in Fenrir’s alarm, she came behind him muttering a chant which kept him immobile, enough time for the gods to come in and trap him. Fenrir was the locked up in a cell behind a great gate. In the cell, Fenrir was free from Rhearn’s hold and could freely shift. He stayed in his wolf and the gods thought they had finally ended the problem. They were wrong of course. Lulled into a false sense of security, not one of the gods paid attention to Fenrir. None of them witnessed his growing wolf form until it was too late of course.
It was early in the night, just after sunset,” Faenrys rolled her eyes, you could just say twilight, no need to overcomplicate things. “The moon was already visible in the sky, coincidentally it was a full moon, which is where the myth for werewolves originally came from. The was a faint banging noise which could be heard echoing from Fenrir’s cell to the hall where the gods had gathered to celebrate their triumphs over Loki’s children. That is if only the gods had been listening.
Fenrir kept on ramming against the gate which had looked like no problem at all to hold a wolf of Fenrir’s original size, but he had grown beyond that to stand at nearly eight feet tall. The gate was no match for him eventually splintered, the metal and wood exploding across the stone of the ground. This, at last, had managed to create enough noise to draw the gods out from their party. Not soon enough though. Only the blur shape of Fenrir was seen by the gods as he ran away. They tried to run after him, but none caught up in time to stop him from lunging down to the human world. He was left to roam the forests of the middle world with the assumption that he couldn’t do any damage from down there.” He finished and dropped back down onto his old desk chair, hand reaching toward the desk for the computer mouse. The bell then rang not even a second after the computer screen flickered on. There was a flurry of activity as students rushed to pack up, desperate to go home. The teacher sighed, the register would now be impossible to do since half of the class had already escaped. Faenrys packed up without haste and breezed out of the classroom without a maddening crowd pushing behind her.