As the massive oak doors of Odin’s own hall in Valhalla swung open under the strength of a dozen Einherjar, he tossed a log into the giant hearth and turned to meet his guest. The honored dead moved aside and were somewhat surprised to see Thrym, king of the giants striding into the hall. Behind him were two other giants, carrying a monstrous throne between them.
“Why don’t you ride in it?” Odin laughed as he climbed the steps to his own more modest throne.
“I am no soft Roman,” Thrym grumbled in a voice that echoed around the spacious hall. “I find your chairs … small.”
“As you wish, old friend,” the All Father smiled and sat down with a sigh.
The accompanying giants sat their master’s throne down across from Odin, on the other side of a large concave table. The table was actually more like a shallow pool, with water rippling across it.
“The board is set?” Thrym asked as one of the giants handed him a horn of mead.
Odin turned and regarded Loki and Thor who had just entered from the shadows.
“Eager to try again,” Loki nodded.
“Angry, but convinced he can make the magic to escape,” answered Loki.
“Hel has granted two the chance to earn the right to dine with us,” Thor reported with a nod.
“Osárr?” Thryn inquired as he drained the horn and handed it back for a refill.
“Eager to suck the marrow from new bones like -,” Loki smiled gleefully.
“The rings?” Odin interrupted. Clearly growing impatient with the formalities.
“Seven magic rings,” Thor said. “One hidden, one guarded, one in plain sight, one entrapped, one in mens’ hands, one on the move, and one lost.”
“And who is to play this year?” asked Thrym taking his horn again. “It is your turn to choose.”
“I have found a realm that will entertain us,” Odin whispered as he waved his hand over the pool. A mist rolled out on his command and began to swirl over the water. As the mists parted, the two looked down into another world.
“They call themselves Darkon.”
THE RINGS GAME is this year’s Bellum Aeternus III Adventure, to take place Thursday night and all day Friday of BeAe III.
Next: Caesar’s Lament