• Published 8th Oct 2012
  • 2,824 Views, 89 Comments

The Lovers' Edda - Simon_oSullivan



A love story of two ponies from the frozen lands of the North.

  • ...
7
 89
 2,824

Hestrinn af Nordi

The Lovers’ Edda

Hestrinn af Norði (The stallion from the North)

Fluttershy got up that morning with the gentle chirps of her birds, like every morning. With a quick stretch and a yawn, she got out of bed after rubbing the rheum from her eyes.

“Good morning, my little friends,” said Fluttershy as she brushed her bed-mane. “I’ll get your breakfast in a minute.”

With a gentle flap of her wings, she flew down the stairs to the ground floor and trotted joyfully to the kitchen. After opening one of the larders, she took a few cans of birdseed for the chickens and birds and left them on the table. She then turned to get the can opener and a few carrots for Angel. She placed the carrots on the table and picked up the first can, when a roar outside made the tool fall from her hooves.

“Oh, dear, Harry’s in trouble!” cried Fluttershy, galloping out the door in a panic. Before she reached the door, though, she heard a second roar. “That doesn’t sound like Harry,” she said in shock. “Maybe it’s a new friend for Harry! But they appear to be arguing, I have to tell them to stop and be friends!”

Nothing could’ve prepared her for what she saw outside. Harry the Bear was there, roaring at a large brown unicorn stallion with a very long, dark yellow mane and tail who was roaring back at him. The pitch was different, but he sounded just like a bear. Fluttershy noticed that the newcomer had the head of a roaring bear as a cutie mark, and wore a bear pelt as a cloak, with the forelegs tied around his neck as a scarf. His horn and throat glowed with a dark brown light every time he roared.

Fluttershy stood frozen in place as a whirlwind of emotions rushed through her. She was scared at the sight of the newcomer and the fight he was having with her ursine friend. When she noticed that he was wearing the skin of an animal, she whimpered and looked away, disgusted. For a moment, she thought that was actually the reason why Harry was so angry at him. However, after a couple of minutes, what appeared to be a heated argument soothed down as both the stallion and the bear became silent. Harry sat down and offered his paw to the stallion, who replied by taking it and shaking it, then bowing respectfully. Both roared again, but Fluttershy recognized the friendly tone of it.

The large stallion turned to greet Fluttershy, who trembled and stepped back.

“Are you the owner of this land?” asked the stallion. His voice sounded deep, with a strong accent that Fluttershy had never heard before.

“P-please… please, don’t hurt me…” stuttered Fluttershy, covering her head with her hooves.

Behind both ponies, Harry roared softly. She looked up as the bear kept talking to her and soothing her.

“Are you saying,” said Fluttershy with an awed expression, “he’s… a friend? But you were very angry at him.”

Harry nodded and growled a few times, to which Fluttershy blinked in disbelief.

“Really?” She turned to meet the large stallion standing in front of her. “But he looks so scary. And he’s wearing one of your friends’ skin! That’s… that’s just… horrible!” Even though the sight of him made Fluttershy shudder, she couldn’t keep a disgusted frown from her face.

“I can explain that if you allow me, Harry,” the stallion said. He hit his chest with a hoof. “I am Drakkar, Hoofcarl at the service of the Jarl Winter Blizzard from the land of Scandineighvia, far beyond the mountains, deep in the Frozen North.”

“Y-you’re… you’re from the Frozen North?” Fluttershy stared at him with her mouth wide open.

“That’s a story I’ll tell you later. I see you’re more concerned about my cloak.” Drakkar looked around him with a small grin. “Considering how much you seem to love animals, you must see me as some kind of monster.”

Fluttershy nodded, then shrank back, fearing an attack. “I’m sorry, but I don’t want ponies that harm animals here.”

“I understand…” Harry growled to him shortly, to which he smiled kindly. “Fluttershy, is it?” She tilted her head, still still trying to hide herself with her hooves. “You see, Fluttershy, in my homeland, this bear pelt is the sign of my rank as a Hoofcarl. However, we don’t hunt bears. They’re our spiritual guides and a sacred animal for my people. In fact, we wear their pelts to draw their strength and endurance to help us defend our homeland. But we don’t hunt them for the pelts, we take them ritually only when… when they don’t need them anymore, to put it in a simple way.”

“So you… respect animals?” Fluttershy started to get up very slowly, casting him a sidelong glance, eyebrows furrowed.

“Especially bears. Unicorns such as me are taught a spell that allows us to translate our voice into roars so we can communicate with them. We’re also taught their language, which explains why I was able to maintain this heated argument with Harry here. However, we hunt and fish when necessary; snowy fields aren’t the best to grow on.”

Fluttershy’s jaw dropped, and she sat down heavily while covering her mouth with her hooves, holding back the nausea.

“I should definitely stop talking about it,” Drakkar said politely. “Besides, I’ve been traveling a lot recently, and it’s easy to get used to the food around these parts.”

“So… you’re not going to—”

“Not even one, Fluttershy.” Drakkar moved closer and knelt to meet her eyes. “You have my word as a hoofcarl.”

“O… okay.” Fluttershy was still terrified by the giant stallion. However, she felt the same fear when Zecora used to come some time ago, and she had learned not to judge a book by its cover since then.

Drakkar got up and walked back to leave room for Fluttershy to get up. She flapped her wings timidly to stand on her four legs.

“Have you just arrived to Ponyville, sir?” she asked, starting to sound more informal and relaxed.

“Just ‘Drakkar’, I don’t like formalities. And yes, I’ve been traveling through Equestria for quite some time. I’ve been to Appleoosa — darn, would I call those bar fights! Still far from those at the meadery of Ǫlpottr in my homeland! Let me tell you, you don’t know what getting drunk is until you wake up face down in the snow field!” Drakkar burst into laughter, while Fluttershy snickered uncomfortably. Drakkar looked abashed at her expression. “I… understand that you might not be a heavy drinker.”

“Just… cider when it’s available, and only a mug.”

“Fair enough. But back to my previous point. You see,” he began as he took a map from inside the pelt, “every generation, hoofcarlar are sent in times of peace to update the maps from outer lands. I am in charge of mapping Equestria. Or at least, checking if there are new cities. I’ve already been to Appleoosa, Manehattan and Fillydelphia. After a few days of wandering through the forest, I got to what I guess is Ponyville.”

“Yes, this is Ponyville,” said Fluttershy with a gentle nod.

“In that case, I should introduce myself to the one in charge. Can you tell me how to get there?”

“Oh, umm… actually, I was going to feed the animals. If you don’t mind, I can take you there after I’m done.”

Drakkar hit himself on the chest. “I appreciate your hospitality, Fluttershy. In Scandineighvia, we consider being a good host one of the greatest virtues a pony could have.”

“Oh… thank you, but it’s nothing. I’m always like this.” Fluttershy blushed lightly, but couldn’t fully hide her smile behind her mane.

“I’ll help you feed the animals. You seem to have a little army here,” he said with a snort.

Fluttershy looked nervously at him, shaking her head. “Oh, it’s okay, I’ll take care of everything.”

“Being a good host is an important virtue,” repeated Drakkar, “but we’re also helpful guests. I insist on aiding you. Besides, the sooner we finish here, the sooner we can go meet the lord in charge.”

“Umm, actually, the owner is a she: Mayor Mare.”

“Alright then, let’s start feeding the animals here.”

Fluttershy nodded as she trotted inside her house. Drakkar wandered a little through the yard when he noticed something tackling his leg. With a raised eyebrow, he turned to see a young wild boar poking him with its tusks.

Drakkar snorted and kneeled to meet the creature face to face. “Well, what an interesting guy we have here. Want to play?”

The wild boar jumped back with a low squeak and lowered its head, to which Drakkar replied by crouching and getting ready to receive the animal’s tackle, being careful to ensure that the boar wouldn’t be hurt by his horn. After taking a short run-up, the young wild boar charged towards him, bashing its head with Drakkar’s. The stallion stumbled a bit but didn’t fall; the young animal, however, had fallen on its side. It got up and ran in circles for a while.

“Wow, not bad at all for a little boar! Do you think you can go for a second round?”

The little wild boar hopped gleefully and got ready for a second tackle, but this time they were interrupted by a furious Fluttershy.

“Oh, no no no!” she cried as she galloped to stand in the middle of them. “What did I tell you, little one? No fighting!” She then turned to Drakkar, shouting and using her wings to lift herself to his eye level. “And what do you have to say for yourself, Drakkar?! You gave me your word, and the moment I turn my back, you’re attacking one of my patients!”

“Fluttershy, it’s okay,” said Drakkar, taking a step back. He raised a hoof, gesturing at her to calm down. “We were just playing, and he was having fun, right, little friend?” The wild boar hopped and nodded, oinking happily.

After hearing the young animal’s joyful sounds, Fluttershy calmed down and landed. She lowered her head and walked over to the young animal. “Sorry for that, I just don’t want him to get hurt.” She snuggled the wild boar, to which he replied by rolling over, expecting her to rub his belly. “Also, I’m afraid that I have to go and buy some food for myself.”

“Do you want me to go with you?” Drakkar looked at the young wild boar and winked at him. “Don’t worry, little one, we’ll play some more when we return.”

“I don’t really want to cause you any trouble, Drakkar.”

“It’s not trouble. It’s a good way to see the town and check if the reports have to be updated. Besides, if we get close to the town hall, I might be able to introduce myself to the mayor.”

“Oh… okay, if you want to come, I don’t mind.”

“Let’s get going then,” said Drakkar. Both ponies walked away, but he turned back and waved to the young wild boar. “I'll be back in a moment, little boar!”

-o-

Drakkar and Fluttershy wandered around the town square, searching for the food stands. The stallion watched in awe the large amount of ponies selling their goods of all kind, from the most exquisitely crafted jewelry to simple kitchen tools. Most ponies stared at the odd couple, but returned to their business when the giant stallion walked past their stalls.

“This is amazing!” he exclaimed. “I’ve never seen so many ponies and stands in the same place. And so many different things!”

“Don’t you have as many stands in Scandineighvia?” asked Fluttershy with a raised eyebrow.

“I can’t be certain. We aren’t famous for our broad selection of goods. We mostly eat jerky, salted fish and the occasional berries and, save for the latter, the rest can stay edible for a very long time. I know it must sound disgusting to you, but it’s the only thing we have there.” He looked around with an air of curiosity. “As for the rest of our things, we go for efficiency. So we don’t craft stuff to be pretty, save for jewelry, and that’s mostly only seen in nobility or as a wedding gift.”

“It’s okay. By the way, your name sounds a bit… odd. Sorry, it’s just that—”

Drakkar laughed. “I could say the same about your name, Fluttershy. In my homeland, there are hardly any names that resemble the ones I’ve heard in Equestria. I’ve heard names like Octavia, Derpy, Carrot Top, Berry Punch… that last mare had interesting conversation and looked like she could beat some of my folks in a drinking game.”

During the course of the conversation and walk to the market, Fluttershy became more relaxed in Drakkar’s presence. He seemed to enjoy everything he saw, and she didn’t mind stopping every now and then to see the shops and what they had on sale. Despite his imposing size and looks, Drakkar was enjoyable company, though she tried to avoid looking at the bear pelt, which was still a terrifying sight for her. He spoke proudly of everything she asked about his homeland. It didn’t matter if he talked about his days in the military or the drunk stories at the meadery, his eyes shone with glee with every word.

“Then what are common names in your homeland?” asked Fluttershy after browsing through some shops.

“Well, we have the twins Ginnun and Gagap. Those little rascals are never up to any good. Then we have Ǫlpottr, the owner of the meadery, I already mentioned him at your house. A bit of a cheap pony, he never allows patrons to leave without paying and he’ll never accept paying another day. But if you have the blizzes to spend, he’ll make sure that your mug is never empty for too long.”

“Blizzes?” Fluttershy stared at him in confusion.

Drakkar levitated a small silver coin from a small bag covered with his bear pelt. “This is a blizz, our currency. They’re called like that because of the Blizzard Dynasty, the one ruling Scandineighvia for seven centuries. However, let’s get more names. I remember some of my hoofcarl mates, Rosta, Vigi, Varð and Veiði. Also—”

“Mjǫllna!” cried a mare behind them.

“Yeah, that’s actually a name I’d hear in Scandin—” Drakkar suddenly stopped walking with widened eyes. “It can’t be. Is there actually a pony named Mjǫllna here, in Equestria?”

“Mjǫllna?” Fluttershy tipped her chin for a moment. “Oh, right, she’s the blacksmith pony around here!”

“She’s a blacksmith? That really sounds like a mare of my hometown.” He looked around trying to find her.

“Umm… How can you try looking for her if you don’t know what she looks like?” Fluttershy inquired.

Drakkar’s ears fell down. “Now that I think of it, you’re right. But I’ve heard her name, so she must be close.” He looked back at Fluttershy with a weak smile. “I’m the first Scandineighvian pony who has traveled to Equestria in a generation, but there’s another folk of mine around here! I want to meet her and know why she’s here. We don’t leave our homeland without a strong reason.”

“Oh… okay. I’ll help you find her, if that’s okay with you.”

“Thanks, Fluttershy.” Drakkar perked up his ears and looked around. “She must be around here!”

“Over here, Mjǫllna!” cried a mare from a group of three that were taking care of a flower stand.

Drakkar turned to meet the three florists and saw Mjǫllna. At first he wasn’t sure that she was the one, but he changed his mind as soon as he overheard her voice. She had the Scandineighvian accent, though it was mixed with the local one. Her cutie mark, a hammer with a bolt of lightning, was quite similar to the ones his folks had. Her long, cream mane rested gracefully over her shoulders, contrasting perfectly with her tan fur. She had a sturdy build, but not too much; a fit, but not overly muscular mare. To Drakkar’s eyes, she definitely was the epitome of Norse beauty.

“I have to talk to her. I must know why she’s here,” insisted Drakkar. “I’ll be back in a moment, Fluttershy.”

Drakkar trotted hastily, dodging ponies in his way to meet Mjǫllna. However, the sight of such huge pony wearing the skin of a savage animal caused the florists to gawk in fear and yell. When the three mares ran away, Mjǫllna looked back with a raised eyebrow.

“Uh… sorry about that,” he said, pointing at the fleeing mares.

“Oh, it’s okay, there’s always something that creeps them out,” she said with a soft snort as she turned to see them running. With a smile, she turned back to him, blinking a few times. “Do I know you? I know it sounds odd, but you really look familiar. Have we met before?”

“I’m afraid that’s next to impossible. This is the first time I’ve left Scandineighvia.”

Mjǫllna’s jaw dropped. “You’re from Scandineighvia?”

“That’s right. I overheard your name among the crowd and it sounded like the ones at home, and I was really curious. I thought you were Scandineighvian too.”

“Oh, no, I was born here, but my great-grandmother moved from Scandineighvia to Equestria about half a century ago. She was pregnant when she moved, so my grandmother has full Scandineighvian blood. And from there, my family has crossed with Equestrian ponies, so my heritage is quite diluted.”

“Even so, you have a noticeable accent from the North, even if it’s slightly mixed with the one here.” Drakkar snickered, still unable to believe his luck. “This is unbelievable! You, a descendant of Scandineighvian ponies, here in Equestria!”

“I know, and you’re here too! It’s crazy!” Mjǫllna focused her attention on Drakkar’s bear pelt. “And look at this! My grandmother told me about this. A… hoofjarl? Hoofgar… No, hoofcarl!”

“That’s right!” cheered Drakkar with a wide grin. “Hoofcarl at the service of the Jarl Winter Blizzard!”

Mjǫllna stared at him with a surprised glare. “Wow! He’s still the Jarl? He was in charge when my great-grandmother moved to Ponyville!”

“Yes, he is. To be fair, he was too young to lead when the previous Jarl died, so they had a regent until he became an adult. By the way, what’s your great-grandmother’s name?”

She raised an eyebrow at Drakkar’s sudden curiosity about her ancestor. “Gleipna, why?”

Drakkar stared at Mjǫllna with widened eyes. “You… you’re a descendant of Gleipna!?”

“Do you know her?” she asked with a grin.

“Know her? Mjǫllna, your great-grandmother is one of the most famous shieldmares our land has ever seen. There’s a statue of her right in the center of the city. They even wrote an Edda for her! Every hoofcarl I can think of knows Gleipna’s Edda by heart.”

“Including you?” inquired Mjǫllna with an inquisitive look.

Drakkar blinked a few times, momentarily lost in Mjǫllna’s ravishing light tan eyes. “Including me, of course!”

“Can I hear it?” She paused for a second, then leaned forward with a grin. “No, wait, you have to come to my house. My grandmother must listen to it too!”

“Uhh, I’d love to, but I’m afraid that I only know it in our language, and with the translation it will lose a lot of the alliteration and rhythm. However, I can work on a crude translation so you can—” Drakkar stopped talking, blushing lightly. “Sorry, I’m assuming that you don’t understand Scandineighvian. I’m sure that your grandmother has taught you.”

Mjǫllna giggled playfully. “Oh, it’s okay, you don’t need to apologize. Truth be told, I know basic Scandineigvian; a few words and expressions that my grandmother uses every now and then when my mother’s not around. But I’d surely need to listen to the translated song, although I’d love to hear the original one too.” Mjǫllna then threw a charming glance at him and a playful smile. “My grandmother used to say that Scandineighvian ponies had outstanding singing voices.”

Drakkar snickered, looking up for a moment before starting back at her. “Well, I don’t know the opinion of Equestrian ponies. I haven’t sung for anypony aside from myself during my long journeys.”

“That’s too bad. We’ll, you’ll have a small group waiting for you when you have the translation ready,” Mjǫllna replied with a humble smile. “By the way, where are you staying?”

“Oh, actually I can’t say that I’m staying somewhere at the moment. I got to Fluttershy’s house and got into an argument with her bear.”

Mjǫllna burst into laughter. “You really are a Scandineighvian pony.”

“I also found this little wild boar, and we played tackling for a while. The young animal sure has a lot of energy.” Drakkar’s ears suddenly perked up and his eyes widened. “By Þórshamarr! “We’ve been talking for a long time! I told Fluttershy that I’d be away only a moment.”

“Looks like she’s coming,” said Mjǫllna, pointing at her.

Fluttershy trotted slowly towards them with a lowered head. “Umm, sorry to interrupt. I, um, just wanted to check if everything was alright. I was getting a bit worried.”

“No need to worry, Fluttershy. We were actually talking,” assured Drakkar with a smile.

“I saw you were taking awhile, so I went to buy the food on my own.”

Drakkar’s ears lowered as he looked down in shame. “Sorry, Fluttershy. I lost track of time.”

“So did I,” seconded Mjǫllna. “It’s unbelievable that I’m actually talking to a pony from my ancestors’ homeland!”

“If you want, I can go back home and leave you two here,” said Fluttershy, feeling as though she had interrupted something important between the ponies. “You can come back later, I’ll have lunch ready.”

“Oh, Fluttershy, it won’t be necessary.”

“But you don’t have a place to stay,” insisted Fluttershy. “And you can help me with the animals if you want to. I misjudged you this morning, and I want to make up for it.”

Drakkar nodded gently. “If you insist, I accept your generous offer. Besides, I’m looking forward to seeing that little wild boar again,” he added with a grin.

“I have to return to the smithy,” said Mjǫllna. “I came here looking for some flowers for my grandmother’s birthday next week, but I think that your song about Gleipna will make a much better gift. If you want to visit me at my workplace, just ask around and they’ll guide you!” Mjǫllna winked at Drakkar with a grin and a salute before turning back and trotting away. “Until we meet again, hoofcarl Drakkar!”

He stood motionless, staring at Mjǫllna as she moved away from them. Fluttershy turned to face him and noticed that he was barely paying attention to his surroundings.

“Umm, can we go home now?” asked Fluttershy timidly.

“Y-yeah, yeah, let’s go,” replied Drakkar, coming back to his senses.