“Are you sure?” demanded one of the giants who stood guard before Thrym’s hall in Jotunheim.
“The boss is not going to like this,” commented the other rolling his eyes.
“When have you EVER known ME to be wrong about betrayal?” asked the hooded figure standing before them. They both looked down at him, then at each other.
“You tell him,” they both said together as they turned and pushed open the doors.
The hooded man drew his cloak around himself and strode into the hall.
“You never bring good news,” grumbled Thrym from atop his throne. Three giantesses lounged on the steps beneath it. Coo’ing for smiles from their king.
“There is no good news or bad news, sire,” the hooded man said as he stopped before Thrym and hooked his thumbs in his belt.
“There is only news.”
“Well, then,” the giant took a swig from his horn. “What is the NEWS?”
“The country that call themselves ‘Nurgle’ have decided to support One Eye.”
Thrym swallowed loudly, then tipped the horn to empty it. He then passed it to a giantess who handed it down the line until a smaller giant came and refilled it. Then it made its way back up.
“Do you realize how tired I am of having to go over THERE to see that cyclops!? I am sick of him drinking first, and eating first, and standing first. It has been long since I won this game. It is time for Thrym first.”
“You have still won with fewer,” the hooded man soothed. “Do you not remember The Battle of Six Rings?”
Thrym sighed, “Ah yes … now THAT was some giant-damned beautiful strategy. Two armies with three rings each met and fought. They knew the winner of that battle would win the game.”
“What they did NOT know was a single man from a third had snuck up on the flank,” the hooded man smiled. Even in shadows his teeth shone white.
“Boom,” Thrym laughed and took a swig from the fresh horn.
They both laughed for a moment then returned to their conversation.
“But, do you see any Hannibals in THIS lot?” Thrym questioned directly.
“I do not know about that,” replied the hooded man. “But I would not underestimate the purple ones. And the dark elves are fierce. The orks are a wildcard. They may blow themselves up with the boulder. Or they may run it directly into a crowd. Or … they could forget and leave it wherever they make their excrement.”
Thrym scratched his beard.
A dwarf fell out and scurried away.
“I assume you will invoke *hefnd* on this ‘Nurgle,’ as well as Ched Nasad.” the hooded figure prompted.
“Of course. I will send a message to Odin.”
The hooded figure nodded slightly. Maybe it was a bow. He turned and began to walk away.
“And one more thing,” Thrym called out and the man paused and looked back over his shoulder.
“I want YOU to enter the game,” the giant-king instructed.
The hooded figure turned and continued out of the hall. Again his smile shone through the shadow on his face.
The Rings Game
“This Game Has Been Played Before”