Ragnarok: The Day After
The day a band of Aesir and Vanir, called gods and led by Freyr, broke into Muspell to steal it's flame, was the day his son, Rauòur, died.
Surtur could do nothing but think fondly of times long gone. He remembered his first sight of Hvitur, a maiden who had bewitched his eyes. She was as radiant as the brightest of stars, and invoked Surtur's passion and fire more than the sun. Her hair was red-brown, kept in a long braid. Her face dotted with freckles, whose lust invoked could kill thousands upon mere sight. Her skin was fair, and it was from that fair skin she was so named Hvitur, or White. But what had bent Surtur to choose her, was her smile, for that alone was worth all in existence.
Surtur had been a strong warrior then, but his desire for Hvitur upon first sight drove him mad with purpose. In battle upon battle he would leap first into the fray, often taking wounds to his body. But it did not matter, for he felt no pain in those days. A thousand spears could pierce him, and he would not fall. A thousand swords could slice him, and he would not break. And a thousand maces could break his bones, and he would not die. For in his eyes, was love of Hvitur.
Surtur's ferocity and tenacity was rewarded. His honor and glory was one of the greatest in all of Muspell, and few dared to challenge him in combat. Hvitur's father heard wind of Surtur's deeds, and he gave his approval to their courtship. Little time passed, and Hvitur desired Surtur as much as Surtur did Hvitur. Upon recognition of this, Surtur asked her father for her hand and paid a great bridal tribute. Within the fortnight, they were married.
It took little effort, in Surtur's part, for Hvitur to become great with child. Soon their son was born, and they named him Rauòur, or Red. He was a healthy child, and from out his head grew hair thick and red as the hottest of flames. It was thus decided to name him alike his father in tribute, who had been named Surtur or Black, for his hair was darker than soot.
Rauòur grew up strong and agile, able to dodge and roll against even the most swift of warriors. If he took a wound, he would feel no pain and continue to fight for his kin. Maybe this had been his undoing. No Surtur thought, it had been him. It had been Freyr.
Rauòur had been like his father in more ways than just strength. He too, fell in love with a maiden whose skin was white and fair like ivory, and desired to prove himself in battle to win her hand. This led Rauòur to face Freyr and the band of gods in battle.
Rauòur leapt into battle, as Surtur and his kin clashed sword and shield with both Aesir and Vanir. He ran forward, ignoring all duels and challenges, and slashed his sword at a man with brown hair, whose armor was leather and fur and iron. Rauòur had probably assumed that man was their leader, and he had assumed correctly.
Surtur did not know what words had been exchanged between Rauòur and the god whose name he did not yet know, but he remembered his initial impression of Rauòur's opponent. Handsome, yet with an expression that ignored all worry or fear and almost....bored. Surtur stood back and did not try to intervene, for he thought Rauòur strong and that his opponent was no one special. How wrong he was.
It was when the god unsheathed his sword, that he knew something was wrong. For the villain threw his sword in the air, and it did not fall to the ground. No, it levitated with some foul magic, and begun to clash with his son. Rauòur had been confused by this sword, or maybe just overpowered, and thus was perpetually on the defensive. The sword swung on its own, yet at a distance where Rauòur could not get close to its wielder, leaving no opening nor weakness to be found. Their blades danced and spark became life, but all that ends, is extinguished. For that sword that fought by itself, had slit Rauòur's belly wide open. Surtur ran for his son, anger boiling out of his mouth. He leapt a distance of mountains, and ignored sword or spear that flew at him. But it did not matter. For that sword had pierced Rauòur's heart, and Rauòur lay dead.
Surtur's heart raged, and he danced like a madman, attacking Freyr with his sword. It did not matter, for anytime he tried to get close, that cursed floating sword defended its foul wizard master. Freyr barely even looked at him, much less focused his attention on his attacks or worried for his life. This drove Surtur even madder with rage, for his son's slayer treated him as an insect. A beast so small and useless that it did require the time of day. Surtur's hatred for the god, whose name he still did not know, was born in that instant. If his righteous anger sparked with Rauòur's death, it was the utter indifference to Surtur's grief and sadness that bore his hatred for Freyr. Here, a being called god, and worshipped as good, had slain his child and ignored the feelings of his father.
Surtur's attacks were wild and frenzied. He never defended with shield, preferring to block with sword. Sparks flew often as the swords clashed, and the dance of the mad swords drew on for what seemed like eternity. Around the dance, however, a commotion and crowd had started. Aesir, Vanir and sons of Muspell had stopped their fighting and looked on in awe as Surtur fought with the floating sword of Freyr. Even Thor, the truest god of them all, clothed in red tunic and golden belt, who stood upon his chariot pulled by twin black goats, was watching them duel. Thor despised giants, always killing many when he went east to Jotunheim, land of Frost and Earth Giants, and did not differentiate the sons of Muspell, known as Fire Giants. But even he stood impressed with the good show in his sight. But like all good shows and stories, they must eventually end.
Freyr had still taken little interest in Surtur's frenzy, and nothing of that changed. But Surtur had begun to weaken, his strength began to gave out. He did not know how to defeat a sword that fought on its own, and eventually Surtur's defeat was made inevitable, as he moved too slow by an inch, and a slice ran across his lower body. Though sliced, he did not feel pain. Blood dripped from his wound, and steamed upon his skin, so hot were the fires of Muspell. But unlike mighty Thor, Surtur was not deserving the title of god. His movements slowed, his senses dulled, and the foul sword landed another attack. This time upon his right arm, hitting the bone. It did not break it, but blood sprang forth and covered Surtur's sword arm. Surtur understood the inevitable, but he would not give in without harming his son's murderer. So with all the strength his left arm could muster, he threw his shield at Freyr as his right hand blocked the foul sword. It banged Freyr upon his head, and taunts grew loud from both god and giant. Upon this action, Freyr finally turned to Surtur, and grew interested.
But it had been too late, for Surtur had been wounded across belly and arm, and more wounds followed. A missed dodge caused a slash across his chest, a defective deflection caused the sword to penetrate his left leg. And finally, the finishing blow to their dance came, to Surtur's right knee. Freyr had closed in to his sword, and the sword acted even wilder in protection of its master, striking Surtur's right knee by the side. And with that strike, Surtur fell, sword clanging upon the ground and out of his hand. In a last act of conviction and with all his remaining strength, Surtur flung himself toward's his son's corpse, and cradled his head in his arms.
"Rauòur my son, my only child. You fought valiantly against an impossible foe, but your father was too weak to avenge you. This cruel wizard has left you slain, and now I am to join you. With this I am glad, for I will meet you in death and we shall not be parted. Please forgive your father, weakling and coward, who could not save you. Please look upon him when he joins you in death. But if you cannot, then that is fine. As long as you may speak to your terrible father, then it will all be fine. And if you cannot, then that too is fine. As long as your father shall know you are near, then all is good and fine. And if you cannot, then that is also fine. For your father has failed you, and you have died before him. There is no greater wrong for a father to commit, and if you could not stand your father's soul, then all would be alright. He would not blame you."
Surtur waited for the finishing blow, and expected his chest to be pierced from behind. He would allow this disgrace as a warrior, if it meant his final sight was that of his son, sleeping peacefully in his arms.
The strike to end his life never came.
Surtur's hands shook as they held Rauòur's body, but finally he turned his head, wondering when he could see his son whole again. Behind him, Freyr, whose name still did not yet know, stood with sword in hand. They met eyes, and Surtur felt the greatest repulsion one could feel. Freyr's expression was blank, more vacant than a void, as if he did not understand what he saw. Finally, he sheathed his sword and turned his head to his companion.
"Lord Freyr, will you not deal the final blow?" A man smaller than Freyr, with hair blond like gold said. It was upon hearing that remark that Surtur finally learned the god's name, the name of his mortal foe and the Vanir god who would haunt his dreams every night as ghost and watcher.
"Skirnir, we shall be leaving. Thor let us make haste back to Asgard, I do not desire to continue here. " His voice was rasp and bitter. Surtur understood in that moment, it was a tone shaped by disgust. The servant, now known to Surtur as Skirnir, nodded his head and walked away from the once battle. Thor, upon his great chariot pulled by twin black goats, pulled the reins and changed the chariot's course to a direction heading out of Muspell. Surtur understood in that moment, what was to happen. That he would live. And he could not bare it.
"Freyr! You cursed wizard! Why will you not strike me? You take my son, and deprive me reunion in death? Why?!"
Freyr refused to look at Surtur, his heart full of revulsion for the Fire Giant.
"You are not worth striking." And Freyr turned away from Surtur, and along with the other gods, marched away from where the fire giants stood. But Surtur refused to remain quiet. He refused to let this end without a curse for the slayer of his son. The extinguisher of his light.
"Freyr! I swear to strike you down, I swear it by my name, Surtur! I swear I shall watch the life flow out of you, and have your head!" Freyr stopped for a moment. He said nothing, and did nothing. He had just stopped as if inconvenienced by the buzzing of a fly, and realized he had no need to swat it. He continued on, without looking back at Surtur. And that was how Surtur lived.
Note to reader: I am somewhat unsatisfied with how the content is phrased above the dashed line, and will likely eventually reword it. There will not be major changes in content, only phrasing. Everything below is satisfactory to me. Please comment if you think otherwise or if you believe something needs improvement.