Chapter 9: Conflict

Opening File: Jotunheim

Jotunheim, also known as Jotunheim and Utgard, is one of the Nine Realms of the World Tree, home of the ancient race of Jötnar. The landscape of Jotunheim is a wilderness similar to old Earth's but on a much grander scale. Most modern scholars depict it as a frozen wasteland, which is actually the depiction of the realm Niflheim.

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Opening File: The Lady of the Forge

A mysterious blacksmith living in the Dwarf realm of Nidavellir, who can create any kind of weapon, so long as the materials are provided.

Where she came from is a mystery, but she has been very benevolent to the people who come seeking her aid.

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Opening File: Farbauti

Farbauti is the mo-

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File is experiencing abnormal chrono changes in timeline caused by Jim Lake Jr. using the Timestone.

Timeline changes normalized, continuing file access.

Farbauti is the father of Loki and former husband of Laufey, Loki's mother.

The Old Norse name Fárbauti has been translated as 'dangerous striker', 'anger striker', 'sudden striker', and interpreted as 'lightning'. It is a compound formed with the noun fár ('hostility, danger, unfortunateness, falseness') attached to the verb bauta ('to strike').

Farbauti had once united the Jotun of Jotunheim under his banner in order to wage war against the Aesir. This war had once raged across all of the Nine Realms and its intensity only worsened when the fire Jotun Surtr and his forces of Muspelheim joined forces. Eventually, for unknown reasons, Surtr and his fire Jotun would withdraw from the fight which would then lead to Farbauti's defeat.

During the final battle in Jotunheim Farbauti would abandon his son Loki as an infant who he saw as small and weak, a result of him being born early. Laufey would eventually abandon her husband for this act but before she could find her son he was taken by Odin and adopted into the royal Aesir family.

His command over Jotunheim has been lost with many coming to support his rival Utgard-Loki, who advocates for peace across the realms and would prefer it if Ragnarok does not come to pass.

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Xxx

Nidavellir

After receiving Merlin's instructions Claire and Archie got Brok to take them to meet The Lady of the Forge in Nidavellir. After taking a realm passageway to the realm's capital city the dwarven blacksmith led them to a mountain that the Lady lived in and eventually came to a lake with a platform over it and said platform had a large metallic object over it that resembled a bell.

"I don't get it, where's the forge?" Claire asked.

"You don't see the form of a forge…" Brok said as he walked onto the platform and stood next to a wheel. "…but we're going to the nature of one."

At those words Archie took notice of the bell-shaped object over the platform and came to a realization.

"I see now." Archie said as he flew over and landed on the platform. "The Lady must be an aquatic being and uses the pressure of the water combined with whatever magic she has to make weapons. This object over the platform is a diving bell."

"Like what deep sea divers on Earth use for air pockets." Claire said as she walked onto the platform and Archie then hopped onto her shoulder.

"Bingo!" Brok said as he gestured to the wheel for Claire with a metal pole to be used as Claire's new magical staff. "Give it a crank."

Claire followed his instructions and turned it. The diving bell came down and shielded the three on it and the diving bell lowered into the lake.

"I still don't get why I need a staff?" Claire said as she infused the amethyst stone with her shadow magic. "I know they can make a wizard and witch more powerful but aren't they for masters?

"True but you're already a prodigy with shadow magic Claire." Archie said as the water outside began to darken from the lower depths. "You were able open portals to the Shadow Realm without a staff, something Morgana couldn't do until after Bellroc and Skrael brought her back from it. And let's not forget that when Arthur died, the dark magic he used to control Jim faded and ended up killing the Trollhunter, you managed to resurrect Jim with your magic, and he returned to being a normal human again."

"But that last one was an accident." Claire said as Brok handed her the staff. "I didn't expect my tears to resurrect him."

"Magic is mastery over life." Archie reasoned. "Accident or not a sixteen-year-old girl performing a resurrection spell is almost unheard of, and let's not forget your large-scale shadow portals to teleport a Titan or most of the Trolls in Trollmarket, or even when you found that Jim's soul was still within that corrupted Troll body of his when you ventured into the Shadow Realm when Nari couldn't find him, even if she wasn't at her full-power at the time with the Genesis Seals locked. As far as me, Douxie, and Nari are concerned you've earned your staff my dear."

Claire smiled at the words of encouragement from the small shapeshifting dragon.

"Shhh!"

The two of them turned to Brok who had made the sound as he looked around the darkened windows of the diving bell.

CREAK!

The diving bell suddenly stopped, and the group looked out one of the windows and saw a little light outside. They could make out a silhouette outside.

"Here she comes!" The Dwarven blacksmith said with some excitement as The Lady came into view.

"My god!" Archie said as he saw The Lady. "She's a Celtic Mermaid!"

The Lady faced the group from the window and true enough she was indeed a mermaid. She had a magenta-colored body and a long fishtail with glitter at the end. She also has scales on her head that simulate hair, some golden decorations on her arms, and yellow eyes with black sclera. She touched the window with her left hand and the glass seemed to turn into a liquid that remained in place. Then with both hands she brought them through the window in front of Claire waiting for her to give her the materials she had.

Claire handed the staff to one of The Lady's right hands and the shadow magic infused amethyst stone to her left. With both objects in her hands, The Lady brings them into the water and a golden glow surrounded the two. With movements from her hands the two objects began to rapidly encircle each other and in a brief flash they became one as a new staff. The metal pole base was neatly polished with parts of the staff now curving a bit and holding the shadow amethyst crystal at the top in sharp curved blade. Grasping the Witch's Staff, she seemed pleased and then she turned toward the window with her left hand forward.

"She needs the final ingredient…" Brok said.

"Erebus' blood." Claire said as she brought out the vial of primordial god blood.

With a little hesitation Claire stuck out her hand holding the vial through the window. The Lady swims forward and takes the vial. She opens it and the blood seems to move like a snake that follows the movement of the Lady's hand. She then commands it to go to the new staff and in a golden flash the staff disappeared and in its place was a golden ring that hand engravings on it, and on the ring was a small amethyst gemstone. The ring brought Douxie's Charm Bracelet to Claire's mind. Said bracelet is what he used to store the names of spells he learned along with his own staff. Grabbing the ring, she brings it through the window and towards Claire.

"Thank you." Claire says with a nod of her head before taking the ring. Claire then puts it on and then walks to the center of the diving bell. A purple light appears in Claire's right hand and the staff materializes.

"Wow." Brok said in amazement before something came to his mind. "Daufi fretr! Almost forgot-"

Brok approached the window and asked the Lady, "Ma'am…it would be an honour if you might…bless it for us."

As Claire and Archie looked out of the window, they noticed that the Lady had only been looking at them and not Brok this whole time.

"Are you, uh…?" Brok asked before realizing that she wasn't looking at him. "Hello?" He waved at her to get her attention, but she touched the window turning it back into glass before swimming off. "Hello?" Brok called again to no avail.

"The f*** was that?" Brok asked. "She acts like I weren't even here…"

"A Celtic mermaid doesn't speak to our corporeal bodies; they speak to a part of our soul." Archie explained as Claire made her staff disappear and then turned the wheel to raise the diving bell. "A part I believe you might be missing."

"What are you talking about?" Brok asked the dragon.

"Brok, did you die by any chance and was improperly resurrected?" Archie asked.

Brok thought for a moment before realizing something. "F***, that spider. F***!" Brok than began to pace around the diving bell. "Dammit, Sindri! Ya lying scat-scrubber!" I knew it! I died! I f***ing DIED!"

Claire then materialized her staff and slammed the butt end of it into the ground to get Brok's attention.

"The f*** you want girl?" The irritated Dwarf said to the shadow witch.

"What spider?" She asked.

"A black widow once got into our forge and bit me. I passed out and when I came to Sindri said he managed to get the poison out of me in time." Brok explained. "But now I know that turd lied! He must've gone to the Lake of Souls to get me back and revive me but missed a piece of my soul!"

"Specifically, the part of his soul that knows which afterlife to go to." Archie explained.

"Yeah, so the next time I die there will be nothing waiting for me just a whole lot of nothing." Brok said. "When I see that idiot I'm gonna-"

"It needs a blessing." Claire interrupted his rambling.

"Yeah, well the one to give us the blessing just f***ed off into the kelp!" Brok said as he walked to another window with his back to Claire and Archie

"It needs the blessing of a great blacksmith." Claire said as she bent down on one knee and presented the staff.

"What…?" Brok said as he turned around. "Nah. Nah, I can't bless s***. I don't have all my soul bits. It… the blessin' wouldn't mean squat…"

"It is the nature of a thing that matters. Not its form." Claire explained. "I know what Sindri did wasn't right but you're his brother, he did it because he loves you. Eventually you will die again but until then you can teach him how to let go of things and not to live in the past."

Brok dwelled on Claire's words for a moment before nodding his head.

"Alright…" Brok said as he approached the new Shadow Staff and closed his eyes.

"May this weapon strike true; may it be wielded with wisdom; may it be put down when its job is done." Brok said before opening his eyes as the diving bell returned to its docking port.

Claire stores the staff back into her ring and then rose back onto her feet. "Let's head back to Vanaheim."

"Yeah, let's hope your boyfriend, his pet, and Douxie are having it easy as we are." Brok said with solemnness in his voice after learning that his soul is missing a piece. "Jotunheim's people stand divided especially with Loki's father Farbauti trying to regain the control he once had over that realm."

Xxx

Jotunheim

Jim's group had successfully made it to the realm of Jotunheim and were currently trekking their way through a forest of pine trees. Jim himself had noted to himself that the realm was far different then what most scholars back on Earth would describe it. To most scholars, they would describe the home of the Jotun has a frozen wasteland but the realm itself was no different than Earth itself.

As the humans and adolescent wolf made their way to find the king of the Mountain Jotun, Douxie was explaining to Jim that mages call Quintessence Mana and its importance to giving life to the living beings of the universe and how mages use it to cast magic spells.

"So basically, their the same thing but with different names?" Jim said to the master wizard.

"Yeah, according to Krel Quintessence is the name used by scientists and by those who have a deeper understanding of it." Douxie explained.

Suddenly, Sir-Barks-A-Lots ears perked up and the adolescent wolf dashed ahead of his human compatriots.

"What's wrong Barks?" Jim asked as him and Douxie hurried after the wolf.

They followed the wolf out of the forest and to their surprise they came across a town with a castle, but this was no ordinary town. This town and its castle is the home of Utgard-Loki, and his home was under siege from hostile Jotun. The two humans spared each other a glance before rushing in with Barks following suite.

The body that Utgard-Loki's people face was a perilous one, for the raiders attack was one that came so suddenly and without warning. Already these townsfolk were experiencing heavy casualties and had to abandon some of the town's districts and pull back closer to the castle. The raiders were clad in coats of animal fur and sometimes masks to cover their faces. The male raiders wore deer hides with masks decorated with stag antlers and wield an antler-like mace which gave them the appearances of stag. The female raiders were adorned with owl feathers and an owl-like mask or tribal face paint.

The defenders of the town themselves mostly fought clad in traditional casual Nordic clothes, no doubt because of the sneak attack leaving most of them unable to adorn themselves in armor in time. Only a few of the defenders got their armor on in time, the most notable among the defenders was a 8ft tall figure in black with fur leggings and tunic, a soot-smeared chain mail coat and a black iron helmet with a faceplate resembling a snarling wolf. This individual had two swords in his hands and fought ferociously. A raider tried to strike at him from his right, with a sidestep the defender avoids the attack and then plunges a sword into the raider's back. Then he swung his arm around causing the dead raider to come off the sword and be thrown into a charging group of raiders.

The defender is then engaged by five more raiders who circled around him. One charges with an axe in hand, the defender parries with one sword and uses his other one to slit the attacker's throat causing her to fall dead. Two more then attack the defender from all sides forcing him on the defensive. One of the attackers manages to knock away the sword in the defender's left hand away. The defender himself was unfazed by this he took a quick behind him to see the other attacker charging at him from behind. Thinking quickly, the defender grabs the opponent in front of him, turns around, and uses him as a meat shield. The charging attacker accidentally kills her comrade, shocking her. Taking advantage of this the defender grabs her head and with a sudden flash of magic the female raider was frozen solid. The defender then pushes the two dead raiders onto the ground causing the frozen one to shatter upon impact.

The last two attackers immediately charge at the defender next. One swings a sword that is quickly parried, the other swung her axe causing the defender to step back. But the sword wielder makes a swing at the defender's head, but his attack only manages to knock off the defender's helmet. His face revealed him to be an old man with gray hair and a weathered face that possessed blue eyes. With a snarl the old man throws his sword at the female raider, the blade impeding itself into her masked face. The last attacker steadied himself, but the old man used a flash of golden magic that turned himself into a gargantuan bear that lunged forward and mauled the last attacker to death. With the current enemies defeated the old man returns to his natural Jotun form and picks up another sword just as more of his own soldiers regrouped with him.

The group then sees more raiders charging at them from another pathway. The old man and his soldiers ready themselves for the next attack when suddenly…

"ELEMEN-ZATH!"

The defenders hear a voice call out and suddenly a burst of blue magical energy blasts the charging raiders killing several of them.

From the sky the defenders see a Douxie covered in a blue aura fly down with his staff in hand and land in front of them. Some of the raiders who survived the blast see the wizard killed their comrades. Before they could continue their attack, several metallic arrows were shot from the rooftops at them. The archer turned out to be Jim who was using his free-running skills to race across the rooftops of the buildings with Barks, now clad in armor, alongside him. Once he got close to Douxie and the defenders he jumped down in midair and dissipated his Moonlight Bow and then summoned Excalibur which was already glowing gold. With a yell he swung the mighty blade releasing a wave of golden light that destroyed the remaining raiders in the area.

"This is a surprise." The old man said to the two humans and adolescent wolf. "Jotunheim doesn't get many visitors from Midgard."

"Are you Utgard-Loki?" Douxie asked the old yet tall Jotun.

"I am."

"My name is Douxie Casperan and this is the Trollhunter Jim Lake Jr." Douxie said to Utgard. "I was once apprenticed to Merlin, and we've come to you for help in defeating Garmr."

"Why isn't Merlin here then?" Utgard-Loki asked. "I told him that if Garmr was unleashed again I would tell him the secret that I figured out on how to defeat that soulless wolf, no one else."

Jim and Douxie looked at each other before turning toward Utgard-Loki.

"You don't know?" Jim asked.

"Know what?" Utgard asked back.

"Merlin was killed by the Arcane Order a few months ago." Douxie solemnly said.

Utgard himself was shocked by this sudden news. One of his oldest friends had been dead for months and he didn't know.

"Ymir almighty." Utgard said in disbelief. "I'm sorry for my rudeness young wizard, I never in my wildest dreams even imagined that something like this would one day happen."

"Me neither." Douxie solemnly said before taking a deep breath to steel himself. "But we need to know the spell that can help us defeat Garmr."

The gathered Jotun all looked uneasy as this was a spell that they had never shared with non-Jotun before.

CRACK!

The gathered defenders turned to see a bolt of lightning strike on the other side of the town that had been previously abandoned in the fight, but now several of Utgard-s defenders were pushing back to that area.

"Help me put an end to this battle and I'll tell you the spell." Utgard-Loki said as him, Jim, Douxie, Barks, and the other defenders charged to were that bolt of lightning came from.

The lightning was called down in a district were raiders and defenders clashed heavily with one another. But the one who called down the bolt of lightning was a 9ft tall Jotun male, larger and burlier, sporting a thick hood made of ox pelt with tusk-like decorations that made him look like a wooly mammoth. He also had reddish-brown hair, a thick beard, and gray eyes. In his hand was a massive bone bident cackling with electricity.

A group of defenders charged at the burly Jotun. He snarled and swung his bident a few times and batted a few defenders away. Then he blasted a few bolts of lightning that killed a few and then he stabbed the bident forward into the last one and then swung the weapon around that threw off the dead Jotun.

BOOM!

The Jotun with the bident turns to see that groups of his soldiers have been destroyed by magical attacks. One attack was a golden wave, and another was a bolt of blue magic. He turns to see a group of defenders enter the area with two humans and a wolf, but it was the old eight-foot Jotun leading the group that caught his attention. Banging his bident on the ground and sending a bolt of lightning into the sky.

BOOM!

The battle stops and all parties turn to the leader of the raiders.

"UTGARD!" The bident wielding Jotun shouted. "COME AND FACE ME!"

"Your warmongering is going to endanger us all Farbauti!" Utgard-Loki said to the leader of the raiders.

"Mordrax's Miracles. That's Farbauti!?" Douxie asked in shock.

"Yes." Utgard confirmed.

"Oh fuzzbuckets!"

"Wait, who's Farbauti?" Jim asked.

"The father of Loki and former king of Jotunheim." Douxie said to the Trollhunter. "When he lost the Jotun-Aesir War he ended losing all support from the tribes of Jotunheim."

"And I've been his biggest rival for control of the realm these past few thousands of years." Utgard said. "He wants to bring war across the Nine Realms again while I want to maintain peace."

"Utgard you can't fight him there's a reason why he was once king of Jotunheim." Douxie said. "He's stronger and his fighting style is much more aggressive."

"I have to at least try Douxie." Utgard said to the young wizard as he gestured to how the defenders and raiders weren't fighting anymore. "As long as I'm fighting him one on one the battle will be stalled at least and if Farbauti dies his raiders will retreat."

"I'll fight him." Jim said to the two. "I've killed worse things than him."

Douxie thought for a moment before saying, "You might've defeated Bellroc on your own if you weren't fighting them with bruised ribs, you probably wouldn't have required the Trifurcate Radiation Blaster's help."

"Okay." Utgard said getting the humans attention. "But if it turns too dangerous, I'm coming in to stop him."

Jim nodded and then walked forward into the clearing in the town square to face the father of Loki.

"And what are you supposed to be?" Farbauti said with a chuckle as he gestured his bident toward the Trollhunter. "Some baby handed human thinking he can defeat a king!"

"I am Jim Lake Jr.!" Jim said as he pointed Excalibur at Farbauti. "Trollhutner, wielder of Excalibur, and a protector to beings both mortal and magical! I've killed bigger and worse things than you Farbauti!"

Farbauti snorted at Jim's words and raised his bident with both hands.

"Then you'll more gloriously than those who came before."

With a roar the Jotun king leaped into the air and channeled electricity into the bident as he brought it down toward Jim. Jim rolled right and then slashed Excalibur at Farbauti who blocked the sword strike with the bident. Jim was on the offensive as he made numerous slashes at the Jotun king who blocked each attack. On the last attack Farbauti manages to parry the sword and then he manages to kick Jim in the face causing him to roll on the ground back.

The defenders looked with worry as Barks growled at the Jotun king.

Jim managed to get back on his feet and put Excalibur on his back. Bringing his hands to his sides his glaives ejected themselves into his hands and then he connects them together. Him and Farbauti rush at each other, and Jim then throws the connected glaive at the Jotun. Farbauti dodges the attack and brings his bident down on Jim who quickly manages to summon his shield and block the attack. Jim summons Excalibur from his back to his right hand and slashes Farbauti who backs up, but something cuts his left arm. Grunting in pain a bit he sees that it was Jim' boomerang glaive, it disappears back into Jim's armor after coming back.

Growling, Farbauti raises his bident into the air and a bolt of lightning comes down and hits it causing the weapon and the wielder to be covered in lightning. Jim remains undeterred and starts slashing Excalibur forward releasing waves of golden light at the Jotun. Using his electricity Farbauti manages to create a barrier to protect himself and because of his larger size and height he was able to charge forward with the electric barrier. Once he got close enough his electricity was gone and stabbed the bident forward and although Jim was able to block the attack Farbauti managed to use his lefthand to grab the Trollhunter and throw him into a wooden wagon that broke once Jim crashed into it.

The raiders cheered for their leader's move and Barks growled even more at the hits the Jotun was landing on the Trollhunter. Having enough, the adolescent wolf charged into the fight despite Douxie's commands telling him not to.

"Barks get back!"

Farbauti saw the wolf enter the fray and when he leapt up at the Jotun King's neck Farbauti managed to grab the adolescent wolf's neck with one hand. Smirking deviously, Farbauti channeled electricity into the wolf causing him to whimper in pain. Jim saw this all unfold before him.

"Let him go!" Jim demanded as Farbauti turned his attention to the Trollhunter.

"As you wish." He said with a grin. Farbauti then throws the wolf into a building on the defender's side causing him even more pain. Douxie quickly rushed to help the young wolf.

Jim was furious at the cruelty that Farbauti displayed, and he suddenly felt a fury that he hadn't felt since Gunmar took over Trollmarket so long ago. With a yell he charges forward and attacks the Jotun king who blocks the attack but ends up in a blade lock.

"Such fury, and all for a mut." Farbauti taunted.

"You'll choke on your own blood for that!" Jim said as used his armor to conjure his boots cleat addition.

Using the enchanted armament footwear Jim pushes upward into the air getting him out of the blade lock. Swinging the flat side of the sword Jim manages to hit Farbauti in the face causing him to get sent back. As Jim's cleats were dispelled, he felt another sensation and looked to his left hand to see that his Semblance was at work. Strands of green energy formed into a ball, he then turned toward Farbauti and threw the ball at the Jotun. Once it hit Farbauti was suspended in the air caught in a net of green energy much to his and his raiders own shock.

With a stone-cold expression on his face Jim charges forward as Excalibur glowed brightly with magic. As Farbauti struggled to get out he saw Jim running toward him and then he leaped into the air and plunged the sword into the Jotun king's chest. A golden light emitted from Farbauti's stab wound, mouth, and eyes as he gave a final scream.

"AARRRGGGGHHHHH!"

The Strand strings dissipated causing Farbauti's dead body to fall back onto the ground with Jim standing over it as he gave a cold look to Farbauti's raiders. They just saw their leader die and the hands of a human wielding incredible power. The only thing that was racing throw their minds and that was to…RUN!

"RETREAT!" One raider called.

Soon all the raiders fled the town as the defenders and townsfolk all cheered in celebration. However, only three individuals were not cheering.

"Barks." Jim said as he ran towards his downed pet wolf who had Douxie and Utgard-Loki by his side.

"This is bad Jim." Douxie said as he examined Barks. "The armor protected him from most of the crash, but Farbauti channeled a lot of electricity into him. Enough to only leave him with only a few more moments of life left."

"No." Jim said as he took off the Amulet of Daylight causing his and Barks' armor to dissipate. He hugged his pet with tears in his eyes. "Barks."

Utgard looked at the wolf and brought out a knife before saying, "We can still save him. But I need you to trust me."

The humans looked at the Jotun before Jim nodded his head showing that he trusted Utgard.

The old Jotun put his hand on Barks and began to chant.

"Sofna…upp fra…bessu. Sofna…hethan. Sofna…sofna…sofna."

The Trollhunter and wizard see a light come out of Barks mouth as the wolf stopped breathing and entered the knife that Utgard was holding causing the blade itself to glow blue. Utgard then sheathed it and gave it to Jim.

"I've transferred his soul into that dagger." Utgard said. "This is how you'll defeat Garmr, as a being with no soul he has no true consciousness, but if a soul of another were too enter his body that soul will assume permanent control."

"That's how we defeat Garmr." Douxie said. "By giving him a soul."

"More accurately giving a soul his body." Utgard clarified. "The problem previously is that he would have to remove someone from their own body and place it in Garmr's immortal body."

"But you found a work around." Jim said as he held up the sheathed dagger. "You used the soul of dying pet."

"I am truly sorry Trollhunter I wish there was another way." Utgard then turned toward Douxie. "Stab the dagger into Garmr and say the word vekja. The wolf's soul will be released into Garmr's. But be warned, should a soul be destroyed in a stored vessel they will be lost to oblivion so do not lose that dagger."

"We understand." Douxie said as Jim picked up Barks' dead body.

Jim had a solemn look on his face before saying, "I'm so sorry Barks."

With that the Trollhunter and master wizard walked out of the town back to the realm travel door in the forest. Neither one said a word as they left Jotunheim.