This is the second and final part of Floki’s story. You can read part 1 here
They both kneeled facing each other with the feverish little girl between them, held her small hands which felt like hot iron. Then Floki looked toward the orb and nodded, to let it know they were ready.
The wisp hovered above them and began pulsating rapidly, sending off brighter and brighter flares of pure light until the entire room flooded in white. Then in an instance it disappeared taking with it the souls of Floki and the jarl, transporting them to the realm between realms.
Once there, Floki opened his eyes to a gruesome sight. A creature in the distance, as tall as seven strong men, blacker than the night sky, with razor sharp claws that glowed like hot metal ingots and three chains bursting out of its chest, buried deep into the flesh of the little girl who lay on the ground tormented by the pain, being dragged along through the rocks as the demon moved.
The jarl, seeing his daughter like that, was enraged and wanted to charge the demon bare handed, but as soon as he tried, Floki stopped him. He looked into the jarl’s eyes and said:
“Be still! She will need your strength to find her way back to the realm above. Leave the fiend to me!”
As soon as he uttered the words, he leaped forward towards the demon that was waiting in the distance. As he ran the wisp followed by his side, helping him channel his magic. With swift gestures of the hands, he sent bolts of lightning flying towards the demon who growled and moaned from the pain.
In response, the beast charged back slicing violently into the air with its fiery metal claws. But Floki was nimble and fast and carefully dodged the demon’s attacks.
The little girl screamed in pain as she was dragged through the rough rocks beneath her. Angered, Floki raised his right arm toward the sky as if reaching for something and suddenly an ethereal staff took shape in his hand. He grabbed it firmly and smashed it into the ground as hard as he could, and as the staff turned to smoke and vanished, thick roots spurred up from the earth ensnaring the crazed demon.
In that instant, Floki pointed towards the chains in the demon’s chest and the little orb of light flashed into the air quicker than a lightning bolt, straight towards the fiend. The earth shook violently and the sky unleashed a terrifying thunder.
Two of the blazing hot chains in the demon’s chest had snapped, sending the beast into a frenzy. It charged towards Floki with unspeakable hate, making the ground beneath its feet crack and spill molten rock.
The ground shook so hard that Floki lost his balance for a moment and with no time to spare he focused his magic into a spirit barrier that barely blocked the demon’s blazing claws in time. The shield absorbed much of the blow, but the force of the impact was so great that it threw Floki up into the air, then falling towards the ground.
In that brief moment, the demon noticed Floki was down and vulnerable, and wasted no time to deliver the final blow. With a terrifying howl, the vicious beast arched its neck backward and out of its chest, burst two more flaming iron chains flying straight towards Floki.
The little orb flashed through the air as quickly as it could to try to break the chains before they pierced his soul, but it only managed to sever one of them. The other one went straight through Floki’s heart.
At that moment, the demon had both Floki and the girl in its possession. With two souls chained to its will, all hope seemed lost. The Jarl watched terrified from a distance as Floki and his daughter’s souls were being devoured by the beast. With each passing moment, Floki was losing his strength to resist and fight back, and with his final breath, he turned to his lifelong friend, the wisp and said.
“Run, save yourself!”
But the little orb did not run. It could not bear to allow Floki to suffer such a terrible fate. Their bond was stronger than any chain, and nothing could break it.
In an instant, the wisp flew right above the demon’s head and started flickering violently. As the wisp began flashing brighter and brighter, it grew as it began to absorb the demon’s very essence, bit by bit. The fiend did not like that at all. It growled and moaned and tried to fight back but with each passing moment, it grew weaker. The orb was pulsating so violently now that it occasionally sent sparks of lightning flying through the air. Its force was so great that it started tearing off bits of flesh from the creature’s back as it desperately tried to crawl away from the orb.
Sensing its final moments nearing, right before it was completely sucked into the ball of light, the beast lashed out one last time at Floki and the girl, tearing away from each of them a piece of their soul.
As the chains broke and the fiend was finally absorbed, the wisp gave out a tremendous burst of light after which it immediately shrunk to the size of a small apple and fell solid to the ground in the form of a blue glowing gem, thus trapping the demon’s essence inside forever. The wisp had sacrificed itself to save both Floki and the girl.
With a heavy heart Floki, now able to stand again, picked up the remains of his old friend and focused his magic on materializing a special staff with a broken metal ring at the end in the center of which he carefully fused the gem. Just as the wisp never abandoned him, he would never abandon it. One way or another, they would be together, always.
It was now time to leave the realm of shadows, but something was still not right. Floki approached the jarl’s daughter who was laying unconscious on the ground. He noticed the scars the demon had left on her and he noticed that part of her soul was missing.
He too had been touched by the scourge of the demon but he knew he could recover in time. He was, after all, a healer taught since childhood by a forest spirit.
But if the girl was to endure the journey back to the world above, she would need to be complete again. Floki looked at the little glowing gem on his magical staff and sighed.
“You have taught me your final lesson, old friend. And I have learned.”
He then kneeled next to the girl, took her small hand and placed it on his chest. His other hand he put on hers and then closed his eyes. A circle of light formed around them both and soon the girl opened her eyes and took the deepest breath she had ever taken in her life. Floki had given her part of his soul so that she may live again.
With both of them alive, the jarl was overjoyed. He ran towards his daughter and held her tight in his arms. Floki looked at them and smiled.
“It is time. Let us return.”
He waved his staff and opened a magic doorway. They stepped through and in an instant they were back in the jarl’s hall kneeling next to the girl’s bed, only this time instead of a little orb of light floating next to him; Floki held in his hands the staff with the glowing gem in the middle of the broken metal ring.
The jarl held his daughter in his arms and thanked Floki for his enormous sacrifice. For it was indeed a truly enormous sacrifice.
Floki had bound himself forever to this child. Sharing part of the same soul meant that one could not die before the other. He would have to endure the hardships of old age longer than any other man now that his fate got tied to hers. He swore an oath that he would always be nearby watching over her.
This oath, Floki kept faithfully throughout the girl’s childhood and beyond. And as the years went by he grew older and older but at the same time wiser than any other before him. He and the girl became very close throughout their lives. She came to see him as a mentor and a friend, and she often visited him in his cottage in the woods.
When the day finally came for Floki to die, he had lived twice as long as any other man. In his final moments, he grabbed his magic staff and removed the gem from the metal ring. As he looked at it with tired eyes, remembering his old friend, the wisp, he realized a battle that began almost two lifetimes ago was coming to an end.
With the last parts of his soul slowly departing the world of the living, the gem started to crack.
You see, in its final moments during the battle many years before, the demon desperately latched onto pieces of Floki and the girl’s souls. It was a devious but ultimately pointless attempt to remain alive trapped inside the gem. Because now, with Floki on his deathbed, the beast inside the gem had no more life to cling onto and it was finally being erased from existence.
As he was slowly departing this world, the gem began to crack more and more in Floki’s old shaking hand. He felt the deepest joy when the gem finally shattered. A longing that he had endured for so many years was finally ending. A tear of joy ran down Floki’s cheek. The gem was gone and in its place, a little wisp was hovering and humming once again.
“Hello old friend, I’ve truly missed you.”
And thus, the tale of Floki ended.
Needless to say, when he arrived at the gates of Valhalla, he was not alone. Next to him stood another person, whose soul was bound to his. But hers is another story.
In the halls of Valhalla, Floki was greeted by Vidar, the god of the forest, Vor, the goddess of wisdom and Elli, the goddess of old age who commended him for his deeds in life. The gods asked him to take his place among the heroes of the Asgard Watch, where his selflessness and courage would surely give pause to any who would call themselves enemies of Asgard.
Join Floki in his adventures in Asgard Run.
“Floki the Selfless pt.II” – Part VI of The Asgard Run Chronicles