After a few passes he saw a light and soon the tunnel opened into into a chamber. The whole room was shimmering golden, with good reason: The floor was covered with the finest carpeting. Coins, jewels and golden cups were stacked in cupboards along the walls. But most impressive was the golden throne standing in the middle of the room. A man was sitting on the throne, a very old man sporting a long white beard. Both seemed to sleep, but when smith came closer, the man on the throne stirred and opened his eyes.
His facial features became smoother and all of a sudden he seemed far younger than before. He straigthened upand now the smith saw that he wore a kind of tiara decorated with jewels. He stopped, but the man had already seen him and signaled him to come before the throne. There was a door under the brambles. I take it that you know about iron magic? I know a lot about iron. The smith thought of the swarm that had surrounded him just then. The smith stopped short at this comment, and thousand questions rushed his head, but the old man already closed his eyes again. At the upper end of the tunnel he returned the lantern and presented him a golden coin with a strange embossment.
This whole thing had been a little too much even for our tough smith, and so he hurried home to his smithy in Kervenheim. By now it was pitch black outside and raining hard. At home everybody was sleeping already.
German Editions | Julia Quinn
So he crawled under the blankets and slept as well. Tomorrow he would tell his wife everything. But when the morning came and the smith reached for the golden coin in his pocket, it was gone. He searched all his pockets and even went back the whole way to Gochfortzberg, but the door was gone, too.
Mein ungezähmtes Herz: Roman (German Edition)
Without any proof his story seemed to be far to adventurous and far-fetched, that years went by until he finally told somebody about it. The only thing he got from this adventure were some gray hairs. The door stayed lost, and nobody has seen the sleeping chieftain and his servant ever since. And this is how it will remain until the birds stop circling the hill. There are quite a few stories about Gochfortzberg. I heard about it during an presentation of archeological information and tried to shape those bits into a story.
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In some variations of this myth the sleeper under the mountain is a bringer of peace, in other he will return on doomsday. As a matter of fact traces of settmlements have been found on the hill that go back to the iron age. Some of them were of Roman origin as well and another interpretation of the origins of the ravines of Gochfortzberg says that the Romans tried to create a shortcut from Xanten to Uedem.
Still the story about the sleeping chieftain is one of my favorites and it goes well along with all those other sleeper-stories. The importance of the birds related to the end of the world as we know it is know from the London Tower, too. Why is this story so interesting for me?
Mein ungezähmtes Herz: Roman (German Edition)
Because the hill is quite close to my home. Just a few kilometers away.
This story is based on an old Baltic fairy tale. I tried to re-paganize the whole story. Once upon a time three gods met on a nice spring morning: The sun goddess was going for a ride in her chariot, the god of frost and ice was counting his snowflakes and the thunder god was happily herding a few little clouds.
They started talking about this and that, and -because gods are like that- they began to boast who of them would be the mightiest and most powerful one. People love me: I bring warmth and light to them. So I am surely the most powerful of us.
They love you, so much is true, but they fear me more. When the humans feel the chill in their bones, their fear grows and grows. Sun and Frost laughed at him. You think that you are the most powerful of us? The storm god kept cool and simply smiled. After a while they met a farmer returning home from his field. Upon seeing the three gods he bowed deeply to them. When winter arrives, humankind will regret this deeply.
Thunder, oh really! The storm god waited until they were gone. Then he nodded to the farmer, who had gone pale with fear. If you need help, just call me! The farmer was working on his fields, and the first green grew like expected. Summer came, ans the fields began needing some water.
Instead it became hotter and hotter, when Sun made her threat come true: The grain on the fields threatened to burn, the animals were suffering in thirst and the farmer became very, very worried. And the wind started blowing and became a real storm, that cooled down the heat and brought rain clouds to the sky. When the first thunderstorm poured down on the fields, the farmer knew: His harvest was saved! Fall came and winter, too. And he came to stay. Slowly the storage and supplies were growing thin, and still there were mountains of snow around the farm.
In this night a strong wind came up and blew away the snow bearing clouds, and in the morning he had changed to a mild wind that melted down the frost.
The farmer and his family were very happy and they had a big party to honor the storm god. From this day on the sun goddess and the frost god were much more friendly to the storm and thunder god and had to admit sheepishly that he truly was the mightiest god of them. Odin had been very worried. He, who knew so much about what happened under the skies, who got told by his ravens everything they saw and heard, had pretty much no idea of what happened in the world below.
Sometimes dwarfs came long, but they rather wanted to do business than talk. But the underworld was literally a black hole concerning knowledge. And that kind of knowledge could knly be gained in the underworld, where the nine worlds had their origin. So he disguised himself once again and went to the dark regions. Deep below the world tree, Yggdrasil, was his destination, the well of Mimir, the Wise One.
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You are digging up things that better should be left alone. It became darker, and it became quieter. The corridor went deeper in long serpentines under the ash.