freyja_and_svipdagThe ghastly rotting smell rose towards him. The cold began to burn him. The darkness reached up to him and he drew near to the place as dreadful as the worst of fears, the worst of dreams.

Even now, he did not flinch or falter. Svidag was swift as light. He reached the gates of Niflheim, far under the world, and shouted, “Groa, wake! Wake, wise mother! I stand at the doors of the dead and call on you. Remember, before you went to your burial mound, remember how you told your son to ask for help.”

Then the seeress Groa rose out of her grave and slowly moved to the gates of Niflheim. “My only son,” she moaned, “what death in life afflicts you? What dire fate makes you call on me who have left the quick world and lie in the mound?”

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