My family is not your average family, we never have been nor shall we ever be. As a child I used to wonder why the world was cruel to myself and my brothers; I never understood their prejudice towards us, nor did I understand my father's reasoning behind his countless apologies and pleas to our grandfather to let us be. Now, now I understand. My father was an embarrassment to his 'family', he acted out due to living in his brother's shadow and as a result was shunned by most of our people. This lead to all of our births, we were not left alone though, never alone. My father raised us even after our mother was murdered, he kept us safe, kept us hidden, protected us.
That didn't last though, one day my elder brother and I wanted to leave our small dark home. Creeping out in the dead of night we ran quietly through the streets, leaving our younger brother to his sleep with father, we were amazed by the golden buildings before us, the large halls and temples, just seeing the night sky above us was a gift in itself. Then we came across a golden palace one we recognised from our father's stories, of course as children we could not resist such temptation thus we began exploring. From the large gardens with their glorious fountains and sparkling waters to the stables; it was there we encountered a shock.
Father's tales of our older brother were intriguing and mystical to a child but we did not know the truth behind them until that night; coming across a large stallion with no less than eight legs resting in one of the stalls. Fen was never able to resist his urges and approached the creature, I followed behind being a child of only six summers I knew no better. As we reached the stallion he lifted his head and looked at the two of us; cautiously climbing to his feet and approaching as silently as he physically could. I distinctly remembering reaching out to stroke his snout and being shocked by the look in his eyes. The colour and emotional depth within them has stayed with me until this day. His eyes were identical to fathers, so much so that I as a young child could place them instantaneously. This was the one we had heard tales of. The one bound by Odin and forced to be nothing more than a horse for him to ride. This was our fathers missing child. Our brother. Sleipnir.
It was then that everything our father had worked for began to fall apart; a patrolling guard had seen Sleipnir get up and walk out of his stall, the guard had chosen to investigate and came across the three of us together. Back then I remember thinking that the guard's shouts could have been heard throughout the nine realms; thinking back to then I should have ran and tried to hide before they found me. Being so young I froze in fear however and was soon pinned to the ground by a guard; screaming in fear I had called out for father and my brothers. Sleipnir had tried to help us both attacking several guards before he too was subdued and tied down; Fen had bitten several guards before he too was dealt with. As for myself the guards recoiled in horror at the sight of me.
I do not remember much after that, at least not until I awoke the next morning to see my father shouting and screaming with the All-father. The All-father gave me a look that had tears flowing down my face once more; I remember one man, tall and blonde stood beside father looking upon us in what appeared to be interest and a small amount of shock. The shouting between father and Odin continued for a long while in the meantime a beautiful woman, whom I now know was the All-mother, came over to us and began to sing softly to calm us. It was only when she finished her song that I had realised the shouting had ceased and the entire court were looking at us; most in disgust but some held pity in their expressions.
Father walked over and had dropped to his knees in front of us, reaching out to pull the three of us into a hug, whispering softly over and over again how he was sorry, that he just wanted to protect us and keep us safe but he had failed. The meaning of his words did not grasp me until Fenrir was taken from father and dragged away leaving the three of us screaming and crying after him. Jorgmandr was taken from us soon after. Once my brothers had gone leaving me with father he looked down at me brushing a strand of hair from my face; tears covering both of our faces as he whispered to me. Repeating several times how beautiful I was and that I was to remember he always loved me and that nothing in the realms would change that.
Then I was taken. A guard picked me up despite my screaming and thrashing about in his arms he took me over to Odin; I was then taken through the streets of Asgard towards something I knew as the Bifrost. I remember crowds upon crowds standing on the bridge simply watching. I was placed before a large swirling hole inside the golden building; Odin began to speak but I do not recall his words as I was still screaming and trying to reach father who was held back by guards and the blonde man from before.
That was the last image I have of my father. His hand reached out towards mine, the tears cascading down his face as he called my name one last time.
Then I was gone. Sent to Niflheim where I have resided since that day, with only the souls of the dead to keep me company. For four hundred years I have guarded these halls and its residents. Until today I had little interest in the souls.
You see. Today the soul of Baldr entered my halls. The youngest son of Odin and Frigga. As foretold by the Norns, Baldr's arrival signals the freedom of myself and my family.
For now, Ragnarok has begun.