In which is told the tale of the Norse Creation, of how fire and ice meet to form a land warm and comforting and how a frost giant and a great man both came to be born of that ice, leading to the birth of Odin, the All-Father of gods and men.
At the beginning of all days, Ygdrassill, the World Tree, grew and nourished and watched over all things. Beneath the branches, there lay two lands: Muspell of the South and Niflheim of the North. The Realm of Muspell burned with fearsome flame and scorching smoke, burning to ashes all but those born to its fire. In the depths of this realm, stands Surtur the Black, wielding a sword of fire, already waiting for his time, the end of all things, when it shall fall to him to vanquish the gods and drown the world in flame.
To the north, the icy Realm of Niflheim held back Muspel’s flames. In this place, snow stormed across the ice-packed lands while freezing winds chilled the glaciers that floated in Hvergelmir, the spring and source of the eleven rivers, the Elivagar. Their names were thus: Svol the frigid, Gunnthra the rebel, Fjorm and Fimbulthul the babbling, Slid the terrible, Hrid the storm, Vid the broad, Leipt the lightening-runner, Gjoll the freezing, and Sylg and Ylg of whom nothing great is said. These rivers flow with venom and frost down towards the flames of Muspell and fill the void of Ginnungagap – the emptiness that lay between the lands.
And so it was, that as Ygdrassill’s leaves blew, the rivers poured into the void for years upon years till the northern stretch of Ginnungagap was filled with frozen ice and venomous frost, desolate save for the chilling gales that swept its haunted wastes. With time, the warm southern winds met and melded with the northern frosts in the void and there grew a land warm and comforting with a great summer’s mist hanging over it.
One day, when the warm winds danced over the glaciers, the melting ice slid down to the warm earth and formed a great evil creature, a giant of the frost, named Ymir. Ymir lay down to rest and sweat greatly in his sleep. From the sweltering of his left armpit sprung the first man and woman. While still sleeping, Ymir’s right leg sired a son from his left leg, so Ymir became Aurgelmir, the forefather of all wicked frost giants.
The south winds continued to blow and the frost continued to melt, this time creating a beautiful cow, Audumla. She, with her milk, fed Ymir while she fed off the salty ice from which she was made. She licked the ice and by the end of the first day the hair of a man appeared. She licked again on the second day and his head emerged. She again licked and on the third day the whole man emerged, tall and handsome and strong. His name was Buri.
Buri sired a son, Bor. Bor took as a wife Bestla, the daughter of Bolthor a frost giant. By her, Buri sired three sons. The youngest, Ve. The second, Vili. The eldest, Odin – the one destined to be All-Father of the gods. All this happened under the watch of the branches of Ygdrassill.