Day 5, Vanaheim: "I am a keeper of the cycle of the year."
Vanaheim is beautiful. It looks like one might think Summerisle, the fictional island in The Wicker Man, ought to have been a thousand years ago. The light is green and fresh, the trees all look as if they could talk, the people and cottages look like somebody's ideal of the perfect pagan village. I think when neo-pagan fluffies imagine fantasy historical eras of "pagan days", they're just picking up someone's snapshots of "What I did on my Summer Vacation in Vanaheim."
Except that they do practice human sacrifice here, and these peace-loving folks did fight the Aesir to a standstill.
Yeah, I could live here.
I had accidentally aligned the ritual field with a sacred grove, I'm afraid. I made food offerings, and asked the grove keeper - a tall dark-haired Vanir wearing a headdress of stag's horns - if I can stay. Permission is granted, so long as I don't interfere with the ritual. So I got a day and a half to rest in Vanaheim's beautiful green peace. My guts were grateful.
Not much happened during most of my stay, and that was welcome. The lore says that it's always springtime in Vanaheim, but that's ridiculous. They have seasons, just like us. In fact, somehow the "seasons" in Vanaheim seem to be stronger and more pronounced than they do here. It was autumn, and everyone was getting ready for some harvest festival, and it just seemed so.....well, autumny. As if the perfect distillation of autumn had settled across the land - the scent of the air and the woodsmoke, the blue of the sky, the colors of the trees, the crunching of the dried grass underfoot. As if the cycle of the year was kept so much more perfectly here than anywhere else. I know that doesn't make much sense, but it's what it felt like. I expect that someone arriving in spring would feel as if the spring was somehow "eternal", even though it would give way to summer in short order, and then summer would feel "eternal". In Vanaheim, you live the cycle of the year from day to day, as if it were the most important thing of all.
Their harvest ritual would happen the next day, and I would miss it, being off to Jotunheim. Still, that evening, Frey appeared in the field, surrounded by attendants. Apparently even though he is an Aesir hostage, he is allowed to go home for certain holidays. I suspect that Freya's absence implied that they aren't all allowed to go home at the same time. Perhaps they trade off .
At any rate, I took one look at Frey and fell in absolute drooling lust. I'd been warned that Odin and Thor had all this sexual charisma; certainly they weren't bad-looking, but neither were my type or came across to me this way. Frey, on the other hand.....good gods, I don't even know what it was about him, but I practically fell all over myself like a schoolgirl. He smiled a beautiful smile, and told me to meet him at his temporary hall, which happened to line up with the men's lodge. And I won't say anything more about it except that I discovered that when you have sex with a beer god, you get drunk from the sex.