Many centuries ago, Odin All-Father, King of Asgard, led his armies against the Frost Giants of Jötunheim. He confronted Laufey, Lord of the Jötun, and engaged in grievous battle. Eventually, the Frost Giants were overwhelmed by the might of Asgard’s warriors, and Laufey surrendered. Unable to beat the All-Father, Laufey agreed to a bitter, uneasy truce.
As a condition of the Jötun’s surrender, Odin ordered the Casket of Ancient Winters--the source of the Giants’ power--removed from its altar and locked away in the Asgardian vaults. While his soldiers took possession of the artifact, Odin’s attention was drawn by a strange sound. He followed it, reaching for his sword in case of an ambush, and found himself in a lonely chamber within Laufey’s palace. Unlike the rest of the construct, this room was fully exposed to Jötunheim’s harsh environment. An altar stood erect at the center, and atop of it lain an infant Jötun no more than six weeks out of the womb, neglected and left to die.
The baby was crying from hunger, lack of sleep, and poor hygiene; by all rights, it should have been dead. Odin approached carefully, still expecting this to be some sort of trick. The child continued to wail, his voice hoarse from however long he had been abandoned there. He was terribly small for a Frost Giant’s young, no doubt the horrid reason for his being left to the mercy of the elements. Without further thought, Odin lifted the child off the cold platform and cradled him in his arms, bouncing him ever so slightly. He hummed a soft tune and tapped his forefinger playfully at the baby’s nose. The child became calm, feeling some semblance of comfort for the first time, and in that moment, Odin made a decision. He disguised the infant as an Asgardian, bundled him up in his own cloak, and smuggled him out of Jötunheim.
For the years that followed, Odin and his bride, Frigga, raised the boy as their own alongside their first-born, Thor. They named him Loki and took every precaution to hide his true lineage until they felt the time was right. However, they had not foreseen how close the boys would become, and by the time they were ready to reveal the truth, they could not do it. As far as anyone was concerned, both boys were Odin’s sons, and if any wanted to challenge that claim, they could take it up with Odin himself.
These are the tales of two brothers, a bond as strong as Asgardian steel yet as fragile as a crystal drinking chalice. Life was as it should be, in the days before the fall of Loki Laufeyson...