The teens watched as Skadi and Hicca spoke to one another, after a little while, Skadi finally notice them.
She flashed them a quick smile. “It’s good to see you brought your friends along, we won’t be on our own this time,” Skadi said as she stood.
“What can we do?” Astrid said stepping forward confidently.
“Good to see you’re enthusiastic,” Skadi said with another smirk. “Loki’s power is great, it took quite a few of us to bring him down last time, so we need strength in numbers.”
“Which is where we come in,” a deep male voice sounded to the right of the group.
The riders turned to see a group of five gods and goddesses. The man who had spoken was muscular with shoulder length blond hair, he had silver armour all over his body and a long red cloak, he was holding a large iron hammer with an intricate design in the metal. Next to him was a tall athletic looking woman with long blond hair, her armour was also silver, and she wore a deep blue gown with lighter blue trim. Both her armour and her dress had wave like patterns around the edges, and hanging from the belt around her waist, were two short swords.
Another tall woman stood behind her, slim build with long sandy blond hair tied in several braids, her gown was pink and flowed gently down to her feet, the sleeves were also long and flowed down past her wrists. She also wore gold plated armour on her shoulders, a gold band around her head, and a thinner gold choker around her neck, both encrusted with diamonds. A tall slim man stood next to her, his hair was also sandy blond and very shaggy, his armour was leather instead of metal and covered his chest, arms and legs, he also had a fur mantle across his shoulders. But his most striking features were his pointed ears and two large horn protruding from his forehead, they were thick at the base then curved up and branched out like antlers.
The last person was a much larger man with short brown hair and a pale blue tunic, he wore gold sashes over his shoulder and around his waist. His metal armour was minimal, only covered his forearms and shins. Instead of a weapon, he carried a thick leather bound book.
Hicca turned and moved closer to Skadi, “What’s going on?” She whispered.
“These are my friends, and they also want to take Loki down. If you and your friends will allow it, we’ll fuse together with you and lend you our powers,” Skadi said.
The teens now realising that there were six of them and six gods. The gods the moved in front of the teens and held out a small gem to each of them, Skadi also did the same to Hicca.
“What are these?” Hicca asked.
“These are temporary Valhalla Crystals,” Skadi held up the small light blue gem for Hicca to get a better look at. “When we found out it was Loki who had taken my place, we made them especially to counter him. They won’t last long, but they allow us to pass our powers down to you, so do as much damage as you can, alright?” she said with a small smirk.
Each of the gems were a different colour, Snotlout’s was Red, Astrid’s was deep blue, and Fishlegs’ gem was dark green.
Tuffnut picked up the yellow gem that was handed to him, “Wait, does this mean...?” He started grinning widely and turned to his sister.
“We finally get powers!” Ruffnut finished, she picked up the light green gem in front of her.
The two were practically jumping with excitement as they banged their heads together.
Hicca gave a small laugh, “I think they’re all for it.”
“I think you’re right,” Skadi also gave a light chuckle. She looked back to Hicca, “What do you say?”
Hicca took a breath and turned to her friends, “Guys?” The riders turned to her, “will you help me take down Loki and Dagur?”
For the other teens, the answer was obvious.
In the waters around Varan Island, the dragons were still waiting for their riders.
The powerful energy coming from the island had finally dispersed, but their riders hadn’t returned yet. The sun had set a while ago and the waters grew cold, thankfully they were at least able to set foot on the beach and avoid becoming ill, but they didn’t dare move any closer than that.
They could now see into the ring of trees and they couldn’t see statue in the centre, there was some kind of wall surrounding it. A wall of ice.
The moon was high in the sky, but they continued to wait, unable to do anything else. Hookfang and Stormfly had been able to catch some fish for the others, so at least they wouldn’t go hungry, but Toothless stood completely still, like a statue. He was watching and waiting, looking out for any sign of where Hicca.
Then it happened.
With the moon high in the sky, a large crack sounded. Toothless’s ears perked up, and he watched as more cracks ruptured across the wall, he quickly rose into a fighting stance and the others followed, ready for anything.
The ice wall shattered.
Tiny fragments turning to snow and floating to the ground, they covered the ground inside the ring of trees, and made the grave look almost beautiful. But the dragons were more interested in the people lying in front of the grave. With the air now much clearer, Toothless and the other dragons rushed forward to their riders.
Toothless had seen Hicca unconscious far too many times this past week, he gently nudged her side and heard her moan quietly.
Her eyes slowly opened and her vision came into focus, the first thing she saw was a large black, scaly nose and two toxic green eyes near her face. She reached out and patted his nose, “It’s okay Toothless, I’m fine.” She slowly rose and looked around at the others, Hookfang was nudging Snotlout’s side as he sat up in a daze, and Astrid and Fishlegs were leaning against their dragons trying to clear their vision. Barf and Balch looked at their two riders worriedly, then they looked at each other and one of the heads nodded to the other, it must have been Belch, because the other head, Barf, started spewing gas over the twins. The rancid smell soon had the twins coughing and bolting upright to try and clear their senses.
“Whoa, that was a weird dream,” Tuffnut said as he banged the side of his helmet, trying to clear the head.
“Yeah...” Ruffnut said shaking her head. Then her eye’s landed on her brother, “Hey, where’d you get that necklace from?”
Tuffnut looked down at his chest, both teens wore curved dragon teeth necklaces, but alongside Tuffnut’s now hung a small yellow gem on a thin piece of wire.
He looked at it confused before turning to his sister, “Probably the same place you got yours.”
Ruffnut also looked confused, then she also looked down to see two necklaces, the new gem around her neck was pale green.
The other teens heard their conversation and all looked down at their own chests, they all wore gems. The same gems that the gods had given them. Each gem was a different colour, but they all looked as though they were filled with water, and had tiny particles swirling through them.
“So, it wasn’t a dream,” Fishlegs said quietly, holding up his own darker green gem up to get a better look.
Astrid held up her deep blue gem, “I guess not. So we really do have the gods on our side now,”
“Definitely,” The others turned to Hicca. “We have a chance to save our tribe, we need to get back to them, and quickly”, she stood and tucked the gem under her tunic. The gem now hung next to her pendant, the mark of her tribe now hung alongside the key to its survival.
Loki would be at Berk the next day, they mounted up and set off.
They needed to hurry.
The Berserker ships were ready in the morning, and so were the Vikings.
They had celebrated the night before, victory seemed certain, Berk couldn’t possibly win against a god.
But the Berserker captain was worried about Dagur, he hadn’t been seen at all in the last 3 days. The young chief had ordered not to be disturbed until the ships were repaired, and now that they were... someone had to go tell Dagur. Needless to say, no one wanted to, but someone had to. So the captain had stepped forward, and now he was walking up the small hill to the chief’s house.
When he got there, he took a deep breath before knocking.
“Chief, the ships are ready,” he waited, but there was no reply. “Chief?” Again, there was no answer, he was starting to get concerned.
He pushed on the door and found it open. That was very strange.
Despite being a strong Viking, the captain was nervous about entering the deranged chief’s home. He took slow steps upon entering, then he saw the room.
Not a single item of furniture, decoration or cutlery was intact. Pieces of wood, clay and metal were scattered everywhere, and even embedded in the wall, in the middle of all the carnage sat Dagur. He was sitting on the ground crossed legged and facing away from the door, there was also a strange energy seeping out of him.
“Um... Chief Dagur? Is... Is everything alright?” He asked nervously.
Dagur’s shifted slightly, “Everything’s fine, what do you want?” His voice was ghostly and calm, not at all like Dagur’s usual loud and obnoxious tone.
“Uh... th-the ships are all repaired and ready, we’re all set to attack Berk.”
The man gave a dark chuckle, and pulled himself up of the floor, as he did so, he picked up the golden staff that Loki had used before. Then the captain finally saw Dagur’s face, or at least... someone who looked a lot like Dagur.
“Are you... alright, Chief?” He asked nervously.
Loki’s power had been streaming through Dagur’s system for three days, and now his physical appearance was starting to change. His face was the same but his eyes had changed from dark green to dull yellow, he was missing his helmet and his hair was shorter and darker, only tied back loosely instead of a tight braid. His build was the same only slightly taller, his clothes were the same but his metal armour now had gold fleck in it, as if it was changing from strong metal, to shining gold. He also sported a long green cape down his back, and a gold band around his head.
Where they changes had come from, the captain had no idea, but if they were like Dagur’s new eyes and hair, they were created by god magic.
“The young man is fine... but you’re talking to a god right now,” Loki in Dagur’s body gave an evil smirk.
The captain’s eyes widened and he took a few shaky steps back, he looked ready to bolt out the door and all the way down to the harbour.
“I-I-I’m... I’m sorry... I didn’t know who I... who I w-was talking to,” He stumbled over his words.
Loki gave another smirk and started moving towards the door, he raised his hand gestured to the side with two of his fingers. The captain was about to move out of his way, when his body suddenly lurched to the side with Dagur’s fingers, almost throwing him off balance.
Dagur then stepped out of the building, after days of being inside, he squinted in the morning sun light. Then he started walking towards the harbour, as he did so, he brought his hands out to the side and let power seep from his fingers into the ground.
All at once, the earth beneath his feet started to shift. Two small mounds started to roll alongside him, growing and growing as they rolled down hill, and splitting from two into four, then eight, then sixteen. The men at the boats heard the rumbling and saw the many giant boulders rolling towards them, some of the men scattered while others couldn’t move. But then they stopped, and Dagur stood in front of them. They were twice as tall as a ships mast and just a wide, but despite the number of them and their large size, they left almost no tracks in the dirt.
But then the giant rocks unrolled themselves. They seemed to break apart and reform, the largest section became a body, and the different section becoming arms, legs, and heads.
Instead of sixteen giant boulders, there now stood sixteen rock giant.
“W-What are those?”Several Vikings murmured.
“These are my giants,” Loki announced as he stepped on to the main ship. “They will swat those dragons out of the sky as if they’re nothing but insects. Now all of you, stop staring and get on board!”
The men didn’t need to be told twice, they gathered their weapons and climbed aboard the armada ships. As the men moved, so did the giants. One by one, the large rock creatures slipped into the water, sinking deeper the further they walked.
“What are they doing?” The captain asked. He was just asking a loud, he didn’t expect Loki to actually answer.
“They’re walking to Berk, did you really think they’d be riding in the boats along with us?” He said in a matter of fact tone. The captain didn’t answer, he just continued to watch as the giants marched into the water. “Raise the anchors and lower the sails, I’ll take care of the rest.”
The captain yelled the orders to his men, but when he turned back to Loki, he was gone. He looked around, then the sound of sails being unfurled made him look up. He had seen Loki hovering before, but that didn’t lessen the surprise of seeing Dagur floating among the ship’s sails. He faced east towards Berk, then slowly raised his staff and pointed it in that direction. The winds started to pick up under his control, becoming strong and filling the sails, pushing the ships east.
They were moving very quickly, and would reach Berk’s shores in a third of the time it would normally take.
Loki couldn’t wait to stain Berk red with the blood of dragons and Hooligans, but also... he wanted to make them suffer, and watch as their faces twisted into pain and fear.
It was long past noon in Berk.
The time of battle was upon them, and Stoick could practically smell it in the air.
“He’s on his way,” he muttered to himself. He’d been preparing all day, Loki could be at their shores any moment
He was standing on the western cliffs overlooking the docks, waiting for the armada ships, and when they came, he was ready for them. Gobber had given him the idea, talking about the old tales and the time Loki had been captured by the other god, where they’d used one of his own traps against him. That had given Stoick the idea, to use Dagur’s own trap against him.
He’d split his ships into two groups, and positioned them at the north and south most points of the island, he’d wait until the ships were close enough and use the dragons to stall them. It was as if the dragons could sense trouble on the horizon, and they were behaving for the most part, but without the main dragon riders around, some of the younger students of the dragon academy were watching over them. Gustav was keeping watch for the ships, hopefully he and the other children would be safer on the high cliffs, as well being able to direct the dragons to attack.
While they held off the ships, the Hooligan ships would close around them and ensnare them. They didn’t have as many ships as the Berserkers, but if they used them correctly... he could at least hold them off until Hicca and her friends returned. Right now, that seemed like the only thing he could do. He’d seen the power Skadi had, they’d have no chance against that, even with the dragons on his side.
The only hope of victory they had... was out at sea, who knows how far away.
“Stoick! The ships are all in position.” Spitelout called from behind him.
Stoick turned, “Alright, we’ll set off once the dragons start their attack.” Spitelout nodded and headed back down the cliff. Stoick then turned to the younger group, “Gustav?”
The young Viking boy walked over to the chief, closely followed by his Monstrous Nightmare, Fanghook, “Everything’s ready chief, me and Fanghook can handle the dragons.”
“Good to hear, I want you to send the dragons in as soon as the enemy ships reach the rock golems,” Stoick said pointing to out the large statues surrounding their island.
Gustav nodded confidently, “Got it.” Stoick could tell how much Gustav took after Snotlout, but as Stoick watched the boy interact with the Nightmare, he could tell that Hicca had done well in her lessons. All of the young children could care well for a dragon, riding was something completely different though, among the trainees, only Gustav could fly a dragon. But that was a good thing, it meant that none of them would be fighting Loki directly.
Gustav watched Stoick leave, then he turned back to the horizon.
Stoick made his way down the cliff to the northern beach, he was able to see the dragons perched on the cliff, but he could barely see the western waters.
He hoped the children would be alright, and he hoped the teens out at sea would be alright as well.
Then the wind started to pick up.
They could see the island now.
It looked so much more vibrant than the Berserker island, but that would soon change.
Loki didn’t lessen the wind as they approached, it didn’t matter if they rammed the beach, he just wanted to start the onslaught. He looked down into the water and saw that his giants were still marching strong, he couldn’t wait to see the Viking’s faces as the stone giants rose from the sea, he was sure some of them would be terrified.
They got closer, and soon reached the towering statues, carved to look like some of the Norse Gods, some people must have thought that they would bring good fortune. He decided to send a message. Raising the staff high above the deck, and focused on the stone figures, then he slammed the staff down. The men on the ships didn’t feel a thing, but the statues suddenly shattered into huge chucks of rock, and fell into the ocean.
Gustav watched from the cliff with fear as the pieces of statues sank, the rumours had been true, this really was a god. He made the decision not to wait any longer.
The dragons did as commanded and took off, flying into the air and then diving towards the ships, spewing fire and magma as they approached their target.
But they didn’t know what was below the surface.
One of the rock giants suddenly jumped onto the platform left by the fallen statue, and slammed its stone fist into one of the oncoming dragons. Another giant did the same on the other platform, and despite being made of solid stone, the other giants were jumping out of the water and practically ripped the dragons out of the air one by one, they others could only hover in the air stunned. The dragons that were hit fell back into the water, one of them was an adolescent, purple Nightmare.
“Fanghook!!” Gustav yelled. He could only watch as his dragon floated in the water, still breathing, but clearly hurt.
He looked around, trying to see if there was something he could do. He was utterly relieved to see the Hooligan ships closing in. Stoick had seen the dragons take off, and sent a Terrible Terror to the other half of the fleet, the Terror had been quick and now both sides of the trap were closing.Gustav just hoped that the dragons would be alright in the mean time.