Chapter 1: He Named Me Rhiannon
For as long I could remember, I had lived in Asgard even though it was not where I was born. I was originally from Midgard, but I had no memory of my life there. No one knows if my lack of memories was because I had been young when I left or because of the trauma I had endured. I do not remember when I was brought to Asgard to live in the palace of the King, but Loki has told me the story many times in my life.
I was six or seven years old when I was found and brought here. There has never been agreement on just how old I was. I had lived in a small isolated village in the mountains. The place was rather self-sufficient and had little contact with the rest of the world as there was no need to. For some unknown reason, we had drawn the attention of a race known as the Jotnar who decided to attack one day to take whatever it was they wanted. This drew the attention of the Asgardians who sent Thor and four other warriors to put an end to it. My entire village ended up dead, including my family. I was found under the cellar stairs by Fandral when it was all over. He had apparently heard my crying and followed the sound to my house. He did not know what to do with me, so he took me to Thor. Thor knew such a young child could not survive alone and it was many miles to another village. He decided to take me along with them back to Asgard to seek the advice of his father the King.
I remember nothing of being presented to the King; it is all Loki's account of events. He was present in the throne room when they returned.
"We have returned victorious Father. It was only a small group of Jotnar who attacked and they have been put down. Unfortunately all of the villagers were lost except this little one," Thor announced.
He sat me on my feet at the foot of the stairs leading to the throne. Loki said I stood there quietly sucking on my finger while Thor and Odin argued my fate. Odin was insisting I be taken back to one of the other villages to live with a Midgard family. Thor argued there were no other nearby villages and there were other Midgardians who lived there and served the King. It was finally Queen Frigga who put an end to the disagreement, "She is still a baby. We cannot send her back to fend for herself. Thor can return in disguise to see if he can locate any of her extended family while she stays with a family of our servants. If he finds any of them, she can be delivered to them at that time."
Queen Frigga approached me, kneeled down to be at eye level to me, cupped my little frightened face in her hands and asked, "What is your name Dear?"
I did not answer her. She waited patiently for a few minutes, before rising and saying, "This poor child has been so traumatized she cannot speak. She is definitely staying here for a while. She needs to get cleaned up and eat a hot meal. That will do a lot to make her feel better."
Loki then came forward and volunteered to take me to the servants' quarters. He took my hand to lead me away, but I refused to move. He leaned over and picked me up, then left the throne room. As we went down hallways and downstairs, winding our way to the basement servants' quarters, Loki tried to talk to me, "So what is your name sweetheart? You can tell me, I will not tell anyone until you are ready for them to know."
I remained silent. "You are a beautiful little girl. I have never seen such curly red hair and bright blue eyes. You will grow up to be a very beautiful woman."
I still did not respond. "Oh well. You stay quiet for as long as you need to Darling. I will see to it that you are bathed, dressed warmly and fed well."
He said I clung to his neck like I was terrified to let go of him. When we finally arrived at the chambers of the family I was to stay with, Loki explained the situation to them and the woman, Paige, agreed to take care of me. He brought me to the bedroom I would share with her two daughters, who were not there at the moment. He tried to put me down but I refused to let go. I wrapped my arms and legs tightly around him and began whimpering. He made one last attempt to extract himself from my grasp, but I began to scream.
"All right Darling. You do not have to stay. You can go with me."
He exited the chambers without offering an explanation to Paige as to why I was still with him and took me to his own chambers. He sent his servant to get me some hot soup while he successfully sat me on his sofa. He kneeled down in front of me, "I suppose you want to stay with me?"
I nodded my head, but remained silent. "I guess I have a new little charge. Father will not be pleased with this turn of events."
As I waited for my meal, I looked around his chambers. They have changed little over the years. The room was massive compared to the servants' quarters we'd just left, but considerably smaller than the throne room. The floor was dark wood that was highly waxed and shinned to the point that it barely looked like wood while the ceiling soared way up above my head. The walls were a deep charcoal grey that was nearly black, but not quite. All of the furniture in the room was dark colored wood; the sofa on which I sat was dark wood and deep wine red silk fabric. The two chairs that sat across from it matched it perfectly. The drapes that hung at the large windows were the same shade of red silk.
His enormous bed was on the far side of the room, opposite of the lounge area. It was a large four poster bed covered in black silk sheets and a light blanket made of a few layers of woven linen that had been died a deep shade of red like the silk of his heavy drapes and furniture. Later I would learn that the designs carved into the head and foot board, as well as the posts, was serpents. The detail of the carving was such that the serpents had scales clearly visible. Such a bed should frighten a young child, but oddly, I found it comforting. I thought of the serpents as protecting me rather than something to be feared.
Even the packed tall bookcases behind the sofa where I was sitting were a deep wood color. They lined the entire back wall and half of the one to my left and were considerably taller than Loki; he had to use a small step ladder to reach the top shelves. They stopped a good distance away from the large stone fireplace that was currently unused. When there was a fire in it in the winter, it warmed the whole room nicely. There were lamps of many different kinds scattered throughout the room and mounted on the walls.
His servant soon returned with the soup and a small loaf of fresh, hot bread. I sat at the table and ate hungrily. Loki sat across from me and watched. Before I finished eating, his Mother entered his chambers to find out why I was not with the family I was sent to.
"I took her there Mother, but she refused to let go of me. She wrapped her arms and legs around me and started screaming. I did not know what else to do. What harm would it be for her to stay with me for a while?"
"Loki, you know nothing about taking care of a child."
"It is not like she is in diapers. I bathe her, feed her, and entertain her; it does not seem that complicated to me. Is love not the most important thing she needs? I have plenty of that to give to her."
"Do you love this child already?"
"How could I not? She is so beautiful and yet sad. There is also just this strange magnetic charm she seems to possess. I want to make her happy. I want to take that sadness out of her eyes. The poor thing has no one now and who knows what she saw during that...slaughter of her village. I know what it means to feel lonely and I do not want her to live that way. Mother, please let me take care of her."
"I will do what I can to intercede with your Father. You should find a maid to bathe her and take care of those needs."
"Loki, she is a little girl. It just would not be appropriate."
"If you insist; I will find someone."
She kissed his forehead and then mine before leaving. He turned to me and said, "I will go find a female servant to bathe you. I will not be gone long at all, so please do not get upset again."
He then left the room and minutes later a woman with long dark hair and a green dress returned. She crossed the room and kneeled before me. "My name is Lekiah and I am here to bathe you and get you ready for bed. Is that all right with you?"
I took her hand and followed her to the bathroom where she drew me a warm bath in a gigantic, black marble, oval shaped tub with brass fixtures and undressed me while it filled. I was standing on a large, soft, thick rug that was the same wine red as the fabrics in the bedroom. This room was much smaller than the combined bedroom and lounge area, but was still a lot larger than the servants' area I was supposed to be in. She then went to a cabinet, made of a dark wood just like the other furniture and got out a big fluffy, black towel as well as a bottle of liquid soap. She then turned off the water and helped me into the tub. She washed my body and hair with the soap that had a heavenly scent of roses. She left me in the water for a few minutes while she went into the other room. Soon she returned with a white nightgown and helped me to get out of tub. She thoroughly dried my body and hair with the towel and then pulled the nightgown down over my nudity. It was made of the softest cloth I had ever felt. To this day, all of my nightgowns are made of it.
Lekiah then took me to the bed where she brushed out my hair, then tucked me under silky sheet and warm blanket. "Loki will be back in a few minutes. I will let him know that you are all cleaned up and in bed."
She kissed my forehead and then left. Loki returned within minutes of her leaving. He kissed my forehead too and said, "Sleep well Darling. You will feel better in the morning."
I drifted off to sleep, but my sleep was filled with nightmares. I awoke screaming. Loki was immediately at my side to comfort me. I eventually calmed down and fell back to sleep in his arms. He lay next to me all night long and held me close. That was how I slept every night for months. Even when I did not start out my night in Loki's arms, I ended it that way. I would have nightmares that woke me with screams of terror if I was not in his arms. He was the only thing that kept my nightmares at bay. Every time something terrible would come after me, he would charge in and fight it off, saving me from the monsters that haunted me. He was my savior.
I had lived in the palace of Asgard for two months when Loki once again attempted to ask me what my name was. "I do not know," I replied.
I remember the look of happiness on his face when I spoke. He only replied, "You do not know or you do not remember?"
I shrugged my shoulders. I was too young for it to make a difference to me. He asked, "Would you like for me to give you a name?"
I clapped my hands excitedly and said, "Yes, please!"
"Well...let us see...what would be a good name for you? It must be something befitting to such a beautiful little princess." He pondered it for a while.
After a few minutes, he said, "How about Rhiannon? Yes I think that would be a perfect name for you."
"Rhiannon? I like it!"
He grinned happily. "Rhiannon it is! You are my sweet little Rhiannon."
He then leaned over and kissed my forehead softly.