The Keeper's Eye
There are more stories about Odyn's lost eye than there are stars in the sky. Some say the great serpent Ysildar tore it out. Others say the treacherous Helya stole it. But this is the end of it, the truth of it, from the keeper himself.
The Halls of Valor stood glorious above the world, and great Odyn saw they were empty. "These halls shall be the final resting place of my finest warriors," he said. "I must see the world of death, for only then can I raise the spirits of the fiercest, bravest vrykul to their proper place in the heavens. They shall be called Valarjar, and they shall honor these halls for eons to come."
Helya the sorceress was doubtful of the keeper's plan. "Beings of death are ancient and powerful, great Odyn," she said. "To meddle in their realm is dangerous, even for one such as you." But Odyn would not be swayed, and so they began a ritual to see into the Shadowlands.
Deep within the Halls of Valor, Helya traced a magic circle around Odyn with the arcane threads of the universe. From the world's energies she pulled strands of light of the purest green, and strands of darkness deeper than the purest shadow. And the sorceress wove them together around Odyn until the veil over the Shadowlands began to lift.
A great spirit appeared to Odyn from this circle, billowing up from ethereal mists, shapeless, to surround the keeper in shadow. "What will you give," the spirit asked, "to peer beyond the veil of this world?"
Wise Odyn considered the wraith's question. "I have two eyes," he replied. "One to see in this world of mortals, and one to see into the realm of spirits." And with that, Odyn plucked his own eye from his head and presented it to the spirit. The spirit clasped his eye and swallowed it whole, and great Odyn saw.
Seeing through this given eye, great Odyn saw the Shadowlands. He saw life, saw it even in the land of death, and he was satisfied that his Valarjar would live beyond the mortal realm.
And yet still he saw death. He saw souls in torment, and souls in anguish, and the husks of the dead lay all around him. He saw ghostly wraiths with no face, and others with no form, and all were made of death itself. And as he saw, even the great Odyn, master of the Halls of Valor, chosen of Aman'Thul, was afraid.
Odyn looked back into his world with his other eye.
"What did you see, great Odyn?" Helya asked.
"I saw the answer," wise Odyn said. "For in life, there exists death, and in death, there can be life. But there are only beings of life and beings of death. My messengers must span both realms."
And so great Odyn conceived the Val'kyr, beings between life and death who would ferry the vrykul to the Halls of Valor. "They will be formed from the vrykul," Odyn proclaimed, "and their bravery shall preserve their brethren as Valarjar for all time. Like life, they shall be powerful. Like death, they shall be eternal."
-Recorded by Rysa Hjafmir