Valhalla (Valhöll) literally translated means "Hall of the Slain" and is in essence a Viking heaven, or ‘Otherworld’ into which Viking warriors pass upon leaving this life. It is a great structure – much like a Roman Coliseum – with 640 doorways, through each of which 960 champions can march shoulder to shoulder. Its rafters are spear shafts and its tiles are shields of gold. Here, fallen champions spend all day gaming and fighting one another in battle. At the end of the day, the dead and wounded are all healed, so they can spend the night feasting on the flesh of a boar whose flesh never diminishes and drinking from the udders of a magic goat.
In Valhalla, three Viking gods prevail: Odin, Thor, and Frey. Odin, represented in blue and rhodium, is "God of the Slain" and it is he who fashioned Heaven, Earth, and Man. He is also the patron god of poetry; one of his poems slithers in the form of a serpent in high relief on the cap. Literally translated from the runic script, the poem reads "he who would read the sacred runes is wise to waste no words." Thor, the God of Thunder, is rendered in grey and rhodium and is the guardian of the world—both of gods and men. His mighty hammer may be swung or thrown and will always return like a boomerang. With this weapon Thor maintains the stability of the world and keeps forces of chaos in check. Frey, the god of fertility, is the noblest and is crafted in red and gold. He controls the rain and sunshine and thus the natural increase of the earth. He is remembered as a symbol of the divine marriage between the sky and earth that produces Spring.
Each pen is portrayed with the expertise of guilloche engraving and the mastery of hard enameling.