Old TÓrun
Ballad of Neren the Fey
In Ithiltaen...
Love is Not a Word
Yngvarr's Epic
Excerpts from The Trials of Jagildir
The Concluding Verses of the Trials of Jagildir

Old TÓrun

ĎTwas down the street one daylit morn
Through our city fair strode I
When the Lanceís line of gallant men
On horseback passed me by.
No pipe did hum, no battle drum
Did sound its fierce tattoo
But the clarion bell oíer the Tharchís swell
Rang out over Old TÓrun.

Proudly high from their templeís spire
They flung out a flag of war.
ĎTwas better to die Ďneath Eliís sky
than to bow to crowns afar.
From every corner of our fair town
Strong men came hurrying though;
While Azalanís sons with their long range guns
Drew their bead on Old TÓrun.

Oh, the night drew black and the rifleís crack
Made patriot hearts to reel
Machines that maim and tongues of flame
Did shine out oíer the lines of steel
By each shining blade a prayer was said
That to Elíi his sons be true
But when morning broke no warflag shook
Out its fold over Old TÓrun

So the bravest fell and the requiem bell
Rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that tragic tide
In the springtime of their years.
And the world did gaze with deep amaze
At those fearless men and true
Who bore the fight that freedomís light
Might shine over Old TÓrun.

And down through the glen did I walk again
And my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men
whom I never shall see more.
But we bear your name and bring your fame
And to your cause we still hold true
And the Lanceís men will ride once again
In the streets of Old TÓrun.

—Tarel Yurn, 1180 A.L.

Ballad of Neren the Fey

He broke the bridge on that good day
When Azalan was cast away
No foreign gods or tax to pay
So letís all dance with Neren the Fey

Jump up and down, with your girlfriend
Hold her close then push away
Kick your heels then grab her again
Letís all dance with Neren the Fey

Our brave men held them at bay
And then the bridge began to sway
To strange gods the soldiers pray
But Tharch swallows them anyway

Jump up and down, with your girlfriend
Hold her close then push away
Kick your heels and grab her again
Letís all dance with Neren the Fey

—Soan the Bard, 1191 A.L.

In Ithiltaen...

In Ithiltaen I saw her last
And her lips paid the princeís bill
In Ithiltaen I found my love
I feared my heart, as children will,
In Ithiltaen I ran from love
I find in truth I am there still
In Ithiltaen forever still

—Neren the Fey, 1191 A.L., for Syra

Love is Not a Word

Love is not a word
That I shall speak so free
Love is not a gift
I buy and bring to thee
Love is not a pearl
I win from deepest sea
Love is who I am
When you are here with me

—Neren the Fey, 1191 A.L., for Sheyanna

Yngvarr's Epic

First...

Amid the pale screech of Furis' rage,
A wood-cutter embarks on perilous life.
No man-raising, the boy-child ponders but
Does not lament, for he is Idreshim,
Servant of Furis, Aspirant of Vastare.

Son of Yngvildir, barley of ravens,
And of Jana, wife of swords.
Rare to frolic, seldom to rant,
Wind-still is he,
Quiet as the cloudless air-sea.

Then...

Becomes he narrow man with
Winged voice, speaker of color,
He crafts tapestries of thinking,
Word woven tales of man-cutters,
Of forest herds, of crow's fodder.

Sage of secrets, keeper of kennings,
Walks with Telfigir, Skald of Horsgald,
And learns the word picture of
His village, of his people, of
The wound-weeping of Furis.

During...

Jana, maiden of points, becomes
Ever-wife of blood mist, servant
Of Beorg, Tooth-wearer of the
Horsgald yothrat and leader of its
Sons and daughters.

Again...

The bark-chested battle slaves
Bring plain reddening fray of shields.
Beorg and the sons of Furis,
Strike boldly into the battle shirted
Dinner of wolves.

The gathering of points goes
Not well, and the path of blood
Becomes littered with the footprints
Of death. Mead of ravens soaks the
Crushed timbers of Beorg's yothrat.

During...

The blood tipped battle pole of Jana dances
Among the war fence of Felish and
Brings the judgment of Vastare.
Until the gleaming surge of iron
Sends her to join the feast of wolves.

Then...

The speaker of color, son of Jana
Birthed from timbers of his village
Amid tears of Furis falling from the air-sea.
A bitter scream farewell, and the
Taking of the Tooth of Beast.

Word weaver walks alone,
Tooth and timber but small
Solace. Yet proudly he bears
The carrion of a people,
Tooth of god, timber of hall.

After...

Tooth taker strides in the
Lands of the sons of Furis.
Speak painting his saga
And others until sorrow's
wound claims victory.

Stepping into lands of
Other gods, even the lands
Of the metal hooded battle slaves,
The young smith of sagas
Becomes a man.

Then...

Word weaver walks the
Earth ribbons ever south.
Comes he at long last to
A land of righteous
Sun worshipers.

Marked by a path of swords
And having become a
Feeder of ravens,
Word weaver warrior comes to
Sanctuary on the mountain.

Then...

Seeking only refuge, the
Son of Furis and speaker of color
Earns his board with labor and verse.
The young skald lingers,
Sated and stilled.

Works in the garden when
Vision is beset by a
Holy man, a king among kings,
Word weaver sees and is seen by
Seviamos Elai's son.

The god-king passes beyond
Without a word, leaving a
Sense of awe. The son of Furis
Peers up at the sun's glory and
Is at peace.

After...

The Son of Furis, survivor of Horsgald
Becomes disciple of Elai.
Forsaking the meeting of metals for
Sun-bathed contemplation,
Silent and still.

Elai's glory washes clean the
Sorrows and bitter tears of
Furis' legacy, but even
His glory cannot banish the
Demons of raven-feast people.

Hence...

Yngvar Yngvildir's son lies
Restless in a slumber of purity, yet
Haunted by demons of his past.
Banish them, he tries, but his
Faith is not yet strong.

Not yet strong...

—Yngvarr the Skald, 1186 A.L.

Excerpts from The Trials of Jagildir

Open to the air-sea
Sons of Furis, driven by the
Rage of loss do stalk
The seekers of darkness.

Din of swords echoes
Upon the rocks and stones
As the feeders of ravens
Come down.

...

Famine of wolves, the
Unkilled moves as the
Streaks of Furis' rage,
And strikes as swiftly.

Mead of ravens soaks the
Lands of his ancestor as
The battle-traveler strides
Among the dinner of wolves.

—Yorg the Elder, ca. 420 A.L.

The Concluding Verses of the Trials of Jagildir

In those days the Evil Spirits,
All the Fey of mischief,
Fearing Furis's strength,
And his love for Jagildir,
Jealous of their faithful friendship,
And their great battle skill,
Made at length a league against them,
To molest them and destroy them
Furis, wise and wary,
Often said to Jagildir,
"O my child! do not stray from me,
Lest the Evil Spirits harm you!"
Jagildir, young and heedless,
Laughing shook his golden tresses,
Answered ever sweet and childlike,
"Do not fear for me, O Father!
Harm and evil come not near me!"
Once when Ozian, the Wind,
Roofed with ice the Big-Sea-Water,
When the snow-flakes, whirling downward,
Hissed among the withered oak-leaves,
Changed the pine-trees into warrior-ghosts,
Covered all the earth with silence,
Armed with arrows, clad in wolf hides,
Heeding not his Fatherís warning,
Fearing not the Evil Spirits,
Forth to hunt the deer with antlers
All alone went Jagildir.
Right across the Big-Sea-Water
Sprang with speed the deer before him.
With the wind and snow he followed,
O'er the treacherous ice he followed,
Wild with all the fierce commotion
And the rapture of the hunting.
But beneath, the Evil Spirits
Lay in ambush, waiting for him,
Broke the treacherous ice beneath him,
Dragged him downward into seaís embrace,
Buried in the sand his body.
Yozian, the god of water,
He the god of the unstable,
Drowned him in the deep abysses
Of the lake of Yngta Borgu.
From the headlands Furis
Sent forth such a wail of anguish,
Such a fearful lamentation,
That the great bears paused to listen,
And the wolves howled from the tundra,
And the thunder in the distance
Answered "Garchuk Danu!"
Then his face with black he painted,
With his robe his head he covered,
In his hall sat he lamenting,
Seven long weeks he sat lamenting,
Uttering still this moan of sorrow:
"He is dead, the brave warrior!
He the strongest of all hunters!
He has gone from us forever,
O my fiercest child, Jagildir!"
And the melancholy fir-trees
Waved their dark green fans above him,
Waved their purple cones above him,
Sighing with him to console him,
Mingling with his lamentation
Their complaining, their lamenting.
Came the Spring, and all the forest
Looked in vain for Jagildir;
Sighed in sadness did the river.
And the rushes in the meadow.
Then the wise women,
The skalds, the wogathir,
And the seers, and the Prophets,
Came to visit Furis;
Built a Sacred Hall around him,
To appease him, to console him,
Walked in silent, grave procession,
Bearing each a pouch of healing,
Skin of wolf or bear,
Filled with magic fangs and claws,
With very potent medicines.
When he heard their steps approaching
Furis ceased lamenting,
Called no more on Jagildir;
Naught he questioned, naught he answered,
But his mournful head uncovered,
From his face the mourning colors
Washed he slowly and in silence,
Slowly and in silence followed.
Then a magic drink they gave him,
Made of ravenís blood, wolf seed,
And the marrow of enemies,
Roots of power, and herbs of healing;
Beat their drums, and chanted blessings;
Chanted singly and in chorus,
Mystic songs, like these they chanted.
"We, your children, behold us!
We gather Ďround your fallen form;
We hold at bay the white crows that come for you!
Your loud-speaking thunder helps us;
All our ancestors help us;
We can hear their voices calling,
All around the sky we hear them!
We can heal you, Furis!"
"We are your prophets!
When we speak the great halls tremble,
Shake the sooted beams with terror,
Hands unseen begin to tremor!
When we run, the sky we tread on
Bends and makes a noise beneath us!
Rise and speak, O Furis!"
Then they shook their relics
O'er the head of the sorrowful god,
Danced their battle-dance around him;
And upstarting wild and haggard,
Like a beast from dreams awakened,
He was healed of all his madness.
As the clouds are swept from heaven,
Straightway from his mind departed
All his moody melancholy;
As the ice is swept from rivers,
Straightway from his heart departed
All his sorrow and affliction.
Then they summoned Jagildir
From his grave beneath the waters,
From the sands of Yngta Borgu
Summoned Furis's favored son.
And so mighty was the magic
Of that cry and invocation,
That he heard it as he lay there
Underneath the Big-Sea-Water;
From the ice he rose and listened,
Heard the chanting and the singing,
Came, obedient to the summons,
To the doorway of the hall,
But to enter they forbade him.
Through a window a coal they gave him,
Through the door a burning fire-brand;
Ruler in the Land of Spirits,
Ruler o'er the dead, they made him,
Telling him a fire to kindle
For all those that died thereafter,
Camp-fires for their night encampments
On their solitary journey
To the Great Hall of Vastare,
So they might avoid that darker place.
From the village of his childhood,
From the homes of those who knew him,
Passing silent through the forest,
Like a smoke-wreath wafted sideways,
Slowly vanished Jagildir!
Where he passed, the branches moved not,
Where he trod, the grasses bent not,
And the fallen leaves of last year
Made no sound beneath his step.
Four whole days he journeyed onward
Down the pathway of dead men;
Crossed the melancholy river,
On the swinging log he crossed it,
Came unto the Lake of Silver,
On the lash of timbers was carried,
To the Island of the Blessed,
To the land of ghosts and shadows.
On that journey, moving slowly,
Many weary spirits saw he,
Panting under heavy burdens,
Laden with axes, clubs, and swords,
Robes of fur, and pots and kettles,
And with food that friends had given
For that solitary journey.
"Ay! why do the living," said they,
"Lay such heavy burdens on us!
Better were it to go naked,
Better were it to go fasting,
Than to bear such heavy burdens
On our long and weary journey!"
Forth then issued Furis,
Wandered eastward, wandered westward,
Teaching men the victory of the rage
And the value of ferocity.
Thus was first made known to mortals
The mysteries of Vastare,
And Jagildir forevermore,
Was the shepherd of the dead.

—Yorg the Elder, ca. 420 A.L.