Snowberg Flokkr

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Written by Grim the Skald in the Old Norse Meter of kvithuhattr. This is an account of the Snowberg Army, the combined forces of the Baronies of Concordia of the Snows and Bergental, and the battles of the 33rd Pennsic War (A.S. 39)

Listen now to lay of war
Baron’s skald to battle came
Soldier new with Snowberg’s men
Bold steel[1] peer bade him “Go fight!”

Sing I now of Snowberg troop[2]
Lordly thanes their leaders: two
Kai MacClain the King-souled knight[3]
Baltasar bear-like marshal

Kelson spoke, King of the East
Bade them come, the barons to him
Snowberg’s men to swell his ranks
Ancient foe to fight once more

Brave Angus banda[4] leader
Friend of skald forged poet’s glaive
Hired clansmen hardened soldiers[5]
Swift they joined Snowberg’s war-men

To Pennsic’s plain, barons went
Long roads walked, led our army
Ached to fell in Aethelmarc
Many trees[6] of Mid-Realm root

Three bridges broke two armies
Swarth cut by swirling waters
Waning light leaked through dark clouds
Violent winds whipped the banners

Snowberg longed to lash the Midrealm
Trees of steel started crossing
Charged on through churning battle
Spears shot out sprang through foe-men

Bearish John[7] barreled forward
Straight and true stabbed the Dragon[8]
Back stepped he to breathe and rest
Forward went the whey faced Grim[9]

To the fray took Grim his branch
‘til steel point pierced falcon’s ground[10]
Back he went bruised and wounded
While shield mates made their crossing

One knight blocked the baron’s fighters
Garbed in black with golden star
Fierce spearman, foe of East Realm
Came to face Kai and Randal[11]

Moved as one the East’s two spears
Bridge then shook from battle’s rage
That cruel foe felled the Tigers
Black dragon had bit Syr Kai

Those who lived leapt then forward,
Went to shield the wounded Kai
Eager for Odin’s weather[12]
Fearsome rush rent the shield line

Water fell washed the fighters
Streams of blood stained the rainfall
Fire struck then from the Heavens
Thor-flung bolts[13] burned the war field

Mid-Realm fled field of battle
Snowberg’s men sought shelter too
Kelson’s fists camped ‘till daybreak
Great victory greeted them then

That battle broke King Felix[14]
Quarter asked to quit the field
Yield did he the yearly fight
Aethelmarc’s land to leave in peace

Taking forth their tents and arms
Snowberg left to lands of hearth
Strayed back to star and snowflake[15]
Summer’s oaks saw their homesteads

Tell they now the tales of war
All starting: I shall not sit
There we were: that was the war
Mid-realm’s camp caught the thunder[16]

© 2004 Dan Marsh

Footnotes

  1. This is a reference to Baron Baltasar Mondragon of Concordia, mentioned in the next stanza, who has been justly praised for the steely portions of his physique.
  2. The Snowberg Army is the combined unit of the Baronies of Concordia of the Snows and Bergental of the East Kingdom.
  3. When Syr Kai originally received his Grand Master Bowman, certain merry Bergentallers wrote “Kai for King” upon the soles of his shoes.
  4. A Banda is a division of the Snowberg Army. A unit of men.
  5. Angus hired Clan McGroyne (a.k.a. the “generic mercs”) to fight alongside Snowberg
  6. Trees are a common kenning for “men,” particularly warriors, in Norse Poetry. This Kenning is used throughout the poem, a technique which Snorri Sturlason refers to as “allegory.”
  7. John the Bear is a member of the unit.
  8. As the Dragon is the emblem of the Mid-Realm, I am using that as a kenning for the Mid-Realm army or for Mid-Realm soldiers.
  9. This is a personal account of my first time fighting at Pennsic, hence "whey-faced"
  10. A Kenning for “arm”
  11. Duke Randall and Syr Kai are famous as an effective pair of spearmen.
  12. A Kenning for “battle”
  13. Thor, being the god of Thunder, throws lightning.
  14. The King of the Mid Realm that year.
  15. The arms of Bergental and Concordia, respectively, are charged with a star and snowflake.
  16. In fact, at the 33rd Pennsic War, a lightning bolt struck very near the Mid-Realm encampment, probably grounding out on the lightning rod at the barn. Stories vary as to where it actually hit, but a tree in the encampment was affected, and speaker wire there was completely destroyed.
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