The First of Snowberg

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This is written in the Old Norse Meter fornyrthislag by Magnús hvalmagi, though the general construction is inspired primarily by epic Anlgo-Saxon poetry.

It is the traditional charge of the Baronial Bard of Concordia to chronicle the deeds of the Snowberg Army at Pennsic. In AS 48, Magnús hvalmagi held the position of Baronial bard, but could not witness the Pennsic battles. Instead, he recounted the tale of the origin of the Snowberg army - the tale of a long-lost warrior of the north whose bravery inspired generations.


©2013 Peter Olsen

1. The world was joyous - wealth and peace were
found in all the lands - few were troubled.
But idle minds and idle souls
flourished in those fair fields of plenty.
A sin begat a greater sin,
and soon the ills of ailing hearts
tainted and tortured the track of men -
evils arose to wreak their doom.

2. Far to the west was found a cleftland
stretching deeply - still it is so named.
Deep in the belly of boiling earth
was birthed a beast of burning rage.
Of ache and hurt - of heart-woe and
sinful vengeance was sired the monster.
The enemy of man was eager to work
his schemes and plots through the sky-burner.

3. The worm of flames on wings of smoke
took to the sky and scoured the land.
It razed cities and ruined farmland -
its greed begat a grief profound.
Too little it owned - the land was ripe
and rich with prizes it possessed not.
Its wanting grew for want of grace,
and with it grew the rage of the wrathful demon.

4. To the East it gazed - a gainsome plot
it thought that place - a prize to claim.
From the air it loosed an oily flame-gout
and landed in the ruins it left behind.
Where trees once stood now stained earth
alone could be found - no life survived.
The woodlands rusted like weapons of iron
where the creature stopped - still they are so named.

5. To the north lay the linden-halls.
A cry went out - the oaks of battle
moved to reclaim their calloused soil!
Fierce the fighting - the flame-clash of
sturdy trees of trials was felt in
every land - and in every hearth.
Terrible their losses, but at last the woods
of wounding-poles repelled the corruptor!

6. Back to the west the wyrm retreated -
fleeing at once the wasted rustlands.
To fairer fields far it hastened,
to tend its wounds - and tender its revenge.
A host of the dead it dragged from the grave -
tattered banners and bloody flags
raised from the depths - red with corpse-mud
that cuprous lake - it is called this still.

7. In the East rallied an army valiant,
with strong-limbed and long-remembering
warriors eager as wolves at the feeding.
They marched to that place - that mire of death -
to meet the host of the hell-fiend
and put an end to the evils of men.
Hall-Konr lead them - that hero of old -
none since the Geat were known as well!

8. Met at midfield the mass of spears -
no din of swords since was as deadly.
The fiercest of men fell to the past -
but the pure souls of savage Tygers
welled in their breast as they battered the foe!
Soon they pressed the sea of rotting
back to their graves - that ground they took
and that lake was cleansed - cleared its good name.

9. But victory was brief - that villain with fury
descended from the sky and scoured the ranks.
Its hell-fires flooded the plain
and rent to ash the ashes of valor.
Countless their dead - their courage faltered -
no blades could bite that beastly hide.
Mighty Hall-Konr hacked at the fiend,
but stony claws struck him to the earth.

10. Slinked and stalked the serpent of hell
to the fallen liege, that lion of men.
A great breath it gathered to loose
a river of death - a red flame-sea.
The gout erupted - but razed no man,
the shower parted by a shield of iron.
Clad in a byrnie of black and gold
was an oak alone - lost is his name.

11. That brave warrior buffered his king -
saved his sovereign from certain death!
With dwarf-steel he struck at the beast,
hewed its hide with a hungry blade.
The wretch howled and hurried away -
but he grabbed its tail with a grip of iron.
Then homeward hied the hell-fiend and foe -
and never again were they known to roam.

12. The day was won by a warrior unnamed -
a hero hidden in the heart of battle.
All that remained was the mantle he'd worn,
a scrap of fur from the frozen north.
Said the warriors who'd watched as he fought
that strong as ice he stood his ground -
a frozen mountain - a frigid beorg
of stone and snow - and still we are so named.
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