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The Saga of the Towers
This poem has been written in the attempted style of an Old Icelandic Saga. The event is a true story regarding the climbing of two water towers. The tempo and rhythem I've tried to replicate were once used extensively in the far north of europe around the 10th C.
A starlit sky greeted two adventurers
Orvandil watches from high above.
Guided by instinct before the rising of Mani
One Bersarker keeping true to a sumble boast to the gods,
One Ulfneider on a mission of his own.
Both daring to conquer together the stone monstrosity
A full 70 ells high
Placed by unknown hands deep within the Ulfneider's forest.
Drawing energies of ancient sites to itself.
Cautious and excited the companions make the site unseen,
With might and maine this tower will fall while the Gods watch on.
A guide rope finds it's mark, a rope of strength next follows.
The Bersarker is first to test the rope
A hard bridge is made to complete the quest.
Trained muscle is applied and the climb begun
Soon the tower will fall in honour of the Gods.
Bersarker gains the landing
The hidden stairwell looms below
Glowing red coals stare up as the Bersarker gains the foothold.
The Bersarker ponders their import.
Ulfneider next takes the rope,
Determined to succeed and fulfil his quest
The guards have not yet stirred
as hand over hand Ulfneider makes his way
to the first foothold where Bersarker awaits his arrival.
Undetected for all their noise
The companions make their way to the ladder
Checking for alarms hidden to alert those who run the tower.
Quickly they climb,
Ulfneider and Bersarker,
Until they near the top.
The winds buffet them upon the last ladder,
As if the Jotun wish to stop them seeing their quest to completion,
Then die as the warriors reach the towers summit.
But where should be solid roof is grate and girder.
Firm foothold is hard to find.
This is a place not meant for men,
For from this place much of Midgard can be seen.
The creation of the Gods under attack from the Sons of Muspelheim.
From here the Jotun must plan their destruction.
Ulfneider and Bersarker,
Raise a beaker and honour the Gods.
Hail Thor, Tyr and Ullr.
The sacrifice made with ale and sweat.
Bersarker and Ulfneider begin the climb down.
Onward to the Fortress.
The Ulfneider is first down the hard bridge from the Tower
An alarm may be tripped.
The Bersarker quickly follows.
No guards have appeared.
Now comrades move cautiously and quickly
Closer to the fortress, which too must fall.
A smaller yet still monstrous stone block
Over-looked by the tower as if held in reserve.
The companions move closer,
The assault path seems easier.
But appearance belies nature.
Guide is thrown and the mark is true.
Strong rope once again follows,
The climb begins Bersarker first
A gash and cut as he slams into the grills.
Bersarker does not bleed.
The sting pushes him harder.
Over the lip to the landing and the defences are inspected,
Little threat here.
Ulfneider begins his climb.
He two finds this path harder than the last,
Yet better progress is made.
Ulfneider vaults the lip,
Cautious of defences seen.
Once past the landing the way is easy.
Yet an easy path is often dangerous
Through metal bars the companions' watch for trip-wires.
Alarms to alert the guards.
Finding none they move to the parade grounds
Bersarker and Ulfneider on a vast stone field
A sound is heard below.
It sounds not like a beast.
Bersarker freezes and signals Ulfneider.
Both seek cover to watch for a threat.
None seen both relax but are more on edge.
Both inspect the parade grounds
Admiring the view.
Both raise beaker and honour the Gods.
To Thor Tyr and Ullr.
Sumble Boast and quest completed,
The two companion turn to go.
Ulfneider first down the hard bridge of rope.
Bersarker leaps from the landing.
The companions turn to move and are confronted
Discovered finally by foes or friends?
Three maids step from the darkness
Weary travellers unbeknownst.
The companions welcome them,
And lead them away with gentle words
Lest they awaken sleeping guards.
To a lake deep and wide
Where Bersarker and Ulfneider plan to recover strength
Lost in the assault.
But wait a light and fellow traveller
Friend or foe unknown
Encamped across the lake.
Could he be the noise they heard from the fortress?
Before the companions can flank this being,
It disappears into the night
Light travelling in every direction.
And the companions,
And maids three
Move towards the lake.
Have prepared a fine feast for our companions
Who bath in the lakes clear waters.
When all are sated,
The larger party returns to the gard until the next quest
Into the under-realm.
Copyright 2003 by Cullyn Ullrson. All rights reserved.
DayPoems Poem No. 2351
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