[Book] Songs of the Reaver Clans

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Tristior
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[Book] Songs of the Reaver Clans

Post by Tristior » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:18 pm

Songs of the Ghost Sea Reaver Clans
Compiled by Johannes Silvanus, Chairman of the Committee for the Transposition of Indigenous Oral Traditions, Imperial University

Volume One

Introduction
These volumes are intended to serve as a record of the song-myths particular to the Nordic reaving clans of the Sea of Ghosts. I have devoted much of my scholastic life to studying and cohabitating with these groups, who although literate do not devote much time to recording their own traditions. It is my hope that through these works, I will be able to show these groups as more than savage raiders worthy only of extermination.

[Note from the author: This first song concerns the very first arrival of the gods in their new home, and is typical of the style. I have tried to retain the use of alliteration and repetition, which allows the skalds and rememberers to retain the same flow and wording between tellings. The strange metre and lack of rhyme, although harsh to more “civilised” ears, is consistent with the song’s original form.]

‘Fore the proud world-hall was filled with gods and men
There was but the crashing surf and sturdy rocks
The empty sea above and the extant land of ‘neath
And e’er did they clash, as e’er they will, those two

It was to that battleground that staunch Shor
Father to all that is worthy
Did sail downwards, following the plumb line
Of clever Jhunal, clever-man of gods

And as the keel of Sovngarde beached on that sideways shore
Where the hot waves of never-above
Break on the frigid capes of always-below
Staunch Shor leapt from the prow and shouted:

“This place, somewhat-up and almost-down,
This seething shore of possibilities
This will be known to us as Sky
The posts of our hall shall enter it lovingly”

All his clan did love staunch Shor
And at his crafty words they followed
First crazed Kyne, War-Wife and warrior
Leapt screaming into Sky’s shined surf

Next the Shield-Thanes, Stuhn and Tsun
Twins to test Men, came ashore
Follow’d Dibella, lustful Bed-Wife
[Frigging?] and teaching the children-to-come

And mournful Mara, Brood-Wife to Shor
Descended determined and dour
Lastly clever Jhunal, wide-eyed and wise
Came scratching his runes that are yet to be found

Volume Two

[Note from the author: This next song was imparted to me as embellished prose, as some ancestor of the clan had lost the tune when it was his turn to remember, causing the original words to be forgotten as well. I think this highlights the need for scholastic interest in recording these traditions before they are lost to us forever.]

“Jhunal, you are too clever for usefulness, but you are clever. Where is this mull we have reached?” asked Shor.

“Farfromfarfromhere,” replied Jhunal, casting sly runes of smirks. At this Tsun raised his hand and beat the wretch, once, twice, until Stuhn caught his hand at the third. The smirk-runes bit at them both, enraging the brothers with envenomed barbs of cleverness, as wide-eyed Jhunal smiled blankly at them.

“Yes, that is very clever,” continued Shor “But my issue will be the most fierce, most mighty, most praised race ever to spring from gods. I must be sure they are granted the fiercest, mightiest, [plumpest?] of all the heights and depths. So I ask you again.”

“In truth, reality is sideways-sideways. Existence does not fall up, nor emptiness down, but rather they fall together to the sides. That is how we can sail between the two,” said Jhunal, twisting his fingers into the true signs. Barely had he finished these words when Kyne, screaming all the while, whipped the sea into salty scourges and flayed the skin from him.

“I see that it does not do to be too clever,” mused Shor, observing this “for you will be beaten and humiliated and, worst of all, be not very helpful. It falls to warriors, then, to establish our dominion in this Sky over any we might encounter. Onward, beloved clan of mine! Let us follow these footprints I just now see before me in the sand!”

Each of Shor’s clan saw a set of footprints before them and, taking care to step within each print (because they knew it was lucky), travelled sideways for the first time, away from Sovngarde’s hull and towards the great dark mass of the unknown.

“Oho!” cried Shor “This isn’t the great dark mass of the unknown at all… it is a great mass, to be sure, and it is both dark and unknown, but look how tangible it is! Look how it bites at our bodies, not our courage, and burns our hair, not our hearts. No, before us is some fiery serpent.”

“It is a dragon,” said Jhunal, and cast the wise bones, to which Mara pulled out his tongue.

“Ohoho!” cried the serpent, whose name was Alduin “You return so soon! Well, I am still full from the last world, full to bursting (my gullet burns with more than fire), so you will have much time to enjoy this one. I will return to sleep now, but remember that when I awake I will devour all you have created, and that the struggles of mortals and gods alike come to nothing” At this he farted, and in it Shor’s clan could hear the last hopes of the last world disappear forever.

Turning away from sleeping Alduin, Shor faced his clan and said “I remember now. Knowing that it is good, we build the world-hall here and fill it with the Sky-children who sailed with us in Sovngarde, but after forever has passed the loathsome serpent awakens and eats all, and only we who escape aboard Sovngarde return to rebuild once again. I understand that all we can ever do is folly, but that we must toil and overcome until that final day arrives.”
At that, a cheer came up from Shor’s clan, and as one they raised the world-hall's first post, and named it Sky-Throat.

Volume Three

[Note from the author: This final song concerns the introduction of time into Mundus, and depicts Shor in his capacity as a wily trickster god - one who could extend the kalpa but for his betrayal and death. It is notable for its interesting blend of pre-Return totemism with an Old Empire understanding of the Nordic mythic cycle. For a summary of this scholarly framework, please consult Elonwe of Lillandril’s inestimable volume “Cultural Eras of the Nords”.]

So far does shrewd Shor, fox-furred
Seek goodness for his salt-flecked scions
That even [autarch] Alduin, despot dragon,
Sleeps fitfully, slumbers fearfully

But, bright bushed, shrewd Shor
Deepens the dragon’s dozing
And boasts “Only the foxy god of Men
Can keep the world-hall standing”

Witnessed by the wild clan
Shrewd Shor seized the dragon’s tail
And lashed tight the worthy world-hall
Weaving with time the waiting world

Revealing to none his secret schemes, Shor settled against the wolf
As hawk and moth upwards circled
And the Children fought and fucked
Knowing themselves safe by shrewd Shor’s shift

But woe! Foul elves, unnatural, exist
Sneaking snake, wicked woodsman
Hating the hall, creation of the clan
Stirring the dragon, seeking death

And in deepest darkness, craven creatures
Cut cords and fastened the father of all
Secure to Sovngarde’s shorebound keel
Drowning dead in the starlit surf of Sky

So did shrewd Shor, fine father
Die disgraced by dragon-doomed demons
The eternal world ended by envious elves
And mighty Man made mortal once more
Last edited by Tristior on Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Luxray
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Post by Luxray » Sun Nov 19, 2017 8:35 pm

I like this. In that first text, where you say 'ghost sea', is it the sea of ghosts? not sure if it's intentional to make the imperial scrivener seem out of touch with skyrim completely (which is how i took it, pretty fun if so).
<roerich> woah it's hot in here
<Lord Berandas> it must be Summer.
<Infragris> #hell is meant as a spam and off topic channel. Doing a great job already

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Tristior
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Post by Tristior » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:08 am

Funnily enough, it wasn't. I just tricked myself by calling them "Ghost Sea Reavers".

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