27 January 2011

Epic of Ice Eyes the Blinded One

Here is a Skaldic-style poem for your enjoyment.

This poem is a Skaldic Poem, which carries with it several burdens.
-Trochees: A skaldic poem is (ideally) in Trochaic trimeter. This one is just in trimeter as is.

-Archaic language: At times this will sound incredibly dated. That’s supposed to happen.

-Alliteration is key. Norse poetry especially prizes Consonance as a tool for sound. Rhyming doesn’t matter one bit to this Norse form.

-Kennings: A kenning is a turn of phrase whereby you call something by something else. (e.g. Driving-Tyr is actually Thor, or Hanged-Tyr is Odin, or wave-horse is a boat.) This means that one character will have many names (Odin has in excess of 100). Below is a list of the names associated with the main character:
Winterbreath’d warrior, Ice-sharp eyes, Ice eyes, The Blinded One, Winterbreath, Sword-wielder, Shining Light, the Hero, Battler for Balance.

Lo in the days of old,
of Æsir and the Helm
of Blinding Faith, Guard’ans
of the Balance arose
to face the dreadful Plight.
‘Twas said that a man tipped
Balance ‘twixt Good and Ill.
This man awoke the Dead,
wrested the immortals
from their slumber.

So it was in the days of Old.
All was lost, the sun grew cold.
He wandered the wind whipped
wastes of white. Trees adorned:
Armor of dross and ice.
Wintered Breath, Ice-sharp Eyes.
He sought the artifacts,
those godly gifts of Grace.

The Battler for Balance,
that man of Ice-sharp eyes,
wintered breath. His will froze
the tide so that he might
break the crashing waves of
that Usurper –Waker
of those that Slumber.
Winter breath set captive
souls free. He claimed the Blade
of Lore – sword of Æsir.
Ice Eyes chased the Waker.
He was entranced by the curséd
gaze o’ he who challenged gods.
Many times did As-disk
rise before the Winter
Breath’d warrior awoke,
hands deep in the blood of
innocence. Crumpling
to the ground, Wintered Breath
Battler for Balance pled
his penance to the gods:
Balance and Good and Ill.
Tyr, that old Judge, deemed what
all found acceptable.
God of the maimed hand struck
the sockets of Ice-Sharp
Eyes blind. Poetry-Tyr
gifted the Blinded One
with a helm. The Helm of
Blinding Faith. “He who can
not see in Darkness is
truly blind indeed.”

So it was in the days of Old,
when all was lost and nights were cold.
He wandered through thicket
and glazed glass glade. To face
the Tigermen – Rakshasa -
on Steeds of Flame, melting
swaths through the air and plain.

Arrows of poison plunged
deep into his chiseled chest.
The Battler for Balance
fell to Hrym’s Brow, his arm
lame as Maiméd-Odin.
The Nightmare Rider bore
death down on him, flowing
fire following behind.
Wintered Breath extended
his bloodied blade, gave gods
his mind. Blaze of As-fire
spewed from his shining sword,
skewered the steed, stopping
the slayer. Slowly his
salvation struck him.
Strength-Odin renewed him,
standing him aright.

So it was in the days of Old
All was lost and the Sun grown cold.
He wandered through dangers,
drifted through whiteroads.
Rumors of the Waker’s Ill
spread to the stout statured.
Demons assailed the Chain.

The Battler for Balance,
his Light shone in the deep.
He found those stout hearted
folk slain by slavering
Loki-spawn, their sin to
succeed. The few dwarves that
survived, slaved at simm’ring
mines. Their chin-pride singed ‘way.
Scorchéd pride spawns searing
justice. Casting off chains,
they clamored for conflict.
They fought the demons and
destroyed. Demise deigned turn
none away. Dwarves
dedicated to th’Deep.
That Shining Light recovered
the Chain. He secured it
in the safety Book-Thor’s
Reliquary. Book-Thor
bequeathed the Blinded One
a boon for brave battle
of Balance. The Book of
Blood, a cursed artifact
written to grant a last
chance to who must rebuild
Balance. Winter Breathéd
Warrior would wage war
against that evil Wizard,
Waker of Slumberer.

So it was in the days of Old
All were lost and the sun was cold
He wandered through dangers,
drifted upon whiteroads
Demons of dross dying
destroyed for the Balance.
The Sword slashed a swath so
that all might be re-found.

Lo, did he chase Waker
of the Slumberer, to
a Keep of Cauldrons and
Cicatrices. Usurper
of the Balance had prepared
himself for Wintered Breath –
blinded Bringer of Light.
Flayed-faced fighters flailed in vain.
No warrior waited
long beneath his wrath-blade.
The warriors were cleaved
in twain.

So it was in the Days of Old,
The As-disk lost, hearts grew cold.
He watched for Warriors,
Shining Sword of Salvation
shone in the Deep. Justice
to the unjust. Just his
duty to Balance.
And still he descended

He descended the Deep
Stair to th’darkness beyond
blindness, but he could see.
Ice Eyes the Wearer
of the Helm of Blinding
Faith. “He who cannot see
in darkness is truly
blind.” He of the Ice-sharp eyes -
that Blinded One said. Years
did the Dark-sighted one
descend, dipping, drooping
‘neath Time’s dilapidated
hand. At long last, he reached
the bottom, an aged man.
His sight was no less sharp,
for he saw true – a gift
from shining god – Odin.
His muscles were weakened
by the weathering and
withering of wasteful
Time. He could no longer
heft the Blade, heavy as
it was with hope. Then the
Slumberer – that old Dragon –
did speak. “You have traveled
an age to find my servant,
the Waker. He is gone.
Time is past. His era
has ended, as has yours.
Mine has begun. Alas,
you cannot see me, servant,
but I survey your shallow
sockets, sagged with sorrow
and strain. Sliced from their seats
for your sins. Surrender
yourself to Solace. Give
up the Ghost.”

So it was in the days of Old
Wintered Breath lost, the sun grown cold
He who wandered the wastes,
now descends to denounce
Usurper of Balance.
Demise deigns to turn none
away. Ice-sharp Eyes grown
old must too his debt pay.

Ice-sharp Eyes – that Blinded
One – surrendered no thing.
He brought out the Book of
Blood, read the pages with
his hand. Hefting his hope,
he hurled it at Slumb’rer.
The Æsir Blade bit deep,
burrowed into the bone
of that Ancient Dragon.
A roar of rage resounded
through the death-thick air.
“Balance must be restored.”
The Book of Blood flew in
the air, as the Dragon
came crashing towards the bleeding,
broken Battler for Balance.
Streams of sun shot from the
Blinded One’s eyes. The Light
lanced that old Dragon, life
leaked from the Slumberer.
Wintered Breath and Dragon
latched together, light with dark.
The Balance was maintained.
Good for Ill. Ill for Good.

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