The Queens of Varr
Song I; lines 1-154
Adapted from Old Language to Contemporary Common by Sir Ignasi at the Maliron University of Arcana
Praise and sing to the highest queens of men,
and to the King who made their crown!
Gather about the skald who tells of night
‘fore the cleft mountain of the western range
where serpents roll and play in godstuff;
where young mortals fought in vain as babes
and where power taught its truth.
Hark; hear once more and join
in the song of the queens
and the Conqueror!
MANY chiefs of Varr came one night
in our youngest days
to claim unity, for menaces in the eastern lands
had grown too mighty to go unfeared.
The masters of Varr met at the summit
of the cloven bluff under the western clouds
where the grass, still young,
became trampled beneath the boots of many tribes.
From the East came Askarr, lord of winds;
Sidrunna, lady of horses;
Wilmni, lady of tides;
Haren, lord of stones;
Britkrig, lord of one hundred axes;
Lognar, lord of traitors;
Dirklard, lord of good repair;
and Dutigg, lady of the frost lake.
From the west came Slassor, lord of sunlight;
Fjellik, lord of devotion;
and Glodim, lady of the herd.
Many from the south and the southern isles
sought with greed to claim the cloven bluff,
but a dreadful storm wrecked all save
Frukti, lady of the harvest,
and the rest were lost to the Scholar’s grasp.
These many chiefs and warlords came to the highest stone
and each proclaimed their right to kinghood over Varr,
pledging war against any who would not recognize their rule.
They drew their spears and axes
and cut down their armies
and cut down each other
“I am king of Varr and will not be denied!”
cried Britkrig into the sanguine sky
before an arrow from the people of tides stuck him in the eye
and cast him to the rocks below.
So too did many lords and ladies fall to weakness and vanity that even’.
when the skies had turned to black
and the grass lay soaked and matted,
Askarr, lord of winds, mounted the shattered stone
and stood tall above the broken legions below.
“I have conquered this place!
See how your lords and ladies lay broken in my wake!”
The lords and ladies below indeed lay broken,
and all with tired and wounded armies.
So in agreement, all the chiefs of Varr
and the soldiers with no lord
knelt before the lord of winds in submission
save for Lognar—who refused, and marched his tattered army to the east.
“I am king!” cried Askarr,
who raised his spear in glory,
and many below—the lordless and those of broken lords—
begrudged their spears skyward as well.
BUT a terrible wind tore o’er the people at the cloven bluff
and wicked the light from their torches
and the strength from their hearts.
The now-night sky was full of stars,
yet in droves they blinked out into darkness
as a tremendous body hurled through the abyss.
A chorus of wails heralded
the titanic serpent
as he made landfall
with wings like the sails of warships
and claws like the swords of giants
and a maw that could devour dreams.
He forced into the sky a great flame from his gullet
to illuminate his visage,
spewing embers of terror and greatness that cast shadows
like shrieking faces
against the midnight clouds.
And the serpent spoke with a voice like burning, writhing knives:
What a lovely title.
Yet you did not think to petition the King of all mountains
for his favour?
You lovely things are so riddled
with pride and stubbornness.
However I am not here to chastise your folly,
but to share with you a lesson and give you hope.
Little king, what gives you might?
Your victory in fair combat?
Then came a great thumping in the ground;
an array of black stone spears hailed,
hailed! from the sky
and ran the wind lord through,
leaving him transfix’d to the stone and dirt before
the great dragon.
From the northern mountain, a legion of darkness-clad warriors
descended from secret to the shattered mountain in a great wave,
each bearing the mark of the Conqueror
branded upon their left cheek
and a javelin in their left hand.
At their front marched Lady Irpa and her sister Lady Thorgerdr,
sovereigns of the northern rocks.
The serpent spoke:
“You people of horses and tides and frost lakes and sunlight
gather in fear!
You dread the might amalgamated to the east
who musters armies across its continent
and sweeps a wide scythe o’er its enemies with great brutality!
Let me teach you this:
You are right to fear,
and your pride cannot survive
nor your frailty of heart.
You will break beneath the powers of the east
without knowing the final fact that your
Many here seek truth to power,
yet ripe with optimism refuse that truth is power is truth!
Your queens will show you this,
and you will bow before them
as they before me
and I before the God Beast,
but all else will be broken beneath the might of Varr!”
IRPA then stepped forward.
She shed her helm and plate to the ground, and with axe in hand
raised a scarred and wickéd fist—wrecked by fire—to the black clouds.
She cried: “Unity!”
Yet was met only with the shuffling of armor
and confused mumblings below.
She cried again: “Unity!” and the
let forth a torrent of flame to the stars.
Haren, lord of stones, was the first to reply, and as his vassals and soldiers joined,
so too did the other lords and lordless folk
until Unity! echoed through the mountains and across the plains of Varr.
Lady Thorgerdr stood with her sister and raised a spear to the sky as
the great serpent Iganash
made his final pronouncement:
“Hail to the queens of Varr!”
and though his face glowed only by moon and starlight,
as the cheers grew below,
those closest saw
turn upwards in delight.