Found Documents: Scaldic Staves from the Stacks


Our tower came with a secret chamber full of documents, apparently hastily collected to be hidden and saved from destruction. Safety from fire unfortunately meant exposure to mold and other forms of decomposition, requiring much effort to restore the documents to legibility, and then transcribing them onto more durable media.

While scholarly prose makes up the greater part of these documents, part of the collection are transcripts of skaldic lore pieces, in the alliterative style of the priesthood of Orlanth. The vellum that we managed to decipher so fat appears to come from the Kingdom of Orlanthland, before the Dragonspeakers infiltrated their ruling ring.

These poems often are rather short mnenonics for events, meant for recitation at feasts where the entire community came together. Putting these into writing was not that common, which means we may have some unique material on our hands witnessing Heortling lore untainted by later influences.


When words unwritten won’t leave a warning
a skald’s staves may state the story.
Harken, Heortlingas, and hear the history
Fight the Forgetting, inform the future.

Many the moments of mayhem and strife,
long the litigations, and the lessons learned short.
Cruel the conflicts, cold the companions
left lying in blood on land left unconquered.

Copper Tablets Explained

Umath ascending – Aether’s abode,
proud planets plunging – panicked and old.
Jagrekriand standing – steadfast alone
cruelly crashing – Storm King to a hold.

Far north they went fighting – with fire and bolts
white pillar toppled – painful the trip.
Seduced below surface – siring a son
forced to fight the ferocious – fire-born foe.

Hell-spawned hostile – hospitality-breaker
Jagrekriand wrestled – recovering raider
Stormfather in shackles – smitten apart
uncles find Umath’s – underaged offspring.

The Skald’s lament

Orating like Orlanth in alliteration
telling a tale in tense and trim rhythm,
may look mellow in making, but mark the notion
that telling a tale may trigger just tedium
when stumbling a story not in end rhyme but staves.

I Fought We Won and Ritual of the Net

Only Old One from shadows, antlered scion of Orlanth,
Uprooted aldryami, and anxious mostali,
Wide-spanning windchild, and whirling gold wheel,
each on their own in desperate ordeal,
unified in opposition to evil oblivion.
Resigned to rebel against raging destruction

Heroic deeds hailing echoes in Hell.
Spider‘s whispers had seeded consensus
former arch-foes hold strands in their fists
trapping the terror, restricting its terror
supporting the spider that saved what was left
shards of creation, spun into the structure,
casting the web to collect what she could.
Digesting destruction, devouring oblivion,
taming the terror, conceiving Time.

Long was the leaving from ash-lord‘s cold lair,
proud the procession that prowled out of Hell.
I Fought We Won‘s victors found work for their kin,
fellow combatants, more felt than perceived,
joined comrades in council to care for the world.
Short victuals shared for mutual solace,
a Silver Age boding, from shadow reclaimed.
Dawn still distant, yet deeds of renown
connecting the camps and the caves of survival
so Theya‘s first rays would find life and friends.

One comment on “Found Documents: Scaldic Staves from the Stacks