Friday, 19 May 2017

The Skald's Tale (2): The Year of the Badger

Book 1 of The Eye of the Raven

The badger is a creature that is much pressed upon, yet which when cornered fights back strongly, often this gaining the upper hand on its many adversaries. Just like Norse Gaels.

The action during Campaign Season 1

Sing, o skald, your tale of old
Of those six years when warlords boldly
Fought to rule the land.
A time of rival conquerors
Who strove for kingship over all
To take the upper hand.

Anglo-Sax and Anglo-Dane
Contest England's divided plain,
Their armies poised for war.
While in the mountains Welsh and Scots
Contrive their own ambitious plots
Of conquest over all.

Across the sea, Norman and Frankish
Lords consult with men of rank
To justify their ruling right;
Despite the backing of the pope
Their claims, they know, are based on hope.
So they prepare to fight.

The Irish king kneels down to pray
That not long now will come the day
That he shall rule o'er all.
While on the isles at the world's edge
Hairy Viking warlords pledge
To pillage, raid and steal.

Amidst them all, a Norse Gael tribe
That claimed the hills about Strathclyde
Appeared the one to beat.
Its warlord Leif of little might
(He'd never won a single fight)
Was seen as easy meat.

The Scots played out ambitious plans
Advancing toward Norse Gael lands,
Attempting to invade there.
But Lucky Leif had made a pact
And his Oathsworn was the first to act,
Raiding Scots Dalraida.

Gunnblasdt's Vikings, keen to fight
Attacked the Scots before they might
Into Norse Gael lands come.
Their warbands fought across a burn,
But Icelanders were forced to turn
And run away back home.

Undeterred, the Scots advanced -
Considering the Norse Gaels pants
Against a foe as strong in size.
But they were met at mountain pass
And kicked quite sorely up the arse
Much to their surprise.

Leif, enthused by his success
Sent a warband to oppress
The Danes across the sea so blue.
They sneaked across the Danish plain
Returning, herd of cows obtained
Before the Danes could even moo.

The Danes were raiding elsewhere though,
Against their blood-sworn Irish foe
Conn CĂ©tchathach, Irish chief.
They disappeared as fast they came
The Irish could not stop them gain
Their cut of Irish beef.

Thence back to Lucky Leif, at pains
To defend his land from Anglo Danes
Attacking down a mountain slope.
They battled hard and battled strong
But Anglo Danes did not last long
Before they gave up hope.

Finally, near winter tide
A Welsh warband raided Strathclyde
In search of vulnerable sheep.
Though finding only herds of cow
They did their business anyhow
And went back home complete.

Meanwhile Norman, Norway Vike,
Frank and Anglo-Sax alike
Took no part in this year's action.
So at the end of season one
With this year's battles all now done
The Norse Gaels are the leading faction.

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