Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Skald's Tale (3): The Year of the Haggis

Book 2 of The Eye of the Raven

Action during Season 2 of The Eye of the Raven
Sing, o skald, of battles new,
Of action during Season Two,
Of clash of shield and sword.
When raiding warbands came and went
(Some of them from the continent)
And the Scots headed the leaderboard.

It all began when Aethelflaed
Invaded Jorvik, where she stayed.
The Anglo-Danes almost lost heart - 
It seemed the end of John's campaign;
But luckily for the Anglo-Dane
It turned out to be a false start.

The helpful ref who came along
Declared The Penny far too strong
And Aethelflaed agreed.
So the clocks wound back
(There had been no attack).
Aarold got off scot free.

So it all began another day
When leek-prowed boats landed in Norway,
And Welsh caught Viking half asleep.
They harried and burned within the fold,
But all they could find was Ubba's gold
(No sign of any sheep).

The Irish met the Danes in battle
Claiming back their stolen cattle
From Cnut Autokorrekthater.
Both sides would live another day
(Each said the enemy ran away)
For they fought an epic draw.

Cnut, now seeking battle worthier
Raided Anglo-Danish East Anglia.
Warlords met - Viking and Anglo-Dane.
Another blow for Anglo-Danish luck,
Campaign progress so nearly f***ed
When Aarold was brutally slain.

But fortunes changed with Aarold dead,
When the crown passed to rich dad Alfred.
He attacked those men in dresses,
The Scots, who so strongly defended
Sent the Danes home empty-handed
Calling them a bunch of Jessies.

Tavish, vict'ry to his liking
Moved now 'gainst Iceland Viking:
Vengeance of a sort was willed.
Though Gunnblasdt fought a mighty battle,
He was scared off (and his cattle)
When Tavish lifted up his kilt.

Meanwhile (after rules renew)
The Saxons invaded York (round two);
This time all would not be cancelled.
A different end - Saxons did not settle!
Alfred Steptoe showed his mettle,
And t'was Aelthelflaed that fled.

The Franks then sought to make their mark,
Their warband raiding Hedemark,
Seeking gold in their adventure.
Ubba and Charlemal clashed together;
The Norseman died defending his treasure;
Franks made off with his golden denture.

Ubba's heir, young Ubbason
Determined to be troublesome,
Wanted a saga all his own.
But stopped by Scots before a ford
His Vikings got savagely mauled,
And the Jarl had to row his own boat home.

Finally, Sir Sybald's Normans
Arrived in East Wessex without warning,
Apparently to refight Hastings.
But Aethelflaed's Anglo-Saxon force,
After a long march from up north,
Gave them a right good pasting.

Thus left alone til this year's end,
Leif's Norse Gaels (who chose to defend)
Couldn't keep top table status.
Tavish's Scots now head the scale;
And hence this chapter of our tale
We name The Year of the Haggis.

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