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Iskjerne Ballad by dealing_with_it

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Iskjerne Ballad by dealing_with_it

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Sigurd_Hring on Sat Sep 24, 2022 8:34 am

> An industrious week passed on the shore,
> As trees were chopped down from the mountain store.
> Great logs of evergreen were used to roll
> The longboat up onto the highest knoll.
> The ship's mast was removed and the boat flipped
> To create a hall, wherein ice was chipped
> And removed, and replaced, by soft flat moss,
> And benches were stretched all the way across.
> A tripod and cauldron, and a kitchen
> Made the hall adequate for a cabin.
>
> Just lee of the great hall was a firepit,
> Inside of a clay cone, a forge did sit.
> The clang of metal and deep woosh of flame:
> Two blacksmiths sweated, to make tools their aim.
> The Viking women had found use for stones
> Scattered on the beach, perfect for millstones.
> Everything around had some good purpose,
> Which was evidenced by example, thus:
> A horse was sacrificed to the Norse gods:
> First some was given in beautious gauds.
>
> But then the meat was cooked over the fire;
> The sinews were used to make thread and wire.
> The bone was the material for tools;
> The skin, clothing: in sum, they were not fools.
> Fishermen began to comb the cold bay
> Using for bait, small fish silvery-grey.
> The net from the ship became a crude trap,
> Pulled taut it could a whale or ship entrap.
> The land being so scarse of any life,
> The bay would sustain them, as it was rife.
>
> Creativity from the Norse settlers,
> Would again be their boon as the burghers
> Of this new township. Fish oil and blubber
> For lantern and soap; bones used, for after
> The meat was all gone, spears, hooks, and harpoon
> Could be made: to this life they were attuned.
> All this and more, this growing industry,
> Made the king proud of all that he could see.
> On one of his treks, he talked with builders
> About building a wall for the future.
>
> By accident, they happened on a cave,
> Little did they know that this was a grave.
> "Daren't we explore it, or should we do so?"
> Sigurd said: "try it", and in it they'd go.
> The guards readied lanterns, and Sigurd sword,
> Prepared for danger, or a dragon's hoard.
> They crouched through the vestibule; however,
> Inside, the roof was as tall as they were.
> Rock carvings and cave paintings on the wall,
> Many long passages lead from this hall.
>
> Some human skeletons, carefully placed,
> Undisturbed for centuries, undebased.
> Beside one with bronze armbands silver shone,
> Coins with the sigil of a king long-gone.
> Sigurd Hring had found the lost resting-place
> Of Emil Skuljasson, king without trace.
> The paintings told a story of this land,
> Settled once before by a Viking band.
> After a successful naval face-off,
> Starvation and sickness had killed them off,
>
> When King Emil died, he was buried here,
> And his tale told, so others could endear.
> "Come, do not disturb them," King Sigurd said,
> And they left the cave, heads hung for the dead.
> "Take five men, and explore the deeper caves,
> Report the condition; don't touch the graves."
> "Ay my lord, will do," said the guard; he left.
> Sigurd entered the hall, clearly bereft.
> He wanted for what these caves would produce,
> Maybe some minerals that they could use.

> It was as fine a day for seafaring
> As the freezing night turned to bright morning.
> Everything but the sea and sky were white,
> As over the mountains shone gold sunlight.
> The snaking fog pulled away from the sea,
> And foot-deep snows were all the eye could see.
> On the shore was very little, sparse green
> And the seas were a deep aquamarine.
> Small, soft, black stones blanketed the long beach,
> The rise and fall of the waves smoothing each.
>
> Apart from leaping fish and screeching gulls,
> There was scarce sign of life: no animals.
> Built into the shore was an old wood dock,
> Fallen to disuse, it had long to rot.
> On a snow-covered hill, a settlement
> Had suffered, as well, from abandonment.
> This frontier fortress had long since been used;
> The land beyond had never been perused.
> All of this was about to change swiftly,
> As from the fog a large ship sailed grimly.
>
> A dragon's head was carved into the bow,
> A monster rising to threaten a foe.
> Silently, it drifted like a phantom
> Through the soft fog, its crew silently dumb.
> The crew approached the shore, and King Sigurd
> said loud enough that to all he was heard:
> "There is no ice beneath our boots, and the
> water is shallow in this area."
> "There is people here," a Viking cautioned.
> "No, they're all gone: look!" the King retorted.
>
> After two months at sea, the longboat's crew
> Was joyous at this, their appointed due.
> The air was cold, but mountains blocked the wind;
> The Vikings were nothing if not thick-skinned.
> The site for the settlement, Sigurd scanned.
> This was a harsh and unforgiving land,
> It would certainly take some adjustment
> For a kingdom to build and to invent.
> Within minutes, the ship was pulled ashore,
> The stones on the beach working like a drawer.
>
> While the band on the beach divvied up work,
> Sigurd and two soldiers went for a look
> At the crumbling settlement's old longhouse
> And found none alive, not even a grouse.
> There was no sign of anyone, but flags
> Of Viking make, hung limply like old rags.
> Inside it was warm, undeniably
> The remains of a long-lost colony.
> "Where did they all go?" asked one of the guards
> "I don't know," the King said, a tale for bards.
>
> "Keep scouting," said Sigurg Hring, Viking King:
> Left to see what the beach-crew were doing.
> The band set up a filtration system,
> Also, a small firepit, round and handsome.
> The ship had nearly all needed supplies,
> But they needed more. He glanced at the skies.
> The sun shone yellow and favourable,
> The weather was perfect as was able.
> Lack of closs sources of trees and fauna,
> Sigurd would need a plan, as the alpha.
>
> An industrious week passed on the shore,
> As trees were chopped down from the mountain store.
> Great logs of evergreen were used to roll
> The longboat up onto the highest knoll.
> The ship's mast was removed and the boat flipped
> To create a hall, wherein ice was chipped
> And removed, and replaced, by soft flat moss,
> And benches were stretched all the way across.
> A tripod and cauldron, and a kitchen
> Made the hall adequate for a cabin.
>
> Just lee of the great hall was a firepit,
> Inside of a clay cone, a forge did sit.
> The clang of metal and deep woosh of flame:
> Two blacksmiths sweated, to make tools their aim.
> The Viking women had found use for stones
> Scattered on the beach, perfect for millstones.
> Everything around had some good purpose,
> Which was evidenced by example, thus:
> A horse was sacrificed to the Norse gods:
> First some was given in beautious gauds.
>
> But then the meat was cooked over the fire;
> The sinews were used to make thread and wire.
> The bone was the material for tools;
> The skin, clothing: in sum, they were not fools.
> Fishermen began to comb the cold bay
> Using for bait, small fish silvery-grey.
> The net from the ship became a crude trap,
> Pulled taut it could a whale or ship entrap.
> The land being so scarse of any life,
> The bay would sustain them, as it was rife.
>
> Creativity from the Norse settlers,
> Would again be their boon as the burghers
> Of this new township. Fish oil and blubber
> For lantern and soap; bones used, for after
> The meat was all gone, spears, hooks, and harpoon
> Could be made: to this life they were attuned.
> All this and more, this growing industry,
> Made the king proud of all that he could see.
> On one of his treks, he talked with builders
> About building a wall for the future.
>
> By accident, they happened on a cave,
> Little did they know that this was a grave.
> "Daren't we explore it, or should we do so?"
> Sigurd said: "try it", and in it they'd go.
> The guards readied lanterns, and Sigurd sword,
> Prepared for danger, or a dragon's hoard.
> They crouched through the vestibule; however,
> Inside, the roof was as tall as they were.
> Rock carvings and cave paintings on the wall,
> Many long passages lead from this hall.
>
> Some human skeletons, carefully placed,
> Undisturbed for centuries, undebased.
> Beside one with bronze armbands silver shone,
> Coins with the sigil of a king long-gone.
> Sigurd Hring had found the lost resting-place
> Of Emil Skuljasson, king without trace.
> The paintings told a story of this land,
> Settled once before by a Viking band.
> After a successful naval face-off,
> Starvation and sickness had killed them off,
>
> When King Emil died, he was buried here,
> And his tale told, so others could endear.
> "Come, do not disturb them," King Sigurd said,
> And they left the cave, heads hung for the dead.
> "Take five men, and explore the deeper caves,
> Report the condition; don't touch the graves."
> "Ay my lord, will do," said the guard; he left.
> Sigurd entered the hall, clearly bereft.
> He wanted for what these caves would produce,
> Maybe some minerals that they could use.
>
> A three-tiered ring fort grew over the weeks.
> The size of the settlement slowly ekes
> Outward in concentric circles; as well,
> Soil was piled on the great hall in a spell.
> Insulated inside the smoky hall,
> Arctic winds outside were hard to recall.
> After two long months in this harsh landscape,
> A hidden tower began to take shape
> At the base of a mountain: down a trail
> Into the hill-land, were placed steps of shale.
>
> Random fog hid the fort adequately;
> Local resources used efficiently.
> Snow foxes and hares were captured on skis:
> The Vikings traversed the hills with great ease.
> There was a surprising amount of life,
> Once they paid closer heed; this land was rife.
> An abundance of fish and sea monsters
> Were under the ice in the cold waters.
> Whales, narwhales, seabirds, seals, sharks, and oysters,
> Were captured by the rough Viking ardor.
>
> A couple of reindeer herds on the land
> Lent their muscle to the settlers' skilled hand.
> Beneath the snow were nuts and green lichen
> Which were cooked or turned into medicine.
> The crew's scurvy was quickly cured away;
> Sigurd was sure they'd survive in this bay.
> The luxury caused him to wonder, though,
> What happened to those who died here ago.
> Taking no chances, he warned his people
> Not to take too much: to be e'er mindful.
>
> The secret cave was carefully explored,
> And many minerals were their reward.
> Gemstones, crystals, sparkling silver, and gold,
> And shining rock formations to behold.
> Hot springs, gas chambers, and freshwater streams,
> As wondrous as anything from their dreams.
> In this labyrinth, they found cave-dwellers:
> white bats, cave spiders, and salamanders.
> Generously, there were young polar bears,
> Gifted to King Sigurd, to train a pair.
>
> The settlement grew into a kingdom;
> Sprouting nearby was a village handsome.
> The citizens tried their hand at farming;
> The climate was too harsh for plants to cling.
> However, they built a plumbing system:
> This staved off all diseases troublesome.
> Sigurd Hring grew fearsome, hairy, and thick;
> On his throne in the great hall he did sit.
> His men played on leather drums and on flutes;
> The last of the mead they did distribute.
>
> Now they would have to drink from the harsh malt,
> Made from local roots and nuts, its fault
> Was that it was far stronger than their taste,
> And the men got hammered drinking in haste.
> During one of these harsh blizzard parties,
> Explorers burst in to speak to their leige.
> Some bodies had been found that were unique,
> With bizarre weapons that were aged antiques.
> Rotted leather straps ran across their chests,
> Each wearing a small chrysanthemum crest.
>
> These skeletons still had decayed clothing:
> Green uniforms and yellow rank striping.
> In sacks: brass cylinders, lead projectiles;
> And the air, a sulfurous stench defiles.
> One body had a red cloth on his neck,
> Writing and a circle on it bedecked.
> Sigurd decided he would see this site;
> Not before they checked if the air was right.
> A few days before this discovery,
> Some miners nearly died in a gas spree.
>
> They released cave mice into the chamber,
> To test the air, so much cannon fodder.
> Luckily, there was no gas in the room,
> And Sigurd could see what time had consumed.
> After some deep contemplation, one said:
> "Are they Arabs?" but Sigurd shook his head.
> He passed the lamp to someone at his hip,
> And pried an object from a dead man's grip.
> The metal was rusted and decaying,
> But he had no concept what was this thing.
>
> After Sigurd Hring's investigation,
> He decided his men these caves should shun.
> The bodies, be they dwarf, or elf, or man,
> Weren't to be touched at all by anyone.
> This was fine for the superstitious men,
> Who even left presents, oft and again,
> To make sure that no revenants awoke
> When their final resting places were broke.
> Thus, when a new cave with bodies was found,
> The men avoided it and went around.
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Sigurd_Hring
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