Ode to Fionavar
by Simon Fraser
Taken, on whim, to celebrate
Five decades of the agèd king,
Five friends crossed over (one thought lost),
The devoirs of a world to bring. The land is scorched: relentless drought,
Erosive war, ephem’ral foes;
Through desiccated soil and state,
Wry prince risks all to pluck a Rose. The ven’rable king’s a shadow,
Long relinquished his erstwhile grace;
A Stranger offers to be bound –
Usurps from heir his rightful place. Exposed to god, the soul laid bare;
Grey dog opposes the andain;
Tied to the Tree, dam bursts ‘sunder,
Price is paid: rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. The Seer’s fate foretold coalesced;
She scribes on brow a cryptic rune,
Makes of her soul a gift for one
By blade and love her last commune. Cloud-shouldered Rangat blows in wrath,
Woeful penumbra crowns the land.
Ware! Shadow of doom stretches forth,
Menaces all with taloned hand. Great red full moon to spite the threat –
Baelrath charged, there will be war!
Brave deaths and feats, new heroes made –
Conjure the exploits wrought of yore. In sacred grove a gift is born,
Comprised of love but made to kill.
A Rider called to dream her name,
Astride her back hot blood will spill. Putrid Avaia, black of heart,
Poaches a pure and golden prize.
Her body wracked, her soul exposed,
Assailed by hate in loving guise. A spar of will floats in the dark,
Defiance ‘gainst a will to break;
Though helpless versus deity,
She gives nothing he doesn’t take. A seed takes root, foul thread is spun,
Maugrim’s woven into the loom.
Dissent can’t sway a mother’s will:
The babe will live, face unknown doom. Seer’s dream bids Warrior wake,
Summoning name wrenched with a cry;
His limpid eyes replete with stars,
Cursed to live, then fated to die. The long, sad tale spun fresh once more,
Eternal tithe for mortal sin;
Reunion brief, his love abjured,
Burgeoning sorrow pent within. A stricken tree and stone are all
That mark the place where chaos lies.
Long-dormant Horn pronounces Light
That calls the kings to ride the skies. A Child arrives to leave his life;
The Wandering Fire gave the goad.
He will follow, has left his home;
He mounts and takes the Longest Road. The white boar marked fair Liadon –
For winter’s cease, an equal debt.
Gathered to Dana’s breast with love,
He twined and thrust and fell. And met. Grim hordes of Dark pour from the North,
The Aven spurs his Riders thence,
Adein flows clear and churns to red;
Eminent death, brave defence. But lo! The lios sally forth,
Most hated by the Dark: fair Light.
The Hunt is summoned, havoc reigns,
The goddess’ will surcease the plight. ‘Board Prydwen ship a siren song
Augers the fate of Light devour’d;
Soulmonger looms, god intercedes –
From ocean depths the scourge is scour’d. Quondam First Mage makes mock of life,
The Cauldron churns to rouse the dead;
A dwarf amends with sacrifice –
By draining all he snips the thread. The Warrior to Chamber strides,
And wakes from death boon friend of old;
Renews the grieving trinity:
Saddest of all the long tales told. Long thought dead, the Paraiko freed,
Raise a lament: the last kanior;
Red merciless blaze engulfs them,
Remakes forever who they are. A Seer’s choice beside the lake:
A secret kept, an icon saved.
Repudiated light goes out,
Bael summoning forever waived. To grove god’s son is led to die,
Oldest One wakes, the death is his.
Helpless, the boy’s not deep enough;
Curdardh is smashed by Lance, who is. On ghostly ship with mortal men,
A thousand years past Sennett Strand;
Unquiet mage yet laid to rest,
To wait his source still bound to land. Symbolic duel: Light and Dark,
A golden prince takes Arthur’s fate;
He slays and dies, is burned that night;
Thus febrile mong’ring doth abate. Andarien! The mighty clash:
The Light meets Dark and will not yield;
The goddesses of war hold sway,
Reap harvest in th’ensanguin’d field. A dreadful wind presages doom;
The Dragon of Rakoth takes flight.
Casts a pall on the hearts of all
With its shadow – occludes the Light. A crimson comet flashes high,
Silver portent, swift death descend;
‘Tis love saves one and slays the beast:
Only each other at the end. The random thread, Unrav’ler’s spawn,
Accoutred with a raw, red pow’r,
Bestrides the bridge, a gift to hand.
All the Weaver’s worlds know this hour. Rekindled light leaps from his brow:
Long-dormant spirit, Rakoth’s bane;
Lõkdal wielded bereft of love,
Pierces the boy, thus kills the twain. Triumphant field, the sounded Horn:
Dire summoning of woe and death
Gives Wolflord of the andain pause,
Hears sound of Light wrought by his breath. Chaos rides forth from ‘mid the stars:
The Hunt with Child before them all;
Ruana sings, rebinds the kings,
By tragic dint of Finn’s long fall. A summoned sea, grim fate warded,
The mortal sin at last absolved.
Three sail away towards rising stars
In gladness to the Weaver’s Halls.