The one who here puts runes to face and feda to corner is the púca named Gulba.
Let it be known that she serves loyally, and willingly.
Long were the King's travels above ground- far longer than for most fey-kind, and in particular for troll-folk. In this time, he learned much which he now desires to share with his formerly recalcitrant kin. For he is wise and compassionate despite the hardship his people have inflicted upon him, and he knows well how we languished under the rule of the capricious princeling.
The King, in his humility, wills it also that the full story of his ascension be made known- for too long have the nobles of the Unseelie Court of the Scintillating Gyre schemed, conspired, and blamed the deaths of their predecessors on unrelated forces.
The veracity of these facts is sworn to by Gulba the scribe, may her luck be taken from her elsewise.
Now begins a chronicle of the events leading up to and following the ascension of the Smoldering King.
Let it be known that the skógtroll named Nöldra was exiled from the Court of the Gyre 187 autumns ago this day as punishment for the deaths of 11 other fey, for which he was found responsible.
Let it be known that before his removal from the princedom, Nöldra was made to wear a shirt of mail forged from cold iron rings.
Let it be known that Nöldra was expected to die in exile, the cold iron shirt forever searing his flesh and denying him rest and regeneration.
Let it be known that the skógtroll now known as Nöldra Iron-Ashed did not die, and instead slew and deposed on this day Prince Dímaín the duine sídhe, last of his house.
Let it be known that this was done by way of a crown of cold iron, which burned the prince to ashes after he was deceived into donning it by the exile, who feigned supplication.
Let it be known that no soul in the court of Prince Dímaín lent aid to the dying prince as he ran screaming.
Let it be known that some among the late prince's courtiers laughed as he died.
Let it be known that Nöldra Iron-Ashed declared himself king, took up this crown once he had wrenched it from the princeling's scoured husk, and now wears it smoldering upon an unflinching brow.
Let it be known that King Nöldra Iron-Ashed now calls to his side Hallvardur the Many-Faced as his chief adviser and jester, as Prince Dímaín had done before.
Let it be known that Prince Dímaín's death mask has been cast and added to the collection of Hallvardur the Many-Faced.
Let it be known that King Nöldra Iron-Ashed now bestows upon the late Prince Dímaín the posthumous title of "Silver-Gilt", and that laughter returns to the courtiers of the Gyre, now louder.
Now ends the chronicle of the ascension of the Smoldering King.
Now begins his address to the fey of the Court of the Scintillating Gyre.
|Troll King by Eoghan Kerrigan|
"Know, O Beloved Ones, that I am not king by divine right. I am not king by rule of law. I am not king by vote or consent. I am king by seizure and bloodshed, as every ruler of this court has been since the mists first receded from the land. I have done nothing to earn your trust, or your obedience. I do not expect either. I do not expect to rule long, regardless.
So I will welcome your knives, if and when you brandish them against me.
I will welcome them, and then I will put you to a burning death.
For I am king, by strength of will and grim vision. And I will drag us all kicking and screaming into the light, lest what I have foreseen come to pass.
The world above these roots and burrows is changing. No doubt you have heard the rumors.
The selkies of the southern coast have made war upon the interloping jötnar of the broken tors, who have been pushed from their land by several flocks of sluagh from the west. The Seelie Court of the Pierced Hart has ceased all trooping, and has shut its silver gates after a recent hunting procession disturbed the cairns of several draugar.
Indeed, these events may sound like small news by themselves. But taken together, they reveal the imbalance we have been thrown into. These events and others have been plaguing our kind more and more regularly, and the need has come again to take stock of the world, and reckon the passage of time as mortals do.
For the manlings of Inis Fjall are also in a great hurry these seasons. I have heard the whispers in their homes, and seen the turmoil in their cities. I have watched them rip open the breast of the island with their tools, and I have watched them seize from it so many lumps of the killing-ore.
The humans are mining iron at an ever-greater pace.
Calm yourselves, Beloved Ones. This is not cause for fear, but cause for action.
We know not if this iron will remain cold, or if it may yet be worked to turn against their fellows. There is anger and resentment between the ones who are named Jarl. The lowland sowers of the earth look with a hungry gaze toward the hills of the red hideaways. The whale-roads bear strange ships to shore.
Our home is fast-approaching a turning point, and we will not survive if we choose to remain hidden. Look into my brow-stones and know the truth that I speak when I say that we may need to stand beside the mortals before the end.
Calm yourself, court of the Smoldering King! I command you to quiet! You forget yourselves.
I have ascended into the trackless wilds of my kin's genesis. The dwellers under root and rune have been casting their bones for seasons, yet only recently have they begun to portend doom. The arms of the Drummer are growing tired, His mallets heavy in his white-knuckled grip. Soon He Shall Rest, and with the end of his playing will come the Hunting Time.
You all know what will happen in the event that this comes to pass.
Emptiness and Silence will awaken.
I do not wish to break the pact that my people made at the Bleak Dawn. But I am king now, and a lord must also protect his subjects. I will do all that is in my power to avert this mighty doom before it reaches our people, and you will serve me in doing so. There is much to do, and Soon Skårl Shall Rest.
I summon now the heads of your clans and families, great and small, so that they may muster together here, and in sight of the throne which anchors us, talk of what is to come."
Now ends the address of Nöldra Iron-Ashed, the Smoldering King.
Now begins the First Mustering of the reign of Nöldra Iron-Ashed, the Smoldering King.
Copies of this and other pertinent chronicles shall be cast out to every distant hollow of the court of the Gyre, so that all may know the gravity and veracity of our lord's words.
It is the will of the Smoldering King to enumerate these and other events for the benefit of all fey-kind. The world of mortals is fast-changing, and we must be prepared lest the tide sweep us away.
For Soon Skårl Shall Rest.
I was reluctant to post about this one for a good three years or more. I finally threw something out about it because I couldn't take the internal nagging or the external encouragement.ReplyDelete
I wasn't reluctant because I thought it was a bad idea per se, although that's always a bit of a concern in my mind. Rather, I didn't want to add Yet Another Norse-Inspired Thing to a genre that is, has been, and will continue to be DROWNING in Norse-inspired content.
A lot of it is fine and inspiring and hasn't lost any of its validity, but I felt bad not being inspired to go elsewhere with the idea, ya know? Not to mention my Celtic knowledge is deeply flawed at best. In that vein, I want to use my atrociously named Camfeyn and "Hiberno-Norse Iceland with the serial numbers filed off" Inis Fjall as just an example of my idea for a mythology mash-up setting, rather than the end-all, be-all of a setting.
We all know American Gods and other stories that force humans and deities to deal with a situation in which multiple belief systems coexist like the occupants of a sweaty, overcrowded tour bus, but I thought the perspective of the middling nature spirit or folkloric creature might be interesting to explore too.
... I also just kinda wanted to plagiarize the crap out of Dunsany's musician for a troll pantheon for reasons I can't even begin to explain.Delete