Syngva Arunï

This is a Fourth Age ballad celebrating the Third Age Ardon Ry Ymeron, Tallëor Elsoín.

Syngva Arunï (Song of the North)

The world was dark, and whole, and dead

when Mother Night reared up her head,

from seas of ageless timeless doubt

she came within from without.

  • -

Upon the world walked many things:

Giants who were mighty kings

and the Wyrms whose very walk was dread

and the Trolls from shadows led

and strove they all with spell and stone

but victors were the tombs alone.

  • -

In farthest north a seedling grew

and blossomed forth something new.

A tree it was, tall and proud, that

knit the world from stone to Shroud.

  • -

Then came the Gods to gardens high,

above the endless sweep of sky.

So mused they in timeless thought

and so they spoke of spells they’d brought.

  • -

The Aeliö beheld the world

and how the darkness ‘bout it curled

and of their number one did speak

saying that the rest should seek

to people the seething darkened land

with creatures made of soul and sand.

  • -

Each God betook a mighty task.

Each did as Avauna asked,

each save for Galos, Lord of Light,

who’s pride was malice and was spite,

and rather did he make a glimm’ring gift.

  • -

To Avauna he then gave the stone

that was his heart, now hers alone.

The Etoillë, the star-stone bright

that peeled back the endless night.

Green it glowed, and bridged the rift

  • -

That lay between the Heav’nly place

and that darkling earthly space.

But Avauna spurned this lordly prize

and shattered it before his eyes.

  • -

Haeron came then after he

to present, on bended knee,

the works he’d hammered with his will;

she did not look upon him ill.

  • -

The laws he’d forged for Men of old,

from ore of iron and ore of gold.

And down to men he did descend

to lead them from the souther-land.

  • -

The golden laws that Hieros held

in the hearts of men then dwelled.

The First Men came to rocky shore

and then they wandered nevermore.

  • -

Galos Sarnon struck before

his work could be made to lore,

for Sarnon wove the cloth-of-time

that could reveal his plannéd crime.

  • -

Hieros also took his gold

and with cunning began to fold

that best of ores into a light

to hang on high and drive off Night.

  • -

Galos felt the lamp most bright.

His star-stone eyes were set alight

and from the sky he could no longer spy

as long as sun was in the sky.

  • -

So up to the heavn’s marched he

and, standing perched on branch of tree,

pulled he then Hieros’ lamp

and it sank into the sea.

  • -

Avauna, then, of silver wrought

a great deep dish and she sought

to replace the lanthorn’s light

when it was not in mortal sight.

  • -

Galos spoke a mighty word

and, as though the dish had heard,

it slipped and fell from its place,

water bleeding from its face.

  • -

So we have the moon and sun

and their waxing, waning run.

  • -

And lo we toiled beneath the sky,

and as mortals doomed grow old and die.

In Miles was raised the pillar tall,

to spear the heavens and lift the hall

of the sun and moon and stars

no matter what the Trickster mars.

  • -

But in the north there grew a fear

of darkness that had not come from here,

of unmade evil old and dread

that gainst Miles was cruelly sped.

  • -

The elves they spoke of ancient lore

of Trollish lands in days of yore

and Giants too of Cloudly home

said in the north they feared to roam.

  • -

The house of Mother Night was built

on fears and dreams and nightmare-silt

and Tallëor the Ymeron

spake that a war was well begun.

  • -

In council sat the Ardon Ry

with elves and dwarves to guide him by.

Ancient dwarvish council spoke

of Mother Night’s foul spells that choke,

and the Giants, faithless friends,

on whom no Man should depend.

Elves gave wisdoms in their turn

telling Men that they must burn

the houses of the darkling Night

to put an end to the plight

that now beset the land of Men

and Tallëor cried war, again.

  • -

Then Feánwy spoke in that royal hall

and warned he then of pride’s long fall.

His flowing beard he pulled and tore

as he sorrowfully spoke of lore

old and dark in evil steeped

that from Trollish lands had creeped.

  • -

“Be you ware, o Lord of men,

he who falls riseth not again.

Tallëor, change thy grim road,

stray you not to death’s abode.”

But Tallëor was manly bold

and he could not be for-told

nor warned of his mortal doom

for man thinks not on eternal gloom.

Proud he was and mighty strong

and many a harpist sang his song;

Goblins and the orc-kin held

him in fear, greater numbers felled

he of their kind across the earth

and proved in blood his manly worth.

  • -

The dwarf-prince stood after Feánwy spoke

and he said for all his folk,

“We have seen your battle strength

cross the mighty breadth and length

of our home to put to steel

all those that defied our will.

Goblins, Giants, and Troll-things vile

you have slain and all the while

pledged your mighty arm was true.

Therefore, we shall follow you.”

  • -

Mighty lord of doughty Men

called up his spears and swords again.

Light glinted from the shields they bore

and from the shimmering coifs they wore.

The black-gold banner of the Pillar flew

and all who saw its glory knew

that no darkness could o’ercome their King

though he into shadows darkening

rode with his loyal thousand-host.

They would stand ‘gainst flesh or ghost.

  • -

From the city that band went

like an arrow quickly spent.

They passed through field and meadow down

through the vill and through the town.

Elf and dwarf were in his train,

following his bright flowing mane.

Wise men there also came,

and priests of Hammer-god the same.

Beat the drums! Blow the horns!
As he comes he shadow warns!

Ware thee darkling awful thing,

for here rides the Mannish King!

  • -

Armor made of light of sun,

shield from when the earth was young.

Blade of fire of the sky,

helm with which no man may die.

Crown wrought of gold and gem,

silver robes with ruby hem,

all of these and more he bore

into darkness, into war.

  • -

And with the wise men, near the back

came a cauldron of metal black.

Stolen from the wizard kings,

all wrought about with cunning things.

The wise men said it power held

that from nether realms had welled.

Elf was loathe to look upon

and loathe was dwarf to walk yon.

But the Ardon Ry had been told

that if he was like kings of old,

he would bring the thing in tow

though it were grim and full of woe.

  • -

As north and northerly they went

messages from Greyholme sent

arrived at last with dwarven host

to set further weapons ‘gainst the ghost.

Came King Arnr clad in mail

and his clan in full health hale.

So did swell the battle line,

most wond’rous strong of its time.

  • -

The hills grew high, the sky grew deep

and men did stir in dreamless sleep.

From the hollows in the stone

sometimes came a chilling moan.

As the army marched and moved

they found stones hoary old, and grooved

by the hand of no man nor elf

but by Trollish work itself.

The borders of that fearsome land

they had passed, as they had planned.

  • -

Arnr spake with kingly gait

as the Ardon Ry did wait;

“Trolls as these have been our foe

and I carry Axe of Woe.

No threat of fear nor magic’s choke

can we afford to slow our stroke.

My dwarves will fight until they die

and lay here with you beneath the sky.”

  • -

But Feánwy shook his white-haired head

and to Ardon Ry he said,

“Avauna and the Hammerer

blessed be him, blessed her,

do not wish our lives to waste

by making this untimely haste.”

  • -

Came the seer of the Law,

who spoke no more than what he saw.

“Haeron has given us his hope

that we might be the hangman’s rope

to end this accursed Trollish rite,

to drive from these hill the Mother Night.”

  • -

Now let me speak of heroes three

who led this shining company.

Feánwy was a priest of elves,

steeped in lore and wise with spells.

Lord was he of woodlands vast

and friend of many man-kings past.

He was born in Greatwood land,

and raised he was with priestly hand

when Miles was young and Men were new.

He’d given Galos cause to rue

the armies that ancient God had called.

With long dead king he’d Galos walled

in chains of spells and webs of light

so the God could not get up and fight.

Hero of the Plains of Prate

where the stood the armies at Lumiä’s gate.

  • -

Arnr-king was known full well

all throughout the Arinnfel

and through the Greyholme, Harnholme too,

for he would fight before he’d woo.

When mountains came to civil war

Arnr ‘twas who marked the score

and did battle with the Queen of Stone

only to fall for her alone.

In his youth he struck her low,

but love for him had ‘gun to grow,

and so the two were winsome wed,

he conquered army and marriage bed.

And when the orcs again had raged below

he took up the Axe of Woe

and sent them tumbling to their doom,

hero of both hall and womb.

  • -

Tallëor with Giants strove,

to their knees the mighty drove.

Pernag and then Umbrinor

felt the bite of Mannish war.

He’d promised he would sweep the north

and make of it a place of worth,

and so they sat in shadowed hills

before a sea of nameless ills.

  • -

Now hark you listener to me!

The army camped in shadow’s lee

waited for the stroke to fall

that would carry them to death’s bright hall.

But Tallëor and Arnr-king

and Feánwy did their weapons bring

and strode they forth from silver stand

into the dark and fearsome land.

  • -

Blade unlimbered, Axe set free

words prepared of destiny

from the armies side they went

into darkness, full intent

to find the gates in hollow hills

where there dwelled the Trollish ills.

At last they found a crumbling door

and Arnr blew his horn of war

and onward pressed those leaders three

into shadow deeper than deepest sea.

Behind them came the shining spears

of elves who’d seen a hundred years

of dwarves who’d fought in tunnels deep

of men woken from a troubled sleep.

The army passed beneath the moon

marching, brave, to meet their doom.

Beneath the stone of doorway vast

that armor-girded comp’ny passed.

  • -

The light fell from their shining mail;

the moon behind was wan and pale.

At the van Feánwy sang

words that in the shadow rang.

Light leapt forth from fingertips

and mage-song faded on his lips.

The pallid light of magic speech

extends no further than a hand may reach.

The flashing gems of kingly gown

were dull and lifeless under ground.

No bright rings did Arnr wear,

for the shadows dimmed their flare.

  • -

Now forward steps the Ardon Ry

though mannish urge is fast to fly.

Forward marches dwarven king

and forward elf-priest glimmering.

Stone upon stone is piled

beneath those hills, in the wild.

Each was carved in Trollish tongue,

hammered when the world was young.

Chambers vaulted passed they through

as their grim deed they sought to do.

Far behind trailed men and elves

and dwarves, all grumbling to themselves.

And down the tunnel far ahead

walked the trio kingly led.

  • -

On Tallëor’s armor there was etched

a scene of battle on his breast.

The plate was hammered silvered steel

mined with aid of dwarven wheel.

His sword was of the starlight wrought,

lightening in the metals caught.

His shield marred with shadow was

and moving shadow was the cause.

Arnr gave a mighty shout

as from the darkness there came out

a shade long of limb and face,

shrieking in that awful place.


The distant army hearing, quailed,

but the King was well availed

by Arnr’s bellowed fearful word

and brought up his brilliant sword.

  • -

Fire spits! Thunder cracks!

Lo, the spirit’s driven back!

And through its body cleaves the king,

straining fair and grimacing.

The creature is well split in twain;

and of its form, there’s no remain.

  • -

And now here are the soldiery

in waves of fear come desperately.

To the side of kings they come

as from the deeps a mighty thrum

sounds a note: a distant drum.

And the three are stricken dumb,

for this is a sign of war.

Where no Trolls had been before


now the Trolls through darkness scream endlessly, a fever dream,

a nightmare born from bowels of hell,

ne’er was bravery quite so well

tested than against this tide.

There were no shadows in which to hide,

for shadows too were killing-things.

They flew about on misty wings

swooping ‘mongst the men and elves

shrieking awfully to themselves.

And where shadowed touch did light

flesh was torn as though from bite

of wolf or warg or dragon’s teeth

and even death brought no relief

for into rotten bodies crept

the shadows that had long slept

and with those forms of bone and flesh

they became fiends afresh.

Against companions old friends turned,

their breath was foul, their eyes burned.

The chill bleak kiss of unlife

ended many a soldier’s strife.

But lo! Admist the carnage there

stands the king with flowing hair!

And by his side Feánwy calls,

spellfire searing through the halls.

And there too an Axe does sing

watching o’er the mannish king.

Tallëor, he marks the slain

with his sword, his Shadow-bane.

  • -

Towards the city of the Troll

the armies fight, with dreadful toll

paid for every step they take,

advances paid in blood to make.

Beyond the ancient Trollish gates

a lord of Trollish people waits,

atop a temple on a hill

looking out from window sill

the lord of Trolls observes the men

emerge from darkened hills again.

From the tunnels burst the three

and all their faithful company.

The shadow run, the shadows part,

the lord of Trolls knows in his heart

that beneath the hills is lost

the battle; indeed, men have crossed

into his land from secret ways.

This could be his end of days.

Tallëor from hillside door

rumbles with his threats of war.

  • -

The lord of Trolls was ancient-wise

had seen things no other mortal eyes

had ever seen since dawn of Sun,

secret since the world begun.

Into the central chambers went

that lord of Trolls, all-hells bent

on calling forth one last ghost

to defeat the allied host.

  • -

But as from darkness men forth-came,

slaying, calling Haeron’s name,

and as they stood before the wall

fast advance turned to a crawl.

And from the gates was flung a dart

that entered Tallëor’s fair heart.

A troll atop the wall had drawn

and cast his spear at Tallëon.

Ev’n as Arnr won the gate

word of Tallëor’s evil fate

spread throughout the armies brash,

they pulled away from the clash

of swords and screams and Trollish claws

and for a moment, they did pause.

  • -

Beneath the wav’ring moon they saw

perversion of the highest law.

For they yet lived while king was slain

and for all his royal train

there was no hope to give him breath,

bound he was for land of Death.

From sinewed hand fell silver shield

and from his right, his sword he yield.

Then fell they onto the field;

the potent blade he could not wield.

  • -

“Come to! Come to!” Arnr sang

and clashed his axe with mighty clang,

against his very shield rim

and, screaming out a battle-hymn,

cleared a space before the wall

and set the Trolls to fleeing, all.

Behind their city gates they fled

while armored host did fill with dread

at the loss of leader fair,

the mighty king with flowing hair.

  • -d

Feánwy came unto that place

a look of sorrow on his face

and thus he said with heavy voice

“He made himself this foul choice

when out he set from Miles-town

to cast the Trollish darkness down.”

  • -

But from the bloodied battered ranks

there came forth men who had no thanks

for words of wisdom of the elves

but kept their wisdom to themselves;

the wise-men of the Pillar-land

came with black cauldron there in hand.

The ancient pot from south-land took

that had on it an evil look

and was wrought with cunning things

“Fit for men, fit for kings,”

said the oldest, wisest man.

He then revealed his awful plan.

“Things that die may yet return

when placed within this potent urn,”

said ancient man with evil eye,

“Why then must our lord king die?”

Feánwy old man’s path he crossed.

“You mean waters of Valingas!

You’ve stolen from the font of life,”

“Come, let there not be strife

between the men and the elves!”

And the dwarves all murmured to themselves.

“Let grief not drive to madness thee!”

the dwarf-king Arnr desperately

begged the wizened wizard old.

“The king is not yet even cold

and you would work magic foul

to steal his spirit from the owl

that must guide him to his bed

in the land of peaceful dead!”

The wizard’s friends were quick to take

the body up for cauldron’s sake.

And many men came with them as well

as they called Tallëor from hell.

But first the sorcerer required

a thing to get the cauldron fired.

“Six men,” he said in wavery voice

“must make of their free choice

a trade between their life and his.

That is the magic; thus it is.”

And every man about him glanced

at who would take this deadly chance

to return their long-haired king

from realms of death and ever-spring.

And one by one the six stood forth

slowly preparing to prove their worth.

And one by one into the pot

the six men where slowly brought.

As their heads ‘neath water sank

the cauldron belched forth stenches rank,

of grave and sulphur, charnel-smell

vapors rose as though from hell.

The waters in the evil pot

roiled and bubbled and grew hot

and the blinking troubled king

rose to his feet as though the sting

of Trollish spear had not been sent

through his heart; all ailment

seemed to melt speedily away

as though the dawn of new day

had driven off the fear of death.

Tallëor again drew breath.

“To the gate!” he howling cried

and as though he’d never died

the war resumed against the Night

and more men fell to gain the height

of the temple in city vast

where the Troll lord had then passed

after gate was hewn to ground

with a creaking crashing sound.

*

The three companions stood full tall

inside the Troll lord’s ancient hall.

Across the chambers stood he there

facing king with flowing hair.

Great, the troll lord’s figure was

towering, with mighty claws,

and garments sewn from glitt’ring cloth.

As they came he was full wroth

and the final words of evil song

he chanted then, and they long

listened to the things he’d said

their hearts full filling up with dread.

“When the sun does pass away

and moon dies at end of day

and all that live are put to flight

what remains is Mother Night!”

  • -

A wind now blows inside the hall

and the heroes, one and all,

feel the creeping nameless doom

that has come into the room!

A thousand mouths, a thousand eyes,

a thousand hands, a thousand sides,

a thousand feet, a thousand throats

sing a thousand striving notes!

One thousand times one thousand years

are man’s oldest deepest fears!

Then silence reigns there in that place

while a thousand eyes without a face

turn to look upon the three

who now at edge of destiny

stand there in the Troll-lord’s hall

and one by one the voices call

“Doomed to die, ye mortals be!

You know you must, on bended knee

but speak my name and pledge to me

and pay just once this little fee.”

But no one spoke of fealty.

Spake Tallëor, “But we can see,

through the lie and falsehood bold,

your time has come, O creature old

and of the endless nighttime born.”

Then sounded Arnr’s battle-horn.

Into the mass of shadow’s deep

the king he makes a mighty leap!


His blows come fast as falling rain

and flicker-flashes Shadow-bane.

The beast it howls in shrieking pain

but the wounds heal fast again.

  • -

Dwarves are marching without the hall

and trumpeting sweet victories’ call.

But victory is far from one

for when it seems the fight is done

the Trolls who fell begin to groan

and one by one they rise and moan.

Severed arm and severed head

does not mean a Troll is dead!

Dwarves are quick with fiery brands

and elves too have speedy hands

but many men still blinking are

when the Trolls, by light of star,

rend their flesh and tear their skin

while the lords still strive within

the hall against the Night

and still goes on that awful fight.

  • -

Feánwy calls out all the spells

ever known to men or elves.

Lightening forks, fires burns,

but still the hungry Shadow yearns

to snap their limbs and their hearts

to rip into a million parts.

Exhausted, pained, he falls now back

but Arnr doubles his attack.

  • -

In his hand is Axe of Woe

and lo! It cuts right through the foe!

Tendrils sliced and shadows shred

the beast soon seems far less dread.

The ancient Axe made by godly might

seems the answer to their plight.

But the lord of Trolls opes his jaws

and words fall fast like scrabbling claws.

He speaks in Tongue of darkling Night

and take they forms that blind the sight,

horrible to gaze upon

but elf-priest sings out of the Dawn.

And in his voice is Noronë’s own

the Troll lord shrinks, he turns to stone

in terror as the elf steps forth

and elf-priest burns with light of North.

And once the Troll is cowering in fear

Arnr comes with his Axe dear

and Tallëor with burning light

drives his blade into the Night.

  • -

The beast calls out! The beast is done!

The battle in the temple’s won!

The city soon was swept of foes

and cheering men stood in rows

to greet the kings who from the hall

emerged atop the highest wall.

The Lamp of Sun began to rise

and Noronë gazed with loving eyes

upon the men, and dwarves, and elves

who’d sacrificed their very selves.

  • -

Thus the last Troll kingdom fell,

and lived the north without them well.

And Tallëor in days lived long

and many deeds were set to song

in after times. But no more

did elves or dwarves by him set store.

In his strangely lengthened years

never once again in tears

or happiness came Feánwy

or Arnr that fair king to see.

For his life was bought with foulest art

and six had died to give his heart

the years he lived. So ever more

the elves and dwarves recalled that store

of evil magic in his veins

and never once with their pains

did they return to Miles-town

while Tallëor lived in renown.

So grew he old and sad of limb

for closest friends would see not him.

  • -

Return to Main Page.

Syngva Arunï

Abridged History of the 10th Age Idabrius