With mists and gray skies, with a bitter and biting wind from the North, Orctober gives way to Norsevember — that month where we celebrate the Northern Thing. And so, I offer to the Gods a bit of verse from A GATHERING OF RAVENS:

Wild was Grimnir | when he arose,
And when his snake-cunning | foeman he missed;
He shook his head, | his hair was bristling,
As the son of Náinn | about him sought.

The glow in Náli’s eyes | was like forge-gledes,
As bloody revenge | for his brothers burned deep;
Under the ash he waited | and gathered his strength,
His teeth he gnashed | and his breath was venom.

Náli spake:
“Give heed, Bálegyr’s son, | for here I am
No starveling runt;
False is thy tongue, | and soon shalt thou find
That it sings thee an evil song.”

Grimnir spake:
“Bold in the shadows, | is Náinn’s bastard,
Náli, adorner of benches!
Come forth and fight, | if thou would best me,
And I shall teach thee the dirge of the vanquished!”

Swift as a storm | they smote together,
In the murk-wrought tangle | at Miðgarðr’s edge;
Born of hate was Grimnir, | Nótt’s slayer,
Who set his corpse-wand | against the flesh of Ymir.

In the hilt was hatred, | in the haft was treachery,
In the point was fear, | for the skraelingr’s foe;
On the blade were carved | blood-flecked runes,
And a serpent’s tail | round the flat was twisted.

Ill went the grappling | for the pale son of Náinn,
Who ran from the fray | on craven’s feet;
Dreadful and dark-cheeked | came Bálegyr’s get,
into the maggot-holes | that wounded Yggr’s steed.
(Then Grimnir spake, | scorn dripping from the gates of breath:
“Why dost thou flee, beardling? | Hast thou
No stomach for Odin’s weather?”)

In the shadows Náli chanted, | weaving potent charms;
He sang a song of darkness | and reddening fires,
And its echo reached | the deeps of Niðafjoll
To rouse from slumber | Hel’s draugr-serpent.

Wreathed in corpse-reek, | came the fierce-raging wyrm
And the Ash-road groaned | ‘neath its evil weight;
The skraelingr met it, | war-grim and bitter,
To test night-bringer’s edge | against bone-clad coils.
(Then Náli spake, | to match scorn with scorn:
“Where is thy boast, cousin, | now that
The weather has turned against thee?”)

With clash of iron, | mighty hammer on anvil,
The strife-bringer | twisted sore in wrath;
Away sprang Grimnir, | though not in fear,
For Fate had spared his foe | till Gjallarhorn’s song.

Away sprang Bálegyr’s son, | across the Ash-road
With shoulders cloaked | in the skin of the wolf-father;
The serpent gave chase, | goaded by Náli,
And with him | came the Doom of Odin.


3 thoughts on “It’s NORSEVEMBER!

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  1. Heard about this blog from The Dungeon Dive – thought I would check it out – very cool so far. Feel free to visit my site and comment if you get a chance. Thanks and keep posting. Hail.

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