Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Lay of the Nightblade

I love reading legends, myths, and folktales of all kinds. So, it shouldn't be surprising that my favorite part of creating a fantasy world is coming up with the history and legends of that world. One of the best-developed of these legends comes from the world of Berstru. It's called "The Lay of the Nightblade", and tells the story of one of Berstru's best-known heroes. It was originally written for a scene in my NaNoWriMo 2011 novel to be recited by a bardess, who'd later become a much more important character than she was meant to be. I recently dug the poem back up so I could write a related piece in my current WiP, and I thought that I'd share the original with all of you.
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"The Lay of the Nightblade"

The moon was white,
The stars were bright,
The night was cold and dim.
Alone and fearless,
A warrior peerless,
The Nightblade it was him!

Tall and dark,
His armor, mark.
So strong of heart and limb.
His shining blade
Of star-metal made
Is known as much as him.

Long he sought
And battles fought
To find his stolen love.
His heart’s desire,
Though he could not find her,
Aranna, gift from above.

But in mountains far,
Beneath the stars,
The sorcerer is seen.
Cruel and cold,
Ages old,
The crafty Curulín.

‘Twas he who stole
With heart so cold
Aranna, true and fair.
And locked her away
From light of day
In dark fortress, oh, beware!

The Nightblade knows
The fate of those
Whom Curulín has grasped.
Wraiths and shades,
Themselves unmade,
Even Aranna fair can’t last.

To save his love
From the fate of
What all prisoners be,
The Nightblade goes,
For he knows
That in peril now is she.

Crafty Curulín
This has foreseen.
But he is undaunted still.
Monsters he sends
To make an end
And the Nightblade kill.

But none can stand
In all the land
Against the Nightblade’s sword.
Against him they fall,
One and all,
Without a single word.

And so, one day,
So the legends say,
To Curulín’s fortress he comes.
He stands before
The sorcerer’s door
And says, at the top of his lungs,

‘Foul sorcerer dark,
To my words hark!
This is the day you die!
By my blade,
You’ll be unmade,
This, today, say I!’

Curulín leered
And at him sneered.
‘Fool, you are, to dare.
Of defeating me
So you see,
You haven’t even a prayer.

You come to save
Aranna brave,
But you will fail, say I!
For you, I’ll slay
This very day,
Before the lady’s eyes.’

Aranna was brought,
And the two fought
In the courtyard then and there.
Dark and light,
In this battle, fight,
Oh Nightblade brave, beware!

The Nightblade brave
His very best gave
But against the sorcerer it was not enough!
Curulín’s art
The magic dark,
Was much more than a bluff.

Each brave attack
At front or at back
Was blocked by Curulín’s spell.
Hope faded away
As night turns to day,
And it seemed the hero’d be felled.

Then suddenly
Too quick to see
The Nightblade fell to the ground.
Curulín raised
His dark, jagged blade
And laughed a cruel and harsh sound.

Then from nearby
Both heard a cry
Of anguish at the sight.
Aranna had come free
Only to see
Her love facing death that night.

Towards sorcerer dark
She dashed, now hark!
She would not stand by on this day.
Aranna’s attack
Was quick enough that
The sorcerer could not move away.

Before her he fell
But he muttered a spell
So the moment he died, so would she.
But she did not hear
And so without fear,
She looked to destroy Curulín.

The Nightblade rose
And it seemed to those
Who watched the battle that day,
That he’d become
A deadlier one
Than any of them could then say.

Then through the heart
Of the sorcerer dark
The Nightblade drove his sword.
But alas, alas,
What came to pass
Was from the sorcerer’s word.

Though Aranna was safe
From life as a wraith,
She fell and took her last breath.
He saw it too late
To stop her fate,
And from him she was taken by death.

The Nightblade wept,
Then from Berstru he left.
Never to return again.
He laid down his sword
And with these parting words
His tale must come to an end.

‘If there comes a day
When hope is taken away
Another will rise in my stead.
Undefeated they’ll be,
Like you said of me,
And by them many will be led.

So watch for my heir
When evil does dare
To rear its ugly head.
The hero will come
And rise like the sun
And the Nightblade will shine once again.
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On a side note, the nature of this poem has changed since I first wrote it. Originally, it was meant to be a complete work, but I've since decided that the actual lay is considerably longer- too long to be recited in a single evening. This is simply the most famous portion. I'm not sure whether or not I'll write the rest, though I'd like to sometime.

What do you think of "The Lay of the Nightblade"? Have you created any legends or such for your own stories? Please tell me in the comments!
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

2 comments:

  1. Oo, that's cool and epic. I love how you created a legend for your stories! I do have a legend in one of my stories that is actually explored in a prequel...

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    1. Thank you very much! I've actually created a few legends; this is just the best-developed. :)

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