The Song of Aśdårla
The Song of Asdarla
The song of Aśdårla is an ancient Domusian document, that tells of the founding of the principle of Aśdårla. It is an Epic Saga, split into two parts: 'The tale of the King', and the 'Tale of the pilgrim'. It is written in prose, and is made up of 368 lines.It is protected under the 2012 National Literature Protection Act. Below, it has been translated from the ancient runes of Rauros as accurately as possible.
The Tale of the King
In the days of old, the Tale of Kings was taught to every child in every village, it told the tale of Tulk'àn, son of Talk'ùn the Dragon-God, Master King of the Western Horse Plains...
It is said that in the times before civilisation, and before the ages of men, the sun dawned on the land of Nirnan, a bright rainbow fell across the fields, and from it, came the child Tulk'àn, son of the Dragon-God, Talk'ùn. Immediately, the people adored him, and recognised him as their rightful King.
He ruled over them for many years, wisely and benevolently. Fought, and won, many wars against the enemies of his people and Kingdom. All that he lacked, was a teaching, or a discipline, to make his Kingdom fulfil it's ultimate potential.
The time. Was now.
One fine day, while the King was riding his stallion of Kings, a wise man came unto him and said thus;
"Come to this chair, and sit upon't"
"Why?" Questioned the King, "Why must I sit upon such a chair?"
The wise man answered, "You must sit on it, because you, Tulk'àn, are the son of past Kings, and by divine right, are now the ruler of these vast plains".
Tulk'àn wisely looked into the man's eyes and said; "No."
The wise man seemed surprised, with a suggestion of inquisition; "Why do you choose not to sit on this chair of Kings?"
Tulk'àn did not reply, only whispered the words of his own creation, "Aśdårla, wise man, Aśdårla..." This word, this doctrine, this truth was a figure of Tulk'àn's own creation, a culmination of years of study and research, into the perfect description of all life, honour, battle, glory, friendship, and love - condensed into a word fit for a King and his people.
The wise man's eye glinted, as Tulk'àn's father, Talk'ùn, once did. And after a moment's contemplation, the wise man spoke: "You have passed the test..."
"What test?" Tulk'àn thoughtfully replied.
"The test... of the King".
Tulk'àn's eyes widened. "Could it be true? Are you the Wise-Wizard of Amałundär?"
"Yes, I am said Wizard..." he replied, "And due to your strength and wisdom, you shall be known throughout the land as the King of Kings, and creator of the belief... That is Aśdårla..."
Tulk'àn straightened his back, gripped his sword tight, and thanked the Divines, for it made him proud to be the son of Kings...
The wise man spoke once more, "There is but one last bequest of mine to give unto you before you begin you teachings, a new name... I give thee, the forename: Harry. In the tongues long forgotten to man, it means; Leader of Armies and Rule of the Home. The second name I give to thee, is the mid-name: Aram. Which, in languages spoken only by the silent Fuskarian Monks, means, High and Exalted. And the final name I give to you using the power of Rakūndoo Bestown unto me, is the surname: Nicholls. Which, in the forest-speak of the Djillians, means, Ruler and Conqueror of the People."
And faster than a Ülundel could jump across a moor, the Wize-Wizard of Amałundär was gone. Leaving only a single note written on the paper of Kings, that the now, Harry, knew only too well.
Harry picked up the note, put it in the pocket closest to his heart, and walked away into great plains.
The note read only the word, the idea, the understanding:
The tale of the Pilgrim
Many years later, when Harry was but a glorious song sung in the mead-halls of Domus by the bards, a warrior walked, alone, through the forests of the Arglanssil. The night was dark, and he had only the light of the path-finders to guide him on his perilous journey. He carried upon him only what was essential; furs and cloth to keep him warm, his sword and shield to defend himself, a gourd of water to drink, a knife to hunt and a satchel with which he carried his food.
He had been traveling for many days, from the lush green valleys of the western alps, to the icy Northern Wastes of Windhelm. Alone, looking for an answer, for the meaning. He was an Arlan pilgrim, the name given to those who travelled to find the true meaning, that word which held the life-essence of Domus, the unwritten code that dictated society, honour, battle.
Like all pilgrims, his journey had started in the Skjolrimund mountains. From thence he had journeyed east, to the Eastern enclave. He had sought out Arland, son of the wind, guider-of-pilgrims, wise man who knew the way. He had then journeyed throughout the land, with no fixed destination, stopping in mead-halls to sleep, or where it was devoid of human life, he had slept by the light of the path-finders.
But now, now he was close to knowing. He had inquired, investigated, battled, and now his journey had led him here to the peak of the Helmhold, in the lands of Eomund, lord of Esgaroth. There, at the very peak, he found a throne. It shone with a divine light, a drop of pure gold amidst a sea of black velvet. Ancient as time, it was carved so intricately, the pilgrim knew it must be the work of the Dwarves of old, forged in Aedromund, furnace of might. It stood alone upon a rock. It was tall, crafted from the smoothest marble, and lined with gold. Upon the arms, and around the back, were carvings, great battles and hunts, Kings of old illuminated in all their glory.
There was, near the bottom, a plaque of brass, but the words that were carved upon it were obscured by dirt, by the tidings of time. The silence around him was deafening. Not a creature moved about him. Slowly, he bent down towards the plaque. He scrubbed gently, and, to his amazement, it cleaned itself instantly. A single word, carved in the ancient runes, was visible.
He had discovered it. His years of journeying had culminated to this instant, to this word. Upon reading, he felt a warm, golden glow throughout his body, as if he had drunk the mead of the legendary fountain of Hardingaar. That single word, that meant so much.
For many years, scholars have analysed the song of Aśdårla No-one is sure exactly how it came to be. For centuries, bards in Domus and Windhelm recited the song in mead-halls throughout the land, but it is likely that it was written by the Gods.
The meaning of the poem is very clear; Aśdårla comes to those that discover it, it is not given by birth or by gold.
The repetition of the phrase 'Aśdårla', emphasises how deeply the word is connected to society, and how important it is to Domusians.
Kennings are also used for effect. 'Path-finders' means stars in the poem. This use of archaic language gives the poet and epic tone, but also 'Path-finders' has a double meaning; not only is it metaphorical of how the stars guide one's path at night, but 'path' could also be used to symbolise the 'path of Aśdårla', the journey of the pilgrim.
The poem is split into two parts. The fact that the 'Tale of the King' comes before that of the pilgrim could symbolise how the King is above everyone else in society, and how the pilgrim is a humble traveller. Also, caesura is used in the last one word lines of both parts. This use of Caesura and one word lines isolates the final word, Aśdårla, showing how powerful the word is.