Saturday, 30 January 2016

Kolbjorn Skatkaupandi, Order of the Pelican, 2016

Quilliam, Queen-maker,
Queries his althing,
Speaks to skald-poets
Converses with carls.
Domhnail, dís[1]-born,
Daughter of dwarf-kin[2]
Muses with maðr[3]
Talks with red rekkr[4].

Who comes when called
Carries long burdens
Field and fen toiler
Works with the wain-kin[5]?
Who nears when needed
Knowing what’s lacking
Moils[6] in mead hall
Stands without sighing?

Kolbjorn, kappi[7],
Dreki-marked[8] kyrtil[9]
Tender of tree-lord
Binder of boughs[10].
Black bear[11] devoted
Born into Ramlands[12]
Frigg[13]-blessed father
Ring-rich in family.

Wise words well spoken
Well heard by high-born
Call they the Kolbjorn
Command they their carl.
Stood he in shire-land
At icy snow-battle
Added as årmann[14]
Joins band of blood-givers[15].

And so was Kolbjorn, loyal servant of Quilliam and Domhnail, inducted into Their Order of the Pelican, at Tournoi du Coeur des Glace, in Their Shire of Bastille du Lac, on the 30th day of January, in the fiftieth year of the settlement.

Wording by THLaird Colyne Stewart, using the galdralag version of the ljoðaháttr meter (known as the “magic spell meter”).  This meter was likely used for magical or cult poetry, and since a Peerage elevation is a special event I thought it fitting.

Ljoðaháttr (“meter of chants”) consisted of a pair of line, each having two stressed syllables and being bound by alliteration, followed by a third line (the “full line” that alliterated with itself and had two or three stressed syllables. Galdralag added a fourth line that mirrored the third. Normally a stanza consisted of two sets of these three or four lines.


Linguistics Research Centre, Old Norse Online,

Viking Answer Lady, Poetry in Scandinavia and the North,

[1] A dis is a spirit of fate.
[2] Domhnail is a former baroness of Septentria. She followed Barony Cynred, whose short stature and long beard reminded many of a gnome.
[3] Henchmen, people.
[4] Warriors.
[5] A kenning referring to the Companions of the Order of the Wain, who have been recognized for their service.
[6] A verb meaning “to work”.
[7] Hero or champion.
[8] Referring to the dragon on Kol’s heraldry.
[9] Tunic.
[10] These two lines are saying that Kol cares for Yggdraasil, the tree that stands at the centre of the Norse universe.
[11] Kolbjorn means “black bear”.
[12] Kol is from the Barony of Ramshaven.
[13] Frigg is, among other things, the goddess of marriage.
[14] An admistrator akin to a steward or castellan.
[15] In medieval lore Pelicans were known for great sacrifice, even feeding their own blood to their young.