The Translated Works of Tosmorn, II

Author (in-game): Vateshran Tosmorn, Xandier Edette (translator)

First Fragment

[Editor’s Note: The first of Xandier Edette’s translated poetic fragments features a dialogue from a larger piece which has since been lost. Edette’s own preface, below, suggests that this was from a work early in Tosmorn’s career as a vateshran (lore keeper) and is part of an epic tragedy, “The Love of Isolen.”]

Translator Xandier Edette’s Preface

Below I provide the first of several fragments that I recovered while searching among the remains of an abandoned Reach hunting camp. The hides on which these words were scratched had become well-dampened from the snowmelt, and the sunlight of the thaw had only accelerated the lamentable decay. As such, only part of Vateshran Tosmorn’s text was legible enough to be translated. These have been arranged into verse to appeal to a modern reader’s sensibility, though this is an artificial construction. No such form was given to the script as originally scratched into the hide.

What follows is an exchange taken from what I have determined to be the first of Tosmorn’s attempts at epic tragedy: The Love of Isolen. Glynin, a hoary old warrior, learns of the death of his beloved daughter Isolen. His mourning is curtailed by the arrival of Vartorn, Isolen’s lover—and the only son of Glynin’s hated rival, the Reach witch Devera.

* * *

My daughter Isolen was the fair wind
With hounds baying at her heels
She coursed through hill and dale
Both hart and hind would fall
When her bow-string sang

The air hangs heavy in the glen now
The brook in the copse runs silent
The birds refuse to sing
For Isolen hunts no more

Isolen was my love, old Glynin
Once, the trees of these hills
Were young and green
Isolen and I walked among them
Alone in the wild and the mist
Of the deep ravines

We shared words of promise
And made rings of birch-twigs
My heart lies below in the cairn-stones
I will embrace no other no more

Vartorn, blood of my foe
The lowly worm, Witch Devera
I will not mourn with one such as you

Go now from the holdings of my clan
Go back to the pits and the dark
Of your mother’s forsaken halls
My hand is heavy from grief
But my flint’s edge will draw your blood

It is the hour of Isolen’s death
The words you speak to me
Are as black as my love’s shroud
I long for the comfort of the fire
The mist has chilled my bones

My hands are raw from picking stones
For my dead love’s cairn
I seek no embrace of you, Glynin
I know your hatred of my kin
I wish you knew my love of yours

The blade is all I will give you, Devera-spawn
You must know Isolen was my kindness
With her gone, all I have
Is rage and fear and sorrow

I gave you a warning, made in good faith
Look now, the flint I draw
Seeks the warmth of your flesh and blood
Will you give it shelter?

Glynin, the clans will learn of this deed
I am felled!
From the wound pours blood that stains the ground
As this act stains your soul
My spirit is ready to walk beside my dear Isolen
In a glade where you cannot follow
Free from cold mists, free from your cruel self
As I pass on, tell Devera
A mother must weep for her slain son

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