Wulfric and the Snow Elf, V. V

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V. The Wedding
(In which Wulfric and the Snow Elf are wed.)

Eormi led the son to Laidal*
To the cold-stones of her elf-clan
Seeking shelter from the snow-squall
Needing courage to face kinsmen

Eormi into deep home guided
Wulfric doom-drummed north-son man-gem
To the chief-halls, undivided
To the Stranger, now named Nerrem

Elf-lord rose up from his cold throne
Chastened now his wayward daughter
Elf-lord’s heat-rage cracked the cold-stone
All the Falmer bowed in anger

“Dare you move a man to Laidal?
Dare you share our secret-dreaming
With this dozen-dozen** north thrall?
Are such short songs worth demeaning?”

Eormi knelt and cold-stone mended
Spoke she softly to her father
Grasped the hand of her intended
Wulfric unsinged by snow-daughter

Nerrem’s hand now on her belly
Now he sees the wicked wisdom
Of Eormi’s visions deadly
Plots expand and he is struck dumb

Nerrem nods in understanding
Wed they are in Falmer fashion
Wrapped about with spriggan binding
Wulfric blinded by his passion

“Her son shall grasp Shor-star-blessing
Spark and fire now are blended
Soon we stop the ever-birthing
With his birth, foundations ending”

Spriggan roots wrap round their bare wrists
Trapping Wulfric ever tighter
Giants welcome bearing green-gifts
Lovers wrapped in silks of spiders

“May the hunger leap upon him
End the endless dreadful drumming
Skin-torn, bone-broke, now consume him
Stars descend soon, burning, rushing”

Love again in silkwood blanket
All the Falmer there bear witness
Love again in woven casket
Wulfric elf-bound, blind and fearless

“North-men be cursed like the green-skins
Shor-spark cast-off like the three-words
Claim the world back from the mirror-twins
Draw the stars down like the ship-birds”
Translator’s Notes: Once again, the last verse is plainly a late addition. I have included it for the sake of completeness.

Throughout the entire epic, Falmer are depicted as having little hair, having hot skin, and being able to survive Skyrim’s winters with little clothing. The former two are rare, but not unique to Wulfric and the Snow Elf. The last is quite common in mentions of Falmer until sightings become rare in the early Second Era. By the middle Second Era, the few accounts of Falmer generally depict them as being fully clothed. By the end of the Second Era, accounts describe blind, short, twisted creatures that are more likely distorted tales of goblin-ken.

It is interesting to note that in some parts of The Reach and rural High Rock, spriggans are charmed during weddings to bind the hands and feet of the betrothed in roots. When the spriggan is freed, it may leave peacefully or attack the bride and groom. In some places, this is taken as an omen for the success of the marriage. If it attacks, it is slain and the groom and bride drink of its sap to ward off the curse. Given the passages here, this tradition may originate with the Falmer. Fortunately, there are no longer any traces of giants bearing gifts, wrapping the lovers in a cocoon, or making a spectacle of their consummation.

*Some scholars believe Laidal (or Laidal’dal in later versions) refers to the ruins under Laintar Dale, which caused so much trouble with their sewers. There is no evidence for this, other than spurious etymologies.

**Dozen-dozen here probably refers to the short lives of men as opposed to the “hundred-hundred” year lifespan of elves.

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