Wulfric and the Snow Elf, V. VI


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VI. The Return
(In which Wulfric and the Snow Elf return to Saarthal.)

Eormi pled to visit Saarthal
Wulfric lost his fear of father
Nerrem plotted perfect star-fall
Three set forth with fearsome offer

All of Saarthal lay in mourning
For the youngest all thought frozen
Wakeful way-watch cried out warning
Strong Ysgramor called his chosen

Met they all where all was started
Where the stranger first called challenge
Slow-hand king and so wise-hearted
Sought in son’s eyes spark to scavenge

Sadly he saw naught worth saving
So his gaze moved further downward
Snow-skin hand-clasped without burning
Three more wicked smiles encountered

Sturdy father stayed his red-hands
Listened he did to their story
Saw the evil in their sky-plans
Old foes mora, Mora, hoary*

Ysgramor:
“Son, you sought and slew the ice-wraith
So no man may call you coward
But a loyal prince would listen
I am still your king and father

“Magics wicked lay upon you
Else your heart would not have wandered
Kindle Shor and let him smash through
Elven spells that have you conquered

“Banish this elf three times for me
I shall find a wine-wife for you
Shun the snow-hair, cast out flame-skin
All I have I lay before you”

Wulfric elf-spelled still he held fast
To the hot-hands of the Falmer
“Banish elf-spawn twice before me
Wake your Shor-spark from this nightmare!

“Free her hand, one time, this instant!
I shall order guards to take her
Embers make her mem’ry distant
Fires shall enchantments shatter”

Wulfric unwise still held handfast
To the cold lies of his mer-bride
Loud Ysgramor, dragon-brother
Cried out, made the Stranger tongue-tied

For he heard the subtle chanting
For he felt the slow-built furnace
Rising near where Stranger standing
Neither elf-spell fled awareness

Now Ysgramor drawing dwarf-sword
Charging at the star-bent trio
Slashing down to thwart the elf-lord
Elf-doomed Wulfric took the death-blow**
Translators Notes: Throughout the epic, the elves are depicted as scheming and wicked from the start. The nature of the conflict, and whatever responsibility the proto-Nords may have had in the matter, is glossed over. In fairness, the original audience would have known. If only we had a version of this tale from the Falmer perspective! Assuming, of course, it is historical and not a mere fable.

*This is a very literal translation. Although the three words are homonymns in proto-Nedic, markings in later version indicate that this literally means “ancient/historical enemies: forest, Hermaeus Mora, cold of winter”. Whether the first “mora” refers to Atmora or woods in general is uncertain, as is the overall meaning of the passage. Similarly, in what way the woods (or the continent) were an enemy is not clear, and the origins of Hermeaus Mora being depicted in opposition to Nords more than other races is unknown.

**Due to the difficulties of translation, I have combined six lines here into two. The missing parts state that Wulfric sees that the blow will hit Nerrem and steps in front of him, proving himself a traitor to his fathers.

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