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Kristian L Mahrling-Harding

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The Chronicles Of Evanthe Pt 3 The Truth of Niflheim (Exacting The Toll)
by Kristian L Mahrling-Harding
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Rated "PG" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Kristian L Mahrling-Harding
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           >> View all 143

fiach le haghaidh an Ceffyl Dwr san fharraige de Evanthe- The saga continues..

Traveling through time is a difficult state
Oft tis wee more, than a “hurry up to wait”
If your travels of purpose are nae against Fate
One may realize the aim of intent

But what of the pompous who trek glory bound?
Or balk against destiny’s grasp to be found?
Intent to direct what the Heavens have crowned
Is a risk for a hellish descent

Now, Aiden was surely aware of the rules
Glory for fames-sake was the failure of fools
And one such as that were not lent to the tools
From the Ancient of Days of the Fae

But being half human, there lies the failing
In arrogant tales that repeat in regaling
The surprise of reproof finds one humbled and wailing
As our Priestess will learn of this day

With Fragarach claimed, her duty seemed clear
To vanquish the Cefl Dwr upon leaving here
As time bent between would eliminate its fear
And a hero’s reward would be won

T’was now t’wards the Solstice of Midwinter’s nearing
When a sparkle of something drew her on thru a clearing
The northern faced dolman indistinctly appearing
Though the mists seemed to beckon her on



She stepped through the portal to an alien land
Out of the realms of Danu and Fand
Now comprehending the place, it was snow and not sand
As she shivered at what lay ahead

The vastness of mist and low lying fog
T’was clearly not Tara nor Tir Na N-og
Much further she dove thru her mem’ries to jog
And to ask of what path she should tread.

And then…

Movement…a scurry…around banks of snow
Look right and then left and behind, then below
Surrounded by creatures that she did not know
Aiden took stance as to fight

Like ‘children’ were they, but wizened in face
And the mists swirled around them, like dust, at their base
Clad all in fur, armed with sword, club and mace
Mirth filled her, at first, with the sight

Relaxing her posture, she offered a bow
As a delegate bobbled to the fore of the row
He bent with a nod, then raising a brow
Spoke in a speech that she’d never heard

Her puzzled expression seemed quite entertaining
The sounds of their laughter, in decibel gaining
While her own sense of humour now taxed near to waning
With angst, that this minuscule army incurred

He opened his coat to the Ephod he wore
A breastplate of brass with nine stones, (or more)
His hands made a sign over several it bore
Then spoke in a tongue she could recognize

“We are the sons of Fergus Mac Ro
Doomed here in exile, in the mists, ice and snow
Cursed as a wee child, and dwarfed, long ago
With Naoise’s fate and the beauty of Erin’s demise”

He proposed Aiden to follow and continued his tale
They marched through the flurry and icy winds gale
Down a steep path to a well hidden vale
He bid welcome into his domain

A crystalline hut of shimmering ice
Gave Aiden to shiver for not thinking twice
But the warmth that she found within, would suffice
And commenced then, to thaw her disdain

Donald, her host, had shown her a cot
Where she laid down her head, but could not shake the thought
Of the Giants of legend that time’s ne’er forgot
As he warned her of their presence and vice

Condemned to a fate like the clanaugh Mac Ro
Sons of a God who had fallen below
Took daughters of men to wife and to know
And as such sins demand, paid the price

‘They are cruel beyond that of which evil details
And are found to dine frenzied on hearts and entrails
Wearing their victims eyeballs as nails
There is no creature more feared by the clan!’

“Fragarach”, she thought, “could end all this madness
To slay the frost giants would bring the clan, gladness
In what realm, if any, would feel any sadness?
And… Glory Be, to the daughter of Man”

Forgetting her quest, as she swelled up her pride
She dreamt of the battle where giants abide
Then conquering evils from every side
Not seeing ‘judgement’ as sin, now encroached

Aiden awoke to a crackling fire
Alone in the hut, but left with attire
She donned a warm coat, as her face became dire
Fragarach, her sword, had been poached

She searched all about as she tore up her cell
Her mind in a blaze as her heart went thru hell
Frustrations screaming as prostrate, she fell
Her pervasive offence came to light

Donald begged entrance with apologies spoken
His stubby wee hand offered Aiden the token
A gift from the Goddess to mend promises broken
For it was ‘She’ who had claimed the White Hilt, last night

Penitent tears ran free down her face
Her quest nearly lost in pomposity’s place
She clasped tightly, the token, for time now, the race
For the search to recover the sword

The token she held was a parchment note
A wedding announcement, upon it was wrote
A small coin of gold for the ferrymans boat
As her atonement from Freya, to board


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Reviewed by With Every Second (Reader) 7/24/2015
I love this tale and its influences I know personally how your research and adherence to the myths and legends matter. It shows in this wonderfully crafted piece of writing. I might add that previous comment on its folk song qualities may encourage you to do something along those lines, knowing you portfolio of skills.
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 7/24/2015
Richard has given me much insight into what you've written. While I did not understand the Nordic mythology used in your poem and I have forgotten your earlier installments, I found that reading your poetry was like listening very fine folk song, so melodic and meaningful, even though I had difficulty following the plot.

Very fine writing and best wishes in completing this epic piece.

Reviewed by richard cederberg 7/23/2015
Excellent 3rd installment, Kristian. Niflheim: apparently found mentioned only in Snorri's works. Darkness, cold, mist, and ice. A land of fog. Creatively provoking indeed. I spent several years immersed in Norse Mythology when I wrote my series. Now... I know she wasn't your prominent character but I've always admired Freya and her warm-heartedness for beauty fertility love and fine stuff. As a member of the 'Vanir Tribe of Deities' and very prominent in the 'Aesir-Vanir War', she was always a beloved mytho-character for me, along with Heimdall, Forseti, Frigga, Vor, and of course Thor, and, being somewhat loath to admit it, Loki as well. I think each of us has a little Loki in us. You might find some continuing inspiration (for your 4th installment) in a book entitled: 'The Love of Destiny - The Sacred and the Profane in Germanic Polytheism' By Dan McCoy.

Another thoughtfully wrought poetic-pearl. Superb rhyme-scheme. Your work excels. Enjoyed. Continued inspiration. rlc
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