In May past gone a tournament was shown
Its end to find a prince for dragon’s throne.
To Northshield many lords and ladies went
And when ’twas done all but one life was spent.
And late that day, a gathering of men
did speak of one whose prowess they did ken.
A Warder, Master, Knights and Duke they were,
And they did tell the tale of their fights there.
The story of their combat with the heir
The story of their fights with Ragnvaldr.
The Warder’s Tale (Ceanntighern):
This bout was both Ragnvalder’s and my own
First in our quest for the Dragon throne.
Florentine was both our weapons of choice,
Embracing whilst the crowd heard herald’s voice.
Then, circling, feinting, slashing at my foe,
I staggered back as blade near me did go.
We then both struck each other bye and bye
And had we not blades bated would have died.
To fight again were we then both intent
To stop there neither would we be content.
More swordplay did we furiously indulge
And then a weakness did my shield divulge.
My leg he struck and then my arm he took.
And then a blow with which my body shook.
He gave no points of honor to me there,
No greater gift could I have from the Heir.
And though I lost to him I do now say,
No better man was there to take the day.
The Knight’s Tale (Ix):
A jaguar, I, with silver swords so bright
I waited on the ledge prepared to fight
Ragnvaldr cautiously approached my lair
I held so still I did not move a hair
Then leapt! But quick as mercury he dove
to the side, avoiding, and when I next hove
into range, he struck, as swift as a snake,
and with his sword, my strong legs he did take.
I lay there, nearly helpless, but not dead
Until he then stepped in and took my head.
The Master’s Tale (Paruig):
As if we carried iron staffs, we lurched
towards each-other, but he was made of birch
While I was made of stone. He flexed, and I,
I cracked. If the heavens had made him fly
he could not have had more strength or prowess
than an angel. And while I strove no less,
He was foretold to take the battle field,
Ragnvaldr, strong, with his swift sword and shield.
The Second Knight’s Tale (Michael Al Cluin):
A bird upon the air Ragnvaldr was
And I could not strike him if I had cause
All attacks I mustered he evaded
Like a ghost before my sword he faded
No room for fear or doubt within his mind
He was so focused on his lady kind
And as I flailed in my disarray
of his determination, I must say,
For ‘Bella’s honor he’d be not denied
He then struck me a blow and there I died.
The Duke’s Tale (Palymar):
I am a Duke of the fair Middle Realm.
I won my first Crown when he was a bairn.
My own son watching on cried out in fear
That Ragnvaldr would bring me to death there.
I feinted, shifted, my foe did the same
We were both ready, in our ladies’ names.
But he is a young man, powerfully
stands strong, and though I fought valiantly
My two swords could not match his silver speed
Legged, then dead, was the order of the deeds.
But to a second bout we went that day
Before the dragon throne would have its say
Spears we carried, long and sharp as serpents,
tall as a man, onto the field we went,
The heir made several thrusts as if to strike
But all his gestures were to me oblique,
To draw me in to range, his thrusts did lie
Till shocked I sat with spear in chest, and die.
Now do I hope all those who hear these tales,
or read them, that, if there be any veils
of inconsistency that you therefore
blame the author, Purple, and nevermore
the men whose tales and odes be told herein.
I return to my fair Isle of Erin.
Here ends Ragnvaldr’s Tales, too short by far.
But told with hope and in friendship they are.
Now take you care, dear reader, and forgive,
for someday I may write about YOUR life.
Off to escape the dragonfather’s tongue,
We will make fair goodly amends ere long.
Else the bard a base and liar be called.
So, good night, my dear friends, unto you all.