Nothing lasts, but glory, here at the world’s ends
When five set out in this story, a longship full of friends
They set out to seek new markets, they sought full bags of gold
but the rewards that they were given were bittersweet and cold
It was Barl – the bear – a freeman
and Ulthar – the wolf – his brother
who formed the muscle of this crew
Others joined and vowed to fight
as allies by their side and shields to all their foes
even the golden boar promised to be true.
When at the port they landed,
The man there then demanded
“Pay lest ye lose your ship”
so the slow bleed of coins began with that single drip.
At every turn they paid prices far too high and dear,
and beggared themselves again and again just to buy some beer,
And Wolf and Bear played at battling arms to turn a coin
Barl came out the strongest, though we think he pulled his groin
The bear it seemed triumphant – till the guardsman chief arrived
and beat the blustering zerkir, though Barl really strived
The chief he set the party straight, and told them of his woes
The town, it seemed, faced dark fates – surrounded by its foes
Thralls uprising in the mines and bears that stalked the night
were causing unrest everywhere and the guardsmen couldn’t fight
So the five set out at once – charging into certain danger
despite the advice of the druid, the skald, or even that piggish ranger.
They trekked through snow and mountain
they hiked through valley and there
they found a source of darkness – a hole filled with bear.
The battle joined was violent and in the end it was
that the skald and that zerkir were torn by undead claws.
The party took a moment, after the blood was quiet
to set their fallen comrades down and their corpses set alight.
Braver friends there never were than Barl – and that bard
though perhaps – gods willing – the next we’ll get some
that do not die so hard.
The bard responsible for this song was shortly thereafter eaten by an undead bear.