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Author Topic: The Epic of Sodel Udir  (Read 24631 times)


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The Epic of Sodel Udir
« on: June 23, 2008, 10:16:48 pm »

I recently decided to try my hand at a fortress 'story', and rather than go for the norm, I decided to write an 'epic', or an incredibly long poem. Originally it started out as a quick ditty, but it's turned into something much longer. I've finished the first chapter, and if there's interest I can continue.

Hehe, I don't know if I'll have 'signups', but almost everything in the poem relates to something that can happen (or at least is referenced) in DF, so feel free to suggest twists and turns. Look out for those references too (All names are in Dwarvish, Elvish or Human, so you can look them up if you're so inclined.)

Chapter I
To the Coast!

I’ll tell you the legend of Sodel Udir
A dwarf with a name that has come to mean fear
I’ll show you the doom of his lost fortress Ur
In the spines of the north where the dark creatures stir

Sodel was a dwarf with a pittance of fame
A few meager outposts and coins to his name
But Sodel was eager, with a generous hand
And one night in a tavern met a rambling man

As foolish as tall and as quick to let slip
The tale of a journey by cart and by ship
To the Northlands of ice, the Glaciers of Death
Where the cold absolute froze the heat of man’s breath

Spoke the man:

“In the peaks of the mountains
Where the Goblin-kind sleeps
Lay two waterfall-fountains
As if Earth herself weeps

And deep underground
Beneath snow, ice and granite
Where the magma is found
In the core of the planet;

Lies adamant blue!
God-given ore!
Lodes of it, too-
This metal of yore.”

The human continued to all who would hear
Lungs exhaled vigor as gut inhaled beer
Sodel held back and let the night run its course
And at closing met the man at the side of his horse

The dwarf asked again of the adamant blue
Softly inquired if the tale spun was true-
The man would not answer, with regret on his face
As if he left something behind in that place.

Sodel had no patience for wordless remorse
His tone and his words grew as equally coarse
He held the man down in what seemed like a trance
And offered him death or this one final chance

“Take me to the land of the spines of the north,
Where winter most cruel brings the ice spirits forth
Bring me to the mountains where Earth-Mother weeps,
The Glaciers of Death and the Goblin-kind keeps!”

The man had no choice and relented as such
And cursed his loose tongue for revealing so much
And woke in the morning to find the dwarf staring down
With gold in his eyes and cold sweat on his crown

They traveled at first from the glint of the sun
Beside them the brook known as Estvod did run
At week’s end they reached the red fort Sitalnïr,
The dwarven-kind’s gate to all beyond here

They gathered a band of dwarves fearless and strong
And promised them riches and fame before long
Foothills of gems and tall mountains of gold-
They promised it all for the brave and the bold

In the end five were swayed by the pair’s silver-tongued speech
They scrounged out their things- a mere pick and pack each
And all were then ready, and all was it should be,
For as Sodel said, “Seven, brave seven are we.”

The seven descended to the land of the men,
Through each peak and each forest , each river and glen
Through towns of the humans and halls of dwarf-kind
With the riches ahead bubbling inside their mind

They came to the forest that would lead to the coast
Though they knew of its dangers they knew not of its host
There were many to list and more yet unseen
As they cut a great swath through the ocean of green

The gigantic spiders whose name meant ‘Death Pains’
Whose bite was like steel coursing into man's veins
The ettins and giants displaced from their caves
Sent travelers here to their earliest graves

Suddenly there came a sound like a horn
There were eyes drenched in canopy, darkened with scorn
In the limbs of the trees from the thick of the woods
Came the elven-kind hunters, faces covered by hoods.

One spoke:

“I am Ithiri Ithithe Ithi Othrel!”
“Prince Gold Butterfly of the Elves,” said Sodel.
“Thou hast tainted mine lands with thine covetous hands,
Thy offense to the glades I shall pay back in spades!”

The others then brandished a number of bows
Arrows pointing at dwarf or the man that they’d chose
They waited, strings tightened for royal command
To send the intruders to the Halls of the Damned.

“Descend, my friend archers!
Aim clear without fear!
Strike them through with thy yew
And remove them from here!”

At this the brave seven sped out of sight
Into the woods and away from the fight
The elves followed quickly, dancing through the trees
Hunting their quarry as quick as the breeze

“To the caves!” screamed Sodel, “We will hide in the murk!
Where the cowardly elves and their kind will not lurk!”
The seven had vanished and the elves gave pursuit,
Into the depths of the cave Al-Zarut.

And outside the cavern hid the magnificent band
A trickier seven there was not in the land
And the elf-prince’s folly was made all too clear
As the giant cave spiders came skittering near

The elves were pushed tight into the cavern’s black core
The spiders descended over the elf-prince’s roar
Sending Ithiri Ithithe Ithi Othrel
Prince Gold Butterfly of the Elves straight to hell.

The band traveled into the wood through dark night
And beheld a grand view at the dawn’s blessed light
Allas Zavaz, the Momentous Sea!
The end of the earth for all those who were free!

And beyond it the ice of the Glaciers of Death
Where the cold absolute froze the heat of man’s breath
And in the peaks of the spines of the land of the Fell
Slept the adamant blue- there awaiting Sodel.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 01:30:16 am by DarkMagnus »


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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 10:39:15 pm »

Very good poem!  I truly enjoyed reading it.
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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 10:39:38 pm »

"Not bad" said sir Frelock, "I like it a lots,
Your rhythmic structure is off at some spots,
But rhyming is good, so much better than mine,
The story you've made is just simply divine."
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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2008, 10:48:05 pm »

 :'( That was... beautiful... A work of art. Sir, I a stand an applaud you from my chair, for in your Epic is such awesomeness, that simple praise is a weak substitute. Please, PLEASE do a second chapter. I... Nay, ALL of the DF community would be in your debt for such an incredible piece.
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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 11:04:36 pm »

Wow, I'm glad you guys liked it. I've edited a couple lines to make the rhyme flow better. Keep in mind this is totally unedited, and I just wrote it today, so it could certainly use some work.

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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2008, 03:06:25 am »

It reads like an epic saga, and so it should.
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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2008, 10:46:02 pm »

Just though id compliment you on your awesome epic with a litte of my own  ;)

-713 Years Later-

"Ah a superb epic!" Dwarmin though, placing the Marble slab upon which it had been writ back into the the Grand Librarium. In a few hundred years, it had been copyied into Human, Elvish, and maybe even Goblin and Giant, though this was the original copy-sadly its beatiful surface was scarred with Dragon fire and Goblin slashes. Dwarves made things to last though, and it was still legible, save for the name of the msyterious author. Paper Copies were common in all royal libraries, and Dwarven children were still told the story as a parable of what quick wit and an adventurous spirirt can earn you-both good and bad.

He mused "Could almost make one think that this "magic blue steel" actually exists..more likely the work of an inventive mind I guess."
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 12:45:08 am by Dwarmin »
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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2008, 11:43:15 pm »

You're all too kind. Enjoy chapter two.

Chapter II
The Momentous Sea

The day knelt to night as the sun settled in
Beneath the blue waves in its cavernous den
On the coast the brave seven did scurry about
As they built a great ship that was sturdy and stout.

One dwarf stood out in the flurry of picks
Guiding and leading the other fine six
His name was Sodel yet they all called him ‘Sir’,
With respect in their eyes and their hearts as it were,

‘Twas the vigor inside him and his crystal-clear stare
Over the water and through the sea-air
To the land of the North where his destiny lay
Whispering tales of his legend one day

That lead the six others to honor his name
To hope that perhaps they’d be part of his fame
And even the human, though with heart full of fear
Saw the makings of greatness in the dwarf who stood here

At the break of the dawn their task was complete
And there stood a grand ship to make proud any fleet
They christened it ‘Feb’, a grand arrow indeed
For no obstacle there could their voyage impede.

They pushed from the beach as the sun reached its peak
Directing their ship to the land that they seek
The vessel departed like the noblest of ships
Its passengers roaring with songs on their lips

They sang, “Ekur, ö ekur, ö ekur ferenôr-
Råsh nanoth nistem, nistem önothor!
Mighty, O mighty, O mighty blue roar
Never shall we fear, O shall fear thee no more!”

And fear they did not in the storm nor the calm
In the galloping thunder or the salt-breeze’s balm
They slipped through the water the tide at their bow
As smooth as the sweat that rolled off of their brow

And one day when the weather was eerily still
Every dwarf and the man felt a similar chill
As if something below them in depths yet unknown
Was waiting and watching their ship all alone

For an hour it seemed not a sound could be heard
No noise but the sea and the call of a bird
A peace like a battleground painted in red
Silent reverence held for irreverent dead

When the nothing became like a maddening shroud
A rumble like thunder shattered muteness aloud
And out from the deep rose a beast from before
From the legends and myths of the elven-kind lore

It struck down the mast and it battered the crew
Washing the deck in a white mist of blue
And as the few watched the end of their so-short-lived band
There appeared Sodel with steel pick in his hand

He hefted it up and he launched off the deck
And he struck his sharp tool into the beast’s neck
He struck it again and he shattered its skull
And the thing slithered dead off the Feb’s wooden hull.
The crew could not speak at the deed they had seen
For was this who their leader had all along been?
He smiled, and spoke with tone calm as the sea-
He said, “This is the fate of all those who cross me.”

The men gaped for a moment and then gathered their oars
For though some had seen combat and some had seen wars
None had yet crossed a giant, a dwarf or a man
With the strength of Great Sodel, with steel pick in his hand.

For days the ship traveled in the sea with the wind
Till the sky and the ocean’s horizon would blend
The seven grew weary and wondered within
If ever they were to see soft earth again

And as one by one the brave seven conceded
There came a great cry- “We are not yet defeated!”
‘Twas Sodel at the mast- with a fire inside
With the dwarven-kind’s vigor and the human-folk’s pride

He roared, “To your oars, there is work to be done!
We’ll cross this blue pit ‘fore the set of the sun!”
To their posts they returned for although Death was feared
‘Twas terror much greater in the hair of his beard

Their oars cleft the ocean in great ripples and waves
The brave seven rowed forward like Goblin-kind slaves
And as sure as the sun stuck in Earth’s crushing vice
Did the dwarves and their human catch sight of the ice

There were shouts, whoops and jeers in the languages all
Unified joy through both short friend and tall
And as ship passed the crevice of the Glaciers of Death
There were many a relieved- and yet visible breath

The sea was behind them yet trials ahead
And for slain beasts forgotten would be more in their stead
But nothing would deter the grand Feb’s mighty crew
As they crossed ever closer to the adamant-blue.

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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2008, 03:09:36 am »

That's like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner x2
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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2008, 03:47:08 am »

The epic, I approve of.


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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2008, 04:30:54 pm »

If you continue this long enough, it will be, by far in my opinion, the coolest thing ever to happen on these boards.

I will print this out and make a real tomb out of it. It will be like Homer's Oddyssey, except more awesome.
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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2008, 10:46:48 pm »

I just realized that with the start of this chapter the actual story has just begun.

Christ, what have I gotten myself into?

Chapter III
The Glaciers of Death

Though the seasons may change in the circle of time
In the North the cold winter left undying rime
And carved out of frost were the creatures within
The Goblins and Titans and feared Dragon-kin

The Feb slipped through the ice-cracks; a vessel through veins
Its Captain, sharp eyed, up at bow choosing lanes
The ice floes grew thicker and the glacier yet higher
Till above in an alcove danced the blaze of a pyre

And melting the ice near the bright orange flames
On the walls in the shadows hung terrible frames
Bodies of those who in past journeys failed
All aboard but the Captain then silently paled

And nothing was said o’er creak of the boards
Nor the whistle of wind, or the whisper of hordes
Who perhaps were there waiting on ledges unseen
Crude weapons bared, bearing wintry sheen

Ahead of them loomed a great hole in the world
That swallowed the flume as it twisted and curled
A mouth gaping wide to the body below
In the ice-plated heart of a beast made of snow.

The Feb made no noise as it entered the cave
The crew, just as wordless, stood equally brave
And one gazed behind to the mist and the sea
In his mind and his heart was a lost family

The light from above could not pierce through the crack
Leaving cavernous belly all shrouded in black
And a lantern was lit; and a slow prayer was sung
And the words reached no God in the air where they hung

For a while the seven aboard spoke aloud
Of the things yet concealed in the echoing shroud
Or if anything could in this dark cold exist
The talk was cut short by a something that hissed

A something that rumbled as it swam through the flow
As the seven aboard circled lantern’s white glow
A something that then just as suddenly fled
Yet the absence of which left a heavier dread

For it’s said of all those that inhabit the deeps
All below water which floats, swims or creeps
There is scarcely a beast that inspires the fear
Of the carp, resurrected, who with bone-sockets leer.

A shrill cry sailed off the boat into the gloom
The ship trapped in ice here encased in its doom
The fish cut through flesh and was followed by others
A clan of them pierced the air, side-by-side brothers

They stripped the skin off the dwarves in their descent
Whose blood was like rubies in lantern’s white glint
The six looked to Sodel, who then covered in death
Gave the order, “We stay them!” with the last of his breath

They reached for their picks and they swung for their lives
They twirled like the elves in their Dance of the Knives
Twisting and turning, romancing the stage
A mere blood covered deck- to a symphonic rage

The shatter of bones signaled beasts falling still
Awestruck by the might of the Dwarven-kind will
Laying perplexed by the wondrous sight
Of seven- brave seven who would not die this night.

The battleground silence settled in with the pain
Every dwarf and the man felt a throb in their brain
They pushed the Feb closer to the sheer wall of frost
Dropping the bones to the depths as they crossed

They hefted their picks painted by their own red
And chiseled out ice from the cave overhead
And froze each wound shut with a curse and a scowl
And yet Sodel, though injured, did not utter a growl

For ahead was the light from the end of the flume
Whose embrace would release them from rime-covered tomb
As the light met their eyes for the first time in ages
They beheld the grand site bound for history’s pages

‘Twas the Spines of the North, of the land of the Fell
Where deep within rock slept the Fire King’s Well
And upon the sides of the cliffs on the face of the mountains
Wept the Earth-Mother in twin gushing fountains.

A cheer like a wave rippled into the white
Though journey’s end ‘twas the start of their plight
The brave seven had lived through the flames and the frost
Found a wintery home where all others were lost

Sodel stood tall above those in his band
With somber demeanor and pick in his hand
He spoke to them softly, as father to son
And praised every member for the deeds they had done

He said:

“My fellows in arms, and at helm, and to death-
We have found the dark mountain by wisp of our breath.
We have braved the long land, and the Forest of Green
We have conquered the Elves, and the sea in between.

We feared not the storm, and we railed at the Dead
Who had hoped to entomb us in a carcass’ bed.
We have weathered the blows of Earth-Mother’s reproach
See now how she wails at our dauntless approach!

We began as mere travelers, hell-destined seven
And became something more under weight of High Heaven.
I came to you before at the gate to the East
And fed your mind’s eye an imagin’ry feast

I come to you now as a brother and mate,
And swear to you more: I shall offer you- fate!”
The brave seven rejoiced as their long journey ended
As they gazed to the Spines where the Earth and Sky blended

And here in the Realm of the Free Peoples all
On the Dark Continent, in the years of the Fall
Would the curtain be drawn and the players descend
To the doomed fortress Ur, and first Act of The End.


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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2008, 02:14:20 pm »

Nice. I like that each race has its own rhyme scheme.


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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2008, 05:10:10 pm »

It's my 18th birthday today, and all I want is some more feedback =3


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Re: The Epic of Sodel Udir
« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2008, 05:37:50 pm »

Good god it's awesome.  It's a genuine poetic epic, just what Dwarf Fortress has always needed.  Somebody should tell Three Toe, or Toady - this thing would be great for helping promote the game.

And yeah, as someone who's tried a hand at ordinary writing, you quickly realize that telling even a quick anecdote can quickly turn into novels worth of words.  Good luck keeping it all together in your head.

Oh, and welcome to technical adulthood.  It ain't all it's cracked up to be.
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