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                Song of the mighty Zaphirs!
                Hark, and I shall sing to thee of the Zaphirs.
                Some words grow wiser with years
                And some tales richer in the telling:
                The song of the Zaphirs is sharp as a sword
                Honed against the whetstone of time.

                O'er these lands great rivers flow
                From mountain springs to sea;
                Through forest glades and quiet valleys
                'cross heath-strewn moorland and 'twixt rocky tors
                Marking the blood of this fair isle of Skogsland.

                So. This great river runs East from the high mountains
                And passes by a field of battle,
                Churned mud shrouded by a host of spirits
                And closeby, a village guarded by a great fort:
                Abode of the mighty Zaphirs.

                The walls stretch ten paces in height
                And above the gate a guard keeps watch, through
                Sun-beaten day, through the aurora-lit gloaming,
                Vigilant. A great gong and horn sit by his side,
                A longbow in his hands.

                Within these walls warriors reside,
                Some fulfilling the tasks of craftsmen;
                yet all are armed and prepared for battle.
                Braziers scorch stone walls and cast ruddy shadows
                'cross the halls; glinting on sharpened metal.

                Let us speak of the warriors of the Zaphirs:
                Tall and fierce men, strong from battle and holmgang
                They stand together, loyal to their horde.
                Dressing in armour and furs, the hoods of woolen cloaks
                Thrown back: they are proud and unfraid.

                In battle, their temper rises,
                The clamour of metal upon wood, the blood-flecked sand
                And crimson fields call to them
                The gods cast light upon them as they fight, comradeship
                And honour guiding them to victory.

                Deeper inside the fort, within the great keep
                About which lie smaller buildings of wood and thatch
                Lies the great library of Zaphirs:
                A thousand scrolls, tomes bound with leather
                Sagas viewed by wavering candlelight.

                To the West of the library lies the meadhall:
                The longtable rings with the sound of feasting
                As musicians play in the gallery above
                Fruits and meats from the farthest reaches of Midgard;
                Heaped upon dark pottery and roasting in the hearth.

                At the heart of the keep lies the Elder Council chamber
                The walls resplendant with intricate tapestries
                Recounting the deeds of the horde founders
                The six chairs of carvéd oak sit at a long table
                The king's seat at its head, carvings worn smooth with age.

                Outside the walls, the barrows lie:
                Those lost in battle ascend from here
                Their riches and weapons placed with them
                Buried, or burned atop a funeral pyre
                Salt spray still biting the lips of their companions.

                Come, fair maidens, to sing the funeral dirges:
                Put torch to the pyre and see the gold run into liquid;
                The warriors stand as the flames spiral Southwards
                To the streaming lights of Valhalla
                And Odin's embrace.

                Weapons blooded, spoils gained and honour upheld
                At sea, or on the hard, imperishable rock of the land
                In their own lands or in those of their enemies
                Defending the innocent or punishing the wicked;
                The noble Zaphirs fight tirelessly, relentlessly.

                The longships wait in the bay,
                Their dragon prows parting the water
                Like blades slicing armour and flesh,
                Or incisive words cutting through miasma.
                They are like their masters:

                Eternally patient, revered,
                Steeped in glory
                They are prepared:
                Watching for lightning on the horizon
                Listening for the rising thunder of war.

                Composed by Huginn, Skjald of the Zaphirs
I have tried to get in contact with Richard 'Huginn' Stonell for years, but have sadly nothing heard since he moved to Japan.
Christian 'BlackOak' Skarut