Newer Edda: Chapter One

  • Chapter One: Concerning Thane Bergrimr Anksson and How He Left the Court of Falkreath

          In the frozen northlands of Tamriel during the early fourth era there lived many families of farmers and sailors who found difficulty in plowing and sailing through ice, and so often a village resorted to aggressively despoiling neighboring villages for sustenance. Thus many families were of a warlike nature moreso than other farmers found elsewhere. However everyone shared the same difficulties of growing crops in hoarfrost, so that neighboring villages were equally poor and desperate, rendering pillaging dangerous and almost unprofitable, if good sport nonetheless.

          People had long since begun living in greater numbers, for security from raids and to consolidate food so no single enterprise could fail and ruin a family’s prospects. Hence did men flock to the mead halls of the jarls. These great lords and ladies presided over Skyrim’s holds and were a proud lot; despite Imperial protests they quite enjoyed quarrelling with one another though they lived a considerable distance apart. These jarls possessed great wealth and land, lived in great longhouses, and commanded great war-parties when conducting yearly raids through mountain, forest, and coast. They also allowed peasantry to live outside the great longhouses and grow food for the jarl and his household, that they might have full bellies when need arose to defend the jarldom and its peasants.

          All this the jarls did in subservience to whomever held the title of High King at any given time, and it was the duty of the High King since time immemorial to crush the war-parties and raid the coffers of any jarl who was becoming too successful and great a chieftain. Moreover it was the natural aspiration of any unsatisfied jarl to become High King, given no other position in the political realm was available to afford room for advancement. Such a life of frantic fighting for wealth and honor, and of endless blood feuds that often followed, did not suit everyone however; and some sought the remoteness of the wild reaches to live in simplicity and solitude.

          One such man was called Bergrimr Anksson. Although a thane of Folkreath as well as a great farmer, and moreover a great fighting-man in times of battle though he had begun greying of beard, he had fallen in love and wished to groom himself an heir. So he thought himself to become married and build a home for his family to grow and prosper. His beloved, a beauty who was called Dortgljot Fjorskisdottir, who was a great shieldmaiden though she had not seen twenty winters, had come from the wild border forests of the Jerall mountains and brought that wildness within herself, and was of a different opinion on her theoretical matriarchy or Bergrimr’s retirement altogether.

          Men nowadays, she lamented, would rather die with sour milk in their mustaches while lying in the hay like mules rather than offer themselves to Talos’ ravens and ascend to Soverngarde like real men did in the past. Gone were the heroic days of great warriors such as Eyjafjallajokull Hjaldregenirsson and his twenty-nine shield-biters, or mighty Myrdalsjokull Fimmvorduhalson (who was neighbor to a distant grandmother of hers, she continued), those men who stood as mountains above today’s sorry rabble.


    “Ysgramor himself, of Atmora of Old

    Would fain see me raid my weight in gold

    And shamed would he be

    My visage to greet, I swelled with babe

    Before mine shield-arm strength wanes from age!” she finished.


          She was sharp of tongue and often fiery of temper when stuck indoors the mead-hall and town of Falkreath, so that Bergrimr often missed the days of freebooting and wayfaring, and bethought himself to go hunting or raiding with other men. She would always accompany him even if it was a boys outing, though she seemed always more agreeable of character when out killing something. Eventually she did become with child, and agreed morosely to abandon further battling and mountaineering for nine months or so. Thus they removed themselves into the northern Druadach mountains and there built a home away from the violence of morbid Falkreath and its denizens. How many fair ladies wept when Bergrimr left the the court and jarl of Falkreath behind! Dortgljot at this time became more attuned to the idea of isolating herself with Bergrimr and their babe to be.

          So did Bergrimr go into the Druadachs and make himself there a home, far even from the holdings of the Witchmen of the Reach. But at this time was Hralfdan Hralfdansson jarl of Falkreath, and as Bergrimr had not become a landed man under him he was guilty of lesser outlawry by his continued trespassing and homesteading. Jarl Hralfdan and Hralfdan his father before him had long since held contention with the jarl of Falkreath over various disputes, and as such Bergrimr thought it wise to avoid any audience with Hralfdan and built instead his home awhiles northwest of the city, high on the border fringes near Hammerfell. In time Bergrimr and Dortgljot had four children: Orm the eldest son, Erikr Dortgljotsdottir, and youngest twins Kroke and Toki. Exceeding winsome and renowned in ability were these gifted four, and surely to please the gods were they in ability towards all endeavors they set upon. With a legacy secured, Bergrimr’s beard seemingly turned full grey overnight after the labors of Dortgljot to deliver Kroke and Toki unto the world were wrought. Full well were these offspring expected to carry on the legacy of their father and mother, and bring much honor to their storied bloodline. But the winds of wyrd were upon the family.


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