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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Minstrel Tales The Fall of Calbut

The Fall of Calbut

Here is a fragment about the fall of Calbut in Tenh.

Then the captain young in war spoke: "This is neither the dawn from the east, nor does a dragon fly hither, nor are the gables of this hall here burning, but they are launching a sudden attack: the birds are singing; the grey corslet rings; the spear clashes; shield answers to shaft. Now gleams the wandering moons beneath the clouds; now dire deeds come to pass which will enact the hatred of the Tenha people. But awake now, my warriors, grasp your shields, be mindful of courage, strive in the front of the fight, be resolute."

Then rose up many an armored guard, girded on his sword; then to the door went the excellent warriors, Zillah and Eaha, drew their swords; and Irad and Lamech at the other door, and Jared himself came behind them.

Then Nepheg exhorted Gershon that he in his armour should not risk so noble a life at the first onslaught on the doors of the hall, since one bold in attack was minded to take it away; but he, the daring-minded hero, openly asked over all who it was who held the door.

"Zillah is my name," said he, "I am a warrior of the Tenha, a hero widely known. Many trials have I undergone, stern conflicts; now is decreed for thee here what thou shalt gain from me."

Then by the wall there was an uproar of deadly struggles; shields must needs be in the hands of bold men, the helmet must burst - the floor of the fortress rang - until Gershon son of Kohath, fell in the fight, first of all the dwellers in the land; round him many valiant men. The flying raven circled over the bodies; dusky and dark brown it wheeled, there was gleaming of swords as if all Calbut was in flames. Never have I heard of sixty triumphant warriors bearing themselves better, more worthily in the battle of men, nor ever of youths making better requital for sweet wine than the liege-men of Ehyeh."

"Finnesburh" from a fragment By George Hickes 1705 with minor alterations.

2 comments:

  1. How often do you see anything written about Calbut? I like it!

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  2. There is a little about Calbut (or Catbut as it is spelled) in Dragon #56

    Since I originally adapted some of these poems and stories I've taken a Gygaxian stand on my Greyhawk material. My understanding of the rather confusing and sometimes contradictory post Gygax campaign has faded since '03 when I last did research for my index on the Greyhawk setting. Right now I'm just trying to define what I know of the Gygax era setting, but I have a few bits and pieces that deal with subjects such as Osson or the battle of Chendl that I will post.

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