An Orlanthi Battle Song

John Hughes (
Thu, 22 Feb 1996 16:37:12 +1000

Howdy folks


With the news out of Boldhome and all the rumours and counter-rumours, I am
also hearing a new song sung round the sweat lodges and in the cattle pens,
a song about the Kheldon Queen and all that is happening in the south. It
seems I have heard it, or at least a song like it, sometime in the past,
before my father died. But the singers do not admit this, nor will they
speak of Queen Starbrow's first rebellion, or what happened afterwards.

Redwheel the trader has also heard this new song. I spoke to him this
evening as he packed up his wares. He had made a thane's ransom selling
henna and whetting stones, but wanted to return early to Ironspike, not
even going on to Slough Hall as he originally planned. For some reason he
would not even stay for the clan weapontake called for tonight, even though
I know he loves the cuk fighting that usually occurs afterwards.

Redwheel said that the song is ironic, especially the lines, "the battle
thanes have given their word", and "swear the clans will ne'er forsake". He
is always using strange words, and I am not sure what he means. Perhaps he
means it has magic in it, like the other songs the warriors sing.

Redwheel said he had first heard the song sung locally by a Vingan, the
woman called Cradledaughter. The words were different then, and she sang it
as a cult song. He said that some of the people in the song were allies of
Starbrow, and that different tribes had different verses, or changed the
words. He did not seem pleased that there was a new verse about Harvar

I wanted to ask him more, but he left in a great hurry. Here is the song.

                                                          Theya Braggidotter
                                                           Lagerwater Stead.
                                                           Sea Season, 1626.


(to the tune of "Follow Me Up To Carlow")

Sartar's sons, lift up your face,
stop brooding o'er the old disgrace:
That the Red Monster stormed your place
and drove you to the high lands.

Sartar's daughters, loose your breasts,
It's not the time to weep or rest:
The Kheldon Queen has set us the test
Take up your shields and follow!

Loose your hair!
Sons of Air!
the brave will do what the brave will dare;
Fiends and traitors, have a care
Darkened is your moon now!

The wind is free, the storm will break;
the godis at the weapontake
Swear the clans will ne'er forsake
Queen Starbrow in her quarrel.

Thunder crack!
Storm will roar!
Soon the kingdom we'll secure:
Crush on plain and gallt and moor
Chaos' cur-sed army.

Swing the swords of Sartar red
Wreak vengeance for our noble dead
As now we march from town and stead
To reach King Broyan's banner.

Hear the Winds of freedom call
We gather true from farm and hall
The Red Moon from the sky will fall
The White Bull will not falter.

Up with spear and  out with sword!
On we'll go for by the Storm,
The battle thanes have given their word
Raise the tribes for Starbrow!

So from Boldhome to Duck Moor
Flows a stream of Lunar gore
And great is Vinga's Daughter pure
At sending loons to Hades.

The traitors and the taxers dead
Now for Fist-of-Iron's head!
We shall raise it dripping red
Above the walls and towers.

Rooster of a fighting stock
Would you let some Lunar cuk
Perch upon a Sartar rock?
Fly up and teach him manners!

Up with spear and  out with sword!
On we'll go for by the Storm
The battle thanes have given their word
Raise the tribes for Starbrow!


Andrew, in response to your query about all those discussions on Vinga and
Elmal at RQ Con Down Under, rest assured that they will surface soon in a
substantial printed format. Ill leave it to Saint Nick to broadcast further
details at an appropriate time.



    ... a flying arrow, a crashing wave, night old ice, a coiled snake,
    a bride's bed talk, a broken sword, the play of bears, a king's son.
                                                             Havamal 86.


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