Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

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Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Janarc on Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:48 pm

Here's something I whipped up. It can be a poem or a song, depending on circumstance. Hule is a larger-than-life figure to his descendants, and the stories of his life and death are almost fables for how to live the Good Life. Honored as much for his skill at crafts as for his battle prowess, here is the song of Hule's death, which every descendant of Hule would know by heart. Picture drunken recitals of this, or telling it to your children, or a general reciting it to fire up his men.

"Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes"

Ode to Hule and the Twelve Companions

Sing to me of Hule, brothers
Sing to me of his hammer, which raised
Our hall from nothing.

Sing to me of Hule the Warrior
House-father and troll-slayer
Sing to me of the twelve heroes
Sing to me of grief.

Hule the Burden-carrier,
Elf-friend, generous, fair,
his mighty builderís hammer
the mortar of any battle-line

His brothers and cousins
His sons and his nephews
The twelve, the fearless twelve,
Sing to me of their love.

Sing to me of the Elves,
Angrod Hule-Friendís Elves,
And the Foe from the north.
Sing to me of biting winter.

Red-snow nights and the frost
Forever biting into their beards
The twelve, uncomplaining, always
Close behind House-Father,
Whose fiery heart beat away the cold.

They sleep their days among the Elves
Water is their mead, and always the Foe
Lurks, until even Angrod hangs his head
Only Hule, Hope-giver, continues to sing
At the campfire of his brethren.

Night by night the Foe creeps forward,
Night by night, hope is stolen away
And the twelve weep as the clouds
Eat away at the moon.

NightBy night, Hule, Courage-giver,
Makes his hammer sing like wind
Over the ice-drenched mountains.
It is the last night of despair. Mighty
Angrod calls an end to stepping backward,
And the Elvish smiles cause even the Foe
To shiver and step back. And then the fight begins.

Too many. Too many. They forced us back,
Elf and man, step by bloody step, as though
A cliff were at our backs. Alone among men
And elves, Hule Orcbane sings of home
and of stonework, and takes no step back.

Back. Step by red-snow step. Where is Hule?
Where is Hule? House-father is swallowed.
House-father is consumed still singing,
Consumed whole by the cowardly foe,
There and then gone, honoring his word to mighty
Angrod. Not a single step back.

Consumed by grief, consumed with love,
The Twelve spit in the eye of the foe and drive forward,
Spears shivered, axes broken, shields stove in,
They hurl themselves with tooth and nail,
A spearhead of men, driven deep, until
They straddle beloved House-fatherís body.

Damn the Foe. No orc defiles Hule Home-Builder.
One by one, the twelve fall, mighty men made
Mightier by his example. Angrod himself,
Generous Angrod, weeps for his friend,
Leads his children into the sea of scum,
wipes it clean.

O for Hule, who died first and bravest,
O for the twelve, the finest of our kin,
Whose honor it was to weep for
House-father, to die feet astraddle his body,
To be borne home by Angrodís sons,
behind Hule House-Father,
Stone-handed Builder, who Angrod
Wept for most of all among men.

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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Bad Juju on Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:06 pm

Absolutely superb. Smile
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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Bard on Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:28 am

Someone after my position as bard?!

Nevah!!!






*tiny voice* Very well done, really.

Ok, you can be my apprentice. Very Happy
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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Janarc on Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:41 am

Yay me! Apprenticeship. Smile

Nah, I just think poetry is a great way of illustrating a culture's mentality.

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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Dreamer on Thu Sep 04, 2008 5:48 am

Gooood poem. I have a hard time trying to find what rhythm it might fit song-wise, but... I imagine I'll get it straight in my head eventually. Smile
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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Janarc on Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:00 am

Nice thing about writing in what is, essentially, a different language is that the words don't have to fit a rhythm in ours. Made my job easier. Wink

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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Bard on Thu Sep 04, 2008 6:03 am

Kith and I talked about something for Hule's to make it more fun, along the lines of music, ballads etc...


I think you'll really like it. Tee hee hee!!
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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Janarc on Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:37 am

Don't tease me. Razz

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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Falconer on Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:48 am

I simply can't wait to roleplay with Janarc again, and this tremendous work is reminder of just how much I've missed it.

As a side-note, it's clear that Tolkien held a deep belief, as evidenced by the number of songs, poems, and riddles throughout Middle-Earth, as well as notes on the cosmology of the world, that he believed spoken or sung word held a hidden--perhaps magical--power.

There is no direct canonical representation of this, perhaps, but minstrels with songs that weave minor 'magical' effects to morale, somatics, cantrips, and so forth could certainly be implemented while remaining within theme.

Might be a fun coding project as well, Kith.

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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Falconer on Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:53 am

Can we post this song in a thread on the History + Logs forum?

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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Bad Juju on Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:12 am

Falconer wrote:I simply can't wait to roleplay with Janarc again, and this tremendous work is reminder of just how much I've missed it.

As a side-note, it's clear that Tolkien held a deep belief, as evidenced by the number of songs, poems, and riddles throughout Middle-Earth, as well as notes on the cosmology of the world, that he believed spoken or sung word held a hidden--perhaps magical--power.

There is no direct canonical representation of this, perhaps, but minstrels with songs that weave minor 'magical' effects to morale, somatics, cantrips, and so forth could certainly be implemented while remaining within theme.

Might be a fun coding project as well, Kith.

That is an excellent idea, and one that I think could add a lot to the game.
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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Blackjack on Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:27 pm

I don't believe that Tolkien alone perceived that there was some manner of power within word or song. There within can certainly be found a great depth of emotion and meaning. I, for my own part, have never been successful in any attempt at writing poetry or lyric, but I have always taken pleasure in the works of those that have done so with success. Song even more so than poetry. It lifts the spirit in a way that little else can achieve.
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Re: Ode to Hule and the Twelve Heroes

Post  Bard on Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:36 am

If memory serves, the idea of "magical" power in songs was limited to those sung by certain characters - Luthien, Melian, Tom Bombadil, the Ainur (the Great Music), the barrow wight, certain Elves - and not the average minstrel. Notice also that those mentioned are either Maiar (lesser Ainur), related to Maiar (like Luthien) or creatures of some form of spiritual might.

The idea of having minstrels able to boost statistics of one form or another (or heal) was discussed some time ago, and I'm trying to remember exactly what we decided about it. Kithrater can correct me as necessary but I think we were only considering it as a simple morale-booster for group combat, and little more. Minstrels would be in-game for entertainment and little else. Doing more (as Falconer has already said), would be a huge coding undertaking.

I think Kithrater plans to look into it further down the track. If it is used at all, it's safe to suggest that the ability to weave spells (even minor ones) of any kind would be limited to MaiaPCs or their evil equivalent. That's my take on it for now - there will be more on it later I'm sure. Smile
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