For Master Kraken Gnashbone, Fifteenth Tyger of the East

By Aneleda Falconbridge and Master Toki Redbeard

Trees had aged three more rings
since pass of pride gift son.
Kraken’s son we kenned Daniel
Taken from tree copse Eastern.

His father fell to the morning
Came to field, called by memory,
Joined forest of flight-swifters
to loose shafts, shoot for glory

Queen’s side-man he sought to be
He would stand, in stead of son.
Bold minded below breast fort
Forest yeoman, yew in hand.

By pyre of day in previous morn
On steed road made his journey
Hard one’s luck, who leaves his horse
Unexpected, poor his outcome.

He fell to earth fast as fletching
Bonehouse broke, on bitter landing.
Bearing new two baleful knees
Kraken walked the woods and shot.

Heavy weighed winding linen
of curved limb and curving limb
laming legs, strong man straining
Danegeld later he would pay.

Brows beams bore toward the center
With fair wings wing-branch went
As the peregrine to its pine tree.
To ring-goddess great his tribute.

His orbs shone on elm of rose
At queens foot stand forester bowed
draped across shoulder branches
Flood-flame roses framed her champion.

Shapers of war wove his song
told to poet with proud awe
Son of Uller stood this ground
Heard you now hawk sharp saga.

* * *

This poem came as a request from two Kings I served, Lucan and Gregor, as a request that I honor Master Kraken on the day he became Queen’s Champion of Archery in AS46. It was to be given to Kraken, with whom I spent gleeful time during my year standing behind the throne, and who always made me feel light at heart.

The tale was told to Master Toki at Pennsic 40, where we began this poem, with him teaching me the basics of alliterative Norse verse as I explained my visions, and Toki made them into verse. I took it home and worked on the remainder of it on my own, adding many verses, changing some of that great Master’s lines even, to be more of my intent, and then returned it to Toki at the War of the Roses AS47. He took my fledgling efforts and gave them wing as we worked on correcting the alliteration (which I *nearly* get but which still is unthinkably difficult to me!) while working to keep my words, tone, style and story intact as we brainstormed ways to correct this or that, or make this line or that one better. There are some places which break and bend rules, with the understanding that this piece is really one for voice and not as much for page.

This is the result of his skillful filing of the rough work.

It was my great joy to have been able to present this to Master Kraken at the Great Northeastern War, AS47, as he was made the Fifteenth Tyger of the East by King Kenric. He is a legend of the East, and I am proud to have been able to tell one of his tales.