Crimson soil, soaked in blood
Of mine kin, of gods slaughtered
By most fiendish blade.
Their bodies strewn, entrails spilled;
Father, mother, and brethren.
Odin, on his own
Spear his head is impaled; Thor
By poison bolts pierced,
Frey, his flesh razed to ash;
All else, maimed, ravaged, and torn.
Were I mortal man,
With remaining fist, the gods
I would damn for this.
But these beloved dead
Are gods, as am I. Therefore
I must act, not curse.
Avenge my kin. That is
What I must do. Bring fire, death
And his Cross-Folk, who
Lit my Fathers’ hall, and chained
My people with threat
Of hell and brimstone, blasting
Worship they sought in days old.
Tyrfing I draw, in bearskin cloak I clothe.
Thus, ‘gainst wicked writ and monstrous men, my
War begins. A jarl, who with law doth loathe
And condemn my ways, is the first to die.
His hall is by torch devoured, his fighting men,
One by one, to Asgard steel fed, his priests
By crows consumed. The tyrant himself, then
Is hewn in two, his ripped flesh left for beasts.
All those in his fief are now free heathen.
Axe and mead aloft, once more do they praise
My name; with loyalty undying, e’en
To Midgard’s ends, my banner they shall raise.
Onward then, the pagan armies proceed,
To sate War-God’s will, and see his foes bleed.
. . .
With hammer and high spirit, my war-band
Doth unchain my Northern sons, and lay
Waste to black-minded, Cross-bearing jarls and
Rapine thralls; in noose, lying monks decay.
Coward lords’ homes to splinters are shattered,
Cruel edicts they wrote to embers are sent.
Fief after fief falls; their foul flags tattered
At our feet; foreign skulls by iron are rent.
Freed men flock to my force. A savior
Am I to they, the last of their old gods,
Protector of faiths they once did savor,
Restorer of times long lost, ‘gainst all odds.
Ragnarok reversed, the Aesir live on
In Cross-less hearts. By my sword, shines new dawn.
. . .
Into Harald’s throne-chamber we charge, blind
With fury for indignities suffered, ones
Loved slain. Pitiful his housecarls we find,
And e’en more, his spineless pleas; thus, his bones
‘Neath Sleipnir’s hooves are crushed, his manhood
Severed, and his head likewise. So departs
Our binding with his life – Harald Strange-Blood,
To Nidhogg’s maw, whilst Asgard’s repair starts.
My children’s pagan rites once more thrive, their
Homeland their own, my once-living kin now
Revenged. Under mine sigil, they breathe free air.
Just shall be my rule; to no Cross they’ll bow.
But dart mine eyes across cold, silver seas.
With black sails, we’ll bring South shores to their knees.
. . .
“From highland to desert plain, pillage
And burn,” I told my reavers. “Of those who
Bear cross, star, or moon, crumble their village,
Slit their stomach, and bleeding bodies strew.”
“Mount their heads, blot their sun with taint-arrow,
Their brothers to cinders reduce. Maim, tear,
And ravage. Blaspheme their gods, and harrow
Them with fire and death; chain sire and son with fear.”
“For those who reject
The ancient ways shall be lit,
And to serpent’s maw
And searing lake the
Unfaithful we shall commit.”
“Thus is the edict of Tyr.”