I play in a reenactment group here I sometimes portray a lady from England in the 14th century and other times a Norsewoman from the end of the dark ages.
I was challenged to think of the setting that my character would have when performing, and I started to write a story about a long-hall and the kind of story that she would have told. As it turned out, I guess I wanted to tell a story.
Norse stories have kennings, which are neat word-analogies, and the sagas tell us that they were sometimes told with accompaniment.
So here's the original tale of how the Salt Maidens came to defeat the Trolls who had come and taken over the All-Thing, caused lots of mischief and were so noisy that the sea ran away and the salt maids had to come to take care of it.
(I've also now explained to myself why I have a white streak in my hair.)
Written mostly on the final day of FAWM, it is my final piece for the challenge. <3
Giant trolls came to / law-ground
Plucked pines for swords / And hills their shields
Wearing belts with Dwarf-gold buckles.
Many bags / of gold they bore.
Those trolls ambled / amid the all-thing
Made their sport / with standing stones.
Booths broke / beneath big buttocks
Bolts of cloth / received nose-blowings!
They laid upon / the law rock’s top.
Stacks of sheep / and heavy horses
Threw the bales / for winter feeding
At the anguished / crowd assembled.
Many men / ran off fear-mad
Baited bearserks / they blew down
Field-claimed was / the full fresh earth
Trolls tarried / and made merry.
Wicked trolls / were ever-wakeful
Save the times / they stuck with snoring
No other sounds / could be found
Their great gas / would wilt a woad-man!
Fourteen nights / passed this way
Wise women wept / Most men moped
Many days were / worse than nights
Even wolves / went walking elsewhere.
So annoying / was the noise
The silken sea / she slipped away
Revealing ragged greeny rocks
And leaving long long lanes of sand.
One moon-filled morning / some maids came
Some sturdy / some slender
Stepping surely / toward those trolls.
Their white hair / hung in waves
Trolls! They called / and gave forced waking
Answer us / here at the all-thing
Back below ground / you great growlers!
Your surly sounds / have sucked the sea.
Sleep-blurred eyes / met the maidens.
Who dared drive them / from their dreaming?
Soon they stood, great and grouchy.
Pushing pines / and bearing boulders.
Anger set them / to avenging
Each attacked / an agile maiden.
They would vanish / like the sea spray
Fought like fog / not hard nor soft.
Long it lasted / wavelike warring
Till a troll / caught that long hair
Large lips smacking / juices dripping
Finally seeking / flesh for eating!
When that moist mouth / met the maid
Came forth / a great clanging cry
Gum-sword tumbled / singing salt-song
His life-ban / came with crumbling.
Every troll that touched a salt maid
Piled its form / upon the fen-teeth
Sparkling mounds of scattered sea-snow
Filled the footprints / in the troll-fields.
Down slope-lands / flooded cloud-tears
Road the rocks to the realm of Geitir.
Left the wreckage / of the all-thing
And Dwarf-made buckles / big as doorways
The salt-maids watched / the waves fill in
Cover cove / and wrap the rocks
Singing their way to the sands
Children clamored / near to claim them.
One keen girl-child / stole some kisses.
The salt-maid stopped / and touched her brow
In that place / the red-hair whitens
In all her line / from then till now.
Fear for trolls / no longer children
Or the night-sounds / that will come
Troll’s largesse / season our foodstuffs
And salty women / hold our hearts.