Burning of King Olaf

Burning of King Olaf

Dear Mother,

A large effigy stands in the Bards College’s courtyard. Viarmo gives a speech announcing J’Zhirr as the newest member of the Bards College. This one believes that he is more of an honorary member than a student of music. This one has proven his usefulness in the quest for King Olaf’s verse and hears that the other instructors may wish to make use of this one’s skills.

After finishing his speech, Viarmo holds a lighted torch to the effigy. The people clap and cheer as the effigy burns, the orange flames carrying the ashes high into the night sky. Then Viarmo walks over and quietly gives J’Zhirr some gold. “Patronage from Jarl Elisif,” he explains.

The effigy is still burning strongly when J’Zhirr decides to head off to bed.


A masterful performance

Viarmo reciting the verse

Dear Mother,

Viarmo requests an audience with Jarl Elisif first thing in the morning. He has a good voice and and injects the story with feeling and pathos as he recites the verse. A truly masterful performance. J’Zhirr can see why he is the headmaster of the Bards College.

This is the complete verse we came up with. We filled in the second and fourth parts.

O, Olaf, our subjugator, the one-eyed betrayer;
death-dealing demon and dragon-killing King.
Your legend is lies, lurid and false;
your cunning capture of Numinex, a con for the ages.

No shouting match between dragon and man, no fire or fury did this battle entail.
Olaf was Numinex in human form, on moonless nights he would spread wings and sail.

Olaf grabbed power, by promise and threat;
From Falkreath to Winterhold, they fell to their knees;
But Solitude stood strong, Skyrim’s truest protectors.
Olaf’s vengeance was instant, inspired and wicked.

Because Solitude would not soon bend knee, Olaf would hurt them while his status accrued.
He sacked Winterhold in dragon form, and bent their minds to blame Solitude.

So ends the story of Olaf the liar, a thief and a scoundrel we of Solitude commit to the fire.

Return with King Olaf’s verse

Reading King Olaf's verse

Dear Mother,

J’Zhirr returns triumphantly with King Olaf’s verse. Viarmo eagerly flips through the pages and then cries out in dismay. The book has aged to the point that parts are unreadable. Without the complete verse, Viarmo is unable to convince Jarl Elisif of the importance of the festival.

This one suggests making up the missing parts and Viarmo looks shocked. He mumbles, “It doesn’t seem appropriate…”. But after thinking about it for a while, he says he is able to copy the style of the writing. Together we brainstorm on what to write for the missing parts.

After all, songs are more for entertainment than historical accuracy. If one wants historical facts, one should hit the books.

Viarmo and Giraud Gemane

Viarmo and Giraud Gemane

Dear Mother,

J’Zhirr meets Viarmo, the headmaster of the Bards College. He is upset about the banning of the Burning of King Olaf festival. The Burning of King Olaf is a festival traditionally organized by the bards. There is much drinking and singing before an effigy representing King Olaf One-Eye is burned. However, Jarl Elisif the Fair feels the festival is distasteful in view of the recent death of her husband, High King Torygg, and has banned it.

Viarmo is trying to get Jarl Elisif to change her mind. He tells Jarl Elisif that the festival is many centuries old and celebrates Solitude but he needs proof. Viarmo believes that King Olaf’s verse will provide the proof. Unfortunately the verse was lost a long time ago.

Standing beside Viarmo is Giraud Gemane, the Dean of History.