The inscription on the walls of the burial chamber in cairn B
(Translated from the Varreian runic verses and condensed into prose by Gabriel Mo)
The Tale of Lajlat
On the shores of the eastern sea, the mighty mariner Oroa rules the land of Varrei. At times he ventures out, across the waters, seeking the land of his fathers, but in vain, for Starroe was engulfed in the war of the gods. Mirie, Kolmiar’s daughter, treads those seas; she who sets the waves in motion, who flies as the albatross. The stout-timbered vessel and its foaming wake draw her from her many-pillared caves. Then Mirie perceives Oroa, and nowhere in her realm, nor upon the earth, nor in the highest heaven has she seen a man more noble in her sight; and borne by a cresting wave, she appears and holds in rein the seas as the ship journeys to haven.
Mirie takes to her Oroa, and in time Lajlat is born. And the spirits themselves pay their respects to the child, and the people of Varrei shutter their houses in fear at the passage of the gods. But the sea grows wild without the water-lady. Mirie finds she has been too long from her charges, and so returns to her caves.
At this time the tyrant Tuisu enters the realm, and his army overthrows Oroa’s warriors. Oroa himself is killed in battle before the walls of his city, and Tuisu carves his body into thirty-six pieces and throws them in the river Gror. Lajlat is smuggled out, with only a single silver needle that belonged to her mother, and is given to the care of a family of fishermen. As she grows to adulthood, her family reveals her heritage, and Lajlat confronts Tuisu in his palace as the rightful queen of Varrei. He will never surrender the throne, but he also fears the power of a huurthun [a half-god]. Being a man of guile, and not yet willing to risk killing Lajlat himself, Tuisu agrees to give her the throne if she can accomplish an impossible task: bringing Oroa back from the dead.
Although she knows not how to achieve it, Lajlat resolves to fulfill this charge. She goes first in search of her mother, journeying far out to sea in a fishing skiff, and the waves part before her by the power of the needle she wears as a pin in her mantle. In time, she arrives at Mirie’s island. The spirit emerges from her caves, and Lajlat explains her situation, and petitions for guidance. The water-lady counsels that she must collect sap from Eartan, the tree of death in the farthest south, to reconstruct the body, and from Uormaal, the tree of life in the uttermost north, to recall the spirit to the body. Mirie gives to Lajlat her water-chariot pulled by the Prall [creatures half fish and half stag], and tLethindras, the trumpet that calls the seabirds to her will.
Giving thanks and a farewell to her mother, Lajlat journeys to the furthest west and over those mountains that are the great fish’s backbone to the glimmering palace of dusk, and confers with the all-seeing Ghu [the sun] to discover where her father’s spirit and body are to be found.
Ghu advises her to go to Aruz Deathlord and procure the bells Talmuuti and Foronti, which calm and control the great bear, whose den lies in the roots of Uormall, and the serpent that coils at the base of Eartan. These bells Aruz Deathlord jealously guards and will not lightly give them up, neither to spirit, huurthun, nor mortal. Aruz answers only to Heriith Thunderlord and his many sons, and then only for fear of their terrible lightning.
Lajlat blows a high note upon tLethindras, and seabirds of all kinds flock around her chariot. First, Lajlat sends Gannet to the court of the Thunderlord, asking for his aid, but Gannet cannot fly so far, nor so high. Petrel goes next, and faces the same failure. Finally, Albatross flies, and returns with a thunder-rod and lightning bolts, and Lajlat offers thanks to the Thunderlord.
She hurls a lightning bolt to earth to summon the Lord of death and rebirth, who comes shrouded in its cloak of mists, and, reluctantly, it relinquishes the bells.
She journeys into the northern sea to retrieve the water of life. There, north beyond north, Lajlat meets her father among the countless shades in the realm of the wicked, the un-mourned, and the unburied dead. It is a wasteland of unchanging ice and darkness, above which looms the shining, evergreen Uormaal, the second great pillar of the world. Lajlat rings the first bell, Talmuuti, and in answer, Eufri the bear climbs from his den in Uormaal’s roots. [...] [Here the inscription is damaged, with only a few legible fragments]
[...] Finally, Lajlat faces the task of retrieving the pieces of Oroa scattered on the sea floor, sending Albatross again to the Thunderlord’s palace of storm to ask for a rain ewer and rain sieve, with which she combs the sea bottom and strains the water to recover the body parts. Seven times she fills and pours the ewer to find the thirty-six pieces... [inscription illegible]
[...] At the last, Lajlat returns to face Tuisu. She arrives at the palace, and before all the court of Varrei, she restores Oroa’s flesh to his body with the sap of death, and revives him with the sap of life. Tuisu refuses to honor his terms and gives orders to have them killed, but Lajlat raises her silver needle, which has grown to the size of a staff, and the ocean rises to engulf the palace, parting before the feet of the huurthun.
In turn, Lajlat becomes queen, and Oroa joins Mirie on her island. Lajlat rules wisely, defending the land with water and lightning, and Varrei’s people flourish for three sixties of years. All greatly mourn her passage to the realm of the blessed, and fear for the future, without her power to wield the gifts of the gods.
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