Friday, March 4, 2011

A Real World Game of Thrones

George R.R. Martin has announced on his blog that his book will be published. Not that it is finished, just that it has a firm publishing date. Okay, then. For those of you who are tired of waiting, I have a chapter from Paul the Deacon's book called The History of the Long Beards (aka Langobards).
We take up the story of the Winnili, who became known as the Langobards because of some story about long beards, as they are on the verge of leaving Eastern Europe and heading for the Italian territories for their new kingdom. But first, a little back ground. Waccho became king after he attacked and killed his uncle Tato. Another son of Tato, Hildichis, attacked Waccho but was defeated and escaped to take refuge with the Gepids. This is the source of the later feud: the Gepids sheltered the true heir to the Langobards.
Waccho had a son, Waltari, who succeeded him and ruled for seven years but then he died and was replaced by Audoin. Audoin had a son, Alboin, and this is where I take up the tale. The feud with the Gepids heated up and Audoin took his son to the battle where Alboin distinguished himself so well the warriors of his clan thought that he should be able to eat at the table with his father. It was the custom of the Langobards that a man could not eat with the warriors or be properly considered a warrior until he received his arms from a foreign king.
Audoin that his son must first receive his arms, and although he killed King Turisind's son Turismod in the recent fighting, this is who Alboin decides to collect arms from. So, ........
Book I, Chapter 24.

After hearing these things from his father, Alboin, taking only 40 young men with him, set out for the kingdom of the Gepids, with whom he had fought a war before. He announced to Turisind the reason for which he had come. Who, receiving him kindly, invited him to his own dinner and what's more placed him at his own right side, where his own son Turismod had been accustomed to sit. Amidst the splendor of things, while they ate various foods, Turisind, before the dinner, turning over in his mind that it was the seat of his son before and restoring the funeral to his mind and the slayer of him sitting in his place in person, he was not able to contain himself. He drew deep sighs but such sorrow burst out in his voice. He said, "This place is dear to me but not the person who sits in it, the sight of whom is burdensome enough." Then the other son of the king, who was there, being moved by the speech of his father, began to provoke the Langobard with insults, declaring that they, because they were using white bandages on the lower part of their legs, from their shins down to their feet, they appeared as though they were mares, saying, "The mares have fetlocks, that you imitate." Then one of the Langobards responded thus to these words, "Go forth into the field of Asfeld, and there without a doubt you will be able to test, how well those who you call mares will have the superiority in kicking. Where the bones of your brother are scattered in the middle of the meadows like of a common beast." After hearing this, the Gepids, not wanting to bear the provocation, were vehemently moved to anger and were burning to avenge manifested injuries. They were ready for war against the Langobards. All had placed their hands on the hilt of their swords. Then the king, springing up from the table, threw himself into the middle and restrained them from war by his anger, threatening that the first of them, who might join the first fight, would be punished. He said such a victory is not pleasing to God, when a man slays his guest in his own home. After having restrained the quarrel in this way, the dinner party proceeded after with happy spirits. Turisind, taking up the arms of his son Thurismod, gave them to Alboin and sent him unharmed and in peace to the kingdom of his father.
Alboin, returned to his father from there after the dinner was over. He, when with his father, happily seized on the royal pleasures and reported all things as they happened, of which he had tasted while at the Gepids in Turisind's palace. They (Langobards) were amazed at those who were there and praised the daring of Alboin, not less than they bore praises to Turisind for his great honesty. be continued because you know this amazing life of this guy doesn't end here.


Tracy said...

and although he killed King Turisind's son Turismod in the recent fighting, this is who Alboin decides to collect arms from.
Well, it's certainly an interesting decision.

The Red Witch said...

It shows his great bravery. :-) It gets even better.