Fram and Scatha the Worm by Grimbold

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Story Notes:

I fear that I have a favorable bias towards the Northmen. Because so little information can be found on this tale in Tolkiens works I had to write the entire event with only a few definitive facts, thus my bias probably shows heavily. I hope its intresting and enjoyable regardless. 


Flowing rivers, wide grass fields

Tall snowy mountains, fair green trees

A people strong, a nation renowned

Kingdom of the Eotheod, nation of the Northmen

Their king twas Frumgar, their line was of Rhovanion

In a land new claimed, in the month of harvest

The king sent out a hoard, treasure of gold and silver

To the short folk, to the Dwarves of Mountains Grey

For in days afore, said he


“To what gain hath I come, gems flow like water through my hand

Unformed silver tis fair, unmade gold is delightful

Yet I desire it formed, I wish it remade

O’ who shall do it, who among the Eotheod”

King sent out this message, to all the folk of his land


Men came from all lands, yet none of unsurpassed skill

All were lesser than the king desired, until one dwarf alone

The bearded one bowed low, his service he offered


“O’ king let these hands do thine labor, let this one do your wish

Out of Khazad-dûm come I, gold and silver were toys of my youth

Give unto me thy favor, and truly you shall be enamoured”


The king handed over his gold and silver, he gave his gems

The dwarf departed then, the seasons passed

Harvest turned to planting, planting to harvest

The frozen days of winter came twice, and twice the flame of summer

Then there came the short folk, wains of goods with them

To the city of Benordan, the city of Frumgar

The king was glad, the people rejoiced

For the wealth was displayed, the gold glimmered

The silver sent dancing lights, the gems coruscated

Yet upon their coming upon the keep, the king was dismayed

He accounted it there and found it short, he wrath arose


“What hath ye done, not three quarters is this

Where is my wealth, what hath thee stolen”


“None none, dwarven voices cried

Not we but a dragon, Scatha the great

So great was thine wealth, to three holds it went

One to me to whom you entrusted, one to my brother

One to my father, he was slain and the wealth taken

Twice we tried to reclaim thine gold, twice we failed

No fault of our own, and great our loss

For both father mother did we lose, and great wealth besides

So take this, know that it is all we yet have”


Frumgars wrath was settled, his anger no longer

Yet discontent ran strong, and hatred for Scatha


“Dwarves my friends, said he

I shall let my loss be, you too have lost

So I will hold no grudge, yet this I will demand

Where be the dragon, where is this Scatha

I shall reclaim my losses, yours too will I return

For the loss of your kin, this I will repay and revenge”


“Thou art a man good and wise, northward the worm lies

In a hold once our own, still atop all your wealth

Be swift, be strong

Be silent and cautious, the beast is filled with guile”


So northward went Frumgar, with shining host of men

Spears long and sharp, axes heavy and strong

His men were brave, his own arm lusty

Of that venture none lived to tell, yet some can be guessed

For great was Frumgar, no doubt he met his foe

No doubt there was battle, yet no doubt he fell

Yet none wished to believe it, they held onto hope

A season passed, ere the bells of mourning rang


The new king was Fram, lesser in might

Yet great was his wrath, more his thirst for revenge

So northward again went the Eotheod, with Fram at their head

Over mountains of snow, through valleys of shadow

Till to the hold of the dwarves came he, to the dragons fastness

He watched and spied, he saw the worm

Long and black was he, lithe and strong

No fire heated his belly, no wings graced his back

For days Fram watched, at nights he ruminated

Till finally he had his plan, then he moved with speed

Deep into the dragon hold, at night when the beast slept

Through darkness and fear, into the deeps deep

Upon the dragon they came, the great beast slumbered

Gold heaped about him, formed and unformed

Silver glimmered, tarnished yet still bright

With stealth Fram came upon the beast, he raised his great axe

He swung a mighty blow, down upon the dragons neck


Forth from the dragon came a cry, the roar shook the earth

The cavern rumbled, the gold scattered in his movement

Fram leapt away, his companions attacked

Spears flashed, axes gleamed

Arrows did naught, men fell

Yet ere the fall of every man, Fram cried


“Hear me dragon, I am Fram

My father ye hath slain, my gold you have stolen

Fear now my axe, fear now your death”


And Fram leapt upon the dragon, his axe fell

So great was that swing, so heavy was that blow

The dragons skull was split, the axe was buried

The dragon was slain, the battle was won

Fram took what he could, gold jewels and silver

Yet the greater part was left behind, until he could return

When he did it was with a host, and nothing did they leave

Not a penny, not the head of the beast

The people of the Eotheod rejoiced, Fram basked in his glory

When the dwarves heard they were joyus, Fram had their gold

A dwarf came and sought audience, Fram took him at the throne


“Great Fram, Dragonsbane

Great praise to you, all honor to your name

I come to receive the promise of your father, the wealth of my father”


“Nay” said the king, “my own father too was slain

And for what reason, that you were unfaithful in protecting his gold

I claim your wealth as a weregild, none shall you reclaim”


The dwarf was wroth, his words were harsh

“What of your fathers promise, where now is the wealth of my kin

Was not that the greater part of Scathas hoard, my fathers works

It is the property of his kin, not of thine

Return to us my fathers labors, return to us what is ours”

 

“Not a penny shall you gain, instead take this”

And Fram took from about his neck a necklace, teeth from the dragon

“Jewels such as these you will not match in your treasuries,

for they are hard to come by”


The dwarf departed, his wrath unsated

He brought the necklace to his folk, in anger they went out

With stealth they came to Benordan, in silence they entered

Yet when upon the palace they came, silence was broken

Battle was had, the doors were breached

Man and dwarf were slain, deep into the home of Fram the battle went

To the throne the dwarves came, and there stood Fram

Axe in one hand, that which had slain Scatha

In the other the dwarf sword of his father, Herugrim made from Frumgars hoard


“Come thee now to me, taste the steel in my hand”

Thus the king cried and blood was spilled, dwarf and his own

Finally Fram was slain, axe and sword still in hand

Upon his throne he bled, but two dwarves lay at his feet

Yet that was the end, no dwarf escaped that hold

The dragons wealth was kept in Benordan that night, the dwarves were beaten

No longer could they lay claim, all the kin of that house were dead


All the people of the Eotheod were downcast, the bells rang again

The city of Benordan was renamed, Framsburg now it became

Hatred and enmity came between dwarf and Eotheod, death passed between them

No dwarf was welcome any longer, long feud was between them and us

Yet peace came from the dragons, for they now feared the Eotheod

Their greatest was slain, they fled away


The tale of Fram the Dragonsbane spread, his fame became great

North and south his name went, west and east it traveled

In pride we remember, the deeds of Fram we recall

Let his name be passed down, let his strength be admired




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