Wednesday 22 June 2011

The Lament of Drol Belegost

I have been looking through some of my old notes for the D&D campaign I ran a few years ago and came across this piece of Dwarven poetry. It was supposed to be central to a third campaign arc and reading it again makes me wish we had been able to finish the story I was planning.

I developed this verse from something I found on the internet (sorry, can't remember where from now) which i think was itself derived from an Inuit poem. The name was actually inspired by Tolkein and was one of two Dwarven cities in the Ered Luin in the First Age. Belegost in Sindarin means 'mighty or great fortress'. In the context of the poem it represented the great and mighty past of the dwarves of my world, Euda, and spoke of their gradual decline.

The Lament of Drol Belegost

Bitter cold and Snowfell Sun,
Where the white fox and the Caribou run.
Ilbana’s light makes nights like days
And sets northern skies ablaze.

Thin Elven wine is not for me,
For I have lived when dragons roamed free.
The Ice Hold is where we stay,
And sing of glories from a latter day.

Time rolls on in the halls below
Hammer strikes, metals glow.
Where we dream of past and better things
And anvils sing to summon kings.

I can't claim this as an original work (and no copywright infringement is intended if portions are borrowed - not even sure where I got the original from) as the basic outline comes from something I found trawling the internet for ideas. What I did do was adapt and change some of it to fit into the world setting and campaign requirements of my game. The resulting 'collaboration' is rather pleasing I think.

A lot of what I wrote for my campaign wasn't entirely original, leaning heavily on mythology and stories from the wild corners of our globe and from literature. As a GM I was never above using someone elses good idea and developing it into something else for my campaign. What I enjoyed was finding original ways to link ideas together into a narrative whole that looked like it had been purpose written.

I like to think that my attempt to bring a little more depth to my world made it a more realistic experience for my players. Created worlds can easily be little more than a blank canvas, but real worlds are more complex and rich. Whether my players appreciated the effort I put in is hard to say, but I hope they enjoyed it. And maybe one day we'll get a chance to find out why Belegost was so glum.


  1. Nice. Always been a big fan of Dwarves.. I especially like the last line of the poem.

  2. Oh Lee you blogger of such delight,
    Give not unto me a blogging fright,
    Scare not the earthly roleplay game,
    But save us from the GM's proclaim.

    djk 2011

  3. Short and sweet, just like some Dwarves.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always try to reply as soon as I can, so why not pop back later and continue the conversation. In the meantime, check out my YouTube channel Miniature Adventures TV