The Myth Behind the Gard: Draugr and Brogue Dialects

Badaim joins us to go over the origin of the Draugr, and providing pt 2 of the story from last week, Bragi Finds his Muse!

Draugr are undead creatures from Norse mythology, literally meaning 'again-walker' or 'revenant.' Draugr tend to live in graves and guard treasure that is kept within their burial mound. They are often motivated by a greed or jealousy that possessed them during their life.

Draugr tend to have superhuman strength, can increase in size, or be able to 'swim through rock.' They also sometimes exhibit magical powers like shapeshifting, controlling the weather, and divination. Draugr can also drive humans and animals insane either through close proximity or torment. Draugr can invade the dreams of their victims and often leave a tangible gift as proof of their visit.

One common indicator that a deceased person will return as a Draugr is if their body is found sitting in an upright position. Stabbing needles through the feet of the deceased or tying their toes together is a preventative measure taken to keep them from walking. Other measures taken included burning the corpse and scattering the ashes to the sea, or burying the body three times facing different directions so the Draugr becomes confused and cannot return.

Draugr are most commonly known in contemporary popular culture as enemies in the video games The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and God of War.

In light of the unfortunate news that major St. Patrick's day events have effectively been canceled, I have included a small collection of Irish (and Scottish) slang words to pepper into your brogue this coming week!

Bad Dose- Severe illness

Bags (make bags)- Make a mess of something

Beor- Pretty

Bin- Garbage

Blocked- Drunk

Boggin'- Dirty

Bonnie- Pretty

Boyo- Young man

Chancer- Scheme

Clinker- Jail

Cod/Codding ya- to pull someone's leg

Counging- Intimidating

Craic- Something fun

Crack on- To get going

Dander- A walk

Deadly- great

Donkey's years- A very long time

Dosser- Someone up to no good

Fine- Good looking

Hen- Term of endearment for a woman

Lytres- Lyrics

Manky- Disgusting

Mot (moth)- Girlfriend

Moran- Moron

Mountainy- A large rural woman

Row- Fight

Snapper- Young person

Spondoolies- Money

Stoater- An extremely attractive woman

Stall the Ball- Put a stop to

Suckin' diesel- Doing well

Throw shapes- Show off

Vitamin G- Guinness

Wean- Child


Bragi finds his Muse. Part 2: Turning over a new Leif

Bragi could feel the Draugr slowly squeeze the life out of him with its constricting embrace. His arms flailed helplessly within the undead monster's arms, sure that this was going to be the end. he...crying?

'Ye 'ave nae 'dea wha' dis meens tah meh Mr. Bragi, ser!' The Draugr said wistfully through a thick ambiguous brogue, wiping away a tear with one of his sausage fingers. Bragi gasped as he awkwardly tried to pat the Draugr's broad back.

'It''s just...Bragi' He wheezed.

The Draugr lifted Bragi into the air and shook him from his shoulders like a rag doll. 'I can' 'lieve it! Yoor 'im! Ye'r reely 'im! Yoor meh 'ero!' The Draugr plopped Bragi down and just basked in his presence.

'Hey, thanks but...the truth is...I'm really not.' Bragi couldn't bring himself to look into the Draugr's eager eyes.

'Oh… Ah'm sorry lad! Ah new Ah reely shouldn' 'ave cummer innæ dis manner, but Ah joost 'ad teh see ye far meself an dem Valks ootside were intimidetin' as ol 'ell!

He thought they were intimidating?! I'm giving those ladies a raise!

'No, I mean know how they say you should never meet your heroes?' The draugr just gave Bragi a puzzled expression.

'I...haven't been who you think I am. Not for a long time anyway.' Bragi slumped back down on the couch.

'Aye?! We's joost saw ye out there! Yæ feckin' rook!'

'No, Loki was right: I'm a has-been. I've been riding my own coat-tails trying to chase shadows for a while now, and I only ended up chasing the dragon instead.' Bragi motioned to the mead and pop powder on the table.

'Ey? Ya meen deese wee part-e fævurs? 'Oi, Aye got yer fixin' aight 'ere boyo:' The Draugr seized the horn of mead and daintily sipped it dry like a wax paper cup, crushing it just as easily before tossing the fragments over his shoulder. Next he took the bag of powder and dumped its entirety onto his tongue, gulping it down with a bitter sneer. Bragi swirled with mixed emotion and amazement as the Draugr licked the insides of the inverted bag clean, shrugging off the yak shivers with a self-satisfied shake. Unfazed.

'Thanks...I think, but my problems go way deeper than that. I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I'm carrying a ton of baggage with me, and it wouldn't be fair of me to ask you to shoulder any of it.'

'Ge wei outta dat! Geis ah luks ah us! Ahm bleedin' bilt fer shoulderin'!' The Draugr scrunched himself into the lounge chair next to Bragi, trying to get down to his level, but even then he still towered over him. The chair complained loudly as it's stresses were pushed to its limit.

Ya no wha' dey nær tell ye? 'Bout bean' undeed? 'Ventually, ya 'ave te watch 'erywan ye love go. Leavin' 'em all behin'. Ah couldn' 'andle dat. Gots meh makin' right bags mate: Fightin', gettin' blocked, In n' oot, In n' oot ov dae clinker. Pure donkey years spent, ya feel meh? But ya no what fish'd meh out dae binner? Aun' dee Aye's be hearin' som' right toons mate. turns oot tae be yer sang. Straigh' deadly thrash an' ol, yah? But dem lytres: naebodae giva listen ta dem lytres! Das wen Ah figger oot yoor moosic's laek mae: lukes coungin buh æs misunderstewd! So we's ah set tae rite pruve 'em wrang! Now's we gon an got a crack on suckin' diesel, an is aul tanks teh yew!' Bragi could barely understand less than half of what the Draugr was saying, but his emotion and passionate expression cut through the language barrier.

'My music, my lyrics...I...they really mean that much to you?'

'Aye, es craic.'

'Wow, thanks. You have no idea how bad I needed to hear something like that, but I'm sad to say that even with your vote of confidence I won't be playing or singing again anytime soon.'

'Wat ye coddin' ahn aboot?'

'My brother Loki: he was just here and stole my guitar, ripped off my new ballad for Idun, and made off with my talent too.' Bragi waggled his fingers awkwardly. 'I've got no choice: I'm ganne- I mean, going to have to cancel the tour. Either that or-' Bragi shuddered '-lip sync.'

'Dat mingen' basterd! 'E tinks 'e cannæ git aweeh wit doon ah boggin' ahn Bragi? Mae Bragi?! Nae mate, nae! Stall dae ball ehn ol dat! Dis cannæ sta!' The Draugr slammed his fist on the table sending some splinters flying. Bragi was glad he was on his side. 'Rite manky dosser's gat næ chancer wit 'ol Leif bae yer seid!'

'Your name is Leif?'

'Aye, neu lessus geeva row ah dis moran bugger.' Leif offered an open paw. Bragi's hand disappeared into Leif's firm grip.

'I admire your enthusiasm, but I've got no idea where he's gone. He doesn't even have the song, he hired some elf to slice it out of my datacore.'

'Ah heer ye. Souns leik ye coud youse a croo. Ow 'bout dem snapper weans ye been toorin' wit?

'The muses? I've never even met those kids. Everything was arranged between our people. What makes you think they'll want to help me? The godlings aren't exactly known for getting along with us old pre-rag farts.'

'Aye. Dat mae be, boot ah wayger dæ be warm tae yer caus once dey foond oot dat witoot ye dæ be fresh oot ah spoindoolies.'

'You're right: they can't really open if I'm not headlining, and these youngbluds often forget to add kill clauses to their contracts.'

'Ahts settl'd den: sha we tækus ah wee dander doon der wei an shan dæ lite?'

'Uhh...suuure?' Bragi still wasn't quite catching everything, but he figured any plan Leif had was better than no plan at all. With Bragi's nod Leif hoisted him under his arm like a barrel of aged whiskey and swaggered out of the green room, leaving the Valks posted outside looking to each other with gobsmacked expressions.

'I'm just going out for a bit! I'll be back for sound check tomorrowwwww!'

A stone mother filled the hallway in front of the muse's green room door. Leif seemed not the least bit deterred by her tersely vacant expression. Leif plopped Bragi in front of her and gave him a bit of a nudge forward while slapping the dust off his back with such force his legs buckled.

'Hey, uhhh...hi...Can I get by? I need to see the muses and it's kind of an emergency.' The stone mother shook her head in a silent geologic pace. Leif put his hand on Bragi's head, lifted him up an pointed.

'Deya no ooh dis ayes? Es Bragi Roonsanger! Dæ bes' bollokin ballad buster yær did see! Dannae rang eh bell?!' Nothing. Stone mama's were renowned for their stoicism. Leif scratched his beard for a bit before leaning in to whisper into Bragi's ear.

'Ge'onnan laddie, 'ol Leif's gannae trow sheaps at dis fine moontanny lass.' Leif gave Bragi a cheeky wink and smirk before turning his charm to the stone bouncer.

Is he...serious?!

'Oi, fancy beein' meh mot ye beor hen?' Leif leaned his elbow on the wall behind her with a letching grin that somehow managed to scrape a rusty flush from her cheeks as she turned her head coyly and shifted her stance. It was just enough to let Bragi crack the door and squeeze through.

I can't believe it!...How?

Leif discreetly pushed Bragi forward with the tips of his fingers, not taking his eyes off her. 'Aye, ye's a rite bonne stoater! Fancy splittin a litre aff da ol vitamin G?' Somehow, Bragi knew Leif was going to be all right on his own for a little while, but now came the hard part. He took a deep breath before slipping through the muse's door, smoke belching from the seams as he closed it behind him.

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