An Introduction

     The Saga Of Baeoinfaermn consists of a collection of tales centering around the figure Baeoinfaermn, “he who is called The Wind What Canst Sleep”. The tales included herein have been chosen from the many extant tales which comprise the body of literature handed down from the Lunn people who dwelt in the North Lands in ages past. These tales come from three main cycles, or groups, of legendary tales: the Nodaugh, Faermn, and Tzoenyr Cycles, and have been grouped accordingly in this volume. These three Cycles include tales handed down through time in the narrative tradition from one storyteller to another, and consist of many more than I have recounted in this particular book. I have concentrated only upon those tales specifically devoted to Baeoinfaermn, and which deal with his quest for the fabled Book Of Nordo directly. I have made very few changes to these tales, except in cases where a direct translation would tend to confuse the reader unnecessarily or lead away from the Baeoinfaermn subject.
     In order for the reader to more easily understand the Saga Of Baeoinfaermn I will comment briefly on the three Cycles, and trace a basic plotline which these chosen tales follow.
     The Nodaugh Cycle first surfaced in written form around the year Q28AD. The famed storyteller, Diar-main, is attributed to having set the Cycle to paper after countless ages of being handed down in the oral tradition. This cycle, on the whole, is an historical essay on the North Lands and the realms which bordered on it. The tale, Of Nordo, chronicles the alchemist Nordo’s influence on the North Lands and her peoples (the Lunn) after his mysterious appearance into their midst. The tale, The Wind What Canst Sleep, chronicles the arrival into the North Lands of Baeoinfaermn, who bore a striking resemblance to Nordo (and who, it is now conjectured, was indeed one and the same person - knowledgeable in the arts of alchemy and no doubt in possession of the Elixer Vitae). This tale is somewhat unique in the storyteller’s tradition in that it refers to prior tales in a dubious manner rather than taking a definite stance, but be that as it may it sheds light on the long held belief that the Of Nordo tale might be the only surviving fragment of a far older cycle of tales (currently referred to as the Homn Cycle).
     The other two tales which I have chosen from the Nodaugh Cycle, The Intrigue Of The Mardots, and The Mardots’ Deceit, are to be found also in the Tzoenyr Cycle in slightly varied form. I chose to use the Nodaugh Cycle versions because they adhere more to the historical nature of the Mardots’ actions as their relate to the Baeoinfaermn Saga.
     It should be noted by students of the storyteller’s tradition that although I have not recounted all of the tales from this and the other Cycles, I have kept the ones I have recounted in their original (in the case Diar-main’s) sequence. It would appear that Diar-main’s purpose in presenting the account of the Mardots’ desire to possess the Book Of Nordo before actually presenting the account on Nordo was to create a more dramatic narrative in the same manner that modern fiction follows. The storytellers of old were not adverse to poetic license, and no doubt would juxtapose their tales in order to heighten the listeners’ attention.
     The Faermn Cycle has often been called “the romantic cycle” because it contains largely visionary tales such as the extensive, Nordo’s Journey To Nakshatru. The Faermn Cycle has been dated to be basically of the same age as the Nodaugh Cycle or at least shortly thereafter. It was first set down in written form in the year 1164 AD, but was well known earlier than that because Diar-main included The Dreams Of Nadirophe in his repertoire.
     The Faermn Cycle contains quite a number of tales regarding the peoples known as the Jinds (which appear in the Nodaugh Cycle in only a passing mention in the Of Nordo tale). It is widely believed that the Faermn Cycle postdates the Nodaugh Cycle because of the fact that it contains so many tales devoted to the Jinds. The Nodaugh Cycle might have originated in its first tellings shortly after the Baeoinfaermn figure would have started on his epic quest ~ at a time when the Lunn would have been isolated from the Jinds. A result of Baeoinfaermn's assistance to the Jinds in the battle between the Jinds and the Mardots might have been the opening up of trade between the Jindsmarn and the North Lands. This would have brought the many Jinds tales into the storyteller's repertoire. Although these tales of the Jinds come to us secondhand by way of the Lunn storytellers, they still tell us much about this race known as the Jinds, and hint at the possibility that this race might have been the ancestral race of the peoples known in the Irish Cycles as the Tuatha De Danann.
     Of the tales of the Faermn Cycle, the most loved by scholars would appear to be Nordo's Journey To Nakshatru. It is of interest because it reveals Nordo's knowledge of the arts and verifies the historical fact that he dabbled quite extensively in alchemy.
     The last of the three cycles, the Tzoenyr Cycle, is mostly comprised of tales of war. A manuscript containing this cycle's tales was discovered in 1239 AD. At that time a number of the tales were in a state of incompletion, and later storytellers tended to add their own endings by combining them with tales culled from other sources. Fortunately for purposes of this volume the tale, Galbradith, which chronicles the epic battle between the Jinds and the Mardots, was intact. For certain of the other tales included herein I have used the versions supplied by the historian Aureccles around the year l280 AD. His versions of tales from the Nodaugh Cycle parallel quite closely those of Diar-main, as it might very well be that his Tzoenyr Cycle tales have come from that source also.
     The tale, Before Galbradith, is noteworthy because it contains an almost direct quote supposedly drawn from the fabled Book Of Nordo. This reference could be taken as an indication that the Book Of Nordo was known to the early storytellers, but told only among themselves and not to the common listeners.
     The basic plot line that makes its way through this collection of tales concerns Baeoinfaermn's quest to retrieve the fabled Book Of Nordo (i.e. the Tales Of The Golden Comet And Sundry Winds Of King Nordo) which had been stolen from him by the Mardots. The alchemist Nordo had, in the course of his alchemical studies, composed a volume of wisdom on the Arts, and it had been passed into the hands of Baeoinfaermn who used it for seemingly good purposes. Greunweiln, king of the Mardots, became obsessed with the desire to possess the Book, and set sail to the North Lands. There he overwhelmed Baeoinfaermn and stole the Book. With the Book in his possession Greunweiln increased the magical powers of his realm, and in the process contributed to the destruction of other realms. The Jindsmarn was one of these realms. Angered at what was happening to his kingdom, Hathuurn, king of the Jinds, declared war upon the Mardots. At the Plains of Galbradith, Baeoinfaermn aligned himself with the Jinds, and they engaged the Mardots in battle. In the end, the Mardots were defeated (although Greunweiln escaped with his own life), and Baeoinfaermn finally regained the Book Of Nordo, which was rightfully his.