Emissaries of Beyond:
Ragnarok 'n' Roll
Written by Bron James
The Ragnarok 'n' Roll - Nine Realms tour was to be the rock concert to end all rock concerts. That is, if it had ever come to pass. Shortly before their grand tour could begin, the Emissaries of Beyond simply vanished without a trace. Recordings of their songs were erased, leaving behind nothing but the sound of crackling static. It was as if the band had never existed at all.
However, on the 35th anniversary of their disappearance, the 13th of August 2023—after a raven had mysteriously found itself trapped inside a recording studio—a lyric sheet appeared upon the feather-covered desk of their former manager.
The lyrics to the Emissaries of Beyond's four-part headline song: Ragnarok 'n' Roll.
When the Great Winter comes and the sky splits in twain,
Man shall turn upon man,
Raging across the land,
Rivers shall run red with blood of brothers and pain.
Gods and monsters shall wage war on the battle plain:
When eternal heroes
Will fight their fated foes;
Felled in battle as their adversaries are slain.
Across the realms of nine, death and chaos shall reign.
A war to end it all,
Even immortals fall.
At the time the fates decree: none shall remain.
It’s the Twilight of Gods.
A war against the odds.
For all, the bell shall toll.
It's RAGNAROK 'N' ROLL!
When Baldr’s light is extinguished by the blinded Hod;
Honoured brother, misguided by the trickster god,
Slays his kin with a mistletoe sprig.
For Baldr's death, the world shall weep as beauty’s faded.
Thus sets in motion the end of times as fated,
And Loki’s chained by bereaved Frigg.
All-Father Odin seeks counsel from Mimir wise,
A way to cheat the end the Norns did prophesise.
That dire fate of all he’d long since known.
Mimir spoke: “There is nothing more that you can do.
But when all is done, this world shall be born anew.
Once ways of old are overthrown.”
“But surely I can still yet this destiny sway,
For I am Odin, and fate’s cruel hand I must stay.”
"Hubris!" with outrage, the Nornir cry.
"Twas in your arrogant bid to destiny wield,
That you guaranteed yours and Asgard's fates were sealed.
At Fenrir's maw you shall surely die."
For in his fear of the grave future he knew loomed,
The All-Father’s efforts had meant that all were doomed.
To know the future is to be bound.
All Odin’s attempts to curb this reality
Only served to secure fate's finality;
Their final days of horror profound.
Was woven long ago.
Foretelling fire and snow.
The end of all we know.
It's RAGNAROK 'N' ROLL!
Harken now, you mortal forms,
For Heimdall sounds the Gjallarhorn.
The fires of war rise in Muspelheim
And Surtr marches on the Gate;
His blade ablaze with burning hate.
Warriors armed for the end of time.
The Naglfar unfurls its sails,
That dreaded ship of bone and nails.
From the depths of Hel the dead now rise.
With wrath does the Serpent writhe.
From the East steers Hrym, shield held high;
And stood upon the helm, Loki guides.
One by one, the stars go dark;
Swallowed in monstrous, howling bark.
Sun, moon and stars; hunted as their prey.
The heavens a blackened void
As light's last gleaming is destroyed;
Wolves Skoll and Hati, their quarry slay.
Yggdrasil trembles as the Earth begins to quake.
Deep beneath the mountains, mighty Fenrir starts to wake,
His eyes ablaze with fury and flame.
Shackled by the All-Father’s deception long ago,
Fenrir’s heart craving vengeance for his life of woe:
His jaws hungering for gods to maim.
Beneath the waters, writhing up from ocean’s floor,
The world-girdling serpent thrashes upon the shore,
Spewing hateful bile across the world.
Oceans surge and flood the earth in Jormungandr’s wake,
Death and devastation wrought by the dreadful snake;
Poisoning earth and sky, venom swirled.
Was woven before the known.
An end wrought in blood and bone;
Its seeds aeons long since sown.
It's RAGNAROK 'N' ROLL!
The gods shall make their final stand
Upon the battlefield’s blood red sand.
On the plains where battle surges,
They will war with the monstrous scourges.
Though they that know none will survive,
Still against evil hordes they strive.
Over the lands the Jotun march,
While across the Bifrost, Muspel charge.
The world engulfed in ice and fire,
A dying realm lost to chaos’s pyre.
Noble warriors clash their swords,
To rest in death: their final reward.
Riding out from Valhalla’s halls,
Valkyries enter the battle squalls.
Angelic cavalry charge ahead,
Locking blades with the risen dead.
The blood of heroes stains the ground,
Victims of fate, they all are bound.
Taking up arms, gods join the fray;
Their age-old rivals to finally slay.
Aesir and Jotun, one by one,
To mortal wounds their lives do succumb.
Giants and monsters, torn asunder
Amidst the storm of blood and thunder.
Mighty Thor, the god of thunder,
Engages the Serpent Jormungandr.
The serpent flails and bares its fangs
While against its scales, Thor’s hammer clangs.
Lightning strikes the decisive blow,
At long last felling Thor’s age-old foe.
Hammer in skull, the serpent dies,
Spewing venom in its final writhes.
Not nine paces from the serpent vile,
Thor soon succumbs to its poisoned bile.
Both bound in fate, now bound in death,
The nemeses share their last breath.
Across the plains, Fenrir races,
Nostrils aflame and eyes in blazes,
Towards Odin’s warriors gallant.
They fight the Wolf in battle valiant,
But soon are engulfed in Fenrir’s maw
Or crushed beneath his blade-like claws.
Spear readied in hand, Odin gears
For his fate as foretold by the seers.
For life and honour he fights the beast,
Only to become Fenrir’s last feast.
Burning with rage, noble Vidar
Fells the Wolf; son avenging father.
Heimdall and Loki meet in battle.
One who sees all; one who deceives all.
The adversaries lock their blades
Until each other’s life blood cascades.
Never having seen eye to eye;
Shared glory watching each other die.
When the last of the gods is slain,
And no last warriors still remain;
When fields of war are soaked blood red
And the Nine Realms fall silent and dead;
All that once was is lost, destroyed,
As creation sinks into the void.
Was woven by Fate's skein.
An end in strife and pain
Writ in gods' hubris name.
It was Ragnarok 'n' Roll.
From cosmic waters the world is rebirthed.
The light of Life and Life Persevering.
The sun's daughter shines on verdant new Earth
As hope for a future starts appearing.
The gods' children shall wash upon the shore
As fresh crops ripen in fields never sown.
The new gods will recount what came before
As their blossoming new world shall be grown.
With memory of the loss of all that's past,
It's time to breathe burgeoning life anew.
A chance to journey along brighter paths,
Away from old ways the world had come to rue.
Life's newborn steps in these bright dawning days,
Guided by reborn Baldr's loving gaze.
Weaves new future's shining songs.
Righting the past's fateful wrongs,
Renewing hope that life belongs.
A rebirth; Ragnarok's goal.