The Lolers are enigmatic. We know very little about them. So where they came from, how they came, whether they moved on, and whether they mixed with local tribes, are all questions that are open to speculation.
Following the Ice Age at the beginning of the Atlantic Period, Earth’s oceans rose by 30 meters because of the melting ice. Today we know that the legend of the great Flood came about 7,500 years ago when the sea broke through the isthmus of Bosporus and flooded the first great farming cultures around the Black Sea. Previously, this had been a huge lake some 170 meters below sea level.
Here in southern Scandinavia, the sea frequently rose by more than 2 meters over 100 years. It is a scenario that is starting to happen again, though hopefully to a lesser degree; this time it is associated with climate change caused by man.
Did the Lolers migrate from the coasts of the Black Sea? Did they arrive as early as 5,500 BC, and did they move on 1,000 years later to continue erecting their great stone monuments in Brittany, England and Ireland? Or was it others, perhaps related peoples?
The ice deposited many large stones several places in Lolland, e.g. at Skejten on the Fuglsang Estate. These stones were scattered over open areas, easily accessible and waiting to be used when the Lolers came to share their culture.
Regardless of when they arrived, the Lolers found 12 huge stones for the LOLER RING, their monument to twelve ancestors, the chiefs and shamans, or just outstanding personalities who sang well.
The 12 monoliths were erected in a perfect circle with a diameter of just over 12 Lolish favns (about 30 meters). Just like the ancestors, these stone figures were all different, revealing the characteristics of each one’s facial features. The Lolers were a vigorous people. Both men and women were often tall and slim, and it was not unusual for the Lolers to be over 2 meters tall.
The stone figures of the LOLER RING were about 3 Lolish favns high (about 7 meters) and the space in between each was roughly the same. They all faced into the centre of the ring, as if they were gathered for deliberations, council or song. It is said that they frequently sang together, often quietly and murmuring, but also more resounding, and that on special occasions they sang a beautiful and luring song that wafted across the countryside. This song both enchanted and frightened the local tribes who were not used to such sounds.
It is said that at midsummer, the song was particularly powerful and that a few brave locals ventured closer on midsummer night. They told stories of women floating in the air and dancing in and out of the stone ring while they sang with the men and even with the stone figures.
There are fewer tales of the long night at midwinter, but it is said that the Lolers’ song at midwinter was so powerful that it made the DODECALITH, a twelve sided glowing stone, levitate briefly above the ground in the middle of the stone ring. The DODECALTH illuminated the faces of the ancestors and gave them power for yet another year’s deliberations, meditation and song.
Farming was gradually introduced all over the area, so the Lolers achieved part of their wish to improve culture here. We do not know whether they remained or whether they gave up waiting for more of their kin to arrive. They probably moved on to Brittany, England and Ireland, and possibly returned during the Bronze Age to continue influencing culture in Lolland. The island itself and the countries around it gradually came to be known as a land, Lolland, long before there was a country called Denmark.
As to the great monoliths with portraits of the ancestors; whether they were moved or pushed over in order to be re-used in the stone barrows of the local tribes is not known with certainty. But well into the Middle Ages when it had almost been forgotten why the country was called Lolland, legends were told of the great singing stone ring and the DODECALITH.
Some believed that the monument must have been the twelve apostles who guarded the Holy Grail, explaining why the stone figures had sung so beautifully. Others were more sceptic about everything that came from abroad and believed that it was all about devilry and that the stone figures had sunk into the ground in shame when Christ was born. To this, the most pious replied that the prayers and song of the apostles had made the DODECALITH rise high over Earth to be seen as a star over Bethlehem. A beautiful story, but maybe not...
However, the choral singing must have left permanent traces across the countryside, for the birds continued the tradition so well that one of the main estates built later on was called Birdsong (Fuglsang), which became the local centre of music, and still is today.
During the years around 2,000 AD, some of the Lolers’ heirs returned to the island of Lolland where they found local descendants of the Lolers. This gave them all great joy.
They organized themselves in small groups and worked to re-establish the old traditions of music and art, as well as the LOLER RING, the singing monument of twelve ancestors in stone, which was now named THE DODECALITH.
A new museum of art was built next to the old manor house Fuglsang, the home of music. For a long time the Lolers’ heirs tried in vain to find traces of the singing stone ring, which they believed originally lay in the area of old central Lolland.
Had there been animosity amongst the locals? Or had the LOLER RING gradually sunk into what is now the broadening of Guldborg Sound when the land sank and separated Lolland and Falster, the old East Lolland? Or had the old Lolers managed to save the stone figures by moving them up to dry land, either nearby or perhaps further away?
Had THE DODECALITH never really been located there, but in a spot less susceptible to flooding?
Did the old Lolers really push and pull the huge stone figures of their ancestors to a safer and more hospitable location and rebuild THE DODECALITH on the hilly northern coast? On a spot surrounded by eleven barrows and overlooking the sea of islands and sunrise at midsummer?
There were many questions to which answers had to be found.
Two followers of the Lolers continued to search for the place where the twelve singing monoliths, THE DODECALITH, could be reconstructed and they committed themselves to this, their chosen obligation.
They started a brotherhood, THE LOLER RING, and around this nucleus they gathered interested and competent helpers in an organization called THE LOLER GROUP.
Those who were dedicated hoped that THE DODECALITH / THE GRAIL would reveal itself again and levitate, glowing above the ground one midwinter night or at midsummer, while choral song ascended towards heaven. But this could only happen when all twelve stone figures were erected in the right place and had received enough energy to sing together.
The stonemason, Brother Thomnir, pledged to find, carve and erect the huge stones of THE DODECALITH, a work of art that would take him at least twelve years to create.
And I, bard and choirmaster Brother Gunhirdur, dedicated myself to re-create the original story, music and songs, so the countryside and the people of Lolland once again could relish the joys of enchantment.
Lolland, the ninth day of the ninth month of the ninth year, two thousand years AD.
Brother Gunhirdur the Younger