The Poetry of the Realms


Foreword

This booklet is a compilation of the greatest poetry published in The View From Valehaven, as chosen by its publishers. We have put five long years into this, and we're looking forward to many more. This work is dedicated to one of our greatest supporters, who has always encouraged us, even when it felt like everything was going wrong. Her poetry (on pg. 31) was responsible for inspiring the longest standing ovation we have ever seen at a Realms event. For all she has done for us, and for the Realms, this booklet is dedicated to:

 

 

- Anne Livermore-Rookey -



Printed in the September, 1992 View from Valehaven. Winner, Best Fiction, 1992 VFV Awards


Sir Gunnar's Tale


by Stephen Johnson

 

The sun sailed high as my squire and I set out that fateful day.
Wild war had come with a Faerie drum and mortal men to slay.
I Sir Gunnar had been trav'ling far from Cors'ca to Darkvale.
The road was long but my squire was strong, our spirits could not fail.
Fair Myriel, over hill and dell, kept up without a word.
Fey armies dire passed through gates of fire, faster than flight of bird.
We reached Darkvale, where maids did wail, for ill the future bode.
Cap D'eracy met us hastily and bade us guard Squire's Road.
Deployments made, at our post we stayed and kept a watchful eye.
Yet an omen, spied by our bowman, a black bird, perched on high.
Like in a tomb it proclaimed our doom, this fey fire-eyed raven,
Then came a cry, twas the clan Curaigh, calling for Fairhaven.
So with stag's speed we flew to their need. Myriel bore my shield.
We came in time and through mud and grime we helped Shane clear the field.
My pole-axe red from Cu-Gahbleane dead, I left a bloody wake.
Those that feared me fought Myriel, she showed them their dire mistake.
But one quite tall was immune to all attacks of mortal men.
He said one word, the dead Faerie heard, and rose to live again.
The battle, done, had again begun, by Faerie Prince's will.
The Chim'ron Queen, when 'Cheater' she'd seen said "Bob this Fey did kill!"
My rage did fire - when I was a squire Bob was my liege and knight -
My ire did spur to confront the cur without an ounce of fright.
I clean forgot my pole-axe could not send him to burial mound.
The axe of fame, Troll-Biter by name, was nowhere to be found.
Yet still I stayed and dulled my blade on Cheater of Fate's hide.
Tears in my eyes, he I so despised, yet could not turn the tide.
Our pole arms clashed till he cut a gash clean through my tired left thigh.
In pain, struck down, I still held my ground, but feared my end was nigh.
On the instant my leg, badly rent, spilled blood upon the ground,
My squire was there, as out of thin air, defying all around.
Fair Myriel with commanding yell bade Faerie not encroach.
Steel in her voice showed the foolish choice would be to dare approach.
Still facing toward my squire's upraised sword, the Prince slowly withdrew.
Shaking his head, he healed all his dead with magic tried and true.
The Cheater said, "You could all be dead, but let history say,
Curaigh shieldmen, Chim'ron, Fairhaven, truly earned this road today."


Printed in the December, 1992 View from Valehaven.


Untitled


by Nana Prom

I dream of you
And the things we do

And am saddened by
Reality's constraint

Each passing day
The void grows strong
The more I yearn
The more I fail

Thus when I sleep,
My heart is hollow,
My mind is full

Images of you and I
I sleep and dream
And damn my dreams
Reality or fantasy


Printed in the January, 1993 View from Valehaven. Winner - Best Fiction 1994 VFV Awards


Untitled


by Paul Fournier

I sat there resting,
watching the cat sleeping,
its tail twitching,
flicking in fitful sleep.

What bothers you, cat?
I pondered the thought.
And the cat started awake,
wide-eyed and shaken,
and he looked at me and smiled,
and relaxed,
and he looked happy.
But the cat was still troubled,
and no one could tell.

The cat sleeps again.
The tail no longer twitches,
and the cat will no longer awaken
wide eyed and shaken.
And the cat may be happy,
peacefully resting,
though no one else is.

How I wish I could see
his tail twitching
just one last time.

- Decion


Printed in the January, 1993 View from Valehaven


Twas the Night Before Christmas in Mirkshaw


by Terry Armstrong

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the keep.
Not a sound was to be heard, not a grunt, scratch or peep.
The Battlements were set before the earth's red glare
In anticipation of the Battle that would soon surge there.
The watch was set to the north, east and west
All the grounds were armed to the teeth, as I'm sure you've guessed
Me in my hauberk, and my men in their caps,
Had just settled down for a short game of craps.
When from the southern tower we heard a pitter patter,
It was the sound of heavy boots, and a sleigh beast's clatter.
Down through the chimmney he came, laden with toys,
But not for the likes of Mirkshaw girls and boys!
We rose from the bunker, weapons in hand,
We had him now, Santa's last stand!
He hurled his toys this way and I jumped that,
It flattened poor Orphy with a sickening splat.
He drew forth a blade and bellowed his dirge,
'The naughtiest of all I'm here to purge!'
I faced this man and screeched across the room
'Face me first and meet your doom!'
At that we charged across the hall,
Blades flashing in the eerie phall,
We fell and gained and gained and fell
New lessons in pain we taught and learned well,
We fought for an hour with no sign of pause,
There's something to fighting three hundred pounds of Santa Claus.
Finally an opening itself had made,
Just the right size for my whizzing blade.
I parried and slashed and howled with glee,
My cut had severed Santa at the knee,
He wobbled then toppled and fell with a bump,
Trying to staunch the gushing, bloodied stump.
My people roared, the violence they condoned,
'Let's move in for the kill, Santa's proned!'
We severed his head and removed his feet.
We flayed the bones of all their meat.
Celebrations galore we had that day.
I had my thugs secrete the remains away.
Now once a year my hounds do gnaw
On the bones of the last invader to the Fortress in Mirkshaw.

- Kugen


Printed in the June, 1993 View from Valehaven. Winner, Best Poetry 1993


"Sonnet of a Lone Wolf"


In memory of Nana Chom Prom / Dirk

Aaron P. Ravenberg / Sinjin Darkblade

Silhouetted by the full Arctic moon,
A black wolf takes in a view of the vale,
The hunt beckons him, for he must eat soon,
So his dark eyes search the snow for a meal.

Light glints in his eyes as he finds his prey,
And howls a howl that shows his lust.
The pale moonlight shines to help guide the way,
Fast to the chase, succeed, he knew, he must.

The battle is on, fang bares and flesh tears.
But it is the hunter who falls prey this day.
When his pack reaches him, his warmth is no more.
Until the light comes to them, they will bay
If the lone wolf had just slowed to look back,
To see just a stride away, the whole pack..


Printed in the August, 1993 View from Valehaven.


Untitled


by Shannon Slate

The Prince was in his counting house,
counting out his wealth,
Aloft in his high tower, alone and by himself.
The Prince was poised in the groaning chair
There was no one here to meet his stare.
Cutting through the awesome gloom,
the glow from a candle filled the room.
From floor to wall all were bare,
Barren, bar an empty chair.
From his window the Prince could not see
A man, or beast or even tree.
The villagers would not venture near
The Prince's wrath, they oft' did fear.

His wealth was neither jewels nor gold;
The things he valued, you could not hold.
The many things that he held dear
A kind word, a happy tear,
A hardy smile, a friendly cheer.
These things did carry him throughout the year
The dearest thing, he held close to his heart,
The sparkle in the eyes, of the love he sought;

He found it brighter than any sun
The bride he'd chose, there could be only one.
That special glow could part the gloom,
If by chance he could be her groom
As the rising sun cuts through the night
His loved one's eyes said "All is right"
Her eyes shone bright, and did free him from doom,
When she said "Yes," he could be her groom.

Life was easy, and full of cheer;
Then something happened, that the Prince did fear.
He saw her eyes and they spoke true;
Of pain, and fear. What was he to do?
To see her eyes that once burned bright
Pushing him away into the night.

His naked soul so freshly bared;
He turned his back to all who cared
His bond to his land he did shun
His personal battles, he had not yet won
Shame and disgrace was all he felt,
In no way deserving of a white belt.
His heart was heavy, and sad from loss
Looking to make sense of all the chaos.

He looked to the land for the friends he had left
But something was missing Love was bereft.
The eyes of the people were sad indeed,
They seemed to be crying out, "Let us be freed."

No price too large, to help those in need
A deal was struck, for a chance to succeed.
With sword in hand, a deal was struck
With the Lord of Darkness, of all the luck.
He could have his chance to see the lands freed,
But first he'd have to do an awful deed.

Let the cry go forth throughout the land
The judgement day is soon at hand!
Arm thy self well, and fill your hearts true
For the fight for life is about to come due.
Gather your armies, be sure they fight well,
For the creature you'll face, is Prince Robert from Hell
So the Dogs of War come stand by his side.
The fight that follows will be one hell of a ride.
He's selling his soul, for a chance to do right,
But first, he must be destroyed in a war, or fight.

Destroying hell spawn is no easy feat
There is NO back door, NO way to cheat.
To harm a hell spawn, these things have great cost,
You must find what filled the heart, of the man now lost.
Find the true loves, of the man, not the ghost,
and show them to him, and then surely you'll boast.
"The Hell Spawn is dead, destroyed, and slain!
And I hope we need not do this again"

I know the Prince could not always see,
For you see the Prince is none other than me.
I know all these things to be true,
For sending this letter, was the least I could do.

I waited for a savior to come to my aid,
But none would come, unless they got paid.
My soul is sold, the deal is now done.
Now the lands may take back its forgotten son.

I send this letter from the beyond,
Truly yours, Prince Robert the Second.


Printed in the December, 1993 View From Valehaven.


Untitled


by Jill Junkala

I Remember when...
the fairies would sing to us.

We...
fought together,
drank together,
sang together,
laughed together,
and the imps were kind to us the next morning.

We...
guarded each other,
spoke with the magical beings we encountered,
waited,
watched,
and learned

Those who were wise found truth.
Those who were just found reward.
Those who were kind found peace.
Those who were patient found understanding.

Mind,
Body,
Spirit,

- Dame Gil
Knight of Fairhaven


Printed in the December, 1993 View from Valehaven.


Queen's Lament


by Amy S. Bissett

 

When the moon is full
I think of the way his face looked
on the night he went off to battle.

Sword strapped to his back,
armor shining,
while his horse's breath
made crystal clouds of smoke in the air.

I stood by his side,
to show him that I would always be by his side,
whether we were touching or not.
Whether I could see him or not.

I wanted to tell him that I would always think of him,
always love him,
as the shadows moved around us
and men called to each other in the growing dim,
direction and fear in their voices.

He reached out a gloved hand to touch my cheek
I felt my heart crack in two.
I knew, even then, that I would be seeing him next
cold and lifeless on a field strewn with bodies.

He was my Liege
I needed to protect him,
and all I could do was wish him well
and watch him ride away.

But every time the moon is full,
I think of his face,
and that one last touch on my cheek
And I pray that there is a God.


Printed in the December, 1993 View from Valehaven


Blood Money

by Kaitlyn of Shadowhawk

 

Crimson blood dyed the earth red,
And covered the emerald blades of grass
As the golden hair noble died.
His ebony stallion long gone,
With the vile rogues who stole his gold.
The scurvy knaves did take his life,
The only jewel he had left.
For they could not take his sapphire eyes,
Nor his ruby lips,
Nor the spun gold that was his mane.
They took his gems and monies,
And all his ornaments,
Rings and brooch and pendant.
And then they took his cloak of silk.
But they left his clothes upon him,
For the style was not their own,
(Nor would the fit stay true).
Then they removed his sword,
And leering, stuck it in his breast.
They cleaned the blade with his blouse,
And laughing, took that too.
Lastly, they ran off with his horse,
His only friend and companion.
And as he lay there dying,
One of them yelled to him with a smile.
You shouldn't travel alone my friend
For these are troubled times.


Printed in the June, 1994 View from Valehaven


The Death of Good Queen Meg


by Parthenope the Scribe

 

The day it dawned a brilliant blue
and flowers wreathed the glen
The carnival had come to town
and beckoned people in.

On, none could know that evil lurked
beneath the banners gay,
for Meg the Fair, the Chimeron Queen
would not survive this day.

Our Queen had come to talk of peace
with the King of all Verai
but he had come with hired troops
and murder on his mind.

"Meg, stand forth, you blasted wench!"
he said with scornful pride.
Our Queen stood forth and spread her hands,
no weapon at her side.

"My Lord, I've come to bring you peace
for both our troubled lands.
What means you by your haughty words?
You're hard to understand."

"I will not speak to you, who is
no better than a whore!
You may have come to bring me peace
but I will bring you war!

A cry went up! The hired troops
did sweep into her men.
And down went Shane, and down went Ook,
blood flowing through the glen.

Sir Meg, she asked for honorable death
from one who was a knight.
He laughed and stabbed her in the heart,
a thrust with all his might.

And woe, our Queen did stagger back
blood flowing from her chest,
and gently did she close her eyes,
and gently did she rest.

The gathered people wept in shock
and pleaded for her life,
but the King, the King, that honorless dog,
drew forth his carving knife.

He grabbed her hair and pulled it back
and scalped her to the bone.
Full three minutes, maybe more,
and Chimeron had no throne.

The sky it turned a dreadful dark,
the wind whipped through the glen,
The elements cried out in grief,
for fair Queen Meg is dead!

What honor is there left within
this world gone dark as death?
The honor of the men who'll fight
for her with their last breath.


Printed in the March, 1995 View from Valehaven


Attack of the Northern Barbarians


or "Staving off the Horde" by Decion of Folkestone

 

The battlefield and I become
Like one, me and my mighty sword;
I beckon yonder foe to come
To witness his own blood outpoured.

He runs at me, hammer held high
And my sword digs from his shoulder to spleen
His mouth agape in a gurgling sigh
My blade is soiled, no longer clean.

Bloodlust rages in my veins
As men meet men in battle rage
Folkestone fights one as the same
Impatient beast freed from the cage

Dismembered limbs and cleaven skull
Bespeckle the blood-soaked field
Adrenaline frenzy and quiet lull
A dance of death the two do yield.

Even as the sun begins to drop
The humming steel sings sweet a song
My eyes, they sting and never stop
As sweat and blood pour right along.

Continued pounding in my heart
And still the song of steel rings true
I focus magic, I do my part
I staunch the bleeding, I heal my crew.

At longest last a cheer goes up
The heathen foe turns tail and flee
As darkness falls, the combat's stopped
Words of thanks are made to me.

The walk is made back to the camp
A dreadful battle taken its true course
Our bodies ache, our hair is damp
Another day up in the North.


Printed in the July, 1995 View from Valehaven


Untitled


by Angela Butler

 

Germocker the goblyn king
Born of Fate, born of queen
Brought to life in the land of Fey
Born to rule the goblyn race
From this world his soul can none bind.
Save with handsome steel baned to king's kind
Adorned with bone of one who can't be slain
One might succeed to drive him from this plane.
But if this deed shall be done
Mortal realms all beware.
Vengeance is decreed at the death of great Fate's son
And then his children, Fey princes all
Shall let loose from their lair
To walk among the mighty men
And leave trails of bodies where they tread.
An evil mage of ancient lines
Shall take the lands and call them thine.
His enemies, though legions, fall
For at his side stands Fate quite tall
And those who dug Germocker's grave
Of their lives shall be depraved.
Knights shall eat their own honor
As has happened once before
And all the realms shall deeply suffer
For the heroes that killed the great Germocker.

- Fynne Gillee Kiden


Printed in the July, 1995 View from Valehaven


"Ode to Lady Anne"


by Steve Matulewicz

 

The travel long in darkened wood
A blue-green mist enshrouds.
I would not stop, if I could,
to find slumber a'ground.

For far away my Lady waits,
the fair and virtuous Anne,
and I will push my steed until the gates
of Blackavar I stand.

Her Champion I am, the defender
of purity with a ready blade,
and narry a one will threaten her
while I fight upon this stage.

To her betrothed I am brother;
for she is as a crystal tree
we protect her, side by side for her;
beautious, kind and free.

And as I ride, I think of her
and tighten my stirrup's grasp
for fighting I must for honor
and protect her to the last.

- Sir Pyr, Knight Commander of Eagle's Rook


Printed in the August, 1995 View from Valehaven


"In The Mists of the Fay"


by Steve Matulewicz

 

As the gods weeped through the trees of Darkvale
We stopped our quest, our feet immersed in grime,
our bodies tired of traversing the granite and shale
and for Queen Meg's fate, we had run out of time.

Sir Myriel, Gonf, Andari and I spoke in weary tones
That the day, being poor and confusing to us,
not knowing to trust the Fay or the Demon's groans
to free the Queen from the Staff of Earth, seemed useless.

I had come to seek the Queen's hand, my secret love
for her I had hidden 'til I proved myself worthy,
but I had her life, nay the Realms, to think of.
As the sun touched the western earth, I began to worry.

Sir Myriel was on another quest, one to answer
questions of her past, which I cannot speak,
but Sir Gunnar of the Fay had been there for her
Our quests had twined and had left us all weak.

We had been charmed and killed and left for dead
but had risen to more query and strife.
And as we sat we heard that the Demons fled
with the Wayland Sword, and Cinnabar's life.

We knew not to act, for trust could not be placed
on any side, but one thing became clear;
that the Wayland must in human hands be placed
else the balance of power fail and we lose all that is dear.

So we gathered our weapons to the sound of a bell;
the Fay had called for Oberon to appear
for they feared the Wayland be brought back to Hell
and the Fay would for all time disappear.

We quickly advanced beyond the Court of the Fay
so as to reach before them the demon horde
For we knew if Oberon would enter the fray,
the Realms would lose, in some way, the Wayland Sword.

We saw two Demon Princes against a tree,
engaged in talk with Cap and Ironhand.
Sir Myriel the Valiant advanced to attempt to free
The Wayland and keep it in this land.

Her discourse was long and while they spoke
Cap, Ironhand and I closed around
to make escape impossible for the Demon-folk,
and then in the distance could be heard a sound...

The Fay! They advanced with ethereal speed
And the Demons knew their time had come,
and with the power of a fiery steed
the one with the Wayland turned to run.

Cap and I closed, but were too slow,
Ironhand and Sir Myriel engaged the other with sword and shield.
I ran like lightning through shrub, leaf and bough
and saw a Hell Gate open... and Cap forced the Demon to yield.

I found my squire Gonf and follower Andari beside
And together we engaged, all help far behind.
Thebattle was hard; Cap in a brave attempt began to slide
to the right, but had his arms cleaved by the evil fiend.
We pressed the Demon, so Cap could not taste
a mortal wound. At last the magic poleax I held
cut through and sent it to its damned fate
And my grip eased and I watched the creature fell...

But only a moment as the creature screamed "FINAL WORD!"
We scattered so as not to catch its wrath
all at once. I pressed as Andari fell to its sword
and it cut my squire in his arm, through his fallen sash.

It turned to me, and in vain I parried its fierce attack.
I lost my arm, but held it off as time ran out
And as it died, it breacjed my armor, my body fell slack
The next I knew Kilteer had brought me about.

But all was not done; with the dead we ran
past the Fay, to reach the tavern in Darkvale
for we knew only back on Realms' land
could we bring light as the day paled.

My squire, Sir Myriel, and I brought about the right;
Kilteer and Blak's scalps were returned to them,
their unwilling service to Demons ending with our fight
and all damage done to the Fay were to mend.

Perhaps we were unable to release the Queen,
but that quest will continue another day.
But Eagle's Rook will happily, for now, sleep
knowing the Realms safe from the Demons and the Fay.


Printed in the September, 1995 View from Valehaven


Untitled


By Angela Butler

 

So Callin had learned the secret of the Cauldron
And sacrificed himself as the living person.
And although we've seen the undead raised
And although we succeeded a narrow escape
I fear that perhaps the Lord is not gone
And that perhaps quite soon, he may want return.
And if this so happens and he's not really dead
I give you some lessons to keep in your head.
When the evil Lord falls
Another shadow stands tall
At the center of his passing
Though with not so much aging.
Remember the teachings you were taught as young fellows
The light of one candle creates two dark shadows.
One shadow at the boundaries of white light's glow
The second at the base of where bright flames flow.
And if you are successful in the slaying of the Lord
Seek the one who conjures elemental force
And learn from him the nature of the Beast of Fey
For it shall come to claim its vengeance when it learns of this day.


Printed in the September, 1995 View from Valehaven


"The Battle of Rhiassa"


by Branwyn, Bard-in-Training

 

Hear you tales of bright honor
In the face of utmost despair;
These are the actions of heroes
at the Battle of Rhiassa.

Meg Quickfists led the troops
Against the Infernal Hounds.
Sylvanos the Green healed her limbs
Under the nose of the Daemon Knight.
Perron the Giant, with well placed arrow,
shot the Dogs of War, to no avail.
The Men of Rhiassa, eyes filled with terror,
defended the tavern from the Infernal legions.
Healer Lady Dee stood inside her circle
Healing wounds as fast as they were dealt.
Cassia Skyshocker put down her spoon
and defended the circle of healing.
Lyr the Healer, stole the weapon
belonging to the Daemon Knight.
Jianna Highrider, alone and unaided,
Searched for the weapons the Daemon had stolen.
Malchor the Seer, with the favor of Oberon,
Cast fortunes to find how to slay the beasts.
Ether Bravemage sold his soul
to free Peregrine from the Gatekeeper's curse.
Peregrine the Warrior slew Hell's Champion
in combat, one on one.
Pyr Thalax lost his scalp
to the scything blades of the Dogs of War.
Judis and Peter, men from the coast
scattered like leaves in the wind.
Carmen Barechest cried in horror
as Meg was claimed by the Daemon Knight.

Fear the sick chill in your hearts
For despite the bright deeds of our men,
Hades has beaten their spirits
And has put into danger all our souls.


Printed in the December, 1995 View from Valehaven


"The Arrival of Rhohe of the North"


by Steve Matulewicz

 

Crimson was the back of the cold wind;
an imprint in the raging snow about her,
clutching her like a frosted mother, refusing
to give up her child to the Southlands.

Stealing breath from the scream about her
she gazed upon the inviting plains and hills,
afraid, but driven by the tingling fascination
of the world of danger she craved.

She shivered in her tunic, nothing more
than rags left by the snowed-in roads,
She carried no weapon but her mind
which sent a few to their end by her hunger.

Ice gave way to flowers and green
In Creathorne she entered, and saw
the future, a world of steel and magic
that placed a glow in her youthful eyes.

The fighters turned and leered at the new one,
some in contempt, or in jest. Most in lustful eye
for she was beautiful, though she knew it not.
Her sight was fixed on the fight and her teacher.

Lars stood locked in combat severe.
As he lashed his enemy from this realm,
she stood before him and with delight
she spoke to him, "Teach me."

In the span of summer, a sun's turn,
she had learned to crimson her steel
and her heart burned blue flame. The men
stopped leering, as her blade cleaved skull.

She is Rhohe, a woman like no other,
and will rare come again in this time.
On her day of birth, we remember,
and thank the Maker she is within our lives.

- Lord Sir Pyr Thalax


Unpublished 1995. Winner Best Poetry/Song 1995


"Dead and Drunk at the Bar and Wench"


by Kathy Journeay & Lady Anne

 

I came upon a dying man with goblins all around him,
So deep within the forest dark and dim is where I found him.
I offered him a drink of wine to wash away the red-O,
He asked for beer, he clutched my hand, and this is what he said-O.

When I die, don't bury me under yonder greenwood tree,
When I lay me down to rest, lay me where the drinks are best.
With a boon to Lady Dee, I know where I'd rather be,
Propped upon my favorite bench, dead and drunk at the Bar & Wench.

The Fairly king, he once stopped by to raise a glass of beer-O,
But when he reached the tavern door, he could not get quite near-O,
For Lady Dee had hung a fairy stone up in the rafters,
The only thing the king got served was pints of human laughter.

When I die, don't bury me...

Up above the Bar & Wench our Cassa runs a brothel,
On Friday nights the sounds she makes are really rather awful.
But you won't hear our Dee complain about the grunts and groanin',
For every "head" that Cassa serves, our Dee picks up a Rowan.

When I die, don't bury me...

They say the Drow are rather fond of mead and like to drink a barrel.
The goblins drink the cheapest ale and love to sing and carol,
But you won't find that kind in here, 'cause Lady Dee won't stand it,
A scurvy bunch of drunken knights, but nary a fairly bandit.

When I die, don't bury me...

To house the dead, the Queen will build a marble mausoleum,
And Lady Dee will charge a Wench so you can go and see 'em.
But you won't find my bones in there, unless someone can tell her
To build her stone monstrosity beneath the tavern cellar.

When I die, don't bury me...


Printed in the March, 1997 View From Valehaven


"The Ballad of Sir Pyr Thalax"


by Lady Anne

 

The Summerlands are rich indeed,
Though I, alas, am poorer still.
Three thousand feet of earth and stone
Entomb my knight beneath the goblin hills.

It was a fine day, and a fair day,
Snow banked white upon the land.
Beneath the peace of the wintry world
Terror lay under the frozen ground.

The earth had rent in a gaping maw
That threw forth monsters by the score.
Courage was needed to stem that flow
And find what lay beyond the cavern door

Fell Folkestone, brave Bancroft, Chimeron true,
Fighters and healers, alike did seek
(The flower of the known Realms!)
Adventure in that fearful deep.

Sir Pyr, as wise as his heart was true,
Knew that all men must one day die.
He drew off his gauntlets of white and blue
And gave them to Gonvf, his faithful squire.

Then forth they marched, that fair brave band.
The cavern whispered with unknown sound
And ominous rumble of falling rock.
They left the light of day behind.

Into the earth's dark beating heart
Where mushrooms shine with an evil glow,
And the siren song of an ancient blade
Drew them deep to the earth below.

Then near at hand, the awful sound
Of a goblin city, fast asleep;
Careful, cautious crept that band
Silent tread in the story deep.

But goblins hear, and goblins smell,
And goblins see in the dead of night;
Their sentries snarled and screamed and groaned
And the goblin city roused to fight.

The battle raged on a narrow bridge
That spanned a stretch of deadly ground;
Swords slashed and arrows hailed,
But the goblin archers pinned them down.

The fighters fell by rank and score,
At last withdrew to a grotto deep
Where Tetch awoke them with a word
From the endless night of fighters' sleep.

Determined now, with fey intent
The fighters pressed their charge anew,
Hewed down ranks of the goblin horde,
Their blades were sharp and their aim was true.

Across the bridge, to the farther shore
The fighters raged like a roaring tide;
The goblins screamed as their ranks were swept
Like chaff in the wind to the other side.

Few still stood at that battle's end,
Sir Pyr; beside him, his faithful squire;
McKrye, and Carmen, but others few
Surveyed that scene of carnage dire.

Hurried now, in the quiet gloom
Their fellows' lives they thought to save;
They must be brought to the healers' care
Or meet their end in that stony grave.

Under the guardian's watchful eye
Through the portal door they put the dead
But they heard in the distant dark the sound
Of the goblin army's dreadful tread.

The quiet eye of the storm was past,
Once more the goblins sallied forth;
Above the goblins' cries they heard
A rumble of discontented earth.

Their fellows' lives they fought to save
But goblins overwhelmed their band;
The span of bridge between them stood,
On opposite shores they made their stand.

Carmen, Pyr, and Gonvf stood fast
Shoulder to shoulder against the strife.
Alone, cut off on the other side,
Desperate, McKrye fought for his life.

Then suddenly, Pyr broke the line,
Deadly flashed his ancient blade;
Fought his way across the bridge
And reached the other side unscathed.

Help came too little and too late,
Though Pyr did all his great heart could.
Snarling, slashing and unbowed,
McKrye was struck down where he stood.

And, without friend or hope or help,
Pyr was felled on the dark cold ground.
Too many the foe, too hard the fight;
Blow by blow, they cut him down.

In grief and horror, Gonvf cried out,
"My knight!" Alas, Pyr could not hear.
His bed was earth, his cloak was dust,
And stony was his funeral bier.

Gonvf and Carmen stood the last,
Back to back 'gainst the dreadful foe;
But futile was the final fight,
And finally, Carmen was laid low.

Death stared Gonvf full in the face,
But the rockslide roar his heartbeat drowned.
One last look, then through the portal leapt
As the cavern walls came crashing down.

The Summerlands are rich indeed,
Though I, alas, am poorer still.
Three thousand feet of earth and stone
Entomb my knight beneath the goblin hills.


And last but not least...


The "Kissing Bandit" Limericks


by ???

 

Lady Dee of the Chimeron Spoon
Met the Bandit beneath a full moon.
They found her a-glowing,
With underthings showing,
A-whistling a whimsical tune.

There once was a Princess named Vrille
Who was constantly seeking a trill
To a thief lost a kiss,
And would say only this,
"Twas nearly as good as Coville."

Lady Cassa of Chimeron's advice
To the girls was, "Don't lower your price,
But if your charms ample
A bandit should sample,
Don't charge if you squeal more than twice."

Lady Anne, oft thought quiet and meek
Cooked a soup made of walnut and leek
For a bandit entranced -
And then after she'd danced
They vanished for over a week!

Valkyrie was pure as the snow,
So she claimed - but a few of us know
When a thief came, anon,
Looking for Chimeron,
She directed him there - blow by blow.

Mighty Morgan, a Knight of the Flame
Of a bandit found cause to exclaim
That his chains and his whips
Simply made her do flips,
And that next to him Kugen seemed tame.

Much Chased Myriel of the Eclipse
To Fairhaven often made trips,
But not for her squiring -
A bandit's inspiring
A new-found obsession with whips.

Slender Treeve and a masked man, well-built,
Were found gyrating under a quilt.
She made sly comment
That this spry rougish gent
Could strip faster than Shane lifts his kilt!

Stout young Kaitlin - Yes Randall, it's true,
Met a bandit when morning was new.
And her Lord could not learn
Why she did not return
'Til long after the hour was blue!

There once was a pot-bellied Knight
Dead so long he forgot how to fight
So he dug up his mask
And he set to the task
Of questing for kisses each night!


Return to Foreword