November 27, 2005

The Balad of the Hammer

Onwards they marched to the temple,
None knew how it would end.
What do you judge more important?
Your Power or your friend?

One was whipped within an inch of his life,
One sought Green Lady’s favour to gain,
One went to help, for no reward of her own,
And one went in The Judge’s name.

From an Inn in fair Eym they departed,
The one they called “The Hokey Mare”
To the woods of the land, so green and so cold,
Seeking their dear Akam there.

And Akam appeared to the faithful,
And dubbed them children of hers,
To life for the lives worth the living,

May all evil get what it deserves.

The Fierce would not wait their pleasure,
But came in swathes of Flame
To claim the man who plays with fire,
For service in her name.

So onwards they marched to the temple,
None knew how it would end.
What do you judge more important,
Your power or your friend?

They crossed the boarder, away from bright Eym,
To Kia, where the beasts hold sway,
And found to their annoyance that five
Hardened Warriors stood in their way.

Who had beheld the turning of friend to beast,
And believed to all this would come,
Their only defence to kill all humans
Before they dissolved into one

Of the vile, infected creatures,
Who are the adventurer’s shame
Those who failed in months gone by
‘Til all men shun their name.

Down fell these hardened warriors,
From confusion from the mage,
And Thrond’s great sweeps and feats of mace,
They turned another page.

So onwards they marched to the temple,
None knew how it would end.
What do you judge more important,
Your power or your friend?

Next, the goblins who live unharmed,
In the country of the plague.
Who mocked the champions their kin had met
Before falling under the blade.

Dispatched forthwith, and up the hill
To a village, grey and bleak,
Where villages wander, shout and curse,
But know not what they seek.

The crazed proles of Kia,
(who know nothing but death and desease)
When they showed that they only ate their kin
Where bought unto their knees.

So then to the steps of the Temple,
None knew how it would end.
What do you judge more important?
Your Power or your friend?

A kindly Priest he guides them in
To the cavernous hall of stone,
And once he learns the secrets of the door,
They learn he is not alone;

Forth spring demons from his pit
(for he himself is one)
And again they fight, and again they win!
But the test is barely begun;

Before them a door and a riddle;

Behind this door lies an object of power
Imbued by one of my faces,
Which one?

And now they must touch the symbols;

The heart?The flame? The sythe or golden corn?
The tree?Hourglass, lion or lamb?
Or fish?

To open the door and retrieve it.

Such pain for and incorrect answer!
And oh, how many they make!
For in Siran’s eyes, the Judge resides over death,
The Grim Reaper shows the path to take.

Touch it, Thrond! You shall enter the sanctum,
And see the treasure within!
But first, wraiths bearing questions-
Your test is about to begin.

Further into the temple,
None knew how it would end.
What do you judge more important?
Your Power or your friend?

Say the wraiths;
“Can any mortal wield this hammer of almighty power?”
The answer gives he “none”.
Say they “you are not alone who would take it away”
Says he “I believe I am the one.

“Though I cannot yet say I am worthy,
It is I who serve the Judge
And I who shall purify this land,
Drag it out of the Beastly sludge.”

“Then prove yourself!” the wraiths declared,
and sent forth warriors of stone,
‘Til Luthien, Dengra, Sparky and Thrond
Had shattered every one.

So the wraiths of light and dark stepped forth,
Saying “prove yourself on us!”
And when they were dispatched to the nether world,
Th Judge spoke to Thrond thus;

“You have slain my guardians,
My faithful this many years,
Who gave their souls to my weapon,
As their faith had banished their fears.

So now, Thrond, you must replace them,
Either with the soul of your own,
Or another which you deem worthy,
With which greater power be grown.”

And so Thrond stepped out of the Temple,
None knew how it would end.
What do you judge more important?
Your Power or your friend?

He looked at sweet Lady Luthien,
And Sparky the Fire Mage,
But on Akam’s chosen, Dengra,
He turned his furious rage.

Dengra raised his blade in confusion,
As he was driven back over the field,
But against the might of the Judge’s own Hammer,
He had no choice but to weild.

Thrond called the soul into themighty blunt,
As the blood seeped into his robes,
All white paint became crimson,
And power in carnage it grows.

When reached by Sparky and Lutien,
They beheld a tragic scene,
Scarlet and black their companion,
Beneath, red painted what was once green.

At first, Luthien sought out vengeance,
Shouted Thrond “Dare you challenge me?
My Judgment is made and is final,
I am of the Judge, for all to see!”

He turned his back on his once party,
You could see disbelief in their eyes,
And a body that will return to its Goddess,
And a darkening of the skys.

Walk away, walk away from the Temple,
Now you’ve seen how it did end.
What would you judge more important?
Your Power or your friend?


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