Words: Mikal Hrafspa (Mikal the Ram)
LEND AN EAR good gentles to the tale that I tell. Well do I know it for it was I who suffered these things. And you know me for an honest man, and that every word must be true!
T'was on the eve of Kris Kinder that the good Baron Davaro did come before his people. And the tale that he told chilled me to the marrow of my bones. "My lady Elwyn is gone," he said. "And my coronet is not to be found."
Oh my good gentles, the tremor of his voice brought tears to the most hardened eye. To see his naked head, t'was more than I could bear!
"Summon the bravest," he spoke twixt his tears. "Call out the nobles whose deeds are most daring. Seek out," my Baron proclaimed, " seek my missing Baroness, restore my errant coronet."
Many were the Knights who called to their squires to fetch horse, armor, and sword. Many were the fair ladies that tied favors to their lords. Off they scattered into every point of the world, each pledging to the Baron to find the errant lady and lid. Many would be the tales of their ventures.
I, being a bard in the Barony of Forgotten Sea, was not set among the brightest and best in the court of my Baron. But hidden behind the rest I heard the sad lament of my Baron. Oh, how could I not wish to ease his anguish? I swore on that
very hour to seek the Baroness myself; to find the dire fiend that would strike so at
the heart of our honor. I would search for the honor of our Barony, seeking to add luster to the tales of Calontir, (and perhaps get a goodly reward as well...)
Full of the importance of my quest, I repaired to my stead, planning to arm
myself for the journey. I selected my second best cloak, a bottle of spirits for the road, a stout staff, my heaviest boots, a skin of red wine, a goodly belt, a blanket, a
gallon of beer, a warm tunic, a hogshead of brandy, a tun of mead, a barrel of stout ale, a brace of bottles of small mead, two carbouys of cider, a cask or two of
brandywine, a few dozen bottles of dark beer, a barrel of sack, and a handful of
dried apples should I become hungry along the way.
At this time my lady Aurore did come home, and seeing my preparations, realized my intentions to take up the quest. In her fine and dulcet tones she did inquire: "WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?"
I explained my intentions, and good gentles you should have seen the tears well up in her eyes as she perceived the nobility of my quest. She did well to hide it with feigned laughter, though I felt the rolling about the floor a bit overdone. She was so taken with my desires she would not have anything but that she help me pack. I could not bear to turn away her offer, for she was so determined. (Besides which she enforced her request with a rolling pin.) Thus, more lightly burdened I pursued my quest.
I began by thoroughly searching the local tavern, and insinuating myself with the townsfolk by drinking with each of them in turn. But with all my work, none of them had information as to the disposition of the Baroness or the coronet. So I proceeded to the next inn to continue my search. In this manner I traveled the length of the King's highways. But to no avail.
At length I found myself over-tired for some mysterious reason, and sought to lay myself down in a grassy knoll beside the road. After falling face first into the sod, (but it was a graceful, noble fall,) I passed into a strange and deep slumber.
It was here, my fellow nobles, where I experienced a most amazing dream, for I sensed the earth did move beneath me, and the very turf below me opened up and swallowed me into the very bowels of the earth. I awoke in a strange and darkling chamber, with walls of packed earth. Above the roof was beamed with the roots of great trees, and within the walls worms and all manner of foul things did crawl each upon the other.
A strange and baleful l;light did come from the far end of the howe, and there I found a great pile of ruined weapons and foul bones thrown randomly. There must have been some great battle here, I thought. What bane of warriors must dwell in this place? What evil troll must have slain these doughty men?
Then I did feel my bowels move within me, for I perceived the owner of this place stood right behind me!
I whipped around and faced my tormentor. He was two fathoms tall and as wide as well. His skin was rough and green in most places, with varied patches of yellow flaccid hide. He bore an antler upon his head of five points, and two mismatched eyes of pus-yellow that glared most threateningly. His mighty paunch was girdled round with the hides of men held up by a belt of live vipers tied heads to tails.
"Ah," he cried in a most horrible voice. "Here is another to play my game!"
"Game?" quoth I. "I am most skilled at gaming. Would you be interested in a match of knuckle-bones, or a play of chess perhaps?"
He laughed most evilly. "My game is not so tame, manling. All those who come to this place must fight me or die!"
"And should I lose?" I asked?
"I eat you."
Now my lords and ladies you know me. I am not skilled in the arts of war. I am far more likely to harm myself with an axe as an opponent. I feared for my very life. Yet I remembered if I am nothing else, I am a bard! And the most potent weapon of any bard is his tounge! I thought up a most potent and effective lie on the spot.
"Very well," I told him. "But t'will hardly be a fair contest."
"True," he bellowed. "But you may serve me some small sport before I eat you."
"Eat me?" I laughed, "You have little hope of that! You have no chance 'gainst me. I am sure to lay you low!"
"What! How so?" he cried.
I pointed towards his feet. "Tis a simple matter of toes. You have too few, and must lose. Look; you have but four on the right and as few as three upon the dexter."
The monster sought to look where I pointed, but he suffered from a most distressing problem, and one that I see many here also relate too. You see his girth had grown to such noble proportions that he had not seen his feet in some time. Nor could he while in an upright position. He struggled and grunted, but could not gain a single glimpse of them. "Bend farther," I counseled. "Lower...Lower..." And at that point when he was bent near double I fetched him up such a clout behind his ear with my staff that I laid him out cold!
Now my lords and ladies you can see that I returned unharmed from that lair, and others did find the Baroness and coronet. I cannot claim that singular honor. But instead I offer the defeat of this monster as a favor to the king and my Baron as proof of my singular quest.
And to those few who might doubt my prowess, or lay some scorn upon my honesty I offer as proof to my tale this staff. The very staff that did lay out that troll cold! Lay your hand upon it at your peril, for it still rings with the force of that mighty blow!
Back to Main Songbook Page