by Brother Joyce De La Soer De Sainte Heinze Bumblefoose
Orignally published in the March 1985, A.S. XIX issue of the Dragonflyre, a publication of the Barony of Vatavia.
In the days before Charlemagne, in the eastern reaches of the Known World, there arose a man whose name would be long remembered in the local chronicles: Humpk of Moldavia. Farmer, tradesman, warrior, and missionary; he hid it all and blazed a trail for others to follow. Martyr to a cause; to bring truth, justice and feudal way to all (if they wanted it or not).
Back in those early days there was born to a poor farmer a son, whom he named Humpk. And in accord with time and nature, Humpk grew up to be a large strong man, well versed in the ways of the farmer. But the land was poor. Thus Humpk was forced to search elsewhere for his fortune.
So it befell Humpk to come across a race of dwarves. And one household, who lived on the edge of a meadow owned by Locke, took him in, and taught him various crafts, including the way of the sword. While Humpk was happy, his destiny laid elsewhere. So Humpk moved on.
During the course of his travels, Humpk met with four men, who were to become is constant companions. They were Hard Lec and William, Walter and Arthur, the sons of David. Humpk found that he was in the company of these men, distances seemed to rush by with no effort, while all the while they displayed little appetite.
Now the lands to the east were a wilderness, populated only by wild animals and heathen savages, ignorant of civilization. And the Lord came unto Humpk in a vision saying, “Go to the east, and bring enlightenment to who dwell there, so that they may know the glory of the word, and become part of the Known World.” And so Humpk with his companions and some other followers went east. And they came to rest at the banks of a river, now know as Vitava, and settled there.
The natives that lived there were hostile and unreceptive to the message the Humpk brought. Blood was spilt and lives lost. And for a long time the settlement teetered on the brink of dissolution. But Humpk persisted. And was rewarded. Aided by a native, known as “His Mysteriousness”, the settlement slowly grew and expanded.
Under Humpk’s skillful eye, the land flourished, and blossomed into an ocean of grain. And Humpk looked out and smiled. And this was good. But one year the rains did not come, and everyone was sorely tested. So Humpk, aided by one that was called the “Silent One”, prayed, and it began to rain. And they rejoiced.
Now when Humpk planted his gardens, he always set aside a portion for the wildland creatures so they may not be tempted by the garden. And this practice once saved his life. Not all the natives listened to Humpk’s message, and some remained hostile. So one day, while Humpk was walking alone in the fields, three of these benighted souls set upon him. Being unarmed, Humpk consigned his soul to the Lord, when suddenly a flash of white fur came from the bushes, and created havoc on his attackers. So beset by the rabbit, the would be murderers ran away, not stopping till they reached the far land of Scotland where the decided that it was far easier to induct other people to commit mayhem.
But while Humpk escaped that day, the animosity only continued to build. Finally came the day when a large army rose up and fell upon the settlement. And Humpk rallied his fighters around him, so that no matter from which direction they came, the enemy would be facing the large shiny shields of Humpk’s men. And so on the side of a hill the two forces struggled till the falling curtain of night ended the scene, the enemy repulsed.
But the cost of victory was high, for Humpk laid mortally wounded. Fearing all was for naught, a vision came to Humpk and said, “Be of comfort, for you have planted the seeds of future glory. For there shall be another, who will found a barony whose name and deeds shall be recited throughout the Known World.” His heart at ease; Humpk died.
Gathering troops from neighboring lands, Humpk’s companions chased those who had beset them. But when at last they had been cornered, it rained, and there would be no fighting. Then a young follower, small of stature but loud of voice, prayed to Humpk to intercede and stop the rain so that he might be avenged. And lo, the rain stopped, and did not resumed till the fighting ended, and the enemy slaughtered.
The village laid quiet, not even the church bell rang, for it had been broken in the raid. A young novice, Anna, was distressed by this and went out into the garden to meditate. It was Humpk’s last garden, and she stopped by a lone bluebell that somehow survived. When suddenly, to her amazement, the flower began to enlarge and acquire a golden hue. Within a moment, there at her feet was a bronze bell of a size needed to replace the church bell. So it remained in the church tower for many a year.
As word of Humpk’s martyrdom followed by numerous reports of miracles, the Church decided it could not ignore such a man, canonized him. Then forgot him, except for a small group of men and women in that small corner of the Known World. But then, that is another story.
Copyright © 1985 - present Brother Joyce De La Soer De Sainte Heinze Bumblefoose. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1997 - present His Lordship Friar Thomas Bacon (David Moreno). All rights reserved.