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Veraka's Saga (Spoilers, BG:EE only)

LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
edited December 2016 in Fan Creations
(Note: this saga about one of my characters will be told in the ancient style of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," with large irregular stanzas that are comprised by alliteration rather than rhyme, essentially a different type of mnemonic device for a storyteller to remember the words by. Like "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," I will use the "bob and wheel" at the end of each irregular stanza. Unlike "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight," I'm not going to adhere to the tone of courtly virtue strictly. Finally, I'm writing it here on this forum, so if you notice mistakes I am composing as I go.)

Edit: While the forum will always have the most updated version of the story, I am making it available on fanfiction.net as well: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9833492/1/Veraka-s-Saga


Canto I

To Candlekeep of Sword Coast came a comely young lass,
Guarded through magic by the grey-beard Gorion,
A mysterious mage and musician of the harp,
Who untiring came to unlikeable Ulraunt, Keeper of the Tomes,
Seeking sanctuary in so noble a hold.
Hard words they had, till haughty Ulraunt heeded
Worldly wisdom compounded by prophesies' want,
Till at last the lord Ulraunt lamented the life
Of the somber sage Gorion for settling his course,
But gave to him quarters to sequester a queen
Matriarch for a throne of mayhem and murder
Half-goddess given flesh, a human girl:
Veraka.
The girl grew up within
Not knowing birthright's claim
Her songs could conquer men
As power and beauty came.

Gorion guarded the girl as a father would daughter,
But Veraka confounded her wise foster father
Her capriciousness crept through the Keep in her wake
While weary Keep Watchers would weather satire,
And monks were mocked and made jest of for sport.
Yet Gorion grew hopeful the girl would not follow
The grim fate foretold for those of her blood
The daughter of Bhaal did not darken his door
Her jackanapes jokery well-suited to jesters
Was a far cry from fomenting fear and mass murder
The trickster teenager might try his patience,
But he saw there was more than evil in
her heart.
The girl loved a good jest
And mastered spoken word
She studied spells with zest
And fought with bow and sword.

In her twentieth year full-blossomed and beauteous,
Veraka Cursebringer could confuse a philosopher
The strength of three men lay in long limber limbs
Whose grace was as lissome as the lithe lovely elves
Her form in fine fettle and fit for fierce fights
Matched allurement and artistry in all ways but one:
Her impish impulsiveness impaired her good judgment
No noble would note her for wisdom uncommon
Despite the keen mind she managed within.
It was in this year grave Gorion gave notice
The lass must leave Candlekeep or lose her life
For foul-hearted malefactors would find her or fetch her
Though the codger kept his counsel and couldn't say why.
She chose able chainmail to safeguard her charms
A longbow to let loose a volley of grief
A greatsword she girded, most germane for gore
Full-furnished for battle, she found her foster father
Then she sallied forth, sure-stepping out
the gate.
She thought she was prepared
As she stepped through the gate
Gorion was rightly scared
As he approached his fate.

Post edited by LordRumfish on
Autequilunarhaloartificial_sunlightAristilliuselminsterGemHoundDeltaslayerbooinyoureyesCrevsDaakBlackravenJuliusBorisovlolienbrus
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Comments

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2013
    Vying with wolves and gibberlings, Veraka ventured
    To the meeting of massacre, morose sight indeed
    Bodies undisturbed, the dark knight did not loot them
    So she knelt by Gorion and bawled bitter tears
    And Imoen held her, a sisterly hug.
    Yet the girl did not give herself long to grieve
    She spent several hours to dig a deep grave
    Together they laid great Gorion to rest
    A few keepsakes she kept to continue his quest
    And remember the man who made sacrifice.
    The dead soldiers she scavenged for something of use
    But their corpses in the clearing were carrion for crows.
    With Imoen outfitted, they sought the old open road
    But before a lone hour could pass, the bold pair
    Came across a couple of cantankerous travelers
    A sour sullen halfling with shortsword at his side
    Whose glowering gaze would give gibberlings goosebumps
    And a mad male magician, a star-craving human
    The robes he was wearing were emerald green
    And the smile that snaked across his face
    was sharp.
    The odd pair then did beckon
    The halfling tried to smile
    By Imoen's quick reckon
    The two had serpent's guile.

    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2013
    Veraka came closer, curious of their purpose
    And the robed man spoke in saccharine sympathy:
    "Ho, Montaron! Two heroines on hard times;
    Surely you must seek some succor from strife."
    The halfling said, "Aye, two women worse for wear
    Trouble must trail you to tire you so."
    "Indeed, but I offer an elixir for ingestion
    To wipe away wounds and will not ask for coin.
    As I live, I simply long to help those in need,"
    The green robed man grinned, almost ghoulishly.
    Veraka said, "Verily, our vim and verve waver,
    We will not refuse aid from well-wishing wayfarers."
    Imoen did dismay in dubious disbelief
    That her friend would fall victim to far-fetched fibs
    Yet the potion she pocketed proved pure enough.
    "Perhaps in polite payment you'll travel to Nashkel
    Where we weathered wayfarers will seek to unravel
    A mystery most dire, a mine's missing iron."
    "Your conscience will guide you, like all good globetrotters,"
    Montaron mentioned as an offhand remark.
    Veraka said, "Sirs, I must seek out others
    My father was faring to find at an inn.
    If you would come with me for but a short while
    We may travel as one to walk the world's wilds."
    "Then let us make haste, and head for these heroes
    With zero delay, for I am Xzar the zendik, and the Zhe-"
    "Hold your tongue and travel for a time,"
    Montaron cut in, his countenance cold.
    Xzar began bickering in woebegone banter
    In undertones understood only by him
    Veraka came, curious why Xzar's mind was
    clouded.
    The four then traveled on
    Along the coastway road
    Xzar's mind was nearly gone
    Dissent began to sow.

    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    They camped that night after casting about the coast
    One last look for the long-gone dark knight
    And Montaron muttered most malevolent threats
    Against Veraka and Xzar, vehement vitriol;
    Imoen was now nervous to nod off near him.
    Veraka grew angry with the always-arguing halfling
    As she spoke to Xzar, seeking the cause of his sickness.
    "Xzar, what malady infests your mind?
    What magic or mischief has muddled you so, mage?"
    He slowly soaked in a susurrus breath
    And languidly lavished the following legend:
    "Noble Xzar hails from Xanadu, zenith of power
    Where wild faeries flit and wobbling worgs play.
    In my seventeenth year I sought sorcery to learn
    And a master mage Merlin made me his apprentice
    But the sassy sword wouldn't unstick from the stone!
    I left his long tutelage and lingered in Waterdeep
    Seeking out spell scrolls to supplement me
    Until I stole aught from the Oracle of Oghma
    And the god gave me gibbering to guard his secrets
    For those the creators wish to cast down, they
    make crazed."
    Veraka laughed aloud
    At the ludicrous tale
    Xzar's eyes gleamed almost proud
    Within his skull-bound jail.


    (Note: Xanadu is a reference to "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. http://www.online-literature.com/coleridge/640/ )

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    "I see you have a spellbook," Xzar said suddenly,
    Though not once had his eyes beheld the book in her bag,
    "There is knowledge I'll teach you, noble necromancy
    Is a dying art. Get it?" He giggled and guffawed.
    Veraka chuckled at the churlish chaff, then smiled
    And said, "If it please you, I'll put forth the study
    To scribe your spare scrolls till the spells have been learned
    If you'll tell me more stories." She grew more merry
    For Xzar had reminded her she was a jester,
    His dark absurd drollery distracted her grief
    So the pair studied spells and swapped stories that night
    As Imoen and Montaron marked the madcap chat.
    The halfling grew restless and raised a ruckus
    He threatened the three with harm in their sleep
    If they didn't stop talking, it tested his patience.
    Veraka could stand for no more such abuse
    As Montaron mirrored in her mind the dark knight
    So she asked him directly, "Montaron, do you dare
    To consider your keep above your companions?"
    "I have no equal harlot," the halfling harangued,
    "But I work best alone, so blast your all's blundering!"
    "In that case, you can conquer all dangers alone
    Without want of our warriors?" her tone was a warning.
    "I defy every danger and bring death to any
    That dare cross me mistress, and might include you."
    "Why then, a black bear should prove but boring
    To so great a soldier as you claim to be."
    Before he could comment, Veraka Cursebringer
    Laid arrow to bow and shot a black bear
    Not twenty yards distant within the dark wood
    In the meat of its shoulder, a wound not to murder
    But berate the black bear into closing for battle
    And Montaron knew he might meet his match
    As it charged full fiercely to find its foe.
    Veraka stood still, staring down the small halfling
    He knew he must fight or his bluff be called
    So Montaron grunted, "I'll play your game girl;
    If I live your last longing will be for mercy
    When my game plays out." Then glaring grimly
    Montaron turned to tackle the charging
    black bear.
    He fought well for his kind,
    The bear was nearly felled
    Until a blow unkind
    Caught him as a death knell.

    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    "Montaron! I... I never loved you!" Xzar loudly lamented
    As Imoen clucked her tongue and shook her head heavily
    The companions quickly killed the calamitous bear
    Now weakened with wounds it became easy prey
    And they made meal of bear meat around the campfire.
    Xzar said, "We should take every item of profit
    From his corpse, then fling him far off of the cliffs.
    It's what Montaron would want, he once told me so."
    Taking Xzar at his utterance, Veraka took Montaron
    After looting the body, she lifted the limp form
    And tossed him towards the sea, his tale at an end.
    In the cover of night, a young noble nearby
    Who had just been judging whether to jump
    And end his existence, espied this event;
    So scared was the snob that he went sobbing home
    And came never near again, except in nightmares.
    At last, the tired travelers took shelter to sleep
    Beneath some beech trees and bided till dawn
    Then they traveled to the east to reach a crossroad
    To find the Friendly Arm Inn, where Gorion's fautors
    are found.
    The three did travel east
    The inn's comfort to seek.
    An old man had them cease,
    Desiring much to speak.

    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    The old man in the road was a mystical mage
    His hat, cloak and robe were red as the rose
    And his bushy beard white as the bright fallen snow
    With a staff in his hand and concern in his eye
    He approached the adventurers, words aimed at Veraka:
    "Ho there travelers, 'tis nigh unto a tenday
    Since a soul has sought this road; 'tis most solemn
    To walk the wilderness alone. Wandering now
    Is reserved for the desperate or deranged; I desire
    To perceive, if thou wilt pardon my presumption,
    Which pertains to thee?" He paused for reply.
    Xzar whispered, "Deranged, daddy dearest, deranged!"
    Veraka spoke up, "Not to insinuate senselessness,
    But how do you hold up against your own standards?
    Pestering pilgrims about their prudence impolitely
    Doesn't warrant one wisdom, nor is well-adjusted."
    "Point taken, thy riposte answers me completely,
    I denote you now as 'determined' instead.
    Thou wilt find the Friendly Arm Inn to the north
    Where friends shall await thee. I will waste no more
    Of thy time, and cease to trouble thee travelers."
    The old man took his leave, and lingered there
    no more.
    The old man did depart
    Veraka thought it strange
    They fought a few xvarts
    Till the inn had come in range.

    The Friendly Arm Inn could be called a keep
    So great were its walls and well-placed defenses
    They were greeted by guards who granted them access
    To the courtyard within. They carried on calmly
    Relaxed now to find fine comforts at last
    They came to the entrance, when a call cut short
    Their peace, as a man paced towards them with purpose.
    "Hi friend," he hailed with a well-oiled smile,
    "What business brings you to the bustling inn?"
    Imoen muttered, "I don't like him, he might mean us harm."
    Veraka replied, "We are world-weary travelers
    Seeking some solitude in this secure stronghold."
    The black-robed man said, "Ah, I see. I'm sorry
    to trouble you, but I wonder if you've traveled
    To Candlekeep, or came from that castle perchance?"
    Veraka had heeded her thief friend's warning
    And so said, "Candlekeep? Never heard of such a place."
    The man became menacing, "I might have cause to doubt
    Your words, you fit the description full finely.
    Stay still, I have something to give you, don't struggle."
    He cast a spell, summoning shapes of his image
    To confuse the attacks his assailants might aim.
    Seeing their plight, Imoen peppered arrows
    And Xzar sent a spell to steal some life essence
    Their efforts only ended two echoes of the enemy.
    Veraka got her greatsword, and gambled on which
    Of the images left was the murderous mage
    With a lay to Tymora, the Lady of Luck
    Veraka left it to chance as he chanted again
    And before his second spell started to strike
    Her greatsword gashed true in ghastly grim gore
    Tearing through two arms and a torso in twain
    Only bloody bits of body were left of the brigand
    Xzar laughed in loud triumph at the lurid sight
    Of Veraka blood-covered in conquest at the kill
    complete.
    They found a few fit scrolls;
    Among the spells she read,
    One message left her cold:
    A bounty on her head.


    (Aside: It occurred to me after writing this that Elminster's description is not unlike Santa Claus; I am strangely okay with this.)

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    Imoen fetched some water to wash off the waste
    From the fight with Tarnesh, failed mage and assassin.
    Veraka wondered why someone wanted her dead
    And if the black knight who had butchered brave Gorion
    Was the same who sought her now through spineless schemes
    Leaving more lackeys to lay ambushes and plague her.
    Meanwhile, Xzar meandered until he made discovery
    Of a ring wrapped and hidden at the roots of a tree
    Veraka asked, "How came you to collect this curiosity
    Or know that the novelty was nearby at all?"
    "Much Madness is divinest Sense -
    To a discerning Eye," Xzar did reply.
    Grinning, they gamboled to Garl Glittergold's temple
    Within the walls of the weather-tight inn
    For a fee, the priestess proclaimed the ring rightly
    To be more than bright bauble, but a friend unto mages
    To let them sling spells in not seldom supply
    Xzar gladly grabbed the ring and greedily wore it
    His power more potent than previously.
    No more deterred, Veraka dared to delve in
    the inn.
    The three did step within
    The Friendly Arm to find
    Gorion's friends had been
    Waiting there for some time.


    (Note: Xzar makes a lot of fourth-wall-breaking references if you hadn't picked up on that; in this case, he refers to Emily Dickinson: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/182156 . One other minor note: when you see a phrase like "in not seldom supply" I'm attempting to add in some litotes to connect with the style of "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/litotes )

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    After sleeping, they spoke to some solemn sojourners
    Who had need of heroes to hash out hard evils
    They retrieved a rare ring robbed by hobgoblin highwaymen
    Then sought out an ogre stealing sashes and belts
    Jaheira tangled the brute in tough twisting vines
    For she was a druid in addition to dour defender
    And the brute was but a pincushion for their arrows' barbs
    They gathered the girdles and stowed the cinctures
    Then traveled the south trail that took them to Beregost
    Fighting bandits and brutes of the barbaric races
    Till the town was in view, true rest it seemed
    After ambling, aching ambushes and all arrows assailing
    Veraka was very keen on visiting a tavern
    To drink, to sleep, to sleep, perchance to Dream
    And forget the not few afflictions and fears
    But trouble was to travel on her coattails and hound
    her trail.
    A damsel dressed as mage
    Did call out in distress
    It would not take a sage
    To notice her duress.


    (Note: Surprising no one, "To drink, to sleep, to sleep, perchance to Dream" is a reference to Shakespeare's "Hamlet" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_be,_or_not_to_be .)

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2014
    The half-elf ahead had a red and pink robe
    She carried a stout staff wrought with some sorcery
    Her pate was prettified by pale pink hair
    And her eyes were wondrous wide like a wheel of Gond.
    "Hey you! Yes, you! I don't see other young heroes yonder.
    A little help, please?" she pushed with impatience.
    "Best not to bother," Jaheira bespoke, bugging Veraka.
    "Of course, what do you require?" Veraka called.
    "There's bandits! Belligerent, bedeviling bandits!
    They're trying to take me for torments unknown!"
    Veraka said, "Hunted by hex-throwing highwaymen?
    It sounds a tall tale, to tell you the truth."
    "Listen, I'd love to lay out the lowdown,
    But it's too late for talk, we're out of time!"
    A group of grave men approached the girl
    Two red-robed mages and a pair of scrappers.
    "You would try to find refuge with unfortunate fools?
    Your cowardice proves as deadly as your dissonant wizardry,"
    The lead mage said. The daring damsel made reply,
    "Fine talk for a foe who won't clarify his cause!
    Get away before my new gang puts a gash in your gob!"
    The lead mage hailed haughtily the heroine's party,
    "You there, give me the girl! Surely you won't gamble
    Your life for a stranger?" Veraka studied, then said,
    "What jurisdiction justifies you hijacking magicians?"
    "By my authority as a thaumaturge of Thay, we must study
    Her peculiar powers, both to protect the public
    And the half-elf herself, with no heed to her wishes."
    "By 'study,' you seem to be suggesting 'dissection,'"
    Veraka rejoined, readying bow and arrow.
    "You shall not be privy to the procedure, pedestrian!
    Hand her over with haste, or I'll have your heads."
    "Come and claim her, if you can," Veraka cried clearly.
    "If you wish to waste away for a wild mage, so be it,"
    The lead mage was ready to let loose illusions
    But the half-elven damsel did a devious spell
    To teleport and trap the traducer for some time
    away.
    The lead mage now was gone
    His flunkies were befuddled
    But the battle still was on
    The enemies' plans were muddled.

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    The same spell that sent away the supercilious mage
    Also scattered Veraka's associates through the scene
    Imoen was wide-eyed, facing down two warriors
    While Khalid was cast back, with ground to cover
    Xzar also appeared adjacent to murderous melee
    Jaheira and Veraka stood beside the strange girl
    Whose gambling gifts scattered the guardians like grain.
    "Ekandor? Where did you disappear to?
    Slaughter the strange pests, we'll sort it out later!"
    The remaining mage commanded, and melee ensued
    Though scattered, the heroes had hope to win yet
    They focused their fire to kill the spellcaster
    Arrows, sling bullets, and Xzar's spell bit true
    The apprentice of Ekandor did die that day.
    The wild half-elf spell-slinger released a color spray
    That sent two soldiers swooning, as well as two friends:
    Imoen and Xzar fell affected by the trick.
    The two warriors were dispatched within a moment
    Then the calamitous colleen came forward to speak,
    "I'm really, really sorry about the ruckus just now,
    But I'd be bereft of my brains if you hadn't been by!"
    "Where will you wander now? Surely Ekandor will return,"
    Veraka said, no small amount cross at the skirmish.
    "I was wondering if I could stay with you a while,
    For our mutual protection. I'm a mighty mage,
    I can fling fireballs that defy description!
    My name is Neera, now that we have a moment."
    Veraka said, "It seems you set sail by fortune,
    So in spirit of serendipity I set this stake:
    If my coin comes up tails you can come along,
    But on heads I will have the pouch you protect.
    What say you, wild woman?" She waited a while.
    "I was hoping you heroes would have me along,
    But I'm desperate enough to dare my destiny
    So fine, flip your coin, and we'll both be fools."
    Veraka took a copper coin she carried for flipping
    And let it fall flat for determining fate:
    The head of a highborn had heralded the choice
    Neera's gem pouch was plucked away as she pouted.
    "Well fine, I'm faring to the Friendly Arm Inn,
    If you churls change your minds I'll be marching there."
    Neera tore away hurting with a tear trembling in
    her eye.
    Imoen and Xzar awoke
    Cursing the careless spell
    Jaheira's frown bespoke
    Her thoughts only too well.

    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    Veraka wanted an ale after the arduous adventure
    She chose the Jovial Juggler since she was a jester
    And after they'd all had some ale by the fire
    Some stories were swapped and tongues loosened.
    Jaheira pried, "Xzar, what patron or providence
    Has set you the same task we seek to resolve?
    I doubt mere mad meanderings moved you to make
    The task your own." He took a torpid breath,
    Then let loose this tale in lordly language:
    "Verily, from vaunted Veldorn my travel began,
    Land of loose lamias, Shangri-La of shoggoths,
    Where I found wondrous work from a wealthy white wyrm
    Who besought to build a temple from the bodies of bugbears.
    My task was trying, as too few were to hand
    To shore the western wall. And Winter was coming.
    So I traveled to take more bugbears for building,
    And a daft old diviner did promise me guidance
    To bugbears if I would but bring her some iron
    In no small total: two tons to be true.
    Ever since, I have sought some sincere iron
    To end my enlistment with the ignoble dragon."
    Veraka and Imoen gave girlish giggles
    While Khalid stared in disbelief at this silly story
    Jaheira just said, "Your jests do not jive here,
    I will be watching your worrisome hide."
    "Your voice is ambrosia," Xzar venerated and cavorted
    But Veraka became bothered by Jaheira's
    bossiness.
    Khalid said, "C-calm yourself."
    Jaheira glared most grim
    It seemed the two half-elves
    Held Xzar in view most dim.


    (Note: Shoggoths are a creature native to Cthulhu Mythos, written about by H.P. Lovecraft in various stories, most notably to me "At the Mountains of Madness" http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/mm.aspx ; I doubt I have to explain to an audience of our modern time period that "And Winter was coming" is a reference to George R. R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones," but maybe 100 years from now it will be more of a cult classic and not as universally known.)

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    "What of your tale, tart one?" Xzar tabled to Jaheira,
    "I still haven't heard who employs our hitched half-elves."
    "Better mind your own business if you know what's best,"
    Jaheira said warningly. Veraka wearily whispered,
    "Could we please put our private matters aside and have fun?"
    Imoen said, "I agree! Hey Khalid, state your story.
    Don't fret the furtive facts, just tell us a tale."
    Khalid, looking lost, said, "I'm no j-j-jongleur,
    B-but I guess I could g-give a few facts to g-g-go on.
    I c-came from C-C-C-C-Ca-Calimshan,
    My father was a m-m-merchant and m-measured
    The value of a m-m-man b-by his m-mercantile merit
    My b-brothers were b-b-better at b-barter than me.
    So I t-trained to be t-tolerable at b-b-b-battle
    My t-trade was in blows, my b-barter for brawling.
    I'd rather not t-talk of that time any longer."
    Jaheira reached out and held his hand in hers,
    A comforting glance in her oft guarded gaze.
    "I'd say that your father failed to see the fine son
    You developed to be; the stutter is decidedly endearing,"
    Veraka said, smiling. Khalid blushed and stammered,
    "Th-th-thank you I think, that's not often the view."
    Jaheira stared at Veraka, studying her soberly;
    She hesitated to assume she had hit on her husband
    But she felt protective of her partner to prevent impure
    passion.
    Jaheira had grown jealous
    Possessive of Khalid
    It was most overzealous
    Her worry had no need.

    Imoen now mentioned, "You're most masterful with morals,
    Tell a tale of trollops and plug-tails true, Veraka!"
    Khalid spit his ale suddenly, sending skyward saliva
    And showering Xzar in a sheen of libation
    In surprise at the salacious suggestion of story.
    "Fie on you, Veraka, for filling her head
    With the lewd licentiousness of libidinous lechers!"
    Jaheira shot sharply, more harsh than she meant.
    "I guess you don't jest or joke much, Jaheira,"
    Veraka fumed, a furrow forming on her forehead,
    "If you can't stand to journey with a jovial jester
    Perhaps we should part and our paths be made plain."
    Jaheira's face softened. "Child, I'm too quick to chide,
    Let's not chastise each other, don't change your choice.
    Gorion would want us to guard and guide you,
    My sting comes of too little sleep, slave-driver,"
    Jaheira made jest, her chagrin almost jaunty.
    "Then I'll wrangle some rooms that we all may rest,"
    Veraka sighed, stood and strode to the barman.
    "I only wanted to hear some hot humor 'bout harlots,"
    Imoen sulked as she sank in her seat,
    saddened.
    The tale of plug-tails true
    Would not be told that night
    Imoen did surely rue
    Jaheira's prudish bite.



    (Aside: I would find it hilarious if someone wrote "The Tale of Trollops and Plug-Tails True" and posted it somewhere that could host such a bawdy tale. This forum is not the place, unfortunately.)

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    elminsterDeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2013
    Sleeping in to stock spells and restore their vigor,
    The five fit wayfarers fell upon a fine breakfast
    At first with few words, more foe than friend
    At last some lame banter began lifting the pall
    And Xzar fetched a few faint smiles from his frippery.
    When they dispensed with dining, they dared the road south
    As the need to reach Nashkel was noted by some
    But before they had been on the boulevard an hour
    They observed two ominous ogrillons occupying the road;
    They readied ranged weapons to repel the wretches.
    The first one fell not far from where they first saw it
    The two were easy targets, too large to take cover
    But the second charged forward and found the defenders
    A brief melee ensued; Veraka mauled the marauder
    With a strike of her greatsword, then Khalid swung sure
    Xzar finished the foe with some fell life drain spell.
    Veraka looted a lost letter one brute had stolen
    From a poor dead halfling laying prostrate on the pavement
    A husband had written his wife and hired help
    To send the small scroll to his Beregost residence
    Veraka could carry the courier's scroll
    Until she had time to take it in her travels.
    For now, the group gave a good burial to the halfling
    Then set out south to seek the sorrows of Nashkel's
    iron.
    The group did venture on
    Veraka kept the scroll
    Before they traveled long
    A man hailed them most cold.

    He was suited in steel with a longsword and shield
    The crest of a red fist arrayed all around him
    His helm had a plume, as red as the rest
    And his first phrase was, "I'm from the Flaming Fist!"
    Jaheira said, "They're like the law of this land,
    I guess we can hearken." Veraka came forward
    To face the frowning fighter, ready for conflict.
    "Surrender yourselves, since you are the bandits
    Plaguing poor pilgrims and murdering merchants!"
    The man then demanded, his mien most malevolent.
    "You've got the wrong girls, and guys for that matter,
    We've done nothing dastardly," she diplomacized.
    "Why should I believe what a bandit bespeaks?"
    He bullied and blustered, still betting on blood.
    "Is it really so rare for right-meaning romantics
    To step the south street or seek some new sights?"
    Veraka put forth; her patience was passing.
    "If you'll prove your pure purpose I'll put this behind us,
    But I won't let you leave till you fulfill my labor,"
    He said, and his sneer and scoff were derisive.
    Veraka said, "Gentle sir, a jovial jester
    Does address you this day, and I do offer proof.
    My craft takes considerable creativity
    So I'll put a proud poem to prove my point:
    There once was a Flaming Fist fighter
    Whose plug-tail was shaped like a miter
    The ladies would laugh
    Even trollops gave gaff
    When he-"
    "You despicable defilers die here!" He drew steel,
    And clashed in calamitous conflict to kill.
    He slashed a stout stroke in Veraka's side
    But the man was no match for a melee with five
    Death darkened his day for dealing in anger
    A blow to the bothersome but beautiful bard.
    Jaheira healed her wound as Xzar howled in heady
    triumph.
    Xzar stowed away the stiff
    So no stray folk would see
    They took his gear for gifts;
    A jerk, they all agreed.

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    DeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2013
    They later came to conflict with a crew of hobgoblins
    Some hours south on the same route to Nashkel
    They fought the fiends fearlessly and found modest loot
    Vying with villains and varmints most varied
    Until they encountered a conspicuous courtier
    The nonchalant noble stepped nearer nigh them
    And said, "Fine fellows, I am the Lord Foreshadow,
    I see by your ensemble you'll soon set a masquerade.
    I will seek out such sundries when next I attend
    Lord Ribald's full dress regalia party. I reckon
    I'd be the talk of Athkatla, to tell it true."
    Veraka laughed, "A fellow fool finds me today.
    Did Athkatla edify or enhance your excursions
    And will you be wandering there again well soon?"
    He scoffed, "A fellow fool, what the Hexxat mean?"
    He took his leave ill-tempered and trotted
    to town.
    "With a name like that you'd think
    He'd have some good to say,"
    Veraka smiled and winked,
    "Now let's be on our way."

    At last the long journey had led them to Nashkel
    Soldiers swarmed the streets and stood at guard
    After bantering with Bardolan, burly bouncer by the bridge,
    The group gained access to the grit-coated town.
    They stopped by the store to sell and stock provisions
    And moseyed the main street till they met the mayor
    Who hailed them heartily and had these words:
    "Hail bold blades, I am Berrun Ghastkill, Mayor of Nashkel,
    And I seek sturdy swordarms to settle our sorrows.
    I'm curious how Jaheira and Xzar came to call
    The same party their purpose, but I'm pleased for your help."
    "An iron maiden was involved," Xzar muttered in madness.
    "If you help us to heal the hardships with haste,
    I'd be glad and most gracious, gifts would be given,"
    The mayor made promise. Veraka asked him,
    "What's the trouble to tell true? I'm told that the iron
    Is rotten, but the rumors are rampant and ruin the truth."
    He sighed, "The mine is most malignant to men,
    There is death and despair in the darkness below.
    What iron we work is worthless and brittle
    And the sad supply slows, our city is somber."
    Veraka replied, "We'll reclaim the iron and reach the
    reason."
    Berrun said, "If you help,
    You'll be the toast of the town."
    Veraka was no whelp
    She would not let him down.

    As they pursued the path that was placed by Fate
    They met a mighty man in the middle of town
    His body was built like the bear or bison
    A doughtier daredevil one would not deem to find
    Scars snaked on his skin like the wandering streams
    And his grin grew greatly when he glanced at the group.
    "Stand and deliver, so my hamster shall see you,"
    He said in stentorian stoutness. Veraka said,
    "Has your hamster the wisdom to see our hearts?"
    "Boo is my boon companion, and born of the stars,"
    The man mentioned proudly. Xzar was merry with mirth.
    "And what does a wanderer and his wise rodent want?"
    Veraka smiled, musing the mind of this man.
    "My witch was waylaid when I suffered a h-head wound,
    And now mighty Minsc must needs mete out some mule-kicks!
    What say you, strong soldiers? Shall we save my Dynaheir
    In her hour of need from nasty gnolls to the west?"
    His enthusiasm enthralled Veraka entirely,
    So she said, "Noble Minsc, I say with certainty
    We will find your witch Dynaheir in the wink of an eye."
    "Good! We must go and give gripes, tarry not!"
    Minsc smiled and stood at Veraka's side.
    Jaheira and Xzar deemed this dalliance a
    delay.
    Minsc was a mighty man;
    Evil, for him, made way.
    This sudden change of plan
    Did not sit well that day.

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    DeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    Xzar said, "It seems you seek to strain the spellcasters,
    We must rest to recover our rituals and energy."
    Jaheira interrupted, "It is far more important
    That we move on to the mines as the mayor wishes.
    If you want we can win back our witchcraft and wizardry
    One night at the inn, but no more, we need to know
    The cause of the chaos confounding the Sword Coast,
    Letting brigands be bold in their banditry of iron
    And making misery for the miners of Nashkel."
    Minsc said, "Dynaheir could be dead within days!
    Now some gnolls need their heads knocked
    To learn some life lessons and leave alone ladies.
    Come miss, we must go make malice in the mountains
    For butts to be kicked and boasts made bona fide."
    Veraka said, "We will settle our course when the sun
    Has risen. Truth is revealed to a rested mind."
    Though given to grumbling the group did gather
    To seek some sleep, for spells and steady wits
    But it was not to be, for a bold bounty hunter
    Came across Veraka's companions and was content
    to kill.
    Inside the inn they found
    A woman set to strike.
    "I'll slit your throats like hounds,
    Though its unladylike."

    Veraka said, "Wait, I will want your name:
    Latest on the list of lurking lowlifes laid low."
    The woman snorted, "My name is Neira, not that it matters,
    I've come to claim the kill and collect my coin."
    Veraka said, "Neera? It seems certainly strange
    I might meet more Neeras in my brief meanderings.
    Is Neera a name more known near Nashkel,
    Or is it my luck I'm left with loud cloying ladies?"
    "Knotbrain, my name is Neira, not Neera!
    The vowel is voiced less vociferously
    And an I precedes the R, any amateur's aural
    Ability should discern the slight switch in sound.
    I wouldn't want one to think I was that wild mage!"
    "So you've met her? I must say I mistook her for you
    In our meeting; I made mention of a mewling mite
    Noted only for nagging and nitwittedness named Neira
    But it soon became blatant she was too brave and beautiful
    To be the pitiful and powerless patsy oft portrayed
    In the tales of transients and stories of strumpets."
    "Liar! I'd lop your limbs for that slander,
    Even if the contract to kill you was canceled!"
    Neira fumed, and her fury began forming into
    a spell.
    The battle then was joined
    They leapt into the fray
    Neira would gain no coin
    Veraka claimed the day.

    DeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited December 2016
    Canto II

    The inn's patrons stood paralyzed in panic and pathos
    As Veraka searched the stiff and secured a scroll
    Another bounty had been offered on the brash girl's body
    Veraka sighed; it seemed spies sought her silence each second.
    The well-worn warriors made way to their rooms
    And settled down to sleep to ease their sore muscles.
    Veraka did dream, but it did not delight her:
    She saw cloistered Candlekeep close her off completely
    And turned to the timberland she must now traverse.
    Grave Gorion's pale ghost signed to go towards the grove
    As if the dark wood were a welcome way to wander
    But an easier path presented pure power
    A trail tailored to her blood, a tempting overture;
    She stood for a moment to study her selection.
    The trail seemed too easy, she trusted to the truth
    That life was ludicrous and lacked logic or laws
    So the thorny thicket's unthinking bedlam appealed
    More than a fated furrow fringed in foulness;
    She turned away from the troubled tempting trail
    And gave Gorion's ghost a glimmer of hope
    that night.
    But even as she woke,
    She felt herself be spurned
    A voice unknown had spoke
    It just said, "You will learn!"

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    DeltaslayerJuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    The voice rang in her ears as she roused rife with fear
    Lingering long after she lay wakeful at dawn
    She felt a fickle force untapped in her form:
    Some new power was present. Perplexed and perturbed,
    Veraka tested the new trick to see the truth
    And cold confusion came when a surge of curing
    Came upon her: not unlike a cleric's consecration,
    But she did not draw a deity's divine dedication
    It flowed crisp and cold and came from within.
    She thought perhaps the power came parallel with spells
    For at last her studies with Xzar showed promise:
    She made Larloch's Minor Drain rest in memory
    To show the nutty necromancer she knew how to cast.
    The new cure was curious though, its cause unknown
    No prayers or tome perusal had picked up the power
    she felt.
    Veraka's blood had bade
    But she had then refused
    The power yet had stayed
    The energy was reused.

    She readied herself and relinquished the room
    Breakfast had began with biscuits and bacon,
    Cornbread and beer, and Jaheira found berries
    A strange banquet to bolster the bold heroes for battle
    As they ate, all eyes asked for Veraka's aim
    Whether they might meet the mines or make for Dynaheir.
    Veraka spoke seldom as she ate and studied
    So Minsc said, "Xzar, sing a story for stout soldiers
    Or tell a tale of trying times and damsels with daring!"
    Xzar arched his posture primly like unto a peacock
    And deeply did he breathe before delving into song:
    "Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
    Half a pound of treacle.
    That's the way the money goes,
    POP! goes the weasel."
    Minsc smiled and sang along in sonorous strife
    While the others all groaned and gritted grim teeth;
    Veraka just smiled as she sat and sampled breakfast,
    Her jackanapes comrades revived the jovial jester
    And soon she stood singing some sordid story
    Caught from a cook she knew in Candlekeep
    And the Amnish soldiers and patrons applauded.
    Jaheira slipped a wry smile from her stoic expression
    Khalid calmly chuckled and came back with seconds,
    Seeing that breakfast would be their big meal
    that day.
    The heroes had their fun,
    But soon came time to talk.
    Veraka's song was done,
    She picked which path to walk.

    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • zurathanzurathan Member Posts: 53
    wow! this is so much better then [ spoiler ]...
    if you hide an information between some wall of writings its impossible to read.

  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    zurathan said:

    wow! this is so much better then [ spoiler ]...
    if you hide an information between some wall of writings its impossible to read.

    Um, thanks if that's meant to be a compliment. If it's meant to be an insult you should be more obvious about it.

    lolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    Veraka said, "Now, noble nonpareils, I need to choose
    Our course, and both causes can be called worthy.
    So I've studied the matter and seen fit to say
    That Dynaheir's detainment does ring of dire need
    While the mischief at the mines may wait a bit more.
    What say you, friends?" Veraka awaited their words.
    "Minsc and Boo be pleased, butts will be liberally kicked!"
    Minsc made clear his most martial intent.
    "Since we've spoken to the simpleton mayor, it seems fine,"
    Xzar said, pleased to perceive Jaheira's provoked posture.
    "Well our ways will part here, you're a ward no longer;
    Gorion gave all a father could give daughter
    But fate is yours to find, however fickle it may be
    So work your will woman, and weather adventures
    Perhaps our paths will cross again in this predicament,"
    Jaheira said stiffly. Khalid spoke then, "Veraka,
    Our b-b-b-best wishes I now betide you,
    I w-wish we could w-wander but our course is h-here.
    I hope to s-see you someday s-s-soon, fare thee well."
    Veraka held Khalid in a hug to his surprise
    And Jaheira gave an unconscious glare at the girl
    now grown.
    The half-elves parted ways,
    Veraka was sad at heart.
    "Let us not then waste the day!"
    Minsc made ready to start.

    As they sought the south bridge to seek the stronghold
    Of gnolls, where Dynaheir was detained in distress
    They noticed a red-robed man reacted to their rambling
    And kept a wide berth of the bold combatants
    Muttering most incessantly his mind's many thoughts.
    Xzar called to him tritely, "Et tu, Brute?"
    The man muttered, "The mongrels see me, I must now away,
    Before the brutes begin asking questions and bore me."
    Minsc stared with suspicion at the strange sorcerer
    But shrugged and pushed on when he shrank away further.
    As they strode through the farmlands supplying Nashkel
    Xzar shouted, "A moment! My mind's eye makes clear
    A furrow to find in a field not far from us
    Where we will find welcome treasure for warriors."
    Veraka and Minsc met eyes and shrugged mildly,
    Following the foolish necromancer to find his furrow.
    Yet sure enough, Xzar yanked past some yarrow roots
    And caught up a cache slightly clipped by a plough
    Green-plated armor gave gasps of delight
    To those who saw it sheen in the striking sunlight.
    "Ankheg armor! Does anyone know aught were it came?"
    Veraka asked, viewing the vibrant armor's verdure.
    "From an ankheg no doubt," Minsc duly did offer.
    Xzar giggled, "My girl, 'tis a gift from the gods."
    They decided that Minsc should don the dread armor
    As Xzar must have mobility to muster his magic,
    And Veraka felt the flexibility of chain fit for fighting:
    It was simpler to strip off for slinging some spells,
    she said.
    Now armored in better ways,
    They sought gnolls to the west.
    Xzar's gift of sight was praised,
    He gibbered in protest.


    (Note: "Et tu, Brute?" is, surprising no one, a reference to Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar.")

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    Imoen had been somber and sullen for days
    Denied her tale of trollops and plug-tails true
    So she sulked and said little, stomping without stealth
    Until Veraka eventually viewed Imoen's vexation.
    "Imoen, what ill now impairs your innocence?
    Are you troubled by our troupe taking leave of others?"
    Imoen quipped, "How queer that the queen should notice
    Her subject seems sad, I am surely honored."
    "Oh, knock it off knucklehead," Veraka said not unkindly,
    "Tell me your troubles or I'll tickle them out of you!"
    "Okay, okay, I'll obey your orders Overseer.
    I'm not sad to see Jaheira scarce, really,
    Since she stopped my favorite story and seemed so bossy.
    I'm worried we won't have enough warriors though,
    And I miss ol' Puffguts, all the people and places
    In Candlekeep, honestly. It's hard to be here,
    And I wanted a story so I'd be less scared and
    homesick."
    Veraka's eyes were wet
    At Imoen's admission.
    She said, "I think we'll get
    A timely intermission."

    Veraka held Imoen in a sisterly hug,
    And said, "How about we all hear a happy tale
    To keep company as we cover more ground for our quest?"
    Minsc said, "Play on bard, our party will prepare
    For gnoll knocking with tales of knights and hamsters!"
    Xzar took a bold breath and looked ready to begin,
    Till Imoen poked him, and the prod parted his puffed air.
    "Let Veraka tell it!" she scolded the star-crazed spellcaster.
    Smiling, Veraka set the story here said:
    "To Candlekeep came curmudgeons three,
    Cranky codgers all with carnal cravings
    But ill luck was their lot when their lecherous view
    Fell on Phlydia the Forgetful's fair hue.
    The first of these men came to court her with care,
    Yet it seemed she forgot the poor sot was there
    With lust he loaned the lady his hotel room key
    But soon she misplaced it at the foot of a tree.
    Old Puffguts the proprietor said, 'Best find it soon,'
    And the geezer searched still when ascended the moon.
    The second old man seemed to think himself clever
    When he wrote the rare lady a revealing letter
    Telling temptations distasteful in full
    But it slipped from her sash when she sashayed past Hull.
    Hull was a keep Watcher too fond of white wine
    A bit of a bully and bored all the time
    When he nosed through the note he gave a nasty laugh
    And made for the inn where the man made his gaff.
    The man waited for Phlydia, hoping to feel her fine form
    But in burst Hull like a bat from a storm
    He pulled out the parchment from a belt-pouch's place
    And fear framed itself on the fervid fool's face
    Hull jaunted and jeered like the jerk that he was
    And read the ribald letter to the room, just because.
    The curmudgeon was cast from the room with clear cries
    And he slunk off to sleep near the cows and the sty
    His face red with rage as Phlydia rambled by
    Yet she never noticed, a novel needed her eyes.
    The third codger was crafty and crept towards her room
    Wanting to woo her with a window-ledge tune
    So the man waited merrily with his mandolin
    Till he heard the hard footsteps of the woman within
    So he smiled as she entered, made ready to sing
    But her nose was in a novel; she didn't notice a thing.
    She said to herself, "It seems there's a draft,"
    The man at the shutters thought she surely was daft
    So she walked to the window and whipped it down closed
    Direct on the bridge of his bombastic nose
    He gave a foul yell as he fell from the ledge
    His fall had been broken by a rosebush hedge.
    So as to a moral, my friends, I suppose
    That to love the oblivious is like landing on a rose."
    The adventurers laughed long and loud at the story,
    And tears trickled down Imoen's cheeks; truly
    As much from merriment as memory
    of home.
    Veraka told her tale
    Such was the heroes' laughter
    That all about the vale
    It echoed moments after.

    MoczoJuliusBorisovlolien
  • MoczoMoczo Member Posts: 235
    I don't know enough about poetry to judge the technical aspects of the work, so I'll just say it works as a story, covering the main aspects of the plot and yet also somehow having room for characterization and wit despite its brevity. Very nice.

    LordRumfishlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    Moczo said:

    I don't know enough about poetry to judge the technical aspects of the work, so I'll just say it works as a story, covering the main aspects of the plot and yet also somehow having room for characterization and wit despite its brevity. Very nice.

    Why thank you! =D

    I'm a little nitpicky when it comes to evaluating my own work (I don't keep the meter even enough in places, sometimes I slip on making the alliteration strong in a particular line, etc.) so it's nice to hear other opinions. Positive ones like yours are certainly nice to read, and it makes me feel a little less like Xan.

    lolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2013
    Imoen had improved, her impishness returning,
    So they strolled through the stout stands of trees southward
    Intending to cut west across the wilds with haste
    To find a route not overrun with rivers and ridges.
    They fought bears and xvarts, brigands and beasts
    Till a sight wondrous strange struck them all still:
    A dryad most beauteous and buxom besought them
    Hailing the heroes in haste with her plea:
    "Please warriors, a wondrous ancient oak will be whittled
    Unless the loutish lumberjacks can be led away!"
    "These brutes need bold answers, and my blade is the question!"
    Minsc made ready for melee and looked to Veraka.
    "The tree acts as phylactery for the fine-formed fey,"
    Xzar mused and muttered, "I must try it sometime."
    Veraka said, "We'll win over these warriors, worry not.
    I'll make sure the men do not mar your old oak."
    The dryad said, "Thank you, for though they're thick-witted,
    They still could cause harm or even kill me."
    Imoen whistled, "Gosh, that's one gorgeous girl,
    She almost vies with Veraka, that's verily rare."
    The group girded for gashes and found two men ahead
    Strapped for strife, but struggling to string a
    sentence.
    The two were short on wits,
    But not too short on brawn.
    Veraka said, "I'll pit
    These men against my song."

    Veraka stepped forward while Minsc followed fast
    And Imoen and Xzar rallied at range, ready,
    So she spoke to the simpleton who seemed the smarter
    And said, "Sir, what seems to bring strangers here?"
    The cad drawled, "My name's Caldo, this is my brother Krumm,
    We found us a treasure I figger for sure!
    That there tree 's got magic, so we thwack it down
    And get the gold gath'rin inside, that's the plan."
    Veraka stared at their stupidity in some disbelief,
    But recovered and replied, "A most rousing plan!
    Come dance with me darlings, to dedicate the deed
    While I sing celebration and soon rich we'll be!"
    "Derrr, dance?" Krumm asked in a dubious drawl,
    And Caldo said, "Okay, we c'n cut a rug can't we?"
    Veraka began cavorting and capering madly
    And the two tried to follow the tricky jester.
    "Oh Willow, my wanderer, lend me your wand
    Let's put politicians to work in the pond.
    Old Oak and Old Crone, come caper with me,
    Make merry these men and their madness be free!"
    Veraka sang a spellsong, the secret of jesters,
    And Caldo and Krumm came to calamitous confusion.
    Dizzy with dancing, Caldo dealt Krum a decking
    And Krumm came about and cracked Caldo's ribcage
    They wandered off whirling then wheeled in again
    And grabbed in a grapple like gamboling partners
    Bucking and biting as the bard bade them on.
    "What's happening?!?" wailed Caldo and ran off wincing,
    As Krumm clomped after him, kicking and clawing.
    Caldo came about addled and unsure of direction
    And in synchronous strife their struggle did cease
    When the two knocked noggins in nearly waltz-time
    And fell mercifully unconscious. Veraka cackled at Caldo,
    And swiftly stole supplies so the two would not trouble
    The dryad, or any other travelers they dared delay.
    Her companions watched in wonder and worry,
    wide-eyed.
    Veraka's secret store
    Of power then was shown.
    She tapped her ancient lore,
    Her foes did snore and moan.

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • LordRumfishLordRumfish Member Posts: 936
    edited November 2016
    The dryad said, "Damsel, you disport the old magic,
    I thought none of mortal number knew such secrets.
    How is it a human holds the magic of the heart?"
    Veraka said, "Verily, a bard's mind is a vault
    Filled to overflowing with facts and frippery,
    But a jester's true talents are tacit, not taught,
    To say more would sound silly, I can't explain further."
    The dryad smiled and said, "No need for such as I.
    The Seelie would swoon for such skill as yours
    But all I can confer is a cordial against poison.
    What moniker shall I remember my mortal heroine by?"
    "Veraka Cursebringer is my name, kind caretaker,
    These woods will be safe while I watch them, I warrant."
    Minsc said, "Twice true for me, and triple for Boo!"
    Imoen smiled, "Good on you girl, give it your best!"
    The heroes turned then to talk with the dryad
    But she stepped into the stout oak and secluded herself.
    A potion to purify poison was presented on a rock
    Veraka took the flask and their trek towards the gnolls
    went on.
    The dryad was impressed
    With the jester's jaunty power.
    She took some time to rest
    Within her leafy bower.

    They dragged away Caldo and Krumm to a cave
    Where they slept in seclusion in their unconscious state
    After fending off wolves duly dire and dreadful
    They came across coins and a magical halberd
    Within the hollow halls of that hale cavern,
    Treasure from a time too old to remember.
    They walked past a waterfall, wild and wondrous,
    And fought a white wolf who wielded the frost
    It spat snowy ice from its mouth at Veraka
    But the belt she had gotten from Gorion did grant
    Protection from the power of the polar peril.
    The beast was soon stopped by arrows and spells
    And they took its pelt: a wintry white and warm when fashioned.
    They continued on their quest, skirting around cliffs
    Yet soon could not ignore a need nearby,
    The sound of a solitary soul: somewhere close a girl was
    crying.
    Minsc said, "We must give aid!"
    Xzar said, "Let's give sharp shins!"
    Veraka made her way
    Along the cliff's cruel bends.

    The group found a girl who was given to sobbing
    Sitting on the cliff trail in somber solitude
    Veraka said, "My, what a lovely little lady
    To be troubled and travailed. What's your name, dear?"
    The girl sniffed, "Drienne, but my cat slipped and skittered,
    Falling over the waterfall. Could you find Pixie please?"
    "Of course I can, Drienne," Veraka said calmingly,
    "We'll be back with Pixie before you know it."
    Imoen said, "Drienne, it's dangerous to dare here,
    Why don't you play where it's less wild and steep?"
    "Like the roof of the inn?" Veraka prodded Imoen's ribs.
    "That was different, there weren't wolves and waterfalls there,"
    Imoen muttered, and made a mischievous mean face.
    "Different indeed," Veraka said sadly, downcast as she thought
    Of her hearth and home, and how Gorion would not be there.
    Imoen's expression changed instantly from impishness
    And she seemed like a sister as she spoke solemnly,
    "We'll make it Veraka. It might be melancholy,
    But my beautiful big sister is a bard after all.
    This isn't the way we wanted to adventure,
    But we'll make the best of these buffleheads yet."
    Veraka sadly smiled and held her in a hug,
    And said to Drienne, "Yes, we'll seek for some sign
    Of Pixie." Then the party paced to the waterfall's bottom,
    While Xzar rambled and raved of rabbit-footed dragons.
    At the bottom they beheld the body of a cat,
    Poor Pixie had perished in her plummet to earth.
    Veraka grimly gathered up the gray tabby cat
    And returned up the ridge to reach young Drienne.
    Drienne came crying when she collected her cat,
    And Veraka spoke thus to the sad struggling girl:
    "Drienne, you must know now that death does come,
    A part of the path we all walk in this place.
    You should seek to accept that some things make no sense,
    For life defies logic, all things fade at the last."
    Strangely, Drienne did not draw back at her words;
    She replied, "You're right, every time daddy raises her
    She seems to get sicker and struggles so much.
    Maybe this time I'll tell him to bury her;
    Here, have this scroll for hauling her back."
    Drienne gave Veraka a goodly gift goodbye,
    And made her way meetly along meandering cliffs
    towards home.
    Minsc said, "This is so sad,
    That Boo may surely cry!"
    Veraka said, "My lad,
    Your witch is nearly nigh."



    (Note: "sharp shins" might be an obscure reference if you're not from certain parts of America, so I refer you to the story of "Jack and the Bull" here: http://www.ibiblio.org/bawdy/folklore/bull.html , just click the walking boy at the bottom to move between the pages of the story)

    Post edited by LordRumfish on
    MoczoBlackravenJuliusBorisovlolien
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