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:: The Balad of Toren Isa :: :: The Forgotten :: :: The End of the Beginning :: :: Untitled :: :: Sorrow :: :: The Forgotten Ones :: :: From the Eye of the Palantir :: :: Music :: :: Night Moves :: :: A Bardic Tale ::



By Yedrow Tulgruff


Circling the valley

A beast black and fell

Born not of mother

Known only by hell

To doom, to nothing

To waste, twas it bound

So rabid, so froth

So feral the sound

Aloft to the sky

To stain and destroy

No mercy could such

A grim soul employ

And falling beneath it

Strong heroes so proud

Left in the field

Neither mantle nor shroud

No one could stop that

Mad dance of Doom

where once was a city

Now only a tomb

Then legends were written

And law and decree

No one could go near

No one could see

The place where once

The choice virgins danced

And young men had courted

Leather girded with lance

Where mothers had suckled

The tiny and pure

No map of this place

Was left to endure


To a mountaintop sodden

With blood from the land

That great feral beast

Loosed by death’s hand

Returned to consume

A chalice of gore

Twice sundered bodies

Thrice broken and more

Which black lust had dreamed

As it formed in the pit

Hearts and hands

Grey heads on a spit

Sloshing and mocking

All that life has

Driving out love

Creating morass

Breaking the temples

Opening the graves

Nare’ enough pity

To make even slaves

And when he had finished

and all life was gone

He squatted contented

On a bone mound throne


Isa could dance

And Toren could play

They wandered in freedom

Never counting a day

The Fir Elf had feet

As swift as a song

The human had fingers

Light touching though strong

And each was deadly

To battle both known

If in a city

Folks left them alone

She had a bow

Of silver and light

He, magic armor

For he was a knight

She could deliver

A barb to an eye

Nothing was safe

Which she could e’spy

Her long golden locks

Were tied back severe

Her eyes turned black

When she leveled her stare

And he was mighty

Tall and proud

A little too clumsy

A little to loud

Yet as loyal as a hound

And to her he was wed

If you tried to touch her

He’d take off your head

He held her

She fed him

They searched as a team

Loving intensely

Living a dream

If rumor would have

That treasure lay near

Both would be marching

Unknowing of fear


Something had entered

Something had come

The waiting was gnawing

Its body was numb

How long had it been

A month or a year

How long had it waited

For souls to come near

Centuries perhaps

No one could say

How long it had been

Since murder held sway

The valley recovered

Life had returned

Yet the mountain lay barren

A thousand years burned

Stretching its talons

With hideous glee

What was that thing?

Down there by the tree

A morsel, a tidbit

A soul to enjoy

A fear shrieking pretty

A momentary toy

Stalking a roebuck

From boulder to hedge

Shadow-like motions

From middle to edge

Then doom made a gurgle

A mistake unplanned

The shadow stopped frozen

Then held up its hand

The red deer departed

With several great bounds

Then Doom started forward

Emitting mad sounds


Elindale was making

A new kind of seed

To be part flower

As well as part weed

She worked in a valley

She didn’t like much

It had an odd odor

Of dead things and such

She talked to Rinnani

Though why I can’t say

It seems they had business

In the valley that day

Up through a gully

A ruckus arose

The fell sound of battle

Death in its throw’s

They looked at each other

Then were another place

To a tree in a glen

At lightning strike pace

Ere the combatants

Had embraced in the fight

The goddesses alighted

With a twinkle of light

A great oak splintered

And the beast came through

Three arrows she loosed

The best she could do

Toren was far back

Concealed for the hunt

She aimed for the face

And prepared for the brunt

Her body was shattered

In one hideous stroke

Through her hands were crushed

Her bow wasn’t broke

Toren bellowed in anguish

And pulled at his hair

He fell to his knees

Lost love cracked the air

Doom cackled madly

Chortling his glee

In spite of the presence

Of the arrows three

The human leapt forward

From the ground with a roar

Gripping his steel lance

At it’s black heart he tore

Doom swiped heavily

And bore Toren down

Imagining havoc

Then adopting a frown

How strange thought the creature

That thing’s still intact

Toren stood upright

And gave it some back

He stabbed at its stomach

Then up ‘neath its chin

Dodging and thrusting

Again and again

The human’s blue armor

Held those talons at bay

Though that thick hided beast

Fared in the same way

Rinnani was watching

And Elindale as well

Though their hearts their hidden

And their intents as well

A soft glow spread outward

A fir elf it found

Up lifting the body

Three feet from the ground

Returning the life

To a fair female form

"Return to the living"

"Be once again warm"


Toren was faltering

His breath was a gasp

His lance dropped lower

Held loose in his grasp

But Doom never wearied

To kill he was made

His ardor for fighting

Had a thousand men frayed

Then out of the shadows

Came so tiny a thing

A sliver of steelwood

A snickering sting

Three arrows still pierced

That beast’s feral face

Though of the fourth barb

There wasn’t a trace

Through the eye of that beast

And into it’s brain

The arrow flew straitly

And another again

Shock crossed its visage

As it fell to the ground

A low grumbling wheeze

And no other sound


Toren staggered backward

As if struck by a bolt

His heart quivered quickly

Like a newly born colt

As Isa ran headlong

Into his arms and his love

They fell in the fresh grass

Never seeing the dove

Who watched from a willow

Along side an owl

That gazed appreciably

Across a valley less fowl

And the mountain above them

Long barren of life

Awaited the seedling

Which would tell of the strife

That ages ago

Had stricken the land

The trouble had ended

Now new things began


Toren said to "Isa"

"I’m dirty and hot"

Isa retorted

"And you think that I’m not"

Hand in hand they ran down

‘tword a grotto they’d seen

Shucking their clothing

In the grass fresh and green

Like deer they skipped forward

Despite the battle smear

Till they came to the pool

Spring fed, sparkling clear

Together in motion

Neither knowing of sin

Like when they were children

They jumped right in