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A roadside tavern

 
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AdamR



Joined: 25 May 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:08 pm    Post subject: A roadside tavern Reply with quote

Rain lashed down across the land, calling to mind tales of flood and ruin, within the tavern people sat huddled clasping their ale and mead as though it was a lifeline in a storm, and for some it was so. The fire crackled in the hearth, its hunger and intensity holding the deluge at bay, its light flickering as water pounded down the chimney from the roiling clouds above.

“It aint natural” the words, though softly spoken seemed to resonate through the room. Heads turned to old Arfon in the corner, his eyes wide and worried.
"It aint!” he declared, louder and more certain. “There’s a darkness upon us, mark me well. Evil abounds, you can feel it in the air. The only thing to do is stick to the light, dont leave the fires glow ere your doom you’ll meet”

The door swung open and a figure stood there a moment, a crack of lightning illuminating a dark silhouette as thunder growled in the heavens. The figure stepped inside, sodden and dripping onto the floor he pulled the door closed and shrugged off his cloak, hanging it to dry, placing a large round shield against the wall, its device obscured from view.

The room silently regarded the man, he was neither tall nor short, a bear of a man with the look of a fighter past his prime. He was clad in a blackened leather breastplate and dark kilt with a sodden sporen at his waist and a long hafted axe as his side which seemed to catch the light strangely. At first people took him to be a mcUen but there seemed about him am otherworldly quality that marked him clearly as Fae.

The barman cleared his throat nervously and said “Peace be upon ye stranger and welcome to the Hospitality of the Rising Sun”
The newcomer smiled “May peace reign upon this fine building and its patrons barkeep. My thanks to you for your hospitality which I accept.” The undercurrent of tension which had pervaded the room vanished like fog before the noonday sun. “Further I shall repay your kindness thricefold, with sanctity for the sanctuary you offer, service this eve in guarding this place from the darkness for your service as a host and a story for my supper.” The mans hand dropped to his axe and the tension returned as he withdrew it and spoke words in the ancient tongue of the Fae.

Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus,
Aur y byd na'i berlau mân
Gofyn wyf am galon hapus,
Calon onest, calon lân.


The axe began to glow with a comforting light and the feelings of worry and tensions slipped away in its radiance, the darkness being driven back by the blades holy light.

The man smiled and rose to his feet approaching the bar where a grateful barman poured a glass of mead. “That was well done sir knight. I would fetch you supper and keep you in your cups for that alone but still would hear a tale from a traveller."
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Tavian: God gives me the ability to be better than my enemies, and better than myself alone.

Carson: I have all the morals you're willing to pay for.
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AdamR



Joined: 25 May 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Hear ye well good folk for I speak of as great an evil as ere I have known. Tis a tale of darkness aye and sorrow, of heroes lost in the deepest darkness with nary a light to be found.

Twas a night such as this that the tale began, darkness enclosing the heroes, pressing against the valiant defences of their candles. A bitter wind moaned through the trees, an eerie prophet of the doom awaiting them. Thunder rumbled just as it does now and the rain beat on the roof of a lowly tavern in the wilderness much like this place.

It was in the days when the Witch King ruled the night, his malefic armies butchering the innocent, burning towns and cities, listen carefully and you will hear the screams echo on the North wind ere now. The Adversary had unleashed a greater horror upon the shards in the form of a corrupting Blight. A pervasive growth which strangled life and fed the tainted foe. Even to speak of this creation is to know of its dread power. Feel within yourselves now the chill gripping at your hearts and know that for the unlikely heroes it was incalculably worse. The very life was being torn from their bodies piece by piece.

They had a choice then, a choice faced often by men and women but made only by heroes. They could stand against this darkness, risking their very souls to save countless others. They could accept that their bones lie in forgotten fields to the benefit of those who know them not. Roll the dice of fate to confront this evil. Or they could run, they could hide and live on with th3 shame of their actions, their grief at every innocent who had died because they were found wanting in the hour of their great calling. I raise a glass to honour them now, who chose the harder path to righteousness.
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Tavian: God gives me the ability to be better than my enemies, and better than myself alone.

Carson: I have all the morals you're willing to pay for.
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AdamR



Joined: 25 May 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every story needs a Hero, a character who shapes the world even as events shape them, in this tale there were many Heroes and aye, heroines in abundance also. The character here though is a noble Knight, a man who seeks justice and righteous in service to a power higher than himself. A knight so noble that he can serve both night and day, dreams and nightmares and be declared champion of a faerie queen for his valour.

Such a man seems a poor choice of character I am sure for the greatest stories are for those who come from naught, perhaps in time you will hear more tales of this man and you will come to see that this is the case with him. His stories are hard to find for his humility is well known, but seek them out good people and discover the true Hero of the Story of Faerie.

For now though we will deal with this tale. To the surprise of none the Knight of Justice rallied to this noble cause. Not for himself, his story was not a concern, he fought because it was right to do so and he had made a promise at the grave of a fallen companion to stand when called. He sfood for all those who could not stand for themselves and the other heroes stood with him.

The first trial was to pass deeper into darkness, beyond the gates of dread where souls are torn asunder and the afterlife denied to all who there should fall. The guardian of the gates was a fearsome creature, who with a touch could slay even the mightiest of foes, the heroes were perturbed. This was a challenge greater than they had dared fear and their spirits waned.

Our Hero saw this and valiantly stood forth, “I will distract the beast” he declared, his calm voice galvanising the heroes will. “Go on and I shall find you, or if it means my death so be it”

The Heroes second, a righteous man stood to his side as the creature was too much for one alone. The Hero and his second used their wit and speed to confound the creature who could not match their cunning for all its fell power, the other heroes progressing unmolested through the gates of dread.

Finally when just the two survived there was no way to both make it to safety. “You must go” the hero spoke “I will hold the beast for you, even if it means my destruction.”

His second refused. “The way beyond is too hard, I am not as you, your light will be needed more than mine.” The Hero argued, he would not allow another to sacrifice for him, his honour being to strong for this but his second was cunning and tricked him to standing before the gate, the second then hurled himself at the dread creature, one hand pushing the Hero to safety, sacrificing all that the shards have a hope, his belief in the Hero absolute.

The hero was shaken by the loss of his second, he longed to mourn, to let his grief reign but that is not what Heroes do. There would be time for grief, time for mourning, but only if the heroes were successful, until then the Hero resolved to honour the memory of his fallen brother by continuing this good work. By being the Hero that Faerie needed and overcoming this evil.
_________________
Tavian: God gives me the ability to be better than my enemies, and better than myself alone.

Carson: I have all the morals you're willing to pay for.
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AdamR



Joined: 25 May 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The heroes travelled on until they reached a scant sanctuary, a mimicry of the tavern they had left ling ago but shrouded in darkness and weakened by evils grasp on the realm of dread in which they walked.

Thrice did the enemy attack that sanctuary and thrice did the Hero rush to its defence with other brave heroes at his side. But as the heroes grew weaker the enemy grew stronger. The heroes started to fall with grievous wounds and the enemy rallied once more, preparing the way for a Barghest. Ladies and gentlemen I say to you now, give thanks to your gods that you have not witnessed an evil so pure and condensed as a Barghest, that you have never needed to stare upon the face of wickedness and vile torment or been plagued by the howls of the thrice damned.

But the heroes did have to face it, wounded, tired they had to stand and had little time. So the Hero prayed, even as other heroes cast forth great magics to the void to seek salvation he sat quietly and prayed to his god to deliver them from this evil and guide them to the light. His prayers were answered. Archangel appeared to the heroes and offered them hope, he had returned the Knight or Light to aid them and succour for their wounds. They were renewed and hope kindled inside them.

The knight wept tears of joy that his old companion had been returned which mingled with the tears of grief from a companion lost. His prayers had balanced the scales of Justice and given the heroes a chance.

Then came the Barghest. The beast itself was twice the size of a cart horse and fire spewed from its cavernous mouth. Razor sharp teeth coated in the blood of the innocent gnashed at the heroes and gave them pause. But its worst form was that of a man, its honeyed words laces with poisonous evil, insipidly worming their way into the thoughts and fears of the heroes and bringing them despair as the enshrouding darkness tightened its wings about them. But as is always the case with darkness, it falters before even the dimest of lights. A flickering candle can hold back the tides of night as surely as a mountain can weather the anger of the clouds. Our Hero is no dim flame, his companions carried the light within them as he knew well and with a few well spoken words he overcame the despair of the Knight of Light and opened the wellspring of goodness and joy and love that the heroes carried in their hearts. Before the unyielding torrent of Light the Barghest was unmade. The fierce champion of evil laid low by the heroes of the shards and a few well spoken words.
_________________
Tavian: God gives me the ability to be better than my enemies, and better than myself alone.

Carson: I have all the morals you're willing to pay for.
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AdamR



Joined: 25 May 2017
Posts: 10

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is here my friends that our tale draws to a close, for the events that next transpired are a secret unto those who made the journey but I can say this. The light prevailed that day as it always has and always will. Just like those heroes you will sometimes walk in darkness and the light may seem far away, but you can carry it with you where ere you go.

And in the darkest of nights when evil abounds most freely know that the Hero of Faerie still walks amongst you as do his companions.

Seek his stories my friends for he will tell none of them, his name is Sir Ryain, my brother, my captain and my compass.”

The storyteller bowed and the tavern sat in silence absorbing the words, he returned his glass to the bar and buckled on his cloak again before picking up his shield and turning towards the door.
“Wait!” called Arfon, the darkness is still outside, wait until morning at least storyteller and grace us with your name”

The storyteller smiled fondly and replied “My name is Sir Gwydion, I am the Knight of Light and even the deepest darkness falls before the dawn”
_________________
Tavian: God gives me the ability to be better than my enemies, and better than myself alone.

Carson: I have all the morals you're willing to pay for.
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