24th of Reaping 383 ONT, The Underdark below Gibbly Caves, Western Shore, Lyithalus Vinyards, Elven Court, Argyle 10:51pm
Ser Onus Thesalour forced himself to move forward, using the chalk to steadily mark his path. He focused on his training, his life skills and experience and tried to drive the Should Not’s from his mind, as they threatened to undo him. He had sworn to himself years ago that he would not die in a cave, that he was done hunting the evils that rotted bellow the surface, and would spend his remaining days in peace… now look at him… he forced the thought form his mind, forced himself to recite the marching song from when he worked with the Sons of Treefall
…but I…. will hold on hope
…and I…. won’t let you choke
… On the noose around your neck
… and I’ll… find strength in pain
… and I… will change my ways.
I’ll know my name as it’s called again
It helped… a little, it pushed the fears down a little further and allowed him to slide through another two tunnels. He heard something now, a deep burbling laughter, a rumbling hideous noise that would make a demon quiver in unease, the sound was that of a Roper experiencing joy… he had found his quarry. Carefully the elf climbed a wall that took him high and let him look down upon the scene. The roper stood situated in the centre of the room, and they’re were the two children, Samson and Amber… by his reckoning Amber was maybe seven, and Samson was little better at nine. The children would try and run for one of the four cave tunnels that might lead away, and every time they were almost there, a giant tentacle would smack down on the ground blocking their way while another one would lash at them until the moved closer to the maw of the beast… then the sick creature would laugh and ignore them for a moment to let them try and again. The fear welled up in him again; maybe with one kid he could roll into the room, dazzle or blind the creature and grab the kid and run, equal parts skill and luck would let him out distance the creature and get them away. But their were two kids… two, and the Samson kids was a shade on the portly side, the odds of him being able to carry both for any distance, or to roll or tumble with them in his arms, it was an unlikely outcome… a new plan was to be had.
At starfade a time comes
When you see one brilliant star left behind
When the starry host has departed.
The star fades, the world does not wait.
Why do I linger and sing
Under this fading/mortal light?
There is a daisy among the elanor blossoms
To me it is fair.
There is a birch tree under the mallorn trees
To me it is fair.
There is a butterfly above the swan
To me it is fair.
A spark/small star follows Sirius
To me it is fair.
The leaves of the mallorn are numberless
One tiny leaf, one fading leaf
Holds my eyes. When will it fall?
The brilliant star is fading
Now it departs the heavens
Now I will depart the world
Holding a leaf in my hand.
Onus projected in his best stage voice as he entered the room, his sword was sheathed and he recited the ancient poem as best he could in it’s original elvish. The beast stopped its laughter and turned its tentacles ready to strike, but instead it paused and heard him out. As Thesalour finished he waved his hands with a flourish and entered a deep bow.
“HURBLE YERBAL YOU SPEAK OF THE POEMS OLD, HERBLE I HAVE NOT HEARD IN TIMES NOT RECALLED, WHAT TRAP IS THIS YERBAL HERBLE?” The roper groaned out the words, its every syllable sounding like granite grinding to dust.
“My intentions are true and honest, I come for the children, they are not much, poor entertainment, poorer nutrition… they will not do, not at all” Thesalour said to the creature
“My mom says I am very…” Samson started before he was cut off
The back hand from the knight send the kid flying backwards to fall on the ground, slightly dazed. Thesalour had not held back at all
“HA HA YERBAL HA” The creature gave its grotesque laugh and while it did Thesalour hissed a whisper
“on your life and mine child, not another word, not until sun beats down on your face” Thesalour said nothing else instead turning to the beast as it’s laughter subsided
“HERBAL YERBAL ENTTERTAINED I AM!” It groaned
“As well you should, for whom among us cannot enjoy the tenants of the low brow and slap stick humor that the morons so flock to, but I see wisdom in that eye of red, a yearning for something deeper, something more… and so I bring an offer, something exciting and new” the creatures interest was peaked, the great eye was focused on him…
“YERBAL HERBAL… WHAT OFFER HERBAL YOU HAVE?” it inquired, a large chalky tongue hanging from its toothy maw
“No, before we speak of business, we must first, have another poem…” Thesalour proclaimed, immediately dancing back into his stage voice
In western lands beneath the Sun
In spring, flowers rise,
The trees bud, waters run,
And the merry little birds sing.
There it is cloudless night
And shuddering beeches hold
The starry host, the white jewels,
On their branching hair.
Here at my path’s end I am lingering
In deep darkness buried.
Beyond towers strong and high
Beyond all mountains steep
Above all shadows rides the Sun
And stars always dwell.
I will not say ‘The day is done’
Or to the stars ‘farewell’.
As he spoke Thesalour moved with the words positioning himself between the Ropers maw and the children, and placing it so the great eye would see him first and foremost
“YERBAL HERBAL I LIKE THE WERBAL, HERBAL YERBAL WHAT OFFER DO YOU BRING?” it creaked
“I bring the offer of a game, one that may well peak your interest, one that will surly inspire mine…” he saw the eye widen in excitement and knew that his plan had a shot, a faint one but a shot none the less. “I will remain here, and recite every poem and song of old that I know for you, I have collected a few over the years, but not so many that it will be endless…”
“YERBAL NO HERBAL, I WILL NOT HERBAL LET THEM GO HERBAL HERBAL” The beast snarled, catching on
“Nor should you, that is hardly a game at all” Thesalour forced out a laugh, “No my great stony friend, here is the game… I have marked the tunnels to safety for the children with chalk, as you are aware it is a long journey, they are small, tired and injured… if they had all the time in the world they may not actually make it, but they do not. For as soon as I speak a poem that bores you, or finish the poems that I know, you will devour me and begin the chase. Should they make it to sunlight, they are free. Should you catch them before they reach the surface, they are yours to continue to toy with until you are hungry once more. That, my friend… is a game” the creature closed and opened its eye as it considered the challenge, slowly its excessive stony maw curled into a cruel unforgiving smile.
“YERBAL HERBAL AGREE I DERBAL!” it proclaimed
“so be it, I will tell them where to look for the chalk, then begin my first recitation” Thesalour announced, and without awaiting an answer he turned back to the kids, pulling Samson to his feet and Amber in close. He whispered the words trying to keep what he could from the roper who loomed behind. “head me well,” he began popping a lip from a potion and feeding half to each… “this will quicken your pace for, and give you more energy to keep going, you know the glyphs of heroes of old? The ones in Gibbly Caves?” he asked, Amber nodded, Samson did to, though a little more slowly “Good, those same glyphs are in the hall, and they make a trail all the way to surface, do not tarry and follow the glyphs, no breaks, no food, just keep walking until you are back in the sun… do you understand?” he looked at them both, and undid the vial on his coat, the one that caused the room to shine like starlight. “This is Tinu-Gilgalad” he said, putting the vial in Ambers hand, “It will bring the star’s of the elven lands to even the darkest of places, hold it tight and let it light your way” Amber took the vial but rushed forward hugging him, tears began with her and Samson followed “None of that, none of that now, I need you both to be brave…” he said softly “… this is not your fault, people may try to lay blame, but I know of these things, and I am telling you truly,this is not your fault. Follow the glyphs, look after one another and…”
“HERBAL YERBAL TIRED A GROW”
“Of course,” Thesalour said loudly, offering the children one last hug before turning them towards the correct hallway and giving them a little push to get them started “… be brave… be brave for me” he whispered to them as they began to job away, he then turned back to the beast “Are you prepared?”
“YERBAL I AM HERBAL” it cracked and hissed
“Then, so to am I” He lied, the darkness took the room as the two children made their way into the cavern halls and hurried to the surface… once again Thesalour was underground, alone and in the dark…. The fear came back, stronger than ever before. “Let us begin, with the Last Stand of Dalathan, A sonnet of 127 stanza’s” he cleared his throat and fought back the lump
There was a time when men were kind
And their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time that love was blind
And the song was so exciting…
There was a time… Then… it… all… went… wrong…