Masters of the World

The Lay of Dorin ap-Morrad

(says Tahquil)
Happy come I to Dartuk-house
Your ancestors have deep deeds to cheer.
’tween Staff Mages and my Convokers
Let water be shared let bonds draw tight

(says Thewell, the herald)
Welcome you are to Dartuk-house.
My master is away and will not entertain,
Though you may cavort with un-welcomed guests.
In his broad halls be no bad host.

(says Argius)
Pleasing to eyes is the elements’ envoy
Pleased to speak am I, for a while.
For short-staff bairn, to woo is like to win,
Close enough to win for one such as me.

(says The Lucky One)
Happy come I to Dartuk-house
Your ancestors have great good to cheer.
’tween High Mages and my Convokers
Let merriment make and drink be shared.

(says Thewell)
Welcome you are to Dartuk-house.
Your face familiar have you crossed before?
No matter to Dartuk who greets not with care.
In his broad halls be no bad host.

To Darovia come they questions to ask.
Wojket, wanderer weaver of wiles, and
Nemith spell-sucked child of the earth,
To Darovia come they answers to find.

Entrance they seek to Dartuk-house
Entrance they gain by Luck’s stroke
But fellow traveler with unwise words
Puts plan to peril, mars careful masks.

(says Kita)
Why lay you blows, oh Staff Mage,
On your faithful man? Harbor you not
The kindness of kin that all alive share?
Our words warn you before blows best you.

(says a wicked Mage-Baron)
Baron I am, and better for it.
Curse you the rain when down it beats?
More insolent still to curse I for same.
Run hence, before I, like rain, beat all around.

(says Wojekt)
Your staff may seem solid and strong,
But methinks that its reach isn’t long.
And thine true staff is loose and limp;
It has never found something to touch.

(says Nemith)
Run we now, for see, our opinions offend.
Fly you few, become you winged. I’ll behind,
Stay with servants, for my legs lack vigor
And meet at the morn if hidden I remain.

The two noble born find the one noble-seeming,
Aghast at the ruse, see his false Engro-form.
Unknowable it is, why a woman he mocked,
Unknowable also, why what follows, does.

Bad-hosting Dartuk, to amend his failing,
Jails all who had cause to complain.
Their screams ring; ransoms they seek,
They come to ken they’re hosted for good.

In the morn few meet, the Norns’ will done,
Nemith caught out by grasping gaze
Tahquil and Argius by soldiers snared.
Luck and Kita to birds belong.

(says Argius)
Though pain you bring, pain I can stand,
If only by the binds that support me.
I’ve told you true of treacherous friends,
What more want you? Only screams remain.

(says Dorin, the Torturer)
Only screams want I, only pain brings me peace.
For Balegyr I hold to be truest above.
Writhing and writhing ’neath his widening eye
Is how he demands you. Who am I to decline?

(says Tahquil)
Though pain you bring, pain I can stand,
By the knowledge of what fate awaits you.
My father, your enemy implacable has been,
And to retrieve me your gaol is no barrier.

(says Dorin)
Imagine the grief when he comes in that door,
Troops clad in mail bearing keen arms,
And sees his child lying still on floor
Clad in blood, bearing no arms.

(says Nemith)
Pain they bring me, this pain I can stand.
Glad I am low born of interest little,
Those nobler sorts are getting far worse
Than I’d ever want for test of my own.

(says Dorin)
All in time, all in plan.
When have the poorest escaped true pain?
When full up I am on nobler blood,
I wake late at night to lap at yours.

Wojekt, leaping, brine-blessed, protected,
Finds those who flew and weaves rescue.
Into gaol’s heart Luck wears soldier’s face,
Loom and the Cold One, in fetters, but unbound.

“I chant a charm the chains to break
so the fetters will fly off my feet,
and off my hands the halter – "

No spell need they now, but battle is joined.

Within hall and tunnel blades flash, boots stomp.
The battle raging, the darers winning,
Though blade and bite burn deep, blood seeping,
Triumphs compound, the lost find rescue.

Kita, Freer, Saver of souls lost and kept,
In cell after cell, from misery removes
All those who hurt, and with Smiter swung wide,
Head-ringing, strikes all those who hurt.

A Staff-Day truer no Mage has seen
Than when the gaoled raised dreamt-of staves
’Gainst former keepers, flinging might and fury,
Warring on men, and dreaded Spell-Sucker.

Reunions on hold, accusations unspoken,
All thoughts are bent on escape, on survival.
Their blades quick and spells mighty,
They hew well; but with cost.

(says Dorin)
Embattled you are, Once-Bear has fallen,
A half-man revealed how pitiful he seems!
And his guardian, the Snow-Sent,
adds corpse to wounded, adds grief to inglory!

My master smiles on at this my defeat,
Pain wants he, and pain I on send,
The wounds, the deaths I’ve done are enough
To win me good harbor In Scaetha’s Hall

(says Kita)
Struck down, I seemed, but unwounded, I be.
And the pain you crave passes, if slowly.
The prison has bars it can but briefly reach past
And all you’ve done will not last.

(says Dorin)
In this world true does pain ebb and flow
But tides never change in the lands below.
Think that all you will escape, in the end?
Yes! Balegyr clutches all hurt straight to him!

My soul, it shall be as damned and black
As Echoing Screams whereto it goes;
In death as in life all shall be howls;
My master smiles, and I grim grin back.



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