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Son of Hrorgar
Summoned to the Court of Vjindak,
Son of Vjinmore, King of Evensnow.
- "Mighty caster of magic,
I charge thee to go to Aelfendor,
For its hoary Warriors do threaten my Land
And bring forth their cousin Demons
To terrify my People."
Son of Hrorgar
Heard the Words of Vjindak Evensnow.
- "By Icestaff,
Surely I would help thee
But I have already a Quest to drink
Twelve Flagons of Mead in one Hour,
And then to bed four Wenches,
So I must with grace decline."
The King he did not smile
At Hrormir and his jolly Spirit.
- "By thine Honor
Must thou aidest my Cause
For must thou takest up the Sword
Of thy Companion Darfang
Who took the Quest and failed."
- "Now I know thou jest.
My boon Mate Darfang wouldst not fail.
There be no finer Bladesman.
If thou chargest him, he wouldst not fall."
- "I did not say he fell.
He joined the Dark Kings of Aelfendor
And by doing so dishonored
Himself and thee, his Friend."
Hrormir could not believe the Words,
And yet, he knew Eversnow
Didst not lie.
So for twenty Days and three rodeth he
To the Land of Night, the Kingdom of Fear,
Where the Peasants ever carried Candles
Knowing what Evil awaiteth them
Should they stray beyond the Glow.
The Sovereigncy of three Dark Kings:
There, Torch in Hand, didst Hrormir
Pass through haunted Countryside
And frightened Villages,
And through the black Gates
Of the blacker Castle of Aelfendor.
The three Dark Kings didst sneer
At the sight of mighty Hrormir
And summoned they their Champion
Darfang the Blade.
- "My boon Companion!"
Hrormir called in the Hall of Night.
- "I dare not trust my Eyes,
For then I wouldst believe
That thou hast joined with Evil,
And turned thy Way from Honor
Darfang the Blade didst cry.
- "If thou dost not go now,
One of us must die, for I hate thee!"
But Hrormir was battle ready,
And in the echoing Halls of Night
The Blade of Darfang
And the Staff of Hrormir
Didst strike again and yet again.
Mighty Warriors and Mages both,
The boon Companions now Foes,
Shook Mundus with their War.
They might have fought for a Year
If there were Sun in Aelfendor
To mark Time,
And either Hrormir or Darfang
May verily have won.
But Hrormir saweth through the Dark
The Tears in the Eyes of his former Friend,
And then he saweth the Shadow of Darfang
Wert not his own.
And so with Icestaff, he did strike
Not Darfang, but his Shadow, which cried.
- "Hold, Mortal Man!"
The Shadow becameth the Hag,
Bent and twisted, in her Cloak and Hood.
From her faceless Shadows, she hissed.
- "Mortal Man called Hrormir
The Soul of thy boon Companion
Is my Plaything,
But I will take thine in trade,
For though ye both have strong Arms,
Thou hast the more clever Mind
Which my Sons the Dark Kings need
For a Champion of Aelfendor."
Hrormir the brave didst not take a Breath
Or pause before he boldly said.
- "Shadowy Hag, release Darfang,
And thou mayst use me as thou will."
The Hag didst laugh and freed Darfang.
- "To save thine Honor this thou hast done,
But now thou must be without Honor
Mortal Man, as the Champion
Of the Dark Kings, my Heirs of Gray Maybe,
Thou must help them divide Aelfendor,
And love me,
Thy Shadowy Hag and thy Mistress well."
For his loss of Honor,
And his dear Friend's Sacrifice,
Noble Darfang prepared to take his Dagger
And plunge it in his good Heart,
But Hrormir stayed his Brother's Hand and whispered.
- "No, boon Companion,
Wait for me at the Village Banquet Hall."
And then did Darfang the Blade leave the Castle
While Hrormir took the withered Claw
Of the Hag, and pressed it to his Lips.
- "Shadowy Hag, to thee I pledge
To only honor thy black Words
To turn my back on Truth
To aid thy Dark Kings' Ambition
To divide their Inheritance fairly
To love thee
To think thee beautiful."
Then to the Chamber in the Heart of Night
Hrormir and the Hag did retire
Kissed he there her wrinkled Lips
And her wrinkled, sagging Breasts,
For ten Days and Nights and three did Hrormir
And his Icestaff
Then Sweet Kynareth blew honeyed Winds
O'er the Hills and Forest Glens of Aelfendor,
And the Caress of warm blooded Dibella
Coaxed the Blossoms to wanton Display
So that Aelfendor became a Garden
Of all the Senses.
The frightened Servants of the Dark Kings
Woke to find there was naught to fear
And through the once dark Streets of the Village
Came the Cries of Celebration.
In the Banquet Hall of the Village
Hrormir and his boon Companion Darfang
Embraced and drank of rich Mead.
The Shadowy Hag too was smiling,
Sleeping still in her soft Bed,
Until the morning Sun touched her naked Face
And she awoke, and saw All,
And knew All saw her.
And she cried out:
- "Mortal Man!"
Night fell fast upon the Land
As the Hag flew into the Banquet Hall
Casting blackest Darkness in her Wake
But all the Celebrants still could see
In her monstrous Face
And they shook with Fear.
The Hag had said the Kingdom was
To be divided among her Heirs.
But Aelfendor had been kept whole
While her Children divided,
Drawn and quartered.
Hrormir was mightily amused.
He swallowed his Laughter
In his Mead,
For none should laugh outright
At the Daedra Lord Nocturnal.
Without her gray Cowl of shadowed Night,
Her hideous Face forced the Moons
To hide themselves.
Hrormir the mighty did not quail.
- "Wherest be thine Hood, shadowy hag?"
- "Mortal Man hast taken it from me unaware.
When I awoke, my Face unmasked,
My Kingdom cast into the Light,
My Dark King Heirs in Pieces cast,
And here, my Champion smiles.
Yet in truth, thou kept thy Promise truly,
To never keep thy Promise true."
Son of Hrorgar
Bowed to the Hag, his Queen.
- "And evermore,
'Til thou releaseth me, will I serve thee so."
- "A clever Mind in a Champion
Is a much overvalued Trait."
The Hag released Hrormir's Soul
And he released her Hood.
And so in the Light of darkest Dark,
She left Aelfendor evermore.
And after drinking twelve Flagons of Mead,
And bedding four Wenches
Did Darfang return to Eversnow
Son of Hrorgar.