The Sword Master
Crouching in the trees he waited
hushed, still, his eye's baited,
overlooking the enemy hoards,
a vast army of battle hardened Orks.
Carnivorous, filthy beasts eating flesh of younglings,
his battalion to be, but mere lads with war callings.
Seething he waits, plotting, planning strategies,
envisioning his revenge on the hoard's sentries.
“They go first and hardest of all,“ he swears.
They killed my younglings while unawares,
Silently sneaking, creeping upon the lad's beds
as visions of comely wenches danced in their heads.
He had left them for the night you see.
An appointment with the king had he
to report on the progress they were making.
Soon to be needed, young soldiers for the taking.
Well versed in battle lessons they were,
but of women they had heard no slur,
so easily were led into a young boy's fantasy.
Of fair maidens they knew not it was chancy.
Around the campfire tales of bravery they did tell
when a maiden came upon, her voice like a bell.
She begged for help for her sisters and she.
So sweet she appeared crying out her plea.
The lads were as one by her enchanted this night.
For she and her sisters they swore they would fight.
To serve and protect would be their motto
never guessing treachery afore the morrow.
As the beguiling sisters shyly from the trees came,
each one a beauty. Virtue she need not proclaim.
The younglings under the siren's spell did fall
never to doubt the maidens were true ladies all.
Sweet words were exchanged with a coy glance and a pout.
The lads got all puffed up to protect them no doubt.
The maidens were given the best shelter they possessed,
Then the noble young men to tales of bravery digressed.
Each to his own ale induced dreams easily did fall.
After which, the sirens sent out the faithful call
to their masters waiting impatiently in the forest.
They cast out a message to the pacing ork farthest.
Leader of the sentries, he screeched wildly in the night.
"Onward! Onward! Onward! To the camp. To the fight!"
Twentyfive hoary orks did fly through the wood
to find a youngling lookout watching, as he should.
The poor brave boy was caught unawares.
Gallantly, he tried to light the signal flares
that would call his brothers to the fight
before all was to be lost this night.
Too late to the flare the youngling boy died alone.
The filthy ork behind him crushed skull with stone,
as others crept silently in the night
anticipating the gore of death's bite.
The younglings all were slew this fateful night.
Asleep in warm beds they thought all was right.
As the glamour of hags was released,
comely wenches became as beasts.
The younglings were eaten. Each hag had a piece
while orks upon the young man flesh did feast.
Hags danced and chanted naked around a fat fed fire
as the king's hope for soldiers in the night did expire.
Smeared with blood of the innocent young men
Loathsome hags and Orks did go off to begin
planning the attack upon the good king
knowing of victory they surely would sing.
They had done their task with a gleeful relish.
Tales of courage in future they would embellish.
The master would look upon them with favor.
Youngling flesh they still had left over to savor.
To camp and slumber they went without a care
thinking to attack them now no one would dare.
For who was left to attack them in this wood?
Younglings were the only ones close that could.
Little did they know that in a not so far off tree
a loyal sword master bade his time and did see
a tiny chance to revenge his youngling men
and save the kingdom from harm yet again.
Caged in the back, surrounded by steel,
a captive young woman of a great appeal,
held hostage by the vile, loathsome hags
her once regal clothing now tattered rags.
She was so familiar but he just could not place.
could not seem to figure it out... That face.
He had seen her before, he just knew it.
Time to dwell on it, he just could not do it.
Her face haunted about the back of his thoughts.
His plan grew hinting of the victory he sought.
She was the key, the way to defeat greater numbers
but he must be patient and wait for orks to slumber.
He had seen this before, once, long ago.
A maiden drained of magic for others to sow.
They would keep her to drain as long as she lived,
bit by bit depleted, until she had nothing left to give.
The hags were feeding on her power each night
using a long lost form of Blood magic rites.
That she breathed yet was nothing less than a sign.
She must be strong, more power left to be mined.
He was not totally sure how to best use her yet
but he was somehow sure that they had met.
but still, he did not know.
It mattered not one bit, he firmly decided.
He could not allow his attention to be divided.
Coming soon was the darkness of night
and later still he would have to fight.
A one in a million chance had he,
to succeed and avenge his silent plea
sent on high to heaven this night.
“Aid me now in this wretched plight.“
In the camp orks drank and made sport,
with monstrous hags did they madly cavort.
While the hero watched and waited,
orks and hags perversely mated.
As the night progressed and debauchery increased,
the maiden from her cage was cruelly released.
A barbed collar around her throat bound to chain,
so hideous hags could bleed her for dark power to gain.
When she could no longer stand,
she was pulled by the band,
thrown cruelly back into the cage.
The hags cursing at her enraged.
As she was dragged they spat and threw stones.
The girl stumbled but bit off her moans.
Small pride was all she had left.
Nightly drainings had left her bereft.
After being harshly thrown against the back bars of the cage,
she glared upon her captors, her eyes glowering with rage.
The good hero did finally realize from where he knew.
The shock to him so consuming from his branch he almost flew.
“Oh God, no. How can this be?
Can it really, truly be she?”
Stolen from the king while she was but just a child,
a tiny little girl, at times looking so gentle and mild.
He had met her then. At seven years she was.
She had glared at him when he corrected her flaws.
That self same look she flung at her captors now,
he had seen long ago and replied to with a bow.
The stakes were much higher now he knew.
To his coming victory he swore now anew.
The kingdom had searched in vain for years,
before finally acknowledging their worst fears.
The princess was long ago mourned for dead.
Now to find her here, a victim to be bled.
This could never be allowed to continue,
to his revenge he would add her rescue.
The night wore on slowly it seemed
but finally, the last ork did dream.
The hero crept silently out of the tree
praying that his vengeance would be.
He stealthily made his way
to the maiden locked away,
creeping along ever alert
for enemies no longer inert.
When finally he made his way
to where the caged princess lay,
she was asleep, exhausted this hour.
Intently the cage he began to scour.
“No use waking her,” he thinks
as his hope further sinks,
for he does not see a way
to release her from where she lay.
The princess yawns as consciousness she attains.
Somehow sensing his presence she takes pains
not to release any sound
lest the hags come round.
"Princess." he whispers, "I am her to save you
but this cage I can not find a way to get through."
Tears run silently down her face
as she hastily says grace.
Thanks to heaven above she sends.
"Please let this torment be at an end.
Sword master, is it really you?
Do my eyes see something true?
Or am I dreaming in the night
of what I only wish to be, right?."
"It is me, my dear girl. I am here for you.
Somehow we will find a way... Believe... It's true."
"The talisman is the only way.
The hags keep it locked away.
You must break it to set me free
but if you do, there is no time to flee.
It will awaken all the beasts.
It will be as if hell were released.
You must go. You cannot save me.
You will only endanger yourself gravely.
Tell my father I love him so.
Now you must be gone... Go!"
"Princess, we all thought you long dead.
For your loss the Kingdom's heart bled,
but no one's more than your father, the king.
The pain of your loss still does sting.
He wears it upon his brow,
the pain he feels even now.
I will not leave here without you.
My younglings these beasts slew.
I vowed to kill them before I knew
that they had imprisoned you.
Now, listen to me.
I am older see,
and I know that together we surely can
somehow manage to pull off my plan.”
"Really? Well, and what plan is that?
Don't you see where we are at?
There are only two, count them two, of us here,
and twentyfive orks not to mention hags are near."
"Let me ask you something now.
If I could free you somehow,
could you use your magic power
to help save us both this hour?"
"To be honest, I don't know for sure.
In the use of magic I'm not mature.
They captured me when I was but a child.
It's not like I have a lot of spells compiled.
I did, however, overhear the worst hag say
if I were free, there would be hell to pay.
When the talisman is no more,
my full magic will be restored.
Not that I know what good that will do,
how it will help either me or you."
"I think if your magic comes back,
what you gain the hags will lack.
They drain from you power each night.
Without your energies they have no bite".
"Assuming that to be true, Sword Master,
how to handle the rest without disaster?"
“I will need your help. That I know.
They must all die so we can go.
What can you do with your magic
so our outcome is less than tragic?”
“As I have said, not much I fear.
I don’t get to practice with them near.
Usually, they have me moving dirt,
so that they can stay mostly inert."
“Moving dirt? Now, there’s a thought.
Could you a mountain of it wrought?
Upon the orks to bury them alive
so we can escape and survive?”
“Hmm, I really don’t know, noble Sword Master.
Small amounts were always what they were after.
But I am more than willing to try.
Over staying here, I’d chose to die.”
“O.k., my dear. We have a plan.
Now, I must find the talisman.
Once its broken clean into,
then its all up to you.”
“Wait, what if I cant bury them all?
Then even you surely will fall.
They are many and we are few.
You've no idea what they will do.”
“Yes, I do, I have fought many a foe.
I hold no illusions as to what they bestow.
If we do not in this plan succeed,
evil does not describe the deeds
that will befall us as long as we live,
until we have no pain left to give.
So, prepare yourself for the time is here.
I must now break that talisman, my dear.”
“Wait! Assuming this works as you plan,
what about the hags, my good man?
Even if all the orks I can manage to bury,
they have much magic with which to parry.”
“They won't have as much. Yes,
they will be a problem I guess.
I will have to slay all orks you miss
but will do what I can about this.”
“Allies are what we really need.
Have you met the captive steed?”
"A horse my child, I don’t understand.
How may a horse aid our hand"?
"The steed is enchanted you see.
He would give much to be free.
He has been bled just like me.
Let him hear our shared plea.
Just beyond the big tent is the steed.
They keep him far out of need.
He's killed more than ten of their number.
But they can't afford to put him asunder.
The hags need him more than me.
Great and powerful magic has he.
He once was a man they say.
Now, he lives only for the day
that he can kill everyone here,
to revenge what he held dear.
The orks, they killed his wife,
The hags cursed him to strife.
Forever to be a beast of burden
but the soul of a man to be certain.
He would help in this quest.
He would give his very best."
“Then I shall speak with the steed.
Perhaps, with him we will succeed.
Prepare, dear girl, for the time is short.
Once we start, we can no longer abort.”
Silently, he crept away
to where the steed stay.
Just as he went to speak,
the steed said, "I know what you seek.
As a horse, I hear better than you
and I know what you want me to do.
I overhead you and the princess,
who now is in greater distress.
She is praying she can use her magic.
I think she can cover something basic.
She's much stronger than she knows.
She'll see when it comes to blows.
Tell her to go for the bitches,
bury alive all the nasty witches.
The orks will be ours, my new found friend.
With molten fire and iron sword we will send
every single loathsome beast to hell this night.
For my wife and the princess we will make it right.
What gets by my spell, you will slay with your blade.
By dawn this entire cesspool of torment will be unmade.
After you update our counterpart,
go to the camp's very heart.
A lone ugly chest you will see.
I'll make it so you don't need a key.
The hags I will beguile.
Those bitches most vile,
if they awake they will not see.
They will have no sense of thee.
The talisman is within the chest.
You will know it by the King's crest.
It's how they keep the girl imprisoned.
Take it and to your person fasten.
Position yourself for battle then.
Before you break it, I will begin
the spell that will ensure we win
the revenge for my departed kin.”
"Steed, of yourself you seem too sure,
though I doubt not your intentions are pure."
"I can bring about that of which I speak.
It is only through chains they keep me meek.
Chains any mortal can take from my neck.
Go ahead, see. Try it yourself and check."
The Sword Master did as the steed said.
Upon release, the steed's eyes glowed red
with fire of the promise yet to come
the molten heat within hot as the sun.
"Go. Now, Go! Hurry go to the girl,
before I can't contain what I’m about to unfurl".
On all fours the Sword master crawled in the night
to the girl who was concentrating to make it right.
One chance alone she knew she had
to correct a world that had gone mad.
“Princess, bury the hags while the steed
and I commit the much bloodier deed.
We will take out the filthy beasts,
on the hags your magic unleash.
I am off now to find the chest.
Until you are free, I will not rest.
But if I should die this night,
hold nothing back. Flee! Take flight.
Kill any and all who stand in your way.
Do not hesitate one second to slay.
For if they capture you anew,
you’ll wish to God it was you they slew.
When I’m in position, the steed will engage.
What he misses will encounter my rage.
We count on you to slay the witches.
Do your worst to the evil bitches.”
With the focus of purpose he crept onward to the center
of the hellish camp where vengeance they would render.
Picking his way silently through the sleeping foes
right in front of him it was that one fowl beast rose.
He never missed a single step. His blade he used
slicing the ork's throat swiftly from behind infused
with rage as he lowered the freshly dead
free to continue on toward his goal ahead.
When finally to the chest he arrived,
it was then that he paused his stride
with a glance to the steed straining to hold back
what was about to herald the coming attack.
The chest opened easily as the steed said it would.
The Sword Master placed himself as best he could.
The talisman he had shoved in his belt
to drop easily so properly with it could be dealt.
He drew his sword while he held onto his blade
each hand now prepared for the impending raid.
As the talisman he let fall to the polluted ground,
he took in the enemies position looking round.
The steed seeing him so placed
reared up and forward raced
straight into the heart of the monstrous band
who had taken his love with their own hands.
From his eyes he threw a molten ray
that incinerated an ork where it lay.
The Sword Master stomped the talisman in two.
The cage holding the princess into pieces flew
releasing a hiss growing ever sharper in pitch
quickly awaking every sleeping ork and witch.
The steed sped on burning with each stride
as if death itself upon his very back did ride.
The princess was now free and did not a moment waste
calling earth woven with air. As the steed swiftly raced,
huge mounds of earth by the rising hags burst up from the ground
falling upon them crushing as the Sword Master slashed turning round.
He smote seven orks that night
while the steed killed all others outright.
The princess buried all asunder, but one lone bitch,
who snuck off in the dark vowing to kill the fledgling witch.
When it was all over the Sword Master stood proud in the night
with three stab wounds and a broken rib from his fight.
The steed had an arrow in his right flank
but cared not as of victory he drank.
The princess had no strength left to stand
but took great pride in having lent a hand.
As they to her gathered it was with glee
that all silently celebrated a great victory.
Each knew in their heart
they had done their part
to right what in the world had gone wrong,
what would one day be sung of in song.
Each greeted the approaching dawn with hope and pride.
Together they departed in matching strides
to go forth into a better tomorrow,
each still carrying old sorrows.
In the years to come the Princess became queen.
Of her captivity still she sometimes dreamed.
Every night the Sword Master held her through strife.
For in the end, she had become his most dear wife.
Together they ruled just and fair for all in the land
with the steed ever present to lend a hand.
But lurking, still somewhere in the dark forest,
seethed a lone hag plotting revenge most focused.
Someday her evil will hold sway...
But that is a tale for another day.
(c) Vix 7-10-10 a.k.a. Rhonda Enrayne
Closer and closer it draws with every exchange. When this started you were so far out of range, with every encounter the link grows stronger. Its getting hard to have any distance any longer.
- Running From the Devil's Servant
Tonight I ran,fast as I can.~You sought my soul.Im out of control.Panicked. Manic.
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