Thursday, July 31, 2008


They march through the darkening forest, slowly through the steady rain
Five warriors on a journey to stop a threat to the kingdom
They had been dispatched by the lords of this land after the others had fallen
Many had been slain by this dark childe and his growing forces
Five men, united by a common goal for different reasons

Scott, the Paladin of the Eastern Barrows, leads this small force forward
He represents the lords of the land in this last ditch attack
The Paladin keeps his noble head high as he rides on his steed
There is no loss possible for him in this journey
If his men fall here, the entire land falls with them

Erik, the Northman, follows closely behind Scott, smiling happily
The trip down from the North was long and arduous, over steep hills and chilly seas
Descended from sturdy men, the bearded giant carries a giant sword to deal death
Strictly there for the joy of battle, his clear blues eyes promise violence
Any man against him faces a gigantic battle and Erik laughs with the thought of it

The young man smiling next to the Northern giant is Oren of Ashwood
Dressed in fresh armor and wielding a sword that never tasted battle
His reason for being here is clear- honor gained through brave battle
Oren’s laughter as he listens to the giant rumble masks his fear
This is hopefully the start of a noble career as a renowned knight-errant

Draped in greens and browns and bound in leather is Gavin the Ranger
Long brown hair partially covers his unshaven chin and cold eyes
Rangers are cut of tougher material than other men and Gavin is the toughest
Failure is not an option and nothing would stand in his path of justice
He is a man of few words but his actions spoke volumes

Last, clad in the legendary blue armor is Lord William of Creedmore
Venerated above all other knights, his sword had seen many battles
William face is grim and determined as he follows the rest of the warriors
He more than any other man here has to stop this threat to the land
William’s dour expression hides a huge burden of responsibility

The five knights had been traveling for two days through frigid weather
Clouds blanket the gray skies and the rain continues to fall
The trees provide little to no cover on this miserable afternoon
The men-at-arms, squires and retinue plod miserably behind their masters
They are unhappy to be here but serve without question

The ranger and paladin are silent astride their steeds, focused on their tasks
The goliath and the boy share more chuckles, even without a common tongue
The lord looks off into the forest, lost in the hazy past and its shadows
His sins and past transgressions weigh heavily on his mind
Pounding upon his head just like the rain that is assaulting them now

Gavin the Ranger holds up his hand and all conversation ends
The ranger moves forward to sit next to the paladin and scans the trees
The woods are quiet except for the rain hitting the leaves and the ground
The ranger squints and nods to their right, into a copse yards away
It is hard to see anything but the ranger is not to be questioned

The horses are turned and the group creeps toward the clearing
Closer and closer they move as the skies blackens
The raindrops keep falling and the temperature seems to lower
Horse breath is clear as smoke and the silence is overbearing
Then the knights and their retinue see what the ranger spied

Crumbling ruins of an ancient tower are in the middle of the open space
Wet moss creeps up the side of the fallen gray stone building
This citadel bears the marks of antiquity and ancient warfare
This is the beginning of the Borderlands and the road to the threat
And amid these ruins stands the leader of these new dark forces

Black armor and red leather cover the figure standing in the shadows of the ruins
His long, wet, white, stringy locks hangs over his face in strands
Deep emerald eyes seem to glow with malevolent light in the growing dusk
Two swords are on the young man’s back far from his fingerless gloved hands
That fact does not diminish the slaughter that those deadly eyes promise

Here is the Chaos-Bringer, the Destroyer, the Borderlands Brigand
Killer of Sir Nicholas, Lord Barron, the Green Knight and other brave souls
His power grew through the notoriety of his exploits
Many join his burgeoning forces, under duress, fear or madness
Only one other living soul knows his real name and wants to never speak it

This sinister presence fills the common folk and royalty alike with dread
Campaigns of terror began six years ago and only got worse as time moved on
Ever increasing savage raids from the Borderlands during the last three years
What began as one man against bickering lords had become a siege against a united front
The Dark Prince of the Last Woods stands before the five warriors, smiling

The horses began to rebel against their riders as if the animals can feel the evil
The five fighters dismount and their servants move back
Swords, blades and shields are drawn; helmets are placed on heads
The Destroyer just curtsies and shows his hands to his new opponents
His smile does not falter; he shows no fear to these five dangerous men before him

The Paladin of the Eastern Barrows pulls the visor down on his helm
He draws his glistening wet sword and hoists his shield
The Paladin is determined to end this reign of terror tonight
There is no retreat as the sun sets over the far horizon
If he is to fall tonight, so will this beast before him

Erik, the Northman, raises his long sword above his head
The trip to this place was all leading to this moment before him
Desire to lay waste to this boy in black and red burns inside and he laughs
Strong berserker rage builds in him and his heart pounds and his laugh shakes his helmet
Any opposition this whelp puts up will quickly be squashed

The young man is no longer smiling and laughing at the Northman
Dread fills his soul and fear grips his heart
His reason for drawing his sword changes from honor to the fight to survive the night
Oren’s laughter is long past; only his heavy breathing can be heard in his helmet
This is the moment of reckoning he had hoped he was prepared for

Drawing a blade in one hand and his sword in the other, Gavin appraises their evil foe
Long he has stalked murderous fiends across the lands but none as cold as this one
Rage is used as a focusing tool for the ranger and he taps into that fount now
Faced with the past horrors of his actions and what was ahead of him
He steels himself and waits for the marauder to make his move

Lately, Lord William has reflected on his past and misdeeds done in the name of good
Vengeance enacted on the innocent under the pretense of honor and justice
William knew that they were lies to quiet the restless mind at night
He had done many wrongs unknown to the people who praised him as a hero
William’s gravest mistake now lies before him to be corrected

The Knight Killer steps forward from the ruins of the ancient citadel
He raises his arms to grasp the black sword hilts on his back and draws them
The Scourge of the Dark Woods looks at all the men; he stops at Lord William
The green eyed murderer stares directly at him and pauses
The smile is gone from his face and replaced with a furious rage

Gavin turns to look at the face of the famous lord
The old man’s face reveals a combination of regret and anger
The ranger looks back towards the killer and looks for any weakness
Their enemy raises one of his swords and points it straight at Lord William
The five knights begin to circle the Dark Prince and prepare for final battle

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