|The Lay of Morduin
|The Lay of Morduin, Son of Morden-en
'Twas late in the sere season of summer
With wars fought and so wearily won,
When came the Eye of evil from the East.
With dreadful threat of deadly doom,
A command they decreed for capture
Of the Lord Morduin. His brazen band
Would also be assailed if aught resisted.
Mayhap Naglor the Lord Mayor might
Even be assaulted ere the Eye departed.
These savages must be sought or the Spur falls.
This goal in mind the Lords prepare
With setting sun to seek their fate.
They are resigned without despair,
For judgment comes to small and great.
Morduin clasped his bold and mighty blade,
The dread brand of the deceased Drakor,
Filigreed with fine detail, its fiery edge
Hade ne'er yet failed the Lord in fierce fight.
Resplendent in rare and rich harness of Wodene,
That ancient Anarian who attacked the Spur,
Outelion left his lodging, to go lead his men
To that preordained place of peril and death.
Morduin would not flee from the fight
For his old fleeing days had passed.
With dying fall the sun did set
Into the west that fateful day,
Foreboding doom and deadly threat,
And yet there was no other way.
The brave band of lords is bade to come,
And ever ardent they answer Outelion's call.
Who was in that war-tried troop of Lords?
Peerless Payn, the Lord Knight and protector
Of the city was there. His scimitar ever seeks
To strike the fell fiends that threaten his friends.
Matchless Malcall, sword-mighty and strong
Also swore to win or fall facing his evil foes.
Tharivol the cleric came to support the companions.
Last was Valandúil, wise wizard and elven-immortal.
All hope upon the lords does rest,
No others can resist the Eye.
Yet this might be the fatal test,
And doom for some at last is nigh.
The troop recalls another time they traveled
To seek a great wyrm's gold to guard the Spur.
That journey was deadly, but gems and jewels
Were won and none fell, though they took wounds
That threatened to end the tale of their lives.
Yet they lived, but this time the threat is worse.
Their hearts, though, are steel and fire, their blades
Sharp to match the might and mettle of their spirits.
Mounting steeds as swift as wind, they set off,
Riding like rain on the field or a rolling storm.
The fatal hour approaches fast
But warriors do not shirk their fate.
The days of yore long since are past
But heroes now prove just as great.
Soon arriving in Oth with the sinking sun
The heroes halt and hail a figure that waits
Like a coiled snake with prey in its clammy clasp.
Immortal Valandúil valiantly defies the villain.
Khadufash, dark conjurer of the evil conclave,
Answers with fraud to fool his brave foes.
I hear his deceit fulfilled its foul effect:
Benighted Bolg-Gatha struck with his blade.
Venom dripped like dross from the demon's knife
And the baneful blow clove flesh and bone.
The knife from shadow flashed and gleamed
To bring Morduin to noble end
In death his sins are all redeemed
His soul to god at last ascends.
Like lightening Malcall lethally strikes.
Bolg-Gatha, taken aback by his battle-rage,
Quickly flees the fight, although not forever.
He slinks into shadow to plot another strike.
Sir Payn is a whirlwind of flashing weapons,
Caught in combat with a crowd of foes,
And though damaged, he deals them death.
Valandúil bravely vies with the villainous mage,
Yet his weapon is worthless against the wizard;
Although steadfast of will, he is at last ensorcelled.
Soon night will fall upon the field,
And cast a shadow on their hearts,
And yet they swear to never yield,
Until the dark at last departs.
The wily wizard attacks with dweomers strong:
His evil spells strike down the sainted Tharivol.
He fell while valiantly defending his friends.
The women should weep and bewail his end,
And let them also mourn Morduin' loss.
Yet the evil enemy has not ended their attack.
But mighty Malcall and powerful Payn prove
Too much for their foes, and the threat is rebuked.
They defeat the foul Bolg-Gatha, felling him
With stalwart swords and strength of arm.
The Eye cannot their strength resist
And seek at last to 'scape the fight
But fail to flee the iron fist
Of holy wrath and righteous might.
The site of battle smokes and steams with blood
Freshly spilled, and the bodies of friend and foe
Both lie like carrion, killed in the heat of combat.
Yet the heroes hold the field, having driven off
The only enemies outstanding. Bauglar, an Orc,
And the baleful group's tracker, has turned tail.
Khadufash also absconded, but alas with the elf:
His cunning compelled the captured immortal
To give himself to the grim and ghastly host,
One more casualty forfeited to the fatal fray.
The battle seems to have gone wrong,
Portentously the sun has set.
But god's control o'er death is strong
For hope is not lost even yet
From the field, fearless Malcall bore his friends,
Maugre the danger from an onslaught of onrushing orcs.
In his prowess, Payn brought the body of Bolg-Gatha
To use in trade for the timeless Valandúil, enemy-held.
But the best tiding, I have heard told, is truly this:
Priests of Solnor, from beyond have beckoned Morduin,
Lord of the City, to return to the land of the living
With him is summoned the shade of Tharívol--oh miracle!
He who freed the forlorn Spur forsakes not the people,
And the Lord has sworn to liberate the luckless elf.
It seems that when the tide has turned
And into death all hope has passed,
The light of day through clouds will burn,
The rays of dawn shall come at last.