Author Topic: The Prose Stalland  (Read 6595 times)

Ant

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The Prose Stalland
« on: February 17, 2010, 12:54:57 PM »
Being a collection of poems, stories, tales and jokes related and collected by Stalland the Whitelander.

Some are original, some are older by other writers and are attributed where appropriate.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 12:57:54 PM by Code13 »

Ant

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2010, 12:57:12 PM »
The Raven King

Not by me, I wish it was, but one of my favourite ever internet finds, and definately a poem Stalland will recite at some point.

Quote
The Raven King
Their bellies taut with hunger,
The ravens called upon their King.
Their nests were filled with hatchlings,
Hungry young forever needing food.
Distraught, the ravens called upon their king.


The times are all too good, they said:
Death's harvest runs too thin.
The kings of men are all at peace;
They wage no wars to feed our young.
Thus cried the ravens to their King.


The ravens were unhappy;
The Raven King was sad.
A King must do what he must do
To keep his people fed.
And so he took the Form of Man.


The tavern stood in Zhandivar;
It reeked of grease and stale beer.
Some drunken sots lay sleeping
Whilst others sang in tuneless song.
Nobility roistered there.


A noble voice called for beer;
Some noble boots stomped the floor;
A noble quarrel spilled some blood;
A noble hand pursued a wench.
Lord Marek roistered there.


A landless man, a younger son -
No wealth nor land to call his own,
Unfit for law, unfit for church,
No wars in which to whet his sword.
Come cry, my friends, for younger sons.


The tavern door was opened;
A stranger stood upon the sill.
All dressed in black,
His nose a noble beak,
The stranger stood upon the sill.


His raptor eye surveyed the scene,
Espied Lord Marek holding court.
A bloodless smile creased his lips;
And so the stranger entered in.
A quiet fell upon the room.


His bearing said for all to see
I am death for he who questions me.
No sword could cut the silence
As he walked across the room.
Lord Marek had an unexpected guest.


Come sit with us, Lord Marek said
You have the look of one who's seen
Much stranger lands than we have known.
Come share a brew and tell your tale.
The stranger took a seat.


You are wise, the stranger said
For I have seen the fairest lands
Where wealth lies free for noble men
Whose boldness cavils not at war.
Or so it seemed to me.


But hark, why do I speak of wealth?
I see you're from a noble house
Of Zhandivar; no other land
Is half so fair or half so rich.
With lying tongue the stranger spoke.


Lord Marek flushed and said
Speak not to me of Zhandivar
For I would hear of other lands
Of folk who live as I do not.
His eyes were lit with hidden greed.


Beyond the bounds of Zhandivar
Began the stranger dressed in black
There lies a land where all is green
Of crystal streams and verdant vales.
A land that men call Alderman.


It is a land that's triply blessed,
By fertile soil and bounteous game,
By mines that yield gold and gems
By maidens fair as any man could wish.
Blessed is the land of Alderman.


A peaceful land is Alderman;
Its rulers never dream of war
They have no need for blood and death
The soldiers trade is scarcely known.
Thus spoke the stranger dressed in black.


It is not wise of them, in truth,
To leave their land with no defense.
Some band might fall upon their realm
And reft away their fatted wealth.
So spoke the stranger dressed in black.


That matters not to such as you;
What need have you of wealth from war.
You're the scion of a noble house;
The wealth of Zhandivar is yours.
The stranger's bait was truly cast.


Lord Marek cried in hot despair:
My brother holds the mansion seat;
My throne is but a tavern bench;
My blood is pure; my wealth is naught.
Come cry, my friends, for younger sons.


Come my friend and drink with me
And tell me more of easy wealth
That might be won by dangerous men.
Where lies this land of Alderman?
So spoke the poor and greedy lord.


Within the greasy tavern walls
The lord and stranger spoke
In softened tones to plot
Their war to win some easy wealth.
They sought the rape of Alderman.


A younger son is still a lord
And rich compared to lesser men
Some rascals met his call to arms,
Thieves and thugs who fancied wealth.
A lord's a captain after all.


They laid their plans and gathered arms
Prepared to trek beyond the bounds
Of Zhandivar and then to seek
The ripened plum of Alderman.
Their thievish plot was near undone.


Behold the King of Zhandivar!
Behold his royal spies!
Their ears are everywhere!
And plots are always overheard.
Majesty reserves the right of war.


The King was wroth and called
Lord Marek to the throne
And straight away forbade
This raid on Alderman.
No wars save mine the King declared.


Lord Marek bowed before the King
And owned his fault and vowed
His little army would disband,
And he would be a man of peace.
The King replied, Be sure it's so.


To his tavern Lord Marek went
To his bench Lord Marek went
Drinking beer, Lord Marek wept,
Mourning plots, Lord Marek wept.
A thief that mourned unstolen wealth.


To the tavern the stranger came
All dressed in black the stranger came
Do not mourn, the stranger said
Our plan's not dead, the stranger said
The wealth of Alderman will yet be ours.


Thou art noble and nobles hunt
Take a hunting party out
Beyond the gates of Zhandivar
Where other folk may join you there
To help you hunt some greater game.


Why that be so, Lord Marek said,
Beyond the gates of Zhandivar
His Majesty need never know
What hunting parties chance to do.
Some voices moaned within the vaults.


Hunters dressed in motley
Cantered through the gates,
Their faces flushed with drink,
Their voices raised in song.
With them rode a man in black.


The guards who manned the gates
Smiled to see such foolish folk
These simpletons who went to hunt
Beyond the gates of Zhandivar.
They didn't know the game the hunters sought.


Along the royal road the hunters rode,
Past caravans bringing wealth
To Zhandivar. From time to time
They were joined by other men
Until they formed a fearsome company.


At their head Lord Marek rode
On his right hand rode the color guard.
The sun was bright, the sky was blue,
Omens of fortune yet to come.
The stranger rode upon his left.


On they rode until they came
To where the realm of Zhandivar
Came to an end and other lands
Began and lay before the company.
A fork was in the road.


Be advised by me the stranger said,
Take the right fork, not the left fork;
Take the high road, not the low road.
The left fork leads to Liapram;
They do not welcome strangers there.


The high road is untravelled
No one dwells along that path.
We can make our way to Alderman
Unseen, escaping hostile eyes.
And so surprise the folk of Alderman.


And so they took the high road
Along the mountain ridge
Above the pretty valleys
Where beauty ran untouched.
Unseen by them, beauty ran untouched.


Unseen by hostile eyes
They rode along that path
Their hearts were filled with hopeful greed
And songs of war were on their lips.
There was a gate across the road.


The gate was guarded by a pass.
On the left side the rock was sheer.
On the right side the rock was sheer.
And in the center stood the gate.
Afore that gate there stood a beast.


A patchwork beast, a bit of this and that,
Stood guard and would not let them pass.
No force of arms, no clever ruse,
Could ever get them past.
And then the beast began to speak.


The rumble of its roar
Was soft as summer's breeze
And this is what it said,
"Tell me, men of Zhandivar,
Where doth the Raven pray?"


They stood perplexed, this company,
Knowing not whereof the beast did speak.
Until at last their captain
Stood forth and said,
"We do not know. We never knew."


"Tis passing well and passing poor,"
The patchwork beast replied,
"Pass on, this path will take you down
Into the land of Alderman
Where you must do what you must do."


On they rode and down they rode
From mountain heights into a land
Of crystal springs and verdant vales,
It was the land of Alderman.
No one saw the stranger disappear.


No force of soldiers barred their way
No hand was raised as they went by
Until they sacked a village
And raped the maidens found within.
And so began the rape of Alderman.


Across that land, to and fro
Lord Marek's martial company
Pillaged gentle folk and stole
Their honor, wealth, and lives.
It were noble deeds they did.


Maidens passed from man to man
Children gutted for bloody sport
Temples sacked for gilded dross
Green fields running free with blood.
So many a noble deed was done.


The gentle King called forth the guard
The farmers armed themselves with scythes
In battle Marek killed and killed
And lost his company, one by one.
Sated, Marek knew that he must leave.


Back they went onto the high road,
Back they went, laden fat with wealth
Back they went, their weapons ripe with gore
Back they went to Zhandivar.
No beast nor gate would bar their way.


The clouds were black behind their back,
The pretty valleys darkened as they passed
The beauty fled from such as they
These bloody men from Zhandivar.
Lord Marek's company didn't care.


Back they went to Zhandivar
One returned for every three
That started out to win some wealth
Some stolen wealth from Alderman.
The Royal Army awaited them.


Behold the King of Zhandivar!
Behold the Royal wrath!
No war save mine the King had said!
Lord Marek's head is mine, he said!
His Majesty was displeased.


The Army seized the company
It took their arms and all their goods
And all the stolen treasure
That they had won in Alderman.
The executioner took their heads.


A messenger took the low road
Through Liapram and other lands.
He bore a golden box that held
The head of Marek in apology
To the King of Alderman.


In Alderman the fields grow
A grimmer crop than ripened grain
A crop of men to feed the birds.
The Raven King was now content;
He didn't need the Form of Man.

Ant

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2010, 01:27:27 PM »
Quote
Hasten on Sea-Steed
O'er the Whale Road deep
Hengist King has answered the call to war

And in the Canards halls sit
Koryph and Skalds who
Toast to Kora fair

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2010, 01:28:11 PM »
Quote
To Serah's Realm the Reavers came, their violence to unfurl
Rage and Pillage ran unchecked, Until the Umbruc Called
And stopped them fast with skill and steel and Oaths of Mighty Words.

All Save one now feast the crows and peace is fell once more
Yet underneath the Umbruc hunt the one that got away
Cross all the land, he is sought, the one of Pelos' caste.

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2010, 01:28:38 PM »
Quote
Breaking fast, we feast like kings in the court of Nencia, Queen

At fall of night t'was a feast for crows and crimson all about.

The Dawn has come and a New Queen reigns as Canard life goes on

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2010, 01:29:14 PM »
Quote
Ale and Ale Wench
Bed and Bawd
Canards wench halls carouse once more
As Umbruc steel sits safe in sheath

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2010, 01:29:57 PM »
Quote
There were three men come from the West
Their fortunes for to try,
And these three made a solemn vow:
"John Barleycorn must die."

They plowed, they sowed, they harrowed him in,
Threw clods upon his head,
'Til these three men were satisfied
John Barleycorn was dead.

They let him lie for a very long time,
'Til the rains from clouds did fall,
Then little Sir John raised up his head
And so amazed them all.

They let him stand 'til Mid-Summer's Day
When he looked both pale and wan;
Then little Sir John grew a long, long beard
And so became a man.

They hired men with their scythes so sharp
To cut him off at the knee;
They rolled him and tied him around the waist,
And served him barbarously.

They hired men with their sharp pitchforks
To pierce him to the heart,
But the loader did serve him worse than that,
For he bound him to the cart.

They wheeled him 'round and around the field
'Til they came unto a barn,
And there they took a solemn oath
On poor John Barleycorn.

They hired men with their crab-tree sticks
To split him skin from bone,
But the miller did serve him worse than that,
For he ground him between two stones.

There's little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl,
And there's brandy in the glass,
And little Sir John in the nut-brown bowl
Proved the strongest man at last.

The huntsman cannot hunt the fox
Nor loudly blow his horn
And the tinker cannot mend his pots
Without John Barleycorn.

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2010, 01:34:44 PM »
Quote
There once was a prince in Dromal, a Caliph in their tongue who was very rich, very powerful and had many slaves, many wives and a court that feared him, for he was a dread prince who would think it ammusing to test how sharp a sword was on a courtier that had displeased him - a courtier mind, not a slave.

Now this prince wanted to build a palace in the desert, not only to give himself a great place to live but also to show that his power and wealth could overcome even the shifting sands of the deserts.

And so the building work began, and would take many years to finish, untold numbers of slaves would die, so many that no one even bothered to count. And in the desert of course they had no stone with which to build, and so had to build the stone themselves, out of the desert sand, mixing with it other things with the alchemists art and shaping it into blocks of stone, one stone at a time.

In the palace were two tall towers, and between them ran a high wall, many cubits high and wide and long and just as it was finished, the Caliph told his master builder he had changed his mind, he no longer wanted such a wall there and had them pull it down and rebuild it elsewhere.

But they could not just use the old blocks they had pulled down, no, he had them grind each one back into its constituent parts and cast them back to the desert and start afresh and that they did.

When the master builder came to ask the Caliph where to build the new wall, he told them to rebuild it between the two towers, as the old one had been, and that they did.


But one brave or foolhardy courtier asked him why, why he had asked them to do so much work when the palace could have been finished years before and the Caliph replied.

"It is like holding a sack of rats, if you just hold the sack the rats will gnaw their way out and escape, and so you must shake the bag from time to time to stop them chewing their way out, all I was doing was shaking my sack of rats."

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2010, 09:52:35 AM »
In the bar of the Barge and Ferryman the drinking continues long into the night, as the fire grows low and the candles dim...

Stalland

<firstly, in a quiet voice, but one that carries well and with a normal metre>

I will tell you now of a tale of heroes, of war, of love and of death…

To the great port city of Nosterpyrax, where all are free and its wealth is coveted by evil nations there come men and women every day, some for fortune, some for freedom, some out of fear and some out of hope.

But I will tell you of three that were drawn here by fate, guided by their gods, drawn together, perhaps, even by the very soul of Uma herself.

From the north came a Whitelander, tall as a tree, broad as a mountain and with the aspect of a prince, his name was Amaruq and soon the jackals of the city would know there was now a Lion amongst them.

From the Islands to the East, from across the sea came a druidess of the Yurwian people, her hair like the setting sun, her skin like finest snow and the power of the Goddess burning in her blood. Bromwyn was she.

Out of the endless forests of Dummoni came Bendegid, swift and lithe, a warrior and leader of his tribe, a hawk who longed only to range free and hunt where he will.

Fate brought them to the canards and fate joined them together, and wove the skeins of their lives into the weave of this city’s great tapestry.

Many feared them, many called them murderous barbarians, but they loved the city, and defended its laws, and those they defended knew their worth and called them heroes and as time passed there became around them an island of peace and law with Bronwyn the wise and gentle countering her husband Amaruq in his power and might while Bendegid the Hawk showed he was a leader of men.

All was well until the fateful time when the Dread Pelosians once more tried to bring the Free City under its yoke, when fire raged through the city, the harbour boiled with blood and the enemy ran amok through the streets.

Panic raged, and under a tide of rape and pillage the defences of the city buckled. Those thought to defend the city were no where to be seen, or worse, turned traitor and those they called criminals rose up in defence of liberty and all reason was gone for a time as brigands, beggars and bakers manned the barricades.

But in this the three held their calm and knew what was to be done, even though they knew their task was large and their chances small. Through the city they stole, the saving of lives their only goal, the Koryph must live or ‘Pyrax would fall.

But already the enemy had struck, their guards in place and the Koryph trapped. But the three pressed on.

The scythe of Amaruq reaped many lives and the arrows of Bendegid took their prey while Bronwyn fair and terrible unleashed the power of Uma. Bones cracked and blood boiled, wounds staunched and hurts healed by the will of the Druidess.


<Stallands voice then changes, it takes on a more timber tone and the pace changes to a poetic beat>

Long time they fought,
shields were sundered,
blades were shattered
but the Koryph it was saved.

The battle raged,
arrows flew;
words of power spoken
and the ground did tremble
at the fight.
Blood did run as out
they fought but
the three were few and
the way was long and soon the heroes,
in triumph,
fell.

First Bendegid,
the hawk’s wings clipped,
his arrows spent
he held the breach with knife in hand.
“Go” says he, “go and be free”,
and turned then he
to meet his long known fate
as Amaruq answered by the simple reply.
“We are men, thou and I.”

And so without a tear,
turned Amaruq and left,
ahead the Goodwife Bromwyn led
the Koryph on to freedom.

But all too soon
the enemy came,
to fall on the heroes two.
Wounded deep and
the enemy close
Amaruq could clearly see,
one more must die
so the rest shall go free.

“Go on my love, live long and free”
was his thought unspoken,
his will unbroken.
And so he turned to face his foe,
his white axe raised,
his white axe fell,
but arrows flew
and the lion roared
no more.

Safe and free
the city saved
by the deaths of valiant men.
But left behind
was Bronwyn fair,
left widowed like so many there.

Remember then,
the price of freedom,
the blood of men and
the widow’s tears.



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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2010, 10:09:16 PM »
Quote
The dawn was dark
But the sea breeze sweet as
Southward we set our sails
The ony thought that creased my brow
Was leaving Kora fair

The day was long and hard we hauled
Against the fish road's flow
Soft hands were torn
Unused to work as
The weather began to turn.

Three riders on a distant hill,
Their rainments as for war
The wind was gone and so we hauled
In speed, our safety lay.

But at the midday turning a parley it was made
Our cargo, said they, was their toll
As they hoped we'd be afraid
But an arrow flight and shouts of might
Told of the wage we'd pay.

Before darkness fell we met
Pell Mell along the river's edge
Arrows flew and blood did spill
Our war cries shouted out

With axe and sword our blows were sound
And the arms and legs of other men
Lay scattered all around
With violence done our wounds we bound
As the rain began to fall

Bended back at oarsmans seat
We pulled against the swell
Our aching limbs hauled hard and long
As we marked our time with song

In rain filled shroud to Basica we did strain
No sight, no sound, no smell we had
But of the teeming rain
And in that world alone we rowed
Until figures on the bank were spied

A friendly shout and a Hello cried
And a rope and humorns tow
After much hard work and
Friendly aid to Basica
Came we here.

Geneveive her welcome made
With hearth and mead and song
Enough to make the worldy weary
Want to tarry here.

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2010, 08:45:34 AM »
Cloud-Halls filled with barrells of rain
As testing night came so too the thing
Colour of a ravens wing, a twisting mass
of serpents brothers

It cast about itself a war-swan's feast
Too many Tremalu made a witness to glory
Slaking their thirst in a lake of wolf-wine

Unlooked for came the lands keen guardian
To drive away the infernal foe
Now all are set to learn the Ken
Of they who would lay the city low

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2010, 01:36:30 PM »
In a feigning of friendship steps forward the knave
In mimic of the mindless dog, set to its master's cause
Now the heroes are harried on all sides
And strain their shoulders to stave off the lies.

Freedom's flame again flickers feebly
Dimming beneath the despotic hand
But the kanker reigns in the halls of power
Looking on from Ivory Tower

In the shadows hope remains
While life and liberty are still gained
But in the light the darkness grows
As one time heroes are used by foes

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2010, 08:07:47 AM »
Hail says the simple skald
Here he stands with his hard war tokens
He has drunk too deep from the battle draft
And seeks now only redemption
From this bonny necklace bearer
Seeking only to earn a smile
From the face of this fair fire jewel

Yet back into the storm
This sailor must steer
And only the sun kissed dawn
Will show the skald his fate
A sweethearts smile
Or the black swan's feast
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 12:20:53 PM by Code13 »

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2010, 10:53:10 AM »
This Way, This Way
The creature mewed
As through the Canards
Our Heroes Stole

Led by the nose of this
Infernal Flitter to where
Their Mistress lay
Kidnapped by the enemy
Of this day

Upon the rooftops
By light of day
The sentries saw nought
That passed their way

Into the tunnels they
Followed the trail
And there they found
The lady so frail

Then out and gone
Like ghosts that walk
Back to the Haak
These lions did stalk

A plan is formed
Their minds are set
They move as one
A Trap to set

Into the maw
Each one must step
Facing their danger
With unwavering eye

Their challenges faced
Their victories won
All is set and their
Trap is sprung

Within each other, the wheels are turned
And Brother once again is brother
Below the streets, in Canard Halls
Peace is hailed by one and all.


This is still a work in progress
« Last Edit: May 26, 2010, 11:43:13 AM by Code13 »

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Re: The Prose Stalland
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2010, 09:02:12 AM »
I wont put it in full, because it wont copy over properly...

But here is a classic Anglo-Saxon poem called The Wanderer

I've head this read in anglo-saxon, and its fantastic...I kinda want to learn how to read it just so I can read this stuf without translation

« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 09:11:46 AM by Ant »