Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Dark Is Rising (in Isselande)

This is the truth.

The King of Isselande, Erik Gustav etc. etc., did travel out to the farthest extent of his lands, to survey their status, and investigate the honesty of their mayors, and hunt for deer, and eat a bit of cheese, because it's really hard to get at the Fortress where the King ruled in those days (the Citadel, they would say, but there are accents), and also to look for traces of the Crow King's influence, who the King much feared and despised, and worried about attack. And lo, for this purpose, the King did bring many coursers, and men, and dogs, and women, so that he might hunt out any enemies of Isselande.

Lo, for five days and five nights did he travel in this manner, and did he find not deer, nor spies, nor cheese, though hard did he look. On the sixth day, he did travel to the small town of Grummthorpenheim, where he did find no sign of treachery; but one of his retinue did point to him the ominous circling crows, waiting to the east. The King readied sword, and watched as the crows approached, alerted by the evil omen.

Then did a creature arise; dark it was, but more none could say, for all averted their eyes, horrified and compelled to look away. Lo, the King's archers did levy shafts at it, firing blindly in fear, but their efforts were in vain; still did the creature reach out to steal away the soul of the King. With courage and determination, the King braced himself, and stared into the eyes of oblivion; and with his sword readied he delivered three swift blows, cutting the shadow with will as much as steel, sending it back whence he came.

Shaken but alert, the King did dispatch his men, telling them to scour the countryside for more evils such as this. No more evils did they find: but on their return, two days hence, they brought him a creature of the Crow King, message in hideous mishappen hand: "To the Barons of Isselande, I offer you wealth, and ask only your fealty," it began.

The King studied the missive carefully, and sent his own to his Barons, who he had himself raised to power, and watched as they succeeded and failed over the last years (from rich to poor, poor to rich), which began:

"It is time for war."

1 comment:

King Kessler said...

A wise and noble man, he is!