Author Topic: The Fall of the House Ridow  (Read 3638 times)

Dan the Skald

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The Fall of the House Ridow
« on: April 30, 2013, 04:26:16 PM »
Herein follows the tale of the terrible and late house of Ridow.

Though many accounts were given by those who witnessed the final purge, there is little we can ascertain as to the events which led to the fall of the auspicious line. The truth is there-from the hands of poets who first drew the ink across the sheet. The accounts are varied and at times unfinished, but sufficient now perhaps to complete the truth.

And what is truth? All that we know...all that can be learned...we learn through stories. Though it is now endless days beyond us and nearly passed into Myth, we remember the songs, we remember the tales. These tattered and torn tapestries once vibrant have faded to gray, but they cling to us nonetheless. Though the names have blurred upon the bone laden fields of forgotten fable, the story lives on in us. A grain of truth- though now glazed and encased in the beautious sheen of fiction-lays deep within the pearl.

We shall regale the tale once again, and perhaps through the song and through you...

The grain of truth will be revealed once again.



THE SOLDIER’S PATH


The dark man stood above
His foe. A leathered glove
Was pulled away to show
The radiant ring of House Ridow.

“It was a brazen act you tried,"
He growled as the prone one shied
In vain from the captor’s stay-
No path to whence to flee away.

A determined look crossed the face
Of the captor who closed the space.
“You will resume your debt of service to me.
Pledge loyalty and faith, Rikki Trudee."

Under cowl the moonlight started.
As the head raised, shadows parted.
Crimson eyes flashed within the gleam
Of the pale born moons’ clouded beam.

Though exhausted and spent from the chase
Rikki paused upon a moment’s grace.
Then the words fell sharp from furried lip
and with a mirthful tone in a playful quip.

“I shall not kiss upon your ring.
Considering what traitor lips have been."
The assailant smote her across the cheek
A trickle of red; a tongue held to speak.

“You speak of traitors! he shouted with wrath
“How speedily you have left the soldier’s path!"
His arm, lengthened by three feet of steel
Held his prey fast, in a press to repeal.

Then quicker than the eye can measure
Rikki pulled from the cloak a hidden treasure.
It was a golden token with a pointed cross
His eyes caught it as it was thrown with a toss.

The man fumbled to catch the thing
Just as into his mid-parts a boot did bring
A most sharp and unspeakable pain.
He collapsed to the ground and struggled in vain.

The blade had fallen from his weakened grip
As he fell to the stones it did slip.
As the Baron descended the Soldier rose
And at the touch of its tip the Baron froze.

Rikki stood tall now over the man
“Listen well Baron, so you’ll understand.
I left the service not for glory or gold
There is corruption there, a story untold.

If you ever presume to detract-
Me from my goals, I will act.
I will unseam you from your station
I will end your house, for you have no relation."

The Baron simpered and wallowed there
The soldier merely looked on with a glare.
“One more thing Baron I feel you should know."
And Rikki pulled of the cloak to let the underneath show

“I left the troops due to my obvious mark
A Mongoosian woman stands out rather stark
Though I have maintained a careful ruse
My ears tire of helmets and paws of shoes."

The Baron gaped long at the sight.
Then in a flash she melted into the night.
He stood carefully, his breath coming short
And low in the night he growled a retort.

“Rikki Trudee, I swear on this coin
I will press you until you beg to rejoin
The legion which I have built up to withstand
All the king’s fools and conquer this land!"
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 03:40:47 PM by Dan the Skald »
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Dan the Skald

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 04:31:58 PM »
A PRAYER IN THE DARK


Within the shroud of the silent night
Encased within a hidden wood
Amid worn stones and owl's flight
A fragile and failing temple stood.

A candle flicker was the only light
Burning low within the large expanse
A lone figure knelt low in spite
Of the absence of a royal glance.

His head was bowed near to an altar
The robes of faith caressed the floor
With a whispering voice that did not falter
To pledge a devotion forevermore.

Oh heavens! Let my words rise
To a place enjoined with cleansing flame.
May my lowly station within thine eyes
And my soul be found without blame.


Then suddenly with the clestory walls
A shadow shifted from pillared stone
The penitent acolyte ceased his calls
In his mind he knew he was not alone.

Over clouded eyes he drew a cloth
Securing it deftly into place.
Though appearing calm he burned wroth
With the one who fouled the holy space.

From the shadowy corners came
A low and raspy voice to hear.
"Malus, we're late and you're to blame.
Wasting our time with prayers! Grab your gear."

Then the acolyte moved not a finger
But with a surge of power, a light
Burst upon where the shadow did linger.
The skulking one stood hunched in full sight.

The rodent's body bristled in brownish fur
A clawed hand drew fast across its eyes.
With a painful cry it screamed, "You cur!
You're a blasted demon in priestly guise!"

Malus stood slowly from the Oath stone
From the faded altar a battered book he drew.
"Humph. It's no wonder you live alone."
The rat muttered as Malus passed through.

The acolyte who had been silent till then
Spoke just once as he passed the thief
"Though its one thing I'd miss in your sordid den
I'll trade disease and strife for solitary belief."
« Last Edit: April 30, 2013, 04:37:36 PM by Dan the Skald »
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Dan the Skald

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2013, 10:42:30 PM »
THE ARCHER'S OATH


I am the arrow.
Loosed from a safe and steady hold.
Straight and true to my ideal
I plunge headlong into the cold.

I am the wind.
Eroding and subduing my stubborn will,
Flowing fast across the frozen field.
I press on unseen; undaunted still.

I am the tree.
Bowed and silent I stand.
Embattled limbs shrug off the snow.
Rings tell of years upon the land.

I am silent eyes.
Through the dark I see the goal.
I shimmer and glisten as the moon
Shrouded and tired from heavy toil.

I am nature,
And a great disease is sickening fast.
I will grow, adapt and smite it down;
Struggle and overcome at last.

I am the archer.
I pledge my bow to this troop.
Do not ask for jest or idle banter,
For I am always alone among the group.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 09:59:00 AM by Dan the Skald »
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Dan the Skald

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 05:47:28 PM »
(Sorry for the delay from the previous entries until now. I teach English each year and inspiration generally flows when I'm on the job. Hope you all like it. I tip my hat to Lord Tennyson, who challenged me and I answered back  ???)

THE UNBOUND HAND

Cast across the silent walls,
Upon high tapestries of crimson falls
A stoic symbol; yea in the hidden halls
'Twas emblazoned, on royal girds and stalls
The bold emblem of House Ridow.
'Tis deep within one terrible tower
Attached unto the south-most bower
She strides solemn in a late hour
The Contesse de Sibeau.

Grasping a dusty tome in her hands
The Lady turns as the dark expands.
The fading sun slips beneath the lands
Hasting some dark and insidious demands
For the Hand of Ridow.
Suddenly from without the room
Steps fall near deathly as a tomb
A pallid figure draws close to loom
Near the Contesse de Sibeau.

“What is my Lord's bidding I pray?”
Such sweetness in her intimation gay;
Yet she well knows what the Baron may
But soon unseat the King in a rueful play,
The Baron of House Ridow.
She moves lightly upon her feet
She slips away deftly from a proper greet
She dances through the shadows replete
The Contesse de Sibeau.

The strange minion stirs to its mark
Its voice rasps and grates rather stark
To the lady whose voice is as a lark.
“You are called, as an ally of the dark,
The Hand of House Ridow.
To the west of the city you will find
The soldier imposter, the traitorous kind
Enjoin yourself to her trust...and mind
Your name- Contesse de Sibeau.”

“Now bind your will in a blood oath to me.”
Her brow raised sharp for her guest to see.
“I'll yet investigate this traitor Trudee-
But never shall I swear in blood. I am free
From the curse of House Ridow."
Pale stretched skin flashed in failing light
A sword-arm severs a table with might
Vials, maps and candles are mangled in her sight
In the eyes of Contesse de Sibeau.


Her hand now brushes away ebony strands
She stands as a ghost to the violent demands
“You will do exactly as your Lord commands!”
The voice slices harshly over the broken lands
Of the map of House Ridow
A spark and then two crackling orbs bursting
White eyes are twin suns full of heat and thirsting
Her voice in terrible rage cascades into a cursing
From the Contesse de Sibeau.

A surge of power flies forth to contend
The creature is unseamed apart in a rend
So terrible and mighty as to bring to an end
The hapless herald; whom its Lord did send-
The Baron of House Ridow.
Now she stands amid all the debris
Her will is now equal to her decree
A treasured gift is freedom for she
The Contesse de Sibeau.

The hour is late when she sets out aright
The high waxing moon caresses buckles bright
Fair subtlety and skill is a shroud for her might
What plans and schemes will she add to the plight
Of the enemies of House Ridow?
As the stallion canters which carries her true
Flashes of firelight through the trees glimpse through
A small smile fades to a false face anew
For the Contesse de Sibeau.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 05:50:22 PM by Dan the Skald »
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Dan the Skald

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 06:19:00 PM »
Fire by Night

Chapter 1

MOON and midnight met in a still embrace.
Deep in the downs and fell forest removed apart
from high towers came two cowled companions.
Flickering fire upon their faces and cast furtive
shadows in the gloomy glen.
Of the companions, one Malus, a pious
and potent patron – of which divine deity
was scarcely spoken. Near’to was
a dark and disfigured form, never
staying a heart’s breath within the pale.
Yet Delg was not wrapped in silent shadow
when he uttered contemptible curses upon
the frigid night. Malus was quick to follow
his words like a splendid serpent.
“Bite your twisted tongue; your vile manner
has quite exhausted all cordial courtesy.
I shall rend the shadows sharp from your
place – Now hold I say!” Savage and simmering
while slaked and stark came the rasp of Delg.
“A man of two masters is so easily ired.
But soft, there are deeds that demand doing
and I shall repair to it. Mind yourself Malus
and all your misguided views. I have seen
your hidden heart of hatred, oh holy muse.
Hold your sermons till our work is done.”
Dark enfolded the space suddenly where
Delg had been. Standing quiet and quickened
by the moon, eyes shrouded
and slightly shivering in the cold air,
the Acolyte held his peace.
Deep within the wooded wolds
another presence persisted. Malus’
attuned and sharpened senses
unencumbered by sight-
felt the fain feeling yet. Foot fall
echoed amidst the chill and cherry oaks,
as the devout distanced from the dread.
Unseen eyes pierced the gloom and glen
and rested upon the suspicious saint.
“Who goes? I demand you cast aside
your cover!” The forest fell away furtively
until a form was fixed firm. All clothed
in guarded green and battered brown
he stood. A slender stave gripped in 
fist, slender bow and sturdy quiver slung,
it was in a deep and determined dirge
where the whispered words begun.
“You mark yourselves well enough.”
A hand drew back a heavy hood and
grey eyes drank in the languishing light.
“State your purpose; is it a skulking stint
that brings you…Lo! mayhap a
devious denizen of House Ridow?”
Forearm sinews stretched taut upon the
hammer shaft even as a radiance lengthened
shadow and shade. “Stay your blow,” said he
in a careful and cautious tone. “I am not
your supposed foe.” Malus pressed on –
his guard never shirking. “Why comest here
so unchecked? Speak plainly.”
“Word has reached my ears, a call
for men of arms. I stand ready withal.”
“Such word was delivered under veil
and view to none but a chosen few,”
the saint questioned anew.
“Little escapes my piercing eye and
less still from a drunken vie born of
loosened lips. Only dimwits and knaves
would you employ of such lot. I offer
service for a dutiful fee and that thou
would’st not seek idle banter from me.
My secrets are my own, and I keep them
well, but cold company for my foes
marked for a fiery hell.” Malus stared silent
and locked to the gaze. A flicker of truth flashed
through the deep and misty maze. A token
embrace did seal the perilous pact, as
arms were grasped and oaths were spoken.
Delg returned and with some space
the acolyte recounted the archer’s tale and trek.
“While you have gained some peace from
sworn oaths anew,” Delg rasped rather bold,
“At the first sign of betrayal, I’ll run the man through.”


« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 03:40:05 PM by Dan the Skald »
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Dan the Skald

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2014, 04:37:21 PM »
UNHOLY PIETY


Invoke the dark!
Twisting tendrils embark
Snaking cold and callous in every vein.
Power is rising swiftly, punishing pain
Forms fast into forbidden words like a balm.
From the dust, clicking and clatter killing calm.
Flesh now falling from barren bone
Bears the ghastly face of death alone.
Cast off the pleasant facade of life together
Rise band of bone with steel and leather
Fear not the heavens, go silent and still until a discord born
Shall scatter slowly, silent and insidious like irritating thorn.
Fall upon the weak, no serendipitous salve
Shall ease the sweet swelter of your bold resolve.
Straight to smite
End the light!

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Dan the Skald

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2014, 05:29:40 PM »
FIRE BY NIGHT

Chapter 2

Firelight was dancing like jubilant specters
Through the trees, shimmering leaves
Flashing gleams upon the gathered defectors
Glimmering soft on burnished greaves.

All liveries spoke volumes of varied ties-
Some caustic rogues, some lithe buccaneers
Even nobility shrouded under common guise
Drew to the remote place, All sharing fears.

Thirty and seven was the collective sum
Of gathered host waiting under tree.
Until at last, one left the silent scrum
Standing where all assembled could see.

"I am Malus. Son of Kir, Son
of Lor. I shall not waste the air.
There is a darkness...if left undone
will cast us all into ruin and despair.

Perhaps you have felt a sickening scourge
Which has wrapped about our waking dreams
With a pallid ichor? 'Tis evil on the verge
of entrapping us all within sordid schemes."

"You jest!" spoke one fellow awry.
"From mere coincidence you lay this charge.
Perhaps that you have us all comply
to your own devices?" Another loomed large-

"No! Let this man alone!" he did insist
Most firmly. "I am but a humble smith,
yet in my dreams no strength to resist
this darkness!" All debated the verity or myth.

The acolyte listened silent behind his shroud.
Suddenly a dark and doleful force took hold
of his mind. He fell to the earth and cried aloud
with an awful wail, as it swelled four-fold.

"Away, you fools!" He screamed out in pain
"The darkness is here, descending even now!"
Many stared on dumbly at the display, true or feign
In wonder. Others more wary were fast under bough.

Terror laden screams rippled through the night air
The sounds of metal and flesh in mortal feud.
Then fixed around the fire, near to the Saint's despair
Stood four figures amid the din of the pursued.

One, a noblewoman with hands wrapped in flaming zeal-
Two, a bowman's shrewd and stead gaze did shift-
Three, between the shadows, furtive flashes of fur and steel
Four, one soldier poised as porcelain; deadly and swift.

Then at once, the trees gave way
to grinning death, bare upon bone.
All their master's will to repay
Upon these five fellows, quite alone.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 01:30:59 AM by Dan the Skald »
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Dan the Skald

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 07:13:03 PM »
You aren't non-descrip-gender enough to handle the poetry in the Tavern!

Yamato

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 09:29:34 PM »
nice work!!!!  8)

Dan the Skald

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2014, 03:54:34 PM »
AMBUSH PART 2





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Dan the Skald

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Re: The Fall of the House Ridow
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2014, 04:50:34 PM »
AMBUSH PART 3

« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 04:52:41 PM by Dan the Skald »
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