A report from the Dragonspine Mountains: Prophecy of the Spectral Bard
Crispin Du’Vie and members of the Adventurers Charter travelled north, passing through Keswick towards Caledonia via the Dragonspine Mountains. Pushing on towards Caledonia to strengthen ties with the Bears nation harsh winter snows and icy winds drove us to seek shelter in the ‘Elves Ridge’ hunting Lodge. We fell lost in the snow however, until a haunting melody echoed from the dark snow whipped peaks… Our inquisitive natures drove us onward, to a small cavern where the entrance hid higher above… As we approached we were enthralled by the sound of a man’s voice, singing out to us from the recess…
More melody played out, a harp’s tune drifting from within the darkness. The voice sang gently, calm, almost a whisper… As it sang time slowed and stilled seemingly, our two adventurous souls listening in rapture…
“Mountains tall and snows encumber,
Where, in undead necromantic slumber,
A magus lies, without peers,
Through long forgotten years.
Bleak is all the lands untrodden,
Mist and crag are dark and sodden,
All things dead, where nothing grows,
No life to breathe, all but crows!
Deep within cavern: ten-score bowmen,
A host of knights and a dozen yeomen
Sleeping, unbreathing, their terrible lord,
Deadly and silent who bears no sword!
Aye, no sword; no arms to guide it!
Without which hangs, a staff beside it,
Nearest the cavern’s outer bounds,
Reside his pack, dark and savage hounds,
Where in snowdriven valleys and mountains chases,
Flesh stripped limbs sprawl in haunted places!
When the world is old and weary,
Loveless, lawless, fallen dreary,
Racked with fear, by elements torn,
One shall come, in death re-born,
His crimes of past forgotten pains,
Remembered none, history’s stains!
Broke shall be the spell; up-leaping
Hounds, fullcry, rouse those sleeping;
Steeds shall neigh and steel shall ring;
Fear shall fly, the fearless bring,
Healers, spell weaver’s and mighty fighters,
With streams forth rushing, red all-seen,
Knights and infantry protect the Queen.
Your good blades, carve husks of men,
Thy lance thrustings true and sure,
Bearing might and heart as that of ten,
With hope and courage holding pure.
The shattering trumpet clarion high,
Hard shaft wooden tipped by steel,
Lance splinter’d spear-shaft wide shall fly,
The horse and rider stagger backwards reel:
There for you the battles ending,
Saved from witness, Albion’s fate,
The darkest heart ancestor sending,
His sorcerous power fuelled by hate.
When come your allies banner goes,
Lightless darkness before them swim,
Between crow black cloud the forest glows,
They’ll hear the noise, your mourning hymn:
Past unhallowed shrines that day they’ll ride;
All distant voice, but all have fallen;
The saddles void, eyes staring wide,
To you all undeath has callen.
I muse on vengeance never to cease,
Lifeless corpses, ranks like streams,
Hope all gone, no eternal peace,
Where death becomes the stuff of dreams
All stricken by the foulest hand,
The formless shape that he doth wear,
His eyeless, heartless deaths command,
Darkest futureless now prepare.
Your royal lines, all fallen broken,
All life gone, the masters rule of all,
This fate becomes, as I have spoken,
None shall resist his lordly call”.
At the close of the song we hurried upward to the entrance of the cavern, instead of a warm fire and cheery bard, we found only centuries deceased remains shrouded in the trappings of a courtly minstrel… The same song written on un-aged parchment… We have titled it “Prophecy of the Spectral Bard” for it is written as such, and no living soul did we find.
Later in a ruined library we found reference to Magus Hyrondell Althar, a heretic burned at the stake many years ago for foul sorcery and witch-craft.Though it is unlikely that this references the same individual, his cairn was reportedly somewhere in those same peaks. A chilling thought.