- The Faerie Tower -
One day, in old Britain, a knight did ride in search of adventure high,
And walked the lands until he came unto towering, rugged peaks...
There, to the home of a lady necromancer who lived alone in a vale.
Once with his fellows he fought demons and beasts 'neath red sky,
But when they forsook all chivalry, he wandered away, for weeks...
Until he was a knight apart: without an Order or even a Lord to hail.
And thus was he come in search of something new to crusade for,
Thus was come the wandering knight, unto the necromancer's door!
She was in the gardens outside her tower, tending to the roses red.
The knight asked her if this was her abode, for it was a lonely stead,
And beautiful was the young maid, despite her robes of black hue...
She told him that this was her home, and that her word was true.
Thus had I come unto her abode, and now can tell my tale as it was,
So sit before the fire and be warm, as I tell of finding my new cause!
It was autumn, and the tower of the lady was brooding, all of stone.
I wondered how a maiden could live thus; she shivered to the bone!
Yet however cold the air without, the tower within was warm of air...
And the candles that were arrayed therein did light her face so fair.
She wore about her slender neck, an amulet ancient and so strange!
Eight arrows from a central hub, a circle all round about it did range.
Chaos, she called it, constructive and good; old symbol of creativity,
Lost to man since the times did change, but not lost to all antiquity.
And as I spied this, it stirred within me a memory of seeing it before,
In lifetimes past, and so I learned much within the tower's oak door.
A secret there was west of the tower, within a cavern old and deep,
And thus the necromancer led me, past things that crawl and creep.
Through tunnels dark with air both moist and thick with earthen dirt,
We came to a place deeper than all others, arriving wholly unhurt...
Vast was the cavern and lit by torchlight, yet filled with grassy floor,
Where beautiful gardens stretched out like none I had seen before!
Some other illumination was there, green and violent mosses I saw,
That had lit this subterranean garden in a glow primeval, and raw.
Rabbits hopped about unheeding of us as we walked in the garden,
To a horrid pit where an evil scent did cling, and icicles did harden.
There a harrowing of old did take place, and something evil slept...
And the lady warned me not to stir it, and so back above we crept.
A year I spent in that lady's arms, as she taught me all of her arts.
The lore of a thousand generations gone, artifacts of many parts...
Magics and mysticisms unknown to philosophers of even this year,
As well as arts of love I had not imagined, to conquer every fear!
The sword I once wielded I did lay aside, taking up staff and book,
My armor grew less important, the more I learned wisely to look...
And so avoid the perils others see not, when they leap unseeing.
I even learned to see other worlds and feel other states of being!
When a year had passed, she bade me kiss her once upon her lips,
And to hold her one final time, with my arms tight about her hips.
I closed my eyes for but a moment, and gone was the lady at last,
The once-comfortable tower was now in ruins of an age long past.
I walked west to where the cavern lay, but rubble of ages blocked,
The way into that magical garden below where, of old, we walked!
I felt a sensation at my neck, and discovered the amulet of chaos,
The only proof the maid had existed; all that passed between us.
I journeyed back to Britain and met a blacksmith along the road...
To whom I told my tale in full, as he eyed me with eyes very old.
He did not think it passing strange, for in the times of elder tales,
Many a man got lost in Faerie, carried off hither by unseen gales.
And so I came unto this inn, and now stand before this fireplace,
Telling you this peculiar tale, and seeing the look upon each face.
Yet still I wear the amulet of my lady, behold the arrows it bears,
A light of illumination in the darkness, a light to whomever wears!
Thusly, the former knight told his tale and the patrons listened well,
Although many the devout among them thought him as lost to Hell.
For when we walk in worlds unknown, and witness things strange,
It is easy not to be believed by those who have never thus ranged.
What became of that knight I cannot tell, for it is secret that I know,
Learned in places no less unearthly, where Faerie winds still blow.
Around my neck an amulet rests, eight arrows just as in the story...
Symbol of my devotion to a goddess who shared a glimpse of glory,
With this knight who penned this poem, and had lived once before.
In another age, when he came to knock upon a stone tower's door!
In life everything is a cycle and sometimes we return where we start,
Wandering far from the roads we know, and seeking to do our part.