The Lay of Skathen Nord, Canto II: The Elder Woods
And now we resume The Lay of Skathen Nord. Once again, you can find the poem in its entirety over here, in case you want to reread in its entirety. If you like the poem, please tell your friends about it and subscribe, if you haven’t already, to keep updated on Skathen’s continuing adventures.
Canto II: The Elder Woods
When last you heard the lively lay,
I told of Skathen and the thieves.
A deal with the pirate Raven was made
To take her ship across the sea.
Some greedy thieves had wanted lucre,
But Raven and Skathen rebuffed their efforts.
Many were slain or badly wounded,
Punished with blades for their endeavors.
And now dear folks we shall resume
The tale of Skathen who sought a crew
To help him brave the Witch King’s tomb
And wreak his vengeance with a coup.
But more of this when Skathen wakes,
Lift up your drinks and voices too.
Let me hear the cheers you make
And I’ll begin the tale anew.
As soon as the sun had lit the hills,
Skathen woke and shooed away
The dreams and omens that boded ill
To clear his mind for the coming day.
An image from the dream still lingered
Only seen by his sightless eye.
Around his throat were bony fingers
And wormy lips then cracked a smile.
But Skathen ignored the Witch King’s face
And death foretold by asphyxiation.
He wouldn’t let the chains of fate
Prevent the King’s extermination.
He tramped down stairs to break his fast
And dine before the journey long.
He needed a blacksmith skilled at his craft
To make their weapons and armor strong.
The nearest town that had a smith
Would take a day to reach by horse.
So Skathen wanted to mount up quick
To leave before the day had worn.
The quickest route would take them through
The Elder Woods’s furthest edge.
They wouldn’t risk a violent doom
By venturing deep where creatures crept.
The Elder Woods were old as time.
The trees had sprung from primal dark.
And deep within remained the signs
Where ancient chaos left its mark.
And from the ancient emanations,
From pools of darkness left behind
When light and form led to creation,
Monsters stalked forth to join their kind.
Although the creatures rarely left
Their dens so deep within the forest,
Skathen knew to hurry was best,
Before night fell and monsters swarmed.