When TribeNet was Tribe Vibes, many years ago, a wandering minstrel and storyteller often would come to camp. Here is one of the stories he told my clan:
May I twist and turn your inner mettle, dabble in magic and cavort with fiction?
Here, me, you, the wind in the coals, the crackling and sparking fire, smoke rising.
I’ll tell you a tale from a land of shadows where every sound is a nighttime noise and movement flickers like candlelight.
It was a time when my wisdom was a gentle melody and my courage sang a forever tune.
I remember it well.
I fell there from a dream.
It was a barren valley lost between mountains and sea.
I had wandered the world dressed worse than a scarecrow, sleeping in rotten skins the colour of an overcast day.
And I lay creaking in tattered leather, curled into frayed nerves, a potential scream playing on my tongue.
Fog rolled in eerie loops exciting fear and teeth-clench tension.
It was as night as nighttime black can be.
Rain fell in sheets of sludge and decay.
Deep in the sky, only one star shone, and high it was, too, high and far away.
An ocean heaved at the land, seething onto moonshot sands, dissolving the continent a piece at a time.
Somewhere in the hills a bell from a ghostly village tolled.
There was a town.
It moaned and groaned and was paved with rape and pillage, and each house was a prison dripping with torture.
The fields were tilled with grief, and streets were cobbled with cloud and mist.
People walked with outstretched hands feeling their way over building facades.
They peered bead eyes into the murk, misery hiding behind every blink.
I saw dead men staggering, their skin wilting, wounds weeping, veins bleeding, dragging helpless citizens through mud and stench-filled pools.
And urging on the carnage was a dangerful and mighty behemoth.
It swaggered like a drunken wolf
And in its wake the farmsoil churned and the ground shivered and shook.
It sucked and bubbled and bellowed.
And what monstrous psalms spake from its fevered lips and fetid mouths!
Surely here was a beast from the id’s dark nook.
The Behemoth saw me and stared with eyes glowing blue and cold.
I trembled inside my skin, my very marrow trying to escape its physical bounds.
Fear rang and chimed and jangled my nerves, and thought abandoned my frozen brain.
Without will or the wit to panic, I found myself sitting, shivering while chill draughts wrapped my body, while remnant protests were blasted into icy memories.
An awful cold in the clefts and hollows of my resistance tangled and mangled my will-‘o-the-wisp.
The Behemoth spat an arctic tongue as strong as glacial ice that curled around me in a python grip.
Frigid barbs syringed me full of merciless winter.
And I fell to the brink of vanishment.
But I was a hunter, a seeker, a stalker of all things grotesque and would not surrender so easily.
My kith were singers of freedom and liberty, heroes from yore and yester washed my bloodstock.
With such cavaliers heating my passion I could not help but thaw from the inside out, and volcanic fervour burst through my veins and flared with the zeal of champions past.
The Behemoth was no match for this ancestral brood.
It shuddered and crumbled and cracked.
It crunched and spluttered and spat.
And together we erupted into dust.
The ash of our bodies fell to ground and soothed through that barren land.
Men and women in peasant garb swelled the market square and ate and drank.
They banished the word “mine” from their language — thenceforth everything was “ours”.
Such was the mother-wit that burst freely from that new dawn among the snowflakes of my death
And when all was again as serene as stars and virtue had returned to land and sky, a Gaian sigh gave up an egg that hatched into a baby to become my life renewed.
It is said I am ageless and have beer’d with the gods.
And so it is
And so I have
And so I shall do forever.