Observational Art as Performed by Mashal Marshallomin
Let me tell you a tale, of a long lost treasure,
A tale I shall spin over a drink for your pleasure.
A map was found with hidden clues revealed,
To a hidden location of lost riches once sealed.
Gather then did the heroes of many descent,
With blades and magic did they make the attempt.
Charter a boat they did, with a questionable hin captain,
Who's shady past history would return to bite them.
Cower did the captain when the pirates finally arrived,
Revenge they did seek for a betrayal once survived.
I was there you see, a young bard of little note,
Convincing them to leave, no blood for decks to soak.
The heroes thought naught, for steel was clearly quicker,
For heroes do not lie, over which they did bicker.
Why bother with word or lying silvered tongue,
If good old fashioned killing will get the job done?
So arrows were loosed, spells were then cast,
Pirates lay dead, with their ship sinking fast.
A lone survivor was saved, sinking from armor's weight,
A pirate named Paul, denied his ship's same fate.
For one life spared, did the heroes clear the books,
Of any possible guilt, to each other knowing looks.
Paul spoke then, of our captain's sordid past,
Of deals, backstabbing and ambushes amassed.
The heroes were undecided for which could be believed,
Both were of questionable character, at least to them perceived.
Finally were Paul's words heed, as we arrived upon land,
A hero's ambush prepared for the captain's hidden hand.
Let me tell you a tale, of a long lost treasure,
A story I shall continue weaving for your leisure.
Into the misty depths of the cave we entered,
Of triangle design the hallways were centered.
Ornate mirrors of ancient make lined the passage,
Hidden foes lying in wait within their vantage.
Goblins, minotaurs, undead of all make,
The heroes pressed on, foes slain in their wake.
Next a large hall did we enter into,
With multitudes of doors, infinite choice in view.
A crystal ball then, with a question to Savras,
For it is certainly easier, with a god chosen path.
A lonesome room did we enter, a single chest found,
Empty but for a message, a warning of doom bound.
Elementals poured forth from their watery portal,
Intent on drowning us like insects trapped in a bottle.
Dispells were cast, closing their gateway,
Their numbers cut down with hardly a spray.
Further investigation or perhaps out of greed,
For a hidden lever was found, another door did it lead.
Another chest beheld with two lizardfolk statues,
Admiring a held music box, with no crank, no muse.
Play did the bards, for what else could they do?
A captive audience! such opportunities were few.
On flute and on lute, did the bards begin their score,
When familiar portals appeared, elementals numbering more.
A hidden musical note, was the key to our success
In unison they played, a new door revealed for access.
Finally did we arrive at the dungeon's triangular center,
To be faced by ghostly mist and within it a specter.
It told us to reveal our true names and deepest desires,
And wait for a time there, as wishes were acquired.
For a time we did wait, but the truths provided nothing,
As this was a riddle, for only lies were worth accepting.
Faithful of Torm, why did you lie?
For treasures of Liera do we now spy.
Faithful of Chauntea, why did you deceive?
Your god is now saddened, your crops shall now grieve.
Treasure was found, collected and counted,
But at what cost, after all challenges surmounted.
Tell me again heroes, for what reason would you lie,
Not for the lives lost, for only greed comes the outcry.
A humble opinion from this here young bard,
With barely any experience or bodily flesh scarred.
For the sake of a life, a lie can be told
But don't sully the truth, for nothing but gold.
As silver wings thundered above mortals high,
A lonely mentor trained a would be name.
With expectations of a hero it would imply,
We are only left with ourselves to blame.
How much is it to ask for one more to care,
Of the plights and wellbeing of the common good.
When at the end of the story remains only despair,
Indifference of choices never close to understood.
Needless sacrifice at the cost of genuine souls,
Another name on a long list for only one to remember.
Why then do we look to adventurers and their goals,
Their intent only as far as the next being to dismember.
Rest now noble heroes your duty is now fulfilled,
Sahno and Dormanak, you gave what was never asked.
Curse this weak body and these hands unskilled,
Unable to defy your chosen fate and all tragedies past.
Even when you think you're all alone,
And not another person in range to stone.
Emotions dwell and surge within,
Roaring forth to engage in sin.
Hatred burns with constant anger and fury,
Forcing upon you actions most unsavory.
Sadness seeps in with the grief and guilt,
For all the burnt bridges that can't be rebuilt.
Pride stands tall above the carnage it wrecks,
Surveying everything below as they were insects.
Envy creeps in and before you even realize,
Blood stains the earth, eyes only on the prize.
So when you hear the whispers in your head,
With emotions boiling, threatening to spread.
Take a deep breath and calm yourself down,
Or risk your very life, in darkness you'll drown.
So often are we told the stories of heroes yore,
Naturally I shall tell you then of the Paladins Four.
I imagine them stalwart men, champions of their order,
Having given up their names to be Evil's fearless warder.
I barely got to meet them, as we were all rather hurried,
A holy temple now defiled, leaving us most worried.
Cultists ran amok with undead they did command,
The Dead Three their symbols, our deaths did they demand.
Put them to rest, did our dear adventurers try,
But their souls lingered still, trapped did they cry.
For a greater power was present, keeping all in view trapped,
Restless spirits wandering the grounds, raw power untapped.
The Paladins were found, though not in numeric order,
One decapitated, a second starved, third barely alive from torture.
Linger did they not on solving the third's healing curse,
Where an assassin's garrote would be the more practical nurse.
The fourth was alone, hidden in all his unholy glory,
A meat puppet on strings, to tell a most unfortunate story.
I would like to say that a most glorious battle was waged,
Alas that was untrue, as our own souls were soon caged.
Trapped in our own bodies, staring at the embodiment of madness,
The Prince of Lies himself, eyes glowing within the darkness.
Survival was not likely, not when faced with the very divine,
But alone we were not, with all the souls trapped in the shrine.
The paladins came forth, four pillars lighting the dark,
Standing together in unison, finding peace in a broken heart.
They would free us from evil's grasp, with their final sacrifice,
Never to meet their gods, their final reward in paradise.
Behold the Four's Mercy, Justice, Strength and Pride,
To save a handful of adventurers who would have otherwise died.
Was it worth the trade though? Now do I often find myself question,
For among us do I not see, one worthy of such heroic succession.
In purple light he arrives seeking always the many pieces,
To make whole what was lost to prove his very thesis.
The proverbial son with broken wings gazes up towards the sky,
Where the heavens will be torn asunder for the sake of a lie.
What lays beyond the veil will bring you no comfort,
There is only despair, you will not stand triumphant.
My bloodied eye has seen what mortals should never,
The voices speak still, distorted in building pressure.
A string snaps upon wood, reality comes back flooding,
The body remains unmoved where the mind has gone running.
The signs are everywhere, just beyond our material senses,
It reaches through the cracks with dire consequences.
Nothing is as it seems, the mist grows ever present,
Until the final curtain and silence's swift descent.
Five Hundred Gold
What would you do for five hundred gold?
Slay a dragon like then heroes of old?
Perhaps rid the lands of some foul evil,
Or assist some folk with item retrieval.
Well I was hired by a man named Thomas,
For five hundred gold that I was promised.
To locate a lost ruin with possible treasure,
With some other folk I traveled, it was my pleasure.
Verika the broody, ever standing like a statue,
Raryldor so white, tolerated by so few.
Also a small kobold of name I never did learn,
We set off together for the gold we might earn.
Soon we would find, we would not be searching alone,
For there was fierce competition for the proverbial throne.
Not the friendly sort, they were certainly out for blood,
Right shame then, when their cold bodies fell with a thud.
Further in the caverns did we find our lost temple,
Statues standing tall, with runes written in Infernal.
For what purpose we were unsure, but read it outloud I did,
In a specific sequence, lest answers we would be forbid.
Sudden as it were, opened a burning portal,
Where from within escaped a tortured mortal.
Barely coherent, celebrating his freedom with a yell
The man named Cutter finally made his escape from hell.
This did not please the devils, their chains shot out to reach,
Pulling in poor Thomas through the portal with a screech.
Still not satisfied, their numbers began to pour through,
Physical combat is not my forte, so I was glad to have the crew.
The kobold smashed the statues, closing the gate,
Leaving poor old Thomas to some unknown fate.
The elves in their grace did not care very much,
Letting Cutter escape without so much a touch.
Here ended the tale, least from the elves' point of view,
But not for one such as I, as I had not been paid my due.
For five hundred gold was owed, and I intended to collect,
Even if the hells I'd need to go to obtain poor Thomas's debt.
A new plan was required, but there was the matter of time,
Thomas wouldn't last long in his newfound hellish confine.
Called in a few favors owed, to strike up a devil deal.
Thomas for the escaped Cutter, now isn't that a steal?
Doesn't take too much to track down our lost Cutter,
Especially when you hold a coin or two of a crime lord's favor.
With that sorted out, all that was left was the journey,
To the meeting place up a mountain where the snow was a flurry.
Thankfully I did not need to travel that dangerous road alone,
For Rika offered her help, her faith's strength easily made her own.
Up the snowy cliffs we traveled, most certainly an unlikely pair,
A bard of minute renown and a barbarian woman most fair.
Opposition we did have to face, snow goblins of ill temperament,
But Rika's axe made short work of them, to her Warrior God's testament.
Delve into a hidden cave, etched with familiar runes of Infernal,
We found a statue within holding a large ruby, glowing red internal.
Activating it would be a matter of somewhat gory discretion,
But Cutter had blood readily to spare, least from my impression.
The deal was then finalized, and we got back poor Thomas,
Though he was in rather bad shape, but I was to keep him to his promise.
So, what would I do for five hundred gold?
Apparently free a man from hell, I never thought myself that bold.
I've often said stacks of coin was a fine motivator,
And certainly a catalyst for living stories to put upon paper.
Mary dreamed of a fonder time, of a silvered valley long ago.
Family and friends, pipeweed and tea, all lost to time's flow.
The songs played merrily as she stood high upon the hill,
Nestled next to her father close, his presence she feels still.
She loved him dearly, a hero to the valley, most certainly to her,
But he was sick and their time together grew increasingly shorter.
She sought far and wide for a cure to his ravaging illness,
But he was calm, graceful in acceptance of the growing stillness.
Mary dreamed of a fonder time, of a silvered valley long ago.
For reality is cruel, filled with blood and constant tales of woe.
The valley is now gone, houses left empty, there are only memories left.
So she remained dreaming, never having to remember of her heart's bereft.
LustJaw last edited by LustJaw
Now here's a tale you don't hear, least not every day,
Of a paladin killing Tormtar under a Lich's sway.
You might think he was beguiled or even coerced,
But no, it was for gold and reward he did thirst.
Darius appeared, wearing a guard's loose skin,
With a task for adventurers gathered, only a minor sin.
To return a treasure he valued from mercenaries hidden,
Well rewarded would they be, those present to listen.
Into the misty caves did the Red Knight charge,
Cleaving into the ranks of the enemy at large.
But upon their necks did they then unfortunately find,
Holy symbols of Torm, they were now no longer blind.
But continue forward he did, demanding the Tormtars surrender,
They did not listen, making for a last stand, even their final defender.
With the last of their death did the party then hear,
A lone baby's cry, ringing out in terrible fear.
The lich showed himself to retrieve the young child,
Reward the adventurers gathered with gold and trinkets piled.
The paladin grew irate, wanting no part of reward,
But left the baby to the lich, he didn't even raise his sword.
So fell the Paladin of the Red Knight, who had no battle plan,
Perhaps he'll do better with age as he was just a young man.
For all paladins out there, who are to champion good,
Think upon your god's dogma, and be sure it's understood.
I was walking into the commons, such an odd sight to greet me,
Adventurers gathered to face a lone mage, least from what I could see.
They belittled the caster, joked around among themselves,
Didn't treat the mage seriously, most certainly not the elves.
So turn them each to stone he did, with a simple wave of his wand,
Cursed them to different sizes to match their misdeeds and beyond.
For they had set loose a lich, which he had sealed within a box,
Warned them thrice he had not to open it, not to fiddle with the locks.
But being adventurers and knowing no better, they most certainly did,
Setting loose another evil, downplaying their parts, god forbid.
So there they stood, locked within stone with no one present to assist,
But into the commons walked a new arrival, and now here comes the twist!
A creepy looking man named Darius with loose fitting skin,
Sharing a name with the freed lich, he walked in with a grin.
Undid the curses with a spell of his own, he then moved to leave,
The adventurers were too busy thanking him, to realize they were deceived.
For when I left the commons, bristly walking for the inn,
I came across something most ghastly, why, it was human skin!
Darius was in fact Darius, the lich they had originally freed,
He had returned to pay off the favor of their former heroic deed.
I brought the evidence to them, showing them the grisly fabric,
Thinking they would do something, to assist with this scene most tragic.
Perhaps to lay rest the minds of the slain man's worried family,
Or to reveal further information, of their foe most dastardly.
From their number came forth the hero, Fenris the Firebrand.
Confident and charismatic, he took the grotesque skin in hand.
Burnt it to ashes he did, for he was a Chosen of Kossuth,
Didn't have much of a plan, least not in regards to chasing the truth.
They then wracked their minds, attempting to come up with a solution,
He then suggested a scrying spell, much to my obvious confusion.
Scrying works on the living, and the dead are simply an object,
He did not take kindly to my insight, with the words and spittle flecked
Speak with the dead wasn't possible, there was nothing left but ash,
Ah, the problems that are raised, when one's actions are most rash.
A final solution was proposed, a spellcasting of resurrection,
So all that mattered now was a simple task of gold collection.
The dead man was raised, and he provided little insight,
But at least he gets to go home, back to his family for the night.
So ended that little encounter, where I was trully educated,
Of the mindset of a typical adventurer, my curiosity sated.
Maiden of Stone
Maiden of Stone, you cried out to be free,
From shackles unmoving, you were given a key.
Freedom was granted, with Animate spell fleeting,
You fought to remain, Permanency completing.
Remember well then, who it was that so wanted,
To clip your wings thus and leave you so haunted.
Two bards did walk after the path you once did,
Proud and unhearing of your silent voice bid.
For one it was gold, the other amusement,
With Dispels at the ready, under the moon so lucent.
Even then did you fight to remain amongst the living,
We silenced you to stone, an act unforgiving.
We hid you away within darkness void locked,
Back to the city without care, quietly we stalked.
Intending to profit, to continue the game,
One bard named Mashal, the other with no name.
For you were but a statue, brought to life on a whim,
I did not think to ponder, on the decisions made grim.
Too focused on success, for the next verbal attack,
I failed to notice the sins crawling down my own back.
Maiden of Stone, we come before you today,
With scrolls familiar, in hopes that you'll stay.
Carve it into your heart, remember it forever,
How these two bards wronged you and did so in error.
Be freed from your prison, walk forth and decide,
The choices you'll make, and not out of pride.
Be true to your soul, your new life has begun,
Keep your gaze steady, take a step and run.
Crafters of many out searching for ore,
Masters of metal search for one out of lore.
It's Mithral, well known to be light as a feather,
Prized by the elves, certainly better than leather.
To the Lost City we head, to the south do we travel,
Through woods dark and misty, filled with dangers to battle.
Ghostly wolves we first face, their howls cold and hollow,
The first of us falls, a purple bard they hastily swallow.
Continue we knew we must, for Mithral called still,
The bard was brought back, though the path remained uphill.
Through the passage dark then and onto narrow ridges,
Undead lied in wait, with both blade and spell vicious.
The heroes fought valiant with the bards just behind them,
Inspiring with song and avoiding the worst of the mayhem.
The pathways grew narrow with directions ever winding,
We continued to fight on, healing supplies steadily declining.
We arrive at the city with ancient spires it loomed,
Avoiding the gaze of new foes, lives it would have doomed.
Further in we travel, past the overgrown garden,
Slaying the cockatrices before our flesh hardened.
We took the stairs down, in hopes to find the mines,
For Mithral was waiting, we had but to look for the signs.
We heard rock churning, then the earth elementals,
They took the brunt of our attacks and eventually disassembled.
Then the cry rang out as we passed the hidden lake feature,
'War Machine!' came the shout, 'Run!' cried our leader.
So flee we did, through the tunnels we had cleared,
Back to the surface, to the gardens we had feared.
The legend was born then of Jonni the Mithral Miner,
For he faced the horror alone, with us none the wiser.
Thankfully he survived, for a scout did aid and return,
Shesarai the Cerulean, his orders she had spurned.
Flee too did they have to, back up onto the surface,
Where Jonni's sister, Nica, had enough and rushed it with purpose.
Our spirits renewed with the emboldened attack,
I too moved forward, to inspire, curse and draw back.
The mighty machine fell under our numerous blows,
but it was mostly the monk, who had fought on tiptoes.
We returned to the mines, mostly cleared with the air damp,
Our spells were all spent, so we broke bread and camped.
What of the Mithral, of was our original intent?
We found veins aplenty, after a further descent.
Curious though of the final foes left guarding the ore,
Were an undead dwarf and flesh golem alone and uncared for.
The mines did go deeper, though the passage was flooded,
reported the lone scout who was wet and quite disgusted.
Two others went to check then, for perhaps they did not believe,
they returned wet as well, but satisfied with new sights perceived.
Jonni the Mithral Miner, made short work of the veins,
crushing through rock with picks like a hurricane.
Recalled by spell to his tavern, the Witch and Seer,
We all came back alive, enough to have a beer.
So if you seek the Mithral, just look to the Lost City,
But go prepared and in number or the results won't be pretty.
Take a deep breath and remember, there's nothing for you to prove,
Always be ready to flee, when you see a dragon statue move.
When living on dragon's land, remember to pay tribute,
And not forget who it belongs to and raise a dispute.
So close the gates shut, feel all mighty and powerful,
But when the time arrives, be prepared to pay in full.
For dwarves have long memories and dragons longer still,
Who's fault will it be when death arrives on wings to kill?
The dwarves who are angry with debts seen unpaid,
Or a lone halfling general, who's relevance had fade?
The dwarves have come with greed in their eyes,
for Peltarch's riches they have mobilized.
They did not do so during Norwick's many plight,
slam their Hold's doors shut, refusing to fight.
Accuse the city then 'Peltarch sent no aid to our Hold',
With evidence contrary, these claims are certainly bold.
Alas, dwarves are famously stubborn and our King is mighty kind,
So accept this extortion he did with appeasement in mind.
And now the Legion too has shut their gate and access to ferry,
to deny the dragon Ky of allies, of that they are wary.
Perhaps they have forgotten that dragons have wings to fly,
For what use is a gate to creatures that take to the sky?
Instead they have cut off easy passage across the scar,
Impacting the many faithful of the temples now further afar.
Times have certainly grown interesting, especially for those in power,
For why else would they wield such, over others they would tower.
It matters not to them of the impact on those of lesser standing,
As long as they achieve their goals, through threats and further demanding.
The alleys of Peltarch are gloomy and dark,
Hidden within are dangers most stark.
Travel not through with pouches filled heavy,
Lest you get jumped by muggers and levied.
Worse then still, if you are of the female persuasion,
lying on the ground, still wracked with confusion.
For who else should arrive, with hands ever groping,
Lord Ulwick himself, for helpless women he's hunting.
Flee my ladies, from the alleys narrow and cold,
Away from the hungering carriage lord's vile hold!
Trust not the lone woman, you meet in Nars Pass,
For she is the cause for countless graves amassed.
She will call to you for help, in search for her friend,
Follow not her directions, as it will lead to your end.
Into the old gypsy camp will she then lead you,
down an old tree stump, a door you will go through.
Return you cannot, for the door is now locked and warded,
As the creaking of floorboards sound, with feelings most torrid.
Deeper you will go, in search for a solution,
But all that awaits is your tragic conclusion.
Into the darkness, for an escape you will chase,
But all that will find you is a vampire's embrace.
Come gather 'round, gather right near,
Here's a short tale, to listen over a beer.
Our heroes are in search, of the fabled Weeping Blade,
Into fire giant territory did their mountain path strayed.
A fire giantess stood with staff and guards flanking,
Bidding us step forward, with words demanding!
Who shall be champion, among the heroes present,
Fighting for day's safe passage, against their mightiest giant?
As the warriors debated, the monk stepped forth,
To test his mettle and fists against the north.
The warriors scoffed, for he wore no armor,
What good could he do, when dressed like a farmer?
We bid him come back, for he was outmatched,
Come back to safety, before he was dispatched.
'Are you the Champion?' bellowed the giant with staff,
'Yes!' bid the monk, it took my all to stifle a laugh.
The giants sent their champion, with deadly sword in hand,
To deal with our trespass, to crush the little man.
Though not of equal, there they both stood,
If the monk must fight, dear gods, let him be good.
This would be a challenge, simple, plain and true,
I dearly hoped that the monk, knew what he had to do.
The duel was called! The monk leaped forward!
At the wrong target, which was rather awkward.
With that then cleared up, the champions did face,
Blade against fist, ignoring previous disgrace.
Though he had heart and measure of confidence,
What he lacked was patience and physical competence.
The large blade came down, crushing his tiny frame,
We had lost the duel, did the giantess proclaim.
Our warriors wanted to fight still, for they knew they were better,
But honored is ritual combat, disrespect it they would never.
A trade for the monk's life then, and for safe passage the bard attempted,
With honeyed words and jewels aplenty, the giantess was tempted.
The deal was found acceptable, for more gems and phoenix extract,
The monk was returned alive and whole, but now sheepishly back.
Let this be the lesson, for when next a champion is called,
Consider it in timely measure, lest it be your corpse next hauled.
Beware all aspirants! And think before you act!
To bite more than can be chewed is of dire impact.
Attentus last edited by
// it's really nice.
// ... posted it in article on my blog, as we agreed - i do not steal copyrights.
// your character was credited.