Tales Upon the Crossroads

Written by Jarnkoldur

Whence Traveler’s Meet

1. Within the Barrens, arid plains of grass,
2. Aft’ the Cataclysm which came to pass,
3. Amid rocky atolls and broken stones,
4. Amid the whipping sands and earthen bones,
5. Upon the worn, weary, oft-trodden road,
6. Recognized simply by the name of “Gold.”

7. As the bitter night set over the land,
8. A fatigued caravan halted to stand,
9. The driver, a dwarven madame, pouted,
10. Loosened the reigns, disembarked, and shouted:
11. “Weariness pains me from my head to rump,
12. “We camp!” She yelled irritably grump.

13. Gathered the passengers, seven in all,
14. About the campfire’s warmth ‘ere  dark fall.
15. These strange folk from strange distant lands,
16. Their fates enterwined by destiny’s hands,
17. Unbeknownst to none about the flame
18. Their purpose for wandering happened to be the same.

19. The caravan’s haughty dwarven mistress,
20. Who consumed wine to relive her distress,
21. In drunken stupor retired to bed,
22. Leaving the others by the fire’s stead;
23. The Knight, the Soldier, the Crone, and the Specter,
24. The Marauder and the Narrator.

25. Onward crept the passing of the hour,
26. The gathered, ill-at-ease, remained dour,
27. Yet, little can stoicism enthrall,
28. When mirth issues forth at a tankard’s call?
29. Thus merriment fell upon those camp guests,
30. And shortly they spoke upon the topic of their quests:

The Crone

31. Haggard and disheveled in apperance,
32. Withered was she in form and coherence,
33. A wiry troll-kin of sinew and bone,
34. Senility a curse few could atone,
35. Her eyes clouded in haze, her tusks now blunt,
36. Worn lips cracked at the escape of a grunt.

37. “I seek the orc whom death canne claim mon.
38. Whom deeds are said be more than simple con,
39. I would want tasting a bit of his flesh,
40. A finger, toe, or what yields with a thresh,
41. O’ I donnae want him dead! Just a few snips,”
42. She said whilst licking her dusty lips.

The Soldier

43. “Legren Stoneaxe!” the orcish soldier cried,
44.  Burning ire consuming him in stride,
45. “Old hag, shut your putrid and rotted maw,
46. For barren-speak issues forth for your craw!
47. I, Hargroth, upon my honor sworn,
48. Conquest over that fiend of demons born!”

49. “Betrayal dwells within Legren’s black heart,
50. He sought to sunder clan Earthspear apart!
51. Apprehended and sentenced to death,
52. Yet, escaped the executioner’s breath,
53. In Gurubashi, spat he ‘ere arrow’s flight,
54. “State nothing! For I did what I thought was right!”

The Knight

55. “Orc!” Cried the Knight as the flames faltered dim,
56. Vindictive his countenance, harsh and grim,
57. “Divines are derisive of the fated,
58. Cursed with vengeance’s thirst till sated.
59. Our prey, whom we demand, tis mine to claim,
60. His death shall redeem mine fallen kin’s name!”

61. “Alas how merciless are the divine,
62. Permitting death of a child so benign,
63. Emissary to the Shu’halo tribe,
64. Beseeching the peace which words could provide,
65. Over Thunderbluff her gryphon did soar,
66. Legren took aim! Alas she is no more.”

The Assassin

67. Unheeded were the others by the gnome,
68. Whom fantasizing bade thoughts to roam,
69. Throughout their course she didn’t utter a word,
70. Yet, when her bottled muse was spent she stirred,
71. With blurred vision and rosy-hued cheek,
72. She lifted herself and began to speak,

73. “Bah! Fools! Plebians! The whole lot of you!
74. The Syndicate sent me to kill him too!
75. And thus I’ll be she whom claims that orc’s hide.”
76. She stated matter-of-factly with pride,
77. She stumbled and fell gloating in conceit,
78. Embracing her bruise she moaned in defeat.

The Marauder

79. The quiet marauder never stirred.
80. Indifferent to what he had heard.
81. Naught was to be discerned beneath hooded cowl,
82. Aside protruding tusks and lower jowl,
83. Orc! Verily any could discern,
84. Yet, a dark foreboding bade me concern.

85. “Hark marauder, what is your tale to tell?”
86. Do you seek this Legren Stoneaxe as well?”
87. A wicked chuckle escaped the stranger,
88. Fright overwhelmed me sensing danger,
89. Forth he brandished his axe for all to see,
90. And cried “LOK’TAR OGAR! I AM HE!”

91. Within the Barrens, arid plains of grass,
92. Aft’ the Cataclysm which came to pass,
93. Amid rocky atolls and broken stones,
94.  Amid the whipping sands and earthen bones,
95.  Upon the worn, weary, oft-trodden road,
96.  Recognized simply by the name of “Gold.”

97. A traveler wanders upon the road,
98. Tis that Orc who’s tale remains to be told.