[apologies Dave: I just can’t do a scottish accent]
I, Giacamo, slave by birth, of lowly worth
do sing of Jope, hard-hewn halberd, he who
by strength of arm, and vision broad,
did wrest stolen lands from terror and war,
and establish there Fredonia.
Benison to all, banner to the oppressed,
gentle and noble, of him and him alone do I sing,
and also his companions, of whom there can be no doubt
he never was without
Whom I shall list in alphabetical order.
First Morgana, she of sorceries dark
and power unquestioned, upon whose track
whispers of witch would hark
but never to her face: always behind her back
who would with necromancy mark
and permanently blind people
before everyone else stacked on and killed them.
Next Rainor and Rainen, bowman and companion, steady aim,
were he to fail (yet seldom he)
Jope lost would be
because no one else could read a map
Finally Seldryn, of far elven halls,
of magic and fallen honour,
whose name of shame she bore with pride
and who was not above a little burglary on the side
Came to Restov they, city of Brevory gay, no longer rough frontier for Jope of bold hand and noble mien had taken lands which once held threat and dark mutterings of monster and evil, and so bunting to gild the street with holiday, for elevation of he, nobility created be, stolen lands now his as duchy.
And yet, day so bright with cheer, presentments to each companion came: Morgana, Rainor, and Seldryn, who each unburdened themselves they, to their lord and begged his aid, and he – of nature generous and stalwart – demurred not, nor hesitated but pledged open-handed on his life and honour, that each with stout companions should face their peril of the day.
Morgana, she of dark sorceries, wise in the ways of the halls of the dead, by means occult great wrong to the south and west has escryed, evil into the world seeking to make breach, its fame dolorous bell tolling across dale and lonely moor of spirit borne. And so journeyed there Jope, his courage unflinching, there this urgent evil to confront and vanquish whatever it be.
Forgotten hill found he and cave, therin sorcery and ritual unholy: three around cauldron, and one within. He attacked without hesitation, yet protected the unholy trypich were, neither arrow nor spell able to pass eldrich wall before them. Rainen, fearless brute to attack the three did leap, and at eldrich wall did vanish.
Jope, friend to all defenseless he, their helpless thralls espied in cage and ran to free, scalykind and slave small, his companions wise in sorcery, to divine the nature of the scene. For mark or portal three were fixed one each upon wall and ceiling, power thick and clotted from each into the cauldron issuing.
Then Seldryn did sally forth into the portal to the left, and right prompty did emerge again from it, and cried to Jope – he of mighty thew and renown of battle – for battle to be had was beyond. So did he of willing halberd to slay did enter and beyond a scene of hell, which is called Malboge, devils feeding its fleshy substance to an engine, source of power to the evil.
Battle did he, and his companions, and did slay the lesser devils (but for one imp in enchantment by Morgana chained) and the greater, who departed with promise to return bringing companions many. Yet Jope did not flee, but watched while Seldryn – she cunning in the ways of magic and device – for precious moments did strive to injure evil engine, and she succeeding returned he last from infernal bale through portal to the cave returned, the fell sorcery weak yet not done, his course clear, into the second portal did Jope venture.
Beyond, no devil, but fire rather – fire and earth, again lesser creatures feeding the substance of their realm into an engine – great blaze interred – and warded by warrior native. Again by battle extinguished Jope the blaze, and eldich might denied he the cauldron three, and returned to living world, third fell portal to defeat and last before surely the evil itself to slay.