View Full Version : Little tunes sung right. (Warhammer fantasy story)

Varian Nuncio
20-08-2005, 21:59
Note carried by the larch,
a melody from its bark,
song of old in hollow rot,
of the axmen there in chopped,
seeking wood for the fire hot,
ever a fate it had desired not,
still in hands it was wrought,
for worn in by twisted thought,

a sharp blade on wood fletched,
flute freed from wooden tomb,
made the air into chilling tunes,
by the lips from which it hung,
the magic traps were then sprung,
god had not much better wrought,
of this the boy had then thought,
change itself was in with caught.

It was a completely ordinary day, just like the ordinary day before it, and the one before that. This day was so ordinary in fact that trees and grass themselves even felt it was ordinary, and thusly in efforts to make the day less ordinary they refused upon the winds to sway one more inch until the winds would take it upon themselves to make note unto the stars and sky that this day should not be ordinary. Of course being the winds they are their response was neither clear nor obvious to the observer, but perhaps they did make such considerations. None the less it was boring.

A boy was sitting outside his house upon a small wall overlooking the well which was located near their small family garden. As he sat there it was his habit to swing his feet back and forth in a manner which would have hardly been noticeable to anyone around him, albeit there was no one around him to take notice. He was bored. What a miserable way of life he thought, he desired adventure, discovery, enlightenment; it was the fast paced life that he so wished to acquire. There was just not much interest to be found anywhere in his village; past whether the local baker would make his tasty bread with rye or with wheat today, or perhaps he would do something fascinating and make some of each. The lad thought that he must somehow escape this existence.

Slowly but surely the boy began to notice some slight movement in the forest coming near his home, and sure enough it was his father bringing some wood home for the fireplace, it certainly did not take him very long and the boy rightly assumed that it would be his duty to cut the wood and feed the fires as his father cleaned and quartered the two squirrels that had just caught a few hours before. Such was as any other daily meal for their crops had not yet grown for a good feast. Still he had food, what more would someone desire then a little food on the table, a roof over their head, and a little land to live on, aye? It was better then to live in the slums within a local city like marienburg, I give it that!

Fall and chop down the axe flopped,
not blood to mop from such a block,
as not the flesh of wood should hold,
but screams of agony from the stump,
to the old man not seeing by the sun,
terror not yet gripping and he fearing,
what was inside though no bone shown,
blood is spilled yes but blood of wood,
shed now upon the soft grass growing.

A smack! Yes a smack, not a crack, a shout, or a little whipping, nay, but a right old smack. The father had come home and then in greeting. Blessed his poor son with a good smack to the face; though poorer still had I already made note of in aforementioned reference about the most notable slums of good old Marienburg. Yet with that smack the father did rightly scold his son for not plucking the two and thirty weeds from their garden within the one quarter and a half hour by which he had given him to do so. Instead the feeble minded boy had simply sat upon the wall and done nothing! Praise Sigmar that his mother was not still alive to see this almighty failure which was this most miserable excuse for a still living child, and to call him son? What jest that is, what jest, the boy was already seven and one quarter years, his father says, and not able to lift his own weight in this house. Praise be again unto good old almighty Sigmar that the boy was able to breathe another moment. And the father was rightly so in that, for if the boy failed even to breathe he would not be upon this world for very long, and we would have a rather short story would we not? Yes again I babble, yet still babbling is what some bards do best, yes? But now I shall go on…

Now where was I? Oh yes the boy. Smacked he was and a good smack at that, for it flung him from the wall and into a tumble against the well, but not passed out was this hardy boy, oh no, he lifted himself up and went about gathering the pieces of lumber which his father had so kindly presented him with, and off to the block the boy did go, with a stumble a time or two, and marched on his half-merry way towards the old stump by which the small axe set. And with this, after the father was done cleaning the squirrels by the house, he did start tending the garden of such weeds the silly boy had forgotten to uproot. Though what poor soil this hard working man had to deal with, even to the best of his efforts the weeds overnight were stronger and taller then the best of his editable plants, it was good that these; the outlying lands of Marienburg, were so plentiful with such small and delicate woodland creatures which one could almost pluck from the trees, if the gods in some most divine wisdom of theirs had not proclaimed that it should take a bow and arrow or some other effort to do so with. Ah but who are we to question the gods, eh?

But as his father tended to this, the boy sat a block of wood upon the stump and after doing so he did chop down with all his strength and with a plop did the block split and the wood fall to each side. The boy was strong though for his most minute age, he had a hard poor and meager life, though better still then to live in the twice mentioned slums of good old Marienburg, gods bless that city! Aye, yet still he did take another block and strike his axe into it, plop again and plop rightly so, for less he miss and strike himself, what else sound would it make? Ah but he stuck five blocks, and now the six block oh this was a pretty block, it had been chopped from a finer tree it must have been, though what tree it could have been the boy could not say, still he placed it upon the block and let down his axe, plop it chopped the same aye it did, the sixth block was no different? What did you have the thought it would be different? It's only the sixth block! Ah, but now the seventh block right with his own age and looked some like the last, he chopped and he heard a scream! Nay it was not his father calling, and perhaps with the effort to pull a weed from the garden his father had not heard the scream over his own personal grunts. Yet the boy heard it, oh that he did. After getting back up off of his backside the boy looked down at the block, the wood seemed to be bleeding a silvery ichor which it dribbled down over the stump and onto the ground.

Hideous Loon
21-08-2005, 10:28
Right... What's the point of this story? I imagine it being told (sung?) by a bard at the table of a Lord, but to what purpose? Will it include a morale at the end, like stories used to have? What screamed? Oh, the questions are many, but the answer may be hidden in the nut of a tree.

Varian Nuncio
21-08-2005, 16:36
Morales? Tis not my responsibility to dictate, only to tell the trials. Try reading it in different ways, different paths and different lights, maybe then you will understand its nature... Perhaps at least.
Ah, but I shall continue...

Pink deep of flesh,
Grey is the bark,
black be the core,
dark as the soul,
birch of the river,
growing until cut,
burning unto not,
the changes want,
singing for a need,
needs not be fed,
blood must be shed,
deep in the well,
darkness ever swell,
grave... and not.

Sap? Well many wet woods have sap, it’s not uncommon in such a marshland as this place be, is it? Trees having sap when in wet season is not uncommon at all, perhaps his hard working father could find no drier place to cut a tree, or perhaps this part of the tree was lower on the trunk then the rest of the wood and there by closer to the bog and water, but still cut from the same tree yes? Ah but talk of trees and sap is of little interest, and who has not had a fine maple sap upon their flatcakes aye? At any matter I doubt there was much better wood to find in these forests of wormwood trees that many men call swamps and marshes now would there be? They had enough drywood now to make a fire at any rate. But that’s still so boring! What had that screaming been about? Had it not come from but the log itself? The boy was still examining this wood with such inquisitively that he could have broken the hardest criminal in the hardest dungeon of all the village, though as they had no criminals and no dungeons to have them in it would have been difficult indeed, but how else to compare a noble pursuit of boyish charm and inquisitiveness that was entirely unknown upon such a scale in this dull village?

The boy however found nothing unusual, save it appeared that when he had struck the wood he had scratched a small sliver off of the wood’s dark core near the base, and it appeared to be this side from which most of the silver sap had originated; indeed what a curious prize of knowledge for a little boy, not many greater prizes were likely found throughout the kingdom save the most notable treasures of nobility. But now was not a time for idle investigation, instead the boy quickly sat the larger half aside, and went about chopping the rest of the blocks then taking them in turn to the fire pit, where with dry leaves and a few sticks he had a blazing fire going in no time at all. But by such time as the fire was blazing, his most strong and hard working father reentered the scene and; I am sure with some great efforts of brute strength, moved the large and terrifyingly delicious squirrel quarters into the cooking pot. Ah it was food fit for a king that! And perhaps the emperor himself would be feasting right there with them, had the most noble and holy emperor not had prior obligations unto a nice little apple basted sow which met him at his own banquet table.

The boy himself received two entire quarters of a whole squirrel, such was surely more then enough to fill a growing boy, as only one quarter would have been enough at that, though one quarter of a squirrel was likely more then the village elder’s dogs received as a midnight snack I would most assuredly assume. Though in fact I have never met either the village elder or his dog, and while I hear tell that it is a tiny rodent of a beast, I would justly assume that is in fact a vast understatement built around its most cunning nature, and not its size which is greatly monstrous I would so assume it must be. Ah but after this hearty meal the boy was still somehow left somewhat hungry, though dear I not ask why a fine young boy would still be hungry after such a meal. But then as his father drank some mead and ate bread with the feast of one and two quarters squirrel. He; the boy, having not done enough of his share of the days work, for bread and meat together to receive met upon his plate. The boy left out of the house and back to the stump in effort to resume further investigations upon the half block of wood, which now almost seemed to call him.

Deep in moor find it,
from the wood free it,
of its texture know it,
by thy heart keep it,
ever the notes of music play,
play by the flowers, tune then whisper,
frolic in the meadows, loon and go faster,
romp by the day, slay by the night,
away of the burning, keep from my sight,
changing, creeping, breathing, seeping,
played is the music, known is its sound,
relics of old scattered all over town,
keep unto flight, keep unto height,
all the men screaming,
sweat souls a teaming,
blood in rivers streaming,
winds of magic feeding…

Called him to it at that! And however it called unto him; though all the great mages of the empire could ponder that question for months without much result, so dear least that I ask it to common folk! The boy though without thought as to how it was by any means, he lifted up this half-block and saw there in that the core was still bleeding the silver blood he had seen before. Only now it seemed to have many holes dotted along it from which it bled, what a wonder this was, as though while he was away for such a short time, eating his delicacy of two quarters a squirrel. A mighty army of midget termites had invaded the block and made many homes within it. Just I’m sure had they made such an invasion their empires would have swiftly drowned within this silver ichor. Still none the less he lifted it up, and with the blade of the axe picked the dark core free of the block. What a wonder it must have been to look upon it then, for it had not even been free a moment from out of the block that the silver ichor; which had before seeped from it, now ran over it and covered the core in a rich silver sheen, shining brightly within the light of the now dim sun like many a mithril treasure within the great halls of dwarves; though of course neither the boy or his old father had ever seen a dwarf, nor had his father’s father seen one as long as he had lived in his day. Though perhaps his father’s grandfather might have seen an old drunken dwarf within marienburg when he had helped fit the ships for sailing, ah but those were different times those. At any rate!

After taking now this core off the ground, he found that no longer was it a wet thing, but now sharp, hard, smooth, and dry. Upon its side it still held that slice from which his axe had taken and many holes upon his length, by some miracle of the gods, or perhaps malicious craft of magical curse, he was drawn to the flute and placed it upon his lips. Not a second had past, and perhaps if it had been half an instant of time longer then may chance the nearby crow would not have been knocked off his perch, and could have flapped its wings to escape the torrents of wind produced, instead of being brought down into a bunch of thistles. The boy himself was jumping about upon the tips of his toes in such merriment that the emperor’s jester would have been put too shame! Faster and faster he leapt over the ground, with such excitement and dance that the earth itself was quaked with the shattering steps of life, joy and jubilation. Around his house he pranced until the worm-eaten roof not wishing to have much more to do with this excitement collapsed upon the walls, upon the effects there in, and also upon the old man who had not to know or understand great speed of this storm brought down upon him. And with a few more short bursts of speed, though the boy’s tune then started to slow down, still he danced with such excitement and pace that not even the most graceful war dancer in all of Loren’s great forests could have kept up.

From under a pile of rotten wormwood the old man lifted himself, seeing this hysteria and thinking it evil of what devils had possessed the boy, thought to pounce after the child. But before he could take this fully into consideration, or even just instinctively move his legs into a leap. He heard the magical music coming from the boy’s flute, and he too was caught up in the merrymaking and took to his enslaved limbs with wild enjoyment, though before he could truly take to this enjoyment as being something which he should enjoy, he tripped over the wall outside his house, rolled down the hill as the boy had before, and after a good smack to his head from meeting the more delightful side of the well, he fell into its depths and was not heard nor seen by any again after that; nor do I think any would have truly cared of him, if the village had survived for much more then a day after.

…want, need, change, chaos.

My story however ends at this it does. Ah was good speaking to ye, oh the rest of it? Well I may consider more on the later days of the flute and its boy, but know that the boy had oh so much to eat in the garden for many weeks. If he had stayed their even a week mind you, for was his heart to travel, and I think travel he did until he traveled even unto the skies themselves. But of the garden, perhaps the vegetables took a liking to the blood soaked waters of the well, or perhaps the magic of the flute made them grow overnight even as the still moon passed. For they were a great and mighty wonder to behold until the right minded emperor had the field cut and burned; touched of chaos they said, my goodness. Though the adventures the boy had in the days shortly after this are for another time and eve to tell. Good day to you.