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The Dissentient Follower
Listen well to me, muse,
And spin me the yarn of the man,
The man who traveled the earth,
In search of immortality.
Tell me of the man with the will to go on,
But only with the drive of anger and hate.
Let the tale fall from your lips, oh muse,
So I may send it to the world.
Tell me of the war,
Of the war fought single handedly,
Of the lone man that returned home when all was said and done.
No congratulations were served to him,
No words of thanks uttered,
Not even in the heads of who he fought so hard to protect.
Tell of the warrior returning home.
Where is home for a warrior,
In a world endlessly ravaged?
Conflict after conflict,
Giving the land no rest.
Tell me what, then, is there left for wandering warriors,
When the battle is over and the enemy crushed?
Is there but more fighting,
More goals to be achieved,
More quest to be taken?
Acquaint me, my muse,
With the tale I seek,
Start at the end
And proceed to the finish.
That I may lay this tale out to the people of the earth,
So that they may know the follies of he.
Leaving the field with sword now sheathed,
He enters the era of peace.
He prays to the gods of what his heart most wonders
How long will this peace last,
Or will it be at all?
Please tell me the answer to that which I seek.
A lone sparrow alights on the finger of one who has fallen.
A sign from the gods that says only this:
No answer comes to bringers of death,
No one shall remember your name.
What is this, says the knight
I lay down my life ‘gainst the monsters of man,
And what I get in return is this?
How then do I know continue to do what I do?
Oh, but I know why I do,
For I know nothing else,
Just violence and death,
Those are the ways of the warrior.
But is our path not chosen by the gods?
Is it not Their will that guides us?
How then can they cast me aside,
Like the toy the child’s forgotten?
I despise you my “lords”,
And you know not what I’ll do,
I shall find a way to get even.
I shall show you my worth,
And you shall wish I had never been birthed
The god of peace, Unia, said “The warrior named Jovann knows not what he says.”
“But he says it nonetheless,” replied the god of war, Corbat.
To Unia he spoke, “He shall fail the test laid out by you and me,”
“You know that don’t you?” concern showing on his face.
“Yes, but it pains me to see it,” she said with downcast eyes,
“He was a good man,” looking up at Corbat,
“If only his hate had left him sooner,” she whispered,
“He could have joined us in Gardahal.”
“Time for talk has ended,” whispered Corbat
“Go now and do what you must”
“Become a poor maid and gain our soul’s trust.”
Jovann the warrior,
On his way to the place of his birth,
Passed through a certain city,
The city of Kert.
He saw how dark it was getting,
And decided to stop for the night.
He felt no desire to stop and relax,
The light from the windows beckoned him not,
He simply new that he should rest.
He entered the tavern and sat down,
Sat in the tavern with no one around him,
Silently drinking away his happiness.
Soon he was drunk,
Openly preaching against the gods,
Standing on tables and rolling on the floor.
The keeper of the tavern,
A man of good faith,
Threw him out on the street,
With the request to never return.
Jovann slowly picked himself out of the mud,
Shook it from his face like a dog,
He walked the streets with nowhere to go.
Soon found a comfortable place to stay,
In an alley way behind the inn,
Laid his head down and started to sleep,
On a rug that was placed on the street.
Not two minutes passed before his sleep ceased,
A woman stood in front of him,
decrepit and old
So sad that it made Jovann cry.
He thought what has she done to the gods,
Has she done anything but lay in the sun?
She stood with permanently arched back,
Dry puss clinging to boils on her face,
She looked at him with despair in her eyes,
And the anger that only the truth brings.
“Da mighty Warrior of da Thitadel,” she spat,
“How doth ya find youthelf layin on me mat?”
“Yourrat?” He tried to say.
“Yethir, boughtit me thelf,” pointing at the rug Jovann laid on.
“Oh…srry,” Jovann said.
He got up and let the lady sit,
Noticing now that she had no teeth,
At first he was repulsed,
But then remembered the wrath of the gods.
“Thakth fur the kindneth,” She says,
“No-un eber treatth me thith way,
I really dunno how ta react er what ta thay,”
She thought for a while then said,
“Oh I know just what I’ll do,
I’ll give ya a quetht,
One jutht for you.”
She quickly ran down the alley,
But Jovann hardly noticed,
His thoughts were occupied by a smell,
A smell of sweet flowers so strong,
So strong that it filled his whole body.
He looked around to see the source of this smell,
All there was was trash cans and rot,
He thought How then do I smell the smell of strong nectar?
When there is nothing around to produce it?
The an idea came into his head,
What if that old lady was producing the smell,
That would explain it but not why or how.
He thought back on her and said to himself,
How can she smell of fresh roses,
When she probably never bathes?
Ah I must be dreaming,
This is the stuff of the mind.
He tossed it out of his head and looked down the alley,
The hag now was turning a corner onto the street.
Thinking it all just a dream
He lay down and went back to sleep.
He awoke in the night,
The muscles within him,
Could not be more prepped.
Thinking back on the nights activities,
He thought with a smile,
How strange was that woman,
Who came in my dream.
So life-like she could have been real,
Yet that smell that gave it away,
It had to be farce’
No beggar smells of roses,
And no…What’s this?
In his pocket there was a scroll,
Neatly wrapped and tied with a bow,
He untied the string carefully,
And let the paper unfold.
On the paper drawn in ink,
There was a map of the Earth