Come one and all, come! Gather round
As this tale of gallantries I expound
Of love and loss, of mighty foes,
Of beasts and gods who drank our woes.
Watch(x), listen, you’re in for a treat;
Heed the warnings and don’t miss a beat
For ‘tis no myth nor ancient lore,
But a tale of truth I have in store.
Entwined, the fates of strangers were
How, why, or what end, no mortal was sure
But this, we knew: a path we shared
For which we were, well, unprepared.
Kal Vitalus, man of his word,
Son of a god, armed with dragon and sword
Called forth to make his goddess proud
To fight and to protect avowed.
Eudora, too, a nymph of the sea
Couldn’t wait to explore her destiny
So much to learn, the world to see
And yet to discover who she could be.
Dark and brooding loomed a ranger,
A fright to behold, with hair of danger
Our Kara sought to end her curse,
An effort we all fully endorsed.
At first glance, Chloro’s just a tree,
So friendly and warm, how mad could she be?
But everything she loved, inflamed,
Thus a deep hatred lurks untamed.
To fight until his death avowed,
Enslaved with no voice, no friend in the crowd
‘Till one came forth, restored his pride,
Now, Bullbug stands tall, at his side.
One lost e’er since he washed ashore,
Bringer of peace, well acquainted with war,
A mighty soldier far from home
Named Platicus Maldaxium.
Together, we will end the war
Justice and peace are worth fighting for
Fear and death, come what may,
The Heroes of the Heartlands are here to stay.
To friends, (to friends), to destiny,
We had to know the prophecy.
To the oracle we were called
But when arrived, we were appalled
To find we were not wanted there
Instead met with a soldier’s stare
“No way, no how will we let you in!”
They said without the slightest grin.
We tried to enter peacefully
But with screams from inside, couldn’t let it be
Buzzards outside and soldiers within,
Capture happens to be one way in...
With Chloro’s help, we burst our chains
Left one alive to clean up the remains
Of more import, to ponder deep
Whether Sydon alone his faith should keep
When we explored the rooms out back,
We let our guard a little slack
With a *shink*, a sword became animate
But Kal was ready at the bit
Sword ‘gainst swords, a mighty fight
The last one ducked and dodged a trite
Till I reached from my hidey hole
And trapped in a chest the bucking bull.
The screams, we knew, were from downstairs
Now with key in hand, we said our prayers
The witch was there, we knew not why
‘Cept that time had come to say goodbye.
False doors, I swear, you gotta love ‘em,
We took care at the top, but not at the bottom
‘Till with Kara’s cries and my distraction
Past the mimic we could make traction
Down in the cave, you wouldn’t believe
Just how many tricks the witch had up her sleeve
First the door, and now the rug
As it wrapped up Kal in its deadly hug.
But look! See! Up in the air,
Entwined by the river, the Oracle there
Her tears were swept along the stream
Rapt as her friend yielded tortured scream
Without the help of all her tricks,
We stood a chance ‘gainst bloodthirsty witch
Before she laid her head to rest,
Versi gave us all an epic quest.
To friends (to friends!) to Estoria
Drink deep from the helm of Balmytria
Restore the silver mines of yore
Equip ourselves like Dragonlords
Centaurs at the gates, ready for war,
The city ruled by drunken Pythor
Anora’s life was Sydon’s demand,
The king, unable to reprimand.
The actors in town put on a great show,
Of Pythor’s maidens plentiful.
But one such maiden had an eye
For Chloro, and willed her to die.
Appalled at blood and frightful gaze,
We all returned with hated gaze.
But th'offender was nowhere found,
We'll end the hag, should she make a sound.
A local bar we sought to find,
To get all this craziness off our mind.
Listened to rumors, played some cards,
I enjoyed just being a bard.
Kal’s great abs don’t help his arms…
Platicus saved his pride from harm
Matching in strength, not once, but twice
Though in end he lost, the game was nice!
Through the woods we followed a trail
Of dragon horn we’d heard many a tale
We came across a mossy temple
Beware the vines and waters gentle.
Sentient plants and whirlpool creatures
Just some of the temple’s dang’rous features
Two gygans, thought to be extinct
Revived from stone, their anger steep
Disfigured, now dismembered more
As Platicus their stone arms shore
They would not listen to our pleas
Till Kal brought them to their knees.
Fin’lly, when we made it down
We saw fields of green that earned renown
Besides the shrooms and flowers fair
We were shocked to find other people there.
Dozens of children all high off their minds,
Locked in a cave by mysterious vines
A small group of satyrs just hanging around
We all want to see the same person, we found
A new friend beside us, we searched for the lady
And followed our noses towards meat and gravy
One room did not our sense entice,
But ‘fore we could speak was Kara’s choice.
The mothers were angry, the children were scared
All eyes were on Kara, unwavering stares.
Enthralled, our captain took up dance
In time to Maenad’s wild prance.
Her focus broke, an axe was lift’,
Her death was painless and just as swift
With heavy heart, we faced our fears
And sought the source of Maenad tears.
A table splayed with wine and meats
We knew, too late, what kind of beast
A pile of girls upon the traitor
As chaos erupted in fear and anger
Beside me, without warning, then
Demetria was my best friend
But ‘stead of laughter and embrace
The gygan friend stepped on Kal’s face!
I followed when she turned and fled,
And far away I’d had been led
Had Loreus not found me, alarmed,
And told me that I had been charmed.
When all was calm and we were able,
We turned to see upon the table
A horn filled to the brim with wine
The taste of which was just divine.
To friends (to friends!) to allies,
Now with oath solidified
I’ll follow wherever you will go
Through thick, through thin, to the unknown.
We fell asleep with wine on our lips
And dreamt of a huge, notorious ship
A ghostly crew, ours to command
And the antikythera in our hands.
The horn returned to dragon shrine
After I gave up on making it mine
Anora’s fate still on our mind
We left, the weapons yet to find
Cliffs and bridges, walls of stone
Though harpies could best us alone,
Together, wise against their tricks
We made it through their bites and nicks.
A coin for passage to the graves
Death assured for those who crave.
Past robbers’ bones we walk in stride
Assured we won’t give in to pride
Amazed, we halted at the door
To take in murals filled with lore
Till looking ahead to minotaur guard
And inscription, a warning: the path will be hard.
T’was no lie, no(x), rest assured,
With skeletons lurking ‘round ev’ry curve
Beat back to the start, time and again
A new figure appeared ‘fore we gave in.
She’d lend us her eyes on the path ahead
If it meant we’d help see Lutheria dead.
Now with my map and larger crew,
Again the maze we ventured thru.
Though bashed and battered at Minotaur’s hand,
No longer against us shall he stand.
Xander himself bestowed our reward
And armed with the tools, we chose a path for’d.
The beats can’t kill if they are dead.
To the basilisks’ cave we forged ahead
Assured our deeds would save the town
And grant Anora a chance at the crown.
Our mocking stance upon the stone
Was not enough for Sydon’s own
We offered up ourselves instead
In place of dear Anora’s head.
No armor, no weapons, put to the test
Though Kara really did try her best,
We stood our ground as harpies cried
And held our own without losing our eyes.
Though there was no true sacrifice,
Our stay would Sydon’s terms suffice
The rest of town then clapped their hands,
A toast! To the heroes of the Heartlands!
To friends (to friends!) and to the town
To the five, met with renown
Pythor’s hammer, now Kal’s to wield
Great magicks the forge again shall yield.
Outside, we rested for the night,
Kal's pseudo dragon returned from flight.
Abandoned egg who soon shall see
Thanks to ice from our loyal tree.
Do not trust all those you meet
Though camp they shared, to rest our feet
Their “friend” strung ‘long by massive lie
They shifted blame, caused him to hide
For their misdeeds the bandits paid
Their lives from history will fade
Unlike our new friend Echion,
His love and legacy will live on.
Not all centaurs have intent
Our path through life to intercept
These ones wished our help to find
their captured friends deep in the mines.
A cave infused with rancid stench
That made our stomachs turn and clench
Our infiltration failed, instead
We met a king with giant head
Of riddles soon, both parties bore
Unsatisfied, he wanted more
I waved my hand and cast a spell,
Soon, king thought we were friends as well.
An escort, then, to where they found
A treasure such as the king’s crown
The dwarves, of course, had dug too deep
The forge is what we want to keep
Two headed dogs and cockatrice
These occupants are worse than mice
I wanted to bring Fluffy home,
But he wished me to turn to stone.
Once surrounded by the dogs,
They scared us stiff as useless logs
But Kal instead reset his jaw
And struck back right in its big maw.
To the king we headed back
With rhymes and riddles in our sack
An audience we did acquire
‘Til “Spearshake” then began to tire
But ‘round the corner, there to see
Was nothing short of tragedy
A centaur, with a stake impaled
From his head down to his tail
Now angry, it was time to fight
Before they got a chance to bite
We drove them all out of the cave
And rescued centaur from the grave.
We partied hard beneath the stars,
Drinking, dancing, with centaurs
The two we rescued, looking thin
But still they sported mighty grins.
To friends (to friends!) to victory
Our deeds go down in history
And as we look upon the sky
We ask, now, when -- not merely why.
Down the mystic elevator
Something stirring in the crater
The lava will just have to wait
Because we saw what mother ate.
Deep in mines, our Kara died
But destiny is wont denied
She stood back up without a trace
Of pain or loss upon her face
Before we had a chance to speak
With salamander of the deep
The king returned with anger ripe
But Kal and Platicus readied hype
Half wet their pants, in need of bath
When Kal called forth a dragon’s wrath
The others had to force their way
‘Round their friends, just to be slain
In desperate plea to win the fight
Came forward the king troglodyte
But they should all have just behaved
As Kal came out on top, unscathed.
We freed the beast from oath of old
And watched the forge’s might unfold
Vulcan can begin his work
Avoiding what beneath us lurks.
That morn, a silver dragon born,
Kal's life was changed, an oath was sworn.
Now thanks to Kal's Wintergreen,
The dragonlords return, it seems!
Thinking that our quest’s complete,
Who on the trail should we then meet?
Two men proclaimed as dragonlords
Among the Mytros city hoards.
They’d heard of us and of our deeds
And called for us to meet their needs
For Mytros had incurred the wrath
Of Sydon’s storm and sinister laugh.
With Sydon’s image speak I tried
As a result, I nearly died
Sev’ral options were advised
The only moral one was wise
With the five gods now in our crew
They did what no one else could do
When each of us had giv’n speech
Together, their power they unleashed.
Power lost to prophecy
For the sake of our Odyssey
Now in their stead we must be strong
Kyrah must rest ‘fore tagging along.
Amidst the want for food and wine
Demetria’s own were doing just fine
Stealing from merchants, withholding the tax
Splurging behind the grove-keepers’ backs
Our investigation round ‘gain led
And had us all standing, scratching our heads
None wiser than we, our triple disguise,
Three places at once, awaited demise
To friends! (to friends!) to mass confusion
As we worked out our own delusion
Now free to break the missing link
And straighten knots ourselves we kinked.
Yet something still was just not right
Determined, darkness to bring to light
Chloro distracting the sages with wine,
Kara and I searched for a sign
But after a heated interrogation,
Time was short for investigation
Chloro was led downstairs and away
And we had no choice but to follow that way
Fin’lly alerting our friends outside,
I unlocked the door.. I mean… I tried
Fighting against a moral wrong,
Kara dispatched the mages strong
The children will ‘gain the light of day
Human sacrifice is NOT the way!
And one more, before we leave --
Platicus saw a centaur freed.
To friends (to friends!) along the way
A drunken centaur wished to play
In friendly battle met his match
Pholon and Platicus, new friendship hatched
We found the Ultros, tucked away,
Alive at night, yet deader than day
The title of captain, Estor would bestow
Upon one who killed the three traitors in stow
The ghosts possessed our own with tricks,
Incited violence among our midst
In the end, it was Kara who
Accepted Estor’s offer, too!
The dual soul now out for blood,
The path ahead was clear as mud.
But at least we had our ship,
Manned by ghosts for the first trip.
Back in Mytros in time for the games
Though the king disapproved of our fame
I had some time to practice rhyme
As my friends all got in line
Starting the games with controversial good deed,
Platicus fought to have minotaur freed
And that’s how Bullbug joined our crew,
Believing himself in servitude.
Bullbug now stands by our side
His own quest through tower to stride
He must not ‘llow his mind to bend
Perhaps, ancestral curse will end.
The first award our party reaped
Was for Chloro’s mighty, ridiculous leap
I lost my hair for this instrument of bards
Worth it, since satyrs broke Kyrah’s harp
After round and round of boxing played,
Upon his feet our captain swayed
Before accepting his defeat,
His blow ‘gainst Platicus made odds meet!
The final game I too endured,
Swimming fast, our win ensured!
Of all the games, one man victor’ious
We cheered for our own Platicus!
To friends (to friends!) and to the games
We showed our strength and earned our fame
Now you know we are the best;
Come and join us on our quest!
Our first day, it really flew
And was the last for sev’ral crew
The harpies just won’t let alone
Platicus fought to fall in foam.
Our first discovered destination
An entire exiled nation
Someone here took knife to back,
Already low, now trust they lack
Sev’ral days we parsed the news,
We knew there was fault -- but just whose?
When fin’lly pressured for the truth,
One came forward quite uncouth.
Satisfied with the confession,
I thought he had learned his lesson
But Estor saw through Kara’s eyes;
His deadly strike said otherwise.
All residents downcast and shaken,
We still wished our crew to strengthen
I laid down our honest truth,
And morning came with some recruits.
To friends (to friends!) Oh Kara dear,
Please don’t lose sight of us to fear.
We’re here for you, we’ll set you free,
So you can be who you want to be.
O stormy seas, come what may!
A coral reef, stuck for a day
Kal’s mighty wind would break us free
But merrows rose out from the sea
Determined, Kal fell on a beast,
Killing it as the spear released
A second, hit by Chloro’s bolt
Died of an unpleasant jolt.
Arrived on isle of legend lore,
Kal ducked all swipes from Manticore
We found a lion with fur of gold
But spared its life, its tale untold.
This time the ocean brought us hags,
Though as a crab, it was a drag
Two spears in water ‘fore they fell
Will next time be better? Time will tell.
Island centaurs, curse-d beasts,
Know not why her anger seeps
Generations past destroyed her work,
Now she inside her tower lurks.
In exchange for knowledge old,
New secrets she’d for us unfold
Many windows to strange planes,
The grounds now plastered with my face.
The centaurs know how to have fun,
Though all of them are sadly young.
Drinking, wrest’ling, storytelling,
Nessa wins Chloro with stargazing.
The next, an isle of lizard folk
Whose side we’re on? With whom we spoke.
The clan who’d sacrifice their kin
Wants an infiltration from within
When faced with death, no other choice
Kal channelled inner dragon voice.
“For worshipping the Lord of Storms,
You’ll face my wrath! You have been warned.”
For the night, they let us be
As we pushed for recovery
But, their patience wearing thin,
Luck was needed for a win.
Ratted out by dragon small,
We were not doing well at all!
Amidst this feast ‘bove molten rock
A fight had broken out of talk
Low on health and out of spells,
Kal is dead, our spirits fell
Retreat effectively impasse,
Our Bullbug unstoppered his flask.
To friends (to friends!) to safety, now!
Our first wish was then endowed
The second, Kal had never died,
The third; as dragon now he flies.
Above the volcano we flew,
The lizards left and right we slew.
With egg and lightning rod in stow,
We hurried back to ground below.
Just in time, we caught our breath
And set out to make camp and rest
We gathered wood and looked around…
Platicus’ axe could not be found.
Once again back to the tribe
No sen’tient weapon left behind
We followed troops thru battle throng
What will they do when we are gone?
We landed on a new island
With sev’ral boats docked in the sand
No soul or footprint to be found,
We wandered, wary, the isle inbound.
We set up camp, our voices hushed
When tiny folk came from the brush
Chief Loopy Woopy and her tribe
A special battle to prescribe
No spells or hits intent to kill,
A match of strength, just for the thrill
Thanks mostly to our fighters’ grips,
In end, a smile graced her lips.
Our fight was then declared a tie,
But swiftly as a dragon flies,
When one came down and snatched our friend,
We knew we had to get revenge.
Bullbug rushed across the field,
His strength and might should well be feared
He pulled th’oppressor to the ground,
Wiped her grin, and pinned her down.
A hidden gem in sea we found,
A city, yes, but more profound
An eager young lass and father wise,
We'll take her with, don't draw his ires.
To Mytros, when, in mid of night
Once more we watched a bless-ed sight
With dragon bond Eudora formed,
Franklin will weather any storm.
To friends (to friends!) we help our own
Our allies in our hearts have grown.
So long as we’re alive to fight,
No fiend will take a second bite.
And on that note, when back in town
One snake claimed Bullbug was his pawn
Was promptly brought down to his knees
For now the market shall be freed.
The courts may hold us equals now,
But on the beasts we’ve hope endowed
No more shall iron chains be found
Nor branded sent’ient beasts abound.
To all (to all!) come gather near;
I have a tale you’ll want to hear!
Hero’s all YOU’re meant to be…
Join our crew, out on the sea!
When fate would’st bring us to the trees
Two of our own fell to their knees
Promised beauty, peace, and joy
We near forgot about our ploy.
Chloro’s will bound to Bullbug’s way,
Platicus and Franklin wanted to stay.
Squirming in Kal and Eudora’s arms,
The tower’s dangers in our minds alarms.
In midst of fight, Chloro still sees
A way to look longingly back at the trees
Taking just enough time to gaze and to sigh
‘Fore letting a searing chaotic bolt fly.
Our wild escape through lower bowels
Fighting against these allies ours
Bursts of magic came to my aid,
Two unicorns whisked us from the glade.
Attempting to breach the treasured trove,
Between electric bolts we dove
But Chloro took one too many steps
And crumpled, in order another to help
From the shadows, a horrible hag
Pulled up Chloro before she sagged.
“However things forthwith may seem,
It is not your fate to die right here.”
Seeing a gate and lever near,
Thought of chance there’s naught to fear
Pulling it took all our might
Now stuck behind, my tongue I’ll bite.
We’ve got our stances and actions prepared,
We’re ready now -- gygans beware!
On count of three, we open the gate
Another door our only fate.
A hoard of gygans all playing troll
Could do nothing ‘gainst Chloro’s toll
A mighty quake, her power shines
The sharks quite well tonight will dine
Fore one last trip, a feast prepared
Delicious wines and meats we faired
The stakes are high, but we believe
That if we try, we can achieve!
The upper floors were trouble steep,
Far more than what we could upkeep
Kal saved Franklin from loss of limb
And we fled the scene too grim.
Return to Mytros, Sydon’s not dead,
The skies above are turning red.
But lo, behold, the gods transform!
Now glitt’ring in their dragon forms.
One more night of quiet peace,
Drinking wine for stress release,
We reaffirm our friendship oath,
Bullbug givn’ chance for growth.
A day of endless battle fought,
First Icarus and havoc wrought,
Then Gauis and the Mytros guard,
But we culled fear with power rod
Sydon’s storms and his two sons,
Taken down were, one by one.
Next the mad Lutheria,
Who sought to wrest you of idea.
All four dragon-gods are dead,
Chloro, too, and Franklin’s head
Both left behind in great despair,
The mountain quakes; we must beware.
Kentimane himself over the rise,
Anger in all his thousand eyes
We killed his heirs, both fruit and seed,
Now one last fight, one mighty deed.
Our colossus barely safe,
His stone arms barely chafe,
Our energy is wearing thin
And Bullbug’s chance is looking grim
Kal and I the ones left free,
The desp’rate captain strikes with plea
His gods are dead, but still he strides,
His spear now fin’lly pierced its hide
The earthquakes shudder, the titan falls,
The hundred faces grimace, stall,
Stone(x) crumbles, boulders rain,
A mountain tips, Kal steers its aim.
Crushed but not dead, he squeezes out,
As the dust settles, up raises a shout.
Though much we’ve lost, the battle’s won
Now to repair, there’s much to be done.
To all (to all!) to the new king.
Kal has wisdom and faith to bring.
The gods are gone, but we are strong,
Together, here, we all belong.
The statue remains, a testament
To a city steeped in sediment.
Our first act, the Minotaurs freed,
The market must find some other lead.
We step away when duties calm
To right what long ago was wrong
To rescue Platicus’ crew
Back to the tower of Sydon we flew.
Silver pieces swarm and bite
The harpies as they sing and fight
They run away, but not from us --
My magic wild, a modron’s nuts.
They swarmed for Franklin, nearly slain
Eudora blasted the room with pain.
Only after she coddled his head,
Did she see dozens of crewmates dead.
Three children of Sydon, all in the same room,
Their patience worn thin and spelling our doom.
We trade for our lives our magical things
And hope guest friendship another chance brings.
In play of power, Platicus bets
If met on fair terms, he could Taleus best.
Upon his inevitable demise,
Estor’s soul gave his body rise.
We won, but at what cost, we ask?
We fled the tower to complete our task.
Our ally was not acting as himself,
We hoped his assurance would be upheld.
On our return, the worst storm of all,
I would not lose Franklin to the gale.
Lost and exhausted, we floated on ice
Fully expecting to die in the night.
Found by Athena in water form,
Wet and cold, but alive and returned.
A kelodome led us home by straight line,
Till a second storm led us to decline.
While some of us stayed to research lost souls,
Others ventured off to achieve their own goals.
Lost in a glade with a secret shrine,
Three fighters need intervention divine.
A chance encounter in the wild,
The beautiful pegasus beckon defiled.
Eudora’s too evil to ride him, he says,
She now mulls over her pines and regrets.
We are ready, we swear, a dragon to slay.
We’ve done it before, what more can we say?
But Helios is no mere dragon, we learned.
Man worshipped as god, our corpses he burned.
Only two remain to fight,
To call their friends back to the light.
But after all that’s been said and done,
Eudora’s end has now begun.
My friends (my friends) let’s say a toast
To the bard whose stories we loved the most
May her name go down in childrens’ tales
And may we fondly remember her on our sails.
It’s here that Loreus picks up her pen,
I pray in the end we’ll see her again.
I take her mask, I’ll do this task,
The story for her sake must go on.
So too do tales of the five continue,
The body is not the soul within you,
Before the court they may all be short,
But Kal, Chloro and Platicus are here to stay.
Estor was here, this now we know.
His misdeeds are caught, they brightly show.
His soul was freed, then killed indeed,
Though Iolaah and Kara now are miss’d.
We travel’d back to Nether Sea,
And there retrieved all our lost things.
Now Auro is here, to lend his ear,
As we determine a visit to hell.
Amidst the bad came few things bright,
Shining coins and egg despite.
Now it wakes, its shell will quake,
Chloro and Shiny a bond will share.
We gathered together th'remains of our gear
Prepared to face the worst of fears.
We'll come for you, in a month or two,
When for this journ we are prepared.
But lo, behold, a portal appeared,
Iolaah’s cleverness to revere,
For now’s our shot, the line is taut,
The plan came to us, not the other way ‘round.