Beyond the Sphere

“There’s nairt as sorborin’ as a clompin’ grairt paw smashin’ through a wall!” Gemevere managed to shout whilst dodging a couple of flying stones.

“That’s more than a paw, my cousin!” Hempsty disagreed. “Verily that is a hefty claw!”

“Claw paw! Sairm thing!” Gemevere said as she ducked behind the table again. The dragon’s face reappeared through the hole and spewed forth another burst of bright yellow flame. “Ooh ‘eck! That’s gerrin’ ‘otter!”

“You don’t need to tell me, Gemevere. I think my left eyebrow’s singed.” Hempsty smoothed down his left eyebrow as he sat with his back to the table. “Cousin, if ever there’s a time when we need the assistance of Lady Reverence, I would hazard a guess at now being one of those times.”

“I can’t, ‘Empsty. Me crown’s back in the carriage.”

“Surely you do not need the crown to access thine abilities?” Hempsty looked at Gemevere’s forehead. “Surely they come from within?”

“Surely they do, ‘Empst, but me disguise dunt.” Another bright flame burst over their heads.

“Gemevere, there’s only you and I here. Those two are asleep, and how anyone can sleep through all this racket is beyond me.” He looked over toward Æthelstan and Katherine who were in exactly the same positions as they were before all hell broke loose. “And as for that Ursulondix, heavens knows where she’s disappeared to.”

“Yeah…” Gemevere pondered. “Funny that.”

As if on cue, Ursulondix appeared once again from the room in the back. “Oh, me days!” she declared as she saw the carnage. “I thought one of you’d fallen from your chair when I heard the bang out back.”

“‘Ow ‘eavy do you think we are?” Gemevere wasn’t impressed. “There’s naw ware we’d mairk that kind o’ noise, even if all of us fell off the chairs at th’same tarm. Does this karnda thing ‘appen often around ‘ere?” she thumbed towards the hole in the wall behind her.

“No, deary. Not very often. Here, have some wine.” Ursulondix brought over the carafe.

“Wahrn? At a tarm like this? Are you fer real???” Gemevere couldn’t believe what was happening.

“Now cousin,” Hempsty said, “Remain calm.”

“Calm?! We ‘ave a dragon tryin’ to cook us fer its breakfast, and she appears from nowhere offerin’ wahrn. No, that’s it. I’ve ‘ad enough.”

Gemevere stood up tall, and tore off her gown, revealing her tight-fitting bodysuit and body armour. She loosened the sash that draped more freely over her right shoulder. She turned to face the dragon.

“Lady Reverence!” Hempsty said, looking at the puzzled look on Ursulondix’s face. “Where did thee come from, and what have thy done with Gemevere, my cousin?”

“Eh?” Gemevere realised what she’d done. “I’ve tarken ‘er outside, villager. In the blink of an eye.”

“No you haven’t.” Ursulondix said sternly. “You’ve just taken off your skirt. I watched you do it.”

“Naw, barmaid, I ‘aven’t. It just looked that way due to all the commotion.”

“Nonsense. You look exactly the same as you did with the skirt on. Even down to the red rosy cheeks.” Ursulondix didn’t believe a word Gemevere said.

“Now look, barmaid. I ‘aven’t time to argue with you o’er what you think and what you think you may ‘ave seen. There’s a dragon outside what wants sortin’ out.” Gemevere noticed how red her cheeks were in a shard of glass that reflected her face as though she was looking in a mirror.

She made a move to fly out through the hole in the wall and stopped. There was no hole. The wall was intact. Hempsty was slumped forward over the table, in a similar pose to Æthelstan at the opposite side of the table. Katherine mumbled something across her chairs, but settled down again.

“I knew there was something about you.” Ursulondix said, looking intently into Gemevere’s eyes. “It took longer to get the truth out of you, but I did in the end. You cannot keep secrets from Ursula Sundown.”

“Ursula Sundown? Mother Skipton from Skipton Forest!” Gemevere was confused to notice she was still wearing her robe. “Eh?”

“I sensed you in the Forest, deary, so I followed you. We with power must stick together you know.”

“Sorry, love.” Gemevere stretched. “I doorn’t know what you think you saw, but I’ve jus’ ‘ad a really crazy dream.”

“A dream?” Ursula scoffed. “Nonsense. You cannot fool Mother Skipton. When next we meet, you will need to use your power well and wisely. Now I know you and have found you, I will do so again. Sleep now, child. For when your journey resumes you will need all of your strength.”

“Give me strength!” Gemevere sighed as she watched Ursula turn herself into a raven and fly toward the tavern door, which opened by itself as she approached. Gemevere then promptly slumped forward onto the table and joined her three travelling companions in their deep sleep.

***

This is the eighth part in the Reverence storyline. The previous seven parts can be found in my Storylines menu.

Locke collected the three Gifts of Time
And held aloft the Felteryme
She ran her finger across golden dials
And looked upon memories that made her smile

The Lover’s Stone came into view
With happy and painful memories too
She couldn’t bear to look away
As time presented her wedding day

In bright Moonlight shone clear blue eyes
From her lover’s face, young and wise
The gaze bore deep into her soul
And now as then she felt truly whole

Tears fall down Locke’s radiant cheeks
As she hears the words her husband speaks
“My dearest Locke, what wonders you bring
To make me, Kailan, feel like a king”

We’re taking another break from the Epic now, but remember, all previous parts are included in my Storylines Menu, if you’d like to read the story so far!

Prey

Flighty Pickanickl slipped down shale cliff
Grazed arms and legs and injured hip
Though Pickanickl knew she must still run
To escape Skaglad, intent on fun

Skaglad, Darkland’s demon guard
Practical joker upon those he barred
From Darkland’s dusty sooty place
With leer and lust upon his face

Pickanickl had served Ynayna well
Ynayna judge above the P’tor cave hell
Ynayna quickly tired of her pet
And decreed to the caves she must be sent

To Sound Village did Pickanickl flee
Desperate for her true love to see
But Skaglad knew where his prey would go
And where she went he followed so

And remember, all previous parts are now included in my Storylines Menu, if you’d like to read the epic so far!

Firstborn

Pol’tnorn sat on his throne and laughed
Pol’ana gurgled as she lay on his lap
Pol’suzo smiled at her husband’s glee
His happiness clear for all to see

Their firstborn child brought Elderwoods light
Much needed in the perpetual night
Inflicted upon the Shadowfolk’s land
By both the gods’ and demons’ battled hands

In times gone by a battle raged
With Elderwoods taking centre stage
The demons rained down a fiery foam
The lands protected by the gods’ shielding dome

Pol’tnorn rarely thought of those bygone days
Serving his people and their shaded ways
And with Princess Pol’ana breaking the curse
He knew that they’d been through the worst

And remember, all previous parts are now included in my Storylines Menu, if you’d like to read the epic so far!

Underlands

Drips of dank water echoed as they dropped
Into bottomless pools they constantly plopped
Speckles of light shone in through the rocks
Weathered by years of storm ravaged knocks

Damp moss carpeted the cavern’s floor
Edged by rust-eaten cages with broken doors
Prisoners shackled so they could not walk free
Not that there’s a way out to see

Food falls through from a chute above
Bones and leftovers unlovingly shoved
Discarded, wasted, by uncaring hands
To the dwellers of these dark Underlands

No guards visit so there is no escape
And heavy chains drag and clank and scrape
But where there’s a chain there is one weak link
One found by a prisoner permitted to think

And remember, all previous parts are now included in my Storylines Menu, if you’d like to read the epic so far!

 

Half an hour and several more dropped slices of toast later, the Goddesses were ready to embark upon their journey.

Diana, Athena, Aphrodite, Amunet and Hera walked through the arched window in the kitchen of the Lap of the Gods, and out onto the lawn of the Rose Garden. Baldur sat in the centre of the lawn, composing a lyrical piece of music on his flute. He looked up and saw the quintet walking toward him.

“Ladies!” He stood, and bowed, the bright sunshine enhancing his muscular frame. He didn’t care who saw it. He looked at Diana and smiled. “Are you venturing out to the wilderness, sister? You’ve done something with your hair, I see. You look different.”

“I wish people would stop telling me that!” Diana replied. “And what have you done to upset Amunet?” Amunet stood beside Diana, glaring at Baldur.

“Me?” Baldur said with an innocent expression. “All I did was say it was nice to see her up here for a change. Normally she’s down there, in the basement!”

“That wasn’t what you said, and you know it, Baldur.” Amunet scowled. “We don’t have time to discuss this now. We have to see Jupiter in Atlantis. It is a long journey and we must away now to arrive before nightfall.”

Athena, Aphrodite and Hera had already settled into one of the chariots, and Diana and Amunet climbed into the second. Each chariot was tethered to one unicorn.

“Of course,” Baldur smiled, “You could all come with me aboard the Hringhorni, it will get you there in half the time. And you will have the pleasure of my company as well!” He winked toward Amunet. “I know how you will like that!”

“It does make sense.” Hera said. “The unicorns have never travelled so far, so this would save them, and we would have much more room to relax as we travel.”

“I’m with you, Hez!” Aphrodite clapped her hands in joy. She had a strange feeling that a previous chariot journey with Athena and Hera didn’t go very well, although she couldn’t exactly remember why.

“And I’m with Aph!” Athena chirped up as she jumped from her chariot. “And three against two means we’ve decided.”

“But…”

“But nothing, Amunet.” Baldur leapt over to her chariot to help her out. “You know how we arrange things here. There’s a feast already laid out for us!”

Diana helped herself out of the chariot. “Thanks, Apollo. I can help myself!”

“Apollo?” Baldur said, confused. “Do you not know your own brother?”

“This is why we must see Jupiter.” Hera held up her left hand, silencing Diana. “Things are not as they seem, but my husband should be able to advise exactly what.”

The five Goddesses and one God walked through the garden’s iron gate and down the stone steps to the Edge of Olympus. There they took the Ethereal Escalator down the side of the mountain, to reach the Nile. And moored on the Nile, with polished wood and gold gleaming magnificently in the sunshine, waited the Hringhorni, known to all as the greatest ship ever built.

Baldur smiled with pride as he helped the Goddesses on board. His smile quickly left when he saw Adonis standing on the deck. Amunet took hold of Adonis’ arm, and walked him inside the boat. She glanced back over to Baldur with a smirk. Aphrodite noticed the strange glances that were being offered around.

“You cannot compete with Adonis, Baldur.” Aphrodite walked inside with the now gloomy God. “As I cannot with Amunet. This is their time of the year together.”

“Still,” Baldur perked himself up. “We have a journey and a feast ahead of us. I’m sure somebody else will take Amunet’s place within my heart.”

This is the third part to the new Legendary Circles story. The previous parts are on the Storylines page.

Diana pondered as she ate her toast.

She knew something was amiss, but couldn’t put her finger on it. Why would the others think I’m in the wrong place? she thought as she took another bite. I’ve always been here. Yet something was definitely out of place.

Amunet entered the kitchen in a foul rage. “He’s done it again!” She slammed a slice of bread into the toaster and pulled down the lever, almost breaking the device completely.

“Now now, Amu. Please be calm!” Diana offered, gently. Amunet scowled. “That’s better.” Diana smiled. “Who’s done what, dear?”

“HIM!” Amunet huffed. “That OAF! I’d love to stick two fingers up…”

“Up what, dear?” Diana took another bite.

“Up his oversized nostrils, that’s what!” Amunet was not being calm.

“Whose nostrils, dear? Breathe gently and deeply. In through your nose and out through…”

“I KNOW how to breathe, Diana!” Amunet shouted as her toast popped out of the toaster and high into the air. She missed it when she went to grab it, and it landed on the floor. In rage, she slammed another slice of bread into the toaster and pulled down the lever again, with an audible growl.

“Five second rule, dear!” Diana said, lifting Amunet’s slice of toast off the floor. “If you don’t want it, I’ll have it!” Amunet blew breath out from her pursed lips, and counted to ten as she did so. “Feeling better, dear? Good.” Diana smiled as she watched Amunet nod. “Now, who’s done what?”

Amunet’s face turned crimson once again. “Him!” Her slice of toast popped into the air again, and she missed it once more. “Baldur!”

“Baldur?” Diana was confused. “Who is Baldur? Do I know him?” She picked up the second slice of toast.

“Are you feeling alright, Diana?” Amunet’s tone softened. “You seem a little out of sorts… not quite yourself as it were.”

“Why do you say that?” Diana asked, now beginning to doubt her very existence.

“No reason. Of course you know Baldur! He’s lived here in the Lap for as long as we have!” Diana’s expression remained blank. Amunet knew, however, that behind that blank expression, Diana’s mind was overloading; Amunet could see the strain deep in Diana’s eyes. “The God of music and medicine? Blond, muscular, good-looking – if you like large nostrils, that is.” Finally, Amunet saw a spark.

“Oh, you mean Apollo?!” Diana watched Amunet’s face contort in confusion.

“Apollo? No Baldur.” Both Goddesses looked at each other with the same confused expression for a couple of seconds, until Diana started to chew again.

Athena walked into the kitchen. “Are you not ready yet, Diana? The horses are.”

“Horses?” Amunet asked.

“Yes, we’re going to see Jupiter in Atlantis. Something isn’t quite right. Aphrodite had a dark vision in her mirror, and I have a feeling Diana shouldn’t be here. She isn’t right.”

“I’ve just said that to her myself!” Amunet smiled, as Diana momentarily stopped chewing. “And she is eating toast off the floor without butter. Something is definitely amiss. I will see Jupiter with you.”

This is the second part to the new Legendary Circles story. Part One is in the Storylines page.

Threat

Ankela stared at Eln and his wife
“For this you both shall pay a price
This maiden was meant to be by my side
As say the stars and the Royal Guide”

Eln stepped forward and held out his hand
“I’m sorry, but this was never planned
Starr and I were betrothed for years
But by our hearts, not the word of seers”

The prince dismissed Eln’s kind attempt
At friendship with the utmost contempt
“Bah!” cried the prince as he turned away
“Be warned, I will return another day

By the name of my family and by royal decree
You will both pay for your treachery”
The prince leapt onto his horse and galloped off
‘Though at his threat the villagers scoffed

And remember, all previous parts are now included in my Storylines Menu, if you’d like to read the epic so far!

Æthelstan burped loudly.

He’d been seated in the largest throne-like chair Ursulondix could find in the tavern, and at the head of the table. Hempsty had been seated at the opposite end of the table, and Gemevere and Katherine in the middle, opposite each other. On the table empty plates were scattered, with only a few scraps of food left on a couple of them.

“This waarn’s gorgeous!” Gemevere said after finishing her third glass, her lips turning almost as red as the fluid she’d swallowed. Her cheeks weren’t far behind, colour-wise.

“I heartily agree!” Hempsty agreed.

Æthelstan finished his tankard of ale in one gulp, burped once again, and slumped headfirst onto a plate on the table in front of him. He snored loudly. Katherine rolled her eyes and looked at Gemevere. “So noble.” She smirked, noticing Gemevere do the same.

“Ready for a refill, dears?” Ursulondix dashed out of the room in the back, carrying her large carafe. “Ooh. I think the king’s had enough!”

“It’s bin quart a mornin'” Gemevere slurred. “G’wan then, Ah’ll ‘ave another glass… ferth’ roard.” She thumbed toward the door.

“I certainly don’t mind having another glass as well.” Hempsty said, offering his glass to Ursulondix. Katherine put her glass into the middle of the table to be refilled without saying anything. Ursulondix filled their glasses and left the room again.

After the fourth glass, the three travellers who had remained awake started to feel considerably woozy.

“I say, we cannot travel to Nottingham just yet.” Hempsty said, trying to stand.

“Naw. Best sit ‘ere an’ wairt fer us to sorber up.” Gemevere flicked a grape she’d found on the table over towards Katherine. Katherine didn’t notice as she was sat back in her chair, looking up to the ceiling.

“Ready for a refill, dears?” Ursulondix dashed out of the room in the back, carrying her large carafe. “Ooh. I think the king’s had enough!”

“It’s bin quart a mornin'” Gemevere slurred. “G’wan then, Ah’ll ‘ave another glass… ferth’ roard.” She thumbed toward the door.

“I certainly don’t mind having another glass as well.” Hempsty said, offering his glass to Ursulondix. Katherine put her glass into the middle of the table to be refilled without saying anything. Ursulondix filled their glasses and left the room again.

After the fifth glass, the three travellers who had remained awake started to feel overpoweringly woozy.

“I say, we cannot travel to Nottingham just yet.” Hempsty said, trying to stand.

“Naw. Best sit ‘ere an’ wairt fer us to sorber up.” Gemevere flicked a raisin she’d found on the table over towards Katherine. The raisin bounced off her left shoulder, but Katherine didn’t notice.

“Ready for a refill, dears?” Ursulondix dashed out of the room in the back, carrying her large carafe. “Ooh. I think the king’s had enough!”

“It’s bin quart a mornin'” Gemevere slurred. “G’wan then, Ah’ll ‘ave another glass… ferth’ roard.” She thumbed toward the door, whilst at the same time biting her lip.

“I certainly don’t mind having another glass as well.” Hempsty said, offering his glass to Ursulondix. Katherine put her glass into the middle of the table to be refilled without saying anything. Ursulondix filled their glasses and left the room again.

After the sixth glass, the three travellers who had remained awake started to feel queasy. Katherine pulled a couple of chairs closer to her and lay across the three of them. She was asleep in seconds.

“I say, we cannot travel to Nottingham just yet.” Hempsty said, trying to stand.

“Naw. Best sit ‘ere an’ wairt fer us to sorber up.” Gemevere flicked another grape she found toward Hempsty, which splattered on his chest.

“What in…?” Hempsty tried to stand again, wiping down his chest whilst looking at Gemevere.

“Sommat’s goin’ on.” Gemevere whispered. She thumbed to the room at the back. She mouthed the word ‘poisoned’ to Hempsty, and then grabbed herself by the throat with her left hand. She stuck out her tongue, widened her eyes and quickly nodded her head back and forth.

“Outrageous!” Whispered Hempsty, realising what was happening.

“Ready for a refill, dears?” Ursulondix dashed out of the room in the back, carrying her large carafe. “Ooh. I think the king and the lassie have had enough!”

“It’s bin quart a mornin'” Gemevere slurred. “G’wan then, Ah’ll ‘ave another glass… ferth’ roard.” She thumbed toward the door.

“I certainly don’t mind having another glass as well.” Hempsty said, offering his glass to Ursulondix. Ursulondix filled their glasses and left the room again.

Gemevere smelled the wine. There was a metallic odour which she hadn’t noticed before, and a strong smell of sulphur. Hempsty noticed the same. Gemevere looked around the room for somewhere she could pour the wine. She noticed a potted plant on the ledge behind Æthelstan’s chair, but as she stood to walk over to it the wall at the front on the tavern tore open. Wooden beams and bricks were pulled outwards by powerful claws. A bright yellow flame burst in through the hole, followed by the head of a red dragon.

“Ooh ‘eck!” Gemevere shouted as she and Hempsty both dived for cover behind the table.

***

This is the seventh part in the Reverence storyline. The previous six parts can be found in my Storylines menu.

A few years ago as I wandered around a forest, I came across this chap. He has been featured on the blog before, but I think this is the first time he’s appeared square. Or in one, at least!

Posted for Becky’s Square Perspectives.

Epic Mythology

Taken

Haryette remembered long ago
The night that continues to pain her so
Haunted by a lack to act
She wished she could get that one night back

Grantala Village was dark and still
‘Though not silent due to the newborn’s shrill
Cries of hunger, need for sleep
Haryette needed to slumber deep

“Kind lady!” came a voice through her door
She didn’t know it, she was sure
“I will help you to get some rest
And the same with the child, I will do my best”

Unthinking she allowed the stranger in
“My name is Hor, I can stop this din!”
She blinked, no slept, for an hour had gone
And so had the stranger, and so had her son

And remember, all previous parts are now included in my Storylines Menu, if you’d like to read the epic so far!

Ralto’s Descent

K’Sandra rested by the hearth
Watching the clouds through the window part
And fold and roll and burst with light
No need to foretell the storm tonight

She sipped the liquid from her favourite cup
A bolt of light made her sit up
A heavy knock rapped upon her door
As thunder clapped and shook the floor

Through dusty glass she could see outside
Was a man who once served by her side
Without a thought she let him in
Her welcome smothered by thunder’s din

Silhouetted by lightning’s glare
Features hidden except golden hair
Lord Ralto stood expressionless
“The Mount needs you” he simply stressed

Epic Mythology? I hear you ask. Yes! I reply. Epic Mythology. An epic tale, in rhyme, with multiple parts, characters, places, set in an unknown mythological realm where there are no rules and anything can happen. It comes… it goes… it’s back!

And it’s now included in my Storylines Menu, so all of the parts are together and building up as one!

Toward Everplain