There’s a power in telling a tale, you know? In singing a song, reciting a poem... It’s like some sort of alchemy that transforms our deepest fears, our saddest sorrows or our most joyful thoughts into something that can be felt and go through the one who’s listening; to speak something into existence. Is magic, boy, I swear; and my people excelled at casting this spells. One single fucker telling a story about how good our latest harvest was could ignite a fire inside the bellies of one thousand warriors; making them capable of conquering the winter, our enemies, the mountains and the gods! I’ve seen a woman putting to sleep a pack of wolves with a lullaby. Can you imagine that? No, of course you can’t. I bet you have only heard those filthy dwarven songs! Not that I have something against dwarves, but they just spit words at the tune of their farts and they call it a ballad, come on now.
Anyway, can you pour some more of that ale? Yes, fill the damn thing.
What I was saying? Oh yes, magic. There’s magic in words, if you mix them properly. Not just the words, you have to pick the right tone, the rhythm of your speech and the length of your sentences. It’s a motherfucking art if you ask me, and I don’t mean to toot my own trumpet, but I was an absolute fucking beast of an artist! I could tell an Ogre to fuck off and his goddamn head would explode, I’m not even exaggerating. I was a living legend, a hero to my kin.
My people loved me, boy, I swear. Oh yeah, I forgot this part. I used to be a king! The one and only ruler of the mountains of Caen Lundein. King Angus, the First of his name. What’s with that look? Do you think I’m messing with you? Of course you think that, and I don’t blame you, boy. Who could think this jabbering old man that reeks of alcohol has ever been a king? Only that I was one, back in the day; before the shadows, before the ashes.
I used to have a brother, you know? The most depressing son of Eire I’ve ever known. I loved his fucking guts. I still can’t believe what he did to me... to his people. Words are dangerous, magic is no joke, I tell you. He obliterated our land and everyone in it by casting a word of power in the name of the Shadow God.
I don’t know if it was because I was wearing this cloak I’m wearing, blessed by Eire herself, if it was destiny or just pure luck, but I survived that dreadful bane. I woke up all alone below the darkest sky, and all around me there were the burned out corpses of my people. Right after, I felt this eerie feeling, like worms inside my stomach; I puked, and ashes came out of my mouth. This obscure substance was all over my beloved land and inside my guts. That was the first symptom of darkness invading my body; afterwards, my once blue eyes turned into coal, making me unable to watch the sunrise, or any kind of bright light for that matter.
And there I was, the King of Ashes. He, who was chosen to protect the highlanders of Caen, couldn’t but stare as the shadows took possession of everything he ever loved.
So, you must be wondering, why am I telling you this sad, probably fabricated tale? Because, like I’ve already told you, boy, there’s a power in words. Perhaps, by telling you this story, I’m casting a powerful spell that will defeat the shadows inside me and will bring back my friends and family from the death. Or maybe this mighty saga will draw the attention of the gods and they will help me get revenge from the Shadow God, and they’ll award me a new kingdom to rule. Or maybe nothing will happen... I think I’m starting to lose hope, boy.
Boy?! Where did he go?!
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