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The Travelers Tale - Part Two

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  • sabakakrazny
    For those that wish to recall, reread or know what went bfore, the teller refers you to here : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SCA_BARDS/message/9215 and now,
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 29, 2011
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      For those that wish to recall, reread or know what went bfore, the teller refers you to here :


      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SCA_BARDS/message/9215



      and now, the story continues!

      The Travelers' Tale, Part 2


      Well, lads an lassies, you'll recall our own dear Liam went off on his way, after selling his mortal soul.( Tis sure an' the Devil didn't put it that way, but neither Old Lucifer or Liam himself held any illusions as to the stakes of their little game) and so he went his way. Whether he was better off or no remained to be seen. It's sure I don't know, and I don't think it's a burden I'd carry gladly atall!

      But as the days, the weeks, the months passed it became clear that whatever else, the devil was a fiend of his word, for Liam found success in all things. Just as the devil had said, it seemed Liam couldn't fail in anything he tried. When he sought a hostel, an inn or even a simple cot and bit of bread on his long road home, there was ever a vacancy in the inn. Householders seemed inclined to offer a meal, or a drink, and when he came to the towns on market day there was ever a room, though all the taverns were full and people sleeping in the yards and stables.

      Nor did mundane things pass him by – for all his life Liam had been a poor gambler. Oh, he threw the dice in camp, or played at cards as did any soldier, but he had never been any great hand at any of it.

      But now…oh, now, friends, he could throw dice and his eyes closed, and ever did he roll the number. No card he turned over or held was a losing one, and if the pot of money was lost, the larger one later would be won. In a matter of a month, his purses clinked as never had they before, and he found the weight of money a glad one.

      So it was, a few months later he was whistling, walking with a bouncy step and happy air. His old tattered clothes had been traded for finer, fitter garb – a doublet of brocade and silks, a fine linen shirt and hosen soft as down, his feet clad in fine boots of red and black. By his side the old rusty sword of soldiering days had since been sold, and now there beat against his hip the fine blade of a gentleman, jewels a-twinkle in its fine scabbard. His head bore a jaunty hat, a feather nigh so long as to trail behind a good yard, and he rode a horse of simple looks but fine breeding. Oh, a fine sight was our dear Liam now! Sue it was he had started off walking, but you might ask why had he invested in the horse? Why, boys and lassies, it was for the simple reason that he had been a soldier and as any soldier among us knows how ever jaunty his step, a second class ride beats a first class walk every day o the week!

      And so it was he crossed the channel, and then to a port town where he wandered inland. The travel had been on a small boat, for Irishmen were not in those days welcomed on the grand ways, but he found the barkantine Oriole an ample passage.

      He had not been in this part of the land before and it amazed him with its long mountains, its low mists, and many lonely stones standing tall and alone on the hill or in the clearing of the woods he passed through. The roads weaved and snaked through many fields and groves but as he rode he passed many folk on their way to a large village along the road. They spoke in a language unknown to him, one both melodious and beautiful but bereft of consonants, so ambiguous in its meaning and mysterious in its verbiage that he knew he could only be in Wales.

      It was a market day, a feast day, and a pair of days that seldom coincided and so folk were both merry and eager to do business, and Liam had it in his head that perhaps he would do some trading with his heavy purse, with an eye to business of his own. But as he passed a dank alleyway in the town, he saw an old man, his cart overturned and his rolls, buns and loaves scattered willy-nilly. The baker had run afoul of three bravoes, all fat, uncouth and surly they were and whatever slight they felt he had offered they made plain their feelings with feet, fists, sticks and canes.

      But Liam was a changed man, a prosperous man, his mind bent on business and his new standing. If the old fellow had run afoul of the local bullies, why, t'was no concern of his – he had other business to tend, and little enough time to do it in.

      So it was he found a fine room, and slept sound. The next day, he sought out the headman, and the Merchants Guild, and was able to gain a writ of credit based on his coins. He was now truly in business, with a string of ponies, ten good men and true with bows and stout staves, and a load of local crops and wines for to take to London for sales.

      Now, it's only natural to feel full of good cheer in times like this – sure you have and I have too, I'll be the first to say. And Liam was no different. In a merry mood, he decided a celebration was in order and treated himself to a fine meal at the tavern, where his tales of the road met many merry ears, and drinks were shared to prove it. As he tasted ale, his eyes fell on a dark haired beauty. She was tall, her skin pale as the milk, eyes green as the sea and bright as grass, and hair chestnut brown, shining so that no amber could be so bright. She had a fine figure which filled her sark to a pleasing degree, and her walk was light and sprightly. So it was that when she passed he touched her arm, invited her to seat and drink, and smiled his charming smile sure his fine garb and bright rings would help add to his good looks.

      But he had forgotten he was in Wales, and the Welsh women there are uncanny, swift to judge and subtle of wit. Descended from the woods, daughters of Rhiannon all and he had misjudged this one, truly. Her eyes sparkled like chips of hot glass, emerald that glared like hot knives, and she snatched her hand back.

      "I know you, rich man. You rode by my father the baker just yesterday, and even though you, with your fine blade and fine horse could have saved him, you rode by. Now he lays abed, bones broken and no hope for a living this market day. And you did nothing. NOTHING!"

      She snarled like some great angry cat, while the tavern that just moments ago was full of merry laughter was now silent as the grave as she stood and pointed at him, her anger burning him to his core.
      "I know you, even though I don't know your name. Ye have the touch of the devil on you. You could have done some good, but you chose not to. Be gone from my sight, little man, and I hope you find joy on your way, for sure you'll find none here. "
      She looked around the tavern, and spoke aloud.

      "I am Tess the baker's daughter, daughter of William the Bread, and this man who could have had them easily at bay left my da to the Garriog Brothers mercies. I call him craven coward and worse, and as God is my witness I hope any man calls him friend hangs his head in shame, in shame at what he has done!"

      And as the girl was known to all there, and as in any Welsh village they were all in some way related (and family is always family, if you be Welsh) to a man they turned their backs to him, and the ale tasted sour in Liam's mouth, his fine meal heavy in his belly, and he left with face burning and his shame at her words heavy in his heart.

      He left the next day for London town, with his ten men stout and true and his twenty ponies, and his fine goods that did indeed make him richer than before. And it rained the whole way there.



      To be continued…..


      Bran Buchanan
    • Claire S
      What a truly wonderous tale!!! I will have a great battle keeping the suspense at bay till you might bestow us with the furthering of this tale... And if I
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 1, 2011
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        What a truly wonderous tale!!! I will have a great battle keeping the suspense at bay 'till you might bestow us with the furthering of this tale...

        And if I might be so bold might it be possible for a future tale of your making might include a minstrel or such? :-D

        With great admiration and respect for your talent

        Aleksis(and her harp)

        --- In SCA_BARDS@yahoogroups.com, "sabakakrazny" <sabakakrazny@...> wrote:
        >
        > For those that wish to recall, reread or know what went bfore, the teller refers you to here :
        >
        >
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SCA_BARDS/message/9215
        >
        >
        >
        > and now, the story continues!
        >
        > The Travelers' Tale, Part 2
        >
        >
        > Well, lads an lassies, you'll recall our own dear Liam went off on his way, after selling his mortal soul.( Tis sure an' the Devil didn't put it that way, but neither Old Lucifer or Liam himself held any illusions as to the stakes of their little game) and so he went his way. Whether he was better off or no remained to be seen. It's sure I don't know, and I don't think it's a burden I'd carry gladly atall!
        >
        > But as the days, the weeks, the months passed it became clear that whatever else, the devil was a fiend of his word, for Liam found success in all things. Just as the devil had said, it seemed Liam couldn't fail in anything he tried. When he sought a hostel, an inn or even a simple cot and bit of bread on his long road home, there was ever a vacancy in the inn. Householders seemed inclined to offer a meal, or a drink, and when he came to the towns on market day there was ever a room, though all the taverns were full and people sleeping in the yards and stables.
        >
        > Nor did mundane things pass him by – for all his life Liam had been a poor gambler. Oh, he threw the dice in camp, or played at cards as did any soldier, but he had never been any great hand at any of it.
        >
        > But now…oh, now, friends, he could throw dice and his eyes closed, and ever did he roll the number. No card he turned over or held was a losing one, and if the pot of money was lost, the larger one later would be won. In a matter of a month, his purses clinked as never had they before, and he found the weight of money a glad one.
        >
        > So it was, a few months later he was whistling, walking with a bouncy step and happy air. His old tattered clothes had been traded for finer, fitter garb – a doublet of brocade and silks, a fine linen shirt and hosen soft as down, his feet clad in fine boots of red and black. By his side the old rusty sword of soldiering days had since been sold, and now there beat against his hip the fine blade of a gentleman, jewels a-twinkle in its fine scabbard. His head bore a jaunty hat, a feather nigh so long as to trail behind a good yard, and he rode a horse of simple looks but fine breeding. Oh, a fine sight was our dear Liam now! Sue it was he had started off walking, but you might ask why had he invested in the horse? Why, boys and lassies, it was for the simple reason that he had been a soldier and as any soldier among us knows how ever jaunty his step, a second class ride beats a first class walk every day o the week!
        >
        > And so it was he crossed the channel, and then to a port town where he wandered inland. The travel had been on a small boat, for Irishmen were not in those days welcomed on the grand ways, but he found the barkantine Oriole an ample passage.
        >
        > He had not been in this part of the land before and it amazed him with its long mountains, its low mists, and many lonely stones standing tall and alone on the hill or in the clearing of the woods he passed through. The roads weaved and snaked through many fields and groves but as he rode he passed many folk on their way to a large village along the road. They spoke in a language unknown to him, one both melodious and beautiful but bereft of consonants, so ambiguous in its meaning and mysterious in its verbiage that he knew he could only be in Wales.
        >
        > It was a market day, a feast day, and a pair of days that seldom coincided and so folk were both merry and eager to do business, and Liam had it in his head that perhaps he would do some trading with his heavy purse, with an eye to business of his own. But as he passed a dank alleyway in the town, he saw an old man, his cart overturned and his rolls, buns and loaves scattered willy-nilly. The baker had run afoul of three bravoes, all fat, uncouth and surly they were and whatever slight they felt he had offered they made plain their feelings with feet, fists, sticks and canes.
        >
        > But Liam was a changed man, a prosperous man, his mind bent on business and his new standing. If the old fellow had run afoul of the local bullies, why, t'was no concern of his – he had other business to tend, and little enough time to do it in.
        >
        > So it was he found a fine room, and slept sound. The next day, he sought out the headman, and the Merchants Guild, and was able to gain a writ of credit based on his coins. He was now truly in business, with a string of ponies, ten good men and true with bows and stout staves, and a load of local crops and wines for to take to London for sales.
        >
        > Now, it's only natural to feel full of good cheer in times like this – sure you have and I have too, I'll be the first to say. And Liam was no different. In a merry mood, he decided a celebration was in order and treated himself to a fine meal at the tavern, where his tales of the road met many merry ears, and drinks were shared to prove it. As he tasted ale, his eyes fell on a dark haired beauty. She was tall, her skin pale as the milk, eyes green as the sea and bright as grass, and hair chestnut brown, shining so that no amber could be so bright. She had a fine figure which filled her sark to a pleasing degree, and her walk was light and sprightly. So it was that when she passed he touched her arm, invited her to seat and drink, and smiled his charming smile sure his fine garb and bright rings would help add to his good looks.
        >
        > But he had forgotten he was in Wales, and the Welsh women there are uncanny, swift to judge and subtle of wit. Descended from the woods, daughters of Rhiannon all and he had misjudged this one, truly. Her eyes sparkled like chips of hot glass, emerald that glared like hot knives, and she snatched her hand back.
        >
        > "I know you, rich man. You rode by my father the baker just yesterday, and even though you, with your fine blade and fine horse could have saved him, you rode by. Now he lays abed, bones broken and no hope for a living this market day. And you did nothing. NOTHING!"
        >
        > She snarled like some great angry cat, while the tavern that just moments ago was full of merry laughter was now silent as the grave as she stood and pointed at him, her anger burning him to his core.
        > "I know you, even though I don't know your name. Ye have the touch of the devil on you. You could have done some good, but you chose not to. Be gone from my sight, little man, and I hope you find joy on your way, for sure you'll find none here. "
        > She looked around the tavern, and spoke aloud.
        >
        > "I am Tess the baker's daughter, daughter of William the Bread, and this man who could have had them easily at bay left my da to the Garriog Brothers mercies. I call him craven coward and worse, and as God is my witness I hope any man calls him friend hangs his head in shame, in shame at what he has done!"
        >
        > And as the girl was known to all there, and as in any Welsh village they were all in some way related (and family is always family, if you be Welsh) to a man they turned their backs to him, and the ale tasted sour in Liam's mouth, his fine meal heavy in his belly, and he left with face burning and his shame at her words heavy in his heart.
        >
        > He left the next day for London town, with his ten men stout and true and his twenty ponies, and his fine goods that did indeed make him richer than before. And it rained the whole way there.
        >
        >
        >
        > To be continued…..
        >
        >
        > Bran Buchanan
        >
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