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|07/11/13||CB 1-Shots #3||Excalibow: The Ballad of Arthur's Arrow||(Blog) (Forum)||Disclaimer|
|Rating||Rating explanation||Last Issue:|
|T||Violence mentioned.||Nightfire vs. Magnamor vs. Doom Rider|
|~The bard bows to the court...~>||~>||~>||~>|
“If it please the King, then listen, Sire.
Listen knight, and listen squire!
Listen court, and listen all!
Listen, dear guests of the King’s masked ball!
“Come one! Come all! Gather round, good friends!
Lean in close and do attend,
As my words pull gently back the veil
To reveal to you a wondrous tale
“Of adventure and magic, and a quest for right–
Of a hero familiar, and yet… not quite.
For this is the ballad that so few know
Of Arthur’s Arrow and the Excalibow!
“Young Arthur’s story does begin
With a call from the Lady of the Forest Glen,
Offering a bow the hue of sun bleached bone,
If he could draw matching arrow from yonder stone.
“Arthur knew well of this stonebound shaft:
Lusted after by the kingdom’s 'nobler' half.
Searched for by peasants. Dreamed of by the fool.
For legend claimed its bearer would one day rule.
“Yes! Laugh, dear friends, and toast your king!
For it might be of him whom the minstrels sing!
Could he be this tale’s hero? Sire, is it true?
Dear friends, a nobler man, you never knew.
“But back to Arthur, and the offered prize,
The arrow in the stone, before his eyes.
Many had tried, and many had failed.
Yet, he was invited– might he prevail?
“He considered long moments what this could mean–
Deciding if, truly, he could be king.
Though unexpected, there was the Lady’s call,
And finally, that fact overshadowed all.
“Stepping forward, he felt his life’s path narrow,
Grabbing his destiny as he grabbed the arrow.
Then, with deceptive ease, it slid right out,
Leaving no room for further doubt.
“The white bow then shown like a harvest moon,
And the Lady smiled as she gave his boon.
With a gentle sigh he could barely hear,
The Lady faded, then disappeared.
“A slight breeze blew that made Arthur shiver,
And he wondered that there was no quiver.
Notching the arrow into the bow,
He took careful aim, and let it go.
“He had not yet seen his arrow land
Before another appeared in Arthur’s hand.
Many times, he did thus fire,
And never did his supply expire.
“As he retrieved each shaft, their magic done,
They left in wisps, until back to one.
He could not break the bow or shaft,
And thus delighted, the archer laughed.
“He hid his face with a cloak and hood,
And traveled ‘round, doing all manner good.
Making allies, and fighting the damned,
Including the Sorcerer of Nottingham.
“Mordred by name, dragon by spell,
To Excalibow, the sorcerer fell!
Be it dragon’s marrow, flesh, or scaly shield,
To that enchanted arrow, all things must yield.
“With a final roar, the dragon was felled.
Crowing triumphant, the archer yelled.
‘That’s the might of Arthur’s arrow!’ he did proclaim,
And this was how our archer received his name.
“The news and legend of Arthur spread,
And eventually, a price was put upon his head.
Long outlawed, he roamed the wood,
And still showed the people just where he stood.
“This enraged the King, as you might have guessed.
He would not endure this hooded pest.
He raised the reward, as well as the taxes.
Hung the hero’s allies, or took their heads with axes.
“And still Arthur gathered a band of fighting men
At a great, round, stone table in his forest den.
So weapons were gathered, and pacts were made,
Deep within Sherwood Forest, in a secret glade.
“Through a winter quite bitter and a summer quite hot,
Plans came together to free all of Camelot!
Those plans led to now, to this festive proceeding.
This very moment is where my tale has been leading.
“Now, dear friends, this last part might get a bit gory,
But I thank you for your patience with this humble bard’s story.
We have almost reached midnight, where we will all unmask,
But before we do, dear guests, I charge you this task:
“If you will direct your attention to the walls, and beyond to the yards,
And take notice of the Lincoln green masks on the guards.
That’s the merry band of fighting men that I did bring.
They belong to me, and not to the King.
“For those of you who don’t follow, or may be a little dim:
This Arthur’s Arrow that I speak of? That’s me; I’m him.
You see, when we heard of this gathering of all the noble class,
It was clearly carpe diem– we couldn’t let it pass.
“As my men draw their bows, it is time for decision,
And I suggest you make it wisely, with sudden precision.
You can bow down, or you can be dead.
As for you, king: surrender your crown, or surrender your head.”
|Next Issue: The Day the Vikings Landed|
|Please let me know what you think, and thanks! -cb|