My Lady Fair

Canto I

I lived a time once of youthful
Uncertainty, each step along
This dusty road a blind trespass.
Ahead, the horizon lay hid
By a misty pale veil--in hope
Imbued with a brightening sheen
Shimmering; in fear a dark'ning
Shroud of succumbing death. Whether
Lively or dim, the veil remains
A speculative point, while all
Around stretches a wasteland washed
Ruddy as if the sun's glow sets
Trapped in a sandstorm's coarse haze.

I looked behind along this road,
Watching it fade in fine shreds from
An ethereal breeze blowing
Incessantly. My faint footprints
Last only moments, and then are
Gone. The road varies--at one time
A track less traveled, or many
Times a route well tread. In either
Account I remain the owner;
Alone in this no-place doubling
As my twin destined guides shaded
In mutable opposed values,
And a remembered teacher fair.

Then one of many moments gave
Me pause. I held in my hand an
Aged tome, the work artfully set
Forth by an ancestor. This well
Cherished apocrypha contained
A lineage carried from dark
Antiquity. My eyes opened
To a broad world, yet quickly dimmed
By this lineage's upset.
Pride swelled great in me like a large
Breath of fresh air, while anger burned
In my gut's pit, and a cold seized
Upon my heart.

On occasion a voice spoke firm
From the pale veil. My voice--my thoughts,
Just as powerful if spoken
Aloud. Now it spoke again. It
Only uttered a single phrase,
Simple and direct: Who am I?
I answered quickly with my name,
Confident of the response as
My own self. I turned my head to
Listen, and heard the voice repeat
The phrase in measured intervals,
A slight echo growing fainter;
Consumed by the ethereal breeze.

Again I answered, and again,
But none availed. I glanced briefly
At the tome, its revelation
Providing no comfort, except
The knowledge that I had become
This lineage's culmination
And heir. I became resolute
Then, holding fast the growing strength
And Talent I had. I strode forth
Again upon the road to seek
The sacred spires of cursed Khitaine,
And return my House in glory
To freedom's reign.

At Khitaine, that fair fortress freed,
I took my place among the lords
Of the land. The long years a price
Paid in banishment. My family
I alone maintained, while my House
Swelled with those pledged in faithful keep.
I never forgot the journey
Upon that dusty road. Many
Concerns preoccupied my time;
Always the constant sly intrigue
Of my fellow lords, but most
Important, a sinister rise
Of an old power arcane.

There comes a time when confronted
By concerns apart from the realms
Worldly. A time of such acute
Passion that engenders a tight
Sense of frustration. I had thought
My quest complete, but I soon found
A restless pulse in my heart's beat--
A quickening! Given I, one honed
In Talent; Grounded by that Gift
Creative, can I remain closed
To the world? Can I now remain
Obscured in secular affairs,
Never reaching that marked moment?

This Gift is like a wellspring--Life!
That One Song symphony building
In glorious sights, an echo
Graced among the stars. It fills fast
From a source eternal, never
Suff'ring a dry season; for us
It waits in patience, a sweetness
Of honeyed nectar sipped in calm
Repose, never in avarice
Or gluttonous feast. Its music
Fills the Imagination t'wards
Those moments of creative rhyme,
And in that precious time loosens

A mad mind held static upon
Every crimson cyclic doom. How
That veil looms close--enough to pass
With a small step through to what lay
Beyon'. What would I see? Such 'tempt
Would only bring ruin--entangled
Between two nightmares, one called Fear,
And the other Impatience. It
Remains a bold futility
To endeavor an uncertain
Future, for which with a blind eye
Equals the past in perilous
Pride, never in sight to what is.

Faint threads together tie one's own
Expressed greatness. Such fortune seems
To come from some well laid divine
Plan, sending that one chosen from
Amid the milling mass by cause
Of it being writ in their bones,
Or perhaps occasioned by some
Hazardous chance. If a Power
There be, and there is! would It play
Some cold crap toss with pitted dice?
Should such a notable call to
Fortune be resigned to some force
Beyond or even alien?

Such cheapening sickens the heart,
Stales the mind, and dims the soul. Be
Sure many succumb to the dark
Shroud, convinced of a burdensome
Bane that opens to them at each
Opportune. They have not yet found
Who they are. Yet, who am I? One's
Core holds a brave heart, dormant deep
Until it stirs by some pulsing
Passion. These threads grow stronger out
Of the heart, no longer fragile,
But sturdy cords singing with tones
Resonating the bright Gift.

Greatness begins when desire spills
Forth from a vast thirst. The will wakes
Out of weakness, and once given
This initial taste, rises toward
Understanding. First desire fuels,
Twining upon another thread;
Then the will directs, stirring one
To do deeds. The value of each
Sees not great or small; all becomes
The certain course. The soul awaits
Until the self awakens when
Inspired into that luminous
Liminal's blessing.

Who am I? I have found each step
To Khitaine had me less under
Direction by a few, while more
Came to be directed by me.
The few had a value to teach,
What did the many others see?
When I walked out from the desert's
Sands, ignorance clouded my sight
As if I danced upon puppet's
Strings. Careful pride I strode showing
Little flaunt or flare, for concerned
Only of my dawning conscious
Movement between both light and dark.

Humility is to perceive
One's own greatness with the assent
Of its obligation. It takes
Nothing from another, for true
Glory is given, and thus shared.
The honor of Talent is that
Honor of greatness to the self,
Mirrored by the veil woven in
Some shifting lurid or lustrous
Design. Resign to the veil's firm
Countenance, and stride with tempered
Heart and mind shorn of ignorance
To the relationships of thought.

Who am I? The question lingers
Still, a haunt among the shadows
Of my mind. Dangerous in that it
Has no real answer. Salvation
Comes only from exploration
Within my shadow. A knowing
Through freedom of definition.
I am he who walks the dew struck
Grass under a cool dawning sky.
I am he who takes the field's fight
Commanding the scions of war.
And in all my battles, I find
I only stand against myself.

Canto II

As the breeze of fate blows, what man
Knows if a master or pawn he
Be? What comes will come, and either
The mark of struggle or silent
Resignation will be upon
Him. When against an incursion
Of brutal beast-men I fought, fate
Seemed the least chance at redemption.
Through White Crest into the hell's waste
Beyond, my banner clashed with these
Foul beasts. Furious we led death
Into three battles--of the last,
Did the day seem lost.

What measure is there to death? Worse
Not of flesh, but of dreams? and all
That is left is a hope's glimmer
To light the path homeward. Death seemed
Dominant in my thoughts, indeed
For all valorous men who fought
Against great odds. My Talent-wrought
Wrath turned the day to our favor.
Amidst the dying fires called,
All wept for the life spared, even
I, whose name found whispered upon
Every soldier's breath and cursed by
Every moribund beast-man, wept.

It seems too many hells abound
In this world, and from each peril
I descend into a deeper
Despair, led along by a sly,
Idea-molded effigy. Once,
Tranquil thoughts expressed from a self
Image comforted in nothing else
But a youthful bliss. Oh, how this
Shade waxes mightily! even
With the people's elation, for
The news of victory heralded
Through each passing town. Khitaine! What
Veiled haunts lurking do I bring home?

I remember, my Lady fair,
When we first met; when after I
Walked the last weary mile, and bells
Rang amid the rejoicing House,
I found you alone. What portent
Could the setting sun have shone in
That fragile first when our eyes held?
Even the fall of night could not
Assuage the fast sense of destined
Love, while the day's age succumbed yet
To its own darken'd peace. A song,
A prose, or picture could not catch
The delicacy of our prime hour.

Only fair Silence can reveal
Such a duration as we shared,
A modest measure kept of ceaseless
Care. Who could say what we were in
Those few brief weeks. Nothing defined;
Nothing broken; nothing complete.
Sweet Memory! how fragile like
The autumn leaf is the discovered
Soul of another, and how quick
Joy's countenance is flushed at once
Like a failing flame. Yet compare
That small degree to the discord
Of my heart's weal.

Was it sense or insanity
That I gently sent you away?
My enemy's daughter. Your last
Words to me linger still upon
That silent Veil, an echoing
Glance among Its subdued luster:
"What do you want?" Could I resign
The old enmity between our
Houses, and let my loyalty
Of a youthful infatuation
To another resolve into
The emptiness that it was, I
Could yet embrace you unfettered.

The twin pains of failure and loss
Are the fertile ground of either
Growth and greatness or the stagnate
Sleeper of mediocrity.
How far does a man let be led
Along in hope for a woman's
Love? Pains of the heart are but one
Of three, yet invites man into
The greatest of troubles. Through hope
I endured along countless leagues,
Many months, and three women. Each
Misleading, each having something
To offer, but nothing of love.

To them, I was a pawn. No Gift
Nor desire could change that. My choices
I allowed myself were few: set
Aside my wants or to pursue.
One led to emptiness squandered,
The other to Frustration's fool.
Hope kept me on that later path,
A tortuous decline into
Inevitability. Might
I have tempered these desires or
Played their stirring invitations
With cool sense rather than impinge
Upon them in longing pursuit.

For every closure a woman
Returned in false int'rest, I took
As my own failure, and my worth
Tarnished dulled. What of hope then spent?
What truth does hold in a woman's
Company the time ushering
Unattended love? Looking back,
It is hard not to feel the fools
Laughter at the absurdity
Of an aimless impulse. To lose
Oneself in the forms that things may
Take; a distraction whence the self
Strides upon the self.

Even you spurned me, my Lady
Fair, in grief-filled anger deceived,
Though the blood'd knife I held not
Against your Father's life. Greater
Naught the gulf between us yawned, when
Amid your anger burned did turn
My infatuation upon
Its useless course, and I remained
Stubborn in the depths of my pride
And error. A gust then raised with
Swift alarm to sweep our Houses'
Feud aflame and drift the turmoil
We both shared beyond amend.

What do I want? How far engrossed
Was I upon the object of
A woman's love! I turned away
From the sublime of my own soul's
Guide; my insight had been dulled skewed,
Long lost gazing upon the trend
Of my feet's tread. I saw naught what
Lay before me, the veil forlorn
Growing dim, and the past ever
Deeper from a futile fancy.
When raised my eyes to look ahead,
A blacken'd void emerged fast and
I knew the sacred dead alas.

It evoked a loss, never to be
Recaptured under the ‘proaching
Storm’s swelling, airey dew. Far off
Still your rage stirs; the sky’s blue grows
Ashen and the sun’s bright dims scorned.
We met again in the cold clear
Of winter, a day woven in
Austere luster. The frosted breath
Of your family’s ruin ‘came seared by
The mark of your kisses death. Trapped
Upon the enchantment of your
Loins, your revenge seemed sure through my
Murder, like the storm’s passing gaze.

Such a ritual, darkly wrought,
Broke upon my memories brink, and
Your clutch upon my life’s thread soothed.
For with my betrayal revealed,
Our past fell away and you, My
Lady Fair, found solace from your
Uncertainty and despair. Then
With the fallen knight’s Shade banished
Back to the long shadows of the
Cold northern waste, an innocence
Engaged our lives, allowing a
Brief respite of ignorance to
Cloud against the world’s affairs.

Whence all the follies of love’s past
Became kindled by the fires of
Our passion. We renewed that first
Moment so long ago, and drowned
Ourselves in the simple joy seized
Upon each other’s discovered
Company. You had asked me what
I want, and by your love I thought
I had it. Still, those things that went
Unattended wore at the bliss
We surrounded ourselves in. So
Short a time we shared then, and it
Would be our last, My Lady Fair.

What do I want? That question haunts
Me since our separation, for
Malign seeds of discontent and
Lies grew into a festering
Rift between us. You fled into
The night, caught by the snares of your
Brother’s wiles, while I descended
Into the spiraling abyss
Of my adversity, unsure
In my effectiveness as a
Leader of men or my Talent.
Only through the confidence of
Your mother did I rise above.

As the Heretics of old gained
Their power, I assailed out from
Khitaine to seek you out. Politics
And powers arcane bled the trail
Cold under the guise of artful
Concern. But what I lost in you,
I gained in a greater sight, and
I learned that you stood among their
Ranks. When traitors within my own
House plotted my ruin, I fled my
Heritage in seeming defeat,
And optioned a course they did not
Expect, I joined them.

Among the cabal of Talents
I stood with, the bright lands became
Divided into dominions,
Scarred by skirmishes and tourneys
Suborning our time and notice,
A layered feud of intrigue and
Trite differences. Unknown to
You, O Goddess to be, I wore
A guise of fiery might recalled
In the minds of the awakened
Talents of a jaded time when
Fear and terror last ruled, and only
A greater threat could dislodge them.

From beyond the stars it came, a
Threat upon a threat, seeking both
Supremacy and ruin. They were
An ancient race, alien and
Terrible in their power and
Method. Their war became for all
A unifying measure. Though
We turned early defeats at great
Cost, the road to triumph became
Obscured the more encompassing
The conflict endured. Then by chance
Their attention diverted when
Rose a relic long lost to them.

Upon me the veil of parting
Draped its blackened shroud over my
Sight, a shaded burr that steered my
Steps towards a determined path.
I want to live the fancy of
A young man shorn of the cares and
Strident difficulties of the
World’s torn responsibilities.
I want to hold you, My Lady
Fair. To laugh and play, to love in
A world without expectations
Of greatness nor concerns of a
Course destined towards contempt.

For us in the end, two conflicts
Were fought. The first I commanded
Through great measure and guided its
Theatre to victory. Though its
Assurance secured, I fell to
My House’s betrayer, whose strike
Put me in the throes of sculpted
Torture. My wrath wasted him, but
My fate was sealed by the breath of
A black curse of stony sleep. Long
After the shattered earth healed and
Grew into fields of frolicking
Grass peaceful graced, I remained still.

The second lay in uncertain
Outcome for you, My Lady, for
The struggle of all turned to the
Long forgotten relic, buried
Deep in the waters of the lake
Beneath Sorlis. You secured
It, but even it could not stop
An attack hidden in the guise
Of a cold smile. As your body
Fell, you became an avatar
Buoyed by the relic depleted,
And by its might subdued the world
Then fell into a trance divine.

Canto III

In the silence between sleep and
Dreams, I woke from a memory
Of war and pain. A long breath ripped
In terrible exhale, begun
As a drowned struggling stone lost
In a descent into darkness.
I had found my peace in a state
Of earthy death, cold and alone
With a duration too long and
Too short. Each moment whittling
Away finite decisions like
An etched relief of falling sand,
Each grain a choice to freedom lost.

I awoke into the pain of
Remembrances. Muscles long used
To locked stature stirred alive as
The shocked agony of life rushed
To renew, while a storm’s thund’rous
Rain pelted me in erosive
Measure. Through the long mêlée of
Suspended slumber scraped out from
The oblivion darkness, and
When the airy tempest past, I
Stood upon the feigned battlefield
With a victor’s satisfaction.
Until my eyes saw all had changed.

A verdant pasture lay before
Ravaged by spring’s savagery than
Man’s contention. Streams of sunlight
Cut through the passing nebulous
Gray, and where men once stood, wild growth
Grew among surrounding ancient
Trees. The conflict of memory
And sight, of battle and peace, stood
Upon the razor’s temporal
Horizon. I could not mistake
Yesterday’s clarity embroiled
Within the roiling haze today’s
Doubt confounded upon me.

Onward I stumbled through craggy
Trees, the enormity unknown
A spur ‘gainst my growing horror.
The veil thinned, haunted in memory
Of a lost paradise, while ‘pon
My spirit a darkened madness
Prowled. Then came sudden and sweet this
Vision of you, My Lady Fair,
A timeless endeavor searching.
Your gaze looked beyond me and when
You spoke it echoed equally
Displaced. My heart wrenched in distant
closeness and strengthened my resolve.

Your vision passed like an arid
Ylarum wind parching tightness
Upon my throat. I discovered
How things changed in my inertness;
Of unmeasured generations
Passage mourned; of lands languished in
Beleaguered disparity; of
That parchness revealed to be an
Affliction of silence for men
Of Talent. Marked muteness reviled
As warlocks condemned and hunted.
Confounded I wandered further
The wilderness vast.

The emblazoned afterimage
Of your beautiful countenance
Became a haunt of tortured dreams;
Of a promise circled without
Brandished gladiatorial
Words but knowing silence betwixt
Two hearts that flourished in knowledge
Of versed communion consummate
Than disquieted content could. Your
Fair face became a distraction
Veiling that astral alien
Toward like a flare I became
A beacon upon their intent.

Khitaine! Unweathered undimmed by
Time’s embrace; indomitable
Walls abandoned place a refuge
For the forsaken. Walking your
Worn halls washed away the neglect
Of my absence, for I saw faint
Reminders of a past decayed
Within the shadows of the light.
The first morning of spring banished
Haunts last lingering and into
This home’s threshold passed those scattered.
Life thrived in the return of my
House, but still your aspect torments.

All about the land a darkened
Gloom lay upon; a torn place of
Wild danger. Gritty lawlessness
Gripped wide with only the spattered
Safeness implied by city-states
And petty kingdoms. This pocket
Semblance of order maintained
By a sisterhood you inspired.
Into this I ventured, trav’ling
By unassuming passage booked
To mighty Tarlier where you,
My Lady Fair, slept imprisoned
In a brightened void of half-peace.

Each step toward Tarlier proved an
Increasing peril caught between
Swelling visions and encroaching
Whispered madness. I struggled on,
Sure that reaching my goal would be
A balm upon this psychic woe.
Within sight of my haven’s spires,
I again became ensconced in
Another of your fanciful
Visions. In this distraction a
Darkness struck, a remnant power
Seeking a host to slake its thirst
For its hollowed life’s return.

Though encumbered I found resolve
To rebuff its clutch and excise
It back to murked rumination,
But like a flare besieged this mark
Fashioned from struggle a preying
Patrol. Overwhelmed to their threat
I acceded. My captors kept
Me subjugated, stripped of strength
And capability; my mind
Cloaked in a foggy stupor. Will
Sapped, everything seemed a remote
Remembrance, and gone the visions
You enchanted me with.

They demanded obedience,
These Va'nier. Viscerally poised
In radiant elegance. They
Showed rancor toward anything
Unlike them. With a demeanor
Carrying considerable
Strength in their tall, lithe body and
Long limbs, their grayish skin shimmered
Uncanny. Keen minds kept a carnal
Cunningness, and apathetic
Eyes dark pools sparkling of violet
Glitter. Each talented by spell
And capable with sword.

These lands were exile, a tainted
Home engendering a mournful
Frustration quelled only by a
Tasteless lark their enterprising
Prowess could not. I was talent
Bereft and counted a mundane
Captured, sent to expire in their
Fighting pits. Each bout I won my
Worth waxed, and I became a thing
Coveted. I rose through their ranks
Sold, traded, or gifted, until
I belonged to the most treach’rous
Of them all.

She was a princess alien
Beautiful, full of malignant
Vigor and potently severe.
Our forced dalliance delighted
Her through rituals of terror
Praying on my blood and body
In sadistic satisfaction.
For too long I remain suppressed.
Given time I eroded their hold,
Rebelling until the eclipse
fOn my talent broke. Out of my
Thrall renewed, my captors paid a
Merciless price.

A threat I became to their threat,
And I left them by the thinnest
Of respect. ‘Pon Vanir drake wing
I travelled north. That old darkness!
It caught my memory from an
Age before; a wraith of displaced
Fury with a cold intellect
And patience bent on dominion.
Though a millenia reduced,
Its cogency was substantial.
To its confrontation I was
No stranger, and from its bid to
Beguile, I was keen to its lair.

In the ruins of the ancient most
Of cities that corrupted tribe
Had become something exquisite.
They were but a petty threat, kept
In thrall bent toward a growing
War machine. My audacity
Enraged the last of the demi-
Gods of old, and through our contest
It fought me to its last spell. Its
Dying scream a razored breeze; the
Last vestige of its gilded skull
Collapsed to dust. It was no more,
and I left a lord of legend.

The absence of your vision taunts
Me with acute turmoil. Respite
Bereft, again I set upon
To Tarlier where in half-sleep
Ensconced you rested obscured in
Rumor and legend. Why am I
Here? but to recapture for us
That long lost treasure fleeting. In
This mecca oasis stronghold
Your Kanon sisters presented
The final obstacle, only
Evaded through illusion, stealth,
And misdirection; I found you.

No soul knew you as I did in
This age, and our apartness I
Thought over. Your sleeping repose
Imbued by a soft mist like the
Palest death shroud contrasted with
The beauty that I remembered
So well. Through me I thought to be
The means of your freedom. Upon
A fair kiss I was wrong. Springing
Forth compassionless unfettered,
You attacked, smiting dominance
To cow me into submission.
As help neared I forestalled further.

For in your awakening move
A glimmer betrayed your portion;
To my sight a thinnest cord sprung
Sparkling ethereal trail
From your back. With your attack met
Delayed, I followed it through far
Off lands revealing adrift a
Girl earthly bound. She was your twin
In spirit and circumstance though
Reposed in humanistic grace.
A triptych embodiment ‘tween
Vision, Goddess, and Innocent
Until your shattered self mended.

Before your ravages enthralled
Me, I escaped. By wispy trail
Attuned I pursued it northward
Into old Wrayvalant. I found
Your other self mysterious kept,
A princess again though in forced
Reclusion. Upon this petty
Kingdom I plied sly dealings and
Profited politics among
Your family to acquaint myself.
Time and care played rivalries one
Against another, and upon
Each suitor’s rout a step to win

You away. When a legate from
Your maternal ancestors called
To claim your somatic birthright,
By your will I escorted abroad
Your delicateness. Into lands
Fey among the ancient ruins I
Previously contested we
Went. Upon the Wraith’s moria
Its corruption broke revealing
A clan with the ferocious grace
Of the Va'nier but none of their
Viciousness. We walked among them;
Their might reclaimed and rallied.

The Kanon wanted your earthly
Self dead, for your wholeness required
A reconciliation of
Your fragments. This violated
The existing order in the
World and they feared it. Why am I
Here? I brought change to the lands. The
Pace of power spanned myriad
Millennia; fallen to their
Usual depravity of
Misguided self interest. Ill-
Fated their endeavors fluttered
The twilight burn of endless pride.

Why am I here? But to contend
With the pretensions of power;
Revealing their obstacles as
Embodiments of poisonous
Poise. But a heart hardened by the
Bite of battle and the weight of
War required an elevated
Vigilance. Among the parted
Veils I found a balance. I left
Your earthly self in the Thay’s care,
And sought further knowledge enshrined
In the laborious fastness
Of old Callamir’s wizard vault.

Sense and study revealed promise
Of things beyond this alluring
Permanence, and from it, I knew
My course. To your cold avatar’s
Arena I advanced. Occupied
With prophetic pretense, Kanon
Corps war waged against the Kaalmir
City states. Capitalizing
Their confidence clouded I dealt
Trickery surprise to break the
Imperious demeanor, and
Like a switch returned your glacial
Presence to torpidity.

A summoned rift I flighted in-
To a dreamscape of wild silv’ry
Cacophony where monuments
Of strangeness floated amid a
Boundless ocean of astral wind
Tossing shadowy currents. By
Cunning fortune I adventured
To your guarded oubliette, a
Monolithic obelisk of
Phantasmagoric obstacles.
Withdrawn in this dimensional
Closet I found your soul, a spoil
For its abiding peril.

A tenacious predator masked
Medially chimerical
Menace and a tepid torso
Seemly. It catered blasphemy
Contesting my own prowess and
Willingness. Through a wit wounded
I armed its skill against mine and
Weighed its indifference with prayer.
Blatant hubris undermined its
Persistence and both exhausted,
It the greater weakened yielded.
Then with the prize snatched I slipped you
Away from this elusory.

A savage zephyr obscured our
Flight’s wake assuredly as the
Course before. It raced ahead, a
Prelude to an ashen maelstrom
Inner lit by a phlogiston
Bronzed glow. I shielded ‘gainst its worst
Until more halcyon climate
Prevailed. Drifting t’wards the nexus
Cry of our home, its calling culled
Like a gravitational charm.
As a dream coruscating from
A morning wake I walked returned
Among the halls of Khitaine.

A soothing verse did Autumn’s chill
Bear when designs vital became
Bound, and into the coming months
The main effort was to unfold.
Why am I here? A greater peace
For man could witness its dawning
Potential under my aegis.
The scattered interests gamed each
Other in a scenario
Ripe for suffering to prevail.
In the earliest of Spring it
Was almost time, and impatience
Became my essential bout.

A chance of error existed
Still, and there was no going back
To what was. I had to become
A thing of balance and terror.
Whether by virtue of wealth or
Title, for the mighty, there was
No escaping my persuasion
Couched in threat or promise. Lords, to
One another allies or foes
Complicated, were menaced by
Fearsome raids, and my endgame snared
All rivals. Chaos reigned among
The Kanon, and I lording laughed.

I knew betrayal was keen to
Capitalize any course for
Subverting hope to despair. A
Lack of relations and stalwart
Vigilance thwarted veiled shadows
Of artful intentions. I moved
From position to position
Keeping all sides subverted by
A pending risk I hoped never
Happened. To the Kanon it seemed
Instability plagued every
Region and they spent sizable
Effort to salvage to their gain.

In the pre-light before dawn I
Destroyed the main gates of Tarlier,
And with a visage of purpose
Consumed led a formidable
Legion of Thay and Mai’ayhr
To the citadel. Resistance
Sought to blunt our advance but nought
Spell nor sword could break our assault.
Upon a vestige high held your
Truest form in statis gleaming
Bleak into mornings prime. Aspects
Twin now unconcealed both baptized
You in blood and spirit perfect.

A thunderclap knell placated
My soul with your rise from your throne
Of interment. Gone the callous
Beauty, and at your confusion
I collapsed to your feet and wept.
We communed in that other place
Born by relics upon our brows,
And reconciled our friendship and
Love in an eternal moment
Away from the amazement of
The watching Thay. The residue
Of that occasion lingered as
You lifted me to your embrace.

We became the edge of a long
Age passed. With purpose aroused you
Subdued your Kanon, the old guard
Dispersed by reprisal allotted
Or elusion cast during which
The city celebrated your
Ascension. Agents by our will
Enforced a thin peace among the
Disparate kingdoms, undoing
The verge of tumult I wrought. This
Duty risked preoccupation
That kept us apart before, and
I imposed a pastime margin.

It was a return to our hour
Sublime when I enamored you,
My Lady Fair, to be one to
Another betrothed. This city,
Enchanted in legend to our
Outcome, opened its opulence,
Affording a week-long revel
To our union. Outdoors among
The oasis gardens beneath
An amber full hallowed moon, a
Kanon witch-priestess together
With a Thayan Eldar blessed our
Regal eventide nuptials.

We only had one another,
And that perhaps was our reprieve.
Without family or kin alive,
And with an experience long
Passed, we became in spirit and
In practice an ideal unmatched.
I no longer asked why am I
Here, but what do we do now? The
Harvest for tomorrow consumed
Our peace today, while the idle
Virility of fears crippled
Our momentum with ever a
Wantful eye to what will be.

As the birthright of an Accord
Forged from murmuring fragments
Of old discordant traditions
Millennia spanned, I found a
Reconcile of liberty and
Legacy in both dither or
Decorum. For crafters of both
Dream and spell must oblige what their
Sovereign self will mind. The lament
Of the Va'nier I forgot naught.
Their spite I yoked and gifted a
Return home to elsewhere beyond,
Thus relinquishing the Land’s threat.

We were to remain together,
Aloof from the realms, yet ever
Vigilant. Our diligent might
Afforded a security
And reach unmatched. We occasioned
A dyadic haven for home,
Extending our court throughout from
Khitaine, and adventured some by
Guise or presence. But succedent
Seasons would take its toll. Though we
Endured, My Lady Fair, without
Peer nor persecution, we were
Lost to myth as Everlords.

Notes: Initially composed in 1996 as a short poem called "Kerrena", My Lady Fair grew to become a three part verse narrative epic poem based on the plot and characters of my fantasy epic. Each canto asks a question which were inspired from the Babylon 5 TV series. Work on this poem continued over twenty years to be finally completed in 2016 for my poetry compilation. Photo by María Victoria Heredia Reyes