Treasures of the Dragon's Lair
The Tale of Morlog and Tarn -- an adventure in song
He met Tarn at the ford of the cool, winding stream,
Wading among the stones to pound mud from her cloak.
Widowed mother of two sons, standing alone against the wild,
She slipped her palm around her blade, primed to pierce his weathered heart.
But showing not a care, Morlog plunged his face into the waves,
Creating such a stir that she could do naught but laugh.
Thus she welcomed his approach with hot food he adored.
And so Morlog paused in his dark quest on that cold, lonely night,
Finding peace within the vale in the shade of Mount Norn.
With the morning’s dew Tarn set him to labor with her lads,
Tending their stringy cattle and clearing trees from the land.
Though wary of his strange eyes the boys grew fond of the man,
Marveling at the great skill with which he wielded his mighty axe.
From him they learned of the war, and his escape from the dungeons of Hath,
Fleeing his many pursuers, leaving all he owned behind.
Tarn heard this with regret, having hid such things from her sons,
But seeing the love in their eyes, she girded her fears and allowed Morlog to stay.
So he drew himself a fire and slept alone under the stars,
Thanking God for his rest while guarding those he took now as his own.
Sudden terror awaked Morlog on that chill, stormy night,
Shaken by screams of horror in the thunder’s trembling roar.
Grasping his ready axe, Morlog scrambled into the churning mists,
Only to stumble in fear before bolts of fire from the sky.
Within the blazing light he spied Tarn, standing as one made of stone,
Hurling her barbed spear at the dragon’s spreading wings
As it soared into the black with Tarn’s young lads in its claws.
Summoning his great steed, Morlog and Tarn rode through the night,
Braving the hungry wolves to pursue the flying serpent.
With the new day Morlog whispered prayers to his God,
Seeing their prey’s dark refuge in caves high upon Norn.
Scowling at his faith, Tarn bound her cloak and pressed him on,
Leading Morlog forward by the strength of her heart.
Two days they climbed the rocks, through lashing winds and freezing rain,
And still the dragon’s lair lay at the brink of their gaze,
A hole of dark foreboding at the very rim of the sky.
Then to his horror Morlog spied the worst of his fears,
A band of crimson warriors sneaking into the dragon’s keep.
Releasing a long-held rage he started anew up the jagged rocks,
With Tarn matching him step for step, never once making a sound.
Dragon’s fire lit the peak that night, but Morlog led her on,
Finally reaching the scorched stones to find little more than bones.
Feeling his way into the cavern, they crept into the fearful dark
Battling the curdled anguish that weighed hard against their hearts.
All at once the passage opened high above a lake of fire.
And there they found the dragon, curled on a bed of glowing sand,
Gnarling on human limbs, ever assured of its great power.
Praying to his God, Morlog hurled himself off of the ledge,
Raising his mighty axe as that great beast lifted its head.
Landing on its snout, Morlog drove his blade into its left eye,
Only to lose his grip as the serpent screamed in rage.
With a crack of bone Morlog tumbled down its scaly neck,
The hot skin pulsing with an anger rarely ever so enflamed.
Spreading wide its wings the dragon reared to rend his flesh
Only to gag on the spear that now pierced its open maw.
For seeing naught but Morlog’s axe buried in that massive skull,
Tarn felt an abrupt loss she could not understand or ignore,
So she cast herself upon the beast, her tears flowing as she fell,
Catching the serpent unaware as it focused on the man.
Her blade pierced that black tongue to break against columns of fangs,
Shattering the wooden rod that held Tarn high above the sands.
And yet that proved enough, for in its shock and misery
The dragon collided with the rockside, driving Morlog’s axe through its brain.
Awakened by the fall, Morlog spat blood from lips,
And wrestled with fears of wounds echoing in his chest.
But all that faded when he spied Tarn against the sand,
Laying as one dead beneath the serpent’s foul wings.
Then he heard the beast gasp, and recalled his vital quest,
Yet it held for him no meaning with Tarn broken at his feet.
Only when she quivered in a spat of violent coughs
Did Morlog dare take his long knife and cut free the serpent’s last eye,
The one shining jewel that held the key to his fate.
Though cast into blindness, the serpent could not help but laugh,
Even as Morlog secured the orb from Tarn’s reviving gaze,
For with that loss, the fallen worm recognized Morlog’s dark quest,
And thus the beast took heart that death would not stay its revenge.
Aching in limbs and chest, Tarn rose to bind Morlog’s open wounds,
And search for signs of her sons, finding little to fuel her hope.
Falling at last to her knees, she prayed to God in her despair,
Rising to find open love declared in Morlog’s lingering eyes.
And so broken in sorrow, and yet lifted by grace,
The once shuttered lady came to him, binding her heart to his.
In their rest Tarn spied a path out of the dank cavern,
Returning them to a wilderness lifted by a new dawn.
There, among the ruins, they spied footsteps leading east,
Drifting down into the forest towards the land they both had fled.
Morlog clutched his bagged treasure, a promise of freedom down another path,
But found it held no weight against the resolve in Tarn’s stern eyes,
So the new lovers set off, in pursuit of their last hope,
Knowing death awaited them in the dreaded realm of Hath.
TO BE CONTINUED
-- Copyright November 2012, Kirby Lee Davis