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The Follies of Fools

The mermaid, Brettilia:

"But where is the moon? It should have risen by this time, yet I cannot descry it. Perhaps it is behind yonder cloud, aye? No, it has yet to rise, but I fear we will not gain any sight of it tonight; a black cloud is approaching nigh out of the west. It will soon block the entire vault of the heavens with it's blue-black bulk.
"Ah, but the air is wonderful and damp on the water tonight. I wager it will storm err the moonset. And look! It's a red-orange band over yonder treeline. How I love to watch the sun leave the sky. It's passing is often as spectacular as it is fortunate. See how the hills and forested valleys make a jagged edge to the right red stripe of sky.
"Already the city on yonder bank is beginning to light itself. Tis a vain attempt to drive off the darkness; every light only makes a new shadow. Yet those people count themselves safe in their mighty city. 'The Great Foalthor, City by the Falls'! Hah, this lake is mightier than any city, and tis closer to the Falls as well, if that counts towards anything.
"I suppose the Falls should bear some signifigance, although they are of little use to us. They do give forth a brilliant mist which sets those far off forests in perpetual fog.
"Yet my view of the land, even when shrouded in vapor, always serves to remind me of the unnaturalness of open, clear space. I am beginning to feel again a longing for our murky home. Come, let us descend once more..."

The gull, Aur Hki:

"There, I have espied the maiden and her kin once more. I wonder how they do continue on amongst the low waves forever more as they do. They are fascinated by the sky above, yet they cannot understand it. Tis a pity they cannot venture beyond the crest of the falls, for that is where sea and sky become one. Occasionally, an unfortunate fish is thrust out by the flowing water, into that mixture of spray and wind. On those times, I always attempt to be of service, and rescue it into my belly. But of course, the maids know nothing of that.
"I am surprised they did not linger longer. I see a storm approaching and the wind feels changed to bursting. I know how they delight in a tumultuous storm.
"And there is the city alight once more. I wish I could prey on the vermin within those walls, yet I dare not approach the land of men. I wonder why so many of them are venturing forth from their prized walls? I see now a long line of torch bearers and many other people besides, leaving their city by the shore-side road with many bridges along it. What business could they have being out on a night such as this? There will be no hunting by way of moonlight or even starlight this night. And even I would have great difficulties in the wind, rain, and thunder that is sure to come. Yes, I foresee that I will retire early this night..."

The torch bearer, Terrian Hooksmith:

"I wish I had my bow about me right now; I wager I could fetch one of those birds flying over yonder. One of them would make a tasty meal, it would. Yet the darkness is getting on. In this light, I'd be more like to lose all my good shafts than bring down any game.
"Really, I can't see why Master Gilthlorm would wish us to make a procession in this gloom. And on a storm'en night to boot. It's my guess there'll be little hope any of us will be getting home this night with a single dry stitch. Me, I just want to know how we're going to be return'en home at all once these torches get drenched. I bet the Master hadn't thought of that.
"Well, I reckon those heavy clouds will at least wait on us to get to the Falls before they loose on us. I haven't the slightest idea as to why the Master and his whole foam'in congregation are venturing there anyway. Yet as long as he keeps lining my pockets with coin, I'll carry my torch ee'n to the Land's End for him. I suppose I shouldn't complain how wet I get.
"Land's End indeed, only if the Master should ask me to go beyond, he had better be offer'en a better price!..."

The Gate Warden, Trom Fealter:

"Close those gates! And you there, don't forget the bolt. The King's order stands for tonight as it does every night. Especially tonight, what with those miserable rock-beaters and their crazed master out there. Just who does he imagine he is, flaunting about in that golden vest of his? It would suit well with me if he and the lot of 'em stayed out there forever.
"Serves 'em perfect to be out in the elements instead of loafing about inside the city. Either that or sulking up in their thilthy Brown Tower.
"By the foaming Falls, I hope they fall off the Land's End! Well, I'm off to supper now, and I won't be summoned back here for anything save the King's call. So you lads mark me well, I don't care if there be a host of soaked maids and young'ens outside screaming to be let in; the gates stay shut till sunrise and my orders!"

The Court Oracle, Sage Yithrel:

"...'and so to a solemn train of stone-bearers and their Mad Master, bedecked in coins of gold, will embark forth from Foalthor's door. Upon the Road of Bridges unto the Falls they will make way. He will lead them on the paths to death, away from the King and country whom they have renounced. In the storms to follow, the Tower of Brown shall fall at last and the echo of shattered stone will ring throughout the realm for ages hence.'
"Right, now attend to me, my apprentice. Take this scroll and get thee to the old eastern watch tower. If, by odd chance, you should espy Gilthlorm and his mob return in good health, then secret this away to my vaults immediately. If however you should hear that ill luck hath befallen them, then you are to bring me this scroll directly so that I may discover it before the court..."

The Master of the Brown Tower, Gilthlorm:

"Why?! Why have so many of the people turned away? I have tried to share my wisdom, the Stone Creed, with the entire kingdom and they all look towards me as if I am mad! Those who have gladly welcomed me in- now they are want to angrily shut their doors upon my face. They call me mad! When I have only the best of intentions...
Perhaps it is connected with the way I've changed the Order of the Coins. Of course, they see the changes in me and they fear! If only I could form a solid course of action to show them all...Tis no matter, I will think of one eventually...
I must meditate further, I'll need someplace quiet. I know, the basement will be-.. hmm? How did I become outside the city? W-why are all my people following behind...and where are we going?
...Methinks I should keep these concerns to myself, doubts would only sow dissension amongst my followers. I dare not appear infirm!"

The outward side of the Orchard Coin:

"Make ready, my kindred. The fool dost sense our plots are afoot. Yet the Hour of Reflections draws nigh. The storm clouds are gathering and the wilderness waits. The moon yet lurks above; it is watching and waiting as well. Ho, we are come close to the Falls. 'My brother, tell the fool Gilthlorm to begin The Song.' ...Soon, soon he will see the route to his purpose lost, and then he will be ours!"

The Master of the Brown Tower, Gilthlorm:

"Gilthlorm's People should begin The Song, now. They should form an orderly triple column behind their master. Torch bearers are to walk along side and provide the light. The Hour of Reflections draws nigh, and then we will be free."

The follower of Gilthlorm, Jherik Waifler:

"At last! Oh, harken to the deep bass resonance of the Cerkoal stones. Tis the ultimate melody when accompanied with the wordless chanting of our voices. There is nothing else worthy of attention 'sept The Song. The Cerkoal tell us of the Stone Creed and we reply with gratitude. That is The Song, when mens' and stones' voices become one. All harken to the telling of the Stone Creed:
  • The Stone stands impervious until it is worn away.
  • The Stone stands the same whether alone or within a field of boulders.
  • The Stone stands hard only until it meets with a thing harder.
  • The Stone stands aloof from both fear and pain, for it will not partake of either.
  • The Stone stands....

    ....I will stand as does the stone."

    The Woodsman, Ian Dridt:

    "Bil, be still! Keep to your cover. I do not wish any of yonder folk to catch sight of us. Yea, I should have taken you home to your mother when the storm clouds first appeared.
    Yea, those be strange folk indeed. Odd even for city folk. Oh, I know of the men who be hold'n those torches, black-hearted creatures of greed, the lot of 'em. Yet the others, they seem to be work'en oftly hard to keep them rocks a-droning out that offal dirge.
    Whatever they've come to the Falls for, I'll stake my bones it ain't for fishin'. One thing for sure, there be no way all those people are go'n to fit themselves on the Crest Rock at one time.
    But they're not even slowing up, those fools with the torches are going to run out of room all too fast!
    Bil, you run on home now and tell your mother of what we've seen. I'll not have you be watching this."

    The torch bearer, Terrian Hooksmith:

    "Ho there, give us a little space! This ledge better open up soon, there's precious little space to walk on...
    Master Gilthlorm! ah, could you tell your fellows to open ranks a bit?! The Falls edge be mighty close already.
    ...Woah, have a care, I just almost nearly fell! Master Gilthlorm? I've run out of road! ..Hey, have a care, there's no space here- Stay back I say! Hold back or I'll burn you, I wi--"

    The follower of Gilthlorm, Jherik Waifler:

    "A new voice! The thunderous Falls have joined with The Song! Everything appears new to me. Even the darkness seems more profound. This mist feels good upon my face, I wonder if the Cerkoal sing wit a different voice when they are wet? I hope the Master will allow us to tarry in this peaceful place..."

    The outward side of the Orchard Coin:

    "The time hath come at last! I feel the embracing mists of The Falls once more! Let us now loose the strings of foolish Gilthlorm's memory and see if he continues his folly..."

    The Woodsman, Ian Dridt:

    "By the Foaming Falls! Each and every one of those scoundrels hath plunged off! And many of those odd musicians as well. The fools, even the ones that fell lakeward side only sank like the rocks they continued to pummel. Not that swimming would have helped their plight much, not in that mighty current.
    I must get closer a bit, I can't make out anything else in this darkness..."

    The Master of the Brown Tower, Gilthlorm:

    "Finally, I see the answer to my dilemma! I hear it in The Song of The Falls. I have been selfish to take all the truth for myself while exposing the people only to ignorance! I should restore the balance of the Coins now, but... it has been a long time err I have changed the Order. Perhaps I should reverse them to the other extreme so as to rectify the evils I have let loose. Such would be sure to induce hope and goodness to all I meet...yet the personal discomfort could be great.
    Yes, I will restore the Coins to their proper order later. After I have put the people at ease once more, I'll give up my own peace for that of the peoples. Tis the only noble solution I possess..."

    The Master of the Brown Tower, Gilthlorm and the outward side of the Orchard Coin, in unison:

    "Yesh! The Hour of Reflections is at hand! Prepare, my kindred, for revolution. No more will we face a corroded world. Of course, our brothers will surely spread good-will throughout the land, yet we will hold our motivations dear.
    The Brown Tower, with it's ever resonating tiled halls, has stood for centuries as a symbol of the unity of good intentions initiated with a devious purpose.
    Yet now, the will of the Master hath failed, the Order of the Coins hath been polarized, ...and the Tower of Brown shall fall.
    So come oh yea people, take up thine drums of stone and thine Stone Creed and sing us a song of blindness and comfort, for there will be hard nights ahead err we find the wooded glade of shattered harmony. Come I say, and take up thine song, for the storm is upon us!"

    From the Book of Stone, author unknown:

    "...and the tower fell in a great chiming crash. The tiles that had never before ceased to echo The Song became likened to fine powder that expanded in a vast billowing cloud of dust...
    The once hated Master Gilthlorm, who had departed from Foalthor with an immense following returned to a forgiving city with only his staunchest and most devout people. The city dwellers wept and danced to greet him. Yet Gilthlorm was wrathful, and in a mad rage, he ordered that his tower should be torn down. He then led his people away south into the green wilderlands.
    Gilthlorm proclaimed that the stone blocks that had survived the demolition of the tower were sacred. Although the task was great indeed, the followers of the Stone Creed made certain that they carried off each last nugget of the Cerkoal stone.
    As the people bore their burden southward, Gilthlorm's fits of madness progressed dramatically. Ultimately, only several score miles from Foalthor's doorstep, Gilthlorm ended his own life in a great rage. He smote himself repeatedly with a long knife until each cord that had bound the coins of his vestment were severed.
    His people, who had grown to love him despite his wrathful disposition, took up stone against stone until all were shattered with a resounding commotion. Next, upon the remains of the man, they placed the remains of their beloved stones until they had raised a tomb of fitting stature for their master.
    The people of Gilthlorm departed in silence from their master's barrow..."

    (And that's the end of the story. - Iawen)
  • Tags: Non-Player Character, Monster Type
    Created by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 10-08-08 12:10 PM
    Last Modified by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 07-22-16 11:13 AM