Song Of Myself

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By Adagio D’Tranticus

A scant thirty-some years ago
Was when I came to life
My mother gave my life to me
Though she was no man's wife

A bastard born was I, you see
Of half-Romini blood
The other half’s I know not what
Save that it is not mud

A fortuneteller was my Mom
By day she said the sooths
She lived among the circusfolk
Her words always proved truths

But her duties did not end there
For nightly she was sold
By our cruel circusmaster to
Whomever had the gold

As I grew up, the adult men
Of this small carnival
Did treat me as their trueborn son
As I grew lean and tall

Brave Lorn the strongman taught me well
How to protect myself
I learned to sing and play the lute
From Floon the dancing elf

I worked under the beastmaster
Zinlarden was his name
He taught me well to train the bears
And make the wild things tame

And when the lads made fun of me
And mocked my purple hair
They ceased when I called my best mate
Named Knarl the Grizzly Bear

My mother taught me of Pelar
And of his woodland ways
And so I hunted, every night
Performing every day

My brother Nouvhig soon was born
From union with an elf
My new best friend, this half-elf lad
I loved him like myself

Before too long, the leadership
Of our performing troupe
Changed hands when the old master died
And Lorn soon lead the group

But quickly as this happy fate
Had changed our lives for good
Calamity struck hard and fast
As fate had deigned it would

A tribe of orcish bandits came
To see our show one night
Our entertainment they sought not,
They came to start a fight

And so they returned after dark
When most were in their beds
Nouvhig and I, gone out to hunt
Returned to find them dead

Our grief as you can well surmise
Was all-encompassing
They left not one of them alive
And torched near everything

So my young brother and myself
Both took the road and fled
Our hearts were filled with grief and woe
Vengeance swam in our heads

And so, our childhood ended, and
We both began to train
We set up camp in fair LeOr
And crafters we became

My brother practiced alchemy
While I learned to make blades
By night we trained at fighting
So we’d never be afraid

But within me, an evil grew
I tell you with chagrin
For on the face of all my prey
I saw an orcish grin

I named myself Orcslayer and
I slew and slew and slew
I fought for ten long seasons as
Within me hatred grew

I told myself my killing was
The blessing of Pelar
I hunted orcs and orcish kin
And slew them near and far

And soon that lasting friendship
Between Nouvhig and I
Was lost as we both parted ways
And soon we said goodbye

For who can keep a friendship based
On murderous revenge?
That day we parted I lost touch
With the last of my kin.

And so my hunt went on alone
And my great sorrow grew
I traveled with wild animals
Myself a wild one, too

One day my hunt had taken me
Within Mikona’s walls
Therein I learned my lesson
And learned it once and for all

I was ambushed by wererats who
Were hunting much like me
And though I beat them I was cursed
With their lycanthropy

I ran to find a cleric, but
Where I went, townsfolk screamed
My outside matched my insides
I became my darkest dreams

The city guard was chasing me
Like housecats chase the birds
I tried to scream for them to stop
But squeaks were all they heard

I left the city far behind
And hid within the woods
And there I lurked for days on end
As any wild thing would

But suddenly as it began
My torture finally ceased
A wandering adventurer
Stopped by to bring me peace

He handed me a bottle filled
With a restoring balm
It cured my dark curse instantly
My tortured mind was calmed

And what do you suppose I saw
Within my savior’s face?
I saw the small, dark shining eyes
That mark the orcish race

This kindly orc then taught me much
Of Brekon and his kin
He told me that not all of the orcs
Live only to spread sin.

I vowed that day never again
To look at race or creed
For all deserve the benefit
Of judgment by their deeds

That day at last I reclaimed that
Which those orcs took from me
For I have since reclaimed my roots
I’m now a bard, you see.

I now am whole, I live to bring
Great joy to one and all
I live to dance and play and sing
And answer Pelar’s call

I now hunt only in his name
And never vengeance seek
I cull the herds to help them grow
Not prey upon the weak

And now I leave you with these words
“Let not your sword be cursed
For hatred breeds but evil deeds
And never the reverse"

From The Complete Works of Adagio D'Tranticus, Vol. 2: Tales of Epic Proportions