It’s been unusually slow on the blogsphere today, so to provide you with a minor distraction, here’s is a tale I presented to my fellow members of the Bards Guild at The Gathering of 2002.
Worryingly, it is based on a true story (apart from the Goblins) that happened to me when I was around 20 years old.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you…
A Nocturnal Affair
During one of my more relaxed periods, I found myself in the company of a rag-tag, but thoroughly entertaining band of gypsies. It was their tradition never to see in darkness by their own campfire, so each evening as the sun was setting, we set out to find campfires to bring our warmth and laughter to.
On this particular night, we had encamped in a dense wood atop a low, wide hill. An area notoriously mined by a local goblin clan for its valuable ores and minerals.
I found myself at a foreign camp fire, a little worse for some of the local ‘shine and decided it would be prudent to make my cautious way back to my camp, before the worst of the shine took hold.
I set of resolutely into the night, my stout oak staff, soundly thumping the ground before me, testing the way for my uncertain feet through the dark and unfamiliar terrain.
After 30 minutes or so of accidental wandering in the vague direction of my camp, my heart leapt into my mouth as ahead of me, my staff – so resolutely, tap, tap, tapping through the undergrowth – struck nothing.
I waved the staff in front of me and surmised I had stumbled, almost to my certain doom, on an abandoned goblin mineshaft. Gathering my racing thoughts – I decided the best course of action would be to circle round the unseen gaping maw and continue my journey ahead.
Acting more cautiously, I gently tapped the ground to my right…
Panic rising, I spun to my left and encountered again, nothing but empty air.
Dread welled inside me as I slowly turned and tentatively tested the ground behind me.
My mind reeled and tried to make sense of my situation. The only rational proposal I could surmise was that some how, the ground in the area, already weak from the enterprising goblin activities, had fallen away – leaving me stranded atop some sort of isolated pinnacle of rock.
Resigned to my fate, I slumped to my knees and tried to make myself as comfortable as I could as I prepared to wait out the night.
It was a long, cold night. The forest was alive with whispers and far off fairy lights. I sat with my chin clutched to my knees with my trusty staff at my side prepared to face the very worst my nocturnal prison could deliver.
I awoke with a start, with the first sun kissed rays of morning breaking through the treetops to illuminate my predicament.
There before me, to my mounting horror and disbelief, I discovered that the end of my staff had broken off and lay not 2 feet from my side.
The moral of the story is a simple but worthy one…
One cannot get the staff these days.