THE MYTHICAL MYSTICAL TALES AND ADVENTURES
TALBOT T.YARNSPINNER III
DONALD HARRY ROBERTS
Donald Harry Roberts on Shakespir
The Mythical Mystical Tales and Adventures of Talbot T. Yarnspinner III
Copyright 2016 by Donald Harry Roberts
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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.
TO FIND THE GATE THAT OPENS TO
THE KINGDOM AT THE END OF THE WORLD
ONE SIMPLY NEEDS TO BE IN
THE RIGHT PLACE AT
THE RIGHT TIME AND
THE RIGHT FRAME OF MIND
TWAS A RAINY NIGHT IN NOVEMBER
Are you capable…or not…of believing that a man can travel afar…so far in fact that he ventures into the world of fancifality and mythoutlandishness. Well…maybe you could believe if you had even a smidgen of imaginationing…which I do with plenty to spare…so I shall share.
I Talbot T. Yarnspinner…the third am one that not only believes but has often drifted into these mythical, magical, mystical realms of pure fancy and frolic…like the adventure I had when once upon a long walk among the meadows and plains and mountains of the world where simply every imaginable folkish thing that could happen did and so here…with hand on heart…swearing this to be true…I tell my the tale of Talbot in Folkloria. I of course being the main and most auspicious hero of the tale for without me it was a certainty that Folkloria would have fallen to the darkest of darkest evils ever to be-shadow a kingdom…or in this case a Queendom.
It was mid-November and rather mild and a steady rain was teaming through a light mist….and…the neon lights of the city and the traffic lights were reflecting off the wet pavement of the quiet, nearly abandoned intersections. But most of all I spied fogging spirits rising from the covers of the storm drains. My what a sight it was to see and one that I knew that would whisper me off to some enchanted land…for it was nights just like this that tales and yarns happen as I am about to spin…Hence my name Yarnspinner, as my father and grandfather before me.
Indeed I was walking …listening to the rain dance upon my umbrella…a delightful melody of nature don’t you know. And the rhythm was perfect for a slow thoughtful stroll…which I was enjoying immensely but as I approached the intersection called the four banks and stepped into the meshing colours of the neon and traffic lights I sensed and knew I was about to be swept away….to where….I had to wait and see…and as I approached midway of the intersection where the mist rose from the manhole the colours began to swirl about me and the whispering of a far of wind toyed about in my ears…like a tune or a chant…it was always hard to tell which….
I had no fear….never do…never did…never will…but I was agitated with excitement and anticipation because I knew I was being whispered off somewhere mystical and probably magical….I could hardly wait to discover and set upon a new adventure.
There was a feeling of rising and sweeping this way and that, curling with the multi-coloured swirl that spoke wistful of dust devils…this of course…yes now I have a name to describe it…this being a Mist Devil.
And how delightful and whimsical a feeling it is and I have often wondered if this is how Alice or Wendy or Dorothy or anyone else who has been whispered away into such marvellous and wonderful worlds beyond the one so nonchalantly referred to as reality and normal.
Time in a Mist Devil is not something one can measure…and the same can be said for distance. There is a sense of movement or should I call it motion though as the swirls of the Mist Devil turnabout. Then…it seems as quick as a blink between being swept up and delivered I was set upon a road….a marvellous red and cobblestone road lined with magnificent bushes of Lilac and wild roses and Queen Anne’s Lace all swaying delightfully in a gentle…singing breeze…yes singing I said for there was upon its motion a tune…a soft and melodious thing that could almost have been called a lullaby in notion…but nary a word to be heard.
I followed the road to the crest of a valley. It was like viewing a living map. Below I could see the roads and villages, a river with several streams creating from it ….and wide spreads of patchwork farms, grazing meadows and in the very centre of the valley a magnificent marble castle with jewelled window frames and roof tops made of silver, bronze gold and copper…and upon the rooves I could see workers polishing the precious metals to a brilliant lustre.
I think seldom…if ever in my voyages and journeys through the Mist Devils have I seen such a majestic sight but then as I settled my gaze at the most distant reach of the valley I spied two mountains both crown in flame. A third, smaller crest stood between them…itself crested in a black fortress that oozed of evil and circling the three mountains were two dragons with wings as black as the blackest coal and breasts coated in rubies ..with a tail back and head of crimson red and its fiery breath a mix of orange, blue yellow and red. Never have I seen ones as fierce looking as these. I was not surprized at what I saw before me because ever when I am caught in a Mist Devil the purpose is always for me to rise as a valiant hero.
The sign a little to my right read WELCOME TO FOLKLORIA.
“And what do the powers that be have in mind for me on this day.” I whispered…anticipating no immediate answer. I would learn soon enough, probably whenst I paid a visit to the very first village on the road toward the evilish fortress.
So I began my descent into the valley and into another adventure. It was at mid-way to the valley floor that I was greeted by a resident of Folkloria…a shepherd of sorts or should I say a shepherd’s helper…that being a rather large canine with fur hanging loosely down over its eyes and a coat like a woolly mammoth…though its size was half my height.
When it was right upon me I greeted. “Greetings kindly sheep dog …and where might your master be?”
“He is out and about yonder way gathering in the strays.” Answered the dog in a very British way.
“Indeed…and what would your job be?” I inquired.
“To look upon strangers and if need be eat them should I feel they are a threat!” Replied the dog.
“Well…..I see.” Said I then responded duly. “I am no threat to you, your master or your sheep but I am here to pose a threat to something or someone. I am come from the Mist Devil…if that will sway your choice of how to deal with me.”
The dog…by instinct affected a play bow and grinned….as only a dog can. He said in a soft easy growl. “You have come to set upon a quest to save Folkloria from the threat of Beelz the Necromancer and his fell pets the Dragon Sisters born out of the lavas of the under-earth.”
“Thank you Master Sheep Dog for alluding to the purpose for which I was summonsed here.” I replied then bowed slightly and made my way onward upon the cobblestone road. The canine stepped aside and let me pass without any further interception…and I heard follow me… “Thank You Master of The Mist Devil…”
I’d never thought of having been assigned a title but as the Dogs words caressed my ego and imagination they brought a cheery curve to my lips and added a skip to my step….even though I knew I was striding into certain danger that could very easily transform into gloom.
My heavy engineer’s boots thumped and the brass tip of my walking stick clicked…both quite rapidly…as I sojourned along the cobblestone road quickly enabling my entrance to the first village in my way. Its name was Folkloria Gate….”a fitting name.” I considered.
Like all such places the first business establishment I came upon was an inn called The Gatehouse….and I went in to find what I knew must be there because the Mist Devil only brought me places who were in need of a helping hand…or more accurately put….a helping hero…which would be me…myself.
On the wall at the back of the common room….where it seems always to be was the familiar poster with the headliner. “WANTED…COURAGEOUS INDIVIDUAL TO FIGHT EVIL!!!
FOR MORE DETAILS CONTACT HIS MAJESTY KING ELRAD>>>BELOVED MONARCH OF FOLKLORIA…..He Resides at the Palace at King Crossing.
I quickly went about town collecting the tools I would need….heroes tools….a sword and helm…buckler (because shields are too big and cumbersome and a small hand held cross bow for small emergencies. Of course I had my walking stick which was the focus of my magical abilities I was afforded in these places of the Mist Devil.
It was nigh on sun-set when I had collected all the tools I required when I went to the stable to hire a pony…a paint….which is my preference on quests such as a hero might take. In the stable I found a bed pallet laid out with a short note with my name on it.
Dear Hero…Rest this night…in the morning you shall be wakened and fed before you begin your task. DO NOT TRAVEL BY NIGHT!!!
It was signed…The Stable Boy.
I took his advice and rested for the night and as promised all was done with the first glimmer of dawn. It was also in the happening that the stable boy was joining me on the journey…which I was not permitted to refuse even though I felt a certain foreboding to the arrangement.
We set out as the sun crested the horizon promising a brilliant and warm day…..a promise it kept for a time. Yet far down the valley I could see a storm gathering over the three mountains and the dark fortress….and deep in my thoughts I sensed…. “Come you to challenge me should you dare…but none of your likes will rise victorious for I am the greatest power in all Folkloria.. I offer no mercy to unwelcomed heroes.”
Such boasts in these fantastic realms and in the world of mundane reality I have heard a-many…and seldom are the boasters come bullies able to stand before their claim….They all have weak hearts when confronted face to face without their minions to stand in guard to block the challenges presented them. Still….I have grown wise enough not to underestimate the power of the Bully…for that is the main-stay of Bullyishness to present unshakable evil.
It took the entire day to make the distance to the Palace and the great gates were shut and locked with the setting sun so I took refuge at the local livery….a pile of straw and a wool blanket from my kit.
I took a meal at a local pub and must say…indulged in an ale and a puff of Folkloria Tabac inhale from a vessel that resembles a boiled egg holder…lit by a long match for each inhale. It was a sweet enjoyable and…mildly intoxicating experience and allowed me to sleep soundly.
The next morning I entered the palace grounds and was met almost immediately by a page and a gent who seemed at sight to be a knight. They guided me into the palace proper and directly to the throne room. And there…set upon her throne was a Queen…..A Queen of such beauty it nearly brought tears of joy to my eyes…but….I held them back so as not to appear weak or worse….too familiar.
I bowed…deeply and as I stood straight again I introduced myself…Talbot T. Yarnspinner the third at your service….and it seems you are in need of a hero’s service.
“You consider yourself a hero…above all my soldiers and Knights!” The Queen challenged.
“No your majesty. My deeds attest to my heroism. I merely present the fact.” I answered.
“An arrogant hero I should describe in the histories of Folkloria.” Replied the Queen with a sly grin.
“However and….whatever….I am here to render assistance in the felling of the dark evil that has you on guard and will I think…defeat you when it decides to lay siege on your Queendom.” I prospered forward.
“Your words ring true…but I must give you fair warning…none of my heroes have succeeded in a quest to rid the land of these days of horror…beasts and creatures…some without name. Not only that…none … have ever returned….I assume for reasons of a deadly nature.” The Queen advanced our audience with fair ken of the circumstance.
I smiled….”Sometimes the hero’s approach must be akin to the darkness’s advance. Meaning…one can be clever as well as brave and sometimes the paper is more fitting than the rock. But in saying that None is capable of such feats alone and I must ask your knights and soldiers to do their part….though they may do little but crowd the fortress with threats. They must however do so in a way that creates a distraction to keep your enemy’s attention forward….including those fiery dragons….and that may prove costly.”
“You wish us to besiege the fortress.” Replied the Queen.
“Precisely…until you see the master fortress give show of himself in defeat or death. I will prosecute the rest of the deed.” I answered.
Little more need be said about the function of the Queen and her army save that they did as I commanded even though it was at some cost….but not in the form of disaster….
What needs to be spoken of is my part of course but the part of my companion…the stable boy afore mentioned…..for he was indeed my equal in the realm of heroes and I may well have failed were it not for his participation and final….timely intervention.
And this is the course of things over the next three days.
The Queen’s army gathered at the plains at dawn of the first day before the gates of the dark fortress and offered such threats of invasion as they could as well as launching a catapult siege…mostly massive flaming oiled wooden balls….which certainly got the attention of the Beelz and his minions and of course the twin dragons sisters.
With Efram at my side I worked my way about the fortress walls searching the stones for an adit that would let me in. I tap upon the wall hither and there with the crown of my walking stick for it would convey any difference in the wall that might exist. Then realizing what I was doing Efram said in a voice barely above a whisper…. “If you are looking for a doorway I know of one that cannot be seen or felt. I know where it is only because one day I came spying here out of curiosity and saw Beelz himself gain entry that way and that he whispered words to open it….words I etched into my memory for reasons I did not know then but understand now.”
“Lead on my friend!” I replied excitedly then inquired. “What were his words?”
“I do not know what they mean for it is a language I do not know…Beelz said… gwirodydd agor y drws hwn….just the way I have said it.
“I smiled and a certain knowing came to mind….I understood what the words were and what they meant but that was not the knowing. “Beelz you old fool. We have met before…and not just once….and it seems you are mine and the nemesis of many. Is I whom follows you or you that taunts me. No matter I suppose. Let us then do battle again.”
But as I have already alluded…Twas not I who dealt the final blow and….dare I meant a cliché’…saved the day and the Queendom.
Efram guided me to the adit and I in a clearly spoken way because I knew the language well….spoke the words… gwirodydd agor y drws hwn and low and behold an opening cracked in the stone wall and the heavy door opened easily and silently on thick brass hinged.
Beyond stretched a corridor walled and floored in brick and mortar…with glimmering crystal lights all of a magical nature…a magic within themselves and I saw that within the crystals were trapped the tiniest of creatures…light fairies. As I passed them by I set them free with a touch of my walking stick and they fluttered about Efram and I in delight and freely lighted our way ahead.
The Fays also served as our guides through the corridor and mazes of the fortress dungeons and along the way we set free many a prisoner….alleys by choice if the need came. The remained quiet and hidden at the exits of the dungeons that opened to the open floors above ascended by long steep stair cases of rough gray stone.
Climb we did Efram and I realizing that the dungeons were carved into the base of the middle mountain while the fortress itself rested upon its summit and reaching from there upward another thousand feet. It was a long and laborious journey that left us weary at the foyer entering the fortress.
But that as you may well guess was the least treacherous of our quest for now….upon entering the main structure of the fortress we had soldiers and beasts to contend with.
I called a brief halt to rest and as we sat there we could hear a great battle occurring outside….a battle that drew all of the enemy’s attention and caused me not to rest but a moment for I could her the wail of death grinding upon the air.
Finally we emerged from the stairwell into the main floor of the fortress…and we moved on in stealth keeping to the shadows and the cover of mega-columns rising a hundred feet from floor to dark ceiling lousy…I could hear…with bats….and knowing my enemy has I have come to they would be vampircal in nature.
I drew my sword with my right hand and brandished my walking stick in the left until a ball of flame grew on the crown. My companion…Efram produced a bow….it seemed from thin air….and at that moment I realized he was much more than a simple stable boy. For the first time I saw the silver fire in his eyes.
I said nothing because there was nothing to be said. What was….was….and I was glad of it….and more glad of it a half day later…..
We fought the bats together…neither garnering a wound…until the bats abated and fled… the few that were left.
The next choice I made fell flat and almost cost the end of Folkloria and would have if not for Efram.
I decided to climb up….rise above the battle raging outside with hope of catching Beelz and the twin dragon sisters off guard….which I say gladly we did…however I had underestimated the Necromancer’s cleverness…for he recognized the weakness in his defense.
It was as we advanced up to the fifth level of the central tower that I realized something had gone amiss. I could hear the clatter of armour below and above….and understood that the bats that had escaped our siege had carried a message throughout the fortress and gave warning of our approach. In that moment a darkness fell upon my heart for I felt my mistake gathering about me. It was at that time that I noticed Efram had gone off….and sadly thought that his heart and determination had faltered….a state I completely understood….for all the good it would do him when Folkloria fell under the rule of Beelz.
They came at me in the greatest violence I had ever encountered. Beasts wrought from the depths of hell clad in black armour and swords already stained from tip to hilt with blood. I suppose at that moment I should have filled with fear….but instead….an anger as I had never known before raged in my heart and when my enemy crowed up and down on me I lashed out with the same demonic explosion my attackers displayed.
And stuck there fighting for my life but worried my place as the saving hero in this land was falling to ashes…and fight as I might death…my death was certain….when my strength failed against too many foe.
I wielded my sword with a vengeance as long as I could, procuring only small wounds myself but enough of them to draw streams of blood. Then when my arms weakened I raised my walking stick…delivering flashes of searing flame, felling my enemy above and below…three….four…..and five at a time….but no matter how many I slayed they just kept coming….and the energy I needed in my body to create the flame began to dwindle until I had barely enough to raise a laughable spark.
And so they…my foe…began pressing down on me and my life was but a slashing sword blade from being ended when a cry from above and below startled my slayer and he himself fell headless to the steps below and another tumbling past me…And there chopping a swatch through the enemy was a band of elves led by Efram himself…..
Glorious was that moment for a dozen reasons but mostly there came rekindled the hope of defeating Beelz and his dragon sisters.
Efram afforded me a blue nectar from a crystal vile and the strength and energy in me that had waned to weakness was refurbished and I rose to my full height and power and began my ascent and assault upon the tower until I had reached its summit…fighting with the elves for ever step we gain….but at last we stood upon the summit looking down at Beelz and his minions…of course not forgetting that the fellish…winged sister beasts could swoop down on us from above when they spied us and gathered our intention….which occurred within a moment of our appearance on the summit of the fortress…..and of the ensuing battle I will tell but first I wish to tell what my eyes beheld….what made all that I was doing worthwhile and wondering why anyone wished to render the beauty sundered.
Imagine if you will a green…meadows wide that glimmered like emeralds and wave gently to and fro like a great moving sea of rich grasses. The envision if you can a river the colour of sapphire mixed with the golden gleam of the sun all wrapped up in warm alluring …soft mists and shadows….And finally picture in your mind’s eye a grand palace with onyx walls and rooves of silver and gold rising out of the very depths of the valley upon an island carved by the river….And on each side of the river the most picturesque of all quaint English countryside villages you have seen…imagined or have had described to you….
All this I saw stretching beyond the wretchedness of war and death grinding horribly below.
Then I heard the roar of the twin dragon sisters and my brief encounter with beauty was pushed out of my mind and I recaptured the essence of the moment offering out a battle cry the started the dragons and even Beelz below…who looked up at me in the greatest surprise but the greatest hatred as well.
Though we were at a great distance from one another our gaze locked and for a moment were conversed in our thoughts.
“You are a boil on my ass Talbot T. Yarnspinner the third!”
“Good…maybe someday you will realize I will…the spirits will never allow you to run rampant wielding your evil unchecked.” I replied with an overture of humour rising from the spirit world.
“You will not sunder me this time Mr. Arrogant Hero. I have summoned a power greater than any Folkloria can with stand. I will reign supreme here and take the Queen as my betrothed.”
I then saw in his mind the Queen of Folkloria chained to the gates of the fortress with both dragon sisters guarding her and ready to burn her being into ashy oblivion.
I broke the connection and leapt from the height of the fortress tower….not upon the dragons but descending on Beelz himself….only upon his death would Folkloria be set free from his evil intent.
And with my walking stick I created a wing of light that spade out as a hang-glider would and swept me toward my foe…my target and maybe….if all went awry…..my death.
I woke with the scent of burning flesh and wood…perfume and sweet grass…hickory…cinnamon
…sweat. Leather and almost every aroma I had ever encountered in my life….. “Indeed….I must be dead.” I thought. And all the smells were accompanied by a deep….deep silence and a darkness I had never witnessed…But it all lasted for a blink…breath…and a chuckle….for as I was about to accept my lot I opened my eyes to meet my fate and there stood the Queen…and Efram…both smiling a smile that stretched their lips to the limit of a stretch….and when I said…”What?” they broke out in the most gleeful of laughters.
“Yes…he lives and his head is none the less abrazed….Tis the strangest of ways to use one’s head I have ever witnessed…Talbot.T. Yarnspinner the third and I dare say Beelz was most utterly and horrifically dismayed.” Shouted Efram.
“We are victorious!” I replied with what little excited energy I could muster.
“You…in the very end of it all are the victor for you with your cleverness cast Beelz the necromancer and his horde out of Folkloria with no chance of ever returning.” Answered the Queen
“Tell me how I accomplished this feat for I do not remember anything after leaping from the fortress summit. And gliding down in assault upon Beelz.”
“We will reveal your victory but first you must have a good long rest so that head of yours can heal.” Advised Efram…Then he offered me an elixir of an orange colour which rendered me asleep even as it passed my lips.
I suppose I should have been delighted but something….a shadow swirled in my mind. Yes I had sent Beelz out of Folkloria but I had not slain him….With absolute certainty he would rise again in some other realm in the Kingdom beyond the end of the world.
But what is…is and I was ready for another encounter with him when it came.
I stared at the window…at my reflection admiring the bandage of victory wrapped firmly about my head and found amusement as the others had experienced. The sounds of familiarity rushed into my thoughts…sounds and scents ever so common of places where I spend my waning years but before I allowed the reality of Normal to invade I went again over in my mind the moment I dispelled the Grasp of Beelz on Folkloria as told me by Efram and the Queen, sharing the story equally.
“There you were….one moment gliding down upon Beelz then of a saddened your light wing vanished….I assumed because you disengaged your Walking stick.”
“With a bone breaking force you crashed down on the necromancer. It should have reduced him to a crumpled thing on the ground but he rose more resilient than we guessed.”
“You struggled with him for a long time…rolling on the hard stone…back and forth….up and down tumble and tussle. It really was quite the sight to see.”
“But eventually you broke apart both finding your feet and standing en-garde… you with your walking stick and your enemy with his staff.”
“You fought fire on fire…spell on spell…sword on sword and fist on fist for a quarter of an hour…neither giving ground.”
“Then…in the midst of a grapple with Beelz winning the moment you stepped back quickly allowing him to rush forward and as he came utterly too close you smashed your forehead into his face splaying his nose wide across his cheeks and causing such a gush of blood as to spread a yard in every direction. The…you did it a second time and finally bonked him on the top of his head with a ball of hard fire.”
“And with that Beelz was gone….vanished and vanquished without a trace.”
“And we cheered until we saw you unconscious on the stones …blood dripping from your ears and eyes, nose and mouth and we feared your victory…our freedom was all gotten at the cost of your life.”
“You laid upon your bed for days…unconscious. We forced water and elixir past your lips but there never seemed to be any change…then….you woke and the rest you have memory of.”
Said I when they had rendered the tale of my victory. “Indeed I may well have banished the Evil from this realm my friends…but it is not vanquished. Still….I think you will be safe now and for ever after….and that is all that matters and that is why I was brought here.”
With those final words I was taken up in the swirl of a Mist Devil and returned to the rainy November night in Normal…mid-way across an intersection…soaking in the rain where two ladies accosted me and returned me to Willow On Meadows Retirement home. There was a gash in my forehead for which I could not account….at least in any way my captors could understand.
I sat at my table in the lounge…a small table I had brought with me…with only one chair.….a table with a view out a big picture window overlooking the meadow like garden of the homes grounds. Beautiful and still green…even in mid-November….with a brilliant golden sun blazing against an assure sky.
My reflection faded and for a moment I could see the faces of the Queen and Efram…both were smiling and there lingered on their lips a silence THANK YOU…TALBOT T.YARNSPINNER the third.
I smiled back then contemplated my next excursion to the Kingdom at the end of the world…hoping maybe….this time it would be more of an escape than a task for a hero.
Are you capable…or not…of believing that a man can travel afar…so far in fact that he ventures into the world of fancifality and mythoutlandishness. Well…maybe you could believe if you had even a smidgen of imaginationing…which I do with plenty to spare…so I shall share.