A Very Special Quest

by Bumble the Bard

One evening in my cabin, I was lying in my bed,
And a ghostly apparition came and spoke inside my head.
It cried, "You'll never slumber - in your bed or on the ground,
Until the source and origin of evil you have found."

At first I took no notice of the vision I had seen.
I rubbed my eyes and pinched myself, and thought it was a dream.
But when I found I couldn't sleep, I knew it was a test,
And I realised I'd been chosen for a very special quest.

I journeyed south to Destard, to a dragon that I knew,
I found him by a large black cauldron, cooking ogre stew.
He asked me if I'd like to share his supper - I demurred,
And told him truthfully that fish and poultry I preferred.

He said, "I wish I had a man to put into this pot,
They're nice and soft and crunchy, and they really hit the spot."
I looked at him and blanched, I thought that this must be the end,
But he laughed and said, "Don't worry, I would never eat a friend."

When he'd finished eating, we shared a pot of tea.
I said I sought the source of evil, whatever it might be.
"Evil's not a thing," he said, "like a castle or a tower,
It's a transdimensional Being of unsurpassed infernal power."

I said I need to meet him: the dragon looked with dread.
He said, "You must put that idea right out of your head.
For to meet him is pure horror, and to see him is to die.
It's happened to many creatures much more strong than you or I."

I said I was determined, for I was on a quest.
He shook his head and said to me, "You'll perish like the rest.
If you are truly resolute, to Hythloth you must go,
To the balron called The Slayer, in the caverns deep below."

I travelled east to Trinsic, and I hired a waiting ship,
For sixty five gold pieces for a single one-way trip.
I sailed for Fire Isle, and I landed on the shore,
Then disembarked and headed east towards the dungeon door.

I pushed the door wide open, and I started my descent,
I battled many serpents, slimes and gargoyles as I went.
I also slew some hell-hounds: those servants of the devil,
'Til finally I found my way to the dreaded bottom level.

The Slayer stood there waiting, and he fixed me with a stare,
His breath it reeked of sulphur, and I wished I was elsewhere.
Suddenly he spoke to me - he seemed to know my name;
"Bumble," he intoned, "Kindly tell me why you came."

I told him of my quest and of the Being that I sought;
And he laughed a hideous laugh and then he gave a horrid snort.
"Certainly," he answered, "I can forward you to him."
Then he cast a crimson moongate, and I felt myself sucked in.

I tumbled through the ether and emerged the other side,
To find myself in darkness near a fissure ten feet wide.
The fissure boiled with lava and it curved around a throne,
Where sat the evil being, with a spell book, all alone.

"Greetings," said the monster, in a mocking tone of voice,
"Were you sent here as a punishment, or did you come by choice?"
I told him of my journey, but my quest I kept concealed,
Then I said I wouldn't leave, until his name he had revealed.

"I live on numerous worlds," he said, "and go by many names.
But on every sphere my object and desire remains the same.
I lust for total power, and I'm bent on full control,
And I never suffer anything to deflect me from my goal."

"On some worlds I'm Beelzebub, on some the Prince of Hell,
I'm also called Mephisto and Asmodeus as well.
On your world I'm the Guardian: a harmless sounding word,
There's even one where I am known as William Gates the Third."

"And now that I have told you of the names by which I'm known,
Prepare to be transmuted to a pile of ash and bone.
For none may leave this chamber, once they've looked upon my face,
Lest they should travel home to warn the others of their race."

I fumbled for my runestone, and attempted to Recall,
But he hit me with a Flamestrike, and its power made me fall.
I dropped the rune and watched it roll towards the fissure's edge,
But luckily it stopped and came to rest upon a ledge.

I gulped a healing potion and I leapt towards my rune,
For it held my only exit, and I couldn't leave too soon.
The devil monster cast 'Corp Por', and an E-bolt struck my head,
And I knew I had but seconds, or else I would be dead.

I saw him start to cast again: I acted with great haste,
And slipped my belt of spell reflection quickly round my waist.
The trick was nicely judged for he was casting Paralyse,
And the spell reflected back and hit him right between the eyes.

I quickly grabbed my runestone and I shouted, "Kal Ort Por,"
And all at once I found myself in Serpent's Hold once more.
I watched the people passing, and I cherished every sound,
Then I blessed the sun and skies above and knelt to kiss the ground.

My mission was completed, and I rested for a week,
But the image of that devil seemed to haunt me in my sleep.
And so I wrote this story, and I rendered it in rhyme,
So that all worlds might take notice, and oppose him while there's time.

The End

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Copyright (C) 1999 Philip Colby.