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Tales of the Blind Bard "Sam'uel" - The First Riddles
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A Scene in the Life of our Court Dummling

Part "1"

Sam’uel sat in the midst of a crowded tavern, watching as a harried serving wench was upbraided yet again for jostling one of the patrons who was well into his cups. “Come here lass and let me teach you as your father should have done,” he yelled, as the tavern sank into silence. People looked down, partly in shame and partly out of fear as the speaker was a bear of a man, with a known temper to match. The tavern keeper stayed behind the safety of his kegs, wringing his hands nervously at the thought of his tables and chairs damaged beyond repair. The girl herself looked around frantically, with tears in her eyes, waiting for someone to come to her aid. She was young, barely 15 and was responsible for the care of her 4 surviving siblings. What would the brute do to her?

“Come here, I said,” the man yelled again, his fist clenched.

A staff tapped him on the shoulder. “That would not be advised my friend,” came a soft voice.

The brute turned around, his fist ready to pummel the owner of the voice. His fist unclenched when he saw it was the blind bard. A beaten wench might be beneath the notice of the city guard, but Sam’uel was known by all and loved by many.

“What’s it to you, old man?” he demanded. “She is nothing—no one. She is not even of our tribe.”

“That matters not,” Sam’uel said as he manoeuvred his way to his favourite stool, motioning the girl over to his side. “Listen to the story I have to tell…..

“A story. What do I want to hear a story for?” The man scoffed.” I demand justice.”

“Very well, listen to the story and answer the riddle at the end. If your need for justice is unabated, then you may have your blood—but wrung out of my flesh, not this girl’s.”

The man looked as if he would argue, but something in the bard’s demeanour stopped him. Grudgingly, he sat down and listened.

The hubbub and frenzy reached epic proportions, as the preparations for the Celebration of a Royal Birth was firmly underway. From the cellars, stables and butchery to the kitchen, Grand Hall and the staircase, there was not a single moment of peace, no space to catch one’s breath, no room to sit down.

Shouts bounced over the heads of the servants and guards, waves of sound reaching out and waiting earnestly for the responses, however faint. The entire palace had until nightfall to have the feast prepared, the VIP guests ensconced in their suites with their garments laid out. The torches must be lit, the musicians lined up on their balcony, the silver and gold polished and the table laid.

With all of this hubbub, there was but one pocket of calm and quiet, a solitary figure who seemed to be surrounded by a bubble of air which no one could penetrate. Look, -look at him, the whippet thin fellow with ears that stick straight out, a shock of nearly- garnet hair on his head that no amount of pomade will tame. He is clad in the oddest of raiment: a medley of clothing from different sources: strands of ruby cotton, orange silks, blue and purple flax, all comprised into a garment that could best be described as a ‘tunic’ in dire need of a needle. Flaxen pants the colour of oatmeal protected his shins from the elements, though his scrawny ankles bore the signs of more than one unfortunate knocks. Indeed, his whole body seemed to be decorated with bruises, which is why he is currently ignored. For when he first joined the service of the King, the palace minister soon found to his cost that whatever Dummling held, he more often than not dropped. Whatever he bruised himself with, usually also similar violence was inflicted on the object that had harmed him and after the third soup tureen had been upended at the top of the stairs, the silver so bent out of shape it had to be reformed, the wise minister forbade Dummling from ever ‘helping’ with the cleaning, cooking, polishing---anything.

The humble servant sits in an alcove, watching the bustle around him, and yet removed from it. His eyes are closed, his lips moving. He is chanting, though so softly there is none to hear it. This is a song he has known his whole life—the song of his father, which he had heard only once and had never forgotten. The singer of that song promised that Dummling would see him once more and Dummling has often wondered when that day would be. For the day he meets that man, is the day he breathes his last.

A hand touches him softly on his shoulder. Startled, he opens his eyes, his clasped hand dropping the pin he’d been holding. The hand that startled him bends over to retrieve the pin, halting momentarily as its owner realises what it is: a miniature of a Sword of virtue.

“Your father’s?” King Usifan asks gently.

Dummling nods and begins scratching his head in that one spot where, years before, he had been hit with a wooden sword during practice. Two weeks later he had woken up to find his world had changed. The wound had long closed, but he still scratched and rubbed that spot whenever he grew nervous, scared, or was trying to remember something. “Come Dummling,” the King said. “My new son has need of you. He is fretful and will not be calmed—not even to eat. You are the only one I know who can sooth him with one of your songs.” “Then I am, as ever, your loyal servant. I only wish I could be of more value.” “Dummling, never think or say that and that is an order from your King. You have used your talents to the best of your ability. Just as you might not be able to wield a sword, neither can my personal guards hold my screaming son and lull him to sleep with merely a song or a story. No one can make my wife laugh when she is over-fatigued, or diffuse a politically dangerous situation. That is why you will always have a seat at my High Table.”

As they passed from one floor to another, the Palace minister, chef, House Mistress, Chambermaids and guards all shook their heads, with the most daring of them sneering behind the blundering fool’s back. No one could understand the King’s mind on this and no one had the courage to seek an answer, contenting themselves with the thought they were better than him.

“And so,” Sam’uel said to the rapt audience, who stared at him through their bleary eyes like naughty schoolchildren. “What is it that King Usifan knew about the nature of us mortals that our dear friend the belligerent bear forgot?”

The serving girl hesitantly said, “That it doesn’t matter who we are, where we are from, or what our faults are. What matters is that we do our best with what we have?”

“Yes, my dear. But now, who can answer this riddle?

What has an eye but cannot see?”

If you think very hard, you will find that I’ve given you the answer during the story.”

End of Part "1"


Duke Usifan Banner

2/2/2019 4:45:46 PM #1
+2

Part "2"

A voice at the back of the tavern said, “I think I know, it's a needle”

“And who are you, my new friend?” Sam’uel asked.

“I am Crow.”

Someone else interrupted, “No, that cannot be it. Surely it is something else—you perhaps, Sam’uel?”

“Me. I don’t have a single eye,” the bard said with a chuckle.

“And yet you seem to see just fine when needed,” said another as those in the tavern began to debate amongst themselves what the answer should be.

Sam’uel drank his ale in silence, glad for the chance to rest his voice. The girl had stopped breathing frantically and seemed calmer now. Sam’uel knew he would have to have a word with the tavern owner about taking better care of his staff and perhaps hiring a competent guard. Luckily for the tavern owner, Sam’uel knew just the man. Discreet, strong and righteous, he would be able to keep an eye out for this child as well.

Eventually the debate wound down and all turned to Sam’uel once more. He said, “Crow was correct. This is what King Usifan knows and what he would want all of us to remember. He would want all of us to treat everyone we meet the way he treated Dummling.”

The crowd began to disperse as the bell of the night watchman rang the twelfth hour. The tavern grew silent, the fire grew dim. Only the tavern keeper, the serving girls and Sam’uel remained, until there was no one left but the girl and the blind bard.

“Yes, my child?” Sam’uel asked.

“I was just wondering…..was Dummling of the same tribe as the King?”

“Have you travelled far my child?”

“Very far sir. Many have been kind, but others…..”

“People fear what they deem different. I wish it was otherwise. But yes, Dummling too had to leave his home and travel far. He was, in fact, a Neran.

The end.


Duke Usifan Banner

2/2/2019 4:45:57 PM #2
+1

Reserve


Duke Usifan Banner

2/4/2019 10:19:53 PM #3
+3

Happiness is reality minus expectation

2/5/2019 12:55:27 AM #4
+1

A needle.


2/5/2019 10:50:34 AM #5
+5

Posted By Gaoman at 01:19 AM - Tue Feb 05 2019

My entry for the Owl Library - Writing Competition

Prelude - A Barmaids Roguery

Riveting and joyful! Thank you for your participation and wish you good luck.


Duke Usifan Banner

2/5/2019 1:50:15 PM #6
+3

Posted By SellayneDarkholm at 01:55 AM - Tue Feb 05 2019

A needle.

If you want to participate in the riddle and the giveaway, I recommend clicking on the Question.

It has a Link imbedded, which will take you to the Gleam Giveaway Website, where the Giveaway takes place and where you are asked for your answer to the riddle.

Good luck


age quod agis

2/10/2019 10:01:23 PM #7
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i clicked on door 1 and this is where it brought me


From Our Farm Gate To Your Dinner Plate.

Friend Code : EE5C8E

2/16/2019 12:31:28 AM #8
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UPDATE:

The time for participating in the giveaway is offically over. It will take a little while to draw & announce the winners. Thank you for your participation.

Reminder: The writing competition is still running for another week until Saturday, the 23rd of Feburary 21:00 GMT). Good luck writing.


age quod agis

2/18/2019 2:45:07 PM #9
+4

We are happy to announce our lucky

Crow(Tyrgrim)

Tibari

Unfettered (Endeavor)

“Elyrian Package” Winners! To claim your prize please approach us via discord over at the library within the next few days. For those curious, here the Solution to the Riddle and the Questions:

Riddle: "Needle"

Tribe: "Neran"

Banner: "Order of the Grand Flock"

The Story however is far from over as we continue to accept participants for the writing competition for a chance to win our 400 EP prize.

Share your feedback, love, and ideas! We would love to hear from you.


age quod agis

2/23/2019 6:10:23 AM #10
+2

2/23/2019 7:52:18 AM #11
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Cool post, did you use a program to make the picture?


Deus lo Vult!

3/6/2019 8:22:18 PM #12
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We are happy to announce the winner to the "Owl Library Writing Competition: Tales of the blind bard Sam'uel".

We had quite the hard time deciding, but without any further delay the winner is Fred(Gaoman) with his entry "Prelude - A Barmaids Roguery".

Congratulations to Fred to winning the competition & the 400 EP prize.

Honorable mention: "Tales of the Blind Bard Sam'uel: Kindness and reward" from Rofus. And at last a huge thank you to all particpants & people stopping by.

Hopefully see you again soon


age quod agis

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