Bard Fuel

Of Nezumi and Men
The Birth of the Warlord

There are many stories about the legendary hero, Tashi of Nihomboshiya, and his murder of the Celestial Delegate Tsu, 20 years ago, which began the fall of the tyrannical Emperor Gado.

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The Fall of the Blighted King

I am Dirk Nurmagomedov. Khabib Nurmagomedov was my father. This will serve as the only written record of a significant event in Elven history , The Fall of the Blighted King Daetheryth and the birth of the free lands of Vershedul. My father and I played major roles in facilitating the revolt, and my father died in the battle.
We were gathered by Erik Prynn, former Master of Arms of the elven capital and my father’s cousin, through Snail Sap, his messenger. Our company also included Tumeric Valshar, master of the woodland known as Lyvariannin, his partner, Cub Swanson, and his apprentice, Alan G. Hardy, as well as Tavah Nicklesplit, a gnome who had been affected by the blight, his ex-wife Tabitha Nicklesplit was not present but played a pivotal role, and Rivera Morduk, an ex-prisoner of the Blighted King’s prison.
We gathered at the lodge-house of Tumeric, each for our own reasons. My father hoped that even a conspirator’s meeting could mean food and shelter for us, at least for a while. He also hoped he would have more opportunities to beseech his cousin Erik to take us in. The conversation was long, but perhaps not as long as my father would hope, and Tumeric seemed eager for us to depart. We built a camp with other refugees that had fled the blight, looking for green grass and clean water.
They wasted little time in getting to the point: Daetheryth had gone mad, he was destroying the land, and he needed to be stopped. Our first plan was to put Tavah back inside the Bleak Keep, though he was not happy about it. We decided to put Tumeric’s name on the line and bait a patrol into our part of the woods, ambush them, replace them with Tavah and send them back. There had been many gnome slaves in the keep, Tavah was convinced that Daetheryth would not remember him. My father refused to be a part of the ambush. We fought, and I went in his place, against his wishes. We had little trouble with the ambush thanks to Tumeric and Erik, but found no gnomes among them, and so that plan was lost.
We decided the time for stealth had passed, more patrols would come looking for this one, we had to act swiftly and mightily. Tavah went to see Tabitha, who was his ex-wife and a forest gnome, to retrieve a whistle to call forth squirrels. Meanwhile, we gathered supplies for him to make explosives. Rivera had the plan, blow all 7 gates of the outermost wall protecting the keep, then move in and release the prisoners held captive inside the second wall (a fiendish new design, born of the king’s madness), and take the keep in the mayhem. My father made an attempt to rally the refugees to join, but his heart was not in it, so I took over. My passion swayed them and by the end of my speech, they were taking up arms and looking for supplies to turn into armor and shields.
We advanced on the keep mid-morning, the squirrels called by the whistle were blighted and mad, but the whistle kept them still enough that we could outfit them with Tavah‘s clockwork bombs. We sent them to each of the seven gates, and the plan was in motion. Snail Sap moved quickly in and began releasing the prisoners, once we moved in with our company and the refugees, it was absolute chaos. Erik and Tavah disappeared, and I lost track of my father. Refugees fought guards, prisoners slew their captors, Tumeric rallied some common folk to our cause, and together we marched on the keep. It was then that I saw my father’s broken body against the wall. I later learned that he had been looking for me in the chaos. Through my tears I raged, I don’t know how many I killed, but soon we stood outside the Bleak Keep, prisoners and refugees and common folk behind us, a force to be reckoned with. Then from out of the keep stepped Erik, followed by Tavah, who held Daetheryth’s head in his hand. That barren land had not heard such rejoicing for a long age.
Erik went out and helped lead the people back to the main city, leaving the Bleak Keep to its ruin. I stayed with him, learned all I could about arms and fighting, and set out when I was ready. Tumeric returned to Lyvariannin with Cub and Alan, I saw little of him after that. Alan came to town for trading and supplies every once in a while. I remember seeing Rivera, naked and bloody, calmly walking away after it was all over. I heard she found Tabitha and they are happy. I heard that Tavah, who Erik says struck the final blow against the king, went on to fight for justice and freedom, and became a great hero, regardless of the blight he carried.
The history books say that the people rose up against the King, and I am glad for that. But here is one account that tells the deeper story. I write it for my father, Khabib.

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