Sword for hire

When the world’s land was still virgin and her many corners free from man’s touch,
all arms were called when they were ready with sword and shield in their clutch.

A boy was no longer a child when he could see past his father’s shoulder
His training to begin on that day of birth, though the mothers wished them to be older.

There was a common tale that the mothers would tell their sons
When they were reaching the age of height and their time with them was done.

The tale they told their sons was about a man who wielded a heavy sword
Although his name was legend more than truth it was hoped to strike a chord.

The man’s name was Reysart of Ilde and all boys would know his story
He was feared by kings and peasants, yet they all knew his glory

He bested men twice his size and many more who were the same or less.
There was no man alive who was his equal, nor a beast he could not best.

His abilities were unparalleled and he was famous for his fighting skill
In his youth he was arrogant and brash and hired only to kill.

Death became his partner and a dark cloak he’d wear from town to town
On a horse he would ride through the darkness like a ghost wrapped in a shroud.

An uprising that a king wanted quelled with no doubt it would never restart
Reysart would ride in cover of night and burn each house and stop each heart

Any who made it from their burning homes would find a man standing en garde
The sword, Pale Silver, in his hands to finish off that which wasn’t charred.

He would cut down each man and boy as bodies littered the ground
Ordered to let none survive, women and children were among the dead found.

Even the hardest man alive who would cut down an innocent soul
would grow weary of a life made from loss as years of death took their toll.

The youthful energy that pushed him to start had long melted away
He found there was no joy in killing and realized his life had gone astray.

Pale Silver had spilled the blood and those deeds could not be undone
Many men would seek him out for vengeance, their swords pointed in a flood.

His end of life would be on edge and the man once feared could never rest
Grayness of beards come for all men alive, it’s the one thing even he could not best.

At some point he would be found and a sword point would run itself through his gut
Words of revenge would be the last thing he heard before his eyes finally shut.

Mothers of boys who become men would tell this story so their sons would know
Out in the world there were evils of all kinds and they come from high and low.

There are men who have no morals and who kill for sport and gold
They have no code to live by and will kill young, innocent and old.

They come in men who are better than you no matter how good you think you may be
Someone, somewhere, will beat the best there is and you won’t have time to flee.

So even if you are the best that ever was you won’t be the best for your whole life
Remember this story and remember who you are.  Be safe and stay alive.

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