Chapter 36

Ebb and Flow

The cannon balls, struck deep at night,

Crashing, booming, bursting bright,

They blasted through the western port,

Blowing decks and ships amort,

Smashing them to floating planks,

And leveling their soldier ranks.

Genders both, from all the races,

Jumped, and dove, from all their places,

And gathered weapons, running scary,

Whether recruit, or mercenary.

And from the maze of mass destruction,

A clear voice gave command instructions.

“Man our cannons! Secure your posts!

Ready the bows! Let fly the hosts!

Pikemen! Trolls! Stand and be ready!

Elvish Cavalry! Steady! Steady!”

As pounding thunderous cannonballs ended,

Waves of raging, Humrecs descended,

Swimming from ships, assaulting the land,

Driven by Reywals, shock sticks in hand.

Falling arrows showered the host,

Felling down many, but deflecting most,

Until, with a clash, and a smash, in the air,

Humrecs hit pikemen with catapult fare,

And cavalry clashed, and spear throws zipped past,

Metal met metal, until, at last,

The march and the melt of the fight was defined,

As two massive forces, mashed in a line.

For a moment or two the defenders' line held,

But then it quick weakened, and crumbled, and fell.

Creatures poured raging, into the breach,

Like a dam bursting, onto the beach,

In reckless waves, thick cascading

Humrec, Reywal, Srellik, invading.

And every dwarf, and elf, and troll,

Who had not strength, to fight its roll,

Or flee its path, or turn its course,

Soon fell dead beneath its force.

Seeing Bar’s army would not be beat,

Birch and Willow sounded retreat,

Whereupon smith’s soldiers, every one,

Dropped all their armor, and turned to run.

Such would have been the route of battle,

With Blacksmith and elves, becoming chattel,

Of Giant’s soldier army servants,

Followed by death, undeservant.

But then before their bitter end,

Something wonderful magically happened.

Out in the harbor, the ocean waves,

Began to roil, and swell and swage,

Until from bottommost ocean sands,

Heads broke through water, and swam to land.

In seemingly infinite cascading source,

With all of their pounding waterous force,

Up from the depths, the merfolk came,

Casting their grapples, and pulling the same,

So that all the Ships, dingys and boats,

Were pulled down and sunk, with none left afloat.

Srellik, Humrec and Reywal were drowned,

Before they could join their comrades aground.

But none of the soldiers, drowned, or gone under,

Counted Persephony, or Bar, in their number.

The giant’s two servants landed ashore,

As merfolk attack destroyed fully more,

Than half of the enemy’s fighting force,

Continuing onward, staying their course.

They finally passed beyond the breach,

Finding themselves surrounded each,

By blacksmith’s frantic soldiers arming,

And fully recovered, from alarming,

While Srellik and Humrec, the mermaid host,

Held with Reywal on the coast.

Then something occurred, that never had happened:

The Giant’s forces cast down their weapons!

In front of his troops, bar Kamal Kamock stood,

And with him Persephony, not looking too good,

Whence from their captors, the blacksmith emerged,

Clad in chain armour, bloody and scourged.

Willow and Birch followed him too,

Battered and bruised, exhausted and blue.

Standing up close, to bar’s scowling face,

Smith clapped his wrists, and hard on them placed,

Heavy wrought cuffs, joined with a chain,

Locked tight together, so Bar winced in pain.

So too suffered Persephony,

Who resisted, desperately,

While Birch and Willow put her in chains,

Blacksmith watching, sorrowed and strained.

Take them away” the blacksmith said,

His eyes downcast, their whites run red,

“You have not won” said Bar, staring daggers,

“The giant will come, and make you all beggars!”

But Bar was not able to finish his thought,

For full on Bar’s chin, the Blacksmith’s slap caught,

Knocking him down in front of his men,

Where the smith kicked him, again and again.

“That is for Poepi” the frenzied smith said.

“But not for you, she wouldn’t be dead!”

Next to Persephony, he raised his gloved hand,

But sucking breath deep, stopped what he’d planned.

He touched her cheek gently, with folded back fingers,

And looked at her long, and let them there linger,

Then gave a nod of his head to his men,

And turning away, looked not back again.

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