Campaign Journals

The Trials of Unther

By Jim Griffith

The following is a ballad submitted by Jim Griffith, one of the creators of the band known as the Riders of Elvenflow.  The work below is the property of the author and is used by Candlekeep with permission.  Download and install the Tolkien font for the best results).

(as sung by Dennis the Harper)


I will tell you a tale, of ages regaled, when the Riders enlivened the Realms.
From Cormanthor they rode, to the great Silk Road and upon such distraction they flew.
For such works and wonders did their might behold, that only the best parts are true.

Not worthy were they, of meritous name. Pure power and greed spread their fame.
But such was the villainy that Unther did claim, that the Riders wished justice and came.
Those poor Southern slaves, with King Gilgeam as god, sought justice in some other name.

Foul Tiamat, of whom ancient Wyrms cringe in fear, posed as their friend against foes.
Unknown to the land, her needs were most grand, for tyranny was her grand repose.
As Gilgeam, the despot, did murder his kin, her malice was nothing but sin.

We Riders, most bold, did foresee such a fold, but pressed for improvement at cost.
For Tiamat, as any strange bedfellow must, was needed so all was not lost.
Gilgeam, ready to fight for his throne, did render much goodness to bone.

But after the dust, his millenia was done, and the Riders did shoulder the claim.
Fell Tiamat, soon after, did rise as Unther's master, and found Rider steel to her shame.
From antiquity did rise, ancient Marduk most wise, who granted one Rider all claim.

A humble warrior was Baish, a gladiator by trade, whose honor the God did see.
Foul Tiamat, it seemed, would rise within a dream, if Unther a champion would need.
Baish, a new Power, did watch Unther flower, and the foul one sought not to appear.

Most gravely for those seeking rest and a close, the grief of the day was not done.
For Gilgeam, you see, had a follower free, Shuruppak the horror to come.
He sought those who felled his Master, and terror did work in his name.

Proud Elvenflow, a city of beauty and streams, did crumble and vanish in fire.
This minion, with nothing but hate to desire, did unleash fell magic of flame.
The Riders, too busy protecting their needs, had no means of halting the game.

Upon ashes of many, a new creed was built, as the Riders abandoned their guilt.
No Elvenflow would stand, on Cormanthor's hallowed land, for no Rider could rule over ghosts.
Yes, children would play, but some new horrid day, a minion could spread grief anew.

Some years here and after, Baish met with disaster, when Godhead and mantle he shed.
For Cyric did come, with death on the run, and Baish served the needs of the dead.
Much joy did arise from his sacrifice, but from time and the moment Tiamat hid.

Once Baish was a mortal, her laughter did roar, and her birth into Toril was true.
She seized ancient Unther, and usurped Baish's lover, her soul to be cast into cold.
But dragons did Tiamat bring to her land, a flight that none dared to behold.

Her servants were they, seeking the return of their day when no mortal could give them sway.
Behind peace did she lie, that dragon despised, for many would stand in her way.
Not resting with sorrow, Baish looked to the morrow. He summoned the Riders of old.

As the years they did fade and diminish their trade, these heroes were no longer new.
Much hardship awaits, as they bargain their fates and attempt to save Unther for true.
Until such can be said, I myself may be dead, for I venture to join them once more.

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