Friday, February 22, 2013

No Apologies

I will not apologize for my success
"Mea culpa maxima" will not  be my song
 Nor will I blame you for my failure
I'll accept it free of guilt, unless I have done you wrong

I will not rend my skin
For the blessings in my arms
Nor wear sack cloth nor ash
Unless they come somehow from harm

I will enjoy the fruits of my labor
Knowing that I will pass along much
And hope you wish me well
The result of reaping such

I will not curse the gifts of God Almighty
So that you might find me humble
I will make a joyful noise unto the world
So that others might not stumble

I will not curse my fortune
Nor hide from light of day
I will not build the darkness
But, help you light your way

If I should fail to give praise
what more then would I be
A thief, charlatan and liar
Like scribes and Pharisees
If I should lack in happiness
Well what then do I offer
Another cursed penny
Inside the devil's  coffers

I will seek to deliver joy
So you see that it is real
And not be lost in blasphemies
Of bogus cause and zeal

I shall proclaim good news and hope
Offer succor when it's needed
So that the work of the light is done
And cannot be impeded

Roger H. P. Clark
The Necromata

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Radically Insensitive

Image by
I want to be radically insensitive
I do not wish to know you
By the color of your skin
I'll know when your heart's true
And gladly name you kin

Why is pallor so provocative?
Nothing more than chemical coding
Don't you know a soul's a soul?
A faithless heart's far more foreboding
Separation bears the deeper toll

I want to be radically Insensitive
Destroy the angry rhetoric
Judged only by my deeds
Free from rules and etiquette
To meet our people's needs

My color not representative
If I could tear this skin asunder
At times I think I would
Many days I have to wonder
If in fact I should

Roger H. P. Clark
The Necromata

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Congratulations U. S. A.

Congratulations U. S. A. I really think it's great
You've won the right to smoke your weed  in nearly every state
With your shiny new found health care you'll likely get it free
But now they have the numbers of every T and H and C

I hear you all turned in your guns
"It was the civil thing to do"
But now nobody's watching
The ones who're watching you

So sit back in your stupor
Cause you are too high to see
The drones they've launched "protecting you"
Are scouting down the street

They've made you safe from internet
And every form of speech
Your children all are there to learn
The doctrines they teach

You'll soon be safe from everything
They'll soon be in control
Too late when finally realized
You've sold your very soul

So off now, slumber peacefully
By all means, do sleep tight
But tomorrow in the food lines
Don't dare argue push or fight

Sit back and watch your Tele-garbage
In the home you do not own
And never mind who's listening
As you're talking on the phone

You've no more responsibility
Oh joy!  How great!  How grand!
And never mind your neighbor's gone
Because he took a stand

A cowardly new world approaches
Where safety matters most
Stripped of our Democracy
Our voice and dreams and hopes
We'll be well taken care of
Tucked warm inside our beds
Free of pain and misery
With the new chips in our heads

Congratulations U. S. A.
You finally won your weed
That thirty year old bong you hold
Says it was a right you didn't need...

Roger H. P. Clark
The Necromata

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Stanless Steal Defender of Twilight (Origins)

I do not remember my birth parents or anything of my old life.

I was no more than 3 years old when Gunn, the man who I call father, saved me from a shipwreck near the mouth of White River in Skyrim. Gunn and Freyja Steal took me in and raised me as their own child alongside their daughter AEstrid. We lived close to the great city of Windhelm. I was raised to honor all the eight Divines. My father also paid special tribute to a Daedrik Princess, the Lady Nocturnal. Gunn always said that he was led to find me by a vision imparted to him by Nocturnal and that we both owed her a great debt as a result.

I adored Gunn and Freyja. I followed Gunn everywhere, including to his forge, from an early age. Gunn always told me that the metal and fire were alive. He said that they were cousins born of the mountain’s heart and that properly joined the metal would sing with the magic of the gods. I loved working the forge with Gunn. Shaping metal and making it sing I found peace. Gunn’s weapons and armor were renowned. His work could be found in the halls of the King and the lodges of the Thanes. It was said that his skill was indeed a gift from the gods themselves. Gunn had even made a special set of weapons just for me. They were exquisite. He told me that on my 15th name day the set would be mine.

Gunn spent time with me in those days teaching me the way of the dagger and the sword. He said that in order to create a thing you had to understand its essence. Gunn was a very talented fighter. He taught me the way of fighting with sword and shield and those of the Bidenhänder, but he said a warrior was at his best when he could wield a blade in each hand. Gunn would tell me sword play was a a deadly dance between two souls. He emphasized respecting your opponent's ability while making him underestimate your own. I took to these lessons like a bird to flight.

Freyja was a strong Nord woman in every sense. She kept a tidy home, and an impressive garden of the herbs and vegetables that grow in our area. She taught AEstrid and me which herbs would heal and which would cause harm. Freyja was also a shrewd trader. It was rumored that she had been raised by witches as a girl; she always laughed if this was brought up and called the stories nonsense spread by busy-bodies.

AEstrid and I were as close as any two children could be. If there was mischief to be found, AEstrid and I would find it. AEstrid and I played hiding and tracking games. We would test each other’s cunning and perceptions constantly. We were also fond of swiping pies or fruit from the local vendors. We didn’t steal them, mind you; we made a game of snatching the goods and leaving the pay in the trade box or the vendor’s pockets without being seen. In early years, we were in constant trouble for playing these pranks but, the punishment was mild because we would always pay.

The winter of my 12th named day changed everything. The snows had come in a particularly harsh fashion. Gunn and some of the other men were busy seeing to our neighbors and the elderly in the area. AEstrid and I were practicing our lessons by the hearth when an incredible gust of wind smashed the front door open. I knew something was terribly wrong because Freyja screamed in anger and fear for AEstrid and me to get in the cellar. Freyja changed. A glow of power surrounded her and she looked at us with eyes like coal and shouted “NOW” in an unearthly voice. AEstrid and I bolted for the cellar and sealed the door above us.

The cellar became unbelievably quiet.Infact, there was no sound at all. I could not even hear my own breath. Startled, I tried to cry out and found that I could not. I grabbed AEstrid and led her to the darkest corner of the cellar. I placed myself in front of her, as if I could protect her.

I don’t know what happened next, only that I awoke in a bed that was not my own, to the sound of Gunn bellowing with anger. I jumped up and ran to the sound of his voice and found that we were in the home of a neighbor, Tobor Jorgen. I ran to Gunn and hugged him both in relief and fear. He knelt down and hugged me so tight I could feel the breath leave me. Then I began to ask after Freyja and AEstrid. A single tear ran down Gunn's face as he began.

I learned that Freyja had been killed and AEstrid abducted. Tobor blamed someone called the Altmer. Gunn and some other men formed a hunting party to rescue AEstrid. I insisted on going with him. Tobor said I was too young but Gunn said that I had every right to avenge my mother and find my sister. He said sometimes the situation, and not the season, made you a man. I remember a feeling of both pride and rage; pride at being allowed to help and rage because someone had harmed my family.

Gunn, who had never been at a loss for words, became a very solemn, stoic man. He outfitted the party with the best armor and weapons in his shop. I was given leather breeches, a thick leather cuirass and cloak. Gunn made some adjustments with leather cords so I would not look or feel like a rag doll. He then handed me the short sword and dagger that he had promised me for my 15th name day. He told me that no matter what happened to keep my eyes and ears open and heed the lessons he had given me.

We set off several hours before the dawn of the next day. Though most people would never have been able to track anything in these conditions, we are Nord and know this land like our own skin. Our scouts found the Altmer party on the third day. We trailed them at a safe distance and waited for night fall. These Altmer were a strange looking bunch. Thin and tall, they had fair skin and not one of them wore a beard. They looked much like children themselves except they had pointy ears!

The tent where AEstrid was being held was in the very center of the camp. We outnumbered the Altmer by nearly two to one. We snuck up to the outskirts of the camp careful to cut off any routes for escape. Our scouts made short work of the guards. Altmer died in their sleep as their blood froze in the snow. Not an honorable death; it was very fitting for these foul skeevers.

As we approached the center tent we could hear singing. No that isn't right; it was more like chanting. Gunn started to open the tent flap when he was hit with a ball of bluish energy that crackled like lightning. Our men rushed in from all sides and many were quickly dispatched by more lightning, fire, and shards of ice. Nord, Altmer and Daedra now fought and died in the snow; it was chaos. We Nords do not know fear. We began to win through. I ran to Gunn to see if he was still alive.

Gunn was only barely holding on. He looked me hard in the eyes and whispered "Riften... Nightingales..." He gasped. I had lost track of the battle around us but, things had grown eerily quiet. Gunn uttered one last thing before his eyes closed, never to open again. "Fus Ro Dah... I pass my voice and force to you... my son..." I felt an energy pass into me, through me. It resonated to my very bones. 

I turned around in anger. The camp was in shambles Nord and Altmer lay amongst piles of ash.  A lone Altmer stood where the tent had been AEstrid was with her in glowing shackles, tethered and in tow. Behind them was... A shimmering hole in the air. He... No, SHE regarded me disdainfully and started to say something I couldn't make out.

I felt nothing but rage. I would not let this Daedra spawn take my sister away. Suddenly, the rage inside of me found a clear... voice. I looked at the Altmer and as she began glow with power, I shouted out those words given to me by my father... "FUS RO DAH!!!" My voice made the very air and earth tremble. The Altmer opened her eye wide in utter disbelief. The force of my shout flung her through the hole, back and out of sight.

I ran to AEstrid. "I'll free you" I told her. She was just out of my reach. The chain pulled taught. AEstrid was yanked through that hole; she was... Gone. Everyone was gone. I was completely alone.

I thought hard on what had transpired. I burned with anger; with hatred for these, Altmer. None of this made any sense. So many questions and the only clues I had were Riften, Nightingales and this new powerful new weapon. The voice. Fus Ro Dah. I had heard stories of Riften. A prosperous town with a shady history. I would begin my search for answers there.

"And this Bjorn, is how I came to be here, speaking with you. Can you help me?"

"Well, well... That! 'Youngling', is quite a tale... If true... And ya' seem sincere, mind. Then ya'r Da, was a good friend to me and the boys in The Guild. I'll not turn my back on ya'. But, if ya' want to be one of us ya'll have to Earn a spot see... Well, make yase'f to home at one of the empty beds here... We have one rule sprout... Actually, it's more like a saying... 'Never try to pick the pocket of a pro.' Dinner's in an hour. Get settled, get clean, and we'll talk after vittles."

"My thanks Bjorn. I owe you."

"We may settle accounts someday sprout, but for now, just don't make me regret takin' ya' in."

"I won't Bjorn..." " I will get AEstrid back and we will have our revenge, father and mother. I swear it to the Divines!"

Written by Roger H. P. Clark
The Necromata

NOTICE:  This story is my original creation.  The story takes place in the Elder Scrolls Universe as created by Bethesda  Softworks LLC in the game series Elder Scrolls.  I am submitting it for review for the Short Story Contest - Hosted by TESO.  Wish me luck :)