Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Trials of Hallac- Invocation

Unnamed muse, light of those creative, who
Bestows upon those of the pen her grace
To write of great deeds and men of honour,
Help this humble soul to tell of Hallac
Of the trials of the spear-wielding Prince,
Son of Quereneth, fair King of Farlein,
Youngest of his heirs.
Allow me the words to expound his deeds,
The tests he faced, the people he aided,
Many beasts and villains who barred his path
To keep him from the throne of his father.
Aid me in telling of Hallac, youngest
Brother of Lestrian– the eldest son,
Great diplomat and silver-tongued speaker,
Friend of men and women with influence.
Unnamed muse, let me tell of young Hallac,
Brother of Etseon– the second son
Scholarly wise man,
Schemer and power-hungry middle child.
Hallac, the third of three sons, bastard-born
Boy to a peasant mother, furthest from
The throne both by blood and by common birth,
But welcomed by his father to royal life,
Guarded by soldiers, trained by generals,
Made into a warrior by the time
Of his adulthood.

Great being of inspiration, assist
This simple bearer of the pen and ink,
Teller of stories, in detailing feats,
Feats that brought the throne
To Hallac, youngest of the great King’s sons:
The slaying of the beasts he faced alone:
Naenesis, the gargantuan spider,
The many Harpies of the delta lands,
A great unknown, unnamed beast of the sea,
The Sphinx of the cave,
And the vicious, huge Dragon of Tomolle.

Include in my verses the people, who
Stood barring his way:
Phieraine, widow-Queen of Rinelderal,
The priest, and the men and women of dead
City Ounceireile,
And men of his own family: brothers
Lestrian and Etseon, and their men.

O inspiration, sweet ideas’ onset,
Form the letters and words to write of the
Great Dreamers’ Battle,
Where lordly Hallac fought his two brothers
For the throne of their father’s vast kingdom,
So that those who wish to know of the deeds
May learn of the valiance of the Prince
And know how verily he did deserve
More than his brothers,
To gain the crown and to lead the people
In the days and years following his late
Return to Farlein.

Make my syllables flow like sweetest wine
That any who read may drink and be filled
By the power of what is written here.
Help the lessons taught by Hallac’s goodness
Nourish and help those who would be like him,
For the virtues he embodies are great
And worthy for anyone to seek out.
Help my words well define and explain, too
The badness and evil in the villains,
Those who surrendered to evil vices,
And make my poem a lesson there, as well
That readers will see the mistakes they made,
The follies and crimes they all committed
And know them for the wrongness that they are.
Make this humble poet a plain teacher,
Though the deeds written here are the lesson.

Tell now of Hallac, his journey’s begun
Set far from home to trek companionless
Only to return home and fight for life.

The Trials of Hallac- Introduction

In May, I took part in a challenge to write 5000 lines of epic poetry in 31 days. I succeeded, and my "epic" poem, "The Trials of Hallac" ended right smack dab on the 5000th line. It's no Odyssey but it's something, I suppose.

I chose to forgo attempting to write in rhyme, but instead focus on syllabic count. Depending on what sort of text you're reading, the number of syllables changes. For reference, here's how things break down:

General exposition has 5, 8, or 14 syllables to the line
Hallac speaks in 16 syllables to the line
Good characters speak in 11 syllable-lines
Evil characters use 6 or 13 syllables
Neutral characters speak in 9 syllable lines
Deities use 3 or 7 syllables to the line
Battle scenes have 12 syllables to the line
Prayer is spoken in 10 syllable lines

For flow purposes, I do on occasion use the half-line. Much of the first three parts of the poem are spoken and described by Hallac, so to keep him from being too long-winded, some lines are only 8 syllables rather than the full 16. Some battle scenes have 6-syllable lines, etc.