Once upon a time, in the spring of the year as the mud thaw ground gave way to greening, a kingdom was beset with a plague that distended bellies and left all affected exhausted, longing but to lay down for many hours at a spell.
The bearers of this affliction were a nation of hardy, olive-skinned ones, who came in great numbers from their homeland, a place of fire and boiling waters. They came and set upon small clutches of people who seemed unable to bear resistance of them, and the people were unable to fight off this new scourge upon the land, amid the burning pyres around which listless people had gathered.
Among them was a man named Adolphus, now known as The Devourer. He was a man who truly represented the heart of chivalry that night, wresting over the burning pyres that green-skinned legion, oily and filled with things grown in the earth – fungal things, dark, heavy-scented, and the color of ichor.
Their shining plate was blinding in the flickering flame, all who looked upon them groaned as people whose bellies had seen more than enough carnage that eve alone. When I, humble witness to this deed, rode forth to this ground of my neighbors, they had done what they could against the numerous adversaries. My own nearby village had fought nobly against them, barely surviving, every man, woman, and child having struck again and again at their ranks until at last they were no more.
Illumed by fire it was clear that they were too much for the meager crowd assembled, and though they were well-armed with blades and spiked sticks with two to four tynes, they were forced to cower before these invaders, and it appeared that their place may have been forever given over to these sticky things.
But Adolphus – brave, brave Adolphus – he did stand and with noble bearing and a chest most extended with posture – how could we be but inspired by such a man? One who, selfless, looked upon the wreaked tableau and the foe arrayed in clusters surrounding the pile of sacrifices made to their savage, orange, earthy gods and held no fear and did not cower.
Nay, he set upon them armed but with a single fork.
Never have I seen such slaughter, and I have seen the brutality of wars for ten whole years hence.
Each olive-skinned, puffed-up, white-war-painted member of that oppugnant clan was brutally pierced and then, in a manner which would give nightmares to all who born of those boiling waters – they were forced into his mighty maw, that he may make of them an example to their kin. For he saw that this rabble distressed the people and vowed that he would avenge them, leaving not a single survivor as he looked upon them in haughty pride.
When it was seen that only a few pockets of resistance remained, did Adolphus let them lay there as dead, only to have them be rescued by their servants and returned to the fiery hall of their birth?
No! He marched forth with long strides and stood, looking down upon the vanquished, made of them an example to all of the Clan Ra’Violi of the Tort’linni born of the murky pastes of Semolina, and their many kinfolk. Again, it was not sufficient to rend them with his spikes, but he did eat whole each and every enemy in a brutal display, which is why he is known as The Devourer.
And when he was done, nothing was upon that battle field but empty plate which lay unmoving even with the peoples’ wind-like sighs of relief.
Then swooped down the Prince of the realm, who had been fighting his own battle against these small but mighty foe. And he did say unto Adolphus that he had seen from afar his victorious prancing and had heard the cries of joy from his people, so hearty that he had been inspired to travel from his own war-ground to investigate. And he did celebrate with the people, and Adolphus was begged by them to sit again at his place that he may be venerated with tale and song.
All who cross forks with Adolphus ought quake with fear and flee.
For he did save many of us that day and the flames once thought to be mesmerizing pyres did become bonfires of celebration most joyful as we raised a toast to Adolphus, protectorate of the people.
Know ye all that this is true. For it was witnessed by many, including this most honest bard, and also the herald vox regis, who has, herself, given this tale the seal of truth.
All honor to Adolphus the Devourer!
May his fork be ever sharp
This tale was extemporaneously performed at Mudthaw during feast, primarily for the table next to my own, for Adolphus had asked if I would please come sing for them. Once done, he decided to take care of the remaining homemade ravioli from the table. I decided to make it a more dramatic endevour. As he acted I described and as I described, he acted. It was quite a piece of cooperative improv, to the delight of his table. When we were all toasting and laughing, Prince Gregor came down and startled the lot of us, noting that he’d been forced to check on us after seeing Adolphus’ dramatic prancing and hearing the noise. We were then taken to task for appearing to have more fun than the royal table. (Which was likely a level critique. It was a lot of fun.) And so was born the tale of Adolphus the Devourer.