Marko in Caverns of Chaos (6_61)

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Thrice-Told Tale #5

Geoffrey and Marko

by Rus Hall


It concerns an event that happened several years ago; the first meeting of Marko and Geoffrey. It happened on a cold dark night when the two reached the opposite ends of a fallen log. That log was the only passage over a great rift for many miles. The gorge was at least a hundred feet deep. At the bottom was the very swift, very cold Loopclab River. Both men stepped on the log at the same time and started to cross. Neither wished to yield to the other, and in a half dozen steps they were face to face in the center.

"Stand aside little man," growled the Prince, "This way is only big enough for one man"

"Yeah, and I'm that man" retorted Marko.

"Obviously you don't know who you are dealing with, boy! I am Geoffrey Blackpool! Heir to the lands to the north."

"Well, my dear Heir-head, I am the vassal of Prince Greystone, and I am on official business; so back you go."

Geoffrey took a fighting stance and bellowed a challenge, "It shall be a pleasure to knock you into the river below."

"You and what army." With that Marko readied himself for the attack.

A brief melee ensued. As one would expect, it ended with both of the proud men tipping over the side. Luckily, both men were able to grab onto a single vine that was hanging from the makeshift bridge - leaving them dangling precariously. Marko new the vine would not be able to support the weight of two grown men for long. Geoffrey knew it as well, but neither would let go. They dangled for a time. Finally, Marko broke the silence.

"Well, friend, it looks as though we are both going into the drink unless one of us makes the sacrifice and releases the vine. Even though I curse the ground that you walk on, I will be the magnanimous one. I shall make that sacrifice."

Geoffrey, moved either by his admiration of the southerner, or by his good luck at facing such a fool, applauded.


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