Reign of Winter: Monkey Monk and the Funky Bunch

The Chant of Haunted Ulsgaard

A traditional northern song

By the belly of the glacier in Irrisen minstrels say,
“There are tales you tell at nighttime, there are stories for the day.
But the only tale you never tell—not story, song, or play—
Is the tale of haunted Ulsgaard and the curse upon it lay.”

All the birds and mice and white-tailed deer avoid it in the day,
Only Sister Silence slinks betwixt the thatch and clay.
For the souls that stalk its ruined streets and houses once so gay
Can no longer bear to hear their names; they’ll steal your breath away.

In the summer years, long lost to snow, before the Witch’s day
The children of the village romped from courtyard down to quay.
What happened there to still their laughs no living man can say,
But unquiet bones can point toward the feet at which it lay.

Have you ever seen a restless soul, when night consumes the day,
Adopt a seeming semblance of the life it threw away?
Have you ever seen the broken damned a wretched pageant play?
Have you heard it speak? Or seen it sweep? Or genuflect to pray?

One might surmise from such a guise how Ulsgaard lost its way.
It’s said that in a courtyard there, beneath the gaze of day,
Two holy men in holy works consume their time today,
Until the silver of the moon rips the breath of life away.

These holy men, unholy now, with fevered laughing say,
“O children, gentle children, come out to the yard to play!”
And the children in the courtyard as they wail are whisked away
By the shadows of the armies that advanced on Witch’s Day.

Some say that you might come upon the cursed town today,
And that when the stars gaze down you still can hear the children cry.

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