other stuff


“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

When Garulf was a young boy, his grandmother, Eleyna called him into her room. “When I was a young girl, my father told me this saying ‘Where there’s a will there’s a way.’ Now I give this advice to you,” she whispered hoarsely, Garulf bent down so that he could hear better, “life is like a river. When a river comes to an obstacle, it erodes away at the obstruction until it finds a way to go through it or around it to continue its journey to the sea. So also will you face obstacles in your life. It is your courage, strength and above all your will that will show you and help you to find the way past those difficulties.”

Garulf never forgot those words and long after Eleyna had died, her advice lived in his heart. Her wise words helped him along his way in life as he advanced through the army, displaying feats of such bravery and courage that he soon won wide reknown throughout the land. However it was his wisdom and mercy that elevated him to the status of hero and it was not long, before he had become Lord Lieutienent of the army and advisor to King Boroldo, king of all lands from the sea in the west to the monstrous mountains fo the east.

By the age of thirty, his life was at its most blissful, he had a beautiful wife with a young son of three years and a baby daughter, newly born. He was a happy and prosperous man, respected by all and loved by many.

Alas, it is often at the height of happiness that tragedy strikes and so it was when Garulf’s family returning on a visit from his wife’s family in the south that her carriage was set upon by thieves. The driver pushed the horses on, but the wheel of the carriage came off and the carriage fell down a ravine into a river. That day, Garulf lost his family, his happiness and his sanity.

The very next day after the funeral, Garulf readied himself with armour and weapons and hunted down those thieves responsible for his family’s death. Three days later, he returned with the six heads of the thieves dangling on either side of his saddle. Their heads were then displayed above the gates of his castle and there they stayed whilst Garulf wailed and cried in his private chamber. His rage now spent, sorrow and grief were his only companions.

But Garulf only got worse, when he could no longer wail or cry, because his voice was spent, his throat dry and hoarse, he started to cry. But all too soon, he could no longer cry, his eyes stinging and his tear ducts as dry as the desert sand. Still the pain did not go away and Garulf rapidly descended into madness. Within a year, in his diseased mind, he had decided to leave the castle and so dismiss the ghosts in his mind.

When he disappeared, little was heard of him, though Boroldo sent out many batallions to search for his friend and advisor, never was he found. At best an occasional rumour of a ragged vagabond, devoid of any sanity, crying out for his loved ones, was heard by the king but no trustworthy sightings.

And so the years passed, a new king came to the throne. Galandor was the son of Boroldo, he succeeded his father after the sudden death of the former king. Galandor soon proved himself to be a bad king, evil men surrounded him and the land suffered. The people lived in misery under heavy taxes and the fear of both thieves and king.

In this time, Garulf had passed out of the people’s immediate thoughts but still he remained in the stories, a reminder of better times and a hope to the hearts of the people. Everybody expected that he had died by now, but Garulf still walked the earth. His hair now aas white as fresh snow, or it would have been if it was not dirty, from the mud and undergrowth where he slept.

Garulf had long forgotten who he was, but still the memory of his family remained. It was as he was sleeping in the dark forest of Telendi that his grandmother came to him in a dream. “Garulf, Garulf…..remember my words, remember the river, where there’s a will there’s a way……Use your strength and your will to find your way back. The people need you…..remember my words Garulf…..” Then his wife came to him, “Garulf, stop this foolishness, find your way back. Garulf, awake!”

With that, Garulf awoke but he felt as if he had awakened from a long nightmare and not just a night’s sleep. Garulf then remembered who he was and he had been and his granmother, Eleyna’s words. So began his journey as he found his way back to his former self, his will leading the way like a torch shows the way in a dark tunnel.

As he became more and more of his old self, he looked more and more of his old self. At the first town he came to, he washed and cleaned himself, got some new clothes and a sword. As he traveled, he looked around and saw the people’s misery. The people saw him too, a tall proud man, standing straight, not bent like the rest of the peasants. His hair was white and long, his eyes had a deep and wise look to them but all could see the underlying sorrow that was there. Soon the people had recognised who he was and his name spread before him as an army of peasants followed behind him.

The King had also heard of his coming and when the army of peasants arrived, he quailed at the sight of the thousands of angry men led by a tall man of legend. It is said that even as his army of fat, lazy soilders were beaten down by forks and hoes, he threw himself into the river and drowned. His body was never found, presumably swept out to sea.

Garulf, himself, achieved many great feats at that battle but alas even as he slayed the captain of the king’s guard, a stray arrow struck him in the heart. The battle was over soon after and he was taken to the infirmary but he pushed the physicians aside telling them to let him be. He died with a smile on his face as he finally rejoined with his family.

Garulf’s will had shown him the way out of his madness, and into the peaceful calm of death where he found peace and his family. His body was placed in the grave of his wife and children, but a new stone was placed above it reading, “Here lies Garulf, leader of the people who led the way through darkness and misery to light and happiness. With his will, courage and heart was the way for the people shown.”