Grimnir and the Irish Rogue

Excerpt from the Book of Daos:

by Red Molly the Black

In the first year of the Prophet Simone, the wily Pirates of the South invited the Daos to come and frolic upon the shores of the Lake of Cheadle. And many of them did decide to do so, saying unto one another, “Verily, we shall drink the pirates’ rum and give them what-for!”

And among the Daos faithful who cast their lot in with the pirates was the mighty Grimnir, tall and strong and totally able to kick the butt of whatever sort of human obstacle placed itself in his path. He set up his encampment upon the barren fields, and he erected a day-shade before his tent, for the sun was hot and the Lake of Cheadle was nasty green and entirely unsuitable for swimming. And as Grimnir sat before his tent, saying unto himself, “Yea, it is ridiculously hot out here,” Anne of Daos and Red Molly the Black arrived on the scene. They had brought with them much gear, but were not inclined to set it up yet.

“Let us quench first our thirst with cider,” they said, and so they did. They sat themselves beneath the day-shade of Grimnir and unloosed their Strongbows, and there was much rejoicing. Grimnir was glad to have the company of such fair wenches, but this peace was not to last. For there was a sudden flash, and the Irish rogue Michael Collins appeared among them. He did not look roguish at first, but appeared to be a genial and friendly fellow. “Begorra, matey,” he said to Grimnir. “Let’s have a bit of a drink and a laugh, shall we?”

Grimnir thought that anyone as relatively small and unthreatening as this Irish rogue could pose no threat to him, and so he invited him to join their company. He introduced Anne and Red Molly to Michael Collins, but soon they could not stomach him any longer, and advised Grimnir to send him away. But Grimnir only scoffed. “This wee Irish rogue is nothing to mighty Grimnir! He amuses me, and I am enjoying his presence.”

And while all this was happening, Belsac and Astarte arrived at the Lake of Cheadle and began to set up their own encampment. “Belsac!” thundered Grimnir. “Come here and meet my friend Michael Collins!” Belsac considered this course of action briefly, but he liked not the look of that Irish rogue, and so he refused politely. Anne and Red Molly thought him wise to do so.

“Bugger you all,” Grimnir said. “This Michael Collins is a fine fellow, and I am glad to know him.” But as the sun shone hotter and more of the Daos arrived in camp, the foul treachery of Michael Collins was made apparent. For as he and Grimnir spoke longer, Grimnir’s voice began to slur and fail, and his words made less and less sense, and when he was induced to walk about, he wobbled from side to side. The rogue Michael Collins had slipped Grimnir an unwonted poison, and he was much the worse for wear. Yet Grimnir continued to sit and speak with Michael Collins, until suddenly he leaped up and began to thrash about. “I am undone!” he cried. “Treachery! Poison!” And he struggled mightily with Michael Collins, staggering across the plains of the Lake of Cheadle, cursing the name of that Irish rogue as he went.

And his peregrinations took him directly in front of the tent of Belsac, where a number of the Daos had gathered in the elusive shade. Here Grimnir bellowed again, and in response Belsac shouted, “Get off my lawn! Not on my lawn!”

But it was too late, and a final blow from Michael Collins sent Grimnir to his knees. Here at last he was overcome, and the poison overtook him. Like an ancient oak felled by a woodsman’s axe, he tumbled to the earth with a thunderous crash and sprawled before Belsac’s tent in deepest agony. “Not on my lawn!” Belsac cried again. “Get off my lawn!” And so it was that Grimnir succumbed to the evil machinations of the Irish rogue Michael Collins upon the lawn of Belsac.

Yet Grimnir, though laid low, was not taken out. For lo, he did recover later that very evening, and did scoff at Michael Collins’ weak attempts to slay him, and did go forth and frolic with the Daos and the pirates. And all that was left as souvenir of his travails was a great pink spot upon the lawn of Belsac, which the Daos did their best to avoid all weekend, and which at least one of them ended up treading in.

And even to this day, should the name of Michael Collins be whispered in Grimnir’s ear, you may see him blanch a bit, and stagger, and swear to have nothing more to do with that Irish rogue.

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