This is just a fun parody thing. It's not betaed. Anyone who can tell what I'm shouting out to in the first sentence gets pie! (And no, it's not just a hidden way to get reviews.)

Come now and listen to the Muse sing. Sing a song of tattered travelers, heroic and crude. A huntsman with a curse, a knightly prince, a sorceress who may not be sane, and a dragon who would prefer to eat them all; this is their tale, the Tale of the Weary.

Tale of the Weary

Adventure One: Wantley's Dragon

Part One: They Met At An Inn

It began on a cool spring night empty of moonlight. Ocean winds brushed the cliffs of Wantley as a lone stranger trudged through the town. This stranger was clothed in the dark green of a huntsman and wore a bow across his back. Glowering jade eyes stared intently at the sign painted blue 'Wantley Inn and Tavern'.

The stranger, whom we shall call Forest, pushed the door open and entered the Inn. It was a homely establishment; a small fireplace to the far-side, a bar to the left, tables scattered through out the room, and stairs leading to the second floor. The patrons seemed to be town folk come to relax after the day's work, and a few weary travelers seeking a shelter for the night.

Forest immediately sought the bar; and after arranging for a room he bought a pint of their strongest stuff. As he took his first gulp of what he hoped would soak away his sorrow, an airy voice rang out.

"Howling high on a mountain top,

Sending shivers down my spine,

Stands a lonely sentinel,

Calling to others of his kind.

Copyright of Charles W. Russell."

The sudden poetry caused Forest to cough up, while the other customers wondered who this Russell guy was, and just what was a copyright anyway? After a few seconds of pondering most came to the conclusion that the bard wannabe had had one too many drinks.

As a warm silence fell back into place the cloaked man Forest had sat by turned toward him and asked in a sophisticated tone, "Good sir, I couldn't help but notice that you seem depressed."

The huntsman sighed in annoyance. He had sat by the cloaked man because cloaked men normally kept to themselves. It was his luck that the one he had chosen to sit by had not gotten the memo. Forest turned to the man glaring angrily.

"It's none of your-" He cut of when the man pulled his hood back.

Without the cloak hiding his face it was obvious the man was young, early twenties tops. He had golden blonde hair and startling blue eyes. The way he held himself was as someone of importance, and the expensive look of his purple and gold clothes supported that assessment.

Unsure Forest asked, "You're?"

Without missing a beat he replied, "Prince Carloman Leopold Michael of Mercia, Second Son of King Cedric Henry James and Queen Sarah Elizabeth of Mercia, The Knighted and Titled Protector of the Peoples."

The huntsman felt a lump in his throat, "You're a royal."

"A royal knight", the Prince cheerfully corrected.

"Great", muttered Forest.

Oblivious to blunt sarcasm Carloman continued his inquiry, "So you are in need of some assistance? Then what do you need. I'll gladly help in any way I can, for it is my sworn duty to protect and serve the people even if the country is not mine. Be it beast or villain, I shall smite any that threaten the innocent."

To which Forest replied adamantly, "I don't need any help."

"But you do", Carloman insisted with a dramatic flair, "I can tell."

"No. I don't."

At Forest's stubborn refusal to admit anything Carloman looked the huntsman straight in the eyes and stared. Just stared. Seconds passed, then a minute. Two, three, four. At five Forest snapped.

"Fine! Just stop that!" Forest then muttered, "Annoying creep…"

"So you well tell me what it is that bothers you so?" The prince questioned in a kind tone.

Forest answered cautiously, "I'll tell you, but promise you won't freak out and try to smite me."

Utterly and completely confused Carloman began, "Why would I-"

"Just promise!"

"Okay, okay. I promise on my honor as a knight and prince", Carloman promised.

Slightly relieved Forest began his tale.

Next time on Tale of the Weary:We take a look into Forest's past, and the Prince makes a fool of himself.