Tall stands the hall of the heroes high
Lights tower bright against the sky
in a mason’s hand
Loud the trumpets, proud the bells
Each from its tower a tale tells
and are no more
Rich the sculptures, gold and gems
Raised in praise by wealthy men
Tell of deeds that
shall not fade.
Deep foundations keep concealed
Shrines the heroes lived to build
we fought to slay”
They were the brave, who stood against the Beast;
They were the fools, who rushed to fight and fall.
The honour of their names has never ceased;
Their scoundrels' hearts are scorned in every hall.
Confronted with their crimes, and told "Atone",
They swore to serve, and shield us all from doom.
We had them vow to leave the past alone;
But even then, they planned to sack the tomb.
They slew the guards around the ancient stones,
They broke a seal that bound all mortal kin,
With angry tools, they smashed the honoured bones;
They ground to dust the lich that laired within.
And then they fled, and past our laws survive,
While we are ruined, shattered, but alive.
It was a legend led me here to this:
A thousand emeralds in this jar are sealed.
One stone, a gem of ancient power is;
The rest will curse who first sees them revealed.
It still is closed. I'll leave it as it lay.
Behold! The world has learned my latest quest.
The bold and hopeful rush to bar my way,
And claim the power I had else possessed.
So close they come! But then they smash the jar.
I hear the gems spray out across the floor.
I grieve for those, my foes, who came so far
To find a curse. Now they shall move no more.
I close the door, and slowly turn away.
The Age of Absent Heroes starts today.
Let temple bells ring rich and terrible,
In joy that we are safe, and grim farewell.
Life valourous, but death contemptible!
We lay in state a corpse of fame grown fell.
Here full has flared a courage past compare:
To plumb the depths arcane, and chance the pit,
In halls most fey, to game with subtle wit,
To taunt the angels demons would not dare.
Here ends the path ambition's seeds begun:
A youth naïve has claimed an epic soul,
A pauper has a hero's weapons won,
And riches honour earned, become a goal.
The hero spoke; aghast the cities stand,
Who learned the world was cracked at her command.
Perhaps the truest heroes are the ones who don’t believe in them.
The final knight is fallen on the field.
The last great wizard living is laid low,
And everywhere do all Good's forces yield.
Without their will to guide, where might we go?
The souls that set the standard for an age
Are, each and every one, entombed and gone.
No more shall Light and Darkness battles wage.
No more shall fallen heroes be reborn.
What kind of horrors can be yet to come,
When all is gone that made the future bright?
What kind of people must we now become,
Now no-one's proud to stand for what is right?
The heroes of the past will not return.
The heroes of the future, we must earn.