"Dragon Duel" from The Legend of Huma, cover art by Jeff Easley
The Song of Huma
From DragonLance Chronicles Vol 1
Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Novel by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Poetry by Micheal Williams
It was there and then that the White Stag found him,
At the end of a journey planned from the shores of Creation,
And all time staggered at the forest edge
Where Huma, haunted and starving,
Drew his bow, thanking the gods for their bounty and keeping,
Then saw, in the ranged wood,
In the first silence, the dazed heart's symbol,
The rack of antlers resplendent.
He lowered the bow and the world resumed.
Then Huma followed the Stag, its tangle of antlers receding
As a memory of young light, as the talons of birds ascending.
The Mountain crouched before them. Nothing would change now,
The three moons stopped in the sky,
And the long night tumbled in shadows.
It was morning when they reached the grove,
The lap of the mountain, where the Stag departed,
Nor did Huma follow, knowing the end of this journey
Was nothing but green and the promise of green that endured
In the eyes of the woman before him.
And holy the days he drew near her, holy the air
That carried his words of endearment, his forgotten songs,
And the rapt moons knelt on the Great Mountain.
Still, she eluded him, bright and retreating as marshfire,
Nameless and lovely, more lovely because she was nameless,
As they learned that the world, the dazzling shelves of the air,
The Wilderness itself
Were plain and diminished things to the heart's thicket.
At the end of the days, she told him her secret.
For she was not of woman, nor was she mortal,
But daughter and heiress from a line of Dragons.
For Huma the sky turned indifferent, cluttered by moons,
The brief life of the grass mocked him, mocked his fathers,
And the thorned light bristled on the gliding Mountain.
But nameless she tendered a hope not in her keeping,
That Paladine only might answer, that through his enduring wisdom
She might step from forever, and there in her silver arms
The promise of the grove might rise and flourish.
For that wisdom Huma prayed, and the Stag returned,
And east, through the desolate fields, through ash,
Through cinders and blood, the harvest of dragons,
Traveled Huma, cradled by dreams of the Silver Dragon,
The Stag perpetual, a signal before him.
At last the eventual harbor, a temple so far to the east
That it lay where the east was ending.
There Paladine appeared
In a pool of stars and glory, announcing
That of all choices, one most terrible had fallen to Huma.
For Paladine knew that the heart is a nest of yearnings,
That wee can travel forever toward light, becoming
What we can never be.
For the bride of Huma could step into the devouring sun,
Together they would return to the thatched shires
And leave behind the secret of the Lance, the world
Unpeopled in darkness, wed to the dragons.
Or Huma could take on the Dragonlance, cleansing all Krynn
Of death and invasion, of the green paths of his love.
The hardest of choices, and Huma remembered
How the Wilderness cloistered and baptized his first thoughts
Beneath the sheltering sun, and now
As the black moon wheeled and pivoted, drawing the air
And the substance from Krynn, from the things of Krynn,
From the grove, from the Mountain, from the abandoned shires,
He would sleep, he would send it all away,
For the choosing was all of the pain, and the choices
Were heat on the hand when the arm has been severed.
But she came to him, weeping and luminous,
In a landscape of dreams, where he saw
The world collapse and renew on the glint of the Lance.
In her farewell lay collapse and renewal.
Through his doomed veins the horizon burst.
He took up the Dragonlance, he took up the story,
The pale heat rushed through his rising arm
And the sun and the three moons, waiting for wonders,
Hung in the sky together,
To the West Huma rode, to the High Clerist's Tower
On th back of the Silver Dragon,
And the path of their flight crossed over a desolate country
Where the dead walked only, mouthing the names of dragons.
And the men in the Tower, surrounded and riddled by dragons,
By the cries of the dying, the roar in the ravenous air,
Awaited the unspeakable silence,
Awaited far worse, in fear that the crash of the senses
Would end in a moment of nothing
Where the mind lies down with its losses and darkness.
But the winding of Huma's horn in the distance
Danced on the battlements. All of Solamnia lifted
Its face tot he eastern sky, and the dragons
Wheeled to the highest air, believing
Some terrible change had come.
From out of their tumult of wings, out of the chaos of dragons,
Out of the heart of nothing, the Mother of Night,
Aswirl in a blankness of colors,
Swooped to the East, into the stare of the sun
And the sky collapsed into silver and blankness.
On the ground Huma lay, at his side a woman,
Her silver skin broken, the promise of green
Released from the gifts of her eyes. She whispered her name
As the Queen of Darkness banked in the sky above Huma.
She descended, the Mother of Night,
And from the loft of the battlements, men saw shadows
Boil on the colorless dive of her wings:
A hovel of thatch and rushes, the heart of a Wilderness,
A lost silver light spattered in terrible crimson,
And then from the center of shadows
Came a depth in which darkness itself was aglimmer,
Denying all air, all light, all shadows.
And thrusting his lance into emptiness,
Huma fell to the sweetness of death, into abiding sunlight.
Through the Lance, through the dear might and brotherhood
Of those who must walk to the end of the breath and the senses,
And the long lands blossomed in balance and music.
Stunned in new freedom, stunned by the brightness and colors,
By the harped blessing of the holy winds,
The knights carried Huma, they carried the Dragonlance
To the grove in the lap of the Mountain.
When they returned to th grove in pilgrimage, in homage,
The Lance, the armor, the Dragonbane himself
Had vanished to the day's eye.
But the night of the full moons red and silver
Shines down on the hills, on the forms of a man and a woman
Shimmering steel and silver, silver and steel,
Above the village, over the thatches and nurturing shires.
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