Scrape the bench of sunless moss,
And harken to this tale of loss.
A princess lies below the soil,
A pride and joy, a beauty divine.
Now food for worms, her flesh to dine.
Skin once fair, now left to spoil.
A Princeling came, a suitor fair,
To press his cause, to wed the heir.
The marriage feast like none before
was blighted by a deed most foul.
A poisoned cup, the king did howl.
To find a cure, the Princeling swore.
His ship set sail, crossed ocean’s deep,
With knights all pledged to end sleep.
Through tempests fierce and unknown miles,
Drawn by wind from a land undying,
The very storm its name seem’d sighing.
A place men named the Shadow Isles.
Like the hound abroad with bloody scent,
Drawn ever on by forlorn lament,
To a night-veiled isle on no man’s chart.
No wind was heard, no bird nor beast,
Only spirits summoned by death’s priest.
Onward knights to this island’s heart!
A clash of steel, a cry of wrath.
wrought bitter defeat,
The Princeling’s men were slain.
He ran in fear; they died in vain,
His love of life too bright, too sweet.
Lost in darkest, haunted night,
Pursued by spiteful wraith and wight.
He chanced upon a moonlit field,
And assailed by the mist.
“Aid me!” cried he, “With sword and fist!
The spirits are cruel, their hearts unhealed.”
“Here, all men are equal, all sins forgiven,
But pride hath made this land corpse-riven.
The dead we’ll fight, our lives as the prize.
Shepherd them onward, and then come the dawn,
Triumph will teach you secrets long gone,
But vanquished, we fall and then rise.”
They fought as brothers on cursed battleground,
Atop the bones of scholars renowned
‘Gainst spirits in black, with hunger infernal.
Dawn never came, but the battle was done.
The monk and the Princeling had won!
“Speak, fellow! Tell secrets of life eternal.”
The monk told tales of a time forgotten
An ancient queen, now dead and mulch-rotten.
Of her king brought low by sorrow and woe,
Who came to this isle to bring back her life,
But damned the world to endless strife,
Spirits of death and carrion crow.
His magic unleashed a terrible scourge;
Grim prelude to dirge.
Black mist rose up and doomed all to death.
But spirits arose from every dead thing,
Cursed to undeath by this grief-maddened king.
He begged it all end with his very last breath.
A land once blessed, was ripped asunder,
Split with lightning and beaten by thunder.
Phantoms now mutter in graves enshrined.
And banshees throng its haunted streets,
Shrieking their woes of black defeats,
A boundless curse upon all mankind.
The Princeling listened, all aghast,
To hear this tale from the grim outcast.
He spared this ancient king no boon,
But tales of death and grim disaster;
Unmask all, from slave to master.
The Princeling’s lies laid bare by the moon.
The goblet supped by his new wife,
The Princeling poisoned to take her life.
Her father’s wealth and crown he craved;
No cure he wished, but existence deathless,
No succor for his queen, forever breathless;
His soul was dark, his mind depraved.
And yet his bride had one last curse.
A fatal spell of bitter verse.
Justice sought with dying breath,
Set the on the hunt
To punish him for such great affront
And bring about his bloody death.
The mist closed in and called his name,
A huntress aglow in mist-wreathed flame.
Her spears of light pierced his breast,
A cold ground yawned wide and deep,
The Princeling fell to blackest sleep,
Never to wake from his victim’s bequest.
Smothered in darkness, dying in pain,
No crown for his brow, never to reign.
Buried forever in earth’s dark womb,
Heed the price of ambition’s dark call
Be not ensnared by its artful thrall,
The Princeling’s greed was his doom.
A pallid light waxed cold and bright,
Borne up through the earth, his soul took flight.
No reprieve was this, but torment afresh,
drawn by his scent.
Dancing to the Deathsinger’s lament.
“Your soul is mine,” said the beast called .
So heed this fate and learn it well,
Shun the Isles where the dead still dwell.
Seek ye all the things to cherish,
And pass the years in time well spent.
A life full-lived, a soul content.
- For a detailed look, see The Princeling's Lament
- The Princeling's Lament serves as the main event to re-introduce Shadow Isles into the new canon. It was released alongside Champion Update.