Staring with stoic regard, we turn facing
That which in starlight unravels undone -
Five in the Dawn are we, bulwarks embracing,
Five in the Dusk are we, holding as one.
Watchful, her Moons urge the tide ever-flowing,
Siblings affixed in eternal entwine;
Ushered they, heralding wind by their glowing;
Voice of our Lady called us to His shrine.
Kneeling at statue of Queen over Twilight,
Praying Secunda and Masser to rise,
Holy projection of lunar-born insight
Lent by Azura then filled in our eyes:
'Far in the marsh amid shadows' grim chiding,
Phaiox the vampire skulks brooding in gloom,
Strangles My moonlight, in darkness confiding,
Shrouding My beams to bring others to doom.
'Though you My children be, loyal and lavish,
Wish I no harm to befall you, My kin,
Evil this creature would countryside ravish,
Draining its innocents, bloodied with sin.
'So now I ask of you, higher than servant,
Closer than family, greater than friend,
Conquer this monster and hungering fervent,
Triumph and bring it no merciful end.'
Knowing our mission, She granted us blessing,
Lady Azura, our Mother in Sky,
Left we to lift that which weighed Her heart pressing,
Swearing the beast would in dawn-light slain lie.
Onward for days we together strode quickly,
Wanting no thing but to Lady approve,
Numb to what otherwise renders one sickly,
Shimmering Moons guiding every our move.
Late in one morning we chanced on a tower,
Corpses in pieces and fresh led us in,
Strewn on the dirt by some hideous power;
Confident, trod we to victory win.
Following mist of the ancient stone hallways,
Crept we by torchlight through rot and despair,
Though as we ever held heart-side and always,
Lady our Queen would keep us in repair.
Gripping the handles of weapons at ready,
Caught in our corner of sight shone a flame,
Halting our march, he appeared, we held steady;
Raging in crimson stood Dratik's dread frame.
Wasted it not but a moment in striking,
Fierce and with speed only Daedra may boast,
Pounding with strength of an atronach's liking,
Shattering through to what feared we the most.
Breaking our armor, ignoring protection,
Clawing at flesh now exposed and out bare,
Shot it a dose of its wretched injection,
Shifting our journey to dismal from fair.
Though we dispatched from our realm that corruption,
Venomous curse of undeath were we fed,
Heaving assurance of life's interruption,
Bolstering ranks of the night-roaming dead.
Traitor to daylight now, sped we to altar,
Hoping our Lady would send us a cure,
Pleading She turn a blind eye to our falter,
Begging to make us again whole and pure.
Swift as we traveled to hallowed our haven,
Sun had arisen and burned our cold skin,
Forcing our fleeing by heralding raven,
Singing our torment through sorrowful din.
Vacated mine sealed our blood-thirst unending,
Shutting out sunlight and barbarous crave,
Lost of our Lady and Moons' comfort mending,
Ages endured have we, locked in our grave.
Fortune or irony cast us a riddle:
Was it some plot that we, now of new kind,
Never may visit Her shrine at day's middle?
Solely to Eventide are we confined?
Whether by destiny, chance or some planning,
Queen perhaps guiding for purpose our woe,
Wicked condition our liberty banning,
Ambling in anguish, we suffer to know.
So in anguish we chant that worship defends,
Dusk-light fast dulling our pain-tainted roars,
"It is only by fate that any life ends,
And only by chance it is mine... not yours."