a poem spun by our shaper friend...
tomorrow is the grand unknown -
it chills even Hrothgar to the bone.

the dark dreams of men
come out best in merry song,
where good prevails
and weak defines strong.
it is only natural,
they have all the traits of beasts
who struggle to survive
and are drunken wild at feasts.
they hired me to sing,
so i feed their foggy heads
with tales of nature's worst
a'fore they settle in their beds.
they shivered from time to time,
from the cold or from my rhyme.

i told them once of a brutal storm
that raged one hundred years - 
it killed without a second thought,
supplied the town with ample fears.
the locals lit a thousand fires,
burned their best to feed the skies,
but not a god was listening,
and they charged their priests as full of lies.
till one day a gleeming warrior,
thought a diety come down to cure
the ails they could not understand - 
"the stranger could, his heart is pure."
naked of armour and without a sword
they left him on a hill that night,
they say he battled with the storm
and returned the town to the light.
no one saw the forces in their brawl,
to them he won and that was all.

i used to tell a similar rhyme
to Grendel in his gloomy cave.
the storm was just as awful,
only in this one he was brave.
he met the vast and windy giant,
considered its strength and gusty brawn,
then sent it away with a simple wave
and was home before the rays of dawn.
now you may ask why such success?
how did he beat this scarey foe...
it was the fact that fear is fake!
we make it from what we don't know.
you see, grendel and the stormy dude
were friends in monster childhood.

so tonight i leave with pitied sorrow -
i know what befalls these men tomorrow.
rather blatant in it's message, i guess. i was looking to deal with the idea of fear, how humans deal with it, and then how something more connected to nature (the source of human's fear) would deal with it. i also like the idea of the shaper as a force himself, one who touches all beasts - perhaps memory or history or time or something along those lines. i thought for a while that perhaps the shaper is the dragon, the holder of knowledge (he's kind of a mentor to gardner's grendel), but that didn't come out at all... maybe in a future story.
grendel's workshop