The Tales of Jono and Joanne

The Coming to Metamor Keep

by Joanne Hunter

The knowledge of the Bard is one more of Tales and Adventure than one of how to survive in the wilderness or in the daily pub. For a Bard, having the Skills of Storytelling, can oft dissuade an enemy from attack or a rowdy mob from Losing their Self-Control and thus engaging in an establishment-wide brawl. For this reason those Bards that do exist of great Skill are often much cherished by persons far and wide, and they are oft asked to share their gift of Storytelling and their gift of Knowledge of Adventure with whatever Band of Travelers or Merrymakers they may be around, whether they be traveling or not.

Such is the situation this Bard does find himself in, and yet my Stories are all such that they require more Knowledge before they can be Blessed upon your minds. So forthwith shall I tell you another story. A story of the adventure of two young and carefree souls — the only known two Gypsies who have settled to a set of Lands that they felt they should call Home.

Know then that in a time of wars and struggles, there lived two intrepid and bold adventurers of the South, their names being Jonothan Hand, and Joanne Hunter. Hand being the travelling soul and bardic storyteller of the duo, Hunter as the beautiful and knowledgeable Gypsy woman of yore.

Though these two lived a life of carefree enjoyment and a love of the life in this world, all was not well. For the religions of the Lightbringers, being those who talked to gods that these wandering souls patronized, and the religion of the Ecclesia, being those who talked to but one God whom these poor souls did not see, were in bitter dispute over the lives and souls of their respective flocks.

Thus it came to pass that in travel through a Patildor land, young Jono the Bard, having been engaged in a usual storytelling that captivated the audience and warmed their hearts, was accused of witchcraft, of making magic with his voice to capture the souls of listeners. Thus as the charges were, he had no say in the matter, and but for all those he had wooed in his storytelling the only who would speak for him was the young Lothanasian gypsy Joanne who called him friend and brother. As a Lothanasi, however, her testimony was similarly ignored, and thusly he was stripped of his voice, such that he could work no more evil in the eyes of these Patildor priests.

It was as then that Jono came into a great depression, as he had lost his lifestyle, his love, and thus his love of life. But for the sake of his friend and sister Joanne he would no longer exist among us, for his voice was but a shadow of it's former self, and he was no longer able to enthrall and awe the audience with the ease and grace that had defined his earlier years.

But for lack of knowledge, young Joanne would have long since healed him. In great and valiant efforts to aid her surrogate brother, the two quested far and wide, Joanne caring for the depressed young ex-bard the whole way.

'Twas nearly the end of their quests when they came upon what was nearly their last hope, save an attempt to greet the Patriarch himself and ask of some way to recompense for the acts of his people. 'Twas the keep of Metamor that they journeyed torwards; some say foolishly. For at that time, and to this day, the grand Keep and the valley around it was a horrible cursed place, where walked animals on two legs that could speak, men who were once women, women who were once men, and proud fighters and men of wisdom and storytellers reduced to babes and children.

Yet within this land of curses and despair there shon a faint glimmer of hope. As previous adventurers had done, the dark Curse of the Keep was one that, while it changed your form, had at times cured great ills, healed devastating wounds, and restored life to those who would of certain be otherwise no longer on this earth.

So on this last hope did the young bard Jono and the young druid Joanne set forth on their quest to the distant Northlands, encountering much along the way. Many of these encounters be tales great and wondrous in and of themselves, but they are their own tales and shall not be told here.

Forthwith they did arrive at the Keep of Metamor, and they did encounter creatures true to the myths and legends in form — but not in soul. For the dark and sinister looking half-bat, half-man who did watch the Keep during the nighttime of their coming (a most dark and evil night of rain and storms, and of a tragedy in the lives of the Ecclesia which has already been chronicled by other storytellers of greater Skill and Power than I) was truly horrific to behold upon first observation.

Upon hearing his words, however, and the words of the many assembled beastmen to greet them later, among their numbers being a furred rat-man who gave his greetings, a half-lizard who introduced them to the world of the Keep, and a peculiar metallic Fox who greeted them quite suddenly on a small walk, the dark half-stories of evil demons and devils dwelling within the Keep seemed no more.

Thus it became Jono's decision that he was to live here, whether he be cured of his illness or not, and for his sake his sister not of blood but of choice stayed with him. There are thoughts that a young coyote, oft mistaken for a wolf, working in the keep Armoury whom Joanne started visiting regularly also swayed her decision, but we shall not speculate on the matter of my sister.

For I, the storytelling black panther before you, am Jonothan Hand, storyteller of the Keep of Metamor, and the young silvery-gray vixen by my side be my sister Joanne Hunter, styled Keep Naturalist. And thusly is the tale of our coming to Metamor, and here this story ends.