For other uses of 'Magic's Price,' see the disambiguation page


A grieving Bard Stefen wrote this song for Herald-Mage Vanyel.

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Every year Companions Choose
As they have done before
The Chosen come with shining hearts
To learn the Herald's lore
And every year the Heralds sigh
And give the same advice
"All those who would hold magic's power
Must then pay magic's price"    

     Oh there was danger in the north
That's all that Vanyel knew
An enemy of power dark
Sought Heralds out and slew
But only those with magic's gift
Were slain by silent rage
Till Vanyel of them all was left
The only Herald-Mage    

     Yes from the north the danger came
Beyond the border far
The forest did not stay dark death
Nor did the mountains bar
And Vanyel cried "We die my liege,
And know not why nor where
So send me north my king that I
May learn the answers there"    

     Then north went Vanyel - not alone
Though 'twas of little aid
A bard was like to be to him
And Stefen was afraid
He feared that he would fail the quest
A burden prove to be
Dared not let Vanyel go alone
To face dark sorcery    

     So out beyond the border there
Beyond the forest tall
Into the mountains deep they went
And there stood an icy wall
To find the wall had cracked and found
There was a passage new
A path clean-cut, that winding ran
A level course and true    

     This path was wrought by mage-craft
Vanyel knew that when he saw
The mountains hewn by power alone
A power he felt with awe
But to what purpose? Something moved
Beyond them on the trail
They watched, and hid, and what had they found
That turned them cold and pale?    

     An army moved in single file
By magic cloaked and hid
An army moved on Valdemar
That marched as they were bid
A darker force than weaponry
Controlled the men and pace
For Vanyel looked, and Vanyel knew
An ancient evil's face    

     Then Vanyel turned to Stefen
And he told the bard to ride
To warn the folk of Valdemar
"They call me magic's pride!
It's time I earned that name - now go!
I'll hold this army back,
Until the arms of Valdemar
Can counter their attack!"    

     So Stefen rode, and so it is
No living tongue can tell
How Vanyel fought, nor what he wrought
Nor how the Herald fell
The army came, but not in time
To save the Herald Mage
Although the pass was scorched and cracked
By magic power's rage!    

     They fought the dark ones back although
They came on wave by wave
No trace they found of Vanyel nor
Of his companion brave
They hardly found the focus-stone
The gift of Stefen's hand
Now blackened, burned, and shattered by
The power that saved their land!    

     They only found the foemen who
Into the woods had fled
And each one by unseen, uncanny
Powers now lay dead
As if the forest had somehow
Bestirred itself that day
Had Vanyel with his dying breath
Commanded trees to slay?    

     And still the forest of our north
Guards Valdemar from harm
For Vanyel's dying curse is stronger
Far than mortal arm
And every year the Chosen come
Despite the old advice:
"All those who would be Magic's Pride
Must then pay magic's price!"    

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