“Beast Brother” – Poem from the World of El Tor

Perhaps this could be Ildefonso Arimir, the famed minstrel of Caelon.

Before the clerics of Caelon became the authority of poetry in the peninsula, the now high ordered caste saw its earliest stages with traveling minstrels, similar to how the bards of the Saibhrean Isles still operate today. Earliest forms of their poetry was typically consonantal in rhyme, rather than assonantal, which became more favored as the years went on. Rhyming poetry was not typical in those days, but four lines of fourteen syllables was one of the more popular forms of poetry then. This form of poetry has fallen out of favor with the clerics of our time, but storytelling from those days is traditionally rich with this older style.

An example of the style was the poem “Beast Brother” which describes a rancher from the Gorzova region of Caelon, who had a special connection with his herd.

Beast Brother

Have you heard of the happy old herdsman Juan Julian?
His flock were his friends, though his family found him quite odd.
He was the second son of Lord Julian the swordsmith;
His father’s fame freed him from a life like the one he chose.

They say as a boy he broke a blade meant to bleed a beast.
When reprimanded, he refused to right his wrongdoing
And when the supper bell sounded, a stampede stormed outside:
Juan Julian had loosed the whole herd into the prairie.

His heart weighed heavy with the harm that was done to those beasts.
He tried to tell a tale about how the animals talked.
But his father, far from pleased, cast him out from family,
Giving him his inheritance, the herd which he set free.

They say he hunted them, holding only a hook in hand.
He bargained with each beast, bringing them under his banner;
An odd fellow, he found friendship where others found food.
And like a great goat himself, he grazed on green grassy leaves.

If you witness him wandering with his wild animals,
Be kind to the beast brother; be brief in your basking gaze.
For though he seems harmless, do not think he won’t have you hurt.
His huge herd is his house, oh happy old Juan Julian.

“Legacy of a Minstrel,” Ildefonso Arimir, 10 Sororia 248, A4

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