The Road to Epoli is an epic albeit unremembered ballad of uncertain origin. The skeleton bard, Rickety Stitch has a great affection for the song, as it may perhaps be tied to his forgotten past. This version of the music was written, arranged, and performed by another bard, one Evin Wolverton.
Upon the road the Stranger strode through fog not from the sea.
O’er windswept haunts and gloomy downs of black and crooked trees.
Staving fright the Stranger sang aloud despite the dark
as wordless will o’ wisps incanted wiles upon his heart.
But though he could not see ahead, he tr0d forth ever on
And nevermore looked back upon the life he’d left behind.
Only marching toward the golden city he must find
Away from home and hearth, his bonny bride and family
Forgotten by the Stranger, on the Road to Epoli
The Road To Epoli, the Dream of Epoli (ep-oh-lee)
At last the Stranger wandered west, past Kril and Lionen (Lee-oh-nen)
Upon which grew the oaken vales and ash-wood Shady Glens.
But where now was the warming hearth, the gold and gilded flame?
And where now were the singing saints of yesteryear’s refrain?
The grey moon cast no light ahead, as dusk entombed his heart.
He stumbled through the darkened crypts of doubt and deep despair
And fell beneath the icy rifts of hope that brought him there.
Alone and cold his burdens dampened all that he might see
Perhaps he was not meant to find the Road to Epoli.
The road to Epoli, The Flame of Epoli.
O, sorry-hearted traveler just lay your head to rest.
The evergreen is fading and the starlight wanes away
Like old stones set in sinking sands so weary are your bones
Look to the Morning-Light on high, look through the shrouded sky!
May starlight guide you home tonight, O starlight guide you home
Though long and far you roam, upon the Road to Epoli.
So lonely was the wayward road, with no one by his side
No other folk to spark the lamp, no friend to kindly guide
The crickets and the sparrow-sprites went still as dusk befell
For lo, there lurked the olden fog… a-rolling from the dells
In fright, the Stranger dropped his pack and everything he owned
He cursed himself for lacking now the footing of the bold
Like griffon-hearted champions of epic stories told.
His birthright was not noble, never sworn by king’s decree
But all who seek find something on the Road to Epoli.
The Road to Epoli, the Heart of Epoli
The Stranger looked unto the seas, beyond the veil of night
Upon which sailed a fleet of ships, aglow with twink’ling light
“Ahoy,” they sang, “our silver ships draw near the Gilded Peaks.”
“Below the bluffs and by the deep, the Golden City sleeps”
Then swirling mists obscured the ships and drowned the sailor’s songs
The fog wove ‘round the snarling crags and slithered up the sand
Like fingers from a ghostly hand, it clawed onto the land
Yet far above the shadowed shore a mighty mountain gleamed
A crown atop the sea along the Road to Epoli
The Road to Epoli, the Light of Epoli
Within the gloom he tarried not, and climbed beyond the shores
The Stranger, shouting, finally found the fabled golden doors
But tarnished was their luster now, o’ergrown with shabby vines
While toppled stone and lichen shrouded everything in sight
And woe to him, the Stranger’s heart, fell faster than the stars!
He looked toward the sky and cried, “Where hath the city gone?”
Then keeled at last to weep amidst that lonely, distant dawn
No spires of the gilded flame, no sparkle by the sea
No fire within the Stranger, on the road to Epoli
The road to Epoli. The Fall of Epoli