Weekly Skylights: The Tripod Looks to the Clouds

4 min read

Joey Cifelli ’23

A&E Editor

April 10, 2023

It was once said that there existed a wealthy baron who had made his fortune in trade, buying and selling all the sorts of things one has to buy and sell in order to furnish a merchant vessel and keep it profitable. Also, it was said, there existed the baroness, who was both beautiful and deeply sad, despite her husband’s assurances that the latter could not derive from the former. The components of her life did not provide her with much meaning, and she was growing tired of treating the symptoms of her woe rather than the cause. In truth, the baron was also sad, because ever since he retired his sword and shield to the fireplace mantel he felt as though the world was simply waiting for him to die. He was not so wrong in this line of thinking. The baron did have children after all, children increasingly familiar with the power of gold and the rites of inheritance. 8.5/10

April 11, 2023

Thus the manor fell into a gloomy torpor, even in the summer months when life seemed incapable of withering. Until one day when a mad wizard by the name of Grindaenacker stormed the manor with an army of undead skeleton soldiers and, among other crimes, killed the servants, drank the wine, sacked the vault, and turned the baroness into a fox, whom he stuffed in the sack with the gold. By the time the baron finished uttering curses unto Grindaenacker and his entire foul lineage the sorcerer had already vanished into the sky. Ignoring his son’s plea to call for his bannermen, the baron grabbed his dust-streaked sword, saddled a fresh horse from the stable, and set off for the wizard’s tower with the wind at his back. Despite the pain in his joints, he couldn’t help but smile at the thought of the righteous and harrowing quest to come. 8.6/10

April 13, 2023

The tower wasn’t hard to find. Common knowledge held that a wizard’s tower occupied the steepest crag of the deadliest local mountain, or, if a mountain wasn’t available, the deadliest local hill. Common knowledge also dictated that wizards have some sense knocked into them every so often, precisely to keep things like this from happening on a regular basis. The task was less difficult than one might expect. Wizards, tending to put all of their energy toward extravagant displays of magic, caved quickly once caught off-guard and dealt a few blows to the face. All to say that it didn’t take long for the baron to arrive at Grindaenacker’s lair, break down the door, scale the winding stone steps, and bash the wizard’s head against the wall until he turned his wife back into a human. The couple recovered their stolen treasure and headed home, leaving Grindaenacker to groan softly on the cold unforgiving floor. 7.8/10

April 14, 2023

Like a pond after rainfall, the surface of life returned to its natural state, while underneath all was forever altered. Business carried on as it had. But the baron kept his sword sharp and well-polished, so that it carried the sun as he swung it through the air on horseback, laughing like a child again. If the world wanted him to die, it would have to catch him first. Meanwhile the baroness had learned much from her time on four legs. The simple joys of sensation opened themselves up to her in ways long lost to humankind. Under the full moon her bed often lay empty, and servants were wise to ignore the blood freckling her lips or stray tuft of fur in her hair. It was once said that there lived a baron, and with him lived a baroness. Now, it is said, that they are merry. 7.9/10

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