Conquerors of Louchébem

The tall pennants shone in the first light and the army gave voice in a great shout: “Louchébem!”

They travelled far in search of the fabled city, its days as shadowy and aimless as nights, its nights as light and orderly as days.

For months they journeyed, and towns and villages were stripped of their fodder and stores, and often of their maidens and youth, who were enlisted on the great quest for Louchébem!

As the months grew into years, there were grumblings and dissent. Men whispered that they had lost the way: that they would fall from the edge of the world, or that they had entered an enchanted forest from which there was no escape. Perhaps they had reached the Roads of the Dead, from which there is no returning. The camp followers stole away unnoticed. In fear and madness, the soldiers deserted, with cries or mutters of the doleful name of Louchébem!

At last, one autumn day, the remaining forces realised that they had camped in the same spot for more than a year. And, it being a goodly plain fed by a clear river, they began to erect buildings with the timbers from their tents and siege-engines, and they settled in that place.

It happened that a traveller, many years later, came to a prosperous town in that plain, and asked the name of the place. He was answered: “Louchébem.”

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2 responses to “Conquerors of Louchébem

  1. Brilliant. And funny.

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