The History of the Muires

"Grandpa! Tell us another one of your stories. Pleeeeaaaase!"

Grendle looked down at his grandchildren and laughed. He always loved having them around. They would beg him to tell another story, and when he spoke, they would be all wide-eyed, listening to his every word.

"All right then. Hmm, which story will I tell you now? Let me think... Aha! I assume you"ve all heard of the Muire Tomb?" When they all nodded, he proceeded. "And I assume you would like to hear the history behind it, wouldn"t you?" This time, the children were bobbing their heads up and down vehemently.

Grendle laughed again. "I guess that means yes. Ah, the Muire Tomb. Now that is an old story. I first heard this tale when I was but a small boy, just about your age, from my grandfather, who heard it again from his grandfather, who in turn heard it from his grandfather, who was but a small boy himself when this happened.

"During that time, the Muires were an extremely wealthy family. Some say that their wealth rivals even that of the old kings of Camelot! They lived in a magnificent palace just up the hills near Ardee, right about where the tomb stands today.

"But rich as they were, they were also a very secretive bunch. No one ever recalled seeing the Muires. They did sometimes see the servants at the marketplace, but even they were very tight mouthed. They would get what they needed, and they would vanish into palace again.

"But then, a new servant arrived at the marketplace. Unlike the others, this one also talked with the townspeople. Naturally, the people of Ardee tried to pry information out of him, but he always made sure he revealed nothing of the Muires.

"One day however, the servant let himself be leaded to the tavern. He had planned on having one mug of ale, and would then go again. But under the influence of the townspeople, who kept offering him free drinks, he kept drinking under he no control over his actions and words. It was then he began talking about the Muires openly.

"And yesh, you should see what they have inside their palace! Everything ish made of gold! The candleshticksh, the tablesh, even the sheiling! *hic*! They are sho rich, that if they would divide their wealth amongsht all the people of Ardee, what am I shaying, amongsht all the people from every town from here to Connla, we"d all be filthy rich!"

"And so he ranted on and on about the wealth of the Muires. At first, there were but a few pair of eyes which shone with greediness. But they started talking to the others, about how they should have a right to their wealth too. "Why should all the gold be in the hands of one family, when we all have to break our backs here from working so hard?" they would say. And before long, half the townspeople were agreeing with them, and their eyes too shone with greediness, and hatred.

"They decided that the wealth should be theirs as well, and they started mobilising. None of them had real weapons, but the farmers brought their shovels and hoes, the innkeeper and the cooks brought their kitchen knives, and the blacksmith brought his big hammer, and they all started marching toward the palace.

"When they got to the palace, there were some guards there. But the townspeople convinced most of them to join forces with them. Why should they keep working for the Muires for a meager salary, when their wealth was for the taking? The few guards who remained loyal stood no chance at all, and were quickly slain.

"Once they gotten into the palace, they ravaged the whole place. They killed everyone they saw inside the palace, even the ones who begged for mercy. And those were but the men. The women were not so fortunate, of course. They were raped repeatedly before they were put out of their misery. It is horrible what most men would do when they are captured by greed and hatred.

"At last, the night came to an end, and the palace was plundered and burnt to the ground. The people of Ardee returned to their homes, all satisfied with themselves, thinking this the end of it. But it was far from over...

"For soon, people started dying mysteriously. At first, the people did not know what caused these deaths. But then they discovered a pattern. They found out only the persons who participated on the raid would fall victim to these mysterious deaths. Of course, some people tried to leave town. But these people would suddenly fall off their horses or their wagons, and they would break their necks instantly.

"After much despair, the people of Ardee decided that there was only one thing left to do. They would erect a tomb to commemorate the Muires, and that tomb would be built on the exact place the palace had stood. Not only that, but everyone would forsake their part of the treasure, and give them back by leaving it in the tomb.

"Everyone in the town helped to build the tomb, and it wasn"t long before the tomb was finished. When the last of the treasure was put into the tomb, the spirits of the Muires suddenly appeared in front of the people. "We see that you have learned from your mistakes, but do not return again! Next time we will not be so merciful, and you would suffer a long and painful death!" and with that they vanished into the tomb. And that was the history of the Muires, dear children."

"One of them asked in a timid voice: "But, haven"t anyone tried to steal the treasures in the tomb?"

"Of course there are. I"ve heard many accounts of people going into the tomb, but needless to say, they did not survive. Well, there are some people who did come out alive, like myself, but these are the people who did not venture far into the tomb, but rather stayed near the entrance."

"You went into the tomb? What did you see there?"

"Graves. Ah yes, lots of graves. It is rumored that the Muires themselves erected a grave for every man or woman who perished in the tomb. To remind other foolish adventurers to get out before it is too late. I have also caught a glimpse of some monsters. Spiders the size of a small horse, and mummies! There"s another rumor concerning these mummies. It is said that the mummies are the dead bodies of the people who died in the tomb, resurrected by the Muires through some form of dark magic, to guard the tomb."

"Ahem. I hate to interrupt, but dinner"s ready. Go wash your hands, children. And father, do you always have to tell them these ghost stories? It gives them nightmares."

"Ah dear Julie, but the children love my stories so much, and as I recall, you did as well when you were a child. But all right, if it bothers you so much, I promise I would only tell them children stories instead. Are you happy now?"

Julie laughed. "I know already that it is a promise you would not be able to keep. Come on, father, let"s have dinner."