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The Pennsic Emperor


Master Cerian Cantwr            


Through all the tales of Pennsic War we've heard many a queer thing;
From painful plagues to human croquet, to cattle that must have had wings.
But perhaps the strangest tale I know of doings at Pennsic War,
Is the story of the first, and only, Pennsic Emperor.

Sir Galem Lionel Ost Westley, a knight valiant and true
Had not the faintest inkling of what fate would have him do.
He took his place upon the field, armed with shield and sword.
Never knowing that by day's end, he would be Pennsic's lord.

The cannon went off with a roar, and the melee, it began.
Slashing sword and thrusting spear put paid to many a man.
Within the shieldwall's swirling midst, Sir Galem, he did slay,
Until he found his path was blocked. Tiger King did bar the way.

The two men both moved purposefully, the other's life to seize.
The Eastern King he vainly strove to bring Galem to his knees.
Now, Galem did not know his foe wore a crown upon his head,
He only knew that some short man kept trying to take his leg.

He grew a little tired of these luckless low leg blows.
And decided there and then of their author to dispose.
"Though short you are, you soon shall be a little shorter yet!"
The monarch found he'd lost a foot. Our knight lopped off his head.

His man dispatched, Sir Galem looked for some new foe to attack,
When suddenly an unseen hand did knock upon his back.
It should have been an Easterner, who wanted to chastise
Sir Galem for the Eastern King's unceremonious demise.

Now way back then, engagement rules were not what they are of late.
If you began to turn, a sword would fly and seal your fate.
So grimly raising up his sword, he threw as he turned round.
To find no foe, but Mid-Realm King - his guard completely down.

The sword already on its way, could not be called back home.
And to the Dragon's Crown it flew, dropping Laurelin like a stone.
The king had wanted some attention, when that fatal knock he made.
The king receivéd some attention, upon edge of broadsword's blade.

Sir Galem went upon his way, though sorry for his king,
And at day's end Duke Andrew said he'd done the damndest thing.
"All hail Tiger and Dragon's Bane, both of whom you slew.
There's no one left to run this war, and so it falls to you."

"You did not seek an emperor's throne, or to rule a land so wide.
And yet this day, though unaware, you've done dual regicide."
Sir Galem he grew rather pale, as though suffering an attack.
"I do not want this crown!", he said. And quickly gave it back.

To those who dream of empires vast, think of our gallant knight.
Though he did win imperial throne, he quickly saw the light.
For if you kill all kings you meet, you might run out of luck.
You could be crowned imperial. And then with the job, be stuck.

© 1992 Charles Grab
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