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Pathfinder Poetry "The Flyting of Cailean's Hall" (limerick epic for St. Patrick’s Day 2011 & Mark Moreland)


Pathfinder Tales

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Contributor

10 people marked this as a favorite.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone.

Last month, unprompted, I wrote "The Fifteen Loves of Golarion" as a full heroic crown of sonnets for Valentines Day.

They were well received (for which I thank everyone). Mark Moreland then said (and I quote) "You know, Kevin, if you don't give us a heroic *something* of limericks for St. Patrick's Day, a lot of green-wearing drunkards will be very upset."

I do not want the green-wearing drunkards to be upset, especially since some of them may be goblins. So, as requested, here's the limerick epic.

Note: It's limericks, so it's bawdy. Maybe not quite up to the level of Chaucer's "The Miller's Tale" or "The Ballad of Eskimo Nell," but still, bawdy. Be forewarned, but I hope you enjoy it.

Best,

Kevin Andrew Murphy

“The Flyting of Cailean’s Hall”
A limerick epic for St. Patrick’s Day 2011 & Mark Moreland
By Kevin Andrew Murphy

One evening in Cailean’s Hall,
A tavern with mugs on the wall
And mead, wine and ale,
And spit-roasted quail,
And everything there but a brawl,

Bragged cavalier Alain Germande,
A man with his word as his bond,
“I’ve won every contest
And crave a new conquest.
Does any man dare to respond?

“Valeros–What was he thinking?
He dared test my mettle at drinking.
I’ve proved I’m most able–
He’s under the table
And there he lies snoring and stinking.

“I’ve no skill at magic or knitting–
Only masculine contests are fitting–”
Piped Lem at the bar,
“Oh I’m sure that they are
So I challenge you, lad, to a flyting!”

Alain huffed, “I will not be reviled
By a man who’s the size of a child!”
“You just were, my good sir.
You prefer the word ‘cur’?”
Said Lem as he stood up and smiled.

“A flyting’s a contest of curses
And insults, all traded in verses.
There’s also a wager–
It needn’t be major–
Do you dare put your mouth where your purse is?

“For my part I will wager my flute
Which I prize more than money or loot.”
Alain said, “Then of course
I must wager my horse
For I am a man of repute!”

Lem admitted, “A fine reputation
Befitting a man of your station.
You’ve caused some divorces
And I hear pregnant horses
Birthing centaurs–in fact a whole nation!

“The Mother of Monsters has blessed you
And nibbled your ear and caressed you.
It’s often been noted
Your gelding’s devoted....
Why is that, or have I distressed you?”

“Not at all,” said the cavalier, blushing,
As the folk in the pub began hushing.
“I’ve heard your first volley
But I promise your folly
Will be short, like an ant that needs crushing!

“I know of this flyting, this sport,
From the guardsmen at my father’s court,
And while it’s not knightly
I can do it rightly
So I’ll start with the fact that you’re short!

“You’re a mandrake root, twisted and stunted!
Or a cadpig, grunting and runted!
By every last measure
You’d choose for your pleasure
You fall short, like a ball that’s been bunted!”

Said the bard, “I must grant you that case.
As a halfling I should know my place.
Yet I may be petite
But the hair on my feet
Is far more than you have on your face!

“Indeed, we all think it quite weird
That Alain here cannot grow a beard.
Should I call you ‘Allana’
You smooth-faced madonna?”
The halfling bard cheerfully jeered.

Hissed Alain, “I will not be a stinter
You tow-headed hair-footed splinter!
Go crawl back in your hole
Lest some oracle troll
Use your shadow as omen for winter!”

“Brave words from a knight with a shield
With a monstrous chicken en field.
What is there to mock?
It’s a snake-tailed cock!
A pecker that bids men to yield!”

“And this from a bard whose first levels
Were learned pleasing Chelaxian devils?
His lips on a bone
Like some courtesan crone
Playing with it for Satanic revels?

“Your old bone? Who but devils would cheer it?
Or would willfully ever come near it?
Who finds that appealing?
Your skirling and squealing
Makes harpies vomit to hear it!”

“Oh come off it, you ponce and you prance.
You’re a fop with an oversized lance
And a cock on your tunic
And a prized equine eunuch.
Just what are you saying perchance?”

Alain roared, “You foul little newt!
You...pug with...that bone that you toot....”
He looked to get violent
But then he fell silent.
“You’ve won....” Winked Lem, “Oh, you brute....”

The bard then showed some remorse.
“You and Donahan can stay your course.”
Lem laughed, “Though he’s cute
I’ll keep blowing my flute
And I’ll let you take care of your horse!”

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Awesome. ^_^

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Great!


I must say....

Well played!

Paizo Employee Developer

3 people marked this as a favorite.

That'll teach me to encite you, Kevin!
Finer verse couldn't be found in Heaven.
My challenge you've met
And I won't soon forget
That your poetry goes to eleven.

Paizo Employee Webstore Gninja Minion

Mark Moreland wrote:

That'll teach me to encite you, Kevin!

Finer verse couldn't be found in Heaven.
My challenge you've met
And I won't soon forget
That your poetry goes to eleven.

Nice. :D


Thanks and Happy St Patrick's!

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

2 people marked this as a favorite.

We all know Kevin's a writer
Crafting this must have been an all nighter
While I might have the will
I clearly lack the skill
With two points per level, I'm only a fighter.


Excellent work, sir! My wife's birthday is today - I imagine she'll get quite a kick out of reading this later! (And if you ever make it to NC - or I ever make it to PaizoCon - I'll buy you a few rounds of Maker's Mark as my thanks.)

Contributor

Ah, Maker's Mark is always welcome, and I very much favor the custom of tipping a poet with drinks.

I'll be at Paizocon most definitely. Glad you and everyone else have enjoyed.

Osirion

Pure genius.

Thank you for this, sir.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Wow - just WOW!!!

Cheliax

Sláinte agus saol chugat, Go n-éirí on bóthar leat Kevin !


I've said it before
And I'll say it again
You, sir, are a loony
A stark raving madman

Your verses are lewd
Right fit for a swine
And I'll have to concede
You do fit here just fine!

Osirion

Wow, I was familiar with the Inuit and Nordic versions of 'contention songs' or insult-as-artform (or the feudal Japanese fad of saying the most scandalously insulting thing you could, via 'innocent' innuendo, to a social superior that you despised), but I'd never heard of flyting.

Neat. Also, saucy!


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Pathfinder MC Battles! NICE!


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just great. I think it shows the skill of everyone involved in the limmericks here to allude to rudeness without being able to actually write anything rude.

great job to all of you.


Well done! :)


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Liz Courts wrote:
Awesome. ^_^

+1


Truly, you are...the master. *bows*


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Coming 2012: Poetry of Golarion.

Silver Crusade

Lanx wrote:
Coming 2012: Poetry of Golarion.

Now that wold be unique. Love to see it.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

Loved it. Nice job.


Fantastic. Just fantastic.

-The Beast


Ha! I'd love to see that performed in cosplay at GenCon!

Grand Lodge

That was awesome! Thanks for being amazingly talented and creative!

Contributor

StarkLord wrote:
Ha! I'd love to see that performed in cosplay at GenCon!

I'll be at PaizoCon, so if anyone wants to do that, I'd willingly take the role as the Narrator/Poet.

If the resulting piece were to somehow show up on YouTube after that....

Andoran

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

That was pretty amazing. As a lover of limericks, I'm quite impressed.

Silver Crusade

Great Poem! Well Done Kevin. Something for St. Patricks day for these old Irish ears to hear.


Yes! This is exactly the sort of thing I want to see (and hopefully write) in modern heroic fantasy someday. We so need to see a scene like this in a Pathfinder novel.

Though given that a flyting is an exchange of insults, how does this line:

“The Mother of Monsters has blessed you
And nibbled your ear and caressed you.

constitute an insult? (What, doesn't every guy on Golarion want some sweet Lamashtu lovin'?) XD

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Side note: ALain should have accused Lem of being an idiot and a fool, for everyone knows that only Senators and high Nobility are allowed to wear beards in Taldan.

==Aelryinth

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww snap!

I demand art of Lem and KAM sharing a brofist.

Shadow Lodge

Nicely done. <clap clap clap clap> Loved it.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Mikaze wrote:

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww snap!

I demand art of Lem and KAM sharing a brofist.

BRO FIST!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

AWESOME. This is deliciously dirty (almost as much as Lem's flute). Thanks so much for doing this.

(Also-- Poor Valeros! He loves his booze, but it puts him to sleep so very easily!)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

Kevin A. Murphy
Your poetry is sublime
thank you in haiku.

- The Dudemeister.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Simply amazing. Brava, sir.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

How. Frickin'. Cool!
Thank, Kevin!! I look forward to more!

Contributor

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Evan Tarlton wrote:

AWESOME. This is deliciously dirty (almost as much as Lem's flute). Thanks so much for doing this.

(Also-- Poor Valeros! He loves his booze, but it puts him to sleep so very easily!)

My assumption is that Valeros, being a devout worshipper of Cayden Cailean, had got an early start on the evening well before accepting Alain's challenge to a drinking contest--and Alain, had he not just been coming off a drinking contest, would have had more sense than to accept Lem's challenge to a flyting.

And Lem? Well, beating a drunk braggart in an insult contest is fine for counting coup, but actually taking his prized horse (and BFF) would be letter-of-the-law tacky--exactly something a devil would do and thus exactly the sort of thing Lem would not do. Besides which, anyone with even one dot of Diplomacy (and Lem has to have more than that) would know that would make him an enemy, and that and the price of an expensive horse isn't worth as much as having a badass cavalier in your debt.

Not that Alain would formally acknowledge it as that. But riding to the rescue with the full cavalry some time that Lem gets in a scrape, with some noble waffle about "little halfling" and "honor" and "just being in the neighborhood" and "fast horse"? Oh yeah. Alain would be just itching to repay that unspoken honor debt.

At least that's how I see the story coming about, given the characters involved.


Never EVER challenge a bard to a contest of wordplay. You'll almost ALWAYS lose. ^_^


Win.

However, I must object good sir, for it puts my own bawdy dialogue in-game to shame, for shame.

Andoran

Nicely done, and I think that this is no worse than what I have read in Shakespeare's works. So, maybe we can find a way to include this in a future product on poetic contests .... or having battles of wits between characters. (Lem at least did not accuse Alain of being an unarmed opponent in such a contest.)

Shadow Lodge

simply Epic Kevin!

and just one question along the following lines

Berselius wrote:
Never EVER challenge a bard to a contest of wordplay. You'll almost ALWAYS lose. ^_^

Does this fall before or after "Never get involved with a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!" :D


Quote:
Does this fall before or after "Never get involved with a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!" :D

Both before and after...and somewhere in between even. ^_~

Osirion

Berselius wrote:
Never EVER challenge a bard to a contest of wordplay. You'll almost ALWAYS lose. ^_^

With that sir, I must disagree

I mean really, how hard could it be?
Just say that his tunes
Sound like troops of baboons
He'll screech as if stung by a bee

Andoran

Mark Moreland wrote:

That'll teach me to encite you, Kevin!

Finer verse couldn't be found in Heaven.
My challenge you've met
And I won't soon forget
That your poetry goes to eleven.

Goes to eleven indeed!

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

Alain's squire: "My lord... I believe thou hast just been served..."


And from now on I will always think of Lem as having an 'Oirish' accent

Golarions answer to Barry Fitzgerald.


Berselius wrote:
Quote:
Does this fall before or after "Never get involved with a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!" :D
Both before and after...and somewhere in between even. ^_~

Actually it has to come after because the line before that is...

"Never get involved in a Land War in Asia"


Yay! Nice!!!

Greg

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