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Pathfinder Poetry -- "Princess Urgathoa" (a ballad for Halloween 2011)


Pathfinder Tales

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After my brief fits of insanity for Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day, and a lesser fit for April Fools, I thought I was done with Golarion poetry for a bit. But James said I was free to post more if I liked, and Urgathoa seemed to demand something for Halloween. And when the Pallid Princess demands something....

Of course, while there are many spooky ghost stories, there is also a long tradition of humorous ghostly tales, such as, for example, "Miss Bailey's Ghost."

There is also a longer tradition of writing new ballads to the tunes of old ones. Indeed, there's even the tradition of ballad sellers hawking in the streets from the 16th to 19th centuries, and with a little PDF wizardry, it even makes a good prop for Halloween games. (Note: Contains a period woodblock of Urgathoa!)

So, Happy Halloween, everyone. I thought I might get this up a bit early, in the crack between two Pathfinder Tales, so people would have it for the season, and also because I'll soon be leaving for the World Fantasy Convention.

I hope you enjoy it. (And if any musically inclined fans would be inclined to record it and post it to YouTube, I think we'd all enjoy that too.)

“Princess Urgathoa"
(to the tune of “Miss Bailey’s Ghost”)
By Kevin Andrew Murphy

One evening very long ago a princess died of asthma
And found herself queued up with shades in line to see Pharasma.
The princess sniffed indignantly, “I’m not some protozoa!
I don’t know who this goddess is, but I am Urgathoa!”

Chorus: Urgathoa, she’s not some protozoa! Urgathoa, the Princess Urgathoa!

Pharasma said, “Please wait your turn, celestial or infernal.
While I will surely get to you, your wait may seem eternal.”
The princess laughed, “I’m out of here!” jumped on an extinct moa
And headed for the land above. “So long!” cried Urgathoa.

Chorus: Urgathoa, she rides a giant moa! Urgathoa, the Princess Urgathoa!

“I’m sorry, dear,” Pharasma said, “You simply can’t be leaving.
What’s done is done, and dead is dead, and folk are not done grieving.”
The willful princess then replied, “Ooh look! A feather boa!”
And grabbed a dead plumed serpent, put it on--That’s Urgathoa!

Chorus: Urgathoa, she wears a feather boa! Urgathoa, the Princess Urgathoa!

She spurred the axebeak with her heels, then with the dead coatl.
The moa took off like a spear launched out of an atlatl.
And where they landed in the world? Someone swore, “Croatoa!
Our colony has died!” he cried. “I blame you, Urgathoa!”

Chorus: Urgathoa, the plague of Croatoa! Urgathoa, the undead Urgathoa!

So that explains how undeath came and why we now have sickness,
And also it explains, I think, where undead get their quickness.
So if you die and you find death to be as sour as quinces
Just follow the example of the jolly pallid princess!

Chorus: Urgathoa, our Princess Urgathoa! Urgathoa, our Goddess Urgathoa!

This song is sung in the taverns of Ustalev.
Known as a “whistling past the graveyard
song,” it is a song for the living to mock the
dead and prove they do not fear them.
Perversely, the song is also popular among
undead bards, who consider it an unofficial
hymn to the Goddess Urgathoa.

(Historic Note: This song is sung to the tune
of “Miss Bailey’s Ghost,” a humorous ghost
song dating to the 16th century. The
original lyrics
would also be suitable for
any Golarion game by just switching
“Halifax” to “Cheliax” and keeping the rest
as written.)

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