Death in Ainghaeal's Nest

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By: Hieyoko Posted on: May 14, 2007

Written in terza rima, iambic pentameter, from the point of view of a rogue Serpentlord-classed individual facing a nameless Runewarden in Cyrene's Ainghaeal's Nest.

As we approach the grounds I catch a breath,
And yet I fear this act shall be in vain.
The crowd applauds, sure of my pending death.

We've fought before - I ended clove in twain.
Visions of past fights flash before my eyes;
He wields his axes; I stare in disdain.

We enter quickly; I adopt a guise
of having not prepared myself for this.
"For you to quit right now may be most wise...."

He rambles on, as I murmur a hiss
to call my loyal serpent to my side.
He does not notice something is amiss.

I know his death will surely wound his pride,
as he views how I fight as dull and crude.
He fails to see why I would choose to hide

Instead of charging out. He grows more rude,
and spits before he sketches on the ground
his arcane symbols, but I am quite shrewd.

As jeers and cat-calls echo all around,
I whisper subtle hints into his ear,
and seal them so they will not come unbound.

I find myself frozen briefly with fear.
His axes carve a wide swathe towards my arm,
his mouth drawn tightly back into a sneer,

But as I parry, I murmur, "No harm
will fall upon me as I watch you die."
I snap my fingers and watch his alarm

Begin to show. I hear the crowd's outcry
as my hypnosis starts to take its toll.
My snake attacks, and quickly, so do I.

Now subject to forces past his control,
he cannot react as his muscles freeze
while toxins halt his system. Then I roll

Him to his stomach, and he cries out, "Please,
I ask that you do not yet seal my fate!"
Yet I ignore him. I begin to squeeze

The life from his neck, it must be too late
for him to free himself from my firm grasp.
But suddenly he stands! And with a great

Slash from his massive axes, I just gasp
in pain as my life-blood now drains away.
My death - again, assured - I slowly rasp,

"You had no chance... your death was sure as day
to me!" And he begins to quickly swing
his weapon o'er his head. I simply sway

And curse myself - for had I been looking,
I would have noted Dagaz on the earth,
and planned my strikes to counter its healing.

I had not counted upon that rune's worth,
and while I lay awaiting my demise,
the look upon his face is one of mirth.

My life flashes again before my eyes.
Perhaps, next time, I will be less unwise.