A Case for Necromancy
by Lord Duncan Conrad of Rhiassa
written by Stephen Johnson
winner of the Bardic Competiton at the Feast of Rathkeale
My name is Duncan Conrad,
And I have a tale to tell,
Of the greatest shieldmen in the realms,
And the bridge on which they fell.
The sun was out, the month was June,
Two armies came to fight,
And by the time that sun did set,
We learned of Rathkeale's might.
I must confess, I had no doubt,
We'd reach the other side.
We'd beaten many foes that day,
And few of us had died.
But Rathkeale met us on the bridge,
And Artex wore a grin,
Both he and Lady Catherine knew
The strength they had within.
With archers and with pikes,
Knightly belts and steely eyes,
Rhiassan shields looked down on them,
But I will tell no lies.
Lord Artex gazed across the bridge,
He seemed to show no fear,
And when the Marshal called "Lay On,"
Young Gamling raised his spear.
With sword and shield, I took the left,
Sir Cedric took the right.
With Vinal and Sir Lucas,
We leapt into the fight.
Enrik Hawkins led the charge,
Against our shield wall,
And nearly every time they came,
One of them did fall.
When their bodies hit the ground,
Their garments bloody red,
Lady Catherine and Tobias,
Did heal and raise the dead.
It wasn't only living men,
Who rose to join the fight.
Soon we had to cut our way,
Through creatures of the night.
Lord Artex and Seraph had gone,
Where few would dare to tread.
Necromancers both, they could,
Command the living dead.
So now we hacked and cut and stabbed at,
Things which we despised.
And through it all they looked at us,
With cold and lifeless eyes.
Their rotting bodies shambled on,
Oblivious to pain,
As if their deadened senses knew,
They'd rise and fight again.
I knew the tide had surely turned,
When Machta's bloodied pike was gone.
My fellow knight died by my side,
And in her name, I battled on.
A Zombie horde swarmed over me,
I knew that I would surely die,
But as I went, I swear I saw,
A twinkle in my Catherine's eye.
For she and Artex, they had shown,
Beyond an idle boast,
That Rathkeale can protect the Realms,
When it matters most.
So if you are besieged some day,
And darkness is at hand,
No better ally can you find,
To help protect your land.
But if you turn and shy away,
From Necromantic aid,
You may find yourself a beaten man,
Tourtured, burned or flayed.