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Bardic Written Contest at the 18th Contest of Arms

The following are the entries in the Bardic Written contest held at the 18th Annual Contest of Arms. The contestants were given topics at random to write on in any way they deemed appropriate – here are the results.

Winner: Wizard Thyrian Fireheart of the Tower of Earth

Topic: Quickest way to evacuate obstinate villagers.

From time to time, the warnings say
The people must go far away.
Flee, as death stalks o’er the land,
And danger to them is at hand.

But some refuse to see the need.
The warnings clear, they will not heed.
Ignoring all, they stand in place.
Their choice they make – their death they face.

What can be done with these brave few?
The ones who won’t accede to you?
Your words have failed to move them on.
How can you know for sure they’re gone?

To me, there’s only one sure way.
A method that I learned today.
A guarantee, beyond all doubt,
To get the stubborn people out.

Fleeing from the fearsome sight,
They all will leave without a fight
If, on his back, with legs arrayed,
A dwarven crotch to them’s displayed!

Runner-up: Marshal Ketch

Topic: Best time to stab a villain in the back.

Click to see image.

Paladin Glamoria

Topic: Things you should never say to a Bladesinger

Once upon a time there was a Bladesinger and an elfin Princess who loved him. She was captured by some Drows and he went to save her. The cave was dark and Drows are black so it was hard to see them. Thankfully he had a Torch so he was able to see them and then he went crazy and killed them all because they hurt the elfin Princess. She ran to him and they kissed and then she vowed that they would live together forever very much alive. He looked at her sadly because he knew that it was a lie.

The Princess realised that a vow to live forever was the wrong thing to say because he was a Bladesinger and he’d Sacrificed to save her.

So they sadly could not live happily ever after because Bladesingers don’t have that luxury.

The end.


Topic: Signs that the group you’ve encountered in the woods is actually bandits.

  1. More intelligent than the rest of the patrol.
  2. Say "No, we’re not bandits.’
  3. Think Justice is shit.
  4. Very interested in all your shiny crap.
  5. Nice weapons nicked from a stupid person.
  6. Not wearing bright colours.
  7. Broad farmery accent.
  8. Good at stabbing people in the kidneys.
  9. Get pissed if you try to arrest them.
  10. Defenders seem bothered by them.
  11. Might cry and surrender if you attack them.
  12. Young and probably stupid or peasants.
  13. Block the only path through the forest.
  14. Hidden loot all over their camp.
  15. Trying very hard to cover up their tracks.
  16. Tell you to piss off out of their forest.

Warden Sergeant Caledfwlch

Topic: Dirty tricks to watch out for when fighting Anarchy priests.

Anarchy priests are, by definition, unpredictable, so trying to write a definitive list of things to watch out for is an exercise in futility.

However, there are a few things they are particularly keen on, such as; returning your own damage back to you; deflecting your damage back to one of your allies or doing either of these things while increasing the amount of damage done.

Other than these tricks; they often work with undead, demons and any other destructive creatures they can convince or trick into working for them.

As death usually serves their ends and purposes, sometimes patrols sent to deal with anarchists find that the whole situation has been organised so that the patrol will enter an area prepared by the cult. The prepared area will often be filled with animals made especially feral or mercenaries or cultists put there to be killed. The deaths of these will then add power to a ritual being performed by the leaders. This usually means that the patrol arrive just in time to have to fight the big Demon/undead/extra-planar thing they have summoned using the blood. THIS IS OFTEN TEDIOUS.

Wizard Thalassa Penderyn

Topic: Things to do on a Winter Solstice celebration.

It’s cold, it’s dark, the best thing to do is curl up inside with a hot drink, a blanket and a good book.

But we are patrollees, so obviously the world is going to threaten to end and it will be our job to save it. Therefore a more accurate list of things to do at your winter solstice celebrations must include getting cold and damp, bleeding all over your party clothes, finding out your favourite spell doesn’t work because of a strange planar quirk, and seeing the new year in confused, exhausted and missing an ear.

But it’s still fun!

Acolyte Onyxbalm

Topic: How to catch a bandit who can blink?

Eeny meeny miny mo,
Catch a bandit by the toe,
If he Blinks, let him go?
Eeny meeny miny mo.

Such things may be a problem with Blinking bandits. A Blinking bandit may be a Floating bandit, a Sleeping bandit or an otherwise awkward bandit.

A well stocked patrol meeting said Blinking bandits may produce interesting effects. Sinking bandits, confused bandits, hacked, slashed, shot, got and generally discombobulated bandits.

Or, failing that, a good ol’ fashioned elephant trap.