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The Man Who Would Not Die

The Honourable Baron Justinian Clarus

Casey CASEY AT THE CROWN -- by Bertram of Bearington


At the recent crown the spectators were in an ugly mood,
The bouts were rather boring -- nothing brutal, dumb, or crude,
No one paid that much attention as the tourney lists played down,
So it was all the more surprising who had reached the final round.

Sir Percy was a shining star -- he sailed right through the field,
Not a shot had grazed his helmet, not a tape-smear marred his shield,
But the victor in the loser's list was quite a different sort,
Mighty Casey, called "The Rhino," was three wins away from Court!

Casey'd come from Outlands, or perhaps it was Caid,
And on one thing all the fighters who had fought him were agreed,
Like the fabled brontosaurus with its microscopic brain,
It took Casey's nervous system several _weeks_ to notice pain.

Short and squat and powerful the thick-skinned Casey stands,
With his legs like redwood tree trunks and his arms like iron bands,
In his rusted battered breastplate and his dented beaten helm,
The people stared in shock to think that _he_ might rule the realm!

The first bout of the final round is sword and shield -- they fight,
And in less than thirty seconds Casey's killed the shining knight.
A stunned and stony silence falls upon the gathered crowd
For the thought of Casey as their king could _never_ be allowed.

The second bout is Percy's choice -- "Try florentine," he calls,
And it takes six solid cup-shots until Casey finally falls.
The collective crowd assembled just lets out a thankful sigh,
While storm-clouds gather overhead and darkness fills the sky.

The third bout's fought with great sword -- when conflict does commence
Sir Percy tries katana moves while Casey tries to fence,
Once Casey's blade flies from his hand, twice more, then combat stops.
A loss, by technicality, since Casey'd had three drops.

The fourth fight's back to sword and shield where Casey has few peers,
Sir Percy goes down quickly -- helm shots ringing in his ears.
The spectators are dumbstruck for _King Casey's_ spectre looms,
While overhead in jet-black clouds the thunder rolls and booms.

The final form is polearm which is Casey's favorite style,
And Percy wasn't bad, but hadn't used it in a while,
All watch in expectation as the herald shouts "Oyez!"
The fighters tense in readiness, "Lay on!" the marshalls say.

Sir Percy tried a subtle shot that proved a grave mistake,
For it left a hole unguarded half as wide as Cooper's Lake,
Now Mighty Casey plants his feet, sky high his glaive does go,
And now the air is shattered by the force of Casey's blow.

Sir Percy proved a wise, just king -- a ruler of renown,
But he never let us all forget 'bout Casey at the Crown.
He often stops beside the grave when near it on a trip,
And hears old Casey's ghostly voice reciting "Light! Glance! Tip!"

O somewhere in these Laurel lands the sun is shining bright;
Swords are swinging somewhere, and blows are _truly_ light.
We never had _King_ Casey, 'cause his fighting got _too_ hot;
So if _you_ get hit by lightning -- you had _better_ take the shot!

Bertram of Bearington Copyright 1987 by Dave Schroeder
Debatable Lands/AEthelmearc/East Carnegie Mellon University

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In Uncle J's Universe the date is: Wed, May 22, AS 59 ( CE 2024 )