The Ale & Marrow is a notorious den of thieves and villainy, but even those thieves and villains have need to find meaning through art. Here is a sample of this week’s poetry from the Ale & Marrow’s open spike night, when criminal-poets from all across Amalcross recite new work into a razor-sharp spike.
Gorzon of the Blackhearts, Skinner of Salavasters and Ripper of Rilk’gar
O! what spray does this beating heart flay into mine own eyes. No surprise — 'twas ripped through a turncoat's spine and burst like a rancid clementine. Sticky-sweet, and warm upon my skin, But not as warm as the memory of kin. What I can't surmise is if it's worth the prize of leaving all my sons and daughters to be in their scorned mothers' arms held lofter whilst I lie here drunken with my gang in blood sunken.
She, of the Axe and Sword
What have you to say to me, scum! I hold my weapons high Whilst you cower like a suckling pup Separated from its bitch! You are mine now, ha! ha! Grovel at my feet and beg for mercy! Plead for your sad life to continue! I only wait to hear your argument! But how can you argue with sharpened steel? You cannot! Don't bring 'ja Habernat's Treatise of Ethics and Moral Delights into this! That old cockworm can't tell the difference between a proposition and a corollary, Or a definition and an axiom! Banish the gestate from 'ja Nazor's On Humanity's Self-Made Divinity! Think you I, of the Axe and Sword, have not gazed long and hard into her own abyss And slit its throat already? How dare you raise 'ja Keynard's Three Treatises on Civil Governments! Fool! I live beyond all social contracts! Die! die! die! die! die! die! die! die! die! die!
Mitherithainer [tentacled Uncanny terror with three mouths]
[Mouth 1]: We slink from the corners From shadow to shadow Lest they see us and our hideous visage And come at us with their blades— [Mouth 2]: The light! the light! Steel from the light! Steel from the light! [Mouth 3]: Aaaaa— Away! Away! Quick, the all of me— [Mouth 2]: Their blades! Their blades! No! They come too quick! They fall upon us! [Mouth 3]: —AAAAA— The light is upon their steel! We are— [Mouth 2]: Blind! [Mouth 3]: —AAAAA— AAAAAAAAAAAA—! [Mouth 2]: —AAAAAAAAAAA—! [Mouth 3]: —AAA— [yelps] … … … The third of us is severed, but we survive. We slink back into the shadows Into the safe darkness To regrow ourselves again Knowing always it will not be the same. [Mouth 2]: Not the same. [Mouth 3]: …not the same….