Medieval Knights!

The Legend of the Warrior Poet

It seems that every half-lunatic barbaric culture develops a philosphical side. Most of those people taken by the contemplative spirit become strategists, or shamans, or storytellers, or something culturally accepted. But every so often you get the oddball who carves his own path.

The Warrior Poet makes bacon. Yum. One day, while the man who would be known as the Warrior Poet was slaughtering a pig, he found that it had two appendixes. Taking this as a great sign from the gods, he decided to become a person like that wandering minstrel who his village had recently burned at the stake. The shamans pointed out that the signs from the gods, while often confusing, were never quite that at odds with empirical evidence. But the Warrior Poet, for it was he, was not to be swayed. He began writing poems about how many legs cows had, eventually working up to his greatest (which is to say, last) poem, a tale of a barbarian named the Poet Warrior who quested, saw many strange sights, slew many kings, took many virgin princesses in their bedchambers, and finally died of a sexually transmitted disease because he never figured out that "I'm a virgin, really!" is not an accurate indicator of the condition of a woman's virtue.

The Warrior Poet reads a poem. Yuck. While the Warrior Poet's career amongst barbarians was longer than the fried minstrel's, it was cut tragically short. His last words are rumored to be "Kiss me, Hardy!", but a dozen of his friends, who were part of the audience for the author's first reading of the Ballad of the Poet Warrior, all claim that his last words were "Help, my hair's on fire!" The Warrior Poet is drowned by a few friends. Blub. and that's why they held his head underwater for ten minutes straight soon after the rest of the audience left.

Despite this rather tragic end, the occasional barbarian has committed his works to memory and recited them in times of worry, such as when they're cast out from their homeland. The question of whether it's the casting out that leads to the reciting or the reciting that leads to the casting out has never been adequately answered.

Run along home.
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