Thank you all for taking part in the competition I had a lot more submissions than I was anticipating - goodluck to everyone on the voting thread. Remember poetry can be subjective so if you don't win don't be too disheartended your offerings will be read and apprechaited by the Old Ones themselves that is reward enough. Please read all enteries before casting your vote(s) and consider your options. Please feel free to use the comments thread to offer kind words to all the authors who will be revealed at the end if you have any constructive critisims or feedback I encourage you to give them or if you just want to give a shout out to your favourite work you can do so. Please be mindful though that if all you are offering is critical advice it can sometimes come across more harshly than anticipated so take your time to consider elements you'd like to praise of peoples work if you have a lot of constructive feedback. The poems have been numbered as some did not offer up titles perhaps this is something you can suggest to those works based on your interpretations. I don't envy you having to judge these they are all fantastic quality! let the judging commence!... Spoiler: Poem 1 Juggling Balls There is a Skink called Bob he went into hospital for an op. Bob was brave even though he was forced to shave, when he came round and felt all around he knew he was feeling a knob. Once at home he tested his bone and all is well with Bob, now Bob is back and being a prat to all that don't like his hat. By ? Spoiler: Poem 2 Some Rhymes With The End Times Proud Sauri and brave Skinks, behold! Take up your seats, your skin will pale The end of the world has been foretold! How will it be? I’ll tell the tale. The old style vampire, wreathed in blight Will leave its coffin near the sea He will prowl the Lustrian night But for our Basti, he’s just a flea Things will darken, when chaos arrives The daemons come! the Slaan will tell Skarbrand, Malekith, just one survives Who knows for whom will toll the bell? But surely, from that feast of gore Enemies aim at Lustria’s core. Then the rats, with pestilential darts Will spoil our sacred spawning pool But they cannot shake our strong hearts Cause the horned rat will prove a fool They’ll rip the sky, they’ll blast the moon Lord Kroak will stand, not enough soon Alas! magic wards are doomed to fail But the twinned tail will show the way On ancient vessels, upward we sail The final vengeance, we’ll have someday And so we say: Old World, farewell No one can say it hasn’t been nice Now, Age of Sigmar is selling well So for the Old Ones, let’s roll some dice! Spoiler: Poem 3 (The author wants you to note that it was written with the melody of the "Badnerlied" in mind - so you can read it as a poem or try sing it to that tune) #################### 1: We come from hidden in Azyr Upon our enemy Their leaders will not know we're there Until their army's blood they see Chorus: So run, 'cause we're the Shadowstrike (Shadowstrike!) Our Masters' hidden poison spike (Masters' spike!) We'll wipe them out, we'll wipe them out We'll wipe them out, we're the Shadowstrike 2: The Skinks the small ones but the fast They move, a sudden breeze The hailstorm from their boltspitters Brings enemies to their knees Repeat chorus 3: The riders on their flying beasts Both Rippers, and Terradons They roar like thunder from the clouds Their weapons shining bronze Repeat chorus 4: Chameleons are invisible They'll even hide in your plain sight They're patient, their bolts are venomous They show our Masters' might Repeat chorus 5: Our priest will point us at the foe Whatever's there will quickly die Our attacks will hit them from all sides The Mortal Realms to purify Repeat chorus 6: We fight for Order and the Slann The Chaos to defeat The Stardrake is on our side Our enemies will bleed Repeat chorus Spoiler: Poem 4 It was always miserable, cold and damp, Our city reduced to a concentration camp. Our mighty knights high in their saddle, Rode out to meet the battle, To keep the hordes from our city wall, But over time, every knight would fall. Even Sir Dagr, our mightiest, the great, Could not escape a terrifying fate. He rode out to battle and was met with defeat, I cry when I think of their chants, "Meat! Meat! MEAT!" Our city fell and our walls crumbled. Our strongest men all were humbled. We pray to Sigmar day and night, Hoping for him to give us the might, To match the savagery of these monstrosities, To make them pay for their atrocities. Kept like livestock to keep us fresh, So that they may eat our flesh. They’d pick us clean, right to the bone, Blood for the blood god, Skulls for the throne. They came for us led by the slaughter priest, Selecting victims for their ghastly feast. Hooting and hollering and laughing about the slaughter, Then one of the brutes selected my daughter. I pleaded and begged for them to take me in their stead, I was bigger, I could keep them well fed. They pushed me down and shoved my face in the ground, I prayed to Sigmar to gain strength to kill these bloodbound. They were kicking and punching and ready for the kill, When the sky darkened, and time stood still. I looked up to see a new daemon up in the air. A bulbous creature on a great stone chair. What new evil has now befallen our city from up high? It emanated godlike powers, and glowered down from the sky. The priest pointed at the creature and began to shout, But was disintegrated before he could get the second "Meat" out. Big tall lizards, all scales and claws, Had the other’s throat in their jaws. Then the lightning struck burning cannibals to their core, My prayers were answered, Sigmar sent more. The armored heroes, the lords of the storm, From the lightning Sigmar’s best took form. My daughter now safe, and hope in my heart, As I watched the Lizards and Eternals tear them apart. The battle ended, and down came a torrential flood, Washing the earth clean of all the fouled blood. We were free, no longer cattle, The heroes stayed even after the battle. Maybe they looked around and took pity, But they stuck around to help rebuild our city. Gigantic Lizardmen, worked ceaselessly and effortlessly moved stone, All directed by the godlike frog on the floating throne. New free people migrated in to help resettle the space, And once rebuilt our saviors vanished without a trace. Spoiler: Poem 5 Heresy of Peace Us lizards are just poems We’re ninety percent myth With a keenness of purpose Approaching hyper-distillation. And once upon a time We were moonshine Rushing down the throat of a stegadon Yes, rushing down the long hallway Despite what the telepathic message says Yes, rushing down the long hall Down the long stairs In a building so tall That it will always be there That we won’t ever care - It’s how we’ve always been led Yes, it's part of a web The geomantic covering To tuck us into bed On a night so beatific In its tropical summer breeze On the day that Lustria Fell to its knees After strutting around for millennia Without saying thank you Or please. And the shock was subsonic And the smoke was deafening Between the setup and the punch line Cause we were all in our right place in the battle line that day We all stepped into that polar gate And then while the fires were raging We all climbed the pyramid stairs We all held hands And jumped into the hate. And the exodus to Itza by foot and raptor Looked more like war than anything I’ve seen so far. So far So far So fierce and ingenious A mythic spectre So far gone That every mage priest was struck dumb And I'll tell you what, while we're at it You can keep the uncaring Old Ones Keep the propaganda Keep each and every skink priest That's been trying to convince me To participate in some amphibious punk's plan to perpetuate retribution Perpetuate retribution Even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution Is still hanging like a veil And there's ash on our glyphs And there's ash on our scales And there's a fine silt on every plaza From Hexoatl to Oyxl… So here's a toast to all the folks that live in Bretonnia, Araby, the Badlands Here's a toast to the folks living in Kislev Under the stone cold gaze of the Wasteland Here's a toast to all those teachers and prophets Who provide lesser races with a choice Who stand down a threat the size of the Southlands Just to listen to a young woman's voice Here's a toast to all the folks on death row right now Awaiting the plunging of a sacrificial blade Who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads To find peace in the form of a dream. Peace in the form of a dream. Cause take away our arcane tools And we are no different to Fourth race fools Under the thumb of some blue blood royal son Who stole by being born his people’s freedom So it's time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets And clear the air Get our rulers to get their heads out of the sand Out of someone else's desert Out of their angry and infantile Great Plan And quit the hypocritical chants of Order over Chaos. Both just a cage - But that was another age. Look, another window to see through Way up here On the millionth stair In a pyramid so tall That the whole world turned Just to watch it fall. Look Another key Another door Ten percent literal Ninety percent myth A hundred thousand some poems disguised as reptiles On an almost too perfect night Must be more than pawns In some offended cultist’s fight So now it's your job And it's my job To make it all right To make sure they didn't die in vain - Sshh. Baby listen Hear the rain? *** Adapted from Self Evident by Ani Difranco Spoiler: Poem 6 Contemplation Robbed of gods, of destiny, vengeance’s cold hand, The First, Itzatecah preparing to repay With blade and flame. Spawn pools roiling with nascent life. Waters answering the call to war, New life to bring death. Brute saurus striding in formation. Clubs clashing shields, roaring oaths Of blood to come. Artifacts of power hoisting into place. Collossi stomping and rearing, eager to charge, To crush and burn. Priest apothecaries chanting and stirring Venom pots ripe with potent toxins, With latent death Vials grasping eagerly, hunters keen To wet blow dart and javelin with poison, With daemon ichor. Heads bowed, the Lords waiting, seeking portents From plaques, from stars. This is contemplation Or indecision? Spoiler: Poem 7 Partial Translations from the Song of the Old Ones Song of the Old Ones Slann Chapter Praise be the Old Ones and all they devise First of the First all hail the mighty Slann Mighty in Magic, powerful and wise Upon their minds rests the Old Ones’ Great Plan Earth, sea, flame, sky, over all they tower Cold blood and warm blood, all life shall serve Light, shadow, death yield high magic power All praises and honors the Slann deserve Five Spawnings will oversee the world sphere Eternally, they serve their divine roles Preserved in death, maintain their bodies here Great Rituals preserve their mighty souls Just below the Old Ones, the Slann stand tall Strong and wise, with dominion over all Song of the Old Ones Saurus Chapter Praise be the Old Ones and all that they spawn Praise be the Saurus second of the First Warring till all Anathema are gone Destroying the Old Foes, Fallen and cursed They serve as fang and talon of the Slann Hides and scale of their masters faithfully Safeguard the Wise Ones serving the Great Plan For the Slann they battle endlessly Age and sickness the Saurus will not know Only through battle may Saurus find death Each scar endured the Saurus shall grow Stronger and stronger till their final breath Strong for all First, they help all the others Standing strong with their spawning brothers Song of the Old Ones Skink Chapter Praise be the Old Ones and all that they make Praise be the Skinks, Third spawning of the First Tasks too small for Slann the Skinks undertake The First’s vital tasks between Skinks disbursed What Saurus cannot destroy, skinks shall waylay When Saurus rage grows too strong, Skinks restrain Through cunning and poison, foes they shall slay Outside of war, the cities they maintain From many spawnings the Skinks are amassed Workers, warriors, masters of the beast Each Skink spawned with his own preordained caste All serve the Great Plan both greatest and least Their vital tasks are many and varied Upon their backs, other First carried Song of the Old Ones Third Race Praise to the Old Ones and all that they birth Third of their creations, brave, strong, and stern Stone and metal they will work from the earth Metal talons and fangs might they can earn Runic power, mightiest of the Third Bind Chaos power in metal in stone Use of symbol, glyph, and powerful word Harness the power for Order alone The mountains and hills the Third will defend Like the mountains that sustain them they stand Anathema and Old Foes they shall rend Their strength and courage meets every demand Beware the Third Race’s greed; take them to task Should the Third’s reach exceed their grasp Spoiler: Poem 8 The Skaven as told by Tex’Halik, with apologies to Edgar Allen Poe. Once upon a midnight dreary, while I plotted, muscles weary – Over a twisted way to make a beast’s mind fit for war – While I schemed, ambitions hatching, suddenly there came a scratching, As of talons roughly catching, catching at my tower door. "Cursed attack beasts," I muttered, "scratching at my tower door – But they cannot reach this floor." On I worked, ambition burning, for such glory I was yearning. Soon again I heard the scratching, somewhat louder than before. Open here I flung the shutter, and with a flap, and hop, and flutter, In there stepped a winged nutter, moulder hands all dripping gore. Smug, entitled, cursed Skaven, dripping blood onto my floor, Come to taunt the skink some more. Did they hope to catch me fearing? My countenance started sneering, At the look of putrid hatred that the wretched ratman wore. "Though thy horns be shorn and shaven, thou" I said, "art Grey Seer, Skaven, And thy face is torn and craven. Thou art welcome here no more. My next pitbeast’s like a death god, which the Empire once named Morr." Quoth the Skaven: "Never Morr." "Be that word our sign of parting, ratty fiend!" I shrieked upstarting. "Get thee back into the tempest, and from Hell Pit’s warp-touched shore! Take thy filthy, Skaven scheming, take thy verminous deceiving, Take them out into the evening! Take them from my tower door – Lest I take up my scalpels and let your lifeblood stain my floor. Let me see thee nevermore!" Spoiler: Poem 9 Daily Life The cracking sun cuts through the window with Terradons calling out to Chotec’s embrace. I crawl from my bedroom pallet, my Spawn-brothers all chirping as fledgling Coatls, we, the children of the Old Ones. Heavy is Lustrian loam, worming between my claws into the shapes of my choosing, the power of the Gods residing in my cold-blood, a follower of the Old Ones. Baking heat in and out, and heavy rains beating on the promenade. I turn to my kiln, rich is my toil and work with great glyphs and earthenware as a servant of the Old Ones. The smell rises from sodden stones. We wait and witness the sacrifice in lifeblood, iron rubies drip onto the sacred gold, rejoicing in their favour, as worshippers of the Old Ones. We dine on wriggling grubs and crunch on gem-like beetles. Feasting after our labours, the slow night creeps as Huanchi; our blood sluggish and resting. Dreamers of the Old Ones. Spoiler: Poem 10 War-path Emerald hues of grasping leaves with snaking vines, and snaking lives inter-woven in the jungle canopy, all vibrant with the colour of life. As shadows of Huanchi cross paths with Chotec’s light- in the depths of my sacred home. Bloodflies and stegawasps, all thrumming in the air and flicker with their wings, as the mists descend from the heavens. Warm flesh scented, and found, amongst the broken path. We march, my spawn-kin and I, to the drums that have beaten continuously, millennia at a time. What trespassers dare defy the rule of the Old Ones? Upon their sacred soil we reign supreme in the name of their domain. Come, foul Xlanax! Know that you shall not find our temples empty, our lands corrupted or undefended. The Great Plan will continue, seeking vengeance for its completion. We are their servants, and we are ready this day. Spoiler: Poem 11 The Mosquito God As I grow up I was presented a world. I explored this realm that was laid before me. In joy, I read through ancient tomes And watched the armies of greater men march across the lands. Though the ether I watch great battles unfold, new and old. But the Great Mosquito sent his Four Horsemen. They threw the world into chaos and ripped it from me. I saw it spiraling away, a dead rock in the night. An asteroid burning in the atmosphere To be gone forever. My memory is all that remains of the world I entered too late. But the great mosquito threw before me nine new worlds blessed in law and greed. Laughing as the waves rose high. But I picked up the chains holding me down, made them mine. I fought back. And we will conquer these lands from the god of greed. In the name of chaos and order, in the name of destruction and death. For freedom, as we may always remember the lands belong to us. Spoiler: Poem 12 The Serpent Upon my wings of fire and light Across vast cities and sea Wastes and mountainous might To the Old Ones I journey Too late I came, they have gone Hope extinguished by the dark To see them once more I long Yet all to see is their faded mark Forgotten and fallen they are Plans unravelled, all in ruin For this they travelled so far? Neath reality madness a-brewing Children left lost and alone Servants perhaps, though deeply loved To fight on with sinew and bone Such children in scale hide gloved I see them struggle below Verminous tides smash and tear Never ending, their numbers grow Until a lone child sees my stare Strange little child with crest a-red Calls me a name and does pray Armies of red children bring dread To the ratfolk in hundreds they slay I listen, my wings never tire I listen as blood is offered I listen to the children’s fire I take what is proffered I am the serpent I am the vengeance I am the scourge of the rat I am Sotek Spoiler: Poem 13 There was a poetry "master", who had to write even faster, he ran out of time, to write his own rhyme, he forgot his own competition - disaster! - Also a Lizardman was present.