The Empress of Forbidden Realms
extends the invitation call
to cavaliers and hero-kings,
to jesters, rogues, and pirates all
each dashing, strapping man and lad,
to come to the Engagement Ball
to dance, and woo, and win her hand
- and who would fail to heed that call?
They set their shoulders, gird their loins
to set off on the grueling quest
across the Razor Mountains climb,
or brave the Fens of Suddendeth
From every compass point they come,
from every land within her sway.
Planned far out in advance, well-planned.
They've all been living for this day:
provisions measured, routes mapped out
retainers put on notice, steeds
and ships and carriages, balloons
by every means, the call they heed.
Down highways, waves and skies they throng
- each suitor is the only one.
In each stout heart and mind, one thought:
"My life for her, or I'll have none!"
So each by each, along the way,
by different roads and ways they fall:
One struck blind by zealot's curse.
One wakes legless - witch's thrall!
One lost deep in Endless Dell,
one drowned in enchanted well,
one well-gnawed by trollish maw,
one struck down by Baron Kra!
The Empress waits, on bended throne.
Her distant palace fenced by threats
and dangers, ringed by heroes' bones
if none get through,
she'll dance alone.
She'll dance alone