I would have done more this evening (that's my claim, anyhow) but I got the excuse to look at the pdfs for the upcoming Dresden Files rpg (scheduled to come out in June) and didn't actually get anything done.
You know how these things work.
I have never claimed to be particularly efficient as a systems lawyer or expert (medical classifications and terminologies aside), but the system on this one is looking good, and the background (my main area of interest) even better, and I haven't got to the storytelling/play chapters yet. But I will do soon. Heh.
(I will admit to personal bias, in that there's some of my writing in it, but there is a lot of writing from other people too, so I will claim to be just commenting on their writing. Okay? Okay.)
Bazaar Day: Ballad
A fat brocaded merchant sang the praises of his merchandise
His audience a soldier and a beggar bent and gray
The beggar no more drew his eyes than common rats or summer flies
His mind was on the man in steel, and on his monthly pay.
"I'll sell you guns and powder and I'll sell you pikes and shining swords
And drink to blunt your senses to the daily thrust and cut
I'll dress you up in bronze and cords, and finally in six pine boards
And then sell you the hammers for to nail your coffins shut."
The soldier smiled and reached into his purse, and then the beggar said
"Do you recall this hammer that you sometime sold to me?"
The soldier frowned and turned his head, and signed against the Eye, and fled
The merchant's eyes turned evil then, quite terrible to see.
"Why should I know your hammer? Is there reason that I ought to do?
Or do you mean to tell me?" and his voice turned very hard:
"That you're a thief I know is true, perhaps you've other talents too
So if your story's good enough, I might not call the guard."
The beggar said, "I soldiered once, a green recruit from up the hills,
My company supplied from you when first we mustered in
It's not the shine on swords that kills, it's steel that pays the butchers' bills,
I learned that proof the hard way, from your worthless piece of tin.
"It might have been on mountainsides, it might have been in meadows gay
It might have been in forests or upon a hill of slag
It might have been by night or day, it doesn't matter anyway
The murky morning after no one rallied to the flag.
"Alone against one final foe, my situation mighty tough
I had to strike, and hot, or I should nevermore be free
Your other goods were shoddy stuff; your hammer it was good enough
To kill the man who tried so hard to do the same to me."
The merchant said, "My sorry friend, now even if your story's true
You cannot have a reason to be angry, sir, with me
Let credit fall where credit's due; you're here because I dealt with you:
I think you got your money's worth: how can you disagree?"
The crooked little beggar turned the shining hammer in his hand
Said, "Let me end my story, then you tell me what it's worth:
I think you still don't understand: I said I killed the bloody man,
I never said I fought him anywhere upon the earth."
And now the twisted beggarman looked bigger than these words can tell
With thunder in his bootheels and the lightning in his eye
"You never gave a spit in hell for anything you couldn't sell,
But I've come up from underground with something you can't buy!"
He struck the hammer on the stone; it made the cobbles quake and ring
The merchant started pleading and the wind began to wail
The air began to crack and sing as tents and poles and everything
Came down like so much paper in the fury of a gale.
There's darkness on the Merchant's Row and stillness in the great bazaars
An emptiness in doorways and a silence in the stalls
The merchant and the man of wars are gone into the summer stars
They're gone into the thunder when the final hammer falls.
-- John M Ford