Shrike's Shadow Prose in Araea | World Anvil

Shrike's Shadow

Shadows Sang,   Of four men bold,   Who sold their souls for blood and gold,   Youth and strength to monsters spent,   Shadows sang and there were four,     Bold and raw, they stalked the hall,   Ruled the street and stood so tall,   A shadow passed,   And they were three,
They roared, they raged,   They placed their blame,   Three stood guard,   As Shrike embraced,   The blood and blade,   With quickened pace,     And two remained,   With fearful hearts,   Soon picked apart,   The Shrike strode past,   With blade in hand,   And one now stands,

The lights are gone,   His courage spent,   The Shrike, he knew,   Had claimed his friends,   With shadow's song,   And there were none.

This poem is a popular little bit about the legendary vigilante known as the Shrike. It comes in countless variants, ranging from bawdy drunken chants to songs, but all tend to follow a similar pattern of the vengeful Shrike bringing death to ner-do-wells of some sort or another. Shadows, darkness and blood are common to these sorts of tunes as well as well as overarching themes of overconfidence and hubris.   More then one brawl has started by thugs and thieves who take offense at the Shrike's mention at their expense but this is considered an ill-omen if you belong to the criminal world. Better to suffer to the sting of words and jest then a visit from the Shrike. Most agree that such talk is little but foolish superstition... But why risk it?   In some quarters, such songs are more then simple poems to share over a mug of beer. When civil strife runs high and those who rule do so cruelly, the poems of the Shrike's Shadow are not simply for leisure: they are a warning.

Cover image: by Richard Dorran


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Jul 11, 2018 20:59

Nice poem, unluckily i cannot say much. I have the impression that if put into two or three columns, it would look much better, but i don't know how to do that, either.

Jul 11, 2018 21:06

Gave it a shot. Better or worse? :)

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 11, 2018 21:10

Now it looks less intimidating than the long column it was before, so i think its an improvement.

Jul 11, 2018 21:11

Thanks for the feedback! :)

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 11, 2018 21:01 by Barron

I am so scared to do this prompt. But I really enjoyed reading yours, gives me some kick in the step. Well done.

Jul 11, 2018 21:03

This one is without doubt the one I was dreading the most, so I feel you there. If I can manage something, you can for sure!   And thanks! :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 27, 2018 07:18 by Richard Bradley

I like the format of the poem and the idea behind it as well! Nice job, keep on creating!

ricky -- 25 years old -- he/him, fae/faer, tiger/tigers pronouns -- current project: novanati rebuilt
Jul 27, 2018 07:27

Thank you! I appreciate every comment like that! :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 27, 2018 07:35 by Benjamin Andula

Extremely interesting, badly as I'm not that an experimented writer, I can't really critic deeply the construction of the poem. Otherwise it's clearly explaining the "power", the "influence" of Shrike, whatever the way.

"Nothing great has been accomplished in the world without passion" -- G.W.F. Hegel
Jul 27, 2018 20:47

Thank you :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.
Jul 27, 2018 08:44 by Andrew

I'd love to hear this said as a drunken chant. Should petition to get WA people drunk and do that. Good work, Q!

Jul 27, 2018 20:46

Time to start another drinking game! :D   Thank you! <3

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.