Rat Bastard

Being a poem written and submitted to a contest in which participants were invited to craft a poem in the style of Dr. Seuss, but whose content is related to 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons.

First prize winner.

Here is a tale of adventuring glory
Of Heroes from pages of old song and story.
They wielded their swords and they wiggled their fingers.
(The fingers belonging to savvy spell slingers.)

They delved into dungeons fair dripping with slime.
They hacked without reason, they slashed without rhyme.
They found what was dwelling in dingy dark places
And squashed it with great gleeful grins on their faces.

“I think I hear voices,” the sorceress said.
“It might be an ogre, an orc or undead.”
“Barbarian smash!” cried the unthinking Krusk.
“I’ll punch it with fist and I’ll crunch it with tusk!”

“You shouldn’t get near it,” the cleric implored.
“You’re bound to be paralyzed, pummeled or gored.
“I’ll stand way back here and I’ll Turn it with zeal,
“Or drop a blade barrier, flame strike or heal.

“Make way!” shouted Tordek, a fighter most frightening.
“I’ve strength like a bull and reflexes like lightning!
Not ghoul, ghost or goblin will stand when I’m through.
My blade’s all aflame… and I’m Specialized, too!”

But the four of them stopped, rendered useless and dumb
For the wizard cast time stop, then twiddled her thumbs
For a moment, regarding the foe in the dark,
Then unleashed a meteor swarm on a lark.

“I think that should do it,” she said with a grin. 
“In a few seconds time the time-stream will kick in
And whatever that is will be Monster-On-Toast;
We’ll have Ogre Flambé served with Orcish Rump Roast.”

The Heroes watched merrily, Meteors bursting.
They dreamed of rich riches for which they were thirsting:
Of Headbands of Intellect, platinum bars,
Of fine objet d’art and gold-plated cigars,

Of jewelry and gemstones and crystalline dishes, 
Of swords that were Vorpal and Rings stuffed with Wishes,
And Boots that would let you (when properly laced)
Start Springing and Striding all over the place.

The fires died down as they watched and they waited.
They waited and watched with their breath all a-bated.
The smoke slowly cleared and quite clearly it showed
Them a tragically terrible tableaux of woe!

The treasure was melted to moltenous slag!
A puddle of goo where there once had been swag!
There might have been magic, there could have been coins.
“I feel like,” groaned Krusk, “I’ve been kneed in the groin.”

And worse than the graveyard of gloppulous treasure,
Worse still than the wasting of wealth beyond measure,
A small grinning figure stood over the hoard,
Half kobold, half-halfling, half-brother of Kord

“I wanted to help you,” the little man sighed.
“You could have been wealthy, well-dressed and supplied.
You could have been Godlings of true Epic scale
And held your own Relic and Artifact Sale.”

“Now look at this ruin! Is this what you planned?
That smear was a Ring of Demonic Command!
The splinters you stand on? The Staff of Vu’Varts,
That blasted undead ‘til it snowed undead parts!

A Rod of Cold Fusion! Pelor’s Bandoliers!
A Harp that would move a Black Pudding to tears!
A Puce Ioun Stone that would triple your speed!
A +7 Codpiece! A +13 Thneed!

You blew up a lifetime of magical widgets,
And now you must fight me. My hit points? Six digits!
My damage reduction is 50/+12
I cannot be harmed by dwarves, humans or elves.

You’re rolling Initiative? That’s what you said?
Don’t bother. It’s over. You’re already dead.
And the lesson you’ve hopefully learned from your crime?
Diplomacy works – you should try it sometime.”

The silence that followed was nearly complete,
Except for the crumpling of character sheets.
The DM looked ‘round. Was he feigning surprise
at the murderous menace in each player’s eyes?

The players all quietly set down their dice.
The DM gulped, “Hey, don’t you like good advice?
Wasn’t it challenging? Wasn’t I cunning?”
“Rat Bastard,” they said, “we advise you start running.” 

The End.

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