Bards Give Strong Showing at Insult Contest
(Crossing, Zoluren: 144 Shorka 357)
There are many kinds of bards. Storytelling bards, singing bards, drunk bards and bardbarians. But they all deal with words, and this aided them well in meting out scorching insults that placed two of the lands elder bards, Kithria Dustdanser and Kalandas Barat-Sur atop their competitors in the finals. Three other winners included Corrick Krishell, Varanya Weathertree and Storym Icelander. Incidentally, four of the five winners are elven kin, while Storym, a human, was the only non-elf to find a place in the top five. The initial competition had already been met with gasps of amusement and winces of pain.
The eve started with ten finalists: Corrick, Cypria, Distress, Durah, Slaughterangele, Kithria, Astrilea, Storym, Kalandas, and Varanya. While the words were hot and heavy, the contestants comported themselves with dignity and great camaraderie.
The first to pair off and exchange oaths were Distress and Storym pitting good friends, one against the other. Both initial volleys were rather weak, but both counter-riposted with great skill. The barb that won the match (in the opinion of the judges, this reporter thought it were too close to call) was Storym when he said to Distress, "I heard you removed your mask the other day, and was arrested for public endangerment." In my opinion it was easily matched by Distress’s return of: "Nice stubble! Congratulations on starting your journey down the long road of puberty! Who knows . . . with time, even your voice may start to change!"
The second round pitted Durah and Varanya gainst one another. Durah’s insult was unusually long winded, but the highlights of it touched on many aspects of Varanya, from her character, to her wits, or lack thereof. Varanya on the other hand, chose brevity, the soul of wit, to win the match. Her most telling insult were: ""I would challenge you….but a semi-retarded, blind, amputee Wildland goblin with boils on its feet would be much more of a challenge than a puny, kelpie-like excuse of a fighter, such as you would certainly be."
Corrick and Astrilea were the third pair to square off, and this too, was a difficult match. The doughty Olvi lass burned Corrick rather badly with this: "I think you’re depriving a village somewhere of an idiot." Yet Corrick was quick on his return: "It’s nice to see you brought your sharp-as-a-marble wit with you today, but it seems to be as dry as a two year old tart in Dirge. Now plod off, before I give you a sound thrashing, you pestilent lice-infested harpy. Your screeching dribble pains my ears."
Corrick was the winner of this bout, and the two embraced as friends afterward.
The fourth match pitted Cypria and Kalandas. This was the longest of the matches, and therefore the most difficult to quote from. Cypria’s extended soliloquy on the merits of bathing, matched well against Kalandas’s insult poem, but we think the insult that won him the match was: "In short, you snaggle-toothed bump, thou ranklesome nettle, thou art the butt of every joke from Shard’s crystal spire to the Baron’s chambers in Theren. Thou art a mewling pustule, thou bandy legged bovine. Insulting thee doth be a waste of breath. Begone from my sight afore ye suck the very life from my lungs and turn me bowels to water. The very air doth resent thy breathing…"
The final match pitted Slaughterangele against yet another bard, Kithria. The insults flew hot and heavy from both of these witty wonders. Slaughterangele’s act consisted of displaying his newest trophy to the circus, Kithria, while the bardesses words would have burned a hole in solid stone. Perhaps her best line of the eve was: "And when the sun did come out again to find Elanthia turned inside out, why I would kneel at your feet and sing odes to praise the generosity of your nose, the sharpness of your chin, the beadiness of your eyes, the fruity whine of your voice — aye, the very phlegm that rattles in your throat. The miserly way in which ye comport yourself would be th’ standards to all others! Aye, but only if the world turned inside out."
For their efforts, the contestants are awarded a cosmetic alteration apiece. Congratulations to the winners and watch out for these razor-witted adventurers. My ears are still smoking!