In late October I was dispatched to the Court of Nordmark on a diplomatic mission from the Coronet of Insulae Draconis. Through dangerous lands and bitter snow-driven plains I journeyed to deliver the words of Insulae Draconis to their Highnesses Nordmark. Here are those words and the reply from Nordmark below.
“Unto the beautiful and deadly Jovi Torstensdottir, and the mighty and joyous Stigot Eke af Haapsalu, do Their Celestial Highnesses, Euphrosyne and Ranulf, send our greetings. How’s it going, bro and sis? We wish we could be there, but you know how it is trying to keep all these nobles adequately oppressed. We barely have a minute to relax!
Since we can’t be there in person, we thought you might enjoy some news from our side of the kingdom. First of all, it’s been as hot as the Sahara over here. Despite that, we’ve had some very exciting internal wars and skirmishes, which tells us that our populace still has too much leisure time and could be paying more of their feudal duties. Do you have any advice for improving the iron fist of our rule? We look forward to your top tips for tyrants! Second, we don’t know if you’ve heard, but it turns out there is an entire other Kingdom to the west of us. For some reason, the people who live there are pretty confused about geography, because they keep calling themselves the Kingdom of the East. They are definitely missing a quality Drachenwald education.
At any rate, it seems like they didn’t appreciate Dread King Avery’s annual tax-collecting visit this year, and as the western bulwark of Drachenwald, we have to stay here and shoo away their occasional raiding parties. Nothing we can’t handle, but it is very annoying. So, we thought it would be great fun to go over the ocean next year and give them a right proper Drachenwald Strength. We’re going to be bringing our best warriors to Pennsic 50 next year, and we hope to see you there. Everything is more fun when our siblings from Nordmark are around!
If nothing else, we can teach them that they need to fix their maps, because Drachenwald is the centre of the universe.
Anyways, great chat, we miss you!
Your bro and sis,
Ranulf and Euphrosyne
P.S. Send more Black Death.”
Having delivered these words, I awaited a reply, and swift as a thunderclap Princess Jovi stood and fixed me with a piercing gaze. In an instant she composed this reply, which I later discovered to be a sestina in the form of Arnout Daniel’s poems and in a 13th century style. Such is the mighty Jovi.
The Sestina di Jovi (as transcribed into the vernacular by Etienne Fevre).
Sweetly from herald’s tongue tips
wise words which reveal Your eloquent strength,
wisdom and mercy, so unlike a tyrant.
Your herald indeed, seen to his duties.
Your people sound sweet and hardly oppressed
and their actions proclaim You so mighty!
Your true message is mighty!
Ruling by wise words, as keen as sword tips.
Reigning through love, beats the fearful oppressed.
Virtue adds glory to Your growing strength
Build power, bank love, to accomplish your duties
Fairest in rule, so unlike a tyrant!
But desiring tips for tyrants:
Give swift action and strokes that are mighty.
Set strong guards to compel feudal duties
Raise all taxes but rename them as ‘tips’.
Meet any dissent with a swift show of strength
Being called tyrant, beats being oppressed!
Pennsic without geography?
calling West East, sounds the work of a Tyrant!
Understanding maps takes a mind of strength.
They lack Drachenwlad’s teaching so mighty.
Send sages and books all bursting with tips!
And forcibly hone their homework duties.
War for virtuous duties!
Pennsic, to free the geography oppressed!
With sharp point of swords, we’ll drive home those tips.
Maps and learning defeating the tyrant!
With friends from Isles let spankings be mighty!
Chevron and sun march together with strength!
Drachenwlad! Greatest in strength!
Serving Our Crown, noblest of duties.
Preserving those thrones, ever so mighty
A land fair, where none was ever oppressed!
There, no one dared, to call Avery: Tyrant!
Cherish Our Dragon from fangs to tail tips!
Goodbye mighty Bro un-oppressed
And Our Sis with such strength in Your duties
Do send back, Your tyrant training tips!