The Claws of the Bandersnatch

Tuesday February 03, 2004 @ 12:52 PM (UTC)

Howdy, folks. Time for me to spout more rhyming gibberish. In this case, it’s rhyming gibberish I came up with Elsewhere, on the boards at RPGnet, in response to someone’s suggesting an artefact for Exalted (for Golden, in fact) called the Claws of the Bandersnatch. The person who suggested this artefact added that these claws should be a weapon that can A) cut anything — spirit, ghost, what have you, and B) climb anything, even air. I was feeling bored and puckish, so here you have the classic tale of the Claws of the Bandersnatch. For background info on Exalted, see the beginning of this article.

In times of old there lived in sloth a Fae of timeless age
A lady? Lord? A thing of power, the deadly Chrysophage!
Its merry bands of bloody fun to saner lands it sent,
For outside its own mad domain it very rarely went.
But lo! The lofty Solars heard of borderlands’ sad plight,
And slew the cruel revellers that drained the woods of light!

In wrath the stunning Chrysophage beheld its vanquished churls.
And on the roiling Wyld itself its rageful magicks hurled!
“What sanity is this which dares to thrash my threshers here?
What obstacle to bliss has thus engendered puling fear?”
The Chrysophage, its rage and power frothing to a peak,
Out of the gathered Wyld itself begat a mighty Beast!

“No tree,” it said, “shall stand when my Beastling dear is near!
No tower shall rise or house shall stay or mortal conquer fear!
For neither shall the snivelling ‘real’ its chaos form abide,
Nor indeed the touch of steel e’er rip its glistening hide!”

And so the the Beast from Wyld did rise above, upon, and through,
The shapely trees and peaceful fields from which the swallows flew.
“Go forth!” the Chrysophage did rave, “my lovely teeming thing!
Go forth and be called Jabberwock, of which the blood-bards sing!”

No border stopped the Jabberwock. No town could near it thrive.
No forest stand, no castle halt, nor Solar Sword divide.
The Solar Warchild, Beaming Boy, his golden blades denied,
threw down his arms and his defeat cried to the open skies.

But hark! Some windsome spirit comes the weeping Exalt near,
And words of hope and eavesdropping drops sweetly in his ear!
“The Chrysophage, O Dawning One, whose Beast you tussle with?
I heard it caution, ‘Suffer not a BANDERSNATCH to live!’”

Now hope grew large within the breast of stalwart Beaming Boy!
His golden blades the BANDERSNATCH had no power to avoid!
He slew the beast and with its claws a cunning Twilight plied.
Behold the CLAWS OF BANDERSNATCH! The gleaming, golden-dyed!

Behold the foe of Jabberwock its downfall thus devise!
Behold how back to flattened lands the Solar fairly flies!
There without tree, nor tower, nor ladder, the air itself he climbed.
There fell from great and lofty heights upon the Beastly slime!

And writhe as might the Jabberwock, and change as twould its shape
The claws of lowly BANDERSNATCH it never could escape!
Its slimy spine the claws did split and bare its knotty back
And right against its seamy heart the claws went snicker-snack!

That is the tale of BANDERSNATCH and hero Beaming Boy
The Solar who to ruin brought the Chrysophage’s toy!
And ever and anon you’ll hear, no weapon is the match,
Of those same deadly gloves of war, the CLAWS OF BANDERSNATCH!


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