The Centre of the Underworld

From under-fortress ancient
And spawning pit yet young,
From ship upon a sunken sea
And hollow crypt, they come:

The orc before a surface door,
The elf of deep below,
The thing erased from ancient lore
Are all compelled to go.

Through secret passage shallow
Or smoky fissure deep,
Dwarf-road long in ruins,
Or calcite cave, they creep.

An open cavern mile.
A dome of cut black stone.
A sea of blood-red tile.
A ready, leaden throne.

Complete Enough

The fist that governs from a gauntlet grim
Will one hand honour with a velvet clasp;
To one mind speak, when cause for hope grows slim;
One true advisor, trust beyond its grasp.

To Shadow Queen, one soul is sacrosanct:
For it no weapon is a worthy trade;
Against its need, a separate sum is banked.
Its lone rejection sees a plan un-made.

Just one can challenge pride, and never fear;
A word alone is evidence enough.
They light the Shadow Court by being here,
For love is shared, though words are rare and gruff.

The Shadow Queen found loves in many ways.
But one yet lives, on whom no hand she lays.

King of our Dreams

You summoned me from depths of dreams unknown;
You had me swear — "I'll serve against all need."
You crowned my head and sat me on a throne,
And bowing down, commanded me to lead.

I sent out ships to ports, and roads to towns.
I hunted thieves till order claimed the night,
Commanded songs to where the world wore frowns.
Told what to do, I vowed to do it right.

For battles won, I heard when cities wept;
The hungry fed, I saw the curse of fat;
And in the suburbs debt had claimed and kept,
The taste of triumph fled, and left me flat.

I shake to watch my laws and fortunes fade:
A legacy by my own acts unmade.

The Worst Ideal

A perfect evil deed must be complete:
In every way, an act you can't redeem;
A deed you'd do although it meant defeat;
A goal itself, no step within a scheme.

It must be gruesome, fit to nauseate;
It must be final -- harm that none can heal.
You must not feel for what you desecrate,
And those who do will hate what you reveal.

And know they shall, though evil seeks no fame;
Though villainy itself is cause enough.
For hardened hearts that fear to take the blame,
Would virtuous look, and not be truly tough.

So know that villainy is shown and done;
And must exist, as "some" improves on "none".

Weekly Photo Challenge (The Sign Says) (Also a sonnet)

The Daily Post has a challenge about photos of signs for this week, so I decided to post a sonnet illustrated with a sign.

How much I hope I have an evil soul,
To tread the roads that demons' tales teach,
To sometimes tell a lie, or play a role;
To wander where my conscience will not preach.

Instead, I've laboured long to be a foe:
To scorn the law and friends mistreat was hard.
In darkness sunk, I vainly fear to grow
The loathing on the lips of every bard.

The snake refused to look me in the eye.
For me, all goblin armies ran in rout;
The buckets drawn from brimstone wells were dry.
ALL HOPE ABANDON even threw me out!

Someday I'll find a minion who'll obey;
Then they, and all the world, my price will pay.

"THIS IS NOT GOODBYE" while exiting sliding doors

It’s not really a very funny or interesting sign, but it does work nicely with an evil sonnet.

Hindsight

Some people make a point of giving the villains a chance to repent and be forgiven before defeating them. The narrator of this sonnet wasn’t given that offer.

Though it won't matter now, I've changed my mind.
On random towns, I'll no more force my will,
No more send out my troops to maim and kill.
Good reasons to were getting hard to find.

Fame, I have won; of fortune had my taste
— Enough to seek it by an honest path.
Power had me. I lived on its behalf,
My own regime's chief tool of laying waste.

From all of this, there's lessons I have learned.
What goods evil can buy, and at what price.
The measure of my virtue and my vice.
And that I won't escape what I have earned.

And still I feel, as I prepare to die,
A path that taught so much is worth a try.

The Pass

Upon this crag a vulture perched and watched
The pass be taken and the orcs pour through;
At such a place, where such a fight was botched,
The omens tell, evil will rise anew.

After the fight, the dead unburied lay;
To make them rise again would not be hard.
And where there's strife, demons aren't far away;
This is a place that should have had a guard.

I'll have my masons hew cliffs stained with blood,
To build a fort that's famed to never fall.
No lightning strike, nor earthquake, fire nor flood,
Will breach this gate within the mountain wall.

Had evil claimed this pass, things would go ill.
Be glad that I'm the one who had the will.