alright you guys have posted some pretty bad jokes on here but not one comes close to this doozy
so there’s a far-off place that consists of a perfectly triangular lake surrounded by land, with three kingdoms on the three sides of the lake. the first kingdom is rich and powerful, filled with wealthy, prosperous people. the second kingdom is more humble, but has its fair share of wealth and power, too. the third kingdom is struggling and poor, and barely has an army.
the kingdoms eventually go to war over control of the lake, as it’s a valuable resource to have. the first kingdom sends 100 of their finest knights, clad in the best armor and each with their own personal squire. the second kingdom sends 50 of their knights, with fine leather armor and a few dozen squires of their own. the third kingdom sends their one and only knight, an elderly warrior who has long since passed his prime, with his own personal squire.
the night before the big battle, the knights in the first kingdom drink and make merry, partying into the late hours of the night. the knights in the second kingdom aren’t as well off, but have their own supply of grog and also drink late into the night.
in the third camp, the faithful squire gets a rope and slings it over the branch of a tall tree, making a noose, and hangs a pot from it. he fills the pot with stew and has a humble dinner with the old knight.
the next morning, the knights in the first two kingdoms are hung over and unable to fight, while the knight in the third kingdom is old and weary, unable to get up. in place of the knights, the squires from all three kingdoms go and fight. the battle lasts long into the night, but by the time the dust settled, only one squire was left standing - the squire from the third kingdom.
and it just goes to show you that the squire of the high pot and noose is equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides
Yes, of course I’ve heard what the superstitious locals say: “Stay out of the mountains! There’s no shelter on those harsh peaks, and every last combe and glen is infested with killer spiders!”. They say there’s no way to safely cross that mountain range - anyone trying to rest high up on the peaks will die of exposure, lashed by cruel icy winds. Better that, though, than to risk seeking shelter in the forested vales.
The Crawling Death, they call it. Great glossy black eight-legged fiends, some small enough to creep between the rings of your maille, some large as a splayed hand and quick as a cat, and some - so they say - the size of dogs. Or swine. Or cart-horses. The tales have been exaggerated in the telling, of course, since hardly anyone dares venture far into the gullies and ravines that lace between the majestic peaks (most certainly not at night, when the Crawling Death make their appearance, silent as a shadow).
Even if they’re not quite as large as people say, they’re certainly no less deadly. The king’s physicians, who had the unenviable task of tending to the survivors of the last failed expedition, wrote down in stomach-turning detail the precise symptoms of that merciless venom. Erupting blisters the size of a hen’s egg. Flesh blackening, rotting, and sloughing away from the bone. Sweating, drooling, trembling, nausea, vomiting, ranting and raving and spasming like a creature possessed until death seems like a mercy. Others were gripped with a pain unmatched by any wound of war, paired (curiously) with an erection hard as any standing stone.
And yet, in spite of all this, I’m planning an expedition into the mountains. It’s true, I haven’t the equipment with me to safely shelter from the bitter cold above the tree-line, out of the reach of skittering legs and poison-slick fangs. I have no blessing from the gods, and no miracle of alchemy intended to keep the Crawling Death at bay. What I do have, though, is a map. A map from a past age, a more enlightened age, where the cartographers had a decent understanding of the sciences, rather than the encyclopaedic knowledge of rumour and superstition that seems to be the requirement for a mapmaker these days. And from this map - and the journals that I found with it - I have deduced one particularly salient fact, that I am convinced will allow me to make the journey through the supposedly arachnid-infested ravines in perfect safety.
The superstitious peasants might say every last one of those valleys is crawling with deadly poisonous creatures, but in fact, most of them are utterly empty and safe! However, my map has revealed the source of this rumour: Spiders Gorge, which contains over ten thousand spiders, is an outlier adn should not have been counted.
i feel you deserve some sort of prize for this