It’s time for your second decision Greatcoat

Knight's Shadow cover artYou’ve seen Falcio’s judgment of the Murder in Nerrem.

Perhaps you agree with his judgment, perhaps you don’t. Whatever your choice, you must now render the verdict so that those present at the trial will remember your judgment. The Greatcoats do this by singing the verdict.

The most common form of judicial poetry in Tristia is the Cinquain which uses a five-line pattern in which the first line has 2 syllables, the second has 4, the third has 6, the fourth has 8, and the fifth has 2. Here’s a simple example:

The Knight
Greyth of Nerrem
Did murder farmer Tain
His crime shared by his Lord’s command

Your job is to compose your own Cinquain (which can use any sub-form you like – such as the reverse cinquain, mirror cinquain, butterfly cinquain, or, heck, make up your own variant) in order to render your verdict.

You’re free to use multiple five-line patterns. The Greatcoats tend to use the first to describe the nature of the crime:

Vicious, Cruel
Stealing undreamt future
Caring nothing about others

The second (as in the first example above) is most often used to identify the guilty, and a third can be used to command the jurors to uphold the verdict. However you can do it as a single Cinquain or multiple – it’s up to you!

Be sure to share your first piece of judicial poetry with the world below! 10 winners will received signed copies of Traitor’s Blade and Knight’s Shadow.


  1. Knight Greyth
    His guilt now know
    But a master must also pay
    Their guild equal a punishment

    For now
    A new lord must be found or you fall
    Against the Margrave they stand
    Your protection

  2. Forsooth
    Innocent knight
    Provoked in a melee
    Has but one offence to confess

  3. Gruesome
    A deed most foul
    His lordship did command
    On their faces, slaughterous grins 

  4. Kelly Littlewood

    Undeterrered by disappointment,
    a mockery to his family,
    he stabbed him in the back,
    with a feroscious laughter,
    this man is mad

  5. Margo-Lea Hurwicz

    Burned books!
    Set fire to what
    is held most sacred here:
    The stories and the knowledge we
    But who
    would do a thing
    like this? He said he was
    quite cold. He said he could not read. 
    Fire’s warm.
    It’s done.
    We can’t unburn
    these books. But we can teach
    this man to read. We sentence him
    to school.

  6. TrickyKnight took double tax,Some lucre for himself.Farmer rebelled against it…Burning.Brasti,The simplest soul,Shot two arrows at once…Crippled pair rebuilding the barn,Justice.

  7. There is something wrong with my first message formatting.


    Knight took double tax,

    Some lucre for himself.

    Farmer rebelled against it…



    The simplest soul,

    Shot two arrows at once…

    Crippled pair rebuilding the barn,


  8. Honestly
    Without Fear
    It was his time
    As he was told
    Be Free

  9. Crops fail
    No food this fall
    Because the witch was spurned,
    she sought to make the village pay.
    Burn her!
    Well water fouled
    yet she can drink unharmed.
    The people must have their revenge:
    Drown her!

  10.  Fear not
     who judges you.
     fear the wrath following
     Knight Greyth as he is condemned ‘ere.
     Fear all.

  11. Hopefully judicial limericks will be accepted in the courts of Greatcoat Law:There once was a man from the lakesWho secretly sharpened some stakesThen stuck through the heartCouples five miles apartHang him! That man from the Lakes!

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