Kapusta Kaput

From ShireWiki
(Redirected from Cabbage Crisis)
Jump to: navigation, search

Kapusta Kaput is a theatrical production by the Holy Playhouse of all Lunaris (i.e. Krasniy) depicting the events of the Cabbage Crisis in Shirekeep and the surrounding area between 5065 and 5201 ASC. It remains the only full single-source account of the event, and it won the 2013 FNORD award for literature.

The production toured Shireroth extensively, culminating in a final run at the Mogbeth Thratre in Shirekeep in 5218 ASC, when much of the city still lay in ruins.


Scene I - The Kitanus Uprising

An open field. Count Cabbage stands on a wooden crate surrounded by pitchfork-wielding Cabbage Farmers.

Count Cabbage: Do you hear the news, my peasant brethren? From Shirekeep! Our Kaiseress Notazombie is to give up the Golden Mango Throne! Even now she prepares her retreat to the land of the Liches! Do you know what this means?

Cabbage Farmer #1: Is it our time, oh wise one? Cabbage Farmer #2: Has the hour which you have long prophecised finally come to pass?

Count Cabbage: That it has indeed! Notazombie has been kind to us humble custodians of cabbage. She gave to me the office of Imperial Cabbage Czar, such that our glorious achievements here can be spread across Shireroth. But our work is not done yet! For who knows what ignorant fool may succeed her? Our gains are yet threatened by the prospect of an unfriendly regime in Raynor's Keep. And this above all things we cannot allow to happen!

Cabbage Farmer #1: So how do we stop the noble Cabbage being driven from Benacia?

Count Cabbage: We unleash our allies close to Shirekeep! We shall journey there, and place our greatest Benacian friend upon the Golden Mango throne by irresistible force! Nor can we wait until the abdication of Her Niftiness, for by then all manner of dark forces will be arranged against us. No, we must strike now! We must chase Her Niftiness from the Throne of the Golden Mango while it is still warm, and place our chosen one upon it before any have time to react!

Cabbage Farmer #2: But wise one, surely the Mango Throne is not warmed in the first place by the body of a dead Kaiseress!

Count Cabbage: Quite true, my man. And in that observation you strike a crucial point: that the Golden Mango Throne being occupied yet cold is a wholly unnatural state of affairs, one which we living folk must remedy! For how can we expect a rule that is fully beneficial to something so vivacious as cabbage without the ruler themselves being alive?

Cabbage Farmer #1: And who in Benacia will be our chosen one as Kaiser?

Count Cabbage: That, dear sir is a simple choice. For we have a great friend in the fields of southern Lunaris. Yellowbelly Yastreb is his name, and as Count of that place he has welcomed the way of the Brassica with open arms. There, you know, men like yourselves toil this very moment in the pursuit of ever better Cabbage, under my direction and thanks to the kindness of Count Yastreb. And what is more, he has recently been installed as Duke of all Goldshire by the Kaiseress. He can bring the power of an entire Imperial State behind our claim! We shall not act alone!

Cabbage Farmer #1: Then it must be done! In the name of Cabbage!

Cabbage Farmer #2: To Shirekeep! Let us arm ourselves and go!

Count Cabbage: Truly you are men of great virtue. Your diet of cabbage has instilled the finest qualities of mind and body within you. Together we are unstoppable! Let us find our Kaiser, then, and put him on the Golden Mango Throne!

The farmers follow Count Cabbage off stage, waving their pitchforks and cheering.

Scene II - Goldshire's Refusal

A heavily-gilded chamber resembling something halfway between an office and a throne room. Yellowbelly Yastreb is seated at his desk. Two Guardsmen come crashing through a window on the end of ropes. Yellowbelly Yastreb jumps to his feet.

Yellowbelly Yastreb: What kind of madness is this?? Do you not see this room has a perfectly good door?

Guardsman #1: Duke Yastreb, Apollonian Guard! I come with orders for your immediate arrest!

Yellowbelly Yastreb: Arrest?? On what charge, Gods damn you?

Guardsman #2: You are involved in a treasonous plot! In your name, Count Cabbage of Kitanus is in rebellion against Her Niftiness!

Yellowbelly Yastreb: Your wires are crossed, you damned fools! I have no need of overthrowing Her Niftiness! No stinking Kildari has ever come to me with plans to unseat her noble backside!

Guardsman #1: Then how do you account for them choosing you as leader?

Yellowbelly Yastreb: They chose me because they are bumbling idiots, like most folk of Old Apollonia. Only good for working the fields, which is all I have ever done with them. Doubtless mine was the first name their unenlightened hides could think of, and there is nothing more to it than that! Bring me to Her Niftiness in person, I insist! Let me prove my loyalty before I am snatched and torn asunder by the many hands of Malarbor!

Guardsman #1: But there is no need, we have brought her to you.

The door bursts open and more Guardsmen walk in. One of them pulls out a trumpet and sounds a fanfare. Kaiseress Notazombie walks in, and Yellowbelly Yastreb falls to his knees.

Yellowbelly Yastreb: Please, Your Niftiness! My dear Imperial liege! I beg of you to see that I would never rebel against your wise and noble rule!

Kaiseress Notazombie: We know, silly.

Yellowbelly Yastreb: Your rule has brought me all that I enjoy, it has brought me to this very room! I could never turn against such generosity by so much as a word, let alone force of arms. Please believe my...

Kaiseress Notazombie: We said we know, Yellowbelly! You would be the last one to kick the crown off our head. Now stop making an arse out of yourself and stand up.

Yellowbelly Yastreb stands up and looks around sheepishly.

Kaiseress Notazombie: We do like practical jokes though. Had you going with the whole arrest thing, eh?

Kaiseress Notazombie waves her hand. Two Lich Minions enter in overalls and begin repairing the broken window. Yellowbelly Yastreb takes a handkerchief and wipes his brow.

Yellowbelly Yastreb: Most... amusing, Your Niftiness.

Kaiseress Notazombie: Now then... we just called to make sure you are ready for this wayward cabbage farmer. I know you are new in the job and the Goldshirian military is a little withered - but scrape up what you can, will you? If Count Cabbage is going to land in Goldshire I want him opposed from the start. Minister Balawhack will help you. Be a good boy and watch the ports too.

Yellowbelly Yastreb: Yes, Your Niftiness.

Scene III - The Timothea Landings

The rural outskirts of a town. Count Cabbage and his band of farmers descend by parachute, accompanied by a trebuchet.

Count Cabbage: Gather round, sons of the Brassica! If Yastreb does not want the Throne, I shall take it myself! We will subdue Timothea with our catapults and find ourselves a boat or two. Then, over the river to Shirekeep!

Cabbage Farmer #1: To Shirekeep!

Cabbage Farmer #2: For the Cabbage!

All Cabbage Farmers (in song):

To Shirekeep for the Cabbage! We'll wage our holy war! And have ourselves a Cabbage Kaiser like the days of yore!

The Brassica shall triumph! For argue one cannot... with all its leafy goodness staving off Imperial rot!

Soon all Shireroth will see it! The good that cabbage does! The joy that it will bring them all, just as it brought to us!

So onward now, Kitanus! We'll fight on without cease! Till every field's a cabbage field, all Brassicas at peace!

A group of villagers approach the farmers.

Villagers (in song):

We heard the call of cabbage, which we cannot rebuke! We're Arya, driven from our homes by Goldshire's evil Duke!

We have no hope in this place! Our lives are emptied out! So we'll stand proudly by your side and join your battle shouts!

Villagers and Farmers (in song):

To Shirekeep for the Cabbage! We'll wage our holy war! And have ourselves a Cabbage Kaiser like the days of yore!

Villager #1: But Count Cabbage, what hope do we have against the armies of the Kaiseress?

Count Cabbage: All the hope we need! The Cabbage makes us strong when eaten, but in war it has another use!

Count Cabbage holds up a rotten cabbage.

Count Cabbage: Behold, my great work! Bred by selective growing into the perfect weapon! In this fermented example lies enough toxicity to subdue any who consume it. So let us cause chaos for a time in Shirekeep, let us disrupt the normal food supply while raining these cabbages down with our trebuchets! Soon enough they will eat, and soon enough they will wither! And the Golden Mango Throne will be ours!

The Farmers and Villagers begin cheering, then take out cabbages and use them vandalise the scenery. Several dozen are loaded into the trebuchets and flung into the audience as the lights dim.


Scene I - The Storming of the Landsraad

A large and ornate dining hall, converted into a legislative chamber. Palm trees are visible through the windows and light calypso music plays in the background. Benny Benkernsonsonson sits presiding over the assembly.

Benny Benkernsonsonson: Honourable Landsraadpersons! I am told that Her Royal Niftiness the Queen of Lichbrook, the honourable Lady Lyhiggledypiggle, wishes to address this place on a matter of great importance! May she take the floor!

Lady Lyhiggledypiggle: My thanks, Milord Prætor! Alas this matter is one of great sadness. For not long ago you heard of the abdication of my dearest Mama Kaiseress Notazombie from the Golden Mango throne. You know that this comes in a time of civil breakdown in the Imperial Capital, and you all know that she refused to name a successor.

Steward Fart Rider: Terrible times, indeed. I fear even the presence of the most succulent and spicy chicken cannot resolve our woes this day.

Lady Lyhiggledypiggle: And yet, as if all of that were not trying enough, I bring you worse news still. Lady Notazombie, the Iron Kaiseress, Unifier of Elwynn, Reconciler of Peoples, Queen of the Liches, my formidable mother.... is DEAD!

The entire Assembly gives Lady Lyhiggledypiggle a silent, confused look.

Lady Lyhiggledypiggle: ...Well I had hoped for a little more sympathy. Did my Mama mean so little to you?

The assembly look around at each other, still confused.

Steward Fart Rider: Forgive me, Lady Lyhiggledypiggle... your Mother means much to us all. But to say she is dead is hardly a surprise. She is after all, a Lich. Just like yourself.

Lady Lyhiggledypiggle: But... I mean proper dead! Discorporate! Annihilated! For on her departure from Raynor's Keep, she perished most tragically in an accident with demolition explosives! She is, in all senses, no more!

The assembly gasps. Benny Benkernsonsonson stands.

Benny Benkernsonsonson: But my Lady! That is terrible news. We all shall mourn for your loss! Whatever shall you do without her?

Lady Lyhiggledypiggle: I shall occupy myself with the business of government, of course! For I am now Queen of Lichbrook, a land whose Northern shore is threatened this very day! Did you know that across the river, Elwynn is collecting the infected matter from this cabbage disease? Did you know that they dump this matter into the river they share with my realm? My whole Kingdom is threatened with infection, but I shall not let it pass! This very moment I am building a filter array to remove this Brassicoid scourge from my waters. And when this filth is collected, it shall be returned to its sender!

Benny Benkernsonsonson: Well, it is good to know you are keeping yourself occupied. Now... in the memory of your deceased - err - discorporated mother, I declare an early adjournment of this Landraad for relocation to the cocktail bar recently installed on the Upper Balcony for...

A commotion from the back of the hall. A troop of Guardsmen storm in, accompanied by Minister Balawhack.

Minister Balawhack: Members of the Landsraad, take note! For in this very hall lurks a pack of traitors! Elwynn is in rebellion against the Imperial Republic! Their armies have begun a march on Shirekeep! They openly discuss the forcible seizure of the Golden Mango Throne! And in this place they do their evil work unchallenged! No more! Until we have a new Kaiser, all Imperial functions are now under military control! I shall have all of the Elwynnese members expelled from this Landsraad and arrested!

The assembly gasps.

Benny Benkernsonsonson: Minister, how dare you! This Landsraad is subject to no authority but its own! In this room we shall decide the fate of the Imperial Republic. In this room we shall choose the new Kaiser. Any if any shall pay for their rebellion, the decision shall be ours! No Ministers violating our sessions with packs of armed thugs shall move us! You will find no Elwynnese here. The plane carrying their delegation has not yet arrived! So be gone from this place, slaughter us all to a man if you must but this Landsraad shall not be dictated to!

The Assembly cheers.

Assembly (in song):

Heed the Landsraad! Fear our wrath! For our voice is that of Shireroth!

Even Kaisers turn their eyes to our pronouncements, just and wise!

Here a nation's conscience lies! On holy ground, 'neath blessed skies!

And though we differ in our ways, we've been here since the earliest days!

Sometimes we kept our numbers low, sometimes we let the masses flow,

But all who sat here through the ages wrote as one the works of sages!

Heed the Landsraad! fear our wrath! For our voice is that of Shireroth!

Minister Balawhack: Pah! This house of gossips has no power! Power comes from the barrel of a gun! And as MoMA, I have the guns! Stay here and chatter then, if you must. I shall go to Raynor's Keep and claim the Golden Mango Throne myself! And I shall take Steward Fart Rider with me!

Steward Fart Rider is dragged out of his seat by Guardsmen, and Minister Balawhack leads them out of the hall.

Scene II - The Airport Occupation

An airport terminal building. Several soldiers stand in formation. Colonel Morningwood stands before them.

Colonel Morningwood: Men! You stand before me with a new mission! The Imperial Forces have gone rogue under the command of Minister Balawhack! We can side with them no more! And still Shireroth crumbles! Still no Kaiser! Still the scourge of rampant Brassicosis! The other States busy, plotting and conniving! The duty has fallen to us, then, to take a stand! The will of the Gods is lost among the noise, and only the sons of Goldshire can retrieve it!

Soldier #1: But Sir, they are many and we are few! What hope have we of summoning voice among the peoples?

Colonel Morningwood: Fear not, my man. By order of the Duke, we are to converge upon this airport. We are to bring with us all manner of explosive substances. For soon falls the Fiesta De La B0O0/\/\, that holy day whereon the voice of the Gods is heard in its purest clarity! And if like capricious children the peoples of Shireroth cannot bring an end to this madness, then we shall deliver the judgement of the Celestial Temple ourselves! We shall create a blast so immense that even the deaf shall be deafened! We shall blow this airport off the face of Micras, for the good of everyone!

Soldier #1: And if they do not hear even that great eruption?

Colonel Morningwood: Then by Balgurd they deserve to be consumed by horrors innumerable! But in us they have their greatest hope! So get to it, men. Planes full of dynamite come by the hour. Let us scatter it in every corner and hole. Let us wire it up, good and sound. Let us tie the whole lot together, ready for that holiest of days!

The soldiers cheer, and begin moving crates around.


Boom! Boom! Wonderful Boom! We'll pack the place high until we're out of room!

Dynamite, hand grenades, gallons of fuel! Fireworks, surplus shells, warheads and all!

Boom! Boom! wonderful Boom! The only thing keeping old Shirekeep from doom!

We do the Gods' work here, round flight desk and gate!

We'll fill them with goods, the kind that detonate!

Boom! Boom! wonderful Boom! We'll pile our explosives as high as the Moon!

And when we're all done we will scurry away, set off the whole lot and turn night into day!

The stage lights go down. The sound of a long and loud explosion is played through the darkness.

Scene III - Elwynn's Advance

A war torn suburb with a ruined fort visible on the backdrop. Soldiers sneak their way through rubble.

Soldier #2: Let us hold this position. We are into Shirekeep now. If we are caught in ambush, none shall rescue us.

Soldier #3: Have you seen him yet?

Soldier #2: Who?

Soldier #3: The man with the cloak of black feathers. They say he creeps around with his friends and carves up the bodies of the dead. The Sergeant said he saw the man yesterday, after that big Cabbagehead charge. When we had shot them all down, the Sergeant saw him. He came out in his cloak of feathers with his friends and dragged some bodies away.

Soldier #2: Did nobody shoot them?

Soldier #3: Everyone was too curious in watching. Nobody dared disturb them.

Soldier #2: I would have given him and his pals a bullet stuffing. I still will, if I see them.

General Ardy: And I will give you a cudgel stuffing.

A spotlight reveals General Ardy standing in the darkness behind the Soldiers, accompanied by a Cudgeller.

General Ardy: The front line has moved two blocks forward, you ocean-going knob nibblers. Why do you think I am here? And why have you not advanced?

Soldier #2: Forgive me Sir! We became... lost you see Sir, and...

General Ardy turns to the Cudgeller. General Ardy: Let me have a go on one of those things.

The Cudgeller: Certainly, Sir. It is all in the flick of your wrist. One fluid motion.

The Cudgeller gives General Ardy his cudgel. General Ardy: One fluid motion, you say. Much like my bowels this morning. Let us see.

General Ardy swings the cudgel into the head of Soldier #2 who screams, holds his head and staggers around.

General Ardy: I thought one of these to the head was a guaranteed knockout.

Cudgeller: Oh it is Sir, when you get the feel for it. You just needed a little more follow through on that one. Nearly had him.

General Ardy smashes the cudgel into The Cudgeller's head and knocks him out cold.

General Ardy: Ah yes I see now. Follow through. Also like my bowels this morning. Now then men, do I need a few more practice swings or are you too busy expediting your degenerate fucking arses to the front line?

The Soldiers run off.

General Ardy: Shame. I was just getting into that.


Scene I - The Kaiser in Musica

A dockside, blackened by fire. The Musican flag hangs in the background. A crowd is gathered, including Benny Benkernsonsonson. A ship's gangplank is lowered, and a Sentinel walks down it to face the crowd.

Sentinel: Behold, people of Musica! I come with momentous news! The Landsraad of the Imperial Republic, convened of late on the Isle of Skyla, has brought light to the darkness of the realm! For its members have by election given us... a Kaiser!

A fanfare starts, accompanied by gun salutes and other explosive greetings. Kaiser Cyanide walks down the gangplank in full regalia, to the cheers of the crowd.

Kaiser Cyanide: Err...Hello.

Benny Benkernsonsonson: Hail, Niftiness! And to my charred capital, welcome. I only wish you could see it unmolested by the hand of Agni, but the calendar answers to none - not even a Kaiser. And if the day demands we raze our fine city to the ground as indeed it just has, then raze it we must! And then, rebuild!

Kaiser Cyanide: ...I see. And when you have turned this place from a barbecue back into a city, would you be disposed to assist me in my quest to retake Shirekeep?

Benny Benkernsonsonson: But Your Niftiness, of course! For in this city stands some number of Marines, trained to face any horror that might be brought upon them! And along this very dock, a naval fleet of iron ships and matelots oh so proud. All stand ready in Your Niftiness' aid! Ready that is, once the ashes are swept up.

Kaiser Cyanide: And aside from them, who else gives me their faithful hand?

Lackey Hurryin' bursts out from the crowd.

Lackey Hurryin' (in song):

New Kaiser! New Kaiser! With good news I come round!

The sons of Elwynn fight right now to wrestle Shirekeep down!

In your name, and daily, our General Ardy fights!

Except that whole 'in your name' part, we all know that is shite!

But fear not, I tell you, for in my calloused hands,

I bring a vial of remedy to cleanse ill from the land!

And for it, I ran round, I drove and flew the skies

I swum through deadly waters deep, I need a damned pay rise!

So greetings, from Elwynn! That shining northern land,

With no conditions (disclaimer) We offer you our hand!

Kaiser Cyanide: How very kind... I think. Let Elwynn do its work, then. We shall gather the Musicans here. Then onward, to Goldshire!

Scene II - The Kaiser in Teldrin

The rails of a ship overlooking a dockside with the battlements of a fort in the backdrop, flying the Goldshirian and Lunatic flags. Kaiser Cyanide and Benny Benkernsonsonson stand on the ship.

Kaiser Cyanide: My subjects of the Golden Shire! Who here shall join my glorious army? Who here shall carry my banners to Shirekeep?

Yellowbelly Yastreb and Colonel Morningwood appear at the dock.

Yellowbelly Yastreb: Niftiness! Truly you bless us with your presence. For Shirekeep, I shall send my best!

Colonel Morningwood: Milord shall send to Your Niftiness... the Goldshire Regulars!

Soldiers begin marching across the dock and onto the ship.

Yellowbelly Yastreb: And with these hardened fighting folk, from my own beautiful fief I send you help of another kind. Help to entertain your whim and spirit! Behold... the Lunatic Legion!

Performers of the Lunatic Lugion take the stage as themselves - musicians, dancers, puppeteers etc. Various planted stooges in the audience stir up massive cheering. As the cheering dies down, an improvisational jazz ensemble stops at stage centre. They launch into a protracted jump blues session lasting approximately 40 minutes while the puppeteers re-enact the entire plot of the play up to this point.

Benny Benkernsonsonson: What madness.

Kaiser Cyanide: Madness indeed. Let us go below decks.

Scene III - The Assault on East Shirekeep

A ship alongside a war-torn dock. Colonel Morningwood stands on the ship, surrounded by soldiers. On the dock, Cabbageheads wander around senseless. A gangplank is thrown down from the ship.

Colonel Morningwood: Now, Regulars! Now! For the Gods and the Shire!

The Soldiers run down the gangplank screaming, and start shooting/bayonetting Cabbageheads.

Soldier #4: (shooting) Down, Dæmonic filth! What chamber of horrors set loose your kind?

Soldier #5: They speak not, but they come for us... AAAAARGH!

Soldier #5 is overpowered and strangled by a Cabbagehead, who is then beaten down with the butts of the Soldiers' rifles. A number of Guardsmen approach and open fire on the Soldiers.

Soldier #6: By the Gods! Those ones are no creatures of the cabbage! They are the Apollonian Guard!

Colonel Morningwood: Uh oh... screw this for a game of soldiers.

Colonel Morningwood retreats into the ship.

Guardsman #3: Death to the pretenders! Up with the true Kaiser! Balawhack lives!

The Guardsmen force the Soldiers back. Soldier #4 and Guardsman #1 come to centre stage, and each points his rifle at the other. They both pull their triggers, but neither rifle fires.

Guardsman #3: Gods damn it! No rounds!

Soldier #4: Gods damn it! No rounds!

Guardsman #3: We shall do it the old way then, traitor!

Soldier #4 and Guardsman #3 fight with the bayonets of their rifles.

Soldier #4 (swinging): Will you not come to your senses? I fight in the name of our Kaiser! Mine, and yours!

Guardsman #3 (swinging): The true Kaiser is in Raynor's Keep with the Steward! As all Kaisers have been! As all Kaisers should be!

Soldier #4 (swinging): The Kaiser behind me has been chosen beyond question! All Shireroth stands behind him!

Guardsman #3 (swinging): Then all Shireroth stands behind a false pretender! The Anti-Kaiser! And the Gods shall make the whole realm pay!

Guardsman #3 fells Soldier #4 with a bayonet thrust, and the Guardsmen resume their advance. The Soldiers cower to one side.

Soldier #6: We cannot hold! The hand of Mors lies upon our shoulders! We are done!

Militiaman #1: The hand of Ifni shall find you first! Chaaaaaaarge!!!

Masses of Militiamen pour onto the stage from both sides, armed with clubs and pitchforks, and charge at the Guardsmen.

Guardsman #4: What rabble is this?? Let us mow them down like a summer's hay!

The Guardsmen open fire on the Militiamen, who fall in large groups. More Militiamen continue to enter the stage until some reach melée distance from the Guardsmen, who are finally subdued hand-to-hand. Colonel Morningwood reappears on the deck of the ship.

Colonel Morningwood: What... what act of the divine is played out before me? Who are you men, that save the line in our hour of direst need? And what it that smell?

Militiaman #1: We are the sons of Holwinn! The County Militia! The ground on which we stand is ours, won with the blood of the righteous! And any who seek to aid our efforts shall bind us to aid them in return! And the smell? Men as tough as us have no care for idle fancies like bathing. Our cleanliness is that of spirit!

Colonel Morningwood: But your men! They die in such number! Look at them, laid like a carpet of flesh on a lake of blood! How do you fight when all around you fall? Whence comes your resolve?

Militiamen (in song):

You ask what keeps us fighting on when all our hope seems lost?

It's simple! Every day we do The Gods' work at all costs.

For 'neath our homeland quiet and green, lies he who writhes in chains,

Just waiting to escape his bounds: Rrakanychan's his name.

The Sword of Vengeance keeps him down, but evil lurks close by,

And should he sense its presence much, for freedom he would vie!

To keep such foul temptations off we watch with eyes of steel,

And should Dæmonic forces come, we'll slay them with our zeal!

Scene IV - The Arrival of Doctor Ardy

A large and scruffy room with the flag of Elwynn and a map of Shirekeep on the wall. A table in the middle holds other maps, among assorted military paraphernalia. Sabre Paxapunch stands at its head, accompanied by several officers.

Officer #1: I must warn, Sentinel Prefect, that the corridor you have established to Raynor's Keep presents great risk of ambush. Already we are constrained on both sides by unknown forces. If the lines of contact are maintained as they are, it would only take one large counterattack to cut our forces off within Shirekeep.

Sabre Paxapunch: A large counterattack by whom? Were you a student of General Ardy? He was recently killed by such paranoia, along with his whole staff. You yourself were lucky not to be present during his final rampage. I rather hope you have not learned an inclination for spectacular murder-suicide in addition to such... indulgence of your inner fears.

Officer #2: But Prefect, we do not know fully what horrors lurk upon our flanks. General Ardy may have been mad, but his military mind was a healthy one. He would not have taken the risks that we do here today.

Sabre Paxapunch: Well the General is dead. Not only dead, but almost decapitated. How one can maintain a sustained burst of automatic gunfire on one's own head for as long as he did shall forever be the stuff of wonder. But I digress... I am in command now, and my command comes from the Kaiser himself. And I tell you the presence off our flanks, whatever it may be, is weakened by disease and disorder. Our skirmishers shall deal with them.

Officer #1: And what of the main force?

Sabre Paxapunch: Why they shall break into Raynor's Keep of course!. That is where they are needed! Even now they beat upon its mighty gates while the Musicans sneak in from underground... to clear that sacred place of Balawhack's minions and unite His Niftiness with his throne! And when that is done, then you can have your flank reinforcements. You can mop up the streets to your heart's content, just as the Goldshirians are doing of late.

An entourage of more Officers enters, led by the white-coated figure of Doctor Ardy. He shows a document to each of the officers in the room, who salute him on reading it.

Sabre Paxapunch: May I enquire as to why a man of the Medical Corps wanders my command centre?

Doctor Ardy places the document in Sabre Paxapunch's hand.

Doctor Ardy: You may indeed, and I shall answer. For the wondrous and impenetrable tumultations of Elwynnese politics have placed, in charge of that land most prevalent, an individual in whose name I am here present. That name is Conducator Ardy, and by the document lying in your trembling hand he does hereby reclaim command of the Elwynnese forces previously under General Ardy. I, by the way, am Doctor Ardy - Chief Physician of Elwynn, among... other things.

Sabre Paxapunch: And am I right in thinking, Doctor Ardy, that you bear some familial relation to this Conducator Ardy, and indeed to the late General Ardy?

Doctor Ardy: That you should draw such a conclusion is bizarre in the extreme. Indeed such resolutions are the product of a disordered mind. This very moment I have patients confined for their own safety and consumed by the most debilitating psychoses, whose most senseless ramblings fall short of the sheer dissonance of reality demonstrated by your suggestion.

Sabre Paxapunch: Are you saying I am mad, Doctor?

Doctor Ardy: Whether you are mad or not is of no consequence. For in the context of Elwynn's military operation, you are relieved of your command regardless. Now fuck off.

Sabre Paxapunch is escorted solemnly from the room by Doctor Ardy's aides.

Officer #1: Doctor, with what orders does Conducator Ardy bless us?

Officer #2: May we escape from our tactical bounds? May we roam free among Shirekeep whole?

Doctor Ardy: Yes, and no.

Officer #1: But what do you mean, Doctor?

Doctor Ardy: The Conducator's plans are best articulated in the medium of... song and dance.

Upbeat piano music starts. Doctor Ardy lifts his legs to have his boots pulled off by his aides, revealing tap shoes underneath. He takes stage centre under a spotlight, and he catches a cane thrown from the darkness.

Doctor Ardy:

With a tappedy tip, and a tippedy tap, I'll show you what I mean upon this comprehensive map,

You see it's awful going fighting street by street in Shirekeep, so we'll go tippedy tapping over here and off this rubble heap!

With a tippy tap tap, and a tappy tip tip, for just a fleeting moment we'll lose Shirekeep from our grip,

Until all the artillery and airstrikes are in place, and they'll go tappedy tipping over it and blast it into space!

A-tipping over here, and a-tapping over there, Why don't you officers be good and get the men prepared?

A-tappy-tip the soldiers out and bring the big guns round! And worry not of who's left in, their bodies won't be found!

The stage goes dark, and the sound of an artillery/air barrage is played.

Scene V - The Capture of Raynor's Keep

A large hall in an ancient castle, patrolled by Guardsmen. A sewer hatch in the floor opens, and a Marine pops his head out.

Marine #1: Oh, shit.

Guardsman #5: Death to Musica's mercenary rats!

Guardsman #5 beats Marine #1 back down the hole with the butt of his rifle.

Guardsman #5: Somebody give me a grenade!

The other Guardsmen shrug their shoulders. A grenade flies out of the sewer hole and clatters along the floor.

Guardsman #5: Not you, you Demonic sons of...!

The grenade explodes. The Guardsmen fall. Marines begin to climb out of the hatch and assume defensive positions around the hall, firing out through doorways and windows.

Marine #2 (shooting): A virtuoso performance, eh boys?

Marine #3 (shooting): It is not a proper overture until the cannons get involved!

Marine #2 (shooting): They already have! Did you know Elwynn is bombarding everything outside the walls of this Keep? His Niftiness is most displeased!

Marine #3 (shooting): Good distraction for us though!

Sabre Paxapunch climbs out of the hatch, followed by a number of Guardsmen on whom the Marines immediately point their weapons.

Sabre Paxapunch: Hold your fire, boys! These men are with me. Apollonian Guardsmen who recognise His Niftiness' call! They know the defences of this place, and they will help you!

Guardsman #6: Come, men! Balawhack's goons are pinned down in the next hall. Let us go and finish them off!

The Guardsmen lead the Marines out of a door. The sound of a helicopter is heard. Sabre Paxapunch waves out of another door.

Sabre Paxapunch: Come, Your Niftiness! This area is secure!

Kaiser Cyanide enters, accompanied by Sentinels. A fanfare plays.

Kaiser Cyanide: At last, to Raynor's Keep I come! But what of Balawhack? What of Fart Rider?

Sabre Paxapunch: They say that Balawhack is dead. long dead and putrified. Of Fart Rider none can say, save to guess that he has fled.

Yellowbelly Yastreb and Lady Lyhiggledypiggle enter.

Yellowbelly Yastreb: My congratulations on your return to the Keep of Raynor, Niftiness! With your arrival, this terrible crisis is at an end!

Kaiser Cyanide: In name only! I need not tell you of the destruction wreaked upon this once proud city, of the time that it will take to be repaired! Of the grieving yet to run its course! We have prevailed, but Shirekeep is a ruin! Countless of its inhabitants are dead! Lady Lyhiggledypiggle: Your Niftiness says dead as if it were a bad thing.

Kaiser Cyanide: In Lichkeep it is not, to be sure. Yet the dead of Shirekeep do not enjoy such post-mortem recovery of senses. Theirs is a time which is done beyond done!

Yellowbelly Yastreb: Is it not better for them to die? Is it not worse to live and be claimed by the cabbage? We have all seen what that accursed vegetable has brought upon the land.

Lady Lyhiggledypiggle: But to my realm it has brought little bother. I bid you stay awhile in Lichbrook should you tire of the Brassica-stricken land of the living. I really have made it rather pretty.

Yellowbelly Yastreb: Perhaps one day, but at present I must attend to prettification of my own. For while His Niftiness was not looking, I may have slightly annexed the entire Eastern shore of Shirekeep to Goldshire somewhat.

Kaiser Cyanide: Nobody is perfect. Not you, nor I, nor any in my realm. This affair has been a mess. An Imperial mess, an Imperial State mess, a Ministerial mess, a Legislative mess, but...

Yellowbelly Yastreb & Lady Lyhiggledypiggle: ...But?

Kaiser Cyanide (in song):

A Glorious Mess is the thing this has been! Kitanus to Keep, oh such horrors we've seen!

It caught us all sleeping, from Kaiser to serf! It stood over all in which we held our worth!

Yet in their responses my subjects rose higher! From every corner of my great Empire!

From Elwynn's clear waters, and Musica's flames! From Goldshire's green valleys, from towns without names!

And in their approaches they differed and dithered, but stood firm and fast 'till the Brassica withered!

They took back this city with eyes full of wrath! All in the great name of myself and Shireroth!

So let us take heart from the things that went on, and limit our mourning for things that are gone,

Go tell your dear children in stories most keen! A Glorious Mess is the thing this has been!

Sabre Paxapunch: But Your Niftiness... one more thing must be done in this place. We must find, for your most Imperially Nifty posterior, the Golden Mango Throne! Sentinels, make way!

The Sentinels open double doors at stage centre, revealing an alcove containing a golden throne. They check the alcove with their weapons, and nod at Sabre Paxapunch.

Sabre Paxapunch: The Mango Throne is yours, Niftiness! All Hail Cyanide!

Yellowbelly Yastreb, Lady Lyhiggledypiggle and the Sentinels: All Hail Cyanide!

Amid a fanfare Kaiser Cyanide goes to the throne, presses it for firmness then bounces himself on it a little. He reclines back, smiles and gives the thumbs up to the audience. The lights cut to darkness.



Curtain Call

The cast from all Acts of Kapusta Kaput emerge onto the stage. The non-speaking extras line the back of the stage before the play's characters emerge in turn, bowing to the audience.









THE CUDGELLER (head bandaged)



















DOCTOR ARDY (still tap dancing)






The entire assembled cast sing an encore of Kaiser Cyanide's song:

A Glorious Mess is the thing this has been! Kitanus to Keep, oh such horrors we've seen!

It caught us all sleeping, from Kaiser to serf! It stood over all in which we held our worth!

Yet in their responses our subjects rose higher! From every corner of our great Empire!

From Elwynn's clear waters, and Musica's flames! From Goldshire's green valleys, from towns without names!

And in their approaches they differed and dithered, but stood firm and fast 'till the Brassica withered!

They took back this city with eyes full of wrath! All in the great name of Kaiser and Shireroth!

So let us take heart from the things that went on, and limit our mourning for things that are gone,

Go tell your dear children in stories most keen! A Glorious Mess is the thing this has been!