The Fallen


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Pictured below are the final resting places of the Fallen. Their epitaphs have also been reproduced here, that you may mock their failures, even as those around them did.

Lord, Duke, Prince, and King,
In Eastern Europe he did a wondrous thing
Reuniting 5 provinces, like pearls on a string
Ending 200 years of stagnation as a fling.
He battled the Teutonic Order's advance
And with a fine woman he had a romance
(Her name should remind you of a certain owl, perchance,
If you read those seven books and did more than just glance).

Here lie one Roman's remains:
Iconomachy in his veins,
And slayer of Bulgars, he
Found anchorites vulgar (See
Saint Stephen's grave (but not the older one).
He also forced many to each marry a nun!).
His enemies cheered his passing, unchagrined,
Likening him to a fart in the wind.

A pious despot, full of vice,
He ruled an empire not once, but twice.
His buildings were known for their expensive extravagance,
Taxed peons and pissed nobles had enough of his arroagance
And they exiled him off to Crimea in disgrace.
But, despite the humiliation that spited his face
A midnight sneak coup saw the capital fall
And once again he took the throne to rule them all.
While he was the first to put Christ's face on money,
His people did not find his tyranny sunny
So they caught him and killed him, made his head a nice prize
For the exiled general who had led his demise.

At our feet lays this last of the first founding dynasty
of great Mother England and her royal bloodlines.
He missed his two chances to be a great leader -
His birthright first given away by designs
Of the witan, who later (a hasty decision?)
Elected him, but his backers did cave in
And he quickly submitted to a much stronger Bastard.
For several more years he showed he was craven
As the Bastard chased him through Lands Eng and Scot.
With love life as empty as the throne so denied,
He died quite like a bridesmaid (yeah, never a bride).

This langsyne Turk king
Set himself to working
To strengthen the Byzantine empire.
In a total contrast
to the iconoclast
whose grave is two spaces higher.
Through his mother (advisor)
He made his Unc kaiser
And set him off warring to Thrace.
But his herbaceous chamberlain
Rotted his mind from within,
And tarnished his name for all time -
They murdered his Unc and
Then that little punk had
Killed this King in his sleep in his prime!

This Persian sits by God, once friend
to many a Christian and Jew.
He persecuted the Magi until a
Fire Temple was burned! Then he flew
Into a rage, sending magi through Europe
Setting churches and their priests to ruin
(It is said he was killed by a magical horse,
But more likely illness did the do in).

He was born of a Scandinavian womb,
Buried in His wall-building wife's tomb
(Though later moved to a church by His son
Who Himself was so "hands-off" that one
Day phone doohickeys might be named for him).

So leery of treachery was He, it is said
To but tell Him if one son died, you'd be dead.
When it happened, of course, no one did so,
BUt his wife tricked Him to say it, no quid pro
quo that way, though devastated,
Twas only a few years before His life had faded.

Few men were as hated when taking his reign
As this man, cold-blooded, who had a murderous stain
On his hands as he first plotted to depose his dad
Who threw him in prison because he was bad
And though he was released to a small town that he led
His followers wouldn't tell him that his dad was dead -
They were afraid what he'd do if given the helm
And authority to rule their great Slavic realm.
Sure enough, later, he killed off three bros
(two became the first saints from their country, don'tcha know)
The facts of his life still have historians disputin',
As if he were reincarnated as that mystic, Rasputin.

Representing the "flourishing", his health was so poor,
And he took over a large bank back in '64.
He called all his borrowers onto the floor
And called in their loans - no debts, anymore.
The bankrupt merchants caused quite an uproar -
Two (failed) coups later, he faced a big war
Against the Venetians, to settle his score.
But just 2 years later he was seen at Death's door.

Ah, and here we have a mighty general! Poor
Napoleon studied his tactics in a decades-long war.
This lion of battle, known for mobile artillery.
Made his enemies quake as if up on a pillory.
While they coldly mocked him, he just did not shy,
In the fog of German war, his cavalry cry
was finally silenced, but his corpse did not lie
Long on the field! His wife kept it home (Lord knows why)
And separately, his heart! Pretty gross, i would say!
Well, at least his country embraces him in a flag day.

Chanting this tribute that's named for a Saint
Led many to God, but for this guy it ain't
All that's noteworthy - look closer and find
It itself makes a tribute (a quite different kind;
Most people don't read psalms with two open eyes,
And so they will miss how this dead guy's disguised
Neatly as if it were his burial womb.
That's partly correct - the Saint holds his tomb.)

Unfortunately, the rest of the gravestone is greatly damaged. You quickly reconstruct the following words and fragments from what remains legible:

Perplexus .................
rima ...i ........minicula
.......andit .......rismata ......utem ......
.......... munit .........

Ah what a heartbreaker this man turned out to be,
He ran off with a courtier's wife, breaking a treaty
Requiring him to marry into Castile!
In France, he'd have been locked up in the Bastille,
(Good thing he reigned quite a bit west of there).
There was peace for awhile, then he began to prepare
a secret alliance to oust Castile's leader
Which failed, and led to unstable peace,
Made concrete by Castile wedding his lass, Beatrice.
When he died, his throne went to his bastard brother.
It's no wonder he's now known antonymic of his mother!