While thumbing through the Chatterbox archives late one night, I happened upon a conversation that took place between Angela and DejaMorgana in December of 2006. Here is what was said, minus GentlemanJim's tattoo discussion and some banter about Isaac Asimov:

<Angela> DM, when's the poet's masque?!

<DejaMorgana> Dude, i haven't even finished the prizes for the first Masque. Also i am poetry's worst nightmare and am waiting for some other fool to step up and volunteer for the poetry masque.

<Angela> Is it hard to lead a quest?

<DejaMorgana> No, it's mostly paperwork. The Masque was a little tricky, though. I lost several people's aliases. I am exactly the sort of person who ought not to run things like that.

<DejaMorgana> It was lots of fun, though.

<Angela> DM ha! Yes, I'd probably be poor at it as well...

Well, Poetry's wildest dreams I may not be, but I missed out on the first Masque, and poetry wasn't even allowed in that one, and I love paperwork, so I am pleased to present...

Too much bad poetry on E2? Let's fix that, shall we?

From the 10th of May until the 10th of June, 2009

The Wordmongers' Masque was a quest of sorts that occurred in August and September of 2006. The gist of the Masque was to allow e2 users to submit daylogs under an alias. Through those months, we saw all kinds of writing pop up, some of which looked very familiar. Part of the fun was writing without having your usual name attached, and part of it was trying to guess the identity of your fellow Masquerade attendees. We haven't had one since, and since I'm in charge here, I'm calling the shots. You! DejaMorgana! You thought you could keep poetry out? Well, we're throwing our own Masque! (You are invited though, if you are so inclined.)

Attending the Ball:

It's not too complicated, but try to follow these instructions, if you can.

1. Pick a secret alias and send me a message telling me what it is, and I'll add you to the door list as soon as I can. I won't tell anyone who you are. Promise.

2. After you have RSVP'ed to me, you are free to create your new e2 user account under the name you gave me. Hopefully, you checked to make sure it was available before you sent me the message. It's not too big a deal if you didn't, but let's keep this running smoothly, okay?

3. Write some poetry! For the last Masque, entries had to be in daylogs, but this one will allow writeups under any node title you like. It just has to be poetry. You can put it in a daylog if it belongs there, but noders are discouraged from "hiding" their submissions. We at the Wordmongers' Masque can't guarantee that it will be well-received (considering how poetry usually fares on e2, I'd expect either a nuke or a handful of C!s, and a hefty share of downvotes), but don't be scared. You're as good as anonymous, or at least, you are until...

4. The end of the ball. When we waltz gracefully over the deadline, I will list the costumes and reveal the noder underneath for all to see.

Costume Guessing:

In the 2003 Masque, users were allowed to guess which noders were under which masks. The guessing was open to all users, masked or not, but honestly, who goes to a ball and just stares at people without dancing? In an effort to get as many participants as I can, I'm only going to allow guesses from those who have submitted a poem for the Ball. It's not that hard, people, so stop whining. I said stop it!

If you think you know which costume is which noder, message me (not them) and let me know your guess. I'll keep it to myself until the Ball is finished. You may attempt to unmask as many noders as you like, and there will be rewards, which I will explain presently.


All rewards for participating noders will be awarded to their real account at the end of the ball. These include:

  • 15 GP for each submission (except for those unfortunate nuked ones).

  • 15 GP for any C!s that may be received during the Ball.

  • x GP for those noders who remain unidentified at the end. x is determined by the equation x=(75y-50z)-100 where y is the total number of participants and z is the number of those who remain unidentified. This equation means that if 3 out of 4 participants stay unknown, they will each receive 50 GP each. If only 1 out of 4 identities remains a secret at the end, that mysterious noder will get 150 GP. The amount of GP rises when more people participate in the quest (that means submitting at least one poem). If 10 people take part and only 1 person's identity is uncovered, the other 9 still get 150 GP each. If a lucky 1 out of 10 is kept secret, he or she will get 600 GP. The more participants there are and the more secretive you are, the more GP you can win.

  • n GP for every correct guess you make. The fewer noders, the easier it will be to guess who is participating, so you'll get less GP. I can think of a couple noders right now who I'm sure will be entering. Since registration begins immediately and the Ball doesn't start until May 10th, we'll have some time to build up our numbers before the guessing begins. n is determined by the simple equation n=3y.

There are a couple of final remarks I want to make that were also mentioned in the first Wordmongers' Masque.

Firstly: please try to restrain yourselves from C!ing or upvoting your own work with your real account. We know you think it's good; you wrote it. There's nothing we can do about it if you do, but think about how disappointed I'll be with you.

Secondly: my intention is to reveal the identity of the poets at the end of the Ball. If you don't want anyone to know your real username for some reason, make sure to tell me before you start submitting poetry. People will be guessing, and I'll have to tell them you aren't taking part in that aspect. You won't get the GP reward for staying secret, obviously. I'd prefer if nobody chose to do this.

Thirdly: it is possible to move nodes from one account to another. Maybe you'll want your poetry moved to your real account when the Ball is over. That's understandable, but like DejaMorgana said originally, it's a hassle for the gods and it compromises the structure of the quest for future readers. Again, I'd prefer if this didn't happen. You can always put a link on your costume's homenode pointing to your own, if you want everyone to know it was you.

Our Masqueraders:

Welcome to the POETS' BALL, and what delightful, colourful costumes you all have! Here, I will be listing everyone who has entered and the poems they have written since the beginning of the quest. Latecomers are welcome as well. Remember, your fellow ball-goers will be trying to figure out who you are, so disguise yourself. Be aware of tells such as regional spelling or gender, or try to write in a way that you normally wouldn't. You have a mask; act the part.

Escapement Mechanism
The best way to cure a broken heart is to give the pieces away
Vieux Carré
Chasing you through the Gates of Horn

Blackbeard The Poet:

abby bunnyMay 18, 2009
Autistic GeekMay 20, 2009
Pink PoniesMay 16, 2009
The DefenestratorMay 17, 2009
E2 EvaluationJune 5, 2009
Writer's block
Reply to JackMay 22, 2009
The Newbie's Guide to Your Home Node
Mad as a hatterMay 23, 2009
DeclasseMay 19, 2009
lossJune 3, 2009
And she's walking as if her feet hurt
Oppositional defiant
Bitchin'May 29, 2009
Phoenix Rising
Please get this song out of my headMay 31, 2009
Cucumber love
Off balance/balanceJune 2, 2009
Angel Witness
RulesJune 1, 2009
Single Mother
Nobody writes poems about microbiology]May 25, 2009

From Genesis to Revelation


old stick

The Detergent:
Sorrowful Wench
ignore the signs that I am dying
Dream Log: May 17, 2009
Dream Log: May 25, 2009

Appeal For ProtectionMay 29, 2009

Doctor Uncle:
your dialog and instructions are coiled up tight in every single one of your cells and they're all singing
Let's pretend we're married
Head so full my mouth won't shut
Under tar pit firmament cavernous nothing

Shadow messiahs meet in the wine cellar

sometimes it's
her hate keeps me warm. her shadows keep me guessing.
Arriving as a state of being

Freedom's Horse:

I'd dance forever if they'd let me, you know
good intentions
Are you depressed or just full of angst?
Nobody is perfect forever, you lasted a long time.
wake up and find her still there
He breaks her heart on a daily basis
Love at last sight
You think I'll cry? I won't cry! My heart will break before I'll cry.

Faith in Feeling
For Sale
Whitey Can't Dance

quiet evening snow blown with silence

Rusted Cup

Milt Yarberry:
What good is an Earth that wobbles?

Perpetual Indulgence:
May 10, 2009
May 17, 2009
May 22, 2009
May 26, 2009


Robots Will Learn to Love Again
Hipsters will inherit the earth

Word of mouth
cunnilingus haikus

let me tell you about this friend of mine

May 10, 2009
May 16, 2009
May 19, 2009
May 24, 2009

Spectator Sports:
she filled my belly with snowglobe water
If it jams, force it. If it breaks it probably needed replacing anyway.
Unduckable Wedding
Early, before our hands knew what to do
Holed up
Life in a Small Pond

Some kiss with their eyes closed

Permission Denied

Death and Taxes

Valse de Verse:
Sitting in the rain

Zero LeMat:
Renee was a princess
Schrödinger's Girlfriend
Tower of Babel

Zubaran of Ishar:
The Wreck of the Space Shuttle Columbia
E2 National Anthem

The Masque has ended. Go here to see who everyone was.

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