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Ozymandias is a poem by Percy Shelley, quoted on the first page of Errant Story. Or the second, depending on whether or not you count the picture of Meji Hinadori as a page or as the cover. Or the fourth page, if you're using the Dead Tree Format as a reference.

Ozymandias tells the ironic story of an ancient king who gloried in what he thought were his eternal works. Like all things, though, the works turned to dust and the king himself was forgotten. (Well, not entirely forgotten, since people were still writing poems about him in the 19th century ... and he was Ramses II, so he's actually pretty famous even today. So Ozymandias wins.)

The significance of this poem to Errant Story is still unclear. Who is Ozymandias? Is it Meji Hinadori? Ian Samael? Anilis? Luminosita? The elves? The humans? The dwarves? Poe? Hard to tell, but the poem has been drawn from to provide numerous chapter titles, leading some to believe that it allows readers to predict the future -- in a rough fashion -- by applying lines of the poem to future chapters and guessing at their contents based on titles. Needless to say, this is hardly a precise science. Additionally, the Random Idiot's poem quoted below it (not the same one who typed the comment above, presumably) could provide an extension of this pattern, extending reader's limited ability to predict future events.

Using these poems in this manner produces decidedly interesting results, to say the least. Try it yourself; it's hours of fun, if you're obsessive and like that kind of thing. You can read the original text here.

Chapter Titles from the Poem

Here is the text of the poem, in the Errant Story spelling. The fragments used as chapter titles are linked to the respective chapter summary. Maybe reading those chapters in poem order will reveal a secret message from Poe?

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

See Also

The Great Cataclysm, Chapter summaries

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