"A Drunken Stalemate"
Song by Hungry Lights
from the album The Awry Ascent
October 11, 2015
The Awry Ascent track listing
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"A Drunken Stalemate" is track five on the Hungry Lights studio album "The Awry Ascent." Remember that this is a summary, not the entire story! It is like 10% of what is actually going on—just the skeleton. It is a rough translation of what is literally going on in the lyrics. There is also a figurative story that is taking place at the same time which goes much deeper and does not involve the fictional character Prill, but that is up to you to find :) It is much easier to discover the hidden meaning when you grasp a decent understanding of the literal meaning first. These are your puzzle pieces, and I highly suggest you study them before pursuing the next albums in the sequence, otherwise emotion and information will be lost, therefore connections will be missed!


"A Drunken Stalemate" is like the part in a video game where you have to go talk to the NPC to actually get the quest. Prill goes to a local tavern that is coincidentally called, "The Drunken Stalemate," which is a rough place full of scoundrels, prostitutes, and troublemakers. He sits in the back corner, and because of the line, "My low, rose eyes..." right off the bat it is safe to assume that Prill is somewhat intoxicated or under the influence of something. Whether he did this to relax or to fit in with the crowd, he is searching for somebody who he thinks can point him in the right direction for the whereabouts of the legendary Fothcrah.

Prill eventually asks a prostitute named, "Bilac" if she wants to dance. His train of thought is that drunkards tend to have loose tongues, so perhaps one of them let something slip, and perhaps she overheard. The line, "I draped a mask" is then dropped. There have been several hints at a character named "Donial," who is presumably Prill's alter-ego. It is unclear if the draping of this mask is Prill turning into Donial, or a metaphor for Prill attaining to his ego, or if he is just pretending to be overly intoxicated for the sake of establishing trust. It may be a combination of all of that because the next two lines denote that Prill is most definitely drunk, but it is something to keep in mind while reading the lyrics.

After what is probably a long, drawling time, Bilac gives Prill some information that he deems as valuable, and he leaves the tavern. There seems to be some self-deprecating resentment with him.


As I sat alone,

My low, rose eyes scoured the tavern

In that mass of riffraff,

Maybe I'd find an outcast that had whipped the chance I pined

A darkness flowed beside me

It smelled of rain and low tide

Curious, I queried for a dance

Them' types of mirrors?

They show things they don't mean to

How she would cough the cue

The music blared

We swirled and dipped

I draped a mask and swaggered like I'd been a mess

My breath was foul with ale and smoke and fumes

This drunken stalemate had locked me where I stood

And as she blathered horns of nonsense,

Not soon enough, she burnished my covet prize

And like a fool, I set out into the storm

And like a fool, pursued

 Trivia Edit

  • An earlier conceptualized name for this song was "A Dance With A Harlot."

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