FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:45 pm

by Kalon Ordona II, July 2009
In the Shadow of the Wolf


Part 1 - Darkmoon Rising

The mists curled, surged, receded, moved in waves, chilled the skin, masked all that moved. Blurs of motion close to the ground swirled the fog, flew between nightly shadows. The synchronized panting of unnumbered mouths set an unwavering beat. Padded footfalls tapped a rhythm on the soft forest floor. The black tide swept over fallen leaves, shrouded in the glowing mists, hidden from the full moon's light. This was an errand of secrecy, before the enemy discovered them.

Alphariel was the first to arrive, breaking through into the clearing, followed by the dark mass of furred bodies. The she-wolf stalked to the center of the open space as her massive pack surged forward, enough to fill the clearing three times over. Indeed, most had to wait among the trees, watching from the shadows with yellow eyes. Alphariel, Queen of the Darkmoon Packs, waited, standing, until all were in position. Her head turned first to one side, and then the other. Two wolves stalked forward: Krón, Lord of the west Darkmoon clan, and Faro, Highlord of the Darkmoons to the southwest. Both sat before their queen.

"We will wait here two hours. If the others do not arrive by then... we must proceed without them."
Faro responded at once, his voice hushed. "But my queen! If we leave them behind--"
"There is no choice! The Moonsong and Timber will be upon us by hordes!"
Subdued, Faro forced himself to submit. Lord Krón growled softly, lacking the bravery to object as Highlord Faro had. It was hard to accept--the possibility of such a loss was too painful--but the Queen was right. If the rest of the Darkmoon Packs didn't arrive soon, there would be nothing they could do to save them. So, the crowd of wolves sat or laid down on the cold ground, and waited.

All fears of massacre were soon laid to rest, however. The mists protected them this night from the evil omens of the moon's bright face. Before the first hour had passed, all the rest had arrived: Highlord Morenon, with the Darkmoon clan of the north; Lady Shengra, from the northwest; Lord Mokoru, with the black-wolf Darkmoon clan of the northeast, and finally Lady Tember, from the south. All told, there were more than thirty score of Darkmoon wolves huddled among the trees, like a pestilence that haunted the darkness. All eighty-four of the Darkmoon Packs were present. Morenon, Shengra, Mokoru and Tember made their way through the crowd to join Faro and Krón, and all six took their positions, sitting in a half circle before Alphariel their Queen.

"Each of you knows why we are here?" Queen asked.
"To flee the Packs that serve the two-legs: Moonsong, Snowhead, Timber, and Sunfall," Morenon answered.
"To join the Bearclaw and Stormcloud Packs beyond the Wastes to the east," said Faro.
"To expel the two-legs and reclaim our territories," said Mokoru.
"To regain what is ours from our ancient home," said Shengra.
"To claim the power of Ferian, our father, Lord of the Wolfos," said Krón.
"To find the treasure hidden in the Temple of Shadows," said Tember.
Alphariel nodded gravely. Her eyes glowed fierce, hard, determined. "And find it we will."

Alphariel lifted her head and growled at the sky. A cacophony of savage cries reverberated through the misty forest as every wolf in the entire Darkmoon Pack joined their Queen, defying the face of man gazing down at them. They growled in rebellion against the moon. Let the Moonsong Packs hear. Let the Timbers quail. Let the Snowhead and Sunfall run to their masters. Now that the Darkmoon Pack was one, they were without fear. They would not fail. Not though all wolves and all two-legs stood in their path. The brutal harmony of rage came to an end as Alphariel leaped forward into a run, leading the way east through the dark forest, away from their pursuers, hidden in the mist.


Part 2 - Winter Fell

The Snowhead appeared out of nowhere. Wolves of the Snowhead Packs were large, white-pelted, majestic. Living among the deep snows of the high mountains, where every sound is magnified and deadly, the Snowhead knew how to move with silence. They came from downwind, four hours after the Darkmoon gathering. When they attacked, five black wolves fell, bloodied, before the Darkmoon knew what was happening.

It was Tahlan--Mokoru's daughter--whose pack had been struck from the north as they ran. "Snowhead!" she cried, howling an alarm. The Darkmoon horde rushed to the aid, clawing, biting, wrestling, even as they careered onward. A command was given from Alphariel herself to redouble the pace. Darkmoon wolves fell one by one, white Snowhead pelts were stained red, as the fighting continued at breakneck speed. The mad, bloody run lasted for several minutes when, of a sudden, the night's darkness deepened. The moon had set. The Darkmoon Pack took heart, while morale fell among the Snowhead. White wolves were struck down in a moment of triumph, and the Darkmoon seized the chance to break away, disengaging from the moving battle. Howls of victory filled the chill air as the Darkmoons made their escape. The black wolves did not stop, did not slow, even after the trees, all at once, fell away.


Part 3 - Across the Wastes

The churning mass of black that was the Darkmoon Wolf Pack moved over the surface of the hard ground like a single organism. They kept together, drawing on their collective strength. Again their individual panting unified into a steady, pounding beat, while their multitudinous footfalls created a sound like whispering thunder. Without a moon in the sky to harry their steps, the Pack drove across the Wastes in a thrilling rush. The enemy would not follow them onto the Wastes, but there was a new reason for their hurry: when the sun rose high, the stony ground of the Wastes would begin to singe like a two-leg's flame. They needed to cover as much ground during the night as possible.

Duly motivated, the Darkmoon Pack hastened on, and on, and on, through the remaining hours of night.

The sky brightened steadily, long before dawn broke. When at last the sun crested the distant mountains before them, the Darkmoon wolves began to feel their strength flagging. Out of the comforting darkness of night, their heightened level of endurance evaporated. Alphariel growled her displeasure, signaling the Pack to slow their pace. They dared not stop, but now they had to conserve what stamina they still had after a night of constant speed. Each of the packs had already run for several nights to the gathering Alphariel had invoked, summoning them away from increasingly hostile lands and the spreading of two-legs territory. They had escaped for now--though not without cost; they would find out just what that cost was when they reached the other side of the Wastes. The Snowhead Packs were solid and strong. They would pay, just as the Timber, the Sunfall, the Moonsong would, for driving them off their land, for serving the two-legs like cowards! When the Darkmoon and their allies returned, it would be with the power to put the world right again. The inhabitants of the forest, and even the two-legs themselves, would tremble in the shadow of the wolf. But first they had to cross the Wastes. And the sun was climbing higher with every minute that passed.

Daylight dominated the sky. The air grew warm. The ground grew hot. The wolves' panting lost its unified rhythm. Further on, the sun beat on their backs while the hard ground pained every step, especially for those in front. However, those in the lead were there for a reason. They were the strongest, the most courageous, the most steadfast in each pack. The leaders were relied upon, just as each wolf relied upon one another--the solidarity of the group, the family of hunters. Afternoon: the flame in the sky burned at its brightest, its most intense, its most punishing. The panting turned into grunts and growls. Hour after miserable hour the Pack suffered through the fiery Wastes. Then, at last, night fell--though night was not without troubles of its own. With night came the moon, still at its full, to mock them, to haunt them, to burden their spirits. This time there were no mists to cover them. There were no trees casting shadows to hide in, nothing to shield them from that white, scornful, two-legs' face. The wolves continued to growl, but this time their hate inspired strength. The night air was cool and refreshing. They could run again, though none of them had the energy to resume the long, grueling sprint of the previous night.

Rocky hills approached in the distance, and behind the hills the mountains loomed, glowing in the moon's radiance. In the rocks the Darkmoon Pack would find shelter, shadows, safety. Howls again filled the air, piercing through to the rocks and resounding in their ears. The black tide broke upon the rocks like a wave of the sea, only this tide did not recede back again.


Part 4 - Out of the Fire

The Darkmoon packs slept all the remaining hours of that night and much of the following morning. They had found shelter for all of them in a single enormous cave, and they had slept deeply. Even several hours past morning some still slept, and those who were awake rested.

Seventy Darkmoons had been lost during the Snowhead attack. Two entire packs had been completely destroyed. Tahlan's pack had gone from twenty-one wolves to six. Tahlan was still alive, but Mokoru's joy for her survival had already been expressed on the first night of the Wastes. Today, there was only grief for those who were no longer with the Pack. Mokoru himself has lost eight of his thirty elite. Several packs under Tember's charge had suffered similar losses. Casualties among other packs were fewer, but the feeling of loss was no less painful.

Highlords Faro and Morenon were talking with Alphariel. Mokoru was seeing to his decimated packs--which included Tahlan's pack. Tember was engaged in much the same activities as Mokoru, since casualties were heavy among those under her charge as well. Meanwhile, Krón, restless, wandered over to talk with Shengra. Shengra's two sons got out of the way, respecting the discussions of pack leaders--indeed more than mere pack leaders: they were responsible for guiding several entire packs, not only leading their own.

"Krón," Shengra greeted, dipping her nose in a slight nod.
"It's been a long time, Shengra," said Krón, trying to have a pleasant mood in such difficult circumstances. "It must be... two-score moons, now." He sat next to her, eyeing the bright mouth of the cave, where the sun was burning away the day.
"I've missed you, too."
Krón half sneezed a small laugh. "That was so long ago...." There was a brief twinkle in his eye. "But that wasn't why I wanted to talk to you. Have the Sunfall Packs been as hostile in your territories as they have mine of late?"
Shengra had been smiling, fondly yet sadly: her two sons had grown up without knowing Lord Krón of the west Darkmoon clan was their sire. With the change of topic, her smile faded. "Worse, I expect. Many two-legs come from the northwest; Sunfall are their most loyal. I've heard they even pull sleds for the two-legs in the winter. I don't even think a white wolf--curse their fangs--would go that far. Two-legs guide Sunfall into our territory trying to capture or slay us. Many succeed."
"Hm, you're right: that is worse. Sunfall Packs are more numerous in my territories, though. There are less humans to the west, but the Sunfall seem almost eager to help them claim our lands."
Shengra nodded thoughtfully. "The Snowhead ambush last night proves that we escaped not a moment too soon. We should have realized what was happening when the Bearclaw Packs first left... or at least after the Stormcloud Packs followed. We've paid a heavy price for our hesitation."
"Alphariel says the Moonsong and Timber had mustered for a combined attack, and they'd learned of her summons to all the Darkmoon Packs. If we had lingered any longer, we might have been completely wiped out before even coming into the Snowheads' trap--and then it would be only the Stormcloud and Bearclaw against the two-legs' treachery."
"Do you think we'll find it?"
"Ferian's treasure? I don't know. But we have to try."

On the other side of the cave, near the entrance, Alphariel called an end to the period of rest. As she did so, the orange rays of the setting sun dipped under the ceiling of the cave, banishing the shadows. "Onward, Darkmoon! The wolves of Stormcloud and Bearclaw await!" The pack leaders howled in reply, and all eighty-two packs--over five hundred Darkmoon wolves--followed their Queen out toward the mountains, into the eastern land where they would find their ancient home.


Part 5 - Into the Storm

The task of navigating the mountains took all that night. It had been difficult at first; the mountains were hard and unforgiving--little grew here, and there were no animals, and the wolves were hungry. However, the other side of the mountains was as different from this as the forests were to the Wastes. Bushes, trees and grasses grew here, and the wolves fanned out to find food in the dark. The following dawn, the Darkmoon Pack stood in a dark line atop the foothills, surveying the land spread out before them. It was green with fields; streams and rivers and lakes covered the ground like veins; its forests grew thick.

Once more, Alphariel, taking a step forward, produced a long, low howl. It was a signal, a greeting for their allies: the Bearclaw and Stormcloud Packs would know her voice. A long moment passed in silence. Then, first one, and then another response could be heard in the distance. Alphariel recognized the voices of Voldur, Vanguard of the Bearclaw Pack, and Nuhona, High Priestess of the Stormcloud Pack. They greeted the black wolves from afar with acknowledgment and welcome. The Darkmoon packs had arrived.


Last edited by Kalon Ordona II on Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:05 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:45 pm

Part 6 - The Bearclaw Pact

The wide field was completely filled with wolves. Birds flocked away en masse toward temporary safety, far from the congregation of hunter warriors. The black Darkmoon wolves occupied the western corner of the field, more than five hundred strong. The bluish-gray Stormcloud wolves, with their silver eyes and sleek, swift bodies, sat still and calm toward the southeast, at least thirty-five score strong. And then, more than eight hundred strong, dominating the northeast portion of the field, stood the red-brown Bearclaw wolves. The Bearclaw were large, larger even than the white wolves of the Snowhead packs. The Bearclaw were known for the complementing-yet-contradicting attributes of pride, honor, and savagery. These mighty packs were normally misunderstood and feared because of their seemingly brutal nature. It was only now, when so many wolf packs were being cowed by the two-legs into turning on their own kind, that the value of the Bearclaw surfaced in the understanding of those with a mind for freedom.

Alphariel, Nuhona and Voldur stood each at the head of their conjoined Packs. Nuhona spoke first.

"Welcome, Darkmoon Queen Alphariel. We Stormcloud predicted your coming, and now here you are, standing before us." Nuhona's voice was rich, high, and proud.
Alphariel was touched by Nuhona's faith in her. "Forgive me, Nuhona, Voldur: I did not realize the wide extent of the two-legs' teachings until it was nearly too late. Even as it is, some of us have been lost."
Voldur, grimly silent until now, spoke up. "Lost. What happened? It was the two-legs, wasn't it!" Rasping, yet infinitely full-bodied, Voldur's voice was deep, commanding, and full of experience.
Alphariel hung her head. "No, I am wounded to say that it was a horde of Snowhead. Seventy of our number have fallen to the white wolves."
The other two stood mute in shock. Nuhona was first to recover. "The Snowhead have turned? How?!"
"The Snowhead keep their own counsel--how they came to this I cannot say; all I know is that they have," said Alphariel, still downcast.
Voldur, meanwhile, was quivering in rage. "Fools!" he spat. "The Snowhead were our brothers; they, of all, should know better! Fools!!" He growled and dug out a large swipe of grass and earth with a huge claw. "Leave them, then. Let them enjoy the two-legs' company."
Alphariel perked up, confused. Did he really mean to stay here like a coward? "What are you saying? We have to go back. We have to retake our territories, drive the two-legs from our homes!"
"And why should we do that? Why shouldn't we stay here, in our ancient home? Re-conquer these lands, expel the cruel beasts that have infested it? We Bearclaw are strong enough."
Alphariel looked to Nuhona.
Nuhona's face betrayed nothing. "The two-legs are strong. The traitors are many. Even if the Darkmoon ran with us, we could not fight against wolf and and two-legs both and prevail."
"You will stay here and do nothing?!"
"We will reclaim our ancient home, since the forests to the west are lost to us."
Voldur added to Nuhona's words. "Our strength is not great enough for such a task, and there is nothing to increase it but time. Perhaps, someday, we will return."
Alphariel shook her head. "There is the treasure of Ferian."
Nuhona's breath held. Voldur's eyes narrowed. "None have returned who have searched for it."
"We Darkmoon know where it lies; we have seen the answer in the stars, in the shadow of the moon."
Voldur frowned. The Darkmoon Packs were not unique in their hatred of the moon, but this hatred did run deepest in them. In the early days, before the clans, black wolves were especially targeted by two-legs, who thought them beings of evil. The white two-leg's face in the night haunted their spirit forever after. Perhaps it was their rejection of the moon that led to other discoveries in the heavens. Perhaps that explained Alphariel's apparent knowledge where other wolves were ignorant. "Very well, then, where do you say Ferian's treasure can be found?"
"In the Temple of Shadows."
Voldur and Nuhona both growled out of reflex. "That place is death," said Nuhona.
"Have you ever been there?"
"Of course not!"
"Then who is to say--"
"No," Voldur cut her off. "If you venture that way, you venture alone."
Alphariel told herself not to be disappointed. She hadn't really expected them to offer their help--but she had hoped they would. "Very well; we will find it on our own."
Alphariel turned to leave, but Voldur, admiring her courage even if it was misguided, stopped her. "You are right about one thing: the power of the Wolfos, if it was found, would give us the strength to defeat the two-legs. I still think you all go to your deaths, but... if you do manage find Ferian's treasure--and survive long enough to bring it back--this pact I make with you: to pledge the Bearclaw packs under your command, that our forests will be purged of the two-legs once and for all, and peace will be restored to our territories."
Surprised, Alphariel turned back to face him. The Bearclaws did not serve, they ruled. For Voldur to strike such a bargain... Alphariel was moved with admiration.
"The Stormcloud Packs will also keep the Bearclaw pact," said Nuhona.
Alphariel looked at Nuhona, then back at Voldur, and she stood a little straighter. The promise of their aid bolstered Alphariel's spirit and banished the doubts that had been creeping in a moment before. "Then let it be so."

As one, the three wolf leaders howled in agreement. As one, their respective Packs echoed the sound in a deafening chorus.


Part 7 - The Eaten Horde

The entrance to the Temple of Shadows loomed before the Darkmoon packs--a large carved square of black stone as high and as wide as their clustered group--like a mouth waiting to swallow them whole. The sun shone, but somehow the light did not penetrate into the blackness ahead.

Alphariel turned to address her pack, her subjects, her family, her clan. "I do not fear this place!" she called out, sincerely. "It was made by the Wolfos our ancestors. There are dangers within, and I fear for our safety, but I will not be afraid of that which our forbears have wrought. This Temple of Shadows is not a purposeless deathtrap. It was made as a safe haven from the two-legs--yes, even back then. So take heart! Trust your instincts! If any wolf Pack can find their way through the shadow, it will be the Darkmoon!"
Shouts of encouragement and enthusiasm came in response. Alphariel turned and stalked toward the dark. Highlords Faro and Morenon started issuing orders, according to the strategies they had discussed with their Queen the previous day. Separate into packs. Keep plenty of distance. Obey every instinct, every impulse, while following the leader. Pack leaders follow their Lords, Ladies, and Highlords. Large packs on the outside, small packs in the center. Above all, do not lose track of the Queen.

One by one, the Darkmoon Packs disappeared into the Shadow.


Part 8 - Shadow Temple

It was dark. The Darkmoon wolves were known for their keen night-vision, and even they could not see enough to put much reliance on sight. Touch, sound, smell and instinct would be their only guides, now. The air was thin--almost too thin. The stone floor was hard, cold, and perfectly flat. Each breath echoed in the distance--the combined effect was nerve-wracking, until its incessance faded into the background of the mind, and the ear was able to pick out other sounds. The multitude of padded footfalls on stone, like the footsteps of ghosts. The subtle rustlings that declared each of the much-focused-upon pack leaders' most minute movements. The packs followed instinctively this way and that, side-stepping one second and pressing straight forward the next, sometimes even walking at an angle.

What the Darkmoons did not know was that, at any taken moment, more than half of them were not two inches from a deep chasm. The floor was riddled with pits and narrow walkways, across which the black wolves stepped safe and sure without knowledge and without thought. But, more than that: had they been able to see, they might indeed have fallen in, for the place had the seeming of a maze. The maze walls were some parts real, other parts illusion, and also of such illusions were the pits covered. Yet the black wolves marched straight across. Instinct had brought them all through where sight would have been the death of many.

Several minutes later, it became apparent that the Pack had passed through another gateway. Alphariel stopped. Responding to the movement, or lack thereof, every single wolf halted in the same instant. "Something is different here," she said. The entire sentence echoed several times, and suddenly the wolves felt very small. Then there was a distant, deep, loud stamp. Then another, and another, becoming louder... less distant.

"Spread out!" Morenon called. Again, the words echoed. Except this time, along with the stamping sound, along with the echo, came a deep, hoarse, fearsome roar.


Part 9 - Conjured Guardian

The stamping had come to a stop as the black wolves surrounded whatever it was that menaced the Pack. Something swiped over the tops of Darkmoon heads, causing most to duck out of reflex. This happened several times. Finally Tember had had enough of letting whatever enemy this was have the first move. She dashed forward, lunged at the spot of its last step, and bit hard through the tough but thin hide of the creature. She ripped away--and suddenly there was light, pouring from the wound. The creature's blood, if it was blood, glowed a soft white, like bluish moonlight. The stuff kept glowing even as it stained the ground.

The light it created was enough to see what the creature was. It looked like a huge, hideous two-legs. It had a massive club in one of its monstrous hands, and it was still swinging, heedless of the wound. But its attacks were not hitting the wolves. Its arm came low enough--indeed, right near the level of their heads--but the two-legs thing held the club so that it always stuck straight out horizontally.

Puzzled out of their minds, the wolves just stood there for a few moments, trying to reason it through in their heads. Mokoru made sense of it first. "It's not meant for us," he said, speaking it aloud as the realization came to him.
Krón put the rest of it together. "It's meant for two-legs!"
Gradually, the revelation took root. The thing kept swinging its club above their heads--too high to hit a wolf, just right to pummel a two-legs.
"I didn't know the Wolfos could make something like this," someone said.
The wolf's pack-leader answered. "It must have been them; this two-legs monster has probably been alive ever since the ancient days, outlasting them all; and, its blood glows; it can't be a natural creature."
"Then... should we just leave it?" said someone else, on the other side of the guardian monster.
Alphariel herself answered. "Yes, we'll leave it for now. I can't see any eyes, so hopefully it won't follow, but don't speak out loud until we're out of sight--it seems to respond to sound."

In the light, the wolves could just make out the other end of the cavernous chamber. It was a row of six black gateways like the one they had come through before. Tember's fangs still glowed, so she ran at the forefront with Alphariel to light the way. As they ran, however, Alphariel was beginning to feel uneasy. For some reason, she could not decide which gateway to choose. Her inability frustrated and frightened her. Up to now she had always known the path by instinct.

When they arrived, and Alphariel still had not come up with the answer, she stopped. As before, all the rest of the Pack stopped with her. Suddenly Alphariel realized what was wrong. "Of course..." she whispered. She understood, now. "The Temple of Shadows: a haven from the fire-bearing two-legs. Humans trust in sight; they lose their way in the dark...." Alphariel looked to the side, where Tember stood. "Lady Tember, close your mouth." Tember obeyed at once, hiding the light. "Yes..." Almost at once, Alphariel could feel her senses returning. "This way!"


Part 10 - Treasure Found

Whatever horrible deaths lay through the other gateways, the Darkmoon Pack would never have to discover them. The path Alphariel had chosen led through a long, dark tunnel. They went slowly, saving their energy, since Tember was forced to keep her mouth closed--otherwise, running without breathing properly would have been a danger to her body. Once more, Alphariel and all the wolves behind her came to an abrupt halt. "This is it," she said. "Go ahead, Tember."

Lady Tember panted gratefully, and soft light filled the surroundings. Two huge statues stood like sentinels just inside, frozen in fierce poses. The statues were wolf-like, with a much larger and more muscular upper body, a lion-like mane that swept back over the neck, and claws like oversized eagle's talons.

Wolfos.

The Darkmoon Packs stared in wonder, awe, and joy.
"Come!" called Alphariel, the Darkmoon Queen, running now through more gateways, always choosing the center path beyond the sentinel statues. At last they arrived at a special chamber. At the far end was a statue twice as large as those guarding the entrance. This was another Wolfos, in a rampant pose. "Farien," Alphariel whispered, bowing her head, overcome with the presence of the great father of wolf-kind. Black wolves poured in behind their Queen, unrestrained, caught up in the thrill of being in this place. This was no place of death, but of life--life to wolf-kind.

Morenon, Faro, Mokoru, Shengra, Krón and Tember fell in behind Alphariel. On a stone table before Farien's likeness, there lay the power of the Wolfos, the strength they needed to join with the Stormcloud and Bearclaw and overcome the two-legs' deception, destruction, and dominion. The treasure of Farien: the upper skull and mane of Farien himself. The seven Darkmoon leaders felt their blood boil with vitality as they gazed upon it. For wolves, it summoned the pure essence of their true nature. Against the two-legs, it would become a mask of death.

"We did it," said Tember. "The treasure of Farien."
"The power of our father, the Lord of the Wolfos...." said Krón.
"Our heritage, the glory of our ancient home," said Shengra.
"The strength to take back what we have lost," said Mokoru.
"The force that will bind the Bearclaw, Stormcloud, and Darkmoon as one," said Faro.
"A chance to win back our brothers the Moonsong, Snowhead, Timber, and Sunfall," said Morenon.
Alphariel stepped forward. "At last, our treasure is found."


Last edited by Kalon Ordona II on Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Reffy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:46 pm

A Treasure Found

“Dearly beloved. We are gathered here today to celebrate the life of Margery Corbett ... “

The monotonous voice of the vicar droned through my head. His words going in one side and out the other. His pathetic attempt to celebrate her life laying on the floor in a puddle of half-assed words. He didn't know Margery, that much was evident.

“Margery was a well loved member of the community. Born in 1912, she lived to the ripe old age of ninety-six ...”

A large picture of her rested against the plain wooden coffin. Her white hair, ruffled and permed tightly, to avoid tangles. Her face covered in wrinkles, crows-feet the deepest. Most likely caused by the many years of laughing. Her small blue eyes peering out like she'd never really seen the World before now.

She was wearing her usual outfit. A small purple frock and colorful kitchen apron covered in pictures fruit. Margery was never seen with out her apron. She always used to joke that she'd never lose stuff due to the large pockets the aprons had.

I fidget with my handbag and bonnet. Hard to believe she's gone now. She'd always been a strong woman, for an old lady. Always a smile on her face; and that bloody vicar wasn't doing her any justice. He'd hardly even shaved this morning. He could have at least done that.

“Please come forwards if you have anything you want to say.”

He stepped down from the podium, only to be replaced by another young man. Margery's next door neighbor, probably feeling guilty and trying to appease himself for having never visited or helped her. Not wanting to listen to the dribble my mind drifted.

The coroner told me she'd died of old age, a stroke. I raised the alarm when she didn't turn up for the weekly shopping trip. Every Tuesday we'd meet at nine in the morning for a cup of tea and a biscuit, then head off to the supermarket. Two little biddies ranting and taking over the whole shop.

A smile sprouts across my face but quickly fades. Won't be the same any more.

“ ... Margery was an awesome lady. Always giving my wife tips cooking and such. She was wonderful with our children too.” The man sounded just as awkward as the vicar. I didn't want to hear his pathetic attempts to cleanse his guilt.

I've offered to help clear her house with the authorities. At least give her that dignity. I'm sure she wouldn't want men digging around in her underpants drawer. Heavens forbid. Her time on this planet washed out by some grubby handed, local councilman. Her belongings tossed in to a rubbish bin. She'd turn in her grave. Margery didn't have any living relatives either. Guess I was the closest, its only right to help out.

I remember the last words she said. Silly ones really. It was a quick phone call conversation. She called me about a new wool she had found, saying that it would be perfect for my knitting project. Told me that we'd have to stop by that shop on Tuesday. Guess I'll never know which shop now. She was always on the look out for a deal, thrifty woman.

“Thank you for coming today. There are tea and biscuits in the adjoining hall for those who wish to stay and talk.”

He made an attempt to sound like he cared. I sniffed at the offer. Too little, too late. Margery wouldn't want me to sit here and dwell on the past. She certainly wouldn't want me to put up with idiots and rub cheeks with those who hardly even knew her.

We'd met in this church a few years ago and immediately connected. It was like we'd know each other our whole lives. It was during a baking sale, to raise money for the church. She'd given me a recipe for her apricot pie, and I'd given her my syrup sponge in return. Ever since then we'd help each other out. Shopping, new recipes, knitting projects, you name it. The jokes we shared. She made me feel young again, and I probably did the same for her.

I rose from the pew and sorted out my dark frock, making sure my bits weren't exposed. Then, quietly out of respect, I moved out from the pews. Making a quick curtsy towards the alter I leave the church without looking back or pausing. A few people wished to talk with me but I shooed them away. Things to do. No point dwelling on the past. I'll probably join her soon enough any way. I'm not a young-un any more. A silly smile creeps across my face as I make my way back home.

~~~

“What do you want us to do with this, Mrs Wrensham?” Tim, the so called 'cleaner', called out the question from the opposite room.

At least he was being careful. Keeping any thing that looked like it could be important. So far we'd cleared the majority of the house, leaving only the furniture, which would go too a charity shop or auction. The only places left to clear were the garage and the attic.

I moved to the room the voice had come from, seeing the brutish lad hold up another china plate. It was a commemorative plate from Royal Wedding between Princess Diana's and Prince Charles'. It was probably worth a fair bit of money. Nothing of use to me though. After all, what would I do with that money? My retirement covers everything, anything on top of that would be frivolous. The stuff taken from Margery's house would only collect dust at mine.

“Give it to the local charity shop, Tim ... and be careful with it.” They'll probably realize its worth. At least the money would get used for some thing good, rather than rot in my bank.

My shoulders sink as I traipse around what was her house. The table, where we would sit and talk for hours on end over a glass of wine. The lounge, where we would share crosswords or knitting patterns. The kitchen, where we made those fabulous cakes for the church fair. The whole bungalow smelt good for weeks, I chuckle quietly. The sentimentality soaking into my weary bones. The past all too real, the future hidden from me.

“I'm going into the attic. Make a start up there.” I call back to Tim, even though he probably didn't care.

“Alright, Mrs Wrensham, just be careful.”

Hand over hand, foot over foot, I climb the tiny ladder too the attic. The numb pain in my ankles and hands from arthritis not helping at all. Upon reaching the top I awarded myself a small break, resting against the side of the roof. Margery would laugh if she saw me now, as I cough and wheeze.

“You alright, Mrs Wrensham?”

“I'm fine, Timothy.”

There are cobwebs everywhere. My skin crawls at the thought of spiders skittering across the boxes. Must have been a long time since Margery had been able to get up here. Who knows what treasures could be hiding. A small flutter of adventure and youth dance across my spine.

She'd had this house for ages, ever since her fifties. Her son had brought it for her, but he'd died not long ago in a car accident. The mortgage was fully paid off, lucky woman. She must have just dumped everything up here and forgotten about it.

I rummage through a couple of boxes, seeing nothing much of interest. A few Christmas decorations, a couple of unused saucepans and quilts. A lot of cobwebs. Most of the stuff probably to end up at the charity shop.

Eventually my eyes fall on to a box that seems older than the rest. It has a Royal stamp on the side, depicting its importance. I scratch my head and wonder what's inside. She never spoke of any duties she did for Country and Queen. This must have been her sons; but no it was too old for that. Maybe her husbands. I contemplate it over in my head.

Carefully, I rest next to the box and open it. The dust flies up, catching my nose and making me sneeze. After a while I look down to see a uniform, with plenty of badges, and an old photo.

I pick up the photo with gentle hands. It's really old, the corners creased and torn. The color faded from white and black to a tea stained 'ick'. The photo depicted some kind of airfield, in which an old spitfire, Hurricane and Blenheim planes were resting and being worked on. There was a young girl in the photo, along with a few men, all wearing the same uniform. Their smiles huge and their hands messy with oil.

“... Who? ... Margery?” I question quietly to the open space between me and the photo.

Turning it over I spy a handwritten name and a date in faded black ink. “RAF, Middle Wallop, Hampshire. July 1940 Maggie”.

Tears of pride spark in my eyes. Had my Margery really served during the War? Why had she never said anything? She had always been able of mind, so its not like she forgot. My heart rose at the thought of her defending our Country. Her fixing the machines alongside our men. Allowing us to protect our homes. She must have been so brave.

She probably didn't say anything about her service due to her humility. She was never really one to brag. Mind you, I didn't exactly ask. The Second World War was not some thing we ever really wanted to remember. Lost of lot of people, it destroyed our homes and our lives.

I didn't know her back then. My life was out in the countryside looking after those who had come from London. Poor little tike's. My village lost up to fifty people in one bombing. But she! She had stood along side our men and fixed those engines! She was at the heart of it in Hampshire, the Army town. She'd probably seen a lot of young men, and probably women, lose their lives.

“Tim? Timothy?” I called out in excitement. The idea of such a find making my voice squeaky with delight and shock. “You'd better come see this ...”

Tim took his time coming up the ladder. He arrived to see me standing not that far from the box, showing him the picture. He looked slightly confused at the massive smile plastered across my face and the damp eyes.

“What is it, Mrs Wrensham?” He took the picture carefully, repeating what I had done, except he didn't show the love that had ripped through my every cell. His chest didn't swell with pride and his eyes didn't fill with tears.

“Its Margery. She served during the Second World War,” I explain the photo, the realization slowly coming to his face. “We should get this box too a museum. It has badges and her uniform.” I continued, hardly missing a beat. The idea of my Margery having done such a courageous and brave thing.

“ ... Hmm,” He was silent for a second. “They should put this on display. We never knew. She was probably one of the few ladies who worked on the engines in Hampshire. She would probably had received honors.”

~~~

I took the box of assorted badges and her uniform to the local museum. Turned out there was some pretty rare stuff in that box. Medals that only a few received, unread notes, time tables. They told me they'd put it on display and even erected a bench in her name. Seemed like a lot of fuss over some body they didn't know and couldn't possibly appreciate like I did.

Still, I was grateful, and I'm sure Maggie would have been too.

The museum held a special service for her. Announcing her honors and medals. A medal for bravery and another for long time service with a few other bits and bobs. Apparently she'd been there during a blitz attack and had saved a few men.

I didn't go to the ceremony. A whole load of fuss, really. Frivolous at best. I read about it in the paper a week later. Some one hundred and fifty people showed up from all over town to honor some body they didn't even know. Some had probably only met Maggie when she ran over their feet with her shopping trolley.

The bench was a lovely little thing. Oak with metal lattice work and a small plaque reading her name with a few special dates. They placed it in the gardens, right next to the rose bushes. The sweet scent drifting hazily over it on a warm summers evening. I visit there some times after the weekly shop. Its a nice spot.

Good old Margery Corbett.

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Deadman - D17 on Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:31 pm

~~({})~~#1#~~({})~~
"Hey, Jared, have you ever heard the story of the Princess who was sick for the moon?"

"Wait... What?" Wavy, unruly blond hair shuddered and shook as the young man's head turned, craning upwards to stare, confused. "What the hell are you talking about, Kal?"

"Heh, I'll take that as a 'no'." Kalvek gave a small smile as he looked down at Jared, black hair slicked back into a ponytail that ran down past his shoulders. The two reclined against the wall of the dining hall, Jared sitting on the floor, and Kalvek on the (now cleared... by his feet) table.

"Well, anyway, it was an old story I read a while back. Let's see... how did it go again? Ah! Yes, it was about a princess-"

"No shit."

"Indeed, imagine my surprise when I first read it! Anyway, there was a young, child-princess, who was terribly sick. The king and queen tried everything. Leechcrafters, Mancers, Faithful, it didn't matter, she just wouldn't get better. Whenever someone would ask what was wrong, she would simply point to the sky;

'The moons, I want them.'"

"Oh, is that all she needed?" Jared shook his head once more, wild hair concealing his eyes -white pupils and all- from view. "Spoiled little brat, isn't sh- Ow! Hey! What was that for?"

"I wasn't done yet." Kalvek crossed his hands back behind his head, while Jared rubbed his. "Anyway, as I was saying, she wanted the moons, all three of them.

Now, obviously, you can't simply take the moons out of the sky and give them to her. Even if there was someone powerful enough, it simply wouldn't work. However, while the king and queen worried themselves almost as sick as their daughter, trying to find some way to help, their royal blacksmith came up with a solution of his own. One night, when all three moons were full, he came in and knelt beside the sick princess' bed.

'Princess,' he whispered, 'why must it be the moons? Can't you see? Even if we could get them down from the sky, they're just too big.' It was true, of course, but all the girl did was laugh.

'Silly, they're not big, look!' She lifted her thumb up in the air, leveling it with Teraxx, who was first to rise that night. 'See! I can cover it like this! It's no bigger than my nail!'

Now, when the smith heard that, he realized just what he should do. Running to the king and queen, he asked them for access to the stones the minders brought in, and until the night of no moons to make the princess well again."

"And they accepted?"

"They were desperate, and it was nearing the end of the cycle anyways. The smith had just under a quarterthird-cycle to work, and work he did. Focusing on nothing else, he strove to forge three perfect, thumbnail-sized replicas of the moons. Axxau, he made with blue sapphire and white pearl, swirled together in that soothing, near-hypnotic pattern that your favorite moon is so well known for. Pyxrax, he forged from a single piece of scarlet ruby, rough, hollowed out so that it seemed to blaze with its own life, its own passion.

And then, of course, was Teraxx, created with malachite, jade, and black emerald, as strong and comforting as its followers. This one took the longest, and yet he finished in time. On that night that marked the end of the cycle, when no moon was visible, the princess found the three stone 'moons' in her hands.

She was delighted, of course, and almost instantly better. That very next day, she could be seen running all around the castle, singing blissfully, the 'moons' dancing along with her, held as they were by the chain on her neck. The smith was, of course, rewarded quite well for his efforts, and-"

"Now hold on there, Kalvek." Jared raised one arm up defensively over his head, as if expecting another strike for interrupting. "I know this is a children's story, but honestly, who can't possibly expect the princess not to realize, can you?"

"Realize what?"

"That the 'moons' are fake! There are what, two nights that mark the changing of the cycles? When the moons vanish? So she'll be fine then, until whichever moon is first rises again, and she'll realize she's been tricked!"

"Exactly! Now we get to the end. It didn't take long for the King and Queen to realize exactly what you are saying, Jared, and become worried once more. What could they do to keep their daughter from noticing? What would happen when she did notice? Would she become sick again? Even sicker than before? It was a heavy blow, as you could probably imagine."

"So... what ended up happening?"

"The smith saved the day again."

"What? Did he- Okay okay! No more interruptions, I got it! Just put. That. Hand. DOWN!"

"So dramatic.... But back on task. There was something about the girl that had struck the smith deeply, so he decided to simply wait, and see what happened. So they did just that, they waited until the third night, and as Axxau rose into the heavens, in clear sight of the princess' window, the Smith knelt by her side once more.

'Princess... are you still okay?'

'What? Silly! I'm great! Why wouldn't I be? I have the moons!'

'But Axxau is right there, rising into the sky.'

'Of course it is! Don't you know, they grow back after you pick them, just like berries!'"

"So tha-" Jared froze, body tensed to defend himself once more, but Kalvek only nodded, done with his story. "So that's all?"

"Yep, do you know what it means?"

"Of course."

"Oh?" Kalvek's head snapped down, the look of surprise on his face exaggerated to satirical proportions -like most emotions that made its way there. "Really?"

"Sure," Jared smiled, "It's in honor of the innocence of youth, to be able to say whatever you want and have it be true for you and your world, without the harshness of reality. The joy of being a kid..."

"Huh..."

"Oh, come on now, don't tell me you hadn't thought of that!? Come on! Remember? You were a kid once too, you know!"

"I was?" Kalvek's gaze shifted skywards, to the vaulted ceiling that, no matter how high, always seemed to bear down on them. "I guess... I might have been... at some point."

"Of course you were, you damn, crazy pyro." Jared shook his head, chuckling softly. "It's just because Pyxrax is gone for this third-cycle, isn't it?" His own gaze rose as well, now, but to the windows instead of the ceiling. The soft, azure glow of Axxau dominated the night, with just the subtlest undertones of Teraxx's emerald haze. For a while they just sat there, holding those positions, twin, mute witnesses to the passing of another night.

"Say... Kalvek." Jared broke the silence finally, eyes shifting from the windows to his companion's face. "About that story."

"Hmm?" Kalvek looked back down, the blue-rinsed light seeming to make his eyes stand out all the more, white-pupils as well, rimmed a rusty red. "What about it?"

"The princess, she was sick because she wanted the moons..."


"Yes.."

"But you never did say... Why did she want them?"

"Well now," It was Kalvek's turn to chuckle and grin, turning away once more. "I suppose you'll just have to find that one out on your own."

"Hey! You're not really going to take offense to that Pyxrax jest, are you? Oh, come on, you know I was just messing with you!"

"Relax, just relax, that's not why, you should know that." Kalvek continued to chuckle softly. "How about you get some rest, Jared? We've got about... one, two hours until sunrise. I'll take the watch today, after all, it is Axxau that's dominant right now."

"You sure?"

"Of course I am. Now, go to sleep already, would you? I swear, am I like this when Pyxrax is up?"

"Well-"

"Don't. Answer that."

"Okay then... I'll just be sleeping now..."

"Heh."

Kalvek let his gaze wander once more, as Jared drifted swiftly off to sleep. The dawn was indeed approaching swiftly, and hands moved to place the straw, wide-brimmed hat on his head, tilting in forwards just enough to keep the light's glare from his eyes.

It would be a long day, but he really didn't mind. After all, he had a lot to think about...

"A kid... yeah... I might have been one, once.

Once, a long, long time ago....."
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Deadman - D17 on Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:32 pm

~~(/\)~~#2#~~(/\)~~
"I'm sorry, Jared... I never did tell you why she wanted the moons..."

Rain crashed down from the heavens, tearing the holes in the thatched roof even wider. Thunder roared far and near, drowning out the coarse cries of the wounded and dying. Lightning lit up the night, while Pyxrax glared crimson overhead, its glow so pervading that none could distinguish the flowing blood from the falling rain.

"I didn't tell you, because it made no sense to me. It didn't when I first read it, and it didn't when I told you about it...

But I think I finally got it now." Kalvek looked up from the cottage table he sat on, staring through the gaping hole above him, seemingly unconcerned for the pouring rain that fell through to leave him drenched. "Would you like to hear?"

Silence.

"Very well then. And please, don't interrupt this time, okay? Thanks....

The smith never asked her at first, but you know, he was a curious fellow. Almost as much as you, I dare say. But eventually he knelt by her side one last time.

'Princess, tell me, why was it you wanted the moons?' Like she always did now, she laughed, as if the answer was so very obvious.

'It wasn't fair, how they had to live. They were too lonely, I wanted them to be together, to be at peace.'

I never mentioned that to you before, Jared." A deep, heavy sigh escaped from Kalvek's lips, his eyes seeming to shine in reflection of Pyxrax's bloody gaze. "But I never understood what she meant by that.

Now, however?" Hands moved unconsciously, fidgeting with something in its grip. "I think... I finally... understand."

The storm continued unabated, granting no shelter, no respite for those worn, beaten soldiers.

"In each third-cycle, it's always the same. One moon rises dominant, superior, it's light outshining all others, while one ceases to rise at all. Never do all three rise at once, equally, they always compete, always fight amongst each other for supremacy.

That must have been what she meant. It made her sick to see the moons, those heavenly bodies, fighting like that. She wanted to let them be at peace, so what did she do? She took them from the skies, and wore them around her neck.

It didn't matter then, if the moons still rose or not. The originals, their true essence, she carried them now. No longer did they have to fight to outshine the other, no longer was one forced to hide and watch his two brothers mount the sky. On that chain, they were equal, they were together, always."

His face fell then, back to earth, back to the unmoving figure lying on the ground below him. He held that pose for what might have seemed an eternity, just staring. Above him, the rain poured blood red, and lightning spat from the clouds. Around him, blood and water mingled and ran freely as moans of pain and loneliness wrenched at the soul. It seemed the world itself had been thrown into tempestuous chaos, a literal hell, and yet through it all he sat, a mute witness, a silent statue in the storm.

"It's true, isn't it? That you can never really know just what you have, until you've lost it?"

Slowly, finally, he moved, sliding off the table to stand tall in the night. Holding a clenched fist to his eyes, he revealed a long chain, from which four spheres dangled.

One made of sapphire and pearl, so soothing, so pleasing to behold, the very sight of it quenching the soul.

One created wholly from red ruby, hollowed, sparkling with an inner light that belied its rough exterior.

One forged of malachite, jade, and ebon emerald, enthralling in its craftsmanship, inspiring in its solid presence.

And, finally, an orb of simple crystal, containing within it a lone drop of water and blood, mixed, inseparable from its element, just like the man had been in life.

"I can't say I've ever known innocence, my friend, despite your words. And you of all people should know I have never experienced 'peace'. But now?"

His eyes lingered on the necklace in his hand, before drifting once more to the prone figure beside him. A friend he had never thought to gain, a feeling he had never imagined could exist, and a sense of hope, he had never believed he would experience.

It all added up to one, oh-so-holy thing:

peace....

"I think... I've finally found it."

Sure hands fastened the necklace around his neck, and with not a second glance up, down, or back, Kalvek began to walk. Out of the ruined cottage, around the bodies of the wounded, dying, and dead, he walked. The rain beat down, the wind howled, but he stood unfazed. In fact, it all brought a smile to his face. The smile of a man contented, not with riches or power or worldly goods, but with what he had... and who he was.

"Rest in peace Jared, my dear, dear friend. Rest well, knowing that by your help, I can finally see. My only wish is that I may bear your gift well, and pass it along to any willing to discover its beauty.

I know why the princess wanted the moons...

Truly... there is no greater treasure than this."
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Fate Flyer on Sun Aug 02, 2009 3:03 pm

Well, today is the last day of the competition! We've had four members submit their stories so far. If you wanted to participate in the contest but have not submitted your entry, please do so by the end of the day! We (the judges) will start reading and discussing the entries after today is over.

Originally, all the judges (which are just onenitedrive, Tempest, and myself) were going to narrow the entries down to the top 3. However, since we've had less than the amount of participants in this first contest of ours than we had initially anticipated, we may just decide on a winner all together and all at once.

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Homecoming: The Soldier and the Primrose Lady

Post by Igraine on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:22 pm

Children’s laughter, sparkling and bright as the noon sun on a running stream, followed the frog as it desperately hopped in any direction that would put as much distance between it and its pursuers as the panicked amphibian could manage. Lean green legs pumping, the orc boy with the tusky grin led the pack of human children as the amphibian fled, between trees and tents and booths, past pylons and people of all ages as they milled amongst the sights and sounds of the Dark Moon Faire.

But even here, in the midst of the strange and the bizarre, the extraordinary and the grotesque, the eyes of the faire goers could not fail to be drawn to the hooded, otherworldly figure wrapped in robes of palest gray. Even the frog-chasing children passed around him like the current of a stream past an eddy until one age-spotted hand reached out, gently ruffling the brilliant auburn hair of a certain boy who was running by him. The child stopped mid-stride to look up at the figure, whose cowl fell back to reveal the travel-worn, yet kindly face of an elderly man. Flashing a quick and brilliant grin to the man who – quite impossibly - met his gaze, the boy tore away again to rejoin his frog-chasing companions.

“Blind Thomas” they called him, the casts in each of his eyes almost as milky white as the hair that fell to his shoulders. His sightless gaze turned to the thoughtfully grinning gnoll in the booth he found himself next to, a gentle smile on his sun-weathered face as he waited for a simple stool to be brought to him. And as he sat, the old man produced a wooden lyre from beneath his cape. Nimble, practiced fingers tuned the sensitive instrument just so, the plucked notes rising and falling unnoticed amidst the sounds of laughter and the ever-present murmurs of conversation, punctuated by the sound of faire game bells and carnie barkers peddling their wares.

Not until purposeful fingers expertly drew the first few bars of the song - haunting and mournful, violent yet with a streak of hope running through the whole like a precious silver thread - did silence fall all around him. Mothers quieted restless children, and neighbors hushed their friends’ gossip as eager ears listened for the bard’s deep, rich tenor.

For all knew the rumors of the sightless bard, always walking alone – yet forever finding safe passage – treading the paths none but the bravest, or the most foolish, would travel. It was even said that the ghosts of the past would whisper to him as he passed; that Thomas alone of his brethren could hear their stories, their tragedies and their tales…


And so when Thomas’ clear, deep voice rang out over the heads of those who had gathered around, a preternatural hush seemed to fall over the forest clearing, as if time itself prepared to obey the bard’s call. Neither bird song nor an insect’s whir competed now with sound of the lyre, and the bard’s ballad:


“Gather round closer, trav’lers and friends.
As you rest weary bones, hear my tale.
‘Tis a song of a soldier, stalwart and true,
And the path fate did forge, dark and bale.


He set forth for his King, for nation, and love,
To face fel-driven foes from afar.
Through the blood and the smoke, the death and the dark,
The road home was lit bright by her star.


But the waves of the ocean ferried his lady
Far from the tides of war.
Uprooted unwilling from her native soil,
Cast adrift to take root on new shores…”



A study in grays, the unmoving figure, wrapped in sodden robes the color of a dove’s wing, stood on the ship’s weathered deck. Her gaze swept far and away into the distance over the slate and ashen ocean breakers, past even the heavy, leaden clouds that loomed over them all. A sudden gust caught the hood, rudely pushing it back and away from a face wet with tears or sea spray – it would have been impossible to tell which. Hair the color of honey fell about her face now, the sudden splash of color quickly dulled as the mist began to plaster the locks to her head and in wet tendrils across her face.


“Olivia?” spoke a voice from behind, startling her from her reverie as she glanced quickly toward the sound. “Olivia!” called the woman who had just reached the deck from the top of the stairs. “Please, come below until the rain passes. You’ll catch your death of a chill, and you know this isn’t good for-“


“Soon enough, I promise,” answered Olivia quietly, crossing her arms over her chest as she began to shiver a little. Almost too quietly to be heard above the wind’s blustery moan, she asked the question that haunted her thoughts as desperately as a mourning wraith, “How… how do you think he’ll find us, Candace? Lordaeron is so far… “


Candace followed her dearest friend’s gaze as she too looked off into the distance, unable as ever to see what captured her friend’s attention. She was a simple, level-headed woman, loathe to give false comfort where the situation seemed hopeless. And what Candace did know was enough to chill the marrow of the most stalwart optimist.


Stormwind Keep had been destroyed, Moonbrook and Goldshire razed to the ground under the unstoppable tide of the orcs’ ferocity. And here they found themselves, Lothar’s refugees enroute to a distant land with a ragtag fleet of ships, the crews hobbled together from the survivors of the destruction of their once-shining kingdom.


With a small sigh, Candace draped her own deep blue shawl around Olivia’s head and shoulders tenderly, tying and tucking the ends, and kissing Olivia’s cold, wet cheek before she returned below deck without another word.


Never once turning to watch her friend go, Olivia wrapped the shawl about her face, breathing deeply of the faint floral perfume still clinging to the soft woven yarns. So blessedly familiar, and yet so out of place here among the ever-present smells of the sea. Still, almost she could imagine - if she closed her eyes tightly and breathed in the faint perfume so very deeply - that she stood beside him again on that small garden walk, the final farewell between them still unsaid…


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



“… A sword can be sharpened, and armor be mended,
A man’s body prepared for battle.
But only his soul is truly the key
Where crucible tests the mettle.


So take courage, young soldier; Nay, courage shan’t fail,
Not where brothers-in-arms do stand.
Where steel girds flesh, stout heart does gird steel,
Resolve for both mind and sword hand… “



“Corporal? Corporal Brand?” whispered the quavering voice of the junior soldier. No - truth be told, this boy – who shared patrol with him that day. Peter could not help but curse under his breath as he regarded the wide-eyed, anxious face of the painfully young man in his charge. Had the King’s army fallen so far, were their forces so decimated, that they would recruit mere children to fight, who could not even yet grow the patchiest of beards?


“Yes, Gild?” he responded, also in a whisper, as the two slipped silently through the forest’s undergrowth, scouting which of the boundaries might still be secure in the face of the ever-present offensive fronts of the demonic green-skinned invaders.


The younger man hesitated for a moment, as if considering his words carefully before he could bring himself to utter them. “Sir, do you really think we’ll be going home again?”


Peter felt the sudden rush of air pass his lips as he sucked in one breath quickly. The question: it was so simple, and so simply asked. So why did he feel as if someone had just kicked him in the gut? And Light help him, why were this man child’s eyes locked on him so desperately, as if he could ever possibly know?


Quickly he grabbed Gild by the arm, pulling him down as they knelt there in the underbrush. Peter reached into his vestment, pulling a small, carefully wrapped package from the place over his heart. Without a word, he untied the twine and showed Gild the contents: a book, well-used and tattered, though the binding was still quite intact.


Meeting the younger man’s quizzical gaze with a small smile, Peter shook his head as he flipped open to a specific page without ever having to look at the book itself. Turning the book around now, he showed Gild the real treasure it contained.


Because carefully and lovingly pressed between those pages was a small spray of primrose, the color yellowed and dull, but still unmistakable. The light in Peter’s gray eyes shone a little softer, and his smile a little wider, as he looked on the fragile, precious reminder.


“I am going home, Gild,” Peter whispered resolutely as he rebound the book and tucked it away again. “I promised, you see, and nothing in this world or any other will make me break that promise.” Looking back to the younger man, his smile widened further still, “If you like, when all of this is behind us, it would be my pleasure to have you visit our home – you’d like her, my Olivia. She’s the best of all women, a light brighter than the sun itself. And oh my friend, you should see her gardens…”


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



“…A man’s true strength comes not from his arms,
But from the hard steel of his love.
For no man will fight, nor lay down his life,
If not for that gift from above.


His fealty to nation, his fondness for home,
All things known to be good, true and right.
But no truer still; and nay, no more dear,
Than his Lady’s fair face, gilt and bright… “



The house was small, or rather “cozy,” depending on how gracious one chose to be. Situated on the outskirts of Moonbrook, only a hard-packed dirt road meandered by their small stead, out of the way and likely to be unnoticed by anyone passing – were it not for the riot of breathtaking color that danced and played throughout the yard.


Wildflowers of every conceivable type and description bloomed with abandon, surrounding the house in an earthly rainbow. And interspersed here and there, lining the small garden walk to the house, the unmistakable beds of primrose, each lovingly planted and carefully tended.


This little home was a small taste of Paradise for the two people whose love built it. Serene and beautiful, blessed by the blue sky above and the fertile earth at their feet, none could have imagined anything less than endless days spent in blissful contentment amidst the blossom’s perfume and the gentle whir of bees’ wings.


But for the two figures standing now on the garden path, not even the magnificent, kaleidoscopic display could give a moment’s worth of peace of mind.


“You’re a school teacher, Peter, not a soldier,” she whispered desperately, as if that fact alone would be sufficient to stop the inevitable, to keep him from leaving her now, sword sheathed at his side, and his helmet hanging down his back from the thick leather strap attached at his neck.


“Olivia…” was all he said, pulling her close to him in a tight embrace, kissing the top of her head as he felt the sobs wrack her body yet again. And when she was quieted some, he pulled back a bit to look lovingly at her precious, tear-stained face. “If I don’t go now, I never will. Those creatures, those green monsters - they’re coming, Liv. They won’t be satisfied with the massacres to the east, and they’ll be here on our very doorstep, if they’re not stopped now… “


“I love you more than life itself, Liv, but I have to do this. What kind of man abandons his wife and his home his neighbors, to fend for themselves? When there is sure death on the horizon… “ And here Peter trailed off, unable to finish the sentence as he looked down at his wife. “I… I must go now.”


“No, please wait,” she said swiftly, pulling away from him as she bent down next to the path, nimble, knowing fingers gently plucking at the primrose. Standing again, she carefully tucked the small spray in his sword belt. With a poor attempt at a smile, Olivia muttered the only words she could think of at the moment, “You will carry my favor into battle with you, Peter? My knight protector?”


Peter nodded, a chuckle on his lips now for her words, even as gentle fingers barely touched the tender blossoms of the flowers. “I would be honored, Olivia, my beautiful Lady of the Primrose,” he answered with a small half-smile on his own face now.


Olivia wrapped her arms around his neck, her hands entwined in his auburn hair as she pulled him close for one last tender kiss. “Just, come home to me,” she pleaded, “Promise me, love. Promise me you’ll come home.”


He sighed, resting his forehead gently against her own, his eyes closed as he spoke without wavering. “There is nothing, Liv, nothing in this world or the next that can keep me from you. I promise, I swear – I will come home to you.”
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Homecoming (Part 2)

Post by Igraine on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:28 pm

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~



“… A promise so sweet is like comb honey fresh,
Wild, tender, and ne’er made without pain.
A root sunken deep, drinking full of the earth,
In darkness - and yet ‘tis gain.

Still a soldier’s true wages, it has been said,
Are paid at first step homeward.
But what reward can be had, for those who do fall?
Torn from the mortal path onward?”


The young man’s smiling face exploded in a sudden spray of crimson and bone, the warm wetness a foul rain over Peter as he leapt to his feet even before Gild’s body hit the forest floor. Peter drew his sword as the red-eyed orc looked up at him, crouching over the fallen man as he removed his axe from Gild’s skull, an eager, malicious grin on his tusked face. A blood-curdling laugh issued forth, deep and mocking, as the green –skinned creature stepped over the human’s body, the massive war axe at the ready to cut down yet another easy target…

… Or so the orc must have thought. Peter raised his own sword then, meeting the down stroke of the orc’s axe with a bone-jarring clank of metal on metal. He could feel the incredible strength and weight of the green-skinned creature bearing down on him, threatening to crush him where he was, should he falter even a moment.

‘Think Peter, think, Light damn it all - or you’re going to be pulverized. Get smart fast, Pete, or this will damn near be your last breath.’

Peter fell back to a kneeling position, feeling the rush of air as the orc’s blade sliced by his head and shoulders and buried itself with a *thunk* into the forest floor. Quickly he grabbed a handful of dirt and debris in one hand, flinging it in the orc’s maddened face before the surprised creature could pull his axe from the ground.

Howling with rage, the orc tried to wipe the debris from his sight, scarlet eyes blinking furiously as he clawed at his own face. Peter knew he had one shot - and one shot alone. He swung his sword down with both hands, the blade biting into the orc’s virtually unprotected shoulder and traveling down across his chest.

Again, the creature bellowed with pain and rage, the blood from the gash spreading in a brilliant wash across the orc’s leather armor and skin – but Peter knew at that moment he had not succeeded. The shot had hit hard and true, but it would not be enough to down the creature. All he could do was hold the sword before him as he backed away, the infuriated, bleeding orc suddenly screaming some guttural challenge before raising the giant, wickedly sharp axe above its’ head as it charged.

Peter took the full force of the orc’s weight and momentum to his chest, as he was slammed backward and to the ground, buried and breathless now as an excruciating pain enveloped his left arm. He opened his eyes then – Light help him, he had not even realized he had closed them – the better to die like a man, he hoped, and see the final axe blow that would finish him.

And yet, the blow never fell. Seconds passed before Peter understood the orc above him, pinning him to the ground, had not actually moved since it was upon him. He blinked once, twice – before realizing the orc’s senseless, vicious face, an inch from his own – remained blank and unmoving. A dawning realization came over him then, as the creature’s full weight lay upon him.

Dead. The orc was dead, impossibly impaling itself on Peter’s sword. With a small, strangled cry, Peter used all of his flagging strength to push the creature off him, barely keeping in a scream of agony as he realized where, exactly, the axe blade had fallen. His arm. His left arm – the blade had bitten deeply where it fell, cutting through flesh easily to the bone. And blood – his own blood this time, he knew – was pooling quickly around him. Anatomy lessons flashed through his head. Artery severed, and the blood was seeping too quickly… ’Light … dear, sweet… please help me… ‘

Tourniquet. He could use his belt for a tourniquet. Half-useless fingers grappled for the buckle at his waist, every passing second a fresh rivulet of precious blood lost.

Peter’s only thoughts then, ringing over and over through his addled mind as he fumbled with the makeshift tourniquet, were of his promises. ‘Home, Liv. Promised you. Coming. Home… ‘

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“… And wait she did, for her Soldier so true,
Their home empty now as her heart.
The ache ne’er did cease in those long, lonely days,
Her life his to hold, ev’ry part.

Yet who could have known, who could have foreseen
The terror that put her to flight?
The war, it had found her. Death overshadowed
Her steps, as she fled into night… ”


“RUN!” Candace screamed, slim legs moving at a speed that only the abject fear of imminent death could give, “Liv don’t look back, just RUN!”

They had come. Like a fel- green tide of death washing over sandy shores, the orcs had come. Olivia could hear the blood rushing in her head, her breath coming in ragged gasps as she ran after Candace down the dirt road that had once led to her beloved home, and away from the doomed town of Moonbrook.

‘No thinking, just run. Don’t stop. Keep running.’

And run they did, fleeing with nothing but the clothes on their backs over golden fields and rolling hills. The pain in Olivia’s side was growing with each step, but she pushed it aside in her panic. Pain would not kill her at the moment, but the orcs assuredly would. But even that realization did not make her immune to the sudden stabbing agony in her side that dropped her to her knees, a sharp intake of breath and a sudden, uncontrollable cry falling from her lips.

“Candace, help me!“ Her friend turned then, bending to grab Olivia by her arms and manhandle her back to her feet if she must. But Candace failed to follow her own advice, and stood dumb struck in horror, her body stiff and unmoving as her eyes gazed over the path they had come…

Olivia did not want to look. She did not want to see whatever had etched terror on her dear friend’s face, but she simply could not stop herself. Slowly, she too turned and saw, one hand covering her mouth to keep the scream inside, as fear and grief in equal parts almost overwhelmed her.

Moonbrook. The town was being ransacked, fires burning here and there throughout as the orcs moved with impunity through the streets, their green skins visible even from that distance. With the pounding of her heartbeat in her head, the constant footfalls as she and Candace had fled, they had been spared just one aspect of the razing of this town, their one-time home.

The screams. Men and women and oh, Light have mercy on them all, the children. Their screams of fear and agony, their death throes, rose up in the air with the smoke, like an unholy offering to the darkest gods.

‘Run.’ The thought came back to Olivia again, even as she watched silent tears course down Candace’s face. ‘Run, and do not stop, or you will die too.’

Unsteadily Olivia got to her feet, the pain in her side still there, but not enough to stop her flight now. One hand placed protectively over her burgeoning stomach and the treasure she carried there; the other wrapping desperately around Candace’s wrist as she began to pull on her reluctant friend, away from the sight of such tragedy and senseless horror.

“We can’t… stop now,” she gasped, her voice barely above a whisper as she dragged her dear friend away from the spot in which she had been rooted, “Run Candace… All our lives… depend… on this now. Just. run.”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“…Whither my love, my guiding star,
My light through the smoke and the blood?
Whither my queen, my Primrose Lady,
My beacon through storm, fire and flood?

My heart was sworn to return, my dearest,
That promise both true and kept.
‘Home’ I did vow, and my path, ‘twas hindered
By naught, though dust and clay slept… “



‘Light no, oh please… no… ‘

He had come far, so very far, to keep his promise to Olivia. Home. He had come home. But almost now Peter could find it in him to wish he had not, that he could have stayed away forever, that his eyes would never have witnessed what they fell upon now.

Their small home had been decimated, like a child’s play thing carelessly kicked over by some malevolent giant. The carefully thatched roof was torn away, burned in spots even, the painstakingly hewn rafters now only home to swallows and mice. No glass stood whole in any of the windows’ panes, and the heavy oaken door lay useless and splintered on the rotting timbers of the wood floor.

But the devastation outside the house – Could they have left nothing intact? Damn their nether-darkened hearts, could not one beautiful thing have been left whole? Her garden – Olivia’s beloved garden – had been destroyed utterly. Most every wildflower, every bush, had been uprooted and tossed aside, and what was not uprooted had been put to the torch.


Peter’s mind could barely grasp the depth of hate such an act would require: the time this must have taken, to systematically destroy this once verdant oasis of color? The malicious determination to wipe away every bit of beauty from this place? He fell to his knees now, on the broken remnants of the garden walk where he had last held his Olivia, and wept. “Where is she?” he moaned softly, his pitiful cry strangled, and pained. “Oh Light help me, where is Liv?”


“Not here, my friend,” came the low, gentle voice, comforting and familiar. Gild knelt next to what was left of one of the beds of primrose, his own light-filled fingers gently touching the more tender - and yet brave - of green shoots that dared poke its head from the soil. “But she lives still,” he continued, a reassuring smile for his former senior officer, “and she bears seed.”

“Primrose – they are perennials, Peter. Did you know that? They return, year after year.” The young man smiled gently at the older, the fear and confusion once found on Gild’s shining face was gone now, replaced by contentment and a wisdom that he had not known in life. “Your Olivia, she will come home to you Peter. But now it is your time, simply to wait on her… “

Gild stood and laid a comforting hand on Peter’s shoulder, the small yet brilliant smile still on his face as he waited for the older man to rise next to him. “Home, Peter,” he said as they fell into step together. The pair walked down the old dirt road, their forms wavering and then becoming lost amongst the dust devils and the waves of shimmering heat that rose from the parched earth.

“Has there ever been a more beautiful word?”

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


“… So now I await, for you my Lady,
In the gardens of Paradise.
Your knight, he is Home. A new song he sings,
‘Til the day his true Primrose arrives.

For lovely and fragrant are the blooms,
That laden the boughs here so low.
But none can compare; Nay, none e’er so fair,
Than the blossom my Lady bestows.”


Birdsong returned in degrees to the faire grounds in Elwynn Forest – though husbands held their wives a bit tighter now, and young lovers exchanged glances both longing and fearful as the bard’s song ended. Applause would have seemed out of place somehow – though Thomas knew the crowd’s reverential silence spoke all he needed to know of their appreciation. Several faire goers filed past him, an offering of coin in their clenched fists for him just a small token of their appreciation for his art.

But far in the back of the crowd, a single unnoticed figure continued to lean against a barker’s wagon, her gaze still far and away – until it was brought back to the here and now rather swiftly and undeniably by an auburn-haired boy running full-tilt into her side. Wrapping both small arms tightly around her leg, his breathless, shining face grinned up at her.

“Grandma! I caught the frog! Did you see me? I caught Flik’s- “ His head tilted to the side in confusion then, as he gazed thoughtfully up at the beloved face she turned to him. “Grandma, why are you crying? Did you fall down? Are you hurt?”

Quickly the pale, gray-haired woman dashed the tears from her cheeks, a small smile for her grandson contriving to make its way onto her careworn face. “No, no Rayner,” she said gently, a chuckle escaping her now and giving the nascent smile what it needed to grow wider still, “I’m fine. Just got a little something in my eye, I think – but it’s gone now…”

She shook her head then, as if to clear the last of her thoughts before she suddenly swooped down on the boy, who giggled for all he was worth as she caught him up in her arms. She tickled his tummy, even as she held the squirming child firmly on her hip. “OH! And look what I caught! It’s bigger than a frog though… hmmm… Think I can I keep this wild boy Rayner?”

Still grinning madly, the boy laughed as he wrapped his arms around her neck. “Grandma, you’re silly.”

“Maybe so,” she agreed, turning toward the event’s exit now as she spied a fair, smiling young woman waving to them, standing next to a tall, handsome man with honey-colored hair. “But if I am,” she whispered to the child, “then so are you. And I also think we’re running a bit late… “

One nimble hand plucked the spray of primrose from behind her ear, and tucked it neatly into the buttonhole of Rayner’s shirt pocket. “But I think all will be forgiven, if your mother and father receive such a nicely turned out gentleman.”

"Now there we are, my dearest knight," she said in a low voice, with a conspiratorial wink for her grandson as she set him on the ground, smoothing his tousled hair back in place with gentle fingers. With a small curtsey, she offered the boy her hand before she continued, "Would you be willing, m’lord, to escort a lady home?"


Last edited by Igraine on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Igraine on Sun Aug 02, 2009 6:31 pm

((Yup, a World of Warcraft-based story for a role-playing forum contest. And yes, believe it or not, it's below 5,000 words. (4,697 to be exact, according to Word. Giggle

eta: Just going back in to fix spacing - it's a right royal pain between Word and forum posting... *sigh* ))
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Fate Flyer on Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:09 am

Thank you all for your participation! This contest is now officially closed. We will begin the judging process, so stay posted!

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Dio the Awesome on Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:11 pm

Yeah, my story didn't have the flavor I would have liked it to have, so I didn't submit it. I'll have to try harder for the next contest.
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Fate Flyer on Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:07 am

A little update on the contest:

I have finally read through all of your entries, and I am completely blown away by all of them. Believe me when I say that I am not just saying that. You each have great talent, and you all had fascinating and wonderful stories to tell. I'm already finding the judging to be difficult.

I am still waiting on input from both Tempest and onenitedrive, so once they've finished reading through all of the entries, we can move forward from there to agree on a winner. Thank you for your patience.

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Gadreille on Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:42 pm

Hyper I saw that there was a new message here and I nearly had a heart attack...

I don't know if I am relieved or sad that it is not the results!
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Reffy on Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:45 pm

Ryona Noel wrote:Hyper I saw that there was a new message here and I nearly had a heart attack...

Hahaha. Same here Very Happy

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Fate Flyer on Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:08 pm

Lol hang in there!

I talked to onenitedrive, and he said he had just forgotten about the contest (which is understandable, since we had a bit of a busy time returning home and such), but he's going to start reading them tonight, hopefully, after he's home from work.

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:11 pm

Hyper [/echoing Ryona's sentiments]
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Tempest on Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:35 pm

Don't worry guys, I've read through the first two and I echo Fate when I say just how great they are!

Picking a winner is going to be seriously hard! If it was up to me, you'd all win! Very Happy
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Gadreille on Sun Aug 23, 2009 5:43 pm

Excited
Sorry to bother. I just had to use this smiley!
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Igraine on Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:41 pm

Ryona... you did it again... XD
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Fate Flyer on Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:48 pm

Sorry this is taking so long, guys. I really wasn't anticipating this taking this long. We've encountered a bit of an issue (in which Tempest had read all the entries and typed up an analysis of each one to discuss it with us, but his post was lost somehow), so that has put us behind. Also, onenitedrive isn't finished reading all the entries yet, and I'm not sure now whether or not he'll be able to finish them all in a timely enough manner. I know he would really like to and would like to also help Tempest and I out judging, but he's just so busy (working full-time and also a part-time student), so we may have to go on without him. I'll discuss it with him some more.

Once Tempest finishes letting us know what he thought of each entry, we can finally start discussing further and narrowing it down to a winner. Thanks for your patience. I really appreciate it, and again, I am sorry it is taking this long. Hopefully next time, we'll have more willing judges to help lend a hand.

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Gadreille on Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:54 pm

It's ok! That's why I apologized for posting, though my excitement forced me to press the post button anyway. Sweat Drop

I know what it is like working and going to school...I spent most of my scholarly career doing so. (And if you count parenting as a job, I'm still doing it!)

Perhaps each contest can have three different judges, so the work load isn't always on you three. The judges would have to be on the honor system though...
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Mon Aug 24, 2009 1:02 am

Aww. I would have been a judge, but I think you have to be a staff member to judge, right?

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Kalon Ordona II on Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:24 am

I would SOOOO not be a judge! That would mean I couldn't have entered! xD
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Fate Flyer on Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:06 am

Do you mean that if we had 3 judges, each could read something different? If that's what you meant, I don't want to do that, since then no one will know what the other entries are like, and therefore can't decide on a winner properly.

Yes, we have staff members as judges, though I might consider making an exception in the future, though it would be more difficult, since members can't talk in our moderator forum. It'd all have to be discussed via PMs, I think.

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Ehoron on Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:45 am

I believe Ryona was actually suggesting having the contest judges be different every round, so as to ease the burden.

Perhaps, this is just a thought from a random member, if the contests pick up in participation, there could be a special contest judging area where the various contests could be discussed.

It would go without saying though that should a person choose to become a judge, temporary or permanent, then they would not be allowed to participate in some, or all, of the contests depending on how many other discussion threads for different contests are going on.
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Gadreille on Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:47 pm

Thank you, Ehoron, for clarifying! Smile
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 24, 2009 2:34 pm

You can count me in as a willing judge next time if you will extend it to members, Fate. Wink

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Mon Aug 24, 2009 5:27 pm

Well, I probably won't ever join the writing contests, so I honestly wouldn't mind being a judge. I like giving criticism. ^^_^^

Also, yeah. PM's would probably be the best unless you decided to- in the future- make a forum thing that only certain people can see like the secret Caligo forum or the staff forum. You wouldn't have to do that. It's just a suggestion.

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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Tempest on Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:36 pm

Ah well I'd also like to say sorry for the delay. If my posts hadn't mysteriously vanished I am sure this would have been done by now.

Anyway, I'm reading them all and am going to do one big post for them all again, which I will save this time! Razz

Hope the suspense doesn't kill anyone! Wink
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

Post by Igraine on Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:36 pm

I'm going to have to stop watching this topic. Anyone mind PMing me with the results, no matter what? XD Everytime I get a notification e-mail, I check and wonder...
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Re: FOG's 1st Writing Contest - A Treasure Found *WINNER*

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