Entries to Starlight's writing competition

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Reike
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Entries to Starlight's writing competition

#1 Post by Reike » Thu Jun 01, 2017 8:58 am

This string here is where to post your entry to the writing competition.

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Reike and Zarcon.
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Nexiax
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Re: Entries to Starlight's writing competition

#2 Post by Nexiax » Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:39 pm

-The Man on the Rock-

The man slumped against the rock’s course surface, sharply exhaling with the harsh impact while his bloody knife rang with the collision of metal on stone. A look of sorrow passed his face, for he knew that he did not have the energy to get back onto his feet. The Vrykul’s blade had killed him with that gut wound, yet he would take some hours to die from it. If only he was home, then maybe the wound wouldn’t be considered fatal. Maybe a priest or medic could patch him up, heal him, and send him on his way. Maybe, just maybe…

Such thoughts of fruitless hope were cruel. He was going to die, alone, in a land he knew not but would forever more be forced to call home. There was no hope for him he knew, as he watched his blood trickle out of him and down the rock face like a fresh river seeking its course. His backpack was in the way, and needed moving he noted. There were items in that bag precious to him. Even now, staring at the face of death, the man was a slave to his own emotions as he summoned the last vestiges of his strength to save his belongings from his blood.

The effort exhausted him, and so the man sat, and took in what he knew would be his final resting place. The great trees of Stormheim flourished here, reaching into the sky like towers of a castle. At their feet lay a great many flowers, plants and herbs unlike any elsewhere in the world, while natural life scattered about, unaware or perhaps uncaring of the fact that just several paces away, life was ending for the man. A gentle breeze mockingly caressed his face, taunting him with memories and wishes for his mother in the final chapter of his story.

The breeze had disturbed some of the branches on a nearby tree, the man noticed, revealing a dark raven watching him in turn with a hungry gleam to his eyes. Will you eat me, the man wondered, when I am gone? Will you reduce me to naught but bone? The raven did not respond to the man’s thoughts, but merely stood and awaited the inevitable.

Comfort is often sought towards the end. Perhaps that is why the man summoned up the strength to lean forward to search through his bag. Out of it, he withdrew his inkpot and quill along with a roll of parchment, before finding what he really wanted: His telescope. One last glimpse was all he asked for, a final look towards his goal and towards home. Yet fate was cruel, for the lens was damaged, and he would see neither home nor goal again.

Perhaps then, if he could not continue his failed quest, then another could in his stead. He had the quill and parchment, he could record all that he had seen and done, and what he had gone to do. Another, a brave and righteous hero or adventurer, could one day come across his rotted corpse and finish what he had started. But as we know fate is cruel, for what little ink was left had dried, and his quill had broken.

None would know his story, he concluded. Perhaps one day, others would come across his decrepit body, propped up against this lonely rock. They might wonder how he came to be, his story, and how he came to die here. Perhaps they might come up with fanciful stories of heroism and bravery, choosing to neglect and ignore life’s simple truths.

It was beginning to get cold now, the man felt, as his eyes strayed once more to seek comfort. They came to rest on the engraving on his broken telescope. It read words of warmth which he so desperately sought now, yet he knew that with time he, his equipment and even this message of assuagement would fade, worn down by time’s merciless passing. Those who would come to him would never even know the personal significance of his telescope, thinking of it nothing more than worthless, fit not even to be properly looked at or handled. The dying man read the words of the telescope one last time.

The broken telescope with no use.

Even so, pleasant memories are crucial to survival on arduous journeys, even at the end.

And it was a shame that his would have to end so soon, on this rock painted crimson. There was so much that he wanted to, nay, needed to do. Yet he could do none of that, only stare out and wait. He would wait for hours, he knew, but eventually it would come to claim him as it had so many others. The cold, black and twisted fingers of death to come and claim his soul.

Time passed, and the man slumped forward one final time. His right hand lay by his bag, the other over his telescope tucked in a small crack of worn rock, his final efforts spent. His head gently slumped forward and to the right, as the man let out his final sigh. The raven descended from its branch, the man noted, as he was consumed by the lonely, cold dark.

-Elurii

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Tikál
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Re: Entries to Starlight's writing competition

#3 Post by Tikál » Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:20 am

To whom ever should find this, if I do not make it, please take this letter back to my family in Stormwind.
When we arrived to the broken shore, we fell into a horde ambush, our ship went down before we were even ready to defend ourselves.
I was lucky enough to parachute my way to the ground.
So far the horde have not found me, but I have been fending off the wolves with not but a combat knife.
Though I fear it is not enough, I have been bitten, I have done what I can with some cloth, trying to slow or stop the bleeding, but I fear I need some medical treatment.
So, here I am trapped in a strange land, with nothing more than my spyglass, the supplies on my back, a quill, a pot of ink and some parchment, with the hope that if I should return, it will be to the smiles of our children, and of you, my love.
It is the thoughts of you that keep me pushing on, and doing all I can to survive and make it home.
My thoughts race back to our boy, and his first steps, he started at a crawl, looking right at me.
Do you remember?
When he eventually got to his feet, he spun around in a circle and a half and stumbled right into your waiting hands.
The look of joy on his face, if I should return, I know I will see that same look again.
You begged me not to join this campaign, you told me I had served Stormwind, I had done my duty. You knew my service officially had ended, but no. I demanded one more deployment, this is the one that truly mattered, I had foolishly told you it would be nothing like Tol'Barad. And in some way I was right. This is much worse.
I wish the last things we had said, had not been said in anger, you cursed me for leaving, you told me I had no home with you anymore, you told me to rot in hell.
If I should return, I will make things right again, I will never leave your side, ever. It is silly, how now I am so far away, that I wish for nothing more than to be close to you, knowing if I had just never left, we would still be together, watching our children play in the park.
I had believed by leaving I was securing that future, so we could watch them play in a safe world.
Now here I sit, with a rock at my back, having not even slain a single demon, all of this, for nothing.
If I should return, I will never waste another minute of my life making no change to the world, no impact to future of my world.
If I should return, I would make sure that you knew, you are my world. I should never have left my world behind.
But if you are reading this, then all my hopes of returning are gone, and the light has taken me.
And if I am gone, please find it in your heart to forgive me, and live a happy life, knowing that in my last moments, you were all the mattered, and I finally realise that you are all that should have ever mattered to me.
-Lieutenant.....(A lines trails off down the parchment as his hand falls to his side, the letter never being finished.)

This was written simply for the fun of the competition and should not be considered for prizes :-)
But please feel free to judge it and hate or like it :)
-Tikal.
If you only ever do what you can do, you will never be more than what you already are.

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Parsléy
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Re: Entries to Starlight's writing competition

#4 Post by Parsléy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:15 am

Starlight writting competition entry: Parsléy Gnarlbranch

It was in stormheim that he met his grizzly end....Most befitting for a dwarf of his stature and figure to die to a giant great grizzly bear that rivelled the fluffyness of even his own prized beard. For which he was here for in the first place! It all started one drunken evening in a tavern when he was slurping back his fifth pint of ale to wash away the crumbs from his beard as he'd also just consumed his third beer basted boar pie. When a stranger in a tall hat and murloc face mask approached him with a proposition, saying a fine dwarf such as him with such fine and aimiable tastes in both beer and pie's should surely enter the dwarven bodacious babes and buxom men's dwarven beard competition for burly bearded bums! He swayed at the chance or maybe that was because he'd actually been guzzling ale kegs since this morning! But then he needed a hearty breakfast for herding rams right? Slamming down his tankard on the bar counter as he demanded from the hooded and masked figure the details and the prize! He replied with a both coy and muffled voice due to cutting the mouth hole too small in his D.I.Y murloc mask. Testement to exactly how drunk he was that he thought it plausable to be talking to a hooded murloc...
"Why ofcourse, simply head down to this address and exact spot in Stormheim and we'll slot you right up, although you best bring means to celebrate as i'm sure you'll be top prized! Is that braids in your beard?...Or is that boar nuggets...I can't quite tell"
"Aye! It be boar nuggets i had fer breakfast y'ken? Noaw, i best go pack ladde! I'll bid ye goonight" The dwarf nodded his head as he downed the last of his mug and taking the crumpled piece of paper from the hooded murloc man he headed downstairs to bed.
"Goodnight sweet sweet dwarf..."
As the morning arose so did the skies clouds with a chirpy atmosphere as the sounds of gears, dwarven rifles and various beer induced farting ripened up the morning's air. The sun was out and shinning off the snow and he was packing his bags. Stuffing everything he thought he might need into a large rucksack which he stowed everything inside. Toothbrush, hairbrush, beardbrush....Bumbrush! Flask of ale, reserve flask of ale, flask of ale incase i loose original and reserve flask of ale...Emergency flagon of mead! And oh, ofcourse! A large hearty meat and meat pie filled with only the finest steak, fillets and sausages with a hint of beans...Stuffing some extra undies and socks inside as he fastened the rucksack, slinging it on his back and he headed out! TO ADVENTURE AND BEYOND! ALSO BEARDS! GLORIOUS BEARDS!
As his feets graced the crisp snow outside, he wandered and meandered for awhile outside khaz'modan before it dawned on him...How was he to get there?! He had brought all the change he had but he didn't want to waste it all on getting there otherwise how would he buy the celebratory beer to rub in the other dwarves faces when he won? Attracting all the sexy females including the sultry humans, alluring elves and short but petite gnomes. He loved 'em all. His train of thought bubble crashed into a dam made by beavers as he suddenly saw a small gnome poof out of nowhere and fall into the middle of the snow.
He cried out in shock, his beard almost gagging his mouth as he exasperated!
"IT BE RAININ' GNOMES! TAKE COVER, THEY ARE HARDER THAN THEY LOOK!"
"Oogoff! What, where am i? This isn't millicent's boudoir for the petite and perculiary particular gnomes!? You there! Good sir, where am i?"
Still in shock he blinks, his tongue fumbling around his words like a swede in a washing machine.
"I..e...ye...Be Mhaz Kodan...KHAZ MODAN!"
"Ah i see....How inconvienient, i am atleast precisely thirty five miles away from the three quater and then another seventh seconds mileage away from where i wanted to be...Welp, best try again. It was good seeing you sir dwa-"
"Wai' ye' can controll falling out the sky?"
"Teleportation my dear dwarf, teleportation!"
"Can ye' teleport anywhere? Like....Anywhere anywhere? Stormheim anywhere?"
The gnome let out a boistrous giggle, chuckling as his small flaying pink beard tickled his nostrils and indeed his kneecaps at the same time.
"Why ofcourse! It's child's play...If children played with telelportation."
Before the gnome could even finish his sentance the large and muscled dwarf charged his chiseled self towards the tiny gnome and bear-tackled him! Once down he'd be sitting with his behind over the poor gnomes face, things didn't bode well.
"Ye' will teleport me tae where i want tae go or i'll guff ye' in tae face! Y'ken?"
"Survival statistics are drastically low...Teleportation chances dim...May get accidentally on purpose unfortunatly crushed to death by dwarf behind. What a awful way to go...Very well dwarf, i submit to you and your bottom guffings. Where do you want to go?"
The small gnome rolled his eye's, letting out a defeated sigh. This is the third time this week that something like this had happened, as the dwarf paced back and forwards as he consulted his map to tell the gnome exactly where he wanted to go...A genius nay brilliant nay EXTRODINARY IDEA REVOLUTIONARY TO ALL GNOMES EVER-okay maybe not that far but it's was cool okay? I'd teleport him alright, i'd teleport him good but who's to say if he suddenly went arry in the nether? A sly and yet very mischevious grin almost sickly sweet and creepy at the same time came across the small gnome's face.
"Say...Have you got the location, i can portal you right now oh noble and strong dwarf who has clearly bested me, tiny and petite gnome."
"Yer! Ye' can portal me righ' there." Pointing to the map he nodded, adjusting his rucksack straps as he got ready to literally fall from the sky as had the small gnome before him!
"I AM READY TAE FALL FROM TAE SKY! WHO SAID HAVING A LARGE BEHIND WAS A BAD THING EH? EH?" He let out a huge roar of laughter, clearly in high spirits due to his most recent success at guff-point.
The small gnome in the brightly clad purple and pink clothing began channeling and weaving the arcane through his tiny fingertips, ripping a hole within the very space and time itself as a portal opened up before the burly beer induced bearded dwarf. There it was, sure enough. Sure as the sky was blue, that was stormheim in all it's snowy glory.
"Step through when your ready, it was a....pleasure doing buisness with you."
"An' ye!"
He hopped through the portal with all the anticipation and excited vigor you would expect from a dwarf on their way towards a beard competition! Although nothing could have prepared him for what was waiting for him at the other end...
Falling from the sky he splatted on a rock and thankfully for him knocked himself unconious! Getting ravaged and mauled by a pack of bears several days later which indeed turned out to be from the pack near by. All that was left from the beard on his chinny chin chin...Which later a few marmot and squirrel lovechildren crossbreads came to shave off with sharp acorns to use as netting for their roof's. Afterall, animals needed insulation too right?
So as his bones rotted away and his belongings melted to dust, naught but the skunk that drunk all his ale, mead and meat and meat pie remember that here, this day, a dwarf got rekt by a gnome mage for dissing his height and arcane powers...Aswell as for holding him at guff point.
So the lesson of this story ladies and gentlemen, is if you ever see a small gnome fall from the sky clad in bright pink's and purple's with a big flaying beard. Run far away if you can, don't make eye contact and whatever you do...DON'T HOLD HIM AT GUFF-POINT!

THE END

This is my entry for the starlight writing competition and i really love this initiative so i hope you all really like it and enjoy reading it ^_^ Perhaps it gives you a giggle or two as i really enjoyed writing it! :D I wish really good luck to everyone here and participating! :D

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Devvy
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Re: Entries to Starlight's writing competition

#5 Post by Devvy » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:29 pm

The posters appeared on the Stormwind billboards for about a week.
True to the unwritten rules of billboard pasters throughout the world, most were either crooked, upside down or pasted up with wrinkles. After a few days, some were already partly covered with the newer announcements and messages of masseuses advertising their skill and discretion.

It was at this point, in a side alley of the Dwarven district that a passing gnome read one of them. Her name was Devvy and she was a self-pronounced “Vicar”. Not hindered by any formal schooling in the field, and helped by a rocksteady belief that all gods are nice, she did small scale work along the simple folk of the district.
She read the information carefully and several times over. Then she produced a notebook and jotted down the most important bits:

“Church of Austerity and Forgiveness meets on the ..th of ..ry”.
“Most Enlightened Reverend Derek the Austere will speak”
“Admission free - tea provided”

The gnome put away her notebook and back at home made a note of it in her calendar.

On the evening of the lecture, Devvy put on her best clothes, packed her own personal tea mug and went over to the venue where the Reverend would share his ideas with Stormwind. The venue was a small backroom in one of the inns, down a little stairway. The window was small and its capacity to let in light was diminished by several decades of accumulated dust. The air was a bit musty, but the host had tried his best to brighten things up with some tablecloths and a small vase of flowers.

After some discussion with the tea lady, Devvy got her mug filled and took a seat in the front row. As the cathedral bells in the distance announced eight in the evening, the Reverend took the stage.

The lecture was a long one. The speaker explained to the audience (all 14 of them) that the most important way to serve your god, was to realise that you, the worshipper are absolutely nothing in the scheme of things. Way above everything was god, then a lot of nothing and way at the bottom, almost as a bit of dirt beneath the god’s fingernails, were the people.

“Do away with your vanity!” the Reverend announced several times. “Become one with your nothingness!”

At quite some length he explained that all worshippers should demonstrate to the gods that they, the worshippers, realised that they did not own anything of value, that they were mere empty vessels compared to even the lowest deity.

After an hour and a half, the audience went home and the speaker went backstage for a refreshing glass of water.
“How did it go?” asked the assistant.
“Not too bad at all,” Derek replied. “There was this gnome on the first row. She was eating peanuts. Noisily. Made me nervous in the end.”
He shrugged. “Other than that, I need to work on my speech. I’m still not convincing enough. The fire is still missing”.
Derek’s assistant tried to convince him that the fire was there in bucketfuls, and that it would be only a matter of time before Derek would be the leading man in Stormwind to consult on religious affairs.
Derek waved the arguments away.
“No. I have been thinking about it and I will retreat to a faraway location to focus on my ideas and how to best communicate them. Also I want to write a series of prayers that my followers can use.”
The assistant thought about the size of the average audience a moment and then nodded.
“Good idea sir. Where will you retreat to exactly?”
Derek thought about it for some time. “Stormheim, I think”. It has the right barren atmosphere that my ideas need. Ideal for writing and thinking.”

A few weeks later, Derek arrived in Stormheim and marched through the land, searching for the ideal inspirational location.
On his back he carried a backpack. In it was some simple clothing, some traveller’s biscuits, a canteen of water and, most important, his writing attributes. Papers rolled up in a leather cover, ink, several feather pens. While marching through the landscape he emptied his mind, and let his mind get in touch with the gods. He thought about humility, putting oneself last, and the welcoming arms of absolute poverty. Unlike those golden bastards that dwelled in the big cathedrals such as Stormwind’s.

He slept in the open, drank from streams, and ate what nature provided. It made him feel cleansed, pure.

After some days he reached a rocky outcrop. When he climbed it, he looked around. A cloudy sky, some trees, grass, and some scattered animals feeding, or chasing each other.
He smiled, took a deep breath and nodded. This would be the place. He put his backpack down and stretched after the long march.
He ate a meagre meal and then focused his mind on prayer. Praying was not easy, he found. Prayers needed to be understandable to everyone saying them. Not everyone would be able to come up with a gods-pleasing tale. That is why he wanted to, well, pre-bake a few that could be universally used. Simple yet powerful.

He paced up and down a bit. Trying to string all the words together. Then he stood still and opened his arms to the skies.

“Oh, Gods!” He exclaimed. “I am your worshipper Derek. You are Everything, I am nothing. You made the world, I destroy it with my humble presence. You made the animals, I devour them without gratitude. I am not worthy to grovel in your presence. Hear my prayer! I am not worthy even to live!”

KAZAAM!

… silence.

A few yards along, a deer bounded away. Panicked by the sudden thunderclap and mildly confused by the lack of rain or dark clouds.

Then a voice. Not a voice made of sound. A voice made of ideas. Entering the brain directly, bypassing the ears. It floated over the landscape, a deep, resounding feeling of a voice.

“Ehmm.. Junior?”

Another soundless voice. Slightly less deep.

“Yes Dad?”

“I don’t think he meant that literally”

“Aww Dad!”
“Auri," I asked slowly, "are you joking with me?"
She looked up and grinned. "Yes I am," she said proudly. "Isn't it wonderful?”

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Syrawenn
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Re: Entries to Starlight's writing competition

#6 Post by Syrawenn » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:43 pm

"Come in, come in, dear! I am so glad you decided to stop by. Come, sit. Help yourself to some tea.

There, comfortable? You look tired, love. Is that a bit of grey in your hair? I can see you are desperate to learn about my latest trip. I do apologize for not getting in touch with you sooner. I realize it's been way too long.

It all started with Nesingwary's letter. He asked me to help him in a most delicate matter. He had read my articles in the Gizmopolitan and decided that if anyone could make a difference, it was me.
Oh, the old flirt!

I decided to meet him and find out what all the hubbub was about. Turns out he was actually on the verge of sharing his autobiography with the world! I can't tell you too much, you understand, but it had to do with his adventures in Stranglethorn. You'll have to read about it if I ever get my notes to the Gizmopolitan.

Yes, I know. Again I apologize for all the fuss I have caused. I really meant to let you in on it sooner. Listen, here's where it gets interesting: he delivered chapter after chapter filled with juicy stories about crokolisks and raptors, but just when I was doing a little research into these stories- after all, you can't trust everything he says, the old charmer- I stumbled upon what seemed to be a troll camp. Standard Skullsplitter equipment and markings, yet something seemed to be off. Everything was just a bit too comfortable, if you know what I mean: I've never heard of trolls needing fluffy pillows, for one!

Well, I put my notes away under a big rock and snuck into the camp. The old dear was very specific about people reading about his discoveries before I got a chance to collect all his stories in one place and I did not want anyone to stumble upon these tales before I got a chance to publish them!

Carefully moving through the camp, trying not to move anything out of place, I found more traces that definitely did not belong in a troll camp. Footsteps did not measure up, eating habits that seemed far more decent than I would expect from a savage.

I heard voices!
Quickly I moved behind a clay wall and there I saw him: Kurzen! Remember that renegade colonel? What do you mean, that's old news? I had no idea he stayed in Stranglethorn!

Anyway, just when I was about to retreat, a large lizard jumped me from the bushes! I recognized the markings immediately as described by Hemet as 'raptors'. With the predator aiming to make me his next lunch and Kurzen on the other side I had no choice but to run straight into Kurzen's men in hopes of diverting the raptor's attention. I felt the sharp sting of its claws as I flung my arms around, playing the helpless dame in distress.

The renegades moved as I hoped they would, quickly ending the beast's delusions of an easy lunch as they put the raptor down.
Unfortunately they got me too.
A spy, they called me.
A knife they used.
Oh, I still feel the blade, the warmth seeping through my clothes.
Yet my determination was stronger than that. I would not end my life here, in a fake troll camp! As soon as the men left, I crawled with the last of my strength back to the boulders that hid my writings. I hauled myself up and took out my quill. I had to let people know what was going on right under their noses! Grabbing the papers, I faltered.
The horror as I saw all my careful work lifted up and scattered by a sudden gust of wind! Holding on to a last piece I wrote down what had transpired.
I lost consciousness.

Not the excitement you had hoped for, hm?

I'm just a tad bit sad I did not get to finish his big autobiography. I wonder where all the pages ended up; if anyone made sense of it all.

How I got back?
Oh sweetheart, I thought I was transparent enough about that: I never did. I'm still there. I was hoping you could recover my remains now that you know where I am.

What's wrong, dear? Why the face?
Is it the tea?
I do apologise. Mold?
Oh dear, has it been that long?"
Wilsby: "She's the energy ya never knew ya needed."
Kien: "How come a warrior who thrives on rage never seems to get half as much in a fight as Syra does in an average conversation?"

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Lyssea
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Re: Entries to Starlight's writing competition

#7 Post by Lyssea » Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:59 pm

A handy-to-read, probably-reader-friendly PDF is available at the bottom of this post for those who want it.

Raw text below.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Elliot Oliver walked with confident strides down the small path which was almost more for animals than for humans. He'd been walking for almost a week now, and he was making good time.

On the sky high above the sun shone with warmth. Had he been walking on an open plain or farmland it might been too hot, but down in the shade of the trees the temperature was absolutely perfect.

He'd even zoned out a little bit as he walked, thoughts filled with the bright smile of a certain someone back home.

The roar snapped him right out of his thoughts. It was a roar that had the strength and fury of an animal yet, somehow, sounded uncomfortably human.

He stopped dead in his track. He strained his hearing to pinpoint the sound or any other sound that might tell what it had been and from where it had come.

More shouts came to his attention, only slightly muffled, from the left of the path. These sound more human, and they sounded close.

He strained there for a few moments, trapped between his instinct to run and the same curiosity that had brought him to the road in the first place. Yet he didn't remain trapped in indecision for long before his self-preservation gave way.

Carefully he left the road and stepped into the dense undergrowth of the forest, following the sounds - not that he needed to move far.

Almost just on the other side of the bushes he found a rocky clearing, perhaps the home of some animal once upon the time. But it was not a home anymore, for it had become a battleground.

The first thing Elliot saw was the monstrous beast near the center of the clearing. It was twice his height and far more than that in length. It had four legs, a long tail, yet a disturbingly humanoid upper body. It reminded him of the tales he had heard about Centaurs.

Except centaurs were half horses, this beast was half lizard. It was heavy and muscular with scales covering it from the tip of its tail to the fang-filled mouth.

The scales were a black color with sickly, jagged lines of white crossing the skin. It was as if it had bathed in lightning and left with the scars of the searing heat.

It was both armed and armored. Heavy metal plates, as black the scales and decorated with - or perhaps held together by - heavy chains, covered much of its body. In its hands it held a halibard both larger and undoubtedly heavier than Elliot himself.

The creature was truly something that must have clawed its way from a nightmare. And it was not alone.

In front of it, facing the beast, was a second monster. It was as tall as Elliot and a half, though unlike the other it stood on two cloven hooves rather than four feet.

It was bulky and powerful, as if whatever had created it had taken five men's worth of muscle and just added it. Its body was covered in short fur, and from its head came two twisted horns.

Held in its hands was what looked like the better part of a tree, carved and painted to look like some kind of nightmare visage. The two-legged monster used this as both club and shield, in addition to its fists, to strike against the larger beast.

Again and again they slammed into each other with such terrifying force that, for some time, Elliot didn't even realize the two weren't alone. He only saw that as the larger beast used its powerful tail to slam into one of the others, sending it flying.

This third one landed not more than a few steps away with the crashing of snapped branches and a muffled cry of pain.

It was the shortest of the three, yet that didn't diminish its twisted nature. Its skin was an unnatural blue, like a corpse fished from water, and from its head curved demonic horns. Twisting tentacles sprouted from around its face, wriggling like worms.

Most of the rest of it was hidden in strange clothes of fur and metal, cobbled together from the waste of a tanner and a blacksmith. But there was no mistaking it for a human.

With a groan it pushed itself from its back and up to a sitting position, its left hand clutching to its right side. A sickly stain of blue began to spread from beneath its fingers, as if it was bleeding blue.

The blue demon used its free hand to dig around among its scrapped clothes, looking for something that it had hidden there. But Elliot didn't watch for what.

The monster and the beast slammed together once more with a pair of furious roars and the clashing of armor and weapons. The cracking of wood and bone echoed in the clearing.

But again the demon drew attention as it pushed itself up on one knee. One of its hand rested one a strange, crystal-shaped thing which had been forced into the ground. Small runes pulsed over the thing, and from it thin threads of poison green connected demon to its tool.

Perhaps Elliot made a noise, or perhaps the demon could sense prey, but it suddenly turned its head and looked straight at him. For a second he stared into its face and the pair of blue-glowing, soulless eyes that rested in the eyesockets.

Elliot could see a hunger for flesh and souls in those eyes. It was evil, and reveling in it.

The sight of those terrifying eyes, and perhaps simply having been seen, snapped Elliot out of whatever daze had seen him simply stand there and watch this battle of nightmares. Without a word, even without a scream, he ran.

He had never ran like such before in his life. Fear filled him, the jaws of death hunted him, and so he ran. Roots and rocks sent him to the ground more than once, yet each time he simply clawed himself back to his feet and kept running.

If there was pain he never felt it, all he knew was to run. The path in the forest was all that he knew, and he kept running. When his chest hurt with each breath, he kept running. When his legs burned with every step, he kept running. He dared not stop, least what he had seen in the clearing came for him.

He only stopped when, at last, he crashed to the ground and couldn't get back up. His legs would carry him no longer. Yet he tried to get back up but failed. Unable to move, he lay there for some time. Every moment he feared he might be killed.

It took him several minutes to even realize that his backpack, with his supplies, tools, and his grandfather's lookingglass, were no longer with him. They must been lost in his run, but he couldn't remember when. It didn't matter.

When his legs would once more carry him he pushed himself standing and stumbled further down the road until, at some point during the morning, he simply ran out of energy.

When he awoke the sun was still high in the sky, but it was clearly heading towards the horizon. He was lying on the road, his clothes, face, and hands covered in mud. As he tried to move a stab of pain passed through his body, and a thousand little cuts made themselves known.

But he moved anyway. He pushed himself up and continued. His mouth was dry and tasting of dirt while his stomach growled, but he paid them no attention.

He must have walked for some time when he saw that someone was waiting for him, just a little bit up the path.

She was short, the size of a child, yet she clearly was not young. Her clothes - fine robes of white and black, with golden decorations - were that of an adult woman. The staff in her hand, taller than she was, spoke of a priest.

Perhaps she was one of the so-called dwarves he had heard of - though she didn't have a beard. He had been told that all dwarves, even women, had large beards.

He stopped in front of her, and they looked at each other. She gave him a small bow of the head, a sign of politeness.

"Hello. You may call me Chromie, and... I am very sorry about this"

As she spoke she looked into his eyes. He saw something old in there. Something far, far too old. Yet when he tried to move his body didn't obey him.

The small woman raised her staff, and from it came a flash of light that blinded Elliot to the world.

The sound around him changed, and when he at last could open his eyes again they were no longer on the forest path. They were up on a mountain - the very same one which he had seen on his way forward.

Chromie sighed and stepped toward the edge of the cliff upon which they both stood. She seemed to consider things for a moment before she finally spoke up.

"I might as well tell you. You weren't supposed to see that fight... it wasn't supposed to have happened"

The priest-like gnome had the same tone Elliot's old teachers had used when he and his friends had played pranks during their study-time.

"You were supposed to have continued on. Passed this mountain-"

She used the staff to point a way through the forest below, which continued over the mountain

"-and on to the other side. There you would have seen... well... it doesn't matter. You would have seen an enemy. A large group of them"

She turned to Elliot, who's body still refused to obey him.

"For several days you would have spied on them, taken notes, until they detected you. They would have tried to kill you, but you escaped - but you were hurt"

She walked closer and then around him as she talked, until he felt her tap his back with her staff.

"Right here. An arrow. It would have become infected, and badly so. You would have tried to go home... but unfortunately for both of us you wouldn't have gotten further than here"

Elliot was spun around without warning. He didn't turn, it was as if someone had simply grabbed him and turned him like he turned his little toy soldiers when he was small. In front of him was Chromie, and behind her a large boulder. On it lay his backpack.

The parchment-case, his quill and ink, his knife, even the looking-glass lay visible on the rock as if they had spilled from the pockets of the backpack.

"Too much changed for me to be able to let it play out, too much is at risk. And your body need to be found here. The message you wrote and carried here will change much"

Had she been human the look on her face would have been one of regret. As she took a step closer Elliot tried desperately to move, but he couldn't even get a single muscle to react.

"I am afraid you must die here, Elliot Oliver, and for that I am so sorry. I will make it painless for you, it is the least I and the Bronze Dragonflight can do for you"

She stepped even closer and raised her staff again. Then she tapped him gently on the forehead with it - and Elliot Oliver slumped together. He was no more.

Chromie saw to his body one last time, after she had posed it on the rock. Wind, weather, and time would soon take its toll on it. But for now he seemed to be asleep. Muddy, unkept, but asleep.

Then she turned and left. There was other things to see to, other details to ensure went right.
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Nomine
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Re: Entries to Starlight's writing competition

#8 Post by Nomine » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:41 pm

Like all "good" ideas, this one started with a job offer at the Pig's whistle. Yeah, I know you are shaking your head already. But put yourself in my shoes. One, I was too broke to pay for my next ale, in fact, the I had just made a choice between buying a meat pie and buying an ale. As the experienced Stormiander, I wisely had picked the ale. After all, you know what goes into it, but you do not know what kind of meat goes into one of their meat pies. One thing is sure. The meat isn't bacon...

So there I was, fingers wrapped around the mug like it was an old lover. Counting the ways I could earn enough coin to pay for a meal and a bed. So far I had minus one idea. So when that "gentleman" stepped up with a sharp smile and a business proposal, I was very much inclined to listen to him. "It is a simple job," he said, "it is well paid" he also said. I asked if it included full dental. He seemed to ponder over that question for a moment, which I used to order us both dinner (Steaks, on his bill).

The steak was nearly perfect, grilled on the outside bordering on charred. While almost magically the inside of it was still red, bleeding on my plate as I cut into it. You could tell that it was a local cow because of its noble marbling. Nobody does it better than Goldshire when it comes to beef. I have tried the meat from other districts and compared to our own. They are pale imitations. The Lorderean beef, for instance, you could easily mistake it for goat meat with its stringiness. I really should say a few words about the potatoes that came with the steak or that during the meal I agreed to do this job of his.

It did sound like a relatively simple sort of job. Join a caravan for a few days, make sure I told everyone who I was, and then after two about two weeks travel, I and another hire should leave the caravan. The task was to aim for an easily recognised mountain and document what we observed. Mountain sounded easy enough to find, as it was known for a sight called "The troll cock." We should just look for the happiest mountain in the region, and that would be it.
The other guy was hired to be my guard, an experienced hunter by all accounts. Only funny thing about the job was that I needed to use a fake name during it. The guy who hired us, "the smile" as I call him. He claimed it was because the guy who was really hired to do the job has chickened out, and did not want anyone to know. Sounded sort of fishy, but hardly the strangest thing I have done. One time I was hired to make owl sounds all through the night. A merchant felt it would give a romantic sort of atmosphere to his date. Probably should have figured out what an owl sounds like first...

The very next day I joined the sleepy caravan and met my "guard." He had a long red beard, missed a few teeth and smelled much like the huge fox that was next to him at all times. The caravan itself was nothing to write home about, slowly making travelling up north. Trading in cotton cloth, dried fish and cowhides. Not the sort of caravan that robbers bother with, even the gnolls kept their distance. The most heroic that happened all during the trip was me rolling double sixes twice during a game of dice. Earning me a handful of copper coins. Oh, and yes, one of the draft horses was eaten by a handful of owlbears. (they did not sound like I imagined an owl would). Apparently, such things happen all the time. Of course, it just had to happen two days before we say the troll pecker.

So naturally, when the guard and I set off, I was naturally a bit unsettled. But the guard seemed rather calm about the whole situation. We both had our jobs to do, and his was to keep me safe. Mine was to document all I saw. That leads to my first problem.
Document all that I saw... well... Ever tried to count all the trees up a hillside? Or figure out how to describe a waterfall? Somehow, "It seemed wet" did not strike me as a good enough description.
The guard just scoffed at my concerns and went about doing guard-things.

I made sure to climb on the troll "pride" as we passed it, all in the name of getting good observations of course. Carving my name into it, now that was all ego though. I admit that, but I was not the first one!
We camped right underneath it, joking about that a "happy troll can keep a man dry from the rain."
When I woke the next morning, he was gone, and the ground was covered by these big footprints, like from no animal I have ever seen before. Each print ended with a sharp, deep indentation, like from some massive claw. Then I heard it, a keening sound that cut through my very bones. So I did the only thing I could do.
I climbed upon on the Troll shaft, holding on for my bare life.

Only a few hours later did I dare to fetch my rucksack and that's when they came for me. I scrambled up onto the prick, feeling their teeth nip at my heels. They have not left since. Staying underneath me, staring at me with their big red eyes. Making that same keening sound, sometimes one of them tries to leap up to get at me. Their massive claws scratching at the rock, trying to gain purchase.

If you find this letter, please know that I have no idea how many trees are in the woods around. But I will tell you that this troll tool feels harder and harder the longer I am staying here. Sitting on this thing is hurting my damned ass.

Not the way I wanted to go, and I keep wondering if you can drink ink.

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Reike
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Re: Entries to Starlight's writing competition

#9 Post by Reike » Sat Jul 08, 2017 6:28 am

I'd like to thank you all for parttaking in this writing, we will be using the next 2 weeks to run through the stories and then post who the winnes will be.

Regards,
the judges.
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