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Thread: July Vignette

  1. #1
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    Philomel's Avatar

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    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
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    July Vignette

    This vignette is open from the 1st July to the 31st July.
    Vignette rules can be found here. Usual ones apply.

    The prompt is as follows:
    "Your character undergoes a spiritual and/or religious experience. It can take the style of any form that you choose, so long as it in some way goes with the prompt."
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  2. #2
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    Yvonne's Avatar

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    Yvonne Mythrilmantle
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    I bid them leave it all behind, leave everything to the dust, but they insist on burdens of faith and superstition. Those I allow them. Nothing more. We travel lightly and make haste as the world draws to a close.

    I guide them as a shepherd. We seek refuge in this savage land, somewhere to hide and begin again. My people - my own - cheat death and their reward? To live in perpetual fear, looking over their shoulders always. They tell me the wind here breathes, the water watches them and the woodland whispers in their ears.

    Each culture in my wake mentions a different name. Goblins speak of The Big Green. Kobolds call it The Slithering. I must sense this omnipotent presence for myself. Sharing their beliefs will give them desperately needed reassurance. Tonight I face their fear and make it mine.

    Orcish hands share a bowl of smoldering herbs around the circle, each in turn filling their lungs with smoke. Scents of burnt tea and mint evoke my memory. Seer’s sage… Salvia. Lastly the bowl passes to me and the shaman advise that I follow the wolves. How? Wolves don’t live in tha jungle. My eyes close and I inhale deeply. Fumes become me.

    ~~~

    I awaken on all fours, the swamp so near and far, where the crickets sing their cautionary song. The camp is no more. I have no idea where I am in this endless jungle. My silver eyes search for wolves meant to guide me, but I cannot see them.

    The weight of darkness presses my fur into the cold mud and I feel penitent, astray; a trespasser whom has lost their way. The urge to howl for the pack is irresistible yet the dread in my chest isolates me.

    I know who you are~are. Disgraceful pup~pup.

    My ears do not hear the words spoken to me. My mind understands the gnarled, intertwined trees surrounding me. They echo the voices and prevent any thought of escape. Where are the shaman? Where are the wolves? Why am I alone?

    You dare~dare! You lead believers of The Charring One into my domain~domain!

    I feel its pain lash me like a whip of nine-tails. Recoiling, receding further into the earth, my snout sinks into the filth. I taste mud on my tongue, the darkness holding me down. Anger and fear I understand. I sympathize.

    Extinguish the embers or I will suffocate you~you.

    Vines coil around my legs, lifting me up into the canopy of leaves. Pythons slither down the vines and around my body and neck. I struggle with them and they tighten their grip. My breath escapes me. The snakes squeeze tighter. I can’t breath in. A swarm of crawling insects skitter over the vines and snakes, prickling me. I itch but cannot scratch. They cover my face, clawing into my eyes and orifices.

    I will not warn you twice~twice.
    Last edited by Yvonne; 07-09-2018 at 06:59 AM.
    So I’m cutting that branch off the cherry tree.
    Singing this will be my victory.
    Then I, I see them coming after me.
    And they’re following me across the sea.
    And now they’re stinging my friends and my family.
    And I, I don’t know why this is happening.
    ~ Thrice, Black Honey.

  3. #3
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    Flamebird's Avatar

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    Felicity Rhyolite
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    She was having one of those dreams… where she knew she was dreaming.

    Concordia's trees were unusually discombobulated, messed up . They hung down low, dramatically swayed closer and farther away, which uneven in size… Even as an odd, hazy light shone around the landscape, only the trees themselves represented Concordia’s reality. Felicity had to be careful, wading through the awkward forest as she gazed about. Usually, her dreams took her to relive previous traumas. For as strange and unsettling as this scenery was, it was a decent chance.

    She stepped over a series of weeds, careful not to trip over the tangled tree roots.

    Then – to her shock – the weeds extended. They wrapped around her four limbs, capturing her. Felicity instinctively cried out. For such small plants, they held her in place. Wrapping around her waist now, they threatened to drag her to the ground. Felicity, however, was not going down without a fight. Her adrenaline was exploding, fight or flight driving her every move. Yet, even as she struggled to get free, gravity itself seemed to be forcing her down. Eyes shook, wide in paranoia. Her skin pale, she screamed as she struggled in vain not to bend her knees. Soo enough, she was encased in weeds, all rooting her to the ground. Her entire body was encompassed in them. Even if she was immobile now, her entire being shrieked in panic and desire for escape.

    As she kneeled, helpless, on the forest floor, she saw… was that a figure?

    Through the dreamy, bizarre tree line, a person stood. Yet, he was unlike any sentient species she ever met on Althanas. In place of feet were the mighty talons of a predatory bird. Wings like an owl's protruded from his back, four of them. His silhouette glowed, his only visible feature being his illuminated white, long hair.

    Felicity’s magical sense oddly behaved as if this were reality… he felt… powerful. Too powerful.

    Unable to speak, as weeds barred her mouth from moving, she watched the figure intensely. Who, or what, was he?

    ”Felicity!” His voice simultaneously shouted and whispered.

    He continued his cry.

    ”Beware! In Radansanth is danger! You could face death!”

    What was this?

    Corone is changing, the world is changing, but you must survive!”

    Was-was this some sort of omen?

    ”For all my power, I can only intervene so much in this moment. Time was run as it always have, as the Thayne of Time this is my duty.”

    Wait, this guy was a Thayne?

    Mist suddenly took over the forest her vision became determentially limited as she hung onto his voice. She felt the weight of the plants lifting…

    ”Beware! Beware the little one!”

    She felt hazy, confused, as the dream faded out. She was soon to wake...
    Althy Awards:
    - 2017 Heroine of the Year (Felicity).
    - 2013 Player of the Year (OOC).

    Little Ragechild

    Felicity Rhyolite Theme Songs.

    Althanas Portrayed by Spongebob Series.

  4. #4
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    Ulrich Craggenmoor's Avatar

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    Squiggy
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    -7 years ago, in the hall of Panthor-

    His head was heavy with fatigue.

    Arms of stone.

    Feet becoming a part of the stone floor.

    Sweat stings his eyes. Their final exercise bringing the initiates to a panting stop, their heavy breathing the only sound bouncing around the stone chamber as they waited. For the Master and Judgement. Today in the great hall in front of the great stature dedicated to Panthor the five initiates would be deemed worthy to become knights of the order.

    As the breathing lessened and pounding heart beats of rushing blood cooled to a familiar silence, so too did the hall. The great black walls stood to three times their height and reflected a strange light from the black surface. As if something was inside them, watching. The statue of Panthor in front of them rose from the floor in the same material. A carved and polished panther, Crouched low as if to pounce from it’s platform, with a single paw stretched out claws extended making you feel as if you were already too close. Shining green eyes of a precious stone Ulrich couldn’t place seemed to judge them all silently. As if that glare found them wanting.

    The boys wilted under it’s pressure.

    Ultaan the Wise, a tall and heavily built elder of Panthor arrived and walked at a leisurely pace towards the assembled initiates. He muttered something under his breath as he walked, a kind of chant that was forever audible in his presence. Groaning with exertion as he climbed a step, onto the dais infant of the massive Idol.

    “You have all done well.”

    He takes a breath. Age straining his lungs.

    “So now it is for Panthor to judge all who are worthy”

    Questions bubbled in the minds of the initiates, but before any of them found a voice the master waved his hand and all of them blacked out.



    He awoke alone. Fatigue still clawed down at him, calling for him to rest his head on the tree bark and close his eyes. Instead he took a look around himself. Finding himself in a great green area, trees surrounded him and a path stretched out ahead twisting into jungle darkness. Fighting the exhaustion he climbed to his feet, dizzy and off balance he moved into the jungle. For Panthor’s judgement.

    Each step freed him from his previous exhaustion, certain that the jungle was real he was distracted by the thoughts that revolved around the ability for him to arrive in the location. So focused on his puzzle that Ulrich tripped and stumbled on the remains of a stone structure, partly re-claimed by the wilds of the jungle, the first Starrs of which had snared his foot and his momentum. Forcing the young man to asses his surroundings.

    A great stone temple, almost part of the jungle itself, so overgrown that it looked to be built by the plants themselves. He wasn’t sure how he knew, But Ulrich did know that he was at the entrance to the first temple of Panthor. It’s location, far to the south of where he was moments ago.

    As if called, ulrich’s hand moved to a mound of dirt, knowing already what he would re-discover when he pushed it to the side. The Brass bell under the moss was un-marked by age, corruption or rot. It rang with a great clash. Enhanced by some form of magic, but none that Ulrich had studied in his time.

    He was in the temple now. A great stone hall with cracks where the vines had started to pierce the ancient stone walls. In his hand the bell was still ringing but now almost a caress to his ears. The response to the bell: A low growl from the darkness. A great cat, Fur black as night and great green eyes which shone beyond all reason. It crouched low on all four of it’s paws and the ringing stopped. The bell was no more, now his hand was filled with a weapon, a blade made of magic, bound by bands of darkness that were so alien, so wrong that the very idea of them didn’t hold within his mind.

    The great cat stretched out a paw and leaped. Instantly Ulrich knew what to do on impulse and instinct, heavy arms swung up and forced the new blade of unspeakable horror into his throat.


    Exhaustion gripped him once more. The halls of Panthor as real as they were before his vision.
    Looking around Ulrich, prone on the floor, was the only initiate to wake. Ultaan stood above him. Staring with old eyes.

    “Congratulations.”

  5. #5
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    Lilthis's Avatar

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    Lilly Svalesin
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    Lilly snuck into the back row. Winding and weaving her way through back alleys until find an unlocked door. Purchasing tickets was far more expensive than simply weasling one’s self into attendance. The char-skinned elf snuck through a few more hallways until she entered the main auditorium. A myriad of patrons were seated upon cushioned chairs laid out in rows as the audience stared ahead. A ruby curtain masked the show that all were gathered for.

    Whispers and muffled conversing coated the entire chamber with noise. After a time, the crimson shade parted and revealed the assembly of instruments. Arranged throughout the stage with masterful talent holding their musical tools tightly. It was a grand symphony preparing to entertain all in attendance. Lilthis quickly grabbed a seat to avoid any unwanted attention.

    It began as a whisper, vibrating cables that crescendoed into a shout. Finger tips suddenly lay siege unto strings that harped a story of frenetic concern. Lilthis shut both eyelids tightly. Fast paced and varied violins carried her off solid ground into a world of vibrancy and anxiety. Transported into something bigger than herself, stronger than herself, she caught a glimpse of chaos. Strumming frets on the necks of violas intensified as her journey took a violent twist from auditorium chair to wild imaginative landscape filled with suspense.

    Suddenly, the horns of the symphony exploded into the elf’s eardrums. Lips kissed upon rosewood and brass as trumpeting sirens expressed themselves. And Lilly heard them, listening intently, her anxiety settled as their calming and deliberate notes paraded into the folds of her pointed ears. Now her conscious was moved into a relaxing realm of hope. Flutes and clarinets sang out to declare sheer joy. The lone slate skinned elf felt their ecstasy, consuming it entirely.

    This was religion and purpose and life itself. Far more convincing than some ancient thayne, a rambling priest, or a supposed divine text. Music proved itself capable of delivering where words and gestures failed. Conveying emotions in an indescribable way matched only by the effects of hard narcotics, music was a truth that all beings knew. All creatures recognized its power. Music was there to make you cry, force a smile, or justify your love.

    As the ride ended her feet returned to meet the wooden flooring. She stood, mood improved and perception focused. It was an excellent sermon.
    Last edited by Lilthis; 07-22-2018 at 11:04 AM.

  6. #6
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    Sulla's Avatar

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    Sulla
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    The prophet looked as slick as his tongue as I followed five-footsteps in length behind him. His long obsidian hair was streaked in silver and thick with grease. My lantern cast a rather sickly orange glow on his back from the feeble candle inside, causing the shadows on his robe to dance and sway to its flicker. We walked together towards the river in relatively silence, which only broke when he snapped an offending tree branch for me so I wouldn't be struck in the face. A kindly gesture, a thoughtful one, but such reckless destruction of nature by a self-described holy man was quite unorthodox. But then there were many things unorthodox about him.

    For weeks he had made his celebrity debut in the streets of Radasanth, preaching to the unwashed mobs who thronged around him. Their sickly eyes were star-struck by his presence, their filthy hands clawed at his clothes as they begged to be rich, healthy, and happy. It was their weakness that drove them to him. Unworthy, unclean, uninspired - insipid little ants that trailed their way to discarded food and gorged themselves as if it were mana from heaven. They sought answers not from within, but handed to them on a silver platter –

    Hell, they'd eat it up from a clay one. They weren't picky.

    Not when the messages was so soothing to the ears of the slave. Suffering now meant rewards later, the gods were just even if the world was not, that every living soul mattered in their eyes – it was a maddening collection of fables and proverbs that riled up the blood and filled the limp and lame with hope for something better. Hope is such a terrible little thing. So many discount it, but it is a powerful weapon when laid bare to the masses. Hope sways them like an orchestral suite, before descending into the chaos of clangs and trumpets with no rhythm. Too much of it and you have a frenzy that law and order cannot hope to stymie.

    We had reached the riverbed just as the sun had begun to crest the waters. Pink and orange played against the pallet of inky black waters that stirred ever so slightly in the calm current. A cool breeze scattered a few leaves about the brush around us, and the trees rustled just enough to keep any eerie silences at bay. The whole scene was reminiscent of a cheap oil painting one finds done by amateurs at the side of the road, the kind who find their work has some deeper meaning beyond the shallow attempt in front of them. Perhaps that's why he'd led me there.

    “You spoke of some troubles,” he said to me, taking a seat on a hollow long just by where the waters lapped against the shore. His hand ushered me to come closer and sit by him, but I've always preferred standing on my own two feet. I shook my head as politely as possible.

    “I spoke of doubts, troubles might not be how I define them.” My voice was clear in the night's air. The slight creak of the lantern's rope swaying with my magnificent timber. I straightened my glasses a bit, to catch the gleam of the flame just right on them. “But first, I must know. I had heard you were a sensation in the capital. What brought you out to such remote villages?”

    He paused, gently stroking his goatee with thumb and fore finger and never making direct eye contact with me. It was a trick I'd seen philosophers do mid-debate. Don't focus on your opponent, look past them with some somber glint in your eye to appear deep in thought. He would speak slowly next, emphasizing each word like gospel sermon. It made the silliest ideas meatier, and added gravitas to the immaterial.

    “The local constable didn't take kindly to me,” the prophet quickly said. “It was never on record, but I knew my choices were to leave town or enjoy a prison cell. There were many wealthy men who were none too pleased with my ideas.”

    Ah, The State. Another sickly god for people to worship. In truth, it had more tangential power, but it was a poor replacement for the miracles and paradise simpering fools longed for.

    “Tell me though, of these doubts. So that I may help you find some truth.” His voice was like honey warmed at the hearth. There was something so unnatural about it.

    “I'm afraid doubt is my truth.”

    “Do you not believe in The Thayne?” I caught his eye finally, and I could feel an actual pain within him. He wasn't incredulous, but actually worried about something. Sometimes my gift of empathy confuses even me, because I couldn't help but think he was almost convinced of his own con.

    “They may well exist, but so do many things. Sorcerers who can move mountains, swordsman who can split arrows with a stroke of their blade, healers,” I pointed at him and smiled slyly, “that can convince a great many people of miracles. There are many powerful things in this world, but none I've deemed worthy of contrition.” He stood then. His dirtied robes dragging in the mud and forest floor. With one outstretched arm he pointed a bony fingers towards the setting sun.

    “Do you see that?” He asked.

    Of course I fucking did. It was the sun.

    “Because it's not just what I see, but by which I can see.”

    “I've brought a lamp,” I joked. He briefly frowned at me, before stepping closer and putting his hand on my shoulder.

    “Is there nothing in this world you can conceive of as greater than yourself?” The prophet was close enough to me now that I could see the difference in our heights more clearly. He towered over me, and though it grew dark around us, my lantern could show the kindly wrinkles in his face. I thought back to my youth then, to a time when my father spared no expense on doddering old priests to teach me of The Thayne. Of The Great Calamity, which saw The Old Gods fall and the rise of current ones. Of The Thayne's all too human qualities.

    “No,” I replied, slipping my straight-razor out of my sleeve.

  7. #7
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    KaliWenn's Avatar

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    Name
    Kaliste Proserpina
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    Solidly Twenty-Seven.
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    Human... Probably.
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    Male.
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    Corone

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    Traveling robes gathered around his waist, a thick veil woven with white sage, rosemary, and fennel protecting his mouth and nose, Kalista huffed and reached for a new handhold.

    The blasted urban wasteland of Eluriand still bore the marks of war heavy upon its body. Under his hands, he felt the nicks and cuts in the stone. He fought for grip against sweating palms and the gritty ash smeared across it by the endless foul wind that tangled his hair. There were arrows piercing the wall he scaled. Some were sturdy holds for his hands and his feet, while others splintered and fell under the lightest touch, wood withered and grey. So much here was withered and grey. Among the remnants of mortal struggle, this leaden city was pervaded deeply by a heaviness to the air; through the calming musk of his herbs, Kalista could almost taste the weight on the tip of his tongue as he lifted himself up onto the roof of the scarred building. The taste was familiar to him.

    Death.

    This place absolutely reeked of it. Arid air, old blood long since spilt and dried, and bitter tangs of decay.

    Kali trod across the roof. Lightly, lightly, testing the weight of each step, being wary to not trust any board that could crumble and send him falling into the house below. Curious — vicious — things gathered in the darkness of the buildings. He would stand no chance against them. Not in confined quarters. No, all he could hope to do was run. What a careful dance this was! Eventually, he met the other edge of the pilings. Breathing heavily, he looked out into the distance.

    Shifting ashes met his eyes. A town square, seemingly empty except for a waterless fountain, lay directly below. Aways across were more battered houses with more sunken-in rooves — rather vaguely defined houses. The air further on grew soupy with umber and chalky with noxious fumes. Already, he felt a another cough choke in his lungs. Being even as far in as he was, was dangerous.

    But he just

    had to see this place for himself.

    Once, in a foggy memory of his childhood, he recalled picking up a slumped sparrow off the side of the wagonpath. Its feathers were soft, though dusty. Its body was stiff and cold. He’d cradled it for a while, petting the top of its head and trying to understand how a creature could sleep so soundly. It worried him.

    He hadn’t known he could do it. It just happened, the first time. Orbs of void-centered, rosy light arose from his palms. The sparrow lifted her head.

    His people claimed to be accepting of magic. They greeted those who studied the spell-slosh of the ancients — runework and rituals and the sway of spellsong — with wide grins and proud ears. But when his mother had gently prodded him to repeat the waking of the bird in front of the village elders, he learned that some magic was greeted with fearful looks and angry muttering. Whispers of “Corpse War” and “blighted soul” trailed after him. And so the small wooden town that couldn’t bear to pick up and set themselves farther away from the bleak wastes to their west waited with bated breath for the day that their born necromancer would finally choose to depart.

    Kali smothered another cough as he spotted something stir in the distant smog. A humanoid figure shuffled out of the pitch, lumbering on an uneven gait. The young necromancer held his breath as he watched it. It might have once been high elf, judging by its delicate frame and dirty robes. But it was difficult to tell. Its skin was leathery, and its ears had long since withered away. A thin veneer of skin clung to the skull. There was not even the illusion of breath in its hollow chest.

    The creature stared up with dry, white eyes. It seemed to meet his gaze… but perhaps, it was only stunned, blinded by the sun hovering high behind him.

    How curious, Kali thought with quickening heart, that a body long since dead in soul should be hale enough to continue on in its second chance at half-life! If only it had some intelligence. Or perhaps, someone of intelligence to guide it. A song of death, its subjugation to living will, wavered in the winds caressing past. A song of things he understood only so much— but wanted to know more of. A song of quietly questioning the traditional, natural cycles of the world. How much those old necromancers had known! They must have been intimately familiar with Death itself, though whether as friends or enemies, one could not say.

    The ghoul blinked membranous eyelids at the sun and shuffled back into the murk.

    Released from his spell, Kali cleared his raspy throat and stood up, preparing his his dance back across the broken roof, reluctantly away from the mysteries of the gathered smog. No. He wasn’t ready to intimately contend with a force such as Living Death.

    Not yet.
    Last edited by KaliWenn; 08-01-2018 at 08:29 PM.

  8. #8
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    Garron's Avatar

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    Garron Ivari Cadeyrn
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    Closed for judgement.

    I just want to say thank you all for your patience and it is highly appreciated.
    "My life is simple, my food is plain, and my quarters are uncluttered. In all things, I have sought clarity. I face the troubles and problems of life and death willingly. Virtue, integrity and courage are my priorities. I can be approached, but never pushed; befriended but never coerced; killed but never shamed."

  9. #9
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    Philomel's Avatar

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    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
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    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
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    Corone

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    Vignette Commentary and Rewards

    This vignette more or less became that for July and August, so I would like to thank everyone who took part. It was also one of my suggestions for a prompt, so I was really excited to be able to judge this and see what became of it. Overall what I really enjoyed was seeing how people answered the prompt differently, from using a traditional take on it, to a more unconventional one. It was honestly really hard to pick out a winner.

    The prompt was:

    "Your character undergoes a spiritual and/or religious experience. It can take the style of any form that you choose, so long as it in some way goes with the prompt."
    Commentary:

    Yvonne:
    I really like the way you combine the current story arc for the whole of Althanas in the Feature Quest as well as your character's personal one. It gives an idea of when this experience is set. The transition going into the spiritual experience is also believable, and although one that does exist has powerful evocation of hope in a situation when the world is falling apart (literally) and groups of people would gather in order to find answers. The change from past tense to present tense also separates well the event to the vision itself well, with a definition of what is real and what is (possibly) in her mind. This is also helped by the fact that she seems to be some form of animal (there is a reference to 'fur' and 'urge to howl') although this is not explicitly said which shows cleverness of prose. The pacing is a little fast, and the whole vision sequence perhaps could have been more developed in general, but you have a good voice none the less for both Yvonne and the evil, which has a tendency to repeat the last word. There was a spelling mistake, where you used 'breath' instead of 'breathe,' and this can be helped by just reading back over what you have written out loud or in your head before you post. This method will also help with pacing. Overall, however, powerful and emotional.

    Flamebird:
    You start really well, from the get go grabbing the reader's attention, letting them know this is a dream, and causing them to want to know what is going on. You have some great use of vocabulary and technique here, with the inclusion of words such as 'discombobulated' and a steady, detailed description of her becoming trapped by the vines. There is a reminder that she is in a dream throughout, when you describe the forest as 'dreamy' and state that the figure 'simultaneously shouted and whispered'. There were a couple of spelling mistakes with a space before a full stop, and 'soo instead of 'soon,' and a quick read over will help here before submission. All in all the pacing started off and was for the most part brilliant, although it could have done with a build up to the sentence 'They wrapped around her four limbs, capturing her' which I feel could have come closer to the middle or the end of the paragraph, as it sounds quite final. I would have liked to see more description of the creature, however for content he was an excellent addition. The doom-saying was fantastic, and you link with current events occurring with Althanas, making this particularly thought-provoking.

    Ulrich Craggenmore:
    Personal and provoking, your piece meets the criteria well of the prompt, and also lets the reader know more about Ulrich and where he comes from. This seems like a pivotal moment in his life that is written with care and precision, and is a really good example of how a vignette can be a snapshot or a slice of life. It is short, precise and has good pacing, as well as rise and fall of tension, with a very good sense of foreboding at the beginning, from when the master knocks the initiates out, to when Ulrich rises. With rich description you carry the story well, with a mixture of minor and complex sentence structures as well as some good metaphor: 'Fatigue still clawed down at him'. The one thing I noticed is that you have a tendency to capitalise random words, such as 'fur' in 'fur as black as night,' that should not necessarily be done so. Nevertheless, this does not stop this post from being superb, with use of onomatopoeia, denouement and alliteration ('bound by blades'). This particularly makes your writing stand out from others.

    Lilthis:
    You start with a reveal of Lilly's character from the beginning, and are able to grab the reader's attention. Why is she sneaking in through a back window, is the question. It becomes more interesting when it is revealed she has snuck into an auditorium for a music recital, under which she has a spiritual experience. There is some great use of alliteration here with 'winding and weaving' and a rich variety of sentence starters. Your description of what religion is is powerful, and makes the reader think, as you merge this general theory into a story itself. Filling the piece with sounds, beautiful description such as 'lips kissed rosewood' and positive words such as 'joy' give a mellow tone to it, and show what can also be perceived as an experience that fits the prompt. Overall this piece is short and sweet, and though does not have much action in itself, is effective. Some words are unusual - 'frenetic' - and others are steady and traditional - 'violent twist' - yet you write brilliantly, letting the reader become absorbed and feel the sound as much as hear and read it.

    Sulla:

    Taking a different stance on the prompt than others you show a view of general religion from a sceptic mind, but one that gives thought and is in itself a spiritual experience by being a discussion with a prophet. The pacing in your writing is steady and builds drama well, introducing both Sulla subtly, and also the prophet, who is remarked as being kind to the poor. Linking to this you later have them discuss his actions in the city, which keeps the thought fresh and does not make the earlier description void. The general discussion is of a philosophical nature and it allows the reader to truly think as they read it, and so in a way have an experience of their own. Description is strong in your piece, with some mixture of sentence structure, great use of simile and imagery in general (‘his voice was like honey warmed at the hearth’) and also use of the first person which sets the central character well, and how they are experiencing this. In terms of story there is a definite line of narration, which ends on a cliffhanger, wherein the reader wonders what is going to happen next as Sulla takes out his razor. There are some particularly good moments of word choice, that set a serious tone, and some additions of persona in internal speech. You cover almost everything of the Althanas rubric in this piece well, and the issue is some capitalisation where it is not necessary ‘The State’ and capitals of ‘He’ after some speech. This, however, is arguable in its proper place, and overall the only fault is that I want to know more!

    KaliWenn:
    Similar to Sulla you answer the prompt with a different kind of spiritual experience that was unexpected, but met with it powerfully. The idea that Kali is coming to Eluriand to seek out an experience after leaving his home as a necromancer is particular and sets the theme of death well. This theme, along with the general idea of mortality, is centralised in your piece and carried through word choice (‘stiff and cold’), technique (alliteration with ‘runework and rituals and the sway of spellsong’ that give the idea of the dark art of necromancy’) and repetition (‘a song of …’). The pacing is well developed, and has a good rise and fall of action, and you choose to add detail to the background at the correct moments. The beginning of the whole piece pulls the reader in and the story keeps them gripped throughout. Everything from what death smells like to the idea of the ghoul, or the half-living elf, is described beautifully, to the extent where the reader feels like they are part of the story. There are no obvious spelling mistakes, there is only one issue with a mistake in paragraphing with 'But he just had to see this place for himself,’ which can easily be fixed. Overall though it is an unusual link to the prompt and by far not traditional it has a certain energy to it and is spiritual at least in terms of literal spirits.


    Sulla wins!
    With KaliWenn and Ulrich Craggenmore coming in close second.


    Rewards:

    Yvonne receives 200 EXP.
    Flamebird receives 350 EXP.
    Ulrich Craggenmore receives 160 EXP and 150 Gold.
    Lilthis receives 150 EXP.
    Sulla receives 200 EXP and 200 Gold.
    KaliWenn receives 160 EXP and 150 Gold.

    “Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
    ― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    Last edited by Philomel; 09-26-2018 at 05:32 PM.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

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