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August 20, 2019
Winners For the Writing Contest

Brightness

He looked up at the sky and marveled at how it was such a clear and cloudless day. He had been planning this raid for quite sometime now and was glad that the weather was finally agreeing with his plans. Fafnir turned back to his query and realized he must focus on the task at hand again. Fafnir dug his teeth deep into the earth and continued work on his tunnel.
As Baramuf sat by the window seat of the smokey tavern he couldnt help but be distracted by Caels uproarious laughter. Probably making another ridiculous joke about the dwarfs stature. Baramuf took delight in seeing how Bloody Mary reacted to the joke. Although she was pretending to laugh along with all the other distinguished imperial leaders, he could see in her face the aversion she had to him. Of all the noble leaders Bloody Mary was
one of the only ones who ever acknowledged his presence. As a member of the Dragon Squad, he was seen as nothing more than an unnecessary expense to most of the nobility, today more than ever. The city was celebrating 150 years of respite from the Allburning Brightness. The Allburning Brightness was an ailment of their distant ancestors and no one alive today had ever witnessed one. It was documented in the history books of course, a sudden
overwhelming change in the weather where the sun burned so bright people were blinded and it got so hot entire cities were burnt to a crisp. How historians knew people could be blinded by such a tragedy Baramuf never quite understood. Either way the documentation on the instances was limited as almost everyone used to die from the natural disaster. It was the legendary historian Tulor who was the first to survive that changed the ancient ways.
Tulor was a wealthy trader who had an enormous mansion, which most importantly incorporated a basement 3 floors deep. When the everburning brightness struck he retreated to the lowest level of his house to escape the heat and survived off nothing for 3 days while the brightness lasted. When he emerged the entire house was gone and his skin and turned a deep shade of red, but he survived and went on to tell his tale of survival. It was because of him that
the Dragon Squad existed now. Every city had an elite trained group of citizens who knew all the protocols of what to do during an everburning brightness. Where all of the safe houses with deep basements resided within the city and how many people could stay in each safehouse. It seemed an enviable position to end up in when they were kids learning of the terrifying events in school. But now that Baramuf had been a member for 3 years he realized how little it was the golden squad actually did now. There may have been a time when the position was glorified but today it was on par with being a latrine digger in societys eyes. Baramuf was startled
out of his reverie when he began to realize people had crowded around him and were jostling him for a spot next to the window. Baramuf began to feel warm and just wanted to escape the people surrounding him but they kept pushing in closer. It was Cael that started the panic. ALLBURNING BRIGHTNESS! the monstrous man bellowed at the top of his lungs, RUN FOR THE ONE ACADEMY. And just like that the tavern descended into madness. Baramuf was pushed up against the window and could feel the heat start to penetrate into his back. He watched as the citizens pushed and
shoved their way to the door. He also noticed the tavernmaster slip into the central door behind the bar and quietly close the door. As a member of the Dragon Squad Baramuf knew this tavern had a safe house that could sustain about 10 people for 3 days. He also knew almost all of the regular citizens would be unaware of such a fact as they were all shoving their way out the door to get to The One Academy. Every city was required to have a large bunker that could house the entire city beneath its city hall. Baramuf was well aware that the city of Leinster had not upgraded their bunker for almost a century now considering it an unnecessary expense and that The One Academy would only hold about ? of the ever growing population. As the madness began to ebb Baramuf was able to break free from the window, his back burned and his eyes stung as
it was getting so bright in the tavern he could barely see a few feet in front of him. He got on his hands and knees and began crawling towards the secret door he saw the tavern master go into. As he fumbled and crashed into and then over the bar, a hand suddenly grabbed him and pulled him through a door. As Bloody Mary slammed the door behind him he realized how quickly the Allburning Brightness had struck. Even behind the closed door in the center of the tavern the room was still as bright as it would be outdoors under the midday sun. He realized with horror that most of the people running towards city hall would likely have not made it as the brightness and heat swept over the city in a matter of a minute or two. Bloody Mary told him to shut his eyes and hold on as they descended the stairs grasping onto the walls and the rails. Down, down they went for what seemed like forever. Eventually they reached the ground floor to find the tavern master and his family 10 floors beneath the tavern. Exhausted Baramuf lay down against the wall. Crunch, Crunch can you guys hear that? Baramuf asked. He put his ear to the wall again and the sound got louder.
CRUNCH, CRUNCH Oh shit6 theyre back he whimpered…

August 20, 2019
Winners For the Writing Contest

rat rat

rat look mad. rat move. rat bite. rat bite.

rat get stab. rat get stab.

rat bite. rat bite. rat bite bite.

heal happen.

rat wonder why heal happen. rat no heal. rat mad. rat bite.

rat get stab. rat get stabby stab. rat get stab.

think rat try flee. rat no flee. rat bite bite.

rat rat get stab. rat get stab.

where rat go? oh rat ded. rat turn into bauble.

this story in memory of rat rat, who ded on 08-02-2019 due to stabby stab stab. rat bauble still alive.

August 20, 2019
Winners For the Writing Contest

Ramifications of Politics in The Realm

I was having a pint of ale at the Valhalla Inn in Asgard and noticed a gathering of prosperous men having an intense conversation over politics. I faintly make out one of the conversations while I sipped on my chilled container.

A man in a colorful bright yellow robe, a mossy green baldrics, and some shoes that appeared to glow like a fairy leaned into the table with a loud voice and says "Dictatorship does not work in this realm! Look at the kings in this place. King Kilrog, mean and evil. Troll King, causes earthquakes when provoked. Imp Kings teleport all over the place shooting light darts at everyone. And the king of the daemons, Ezelberoth is just pure evil!"
Another man stood up in his blood red robe, matching hood and black boots and yells "What we really need is to overthrow these kings and implement a governmental system run by the people! Fair and equal wages for everyone! Everyone should have the same stat allocations! Equal distributions of build points! SDM for all!"

The man in yellow noticeably slumps his neck and shakes his head in a back and forth motion indicating his disagreement. The final man seated with the couple dressed in full glowing Orange gear and a black belt interjects. "What we need is a system where everyone gets a vote for a single leader! A realm led by the people and ruled by the people! A free market with no trade windows! Unlimited opportunities! Anything else would be pure stupidity!"

As his rant finished, all I could see was a cloud of dust with fists flying and swords swinging. Troels, the barkeep, runs his hand through his long brown hair and asks me if I would like a refill. He showed no signs of breaking up the quarrel, or even raising his voice.

After I finish my 2nd drink and the dust settled, I could not believe the outcome. All 3 men, who all assumed they were correct lie dead on the ground.

Leaving only one conclusion:

Politics do not belong in this realm.

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