Winners For the Writing Contest

Started by Starrie
Starrie (Staff)

The winner's for the story contest are as follows .
First place - Aidez
Second place - Daniel
Third place - Loco
Thank you to all those that submitted a story. Picking a winner wasn't easy, they were all amazing. Everyone that sent in a story will be receiving a special never seen before prize!!! Congrats to you all ..

Starrie (Staff)

1st place winner -Aidez
Journal 014
you see a journal with acid burns and dried black substance on nearly every page only a few of the pages are legible

Empty. Still empty after 3 months in this hole. Having traced rumors of evil to this land I have yet to capitalize on the great many treasures rumored to be here.
So far, I have solved the puzzles and managed to escape some of the powerful beings using cunning and stealth I managed to catch a glimpse of a few fanciful books
hidden in treasure chests of gold and ornate craftsmanship. Such beauty could not have come from these foul creatures. I can not escape this room. The witch's when
not striking upon some foul magic practice their throwing knives. Being next to the target the spells surrounding their blades have leaked into me. I can feel their
poison coursing through my veins. I can not die until I have something in my purse. It is still empty maybe if I beg one of the witch's to give me a single coin in
exchange for my soul I can live through this poison and join them in the riches.
I found the wretch's writing when he came begging to be killed for a single coin. These beings do not accept that life is the most precious gift and willingness to
sacrifice a soul for a little coin in their purses only proves our just cause. All that do not value life enough to stand up to their destroyers must be purged. The
gods as they call them are weak and impotent. Once this land is conquered we must desecrate their temples. Starting with their god of "war". What was his name? I shall
torture it out of the next wretch that comes seeking the glory of conquest.

As predicted not a year has yet past and another comes. The screams where music as we put her to the question.
The answers where inadequate to save her life. I have learned
that there is a town with a portal to each of the so-called gods temples. We must take this town and use it as a striking point into the heart of their land. We shall cover
their precious temples in the blood of their followers and when they puny gods come for their vengeance we shall eliminate them. These weak little life forms are nothing to
the great one and thus to me and my brethren. Unless they can show us they value life we shall eliminate them all.

The greedy clever horrible creatures have managed to block the exit. Maybe they do see the value of life? At least their own. We shall discuss the next
next course of action. We
must figure out the seals. Buttons and levers, levers and buttons. Their advanced technology shall not keep us here forever. Everything is starting to feel empty. Cold and
utterly empty.

Starrie (Staff)

2nd place winner - Daniel Picaro's Alacrity: Coins of the Dead

By Daniel

As a Knight of the Scepter, I have pledged to maintain balance within the Realm. To that end, one of my duties is to combat the forces that terrorize areas surrounding our communities. While at home in Asgard, word reached me of a dangerous mad man raving and shrieking in the Barrens, the vast desert that stretches past the elven village of Drune. I sheathed my long sword - an elegant weapon, the mighty Save the Queen - adorned my armor, and set out on the long trek across the forests and fields, from west to east, to both subdue this lunatic and restore the peace.

In truth, our fight was short and uneventful. While the man's rage was formidable and stoked by the blistering sun, his manic energy was no match for my fabled steel. Following our battle, I trudged southwest to the hamlet of Silverbrook for an evening meal - and to clean the sand from my gear. Upon entering the White Rabbit Tavern (also known as the Cock's Crow), the pub's proprietor, Meego, gave me a hearty smile and nod. The bar was nearly empty, save for a group of four elves clustered around the hearth.
Suddenly, one of the elder sprites belched violently and stammered at his compatriots.

"Have- have I, ever regaled you fools, with the limerick of Picaro's Alacrity?" the white elf yelled, ale dribbling down his chin.

Meego rolled his eyes. "Only every darn night Artemaus, you old goat!"
My ears perked at the name, 'Picaro.' That notorious vagabond, a diminutive blue elf, had been my oldest and dearest friend. We were once childhood comrades in Leinster, collecting pebbles and hunting Artic Ratlings in West Havenwood before the Great Smiting. In our cosmopolitan capital, friendships between elves and humans were not uncommon and despite his small stature, Picaro was a cunning lad and deft with a throwing dagger. As we passed into adulthood, my knightly orders took me away to Asgard, and Picaro and I gradually lost touch. However, I continued to hear tales of his exploits, from Murias to Usk, as he had become renowned as one of the Realm's most skilled pickpockets. I half-expected to encounter his blade and banditry during my many journeys between towns.
I have not heard it, elder white elf," I shouted. "Could you perform it?"

The old elf's light eyes brightened and he seemed to possess a moment of sobriety. "Very well, traveler!" he announced, before another loud burp erupted from his lips.

Behind him, the visibly-annoyed Meego sighed
loudly and dismissively, while continuing to wash jugs from behind the bar. Artemaus rose from his chair, stood on the table in front of him, and recited the following:

"There are many who wonder,
how that azure absconder,
developed his dexterity.
While born quick and nimble
and short as thimble,
from magic came alacrity.

One day the young rogue,
his tongue thick with brogue,
was whistling on Leinster/Kurz Road,
when a grey ghost appeared
from mists which had cleared
over a brook that bubbled and flowed.
The quick-witted thief
(to avoid any grief
that comes with crossing a specter)
jumped in the blue stream,
and thought up a scheme,
while lurking below the ghost's vector.
'If phantoms have pockets,
holding diamonds or lockets,
could I steal while stealthily below?'
And just as he guessed,
he was able to wrest
gold lest the ghoul could know.

Once the wraith floated on,
he admired his con
while clutching the coins in his fingers.
But that purse of the soul
the cerulean stole,
had witchcraft that stains and lingers.

Those bits gave him quickness -
new, unrivaled slickness! -
and other abilities untold.
And now we all suffer
Picaro the mugger
from the Shire to the cold Winter Wold."
His poem complete, Artemaus proudly swayed and performed a deep bow, receiving half-hearted applause from the other elves in his company.

"Beyond agility, what other gifts did Picaro receive from the stolen coins of the dead?" I inquired.

"Nobody - [hiccup] - knows," Artemaus slurred, clearly on the verge of slumber.

"I have one final question, master elf: what does Picaro do with all the loot he plunders?" I asked. "I have heard tales of his thievery, but not his opulence."
"That is . . . that is also a my-mystery," the drunken elf replied, before collapsing on the sticky, barroom floor in a stupor.

"Ugh, not again!" Meego groaned. "Alright, I'm closing up-my apologies, but you'll need to find food and accommodations
elsewhere, adventurer."
It took me many moons to return to Asgard, as I became sidetracked by quests to defeat a bloody banshee haunting the Wild Beyond and conquer a strange lich lurking within the Killing Fields. However, as I approached my once-humble cottage, I was shocked to find my front yard decorated with an incredible shrine. Fountains and flowers staged a beautiful garden, adorned with statues of the gods, Despothes and Finvarra. I found a simple note pinned to my front door, affixed with a Fury Point dagger. It read:

"Daniel: I took the liberty of adding a bit of color to your home. I hope you do not mind. To answer the question you posed to that old cogger in Silverbrook - I share my bounties with my band of brothers. (You, of all people, should know I have eyes and ears across the Realm.) As for my other powers bestowed by the coins of the dead . . . you'll see for yourself when I happen upon you on the trails. And when I do, guard your wallet.

  • Picaro"

I set the parchment down and I smiled to myself. On one hand, given my sacred oath to Despothes, I would be tasked with restoring order and returning all the loot pilfered by my mate.

On the other hand . . . I was touched by the generosity of my friend (however ill-begotten), and I thoroughly enjoyed his landscaping!

Starrie (Staff)

3rd place winner - Loc0
Lord Ulric, the Valiant

Dawn, on a quiet south summer day, Ulric sets out from his domicile after gathering the supplies he needed to fulfill his quest. He had not been back in town long, arriving only mere hours after midnight. As he is leaving town, he is met by Issabella. “Where are you heading today, Ulric?” she asks. “North. I need to go North.” grumbled Ulric, in a gravelly voice. His pace does not slow as he passes. She quickly felt perplexed as he had never acted this way before, but she watched as he marched out of town, wondering why he seemed so troubled, until he disappeared into the darkness that was the Wandering Woods.

Days have passed since he left town, but he keeps walking. Through the wandering woods, past the Leinsters, he keeps walking. He has made this trip numerous times before, usually with his Lord Father, Sir Godfrey of Asgard. They would stop in West Leinster, ramble into the Gnarled Leg Tavern and enjoy some ale, have a few laughs with the locals and listen to the Jester. It was the perfect spot to break up the long journey, but not on this trip. This trip was about something else.
He pushed past West Leinster up into Emerald Forest. Once he saw the rubble of what was left of Caer Fandry he thought to himself, “I’m not far now.”

The forgotten town, way up North, had been ransacked by gargoyles. Two weeks prior, he was up here with his Lord Father hunting and gathering supplies when a horde of gargoyles, marched South from the Crystal Mountains and invaded Caer Fandry, slaughtering everyone. They did their best to assist in the defense of the town, but the vast numbers of the gargoyles made the difference. Sometime during the battle, Ulric had separated from his father and with his battle axe in hand, he pushed through the town to the East, severing a limb here and decapitating a gargoyle there. If only they had enough time to prepare for this attack, it may have turned out differently. No matter how many gargoyles he slayed, there were 5 to 6 humans or elves to go with it. Aside from some minor cuts and scrapes, Ulric survived the battle unscathed.

In the battle on the West side of the town, Sir Godfrey was mortally wounded. Even with blood spouting from his wounds, he kept pushing forward, out into Emerald Forest, taking down at least 6 more gargoyles in the process. With his energy depleting, along with his blood, he knelt on one knee and lowered his head to the hilt of his sword. Mere seconds after, a gargoyle came swooping in from above and with its long, sharp claws, impaled Sir Godfrey through his back.

When Ulric made it back to the other side of town, there was nothing but death that lay around him. Not one human, gargoyle or elf left breathing. He searched every corpse, looking for his father, following the trail of bodies and blood out into Emerald Forest. He found him lying face down, atop his blood-stained sword. He stopped. He did not go to him, nor shed a tear. His face became expressionless. It’s as if nothing mattered anymore, like everything and everyone was gone, and he was alone in this world.

As Ulric passed the rubble, the bodies were still there starting to decay. Crows and vultures were perched in the surrounding trees as he walked past. The town of Caer Fandry, now, reek of death. Crystal Mountains is where he is going… his quest, to kill the Gargoyle King. An hour later and he arrives at the Northern Steppes, a vast open marshland mainly inhabited by basilisks. He peers out over the marsh looking for gargoyles, but they seem to have all withdrew back to the mountains. He then continues his trek.
Once through the marsh, he starts up the mountains, looking for any trace of the gargoyles. A short while later, he sees a cave entrance about 50 paces from him, off to his right. Before entering, he grasps his axe, aptly named “Wig Splitter” and unsheathes it. He treads lightly as he starts through the cave as to not lose the benefit of stealth. Around the first corner, a gargoyle stands on guard. Ulric spreads his feet to get his stance as to not lose balance and with one quick strike, his axe slices right through the gargoyles head under its eyes and lodges into the cave wall leaving the top half of the gargoyles head on the blade while it’s body drops lifelessly to the floor. Continuing down the path lead him to an open area in the cave. As he looked around, there were only a small number of gargoyles here. “Only 3? Where are the rest?” he thought. The small group of gargoyles see Ulric and start to attack. The first arrives swiftly but Ulric evades his attack easily and as he flies by, he swings his axe and strikes it in its back. The other 2 take a more cautious approach as to surround Ulric. The first charges but Ulric front kicks him back and then gracefully transitions into swinging his axe at the other, landing the blade into its chest. He quickly resets and swings his axe overhead to strike down on the gargoyle now laying on the ground.

The Gargoyle King stands at the other end of the room and starts approaching Ulric. As he gets closer, it becomes clear that the King is almost double the size of a normal Gargoyle. He spreads his wings out as to intimidate Ulric. The King lunges, Ulric evades and swings his axe severing the Kings right leg clean off and while the King falls to the ground, he continues with his momentum swirling the axe until he brings the heavy, dual-bladed “Wig Splitter” deep down into the top of the Kings skull.

The End.

Starrie (Staff)

Will be posting all the other stories here , with no names attached.

Starrie (Staff)

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.

Starrie (Staff)

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.

Starrie (Staff)

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…

Starrie (Staff)

One Realm Underworld:2019
So someone caught up with MeanOne, in the Underworld, and got him to tell the new differences between and among the living, dead, overworld, and underworld666.he said: The Underworld of The Realm is a serious place. We have HTLAEH instead of HEALTH6 its red6 and it is much in the many times more of your own HEALTH6 we have 25 times or more of what you upperdwellers have. ANAM down here, purple, it regenerates more and more6 it is a slowly, ever increasing number for us all6 we figured thered be enough room in 64 bits for a slow expansion constant to speed everyone along however, the ANAM is not convertible to gold, as MANA CRYSTALS are. The way to the Underworld was usually the same a tunnel built into a bar or behind a tavern how you speak of these things but this is in Fafnirville. It is a floating, castle-city above Fafnirs Swamp. It is the gateway to all of The Realm. The Cloud Hopper was exiled from there, and all the world bosses come from there, over and over again, to teach us lessons. Everything here is backwards. The item names are all backwards; and the spells are all backwards. The only spells that remain entact are the Sorcery spells. All other spell circles are reversed6 and yrecros is forbidden. There is a slide down to Starries dungeon. You must have Starries key to open the trap door to the heroic, subscriber-only dungeon. It is very difficult to ever leave, because it is an endless series of connected treasure chest rooms. Endless rooms of treasure chests, and in each chest, a Starrie key. There are also many doors, with different names on them. I am starting to
learn their names, but you will have to learn them on your own. The labels make little difference, but they do decry at times, and under certain circumstances a very real influence. Finally, any object dropped from the monsters below taken above turns into Mabonite. One to three pieces of Mabonite we have found. All the monsters are different colors, and DAY has turned into NIGHT. This is actually, the two biggest things we have learned. In the Under-Realm, it is always eternal night6 and the monsters, forests, woods, dungeons, are all slightly different. . . . . There is also a false ladder, and a third ladder, that appear to move around in the Fafnirs swamp. The false ladder leads on and on, one Realmer just climbs, and climbs, on and on, forever and forever, into infinity and beyond, eternally, until they back down just once, and they `scape that l
that ladd-er!! The third ladder leads to somewhere else, but we do not know where! Yet! More soon6..

Starrie (Staff)

The HUGE Loc0 and Ptolomy traverse the Underground
One day the rather muscular Loc0 decided it was hot out, so he wanted to go to the Underground where it is nice and cool. He brought his wise old friend Ptolomy with him. While Loc0 was holding back the hungry mobs of demons, thieves, slimes, and even some reptile thing, Ptolomy decides to cast mass beserk.

P.S. They picked the left chest… don't pick the left chest.
Ptolomy - Please bring scrolls back to SP.

Starrie (Staff)

The Fall of The Realm

When the Realm came into creation, things were great for a long time. Then as all things do, the Realm’s prosperity came crashing down hard. The people began dying off en masse. Some had left for other lands, some had perished, and some of their fates are still unknown. Things became dire. The Gods stopped communicating with the populace. There was little hope left for the denizens of the Realm. They ambled onward with the hopes that someday things would change for the better.
Just when it seemed the Realm was on its last legs a savior appeared for the people. The rumor was that this man had descended from a draconic bloodline and therefore was able to not only traverse the Mists, but also able to speak to the Gods. The Gods finally returned to the land and spoke to the citizens. Though some of their Prophets had perished in the Mist War, they had been replaced and were ready again to make the Realm prosper.
Finvarra had fired up his forge again and was back to producing new weapons and armors. Mabon had returned from beyond the Mists with new found magics and began to change spells and introduce new spells. The other Gods set out as well upon the lands to do as Gods are wont to do. It seemed as if the Mists had well and truly been defeated during the Mist War and all was peaceful in the lands. New faces had begun appearing in the Realm as well as old ones returning. It appeared as if the Realm was on the verge of finally making a return to the years of old. However, history has a way of repeating itself and this appearance of prosperity was to be short lived.
Unknown to the Gods or their new augur, there was a plot behind the scenes to usurp the future of the Realm. A cadre of folks from beyond the Mists gathered and set upon their machinations. Walkers of the Mists were not going to give up easily though they had no real plans of a future for the lands of the Realm other than outright power and control. While the citizens of the Realm may have believed the Mist Wars to be over, they were in fact just getting ready to get even bloodier.
This in turn led to the Gods eventually becoming silent once again. The people of the Realm again began vanishing. The land had become barren yet again. The usurper and his henchmen ruled with an iron fist. They molded the Realm into what they wanted with nary a care for what the people of the Realm desired. They began collecting the remaining few citizens precious wealth for themselves in any way that they could. The Realm had finally fallen farther than it ever had in the past. Now the people wait and hope for a better future again.
Luckily for all, the world has a very cyclical nature. What was broken gets fixed only to break again and only to be fixed yet again. Perhaps in due time another savior will appear or perhaps as some Ancient Ones believed, there is yet another Realm in the multivers. One that has prospered and not been corrupted. Only time will tell. May the Mother guide us all through these dark times.

Starrie (Staff)

In The Realm there were two little wizards, a husband named ImLost and his wife Vickstress who lived in Wen. They lived happily in the land together. Then one day the swamp appeared in their homeland and disrupted their way of life and they had to move to dusty Asgard where monsters abounded and threated their very lives. They decided that they wanted to live in Silverbrook with Vickstress sisters Vickster, Roxzie, and Lacie. Surely, they would find a way to move to that beautiful place, of fairies and gentile way of life. So they bought Soveriengs and bought deeds to Silverbrook and moved in and even bought a basement. Vickstress and ImLost lived happily forever in The Realm.

Starrie (Staff)

Girth’s Brothel Problem
I opened my eyes to the sounds of singing birds and the lovely blue sky. After a nice nap one would think that I would be in a good mood, but I had a freight train in my ears. One of my lovely team member's snoring ruined my peace and quiet. Oscure was probably hiding in the trees practicing his magic. Ugh, wizards. Always practicing and doing the most.
"Hey, are you awake?" Elena, a red-haired woman asked with two long swords at her hips.
"Yes, ready to go too." I answer about to grab my quiver and bow before Oscure appeared out of nowhere. He looked at our snoring team member curiously. He's not used to beefy blockheaded soldiers.
"This one snores like a hurricane." I roll my eyes at the wizard's comment already annoyed for some reason. I was glad that no one said his name. He says it enough.
"You should wake Girth up." Elena cringed while saying his name like she always does. His mercenary name is Girthy Destroyer, but for sake of giggles and laughs, we go with Girth. It still gets strange looks and giggles.
He named himself that because of his big broadsword and battle axe. We just wished it was more appropriate. I poke an arrow at his side hoping to wake him smoothly. When he's woken suddenly or goes to battle, he proudly announces his whole mercenary name. Why couldn't he have picked something else? I must have poked a little harder than I thought. His eyes snapped open suddenly and he jumped up after grabbing his axe and sword.
"It is I! Rod the Girthy Destroyer! My giant sword and axe will destroy you!" I and Elena sigh as Oscure claps innocently.
Please don't encourage him." I groan rubbing my head. Girth looks around confused.
"Come on Girth. Break is over. We're almost to the cave." Elena commands and we follow her through the forest around a giant lake.
We walk down the path in complete silence, which was suspicious. Normally Girth would be practicing his introduction, but nope, he was silent. Instead of focusing on the silence, I focused on the objective. A group of four men grabbed a chest full of items from a brothel that we are to retrieve. Simple enough. Completely normal… Right?
"I see the cave! Come on." Elena shouts as we all run towards the cave in a hurry. I hated caves. Not a good place for an archer.
We slowly walk through the opening of the cave and wait when we hear movement inside. On the wall in front of us, a campfire light glows and we can see shadows. Around the corner, a small pit.
Elena peeps around the corner and then turns to us and sighs with relief, "Ok, so they haven't opened it yet. They're trying to get it open now so they're distracted." She says. Thank goodness they're distracted and not paying attention.
"So, we can just sneak up on them, right?" I ask, but Girth began walking into the open for no apparent reason.
"What are you doing!?" Elena tried to stop him, but he kept moving. The men stopped fussing and all eyes were on the soldier. Here we go.
"I am Rod the Girthy Destroyer. My big sword and axe will destroy you and we'll return to the brothel with that package." They all bust out into laughter as Girth posed with his sword in the air shining in the sunlight. This is just embarrassing.
While they laugh, Oscure sighs and his hands glow a purple and red color. A wisp flies to each of the men and hovers over their head. A spray knocks them out instantly and they drop asleep.
"At least it was easy." Elena groaned and then went to grab the chest. Girth grabbed the small chest throwing it on his shoulder before she could pick it up. We walked out of the cave with the prize.
Girth smiled happily while walking down the dirt path back towards the town. I really hoped that the job was well worth it. We really shouldn't have taken a job from the brothel to begin with. It made our reputation worse than what it already was.
We walked into the wooden building with a desk at the front. There were two people at the desk looking at us curiously. I didn't remember the brothel being this organized when we left.
"Hello welcome to our brothel. Do you have an appointment with us?" She looked at us with a curious look, we all nodded quickly as we got eyed suspiciously. Girth looked serious as we walked closer to the counter. She gasped suddenly.
"Oh my gosh it's Girth! He's so famous here. We get so many good comments about him." My mouth dropped in response. No wonder she thought we had appointments if he had a reputation in a place like this.
"He's so heroic. Even got our chest back." Oh… They meant his job reputation. For a second I was worried that our reputation in the town was ruined.
"Look everyone Girth's back!" She squealed summoning a bunch of women from the back room excitedly.
They began carrying him away from the counter with the chest still over his shoulder. The three of us looked at each other in confusion.
"I guess we're not getting that reward money." Oscure looked down sadly as we were about to walk away from the counter.
"Oh wait, here's the quest reward. Have fun." One of the women appeared from the back room and threw a sack of coins at Elena.
"Guys aren't you going to help me?" He shouted as we continued to walk away towards the door.
"Sorry Girth. We're not getting paid for this job." Elena mused happily as we walked out of the brothel. We happily went to the closest tavern for a few drinks and some food. Happily eating without care.

Starrie (Staff)

A Veil of Smoke

Broken, banished - and lost to time. As he pondered over a mug of stale ale, the sullen thief quietly mumbled the motto of the fallen order. Audentes fortuna juvat. His brothers and sisters-in-arms once commanded a wretched, but merry, band of mercenaries and thieves. All with prodigious appetites for mayhem and donning the color as dark as their deeds. However, those days were but a memory.Much to the thief’s distaste, East Leinster was not a desolate place. The streets, merchant shops and taverns bustled with the growing populace and all his silent prayers to Duach couldn’t drive them away. The beat and warmth of commerce pulled him from his reverie. He noted a provocative scent of cheap wine and cloves that filled the air of the establishment. Autumn weather and its accompanying indulgences usually lifted the thief’s spirits, but his brooding reflections had been hard to shake of late. Inadvertently, his eyes roamed the tavern surveying the possible exits, patrons, and of course, their coin purses ripe for the taking. Instincts of the trade.Abruptly, the thief froze. The tavern’s ambiance was completely deafened by one emerging detail. Deeply etched into the far end of the wooden table and filled with black dye was a simple carving, [XIII]. Several pale splinters along the edges marked the work as fresh. Disabling shock was replaced by hopeful curiosity. His mind raced. Have my comrades of the dark order returned? Were new faces to fill its ranks? Did the Red King assent to a resurgence? The questions battered the thief. Staring at the carving, he willed the stained grooves to answer. He thought furiously and grew more decisive with each passing second. False trail or not, he knew the truth led beyond the Leinster commonwealth. As almost-forgotten memories of raucous laughter began to lighten his mood, the thief vanished. Drune would hold the answers. He chuckled as he prepared for the journey. After all, the barkeep and his patrons had unknowingly financed it.
Faint tendrils of dark smoke drifted toward the eastern border of the elven city. A predatory grin spread across the thief’s face. He knew this territory well through many years spent plucking coin and cloth from nobles and prosperous tradesfolk. An ominous sign within these pristine walls meant only one thing: the rise of the Black Mercenaries

Starrie (Staff)

Mistydawn -
MISTS OF TIME

I woke early that morning, it had been just another beautiful day. The air was cool and fresh, early morning dew still blanketing the ground. Lingering still was a thick scent of rain. Fluffy white clouds seemed almost painted across the bright, violet blue sky leaving behind no trace of the storm from the night before. I could hear my mothers soft humming in the kitchen while she cooked our breakfast. My stomach growled as the smell of bacon filled the house. Thinking myself hungry enough to eat an entire pig, I left my bed and walked to the kitchen. After pouring a glass of orange juice from the fridge I kissed my mother on the cheek, drowsily mumbling, “Morning mom,”. “Morning dear,” came her usual, cheerful reply. She handed me my plate and as I sat to eat she asked if I would go to the market for her when I was done. Nodding, I ravenously devoured my food before taking the list my mother offered me. Looking it over I took the money she had given me and left the house without another word. I hadn’t know then that was to be the last time I would ever see my mother. Walking down the road to the market I decided to take a shortcut through the woods, taking in the thick foliage of the forest. As I wandered deeper in, a strange heaviness crept over me. Unable to keep my eyes open, I decided to rest for a short moment before continuing my trek to the market. When next my eyes opened, my vision was met with darkness. A shroud of thick fog all around me lead to much confusion as I wondered how long I had slumbered. Suddenly, there was a deep growl behind me. Close enough I could almost feel the breath down my neck. Terrified I began to run, never once daring to glance behind myself. Seeing the forest beginning to clear I made my way as quickly as my legs allowed towards the outer edge of a town. I had hardly noticed the sky turning bluer as I ran.
Exiting into a clearing, I headed towards the gates of the town. Knowing the creature would soon be nipping at my heels I lunged for the safety of the town beyond the gates. Flying past the biggest rat I had ever seen in my life I grabbing ahold of a building to steady myself. Gasping for air, I looked up to see people being shuffled here and there by the gates keeper. When I had caught my breath I scanned through the people running past, seeking a familiar face but finding none. Finally my eyes fell upon the smiling face of a very lovely woman. She had long curly hair the color of a raven and the towns people crowded around her. Venturing towards the crowd I whispered under my breath, speaking to nobody in particular, “Who is this woman,” and was given one reply. Starrie, this is the name I was told as this time the eyes of the crowd fell upon me. Now sticking out like a sore thumb I began to feel sick until I looked into the kindest eyes I’d ever seen, aside maybe from my mothers. My eyes began to swell with tears as I realized I didn't know where I was or how far I had run. Frantically, I searched for a place to hide while dashing further into town. Unknown to me, the woman called Starrie chased after me. Quickly catching me, she gently grabbed my shoulder and wisped me away to a private garden. As I was overcome with an oddly calming feeling she sat quietly upon a large rock and waited for the magic of the garden to sooth me. Once I was back to my proper senses she asked me who I was. “My name is MistyDawn,” I answered. We spoke then for what seemed to be hours as I told her everything that has transpired through the day. I told her how I had happened upon her town, she told me it was named East Lienster. She told me the land I’d wandered into was called The Realm, and she told me not to fear as she had a friend that could help me.
Later, I was introduced to a scholarly man named Hektor, the man of whom she spoke. Hektor is very knowledgeable of the Realm and I have learned much from him. My new friends told me more about how I had come to be in this new place. I had entered accidentally through the mists of time, and to my great shock and grief, I would never be able to return home. Starrie and Hektor have indeed helped me to overcome my heavy sadness at having lost my old life when I entered the Realm through the mists, and I have found myself not missing home quite so much. I have come to love this land and its citizens a great deal. Now, a great threat looms over my new home and I shall stay here and defend it, until someday when I may find a way back home to my family. In my time here, I have met my beloved husband, KidRock, and hope one day to be able to take him to meet my family. Surely they will love my gentle giant as much as I have come to love him. Maybe one day I will be able to share the tale of how I made my way home. However, at least for now, this is the story of how I came to be a citizen of The Realm.

Starrie (Staff)

The eleven orphaned heirs of King Alabaster.

There was once a king of immense prosperity. His dominion spread in vast swaths across the Realm as his conquests were a fabled many. In his days of glory he never hesitated to imagine the plight of his humble subjects. His seed spread beyond his recollection and one day he began to marvel at the prospect of the measureless abundance in the generations ahead, beginning with his true heirs which at that point had numbered eleven. His sons Alcaranz, Aldis, Algernon, Aelfraed, Aylmer, Alegre, Erwan, Gerarth, Haelan, Baltrand, and Alawak all honored and basked in the covenant of their father. They didnt vie nor squabble amongst each other, all content that their futures would be as acclaimed as the very sun itself in heaven. The king however was unable to cease in his endless exploits and on one fateful evening he encountered a foul enchantress. Taking deep offense to his advances, she began to glow in an ominous hue. The king would not accept a slight from such a lowly plebian, so he quickly drew his sword demanding capitulation. With a cackle, she lifted her veil and exposed the deformed face of a demon. In terror the king pleaded for mercy upon his soul and this pleased the enchantress greatly.
Youll be spared you deplorable scoundrel, however your heirs will dissipate far from your reach and wander the most unforgiving lands until the end of their days as penniless orphans who remember nothing of the lives they once had.
The king reached in desperation to arrest this wicked apparition, but she evaporated from within his grasp as he gasped. The ground beneath his kingdom rumbled and in a bright flash his sons were each whisked away to their untold fates. For the rest of his years, the king wandered seeking the warm embraces of his sons and their joyful laughter that once serenaded his halls but everywhere he looked, they were always roaming just ahead of his horizon.
The legend and curse has survived time immortal but the remaining details have been withered to only these cryptic stanzas:

To the cellar beneath my throne,
You are implored to return
one of each my sons
wayward bones.
To summon my ghost,
have no fear
just shout my name
for the world to hear
and in time my soul
will manifest to be your host.
If the collection is
true and complete
the curse youll defeat
and a reward bestowed
for the noblest of feats.

Starrie (Staff)

the halfling and the reptile
there was once a halfling who hailed from the idyllic shores of the realm. with always a desire for the shiny golden coins his hometown found scarce, he traveled the lands in order to amass his fortunes and find what obscurities he could encounter. over the decades, as he became a seasoned merchant, there were many who lauded his dealings and had grown fond of him, there were also others who thought less of him perhaPs due to their own bad business decisions, there were yet others who harbored deep envy of his tenacity or otherwise felt an arbitrary disgust for him. one in particular was an ancient reptile who may have once been reveRed for his might, but at the time had withered into a cranky old heckler. the halfling though paid this no mind however and always carried about in his own fashion, and quite the fashion indeed. he would often inspIre trends whenever he would discover a new colour with which to adorn his attire or even simply his manners of expresSion. this began more and more to rumble within the belly of the bitter reptile until one day the old beast could do find nothing greater to do than repeatedly mutter challenges of mortal combat against the industrious halfling. at first the halfling continued to pay him no mind and even make light banter about the reptiles pitiful state, but the reptile persisted, often trying to invoke haZy accusations of days long gone, in order to provoke the halfling into senseless battle. finally, the merchant halfling decided once and for all to demonstrate for the reptile, that engaging in combat was much less favorable than a good deal.
one day the crusty old reptile again mumbled the same empty challenge to the halfling, only this time the halfling did not hesitate in agreeing to engagE. he did however raise the stakes with a
wager of his own: that the reptile would not enjoy the battle in any way. the reptile sharpened his teeth as he pompously agreed with great hubris and excitement. our humble halfling looked to the skies, let out a deep sigh, and patted some dust off his shoulder as he approached the field of battle. when the halfling entered the battlefield he stood calmly and without salutation, the reptile wasted no time pouncing for what may well have been a sure kill! with a flick of his finger, the halfling unleashed an otherworldly spell he learned during his travels, which suspended all time and space. after that he casually continued about his daily taskS while the decrepit reptile hung in helpless suspense. the reptile began to panic, and question the possibility of this event, but just then to his
great fortune, a wandering lycanthrope with magics of his own came and whisked the pitiful reptile to safer spaces. when the halfling returned from a quick errand, to his amusement, he noticed that the reptile had fled the scene and ran far far away to recover and escape from the embarrassment. with much laughter and merriment he spread the news far and wide through the lands of the realm. the news spread with some fanfare but much more ire instead. some saw that the wager had been fulfilled, but some others cried bloody foul. the halfling however made no apologies
as he never claimed himself as more than a simple merchant. a few wayward gods even banished the halfling for his parlour trickery, however all the merchant did was return to his familiar idyllic shores, take a deep breath and swim in the cool waters of the summer.

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