12

As discussed in this post, we (read: I) have decided to try out having a writing challenge on Meta. The last one - the test run - was, erm... two months ago. ...whoops. Sorry; I know some people have been waiting for me to get around to putting up the next one. Well, here it is!

After feedback received, it was decided that the next one should include a prompt. So, here are two options:

  • Challenge

    Challenge: Write something about Libraries. This is based off of absolutely nothing, I'm afraid, except for a random comment in The Reading Room - and a feeling that libraries are underappreciated. So... yeah, a slightly random challenge.

  • Prompt

    [...] sniffed the air. "Dragon," [s/he|name] said distastefully.

    This phrase has been floating in my head for the longest time; I'd like to see someone make something of it.

Both of these options are optional - feel free to write something completely unrelated as well.

Additionally, I'll be putting up a call for submissions for challenges/prompts soon, and then we'll have a larger pool than whatever I can think of ;)


So to enter the challenge, you simply write something, and post it below. It can be a work in progress, and continue working on it while receiving feedback, or it can be a finished work - anything goes.

You can submit your entries until the end of the three weeks. After three weeks, we'll choose the next prompt and put up a new post.

You can either post the whole thing here, or, if you usually post your writing somewhere else, you can put a link here - although I'd advise putting something in to get people interested.

Remember: this is not a contest. This is merely for fun, and for some practice writing. There will (hopefully) be writers of all different skill levels posting - I'm certainly not super good.

You're welcome to provide feedback, but please make sure that it's constructive. And remember: Be Nice.

Remember that the age limit for the site is 13 - I'm only around 15 myself - so please avoid excessive graphic content or strong language.


I look forward to reading the submissions!

  • 1
    You're only 15? :O – BlueMoon93 Jul 5 '17 at 13:35
  • Actually, I'm not even 15 yet ;) – Mithical Jul 5 '17 at 13:45
  • Hey, when these come up, can someone ping a mod? We can add the featured tag so a link goes on the main site's front page. – Neil Fein Jul 28 '17 at 1:39
  • 1
    @Neil - check the flag history for this post and my flagging history. I've been flagging for mod attention with a request for it to be featured ;) – Mithical Jul 28 '17 at 6:51
  • Excellent. Looking forward to seeing more of these! – Neil Fein Jul 28 '17 at 16:27
5

Johanne Soze is the villain from our D&D campaign, known by the dark underworld as Kaiser Soze. Here's her backstory.

The party approaches her home town, a community whose leader has traditionally worn the title Kaiser, and asks their elder about her. He sits around the fire, a weary expression in his draconian face.

She was the child of Haluk Soze and Jasmine Mazhar. The strongest warrior and the most cunning sorceress. The day their daughter was born, the very winds whispered her name... Johanne Soze. Their daughter inherited all their gifts, she was brilliant, an absolutely unparalleled talent, someone that could plan always 3 steps ahead of you in a chess game. She looked humble, but she was prideful, and she would not be refused.

The menacing look on the Elder's face as he spoke this last line seemed to chill even the crisping fire.

She grew into a weapon, incredibly sharp and deadly. Her parents were wise and strong, but she overly enjoyed exercising her great power on the weaker. Mysterious events happened around her, even during her childhood. She once tortured a kid in school, from her class, until the kid confessed to some prank. Their teacher caught her doing it, and wanted to banish her from the community. The teacher was found dead, later that week, choked on some poisonous exotic fruits. No one had any proof, but I've always believed it had been her. Her parents, of course, trusted her when she pretended not to know anything about it. I can't say she was not convincing, but I also know she was as good a liar as they come. From that moment onwards, Johanne became more careful.

The elder rose, and beckoned the party to follow him. As they walked out of the tent, and into the frozen night, he continue his tale.

As she grew, she became isolated. Her peers could not match her, her superiors could not understand her. She developed the mindset of a lone warrior, where one trusts no one but himself. In the end, however, it was the death of her mother that brought out her real face. Her mother died at the hands of another warrior, who had been in love with her ever since they were kids. No one really knows what happened, but the warrior claimed they started brawling and that it was just an accident. He never meant to kill her. Haluk was furious, but he obeyed the village's law, and had the warrior imprisoned. Johanne, however, could not stand it. Everyone in town could hear the screams of rage, the argument between both of them. In the end, she left home and promised to avenge her mother.

The elder led the party on a goat trail that climbed up the nearby mountain. After a few hours of climbing, they reached a small hidden cave in the mountain's face.

No one could find her that day, but by nightfall, the disappearance of the warrior from the prison was known. Search parties were sent, but it was too late. His body was found here. It was.. inhumane. I've been a warrior all my life, and I've never seen anything like it. His body was almost unrecognizable. She... slowly cut him up, bit by bit. She had him skinned alive, she drained his blood, she fed him parts of himself. She took her time, this was not a random act of violence. This was a cold punishment, where Johanne made him regret killing her mother with all his soul.

The eyes of the Elder were watery at this point. One of the party members noticed how he held a necklace with two dragon claws in his left hand. He knew that, in this community, a warrior uses a necklace with a single claw when he reaches manhood, and the necklace is given to his family when the warrior falls. He reached forward, and layed his hand on the Elder's shoulder. Their eyes crossed, and a feeling of understanding ran between both.

She returned to the village. No one really understands why, it was obvious she did it, but maybe she thought she'd be shown understanding, or maybe she just didn't realize the severity of her actions. In the end, her own father had to subdue her. He was the greatest warrior we've ever seen, but she wasn't far behind him. Their battle was, for a lack of a better word, epic.

The elder pointed at the village. From their cave, the party could see a large eroded crater next to the village, with some houses surrounding it. The crater has hundreds of yards long, although not so deep, and grass and other bushes had already claimed it.

The town was almost destroyed, so strong were the both of them. He fought with speed and strength, each attack precise and devastating. She used her speed and his weight to her advantage, conjuring entities to fight beside her and protect her. Back then, he had a slight edge over her, but he hesitated in his final strike against his own daughter.

She took advantage of this, and used her magic to impale him from the inside. The cold look she gave him... No hint of remorse, just a satisfied look of revenge, it was frightening. She turned to us and claimed she was now the new Kaiser. Whether we would follow her, a strong leader, and claim this world, or just perish here in this god forsaken land.

No one moved. No one spoke. And then, Ragnar, our current Kaiser, said no one will ever follow her, a demon, anywhere. We'd rather die here. I guess she was... disappointed? It was hard to read her reaction. Maybe she was confused, remorseful, maybe she had doubts about what she had done. But of course she couldn't show it. She turned and left, and brilliant young Johanne Soze was never seen again.

He stood, and started climbing down the mountain. His agility was still obvious, and impressive, specially for a dragonborn his age.

Years later, we heard rumors. Kaiser Soze, crimes, atrocities, the underground leader of crime. We knew it was her, who else could it be. We know, one day, she will be back. To eliminate all of us, those who refused to follow her to the darkness she now rules. But one shudders to imagine... How strong she was then, 12 years ago, and how she must be now, after honing her powers. Like a beast in the dark, preparing for when night falls on the world to go hunting, so is she, somewhere out there, waiting... As her forces slowly take over the strategic points, the linchpins of this world, until she can wage war upon it.

They reached the village, and the Elder faced them with a grievous expression.

She will come. Like a giant tidal wave, that sweeps everything through her path. And there won't be nothing to stop her.

His eyes widened, as if pleading.

Unless someone faces her. Unless someone becomes the shield of the weak. Unless someone protects the freedom of this world from her grasp.


Hope you all enjoyed! Bonus points if you spot all the references to WoW, The Usual Suspects, Team Fortress 2, and Vikings!

4

Elizabeth sniffed the air. "Dragon," she said distastefully.

Joseph frowned. "This close to the village? Are you certain of the spell?"

She nodded, an annoyed expression on her face. "I've been doing olefactomancy since before you were born. And I--" She broke off as her voice faltered. "Well, no matter. I'd put the dragon about seven kilometers to the east, give or take."

"Right," said Joseph, drawing his wand with slight uncertainty. Elizabeth eyed him, her expression firmly neutral, and said nothing.

He relaxed and began mentally reciting the components of the spell. As his mind's voice spoke the words, they became real. Each subtracted a tiny portion of his mental energy, striking at him like little hammers against his soul.

The air about him began to constrict from the pressure of the magic. He noticed that he was casting more rapidly now, the tempo significantly increased. That was sloppy. She wouldn't approve. He cleared his mind of distractions, Elizabeth included, and risked a shallow breath. There. He'd found the right speed again. Three words left. Two. And then...

He opened his eyes. The plains were gone, replaced with a dense forest. The air was thick with water vapor, and he could hear wildlife in the distance. He let out the breath he'd been holding.

Elizabeth arched an eyebrow. "Your tempo needs work, but overall, acceptable. Where are we?"

"Well, you could just--"

"Where are we?" she repeated, staring him down.

"Seven kilometers east of the plains," he replied. "Just as specified."

"Exactly seven?" she said, still giving him a hard look.

"No," he admitted. "No one has that accuracy."

"Quite." She looked away, towards the call of a particularly loud bird, and for a moment he thought she was done. "Error margin?" she murmured.

"Pardon?"

She continued looking away. "What is the error margin of your spell?"

A tide of fear was rising within him. They were running out of time. "Ma'am, the dragon will find us if we don't--"

"What is the error margin of your spell?"

"Probably a few hundred meters or so."

"Don't tell me 'probably.'" she replied, turning to face him again. "Don't say 'a few,' either."

Joseph shut his eyes, blocking out the forest, and the dragon, and his probable impending death, and most of all the exam he was about to fail. His mind quickly flicked through what remained of the formulas he had memorized and then promptly forgotten after completing the written portion. The formula for error compounded over distance lazily floated up, and he mentally snatched at it. He frantically recalled the power level he'd self-assessed and the format of the spell he'd built. The formula was not actually complicated, the mental arithmetic almost trivial. He plugged the numbers in, picturing himself seated at a desk scribbling on a sheet of paper, and not standing in a forest waiting to be devoured by a dragon. He drew breath and spoke.

"Plus-minus two hundred sixty-three meters and thirty-seven centimeters in any direction," he announced, opening his eyes.

"With five significant figures?" she asked airily.

"Two sixty," he amended.

She frowned. "Four percent error is a bit large, but good enough for dragon-slaying, I suppose. Now, where is the dragon?"

  • Bleh, I can't tell whether ending the story there is really clever or really stupid, but it really wanted to be over. – Kevin Jul 13 '17 at 5:12
  • It ends on a cliffhanger - nice! – Mithical Jul 13 '17 at 9:49

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