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7FEB15 - The short SHORT story contest!

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John Louis View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Louis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2015 at 14:03
Although the following may be called pure heresy by some (and I know heresy), I nevertheless have it from a very good source! Here is a story that is whispered along the corridors of the Council of Five (I hope they do not use their sorcery to remove my fingers):

                                                           Battle of The Gods

Primordial Illyriad was an age of mystery and loneliness. The gods were initially only suspicious of one another but then the rivalry started and, eventually, animosity and hatred were created.

Each wanted to be recognised as the most powerful, the King of gods, if you will. They became angry with one another but none wanted to leave Illyriad or its mysterious lands, for they knew a strong magic had been imbued into the very fabric of its creation.

One god and goddess felt very differently, however, and tried to live together in harmony. It is said that the god was Death and the goddess was Life (the embodiment of Illyriad's natural cycle). Only they had control of both life and death over Illyriad's creatures.

They dreamt of Illyrian, their future child, a new god more powerful than all the others that came before – and a natural King to guide and lead them. He would also be the first god to be born since time began.

Life and Death tried to keep this secret, but gods have ways and soon the others discovered what would happen. The gods and goddesses united, there would be no new King of gods to rule over them.

Life and Death would not give Illyrian up, and war broke out among them. The gods and goddesses started creating terrible creatures to try and weaken Life and Death, but Death cursed all these creatures with mortality, and Life shortened their lifespans.

The rival gods became infected with a darkness not seen before, they were creating a new energy and feeding off it, it was a type of blood-lust. The dark gods fed off the destructive energy and decided Life and Death would be destroyed.

The only way to do this was to cut them up into innumerable pieces and spread these around the cosmos, away from Illyriad. Death was successfully neutralised and so was Life, Life's still unborn child was taken from her.

Illyrian was also meant to be destroyed, but he used his powers to prevent being cut up into more than four pieces and, in doing so, created Illyriad's four seasons. He also made it impossible for his remains to be removed from the world, the only way to do this would be by destroying Illyriad itself and even the dark gods did not want this.

The four pieces of Illyrian eventually became the four races, each depicting an aspect of him. The dark gods lied to and misguided them. They turned the races against one another in the hope that they would destroy themselves.

This brings us to a little known prophecy; that there must be a final great battle between Illyriad's races and the gods. When the gods are all destroyed Illyrian will return, once this happens Life and Death can also be restored.

When this finally comes to pass, our new gods will bestow the gift of immortality upon us all and we will join them in a new Illyriad pantheon!

Edited by John Louis - 14 Feb 2015 at 15:18
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Larious Saleed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Larious Saleed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2015 at 14:32
The Unexpected


The din of the distant drums sounded, a cacophony of pending battle. The fog of war drifted slowly crossed the battlefield, sulking like a silk laden dancer from the orcian fires. Standing atop the walls of the battlements, Adanedhel looked down on the encroaching forces.

“Ready the bowmen and prepare our mounts to engage these troglodytes”, he shouted to his commanders as he continued to scan the plains below.

“Sire, we have word that Gul'dak has received reinforcements from an ally and he is amassing his troops to the south of our walls”, said Finrod the head of his scouts.

“Then so be it. We shall divide our forces and attack the treasonous Shul-Nak with our strongest Calvary”, said Adanedhel.

He stood atop the battlement his hair blowing wisps in the wind his gait suggested agitation and dismay. His Second in command trailed him and was barking orders at the other near by commanders. The sound of battle drew closer and the elves from Ramdal were scurrying like ants from a kicked anthill. The murder-slits of the towers and battlements grew horns as the elven archers readied their weapons for the approaching horde. Below the mighty elven Calvary was pawing at the gate of the sally-port. Taut as a pulled bowstring, the elven commander was astride his mighty warhorse, spear and amour gleaming as brightly as the rising sun. The remaining  archers took their places on the wall setting arrows in pots and woven baskets whilst the porters shuffled extra bows and arrows to other vantage points on the wall.

Like an angry swarm the mass of troops to the east of Gul'dak's surged towards the walls. The beating of the drums seemed to grow louder and more intense the closer they came. There were at least fifty thousand orc troops from the vile lord Gul'dak and the forces of Ramdal numbered a mere five thousand.

The tide of orc Guardsman, fangs and fists encroached on the walls like a wildfire consuming a pasture. The first shots from the bows thrummed as the elf sentinels launched a massed volley of arrows at the orcs. The arrows hissed as they arced thru the morning sky, landing softly in the putrid flesh of the orcs with a distinctive thud. Falling in the droves the orcs pushed on the hail of arrows barley putting a dent in their numbers.

From the south, Adanedhel could see the forces of Shul-Nak preforming a wheel with his forces. He was leading them in a circuitous route behind Gul'dak's host. What was this orc doing, he thought to himself. As he thought this another volley from his Trueshot archers let loose their shots raked down the frontline forces of the orc horde, yet they continued to press on. Shul-nak's forces engaged the forces of Gul'dak on their flank and rear. His mounted units tore thru Gul'dak's commander tents and rear guard with ease, rending flesh with their barbaric weapons.

“There we have it, release the Cavalry to engage Gul'dak, send every thing we have at him, and have the bowmen fire towards the edge of his forces. We shall crush the army between us.”

Shul-nak's forces played the part of the anvil, while the elven Cavarly cut a swath thru the center of the orc horde and the bow men picked away at the edges. When the clash and clang of battle ended the orc horde of Gul'dak was no more. Shul-nak stood in the center of the battlefield holding his grotesque weapon in the air to signal victory.



Edited by Larious Saleed - 13 Feb 2015 at 12:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Toks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2015 at 17:06

A Good Pair Of Boots


A grizzled old warrior spits on the floor and takes a long, slow drink of ale. He bangs the tankard down on the old worn table. The few tavern patrons go silent and turn towards him.


“His majesty is looking for tales of bravery and heroism, is he. Well he won’t get one from me. I don’t deal in fairy tales. Battle ain’t nothin’ to glorify. Kings and wanna be lords sittin’ on their arse behind stone walls sendin’ us out with little more than a rusty ole sword and an ill fittin’ suit o’ chainmail.


Most of us diein’ just to kill some critters outside the gates of town, just so’s he can have a nice new rug on his floor. The worst is those damn elves with their bows and arrows, flittin’ in an out so fast that you barely see ‘em. Give me an orc any day; savage bastards, they are, but at least they knows how ‘ter stand and fight. And don’t get me started on the dwarves -- just seem to stand there grinnin’ as yer sword bounces of a their armour ... cursed dwarven smiths.


Battle and glory -- bah, I say; more like mud and blood; blisters and infections; death .... “ He goes silent for a moment.   â€œBest you can hope to do is survive. Maybe some day be promoted to commander. Then at least you might be given some nifty magical equipment that’ll keep you alive just a little longer. And I hear that there is secret magic that can bring them back to life if’n they go and get themselves killed. Again, I say, bah. If the commander’s dead then he must a’ lead all his troops to their deaths. Who needs a commander that gets all his troops killed?


The worst thing, I says is all the walking. Seems like I’ve spent years walkin’ the length and breadth of Elgea and only a few actual minutes with sword in hand. Chainmail, bah, give me a good pair o’ boots any day.”


The man goes quiet. No one moves or talks. He stands up, takes a last swallow of ale, sets the tankard on the table, and limps out the door -- his cloak torn, his scabbard battered and dirty, but the leather seems to glow from his polished boots.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Agalloch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Feb 2015 at 18:11

                               The General

There we find him, leaning against his now blood stained spear (was that his tenth? twentieth spear of the day? He had lost count how many he had shattered against the knights armor.) He just stood there all alone now and wondered.

The only sounds the feint calls and cries of the dying for company, the scavengers had already shown up and were already removing anything of value from the dead bodies, finishing off the few remaining once proud Knights.

Oh, how pretty they all had looked this morning against his troops all lined up as if on a parade ground, astride their magnificent steeds, their silver steel armor glimmering in the morning sun.

 There as well stood their camp followers and the whole court. You see they all had come out to witness this battle, what they thought would be the final one against the barbarian Orcs, in their last stronghold in the hills. The same hills he had grown up as young unbloodied Orc, carefree and eager to prove his worth. Back then you see they fought amongst themselves one tribe against another.

That had all changed of course on that fateful day. They still talked of that they probably always would there was already songs made about it, none of them came close to what really happened that day not even near but then if it did  then no one would want to sing and dance to that song. No they would not!

Who would want to do that? Not even the bravest bards talked about what the true events were. Who would buy them a mug of beer? Invite them to spend their evening by their fires and relate events such as this? They would be called liars rumor mongers kicked out and spend the night in the cold and unfriendly hills surrounded by all sorts of predators.

 Oh how sometimes he wished he had never been born! Never had to witness that black event that had marked him for the rest of his days.

Little had they known that while they had drunk and celebrated all throughout the night as if the battle was already decided that their brethren had come to support them from their distant mountains .They might be small in stature the Goblins but they were quite ingenious.

They had worked throughout the night, digging holes, installing stakes and some things he had never come across. Orcs were a simple people, warlike yes but this was different it took it to a new level. He wasn’t sure if he liked it, even if it had given them a decisive victory today at least for his generation, he had no doubt this will all happen again.

There he stood still, looking over the piles of stinking horseflesh and the unmistakable stench of burning human flesh.

He stood there and wondered what could have been …

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote Tink XX Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2015 at 04:38

Beast Inside

Little queen frowned. A beastly task: a challenge to Union from Elvish Princess. Her mountain citadel in Fremorn is impregnable and well-guarded. Union has but a gaggle of boys dreaming themselves warlords, and it's a seven day march through the woods and mountains. Will they find their way through the unfamiliar terrain and arrive on time? Can little queen's castle withstand the assault of Knight Joy, Princess' faithful and bloodthirsty ally? She stared at the map and kept redrawing battle plans until daybreak. In the morning, orders were given and armies marched out the gate. The long wait began.

Watchers returned with good news. Knight Joy's camps spotted in the hills. War machines, lightly guarded! Little queen summoned commanders: “Whose troops are stationed nearby? We have to hit these machines before the camps move.” The youngest of the knights, a child-faced elf, spoke up:

“My swiftsteeds can get there before nightfall, your grace.”

“Ride like hell boy. No, faster!”

A black pigeon flew into the study. Little queen unwrapped and read the message:

“Princess attacked with 10 legions. Arrows raining day and night. Commander Rune blundered in the woods and his battering rams never made it to our camp. Orken spears held out but all our war machines destroyed.”

At dawn, the child-faced elf stormed into the bed chamber with a beaming grin, to the fury of the chambermaid finishing queen's braids. “Your grace, we've attacked the camp at night, killed all his guards, burnt the war machines, and none of my men got so much as a scratch!” Hmm, so the rumors about Knight Joy's commanders' debaucherous ways were not exaggerated...

“Dayna, sweetling, pay the dwarven dancers from Prancing Dolly twice their asking price.” The maid nodded with a quiet smile.

Union armies trickled in through the castle gate. By the dusk you could not fit another elven archer on the battlement, no matter how strict his diet of vistrok flowers and dew has been. Knight Joy stood no chance. Yet the battle in faraway Fremorn weighed heavily on queen's mind. She met her knights in the study.

“We need war machines before Princess turns our siege to dust. Any word from allies in Fremorn?”

A velvety baritone from the dark corner of the room broke the awkward silence:

“Why, queenie, I can send my rams out even as we speak. 'Tis only a day's ride.”

“Then do it, whoever you are kind sir!”

“A mere king passing through.”

“Your grace. We shall ride there ourselves.”

Another pigeon sent. Change after change of elven steeds expired. At last, they arrived at the corpse-littered beach in the citadel's shadow. Piles of rubble around the castle was all that remained of the wall.

“Victory,” little queen's voice turned hoarse. The king nodded and passed the flask.

The castle door opened and slammed shut as soon as little queen stepped inside. Empty hallways of green marble rang with her every step. A silver-haired elf emerged in front of her. “Princess awaits your grace.” Queen followed the elf on a winding staircase to a chamber at the top of the tower. Inside, a huge shadow moved in the dim window light.

“Victory is yours, little queen,” came a husky orcish voice. “Come - the revellers' mugs are already filling.”



Edited by Tink XX - 13 Feb 2015 at 14:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Kafka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2015 at 07:42
Suddenly, orcs on mammoths, probably Jane DarkMagic's guardians of the Secret Sacred Orclands, crashed down the mountainside and shattered trees. The elven scholars scattered, except for Spoudogelos. He stared. The second to last thing Spoudogelos thought, as he stared up at the mammoth's foot, was, “No! Now I'll never get to sneak in there and study those paintings!” Then, “Hmm, is that toe-jam?”

As his bones popped and his elf-life ended, he wished a worse death on the evil Queenie the Elve. “With vibrant colors and dynamic forms, orcs render cave painting apparitions that seem to live and breath,” he had written, and as punishment she had sent him to this doom.

Then, cold wind slithered around his bones as he slouched inside something that rocked. He opened his eyes and looked out at water rippled by icy wind. In the back of the boat, a cloaked being poled across the river. Spoudogelos glimpsed a skull under the cowl. The skeleton spoke.

“Don't ask me why, I don't know or care, but you've a choice. Go there,” and he pointed phalanges at the opposite shore, “you'll join the dead. There,” he pointed at an island, “and you can have revenge.”

In the land of the dead, he would have no chance to study the paintings, but revenge might offer an opportunity.

“Revenge!”

So the skeleton left Spoudogelos on the island shore. Nemesis, goddess of revenge, floated out of the mist, strode onto the shore and towered over him. She studied him as if he were odd or something.

“Vengeance will only be as glorious as your death, Fool!”

“Um,” he nodded.

She held up her hands and a wiggling orb of light floated between them. “Do you know what this is?”

Putrid waves of stench wafted from it. “No?”

“It will be you, soon. It is a thing called an amoeba that sometimes infests the corpses of elves, and if an orc eats it, that orc will die a gruesome death.” As she spoke the orb drifted toward Spoudogelos. He backed away, but the amoeba pounced and enveloped him, and as Nemesis faded away, she gave final instructions. “You will be a mystically powered amoeba, able to travel throughout the body of your victim. Go directly to his stomach where you will explode and kill him.”

Spoudogelos woke up again on a piece of meat that had probably once been part of himself, and a giant mouth with towering tusks and rotten teeth as tall as cliffs grew larger as it opened up to chomp. Behind the orc, Spoudogelos glimpsed a cave painting in the fire light. He tried to scurry to the side for a better glimpse, but the giant mouth darkened his world.

Spoudogelos dodged the teeth, slithered across the roof of the mouth, darted up into the nasal passages and into the tear ducts. As he swam toward the light to crawl out into the eye, he began to feel bloated and a bit queasy. He tried to squeeze out into the light, but he was too bloated. Through the blur of tears, he glimpsed vibrant lines that danced and glowed in the firelight.

Then, he popped.

On the rocking boat, the skeleton chuckled. “Weren't you supposed to have brought along a friend?”


One day I awoke from unsettling dreams to find myself transformed into a medium-sized Illyriad player
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kafka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2015 at 07:44
Thanks to Queenie the Elve and Jane DarkMagic for letting me use them as characters and to Mistery for help with plotting. 

Edited by Kafka - 13 Feb 2015 at 08:34
One day I awoke from unsettling dreams to find myself transformed into a medium-sized Illyriad player
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheBillPN Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2015 at 12:09
The Whirly Swirly Purple Portal Saga (The Short Short Version)

It was a dark and stormy mid-afternoon. The rain came down in buckets, and many an orc suffered grievous head wounds from said buckets. The wolves and bears howled and roared along the mountainsides, and the mammoths plodded along. All of a sudden lightning forked through the air, rending the fields in two, forming a great blackened wasteland.

 If an observer were to have been there, they would have seen a whirly swirly purple portal coalesce in the centre of the blackened monstrosity. They would also have noticed a small purple creature, and a small not quite purple creature tumble out of said whirly swirly purple portal, engaged in quite a terrible and horrific brawl.

As the purple and not quite purple creatures were ten times the size of the largest orc, this was one hell of a battle. The very elements themselves were called into play, the earth rising into gigantic spears, the wind tumbling and twisting, destroying everything in its path, fire raining down from the heavens, and tsunamis and tidal waves rolling in from the coast.

If one were to pull the eye back, back, and back again, till the fight was but a speck, and the world was in full view, one would see many things gravitating towards the previously observed location. Vast dustclouds concealing uncountable numbers of troops can be seen marching unwaveringly towards the site of the whirly swirly purple portal.

Moving the eye back to the battle site, one would now see a vast War taking place, with over one hundred separate forces engaging in every kind of warfare, legal and illegal, chemical and biological, physical and mental. What they are fighting for, many will wonder, but none will know for sure. For in the centre of this legendary battle, a lone fight is being fought, between the purple and not quite purple creatures. Still it is not clear who is winning, or if any damage is being done. The surrounding armies are quite oblivious to their presences, and vice versa. Each party only understands that they must fight, and are filled with an insurmountable bloodlust.

As the battle draws to a close, and enemies are vanquished, orcs turn upon orcs, elves upon elves, dwarves upon dwarves, humans upon humans, brother upon brother, sister upon sister, son and daughters  fighting parents, old men fighting mere children. This may very well turn out to be an extinction level event. In split second, the world turns purple, and a large whirly swirly portal appears once more, and the purple and not quite purple creatures disappear though it. The decimated armies turn in mid stroke, and lay down their weapons, suddenly exhausted. Families reunite, races make peace with each other, the dead are buried, burned and sent out to sea. The world turns, and the sea reclaims this desolate piece of land, taking it deep into the Bitter sea.

It was a dark and stormy mid-afternoon.

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Title included in 500 words, hope you like the story
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dempshi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Feb 2015 at 20:22

The days were hot and muggy as the horde fought. Soldiers bled and died beside me and I could do nothing to help them except push on. I wondered, and not for the first time, when it would end. Sweat poured off of my face and soaked my shirt. We had fought this hoard now for four days with only minutes here and there to regain some of the strength we had lost. I was beginning to think that I was at my limit when a new beast stepped up in front of me; its head looked like a dogs and it reeked like a garbage heap, it leaped at my throat and I found just enough strength to swing my ax again and cleave its head down to its shoulders. I gained enough breathing room at that moment to look at the battle around me. Blood ran like rivers over the field and the horde stretched as far as the eye could see. In that moment I knew that my kingdom was lost.

I had sent messengers to all of the surrounding lands with one last plea for help but none had returned and in my heart I knew that either the other lands had stuck to their plan to let the horde plunder the south or the messengers were dead. As I looked at the sea of beast men before me I could only see the ruin of the land that I loved so much and the destruction of its people. I had defied the supreme council by leading my men here, but I was not about to stand by and do nothing while there was breath in my lungs. When I had told my men what I planned every one of them volunteered to come with me. I had warned them in graphic terms that even if we won, which was doubtful, we would not be welcomed back as heroes but as those that had defied the law of the land. No one backed out, not a man turned away from the road that was laid out before them.

And here we were fighting a lost battle with only the hope of lessening the numbers. When we had looked upon the horde covering this valley, we knew that it would be the death of us all, but we raised our weapons, chanted our war call and marched into the battle. I was proud of my men, we had lasted longer than any of us had hoped or thought possible, four long and grueling days we had held the horde here in this valley, we neither gave nor gained any ground, until now. This day we had been pushed hard and lost a lot of ground. Our backs were to a river now, leaving us no choice but to fight and die.

I hefted my ax, feeling every muscle in my body cry out, and prepared to enter the fray again. I took one step and suddenly a white light burst out in front of me and the earth exploded. I felt myself lifted off of my feet and hurled back. I hit the ground hard and lost my breath. When I regained my breath and the stars ceased to dance in my eyes I struggled to my feet. The only thought going through my head at that moment was “What kind of devilry has the horde come up with now?" However, studying the scene in front of me I began to have hope once more.

A figure stepped in front of me, my first reaction was to heft my ax, but I was so weak that I could only swing it a little. "You will not need that right now," the figure in front of me said. The voice was soft and gentle like a spring breeze. Through the fog in my head came one thought, I know that voice. "You have fought well my friend now it is time for us to fight."

"Galena," I managed to croak out.

"Yes, it is I. A messenger arrived in my capital a day gone and reported all that had transpired, had we only known sooner..." The statement did not need to be finished. I should have trusted that my dear friend would not have let me down if she had known. The elves were a standoffish lot to some people, but when they let you in it was not with half measures. I knew them better than any other human, but still did not think they would show when I had sent the messenger to them. Now here they were, dressed in battle gear and mowing through the horde like it was a wheat harvest. I turned back to Galena with a question on my lips but a whispered word from her sent me into the arms of sleep.

 

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