August 06, 2020, 01:16:05 PM

Poll

Who wrote the best story in September?

Funky Scarecrow
10 (90.9%)
GZidar
0 (0%)
Not-So-Bloody-Nine
1 (9.1%)

Total Members Voted: 11

Voting closed: October 29, 2011, 06:16:13 PM

Author Topic: September Writing Challenge - Voting Now Closed!  (Read 7777 times)

Offline Autumn2May

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September Writing Challenge - Voting Now Closed!
« on: September 02, 2011, 04:31:28 AM »
It is best to avoid the beginnings of evil. - Henry David Thoreau


Image by sarahlikedaffodils

Evil is everywhere, lurking around every corner, waiting to jump out when we least expect it.  Nowhere is this more true than in fantasy stories.  Whether it be a necromancer raising an undead army, a ruthless general trying to conquer a neighboring kingdom, or just an evil alchemist plotting his revenge against the story's hero; in fantasy evil is everywhere.  But not every villain is good at being bad.  This month let's take our stories in a new direction and look at things from evil's point of view.

September’s challenge is to put a humorous spin on necromancers, evil geniuses, mad scientists, or whoever is trying to kill our heroes today.

The rules are as follows:

1. Must be prose.
2. 1,500 - 2,000 words.
3. Must show your fantasy villain in a humorous or comical light.

The contest is now closed!  And the winner is:

Funky Scarecrow

Congratulations to our winner!
« Last Edit: November 01, 2011, 03:35:06 AM by Autumn2May »

Offline Funky Scarecrow

Re: September Writing Challenge
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2011, 11:50:00 PM »
Someone has to go first, so here's my entry. (1700 words)

***
An Extract from the Pages of the Dark Lord's Confessions

I really can't believe you expected my answers to fit in the tiny amount of space allocated for them. However, I've complied with your wish that I write all of my previous answers down yet again, but this time on a separate parchment and with even more addenda for the clarifications you requested. Is this to be my punishment for my imagined crimes? Endlessly rewriting the same answers to the same silly questions? If so, can't we just skip to the show trial and then have me hanged? It must be better than this tedium.

1. Grishnabolg Lundkovskyi, Emperor of the East, Lord of the Black Lands, Master of the Eleven Schools of Sorcery, Architect of Destruction, Bringer of Hellfire, Archduke of the Volcanic Lands of Lysolt, Journeyman Blacksmith (second class).

2. Not paying proper attention to an idiot farm boy with an ancient artefact.
(Addendum to 2.) What, the truth isn't good enough for you? Fine! Being “evil”. Apparently subjective judgements of one's moral character are enough to warrant being zapped with bolts of magical energy, illegally extradited and imprisoned, these days. And genocide. Pointy eared little shits had it coming.

3. Some farm boy with a ludicrous haircut.

4. I don't remember the exact time. I was too busy being zapped with a bolt of ancient magic. Ask the floppy haired fop who discharged it.

5. Really? You want to know what I was doing prior to my “arrest”? I was going about my business being an “evil emperor”. You know the sort of thing, ordering villages burned to the ground, having female prisoners oiled and brought to my chambers, evil rites of black magic, oppressing people, lurking malevolently in corridors, that sort of thing. What do you think I was doing? I was doing paperwork. Do you have any idea how much paperwork goes into administering the empire? Of course you do, you're making me fill out this ridiculous form. My memory is bit hazy, due to the above mentioned bolt of ancient magic, but if I recall correctly I was signing an order that declared all farmers in the empire be educated about crop rotation. Hungry people are a bit rubbish at expanding an empire.

6. I don't remember. As stated above, I WAS ZAPPED WITH A BOLT OF ANCIENT MAGIC! No matter what you were doing beforehand, that tends to loom large in the memory. The bloody great zap of magical energy has driven every other memory from my mind. So far as I know, the sequence of events went as follows; Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork, some farmboy with a ludicrous haircut saying something about the nasty rain being finished or something, bolt of magical energy.

7. What sort of question is that? Don't you think if I'd been aware that some twit from the back country was going to come and zap me with the Phylactery of Whatever the Hell it Was, I might have taken a few precautions?

8. No. I deny the charge in the strongest possible terms. It's just a tool. You might just as well charge an innkeeper who makes a bowl of soup you don't like with “engaging in acts of black cookery”.

9. You're not catching me out like that. I've never used “black” magic.

10. It depends on how you deprive depravity.
(Addendum to 10.) Is that all it takes? In that case, yes. If that boggles your minds, try the Jhendari Mouth Organ.
(Further Addendum to 10.) [Redacted by clerk of the court, for the sake of modesty]
(Further Addendum to 10.) Ask your wife.

11. Is that rumour still doing the rounds? What was I supposed to do, starve to death? How was I supposed to know that help was on the way?
(Addendum to 11.) That doesn't mean they were looking for me.

12. They had it coming. Those trees weren't doing anything where they were and I needed masts for my naval fleet. Just because the empire was landlocked at that time, didn't mean it would be landlocked for ever.
(Addendum to 12.) Yes, all of them. I've got better things to do than look over my shoulder for pointy-eared, big-eyed, tree-huggers bent on vengeance.

13. Of course not. If I went around slaughtering entire generations of children every time some smelly old woman declared this one or that one to the Chosen This, Prophesied That or Foretold Other I'd rapidly run out of new recruits, wouldn't I?

14. Yes. Does this facility have security measures? Of course it does. I'd be foolish not to have security measures in my own castles and fortresses.
(Addendum to 14.) I think it was rather ingenious, myself. It's not everyone who can create a castle made entirely out of fire, levitate the whole thing 100 feet in the air and then man the walls with the souls of the damned.

15. A little bit.
(Addendum to 15.) 100,000 infantry troops, 35,000 cavalry troops, 5000 war machines and their crews, 500 Dragonriders, plus the various supporting people necessary for an army of that size. It's not the size of the army that matters, but the fact that none of it was my fault.
(Further Addendum to 15.) It's not my fault they chose to stay there. I told them we were passing through there on the way to the Great Eastern Ocean. They could quite easily have moved.
(Further Addendum to 15.) Well I moved almost a quarter of a million people there, didn't I? And yes, I believe 30 days notice was more than adequate notice for evacuating an entire country.
(Further Addendum to 15.) It was a very small country.
(Further Addendum to 15.) All they had to do was get out of the way for a couple of weeks, then go back to their lands and lives, get out of the way again for a couple of weeks during our return journey, then go back home again and just carry on as normal; with the exception of paying one quarter of all national income for the nice new highway I built for them.
(Further Addendum to 15.) Yes, the ground trampled by my passing army counts as a highway. It was lumpy before we arrived, flat after we'd passed through. Highway.

16. How dare you? They aren't “abominations” as you so crudely call them. They are creatures, like any other. You just need to get to know them a little better. And be imprinted on them when they first leave the spawning pit. It probably helps if you're naked when you deal with them, as well. Don't know why, but they all seem to hate when people wear clothes. Must be an error in the combining spells. Still, you can't get everything right, can you? Once you get to know them, the Winged Bears are lovely. That being said, perhaps in retrospect we released them into the wild too soon.
(Addendum to 16.) It could be far worse, we could have released them in a cold country. I also think it makes for an excellent incentive for the people of Rhylosia to remain fit and in good physical condition. No one wants to look bad in the nude and the Winged Bears almost never attack a naked person. Unless they're hungry. Or the person annoys them. Or wasn't imprinted on the Winged Bear in question when it was spawned.

17. I refute that claim and resent the implication that worshipping the self proclaimed God of Evil makes His followers evil by default. People who worship the God of the Rivers don't go around drowning all the time.
(Addendum to 17.) Well, yes; they did in my Empire. That was entirely unavoidable.
(Further Addendum to 17.) They couldn't breathe underwater.

18. I don't know what a coterie is, so possibly yes, possibly no. Is it a group noun, or a particularly large number, or something?
(Addendum to 18.) Oh, I see. Yes and no. I kept a harem, but no one was there by force, coercion or any other kind of compulsion from me or my minions. There's a certain type of person who gets fixated on powerful people. I thought it best to keep all of them in one place. Safer for everyone else and safer for them. Despite how this tribunal is trying to portray me, I'm not a monster.
(Further Addendum to 18.)  Not really. The harem was self financing, thanks to my steward being ingenious enough to think of charging people for tickets to watch.
(Further Addendum to 18.) The fighting which inevitably broke out between the crazy women who all thought I was their soul mate.

19. Absolutely not.
(Addendum to 19.) Once again, no.
(Further Addendum to 19.) For the last time, no. I did not, have not and never would build a weapon of mass destruction. I built a sophisticated territorial defence spell, on account of the unjustified aggression shown by my Empire's neighbours.
(Further Addendum to 19.) Of course it was defensive in nature. You don't think I'd unleash a spell like that unless I was threatened, do you?
(Further Addendum to 19.) Well dozens of neighbouring nations and the first alliance of Men, Dwarves and People Who Might be Descended from Elves Several Generations Ago (See question 12 for details) in almost 1000 years looks pretty bloody threatening to me!
(Further Addendum to 19.) Only because building the Spell of Ultimate Defence was expensive. That sort of thing doesn't come cheaply, you know.
(Further Addendum to 19.) You all could have just paid the ransom tribute donation to building costs and all of this would have been avoided.

20. Really? You put that question on this form? Very well. The heart of a a 17 year old virgin girl, lightly toasted.
(Addendum to 20.) I was joking. Just what ever the cook is making will be fine, thank you.

POSTSCRIPT If “what ever the cook is making” could be delivered by a 17 year old virgin girl, that would be wonderful.

POSTSCRIPT POSTSCRIPT Also, a brazier and a skillet. Many thanks.

You will all pay for this infamy. My vengeance will burn worlds, etcetera etcetera, so on and so forth.

Signed Grishnabolg Lundkovskyi, Emperor of the East, Lord of the Black Lands, Master of the Eleven Schools of Sorcery, Architect of Destruction, Bringer of Hellfire, Archduke of the Volcanic Lands of Lysolt, Journeyman Blacksmith (second class).
I am NOT short. I'm further away than I look.

Offline GZidar

Re: September Writing Challenge
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2011, 04:00:37 AM »
Wow... this month's theme has proven to be difficult... still you have to be in it to win it so here goes... :)

It's Not Easy Being Mean

Tariq removed his sword from the attacker’s body and flicked the blood from the blade onto the polished marble floor.

More mess for one of the castle servants to clean up.

He sheathed his weapon then recovered the sack containing today’s special delivery from the floor and continued the long, lonely walk to his chambers. Not a day went by when somebody didn’t try to murder him and often those attempts were far less straight-forward than an assassin’s blade in the night. From the subtlety of poison to the crudity of arson he had faced it all and yet he was still here.

He was a survivor; he needed to be.

After the violent coup that earned him the kingdom, Tariq found - to his eternal dismay - that he couldn’t trust anyone. Not his family, not his friends, not even the mercenaries he paid crippling sums of gold to in order to protect him from such dangers. Those were the worst of the lot, they would take his money and get close to him then inevitably they would decide to make their move.

Several such foolish individuals had been reduced to bloody smears on the floor of his throne room. But after the fourth so-called royal guard decided to take a stab at killing him he had the entire regiment executed and vowed never again to trust his safety to anyone but himself. It was a lonely existence and certainly not a relaxing one but at least he knew where he stood and there was some small comfort in that.

Being the most hated and feared man in the kingdom did create some complications in his life. Tariq snorted as he recalled the lust for power which had driven him to wrest control of the kingdom from the former king, Kenneth the Just. He was certain that once he had seized the throne all the problems in his life would cease when in reality they had simply intensified a thousandfold.

Thus, with a heart filled with lament Tariq completed the long walk to his private chambers. The sound of his worn leather boots echoed through the lonely corridors of the gloomy castle. As he passed each shadowed alcove and darkened doorway he quickened his pace knowing that danger could be lurking anywhere and he wondered once again where it all went wrong. By the time he reached the sanctuary of his private chambers he was jumping at shadows. He was shaking so much that he fumbled with the keys and had took a few deep breaths to try and calm his frayed nerves. It wasn’t until he was inside the windowless room with the door securely locked and barred once more that he allowed himself a moment to relax.

This room was the one place where he felt safe. Here he knew he was truly alone and the dangers of the outside world were temporarily set aside. Here Tariq was free of the burdens of command. Free to find solace in the one thing that still gave him joy.

He emptied the sack onto his bed and went immediately for the item he had been waiting for. He held the securely wrapped package aloft and savoured the way it felt in his hands before he began to work the twine loose. His clumsy fingers struggled to loosed then myriad knots and he drew his dagger and carefully sliced the strings free.

The anticipation was priceless, he who held absolute control of life and death over everyone in the land was never as happy as he was right at this moment. Tariq placed the precious object down on his bed still wrapped in it is protective cloth, allowing him to savour the moment just that little bit longer. This felt better than his victory over Kenneth. This was more rewarding than his desecration of the basilica. This was more seductive than the nights he spent with the succubi. Right here and right now his world was perfect, he was at peace and he once more felt joy.

Tariq reached forward and removed the cloth wrapping, at last allowing him to gaze upon the object of his desire. With a childish grin he clapped three times, sprang to his feet and ran to his wardrobe. There was only one way that this moment could be any better.

# # #

The assassin silently lowered himself to the floor and allowed his fatigued muscles to recover. He had been hiding in a darkened corner of the usurper’s private quarters since the evil overlord had entered the room. He was sure that his feeble attempt at concealment would be uncovered in an instant but the bastard king was so engrossed by his package that he completely failed to notice the danger that lurked nearby, much to the assassin’s relief. It was not easy getting this far and he thanked the gods for the distraction the package offered and allowed him this chance.

The assassin moved silently to the wardrobe and peered inside.

The room was larger than he expected and was filled with all manner of expensive outfits, ranging from the regal to the obscene but there was no sign of his target. The assassin took a tentative step forward, ready to react the instant he saw his target but the wardrobe was empty.

Where could he have gone?

A faint scraping sound reached his ears. The assassin turned and faced the rear wall searching for the source of the noise. Concealed behind a number of long cloaks was a door, the usurper king must be in there. The assassin toyed with the idea of bursting through the door and launching into attack but he knew that he would immediately give up any advantage he had so painstakingly earned by such a move. No he would wait until his target returned to this room – and strike his unsuspecting victim from the shadows as he had been trained.

Instead the assassin stepped back into the bedroom and approached the bed. Curious to see what foul object could give the Tariq the Terrible such obvious joy. Some foul object from the nether world, brimming with arcane power no doubt.

As he drew alongside the bed the assassin sucked in his breath. The shock of what he perceived evident as the colour drained from his face. It cannot be, he thought as his mind struggled to make sense of what lay before him.

Such was the confusion created by the unlikely item that the assassin almost failed to notice the return of his target. He quickly spun on his heel to face the hated despot, a small custom made double crossbow in his hand. He brought the weapon up without conscious thought but he was frozen to inaction by what he saw.

Tariq the Terrible, usurper King and overlord of the realm, ruthless killer of all who oppose him was there, dressed in a fur covered costume that perfectly matched the recently unwrapped teddy bear that rested on the bed.

# # #

This is embarrassing, Tariq thought as he faced his would-be killer.

He spied his sword on the floor beside the bed and knew that he had to reach it before the assassin regained his wits. He lunged forward just as the man squeezed the trigger. Tariq felt the thud as the two bolts hit home, one in the stomach and the second high in the shoulder. Tariq staggered forward and fell to his hands and knees. He wrapped his left hand around the hilt of his sword, but before he was able to regain his feet he collapsed unmoving to the floor.

The assassin wasted no time. He dropped the crossbow, drew a long bladed knife and moved in to finish off his strangely dressed target. The bolts had been coated with a fast acting poison but he needed to be certain of the kill. With a confident gleam in his eye the assassin reached down to roll his victim over in order to thrust the blade into Tariq’s black heart. It was difficult to get a good grip on the short fur of the king’s costume but he eventually managed to manoeuvre him onto his back, careful to avoid the bolts that still protruded from the fur. The assassin thought briefly of the mountain of gold that would be waiting his return when he noticed Tariq’s eyes were open and the madman’s lips had curled into a cruel smile.

Tariq brought up his sword and thrust it into the assassin’s side. The magically sharpened blade cut through his opponent’s leather armour like butter and continued upwards to find the man’s lungs. Tariq watched as the man’s eyes rolled back into his head and his life ended with a single bloody cough.

Two in one night, that must be some kind of record.

Tariq revelled in the bloodlust for several heartbeats then tossed the man’s corpse aside and stood up as awkwardly as his padded plushy costume would allow. Carefully he removed the crossbow bolts, thankful for the thick layer of padding that prevented the bolts from piercing his skin then noted the blood stains on his chest.

With an angry sigh he strode to the assassin’s body. “You bastard,” Tariq said as he kicked the corpse. “Do you have any idea how hard it is to get blood out of synthetic fur?”

So with his Teddy-bear's picnic ruined Tariq the Terrible went to bed and cried himself to a nightmare filled sleep.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2011, 10:36:38 PM by GZidar »

Offline Not-So-Bloody-Nine

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Re: September Writing Challenge
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2011, 11:28:16 AM »
Hey there...

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I was wondering about the rules. When you say that the story "Must be prose", what do you mean? Does it mean it should be purely descriptive, with no dialogue? Or that dialogue is allowed but it cannot be all dialogue? Or... something else?

Seems like an interesting theme. Although, I only just saw it, and don't know if I can come up with a decent 1500 word entry in 3 days...
Currently reading - Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: September Writing Challenge
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2011, 12:52:34 PM »
Hey there...

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I was wondering about the rules. When you say that the story "Must be prose", what do you mean? Does it mean it should be purely descriptive, with no dialogue? Or that dialogue is allowed but it cannot be all dialogue? Or... something else?

Seems like an interesting theme. Although, I only just saw it, and don't know if I can come up with a decent 1500 word entry in 3 days...

Prose just means normal writing as opposed to poetry.  As Wikipedia explains it:
Quote
Prose is the most typical form of written language, applying ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythmic structure (as in traditional poetry).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prose

You still have a few days to enter if you'd like to give it a try.  Good luck if you do! :)

Offline Not-So-Bloody-Nine

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Re: September Writing Challenge
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2011, 12:57:29 PM »
Cool. Thanks.


I'll give it a shot.
Currently reading - Blood Rites by Jim Butcher

Offline Not-So-Bloody-Nine

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Re: September Writing Challenge
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 10:41:34 AM »
Okay. Here goes. I only had about two days to come up with this, so I apologize if it's not up to the standards here. In fact, I'm sure it's not. The two entries here are pretty terrific. Well done, Funky Scarecrow and GZidar. Even with only two entries in the challenge so far, the bar has been set high. Well anyway, here is my attempt at the theme of not-so-ominous villains. (In case any one's wondering, Word says this thing is 1,987 words long.) Too be honest, I feel it might be a tad too dialogue-heavy. But I think (hope?) it's fitting considering the lighthearted nature of the theme.

---------------------------------------------------

A Lighter Side of Darkness

Fallen leaves blow across the lush and beautiful fields, bringing to mind the idea of peace, love and harmony. Innocence and all that. Macad looked out his window, hundreds of feet above the ground, and grit his teeth at the serenity of it all.

Blahshire was in a very remote location, on land unspoiled by towers and forts, and everyone lived in small but comfortable little cottages. They had been secluded from the rest of the Known World for so long, even the elders had forgotten about the existence of magic, evil, orcs, and all manner of fantastical things. No one in Blahshire even knew such things existed. They thought it was the stuff of legends and stories.

But all that will change. Soon.

Floating among the clouds on his Glorious Platform, Macad couldn’t help but smile as he thought of the death, destruction and desecration he would soon bring upon the hapless fools below. The evil.

“Lord Macad,” a voice called, interrupting his reverie. Macad scowled as he turned, wanting to express his displeasure at being spoken to without permission. Ramon merely looked at him with a blank face, not looking the least bit perturbed at his master’s reaction. Macad knew he was keeping a calm appearance only on the outside, and inside he was likely in a state of panic. Such were the feelings, Macad knew, that he instilled in others. Even those close to him.

“What is it?” Macad asked brusquely, as was fitting for when one spoke to a lesser.

“My Lord,” replied Ramon calmly, “I wish to inform you that the preparations are going very well. Very well, indeed. The crossbows I… er, you commissioned are nearly complete. They are even more savage than we had hoped.”

Macad chuckled magnificently. He had had no doubts that his designs would have been so; were he not, after all, the Lord of All That Was and Will Be? “Savage?” he asked. “Yes. Savagely evil!”

“Yes, my Lord. And the canons you commissioned? They are ready. As I… you designed, they are agile enough to be used by only two men, and have tremendous range. A single blast will crush enemies hiding nearly a hundred leagues away.”

“Is that so?” asked Macad, impressed.

“Oh yes, my Lord. They are quite exquisite.”

“Yes. Exquisite. Exquisitely evil!” Macad grinned.

“Indeed, my Lord,” replied Ramon.

“Now tell me, Ramon,” said Macad, his intense eyes boring into his lieutenant’s. Stronger men than he have wept at meeting my gaze. “What of that little problem we had discussed? This young innkeeper you claim could threaten me?”

Macad was secretly a little wary of this threat, but he had long since learned how to control his emotions. He knew his voice betrayed little more than a mild curiosity, mixed with amusement.

“Have you learned anything further about this… tremendous threat you warned me about?” Macad chuckled at the look of anxiety in Ramon’s eyes. His lieutenant, clearly, was worried that there might be some truth to this ridiculous prophecy.

As if.

*******

Ramon stood in front of his ‘master’, calmly meeting his gaze and keeping his true thoughts to himself. Ignoring Macad’s pathetic attempts at courageous confidence had long ago become second nature to him. One does not serve under three different Dark Lords as advisor by betraying one’s inner emotions. He thought he detected a slight but distinct tremor in Macad’s voice.

“As a matter of fact, my Lord,” replied Ramon, “I have sent several of my… your men to the village, under the guise of wandering musicians, to spy and bribe, and find out all they can about this man and those close to him. There is some… interesting news about that.” Ramon deliberately let his voice trail off, knowing Macad would prompt him for details soon enough. He knew it was a meaningless display of power, but it made him feel better than always pretending to be meek and subservient.

“Is that right?” Macad asked, walking to the counter near the far side wall and pouring himself a glass of wine. Ramon couldn’t stop himself from rolling his eyes as he watched Macad make a show of calmly having a sip from his glass, leaning against the counter in a gesture that he undoubtedly considered the very image of nonchalance.

“Do tell, Spy Master Ramon,” Macad continued, a very small and very deliberate smile on his lips.

“As you command, my Lord,” replied Ramon, his stoic expression hiding his heart of scorn. “As you know, I have for many years made my presence known to the villagers, under the guise of an old and wise wizard. Even today, stories of valour and mystery are told about me. Of course, most of those stories were started by your humble servant himself.” Ramon chest swelled a little as he spoke. He was quite proud of his centuries old deception.

“Well, my Lord, I have taken the opportunity to present myself to this lad. I think I might have had a breakthrough.”

*******

Jon Macthak’oo woke to sounds of screaming and horror. He was stunned. Blahshire was a peaceful village, all green and wonderful, and they never had any trouble here. Sure, there was the occasional mischief caused by naughty but good-at-heart little boys, like his friend Mica Jawanshad – or Mischievous Mica as he was known – but nothing serious. He rushed outside to find that half the town was on fire, and there were several armed men with torches wreaking havoc. Just then, Jon got hit on the head by a blow from behind, and passed out.

When he woke, there was an old, bearded man standing next to him, in a dark and hooded cloak and a look of grave news about his person. He was carrying a lantern, and his cloak billowed about him in the breeze. He introduced himself as Moranjin, and told Jon that he was here to help him do what only he could do. Jon had heard of him, of course, but had always assumed he was fictional.

“No, dear boy,” Moranjin said, in a kind and wise voice, “I assure you, I am very much real. More importantly for all concerned, so are you. For you are none other than The One That Was Foretold, who will rid the world of the Dark Lord, and bring peace to us all. You, Jon, have power you do not know. You, and you alone, can save the land.”

Jon frowned. “Wait. From everything I have read and heard about you in the stories, you’re an immensely powerful wizard.”

Moranjin smiled. “Yes, dear boy. I am. Very much so.”

“Well, why don’t you fight Him, then?”

Moranjin raised an eyebrow. “Because it is my duty to guide you. Not to fight.”

“But you’re very powerful!” Jon argued. “Surely, anything I do, you can do better?” Moranjin opened his mouth to say something, but Jon spoke over him. “Why limit yourself to being a guide? You should be out fighting. Even the stories say you were the only one who always appeared in times of great peril.”

Moranjin hesitated. “No. That’s not how it is to be, young Jon. I guide you, give you the tools you need to survive, and then you fight. That is how it has always been.”

Jon’s lips twisted in scorn. This was not his idea of a helpful wizard. But he had heard how heroes of the past had always done well for themselves after such battles. Wealth, fame, women. Why not him? “Fine. I shall think on it. I don’t suppose it will be very easy?”

Moranjin laughed. “No, dear boy, it will not be easy. There will be hurdles and setbacks, you will face problems you didn’t think of, you will face realities you have heretofore been blissfully unaware about. Real life isn’t as black and white as stories, child.”

“Stories? Why are you talking about stories?”

“I was merely saying –”

“What? That this isn’t a story? You don’t need to say that. I fully believe that this is real.” Jon thought he saw a strange glimmer in the old man’s eyes. “What do you have to do with the stories?”

“Nothing,” Moranjin replied quickly. Too quickly? “I just meant that it will be challenging and dangerous. But should you succeed, tales of your heroic struggle will be told for years. Every man, woman and child in the Known World will know the name of Jon Mathac… Macthak’oo.”

Jon was silent for a moment, thinking of the glory. He was distracted by something behind the wizard. “Who is that bloke over there?” Jon asked, pointing to the heavily scarred man standing silently a few paces away.

“Ah!” Moranjin smiled. “That is Amalin Tigerloins, the greatest warrior in the Known World. A friend of mine. He will assist you on your quest.”

“If he really is that great a warrior, why is he riddled with scars? Wouldn’t the Greatest Warrior in the Known World know how to avoid getting hit often? That guy looks like he’s been slapped around by everybody. Twice.”

“Because,” Moranjin replied, appearing a little agitated now, “he has been in a lot of battles. The high number of scars shows that he is experienced.”

“Still,” Jon insisted, “I wouldn’t ask you to put your money in a bank that got robbed of all their furniture, now would I? Even if it means they have 'experience' in burglaries. Aren’t there any soldiers who have been in a lot of fights but actually managed to retain their looks?”

Moranjin glared at him. “That’s just the way it is,” he said, through clenched teeth.

Jon shrugged. “Fair enough. So what do I have to do? Where do I go? Assuming I accept, of course.” He quickly added.

“You have to fight the Dark Lord alone, for only you can smite him down. You must travel to the distant and dangerous land of Mid-Evil, and locate him in-”

“Let me guess,” Jon interrupted. “Tall, intimidating tower, really ominous looking?”

“Not precisely. But you seem to have the gist.”

Jon nodded, slowly. “Right. Well why don’t we sit down, Lord Moranjin? We should discuss this at length.” Jon waved his hand behind him, in the general direction of his home, and turned to lead a smiling Moranjin inside.

*******

“And so, my Lord,” continued Ramon, “I have convinced him to stand against you, and led him to believe he has power. Power that he does not, in fact, possess. And even if he should somehow be very, very lucky, Amalin Tigerloins will ensure that he never truly succeeds.” Ramon smiled, immensely proud of himself. Where would the likes of Macad be without his genius?

“That is good, Ramon. That is good,” nodded Macad appreciatively. A big a fool as he was, even Macad could not help but recognize Ramon’s cunning. “And you are sure that this boy will do as you claim? He was convinced of your sincerity?”

“Oh, yes,” said Ramon, his smile faltering. “He believed every word I said. In fact, if I’m being entirely honest, he seemed perhaps a touch intimidated by being in the presence of ‘Moranjin’. It is not every day that one meets a mythical wanderer from the legends.”

Recovering his smile, Ramon walked over to the counter and helped himself to some wine of his own. Macad didn’t as much as blink. A sign of weakness, Ramon knew. A true Lord would never have allowed his lesser to do so without his permission. Not for the first time, Ramon wondered if he had led the right man to power. “I daresay, my Lord, this little threat has been neutralized. Soon, very soon, you will be entirely unstoppable.”

Macad chuckled. “Unstoppable. Oh, yes. Unstoppably evil!” He laughed out loud as he walked towards the door.

Ramon managed not to hurl the glass at his head.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 10:45:29 AM by Not-So-Bloody-Nine »
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Offline Autumn2May

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September Writing Challenge - Voting Now Open!
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2011, 06:16:13 PM »
The contest is now closed!  And voting is now open!  Please read all of the stories before voting.  Good luck everyone! :)

Offline Autumn2May

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Re: September Writing Challenge - Voting Now Closed!
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2011, 03:22:11 AM »
And the winner is Funky Scarecrow!  Congrats on your win! :)

Offline Not-So-Bloody-Nine

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Re: September Writing Challenge - Voting Now Closed!
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2011, 07:13:59 AM »
Congrats, FunkyScarecrow.

An excellent story and a sound thrashing!
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Offline davidstardling

Re: September Writing Challenge - Voting Now Closed!
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2012, 11:28:11 AM »
Congrats, FunkyScarecrow You seem to be a really professional writer I would call you a artistic writer as you have write this in a completely artistic way and proving this with your writing skills that Writing is a Art that only few know good Work Mate =)