Hi folks, with the submission period over and done with, now’s the time to get voting! We have
@alplod No More Ice Cream - The Sad Story
Travelling across Vetruvian lands is harsh. Zackery knows this too well. No outsider can get used to scorching heat of the desert, which is at least bearable in more populated areas, but now he is travelling across the wastelands.
Being a mercenary mage is also harsh. Officers look down on you, nobody bothers whether the task is possible at all, nobody cares about your life and comfort. A week ago Zackery received an order to arrive to the city of Kaero. Immediately. And did they even provide any transport? No. “You’re a mage, aren’t you?” - they said. “You’ll come up with something” - they said. With a grin. Cruel joke.
Walking through the desert he wonders why did he need to undergo all this hard training he had. Years of trials needed to forge his body into a perfect weapon, to produce a powerful uncontrollable effect, always. What for? For a proud name of Arcanyst? For salary?
Sometimes his thoughts travel far-far away in the past, in his childhood. His Mom always bought him ice cream when he was sad. How much could he give away for even a small bite of that ice cream now!
Immersed in his thoughts he was late to realise that he already entered a small Vetruvian town. Or could it be a village? He doesn’t remember if it was on the map at all. He could be lost, travelling through vast Vetruvian desert. Anyway, populated area is nice for a change. His supplies went scarse and it would be nice to finally sleep in a bed.
And then… Does that person own a pushcart of ice cream? Yeah, definitely, he’s a street merchant. Pushcart full of ice cream, so similar to the one in his childhood memories, a rare breed in Vetruvian lands… and it started to retreat from him with a considerable speed.
“He can’t run away” - that was the only thought of Zackery before he started the pursuit. He should have better thought WHY is the seller running away from him, but let us forgive our hero, he have undergone much. I hope you understand, my dear reader.
Well, a measly village seller has no chance against an Arcanyst trained for war. Especially if he’s pushing a cart before him. Unfortunately, when Zackery finally reached it, the cart was completely empty and the seller was both pretty angry and… frightened? Only then he did notice a colorful reading on the cart:
“BeSt BlAzInG SpInE IcE CrEaM from the DiStAnT VaNaR LaNdS!”
No more ice cream for him.
Silent and depressed, Zackery the Lightbender slowly walked away…
@anjosustrakr The Garden - An Alternative History of the Abyssian
If you wish to eat, you must first tend the garden.” The ancient crone stood squarely in Cass’s path, blocking the mouth of the cave.
“I’m not hungry, and I don’t wanna tend a dumb garden!” Cass wailed. “I want to go inside and play with Wraithlings, like Lilithe does!”
“Child, this is an important part of your teachings,” the old priestess replied sagely. “If you are to become a true Abyssian, you must learn to care for our land.”
“No!” Cass wrinkled up her face to appear more menacing. “Let me past or you’ll suffer!” (She had heard the famed duelist Maehv Skinsolder shout this to a minion who had provoked her once, and afterwards Cass said it whenever she got the chance.)
“You don’t know the meaning of suffering, child,” the crone answered, a sinister edge in her voice. “But I can teach you that, too.” She reached out to grab Cass’s ear, but the little girl was too quick. She dashed past the old woman and into the cave. Down the winding staircases of black stone she ran, until the echoes of the priestess’s threats faded to nothing behind her.
An short time later, as Cass was practicing summoning Wraithlings in her chambers (she could not yet do it without the aid of a spell scroll), the heavy ebony door flew open with a crash. Cass jumped back and watched in terror as a huge purple demon stepped into the room. Red spikes protruded from its limbs, great crimson horns sprouted from its head, and it had an extremely long whip-like tail — a tail that lashed out and wrapped around the girl’s throat before she had time to shout for help.
“Come, little one,” the demon purred, its voice oddly soft and soothing for a being of its stature.
But the trip outside was neither soft nor soothing. The demon climbed upwards, dragging Cass by the neck over countless obsidian steps and giving her a merciless beating. And when she managed to squeak, “Let me go or you’ll suffer,” the demon only chuckled amiably. It deposited Cass in the Great Gardens of Shar. All around them, purple weeds and brambles covered the ground and thorny vines crept up trellises made of bone.
“Do you like my gardens?” the demon asked, unravelling its tail from around Cass’s throat.
“No,” Cass responded, eying the demon warily. She ached all over, and was only able to stand up with great difficulty.
“You will soon. Follow me.” The demon led Cass deep into the purple jungle, until they came upon a man lying face-down in the foliage. He was moaning, and blood leaked from a wound in his leg. When he saw the demon, his eyes widened in fear.
“P-please,” he croaked, “Help me…”
“You heard him, Cassyva,” the demon said silkily, “Help him, and tend your garden. Become a true Abyssian.” It handed Cass a sickle.
At that moment, Cass realized her place in the world. She struck down at the dying man’s face with all her weight behind the sickle, giving him an abyssal scar. He screeched in pain, and Cass felt a sense of elation that she had never known before. She slashed again, and again, and again, watching the lifeblood drain from the screaming man and into the dark soil of the gardens. Then she stared in wonder as the purple creep spread underneath him, little spikes growing out of the ground where there had been only dirt before.
“Good, little one. You have tended your garden. And now you can reap the fruit of your labor.”
Cass bent down and gorged herself, tearing flesh from the bone and lapping up the sweet blood that was everywhere. All her cuts and bruises no longer ached. When she was done, she gave the demon a red grin.
“I love gardening.”
@cloudfrog Breakthroughs in the Songhai food crisis
A room crammed with unevenly sliced pork greets Dr. Xynec. The doorway has been clogged by what can only be described as a Ham Jam(at least, by a scientist named Dr. Mahs, who did not have a knack for naming things). Where you would expect air to be in this room, there is but ham. “What in the world…”
In order to understand “What in the world…”. one must simply look at one R&D division transcript from 3 weeks ago.
Transcript from Songhai R&D laboratory:
“I’m telling you it will work”
“That is the dumbest thing ever”
“Look, do you want to solve the food crisis or not?”
Ridiculed by the question, Dr. Xynec, head of the laboratory, makes a show of breathing in. He breathes out loudly, slowly, and while maintaining eye contact with his associate, Dr. Mah.
Dr. Xynec speaks.
“I’m saying that vanishing pigs are the opposite of the definition of edible.”
“I’m telling you it’s not as simple as that, and maybe a vanishing brain like yours isn’t what we need in this laboratory.”
“Alright then smart guy, explain to me how one is supposed to get more meat from a tusk boar than one would from livestock that doesn’t vanish.”
“It is a known fact that tusk boars escape at the first sign of danger. but we’re able to summon them over and over again!”, Mah explains.
“Congratulations, you’ve discovered summoning livestock, which, by the way, is also dwindling in population, and you summon the least viable for consumption”
“I’m not done. It’s not that the vanishing of the tusk boar that makes it a great subject in solving the food crisis,”
“I’m not done… It’s that a re-summoned boar comes back perfectly healthy.”
“Ah, and you’ve figured out why it can do that and we can eventually replicate how it nourishes itself so fast?”
Xynec says to Mahs, as if he was talking to a genius, as if he was not belittling the same person two seconds ago.
“Heavens no! We don’t have -that- much budget”
“Then what are you proposing?”
Xynec talks as he would to an idiot, as if he wasn’t treating the same person as a genius two sentences ago.
“We cut meat from the boar, and let it run away.”
“That makes no sense”
“We summon it again and it comes back healthy”
“We cut meat from the boar, and let it run away again.”
“This is ridiculous.”
“It is not.”
“I’m giving you three weeks to produce as much meat as possible from a single boar. It better feed the city or you’re fired.”
End of Transcript.
@alexx55 The Price of Survival
Magaari Beastlands, a place blooming with nature, everywhere you would look, you would see green: Trees, hills, wildlife. Everything was so peaceful…But it was just a deception! The wilds, lands outside the cities, were inhabited by ferocius beasts, who would hunt down anything that moves.
Anila was a young researcher from Xenkai. After meeting Starhorn, the legendary Magmar aspect, she became interested in Magmar culture, their lifestyles, and most importantly: Cousine. Sadly, she didnt get a chance to question Starhorn about these topics, so she decided that she should go to the Magaari Beastlands herself and check everything out.
She arrived in the wild sides of Beastlands and was amazed of all the wonderful plantlife. She decided it was plants, that made the big Magmar folks so strong, so she decided to harvest some. There were different fruits: spiky orange balls, that could be split in half, giant strawberies of blue hanging low from the tree. But, as she was picking up these fruits, a wild Eludicator attacked her from behind, knocking her down and bruttally eviscerating her back. Anila thought she was going to die, and started losing conciousness. Before she passed out, she heard a loud roar and a sound of shattering bones…
Anila awoke, covered in bandages throughout full body, inside a house. She instantly knew this was not Xenkai, so the only logical conclusion was…
“You are in our town, Anila”: said a big looking Magaari
“You…You are Vaath the Immortal, right? You rescued me there!” Anila said both in joy and in pain.
“Yours truly” Vaath answered her
“How do you know my name? AND HOW AM I STILL ALIVE???” She asked, shouting due to her nervousness taking the upper hand.
“We found a notebook with your name inside it. And you are barely alive due to the natural energy of this land” Vaath answered with a sad look on his face and continued: “Which is why you cannot leave this place anymore.”
Anila was shocked hearing these news, but keeping calm, she asked:“Then, can you make me stronger, give me the power to survive in these pretadory lands?”
Vaath though for a moment, went out of the room, and soon returned with a plate of bright green flesh.
“We also know why you are here. You wanted to find out what do we eat, so we are this strong. Eat up.”
“What is this?” Anila nervously asked, gazing at the raw flesh.
“This, Anila, is a piece of the beast that nearly killed you. Eating it will give you the natural properties of our kind, since you are infused with Magaari energy.” Vaath answered
“Does that mean…You are cannibals?” Anila asked again, deep thoughts filling her mind
'Not quite, You see, we all may have been born of the same queen, but not everyone was gifted the power of reasoning. We choose to consume them, since they are a threat to everyone, even us. Consuming them means gaining the queens energy, which improves us. For you, it may mean survival." Vaath finished his answer and slowly walked away. “Eat up, Anila”, he said before leaving. Anila, still confused about what Vaath told her, decided to try the meat. The first bite seemed bitter, but the more she ate, the better the taste got, changing into honey-sweet taste. That was when she witnessed her body changing, she started growing scales like a carapace, her muscles becomeing much stronger. That was when Anila was reborn into the first Beastclad Hunter, protector of the outsiders, who enter the Beastlands
@halcyon98 The Blood of The Sun
Zir’an’s face scrunched up the moment the liquid hit her mouth. It sizzled on her tongue then melted away like butter. It left a distinctive aftertaste that lingered in her palate. She looked down on her steaming mug, squinting at the light it seemed to reflect.
“I don’t like this,” she said, defiantly.
“What’s that?” Argeon asked, looking up from his book of maps.
“I don’t like it at all.” Zir’an lifted the mug up for Argeon to see. Argeon replied with a chuckle.
“Being picky?” he asked, raising an eyebrow. “Come, I have something to show you.”
Argeon lead Zir’an through the grand halls of the Lyonar Kingdoms. They soon arrived at a set of large wooden doors, guarded by a pair of Silverguard Squires. They knelt the instant they saw Argeon approached.
“Greetings, my lord,” one of them said.
“And greetings to you as well,” Argeon said, gesturing them to rise.
“What brings you here?”
“There’s something I want the young cub to see.”
Argeon pushed open the doors and beckoned Zir’an inside. What was laid out in front of them was a narrow staircase, spiraling up to unknown heights. No matter how far Zir’an craned her neck, the end was nowhere to be seen. Only a tiny dot of light seemed to shine in the distance.
“I’d like you to take the lead,” Argeon said.
The two made their way up the seemingly endless tower. The day was hot, and beads of sweat trickled down Zir’an’s cheeks.
“You could rest for a moment, if you want,” Argeon said.
“I’m fine,” Zir’an replied, panting.
After what it felt like an eternity, Zir’an could make out the source of the light.
“Is that…” Zir’an asked, in wonder.
“Yes, child. That is the sun,” Argeon replied. “Go on, we’re almost there.”
Indeed, the end was in sight.
The light grew brighter as Zir’an approached the top. Zir’an found it harder to keep her eyes open as she drew nearer. Her small body became awash in a blinding expanse of white. She kept on climbing until Argeon’s voice broke her trance.
“We are here,” he said.
Zir’an was awestruck. The top of the tower was bustling with life, where men in blue robes were hard at work. An array of cauldrons covered every inch of open area, and the men were busily stirring away at the liquid inside. But most of all, it was the sun that caught Zir’an’s attention.
“I didn’t know the sun could be so beautiful,” Zir’an said.
“Magnificent, isn’t it?” Argeon said, filled with pride. “Now is the time where her light shines directly upon us. Perfect timing to brew the Sundrop Elixir.”
“The Sundrop Elixr? Is that what those men are making?”
“Yes. It is also the drink you had earlier today.”
Zir’an saw one of the men hastily make his way towards them.
“My lord! I wasn’t told you were visiting,” he said.
“I thought it was about time our young cub got a gist of how things are.”
The man got out two wooden mugs and dipped them into a cauldron. The elixr swirled in the mugs before filling them completely. He handed one to Argeon who received it with a nod, and one to Zir’an.
“Care for a drink?” he offered. “Fresh off the cauldron.”
Zir’an took the cup from his hands. The liquid was golden in color, and its surface gleamed brighter than ever under the sun. A small ember of warmth fluttered in her chest. It was at this moment Zir’an realized, that the Sundrop Elixir was more than just a drink. It was the blood of the sun, the heart of the noble Lyonar Kingdoms. She imagined the great heroes from her fantastical bedtime stories drinking the elixir and tirelessly charging through enemies. She hoped that one day she will fight right alongside them.
She took a sip
all gunning for the top 3 positions! 5 contendants, 1 title, your votes will decide who will be the next Duelyst Forums’ Loremaster so be sure to read each submission carefully!
As a reminder, the prizes they’re competing for are as follows:
1st Place: 5x Core Spirit Orbs + Loremaster forum title
2nd Place: 4x Core Spirit Orbs
3rd Place: 3x Core Spirit Orbs
But don’t worry folks, whoever doesn’t get in the top threee still gets 1x Core Spirit Orb!
Good luck to all, I hope you had fun!