Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

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Astrum
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Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#1 Post by Astrum » Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:32 pm

The University of Arcana’s Decennial “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition

Image

The University of Arcana would like to officially invite all writers, poets, and storytellers from across Alarra to submit their finest works for inclusion in Myths and Melodies of Alarra, 815 Edition, a compilation tome which will have a new edition published once every ten years.

At the time of this announcement, we find ourselves enjoying the Spring of the year 813, meaning that you have just under two years to prepare your works and submit them to either High Sage Astrum Ersatra or Archivist Arcades at the University in Kalmyr.

As stated, this competition will henceforth occur once every ten years, so the next will occur in the year 825.

Prizes will be distributed as follows:

1st Place: 50,000 gold, 1 Scribe’s Boon potion (additional 50% experience for 2 hours), a Scholar’s Lamp (a unique lantern), a stack of Dragonskin Potions, 5 full stacks of scrolls enchanted with spells of your choosing, and an elegant, commemorative fountain pen inscribed with “YOUR NAME, winner of the 815 Myths and Melodies competition.”

2nd Place: 25,000 gold, 1 stack of Dragonskin Potions, 1 full stack of scrolls enchanted with a spell of your choosing, and a Scholar’s Lamp (a unique lantern).

3rd Place: 10,000 gold and 1 stack of Dragonskin Potions.

Participation Reward*: 5,000 gold.
* Entries deemed frivolous may be rejected at the discretion of the University.

Winners will be determined by a panel of judges at the University of Arcana (Astrum, Arcades, and Deneb). Judges may submit entries for the book, but may not win prizes.


OOC Notes:
  • The year 815 Asteria will land on approximately December 9th.
  • Ten Asterian years are roughly 240 Earth days, so we’ll be putting on this competition about once every 8 months.
  • You get 5,000 gold just for participating, so there's no good excuse not to enter!
  • You may post your submissions in this thread or send them directly to Arcades, Astrum, or Deneb over Discord.
Arcades says 'may have found a new bug'

Arcades chuckles merrily.

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Sundamar
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Re: Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#2 Post by Sundamar » Mon Oct 28, 2019 10:35 pm

It's a little long and I didn't want to crowd the topic.

To Break a Hollow Heart:
https://pastebin.com/dvnqd4s7

Hope it's a good read!

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zorian
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Re: Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#3 Post by zorian » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:11 pm

A Tale of Dwarf and Drow

Long ago an ancient race of elves existed. Far up in the snowy regions north of the Snowy Village today lived the Snow-Elves. It is said they possessed magic so strong that the very ice and snow on the mountains themselves could swirl around them. While a peaceful race, it wasn't until the start of the construction of the city of Rhojidan that problems would arise. The Snow-Elves saw this as humans building on their land and soon waged war against them. The war was going well for the Snow-Elves until the Humans of Rhojidan enlisted the help of strong magics from the far city of Kalmyr to help turn the tides.

Finally, the Battle of the Snowy Pine happened where the Snow-Elves king met his demise. Leaving the rest of the Snow-Elves to flee. The Snow-Elves fled far to the south-west to what is known today as Brunmar. The Snow-Elves requested refuge and asked to live with the Dwarves. The Dwarves allowed them to live underground for them but did not trust the Snow-Elves.

The Dwarves forced the Snow-Elves to eat many toxic things to Snow-Elves that combined with being underground all the time lead to their skin turning a dark grey and their eyes a dark red, being only able to see underground in lower lights. Eventually the Dwarves used them for slave work until the Snow-Elves revolved but the Dwarves fought back throwing them even deeper underground trapping them to live on their own. From that day forward they Snow-Elves were referred to as Drow.

The Drow haven't been seen in quite some time however... some dwarves say that if you list in some of the deepest mines that you can still hear them working and plotting away to get their revenge on the dwarves and eventually the humans.

firefly
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Re: Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#4 Post by firefly » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:46 pm

Heh, this is fun! Mine are a little gloomy, but tis the season. Fenfyre's been gathering stories from her adventures and would love to share some with the wider world. These are just a few of Fenny's Fables.

"The Little Panther Who Couldn't", a myth from beneath the ruins:

A long, long time ago, the world was young and every day was summer in the jungle. It is said that all was honeyed warmth, the air still sweet with newness. There were patches of warm sun to bask in, and deep shade to lie in patiently, waiting for a tasty boar to cross the path. The princeling panther was still but a kitten, but he knew his fate - to grow into a king among kings, foremost of his kin. He was clever as a fox and strong as an ox and patient as a crocodile. Day by day, he learned and he hunted, played and pounced, with his two brothers by his side.

Like triplets were the brothers, and they hunted in perfect sync, keeping a balance between dark and light, night and day. His older brother was bright-eyed and frantic, fair Flame, all sunshine and air, while the younger was darkest night, sour Fang, a ghostly kitten prone to skulking. The prince sat in the center, all the mighty change of dusk and dawn contained in his powerful form. In the shadows and in the light, they guarded their sacred home. The few humans who lived in the outskirts were tolerated, seen merely as distant functionaries to mediate between the dark powers of the jungle and the outer world.

The panthers grew into their heritage, their spirit, and their magic. The new King and his warrior brethren Flame and Fang. They prowled on the edges of the world, defending their world from the shadows that sought entry to our realm. Time and time again, they battled with spirits and fiends before both sides retreated to lick their wounds. So many fights, so many forays into the depths. Was it any wonder, then, that one of the brothers began to lose heart? To sink into the shadows? To question the point of continuing to do battle against an endless foe, to guard their sacred charge as the world moved on around them, as the two-legged folk grew many and mighty and time passed them by? What was the point, Flame wondered, of fighting the darkness? So long as there would be light there always would be shadow. And so day by day his brightness dimmed, and he grew swayed to the side of the shadow.

It was a subtle, slow change, and by the time his brothers noticed it was too late. The shadows took their chance. The panthers were chained, imprisoned, driven to madness, their human servitors transformed to monstrous shapes; that final battle was brutal and decisive. The ancient protective magics faded into dust, relics were broken, temples destroyed. The world was ever-changed, sent spinning just a touch off-kilter. No longer was every day a halcyon summer, but the dark began to find its way into the living realm. Long winter nights followed. This is why, in the depths of winter, it is said the longest night of the year is the Panther's Sorrow.

"The Lizard Boy", a tale from the southern shores:

It was a bright and sunny autumn day, when the child went missing. Nobody noticed for a time. Common custom in these parts was to leave the babe in a pram out of doors to nap, you see, to let them get some air, swaddled up but for nose and eyes peeking up into the sky. Old fisherwives said it did them a sight of good to get used to being out of doors, to learn the ways of the wind. Well, when the poor first-time mother whose babe it was went back to the pram, he was gone. Vanished. She'd just taken her gaze off him for a moment, she said. There was only the lingering smell of the sea and a single scale down on the ground. It might've belonged to a fish, but she clutched at it as a lifeline. She sobbed as she said: "It must have been the island folk! The reptilians! They're shaped like we are, but they're covered in scales, they hide in the jungles, they took my babe!"

Others only shook their heads and pitied her for her delusions. She begged and she begged for a boat to take her to the isle to find him, but everyone saw that was a terrible idea. She flung herself into the sea one day. Some say it was done in a desperate bid to find him. Her body was never found, nor his. Late at night on the open ocean, the wind seems to sing with her voice.

The lizard folk of the southern isles tell a different story entirely, perhaps one to be revisited in future pages...

efh313
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Re: Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#5 Post by efh313 » Wed Oct 30, 2019 4:52 pm

My name is Aidyn, The Crab-Crusher, Just and I swear that what I am relaying to you is true. At least in so much as I witnessed it with my own eyes and ears. I cannot speak to the veracity of the context for I am a new denizen of these lands, but I feel the story must be shared.

As I entered the central square of Hessa, I noticed a minstrel of some sort. He had a lute and played with an effortless grace that told of much talent and training. And then he began to sing a song that I can only describe as... magical. For though it references people and thing of which I know not, I could not refrain from smiling and joining in with the laughter of the native locals. Below is the song, as best I can recall it:

When all their fancy diet plans have got their hearts a wishin'
Cause everything they eat must be approved based on nutrition.
Stop eatin' that birdseed, friends, 'cause what you really need
Is a procedure guaranteed not to impede your need to feed.

Liposuction! Liposuction!
The new immediate weight reduction plan.
Trade in the hand you've been dealt and get surgically svelte
at your friendly magical liposuction man.

Astrum abandoned exercise and His gut keeps getting vaster.
Eryn’s growing over-sized and her butt's gone off to pasture.
They both want a new demeanor and they’re keen on getting leaner
And their remedy is an entity with an arcane vacuum cleaner!

Liposuction! Liposuction!
The new immediate weight reduction plan.
Take the fat cells from their hips, put 'em in a Rhojidani Princess’ lips
At your friendly magical liposuction man.

Astrum’s waist line is a' surgin'
And in need of some reversion
Eryn’s overall weight dispersion's
Gettin' on the verge of perversion
I'm encouraging an excursion
To go searchin' for a sturgeon
Who can give emergency purgin' of the burgeonin' fat emergin' from your chin!

Liposuction! Liposuction!
The new immediate weight reduction plan.
Get your torso reformatted, get a nose job while you're at it.
At your friendly magical liposuction man.
Make your waist twelve inches thinner and be home in time for dinner
At your friendly magical liposuction man.

Well the sorcerer’s bill may vex ya...
But it sure beats anorexia!

At your friendly magical liposuction man!

As the crowd dispersed, laughing and wiping away tears, amidst whispers about just how large the High Sage HAS become, I found myself still enchanted by the Bard's lingering melody. I approached this mysterious man and begged him for his name. He replied thusly: "People call me The Troubadour. I travel from realm to realm to bring wit and whimsy to the people. Asteria has caught my eye... for the moment..." Before I could ask for more, he was gone, dissipating in flash of light and smoke. I do not know who The Troubadour is, but children of The Three, you have been warned. He is here in our land and though his intentions seem pure, his musical magics are mighty. Do with this account what you will.

In Honor of the Three,
Aidyn, The Crab-Crusher, Just

Listen to it here:
https://youtu.be/7lUK42G1EGw
Last edited by efh313 on Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Astrum
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Re: Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#6 Post by Astrum » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:09 pm

Truly a work of art, Aidyn. Thank you for that.
Arcades says 'may have found a new bug'

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Rikis
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Re: Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#7 Post by Rikis » Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:58 am

Penned by Farwarden Rikis of the Wild Enclave, wandering thoughts on the life led by someone who is at home in the wilderness;

Time has forgotten us
And we have forgotten time
Our city is the forest
Our road is the wind

We have seen sights
Our siblings can only imagine
Faraway lands share
Their secrets with us
We explore. We discover.

Eryn
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Re: Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#8 Post by Eryn » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:25 pm

This started as one thing and ended up something else entirely!

A bardic story for children told less often now and mostly known amongst the Gnomes of Farmshire :-

There once were brothers named Yes and No.
They lived in Faewood, down below,
some trees where the Fern Leaves grow,
in a cottage made for four.

Yes was cheery all the day,
everything that came his way,
would be quickly accepted and got done.
No, however, was quite glum.

No did not enjoy the same,
he rejected all that came,
whenever asked he would exclaim,
"I won't, I shan't, I'm done!"

Yes and No would guard and keep,
the local Farmshire farmer's sheep,
When Yes was working he took great care.
No, however, just fell asleep.

The sheep escaped their field and pen,
unfortunately exactly when,
the Rhojidani Lord passed in his carriage,
and had to swerve, causing some damage.

The Lord drew himself up in all his glory,
and demanded of all the villagers the story,
of how the sheep were on the road.
No went and hid in his abode.

Yes being honest forward strode,
and to the Lord the story told.
The Lord was angry so he said,
they could pay their debts or lose their head.

Yes and No for once agreed,
and with a very hasty speed.
Agreed to serve the Lord in the mansion,
and were relieved to see the Lord concede.

Yes and No worked in the kitchen,
the Lord learnt the difference twixt them.
Ask No for help and nothing was done,
Ask Yes for help and soon he'd come!

The Lord quite wisely used this knowledge,
and when Yes brought him his morning porridge,
he bade him tell the cooks to prepare,
a variety of dishes for him to judge.

He was was planning to decide,
which dishes it was he would provide,
at his yearly mansion banquet.
An opportunity he had spied.

The chefs brought food to place before him,
some delicious and some quite grim.
The Lord would sit and try them each,
except the questionable shrimp.

When the Lord enjoyed it 'YES!' he cried,
and it wasn't long before beside,
him Yes would be, to diligently,
take note of what they would provide.

When the food was disgusting the Lord cried 'NO!',
and slowly but surely No would go,
and because he couldn't really be bothered,
to the dogs the food would throw.

The mansion servants soon were laughing,
each to the other the story imparting.
And this is how we came to know,
that yes means yes and no means no.

Dsiban
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Re: Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#9 Post by Dsiban » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:11 am

At night I walk atop the swells of sand,
Snakes and scorpions scurry at my feet.
Around me I see the islands of Man,
Huddled about their fires for light and heat.

Here I possess the echoes of their lives;
Distant beat of drums and barking laughter.
I listen as they spend the ageless tithes,
Of broken oaths and widow's disaster.

As I walk through the hours their embers fade,
So too to life is loosen'd my anchor.
My spirit haunts the material plane,
At one with the wilds I am the danger.

Yet leaden of lid I fall to the trough,
Secure in my shelter amongst the lost.

Corin
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Re: Now Accepting Submissions for the “Myths and Melodies” Writing Competition, Year 815

#10 Post by Corin » Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:35 pm

The musings of a University of Arcana student:

The High Sage has sent me on a task to seek out the words of stone and hear them. Although initially perplexed by such a journey, I have resolved myself to seek this knowledge in order to advance within the university and contribute to the knowledge my colleagues and I cherish so deeply. I believed this to be a task to attune myself with the universe in order to understand at some deeper, fundamental level the workings of mana itself. Although I am a mere novice in the schools of magic, I did hope to make some sort of revelation, however minor, and report these findings back to the High Sage for feedback.

My travels have led me back to the mainland and the village of Hessa. From there, I found myself wandering the western drag for the day until I reached the fishing village south of the crossroads. Here, I found food and shelter with the locals before finding a suitable place to meditate the next morning. No stone has called out to me and I am frighteningly aware of the possibility of failure. I only hope that the journey does yield an understanding of the world or I will have to return to Kalmyr disgraced.

Just southeast of the fishing village is a giant river spilling out into the southern seas. It is inhabited by creatures of the earth – hostile and vicious – and I was forced to slay them. Any adventurers approaching this river should be cautious as it is no place for one unfamiliar with the arts of war. I resolved myself to travel upriver in order to seek out the screams of the stone as they refuse to yield to the torrential strength of the waters. The resolve of the earth as it struggles against itself is stunning, and I find myself in awe of the tenacity of the stone warring with the ferocity of the waves themselves.

After several more attempts on my life by the local wildlife, I have successfully traveled upriver as far as nature would allow it. The mists of the water permeate the air here and the roars of the river striking stone and earth are deafening. It is here that I have chosen to meditate, and I quickly found myself a place beyond the almighty waterfall to rest. Hours later, the scene is left unchanged. The overwhelming force of the water strikes the stone and the stone does not yield. Although bits of the stone in the form of small rocks and boulders are taken by the tide, the river never breaks the core of the stone and is forced to bend to its will. I cannot help but admire the power of nature itself and the intangible energy that flows through this place.

Along the far wall of this cavern seems to be something quite unique. A cave of sorts, difficult to see through the mists, has revealed itself to me. I record its existence in these very pages. I have not the time for idle travel and instead must focus on the task at hand. I listen to the stone and its struggle but have yet to hear the earth call out to me. I have no message to relay back to the university and thus I will continue my meditation beneath this waterfall. I only hope the answers I am to find approach me soon as I have failed to bring quills and parchment that can resist this saturation in the air for much longer.

I write now from the safety of the fishing village. I had no choice but to leave the river before all of my parchment was soaked and ruined. I believe I do understand, at least to some extent, what I was to take back to the university. I have metaphorically heard the stone and have listened. I will share my findings with the High Sage and see if they are to his satisfaction. In the meantime, I will turn in my notes to the university library as they may find some use in it that I have failed to understand. I am optimistic about my contributions and advancement within the university and hope the lessons from the stone serve me well in the future.

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