ceramic d.m. final judgement posted - Page 10
  1. #91
    Gallant (Lvl 3)

    NiTessine's Avatar

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    Here is my entry, with a whole fourteen minutes to spare...


    The trees that had once formed the Walk of Rillifane stood dead and grey (1). Their once straight and proud limbs were tangled into great knots, blocking the daylight and looking as if they were ready to fall down on whomever walked under them.

    Thus had been the way of things for a century, now, when the elven settlement had fallen in their fight against a one of the orcs' unstoppable charges from the mountains to the seas, attacking everything that moved and eating of burning most that didn't. The orcs hadn't spent much time ransacking the Manor of Leaves, however. The trees had been young and green then, and the fires of the orcs didn't take. The bloodthirsty war host had rumbled on eastwards without bothering to loot the place more carefully, or burning it to the ground. The occupants had been slaughtered, and that was enough for the greenskins.

    No monsters, fiends, or even roaming bandits had since come to live in the abandoned halls. Sorrow permeated the very air in the place, and even animals avoided it. Adventurers, of course, had come and gone, looting the place for whatever valuables the orcs and the elves had left. Except for one little thing. The little things are always easy to miss. And that was why the Walk of Rillifane echoed once more with the quiet steps of people afraid of disturbing the ghosts of the past, and yet quite capable of dealing with them should they choose to rise from their slumber.

    The adventurers were both human. The other was obviously a warrior, decked out in full plate mail, and carrying a longsword at his belt and a shield in his back. A featureless black tabard covered his armour. His companion was a rather less imposing fellow. The other man was slightly overweight man well into his sixties. His tanned scalp was mostly bare, the hair having turned white and receded to occupy a position above his ears well over a decade ago. His garb was only a short cotton robe of an off-white shade, with a bag hanging from a leather belt around his waist. He was unarmed.

    The two walked at an almost leisurely gait towards the great Manor. They stepped over the remains of the great double door that had once stood between the outside world and the great building's insides. They shuffled through the fallen leaves, debris, and the occasional orcish or elven skeleton. There was no haste in the pair's steps, though it was clear to any observer they knew where they were going.

    The two adventurers walked through the great front of the Manor, and into the yard. It was almost a small village into itself, and quite untouched by the passage of years. The old man paused to look upon the sight (3). Pointing at a tower standing some three hundred feet away, he spoke:
    "Well, Rothrenů That over there is the tower of Castarweln. According to the Abbot's spell, the Czendar is inside."
    "Good. Is it warded?" the warrior answered.
    "Probably. Castarweln was not an archwizard, but he still could conjure up quite a few traps and shields. And elven magic lasts for a long time." The bald man raised his round face up, to look at the three-storey building. "Well, we've no time to waste. I'd rather get the Czendar and be out of here before the Morvandian chap arrives."

    Rothren and his elderly friend walked over to the tower's oval-shaped door. It was carved with Elven script, and had been inset with precious stones and metals, before someone had gouged them out.
    "Well, this is a good signů If the door has been defaced, it means it's not warded. Let's see, nowů" he leaned forward to take a closer look at the runes. And at that moment, the door was slammed into his face, breaking his nose and knocking him unconscious.

    Rothren drew his sword and slung his shield from his back. He saw who stood in the doorframe.
    "You!" he spat the word out, sparing only a momentary glance to see his friend was alive.
    "Who else? I have the Czendar now. It is mine, and you cannot stop me. Nor can Crimban, apparently," the man answered in a thickly accented bass voice, gesturing at the robed man, lying on the ground. He was tall, and wore a plain suit of armour. The great helmet that covered his head bore the distinctive look of Morvandian workmanship. A bastard sword, its pommel carved in the form of a bestial visage, was sheathed at his waist.

    "Give it to us, and we may let you live," Rothren answered. "If notů we should then finish that duel we started in back in Veren."
    "Really, now? You must prove to yourself that you are a better swordsman than I? Were all of your kind so eager to perish in battle, we would've been rid of you meddling knights long ago. But, if it is battle that you wish, then battle it is you'll get!" the armoured Morvandian bared his sword, a long, jagged thing of black steel. Taking a two-handed grip on the fiendish weapon, he attacked (4).

    The dark warrior's swings were slow, but terrifyingly strong. Rothren's shield was soon dented and nicked, and every strike he blocked with his sword jarred his arm painfully. His own slashes were swifter, but the Morvandian's armour was thick, and though the leather overcoat he wore over it was soon reduced to ribbons, the breastplate was impossible to pierce. The Morvandian kept the seams carefully hidden.

    As the clang of steel on steel echoed across the Manor of Leaves, Crimban shook his head, wiped blood from his face, and groggily rose to a sitting position. When he saw what was happening, his gaze focused. He had to act quickly. Rothren was on the defensive, and losing ground. The demon sword of his opponent was too strong. Neither combatant had yet laid a scratch on the other, but they were both taught in the old style. They would hit only once, and that would be the killing blow.

    The robed man stood up and slipped a hand in his pouch. Neither of the warriors had noticed he'd come to, being too concentrated in their battle. Muttering arcane words under his breath, he reached towards the Morvandian warrior, feeling at the air for a bit, and then closed his hand into a fist and yanked upwards and towards himself. The effect was immediately noticeable. A small golden object shot out from inside the dark fighter's belt pouch, and landed on a flagstone at Crimban's feet (2). He picked it up, smiling.

    "Rothren, finish him off, if you would. We have what we came for, and should make haste to return," he called. Both the Morvandian and Rothren stopped for a moment, looking at ht bloodied wizard, holding the golden object, the Czendar, in his hand.

    "You meddling fool! Give me that!" the Morvandian cried, his voice reverberating inside his helmet, adding an alien note. His sword bared, he started towards Crimban, and then remembered, too late, Rothren. There was a flash of steel, and the dark warrior's headless body dropped to the ground. His head landed in the grass some feet away. The knight cleaned his sword and sheathed it.
    "It is finished," Rothren said grimly.

    "Quite so, but only for his partů There is still a lot to do, and I fear our decapitated friend wasn't working alone. Now that we have the Czendarů" he held the small golden sculpture in the air, letting it catch the sunlight. "ůour trials and troubles are just about to begin."

    Crimban smiled, wiped some blood off his nose, and started walking back towards the tunnel of trees. Rothren looked at him for a moment, and followed.

  2. #92

    I had originally decided on the adventure... changed my mind and went fiction... couldn't do it happily with less than 3000 words so I went back to the adventure. Otherwise I think I could've posted the first night.

  3. #93
    winners list and new pics by midnight...i am thinking 5 pics for the next round...then 6 for the last

  4. #94

    Maldur's Avatar

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    I think its hard, all stories are so different.

    But some good stuff all together.

  5. #95
    Princess of Florin
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

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    Originally posted by alsih2o winners list and new pics by midnight
    Well then, in the unlikely event that I advance to the next round, I'll know in the morning. No way can I stay up until midnight.

  6. #96
    Novice (Lvl 1)

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    It's past midnight here, and I wouldn't have thought I'd make it to alsih20's midnight, but with all this excitement from Hal's presents thread, I don't think I'll be able to sleep.

  7. #97

    nitessine vs sixchan

    rd 1 nitessine vs. sixchan

    sixchan and arwink both brought us some interesting goodness in their stories. both drop us in the midst of a scene and give us enough room to feel our way around see some of the motivations of the characters involved.

    both stories seem to be only a chapter in a longer tale and either bears fleshing out, but nitessine (stepping in late, valorously) seems to give me more of a completed story.

    thus, while both worked rather well with their ingredients, this round goes to nitessine.

    congrats to the nit.
    Last edited by alsih2o; Thursday, 26th December, 2002 at 03:17 AM.

  8. #98

    mirthcard vs. buttercup

    rd 1 mirthcard vs buttercup

    here we see 2 completely different styles in competition.

    buttercup brings us an eerie twilight zone-ish tale that leaves one with an unsettled feeling familiar to fans of that kind of fiction, and weaves the gloomyness of her dark tale well. i would like to see her protagonist statted as some type of d20 monster, if she gets the time and inclination.

    mirthcard brings us a miniadventure with an excellent twist. his odd love affair surprised me even tho it is a frequently used device. the tension runs multiple directions in his piece, and i think that gives him the edge.

    two good pieces, 1 winner, and it is mirthcard.
    Last edited by alsih2o; Thursday, 26th December, 2002 at 03:18 AM.

  9. #99
    rd 1 asraltpwka vs wulfratbane

    again, and adventure vs a story.

    wulf ratbane draws us into a lycanthropic tale told from an arm length. his use of language was interesting and the theft of the coin entertained me greatly his piece has a continous and solid mood, the characters were individual, but recognizable.

    astral pwka brings us a tale of deceit and greed, with ghostly assistance form the dead (yeah, i know, who else oin gonna give ghostly assistance) he seems to be on his way to a very solid miniadventure, but leaves me with the feeling that the adventurers aren't quite the center of the story, but only participants. i think A's entry should be reworked into a narrative, where it's strengths could shine thru better.

    winner, wulf ratbane.

    (no extra credit was given for the included pdf, but this judge thought it was certainly ubercool)
    Last edited by alsih2o; Thursday, 26th December, 2002 at 03:18 AM.

  10. #100
    nemmerle vs milobloom

    milo brings us what sounds to me like an episode from a larger story. his use of the chair intersted me and managed to bring a light to a story about invading orcs, not an easy task. instead of a direct frontline story as the intro would have you believe he hits us with political intrigue and backroom shuffling.

    his opponent was evidently swallowed by the holidays, mlilo gets to round 2 by default.
    Last edited by alsih2o; Thursday, 26th December, 2002 at 03:18 AM.

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