Winter Ceramic DM™: THE WINNER! - Page 31
  1. #301
    Member
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    BSF's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    3,929
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ø Block BSF


    ø Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by Sialia
    Some say love, it is a river
    that drowns the tender reed.


    Some say love, it is a razor
    that leaves your soul to bleed.

    Some say love, it is a hunger,
    an endless aching need . . .


    I was going to call this one "Ghost Riders in the Purple Sage," but it seemed a bit much.

    Enjoy "The Rose."
    Sialia! I have waited and agonized for a week to see what you would come up with. I have beraded myself for not providing enough of a challenge to your entry. I finally arrive home from work to a modest email from EN World, telling me that you have completed your story and have posted it to be compared against Cedric's. I try to logon and EN World is down for repairs so I sit back and wait. I contemplate some of my game logs and stories I am writing. Finally, I am able to get into EN World, open the thread, seek out your post, and this, this is what I get!

    If you have not yet read Sialia's post, ignore this message. Read the story! If you have this as a subscription notification, click the link for the thread, scroll up and read the story. Don't mind this litte note thrown into the midst of this excellent competition. Shoo! This is nothing but stray electrons. Go read THE STORY, that is what is important.

    [spoiler]
    I am ... distraught ... at the pathos. I am not sure what to think. I was engrossed in the story. My mind was racing ahead to contemplate where it was going. (Oddly enough, I was pretty close to guessing the outcome. I think that scares me because I am not sure it was that heavily telegraphed.) I am repulsed at the imagery and horrified by the very thought of it all. I want more, I need more. I am creeping away from the status of Sialia Fanboy to addict...[/spoiler]

    More importantly, I am feeling the need to be restrained in my words so that others may savor this little distraction you have idly tossed into the ring. I even feel the need to place spoiler tags around the previous paragraph. Not because I really give away the story, but because the story should be savored as I was able to savor it, without undue comment from the peanut gallery.

  2. #302
    Member
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

    BSF's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    3,929
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ø Block BSF


    ø Friend+
    OK, I finally had the energy to devote to reading alsih20's story. Wow Clay, intense. Nicely done. You ended up with a difficult draw to go against Piratecat like that.

    Piratecat, great little story there! I had fun reading it. I may even print it out to drop in my character binder for amusement on those nights when we are waiting for the last player to arrive before we game.

  3. #303
    The sounds of a warm spring day were drifting in over the rhubarb pie cooling on the window sill. Like the butterfly dancing by on the breeze, memories were fluttering through her mind of days long passed.

    This day like any other had its fair share of ups and downs. Age had been creeping up on her for years and had long since started winning this particular fight. The polished metal mirror on the wall near her washbasin told the story best of all.

    Lines were carved deeply into her face, a face seemingly old enough to have worn out two or three bodies. Stained dark and leathery from time spent in the sun, the space between the wrinkles revealed the milky complexion once hidden underneath.

    The eyes though…the eyes told the best stories of all. Catching herself staring into those eyes from the rocking chair across the room she let her thoughts drift into the past and she remembered…

    “Maxwell!” She called at the top of her voice, “Maxwell get in here!”

    “I’m coming Raeline, I’m coming, you can stop yelling now,” he called back. The sandy haired man stumbled into the room, wringing his hands now dirty and smudged with ink. Grey was just starting to tinge the hair at his temples and he looked to be a young thirty. “Now, what is so important as to call me from my research?”

    Her right hand still clothed in a white gardening glove she held it out palm open to him, a dusky maroon rose sat upon it, resting on her fingers. Maxwell admired it from a distance, then when she rolled her eyes and thrust it at him, moved forward to look at it more closely.

    With a dismissing gesture he glanced again at the rose (1), then at her and said, “Yes Rae, it’s a rose.”

    Rolling her eyes again, she flustered a bit, gritted her teeth and spoke, “Just why, Maxwell Crussius Thoms, do you think I would be showing you a rose right now?”

    He seemed to consider this a moment, then with a smile said, “First one of the season, eh? It’s a beaut too!” and turned to leave.

    She stomped her foot, “Maxwell Thoms! Let me know if you would please, just what season is it?”

    “Well Rae,” he replied exasperated, “It’s dead of winter of course.”

    “Oh?” She replied with an arched eyebrow.

    “Yeah Oh…umm, Oh!” understanding seemed to dawn on his face. “Well, where did you get the rose from then.” He seemed to think about his own question for a moment, and then the look of surprise on his face changed into one of shock. “You got that from the tree! You don’t think that means it’s time do you, Rae?”

    She seemed to consider the question for a minute then answered, “Well, I think we should definitely consider it, we have known it was coming sometime in our lives. Why not now?”

    Nodding, now deep in thought, he finished out what she was thinking, “We’ll have to look for the other signs of course. The gods certainly know we’ve been in need of this for a long time.”

    She remembered the prophecy of course, but years of watching the crops and the cities burn, the soldiers, wives and children die, had hardened her heart to the word of the prophecy.

    When she was a child, being eldest daughter of the seer she was led to the mountain to hear the voice of the Oracles. The exotic almond eyes and strong noses of those unchanged golden masks wore were faces unlike any she had seen. (2) She was taught they were the daughters of the gods of old. She was taught their word was infallible and led always to the truth and the salvation. This became the foundation of her world.

    Years of war and death had chipped and whittled away at that foundation. Even if the leader of their times was born now, how could he save them? Would they last the twenty years it would take for him to grow into the warrior he would become?

    Doubts and fears weighed on her as she considered. An expedition would be needed, the two of them at least, likely a few more. The prophecy was clear on this point. The river serpent would need to be consulted. Even with father winter having shown his blessing, nothing would change without the river serpent declaring the change.

    Frenzied hours of preparation gave way into days as they each gathered their belongings and made their plans. Three guides would accompany them south to the delta, to visit the River Serpent.

    Dawn ushered in the day with cool pink light as they set out upon the road. The three guides made quick work of breaking trail and continued on in silence as the two of them spoke.

    “I really think this could be it Rae,” Maxwell admitted with his eagerness betraying him. “With a hero, a real hero of old. You know we can pull this around. Our armies have not faired that well, sure. But you know with the hope of a hero among us we can hold out. Yes, Rae, I feel the change in the air.”

    Quietly she listened to him gush on and on while brooding thoughts of her own carried her through each mile. Days turned into weeks as the weather grew warmer. Maxwell’s mood, she noted, continued to be upbeat, but her doubts remained.

    “I judge we’ve come most of the distance Rae,” that giant copse of trees in the distance must be it she thought as he continued. “We’ll camp the night and with a fresh start of morning we’ll be there by noon.” His voice softened and with a bit of hesitation he spoke, “Perhaps I’ve not said this enough with everything that has been happening, but I love you Rae. I know we’ve never had a chance for children of our own, but when this prophecy is complete and the future of our home and loved ones is secure, I promise that we’ll get to it. We can get to all of those things we have missed.”

    “I know Maxwell,” she answered. “We both were raised with this one mission in life. It has brought us together and also has kept us apart. Mine is to find the signs, yours is to follow them. Together we are to bring them to the world. None of the prophecies have been explained to my complete satisfaction, especially the part about the hero reborn. I do know that we are in this together though.”

    Passion took them that night as they camped in the clearing beneath the moonlight overlooking the river delta and for the first time in years they made love.

    The next day, cloaked beneath the broad leaves of the rain forest, they walked in dappled sunlight that spotted the damn ground in places. Noon had come and gone and even with the last weeks of winter upon them the day was turning hot in this southern climate.

    “I can’t understand Rae,” Maxwell said with an unhidden confusion. “Everything we have seen tells us that the River Serpent should be nearby. Yet, we’ve covered every inch of this ground without having seen any sign of him.”

    With a smile she answered, “Patience Maxwell, if it was easy, anyone could do it. Come; let us follow this small rivulet down closer to the river.”

    A trek through the heavy underbrush brought them nearer the river, then with an exclamation Raeline pointed. “See it Max! Do you see the markings in the mud?”

    Wide, tell-tale marks in the mud spoke of the enormous serpent which had pushed through the soft ground of the rivulet and up the other side. Cutting their way through they followed for several minutes to a wide bed of vines pressed into a hollow.

    With a start Max stopped and back peddled away from the edge of a small drop off, where before them the vines were pressed into a hollow. An enormous serpent, sufficient of size to have swallowed a horse, stared back at them from the bed of vines and tasted the air with a flick of its long tongue.

    Staring for a moment their amazement turned to shock as they watched the serpent coil and stretch. A sound that would have barely been a whisper from a normal snake was the tearing sound of ripping linen as the skin of the serpent began to part and the fresh scales pushed off the old. (3)

    “The serpent has declared the change,” Rae intoned in a formal voice. “The time of the hero has come.”

    Turning to face her Maxwell appeared overcome with emotion and started to speak. The words were lost to him as the breath exploded from his body with shock. Staring down in horror he watched the front of his shirt stain with blood as the long serpents tooth withdrew from his shoulder and the serpent turned and sped into the brush.

    “No!” screamed Rae, as she rushed to his side. The normally absent guides signed themselves against evil and moved closer to help her. “Maxwell, oh my Maxwell,” she held him close and rocked him a look of shock still on his face as the color drained from it with the blood draining from his body.

    “Come Milady,” the guard spoke. “There is naught we can do for him but offer a burial. The venom of the serpent is a quick death and we must leave before the snake returns.”

    With a distant thought she noticed the watchful crow, so out of place in this forest, as it sat upon a low branch. She noted the red marked wing and heard the lonely call but gave it no more thought as she turned from this place.

    Traveling north again, her footsteps plodded one after the other and she left her love behind her. Pure will carried her onward, long after her hope had faded. She had one clear duty left to this world and would see it done.

    Spring came into its own and the trees and flowers were in full bloom as the passed beyond the foothills into the mountains proper. Climbing up and up they passed beyond the tree line and into the thin air of the high mountains. The highest peak loomed yet on the horizon and another three days travel brought them upon it. Undoubtedly from the thin air, she had felt her limbs weakening and would often be sick as they began their days.

    Reaching the highest mountain at last and with a bitter cry she spoke to the winds, “Lord of the Four Winds, I have come for your blessing. Cast your breath into the womb of wichever mother will bring a hero. Let this world know the hope that has long since been denied me.”

    She sat and cried to the clear air for what seemed hours. The clouds that formed the body and the face of the Winds (4) gathered so slowly they were upon her before she recognized them. The rush of a breeze swept over the peak and in that passing air she heard the voice of a thousand leaves rustling as it spoke, “It is done.”

    Still sick of heart and of body she turned from the Lord of the Four Winds and forever left the mountain behind. Merely days away from home she arrived once more to the small cottage where she had shared her life with Maxwell.

    Unpruned by her attentive hands, roses had grown to cover the porch and she could see the place in need of some repairs.

    With an emptiness, she sat about her chores, determined the fix the cottage and then leave this world behind. When her illness did not fade and her strength continued to drain from her, she grew concerned. As a wise woman and a midwife in her village she had seen the signs all to many times.

    Release from this world was lost to her, she was with child.

    Months went by and word of the Prophecies being fulfilled reached the ears of the people. Armies rallied and Highlanders from the mountains poured down into the lowlands to carry the fight to the barbarians of the far North. A hero was coming…

    “Push now child,” urged the midwife who had been called from a few villages over. “You are near the end here and it’s a fine boy I can see.”

    Later, with the small bundle resting in her arms just minutes from her womb she saw the same red marked crow (5) sitting upon her window sill framed against the clear blue sky and heard again its lonely call. Then she saw the tenuous misty form drift from the mouth of the crow as the breath of the Winds drifted through the open window and into her child. A hero was born…

    Waking from her reverie and drifting thoughts of the past she reflected on all that had changed. She had missed her Maxwell all of these years but together they had indeed brought the world hope.

    Closing her eyes once more she dreamed briefly of her husband. Then she joined him forever in the afterlife.

    A red marked crow sat upon her window sill and admired the rhubarb pie, now cool from the afternoon breeze then carried another soul to heaven.

    1. glove.jpg
    2. facetoface.gif
    3. shed.jpg
    4. lowcloud.jpg
    5. birdbreat.jpg

    Cedric

  4. #304
    Sorry for being late guys, sorry Mythago. I started a new job this week and moved to day shift, meaning I have to get up at 6am central time.

    When I had finished my story last night it was close to 10pm and I waited for a half hour for the boards to let me in, but by 10:30 I had to go to bed and the boards were still down.

    I logged into chat and emailed my story to someone there, in hopes that they would be able to post it for me. But there was just no way I could wait up any later last night to post it.

    Cedric

  5. #305
    Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Piratecat's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    26,950
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ø Block Piratecat


    ø Friend+
    The board crash couldn't have come at a worse time last night. The database fell down and went boom; Thomas Heretic (bless his heart) repaired them and got things going again. It wasn't a fast process.

    But now I get to go read both stories - yay!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaruthustran
    Mine was Ember going out east to see a trasmuter about some sort of life change. Oh man, that's funny.
    Thanks! I wasn't sure if anyone was going to catch that. I originally was a little less oblique, but opted for subtlety.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Tuesday, 20th January, 2004 at 02:04 PM.

  6. #306
    Member
    Gallant (Lvl 3)

    mythago's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    At the office, mostly
    Posts
    1,323
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews
    I Defended The Walls!

    ø Block mythago


    ø Friend+
    The hard-nosed answer is that you're supposed to be prepared to e-mail the judges in case something like this comes up.

    However, we're not all hard-nosed like those big meanies over at Iron DM, so, since Sialia has no problem with stretching the deadline for very good reasons, we'll let it go http://www.enworld.org/forums/images/smilies/wink.gif

    My judgment won't be in till late tonight at best.
    Last edited by mythago; Tuesday, 20th January, 2004 at 03:43 PM.

  7. #307
    Writing Fantasy Gumshoe!
    A 1e title so awesome it's not in the book (Lvl 21)

    Piratecat's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    26,950
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews

    ø Block Piratecat


    ø Friend+
    Quote Originally Posted by mythago
    However, we're not all hard-nosed like those big meanies over at Ceramic DM, so. . .
    Accursed freudian slips.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Tuesday, 20th January, 2004 at 03:43 PM.

  8. #308
    Member
    Gallant (Lvl 3)

    mythago's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    At the office, mostly
    Posts
    1,323
    Reviews
    Read 0 Reviews
    I Defended The Walls!

    ø Block mythago


    ø Friend+
    Cedric's not the only one who had a crummy night....

    Fixed now.

  9. #309
    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat
    Accursed freudian slips.
    oh, now that is soooo funny.

  10. #310
    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat
    So I asked myself how to provide fantasy characters that anyone would care about. I had rejected the characters from the D&D movie when something clicked in my head. The iconics? Hmmm. Everyone knew them, they were funny and chock full of in-fighting, and they'd give me the chance to do in-jokes and a tiny bit of editorializing. I knew that I needed to make normal adventuring situations slightly absurd, and I wanted to avoid puns; I'm no Piers Anthony. I never even thought of Yamara when writing Lidda's voice, but I'm sure it influenced me subconsciously. Some times form really does define function.
    Regdar is pleased.

+ Log in or register to post
Page 31 of 53 FirstFirst ... 212223242526272829303132333435363738394041 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Ceramic DM Winter 07 (Final Judgment Posted)
    By yangnome in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 817
    Last Post: Tuesday, 10th April, 2007, 09:01 PM
  2. Fall Ceramic Dm™ - Winner!
    By mythago in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 459
    Last Post: Saturday, 19th August, 2006, 07:55 AM
  3. Ceramic DM - Spring 2005 (Late Bloomer) - We have a winner.
    By BSF in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 512
    Last Post: Friday, 12th August, 2005, 05:20 AM
  4. Spectator Commentary thread for Ceramic DM (Winter 2005)
    By BSF in forum Roleplaying Games General Discussion
    Replies: 88
    Last Post: Sunday, 6th March, 2005, 12:09 AM
  5. Spring Ceramic DM™: WINNER POSTED!
    By Piratecat in forum Archive-threads
    Replies: 801
    Last Post: Tuesday, 1st June, 2004, 01:49 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •