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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:52 pm    Post subject: Random Character Challenge  

Hello fellow Ifians. I have a proposition for you. You see, I've got the urge to write...but the block keeps me from honestly continuing stories I've got going or starting something fresh. So I'm giving myself a challenge and I need your help.

So let me explain how this is going to work. You are going to propose to me the idea for a character. You can propose it with a song, with a picture, or with just a challenge word. I.E. 'Lamb' and I must then come up with a character that is somehow based around that. They need to be as fully three dimensional as I can make them, as real and breathing as anything.

After I get ten entries or a month has passed, I'll put all the characters up for a vote for you to decide which is best. The person who's suggestion produced the winning character will walk away with a cool thousand fatbacks and will see their character featured in a future storygame of mine.

If enough interest is shown I may either extend the competition time or the number of entries to make sure that everyone who wants a shot at me has one.

So...what are you waiting for? Come at me.
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sagittaeri



Joined: 05 May 2012
Posts: 367

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:02 pm    Post subject:  

What an interesting idea. Here's my challenge word:

extinction

I might come up with more ideas later on, but I thought it's a good start. :D
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:41 pm    Post subject:  

Challenge: Extinction

Character: Male
Setting: Fantasy

He stared at the other through tired, rheumy eyes. Bones creaked as he stood, back stooped with age as he leaned upon his cane. The wood let out a sympathetic creak of it's own as if to echo the sentiment that motion was unwanted. Be hind him the great beast took another labored breath, the sound like a bellows as it rasped through the great lungs. "Now you come. You come when I am an old man, when my dragon is toothless and it's fire is gone. Now you come demanding my service. Demanding my aid." He spat at the other's feet, the liquid thick with phlegm. "Damn you."

"An age ago you swore me service. Oaths care not about time, only about the keeping. Are you going to break your word to me now? After you've kept obvious vigil after all these years?"

The old man glared at the other and spat again, a deep cough wracking his brittle frame. Shuddering him like canvas against a kite frame. He pulled a rag from his pocket and mopped the sweat from his brow. "I watched them all die you know. All the others. Cast down from the skies with hook and rope and chain. I listened to them scream in pain as they were butchered and their flesh shared out to the masses. Watched as their skins were made into armor, shields. Their bodies made into weapons. You'll be the same, Prince or no Prince. They'll beat you, enslave you, and when you cannot serve them any more they'll consume you as they did all the others and when they do I'll have watched your passing too."

The other's countenance grew dark at this, snorting derisively as his wings flared. "Cease your babbling. What happened to the others was a fate they all chose. They could have come with me but in their hubris they stayed. Just like in your pride you kept Vigil, knowing I would return and that on that day you would be called into service. Now-"

The other's voice cut off as a bolt hissed through the air and missed him just barely. The bone shaft hit the rock and burst into a thousand splinters, pale bits of feather falling away. They glinted in the light, shimmering softly, and the old man watched the other's realization of horror as he realized that the bone and feathers came from one like himself.

"Flee you fool. Spread those great wings of yours and fly for all you're worth. I'll keep my Oath, such as it is. You didn't think they'd be watching me? Waiting for you to return? Idiot. I never moved not out of any Vigil, but in hopes that you'd realize what had become of the others and never seek me out. That you'd stay far, far away. You damn, damn fool. Go, go now!"

He didn't wait to see if the Prince was going, instead he turned and brandished his stick as fiercely as he could, calling out to the great beast behind him. "Come you blaze, come you ember, come you flame and fire. Come fire blast and pyroclast as situation grows dire. Rise like the heat of the desert day and burn like the sun rising higher. And do not weep for today we sleep and tomorrow we rise from the pyre!"

The great beast's eyes blinked open and it raised it's massive head to let forth a great bellow, as if it were young again. For a moment those who were climbing to the summit paused having been assured that after so many ages of waiting neither dragon nor dragoon were a threat anymore. Yet here the beast was, getting to it's feet with murder in it's eyes and smoke curling from it's nostrils. And for an instant only the fear overcame them, like the legends of old. Their bowels turned to water and they scrambled backward with cries of terror as the beast's wings darkened the skies and obscured the escape of their target.

But it was for a moment and a moment only. Those further back saw the truth for what it was. A frail old dragoon, a toothless old dragon. A pair of doddering fossils attempting to frighten hale young demons away from the scent of the Prince of the Pure. Carefully one of them raised it's bow and took aim before releasing a bolt straight into the heart of the old man.

"Auric...Auric...there you are!" Warm arms enfolding him. Warm lips upon him. Lisette's soft skin against his as she laughed in his arms. "They finally let you come home? Where's the dragon then? Oh wait, don't tell me...you left it outside the village. You silly goose everyone wants to see it-"

Lisette's image faded, withering away from him as the village he'd once called home decayed around him, replaced with a field of barren ash and the stench of carrion. Someone was calling his name and he vaguely realized he was nude, streaked only with soot and ash. "Auric! Auric! Someone get his damn dragon under control! Dammit dragoon, pull your mind back before your damn beast rages and kill us all. Death is over for now and unless you want to meet it eternally you need to-"

He was turning but already the face of the man who'd been speaking to him was gone, trees growing up over the barren field and a pool of water spreading at his feet. Across from him was that gleaming white body, those glistening wings, and he was already sinking to his knees. "Your comrades have embrace a final death, their dragons returned to the Primal Fire from whence they came. But you remain Auric of Relv. Are you sure that you still have the fire in you to serve me? To fight the hoards that crawl from the ruined Heart of the World, that swarm up through the Hells to desecrate the earth?

"I do, I swear to you I still have the fire. I swear to you by the Primal Fire that as long as I exist I shall be your sword and shield. That I shall be the fire that purges the plague and prepares the earth for healing. I will be your scourge, your hound. I give you my Oath if you would have it."

"Then rise Auric Oathbound, and serve me!"

For a moment Auric still stood as the visions of his life twisted before his unseeing eyes, his dragon's bellow becoming a gurgle before the great beast's body toppled. It hit the ground with a shake that tossed pebbles about and threw dust into the sky to sting the eyes. One clawed fore-paw reached out, wrapping age-blunted talons around the falling body of the old dragoon and together they passed out of this age.

A few moments later as the demons crested the hilltop and examined the hoof prints the Prince of the Pure had left behind, fire exploded around them. The body of dragon and dragoon immolating at the same instant with a wash of heat like the innards of a sun, turning sand to glass and liquefying rock. Flesh became ash, became dust, became nothing as the pyre of their deaths blazed like a bright beacon in the growing darkness.

From his vantage some lengths distant the Prince of the Pure tossed his noble head, opalescent horn gleaming in the moonlight as his silvered wings folded about his body. "I'll expect you tomorrow then dragoon...for we are the last of our kinds you and I and before we slide into darkness we shall take the demons with us."
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Emperor



Joined: 02 Nov 2004
Posts: 469
Location: San Diego, CA

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:37 pm    Post subject:  

ummmm, yeah. so awesome.
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Crunchyfrog



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 3998

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 8:50 am    Post subject:  

Great idea!

Here's one...

Pencil
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject:  

*chuckles*Is that a challenge Emperor?

Challenge: Pencil

Character: Female
Setting: Modern

Light streamed through the dusty windows and crawled across the living room floor. It brought to life the faded colors in the shabby, but well cared for, furnishings. The pastels in the old sofa that had been bleached almost uniformly to cream. The mauve area rug that might once have been a richer shade of purple, thrice mended at the edges where it had once been torn. Sitting in the window was an old transistor radio that, despite the passing of time, still put forth clear sound. Some cheery up-beat tune, a product of the late 60's or early 70's musical era that danced in the air, a fun and good nurtured invitation to dance.

She was propped up against the nearby wall, sagging a little as her mind struggled to keep up with anything, to seize on any little important detail. But she was so tired that she just couldn't. Everything was a little muzzy and she just wanted to sleep, to fade into bliss. It had been so hard on her, the eleven hour shift at the hospital, and it had left her feet aching. Funny how right now what hurt most were her hands, she barely remembered that her feet had been killing her an hour or so ago. And her back. All those hours running around madly, the linoleum over concrete did nothing at all for support and she wasn't the only nurse to complain about it.

"How are you doing Elaine? You look a little pale. You need some water? Maybe a little something to eat? I can't thank you enough for helping me with my work, I mean I know you've been working so hard yourself lately. But you're such an inspiration to me and when the muse takes me I've got to put it to paper as soon as I can."

He smiled up at her from where he was sitting at his desk, a thousand sheets of paper spread out around him. His teeth, even and white in that nondescript face of his with it's droopy puppy eyes and soft brown hair that frizzed a little at the temples. He was dressed in a pair of cut off shorts and a peach colored polo, a pencil tucked behind one ear. He held up a sheet to her, snatching it away before she could actually focus on the words.

"Here, listen to this and tell me how this sounds-"

She tuned him out. She was just too tired, her head to fuzzy, too unfocused to really listen to him. That didn't seem to bother him though, he just kept reading out to her. Abruptly her thoughts turned to Sarah. Poor Sarah, she was probably still sitting there at the sitter's and waiting for her mommy to come and pick her up. If Elaine didn't get going soon that worthless ex of hers would figure out she was late and swoop in to pick up their daughter. He'd done it often enough in the past that Elaine was certain he'd do it again, restraining order or no.

She was grateful every day that Sarah resembled her and not that worthless peice of trash she'd accidentally married in a moment of love-blind idiocy. They shared the same auburn hair, the same blue-green eyes, the same smattering of freckles across the bridge of the nose and the rise of both cheek bones. Sarah had been growing like a weed too, all lanky limbs, just like Elaine herself had been at that age. Sarah hated it sometimes, especially when some adult gave her a good-natured tease about being 'all elbows' but Elaine always soothed that irritation by telling Sarah that being all elbows was the first step to being tall.

"You're not paying attention to me Elaine." He'd taken her hand as he spoke, voice slightly reproachful. "But that's alright...I think this page is done. I like it exactly as it is. It's time to start on the next page."

He reached out, taking her right hand tenderly, patting it gently as he smiled up at her. He reached over to the desk, picking up a cigar cutter, and with that same smile still in place he severed the ring finger on her right hand. She would have screamed, long and loud, at the sudden burst of mind-clearing pain. However, the bundle of pencils in a tube sock had been duct-taped in place some hours before. When she bit down she could get a taste of wood or graphite and when she screamed, as now, only a muffled sound came out.

"Pens and pencils Elaine, those are the two types of people in the world you see. Pens make a lasting contribution. They lay down a line and it stays, it's remembered, and when they run dry they're refilled with ink. Pencils though Elaine..." He shook his head, sharpening her finger bone and leaning back over the pages of his 'novel'. "Pencils are made to be used and forgotten. You're a Pencil Elaine, but I'm a Pen."

There was silence in the room for a few moments except for the radio playing more cheerful music and the scratching of her finger bone on the page as he used it to write with. "But you know the trouble with Pencil's Elaine? I'm always having to go and replace them when I've sharpened them to nothing..."

Elaine Parsons knew right then and there, in a crystal clear way that she hadn't really thought about before, that he would kill her when she ran out of fingers. He'd already taken both her pinkies and now her right ring finger...if she counted her thumbs she only had seven more chances before he 'sharpened her to nothing' she supposed. Now that the pain had burned away whatever she'd been drugged with she was thinking clearly and her blue-green eyes darted about with a purpose, truly seeking options to escape with now. After all, her time was limited. She had only seven more fingers of time left to figure out how to escape.
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sagittaeri



Joined: 05 May 2012
Posts: 367

Posted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:47 pm    Post subject:  

Awesome work so far! Here's another:

Snowdrop.
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:19 pm    Post subject:  

Challenge: Snowdrop

Character: Female
Setting: Sci-Fi

White skin. White hair. She drew stares and attention. That and the luminous circuitry that glowed just under that white skin, a wintry white-blue light. Her breath fogged in the air, a trail of frost following her footsteps. She'd imagined this day for so long, she could hardly believe it was finally here. No doubt Father would be upset when he realized she'd left without his permission...but she was tired of waiting for the 'tomorrow' that never came. The 'soon' that turned into never. She'd just...had enough of waiting. And she was never more glad to disobey her Father than she was now.

It was warm, the breeze on her skin wonderfully pleasant, she'd have to thank Rose later, tell her she was doing a good job. Rose was working hard these days, it was her season. Poor Lily was still upset that she'd gotten her's wrong...but after seeing this Snowdrop knew just how to cheer her younger sister up. They'd go for a walk, look at things. Everything was interesting to Snowdrop as she strolled down the street. The prefab houses, the speeders that zipped by in the air above her. The glow-lights that hovered, dim now during the daylights, ready to illuminate the streets at night. Even the other people were interesting to her and she cheerfully waved in response to their puzzled stares.

She encountered a few bots, simple things, no AI just regular programming. A litter sweeper that was wandering up and down the streets and picking up the discards of the people, packing them into it's chest receptacle. Out of sight and out of mind, destined for a landfill. She was proud she knew all of this, she'd plugged into the Net regularly, learning through the interactive databases, the other AIs. Almost more of a parent to her than Father was.

Someone shouted her name and she turned, white hair flying like a blizzard as she did so. Perfectly cut, perfectly weighted. Aside from the stark white color it was hair a girl would kill to have, healthy and glossy. A youth that appeared to be about her age, or did she appear to be about his?, jogged up to her. He paused a few feet away, staring at her with a half nervous smile. "You recognize me?"

A smile split her features. "Your voice yes. Your Net'sona looks a bit different Rodney. Thanks for coming out here to meet me...are any of the others coming?"

He kept eyeballing her, rubbing the back of his neck. "You look...well you look the same. I know you explained but I still didn't expect- it's kinda awesome. And yeah, a couple of the others are coming. A few had work today so they couldn't get free to come meet you. Speaking of getting free, I thought you were never allowed out...so how did you..."

She giggled, her smile bright as she hugged herself, as if trying to hold the happy in. "I snuck out. Well, walked out. Well...Father was busy with Lily so instead of window-gazing today I...left."

Rodney's smile widened. "Righteous. Well Snowdrop...I suppose if you'd like, I'll take you to meet the others. My speeder is right over there, we'll head for the other side of the habitat...give your Father a little more ground to cover."

Snowdrop laughed again, nodding. "Sounds good to me." It sounded like the best thing she'd ever heard actually. Since the day she'd first opened her eyes and Father had started explaining things to her, she'd always been doing what he wanted. She was Snowdrop, the Winter Flower. An AI 'weatherbot' in charge of climate control for the winter season here in Habitat 403. It was her Father's idea. Instead of leaving climate control to machine bound AIs or, worse, fallible programming, the idea was that weatherbots like Snowdrop could get out and interact with the world.

That they could learn and grow and come to care about the world, thus providing mild and perfect weather. In Snowdrop's case, just the right amount of snow, ice, and low temperatures. Little wind, nothing too...uncomfortable. Alright, so perhaps her Father was a little crazy and his rationalizations didn't actually work. Maybe he'd just wanted to build his Flowers and had the money and influence to do it. Snowdrop really didn't care the reasons why she'd been built, just that she was here now.

As the speeder took off, her eyes grew wide. This was...exciting. She laughed, holding on tightly as the old speeder chugged a little under her weight. Wait till she told her sisters...they'd be so jealous of this! She smiled at Rodney again, leaning forward. Today would be her greatest adventure and it was just beginning!
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misterbiz



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 461
Location: a chair in a cold dark living room

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:23 pm    Post subject:  

Challenge Song: Carry On Wayward Son
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:50 pm    Post subject:  

Challenge: Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas

Character: Male
Setting: Modern

"You need to pull your head out of your ass Rafe. Seriously."

Rafe looked up, rubbing his hand on the back of his neck. "What are you going to do, ash me?" His voice was tired, weary. "Gonna pull my fangs and wear them like a pair of fucking earrings? I dare you to come over here and try it candy ass." He was getting too old for this shit, for punks like Joshua to be telling him what to do. Honestly he just wanted to curl up with some not to discerning hooker, have a bite, and then sleep the day away.

Things had gone to shit since the Integration in his opinion. The fucking Camps, the Register, the Stake Squad...fuck all this shit. What he wouldn't give for the days before some genius had thought it was a brilliant idea to discard millennia of traditions and laws and let the fucking humans know they existed. The Fae had the right idea, walking sideways to the sun. Saying fuck this reality and all the shit in it and going...somewhere else. A few of them were left, bitter, vicious creatures sealed into their raths by rings of salt and cold iron in the soil around them. A sphere of unbroken protection that could only be crossed with great power...or help. Far as Rafe knew, nobody was suicidal enough to help those vicious bastards. Fae were nasty. Too much power and not enough give a damn.

"Rafe...Rafe...Raphael are you listening to me?"

"Nope. I haven't been listening to a goddamn word you said." He got to his feet, giving the whiskey on the table a last, longing look. Maybe he could pay said undiscerning hooker to get hammered first. Then there'd be a little whiskey in the blood. No...that was a bad path to go down. He knew plenty of 'addict' vamps. Guys that couldn't stomach their meal unless it came from a crack whore or smack junkie. If their meal wasn't tripping balls...they didn't want it. Those guys were assholes and idiots. Dangerously stupid. Rafe didn't want to end up like them, easy kills for the Stake Squad.

He shot Joshua another glance, ignoring the vicious glare the other was giving him. Skinny little twig like Josh...once upon a time Rafe wouldn't have bothered to wonder if he could take him in a fight. Funny how being a vampire leveled the physical playing field. Now it wasn't what your body looked like but who's blood had brought you back to life that mattered. Rafe looked in unlife as he had in life. The better part of six feet, shoulders half that wide, and two tickets to a gun show worth seeing. He was used to talking hard and towing the line and, thankfully, his sire's blood allowed him to keep doing that.

He was strong. He was fast. And he'd never given a shit about mirrors in life so he wasn't missing that. Although he did admit, his eternal three o'clock shadow itched a bit and turned off a few sweet honeys from time to time. He shrugged, stomping his way out of the alley and glancing around, fingers thumbing the worn card in his pocket. ID. Don't leave home without it or the Stake Squad wouldn't think twice about capping your ass. Best advice anyone had ever given Rafe.

He squinted up at the clouded sky, as if to gauge the time by the position of the moon and stars. He didn't need it though, Timex could set their master clock by his internals. He rand a hand through his greasy black hair, attempting to look at least marginally decent. The vampire sex gaze, or whatever the hell it was that made humans do what he wanted, still felt like cheating to him. He'd go pick up his ladies the honest way...with cash.

Hands in pockets, shoulders humped against an imaginary burden of the world, he headed down the streets whistling the song stuck in his head.
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sagittaeri



Joined: 05 May 2012
Posts: 367

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:05 pm    Post subject:  

Nice job with Snowdrop and Raphael!

Challenge song: Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYIAfiVGluk

:D
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:40 pm    Post subject:  

Challenge: Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap

Character: Male
Setting: Sci-Fi

No. No. This was all wrong. He sat with his hands over his ears, hunched up in a ball away from everyone. It was supposed to be a simple surgery. Everyone had assured him of it. How it had been done a million times. A simple correction of damage, it wasn't as if he'd never been able to hear before. He'd been just fine before the explosion. Hell the silence he'd been living in was almost better than this. The voices, the sounds, all warped and twisted into this horrific reverberating version...this perverted parody of sound. He couldn't deal with it.

They'd mutilated him, simple as that. He'd never be able to rejoin the ears with the entire world sounding all warbly and twisted like this. Distorted. As if through some strange mechanical filter. His eyes flicked back and forth between the figures that were speaking to each other in hushed tones, obviously about him. He tasted iron in his mouth and realized that he'd bitten his lip hard enough to draw blood. Why had this happened to him?

The speaking figures were back, trying to talk to him again. He could barely make out what they were saying, only a word every now and again through the warped noise. Like they were under water in a metal sea. Asking him if he was alright. "No I'm not fucking alright!" He instantly regretted speaking. The sound of his voice, perfect in his head, and then distorted through his mutilated ears...the disharmony was too much for him. His head was aching from the noise, his poor brain trying to make sense of it. He ruffled around the room until he found a pen and a piece of paper.

He took his time, carefully writing out his complaint and handing it to them. They stared at him for a few moments, reading the complaint and the looking back to him. Again their mouths opened and discord flowed out, causing him to press his hands to his ears for some blessed silence again. He'd take being deaf over this. He'd figure out how to play again some other way...through vibration alone if that was his only option. He'd fucking invent the technology rather than have his world forever ruined by this noise...they'd fix it or he would.

They realized their voices were agitating him and they left him alone in silence. In contemplation. There'd never been a time in his life when music hadn't been with him. The driving force in his life. When he'd been small and alone, it had been his companion. When his parents had sat and screamed and threw things until they broke, hit each other until they broke and bled, music had been there for them. And now that was being taken away from him?

It wasn't his fault that the ship he'd been travelling on had blown a trans-stellar. It wasn't his fault that now that something had gone wrong and rendered his ears useless for the second time. Did he have no hope? He wasn't wealthy enough to afford a total regrow. He couldn't afford to have his ears excised and replaced whole. This had been his best chance at regaining his hearing...and here he was wishing he was deaf again.

He walked to the window, looking out at the busy street below him. People leading innocent lives, unknowing of his struggle. There were even people out there that couldn't afford to have surgeries like this. There were people who'd never heard music, born deaf. People who'd never seen color, born blind. Honestly what did Nik have to complain about.

He felt like a ghost in his own skin as he shuffled about the room. He was alone in it, the other bed empty. For that he was grateful. With a silent sigh he shuffled into the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. The ordeal had taken it's toll on him, his cheeks were hollow and his eyes sunken. His previous tanned skin had taken on a sallow hue, unhealthy. His glossy brown hair was listless and looking a little shaggy. His green eyes glassy and surrounded by dark rings. When had this happened? Only yesterday he'd been healthy.

He shuffled back out of the bathroom and froze. His room...changed. There was only one bed now, it had shrunken...grown small. The window was narrow and wired to keep him from escaping. He charged toward the door, slamming against it, pounding on it. The warped echoes made him stop and he retreated to the corner again, balling up and weeping as the memories slowly returned.

It was always like that. He'd wake up and think he was back in the hospital after surgery...relive the moment that ruined his life. They didn't believe him. Not one of them. Not a single doctor. They'd examined his ears and found them normal. They'd run every test until he hadn't a penny left...no use. Finally he'd snapped...he'd stabbed one. He could remember the blood, the discordant screams that had been almost...acceptable.

Auditory hallucinations. That's what they called them. Auditory hallucinations...this warped warbling was all in his mind. He'd tried, twice, to deafen himself. To stab out his eardrums and return to blessed silence. But they wouldn't let him. They got angry at him. Like Mother....like Father.

And this time music wasn't around to save him.
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sagittaeri



Joined: 05 May 2012
Posts: 367

Posted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:58 pm    Post subject:  

Here's another song challenge.

Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion, by Oliver Tank

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZnqxoGNoHo
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misterbiz



Joined: 10 Jan 2010
Posts: 461
Location: a chair in a cold dark living room

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:32 am    Post subject:  

Challenge Song: Here's to Us
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kkdestiny



Joined: 05 Oct 2010
Posts: 674
Location: The Library of Interfable History

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:37 pm    Post subject:  

I'm going to challenge you as much as possible:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLiHj2Uy69w
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Kalanna Rai



Joined: 21 Jan 2006
Posts: 3075
Location: The Frozen North

Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:31 am    Post subject:  

Challenge: Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion, by Oliver Tank

Character: Female
Setting: High Fantasy

The Queen sat in her garden at midnight, staring at the statue of her lost son. The soft sounds of the water slowly dripping into the nearby fountain giving sound to the silent tears that rolled down her cheeks. Taken from her. Stolen. Her only child. Her Heir. Nothing could compare to the pain she was feeling, her heart torn in two. The crunch of footsteps upon the roused the anger that lurked below her sorrowed surface and she didn't bother to turn to address the intruder.

"I wished to be alone! Leave. Now. Or-"

"Apologies great Queen. I mean no disrespect. I merely needed a moment of your time to myself. The offer I wish to make needs no other ears to overhear it, it is meant only for you."

Her face twisted as she turned, staring at the form of Ambassador Rhodaz. Perfectly coiffed, perfectly dressed, as always. But with those soulless eyes and that whiff of damnation about him. Even in the darkness of the garden, even in the moon's faint light, it was easy to see that even though the two of them stood only feet apart...the Queen was the only one to cast a shadow. "Go. I'll hear no bargains from you."

"Not even one to return that which was stolen from you?" Rhodaz gestured to the statue of the Prince, his face a mask of sorrow. "So young with so much potential. To be slain so shamefully. To leave a kingdom without an heir, without a future. As much as a blood civil war would please certain factions in my realm, far more of us think it would be a pity. So I've been instructed to come and offer a bargain. We will give you back your Prince great Queen. All we ask of you in return is passage through your lands."

In her breast her aching heart beat laboriously, each beat lasting a lifetime. All around her the world seemed to freeze and stretch. Grief. Hope. Rage. Terror. Joy. All of it seemed to burst in her breast like slow motion fireworks. Each emotion sharp with color all it's own. Could she? Should she? To have her son back, her Prince, her pride and joy. Could she? Should she? His return would secure the future of her nation. Her people. It would put an end to the warring lords and their posturing. Put an end to the endless cabinet sessions pressuring her to declare one over the other. But to give Rhodaz and his people passage, unfettered, through her lands.

"You would not harm my people? You would not harm their possessions? You would simply pass through this land but leave it untouched?" Her voice was raw, harsh, her words seeming to take forever to speak as if drawn from unwilling lips.

Rhodaz bowed lightly. "We would do our very best to leave this land as we found it great Queen. But the passage of an army is not trackless, no matter how careful they are."

She sat on the edge of the statue's base, clutching her rich shawl about her like a frightened fisherwoman. "My people would not accept that. As you said, the passage of an army is not trackless...the tracks you leave would heal slower than those left by others."

Rhodaz frowned slightly, as if worried. "But great Queen, your Prince? What of him?"

"He would not want to return to a land marred eternally."

Rhodaz stood for a moment before sighing. "Very well. If we agree that no harm will come to your land or to anything in it, if we return your Prince, will you allow us free passage?"

She looked up. "No harm to my people? To their things? To the livestock and creatures? To the land itself? None of any kind at all from any of your people or your associates? And you will return my son to me promptly?" Her voice was hoarse, barely a whisper.

Rhodaz was quiet for a long moment. "Yes. That is a bargain we will agree to." He reached into his vest, withdrawing a parchment that the Queen took with shaking hands.

She read slowly, carefully. She had all the time in the world after all. And for once...the bargain was fair. She took the quill that Rhodaz offered, stabbing her thumb to wet the quill in blood before signing and handing it back to him. "I want my son now Rhodaz."

The demon lord smiled, his human disguise cast aside. "And so it is done. You should hasten to his crypt great Queen. There is precious little air in a stone casket."
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sagittaeri



Joined: 05 May 2012
Posts: 367

Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:58 am    Post subject:  

Awesome! I so wish I can do high fantasy...
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