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Thread: December and January Vignette

  1. #1
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    Philomel's Avatar

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    December and January Vignette

    Standard vignette rules apply.
    They can be found here.

    December Prompt: Your character becomes lost in a snow blizzard (or other similar extreme weather condition), the worst one seen for many years, miles from any known settlement. This can be in Salvar, Berevar or in a place where it might be very unexpected. How does your character survive, and how will they plan to get to civilisation? How did they get there?

    Note:
    this is an open festive thread. If you want to make it festive then please do. If not, then you do not need to.
    Last edited by Philomel; 12-01-2017 at 09:34 AM.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  2. #2
    and this is Jackass!

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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

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    Two years ago

    Stretching across the harsh and frigid northlands, the vast, mighty kingdom of Salvar was still rebuilding from years of civil war between its Church and State. Though the clashes had quieted, and the two sides had finally reconciled in a de-facto peace, both had been reduced to fractions of their former power. Anarchy and chaos reign supreme as the citizens of the icy wastes of Salvar struggle to survive.

    That was what Shinsou and Bane were told.

    Their campfire occupied the centre of a clearing just north from Salvar’s port of Tirel. As Bane, the burly ranger that had been ever-present at the Telgradian’s side, looked around, he saw the ghosts of his men staring back at him. Those weather beaten and rough looking rangers all perched around the coals, their black coats and fleeces pulled tight to protect them from a night in the open and their focused faces illuminated by the flickers of the dancing flames in front of them. There would have been no complaints of the cold of this place, and as they talked in hushed tones they would all sharpen their weapons and waited patiently for their food to cook.

    Now, they were all dead, killed in an ambush on Corone’s coastal path. They were men he missed dearly, and if it hadn’t of been for Shinsou, he would likely have joined them on the corpse pile.

    For that, he was thankful.

    Perched on the snow-dusted trunk of a fallen tree, Shinsou Vaan Osiris peered out from underneath his hood, pulling his fleece tightly around him to keep in the warmth.

    As the heat of the fire licked at his cold cheeks, Shinsou looked around to Bane. He didn’t truly observe him too often, but as the Telgradian’s eyes fell upon his chassis, he saw the man was more of a giant than he had realised – his own young, infallible complexion and comparatively meagre frame must have looked so out of place next to that of the battle hardened former ranger. Men like Bane were a tough and complex breed. After all, that’s why he had originally hired Bane as an escort. He was experienced and a man of great strength, for the most part. But now, in these times, the man was so much more than just a hired hand. They had become fast friends. The only thing that troubled Shinsou was the worry that friendship and muscle would count for very little against what he expected to be sent his way any day now.

    He had felt it when they had arrived in Salvar, and he could still feel it now.

    “Dad is here in Salvar, Bane. I’m sure of it.”

    Bane spat into the coals just to hear the sizzle as his saliva evaporated, which had now become a terrible habit of his. His monstrous shoulders were barely concealed by a tattered coat, hardly appropriate attire for the hellish cold of Salvar. He sported his traditional year-old black beard with thin sideburns meeting a sort of crew cut on top; a proper ranger’s haircut. A giant custom double-edged sword, which was basically two great broadswords welded together at their hilts, lay in the snow at his feet and the flawless steel of its blades glimmered in the fire.

    The man turned to Shinsou, and raised an eyebrow.

    “You can sense each other’s presence?”

    “It’s complicated,” Shinsou said, brushing a hand through his freezing brown locks. “…because it’s him, I just know.” As he shrugged, his breath hit the cold air and turned to steam.

    Bane repositioned his sword he had by his feet onto his shoulder, and began to polish it.

    “Can he sense you?”

    Shinsou gulped down a cup of Bane’s ale that he had by his side. As it hit the back of his throat, he could taste and smell the familiar strength of the stuff, and decided that one was all he really needed, wiping his mouth with the corner of his sleeve.

    “We’d already be dead if he could.”

    “Good,” the ranger replied, “That buys us some time here.”

    “Bane, I have a lot to thank you for,” Shinsou started again, rubbing his hands to warm them. “…but listen well. This will be a fight over Telgradian affairs, and I want you well away from it. I don’t want you killed because of me.”

    Bane didn’t look up. Instead, he reached down for one of the bags by his side and flung it at the fire.

    “Don’t be so fucking stupid. You think I came all the way here to do nothing but freeze my arse off and scrape you off the floor?”

    The canvas bag spun through the air, and as it struck the fire it ignited, feeding the flames with fuel once more.

    ***

    The second stint of their journey up north was much more challenging than the first. They were trying to reach a small settlement at the foot of a frozen mountain range called Tael where Shinsou had suspected a Telgradian portal had been constructed and as admirable the effort on foot had been for the pair (trudging over acres upon acres of tundra without a horse between them), they had now gone far enough north for strange things to start happening.

    The snow was relentless, filling their world with harsh, unyielding white. The nights began to get longer and the days shortened to the point where the concept of time became almost meaningless. Their only method of working out roughly what progress they had made during the day was deduced from the time it took for their stomachs to growl at them compared to how much closer the all encompassing mountain range in the distance had gotten to them. Even that was made all the more difficult by the disorientating effects of the blizzard.

    The sun never seemed to rise properly, instead just squinting over the horizon. When nightfall came, the stars were hidden by the incessant pounding of the snowstorm. Trying to orientate with them became the very definition of madness as the two men struggled to keep an accurate record of each star’s location.

    It wasn’t so much a problem for the journey to Tael as it would be for the journey home.

    Though confident and upbeat at first, Shinsou soon realised that Salvar had the kind of environment that could drive a man insane in a matter of hours. There had been very little time for preparation, bar an estimation of food consumption and the appropriate gearing up with winter clothing and hunting tools, and now the harsh climate and sparse environment was starting to irritate him. Salvar was known for chewing up civilization and spitting it back out. Only a few scattered human tribes lived this far north, bar the settlement they were destined for, but as annoyed and drained as he felt, the Telgradian knew that reaching Tael was the only thing that mattered at the moment.

    “How are you doing, Bane?” He shouted through a sheet of snow as the wind kicked up furls of white and dusted his face.

    “Apart from this fucking wind, I’m fine,” Came the ranger’s yelled response. “Keep going!!”

    Compared to Shinsou, Bane was an all-weather, all-terrain machine. He seemed to know not rest, hunger or thirst and just kept going and going. His stride was such that Shinsou had trouble keeping up with him several times. As they got closer to the mountains, to where Tael was situated, Bane’s legs pounded the icy terrain like bombs, as if being driven by some higher power. He would bury his head in his fleece as he tried to ignore the growling of his stomach or the parched dryness of his throat.

    As another surge of energy took the ranger, Bane lowered his gaze from the barely visible mountains ahead and saw the landscape change before him. The endless white sheets of the blizzard had been interrupted by some sort of makeshift campsite. Some of the snow around the perimeter was stained with blood. There was a single spit with a leg of meat on, but no fire or attendants. Then, Bane and Shinsou saw figures. They looked human, but consisted only of white silhouettes through the heavy snow, barely opaque enough to make out any details at all.

    “Shit and derision…” Shinsou’s utterance was stating the obvious, but confirmed Bane’s own misgivings about their surroundings.

    Three dozen and more sets of eyes focused on them in utter silence, indicative of a larger gathering than this place had seen in years.

  3. #3
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    Philomel's Avatar

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    This Vignette will go on until the end of January, to continue the festive feel.
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  4. #4
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    loves.blessing.'s Avatar

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    The day had started out as an exciting adventure, something invigorating to do. Well it started out that way, the petite framed violinist was on her way to a show. The winter chill had claimed the land, a large blanket of white snow painted over the once green scenery. The reflection of the sun bounced off the white flakes, it would cause anyone to squint if they tried to look into the distance. McKinley had her instrument case held in one gloved hand. A trace of smile flirted with her beautiful pink lips as she made her way down the path heading towards town. Kinley thought she had planned accordingly, warm boots, black jeans to attract the suns rays, a large Eskimo coat shielded her from the harsh winter winds that licked at her flushed cheeks. The hood pulled over her head, her red curls pooled around her ears as another source of warmth along with her black leather gloves. She was all bundled and ready to make the fifteen mile hike through the forest to get to town for the music gig she had signed herself up for. Boy was she dead wrong.

    **********************

    A few hours into the adventure things had taken a harsh turn for the worse. The winds brought in a brutal flurry of snow, the line of sight in front of Kinley was only maybe a foot or two in front of her. She tripped as she tried to make towards the coverage of the trees. She looked like a newborn calf, her legs not trustworthy enough to carry her successfully to the shelter of the pines that she hoped-willed to be nearby. Her lungs burned with the frigid cold air entered and was expelled out of her at a rapid pace. I should have never done this, poor Nymeria is all alone at home. By the gods I hope she is okay. The sting of tears threatened her as she blinked rapidly. The moisture in her eyes didn't stop though as the winds took no mercy on the tiny woman, small tears slide down her cheeks almost freezing instantaneously. A gloved hand wiped away the frozen, salty crystals which caused her to gasp from the sharp pain of the ice being ripped from her cheeks.

    The sun was quickly falling from the sky as the temperatures started to plummet. The hour of smoke before everything turned fully dark. As the violinist forced herself to move forward, with each exhale large clouds came from her now chapped lips. The warm coat and boots that she was sure would have shielded her from the cold now gave now warmth to her. The winds were so strong she felt as if she was in nothing but a sundress. The flesh of her thigh stung as it was stretched and released with every step she took. Her fingers that were wrapped tightly around the handle of her beloved instrument case were covered with the black leather of her gloves but if she had taken them off she would have been devastated. Her fingertips were covered with superficial frostbite, her digits were no longer a soft pink but white, the lack of blood flow was apparent. Small blisters had formed up the top of her hand.

    "I am gonna die," she gasped bitterly.

    Large silhouettes of pine tree overshadowed the red head as she pushed against the wind, her other hand gripped tightly of the flaps of her hood to hold it around her head to try and hold in what warmth she had. Push, you have to keep moving Kinley or you surely will parish no pun intended. She thought to herself as she tried, no willed herself to find the strength to move on. It felt like she had barely moved through the thick snow, her muscles were tense and her joints groaned with each small step.

    She was up to the middle of her shin in snow as the wind took her by surprise and whipped against her throwing her already off balance body to the cold ice below. The air in her lungs was sucked out as she gasped, sputtered and coughed and tried to force oxygen in to her.

    Her lips trembled and her teeth knocked together as her body locked up, she couldn’t move. “He-help..” She tried to call out into the white abyss. The sound of a branch brought hope to her, a large figure hovered over her. At first she thought it was Nymeria her dire wolf as her hand reached up and was met with the feeling of fur. “Nym,” she croaked and tried to sit up but was met with the muzzle of a bear.

    McKinley tried to flatten herself as much as she could to the ground to make herself not look like a big threat. It was already too late though she had touched it and it knew she was there, a large paw swiped downwards at her. It’s large claws ripped through her coat and flesh like knife to warm butter. Her cries were drown out by the whistling of the wind, warm crimson blood painted the white snowy ground.

    I love you Breaker, please take care of Nym. She thought as hot tears spilled down her cheeks as the beast tore into her again.

    Her screams were sucked from her as she felt it’s teeth dig into her thigh. Her hand released the instrument case as she remembered she had been holding it. She pulled all of her strength together and unlocked the caser revealing the violin her beloved Breaker had given her. Cherry oak as she reached for the bow and used the cold to her advantage and snapped the bow in half against the hard ground. She took the sharpest part of the splinter wood and drove it into the side of the bear’s face.

    It took the beast by surprise as its howls of pain filled the air, it reeled back and withered away in pain, the other part of the bow drug behind it.

    McKinley’s breathing became shallow as the loss of blood was becoming close to deadly, plus the large blizzard and her already hypothermic body. Another branch snapped and she whimpered, the bear must be coming back to finish her off. Just as she was about to give in an all too familiar yip filled her ears. “Nym,” she coughed as the calico dire wolf licked her tear stained cheeks. “Take me to the city Nymeria, city-help.” Her vision had become blurry either from the tears or blood loss she wasn’t certain.

    The dire wolf took the coat of her sleeve as gently as possible and started to pull her towards the city of Salvar. Consciousness slipped from her as she felt her body being tugged through the snow. McKinley wasn’t sure how much time had passed but she heard raised voices surround her. Her mind whirled with confusion, drowning her like a title wave of uncertainty. She gasped feeling hands wrap around her tattered body. “Go-od Nyme,” her words slurred heavily as she tried to thank her companion that somehow manage to track her down and save her life.

    “McKinley, oh McKinley what happened.” A rough familiar voice wrapped itself around her. She opened her heavy lids and gazed up at the man.

    “Breaker,” she asked confused on how it had been him that Nymeria had taken her to.

    “I- I can’t feel anything and I am so tired.” She mumbled, her tongue clumsily trying to form words.

    “Stay awake, my love I am going to take you to a healer! Please Kinley stay awake.” The man pleaded as he made his way through town to the healers. He roughly shoved past people, others turned and gasped with horror at the young violinist’s condition.

    With his long strides they made it to the local hospital with healers in no time as Breaker demanded for help. A stretcher was quickly brought out and the red head was laid on top of it. Several healers surrounded her as the worked diligently to peel her clothing from her flesh.

    “You have to stay here,” one of the healers told the prized fighter before she rushed back to aid the others. “We will be able to save her,” she called over her shoulder for reassurance.

    This was one hell of an adventure, Kinley thought before exhaustion claimed her.

  5. #5
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    The Huntsman's Avatar

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    Fil'ayn Kiljarden
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    Chemical snow third try

    Snow swirled thick in the air, wet, thick, clogging. It made it difficult for me to even breathe, let alone see. Every inch of exposed skin stung in the bitter cold, and even the parts of me that were covered up by fabric ached and hurt. This was the kind of cold that set into your bones, that made it hard to think or move. Any sane person would have curled up in shelter hours ago, and prayed for survival, prayed for warmth after this icy hell.

    I was, apparently, far from sane. But I was the Huntsman, and I, was on a Hunt. My foray into the hellish reaches had started when I received word that three, three damn villages had vanished, going completely silent, and when rescue workers made it to them, all they found were snow drifts and empty buildings. This was - rather unusual for Alerar, as it was currently the middle of summer and out of season snow storms just didn't happen. Granted, these had happened in the furthest reaches of the nation, but even so, even deep in the mountains, something had to be happening. So I had set out, trying to figure out what was happening here.

    The villages had given me next to nothing to work with - empty streets and dead, gutted animals. The air in them had been still, quiet - and colder than it should have been. I should have taken that cold as my warning to return to a larger city and prepare warmer weather clothes - but I hadn't. I'd been too focused, and now, trapped in the middle of what seemed like an unending hell of snow, I sincerely regretted that fact. I think the only thing that kept me going at this point was my limited regeneration - and even then, it was fighting a slowly losing battle against the unrelenting, bitter, chill.

    I - needed to find something. Anything. I was stubborn, but not an idiot. This snow was clearly artificial, being generated by something. I needed to figure out a way to survive this assault, so that I could -

    I tripped over it. The soft, choking snow enveloped me as I plunged forwards, landing heavily. It wet, cloying, and it made the chill even worse as I struggled back to my feet. Damn it - normally I would have been able to recover as I fell and turned it into a roll - but this damnable cold had set into my muscles so much that my reflexes were severely slowed. This was miserable. I hated the cold, I decided then and there. I'd never really experienced it before this, but if this was what it was like, I'd have to move to Fallien or something just so I never had to worry about snow again.

    I stumbled around in a small circle, turning to look at what I had tripped over. My eyes widened. It was a bear - dead in its tracks. Damn, just how long had this snow been falling? I drew in a deep breath - and regretted it as piercing cold stung my nose and lungs. But there was no smell of rot or decay in the air - actually all I could smell was the snow, which had an odd, almost chemical scent to it. No one had ever mentioned that before when talking about snow, not that I could remember. I shook it off - I could worry about the snow and it's oddities later. Right now - I had possible temporary salvation at hand.

    I drew out my iron dagger, and looked at it with a frown. No - I could see that this pervasive, hateful cold had set into the metal, damaging it. Damn. That was unfortunate - if my dagger was damaged, some of the other iron tools would be too. Well fuck. Fine. I shoved the dagger back into its sheathed, and unhooked the Saw-Spear from its holster on my back.

    The Damascus blade was not suffering the cold anywhere near as badly as the iron was. Good. It would be worse for neatly cutting the hide from the bear - jagged, serrated teeth generally weren't as good as sharp, honed smooth edges - but it would work. I knelt down by the animal’s head and started to push my weapon into its hide.

    I barely, barely managed to get out of the way as the bear proved it wasn't dead. A lumbering paw swept for me, trying to carve into me. I had managed to throw myself back into the snow - but that was fighting a losing battle all over again, as the cold wet burning on my back worsened as my clothes became damp. I was fighting more than just the bear here - I was battling the elements. And I could only win one of those fights.

    So with shaking, aching hands, I snatched the Saw-Spear from the snow, and struggled to my feet. The bear wasn't doing much better than I was - currently, the beast was trying to force its way out of the rut of snow that it was trapped in. That - gave me an opening. I activated the mechanism in my weapon, and the blade sprang out in a sweeping arc, clicking and locking into place at full extension. The large head of the bear swung out to stare at me - as I thrust forward.

    It was actually better for me that the bear was still alive. Not only did that mean that when I won - ‘if’ wasn't an option here - the meat and hide would still be warm, it also meant that the enchantment upon my weapon would work. Jagged teeth ripped into the shoulder of the bear - and warmth, heat, flowed into me. It was weak, small, barely a thing at all, but at the same time, it was more vitality than I had had moments before. My blade tore back, and the bear roared in pain, and came free from the snow in a heavy, gallumphing charge.

    But the life force I had stolen from the beast had been enough to give my regeneration an edge against the cold. My muscles were looser, more limber. Enough so that throwing myself out of the way of the lumbering assault was manageable. The beast charged past me, disappearing into the snow. This was - now dangerous.

    The snow was cutting off visibility, and even sound was muffled by the thick snowfall. I heard a few crunches of snow as it ran by, but now, nothing. I stilled myself, stopping even my breathing, and I tensed, waiting. I would hear it before I saw it coming, and I wanted to be ready to react immediately.

    It burst from the snow-choked air, charging for me, its mouth open wide and aimed for my throat. I lunged forward, blade darting. Teeth bit - and the snow was stained red and purple with our blood.

    ------

    “Yes yes yes trials do seem to be quite successful yes yes. The constructs are operating well within parameters at this point and the only slow down was dealing with that nasty Huntsman that started sniffing around. Still, a few days of snow have covered the area.” The man speaking was tall, wiry, and gaunt. His black skin looked like it had been stretched across his skin with not enough to actually cover everything. His eyes were a pale amber color, and half-obscured by the thick glasses perched on the end of his nose. He was currently sitting at a long, high desk, with stacks of papers scattered all about him. In front of him was a thick ledger that he was currently scribbling madly in. He looked up, briefly, when the door to the cramped office he was in opened, but upon seeing a literal icy visage he dismissed it and turned his attention back to his notes.

    “Yes yes, I suppose it is tea time. Just set it down wherever, I'll pick it up in a moment and drink.” He flapped his hand irritably at the door, and it swung closed. There were soft, dragging footsteps, and he gave an angry huff as he glanced down and saw that the figure of ice was leaving water on the ground behind it. “And when you leave, report to the freezing chamber immediately. It looks like the chilling agents have worn off of you. Now leave me be to my work.” Silence, though it looked like he wasn't actually expecting a response.

    Which was good for him, because he wasn't going to get one from the thing that I was propping up on my sword. After slaughtering and skinning the bear, I had finally, after another day of intense bitter cold, managed to find this building. It would have been easy to overlook - what was one more empty house amidst another dead village? But - I had gotten lucky. I had come in a small break in the snow storm, when the air was still painfully cold, but I could at least see. And I had seen, when the snow had started back up - that it first rose from this building, before falling down and obscuring everything again.

    The uppermost floor had been a seemingly normal house, empty and vacant like all the rest had been. But I had kept searching - until I found an alcove, hidden beneath the ice box, that led down into an underground facility. The place was absolutely freezing - a bitter, painful chill, but at least it hadn't had snow. What it had had was a seemingly endless amount of frozen constructs - humanoid shapes formed from ice that shuffled about slowly, performing rote, mindless tasks. None had seemed to pay me any mind as I walked by them, until I came upon ones with rough hewn weapons made of ice like they were themselves.

    These ‘guards’ had had rudimentary defenses and actually had responded to my presence - but they were no match for me at this point. One by one they had fallen silent guardians of ice meeting their ends as I cleaved them apart. Until I had found this one, another faceless drone. Buy this one stood out - because it was carrying a tray with a steaming kettle on top. So I had followed it as it made its way through the facility - until it arrived at this door. I had killed it, then, driving my Saw-Spear through its back and spine, stabbing upwards and piercing its head.

    Now, I let the frozen form fall, and I waited. The scientist, the madman, looked up as the ice shattered, and his eyes locked onto me, his mouth dropping open. “No no no you are supposed to be dead dead dead!” He stammered out, his amber eyes locking onto me. I calmly clicked the Saw-Spear back to its reserved state, and shook my head slowly.

    “As you see, I am not. You however, are. Responsible for the wanton, mindless destruction of four villages and counting. You will die here and your research with you.” Credit where it was due, he did try to escape, trying to leap away from me over his desk. I let him, watching him scramble away from me, and I shook my head again. “You might as well not try to run. You are only going to die tired in that manner.” He screamed and threw whatever he could grab at me, hurling papers and paraphernalia at me.

    I swatted the flung objects aside and slowly began my advance on him, a slow, methodical march, my boots now sharply ringing on the tiled floor. The man collapsed as I slowly hefted my blade up. A faint, pungent smell reached my nose and I crinkled it beneath my mask, as I saw a spreading stain across his pants. It seemed he would die with no dignity. A beast. I plunged the blade down. Teeth bit in, and the grey tiles were stained purple. His amber eyes locked onto mine as the light faded from them, and his hand weakly grasped at my arm.

    “I - would have been… Great…” I ripped the Saw-Spear out, and the body crumpled. I shook my head.

    “No. You were a beast already, unconcerned and unrepentant in the slightest.” I flicked his blood off of my weapon - and set about destroying every trace of his research I could find. Without him here, the facility would die in time - and I would make sure no one could revive it.
    Cruel and brutal are the blades for the Beast
    It's time to Carve and Clatter and Cleave.

    A member of the NevCrew:
    Nevin: Thread count: please, don't try.
    Erik: Thread count: five or six. Maybe seven...
    Huntsman: seven. Maybe eight. Shhhhhhh.
    Telli' thread count: zero. I just can't get into writing the little hellion.

  6. #6
    upon the cheek of night

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    Breaker's Avatar

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    Joshua Breaker Cronen
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    This vignette is now closed for judgment. Thanks to everyone who participated!
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    from your torso

    -Wax Mannequin

  7. #7
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    Philomel's Avatar

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    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
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    Prompt:
    Your character becomes lost in a snow blizzard (or other similar extreme weather condition), the worst one seen for many years, miles from any known settlement. This can be in Salvar, Berevar or in a place where it might be very unexpected. How does your character survive, and how will they plan to get to civilisation? How did they get there?

    Shinsou:


    Plot:
    It opens really well, with an informative, but effectively descriptive paragraph, that leads well into the environment that your character currently is in. The setting is done well, given an idea of the cold beforehand, and after as the storm settles in. The story itself is set into two parts that works well and has an equal pacing between them. There is reason for both, for one sets the scene before the disturbing appearance of the beings behind them. I would have maybe liked to have seen more development for the background to the story, though this is a little touched on. This piece seems part of a much larger whole, and for your personal story that works, but for a vignette can be jarring. There is some information missing for a person who knows little about your character - who is this dad, why is he so terrible? As someone who knows Shinsou well I can answer those questions, but it is something to consider. Pacing wise, it was good and steady, with some good paragraphing to build tension at the end.

    Character:
    Your character develops both with the story plot and the general structure of the piece. You have a strong narrative voice in this piece that keeps a steady, contemplative tone, that is reflected in that of Shinsou himself. The reader can feel his personality through the thoughts and concerns written in the words that make up the narration. His communication is constant in its tone, and portrays his feelings of anxiety when talking of his father.
    The addition of Bane as an NPC works well, and he is described briefly enough but full enough to comprise an idea of who he is and what his presence feels like. He has an interest on the overall story and does not just seem like a useless part. Saying this, I would have liked to have seen Bane take a more direct part in the story.

    Technique:
    Overall you have some good technique that helped you win points here. Parts like "snow-dusted trunk of a fallen tree" add to the setting, and help to make a more effective story. There are some good uses of colour that work particularly well. That saying more metaphor would be good here, that you miss in a way, and perhaps imagery.

    Loves.Blessing:

    Plot:
    You build setting up really well here, with this being the focus of your piece. Setting is felt by the reader, in the addition of the cold items, reference to clothing, and good use of adjectives. It is more the cold than anything that seems to be focused on here, and that is aided by the hallucinations of seeing the bear as Nymeria. The fact that McKinley uses her "beloved instrument" as a weapon is an example of just how desperate the situation is. There are some sweet parts to the story, and a good development of plot. Paragraphing was done well and it was realistic overall; a short scene that fits a vignette well.

    Character:
    The reader can feel part of what McKinley is like from this, with a lot of direct thought and thought in the narration of the piece. Action is simple, but provocative, with the breaking of the violin being a major part. You can feel part of who she is from this, with her feelings to Breaker and Nymeria described. Overall I would have liked to have seen more power of the former relationship, leading to the fact he is carrying her, within this piece, though, to make it more of a romance.

    Technique:
    There are some really great pieces of writing here: "A trace of smile flirted with her beautiful pink lips," that give great imagery. There are some minor spelling errors that are within your piece such as, "unlocked the caser" that should be "case". Overall there are some issues with punctuation that you have, with parts that there should be more common. Though, more or less, you have a good grasp of sentence structure, reading sentences back to yourself and adding in commas when there are pauses can help.

    The Huntsman:

    Plot:
    You set out with a good, firm description, setting us within the brief well and effectively. The fact that it has description, then a small bit of narration to tell the reader how you got there works very well. Overall the pacing is good, with a steady rise to the main action of the story. There are some moments where there is a little bit of stumbling (see technique) but the general story itself has very good and solid content. The setting is also developed well, with a clear indication of just how cold it is, with small details such as the bear frozen. When the story goes on to the scientist it flows well, mirroring what had been felt within the first half. Though the brief is not the focus here, it still is mentioned with the illusions to "freezing" and so on.

    Character:
    Use of first person serves you well here, with building up the character from the ground, and showing us his thoughts as he deals with the situation. You do not let it become too much of a distraction either, though, and instead have it help to frame the storytelling. Small actions help to add power such as, "I drew out my iron dagger, and looked at it with a frown," and even though there is not much dialogue to consider for this piece, it is not needed for the overwhelming feelings that are communicated.

    Technique:
    There are some points where there is an awkward confusion in the piece, such as when you do not explain what 'it' is with, "I tripped over it," and you begin a series of paragraphs with 'I'. There are also points where more commas could be useful, such as in "dead dead dead," that make your writing weaker. Saying this you have some very clever use of words within this piece, showing some use of metaphor, foreshadowing and really great use of pacing.

    Winner:

    Shinsou wins!
    The Huntsman comes 2nd.

    Shinsou receives:
    1,300 EXP
    200 Gold
    1 AP

    Loves.Blessing receives:
    150 EXP
    1 AP

    The Huntsman receives:
    240 EXP
    150 Gold
    1 AP
    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator

    EXP: 96,345, Level: 13
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    Level completed: 46%,
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    Philomel's Avatar

    GP
    19,653
    AP
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    Name
    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    Age
    30 (+10)
    Race
    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
    Gender
    Female (+ Male)
    Location
    Corone

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    Matriarch of the Gilded Lily and of its brothels, associated establishments and the army.

    --
    Characters:
    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.

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