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  1. #1
    upon the cheek of night

    EXP: 219,294, Level: 20
    Level completed: 0%, EXP required for next Level: 0
    Level completed: 0%,
    EXP required for next Level: 0

    Breaker's Avatar


    Joshua Breaker Cronen

    June Vignette Contest 2020

    Welcome to the June Vignette Contest!

    Your character experiences extreme hot weather, unlike anything they've encountered before. How do they respond and/or adapt?

    1. One submission per character.

    2. All entries have to be within the declared period. Editing your post and completely changing your submission is okay as long as all the edits occur before midnight EST on the closing day.

    3. The moderator judging the monthly vignette contest may post a vignette at the end, but will not be eligible for first or second place.

    4. Only on-topic vignettes are liable for rewards. The topics are broad enough that no character should be particularly limited.

    5. PCs must be involved in all vignettes. How "canonical" you choose to have the events of the vignette is up to you.

    6. All participants receive EXP. The top two finishers also receive GP. (Clarification: this excludes off-topic submissions, as per Rule 4).

    7. Entries are assessed on the following merits:

    Use of topic: Did the writer use the topic, or write something completely random and off topic?

    Creativity: Did the writer make something unique out of the topic or was it more cliche?

    Mechanics: Basic writing mechanics: spelling, grammar, punctuation, word usage, etc.

    Notes: Additional comments.

    Definition of a Vignette
    A short, descriptive scene or slice of life.

    Everybody have fun! This contest closes on 2020-06-30.
    "The breeze did not stir. The stars did not twinkle. The trees did not sway and the brook did not babble.
    For the world did not turn when Am’aleh wept, and a tear had tumbled down her cheek."

  2. #2

    EXP: 20,399, Level: 6
    Level completed: 6%, EXP required for next Level: 6,601
    Level completed: 6%,
    EXP required for next Level: 6,601


    Mordelain Saythrou
    Fallien burned. The sun, in protest of its own torrid brilliance refused to set as summer reached its zenith and threatened to slay the onset of autumn with vengeance. Mordelain, freshly home from a semester in the Library City of Adages regretted returning the moment she stepped through the Void Between Worlds.

    “What in the high hells is this?”

    Though tanned and well-versed in the climate of her newfound home, this summer threatened to break her title as Fallien’s prime Runner; a messenger come defender who had risen through the ranks to the highest of accolades in the city. Rumour had it she was threatening to start her own House, to give the Freerunners who had taught her everything something to worry about.

    “It is a trifle warm, yes.”

    The il’Jhain glowered at her companion from across the table. She slumped onto the mound of cushions and gestured for an attendant to bring them a parasol. As their needs were tended to, she wiped her forehead with her sleeve and grimaced at the damp patch.

    “I’ve never known it to be this hot.”

    Her companion smiled. Before he spoke, Mordelain knew exactly what he was going to say.

    “Oh save it, I’m not in the mood for frivolities and wordplay.” She nodded politely to the assistant when the sun was hidden from view. Even beneath the parasol she could feel the rays clawing at her skin. “Give me some good news.”

    “Frivolities indeed.” Buckahn frowned. “I was merely going to inform you that the climate has soured these past few years in the wake of the fall of Lornius. Volcanic ash has sealed in the heat from the cold expanse of the stars.”

    “Spare me the history lesson. The semester has ended, and I am done with teaching for the season of death.” She meant summer, but with no hope of relaxation whilst her homeland in parts literally burned, she was starting to wish it were autumn.

    “We must adapt, as ever we have to survive.”

    “Irrakam seems to be unphased by this change. If anything, the bazaar is busier in the midday inferno than ever it was. Did I miss something?” Tantalised by the array of food on the table between them Mordelain helped herself to dates and poured them both a draft of what she hoped was intoxicatingly strong liquor.

    “Though it is appreciated you taking the children to other worlds to teach them of bigger things, it is time I taught you about your other responsibilities.” Buckahn’s frown turned into an expression Mordelain knew all too well: scorn.

    “Hold on a moment.” She drained the glass and smiled broadly when her throat began to burn. “Ah, perfect. It’s Antlion Whiskey.” So called for its similar burning sensation and paralytic effect if drunken carelessly to the creature of its namesake. “Makes anything bearable. Go on.”

    “The heat has caused great change in the capital. As water levels dropped our way of life was upended. Half the docks are dry now, dismantled to build palisades around the city’s noria.”

    Mordelain raised an eyebrow. “They’re rationing water?”

    “There was no choice. Either that or watch Irrakam crumble to dust. Few ships come here now, and we have had to resort to new frontiers to see through these humid months.”

    “You can say scorching. Insufferable. Volcanic. It won’t hurt you.” She popped a date into her mouth and chewed it noisily.

    Unphased by her attempts at humour, the merchant continued. “You have been on our world for four decades, give or take. But this is not the first time Fallien has endured the Sayf Tawil.”

    “Sayf Tawil? I don’t know those words.” Mordelain tried to remember her Fallien but struggled.

    “The Long Summer. Some call it the Sahr Alzajaj – melting glass, because the fields of storm glass turn to a sea.”

    “The glass has literally melted?” Mordelain tried to picture it. “I have to see that.”

    “Much of Fallien is inhospitable at the best of times, even for the Bedouin. But with the glass unusable for construction and crafting our resources are drawn thin.” Buckahn pointed skyward. “Even her Lady’s tower has wilted.”

    Mordelain followed his finger to the palace. Its stoic heights were visible from across Fallien, a black needle set against a golden skyline. Centuries ago artisans had cladded the tower with glass that made it shine brilliant in the midday sun. Now, she could see, most of the glass was gone.

    “How did they survive the last Sayf Tawil?” Mordelain turned her gaze back to her companion.

    “With great difficulty. Each Long Summer took thousands of lives, and this one has been no exception. The Bedouin have returned to Irrakam and only by the mercy of their stores and willingness to share their wells has our home survived.”

    “How are they carrying the water south?”

    “Constant caravans which are dwindling in number. The heat has brought a wave of fear and aggression to Fallien’s beasts. The il’Jhain have lent their strength to help, but it is not enough.”

    “I feel like this history lesson is leading to a job.”

    “The Freerunners have abandoned the outpost to protect the caravans. Somebody, however, needs to deliver the messages of Fallieni businesses to ensure what trade we have remains.” Buckahn pointed at Mordelain. “That means you.”

    Mordelain rolled her eyes. “You want me to single-handily delivery thousands of messages and packages every month?”

    The merchant’s silence gave her an answer.

    “In this heat?”

    “Who else but the Daughter of Nine Worlds?”

    Mordelain scoffed. “You tell your friend you can teleport and suddenly you’re everybody’s darling.” He was right, though. No other il’Jhain could claim to have the reach she did. “I can’t do it alone.”

    Buckahn broke his solemn expression. “I did not expect you to. Long Summer or not, now is the time to build connections and make a claim on the Outpost. You can finally exchange those tokens for an office.”

    Mordelain smirked. “An office with lots of fans.”

  3. #3

    EXP: 500, Level: 1
    Level completed: 25%, EXP required for next Level: 1,500
    Level completed: 25%,
    EXP required for next Level: 1,500

    Ayvriel's Avatar


    Ayvriel Leviasi ia Saiph
    High Elf

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    Ayvriel Leviasi ia Saiph
    Location | Citadel Leviasi ia Saiph, Raiaera

    So, this is how a stranded sea jelly feels as it bakes beneath the unforgiving sun…

    Ayvriel Leviasi ia Saiph is an elegant young lady, known amongst the gilded for her poise and gracious mannerisms. But anyone who happened upon the highborn elf, who was doing her best impression of a puddle as she rested on pristine marble with her dress billowing around her, would never have presumed her as belonging to a noble personage.

    Her gracile form was unmoving, fatigued by the relentless heat. Every breath was a struggle, the searing air burning her lungs with every rise and fall of her chest. It was only when the sheer curtains fluttered as a whisper of wind made itself known that the wilted spellsinger inclined her head in hope… only to allow a moan to escape her when the caress of the zephyr was warm against her skin.

    It was truly maddening.

    She could barely focus on her studies! And even when Ayvriel endeavoured to divert her discomfort by indulging in an afternoon of painting, the incessant heat was such that it even affected how her oils flowed over her canvas. After a valiant hour of mounting frustration and soaring temper, the elven maiden has set aside her brushes and lain on the floor and pretended she was a great white Salvarian bear napping on an ice bed.

    As with some of her most brilliant ideas, necessity was the heart of impetus.

    Magick existed, and it allowed them to make the improbable conceivable.

    While her cadre of teachers may frown at her wielding her talent for such an inane reason, and her brother may chastise her for her folly, Ayvriel will not be held liable for the temper she would inflict on them if the heat continued on its merry march.

    So, ignoring the raised brows of her handmaidens when she requested several thick blankets, the spellsinger made her way towards the shadowed corners of the hall. Tapping a finger thoughtfully against her thigh, the elven maiden began to gather her focus.

    A breath, and crystalline flowers began to bud and blossom on the white marble.

    Another, and the hall began to fill with the crackle and shatter of ice breaking as they formed into one another.

    And by her third, a translucent roughhewn dais laid before her.

    Ayvriel allowed her influence upon the flow of magick to dissipate even as she glanced admiringly at her creation. While the surface was not as smooth as she would have liked, it was still passable considering she would be covering it before using it as her daybed.

    It was a spark of ingenuity, if she had to say so herself.

    Hopefully, with some shaved ice flavoured by fruit and honey, the rest of summer will pass by in a more leisurely manner.

  4. #4

    EXP: 800, Level: 1
    Level completed: 40%, EXP required for next Level: 1,200
    Level completed: 40%,
    EXP required for next Level: 1,200

    Mikael's Avatar


    Mikael Leviasi ia Saiph
    High Elf

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    Mikael Leviasi ia Saiph
    Location: Out in the Desert

    The shifting sand dunes and howls of the wind provided Mikael with no landmarks, perhaps more importantly no place to shield him from the sun. The heat was unbearable, but Mikael knew his magic’s limit to regulate his body’s temperature.

    If just barely.

    His brother on the other hand appeared positively delightful, the stark contrast between the two only grew Mikael’s annoyances. The twin brothers continued to walk through the desert beneath the tortuous heat from the sun above, not even a single cloud to even provide the glimmer of hope for shade.

    Sand shifted beneath their feet as the two walked briskly across another dune, the wind slowly picked up but only swashing heated air across their faces. Mikael grimaced as he breathed deeply, his runes glowed slightly, his magic being poured out to counteract the sweltering weather.

    “Why, in the many gods above, are we here Yvrael?” Mikae asked pointendly, his voice dripped with frustration, but the heat would no doubt dry up even his anger.

    Yvrael turned around, his eyes shimmered, the azure iris matched Mikael’s own but without the searing animosity. “Well, for a talk obviously! Somewhere less stuffy than back home, somewhere with fresh air and a brilliant sun.”

    Mikael’s eyebrow raised, and his sneer only grew as he let out an exasperation. “But why here specifically?”

    “You haven’t gotten any sun since I left for the Skyknights. So I figured you can get all the sunlight you missed in a single day.” Yvrael answered as a matter of fact.

    This nearly broke Mikael as he collapsed upon the sand beneath him, his hands outstretched behind him to stop himself from laying down. Yvrael only laughed as he sat in front of his distraught brother, but instead on the sand itself a stone magically appeared beneath him.

    Mikael looked inquisitive at the stone, a strange sensation of coldness emitted from it, but before he could question his brother, he felt himself lifted and found himself sitting on a stone. The magic taught to Yvrael was much different from Mikael, but instead of defiantly challenging his brother, Mikael accepted the gift. The incalescent weather was certainly strong enough to soften Mikael’s old habits with his twin brother.

    “So, what is it you wanted to talk about? For I would like to make it quick, even if we have these cold stones to keep us from sweltering.” Mikael's voice held no less annoyance, even with the unbearable heat becoming slightly bearable.

    Not like Mikael would ever admit to it outloud.

    Yvrael leaned forward, moving slightly closer to his brother, his smile never waned as he spoke, “-Mika, you fret too much for your own good you know.”

    “And you are too careless.”

    The twin brothers gave one another a knowing look, Mikael for his part casted his gaze towards the sand below. Yvrael continued, “-I’ll ask father to relax your studies so you can enjoy some fresh air, I can only imagine how cooped up you feel inside that library, like a caged falcon.”

    “You shouldn’t bother Father with such a request Yvrael.”

    Mikael took a moment to look into his brother’s eyes, and the twin pair of beryl gems that matched the blue skies above.

    Both nodded as Mikael began to chant, a small growth from the sand dune began until it became large enough to provide shade for the two twin brothers.

  5. #5

    EXP: 112,607, Level: 14
    Level completed: 58%, EXP required for next Level: 6,393
    Level completed: 58%,
    EXP required for next Level: 6,393

    Philomel's Avatar


    Philomel van der Aart (+ Veridian)
    30 (+10)
    Faun (+ Fox/Earth Spirit)
    Female (+ Male)

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    This vignette has been extended into July due to the summer quiet period and a new one will be up in August.
    *admin at your service*

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

    The family triplet: Philomel, Vaeron and Celandine.
    The god and kenku triplet: Stare, Avin and Vixen.
    The Primordials: Professor Charles and Moros.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator

    EXP: 3,108, Level: 2
    Level completed: 37%, EXP required for next Level: 1,892
    Level completed: 37%,
    EXP required for next Level: 1,892

    Tyr's Avatar


    Tyr Vythari

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    Vignette closed for judging.

    Thank you all so much for the participation and patience.

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