Contest: Ars Scribendi

Studio Colrouphobia challenges YOU in a contest of words. Do you have what it takes to partake in our Ars Scribendi contest?

Unleash you inner storyteller, remove the restraints you have as a game-master, lift the usual restrictions you use as a writer and let your imagination flow.

Should you chose to accept this mission, we need you to write a narrative description of your ultimate illustration. Of all the entries the lucky winner will receive his/her narrative digitally painted and will also receive a signed limited copy of this work.


The following rules apply:

  • The narrative can be maximum 500 words
  • Sci-FI/Fantasy setting
  • The final date of entry is Friday, August 1st 2014
  • Professional and amateurs may enter, this is however for a private commission, no companies wanting to get a free bookcover 🙂
  • Language: preferably English (Swedish, Dutch and French also work but if possible stick to English)
  • We do not own the IP of the written work, if you describe unique characters, the IP is yours
  • Any universe is applicable (Please note down whose IP it is)
  • Some clarification though: if you want to see an illustration of a man in golden harness, you cannot write “Man in golden harness”. We expect something in the lines of “The imposing figure entered the battlefield, the last rays of the setting sun made the gilded cuirass gleam with a blood red sheen, a stark foreboding of what was to come.”
  • Entries can be entered here under this blog entry or on the event created on facebook.
  • Feel free to create some noise by using  #theclownwrites over on Twitter


The winner will receive a A3 signed copy (and the digital piece) illustrating the narrative and forever glory as the winner of this first edition Ars Scribendi contest.






About Semivivus

Moved back to Belgium after almost ten years in Sweden. Married and has two children. Juggling between studies, family, work, and as a freelancing artist for Studio Colrouphobia. Generally hedonistic and Machiavellian with clear plans to take over the world.

41 responses to “Contest: Ars Scribendi”

  1. John Malone says :

    –Not sure if you want your entries double spaced or not, I’ll leave them single spaced so it won’t take up much room :).

    Word Count 487

    A Survivor of The Wastes

    The star light over Quethelan always arrived in several folds more intensity in the Crystalline Ocean than anywhere else on the ancient planet. Aria, the world’s nearby super nova, continued to blaze with neon emerald and jade tinted gases and flames that danced betwixt the swollen stars in the northwest. Dunes, brimming with white sand as luminous as limestone, swept around a small basin filled with a dozen oasis that Reiko Matsuo found herself mired in.

    Lavender tinted waters licked the bank of the pond, over lapping over her gnarled and weathered combat boots. The breeze was silent, but forceful enough to slip into her long chestnut bangs across her brow and pony tail dropped over her shoulder. Sirius, the moon that a Goddess had left above her own world cast down a powerful shaft of ethereal light that reflected off of the silver scaled ballistic vest pulled over torso. Violet silk garments puffed up in every recess around her limbs and body that kept her temperature stable in spite of the desert cold. Her perfect reflection gazed up into her own stare, stern oceanic pupils that appeared somber and yet adventurous.

    Reiko spared a glance over shoulder at the Rynithian leaning against the Shadowclad, Reiko’s pride and joy, a sleek ebony jeep that was all curves — no sharp angles. She dipped a hand into the pool without looking and raised the strange liquid pooling through her fingers to her mouth. “Jesairis, I think the water’s safe to drink. If not, I think we can afford to collapse on our faces after we’ve reached Staremoth.”

    Jesairis was a looming figure, his form lean and a dark sepia in the silver strands of the moon. Heavy cloth leggings, broken up by silver and ebony stripes were tied loosely around his waist with a broad belt. An ordinary shirt lurked beneath the opened folds in his quilted leather jacket, Reiko could narrowly make out the hilt of a fifty caliber pistol poking out from the shadowy clothing. He peered toward the horizon and Reiko traced his gaze. “Don’t rely on it too much, they are tainted. You’ll come down with plague if too much slips into your system.”

    Reiko flung the rest of tinted liquid from her fingers. “Well if you’re rested, we’re only another hour away from our destination. Let’s set off.”

    The metropolis of Staremoth loomed over the horizon like a mirage focused into perfect clarity. The old city remained cropped on the city foundation, built with the emeralds, jades, and blanch marble of the traditional eras. Her corporate skyscrapers and royal palace rose toward the roiling clouds above as if they were hand forged mountains of glass windowpanes and silver spires, capped with snow that had poured in from the arctic beyond.

    Just another hour and the journey would be complete. The dreadful Crystalline Ocean had been crossed once again.

    • John Malone says :

      My entry is an original universe, forgot to mention that.

    • Semivivus says :

      Really like the descriptions of the scenery. Nicely done 🙂

    • davidsondered says :

      I really liked this one, it’s an original take on sci-fi. I almost felt like I was reading something from the 70’s, and I mean that in a positive way, as in, I haven’t read this sort of sci-fi yet…then again, the only hing marking it out as sci-fi is the usage of words like Super noa, and describing moons…could be fantasy… neat!

      • John Malone says :

        Thanks! I’ve been working on this idea for a while now. I’m glad you found it interesting :).

  2. javascripter says :

    First time I’ve written something I actually wanted too in a long while, also, I’m not a writer. Still, writing this was fun. In a world I made in my head, heavily based off of the warhammer fantasy world.

    names generated by:
    499 words, 2917 characters, according to:

    As he reached the end of the tunnel, Nadroth noticed bioluminescent mushrooms were growing on the stone wall. Lichens, a dull green color, were hanging from some of the mushrooms and the tangled roots that hung from the ceiling. The strange mushrooms were a dark reddish color, and had what appeared to be iron in their stalks, reflecting the red light to the entire cave. Noticing the scattered items around the cave — A pair of wooden dice. A cheap sword reflecting light, with no decorations, and a matching dagger which was rusted. A stone handaxe with half the wooden handle missing. A crossbow bolt in the wall and another in a mushroom cap, causing it to leak a black-reddish liquid. A man’s arm bone, broken in half. A skull of some huge brute, maybe an ogre, with the upper jaw separated from the skull, and the polished metal orb in one eye socket. The pair of spearheads, both rusted and dull, lying in a small pool of water. The broken spear haft, in three parts. The noticeable area of dirt, which contained pit on one side with the pool of green, foul water. — Nadroth readied his crossbow and silver dagger, his targets wouldn’t escape him now, and he wouldn’t die to whatever dwelt here. Suddenly, the dirt erupted, sending dirt everywhere, and Nadroth fired his crossbow at the center, and dropped it. The deathflower, a two meter tall carnivorous plant, came after him, its triad of half meter petals with three centimeter thorn like teeth covering both sides of the rigid petals, and lunged with it’s carapace-covered stem, now with a crossbow bolt added to the numerous marks in it’s shell, most notably one that almost split the shell in two about twenty centimeters below the petals. Nadroth slashed and ducked, narrowly missed as his dagger ripped from his hand by the deathflower’s teeth, as it smashed into the rock floor behind him, momentarily stunned and overextended. Nadroth drew his serrated steel sword, Headsaw, and struck the weak spot in the deathflowers shell, cutting halfway through it’s stem. The wound began to leak the same foul green liquid that was in the puddle, but a darker green. Not finished yet, the deathflower struggled to move it’s mouth towards Nadroth, and sprayed acid at him. Nadroth quickly threw the first dust he could grab — A powdered silver, used both in healing the live and fighting off the dead. — and it blocked the acid, and settled and reflected even more of the light from the mushrooms. Quickly, before the deathflower could react, Nadroth cut one of it’s petal-tongues off. Now he would find the bandits he was hunting, and then he would claim the unexpected bounty on this, the bane of Ormund Kardash. This day was going well. The mushrooms, growing brighter as the deathflower oozed blood, seemed to approve as Nadroth, a small man, covered in the makeshift leather armour customary of a bounty hunter, cut off it’s remaining petal-tongues.

  3. Semivivus says :

    I always liked the Arthurian legends, al characters in the following short are all different characters from various Arthur-tales.

    word count:495

    Brave Sir Owain

    The chill of the early spring night made lady Laudine wrap her white robes tighter around her slight frame as she made her way to the cairn. At this unholy hour of night she was summoned by Sir Cardoc the Younger to meet him at the cairn. The messenger sounded distressed and an ill sense of foreboding overcame the high priestess of the An Dagda as she urged towards the sacred site of worship and justice. For generations the priestesses were responsible for judging disputes, healing the sick and leading the religious celebrations, but rarely were they summoned in the dead of night.

    She noticed a fire lit in the circle of ancient stones and hurried towards the warmth, casting a quick glance at the scene in front of her. Sir Cardoc, wearing only breeches and a chainmail vest, was sobbing in quiet anguish. His pack, saddle and gear thrown on a pile next to him.

    “Sweet mother of the Fae”, Laudine whispered to herself. “Has he been crying? One of Arthur’s champions?” She looked to her right and found Sir Gawain, unconscious on the ground, the visible parts of his face badly bruised and blood caked in his matted ginger locks, his breathing shallow but steady.

    She raised an eyebrow at Sir Cardoc,her tone level and ice-cold: “Well, why did you Summon the Lady of the Fountain?”

    Sir Cardoc sobbed and removed the blanket that was lying next to him; uncovering a decaying carcass, the stench was overwhelming and Laudine immediately took a step back covering her nose with her robes. The knight wailed in anguish: “He killed him, brave sir Owain is no more…Gawain killed my brave Sir Owain” Tears streamed down his face, he was clawing his eyes in agony.

    Lady Laudine sighed. “And for this you call me out here? What have you done with poor Gawain?” She walked over to the unconscious knight in order to check his wounds. Cardoc jumped up and roared at Laudine.

    “POOR Gawain? POOR…” He was breathing heavily. “I leave on an urgent quest and I placed brave sir Owain in the care of Gawain, the traitor, and what does he do? He puts Owain in a small room, and for two weeks forgets to feed him!” He advanced on her, pointing his finger in her face. “You do not get to take care of Gawain, he deserves to die. And if he survived my blows I demand a duel to finish him off!”

    The Lady of the fountain looked pointedly at the finger and then at the melodramatic knight. “Cardoc, put that finger away and let me take care of Gawain. I do not grant you the right to a duel over the death of your hamster!”

    She turned around and muttered “Men!”

    “…But Lady of the Fountain…”, Cardoc pleaded in a sulky tone.

    “…GO to bed…and no dessert for two weeks, that is the justice you receive here tonight”

  4. kiersparey says :

    Thank you for the opportunity! This one is called “Of Clockwork Pigeons”. I wrote it a while back as an exercise to see how much character I could fit in under 400 words.

    I hope people like it even if it doesn’t win. :3

    Word count: 375

    + + +

    In the grey city, in a greyer square, a haunched old lady sat still at a bench with a hand in a brown paper package. The city grew quiet on this day, as was expected after the long mornings of religious worship in the nearby abbey-mosque. The sky was just as grey, and threatened to pour wet streaks of silver over the ashen land.

    The only motion in the square were the small grey birds with their dark heads and wings. They twitched in the manner only a mechanical being could manage. Some of the birds feathers were ruffled by the wear and tear of years of poor maintenance. The old lady’s eyes also sat still and had lost all pretence of what she once was. She’d been there almost as long as the birds.
    Ebon sat on the old bench near her, and rested his cane against his leg. He stared at the birds.

    As if to sense his thoughts, the old lady’s mouth creaked open, and the voice unit creaked “tuppence,” with all the elderly grace of a mechanical matriarch. Ebon turned to look at her, but she didn’t mimic his gesture. She merely sat, and offered again. “Tuppence,” she creaked.

    Ebon blinked and a moment passed before he thumbed his currency in his waistcoat. Standing, he stood before the elder and slotted his two pennies into her eyes. He pedantically made sure that the Monarch’s head faced upward. She clicked and whirred somewhere in her ancient joints below her cloak and then grew silent. Another hum, then her hand slowly made its way from her brown metal-paper bag. There was bird seed on her open palm and Ebon took a small pinch. He tossed some to the clockwork pigeons and sat down again before the old lady placed her rusted hand back inside the bag.

    The faux pigeons made their faux feed last precious few moments. When these moments had passed, Ebon stood once more and polished the plaque on the bench with a silken handkerchief. It read ‘This amusement was donated by Ebon Hampton, in memory of his mother, Mary Hampton’. His own withered hands found purchase of his cane and, after kissing the old lady on the cheek, walked home.

    • davidsondered says :

      This was a very nice story. It was atypical of most sci-fi/fantasy stories but nevertheless very good. I re-read it twice, and realized there was a lot less descriptions of the scene and the character(s) then I had thought when I read it the first time.

      • kiersparey says :

        Thank you, Davidsondered.

        Ahh, no problem. You enjoyed it though, which is really what’s more important to me. Thanks. :3

  5. Javier Alemán says :

    Here we go:

    Wedding day

    161 words, based on a short story of my own located in Miyake-jima

    A pale figure holds a bouquet, most of its flowers already dead. She’s wearing a dirty off-white wedding dress, stained with ashes and all torn, a family heritage that time has been corroding. Black gloves on her hands. Head high, covered by a veil and a white gas mask, white and radiant as the celebration for the day.

    By her side, reaching out his hand to touch hers, a taller figure. Black shoes, black trousers and black jacket, with a white shirt made grey by air particles. His mask is also white, less beautiful than the woman’s as it has a blow on one side. According to his colours he could be Death, but it’s an image of love to her.

    Mountains clash in the background and, among them, the huge volcano is spitting out ashes and yellowish sulphur. Wisps of lava escape from its mouth, sliding down and into the valley where the wedding will be held, no matter what.

  6. Jerry Bogaert says :

    Based on the following quote :

    “The beast, the bronze beast in the darkness, footsteps, it never tired, it just kept coming! We didn’t stand a chance…wherever we turned, we could not escape, never escape!”
    — Testimony of Hedrith Blaine, Sole Survivor, Jurah-17 Mining Colony, Larsha Tertius

    I present ;

    The beast of the labyrinth.
    Consciousness came back to him in a shock of light and noise. Alarms blaring all over the complex, light strobing on and off. His vision blurred as he tried to take in his surroundings. The stink of blood was heavy in the air. It made his head hurt even more than it did. After waiting a few minutes for the dizziness to subside and using a nearby bench for stability, he got up on shaky legs. Main complex, Southern ward, sublevel 9.That’s how far he’d made it since the attack began. Only a few hundred meters to the escape pods. But wich route took him there fastest? He could go through the habs. No, last thing he heard was that got hit hard. Medbay then? Maybe he could find something usefull before he got to the escapepods. Foreman Hedrith Blaine started walking, using the walls for support.

    It had all started a year back, when they had found that damned gem down in the deepest shaft. Gem was an understatement. It was the size of a small car, inscribed with strange geometric lines and the colour of a nebula for the lack of better words. The overseers had ordered it cleared and taken up to the main complex for further study. He guess that’s when it actually went ploinshaped. First the examiners, then the other staff.It spread fast, faster than any disease he’d ever heard of. It wasn’t really a physical disease than more of a mental one. A signal for help was sent through the astropaths. Help came, but not in the form they expected. It came. And started slaughtering them all the moment it gained acces.

    Stumbling through the hallway, stepping over corpses blown open from the inside, the distinct legacy of bolter weaponry, he made his way to the medbay.That’s when he heard it again. The sound of inevitability. The heavy footsteps of the doom that answered their cry for help. A quick darting look over his shoulder confirmed his worst fear. A huge form, clad in the mythical armour of a space marine was stalking him. A bronze juggernaut with deep crimson shoulders, upon wich a bull’s head was painted. Blaine stumbled and fell on his backside. Crawling backwards on all fours, he begged for his life. Eventhough he knew the beast wouldn’t listen to him, he kept begging. It stood over him now, looking down at him through blazing red lenses. The bronze armour was splattered with gore from the wholesome slaughter it had perpetrated on the colony. Laying there shivering, Blaine felt drops of blood falling on him as the dripped off the marine’s armour. Suddenly the beast spoke to him, “ You will be spared.” The voice was distorted through the voxgrille, but it was still a sound that instilled pure dread. Letting out a squeal of fear as the marine grabbed the front of his coveralls, Blaine passed out again into blissfull oblivion.

    498 words.

    • davidsondered says :

      Very nice twist. The classic mythos of the Minotaur,Asterion, mixed with-what seem to be- the Minotaurs chapter of 40k.

  7. davidsondered says :

    Nice to see so many entries 🙂 Keep them coming!

  8. Balthamal says :

    Quick question regarding this before I go ahead and commit something, what exactly is the requirement? Since it’s supposed to be going into an illustration are we looking to put forward something that can be summed up in a single shot? Or, as some have opted for, 500 words of an actual scene playing out?


    • davidsondered says :

      Thank you for your question.
      In short, this is a narrative competition, rather then a descriptive competition.
      That means that we are looking to see a story unfold, whether a scene dpicting five seconds or far longe, rather then a straight up description.
      We get briefs all the time, they are very straight forward and descriptive- what items do the character have, what is the pose, what colour are the shoe-laces.
      This competition is more about seeing a description of an event or scene happening.

      So as per the blog-post above, we would rather see:

      “The imposing figure entered the battlefield, the last rays of the setting sun made the gilded cuirass gleam with a blood red sheen, a stark foreboding of what was to come.”

      and not

      “Man in golden harness”

      I hope that helps!

  9. davidsondered says :

    Adding a little thing I wrote a while back. Heavily shortened.
    To give inspiration.

    “The Copper Eye”

    (Word Count 499, original word count 899)

    He was just sitting there.
    The room was dark, damp and decadently decorated. Voluptuous burgundy drapes covered the door, walls and the windows from ceiling to floor. Without burning candles you’d be in complete dark.
    There was a dressing table with a glass ball built into the headboard. The glass ball served as a mirror.
    On the other side of the room, a sturdy bed, no head or footboard, with gnarly, thick, bedposts going from the floor almost to the ceiling. The sheets had a luster to them.

    Eurelia looked at him again, sitting on his chair. He didn’t even look at her.
    She had done as she should. Welcomed him into the room, bending slightly forward, smiling, holding his hand so he could just see her cleavage.
    He hadn’t looked.
    Instead he had treated her like poison. Letting go as soon as he could and pushed past her into the room.
    A head taller then her, with dark-blonde hair, straight and almost straw like, the man looked like a scarecrow with most of his hair hanging down under a rounded, thick brimmed leather hat.
    A leather cloak and boots covered in the drudge of the streets completed the look.

    He had put something on her bedside table and walked over to the chair to sit down.
    His head had bobbed back as he pointed at the bed.
    ‘Go! Sit!’, he said.
    His voice had a tone of supremacy in it. Eurelia had done what he told her to.
    In the end she would get money, and Balthus was looking through the peephole to keep her safe.

    Since then they had sat like this. She on the bed, waiting, and he just sat there, looking into the corner. She thought she heard a scratching noise from the side of the bed. Where the peephole was. She felt secure in knowing that Balthus was looking.

    The muffled sound of the fireboy shouting ‘all’swell!’ somewhere in the distance wriggled its way through the drapes of the window.A scratching noise came from her side. She looked towards the peephole, then the bedside table.
    The man had put what looked like a clay pebble or marble there. Roughly large enough to fit in a closed palm. It began to turn on it’s place. Showing markings, running like grooved veins. As it turned, she noticed it wasn’t made of clay, but rather of metal. The grooves glaring in the flicker of the lights.

    Eurelia leaned out to take it when suddenly Six Glass sounded, and the man stood leaned over her.
    ‘It will leave the eye alone!’ he gasped. As he leaned in towards her, she could get a glimpse of his eyes or, rather, his eye and his empty socket. His one good eye had a tint of panic in it. The man sat down on the chair again and Eurelia moved her legs up to her chest, watching him.
    ‘Close, so close’, he said, ‘But not yet.’

  10. Dave B says :

    Hi all, here’s my entry for this – ‘The Deadfields’, 499 words and entirely my own creation, which is refreshing.

    As the night wore on, they found him standing in the districts Deadfields, surrounded by corpses still hanging from gallows. Gas-lamps stuttered fitfully, trying to illuminate the darkness but succeeding only in smearing shadows across the already morbid scene. The bodies of thieves, murderers and seditionists hung in precise ordered rows, planted like an obscene orchard of death, preserved and displayed to all as a warning to those who would break the peace of the city-state of Shards. Calmly and methodically, the half-dozen Adjudicators stalked beneath the bodies of the condemned to surround their quarry, firearms and blades in hand, severe dark suits and gloss-black top-hats untouched by the decay and filth that was ever-present in this district of the Tatters. Several paces behind them, long-limbed and scarecrow-thin, moved the discordant figure of the Whisperman, its form almost human but its features covered by the blank mirror-mask of its station. A twitch of a too-long arm sent the Adjudicators forward, closing around their target in a loose circle.

    He stood as still as the dead that surrounded him, head bowed and face covered by dirty ropes of ash-blond hair. Clad in a tattered coat patterned with faded harlequin cheques of crimson and grey, now smeared with blood and dust, his arms were held loosely at his sides, hands loosely curled. Blood dripped sluggishly from the ragged hole in the palm of his right hand, matched by sanguine tears that fell from the ravaged socket that gaped obscenely in place of his right eye. His breath came in ragged hitching gasps, broken only by whispered muttering as though he were speaking to himself in the one-sided conversations of the mad. The Adjudicators circled him, wide mouthed revolvers mixing with slender gunblades, all blessed by the Sorrowful Priests and all trained on the wounded man. One of them spoke, accent betraying his origins from the ancient and powerful Falls district of Shards.

    “Enough Darrow, enough. You’ve led us a fine chase, but it ends here. Non-regulated use of the Art. You know the penalty.”

    The Whisperman twitched forward beneath the dangling corpses, head cocked to one side as though curious. A long fingered hand came up, jerking spasmodically, reaching out as though to grasp Darrow despite his distance.
    The Adjudicator who had spoken stepped forward, revolver aimed at the back of Darrow’s head.

    “Jackson Elish Darrow, for the crimes of illegal use of the Art and various acts of sedition, for the illness that stains your soul, you have been found guilty. The cure for your disease is death, to be administered immediately and witnessed by the Sorrows.”

    Darrow’s muttering stopped abruptly. A lone pale-green eye glared out from beneath ash-blonde hair, fixed on the closing Whisperman. A snarl twisted his lips as the air around him seemed to groan under sudden pressure and the ghoulish Whisperman began to scream.

    As his hands snapped shut into tight fists and his Art spiralled out, the hanging dead surrounding Darrow began to move…


    • davidsondered says :

      This inspired a sensation of steam/coal-punl.
      I like the way you built the story up toards a climax as well.

    • davidsondered says :

      Dave, if you could contact us with your email address, that would be grand. As soon as possible.

  11. Dan Williams says :

    Here’s my attempt, little snippet of my own creation, “The Reaper of Souls”

    Word Count: 500

    Kuul Zhar parried three blows in as many seconds from as many hands, each sending shivers through the wrought steel haft of his glaive. Stepping inside a fourth strike, he called upon his Craft and pulsed a knot of his will down the weapon, arcing it around and bisecting the enemies within reach. Pushing his senses outward from himself, his breath rasping through the grill of his helm, he found no further Ghal poised to come at him. They had seen his power now and were loath to dare his wrath. This day, his wrath meant death.

    Glancing down he noticed the dents and rents in his bracer, leg plates and gauntlet. Mercifully the blood flow had stopped but they would still need the less than tender attention of the healers once the battle was done. But how many would yearn for the hot iron and needles? He thought wryly, raising his gaze to look across the valley. There were only four things to be seen: the tight presses of those still breathing, hacking and slashing at any within blade length, the crows already taking their due from the fallen, living and dead alike, the black soil the ground had been reduced to, blood watering it till all colour fled and the dust. Even with the dirt trampled to bloody mud, there was dust everywhere, the wind swirling it as surely as the screams and shouts of the hosts. The rains starting to fall would soon change that. The sky overhead was black, pregnant with the promise of a downpour to come, yet still the sun shone faintly to the west, its rays setting fire to the underbelly of the storm to be.

    A mental nudge caused him to turn around just as his blade-bride crested the hill, a score of Ghal stalking her, the promise of easy prey. They stopped then, seeing the Reaper of Souls standing before them. But they had numbers. They had cunning. Even if a dozen were to fall, the kills would still be theirs.

    Kuul Zhar stepped beside Avieni, spinning his glaive loosely in one hand. He looked at his love, seeing that her cream skin was still unblemished by the kiss of steel. Again, she had disdained armour, the leather wrappings around her arms, legs and body barely enough to preserve her modesty let alone ward away any blows, her deep red hair flaring behind her in the wind. She met his eyes, hers deep indigo, his golden and he could see the war lust had her completely in its thrall. Where he was cold and focused, she let forth her power in explosions of violence and joy. Now she was on the verge of another eruption. Mentally he winced to himself. Avieni’s passions were aroused for days after battle, her love making intense and insistent. Following this he would be lucky to walk for weeks.

    A ghost of a smile tugging at his lips, he leapt forward with her, glaive spinning death.

    • davidsondered says :

      Nice twist to make the “reaper of souls” female. I also like the way the name is mentioned with gravitas followed by the thought of passion.

  12. B.D. Millet says :

    Here is my own creation “The wooden tiger and the metal dog”
    word count 496

    The blackened soil of ancestral ages fluttered into the air in a gust of smoke and dust, an influence seldom felt that its impression appeared as if a dramatic pandemonium had presented itself upon the bedraggled earth. The slowly sinking vessel was of Other World Order origins, notwithstanding it had long since surrendered to the ravishes of time turned the ship into a hallow expression of its former glory. For its fate had placed it into the service of those who served their own interest, and those of their gods.
    The ground shuddered as the ancient vessel settled upon the earth. For a moment it sat eerily reticent. Then with a slight tumultuous groan it came to life. The old, scorched landing ramp, painfully descended to the ground, squeaking with an elderly groan of a lifetime of servitude, straining the ramp shuddered as it contacted the ground. There was a low hum that originated from the one remaining light above the opening of the landing ramp. The bulb illuminated, albeit very slightly, the area upon which two silhouettes of figures could be seen.
    The two figures slowly descended the landing ramp one behind the other. The larger formidable figure leading way across his back a large handle of a sword protruded from an unsophisticated sheath. The other one hooded behind him carried a staff, either as an aid to walk or as a definition of their status. Even in the low light of the dying evening sun they appeared to have an auburn glow about them.
    His cerulean battle gear streaked with colors varying from violet to chestnut with glittering metallic flakes, showing the wear and tear of years of subjugation to consort Czarina Steffarii of the Copiez intelligentsia or as most of the universe knows her as the wooden tiger. The metal dog as he was known stood there waiting for her to finish ascending the ramp, loyal to a fault he waited for her. The few strands of grey in his dirty blond hair betrayed his age where confined inside the snarling maw of his dog faced helmet. Her amaranthine cloak brushed back in the gentle breeze revealing her feminine form. The rune signs of her power that had been ritualistically incised into the skin that covered her arms and legs glowed with the faint hint of the power that smoldered inside her like a fire of cindering ash that covered the white hot coals. Her dark and dusky outfit underneath ordained with small jewels that twinkled in the dying embers of the evening sun. Her wine colored hair swirled and dance in the breeze kissed her bronzed lips and caressed the maple colored earrings her mother had given her. As the two set foot on the ground before them, they turned into the docile, gentle wind that carried centuries of dust past them, the long extinguished lights of billions of souls that now drifted for eternity.

  13. Robert van Stiphout says :

    Hello everyone,

    This short story is inspired by a game called Chilvary: medieval warfare and titled ”Worthy of his armor”.
    I hope you enjoy reading it.

    Worthy of his armor.

    The town was burning, hopelessly caught between the royalist ranks of the Agatha knights and the forces of the Mason order. Amidst the fires burning homes and the cacophony of people fighting, fleeing and dying I had met my opposite in battle.
    My armor was a pragmatic but uninspired creation of dark iron and mason order red. On my stomach painted in white were two crossed fists below a crowned skull.
    Throughout our duel he saw it marred in cuts, his explosive strikes had split both plate and mail.
    I was bleeding but unbowed clenching my heavy great mace.
    His flamboyant armor was the opposite of mine, a golden bear sat on his helmet proudly presenting a sigil before I smashed it to pieces. His gilded armor was broken, dented and battered.
    His sword a creation of steel and gold was reduced to a notched blunt club.
    It was strange how the rest of the battle was ignoring us, neither of us would end dragged down to the dirt by numbers. This was a confrontation of champions, the battle, the war in microcosm.
    And then:

    I hear the sound of his teeth clenching in pain and anger, a mirror to my own exertion. He stumbles back as I advance, his feet trying find purchase in the blood slicked mud.
    He lifts his sword defensively but the reflexive block misses the perfect angle, I roar as I hammer my weapon down on his.
    The notched blade finally surrenders to my blunt force, shards of metal spring free and his blade snaps.
    Pulsing black spots suddenly cloud my vision, my cheekbone fractures and blood trails down my face.
    In a blurred after image I realize he struck me with the sword’s pommel before the shattered length of the blade hit the ground.
    He slips away before I can retaliate taking an unbalanced stance four meters away from me.
    He and I reached the eye of the storm together, in this strange moment of quiet he lifts his visor.
    Neither of us spares a glance at the devastation around us, the violence and thunderous noise lost in the moment.
    I see a handsome face, a square jaw, bronze eyes and the hint of blonde hair sticking against his brow.
    He sucks in the air to speak ‘’My name is Valentin Loithaire of the order of the golden bear.’’ His exhaustion unable to steal the refined edge from his voice even now.
    I reach above my gorget and discard my battered helmet to the ground.
    My own features are revealed; dark brown hair, angular jaw and blue eyes.
    Blood trickles down my lips as I spit the words ‘’I am Bertram Eckhard of the mason order. Will you yield?’’ my own hoarse voice betrays the smoldering anger inside me.
    His right leg trembles involuntarily in pain, he lifts his broken sword, now little more then a dagger with a jagged end en garde.
    Slowly and with exceptional dignity, he shakes his head.
    I want to tell him I respect him, I want to tell him he’s a knight worthy of his armor.
    I do not, my world narrows to the duel again, my grip tightens on handle of the great mace.
    ‘’Let’s end this.’’


    Thanks for reading.

  14. Volodanti says :

    Alright, so – mine is obviously based in the Warmachine/Hordes/Iron Kingdom Setting, and at 499 words was a hell of a struggle to fit in.

    Anyway, here’s my entry; In Meremoriam.

    Elyas ran through the undergrowth; a loping sprint that few could match; even in the open. His grey trenchcoat whipped out behind him like a cloak, or the wing of some great crow.
    He burst through a wall of vegetation like a cannonball; armoured boots scattering leaves and branches to the wind. Soon after, Elyas spotted a broken wall; coated in moss and half-lost in the dappled light that penetrated the forest canopy. Elyas sped up and hurdled it, clearing the waist-high obstruction without slowing; though his breathing was heavy from exertion.
    Elyas emerged from the trees into the orange light of a setting sun; the brilliance would likely have blinded him were it not for the heavy goggles he wore, and he was still forced to shield his eyes.
    After a moment dazed by the light, he spotted his quarry some hundred and fifty foot distant; the Winter Guardsman stumbled as he ran, casting a worried glance over his shoulder and spotting his hunter. Elyas had already killed the rest of his squad; silenced runeshot claiming the first two without anyone noticing. The other three he’d slew publically; starting with the sergeant when he noticed the absences. Now, his last target ran, back towards the Khadoran outpost.
    Elyas frowned, pushing his goggles off hazel eyes to get a clearer view. He quickly moved to rest on the fence that divided the woodland from the fields; one foot stood upon it to stabilise his aim, and drew forth Lost Home; a near priceless magelock he’d fine-tuned himself.
    Elyas closed one eye as he stared into the rifle’s sight; the scar that ran across his cheek pulling his lip into a half-smile. He directed the rifle towards his foe, aiming between his shoulder blades; a difficult prospect as his foe used the best of his training to duck and weave, presenting the hardest target he could manage.
    “Smite.” Elyas murmured, reaching inward to draw forth his gift. A ring of electric blue runes burned into life around the barrel of his rifle, whilst his iris flashed gold. Elyas took a breath, tracking his foe; knowing he’d only have the one chance. Elyas tightened his finder about the trigger as he blew out, emptying his lungs in preparation.
    The sound of a gunshot rang out, and the Winter Guard fell. Elyas lowered Lost Home; his smirk now wholly genuine.
    Elyas marched slowly toward the downed target; caution ever his way, and what had allowed him to do so much damage to this unit. As he approached, he noticed a wet sucking noise, along with some faint movement. Elyas quickly withdrew the hold-out pistol from his sleeve, in case he faced a trick.
    But when he kicked the man over, he saw only a young man; no older than Elyas himself, sucking in his last breaths through blood-flecked lips. He attempted to mutter something in Khadoran, but Elyas cut him off.
    “For Fellig.” He replied, as his bullet pierced the man’s brainpan.

    Hope you enjoyed it, cheers for the opportunity.

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