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DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Flak on Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:04 pm

Unread postby Flak » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:04 pm

I just finished illustrating the second writing challenge. The entries and illustrations can be found here. And, suddenly, a third round is upon us! As was the case last time, "this isn't a contest. Everyone's a winner. Everyone who participates."

What you do:

Write a short story, 1,500-word minimum, by May 1st. Can be fiction, can be non-fiction. Any genre(s). If you're not sure whether something's a story, it's probably a story. Just be sure to pin that story down and write the hell out of it. Post your stories in this thread by midnight on Wednesday, May 2nd (that's 12 a.m. on Wednesday, or Tuesday night). Entered stories will be subject to basic grammatical editing at your dear admin's discretion. Optionally, I can work with you to iron out whatever aspects of your story you want help with.

What you get:

Your story will be posted on DotQ's front page by May 13th under the Shorts category, attributed to your account, and accompanied by one (1) illustration. "Illustration" is a kind of broad term, but I guarantee some modicum of effort on my part.

Why:

It's awesome when people write. So you should write! And I need to draw more. So I should draw! With this challenge, not only will you get to write, and I to draw, but Dreams of the Quill will get more fresh content. Fun for everyone!

You can see the results from Challenge #1 (March 2011) here.
You can see the results from Challenge #2 (March 2012) here.

Do eeeeet! :flak:

Additional Notes:

Tell your friends! Spread this announcement! Overload me with submissions!

If you are not a registered user, and are interested in participating, you should get in touch with me. Unfortunately, forum registrations are closed to the public due to spam bot issues. This doesn't mean I want to exclude new faces. Talk to me and we'll work it out!

P.S. I am participating.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:58 am

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:58 am

Shouldn't you finish drawing the last contest before subjecting yourself to another one?

But yeah I am totes participating. Not doing an Amazing Adventure this time, though. I have something else in mind.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Flak on Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:05 am

Unread postby Flak » Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:05 am

Uh, I did finish drawing the last one. It's all up on the front page. :)

Anyway, I'm glad you're participating! I am too! (And I don't have anything in mind yet.)
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:58 am

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:58 am

Yeah, I never look at the front page.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Flak on Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:13 pm

Unread postby Flak » Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:13 pm

This thread OP mentions and links to past challenges. :)
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby TheNewHorde on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:26 pm

Unread postby TheNewHorde » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:26 pm

u know, i was rather looking forward to your drawings considering u said u'd put some sort of effort into it.

no offense intended, but there was definitely more effort put into your past work than this writing challenge one. slightly disappointed to be honest, was looking forward to it. half of it is photoshopped pictures together, rest are... i don't even know. only the one with a person sitting down shown some sort of minimal effort. not asking u to be an artist or whatever, but just cause i actually SEEN what you can do, and that was not effort.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:41 pm

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:41 pm

TNH makes a good point. That said, my entry kind of deserved what it got.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Flak on Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:55 pm

Unread postby Flak » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:55 pm

Hey! I promised a modicum of effort. Each entry did get at least that. The main reward is having written something. It was the same way back during the first writing challenge. But like, TNH, did you even look at the previous writing challenge? I'm inclined to assume you're inventing your memory of it. This is totally inline with what I did last year.

I spent the better part of two days total organizing the challenge, curating the entries, making the illustrations, and putting everything on the front page. Should I put more time into these? I don't really have more time!
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:04 am

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:04 am

Miyamato has wisdom for situations like this.

"A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever."
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby TheNewHorde on Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:01 am

Unread postby TheNewHorde » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:01 am

KingCrazyGenius wrote:Miyamato has wisdom for situations like this.

"A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever."


qft
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Flak on Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:28 am

Unread postby Flak » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:28 am

I don't really get what you guys are trying to insinuate. Can we get back to the challenge at hand?
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:08 am

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Thu Apr 19, 2012 4:08 am

Yeah yeah I'll whip something out soon.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Flak on Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:45 am

Unread postby Flak » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:45 am

I actually have no idea what I want to do at this juncture. Maybe more Clerk of the Night... but I doubt it.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:18 am

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:18 am

A comic relevant to writing.
Image
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Flak on Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:35 am

Unread postby Flak » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:35 am

Whoa.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:46 am

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:46 am

And here we are~

______________________________________________

A ROYAL MISSIVE FOR THE EYES AND CONSIDERATION OF HER IMPERIAL MAJESTY, MAY HER GLORIOUS DOMAIN SPREAD TO THE ETERNAL SHORES AND BEYOND, AND HER MOST WISE AND AUGUST COUNCIL. TO BE DELIVERED TO THE ROYAL CHAMBER OF DELIBERATION WITH THE UTMOST HASTE.

In my previous correspondence, as you no doubt recall, I explained that I had spent a sufficient amount of time moving unseen amongst the objects of our attention, and that the time had come to begin hiding in plain sight, so to speak. With a minimal effort, I have infiltrated their ranks, posing as one of their own, under the guise that I am a young traveler from afar. While I initially believed that this explanation would be met with criticism, and indeed I was adequately prepared to provide proof of my alibi, this proved entirely unnecessary, as I will explain below.

The first and most important thing to consider when it comes to human civilization is that there is hardly such a thing. While certainly each individual grouping within a certain geographical context has a shared culture, my growing understanding of the situation is that the customs, practices, and even the gods of each group of humans varies wildly, depending on where you go. These are no dwarves, whom in all places ring their forge hammers in praise of their Moradin. One may attribute this lack of unifying culture to their short animal lifespans; they live a full century at best! I believe, however, that there is more to it than simply a dearth of ancestors to hold them accountable. Rather, humans have a strong independent streak, not just from population to population, but even within their settlements. Many seem to outright reject any notion that the fate of their neighbors may be their own.

More than anything else, I believe this is their greatest weakness, and one that must be exploited to its full extent. I shall elaborate, and please forgive my disregard for custom in writing of what I am about to write. When, centuries ago, our people made war on the dwarves, our mistake in doing so was failing to gather sufficient information. Namely, we had little idea that there were other populations of dwarves, let alone that many do not even live along the shores. When this became clear, what happened next was obvious; the dwarves from further inland banded with their cousins on the cliffs and repelled our every attack. We were unprepared for numbers such as these, and were forced to retreat and cut our losses. From this loss, however, we learned much of the other races, and of the surface world in general, but allow me to get to the core of my argument: humans are, again, not dwarves. The are highly unusual in that they lack any sort of unity in their kind. There are human populations who ally with elves over their own kind, and even groups who happily make war amongst themselves. It is of course necessary to bury the volcanic vents of rebellion, but these are groups in whom no prior unity existed.

Since each human population could very well be considered entirely on their own, it is important that we adjust our strategy as such. When attacking on settlement, we must ensure that no nearby settlements have reason to fear us or come to the aid of the other humans. After expanding, it would perhaps even be prudent to make peace with nearby land dwellers and use wealth to control them instead of coercion. Though it would take decades instead of moons, this would prevent losses on both ends, ensuring no orphans among our kind and plenty of slaves to choose from. So long as they see us as merely wealthy and ruthless but ultimately fair, rather than their masters, too few will ever oppose us to make a difference.

Like their myriad of cultures, languages too differ by region. While deciphering the most common tongue among them was easy enough, I have also encountered a number of more distinct languages. I have reason to believe that as many as a dozen may exist among the humans of the world, but it will take time to study this further.

Now, on the subject of their anatomy, as you had previously requested, I have gathered but a few subjects to test our theories on, but I believe I have learned much from them. As you had already surmised, humans are indeed unable to survive long periods of time in the water. I have tested subjects of both sexes (like us, they are of two distinct genders, though with a greater differentiation in height than our own people between the males and the females) and of varying ages, and none lasted more than a minute or two beneath the water. This of course means that slaves taken into our own cities must be so enchanted as to survive, but this of course provides yet another measure of control. They may not even require enchantments to stay complacent, as their fear of dying from a lack of their air will be more than sufficient. They are also easily injured, weak, slow, and inflexible, though they recover rather quickly. I believe that those who remain in our surface colonies can be controlled through the pain response. The young in particular are easily motivated by injury. On a related note, they are not savory creatures, and while they would no doubt serve as adequate sacrifices to Our Lords Below, I would not recommend dining on them yourselves.

Human features vary by their location. While the ones I have studied the most seem to be largely of brown coloration, I have encountered some who are notably paler or darker, and with different colorations and textures of hair. The eyes too vary widely, even within specific groups.

Though I think it is nothing more than an aberration, I did encounter one specimen who was not so easily coerced. He refused to participate in my examinations, and was completely unresponsive to both the threat and infliction of injury. He was also notably stronger than my other subjects. While I am reasonably certain that he would also have survived longer without air, I was unable to to test this hypothesis, as I was forced to destroy him before he could cause me any problems. As I said before, however, he was no doubt an anomaly among their race. None of the others resisted with nearly as much intensity. No doubt an freak and outcast whom will not be missed.

On the topic of the human’s knowledge of the arcane sciences, and I know this was one of particular concern, I am pleased to note that they do not seem to practice them. While they are no doubt aware of its existence and usefulness, I have yet to encounter even a single practitioner. As the settlement I am currently investigating is a rather sizable one, with a population well over two hundred plus many more working and feed animals, it seems quite reasonable to assume that humans have simply never learned the arcane sciences for themselves. Perhaps there are a few who have been taught by rogue elves or the like, but I doubt they are of any real potency. After all, they only live a century. I am without a doubt the most powerful arcanist in this region, which, as a mere servant of Her Imperial Majesty, fills me with a small measure of mirth.

I mentioned before that the different regions of humans each participate in their own religious beliefs, complete with differing gods. While I have not researched this phenomenon as thoroughly as other human behaviors, my initial findings show that these gods of theirs are unlikely to exist, and are nothing more than idols created by clever craftsmen, or dim memories of notable humans of the past. If any humans do worship any true gods, I have seen no evidence of it. Like the existence of human arcanists, I think it would be premature to dismiss their existence without further research, but I doubt there are any in significant numbers. When we conquer the humans, what few gods they do have will quickly be devoured by Our Lords Below.

In summary, my experiences with the humans have proven most fortuitous. They are numerous, weak, easily controlled, and even more easy to fool. It has been an absolute pleasure to serve Her Imperial Majesty in researching these creatures, and I am most gracious for the opportunity. I am no councilor, but while the humans of course merit further research, I would not think it particularly unwise to move forward with the next stage of the plan. Research assistance would be most desirable, but they may be ultimately uncessary, for it will be all too easy to overthrow the leader of this place and establish it as a staging area for further conquests. Though I do not wish to sound arrogant, a mere handful of warriors would be enough assistance for I to lay claim to this settlement in the name of Her Imperial Majesty.

I eagerly await your response,



Apprentice-Arcanist Nayos val Salduth
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:52 pm

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:52 pm

Are you going to comment on this stupid story or am I going to have to delete it?
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby TheNewHorde on Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:31 pm

Unread postby TheNewHorde » Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:31 pm

delete.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:16 am

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:16 am

Not talking to you, non-writer.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Alar on Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:45 am

Unread postby Alar » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:45 am

That was pretty awesome, however I'm curious exactly what sort of beings they are. I was considering some form of fish-person, but I like the idea of squid-people better. Obviously he would use magic to disguise himself if this were the case.

A good read, KCG! I'd actually like to see you expand on that more, if you had the desire to do so.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:21 am

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:21 am

Why do you assume it is so simple as either fish people or squid people? There are terrors so much worse than the terrestrial beings we can see in aquariums.

And yes, he describes himself as a mage.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Flak on Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:18 am

Unread postby Flak » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:18 am

Sorry, I'm kind of swamped; I'm more focused on getting my shit done (and writing my own entry) than on reading at this point. You'll get my thoughts after May 1st I expect.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:47 pm

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:47 pm

Was that a lead-in for me to say "fuck your shit"?

Because fuck your shit.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby Flak on Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:53 pm

Unread postby Flak » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:53 pm

You're such a charmer.
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Re: DotQ Writing Challenge #3

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius on Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:02 am

Unread postby KingCrazyGenius » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:02 am

That is definitely a word that someone just used to describe me.
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