From Bricu, at WTT:RP:
On behalf of WTT:RP, Too Many Annas and Lorecrafted, it my pleasure to introduce our third place winner. All of our finalists did a superb job of addressing the challenge: Fic up a quest/event in 1,000 words or less. We received a number of entries. We read each and every one. Thank you, all of you, for your willingness to write and have it posted. Personally, I would love to give everyone who submitted something other than kudos…
“Cleanse my inner turmoil?” Hammaryn Dawnsorrow crossed her arms over her chest, and narrowed her eyes at the Taunka in front of her. “This is ridiculous.”
He chuckled in response. “Elf, you may think it’s ridiculous, but it has to be done in order to help the worg Ulfang.” Sage Mistwalker smiled at her. “I’m sure it won’t be a problem for you.”
Hammaryn stared at him for a moment, a large frown on her face. Was he joking with her?
“There’s gold involved in this, right?”
The Taunka grinned slyly and nodded at her.
“Alright, I’ll do it.” Hammaryn backed away slowly. She untied the reins of her mount from a nearby tree, occasionally glancing at Sage Mistwalker over her left shoulder. Why in the hells was he watching her and grinning like that?
“Come on horse,” she mumbled to her mount as she hoisted herself up on the saddle. “Let’s get away from these crazy people.” The horse twitched his ears in response, and she dug her heels into his side. He snorted and took off at an easy canter. Hammaryn turned her reins in to head north, towards the snowy mountains of Howling Fjord. Smaller rocks dotted the ground, leading up to jagged cliffs. Near the entrance to Grizzly Hills she saw the large boulder the Taunka had mentioned, and a path cutting up through the western base of the mountains. Hammaryn halted, and slipped off her horse to land hard on the icy ground. “Stay here, horse,” she grunted, shouldered her pack, and took off up the path into the mountains. No monsters greeted her on the way up, and she smiled to herself. The Taunka may have been a bit loony, but this would be easy gold. Near the top of the mountain, she saw the altar; a large, stone table sitting in a clearing. Hammaryn dropped her pack on the ground and walked up to it. She pulled off her left gauntlet and ran her hand over the smooth stone; it was warm, and she yanked her hand back in surprise.
“What am I supposed to do?” She asked, looking around as if someone would answer her. The only reply was the wind whistling through the jagged rocks of the mountain. She took in a deep breath and let it out, the frigid air turning her breath into fog.
“You think you can get rid of me through meditation?”
Hammaryn whirled around in shock, her back bumping up against the table. The woman in front of her laughed, a low and snide noise. It was herself, but not herself. A shade, intangible and not entirely opaque, as if the shadow Hammaryn was only half formed. Hammaryn’s right hand shook as it instinctively reached for the large mace on her back.
“Pathetic,” the shadow sneered at her. “Scared even of yourself.”
“This is foul magic, and I’m not scared,” she bluffed. She raised her voice. “Whoever is casting this dark magic, show yourself.”
The shade shook her head and laughed. “There’s no one here, little Hammaryn. You’re all alone, just like when your daddy died.”
Hammaryn scowled. “You don’t know anything about my father.”
The shade smiled mockingly. “Oh, I know everything about your father. I know everything about you, because I am you. I know how you cried and ran away when he died, stumbling pathetically through the woods, useless little girl.”
“You’re lying.” Tears welled up in her eyes and she backed up into the stone table again, bracing herself on it.
The shade came in closer to her. “There’s nowhere to run, little ‘Ryn. Do you have any idea how ashamed your mommy and daddy would be now if they saw you? You never had half your mother’s talent for magic, and you can’t even heal like your father did. Calling yourself a tool of the Light, and all you do is wave around a big stick. No one is scared of you, and you can barely take care of yourself. No family, barely any friends.” The shade smiled seductively. “You could just die, you know,” it whispered. The shade motioned her head to the side of the cliff.
Hammaryn looked over her shoulder at the cliff side behind her. It was a long drop down to those jagged rocks at the base of the mountain. She closed her eyes tightly for a moment, leaning in against the stone table. The cold wind whipped against her face, drying her tears.
“No.” She opened her eyes. “No,” Hammaryn said loudly. “You’re not me, and you never will be. If I die, so do their memories, and the Lich King wins. I may not have either of their talent, but you’re damn right that I can wave around a big stick.” Hammaryn yanked the mace off of her back, and with a loud yell, swung it at the shade. The mace hit with a sickening thud in the chest. The shade looked down at its chest, its mouth opening in a silent cry of shock before dissolving into the wind. Hammaryn let the end of her mace drop onto the ground. “It’s not me,” she said loudly. No one answered.
Hammaryn picked up her mace, and swung it into its harness on her back. She walked a few paces away, picking up her pack she had slung onto the ground, and pulled the handle onto her right shoulder.
“That Taunka had better be paying damn well,” she grumbled as she started walking back down the path.
Congratulations Hammaryn! You have looted a chest that contains: The Sunwell Trilogy, The Ashbringer TPB and a TGC Loot Card! Please email the loot master at midsummerwriting at gmail dot com to receive your prize!
Be sure to check back tomorrow for the second place winner in our Midsummer Night’s RP Writing Contest!
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