RiaR: February/March 2015

The Bolthole's monthly 1,000 word story competition.

RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby VictorK » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:54 pm

February is a short month, so I thought it might be best to give folks some time and stretch this thing over most of February and March, including the voting time.

To enter the competition, you must write a story, set within 40K/Whf/Bloodbowl or a setting of your own devising, of between 850 and 1150 words in length. Entries will be due at the MIDNIGHT, EST, on Saturday, March 7.

I had fun with the picture last month, and we may do that again, but for now we'll stick with words. Your theme this month is, courtesy of a random word generator I found: Prize.
"The gods are not all powerful, they cannot erase the past." -Agathon
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby Elishua » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:58 am

Sounds like a great deal of fun! Is this RiaR still going? Sorry to sound so ignorant and new, but...well...I am.

If this is still active, any tips/pointers? Or just go for it?

Thanks!
"The accursed cannot reconcile themselves to a place of honor in the presence of the Emperor. They must instead be restored by one possessing a position of honor. We are all accursed. Only the Emperor can restore us to a place of honor. Only the Emperor can save us from the shame and terror of our rightful punishment. Only the Emperor. It has ever been, still ever is, and will ever be, only the Emperor."

Catechism of Tel Salem, Book VII, Chapter XIV, Verse XXI
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby Rob P » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:58 pm

It's been a little quieter than previous years, but it's still going.

My advice is just to get writing and write what you enjoy. As long as there is some link, feel free to use the word as a prompt rather than the central premise.

Crit is usually constructive and I've found that its improved my writing (though haven't written for so long that I'm probably back to square one).
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby VictorK » Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:20 am

Seems like we might have a bust. I'm among that category, I could crank something out before the end but it's been a tough month at work (which also involves a lot of writing) so I'm not prepared. I can grant an extension, or we could lay this to rest.
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby Elishua » Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:38 pm

I was in the same boat with school/work/life. But I'd up for giving this a try if you extend it!
"The accursed cannot reconcile themselves to a place of honor in the presence of the Emperor. They must instead be restored by one possessing a position of honor. We are all accursed. Only the Emperor can restore us to a place of honor. Only the Emperor can save us from the shame and terror of our rightful punishment. Only the Emperor. It has ever been, still ever is, and will ever be, only the Emperor."

Catechism of Tel Salem, Book VII, Chapter XIV, Verse XXI
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby VictorK » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:58 pm

All right, we'll have a week extension. March 14.
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby VictorK » Sat Mar 14, 2015 6:32 pm

Not really warhammer. Not really anything. 1133 words.

The Siren

She was singing, but he couldn’t reach her.

The stones were singing, too, trapped in their mortar but touched by the siren’s song. The darkness they enclosed was thick with the vibrations. If he closed his eyes and shut out the only light he had the sound would close in on him as surely as the stone walls. He would be buried beneath her yearning.

Fortunately, he had a light. The glow from his sword, held out in front of him as if the darkness itself was the monster the steel was forged to slay, lit the way. Not that there was much to see, the castle’s corridors wound this way and that, sloping downward only to end in a staircase and then another descent. But, he could always hear her singing as if she was just on the other side of the wall. Each note held the promise that the next turn would bring him face to face with her at last.

“That sword isn’t yours, saint.” Percy told him. He had the man-creature’s hands bound and a collar around his neck. Once he bound Percy in chains, but their rattle produced a disharmony with the song. So he discarded the chains and tied a cord to the collar and led him that way. Percy was right, of course: the sword’s glow was dulled by the stains the saint could not quite wipe away. “You stole it.”

“It was just as true the last ten times you said it, Percy. Shut up. I’m trying to listen.” The saint and his prisoner arrived at an open room. He held the sword to his left, in front of him, and to his right: each tunnel revealed by its light seemed to echo with the same song.

“Good luck. You won’t find her, you clod. You don’t know what you’re doing! No one was supposed to get past the Mirror Witch, certainly not how you did! The gods curse you, saint. You will never have your prize.”

He could have struck Percy as he had before, but the saint stayed his hand. The creature wasn’t worthy of even that anymore. “I’ve been here before. I went left last time. Straight, now. If we come back, we’ll go right. Remember that, Percy, or I’ll cut you loose and leave you in the dark.” The creature said nothing more.

“We’re going to die down here, saint.” Percy finally mustered the courage to say. “The magic in that sword will run dry and the darkness will eat us. People weren’t meant to be back here, saint! We weren’t supposed to go this far!”

“No.” He admitted. “But I heard the song, from behind the mirror, and I had to go past it. Your master would still be a free man if he hadn’t tried to stop me.” The saint had taken his sword and cut his belly. Then, the saint offered the dying man to the Mirror Witch, to take her place. She cried reflective tears of joys and let him pass. The saint took Percy in case he had to make another deal. A man whose fingers were stained with ink and whose mind was filled with old books was of no other use to him. No one had ever mapped this place; there was no priest for the darkness that was god of these stone halls.

They came to the same place, and Percy remembered to turn right. “I’m not getting hungry, saint.” He said while climbing another set of winding stairs. “It took us hours to get to the mirror, I’ve been walking all day...I don’t even have a thirst.”

“Neither do I.” The saint replied.

“This is a prison, I knew it.” Percy hissed, hands clenching in their bonds. “The gods threw her down here for a reason, this is heresy. Setting foot in here is blasphemy...even if we escape, saint, will the gods forgive our sacrilege? This is sacred ground…”

“I don’t see any bars, do you Percy? Besides. How powerful are the gods if they can’t stop one woman singing?” They kept going. Turn after turn, corridor after corridor. The saint came to the conclusion that the junction had not been the same one as they passed through before, but he decided that he didn’t care. There was no architecture here, not really.

“Give up on her saint.” Percy said after another long interval of unbroken song. “That sword is the only way out of here, for both of us.”

“Shut up, Percy. I’m listening.”

They came to the top of another staircase. Percy could see the sharp steps going downward, and he watched the saint hesitate. He took his chance then, running into his captor from behind. They collided and the saint fell, the stolen sword clattering down the steps and casting their tumbling shadows against the stone walls.

The fall broke Percy’s neck, his collar striking hard against one of the steps and granting him the release from the prison he had hoped for. The sword, its steel broken, leaked light over his smiling face. The saint picked himself up, one arm hanging limply and hitch in his step. The song was as sweet as ever as he shuffled into the thrumming darkness, bracing himself against the stone. He didn’t offer any curse against Percy, the small man he called a fearful creature. If he did, it would break the siren’s song.

For a moment, when his bruised leg felt it would give out, the saint doubted he was going in the right direction. What if the gods planted the voice, but not the singer? A song woven into the stone to drive him mad for eternity. The sword’s sharp pieces were behind him, he would never come across them again. He would live forever here, wandering. Maybe the gods would even revive Percy on the other side of the mirror, so he could write about the foolish man who defied them for nothing more than a few notes of song.

The saint slammed his fist against a stone. It nearly broke his hand. “So be it. Better to live in song than die in silence.” He went forward.

Eventually, though his aches never abated, and he never knew how many steps he took, the saint found his reward. He turned a corner and found the light that went with the song. Did the gods make a mistake, or had he bested them? That question did not trouble him as he smiled, looking down on temple illuminated by his prize. She stood in the center of the room, singing. Calling just for him. Chains bound her ankles and her wrists, but nothing could prevent her song.

The saint made his way down to her, and they were reunited.
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby VictorK » Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:00 pm

As we have had no other entries, the contest is closed. I gave this the good college try, but I think she's dead, Jim.
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby Krieg » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:21 pm

The problem with RiaR is that the stories of 40k are quite repetitive, allowing no real means of making a story that hasn't already be made before.
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby Mossy Toes » Wed Mar 18, 2015 12:32 pm

Damn it. I check in every *checks watch* uh, every month an a half or so, reminding myself to try to contribute to the next month or so, but...

Damn it. I may be more attached to the idea of RiaR than contributing to said competition. While this may not be too revelatory a statement (given past many months performance, on my account), I can't but help feel it's a painful admission.
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby VictorK » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:13 pm

Krieg wrote:The problem with RiaR is that the stories of 40k are quite repetitive, allowing no real means of making a story that hasn't already be made before.


I think the history of RiaR shows otherwise. Hell, I hardly even write 40k stories. I don't think I've ever written an RiaR story about space marines. The contest allows for 40k, fantasy, or original stuff. I made the latter this month.

Mossy Toes wrote:I may be more attached to the idea of RiaR than contributing to said competition. While this may not be too revelatory a statement (given past many months performance, on my account), I can't but help feel it's a painful admission.


True enough. As much as I argued with Krieg, he's kinda right. It seems the community in general is slowing down a bit. I know I've been looking to leap over to a less warhammer oriented writing site. I was never much into 40k and with the latest developments in FB I've lost almost all interest in the hobby.
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Re: RiaR: February/March 2015

Postby Krieg » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:32 am

Perhaps some added spice might be needed. Like we can include features of games workshop stuff, but add a fusion of lore from other sci-fi franchise, like AVP?
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