“I’ll tell you a secret. Old storytellers never die. They disappear into their own story.” ~ The Forgotten Tales will soon resurface into the light.
A writer has the ability to encapsulate the very core of creativity. Creating a tale that is able to move the hearts of the reader and to simply leave them in awe. The quill and paper are powerful tools indeed.
The Forgotten Tales was the first story contest to be held within Eternal Conflict: Angels & Demons. To speak with complete honestly, it came by on a whim but it turned into a great addition to the system. Within A&D we have always had fighting related contests but never anything that was completely aimed at the role-play aspect that we wish to see flourish and grow. This Story Contest was a step in the right direction to allow those that enjoyed role-playing and storytelling to be able to do so within the system and to be recognized and rewarded for their efforts.
At the beginning of the contest I did not have high hopes of getting many submissions, but to my surprise there were many. All the stories that I read were well put together and quite interesting to read. I did notice that some however strayed drastically from the established A&D Backstory Lore which was a requirement to abide by in this particular contest; nonetheless what they came up with still intrigued me. It was a bit difficult for me to chose the top 3 winners for the contest but in the end I managed to chose the winners. 1st Place went to jenabernathy, in 2nd Place was cptangelsinkcb, and 3rd Place: grdangelduke. Sometime after the contest I had a personal interview with Roo (jenabernathy) to get her thoughts on the contest and how she felt about winning. You can view the interview parchment below. (Below the interview you can also read the story that Roo submitted to for the contest.)
The Empyrean reaper stood from her throne in the High Heavens as her wings expand to full length. In a blink of an eye she is standing behind the Angel known as Roo. She leans forward and whispers “Greetings Roo…” Startled Roo jumps and turns around swiftly and her face automatically turns bright red “uhm.. Greetings Mrs Empyrean Reaper Ma’am.. I didn’t see you there.” With a slight smile “I just came here. I wanted to know if you can come with me for a moment. I would like to ask you some questions about your Forgotten Tales entry.” Roo nods “Of cour..” Before Roo could finish her reply she instantly appeared in the Empyrean Reaper’s Chambers. The Empyrean Reaper casually sits on a nearby couch and rests her chin on her knee as she looks at Roo. Roo follows suit and sits on an opposing chair. “Let’s get started then shall we?” says the Empyrean Reaper.
Empyrean Reaper: Firstly, What made you want to enter the Forgotten Tales Story contest?
Roo: I enjoy RP and writing stories, so it sounded like a fun thing to do to help build up my A&D character. Arch Cass is also a big encouragement when it comes to expressing my creativity, so when she asked if I was going to enter it just gave me more reason to write the story.
Empyrean Reaper: nods “Did you feel that writing a story for this contest helped in regards to how you role-play or did it give you any further ideas on your Angelic role within A&D?”
Roo: I think it helped build the role play of my character, she wasn’t much of a fighter before. I had built her on being a fountain of knowledge for others, but not so much knowledge that she herself used. So doing this story definitely helped give an arc to her role as an angel within A&D who serves her Sator as more than just a knowledge base for others.
Empyrean Reaper: smiles “That makes sense. I’m glad it had a positive effect.”
Empyrean Reaper: What inspired your entry? As in what inspired you to write the story that you chose?
Roo: Hmm I’m not really sure, lol. My process tends to be to create a scaffold for a story then fill it out and edit things around as they are needed to make sense. For this I just wrote down some ideas of what kind of things she could battle, the reason for the battle, the type of place the battle would take place, and then went from there. Just seems to make writing a story easier. To know why you’re writing your story, the major plot points, and the atmosphere you want to convey, then use words to put people into the story with you. I know with this particular story, the number of creatures I was battling kept changing as I was writing, at one point I completely changed the location, it just because very fluid when I’m writing. It’s part of the fun of story writing versus RP, in RP you have to be flexible as well when dealing with the dynamics others bring in, but you don’t really get to go back and change things to sound better.
Empyrean Reaper: I agree. Writing can be very fun and once you get going it sometimes ends up completely different than when you first started, but that’s what happens when the creativity flows. About how long did it take you to write your story?
Roo: I broke it up over a few days. I did the scaffold the first day and then set it aside to ruminate on it. I sat and wrote the majority of the story the next day, which took maybe 5-6 hours. Then I reread and started making changes on it where I wanted things to be more detailed, or felt were too rambly or didn’t add to the story enough, or added things where I felt there needed to be different elements. Then reread it again a few more times, lol. So all in all about 4-5 days.
Empyrean Reaper: nods “Aside from this contest do you write often in your spare time?”
Roo: Anytime I get the chance. Stories of all natures, just depends on my mood.
Empyrean Reaper: smiles “That’s great. If I had more free time I would write as well but I don’t have that luxury at the moment”
Empyrean Reaper: What was your reaction when you learned you won first place in the contest?
Roo: blushes “I swore, to the extent of “Holy ****”. Then immediately covered my mouth realizing not only was I in the common area at A&D AND had my voice on (as I was having a conversation when the notice came up), but standing all of about 10m from you! Luckily, there were only a few of us around and your voice was off, lol. But had the nervous giggles for about an hour after that.”
Empyrean Reaper: chuckles “I enjoyed reading all the submissions that I received but I felt out of all of them yours followed closely to the established A&D lore and fit really well within that context. Of course it was also very well written.”
Roo : Well thank you. ^^ Being an extension of my angelic character I was aiming to keep it within the A&D context, so I’m glad I hit that mark.
Empyrean Reaper: You did so very well. I think those are all the questions that I prepared for you. Is there anything that you would like to say to those that are interested in writing or interested in entering future Story Contests that we might have?
Roo: Don’t be scared to just do it! Even if you think your writing sucks, we are our own worst critics, so it’s probably never as bad as you think it is. No harm in trying and you can’t win if you don’t enter, you might surprise yourself!
Empyrean Reaper: That is great advice and I agree with it as well. Roo, thank you for taking the time to do this interview, I’m sure it will be helpful to those whom are hesitant or just serve as an interesting read.
Roo: Thank you very much for the opportunity Mrs Empyrean Reaper Ma’am.
Roo’s Forgotten Tales Entry Story
The wind howled through the streets as the rain poured down in never ending sheets. Normally, Roo wouldn’t be flying in the mortal world so recklessly but someone – or some thing – was crying out to her. A mixed feeling of pain and sorrow could be felt deep in the pit of her stomach, it was so dark it shook her to the core. She could feel herself getting closer, when a shock rocked her system and sent her tumbling towards the empty street below. Roo caught herself and redirected her downward path to a nearby rooftop. Wrapping her wings around herself like a cloak to protect from the ever persistent rain, she walked to the edge and looked down at the building and apparent source of the feeling racking her body.
From the outside the building looked dark and empty, but as Roo sat on her perch across the street she could sense something not quite right inside. Demons tend to leave an odor in their wake, a smell similar to brimstone and burning flesh, but that smell was lacking in the air. Nor was there any sense of anyone, living or celestial, inside. Her curiosity was definitely peaked, as something, something wrong, was drawing her to this exact spot. Looking around and seeing no one on the streets, she lept from the roof and landed gracefully on the sidewalk below. It was only as she was halfway across the street that it dawned on her, there was no sensation of anyone. She looked up into the buildings and for as far as her eyes could see, no lights anyone, no warmth, no signs of life at all. A chill ran up her spine, but the calling was still there, doing leaps in her stomach, so she pressed on.
Getting in was too easy, there was no lock on the door, nor anything barricading it shut. As she walked deeper into the building she could see she was in a warehouse of some sort, the ceilings were high, the space wide open, but eerily empty. The pull was getting stronger, like a hand was reaching out to her, grabbing her, pulling her to where it wanted her to be. As she got deeper into the warehouse she could see a small shed like office off to one corner, as her eyes focused on it, butterflies danced on her spine. This was it she thought, whatever was drawing me here, it’s in there. Roo picked up the pace, not quite running, but not exactly walking anymore either. As her hand found the door thunder cracked through the sky outside and suddenly every hair on her body stood on end.
She whipped around and saw the concrete start to break open throughout the warehouse revealing the soft mud underneath. Every alarm bell her head could muster went off as she saw the creatures crawling up out of the ground. Keepers. Her eyes darted around counting the mud colored not-quite-men coming into view. Eight, that was eight too many as far as she was concerned. Keepers were not easily felled foes, their skin like the mud they were crawling up out of energy bolts would merely pierce the skin only to be quickly filled back in. They weren’t invincible, flame strikes could harden their flesh into a clay like surface that could be broken off, and shattering their heads would drop them on the spot. But could her aim be that true, did she have enough flame strikes written on her.
Taking a deep breath she shrugged her shoulders letting her wings find their full span and brought herself to a hover above the ground. Grabbing up a scribed parchment she balled it up in her hand whispering an incantation and watching the ball burst into flames, pulling back and pitching it at the head of one of the keepers. It’s hand flew up to deflect it, the creatures arm becoming solid and heavy and ripping from its body as it fell to the ground and shattered. The could see it coming, aim would not be enough. The creatures starting coming to their feet on the surface and moving towards Roo. She quickly grabbed out another scribed parchment and took aim at the closest to her, but before throwing the ball of flame in her hand had a thought, and aimed it at the creatures leg instead. As the leg hardened the creature fell to the ground and pulled forward ripping it’s own, now solid, leg off. At least it would slow them down.
She made two more flame strikes at the same time and threw them towards two more creatures. One attempted to deflect and lost and arm instead, but the second lost a leg. As Roo was grabbing out more parchments, she was suddenly hit in the wing with a mud ball. Slightly shocked, she attempted to shake it off finding instead that the mud was a bit like glue and weighed heavy on her feathers. She could still hover though, she’d just have to be more mindful to dodge. She had heard stories of the Keepers, if they grabbed her, getting out of the grasp of a single Keeper would be a struggle, fighting off more than one.. she would likely stand no chance. And from the ground they came, they would return, dragging her down with them. As she produced two more flames another mud ball came at her, she dodges flitting around a building beam and launching a fire ball at her attackers leg. Breathing a small sigh of relief as it hit it’s target and the creature took to the ground.
She continued volleys until all eight had been hobbled. They moved slower, but it wasn’t stopping the mud ball attack. As more of them became stable, more mud balls flew. Three of the creatures were able to target their attack to just one wing in such a manner that she was only able to dodge one. As her wing felt painfully pulled down she couldn’t help but land. Bracing herself she hit her own wing with a flame strike and cried out in pain. It hurt, but the thought was correct and the mud hardened and was able to be shed off in broken flakes. However, flying would be hard, the wing hurt to extend fully. At least she had the option in an emergency she thought and tucked her wings. The creatures, though slowed down, still advanced. Their goal was simple, destroy anyone trying to claim whatever was in that room, sparking her curiosity all the more.
She took aim at one of the creatures who had lost an arm already seeing they would dig in with their one hand to pull themselves forward. She launched her attack and nailed the beast in its head. A cold chill shot up her spine as she realized the creatures head did not fall and shatter as hoped. It went solid and lurched forward a bit, but the mud like structure of the neck grasped the head and held on to it, even more horrifying the head was starting to slowly turn back to mud. She quickly riffled through her parchments and found a scribed spell for an energy bolt, crumpling it in her hand and watching the sparks surge through her fingers, releasing the bolts at her foe. As the head shattered and the clump of mud lost form splashing on the ground with an audible sploosh her heart skipped a beat.
Having drawn her attention from the others she felt a cold damp hand grip her ankle, looking down with a scream she saw one of the creatures made it to her. There was no pulling from its grasp, the mud was like quicksand, the more she pulled the tighter its grip on her limb. She scrambled to cast the flame strike on the creatures arm only to have its now solid hand be replaced by the other. She was mortified to see the back half of the creature starting to sink into the ground. Another flame was quickly cast this time at the creatures head, following suit with a bolt. She felt her stomach turning in fear even as the creatures form melted away. That was too close.. hand their been more than one at her, she likely would have not been fast enough.
The creatures were advancing, she was being backed into a corner. Her heart cried out for her treasured Arch, unsure of how strong the call would be only her . She painfully outstretched her wings and flew up looking for a better perch to attack from. Finding a small catwalk, she landed and took aim at one of the creatures from behind, landing both attacks and watching it melt only to feel the catwalk shake and screech. Looking to her side she saw a thick mud clump smothering and dragging on the chains. She knew her perch wouldn’t last long with five still down there. She reached in to her sack, her pile of flame strikes dwindling, unsure there would be enough. The creatures had turned, there was only one more left with only one hand. As she took aim and was about to release the fire ball the catwalk shook again and the ball released off course striking a back wall. Despair started to sink in as she reached in her pack and felt only two more scrolls. The creatures had been released, she could not give up and fly away leaving the creatures in the mortal realm to create havoc.
She felt a warm hug on her body as a sweet voice filled her head. Her arch heard her earlier, Roo heard her Arch ask if she was safe or needed help. Roo took a deep breath and allowed all her fear and worry to flow from her to her Arch and spoke the word “Keepers” on the wind. The feelings Roo sent shook Arch Cassandra, the pain in her body, the fear in her heart, Cassandra took up a stack of flame strikes and took to the skies seeking out her little angel. Roo could feel her Arch coming and relief grew, she’d just have to hold out for backup. She gingerly pulled out one of her remaining flame strikes and whispered into her palm, as the flame grew she carefully weighed her options. All of the creatures left had both arms, so firing at them while they faced her would be a risk. She sucked up the pain and took back to the air, flying back to the other side, hoping to at least confuse the creatures. Targeting one away from the group she took aim from behind and threw the fire ball. Her aim was a bit off hitting it just below the skull, but as the back of it’s shoulders and part of its neck solidified she took the chance and shot a bolt at it. In somewhat epic fashion the pressure of the breaking clay shot the head of the creature off the neck and forward, the rolling ball of mud coming to a stop in the middle of the floor and melting into a muddy puddle leaving a trail in it’s wake.
Just then one of the windows at the front of the building shattered and in swooped her Arch, a beaming smile crossed Roo’s face as Cassandra released two flame strikes in succession at one of the creatures, catching and arm and the head. Roo nodded her head in understanding and quickly threw a bolt at the creatures head. Roo suddenly found herself spinning towards the ground as a mud ball hit her “good” wing, her scorched wing unable to sustain her in the sky. As she landed hard on the ground she could see Cass shooting off another volley at one of the three remaining creatures and struggled to stand and do her part. She winced as she reached into her sack and felt the glass shards of her broken potions. She shook her head and refocused grabbing up a bolt parchment and taking out the slowly reviving creature. The last two were dispatched in similar fashion, Cassandra hitting the last one with an extra flame strike on the bottom, just because.
As Arch Cassandra landed next to Roo, Roo embraced her in a grateful hug. Cassandra grasped Roo under her chin to make eye contact. “What were you thinking my little angel? I have faith in you to take out any enemy you face, but to take them on unprepared? That’s not like you!”
Roo bit her lower lip sheepishly, “I honestly wasn’t expecting a fight on that level. Something here called out to me, I came to investigate. I wasn’t anticipating that there would be resistance of this magnitude.”
Cassandra nodded her head and released Roo’s chin, “So, where is this person who called out to you?”
Roo walked over to the office door and turned the handle, “I don’t think it was a person at all.” Pulling the door open they could both see inside the mostly empty room, in the corner a small safe sat. With the wave of her hand Arch Cassandra willed the safe door open. Roo made her way to it and reached in, pulling out a small journal sized book held shut by a sort of chain wrapped horizontally and vertically around it, and held fast by a circular amulet. The amulet was very ornate, the base of it a black metal with a ruby colored stone in the middle, and some sort of crest in metal on top of the stone. The crest depicted what could only be described as a horned wolf with wings.
Looking at her Arch and holding out the book, “Have you ever seen such a thing?”
Cassandra looked the book and amulet over and just shook her head. “Best you try the library my little one, let me know what you find. It’s pull on you must be strong for you to have been willing to take such a risk to get it.”
With that Cassandra pulled out a healing potion and offered it to her angel. Quickly drinking it down and feeling its power fill her, Roo stretched out her wings and gave them a good shake. Both of them took to the skies and flew back to the heavens, Arch Cassandra to continue her important work, and Roo to the library.
Reaching the large arched doorway, Roo slowly pushed open a door and made her way inside. Though she grew up in libraries and made them a big part of her mortal life, Heaven’s library always intimidated her. The knowledge contained within these walls was more than even her angelic head could hold, but the desire to read it all was still there. Walking towards the stacks she held out her hand and closed her eyes, she took some deep breathes relaxing herself and thought of only the amulet. It’s dark black metals, the blood red ruby, and the strange mutated wolf on the crest. As she opened her eyes three books glowed bright on the shelves. She smiled softly to herself as her wisdom abilities were growing stronger and more accurate. Collecting the three books she found herself a table to sit at and opened each of the three books side by side. Closing her eyes and holding her hand over each one, she again focused on the amulet, the features of the wolf becoming more clear in her mind. She could hear the pages flipping as she held her hand over each book, and once stopped would move to the next, until all three books had been covered. Opening her eyes she got to work scanned the revealed texts.
The first book told of a pack of wolf like humans, touched by the Light. Through the description of them Roo could tell the book was speaking of werewolves, but these ones were special. Neither angel, nor demon, but granted certain powers from both. Immortal protectors of the mortal realm to keep the Angels and Demons in check around the mortals. Roo pondered on this for a moment, she knew of werewolves, but not ones with horns and wings capable of keeping Angels and Demons in check. As the description ended and the topic changed, Roo moved to the next book. This one gave them a name ‘The Kindred’ and went into far more detail. The Kindred had the power of spell like Angels and Demons, but their spells could do far more damage. Should Angels and Demons fight in the mortal realm around mortals, putting themselves at risk of discovery, or the mortals themselves in harms way, the Kindred were tasked to take out both the Angel and Demon without bias. However, the Kindred did not remain unbiased. Soon the Kindred become a sort of mercenary for hire, selling their services to the highest bidder. Sometimes just as a bodyguard, but most often – as an assassin. The Light saw this blasphemy of its gift and stripped the Kindred of their powers. However one resourceful Kindred kept a volume of the spells, hiding it away where the Light could not find it. As far as this story knew, that volume was lost forever, never having been seen or heard of again.
Moving to the third and final book, Roo found herself holding the small book in her hand and almost caressing the amulet that held it shut. Scanning through the text this one described the amulet and told of its powers. The amulet protected the book from being seen by the Light, which is how it remained hidden for so long. What the Kindred who hid the volume did not know, was that once the Light stripped away the powers, the amulet would no longer recognize him. The volume would stay forever bound until someone with the blessing of the Kindred unlocked it. Over the generations the volume would find its way in and out of many hands, people buying or even stealing the volume in the hopes of being the one to reveal its secrets. Its last whereabouts unknown. “Until now,” Roo murmured to herself. Roo quickly gathered up her things and placed the three books back on their respective shelves. Grasping the volume close she almost skipped out of the library to go visit her Arch.
Taking flight outside the library she flew quickly to her Arches home, inhaling deep the sweet smells of the heavens as she willed her wings to fly her faster. Landing outside the ornate home, Roo balled her little hand and knocked briskly on the door. As Arch Cassandra opened the door and saw her little angel, a smile graced her face and she reached out scooping Roo up in a hug, “I assume this means you’ve already found the answer to your little mystery.”
Roo grasped her Arch in the excited hug and nodded her head, “It’s a volume of spells from the Kindred!”
Arch Cassandra stepped back in shock, that was a name she had not heard in a very long time, those spells.. the power they held against angels and demons alike, rivaled even her own Arch strengths. “Did you say Kindred?”
Alarmed by her Arches reaction Roo instinctively grasped the volume tight to her chest and stammered, “Y-yes.”
“Roo, you must take that to Sator Tasha right away. Those can’t exist in these realms.”
Roo nods and agrees to take the volume to the Sator, her knuckles turning white as she grips it. She’s still unsure its hold on her, or why it still seems to speak to her deep in her soul. However, if her Arch has such concern about it, she must comply. With a bow of her head to her Arch, Roo takes back off to the heavens, once again willing her wings to carry her quickly to the office of Sator Tasha. Before she can even knock on the door, they open before her. Roo steps in and sees the Empyrean Reaper hard at work behind her desk.
“I’m sorry to bother you my Sator, but I found something this morning and after researching it, my Arch told me I should bring it to you at once.” Roo holds the book just slightly in front of her, her free hand again stroking on the amulet. But here in the heavens, under the protection of Sator Tasha’s office, something is different. The amulet starts to glow and the chains release around the book. Roo looks down at her hands with a start.
Seemingly undisturbed by this outcome Sator Tasha stands and moves towards Roo, “Well, isn’t that interesting.”
Roo holds out the book and the amulet in a sort of shock, “I don’t understand, how?” she stammers while looking doe eyed at her Sator.
Sator Tasha just grins and takes hold of the book and amulet, pressing the amulet to the book the chains reform and once again seal the book shut. With a wave of her hand a portal opens up in front of her, what looks to be a sort of library on the other side appears in a swirling mist. Releasing the book into the portal, it finds its way to a shelf on the other side and with a swirl the portal shuts.
“Do not worry Cherubim Roo, all will be revealed to you in time. I’m sure you have much work to do, as do I.” Without another word the Sator returns to her desk and gets back to work.
In a sort of haze Roo turns and leaves the room, the questions swirling in her head. Only someone blessed by the Kindred should have been able to open that amulet, but she is not Kindred, nor is she werewolf. How could that be possible. Why was Arch Cassandra so scared of the book. There was nothing else in the texts in heaven, perhaps in the mortal realm. That’s the realm they were tasked to protect right? As the doors to the Sator’s office close behind her, Roo decides to make a little trip to the mortal realm.
But that’s a tale for another day…