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Hello, Ladies and Gentlemen, and welcome to my topic! I please want your attention for a little bit. The story you are going to read comes from a work started at late night, the only moment where I can find a bit of time to write something, but this is just a sum up of the entire story I wrote. I had to cut A LOT of it to make it match with the contest requirements (I wrote 15k characters, cause I thought contest asked for 3k words and not characters). I wanted to apologize for the simplicity of the story itself; you may have read such kind of thing a hundred times. And I definitely understand that maybe some parts will not be really clear, but this is due indeed to the 3000 characters limit the contest asks us to respect (For clear reasons, Obviously). I have just read all of the stories before mine, and they just were amazing! This is why I wanted also to enforce my own story by posting on a spoiler how the REAL STORY should have been. I am asking to those who are curious enough to just check the following spoiler, before reading the contest one, and if I managed to make you smile even a bit, It means I reached my main Aim 🙂

 

The spoiler is not competing for the contest in any way. Its purpose is meant just in case some curious people want to learn more about my story.

 

 

 


-“Okay guys, another round! My treat!”

-“Holy Garahan,, Atie! this is my 4th Black Blood Mug tonight… my wife’s gonna kill me if  I’m coming back home drunk again”

 

Hah, that’s Mence, no doubts! I would recognize that voice among thousands of undead… ah, my dear Moraktar, so full of lif… uhm, well, so full of… walking creatures! How much time has passed since my departure, 5 years? I hope they will recognize me, after so much time. The rotten air of Moraktar, the endlessly wandering citizens of the House of Blood and the way Reims literally creates Alcohol from Forlorn’s Black Blood have always fascinated me. Not surprised I always missed these cursed lands.

 

-“Ho-ho-ho! Look who has returned from the world of the living ones! Ladies and Gentlemen, Judge Higgs has come! Hail oh great lord!”

-“Your presentations shall be a bit less theatrical, Reims, but I am definitely happy to see you all, guys!” Mence, Atie, Bennu, Garret, Kaziya… oh Yabi, you’re here too!”

-“Well, of course I am!” – laughs – “I have finally finished my work for today, so I decided to spend a bit of time here, but I did not expect to find you here.” I can feel a very warm environment, these people have always been very nice to newcomers… Sometimes, I wonder if they always were like this, even while being alive, or they learned such hospitality only after death. Being alive… heh… Breathing the.. how do they call it, Oxygen? I remember it was somehow tasty, sweet, especially when I was stepping near the Big Tree we had in our courtyard. So much time has passed after the Morpheus Period[*] but yet I remember it clearly. My dear Miriam, always used to wait me there for my return. I must have given her such a great disappointment, last time. I hope she forgave me…

 

-“SNORLAR IS HERE!”

-“What?! Mence! Do not do it ever again!”

-“Tee-hee! I Am sorry, you mighty knight, but it was like you were lost in the void… we were calling you for like 3 minutes, and you were just looking at that empty chair. REIMS! Give our thirsty soldier a Mug of Black Blood! It will help him to come back among us! Tee-hee!

-“On the way!”

Reims plays with those bottles like the Joker with some elven skulls, several years ago. His ability with preparing weird concoctions using... who knows what and some blood is brilliant!  - “Here for you, Higgs!”– He gives me the mug, chuckling. I look in the mug, suspicious, and I can notice some bubbles piercing… Is there a living creature there?! Well, it is not nice to refuse gifts, I guess!

-“Higgings! I knew you were here!” – I instantly see a figure coming forward from the entrance of the Tavern; it’s  Donkor, my old mentor – “Donkor, my friend, what brings you here?” – He smiles and comes closer to me, greets everyone in the tavern and then replies – “How can I miss the chance to see my old apprentice back in our Town? But, yea, there is indeed a little reason of why I am here, tonight.” – Continues – “I was wondering if you finally found her” – “No, not yet, unfortunately” . I realize everyone was looking at us, wondering what we were talking about. “Is there something we shall know…?” – Asks Kaziya – “It’s nothing that serious, or at least, nothing that serious for you all.” – Damn, I am being an idiot to them… “Donkor refers to my dear lady. He is the only one here knowing about her. Just recently I found out that she has stepped Moraktar’s lands, therefore, I need to find further news about her; If she’s still here or not, or simply if someone has recently seen her. Since I was here, I also decided to come to visit you all, guys… and I actually hoped to hear news about her from you all…”

 

-“And how did you meet her, exactly?” – Asks Reims, while filling another Mug for Mence. He does not even have a stomach, not anymore at least, where is the liquid going then, once he drinks it? Mystery of the After-life, I guess. Anyway, I think I owe these guys a good explaination:  “I met her centuries ago, when I was alive and served King Rael. Judge Magister Higgings, Commander of the 3rd fleet of the Royal Army. The Judge Magister was the highest military Rank of that time. With me, there were 2 more Judges, Judge Orcelius, commander of the 2nd fleet, and Judge Marcus, commander of the 1st fleet. As noblemen of that time, we all were well considered by our King, and it was time for him to decide who could have been the husband of his daughter, Miriam. The most beautiful creature of the realm, and obviously…” – “TEE-HEE! YOU FELL IN LOVE, *hic* YOU MARRIED AND *hic* HAPPY EVER AFTER!” – “Oh shut up, you old Crawling Bone! Please, Higgs, go on.” – Says Atie, twirling Mence’s  jaw – “Thanks Atie. As I was saying, she was indeed the most beautiful creature of the realm. We all understood that such a gentle being could not stay with a common soldier. I noticed she was looking at me, so I smiled as well, embarrassed. I remember she loved the Big Tree which stood on the center of our castle’s courtyard. She loved spending time near that tree, sleeping near that tree…”

 

-“It was the period when the neighboring Kingdom was threatening us. We were constantly training, 8 hours straight, teaching our soldiers the best tactics to use when the right time had come. I… I could not stop to see that… Judge Marcus and Judge Orcelius were always trying to make their soldiers fight with mine. At first, I did not and could not imagine why they were so strict when it came to “teach some manners” to my soldiers. I just let them continue, but it was clear that my Soldiers were starting to feel the stress. Tired of that, the lieutenant advised me to change the hour of training, so that our training could not match with Judges Orcelius and Marcus’s one. I agreed to that, but only because Rodney, the lieutenant, was a noble and trustworthy soldier, and dear friend of mine. We trained at late night, until early morning, for several days, and one of those days I saw Miriam on the balcony, looking at my soldiers. I was thinking” – a smile comes on my face…I can see it clearly reflected on the weird liquid in my mug. Then I  resumed the story– “that maybe she was amazed or… I don’t know… I just know that from that night, she always came on her room’s balcony and kept watching us, careless of the late hour”

 

 -“PAUSE PAUSE PAUSE!” – “What now?!” – asked nervously Kaziya – “I’m starting to feel all of those Black Blood Mugs… ouuuuuhhh, damn it! I’ll need some minutes!”- Bennu and his weak kidneys, heh. I raise my head enough to see the poor Mence desperately begging for his jaw. At least, it is helping me to remove this stupid smile on my face, but I pray Atie does not give him anything back in the near future… for Garahan’s sake, let me finish this story! I drink in the meanwhile the remaining of my Black Blood… Hope not to see my face somewhere again…

“ouuuuuhhh here I am! My apologies Higgs, please, carry on.” – He sits back to his place. Apparently no one needs anything else… I guess I may go on. – “Days were passing, one after the other, quickly, and I received a message from King Rael. He required  mine and the other judges’ presence to the Throne Hall. I immediately went there, with Judge Marcus and Judge Orcelius at my side.” – “I need you three to reach the frontiers of our Kingdom. You’ll find an enemy patrol there, he is the messenger of our enemy Kingdom. I want you all to send this message, from me, to him. I am sending three of my best men, best soldiers, and the ones I would give anything I have to. We need to avoid this war at all costs” – “SIR” – we all quickly left the Hall, but suddenly I hear a voice  – “Higgings” – I turned back – “My lord?” – “Please, Higgings, I need you to watch over Orcelius and Marcus… I can see their heart becoming corrupted by envy, and their eyes blinded by jealousy. I am not sure why this is happening, but please, keep your eyes open. This mission is very important to us, you understand it I hope, and a failure will not be accepted. You may leave now.”

 

-“ I prepared my horse and rode as fast as I could, but I could not see the other Judges on my way. I thought they just managed to arrive before I could, so I just kept the path until, after a while, I reached the frontier. Judge Marcus and Judge Orcelius were indeed there, but the patrol was not alone, but 4 more soldiers were at his side. Suspicious, I hid my horse near a bush and myself behind a tree. I could clearly see Judges talking with all of them… they took a while, quite too much for a simple request of peace… suddenly, I remember all of them just left that place. I took again my horse, and followed them, reached them and acted as I just  arrived there. They indeed told me not to worry of anything, cause they had already sorted everything out.”

 

-“ We arrived to our castle’s gate, entered in , and we all went back to our dormitory. It was late night, but I called Rodney from the Training and explained him everything. He knew as well as I did that those Judges were up to something, but I asked him to keep the whole story a secret. I then removed my heavy armor, andt took a rest. On the same night, the Castle Alarm has been activated; something serious happened. Half stunned, Rodney ran to my room, and, almost crying, he told me that King Rael’s life was taken. I could not believe a single word of him; it was a too delicate moment for something like that. Judge Marcus quickly reached my room, and warned me as well. At a first look, I remember he was… worried or… maybe… agitated, nervous. Nothing made me think of him being framed with this story. I wore my armor and ran to the Throne Hall… and Horrified…” – Ugh… damn it… relax dude… - “I saw King Rael stabbed on his back, probably while sleeping on his throne, as he always did for many years. The poor Miriam was at his side, shaking him on the desperate attempt to… wake him up… without success. I ordered Rodney to take her away from the Hall and to calm her… somehow…  I summoned an extraordinary council, to decide what would be of the Kingdom, and who could take King Rael’s place. Senators could not say a meaningful  word… how to blame them after all? Several hours later, the council decided that Miriam should have been declared as rightful queen of the Kingdom… but she was yet young… too young to take the burden of the kingdom on her own hands and alone. I asked, then,  to put an advisor at her side and I proposed Judge Orcelius, since he was the most experienced one among Judges. Miriam suddenly broke into the room:”NO!” – She said – “I do not want anyone at my side, I am capable enough to lead my late father’s empire alone!”. We all begged her to reconsider, and to trust Judge Orcelius. It was not easy at all to convince her, but at last she replied : “If I have no choice, then allow me at least to choose the one who will help me to rule the kingdom” – “Higgings…”. I… heh… I confess I was kinda speechless at that time… Rodney was looking at me nervously and I looked at Judges Marcus and Orcelius… Thankfully, I had my helm on, so they didn’t notice it at once.”

 

-“ The following day, a report came from our messenger. He said to have seen a group of enemy  soldiers approaching to our frontier. I  was wondering how could our enemies know that fast about the King’s death, but in the meanwhile Miriam instantly ordered the defense, and summoned Judges Orcelius and Marcus. We were ordered  to fight our enemies at the frontier. We took our best soldiers with us;  Rodney was at my side indeed. We rode to the frontier, and we saw a huge wave of soldiers running and killing every man, animal or moving creature on their sight. We prepared an ambush, and we hid our soldiers. When the enemy troopers approached, our soldiers attacked them all. Swords, Arrows, Magic spells were casted nonstop. I remember Judge Marcus killed several warriors, without even being scratched. The enemy blood covered the frontier’s lands. I helped Judge Orcelius, and Rodney was having fun by shooting at the enemy Archers. Took several Hours, until late night, maybe. We returned to our castle, some of our warriors were Injured, some of them gave their life to protect our Queen. The image of Miriam’s smile gave me the strength to carry on”

 

-“ The next day, another report from our Messenger. The enemy troopers were just few Kilometers away from our castle. I hurried and put my Armor on quickly. – “Higgings” – “My lady?” – “ I will wait you here, and I will pray for your success. I will wait your near my tree, and I will not close my eyes until you come back… therefore… promise me you’ll come back…” – “I promise you, My Lady” – I wish I never said such words… anyway – “ I took my horse, I was apparently late, and rode as fast as I could to the battlefield. Rodney took my soldiers already, so I was alone. When I arrived, it was a bloodshed. Everyone apparently disappeared from nowhere. I could not find Rodney anywhere… suddeny, I… I remember a voice. Someone called me, I turned back  and then Judge Orcelius was right behind me. He was smiling… in a weird way. I felt a sort of pain, and noticed blood flooding down my armor… I pressed my shoulder with my hand, without stopping to see an almost Laughing Orcelius. I touched something like a… a dagger… maybe… I started to feel even more pain, and then I saw Judge Marcus coming closer to me. I begged for his help, and then he came even closer… I thought he would have removed the dagger, but instead, he took his sword and hit me with its blade. - “You…You… why… why did y.. ugh…you… do this… ugh”- I fall on the ground, and heard them both laughing at me… why did they do it… I could not get the reason. They left me, and suddenly I heard someone getting closer to my painful body. - “Judge Higgs! Oh my God!”- I knew only one called me by that name… It was Rodney. He tried to explain what happened and where everyone went. I could not speak properly… I realized my death was a matter of time now, maybe seconds. So I took off my Helm, and gave it to Rodney. – “The princess… Miriam… Give her… her… this. T..t..tell her… I am sorry…”

 

- “This is my story. 5 years ago, I found myself in this realm, after the Morpheus Period and only few days ago, I was told Miriam was seen in Moraktar. This is why I hereby ask you, my friends, to let me know if you find any information about her whereabouts” – I notice that everyone was almost crying for this… I’m glad they did not lose their way to react about people’s story. – “You can count on us Higgs!” – Said Reims – “Yes, you can count on me buddy! Whenever you want, just send a Spider Messenger! – “Thank you Bennu, I really appreciate it!” – “hmmmmppff! Humpf humpf aahuumpf humpdf humpf!” – “Ah you old oak, here your Jaw!” – “pfttttt about Time!”. It is time for me to leave – “To the next time, my friends!” -  I greet everyone there and walk to the Harbor. I start to feel weird… The Harbor is not that far from here… – “What is this…” – Something’s strange… I feel… calm… relaxed… may it be the Black Blood’s effect? Oh… no… it is not the Black Blood. It is definitely not… heh heh heh… I can’t believe it… she is even more beautiful than before…  some tears came to my eyes - “I am sorry, My lady… will you ever forgive me?” – I proceed to the Harbor. Paid the bill for Irselnort and went finally to sleep in the ship.

-“Hey Donkor!” – “Higgs! You are using the astral communication, is there something important you need to tell me?” – “Nothing… I just wanted to tell you that last night, she said Yes.”

 

*The Morpheus Period is the period of 500 years every living creature has to spend “Sleeping” to become an undead. It is original of this story, and invented by me.

 

 

  The character count is: 2986

 

And here the story which is going to compete for the contest 🙂

 

Okay guys, another round! My treat!

Holy Garahan, Atie! this is my 4th Black Blood Mug tonight!

 

That’s Mence for sure! I would recognize that voice among thousands. My dear Moraktar, so full of lif.. uhm walking creatures! How much time has passed since I left, 5 years? I hope they will recognize me. The rotten air of Moraktar and the way Reims creates Alcohol from Forlorn’s Black Blood have always fascinated me.

 

Hey! Look who’s come! Ladies and Gentlemen, Judge Higgs! Hail oh great knight!

Hehe, thank you Reims! I am happy to see you all, guys!

I can feel a very warm environment, these people have always been very nice to others.

Higgings! I knew you were here! – A mage entered the Tavern few seconds after me

Donkor, my friend, what brings you here?   He comes closer to me

How can I miss the chance to see my old apprentice back to our Town? But yea there is a reason of why I am here tonight  – Continues – I was wondering if you finally found her

No, not yet . I realize everyone was looking at us, wondering what we were talking about.

Is there something we shall know? - Asks Kaziya  

I guess you guys deserve  an explanation . Donkor refers to my dear lady. Just recently I found out that she has stepped these lands, therefore, I need to find news about her.

And how did you meet her, exactly? - Asks Reims

 

I met her centuries ago, when I was alive and served King Rael. Judge Magister Higgings. With me there were 2 more Judges, Judges Orcelius and Marcus. As noblemen of that time, we all were well considered by our King but also by Miriam, The King’s daughter and most beautiful creature of the realm.

 

It was the period during which the opposite Kingdom was threatening us. Days were passing and I received a message from the King . He needed the presence of all Judges to the Throne Hall. He needed us to deliver an important message to the Enemy Messenger, to the frontier; he wanted to avoid the war.  We all quickly left the Hall but suddenly I hear a voice: His Majesty was calling me. He warned me and told to be careful of Orcelius and Marcus. He confessed me about suspects he had on those Judges.

 

I prepared my horse and rode to the frontier, but I lost the other Judges on my way. I reached the frontier. Both Judges were there, with the messenger and 4 more soldiers at his side. I hid myself behind a tree, but I could not hear what they were saying. I remember they just left that place after a while, so I just turned back to the castle, suspicious.

                                

It was late night when suddenly the Castle Alarm rang; something happened. A soldier ran to my room and told me that King Rael’s life was taken.  I ran to the Throne Hall and saw King Rael stabbed on his back. Miriam was at his side, shaking him on the desperate attempt to wake him up without success. I summoned an extraordinary council to decide who could take King Rael’s place. The council decided that Miriam should have been declared as rightful queen of the Kingdom. She had no choice but accept and she wanted me as Court Advisor.

 

Next day a report from our Messenger: Enemy troopers were just few Kilometers away from our castle. Before leaving, Miriam made me promise to come back once the fight ended. When I arrived, it was a bloodshed. Everyone apparently disappeared. suddeny, Someone called me, I turned back and Judge Orcelius was right behind me. He was smiling in a weird way. I felt a sort of pain, and noticed blood flooding down my armor. I touched something like a dagger which pierced my armor, and Orcelius holding it. I fall on the ground and only some minutes later a soldier found me. With all the strength left, I begged the soldier:

 

 “Please, Tell her, I am sorry"

 

Edited by Higgings
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I actually read the whole thing :biggrin:

Good stuff man, good luck!

The problem is that I had to read the longer version to fully understand what's going on exactly, the shortened version felt a little incomplete, but hey, maybe that's just me. Still definitely a winner candidate.

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Just now, Gladiator said:

I actually read the whole thing :biggrin:

Good stuff man, good luck!

The problem is that I had to read the longer version to fully understand what's going on exactly, the shortened version felt a little incomplete, but hey, maybe that's just me. Still definitely a winner candidate.

 

Thank bro!

 

Yes, I definitly agree, and this is why I am planning to make a better version of the contest one, more than a just a "cut and paste" work from the bigger version. I will see what I can do, in the meanwhile, thanks a lot for the comment! :pin3:

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8 minutes ago, BennyBT said:

The Promise - the title made me think of the film.

Very nice story, definitely my candidate for winner place.

 

Thank you benny! 

 

Trust me man, I did not even think about that film when I wrote the title! 😅

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14 hours ago, Jcbreff said:

This could very much be story of moraktar's first city for you character

 

Not really, it is just like my char coming back to visit his friends after 5 years. In this story I just explain in a ironic way how I really love Moraktar's design. I loved every single quest from there (Dices' one included!) 

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The way you put life in our NPC is fantastic.

Some are lore-based and pretty hilarious.

 

Ah my dear friend..

You never mentioned your dead heart still beats, and with a highborn at that. *chuckles*

 

Well, best of luck Judge Magister.
May your song of apology finds the ear of your maiden. *bows*

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4 minutes ago, Vera_Z said:

The way you put life in our NPC is fantastic.

Some are lore-based and pretty hilarious.

 

Ah my dear friend..

You never mentioned your dead heart still beats, and with a highborn at that. *chuckles*

 

Well, best of luck Judge Magister.
May your song of apology finds the ear of your maiden. *bows*

 

I am glad you liked it! Thank you a lot! :pin3:

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