( post below is crossposted across all participating blogs. Post text written by Anna from Too Many Annas)
Well, it’s Friday, which means it’s the last day of our Week of Winners! Througout this week we’ve highlighted our honorable mentions and runners up for the Midsummer Night’s RP Writing Contest sponsored by Too Many Annas, WTT:RP, and LoreCrafted. As I’m sure you’ve all been waiting eagerly, we’re pleased to formally announce that we’ll be revealing the first place winner tomorrow!
Oh, all right, just kidding!
This final entry just edged out our second place winner, taking first by a sliver of votes from our judges. All of the ones chosen (and many not chosen!) were quite well done, but in the end a winner had to be picked.
Without further adieu, delay, stalling, or other ways to keep you from skipping past this text and to the next line, I gladly present to you the grand prize winner of the Midsummer’s Night RP Writing Contest:
The Chill written by Femmlin of Wyrmrest Accord.
Femmlin, you will receive a copy of Arthas: Rise of the Lich King, a WoW Gamecard, the original World of Warcraft Soundtrack CD, and the original WoW Behind the Scenes DVD for crafting this wonderful little story. Toss us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll happily contact you with regards to the contents of your loot.
We’d also like to sincerely thank everyone who participated. It was great having a chance to read through these entries, and the efforts of all our entrants are greatly appreciated.
And for now we conclude our Midsummer Night’s RP Writing Contest festivities! Perhaps one day in the future we’ll have another chance for writers and RPers alike to showcase their talents, yes? Keep rolling those characters, keep those emotes emotes fresh, and keep the RP hearth warm!
* * *
The woman was severely afflicted. Femmlin could see that.
Not literally, of course. It was only due to the duel receivers inside her specially-constructed Echolocation Goggles that she could see anything at all: the device sent out high pitched pulses and then translated it into a portrait for her. She had lost her sight well after reawakening, and no magic could return it to her.
The goggles made the scene before her even more eerie. They bathed the room in the deep blue of twilight, and the slight lag between pulses made the details of the room materialize, fade, then materialize again.
The thin, wraith-like woman in the middle of the room revolved towards Femmlin. Her face was long and forlorn, surrounded by long scraggly hair that clung to her cheeks. When she opened her mouth she looked like a woman drowning – drowning in the ocean of blue light.
“My name,” said the woman, “is Gretchen Dedmar.” She offered a grim smile. “You must be able to see that the Plague of Undeath crawls through my veins like an icy serpent. The Mindless State will be upon me soon.”
As if in confirmation, Gretchen was racked by a series of spasms. She set her jaw against them, but they were determined to prevail; she trembled and jerked before Femmlin like a hooked fish, mouth agape in a small ‘O’ of terror.
Femmlin’s goggles took still shots of each moment, an unrelenting machine.
Even as the device forced her to watch, her mind was pulling away. It took flight from the present events in the tavern and submerged her into the memories of a few months past.
The zombie lurched towards her, arms raised longingly as if for an embrace. As it shambled closer with its halting gait, Femmlin couldn’t avoid the creature’s fixed gaze. She steeled herself, staring into the cavernous blackness of its mouth – first a tiny dot, slowly growing into a large yawning pit.
As the pitiful creature came into range, she sunk her daggers into its flesh. She brought her leg high and pressed her foot against the creature’s chest.
The flesh was cold. Animated, but cold.
She kicked with all her strength, twisting the daggers brutally. The creature fell, and did not rise again. She sighed heavily – out of relief or exertion, she did not know.
“What is the matter?”
She whirled. Facing her was one of her own kind – a Forsaken, but obviously more powerful than she. He wore the elaborate, finely detailed robes of an Archmage, and cold gusts swirled around him. He had been watching her from a distance – appraising her skills, she realized.
Yet even in the presence of such power, Femmlin could not forget the corpse at her feet.
“These things… they are not alive?”
The Archmage examined her for a long moment. The wind whistled through Deathknell, temporarily blotting out the groans of the mindless ones and the shuffle of their feet. She knew he understood everything, presumably having gone through it himself. The rise from the Shadow Grave. The disorientation. The questions. The same questions, for all of them.
He gave what passed for a smile. “No. Not at all.”
A cold hand reached out and grabbed Femmlin, snapping her out of reverie. It was Gretchen, peering at her with doleful luminescent orbs.
“But no doomed destiny will prevent me from serving our Dark Lady,” Gretchen continued, her grip tightening. Her bony fingers were starting to cut into Femmlin’s flesh. “When the call arose I sewed body bags for the fallen soldiers of Sylvanas’s mighty army.”
She laughed bitterly and held up the hand she had been clutching with. It shook like a frightened rat. “Now my hands shake from the chill…” There was a drawn out pause as Gretchen fought back the spasms, and won. “If you would bring me five Duskbat Pelts and some Coarse Thread I could sew myself a blanket.”
Gretchen held out both her arms in supplication. She looked, Femmlin thought, like a mother begging to hold her child.
“Help me, Femmlin, so that I can continue to serve the cause.”
Femmlin nodded. As if undone by relief, Gretchen sank into the bed beneath her.
Morosely, even as she turned to leave the cursed woman, she found herself wondering how much of Gretchen would be left when she returned. Could Gretchen hold out against the ravages of the undead plague? Would she still be alive, aware of her own spirit?
The words of the Archmage haunted her, as chilling and cold as the aura he had been surrounded by:
No. Not at all.