EXERCISE Plot Challenge: The Crow, The Axe, and The Maiden

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Diana, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. PLOT CHALLENGE!

    A PLOT CHALLENGE is where you are given a word, a phrase, a sentence, or a setting and you have to come up with a plot idea that is inspired by those words!

    The object is to THINK FAST and share the first ideas that come to mind. It's an exercise in quick creative thinking. You can do this challenge any time. Or multiple times!

    To Participate: THINK FAST. Don't waste any time. The first idea(s) that comes to mind, write it down and post it! You are to write down a plot premise or basic idea. This isn't about writing scenes, this is about writing up a setting!

    NOTE: If you decide to borrow someone's concept for a roleplay, make sure you ask permission or give credit to the muse.

    Challenge Phrase: The Crow, The Axe, and the Maiden
     
  2. The pure maiden lived a life of peace and wonder, and all were stricken by her. She had many suitors from many lands, and she was so kind and gentle that she could not help but love them all, and could never choose one to marry. It broke her heart to see them bicker and fight over her, and as she cried one evening in her garden, a crow landed by her head.

    "Fair maiden, why do you cry?"

    "I cry because my heart is torn, I must choose one of these noble men when I want to choose them all."

    The crow's eyes gleamed.

    "They can all be yours, for a price."

    The crow perched on her shoulder, and gave her his wisdom. That night she traveled to the inn that her suitors stayed at, wearing her finest white dress, carrying a woodsman's ax in her hands, the crow still perched on her shoulder.
     
  3. There was a stuffed crow on the mantlepiece of a maiden's bedroom. It was of the finest of taxidermist's craft, an elegant piece for an elegant bird. She said it was the work of her grandfather, a mountain man whom loved birds. One day, however, an axe was found lodged into the bird, ruining a piece of artwork in a seemingly random act of vandalism... or was it?
     
  4. The blind gypsy sits shuffling her tarot cards silently on the cold night, she huddles against the wind. A young man cheeks red from his ride sits before her and asks "What do you see in my future." The gypsy smiles and lays three cards out, though unlike normal Tarot card these have a spell and they are seen different by all who view them and the gypsy only sees what the cards show the viewer. "The Crow, The Axe and The Maiden, Interpret it as you wish but it seems as though you needed a sign to tell you to go to the woman you love or you will lose her forever. Now be on your way." The young man stands and rushes to his horse.
     
  5. A man shook his head trying to recollect the moments before his death. A great battle. Spears and axes, swords and bows. So many soldiers rushing at him, the lone survivor and hero of his kingdom. The memory of spears piercing his body from every direction rushed through his head as he screamed in a panicked fear. His eyes wide with terror as an amused chuckle echoed out from the black abyss around him, a deep and earthly voice calling out to him.

    "I see that you are awake. Welcome to my own personal realm, a realm of eternal darkness. Very few of you mortals ever make it here but, you are a special case. Yes, you, surprisingly enough you are worthy of my attention but on one condition."

    The keeper of souls, the scale between life and death itself, walked towards the man and held out two of his hands. "You must answer me this. I shall send three things with you when you return. The first shall be an axe. This axe shall cleave your way through enemies without any trouble at all. The second will be a crow. The crow shall give you it's sight whenever you have need as well as it being immortal. The third is a fair maiden, one of royal blood. She will bring you salvation for your tortured past and absolve you of all the sins you have ever committed."

    The warrior hearing his choices went to open his mouth to answer but the keeper of souls raised a single, bony finger. "Not yet my young mortal. I have not told you every detail." The wicked bones around his jaw seemed to come together and curve upwards into a gruesome smile as he continued. "If you are to choose the axe the maiden will fall in battle no matter how hard you try, the crow will constantly assault your mind with every sin you have committed and torment you until you die of old age. If you are to choose the crow, the axe will rust and wither after your first battle. You will gain immense knowledge but in one years time will go blind left with only the crows sight and the fair maiden who will eventually go mad. If you are to choose the maiden, you will be free but will never again battle, no one will remember you and the other two options will fade from existence. One last thing, if you are to choose none, you will die and your soul will never find peace."

    The warrior sat there for an entire day thinking on his choice, and in the end he chose the maiden.
     
  6. A large black crow circled above a almost deserted field, calling out. Down below, his eye had picked out a Madien, with an axe in her hand, hanging loosely. She had come out of her house after hearing a shriek. It was a terrifing sound, and some strange feeling would not let her rest until she went ot see what had happened. So, she left the saftey of her home with an axe clutched in her fingers. Approaching the area where the sound had come from, she froze, weapon nearly falling from her hands. A body lay on the ground before her, a finger still twitching. He was cut multiple times and there was just so much blood...She did not recognize him, and looking around saw no blood trail, nor any one else around, aside from the lone crow, circling in the sky.
    So who on earth had done this?
    It was hard for her to put it out of her head, and she had shared the story with all of her friends. They were to come over the following week.

    How was she to know strange things were about to start happening?
    That their lives may be at risk?
    Would they all survive whatever it was that was hunting them?
     
  7. The crow stood perched on the windowsill as the shy maiden lay her head in her palm and leaned to her side. She watched as the son of a maid stood by a tree stump lying next to a pile of freshly chopped wood holding an axe above his head ready to swing down and split the wood. He was preparing for the snowstorm that was supposed to drift over town. It wasn't one of his usual duties, but she didn't complain. It was the first time she was able to see the well-defined muscles that had been hidden under his shirt for the year that they've known each other. However, he didn't really know her. He just knew of her. He wasn't allowed anywhere near her by orders of her father in fear of 'corruption' of his precious daughter. It didn't stop her though. She had caught his eye a couple of times and sometimes bumped into him on a walk into town, not failing to send a couple of flirtacious looks before walking away. Her father never ceased to set her up with sons of some of the rich families nearby and to her dismay had finally found the perfect man for betrothel.

    (Forbidden Love... it's strangely out of my element, but this is what I thought of ^^)
     
  8. Bon Voyage was still wet on their lips when the passengers of the Maiden swung perilously close to the Axe. A vortex in space, caught in the strange half-life of creation and destruction. It was beautiful, which was why Captain Tark had chosen the route for the scenic Maiden cruise between Hi-zon and Nib star system.

    Although his navigator, Amanda, had warned him of the danger, Tark was a proud man. A cybernetic leg and a medal to replace the lives of platoon mates lost, he cocooned himself in that bitter superiority that had doomed them all.

    Standing on the deck, looking deep into the maw of devestation and rebirth, the captain took a long breath and held it. In that air were memories…a thousand lobbed electro-grenades in the battle of Sparrows and Storms, the celebratory Cuban cigars he’d handed out to his platoon when they saw the Vespyr wing low over plasma blasted fields and hone on their position. If he held his breath long enough, he could taste the old tobacco in those ugly cigars, a gift from his father long buried in the ranch back home.

    They had been boys, children really, and in the dark no one could see that the colors weren’t the same. Blue and Black, Dark Green and Cobalt grey…they might as well have been one flag in the gloom of post-war.

    Now he stared into the brilliance of turret fire, a heart of witch-flame deep within the Axe vortex.

    Around him, men and women slaved over their controls. All engines to full, turn hard, warp drive engage…all words that meant nothing in a pleasure vessel. They were kindling for this void, for this nothingness before them.

    But there…in the center…a point of light grew and flashed, winked at him like the wings of some gangly bird. Tark blinked, rubbed his eyes. The words of the slumstreet seer cackling in his ear.

    “Seek the white crow, boy…seek the white crow. In its beak is your salvation.”

    It was the crow…in the center of the Axe, the crow waited for him.

    No one heard him, as he stepped to the window, staring out beyond the black of space and into the maw of destiny. “Engines to full,” he said, barely whispering, “We fly into the eye of God.”
     
  9. The Crow Maiden, the Goddess of the Battlefield, lifted her bloodstained sickle and grinned down upon the warring tribes on the mortal plane below. Yet even in the midst of terror and chaos and war, a single man stood firm, his shining silver axe swinging back and forth, cleaving through the kilted figures as bagpipes and battle-drums sounded in the distance.

    Here was a true warrior, a true follower of the Old Ways. His blue-stained face pulled back in a wolf's snarl, his heart beating steadily as the rhythm of the world, his muscled arms glistening with sweat and the blood of the enemy as he stood his ground like an island in the midst of an endless sea.

    Again and again he swung his axe; his sword was shattered, his shield cloven in twain. His kilt was torn, his tartan a rag, but his shining axe kept swinging as surely as the sun rises and sets each day.

    Still he swung, and now the enemy fell back in fear, for a fey look was in his eyes, and the battle-fury of Scathach, the Crow Maiden, was upon him, for here was a warrior worthy of blessing, worthy of the final strength. A banshee shriek escaped his lips, and his feet stepped impossibly light upon the ground, and that day the man would become a legend.

    He was Arthur Pendragon, King of Camelot. And though Excalibur lay shattered and his muscles burned, neither man nor demon would stand before his wrath, and the joyous laughter of the Crow Maiden through him.
     
  10. It was dark when Crow arrived, taking the form of a ragged old man. Thrice he knocked upon the door before there was an answer. Upon the third knock the woodcutter who lived there answered. When Crow saw the man he said "I am tired and old, it is late and the forest is dangerous. Would you let an old beggar rest here for the night?"

    The woodcutter was a poor man, and full of compassion, and so agreed to let the old man stay and invited him inside. Once inside, his daughter looked up and questioned who the old man was. "Father, who is this wretch you've invited into our home?" She asked disdainfully. "We barely have enough food to feed ourselves. We can't afford to feed him."

    The Crow, seeing the daughter's beauty, and hearing her rudeness smiled and decided to play a trick on her. "I do not require food fair maiden, just shelter. I in my youth acquired an axe that so long as it remains in my possession shall keep me fed no matter where I am." And in saying, he reached into his ragged cloak and pulled out a hatchet and promptly brought it down upon the table in the middle of the room. Immediately a great feast appeared on the table, awing the Woodcutter and his daughter.

    The Daughter and Woodcutter both looked on in amazement as Crow invited them to eat. While they ate though, the daughter couldn't stop thinking about the magickal axe. "I will steal that axe tonight while the old man sleeps" She thought to herself, "And sell it to be out of this forest forever. A woodcutter's daughter no more I'll be."

    That night, while they slept, the daughter snuck over to the Old Man, and took his axe. As soon as she touched it, she and the old man were sent to an area far from the woodcutter's house, and where once there was the Old Man, Crow stood before her in his normal Youthful appearance. "You would steal from an old man who had given you a feast for a space on the floor?" He asked her, "Your rudeness knows no bounds. Now you shall serve me forever." He told her.

    With fear she looked up at Crow and begged to be released. "Please, do not keep me, my father needs me!"

    But Crow only laughed, "You intended to abandon him once you'd stolen my axe, would he have been better off then?"

    "Please!" She begged, "I will be kind and gentle from now on! Let me return to my father!"

    Crow looked upon her and waved his hand over her face, and then placed a mirror into her hand. "Look into the mirror." He told her. She did as he bid and saw an aged woman, scarred and broken in it. "If you ever treat another soul as you would have treated me, you will lose all of your beauty, and become an aged hag, cursed to wander forever." He then waved his hand over her face again and she was young and beautiful again. "Now, take this axe, and take care of your father. And remember, do not treat others how you tried to treat me."

    With that, he turned into a crow and flew away and she fell asleep. The next morning she awoke in her own bed with the axe next to her. She immediately went to find the Old Man, sure it must have been a dream, but the old man wasn't there anymore. She returned to her room and saw the axe on her bed. Next to it was a note she hadn't seen before. On it were the words "A Hard Day's Work Reaps Better Rewards". She went to the table and attempted to use the axe, but only bowls of porridge appeared. Then she understood. She took the axe out to where her father had been working and joined him in his efforts. Together they made a great profit and ate well from then on.

    Every now and then the Maiden would see a Crow that looked to be smirking at her, and she would say only two words. "Thank You"