Writing Explorations: Week 90, War

The Mood is Write

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I'm open to a wide range of genres. Obscenely wide. It's harder for me to list all I do like than all I don't like. My absolute favorite is mixed and multiverse, but I'm not limited to those.

• Mixed Genre
• Multiverse
• High Fantasy
• Hard Fantasy
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My Writing Explorations series of exercises are a chance for users to explore new concepts and practice the art of raising two fingers to Writer's Block while screaming obscenities to fickle muses: to rebel against the idea that a person requires a mythical force inside them to make new and amazing things.

No. Listen well, users: there is no being inside you waiting to be let out. You are the writer, and in this exercise, you are given a place to push not only against Writer's Block, but also against the forces of stagnation. Feel trapped in your genre? Explore a new one! Stuck with a singular archetype? Do something else! In this thread, you will not be critiqued unless you request it. Should you wish it, I will happily offer my thoughts on how it might be improved, but I will not comb looking for fixes: this isn't the place: this place is for safely trying new things and indulging a love of writing.

Shake the bars of your cell block and roar, writers!

[fieldbox=How do I take part?]You can write to one or more (or none) of the prompts, the theme in the thread title, the bonuses—hell, you can even cast aside all of what I offer if you get a different idea.

The whole point is "get writing!"[/fieldbox]

  1. Hidden deep beneath the trenches, there is a hidden tavern run by soldiers, for soldiers. Of both sides.
  2. Everyone knows why the war started, but nobody is willing to say it out loud.
  3. One of the characters is blind.

Bonus Rounds:
  • Write in a random genre.
  • "This battlefield is no place for you."
    "But we're in the library."
  • Blue fur or hair makes an appearance.


Consider this the hint of the century
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Intermediate, Adept, Advanced, Adaptable
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Male, Female
Fantasy, Sci-Fi
"Everyone knows why the war bloody started!" A heavily armored fist slammed down on the table, rattling goblets and troop markers scattered over the maps. "But," the speaker sneered, "Since all of you water sogging pale heavers don't have the gumption to - "

"Enough!" A lord at the far end of the table squeaked out an exclamation of surprise, his knee-jerk reaction toppling his chair to leave him sprawled on the stony floor. From her place at the head of the gathering, a tall, lithe woman rose to her feet, sightless eyes trained on the wall behind the man she had silenced. When she spoke, her voice filled the hall. "Lord Seamus, it is not your place in this Council to question the honour of your equals, nor is it your prerogative to disrupt these proceedings. If you wish to cause a scene, perhaps you should take up a theatrical profession."

Seamus bowed his head, jaw tightly clenched. "Yes, my Queen," he growled. He inhaled deeply, searching for enough willpower to collect himself. Frowning, the Queen resumed her seat. "As I was saying," he continued in a mocking tone, "Diplomacy is not an option, since clearly we cannot even discuss the cause of this war among ourselves." He shot a dangerous glare in the direction of a sharp scraping sound, the intensity of the ire radiating from him freezing the unseated lord in his place, halfway through picking up his chair. Inwardly fuming at the disgraceful interruption, he carried on.

"Therefore, we have but one outcome available to us." He aimed his gaze directly at the Queen, daring to challenge her. For all her ability to command a room, not even she could deny an inevitable fate. "We can retreat, and allow the Lanthasi to pursue, which will leave us trapped between their main forces and the blockade. In that scenario, they will crush us from two sides. Or, we can gather our remaining forces and charge them head on, which will result in being decimated on their defensive wall." Eyes levelled at the Queen, he stretched out his hand and flicked over the crown marker, indicating the Queen's position. "Either way," he said slowly, "We're doomed."

All eyes followed the direction of his attention to the Queen. She sat rigidly upright, staring into nothingness. She wore no smile, but no frown. She looked merely.... thoughtful. Composed. In control, despite her lack of it in the grand scheme of things. "You are right," she said at last, "We are doomed."

The lords whispered frantically, turning to face one another in a hurried attempt to express their shock. The Queen carried on, and the whispers faded quickly to silence. "Did we not know that this doom would find us one day?" Slowly she shook her head, a subtle smile playing at her mouth. "We are mortals, and Vadros is a nation of mortals. All mortals pass away, for that is our nature - and all that we build, all that we pass to the descendants we so desperately trust to carry on our memory forever - none of these things can contradict the nature that defines us. We are not eternal."

Seamus found himself dumbstruck. How could the Queen speak of their destruction so unfeelingly? Their homes, their lives, their families - the legacy of Vadros which had stood for three thousand years, all to be wiped out. Did she not care?

"My Queen - " he began, only to be abruptly halted by her raised hand.

"Lord Seamus. We do not strive against an earthly foe. Death will lead all great things unto himself one day, save that which is eternal. Do not mourn what was always meant to be. Instead, be glad that we were granted the good fortune of a glimpse into forever." The subtlety of her smile at last blossomed into a full, wide grin. "We few hundred who remain have had a gift greater than all our forebears these past hundred years. We have fought and laboured alongside one who is not bound by death's accord, and the mark which we have left on him may yet shape the world when we are gone."


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Intermediate, Adept, Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
Primarily Prefer Female
Romance, Fantasy, Tudor, Historical, Magical
The bar was full to capacity that night. Men from both sides seeking refuge from battle and the comfort of warm ale slipping pleasantly down parched throats fill every chair and stool. Carmen made her way between and around the men who were in various stages of drunkenness depending on the time of their arrival. Even in their drunken states none of them spoke of the war or the reason it all started so long ago. Every one of them knew the truth, but none acknowledged it, especially in this place where all had agreed that affiliations were secret and no such words were tolerated. Carmen had rules and if you wished to be privileged to have this haven from the rigors of war then you abided by them.

Three men stepped into the bar and nodded to Carmen. The passed through the crowd and through a door behind the bar. No one paid them any mind but one young soldier who subtly followed them. There was no huge secret about the room, but only a few ever ventured into it. held within that room were all the volumes of lore ever written that still remained in printed form. Carmen was a collector of those rarities, and she was willing to share with anyone who realized the power and importance of them.

The shortest man flipped his hood back from his head revealing thick wavy starkly white hair and sat at a table and looked at his companions, "Tonight perhaps will be the night."

"From your lips to the great Hoys' ears," said the tallest of them, who sat next to the older man with a thud.

"Careful of her chairs Douglas," the other scolded as he removed his cape entirely and draped it gently over the back of an empty chair. He was a broad man adorned in battle armor with much damage showing. He grabbed three books and handed them each one. "We have only three hours...let us not waste the time with idle wishes."

Douglas nodded as he reached for the book, "yes Sire."

"It does not hurt to have faith Joreg...there is little to give hope to continue onward without it." the gray haired man suggested.

"That is true enough Kel," he agreed as he sat gently into a chair and began to read.

The young soldier could not believe what he was seeing. The king of the west territory was sitting not three feet from him. He could end the war right there with one well placed stab to the man's heart.

As if hearing his very thoughts the king turned and dark blue eyes peered at the young man, "This battlefield is not place for you lad."

Surprised he revealed his location and presence to all three, "But ...we are in a library..."


The older gentleman looked at the young one and shook his head, "Have you no reason within you? You're in the most powerful place in all the four kingdoms."

The young soldier was confused and it showed but he didn't want to admit to being witless before these men. He pushed the hair back from his eyes and looked closely at the books they held. All of them were history books of the time before the war began.

"You do not understand." The king spoke, seeing the youth for what he was. "You still believe you know what started the war. The unspoken reason that all believe but none repeat. The lie that has been perpetrated for over fifty years. Are you wise enough to be willing to know the truth? Or will you fight blindly?"

He looked into those dark blue eyes that were piercing his very soul. "It is a lie? How do you know this?"

The oldest man huffed, "I was alive at that time...it is a lie. A very well crafted and subtle lie that has been mutated and twisted through the years to be nothing but falsehood now. One of these books holds the truth, and when we find it we can end this farce once and for all."

The boy leaned closer now drawn in and curious. He almost toppled over the shelf behind him when a bright blue dog lunged from its hiding place. "Back beast!"

The king held up a hand, "Calm yourself Dem," he commanded and the huge beast sat obediently at his side.

The young man nervously sat and the king smiled and handed him a book. "Read on Boy...knowledge is far more powerful than a sword."