Happy Friday! Great stuff, as always! Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all who submitted!
First Place = Viranda (US2) - 'The Tale of the Twilight Vale'
Second Place = a tie
Raphael Lenglet (EU1) - 'Lightning Horse'
Bhee (US3) - 'Busy Bees!'
Third Place = SprigOfHalcyon (US2) - 'First World Problems'
The Tale of the Twilight Vale by Viranda
Long ago, when the days were long and the nights were warm, a counsel was formed. The counsel of five queens of Fae. The youngest was Turenia of Light. Then came Eldelia of Poison, Rakicia of Shadow and Anosia of Fire. The Eldest of the five was the great Vesasia of Water, the most powerful of the Fae queens.
Their rogue sister, Prisma, refused to follow her sisters and instead chose to dwell outside of their Vales, hiding wherever she wished, awaiting her human prey.
Many citizens had gone to the Twilight Vale to enjoy the beauty it encompassed, but soon grew to fear it as much as the Haunted Moors. The Faes and their minions would swoop down upon anyone and leave nothing as though the person had never been there at all.
The Fae were so powerful, that many a hero fell to their might. Until one group of heroes stepped forward. They were young but determined.
These four heroes were the forerunners of something great to come. To Terminate the Five Fae's rule once and for all. A Shadow priest, a Holy Priestess, and a huntress lead by a Fire Wizard.
Together they took arms and marched across the Vale, killing all the monsters that dare step into their path. They knew what they had to do.
There were four heroes and five queens of fae. Light, Poison, Shadow, Fire and water. Each sister stronger, and more powerful than the one before her. To get to one you had to defeat the younger. Turenia, the yuongest, was the easiest to defeat. That, in of itself, spoke volumes as she hurled concentrated beams of light, searing into the heroes flesh. The priests were just able to heal their friends enough.
Low on mana, they knew they could spare little time before they would be brought before her sister. Eldelia would not be as easy as her sister to take down. Never was, never will. The sisters would grow stronger each time.
They knew that if they could barely defeat the youngest, what chance did they have against the eldest? Despite their fears, they knew they had to try. For the sake of the people and for the sake of Ardent, they had to try and give it their all.
At last Eldelia fell; the heroes breathed a sigh of relief, then only to find themselves immersed in darkness. They were in the Vale of Shadows: home to Rakicia. The dark queen emerged from her cloak of shadows, above her, the forms of priests and monks whose souls she had trapped within her realm. She gave an evil smile to the priests, one that would send chills up Mallok's spine; "Looks like I'll have two more souls for my collection!" She laughed as she dove forward towards her prey.
Holy bolt. Shadow bolt. Fire ball. Poison arrow. Over and over they fought her. The Holy priestess was beaten within an inch of her life before, in a final act of desperation, she released one last holy bolt, struck the dark, shadowy form of Rakicia. She howled in pain as the souls of her collection dove in on her, dragging her away into the shadows.
The priestess drank her potion of health and began to slowly recuperate. When the shock had past the heroes began to rejoice. Their joy did not last as they soon found themselves in the presence of a fiery foe: Anosia, the Fire Fae. She was never one to grant quarter...
As Anosia began to boast of her great power, the fire wizard merely grinned. She would have to try harder if she were to battle him properly. In his own element the Fire Wizard excelled. Her powers of fire were resisted by his own. She turned her attention towards the others, anticipating an easier meal.
The huntress and shadow priest found themselves trapped between a wall of fire and a wall of stone. The Priestess cast a shield, allowing them to escape within a hair of being blasted by Anosia's fiery wrath. The Priests and hunter stood alongside their leader and soon Anosia was ended in a fiery inferno of power.
Choking on the smoke left by her remains, the heroes allowed themselves a moment to let their mana return and let the priests heal them. Once all that is said was done, they trudged forward to the Vale of water
Dread filled the heroes, but they had to continue. They were so close. So very close. Soon they would bring the sisters down and the vale could be free of their tyranny.
They came into the room of mossy stone and flowing, glowing, blue waters. In the center of the stone pillars hovered the watery queen herself. The heroes gazed at Vesesia, the eldest of the Five Fae, and the most terrifying.
Twas said she could strike an army down with a single blow. the heroes grew aware that this may be their final stands.
Nevertheless the courageous team stood at the ready; preparing themselves for what very well could be their final deed of heroism.
Vesesia smiled darkly from beneath her long dark hair.
The brave heroes charged at their foe.
Spells flew through the air like lightning, striking the targets true.
Alas, as fire fought fire, fire could not fight water. Her watery powers struck their leader and the fire wizard trembled, then fell hard to the cold floor. The heroes let out a cry for their leader, but they had to relent on. If not for themselves, then for their leader!
The huntress took their leader's place and took the heavy blows. The priests sent out frenzies of healing spells to quell the damage.
With a groan, the fire wizard began to stand once more, refusing to relent to the Water Witch's twisted powers. He fell once more, but soon propped himself up against his staff.
The heroes grew tired, their spells less frequent. Mana and health ran low.
Vesesia and the heroes threw spell after spell after each other. As the priests healed their own, Vesesia had no one as such. Finally the heroes let out one last collective blow. A swirl of holy and shadow bolts, poisonous arrows and a stream a fire struck the Queen in the chest. She shuddered for a moment before she began to dissolve into nothingness with cries of agony and pain.
Vesesia was dead. The counsel was defeated.Weak and weary, they were re-energized by the victory. Together they cheered for the vale was freed! As the news spread of the heroes victory, a banquet was held in celebration.
The Midsummer nights were filled with joyous laughter, singing and dancing, grand foods of exquisite and tantalizing tastes and each of the heroes retelling the story to those that listened.
All of Ardent was joyous, unaware that the sisters were to rise again in the coming years.