Autumn Tales – Stories from the Contest

Shrine of Sobriety, Trammel, Chesapeake (PaxLair Times) – October 29, 2012 – by Ashlynn – There were a number of submissions for this season’s story contest and due to a rather chaotic turn of events and a few absentee storytellers, the format will change slightly with voting on the stories listed below. These are all delightful stories and I hope everyone enjoys them as much as I did.

Details of how to vote will be coming once all entrants are up.

Fall – By Ozog

Autum beees also called FALL bees FALL cause dats when trees habe der lebes FALL to ground.

Buts 1st alla lebes turns pretty colors, red, orange, yellow. Afters awhile dey turn brown and FALL to da grond. Makes ground alla covered in brown cruchy lebes. meees habed funz walkin in crunchy lebes. But they was thik meees trips on sumting, FALLS on mees butt. Gets ups din ina few steps FALLS ahain. Not mees bouttts really hurts. Mees looks around see bih pile ob lebes against sum rocks. so mees crawls ober to dem, thros meees self ina da pile an scoops dem ober mee. Bees toasty warm and meees FALLS asleep.

dat why it bees calls FALL (aka autum)

Autumn – By Badger

Autumn in Skara Brae is a time of moderate temperatures and coastal rains. It’s a time we rangers celebrate and show respect for all life. The turning of the leaves are a sign that life is always undergoing change and we to must change. Autumn is a time to celebrate, in Skara we have a fair that we celebrate the mages that frist opened the moongate and made life safe for all to travel.

Autumn Falls – By Lady Winmere

Ellundari’s Run – An Elvish Tale by Aramathia

Time was running out for Talendril.  The veins that fed her limbs with nutrients for life were fading.  The wooden chimes adorning the forest rang out announcing the impending Long Sleep Initiation.  Talendril would need her blessing soon.

Ellundari was racing through the damp undergrowth.  Though the seemingly never ending rain had finally given way to sunlight, the wetness covered his leaf armor and leather shoes, slowing him down.  He had hoped it wouldn’t prevent him from reaching his goal before time ran out.  Normally, he would take heed to the other sounds of the forest – deer, rabbits, men, water, and fellow elves.  But today was not the day for caution.  This task was not one for taking lightly.  He had come too far for that.

Talendril didn’t think it would come to this.  Each year, as the weather turned colder, and as her leaves turned from vibrant leathery green to a bold pallette of reds, oranges, and yellows, the Long Sleep Initiation was a time of celebration, hope, promise, renewal, and remembrance.  An annual tradition of honoring between the high elves and the great trees of the forest.  However this year, a strange evil was preventing the elves from bringing the sacred water from the Aldunth River to where Talendril and her family of trees stood, deep in the midst of the forest.

Ellundari had heard rumors of a group of men.  A trio of dark mages, knowledged in the dark arts of necromancy.  It had been said that these men were doing all in their power to prevent the Long Sleep Initiation and the survival of Talendril and the other great trees to gain access to their spirits.  The trees, while living, were too great of a strength for the dark mages to capture their souls and command through their spells.  But great trees that did not receive the blessing of the Aldunth River water would be subject to many evil torments as their life force waned through the cold winter months.

Then it happened.  A shreaking crack.  So deafening to Ellundari that he was thrown to the ground, sliding on the mud until he crashed into a fallen log.  He could hear one man chanting a spell.  Then another started.  He was not practiced in dark arts, but he knew many languages, including some not spoken in many ages, and recognized a few dark words.  He rolled over the log, feeling warmth on his back and then the smell of burnt wood.  The spell had just missed him and made contact with the log that was now protecting him.

As fast as his body would allow, he swung the bow from over his shoulder and strung an arrow to the cord, fiercely pulling back.  He was ready to shoot, but where would he aim?  And then the chants began again.  Imediately, he jumped to the end of the log, pointing his bow in the durection of the sound.  Fortunately for Ellundari, what the men posessed in magical skill, they lacked in aim.  Another missed spell. Ellundari had no time to think as he released the line from his hand, sending the arrow through the air in the direction of the chanting.  And then a scream and a thud, as one mage was fallen.  Not knowing where the other mages were standing, Ellundari began to run to where he knew more elves were waiting.  To where he hoped on hope that others would be able to help him.
To Talendril.

After leagues of running and dodging spells, he had made it to the trees of legacy.  He began to open his mind to the trees and mentally shouted for assistance.  They were not as strong as they were just months before, but surely they would hear him.  The remaining two mages were closing in. Their spells were weakening but the necromancers’ casts were beginning to find their target as Ellundari was slowing from exhaustion.

But Talendril heard the cries!  She awoke with a fire.  She could see Ellundari running as fast as his failing legs would take him.  It would take almost all of her remaining strength.  The ground began to rumble, the mages tripping, firing off whatever spells their mouths could sound out.  But it would be their last battle.  The ground opened, as Talendril shifted her roots to ever-widening gaps, swallowing the mages whole.  And without pause, the ground was filled once again as Talendril returned her roots to a proper placing.

Ellundari couldn’t breath.  He couldn’t stand.  One of the elders of his family came to him and began chanting healing spells to restore his health and stamina.  Others followed.  He finally caught his breath, stood, and brought the Aldunth River life to Talendril.  This would not be the last Long Night Initiation.  Ellundari and Talendril had saved the trees this year.

Autumn Dragons – By Winfield

When I was young, there was a waterfall coming out of the mountains near Yew.  It’s gone now, all dried up, but you might still find some evidence of it among the rocks and logs strewn about.

Anyway, my friend Dalton and I played in a cave behind the waterfall. It was like our secret hideout.  We’d bring some food and games and even wood to build a fire.

One day, late in autumn after the fall harvests were done, an old man came to the waterfall and sat on a log just outside our cave.  We were playing in the cave, but he didn’t hear us.

The old man tossed a fishing line into the water and then seemed to fall asleep.  We thought it would be fun to pull a prank on him by sneaking out and cutting his fishing line.

We made our stealthy move … or so we thought … out of the cave and along the shore.

Just as I pulled my knife out and was ready to cut his fishing line, the man turned his head and said “Trick or Treat!”

We were startled and jumped back!  “What do you mean, old man, Trick or Treat?”

He set his fishing pole down and looked at us.  “Just that,” he said.  “Trick or Treat! What will it be?”

We were a bit confused, but I thought quickly and said, “We want a Treat! Yes, we do!”

The old man reached into his backpack and pulled out a fish that must have been in there a week. It stank.

“Here’s a nice treat! Now run along.” Then he turned his head, picked up his fishing pole, and closed his eyes again.

I took the rotten fish and we scampered back into the cave.  The fish stank, so we threw it into the waterfall.

After a couple of minutes, maybe fifteen or so, the water from the waterfall seemed to slow down to a trickle.  It exposed our cave inside and we could see out.

We saw the old man still sitting on his log, fishing pole in hand, and his eyes closed.  But he had in his hand a blue orb.  Then the waterfall stopped completely.

Dalton and I stepped out of our cave, a bit afraid of the old man with a fishing pole in one hand and a blue orb in the other.

“Now do you want to see a trick?”, the old man said opening his eyes.  We stumbled back a bit, but stood our ground.

“Did you stop the waterfall? What is that blue orb you hold?” Dalton said.

The old man looked at both of us and just said, “Do you want to see a trick now? Yes or no?”  We looked at each other and both said, “Yes.”

The old man grinned and threw the blue orb up into the air … it hovered above the stream … then it burst info flames!

We shielded our eyes and heard a huge growl … like that of a dragon!  It was a dragon!

We ran back into our cave as we saw the wings of a huge blue dragon flap up and down over the old man.

The dragon roared, and the old man stood up and walked over to us.  “Do you like my trick?”

Scared out of our wits, we nodded our heads up and down.

“Oh, don’t be scared,” the old man said. “This is Xontera, she is a young dragon.  She is my pet.”

We both blinked, and it seemed like the dragon smiled at us.

“It’s… it’s a nice dragon,” I studdered.

“Glad you like it!  She’s yours!”  And with that said, the old man reached into his bag and pulled out a red orb.  We were so scared, puzzled, and excited all at the same time, we didn’t remember the first orb was blue, and this one was red.  He threw the red orb to me and I caught it.

“There you go, lads.  Just toss that orb into the air and your dragon will come to you.  Have fun!!”

Then the old man and the dragon vanished into thin air, fishing pole and all.

Dalton and I looked at the red orb and thought about this old man and his “Trick or Treat”.  Well, we seemed to get a nice treat!  The things we could do with a dragon!!

We nodded to each other and I tossed the red orb into the air.  The orb went up and up and up, then exploded into a hundred red dragons!!  Oh my! What had we done? …

Johnny Apple Seed – By Samara

I know what you’re thinking. This is the children’s story about the man who cheerfully planted apple seeds across Britannia. The strange fellow, with a pot on his head, who loved apples so much he wanted to share them with the world. I’m here to tell you that this is no such story. In fact, this story is of a much darker nature. Tonight I will share my collection of articles, journals, and diaries from my research that tell the true story of Johnny Apple Seed.

*fumbles with a ragged stack of papers, trying to order them*

The story begins in the early years of Britannia. This was during a peaceful time, where even theft was uncommon; an uncorrupted age for Britannia. It is during the autumn that these events take place, and the coming winter will spell irreversible changes for all citizens.

Vesper Barmaid Lisa, September 22nd: “Ever since the recent bodies were found outside Vespers, a strange outsider has found his way to town. You can’t miss him! Dark, matted clothes, unshaven face, hair over his eyes. He carries a large pack with him, wherever he goes. Who knows what is in that bag. Oh yeah, and the shovel; that’s the strangest part. He carries a blue valorite shovel with him. He looks like a gravedigger of some sort; perhaps he’s going to take advantage of these recent murders. Maybe he’s responsible for them.”

Vesper Farmer Olaf, September 25th: “Now don’t go tellin’ me this is just some pack of wolves. These murders is gruesome! Men, women, and even the children were tortured. I seen what it is tho. Its some kind of demon folk, that have found their way from the ground. Even the guards know it and won’t come an’ help.”

Vespers Town Crier, September 27th: “Unknown man ends Vespers murder spree! Town guards offering a reward for any information!”

Anonymous Vespers Submission, September 28th: “Yeah, I heard what they’ve been saying in the streets. What they don’t know is how it happened. I saw it all. This gravedigger that came into town, that shovel ain’t no normal shovel. He set upon those demons like an unleashed lion with it. Afterwards, he did some kind of ritual. He sprinkled something all around the area. When he left, I picked one up and it looked like an apple seed or something.”

Vesper Guard Jamison, September 30th: “Well, the demons are gone and so is that strange fellah. Want to hear something odd? He said he came to plant apple trees. Something about warding off evil and sealing the boundaries between here and the underworld. Ha! Can you believe it? What a nut! I don’t know how they grew so fast though. Its a good thing this John Doe is movin’ on. He should call himself Johnny Appleseed”

Minoc Stablehand Ariel, October 10th: “I would have lost everything if it weren’t for that Johnny Appleseed. Zombies attacked Minoc last night, and his arrival couldn’t have been more timely. He said that the undead would stay clear as long as we took care of these new apple trees”

Britain Innkeeper Nathan, October 16th: “So I asked this newcomer how he got rid of these ghouls in my cellar. He waived off my question, but I could see he wearily held a strange shovel. He told me these trees would bear fruit that would protect me here as long as I took care of them.”

Trinsic Town Crier, October 23rd: “Johnny Appleseed saves Trinsic from cannibals! An apple a day, keeps the cannibals away!”

Moonglow Mage Octavia, October 31st: “This is the most ridiculous of new holidays from the King. Dress like ghosts, demons and skeletons and handing out sweets to each other? Now that we’re all safer, it seems his majesty thinks it proper to make fun of recent events. Only a week now since the last was killed in Trinsic.”

Foreign Huntsman, November 10th: “You know them apples this Johnny fellow has been planting? One of them contained something wicked and may have killed a young lady here. She was a beautiful lass, her skin as white as snow.”

Foreign Lumberjack Golemn, November 22nd: “The forests have become sparse. I’ve had to resort to chopping down some of these apple trees. I didn’t know they’d fight back! And now, they attack anyone along these roads. Just last week, they hit with me so many apples that the juice began to rust me right through! I was stuck for two weeks til this young girl and a bag of hay came to save me. ”

Yew Citizen Evelyn, December 12th: “I discovered the largest apple tree i’ve ever seen. Johnny Appleseed is in town and I aim to show it to him. It looks like a giant Yew tree, but more gnarled, and the apples are bright red. I want him to see it first before I pick any of the fruit, but I just can’t resist. I’ll try just one”

Yew Town Crier, December 15th: “Johnny Appleseed gone missing! Only a bag of seeds and torn cloak found!”

Yew Shepard Adam, December 16th: “My wife came home from her sister’s place yesterday. She brought home a bag of apples and a blue shovel. I asked her what we needed this shovel for, but she insisted it was valuable. The apples on the other hand are delicious and unlike any other. We plan to plant some of the seeds and sell the fruit. A shame about that Johnny fellow.”

Vesper Beggar Shamus, December 21st: “I know what happened to that Appleseed! I seen it myself. Swallowed up by his own trees into the underworld. Almost took this lass too. I guess the underworld changed strategy and planted its own seeds! haha Is that enough for 8 gold coins? For 8 more i’ll tell you Governor Winfield’s fishing secrets!”

Autumn Leaves – By Lady Phoenix

Sweep, Sweep, Sweep the leaves of gold, red and yellow.
The autumn leaves resting gently on the pathway.

Rake, Rake, Rake the remaining leaves from the lawn.
Mutters to self “I could be doing this til dawn, waiting on the rest to fall.”

Bag, Bag, Bag the damn leaves of summer.
“Hurry Northwinds and blow leaving behind your white blanket of snow”

Shovel, Shovel, Shovel the five inches of the new fallen white blanket of snow the Northwinds left behind.
Mutters, “DAMN I wish I was sweeping the gold, red and yellow leaves of Autumn.”

About Ashlynn

I play with movable type on behalf of the PaxLair Times. I sometimes move the little wooden letters around to create something resembling an article. And I come and go like the wind.
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