Greetings, It gives me great pleasure to announce the winner of our recent competition. Thank you very much for everyone who took part and made it so successful.
Dave J, I will be contacting you shortly in regards to your prize!
Elder Fourfinger sat amongst the wee ones, while their parents cleaned up from the feast.
“Tell me, little ones,” the elder asked, “Of all of the gifts that we have been given, what gives us the most power over the Wild? Who gave this blessing to us?”
“I know!” said Treeclimber, bold as ever, “It was when Karbok taught us to sharpen flints, and how to clean kills.”
Elder cocked his head slightly- not an outright “no,” but the gesture caused Treeclimber to doubt himself. Other children eagerly shouted their answers, emboldened by Treeclimber’s failure.
“It was when Imbau taught us to tame the wild fire!” shouted another.
“When Niverna taught us to plant the seed and grind it to make our bread!”
Elder Fourfinger looked at little Redflower, the runt in the group. Her brow was furrowed in thought. At last, when the other children grew bored of guessing, she spoke.
“It was when Oodana crafted the first wall.”
“Why is that, Redflower?” prodded Fourfinger, feigning confusion. “What is a wall, compared to a sharp knife or roaring fire?”
“The fire is still nature… like a dog, it’s tame when fed properly, but there’s a wolf hiding underneath. It is nature that will bite given the chance. The same is true with a stone knife- it is still of nature. Gather all the of rocks you want, and the Wild will always have more than you.”
“And the Wall?” Fourfinger asked, pride swelling in his voice.
“The wall defines what is the Wild, and what is home. The Wall keeps the visitor in, and the tiger out.”
“But Oodana wasn’t even a god!” Treeclimber protested. “He was a man!”
“All the more reason,” she responded, confidence growing. “The gods are of the wild too. The wall is something we gave ourselves.”
Fourfinger smiled. That little one will make a fine elder some day, he thought, if she survives the Iceplagues.
Congratulations also to Chris M. It was a close run thing. Here is Chris’s entry:
The Claw of Angmar
Deep in the frozen wastes lies the village of Unkutik home to a small community. Their homes are forged from blocks of ice, extracted from the frozen lakes surrounding their settlement. Their diet consists of the fish they harpoon through small holes in the ice and the seals that stray too close to their territory. Their existence is fragile yet their skills are great.
In this village lived Angmar, at this time a mere boy of 12. Over the course of a few weeks members of the village were disappearing one by one; their footsteps stopping suddenly and replaced by trails of blood. Flanking this gory path were immense paw prints, those rumored to be the fabled white bear, that stalked the dreams of men.
One night Angmar was woken by a scream. His heart racing, he threw back his skins, swept up his spear and lept outside. On the snow lay his mother, her lifeblood seeping into the fresh snowfall. Looming over her on its back legs stood a nightmare. A beast of rippling muscle and fur of the cleanest white, near invisible against its environment. Its muzzle soaked gore stood out unmistakably, giving Angmar a target.
Fueled with rage he sprang, his spear glinting in the moonlight as he unleashed his anger. He felt flesh give way under his assault as the spear pierced the beast through the mouth, the weapon lodged deep inside its skull. Angmar ran to his mother’s side, but he was too late.
Angmar left his mother to the snow, as is the tradition of the Unkutik. He dragged the bear corpse back to his house, carefully butchering it, before skinning it. The meat was left to the village, the fur became his cloak and the immense claws his weapons.
Now it is said Angmar stalks the frozen wastes, wearing the skin of his fallen foe. His anger not sated until every last bear is wiped out; the entire race paying the ultimate price for the crime against his mother.