Creative Writing

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Creative Writing

Postby sonnytlb » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:34 pm

Hey, I teach a week-long creative writing class for high school students every summer. The other day, I threw some random Ascension heroes at them (Apprentice edition) and asked them to let the artwork inspire some characters. I didn't tell them anything about the game or the lore behind it, but some of them came up with some pretty cool stuff! I thought I would share some highlights:

Leah wrote about the Tormented Soul
The locals say you can hear it whisper when it's near. It knows, they say, everything about you - everything you wish you hadn't said, everything you beg to forget, all of those little memories that make your eye twitch and your skin crawl at the very thought of them. It knows them all, and it wants you to know, too.
When the tellers utter its name, even the elders shudder, wrapping their arms around their children and covering their untainted ears. As stories of it spread, some say you can feel its cold touch on the back of your neck, hear the sour reminders of past mistakes. When you're afraid, when your mind travels to the darkness, it will find you and feed on your dissent until there's nothing left but a distant memory of a laugh or a smile. It feeds until there's only the shallow husk of what could have been.
Those who live on survive in agony, their thoughts shadowed with the image of its melted face. Its victims say it looks somewhat like a man - one with a face stretched wide in an eternal shriek. Its teeth, hanging loose in the vortex of its arid lips, are browned with the stains of the sorrows it so gleefully gorges itself on. Its tongue is a snake, waiting to lunge out just for a taste of he feelings some say it lost long ago. Its eyes are like pale moons, glowing alone in the darkness, seeking out those who lie awake in the dead of the night. When it moves, its pale arms and bony fingers drag it through the world in an eternal game of chase, the players those wandering in a void of pain and emptiness. The story tellers say that each person it attacks, each person it strips of life, adds another link to the chains it drags with it, those metal hindrances which pull at its skin with every agonizing movement.
It thrives on the hopelessness in your heart, on that feeling of a dead-weight in your chest, on the gentle crack of a heart break. And though it's a monster that seeks you out in your darkest days, it's always with you. And on those particularly rainy days where all you can see are the clouds that threaten to swallow you, you can feel it deep inside you.
It's always there, beneath your skin, threatening to drag you to your knees. It's always in your head, telling you you can't. It tempts you to the void with promise of the numbness and the cold.
But it only wins because you follow it there.
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Re: Creative Writing

Postby sonnytlb » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:35 pm

Jake wrote about Kor, Ferromancer and Reaction Monk:

Only a few had ever made an encounter with The Ferromancer that they'd survived to talk about. The man, if he even was one, had the name "Kor" and lived in the darkest regions of the world, residing in a manor deep underground in an expansive cavern, where the only sign of his existence in the pitch-black darkness was the whirring of his machines, eternally wandering his grounds, searching for any threat to their creator. Kor himself was over seven centuries old, kept alive by the same mystical fuel that ran his machines, a fuel somehow compatible with his living body, ragged and torn from the many battles he'd fought; yet he was hardened, and the bones of many a foe lay around him, some even adorning his ebony throne. Some say he used to be the chief of a rural village, as wise and just ruler. However, when the Mordant Widow and her minions invaded his home in their lust to kill, after the battle none of his village remained except for Kor, now cursed with being the last survivor, driven mad by his grief. Some say the tormented souls of his friends and family rest in his machines, and when his last day finally does come, he will likely join them, stalking the caverns under the ruins of his past home, searching for anyone who dare threaten him again. The only adventurer to have ever posed a true threat to him was the Reactor Monk, a disgraced Dwarf who began taking mercenary work from the highest-paying nobles of the land, using his incredible knowledge of machinery to his advantage to face those who also harnessed the power of the living steel. He explored alone into the cavern, using his ability to short circuit or shut down machines to allow him to reach the front of Kor's manor, his torch illuminating the wretched structure, when Kor himself stepped out, wielding a mighty axe and wearing heavy plated armor laced with powerful magic. He and the Monk fought a mighty duel, lasting for nearly eight hours, before the machinations of Kor began to re-awaken, and the Monk found himself outnumbered, then forced to retreat to spare himself. From then on, Kor is now twice as vigilant, waiting for his rival to come face him once more, now that a true warrior has come to truly challenge him in his solitude. Only this time, there would be no retreating.
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Re: Creative Writing

Postby sonnytlb » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:36 pm

Jay went to town and tackled three different cards:

Nihilmancer
The figure was robed, something I noticed immediately, which was peculiar to notice first among all his other attributes. The robe itself was a luscious green, the edge traced with a pattern in a yellow that gave me visions of sickness and plague. In his curled hands, there was a vast emptiness. It almost seemed like devoid space, except there was also the feeling of a whole world existing in that small area that he admired with pride, not dissimilar from a little girl showing off her collection of dolls--although his face revealed nothing. As I observed him in this setting, a previous encounter came to mind. I remembered a conversation I had with the barkeep before I met this robed figure. I had asked if anyone outside of the norm had arrived in the last few days. While the barkeep had said nothing with his words, his look of caution made me think that perhaps someone was not wanted here, but had too much power to allow people to discuss it. Having a literal world in your hands may give you that power.
As I thought this, the void now shifted, just the tiniest bit. With that shift, came the echo of forgotten screams, nothing that could be heard, but felt in my very bones. His face portrayed a particular hubris as this happened, a smile not quite forming at his cracked lips, but his eyes revealing an almost unapproachable mirth.
Yet, as I watched him, he did not react to the people passing by as they reacted to him. He didn't bat an eye at the winces that occurred when they saw the universe in his hands. His steps were not quite light, but almost floating. He walked as if on clouds, yet it was only the hard stone beneath his feet.
This figure was in his own world, and seemed to have the knowledge that it was better that ours.

Elder Skeptic
This man was known for not being known, something that would raise questions in the city, but no one bats an eye at out here. His eyebrows appeared as if he had taken the ink of a raven's feather and purposely filled them in, but the shakiness of his hand had affected it monumentally. Right above those brows, lines creased his forehead as if they were the steps of a stone amphitheater, one after another, each representing a time when his eyebrows were raised in doubt. That seemed to happen a lot.
Below all of that, his eyes bulged, framed by a significantly tinted river of skin. It was this coloring that made the rest of his face almost ghostly by comparison. His stature suggested less meals then usual, and I had heard a young lady say that not eating left "more time for judging people."

Ascetic of the Lidless Eye
I have never seen him smile, something that was not unusual for anyone living in this dreary town, but makes me curious. With the power he holds in his body, he could have all the world's riches, yet he lives here. There are even more of his type up North, where the cold is said to freeze your blood until even those without the sight think their hallucinations are of the magical sort. But he stays here, in the hot humidity and constant gray skies. Originally, I had assumed he preferred the weather, which was odd but not too so considering the alternative, but he never seemed to prefer anything. He just... was. He didn't chose his meals, but ate whatever was in front of him. He didn't dress himself, but wore the same plain garb every day. He didn't speak except when spoken to.
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Re: Creative Writing

Postby sonnytlb » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:37 pm

Ryan wrote about Cetra:

Cetra was born of the cosmos; the light her mother, and the nothingness her father. They taught her about the stars, her children, how to shape them, guide them. She watches over them, fond of each and every one. Her hair acts as a blanket, gently coiling around the ones growing dim, and her delicate fingers create a new path for them. She laughs with them, and cries tears of light when they fade completely.

The moon is her lover and they dance together, Cetra's body creating waxing and waning shadows over the Lune. She pulls her around the Earth's body, spreading her endless joy with every celestial being.
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Re: Creative Writing

Postby sonnytlb » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:38 pm

Madelyn was inspired by the Dragonsbane Chimera:

She cowered as the dragon roared among its teammates, boasting of its capture. it slowly opened its jaw to swallow her whole, its jagged teeth the size of her arm. Then it paused. She cautiously crawled away from its mouth and looked onto the dragon's eyes. They were frozen, rolled upwards as if begging the heavens above to let it in. Its buddies had the same blank expression.Confused, she managed to crawl past the clouded eye of the dragon, still open as if it was gazing into her, and saw something standing over its back. An animal was perched over the beast, though it had been half its size. Its dark forest dyed plates on its back gave it a more docile appearance, despite its beaming crimson eyes. Dark green fur emerged throughput every part of the limb that was connected to the body. Its claws, crafted as in a way to resemble a tiger's, consisted of fire, and its scorpion-like tail waved like a cat ready to pounce. Its hard shell was not present at only its lioness-like face. Its muzzle was stained red as it tore away at the weak scales of the dragon, its claws scorching the winged beast's back as it prowled over it. Pausing briefly to lick a small scratch, the animal had turned to her. Its pupils were not present, but she knew it was observing her. This thing has killed the dragons, and now it was after her.
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