Announcing: Seasons of Dusk, An Innistrad Anthology (An Open Call For Submissions)

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A few months ago, the Magic: Expanded Multiverse project released Fragments: An Alara Anthology, an illustrated ebook of short stories set on Alara, all written by fans of Magic: The Gathering. It was the first project of this kind that has ever been undertaken by fans of the game.


Now, we want to do it again.


And we want to do it with your help.


Right now, we have a number of short stories set on the plane of Innistrad. While we're happy with the number and quality we have so far, we want this anthology to be a bit longer and more comprehensive than Fragments.


So, we're issuing an open call for stories set on Innistrad. We'll vote on the stories we get, decide whether they make the cut, put together a cover and some illustrations, and in a few months we'll release the anthology online just as we did with Fragments.


I've got a set of questions and answers at the bottom of this post, but before we get into that let me give the basic information for how to submit your stories.


You can e-mail us at expandedmultiverse@gmail.com,


Or you can join us on the Expanded Multiverse forums.


And, of course, if you have any questions feel free to send them to us here!


Now, let's talk about what this anthology will be like.


image




  • What Is The Structure Of The Anthology?


Like Fragments, this anthology will be divided up into chapters. This time, the chapters are based upon the three seasons of Innistrad: the Harvest Moon, the Hunter's Moon, and the New Moon. Harvest Moon represents a darkening of the world, Hunter's Moon represents things going from bad to worse, and New Moon represents an end to the long darkness. These seasons approximate both the structure of the Innistrad block (Innistrad, Dark Ascention, and Avacyn Restored) and the corresponding year when Avacyn was trapped in the Helvault.



  • What Are You Looking For?


Anything, really--poetry and prose are both acceptable, and you can write about any subject you want.


We have a dearth of stories for New Moon, though, so stories from that time period might have less competition. Furthermore, we have a handful of vampire stories and a LOT of werewolf stories, so anything about ghasts and ghouls will similarly have a leg up. Those are the slots we're trying the hardest to fill.


That said, if you have a really fantastic, original take on werewolves, and it's so dark that it can't go anywhere but Hunter's Moon... well, if it's good writing, we're not going to turn it away!



  • How Canonical Should This Be?


Well, one of M:EM's major rules is that we don't mess around with major canonical characters, so the Planeswalkers of the set, and major characters like Thalia or Gisa and Geralf, are probably off limits.


We also want this to stick with the established material for Innistrad. Did you know, for example, that werewolves are the product not of werewolf bites but witches' curses? If not, you might want to check out the Planeswalker's Guide to Innistrad! That should answer most questions you have about the plane.



  • Will Acceptance Mean Automatic M:EMbership?


Normally we consider getting voted into our archives to be the equivalent of a vote of confidence in an author's abilities, so we just automatically grant M:EMbership to such authors.


For a big open call like this, though, we don't expect you to take on the voting duties and other random assorted work that goes along with M:EMbership, especially if you don't have an interest in joining the Wizards forums. And from our perspective, we tend to know new applicants through the forums fairly well, and have worked with them on drafts or larger projects, whereas this open call will bring in writers not familiar to us.


So, we're handling things like this: you don't HAVE to apply for M:EMbership to get into this anthology. However, you CAN apply separately, and we'll hold a vote on whether or not we think you show promise as a team member. This isn't a strict procedure, of course, and our intent is to be as flexible as possible. This is the first time we're trying something like this, so I'm sure there will be some bugs to work out.



  • What If I Do Art Rather Than Write?


Fragments almost solely relied on illustrations from Wizards of the Coast. While that made for a snazzy looking book, it also both makes me a little uncomfortable (since we're on shaky ground copyright-wise here) and seems like a disservice to the many talented fan artists that follow Magic.


So, consider this an open call for artwork as well as stories. If you want to work on specific stories, shoot us an e-mail or a private message, and we'll work something out.



  • This Title Is Stupid, Why Are You So Stupid?


HOW ABOUT YOU SHUT THE HELL--sorry, sorry, I just... I just have trouble with titles and...


[deep breath]


Actually, the truth is, this is a working title that I came up with in like five minutes, so I guess consider this an open call for title suggestions as well!



  • When Are Submissions Closed?


To Be Determined. Let's call this a Rolling Admissions Process--we'll close submissions when we get close to our target of roughly 25-30 works, and evaluate new submissions as they come in. Once we get up there, we'll close submissions, grade the last few, send out another open call to the artists, and get to work on the final draft of the anthology. Sound good?



  • I Can't Think Of Any More Questions.


Me neither.


Send your stuff in, folks! I know the Magic community is positively oozing with creativity; let's put that creativity to work!

Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Hmmm, I should be able to tackle a New Moon story if you need. Not sure what it would be about yet, but do you mind if it plays in the headcanon space I have been using for the Innistrad Novel? I will not use any of the canon characters, but will most likely expand on things from a `Six months later...` perspective, most likely either for the vampires, wolfir, or the pet Inquisitor I was using.
Yeah, I'd be into that as an idea. Do whatever feels right



Also, does anyone have a request for a card they want to see represented? Because I've got not clue where to even start writing. 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Also, does anyone have a request for a card they want to see represented? Because I've got not clue where to even start writing. 

Butcher's Cleaver, baby.
So this is working off of a similar basis as the Alara anthology yeah?

We take a card and write a story around it?

So I'd like to know which cards have already been covered. 
Yeah, I'd be into that as an idea. Do whatever feels right



Also, does anyone have a request for a card they want to see represented? Because I've got not clue where to even start writing. 

Someone surviving army of the damned
Hm, it could work that way, but I'm pretty sure most of the stories we've already got are just sort of free-form.

Actually, the only ones that spring to mind are a poem about Tibalt and a poem for Blasphemous Act



Man, Butcher's Cleaver is tough. I feel like it could lend itself to a "humans as villains" kind of story, but that feels almost too on the nose... God knows this anthology needs more splatterpunk, though. So far things have definitely tended toward either the gothic horror or Twilight Zone style setups, for the most part. I really want to find something deeply messed up to write about.

EDIT: Hm, maybe I should combine Uriel's suggestion and FrooFroo's suggestion... :3

Incidentally, if anyone else wants to grab one of the suggested cards, go for it. I'm just trying to get people thinking about options, I guess. 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Hm, it could work that way, but I'm pretty sure most of the stories we've already got are just sort of free-form.

Actually, the only ones that spring to mind are a poem about Tibalt and a poem for Blasphemous Act



Man, Butcher's Cleaver is tough. I feel like it could lend itself to a "humans as villains" kind of story, but that feels almost too on the nose... God knows this anthology needs more splatterpunk, though. So far things have definitely tended toward either the gothic horror or Twilight Zone style setups, for the most part. I really want to find something deeply messed up to write about.


Jar of Eyeballs? You could also take Cloistered Youth to some very, very dark places.
"I think me going Bang bang bang I win is pretty intuitive" Mafia Record: Wouldn't you like to know? 2011 Mafia Awards - Mastermind of the Year
mymoment
\
57817638 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
88318561 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
Moriok Rigger does absolutely nothing to boost other riggers. You are incorrect.
Moriok Rigger is not a Rigger in print. Only in Errata WHAT NOW! (yes, I did put that phrase in for that exact reason)
Congratulations, they have activated your trap card!
Cloistered Youth is the one card I don't want to do. It's so perfect in and of itself I feel like adding anything more would just be superfluous...
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
I'll be writing one or more for this.  Since this is time sensitive, Layered World Story #5 and Vote will probably be postponed for it.  Keeper, what's your opinion of stories with links to each other?

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

Follow me to No Goblins Allowed

A M:tG/D&D message board with a good community and usable software

 


THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

Also, does anyone have a request for a card they want to see represented? Because I've got not clue where to even start writing. 

Butcher's Cleaver, baby.



Okay, I've got an idea floating around in my mind grapes about this one. I'll try to get it put together in the next few days and see if it works.

Shameless Self-Promotion

These are the MTG Fiction pieces I have written:

Planes of the Dual-Walkers
Allo's Fortnight
The Butcher's Cleaver
Dead Man 'Walking
Showdown
Pariah
Deals and Devils
The Tears of the Djinn
Cromat Comes
Kiss of the Shorecerers
Numerous poems in The Poetry Plane
Magic: The Musical

Please read and comment! I love hearing people's thoughts and reactions to my work!

I'll be writing one or more for this.  Since this is time sensitive, Layered World Story #5 and Vote will probably be postponed for it.  Keeper, what's your opinion of stories with links to each other?

I feel like you should know exactly what my opinion on linked stories is :P

(I love linked stories) 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
So, I quickly skimmed through the Planeswalker's Guide, and found inspiration: "It's said that all who were killed in the cathedral-shattering blast still linger inside the walls of Hollowhenge, trying in vain to reconstruct their homes or recover their lost loved ones."

I definitely want to write something about this. 
Someone on Tumblr just claimed Scorned Villager as a story card because @$#%ing werewolves.

I think I've got a good idea for Jar of Eyeballs, if I can manage to pull it off correctly... 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
So, I wrote something. Should I post it in this thread, or make a new one and link to it?
If I can find the time, I have a few ideas.

Wolfbitten captive Guy despartely doesn't want to become a werewolf, becomes a werewolf, then reacts to Avacyn changing them into Wolfir.

wingcrafter guy falls in love with an angel. It can't work out well.

Gravecrawler Mom won't stay dead...we've already killed her three times.
Check out my cube!
Show
My sig was so awesome it broke Browsers, [url= http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/29455423/For_some_reason...]I had to remove it.[/url] Support Magic Fiction! Or Bolas will eat you
57193048 wrote:
You should never explain layers to people unless one of the following is true: they're studying for a judge exam, you're both in a Ben Affleck movie and it's the only way to save the world, or you hate them.
56663526 wrote:
We try to maintain the illusion that Magic cards are written in English.
56333196 wrote:
69511863 wrote:
Hell, if they steal from us, we'd be honored.
oh my god, AWESOME! Then changing the Slivers was your idea! haha lol
56734518 wrote:
Occassionally when catering, I've been put the task of arranging Fruit and Cheese or Grilled Vegetable platters. More than once a high class buffet has started with the mark of Phyrexia upon it. Since i've got a good eye for color so it looks great to people who don't get the "joke" (it's a niceley divided circle after all: the outline gives you 4-6 "regions" to work with), this has actually got me put on platter design more often, resulting in Phyrexia's presence at more private and industry events.
I have 6917 Planeswalker points, that's probably more than you. [c=Hero's Resolve]"Destiny, chance, fate, fortune, mana screw; they're all just ways of claiming your successes without claiming your failures." Gerrard of the Weatherlight[/c]
Okay, my story can be read here:

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...
I'm in. I'll come up with some ideas and then check back.

"I will diminish, and go into the west, and there remain SgtPepperjack. Y'know, you really ought to come along with me."

www.nogoblinsallowed.com

The mod of Ask Karn has reserved Borderland Ranger. Sweeeet, people are showing interest!

Also, I feel like someone should post this on Reddit. Someone that doesn't hate Reddit as much as I do.
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
The mod of Ask Karn has reserved Borderland Ranger. Sweeeet, people are showing interest!

Also, I feel like someone should post this on Reddit. Someone that doesn't hate Reddit as much as I do.


Oh yes, I've been meaning to ask, how much has the tumbleverse responded to M:EM?
"I think me going Bang bang bang I win is pretty intuitive" Mafia Record: Wouldn't you like to know? 2011 Mafia Awards - Mastermind of the Year
mymoment
\
57817638 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
88318561 wrote:
58060728 wrote:
Moriok Rigger does absolutely nothing to boost other riggers. You are incorrect.
Moriok Rigger is not a Rigger in print. Only in Errata WHAT NOW! (yes, I did put that phrase in for that exact reason)
Congratulations, they have activated your trap card!
@Dr_Demento: I only joined up here because of what I saw on tumblr. It's a great work that all users have put together.

I'm also the one who claimed the Scorned Villager. I've gotten over 2000 words written and am getting close to finished with it. Just need a few scenes to round it off.

And I've only been working on it since noon (edst) today... 
ɪғ ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ, ᴘʟᴀʏ... Original Fiction :: Online FOOD TCG? :: Portfolio :: Blog
Woohoo!

Welcome to the forums, Tequila. I hope you enjoy your stay here :D


We've currently got 245 followers and counting, and we seem to be growing pretty steadily. We've got at least two or three people from Tumblr working on stories for this as well. We'll see where things go from here, but I think the reception's been positive. 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
Oh god keeper please do the army of the damned+butcher's cleaver thing. Anybody. pleeeeeaaaaase 
Woohoo!

Welcome to the forums, Tequila. I hope you enjoy your stay here :D


We've currently got 245 followers and counting, and we seem to be growing pretty steadily. We've got at least two or three people from Tumblr working on stories for this as well. We'll see where things go from here, but I think the reception's been positive. 

I just posted a snippet of my submission to my community blog, it may need some work, but I'm going to trust the MS Office grammar and spell checker.

(For someone who writes a lot, I seem to find more errors in my works...) 
ɪғ ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ, ᴘʟᴀʏ... Original Fiction :: Online FOOD TCG? :: Portfolio :: Blog
Working activley on the following cards:

Ghoulcaller's Bell

Rage Thrower and Geistcatcher's Rig. (with ties to "The Cellar Door" at least)


Plotting for:
Sulfur Falls
Unhallowed Cathar
Kruin Striker (With ties to "To Purge The Wicked"  It's a Wolfir story, that's OK right?)

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

Follow me to No Goblins Allowed

A M:tG/D&D message board with a good community and usable software

 


THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

Hm, I like what you have so far. I think you might be overdoing the fantasy-speak though. A lot of what we've seen from Innistrad so far uses semi-modernized language, or at least language that isn't quite as archaic sounding as what you've got, if that makes sense.

I'm also not sure the Innistrad we saw was quite as, well, sexist as what you're setting up. You do state this in terms of the narrator's particular village, though, so maybe just play that aspect--the fact that it's a local custom--up a little bit.

(For anyone else who wants to read, the first bit is here.)



I like that this is turning into a general index for the new pieces.

You know what we need though?

A soundtrack.

Let's get some Innistrad-flavored music up in this joint!

Rosetta Stone--The Witch
Bauhaus--Bela Lugosi's Dead
Bauhaus--Hollow Hills
Bauhaus--Of Lillies And Remains ("Running through ghost closet locker rooms, to hide from Peter, who has fallen to the old cold stone floor, wheezing and emitting a seemingly endless flow of ectoplasmic white goo from ears and mouth." Seems legit!)
Type O Negative--Wolf Moon (For all you @#$!ing WEREWOLF FANS)
Rob Zombie--Living Dead Girl
Blutengel--Reich Mir Die Hand (For all you vampire fans. This video is rather NSFW, which is hilarious because I watched it for the first time at work. Looked up from the paper I was writing comments on and it was like "Oh, blood orgy. Aight.")


EDIT: Holy hell, Szat, you're going to be the Skibo of this anthology, aren't you? o_O

And yes, I'm so into the idea of getting some more Wolfir stories. (even though $&@#ing WEREWOLVES) 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
I've finished mine. It's set to private on tumblr, but here is the link to the entry (guildgamer.net/private/50128657643/tumbl...). I have no plans to share this outside of the community without permission (or critique). I can update and keep working on it until you feel it's ready to go. I wrote it in first person perspective, and there are non-noticeable timeskips as well as noticeable ones.
ɪғ ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ, ᴘʟᴀʏ... Original Fiction :: Online FOOD TCG? :: Portfolio :: Blog
I tried to post a joke post that listed five different werewolves and claimed I wanted to write a story about each one.

My web browser crashed as I tried to post it.

Well played, Keeper. Well played.

(I still say we should just change the title to "Where, Oh Werewolf" and embrace those stories, though.)

Shameless Self-Promotion

These are the MTG Fiction pieces I have written:

Planes of the Dual-Walkers
Allo's Fortnight
The Butcher's Cleaver
Dead Man 'Walking
Showdown
Pariah
Deals and Devils
The Tears of the Djinn
Cromat Comes
Kiss of the Shorecerers
Numerous poems in The Poetry Plane
Magic: The Musical

Please read and comment! I love hearing people's thoughts and reactions to my work!

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Let's get some Innistrad-flavored music up in this joint!


No links, but check out these..

Omnia - The Raven
Omnia - Wytches Brew
Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Monster Mash
and of course
Michael Jackson - Thriller

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

Follow me to No Goblins Allowed

A M:tG/D&D message board with a good community and usable software

 


THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

I haven't really looked at much (any) of the M:EM stuff or contributed much to this forum, I mostly just lurk, but I'd be willing to try throwing a couple stories into the ring. Has anyone done anything for Gallows at Willow Hill? If not I got dibs.
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c1b8574f03c7cff35d72311f1208599a.jpg?v=90000)
I haven't really looked at much (any) of the M:EM stuff or contributed much to this forum, I mostly just lurk, but I'd be willing to try throwing a couple stories into the ring. Has anyone done anything for Gallows at Willow Hill? If not I got dibs.



Oh, that could be good. I look forward to that one.

Shameless Self-Promotion

These are the MTG Fiction pieces I have written:

Planes of the Dual-Walkers
Allo's Fortnight
The Butcher's Cleaver
Dead Man 'Walking
Showdown
Pariah
Deals and Devils
The Tears of the Djinn
Cromat Comes
Kiss of the Shorecerers
Numerous poems in The Poetry Plane
Magic: The Musical

Please read and comment! I love hearing people's thoughts and reactions to my work!

I tried to post a joke post that listed five different werewolves and claimed I wanted to write a story about each one.

My web browser crashed as I tried to post it.

Well played, Keeper. Well played.

(I still say we should just change the title to "Where, Oh Werewolf" and embrace those stories, though.)

FEEL MY WRATH

 

I agree, though. Let's just give in to the inevitable.

I should point out, I guess, that I'm actually a total werewolf fanboy. I find them much more interesting than vampires in almost every category. (Also werewolves as a symbol of lust is underutilized in comparison to the use of vampires that way. Come on, giant hulking beasts, often associated strongly with masculinity? There's [admittedly mostly unpleasant] places we can culturally go with that.) So I'm not reeeeally that upset :P

Besides, they actually express the seasonal transformation idea best of everything on Innistrad, so they fit the theme of the anthology.



@Tequila:

I like what you've got going here. The writing is solid, and I think your decision to let the narrative flow in an almost stream-of-consciousness style works, for the most part, although I think probably you should stick to present tense throughout the whole story.

The theme and some of the protagonist's actions don't quite work just yet, I think... Right now, it seems almost arbitrary that the character desires revenge on society. We actually had another similar Werewolf story that has the same problem--there was this sudden leap from "I've become a monster!" to "SOCIETY IS TO BLAME!" and it came off as a little random.

My thought is this: what if she was cast out without actually killing anyone? What if she was cast out simply because they knew what she had become... or even simply due to the fear of knowing about her bite? We know the people of Innistrad are paranoid about werewolf bites, even though they don't actually transmit the curse necessarily (which is another thing that'll need some tweaking--dammit, Wizards, why you gotta mess with the mythos like that? >_>) so it's not that incredible, especially since it seems like a conservative, paranoid, sexist little backwater inclined to not give a woman who transgresses the benefit of the doubt...

Does that kind of make sense?

Basically, at the moment I like what you're doing with the writing but I'm just not sure your protagonist's actions are believable.

(I hope that doesn't come across as too harsh... we tend to give pretty comprehensive critiques here) 
Coming Soon to the Magic: Expanded Multiverse: FRAGMENTS: A Shards of Alara Anthology
(Click through to view the cover and announcement page)Want to get your work in the Expanded Multiverse? Come join the project! Oh, and check out my blog, Storming the Ivory Tower: making sense of academia, media, and culture twice weekly.
I call battle hyme

Has anybody called blasphemous act? If not, I would like to.

 On another note, I think creepy doll has the same situation as the child
Bell, Book, and Candle

Bell, Book, and Candle

The church bell rang, loudly proclaiming the dawn, and Arthur Harolds stirred from where he had fallen asleep at his reading desk.  It was time for another day of fruitless labor.

Arthur was the miller’s son, some day destined to be the miller himself.  Every day he had to watch the millstone slowly grind away at bags worth of wheat, slowly listen to it grind away at his mind.  To be bored beyond comprehension, dull as dishwater, and resented all the same – that was the miller’s lot.

Arthur was determined that it would not be his long, had been determined since he could understand.  As a boy, he had dreamed of becoming a Cathar, but he had grown up too weak and scrawny to maintain the hope of joining their order.  For a short time, he had thought the priesthood might be his calling, but though he prayed to Avacyn his words were hollow and unanswered.  Faith was not his calling.

For some time then, Arthur had despaired at finding any place in the world that was not the one he had been born to, but then he had found the book.  By day he worked in the mill, but at night, by candlelight, he studied the tome.

His father had called him wrong-headed for buying the tome of supposed magic from that ‘mountebank of a trader’, and even his little sister, who adored him despite all his ungainliness, thought he was foolish for continuing to attempt to understand the arcane gibberish.

And yet, he had made progress.  Following decoded diagrams, he had made a small bell of bone, supposedly an implement of magic.  And the night before, he had discovered what magic – the power to hold back – no, undo – death itself!  Arthur had dreamt of unhappy geists, of how they would flock to him in Flight Alabaster’s worrying absence, to lead them not to the blessed sleep but back to life.  He had made the bell, discerned its use… and tonight, he would use it.

A day at the mill went by in a haze, Arthur not recalling any incident save one, when the family cat, Archibald, had laid a dead rat at his feet.  That alone stirred him from his daze.  That alone provided the material for his test.

When the sunset and the moon began to rise, by candlelight Arthur worked.  The rat lay in state upon his table, the bell held between his thumb and forefinger, and the book – that wondrous book --  in his other hand, open to the fateful page.

He rung the bell, spoke the words… and a rat began to breathe.  Arthur, unable to control himself, cheered without looking well at the vermin, and before he knew it, the creature scampered off.  Even without the first of the resurrected there as proof, he was ecstatic.  He had discovered his calling; defeating death.

***

Further nights brought further resurrections.  Always rats and mice – they were the easiest to find dead, and Arthur had no desire to employ an unpracticed technique on larger creatures.  At the same time, he was blind to the happenings around his house: Skittering in the walls, no doubt the scrabbling of his released subjects, kept his family up at nights, yet he did he did not notice.   

Too absorbed was he in his secretive studies to notice at first when Archibald the cat went missing.  His sister cried for hours, for though it had been an old and sour cat it had been her closest friend.  For a little time only Arthur tried to comfort her, but soon enough filial love was replaced by annoyance, bor  her nagging presence was keeping him from his studies and experiments.

A week later, she went missing, and Arthur could no longer be bothered to break from his routine to worry about her.  Much bigger and more important things than family were on his horizons, and if the worst had happened, well, he would be able to fix it.

No doubt by the time she was found by scent, bits and pieces, gnawed halfheartedly and then left to rot in the walls, Arthur had come to realize what he was doing, understood the magic he commanded, its price and the hatred the world would hold for him for pursuing it.  And yet… the art he was practicing, the Ghoulcaller’s art was irresistible.  It was worth more to him than a pathetic miller’s life would ever be, no matter what happened.

Priests and Cathars came to town after the gruesome discovery in the walls, and quickly identified first a rat problem, and then from that a Ghoulcaller problem.  Two or three of Arthur’s specimens were captured in his home, but that was fine by him… there were always more rats, and he had graduated up to crows.

***

There was no pounding on the door when they came, no warning that would allow Arthur to flee in peace.  The Cathars had broken in, and before he knew what had happened they had taken his book and his bell from him.  As he scrambled to get the implements back, the burly soldiers wrestled him to the ground and bound his hands behind his back.

Disgusting they said.  Horrifying, evil claimed the villagers.  ‘Not son of mine’ said his father.  The Cathars took him to the church and locked him in a cloister, there to await his judgment in the morning.

There could be only one sentence, he knew: burn at the stake, and his book with him.  Couldn’t they see what he had wanted to do?  Couldn’t they understand that they were the same?  They were human – they ate the same bread, lived in the same houses.  And in these dark times, the monsters, real monsters that howled at the night and drank human blood, were closing in around good men and supposedly bad ones alike.

At midnight, the church bell rang, and a ceremony was conducted before him.  A book was closed, symbolizing that Arthur should be stricken from the records of men and angels.  A candle was blown out, representing the loss of light for his soul.

The priests left, and Arthur was alone in those last, dark hours until, before the barest hint of dawn, he heard scrabbling at his cell’s door.  Soon enough the handle began to turn, and what pushed open the way was a shrivvled, rotted rat.

More came after it.  How they had so silently and swiftly gnawed the Cathar guarding him to bones he would never know, but when they came to him it was rope that their teeth bit at.  The swarm, stinking of the grave and chittering like mad, seemed to speak to him with a single voice.

They were his children, called to life by his work.  The tide of undead rodents brought with it a very particular tome. And the despair Arthur had felt at his capture and the ruination of his work turned to pride.  He had created these rats, and his creations were grateful for their existence.  As he fled into the night, trailed by a veritable plague of the filthy things, he wondered if humans would be as happy for their continued existence as his small friends.

***

A year later, Arthur stood in the graveyard of his home town, looking at headstones for his sister whom the rats had slain without understanding, and his father whom the mob had lynched in the wake of his escape.  There were plenty of other graves besides, far too many of them quite fresh as the Harvest moon waned.

Fresh ones were always the best, and his cawing, chittering servants brought him the tools of his trade.

Arthur lit the candle, providing a light to read by.  He rang the tiny bone bell, its hollow voice calling an ethereal audience no normal man could perceive.  And, at last, he read from his book.  The soft earth beneath his feet groaned and shifted, and soon enough friends and family and neighbors once lost to him dragged themselves from their long and unfortunate sleep.

By bell, book, and candle they had cast him out of their church and their lives.  By candle, book, and bell he would welcome them into their new lives.  Many came: eager, ready to breathe the free air and taste fresh meat and do Arthur’s bidding.

He looked at the town and smiled.  Before the night was over, there would be many more waiting for his call.


"oldschool" short story contest fare: no dialogue and rather shorter than I have expected because of it.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

Follow me to No Goblins Allowed

A M:tG/D&D message board with a good community and usable software

 


THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920


@Tequila:

I like what you've got going here. The writing is solid, and I think your decision to let the narrative flow in an almost stream-of-consciousness style works, for the most part, although I think probably you should stick to present tense throughout the whole story.

The theme and some of the protagonist's actions don't quite work just yet, I think... Right now, it seems almost arbitrary that the character desires revenge on society. We actually had another similar Werewolf story that has the same problem--there was this sudden leap from "I've become a monster!" to "SOCIETY IS TO BLAME!" and it came off as a little random.

My thought is this: what if she was cast out without actually killing anyone? What if she was cast out simply because they knew what she had become... or even simply due to the fear of knowing about her bite? We know the people of Innistrad are paranoid about werewolf bites, even though they don't actually transmit the curse necessarily (which is another thing that'll need some tweaking--dammit, Wizards, why you gotta mess with the mythos like that? >_>) so it's not that incredible, especially since it seems like a conservative, paranoid, sexist little backwater inclined to not give a woman who transgresses the benefit of the doubt...

Does that kind of make sense?

Basically, at the moment I like what you're doing with the writing but I'm just not sure your protagonist's actions are believable.

(I hope that doesn't come across as too harsh... we tend to give pretty comprehensive critiques here) 


I can do that. And no worries, I've done art presentations, no one crits worse than the prof. ;3 I'll work on it tomorrow, will modern-up the lingo a bit (still see no reason for contractions though, they look horrid when used), and stress the pov from female character. Will post up a revision by Monday...
ɪғ ᴀɴʏᴛʜɪɴɢ, ᴘʟᴀʏ... Original Fiction :: Online FOOD TCG? :: Portfolio :: Blog
I once wrote a story based on Stormkirk Noble but changed some of the details so it met a nonfanart requirement. Somebody bug me to edit that and post it.
I want to call Predator Ooze, if no one else has already. Not sure if I can write something good about it, but I really want to try.
I call battle hyme

Has anybody called blasphemous act? If not, I would like to.

 On another note, I think creepy doll has the same situation as the child



I wrote a poem about Blasphemous Act  that was voted in to M:EM. You can read it here.

But if you have a story in mind about it, it never hurts to write it.


Also, I would like to mention that we seem a little short on "New Moon" pieces. So, not to be overly simplistic about it, but does anyone have any stories with happy endings? Or even relatively positive tones? Just a thought...

Shameless Self-Promotion

These are the MTG Fiction pieces I have written:

Planes of the Dual-Walkers
Allo's Fortnight
The Butcher's Cleaver
Dead Man 'Walking
Showdown
Pariah
Deals and Devils
The Tears of the Djinn
Cromat Comes
Kiss of the Shorecerers
Numerous poems in The Poetry Plane
Magic: The Musical

Please read and comment! I love hearing people's thoughts and reactions to my work!

I call battle hyme

Has anybody called blasphemous act? If not, I would like to.

 On another note, I think creepy doll has the same situation as the child



I wrote a poem about Blasphemous Act  that was voted in to M:EM. You can read it here.

But if you have a story in mind about it, it never hurts to write it.


Also, I would like to mention that we seem a little short on "New Moon" pieces. So, not to be overly simplistic about it, but does anyone have any stories with happy endings? Or even relatively positive tones? Just a thought...




Well I'm not entirely decided on what direction I'm going to be taking with mine yet, but none of them have been especially positive or negative
IMAGE(http://images.community.wizards.com/community.wizards.com/user/blitzschnell/c1b8574f03c7cff35d72311f1208599a.jpg?v=90000)
I have one piece that, as it forms, will reach a climax/turning point with the opening of the Helvault and Angel of Glory's Rise as a card reference.

"Enjoy your screams, Sarpadia - they will soon be muffled beneath snow and ice."

 

Follow me to No Goblins Allowed

A M:tG/D&D message board with a good community and usable software

 


THE COALITION WAR GAME -Phyrexian Chief Praetor
Round 1: (4-1-2, 1 kill)
Round 2: (16-8-2, 4 kills)
Round 3: (18-9-2, 1 kill)
Round 4: (22-10-0, 2 kills)
Round 5: (56-16-3, 9 kills)
Round 6: (8-7-1)

Last Edited by Ralph on blank, 1920

Sounds good, I just wanted to throw it out there, since at least to me, Innistrad speaks to some pretty dark themes, which is cool, it just leaves the anthology potentially unbalanced.

Speaking of unbalanced, I've written another Innistrad poem! Actually, this one is meant to be more "New Moon"ish, as well.

If you're interested, check out Parable of the Stars.

Shameless Self-Promotion

These are the MTG Fiction pieces I have written:

Planes of the Dual-Walkers
Allo's Fortnight
The Butcher's Cleaver
Dead Man 'Walking
Showdown
Pariah
Deals and Devils
The Tears of the Djinn
Cromat Comes
Kiss of the Shorecerers
Numerous poems in The Poetry Plane
Magic: The Musical

Please read and comment! I love hearing people's thoughts and reactions to my work!

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