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The Tale of the Week Blog - TotW 239

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Ah, the epic competition that is the Tale of the Week. It is a competition where all writers gather to test their skills against one another. And as a series, I'll be bringing you the winning entries for each and every Tale of the Week storyboard.

The first one to start off with is #239 - In Search of a Worthy Foe! And what a competition it was. The first vote went to a tie-breaker with three leading tales, and even the second one closed at a tie. So without further ado, here are the winners their entries.

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He sprung upon his adversary with such fervor that every fiber in his body felt coiled. The chants echoed in the pit. 'Pugilo!' 'Grapple him.' 'Myrmidon!' All these spitting foul words may well as be his name. They shouted, the rabid mob. There was Licinius, he had bet well. The grunt of a gladiator saluted him, by tipping his visor. There was acid in those muscles and sinew, potential for the trident and net. It was made of a salted rope, heavy must feel like a lash being put off. The blades prodded wildly, scouring for a hole. Now this was a fight. There was no adventure, this, just venture, he was the low odds, but the rigged one, a tincture, one wouldn't believe.

The man composed at the other side of the gore muddied canvas was of some renown, but here he was bigger, eyed him in his slit visor: savagery would do, and through those slits, everything was a muddled warning. The man at the other end of the animus was heavyset, padded. The spear of his rival cut in, a fighter whose mind was clear, having the domina, earlier that morning. More the spent, thought the Myrmidon keenly. He was the marine, the paradigm of Ajax and Triton. He threw the net with a heave. It slipped off his fingers, scraping off raw callous from his soiled hands. A miss, yet snagged on the opponent's foot, just the moment was all he was afforded as he kicked dirt in his opponent's eyes and then lunged, rising, readying to pierce with his trident, to cut a clavicle, to burst a heart, the burst those of all who had followed him for years.

The spear jutted too close, enough to whistle, but the trident fell deeper, and jaggedly weighed down the opponent to a sigh, and sagged.

The gestures, some rude, some demeaning, the morbid calls. Licinius shook his head. It was as if the coins had spoken for the shrewd man. The injury was severe. The Myrmidon turned and abade the word of his master. He walked away. Some hooting, some baying, some applause. With a sieved leg, the man was no better than a horse put to slaughter. He crossed his arm to the crowd, and spat. There is your epic, dogs of Tarentum. He readied the spike that hung from a jangle. Here's to a career, here's to a lifetime of battle. Here's to the fans, in the shade, while he gasped, with stinging sweat in his eyes under sun, they won't know what they'll miss from him in their miserable lives. Here's to the domina. Her last kiss goodbye was legendary to the seconds he had left in a lifetime of rolling in the hay. The blood filled his body like a flood. He felt the stroke of the blessed sun. The unraveling of the tenseness that only comes with a thousand transfixed eyes.

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Grenn Burning-Hair gave a huff of resignation as he rounded the top of the knoll, knowing well that he couldn't turn back now. He tasted the cool, salty air of the coastal winds as he drew breath through his lips, his nose still stinging with pain whenever he tried to draw breath through the broken pipes. :wub:, he never should've picked a fight with that dwarf bastard in Eprea the day before he set off on this adventure of his. That little :wub: could swing faster and harder than one would expect from a man of his stature, or rather, lack thereof.

Seeing shadowy figures moving in the cloud-darkened far bank of the headland, Grenn realized his hand was trembling, he was squeezing his blade so tight. For all the talk that was said about Grenn, the occasional epic which praised him as a warrior of legendary renown, Grenn didn't consider himself all too brave. Opportunistic, analytical, defensive of his friends - sure, Grenn was those. And perhaps in the heat of battle, one might analyze that an opportunity to defend your friend from an incoming blade or axe-head had arisen, and when one made a move to parry or block such a strike and fell the foeman from which it originated, one might be considered brave, and when one did that several more times one might be called a hero. Maybe people were being too passionate about what was and wasn't a hero. Or maybe people just wanted a hero to believe in. Those were the times. Funny how even the most unloved scoundrel can become an inspiration, should you put a sword in his hand--

Grenn was snapped back to reality when a glint of steel was brandished in the distance, long blade catching the sun and shimmering like a stone skipping across water. The golden hilt glimmering as if it were a piece of treasure, and indeed, for those bandits who'd stolen it, it could very well be. There was just one problem with that, though; that sword belonged to Grenn's brother, Thold, and where Thold was, the sword was. So, Thold was here. Thold was protective of his blade. An admirable quality, Thold's protectiveness. A :wub:ing annoying quality, but an admirable one. Grenn shrunk a little, his burning calves, knees, and thighs aching as he crouched. One heavy arm hauled his shield up defensively, the other bracing his sword-tip against the rim. His hawkish eyes flicked across the headland, left to right and back, and he crawled forward, doing his best to remain quiet in the face of what looked to be five or more bandits. The lady Ęs, the goddess of the sea and the land and the whole of the world, showed her favor to him, sending a continuous breeze which rustled the coastal heath's overgrown grass.

Another sigh left his mouth, shoulders slumping and climbing back up as he steeled himself for what lie ahead.

It was time to save his brother.

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I can still remember

I can still remember a time I walked these fabled halls. A fresh faced youngster, looking up to the great story tellers that had been and gone and those still regaling the masses with their epic stories of adventure and daring. A young, novice writer with a dreams of fame and a tale to tell.

I can still remember that first thrill of posting a story, the joy of each new comment and rep and the ecstasy of each triumph.

I can still remember the anticipation as each new chapter was published, the agony of each defeat and each near missed and and the agonising over each sentence in the quest for renown.

I can still remember the trill of the fight as everyone sought to better each other and themselves and climb the Hall of Fame to sit at the top among the other other legendary story tellers and each moment of delight as that lofty goal inched closer with new victory.

I can still remember when I used to be someone here, someone people looked up to and someone who inspired others to take up the quill and tell their own tales. But alas, it did not last. In the wilderness I have wandered these last few years. Many things I have seen and done since last I walked these halls and many changes have happened since that day. Indeed even this place has changed since last I was here, new heroes born, new doors opened and old friends departed.

I can still remember when last I walked these halls. Well now I'm back with tales to tell.

Updated July 06, 2015 at 04:52 AM by Finlander

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