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The Green Tome

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Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:20 am
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AstralHunter says...

Chapter One: Part One

Day Unknown

I embarked on a sojourn to find the fabled Stronghold of the Knights of the Green Room today. For my journey, I had taken along with me the following:
1. My five sets of robes - my black silken hunting robes, my white and gold silken formal robes, and three sets of my casual cotton robes, these being indigo, emerald and teal.
2. My lantern made of crystallised moonlight.
3. My yew longbow and my two deerskin quivers, one filled with ash arrows (fletched with owl feathers for silent flight) and one with oaken arrows (fletched with northern goshawk feathers for quick flight).
4. The supplies, such as food, blankets and a tent, I shall require.

I am willing to search for as long as is necessary, but I'm hoping to find the Order before too much time passes, nonetheless.

Day 1

I finally discovered the Order of the Knights of the Green Room... What an amazing sight it was!

I had decided to follow the river Candidus Aquae back to its source, as all of the legends I have heard about the Order have said that it is located either in the mountains or beside a forest - some even mention a swamp and a plain. I have deduced that the Stronghold of the Knights has mountains to its north, marhses to its east, a forest to its south and a plain and ocean to its west.

Unfortunately, the river had a very long and meandering route, and if I had guessed wrongly, months of travelling would have been wasted, though I suppose with all the sights I've seen, one cannot truthfully complain. But my journey was not in vain; weatherbeaten and completely exhausted, I was just about ready to collapse and not move again for a week, when between the trees I saw it: a magnificent fortress, shining a brilliant white as it basked in the sun's radiance. My exhaustion was suddenly non-existent.

I was not able to linger though; my arrival was timed poorly, for some Review Day was in progress, which consumed everyone's attention. I shall hunt for more information on the topic and perhaps join in the action myself...

In the meantime, I shall compose a brief poem in which I shall write of my arduous trekking. This poem I shall then present to whomever I must and wait for a response.

Upon a fine morning morrow in the Season of Spring,
A young knight followed a river meandering -
Or rather a knight he wished to be, but was not
And had embarked on a journey to change his lot.

Through fowl foul weather he trudged, be it wind, snow or rain,
As he scoured every ev'ry mountain and valley and plain
For the subject of many a tale he'd been told:
The Stronghold of the Knights of the Green Room of old.

Then there! On the horizon! What was it he saw?
Why, t'was that Castle of Myth, he realised in awe.
He sprinted and his will no obstacle could remove;
He would his valour, honour and loyalty prove.

He strode with confidence and entered, filled with pride -
Pride then obliterated dashed to pieces as the hall opened wide.
Suddenly much humbled, he then made his request.
But would it be granted, or answered with a jest?

The above is just a rough draft, of course, for my final draft must be far more presentable. Nevertheless, I hope it is received without too much contempt...

Day 2

After discovering that a Review Day was a tournament in which two teams - consisting of the most valiant knights in all the realms - participated to see who could earn the most honour by slaying Reviews, I hastened to join the fray. The blue soldiers, who called themselves the Royal Navy, were to compete against the red team, dubbed the Reviewlution. I joined the rebels.

Come to think of it, I recall partaking in a similar battle some summers ago. In both cases I had the good fortune of being on the red team, as well as serving with such knights as Warrior Priestess Ignisia and the Imperial Messenger. It is legendary knights such as these who secured the victory each time.

After the battle was won (I was included among the Top Twenty Rebels!), I had pinned my poem up on the notice boards of both the Stronghold's Great Hall and the Squire's Dormitory. I am as of yet still waiting to be accepted as a squire (after which I may reside in said dormitory, rather than camp outside, as I must now), but I have at least been presented with a scroll which contained my instructions on how to prepare for the Trial of Knighthood: "A Squire may be promoted to the Rank of Knight only upon the presentation of proof-of-death of ten Reviews slain in the dreaded Green Room." (The Green Room is that realm of malice and secrecy against which the Order battles.) It is therefore good that I had had the sense to keep the heads of all the Reviews I had encountered and subsequently slain when I had to pass through there on my way here.

Day 4

According to many, patience is a virtue, and I count myself among that number: I have finally been admitted as a Squire!

While I was scrutinising the Squire's Roll, I noticed that some of the listed squires had titles differing from their actual names. I then sorted through these squires' initial admission requests and discovered that one could appeal to the Order to be enlisted by a name of one's own choosing. I then consulted ancient texts of a foreign language in the Stronghold's library and chose for myself the name Patronus, which translates from said language as "Protector".

Another thing I discovered was that the ten Reviews one must slay to become a Knight, one must slay after one has been enrolled as a Squire. Slaying a Review never had a negative consequence though, as it furthers one's progress in earning more Review Stars, which are indicators of one's skill in slaying Reviews. I already have one Golden Star and I am working towards my second.

Nevertheless, it can but only cause a slight delay. Soon I shall have slain enough Reviews again and then I shall present my trophies to the Order.

End of Chapter One: Part One
Last edited by AstralHunter on Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:52 pm, edited 7 times in total.
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle

Spring has returned! Winter is over, and BrumalHunter is no more!

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Thu May 01, 2014 1:45 pm
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AstralHunter says...

Chapter One: Part Two

Day 5

A friend of mine often dabbles in the mysterious magic of Literary Sorcery, but his previous attempt at creating a Work had left him subdued for more than a summer. After I had succeeded in waking him from his cursed slumber, he made another attempt, but this one actually succeeded.

Soon after being notified of his success, I tirelessly searched the Green Room for his New Work, and what did I find? Hiding in a collapsed tower in the Prati ab Ira (Plains of Wrath), it was being plagued by a Redcap - a Review for "Historical Fiction". This ghoulish beast has the appearance of a small, ugly, froglike humanoid and it dyes its cap crimson with the blood of its victims.

Without delay, I went about slaying the foul creature, though this was easier said than done; it may be small, but it is very fast and its claws are wickedly sharp. We struggled for some time, the two of us always evading the other's slashes and arrows. The Redcap had a significant disadvantage, however, for its power came from its cap. I lured it closer by pretending to trip, but kicked its cap off instead. The Redcap hastened to don its magical cap again, but not before I fired three arrows through its chest (I had to be sure it was dead...).

I fear another shall soon make its appearance, but at least the Wandering Wizard's Work has been reviewed once now; after the second Redcap has been slain, it will no longer require protection. Also, I now have the first of my trophies I shall present to the Order.

Day 10

When at first I noticed that my most recent entry was five days ago, I was surprised, but I have since realised that this is simply the first of many entries which are to appear a considerable time after the previous one's completion. The reason: I shan't always have something interesting about which to write, or I purely had not the time, what with other tasks and responsibilities also constantly clamouring for attention. At least I keep vigil for any duties which might urgently require my attention. One such a duty is in fact the very reason for this entry.

I had recently joined a clan one of my friends - a witch who gains more power by the day - had launched in support of her Supreme Work (book). I regularly drop by her lair for any news, and, unsurprisingly, I was the first to notice that she had released a new chapter. I immediately set off for the Green Room.

I had spent some time in the Order's Library, and there I learned that great serpents guard works of fantasy - particularly the kind with paralyzing features. It was therefore fated that I had saved my friend's review from a malicious Redcap, for he had provided me with a potion which temporarily disables the use of one's eyes and replaces one's normal vision with that of a thermal kind, as compensation.

After consuming this useful potion, I set out for the Paludis ab Periclum (Marshes of Peril), east of the Stronghold; by analising the nature of the Work and its corresponding Review, I deduced that Witch Wolfmother's Work will either be there, or at the Silva ab Dolor (Forest of Sorrow).

For hours I trudged through the odious marshes and its fetid humours - any semblance of beauty corrupted by the evils lurking within its mists - in search of my quarry, but when I finally encountered the mythical serpent, it was not due to my skill, but because it was impossible to miss: I had anticipated a Scytale, a fairly poisonous snake seven feet in length and with mesmerising scales which it uses to stun its prey long enough to consume them. Such a serpent already makes for an intimidating opponent, but no, instead I was presented with the King of Serpents itself: a Basilisk.

This truly enormous being is a staggering 27 feet long and two feet thick, has one of the most potent venoms in the animal kingdom (for which a cure is nearly impossible to find), and can kill a fully grown man with but a single glance. How was I to slay such a beast, when I had not a sword sharp enough to even scratch its terrible hide, a swift horse to outrun or outmanoeuvre the fiend, or at least a mirror so I could have the beast fell itself with its hideous gaze. But wait... I did have a mirror!

Unfortunately, as I reached inside my cloak, the Basilisk, in one fluid movement, had swung its tail and sent me flying. I picked myself up just in time to avoid the monstrous serpent's lunge, but alas! My mirror was shattered. I could not leave the Work to an untimely demise, however, and such cowardice would be unspeakable anyway, so I gathered my wits.

It was only after a few seconds subsequent to the Basilisk's third lunge, which I, once again, only narrowly avoided, that my panic subsided and I realised I had met the ghastly creature's gaze and was still alive. The Potion of Thermal Vision was, of course, still in effect. Being able to look at the serpent was a small comfort though, for I could still not kill it. Having a rooster or weasel would have been nice, as the former's call and the latter's odour is lethal to the Basilisk, but since I had neither and could not acquire one, I had to make another plan.

I decided that if I could not make it look at itself, it would look at nothing else at all; I nocked an arrow, aimed for its eyes, and watched my arrow meet its mark on both occasions. I had never been happier to be so close to a Basilisk.

I had stupidly forgotten that the great snake might be even less pleased with me after that and soon found myself running at a speed of which a falcon would be envious. Had I tried such a sprint while it still had vision, it would undoubtedly have caught me, but when relying solely on smell and hearing, it had somewhat of a more diffcult time catching me.

Not realising I was heading north, towards the Collis ab Metus (Mountains of Dread), I came before a precipice. The Basilisk lunged once more, but being unaware of the imminent danger, I jumped aside and it disappeared into the abyss. I was certainly not about to let such a trophy slip into Oblivion, not after all that effort. So I descended into the gorge, and after a painstaking journey, I collected my trophy: a Basilisk fang. (I would have taken the head, as I had done with the Redcap, but it was simply too large, and with what was I supposed to remove it anyway? A mere knife?)

The fang now lies safely tucked away in my treasure box, along with the Redcap's red cap and my few other possessions, though I sincerely hope not to encounter such a devil again anytime soon.

Day 16

I have not seen some action for quite some time now, as I have been in the Library of Silence studying various scrolls, accounts and references of the mythical beings we call Reviews. Upon finding these works somewhat inadequate, I ordered A Complete Guide to All Beasts Dangerous and Dreadful, volumes one through to seven, by courier. After their arrival though, I spent the minimum time studying them, as I felt the Green Room calling to me again.

I set out for the Paludis ab Periclum, figuring my chances of encountering a Work and its Review there better than elsewhere. Soon, I did encounter a Work, but one who had already been saved by another knight. It was strange that the knight never offered his name and that the Work was trembling violently, but I had thought the knight was a private person and the work ws simply still traumatised, so I paid the matter no further attention.

I listened to the knight's story of how he had slain the Djinn guarding the Work, and afterwards we parted. I had only taken a few steps when it struck me - Djinn only live in the Prati ab Ira, and there was no way a knight would be in the marshes with a rescued Work if he had already passed the Stronghold. I spun around just in time to avoid a pouncing cougar, which disappeared into the mists behind me.

I chased after the Tangie, for it was undoubtedly one of the shape-shifters, which guards "Lyrical" Works, about which I had read. I came across a wandering horse and unthinkingly mounted it, realising too late a Tangie's natural form was identical to that of a Brag - a horse which actually consisted of seaweed and moss, but disguised itself to look otherwise. Tangies could transform into other creatures, whereas Brags could not, but both carried their victims to their resident water body, drowned them and feasted.

I could not dismount, not only because of the Tangie's speed, but because it had fastened me to its back with its seaweed. Luckily, I had a tinderpouch on me and a little piece of burning straw was enough of a fright for it to release me. I jumped off and dispatched it with an arrow through the chest just as it would have disappeared into the lake.

The Tangie's head in one hand and the rescued Work slung over my opposite shoulder, I returned to the Stronghold. That evening's supper was delicious, but I did not have the appetite for desert: seaweed ice cream. The Knights of the Green Room Commander had fortunately given each of the Squires a honey cake as sustenance and motivation in their quest for Knighthhod, so I thankfully ate that instead.

Day 22

The number three has always been my favourite, but I disagree with the phrase: "Third time's the charm," as in my case, it was the curse.

After my encounter with the Tangie, I took some time to recuperate, but only a few days - literally. After the said time elapsed, I set off for the Prati ab Ira, in search of some less terrifying Reviews. My wish was granted, for I encountered but a Harpy and a Siren. After slaying the latter of the Reviews, I turned back from the Aecor ab Dubium (Ocean of Doubt) and made my way back to the Stronghold. I was, however, interrupted.

I had unwittingly stumbled upon a "Narrative" Work, but be not confused, for that was not to my dismay - the Ifrit guarding it was. What rotten luck must I not have, encountering not one, not two, but three creatures A Complete Guide to all Beasts Dangerous and Dreadful classifies as Type 1 Reviews (Reviews which are extremely dangerous).

Anyhow, an Ifrit differs from a Djinn in the sense that the one can only kick up a slight sandstorm and throw a few sparks, whereas the other can create a raging firewhirl when unprovoked. One can imagine why I was a little nervous.

Actually that is an infamous lie - I was VERY nervous. How was I, a mere Squire with but one puny star, supposed to slay an Ifrit , when I had neither a sword nor a shield with which to protect myself, only a bow and half a quiver of arrows?

How I survived is still a mystery, as all I can remember is reciting some chant - one I cannot even recall now - before falling unconscious. When I awoke, there was no sign of the Ifrit, only a very relieved Work and a glowing red stone. The stone, I later discovered, was the heart of the Ifrit, which means whatever that chant was, it was powerful. Needless to say, the heartstone now lies beside my red cap and basilisk fang.

Day 25

As I was strolling through Verbuma, the city closest to the Stronghold, south of the Silva ab Dolor, I noticed a decree being pinned up in front of the City Hall - it was an announcement for "the very first ever YWS Hunger Games, the fantastic and merciless event brought to you this June!"

I reacted post-haste and claimed the title of the very first person to ever enter. Shortly thereafter, I bumped into my good friend the Wandering Wizard. After being told of what I had just read, he hastened to be the second to enter.

The following day, I was notified that I had been sorted into District Two, and Wanderer informed me that he had been sorted into District One. Both of us were the first member of each district, and I made it my mission to personally welcome every new member.

Day 34

It is now one day before the Reaping of the first ever YWS Hunger Games, and I am so excited! I have not simply been idle though, as most of the members of the other districts have. How do I know this? Well, that is my point exactly; I have been conducting some espionage: Districts Three and Four are reminiscent of holiday resorts, and only District One seems to be showing some signs of organisation. It was upon hearing a retelling of my friend, the Wandering Wizard, of how a bright young lady in his district suggested creating teams to aid their tribute, each team with their own responsibility, that I realised my district was in not much of a better state than the others. I immediately set to work remedying the problem.

However, I have had a taxing week and I had no time whatsoever for reviewing. No, I cannot even think of my abstinence without cringing! I now find myself practically lusting for battle with anything which even vaguely resembles a review. Also, how am I to participate in the Games, should I be chosen (I certainly do hope so), when I have but one star?

Day 35

Part Two of Chapter One of the Green Tome may finally be at rest. How so? Well, let me tell thee a tale of adventure, daring, strife, wit, brutality and friendship.

I had managed to slay but a single Siren before the plight of hunger gnawed at me; how could I have forgotten to take food along with me on my journey to the Aecor ab Dubium? I was thus forced to return to the Stronghold, and after a delicious supper, I discovered I was rather exhausted and retired to the Squire's Dormitory. Awaking refreshed and as fit a Firedrake, I consumed a substantial breakfast and set off once more for the Prati ab Ira. This time, I had my mind set on not returning without three more trophies.

My first was another red cap from the Redcap guarding the latest Work Wanderer had produced. After that, I wandered through the plains, and for all their vastness, I had some difficulty finding a Work in need of saving. As dusk fell upon the sea of grass, I noticed a blue light flitting around near a cluster of trees. I considered it odd, as the light seemed to be a Will-o'-the-Wisp, but those only live in the Paludis ab Periclum. I fired an arrow at it, and upon further inspection, I saw it was indeed one. Puzzled, I continued in some unknown direction (for the sun had already disappeared beneath the horizon and the ocean was out of sight) and attempted to shake the dust off the wisp and into a small satchel; supposedly, it is a potent reagent in alchemy, but my addition of Alchemy - Everything You'll Ever Need to Know has yet to arrive, so I could not be sure.

I had just stuffed the dead flutterby into a pouch when I came upon a kopje, shining a beautiful white underneath the moonlight. I don't why, but I had the urge to walk around to its other side, so, ignoring my better sense of judgment, I did.

I found a shivering Work on the other side, but before I could wonder where its guardian was, I heard a bowstring being drawn tight. Valuing my life, I slowly took my bow and quiver and tossed them somewhere to my right, away from the kopje. Still as slowly as I could, I turned around. A stunning woman stood before me, her arrow trained securely on my chest, but though her beauty was undeniable, it was also not her most noticeable feature - that was the eagle wings on her back and, even more so, her lower body, which was that of a lioness (in the same way the lower body of a centaur is that of a horse). Naturally, she was a Sphinx.

I was surprised when she asked me what I was planning on doing with the Work, but I was even more surprised when, after I said that I wished to rescue it, she lowered her bow and replied that her intention was the same. She stealthily climbed up the kopje and motioned that I should follow. Upon reaching the top, I noticed the actual Sphinx which was suppose to guard the Work, slinking closer. The good Sphinx, who later explained that her name was Kiya, whispered that since "my kind" was always chopping the heads off whatever Reviews they killed and using it for "Isis knows what", I should shoot the Sphinx so that I may take her head.

I did as she suggested, but afterwards I asked why I should not simply have answered the other Sphinx's riddle, to which Kiya replied that most Sphinxes only ask the riddles so that they may have an excuse to devour their victims; if you attempted to flee, they would stirke you down, and even if you answered correctly, they would do so anyway. She then proceeded to present me with a horn which I was to blow only when absolutely necessary, and also warned me never to face a Sphinx in direct combat without the assistance of a legendary weapon. We then parted ways (I still wondering why a Review would slay another of their kind, against all odds) but my surprises for the day (even if it was already night) weren't over yet.

I have omitted one essential detail concerning my heritage: my mother is a Star, and so am I; well, a half-Star. Yes, I know, it is asking much of anyone to believe such a story, as a story it certainly seems to be, but it is, in fact, the truth. Naturally, my lineage allows me to wield Literary Sorcery like any other Talented Wordsmith, except my additional abilities differ from theirs, but I shall explain that some other time. Suffice it to say I felt my mother smiling down upon me and I was filled to the very brim with the energy of her affection. I smiled, knowing I was now classified as a Two-Star Magician, and climbed the stairs to the west wing of the fortress, following the corridors to the Squire's Dormitory.

But as I said, my surprises for the day were not finished yet, and thus: A young and charming lady was awaiting my by my bunk. She said her name was Spark du Flame and that she was a representative from the Capitol - I had been selected to participate in the Hunger Games!

Miss du Flame then briefed me on what I was to do during the Blood Bath and informed me that I would share District Two's team one of two with another of my friends. I have since been compiling a list of slain Reviews which I shall present to Knight Hannah, as well as preparing for this bloody battle.

To the Commander of the Knight of the Green Room:

After many exploits into the treacherous realms of the Green Room - the Prati ab Ira, Aecor ab Dubium, Paludis ab Periclum, Silva ab Dolor and Collis ab Metus - I, Squire Patronus, present to the Order of the Knights of the Green Room this list of slain Reviews:

I hereby request that I be properly admitted into the Order as a Knight of the Green Room.

End of Chapter One: Part Two
Last edited by AstralHunter on Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:47 am, edited 4 times in total.
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle

Spring has returned! Winter is over, and BrumalHunter is no more!

User avatar
286 Reviews

Gender: Male
Points: 16319
Reviews: 286
Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:27 pm
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AstralHunter says...

Chapter Two: Part One

Day 40

These last few days have been agony, and for several reasons.

To those who think the YWS Hunger Games are easy, you are sorely mistaken. Even before the Blood bath had commensed, two of the Tributes from my district had to resign. Another tragedy struck when a Tribute from District Three did not submit her entry and was thus the first to receive the Cannon; as of yet, no one knows what happened to her.

For my first venture in Literary Sorcery, I did not fare too poorly; we were to choose one of five items from the Cornucopia and write about how we would use it - I scored 7.5 out of 10. It was enough to see me appointed as the winner of team one, but I was rather disappointed, for I had believed my entry deserved better. Oh, well... the Judges' decision are final, I suppose.

The following day, the first Challenge was underway. We had to create a Work of Minor Length (short story) from the point of view of our favourite villain, but be not fooled, for with only 24 hours in which to accomplish this task, our anxiety levels ran high. In fact, half of the day I spent in a panic, not knowing what my focus should be, as all Works need one.

Eventually, I settled down and began the process of creation. This Work required a lot more effort than the previous, but the result was also improved - while the three other tributes' scores lowered, mine was the only which had increased. The tribute from District Three was, sadly, given the Cannon, and so too would I have received it, were it not that the Tribute from District Four and I were tied with a score of 8 (the Tribute from District One was still very much untouchable, with a score of 9), for the judges had evidently decided that three Tributes were too many to dismiss.

I now spend my time taking a much needed rest, and I am glad I need not have participated in the second Challenge of the Games; the challenge was to either create a Work of Minor Length, with a minimum of 500 base reagents (characters), or a Minor Work (poem), with a minimum of 10 complex reagents (lines). The challenge seem easy enough, but that is because I omitted the most crucial instruction: the base reagent "e" would not besupplied and thus may not be used. Considering that this base reagent is the one most commonly used, it is a tremendous task indeed.

Fortunately, the Capitol was merciful and announced that a parachute containing 10 e's would be delivered to each of the Tributes. The catch, however, was that each Tribute's district had to slay 20 Reviews within two hours and as compensation. Unfortunately, no district succeeded, but the Capitol presented District One's tribute with a consolation prize of 5 e's, as their district had almost reached the required amount. I have encouraged my fellow District Two Tribute and shall soon depart in search of her Work of Minor Length so that I may review it.

In other news, I have finally been knighted! It was a grand occasion, and I had worn my white and gold silken robes especially for the event. All of my friends and supporters were present when the Commander of the Knights of the Green Room proudly bestowed upon me my new title. Witchknight Wolfmother cheered the loudest of all the spectators, and the She-Wolf had also pulled away from her challenge so that she may attend. I swore I even saw the Wandering Wizard wipe away a tear with his handkerchief.

With such loyal friends by my side and the fame of participating in the first ever YWS Hunger Games (not even to mention surviving as long as I have), I could not have asked for a better start to my life as a Knight of the Green Room.

Day 41

What elegance! What splendour!

During my eager wait for my knighting, I had felt that it was my duty, both as a fellow Wordsmith and Districtian, to aid my fellow Tributes in their respective battles. Thus, I had scoured the Arena in search of my comrades, and I while I had not found them, I had found the Works which they had created for the YWS Hunger Games. It was to my great disappointment that none of them were guarded by Type 1 Reviews, as identified by A Complete Guide to All Beasts Dangerous and Dreadful, for it meant that none of their Works were as powerful as I had hoped they would be.

Nevertheless, I gave my best efforts towards the preservation of my fellow Tributes. My best efforts, however, were not enough to save the She-Wolf. Much to my eternal gratitude, Miss du Flame is a Literary Archmage (Moderator), which means she has abilities of which even the most accomplished Literary Sorcerors and Wordsmiths are envious. Many aspire to join the Order of which she is only but one member, but alas, theirs is one shrouded in secrecy, and only upon invitation will they be willing to share their secrets. Anyhow, Miss du Flame promised to resurrect everyone who had died during the Games, which is, of course, to everyone's relief.

I continued my quest with a lighter heart after that, but not only did I support my friends in their fight for survival, I had aided other members of my district as well. I was in for a surprise, though.

As I was about to help my friend, the Dragonphoenix, I came upon another Tribute in distress. She was the only remaining Tribute of District Three and was having much difficulty in creating her Work, for she had decided to create it in honour of a foreign people who, naturally, speak a foreign language. This foreign nation, however, was my people. My dear heart was moved immeasurably by this sign of respect, and as I gazed in wonder upon this poor soul, I knew I must help her. So I did.

My willingness to help a sworn foe moved her to the verge of tears, and she offered me what she could, but I declined - saving one as magnanimous as her was reward enough. I was ready to depart from the Arena when I heard a hundred voices call my name. At first, I was paralyzed with fear, but I soon realised their intent was not malicious. I heard something in their voices, something beautiful, but at the time, I could not identify it.

I moved in the direction from which their voices seemed to be coming, and as I neared their source, their ethereal voices grew louder and that beauty in their voices intensified. I arrived upon a cave - the walls were splattered with blood and besmirched with gore. I reluctantly entered.

The eerie red light that the walls seemed to ooze, lighted my way as I descended, and the further I descended into the cave, the more gruesome the scenes became. Eventually, it was only with sheer willpower that I reached its infernal bowels, but there, radiating its light against the oppressive darkness, was a blade of the purest metal thrusted into the crimson rock.

I approached the sword, and as I prepared to draw it, the hopeful voices unanimously held their breath. That was what I had heard! Hope! I drew the divine weapon, and immediately all darkness and and foul energy was banished from the cave. I realised then that the voices I had heard were the tormented souls of those who had fallen in the Arena (for obviously, it had been a place of slaughter aeons ago). By aiding even those to whom I owed nothing and who had no hope left, I had proved myself worthy of wielding this holy weapon. Had I named it, I would probably have chosen one unworthy of applying to such a heavenly weapon, but as it were, its name was inscribed on the side of the blade: Muinighin - Hope.

I departed from the cleansed cave and returned to the Stronghold. Many of its towers were abandoned, so I had chosen one on the west wing and made it my own. There I now reside, and so too Muinighin.

To the Commander of the Knights of the Green Room

I have aided friend and rival alike during my participation in the first ever YWS Hunger Games. While assisting them, I was confronted with Reviews that had somehow snuck into the Arena from that dreaded Green Room. I present to the Order of the Knights of the Green Room this list of those slain reviews:

A Blade of Hope had revealed herself to me in recognition of my kind and courageous deeds, and I now request that I may keep the Blade Muinighin as my own.

Day 50

It took some time, for Knight Hannah was busy, but my wait has been well worth it: Muinighin is now officially my metallic companion!

I decided that in celebration of this momentous occasion, she must rid the Green Room of some of its impurity. Witchknight Wolfmother had notified me that she had created another Work and requested I Review it; a better way to initiate my lovely new sword, I could not conceive. As it happened, I made the same request to her, and she responded likewise.

We proudly strode through the Paludis ab Periclum, side by side, and it was not long before another Basilisk, just as fierce as the first one I had slain, wished to engage us in battle. A smile on the both of our countenances, we charged the great snake. It spat furiously, and several times it almost snapped Wolfie and I up in its jaws, but our dexterity continuously prevailed.

Witchknight Wolfmother and I battled tirelessly for hours, always avoiding that deadly gaze, but the The King of Serpents made for a fierce opponent and tested our mettle as it had never been tested before. Even the previous serpent had fallen easier, but back then I had had luck on my side - there, beside Knight Wolfie, we had only our skill to keep us alive.

Anyone can learn to wield Literary Sorcery, but there are those with a born talent for it, such as Witchknight Wolfmother. As I have mentioned in a previous entry, I am a direct descendent of a Star, and as such, Literary Sorcery flows through my veins also.

My Creative Magic I attempt to improve on my own through diligent study, but I have recently begun training with the Wandering Wizard and Witchknight Wolfmother with the hope of improving my Combat Magic as well. My Combat Magic differs from theirs in nature though, as our lineages do. They have been very patient in their training, but thus far, I have only learned to fire flares into the sky and create a flash of blinding white light, whereas they can wield the elements of fire and lightning.

I was not too excited at being descended from stars anymore.

My abilities proved to be useful nonetheless; in fact, it saved both my and Wolfie's lives. For one heartgripping moment, I realised Witchknight Wolfmother would not be able to avoid the foul beast's deadly gaze, so I shone the light of a thousand stars into its eyes. Unfortunately, I was foolish enough to look at the light myself, and was blinded too. Knight Wolfie was more prudent though, and had looked away.

Being of Stellar Descent, I recovered before the Basilisk, and in complete synchronisation with Witchknight Wolfmother, we beheaded the King of Serpents.

Back at the Stronghold, the knights were immensely impressed with our trophy. Witchknight Wolfmother did not have the time to brag though, as she had other matters to which she had to attend, but she was magnanimous enough to allow me to keep the head. I was presented with nothing but the briefest opportunity to greet her, so I wrote her a note, saying that we had earned our Fellows in Arms badge and that she should request it as soon as she is able. I, for one, did not hesitate to request it immediately, for it will prove that my and Knight Wolfie's blood have officially mingled in one vessel.

As for the rest, I have not only acquired a new legendary weapon and some basilisk fangs (naturally, she had taken some of those), but a marvelous wall decoration to boot - cleaned, stuffed and the eyes replaced with non-fatal ones, of course. Now, I just need to find a wall on which to hang it...

Day 52

After a long and trying wait, the results of the first ever YWS Hunger Games have been announced. Alas, I did not make it, and after admiring the other Tributes' Works, I realised I had not even stood a chance - in a different challenge, perhaps.

I shall not despair, however, for I was hardly dead for an hour before Miss du Flame resurrected me. I do not know why, but for some reason she has left the ranks of her former fellow Literary Archmages. Speaking of which, I have now been officially introduced to Warrior Priestess Ignisia. She seems fierce, but that is merely a persona, though she has risen to a rank higher even than the Archmages - she is a Celestial! Still, I look forward to getting to know her better, as well as several other Archmages and Celestials who honour me with their support.

I have recently also signed a contract with the Butterfly of Oblivion; I have been assured that my soul will henceforth be safe from any Astral Predators, but in return, I must support the Empire's newspaper, Squills. While browsing through the list of their staff, I was not surprised to see that Warrior Princess Ignisia (yes, she is that as well) and the Imperial Messenger are high-ranking members. I was surprised to see they have a seat open, however.

Other than the Princess, Grand Knight Hannah, the very same knight who leads the Order of the Knights of the Green Room, is an Editor-in-Chief. Thus, I asked her what the two vacant positions (Literary and Community Reporter) were and whether I could first be given a trial to see if I have the necessary talent and skill to be a Literary Reporter.

While I wait for her response, I need to Review like never before. I had set myself a goal of seven Reviews a week, but then I realised that if I had done so since residing this Empire, I should have slain 95 by the end of the month. According to my calulations, that means I need to do six more today and four every day hereafter, and this is during my Imperial Inspections (exams) as well. Lord, preserve me...

Day 55

Once again, the Prati ab Ira has shown me how dangerous the Green Room can truly be.

I had decided to venture farther west than ever before, and soon the grass grew so short and the ground so sandy, the terrain could barely still qualify as a grassland. The heat was another elements which climbed drastically, but I was prudent enough to have had brought some water along.

I wandered through the reminiscent desert until I suddenly felt the earth shake. At first, I thought it was a small tremor and I dismissed it, but soon the quaking adopted a different tone...

I had read in A Complete Guide of All Things Dangerous and Dreadful that Firedrakes dwelt in the Green Room, but they were encountered so scarcely, most dismissed them as a legend. Only a few have ever encountered them, but even fewer have lived to tell of it.

Firedrakes are not technically Dragons, as Dragons are capable of intelligent thought and coherent speech; Firedrakes are more like wild animals - unpredictable and dangerous, not that Dragons aren't as well, but they simply show more restraint. Firedrakes can also breathe fire, but not as frequently. They are also smaller.

The prospect of facing a twenty four foot fire-breathing reptile is nonetheless intimidating. Unfortunately, Fate seemed to enjoy dealing me awful hands, and naturally, there had to be two Firedrakes, and not just one. Luckily, both were juveniles - more agressive, yes, but also more reckless and most of all, smaller.

I cannot tell of a tale of bravery and finesse though, for my skill has always lied in cunning and wit. You see, Firedrakes are used to the scorching sun and the glaring sands, but they could never have prepared for the full burst of starlight which I used upon them. After that, it was simply a matter of taking Muinighin and ramming her through the soft palate and down the throat of the two Firedrakes.

Afterwards, I removed as much of the scales as I could before both my knives were blunt, but let me tell you, it is a very strenuous task indeed. Fortunately, I was able to fill three satchels with scales, making me one of the foremost providers in the realm. On the journey back to the Stronghold, I encountered nothing more, but for that I was glad - such adventures tend to exhaust even the most zealous of heroes.

Day 59

If anyone has some Firedrake-repellant they would like to sell to me, I should be delighted to take it off your hands.

Today, I wasn't even looking for a Review, when I encountered one. The reason? It had come looking for me...

Apparently, the two Firedrakes I had slain late last week had other relatives, and one of them, it seems, had decided to pay me a visit. How it found me I had no idea, but then again, little is known about Firedrakes - one is not often presented with the opportunity to observe them undisturbed.

So, there I was enjoying a casual stroll through the beautiful grasses, when a Firedrake burst out of nowhere and engulfed me in flames. Or rather, it would have, had I not dived for cover a moment before. It did not give me much chance for recovery though, as it attempted to snap me up where I lay. By then, I had at least drawn Muinighin, so I swiped at the great lizard's snout, causing it to retreat a few steps. For what I did next, i have no explanation.

The wise thing to would have been to fall back to a safe distance, blind it as I had done the previous or two or simply fired an arrow into its eyes, but no, instead I decided to run towards the beast, step on its lower jaw, jump onto its upper jaw, run over its head and stop in between its rather useless wings. Was I trying to ride it?!

The Firedrake was as shocked as I was, but it proved my statement about the uselessness of its wings false. I had to react swiftly or be dislodged and flattened or eaten, so I decided to strike at its wings. My idea worked, as it hardly rose a few feet above the ground before falling back down.

I was dislodged anyway and fell sprawling into the grass. The Firedrake was now properly irate, and would have scorched me to a cinder, had I not spied Muinighin beneath it, rolled beneath its belly and sliced it open. That might have succeeded in killing the beast, but it also squashed me as a result. Luckily, I had not strayed too far from the Stronghold, so some knights arrived to free me.

Things always happen threes, and that saying was proven to be true yet again. Not only is this the third Firedrake I have slain in a row, but I can now also request my shield, which is the other third happening: Yesterday, I had returned to the Stronghold from my language examination (which I hope to pass with flying colors), thinking I would simply view any notices pinned onto my personal noticeboard, when both Warrior Princess/Priestess Ignisia (or Iggy, as she prefers to be called) and Grand Knight Hannah appeared before me, beaming.

In the Great Hall, a banquet was being held in my honour, and everyone had just been waiting for me before they were to begin. Over a glass of sparkling apple cider, Iggy informed me that I was the featured citizen of the YWS Empire for the next two weeks! I do not recall blushing ever so much before in my life...

That was not all, for Grand Knight Hannah proudly informed me that I was now a Squillsian - an actual reporter for the Imperial Newspaper! The next edition will be published this Sunday, but I have fortunately already finished my article, it merely needs to be revised, improved and edited before being published.

So between people congratulating me for being featured and others asking me to recount my story of "The Three Drakes", as it would from now on be known, I had barely a moment of peace. Wanderer also heartily congratualted me, but upon seeing my need for respite, he entertained us all with one of his cello sonatas.

It was early dawn when the banquet was finally over, and I had still not seen Witchknight Wolfmother. She is a mysterious woman though, and has many errands to run, so I was not too worried, especially after seeing her battle that Basilisk.

There was one final thing I had to do before I could rest, however - the blacksmith summoned me and requested that I specify the requirements for my shield. I am not the kind of knight who prefers melee weapons, therefore plate armor and a kite shield would not do. The blacksmith insisted on using metals though, as he said leather armour is solely used by rangers and cloth armour solely by mages. He persisted that while I indeed use all three methods of combat, I was still a knight. My plight was resolved when I remembered that Firedrake scales sold for quite an amount of silver, sometimes even gold, for then I could afford a shield made from orichalkos - a metal legendary for its light weight, but invallible strength.

Both the blacksmith and I were satisfied with my choice, so he set to work forging my shield immediately. I had decided to name it Justicus, which is derived from an ancient language and means "Justice", for it will protect me from those who wish to do ill.

To the Commander of the Knights of the Green Room

After facing three consecutive Firedrakes and besting every single one of them, I realised how vulnerable I truly was. I also realised that the last of these was my twentieth kill:

I used the scales I had acquired from the great lizards to pay your blacksmith to forge me a shield of orichalkos. I have named it "Justicus" (meaning "Justice") in advance, and I humbly request that I be presented with it upon its creation.

End of Chapter Two: Part One
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle

Spring has returned! Winter is over, and BrumalHunter is no more!

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Chapter Two: Part Two

Day 70

Many recent entries should precede this one, but I had lost my log and wrote each of my "entries" on pieces of paper; however, I found my log today, but somehow, I had lost the papers. Therefore, this entry shall bear the date as if it had appeared two days ago. The next, I shall write tomorrow.

Much has happened since the end of the previous part, the most notable being the Copa do Revisao - that's Portugese for "Review Day". It was so named in celebration of the World Cup being held in Brazil. In honour of this great event which I am not following though, the review teams' colours were swapped from red and blue to yellow and green. I was on Team Yellow, which was named Rugido Sol, which is Portugese for "Roaring Sun".

It seems that with every review day, I climb higher up the statistics ladder. During my first review day, I earned 300 points, during my second, I earned 1600 points and during the most recent, I earned a roaring 2275 points, granting me the the honour of being one of the Top 20 Reviewers (my position was approximately tenth) and fifth among the Top Typers, with 50778 characters.

My newest friend, JC, was first in all categories, and rightly so, for he wrote an astounding 43 reviews, or 99122 characters, earning him 5672 points. Another of my friends, the She-Wolf, placed second. She, Knight Wolfie and I had a friendly competition to see who could slay the most reviews. Thus far, she has won every single time, with me placing second and the Witchknight last, but all of us were among the Top 20, so make no mistake, it was a fierce battle.

I had decided to search the Collis ab Metus for Reviews, and Reviews I did find. Apparently, some long dead Necromancer dwelled in a Fortress deep in the Collis ab Metus. Whereas the (Order of the) Knights of the Green Room aim to clear the Green Room of its sinister inhabitants, this Necromancer wishes to subjugate it. Supposedly, he created a creature named a Homunculus, which he then made the staple of his army. They are described in A Complete Guide to All Beasts Dangerous and Dreadful as "dimunitive, impish humanoids with frail wings, but razor sharp claws capable of piercing tempered steel". Like many of the creatures within that guide, the Homunculus is generally assumed to be a myth, but I have encountered enough such living "myths" to know better than to write them off as pure fantasy.

By now, anyone will have guessed that I encountered one of them, and I shall readily admit that that "anyone" is correct. The Homunuculus did have rather sharp claws, but I cannot say whether or not they can actually slice through armour. There are two reasons for this: one, when it ambushed me, I was able to block its swipe with Justicus - the Necromancer had obviously not anticipated Orichalkos - and two, I dispatched the imp thereafter with a well-timed swipe of my own. So, for the time being, that question remains unanswered, and so too the question of what it can do to flesh.

The Homunculus was insignificant, however, as I slew quite a few Reviews that Copa do Revisao. What was by far more interesting and exhilarating though, was my encounter with a Lycan. The terms Lycan and a Werewolf are often used interchangeably, when in fact, the latter are more peacefully inclined and the former are more violent and malicious.

Having Muinighin and Justicus most definitely simplifies my battles with Reviews, and so too was that battle with the Lycan made easier. After impaling the viscious canine at the mouth of the cave where it dwelled, I ventured further into said cave. Inside, I discovered a few Scytales - those serpents with mesmerising scales - and the Works they plagued hiding from the cold, but not much else. I decided that I had better things to do than exploring empty caves, so I ascended once more.

As it turns out, I should have paid more attention when reading the section on Lycans of A Complete Guide to All Beasts Dangerous and Dreadful; if I had, I would have known that I had to behead the Lycan, for when I emerged from the cave, its corpse was no longer there. Instead, I happened upon another Work nearby, and guarding it was the reanimated corpse of the slain Lycan.

You see, if a Lycan is not quartered or cremated up to three hours after it has been slain, it reanimates as an undead being called a Vourdoulakas, a stronger and far more dangerous version of its former self. Naturally, my struggle with that demon was far more intense than my previous one with it.

I could describe our battle in detail, but seeing as I do not really have the adequate knowledge concerning the description of swordfighting techniques, my simply saying that we fought long and hard, with both parties suffering injuries, but that the undead wolf was eventually beheaded, will have to suffice. Rest assured, the beast was satisfactorily disposed of.

After slaying the Vourdoulakas, I realised that I could request my helm from the Order's blacksmith, but seeing as he'll have his hands full forging the other Knights' armour and weapons, I shall delay my request for some time. I shall, once again, insist on his using orichalkos, of course; it must be a consistent matter, and I certainly have the funds to pay for it. I shall name him... Prudentius, which means "Prudence".

To the Commander of the Knights of the Green Room

After foolishly forgetting to dismember a Lycan, it reanimated as a Vourdoulakas - a larger, stronger, deadlier and undead version of its former self. It managed to wound me several times, the most painful of which was a deadly bite; fortunately, I had had the good sense to carry some Starfire Salve with me, so I was able to prevent infection and, more importantly, a transformation. Here is proof of my tale:

Though it had went for my arm, the Vourdoulakas might just as well have lunged for my throat, and then I shall not have been as lucky. I therefore request that the Order's faithful and diligent blacksmith forge me a helm, to be inscribed with the name Prudentius, of orichalkos. He will receive payment upon the helm's completion.

Day 75

My activity on YWS has been rather delayed and insignificant nowadays, for I have been struck with acute bronchitis. Fortunately, I am recovering, so I may proceed with my usual routine. (Wait, I had a routine?) But first, I must finish recounting my story of the Copa do Revisao.

To the Commander of the Knights of the Green Room


But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
- Paul the Apostle

Spring has returned! Winter is over, and BrumalHunter is no more!

But answer me this: how can a story end happily if there is no love?
— Kate DiCamillo, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane