Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!)

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#16 Post by Omnificent » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:10 am

I'm not sure if this really counts, but here it is anyways!

The Abridged Days of Christmas (LLTQ ver.)

On the first day of Christmas I gave to Elodie
Julianna’s head on a stick

On the second day of Christmas I gave to Elodie
2 peasant revolts and Julianna’s head on a stick

On the third day of Christmas I gave to Elodie
3 civil wars, 2 peasant revolts
And Julianna’s head on a stick

On the fourth day of Christmas I gave to Elodie
Genocide of kinsmen, 3 civil wars, 2 peasant revolts
And Julianna’s head on a stick

On the fifth day of Christmas I gave to Elodie
5 points in Cruelty, genocide of kinsmen, 3 civil wars, 2 peasant revolts
And Julianna’s head on a stick

On the sixth day of Christmas I gave to Elodie
6 points in Lumen, 5 points in Cruelty, genocide of kinsmen, 3 civil wars, 2 peasant revolts
And Julianna’s head on a stick

On the seventh day of Christmas I came to realize
I’d totally doomed the country!

The lyrics are perfectly singable, by the by. Also, you might ask how Elodie got six points in Lumen if Julianna got killed. The answer? Debug console!

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#17 Post by bittersweetchocolate » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:58 am

The Scent of Misery

There was a stranger in the kennels.

Elliot was with her though, talking idly with her (or rather, at her – she wasn’t offering anything more than a noncommittal hmm every now and then, from what he was overhearing), so there was probably no need to be alarmed by her presence. Elliot was a pretty odd human, sure, what with the man’s odd obsession with cheese (not that he was complaining, as the human was generous enough to sneak him a piece of it every now and then), but he was a good guy. If he was friendly with this stranger, she couldn’t be all that bad.

And if she was, well, there were plenty of ways to deal with her…

“–and this here fellow’s Topaz! Same breed as Ruby and Sapphire you saw earlier. Those two are his sisters, actually. See the family resemblance?”

At the mention of his name, Topaz blinked. Suddenly standing before him was Elliot, wearing the usual grin that looked a bit off somehow, and the stranger, who was looking straight at him.

The stranger was… not what he expected.

For one, he hadn’t been expecting for her to smell of absolute misery.

What was wrong with her, Topaz wondered, as he stared back into the stranger’s flat, empty eyes. The last time he’d smelled a human this miserable was when…

The King had last visited.

“I do. He’s a beautiful dog.”

That was all the stranger said before she left, the smell of misery following her.


The stranger was back again.

They were in the middle of training and it had been after following the sixth down command that he’d noticed her.

Elliot was with her again and, from the looks of it, she was trying to command Ophelia to get up from her position on the ground and stand with very little success. Topaz was not surprised in the slightest at her failure.

Ophelia wouldn’t listen to a human smelling like the stranger. If you were to get Ophelia to listen to you, you would need to hold yourself with dignity and pride – something the stranger was greatly lacking at the moment.

“Oh, Sir Elliot’s finally here,” were the words of Frederick, the sound of the human’s footsteps inching closer each second. Topaz redirected his gaze onto the man, waiting for him to issue a new command. “The Princess too. And it looks like… Ophelia’s with them? Oh, that’s no good.” Frederick frowned. “What was Sir Elliot thinking? Ophelia’s not going to listen to her given the current state the Princess is in.”

Exactly my thoughts, Topaz said, though he knew it would sound like nothing more than a bark bark to the human’s ears. Frederick, thankfully, understood his meaning and gave a small nod. “You think so too, huh? Here, tell you what, why don’t you go over there and switch places with Ophelia? I know you’d give the Princess an easier time than her, and I’m pretty sure Ophelia would prefer training with me to ignoring the Princess’s existence so…”

I’ll do it, said Topaz, standing up from his position. Frederick gave him a smile and an “I’m counting on you” before Topaz headed off into the direction of where Elliot, Ophelia, and the stranger who was called the Princess stood.

It didn’t take him very long to reach them.

“Topaz! What’re you doing here, my boy?” questioned Elliot, the first to notice his arrival. The Princess, as Frederick had called her, stopped her weak attempts of getting Ophelia to stand and looked at him, her eyes less empty than last he’d saw them. The smell of misery wasn’t as strong as it had been either – it was still quite potent and it had lessened only slightly, but still there was a difference, however small.

He briefly wondered how long the smell would stay with her, before turning to face Ophelia. Frederick wants to train with you. I’ll handle this one, he said.

Ophelia stood up. Topaz wondered how she was able to make such a simple procedure as standing look so refined. Perhaps she’d been practicing it in secret. My thanks, Topaz, Ophelia said, before making a dignified exit towards the other dogs in training. Topaz watched her briefly before turning to face Elliot and the Princess once more.

The Princess looked terribly confused. “What just happened?” she asked, turning to Elliot.

Elliot simply shrugged, though Topaz could hear the amusement in his voice. “Looks like you’ll be training with Topaz this time. Hope you don’t mind, Princess Elodie.”

First the Princess, now Princess Elodie. How many names did this girl go by?

“Of course not. Topaz, right?” She looked at him, trying to hide the uncertainty on her face but failing miserably. Topaz watched her silently, waiting for her to issue a command. “How about… sit? Sit, Topaz?”

It came off as more of a question than a command, but he did so anyway. By the look on her face, she was surprised it had worked. She blinked furiously before hesitantly voicing out another command; as if unsure he’d listen to her.

He obeyed.

With each new command she’d issue out and he’d obey, the confidence within her voice rose and the better her posture became.

Eventually, she left the area with a small smile on her face, the smell of misery lessened slightly.


Princess Elodie visited a lot.

She came with Elliot some days. Others on her own.

She sometimes groomed. She sometimes trained. She sometimes simply observed.

What was always constant, however, was her greeting him.

“Hello, Topaz,” she said, a small smile on her face. The smell of misery still lingered on her, though it always lessened with each new day she’d visit. He wondered when the smell would be completely gone from her. “Would you like to go for a walk today? Father said I could take you out to see the gardens. Or maybe you’d like to see the inside of the castle? You’ve never been there, right?”

He hadn’t. None of the dogs had been, at least the ones he knew.

None of them had been given walks by Princess Elodie either, as far as he knew.

It was odd. He wondered why she paid so much attention to him. He wasn’t anything special.

He was just another hunting dog, after all.


When they had neared the castle, the smell of misery intensified ever so slightly.

Topaz refused to enter. He would not budge.

In the end, they walked in the gardens.


“What’s this?” Princess Elodie asked, picking the object placed nearby her feet. Topaz sat back, waiting for her reaction. “It’s a… rock? A very pretty rock.” She looked amused by it, examining its shiny surface. After turning it over once more in her hand, she looked at Topaz and asked, “Is this a present for me?”

Yes, he said and was sure she’d understand him.

She looked at the rock once more. After a moment, she smiled.

“Thank you.”

The smell of misery lightened yet again.

Author's Notes:
I’ve only played the demo of LLTQ, so there’s bound to be some errors about the game in here. My apologies! Also, I know that Princess Elodie eventually choose to raise a young puppy instead of choosing an already trained dog, but hey! This fanfic I wrote doesn’t say anything about her choosing to keep Topaz as her own personal dog, so, if you want, you can assume that she eventually decides to stop visiting him and choses to raise/train the new young puppy instead! That’s kinda sad for Topaz, but hey, he’s an OC anyway and it works for canon.

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#18 Post by spikedlorelei » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:15 am

Ebony and Ivory

Princess Elodie of Nova, long roseate curls bouncing as she ran, slipped into her bedchamber to pull out a few splinters from her hand after a session of polearms training (halberds were brutal!) before meeting her Court Manners tutor. She was sighing over the state of her skin (so un-royal! What would her Demeanor tutor say!), when she noticed a small gift box on her bed, black-on-black embossed paper with a glossy black ribbon, and an ivory vellum envelope tucked in. Why was this in her room? It wasn't her birthday for another month.

The gift looked elegant, yet somehow a little menacing. Part of her wanted throw the box out of the window and walk away. But that was ridiculous. Maybe she was spending too much time in classes like Divination and Lore. She held the box in her hand. It was surprisingly heavy for its size. She ran her fingers over its richly textured surface.

She decided to open the envelope first.

Princess Elodie,

Queen Fidelia gave this into my keeping, many years ago. Perhaps some day I shall tell you the tale. I think Fidelia intended that I should give this to my bride, or sell it, but I kept it in remembrance of that day.

As you know, I have keenly missed my own mother after her passing. I'm sure you will feel less lonely if you have another piece of her life. Please accept this token of my esteem for you, and wear it with pride.

With Loving Regards,

Something from her mother? Elodie reached out a slim, soft hand to pull open the ribbon and lift open the box's lid. Inside, lay a gleaming, finely-wrought hair ornament encrusted with black and white diamonds, and a single, stunning green pearl. The exquisite comb almost seemed to have a glow about it. It would have suited her striking, regal mother very well. She feared it would look silly on her. She was so terrible at her studies, naïve and clueless. Always too slow, too far behind. She felt like she would never figure out where her mother's crystal was, let alone more about the mysteries of Lumen. She would never be a good Queen, like her beautiful mother.

Still, she was happy to have another piece of who Fidelia was. She really wanted to hear that story from Banion. For a moment, she could almost see her mother getting ready at her mirror, putting something like this in her hair before heading to Court, hand resting on her husband's arm.

As she daydreamed about her mother when she was still with her, she slowly played with her hair in front of her own mirror. Slowly she gathered her hair into an updo, placing the ornamental comb into it to hold the style. She smiled, imagined herself all grown up, perhaps getting ready for a ball. Queen Elodie, presiding over her peaceful kingdom with wisdom and grace.

Suddenly she felt a sharp pain in her head, like a sudden migraine coming on. Then a wave of dizziness. She needed to lie down for a moment. She went back to her bed, brushing the gift box aside. Another small note fluttered out of the bottom that she had not noticed earlier.

You would have been a formidable queen one day.

The letters blurred, and Elodie fell and knew no more.


Note: I've also only played the demo. :)

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#19 Post by Ohana » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:27 am

A silly submission, full of the horrors of nobility, politics, and being a 14-year-old girl! (Edited for length...first version was just a bit over the word count limit)

I probably do not have to say this, but there are some spoilers in here that reference several events you may come across in the game, so if you have not played or have only made it through the demo, you have been warned!

The Strange Delivery

As I finish up studying for the week, Alice knocks on my door. I bade her to enter.

"My lady, there is a letter for you. I am afraid the sender is unknown, but it at least does not bear the marks of foreign customs. Should I dispose of it?"

"Hmm...I do not see any danger in examining it. That will be all."

Alice bows, then carefully leaves the room without ever turning her back to me. Once the door is shut, I sigh with relief. Being Crown Princess takes its toll on me, and I cannot afford to let my image slacken for a moment around others, lest my kingdom be swept out from under me by an ambitious Duke or Duchess!

Free from distractions, I focus my attentions back onto the letter. Having dutifully studied poisons and magic, I pry the letter open slowly using a dagger, with a paperweight holding it in place. With it open, I focuses my senses on my Lumen crystal, and then direct them to the open envelope, but there is no trace of magic within. I manage to slide the letter out of its sleeve with the sharp tip of the dagger, then drip a solution I keep in my desk onto a few spots of the paper to make sure it had not been laced with poison. Satisfied that the viscous fluid had not turned from its innocuous shade of blue to a tellingly sinister shade of red, I proceeded to unfold the letter by hand.

What I saw inside was utterly embarrassing!

On the paper was a drawn depiction of me in an unfortunate state of undress, with giant tentacles wrapped all around me! I got a disgusted feeling as I imagined all the icky slimy stuff touching me. I almost giggle at the ridiculousness of it all, but then I remembered something important. If I let this slide, my carefully preserved Queenly image could be ruined! I must find out who sent this atrocity and make them rue the day they had creepy fantasies about me!

A sudden gust of wind rushed in through the open window and swept the dirty picture out the window.

"Oh no!" I stiffed a shriek of panic.

"I absolutely cannot let anyone see that! I will be ruined!" I thought, as I crawled out the window onto the roof, still slick from a fresh rain.

As I try to climb across the roof, scouting out the area in the direction the wind had been blowing, I lose my footing and start to fall. The distance of the drop turned out to be a blessing, though, as it gave me time to call forth my Lumen powers and fly off in the direction the letter had headed! Now in my fully distinctive magical attire, I hoped nobody would spot me leaving the castle grounds and come investigate.

It was at this point that I noticed something. There were traces of magic in the direction I was flying! It seemed to be moving at the same pace as the letter.

"The wind!" I realized.

Someone must have created this wind to draw me out. I had not noticed the very delicate traces of magic in the wind earlier, but now I could clearly feel them directing the drawing, and by extension, myself, to the coast! As the letter slowed to a halt, I carefully checked my surroundings, but saw nothing. Even in full paranoid mode, I had to try to retrieve that letter! I took a couple of careful steps toward the sheet of paper sticking upright out of the beach sand, when suddenly a small earthquake hit! Something hit me in the head in the confusion and I went unconscious.

"Ugh..." I moaned as my blurry vision slowly focused onto a cloaked person standing several feet below me.

Below me...and I cannot move my arms or legs! The smooth sticky sensation feels gross on my bound limbs and the smell is indescribable. Remembering what was in the drawing, I made sure I was still dressed...yes! My maidenhood has survived so far! But my celebration was cut short by the realization that it may not make much difference if I am killed instead! All those precautions and whoever this is still managed to find a weakness!

"You sick pervert! Are you the one that sent me that letter?" I raved as I tried to squirm my way out of the grip of my captor, whatever it was.

"What? You think I actually enjoyed making that atrociously tacky drawing?" a surprisingly feminine voice responded. "I just needed a way to draw you out, little princess. You see, I am now a member of the Occult of the Krakken, and I have come to sacrifice your life in exchange for this unstoppable war machine! You humiliated me, forced me to marry a disgusting Ixionite Duke, and discarded me to live as a peace offering! But all that changes today, when I end your life and take Nova for my own!"

"Wait...Lady Brin!?" I said, in bewilderment.

"You are just now figuring that out?" she replied in a conceited tone.

"You started that war! Am I supposed to sacrifice the lives of my people or empty the royal coffers just to protect your pride?" I fumed.

"Yes! I am a noble! Commoner trash are born to be sacrificed for us! Pride is worth a thousand soldiers. You should know that, with how you have carried yourself since arriving back at the palace."

I consider everything I've learned so far. I was sent that awful drawing. Magic had been used to draw me here, which means Lumens, but Brin seems to be the only one here. This revenge is personal, so she should be alone.

Her plan...I can use it! It is a gamble, but I am willing to bet that Brin has obtained the powers of a Lumen herself in order to get her revenge. I close my eyes and focus all of the power I can manage into a brilliant flare just above the beast that captured me. The heat burns at my skin but it also forces the monstrosity to let go of me!

I catch my breath as the flare dies down, then open my eyes. Brin is down on her hands and knees, sand clinging to her robes. Exhausted of magical energy from my escape, I manage to knock her out with a sleeping draught.

Dragging her body to the beach, I start to have second thoughts. Maybe I do not want a giant tentacle monster at my beck and call! It was creepy enough when it captured me! But Brin was going to be a problem for me if I let her go this time...and nobody is going to be looking for her inside an ancient monstrosity!

I ultimately decided to sacrifice her, dragging her body out to the beach and jumping away before it could get me as well, but I decided to seal the creature instead.

"Nova's history is weird enough without me recruiting this thing!"

Relieved, I sneaked back into the castle unnoticed.

The next morning, I hear a rapping at my door. I crawl out of bed, dress myself properly, brush my hair, and proceed to answer the door in a fully presentable state. On the other side stood Alice.

"Your father has requested an audience, My Lady." she said in a solemn tone.

I wonder if he found out that I went out last night? I head to his room.

"Princess Elodie, there has been an incident in one of the fishing villages." he tells me, before I can even finish closing the door. His tone of urgency worries me.

"What kind of incident? Do we need to send soldiers?" I ask, shifting into tactical mode.

He looks uncomfortable.

"No, that would probably make it worse. Actually it seems one of the fishermen pulled out a parchment from the water and has been showing it around the villages. It seems to have a rather unladylike semblance of...your Highness."

I blush ear-to-ear. I completely forgot about the drawing in the aftermath! I try to collect myself and then silently leave the room with my father still standing there waiting for my response. I half jog to my room whenever the corridors are empty. Finally arriving there, I kick out the servants that are making my bed and lock the door. I dive face-first into the pillows of my bed and just start screaming from the top of my lungs, the cries muffled to almost nothing.

"Great, not only is my image ruined, now only a weirdo will marry me!" I anguished, considering the dim future awaiting me. I now almost wish those poisoned chocolates had claimed me!

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#20 Post by Miakoda » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:48 am

There's a lot of great entries here. However, hope my proves entertaining to some of you. There are some spoilers, especially with regard to the Alice ending. It is a big long (close to 1300 words).

Queen of Misrule

Elodie smiled, nodding at the occasional well-wisher as she made her way through the throng gathered on this Solstice Night. It was a long three years since her coronation, but the events leading up to that point had instilled a confidence few others in the realm had.

Still, it is nice to take a break every now and then, she thought.

Elodie paused, as she saw her father, Joslyn, and his wife, Sirin, Countess of Miranda and Callisto, talking with the other courtiers. Elodie took a deep breath, quelling the uneasiness in the pit of her stomach as technically Sirin was not just a contemporary, but her step-mother. However, even Elodie admitted her father was in better spirits than she had ever seen.

“Good evening father, good evening duchess,” Elodie said, acknowledging Sirin’s higher status as she approached the two.

“Elodie!” Joslyn said with great affection, wrapping his arms around his daughter.

Sirin curtsied, and in an unsure tone said, “Your majesty.”

Elodie felt a sharp breath catch in her throat, and then replied, “Please, when we are not in a formal setting, say, a Solstice gathering, call me Elodie.”

Sirin shook her head, “That would not be appropriate your majes—“

Elodie’s mouth frowned, her foot tapping the floor as she said, “What did I say? Or do I need to make it a royal command?”

Sirin’s cheeks reddened, and the duchess said, “As you say your majes…as you say Elodie.”

Elodie’s smile returned, and she looped her arm through Sirin’s as she said, “May I borrow Sirin for a few minutes father?”

Joslyn cocked his head at his daughter, “What are you up to now?”

About that time, the court musician led the band in a new tune, “My…normal…dance partner is missing, and I do so love this tune.”

Joslyn shook his head, “Very well, but be gentle with her.”

With short chuckle, Elodie led Sirin onto the ballroom floor, leading her through the Sudbury Gavotte.

“You know, if you thought you were going to shock the other nobles, this is a little tame, even by your standards,” Sirin whispered.

Elodie gently dipped Sirin, “Actually, I hope I’m the first to congratulate you.”

Sirin twirled under Elodie’s hand, “Congratulate me?”

Sirin’s movement slowed, stumbling slightly, as she wondered just what Elodie planned.

Elodie smiled, her hand moving down to Sirin’s abdomen, and a small reddish light enveloped the region.

“You’re going to be a mother,” Elodie said.

Sirin stopped, jostling another couple in the process, “A mother?”

Elodie pulled Sirin in close, rubbing her cheek against the other woman’s, giving a momentary appearance of intimacy for any who looked, and whispered in the other’s ear, “Though I must insist you and father visit more often. How else are you going to know your grandchildren better.”

Sirin’s glanced down at Elodie’s midriff, “Are you certain? After all, given your…preferences…”

Elodie sighed, as she led Sirin through another twirl, “I know my duty for the throne. The matter is resolved. And no, you don’t know the father. No one will.”

Elodie bristled slightly, as she remembered the night not too long ago she made her way down to the dungeons, and selected the man who would father the next generation of Novan royalty. After a brief moment of passion, her knowledge of poisons made sure the man died quietly, while her magics ensured his shade would never speak of what transpired.

Sirin interrupted Elodie’s reminiscence with a simple question, “Grandchildren?”

Elodie bobbed slightly, “Twins. My magic can be much more useful than turning Shanjians into scrimshaw.”

The music started to die, and Elodie added, “Thank you for the dance. But there is one more matter I must attend to.”

Elodie strode to the center of the ballroom, and all assembled quieted as they awaited the words of their queen.

“Welcome everyone to this Solstice. Let us all reflect on the blessings the Good Lady, as the passing of one year presages the start of another,” Elodie said reverently, and through the stained glass she could see the sun was about to set.

“And it is with a clear heart that I have one last proclamation,” Elodie continued, her eyes glancing towards the entrance of the ballroom.

Two trumpeters on each side raised their horn, and blew a welcoming blast as both doors swung open. A young woman strode in, garbed in a black dress with silver trim. Fine filigree wire adorned her long, brown hair, while a pair of glasses couldn’t hide her fear at the assembled nobility. The woman held a box, a lavender bow on it.

“Step forward Alice Kincaid,” Elodie commanded in a clear voice.

Hesitantly, Alice strode forward, the crowd having parted way to allow her passage. Her footsteps echoed through the ballroom as she approached her queen. When the maid drew closer, Elodie beckoned for the woman to kneel.

“Let it be known,” Elodie continued, “that as the Good Lady brings on the winter, the court ennobles Alice Kincaid. Come the morrow, you shall no longer be Alice; instead, you shall be Lady Alice, Baroness of Thalia.”

Elodie placed a hand on Alice’s shoulder, helping the young woman up, “But for this eve, you are still Alice Kincaid; and the Queen of Misrule.”

And with a great flourish, Elodie removed her crown and placed it on Alice’s head. The crown drooped at a slight angle, as Elodie dropped to a knee herself.

There was a slight apprehension in the room since by tradition, only a commoner could don the role, and ruled as a royalty until the dawn of the next day. There were too many instances when a noble didn’t leave to see the dawn, slain by the rule of the Misrule Queen.

“What would you have of me, your majesty,” Elodie said demurely.

Alice looked around at the gathered nobility, clutching her box tightly, as she said, “Two matters, your maje…”

“Elodie,” interrupted the pink-haired woman, reminding Alice that by tradition the Queen of Misrule was the monarch.

“Two matters,” Alice repeated, fidgeting slightly, “One is a question for your maj…for you, Elodie. The other is a gift.”

A relieved sigh echoed through the ballroom as the nobility knew they would live to see another dawn. Then attention turned back to the kneeling monarch, and the chosen Queen of Misrule.

Elodie asked, “What would you ask of me, your majesty?”

Alice took a deep breath, touched the silver collar around her neck, and said in a voice steady from practice, “Will you grant me your hand in marriage?”

Elodie’s lips quirked, glad the days of practice, building up Alice’s confidence paid off. A single laugh rebounded in the room, and Elodie’s smile deepened as she recognized her father’s voice.

“Gladly, your majesty,” Elodie said in a pleased tone. Then she glanced at the box, for that was the one thing not covered in her rehearsal.

Silence filled the room once more, and there were a couple hesitant coughs when Elodie said, “And the other matter your majesty?”

Alice’s face flushed red, but she handed the box to Elodie. Alice whispered, “I tried to leave this in your room, but the guards refused entry.”

Elodie smiled, “That was by my orders. I didn’t want you to back out now, did I?”

With a swift motion, Elodie’s hands quickly tore the wrapping from the gift. Alice winced, as she impotently tried to stop Elodie, “Wait. Don’t open that yet…”

Alice quieted as Elodie held a black, oiled riding crop in her hand. Elodie ran an appreciative finger down the handle, and cooed, “Aren’t you the sweetest thing?”

Elodie whispered, “I can show my…appreciation…later, your majesty. But for now, would you care to dance?”
Last edited by Miakoda on Thu Mar 20, 2014 8:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#21 Post by TheBoyd » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:33 am

Hey Hanako, been awhile.

Cutting it kind of close. Oh well, I had fun regardless.
Kind of out of my element, by the time I noticed the contest I was far from my tablet, but that's okay.


And here are some sketches to boot. ... -421352759

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#22 Post by Bombermans » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:03 pm

Well, I had to write it first in Spanish and then translate it with some friends, but... here it is, my entry for the contest. I really hope there aren't much grammatical mistakes and such... And I surely hope it's not 'retarded english' like I predicted earlier! :lol:

A different birthday

“Elodie! Elodie?! For God's sake... where's she now?”

The shouts and footsteps of the marquis teacher of Decorum & Elegance classes resounded all over the galleries and corridors of the castle. I even heard him from my chamber. Any other person would have first looked for me there, but marquis D'Sinch... was not precisely your average person. He was a good person, though. A bit eccentric, with those curlers on his spotless white wig, and those pink tights he wore but... he really was a nice guy. It wasn’t his fault that I skipped his lessons. It was because I wasn’t in the mood. Yes, I know it wouldn't be the first time where I attended class without listening to the teacher, but this time it was really different. This time was my mother's first birthday... ever since her death.

Formerly, bells and trumpets would announce the big celebration of this event throughout the entire city. Commoners would have been invited to the exteriors of the royal castle, where a big fair would take place and a big feast would be given for all of those who could afford a seat. Large quantities of minstrels, merchants and comedians would assemble and open all kinds of stands. There would have been shops filled with chocolate, performances of music and poetry, jousts and archery competitions. Each year I would give my mother a hand-made gift. Nothing too complicated, for sure, since I insisted on doing it all by myself, with no help at all. The very first gift I made was a scarf. Well… I TRIED to make a scarf. I was too young and didn't know how to either sew nor knit. But somehow I managed to get some clothing cutting out a curtain, glue them together and gave them the shape of a scarf. When father saw what I done, he scolded me first, but he later praised me. “A gift done by yourself will always be more valuable than any treasure you may find”, he said.

Every year my mother would make me wear my hair loose, put my on a hood and take me secretly with her through the fair, so that I could play and get to know the commoners first hand. But this year... not only there wouldn’t be any fairs… but also my mother would no longer accompany me. How could I attend classes like this?

I yank opened the door and left my bedroom half-resigned half-upset. Then I saw D'Sinch arriving through the hall.

“Princess Elodie! Finally I found you! Have you perchance forgotten that...?”

“I appreciate the reminder, marquis, but your services will not be needed today.” I told him politely, with a tone so full of sternness and determination that even I got impressed.

“Oh. Sure. I get it” he said, though it was clear that he didn’t quite well understand a thing. “Is it because our last classes? Oh, Elodie, if my suggestion of the tutu for the dance classes disturbed you, you only have to tell me and...”

“No, no!” I answered, laughing. “I assure you it has nothing to do with you.”

“Ah, ok! That's a different problem! If it’s your will, then there will be no lessons for you today. Remember: you are the mistress. I'm just a modest teacher!”

And after that, D'Sinch left happily via the same way where he came. I could even hear him whistling. Much more serene now, I relaxed my shoulders and sighed, getting ready to hear the mocking remarks of the captain of the guard, my personal bodyguard Leon Luminière, the Knight of the Black Suit.

“Wow, Elodie. Such an insolent way to avoid your lessons. Do you really know everything that’s there to know about decorum and elegance? Have you learnt to behave with the perfect modesty and dignity of a true princess? Learnt how to move with the gracefulness of a swan? Because I would rather say that your movements resemble much more like a duck...”

“Humph. At least I know more about gallantry than you, my loyal knight.” I answered him, giving him back the taunt in a friendly way. Luminière loved sarcasm, and I loved his frankness, so… eventually we became engaged in a healthy 'snide competition'. We were good friends, but I would have never guessed the gift he would offer me that day.

Later, he would tell me that everything was Julianna’s of Ursul idea. She was my mother's guardian, she knew her quite well. She was also a good friend of my knight, to whom a long time ago she gave a deep black saxophone as a token of their friendship. The two of them had been as two peas in a pod since they were kids, and that became an unbreakable relationship of friendship when they reached adulthood. Even nowadays Luminière still carried that saxophone everywhere. My mother told Julianna how much her birthday meant for the both of us. How much we enjoyed each other.

So Julianna organized, without me noticing it, a little celebration for today... and Luminière had accepted, reluctantly, to be the one responsible of making me leave the castle without spilling the beans.

“It's almost Winter. You can't get out of the castle that way.” he said, entering my chambers (without asking me for permission, by the way), taking one of the coats that were hanging and putting it on my hands.

“Here, put this on.” he said. I looked at him incredulous, waiting for an explanation, but he simply insisted “Come on, quickly!”

Without even giving me the time to analyze the situation, he began to walk away through the hall, striding, so I had to put on the coat while running to catch him.

“What's going on? Where are we going?” I asked him.

“Outside the castle”

“What? Why?”

“A powerful seer has requested an audience with you. Alone”

He took me as fast as possible through the halls, grabbing my shoulders and pushing me to follow his route, which by the way was not the shortest one to exit the castle. Outside, we saw a little stand in which a mysterious hooded figure was seated, with a crystal ball in front of him.

“Princess Elodie... I've come to foresee you a brilliant future...”

That voice... where had I heard that voice before?

“I see you... as a famous model of renowned artists. Fabulous hairstyles, excellent dresses and astonishing discoveries await you if you attend marquis D'Sinch's lessons...”

Seated opposite of the seer I tried to lower my head to look him in the face, but when I did that, he bent his head backwards. When I bent to a side, he did the same to the other side. This went on until I tricked him and raised his hood. I doubt there's any need to say who was hiding under the hood.

“Oh my gosh, Princess! You have found me out!”

Luminière brought his hand to his face. I just simply kept looking at D'Sinch. The expression of my face surely was intimidating, since D'Sinch bolted quickly out of the stage with a guilty smile on his face. I looked at Luminière, who tilted his head. He pushed down the hood of my coat, took me by my arm and started to walk away from the castle.

“Aw aw aw! What's the matter now?”

“It's over! I'm sick of playing dumb. We're going to visit your mother right now”.

“What? Why?”

“You conceal it quite well, Elodie, but it's fairly obvious that you're depressed over this whole thing of your mother’s birthday. And we're going to fix that right now”.

“How... how do you know that?”

He didn't answer. He just pulled my arm and took me again into the castle. My mother’s tomb had come to be marvelous, full of flowers and clothings, giving it the appearance of a true grave for a queen. There we found Julianna, D'Sinch… and even the musician. So this was what they all had been plotting?

“Guys... I had no idea. It's so beautiful...” I turned to Luminière, who had his arms crossed, and he pointed to the front. I hadn’t seen him before, but father was also there. He took me by my hand and we walked together towards the grave. He was holding on his clenched hand a Lumen crystal.

“Elodie, there's still one detail missing… your gift”.

“Happy birthday... mom” I took the new scarf I made and put it over the tomb with care. For a moment it seemed to be that my mother's silhouette was at my side, with a maternal expression on her face. No, I'm really sure I saw her.

“We couldn't offer you a festival, but... I thought we could at least give you a last farewell” explained my father.

“It’s ok…” I answered, drying my tears. “As you always said... the best gifts are those made by hand... from the bottom of your heart.”

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#23 Post by yutaroh » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:01 pm

Hi, everybody! Recently, I have discovered Hanako Games thanks to Magical Diary on Steam. I tried the demos of Fatal Hearts, Date Warp and Long Live the Queen and I have loved them, so I was thinking to purchase them all. By chance, I have seen this contest and I have decided to try luck. Here is my modest contribution. The most important thing here is to take part at this event and to have fun. I hope you all enjoy this as I did and I wish you all good luck :o Happy Holidays, everybody :lol:

This Christmas time, Elodie received a maid dress. Who did send it? It was a joke or a mischieveous suitor? Anyway, she tried on and she is discovered! They ask her to do some works, like washing the dishes... but she loose her control and she fell under the plates :cry:


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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#24 Post by Mad_Scientist » Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:05 am

Some nice entries here, though personally I kind of wish there had been more art submissions. (And I know I didn't do art... but believe me, in my case you should be glad for that. :D )

Good luck everyone, and thanks for running the contest Hanako!

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#25 Post by hanako » Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:54 am

Entries closed! The secret panel of illuminati will now begin their deliberations.

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#26 Post by hanako » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:30 pm

Secret deliberations have been held, dice and magic 8-balls have been consulted.

For this competition, we are choosing three winners. Two different judges have each made one selection, and then the Random Number Generator has picked a third. Which is which remains a secret!

Therefore, in no particular order, our winners are:





There really were a lot of great entries in this, so for everyone else, you can be the first to know that all Hanako Games titles are now 50% off until New Years!

(That means all my titles - games like The Royal Trap, Fatal Hearts, etc. It does not include games like Lucky Rabbit Reflex or things in the 'Other Games' section, because I don't control the prices on those.)

No code necessary, the price should be automatically discounted in the shopping cart.

Happy Holidays!

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#27 Post by yutaroh » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:53 pm

Congratulations to all winners :lol: There were many good entries :mrgreen: Also, it's so nice to read about the Xmas sales, so... everybody wins!! :P :P
Last edited by yutaroh on Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#28 Post by Miakoda » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:53 pm

Thank you!

There was some really tough competition. I was just happy to participate ^_^

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#29 Post by phoenixgirl » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:57 pm

Woot! I'm so excited and there were a lot of great entries. :D
Please help and support me here.

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Re: Christmas Contest - All the Presence! (I mean, Presents!

#30 Post by The Fighting Doll » Tue Dec 24, 2013 4:22 pm

Congratulations to all! Sparks (by CthulhuLemon) is my favorite entry.
Many thanks for the sale!

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