Fancy that, it’s Wednesday again. How did that happen? Oh, right… planets turn, suns burn and so forth. Feels like it’s only been a day, though. A long, hectic day with naps, but time has been fleeting past. Time to slow down, plan ahead, and look at a prompt to keep the juices flowing before you put your head low and push into the harness so you can pull the load you’ve strapped yourself into.
|AC Young||“Let all who enter under this arch rejoice!”||Becky Jones|
|Padre||The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land.||nother Mike|
|nother Mike||The gecko on the wall sneezed…||Cedar Sanderson|
|Becky Jones||The baby dragon rolled around, playing in the waves.||Padre|
|Fiona Grey||The line of kings spanned unbroken for 2,583 years, until….||Leigh Kimmel|
|Leigh Kimmel||“Riders on the Storm” by The Doors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv8GW1GaoIc||Fiona Grey|
|Cedar Sanderson||The citadel’s towers were visible for miles around||AC Young|
Need to get some mental exercise, but didn’t send in a prompt? Well, pick up a spare (or two) then! We all get those weeks where the brain is stale and it’s time to flush out the creative juices.
|Spare||Joy is the daughter of Elysium / Despair the son of Tartarus.|
|Spare||There was a surprising amount of accidental frog magic.|
|Spare||You’ve got to pack a packet of chews, youse…|
|Spare||Don’t tie your hopes to a concrete block, they just sink when you do that…|
|Spare||At the end of the rainbow stood a glittering golden spaceship…|
And before another week rolls around, come back to the comments to leave your response to the prompt you were given, or chose.
Visual prompt (image by Cedar Sanderson through MidJourney)
Cedar Sanderson supplied this week’s challenge: The citadel’s towers were visible for miles around
Coming up with a citadel proved easier than coming up with a story associated with it, until I remembered Paladins’ Keep. This is part of the story of Ippotian joining the Paladins Order.
Sluganokus crested a hill, and as he did a fortress came into view.
A curtain wall of white stone with several towers and a gatehouse formed the outer defences. Inside there were supposed to be several buildings, but all that could be seen was a central keep, also made of white stone, raising its upper floors above the curtain wall. The four round corner towers of the keep extended even higher into the sky, and could be seen for miles in each direction. The entire was still called Paladins’ Keep, and it was Sluganokus’ destination.
He didn’t know whether to curse Glaphyrosa’s name or bless her. Her actions had made his previous life and future untenable, and yet he feared that there would be no place for him on this side of the line. The Paladin Order were the only group who might accept him given his past.
He continued walking. His boots were nearly worn through. It had been several weeks since he and Glaphyrosa had parted. She had said nothing, but he knew that she had expected him to return to his old order. He had planned to do just that, had already planned out the lies and confiscations that would be needed to both return and avoid sanction, but somehow that no longer felt right.
Instead he had dumped his sword and armour in the nearest stream along with anything else that linked him to his past. Choran was the name he gave at every inn along the way.
At each inn he’d worked for his room and board. After a few days he’d headed out again. Initially no-one knew the directions to his destination, but each inn got him one day closer to Paladins’ Keep.
He continued walking. The road passed through a semi-circle of mounds. Ahead was the main gate.
The gate had two wooden doors, and they were closed. The right-hand of these contained a wicket gate. Sluganokus knocked on the wicket.
The wicket opened. On the other side were three men. Two were dressed in white robes, flanking one in chainmail with a white surcoat. All were armed with swords, though only the flankers had them drawn.
It was the central man, still with sheathed sword, who greeted him. “Welcome to Paladins’ Keep. Who are you and what is your business here?”
Sluganokus didn’t want to start with a lie. Yet his name was not common this side of the line. He took a very deep breath. “I was named Sluganokus, and I wish to join the Paladins Order.”
“Under what name do you wish to join?”
Sluganokus had given the matter some thought. “Ippotian.” While Sluganokus was not a suitable name for a paladin, Ippotian was eminently suitable. He would later learn that it was not an uncommon name for paladins that had been given unsuitable names at birth or otherwise wished to lay their past names down.
“Very well, Ippotian. The first step is for us to test you against the requirements of body, martial skills and heart. It is exceedingly rare for an applicant to be able to ascend all the peaks of mastery at the first attempt. We will then train you in the areas where you are lacking. If the Training Masters at any point conclude that you will not attain these requirements we will release you from your oath.”
Ippotian was escorted into the Keep and tested. He passed the requirements of body with little difficulty. He just passed the requirements of martial skills, though he suspected that the paladins testing him had some reservations about some of the techniques he had learned and used.
The requirements of heart were where he failed. His desire to serve the Lord of Light was genuine, but his morality was found to be seriously flawed. Ippotian was not surprised. His upbringing and previous service had engrained habits and attitudes that were not consistent with how a paladin acted – he knew that from his experiences with Glaphyrosa, that woman he both wished to curse and bless, simultaneously.
It would be hard work to refashion his heart into the form required of a paladin, but with the Lord of Light’s help he would do so.
Ippotian took the oath, and joined the Paladin Order as a trainee. He was determined to succeed and become a Paladin in full one day.
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[…] This week at More Odds Than Ends I was challenged by AC Young with Let all who enter under this arch rejoice! It made a nice continuation of last week’s prompt (which a couple of people indicated left them hanging). My prompt, The baby dragon rolled around, playing in the waves went to Padre. Head on over to see what everybody did for Week 36 (are we already at 36 weeks??) […]
Got mine up. It’s a continuation of last week’s prompt.
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Lovely. I wonder what’s next.
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Finally got mine up on my LiveJournal at https://starshipcat.livejournal.com/1210148.html. Not as long as I wanted to take it, but preparations for a business trip interfered.
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[…] Leigh Kimmel and I traded prompts this week. She’s working on “The line of kings spanned unbroken for 2,583 years, until….” and prompted me with The Doors’ Riders on the Storm this week, which fit well as a snippet I’ve been working on. Check out more at More Odds Than Ends! […]
The shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land.
[late, and perhaps not as fictional as we might like…]
Born April 21, 1926
1953… live television coronation
1965 state visit to west Germany
1966 mining disaster in Wales
1970 walkabout in Sydney
1973 member of the European communities
1977 silver jubilee, repeat ledge to devote life to service
1981 prince charles and lady Diana Spenser wedding
1986 visit to China
1992 the horrible year scandals, fires…
1997 Princess Diana’s death
2002 golden jubilee
2011 visit to Ireland
2013 Prince George born
2018 prince Harry and Meghan markle wedding
2021 prince philip’s death
2022 platinum jubilee
Died September 8, 2022
Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor
Britain mourns Queen Elizabeth II, under the shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land…
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[…] You can read all of the prompt responses, and join in on the weekly prompt challenge yourself, over at More Odds Than Ends. […]
And mine is technically late, but at least it’s done. https://www.cedarwrites.com/2022/09/14/odd-prompts-the-dark-room/
Mine is late as well. Work and life have been busy, but it’s now posted. This was fun, though I’m not sure if it’s part of anything else. I got another prompt from Becky Jones this week: The baby dragon rolled around, playing in the waves.
“How did you get this job?”
“I really don’t know. I saw an ad in the paper and answered it.”
Bonnie lay back for a second on her towel, arching and stretching her back, while her strawberry-blonde hair cascaded loosely down onto the red, white, and blue striped towel and pooled there for a brief second before she sat up again and quickly scanned the shimmering blue water for her charge.
“I mean, how cool is this,” she asked? “I’m just glad I got asked to babysit… dragon-sit, maybe?… anyway, babysit a water dragon rather than some other type. I mean, it would be horrifying to have to watch a fire dragon, one of those ones that likes to frolic in lava pits. Or a cave dragon where we would have to go up to its cave and hang around underground all day. But this? This is awesome!”
Bonnie turned to her friend and smiled. “I mean, seriously, I get to spend a day at the beach and get paid for it. Is there any better job in the world?”
John smiled at her. While dragons were cool, he was much more interested in watching Bonnie. She was very pretty, he thought. The white bikini she was wearing fit her muscular tan body very nicely and sent his mind to places… he cut the thought off. He was already going to have to confess some of these thoughts to Father Peter. He really didn’t want to take them any further.
Bonnie caught his glance out of the corner of her eye, smiled slightly, then stretched again, emphasizing her curves, and laughed wickedly as she saw his brain hiccup. She turned her attention back to the water, making sure her charge was still happily frolicking. The baby dragon rolled around, playing in the waves, making little splashes with its wings and tail, completely in its element.
The sun beat down on the two humans, sitting on the white sand. Bonnie smiled to herself. “Beach days are the best days,” she thought.
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