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Seventh Sanctum Jan-March Competition '07 Entry [Mar. 12th, 2007|12:45 am]
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Artist: J j_gallery

Title: The Dragon, the Goat, the Other Creatures and the Shopping Goddess

Media: Artliner pen, Coloured pencils, Photoshop 2

Warnings: None, except supernatural themes, some possible brain-hurting, an unbeta-ed accompanying fic, and that the image may be a bit on the big side for those on dialup (1000 x 700 px jpg)

Rating: PG 13+

Notes: Drawn specifically for Seventh Sanctum's January-March 2007 free-for-all "As Many (original) Generators as possible" contest. I used 11 for the art (there was a 12th, but I found out I got the result from somewhere else, so I took it off the list), plus four more for the accompanying story (1,440+ words), making 16 in all (though I'll assume only the first 11 will count). Many thanks to tripperfunster, sofisticat (and anyone else I might have missed) for the art beta :)

Ps - I'm not currently available for art commissions, if/when that changes I'll let you know. My contact details under the LJ cut.




Wordclub had gone through every language he knew of at least twice, every spell that he could cast from his position, even used his breath weapon when they continued to ignore his efforts to communicate, but it did not work. Whatever unearthly energies they were working with seemed to protect them from whatever he had to fight back with.

He heaved his tail up in frustration, though he knew that move would be useless; they had that part of him bound as firmly as everywhere else, or even more so, since the creatures seemed wary enough to know what that deadly club of bone at the end was for. The slightest twitch of it would send two or three of them running over to reinforce the bonds with strings of energy scooped out from those lights that seemed to always float above their heads.

Vermillion wasn't faring much better; her mind was probably still out wandering the Candy Mountain-Lands from the gas blast he'd given (which failed to work on them). Even Onlaam, his miniature soft-haired collie, was unusually quiet instead of barking and snarling like the demon he'd been named after.

The creatures continued to ransack through his hoard, abusing his precious books without apparent thought for the value of what they held; Necromantic Studies, High Magic, Temporal Philosophy, Inter-Planar Instruction... tossed into the pile Wordclub was tied to (narrowly missing Onlaam), or just left on the floor to be trampled on.

If only I had not tried to smash them straight away when I found them emptying my bookshelves, he thought despairingly, I could have been able to stay free enough to do something...

They found the place where he kept his money; Wordclub's coin hoard was small, since he preferred to use such things for increasing his library. One of them picked up an amphora as if the curse that guarded it never existed, and upended it after a couple of experimental rattles. The stopper held, but a thin bolt of energy from the creatures' floating light made the cork drop out, followed by the Raven Farthings, Vermillion Bears and single Three Crown Note it held.

The creature picked the note up, holding it a few seconds before its' spider-ish eyes to study it, then popped it into its' crab-like mouth, and started to do what looked a lot like chewing.

Good, I hope that this will poison you, or at the very least make you choke, Wordclub hoped, but the creature only swallowed, and then continued to carry on with its' despoliations, picking up the Eagle Sword of Rashoriel and sniffing its' blade.

"That sword was forged by an Angel, you fools!" Wordclub hissed through the bonds that held his jaws, though he knew by now they would ignore him, "and it was rightfully handed down to me by Grandmother Warcry of the Desert herself!" he added, to salvage what remained of his pride.

He might as well have said that to the statue of Teguli at the other end of the temple hall. The creature kept on studying the sword, while another of its' companions walked over with a jar of the Titoz pills Wordclub kept for Onlaam's persistent Dungeon Rash.

He idly fantasized over what could happen if it decided to start eating those, but unfortunately it only stared at them, whilst little bolts of energy shot between its' light, and that of its' companion who was still studying the sword. Wordclub began to wonder now whether that was how the creatures communicated, and whether that could have anything to do with their apparent disdain for written language.

He also wished, as he often did, that he'd inherited his grandmother's breath weapon instead of his grandfather's. A few good bolts and they would have been long freed by now...

He heard Vermillion cough sharply, then felt her shift to a sitting position against his wing, somehow managing to do so even though she was as securely bound as he and Onlaam. His breath weapon easily affected the goat, but she usually got over it fast.

"Are you awake, Vermillion?" he whispered in Goatish.

"I sure am, Mister Word," she whispered back, but then Onlaam began to bark frantically, painfully scrabbling against the scales of Wordclubs' shoulder in an effort to get free. Wordclub and Vermillion picked their heads up to see what was going on...

"Oh, By The Mouth Of Teguli!" Vermillion cried out.

For there she was, materialising above them in her human form. An Lsaasimon hovered by her side, blue sky and trees could be glimpsed through the Daemons' Aura, growing clearer with each stroke of its' butterfly-like wings. Wordclub knew that it was the future of their location it was showing, one where forest would grow over where his temple home once stood. He could still see the statue of Teguli in the Lsaasimons' Aura, though with lichen beginning to cover it.

Teguli began to speak, her gentle voice radiating from her body, for want of a better description (Teguli rarely opened her mouth except to eat and imbibe; it was rumoured that to see or dream of her speak using her mouth was a portent of disaster...)

"The Lsaasimon Daemon tells me that it found you, Vermillion, wandering lost in the Mountains of Confection. Is this true?"

"It's true, milady," Vermillion replied, "I had gotten myself zonked out a bit by Mister Word's breath. He tried to stop those creatures from tying us up, you see. I've properly come back to my body now though, so I'm ok. Mister Word and I could still do with some help right now though, milady"

"Creatures?" Teguli asked, "Show me these creatures."

"They are the ones who are standing right next to my head, and all around the room," Wordclub ventured, hoping he wasn't sounding too sarcastic. Teguli rarely took offence... but she was still a Deity, and a notoriously capricious one at that; therefore not an entity for a wise being to treat lightly.

The Goddess gazed lazily down at the bison-like creatures still rummaging through Wordclub and Vermillion's belongings, barely noticing the new visitors above them (though a few occasionally glanced up). There was silence for a few minutes, then she said; "As a Divinity Associated with the Harvest, I must leave now to bless a feast in the Hall of The Lesser Deities."

Vermillion swallowed quietly, and Wordclub felt his heart sink. Teguli was a capricious Goddess, it was true, but surely even she would not just fly off and leave he and Vermillion to these...

"I was in the act of purchasing the Ambrosia when the Lsaasimon called me," Teguli added, as she began to levitate up and away from them. Trying to distract his mind from the absurdity of their situation, Wordclub noticed for the first time a shopping bag on the Goddesess's arm, laden with packets of Rampart's Finest Dark Raisins, Jelly Figs and Blackberry Butterchews.

So it is true that she shops among us Mortal beings in disguise, he dared to think; Rampart should be honoured, and take it as a sign that she is using her father's estate wisely, and put aside her confusion... if we ever managed to escape these monsters, that is... I will have Vermillion bring me back a barrel of Cinnamon Plums from one of her stalls if we do, because we shall be in need of something decent for a pick-me-up after this is finished...

He thought he heard Vermillion trying not to cry, he tried not to think to much about giving Teguli a good parting blast as he watched her and the Daemon slowly flying higher, getting ready to leave. Wordclub realised Onlaam had started to struggle and yap again, he sighed, releasing a puff of his breath weapon's gas as he did so... it must have been pent up. He decided to somehow quiet the dog and give the goat a pep talk...

Meanwhile, he suddenly became aware of a sensation of heat above his snout. Looking up, he saw Teguli with a fireball in her hand.

"These are the Naulor," she said, sounding a little bored, "and they fear fire, for it both destroys their handiwork, and renders them unable to speak among themselves in its' presence. Do not neglect to maintain my temple fires in the future, or leave me offerings. Cinnamon Plums and Incense-of-Tuberose given at dawn with two hymns every Wednesday shall be sufficient".

"I will," Wordclub promised, feeling uncomfortably sheepish. If the temple was his home, he realised, then Teguli was technically his landlord... and he'd not been the most attentive of tenants lately. A few sweets, a few songs and some Incense, keeping a few fires going - she wasn't asking for much, when you really thought about it.

Teguli gave a smile of satisfaction, and released the fireball. The Naulor were soon howling like angry kittens as they teleported en-masse (to the accompaniment of Vermillion's cheers), and Wordclub felt his bonds weaken, then dissolve. When he looked up again, Teguli was gone, but the Lsaasimon still hovered above them, batting its wings.

Its' Aura seemed to be shifting and changing, and just before it too vanished, he thought he could see the temple hall through it this time, standing and complete, the altar fires lit and the remaining walls lined top to floor with book cases and scroll racks.

So the future really can be flexible after all... sometimes, Wordclub mused.

- The End -


The 11 generators & their results used in the art:

1: Miniature soft-haired collie (dog breed generator)

2: This being comes from the future. It vaguely recalls the form of a deer and has wings like a butterfly. It has bark-like skin. (legendary creature generator)

3: Wordclub** - He is a young adult dragon. He has black scales and a bony club on the end his tail. He is extremely intelligent. His breath weapon is a cloud of hallucinogenic gas. His language skills are broad and deep. He lives in an abandoned temple. His hoard is legendary in size and consists almost entirely of valuable tomes. (dragon character generator)

4: This goddess of farming takes the form of a maiden. She has a wasp-waisted build. She has black hair worn in a style that resembles a rocky outcropping. Her droopy eyes are purple. She has pale skin. She is usually portrayed as wearing a strange costume that is mostly aquamarine in colour. She also wears a mask. She carries a watch. She sometimes takes the form of a bovine. (deity generator)

5: This sword has a blade with eagles engraved on it. Its' grip is of a blue metal set with pieces of amber and moonstones.
(sword generator)

6: Dark Raisins. (sweet generator)

7: Titoz - small, triangular, brown pills. (medication generator)

8: Necromantic Studies, High Magic. (Academic magical Realm generator)

9: Raven Farthing, Vermillion Bear. (currency generator)

10: Vermillion the goat - the playful, red-coloured racer. (mascot generator)

11: This is a bison-like race. The race has spider-like eyes and a crab-like mouth***. Mentally, the race has unearthly inventiveness. (race generator)

** - since Wordclub was the very first thing I generated on the seventh sanctum site, which I found in turn after Googling for dragon generators, I thought it a good idea to include him in this entry. I decided not to make him too gigantic in size.

*** - I did use a photo reference from an encyclopaedia for the crab mouths; they're not as complicated as insect mouths, more like mini cowboy saloon doors

The 4 additional generators & their results used in the arts' story: (mainly for helping the picture make more sense)

a: Onlaam, Rashoriel, Lsaasimon. (Angel/Demon name generator) ETA: Because I used Lsaasimon to name the Legendary creature from result: 2 (above), to keep it still right for the Angel/Demon generator, I decided to describe the creature as a Daemon (or Eudaemon).

b: Dungeon Rash. (Ailment generator)

c: Teguli, "By The Mouth Of Teguli!". (Magical Invocation generator).

d: Naulor. (Evil-sounding name generator)

From generators used in the picture, mentioned in the story but not in the art:

Grandmother Warcry of the Desert - She is an ancient dragon. She has blue scales and multiple horns jutting from her head. She is very composed. Her fighting skills are exceptional. Her breath weapon is a bolt of electricity. She lives in a ruined city in the desert. Her hoard is giant and consists mostly of ingots of gold. (Dragon character generator)

Rampart the echidna - the confused, blue-coloured noblewoman. (Mascot generator)

Black Manticore, Three-Crown Note. (Currency generator)

Blackberry Butterchews, Cinnamon Plums, Jelly Figs. (Sweets generator)

Temporal Philosophy, Inter-Planar Instruction. (Academic Magical Realm generator)

To email me: rhagodia [at] yah00 [d0t] c0m [dot] au. Please make a reference to this competition entry or livejournal in your header, otherwise I may think it's spam & delete it.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: dragonscholar
2007-04-17 02:52 am (UTC)

(Link)

Congrats - you are THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER!
[User Picture]From: j_gallery
2007-04-17 02:58 am (UTC)

(Link)

Thanks - I just got the news! :)
[User Picture]From: dragonscholar
2007-07-16 04:29 am (UTC)

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I do hate to bother you - but since you won the contest, I'd like you to be a judge for the current one. You can contact me at SeventhSanctumSite (at.sign) gmail dot com.
[User Picture]From: j_gallery
2007-07-16 06:54 am (UTC)

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Sure thing!