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Storytelling Competition - (click for the map) | (printer friendly version)

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Week 875
You are on Week 876
Week 877

Every week we will be starting a new Story Telling competition - with great prizes! The current prize is 2000 NP, plus a rare item!!! This is how it works...

We start a story and you have to write the next few paragraphs. We will select the best submissions every day and put it on the site, and then you have to write the next one, all the way until the story finishes. Got it? Well, submit your paragraphs below!

Story Eight Hundred Seventy Six Ends Friday, April 16

Delvin was not just the best student of his class, but he was also one of the favorites of Dame Astrid, the school headmaster. Indeed, as early as the pupil’s first course on Methods of Ancients Scrolls Deciphering, she had already recognized the incredible potential of the young Vandagyre. He had ever since, for the past two years, met her high expectations.

Despite his academic success, Delvin was definitely not the happiest student at the Brightvale School of Advanced Ancient Studies. He was absolutely fascinated with the subjects taught, of course, no wonder he excelled as he did; however, outside of the classroom, he was rather lonely. His classmates weren’t exactly mean to him, but at the same time, having come from the far mountains of Shenkuu and being the only Vandagyre in the school, Delvin couldn’t shake the feeling that people looked at him as an exotic attraction in the well-established land of Brightvale. The fact that he was rather shy and protected by the headmaster, of course, didn’t help either.

This particular day he was feeling especially down. It had been his little brother’s birthday and the family sent him a postcard with a photograph attached: he could see all the smiling faces, his brother’s standing out in the middle, around this big table packed with the best sweets of all Shenkuu.

“My, how I miss them”, he thought as he walked the school’s corridors towards his next class. “Perhaps it was foolish of me leaving it all to chase this unreal dream of studying in Brightvale. Perhaps I just don’t belong here”.

Little did the young Vandagyre know that his life was about to be completely changed that same evening.

“Delvin, could I please see you in my office?” called from behind him the familiar voice of the headmaster. “I have a special task to assign to you.”

Author: camilamundim
Date: Apr 12th
Delvin turned around to see the tall, matronly Lenny, his eyes wide with curiosity. There was something mysterious behind her eyes, but she was smiling nonetheless.

"Yes, headmaster."

She beckoned with one long, feathery finger, and he followed.

A special assignment? What could it be? And why had it put that odd look on the headmaster's face?

She led him through the long, familiar corridors to her office and pushed open the great oak door with a deep creak that Delvin found oddly comforting. Her office was tall and bright, lined with impeccably organized bookshelves filled to burst with her favourite volumes. Delvin always wanted to get a better look at these, but as yet, he hadn't dared to ask.

"Have a seat, Delvin," she said, gliding around her great oak desk and gesturing to the chair opposite her. Delvin complied.

"What is it you'd like me to do, headmaster?" he asked politely.

"You are aware, Delvin, that the Brightvale School of Advanced Ancient Studies is, of course, a very old school."

"Yes, Headmaster."

"That being the case, the school has, since its inception, undergone a rather extensive series of renovations."

"Of course, Headmaster." Delvin couldn't help but wonder where she was going with this. What was he supposed to do, help build a new wing? He was a smart kid, but he was useless with a hammer.

"In my own... personal research, I have found need of one particular volume which is listed in schools inventory... but does not appear to be in our library."

Delvin blinked. "You... want me to collect it from a student, Headmaster...?" He was still lost. What was he supposed to do to get this book that she couldn't do herself? And what did that have to do with renovations?

The headmistress chuckled. "No, Delvin. You see over the course of the school's lifetime, certain rooms have been walled over, closed off, buried or otherwise hidden away. One of them... is a secondary library. All that the available records were able to tell me is that it is somewhere on the bottom-most floor of this building... somewhere underground.

"I, of course, do not have time to go spelunking. Nor do I have the extensive knowledge of the school's early history that you demonstrated in your entrance essay.

"No, Your assignment, Delvin... is to find me that library."

Author: bugsbunny7117
Date: Apr 13th
Delvin walked away from the office in a slight daze. Sure, he knew theory and history - but practical work wasn’t exactly his forte. As much as he didn’t want to let Dame Astrid down, he couldn’t help but feel her confidence in him might be misplaced this time. Knowing the school had undergone renovations was a totally different thing to trying to locate a forgotten library. The histories he’d read hadn’t exactly come with maps.

Lost in his thoughts, he barely noticed he’d reached the bottom of the building. Shaking himself, he took a moment to gather his bearings and look around. This area of the school was off-limits to students, and it showed. Everything looked older down here; the stone more jagged, the furnishings dustier and less well maintained. He walked down the corridor, feeling slightly aimless as he stopped to examine a worn looking portrait of a haughty looking Skeith. An old plaque identified him as an old headteacher of the school, and Delvin paused, recognising the name. If he remembered correctly, he was the one who had overseen the renovations several hundred years ago.

Perhaps this was a clue? He felt around the frame, trying to see if anything was concealed under its edges. There was nothing. Why would there be? He was in a school, not the setting of a mystery novel.

Delvin sighed, already feeling defeated, before slumping down in front of the portrait. He had some books in his bag, and he was fairly sure some of them covered the school’s history.

As he started to rummage in his satchel, an unimpressed sounding voice rang out,

“What do you think you are doing down here?”

Author: bex2633
Date: Apr 14th
Delvin looked up, startled. Standing before him was Jaycee, a pretty Ogrin from his Material Histories class. She had grown up in Brightvale, and seemed to always be surrounded by friends. She had a petpet, an Eizzil named Bob, whom everyone liked to play with.

"I... what are /you/ doing down here?" Delvin couldn't help asking. It was so rare to see a popular girl like Jaycee standing all by herself, and giving him attention too-- him, the nerdy Vandagyre from Shenkuu.

"Well, since class got cancelled this evening, I thought I would go look for my Eizzil. He disappeared during recess when we were playing in this area. I'm sure he'll turn up, but... yeah." Jaycee looked away and shrugged, but Delvin could see that she was worried. "What are you doing here, though?" Jaycee turned toward him. "You're, like... always studying or something. And this place is supposed to be off-limits to students. I didn't think to find you here, of all people."

"Er..." Delvin was still at a loss for words. It sometimes took him a while to switch from reading and thinking, to talking.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude," Jaycee said. "I was just surprised to see you here. Um, do you want to help me find my Eizzil?"

"I... sure," Delvin replied, feeling an odd relief. The Headmaster hadn't exactly said he wasn't supposed to tell other people about the assignment, but somehow it didn't feel quite right to let Jaycee in on what he was doing yet. "Where was the last place you saw him?" he asked, padding along.

Jaycee frowned at the floor between the portrait of the Skeith and a rusty statue of an Usul. "It was right around here," she said. "He ran behind the statue and I was gonna follow, but then the bell rang so we all went back to class." She walked around the statue...

How will this story end?

Author: swordlilly
Date: Apr 15th
…And let out a startled noise.

Delvin hurried around the statue to find Jaycee kneeling behind the statue. Her brow was furrowed in confusion. “What is this?” she asked, and it took him a moment to see what she did.

The Usul statue had etchings along its back. Delvin squinted at the markings. “I know those,” he said, brightening. “I’ve seen that map before!”

“It’s a map?” Jaycee tilted her head to get a better look at the etchings.

“Yes.” Devlin knelt beside her and touched a line. “See this? It’s supposed to lead to the dining hall. And this one goes to Dame Astrid’s office. And this…” He frowned. “This goes into that wall behind us.” Delvin glanced at the wall; it was heavy stone, with a few cracks along the floor.

“Why would a map lead us into a wall?” asked Jaycee.

Delvin touched the line of the map—and as he did so, he felt a ridge of stone. He pressed down and then flinched as the sound of grinding came from behind them.

The wall eased open, dust billowing up from the crack. Delvin and Jaycee both jumped, stepping a little closer to one another.

“Oh,” said Jaycee. “It’s not just a map. It’s the entrance to… what?”

Delvin took a breath, then coughed on the dust. “Why don’t we find out?”

Together, they stepped into the space where the wall had opened. Delvin felt his heartbeat quicken as they walked into the secret passageway. Jaycee glanced warily around them. There were old statues of Neopets that Delvin did not recognize; cobwebs hung from the ceiling; the smell of stale air filled his every breath. He had never been all that brave, but he forced himself to continue on. At least he had Jaycee with him.

As they walked, Delvin heard a sound. It was a slight scritching, like claws on old wood. He stopped in his tracks. “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” asked Jaycee.

He waited, keeping still.

The sound came a second time. “That,” he said, lowering his voice.

Jaycee swallowed hard. “Yeah. Um—you don’t think it’s anything scary, right?”

“I don’t know.”

Jaycee took a step back. “Maybe… maybe this corridor was closed off for a reason.”

Delvin wanted to turn back, but he couldn’t. If he was going to be a successful decipherer of scrolls, he would need to venture into old places. He couldn’t let his family down—and he couldn’t let himself down, either. “I’m going ahead,” he said and stepped forward. Jaycee followed.

The scratching got louder and louder and Delvin’s breathing became more ragged. There was a turn coming up, and—

A small creature ran around the corner. Both Jaycee and Delvin jumped, letting out small yells. Then Delvin saw the creature clearly.

“It’s Bob,” he said, relieved.

Jaycee ran forward, scooping up her Eizzil. “Oh, there you are,” she said gratefully. “He must have slipped through one of those cracks. What are you doing down here?” She cooed over Bob and the petpet looked glad to be with her. “Where was he coming from?”

“Let’s find out,” said Delvin. He rounded the corner and his eyes widened.

Before them stood a library. The shelves extended to the high ceiling, stacked with old tomes and dusty volumes. It was a treasure of knowledge, all waiting to be discovered. Jaycee drew in a sharp breath. “Did you know this was here?”

“I knew there was an old library somewhere,” he said. “But not where to find it.”

“This is so cool,” said Jaycee.

Delvin found himself smiling. He hadn’t let Dame Astrid or his family down. And having Jaycee with him here… it felt like having a friend.

“Yeah,” he said. “It’s very cool.”

The End,

Author: saphijaze
Date: Apr 16th

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