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Hello Xhodonians, it is getting to be that hectic time of year where late year things seem to pile up beneath our very feet. I wish to send all Happy Seasons Greetings for what ever your season may be.

I would like to congratulate bloodrose66 for winning first place in the story writing contest, the winning story will be featured first below. Current running event is a seasonal Myth Page event. We are looking for the best seasonal Myth pages of your own work to be submitted. Submissions are made per guild. All persons who are involved in the making of the myth page can be listed. Prizes will be split per myth page. Submittable subjects include holiday (New Year's, Christmas ect.) and winter themes. Rules 1. Must be original (your own work) 2. Winners will be chosen by the Xhodon team members. 3. Xhodon team members may not enter. 4. Only 1 submission per guild. 5. Submissions will be accepted from 19th of November till the 10th of January. 6. Open to both Dwarf and Troll Worlds. Prizes 1. First place winning guild myth page will receive 150 runes and a badge. (The runes will be split among creators.) 2. Second place winner will receive 90 runes. 3. Third place winner will receive 45 runes. All winners will be showcased on the newsletter, all stories will be available to read on the Xhodon forums. Questions or comments can be in game messaged to Trinity. viewtopic.php?f=41&t=3837 to post your request for entry.

Winning Story

Dragon Rider School: Chapter 1#

by bloodrose66

The rain was pouring down as I sought shelter under the wing of my dragon. We had propped ourselves up under a giant tree until the rain dies down. No sense flying if you can't see you prey, at least that’s what my dad used to say anyway. See it dulls the dragon's senses, the rain drops stifle their vision, and the violent winds carry the scent too swiftly for them. No matter if I’m grounded so is my opponent and his dragon. I searched through my saddle bag for a few morsels of meat for Clover, my dragon. Of course the reason I named him clover is because I found his egg nestled in a clover patch deep in the forest seven seasons ago. My father caught the mother to bring back to the farm since we didn't have any forest swiftbacks that year, and I couldn’t just leave the egg. So I brought it back and raised him as my first dragon. We've been together ever since, everyone in my village says a swiftback isn’t a good dragon to start with but we'll prove them wrong. This is the first year of dragon rider school, and they pitted me up against another strong rider ranked fourth in the first year students. He rides a Red split tail that specializes in fire based attacks. Eagerly I go through strategies in my head as the rain slowly drifts me off to sleep.

I'm awakened by a quick screech from clover, meaning someone’s coming. I quickly clambered onto him and commanded him to climb onto a tree branch for cover. Benefit of having a smaller dragon then my opponent. Clover gestured in the direction of the incoming split tail as he steadily came into our view. His body was massive with boney platelets that covered his back. His rider even had to have his saddle fitted with extra sheep skin padding, it was that thick. But the underside was wide open. I bet he mainly relies on ground combat, and shifts his body downward to block most damage taken. His wings were thick too, so thick you couldn’t see through, so he must be used to heat. There was only one way I could pull off this win, and it'll take clovers skills to do it. We waited till he passed so he'd pick up our scent and took to the air. I pulled back on my dragons reins making him climb higher and higher until we broke through the first layer of clouds. Clover circled two hundred yards above the clouds as we waited out our unsuspecting prey. Finally they broke through the clouds with a thunderous roar declaring their presence to us. Immediately they flew upward at us in pursuit, instead of turning to flee I pushed us into a mad dive toward them. The split tail began bellowing heated fire burst at us to change our current course, clover was ready for that, we were built for agility and speed. Clover twisted, turned, swirled and evaded all of his attempts. At the very last second when it seemed like all time had stopped and two dragon seemed as if they would collide into nothingness...I tugged hard to the left and clover rolled under the immense beast ,while he dragged his tail across his wide open chest. Downward both dragons fell, but our descent was controlled. His beast howled in pain as it clumsily forgot its situation. The rider didn't forget and kicked and swore at his dragon as they fell to their untimely doom. The last thing they heard as their bodies met the earth is our victory roar as we headed back to school, eagerly ready for next season, and our next rival.

End of the Path

By bloodrose66

I wandered on the dark path, keeping my eyes focused on the dim light in the distance. Closer and closer I made my way stumbling occasionally on a root sticking out of the ground. The light was nearly in front of me when I broke into a violent run, this darkness was too thick. It seemed to smother me and I needed air. The branches and shrubs broke and gave way to a small clearing lit by a faint blue glow. As I tried to catch my breath, I couldn’t stop my eyes from darting around the clearing in search of the glows source. The blue light seemed to be rolling out of a hollow tree as if it was a dense fog, but that’s not what grasped my immediate attention. It was the bodies that lay in front of the tree, burnt and sprawled out as if they could not get away. A few of them frozen in fear clutching the air for freedom. My heart sank as I slowly backed back into the tree line. CRACK...I froze as the blue fog rolled back inside the tree as if retreating from the sound of the twig breaking. For some reason I could not take my gaze from the tree knew my mistake had cost me my life. The tree groaned and cracked as two hands grasped at the hollow. The creature looked as though it was nothing but skin and bone as it raised from his slumber. His head turned as his one red eye focused on my trembling body. There was no hiding, he knew I was there. His body floated just inches above the ground, slowly making his way toward me. Blue fog rolled out of the gaping hole in his stomach, the ground sizzled and burnt as the iridescent smoke carried him. The last thing I remember is the skeleton like fingers wrapping around my head as I faded into darkness...no pain...no nothing...just darkness.

Death’s Prisoner

By Trinity

Shivering with cold and fear, the young girl sat huddled in her dank dark cell listening to the scurry of small furry things eating what little crumbly moldy food she had been given by her captors. She was unsure what had caused such a change in her life. She did not know of kings or masters that would do such a thing without provocation. Her family was not the poorest, but they were not luxurious by any means. Her father was a great hunter of the woods and streams, her mother a simple seamstress. They worked together to make a comfortable home. As far as she knew, neither of her parents had ever offended a Lord or Lady, so she was more confused the more she tried to understand why she had fallen into such a plight. For hours she tried and tried to think of what she herself may have done to insult someone with power but to no avail. With tear and grime streaked cheeks, she laid upon her sour bed roll trying to rest but merely sobbed until exhaustion finally won over. She awoke with a start at the sound of a strange moving creature dropping a plate of more foul bread upon the cold hard stone floor and shoving it through the cell door. She could only make out some features of this creature as the cell had barely any light even though it felt as if it was mid day. She followed the single beam of light up to a small hole in the top part of her cell. The hole was barely large enough for a rat to get through. So high was the hole that even standing on her tip toes with her arms stretched out to reach it, it was again double her height. Sad and defeated, she nibbled upon the bread in hopes that soon she would be released. As she nibbled, she saw the source of the scurrying sounds of the night before. A small well formed furry creature but not really a rat. It actually had a pleasant shape to its nose and a bushy tail that seemed to ask questions of her. It was a deep shade of some kind but until it moved into the path of the light she could not see much color. She took a few crumbles of her bread and offered them to the little one. Slowly, the little creature crept over to her hand and snatched the bread crumbs with its own little fists and scurried away to a hole in the other side of the cell. Seeing this other hole that the little squirrel ran through gave her some small amount of hope. She was sure now that it was a squirrel, brown and red with a red grey tail. She moved over to the hole in the cell wall and tried to push her hand through. She was successful and pulled her hand back. She began to pull clumps of the aged mud from the wall trying to make the hole large enough to push through. She worked laboriously for hours and hours until what little light there was disappeared. She worked more. Longer through the night as now her eyes were becoming accustomed to the darkness. Finally, again exhaustion worked its way through her very bones. She had made a hole large enough to put her head through. She looked out of the hole to see if it led to another cell hoping that maybe the cell door was not locked. What she found, she was not prepared for. It was a small oval object that glittered even in the darkness. Magic seemed to radiate from it as it drew her breath away from her. She knew immediately it had to be a dragon egg. She had not seen a dragon egg before in her life, but the sheer magic that sparkled around it was the sign. She inhaled deeply and worked harder on the wall. She felt as if it had renewed her strength as she dug feverishly at the decaying mud and stone in the wall. She knew she must reach the egg. Finally, the final bit broke through as she dug and pulled, she made it to the egg. What luck, she saw that the cell door was not locked here. As the little creatures that guarded her did not expect an egg to escape. She grabbed up the egg and stepped from the cell looking cautiously around for the dark creatures that held here. With none in sight she began to move in a way her father taught her, silent but swift so that any noise would be muffled from her footsteps. She prayed to the Goddess that she would make it free. Round corners and bends and other cells that held nothing but bones decaying in shackles, she made her way out of the catacombs she had been imprisoned in, only to find an old stone stairway leading up to the unknown…..

Aspiring Scribes! Ever get the urge to write? Send me a story by Friday of the week, and I will post it in the Monday edition.

Have something special to say? A Dwarf World Tribune will be posted every other Monday.