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a dragon age roleplay
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Four years strong, we are a literate to advanced Dragon Age roleplay that focuses on the events post-Trespasser, while also following the timelines of the Warden, Champion and Inquisitor.

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 WRITING CHALLENGE #18, 11 june - 25 june
played by random events
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Writing Challenge #18


Welcome to another writing challenge here on Unbound. I hope everyone's summer is getting off to a good start out there. As always, direct any questions about these challenges to my staff account.

Prompt: Home.

What is your character's ideal home setting, both the building and the general atmosphere around them? Do they have a huge castle on an island, where strangers are kept at bay by a moat full of wailing ghosts? Is it a nice cottage in a good climate with a small family? Give us a window into their dream home.


Posts should be at least 400 words to claim credit. Write from any format or POV of your choosing! This challenge will end June 25th at 11:59pm and will have an award of 200 sovereigns.

Reply below with your challenge submission to earn credit for this challenge!
played by birthe
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There is a cottage in the woods, beyond the tall oak tree that marks the path to the village, sheltered in a secluded clearing you wouldn't know to find unless your destination was pre-ordained. A smith's forge rests half-shielded in an open-walled outbuilding; stone extends from the woodwork of the cottage, framed with wooden pillars. The stub of a tree long since felled stands alone apart from the buildings, its axe laid dormant as the sun rises too high and burns too hot for chopping.

And still, in the fireplace, the logs forever burn; a gentle plume of gray smoke rises from the red brick chimney that extends from the mossy roof. It is still, serene, its silence only broken by the chirps of birds or curious calls of dodging fennecs between the trees, or the hoots of owls in the dark of night.

He dreams of stillness, because he doesn't dare to dream of sound. Of heavy boots drawn across the doormat and kicked against the wall by the door to dislodge the dirt from the soles before entering. He doesn't dare to dream of the deep voice that calls his name, or further, greater still, of a lighter voice, a younger voice; the voice that follows a quick, unsteady pitter-patter he doesn't dare to identify.

There are dreams, and then there are the thoughts that become torture to a sleeping mind.

It is warm in the cottage, but never blistering, sheltered from the woodland breeze that offers such brief, blessed comfort in the highest heat of day. Light spills through the windows, casting patterns on wooden floors and across the old, worn armchairs by the fireplace.

He dreams of two, because he can never dream of less. It's not a dream if there are less. But the chairs are both empty, and the loft room vacant, and the shielded bedroom in the back untouched. Frozen in time and draped in winter's stillness, because it has never been, and will never be, in anything but dreams.

Yet, each brick he has placed with his own two hands, each nail hammered, each plank sawn. He has mapped out the rooms and constructed them a million times over, when his eyes close, or his mind drifts, or the images before him threaten never to leave him. Then he travels to the home that never was, nor ever will be, and sits within the winter stillness, a figure captured in ice.

Even this he doesn't dare to fill with life or warm sensations, because dreams are like hopes; easily shattered. He has walked across too many shards to bear another onslaught.
played by SQUEE
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The floor banked steep underfoot. Paj stumbled and smacked her hands on the gloss finished, dark oak table to keep upright. The ship’s roll had interrupted her conversation with Katarina. Shooting a heavy-browed glance at the other woman, Paj shoved away and stormed through her heavy door, with mild worry her feet would slip from under her.

“Hey hey hey!” she cried, catching a banister outside the captain’s door. Half a dozen pairs of eyes looked up at her. Paj’s gaze rested on the ocean. The water itself was like smooth blue glass, no chop churning the surface, but the swells were huge. They were caught on the center of an enormous swell, tilted at a dangerous angle to the horizon. “Why are you trying to sink her?”

Words of protest followed her as she whipped around the banister. “Why are you trying to sink our home?” The wind tussled the short, soft strands of hair loose from her braid, tickling her cheeks. Her stone gaze locked on a broad-faced helmsman with a salt and pepper beard. His mouth opened, but her order bellowed first: “Angle her!”

She climbed the stairs with a single stumble. The helmsman had snapped to, and she came face to face with a sweating, breathless elven man. The ship pitched forward to ride the swell downward. The roll was still steep but at least they weren’t in danger of drinking sea water. Her critical eyes studied the elven man, who went by Ren. “Why are you out of breath over?”

“I… Captain, I couldn’t… hold the steering. I’m so-”

“I thought I told you to hold steering?” Paj interrupted Ren’s apology, staring up at the broad-faced helmsmen.

“Aye, ma’am. Ya did.”

“So you ignored me and got a petite man to hold against these swells?”

There was a smile tickling the man’s cheeks, beneath that monstrosity of a beard. “I suppose the petite captain thinks she’s going to deliver a punishment to a lad like me.”

Green magic swathed her fingertips before she’d completed a breath. “I am.” Viridescent glyphs sprouted beneath the helmsman’s feet. He shouted in surprise, jerking, but found his feet attached to the boards. Paj smiled, gay and white teeth catching the sunshine rays. Venom serrated her words. “She sinks, you sunk her, and you’ll be the first to drown.”

“You can’t-“ he sputtered, even as Ren shushed him.

Thunder in her eyes, Paj snapped back. “I can! And for as long as I want! Because I’m the only mage on ship. And the captain. Not that Ren, or any of the others would defy me.” Glancing at Ren, the elven man was shaking his head. Paj delivered her final hiss, “Don’t sink her!”

Ignoring the helmsman’s protests, Paj’s booted feet thudded back down the steps. She rested a hand on the railing, watching as the next swell rose next to them. The boat shuddered, but cut through the water at the proper angle to the swell. Smiling, she stroked the railing with her thumb. They wouldn’t sink, and she could already see where the waves were shrinking.

The rigging jumped and trembled beside her. A crew member was scrambling down, swinging on the rope, and she touched down on the deck lightly. There were crew checking ropes, peeling vegetables, scaling fish, or restocking the pilot boat. The ship shivered over yet another swell, assisting a few stumbles on deck, and Paj was at ease. Her crew. Her ship full of cargo. The whole ocean ahead of her.

Kat standing near her cabin entrance. Paj smiled at the other woman as she stepped over the rise back into her quarters. A map spilled across the table. A ship’s log almost up to date and a couple of names of people to harass at the next port. Paj twisted one of Papa’s old rings, the one she kept on her thumb for luck, as she searched her short memory for where they’d left off. She shut the door again and the captain’s weight fell from her shoulders.

“About Fontegue… I’m thinking… maybe you should speak with him?” And it was okay to be uncertain, because it was Katarina. Of everyone, she was the most special. A safe haven.

Meeting Kat’s gaze, Paj smiled, even and bright.

Feeling right at home even as she caught the lantern sliding off the table.
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