Freebie Mondays: To the Queen of the Night

Freebie Mondays: To the Queen of the Night

I discovered Game of Tomes in November of 2021, shortly after I started streaming on Twitch. Members of the writing community participating in the extra NaNoWriMo challenge encouraged me to join the community and participate in the game. But I was too shy and inexperienced to jump in until April of the next year (during the next Tourney event).

Game of Tomes is a writing event that takes place during National Novel Writing Month and Camp NaNoWriMo months (April, July and November), though it is not officially affiliated with NaNoWriMo. The basic idea is that you join a house (usually represented by some form of animal) and submit your words to that house in order to win the event. In November, there is the added danger of an undead horde attempting to outright the living, making the game a little more intense and exciting.

Members of the community also create characters to represent themselves within the world of the game. With those characters, the lore of the game is created based on the performance of each house. (It might sound complicated, but it’s actually tons of fun!)

I instantly joined House Mollusca, represented by a kraken. I have made no secret of the fact that I am obsessed with octopus and how intelligent they are. (Let’s not forget how excited I got when I finally met an octopus at an aquarium!)

My character is StarbornStriker (named for my twitch name), a ‘baby’ celestial Kraken who has become the scion of House Mollusca. (I’m still not entirely sure how that happened, but I’ve been happy to go with the flow!)

During November of 2022, my first Word War, StarbornStriker’s Zizi (Coffeequills) was taken by the horde. Before being dragged into the world of undeath, they had to make Striker a Cosmic Kraken in order to protect the rift.

He was not ready.

Unfortunately, I have been sick on and off a lot since November of 2022 (partly due to my thyroid condition), so I haven’t been able to play an active role in the lore of the game since that time. My hope was to revive my character a bit this year, but the flu had another idea.

Never-the-less, I’ve found a way to explain Striker’s absence and slowly get him more involved in the lore again. Namely, he’s been distracted by all the information shunted into his head during the 2022 Word War. And as a result, he keeps becoming disconnected from his current space in time.

I didn’t get to do as much with this as I wanted this year, but I’m hoping it will lay a foundation for future stories.

Why am I talking about all this? Well, at the end of November, StarbornStriker wrote a letter to Queen Tara – his first surface friend, met during July of 2022. I was so proud of it that I wanted to share it here. This is one of the few recent shorts I’ve written off-stream. But a video version of the letter will be available on the Game of Tomes youtube channel when the lore is updated.

The letter begins with a date. It has been crossed out and re-written several times. Some of the dates listed are in the past. Some appear to be future dates. But near the center of the page is written “November 1st 2023,” and it is underlined several times.

It reads:
Dearest Tara,

I hope you will forgive me. I am aware that it has been some time since we spoke directly. But I want you to know, it was not my intention to neglect or ignore you.

During last year’s word war, when my Zizi fell, it was necessary to ensure there would be a cosmic one to protect the rift. I still am not sure why Zizi chose me. I feel it may have come down to lack of options. But I believe I understand now why it was so difficult for my Zizi to engage with what we might consider the more mundane, day to day tasks of interacting with other houses.

There is so much information in my brain. Some of it is wonderful. Some of it is terrible. But mostly it crowds to the surface, making it difficult to stay oriented on the here and now.

I don’t believe it will always be this way. At least… I hope it won’t. I hope I can learn to use this new information for the benefit of my house – maybe all the houses. Until then, I can only hope that you will be patient with me.

On the good days, when my mind is clear, I think often of my time on the surface and the friends I made there. I think of you, my queen of the sky, the first to embrace me and show me the way. I hope we will have another chance to share pleasant hours beneath a clear sky in the near future when the voices quiet and the danger has passed.

Until then, I hope you will wait for me.

Stay safe!

~Scion StarbornStriker

PS: I haven’t forgotten about the special ink! You shall have it as soon as I can post the package.

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