<< Shaoman 2019
Shaoman 2020 was held from October 30 until November 5. The theme of the freeweek was Twisted Tales. There were 6 events run in total and many members participated in all of them. 7 groups competed for the Group theme winner (two of them played together as one theme) and the winning theme was decided by site-wide vote. Three participants sent submissions for the writing contest and the winner was decided by site-wide vote.
The introduction post - "Welcome to Shaoman". Please expand to read more.
Summer came and went in the White Tower. People started wearing their thicker clothes, ready for fall and the coming winter. Summer was very calm in Tar Valon and it seemed that the events of the past Bel Tine, which had left some people completely bewildered, were largely forgotten. Novices, Recruits… and even some Aes Sedai, were showing excitement for the upcoming holiday, Shaoman.
The Browns didn’t really have much success with the odd looking ter’angreal, which was found during Bel Tine this year. They experimented with it in the safest ways possible, but couldn’t figure out how it works, or how it was made. So, now it lies in a room, hidden deep in the White Tower, so that no nosy Novice or Accepted can reach it. Even the Amyrlin Seat was seen walking through the corridors, leading to the secret room. Probably to ensure that the ter’angreal was kept secret and safe.
The day before Shaoman, Ilverin Sedai was walking from the Library to the Gray Ajah Sitting Room, when she noticed something strange happening at the end of the corridor, she was walking through. She was absolutely sure she saw a girl, dressed in a red cape, crossing the corridor in front of her. If that is a Novice, this would earn them a penance for sure! But the girl was leading something on a leash….something that looked like a wolf. This couldn’t be real! Quickening her step, Ilverin Sedai reached the end of the corridor where she saw the girl and looked around… but there was no one there!
“It seems something weird is happening again!” Ilverin thought to herself and marched straight to the Amyrlin's study.
On the other side of the Tower, Aleita Sedai was walking from her office towards the kitchens, looking at her notes for the next issue of the Tar Valon Times, when suddenly a giant man turns into the same corridor and starts walking towards her. He was dark-skinned, stocky and muscled with broad shoulders, but what Aleita Sedai couldn’t believe was that he had two long-hilted swords on his back. Surely, that cannot be Gaidal Cain himself, he is only a legend from the stories. The man saw that Aleita Sedai was staring at him and quickly turned into one of the other corridors and basically disappeared!
“Well this is something that does not happen every day!” Aleita’s thoughts were racing, while her feet were rushing her to the Amyrlin’s study.
When Aleita Sedai reached her destination, there was already someone there.
Ilverin was telling the Mother about another odd encounter she had had earlier today. Before Aleita even had time to speak, the doors burst open and a short Brown Sedai entered, her composure visibly shaken.
“The ter’angreal is gone, Mother!” she said not caring about the other Sisters in the room.
The Amyrlin had a slight smile on her lips.
“It seems this Shaoman will be filled with some interesting activities! From what I heard from you Daughters. There are creatures not of this world, walking around the Tower! Please, see to it that the person responsible for this is found and all the creatures returned to where they belong!”
The Sisters left immediately to get started on their tasks.
Dear Citizens of Tar Valon, White Tower residents and initiates, welcome to Shaoman 2020! This is one of the Freeweeks we enjoy at TarValon.Net, where we open up the Faire Grounds for fun, games, and of course some silliness. Not to mention, we get to change our avatars!
Join us this Shaoman in the search of the source of all the strange happenings within the walls of the White Tower!
In this forum, JMs need not use titles to address SMs, but remember to respect one another. If you have any questions or concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now, let's have some fun!
- Group Theme Contest
- Word Wheels
Story and rules. Please expand to read more.
Lenn and Salya turned around yet another corner, hoping that they would finally see a way out. But there was only another staircase, leading down. After a second they heard footsteps coming from the staircase - somebody was climbing up! Lenn pushed Salya behind him to protect her from whoever or whatever was coming up the stairs... but what they saw was two little children - a boy and a girl.
“Oh, finally we found someone who can help us! My brother and I are lost and we cannot find our way back! Please help us!” Cried the little girl.
Lenn and Salya looked at each other and wondered if they should tell the children that they were lost too. They walked towards them with their hands up, showing that they are unarmed. Suddenly both the boy and the girl took out knives that had been concealed inside their pockets and slashed their pouches off and ran up the stairs.
Confused about what just happened, Lenn looked at his daughter and began running up the stairs following the two miscreants. They didn’t have much money anyway but they were in a place where they may need to use those coins.
One floor up, a door suddenly closed off their path. There was some type of lock on the door. It looked round and it had letters scribbled around it.
It seems that to unlock the door, they must solve what the letters meant.
Welcome to the Word Wheel challenge!
Help Lenn and Salya, and Hansel and Gretel, get back to the legends and/or worlds that they came from.
You will have three Word Wheels to decipher. You need to write as many words that can be made out of the different letters inside the word wheels.
The word wheels and answers were posted in the same thread in spoiler tags.
- Logic puzzles
Story and rules. Please expand to read more.
Mara blinked and all of a sudden she stood in a very damp basement. The walls made only of stone, and there were no windows anywhere… no doors either. It had been such a weird day. Earlier she was driving her cart down the main road, when she thought she saw mushrooms growing on the side of the road. She had only taken two steps away from her cart, when she was transported to this odd place.
“I swear, if that King Kadar has hired some sort of witch to get rid of me, he is in for an even bigger embarrassment.” she thought to herself “Well, after I get back to my cart that is.”
The only way forward was a long narrow corridor, she thought she saw a door at the end. Maybe there will be other people there. Or at least a way out. She started walking.
Beyond the door there was an empty table, which looked like it had been holding an object. But not any longer. Dust covered the empty table except for a pile of papers and a small space, completely clean, in the middle. Behind her, she heard footsteps and turned around. There stood a boy, who was seemingly made out of... wood! What is this sorcery!
“This door was locked just a second ago! How did you open it!” it asked.
“But but….are you made out of wood???” Mara was near speechless.
“NO! What do you think I am? A doll?” it looked angry “I am a real boy!”
“I am sorry...I didn’t mean to offend you. Do you know where we are?”
The boy bit its lips and finally replied “No, I don’t know what this place is but I know it’s not home.”
Suddenly its nose started growing. It was a small change, but Mara noticed and stared.
“What do you stare at, haven’t you heard of Pinocchio, the one who does not speak truth? By now, the story has gone around the world…Anyway, look, there are some papers on this table, do you know what they are?”
Very confused by this small creature, Mara turned and looked at the papers on the table. The things written there were as odd as this whole day has been.
“It looks like some kind of puzzle!” Mara noticed “Maybe if we decipher it, we will be able to get out of here!”
Welcome to the Logic Puzzles Challenge!
Help Mara and Pinocchio riddle out these puzzles and try to find a way back to their worlds/tales.
There are three logic puzzles which you will need to decipher. Post all your answers in this thread in spoiler tags.
The puzzles and answers were posted in the same thread.
- Scavanger hunt
Story and rules. Please expand to read more.
The strange effects around the city were becoming very obvious now. Stores of food preserved by Aes Sedai weaves suddenly turned bad. Roads made of stone were melting one minute and sheets of ice the next. Many citizens swore they had seen their childhood bedtime stories come to life. Birgitte with her bow and arrow, giants outside their windows and stranger still, some creatures they had never heard of before. Many spoke of a young girl walking around town with seven very short men with long flowing beards and some had even seen talking pigs.
The citizens decided to band together and find out what was going on. They searched the streets of the city for clues and talked to the tower guards to see if they knew anything. As they walked the street they suddenly came across a small hut that had appeared out of nowhere. A wizened old lady stood by the door looking at them.
“Who … who are you?” the Mayor asked tentatively.
“I am someone who could help you find out what is going on in the city” she replied.
“Tell us then” the citizens clamored “help us put an end to this!”
“Everything has a price” the old woman said mysteriously “I will help you, but first I need your help to find a few items that I need. Here is the list of items I need.” she said “Once I have them I will give you another”
Everyone looked at each other questioningly.
“After you have brought me all the items I require I will tell you what you need to know.”
The old woman’s cackling laughter rang in the gathered people’s ears as they hurried to find all the items on the piece of paper she had handed them.
Welcome to the Scavanger Hunt! Roll up your sleeves and get to work, so that we can find all the items on the lists! Note: This is an individual challenge.
Answers were sent to the Faire Ground Fairy.
- Cryptic challenge
Rules. Please expand to read more.
You will receive three lists of cryptic clues, in three different categories, which you should try and decipher with your membership groups.
RULES: 1. You cannot get help from other membership groups during this challenge. 2. You will have 24 hours from the posting of the rounds to submit your answers. 3. You cannot submit answers more than once. 4. If you fail to submit a round of answers, you cannot continue forward to the subsequent round. 5. The membership group that has sent in all three lists with the most correct answers will win. 6. In the case of several groups finishing with an equal amount of correct answers, the group that has sent their answers for the last round first, will win.
The answers were sent to email@example.com
- Writing contest
Story and rules. Please expand to read more.
Deep in the Tar Valon Library, a lone book stood on a thorny plinth. Its pages were layered with dust, and thick shadows fell all around. Surely nobody had turned these pages in a thousand years. The novice who'd been assigned cleaning duty in that part of the library stood staring open mouthed at it, a feather duster in one hand and a dripping candlestick in the other. That hadn't been here before, had it?
A drop of hot wax fell on her hand and she jumped, nearly dropping the candle. She took a step closer and peered at the book. "Twisted Tales" it said in ornate letters across the page. Twisted Tales? She felt a shiver run along her skin leaving goosebumps in its wake. That sounded deliciously scary. Carefully she opened the book and blew the dust off the first page and watched it dissipate in the candlelight. She flipped to the next page. It was blank. And the next. And the next...
--- The Book of Twisted Tales needs refilling. This is your opportunity to craft your own twisted tale for the annals of the Tower.
You can twist together traditional fairy tales, modern tales, Wheel of Time tales, or a mashup of multiple genres. You can even do it in poetry!
Each member may only submit one entry up to 500 words, the format and contents are entirely up to you. The entries were sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brown Ajah: Duo - The legend of the murder owl
- Gray Ajah: Twisted Tails
- Green Ajah: Tales from the Greenside
- White Ajah: Lazy pirates
- San d'ma Shadar: Twisted Tales
- Novices, Recruits, Accepted and Soldiers: Legendary Twisted
- Citizen and Val'Cueran played together as Pig-Mafia Mob Bosses and the Wolf Cops
- Best Group Theme - Brown Ajah
- Cryptic Challenge winner - Junior Members
- Word Wheels
- Winner - Alenya Al'Roran
- Gold - Tallan Daar
- Scavenger Hunt winner - Alenya Al'Roran
- Writing Contest winners:
- 3rd place - Willow Elbereth
Third place submission. Please expand to read more.
Why do scary things always happen on dark, cold nights? Hamlet couldn't help but think of every scary tale his brothers had told him as he made his way through the woods. It was dark, very dark. October seemed to be getting colder sooner every year. Why was he the one who drew the longest straw? He never did have good luck, but tonight of all nights was the worst time for his luck to run out on him.
In the small region of Gammon, Hamlet was the one chosen to put the bait out to catch the wolf. Shaomon was the one time of the year that wolves were braisen enough to attach both day and night. In order to protect their homes from the expected attacks, they decided it was time for action. His brother Kosher was the brains of the family. This was his grand idea; why wasn't he the one who should have done this? Probably because he knew how risky it was. Kosher always had the ideas, it was Hamlet who somehow ended up doing the worst parts, and it was always Hamlet that got in trouble too. Jimmy Dean was the lazy one, never wanting to lift a finger, which, of course, made Hamlet the obvious choice.
Hamlet trudged through the woods, where he knew the wolf was often spotted. With a final heave, he hoisted his package he was toting with him onto a large rock that seemed an obvious place for the wolf to see. The bundle had uneaten morsels of mince pies, leftovers from their roast chicken, a few uneaten trimmings off the leg of lamb from today, and roast beef drippings saved from Sunday. He laid it all out then attached the note that Kosher had written to the bundle.
"Dear wolf, this year we call a truce; we offer you this special present, in hopes of having a Shaomon that we can enjoy this year without losing our homes to your huffing and puffing as we have had in years past. This will save you from having more asthma attacks since last year it seemed you needed medical attention due to straw and sticks getting aspirated, and this lets us keep our dignity just a wee, wee, wee bit longer.” - The Three Little Pigs
Almost as soon as Hamlet laid the bundle in place, he heard a rustling in the trees nearby. For a small pig, he ran fast, all the way home. He didn't stop to look back or even consider he was being followed. As soon as he entered his cabin, the phone rang. It was Kosher. How did he know he was home already? Before he could even reach for the receiver, there was a loud knock at the door. When he looked through the eye hole he was shocked to see the Faire Ground Fairy, she winked then was gone....maybe this Shaoman would be different than any they had had in the past!
- 2nd place - Thoridyss Wyborn
Second place submission. Please expand to read more.
She floated in the void. Her hair fluttered on a memory of a breeze. A voice whispering as she reached towards it. A fleeting memory drifts. A girl chasing a puppy, giggling. A woman calling the girl to come inside. The scent of grass, the warm caress of the sun, the sounds of birds twittering filled the void. There beside the girl, stood a figure draped in black.
She floated in the void. The memory of a breeze gentle a caress as she drifts. A voice whispering as she reached towards it. A fleeting memory drifts. A woman smiling at a man. They dance, she in a beautiful dress and he in a dark suit. They laugh as they spin across the floor to the music. A kiss beneath the moonlight of a star-studded sky. There beside the woman, stood a figure draped in black.
She floated in the void. The memory of a breeze cool upon her heated flesh. A voice whispering as she reached towards it. A fleeting memory drifts. A woman lying on the floor; her flesh bruised, her dress torn. Her tears soaking into the carpet beneath her. Footsteps moving away, she prays for him to leave. There beside the woman, stood a figure draped in black, fist clenched.
She floated in the void. Her tears brushed aside by the memory of a breeze. A voice whispering as she reached towards it. A fleeting memory drifts. A woman walking through the crowded street, fear radiating off her in waves as she hurries along, no one noticing her. The vibrant, cheerful girl gone, now a scared woman looking for a place to hide. A loud pop fills the air. People screaming. There beside the woman, a figure draped in black catches her laying her gently on the ground.
She floated in the void. Her dress flowing around her on memory of a breeze. A voice whispering as she reached towards it. A fleeting memory drifts. A woman lying on the ground, a dark pool forming beneath her. Silvery mist lifting out of her as she sank into the darkness. A figure draped in black held out a bony hand. The mist accepted, following. Fog, then darkness, until only the void remains. “You are safe, my dear. Nothing can harm you now.”
She floated in the void. Nothing but the memory of a breeze, a voice whispering as she reached towards it. There drifting across the void, a figure draped in black holds out a bony hand. “From the cradle to the grave, you were meant for me, my dear. Let us walk in eternity together.”
Draped in black, she walks beside a figure draped in black. They appear beside a man beating a woman. He lies to hide insecurities, ignoring his short comings and failures. The woman does what she couldn’t, fights back. As the man falls, she whispers in his ear, “Sometimes, the ghosts that scare us the most, are the ghost of ourselves. Time to face your ghosts.”
She grips the man, dragging the blackness from him. She pulls the blackness screaming into the void. A figure walks beside her as she abandons the blackness in void, echoes of screams fading. The figure holds out a bony hand, together they walk through eternity.
- 1st place - Alenya Al'Roran
First place submission. Please expand to read more.
Once upon a time, there was a farmer with a son who was a good boy and helped his father whenever he could. One day, the boy went into the barn and came running out, screaming. The only thing the farmer could understand was there was some sort of monster in the barn. He had to be brave for his son, so he went inside, and shortly after, he too came running out in terror.
Word spread, and people from all over the town would come to the farm, go inside, and come running out screaming. Finally, the village schoolteacher decided she would go inside. She had to find out what was scaring students and parents alike. She slowly walked into the barn and there she saw an owl.
The owl looked at her, cocked his head to the side, and and said "did you do your language practice today?" The teacher calmly looked back and said, "of course. I do it every day." The owl sighed and said "finally. You get to live another day."
The teacher calmly walked out of the barn and looked at all of the villagers staring at her as she came out. They knew what had happened and decided she couldn't be the only one safe, so they decided to burn down the barn and kill the owl. When it was done, they all went home. Then, one by one, the villagers started to have horrible nightmares, scream about being followed, and eventually die. When everyone who had gone into the barn was dead, the teacher finally saw the owl. He looked right at her and said "everyone will practice. No one is safe," and faded away, never to be seen in that village again, because the teacher made sure whoever was left practiced.
- Spirit of Shaoman - Alenya Al'Roran
- Rockstar of Shaoman - Cinna Vrammar