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Challenge #03910-J258: An Essential Education

An elderly king learned the retired ruler, Kormwind, Kosh to his friends, was visiting visiting his kingdom. He asked that Kosh be respectfully invited to the palace to give advice to his daughter, who was about to be elevated to queen, and was quite nervous. -- Anon Guest

There was very little indigo left in the old Hellkin's braided locks, any more. He wore no crown, but bore a heavily-varnished Favour next to his house sigil like a prize medal. His lady wife, almost always at his side wore a red dirndl and could have easily been used to promote someone's brand of country-made soap.

Together, political wags still called them "the Teufel and the Teapot." They were the most influential couple in this particular region of Alfarell. The keystones of Pax Infernus. The Thrice-Sworn King and Queen of Wildernesses.

Of course it didn't matter to those who repeated any of that that the lady Cordelia had been Princess-Consort. Of course it didn't matter that the both of them would much rather be cosy in their cottage, making cheese and teaching martial arts and magic to any who came. It mattered that they were here in Tobundola. Teaching the Princess Khalifa everything they knew about staying ahead of the other guy. It mattered that the two senior citizens were the most devious creatures known to civilised life.

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Challenge #03909-J257: Found Family Speedrun

Five youngsters are found by a massive dragon when they wander into the dragon's cave searching for food. They are adopted by the dragon, for they no family save for each other, and people learn what happens when you deliberately abuse a dragon's family. -- Anon Guest

"But it smelled like baking," said a small voice, echoing in Hardscale's lair.

"It smelled like heat," corrected a second voice. "And farts. I told you it wasn't real cooking."

A third little voice sighed.

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Challenge #03908-J256: One Last Hurrah

For the sake of that poor child.

The guards talk to a good friend who has handled lost spirits like this child before. They find the family, and, with the mall's permission, and a lot of wheedling, have a party started so when the spirit shows again, the family can say their goodbyes, and the child can have the last thing they were promised so they can move on.

https://peakd.com/fiction/@internutter/challenge-03849-j197-liminal-encounters -- Anon Guest

They knew about "the

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Challenge #03907-J255: The Weight of a Conscience

A prisoner, not condemned to death, but rather to years of hard labor for the killings they committed, met Wraithvine while on their knees in exhaustion. With pain-filled eyes they asked the ancient one, "You ever feel pain for all the deaths you've brought by your hands?" -- Lessons

Wraithvine did not immediately answer the question. Ze made sure Hurgnath the Bloody Butcher had water and shade before ze asked, "Why did you kill people?"

"I never said I killed anyone," said

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Challenge #03906-J254: Running Off

The human was found running the special racing track all hours day and night. When asked why, they were honest, it was the only way they could think of to help control their temper after a bad fight. Problem is, the human tended to run the track, until they literally collapsed. -- Fighting Fit

Their Human was fast. Special training, they said. Flitz could be found there when they could not be found anywhere else, and Companion Pwyll was still trying to

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Challenge #03905-J253: How to Not Die

There’s no such thing as an immortal body, but immortal spirits exist. Those who carry on the lessons and history of the past from one generation to the next can be considered immortal. Immortality isn’t out running death; it’s outlasting it. -- Anon Guest

[AN: Link leads to Overly Sarcastic Productions' take on the Epic of Gilgamesh. I can recommend]

What is death, the philosophers asked, when you get down to it? The true and absolute elimination of a

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Challenge #03904-J252: Lost and Found

They had been a CEO, they fled their planet and smuggled themselves aboard the ship of a galactic before it took off. Why? They'd been forced to be a CEO by their very arrogant family. They wanted a real life. Despite being insanely wealthy in their world, they wanted real wealth, not... that. And a shoulder to cry on. -- Anon Guest

The first clue was that they were in better condition than any of the others who had found a way

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Challenge #03903-J251: Catharsis Exercise

"What's that human doing with all those blades?"

"They're going to go and calm down."

"I .......see.... so... what are they going to do with them?"

The counselor points to a door marked "Rage space" and opened it to show a knife-throwing range.

"Like I said, going to go and calm down." -- Anon Guest

Companion Burd watched the procedure from the safe side of an observation window. Human Duke printed out some pages of cheap flimsy with images and words on

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Challenge #03902-J250: Lest Ye Be Judged Also

Most people don't really fear death, though they claim to. What they fear MOST is any potential consequences they may face after they die. I'm a Judge. I just go by what their lives were and what they have the potential to become in the future. It's not the best job in the world, but someone has to do it. -- The New Guy

Of all the duties of the divine, the one feared by mortals the most is the judge. Not

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Challenge #03901-J249: Convergent Primate Studies

A ship of scientists, both human and galactics, came upon a level 4 deathworld, with some level 5 areas, that was suspiciously like prehistoric earth. What happily surprised the humans, and horrified the galactics, was that the primates were nearly an exact match to homosapiens! What would they be in a few hundred thousand years? -- Lessons

[AN: I'm taking them a little further back than H. Sapiens. There's some interesting evidence to suggest that hominid civilisation goes as far back as

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Challenge #03900-J248: Long, Long Memory

Sitting in a cavern waiting for a heavy rainstorm to pass so the large group can keep traveling, a child turns to Wraithvine and asks, politely, "what was your ma and pa like?" -- Fighting Fit

Wraithvine stared, not at the cavern wall, not at anyone here and how. Ze stared into centuries long forgotten and unnumbered. Back into the Age of Dragons and the Age of Gods, when the Elves were yet another scrappy little species trying their best just to

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Challenge #03899-J247: A Killer of Character

"Why are you here drinking and crying?"

"I had to take up a blade and kill."

"Why did you have to kill?"

My entire family was in danger."

"So why are you crying?"

"Because killing hurts." -- Anon Guest

"I looked into their eyes," said the killer. "I had tried every other method to stop them, but they refused to be swayed. So I had to stop them with a blade."

"You got to know them," said the barmaid. "Many who come

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Challenge #03898-J246: A Slightly Deeper History Lesson

"Why do you throw bird seed and blow bubbles at weddings?"

"Humans used to throw dry rice, but that would swell up in the crops of birds and make them very sick or even kill them. This is a lot safer." -- The New Guy

"There's also confetti that will grow wildflowers, but the park wouldn't let them be part of this ceremony."

"Some ceremonies just flat-out throw bird food suitable to the locals. As long as it doesn't stain the celebrants'

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Challenge #03897-J245: Chasing Hearts

A: “You know Ryan? The one I usually race with? Apparently he’s the fastest one in our group and been letting me win all this time. I feel conflicted.”

B: “Ani, I’ll be completely straight with you with a guy perspective. There’s only two reason why he would do that. 1: He likes seeing your smile when you win. 2: He was starting at your ass the entire time.”

A: “Wait, he likes how I smile?!” -- Anon Guest

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Challenge #03896-J244: Welcome to the Universe

Three newborn humans, two very exhausted parentals, and a ship full of friends ready and willing to help. -- Anon Guest

"Triplets?" asked Companion Drask. She had heard of the concept, but it still boggled the mind.

"No, one had twins and the other had one." Companion Morq repeated himself. "Both our Humans were pregnant." He belatedly remembered that Drask was oviparous. "Hatching."

"I thought they were mates. Humans are dimorphic, aren't they?"

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