Winter Solstice… by forrests


									Caliber 1998 Christmas Special “LegendLore” Joe Martin & Xavier


Caliber Christmas Special
LegendLore chapter Joe Martin and Xavier Page One description: The first few illustrations portray wintertime in Azoth. It is early evening when the dusk has fallen and the stars are beginning to glimmer in the sky. Snow blankets the earth, and is dropping in lazy, spiraling flakes. In Ardonia, within the walled city of Fandari, people can be seen in the streets. Some of them walk arm-inarm with smiles on their rosy cheeks while others laugh and wave to one another. Of note, golden sun images and lighted crystals is the ornamentation for the Longnight festivities. Within the courtyard of a noble manor, gate open to the streets, an armored man with golden locks can be seen sitting on the edge of a circular fountain. The fountain’s central sculpture would no doubt be showering water into the air during the warmer seasons, but now it is dormant. Snow coats the cobbled yard. The warrior leans the top half of his body froward, one mailed fist gripping the hilt of a longsword, the tip of it planted in the cobblestones. Dominic Wagner then raises his handsome face to the sky and stares at the stars. One of them glows brighter than the rest. It reminds him of a custom of his “homeland” much like Longnight. A custom called Christmas.
*This story takes place in the time before Dominic was entrusted to the service of Drohm, when he and Fawn were together, Alex was “The Redeemer” for the Latigos, and Darkoth was not yet his scaly self as a mindless dragon.

Page One dialogue: All captions: 1) It is the Winter Solstice in Azoth… 2) A time for reverence to the holy goddess Othaaris, who is in repose after the blessings of Autumn. It is a time to celebrate the good harvest and the turning tides. A time when all birth is given divine approval by the Queen-Mother of Ardonia. 3) A time to count your blessings and give thanks for life’s good things. 4) The kingdoms of Ardonia, Carahill and Drohm celebrate a festival at the year’s end known to the people as Longnight. During this weeklong festival, there are feasts, parades and gift giving. 5) It is a time for peace throughout the Realm. 6) There are those, however, who do not feel peace within themselves during Longnight… 7) …but rather, they feel hollow…depressed… 8) …alone.

Caliber 1998 Christmas Special “LegendLore” Joe Martin & Xavier


Page Two description: 1) Dominic’s retrospection is broken by the presence of another. A soft voice speaks, “You miss your family.” 2) Silverfawn Serene steps then from the shadows of a pillared balcony, smiling solemnly at the warrior. 3) Dominic smiles gravely and says, “Yeah. You know me, Fawn…” 4) She sits down next to him, commenting, “I do. You were the same way last year. Longnight makes you think of this…Christmas…and your family.” 5) “It’s about the only time I really think about home,” Dominic says as his eyes return to the ground. “Otherwise, I’m fine.” 6) He looks at her and says, “I mean, you know I love it here. Azoth is great! But…oh, I don’t know.” 7) Dom looks away and, after a thoughtful pause, murmurs waveringly, “I don’t know.” 8) Fawn takes Dom’s hand.

Caliber 1998 Christmas Special “LegendLore” Joe Martin & Xavier


Page Three description: 1) Dominic and Silverfawn are walking through a wide alley between tall buildings and she has his arm. A guard walks toward them from the opposite direction. 2) Dom speaks to the guard as he passes, “Greetings, officer.” And the guard is returning, “Good Solstice to you, friends.” 3) Dom and Fawn turn onto a lamp-lit corner, stepping up onto a wooden terrace in front of a building. The snowflakes are still floating on the cool air and Dom is peering away distractedly. Fawn has her head cocked slightly askew, listening to him say, “I miss my mother…and my sister. Heh. I remember…” 4) Dom smiles amusedly, “…I remember one Christmas, when Jamie was young…she wanted to open her gifts, but our father wouldn’t get out of bed…so she and Mom actually took the entire tree and all the gifts and moved everything right into the bedroom and they started playing this annoying mechanical bell…”
*Leave room in the panel for all this, okay?

5) Fawn laughs, “An entire tree? How bizarre!” 6) Dom smiles, “Well, it wasn’t a…heh, well…nevermind. Anyway, the bell was what worked, although he tried to ignore it…he ended up throwing every pillow off the bed at the tree, the bell, my mom and my sister…heh-heh…” 7) “That’s a good memory, Dominic,” Fawn says, and Dom smiles, looking straight ahead. “Yeah,” he utters softly. “Seems like even if we did things that annoyed the hell out of each other, we always got along during that time of the year.” 8) From within a building, the reader’s view is of a good-sized, paned window. Fawn is on the outside, looking in (and the light from the interior might play a cool shadow effect on her face). Silverfawn says, “Look.”

Caliber 1998 Christmas Special “LegendLore” Joe Martin & Xavier


Page Four description: 1) Dominic joins Fawn in looking through the glass as she says, “There’s our demented bunch.” They are peering into the common hall of a tavern. Next to a wooden beam arching to the ceiling, Diggorous, Grappo, Letha, Nilson, (and any others who were part of the group during this era) are seated at a long table. The table surface is the home to many-a-mug, most of them empty but some still housing a foamy holiday brew called Longnight Meringue. The group revels in festive merriment befitting of the season. In fact, Grappo is standing on the table hefting a mug in one hand and ringing a large bell in the other. Dom comments, “Demented and sad…but social.” 2) Fawn smilingly peers at Dom and says, “How astute.” 3) He smiles back. “Actually, I heard that from somewhere else…but I think it definitely fits the bill here.” From off-panel, Fawn suddenly murmrus, “Uh-oh…” 4) Inside we see Diggorous clambering onto the table after the scrambling Grappo, who looks to be in fear for his life. Letha is leaping up from her chair attempting to restrain Diggy, and Nilson is laughing out loud at the scene. From off-panel, Fawn is saying, “…Grappo and Diggs are at it again.” 5) Diggorous grabs Grappo by the back of his trousers while Letha is trying to keep more mugs from rolling off the table. Some tavern patrons join Nilson and they, too, are laughing at the scene. 6) Abruptly, Dom and Fawn dodge away from one another to each side of the window as an object comes hurtling through it, shattering the glass.

Caliber 1998 Christmas Special “LegendLore” Joe Martin & Xavier


Page Five description: 1) The bell that Grappo was ringing lies on the edge of the snowy roadside, just off the mantle of the wooden walking-terrace upon which Dom and Fawn are standing. Some shards of glass are also on the ground. 2) Dominic’s hand retrieves the bell. 3) Dom peers at the bell as Fawn watches him. 4) He gives a wry smile. 5) Dom embraces Fawn, and says, “Come on, my lady love…” 6) Fawn’s hand in one of his hands and the bell in the other, they make their way toward the tavern entrance as a tavern patron comes running out muttering, “Insanity!” Dom says, “…let’s go make the children behave.” A festive caption at the bottom reads: “Good Solstice and Joyous Longnight to All! Oh…and Season’s Greetings to all of you non-Azothians out there! Fini.”

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