forum the pillow war saga (open, anyone anytime.)
Started by @IcarusFightsTheSun book

people_alt 76 followers

@IcarusFightsTheSun book

i would like to invite anyone who'd be interested, on a project a call 'the pillow saga'.
it's complete creative freedom with the prompt 'pillow war'. you can do anything but the main idea was a collection of short stories, possibly in multiple universes or building off each others or whatever you can think of. no deadlines, no stress, no rules.

we can just chat/post specifically about pillow wars here

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

Brogan adjusted his armor nervously. The last few minutes before the tournament began were always nervewracking. This was the third year he'd been a part of it, but his first year in the lists as one of the fighters. There was a whole new kind of adrenaline in his veins, standing on this side of the rails, instead of his usual spot as a squire.
His own squire, his younger brother Deegan, was standing on the other side of the rails, frantically restuffing the pillow that would be his primary weapon in this fight. It had developed a hole in one side in the qualifying fights, and Deegan had repaired it quickly. Brogan was impressed with how fast his brother had picked up his squire duties.
"… and now, ladies and gentlemen, the moment you've been waiting for!" The herald, who had been endlessly droning on about chivalry and gallantry on the field of battle, and then recognizing the various royalty and nobility in attendacne, finally got to the point, and Brogan paid more attention. "On the east lists, you will see the representatives of the royal family, as well as some of the heroes you know best!" There was a loud cheer from the crowd, and several of the knights waved. "And on the west lists…. the challengers! From the barracks of the nobility, these men have chosen to try their skill against some of our nation's finest. A cheer for their courage!" A quieter cheer, went up, and Brogan shook his head just a little. Everyone knew what this really was.
The king and the highest nobility drew from the lower nobility for their soldiers and knights. So the east lists were full of nobleman's children and high-born men, who'd been trained in the arts of war from childhood.
This selection meant that the lower nobles were left to draw from the serfs and peasants, like Brogan's family. The west lists were full of commoners and low-born peasants, which always gave these tournaments a heavy symbolic value. It seemed that every year, somehow, regardless of rule changes and other attempts to even the playing field, the royal knights came out on top.
In fact, these tournaments had become a yearly reminder of the superiority of the nobility over their peasantry, and Brogan always hated that.

But being a knight paid well, and he had a family to feed, so here he was.

He looked up into the stands, and saw three faces that made him smile. One was Lord Timmons, a minor baron who had given him a chance. One was his mother, smiling at him with worry in her eyes. And one was his blind father, face held up to feel the warmth of the sun, leaning into his mother so she could describe the scene to him. His sisters were at home, so he had only these three faces to look for.

Deegan tapped his shoulder, and handed his pillow over the rail. "All set, Brog. I'll toss up a quick prayer to Tulkas, but good luck!" His younger brother hissed quietly to him, before the marshals nudged him back from the rail.
"Thanks, Dee." Brogan hefted the pillow, densely stuffed with goose feathers and thick stuffing, and noted the heavy-duty patch Deegan had put in place. It would do just fine.
The herald wrapped up his blustering about the two sides, and finally explained the rules for those who didn't know. "This contest shall be decided by the last man standing in the arena. A fighter can be eliminated in several ways. If he surrenders, if he's knocked unconscious or incapacitated, or if he's knocked under or over the rails, he is declared out of combat. It shall be at the discretion of the marshals to allow a knight's squire to remove him from the arena, if need be." The herald turned towards the royal box. "And of course, his majesty will start the tournament, and may call a stop to the fighting anytime he wishes. Now, to arms!" Another wild cheer went up from the crowd, and Brogan took a deep breath.

This is it.

He looked across the flat dirt of the arena at his opponents. There were roughly 100 men on each side, prepared to dive into a huge free-for-all, where the goal was to outlast your opponents. He looked at each man, armored similarly to how he was armored. Blankets and comforters, wrapped in tight circles and figure-8s across his torso and limbs would protect his body. A pillowcase turban on his head as a helmet would hopefully keep him form serious damage. He could see that some of the wealthier knights had things like weighted blankets to add extra strength to their armor, or small pillows wound into their turbans to provide extra protection to their heads.

And the weaponry… it varied from man to man, and some of it was… intimidating, to say the least. Most of Brogan's allies had what he had: a common pillow, 2 feet long and about 6 inches thick, full of roughly 3lbs of some kind of stuffing. A few had a second, smaller pillow, that they could use for secondary attacks.
Over in the east lists, though, he could see pillows of all shapes and sizes. Heavy couch pillows that could concuss a man with one well-aimed blow; small, quick pillows that overwhelmed a man's defenses and drove him beyond the rails. Some knights carried a normal pillow, and also a large, dense body pillow, which they used as a full-sized shield.
And one man, Sir Rixtus, a towering giant who was easily 7ft tall in his cloth boots, was carrying a full bean bag chair as a weapon. It was as big around as Brogan was tall, and had to weigh 70 lbs. Getting hit by that thing could send a man flying, regardless of how good his defenses were.
That's what had happened to Larenk, Lord Timmon's former knight in the tournament. Brogan had been his squire for 2 years, when a smashing blow from Sir Rixtus had knocked Larenk backwards into the rails and flipped him over them. He'd landed awkwardly with all the momentum, and had broken his neck. The doctors had been able to help some, but… he'd never been the same.
That's what had given Brogan the chance to step in, and now, here he was, sweating in his armor and trying to calm his racing heart.

There was a trumpet blast, and the herald exited the arena to stand in the royal box, near the King. A hush fell on the crowd, and the lists seemed to tense, like a coiled spring ready to explode with energy.
The King raised his hand, and Brogan realized he was holding his breath. He wasn't the only one, he knew, but that wasn't a comfort.
Tulkas, help me now…

The King's hand fell, and with a shout, the lists sprinted at each other, clashing in the middle with the dull whumpf of pillows hitting bodies. The pillow fight was on.

@Avhira-The-Eldritch-Horror group

Emilie looked around at her friends, Galvin, Holly, July, Star, Hali, Jasmine, Jasper, Amaterasu, Laurel, and Asani. Those weren’t her only friends, but they were the closest to her age, and the ones who were also left behind while their friends, families, and found families went to fight, to keep them safe.
Each of her friends were staring at the ground, or fidgeting, or pacing, anxious. Emilie had to cheer them up, it was too depressing in here, and it was causing Asani’s chaos to spread, making everyone more anxious. So, she glanced around, running multiple analyses in her head, figuring out what thing would cheer them all up. Then she grabbed a pillow, tossing it at Jasmine, the most mischievous of them all.
The fae was smacked in the face with the pillow, and she looked around, surprised for a second. Then she nudged her brother, and they both grabbed their own pillow, throwing them at the triplets. Holly giggled, grabbing the one that had been thrown at July, tossing it at Hali, who caught it. Pretty soon, everyone had a pillow, and most were giggling.
Emilie smiled, knowing that her plan had succeeded, she had distracted the other children from the awful things that might be happening to their loved ones. Then she blinked with surprise as another pillow hit her, and she grinned wickedly, calling in a few of her robots to play with her and protect her.

@EldritchHorror-Davadio health_and_safety emoji_events

TW: Gore, Violence against Pillows

The day had slowly grown dark, the thick clouds obscuring the sunlight over the rolling hills of Almohada. With the darkness had come a certain grim quality to the air, like the very sky was engaged in the fierce battle happening down below.
Timbo swung his blade, his intangible hands handling the broadsword expertly. It clashed with the heavy blade of his current enemy, a towering Neck Pillow, its non-descript face covered in little bits of fluff and stuffing from its other fallen foes. The Neck Pillow gave an incoherent cry, and swung its sword in a big circle, aiming to cut open Timbo's soft pillowcase and spill his stuffing. The smaller, more nimble Deco Pillow Leapt backward, hopping frantically as the Neck Pillow lunged again. If Timbo couldn't get away from the blade, he was likely to lose this fight. Another huge sweep missed, but cause Timbo to trip and fall backwards. He landed flat on his back, a very dangerous position for pillows, given their shape and difficulty in standing uright from that position. The Neck Pillow roared, and raised the sword high, point down, intent on stabbing Timbo. The young Deco Pillow tried to roll, but couldn't fight his rectangular shape.

A flaming arrow whistled across the battlefield, from the top of an adjacent hill, and hit the Neck Pillow square in the middle. It screamed and dropped the sword, flailing as its cover was pierced and its fluffy stuffing began to burn. It hopped away, but only a few hops, before it crumpled to the ground and lay there, a smouldering pile of burnt polyester.

Timbo looked up to see his buddy Venner load another arrow and fire it into the fight, before turning and hopping down the hill to him. "C'mon, Timbo, get up! We're right on the knife's edge here! One push either way, and we win or lose in this moment!" The archer bent in the middle, and Timbo could feel invisible hands lift him, enough for him to stand up on his own. He shook himself and hefted his sword again. "Thanks, Venner. I can always count on you."
Venner slapped his back. "I'm a Wedge Pillow, support is what we do. Now get in there! Show them that Decoratives are useful too!" His face-less friend, marked only by his patterned pillowcase, turned and hopped back up the hill, loading his bow as he did. Timbo watched him go for a moment, before turning and looking at the fight happening.

The political situation in Almohada had finally spilled into all out war. King Gantu of the Tempur-pedics had done nothing to quell the growing discontent in his kingdom, and it had continued to grow and grow. There had always been tension between the utility pillows- pillows with a clear purpose, like Neck pillows and Body pillows- and the non-utilitarian pillows, like Timbo's people, the Decorative Pillows, or the rarer PillowPet People. This had come to a head, when even the aristocracy began to split. The Down Pillows and the Memory Foam Pillows had been quietly eyeing each other for years, but a recent assassination had made things worse.
The story of the murder of Lord Alanth had circulated the kingdom quickly, along with pictures, drawn on handbills by the artists who'd seen the grisly scene early on. Lord Alanth's library was the backdrop; it looked like any normal library, except for a few details. For one, the window had been smashed, clearly to be used as an entrance or exit. Furniture was overturned, chairs and bookshelves flipped. The worst part of it all was the bits of cloth everywhere. Little pieces of pillowcase, indicating Lord Alanth had been ripped apart, made the scene dark enough. The final detail was the light coating of goose down on everything. Nothing in the room had been free of getting the aristocrat's insides all over it.

A picture like that, with the story that investigators had found bits of Memory Foam in the room, was what had started outright conflict. At first, it was just a pillow at a time, found on the side of the road with their pillowcase cut open, or a knife stuck in them; but soon, it had escalated to whole groups of matching pillows, all cut to pieces, hemorrhaging stuffing of all kinds onto the dirt. The final blow had been when the utility pillows had begun killing non-utilitarians and completely stripping them of their pillowcases and cloth, leaving nothing but a pile of stuffing to be scattered to the wind.

That had started the war, and now here they were. Timbo had those thoughts cross his mind as he looked out across the battlefield. Part of him saw enemies who needed destroying, their anger and ruthlessness fueling his own sense of righteous indignation.

And a part of him wished they could all just have peace. After all, they were all basically the same when it came down to it. All of them were Pillows, faceless, armless, legless… just soft blobs of material stuffed with other material. Were they really so different? They all hopped the same, they all used their invisible hands to conduct their little lives, and at the end of the day, this fight? It was nothing but a fight over tiny differences, like shape and stuffing.

He was pulled from this line of thought by the sound of tearing cloth as a Body Pillow came spinning across the battlefield and sliced open a poor, defensless little Couch Cushion. The Cushion toppled, spilling its cotton stuffing, and Timbo felt his anger rising again, even as he gagged at the sight. The Body Pillow turned in his direction, and Timbo twirled his sword as a challenge.

The Pillow Fight went on.