Your OC has discovered a magical portal to an underwater world. Participate for 60XP

[Art and Writing Challenge] The City of Lost Songs

City of Lost Songs Blog

This challenge runs from May 11 - June 7

Greetings PaperDemons! It’s May, and you know what that means-- it’s time for an underwater challenge! This year, we’re going to be doing something just a little different. We’re going to be offering an Art Role Playing Game (ARPG) challenge as a build up to our PaperDemon ARPG release.

In ARPG challenges, you will use an original character to fulfill art or writing quests in exchange for a reward! In Portal Challenges, you will be introduced to a brand new world for your character to travel to!

Dive right in and take a look at the challenge that awaits…

The pirate ship loomed tall in the cove, its furled sails silhouetted against the velvet blue of the sky. Revelry from the shoreline floated on the brine-soaked breeze, carrying the sounds of pirates celebrating their latest plunder.

A shiver of fury tightened Carda’s shoulders as she grit her teeth. Those men had taken her father’s ship-- cast the crew overboard and stolen their livelihood.

The least she could do was return the favor.

The young elf swam just below the surface until she reached the ship. She removed the spelled explosives from her belt. Blow the hull and the whole ship would go down, leaving the pirates stranded in the cove.

The burning fuse smelled like victory.

Carda shoved off of the side of the ship, swimming as quickly as she could out towards the open ocean.

The first explosion rocked the water like a storm.

The ocean boiled into billows of white foam, currents whipping into a fury as the first explosion chained into the next two. Smoke and flame crested into the sky.

A loud crack rang out, and the waves turned into a whirlpool. The explosion must have chipped into some sort of cave system below. A roaring void opened below, devouring the rocks and fragments of the ship.

Blackness surrounded Carda as the waves pitched her against rock, shoving her forwards and backwards and around until she didn’t know what direction was up.

There!

A brief glint of light in the corner of her eye. She reached out and seized it, her fingers tangling in the cord strapped around it. It was her necklace, a beautifully carved shell pendant her mother had given her years ago. And it was glowing.

Then suddenly, something along the cave system’s wall matched the light.

Carda hurled herself through the water towards the source, the glow of her pendant growing brighter and brighter until it was a little pinprick of sunlight in her hand. She slammed against the wall, gripping onto the second glowing object. It was a staticky box, the light clear white in the seething waves. The box flushed teal as she touched it, rippling oddly and drawing her hand in. Her pendant tugged her forwards as the water currents tried to rip her away.

With a lunge, Carda pulled herself--

Through?

There was a brief moment of total silence before the world came rushing back in a riot of color and light. Carda flinched backwards, one hand wrapped around her pendant and the other shielding her eyes. Reflexively, she gasped.

Water rushed into her lungs, and--she could breathe?

Lowering her arms, Carda kicked out to balance herself and found her legs were moving… well, differently. Where her legs had been now stretched a long fish tail, colored vivid gold with gentle cream stripes.

Carda glanced behind herself in time to catch the teal glow of the portal descending back into muted static. Her shell pendant lost its glow, and the sea around her settled into a cold, stormy grey. Beyond the dropoff, a field of wreckage stretched as far as she could see. An underwater ship graveyard.

That portal has been deactivated for years,” a rich voice came from off to the side. Carda whipped around to see a middle-aged merperson. “Welcome to the City of Lost songs, though the city is less likely to welcome you as warmly as I. Where do you hail from, traveler?”

Now it’s your turn!

Challenge Requirements

For PaperDemon’s Mermay themed ARPG Challenge, you will be taking your very own original character on an adventure to a new world. You will be using the character you registered in our May Character Creation Challenge. If you haven’t registered a character yet, follow that link to do so!

  • Pick one of the prompts below and draw or write your registered character in this new world as a mer-person!

    • If you are submitting art, it should be a full color piece that features your character’s full body and a background that matches the prompt you have chosen. Shading is optional! You may optionally to use this free City of Lost Songs coloring page for the background of your artwork.

    • If you are submitting writing, your registered character should be the focus of the piece. The piece should be at least 1000 words and it must match the content of the prompt you have chosen.

    • Submit your entry to PaperDemon.com and copy paste the prompt you selected into the submission description. Tag ARPGCityofLostSongs for 60 XP!

Prompts

Alternate name idea list: Anpaka, Moduran, Eseojos, Azure Chasm, The Manta Breach, Imperos City, Valmai, Ammoran Rift, The Buried, City of Lost Songs,

Prompt #1 - The Borealis Enclave

The Borealis Enclave is a massive city tucked in an underwater gorge that stretches for miles across the sea floor. The city is lit with beautiful teal and gold light from bioluminescent corals that are attracted to the warmth of the merpeoples’ homes and structures. There is one main thoroughfare through the city that is often packed with merpeople swimming or riding sea creatures. Draw or write your character in The Borealis Enclave. Your piece must feature an ocean, your registered character, and an underwater city.

Prompt #2 - The City of Lost Songs

Beneath a treacherous cliff face known as the City of Lost Songs rests a ship graveyard where even the bravest rarely venture. While the currents deep beneath the water are safe to swim, the water near the surface will dash the strongest swimmers and ships against the unforgiving rocks. The graveyard itself is riddled with vicious predators, creatures that wait for their meal to be cracked open by the cliff’s fangs. Few venture down to scavenge treasure from the destroyed ships. Draw or Write your character’s adventures at the City of Lost Songs. Your piece must feature an ocean, your registered character, and either shipwrecks or a dangerous cliffside.

Prompt #3 - Epiales, Leviathans of the Depths

Epiales feature heavily in the lore and myths of the world. The massive creatures are mottled black and white and can grow the length of a five-story building. Their multitude of long, narrow fins can propel them through the water at a surprising speed. In spite of their intimidating size, they are incredibly gentle. Many citizens of the world will hitch rides on passing Epiales for fun. Draw or write your character encountering an Epiale, be creative in your Epiale design! Your piece must feature an ocean, your registered character, and an Epiale.

Reference and inspiration