The Trials of Karcion (Community Contests): Part 1

The Trials of Karcion: Part 1

Long ago, in a time before memory, the planes were one. The Qin populated the beautiful world Angelica had wrought. They strove, loved, created and destroyed. In a tumultuous whirlwind of divine wrath and passion, they lived their lives - lives unknowable to us in their majesty and power, us the children of Mann, who we hold so dear. And so it was.

Until the death of Daemon.

Driven wild and insane by the death of its master, untamed flame tore across the world. The Qin, so mighty and eternal, feared the death of all they knew. They took desperate action - with a monumental heave, the world was torn asunder, made less than whole. Left drifting and alone on Elyria, the remnant of a once-greater world, the children of Mann looked to the sky, filled with a desperate and tragic longing for Haven, their once-home.

That longing has never left us; we, the children of the children of Mann. Still we gaze at the stars and know that our home, while beautiful, is broken and alone. One day it may be remade, but today is not that day. Today marks a day of sorrow. Once every thousand years, we begin the Trials. We look not to the sky, but to the deep and sickening fire that consumes the third plane - Karcion, the realm of Daemon's conflagration, the flame that burned the heart from our world.

We live through the Trials to know the best of ourselves. We live through the Trials to remember. And we live in hope that one day, we prove ourselves worthy through the Trials, and Angelica will return our world to what it once was; perfect, whole, home.

Let us begin. And may the Qin have mercy on our souls.

Good day, Elyrians!

The Trials of Karcion are a series of community contests - for the community, by the community. In the months to come, we will be holding a series of competitions to test creativity, wit, skill and determination. Today, November 1st, marks the first round of the Trials of Karcion.

The prizes are something that we as a community all appreciate: games!

The 1st place winner will also be given a personalized icon which they are free to incorporate into their forum signature or avatar to immortalize their win.

The ground rules are simple, but are without exceptions;

  • Anyone who wishes to participate in the Trials must be a registered member on the Chronicles of Elyria forums for at least two months prior to the announcement of that round of Trials - in this case, September 1st, 2017.
  • No NDA-protected or otherwise exclusive information can be used in any Trial
  • One entry per user, per contest.
  • No entry may violate either the Chronicles of Elyria Code of Conduct or Terms of Use

With those pleasantries out of the way... On to The Trials! Novemember's Trials are two in number - Autumnal Elyria and The Thousand Words a Picture Paints!


1000 Words a Picture Paints contest has been extended to MONDAY, Nov. 20th as the final day for submissions!

A picture paints a thousand words - or so the old adage tells us. Each splash of color, every line and curve, the specific composition of the image; these all speak volumes to us. In the Chronicles of Elyria community, we love seeing new concept art pieces not only for their content, but for the possibilities they suggest to us. Elyrian concept art sends us all on an adventure in our minds, inspiring our plans, renewing our hope, and binding us all together in the shared experience.

As this horned adventurer descends into the depths of the earth, what possibilities await him? Does treasure and glory await our bold knight, or only death? What's the story of that ship, where - or what - is its final resting place?

Elyrian students feverishly fill their heads with knowledge esoteric and strange. What secrets wait in these halls of learning? Are the crucibles and beakers we see tools of medicine and miraculous transformation, or something... Darker?

In one of our most recent pieces of concept art, we're struck by the startling interaction between dark and light. Beneath the dappled shadows of these sacred oaks, is everything as sanguine and serene as it may appear?

This is just a few of the many questions that these concept art pieces pose: the beauty of these images is in their possibilities. Using any one of these three images as your inspiration, write a short story (max 1000-2500 words). You may write whatever kind of story you wish, as long as it is set in Elyria and speaks to your chosen image. The written prompts are entirely optional - use your imagination. Bring us along on your journey and tells us the thousand words the picture paints for you!

Guest judge: Moohasha, author of Chronicles of a Soulborn!
  • 1st Prize: Elegy for a Dead World & Psychonauts
  • 2nd Prize: The Stanley Parable
  • 3rd Prize: Monster Loves You!

These prizes let you tell your own story - they games give players the chance to participate in their storyline in a meaningful way

How do I enter?

All entries should be entered in the form of a PDF to [email protected]

Please ensure to include the following in your email; failure to do so will result in your entry being disqualified:
  • Your CoE forum alias - prizes are awarded via PMs on the forum!

  • If participating in Contest 2, The Thousand Words a Picture Paints, please specify which of the three concept art pieces you are using as your writing prompt.

  • Winning entries will be displayed on the forums in a Winners Thread, while other entries will be made available via Google Drive if desired; please indicate if you give permission to share your entry regardless of the contest outcome. Refusing this permission does not disqualify you from competing. Also please indicate if you give permission to have it posted to the forums but not in the ToK drive.


Since entries are a little one sided, we are throwing in a special drawing to encourage participation in BOTH contests.

Anyone who submits one entry for each contest is eligible for a special drawing, even if they don't place in either contest, they become eligible to win Borderlands 2 Bundle, which includes character DLC and both Ultimate Vault Hunter DLCs!


  • Entries must still meet the requirements unique to each of the contests.

  • Low effort entries submitted expressly to enter into the drawing are unacceptable.

The winner of the drawing will be considered as an honorable mention and will be listed on the winners thread as such. Placing in either of the contests will NOT disqualify you from the winning the drawing.

Autumnal Submissions window has closed!

Final date for Autumnal Elyria entries is the November 15th

You're standing on a precipice in time. You feel the summer sun warm your back while the chill of winter bites at your face. The rising wind sends gold and red leaves spinning in a mesmerizing dance. In the fields, farmers work to bring in the last of the harvests, scythes glinting in the setting sun. We carve grotesque faces in pumpkins and put a light inside to scare away the darkness for one more day. We wear painted masks and elaborate costumes and we embrace fear in the hopes that we appease the spirits of the dead. And we share candy.

Or, at least, we do on Earth. What about Elyria? Once every cycle, every 52 years, they feel the weight of the Queen’s Gaze. To an Elyrian, this occurs once in a lifetime. In those years between, however, how do Elyrians mark the season of autumn? Is it celebrated annually, as on Earth? Conversely, do you think there are other rare autumn occurrences or events that Elyrians might celebrate? In the deep forests of the Kypiq, do they celebrate or mourn the fall of leaves from their sacred trees? Do the Waerd honor the spirits of the dead? In their hollow mountain homes, do the Hrothi even recognize the change in the surface world? What does fall mean to a Virtori? A Servant of the Two-Fold? A Faedin or the Qindred?

You tell us! In this contest, we want you to explore the deepest depths of your imagination and tell us how you think Elyrians mark the change from summer to winter - we want you to create an Elyrian Fall Festival!

Walk a mile in the shoes of a developer! Conceptualise an Elyrian holiday around the season of Fall - in this time of changes, from light to dark, from summer to winter, what do you envision the people of Elyria doing to mark the passing?

These prompts are not your only options, use any tribe(s), religion(s), or biome(s) you want! The more creative, the better!

In fewer than 1500-2500 words, walk us through your Elyrian Fall Festival. Use the format of a Design Journal - whatever that means to you! Provide plenty of detail and explain your choices! Imagery is allowed, and original works of art are accepted, but please do not include more than 4 images in your Journal. The entries for this contest will be judged for their originality, creativity, and integration of Elyrian lore - not on the artistic merit of its art or quality of writing.

Guest Judge: Liva, experienced designer of fan-made Elyrian architecture & clothing designs!
  • 1st Prize: Stardew Valley & Risen
  • 2nd Prize: Subnautica
  • 3rd Prize: Kholat

Get to grips with the seasons - all of these games make weather and the environment integral to the game experience!

Submission window for Autumnal Elyria: 11/1 - 11/15 (last day)

Submission window for The Thousand Words a Picture Paints: 11/1 - 11/20 (last day)

Unfortunately, we cannot accept entries after these times. The winners will be announced by the end of the month - just in time for part 2!

The Trials of Karcion are a community effort. These contests are not affiliated with Soulbound Studios in any way other than in that they are an effort by members of their fanbase. Please do not direct any enquiries regarding the Trials to a member of Soulbound staff - please reply to this thread on the Forums or email [email protected]

All contests are judged by a panel of contest organizers as well as guest judges chosen for their experience in the areas being contested. If you are interested in volunteering as a guest judge, contributing prizes, or assisting in any other way - please get in touch!

Let the Trials begin!

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

11/1/2017 10:15:55 PM #1

Questions? Comments? Queries? Feel free to contact myself or Hellmoon here on the forums or on Discord!

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

11/1/2017 10:21:14 PM #2

How do I submit it? do I email it?

11/1/2017 10:23:10 PM #3

Posted By Maulvorn at 10:21 PM - Wed Nov 01 2017

How do I submit it? do I email it?

Yes! All entries should be submitted in the form of a PDF to [email protected]. Make sure your email fulfills all the criteria mentioned for qualification :)

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

11/1/2017 10:24:22 PM #4

Missed .... by 3 days >:(

I'll enter round two for sure. By the way, any dates on future rounds?

Make decisions based on what you want, not what you want to avoid.

11/1/2017 10:25:19 PM #5

great initiative!

looking forward to seeing the submissions!

11/1/2017 10:27:25 PM #6

Posted By HeadUpHigh at 10:24 PM - Wed Nov 01 2017

Missed .... by 3 days >:(

I'll enter round two for sure.

We'll make sure Part 2 is extra special just for you :)

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

11/1/2017 10:27:26 PM #7

Super cool idea! I am extremely excited to see people participating in this event =]

11/1/2017 10:33:04 PM #8

This'll be interesting :D Looking forward to seeing some good stuff.

11/1/2017 10:43:45 PM #9

Can't wait to see entries from our super creative community members! :-D

11/1/2017 10:50:32 PM #10

I am very excited to see what our community comes up with, great job Hellmoon and Caelestius!

Thank you mod team for this initiative <3

"Stupid questions make more sense than stupid mistakes."

11/2/2017 12:04:06 AM #11

Is this in the right forum? Probably should go in either Fan- sub-forums ;)

Also, OP said : Nov**emem**ber&#39;s Trials

Also, good idea / good job :)

11/2/2017 7:05:28 PM #12

Posted By HolyAvengerOne at 12:04 AM - Thu Nov 02 2017

Is this in the right forum? Probably should go in either Fan- sub-forums ;)

Also, OP said : Nov**emem**ber&#39;s Trials

Also, good idea / good job :)

Hey, HAO, thanks very much for your kind words ^^, We thought about putting it in one of those, but settled on GD because:

1) This part is just part 1 of a series of contests, not all of which will feature fan-anything at all, and

2) The "Fan Media" and "Fan Fiction and Roleplaying" forums are more for completed works than prompts like this.

But thanks for feedback :)

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

11/2/2017 7:13:08 PM #13


In response to feedback from the community, the max word count for both contests has been raised!

  • Autumnal Elyria has been raised to 1,500-2,500 words

  • Thousand Words has been raised to 1,000-2,500 words

The word counts were initially set quite low in order to keep it accessible to all - please note that the extended word count is optional in order to accommodate our more ambitious writers. Nobody will be penalised if they would rather keep to the lower word count - the criteria remain the same, and both contests will be judged based on their quality, not their size.

Thanks for your feedback so far, and to those who have reached out to say how excited they are!

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

11/2/2017 8:14:33 PM #14

A great initiative, thanks to those responsible for organizing this <3
I'm definitely looking forward to what people will come up with :D

11/3/2017 7:36:03 PM #15

The early bird catches the worm, and the first of our submissions have started to come in!

Disclaimer: Entries ARE NOT judged on how fast they are turned in :-)