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Welcome to 21 Days of Valdemar!

Put on your party hats - it’s time for the Dead Vanyel Memorial Party! Vanyel is OFFICIALLY the Woobiest of the Woobies, and we celebrate in his honour!


No More Fills posted here! Post to AO3 or FF.Net and post the link here!

Discussion Post | Mod Call Post | Resources Post


Day 1 -Aug. 9 - Prompts! You will have seven days to put as many prompts as you'd like on this post. And if you start writing them early, well that's just good planning!

Day 8 - Aug. 16 - Prompting ends, posting begins! You have 14 days to write, draw, and potentially diorama as many prompts as you can.

Day 19 - Aug. 27 - This is the cut-off day for prompters to reply to any questions about their prompt. Unanswered questions are considered enthusiastic agreement.

Day 21 - Aug. 29 - Last day of posting! All fills must be posted by 11:59 PM North American Mountain Time.
Day 22 - Aug. 30 - Party time! You now have the option of going unanon and reposting everything you've done to AO3 under our fancy AO3 Collection. Or unanoning in whatever manner you please.

(Click on the dates for countdowns; the fest is following MDT/Mountain Time)


For the purposes of this fest, the prompts themselves are warnings. If you have issues with this policy, we recommend either not participating or using Dreamwidth blocker.

Joining the 21_days community is optional for prompters, fillers, and all interested parties; we have some extra content for comm members, but this prompt/fill post, the discussion post, and the mod call post are open for everyone.

MOST IMPORTANT RULE: Posting unanon will be deleted. This doesn't mean you aren't welcome here! And if you'd like the content of your comment PMed to you, contact the MOD CALL post.

For Prompters and Readers

  1. Subject lines should include the series, characters and/or pairing you want. Feel free to be as descriptive as you'd like. Warnings aren't required, but they also aren't banned.
  2. You don't have to write or draw. It's anon, there's no IP-tracking, and we aren't going to stalk you.
  3. Do not comment on other people's prompts to try and change pairings or characters. Post your own version with the characters you want instead.
  4. If you fail to respond to a 'is this okay?' kind of question about any of your prompts by the 19th day, it'll be taken as an enthusiastic yes, no matter what the question is.
  5. There are no subject bans. You may prompt anything you want.
  6. If you don't want to answer any questions, you can say so, and that will work as blanket permission for anything people might want to do with your prompt.
  7. Prompts for non-Valdemar Mercedes Lackey series are allowed.

For Artists and Writers

  1. No claiming prompts, please, as multiple fills are welcome!
  2. Minimum wordcount per fill is 100 words.
  3. All content is allowed and all warnings are optional, but if you want to write or draw extreme kinks** for a prompt that doesn’t specifically request them, you have ask the prompter first.
  4. If the artist requests it, the mods will repost art fills as an embedded picture in a reply to their comment. NSFW art will be labelled as such in the subject line by re-posting mods. Art involving underaged characters in porn situations will not be re-posted as an embed.
  5. RPF of underage people is not allowed. We're not even sure if it's possible for Valdemar fic, but whatever. It's not allowed.

** "extreme kinks" for the purposes of this exchange include but are not necessarily limited to: extreme underage, major character death, scat/watersports/emetophilia, extreme gore, and bestiality. Please use reasonable discretion, and ask a mod if you have any questions!

For Everyone

This is a Choose Not to Warn fest. At no point will any comment be deleted for failure to warn of its content in the subject lines. They will be deleted for rampaging dickery and failure to follow the rules.

Unanon comments will be deleted.

Attempts at policing other people's fun will be deleted.

Prompts posted after the end of the 7th day will be deleted.

Links to off-meme posts posted prior to end of the 21st day will be deleted.

Concerns are to be directed to the MOD CALL post. If posted here, they will be deleted.

Fills that have spectacularly failed to fulfill the prompt/been posted to the wrong spot will be screened. You can request a copy of your work at the MOD CALL post.

The rules may change without warning in response to unforeseen circumstances, like us thinking of better ones.

From: (Anonymous)
This was supposed to fit the Vanyel/Blankets prompt, but I felt I ended up a bit off-message so I'm posting under the catch-all prompt just in case! Pretty much 300 words of crack :)

-- "Platonic" --

Vanyel hummed to himself as he worked, the words of Stef’s new ballad running through his mind. His young – friend, his friend – had sung it for him the night before, and he thought that with a bit of creativity, he may be able to split out the lyrics into a duet. He just had to work out the right transitions, and the points where the harmony would be most effective.

If, and here he felt rather less certain of his success, Stefen was open to the idea of experimentation on this piece. Vanyel’s hands stilled for a moment before continuing their task. He and Stefen had altered songs before, adapted them to accommodate two voices instead of one, but never with one of Stef’s own compositions. Perhaps the achingly beautiful redhead – sorry, the precociously competent young man – would be more averse to Vanyel meddling with his own song. It was, after all, a very intimate form of creative intrusion, and Stef might not be comfortable with –

Vanyel sighed, forcing himself away from thoughts of intimacy and intrusion.

He was finished with one project, at least. He tied off the last thread and set the needle aside. Rising to his feet, he shook out his creation: a patchwork quilt, eight by eight feet. The patches were taken from scraps of old clothing – his own, as well as discarded tunics of Stef’s that he’d begged from Medren.

Isn’t that a bit of a, well, more than friendly sort of gift? Medren had asked when Vanyel explained. Vanyel had laughed; he still had no idea, definitely no idea at all, of what Medren had been talking about. The blanket was a perfectly platonic gift, merely a symbol of their lives sewn inextricably together, the tattered pieces of each individual soul given a new and unified purpose.

“Perfectly platonic,” Vanyel reminded himself aloud. He stared down at the blanket, inexplicably nervous. “Oh gods, I hope he likes it.”
From: (Anonymous)
Oh Van, you hopeless ass. Their UST is too cute. Love it.
From: (Anonymous)

No, that's TOTALLY PLATONIC, Vanyel. Obviously!

(I love his manic focus on how platonic his gift is. Like Vanyel, you didn't make a blanket sized for one person there, did you notice that? ;)
From: (Anonymous)

Glad you liked this platonic story about platonic gifts! I had a platonically great time writing a platonic fill for such a platonic prompt.
From: (Anonymous)

Platonic? Platonic platonic! Plaaaatonic.

It's not like it means I like you or anything, dumbass!

From: (Anonymous)
Implying Stef should sleep with you.....r shirts.

Completely innocent.
From: (Anonymous)
Great scene! He is so much in denial and this is so true to the book!

Art: Pretty Soldier Sailor Vanyel

Date: 2015-08-19 12:16 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So someone just had to whisper the words "magical girls" in my direction this week to goad me into doing this. Sorry prompter, but I am only familiar with Madoka by osmosis so I couldn't do that. But I can do this!

And I thought to myself: 'Should I genderswap Vanyel for this? ....Naaah, he can pull it off'.

(Mods, may I please get an embed?)

Re: Art: Pretty Soldier Sailor Vanyel

Date: 2015-08-19 12:22 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
O M F G those thiiighs


Re: Art: Pretty Soldier Sailor Vanyel

Date: 2015-08-19 01:19 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Damn it I'm torn evenly between laughing and admiring his legs while admitting he pulls it off.

gg artist nonny!

Fighting evil by moonlight
Buried in blankets by daylight...

Re: Art: Pretty Soldier Sailor Vanyel

Date: 2015-08-19 01:22 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

I had such a shitty day at work today, but then I came back and saw THIS and suddenly the day is bright and beautiful again.

I love how serious his expression is! Saving the world is of course Very Serious Business after all. And you included the amber focus!!! His hair and the cape are flowing so nicely! And I love how you remixed Whites as a sailor uniform! This is just so well done and well conceived on all levels. Amazing

Re: Art: Pretty Soldier Sailor Vanyel

Date: 2015-08-19 01:41 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Madoka-crossover prompting nonny is :D :D :D :D :D all over.

I love the white boots! And the magical-trail effect gauzing across his legs is rather elegant! And I love the puffy sleeves and the cape and the medallion thingy and his SRZ BZNZ face and his manly thighs!

:D :D :D some more.

Re: Art: Pretty Soldier Sailor Vanyel

Date: 2015-08-20 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That's magnificent. I love his thighs, and his determined face and his cape!

Re: Art: Pretty Soldier Sailor Vanyel

Date: 2015-08-25 05:36 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Omg this is such a great picture! Your coloring style is really nice, I love how all the colors interact with each other. And the details in his outfit are perfect! Great job :D

Re: Vanyel/Angst - Starvation

Date: 2015-08-30 04:39 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I ran out of time to do comfort! /o\ Have Vanyel fucking up instead.

There was a full moon yet to pass before Sovvan Night came, but it was freezing. Vanyel hated it. Couldn’t stand the constant cold, the layers and layers of clothes that did nothing to warm him, the endless drizzling rain--every last bit of it was terrible. The border was nothing but mud, brambles, and Karse’s thrice-cursed demons, and Vanyel hated all of it.

Yfandes’ coat was stained yellow up to her belly, and Vanyel couldn’t brush the mud out enough to make her properly sliver. His clothes had given up the ghost of white, and become a universally dull and dingy shade of brown, and Vanyel resented it immensely--the constant dampness had stretched out every item he owned, leaving him in shit-brown rags that fit him no better than a beggar’s might.

He looked like he’d rolled in shit, and then splashed it on Yfandes. :Fucking mud.: Vanyel thought, barely keeping his irritation in check. :They send us out into those fucking hills for nothing one more time and I’ll--:

:Vanyel, love, dear heart?: Yfandes interrupted, her voice in Vanyel’s mind as weary as he felt.

He shoved the mud-caked curry comb in her saddlebags. It had only spread the dirt around, made her look like a defeated old nag--

:An old nag?: Yfandes snapped, her head swinging up, and her eyes dangerously wide and her teeth bared. :I am not a nag!:

Vanyel sighed, and reined in his self-pity. :Don’t mind me, love. You look lovely under all that mud. I just wish I could get it off you instead of just smearing it around.:

She snorted and accepted that, letting her head sink back down, and this time Vanyel kept his thoughts on how very tired she looked to himself.

:You’re still favoring that hoof,: he said, looking up at the sullen clouds above as he felt the beginnings of rain on his skin. :Did you want me to look at it?:

:I’d much rather you found me something to eat,: Yfandes answered, the hoof in question subtly inching away from him. :If--by any miracle--this camp has something that isn’t last year’s hay...?:

:I will find it, and deliver it to you.: Vanyel, promised. He smiled at her, his bad mood broken. :You’re too thin as it is. And then maybe I can look at your hoof, hm?:

:It’s a bruise. Nothing you can do.: Yfandes’ head lifted enough to stare at him, blue eyes keen and focused. :You should eat. It’s not just me who is too thin.:

Vanyel shrugged, lifting her saddle over his shoulder, and throwing her bags over his other. They, too, were dingy brown, the bright blue trim so mud-caked that Vanyel expected he’d never get it back to the original shade. :The slop they serve here could kill an ox.: He wasn’t that desperate. Or that hungry.

She worried over nothing. Vanyel had eaten at midday, as much of the thin and faintly muddy gruel he could stomach. Admittedly it hadn’t been much, but it wasn’t as though he was starving. “I’m fine,” he said firmly, heading up hill to the ragged collection of tents housing the Valdmaran guard at this unlucky post. The sun had almost set, darkness rolling in like a wave.

The half-healed burn lightning-seared into his side ached, and Vanyel reached out, finding a leyline and tapping it for a rush of energy to help him climb the hill. It was as natural as breathing now, augmenting his reserves with those of the land. Didn’t heal him, not in the least, but at least he couldn’t feel the pain through the crackle of magic in his ears.

The guards avoided his eyes, accepting his presence but not welcoming it. They never did. Vanyel had ceased to care. Magic couldn’t take that hurt away, but all emotion became apathy when he felt it long enough. Some days he wanted to scream at them, taunt them with his ‘unnaturalness’ until they spoke the words he knew they were holding back--pervert, criminal, disgusting--breaking that polite silence with words he could hate them for.

Naturally, Vanyel would never.

He found the field unit commander’s tent by way of elimination--it was the only mud-splattered canvas hovel large enough to stand in. Vanyel slung Yfandes’ saddle from his shoulder to his hip, and pushed inside. “Herald-Mage Vanyel,” he said, blinking until his eyes adjusted to the light. “Reporting--”

A babble of Karsite interrupted him, the men gathered over a tiny camp table covered in maps not Valdemaran guards but a black-robed priest and a Karsite captain, both scrambling away from him in abject terror.

Vanyel froze. :Yfandes--!:

The scent of storms broke his shock, and Vanyel summon fire and lightning, throwing it into the men, interrupting the priest’s casting seconds before it could be completed.

:Did they have oats, dear?: she replied sleepily.

Two corpses stared up at him, their faces locked in a rictus of despair. Vanyel set her saddle on the Karsite carpets lining the floor, looking around the clearly foreign tent in growing confusion. :We are in Valdemar, aren’t we, Yfandes?:

He stepped back outside, knocking aside the arrows flying toward him with a wave of power. A twist of the same mass, and it lunged out to those who had shot at him, crushing their bodies into the ground. Vanyel unshielded his mindspeech, searching for others, and only found the dying thoughts--pain-pain-pain-no-please-NO!-- of the ones before him.

Yfandes was a soft pressure behind his eyes, and Vanyel let her see. There’s no way--we couldn’t possibly be this far off track. I couldn’t possibly have walked into the wrong camp--it’s impossible!

:Lord and Lady.: Yfandes thought, and Vanyel felt her disbelief mirroring his. :You didn’t--:

:I walked right in! Why didn’t they stop me?!: Vanyel curled his hands into his hair, gripping it until his scalp hurt. I groomed Yfandes for an hour! The bodies were crumpled shapes in the dark, and he couldn’t see the blood. Vanyel smelled it, but he couldn’t see it, not without summoning mage light. It was so dark, no moon at all, he just hadn’t been able to see--

:Yfandes!: Vanyel’s thoughts crept up into a wail, and he caught it--caught himself and forced his emotions back under control. :I seem to have killed a few Karsites. We’re on Valdemaran soil, aren’t we?:

She came up the hill, her hooves loud in the sucking mud, a faint ghost in the darkness. Yfandes turned her head one way, then the other, taking in the crumpled lumps that had been men before Vanyel had broken them, and then plodded up to him. :Could we make it look like demons, do you think?: she asked.

Valdemar didn’t attack. Valdemar didn’t invade. Valdemar only defended its borders--Vanyel realized suddenly that he was panting like he’d just run a race. :Yfandes, I--:

:Chosen, love, these things happen. If it wasn’t Valdemaran soil before, well--: an unfamiliar note of dark amusement filled her words, and Vanyel shivered :--then it is now.:

They were dead. They hadn’t been fighting him or trying to kill him, they’d just been settling down to the night, living the same miserable existence that he was. And Vanyel had waltzed up into the wrong damn camp and murdered them.

:Vanyel dear?:

His head snapped up, eyes focusing on her.

:I think I smell oats.: Yfandes tilted her head toward a tent at the far side of the camp. :Go look?:

Numbly, he agreed, and stumbled toward the tent. He heard her, Yfandes unable to be silent in the mud, the wet sounds of her dragging the bodies to the side of the camp echoing over to Vanyel. He sent her his gratitude, filling his palm with magelight and making it hover off his skin when his hand started shaking.

Tears were dripping down his cheeks, collecting in the corners of his mouth. Vanyel ignored them, searching the scant supply packs inside the tent. One did contain a half-full burlap sack of oats, and Vanyel collected it. He took a few withered apples from another sack--Yfandes liked apples--and knelt there, staring at the supplies that would feed the mice and rats when he left.

:It’s done, Love. I can’t fit in the tent, but the camp is empty.:

Vanyel nodded, stumbling to his feet--they’d went to sleep, all numb and prickling now. :I found oats.:

:And something for yourself, I hope.: Yfandes said sternly, at his side as soon as he left the tent, nosing the oat sack in his arms. :We might as well stay until morning--not even a Karsite would wander a night this black.:

Stay!--Vanyel grimaced at the thought, faintly appalled. :I’m not hungry,: he replied, licking the salt off his lips. The tears had dried, and Yfandes was right. He didn’t like it, but she was right. Leaving now would be dangerous and foolish--if she hurt a leg in the dark, they’d both be stranded.

Vanyel opened the sack for her, and held it while she devoured enough oats to give a normal horse colic.

:In the morning, Vanyel, you must eat. Magic cannot replace food any more than fire could.: Yfandes lectured, nose deep in gluttony--in oats. :It eats you, my Chosen one, not the other way around.:

Perhaps in the morning he’d be capable of hunger. Vanyel fed her the apples, one after another, and felt nothing at all.

Re: Vanyel/Angst - Starvation

Date: 2015-08-30 05:22 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This is so tangibly bleak. The way Van's being dragged down by his hunger and depression is frightening. Gdit Van eat something already. Maybe it will get your brain working again.

Re: Vanyel/Angst - Starvation

Date: 2015-08-30 07:38 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh man, you definitely got the ship tagged right. Vanyel is clearly in a deep, longterm, very committed relationship with Angst.

I feel a bit guilty for loving this so much--sorry, Vanyel--but I do. I really do. He's just so miserable :D


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