Hey all, sorry for the delay in communication on the second contest. Emails have now gone out to winners, and prizes for both contests will (hopefully) be mailed out on Tuesday (tomorrow) of this week. My birthday was last week, which I kind of forgot about until the day before, and then I made some ad hoc plans, so FAB took a backseat for a few days. But I’m back for the beginning of what is shaping up to be a busy week. My Tales of Aria spoiler will drop this Wednesday (the 8th), and I’m super excited to show it to everyone even if it’s proving to be a challenge to write an article that does it justice. Anyway, let’s talk winners. We’ve got five for this contest, which we’ll look at momentarily. After that I’ll show off the other entries, and then, at the end of this piece, I’ll be re-sharing names/aliases and winning entries from the flavor text contest for those who wanted to showcased.
Googly Eyes Forever
Thanks to everyone who participated in this one. I was actually surprised to see as few entries as I got (39). It goes to show, you really can’t guess what people will respond to. I assumed this would be much easier and more accessible than the flavor text contest, but only got about a third as many entries. Turns out, I’m kind of bad at estimating what will land with people, but I appreciate you coming along for the ride in any case. So back to googly eyes. Once more I enlisted the support of my wife to pick the winners. With fewer prize bundles to give out for this one, it was pretty tight competition. It’s worth mentioning at the outset that I opted to eliminate entries where multiple people did the same card unless one had a really interesting take on it – I got a bunch of Bone Head Barrier submissions which were very similar, for instance. Let’s hop right into these in no particular order.
This was the third entry in the contest and there was never any point after I saw it where it wasn’t a shoe in for a prize. I feel like the genre of “put googly eyes on a card” has some very intuitive obvious applications, and a lot of those are funny, but my favorites often do something unexpected, and this one was definitely that.
I got three solid submissions of “giant googly eye” each with a different take on it, and all three were good, but I felt that I needed to choose a favorite for the impromptu category.
The Beast Within entry won out in part because once you see it it’s such an obvious choice, but it also just works so well. The sort of serious and intense mood of the original piece really plays well with the goofy application of a googly eye. The runners up on this were also quite good. We had the Google Eye of Ophidia, which was probably the best technical application of a googly eye in the contest. Then Cracked Bauble, which, come on, it’s a Cracked Bauble.
This was the most outside of the box entry that really landed. The hooded figures in the foreground already gave the appearance of an open mouth, and the googly eyes play off that wonderfully. I especially appreciate the effort to make them going off in wildly different directions. It leaves the tree with a sort of manic Muppet vibe that I’ve here for. It’s very Cookie Monster, who is my chaos Muppet avatar.
Similar in tone to our first winner, I really loved the comedic approach to FABs generous gore that this one took.
This was my wife’s favorite one. She noted that the joke worked so well for her because of the choice not to put googly eyes on Azalea or her mark, but instead limit them to the tattoo. I enjoy the very slight startled side eye the tattoo seems to be giving the arrow wound.
Never Enough Googly
And here we have some highlights from the rest of the entries, which include many really strong contenders that I would have loved to send promos to, but alas, there are only so many to go around.
Flavor Text Champions
I wanted to give a chance to showcase the winners of the previous contest, so I’ll be mentioning the contestants who opted to be included along with their key entries. I’ll repeat the prompts for those who didn’t enter or don’t remember
1.)Let’s get the joke one out of the way first. I want a groanworthy pun involving teeth (it doesn’t have to be “teeth” specifically; it could be a tooth-adjacent word like “molar,” “canine,” etc.)
Jack C. won with “Attempts to plaque-ate the Maw were unsuccessful.”
It turns out the writer of the special award for trying to make my eye twitch with “’C’mon, give us a smile.’ –Jackdaw” was none other than Alex Truell (the editor at The Rathe Times LINK) – so, turnabout is fair play, I suppose.
Finally, the special prize handed out by my wife to the flavor text “Tooth be told I’ve always believed in the molar the merrier floss-iphy,” thus far appears to be an unclaimed prize. If you wrote that one, please email me (LINK) using the address you submitted the entry with, apologies if you already did and the response got lost in the shuffle.
2.) With Monarch’s release, the Bauble got more cracked and now has some sort of vine-like structure covering it. I want an ominous bit of flavor text about everyone’s favorite, tenuously held-together sphere.
This was won by “The bauble was its chrysalis. Rathe would be its home,” which was submitted by Michael Rose.
3.) Dash is one of the few Heroes with flavor text attributed to her. Hopefully it’s enough to give you an idea of her voice. She’s quoted on High Octane and Spark of Genius. You can check out her stories if you need more examples of her speech (https://fabtcg.com/heroes/dash/?stories=True). I want you to write a quote that is consistent with her voice.
Aside from submitting the winning entry of “Let me take that off your hands… And head, and legs, and feet…!” Aidan Sanchez, made three additional first cuts and three final cuts posting a very impressive 70% rate of making the first cut or better.
4.) Bravo isn’t quoted on a card. That’s a crime, and we’ve got to fix it. Also, I’m totally not counting anything that doesn’t show up on a card for this one (sorry Lore Book), so you get full creative control to define his voice. This is kind of the opposite of a “with great power comes great responsibility” situation, so go wild.
“Everfest, have you not grown tired of bards’ melodies and braumiesters’ ale? Are you still amused by sparkling lights conjured by the shamans with their smoke? Nothing can compare to I, Bravo of Valdor, channeling the Flow to shatter earth with only my fist.” – Bravo
This winning entry came with the request to be credited to the Discord user BassoonBen.
5.) In my head canon, Harold Honeysett is a sort of English-naturalist/anthropologist-by-way-of-Solana type. He is studying the Savage Lands and is kind of snobbish in demeanor. You can see his one line of flavor text on Smash with Big Tree. Write me another Harold Honeysett flavor text. (Congrats, I just tricked you into writing fan-fiction for my imagined version of a character that only shows up on one card)
“Throne. Bed. Warning. Food store. As grotesque a thing as it was, one could not deny the utility of the corpse pile.” – Harold Honeysett
This incredibly contested category was won by Kevin Brayer, who we’ll see again in a minute as he was the only person to win multiple categories, splitting the haiku victory.
6.) I know that a lot of games don’t use real world quotes because it breaks the immersion. However, this is my weird contest, so I make the rules! Give me a quote or excerpt from a real world book or poem that fits the mood of this card (be sure to cite the work and author).
This category was won with this excerpt:
“Peace flows into me
As the tide to the pool by the shore;
It is mine forevermore,
It ebbs not back like the sea …”
– Sara Teasdale, ‘Peace’.
However, this is the other prize that has thus far gone unclaimed. Again, if you submitted this entry, please email me (LINK) using the email address that you entered with.
7.) Since we’re messing around in the real world, give me a lyric from a metal song that goes with this piece (again, cite the song and artist). From Funeral Doom, to Blackgaze, to Neue Deutsche Härte, and everything in-between, as long as the band/artist is in some metal or metal-approximate genre they’re fair game.
Austin E. a.k.a. LawofCausality won this category with this lyric which seemed tailor-made for the contest:
I have taken the mantle and scarred my flesh,
and bore the weight of my astral lineage. – Vanum “Jaws of Rapture”
8.) In my madness I demand poetry! Please compose a haiku (using the 5/7/5 syllable English scheme) that conveys a sense of ephemeral beauty and/or danger.
This was the only category where I couldn’t narrow it down to a single winner, but, when I went to email winners, it turned out that Kevin Brayer had already won, so his entry here wins no additional prize but definitely merits recognition:
Nature’s patient blade
Stone becomes rubble and dust
A relentless breeze
And out other winning entry comes from Discord user Tyquaius:
Moonlight touched petal
Side to side, ever graceful
Like daggers singing
Also, a special prize was awarded to Discord user mtthgn for this cheeky entry:
Whirling Mist Blossom
Draw cards. Go again
9.) While I’m handing out hard ones, let’s do a re-write! I’ve described this card’s art as “La Belle Dame sans Merci meets H. P. Lovecraft” give me flavor text that evokes that mood. Poem link for the philistines (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44475/la-belle-dame-sans-merci-a-ballad); I’ll assume passing familiarity with Lovecraft, but Google is always there for you if you need it.
O calm thy soul against my lips,
Red blossoms like my hair,
The water’s cold, the wind is high,
Such fragrant air.
And death does look thee in the eyes,
I hold against my will,
Autumn leaves and slender branch,
I’ll love thee still.
The winner here did not give me a name to credit them with publicly, but did mention they were a poet. So, for those that came close but didn’t quite make it, you can at least rest in the knowledge that you went up against a pro and put up a good fight.
10.) You know what? You do whatever you want with this one.
Matthew Scott (Ibberbenon Discord) closed out the normal categories with this entry:
“There is no satisfaction in even listening to the symphony of time – in obsessing over each flat, sharp, or ill timed note that spells temporal chaos. But imagine considering yourself competent enough to compose it…”
And finally, Lachlan Albert won the special prize for making the final cut in categories 1, 2, 3, 6, and 9 –the most final cuts of any contestant. Despite getting edged out in each category, I wanted to recognize his strong, consistent work
As I mentioned above, so far two winners have not responded to my email. I’m going to give it another week or so to hear back from them. If their prizes are still unclaimed at that time, I will award them to the contestants who had the most first cut or better appearances but did not already win a prize (ties broken via random number generator).
*Header Image – Surging Militia by Kyxarie Peralta