Not you. I wasn't talking to you. Just to the fifty-one Silver Tongues who didn't make it to the final round of the Silmaril Awards. I mean, I will say that this year has been a relief in many respects…I haven't had incompetent henchmen making poorly-conceived attempts on my life, or nefarious villains making far more effective attempts on my life, or magnificent dragons setting my hair on fire. Nope, this year it's just…talking. Lots and lots and lots of ta–RECORD SCRATCH
Huh? Wait, I didn't type that…
The Author was having a difficult time with this year's awards. How, he pondered, could one make Silver Tongues as interesting as henchmen and villains and dragons? True, he'd had a difficult time putting up with them all over the years, but it had to be acknowledged that they kept life interesting. Silver Tongues, on the other hand…talked. Beautifully, one had to admit, but after hearing fifty-six of them give impassioned speeches, the Author was beginning to wonder if a few Copper Tongues had slipped into the group. In fact, he was beginning to question the value of speech at all. There were so many better ways of expressing oneself. Semaphore, for example. Interpretive dance. Texting. (This was after texting, but before interpretive dance got really popular in 2021, a year whose slogan was “You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet.”)
AHEM. Excuse me a moment, ladies and gentlemen, we appear to be having a small metafictional crisis. Please stand by.
Excuse me, Mr….uh…do you have a name?
That's rather a complicated question. Some call me S. Morgenstern, but others…
Right. Never mind. I'll just call you “Narrator” to keep things simpler. You are the narrator of The Princess Bride, correct?
Okay. As I already told you, you didn't get enough seconds to make it to the final round of the awards. I regret it; I really do, but it's out of my hands. You were supposed to be back in your own universe with your memory erased by now.
It didn't work.
Yes, I had a feeling it might not work on you. Tampering with the memories of complex transdimensional beings is always difficult. I really hope nobody ever tries to nominate Darkseid for the Nefarious Villain category again…but I digress. Would you be so kind as to hop back to your own reality and let me handle this blog post in peace? My life is multiversally complicated enough as it is.
But before I go, just one more thing…
Ohhh, I see what you did there. Nice one.
Thanks. Since your forte is clearly more…well, let's face it, evil characters…
Watch it, Columbo.
…why not let me introduce the nominees? As sort of a consolation prize?
I'm really not sure about that. If I let you do it, they'll all want to.
Yes, but all the others had their memories erased. You've got nothing to lose.
Hmmmm. All right, fine. Just this once. I suppose I shouldn't complain; at least it's not Kronk trying to crash the party again. Carry on, Narrator; I'll go check the dimensional shielding around the arena for the award ceremony again.
Wonderful. You won't regret this.
Oh, I'm sure I will; I'm just interested to see how it all works out despite that.
And so, the Author left the Narrator to his task. A spotlight shone down on the arena–which was still under construction, and had all sorts of state-of-the-art magical countermeasures to prevent catastrophes just in case. The Author didn't expect much trouble from the other Silver Tongue nominees, especially since he'd adopted the clever strategy of erasing their memories of being nominated in the first place, but there was no harm in being cautious. In the gleam of the spotlight stood five people; the only Silver Tongues who had made it to the final round.
The first was a tall, blonde man who was both good-looking and keenly aware that he was good-looking. He kept casting charming smiles toward the audience despite the fact that the audience hadn't actually arrived yet. He was dressed in scarlet, with a flowing cape and a hat adorned with a feather. His eyes–or rather, the places where his eyes would have been if he'd had any–were covered by silken patches. If I were asked to compare him to an animal, I'd pick a cat, due to his graceful movements and easy confidence…as well as the fact that he's just turned into a fluffy orange-white cat. He does that a lot. His name was, and is, Eanrin.
Yes, I'm aware that I played fast and loose with tenses in that paragraph. It's a Narrator's prerogative. Have these events happened already, or are they happening now? Who can say? Certainly not you; you're not the one telling this story, are you?
The next person on stage was dressed in a jester's costume…fitting, since he had the air of a performer and a jokester. He, too, smiled at the still-absent audience, and moved his lips as he practiced what he was going to say to them when they were actually there. Given that he occasionally chuckled to himself, he must have found his material humorous. Who could say if the audience would agree? Regardless, Leonard the Lightning-Tongue certainly had the will to win. And the words, if the length of his murmured soliloquy was anything to go by.
Third in line, there was an unkempt and barefoot gentleman practicing softly on a whistleharp (a clever little instrument which had both strings to strum and a mouthpiece to blow into). If the quality of his practice was this superb, his actual performance would no doubt be exquisite…though, of course, words would carry more weight than music when push came to shove. It was difficult to tell a great deal about him at first glance, though I, as the Narrator, can confirm that he is exceptionally brave and that he can play upon the emotions of his audience as skillfully as he plays his whistleharp. Armulyn the Bard is his name.
Fourth…oh dear, it's going to be difficult to talk about this character without spoiling things, isn't it? Well, we'll try to keep this as vague as possible while still doing the man justice. He looked as if he had been through a great deal. That was obvious from his somewhat haggard appearance, and the fact that he had been partly transformed into a bird. However, there was much nobility in his aspect, as well. He had wings on his back, and talons on his hands instead of fingernails. He remained silent as he gazed out at the empty seats before him, but his eyes spoke of great victories and terrible losses…the things from which captivating stories are made. When he speaks, no one will dare interrupt Artham Wingfeather.
Fifth and last, there was a young boy, not yet thirteen years old, with pale skin and curly brown hair. He was singing along with Armulyn's whistleharp practice, though he appeared to be making up his own words to go with the unfamiliar melodies. Most of the lyrics consisted of unflattering commentary on goblins. Though he was the youngest of the nominees, he seemed completely at ease on stage with the rest. Possibly the lack of goblins in the stadium was giving him added confidence…then again, Curdie seemed like the sort who wouldn't be afraid of goblins in the first place.
Thank you, Narrator. I'll take it from here.
First of all, just to recap, our nominees for Most Silver Tongue are:
Eanrin, from The Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Leonard Lightning-Tongue, from The Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Armulyn the Bard, from The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
Artham Wingfeather, from The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
Curdie, from The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald
You can vote for your favorite Silver Tongue in the form linked below, as well as your choices in the other nine Silmaril Awards categories.
Vote in the Silmaril Awards! (voting closed, link inactive)
Also, be sure to visit the other voting posts in the Awards to find out more about the rest of the nominees. Here are the links:
Come back here on September 21st to find out who won the award for Most Silver Tongue. And don't forget to sign up for our awesome Silmaril Awards giveaway! You'll have a chance to win:
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