The new fanfiction forum is in full swing and filling daily with stories from the avid fan-writers of WoW. Nethaera has been helping things along by adding new writing challenge threads about once every two weeks or so. The first of these asked the readers to imagine they were an attendee at the trial of Garrosh Hellscream and to describe what they saw. It's not a competition, but Nethaera did outline a few rules, notably, the writers could not exonerate Garrosh.
It's been fascinating to read the responses. Many feature similar themes and ideas, but there is endless variation on the theme. As I did a few weeks ago with the forum at large, I've picked five of my favorite stories from the thread and listed them below. There are many more than these that deserve attention, but time is short and I am but one person. Please feel free to comment with some of your own favorites, as well!
1. Post #3, by Adoradoria
It's probably bad form to pick the very first response to the thread as a top five, but I just couldn't let this one go by. It is, of all things, a popular entertainment-style report of the trial's fashion. As in who of Azeroth's movers and shakers wore what. No joke. By the end of the first paragraph I was grinning from ear to ear. It's such an unusual and wonderfully light-hearted take on a topic that's got the rest of us arguing heatedly in other parts of the forums. It's also a great way to open up the topic. Bravo!
2. Post #20, by Rylhen
Rylhen's story covers the very opening of the trial of Garrosh and goes into great detail about the setting, the crowd, and the entrance of both Garrosh and the other faction leaders into the designated courtroom. The dialogue is compelling, from Taran Zhu's opening speech to a particular exchange between Garrosh himself and Vol'jin. This story creates and delivers a great sense of atmosphere.
3. Post #34, by Nikasaur
This one got me hooked from the opening line. In two short sentences the author manages to convey the flavor of the narrator's personality with an ease I can only envy. I love the cadence of the writing in this piece. Written in the first person, it captures the terse point-of-view character's voice impeccably while also describing the courtroom's mood and palpable tension. This one's short and packs a considerable punch.
4. Post #21, by Killimanjaro
This is another piece that manages to convey a lot of emotion through terse, pointed writing. It's also written in first person perspective, and the story reflects the thoughts of the main character as they await their turn on the witness stand for the Alliance, and the reaction of the crowd when Garrosh's verdict is handed down.
5. Post #45, by Carmiel
This is another unusual find among the tales in this thread, because it takes place from the perspective of an orcish peon named Og, not a player character hero. Og is clearly uncomfortable, keenly aware that he's surrounded by people more perceptive and knowledgeable than him. But he has also borne witness to Garrosh's atrocities, and relives them in heartbreaking detail as the trial progresses. Of all the stories I read in this thread, this one made my heart ache the most.
Those are all the specific recommendations I'm going to make for this thread, but there are plenty more which deserve some reader attention. I hope you've enjoyed some of what I've listed, and please feel free to discuss others of your favorites, or even plug your own tale, in the comments.