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Thronebreaker Holiday Contest!

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Vattier

CD PROJEKT RED


RESULTS

As the winter solstice comes closer, people of Lyria and Rivia are getting ready to celebrate. Air is filling with magic as families gather to bond after a long war with Nilfgaard.

Celebrate winter solstice with us by sharing your vision of holiday celebrations in Lyria and Rivia on their first winter after events shown in Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. Best entries will be awarded!

In order to participate, use a technique of your choice (story, drawing, cartoon, figurines, photos, anything you come up with!) to show us your vision of holiday season in Lyria and Rivia after events shown in Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. The entry should not exceed 10MB and if the entry is created in written form it must be in English and cannot exceed 2000 words. In order to be valid all entries must be submitted to thronebreakerholidaycontest@kaermorhen.com

The winner will get a Thronebreaker: The Witcher tales box (containing Thronebreaker goodies and a digital copy of the game) and a GWENT goodie set.
Runner up will get a GWENT Artbook and a GWENT goodie set.
Third place will be awarded with a GWENT goodie set.

Feel free to share your vision in a comment section below, but please remember that you have to send an email in order to get a chance to win a prize.

The contest will end at 23:59 CET on Thursday, December 13th and winners will be announced within a week after the end of the contest. Full rules can be found here.

Information about your personal data
Your personal data controller is CD PROJEKT S.A. with its registered seat in Warsaw, Poland, ul. Jagiellońska 74, 03-301 Warszawa.
Your personal data will be processed for the purpose of carrying out a competition organized by CD PROJEKT, in which you intend to take part, in particular for the purpose of contacting contestants, assessing submissions, awarding prizes and announcing results.
We respect your privacy rights i.e. the right to access, rectify and delete your data, limit its processing, transfer it, a right not to be a subject to automated decision-making, including profiling, and to object to the processing of your personal data (you will find more details about processing of your personal data in the CD PROJEKT RED Privacy Policy).
 

Vattier

CD PROJEKT RED
Thank you for all entries you sent us!

We present the three winning entries below and we encourage authors of remaining ones to share their works in comments below.

Congratulations to the winners!

First place
The Winter Solistice - story by
Anton 'Oestrimni' M.
<attached as pdf>

Second place
<Untitled scene> - pyrography by
Ágnes K.
pyrography.jpg

Third place
The bridge over the Yaruga - story by
Easha Dustfeather
The bridge over the Yaruga

The blizzard lasted for three days, and her mother did not allow her to play outside.

This morning, however, the snow sparkled under the rays of the winter sun. The little girl left the preparations of the winter solstice celebrations to her mother and ventured forth to the snowcovered outskirts of the village.

Usually she would have asked the twins next door to play with her, but two months ago - when the first frost came - they fell ill and had no time to play with her anymore. She stopped asking their mother if her friends recovered when she first noticed the tears in the woman’s eyes. The girl had to play alone ever since.

“Kocur? Kocur? Where are you hiding?”

She lost the trail of the old tomcat when he escaped into the ruins of the old barn close to the Yaruga. The girl pouted over the loss of her playmate, but did not give up that easily. During the last two months she had tried to befriend the village’s old stray tomcat to feel less lonely. She somewhat succeeded. At the very least Kocur had stopped hissing at her and even let her pet him once in a while.

Maybe he had escaped to the roof?

The girl carefully climbed the rubble to reach the barn’s second floor. The wooden beams creaked when she reached the first floor. She crawled carefully towards the window and looked outside. The bright sunlight reflected by the snow dazzled her at first, but once she got used to the brightness the girl was stunned: The cold clear winter air allowed a delightful view across the whole village. The snow gently covered the ruins of the buildings destroyed during the Nilfgaardian invasion. The horizon was not ablaze like on the day the Blackclads inflicted war on the kingdom. Her ears were not filled with screams of terror and agony from the villagers, when the invaders abducted the men for slavery or pressured them into their armed forces. The Bridge over the Yaruga wasn’t echoing with the sounds of studded boots.

The bridge!

She spotted a group of men, some of them wearing black armour led by a couple of riders bearing a black banner with a golden sun, marching across it! She knew that banner, it has been part of many of her nightmares. The peaceful mood was drowned in panic and fear as the feelings welled up inside her. Just like back then…

“I am afraid, mum. Who are those black men?”

“Sshhh. It will be alright.” She tried to hide her tears from her daughter.

“But why did daddy have to go with them? I want him to stay! He is my daddy, they cannot take him from me!”

“He will come back. He will definitely come back. Believe in your father. He will come back...”

She needed to warn the villagers.

The little girl got up as fast as she could – Too fast for the old wood already weakened by fire and now burdened with snow. The girl’s scream drowned out in the sound of splintering timber as the barn collapsed.

The officer ordered his unit to stop, as he heard a rumbling noise piercing the silence around them. A scout was sent to investigate its source. He reported back soon after: A child was buried under a destroyed building. The officer spurred his horse, leading his men to the place indicated by the scout. They found a tomcat standing in the remains, meowing at a gap in the heap of ruins. A faint whimper could be heard from beneath, so all the men started to dig with their bare hands, heaved the wooden beams aside until a shock of blond hair appeared.

“That’s my daughter!” An unarmoured man hastened to the rescued child.

“…daddy? DADDY!”

Father and daughter, separated for moths, were finally reunited in a hearty embrace.

The village came in sight, but the little girl barely noticed. She was overly too excited, chatting with her father and her joyfulness made not only him, but all the men around them smile. Only the dust at her clothes hinted that she had almost been crushed mere minutes ago.

The village seemed abandoned. The only resident was Kocur, who had gone ahead and left his trail in the snow, sitting by the well in the centre of the village square. However, one could still tell that people were hiding inside the houses. Faint clouds of smoke from the hastily extinguished fireplaces were lingering above the roofs.

“Mum! Mum! Daddy is back!”

The door of her home opened and her mother stepped outside. Her eyes widened as she didn’t believe what she was seeing, but disbelief gave way to joy as she caught her child and her husband in her arms. Around them, other villagers left their houses to welcome their long-missed loved ones. Tears were shed – not only tears of joy but also tears of sadness for the ones who did not make it back.

The Nilfgaardian unit which escorted the men back from the Empire to their homes felt somewhat lost at the village square. Even at a distance they could feel the piercing looks and the mix of fear and hatred of the villagers towards them. It hadn’t been that long since the peace treaty which laid down the rules of the prisoner exchange was signed after all.

The little girl approached the Nilfgaardian officer with a beatific smile.

“N'ees tedd a thu”[1], he told her as he patted her head reluctantly.

“Thank you for saving me, Mister Tinman!” She presented him one of the straw stars she had folded during the last three days

He smiled and took the present from the girl.

The villagers around them witnessed this childlike innocence. It was the little girl’s mother who followed her offspring and stepped in front of the officer.

“Thank you for bringing back my husband and saving my daughter.” She clasped his gauntlet with both of her hands and bowed to him.

The villagers and his men behind him alike eyed at the officer. He took in the mood swing by looking in the faces of the people around him. His own men had loosened, tension dropping from their shoulders. The villager’s glimpses showed less hostility - even respect. And yet he could not help but to notice that the peasant’s eyes were sunken, just like their cheeks. Even though they wore winter clothes, he could guess that their bodies were frail as well. The first winter after the war associated with the food shortage had taken a toll on them.

The officer returned to his horse, hesitated for a moment, then opened the saddle bag and took the sack with his rations from it. He put something for the trip home in the saddle bag, but returned with the sack and put it between the villagers and his unit. The Nilfgaardian fumbled around with a flask attached to his belt and threw it into the sack as well before he returned to his soldiers.

He did not say a word.

His look did not even have one ounce of an order in it, and yet all of his men followed his example. They were a small detachment so it wasn’t much, but everyone gave a little. By the end the officer’s provision sack was filled with bread, apples, some cheese and dried meat. The villagers stood by in silence as they watched their former enemies leaving food for them.

Proud of his soldiers the officer mounted his horse.

“Aecáemm aen me, esse'lath seiâ'fyll!“[2]

The Nilfgaardian soldiers left the village and after about a Furlong the officer could hear the villager’s cheering behind him. He smiled but did not turn around.

The whole family gathered around the decorated fir tree. In addition to the candles and straw stars, one single straw sun adorned the branches.

It was snowing again.

The officer shivered. He was about to reach for his flask to take a sip of schnapps when he remembered giving it to the villagers. Still, he felt similar warmth welling up inside him.

1 I got no time for you.
2 Follow me, loose formation!
 

Attachments

Thank you to the jury for choosing my short story. If I see the other great entries in this thread, I can imagine it wasn't easy to decide.