Well, it’s official. After completing four challenges, I won the “Quest for the Hallows” contest on the CoS Forum! And that, according to Professor Dumbledore, makes me “Master of Death”… whether I like it or not.
So here’s how it all breaks down:
Task #1: The Elder Wand: For the Elder Wand task, we had to write a story (or submit a graphic) about one person who was canonically Master of the Elder Wand.
I found the whole idea of writing a fictional story terrifying because I have always rather emphatically not specialized in fiction. But I entered the contest to help my House (Gryffindor) get enough entries into the contest to rack up some House points. I honestly never expected to win anything myself. But I got an idea, and people really liked it.
My entry took “2nd Place” and “Best Overall” (thanks to split votes between “Best Story” and “Best Overall”). Here’s my entry. And here are my banners:
Task #2: The Resurrection Stone: Having done well in a task, I was excited going in to the next one. For the Resurrection Stone task, we could create a HP-related story (or image) or a Personal story (or image) showing how we would use the Stone.
The most popular HP-related scenario was to bring Fred back so that George could say goodbye. But I did something entirely different. I was a bit confused by the task. When the instructions said you, I thought they literally meant me (not a narrator). Since I did not want to use the Stone, I came up with an elaborate workaround on how I could use the Stone without actually intending to use the Stone.
The entry took 4th place for HP-related story and 5th place overall. No banners this time, but I did get extra points. Here’s my entry.
Task #3: The Invisibility Cloak: After placing in the first two tasks, I was one of the contest leaders. But this was the task that I thought was going to destroy me. We had to cover something that we never wanted to see again with a Cloak of Invisibility unlimited by size. But I just didn’t see any logic in merely covering something if the thing was still actually there.
So I thought and thought and thought… and ultimately overthought it! Eventually, the only logical thing I could think of to cover was my garage. I didn’t want to remove the garage. I just didn’t want to see it. I knew I had no chance of winning the task the minute I saw the winning entry (Entry 17). But at least I placed 4th again! (oh, and here’s my entry!).
Task #4: Master of Death: Having placed in all three tasks, I was now in 2nd place in the contest overall, thanks to cumulative points. In the final task, we had to tell why we would or would not unite the Hallows and become the Master of Death.
Within a day, I got an idea. How about a narrator from the distant future, looking back on the past – sort of like the Babylon 5 episode “The Deconstruction of Falling Stars”? Eventually, this idea morphed into a post-apocalyptic Wizarding future in which goblins rule.
I knew the idea was potentially catastrophic for my contest chances. But being a Gryffindor, I reasoned that now was the time for a bold move, not a time to play it safe. I decided that if I was going to go down, I was going to go down in flames. Here’s my entry. Thankfully, enough people liked it that it again got into the final round of voting… and this time I tied for 3rd place (and I won a whole new banner!):
Tallying it all up: At this point, I was the only participant in the competition who had placed in all four tasks, and this gave me the highest cumulative score, which gave me First Place in the Contest. But there was an additional surprise. Because I also scored the highest number of House Points in the contest, I was the 1st Place House Champion (Go Gryffindor!). So here are those cool banners:
Finally, what all this means is that I get the title “Master of Death.” And even though I don’t really want to be MoD, I do like the banner:
I put all of my banners into that nifty little animated GIF that opened this post. It is now my sig pic on the CoS Forum.
ETA: Oh! I forgot the best part! My big prize was the User Title of my choice! Custom User Titles are highly coveted on CoS (they appear right under the username). I chose, of course, my favorite HP quote: “Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak!”
Okay… snarking is open now on the Comments thread! Have fun!