Thursday, 30 September 2021

Awards Ceremony! | Silmaril Awards 2021

So. The villains who weren’t shortlisted have been politely asked to leave, the edge of a curtain and also an odd circular patch in the lawn have been set on fire, several villain-to-villain farewells have been topped with a promise of eternal friendship (by which I mean "my good friend, your flair for villainy is commendable, if you ever need an ally in a plan I’d be touched if you thought of me, I love murder"), and a portal has been opened up in my bathtub because aPPARENTLY the front door wasn’t dramatic enough to leave by.

I’m just happy I didn’t need to call the dragons to drive them out.

So this leaves us, of course, at the final round of the award:

 

Most Nefarious Villain: Awards Ceremony


Presented, of course, by Saruman, noted Istari from Middle Earth!

Excuse me for a moment while I just blibbityblobbitybloop myself into a third person side character.

*crackling static*

• • • • • • •

"And what," Saruman says, low and dangerous, "is this."

"It’s your staff for the ceremony. You had it last year, remember?"

Saruman holds up the staff in his hand. It’s plastic. And pink. "Where. Is my staff."

"I borrowed this one from Kenzie specifically," Jem points out. "You do remember what happened last awards ceremony, don’t you?"

"How has that… demon creature… managed to get itself into the awards ceremony again?"

Jem shrugs. "Nefariousness and villainy. And a lot of fans. Also, I’m not sure Brother is a demon."

"He possessed my staff," Saruman says, bitter, but the memory of such ignominy is enough that he doesn’t hurl the pink staff across the stage.

Which, it should be pointed out, is not in Jem’s house. She’s had quite enough of them. Instead, she’s hired a cave – normally used for weddings, with its stage and high roof and dramatic lighting, but she doesn’t tell them that, oh no. They will use the cave, and they will like it.

The audience files in.

So many familiar faces. Jem fixes her smile and tries not to think of the state of her house.

The villains find their seats and study their peers, eyes narrow, obviously making notes on who is and who isn't present. Some of them look satisfied, others supremely disgusted. Evidently there are still hard feelings after the week they spent living cramped together. 

Saruman taps his staff on the stage in front of him. It makes a plasticky plock instead of an impressive echoing thump. The look on his face stops anyone from commenting… at more than a low whisper, at least. 

"So you have come," he says, flatly. "There are some among you who stand in merit, I hear. Some, indeed, who are worthy to have a jewel bestowed upon them that few have held and fewer yet have worn." His deep, dark eyes rove across the audience. "These have been called from among the rabble–"

A single voice starts jeering from the back of the audience, and is silenced by a searing flash of Saruman's eyes. 

"–In fifth place, a so-called villain with twelve percent of the votes, which–" a little more of a sneer enters Saruman's voice "–is more than he deserves, the insolent child: Brother!"

In the front row, one of the chairs begins to twist and morph beneath its alarmed occupant, and a wicked cackle rises – as does the chair. Despite their self-professed villainy and undoubted abilities, the neighbouring audience members quickly give their unfortunate peer's chair a wide space.

Saruman points his hand – the one not holding the pink staff, as though he doubts its plasticky functionality – at the chair and thunders, "Get out–"

The chair straight-up turns to dust, leaving a disgusted Lord Miraz on the ground.

"In fourth place," says Saruman, aggressively ignoring the audience, "is the Witch of the West. Thirteen percent of the votes."

A hugely tall and skinny woman flicks her ropelike pigtail across to her other shoulder, looking slightly smug but mostly cross. She'd been looking cross since before her name was called, though, so perhaps she was just generally cross.

Saruman continues implacably. "Or, I suppose, the fire demon she was fool enough to be possessed by. Why people will insist on going after sources of power they vastly overestimate their ability to control, I do not know."

No one in the audience seems game to comment on this. Jem certainly isn't. She's certainly not going to suggest that at least the Witch of the Waste got her power, while a certain Ring may have remained steadfastly out of the reach of a certain wizard who may or may not have had plans to control it.

After all, she wishes to stay alive until the next Silmaril Awards. 

"Third place. Seventeen percent. Captain James Hook."

"Not as good as last year," Captain Hook murmers, from off to the side where a small collection of black-haired, British-voiced villains seems to have gathered, "but at least that impertinent boy's fairy didn't get past third itself. Not, of course, that I am gloating; that would be poor form."

"Second place. Nineteen percent. Lord Sero."

There's an uncomfortable moment in which everyone in the audience realises that the cave has been lined with grass, twining against their feet, slowly but inexorably stretching and spreading. The majority of them – barring a few who evidently value their image more, but still look incredibly uncomfortable – casually draw their feet up onto their chairs.

They're villains, okay, they know ominous signs of powerful beings when they see them. 

At the back of the cave, a fae draws himself to his feet, big and golden. His face is open and pleasant and entirely without wrinkles. Flowers join the grass, and the fae's chair has been entirely overrun. It sort of looks like a throne made of greenery, now.

"At least," Lord Sero says, looking around, "you useless fleshbags can recognise when you are outmatched. And for those of you who are not worthless humans, I have to wonder at your associating with the likes of these."

A grumbly murmer runs around the room, but no one feels the burning urge to stand up and complain audibly. Probably for the best. 

Saruman locks eyes with Lord Sero. "Indeed. There are some among us whose pride strains at enduring such company."

"Useless, the most of them," the fae lord agrees. "I am pleased to make your acquaintance, however."

Jem has the horrible feeling that Saruman and Lord Sero have decided that they are Appropriate Company for each other. What might come of that, she's afraid to contemplate.

She coughs. "Um, Saruman. Saruman? Can we... announce the winner, now?"

The look Saruman shoots her is cutting, but he does turn his attention back towards the audience. Lord Sero lounges back in his chair. The grass stays where it is, much to the dismay of his neighbours.

"I know not why I have the patience for this." Saruman scowls. "In the first place, with thirty percent of the vote – a ridiculous figure, considering how little true power she holds..."

"Professor Umbridge."

"Well!" A nightmare in pink sweeps onto the stage, patting her curls in a self-satisfied kind of way. "How unexpected, yes, very nice. I do wonder how you've managed so long with this lack of organisation and discipline, but don't worry, things will be straightened up now that I'm in charge!" Umbridge trots across the stage in her pink heels, plucks the Silmaril out of Saruman's hand, and turns to face the audience. 


This, in fact, entirely cuts Saruman off from his position as speaker, a realisation visible in the increasing glower of his white brows. 

Umbridge slips the ribbon of the Silmaril around her neck, where it nestles neatly beside the head of her coat's faux fox collar, and claps briskly. "First of all, unauthorised weapons are prohibited and will be handed in immediately."

All around the cave, people clutch their knives and slide magical artefacts subtly under capes.

"Secondly, proper dress and decorum is to be maintained at all times."

Captain Hook stares down at his Charles II-style coat, cuffs and breeches. "We're villains," he mutters, low enough for the people close around him to hear. "We always have proper dress and decorum." 

No one has the heart to comment on that.

"And thirdly, any and all explosions are forbidden."

There's a blank silence. 

Saruman recovers first. "Gibbets and crows!" he sneers. "So condescending of you, and so very kind! But I rather think you will find this rabble beyond your control. And as for myself, I rather advise you to save yourself the trouble and pain of going up against Saruman the Wise." He points his staff at Umbridge and the words of his curse roll like a thunder over the audience, who hold their breath. 

"Evidently," Umbridge sniffs, "you have no respect for authority," and she tugs the pink plastic staff out of his hand. "I'll be confiscating this first."

The silence this time is awed, and a tiny bit terrified. 

(...he may have forgotten that his actual staff was removed as a safety hazard. Oops. Jem shuffles herself a little deeper into the shadows at the edge of the cave.)

Saruman seems to grow in his rage, towering over the already-short woman, who purses her lips and stares back at him. 

"...This is entertaining," the Witch of the West muses. "But it's hardly fair if no one else gets a look in." A snap of her fingers, and the pink staff in Umbridge's hands is no longer pink. 

In fact, it's no longer plastic. 

It seems to be... wood?

For a brief moment, everyone holds their breath. 

"I can't BELIEVE you kicked me out!" the staff squeals, immediately shivering with black sparks. Brother is back. "And I can't believe someone so UGLY got first place! I hate you!"

Umbridge drops the staff, but it's too late. Chaos has begun. The audience pulls their assorted weaponry with villian-typical glee. Someone is screaming, something is on fire, and the explosions have already started.

• • • • • • •

...Let us draw the curtain of charity over the rest of this scene. 

 

All you need to know is that 1. Jem got out. 2. She is never hosting the villains again. 

...not because they're Evil, but because they like their Drama too much. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Oh. Also because the deposit on that cave was actually a lot and she hasn't managed to get any of the villains to cough up yet. She lives in hope, though.

• • • • • • •
So uh. That happened. Also I am still alive, which is a shocker?? 
 
Who saw the winner coming? Honestly, I'm surprised she hasn't won before. I mean, is there anyone who's read the HP books and doesn't think she's evil incarnated in a pink suit? How many Silmaril Awards has Brother been short-listed for now? It's at least his third year straight... maybe next year will be his?? Do you consider Hook truly nefarious? I would have said no, but after skimming through Peter Pan, he's jumped in my Evil Rankings...
 
(Also, a question: Was my Saruman too aggressive. I went through the Saruman the Not-White scene and the fall of Orthanc scene, and he came across as a really bitter old man?? which... suits my style perfectly, so that's the Saruman I invited xD)

((And finally, who has started reading new books because of the Silmaril Awards? *raises hand* For me it's the City Between series, and I'm so happy! Which other books should I definitely read, any advice?))
 
 • • • • • • •
Now don't forget!! Friday is the awards ceremony for the Epic Hero, and Saturday is the Majestic Ruler, and you are not going to want to miss these ones. See you there!
 

10 comments:

  1. Well, it had to happen eventually. I never got far enough into HP to meet Umbridge, but I've heard enough to know she deserves the hatred she gets.

    Dark-haired British villains seem to be common enough that that's probably a rather large group Hook is hobnobbing with!

    I think you did very well with the ceremony and with Saruman! He seemed pretty in-character to me!

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  2. Okay, this. Was. Phenomenal. Jem, I loved this SO much, it was Just Perfect!

    (Also I'm glad Umbridge won. She deserved it.)

    "We're villains. We always have proper dress and decorum." <<*DIES*

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  3. OH MY WORD.
    JEM.

    There is so much quotable hilarity here I don't even know where to BEGIN.

    The pink staff is BACK. I can't even. XD And Brother possessing Miraz's chair! I also love Saruman judging the Witch of the Waste for taking on power she can't control. Mhmmm, Saruman. You wouldn't know anything about thaaat. The "collection of black-haired, British-voiced villains" also had me ROLLING. Because yes. there has to be a good number of them out there. XD

    And look at that, Umbridge won! She was definitely my vote for most nefarious. I honestly cannot believe it's taken this many years for her to win! Truly, she is evil at its core. And her trying to take over and stealing Saruman's pink staff (which, of course, would fit HER perfectly) and just...everything. Oh my gracious. It was perfect. Absolutely perfect.

    I also thought bitter Saruman was top-notch. This WHOLE THING was! I'm grinning and giggling so much right now. This was absolutely spectacular, Jem! You have my full respect for managing all these villains. And I'm very glad you're still alive. I'm not sure what that would have said about us if we had let you die for your first year as host...

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  4. Excellent job hosting the Villains category! (you will have to abandon hope, though. I find villains usually pay through treachery.)
    "And thirdly, any and all explosions are forbidden."... Umbridge doesn't seem to understand where she is.
    The re-appearance of the pink plastic staff was a brilliant touch.

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  5. THIS WAS EPIC! And hurrah for Umbridge! It's about TIME she won this award, she is seriously evil. (although, now I'm feeling terribly conflicted about the fact that I just typed "hurrah for Umbridge" because wow... evil lady).

    Saruman and the pink plastic staff! Bwahahahahahah! Thanks for making that a comeback! And I think you wrote Saruman PERFECTLY. A fabulous blend of cranky old geezer and super arrogant wizard.

    Brother is seriously terrifying.

    I have not yet met Lord Sero, but I'm sure I'm getting there soon. I, also, am now reading the City Between series because of the awards (I am super impressed that they've taken THREE Silmarils this year now!)

    I loved every bit of this!!!

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  6. Ah, such entirely appropriate postering and grandstanding and bravado up and down the stage. You really captured how uncomfortable these characters would make anyone in a gathering like this. Watching it unfold, I kept wondering when the bomb would go off. And I loved the way you handled it with those two short statements letting us know that the chaos that had broken loose. Your line about "not because they're Evil, but because they like their Drama too much," made me chuckle. Well done all around!

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  7. This was AMAZING, Jem! Ahhhh, just so much villainous goodness throughout this whole thing!

    Captain Hook saying that gloating would be poor form is so in-character. XD

    Lord Sero and Saruman decided that they are Appropriate Company for each other...ohhhhh, dear.

    Everyone was written PERFECTLY!

    Umbridge won! I completely agree that her award in this category is LONG overdue (seriously shocking that she hadn't won yet). Congratulations to her, because she is Pure Evil, but like Jenelle said, I'm feeling rather conflicted about congratulating her for anything. XD

    Bitter Saruman was PERFECT! (and yesss, the pink staff returned!)

    This was just a wonderful villain ceremony, and I loved it so much!

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  8. The ceremony ends with fantastic villainy and explosions! XD As it should, I mean, that's what villains do best.
    Congrats to Umbrigde, the pink nightmare! And great post, Jem! I liked your portrayal of Sauran!

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  9. THIS WAS FANTASTIC JEM. Oh my word, the absolute chaos of it all was amazing. XD I LOVED it!

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  10. When you said, "she’s hired a cave – normally used for weddings" I absolutely lost it. XD Finally Umbridge won so we won't have to have her around any more! ;)

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