The Cold Case Challenge | World Anvil

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Sat Oct 19th - Tue Oct 29th

The Cold Case Challenge

A Cold Case can stick in the hearts of the population for centuries. We want to hear about a chilling crime in your world that has never been solved!


“A life might end, but sometimes their case lives forever.” - Charlie Donlea

  A murder is insidious enough, unsolved murders can chill to the bone and lead to endless rumors. Legends and myths can swirl around cold cases, spinning into entire yarns over each year they remain unsolved. Some disappearances and murders have remained a contested mystery.   The Zodiac Killer and Jack the Ripper still maintain their mysterious and horrifying air; never found, never punished. The Disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa and JonBenét Ramsey continue to baffle and spark rumors decades after their demise.   World Anvil and Ironrise Games have partnered up, and we want to dive into the most insidious cold cases in your world! Murders that remain unsolved and in the hearts of the citizens. What tale do your people whisper in the tavern? What is the moniker of one of the most horrifying killers of your world?

The Murder by Paul Cézanne

Standard League Winner
R. Dylon Elder

Premier League Winner
B.K. Bass


All participants will receive the participation badge. The winner will receive an extra shiny badge, have their article featured, and will be shouted out on the weekly World Anvil update stream and on the official World Anvil social media accounts.   In addition, Ironrise Games will be giving out as copy of their fantastic steampunk adventure board game "Ironrise" to both the premier and regular league winners!  

Curious about Ironrise and its world?

Check out Ironrise the Game, and the fantastic world created by the team!


October's Competition will open on the 19th of October at 21 GMT and close on the 29th of October at 2359 GMT. The Shortlist will be compiled after a three day feedback period!

The Brief

Ironrise Games and World Anvil have teamed up and we want to hear about the most chilling murder in your world! It's mystery meets horror!   Using the Myth/Legend template, we want to hear the myths, source, and outcomes of a murder that went unsolved. Break down the myth through time, and tell us how the tale has evolved!   The Murder could be as recent or as old as you wish, but it must be remembered through your current era. They can be murders, missing people, or otherwise heinous crimes that have gone unsolved. We do ask that you avoid topics that are 18+ in nature.   These crimes must be unsolved. Perhaps the criminal was never found, or a suspect was identified but never formally charged.   There is a lot to cover! When did the crime happen? How did it occur? What sort of detective work has gone in over the years? What are the rumors and cultural references around the case?   Bonus Points for providing short tales of the case!

What to Cover

The Crime

The start of a cold case is the actual crime itself. What is rumored to have happened? Are there multiple accounts of the crime? Who was the victim? Why did the case gain notoriety so quickly? Was there a suspect right off the bat or are they unknown?  

The Chase

Who has gone after the case? Did anyone have a chance or was it such a perfect crime that there were very few attempts to solve it? Have any big pieces of evidence ever been found? Was there a resurgence in the case?  

The Legend

How has this cold case impacted your world overall? Has a legend formed around the case? Did people change their behavior? What legends and myths have floated around the case? Speculation from the population will come in handy here. Give some quotes!

The Rules

How to Enter

Firstly, all competitors will need a World Anvil account (don’t worry, it’s free!) to get started. Once you’ve logged in and created your first world, you’re ready to enter the competition.   Write your entry using the Myth/Legend template on World Anvil. Once you have finished your entry and are ready to submit it, make sure that your article is not a draft and then click on the button on the right hand side to submit it to the challenge.  

Adjudication Criteria and Process

A shortlist of the top twenty entries (as organised by community likes and ten from each league) will be compiled by the Master of Games. The Master of Games will then send that shortlist to the Ironrise Games Team to be judged!   Entries will be judged on a number of criteria, including originality, presentation, and thoroughness.   Ironrise Games will return to the Master of Games with their winners, which will then be announced at the next possible stream!  


There are two leagues that will be independently judged. The Regular and the Premier League. The Premier League consists of all the authors who have previously won a competition.   Winning a competition in the regular league will promote you to the Premier League for future challenges.  

Social media sharing

Because community likes are an important part of the competition, competitors may wish to share their entries on social media to garner more interest from the community. Entries which are tagged with #ColdCase and mention @WorldAnvil might get shared by World Anvil social media!

Other Rules

  • Articles for submission must use the Myth/Legend Template
  • You do not have to use all fields of the Myth/Legend Template
  • Articles will be taken from a shortlist of likes, the top ten from each league will be sent to the Ironrise Games team.
  • Articles can be no longer than 2000 words in length!
  • You will be able to submit your article only if it is public!
  • Only one article may be submitted per author; this does not mean one article per world!
  • Articles will have a three day period after the deadline to make small edits, share, and get feedback from the community. This period will end when the shortlist is compiled. The purpose of this deadline is to let people focus on writing and sharing separately.
  • Articles must be submitted before the closing time, else they will not be judged
  • Articles that contain content that is 18+ in nature will not be eligible. Use your common sense.


    October's Competition will open on the 19th of October at 21 GMT and close on the 29th of October at 2359 GMT. The Shortlist will be compiled after a three day feedback period!

    Challenge entries