Nothing but good can come from this, Kai. You've got another fan (and another, and another, and another...). I can't see a publisher turning this kind of work down, and if they did, it would be their loss. So, all you really have to do is finish it now, but I know that's easier said than done. Here's hoping.
He didn’t see his sister climb out of the coach. As the door of the coach opened, the mayor was in the process of running out of his study and barreling over Mistletoe, who shrieked in surprise. He took the stairs two at a time, somehow making the bottom without completely losing his balance. He stopped with his hand on the front door. He couldn’t breathe. His heart pounded in his chest, he could feel the pulse thumping in his throat. He could barely swallow, but tried desperately to gulp down his fear. This is ridiculous he thought to himself. This is my sister. There is no reason to be afraid. I warned her that it would be a bad idea to send her sons here. I knew what kind of trouble they would get into. The fact that they died is her fault, not mine! Angrily, annoyed at his terror of a confrontation with his sister, he swung the door open. He started, stumbling backwards in surprise. Theophilia was not two feet from him, standing on the entryway, waiting for him to come out.
No one would have mistaken them for siblings. Where the Mayor was short and stubby, Theophila was tall, extremely tall, and thin to the point of emaciation. The skin seemed to cling to her bones like some parasitic organism trying to suck the life from her skeleton. Yet, despite her extreme thinness, she was beautiful beyond comparison. Her dark hair hung thickly about her shoulders, a stark white lock ran along the left side of her hair. A shimmering black robe hung from her shoulders, and a matching hooded cloak fell behind her. Dim red and purple colors rippled along the material, as if the cloak and robe were made of a thick, liquid-like substance.
She took a small breath before speaking, and made a slight motion with a long thin finger. The mayor felt as if that breath was pulling the life directly from his chest. A cold shudder passed through him. His knees gave out and he collapsed on the ground in front of his sister. He looked up at Theophilia, shoulders quivering, knowing if he wasn’t going to die in the immediate future, he was in for an awful lot of pain.
“So Bardemus, you can’t keep track of two boys long enough to keep them alive?” Her voice was musical, like wind chimes singing in the wind, but there was a venomous undertone to it, as if a serpent was speaking. “I specifically told you to keep them under your wing. Only you could fail such a miserably simplistic task.”
The mayor choked and tried to speak, “Theophila, listen…” He couldn’t breathe again. He grasped at his neck, struggling for a breath that wouldn’t pass his constricted throat. His sister glared at him, a malevolent grin etched across her face.
“You will not speak unless I tell you to do so fool! Where is their father? Get him here now! If you will not do what I tell you to do, perhaps that sniveling worm can do it instead.” She made another small motion with her hands, and Bardemus went sailing across the street, landing in a heap next to his sister’s coach. “Get him NOW!”
The mayor collapsed when his sister made a shooing motion with her hands. She released the magical hold that was strangling him. He fell backwards, landing on his hands. He worked his way forward, crawling to his knees. Shifting his feet underneath him, he almost made it upright, but a slap to the back of his head sent him careening to the ground again, planting him face first in the gravel and dirt. Bardemus looked up to see what had sent him sprawling to the ground.
A giant of a man stood next to the coach. He was covered head to toe in a suit of armor. A huge two- handed sword was strapped to his back. He took a step towards Bardemus, reached for the mayor, and picked him up by the front of his shirt. He held the small man up to his plate helmet holding him at eye level. The mayor’s feet dangled in the air as he struggled in the man’s grasp. A slight putrid stench emanated from the armored figure, nearly gagging Bardemus. He tried to look into the eyes of his captor, but the torchlight was too dim to see behind the helmet. What was visible, however, was the armor itself. The metal of the armor seemed to twist and writhe like some mercurial source. Images formed in the armor, images of faces in their death throes. Bodies twisting in torture. Images of people in agony.
“Ahh Bardemus, let me introduce you to my companion. This in Paen.” Bardemus closed his eyes to shut out the horrible visions gleaming in the tall man’s armor. “Paen and I have been discussing the situation here Bardemus. We both feel that he would be a good addition to your staff. Especially since you seem to be unable to handle simple tasks on your own.”
The tall man never moved, didn’t make a sound. He just held the mayor in front of him. Bardemus’s only indication that the man was even alive, was the fact that he grabbed him in the first place. Right now, Bardemus could be held by a statue, the man was so rigid. He again saw the deadly images dancing within the man’s armor, and turned his head away, shutting his eyes from the sight.
“I’m sure by now, my brother, you have noticed his armor. All those images you see, they are the souls that tried to cross my companion. The soul of every opponent he has slain now suffers in eternal torment, they are bound to his armor, and those that are able to land a stroke against Paen in combat, the souls in the armor will all feel the strike.”
The mayor turned to look at his sister. “So you see Bardemus, my companion thrives in the knowledge that he can cause suffering. How would you like to live forever Bardemus? It can be arranged.”
The huge man threw the mayor to the ground, and in one fluid motion, drew the sword from behind his back, pointing it under the chin of the fallen Bardemus. The effort should have been awkward, considering the heavy plate-like armor the man wore, but he moved as if he were wearing silk. The clanking and shifting you would expect to hear on such a suit of armor was missing. The man in the armor was completely silent.
Bardemus crawled backwards, away from the sword pointing at his throat. “I’ll go find Remus right away Theophilia.” The mayor started to run off. “I may not be able to get to him with your troops running around the city like this. I probably won’t make it one block.”
His sister made another motion with her hands. A ball of shimmering green and purple light surrounded Bardemus. The mayor fell to the ground, screaming and holding the sides of his face. The light dissipated and Bardemus struggled to his feet. Hot pain shot through his face on both sides. He reached to touch the sides of his face, and winced. He moved hands away from his cheeks, examining what he thought was blood dripping from two wounds on either side of his face. The left hand was covered in a green, glowing substance, and the right, an iridescent purple. The fluid dripped from his face like an open wound, burning him as if it were slightly acidic.
“None of them will bother you now Bardemus. I must advise brother, that you should not even think about not returning with Remus, and don’t even consider trying to leave the city now. Those wounds on your face will protect you from my minions for now, but should you choose to not come back within an hour, you will become one of them. You will serve me either way Bardemus, it is up to you how you choose to do so.”
His face filled with horror, the mayor started backing up, scurrying away from his sister.
“Run Bardemus, you haven’t much time.”
He turned and bolted for the officer’s barracks, praying that Remus would be there, and not lying drunk and unconscious in some alley, or dead from the city invaders. An hour was very little time to find one man in an entire city in ruin. Edited by: Kaibutsu at: 12/19/01 8:52:06 am
Talia sat with her back against a rock, poking a twig at the campfire. She looked towards the sleeping Scuttle, and laughed silently. He was sprawled out, legs and arms everywhere, just as if he was sleeping in his own bed. His blanket was on the other side of the fire (she had no idea how he was able to do that), and the backpack on which he had been resting his head, was pushed to the side an arm’s length away. The dog was lying next to him, his head on his paws, but was looking directly at Talia with a pitiful expression. He was covered in sloppily applied bandages that hung loosely from his head to his tail. Talia shook her head and laughed quietly.
“Come here hound,” she whispered. She lightly tapped her open hand against her thigh. The dog glanced at the sleeping Scuttle, then hobbled his way towards Talia. He still was limping. The salve that Scuttle had applied to the wounds probably helped a bit, but the bandages seemed to hinder him more than the injured leg. She shook her head again at the poor mummified dog and smiled. “Let’s see what we can do for you here. I think our little friend has made things a bit worse for you, despite his intentions, eh?” As she talked to the dog, she scratched the dog behind the ear with one hand, and cupped his chin with the other. The dog looked directly in her eyes as she talked to him. With a final pet, she reached for her pack to get some bandages. As she pulled out the cloth, she looked back at the dog. It continued to watch her with those strangely intelligent eyes.
“There’s something odd about you dog. I wish I knew what to think of you.” She shrugged. “Ahh well, let’s see what we can do about those bandages.” She removed Scuttle’s handiwork and applied a salve and bandages on the dog’s wounds, dressing them so that the dog would actually be able to walk.
“All done” she said when she was finished. The dog climbed to its paws. It tested the leg by walking back and forth a couple times. It turned its head to look at the bandages, almost as it was approving of her work. The dog turned back to Talia, licked her hand briefly and padded back to lay next to the sprawled out Scuttle. The dog sighed contently, looked once more at Talia, then lay its head on its paws and went to sleep.
Talia watched the dog for a while. It only moved when Scuttle flailed a little more in his sleep. Presumably to escape an errant halfling hand or foot. Then it would settle right back down next to Scuttle. It seemed perfectly content, just as if the dog and Scuttle had spent their whole lives together.
Talia grabbed another twig, poked it distractedly into the fire, and wondered again about the mystery of Scuttle’s new adopted companion.
I love this story Scuttle reminds me of Tasselhoph from some of the Dragonlance series books. Come on keep it coming. You can't stop now. )
Trying the chant thing. 8 ) Fari Stormfyre
Druid of the 45th season
"If all the beast were gone,
Man would die from lonliness of spirit.
For whatever happens to the beast,
Happens to the man."
It's been a while since I have visited and I was very pleasantly surprised to see that there is much more since my last visit. I was wondering if you ever have taken what you have so far to a publisher? I would like to know what success you have had if any. I'm sure its just a matter of finding the right one. Hallad Hiddenstab 60AssassinOfficer of Iratus Lepus
Halad, nope I haven't turned anything in to a publisher. I think it would be pretty cool to do, but I just can't see submitting anything that is half finished...not that I would know what to do to submit it in the first place. I've never really looked into it because I never really tried writing anything before this. In addition, I've been so busy at work that I haven't even *had* a personal life lately, and therefore have had no time to write (or play!!).
I wrote to an author that is somewhat well known, asking them if they knew where I could get a good professional critique from someone in the business to see if they thought I had a chance at getting published. The author could not think of anything that was legitimate, so he offered to take a look at my writing. Now this scares the bejeezus outta me because I really respect this author's work. Do you guys really think this story is something that could be published, and something that a professional writer might look at and think was good enough to be published? I know it still needs work. A lot of editing for certain. I am so spooked about sending it, I guess, because this author is fairly good about helping out unknown authors and getting them in touch with people that can get them published...if their work is good enough. I would hate to blow that chance, ya' know?
So opinions would be *greatly* appreciated right now.
If it helps boost your confidence any, I read a lot of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, and in my opinion your writings are just as entertaining to me, and rank among some of my favourites.
Out of curiousity, who is the author? That was a very nice offer he made, authors tend to get flooded with requests to review material from wannabes, that he (or she) actually makes a point of doing so, is pretty cool.
BTW, we want MORE!
lev 53 Wizardess
I have been reading Sci-fi and Fantasy for as long as I can remember and I would rate this up there with some of the best of them.
I think you'll do fine in the biz. That was a big step tho and I can understand the hate of waiting, but just send him here if he wants real people's reactions to a work in progress.
Now when did you say the next part was coming? Fari Stormfyre
Druidess of the 48th Ring of Nature
Kitty Shammy Extrodinare
"If all the beast were gone,
Man would die from lonliness of spirit.
For whatever happens to the beast,
Happens to the man."
If you send him a copy and they do pay you to finish the story. We would get to read the rest of it alot sooner, so i think. With work geting in your way and all takes to much time away from your wrighting. So i vote yes please send him a copy! I would like to see how this story goes. I have read it a few times...now and would like to see the end or just a few more pages =)
Good luck Kai!!! I suppose you have already sent it by now, so he is probably at home getting all worked up like the rest of us now. AND, if he isn't, or for some reason does not like it. I say take his critique as only one person's opinion, no matter how much you respect him. Fact is he may not like that type of material. If so, learn from him what you can and move on. Submit it again, and again, and again, until you get a bite and something to move it to the next level. GOOD LUCK!! Hallad Hiddenstab 60AssassinOfficer of Iratus Lepus
Amazing. I finally finished reading all the parts of the story so far. How old are you? Simply curious. I'm only 15 and have some writing talent but it doesn't come close to yours. I once wrote a story about my Paladin. I couldn't think of an ending so I gave up. =( Anyways, Good job. I know it takes alot of effort to write all this, especially with your busy lifesyle. Good luck to you. I want to see you go public with this story. It's definetely worth it if you can pull off a nice clencher for the ending and maybe side plots like you were talking about. Just wanted to let ya know that the fans here at the post are probably all wishing you luck just like me and want to read more about Scuttle, Just like me. Thanks for inspiring and sparking curiosity in people's minds.
I've been reading your stuff from the very beginning Kai. And I'm glad you sent it iin. Had you not sent it in millions would of died. hehe j/k, not that you need the pressure to send it in . I myself tried to write a story once... I didn't get very far.. BUT, I know a good sci-fi / fantasy when I read one, and Kai you are good. Anyways... when they say its good... it will be more emphasis for you to finish. Oh and one more thing... I think your going to have lots of people hitting the book store when ur book comes out hehe.
I've been reading fantasy and sci-fi for 15 years or so, playing roleplaying games for 10. To me, your work ranks right up there with Feist's Daughter of the Empire trilogy. Great suspense!
now give us some more! Yrion
killer of stuff
Hehe! I sent it. Haven't heard anything yet. I can't describe how much I was flinching when I hit that "Send" button on that e-mail. As soon as I know something, I will let you know. Also, should have a new posting tomorrow.
Talia felt something wet and cold run across her face. She started, and rubbed at her eyes. She had fallen asleep. She was still recovering from the fight with the shaman. She was healing quickly, but she had been very close to dead before Scuttle had arrived. The dog whined and licked her face again, swishing it’s tail back and forth.
“I’m okay now. Thanks for keeping an eye on me.” She held the dog’s face cupped between her two open palms and lightly kissed the dog on the top of its muzzle. She rubbed at her eyes again and crawled to her feet. She was going to have to wake Scuttle soon for his turn at watch. Then they had to get moving. There was no telling when a patrol could come across them. She thought they were far enough away from the city that it was unlikely to be a patrol, but sitting in one place seemed like a very bad idea right now.
She thought about the events of the past few hours, and how her life and taken such an upheaval in so short a time. She came back to the three men that attacked her, just before her flight from her beloved home. She knew she should remember where she had seen their faces before. Of the three, the big man she had no problem recalling. He was one of the officers in the guard, and liked throwing around his muscle. She had seen him roaming the streets like a predator, ready to pounce on anyone that committed the most minor of offences. He had even come into the tavern when she was at work. He demanded inspections and proclaimed that if he were not served a meal and drink to verify the cleanliness of the establishment, then there would be most unfortunate penalties. All the tavern owners knew this, and if they didn’t, they learned quickly. She still remembered poor Tavris. The old man had taken all his savings and opened a little meikla shop, meikla being a strong drink of the southerners fermented from a plant that grew only in the southern climate. She shuddered at the recollection of her one and only taste of meikla. The poor man had refused to serve the sergeant. He refused to be pushed around by someone purely because they wore a uniform of the city guard. The next day, the little shop was a smoking ruin. The sergeant was not one to mess with.
She had seen the two smaller men stalking the streets as well, but only from afar. She tried to remember every time she had seen them in the past, hoping to trigger her memory. Recognition still eluded her. Something was important about them, but she could not remember.
She gave up in frustration. She was certain she would figure it out in time. Right now, the important thing was trying to stay awake long enough for her watch to end, and in the morning, getting out of here as quickly as possible. She got to her feet and tried pacing around the fire, trying to be as quiet as possible so as not to wake Scuttle. Waking the halfling seemed fairly unlikely. Snores reverberated from him loud enough to occasionally startle the dog to his feet. The dog would then sniff at Scuttle’s face, seemingly trying to figure out how such a loud noise could come from such a small creature. The dog’s cold nose didn’t seem to bother Scuttle’s sleep however, and once the dog decided that the sound was down to a normal volume, he would lay down next to the sleeping halfling and go to sleep along side him again.
Finally her watch ended. She woke Scuttle, took his place next to the fire and fell asleep instantly. Scuttle sat on a flat rock near the fire, still rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. He looked up, to see the dog sitting beside him, diligently keeping watch along with his new master. Scuttle reached out and scratched the dog behind the ears. The dog cocked his head and leaned into the scratching.
“You are a good dog, aren’t you?” Scuttle whispered out loud.
The dog turned to look at Scuttle. Its deep brown eyes took in the little halfling. It closed one eye and turned back to his self-appointed watch. Scuttle’s mouth hung open for a second, and rubbed his eyes again.
“Did you just wink at me puppy? No, I must still be tired… Well, I know I saw it though. Did you wink at me boy?” The dog kept a watchful eye on the camp, but didn’t seem to be doing anything more than a normal dog would do. “You’re right puppy. I must be seeing things still. But hey! That is what I will call you! Wink! Do you like that? Do you like that name boy?”
The dog faced Scuttle and gave his face sloppy dog kissed and wagged its tail, swishing pine needles out of the way.
“I guess that’s okay for you then. Wink it is!” He petted the dog with both hands and put his arms around its neck, giving it a short hug. “Well Wink, let’s get to watching here. It’s our job, and poor Talia had her watch while we slept, so we better…”
The dog started forward, cutting Scuttle’s sentence off in the middle. Its ears perked up. The tail, that was usually wagging back and forth, now hung down, no motion to be seen. It sniffed the air, moving his head back and forth, apparently trying to find something.
“What is it Wink? What do you smell?”
A snap of a twig, far from the camp, but not far enough for the sharp ears of a halfling or dog. Another twig snapped. Something was making its way through the forest, and didn’t seem to be concerned about how much noise it was making. The dog turned towards the sound, its hackles raised. It sniffed again, and chuffed quietly, but just enough to wake up Talia. She rolled over and sat up.
“What’s going on Scuttle?”
“Someone’s just outside of the camp,” he whispered “and they’re coming this way. They probably saw the light from the fire.”
Talia climbed to her feet and drew both daggers from her belt. “Stay here in the camp, and I will sneak around behind whoever is coming our way. You gonna be okay?”
Scuttle nodded and grabbed his pack, breaking out the crossbow. Talia grinned and moved out of the campfire’s light, disappearing into the gloom of the forest.
Well, I got my response from the author, and I won't post it verbatim what they said, but I will give my condensed synopsis of what they told me. While they told me things that I expected to hear, and things not so positive, I did tell you that I would let you know what they told me, so here it is:
They said that I lack style or specifically that my style is not great. They mentioned that I misuse coincidence far too often. They also note that the story sort of plods along. They said that 'lack of style' is one of the hardest things to fix, but it *is* eventually possible to do so, with lots of practice and studying other authors.
That is basically what they told me in a nutshell. I broke down the detail to a few sentences. I really appreciated them taking the time to tell me what I needed to work on and what I was lacking skill-wise. They did say that they hated telling people they weren't ready for publishing yet, but that's okay. I wasn't insulted in the least bit, and appreciated their candor with me, and the time they took from their busy schedule to deal with the newb writer.
Nonetheless, I will continue writing, and hopefully learn some things about style in the future.
I also wanted to say again that I really appreciate all of your support. Every book I have read about writing has said that I need to write, write some more, and keep writing. The author even mentioned that I need to keep writing. So, I will do so. Expect more posts much more often than they have been in the past. Thanks again for all the support everyone. It's very, very much appreciated.
Also, let me add. Critics BAHHHH!!!.... just take what they say with a grain of salt. Use it to grow and move on. Besides, the only GOOD critic is one that likes your work IMO. Hallad Hiddenstab 60AssassinOfficer of Iratus LepusEdited by: Hallad Hiddenstab at: 5/20/02 1:21:15 pm