News:

Login  |  Register

Author Topic: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)  (Read 3139 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« on: December 1, 2018, 12:00:56 AM »
Scene I: Battle of Scarlet Banners

   Twin fingers of moonlight shone down from the midnight sky, cloaked in a calm abyss. Aurien danced along the faint glimmer of the illumined woodland paths, a shadow cloaked in the dim of night. Only the soft rustle of the leaves foretold of his approach, carried upon a pleasant breeze at his back. The fay enchanted Land of the Eternal Summer continued its song of life, oblivious to the presence of such a black hearted murderer.

   A clarion call, distant at first, but soon swelling into a banshee’s wail shattered the tranquility of the forest. It was a blood curdling moan, birthed from the darkest Hollows of the Gloom Wood. A singular cry for the briefest moment, before it grew into a sonorous war cry echoed from a hundred throats.

   Aurien gazed upon the warm glow of a hundred lights nestled in the hills over yonder. The miniature shadows that bathed in the light of the encampment jerked and zig-zagged back and forth in the hazy light. A booming dirge that followed their movements a moment later gave birth to a myriad of panicked cries.

   The cacophony assaulted Aurien from every direction and he joined the chaos with a shrieking cry. Aurien’s heart hammered in the depth of his chest, beating furiously with the effort of sustaining his rapid pace. A whistling noise whizzed by him and terminated with a meaty impact into a Leaves-of-Luriel behind him.

   The breeze at Aurien’s back surged into a strong wind. Two fingers of moonlight swelled into the image of the full moon, and suddenly all shadow was peeled away. A hundred lithe figures, hidden in the abyssal night before, were revealed in all of their horrifying splendor. Lithe figures garbed in glimmering chainmail and vivid crimson, and wielding weapons of vicious repute.

   Another boom from the encampment’s war horn stirred some of her outlying guardians into a counter assault. Arrows whizzed through the untamed forest and brought a handful of the shrieking apparitions down. Small bands of warriors charged into the midst of their assailants, too quick ascertain the scale of the assault.

   “Enira!” Aurien bellowed over the cries of the dying and enraged. “Hoist the standard! The Bloodied Banner shall follow it right into the heart of their foes! Let murder follow in our wake!”

   The clamor of battle echoed through the Gloom Wood, but Aurien pushed past the chaotic melees and stormed through the encampment’s rapidly shutting gates. A glimmer of steel caught his eye. Aurien countered the thrust with a wild parry, his other hand flashing out from under his robes with a handful of throwing knives.

   Useless against armor, certainly, but the throwing knife had its uses. The russet skinned warrior before him had scarcely enough time to equip the hand axe he chopped in Aurien’s direction, let alone to armor himself. With cruel abandon, Aurien flicked his wrist and a pair of knives embedded themselves in the Black Wolf’s throat.

   A throaty war cry assaulted Aurien from behind. He scarcely had time to react, but the thrust of a spear caught the foe before he could close the distance. A flurry of other spears thrust from out of the night and finished the wounded warrior before he could even spit blood.

   Aurien glanced behind him and caught the Red Standard fluttering in the wind. As the gates closed shut behind, a score of the Bloodied Banner rallied to Enira and had made it into the encampment.

   “Someone get that gate open.” Aurien cracked a mirthless smirk. He waited for one of the Bloodied Banner to break away toward the gate, before stomping down on the neck of the writhing Black Wolf at his feet. He bent down and scooped up the battered knives from the corpse’s throat. “The rest of you. What are you waiting for? Slaughter and burn, you murderous sirens!”

   The warriors hoisted their weapons high into the air. Aurien listened to their deafening shrieks and waited for the sky to split itself open in response. When the moment never came, he made a cutting gesture and the Bloodied Banner surged into the camp.

   Aurien did not wait for reinforcements to arrive, but threw himself into the nearest clutch of war tents. Nameless foes scrambled to meet him in combat, but his swordsmanship was deft, and ended their lives with vicious strokes. Others still struggled to equip themselves, oblivious to his murderous streak. He painted their tents with vivid blossoms of fresh blood.

   “Aurien?” A vicious voice, too brutal to have ever known civilized life, roared in front of him. “You strike from the shadow, coward, so there could be no other bandit in all of the realm other than you. Stay your hand from murdering my warriors and come out into the light!”

   Aurien emerged from the blood splattered confines of a war tent and pitched his head in the direction of the voice. His dark emerald eyes settled upon one brute of a Half Lani, Half Human warrior of scarred russet skin and unkempt coal black hair. The nameless figure glared in Aurien’s direction with eyes just as dark of emerald. He clad himself in a thick hauberk, cushioned with several layers of padded armor and ebony silk cloth.

   “And who are you?” Aurien demanded with a toothy grimace. He pointed toward the dozen precious earrings and piercings that decorated the warrior’s battered face. “More a peddler of fine jewelry than a primitive barbarian, am I not right?”

   “I am Jarkal!” The Black Wolf Chieftain thundered. “Son of Erath and proud member of the Black Wolves. Truly, what foe would waste his time with an attack on a foe he cannot name?”

   Aurien chuckled and shrugged. “Well, there must be something to be had in this misbegotten hovel. Whether that be some measure of glory for a nameless man’s head or whether it be to indulge my every whim tonight.”

   Jarkal studied Aurien intently for a lengthy pause before he continued. “And have you slaked your thirst for either ambition? I think you’ll bleed the encampment dry before you’ll walk away satisfied.”

   Aurien snarled and shot the Black Wolf an incredulous look. “Is that a challenge?”

   Aurien cleaned the blood from the wicked longsword in his grip. No sooner had the last drop of blood been expunged from the cold steel, did Jarkal pounce forward, axe and shield in hand. A devestating sweep of the axe flashed by Aurien and crunched into the chest of a female Bloodied Banner with enough force to throw her into mud.

   Aurien did not know where she came from, but he could not bring himself to care. Suddenly with advantage, he planted one foot forward and thrust low for Jarkal’s vulnerable gut. His foe leapt backward, the shield in his off hand pulled taut across his waist to absorb the impact.

   Aurien ripped the sword free in a spray of miniscule wooden shards and parried a quick sweep of the Black Wolf’s axe. Jarkal pounced and threw the bulk of his flank into Aurien. A vicious elbow caught him across the bridge of his nose, followed by the rim of Jarkal’s shield across his face. The force of Jarkal’s momentum shoved Aurien violently onto the corpse of his freshly slain comrade.

   Aurien made to quickly spring back to his feet, but Jarkal bashed him back down with his shield. Before the Black Wolf could pin him in place, the Bloodied Bannerman managed to secure the grip on his longsword and cut from one side to the next in a fierce defensive measure. The counter defense forced the Black Wolf away, but Jarkal, prepared for another sudden attack, pushed back in.

   The weight of a shield slammed against his sword, and Jarkal’s sheer bulk pushing it closer toward his chest, quickly throttled the energy out of Aurien. The chop of an axe came down and planted itself in the mud a hair’s breadth away from the Lani Elf’s chiseled features.

   “Off of him, you rabid beast!” Enira’s voice cut through the den of battle, which raged around Aurien from every direction.

A quick spear thrust hit into the surface of Jarkal’s shield and was halted. A dozen other spears lanced forward to strike Jarkal, but was interrupted by an abrupt volley of arrows. Screams torn from the throats of dying bannermen blasted Aurien even as he continued to defend himself Jarkal’s onslaught.

Jarkal somehow fought himself off of Aurien and into the confused ranks of bandits arrayed against him. A chorus of guttural howls erupted and blurred outlines poured in from behind Jarkal’s charge. Relieved, Aurien sucked in a long breath as several blurred shapes collided into each other. By the time he recovered his wits and fought back to his feet, several of the blurred outlines clarified into still bodies from both sides of the conflict.

Aurien spared a brief moment to ram his sword straight into the gut of the nearest black wolf. A hand reached out of the chaos in that moment and pulled Aurien out with irresistible force. Aurien fought the hand off momentarily, retrieved his blade from the dying cadever at his feet and fought on before he was dragged out of the fight again.

Aurien was spun around in the chaos and came a breath’s length from Jarkal’s scarred features. The Black Wolf leaned in to stare Aurien down, the frosty breath from his nostrils streaming over Aurien’s blemished face. He pushed something fleshy and wet onto the length of Aurien’s blade. Aurien did not need to look to know whose head it was. Einra’s.

   “You’d do well to know your enemy from this day forward. Run back to your master, Aurien Veil-Hand. Tell them that you took the Black Wolves by surprise and were hacked down anyway. Tell them that Ishali Winterwood and her Marked have bested you this day.

   “And make certain you look into the faces of all those that died in your name tonight. That will make you remember. Now get lost!”

   Jarkal threw Aurien back into the mud amidst a grueling melee. He had scarce time to think, but he could clearly ascertain that his warriors were somehow falling in great numbers. He looked into Jarkal’s triumphant gaze, a bleak grimace etched on his lips, and then scrambled onto his feet to beat a hasty retreat back into the untamed wilderness beyond.

   Defeat stung sharply, but Aurien’s thirst to mend his wounded pride fanned a flame that would never dim until the day he could claim his vengeance. A twisted grin formed on Aurien’s features, Jarkal had no idea that this war was only beginning.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 10:24:34 PM by Myen'Tal »
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 10:23:40 PM »
Scene II – A Field Unbroken
   The Storm Peaks – Upon the Titanic Fist
   
A singular battle cry, ominous in intent, collapsed tranquility with but a handful of guttural challenges. On the horizon, beyond the cobalt mountains of the Storm Peaks, dawn began to usher forth across the barren earth. Vindiaccos shifted in his saddle in the direction of the disturbance. A brief snort of protest from the mighty warhorse that carried him forth was the only sound in the Ardent Fire Pass for the next modicum of time.
   
Four hundred men formed into ranks behind him shielded the mouth of Ardent Fire Pass from one end of the chasm to the next. Four hundred men frozen stiff in the snow, entrenched behind a wall of tower shields half-buried in the barren soil of the mountains. Vindiaccos glanced over their beleaguered ranks and counted the bloodied sons of merchants and farmers among most of their number.
   
Small cadres of frostbitten Knights, their allegiances as varied as their coat of arms, embedded themselves amongst the rank and file. Only their tattered standards could mark them out from rank after rank of soiled armor and scarred flesh.
   
“Vindiaccos,” An elder man with grizzly features reminiscent of meat carved one too many times by bear claws followed his comrade’s gaze. “What do you think? The horn could always be sounded… our four hundred would deserve it, that’s beyond doubt by now. What are our chances?”
   
Lord Edwin Holt could not hide the shiver that crept down his spine, but as Vindiaccos stared into the one eye still intact, he witnessed resignation more than anything. Edwin pulled the bearskin cloak tighter around himself until his half-plate was neatly cloaked in the ebony fur and pallid skin of the slain beast.
   
“We’d send a messenger before dawn proper.” Vindiaccos cracked his stoic demeanor with a broad, wolfish grin and swept his gaze out over the mountain pass. A bitter wind caught strands of his unkempt golden blonde hair and blew them away from a wicked scar carved into the flesh of his right eye. “And tell him to regale our Great and Noble Sire with stories of how we blunted our foes so badly, that they’d never think to cross the pass for another hundred years… Such a legend needs not remain a fantasy.”
   
Another singular note of anguish thundered from the other end of the Ardent Fire Pass. Vindiaccos looked out over the mountain pass and frowned, the tranquility of the cobalt Storm Peaks robbed from him again.
   
Edwin scoffed in disbelief and craned his head toward the bleak skies. He searched the heavens for a moment, before he sighed and shifted back onto Vindiaccos. “After I spoke with our illustrious Sire about acquiring some consultants for the campaign, I never thought they’d pair me with an unfamiliar face. Didn’t think much of you in those days, no offense.
   
“Granted, I’ve heard stories about you. Thought you had more brawn than sense, and more murderous zeal than good faith. Never would have thought that after three years of marching to the ends of the earth, that you’d be more steadfast than Old Edwin Holt Ironfist in anything.”
   
Vindiaccos barked with laughter, an abrupt peal of thunder that slammed over the serried ranks of the warriors behind him. A tide of startled men shifted back in the snow, hunkered behind the shield wall, prepared for anything.
   
“It is good to be humbled on occasion.” Vindiaccos quipped. “Reminds one that he is only a man in the end. More importantly, it’ll remind your men of that too.”
   
Another terrifying cry echoed to the heavens above, this time followed swiftly by the dread song of war drums. A unified cry of a hundred voices cried out in defiance and anguish. A rumbling thunder of several hundred warriors collapsed the tranquility of the Storm Peaks with a chant of promised ruthless violence. The crescendo increased in pitch and volume until the war chant seemed to resonate from every crevice of the surrounding mountains.
   
“Perhaps, men we maybe…” Vindiaccos peered into the hellscape forged on the ground ahead of him. Upon the rough and upheaved terrain of Ardent Fire Pass, fresh scars of battle marked all that the eye could witness. Fallen warriors beyond counting lay buried in great pits of blood-slathered snow and festooned themselves upon rocky cliff faces.

Tattered banners and standards from across a score of nationalities and ethnicities honored the open graves of not only a few men, but any and all gathered in the sight of their solemn vigil. Discarded weapons beyond number were strewn about the field and hidden in all manner of grisly guises.

Vindiaccos continued. “But our actions carve out the legacy that we leave behind. I think our messenger would have some choice words for our Sire should we send him out now. You are free to come to your own conclusion, but I won’t relent when our victory is so close.”

“And neither shall I.” Edwin punched the air with an iron fist. Four hundred voices answered with brutal effect. “No man shall ever be more steadfast than Edwin Holt. You humbled warrior monks be damned!”

Off in the distance, the war chants ended with an abrupt blast from a score of war horns. At once, the battle cries transformed into an unceasing maelstrom of bloodlust and wanton fury. Vindiaccos first thought he imagined the battlefield before him quiver and tremble before the wrath of their foes. As the onslaught came on and out into the open, he realized that the numbers of the foe had multiplied yet again.

The Trebuchet crews had already loosed their first payloads without a command given. A battering of weapons on shields clamored as explosions of oil and flame blossomed amongst the writhing hordes of the Confederated Alannir Tribes.
   
Descendants of the Last Giants, every Alannir warrior could easily stand three heads over the most formidable Halish Folk. Gaunt warriors without peer, forged of nothing more than whip-chord musculature, gnarled bronze skin, and untamed manes of hair. Some of them fought with nothing more than the animal hides on their backs, others garbed themselves in thick hides of silk and even thicker chainmail. Vindiaccos gazed out into the writhing horde and could spot no two Alannir that looked alike.
   

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Alienscar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1239
  • Country: 00
  • I *LOVE* 40k Online!
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2019, 05:30:28 AM »
Battle of Scarlet Banners: (Experimental Scene I: Feedback Welcome)

Twin fingers of moonlight shone down from the midnight sky, cloaked in a calm abyss.

I am not certain that the phrasing of this sentence works. An abyss is a deep, immeasurable space, gulf, or chasm and it does not make sense to describe something as being cloaked by a deep chasm.
 
Aurien danced along the faint glimmer of the illumined woodland paths, a shadow cloaked in the dim of night. Only the soft rustle of the leaves foretold of his approach, carried upon a pleasant breeze at his back. The fay enchanted Land of the Eternal Summer continued its song of life, oblivious to the presence of such a black hearted murderer.

The imagery here is all over the place. The words ‘danced’ and ‘black hearted murderer’ do not sit well with each other. It is telling that this whole paragraph could be removed and it wouldn’t impact the rest of the story.


A clarion call, distant at first, but soon swelling into a banshee’s wail shattered the tranquility of the forest.

A clarion call is something entirely different to that of the call of a clarion. A clarion is a shrill sounding war tumpet whilst a clarion call is a figure of speech that refers to a strongly expressed demand or request for action. As you have used the figure of speech version it has made for a confused sentence.
 
It was a blood curdling moan, birthed from the darkest Hollows of the Gloom Wood. A singular cry for the briefest moment, before it grew into a sonorous war cry echoed from a hundred throats.

This second sentence has become separated from the first by your choice of words and as such the whole paragraph does not flow correctly. The word moan means to make a long low sound and this does not match the previous banshee wail. Also the two sentences essentially describe the same thing. That is, they both describe a low sound that has increased in volume. You don’t need two sentences for this.


Aurien gazed upon the warm glow of a hundred lights nestled in the hills over yonder. The miniature shadows that bathed in the light of the encampment jerked and zig-zagged back and forth in the hazy light. A booming dirge that followed their movements a moment later gave birth to a myriad of panicked cries.

The cacophony assaulted Aurien from every direction and he joined the chaos with a shrieking cry. Aurien’s heart hammered in the depth of his chest, beating furiously with the effort of sustaining his rapid pace. A whistling noise whizzed by him and terminated with a meaty impact into a Leaves-of-Luriel behind him.

I am confused by these two paragraphs. The first describes Aurien looking at something in the distance and the second suddenly describes him being surrounded by the things that were in the distance. The seamless transition from being far away from the village to being surrounded makes it difficult to follow what is going on.


The breeze at Aurien’s back surged into a strong wind. Two fingers of moonlight swelled into the image of the full moon, and suddenly all shadows was peeled away.

Shadows is plural, so ‘were’ is the correct word to use and not was.

A hundred lithe figures, hidden in the abyssal night before, were revealed in all of their horrifying splendor. Lithe figures garbed in glimmering chainmail and vivid crimson, and wielding weapons of vicious repute.

Repute, when used as a noun, just means the opinion generally held of someone or something. What you have written means that the weapon has a vicious reputation, but because vicious means ‘deliberately cruel or violent’ the sentence no longer makes sense as a weapon can’t be deliberately anything.

The repetition of the word ‘lithe’ does not add anything to this paragraph and instead slows the tempo of the paragraph.


As I am only five paragraphs into this I will leave it there as I think you get the gist of anything further that I have to say.
Quote from: Starrakatt
"Russ, get your work done or you won't see your damn console for the next month!"
Quote from: Cavalier
Honestly Alienscar, we get it... you dont like painting!

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2019, 10:16:42 AM »
Hi Alienscar,

Imagery conflict and phrasing seems to be the theme this time. Not too many grammar or sentence structure mistakes, which is progress that I'll take. Still, you've given me some good pointers on what I need to work on. I need to become more aware of my word choice, and do better on cross-referencing a dictionary for phrases and words, instead of relying on Microsoft Word to double check things I am uncertain about.

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Alienscar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1239
  • Country: 00
  • I *LOVE* 40k Online!
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2019, 06:21:02 AM »
I am sorry to disillusion you Myen'Tal, but sentence structure is still an issue. Because I have already mentioned sentence structure as an issue I didn't want to harp on about it again.

The grammatical side of things has definitely improved, so well done for that.

The structure of your sentences, for me, still delivers a separated experience. For example:-

Quote from: Myen'Tal
Aurien gazed upon the warm glow of a hundred lights nestled in the hills over yonder. The miniature shadows that bathed in the light of the encampment jerked and zig-zagged back and forth in the hazy light. A booming dirge that followed their movements a moment later gave birth to a myriad of panicked cries.

These three sentences don't flow well enough and offer to distinct an experience. Additionally the whole paragraph is too long. 

Aurien stared at the distant settlement that was bathed in the glow of the night watch fires. Suddenly, panicked cries could be heard over the sound of an alarm.


Not the best, but creative writing isn't my forte. I hope you get my point though.

Note how I used the word 'stare' instead of 'gaze'. The word gaze has connotations of admiration, so is not the correct word in this context.

Quote from: Starrakatt
"Russ, get your work done or you won't see your damn console for the next month!"
Quote from: Cavalier
Honestly Alienscar, we get it... you dont like painting!

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2019, 08:50:53 AM »
I am sorry to disillusion you Myen'Tal, but sentence structure is still an issue. Because I have already mentioned sentence structure as an issue I didn't want to harp on about it again.

The grammatical side of things has definitely improved, so well done for that.

The structure of your sentences, for me, still delivers a separated experience. For example:-

Quote from: Myen'Tal
Aurien gazed upon the warm glow of a hundred lights nestled in the hills over yonder. The miniature shadows that bathed in the light of the encampment jerked and zig-zagged back and forth in the hazy light. A booming dirge that followed their movements a moment later gave birth to a myriad of panicked cries.

These three sentences don't flow well enough and offer to distinct an experience. Additionally the whole paragraph is too long. 

Aurien stared at the distant settlement that was bathed in the glow of the night watch fires. Suddenly, panicked cries could be heard over the sound of an alarm.


Not the best, but creative writing isn't my forte. I hope you get my point though.

Note how I used the word 'stare' instead of 'gaze'. The word gaze has connotations of admiration, so is not the correct word in this context.

Well, at least something has improved! I'll keep working on those things then, and will work to also simplify some of those more puzzling sentences. Thanks for the feedback, Alien!
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #6 on: March 3, 2019, 05:16:33 PM »
Here is another scene for something different, and actually something quite old. No context for the scene, just decided to write out something random. I have tried to work on imagery and clearer sentence structure. Let me know if I've passed, improved, or simply failed in this regard ;) :P. Thanks!

The Crystalline Ocean

Scene I: Oath of Kinship

   Aitan sputtered a wheeze and fought for more oxygen. Brought down to his knees and gauntlet placed firmly upon his almost crushed in throat, an aching relief flooded through him all the same for remaining alive. Crimson beads dripped from out of his matted coal black hair and collected in the recesses between his fingers.

   “amphetamine parrot…” Kanaye’s voice pierced the veil of bells ringing in Aitan’s ears. It was a potent mixture of nobility and elegance, wrapped in a package of cavernous speech. “You alright, Sil?”

   Clarity sharpened Aitan’s vision after several rapid blinks. The sharp ache in his throat lessened. He fought back onto one quivering knee and removed the hand from his throat. In the corner of his amber eye, he spotted a swollen mountain of flesh that now lay still upon the blood-slathered alabaster stone.

   A Halish Trench Coat laid upon the alabaster as if he had been placed gently into his own sarcophagus. Streams of fresh blood still seeped from out of the ragged wound carved into the man’s helmeted skull. Kanaye lingered by the corpse and kicked it onto one side and away from Aitan.

   “Come on,” Kanaye offered one hand and with the other, he holstered a smoking sidearm. “And what would you have done if I weren’t your teammate? That brute would have crushed your windpipe, probably, like a broken toy… I’m surprised you hung in there, just as Reiko taught you, eh?”

   “Don’t mention that name.” Aitan chuckled despite himself. A coughing wheeze rather than the mirthful laughter it was meant to be. He gripped the offered hand by the wrist. “She might come finish what that giant started.”

   “I can say that you’ve been through worse,” Kanaye grinned in that wolfish way he had. All pearly white teeth, pallid skin, and intrusive cobalt eyes. He lightly punched Aitan’s worn and torn ballistic vest three times to make his point. “You will live… you’ve a habit of doing that, you know?”

   “And you don’t, Kanaye?” Aitan wrapped an arm around his comrade’s neck for balance against his trembling legs. He squeezed his left eye shut as blood began to run into it. “I don’t think I can go on like this.”

   “Alpha Wolves always adapt. Bran shall see our mission done along with the others.” Kanaye steered his charge toward the direction of the nearest elevator shaft. As if realizing his own wounded and chewed up form for the first time, Kanaye shuddered with a sigh of resignation. “You’re right. We’re damned well spent.”

   Kanaye limped Aitan across the blasted floor of the Endo Academy Lobby. Detritus left over from skirmish collected in the crevices of the cylindrical chamber. Aging blood splatters painted the sleek surface of the matte black walls, their bronze trim chipped from scores of bullet and shrapnel impacts. On occasion, Aitan marked the corpses of fallen Irothan Wolves and Halish Trench Coats sprawled amidst the ruined furnishings.

   “Do you think she made it out okay?” A sickness swelled up from the pit of Aitan’s gut. He hated himself for caring about his Warden for even a moment, but he understood her importance in the ensuring game of chess being played. “Some saviors we are… we’re headed in the wrong direction.”

   “Reiko?” Kanaye made a dismissive scoff. “No chance anyone of those Trench Coats broke through Kenta’s retinue. Don’t sweat it, Sil, she’s definitely well away from here by now. Headed in the wrong direction, perhaps, but we did out part and bought Kenta enough time to organize her evacuation… There’s nothing more to be done. Let Bran clean up the rest of this mess. I’d trust no other to make certain of that.

“Come on,” Kanaye slammed the elevator call button with the back of his fist. The platform bell rang with sharp clarity amidst the deafening reports of gunfire from the higher echelons of the Endo Academy. “Almost there… one of our Trailblazers should be down in the parking garage.

“How lucky for you…” He flashed a glimmer of steel from out of his pocket and quickly tucked it out of sight again. “Someone around here happened to have the keys.”

Aitan caught a glimpse of the key and grimaced. “I’m sorry for the bastard who was meant to keep it.” A ring of the elevator bell seemed faded and distant compared to the ones that still blared in his head.

“You alright?” Kanaye heaved Aitan through the open doors and into a small box of glassine mirrors, framed with unadorned steel. He propped Aitan gently against the nearest railing within the platform and slammed the call button for the Academy’s basement level. “Concussion, maybe? Could be worse, I’ll have to radio for a medic once we’re out of here. Just don’t pass out on me… Don’t think I could carry you all the way to our ride.”

“Hmm,” Aitan affirmed and reached out a trembling hand toward his companion. “Lighter?”

“Right, where is my fabled hospitality now?” Kanaye burst with thunderous peals of laughter. With bloodied fingers, he searched his fatigues for a lighter and a small ebony case wrapped in golden silk. “You know, my mother used always to say that if I was never K-I-A, I’d die on a sickbed with some disgusting lungs.” He pried the case open and handed it over.

“You?” Aitan plucked one of the rich cigars out of the case and placed it between his lips. “I’d imagine you’d retire before either and simply choose to stop. Reiko wouldn’t let you die so easily or so ingloriously.”

“Then I’ll imagine that the choice is hers somehow.” A couple of ignited sparks later and they shrouded the elevator in an ashen cloud of smoke. “If it makes her feel any better.”
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Alienscar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1239
  • Country: 00
  • I *LOVE* 40k Online!
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #7 on: March 4, 2019, 10:02:23 AM »

Aitan sputtered a wheeze and fought for more oxygen.

Sputtered and wheezed is the expression. Sputtered a wheeze makes no grammatical sense.

Brought down to his knees and gauntlet placed firmly upon his almost crushed in throat, an aching relief flooded through him all the same for remaining alive.

This is both difficult to read and to understand. I think you have possibly let this sentence run on too much and attempted to cram too much into it.

Brought to his knees from almost being choked, relief from being alive flooded through Aitan.

In your sentence the words 'down' and 'aching' are superfluous.

Crimson beads dripped from out of his matted coal black hair and collected in the recesses between his fingers.

This is difficult to imagine plus he was wearing gauntlets just a sentence ago.

Imagery wise I can't picture something dripping from my hair and collecting in the gaps between my fingers. How has it got there? Why has it collected instead of continuing to drip?

“amphetamine parrot…” Kanaye’s voice pierced the veil of bells ringing in Aitan’s ears. It was a potent mixture of nobility and elegance, wrapped in a package of cavernous speech. “You alright, Sil?”

'amphetamine parrot' and 'You alright Sil?' do not match your description of nobility and elegance.

Your expression, 'package of cavernous speech' is really confusing. The word package is synonymous with parcels. That is, items of a physical nature that can be wrapped in paper, or placed in a box. A 'speech' isn't a solid thing, so can't be packaged.

The word cavernous refers to something that is like a cavern in size. As a speech can not be described as vast, or roomy this has created a sentence that doesn't work.

That is just the first two paragraphs. See if you can spot anything wrong with the third.
« Last Edit: March 4, 2019, 10:09:42 AM by Alienscar »
Quote from: Starrakatt
"Russ, get your work done or you won't see your damn console for the next month!"
Quote from: Cavalier
Honestly Alienscar, we get it... you dont like painting!

Offline Wyddr

  • Author Eminence: Hereticus Liber Daemonica | Fio'shas Shi
  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 5023
  • Country: us
    • My blog about SF/F stuff
  • Armies: Daemons, Imperial Fists, Tau, Ksons, Vostroyans
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #8 on: March 4, 2019, 10:53:08 AM »
I don't usually comment on these things, but as I'm procrastinating from my own writing, I'm going to weigh in.

Since we are primarily focused on sentence-level issues (diction, syntax, etc.), I think the primary problem you're having is that you like adjectives and adverbs too much.

For instance, "sputtered a wheeze" is redundant (I beg to differ with Alienscar--there is nothing ungrammatical about it, though it is very similar to the common English idiom). You could have Aitan sputter, you could have him wheeze, but there really isn't much point to have him do both. To my mind, you want him wheezing, since sputtering is what you do when you're trying to talk but can't manage it, and wheezing is what you do when you're trying to breathe and can't quite manage it. Using both words adds nothing and potentially confuses.

Apply this metric to the rest of the passage. There are a LOT of excess words that can be cut that are currently doing nothing for the scene except cluttering the imagery. You are, in essence, trying too hard--you want the reader to see absolutely everything and not only is that not possible, but also the attempt to do so interferes with the audience's ability to engage in the scene. Trust your reader a bit more and cut out a lot of the flowery bits.

Another example I'd offer is "crimson beads." I mean, you're saying "blood" there, right? Why not say blood? Currently, in context, it's a little difficult to figure out what is happening (some gauntlet raining beads of red glass on him?) and there really isn't anything wrong with saying "blood."

On a rewrite, consider stripping every non-essential adjective and adverb from the passage. Then re-read it. It will read very clean, but not as clean as you are perhaps imagining. Then add in flavor where needed, which shouldn't be everywhere. I think the passage will be massively improved from doing so.

Keep writing! You only get better with practice!


Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #9 on: March 4, 2019, 12:49:52 PM »
Thanks for the feedback, guys :), lots of constructive criticism here. Also thanks, Wyddr, for making an exception this time  :D. I'll go back and look at this scene in particular.
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2019, 12:15:53 AM »
So, I revisited the last scene that I posted in this thread. And I've changed it quite a bit. I realized that Oath of Kinship didn't have much content in it, it's really just Kanaye and Aitan dragging each other to an elevator to escape.

So I thought I'd provide more context, I know it's just a scene, but I kind of formed a weird narrative around it. I'm working on making the sentences simpler and shorter, and also working on grammar. Please let me know if I've made more mistakes. All critique is welcome ;D.

Scene I: Oath of Kinship
Take Two!

   A deafening report from the other end of the Academy caught Aitan unawares. He tried to shield himself on the alabaster floor but found his limbs unresponsive. A leather-clad fist crashed into his face once more with the force of a freight train.

   Aitan fought for more oxygen, struggling to lift the combat boot stamped firmly on his neck. He blinked excessively but could not find clarity through the blood in his eyes. Aitan focused through the haze but could scarcely sketch a rough shadow of his assailant, but the black spot of his fist crashing upon him repeatedly.

   A second cry of thunder rolled over them and the incredible force pinning him to the ground lifted with merciful swiftness. Aitan felt a combat boot crushing his fingers into his neck, and then a sudden spasm of greater force squeezed them harder, before the sensation gave way to relief.

   Aitan's enemy spasmed once and then toppled off him to one side. A great influx of oxygen swelled his burning lungs, but he felt little better for it. He felt an onset of darkness threatening to swallow his mind.

   “Aitan! Can you even hear me, Sil?” A familiar voice, distant, as if calling out to him from a radio signal buried in static, nudged him back into momentary wakefulness. “But you’re pummeled to amphetamine parrot, aren’t you? Someone get a medic in here! Reiko, check that Trench-coat, make sure he’s dead! Sil, you better hold on, you’re too young, do you hear me? … I wonder what Illyia would think of you now, defeated before you’ve even begun?”

   Aitan struggled against invisible restraints and to open his eyes. A painful cough seized him, expelling a thick swathe of blood out of his mouth. Still, he spat out a pitiful retort. “Don’t mention that name! She might come finish me once and for all… “

   “Save your breath, Sil.” Kanaye replied, somehow nearer now than it was moments ago. “You’ll need that later, you can trust me on that…” Greeted with the quiet words of a nearby medic, he countered with words whispered under his breath. “At least clean the blood out of his eyes.”

   “Do you mind why I attempt to keep him alive?” The medic shot back in a deceptively polite tone. “Do me a favor and clear your squad out, Kanaye. We can take him from here.”

   “You’re in good hands, Sil.” Kanaye’s voice receded into a sea of endless noise. Encouragements followed him as Aitan felt himself levitate on and off the ground until he was whisked away into what felt like time and space. “Better than you’ll understand.”

~***~

   A sharp exhalation escaped from out of Aitan, the first sign of wakefulness that he registered in what felt like years. His first thought was of the subdued pain buried within his skull, then the unnatural stream of fluids cycling in his veins. A soothing music of complicated machinery working in the quiet greeted him, but only a brilliant light casting sunburst shades of color over his shut eyes tricked them into opening.

   “Hmm,” Aitan fluttered his eyes open and grimaced from the immediate burn of blinding sunlight. He felt a breeze caress him from an open window by his bed. A scent of summer flowers and forests in bloom carried upon its currents and perfumed his room. He breathed deep of the refreshing air and fought for further clarity. As Aitan did so, he could not shake the feeling of not being alone. “Is someone here? Kanaye?”

   “Good afternoon, Sil.” Kei Endo’s voice made Aitan freeze stiff in absolute dread. The High Warden let her greeting hang in the air for a moment, and then chuckled in the face of awkward silence. “Our medical staff here in the Academy rank among the finest in all of Irothis. They had an inkling that you’d wake up sometime today.”

   “Hmm, how long has it been?” Aitan fixed his eyes on the rapturous beauty of the Akane Valley stretched out across the horizon. “… Didn’t think you’d cared about me enough to come visit, Warden?”

   “We’ve entered into Gaia Reborn, our final summer. A month has passed since… our little massacre.” Kei sighed and chuckled once mirthlessly. “Really, Aitan, must we have a conversation with our backs turned upon each other?”

   Aitan considered Kei for a moment, then shifted onto his other side in hesitant, pained movements. The High Warden reclined into the embrace of a great chair of soft ebony satin, emblazoned with House Endo’s crest upon the arm rests. An ashen gray hakama graced her from shoes to the waist of an ebony and bronze kimono. Streams of shortened and kempt ash brown hair graced an angular face chiseled with a selection of ill-healed scars. Small emerald eyes, desolate of any emotion aside from twisted amusement, watched Sil with casual interest.

   “I cannot blame anyone who would want to see the sun set on the Akane Valley.” A faint smirk tugged on the corner of Kei’s lip.  “It warms my heart that such beauty cannot be lost even on a man who has just climbed out of Death’s maw.”

   “I don’t understand,” Aitan pushed himself off his bed until he could stare Kei directly in the eye. “Warden, why are you here? Don’t you have a nation to govern?”

   “Yes,” Kei scoffed and shrugged. “But I’ve enough attendants that you need not fret, Aitan… Truth is, I simply wanted to speak with you after that mess in Ludranna. Kanaye has given me his report… and I’m certain that you can appreciate my surprise to have heard him speak so highly of you. His praise is difficult to imagine, after a quick glance over you.

   “Tell me, how are you faring, Sil? Have you come to learn anything in your time with the Wolves? Could you find a future with them, perhaps?”

   “Kanaye?” A moment of realization dawned on Aitan and he wheezed with quiet laughter. “You speak of the same man that threw me through an aquarium and nearly beat me to death? That Kanaye?”

   A twisted grin flashed on Kei’s lips for a moment, before she snuffed it with a calmed stare. “He mentioned that you weren’t much in the way of friends. But I think your tenacity may be winning him over… He promised Sorano that he’d look after you as if you were his charge, and that’s a promise not many like him too often keep. He’s put in a good word for you to Sorano and me for you to make the full induction into the unit.”

   “Hmm,” Aitan fluttered his eyes shut and basked in the summer sun. He inhaled the summer air for a long minute. “No, we aren’t much in the way of friends. I think he has his noble qualities, for what it’s worth. He risked his life for mine on more than one occasion, but…”

   Kei finished the thought. “Kanaye can be an unpredictable bomb in an open field sometimes, believe me I know. He’s not a hero, but he strives to be an admiration for his unit. He butchers as much as he rescues and abandons as much as he defends. But no one can argue with the results, within reason, of course. A strange thing that I must be the counterweight to someone else’s unpredictability, but our team works well together with our combined minds.

   “In either case, you have an opportunity in front of you, Sil. What you’re being offered is the literal point of your conscription in the first place. Would you rather return to your sentence? Would you rather be assigned to another unit? You can ask me, and I’d tell you the choice is obvious.”

   Aitan countered her with a stern glare. “A shame that you never presented this choice before all of this anarchy. That was quite a different conversation we had then.”

   “Circumstances change, Aitan, you of all should understand that.” Kei nodded to herself, her fingers flicking deftly through the pages of her tome. “You already made your decision for that conversation. What you’ve done in your life since then is what affords you more options. Honestly, you don’t seem a different man in mind than you do in spirit. But a mind can be changed far easier than a moral compass.”

   Kei abruptly snapped the tome in her hands shut, her attention called away by an important thought. Even as she considered this realization, she continued to address Aitan. 

“You should consider my offer.” Kei gracefully moved to her feet and made herself ready to depart. “Speak with Kanaye. Speak with the rest of your comrades from the Wolves. Most importantly, get some rest and make certain that you can still be a use to us. Whatever his reasons maybe, Kanaye believes that you have potential. We are not friends either, Aitan, but far be from it me to waste resources when a civil war rages in our nation. I hope Kanaye will inform me with good news sooner rather than later.”

Aitan watched Kei make her exit, summoning a small entourage of armed guards and attendants that followed in her wake from a respectful distance. A moment of contemplative silence descended upon the room. Aitan shifted back to watch the view of the Akane Valley, the emerald lowlands covered in vast swathes of teeming forests. Clusters of great skyscrapers dwarfed the landscape, far off on the horizon that marked the outskirts of many metropolises. Aitan could barely differentiate them from the Ironwood Mountains in the backdrop.

   Aitan found himself in a strange country. He wondered if he’d ever make his way back to familiar shores again.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 02:04:55 PM by Myen'Tal »
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Alienscar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1239
  • Country: 00
  • I *LOVE* 40k Online!
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2019, 07:34:20 AM »
A deafening report from the other end of the Academy caught Aitan unawares. He tried to shield himself on the alabaster floor but found his limbs unresponsive. A leather-clad fist crashed into his face once more with the force of a freight train.

I find it hard to believe that whilst Aitan was on the floor getting his face smashed in that he would be caught unawares by anything else.

The word report is not a synonym for the word explosion; it refers to the loud noise of a shot.

Alabaster is a soft material that in one form can be marked by your fingernail. In its other form it can be carved with a knife. It is not a material that you would use to make a floor. It is also not a colour unless you refer to something as white as alabaster.


Aitan fought for more oxygen, struggling to lift the combat boot stamped firmly on his neck. He blinked excessively but could not find clarity through the blood in his eyes. Aitan focused through the haze but could scarcely sketch a rough shadow of his assailant, but the black spot of his fist crashing upon him repeatedly.

As mentioned in previous feedback you have used the word clarity incorrectly.

Aitan’s actions of blinking and trying to focus on his assailant are at odds with the actual action taking place.


A second cry of thunder rolled over them and the incredible force pinning him to the ground lifted with merciful swiftness. Aitan felt a combat boot crushing his fingers into his neck, and then a sudden spasm of greater force squeezed them harder, before the sensation gave way to relief.

There hasn’t been a first cry of thunder as you have not previously referred to thunder.

This paragraph is hard to follow as in the first sentence you have removed the force from Aitan, but it is still there in the second sentence.


The first four paragraphs are still too long I would say Myen’Tal as violent conflict should be short and brutal. I think you can safely remove all of the thunder and oxygen influx stuff and I think you could remove some of the sentences.

For example:-

The fist smashed into his face again and again. He tried feebly to shield himself but the violence had robbed him of his strength.  His assailant stamped on his neck and once again Aitan feebly tried to resist, but it was more of a reflex than anything else.

As the boot came down again Aitan could feel his consciousness and hope slipping away. Suddenly the onslaught stopped as his assailant crashed to the ground and he heard the familiar voice of a comrade coming to his rescue.


“Aitan! Can you even hear me, Sil?” A familiar voice, distant, as if calling out to him from a radio signal buried in static, nudged him back into momentary wakefulness. “But you’re pummeled to amphetamine parrot, aren’t you? Someone get a medic in here! Reiko, check that Trench-coat, make sure he’s dead! Sil, you better hold on, you’re too young, do you hear me? … I wonder what Illyia would think of you now, defeated before you’ve even begun?”

You should let this sites filter deal with swear words.

‘you’re too young to die’ otherwise Kayane is just saying that Aitan is young. The ending of this paragraph is a bit contrived, but otherwise I like the way that this paragraph flows.


Aitan struggled against invisible restraints and to open his eyes. A painful cough seized him, expelling a thick swathe of blood out of his mouth. Still, he spat out a pitiful retort. “Don’t mention that name! She might come finish me once and for all… “

‘Struggled to open his eyes’ would suffice the rest is superfluous.

The rest of it doesn’t flow that easily either. It would be better if the sentences weren’t so separate an experience.

Maybe something like this:-

‘Don’t mention that name…’ Aitan started to reply, but he was interrupted by a painful cough. He spat bloody phlegm out of his mouth and finished with wry, ‘She might come and finish me off for good.’


“Save your breath, Sil.” Kanaye replied, somehow nearer now than it was moments ago. “You’ll need that later, you can trust me on that…” Greeted with the quiet words of a nearby medic, he countered with words whispered under his breath. “At least clean the blood out of his eyes.”

I found this paragraph confusing as the words ‘nearer than it was’ do not make sense. Also what is Kanaye countering?

“Do you mind why I attempt to keep him alive?” The medic shot back in a deceptively polite tone. “Do me a favor and clear your squad out, Kanaye. We can take him from here.”

I do not understand the phrase ‘Do you mind why I attempt to keep him alive?’ For me it seems totally out of place and just doesn’t make sense.

  “You’re in good hands, Sil.” Kanaye’s voice receded into a sea of endless noise. Encouragements followed him as Aitan felt himself levitate on and off the ground until he was whisked away into what felt like time and space. “Better than you’ll understand.”

I would say that this last paragraph is redundant. Also ‘on and off the ground’ makes no sense when it comes to levitation.

A sharp exhalation escaped from out of Aitan, the first sign of wakefulness that he registered in what felt like years.

If Aitan has been in a coma, or unconscious then he wouldn’t have registered anything. This sentence has become confused because you seem to have written it from both Aitan’s and someone else’s point of view at the same time. That is, the word ‘felt’ ties the sign to Aitan, but the word ‘registered’ implies that someone was watching him.

His first thought was of the subdued pain buried within his skull, then the unnatural stream of fluids cycling in his veins. A soothing music of complicated machinery working in the quiet greeted him, but only a brilliant light casting sunburst shades of color over his shut eyes tricked them into opening.

A greeting should come first, by placing the ‘greeting’ in the middle this paragraph has become difficult to follow. Why would the light trick his eye into opening?

Less is more as always Myen’Tal, so I am sure this paragraph could be shorter and simpler.


“Hmm,” Aitan fluttered his eyes open and grimaced from the immediate burn of blinding sunlight. He felt a breeze caress him from an open window by his bed. A scent of summer flowers and forests in bloom carried upon its currents and perfumed his room. He breathed deep of the refreshing air and fought for further clarity. As Aitan did so, he could not shake the feeling of not being alone. “Is someone here? Kanaye?”

I think you could easily make this paragraph shorter it and it would not greatly affect the overall story.

“Good afternoon, Sil.” Kei Endo’s voice made Aitan freeze stiff in absolute dread. The High Warden let her greeting hang in the air for a moment, and then chuckled in the face of awkward silence. “Our medical staff here in the Academy rank among the finest in all of Irothis. They had an inkling that you’d wake up sometime today.”

The last sentence of this paragraph also seems a bit redundant and I think you should consider removing it. 

“Really, Aitan, must we have a conversation with our backs turned upon each other?”

Only Aitan’s back is facing Kei. They aren’t standing back to back as you have written.

Aitan considered Kei for a moment, then shifted onto his other side in hesitant, pained movements.

‘Shifted’ means to move from one place to another, especially over a small distance. Turned or rolled over would be better.

The High Warden reclined into the embrace of a great chair of soft ebony satin, emblazoned with House Endo’s crest upon the arm rests. An ashen gray hakama graced her from shoes to the waist of an ebony and bronze kimono. Streams of shortened and kempt ash brown hair graced an angular face chiseled with a selection of ill-healed scars. Small emerald eyes, desolate of any emotion aside from twisted amusement, watched Sil with casual interest.

I think you can drop the sentence about the hakama as it doesn’t really add anything.

“I cannot blame anyone who would want to see the sun set on the Akane Valley.” A faint smirk tugged on the corner of Kei’s lip.  “It warms my heart that such beauty cannot be lost even on a man who has just climbed out of Death’s maw.” 

Why is Kei smirking? Smirking means to smile in a smug, conceited or silly way. I think these three sentences can be dropped.


“I don’t understand,” Aitan pushed himself off his bed until he could stare Kei directly in the eye. “Warden, why are you here? Don’t you have a nation to govern?”

After asking ‘how long has it been’ the ‘I don’t understand’ bit of this doesn’t work and the situation as presented doesn’t warrant the question.

“Yes,” Kei scoffed and shrugged. “But I’ve enough attendants that you need not fret, Aitan… Truth is, I simply wanted to speak with you after that mess in Ludranna. Kanaye has given me his report… and I’m certain that you can appreciate my surprise to have heard him speak so highly of you. His praise is difficult to imagine, after a quick glance over you.

I would say that ‘scoffed’ is the wrong word as it means speak to someone or about something in a scornfully derisive or mocking way. I don’t see any reason for Kei to mock Aitan.

“Tell me, how are you faring, Sil? Have you come to learn anything in your time with the Wolves? Could you find a future with them, perhaps?”

This sentence should be removed.

Aitan countered her with a stern glare. “A shame that you never presented this choice before all of this anarchy. That was quite a different conversation we had then.”

What reason would Kei have had for offering Aitan the chance of joining the Wolves before he had proved himself?


  “Circumstances change, Aitan, you of all should understand that.” Kei nodded to herself, her fingers flicking deftly through the pages of her tome. “You already made your decision for that conversation. What you’ve done in your life since then is what affords you more options. Honestly, you don’t seem a different man in mind than you do in spirit. But a mind can be changed far easier than a moral compass.”

The last two sentences should be dropped as they are far too long-winded a way of saying that Aitan hasn’t changed.


Aitan watched Kei make her exit, summoning a small entourage of armed guards and attendants that followed in her wake from a respectful distance. A moment of contemplative silence descended upon the room. Aitan shifted back to watch the view of the Akane Valley, the emerald lowlands covered in vast swathes of teeming forests. Clusters of great skyscrapers dwarfed the landscape, far off on the horizon that marked the outskirts of many metropolises. Aitan could barely differentiate them from the Ironwood Mountains in the backdrop. 

‘At’ a respectful distance and not ‘from’.

Teeming forests isn’t the correct use of the word teeming.

Consider shortening or removing this paragraph as it quite long-winded for what it is trying to say.


Aitan found himself in a strange country. He wondered if he’d ever make his way back to familiar shores again.

From my point of view as a reader this ending seems a bit incongruous to what we have been informed of throughout the story. Nothing in the story would indicate that Aitan is away from home or doing anything different than he is used to doing, so his musings here just seem like you are trying too hard to add a bit of intrigue. Personally I do not think it suits the tone of the story.

You have established that Kei and Aitan do not get on and that Kei is a no-nonsense sort of Commander, but it has taken you nineteen paragraphs to get Kei to ask one simple question.

The question of whether or not Aitan wants to join the Wolves shouldn’t be hidden and delayed by all of the other stuff that you have written.



So, I revisited the last scene that I posted in this thread. And I've changed it quite a bit. I realized that Oath of Kinship didn't have much content in it, it's really just Kanaye and Aitan dragging each other to an elevator to escape.

I prefer the tone and premise of the original. I think you would be better off doing what Wyddr suggested and attempt to rewrite the original version of this story.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2019, 10:18:15 AM by Alienscar »
Quote from: Starrakatt
"Russ, get your work done or you won't see your damn console for the next month!"
Quote from: Cavalier
Honestly Alienscar, we get it... you dont like painting!

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2019, 09:35:08 PM »
NOTE: Will go back and edit somethings over the weekend!

The Crystalline Ocean

Scene I: Oath of Kinship

Take Three!

   
   A glimmer of metal cut diagonally through the air. Aitan staggered backward. Each step sent blood arcing from pools formed around the fallen. The combat knife weaved patterns in the air that brought it ever nearer. Aitan traced the pattern by the metal’s reflective surface. He prepared himself for the inevitable.

   A crash of thunder deafened the combantants. Startled, he shifted toward another half-realized shadow headed straight in his direction. He aimed down the sights of a forty-five-caliber pistol, but his assailant crashed waist-first into the rear of a cushioned sofa. The malformed human toppled over the furniture and landed in a twisted heap on the ground. Aitan expected a furious cry but was greeted with only black flecks spat onto his boots.

   Aitan weaved around the practiced thrust of a combat knife aimed for his midriff. His assailant made a diagonal cut after the lunge. Blood fell in rivulets from the neat wound etched across his right cheek. Crying out in pain through clenched teeth, Aitan lashed out with a furious counterattack.

The unformed shadow stiffened from the direct connection of Aitan’s fist into it’s gut. An unsettling sound reminiscent of laughter being choked out of a dying man’s throat poured from out of his assailant. He continued into his assault with a vicious overhand blow from a sidearm clutched in the other hand.

   The forty-five-caliber pistol struck the shadow once in the skull. His enemy answered with a savage knee into Aitan’s gut. The force made him tremble, but he held his ground. A tendril of shade writhed out of the darkness to wrest the pistol out of his grip. He channeled his strength. He lunged toward his enemy with his other hand. His fist pummeled the foe somewhere beneath the jugular.

   The foe’s iron-vice-of-a-grip slackened. Wounded, the attacker slumped toward the floor. A sharp wheeze emitted from his throat.

   A lance of agony pierced Aitan above his right knee. Flashes of brilliant pain overwhelmed him, robbed him of any other sense. A crushing force slammed into him like a freight train and tackled him onto the granite floor. Aitan shielded himself from the worst blows. He countered with swift strikes that kept his opponent from completely dominating.

    The foe smashed his fist into Aitan’s face repeatedly. The sidearm in his hand fired without direction. A vain attempt to dethrone his killer. His vision was slathered in nothing but blood.

   “See you,” The voice of a morose man pierced the deafening silence. The crushing weight of a boot stamped down on Aitan’s neck. The piece of metal embedded in his thigh was pried loose with brutal swiftness. “It’s not quick, but that’s only because you struggled so hard.”

   A crack of thunder shook Aitan to the core. His foe was shaken much harder from the sounds of it. A great force slammed into the malformed shadow and sent him flying off his victim. Aitan writhed on the ground but could hear calm and measured footfalls tread carefully around him.

   A swift cock of a weapon echoed in the near distance. Guttural moans from nearby surged into discomforted cries as someone was forced onto their feet.

   “Sayonara,” Kanaye muttered into the abyss.

   A deafening report of a weapon fired echoed within the confines of the Endo Academy. There was a sound of liquid splattering across a surface. Followed by the sound of Kanaye kicking a corpse aside.

   “Here.” Aitan could feel Kanaye knelt over him. A handkerchief moistened with canteen water was casually tossed onto Aitan’s face. “Get the blood out of your eyes. I’ve trained you how not to get them gouged out, remember?”

   Aitan writhed for a moment longer, one hand on his matted hair as relief flooded him.

   “Thanks.” Aitan finally rasped. He worked the handkerchief back and forth across his face until most of the blood was cleaned off. “Didn’t think you made it… Thought I watched you die.”

   “Don’t lie to me, Sil,” Kanaye lingered over Aitan with a broad grin on his mouth. “Don’t tell that the damned Gods themselves didn’t proclaim me as your Guardian Angel.” He calmly unveiled the trio of gunshot wounds etched into the flesh of his waist. “Armor piercing. But they’re flesh wounds, if you can believe it. And you thought you were born lucky, ha-ha.”

   “Heh, beslubber you.” Aitan wheezed, and then chuckled. “Where are the others?”

   Kanaye arched his brow. “Where do you think? They’ve secured the High Warden. She’ll be out of here before long. She’ll definitely want to know why I’m down here in the lobby getting my ass kicked with you.”

   “You understand Kei far more than I do,” Aitan struggled on bruised and cut limbs to find his feet. “But not even she would fault you for looking after your team. Keep saving me and I’ll have to start calling you a hero too with everyone else.”

   “Hmph, I’d throw you to the Wolves first.” Kanaye chuckled with a wry grin. “But I’ve already done that, haven’t I?” The commander of the Alpha Wolves extended his hand in aid for Aitan. “Come on, you look pathetic writhing on the floor like that. Any broken bones? Mortal wounds?”

   “Got stabbed in the leg. Don’t think I’ll be running at full tilt anytime soon. I’ll live, though.” Aitan inhaled sharply, then accepted the offered hand. Kanaye whisked him back onto his feet with an effortless pull. He studied his environment as if getting his bearings back. When he finished, he finally noticed Kanaye. “You ask after me, but you look like you’ve eaten your own share of amphetamine parrot.”

   “Enough about us.” Kanaye reached for the comm installed around his neck collar. “Reiko. Aitan and I have cleared the lobby. Get the power back online. We’ll find our own way out and meet you back at the rendezvous. Over and out.”

   “Don’t have much time, I take it?” Aitan cleaned the surface of his pistol the best he could with the handkerchief before he threw it aside. “I’m with you.”

   A flare of sterile white light pulsed from the Endo Academy’s ceiling once, then a dozen times before the power permanently came online. The smooth metal surfaces that formed the constituent elements of the Academy were now scarred from one end to the next with bullet wounds. Shredded cushioned sofas and blasted displays, overturned tables with corpses pinned beneath them saturated the area. 

   “No,” Kanaye replied. “Trench-Coats are out in some numbers still. The Wardens will put them down in due course. Let Sorano clean this mess up. Don’t know about you, Sil, but I’m getting the hell out of here.” He wrapped one of Aitan’s arms around his neck and held him upright. “Come on, you shouldn’t walk on that knife wound of yours.”

Kanaye limped Aitan across the blasted Endo Academy, not caring enough to avoid the corpses littered around them. He kicked them aside and tread over them with plain indiscretion. It was not long before they arrived before an elevator of glassine mirrors and unadorned steel framing.

The platform doors slid aside without challenge.

Aitan ran fingers through his blood matted hair after climbing onto the platform. “Kei, you really think she made it out okay? What if the enemy is aware of her escape route?”

“Then I’d trust in Kenta and his retinue.” Kanaye slammed the call button for the basement level. “We secured her escape route. The rest of the Alpha Wolves are with them too. Only you and I never made it. Not our fault.”

“Bran was here too, remember?” Aitan glared his disapproval. “A shame none of us could save him.”

“Not our fault either, Sil.” Kanaye shook his head. “What he did, none of us could save him. And you damn well know he preferred it that way.”

“Hmm…” Aitan considered his commander’s words. “Perhaps, but I’m not blaming you or myself. It’s just a shame is all… and I’ve got a concussion that might make my head explode.”

Kanaye glanced Aitan over. “Could be worse. That Trench-Coat could have done that for you. A medic should look you over once or twice though… I might have something that’ll
help.”
Kanaye reached into the pockets of his fatigues and produced a small bundle of choice cigars. He slipped one out of the pack and into his mouth. He offered the contents to Aitan, who considered the idea a moment before claiming one of his own. Kanaye followed suit with two quick sparks of a lighter.

“You know,” Kanaye mused aloud. He inhaled several times. A steady smoke-stream ejected from out of his nostrils. “My mother used to always say that if I never went K-I-A, I’d die on a sickbed with something disgusting in my lungs. One hell of a prophet, she was, and a noble one too.”

“You, Kanaye?” Aitan breathed deep of the ashen smoke shrouding the elevator. “You’d retire before then. Stop smoking too. Reiko wouldn’t allow such an inglorious death for her favored.”

“I’ll imagine that the choice is hers somehow.” Kanaye chuckled without mirth to himself. “Perhaps, if it makes her feel any better…”
   


« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 08:46:05 PM by Myen'Tal »
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Alienscar

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1239
  • Country: 00
  • I *LOVE* 40k Online!
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2019, 03:03:19 PM »
A glimmer of metal cut diagonally through the air. Aitan staggered backward. Each step sent blood arcing from pools formed around the fallen. The combat knife weaved patterns in the air that brought it ever nearer. Aitan traced the pattern by the metal’s reflective surface. He prepared himself for the inevitable.

Traced means to find by investigation or to copy it doesn’t mean follow.

I like the start of this, but the last two sentences should be shortened or removed as they distract rather than add anything. Also, as I have said before, some of your sentences offer too separate an experience.


A crash of thunder deafened the combantants. Startled, he shifted toward another half-realized shadow headed straight in his direction.

Combatants

I still do not believe that anyone involved in a violent struggle is going to be distracted or startled by thunder. It is all the more unlikely as the fight appears to be taking place inside a building.

Where did the first attacker go? Why did it stop attacking?


Crying out in pain through clenched teeth, Aitan lashed out with a furious counterattack.

You can’t both cry out and clench your teeth.

Lashed out in defence or launched a furious counterattack, not both.


The unformed shadow stiffened from the direct connection of Aitan’s fist into it’s gut. An unsettling sound reminiscent of laughter being choked out of a dying man’s throat poured from out of his assailant. He continued into his assault with a vicious overhand blow from a sidearm clutched in the other hand.

The expression ‘reminiscent of’ doesn’t make sense here as how many people laugh as they are choked to death.

Continued ‘with’ not ‘into’, or just 'continued his'.

How many pistols is Aitan holding? You have mentioned one already and now you have written he is holding one in the other hand.

Again, I would say that you have too many sentences here that suffer because they don't flow easily enough.


The forty-five-caliber pistol struck the shadow once in the skull. His enemy answered with a savage knee into Aitan’s gut. The force made him tremble, but he held his ground. A tendril of shade writhed out of the darkness to wrest the pistol out of his grip. He channeled his strength. He lunged toward his enemy with his other hand. His fist pummeled the foe somewhere beneath the jugular.

All this talk of shadows and tendrils makes it appear that Aitan is fighting something etheral. Is this your intent or are you just trying to say it is dark.


A glimmer of metal cut diagonally through the air. Aitan staggered backward. Each step sent blood arcing from pools formed around the fallen. The combat knife weaved patterns in the air that brought it ever nearer. Aitan traced the pattern by the metal’s reflective surface. He prepared himself for the inevitable.

A crash of thunder deafened the combantants. Startled, he shifted toward another half-realized shadow headed straight in his direction. He aimed down the sights of a forty-five-caliber pistol, but his assailant crashed waist-first into the rear of a cushioned sofa. The malformed human toppled over the furniture and landed in a twisted heap on the ground. Aitan expected a furious cry but was greeted with only black flecks spat onto his boots.

Aitan weaved around the practiced thrust of a combat knife aimed for his midriff. His assailant made a diagonal cut after the lunge. Blood fell in rivulets from the neat wound etched across his right cheek. Crying out in pain through clenched teeth, Aitan lashed out with a furious counterattack.

The unformed shadow stiffened from the direct connection of Aitan’s fist into it’s gut. An unsettling sound reminiscent of laughter being choked out of a dying man’s throat poured from out of his assailant. He continued into his assault with a vicious overhand blow from a sidearm clutched in the other hand.

The forty-five-caliber pistol struck the shadow once in the skull. His enemy answered with a savage knee into Aitan’s gut. The force made him tremble, but he held his ground. A tendril of shade writhed out of the darkness to wrest the pistol out of his grip. He channeled his strength. He lunged toward his enemy with his other hand. His fist pummeled the foe somewhere beneath the jugular.

These five paragraphs need to be shorter. It shouldn’t take this long to describe Aitan wounding someone.

A lance of agony pierced Aitan above his right knee. Flashes of brilliant pain overwhelmed him, robbed him of any other sense. A crushing force slammed into him like a freight train and tackled him onto the granite floor. Aitan shielded himself from the worst blows. He countered with swift strikes that kept his opponent from completely dominating.

‘Lance’, ‘agony’ and ‘pierce’ don’t work like this. Agony is pain that is the result of something; it is not something that can complete an action.

Robbed should be robbing as robbed is past tense.

This is the wrong use of the word ‘tackled’ and ‘that drove’ would work better.

Reading this it comes across as if Aitan has been attacked twice in quick succession

The phrase 'A crushing force' isn't a replacement for a person as a force is the result of an action and not an action itself. Because of this you have created two separate sentences that don't seem to have any direct relationship.

I would suggest something along the lines of:-


Something pierced Aitan's leg just above his right knee and agony lanced through him, the pain robbing him of his senses.

The foe smashed his fist into Aitan’s face repeatedly. The sidearm in his hand fired without direction. A vain attempt to dethrone his killer. His vision was slathered in nothing but blood.

These five sentences are too separate.

A crack of thunder shook Aitan to the core. His foe was shaken much harder from the sounds of it.

Again the use of thunder is hard to rationalise.

A person shaking is not an action that is generally associated with noise so ‘by the sounds of it’ is really confusing in this context.


A great force slammed into the malformed shadow and sent him flying off his victim. Aitan writhed on the ground but could hear calm and measured footfalls tread carefully around him.

Whilst his opponent is on top of Aitan it is difficult to visualise why you are describing it as a malformed shadow.

A deafening report of a weapon fired echoed within the confines of the Endo Academy. There was a sound of liquid splattering across a surface. Followed by the sound of Kanaye kicking a corpse aside.

'The deafening report'

I would drop the middle sentence and suggest that you try and blend the remaining two sentences together.

‘Report’ already refers to a weapon being fired, so here the word ‘fired’ is redundant.


“Here.” Aitan could feel Kanaye knelt over him. A handkerchief moistened with canteen water was casually tossed onto Aitan’s face. “Get the blood out of your eyes. I’ve trained you how not to get them gouged out, remember?”

The last sentence is redundant.


Aitan writhed for a moment longer, one hand on his matted hair as relief flooded him.

This sentence is confused as Aitan is described as writhing on the floor and being relieved. Writhing is associated with making twisting movements of the body and Aitan having one hand placed casually on his hair is an action that does not suit someone that is writhing about on the floor.


“Thanks.” Aitan finally rasped. He worked the handkerchief back and forth across his face until most of the blood was cleaned off. “Didn’t think you made it… Thought I watched you die.”

There is no need to extend the description of how someone wipes their face clean as it is an action that everyone understands. ‘Thanks’, Aitan rasped as he wiped the blood off of his face, would be enough.
 
“Come on, you look pathetic writhing on the floor like that. Any broken bones? Mortal wounds?”

This question seems a bit pointless as they have been talking and Aitan has been moving


When he finished, he finally noticed Kanaye. “You ask after me, but you look like you’ve eaten your own share of amphetamine parrot.”

The expression ‘he finally noticed Kanaye’ does not work, or make sense when Kanaye has just pulled Aitan up from the floor

Kanaye limped Aitan across the blasted Endo Academy, not caring enough to avoid the corpses littered around them. He kicked them aside and tread over them with plain indiscretion. It was not long before they arrived before an elevator of glassine mirrors and unadorned steel framing.


Tread on not over.

You can’t kick a corpse out of the way, it is far too heavy. You can kicks parts of a body out of the way like a foot or arm, but not a whole corpse.


The platform doors slid aside without challenge.

Not sure I see the relevance of this phrase.


Aitan ran fingers through his blood matted hair after climbing onto the platform. “Kei, you really think she made it out okay? What if the enemy is aware of her escape route?”

“Then I’d trust in Kenta and his retinue.” Kanaye slammed the call button for the basement level. “We secured her escape route. The rest of the Alpha Wolves are with them too. Only you and I never made it. Not our fault.”

“Bran was here too, remember?” Aitan glared his disapproval. “A shame none of us could save him.”

“Not our fault either, Sil.” Kanaye shook his head. “What he did, none of us could save him. And you damn well know he preferred it that way.”

“Hmm…” Aitan considered his commander’s words. “Perhaps, but I’m not blaming you or myself. It’s just a shame is all… and I’ve got a concussion that might make my head explode.”

Kanaye glanced Aitan over. “Could be worse. That Trench-Coat could have done that for you. A medic should look you over once or twice though… I might have something that’ll help.”
Kanaye reached into the pockets of his fatigues and produced a small bundle of choice cigars. He slipped one out of the pack and into his mouth. He offered the contents to Aitan, who considered the idea a moment before claiming one of his own. Kanaye followed suit with two quick sparks of a lighter.

“You know,” Kanaye mused aloud. He inhaled several times. A steady smoke-stream ejected from out of his nostrils. “My mother used to always say that if I never went K-I-A, I’d die on a sickbed with something disgusting in my lungs. One hell of a prophet, she was, and a noble one too.”

“You, Kanaye?” Aitan breathed deep of the ashen smoke shrouding the elevator. “You’d retire before then. Stop smoking too. Reiko wouldn’t allow such an inglorious death for her favored.”

“I’ll imagine that the choice is hers somehow.” Kanaye chuckled without mirth to himself. “Perhaps, if it makes her feel any better…”

All of this needs a bit more attention paying to diction and syntax. It might also benefit from being shorter.

I still prefer your original version of this and would still like you to rewrite it in the style that Wyddr suggested.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 03:08:20 PM by Alienscar »
Quote from: Starrakatt
"Russ, get your work done or you won't see your damn console for the next month!"
Quote from: Cavalier
Honestly Alienscar, we get it... you dont like painting!

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2019, 11:58:04 AM »
Hi Alienscar, once again, thanks for the feedback!

Alright, I'm going to try re-writing that original scene the way Wyddr suggested.

Sometimes I just get ambitious I guess :P.
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2019, 08:38:48 PM »
Just another scene I'm wanting to share. I'm going to post up that scene I've been previously working on, Wyddr and Alienscar, that you suggested I take a look at again. Should be up sometime tomorrow.
~***~
    The mentor called it the great hunt. The Great Culling, Shanna thought. She had seen a hundred reckless aspirants expel themselves from the game with their haste. Though Shanna hated being patient, she forced herself further down into the shadow of the hollows. Mentor would never know what was going to hit him until it was far too late.

   In the first hours, sheer weight of numbers made the objective seem within reach: hunt the mentor and strike him with a dummy arrow. An accomplishment, Shanna realized, was easier said than earned. Bold aspirants arose from the masses. Skilled champions boasted of their challenges.  Cunning tricksters made their traps and crafted their ambushes. Shanna had watched each of them be put back in their place. One after another, champions of the common Lani were left disillusioned of their martial might.

In the end, only a handful remained. Shanna counted no greater than five elves among those still in the field.

In the near distance, an ignoble shriek burst from the shadows of the Gloom Wood. Mentor Dichalis drew nearer and nearer, keen on earning his last “kills”. Shanna listened to the song of the woods. An elven woman’s mortified sobs rang into her pointed ears.

Dichalis’ lessons played in her mind again and again. All warriors are united by the objective in the hunt. Focus on the objective and you are never alone.

A creak in the branches above her snapped Shanna back into the present. She fled before she assessed the threat and darted into the open. Shrieked war cries followed in her wake. Shadows hidden within grander shadows detached from their hidden places and loped through the forest alongside her.

Shanna felt her leather armor snag and catch twisting roots and craggy rocks. She tore through the underbrush, loped and leaped free of the rough terrain until she emerged out of the woods and into a windswept glade.

Reign in your breathing, Shanna. If this were a real battle, where would my foe strike from? Dichalis is no longer on the defensive. He hunts for all of us. He no longer requires the high ground, but I do.

Twang.

A soft summer breeze concealed the noise of an arrow being loosed from a bow. Shanna squinted and stared off into the distance, mere moments before an impact hit her ribcage. A sharp crack punctuated the strike, the sound of a headless wooden shaft snapped in twain.
Shanna doubled over in pain and collapsed onto her knees.

   Mentor Dichalis rebuked her. “Who were your parents? They’ve taught you to sigh like an ox, but is there any other skill in that underdeveloped brain of yours? I stand several feet away and I could still hear you!”
~***~
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2019, 11:12:08 PM »
Alright, so this time I removed most of the excessive adjectives like you guys suggested. I did change the story more toward the end, because I didn't save the original scene the first time I wrote it. I could have pulled it from this thread, but I'd have to reformat everything from forum code back to normal document. So I just decided to tackle both issues.

Scene I: Oath of Kinship

   A report echoed from the other end of the Academy. A black leather clad fist crashed into Aitan’s face with the force of a freight train. Sprawled out across the alabaster, he tried to defend himself with pinned limbs.

   Aitan struggled to lift the combat boot pressed firmly on his neck. He fought for the briefest inhalation of air into his lungs. He blinked, but could not see through the blood collected in his eyes. He could not even sketch an outline of his assailant nor the fist that crashed upon him like reoccurring waves.

   Another report rolled over the corridor like the roar of thunder. The incredible force that pinned him in place lifted with sudden swiftness. A flood of relief washed away the immediate sensation of adrenaline heightened terror. 

   The Trenchcoat spasmed and toppled off of him onto one side. Echoes of muscle memory and aching pain overcame his limbs as life twitched back into them. An onset of darkness threatened to swallow Aitan whole, but somehow, he warded away the embrace of unconsciousness.

   A familiar, distant voice called out. A radio signal buried in a sea of static. It nudged Aitan back into momentary wakefulness. “Can you even hear me, Sil? Is there anyone alive in there?”

   “Grab me a handkerchief, would you?” Aitan wheezed. “Cannot see a damned thing with all of this red in my eyes.” A painful cough seized him. A thick swathe of blood erupted from out of his mouth.

   “No sudden movements.” Kanaye chuckled under his breath. “You didn’t let him blind you, good. Anything broken? Any bleeding from within?” He pressed a soft bundle of fabric into Aitan’s hand. “There, you’re no good to me stumbling your way out of here.”

   “Oracle’s Grace…” Aitan flicked the handkerchief back and forth across his eyes until he convinced himself of their full functionality. “You’ve pulled me out of hell again. One of these days, I’ll have to return the favor and save myself.”

   “A gift beyond measure.” Kanaye rattled with laughter. “Come on, we need to leave. Can you stand?”

   “No…” Aitan forced his limbs to mobilize and quivered with fresh pain for his trouble. “Not broken… too weakened.”

   “Nihalia’s tits, fine!” Kanaye sneered, but Aitan detected a hint of empathy and concern behind the façade. “Come on, Sil, it’d be sad to abandon you now.”

   Kanaye seized Aitan by one of his limp arms and flung it around his neck. Twice, Kanaye attempted to haul them both onto their feet, but each attempt ended with an exasperated sigh and tremble of agony. By the third attempt, Kanaye’s breathing became audible and ragged.

   “amphetamine parrot, Sil.” Kanaye barked out a shuddering laugh. “I’m not hauling you anywhere. Bastards got me once or twice… hurts worse than it looks.”

   “Hold on,” Aitan replied. “Let’s take a moment to recover ourselves and try again.”

   “Trenchcoats are everywhere.” Kanaye arched his brow. “I’d rather not be caught resting, truth be told.”

   “You’d rather be caught crawling?” Aitan quipped. “Let’s take a moment. I might get some of my strength back.”

   “amphetamine parrot.” Kanaye muttered to himself and returned Sil to the Academy floor. He sat down beside him. “I cannot see amphetamine parrot in here.”

   “Secondary power generators were cut.” Aitan shrugged. “Just a four-hour battery keeping the last of the lights on. You’re right. We don’t have much time.”

   “Here, Sil, I’d say you earned this one.” In the dim sapphire light, Kanaye held out what seemed like a pitch-black box crafted from the stuff of the void. “beslubber it, am I right?”

   “Hmm,” Aitan sniffed the air and caught the pungent scent of a nicotine substance. He reached out and plucked the cigar from out of Kanaye’s carrying case. The brief, bright flicker of a lighter sparked the buds in rapid succession. “And here I thought I was the last man in the universe you’d offer this to.”

   Kanaye made that wolfish grin that teetered on the edge of becoming a sneer. “If you had asked me several months ago, I’d have thrown you through aquarium again. Asked me a couple of weeks ago and I’d say you weren’t ready for any of this. Ask me now and I’d say that you’re still standing when others I’d deem worthier are not.”

   “What if it’s luck?” Aitan inhaled and exhaled a stream of cloudy vapor. “What if the worthier perished so that the unworthy could live?”

   “Well,” Kanaye shrugged and puffed on his cigar. “Then perhaps you’re worthier than you know. Perhaps they saw something in you that I didn’t. I’ve never been the greatest judge of character.  The High Warden usually does that part of my job for me.”

   “Do you think she made it?” Aitan changed the subject. “The High Warden.”

   “Kei?” Kanaye chuckled. “Hard to imagine the Trenchcoats capable of putting down her entire retinue. Of course, they beslubbered us up. The consequence of first and second line of defense, you see. She won’t die here, if that’s what you concerned about, Sil. I didn’t realize you cared for her enough to worry about her life.”

   “Honestly,” Aitan shook his head. “I hoped you’d confirm her death. Sometimes life cannot even hand us down the smallest mercy. I don’t know what you see in her, myself.”

   “Why do you think I see anything in her at all?” Kanaye bristled at the statement. A brief burst of static overcame the radio looped onto Kanaye’s waist. He snatched up the comm without a moment’s hesitation and spoke into it.

   “Alpha Wolf, here, copy.”

   “….”

   “…”

   “…”

   Kanaye boasted with surprised laughter. “I thought you’d never ask. Aitan and I are trapped on the first floor of the Academy. Get us the hell out of here and you’ll have your own squad. Over and out…”

~***~
   


“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

Offline Myen'Tal

  • Lazerous Penguin
  • Senior Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1763
  • Country: 00
  • Armies: Deepkin & Treefolk
Re: Experimental Scenes (Comment and Critique Welcome)
« Reply #17 on: July 2, 2019, 10:45:15 PM »
Chapter I
Embers of Anarchy

   A hail of arrows fell from a cloudless sky, blotting out the desert sun. Azat let out a sharp bark of laughter and waded into death itself. A maelstrom of Qi warriors and charred-skinned horrors raged around him. Swords cleaved. Horrors screamed. Blood fountained across the dunes of the Valley of Carrion. Arrows descended from the skies, and the men of Qi fell in their scores.

   A moderate sized buckler lifted to blot out the sun, Azat danced around the crown of emerald serpents lashing toward him. He struck out toward a clutch of venomous cobras. Betrayer sliced into their scales like a sliver of light.

The ashen-scaled creature snapped her fanged jaws, but missed by the bronze skin of his arm. The Gorgon made to coil herself around him and finish Azat in one crushing squeeze. He warded off the Gorgon’s crushing maw with a flick of his wrist. He punched his buckler downward with force enough to send the beast reeling backward across the shifting sands.

“Hew them down!” Afraid to relinquish an advantage, Azat thundered to the scorching sun.  “Scorch their bones! Tear them apart! Show no shame before them!”

   Qi Warriors scattered across the Valley answered him and moved to reform. An endless storm of arrows rained down upon them and more of their number joined the blood-soaked battlefield. Azat climbed the peak of the greatest dune he could find and stared out into the Valley of Carrion.

   He counted a hundred different formations scattered about the Valley of Carrion, separated from each other by leagues of open field. A horde of a hundred-fold the number of the Qi writhed across the bone littered valley like an unnatural sea made from the stuff of night. Once, the Gorgon flood had numbered beyond count, their armies spread from one horizon to the next…

   “Qarth rises from the embers of anarchy…” Azat muttered onto the cool desert winds now that evening settled over the horizon. His words were lost in the deafening cries of Qi gathered in their hundreds, counter-charging their enemies.

   “Azat.”

A familiar voice called out to him from amongst the teeming masses, his volume like a burst of thunder amidst falling rain. A shadow eclipsed Azat from behind, wide enough to feel as if a mountain approached instead of a human. Azat glanced over his shoulder, then lifted his chin by several degrees to meet Aslan’s gaze.

Aslan laid a mighty gauntlet of tanned fur and sunbaked bones upon Azat’s shoulder. “You would have done well… if you cared more for the Qi than your own ambition. Scream to the sun if that’s what you desire, but it’s a shame that’s the only command you understand.”

“Never change, Aslan.” Azat scoffed and barked with laughter. “Did the Gorgons put your eyes out? My advance has only seen success, even under a sky of falling arrows, the Qi that you entrusted to me push us closer to victory.”

Aslan frowned, then shrugged. “The force that I entrusted to you is scarcely recognizable, save a few faces I recognize. I trusted the victory to them… not to you.”

“What do the dead care for any of that?” Azat quipped. “And why do you look so somber, brother? Gaze out toward the horizon with me! Look!” He pointed toward the eastern and western horizons with either hand. “Pray tell, Aslan, but what do you see?”

“Nothing…” A crooked grin broke through Aslan’s placid façade. “A Valley of Carrion, of which our people have labored for several generations to call our own… If only you could learn to do better…”

Azat shrugged and made to regather his weapons. “Your measurements seem off by several leagues, but it matters little… Qarth rises from the embers of anarchy. The Firstborn has scoured these lands, the Gorgons and their endless numbers feel the embrace of the inferno. Soon only their bones shall remain in the Valley.

“Erasyl would be proud of his appointed commander.”

Aslan’s grin widened. “He did not name me without cause… and yes, soon these lands shall earn their name. The Gorgons may have been wolves in their own time, but wolves could never hope to conquer lions… Enough of this. Resume your command, claim our victory, and remember that I shall always be at your back.”

“Never relied on that. Never will.” Azat made a dismissive gesture and marched back into the midst of the battle.
“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
― Glen Cook, The Black Company

 


Powered by EzPortal