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Author Topic: The Embers of the Past : A Promise Relinquished  (Read 12014 times)

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Offline Alienscar

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And no, I'm not manipulating the swear word filter. It's doing it automatically each time I refer to the Children of the Sun by the blanket name associating them with the city of Tu'shik.

Tu-shi-te, I have to use the hyphens in order for it not be flagged. But, remove the hyphens and you have the blanket term that I am using. It's no different than the way I refer to each kingdom's people: Myrites, Sukhanites, Carthites, Kharanites, etc.

Well that is odd as that is not the way I thought this sites auto-censor works. If you write Tuamphetamine parrote (Tu-shi-ite) then I thought those people like me that select the 'leave word uncensored' option would see the word Tuamphetamine parrote.

Because I am seeing what looks like a censored version of a word this led me to think that you must be writing the words yourself, otherwise I would be seeing the correct uncensored word.

Edit: And as I can now see after I have written Tuamphetamine parrote it is displayed as Tuamphetamine parrote and not  Tuamphetamine parrote, so I can't imagine what is going on at your end.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 05:19:24 AM by Alienscar »
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Offline Myen'Tal

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I think I fixed it by turning the 'leave words uncensored' off. So I'll go back and make changes to that. Thanks for pointing that 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 Alienscar

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Just a few more thoughts


Quote
The ancient city of the Sun-Caller Kings shined like a precious gem encrusted into a monarch’s crown. The light of the waning sun illuminated the paradisiacal labyrinth till it glimmered like a city of gold and alabaster.

Bustling crowds created from an endless deluge of citizens exiled from the ruin of their homes choked the harbor walkways till they seemed fit to burst.

Infernos raged behind Tu’shik’s compromised fortifications.

Somewhere behind the besieged and crumbling walls of Tu’shik, their quarry remained hidden.

'Inferno's', 'besieged', 'ruin'. These words/sentences create conflict with the first two sentences and it all creates confused imagery.


Quote
The Grand City of Canals; the City of the Sun; Gods’ Labyrinth.

Two names for one place can make sense, but I think three is one too many and starts to cause reader fatigue.

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A font of endless wonders.

This doesn't need to be a separate sentence and as one does't quite work. The whole sentence would work better if you just wrote; 'To most Carthites it is known as the City of the Sun, a font of endless wonders.'

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A great shame for the fate of an entire city of such grandeur to be determined by the dread of an Elder Council.

This sentence is also difficult to read due to its structure.

I think something like; 'It is a shame that the fate of such a grand city is to be determined by fear.' might be better.

 
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wade of saliva

Wad


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Easier spoken than executed.

Easier said than done is a well known and used phrase. By rewriting it you haven't really gained anything, and it is hard to imagine anyone speaking the phrase that you have used.


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desert skies aflame.

A city of canals, a hilly garden district and a desert sky are hard to picture as existing in the same geographical space. It creates a very confusing landscape.

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Voshki’s echoes surged into the refugees that crashed onto every berthed ship in the harbor. She cut through the endless flood without breaking stride. Disheveled wretches had only to glance in her direction to create a natural path for her to tread.
 
Voshki did not deign to conceal her swaggering stride. Raven black boots of boiled leather intentionally stamped the gold and alabaster walkways so that even those difficult of hearing shuffled from out of her path. Amethyst satin robes cushioned beneath her chainmail billowed in the wake of a sudden squall.
 
Distasteful words followed in her wake. Southern Barbarian. Pit Viper.  Sukhanite whore.
 
Elegant reinforced leather -dyed black- shielded her thighs, shoulders, and the upper limits of her arms. She rested a wicked barbed long spear on her shoulder, whose bladed tip was combined with that of a reverse barbed hook. Emblazoned on the front of her cuirass was a Royal Cobra depicted with the shavings of precious stones created by the finest artisans great affluence could hire.
 
Voshki paid the words of the craven horde no heed. She banished them from out of her path by vicious sneer alone. “Out of my path, disowned wretches. Or I’ll have you put down like the destitute dogs you are!”

This part is far too long to just describe Voshki walking down a walkway, and the last paragraph is essentially a repeat of the first.

Quote
Voshki paid the words of the craven horde no heed. She banished them from out of her path by vicious sneer alone. “Out of my path, disowned wretches. Or I’ll have you put down like the destitute dogs you are!”

As she has spoken she plainly had to use more than just a sneer.



« Last Edit: July 22, 2020, 11:05:05 AM by Alienscar »
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Hey Alienscar, I'll look over your feedback and start making some changes here before the end of the day. Keep the suggestions coming 8).

EDIT: Feedback Changes made.

Missile after missile impacted on Aegis and shattered from their own momentous force. Aslan lowered the great shield only when the Tuamphetamine parrotes felt so under threat that they unsheathed swords in their defense.

    The Annahir Immortals crashed into the Tuamphetamine parrote shield wall with the force of a battering ram. Aslan smashed the warrior in front of him to the floorboards, Aegis shielding him from retaliation. Around him, the Old Myrian Knights sundered their foe's formation and put the scattered remnants to the sword.

      With a mighty blow, Aslan cleaved his fallen enemy's buckler and shield hand in two. He finished his foe with a vicious cut across his throat.

    A mailed fist lashed out of the melee and struck Aslan on his left temple. The Lion staggered, but quickly ducked under the zealous cleave meant to sever his head. Roaring in frustration, his attacker swept his blade back to strike again.

    Aslan did not attempt to parry the attack, but stepped into the Tuamphetamine parrote’s guard and smashed Aegis into the zealot’s face. He heard the crunch of cartilage, the splatter of blood on Aegis’ studded rivets, and the fracturing of bone. One of the Immortals struck Aslan's assailant through the small of his neck, the spinal cord severed.

  Aslan watched the corpse impact upon the deck with no small amount of surprise. He only realized that the skirmish had ended after several moments of shock. He forced himself to stop reimagining the entire combat in his mind. He looked instead to the Annahir Immortals.
 
   Aslan nodded to himself, pleased, for none of the Immortals were slain in the chaos. He dismissed them with a silent gesture, then went to lean over the railing. Aboard the Emerald Siren, none among the Tuamphetamine parrotes remained in the land of the living.
 
   Aslan gazed out across the serene emerald waters. The grand canal was struck by golden sunlight until it glimmered like an incredible vein of the precious stone itself. He noticed the sight of hundreds of berthed ships - Biremes, Triremes, and even the majestic floating fortresses of Quinqueremes and many more besides.
 
                Galleons, sloops, and hulks from far-flung kingdoms mingled amongst their number. For every anchored ship, Aslan counted another harbor capable of anchoring many more besides.
 
   Aslan expelled the collected breath he didn’t realize he held in his lungs. He witnessed garrison-barracks capable of rivaling many strongholds in the west scattered throughout the endless maze of dockyards. Sentry towers guarded each checkpoint into the death trap of sharpened stakes and wooden palisades that shielded each miniature castle.
 
   Looming over the endless maze of the maritime district, Aslan spied the famous Dam’s Gate that isolated most of the labyrinthine city beyond the already formidable canal-side districts. The great sandstone wall stretched beyond the edge of his peripheral vision, but Aslan knew that the fortification was mere decoration.

The battlements had weathered centuries of seasonal rains to the point that they were compromised in many locations. Instead of repairing the ancient defence, the Tuamphetamine parrotes chose to build great ramparts from their maritime districts to the very heights of the old battlements. This way the maritime district retained access into her neighboring quarters.

Beyond the Dam’s gate, an opulent urban sprawl reminiscent of rolling hills rose into resplendent peaks, only to dip beneath the ancient curtain wall like the mountain valleys of Kindlestone. Aslan gazed upon the mighty settlement and felt dwarfed to the size of a minute insect.

He finally caught sight of a great mountain at the heart of the city. Whether crafted from the hands of men or that of the gods, he could not tell with any certainty. At the foot of the mountain was a great curtain wall of granite, cloaked beneath a fecund and sprawling hanging garden that thrived from the mountain’s foundation all of the way to the very pique of its summit.

The Lion peered closely and made out the architecture of hundreds - perhaps thousands of luxurious Manor-Estates ringed around the mountain in a never-ending spiral that touched the man-made artifice from base to summit. Upon the mountain’s pinnacle was a palace woven from the stuff of the heavens themselves.

Aslan looked upon the city with raven eyes alight with wonder and could not conceal his amazed smile in spite of his slackened jaw. He heard the sound of heavy footfalls approach him from behind. Aslan pried his gaze away for the briefest moment to watch Avedis join him by the railing.

Aslan sobered and killed his sense of wonderment. “I thought I told you to take care of things in the crew quarter?”

Avedis chuckled, then clapped Aslan hard across the broad of his back. “I was until we all heard fighting. I wanted to make sure you hadn’t gotten yourself cornered or worse.” Avedis absorbed the view alongside Aslan. “So we did arrive in the fabled city afterall. Tuamphetamine parrote sailors certainly know their own canals, don’t they?”

Aslan grinned broadly and spread his arms in an all-inclusive gesture. “Tu’shik - the Grand City of the Sun. I’ll confess only to you Avedis, that I never thought we’d really lay eyes on the home of the Sun-Caller Kings. To those who worship Sirius - the Solar God - Tu’shik is holier land than any realm or wilderness in all of Khios continent.”

Avedis chortled. “Would you wish to make an offering to the King of Gods, Aslan? A Lion of War would find much favor beneath his shadow.”

Aslan grimaced in distaste. “Never. You and I, Avedis, have always been children of the moon. That has always been the way of Old Myria. I would not slight Jumanah - the Goddess of Omen in the hour of our victory. Perhaps the victory shall belong to the sons of the Carth Republic. I hope they shall remember that it was Old Myria that stood with them to prevent its collapse. Besides, you know how Tu’shik looks nearer to her western gate. It’s an endless ruin.”

Avedis shrugged. “Several months of constant siege shall do that. That aside, do you know which harbor we’re headed for?”

Aslan shrugged. “The helmsman for the Emerald Siren was born here and is a friend of our enigmatic defector contact. He knows alone where we are headed.”

Avedis shifted to look Aslan in the eye. “Can we trust either of them?”

Aslan shrugged. “Someone with a lot of power in the Carth Republic certainly does. The decision is not mine to make, Avedis. I may be a Lion of War in Old Myria, but to anyone else, I’m a pawn being maneuvered on a chessboard.”

Avedis shook his head. “Learn what you can from the experience. You’ll soon learn everything you need to before Nishan retires you and your brother as his ward. You’ll be your own commander then, maneuvering all of the pawns the Queen grants to your disposal.”

Aslan scoffed. “That is a bleak outlook and make no mistake. I won’t be commanding obedient pawns, Avedis, but men of Old Myria. I’ll never dispose of them unless it’s absolutely necessary and beyond my control.”

Avedis sighed. “You’ll be commanding thousands, Aslan. You cannot save everyone. It’s what you do with the power and lives given to you, that can truly change the future of entire civilizations. But you’ll learn that lesson upon a day. For now, we learn a different type of lesson.”

Aslan’s expression turned stony, but he chose to keep his opinion silent.

Avedis pretended not to notice. He said. “Come, commander, we still have those women to unshackle in the cargo hold. Then we must discuss our strategy for when the Emerald Siren docks. We’ll have to tread carefully once we’re off the ship and in the maritime district.”

Aslan nodded. “Of course… though I only hope our defector friend doesn’t have any second thoughts, and betray us before we’ve even begun.”
« Last Edit: July 30, 2020, 03:36:42 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

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Re: The Embers of the Past 2.0 - Prologue: Dominion's Rise - 1st Scene
« Reply #104 on: July 23, 2020, 11:30:23 AM »
Quote
Bustling crowds created from an endless deluge of citizens exiled from the ruin of their homes choked the harbor walkways till they seemed fit to burst. Foreign emissaries and their retinues expelled back to their homelands. Affluent nobles of the Qar caste commandeering entire caravans to transport their amassed wealth and luxuries to distant lands. Warriors from across the realms of the Carth Republic amassed to storm the City of the Sun’s walls.

Quote
“Easier said than done.” Anoush pointed with her chin toward the myriad of siege engines arrayed against Tu’shik’s defenses. “The siege is reaching the zenith of violence.”

Voshki followed her Second’s gaze and took in the sight of warriors in their hundreds scaling Tu’shik's walls. Whether by ladder or siege tower, scores of the republic’s warriors were already on the battlements, locked in a brutal struggle to overcome the defenders.

I am struggling with some of the imagery being described in the first scene, and the paragraphs above hopefully show why.

I find the image of a city under siege and 'bustling crowds' to be at odds with each other. That is, the image of a bustling crowd and a busy harbour does not match my image of a city under siege, or even a city at war.
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Offline Myen'Tal

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I did not depict it very well, but consider Tu'shik's maritime district as a demilitarized zone established within the Republic's foothold within Tu'shik. Refugees that manage to reach the Maritime District are considered defectors by the Republic's armies and granted quarter. This is because the citizens fleeing from their besieged home before it is conquered will have no chance to return, and the Children of the Sun will no longer be considered an established civilization. Or  that is what the Sages who reign in the Republic believe once the survivors are scattered to the four winds.

The maritime district is bustling and full because there is an endless stream of panicked citizens wanting to escape the siege on the nearest ship they can board.

I will work on establishing that connection the next time I'm able to work on this.

Let me know if you have any opinions or additional questions on the above information.
“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

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Traditionally once a siege has started the opportunity for besieged inhabitants to leave has passed and this is why I find your imagery slightly at odds with my image of a siege. It is not really much of a siege if people can leave freely whilst the siege is being enacted.
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Traditionally once a siege has started the opportunity for besieged inhabitants to leave has passed and this is why I find your imagery slightly at odds with my image of a siege. It is not really much of a siege if people can leave freely whilst the siege is being enacted.

I'm thinking you are correct on this. I'll work on these changes as well.
“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

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So I've made some more passes to further reflect feedback and also made some changes on my end.

So the big thing is that the dockyards of Tu'shik are now depicted as abandoned and silent throughout all of the scenes and their respective chapters now.

Also, I've made changes to reflect that most of the bloodshed and damage from the siege is centered around Tu'shik's western gate and the district there.

Re-worded / simplified some awkward sentences, focused mainly on Aslan's chapter, but changes were made throughout each chapter.
“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 Dread

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"Tuamphetamine parrote’" What is this?

I've enjoyed most of the reading and read thru Alienscar's advice. Not understanding if this is what your calling them or a mistake on your writing program.

Also reading this has helped me escape real life for a bit, this I thank you for tremendously.



"Burning thru the universe in search of peace only brings more war. Peace is an illusion, war is reality, that is the way of things"

                            Farseer Gol'Istria of    the Morea Nebula craftword

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Offline Myen'Tal

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Hi Dread, the forum censor is playing havoc with that particular word. If you turn off your forum censor temporarily, you'll see the actual name.

It is Tu-Shi-te, I put the hyphens in there so that the censor does not filter it.

Tu-shi-te is a blanket term that refer to those who hail from Tu'shik. I don't know, starting to think that I may need to change it to something less confusing.

Also I'm glad my writing can provide some bit of respite, Dread :). Appreciate the kind words.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 12:17:36 AM 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

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I don't start work until 13:30 today, so I thought I would offer a bit of quick feedback.

Voshki

Quote
“Tu’shik. The Grand City of Canals.”

The description of the city shouldn't be separated from its name because as a separate sentence it does not work. Tu'shik, the Grand City of Canals would be better.

Quote
The ancient city of the Sun-Caller Kings shined like a precious gem encrusted into a monarch’s crown.

'encrusted' and 'into' are opposites so this sentence is hard to read. Encrusted means to cover something with a hard surface layer.

'The ancient city of the Sun-Caller Kings shined like a gem encrusted crown' Note that I dropped 'precious' and 'monarch's' as they are redundant.


Quote
The ancient city of the Sun-Caller Kings shined like a precious gem encrusted into a monarch’s crown. The light of the waning sun illuminated the paradisiacal labyrinth till it glimmered like a city of gold and alabaster. The Garden Districts spiraled high over the dense urban sprawl like the peak of a mountain crafted by the hand of the Gods. Fecund and exotic hanging gardens wreathed the inner walls that shielded the estates of the Qar nobility.

I am not sure about this, but for me there is something off-putting about your constant use of 'similes'. I can't quite put my finger on why, but with three 'similes' in three sentences I get a feeling of deja vu.

Also I feel that as the city is already shining like a gem there is no need for it to glimmer as well as this is essentially a different way of saying the same thing.


Prologue: Dominion's Rise - Scene II

Quote
“Kin of the Black Bane!” Voshki’s clarion call echoed into the haunted emptiness of Tu’shik’s maritime harbors. “Attend your commander’s decree! Spare a moment from preparation and gather around me.”

A clarion call is either a strong request for action, or the sound of a clarion. This is neither.

Also if the harbours are hauntingly empty who is he shouting at?


Dominion's Rise - Scene III

Quote
“Tell me, ferryman.” Voshki listened to the soothing sound of an oar cycling in and out of the canal’s waters. “Did you never think to fortify your raft? We’re headed into the heart of an ongoing siege. This is not one of your romantic tours through the waterways of Tu’shik.”

The sentence 'Voshki listened' is too separate from the rest of the paragraph and it results in conflicting imagery. That is, how can Voshki be listening if he is talking?

Dominion’s Rise - Ara

Quote
Beyond the ruined western gate of Tu’shik, Ara witnessed the nearing end of the Children of the Sun.

This is a bit melodramatic, and doesn't make a lot of sense when taken in context with the rest of the scene. 'Ara witnessed' gives the impression that he is idly observing something, but in the next paragraph it is clear that he is in the middle of a battle.


Quote
Just as the skies burned in the Solar God’s vanishing light, so too were the remains of a centuries' old civilization set aflame till nothing remained. Nothing, but so many embers on the wind.

I have read this a few times, but I still don't understand what it is you are trying to achieve with your simile.

Quote
Ara found himself on the battlefield. He found himself locked in the brutality of total war.

Being on a battlefield implies a war is going on, so these two sentences slow the paragraph as they come across as repeating the same information.

Prologue - Dominion's Rise - Aslan - Scene 1.5

Quote
Impact after impact battered Aegis, Aslan’s great shield.

An impact is the result of one object coming into contact with another. It is not an action.

'Blow after blow (or missile after missile) impacted on Aegis' would be correct.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 06:44:12 AM by Alienscar »
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Changes made to reflect the latest round of feedback.
“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 Dread

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Ah, got it.  ;)
"Burning thru the universe in search of peace only brings more war. Peace is an illusion, war is reality, that is the way of things"

                            Farseer Gol'Istria of    the Morea Nebula craftword

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Offline Alienscar

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Prologue - Dominion's Rise - Aslan - Scene 1.5

Quote
Missile after missile impacted on Aegis, Aslan’s great shield. The missiles found no purchase upon its defense and shattered from their own momentous force. Aslan lowered Aegis only when the Tuamphetamine parrotes felt so under threat that they unsheathed swords in their defense.

For several reasons your first paragraph is confused. ‘purchase’ & ‘upon its defence’ don’t really work the way you have tried to use them.

‘Purchase’ means firm contact or grip, so the opposite of what you are trying to imply. That is, why do you want a missile to gain a good grip on a shield? A missile has done done its job if it hits something.

‘Upon’ is just a fancy way of saying ‘on’ and a shield affords its user defence against an attack it doesn’t ‘defence’ itself.


 
Quote
The Annahir Immortals crashed into the Tuamphetamine parrote shield wall with the force of a battering ram. Aslan leaped into the midst of the foe. He pinned all of his weight behind Aegis. tackling the warrior in front of him to the ground.

I find your use of short sentences offers a hesitant reading experience. That is, the sentence that begins ‘Aslan leapt into’ is too separate from the first and reads to me like the battle starts twice. Once when the Immortals crash into the shield wall and again when Aslan leaps into the fray.

Then the third sentence seems at odds with the second and fourth. The second and fourth sentences imply movement, but the third reads as static. That is, ‘Leaping’ & ‘tackling’  imply movement, but ‘pinned’ implies standing still.


   
Quote
Aslan hacked the buckler raised in his enemy’s defense. He cleaved the shield in twain with an irresistible blow of his scimitar. A scream tore itself from out of the Tuamphetamine parrote’s throat the moment his fingers toppled from his hand.

Aslan held the Tuamphetamine parrote in place with an armored boot. He finished his opponent with a vicious cut across the throat.

The overly descriptive account of a scream is unnecessary and slows the pace of the paragraph. Screaming is understood by your readers, so telling them that it came from someone’s throat is a bit redundant.

Again the three sentences of this paragraph offer a disjointed read and more of a flow from one action to the next would be better.

For example:

With a mighty blow of his scimitar Aslan hacked his enemy’s buckler and shield hand in two. His opponent fell to the floor screaming and Aslan silenced him by slitting his throat.


 
Quote
A mailed fist lashed out of the melee. Aslan was struck across his left temple. The Lion staggered, but quickly ducked under the zealous cleave meant to sever his head. The Tuamphetamine parrote bellowed at pique volume, his blade cutting backward in a reverse arc.

Similarly your use of short sentences has broken up this paragraph so that it offers a disjointed experience. Whilst I am guessing the first two sentences are meant to be linked your use of separate sentences means the link isn’t apparent as it should be.

Something like this might work, but apologies for my attempt at creative writing:


A fist lashed out of the melee and struck Aslan on his left temple. He staggered, but managed to duck under a zealous cleave aimed at his head. Roaring in frustration his attacker swept his blade back to strike again.

Quote
The Tuamphetamine parrote bellowed at pique volume, his blade cutting backward in a reverse arc.

As before ‘peak’ & ‘pique’ mean totally different things. Pique is not the correct word in this context.

‘backward’ & ‘reverse’ are two words meaning the same thing. I find repetition like this an odd reading experience.
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Offline Myen'Tal

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Hi Alienscar!

So I found this feedback particularly educational and very interesting. I've been trying to strike the balance between shorter sentences and those that kind of ramble on for too long. As you likely know, definitely had an issue with the latter. It seems that I drifted to the former side of this scale in this scene. I like your examples, and have tried to put my own spin on them for practice.

I've updated the 1.5 scene for Aslan to reflect your feedback. Let me know what you think of it.

Thanks :).
“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

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I wish I had more time as sometimes I feel that my lack of comprehensive feedback isn't helping. You might not be aware, but the feedback I provide is never complete as some issues I see are beyond my limited knowledge and would take up too much of my time.

For instance, one thing that has been bugging me is your title. This is because I am fairly certain that 'Dominion's' is not a word, but I don't have the time to determine if I am correct, so I just ignore the problem. I think 'dominion' is an uncountable noun like sheep.

It is the same with some of your sentence construction. I concentrate on the things that are obviously wrong and easily explainable, but leave the things that I think are wrong and can't quickly describe.

A good example of this is the first paragraph from Aslan Scene 1.5

Missile after missile impacted on Aegis and shattered from their own momentous force. Aslan lowered the great shield only when the Tuamphetamine parrotes felt so under threat that they unsheathed swords in their defense.


I have highlighted this paragraph a few times now and would probably not refer to it again, but personally I still think it has issues. I wouldn't mention any perceived issue again though as they are a bit too complex for me to explain.

My issue is related to your phrasing and this is why I struggle to explain what I think I am seeing.

MISSILE AFTER MISSILE IMPACTED ON (SHOULD BE AGAINST) AEGIS AND SHATTERED FROM THEIR OWN MOMENTOUS FORCE

IMO this doesn't quite work and the problem is I am not certain why, but mostly I think my problem stems from the fact that your words and sentence construction don't quite work for the simple idea you are trying to portray.

Using mostly your words I think 'MISSILE AFTER MISSILE IMPACTED AGAINST AEGIS AND SHATTERED UNDER THEIR OWN MOMENTOUS FORCE' would read better, but I still wouldn't be happy. I feel this is better because 'from' is just the wrong word and means the point in time at which a particular process, event, or activity starts.


I think something like 'Missile after missile rained down onto Aslan, but he weathered the storm behind his great shield Aegis' is simpler and easier to understand. Note that this is just an example and I wouldn't consider my own example good enough as I think it is a bit 'flat'

Things need to make sense when you write and for me MOMENTOUS FORCE causes imagery issues. We all know Newton's third law, so if something strikes something else with a 'momentous force' then there has to be a reaction other than, in this case, the missile shattering.

ASLAN LOWERED THE GREAT SHIELD ONLY WHEN THE TUamphetamine parrotES FELT SO UNDER THREAT THAT THEY UNSHEATHED SWORDS IN THEIR DEFENSE.

My issue with this sentence is that mostly it comes across as exaggerated and also redundant. It seems unnecessary and possibly unrealistic for the action to occur in this fashion. Someone running with a shield has no real need to lower or raise a shield as I imagine a shield is always poised for use. It is redundant because I can't see what this sentence adds to the setting as a whole.

I won't be around much next week as I am working 07:30-16:30.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 05:09:46 PM by Alienscar »
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Honestly Alienscar, we get it... you dont like painting!

Offline Myen'Tal

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Re: The Embers of the Past 3.0
« Reply #117 on: August 6, 2020, 06:38:40 PM »
Alright guys, The Embers of the Past 3.0 is set to commence soon!

@Alienscar: Sorry for the much delayed reply. I'll be honest, your feedback here was a lot to take in. After having another first chapter critique completed by the editor I worked with last time, your suggestions and concerns seem to be correct, as I always figured they were.

Starting to realize what you're saying about the writing and the language itself... these are issues I need to start working on, and combing back the fanciness. That is part of the reason why I'm moving onto the 3.0 build.

Back to the outline, back to the drawing board.

Goals for the 3.0 build -

Scale back all the background detail.
Character Origins
More streamlined language
“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

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Re: The Embers of the Past 3.0 - Nishan: Scene I
« Reply #118 on: August 9, 2020, 05:33:09 PM »
EDIT One: A handful of small changes made.

So after listening to some counsel, I've decided this will not be a complete story refresh, but I'll be working with what I have and attempt to get that up to standard.

So I've decided that I needed to add another chapter that becomes before the others. Aslan's chapter has been removed, as there are too many characters jammed into the beginning story at the moment.

Voshki will also be removed due to the same issue. Ara's chapter shall stay, however, and I will be working to modify it.

So one should consider this the beginning of Embers, retold.

Nishan

“Gather around me, warriors!” Nishan shouted to the heights of heaven. “Gather around your general and heed my words!”

On the fertile banks of the Seventh River, hundreds of men and women heeded his call. Each performed an about-face to watch the commander’s addressal. Nishan rooted himself on a great hill overlooking his arrayed armies. A midday sun cast his forces out in the verdant fields beyond the Seventh in a shimmering haze.

The Scarred Child bellowed into the gust. “Listen with intent! A warrior always knows his enemy! A warrior always understands himself! A lesson taught to each of us from early childhood! An army that does not understand itself is not an army at all! It is a herd of sheep, doomed to slaughter!

“Do you know yourselves!? For who are we if not the Children of Carth!? Are we not all sons and daughters of the greatest civilization to grace the continent of Khios!? Are we not all brothers and sisters born into a shared manifest destiny!? Has our ancestors' blood not fed these heartlands for centuries?

“Do you know your enemy!?” Nishan cried out in askance. “Pretenders who would claim shared lineage of our honored blood! Gaze across the field and watch them stand against you!”

The general gazed across the fields and spotted hundreds of crimson and gold standards billowing in the wind. The standards were scattered across the forces of the Children of the Sun - thousands strong. In the heat haze, their warriors appeared as a flood of cream, crimson, and steel.

He noted the gargantuan city on the horizon, positioned safely behind his enemies. He considered the fabled realm of Tu’shik and how it seemed more mirage than an actual tangible thing.

By midnight, he would gaze upon Tu’shik for the first time. Then he would command his armies to wipe it from the face of the earth.

Nishan continued. “For too long, have the Children of the Sun been allowed to prosper within Carth’s lands! Once, we would have called them brothers! They were steadfast against the barbarian hordes… they were resolute against kingdoms both rival and upstart!"

The Scarred Child struck his chest like a war drum. His armored fist struck his scalemail cuirass over and over until his brethren began to repeat the gesture. Defiant shouts and war cries rippled across the ranks.  The sound swelled in volume until it became a deafening barrage of noise.

“But what does any of that matter, when loyalty begins to waver!? Should we honor allies that begin to shun our values and traditions!? Should we honor those who would show their backs to their betters!? What sons and daughters of Carth would yield their freedom to a supposed God-King and eke out an existence in tyranny!?

He swept his hand across his chest to point in the direction of the enemy. No sooner did he complete the gesture did the warriors of Carth shift around to face the Children of the Sun once more.

“Warriors of Carth know themselves and their foes, and these so-called Children of the Sun are no kindred! Spare none of them from the bite of your swords! Show them no quarter and grant them no respite!

“Sound the horns!” Nishan commanded. “Take to the field! Seize victory from Tu'shik's ruin!"

The horns sounded and called the Carth Republic to war. The earth itself trembled to the feet of thousands marching onto the battlefield. The Children of the Sun shimmered like an illusion in the haze. Yet Nishan noticed the dark blot sent hurtling into the sky from their archers.

He understood that there would be no turning back. He understood that every warrior under his command knew this too.

“Scarred Child.” A member of Nishan’s command retinue approached from behind. “Shall we answer these fools with Carth’s wrath?”

Nishan lifted his helmet off his shoulders and allowed his unkempt raven hair to breathe a little. He craned his head to look his lieutenant in the eye. To his credit, the subordinate officer did not flinch from Nishan’s grisly and scarred visage. Nor did he look his commander in the left eye, shut by a permanent scar.

He barked out a laugh as he turned from his marching forces. He smacked the lieutenant once across his plated pauldron.

“You might as well, Yervant.” Nishan cackled at his subordinate, who bowed apologetically after glimpsing his face. “Enough bowing, boy, you’re a member of the Scarred Child’s retinue. You bow only before the senate and the standard of Carth. Teach these zealous fanatics a lesson in humility instead!

“They shall learn that their Solar God shall break as any other weakling deity before the barrage of our cannons!”

Yervant erected himself and slammed his chest with a mailed fist. “Your command is my oath!” He turned to the signal bearers on the river bank. In one hand alone, he lifted Carth’s standard for them to see.

Nishan turned his gaze toward the fleet of Cogs anchored on the Seventh’s vast waters. Several minutes after the signal bearers executed their duties, a blistering volley erupted from the fifty bombards arrayed across the fleet’s port side.

The general shifted back toward the beginning battle. A constant hail of arrows was already assailing Carth's vanguard. Pride fanned within Nishan’s chest as his warriors weathered the storm under a bulwark of shields, then broke ranks in a massive charge to shatter the formations arrayed against them.

The whistle of cannon shells hurtling overhead quickly dissipated out of earshot. Before the first ranks of both armies could clash into one another, the earth heaved and erupted beneath Tu’shik’s armies. Nishan could not even wager a guess as to how many Children of the Sun were torn apart from the volley.

What was obvious was that the initial defense of Tu’shik was left in disarray. Remnants of their vanguard met Carth’s wall of blades, but were easily scattered, overcome, and routed.

“Squire!” The Scarred Child called. “Fetch the horses! Yervant, gather my retinue! We shall join the battle!”

“Commander?” Yervant arched his brow. “The battle has only been joined. You would put yourself at great risk.”

Nishan wheezed out a laugh. “You have a warm heart to concern yourself with the likes of me, Yervant. I’ve sworn that I’d turn you into a heart of steel. An exemplar leads by example! Come, before we are too late and the Children of the Sun break all at once!”


~***~
« Last Edit: August 11, 2020, 06:40:48 AM 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 Dread

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Re: The Embers of the Past 3.0 - Nishan: Scene I
« Reply #119 on: August 9, 2020, 06:40:33 PM »
I have to say that this excerpt was rather bracing. I liked the warm explanation of the characters. The short and to the point phrasing. The fact that a word censor was not needed for the names. I could visualise each part and didn't have to force a visual. I enjoyed it but remember I'm not a writer so Alienscar will be better able to tune that part. As for art visual, I saw lots of potential.
"Burning thru the universe in search of peace only brings more war. Peace is an illusion, war is reality, that is the way of things"

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