Fantasy Story (untitled)

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Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jon » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:58 am

I haven't posted anything I've written in a long time, mainly because I haven't been writing. But I'll probably start writing this again, I liked the idea I had behind it, and I've been reading more fantasy lately, so yeah.


Spoiler:
Incursio

Jon Edwards

Prologue

Twilight's caliginous veil had dropped, pinned to the sky by many stars when Jomm woke in the woods. It was dark, how long had he slept? He glared at the stars that twinkled in the sky. This wasn't good. Three days ago he'd heard that Mort had been invaded and the people captured or slaughtered. No news had since come from the city. The stories were all the same; an unknown army, brandishing an unknown banner invaded the city for no particular reason. Jomm kicked a stone in front of him out of frustration.

I should have been there a day ago, he thought.

He swallowed hard. Erring had likely killed his mother, father, his brother Dayne and his nephew Olan. If they was dead, their blood painted Jomm's hands. What an idiot he had been. Rage surged inside him. He gripped his longbow tightly. The chill of the breeze on his damp cheeks made him shiver.

And it was here, that he began to laugh. This was not the laugh of a man who was happy. This was the laugh of a dangerous man who had the taste of vengeance on his tongue and nothing left to lose.

Grey smoke billowed in the distance towards Mort. His manic laughter subsided, and his old masters teachings flowed through his head like a song.

'Dark smoke signals a fire still burns,' Master Abe said. 'But white smoke means the fire has been extinguished.'

'A fire still burns,' he said softly.

He kicked sand onto the ashes of his old campfire and slung his knapsack over his shoulder, leaving the woods in search for smoke and fire.



Chapter 1: The Burning City

Jomm stood on the smooth stone bridge. He stared with wild eyes as Mort, the city he loved, burned before him. Fire licked at the castle walls and the air was thick with smoke and ash. Boiled blood and burnt hair filled the light wind with a stench. He slammed his fist onto the granite railing of the bridge.

'I should have been here,' he whispered to himself. 'I could have-' he paused.

What could I have done? he thought. Nothing.


He walked through the streets of burnt buildings and charred corpses. The smell was unbearable, and Jomm fought down the vomit that seemed so eager to come up. He coughed and choked as the burning in his throat and chest grew. Uneasiness spread through him like a plague. The streets were eerie and silent, where they once bustled and were noisy with life. The sound of footsteps broke the silence. Jomm drew his longbow off of his shoulder and nocked an arrow. His body relaxed as the scarlet feathers gently caressed his fingers with a soothing familiarity. Deep inside, he focussed on his breathing.

In, he inhaled.Out,he exhaled.

Behind him, a man stepped from behind the husk of a burnt house. His mail boots rattled and shook. As Jomm turned, he caught a flash of sunlight off the man's heavy scarlet armour.The man's chestplate bore an unfamiliar mark; a black, clenched fist engulfed by flame and a monster of a great sword sat at his hip. The man was at least a foot taller than him. His shoulders were broad, and his arms were thick with muscle. A malicious grin spread across his lips, and his deep dark eyes stared at Jomm with heated malevolence.

'Another rat comes squeaking out from a hole,' he said. 'Where have you been hiding?'

The man pulled his great sword from out of his sheath and the iron shimmered in the midday sun. Jomm's bow twanged as the arrow launched into the air, but the arrow skimmed off the man's thick plate armour. The man burst into laughter, and charged towards Jomm. With a mighty swing of his sword, he sliced at Jomm. A thin scratch opened up just beneath Jomm's left eye, as blood began to slowly trickle down his face. The man thrust his sword and tried to catch Jomm in the stomach, but it was easily side stepped by the smaller, nimbler man. Jomm released the short sword at his hip, and sliced at the back of the man's leg, leaving him hamstrung. But the man did not fall. He spun, and swung at Jomm once more. Jomm tried to parry, but the strength of the man's swing jarred his wrist and elbow, leaving his arm uncomfortably numb. His short sword slid across the sand, and the man grinned again. He lifted his sword, and began a flurry of attacks towards Jomm; chopping and hacking at the air where he had been. Jomm ducked and stepped, narrowly dodging each ruthless attack. He managed to slip behind the soldier, and planted a swift kick into the back of his hamstrung knee. The man fell to the ground, sending dust up into the air. Jomm turned and ran, distancing himself from the unknown attacker. He kept his eyes over his shoulder. He turned back, and drew his bow and nocked an arrow in quick succession. The man began to stand on shaky legs, balancing himself with the point of his sword in the dirt.
'Who are you?' Jomm asked with a fire in his voice.

The man spat.
With another twang, the arrow was loose. It struck him in the chest, penetrated his armor, and sent him sprawled onto the ground. The man gasped for breath, winded by the force. The arrow danced and vibrated and pierced the insignia on his armour. Jomm walked over, with another arrow nocked on the bowstring.

'Were there any prisoners taken?' Jomm asked, standing over the man.

'Die,' the man said through his gasps for air.

Jomm released tension on the bowstring, and gripped the arrow that stuck out of the man's knee. He pulled on it slowly, easing it out inch by inch. The man wept with pain.

'Tell me,' Jomm said.

'Yes. We took some,' the man cried.

Jomm ripped the arrow free. The man's cry echoed through the abandoned streets.

'You bastard!' the man screamed. His face writhed in agony.

'Where are they keeping them?' Jomm asked.

The man spat a wad of crimson blood towards him. Jomm glanced down at the man, and stomped his foot on his knee. The crack of the bones were almost drowned out by the scream of the man.

'I'll ask you one more time,' Jomm said, smirking.. 'If I don't get the answer I want, I will put you through hell.'

The man smiled that malicious grin again. His teeth were stained dark red as blood leaked through the cracks.

'Do you worst, rat.' he said. 'They will be tortured worse than anything you could do to me.'

Jomm's smirk disappeared. Pent up rage boiled inside his stomach and he pulled the bowstring back. The twang reverberated through his ears, as the arrow struck the man in the crotch. He howled and rolled and twisted on the ground.

'I wonder how it will feel if I pull this out slowly?' Jomm said dryly. 'I imagine it would be quite painful. Tell me, now.'

'They're in-' he stopped, grimacing with horror. 'Courtyard. Courtyard.'

Jomm released another arrow and the man's cries stopped. The arrow pierced his right eye, and blood trickled down his cheek like a calm and gentle stream down a small mountain. His body lay limp and calm, free from the writhing agony he was in.

'Thanks,' Jomm said. He walked away and left the corpse to rot in the street.



Jomm continued on down the streets slowly, sticking to what little cover there was in the dilapidated houses and shops. A familiar body made him come to a standstill.

'Olan?' he said, choking on the thick smoke. 'Olan, is that you?'

Guilt tore shreds at his heart as he rolled the charred body of his nephew over. Olan stared at Jomm with lifeless eyes. His golden hair was burnt and crisp. Cracked, blackened lips lined his mouth, which lay agape as though his last breath had been a scream of agony. A low groan escape Jomm's throat. He bit his lip, as grief took his body with a shaking force. His hands hammered the ground. Smash. Smash. Smash. Until his hands were bloody. He buried his face into his hands, and wept warm tears that fell off his chin, blackened by the ash and soot from his stained cheeks.
His face twisted with the idea of vengeance on the men who brought this upon his city and upon his family.

'I'm sorry Olan,' he choked. 'I should have been here. I should have-'

I wasn't here, he reminded himself.

He stood on shaky legs. Stomach knotting and head spinning, he threw up on the street. His throat ached and he gasped for fresh air. His head bowed with helplessness. He walked away from the corpse of the boy he had helped raise, still crying tears boiling with grief and anger.


Night had crept in over the city. A canopy of thick smoke hid the stars, but a bold, blood-soaked moon pierced the shroud and spilled an eerie luminescence onto the city. Jomm strained his eyes against the darkness, as he watched over the courtyard. Guards patrolled the ground at regular intervals. Their heads held high, as though they were proud of the feats they had accomplished.
Jomm scowled low and hard at them. The prisoners were huddled together tightly. No familiar faces jumped out at him from the darkness.
A man walked out from the compound, and into the courtyard with a burning torch. The light spread and revealed the surrounding guard, and the prisoners they kept.

'Alright you maggots,' the man said with the booming voiceof a captain, strutting around the camp like a proud rooster. 'Get on your feet, it's time to go for a walk.'

Chains rattled as the prisoners stood. Each one chained by hand and foot. Despite the torchlight, it was still difficult to make out any of the prisoners. They began to walk, but were quickly pulled to a halt. One prisoner stood tall, and proud, defying the orders of his captives. Jomm strained his ears at the murmur of conversation below. The guards grouped towards this man. The captain walked over to him, and the torchlight revealed his face.

'Dayne,' Jomm breathed. 'He's alive.'

Does he know about Olan? he thought.
Last edited by Jon on Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:44 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Alca » Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:37 pm

That got surprisingly brutal towards the end. I thought it was quite good. It's been a while since I've read any fantasy. I like your style and it was well written, looking forward to reading more.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jon » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:08 am

Thanks Alca, I've updated with some more, so if you guys could give some feedback, that'd be great.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jojishi » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:46 pm

I don't think there's much feedback I can honestly give. You've always been a brilliant writer and this story so far seems to be no exception. The story is well paced and has some nice scenes of action in it. The dialogue is a strong point I think, but I've never been good at writing dialogue myself so maybe I'm just not good enough to pick up on any faults. It does seem good though and quite intense in places. I like the direction the story's taking.

Best feedback I could probably give is to just keep writing, even if it isn't perfect. Just bang out those words no matter how much garbage it is. Especially when you're writing a fantasy story with a lot of things that take place. Nail the main things down, that's what first drafts are for, but you probably know all of this. Just want to reiterate how important it is mainly. And try to write for yourself, because even though we all want people to read what we've written, it isn't a guarantee especially when it comes to writing. Hope I'm not going over things you know already, but if you do, oh well. This is the only advice I can offer from my limited experience with writing and I hope it helps.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jon » Sun Feb 01, 2015 5:43 am

Jojishi wrote:I don't think there's much feedback I can honestly give. You've always been a brilliant writer and this story so far seems to be no exception. The story is well paced and has some nice scenes of action in it. The dialogue is a strong point I think, but I've never been good at writing dialogue myself so maybe I'm just not good enough to pick up on any faults. It does seem good though and quite intense in places. I like the direction the story's taking.

Best feedback I could probably give is to just keep writing, even if it isn't perfect. Just bang out those words no matter how much garbage it is. Especially when you're writing a fantasy story with a lot of things that take place. Nail the main things down, that's what first drafts are for, but you probably know all of this. Just want to reiterate how important it is mainly. And try to write for yourself, because even though we all want people to read what we've written, it isn't a guarantee especially when it comes to writing. Hope I'm not going over things you know already, but if you do, oh well. This is the only advice I can offer from my limited experience with writing and I hope it helps.


You are going over things I know already, I never write for anyone else, but myself, otherwise I wouldn't be writing a lot of what I write. But it's nice to have comments, thanks Jojishi.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jon » Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:33 am

I've started this again, with a whole different spin. I've decided for an entire different story, based in the same area, with the same characters. I already prefer this prologue, but would like to hear from others.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jon » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:26 pm

Added more, it's not too long, have a read and let me know.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Daniël » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:53 am

I liked that quite a bit, but you of course know that you're a good writer.

To me personally, your writing style seems a bit over-aesthetic and not as much to the point as I generally prefer myself. Not to say that the way you do it is bad, just different from my personal preference.

Nonetheless, it can't be denied that you have a good sense of writing and you know what you're doing. So far this seems like a good story.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jon » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:06 am

Daniël wrote:I liked that quite a bit, but you of course know that you're a good writer.

To me personally, your writing style seems a bit over-aesthetic and not as much to the point as I generally prefer myself. Not to say that the way you do it is bad, just different from my personal preference.

Nonetheless, it can't be denied that you have a good sense of writing and you know what you're doing. So far this seems like a good story.


Don't be afraid to critique my work, I'd love some examples of where you think it is over-aesthetic.

I've had to join two writing forums to get proper critique, because no one I know in real life is either willing to tell me what I've written isn't good and they're trying to be nice, or they don't enjoy reading, the same seems to be here.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Daniël » Wed Feb 11, 2015 10:36 am

I'd like to say on forehand that this critique is all in personal opinion. Just because I critique a part it doesn't necessarily mean it's bad as much as it's saying that it doesn't doesn't fancy me personally. Your writing style just might work better on others in some cases than with me.
Jon wrote:Fire lashed at the castle walls, engulfing the battlements and turrets and the brilliance of the setting sun. Night was upon the city of Mort.

I oppose the double use of end in one summation, but I do like the way you introduce the story.
Jon wrote:Where the fires had dissipated, the bodies of men, women, and children laid, once filled with warmth, were cold to the touch.

Two things about this sentence. First off, I think 'filled with warmth' just sounds a bit forced dramatically. Secondly, I'm not sure, but I don't think 'were' is used correctly here, it seems as if it would refer to the place 'where the fires had dissipated'.
Jon wrote:His golden hair shone in the light of the burning city.

This is just way too Disney.
Jon wrote:He gripped a longbow of polished red wood tightly; an arrow nocked to the bowstring, the feathers sitting gently between his first and middle fingers.

Again with the forced dramatization. It doesn't seem relevant enough to mention how gently the feathers were sitting.
Jon wrote:His lungs were burning, as if the fire around him had crept down his throat, his watering eyes casting the path in front of him in a blurry visage.

I like the descriptive terms, but I feel like the sentences don't transition very well.
Jon wrote:Invisible chains of memory and love and family brought him to a halt.

Again with the double use of 'and'.
Jon wrote:He wore a grimace of pain, as all he knew turned to ash.

Also a bit too dramatic for my taste.
The smell of pine and oak and grass was rich and strong in the forest, it overpowered the smoke in the distance, leaving only the smallest wisp to tickle the nose.

Seems a bit weird to suggest smoke tickles the nose, I'm not sure why, but it just sounds kinda weird. Also, the use of and.

You also seem to mention that there's a fire a lot.

Now I know this is all a lot of critique, but I'm sure you know by now that I still really dig your storytelling.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Alca » Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:10 am

I guess I'll give a bit more detailed feedback. I agree with Daniel on it being a bit over-aesthetic in places. I prefer brevity rather than flowery language. I'm more of a follower of Hemmingway's philosophy, but that's mainly personal preference. Not so much a critique, but rather just my own opinion. I'll pick out a few things, although Daniel kind of picked out a lot of what I wanted to say.

Calls for aid and screams echoed through the nearly abandoned city, as many brave souls who tried to fight had their life snuffed almost instantly.


Is the comma needed here? I think it'd read better as: Calls for aid and screams echoed through the nearly abandoned city as many brave souls who tried to fight had their life snuffed almost instantly.

Inside the burnt husk of an old house was the form of a man cradling his son, their flesh and cloth charred as flames continued to lick and spit at their corpses


I'm not sure if 'deathly black' makes for a great description. It sounds somewhat redundant. 'Charred' already suggests that their flesh is going to be black. The definition of charred is to 'blacken the surface of something.' So you don't need to describe something being 'charred black.' I'll also point out the comma doesn't seem to fit either. Generally you shouldn't write commas before conjunctions unless it's separating two independent clauses. I'd write it like: Inside the burnt husk of an old house was the form of a man cradling his son, their flesh and cloth charred as flames continued to lick and spit at their corpses

Some clutched at their throats with deaths strong grip


Should be an apostrophe here: Death's strong grip

The sky was now dark, and the castles flames licked at heavens feet. Tears swelled in his eyes, but before a drop could fall, he turned his back and walked away from his burning home.


This is a bit over the top for my taste. 'Licking at heavens feet' seems rather dramatic. It's just the kind of flowery language I tend to avoid. But that's just preference.

Daniel covered most of what else I was going to say so that's it for now. I'd watch how you use commas in some places as it affects the flow. Other than that it's written fairly well.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jon » Thu Feb 12, 2015 11:38 am

Thanks for the tips guys! I've gone ahead and redone a lot of it again, I feel it adds a whole lot more to it now. Let me know what you think.
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jon » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:04 am

Okay, I have heavily heavily edited this. Please give it a read and let me know what you think
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Re: Fantasy Story (untitled)

Postby Jon » Wed Apr 01, 2015 9:44 am

Changed it up, still rewriting the fight scene. Have to work on that a bit. Let me know what you think.
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