Thank you, Mr. Melon. I appreciate the kinds words even if I had intended the opening to be somewhat less serious than you apparently took it. I wonder how the next bit will strike you, which starts in the next post.Very good so far. I can see the humour potential for a Paladin raised by Goatmen, but you've kept it serious so far without leaving me feeling like it should have been a comedy. Well done!
Basically, yes. I had in mind the Act 2 desert paladin mercenary, although I've taken some liberties with it. Glad you liked it. Next part should be up soon.Very good! However, I'm slightly confused as to who Kidd is, exactly. You mention that he's a hireling - would he be one of the Desert Wolves or something of the like hired in Lut Gholein or some other caste that you came up with yourself?
Minor nitpick: I think there should be a comma after â€œnight.â€0xDEADCAFE said:Later that night the two warriors lay asleep at opposite ends of their temporary subterranean barrack.
The wording here was just a touch confusing on a first read, though I caught the meaning after a little bit; I might trim off the â€œand still wasâ€ part and rearrange the wording of the first part so it describes the chamber in the moment, not in the past.0xDEADCAFE said:The chamber had been pitch black when Gallen closed his eyes, and still was, but in a dream Gallen was standing in a brightly lit hall, being toasted by a host of lords and their ladies, all sitting in a wide circle around him.
â€œMuddy imagesâ€ seemed odd to me here, since â€œreflectedâ€ suggests more clarity than you appear to mean and youâ€™re also using â€œmuddyâ€ for the laughter. That aside, I like Gallenâ€™s fixation with his boots and other footwear, by the way...itâ€™s a nice quirk. :smiley:0xDEADCAFE said:In a flash he realized he had forgotten to pull his boots back on and that he was actually standing atop a huge, round, polished marble table on which the image of his stocking seemed to be magnified and reflected in a honeycomb of distorted, muddy images.
This felt like it should be one sentence to me; as it is, it seems more contradictory than it needs to be. If that was your goal, well, then it works, though it is a little jarring at first.0xDEADCAFE said:None made a move to save him, poor Gallen, being dragged down by the weight of his armor. Though somehow, he was treading water.
The part after â€œsproutingâ€ made sense to me, though it did seem a bit odd grammatically; it feels like there was a shift after that point, because itâ€™s no longer the faces that are the subject of the verbs (as is the case for â€œchatteringâ€) but the tentacles and such. I could definitely be wrong in this case, but something about the grammar seems off. Also, I think â€œantennaâ€ should be â€œantennae,â€ since youâ€™re referring to multiple objects.0xDEADCAFE said:He felt the air erupt from his lungs and looking up through the bubbling surface of the pool he saw faces that had completely transformed: black as ebon and chattering through shiny, hard lips and sprouting from their cheeks, long cruel tentacles like curved knives and from their foreheads, long spiny black antenna dancing about their faces.
The break between these sentences felt awkward to me, since you donâ€™t really change the subject that much. Also, â€œshownâ€ in the second sentence should be â€œshowed.â€0xDEADCAFE said:His nightmare had evoked a reflexive response from his slumbering mind, causing him to concentrate upon his paladin aura, which did, in fact, give off a very faint light.
Normally, that light was so faint that it was invisible, even in a darkened tavern, or in front of a fading campfire, but here, below ground, in an utter void of light, it shown just enough to make the invisible visible.
Minor nitpick: the first â€œitâ€ here is a little unclear (I thought it meant the shell at first.) Itâ€™s not a big deal, but it may be worth clarifying.0xDEADCAFE said:A trail of slime that Gallen knew was green hung from it when he raised it back up.
This works, for sure, though I might make the simile a little less...enthusiastic. â€œ...staring into ebon graniteâ€ would be all you really need, Iâ€™d think, and the rest seems a touch wordy.0xDEADCAFE said:He turned his head and stared in the direction of the tunnel entrance but the darkness was impenetrable, as if he were staring into a depthless block of pure ebon granite.
â€œPeered emptilyâ€ sounded awkward to me, since â€œpeeredâ€ usually takes an object and an empty gaze usually means a lack of comprehension or effort (at least, thatâ€™s how Iâ€™ve heard it used) and both seem inaccurate in this case. Iâ€™m not sure what to suggest for a replacement, though...maybe you could just reword this to â€œpeered aroundâ€ or something.0xDEADCAFE said:â€œHow many more of those things are out there?â€ he wondered aloud and then in silence peered emptily while a chorus of muddy echoes mocked him from the seemingly endless, lightless tunnel.
I might make this two sentences, or otherwise detach the last part from the rest, since the shift in ideas in mid-sentence is a little sudden.0xDEADCAFE said:For a moment he considered scouting out the tunnel; his aura would provide him a little light, at least, but then he realized he didnâ€™t need to go anywhere.
I might move this sentence to the end of this paragraph, since this feels like a summary of the next two sentences, though that might mess up the transition to the next part. Also, â€œemptyâ€ seemed odd to me; I might use â€œdevoidâ€ or something like that instead, though I could just be going insane.0xDEADCAFE said:The underground was as empty of sound as it was of light, and in the abject silence he felt his ears could see what his eyes could not.
Minor nitpick: I think the comma after â€œattackâ€ should be a question mark. Out of curiosity, is there a reason why these bits got italicized when some other parts that were clearly Gallenâ€™s thoughts didnâ€™t? Itâ€™s not a big deal, though it did make me stop and wonder for a moment.0xDEADCAFE said:Why donâ€™t they attack, he wondered.
Nice description. :thumbsup:0xDEADCAFE said:In his dream his mind raced. In the cave his body squirmed, his feet twitched, his brow squeezed drops of panic through deeply knit brows.
I think that should be â€œon me already.â€0xDEADCAFE said:It should have been on my already.
I think there should be a comma after â€œsweat.â€0xDEADCAFE said:Gallen awoke in a cold sweat so groggy with sleep and nightmares that he could barely open his eyes.
Huh...I could just be losing it, but it seems like youâ€™re missing a word after â€œof.â€0xDEADCAFE said:The sound of that he now heard was same as it had been in his dream.
Vivid...and kind of weird. I didnâ€™t quite see how the simile worked here, personally, and the sucking and drinking was mostly distracting, since neither flowers nor eyes really do either. I may have just missed something here (and if so, let me know,) but if not, I might suggest a rewrite on this part.0xDEADCAFE said:Without lifting his head, he squinted into the blackness, feeling his pupils opening like black daisies under a black sun, sucking at the darkness, but drinking nothing.
Heh...amusing way to end the chapter, Iâ€™d say.0xDEADCAFE said:After dispatching a half-dozen or so of the persistent but ineffectual invaders, Gallen was almost able to do it in his sleep, waking up only long enough to take aim by ear, deliver the killing blow, and repeat these immortal words:
â€œI should have made Kidd sleep on this side.â€
Hey, Rev. Good to hear from you, as always. Your comments: useful they are and, as there is no due-date but infinity on this forum, as relatively early as the dew on a Spring buttercup.Sorry that these are so late; I hope theyâ€™ll still be of some use.
Glad to hear it, though I'm sorry I ever made an issue of it. (Blarg! Thou shalt laugh... NOW!)RevenantsKnight said:On Chapter 4: completely not-funny, you say? Well, I suppose youâ€™d know, though there were one or two places here that were worth some grins.
I think the point is to emphasize the fact of Gallen being in the cave, dreaming, before going into the dream itself. Think of it as trying to anchor the chapter in the reality of the cave even while spending most of it describing his dreams. I guess I would say that between the two of them, the cave and the dream-world, the cave was the more important of the two, and I was undrescoring the idea that the dreams were a reflection of Gallen's circumstances rather than a thing unto themselves. (Not that it was done skillfully, but in regard to intentions: thar she blows!)RevenantsKnight said:The wording here was just a touch confusing on a first read, though I caught the meaning after a little bit; I might trim off the â€œand still wasâ€ part and rearrange the wording of the first part so it describes the chamber in the moment, not in the past.
Consider this: perhaps I used the word muddy specifically to offset any impression that the reflections were clear. Further, consider the multiple uses of muddy as a way of underscoring the dreamlike state, where different types of perception, say, visual and aural, could both seem distorted in a similar way because they are, in fact, only ideas and not actual physical perceptions.RevenantsKnight said:â€œMuddy imagesâ€ seemed odd to me here, since â€œreflectedâ€ suggests more clarity than you appear to mean and youâ€™re also using â€œmuddyâ€ for the laughter. That aside, I like Gallenâ€™s fixation with his boots and other footwear, by the way...itâ€™s a nice quirk. :smiley:
It could have been. Again, consider the dreamlike quality of this. It does not make sense that he could be laden by his armor and still be treading water. But it's a dream. It's a non-sequiter, perhaps even jarring as you say. I think that may be why I gave the second half its own sentence.RevenantsKnight said:This felt like it should be one sentence to me; as it is, it seems more contradictory than it needs to be. If that was your goal, well, then it works, though it is a little jarring at first.
No, you're smack-on. The faces chattered but they didn't sprout, the mandibles and antennae did--at least the way I wrote it. I suppose it would be valid to say that the faces sprouted antennae and mandibles. Perhaps I will rewrite it that way. Good call.RevenantsKnight said:The part after â€œsproutingâ€ made sense to me, though it did seem a bit odd grammatically; it feels like there was a shift after that point, because itâ€™s no longer the faces that are the subject of the verbs (as is the case for â€œchatteringâ€) but the tentacles and such. I could definitely be wrong in this case, but something about the grammar seems off.
Yeah, and the break also required me to restate the subject, which makes it a little redundant. As for shown and showed, what I was going for was more like shined, I think.RevenantsKnight said:The break between these sentences felt awkward to me, since you donâ€™t really change the subject that much. Also, â€œshownâ€ in the second sentence should be â€œshowed.â€
You're referring to "...but the darkness was impenetrable, as if he were staring into a depthless block of pure ebon granite." I'll accept that it might be wordy; fact is, I just like the way it sounds.RevenantsKnight said:This works, for sure, though I might make the simile a little less...enthusiastic. â€œ...staring into ebon graniteâ€ would be all you really need, Iâ€™d think, and the rest seems a touch wordy.
Awkward maybe, but he's sleepy at this point so I think "peer emptily" is accurate. Ever wake up in the middle of the night and gaze into the darkness without really making an effort to look?RevenantsKnight said:â€œPeered emptilyâ€ sounded awkward to me, since â€œpeeredâ€ usually takes an object and an empty gaze usually means a lack of comprehension or effort (at least, thatâ€™s how Iâ€™ve heard it used) and both seem inaccurate in this case. Iâ€™m not sure what to suggest for a replacement, though...maybe you could just reword this to â€œpeered aroundâ€ or something.
Finally, amid all the cogent and compelling criticism, something for me to take exception with. (En garde!) I just don't see how that would work. Lead with the elucidation and then state the main idea? Ugh! Plus I need to end on the sound of breathing to segue into the next paragraph. (Keyboards at 40 pages! Ready?)RevenantsKnight said:I might move this sentence to the end of this paragraph, since this feels like a summary of the next two sentences, though that might mess up the transition to the next part. Also, â€œemptyâ€ seemed odd to me; I might use â€œdevoidâ€ or something like that instead, though I could just be going insane.
I'm still unclear on just how punctutation works in dialogue, or thought-a-logue as here. Question mark sounds right. As for why the italics: these are supposed to be those special kinds of thoughts that are like unspoken statements in one's head. That's a little different than mere thoughts or impression that one might attribute to a character. This section (notice the break between it and the previous section) is intended to be more inside Gallen's head. I'm trying to communicate his mental state through explicit, statement-like thoughts, rather than mere description. It's almost like he's saying these things, but he's only thinking them, and in a dream no less.RevenantsKnight said:Minor nitpick: I think the comma after â€œattackâ€ should be a question mark. Out of curiosity, is there a reason why these bits got italicized when some other parts that were clearly Gallenâ€™s thoughts didnâ€™t? Itâ€™s not a big deal, though it did make me stop and wonder for a moment.
Thank you. It is kind of weird and it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I think this is one of those accidents of revision that sometimes happen when you try to change from one metaphorical image to another but don't quite make it all the way, ending up with an unintended melange. Again, my only justification is that I like it. (Sue me. :tongue: )RevenantsKnight said:Vivid...and kind of weird. I didnâ€™t quite see how the simile worked here, personally, and the sucking and drinking was mostly distracting, since neither flowers nor eyes really do either. I may have just missed something here (and if so, let me know,) but if not, I might suggest a rewrite on this part.
Thanks, and yes it is a setup chapter, and yes it is a bit on the quiet side, Mr. Pot.RevenantsKnight said:Heh...amusing way to end the chapter, Iâ€™d say.
Overall, I thought this was all right, if a little quiet (I know, itâ€™s like the pot calling the kettle black.) Itâ€™s still written nicely, though, and Iâ€™m curious to see where youâ€™re going to take the story next. Iâ€™ll try to get to the rest soon, and thanks for posting!
â€œFought in a more deliberately defensive wayâ€ felt a bit wordy to me. I might try to condense that a little.0xDEADCAFE said:Kidd, mindful of Gallenâ€™s warning about the dwindling supply of potions, fought in a more deliberately defensive way, leaving the killing mostly to Gallen.
Thereâ€™s a lot of gall-sounding words around here, between three uses of â€œGallenâ€ and â€œgalledâ€ over two sentences. Iâ€™d see if you canâ€™t cut or replace one of them.0xDEADCAFE said:It still galled him to admit that Gallenâ€™s strategy was working, and so, just to make sure his cooperation wasnâ€™t misunderstood, he made a point of complaining more loudly, more often, and generally more annoyingly than the day before.
â€œKidâ€ seems like a typo to me. Also, youâ€™re missing a set of quotation marks at the end here.0xDEADCAFE said:â€œHurry!â€ Kid yelled. â€œThat last one almost had my leg for a sausage!
I donâ€™t know if you want a break right after Gallen lets go of his shield, since Iâ€™d imagine that heâ€™s acting pretty quickly when he doesnâ€™t have his defense up and itâ€™s odd to imagine a pause there. It might be better if you end the first sentence after â€œshove,â€ perhaps, since then thereâ€™s a sense of him doing something and then switching tactics.0xDEADCAFE said:Swearing, Gallen gave the maggot a shove and then reluctantly released his shield into its clutches. He then used his shield arm to quickly pluck a bottle from the bag slung over his shoulder.
I didnâ€™t really get the impression that Gallen moved at all since he dropped his shield, so it only makes sense that the maggot was more or less next to him still. Given that, it was sort of odd to see things like â€œchargedâ€ and â€œjust where he left it,â€ since0xDEADCAFE said:He tossed the potion as soon as Kidd looked over and then immediately turned and charged the creature that now held his precious heater. He found it standing just where he left it, spitting and clicking, seemingly at a loss as to what to do with the kite-shaped curve of metal firmly stuck in its distended mandibles.
This feels a bit forced to me, as if you were rushing to finish up the fight. Something like â€œAfter that, Kidd dispatched the last one with a hard blow, and the room was quiet againâ€ might read more smoothly, in that youâ€™re not summarizing away anything and the action ends with a more natural feel.0xDEADCAFE said:After that there were only a few more left in this particular group, so the battle was shortly over.
Er...I think I know what Kiddâ€™s trying to say, but this is still pretty unclear to me. Is this some sort of colloquialism or something?0xDEADCAFE said:â€œAs long as my spear if they were an inch.â€
Minor nitpick: there should be a comma after â€œpotions.â€0xDEADCAFE said:â€œI told you weâ€™re low on potions soâ€¦â€œ
That should be â€œHe extendedâ€ (or perhaps â€œGallen extended,â€ if you want to be extra clear.)0xDEADCAFE said:He extend his hand, palm up, as if expecting something.
This seems a little anachronistic to me. Itâ€™s not that bad, I suppose, but the image I got at first was out of place for the setting, which was a little distracting.0xDEADCAFE said:Then he leaned forward and mewled through puckered lips, â€œI should have brought your Mommy along to kiss your boo-boos.â€
I think there should be a comma after â€œbefore.â€0xDEADCAFE said:â€œI was a little busy before so I just grabbed the first one I touched.â€
Heh. :grin:0xDEADCAFE said:â€œCome on, Kidd, donâ€™t be a stubborn old--I meanâ€”be a reasonable chap, wonâ€™t you?â€
Thereâ€™s an extra space at the end between the period and the quotation marks.0xDEADCAFE said:â€œItâ€™ll be more than enough for your little scra-aâ€”uhâ€”your wound, that is. â€œ
â€œFrowned someâ€ sounds a bit informal for the narration. I might reword that a little.0xDEADCAFE said:Kidd squinted again, frowned some, but finally relented.
This reference felt rather out of place to me, since refined sugar doesnâ€™t seem like a commonplace product in a medieval world. Iâ€™d change this, personally.0xDEADCAFE said:â€œMaybe you should have asked Mommy for a spoonful of sugar before you left.â€
Typo: that should be â€œas he was distracted.â€0xDEADCAFE said:Kidd ignored Gallenâ€™s barbâ€”barely heard it in factâ€”as he distracted by the gripping sensation that followed the murky, crimson liquid down his throat.
Interesting description of healing potions, though it seemed to drag a little. I might see if you can make this sound a little less clinical.0xDEADCAFE said:As it reached his stomach it was an almost a sickening feeling, but it soon spread through his pelvis and into his wounded leg where it seemed to pause and gather itself like a cat preparing to pounce. His leg felt large and swollen and then for several moments after it throbbed in time to his heartbeat in great swells that ran from intense heat to numbing cold.
I think there should be a comma after â€œpassed.â€0xDEADCAFE said:And when it had passed the wound was gone and the pain and discomfort were barely a memory.
Very minor nitpick: the closing quotation mark at the end should be doubled.0xDEADCAFE said:â€œFor the fiftieth time,â€ Gallen said, â€œI have no idea whatsoever.â€™
Iâ€™d move â€œfrom memoryâ€ to right after â€œrecitedâ€ for clarity, and I think the semicolon here should be a comma, since I donâ€™t see a subject in the second part.0xDEADCAFE said:â€œHe just followed a recipe on a piece of paper that was nearly brown with age; recited some unintelligible words from memory that Iâ€™m sure even he didnâ€™t understand.â€
I think the â€œitâ€ at the end there should technically be â€œthem,â€ though this is the sort of thing that you might want in Kiddâ€™s speech, if you want it to be imperfect.0xDEADCAFE said:â€œNoâ€¦ what he meant, what I think he meant, was make sure you know where things come fromâ€”especially when you donâ€™t understand it.â€
There should be a comma after â€œknack.â€0xDEADCAFE said:â€œTakes you some time to learn how to do it, get the knack so to speak, but then thatâ€™s it.â€
This seems redundant to me, since the previous mentions of Rammâ€™s views made that pretty easy to infer.0xDEADCAFE said:His upbringing among the goat-people of old Rammâ€™s tribe had given him a deep distrust of magic that the brief training he had received from the paladin mercenaries in town could not completely dispel.
I think this feels a bit dry, as well as largely unnecessary, and might try deleting this in favor of attaching a small something at the end of the previous sentence to set up Kiddâ€™s discovery.0xDEADCAFE said:He made a few slow lunges and then tried a few defensive moves.
â€œReflectedâ€ seems to contradict â€œglowâ€ a bit, as the latter suggests that itâ€™s a light source on its own (at least to me.) I might use â€œgleamâ€ or some other word instead.0xDEADCAFE said:It seemed to be either a long dagger or a short sword and it reflected the torchlight with an unusual glow.
â€œIt became apparent to both of themâ€ feels a bit wordy, as well as kind of like the narrator telling the audience what they need to know. Iâ€™d see if you canâ€™t find a tighter phrasing here.0xDEADCAFE said:He brought the torch closer and it became apparent to both of them that the metal had a shine to it that was altogether different from that of ordinary steel.
The â€œfound something specialâ€ part seems implied by the later parts of the dialogue and such, so I might suggest cutting it.0xDEADCAFE said:Kidd saw that Gallen was quite excited and realized that he had found something special.
I think this should be two sentences, broken after â€œsword.â€0xDEADCAFE said:Gallen pulled his scepter from his belt and held it next to the small sword, â€œSee the lettering on my scepter?â€
â€œVery likeâ€ sounds kind of awkward to me. Unless you wanted Gallenâ€™s speech to sound a little odd at times (and I donâ€™t think youâ€™ve been doing that,) I might change this.0xDEADCAFE said:â€œItâ€™s very like whatâ€™s on my scepter though, so it must be-â€œ
This seems like it could be one sentence to me, since the end of the first sentence and the second sentence carry similar ideas.0xDEADCAFE said:Gallen was startled, but made no move to block the blade, which predictably came to a slightly uncomfortable halt against his neck. The razor sharp edge made a slight indentation against his skin but did not cut it.
I think there should be some sort of punctuation (probably an exclamation mark) inside the quotes.0xDEADCAFE said:â€œBLEAAT-UNGHâ€ he roared.
â€œAs of bony fingersâ€ sounds like it should be â€œlike bony fingersâ€ to me.0xDEADCAFE said:From one of the knot of tunnels that intersected in the broad area in which they stood came a chillingly familiar sound: a chattering, as of bony fingers drumming on a table.
The wording of the last part felt a little unwieldy. Iâ€™d see if you canâ€™t tighten that up a little, though thatâ€™s just me.0xDEADCAFE said:But not just the fingers of one hand, nor would it be fair to say it sounded like the fingers of just many hands, for the noise of chattering that seemed to pour from that tunnel like the spray of a waterfall could only have been made by a multitude of chatterers.
I liked this. :smiley:0xDEADCAFE said:And the sound of that multitude made his feet grow cold.
There should be a comma after â€œthat.â€0xDEADCAFE said:And with that Kidd launched himself at a run toward the tunnel opening.