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Forgotmytea
23-05-2005, 11:59
Thanks for all the feedback on my last story - I thought I'd post another ow, especially as the Lustria campaign is getting underway. So, any opinions on this one? Thanks!

Looters

The sunlight shafted through the trees, beams of pure light falling to the ground in halo-like circles. Birds and other creatures sung deep in the jungle, adding their lullaby to the silence of the jungle. The peacefulness was almost tangible, moving through the air like pollen dust in the wind.

Mercenary Captain Frederick Miller stumbled through the jungle, leaving broken bracken and ferns in his wake. He wore a studded leather body, cloth trousers, and had armour on his arms. He wore a triangular hat, the same as those worn by Pirates, and a cutlass hung by his side. A shield was slung over his back, along with the bag of treasures he had plundered from the temple. Dead – all dead. He continued his noisy path, desperately hacking at the vines and plants ahead with the machete he held in his hand. Nothing I could do – those monsters – Daemons – everyone, dead…. He blundered along, his terrified mind reliving the events that had happened in the last few hours. It was all fine when we arrived, so where did it all go wrong? It was meant to be simple – simple, hah! If I find that merchant who gave us the information – if I survive – then I’ll – Oh Sigmar! What was that? Another low growl came from nearby, and increased Frederick’s terror. Oh Sigmar – run, must run, can’t let them get me – they’ll kill me, sacrifice me, like they did poor Hans – nothing I could do – must escape…. He hacked at the vines with renewed vigour and frenzy, desperate to get to the ship.

Suddenly, without warning, he burst out into a clearing. Pure sunlight streamed down, bathing the clearing in light. Nearby, he could hear water running. A stream! It must lead to the ocean – all of them do. My ship – maybe it leads there – there was a stream near the place we docked. Maybe – oh please, Sigmar – maybe I can escape from this nightmare after all! Suddenly filled with a trepid hope, he headed on, hoping against hope that he would survive.

It was all fine – we docked, found no-one there. A couple of corpses of other sailors, but they must have been killed by jungle creatures or something – hah, we though we’d be fine, we were armed, weren’t we? We had years of experience, blackpowder weapons, cutlasses, swords, crossbows – as if that was enough! Those – things, the eyes –emotionless, evil, cold – why us? Was it all just sport for them? Oh Sigmar – the others, Hans, Gregor, Hilda – all dead, dead in the bogs or with their hearts ripped out by those – monsters! Oh Sigmar – please, oh please…

We met no resistance, nothing, just a few vines which the lads cleared quickly. We thought it would be so easy – be on this Sigmar-forsaken place for a maximum of a day, heading back to the Empire with riches galore. We’d have lived like the Emperor! But – the trap, the stakes – oh Sigmar, why? All – dead – dead, like those corpses on the dock – and I’ll be joining them soon… No, Frederick, get a grip – you’ll survive. It isn’t far to the ship now and – what was that? Is something following me? Oh Sigmar, grant me the strength to smite these evil creatures…

Turning, Frederick drew his cutlass, his other hand sheathing the machete and reaching for the pistol on his belt. What was that? What was that dark shape? Did it move? He stayed very still, looking into the jungle. Every tree seemed to come alive and move. No – it’s just your imagination he told himself. Your years as a mercenary should’ve taught you that by now, so – what was that? Was that one of the Daemon warriors? No – it’s gone. But hurry – hurry – run – RUN! Frederick turned and stumbled out of the clearing, fleeing to the river.

It started with the temple – found it, looked like all our dreams were about to come true. We entered, no-one at all. No threat – oh Sigmar, why didn’t I post sentries? If I had, we might have had warning, and then we might have survived, but – oh Sigmar, why? Only me left now – on-one else – just me, the Daemons and the dead. Oh, it was fine, we found those artefacts – all gold, solid gold, set with diamonds and opals. Heh, we felt like Gods then. We packed as much as possible in the sacks, and were preparing to leave when – WHOA!

He slipped down the slope, sliding down the muddy bank. He desperately tried to stab his Machete into the bank to stop his descent, but to no avail. With a scream, Frederick plunged into the pool, floating to the surface. He seemed dead as he floated silently down the river, as countless red eyes watched him with a malign intelligence.

Slowly Frederick opened his eyes, seeing clear blue sky. He realised he was moving, and found he was being carried down a river. He rolled over, and started to swim for the bank. Salt water – I must be near the sea! He climbed out, pulling himself up with the reeds that adorned the bank like rows of spears. The boat – my ship – the dock – must be near now…He stumbled off, following the river.

It was fine, we’d taken most of the treasures, but then They came. Silent, like ghosts, those Daemons. They were ferocious – roared when they fought, their teeth like knives. I remember – Hilda – knocked one to the floor and tried to hack its head off. But those scales – like armour – like plate armour! Her sword – just bounced off it’s skin. And then it’s companion came up behind her and – those teeth – her headless corpse – Oh Sigmar, let her rest peacefully. And Hans – he tried, we all tried. Fired his blunderbuss straight into it’s face, at point blank range. You’d think that would kill the bastard, but no! It came at him, and it’s weapon – gold, like everything else – just tore his guts out. Left him screaming on the floor as one of those smaller Daemons, in a cloak, came forward and tore out his heart, offering it to it’s foul Gods. Oh Sigmar…

Suddenly bursting into light again, Frederick found himself on the jetty. His ship was still there, and joy leapt into his heart. Strong wind – I can crew it myself – I did, for years, before I became such a famous captain. I’m out of here – safe – I’ll go to Tilea, or maybe Nuln, and toast my dead comrades. Yes – I’m alive – Alive! He ran for his ship, almost weeping with joy. But, as he neared it, his blood ran cold as he stopped.

Oh Sigmar – no, no, NO! How did they get here – on my ship? Oh Sigmar – so many, and – oh no – but I must try – must…escape…

Three dozen warriors stood up on his ship, looking at him with cold, red eyes. Frederick fumbled with his pistol, his hands shaking as he tried to draw it from it’s sheath. He drew, and aimed at the first Daemon, pulling the trigger. The gun spluttered, leaking water, and the fuse fizzled and died out. Damn that river! Curses! Sigmar – please give me the strength to smite these things…

Hurling away the useless pistol, Frederick unslung his shield and charged the warriors. In response, the things drew their ancient weapons, hissing and roaring their anger. As Frederick reached the first one, he slammed his shield into it’s face before slamming his cutlass with all his strength into it’s gut. The thing roared as it died, and Frederick struggled to free his cutlass. Damn – it’s stuck – oh Sigmar – not now, please – oh no… Frederick gave up trying to free his cutlass, instead drawing one of the weapons he had plundered from the temple. His opponents froze, horrified as he swung it at them. Then, with a blood-curdling roar, they charged at him in a frenzy. Come on then – if you like Imperial steel, let’s see how you like your own artefacts! He slashed at the first creature, forcing it back, but then the others attacked. He felt a sharp pain in his side as a sword bit home, and then another pain in his shoulder as a spear impaled him. He collapsed on the deck of the ship, bleeding and panting. He screamed in pain as two of the Daemons dragged him off the ship and to a nearby stone block, which they draped him over. Frederick saw a smaller creature coming towards him, wielding a serrated knife in it’s hand. It wore a cloak of feathers, and hissed menacingly as it advanced. Oh Sigmar – please – send a sign to save me now! Please Sigmar – please – please – please…

Captain Frederick Miller’s eyes opened wide as the Skink Shaman reached into the hole it had cut in his chest and ripped his heart free. Hissing in triumph, it held up the heart as a sacrificial offering to it’s God, while the Saurus Warriors roared and bellowed in triumph. The sacred lands of Lustria would be cleansed, and none of the treasures would be allowed to leave the Temples.

Hideous Loon
25-05-2005, 17:39
Hmm. Including your character's thoughts is at most times difficult, as it tears the story apart. The same thing goes for your story, even though you are more successful. On the whole, the story focusses on the 'inside' of Captain Frederick's head, and I'm not sure I like it. It takes a skiiled writer to have thoughts included, and you're not quite there yet.

anarchistica
02-06-2005, 01:23
Oh dear, you started off so nicely...

Some comments:

"He wore a studded leather body, cloth trousers, and had armour on his arms. He wore a triangular hat, the same as those worn by Pirates, and a cutlass hung by his side. A shield was slung over his back, along with the bag of treasures he had plundered from the temple."

Standard writer's mistake #3: wrongly describing someone's looks. Such descriptions don't 'work'. They only work if someone else looks at the person, and likely adds his opinion, or if you integrate it into the story. Sort of like this: "The scraping sound that was caused when the branches made contact his vambraces worked on his nerves, the fact that the sun baked his bare skull, instead of the triangular hat he carried under his arm, didn't have a positive effect on his morale either.". A description like you do looks awkward. Also, we all know pirates wore those hats, no need to tell us (it's silly). ;)

"Dead – all dead. He continued his noisy path, desperately hacking at the vines and plants ahead with the machete he held in his hand."

We also understand that he's holding the machete in his hand, no need to mention that. :p

"Oh Sigmar – run, must run, can’t let them get me – they’ll kill me, sacrifice me, like they did poor Hans – nothing I could do – must escape…."

Hans. Don't call an Empire guy Hans. It's as bad as naming one Karl or Gunther. Go here (http://www.kabalarians.com/cfm/surf-by.cfm), click on some Nordic country, ignore the Kabalarian nonsense and you'll find thousands of more original names than "Hans" or "Hilda".

"Strong wind – I can crew it myself – I did, for years, before I became such a famous captain."

No one can crew such a ship by themselves. To suggest that is silly, to make someone think that he is "such a famous captain" is even sillier.

"Oh Sigmar"

Judging by the amount of times this guy says "Oh Sigmar", you'd think he was doing something very different though equally straining. :p ;)

Seriously, a famous pirate captain, even if he was scared, would not be such a pansy and surely would not think this over and over and over again. Some variation, please.

"Captain Frederick Miller’s eyes opened wide as the Skink Shaman reached into the hole it had cut in his chest and ripped his heart free. Hissing in triumph, it held up the heart as a sacrificial offering to it’s God, while the Saurus Warriors roared and bellowed in triumph."

I wouldn't use the actual names of the 'units'. Rather say that the Priest or Shaman does a Temple of Doom on him and that the Sauruses do some excited screaming. Just a minor note though.

"Looters"

I thought this would be about Orcs, especially seeing your name being Da Red Gobbo. Maybe a different title?

The whole thing where he thinks

If you incorporate thought into a story, you should (in my opinion, and at least on forums) always seperate it by blank lines. This looks neater, is clearer and breaks up the story which emphasises it. Just italics doesn't work, you did it right later on in the story.

Sort of like this:

"Mercenary Captain Frederick Miller stumbled through the jungle, leaving broken bracken and ferns in his wake. He wore a studded leather body, cloth trousers, and had armour on his arms. He wore a triangular hat, the same as those worn by Pirates, and a cutlass hung by his side. A shield was slung over his back, along with the bag of treasures he had plundered from the temple.

Dead – all dead.

He continued his noisy path, desperately hacking at the vines and plants ahead with the machete he held in his hand.

Nothing I could do – those monsters – Daemons – everyone, dead…."

Aside from those little points, it's standard but ok.

Rating: 2,5/5

Forgotmytea
04-06-2005, 22:42
Thanks for the comments everyone, I've made some modifications. In hindsight, some of it (well, most :p) was a bit crappy....


Hans. Don't call an Empire guy Hans. It's as bad as naming one Karl or Gunther. Go here (http://www.kabalarians.com/cfm/surf-by.cfm), click on some Nordic country, ignore the Kabalarian nonsense and you'll find thousands of more original names than "Hans" or "Hilda".

What do you think of "Adin"? I'm not particually confident with names - I tend to go for the stereotypical Hans, Karl, etc, rather than try out any new ones.


"Strong wind – I can crew it myself – I did, for years, before I became such a famous captain."

No one can crew such a ship by themselves. To suggest that is silly, to make someone think that he is "such a famous captain" is even sillier.

Yeah, that bit is really really pathetic now I look at it again. What do you think of it currently with the "hold-out-on-the-ship"? Either that or have him row back.... ;)


"Oh Sigmar"

Judging by the amount of times this guy says "Oh Sigmar", you'd think he was doing something very different though equally straining.

Seriously, a famous pirate captain, even if he was scared, would not be such a pansy and surely would not think this over and over and over again. Some variation, please.

I've tried to add in other God's names where appropriate now rather than portray him as a raging Templar, such as Morr when he's talking about his dead comrades.


"Captain Frederick Miller’s eyes opened wide as the Skink Shaman reached into the hole it had cut in his chest and ripped his heart free. Hissing in triumph, it held up the heart as a sacrificial offering to it’s God, while the Saurus Warriors roared and bellowed in triumph."

I wouldn't use the actual names of the 'units'. Rather say that the Priest or Shaman does a Temple of Doom on him and that the Sauruses do some excited screaming. Just a minor note though.

:confused: No offense, but I'm not quite sure what you mean here. I;ve modified this bit though anyway, any better?


"Looters"

I thought this would be about Orcs, especially seeing your name being Da Red Gobbo. Maybe a different title?

That's it! I'm contacting a mod to change my name! When Portent first came back up, I did think, "I'm called Forgotmytea on other forums, maybe I should call myself Forgotmytea here in Portent mk. II as well". But, stupidly, I didn't. I've had loads of people expecting me to talk/write purely about Orcs and Goblins, but I don't. Anyway, I'll try and think of a new title. I can't think of any right now I'm afraid.


The whole thing where he thinks

If you incorporate thought into a story, you should (in my opinion, and at least on forums) always seperate it by blank lines. This looks neater, is clearer and breaks up the story which emphasises it. Just italics doesn't work, you did it right later on in the story.

Sort of like this:

"Mercenary Captain Frederick Miller stumbled through the jungle, leaving broken bracken and ferns in his wake. He wore a studded leather body, cloth trousers, and had armour on his arms. He wore a triangular hat, the same as those worn by Pirates, and a cutlass hung by his side. A shield was slung over his back, along with the bag of treasures he had plundered from the temple.

Dead – all dead.

He continued his noisy path, desperately hacking at the vines and plants ahead with the machete he held in his hand.

Nothing I could do – those monsters – Daemons – everyone, dead…."

Yeah, I've done that with most of it now, and it looks much better now thanks. But, I left some as the text in the paragraph weaved in with his thoughts, so it couldn't really be split up.


Aside from those little points, it's standard but ok.

Thanks :)!

So, here's "Title-still-in-progress" mk. II: (well, in the next post, as it's too long otherwise).

Forgotmytea
04-06-2005, 22:43
The sunlight shafted through the trees, beams of pure light falling to the ground in halo-like circles. Birds and other creatures sung deep in the jungle, adding their lullaby to the silence of the jungle. The peacefulness was almost tangible, moving through the air like pollen dust in the wind.

Mercenary Captain Frederick Miller stumbled through the jungle, leaving broken bracken and ferns in his wake. His studded leather body was protection against any enemy’s blades that he might chance across, but in the baking sun and humid jungle it was a hindrance rather than a help. His hat brushed against the branches as he fled, thankfully protecting his head from the heat of the midday sun, unlike the leather body and cloak he wore. His cutlass swung against his side before getting stuck in a vine. He swore in desperation as he ripped the scabbard from the clutching tendrils of the vine, casting a fugitive glance behind him again. The shield and treasures strapped to his back slowed him down, and again he considered dumping them in the jungle to lighten his load, before deciding again that too much had been lost to abandon them now.

Dead – all dead.

He continued his noisy path, desperately hacking at the vines and plants ahead with his machete.

Nothing I could do – those monsters – Daemons – everyone, dead….

He blundered along, his terrified mind reliving the events that had happened in the last few hours.

It was all fine when we arrived, so where did it all go wrong? It was meant to be simple – simple, hah! If I find that merchant who gave us the information – if I survive – then I’ll – Oh Sigmar! What was that?

Another low growl came from nearby, and increased Frederick’s terror. Oh Ulric – run, must run, can’t let them get me – they’ll kill me, sacrifice me, like they did poor Adin – nothing I could do – must escape…. He hacked at the vines with renewed vigour and frenzy, desperate to get to the ship.

Suddenly, without warning, he burst out into a clearing. Pure sunlight streamed down, bathing the clearing in light. Nearby, he could hear water running. A stream! It must lead to the ocean – all of them do. My ship – maybe it leads there – there was a stream near the place we docked. Maybe – oh please, Sigmar – maybe I can escape from this nightmare after all! Suddenly filled with a trepid hope, he headed on, hoping against hope that he would survive.

It was all fine – we docked, found no-one there. A couple of corpses of other sailors, but they must have been killed by jungle creatures or something – hah, we though we’d be fine, we were armed, weren’t we? We had years of experience, blackpowder weapons, cutlasses, swords, crossbows – as if that was enough! Those – things, the eyes –emotionless, evil, cold – why us? Was it all just sport for them? Oh Sigmar – the others, Adin, Gregor, Hilda – all dead, dead in the bogs or with their hearts ripped out by those – monsters! Oh Vallaya – please, oh please…

We met no resistance, nothing, just a few vines which the lads cleared quickly. We thought it would be so easy – be on this Sigmar-forsaken place for a maximum of a day, heading back to the Empire with riches galore. We’d have lived like the Emperor! But – the trap, the stakes – oh Morr, why? All – dead – dead, like those corpses on the dock – and I’ll be joining them soon… No, Frederick, get a grip – you’ll survive. It isn’t far to the ship now and – what was that? Is something following me? Oh Sigmar, grant me the strength to smite these evil creatures…

Turning, Frederick drew his cutlass, his other hand sheathing the machete and reaching for the pistol on his belt. What was that? What was that dark shape? Did it move? He stayed very still, looking into the jungle. Every tree seemed to come alive and move. No – it’s just your imagination he told himself. Your years as a mercenary should’ve taught you that by now, so – what was that? Was that one of the Daemon warriors? No – it’s gone. But hurry – hurry – run – RUN! Frederick turned and stumbled out of the clearing, fleeing to the river.

It started with the temple – found it, looked like all our dreams were about to come true. We entered, no-one at all. No threat – oh, why didn’t I post sentries? If I had, we might have had warning, and then we might have survived, but – oh Sigmar, why? Only me left now – on-one else – just me, the Daemons and the dead. Oh, it was fine; we found those artefacts – all gold, solid gold, set with diamonds and opals. Heh, we felt like Gods then. We packed as much as possible in the sacks, and were preparing to leave when – WHOA!

He slipped down the slope, sliding down the muddy bank. He desperately tried to stab his Machete into the bank to stop his descent, but to no avail. With a scream, Frederick plunged into the pool, floating to the surface. He seemed dead as he floated silently down the river, as countless red eyes watched him with a malign intelligence.

Slowly Frederick opened his eyes, seeing clear blue sky. He realised he was moving, and found he was being carried down a river. He rolled over, and started to swim for the bank. Salt water – I must be near the sea! He climbed out, pulling himself up with the reeds that adorned the bank like rows of spears. The boat – my ship – the dock – must be near now…He stumbled off, following the river.

It was fine, we’d taken most of the treasures, but then They came. Silent, like ghosts, those Daemons. They were ferocious – roared when they fought, their teeth like knives. I remember – Hilda – knocked one to the floor and tried to hack its head off. But those scales – like armour – like plate armour! Her sword – just bounced off its skin. And then it’s companion came up behind her and – those teeth – her headless corpse – Oh Morr, let her rest peacefully. And Adin – he tried, we all tried. Fired his blunderbuss straight into its face, at point blank range. You’d think that would kill the bastard, but no! It came at him, and it’s weapon – gold, like everything else – just tore his guts out. Left him screaming on the floor as one of those smaller Daemons, in a cloak, came forward and tore out his heart, offering it to it’s foul Gods. Oh Sigmar…

Suddenly bursting into light again, Frederick found himself on the jetty. His ship was still there, and joy leapt into his heart.

I can reach the ship – maybe I can hold out on it. There’s the weapons room, and rifles, and I can hold them off there, and signal for help. Yes – some other ship must pass sometime. I’ll be out of here – free, free!
He ran for his ship, almost weeping with joy. But, as he neared it, his blood ran cold as he stopped.

Oh Ulric – no, no, NO! How did they get here – on my ship? Oh Ulric – so many, and – oh no – but I must try – must…escape…

Three dozen warriors stood up on his ship, looking at him with cold, red eyes. Frederick fumbled with his pistol, his hands shaking as he tried to draw it from its sheath. He drew, and aimed at the first Daemon, pulling the trigger. The gun spluttered, leaking water, and the fuse fizzled and died out.

Damn that river! Curses! Sigmar – please give me the strength to smite these things…

Hurling away the useless pistol, Frederick unslung his shield and charged the warriors. In response, the things drew their ancient weapons, hissing and roaring their anger. As Frederick reached the first one, he slammed his shield into its face before slamming his cutlass with all his strength into its gut. The thing roared as it died, and Frederick struggled to free his cutlass.

Damn – it’s stuck – oh Sigmar – not now, please – oh no…

Frederick gave up trying to free his cutlass, instead drawing one of the weapons he had plundered from the temple. His opponents froze, horrified as he swung it at them. Then, with a blood-curdling roar, they charged at him in a frenzy.

Come on then – if you like Imperial steel, let’s see how you like your own artefacts!

He slashed at the first creature, forcing it back, but then the others attacked. He felt a sharp pain in his side as a sword bit home, and then another pain in his shoulder as a spear impaled him. He collapsed on the deck of the ship, bleeding and panting. He screamed in pain as two of the Daemons dragged him off the ship and to a nearby stone block, which they draped him over. Frederick saw a smaller creature coming towards him, wielding a serrated knife in its hand. It wore a cloak of feathers, and hissed menacingly as it advanced.

Oh Sigmar – please – send a sign to save me now! Please Sigmar – please – please – please…

Captain Frederick Miller’s eyes opened wide as Skink Shaman Tenihumi reached into the hole it had cut in his chest and ripped his heart free. Hissing in triumph, it held up the heart as a sacrificial offering to its God, while the Saurus Warriors roared and bellowed in triumph, smashing their weapons against their shields in a frenzied ritual. The sacred lands of Lustria would be cleansed, and none of the treasures would be allowed to leave the Temples.