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Kordain
November 6th, 2010, 05:58 AM
if you read dank it is in the same world as that, please read and enjoy, be honest i don't bite. i was inspired while i was straightening shelves at Kmart tonight. i just had to post it. i hope you enjoy.







Galock leaned against the stone wall that was made for fencing sheep in while grazing. He sat on his bottom facing downhill. He had a sword in his right hand, it wasn’t of a great quality but it kept him alive. He peered down neither side of him and saw a long string several dozen men long. All with a mix of weapons, swords, axes, hammers, maces, other bludgeons, very few spears, and the enemy had no cavalry to deal with and besides these people preferred axes, and blunt weapons.


The night was cool and clear, and about to get colder. He wished he had more that a thin wool shirt to separate his skin and the cold chain mail, half of the other men were in the same predicament, but it was soon to get a lot warmer. The moon was strong most could be seen clearly even with a hint of real color. On both sides of the fence was grassland that was only used for grazing. The other side of the fence was a mountain with one smooth slope up to its low peak. On the mountain side of the wall the earth rose almost to the top of the wall.


Galock could hear voices speaking a foreign tongue just as the wind shifted. The language had a lot of sh, s, and t sounds in it that made it just roll right out of their mouths. It became louder and more men heard them coming from uphill, when they did they stiffened and gripped their weapons tighter. He leaned forward to see the other men he was glad he had his wool cap, most of the other men had on cold mail and metal caps. I’ll be able to see my breath anytime now. He breathed heavily, and sure enough he could see it. Was it really that cold?



The voices were getting closer. One man held his sword in front of him and began to hit his head against it. The man beside him placed his hand against the man’s chest, he man looked and him and sighed. Galock’s tall thick boiled leather boots were keeping his legs and feet plenty warm after all his wife had made sure of that, the gloves were the same, the backs of his gloves had iron plate inserts in them and riveted in place.


He could hear footsteps now and he could make out individual words now from their speech. ‘salatan,’ ‘shangrola,’ ‘tangrowth,’ ‘gipshred,’ ‘dak,’ were just a few he knew the meaning of. He knew the time was soon and he began to recite in his mind was he always did before he commenced his work.


‘We don’t come here to be civil and peaceful, but we are ready fight for those things we hold dear, our wives, our children, our homes, and our people.’ Some men began to tense and breathe steady.


‘We fight for our freedom, our peace, our land, our liberty. We also fight for our religion and our God, for these are the things that we desire.’ Several arrows were nocked on their strings, shields being readjusted.


‘Let them come forth in the knowledge that we do this for a noble cause. We pledge that we will fight until we are destroyed like those who were destroyed, who lived in this land before us.’ Hearts are beating faster, silent prayers are said, and bodies made ready.


‘We will not let freedom fall from our hands, we will not leave the gates of liberty unguarded. We will never stop and we will never abandon our posts.’ The captain nods his head. The men nod back.


‘The only way for freedom to leave us is by ripping it from our cold dead hands. We will never give up.’ Just then men with wooden spears leapt down over the wall and landed with soft thuds as leather sandals hit the earth. The last part of Galock’s metal speech was yelled out loud, “Never!” he yelled as he stood along with the rest of the men and commenced the work of death amongst their enemy.

nineteen
November 8th, 2010, 02:30 PM
"He sat on his bottom facing downhill." His bottom? That really sets... a tone? This is also a non-sentence and and could have been done much better doesn't contain any imegary which makes it hard to imagne let alone care about.

"it wasn’t of a great quality but it kept him alive." Oh really? Is that relivent at this piont?

"All with a mix of weapons, swords, axes, hammers, maces, other bludgeons, very few spears, and the enemy had no cavalry to deal with and besides these people preferred axes, and blunt." Ok-dokey, what's the wather like? how is Galock feeling? how should i feel about him? why should i care?

2nd paragraph: ok so we got a little description here but "He wished he had more that a thin wool shirt" doens't really make me see anything or fell anything. So describing mountians? Why? Care to go into some details maybe "paint a picture with words"? perhaps you could use the moutians as a clever methapor for the insignificance that Galock feels or how they seem to cage him in.. or anything! don't just describe: set a mood, create the tone of the peice.

3rd paragraph: Your description of sound is poor: i don't care what thier language sounds like; it's pointless. "He leaned forward to see the other men he was glad he had his wool cap, most of the other men had on cold mail and metal caps." and perhaps there is somthing about this coldbness? perhaps it's not just thier mail that's cold, but them also?? try to get a mood going don't just state facts. "Was it really that cold?" Actually quite good: i like questions in writing.

4th: "Galock’s tall thick boiled leather boots" are you going to describle hiw whole wardrobe? How boring. Let's have some action! "after all his wife had made sure of that" has has a wife now? Why should i care? "the backs of his gloves had iron plate inserts in them and riveted in place." thirlling: get to the action!

5th: unpronuncible words? that makes it easier to read. "He knew the time was soon and he began to recite in his mind was he always did before he commenced his work." that's not as exciting as you think it is.

Wow it cuts out before the action begins! Wonderful! The end is just a long, boring speach that i skim-read.

Summary:
this story is full of exposition without cause, it's not interesting... most of this could be delted and nothing would be lost. spedning a page describing somthing that i don't know anything about it is a recipe for disaster. Start with the action: not the exposition.

Razzazzika
November 9th, 2010, 12:44 AM
I'm going to try to do you a favor and give you a breakdown of what's wrong with each sentence and what to do to improve it.

Original: "Galock leaned against the stone wall that was made for fencing sheep in while grazing. He sat on his bottom facing downhill."
Suggested: Galock sat leaning against the stone fence that kept the grazing sheep behind him penned in, facing downhill. --- first two sentences should be combined into something like this, both were a bit awkward.

Original: "He had a sword in his right hand, it wasn’t of a great quality but it kept him alive." - Should say "His sword", really, but if he's just casually sitting against a wall, what is he doing with his sword drawn? and a little more detail on the sword would help if it is important, just saying, ' it wasn't of great quality' is not much to go on.
Suggested: "His sword was gripped loosely in his right hand, its rusted blade dulling, but it kept him alive thus far"

With all the ridicule of the previous poster, I'm surprised he/she missed this one,
Original: "He peered down neither side of him and saw a long string several dozen men long" First off, the grammar's way off, but second... he peered where? To neither side of him... that means he didn't peer anywhere at all... so how did he see anything?
Suggested: This sentence, to the end of this paragraph, should be moved to after the next paragraph, first off. Describe the night first, then go into the army. Now, I can't presume to know the mind of your character, but this is how I see your character so far, napping by the pasture - "He was aroused from his dreams by the clash of armor, stomping of boots, and the chatter of voices. He peered down the hillside to see dozens of armed men, marching in a long, organized string."

Original - "All with a mix of weapons, swords, axes, hammers, maces, other bludgeons, very few spears, and the enemy had no cavalry to deal with and besides these people preferred axes, and blunt weapons." - classic grammar error, there's no subject here. Whereas I know you mean the military dudes, it's just bad to not say that in some way, unless that was means to be a ", all" continuation from the previous sentence. Not to mention the fact that it's a run-on sentence.
Suggestion: "The soldiers had a mix of weapons: swords, axes, hammers and other bludgeons. They carried very few spears among them --- Their enemy had no cavalry for them to deal with, and they preferred the weight of axes and blunt weapons anyhow."

Original: " The night was cool and clear, and about to get colder. He wished he had more that a thin wool shirt to separate his skin and the cold chain mail, half of the other men were in the same predicament, but it was soon to get a lot warmer." -- The first sentence here is good, no problems. So is the second, provided you don't run on to the third sentence. Who is 'half the other men'? Are you including your hero on the hill in with the men marching at the bottom? it seems... off... to do so. Also, you contradicted yourself, first you say its about to get colder, then you say its about to get a lot warmer... all in the same paragraph. Once again, if you put this paragraph before mentioning the army, leave the part out about anyone other than your hero being cold.
Suggestion: " The night was cool and clear, and about to get colder. He wished he had more that a thin wool shirt to separate his skin and the cold chain mail. Half the men in the valley below were in the same predicament."

Original: "The moon was strong most could be seen clearly even with a hint of real color." -- huh?
Suggestion: "The moon was nearly full, and the battalion could be seen clearly in the moonlight. The colors on their equipment could even be seen poking through the black of night.”

Original: “On both sides of the fence was grassland that was only used for grazing. The other side of the fence was a mountain with one smooth slope up to its low peak. On the mountain side of the wall the earth rose almost to the top of the wall. “ - Why did we go back to talking about the fence? Weren't we just talking about an army? Put this back up at the top. I'm having trouble getting a clear picture of this place... first I was seeing a valley, with a hill rising up. At the top of the hill, I saw a wall, with our hero leaning/sitting against it. Are you now saying that is a mountain? If so, downhill was probably not the word to be using earlier, or do these descriptive lines first, then say he was facing downhill. “The earth rose to the top of the wall?” now i'm thinking trenches, which makes me think that peering isn't such a bad form of looking out past the wall. But then that would be that Galock was not on the same side of the wall as the army, but hiding behind it... These details are important and should not be left out.

I'm going to stop my critique here. Overall, I think that you may have a good idea in your head. I've seen your other posts too, but do yourself a favor. Save your Kmart paychecks and get into some Creative Writing / English courses at the local Community College, you'll thank yourself later.

I'll leave off with a full revision of the first three paragraphs with all my 'suggestions' put in.

Galock sat leaning against the stone fence that kept the grazing sheep (behind/in front of) him penned in. There was grassland on both sides of the fence that was only used for grazing. The side of the wall that Galock rested by stood atop a mountain with one smooth slope up to its low peak. His sword was gripped loosely in his right hand, its rusted blade dulling, but it kept him alive thus far.
The night was cool and clear, and about to get colder. He wished he had more that a thin wool shirt to separate his skin and the cold chain mail. The moon was nearly full, and the battalion could be seen clearly in the moonlight. The colors on their equipment could even be seen poking through the black of night.
He was aroused from his dreams by the clash of armor, stomping of boots, and the chatter of voices. He peered down the hillside to see dozens of armed men, marching in a long, organized string. The soldiers had a mix of weapons: swords, axes, hammers and other bludgeons. They carried very few spears among them --- Their enemy had no cavalry for them to deal with, and they preferred the weight of axes and blunt weapons anyhow.

Kordain
November 9th, 2010, 09:42 PM
wow this is the most honest and detailed work I've seen responding to my posts. I'll attempt to fix things, and now i see where i should make things more clear. i have added a lot to the end, read the rest if you'd like.
blue - things that have been changed since the last post.
red - things that have been added since the last post.
(white) - things that have been deleted since the last post.



Galock sat leaning against the stone wall that was made for fencing sheep in their respected pastures while grazing. He sat with his back against the wall, his head just low enough so that no would-be enemy on the other side would see him. His sword was gripped tightly in his right hand, ready to fight at any moment. It was pitted and in need of a good oiling. He did his best to take care of it but one blade could only take so much. (I of a great quality butt wasn’t it kept him alive.) To either side of him lined up with weapons in similar conditions sat his comrades, they kept their heads down and whispered to each other.(He peered down either side of him and saw a long string several dozen men long.) None of the men matched, with a mix of weapons, swords, axes, hammers, maces, other bludgeons, very few spears, and the enemy had no cavalry to deal with and besides these people preferred axes, and blunt weapons. No uniform, they were not part of the army, but men just defending their country.

The night was cool and clear, and about to get colder. He wished he had more that a thin wool shirt to separate his skin and the cold chain mail, the cold metal felt like ice against his skin, he scooted his but against the wall and leaned forward so that the mail might hang off of him, but he knew he would soon welcome the cold because it was soon to get a lot warmer. The moon was strong most could be seen clearly even with a hint of real color. On both sides of the fence was grassland that had a gentle slope. On the other side of the wall from where Galock and the other men of Cauthland company as they called themselves, stood a mountain with a low peak. He felt weak waiting for the enemy to arrive; ‘it is we who should be on the offensive not waiting like cowards.’ (The other side of the fence was a mountain with one smooth slope up to its low peak. On the mountain side of the wall the earth rose almost to the top of the wall.)

Galock’s heart sped up with the apprehension about the ambush they were about to spring. He started to rock from the cold and the hate of standing still. Wishing he could just get it over with and sit by warm fire, but then the enemy would know of their existence. He could hear voices speaking a foreign tongue that just fell right out of their mouths, just as the wind shifted. (The language had a lot of sh, s, and t sounds in it that made it just roll right out of their mouths.) It became louder and more men heard them coming from uphill, when they did they stiffened and gripped their weapons tighter. He leaned forward to see the other men, he was glad he had his wool cap, thick and warm mot other men didn’t had that luxury, they had cold metal helmets that suck the heat from their heads. (most of the other men had on cold mail and metal caps.) ‘I’ll be able to see my breath anytime now.’ He breathed heavily, and sure enough he could see it. ‘Was it really that cold?’

The voices were getting closer. One man held his sword in front of him and began to hit his head against it out of nervousness. The man beside him placed his hand against the man’s chest, the man looked and him and sighed. Galock’s tall thick boiled leather boots with short metal spikes on the sole and toe, they were keeping his legs and feet plenty warm (after all his wife had made sure of that,) the gloves were the same, the backs of his gloves had iron plate inserts in them and riveted in place.

He could hear footsteps now and he could make out individual words now from their speech. ‘Blood and ashes!’ he muttered to himself, ‘what if they have a shaman? If they do we’re all dead, I wish me had one of the Maguhzien here.’(‘salatan,’ ‘shangrola,’ ‘tangrowth,’ ‘gipshred,’ ‘dak,’ were just a few he knew the meaning of.) He knew the time was soon and he began to recite in his mind what he always did before battle commenced.
‘We don’t come here to be civil and peaceful, but we are ready to fight for those things we hold dear, our wives, our children, our homes, and our people.’ Some men began to tense and breathe steady.

‘We fight for our freedom, our peace, our land, our liberty. We also fight for our religion and our God, for these are the things that we desire.’ Several arrows were nocked on their strings, shields being readjusted.

‘Let them come forth in the knowledge that we do this for a noble cause. We pledge that we will fight until we are destroyed like those who lived in this land before us.’ Hearts are beating faster, silent prayers are said, and bodies made ready.

‘We will not let freedom fall from our hands, we will not leave the gates of liberty unguarded. We will never stop and we will never abandon our posts.’ The captain nods his head. The men nod back.

‘The only way for freedom to leave us is by ripping it from our cold dead hands. We will never give up.’ Just then men with wooden spears leapt down over the wall and landed with soft thuds as leather sandals hit the earth. The last part of Galock’s mental speech was yelled out loud; “Never!” he yelled as he stood along with the rest of the men.

“farr Cagmarr!” one man yelled with a strong trill to his Rs. An arrow entered the back of one Shillian and he fell to the earth. Men stood and began their ambush. A stone struck one Shillian in the head then the one beside him had a sword in his gut. The Shillians turned in surprise and began to defend themselves, axes swinging, spear thrusting, they fought.

The Shillians outnumbered the men two to one but didn’t fight them man for man, sure enough the men from a realm called Napor were better skilled but the main thing was they had superior equipment, metal armor, and weapons. Metallurgy was unknown to them which put them at a great disadvantage.
Galock swung and parried, he cleaved a large gash right below a shillian’s shoulder. The man yelled and flinched. Galock’s sword was then swung down into the left side of the Shilians head, the sword stops right above the shillian’s eye, as he collapsed he took Galock’s sword with him. Unable to pull it out he fell down on top of the Shillian. Aware of the chaos around him he knew he would be easy pickings for any enemy spearman.

He stood leaving the sword behind, and turned and grabbed his long knife from its scabbard. He saw right beside him a Shillian champion, one of the few Shillians with a sword. The swordsman was facing away from Galock dispatching a fellow of his. Galock’s mind was clear and ready for whatever came, everything but his fellow dying before him. He clenched his teeth and leapt upon the man, his right arm which held the knife was over the champion’s as he thrust it repeatedly into his chest. The champion grabbed Galock’s right arm with his own left and tried to get at Galock with his sword.

His sword hit Galock in the side but not hard enough to cut through his chain mail. The champion yanked on Galock’s arm, almost enough to pull it out of its socket. He turned his wrist to try and cut the champion’s hand off of his own. it works, he manages to cut the man’s bare hands, convincing him he should let go. Galock deftly turned the knife around and as the champion turned he swung the knife right into the champions left forearm, but the knife slides off. Galock was surprised, why didn’t that cut him? The champion was already swinging the sword and Galock barely deflected it with his knife. The champion tried to stab at Galock but he sidestepped the attack. He grabbed the champion’s arm and threw the champion using his own body weight to thrown him to the ground.

The champion rolled and tried to hack at Galock but he was too far away and in too poor a position to be attacking. After pulled the sword back readying for another blow Galock kicks him in the nose with his foot, and then steps on the sword crushing his hand against the ground. He plucked the sword from his open hand and stabbed him several shallow times in the chest in stomach. That’s for my friend. With the champion’s sword he hacked down three more Shillians before the last little bunch were fleeing.

Arrows were sticking out of their backs in short order. The fight lasted no more than fifteen minutes. Galock looked at the champion’s sword he had in his hands, a blade that looked like new but it was pure black. ‘This blade had just been used, why don’t I see any damage on it?’ Galock pondered this a bit but reasoned the fight had been short, the sword was new and of superior craftsmanship. He pulled the scabbard from the dead champion wiped the blood off the best he could them placed it around his waist. He sheathed the blade and began to find the wounded amongst the dead.

Fortunately the Naporians had not been outnumbered and 73 Shillians lay dead or wounded in the pasture. Only 15 of Galock’s comrades had been slain with 20 more wounded. ‘Clearly if the Shillians don’t outnumber us three to one they can’t win. I’m glad we outnumbered them this time. Or I might be dead.’ He looked at the blade again just as the sun’s rays could be seen creeping over the land. It appeared to be paler, ‘it’s just my eyes playing tricks on me. A lot of things are black at night.’ He was finally relieved that it was over and that he lived to see another day.



yes i was going to describe some of his wardrobe, i want to show you what he looked like so your not wandering around trying to conjure a image in your mind. also i'm not good with faces so i didn't even try to describe that.

why did a say anything about his wife? because nineteen said in his summary that he doesn't even know anything about him. well i'm trying to spend two pages now trying to show you what it is so you'll know and so you can make a picture in your mind.

FinAdartse
November 10th, 2010, 06:59 AM
You seem to have a tendency to overextend your sentences. I know you’d like to create the image of what you’re writing for your reader, but sometimes it can be a bit much. I like to call it “Over-clarification.” It happens when you’re describing the stone wall in your opening.


“Galock sat leaning against the stone wall that was made for fencing sheep in their respected pastures while grazing.”


This could be easily shortened to “Galock leaned against the stone wall that lined the sheep pastures, sitting low enough to keep from any potential enemy’s line of sight.” or something along those lines, successfully eliminating your second sentence with the wise use of a comma.


“It was pitted and in need of a good oiling,” could be added to the previous sentence but shortened. For example, “His sword, pitted and in need of a good oiling, was gripped tightly in his right hand. Despite his best attempts, the blade always seemed on the verge of uselessness, but shone ready to fight.” Not my strongest sentence, but I hope I’m clearly making my point.


“To either side of him lined up with weapons in similar conditions sat his comrades, they kept their heads down and whispered to each other.” Cluttered sentence and in need of grammatical overview. To keep your general tone/opening, “To either side of him, armed with similarly crude weapons, sat his comrades, whispering with lowered heads.”
You could also combine parts of the next two sentences, such as, “Being no part of a standing army, they failed to match, armed with an array of swords, axes, hammers, maces, and other bludgeons. They did not bother themselves with many spears, knowing the enemy had no cavalry.”


I don’t want to do a sentence-by-sentence analysis or—gods-forbid—a rewrite of your work, but I’d greatly suggest you look for opportunities like the ones I previously stated. There are plenty of places throughout the story that could use it. Do the George Foreman thing and “knock out the fat”.


Moving on, you have a contradiction in your next paragraph when you say the night was “about to get colder,” yet in the next sentence (which needs to be greatly trimmed down and separated since it goes on for three lines) “it was soon to get a lot warmer.” How does one run-on sentence provide the possibility of this cold-warm paradox? Unless you mean to say that the night itself would get colder, but they would feel warmer with “the heat of battle.” If so, mention it. Look for alternative words, or words you can leave out, you have the word ‘soon’ twice in that sentence with only six words in between.


I think I understand what you mean with the moon. If “even with a hint of real color” refers to the illusion of grayscale you often see at night, I gotcha, but it just reads strangely. The sentence itself is poorly structured (punctuation is the greatest weapon any author can bear) and seems clumsy.


When you start getting into the imagery of their surroundings, you don’t specify the distance of the mountain on the opposite side of the fence. Is the fence at the foot of the mountain, giving the enemy the high ground when they climb down? Or is the mountain in the distance? How does it relate to what the reader has read so far, and how will it affect what they will read after?


I’ll go ahead and stop here for now, seeing how the beginning itself could greatly use an overall rewrite. There’s potential for this piece, there’s no denying that, but it needs work (mostly grammatically).


Just wondering: when you write, do you sit down and force yourself, or do you just write when the feeling comes to you? When you get an idea out of the blue, do you write it down somewhere and save it to come back to later? You’ve told me grammar’s one of your weaknesses, but how often do you proof-read before you post?

If you look at your story piece-by-piece, you'll see that it reads awkwardly, making the reader stop and figure out what exactly you're trying to say. The tragic thing is that most of the confusion (in what I've read so far) can be blamed on your attempts to make the image in your head clear to your reader.

FinAdartse
November 11th, 2010, 12:32 AM
Looking over the rest of the story (the battle itself), you have more contradictions.

Near the outbreak of combat you say, "The Shillians outnumbered the men two to one" but near the end we read that "Fortunately the Naporians had not been outnumbered." Odd, but this could be fixed by switching the second outnumbered with the word "outmached" and wipe away any potential confusion/paradoxial number of combatants. However, you'd still run into problems with Galock's internal monologue: "Clearly if the Shillians don’t outnumber us three to one they can’t win. I’m glad we outnumbered them this time." Contradicting the opening.

All in all, the second half has most of the same issues as the opening (grammar, sentence structure, word use, etc.), but also has potential. It reads almost too quickly, with the battle passing by considerably quickly (we see the main character fight two people? Five if you include the sentence where he kills three more?)

"The Shillians outnumbered the men two to one but didn’t fight them man for man, sure enough the men from a realm called Napor were better skilled but the main thing was they had superior equipment, metal armor, and weapons. Metallurgy was unknown to them which put them at a great disadvantage." This sentence is clumsy. At times, I wasn't entirely sure what subject (Shillians or Naporians) was getting what. It seems like a random bunch of clauses thrown together so I just assumed it was the Naporians who didn't know metallurgy.

The sword. . . Will it be important later? Clearly it will, but if so, maybe we could get some more detail on it rather than just the main character noticing a shift in color and putting it away. Was it plain and undecorated? All we are told is that it was "new and of superior craftsmanship" but that's not much to paint much of an image in our heads. The surrounding landscape got more attention and detail in the previous half, and I'm sure it won't come into play as much as the sword will.

Kordain
November 20th, 2010, 03:34 AM
Galock sat leaning against the stone wall that was made for fencing sheep in their respected pastures while grazing. He sat with his back against the wall, his head just low enough so that no would-be enemy on the other side would see him. His sword was gripped tightly in his right hand, ready to fight at any moment. It was pitted and in need of a good oiling. He did his best to take care of it but one blade could only take so much.To either side of him, armed with weapons deemed crude by people of other provinces, sat his comrades, whispering with lowered heads, one to another. None of the men matched, with a mix of weapons, swords, axes, hammers, maces, other bludgeons, very few spears, because the enemy had no cavalry to deal with and besides these people preferred axes, and blunt weapons. No uniform, they were not part of the army, but men just defending their country.


The night was cool and clear, and about to get colder. He wished he had more that a thin wool shirt to separate his skin and the cold chain mail, the cold metal felt like ice against his skin, he scooted his but against the wall and leaned forward so that the mail might hang off of him, but he knew he would soon welcome the cold because it was soon to get a lot warmer due to the physical exertion in the thick of battle that would ensue. The moon was strong most could be seen clearly even with a hint of real color. On both sides of the fence was grassland that had a gentle slope that led to some foot hills. On the other side of the wall from where Galock and the other men of the Cotland band as they called themselves, stood a mountain with a low peak. He felt weak waiting for the enemy to arrive; ‘it is we who should be on the offensive not waiting like cowards.’


Galock’s heart sped up with the apprehension about the ambush they were about to spring. He started to rock from the cold and the hate of standing still. Wishing he could just get it over with and sit by a warm fire, but then the enemy would know of their existence. He could hear voices speaking a foreign tongue that just fell right out of their mouths, just as the wind shifted. It became louder and more men heard them coming from uphill, when they did they stiffened and gripped their weapons tighter. He leaned forward to see the other men, he was glad he had his wool cap, thick and warm mot other men didn’t had that luxury; they had cold metal helmets that suck the heat from their heads. ‘I’ll be able to see my breath anytime now.’ He breathed heavily, and sure enough he could see it. ‘Was it really that cold?’



The voices were getting closer. One man held his sword in front of him and began to hit his head against it out of nervousness. The man beside him placed his hand against the man’s chest, the man looked and him and sighed. Galock’s tall thick boiled leather boots with short metal spikes on the sole and toe, they were keeping his legs and feet plenty warm after all his wife had the gloves were the same, the backs of his gloves had iron plate inserts in them and riveted in place.



He could hear footsteps now and he could make out individual words now from their speech. ‘Blood and ashes!’ he muttered to himself, ‘what if they have a shaman? If they do we’re all dead, I wish me had one of the Magazyne here.’He knew the time was soon and he began to recite in his mind what he always did before battle commenced.


‘We don’t come here to be civil and peaceful, but we are ready to fight for those things we hold dear, our wives, our children, our homes, and our people.’ Some men began to tense and breathe steady.


‘We fight for our freedom, our peace, our land, our liberty. We also fight for our religion and our God, for these are the things that we desire.’ Several arrows were nocked on their strings, shields being readjusted.


‘Let them come forth in the knowledge that we do this for a noble cause. We pledge that we will fight until we are destroyed like those who lived in this land before us.’ Hearts are beating faster, silent prayers are said, and bodies made ready.


‘We will not let freedom fall from our hands, we will not leave the gates of liberty unguarded. We will never stop and we will never abandon our posts.’ The captain nods his head. The men nod back.


‘The only way for freedom to leave us is by ripping it from our cold dead hands. We will never give up.’ Just then men with wooden spears leapt down over the wall and landed with soft thuds as leather sandals hit the earth. The last part of Galock’s mental speech was yelled out loud; “Never!” he yelled as he stood along with the rest of the men.



“farr Cagmarr!” one man yelled with a strong trill to his Rs. An arrow entered the back of one Shillian and he fell to the earth. Men stood and began their ambush. A stone struck one Shillian in the head then the one beside him had a sword in his gut. The Shillians turned in surprise and began to defend themselves, axes swinging, spear thrusting, they fought.



The Shillians were slightly outnumbered, but didn’t fight the Naporiansman for man, sure enough the men from a realm called Napor were better skilled but the main thing was they had superior equipment, metal armor, and weapons. Metallurgy was unknown to the Shillians despite them being a much older civilization, which put them at a great disadvantage.


Galock swung and parried, he cleaved a large gash right below a shillian’s shoulder. The man yelled and flinched. Galock’s sword was then swung down into the left side of the Shilians head, the sword stops right above the shillian’s eye, as he collapsed he took Galock’s sword with him. Unable to pull it out he fell down on top of the Shillian. Aware of the chaos around him he knew he would be easy pickings for any enemy spearman.



He stood leaving the sword behind, and turned and grabbed his long knife from its scabbard. He saw right beside him a Shillian champion, one of the few Shillians with a sword. The swordsman was facing away from Galock dispatching a fellow of his. Galock’s mind was clear and ready for whatever came, everything but his fellow dying before him. He clenched his teeth and leapt upon the man, his right arm which held the knife was over the champion’s as he thrust it repeatedly into his chest. The champion grabbed Galock’s right arm with his own left and tried to get at Galock with his sword.


His sword hit Galock in the side but not hard enough to cut through his chain mail. The champion yanked on Galock’s arm, almost enough to pull it out of its socket. He turned his wrist to try and cut the champion’s hand off of his own. it works, he manages to cut the man’s bare hands, convincing him he should let go. Galock deftly turned the knife around and as the champion turned he swung the knife right into the champions left forearm, but the knife slides off. Galock was surprised, why didn’t that cut him? The champion was already swinging the sword and Galock barely deflected it with his knife. The champion tried to stab at Galock but he sidestepped the attack. He grabbed the champion’s arm and threw the champion using his own body weight to thrown him to the ground.


The champion rolled and tried to hack at Galock but he was too far away and in too poor a position to be attacking. After pulled the sword back readying for another blow Galock kicks him in the nose with his foot, and then steps on the sword crushing his hand against the ground. He plucked the sword from his open hand and stabbed him several shallow times in the chest in stomach. That’s for my friend. With the champion’s sword he hacked down one more foe before the last little bunch were fleeing.



Arrows were sticking out of their backs in short order. The battle didn’t last long with the Naporians killing a dozen or two in the first four seconds of combat. Galock looked at the champion’s sword he had in his hands, a blade that looked like new but it was pure black. ‘This blade had just been used, why don’t I see any damage on it?’ Galock pondered this a bit but reasoned the fight had been short, the sword was new and of superior craftsmanship. A one sided blade that tapered on one side, black blade with a black wooden hilt and handle. A red ruby was imbedded in the hilt, on both sides and it gave it a sinister look like it was made to butcher. He pulled the scabbard from the dead champion wiped the blood off the best he could them placed it around his waist. The scabbard was made of black wood with a red ruby at the top and bottom of either side, the small edge was secured in the same black metal, with tendril wrapping the scabbard in a spiral to hold it together. He sheathed the blade and began to find the wounded amongst the dead.



Fortunately the Naporians had not been outnumbered and 73 Shillians lay dead or wounded in the pasture. Only 15 of Galock’s comrades had been slain with 20 more wounded. ‘Clearly if the Shillians don’t outnumber us three to one they can’t win. I’m glad we outnumbered them this time. Or I might be dead.’ He looked at the blade again just as the sun’s rays could be seen creeping over the land. It appeared to be paler, ‘it’s just my eyes playing tricks on me. A lot of things are black at night.’ He was finally relieved that it was over and that he lived to see another day.



He checked who had been killed, ‘glad it was no one I knew very well.’ While Galock was wiping off his bloody boots in the grass a man clothed in chainmail from neck to his elbows and knees walked towards him. “Orite gawlok, ah heard yeh got one uh thum chompyons tadee.”


“Yeh I did.”



“Ah don’t believe et. Not a bet.”


“Why not?” Galock asked while he sat down on the wall.


“Ah dit-ent see any bawk wounds on em.”


“Yeh I heard you killed half a dozen of them by taunting them to death.”


“Ot least ah keeled them face tah face.”


“I don’t answer to you.”


“Ah you’re rite, but yeh mawt oz well. Yeh need tah learn the repect yer suhperiers.”


“If you find me one maybe I will.”


“Yeh know who om tawkin aboot.”


“Oh the guy with the funny accent.”


“Orite, now yeh’v drawn da line to far.”


“Hm, did you say something?”


“Drop in da void!”


“The void huh?” Galock placed his hand on his sword. Marlkek looked at his hand.


“New sword eh? Well yeh bettar hold own tite teh dat der, or yeh mawt lose et.” Both men stared at each other with their hands on their swords until one man yelled, “news! We have news!” the men went running toward him. as Galock moved through the people he saw the man whom was being spoken of, a man in a padded leather tunic with the Naporian symbol on it, an imperial soldier. He was already speaking. “…running around in just on the southern coast, crashing and a burin everything he could, killin everyone she could, of course like most he promises those who follow her with power and money once they over throw the council. It took four dozen magazyne to bring her down, and even then they can’t kill her so they’ll have to take her to Mount Yaneer to end her pitiful life. Plenty of people died there, including five magazyne, a couple severely injured.”


“So she’s done with?” one man yelled.


“What’d she do?” said another.


“She nearly started a civil war, promised all sorts of stuff to all sorts of people. Her army was routed at Bergathy then the magazyne came in to finish her. The Ar’magazyne came in a gave her a real run for her money, three died right away when she brought lightning down on them, then the fight really got tough, two more died but by then she was nearly unconscious, so they finished it and carried her off.”


“Wah didn’t dey jus kill er, get et ovar with?”


“She was a Hellion, and you can’t kill them until the spirits have been purged from their body, they usually don’t survive it.”



“Why not?” one man asked, “spirits takin someone?” muttered another. “when did they get her?” yelled one more.


“All in good time, I don’t know myself but I must be on my way, I am a messenger, and these,” he motioned to the satchel he had crossed over his chest, “must arrive on time.” Several men complained about not being able to tell them more, but the messenger insisted he must leave. Galock knew very little of hellions, once in a while evil spirits would take a person and use their bodies to commit acts of violence. He knew they only came about every twenty or forty years, usually they don’t hurt too much just go on a short rampage but with the war the council had very few magazyne to deploy and stop her. He also knew that the spirits would give them powerful magics far stronger than even the strongest magazyne. Also unlike the magazyne the hellions were capable of dozens of spells unlike the single spell of the magazyne or the two of the occasional dual powered Ar’magazyne. The last crucial part of hellions is that the evil spirits will preserve their host’s life force therefore hellions can’t die until the spirits are extracted on mount Yaneer.


As the messenger departed in the direction of the rising sun the sound of a Shillian battle horn sounded in the distance, weeeowwww! The men turned quickly obviously startled, toward the mountain. A Shillian party on a war path was marching quickly down the mountain, and heading straight for the Cotland band. The messenger turned around and began running back up the slope. Galock drew his sword and took a shield from one of his fallen comrades and placed it upon his arm and making sure it was securely strapped in.



Marlkek drew his own blade, a double sided blade that quickly tapered on the tip. It had a deep fuller and a small but well ornamented cross guard. Bronze patterned wrapped around the hilt and coalesced into the pommel at the end. A good sword compared to most, new and well crafted made of steel forged by the smithies in Porpuma. Galock knew it must have cost him much to have that crafted as well as his armor as well. Steel vambraces and greaves edged in bronze, his padded leather jerkin was blue and red in opposite corners and checker board in the other two.



The men were still fresh from their last encounter and ready for another but as the Shillians became closer it became apparent that the Shillians outnumbered the Naporians this time although they knew not by how many. They also realized that they didn’t have the element of surprise anymore. Galock was ready for them he had his new sword in hand, and a round shield with an iron boss that had a spike on it that was a hand in length. The whole thing was braced in iron around its circumference.


Just as the band of Shillians were within arrow range several of them fell from their feet with arrow’s in their bodies. A couple more arrows flew through the air towards the Shillians before they launched their own ranged attack, over a hundred javelins sailed toward the Cotland band, one of them hit Galock’s shield but he was strong enough not to be put off balance. A short cry came from next to Galock, a man had a javelin in his chest opposite his heart, and the man dropped to his knees and fell over.


The Shillians arrived at the stone wall; they either jumped up on top and over or used their hands to pole-vault them over. Either one, dozens of Shillians were over the wall and the fighting commenced. One Shillian who possessed a sword sprung over, Galock knew he was no champion for the lack of armor and the poor quality of the sword similar to Galock’s old sword that’s still in some sap’s head. As the Shillian swordsman leapt over his body was at the perfect angle for Galock’s blade. He swung upward right through the man’s belly, the man fell and rolled right into Galock’s legs, he swung his sword back down into a Shillians shoulder who was a little to his left.



A sword tied to the end of a stick was thrust at Galock but he was able parry it and chops his attacker in the neck. Galock yanked the sword out, he turned around fast enough to stop a spear strike with his shield he struck then parried but he could not get a hit on his opponent, the Shillian had a shield that was almost the same as his, probably looted from a slain Naporian. He fought until he was able to smash the shillian’s shield away with his sword then jab the man with the spike on his shield by smashing him in the chest. He pulled it away and stabbed him in the face. Just as the Shillian body fell a Naporian body fell on top of that.



He blocked a hit with he shield from the Shillian that had killed that Naporian. He swung his sword by the Shillian blocked it with his spear. Galock put up his shield and ran into the Shillian, his momentum was enough to push the Shillian into the wall bending him backwards. Galock released him and stabbed him in the stomach. He pulled his blade out to see a Shillian champion standing on the wall swinging at his comrades’ heads. He took two strides ducked, took a third and swung his sword across the champion’s ankles. The man fell hitting his head on the wall.

Galock turned around just as a Naporian was falling to the earth, a Shillian swordsman, the sword was of Naporian make, thrust at Galock which struck his shield. Galock thrust back but the swordsman parried the move and spun their swords around until he got around Galock’s hilt and cut into Galock’s wrist. Galock dropped his sword by reflex and backed away. He pulled his knife out of its sheath on his left hip with his right hand. As he drew it he cut the leather strap that held the shield on his arm. He released the shield causing it to fall to the earth. By then the Shillian swordsman thrust again Galock sidestepped grabbed the man’s wrist and stabbed him in the forearm with the knife the man released his own sword which Galock grabbed turned around in his hand then plunged the blade into its owner’s chest. He followed the Shillian all the way to the ground. He pulled the sword out with a jerk and watched as the Shillians began to rout.


He scrambled for his sword, and stood up straight. That fight had been much worse than the one previous. He looked around and saw Marlkek standing with blood covering much of his sword and body, almost two hundred and fifty dead lay on the ground from both fights. Only thirty men remained in the Cotland band able to fight. Galock and Marlkek noticed the messenger laying upon the ground with two puncture wounds in the chest. He was coughing up blood as his lungs filled up. Galock and Marlkek knelt by him, “this message,” he said pointing to his bag. “…message must get to…the Kambler at Namrak castle, don’t read ‘um, don’t even open ‘um, just take them to the Kambler.”
“Sounds important,” Marlkek said.


“Not too important…just a…a gigantic Shillian army heading towards it.”


“How big?” asked Galock.


“20,000 men.”


“Surely dell basiege et not assault et,” said Marlkek.


“No they plan on launching a direct assault.”


“Dey can’t, Namrik cun repulse dat attawk farce.”


“Not if they bring down the walls.”


“Ef da Shillians have bacome crafty enough tah devise weapons dat could do dat. The Shellians wark no mechanical wondars.”


“True, but they need no machines, their shamans…”


“Can’t do dat, dey use imbued scrolls. Tah wark deir powars, et would take years tah craft a scroll large enough and imbue et weth enough dage to bring down dah wolls.” The wounded messenger just stared at him. “Oh dear Marstor above.”


“Hurry,” the messenger croaked. “We must leave as soon as possible, time is of the essence.”


“Rite, cum on Gawlock weh best prepare a littar for dah man.”


“I’m coming.” Galock got to his feet and picked up his pace to catch up with Marlkek. “hey Marlkek, what’s dage?”


“What’s what!?”


“Dage, I heard you mention it.”


“Yeh don’t know what dage ez.” Galock shook his head. “Dage is what powers magical powers, that is what the magazyne use when using their powers, ets a kind of energy dat we ol have. Dah magazyne are barn weth da abelity tah spark, er ignite dah dage dat ez en deir boday. Dah dage wech exits through either dah hons, dah feet er dah eyes an nose. Once et leaves dah body dey ignite et an et convarts tah dah spell.”


“You said we all have it?”


“Aye, we ol do we just don’t have dah spark. Without et we can’t use dah dage, olso dage is constandly produced by dah body, nothing can stop et or slow et down, or speed et up. But since we don’t’ use et, et constantly flows from deh outlets. It doesn’t stop because your body can’t hold any more so it just…flows out.” Marlkek looked at Galock quizzically. “Yeh didn’t larn any of dese from yer schoolen?”


“I never went to any school or had any teachers.”


“Yeh sayin yeh never larned anyting at ol?”


“I come from some small village on the other side of the country, it took me a month to walk here from my home, we don’t have schools, or any teachers. We have cows, sheep, chickens, and dogs. We also have a ton of wheat, do you need to read when you grow wheat for a living.” Galock was breathing hard. Marlkek’s eyes were the size of tea cups, the two long branches he held for the litter almost fell from his hands.


“Can you write?” He asked hesitantly.


“No.”


“Read?”


“No.”


“Well,” Marlkek straitened himself. “Well by dah keng’s crown, yeh sure can fite now lad. Now lets get dese to the messengar.” Galock nodded and helped him strip off the branches for the litter.