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adriansia
December 11th, 2011, 07:03 AM
So I have this upcoming long-term project that I would like to expand within a course of a year and a half. Why so? Because I have about a year and a half until I graduate and get thrown into the work force. In addition I usually only write when I'm procrastinating from my class works. Anyways here's a rough outline of the world I have created:

Year 644

Continent of Landus

Nations
Phraed

Democratic

King Reiss
Arbiters
Imperial Court

Rural
Peaceful
Landa

Theocracy

Apostle & King Dimitrius
Six Senators

Biggest military
Biggest navy
Biggest cities
Bezlaresh

Monarchy

King Gilford
Advisor

Biggest libraries
Biggest universities
Scholars and aristocrats
Ashura

Monarchy

Emperor Uugon

Dislikes outsiders
Races

Humans
Ulzerks


Rubicon is a paid mercenary guild. They follow a very strict principal and agent protocol. Rubicon members are known for their expertise in combat but they are not infallible. Landa is a power hungry nation and invades Phraed which is Rubicon's homeland. The reason is unknown as of now. Rubicon will defend Phraed but it will be inevitable for their nation's capture. Rubicon will then have to choose either to join Landa and have Phraed spared, or fight Landa and face total genocide of Phraed.

I plan for this to be a trilogy so there will be a lot of unanswered questions in this book.

I also set up a government for each nation since I want to the readers to get a feel for how each nation is governed. In addition I find it quiet fun to create a type of government for each since I'm a criminal justice major.

In addition I am narrating this book in a modern tongue for the common reader to understand.

Regards,

Adrian Sia

adriansia
December 11th, 2011, 07:04 AM
What I have so far:

Chapter One
Thunder echoed through the vast open field. A single bolt radiated the dark and gloomy sky followed by a second roar of thunder. The statues leaning overhead grew more terrifying after each lightning strike. Screams and moans were faint to the ears but not ignorable. It rained blood. At the steel-cast gate, where the Ulzerk Brigand was stationed, the smell of rust indicated weakness in the gates. Creek! With a slight push, it swung wide.

Rats scurried along our feet, fearing for their lives as a ghastly aroma filled the air. Death crept slowly behind the greenhorns with his sickening scythe grasped in his hands. He smiled. Countless echoes sifted through the crowd maliciously striking a cold shiver down individual spines. Eyes wandered the scenery but never away from the overshadowing tower that lay ahead.

A single crow perched itself atop a statue. Only buffoons would take it as an omen. The black bird swooped down towards the men as they cowered and gasped in panic. Fools…

How were we to evict the bandits if our regime were frightened by the force of a single crow? We should have better prepared local vigilante. Besides me, we had three other veteran members accompany the group. Still, it was quiet entertaining observing hulking men quiver in fright.

I halted the men. Rain seeped into my clothing and hair. I took a single deep breath and shut my eyes. The rain droplets chanted against the cobblestone floor. I listened for a heartbeat, it was vague but I heard it. Thump. Thump. Calmness filled the wretched air as I opened my eyes again.

My index finger pursed against my lips. I instructed Leaf, Aiech, and my brother Cap to come forth. They did as they were told. Our eyes met as a single nod acknowledged a communal vibe. I drew my blade from its sheath and drew back my right leg as did the other three.

My muscles tightened; I grit my teeth. “One, two, three!” In a unified attempt, we drove our steel-toed boots into the wooden door. The door split as we hammered it away with our feet. We burst through the front entrance as I quickly took a defensive stance. It was dead silent, the screaming and moans came to a sudden end. I surveyed the room for any suspicious activities.
The chamber was shroud with torture devices; masks, caskets, and wheels. Its simple sight made my men squeal like little pigs. Racks of weaponry aligned along the edges of the room ranging from maces to nets.

There wasn’t much else to see. The Ulzerks failed to establish torches on the first floor. But I could smell the aroma of blood. If I could guess, dead bodies, human bodies were probably amidst the room torn and wrecked beyond recognition. Walls stained with blood. I did not draw myself to cast an eye about.

Fear faded somewhat. Most of the men coated themselves with false courage while others trembled in uncertainty. Nothing was happening, they quickly grew easy.

The group fell into a blithe, content, delighted mentality believing the Gods had blessed us with the victory of the voracious day to come. An attempt to subside the minute commotion failed to reduce the noise level.

Ping! A bolt volleyed down the emptiness colliding into the walls. Attention shifted down the room, the mob prepared for an assault. Cap gritted his teeth in annoyance. The mob grew disordered. I quickly motioned the men to remain starkly silent.

“Kids, if you want to see the daylight of tomorrow you guys must follow our lead.” I advanced towards the first stairway signaled with a dim amount of light coming from above. “I wouldn’t give a shit if you guys die, but I prefer no casualties.”

“Take it easy.” Aiech cracked a smirk.

“If they keep this up, we’re gonna’ be in trouble.”

“Calm down, we’ve been in much more dire situations than this. What’s the worst that can happen?”

Ping! Another man discharged his crossbow but quickly brought it to his side to conceal it from us. Cap evidently saw it yet ignored it. We worked our way up the steps. One step, two steps. Thump, thump. Heartbeat.

A putrid smell trailed its way down the stairway engulfing our lungs. Faces scrunched, hands covered the nose, while some bore with it. Even Leaf the eldest veteran drew an uneasy face and he’s seen, smelled, and touched some of the most gruesome things. “Smells like a shit’s vagina.” Leaf shook the smell off as his nose began to adapt to it. After a while Leaf indicated we should resume our advance.

We came upon the second floor with nothing but a foul smell greeting. Vomit splashed the floor mixed in blood and missing teeth, broken shards of ceramic scattered across the sticky ground, and chairs toppled over in a chaotic matter; some missing a leg or two. I’ve heard stories before about the parties that Ulzerks had, but this was tenfold as bad as I would have imagined. Some torches flickered around the corners of the room. One of the men hustled over to specify the amount of flint that had been burned. Not much.

“It seems that these torches are quiet new.” Cap murmured.

“They must have moved up.” I paced myself back to the mob. “They, more than likely, know we’re here. Keep your guards up.”
We eased on the last quarter section of the second stairway, we were packed tightly. I could feel individual body warmth; it was almost balls against balls. We heard footsteps hustling above. Click, clack! Something moved. The men tensed, some shivering. Tension grew thick; it was only a matter of time and a matter of the first move. We couldn’t see them but they couldn’t see us. A few steps down, Aiech ordered and positioned the raw recruits.

The Ulzerks had the advantage of preparation; we on the other hand were to rush up a narrow corridor limiting our output of men. This looked bad. A few bolts streamed from behind my head. The footsteps above grew into a hustling of feet. I grew impatient with my men.

“This is almost like a battle of patience now.” Aiech said.

I ignored the obvious. “Someone pass me a buckler.” I grabbed a buckler that was passed up. “Aiech, Leaf, Cap grab one too. We’re going to do is rush in. Bolters and archers we’ll be your shield.” They nodded in agreement.

The men arranged themselves. Pikes erected up, crossbows loaded, and swords lusting for blood. The Ulzerks roared from above taunting and hauling our men. Our men roared back. Still there was no initiation. I took a deep breath and said a little prayer. “Guys…” I paused. “Don’t die on me. Bolters and archers stay a good distance behind the halberdiers. Do not shoot recklessly, aim and discharge.”

We erupted up the stairs. I caught a small glimpse of the numbers we were up against and quickly shielded our troops with our shields. Arrows and bolts collided against my shield as we slowly advanced. Our men retaliated with a barrage of bolts and arrows. Thump! Thump! Bodies dropped dead as blood spilled onto the cold floorings.

I turned my head around to check up on our men. Our full force had yet to reach the battleground, cowards. Arrows and bolts darted past me. I heard some familiar voices scream in agony from behind my ears but none to which I had a sympathetic connection to. The chaotic mess slowly died as casualties rose.

The clanging of the bolts hitting my shield came to a stop. I retracted my shield and drew my blade from its sheath. We had done a number to their force. An Ulzerk grunted and charged at me with his axe. His eyes were bleeding of rage. What was more intimidating than his bloody eyes was his grotesque mangled face. The creature’s skin was a pale grayish color. His teeth were hardly teeth; they were chipped fragments of teeth and to top it off his breath matched that of a walrus’s. Overall he looked like a man that took a few blows to the face with a hammer.

I yelled back and easily sidestepped away from his hack. It was clear these Ulzerks were still drunk. I bashed my shield against the Ulzerk’s temple before he was able to swing a second time. Blood spewed from its eyes as it flopped down onto the floor lifelessly.

Two Ulzerks came at me. I had to think, fast! The first one swung its halberd missing me by an inch. A morning-star came hurling at me from the left. I drew my shield to protect my face but the force flung me a few yards across the bloody floor. My head pounded.

Leaf towered over me with his bulky body and helped me back onto my feet. “Thanks bro.” I slapped him lightly across his bearded face.

The Ulzerks’ growls pierced through the commotion. They raced towards us; I stood a firm ground while Leaf approached them in an unflinching manner. I felt like a little pussy. The first Ulzerk flung forth his morning-star but Leaf swiftly dodged it and slashed a chunk of its stomach off before penetrating the second Ulzerk with his second blade. I applauded him.

“That’s how it’s done Horo.” Leaf snickered.

“Shut the hell up.”

The rest of our men were scattered. Cap tried to round them up into a single unit but it was impossible amongst the turmoil and inexperienced tenderfoots. Men screamed and shouted. Ulzerks grunted and bawled. The air filled itself with bad mead breath. Only minutes had passed but bodies were already piling over each other. More than a dozen were dead and even more were injured. On the side note, the Ulzerk brigand began to retreat up the steps.

“Let them retreat!” Aiech commanded.

The Ulzerks scrambled up the steps as we listened to their fading stampede. Our men were exhausted and collapsed onto their knees. Aiech, Cap, Leaf and I showed no weakness, we had to sustain a level of moral for our troop. There were still members hiding in the staircase below, I hope they were only the medics. Cap walked over and informed the men that the skirmish had ended. They came up still appalled and stunned. The second floor was an ocean of blood. Some of the men that came up were armed soldiers, Leaf grew angry.

“Medics, tend to the needy. This isn’t over yet.” Cap instructed.

“Damn!” Leaf seemed a bit disappointed. His veins pulsated around his forearm. “That’s why I hate working with local vigilantes. They’re damn cowards!”

“Not everyone is brought up a fighter.” My brother tried to reason out with Leaf.

The room grew solemn. The medics worked in a fast pace wrapping up wounds and lacerations. We had lost about a fifth of our forces and we still did not know the full numbers that the Ulzerks boasted. I counted the numbers of mangled Ulzerk bodies lying across the room. The number exceeded ours. I coached the medics to shelter the injured.

Roughly five minutes passed. We cleared the room of the medics and the hurt. They were groaning and moaning. Some of them were leaving the scene without an arm or a leg. I felt pity for one of them; both his legs were cleaved beyond usage. He kept repeating, “Am I going to be okay?” I turned away.

It was quiet. I knew the men have never experienced anything like this, their morals were down. They were frightened. It was expected from them. I walked towards the frontline and shifted my body towards my men, some still sitting. “I know there is much doubt right now,” no one spoke a word. “Many of you have never even killed a game. But rest assure, we will win. We have a motive and a goal; they on the other hand do not. Let’s finish what we came here to do. We will bury our doubts with their bodies.” The men stood up and hooted a small cheer. That’s all we needed a bit of encouragement.

“Let’s kick some ass!” Leaf pumped a fist into the air. No one followed his lead. Leaf was the least one to care for his image. You can love him or hate him, it didn’t influence his actions.

Aiech and Cap positioned the army. I stood in the front alongside Leaf. He drew both of his blades as I drew one of mine. The ceiling trembled. Particles crumbled from above. Confusion came about once again as heads jerked up. I focused on the stairway the Ulzerks had retreated to, that was the only passage for them to attack us. Men began to scramble but Cap calmed the situation.

The trembling quickly turned into rumbling. Cap tried to ease the men again but the situation evolved into a tantrum. Men cried and forced their way to the back of the crowd. People began to shout and tell life stories about the family they must feed and tend to.

“Stand your grounds men!” Leaf ordered. Once again no one listened.

The rumbling turned into a stampede. The crowd quarreled. Men tripped over each other, they yelled, and collided with one another. Then there was a deep bellow. They froze in fright. A second bellow followed which triggered the hysteria once again. I stood firm anticipating the worst to come. Shit.

A single drop of sweat leaked down my cheeks. I gripped my blade tightly. I was pretty sure I was going to die. A third bellow horned the Ulzerks.

The legion of Ulzerks poured down the steps like a mudslide. Many of them flew around each other. A quarter of our men had abandoned us already the remainder of us still stood a solid ground.

Our bolters cocked back their crossbows while the archers reined an assault of arrows amongst the raid. The men with pikes and swords charged recklessly at the orcish force. The rest of our regime stumbled down the steps.

Bolts streaked passed me piercing the enemies ahead. Slowly but surely we were winning the battle. I slashed across an Ulzerk’s neck, retraced the blade back to my side and yanked backwards expelling another Ulzerk’s life. I was surprised at how well we were doing.

A familiar bellow echoed through the floors. This time I was actually a bit frightened. The Ulzerk’s force slowly retraced back as we pushed forth. Our bolters and archers kept them at bay. There was a good spacing between us and the enemies. Then it came.

Ulzerks were flung aside and into the air. I never knew I’d see the day an Ulzerk was able to fly. A hulking abomination trampled down the steps crushing a handful of Ulzerks. Crackle! Bones broke and limbs were crushed. Our bolters and archers hindered in astonishment. The creature set his eyes on one of my men. Its nose flared as it charged.

“Get back everyone!” I warned the men. Anything of this size could easily tear through a dozen men.

Bolters and archers shot at the monster but its massive arms easily swiped them away. The monster grabbed the man he had singled out by his head. Aiech leapt forth trying to hack it but he was easily slapped away. The man screamed in pain as the creature slowly crushed the man’s cranial. Shards of his skull penetrated the poor man’s head. The gigantic ogre grabbed his legs and tore it from his abdominal before tossing the man aside like a used rag doll. The man was hardly alive, his eyes twitching and his arms trying to drag himself away from an inevitable doom. The ogre clutched its fist and pounded on what was the remainder of the human’s body. What was left was a bowl of mashed potatoes.

“How the fuck are we going to deal with something of this magnitude?!” I yelled. At the same time Cap hustled over to me.
“We need to push back the minions first. We can’t work with this ogre with Ulzerks running around.” Cap said. “I’ll grab its attention while you round up the men.”

I nodded. Cap grabbed a torn arm and flung it at the ogre. The monster streaked towards me but past me and onto Cap. I took the momentary chance and met with Aiech, helping him to his knees, before I rounded up the troops. I yelled across informing Leaf to round up the men around him.

Our group met in the midsection of the floor. Cap was still dancing around with the ogre while our archers and bolters kept the Ulzerkss at a safe distance from Cap and ourselves. We pushed with the remainder of our army cornering the enemies by the staircase.

My brother made no specific declaration. I hadn’t the slightest idea what to do. We had wiped out the enemies by a substantial amount and isolated them in a designated area. All that was left of them was about a number matching our own and the crazed beast that was roaming around. It was not too bad with an enemy force starting off with almost thrice the amount of ours.
“What now?” I yelled to Cap.

“Finish them off dumbass! I’m getting tired here.” The ogre showed no sense of fatigue. Cap swiftly dodged each swing. The creature grew frustrated and hammered, bashed, punched, and did anything it could think of with its puny brain to swat Cap like a fly.

I peered towards the remaining Ulzerkss, it was not much. “This is where it gets fun. Bolters, archers, lay your weapons low it’s too narrow and dangerous to shoot. Everyone else, draw your weapons but don’t get too cocky. You only have one life.”
Aiech rushed ahead without my order. He wielded two blades just like his brother Leaf. His parrying skills were matchless as to his confidence to rush through the mass of Ulzerks. The Ulzerks bashed at him but Aiech easily rejected them back. I waited for them to lose their stance before severing their limbs. The men behind us cleaned up the mess Aiech and I left behind. Some Ulzerks were still holding onto their dear lives but ironically without hands. It wasn’t long before we dismissed the last Ulzerk of its life.

It seemed as if Cap knew we had exterminated the Ulzerks. He was still elegantly and gracefully avoiding the monster.
A few of our men were pumped on adrenaline. They grew hotheaded and rushed at the ogre.

“Get back here!” I commanded. They didn’t listen.

The ogre shifted attention to the few men. It brought its face to their eye level and roared. Saliva spattered onto the men’s faces while they stood there dumbstruck. Their pikes looked like little toothpicks compared to the titan. Urine leaked down one of the men’s legs. The ogre’s nose flared as it sniffed the scent of urine, the stench of fear. I knew they were done for. The ogre drew back its backhand and swung at full force crashing onto a man’s head. His head twisted and snapped as his vertebrae ripped through the back of his neck.

“Get the fuck back!” I yelled once again. This time they did not even hesitate to retreat back.

The rest panicked and scattered. Cap took the advantage while the monster’s attention had been shifted. He drew his daggers and leapt forth driving his daggers into the back of the creature. The monster howled in genuine pain. It thrashed about but Cap held on tightly. It tried to reach its back but its gigantic arms could only reach so far. The ogre screamed and roared. It hammered the ground in pain arching its back. Cap saw another opening, he withdrew both stilettos and ran up its spine and pierced the ogre’s pressure points by the neck. The ogre cried out once again. It shook violently trying to shake off Cap but before the monster was able to swat Cap away, Cap retracted one of his daggers and delivered an excruciating blow to the side of its neck. He repeatedly stabbed it as blood gushed out of its neck and poured out of its mouth.

Our men watched in awe as Cap singlehandedly took on the ferocious giant. They were tranced like zombies.
Somehow, Cap was able to slice through to the front of its throat and jump off unscathed and unharmed. The ogre shielding its neck but blood seeped through it’s the crevices in-between its fingers. Its footing lost balance, as it crashed onto everything trying to maintain balance like a drunken man. The monster finally fell to its knee. I almost felt bad for it. Death followed to reap its soul.

A sense of accomplishment endowed upon our group.

Robdemanc
December 11th, 2011, 03:36 PM
Hi. I had to read this twice because some of it was unclear. The opening gave me the sense I was in an open field, but then I wondered why statues were overhead. The crow came in and I wondered what this had to do with anything. Is the crow a character of importance? Then suddenly they are breaking into a building and then there is a battle.

The fight scenes are written well, I really felt I was involved. But I wasn't exactly sure who they were fighting or why.

In general I would say it was terse (in tone), which I liked. It gave the impression that it was written very quickly and will benefit from a review and rewrite as do all first drafts. But I think you write action well and the sense of darkness and grim things ahead was strong.

Nevermore
December 11th, 2011, 05:36 PM
I'm personally impressed by the world-building you used here. The writing style is nice, and keeps the story going, but perhaps you could try, say, renaming the orcs, as that was specific to Lord of the Rings and derived from the greek God Orcus.

Punnikin
December 11th, 2011, 07:14 PM
Here is where I fear I may make an enemy... I thought this was fairly badly written. A few spelling mistakes, but that is understandable in a first draft. Many words are misused, the pacing jumps up and down a great deal, and the descriptions, what little of them there are, are bland and dismissive. Punctuation is missing throughout, and some is used where it shouldn't be used. I understand that this is pretty general and not exactly the format of a critique, but there is so much that needs to be fixed. I'll see if I can address some of the more important points.

A single bolt radiated the dark and gloomy sky followed by a second roar of thunder

radiated blinding light across the dark and gloomy sky? Lightning rarely radiates dark.

-

Creek! With a slight push, it creaked open.

Onomatopoeia is fine, but creaked might not be the best fit here since it was used already, though it was a very forgivable alternate spelling. "Creek! With a slight push, the gate swung wide."

-

My index finder pursed against my lips. I instructed Leaf, Aiech, and my brother Cap to come forth to the front. They did as they were told. Our eyes met as a single nod acknowledged a communal vibe. I drew my blade from its sheath and drew back my right leg as did the other three.

Typo (finder), correctable. "My index finger pursed against my lips." Pursed, as in drawn tight? "I drew my index finger to my pursed lips, quieting the mob." - "I instructed Leaf, Aiech, and my brother Cap to come forth to the front." A bit redundant, sadly. To the front could be removed, and the following sentence could be combined to this one.

-

“One,” My muscles tightened. “Two,” I grit my teeth. “Three!” In a unified attempt, we drove our steel-toed boots into the wooden door. The door split as we hammered it away with our foot. We burst through the front entrance as I quickly took a defensive stance. It was dead silent, the screaming and moans came to a sudden end. I scoped the room for any suspicious activities.

Changes in perspective (my muscles tightened; I grit my teeth), "The door split as we hammered it away with our foot." feet? "I scoped the room for any suspicious activities." This one is a personal opinion, perhaps, but "scoped" doesn't seem to really fit the assumed time period. "surveyed" or "cast my eyes about" seem to fit a bit better. As I said, my opinion.

-

I will not continue to critique this piece as I'm sure I've offered enough examples to upset someone already. I do like this, but it reads as very amateurish to me. Some may say that this is expected, but with a bit of refinement this could be a very gripping opening to a story. For myself, it's hard for me to read it without trying to ignore inconsitencies and poor choices of wording. I believe a story should not only hold my attention, but perhaps teach me a new way of seeing or feeling something. Instead, this left me a bit disappointed in that respect.

adriansia
December 11th, 2011, 07:39 PM
Thanks for the critiques sunshines. I will see to them as soon as possible.

Regards,

Adrian

bazz cargo
December 11th, 2011, 10:36 PM
Hi Adriansia,
I got fooled into reading your Chapter by the name. Will Rubicon have any river type significance later?

I liked your ambition, Dirty Harry meets Tolkien. You took me for an enjoyable ride. I would quite happily read more.

Yes there are typos and some ambiguities, but that is not unusual when searching for the feel of what you are trying to express. It may be worth visiting the library and borrowing a book on pre-firearms warfare. Sometimes a little research can throw up some useful ideas.

Good luck.
Bazz

adriansia
December 11th, 2011, 11:17 PM
@ Bazz

No the Rubicon river plays no significant role in my novel.

And yes this is just a prototype, it's still subjected to a lot of fixtures and editing.

But thank you for your time in reading it. :)

Regards,

Adrian