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Mariner
May 5th, 2013, 07:34 PM
"Once the seven citadels fall, he shall rise and make this world a living hell"
- Mazimas Vantankiin, Philosopher, Year 52S


No land has experienced peace for so long. Thriving and flourishing through the ages. Its nature serene, its people unaffected from the wars migrating from the other islands that populate the ocean. For Daemonhald, the peace has gone on for an unusually long time. Since the entrapment of Infernus,the deathbringer, no war had taken upon those lands for years. But the third age brought change. Change that would shape a future for this land and its people.


To the central cosmopolitan city of Westerfallen, home to the Summus Álfar or High Elf in common tongue, in the year 973T (meaning the seventy third year of the third era). Famed for its top class architecture and the immense tower of Lapse Kildandèr which soared above the sprawling city. The tower was not home to royalty but to the mages, who controlled the city for the dying king, Jhordana. Well known of his deeds, the monarch was unable to uphold his laws. He resided in the vast palace ,taking place in the older southern part of the stronghold, called Grimbaxlá Hall. It's ornate gold detailing around the entrance were iconic.


The city was known from far and wide as the trade capital of Daemonhald playing host to several markets ,which were nestled in between the narrow bustling streets and towering buildings. Those buildings were pristine with the famous Golden Elder wood being used as the roofing. The contrast between the golden wood and the clinical white walls made the city come alive. But the ancient keep, central in the city, stood out as it was made of a rare grey stone, last found one hundred and six years ago. The stone, well known for its magical properties, was named after the last high king of Salandéar, one of the many kingdoms populating the vast ocean.


The mages themselves had set up council in the grand tower, which commanded both the Álfarian settlement and the magical influence the land received. Their chamber upon which many matters were settled was legendary and entrance was only for the finest of sorcerers. The mages were not only great politicians but were some of the best instructors of magic the world had even known.


The tower was not just a college and council, but the strategic point in the city's defence. For it was a citadel, one of only seven to receive a blessing from the giver of life, Enkeli. It held an important relic that would determine the future for this nation and the many others that had settled in this world. This relic was known to few, in location and in existence. Only true believers in ancient lore believe that these artifacts were veiled in the citadels.


The mages believed the lore and the foreseeable future those legends told. One mage especially dedicated his life to studying this. His name, Scorío of the Moors of Ebrillkärr, on the far eastern island of Isenduúr. Human of race, he not only studied on ancient lore, he taught it. He was bald under his dark robes with some obvious battle damage. A missing eye and an uncured limp made him more noticeable but he was only thirty-two in age, very young for an experienced mage teacher, which made him very peculiar.


His extensive research made him very antisocial. Never eating in public, hardly ever leaving his chambers. Just like he was plotting something. But a rarity happened on the eve of Snowfall (winter). The destitute mage went down to the immense council chamber. Not for no reason though. It was to put forward his results that he had been searching for. He removed his hood and stood in the centre of circular stone court, in front of the arch-mage and the other respected sorcerers.


"My thanks, arch-mage," His voice echoed around the room. "For the opportunity to speak with you and the other elders." The arch-mage sat in the centre of his advisers. He was heavily aged. A bag of bones. Mages were supposed to have experience but he had too much. Some people thought it was unfit for someone at his age, one thousand and three, to run the mage community (he had an advisor to run the city). The other mages sat in a semi-circle around the young researcher, with the head sat in the middle with six to his right and six to his left.


"Get on with it" muttered the grizzled arch- mage, who loathed him and his research. The twelve others all muttered to one and other but this did not faze Scorío. He had a grudge against the fossil of the mage. For Scorío was recruited for the order on the eve of his eleventh birthday. He was talented from birth and showed natural prowess in the magical arts. His parents then signed a scroll, which gave the right for the mage order to take their son on the that day. He believes that the arch-mage stole his family and his life before it even began. After all he did recruit him.

Mat
May 5th, 2013, 07:50 PM
I like your style of writing, it's quite elegant although sometimes long-winded. Instead of spending so much time describing your world and what is happening, why not start with the young Mage approaching the elders? It will be a better hook for the first few pages and you can fill in the background as you go, and use dialogue to help.

Folcro
May 5th, 2013, 07:51 PM
Opening in exposition can often turn me away, but I found this very alluring. Being a lover of villainy, when such a high-fantasy premise is introduced to me, I think of what ways a madman, a sadist or a demon would see it all destroyed. What are you planning with this? Is it to be a novel, or series? Are these high mages corrupt by nature, or merely tainted by their leader's envy?

Very few problems with the writing here. I wouldn't say "human in race" or "thirty-two in age." I would just say "human" and "thirty-two."

To quote the arch-mage, "Get on with it." I want to see where this world you made takes me.

Pelwrath
May 5th, 2013, 10:33 PM
I enjoyed it and yet though a nice foundation was made I'm curious about the king. Is his impending death due to the mages? I ge a feeling of perhaps too much building or foundation, at this time. A rather good start though, keep it up.

Mariner
May 6th, 2013, 07:30 AM
What are you planning with this? This would be chapter one, basically a backstory. I was told on another site that my original was too long winded with detail and no character involvement/creation. After that I decided to rewrite but centralising with characters.

Is it to be a novel, or series? Don't know, I have plans for this just one but if I get engrossed into it well I might see a second coming.

Are these high mages corrupt by nature, or merely tainted by their leader's envy? No the mages are not tainted or evil. They are the sole peace-bringers in a war filled world.

Very few problems with the writing here. I wouldn't say "human in race" or "thirty-two in age." I would just say "human" and "thirty-two." Sorry but that's the weird way I write.

Mariner
May 6th, 2013, 07:32 AM
Thank you all for your kind words of wisdom. I am very flattered.

Caragula
May 6th, 2013, 07:51 AM
Hi,

I have to say I struggle with this kind of opening, but there are craft and technical issues for me. In a nutshell it feels like detailed plot notes for the first chapter, rather than the prose itself.

'deathbringer' should be capitalised.
'To the central cosmopolitan city...' is a fragment.
'His name, Scorio...' is also a fragment.
You wouldn't say a 'rarity happened', perhaps 'a very rare thing happened'?

The description itself is sterile, and while that sounds harsh, it's the number of questions I have regarding it that cause such concern:

What is 'top class architecture'?
The city is 'sprawling' but isn't there a more interesting way to describe its size and shape? 'Sprawling' seems like a placeholder.
You describe a 'vast palace' but the gold detailing around an entrance was the only bit of it memorable enough to describe, but your description is merely 'iconic'? Iconic in relation to what?
The city was a trade capital, but what did it trade in its several markets? Outlining these might give a flavour of what it is that makes it so central to the kingdom's trade. Again, it feels like shorthand. Am I reading an early draft? I found in my own worldbuilding it is these kind of facts that determine the shape and history of a city, its skyline, its people, its culture and so on. I don't get the impression you're clear on that.
I think I know where you're going with the golden wood and white walls when you say it makes the city feel alive, but it isn't clear, what about those materials makes it come alive? Is it that they shimmer in the sunlight to seafarers approaching the harbour from afar, or from hills nearby?
The mages' chamber was legendary in what sense?
The tower was one of only seven blessed, but what does this mean for the tower? What properties does the blessing give it?
'Human of race' - wouldn't it be easier to write 'He was human'?

Anyway, you get the jist.
As for introducing setting, it feels less 'expositiony' if you can fold this into the narrative as we go along, perhaps Scorio takes a walk through the city for some plot reason and that gives you an opportunity to describe the tower and its entrance as he goes.

Sorry if that all seems negative, it isn't meant to be, I'm just a bit blunt, looking at it as 'what are the opportunities to bring more vivacity and economy to the next draft' :)

Mariner
May 7th, 2013, 07:44 PM
Hi,

I have to say I struggle with this kind of opening, but there are craft and technical issues for me. In a nutshell it feels like detailed plot notes for the first chapter, rather than the prose itself.

'deathbringer' should be capitalised.
'To the central cosmopolitan city...' is a fragment.
'His name, Scorio...' is also a fragment.
You wouldn't say a 'rarity happened', perhaps 'a very rare thing happened'?

The description itself is sterile, and while that sounds harsh, it's the number of questions I have regarding it that cause such concern:

What is 'top class architecture'?
The city is 'sprawling' but isn't there a more interesting way to describe its size and shape? 'Sprawling' seems like a placeholder.
You describe a 'vast palace' but the gold detailing around an entrance was the only bit of it memorable enough to describe, but your description is merely 'iconic'? Iconic in relation to what?
The city was a trade capital, but what did it trade in its several markets? Outlining these might give a flavour of what it is that makes it so central to the kingdom's trade. Again, it feels like shorthand. Am I reading an early draft? I found in my own worldbuilding it is these kind of facts that determine the shape and history of a city, its skyline, its people, its culture and so on. I don't get the impression you're clear on that.
I think I know where you're going with the golden wood and white walls when you say it makes the city feel alive, but it isn't clear, what about those materials makes it come alive? Is it that they shimmer in the sunlight to seafarers approaching the harbour from afar, or from hills nearby?
The mages' chamber was legendary in what sense?
The tower was one of only seven blessed, but what does this mean for the tower? What properties does the blessing give it?
'Human of race' - wouldn't it be easier to write 'He was human'?

Anyway, you get the jist.
As for introducing setting, it feels less 'expositiony' if you can fold this into the narrative as we go along, perhaps Scorio takes a walk through the city for some plot reason and that gives you an opportunity to describe the tower and its entrance as he goes.

Sorry if that all seems negative, it isn't meant to be, I'm just a bit blunt, looking at it as 'what are the opportunities to bring more vivacity and economy to the next draft' :)

I accept that is your opinion. You can't please everyone.

AZzed
May 7th, 2013, 08:00 PM
This is just my opinion, but publishers/agents would frown upon this opening for a few reasons. You open with an info dump, scene setting, narration and exposition. There isn't really any action until the 8th paragraph. It's almost always better to open with a hook, something happening, and drip feed information into the story.

Folcro
May 7th, 2013, 08:07 PM
This is just my opinion, but publishers/agents would frown upon this opening for a few reasons. You open with an info dump, scene setting, narration and exposition. There isn't really any action until the 8th paragraph. It's almost always better to open with a hook, something happening, and drip feed information into the story.

This could well be true, but there are easy ways of fixing that. If you really don't want to change the style, you could include this chapter (or the expository aspects of it) into a prologue. Or you could weave the information in with the events taking place, instead of separating them, one before the other. Either way, easily fixable things in my opinion. I personally didn't think the info-dump was all that bad in this case (in most cases they are). It wasn't very long. After all, Stieg Larson's hit went on for half-a-book about the history of Switzerland.

DreamMirrors
May 8th, 2013, 01:56 AM
I also enjoyed this piece. I agree with AZzed with the concerns about the piece. I think the one problem with this piece is that it tells the story instead of showing the reader the events. A certain amount of telling is necessary when you are building a world as you can't write the entire history of the planet. My suggestion would be to humanize moments within the exposition so the reader still feels like he is in the world. As a reader, I want to experience the grandeur of the palace, not be told that it is grand.

Mariner
May 8th, 2013, 08:35 AM
I also enjoyed this piece. I agree with AZzed with the concerns about the piece. I think the one problem with this piece is that it tells the story instead of showing the reader the events. A certain amount of telling is necessary when you are building a world as you can't write the entire history of the planet. My suggestion would be to humanize moments within the exposition so the reader still feels like he is in the world. As a reader, I want to experience the grandeur of the palace, not be told that it is grand.

Yes, thank you for your opinion. I've decided to exclude the palace for the time being and i'll include it later. Again thanks...

Jeko
May 8th, 2013, 08:50 AM
Five quick things:

1) The opening is full of characterless expository fat that can easily be trimmed to get to the heart of the matter and, more importantly, the story.
2) That fat can then be re-injected into the narrative as world-building muscle.
3) The names are good - you have succeeded in avoiding the annoying-fantasy-name problem (like Gyrrgughhagym). The world is more nicely realized for it.
4) The use of fragments is, for me, at odds with your slow and steady style of storytelling. The narrative is not as fluid as it could be.
5) Just something random, but I misread the quote you begin with at first and thought it rhymed. Thinking about it, if you could alter it so that 'fell' was used instead of 'fall', it might have more impact, unless that creates an unsuitable tone. It felt more dramatically aged, for me, with a sense of rhyme. A tad Shakespearean.

Mariner
May 8th, 2013, 07:16 PM
After reading through your constructive comments, I have acknowledged that I have to drop the whole description thing. I will put that into draft v1.5 and make a comparative view. I might make more character orientated and then introduce the world, if that sounds better.

Folcro
May 8th, 2013, 07:22 PM
After reading through your constructive comments, I have acknowledged that I have to drop the whole description thing. I will put that into draft v1.5 and make a comparative view. I might make more character orientated and then introduce the world, if that sounds better.

I really don't think you're very far off as far as a good opener goes, but you might be on to something with that. Maybe you can have a character look out a window in the middle of a conversation and not only describe the world he is looking at, but what that aspect of the world means to that character. Weave the world not only into your narrative, but into your character development.

Jeko
May 8th, 2013, 08:58 PM
Maybe you can have a character look out a window in the middle of a conversation and not only describe the world he is looking at, but what that aspect of the world means to that character.

Ooh, that's a little cliche.

I would focus on simply telling the story, and the world will be exposed where it needs to be. Don't devote sections of the book to 'introduce' the world - it'll kill the pace of the story.

Folcro
May 8th, 2013, 11:13 PM
Ooh, that's a little cliche.

I would focus on simply telling the story, and the world will be exposed where it needs to be. Don't devote sections of the book to 'introduce' the world - it'll kill the pace of the story.

Well, anything will sound cliche when generalized, and it all depends on how its done. I don't think describing what a character thinks about a certain place is cliche...

Mariner
May 9th, 2013, 08:32 AM
Hey Folcro,
as said before the window thing is very cliche, I've seen/read it time and time again.

Jeko
May 9th, 2013, 08:35 AM
Well, anything will sound cliche when generalized, and it all depends on how its done. I don't think describing what a character thinks about a certain place is cliche...

Sorry, I just mean the looking-out-a-window thing. Connecting your setting to your character is essential for both their development and the setting's

Mariner
May 10th, 2013, 08:48 AM
"Once all the seven citadels have fell, he shall rise and make this world a living hell"
- Mazimas Vantankiin, Philosopher, Year 52S


The royal blue upon the sandy parchment. The famous angular handwriting. The well known phrase etched into the original copy. The enticing smell of lavender in every page. A true book of Vantankiin conception. The dirty yellow leather cover and the scratched brass buckle. Suddenly, SLAM. The book was shut and whisked away by a dark cloaked being. His robes as black like charcoal. He looked rather ghostly.


His name, Scorío of the Moors of Ebrillkärr, on the far eastern island of Isenduúr. Human of race, he not only studied on ancient lore, he taught it. He was bald under his dark robes with some obvious battle damage. A missing eye and an uncured limp made him more noticeable but he was only thirty-two in age, very young for an experienced mage teacher, which made him very peculiar.


His extensive research made him very reclusive. Never eating in public, hardly ever leaving his chambers. Just like he was plotting something. The office that he resided in was disorganised with giant piles of books towering above him. With parchment strewn across the obsidian coloured floor. With dirty silver plates situated on a desk. He never cared about order or anything or anyone for that matter.


But a rarity happened on the eve of Snowfall. The destitute mage went down to the immense council chamber. Not for no reason though. It was to put forward his results that he had been searching for. He removed his hood and stood in the centre of circular stone court, in front of the arch-mage and the other respected sorcerers.


"My thanks, arch-mage," His voice echoed around the room. "For the opportunity to speak with you and the other elders." The arch-mage sat in the centre of his advisers. He was heavily aged. A bag of bones. Mages were supposed to have experience but he had too much. Some people thought it was unfit for someone at his age, one thousand and three, to run the mage community (he had an advisor to run the city). The other mages sat in a semi-circle around the young researcher, with the head sat in the middle with six to his right and six to his left.


"Get on with it" muttered the grizzled arch- mage, who loathed him and his research. The twelve others all muttered to one and other but this did not faze Scorío. He had a grudge against the fossil of the mage. For Scorío was recruited for the order on the eve of his eleventh birthday. He was talented from birth and showed natural prowess in the magical arts. His parents then signed a scroll, which gave the right for the mage order to take their son on the that day. He believes that the arch-mage stole his family and his life before it even began. After all he did recruit him.


"It's my belief that the amulet is hidden in college boundaries."
"Which amulet?" Asked an ignorant alchemist, who had no interest in this field of sorcery.
"You should know" Scorío replied sarcastically. "Everyone knows which one" he raised his voice to awaken the bored or the half-asleep. He didn't study the most interesting topic but it was very important. "I, with the help of the college, would like to start a search party for the artifact."
"You require the Lapis of Enkeli" spoke Dethran, the arch-mage's right hand man. "The location that you have given is correct..."


He was interrupted by his elder.
"...And even so its been hidden by a magical seal. Since the construction of the tower, when this seventh of the amulet was put in a chamber which that seal protects. This is impossible, even with the help of the whole college. You would need to destroy the city then rip the college in two. This request is denied."
Scorío tried to keep the emotion under wraps. The rage and the anger since his life was decided twenty-one years ago by strangers that he had now come to loathe.



Here's version 3 of chapter 1.

Jeko
May 10th, 2013, 12:38 PM
"Once all the seven citadels have fell, he shall rise and make this world a living hell"

Hmm. still thinking on this. If you really want to go for a kind of verse-like effect (and you don't have to... it might not be as effective for other readers as it is for me) then you might want to make it a stanza:

Once all the seven citadels have fell,
he shall rise
and make this world a living hell!

Just a thought.

The way the story now opens is much more effective, IMO.

Mariner
May 10th, 2013, 01:00 PM
Thanks...

LostOurWayTonight
July 1st, 2013, 08:20 PM
Hi Mariner! I seen that you were interested in a World War III RP. I was wondering if you'd want to do one with me (: I've been looking for people, but no one seems interested. If you would like to here's my email:(Removed). Or if you have kik, here's my username:(Removed).
Or I guess respond back using this, haha. Thanks in advance! (:

Eruadan
July 6th, 2013, 05:46 AM
I like it, but this line in particular seems very awkwardly phrased and doesn't really flow smoothly...
His name, Scorío of the Moors of Ebrillkärr, on the far eastern island of Isenduúr. Human of race, he not only studied on ancient lore, he taught it.

Perhaps something along the lines of...

Scorio of the... was of human birth, proficient in the study of ancient lore.