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WechtleinUns
June 16th, 2013, 01:50 AM
The confederacy was established by Mr. Forae Grimuelle, who had been expelled from the city of Ghone for the reason of high treason. It hadn't helped that he had beheaded the the judge presiding over his trial. The screaming and cries of the mob in the lower courts confused him that time. It was, after all, only blood.

But blood can serve other uses as well. Mr. Grimuelle, by virtue of his own esteemed nobility, was afforded a special luxury in his particular case. Most did not believe he would survive the desert anyway, and indeed he was almost killed by the first thirty days. Were it not for the annual migration of the nomads, he most certainly would have been dinner for a snake.

The tribal Chieftan Ranyanuk had given him water and food, in exchange for knowledge. They were a dark skinned people, but knew the inhabitants of the shining citadel to the south-east. His kind, and others like him, were viewed as the golden ones. It helped in particular that Mr. Grimuelle was offered the chief's daughter. She was small and quiet, but had a cunning mind. Far more cunning than Forae had thought by first impression.

After a fortnight, the exiled noble was called to the chieftan tent, where spices and music, and shimmering short skirts were passed around for enjoyment by the guests. The Chieftan Ranyanuk held one of the dancing girls on his lap. His beard was wet with the Padgra, that rice-milk fermented alcohol that was all too well known amongst them, these nomads.

Several other girls jiggled their assets in front of Ranyanuk's generals. There was Kunnachyuk, who was brother by law to the Chieftan, and married to Ranyanuk's sister. He was a strong, solid bear of a man. All muscle and no beard, handy with a sword, and large of gut and pallet.

Upon the other side was Hijnyuk, the Chieftan's Uncle. This was an older man, tall and long of limb, with a long beard of grey whiskers. His skin was wrinkled leather, and his hands held grapes between quite dextrous fingers. There were a foil to each other: Ranyanuk was the merry man with a dozen wives. Fat and plump, and filled with nature and good cheer. Kunnachyuk was the battle hardened warior, comfortable with a blade, but helpless with a woman. Hijinyuk was known as his nephew's wizard. 'Wize man hijinyuk', he was called by the nomadic tribes. It was an image he took care to cultivate, and the dividends had paid handsomely between them.

Mr. Grimuelle took seat on a soft cushion of camel hair and feathered down. The musicians played with Sitar's, which were stringed instruments of silk and metal, played with bow and snakeskin stretched across the resonating chamber. It made a tzwing-zee-tzwing-e sound, like a violin played from inside the belly of a desert adder, and was the centerpiece of this rythmic, swinging sound. Aside from the Sitar were the platte gongs and three-hole pipe, which together held time and rythm for the main musician.

A silver plate with roasted hawke and rattler meat, as well as orange rice and seasoned cactus, cooked with oil and onion after the nomadic fashion, was placed in front of him. The dancers stole his gaze with painted eyes and exotic sensuality. Compared to them and their dark brown skin, Forae had skin of a pale pink rose. His eyes of blue stood out amongst their eyes of dark, and his long and golden hair, shaped into a tight ponytail, was the luster of gold compared to theirs, which was more often black or brown.

Looking around him, Mr. Grimuelle felt as though he wandered through a dream. This was, of course, before he had been given the chieftan's daughter's hand in marriage. The exiled noble had almost died of thirst and vision in the sweltering head of the fire red sands. The northern Elkkes dared not tread here, and even Nomads quickly faltered when they lacked a horse. Forae looked down at the food upon his plate. It was freshly grilled, the steam still rising off the pinkish meat. The fat from the cooking still gathered and mixed with blood at the edges of the plate. Mr. Forae Grimuelle just looked at the food. The others stared long at him, sensing insult near at hand. Suddenly, the music stopped, as his refusal to eat became apparent.

"All Right." He said, and began to stuff the tender meat into his mouth. He raised a goblet. "Wine!" The chieftan laughed. His generals laughed. And the dancers danced till dawn.

IWrite..Kinda
June 16th, 2013, 10:13 PM
I'm not simply commenting here because you commented on my work. I'm commenting because the rich descriptive elements in this create depth and meaning, and they allow the reader to grasp what Mr. Grimuelle is experiencing. You've created this fantastic fantasy world and littered this passage with exotic wonders and very creative names and backstories. Is this a small preview for what's to come? Surely you must do more of this. I would suggest maybe adding more about the mysterious "confederacy", for the title suggests it. Maybe we meet some more of these thieves. Maybe learn of their various exploits. This has much potential my friend.

ppsage
June 16th, 2013, 10:52 PM
A lot to like here in the way of interesting tidbits. The main problem I see with the writing is a lack of modulation: it stays in second gear the whole way, never slows down to immediate action, never speeds up to insightful overview. It's short and obviously pretty introductory but I think it's long enough to have reached at least one change of gears. Otherwise it's verging on info-dump. Also, I think snakes always eat by swallowing whole? Big snake! pp

Outiboros
June 17th, 2013, 12:23 PM
A lot to like here in the way of interesting tidbits. The main problem I see with the writing is a lack of modulation: it stays in second gear the whole way, never slows down to immediate action, never speeds up to insightful overview. It's short and obviously pretty introductory but I think it's long enough to have reached at least one change of gears. Otherwise it's verging on info-dump. Also, I think snakes always eat by swallowing whole? Big snake! pp
I completely agree.
What's more, it seems a little chaotic to me. It goes from a brief retelling of past events to his wife to the tribals and then to a party within five paragraphs, without making it clear which of those events are actually the most important and which are backdrop. The last line makes it seems the scene ends there, but it is hardly a focused whole. is there a reason for describing the festivities other than describing the nomads?
Also, it takes about two days for someone to die of thirst in a desert. To live thirty he'll have to be very lucky.

I should say, though, that except for the lack of focus and the lack of direct actions, it's pretty well written. No glaring spelling or grammar errors, and the detail and feel of the whole is very clear and unique. While it's practically all telling, the descriptions of the nomads didn't feel jarring. If you could thread this all through dialogue or more direct action, it could be quite good.

Elvenswordsman
June 17th, 2013, 01:17 PM
Your intro was terrible. Too much info too quickly, I find myself not caring. Draw the reader in first, then provide facts.

Jeko
June 17th, 2013, 02:43 PM
This is written with a kind of calm, almost uncaring tone (in comparison to some of the subject material). I'm not sure if that's what you were aiming for, but it does make this info dump more interesting.

Regardless, it is an info-dump. A useful thing to keep as a point of reference for the work on the story, but of little use for the narrative itself - that needs to be more engaging, less indirect.


The confederacy was established by Mr. Forae Grimuelle, who had been expelled from the city of Ghone for the reason of high treason.

'the reason of' is wasted words, IMO.

'most certainly' makes the narrator sound pompous.

There are many other examples of the narrative being needlessly drawn out and diluted - you lose the effect of the story. Your ideas have good potential, but to progress you need to present them in a more story-like way.

trg1968
June 17th, 2013, 06:05 PM
I agree that a few of his phrases are unnesescary, but it seems to me he is developing an overall tone of a semi-archaic dialect therefore making some of the "extra words" important...

Jeko
June 17th, 2013, 08:13 PM
it seems to me he is developing an overall tone of a semi-archaic dialect therefore making some of the "extra words" important...

A tone, IMO, is conveyed through the overall impression of the words used. A more complex and well-chosen lexis can indeed present an impression of age and experience; elongating lines does not. The tone you refer to, I believe, squeezes a lot into a little, and then does a lot of that. It is more about depth than length. Lovecraft is a good example of this.

Wolf_Song
June 17th, 2013, 09:14 PM
Uh...is this a stand alone story or is there more coming? I'm curious as to what this is. One thing I noticed is that the beginning was a little rushed and not very applicable to what was going on in the rest of this story. If this is only an excerpt from a bigger thing, I would draw out the intro and give a little more details as to what happened in the beginning. Good luck!

WechtleinUns
June 17th, 2013, 11:32 PM
Thank you all for the critiques. Yes, I intend to continue the story. The next part should be up soon, but first, I'm going to respond to some of your.

Cadence, thank you for your critique. The beginning was pretty dense, and maybe impatience had something to do with that. To be honest, much of my writing carries overtones of archaic expression. I have worked to tone the vocabulary down over the years, but I have never really succeeded in using contemporary language well. Furthermore, I'm a bit uncomfortable with modern slang and usage. I'm much more used to reading literature in the vein of Jane Eyre, so I completely understand this reaction.

PPsage and Outiboros, I concur. A slower pace would definitely help, and I'll be trying to incorporate that into the next part.

Elvenswordsman, thank you for the review. Also, thank you very much for commenting Write_Kinda, and Wolf Song. The next part will be up soon. Thanks!

WechtleinUns
June 18th, 2013, 12:54 AM
Partet Dou

Sepastien and Laurie Grimuelle shared a sandwich underneath the great stone overhang that formed the Gaveljet du Moneaut Bridge. Cascading waters hissed out from off the open enclosures on the side, galloping into the river below with mighty plop-plop splashes. The bridge was popular with lovers from the North Quartet, which was probably the richest side of Ghon. The wayward youth would pay for boat rides underneath the overhang, where the girls would, almost without fail, emerge to the other side soaking wet.


But the Gaveljet was empty, now. Most were celebrating carnival at that very place, which was open to all the citizens of Ghon, excepting beggars and thieves. There was dancing and firemagicks, and lively drink and sloppy, salivating kisses. Even as he thought about it, he grimaced in disgust. But now was not the time to think of such things. Sepastien sat on one edge of the Gaveljet, while his sister, Laurie, sat upon the other edge. But aside from these two, the bridge held none. No boats passed through with giggling couples. There was only the soft bubbling of water spray, leaping over the edge and into the crystal clear waters of the Ghon Rivet below.


"He's your uncle, you know." Sepastien spoke. His words were perhaps a bit too loud. Not soft and gentle, like that proper for the son of a noble family, they often bounced out too far and ricocheted in nasty places. "The Grimuelles are the laughing stock of the city! I had supposed to--" his face flushed red with anger, and his eyes narrowed underneath a furrowed brow. He tore off his corded vestment, and jumped into the river, his strong arms making wake with every stroke. At length, he crawled upon her ledge. "You are ignoring me."


"Yes. I am." Laruie looked at her cousin with eyes as green as the jungles past the sea. She bit her lip, which was also uncharacteristic of a noble lady, her arms rested gently on her legs, which were splayed open like a man's. Her uncouth edged, and straitforward roughness had never ceased to amaze Sepastien. Feeling somehow charged, he leaned in close, wrapping his arm around her smaller frame, till she could feel his breath upon her.


"You, Madame, are a tirante." He kissed her, dipping his tongue in and out of her mouth. She pushed him away, and he fell into the river with a large splash. He stood up in the stream, for the flow was not so deep as to keep him treading water, nor was it so strong that he would have been swept downstream, and smiled like a child who had done a naughty thing. Laruie stood up as well, removed her glove and slapped him with it.


"Baghkta." She said, using the language of the Elkkes, their savage neighbors to the north, and walked away. Sepastien laughed and cat-called after her until she left his voice. Turning on his back, he floated down the stream, and sniffed his cousin's red silk glove.


Laurie stomped along the back alleys of the East Quartet, which was the working backbone of Ghone. As she went, she muttered curses underneath her breath, and prayed to God to end her suffering. Touching her lower lip, the sensation of his tongue on hers returned. She could taste his saliva still, and her heart began to speed. She walked as one confused, deeper and deeper into the East Quartet, and soon recieved unwanted eyes.


In the other direction, Sepastien stuffed the glove into his pocket. Floating aimlessly down the Ghon, his mind turned back to Forae Grimuelle. That fool of an asshat, Sepastien thought to himself. He had never liked Grimuelle, but then the man was married to his mother, or at least, he had been. The river flowed downhill, which in this case was Northward, and to the East, into Ghon Jabet. If he were to allow himself to be taken too far downstream, he would be carried straight into the heart of carnival.


And that was one place he was absolutely loathe to go.

Smith
June 26th, 2013, 05:56 AM
I'm really enjoying this. I second practically everything everybody else has said so far. :)

bazz cargo
August 2nd, 2013, 11:54 AM
Hi Wech.
I had to track something of yours down to have my revenge. *Evil Chuckle*

You have a surprising and sprightly turn of imagination. I find hints of cynicism and playfulness scattered throughout.

It does read like a stream of conciousness rather than a full blown story. Something I do. Ram everything down regardless, then go back and expand it.

I have yet to discover if this is Sword & Sandal, or Sword & Sorcery. It has legs.

Thank you for sharing.
Bazz

WechtleinUns
August 3rd, 2013, 12:52 AM
I'm going to have to finish this.

...that's scary.

Thank you, Bazz. If you hadn't made your post when you did... this story would have been left to rot. It's time I worked up some courage then, haha.

Thank you.

Eiji Tunsinagi
August 5th, 2013, 06:14 AM
A lot to like here in the way of interesting tidbits. The main problem I see with the writing is a lack of modulation: it stays in second gear the whole way, never slows down to immediate action, never speeds up to insightful overview. It's short and obviously pretty introductory but I think it's long enough to have reached at least one change of gears. Otherwise it's verging on info-dump. Also, I think snakes always eat by swallowing whole? Big snake! pp

I have to agree with this as well. You know, I kept coming back to this piece. Several times. There is something I like about it -- I think it's the mythical quality behind it. Needless to say, I feel it needs more of a dramatic structure. It has a good start and a good conclusion, but the middle runs a little dry. Also, some of the language needs a little tweaking. However, I really like what you've got here. It reads like it is part of a larger story, or at least the start of a larger story, and it leaves me intrigued, which is good. The rest can be fixed as you go; I believe you should continue the story! Hopefully you have more, because it definitely reads like more than just a short.