View Full Version : Introducing the Villain - Excerpt - 1,100 words

January 21st, 2014, 01:31 AM
Heyo! I would love some feedback on this little chapter I've dedicated to introducing the antagonist of my story. Please let me know if its chilling enough to represent the evil nature of my villain, or anything about my style or pace. Thanks for stopping by, cheers!

THREE The King Under the Under

Beneath the grey skies above the Ohmeghon Empire lay fields of industry and farmland, an entire nation dedicated to progress and advancement. The once lush fields of the states of mankind had united under Queen Vraxus Ohmeghon’s rule, an event that lead to the corruption of the land and the violation of the once sovereign states and their people. Since the start of the war the middle class had been quickly extinguished, leaving a vast gap of disparity between the wealthy generals and high scholars and the masses of laborers. The power-lust of Queen Vraxus had injured the nation, her continued propaganda a poison injected into the open wound. Beneath the grey skies of Ohmeghon lay a bleeding nation.

“You can feel them all, cant you?”

At the center of this nation stands the Empires capital, a shining metropolis that has stood for over two millennia. It began simply, as a five point star with walls tall enough to keep out even the most terrifying monsters of the darkness. That was over two thousand years ago, when the Ohmeghon Empire was but a single city state recovering from a war that nearly made humans extinct. In the following centuries the city began to grow upward as buildings grew taller and stacked upon one another. The walls grew taller as well to cope with the towering buildings within. After a thousand years the city became a grand pillar, a star shaped tower of urban brilliance and architecture.

That is where both the capitals beauty and downfall stemmed from. In their progress the Ohmeghon Empire built ever higher, adding to the weight of the city and its foundations. Soon, it began to sink. Slowly at first, sinking by mere inches a year. This quickly turned to inches a month, to feet every year. By the current age, two thousand years since the capitals creation the earliest foundations had sunk by a half mile into the earth – plunging the sunken communities into darkness and creating a realm of crime and anarchy. Beneath the shining capital of the great empire of Ohmeghon lies Undercity – the rotten heart in the state of man.

“You can feel their spirits, broken and trampled under the heel of our tantalizingly horrific queen, Vraxus of Ohmeghon.”

Yet as Undercity lies below the wounded nation of Ohmeghon, sick and festering, there was another layer even deeper; a place evil and secret. A cavern dug out by dark magic nearly a century ago, used to give birth to creatures unnatural and tainted. Here a mad king sat upon a throne of charred bones and tendons; the stacked remains of years of failed experiments. He was the last original creation left, survived through the natural selection of twisted arcane research. He smiled from behind a terrifying metal mask, his voice dripping with venomous lust.

“All of their repressed hatred passes into you, doesn’t it my sweet?”

He spoke to a woman who was kneeling before him, dressed in a tight fitting black tunic and covered with a thick red cape made of silken animal fur. She raised her head to meet his masked gaze, revealing a featureless face save for a single scarred maw of a mouth which curled at the sides in a devilish grin. “Yes my master. I feel them all, their passive spirits linked like the strands of a tangled web. Their minds are mine to fathom. Even yours is open to my prospects.”

The mad king crossed his legs from his perch high above on his chair of bone. He chuckled heartily, and leaned forward towards the faceless woman. From the ambient glow of distant candles across the room his metal mask glimmered, a truly an emotionless and menacing veil. An iron jaw hung below the mask, sprouting razor sharp teeth. Two large and perfectly circular eye holes allowed him to see, but betrayed little to no features of his shadowed face. Rising up from the forehead were two tall and straight horns sprouting in front of a mane of rugged black hair. His hair glimmered in shades of crimson as the candlelight danced upon it, covering his entire back with the rough flowing comb.

He began to cackle, the laughter coursing through his body in powerful jerks. Once more his thick slimy accent echoed through the dark hall. “You are truly beautiful, little one! A monstrous little demon, biting at the bit to torment and destroy. You have worked so very hard to gain this power, and your work will be paid off. Paid off in bloodshed and madness, beautiful chaos and delicious fear.” He paused to stand, his intimidating figure reaching seven feet tall. With a slow and flowing movement he raised a gnarled hand towards her. “Does that appeal to you?” He cocked his head at the kneeling woman before him. She kept her head bowed, but her voice reflected her zealous appeal to his promise. “Your offer is truly fair, my master.”

“Then rise, my sweet little demon. Rise and meet my gaze.”

The kneeling subject rose to her feet, her head still bowed. Her hands were bandaged, and she began to delicately strip away the black cloth that covered her elegant fingers. She unraveled loop after loop of silken cloth, until one hand was free. Then she did the same for her other hand, letting the cloth slip to the ground in a crumpled pile. Raising her forearms towards the masked king, she carefully and elegantly pulled back her wrists to display her palms toward her master, revealing two large, orange eyes within the center of her hands. A crooked and honored smile dragged across her face, revealing jagged teeth as she looked upon her master for the first time. “I would look upon your unmasked face, to meet as your servant, dark one. What would you call me?”

With a powerful gesture the mad king who stood upon his pile of burnt and blackened bone reached up to grab the center of his mask. He pulled it away letting his hair cascade upon his face, and cast the terrifying steel veil aside. “I look upon you, my servant. I would call you my weapon, may you spread pain and fear wherever you are pointed. Remember now my name, so you would know your place.” A red glow began to seep its way through his thick locks of hair. His eyes shone with ferocious emotion as he dramatically delivered his name.

“The consumer of innocence, who feasts upon the souls of the living. The mad king of Undertown, known to those who fear me as… The Catcher!”

January 22nd, 2014, 10:32 PM
Well, you get stronger as you go.

That first section is like reading a history book on Undercity. We don't want to read history. We came here for Science Fiction. You've got a lovely hellion for an antagonist, and I'm very curious about this underling of his, but you don't even introduce them until halfway down the chapter. This is the perfect setting for suspense, for mystery and tension, and you're focusing a little too much on the background of your story and not on the characters. Why not begin with a short description of their scene, one to paint shadows on their faces and clothe them in masks and cloaks. You can always work the information in later.

Towards the end, you build the kind of fear that I was expecting from your disclaimer, but it felt marred by all the excess adjectives. Set the scene, set the characters, OCCASIONALLY throw in some more descriptions as they are needed, but when you get to the grit of the dialogue and the action, anything you add to the scene should either belay the character's emotion or what they're doing. An example of a good use of description is this glowing that pours through his locks. You can only add that when he takes off the mask, so you'll definitely need that there.

The other thing that lets you down, in my opinion, is the name. The Catcher is not scary. That's probably because it makes me think of baseball players, not demons. Visit some mythology on this one and get a feel for Hell-ish names, and I'm sure you'll find a good one.

Good with the build up starting from the scene opening, but you're going to need some work to make it as great as it can be. Very good idea, as I said on your last piece about this place.

January 23rd, 2014, 07:01 AM
I am kind of new to this site so I feel a bit awkward about giving advice but I am going to give it a shot. :) I agree with thepancreas11 about the beginning. You will lose the reader with a lot of exposition. Instead you might want to include some additional characters and show some of these broken masses so the reader can feel their pain. Use there dialog to establish the world and what is going on. Just a suggestion. Hope it was helpful :)

February 8th, 2014, 09:00 PM
That first section is like reading a history book on Undercity. We don't want to read history. I agree. It feels like I'm being lectured on the formation of the country. In my opinion, I think it would help if you sprinkled the info in around the story where it was relevant: instead of just one big chunk.

Jake Creamer
February 20th, 2014, 11:29 PM
I got the feeling that the conversation was more "evil beings talking dirty about how evil they are". Maybe instead of having them talk about being evil, you might have them do something evil and then take pleasure in it?

W. Dallas
February 21st, 2014, 12:04 AM
Nothing more to offer than the others, except I really enjoy the writing style. Very strong voice. Just tidy up the extra exposition, and descriptiveness.

Vain Vanir
February 22nd, 2014, 01:42 PM
I must say that I didn't really like it but that's probably very much to do with my taste. For the first thing I thought that the start was very much "tell rather than show" how things were and then it was a bit like was said above, evil beings talking about how great they feel for being so evil.

But in regards to the writing technique I think that the text flowed very well so there's no critiscm from me in regards to that.

March 9th, 2014, 10:11 AM
I agree with the others. It starts out as a history book - a nice one at that, but a history book still. It then gets stranger and stranger until the last few lines, which I feel are more suited to a Batman villain than to a mad king.

March 9th, 2014, 10:24 AM
Hi! How are you? I liked the mythology here, although yes, it isn't quite in the form that might fit a novel and draw readers in. personal experience lived through the eyes of a sympathetic MC and all that, but you know that :)

To add to the other comments: if an MC or other character had been born into the depths of that tower- into the slums - then they might have never learned about the creation of the city in which they live and why they are at the bottom of the heap. We could learn it throughout the story just as they do. By experience, rather than info-dump.

The concept of the city is fascinating to me and the suggestion of n all-knowing leader makes for quite a challenge to the protagonists! Great!