View Full Version : The Artifact (1500 words, Explicit language and gore)

August 10th, 2014, 05:03 AM
Hi guys, so i'm extremely new to this forum and writing in general i've really enjoyed reading some of the work people have been doing on here so thought it would be nice to get some critique on my own stuff.

This isn't specifically chapter 1 and part of 2 it is simply a random setting in my mind.

A simple short few words on what you liked or didn't like would be really nice.

If anyone wants to do the full monty and give me the full do over on my grammar, my spelling etc i would appreciate that too.

Hope you enjoy it :)


There is the flash again, One...Two...Three, the thunder shatters the dead silence of the forest waking Bogur from his slumber, Captain Night lifts to his feet giving Vin a solid boot up the arse, a quick agitated grumble and he’s up too. There’s just Malar left, although he’s already awake tending to his mixtures, a mix of sour Lament herb and damp moss drifts into my nose, he’s making that poison again it seems; the one where inhaling it gives you unfathomable hallucinations, since I seem to be alright I assume it’s unfinished. Malar’s deep green eyes are fixated on the bubbling mixture, pinching his nose with stained fingers, “Greenfingers” is what we call him due to years of mixing up different concoctions in the science academy left his hands tainted with a green pigment.
After a quick snack of stale bread Night gets us moving, our mission of retrieving the artifact isn’t a success until we get it back home, even if we do have it in our possession. Drips of water begin to seep down from the canopy , trickling down twisting vines and onto a few small shrubs and dead matter on the floor.
Vin takes the lead poking at anything suspicious with his spear looking for traps or deadly cliff edges and pits hidden by shurbbery, Captain Night falls in behind him to give orders if necessery; Black Betha on his back, an enormous two-handed sword, named after his late wife who killed 6 armed men with nothing but a hot fire iron and forged with a black pigment to reduce the reflection of light, Shadow team after all being somewhat of an infiltration team; although more along the lines of a team of misfits.

The trickle of damp rain mixed with sweat drops off my chin and onto my hands which are steadily locked onto my Composite Bow, even though we’re still a significant distance in enemy territory these guys seem pretty upbeat and calm “Hey Talen, how ya’ gonna’ spend all of that gold when ya’ get back home.” Turning round Bogur is right behind me, Bogur “the fair” earned by reconstructing his own face in an explosives accident, perhaps he considered it an improvement; the lopsided nose and lack of lips and eye brows was almost horrifying if you hadn’t already figured out he was a crazy son-of-a-bitch, in which case it turns into something a bit more reassuring.
“Yeah i’m probably going to retire and get myself a large house in the upper district.”
As much as I really don’t want small talk right now I can’t argue that the payload of this mission is something extroardinary, enough to buy me out of the shithole I currently call “home”.

BOOM!!! Spinning round my adrenaline spikes and I’m already crouched to avoid any incoming arrows, My bewilderment is cut loose by the agonising screams of Vin, who was unfortunate enough to poke a hidden mine, his left leg is completely blown off and his other is completely disfigured; bits of burnt flesh and bone seeping with blood litter the forest floor, his screams are quickly silenced as my arrow finds it’s way into his skull.
Captain Night is still regaining his feet after being knocked down from the blast, his bald head swivelling round, his red beard a bit darker with Vin’s blood, his eyes widen as he draws Black Betha from it’s sheath, shit he definetily wants my head after he realised where I placed my arrow.
I should be able to take him out before he can nail me with that big fucking sword of his, the rumbling of thunder reverberates through the forest, getting louder........wait, thats not thunder, FUCK! Spinning around I come to terms with what Captain Night was really looking at, while I was comtemplating putting my second arrow through my Captains skull I was in the middle of getting Bumrushed by the enemy.

A horde of Armadites come dashing through the forest, their deep blue armor concealing them in the dim light, I put my first arrow right into the eye socket of the first Armadite, before he even hits the ground my second arrow is ready to go, I switched to my Bodkin arrows; A specially hardened steel arrowhead with an extremely thin, sharp point, perfect for piercing armor. At this range, with my Composite bow which gets more velocity than a standard bow and my bodkin heads makes the next person to charge at me one poor bastard. Letting loose my arrow with such a snap it goes right through the back of the next Armadites helmet and into the neck of his comrade behind him, my accuracy with this specially designed bow could shave the hairs off a bee’s arse at 200yrds. Even though I’ve already killed three in quick succession the wave of Armadite corpses to my right catches my immediate attention, Night is in a fit of rage as he swings Black Betha around like it was made of linen, he’s only just finished decapitating one and he quickly spins around to open the next from shoulder to groin. “COME AND GET SOME YOU FUCKERS!” he screams slicing through two Armadites at once, although it’s not enough, their deep blue swords begin to glow at the edge of the blade, Night parries the next attack but the glowing blade slices right through Betha, Captain Night gives out a small hiccup as Betha and his torso fall to the floor, followed by his legs.

This is the point I know we’re being overwhelmed. “RUN YOU IDIOTS!” I turn my back and begin to sprint, Greenfingers and Bogur right on my heels, we should be moving South with the wind but an idea brought on by desperation gives me other plans.
“Just follow me and trust me on this.” I shout back to Greenfingers and Bogur, I catch a nod from Greenfingers before I begin to scale West.
The Armadites are still roaring behind us, they’re slimmer and taller than humans and faster too but their plated armor compared to our light leather padding over a linen shirt gives us the advantage when it comes to hauling ass.
Another few kilometers and I’m heading North, this is when my plan will allow us to escape will be of use despite how outnumbered we are.
“Malar release that mixture you made this morning along with the rest of what you have of it all over this floor, give me and Bogur some.” That mixture of Lament herb and moss he made this morning created that hallucinagen “Laments Dream”. Before we continue upwind Bogur plants an explosive just slightly upwind of the Potion, lighting the string set to explode the bomb. The string he has attatched to the bomb is soaked in a melted beeswax solution and other ingredients to slow the burning time, giving us enough time to get out of the blast radius.
The bomb explodes sending a deep wave of sound through the forest, you can even feel the vibration through the soft soil from here. The bomb will do two things, firstly it will attract the Armadites right into the poison trap, the force from the blast will also help blow the poison downwind, some of the rain may wash it from the air but hopefully it’s enough to let us give them the slip.


Bogur laughs in hysterics as we feel the shockwave from his latest creation slam through the trees, shaking the residue off the leaves in the canopy, I would probably laugh with him if it wasn’t for my latest shower soaking my clothes with damp lukewarm water although I realise I’m not quite the maniac that is Bogur, who loves nothing more than to blow shit up, I’m sure he was even holding back a smile when Vin misplaced his legs.
“I think we should keep heading West for a bit before Continuing South” I tell the rest of Shadow Team, I’m not much for taking a leadership position, I prefer to operate alone to be honest, I guess that’s why I feel the need to be in control. Greenfingers nods quietly but I’m not sure about Bogur, he’s still cackling away at thoughts of what he did to the Armadites, it was probably Malar’s poison that did them in but there’s no need to tell him that.
Sure enough Bogur falls in with me and Greenfingers when we get moving.
“Malar do you still have the artifact?” I ask. Again he nods quietly as he reveals it from one of his pouches, he isn’t much for words, he probably uses all his energy thinking of new ways to create potions. I can’t complain though, even if he does move slow because he likes to look for herbs on the move, atleast he knows the definition of a Stealth unit, unlike Bogur who could wake a deadman in his grave with the way he walks, the Armadites are probably hallucinating earthquakes right now. I’d love nothing more than to just take the Artifact and take off alone, I would be considerably faster and much quieter, I could probably stick to the canopy with my climbing abilities and walk right over an army without being noticed, however if it wasn’t for Bogur and Greenfingers I would never have escaped that horde.

August 10th, 2014, 01:46 PM
Self critique:

I wish is had written more on why Talen shot Vin through the head, i'll need to add in how he didn't want his screams raining down enemies upon us, and he wasn't going to make it home with his legs like that and even if he did get captured and survived i wouldn't want him giving the enemy any information on our mission.

Also i could have put more into why Talen also wanted to shoot the captain as it would have been a sort of selfish self defence because he thought the captain was looking at him.

Perhaps Night's late wife could have been killed by Armadites, showing his eyes widen with rage when he looks in Talens direction and also the way he was fighting (some character development maybe?)

I also want to add in a little bit more on what the artifact looks like as Malar reveals it from his pouch

Fixed a few grammar errors too

August 10th, 2014, 03:33 PM
Hm, I never thought of a medieval special forces team. I think that would make a pretty interesting read, actually. Original ideas tend to be hard to come by in today's day and age, and I think you might have just stumbled on one. It has a misfit feel to it, certainly, these rogues that do the dirty work for the greater kingdom all stuck behind enemy lines in the same way you might expect a Marvel Comics Superhero team to be, not necessarily a bunch of guys with swords and bows. What's this, Mission Impossible: Hundred Years War? I would certainly read that.

Bold choice to start with a battle too, my friend. You run the risk of not getting out enough background in time (because, of course, you don't want to be an expositionist), which means that some of it is bound to be confusing. I think the part where he's about to kill Captain Night was just that: why was he about to shoot his fearless leader? I either missed that or it was a little lacking on explanation. Other than that, though, your writing really gripped me. I wanted to read all the way in to chapter two, which means that you have done a pretty good job at rule number one: get the reader reading.

However, as much as I enjoyed it, I kept coming across moments where I could't help but roll my eyes a little. Avoid cliches at all costs. I do it as much as the next person, believe me, and sometimes I really hang on to those moments, but they just make something fresh look hackneyed. "We're just a band of misfits," for example. Why do you have to say that? Can't you show it? Can't you expand upon your characters enough to make us see that they're troubled? Even in that case, I just feel like that's every special forces team I've ever read about. You can do so much more than just making them outcasts. A super-cool, super-fast, super-accurate archer guy that puts arrows through other guy's eyes? Yup, been there, seen that. You can make this so much more interesting by just making a couple of more bolder choices and leaving out those overdone asides. I'd like to see more of you in the story, more of your voice and your talent and your opinions, you know?

Other than that, I thought your first offering went pretty well, much better than mine, if I remember. Good stuff.

August 10th, 2014, 04:28 PM
Thanks, i really appreciate the feedback, now that you put it into perspective about cliche's and such i realise what i've done there XD I'll probably change some things around, possibly not make him a crack shot, get a bit deeper into the motives of my characters.

Thanks :)

I really agree on needing more explanation on the main characters motive for wanting to shoot his Captain and why he shot Vin (the guy who got his legs blown off)

August 13th, 2014, 09:15 AM
I really like the idea of a fantasy special forces team as well. I'm a reading a book now that has a specific society in a fantasy setting starting to make leaps and bounds in technology, and is just now starting to take advantage of muskets and rifling, creating a couple of scouting sniper teams, which has been dramatic in evolving warfare in the story.

So, I'm completely on board. And would love to read more of you work as you complete it.

I would point out you have several places where you're telling me things instead of showing. I know everyone hears that a lot, but I'm okay with not being given all the information by the narrator. I prefer action, and most readers tend to as well. A composite bow has a pulley system, so it's already standing out against traditional bows. You can show me it's design and show it slamming an arrow home harder than a normal bow. And show me what the bomb ends up doing. Don't just tell me what it's ultimate effects will be. Things like that have a sort of... dolphin effect for me. I'm in the water a moment, experience the story, then surfaced in narrative, then back in the water. It's a little distracting IMO.

You're doing great, though. Keep writing.