View Full Version : The Rat King

July 14th, 2016, 04:19 AM
Alas was a wandering poet traveling across Australia in search of a real adventure. Alas was a big fan of Tales from the Crypt comics, and he wanted to find some kind of magical adventure to add richness to his life. He was excited about the rich and unusual wildlife of Australia and believed he might find some answers about transcendental mysticism in the majesty of nature in the Australian desert. Alas started photographing kangaroos and collected about a dozen excellent snapshots of the hopping creatures, which he used to fashion himself a quaint little philosophical stance about capturing the leaping of animals (escaping Earth's gravity) in real-time with a simple camera. He sold three of his photographs to a popular Sydney society journal and used the money to further fund his Australian journeys.

A creepy robber-baron named Gad who was living in Australia and pushing for business ventures that would push Australia handsomely into the emerging global market with ravenous industrialization investments saw Alas's photographs in the Sydney journal and became obsessed with hunting down Alas. Gad believed that he could use a natural human instinct to reap from the land to profit from a global greedy interest in capitalizing off the land of continents. Gad realized that Alas's stunning nature-themed photographs of leaping Australian kangaroos would create unprofitable anti-industrialization sentiment in the minds of the Australian people, which would reach the spheres of investors Gad was working with to get fat. Gad was a cunning businessman but also an amateur Occultist and warlock, and he created some chanting schemes to trap Alas in a metaphysical Catch-22.

Alas meanwhile travelled to a remote village to meet with a wise old sage who Alas was told could give him advice about the best course of action to reap from the rich continent of Australia a meaningful mystical experience. The sage's name was Alastair, and when he saw Alas (who now fashioned a handsome black beard), the sage nicknamed him Blackbeard. Alastair said, "Blackbeard, you come to Australia seeking the harmony of the desert and the outback and the magic and fun of kangaroos and koalas, but the real fairy-tale of Australia is in rats. The question is, are you humble enough to wade through the rivers of human pride and find true spiritual enlightenment through contact with rats?" Alas was shocked and unsure. Did he come all the way to Australia simply to talk to rats?

Gad learned through his various goons and employees that Alas was travelling around small towns in Australia looking for rats to photograph. Gad was horrified and wondered why the clever Alas, who had sold those terrific kangaroo photos was now looking to photograph rats. Gad nevertheless went ahead with his plan and believed that if he trapped Alas in some kind of a metaphysical Catch-22, he would dispose of an anti-industrialization nuisance, and Gad could use the success to augment his social mystique and power prestige with statements such as, "Yeah, I knew that photographer Alas. He died in my care, and the last thing he said to me was, 'Boy! You really are an effective Australian shark!'" Gad decided to have his goons kidnap Alas and bring him to his mansion in Melbourne where he would make the ambitious man an irresistible soul-wager. If Alas was destroyed, the prayer of Alastair the sage would simply become a 'fool's wish.'

Alas arrived at Gad's mansion in a blinding cloth mask which was placed on him so he wouldn't know where he was being taken until he arrived at the feet of Gad. Alas was unmasked and met Gad, who was a well-built and tall man with blonde hair and blue eyes. Gad was smoking a marijuana cigarette and seemed pleased to meet Alas and told him he was impressed with his kangaroo photos. He asked Alas what he was doing photographing rats in Australia when he could be photographing stunning and impressive creatures of the Outback. Alas told him that he had found something truly magical in his pursuit of the humbling simplicity and gritty life of Australian rats and claimed he could talk to them. Gad started laughing and called Alas a romantic and offered him a dangerous soul-wager. Gad dared Alas to give the rat photos to him and he would sell them to the same Sydney journal Alas sold his kangaroo photos to, and Gad would tell the journal to add the caption, "These Australian rats quietly give us their primitive blessing to progress the arm of industrialization and rush Australia into the emerging global market!" Alas realized that Gad dared him to use animals to create a 'profiteer's challenge.' Alas was horrified and defiantly replied, "You can steal my photos, but you'll never know what these rats actually worship!" and the infuriated Gad took out his golden pistol and shot Alas in the heart, killing him instantly but unwittingly turning him into a 'gypsy martyr.' The prayer of Alastair the sage became truth.



July 14th, 2016, 04:32 PM
First Skaven story I've seen.. ever.

But.. is this a story or a summary?

July 17th, 2016, 04:47 AM
I think more clarity would help a lot with this story. You explained Alas more than Gad. I understand why Alas was in Australia and photographing kangaroos. I have absolutely no idea why the robber baron Gad was also an Occultist and warlock with a weed addiction. Generally businesspeople aren't also warlocks who smoke joints, so adding a little more background on that character would have helped explain the story better in my opinion.

July 18th, 2016, 12:54 AM
I also feel the need to ask if this is a story or a summary. Which one is it?

It was all very interesting but if it is a story you need to create a narrative with it. The piece lists the events that happen, almost in a blank fashion. If it's a summary this makes sense but as a narrative it does not.

Keep on writing! Cheers!

July 21st, 2016, 12:10 AM
This could be a writing/narrative style thing so I don't want to suggest that you NEED to change this, but I would consider trying to tone down the number of times you mention Alas. Try using pronouns or other sentence structures? Of course, this could all be first person narrative of a character who speaks in third person so...