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MizzouRam
November 17th, 2016, 06:53 PM
The following is an excerpt from a novella I am currently editing, and a continuation of the passage "No Reward Can Be Spent in the Grave". As always, any and all critique is appreciated. Enjoy.

III
The Good Inman

The ride was smooth and gray since Remmy left the Bull’s Head Arms. Remmy brooded in his familiar fashion. Muscles tensed, jaw clenched, soul yearning for the days abundant comrade.

Fucking cunt. Should have known. Or did he know and not want to believe? Even amid the anger of the ambush, the disappointment in himself and Markham, a sense of sadness reigned. The brothers he had counted on in the past were a long forgotten memory. Valorum is a vague and unfamiliar place, precisely at the time when he needed a friend the most.
Word of Harron’s bounty had spread across the continent faster than Remmy could travel, and now every inn, township, and camp from here to the Anvil would be filled with swords looking to put his nickname to the test.

I’ve traded half of the world wanting me dead for the whole of it. Having to watch his back was not foreign to him, but usually he had one or two people around to help in that matter. Now he was all alone in the world. If I can’t trust Markham, then who can I trust?
Remmy cantered through the tall grasses of Hollow Priory astride Caller, a horse he had bought off a sickly old merchant peddling his wares just outside the Cress’ southern gate the day he arrived on the peninsula. He thought steed was an amazing deal for 22 sovereigns at the time, an assertion that it had proven true every day since. More than his horse, Caller had proven to be his only companion.

The small town of Fool’s Gallo crept onto the horizon later that afternoon. The village was little more than a handful of brown shacks with thatched roofs, a few thin cows wandering in the fields, and swine rooting greedily in the commons.
A few feeble slaves toiled in ragged grain fields to the west. When Remmy asked them were the town tavern was, the one raised a boney arm up to point northward down the muddy trace.

The village was a desolate husk of a settlement. In the middle of town was the gibbet from whence it got its name. No one was hanging from it at the time but Remmy didn’t doubt its practicality. He had heard rumors of a local sheriff who would leave the condemned hanging until either the corpse fell under it’s own weight, like a rotten apple off a winter tree, or when the time had come for a fresh corpse to take its place.

The “Hangman’s Hovel” couldn’t have been more derelict. Tables overturned, ale barrels were opened and flipped about the room, their contents long since pillaged.

“Hello!?” Remmy yelled to no response.

“This establishment is closed” a feminine voice called out from behind him.

Remmy whipped his head around, startled. The old woman was small and slender, although she stood upright. Her white hair was pulled back in a bun and she folded her hands behind her back like a servant ready for a command.

“That I can see.” Remmy said.

“Please leave.” She said sharply, standing tall and straight as a spear stabbed into the ground.

“I need to speak with your master. Where is he?”

Her eyes narrowed in annoyance.

“And you are…”

“None of your concern.”

“There was a comely girl and her retinue patronized this tavern six nights back. Blonde and very beautiful, most like. You would have noticed.”

“Not necessarily, sir. We see our fair share of young women in this establishment.”

“Not highborn, I reckon.”

“You’d be surprised.”
Remmy exhaled, trying to think of another way to go about this. “How long has he been gone? I’ve known a few tavern proprietors’ in my time. Not a one could tear themselves away from their place long enough to let this happen.”

“Lucium…he’s…. ” she uttered, her voice suddenly labored.

“He’s what?”

She shot the sharpest of looks in his direction. “He’s with your bitch.”

Remmy had to suppress a laugh. “Oh…I…a…I see”

“He had been losing sleep for weeks about this camp of brigands who’ve wholed up down the Piper. Then suddenly this trumped up brat from Valorum comes in with her 12 men at arms and starts throwing her name around like it means something in these parts, like she can do something about it.”

“Wait. They went to parlay with the men at that camp?”[JaJ1] (http://www.writingforums.com/#_msocom_1)

“People around these parts don’t have much. Lucium has always felt a responsibility to them.”

“You think he has been hurt…”

“Who are you?” she said, straightening herself.

“I am Remulus Lemarius Southwind. My employer is in search of his daughter.”

Her posture softened a bit. “Word travels fast.”

“The bigger the names, the faster the words, I’ve recently found. Who did this?” Remmy said, motioning to the mess about the tavern. The men at the camp.”

“No. This didn’t happen until Lucium left a few days afterward. This was done by a few of the young’uns in town. They would have never done this with him around, no matter how hungry they’ve gotten.”

“Can you tell me where the camp is?”

“Not exactly, they take kindly to people spying on them. But I do know it is northward. Only a few passersby had seen the camp from a distance. None who have gone to parlay with them have returned.”

“I see…” Remmy’s boots knocked on the ground as he strolled slowly across wooden floor.

“They all left with them, the man at arms, her maids, and the like?”
She nodded.

“Good, that means they should have left a trail.” Remmy turned to head out the door.

“Tell me you’ll bring him back to me” the women interrupted him, her voice buckling. “Please, he’s all I have, all this town has. Please tell him that Salandra wants him to come home.
Won’t you tell him that? Please?”

Remmy stood there eyeing her for a moment in silence. Then he turned and left her in her pain.

Pluralized
November 24th, 2016, 01:28 AM
Remulus "Remmy" Lemarius Southwind. That's quite a character name!

This story seems to figure out what it wants toward the end of this excerpt, though I think the lack of speech tags and some of the errors (like "They take kindly to people spying on them") kind of muddy it up. One or two well-placed pauses in the dialogue to drop a couple small hints at what the stakes of pursuing these 'brigands' would be and who the old woman wants him to bring back (Luclum?) really is.

At the outset, there's a few too many things going on for me to keep the storyline straight. In the space of a couple paragraphs we're expected to remember things like Markham, Valorum, Harron, Inman, Caller, Hollow Priory...

The first couple of sentences are really tough to understand also. Would recommend making this opener a bit more interesting and clear to read, so it acts as a sort of hook.

Hope something here's useful. It did start to flow a bit better as he rode into town and started talking to the old woman, but having a tiny bit more clarity in the context would help tremendously. Some good atmospheric ideas and a good tone overall.

~Plurps

1Zaslowcrane1
November 25th, 2016, 11:22 PM
Hi
Zaslow here...

A few hitches to deal with:

The small town of Fool’s Gallo(ws?) crept onto the horizon later that afternoon.


Her eyes narrowed in annoyance.

“And you are…”

“None of your concern.”

“There was a comely girl and her retinue patronized this tavern six nights back. Blonde and very beautiful, most like. You would have noticed.”

“Not necessarily, sir. We see our fair share of young women in this establishment.”

“Not highborn, I reckon.”

“You’d be surprised.”
Remmy exhaled, trying to think of another way to go about this. “How long has he been gone? I’ve known a few tavern proprietors’ in my time. Not a one could tear themselves away from their place long enough to let this happen.”

“Lucium…he’s…. ” she uttered, her voice suddenly labored.

“He’s what?”

She shot the sharpest of looks in his direction. “He’s with your bitch.”
...There are too many places where it's unclear who is speaking


“I see…” Remmy’s boots knocked on the ground as he strolled slowly across wooden floor. (Is it wooden or dirt floor?- unclear)


“Not exactly, they (DON'T?) take kindly to people spying on them. But I do know it is northward. Only a few passersby had seen the camp from a distance. None who have gone to parlay with them have returned.”


All in all, I was interested but these little mistakes destroy the flow that you've created.
Rewrite?
Read it aloud to someone else?
Best of luck
Best wishes
Z

Gold Bearer
April 21st, 2017, 11:48 PM
I am enjoying these but the people are a little nasty for my taste. How hard would it have been for him to nod his head at the end a deliver a simple message if he could. What a cock! :)

', an assertion that it had proven true every day since.' No it.

'When Remmy asked them were the town tavern was,' Where.

'the one raised a boney arm up to point northward down the muddy trace.' No the.

'I’ve known a few tavern proprietors’ in my time.' No '.

'12 men at arms' I still say twelve is better but this might just be personal taste.

'“Wait. They went to parlay with the men at that camp?”[JaJ1]'

'Who did this?” Remmy said, motioning to the mess about the tavern. The men at the camp.”' Needs a ? instead of . at the end.

'Not exactly, they take kindly to people spying on them.' Don't take kindly.

MadMickyG
April 24th, 2017, 01:15 PM
Me personally, I would've typed 'Not exactly. They don't take kindly to people spying on them.' Might not be correct, but how I would write it.

“The bigger the names, the faster the words, I’ve recently found. Who did this?” Remmy asked, motioning to the mess about the tavern. “The men at the camp?” Again, how I'd write it.

I would have gone with 'Then he turned and left her with her pain.' or "Without another word, he turned, leaving the old woman with her pain."

There is something building here, like the tension of a slow burning fuse you cant extinguish. But as has been mentioned, basic errors that need tidying up. :)