Tower of Decisions (Fantasy/Horror)


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Thread: Tower of Decisions (Fantasy/Horror)

  1. #1

    Tower of Decisions (Fantasy/Horror)

    When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Terry Brooks' Shannara series of novels/stories about fantastic lands of intrigue and adventurousness, and I wanted to create a comparable 'realm' (Estoria), perhaps modelled after the 'fantasy-religiosity' in the recent Stephen King adapted film The Dark Tower (Matthew McConaughey).

    I'd love any kind of feedback regarding the 'democracy-morale cogency' of this original short-story, which is fantasy-horror in theme/concept. Does the moral come across with sufficient intelligibility and clarity?

    Thanks (and enjoy!),





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    "I've secured the kingdom for all of my people(s). I am married now and wish to settle down in peace(!). Be sure and confident that the thread of the chaotic dragon Leviathan named Scorpion has subsided and the kingdom surfaces finally. Now, the only thing to consider is how to 'bless' the new legion of heroes, the army of defenders and commandeers who will keep this grand kingdom safe from the threat of the underground threat which lay dormant while Scorpion reigned --- the threat of the red dragon named King-Crab [KC]." -Max Sterling (King of Estoria)

    After King Max delivered this great speech to the people of Estoria on the day of his marriage to the lovely Queen Belinda (who was with child!), advocates of the kingdom rejoiced in the fact that the dominion/realm was forever safe from the clutching grip of Scorpion, a creature who insisted that the best way to 'construct' capitalist systems was to promote bloodlust and piracy through fear of extinction and homelessness. Scorpion had burned entire villages with his fiery-breath and compelled various warriors and princes to quest after the 'cure' to capitalism's sins and vices. This is what inspired the great prince (now king!) Max to raise his incredible sword Dimisha to assuage and down the shadowy influence of Scorpion.

    However, critics of Estoria maintained the more 'stubborn' view that KC [King-Crab] was no less a subversive/threatening presence than Scorpion and therefore required the good citizens of Max's grand kingdom to continue to ponder about the armaments and refurbishments afforded to the 'new army' that would engage KC boldly. These Estoria-critics believed the King (Max) and Queen (Belinda) were too 'sentimental' to command the new army that would contend with KC, which is why they hired a new bishop to manage the organized army. This new army that would fight KC was called the Crimson Guard and it was led by the ABCD bishop Matthew.

    MATTHEW: Estoria is a magnificent place, my Lord.
    MAX: You've ascended to mighty prominence, Bishop Matthew.
    MATTHEW: I've been entrusted to lead the great Crimson Guard.
    MAX: It's comforting knowing that no one fears Scorpion anymore!
    MATTHEW: That's thanks to you, Max; now, let us deal with King-Crab.
    MAX: Yes, I see the wisdom of your counsel, Matthew!
    MATTHEW: Do not fear for the sanctity of Estoria's manors and villages.
    MAX: Yes, I feel that farmers and governors are equally pleased...
    MATTHEW: The Crimson Guard will slip in-and-out of darkness to fight!
    MAX: I'm confident your 'army' will do what is right to handle King-Crab.
    MATTHEW: We're pleased by your faith in us, great king of Estoria.
    MAX: I will pass on your complimentary words to the grateful queen.
    MATTHEW: You have our love...

    As expected, Bishop Matthew spoke rightly and wisely with the very opinionated King Max of Estoria. Scorpion had indeed been ousted and safety was reached. This gave Matthew extra 'social incentive' to take up the reins to command the great Crimson Guard. This new army understood well that this new (red) dragon [KC] was nothing to take lightly or neglect, which is why Matthew personally confronted KC and negotiated a special 'deal' with the sharp-tongued dragon, persuading him not to destroy the grand tower which stood at the center of Estoria beside the grand castle of the King (Max) and Queen (Belinda). KC confessed to Bishop Matthew that Scorpion was rightly detested and therefore gave the Crimson Guard 'blessings' to confront the dragon without any explicit threat to the 'tower of decisions' at the center of Estoria and to the castle of Max and Belinda (the king and queen!).

    The Crimson Guard went out that very same night to contend with King-Crab somewhere deep in the forests of Realda, which lay on the outskirts of Estoria. The forest was thick with a blinding fog that night, so Matthew's men had to keep their senses/eyesight keen for any signs of the lurking KC (King-Crab). When Matthew spotted KC hiding behind a large rock, he ordered 10 of his men to charge towards the rock with swords and bows raised. KC then leaped out of hiding and spit his fiery-breath and burned the faces of 20 of Matthew's men, and as the searing crispy skin began peeling off their faces, Matthew's men gave out a terrible but indistinguishable scream of frustrated agony(!). Matthew knew this would be the new 'frontline' of Estoria-defense!

    MAX: Matthew's men took pain last night, my good queen.
    BELINDA: Relax, my king; the Crimson Guard is clear in vision!
    MAX: I have placed/expressed great confidence in Bishop Matthew.
    BELINDA: Matthew has been given a special medallion of leadership!
    MAX: How'd you know that, Belinda?
    BELINDA: My maidservants informed me, Max...
    MAX: I see; you have to be sure there's no secrets brewing.
    BELINDA: You suspect I was 'snooping' around, eh?
    MAX: Nah; I was merely concerned you were 'gossiping' with soldiers!
    BELINDA: Relax, my worrying Lord; this is our time to simply rule as benefactors.
    MAX: It's strange changing from princely-warrior to 'noble king,' Belinda.
    BELINDA: Don't worry; I will help and guide you.
    MAX: I constantly worry about the Crimson Guard!
    BELINDA: I will help you lead as a 'diplomat' of comfort...

    Matthew appreciated how the royal court had afforded him honors/rights comparable to those afforded to him by the Crimson Guard itself! He was confident that despite the horrifying initial encounter with King-Crab [KC] that his mighty men ('warriors of the night') would find new and creative ways to engage with KC and construct defensive perimeters in Estoria that would ensure peaceful/safe commerce, enabling King Max to promote and praise great new peace-promoting capitalism 'arrangements.' If Estoria was to be shielded from the venomous breath of KC, the Crimson Guard would need to ward of this terrible red dragon from the kingdom, and Bishop Matthew would need to secure any military initiative as a 'religious sign' of great capitalism prophecy. How would the great 'tower of decisions' (a beacon or symbol of grand democracy) at the center of Estoria stand amidst all this (continuing) terrorism-oriented intrigue? This was a great land/realm of awesome directions!


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  2. #2
    The way the story is written makes it hard to get into. It reads like a textbook, except for the dialogue parts, which are kind of clunky. I like that it's not taking itself too seriously, but the characters/events don't really feel alive. Remember that a story is not just a chronicle of events, but is more like a vivid dream produced in the reader's mind by the text. Don't just talk about things that happened; put the reader in the action. As for a moral, I'm not really picking up on one.
    "So long is the way to the unknown, long is the way we have come. . ." ~ Turisas, Five Hundred and One

    "[An artist is] an idiot babbling through town. . .crying, 'Dreams, dreams for sale! Two for a kopek, two for a song; if you won't buy them, just take them for free!'" ~ Michael O' Brien,
    Sophia House

    Christ is risen from the dead,
    trampling on Death by death,
    And on those in the tombs,
    lavishing light.



  3. #3
    I agree with ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord, this doesn't read like a story. This is an assembly of different writing forms kind of pieced together. It makes it a little jolting for the reader and hard to get into. While this seems interesting, and your premise is there, I'm not sure that it's working for me either. This reads like a simple "telling" of a sequence of events and occurrences, not really a story in itself per se.

    Just my amateur opinion!

  4. #4
    This reads like a boring, extremely awkward newspaper clipping that was written ten years after the actual events occurred. The fact that your characters put so many nouns in 'quotes' makes it sound like everyone is being extremely sarcastic all the time. If this was your intention, it belies the apparently serious tone of the story. If I were you, I would worry less about morality and more about engaging your audience. People don't read fiction to hear an author debate hypothetical political theories, they want to enjoy a good story. Making your readers think is fine, but if you don't do it in a way that draws them in organically, it comes across as hamfisted and annoying.

  5. #5
    As I read this story, I actually thought it should be much longer.

    This new army understood well that this new (red) dragon [KC] was nothing to take lightly or neglect, which is why Matthew personally confronted KC and negotiated a special 'deal' with the sharp-tongued dragon, persuading him not to destroy the grand tower which stood at the center of Estoria beside the grand castle of the King (Max) and Queen (Belinda)


    That alone could easily be pages of interesting adventure, danger, and dialogue.

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