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Thread: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 03/01; Part III.2]

  1. #21
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey

    Good update! That's a nicely ominous last line.

  2. #22

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey

    Good updates, with a nice bit of character development mixed in via the responses in that last conversation. That sort of subtle character building is very nice, and does a lot more in the long run than a page of meticulous description ever could. You put the feeling of the man in there without just saying how he is. I liked that!

    @Swaeft, I think you have mistaken the elderly peasant from the valley for this old man in the tower. Unless I'm mistaken these are different people, and so there isn't any turnaround happening in the scribe's attitudes. However, the fact that Swaeft could make that connection at all is a small problem for you Cookiegod. It might be worthwhile to make it more explicit or clear who is who in this, without doing it in such a way that flow is broken or anything like that. Honestly, just changing "elderly peasant" to "young peasant" might do it, because then there wouldn't be the temptation for the reader to conjure two seemingly identical images of "old men". A young peasant can also given good advice which is scoffed at, and then there's no grounds for confusion. Just a thought though.
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  3. #23

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey

    The last dialogue was great! That man seems dangerous, for some reason, and not only because of the last line - even from the dialogue alone he seems wicked and powerful, in a personal way. Can't wait see what these evil deeds are!

  4. #24
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    Default I.5 Nightmarish Beginnings

    Nightmarish Beginnings
    There are but two kinds of stories to every human life: Those he likes to share, and those he is keen to keep a secret.
    In the case of the old lord, all of these were so thoroughly interwoven that he did not know how to start.
    Our first session, on the day after he had ‘hired’ me, was thus doomed from the start – he did not utter a word, whereas I waited, feather and parchment ready, for him to dictate his story.
    After a while I grew impatient, turned around to ask him when we were going to begin, but the stern look in his eyes piercing through my body and into my soul reminded me what a pretty view I had through the window in front of me, especially when enjoyed in silence.
    I drifted into my own thoughts after a while.

    I could not help but wonder how he had that effect on people. You may find it strange that I got scared so easily, since words can only convey so much. But as I stood there, trying hard not to look at him and with nothing to do otherwise, I found that stranger still. I only knew the fear was there, but in spite of all my ruminations I could not yet point the finger as to why.
    He rarely raised his voice, and so far never his hand. Yet he knew how to convey the message effectively that if someone was to raise his ire, his first strike would be a final one as well.
    And whilst his men had taunted me as we all had stood before him in our first meeting, I could not help but sense they shared that fear of him.
    It was one thing to scare a young priest, but how he scared a band of well-armed warriors outnumbering him was completely beyond me.

    The door then slammed behind me and I was torn from my musings. The old man had resigned, leaving me without a word.

    The rest of the day went without incident, but in the darkest hour of the night, as I was trying to sleep but was unable to do so for all my worries, I found my answer.
    Having heard some strange noise, I rose from the heap of straw in the stables I had been accommodated in and stepped outside. The moonlight shone on my surroundings and enabled me to discern most of them.
    I looked at the dilapidated buildings to my right, where the lords henchmen were housed. They were quiet. The noise I could now identify as screams didn’t come from there.
    One of the men was standing guard not far from me. He saw me and quickly reasoned as to what I was after. He pointed to my left, then simply shrugged, as if this was something normal.
    I turned left, and saw in front of me the dark silhouette of the tower. The frantic screams came from in there. No lights were on. The old man lived there alone.
    ‘A terrible nightmare.’ I surmised. As if he was possessed by a demon. Not the kind of dreams one would expect to occur often. And yet the guard was used to it.
    Then it hit me. Those were the screams of a man haunted by the demons of his past, and with that I had the answer as to how the old wolf was able to command the men around him the way he did:
    To be able to instill such subtle, indescribable yet complete and lasting terror in every soul around him, one had to have endured much of it himself.

    The story the old man dreamt, dear reader, was of the kind one scarcely shares with another.
    It is a story he did not tell me until much later, when our relationship had evolved significantly. Yet it is important I share it with you now.
    It is the story that marks the fateful beginning of it all, and it begins, where all of this ends:
    In the valley.
    Last edited by Cookiegod; December 06, 2018 at 03:02 PM. Reason: edit 1: formatting; edit 2: sentence changed thanks to Skotos & Kilo!

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 19/8; Part I.5]

    Dear friends,
    Thanks for your support so far, please comment on the story, as that'd help me a lot. Even the tiniest detail that annoys you can help me improve.
    I have, as always, taken your advice to heart and acted on it. I think Swaefts mix-up of the peasant with the wolf has to do with me calling both for old men in the same chapter.
    So I changed the one time I mention the former by calling him an 'old peasant' instead. That should've fixed it. Can't make him younger though: In times of crisis, young people go away, old people stay.

    My predicament
    The thing that bugs me, is however, how much this story drags out. The constant teasing but lack of real action must be a turn-off in the long run, and I fear people'll stop reading as a result.
    I think you guys deserve an explanation as to why. Maybe you have a solution to my predicament:

    I've planned the story out, roughly, but not in detail. Major characters have story arcs, they evolve and change.
    So there are many things I know instinctively should be include, but don't think of until I'm actually writing it.
    And yes, I know I'm overdoing it for an AAR, but even though it's a hobby with no serious aspirations, I'm a perfectionist and ambitious. I always strive to get better.

    The lack of planning is mostly by design. I don't want to end up in a writers corner, where I can't finish the story satisfactory. But I still want to be able to surprise myself.

    However, as a result of my lackluster planning, there are many more parts needed than I think. I always find some details to flesh out.
    Even here with the priest, the valley and the old man, even though they might seem irrelevant or as a means of storytelling - they are more than that.

    Initially I'd thought part 1-4 would simply be the prologue, and just one part. As you all know there are 4 of them now. The latest installment I thought would be just one paragraph in the part where the nightmare'd be the main dish. Instead it grew so long, I decided to make it it's own part.
    Given the next part is already half written, you can for once believe me that the next part will happen somewhat soon, and that it's for once going to include action. For once I'm not lying. *cough*

    I have already made some changes to my plans. What I originally thought would be chapter two, which'd also take place before the actual game, I've decided to ax completely. It'll still exist in my brain, but whatever sequences from there are relevant to the story, can be described later on. There's no reason why the story has to be described in perfect chronological order. I forgot that somehow.
    Were I to leave that part in and knowing myself, chances would be that we'd never arrive at that point where the gameplay actually begins. So praised be the cookielord that I don't.
    Be sure to tell me if you think there are other darlings that should be killed.


    So yeah, due to the slightly changed structure: 2-3 parts to go/suffer through in chapter 1, then we'll be in the actual game.
    Next part will have a nice change of style and is due to be posted within the first half of next week.

    Images are also something I'm working on, though I'm not promising you anything there. You'll see nothing for as long as it's no good.
    Don't forget to comment on what a narcicist great guy I am. Thanks!
    Last edited by Cookiegod; August 19, 2018 at 11:03 AM. Reason: contentbox added.
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 19/8; Part I.5]

    Hey, believe it or not I am actually facing kind of the same problem you are right now, too much to write with too little action that will eventually result in a turn off for readers. Damn the perfectionism of it all...don't worry! I'll stick with the story, and sorry about the mix up, guess I didn't catch the difference. So now this valley has become an intriguing place...I wonder what will happen next.

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  7. #27

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 19/8; Part I.5]

    Cookiegod, this is a very nice update! It's dark and ominous and brings to mind those things that go bump in the night but never seem to be under our beds when we look; the terrors that lie behind our own eyes. I have only two very small suggestions that just aim at the sound of a couple sentences (content and feel are all on point, but I read "aloud" in my head so sometimes I will "hear" something that is odd to me).

    1. In line 4 I would make the following change: "After a while I grew impatient, turned around to ask him when we were going to begin, but the stern look in his eyes piercing right through my body and into my soul reminded me what a pretty view I had through the window in front of me, especially when enjoyed in silence."
    2. In the line that is centered I would make the following change: "To be able to instil such subtle, indescribable yet complete and lasting terror in every soul around him, one had to have endured a lot much of it himself."

    These are just little things though, and what you've got is great! Regarding your question/predicament, I don't think you should worry too much about it, unless you yourself don't like having these things in there. At the end of the day there will certainly be some people who are turned off by the lack of action, but there will also be some people who really like how you are going about this (I, for one, much prefer the sort of thing you are doing, where the characters get more fleshed out and the scenes are given a rich feel, rather than just blundering through battles one after another). The important thing is to write what you want to write, and you will get some readers simply because it will be better because you care more about it. Besides, this type of AAR is one that is less common in the fora, with many having little to no development like this, and simply that change of pace is interesting for many readers. I think rather than worrying about the amount of action or how long it takes you to get to the actual game elements, it is better to just ask whether these posts are contributing to the story. I would say that they certainly are, and given that, there is no serious reason to question them. Now, if they do become burdensome and start to detract from the forward momentum of the tale, then rethink them for sure, but up to this point they are contributing quite nicely to a variety of subtle elements of story-building.

    One small thought on images: I am also a bit more of a stickler for having things "just right" when I put them up, but I just sucked it up and uploaded my first map way before it was ready and found that to actually be quite helpful, because I was so embarrassed by what I had posted that I then immediately went to fixing it and editing the post. Maybe uploading a bad image will give you the kick in the pants needed to perfect it quickly, and then you'll be ready to roll! Just a thought though.

    At any rate, I am really liking your AAR (one of the top 5 here, in my opinion), and I'll be looking forward to the upcoming installments!

    @Swaeft: My comments about pacing apply to you and your AAR as well; as long as you're happy, keep it up, and only stress about the "forward motion" of the AAR if your posts fail to contribute to the story, otherwise they are probably okay!
    Last edited by Kilo11; August 20, 2018 at 01:43 AM. Reason: Forgot something... oops.
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  8. #28
    Swaeft's Avatar Drama King
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 19/8; Part I.5]

    @Kilo11 Yeah, it's a fine line to thread between too much narration and too much action, but its less about pleasing the crowd and more about getting your story done, so that's solid advice right there.

    @Cookiegod Since your AAR isn't even limited to a single faction in particular you have many more possibilities, so I really wouldn't worry too much about the lack of action, like Kilo11 said, it's really a different take on an AAR from what the rest of us are doing, so don't feel the need to conform to standard AARtistry. A note on pictures that I missed out earlier: They aren't necessary, but I do feel that they really do help the story along, so try to include them when you can. Anyway the mistake most people make is spamming their post with images, so no worries there. Keep it up!

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  9. #29
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    Default I.6 The Beginning untold

    The Beginning Untold
    "Be brave, little wolf; brave and quiet.” Laidulf said.
    Gundulf, firmly held and with a hand on his mouth, could but barely nod, and after a while his uncle finally released him.
    They were standing right beneath the bridge, which was some distance above them, as the ravine, carved by a stream, was quite deep at this point. The water they stood in was shallow but ice cold. Spring water always is in the mountains, even on a hot day such as that one. But neither of them paid any attention to their cold feet or the hot air.
    Both had their gaze firmly fixed on the tower in the distance, the upper half of which was visible even from here.
    A corpse was hanging from its battlements.
    Not long ago it had been the body of a powerful noble, the lord who had ruled the valley, no less.
    Now it was but a message, clearly visible for all his former subjects with eyes to see.
    It was a message even the boy in the ravine, a mere 6 years old, understood.
    Tears formed in his eyes.
    The corpse had also been his father.

    He felt one hand pat him on the shoulder and then grip it firmly, the other hand he could make out from the corner of his eyes to move up right next to the face.
    His uncle didn’t take any chances. The last thing Laidulf needed was for his nephew to give away their hideout – be it with noise or by running away. Thus he was ready to restrain him at any moment, but before it became necessary they heard a high pitched call from above.
    Gundulf looked up and saw an eagle circle in the sky, occasionally crying out as it searched for prey.
    “Don’t worry.” said Laidulf, as he had followed his nephews glance and conjectured badly what his thoughts might have been. “They are noble animals. They don’t eat corpses.”
    The child hadn’t even thought of that possibility. Tears formed anew.
    How had it come to this?

    The day had started rather merry, though Gundulf had understood little of it.
    The town had been packed with armed men. Friends from the south, his father had said: Friends who had come to help father fight a very bad man. He overheard others calling him a margrave.

    Everyone was sure of victory. The townspeople cheered from the waysides. He and the other children had run ahead of the host until they reached the bridge. Then they had watched them pass. They all had a confident look in their faces - all except Laidulf, who commanded the rear guard. Gundulf's father could not fight, as he was injured on one of his legs. He had stayed in the tower, and surely watched them from the top.
    As soon as the army had left, the children had stayed by the bridge and played a war of their own, and were beating each other with sticks. Gundulf and his rival Matteo had fought especially hard. Matteo was of the same age, and the son of a merchant, who had no noble blood, but whose wealth rivalled that of the lord. The two had often fought bitterly, and so did their sons.
    Unless someone lesser provoked them, that is. Later, Gundulf and Matteo were both beating down on the stableman’s son. The boy was younger than them, and even if he hadn’t been outnumbered it wouldn’t have been a fair fight. He had been lying on the street crying for a while before the two finally had stopped. By then the shame had kicked in and they both had looked away. That was when they had seen the returning soldiers, who had presented a much different sight than they had in the morning. Their formation was long gone, and so were the cocky smiles they had had that morning. Few still carried their weapons, some were bleeding, and some had wetted their pants. The riders didn’t care much about the people in their way. One almost trampled the stableboy, had the other two not pulled him away at the last moments notice.

    And soon there was chaos. The children were too perplexed to do anything but watch. Then Laidulf returned, and promptly after crossing the bridge pulled Gundulf on his horse.
    “You all need to go home.” He had said to the rest of the children, and then he had spurred his horse, and ridden towards the tower.
    As they rode through town it was already in panic. People were discussing the news, and how to act on them. Some already seemed to know who was to blame and threw stones at the two. Laidulf had only little time to explain to his brother what had happened. The defeat was obvious. What should be done about it was not. The yelling in the town grew louder. Some were marching towards the tower, in clear malintent.

    “Go!” the lord had yelled. He himself could not run because of his leg. And it would have been unseemly too.
    Laidulf grabbed Gundulf once more and ran up the mountains and towards the forrest. He left the horse behind as it would have been of little of use off the road, and very tired as well.
    They could soon hear the screams from the tower behind them as they ran. They didn’t turn around.
    They seemed trapped regardless, and had indubitably been seen. The way back through the town towards the bridge was out of the question, and the mob would beat them to the mountain pass as well.
    But Laidulf had another idea. Once they had reached the woods and were out of sight, he turned right. The ravine was neither deep nor wide at this point, but merely a man’s height.
    Laidulf had jumped down and then helped his nephew down. Then they had run the entire length of it until they had reached the bridge. The spring water had hidden their track from both trackers and dogs. Laidulf had assumed correctly that no one would look for them here. No one had assumed they’d run towards the enemy, who by now was surely advancing on the valley.

    And now they were here, the dead lord hanging in the distance, and the eagle circling above them - Until it flew on.
    “Now!” Laidulf said: “Climb on my back. Don’t slip! And stay quiet!”
    And then he had climbed the rocks where it was feasible.
    The two of them hid in the bushes once they had reached the top. They could see soldiers from behind as they crossed the bridge towards the town. But these men were different from the ones they had seen not long ago. They still had their weapons, as well as order in their ranks. This was the host of the liege. The infantry was followed by riders.
    Gundulf was caught by surprise as he was suddenly pulled up by his uncle and pushed towards the road.
    “My liege!” his uncle exclaimed.
    The riders stopped, and looked around. Some of them reached for their swords. Their leader, an old man, ordered them to stand down.
    Laidulf went down on a knee in front of the liege, and with one hand forced the child to kneel also.
    “I am Laidulf." He said: "Brother of Gundulf. This is his son by the same name. We surrender!”
    Last edited by Cookiegod; October 23, 2018 at 10:53 AM. Reason: New edit: Font changed//Old edits: Apostrophes added. Also some other minor changes. THX KILO! :D

  10. #30
    Swaeft's Avatar Drama King
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 20/8; Part I.6]

    -Hey Swaeft, come quick.

    -Yeah, what is it?

    -Cookiegod's written an update...with ACTION!

    *Runs over*

    Jokes aside, this is a refreshing update! The confidence that suddenly turned into despair was an unwelcome surprise, but had a very authentic feel to it. I love how the men all marched out of the town expecting victory, then suddenly only a few of them make it back in shambles. Poor Gundulf, having to deal with the atrocities of war at such a tender age.

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  11. #31

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 20/8; Part I.6]

    Brilliant update Cookiegod! I would rep you thrice for this, (hehe, that sounded dirty ) but unfortunately I think I have to spread some around first. The pace and tone is spot on at every point, building the panic well as the townspeople look for their scapegoat and then deftly lowering it down to that dread melancholy on seeing the dead lord. I have absolutely nothing to add or comment on about the actual story itself here, as you've done excellently, but there are a number of apostraphes missing for possessive nouns and conjunctions. Just give it a quick go-over to check where they are and fix them; shouldn't be but a moment's work. And when you are done with that fire us another update, because this is getting really good!

    Also, now that a couple more updates have been added this month, you should totally submit this for the monthly after action report competition! You'd get a bit more publicity and potential viewers, not to mention a few Writer's Study points if you win (which I'd put fair odds on!).
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 20/8; Part I.6]

    Indeed as Kilo11 and Swaeft pointed out, you shouldn't worry about the lack of action in the story. It is what will attract some and repulse some but as they also stated it is you who needs to be content with the story and then others will follow. I myself am thoroughly enjoying this one. It is something different, something refreshing, something new. So I would say just carry on with what you think is good and your true followers will reveal themselves.

    Keep it coming my dear fellow! +rep

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 20/8; Part I.6]

    I have to ask: Did you guys see the connection between the last two parts, or did I do it wrong?
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  14. #34

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 20/8; Part I.6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    I have to ask: Did you guys see the connection between the last two parts, or did I do it wrong?
    I didn't at first, but only because I read them a day apart and did a number of things in between. I just looked (very quickly) over both of them, and at the "bridge" between, and I think the flow works pretty dang well. At any rate, when your first chapter is all the way finished I certainly plan to re-read all the entries for it in one go. I think you've managed to do a lot more thinking about the overall story than most of us get in, and that bleeds through into the writing in subtle but great ways. Unfortunately my pasta-strainer brain can't hold all the cool details in when I read things with gaps between, so I need a sit-down with the whole chapter
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  15. #35
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 20/8; Part I.6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    I have to ask: Did you guys see the connection between the last two parts, or did I do it wrong?
    Like Kilo11, I didn't see a connection at first. I don't think that's a bad thing, necessarily. It depends how subtle you wanted the connection to be.

    Perhaps, because of the nature of posting an AAR in instalments, we might want to give our readers more hints than we would normally include, if we were writing a novel. I'm thinking of the novels of Charles Dickens, which were published in instalments originally if I remember correctly. Reading his stories as novels (not in instalments over a long period), I tend to experience his characters and events as exaggerated. Maybe Dickens made his characters and events 'larger than life' so that his readers needed to remember them over a long period of time? Of course, that's not the only possible explanation - my perception of his writing might simply reflect changes in novel writing styles over the last century, his personal style and my preferences. I'm certainly not suggesting that you should copy the clunky style of Dickens!

    Your question prompted me to look back at your last two updates. I think I see the connection - I'll put it in a spoiler, since it is one - but I might be wrong.

    Spoiler for warning, this is a potential spoiler
    In I.6, are we seeing the back story of the old lord in I.5, discovering the events in which the old lord endured much terror?

  16. #36
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 20/8; Part I.6]

    Hey, I finally had a bit of free time today so I came and revisited this AAR, and I think I finally see what you mean by the connection. Was a little hard for me to grasp at first glance, but I'm somewhat of a speed reader so I didn't catch it the first time. It's very subtle, but in a good way. Though if you hadn't mentioned the connection I probably wouldn't have noticed it.

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  17. #37
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 20/8; Part I.6]

    Thanks guys for your advice and feedback on this. It'll be hard to balance between being too obvious and too subtle. One of the things that I think might help would be different fonts for different timelines.

    I'd like to hear your opinions on what fonts I should use. Both for the new/old timeline, and whether you think Book Antiqua is easy to read. If it's not, I'll change that one as well.

    Next part is in work, but delayed due to technical difficulties and lack of time. With a bit of luck it might be out on sunday evening, but I don't promise anything anymore.

    To make ammends for keeping you waiting, a gif I made many years ago to tease my opponents in this hotseat:


    I found it by accident due to said technical difficulties.
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 20/8; Part I.6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Thanks guys for your advice and feedback on this. It'll be hard to balance between being too obvious and too subtle. One of the things that I think might help would be different fonts for different timelines.

    I'd like to hear your opinions on what fonts I should use. Both for the new/old timeline, and whether you think Book Antiqua is easy to read. If it's not, I'll change that one as well.
    I find Book Antiqua easy to read. I'd suggest identifying a few significant changes which occurred in between the two timelines and including references to them as hints - particularly if you're going to include some of the events where the significant changes occurred, either as present-day occurrences (as the older timeline moves in) or as discoveries, memories or stories (in the newer time-line).

    For example, a particular lord might be regarded in the earlier time-line as just an ordinary local baron, neither better or worse than any other. But, in events in between the timelines, that lord might become a traitor or a great hero. This means that, when his name is mentioned in the old timeline, no-one reacts. But, when his name is mentioned in the new time-line, people roll their eyes in scorn, or raise a tankard in respect, or something similar. Ordinary speech often includes cultural reference points, for example when we compare someone or something to recent events - and, of course, cultural reference points change over time. In one era, a city is associated with its glorious past as thriving trading port. Years later, people who mention the same city might be referring to its bloody sack by pirates or barbarians, so the cultural reference changes from 'as rich as a [city's name] trader' to 'as desperate and hopeless as a [city's name] beggar'.

  19. #39
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    Default I.7 Divide et Impera

    Divide Et Impera

    I had gone back to my bed after hearing the old man scream, but had a hard time falling asleep. And once I finally did, I had a nightmare of my own:

    I was running, as fast as I could. Wolves chased me, and were easily keeping up with me. Wherever I turned, they were already there. And when I finally stumbled and fell, the pack surrounded me. The biggest of them, twice the size of the others and thrice that of mine, stepped on me. His weight pressed the air out of my lungs and it felt as if I were slowly being crushed. I could neither scream nor move, and finally the beast had its enormous head right above mine. Countless scars dotted its face, and its piercing grey eyes looked straight into my eyes and into my soul.
    It blotted its teeth, opened its mouth, and I expected to be torn apart any moment. Instead he screamed at me with such force I felt the ground tremble beneath me. Before I could understand what the wolf was yelling I woke up, shaking and covered in sweat.
    I then realised the voice of the beast in my dream and that of the old man in the tower had been the same.

    I stumbled outside for some fresh air, and found the real world in stark contrast to my dream.
    The morning was young, the sun had not yet eclipsed the mountaintop, and everything was quiet, safe for the birds and the wind.
    The guard I had seen earlier on the night was sleeping on his post and no screams could be heard from the tower.
    I saw the old man sitting on his usual spot in front of it, and after a while walked up to greet him.
    The old wolf sat motionless and seemingly preoccupied. His eyes were open, and his gaze firmly fixed on the bridge.
    His mind too seemed focused on something distant...

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Order was re-established as quickly as it had broken down. The host of the liege found no opposition as it entered the town, and its march soon turned into a parade by the spectators on the roadsides. Those who are defeated face a terrible choice: They can choose to flee and hide, or they can stay and try to appease the victors, hoping they will not be the ones being made an example out of.

    Those on the waysides had made their choice. They hailed the victors as liberators and competed in heaping the most flattering praise on the men marching by, knowing fully well that any one of those may have been the one who slayed their kin.
    The time to lament the dead would be later. Now was the time to remain amongst the living.
    The very same fact was true for young Gundulf, who, having been taken captive by the liege; now found himself in the midst of the parade. He had not one friend in the masses surrounding him, only his uncle, who was walking besides him. Laidulf understood the situation very well, and with an iron grip on Gundulfs shoulder ensured that his exhausted nephew didn’t lag behind. The guards escorting them were as much their protectors as they were their captors.

    The column came to a halt once the liege had reached the church.
    Gundulf saw Matteo standing next to his father, who, as the richest man in the valley, had taken it on himself to greet the liege as its representative, and, in spite of the battle his community had lost, very much conducted himself as a man who had won.
    Laidulf wasn’t happy about that.
    “There isn’t a catastrophy bad enough that this weasel won’t turn a profit from it.” He remarked, bitterly and with such a low voice that only his nephew could hear it.
    And for now Laidulf seemed right: The ambitious merchant seemed set to become the new leader of the valley, as the lifeless corpse of his only obstacle could still be seen by all hanging from the tower. The only thing left for him to do was to charm the liege into some sort of recognition of his newfound position, and the two of them being seen by all to be talking to another could very well suffice.
    But neither he nor Laidulf had expected the liege to be as cunning as they were.
    “Who is the man hanging from the tower?” The liege exclaimed, just as the merchant had had greeted him and presented himself.
    It took a while for the dumbstruck merchant to respond: “Your enemy, sire.”
    The one responsible for the war. The one who had sinned against the god-given order by rebelling against his superior. Surely his grace would not be too disappointed by the demise of his betrayer?
    But the liege would have none of that: “You fool!” he said reproachful, his eyes firmly set on the humiliated merchant: “You admit this man has sinned against god by revolting against his superior, and knowing this you resolved to do the same?” And before he could receive an answer he had already turned away from him and to the rest of the assembly.
    “A nobleman!” The liege exclaimed, whilst theatrically pointing to the tower in the distance: “A nobleman butchered by mere commoners! My rule shall not be sullied by such sacrilege! I shall now ride there and see to it that he receives the proper burial a man of his standing deserves.”
    Then he turned back to the now quivering merchant and demanded threateningly: “And you shall bring me the man responsible for this crime before the sun sets, or face my wrath yourself.”
    Not waiting for an answer, the liege signalled his men to move on. The rest of their march happened in silence, with no spectators cheering them on. But the liege was content. He had not defeated one strongman merely to put another in his place. To ensure this valley’s loyalty a delicate balance of power was needed: A balance with two powerful men whose ambitions would neutralise the danger of the other. He had just now dealt with one of them, but the death of the other still posed a problem that had to be dealt with. In a stroke of luck for the liege, however, a suited replacement for the dead lord had surrendered to him earlier and was now walking behind him.

    Update
    Dear readers,
    I hope you liked this part and wanted to thank you for wasting your time on me. Especially if you're giving me feedback, since that's what keeps this story going (though admittedly slowly).
    I want to apologise for my usual lateness, I had a lot on my plate in my real life, and even right now I'm posting this through my smartphone, as I've recently moved and currently don't have any internet in my flat.

    That doesn't absolve me of all responsibility, however, as I'm making it harder for myself than it has to be.
    There's the good old conflict between architecture and gardening in writing. The former means planning ahead in order to get a better structure and flow in your story, the latter makes you grow your story and characters "organically", thereby making both more believable. I can't commit to either and therefore am suffering the worst of both worlds.
    On several occasions in this part I ended up deleting everything and starting over, and even now I still don't think it's any good.

    I still hope this part wasn't too boring or confusing, and am trying to make this up to you by posting the next, and final part of this chapter within the week. It will set the stage for the actual AAR, and hopefully clear up some questions you might have, like: "Why the hell does this chapter even exist?!?!"
    Best regards and may your enemies crumble before you,
    Cookie G.

    P.S: Oh yeah, I tried to avoid the confusion from the earlier part by separating the different timelines with different fonts.
    This here:
    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn
    I'd suggest identifying a few significant changes which occurred in between the two timelines and including references to them as hints - particularly if you're going to include some of the events where the significant changes occurred, either as present-day occurrences (as the older timeline moves in) or as discoveries, memories or stories (in the newer time-line).
    ...is some legit advice but also something I already was doing. Old wolf <-> little wolf. Also referencing the same landmarks (ravine, bridge, tower). It probably means I didn't do a particularly good job of it.
    Again there's some internal conflict that comes with it. I'm picturing everything in my head as I write it, so I know more or less how it's got to look, but I also try to stay on point and whenever I catch myself getting lost in some details I delete those. But maybe I'm deleting too much, in which case let me know. And there's maybe some boring or confusing stuff I forgot to delete, in which case, please, also let me know.
    P.P.S: I'm dreadfully sorry for my semi-absence. I've got a lot of catch-up to do with the other AARs and hope to do so within this week also.
    Last edited by Cookiegod; October 23, 2018 at 01:46 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    No one cares what Derc has to say.

  20. #40
    Derc's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 23/10; Part I.7]

    Nice part and also nice that you're back at it again.
    Really curious what the "actual AAR" will bring. :o

    The old man is my fave till now.

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