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Thread: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 01/09; Part II.7]

  1. #41

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 23/10; Part I.7]

    Good to see you back at the mill Cookiegod!

    The latest update is nicely done, andI like the use of both timelines in the same post. To be honest, I didn't even notice the change in font, but I did recognize that the beginning was the "current" timeline with the chronicler and the rest was the "past" timeline with the actual events of the AAR. So either the writing is keeping things straight, or the font helped, but either way, it works, so keep that up. I also think as a running measure it's nice to switch bewteen both timelines with some regularity, as that could keep us better connected to the events of both. (You're doing that already, and doing it well, so this is not a suggestion for any change, just a mention that what you're up to works well )

    I also don't think you need to worry at all about "the point" of this chapter. I, for one, am enjoying it, and it is definitely setting a certain tone and style well, as well as bookending the events in a clear fashion, all of which are valuable things for the overall quality and flow of the story.

    The only other thing I can say is that I'm looking forward to see how Laidulf responds to the changing times, and what he plans to do about it all. He seems a practical sort of man, but having your brother killed and being used as a plaything by a king are things not easily borne.
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  2. #42
    Cookiegod's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 23/10; Part I.7]

    Thank you Kilo, it's good to hear from you again. My next piece should've come today, but alas, real life coupled with poor planning have come in the way yet again. If I'm lucky I can bring out the next piece tomorrow. I also expect delivery of my new graphics tablet soon, and look forward to put it to use for this here.
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  3. #43
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 23/10; Part I.7]

    Kilo has said all that I would so I won't repeat it. I thought it was a lovely and interesting read and certainly did see the "point" of it so don't worry too much about that I would say.

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  4. #44
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    Default I.8 Three of them

    Three of them

    “There were three of us.”, the old wolf said, without averting his eyes from the distance.
    I had walked up to greet him, but he cut me short when I was just about to open my mouth.
    “Three?” I asked puzzled: “Three of what?”
    Only then did he turn his head and looked me in the eyes. I must have been an open book to him, and the restless night of mine easy to spot. His face on the other hand was hard to read.
    He didn’t answer my question, as was his custom.
    Instead he rose, and with a bitter smile he pointed towards the door that led into the tower.
    “I am ready now.”

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

    Gundulf’s father by the same name was buried unceremoniously, though his former liege had honoured it with his presence, and his priest gave the body the last rites.
    As his father was lowered into the ground, Gundulf’s heart sank as well, and the reality of it all finally dawned upon him. He sobbed, and was held by his uncle, as he had been so often that day. The sun was about to set, and Laidulf knew his nephew was exhausted by their trials, so he carried the boy to the stables. As the tower would be occupied by the liege and his entourage, the uncle laid Gundulf in a pile of hay, where he soon fell asleep.

    Laidulf then went to negotiate with the liege, Matteo’s father arriving soon after, and the three of them began to negotiate the future of the valley.
    The proud and already powerful merchant once again tried in vain to convince the liege to entrust him with the valley, but was refused.
    The liege was adamant: No matter the crimes of the lord, his son was his rightful successor.
    But Gundulf was young, too young to rule. Someone had to rule in his stead, and the upbringing of the now orphaned child was an issue as well.
    And so the liege turned to Laidulf, asking him if he, as the boy’s closest relative and warden, would be faithful if he were to rule in Gundulf’s stead.
    Laidulf happily
    agreed. The liege then pointed out that the child would soon reach the age where it was customary to send them to another lord to serve as a pagus, and proposed that he’d gladly take the boy under his wings.
    Laidulf, fully aware that his liege had asked for his nephew as a hostage to ensure his loyalty, once again agreed.

    The liege then turned to the merchant, and asked, if the boy he had seen standing by him had been his son. The merchant
    gulped, fully aware what was about to happen, and could but barely nod.
    “Then he too” The liege said: “would benefit from seeing the world. A friend of mine, a rich man whose business stretches far and wide, has much to teach and can always use another pair of hands. I can take your son to him, and entrust his upbringing to a capable man, if you so wish.”
    Matteo’s father, like Laidulf, consented as well,
    fully aware that there was no alternative.

    For a short moment, it seemed as if the liege smiled, but his face quickly turned serious again:
    “That leaves one last issue; the murder of my vassal. Have you identified his killer?”
    The merchant gulped yet again. He didn’t like what he was about to do.

    That night, loud noises were heard throughout the otherwise silent valley: A man’s desperate pleas for his life, and then, after a muffled thud, the cries of a child. It was loud and close enough to wake Gundulf from his sleep, but, exhausted as the boy was, he soon dozed off again.


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

    Tears had repeatedly formed in my eyes and dried in my skin, as the old wolf told me this tale. However, he showed no consideration to my sensitivities, and instead was always precise and thorough in recanting every gory detail that he remembered.
    I began to feel sick, but he wasn’t done yet.


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

    Gundulf awoke early the next morning and was put on a carriage, as the liege and his host prepared to return to their homes in the north. Laidulf came to see the boy off, but didn’t spend many words on saying goodbye or informing his nephew about what was to happen. Gundulf was told that he'd become a pagus, as was customary for a child of noble descent, and though it would happen a bit earlier for him than was ordinary, the circumstances weren't ordinary either.
    Other than that, Laidulf gave him no clues as what to expect. Looking backwards as the cart drove down the mountain, the boy looked at the tower. Another rope hung where his father had hanged before he’d been taken down and buried. This new rope, however, had only a head attached to it.


    The rest of the body could be found on a spike in the center of the town, in front of the church, and not far from where the liege and the merchant had conversed. The carriage stopped not far from it, and Gundulf had some time to study the corpse in all detail.
    Gundulf was still in a state of shock from yesterday’s events and thus this otherwise ghastly view didn’t elicit any emotional reaction from him, but he did listen when the soldiers who had marched besides and guarded his carriage began to talk about it.
    The corpse hat once belonged to the stableman, though it was only identifiable by its clothes.

    One of the soldiers explained to the others that the stableman had been executed for the murder of the lord. The intention had apparently been to hang him in the same way as his victim had been and ensure it would be seen by everyone.

    Except that the rope used by the ‘mindless bastards’, as the soldier referred to those who had carried out the judgment, had been too long, and thus resulted in the rest of the body becoming detached from the head. The other soldier laughed nervously, but not for long.

    “Did he really kill his lord? What reason could he have had for that?” A third soldier asked.

    Gundulf didn’t hear the answer, as he was now joined by another passenger on his carriage.
    The newcomer was Matteo, who, after seeing the corpse, had freshly thrown up before boarding.
    Neither felt the need to talk, as the carriage once again set in motion.
    Their feet dangling from the back of the carriage, they both looked around and silently said goodbye to the valley which they would not see again for a long time. Then, after passing the bridge, they saw the stable-boy jump out of the shrubbery and run after them. Now an orphan, there was no life for him to be had here.

    “Wait for me!” he shouted. Gundulf and Matteo promptly made room in the middle and pulled the stable-boy, Aistulf, up. They hadn’t really been friends before now, and had fought each other the day before, but as the carriage rolled on, they were all relieved by the fact that on their journey into the wide world full of strangers, they’d at least have each other.

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

    The old wolf stopped suddenly, and I could not help but sigh in relief once I realised the tale for today was over. After a few moments which we had both spent sitting in silence, I turned towards the narrator. His face had hardened. But other than that, he remained hard to read, whilst I did nothing to hide my horror.
    I could not help but wonder, however, why he had told me all of this in third person. As if he had been there to witness it all, and yet at the same time, not been there at all.
    I had to ask: “Before we entered the tower… You told me there were three of you…”
    The old man nodded but otherwise remained silent.
    “Those three were the children?”
    He nodded again.
    “And which one of them was you?”
    He stared back at me, and took his time before responding: “All of them, and none.”
    By now I had become used to the fact that the old man liked to talk in riddles, but rarely to reveal the answer to them, so I knew better than to ask what he meant.
    “The liege…” I asked instead: “Is this who I think it is?”
    The old man nodded: “Albert Azzo.”
    “The king…” I said astounded.
    “Yes” The old wolf replied: “Though he was but a margrave when this happened.”

    That night, as I was lying in my bedstead and bracing myself for yet another restless night, I compared his tale to my sparse previous knowledge of the general events, and finally succeeded in solving a part of his riddle:

    There had been three of them: 3 children, born in the valley and forced into exile on the same day. They then had to depend on each other for decades to survive, and yet, at the end of it all, only one of them had been able to return. That man was no longer the innocent child that had left the valley. That man had been changed by a hostile world and the few friends he had had in it in particular. The child had become the embittered, fearsome old wolf that was now holding me captive, and his riddle had thus been truthful.

    I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep, but his words had dug deep into my brain and kept echoing through my mind.



    There had been three of them. And only one of them would return as the fearsome, scarred old wolf.
    And deep down I knew, this would not be the last harrowing tale I’d hear from this man.
    This had only been the beginning.


    Update
    Happy halloween, though I didn't originally intend to post it on this day, it's probably got the proper tone.
    So here's the final installment of chapter one. I hope you like where I went with this. If some stuff felt confusing, or unbelievable, or in some other way wrong, let me know. Also, I didn't have much time to proof read it, so please do my job for me and grammarnazi the s... out of it.
    It could've easily been 3-5 parts instead of this one, but I promised this one would be the last one of chapter 1. So here you go, and please excuse the length.

    EDIT: Thanks to Kilo11 for the proofreading! It has finally dawned upon me that Derc was a help as well.
    Last edited by Cookiegod; November 04, 2018 at 03:30 PM.

  5. #45

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 31/10; Part I.8 CHAPTER 1 DONE]

    Yo cookiegod!

    I've finally had some time, and I was very happy to see not one but two chapters (or part thereof) for me to read! Although that might have something to do with me being away for a while

    The portrayal of the town's loyalties after the battle is really good. Oftentimes I've wondered what the populace must be feeling or going through, just out of curiosity, but I must say this is a rather realistic and harrowing depiction of the citizen's problems. You can't just switch loyalties like that, and yet sometimes you must in order to survive, or at least appear to. The writing is great as usual, and makes for an enjoyable read.

    And for the latest update, it looks like the wheels are in motion and the plot is about to thicken. Pretty surprised that Laidulf was selected to rule, wasn't expecting that, but its a good outcome for a situation, and I'm pleased it turned out that way. So the three musketeers are on their way...I wonder what fate will throw their way.

    Still not seeing any link to a hotseat campaign yet, but am thoroughly enjoying the story so far. Keep it up!

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  6. #46

    Default Re: I.8 Three of them

    This is great, as usual, but you asked for a grammar Nazi, and figured I'd oblige Also, I'd rep you treble for the update, but it seems I've done that too recently. I guess you'll just have to take the feedback and critique and be happy with that As a final note, since I'm gonna be looking for little mistakes in-line and hopefully making small adjustments in-line I think I'll just contentbox the whole thing so as not to have a post that's as long as your update is. Well, here goes...


    Suggestions/Critiques/Corrections

    I'll delete things I think should go and highlight in blue the things I think should be added. For additions that are more than simple corrections I'll add a short explanation as to why I suggested that change [explanations will look like this ] just to give you an idea of my reasoning. I figure that will help in case you don't agree with some suggestions, and then we can better discuss them later. The only other thing to watch for is text highlighted in orange, which will be things I think are in some sense awkward, but which I don't have a suggested change for. Aaaaaaannnnnnd we're off
    Three of them

    “There were three of us.”, the old wolf said, without averting his eyes from the distance.
    I had walked up to greet him, but he had cut me short before I could do so.
    “Three?” I asked puzzled: “Three of what?”
    Only now then [using now made me think there was a tense mistake; there might not have been, but it's better to err on the side of caution and assume your readers are all fools like me ]did he turn his head and looked me straight into the eyes. I must have been an open book or to him, and the restless night of mine easy to spot. His face, on the other hand, was hard to read.
    He didn’t answer my question, as was his custom.
    Instead he rose, and with a bitter smile he pointed towards the door that led into the tower.
    “I am ready now.”


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

    Gundulf’s father by the same name was buried unceremoniously, though his former liege had honoured it with his presence, and his priest gave the body the last rites.
    As his father was lowered into the ground, Gundulf’s heart sank as well, and the reality had finally sunk sank in. He sobbed, and was, as had happened repeatedly on this day, held by his uncle, as had already happened so often that day. The sun was about to set, and Laidulf knew his nephew was exhausted by this days their trials,[it seemed like "day" was being used too much] so he carried the boy to the stables, a As the tower would be occupied by the liege and his entourage, and laid Gundulf Laidulf laid his nephew in a pile of hay, where he soon fell asleep.[this sentence seemed like it was getting too long, so I thought a split might do well]

    Then Laidulf then went to negotiate with the liege., Matteo’s father too soon arrivedarriving soon after, and the three of them had began to negotiate the future of the valley.
    The proud and already powerful merchant once again tried in vain to convince the liege to entrust him with the valley, but was refused.
    The liege was adamant: No matter the crimes of the lord, his son was his rightful successor.
    But Gundulf was young, too young to rule. Someone had to rule in his stead, and his upbringing had to be taken care of.
    And so the liege turned to Laidulf, and asked
    asking him, if he, as the boy’s closest relative and warden, would be faithful if he [there is some uncertainty in the phrasing here; will Laidulf be faithful to whom? who is the "he" who will be ruling in his stead? I know the answers to these questions, but those answers aren't readily apparent from the writing. Maybe splitting this into two more concise sentences could help make it more determinate] were to rule in Gundulf’s stead.
    Laidulf agreed happily agreed. The liege then pointed out that the child would soon reach the age where it was customary to send them to another lord to serve as a pagus, and proposed that he
    ’d gladly take the boy under his wings.
    Laidulf, fully aware that his liege had asked for his nephew as a hostage to ensure his loyalty, once again agreed.

    The liege then once again turned to the merchant, and asked him, if that the boy he had seen standing by him had been his son. The merchant gulped, fully aware what was about to happen, gulped, and could but barely nod.
    “Then he too” The liege said: “Wwould benefit from seeing the world. A friend of mine, a rich man whose business stretches far and wide, has much to teach and can always use another pair of hands. I can take your son to him, and entrust his upbringing to a capable man, if you so wish.”
    Matteo’s father, like Laidulf fully aware that there was no alternative, consented as well., fully aware that there was no alternative.

    For a short moment, it seemed as if the liege smiled,. B but his face quickly turned serious again:
    “That leaves one last issue; the murder of my vassal. Have you identified his killer?”
    The merchant gulped yet again. He didn’t like what he was about to do.

    On the very same That night, loud noises were heard throughout the otherwise silent valley: A man’s desperate pleas for his life, and then, after a muffled thud, the cries of a child. It was loud and close enough to wake Gundulf from his sleep, but, exhausted as the boy was, he soon dozed off again.


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

    Tears had repeatedly formed in my eyes and dried in my skin, as the old wolf told me this tale. However, he showed no consideration to my sensitivities while doing so, and instead was always precise and thorough in recanting every gory detail that he’d remembered.
    I began to feel sick, but he wasn’t done yet.


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

    Gundulf awoke early the next morning, and was put on a carriage, as the liege and his host prepared to return to their home in the north [is north correct?]. Laidulf came to see the boy off, but he didn’t spend many words on saying goodbye and or informing his nephew about what was to happen. Gundulf knew he was to become a pagus, as was customary for a child of noble descent,. I and he knew that it had happened a bit earlier for him than was customary, but thethough circumstances justified this. However, besides these facts, his uncle gave him no clues as what to expect. Looking backwards as the cart drove down the mountain, the boy's eyes turned to looked at the tower. Another rope hanged hung where his father had hanged before he’d been taken down and buried. [the past tense "hanged" is only used in reference to a person who is killed in that manner. Otherwise the past tense of "hang" is "hung". As a complex usage of both, consider the sentence "The prince was hanged for his crimes, and his corpse hung for all to see." The person of the prince is "hanged" but the sack of meat that is his corpse is "hung", given that it's no longer a person]This new rope, however, had only a head attached to it.


    The rest of the body could be found on a spike in the center of the town, in front of the church, and not far from where the liege and the merchant had conversed. The carriage stopped not far from it, and Gundulf had some time to study the corpse in all detail. It had once belonged to the stableman. He Gundulf was still in a state of shock from yesterday’s events and thus this otherwise ghastly view thus didn’t not elicit any reaction from him.
    [I feel like some transition is missing here]

    He overheard some of the soldiers nearby talk about it as well. He had been executed for the murder of the lord, and to statute [odd word choice] an example, it had initially been carried out the same way.
    Except that the rope used by the ‘mindless bastards’, as the soldier referred to those who had carried out the judgment, had been too long, and thus resulted in the rest of the body becoming detached from the head. The other soldier laughed nervously, but not for long.

    “Did he really kill his lord? What reason could he have had for that?” A third soldier asked.

    Gundulf didn’t get to hear the answer, as he was now joined by another passenger on his carriage.
    The newcomer was Matteo, who, after seeing the corpse, had freshly thrown up before boarding.
    Neither felt the need to talk, as the carriage once again set in motion.
    Their feet dangling from the back of the carriage, they both looked around and silently said goodbye to the valley which they would not see again for a long time. Then, after passing the bridge, they saw the stable-boy jump out of the shrubbery and run after them. Now an orphan, there was no life for him to be had there.

    “Wait for me!” he shouted. Gundulf and Matteo promptly made room in the middle and pulled the stable-boy, Aistulf was his name, up. They hadn’t really been friends before now, and had fought each other the day before, but as the carriage rolled on, they were all relieved by the fact that on their journey into the wide world full of strangers, they’d at least have each other.

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

    The old wolf stopped suddenly, and I could not help but sigh in relief once I realised the tale for today was over. After a few moments which we had both spent sitting in silence, I turned towards the narrator. His face had hardened. But other than that, he remained hard to read, whilst I did nothing to hide my horror.
    I could not help but wonder, however, why he had told me all of this in third person. As if he had been there to witness it all, and yet at the same time, not been there at all.
    I had to ask: “Before we entered the tower… You told me there were three of you…”
    The old man nodded but otherwise remained silent.
    “Those three were the children?”
    He nodded again.
    “And which one of them were was you?”
    He stared right back at me, and took his time before responding: “All of them, and neithernone.”
    By now I had become used to the fact that the old man liked to talk in riddles, but rarely to reveal the answer to them, so I knew better than to ask what he meant by that.
    “The liege…” I asked instead: “Is this who I think it is?”
    The old man nodded: “Albert Azzo.”
    “The king…” I said astounded.
    “Yes” The old wolf replied: “Though he was but a margrave when this happened.”

    That night, as I was lying in my bedstead and bracing myself for yet another restless night, I compared his tale to my sparse previous knowledge of the general events, and finally succeeded in solving a part of his riddle:

    There had been three of them: 3 children, born in the valley and forced into exile on the same day. They then had to depend on each other for decades to survive, and yet, at the end of it all, only one of them had been able to return. That man was no longer the innocent child that had left the valley. That man had been changed by a hostile world and the few friends he had had in it in particular. The child had become the embittered, fearsome old wolf that was now holding me captive, and his riddle had thus been truthful.

    I closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep, but his words had dug deep into my brain and kept echoing through my mind.



    There had been three of them. And only one of them would return as the fearsome, scarred old wolf. And deep down I knew, this would not be the last harrowing tale I’d hear from this man. This had only been the beginning.




    Anyway, I hope I haven't missed anything or been too pedantic (though pedantry is what you asked for, I think). Let me know if there are any things you disagree with, or don't quite follow. In terms of larger comments or suggestions, I don't think I have any for this installment. Just the little changes to grammar and flow, and a more thorough and determinate presentation here and there.

    Oh, and one thing I quite liked was the comments at the end about Albert Azzo. Their presentation and packaging makes this feel very real and large, like it is something actually happening and not just a story being told, and what gets that across is the unspoken volumes of information that are packed into those couple lines of dialogue.
    Last edited by Kilo11; November 01, 2018 at 11:38 AM.
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  7. #47
    Cookiegod's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default Re: I.8 Three of them

    I've got some news for you.
    First of all, my graphics tablet arrived. I've played around with it a bit recently, and whilst I'm not a huge artist, my hope is to illustrate all parts and replace the crappy one at the end.


    Practice


    But that might take some time, and isn't a must with those parts that come in the future. I will soon start posting screens as well.
    I do everything as a learning experience here. Storytelling & writing in English do have the main focus here, but I'd like to have a reason to practice my drawing as well.

    Secondly, I think the next thing I'll post here won't be a part of the actual story, but rather be an article about storycrafting. I think many of us here share a general interest in writing and find this interesting. It won't be relevant to the story/AAR itself, so people can skip it if they like, but in my opinion it is warranted to have them in the same thread, given that the article will be referring to the story. I think there'll be 3 such series accompanying the story, this one being about the creative process behind it; Another one will be about historical background, and a third one will deal with some of the ingame moves in a more analytical way for those who are interested in ingame strategies and military theory.
    I'll try not to spoiler anything, but if you feel like these articles would distract from the story itself, let me know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Yo cookiegod!

    I've finally had some time, and I was very happy to see not one but two chapters (or part thereof) for me to read! Although that might have something to do with me being away for a while

    The portrayal of the town's loyalties after the battle is really good. Oftentimes I've wondered what the populace must be feeling or going through, just out of curiosity, but I must say this is a rather realistic and harrowing depiction of the citizen's problems. You can't just switch loyalties like that, and yet sometimes you must in order to survive, or at least appear to. The writing is great as usual, and makes for an enjoyable read.

    And for the latest update, it looks like the wheels are in motion and the plot is about to thicken. Pretty surprised that Laidulf was selected to rule, wasn't expecting that, but its a good outcome for a situation, and I'm pleased it turned out that way. So the three musketeers are on their way...I wonder what fate will throw their way.

    Still not seeing any link to a hotseat campaign yet, but am thoroughly enjoying the story so far. Keep it up!
    Thanks man, I know how that is. I'm lagging behind on your AAR but I hope I'll have read it through before this weekend is over.

    Yeah, the AAR itself wasn't supposed to start in this part yet. But chapter 2 will go into that almost immediately (there'll be some historical background setting as well, but that's one part). The purpose of this chapter was to set up an overarching plotline and bring the musketeers (I like the term ) into position.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    This is great, as usual, but you asked for a grammar Nazi, and figured I'd oblige Also, I'd rep you treble for the update, but it seems I've done that too recently. I guess you'll just have to take the feedback and critique and be happy with that As a final note, since I'm gonna be looking for little mistakes in-line and hopefully making small adjustments in-line I think I'll just contentbox the whole thing so as not to have a post that's as long as your update is. Well, here goes...

    [...]

    Anyway, I hope I haven't missed anything or been too pedantic (though pedantry is what you asked for, I think). Let me know if there are any things you disagree with, or don't quite follow. In terms of larger comments or suggestions, I don't think I have any for this installment. Just the little changes to grammar and flow, and a more thorough and determinate presentation here and there.

    Oh, and one thing I quite liked was the comments at the end about Albert Azzo. Their presentation and packaging makes this feel very real and large, like it is something actually happening and not just a story being told, and what gets that across is the unspoken volumes of information that are packed into those couple lines of dialogue.
    Hugely appreciated man. I went through the entire thing and I did almost all your changes.
    There's one sentence which I don't like even after having made the changes you proposed: "As his father was lowered into the ground, Gundulf’s heart sank as well, and the reality finally sank in."
    The problem being the repeated use of "sank", but I don't know how exactly to deal with this either, and other than that your changes were perfect.
    I also know that I need to get much better at being concise and keeping my sentences short.
    Last edited by Cookiegod; November 03, 2018 at 10:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derc View Post
    No one cares what Derc has to say.

  8. #48
    Derc's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 31/10; Part I.8 CHAPTER 1 DONE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Swaeft View Post
    Still not seeing any link to a hotseat campaign yet, but am thoroughly enjoying the story so far. Keep it up!
    You do not want it, believe me.
    The Hotseat is in another language, so you may need a translator.
    However, this is not the major problem. If you know the Hotseat, a lot will be destroyed in this AAR for you. You will be spoilered and you can't take this AAR too serious after all that insanity that happened there. Better to let Kapt'n Cookie tell his story first and then check it out afterwards maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cooksie View Post

    Birdie

    Damn, this is awesome. The images give it a "games-of-thronic" touch somehow. In a very good way.

    Quote Originally Posted by El Cookerino View Post
    There's one sentence which I don't like even after having made the changes you proposed: "As his father was lowered into the ground, Gundulf’s heart sank as well, and the reality finally sank in."
    The problem being the repeated use of "sank", but I don't know how exactly to deal with this either, and other than that your changes were perfect.
    First "sank" has more relevance than the second one. Check out if you can use "...and reality finally hit him" / "... finally dawned upon him" or something like that.

  9. #49

    Default Re: I.8 Three of them

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    I've got some news for you.
    First of all, my graphics tablet arrived. I've played around with it a bit recently, and whilst I'm not a huge artist, my hope is to illustrate all parts and replace the crappy one at the end.
    Glad to hear the tablet arrived and that it's working well. I myself have a tablet like that (A Wacom something or other), but I've never used it much. It's good to see it can be used to such good effect!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Secondly, I think the next thing I'll post here won't be a part of the actual story, but rather be an article about storycrafting. I think many of us here share a general interest in writing and find this interesting. It won't be relevant to the story/AAR itself, so people can skip it if they like, but in my opinion it is warranted to have them in the same thread, given that the article will be referring to the story. I think there'll be 3 such series accompanying the story, this one being about the creative process behind it; Another one will be about historical background, and a third one will deal with some of the ingame moves in a more analytical way for those who are interested in ingame strategies and military theory.
    I'll try not to spoiler anything, but if you feel like these articles would distract from the story itself, let me know.
    I think that's a cool idea! It is also something that can be really good for you and your readers who are writers too, because then the discussion and ideas will be more concrete than the usual vague abstract notions that get thrown around in a general article about writing. Having it tied to your work immediately above will give it a vitality and freshness that should help all, I'd think. As a suggestion, maybe consider including some snippets of text from your more recent posts to make any points you have in mind. It could help us to follow any writing suggestions or questions you have a lot more easily. Also, you mentioned that you thought some people might find such posts distracting. Personally, I think they're a cool idea for something to include, but I can also see how some readers (especially those without any interest in writing) might find them odd or off-topic or distracting. Maybe you could put the entirety of the "article" in a contentbox so it's out of the way and can be easily skipped. I would think that should satisfy everyone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Hugely appreciated man. I went through the entire thing and I did almost all your changes.
    There's one sentence which I don't like even after having made the changes you proposed: "As his father was lowered into the ground, Gundulf’s heart sank as well, and the reality finally sank in."
    The problem being the repeated use of "sank", but I don't know how exactly to deal with this either, and other than that your changes were perfect.
    I also know that I need to get much better at being concise and keeping my sentences short.
    No worries. Your comments on my AAR were much richer in my opinion anyway, so I owed you one And I can sympathize with your issue about how best to change that sentence. I always, I mean ALWAYS, use a thesaurus, but sometimes the synonyms just don't quite do it and you've got to change the idea a bit to avoid the repetition. To that point, I might actually have a possible change to the sentence above. What do you think about: "As his father was lowered into the ground Gundulf's heart sank as well, and the reality of it all finally settled over him."

    EDIT: I was away and didn't see Derc's comment till after posting, but his suggested changes also seem good to me as well. Then it's just a question of which option has the right "feel" to you for that scene.
    Last edited by Kilo11; November 03, 2018 at 12:53 PM.
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  10. #50
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 31/10; Part I.8 CHAPTER 1 DONE]

    A compelling chapter, with effective use of different perspectives. I like the way that you make the reader do some work, not explaining everything.

    I'm impressed with the quality and quantity of suggestions which writers are offering to help each other improve even further.

  11. #51
    Skotos of Sinope's Avatar Macstre Gaposal
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 31/10; Part I.8 CHAPTER 1 DONE]

    A little late in reading this. Like Swaeft, I was a bit confused at first, over who was narrating when. And maybe since I haven't played Medieval II, I wasn't immediately sure who was with what faction. You have a gift for openings. I love some of the maxims, “There are two kinds of stories...”, etc. You had some modernisms in the beginning that didn't seem to fit, (“I got pulled back to reality”.) but those diminished and the last post's style was great.

    I was thinking a bit about your predicament, as you call it. With so much exposition and build up, how do you mitigate the feeling that it's dragging out? I think this is the perennial worry of everyone currently writing an AAR. I agree with all the comments posted above. Personally I think for action to be successful, you have to care about the characters, and a reader can't care without investing in them. That takes time. So I wouldn't worry. Clearly you're doing something right. Looking forward to the storycrafting article. Repped.

  12. #52

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 31/10; Part I.8 CHAPTER 1 DONE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope View Post
    I was thinking a bit about your predicament, as you call it. With so much exposition and build up, how do you mitigate the feeling that it's dragging out? I think this is the perennial worry of everyone currently writing an AAR.
    I agree wholeheartedly with this statement
    Last edited by Swaeft; November 26, 2018 at 12:39 AM. Reason: Missed an unfortunate l

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  13. #53

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 31/10; Part I.8 CHAPTER 1 DONE]

    Hey Cook,

    Skotos had a critique above, but couldn't think of a suggestion for how to improve it, so he asked me to have a look and see what I thought. Here is his worry:

    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope View Post
    You have a gift for openings. I love some of the maxims, “There are two kinds of stories...”, etc. You had some modernisms in the beginning that didn't seem to fit, (“I got pulled back to reality”.) but those diminished and the last post's style was great.
    The quote he is mentioning is from I.5 Nightmarish Beginnings, and in full reads:

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmarish Beginnings
    It was then I got pulled back to reality as I heard the door slam behind me. The old man had resigned, and left me without a word.


    Looking at it closely, I can see his thoughts well, as there is something a bit "off" about the phrase. Not a huge thing, but something that could use a bit more old-timey spice (Which, as we all know, is foot-sweat! They put it in everything, and though it tasted like, well, foot-sweat, it gave them the strength to do things like not shower, keep down the peasants, and go to faraway lands to steal other people's stuff, so it can't be all that bad ). As a suggestion I was thinking it could be changed to something like:

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

    Thoughts?
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  14. #54
    Cookiegod's Avatar Campidoctor
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    Default II.1 In principio erat Verbum

    In principio erat Verbum
    As I stood in front of the parchment, thinned by countless failed attempts at writing this tale having been scratched out, with a few letters still visible here and there, but otherwise blank, I was overcome by despair. I did not know how to begin.
    At some point the beginning of the gospel of Giovanni evanglista (John the apostle) came to mind:
    in principio erat Verbum et Verbum erat apud Deum
    “In the beginning was the word” It starts: “And the word was with god.”
    But this thought did not help me, at least not right away.
    The tale of the old wolf was as far away from god as one could possibly be.
    His tale clearly did not deserve to be immortalised, and in a perverted way, the old man knew that himself.
    The wolf, of all people, had repeatedly been beaten by a dead cows skin.
    And now it was my turn.
    I looked at the parchment, and felt its vast emptiness stare right back at me.
    Coldly, judging, and unforgiving.
    “I’m not meant for this.” It seemed to say: “I should be be praising the works of our lord and saviour, not the foul deeds of an old madman.
    Just like thy cannot write on me in the darkness, thy should not imbue me with it.”

    Maybe it was right? I thought to myself: Maybe this wasn’t meant to be?
    I had only heard the beginning of the old wolfs tale at that point, but I knew there wouldn’t be much light in it. It was likely not worth being passed on.
    But the old man had nevertheless and in no uncertain terms made clear that I was to write his biography, and would be held captive until that had been done. If this wasn’t meant to be, that’d mean I’d have to stay in this godforsaken place forever. I began to breath heavily upon this realisation, and held on to the table, for it seemed as if the world was shaking around me.
    It had taken our creator a mere 7 days to create this world, I thought to myself: And he even had time to rest on the seventh.
    And I, as I now realised with abject horror, had been here for more than a week. And what did I have to show for it?

    I calmed myself by steering my thoughts back to the Holy Scriptures, continuing my recital of the gospel of John:
    The same was in the beginning with god.
    All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made.
    In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
    And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

    This helped, and I slowly calmed down.
    'No!' I told myself, once I had regained my composure, and despair had made way for anger: If there was one thing that wasn’t meant to be, it surely would be me having to stay in this place forever.
    The cold emptiness of the parchment no longer scared me. I took a deep breath, and with newfound courage in my heart and fresh ink on my quill I started writing.
    “In the beginning was the word…” The first line read.
    But of my words that followed, unlike those of the gospel, little remains.


    Update
    Yes, I'm back. Apologies for me taking so long. I hope you're still up for this.

    There's a couple of reasons that made me take so long. The good ones don't matter much, the bad ones (poor management of time; procrastination; weird goals) I'm working on.
    For once in my life I don't want to blabber on for too long so here's the most important things in a list:
    • Next part will be published this sunday, April 21st!
      If I can't make it because my laptop is acting out and I have to get it repaired, I will give part 2 to Derc and force ask him nicely to post it for me.
      I'm working on getting it a biweekly schedule, but for now I'll only guarantee a weekly schedule.
    • This chapter will have 15 parts, and yes, we'll finally get into the campaign. Though not straight away, and we'll also deal with some historical events and aligning those two. Parts will be longer than they were in chapter 1 as well, as much more stuff will happen.
    • I feel the priest/old wolf storyline have become a bit stale, which is due to my poor planning during chapter 1. The other storyline will have to catch up before theirs can continue, even though the priest-story line was always supposed to have a slower build. So this chapter will mostly focus on the kids you got to know in chapter I. I still needed this part as a segue into what's coming.
      Next part will have a bit of an exposition bomb, even though that's precisely what I tried to avoid for so long.
      ...Sorry for that. I hope that what follows will make up for that.
    • As always, please like comment and subscri... wait, wrong platform.

      Please tell me your honest thoughts about everything, what works and doesn't work for you.
      Amongst other things, I suspect bible quotes like those here won't be hugely popular, though those are due to the priest being a priest and for prose, and not to carry any kind of subliminal message.
    Last edited by Cookiegod; April 16, 2019 at 07:18 AM.

  15. #55
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 16/04; Part II.1 CHAPTER 2 BEGUN]

    Welcome back! I'm still up for this. The Bible quotes are okay with me, as you said they make sense when the narrator is a priest. The line about what the old wolf was defeated by is an effective image.

    It's been a while since your previous update, so I wonder if you'd like to add a brief recap of the story so far in a contentbox at the top or within the story. You might also want to use paragraphs more (so that each sentence doesn't start on a new line, unless people are talking).

  16. #56
    Turkafinwë's Avatar Cheerful Nihilist
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 16/04; Part II.1 CHAPTER 2 BEGUN]

    Yay Cookiegod returns to the land of mortals!

    I think this is a great chapter for the rejuvenation of the story, I really liked it! Also it might surprise you but I very much liked the quote from the bible and your way of integrating it into the story so fluently is really well done. It is very approriate given the narrative of your story. (Don't mistake me for a very religious person, because I'm not but a Catholic education and a love for history and all that it contains has left me somewhat intrigued by religion and its significance and influence in the world. It's great for symbolism and it has a certain seriousness and grandeur to it that I absolutely love).

    Anyway I'm glad for your return and am eager to see where the story takes us next.

    Vote in the TIE-BREAK for SECOND and THIRD place for Creative Writing of the Year 2018-2019 in the Writers' Study Yearly Awards!

  17. #57

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 16/04; Part II.1 CHAPTER 2 BEGUN]

    Good to see you again, my Danish lad! I read this once already real quick, but I want to read it again along with the last couple updates, just to get back into the swing of your story, as it has indeed been a good while since we had our last taste. Given that, I will hold off on the meaty commentary for now. (When I have reread it all, I will probably just update this post, and then fire you a message letting you know!) One thing I will echo from Alwyn and Turk though is that I too found the Bible quotes to be quite nice. I am not at all a religious man, but like it or not the Bible has a sort of weight in the minds of anyone from the western world, and these quotes, especially ones like that you've chosen, add a bit of gloss that is quite nice, and fits really well with the overall theme. In fact, I could imagine lots of things here might call for that little spice of religiosity. (In particular, I could see Revelations giving you some spot-on material when the priest has to hear about anything horrific the "Old Wolf" has done )

    But I digress. Short point: I like it, and will reread again and give more comments later. In the meantime, I am sure I am not amiss when I say we are all really glad to see you back around!
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  18. #58
    Derc's Avatar Semisalis
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 16/04; Part II.1 CHAPTER 2 BEGUN]

    Nice part, really. It proves that you're still very capable of interweaving history and fiction. So this shouldn't be of any concern to you. I look forward to gain some actual historical knowledge from it. And I know I will get it here, together with some nice portion of wickedness, which is truly refreshing.

    You manage to instill some dark tone, capable of letting us feel the struggles of the characters, bringing the uncomfortable times they dwell in back to life. Hope we'll not only see that with the priest, but also in the story of the three little chaps. They're all so innocent till now. This is soon about to change, I know it.

    Critique? Hm. My only serious critique is that it seems like you stress yourself too much.
    Don't know if it is some sort of a tone-setter. If so, it does not work. We want to see your characters stressed out, not yourself. Just relax a bit. Yikes.

    Just in case the reader did still not get the message:

    Readers!
    You're hereby encouraged to spam Cookie with questions and (hopefully constructive) criticism, should anything be unclear or not to your liking. Just go straight in, no phrases needed. Straight in! Deus lo vult!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    If I can't make it because my laptop is acting out and I have to get it repaired, I will give part 2 to Derc and force ask him nicely to post it for me.
    It's more likely that I'd see the Notre Dame burning than doing that.

  19. #59
    Skotos of Sinope's Avatar Macstre Gaposal
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    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 16/04; Part II.1 CHAPTER 2 BEGUN]

    Glad to see that someone has taken my advice:

    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    And I love how everyone insta-spammed this thread. At least that'll let CG know that no one had forgotten about this AAR. And Bible quotes are totally appropriate. (Hell, I'm quoting the Brontoscopic calendar in my AAR and I don't think anyone will accuse me of preaching propaganda for Etruscan pagan reconstructionism.)

  20. #60

    Default Re: Of Wolves and Prey [Updated: 16/04; Part II.1 CHAPTER 2 BEGUN]

    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope View Post
    Glad to see that someone has taken my advice:

    And I love how everyone insta-spammed this thread. At least that'll let CG know that no one had forgotten about this AAR.
    I know. It must be a bit intense for him on the receiving end, but that's what you get when you make us wait for half a year!

    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos
    And Bible quotes are totally appropriate. (Hell, I'm quoting the Brontoscopic calendar in my AAR and I don't think anyone will accuse me of preaching propaganda for Etruscan pagan reconstructionism.)
    Actually, I've been flagging your posts for moderation because of all that propaganda, but they seem to be fine with it. I suspect the TWC lords are secretly pagans trying to turn us to their heathen ways.
    Last edited by Kilo11; April 17, 2019 at 02:55 AM. Reason: I'm too dumb to format correctly the first time around :hick:
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