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Thread: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: Sep 26]

  1. #101

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: October 29]

    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    I enjoyed part III of the Crimson Sands chapter, it sounds like Mun'at is determined to ensure that Banu Sulaym's lawless exiles won't reach Yathrib. I look forward to reading the new part IV.
    Hi Alwyn, I'm glad you liked Part III, and I hope parts IV and V pass muster as well. Do tell if you see something that seems off though. Same goes for you Cookiegod!



    To all readers, sorry for being a day late with this. I would have uploaded last night, but my wife and I had to watch V for Vendetta to remember the day. And you should all watch it too! Every time I watch that movie (which is at least once a year on Nov. 5th) I think to myself that watching it is part and parcel of being a good democratic citizen. The only way we hold authoritarianism and fascism at bay in the world is by remembering how easy it is to lose our freedoms. It only takes a moment of weakness, of fear and petty selfish desires, for us to willingly give up our citizenship, deferring power to tyrants and oppressors. Don't ever let them take it!

    Now, with that bit of political rhetoric aside, here is the new update, and above you'll find a new version of Part IV, with a whole new scene at the beginning. If anyone has thoughts or suggestions please tell me (even if it's just, "I think this works well"). Also, as asked above, if anyone knows Arabic, Old Arabic, South Arabian, or Demotic (the precursor to Coptic), or if you know someone who does, I'd be very interested in getting in touch. I have some questions about language and names but require some expertise to be sure about things.
    Last edited by Kilo11; November 06, 2018 at 02:57 AM.
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  2. #102

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Continued from Chapter 3 - Part IV


    Dramatis Personae

    Nabati:

    Mun'at Ha'Qadri: General of the Nabati army, tasked with uniting the tribes of Arabia and subduing the Saba' confederations that control Arabia Felix.
    Shullai Ha'Maleki: Prince of the Nabati, riding south under Mun'at's command.
    Ravîv'êl Bikrum: Crown Prince of the Nabati. Currently governing the conquered settlement of Dedan.
    Malka Qênu: King of the Nabati, and leader of the united tribes.

    Rana'in: Elder warrior and long-time friend of Mun'at.
    Khalil: Raider under Mun'at's command, usually tasked with leading the cavalry and light skirmishers.
    Haza'el: Captain of the Nabati.
    Wayyuq: A spy and pathfinder in the service of the Nabati, but not of their tribes.

    Sabeans (Saba'):

    Mubsamat: Queen of the Saba' with ambitions to end the tribal rivalries that plague her people.
    Tharin: Captain of Mubsamat's guard, tasked with contacting the approaching Nabati on Mubsamat's behalf and bringing them over to her cause.



    Chapter 3
    Crimson Sands


    --------------------------------------------------
    (Part V)


    As Shullai emerged from the the mouth of Wadi al-Jizl with the rest of the Nabati in tow they began moving once more. Ahead of them the dry riverbed lay wide and smooth, stretching off in all directions and only tapering beyond the southeastern horizon where it again narrowed to slip through the final foothills surrounding Yathrib. There, in the shadow of the mighty peaks of Jabal Jinn, they would make their stand, drawing the long-hunted criminals to a close vale where judgment might be duly rendered. The thought gave the wearied soldiers a renewed energy, impelling them onward over the shelterless plain, but as the hours slowly passed their long trials caught up to them, forcing a halt as the sun fell beneath the western ridges. They set a hasty and rough camp, fit for nothing more than a short rest, and though dawn was still long to come they resumed their journey after only the space of a quarter-watch.

    The land was dark, no moon to light their way, but the unnumbered stars above cast a cold glow over the lonely sands. It was not much, hardly enough to show the man marching ahead of you, but it would suffice until the unconquerable sun again showed its mighty face. Marching slowly, the riders leading their mounts by the nose, the great army of Edum moved noiselessly through the gloom, an army of phantoms and wraiths stealing through the dark.

    The tired men walked with their eyes downcast, scrying the dirt ahead of them for any signs of danger, and so they failed to notice the blush rising in the east. Then, suddenly and with a force fit to break mountains the dawn rang forth. The great plain was washed in light, the sudden flush of heat stirring a gentle wind which playfully flitted amongst the stones and scrabbling shrubs, and raising his eyes to the new day Mun'at saw they had advanced far in the night. The cracked fist of Jabal Jinn towered before them, the narrow wadi leading to Yathrib seeming pitiful and alone in its shadows. As they moved toward it Mun'at sent away his horsemen bit by bit, bidding them hide in the valleys and dells which sprang off to either side, and when finally he reached the appointed place for their battle all had been made ready. The footmen arrayed themselves smartly and then settled in to wait, their hungry eyes turned back on the road just traveled, daring and begging the enemy to show themselves.


    Yathrib (pre-battle)



    Mubsamat's steps echoed loudly off the vaulted ceilings, but still she could hear his words thundering in her head, his imperious questions. Without leave those men had threatened and interrogated her like she was a common whore, her, a queen, and she had let them. With downcast eyes and meek words she had answered, not even half truthfully, but seemingly cooperative for all that. That man had spoken down to her, as though he was better, but she had looked up. Why had she looked up? Why would she ever raise fearful eyes to such a boyish brute? Why would she do that when it was so hatefully clear just how inferior he was? Why?

    Raging at herself and the boorish tribal chieftains masquerading as lords Mubsamat paced alone in her chambers. She had long known that solitude did her ill, set he moods violent and dark, but with Tharin gone there was none with whom she might speak. The other "royal" ladies were nothing, pretty faces on slender forms and naught else. They were as the gold and gems that so heavily hung round their fair necks; pleasant to look on but good for little when all was said and done. The "lords" who buzzed about Ma'rib like flies over dung were fools to a man, and the source of her troubles besides; they could not be spoken to. There was her husband, a king of the Saba', but at days' end he was as bad as the rest, and from his sidelong glances of late Mubsamat feared he knew some portion of her intent, perhaps even of her passion for the absent Tharin. And besides, he still lay somewhere to the north, playing warlord with the other kings. No. She could speak to none of them.

    Without warning the man's venomous words sliced back into her consciousness with a sharpness that made her wince. He had looked down on her and insulted her for no other reason than because he thought he could. "Woman" he called her, seeking to harm her, to disarm her. In his devil's eyes he saw a mere woman, a thing to be used and abused and possibly enjoyed on occasion, and he had treated her as such. A thing for his pleasure and nothing more. But that man knew the strength of woman, knew that while the lion may be king of beasts it is the lioness who is truly to be feared, and yet he spoke to her as if it were an insult.

    To be a mother. To be a queen. To be a lioness. These things are not insults. These things are not insults and Mubsamat would show them. She would make them pay for their rash disrespect. When Tharin returned with her bows and spears she would scratch their names from the very fabric of history, make their clans nothing more than a memory, a whisper on the wind. However, in the meantime she had a house to put in order and on her shelf lay a knife sharpened to a razor, in her breast a heart heated to a hellstorm.

    She felt the weight of the blade in her hand, testing its balance, and she could almost smell the sticky iron scent of noble blood in the air. She would show those fools the strength and fury of a Mother. She would show them the strength and fury of a Queen. She would show them the strength and fury of a Lioness.


    An hour and a half after the sun had crossed its zenith a party of women and children rounded the nearest bend of Wadi al-Jizl, a rending cry coming from them all the while. Mun'at's men, however, seemed little impressed by the display. They looked on in silence, and when the wailing group reached their ranks they briefly parted, allowing them passage through, before swiftly reforming their spearwalls.

    With the last of the howling individuals came a pair of scouts, mischievous smiles pasted to their lips. "That was an unusual plan, sir," the first one said, addressing Mun'at, "but it's worked perfectly. The enemy followed them hard, not bothering to check the surrounding valleys, and our horsemen are even now slowly filling in behind them, cutting off their escape and waiting for our signal."

    Mun'at nodded solemnly. "And those we left? All of them have made it back safely?"

    "It appears so, sir. By your orders we only took free volunteers from among the baggage train, and only women with a fighting spirit or sons on the cusp of manhood. They were armed, should they have been waylaid, but all are back within our ranks without a scratch. And I must say, some of their number outdid themselves in their theatrics. I don't believe the devils have the faintest idea what they've been led into."

    Mun'at nodded, adding, "I hope you're right. Now return to Wayyuq. He has your orders." As the young man trotted away the general of Edum turned his eyes back to the west, to the valley's mouth where a distant cloud of rising dust marked their quarry. It would still be nearly an hour before they reached him, but there was no longer any doubt of his victory.


    Yathrib (battle)

    Mun'at slipped down into the gully where his men lay hidden and to pass the time he walked the lines, offering encouragement and advice, or even simply sharing a small joke with his men. They knew themselves to be better than their foe, both in strength and courage, but the disposition of his ranks had set an unease in some of the soldiers. In order to retain their power in surprise the units had been placed in a shallow hollow behind a hill, covering them from the eyes of their enemy but also ensuring they would be fighting an uphill battle. Their only consolation was the knowledge that Edum's lancers would be riding unlooked-for against Banu Sulaym's exposed rearguard. Mun'at knew it would be enough, but such knowledge had not yet made its way down to the greener of his recruits. With a few more hasty words he pressed as many assurances as he could before returning to his place at the center.

    A deadly still then fell over his lines, heightening all other sounds in the valley, and soon enough the tramping of many feet and the raucous laughter of drunken men could be heard coming over the finely blown sands, getting closer by the second. Without a sound Mun'at raised a white flag in his left hand, the motion accompanied by the stringing of arrows and loading of many slings. He could feel the tension in his ranks, sense the held breath of thousands of men waiting to pounce, and he relished the moment.

    Without caution or care the bandit brutes came strolling over the hill's crest, their expressions of criminal gaiety quickly shifting to shock, confusion, and then fear or anger, depending on the man. Mun'at's countenance, however, betrayed no emotion. His jaw was set in granite, his eyes dull and unflinching as iron as he lowered his arm with the white flag. In an instant the world exploded with the cry of so many arrows and whistling stones and the terrible shriek of so much death in such a small space.

    The foremost ranks of the enemy fell without even having realized they were under attack, and those behind descended into a state of mortal panic, not being able to see the Nabati for the rise between them but knowing some terror to be lying in wait. As they whirled and screamed orders to one another at cross purposes Mun'at's men calmly reloaded their weapons and fired again, doubling the blood and horror on that hillside. Then, from far in the west came a rising thunder, a great swelling wave of sound that set stones rattling and souls atremble. The Nabati spears and bows could not see the charge of their horsemen, but they heard the titanic fury of that strike, the clash ricocheting off the mountain slopes and returning with a vengeance. With a cheer fit to match they bounded up the low mound and as quickly as it had begun the battle of Yathrib was ended. Here and there some mad frenzied individuals fought to the death, obstinate and unseemly even in defeat, but the lion's share of Banu Sulaym's exiles laid down their weapons and submitted meekly.

    As the Nabati began to assemble their prisoners, stripping them of weapons and valuables, Khalil rode up to Mun'at leading a spare mount. The general gratefully took the reigns, swinging himself over the beast's back, and together the two of them made their way toward the vanquished foe. Mun'at rode straight to their captain, a swarthy but well-dressed man of noble bearing. He was still bloodied and panting but with affected grace he touched his forehead in greeting and briefly bent his knee. "Mighty foe," he said, "from this day it is clear that you are a great general, and we pray you are also a generous one. We beg for your clemency. Your deeds are already renowned across these lands and we would follow your banner gladly if you would but spare our lives." He then gestured to a broken corpse by his feet. "As a token of our goodwill we freely offer you the goods of these our fallen comrades, as well as the pick of their now widowed wives."

    Mun'at remained on his horse, looking down on the man with tightly drawn lips. "You offer the goods and wives of your dead soldiers?" he asked, to which the man nodded. He paused, examining the man as one might an insect or rat who has suddenly acquired the power of speech. "And what if this is not enough?" he pressed. "Would you raid the nearby villages and take their daughters, offering them to my men as well?" Again the man nodded. "And what if they resisted? What if their fathers and brothers sought to repel you? Would you kill them and drag the weeping women to my tent, giving me my pick of them?" Again, the man nodded with a smile, but this time more slowly, seeming unsure of what Mun'at was searching for.

    Mun'at sat silent, and perhaps fearing that some withheld desire prevented the general's assent the beaten captain again spoke. "All of this and more we would do for you, if you would but let us live, O Great Warrior."

    The general's head tilted to one side, almost as though he were listening to some distant call, and just as the man began to wonder what it was that he heard Mun'at lashed out. His boot caught the captain on the bridge of his nose, shattering it and sending him to the ground screaming. "Khalil," Mun'at called over his shoulder "have these men been disarmed?"

    "Yes, commander."

    "Good." Mun'at answered. "Take one tenth of them aside and kill the rest." he said, his gaze fixed on the writhing enemy captain. "And be sure this coward is among those spared."


    Their butcher's work lasted long into the evening, and it was already dark by the time they finished. However, none would remain there any longer than necessary and so they began walking, their bodies exhausted and numbed from the long march and ensuing battle, their souls no longer certain of the righteousness of their cause.

    When the sun rose the next morning it showed a valley of crimson sands, scattered corpses littering the ground and a mound of severed heads set atop a nearby hill. Beside the hill, slowly bleeding and begging to be killed lay a dozen rows of naked men, their arms and legs staked to the ground by the shafts of long spears driven into the sand. Foremost among them was their captain, his broken nose still running freely and filling his lungs. As the searing light of dawn struck their bare flesh they cried out, but not nearly as much as when the birds found them a short time later. The tribes would know what happens to those who break the bonds of law and justice.



    Continue to Chapter 4 - Part I
    Last edited by Kilo11; May 14, 2019 at 06:24 AM.
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  3. #103

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    With this update Chapter 3 is now concluded.

    And I really really hate to say this, but I think I will need to briefly put this AAR on hold. Over the last couple months I have been slowly falling behind in my actual work. I am currently doing a PhD (in philosophy, for those who might want to ask), and that requires me to have a bit of creative drive and energy for purposes of writing. It's not that it takes me so much time to do the updates here, but I do find myself without enough "spark" left to get good progress done on my dissertation. Rest assured though, I only plan on putting this on hold for a month or two, just so that I can get a chapter or two of my PhD written up so I'm not feeling so behind. Once that is done I will be back with a vengeance, and in the meantime I will make an effort to get myself to make more regular progress on my actual work so that this does not happen again. It's really just a mistake I made in planning things, which has me feeling behind (even though I might not be), and I need to get on top of that.

    I will, however, still poke around the fora and read everyone else's stories, as well as submitting things to the tales of the week and making small updates to my ongoing creative writing piece "The Fool and His Keeper". I just need to backburner this larger work for a short bit. As a token of my dedication to continuing this, I'll also give you all a sneak peak at the chapter titles of what's to come (supposing my campaign doesn't go horribly awry). It might be a spoiler, and so I'll drop it in a contentbox below (actually there will be at least one big spoiler, so read at your own peril).

    In the meantime, feel free to drop me comments, suggestions, critiques, or even encouragement (we forget it sometimes, but that is often just as important for us writers to hear). I'll keep an eye on things here and respond right away. I'm not gone, just not posting updates for a bit.


    Written in Sand -- Table of Contents

    Book I - Uniting the Tribes
    --------------------
    01. Out of Edum
    02. First Moves
    03. Crimson Sands
    04. New Friends, New Enemies
    05. Spice and Gold
    06. The Highest Eagles
    07. Snake Hunters
    08. The Comfortless Land
    09. A Deluge
    10. Taking Stock
    Epilogue: At World's End and Beyond


    Book II - Descending Iteru
    --------------------
    01. Beyond the Sea
    02. ?
    ...


    Book III - The Lion's Den
    --------------------

    01. ?

    Last edited by Kilo11; November 06, 2018 at 03:35 AM.
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  4. #104
    Skotos of Sinope's Avatar Macstre Gaposal
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Seems like all the great ones go on hiatus at one time or another. Don't keep your readership waiting too long. Can't wait.

    In any event, that chapter preview inspired me to make some fan art in anticipation of events to come:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Screencaps via Rome II Desert Kingdoms DLC. I don't know how historically accurate their Nabataea units are, but they aren't hard on the eyes.

  5. #105

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Thanks Skotos. I am actually quite bummed, as the halt has nothing to do with the AAR itself. I could keep writing right now if I wanted to, but I just really need to get some progress on my real work. Although, I guess the upside of that is that the moment I feel caught up with my academic writing I can hit this again without a second thought.

    And that fan art is AWESOME! The EBII team has done an amazing job making their units look sharp and getting the historical details of the textures just right, but there is only so much graphics that can be extracted from the Med2 engine. That is actually part of why I've been including no screenshots (aside from one post that had a couple). But the pics you've uploaded are classy! I might have to consider getting Rome II and this DLC just for the purposes of being able to make some good screenshots for the AAR. Actually, given that you've got it, would you terribly mind being called on periodically to get me a good screen grab for me to use? I could repay you in maps I actually have a good layered map of greater Italia (made using GIMP), and if you want I could send it to you. I'd need you to pm me your email address though, as it's too large to upload here. At some point soon though I'd like to get my maps onto something like Mega or Googledrive and open a thread so that others can download and use them, but until then I'll just email them to folks with interest. Just let me know.
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  6. #106
    Turkafinwë's Avatar The Sick Baby Pumpkin
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    You chose a strong moment to take your break with the conclusion of Mun'at's search for the lawless robbers. One would call it a cruel punishment while others would call it justice what Mun'at did to the survivors. Perhaps it is both cruel and just even though that seems to contradict itself. I had read part IV before the changes and I must say you have done a good job with it, giving Mubsamat's line a bit more depth. It as the saying goes, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Though I must say I do not know why these men would do such a thing to their Queen but perhaps we'll figure it out in the next installments or maybe not at all. All in all two great updates!

    Anyway good luck with your PhD writing and may you return soon to this AAR so we might enjoy it once more.

    Chapter XXXI: Éomer Returns
    #JusticeForAkar #JusticeForCal #JusticeForCookie #JusticeForAthelchan



  7. #107
    Skotos of Sinope's Avatar Macstre Gaposal
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    And that fan art is AWESOME! The EBII team has done an amazing job making their units look sharp and getting the historical details of the textures just right, but there is only so much graphics that can be extracted from the Med2 engine. That is actually part of why I've been including no screenshots (aside from one post that had a couple). But the pics you've uploaded are classy! I might have to consider getting Rome II and this DLC just for the purposes of being able to make some good screenshots for the AAR. Actually, given that you've got it, would you terribly mind being called on periodically to get me a good screen grab for me to use? I could repay you in maps I actually have a good layered map of greater Italia (made using GIMP), and if you want I could send it to you. I'd need you to pm me your email address though, as it's too large to upload here.
    Caps for maps. Sounds good to me. I'll PM you my email. Sure, I'm up for any screencaps you need. If you do want to get Rome II and the Desert Kingdoms DLC, make sure you put the settings as high as your computer will allow and that you get both GEM and extended particles. That's what I'm using in the above pics. (I can also send you my GEM preset.)

    A couple more:

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    You chose a strong moment to take your break with the conclusion of Mun'at's search for the lawless robbers. One would call it a cruel punishment while others would call it justice what Mun'at did to the survivors. Perhaps it is both cruel and just even though that seems to contradict itself.
    Yeah, that part made me think. Could Mun'at's tragic flaw, if he had one, be his compassion? Clearly what happened to his wife has left him with a compassion that can lead him to acts of cruelty in meting out justice to those who commit atrocities.

  8. #108
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Good luck with your PhD chapters, Kilo11! The next chapters of Written in Sand will well worth waiting for. I'm impressed by the fan art images which Skotos made, it sounds like this 'caps for maps' deal will be a good one.

  9. #109

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    I had read part IV before the changes and I must say you have done a good job with it, giving Mubsamat's line a bit more depth. It as the saying goes, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Though I must say I do not know why these men would do such a thing to their Queen but perhaps we'll figure it out in the next installments or maybe not at all. All in all two great updates!

    Anyway good luck with your PhD writing and may you return soon to this AAR so we might enjoy it once more.
    Thanks for the encouragement Turk*. And I'm glad the replaced scene works better; Cookiegod was right to cut me down so forcefully when I first uploaded. I hadn't rethought the larger character elements that get entrenched in a scene like that, and keeping those more central I think really improved the tone and message there. And if you notice anything like that in the future, do tell. I quite enjoy seeing a reader tear into things now and again. It reminds me you're all paying attention.

    Oh, and to your thoughts about why the men would do that to their queen, a big part of it is that she is not really "their" queen. She is a queen of the Saba', but there are many others as well (the way the tribal societies of southern Arabia functioned (and still do function) is hard to get at given our very hierarchical views of monarchy from the European setting). To be a king or queen was more a signifier that a number of tribes respected and would follow you, but it would not mean that all necessarily do. And members of other ambitious tribes might very well act against a "queen" or "king", in the hopes that they could then become the more powerful group. However, they don't actually harm her, because she is still a queen (even if she's one who's at odds with their ambitions), and so it might be unsafe for them to really hurt her. Put simply, affluent tribal societies are complicated, and infighting is to be expected. A desert tribal group, on the other hand, will not be as politically volatile, as there is security for all to be had through stability in leadership, lending to a more stringent code of conduct and respect among elders and leaders. Hopefully these things can become more clear as the story of the southern tribes progresses more and becomes more central.

    *P.s. Let me know if you've any objections to me calling you "Turk". I like the nickname, but you should too!


    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope View Post
    Caps for maps. Sounds good to me. I'll PM you my email. Sure, I'm up for any screencaps you need. If you do want to get Rome II and the Desert Kingdoms DLC, make sure you put the settings as high as your computer will allow and that you get both GEM and extended particles. That's what I'm using in the above pics. (I can also send you my GEM preset.
    Nice! You've got some maps now (but let me know if you need anything else, like a more zoomed in version or something), and I will let you know about caps once I am back into the writing. Any idea how long of a warning you'd want/need if I were to request some particular screenies? Like, if I wanted to post on a Monday, when would I ideally ask you for images, and how much info would you generally want to have?


    Quote Originally Posted by Turkafinwë View Post
    You chose a strong moment to take your break with the conclusion of Mun'at's search for the lawless robbers. One would call it a cruel punishment while others would call it justice what Mun'at did to the survivors. Perhaps it is both cruel and just even though that seems to contradict itself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope View Post
    Yeah, that part made me think. Could Mun'at's tragic flaw, if he had one, be his compassion? Clearly what happened to his wife has left him with a compassion that can lead him to acts of cruelty in meting out justice to those who commit atrocities.
    I have also been thinking about that a bit, and I actually wrote that final scene a good while ago. While taking the dog for a walk I sort of realized that when Mun'at found those men they would be butchered, given no mercy or quarter. I wasn't sure why, but I was certain that it would be done coldly, without respect or compassion. I then wrote out that final sequence (Mun'at's conversation with the bandit captain and the ensuring events) without knowing how things would lead into it.

    As of now I am still not quite certain why it turned out that way, as I'm still not quite certain "who Mun'at is", if that makes sense. I have been considering his past, his basic character traits, and the way the environment impacts on his decisions, and just trying to understand who the man would be given those things. The biggest challenge in all of that is that the desert is unlike anything I know (which I suspect is similarly the case for most readers). To try to live in that place, without any of the advantages or tools we now have (even simple things like maps and compasses would make things so much easier for them, but they don't have that), it is an incredibly terrible feat to have to accomplish, and one which allows little room for mistakes. Given that, when others place added burdens in your way, or worse still, prey on the innocent, they set themselves apart from society in an irrevocable way. And as a result of that, desert justice is not like other justice, because criminality in that context basically amounts to murder (given the difficulty of surviving even without someone stealing your crops or killing some of your fieldhands). I think that this puts a higher premium on the deterrent side of punishment, which thereby justifies the horrific nature of what he does to those men.

    There is then also the point that Skotos makes about Mun'at's past. Not only are there political and perhaps moral reasons to butcher the criminal soldiers, but his memories of what criminality can do to a man will likely conspire to make him less apt to hear their screams or care for their suffering. After all, they cared little for the suffering of those they left behind to die of hunger and thirst. I am still figuring him out though, as the only person who really knows him is Rana'in, and he's a quiet sort. Suffice to say I think Mun'at is at core a decent man whose intention is to limit the bloodshed, but sometimes it might be that a rising tide of death is best held at bay by a dam made of corpses. That thought though is definitely a controversial one, and will at many crucial points make Mun'at a hard individual to unequivocally evaluate. I'd be interested to hear all of your thoughts on that though.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alwyn View Post
    Good luck with your PhD chapters, Kilo11! The next chapters of Written in Sand will well worth waiting for. I'm impressed by the fan art images which Skotos made, it sounds like this 'caps for maps' deal will be a good one.
    Thanks Alwyn. I have already started implementing a plan to make more regular progress, and I think it is working. If I can stick with it and move through some material quickly then I'll be back here all the sooner! And I am also psyched for Skotos' offer. As I said above, the EBII team has outdone many other mods in the quality of everything in it, textures and skins included, but Medieval II just can't get the same visual beauty that is possible with something newer like Rome II. And it would be good to throw some caps into many of the chapters as I know a lot of readers like that.
    Last edited by Kilo11; November 12, 2018 at 03:08 AM.
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  10. #110
    Skotos of Sinope's Avatar Macstre Gaposal
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    Nice! You've got some maps now (but let me know if you need anything else, like a more zoomed in version or something), and I will let you know about caps once I am back into the writing. Any idea how long of a warning you'd want/need if I were to request some particular screenies? Like, if I wanted to post on a Monday, when would I ideally ask you for images, and how much info would you generally want to have?
    Okay, so here's what I'm thinking, and I'm going to spoiler box it so as not to take up too much space with a thread jack.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    First, there's a minor hiccup in that most of the factions which Nabataea goes up against aren't playable in vanilla RII, meaning they aren't available in custom battles. (Saba is the only faction you've encountered so far that's available.) That's not a deal breaker, it just means that to get the screen caps I'll either have to play my own Nab campaign in Rome II or build a mod for myself to make them playable in CB. The latter would be my preference. So during your hiatus I think I can whip up that mod. For that I'd need a list of all the factions you think you'll encounter in the near future. (You can PM this so as to avoid spoilers). After that, it wouldn't require much lead time at all. For each post, a minimum a couple of days, though a week would be better for anything intricate or epic. (This is just going by how long it takes my own screen caps for my AAR) As far as the info goes: the two factions involved in the battle with a list of their units and the location, time of day if that's relavent, and either a verbal description of what you want to be shown in each pic or you could send me a cap from EBII which could act like a story board, if that makes sense.
    Last edited by Skotos of Sinope; November 12, 2018 at 05:44 PM.

  11. #111

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope View Post
    First, there's a minor hiccup in that most of the factions which Nabataea goes up against aren't playable in vanilla RII, meaning they aren't available in custom battles. (Saba is the only faction you've encountered so far that's available.) That's not a deal breaker, it just means that to get the screen caps I'll either have to play my own Nab campaign in Rome II or build a mod for myself to make them playable in CB. The latter would be my preference. So during your hiatus I think I can whip up that mod. For that I'd need a list of all the factions you think you'll encounter in the near future.
    So, I imagine that all of the proper "factions" are then actually in the DLC, as Nabataea and Saba' are the only Arabian factions in the mod. And then the other factions that are mentioned (and will likely later come into play as well) is Ptolemaic Egypt and The Seleukid Empire, but I imagine both of those are included in the DLC too. I have been playing off a cool little detail of the EBII mod, in which they don't list all rebel armies/cities as simply "rebel" or "bandit", but instead give all starting ones affiliations with the local region (hence, the ones I encounter are "Lihyanites", because they are from "Lihyan"). This makes sense, given that these aren't rebel or bandit groups, but rather very small free cities. However, they aren't represented by actual factions in game, and so one could just play custom battles against appropriately armed rebel armies to get the right screenies. But by all means, if you'd like to make a mod yourself, don't let me stop you

    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope View Post
    After that, it wouldn't require much lead time at all. For each post, a minimum a couple of days, though a week would be better for anything intricate or epic. (This is just going by how long it takes my own screen caps for my AAR) As far as the info goes: the two factions involved in the battle with a list of their units and the location, time of day if that's relavent, and either a verbal description of what you want to be shown in each pic or you could send me a cap from EBII which could act like a story board, if that makes sense.
    I can definitely work with that timeframe, and can give you the relevant info as well. I'll let you know once I'm close to needing some.
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  12. #112
    Cookiegod's Avatar Civus Divus Ex Clibane
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    Cookiegod was right to cut me down so forcefully when I first uploaded. I hadn't rethought the larger character elements that get entrenched in a scene like that, and keeping those more central I think really improved the tone and message there. And if you notice anything like that in the future, do tell. I quite enjoy seeing a reader tear into things now and again. It reminds me you're all paying attention.
    I hope I didn't cut you down too forcefully. :S I do have some thoughts on the new Mubsamat IV if you're interested.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    From Socrates over Jesus to me it has always been the lot of any true visionary to be rejected by the reactionary bourgeoisie
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  13. #113
    Skotos of Sinope's Avatar Macstre Gaposal
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    So, I imagine that all of the proper "factions" are then actually in the DLC, as Nabataea and Saba' are the only Arabian factions in the mod. And then the other factions that are mentioned (and will likely later come into play as well) is Ptolemaic Egypt and The Seleukid Empire, but I imagine both of those are included in the DLC too. I have been playing off a cool little detail of the EBII mod, in which they don't list all rebel armies/cities as simply "rebel" or "bandit", but instead give all starting ones affiliations with the local region (hence, the ones I encounter are "Lihyanites", because they are from "Lihyan"). This makes sense, given that these aren't rebel or bandit groups, but rather very small free cities. However, they aren't represented by actual factions in game, and so one could just play custom battles against appropriately armed rebel armies to get the right screenies. But by all means, if you'd like to make a mod yourself, don't let me stop you
    Oh okay. So only those four factions are ones you're going to need pics for? That's perfect. In fact, all those fan art screen grabs I posted are actually from a four way custom battle match-up I did between Nabataea/Saba on one side and Egypt/Seleucids on the other! So yeah, ignore what I said about needing to build a mod. Just hit me up with the above-mentioned info a couple of days ahead of time when you have a new post coming.

  14. #114

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: November 6]

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    I hope I didn't cut you down too forcefully. :S I do have some thoughts on the new Mubsamat IV if you're interested.
    I think you did, but I have absolutely no objection to that! It is always a great help. And I would of course be interested in hearing any thoughts you have.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope View Post
    Oh okay. So only those four factions are ones you're going to need pics for? That's perfect. In fact, all those fan art screen grabs I posted are actually from a four way custom battle match-up I did between Nabataea/Saba on one side and Egypt/Seleucids on the other! So yeah, ignore what I said about needing to build a mod. Just hit me up with the above-mentioned info a couple of days ahead of time when you have a new post coming.
    Perfect! I will hit you up as soon as I have something I need.
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  15. #115
    Cookiegod's Avatar Civus Divus Ex Clibane
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)[updated: October 29]

    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    I think you did, but I have absolutely no objection to that! It is always a great help. And I would of course be interested in hearing any thoughts you have.
    I think we know each other well enough to know that criticism is appreciated, but I still feel I need to be careful:
    1) I do not want to appear like I know better. We have different styles and perspectives and that's a good thing, and I don't know yet where this storyline is heading. So if I say something conflicting to your overall vision, you can and/or should discard that part.
    2) I do not want you to become demotivated by too much negativity. Criticism is the highest form of praise, since it takes more effort than a mere compliment, but I don't want you to forget that there's a lot of good stuff. I like your story a lot and the Mubsamat storyline is perhaps the one with the greatest appeal to me. Otherwise I wouldn't go through all this trouble. Still though, just to make sure: Your story is good.
    3) I am working on that upcoming storycrafting essay of mine, and my senses might me sharpened because of that. A bit too much perhaps.

    And now to the nagging about the new part IV:
    1: Opening sentence
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    Mubsamat was once again walking the length of the western wall, heading south toward the broad parapet overlooking the floodplains below.
    The first sentence is like a first impression. It's important to get it right. I disliked this one, especially the "once again". Why? Because expressions do carry some associations with them. We are informed that she's again in the same location as always, but the way we are informed seems lazy and uninspired, even though it's probably not.
    First thing to note: The plot doesn't change one bit if it happened in a different location. So if some readers don't catch that it's the same spot, then hey, no harm done.
    Second thing to note: I do think it's good that you reuse the location. It enables you to evoke some familiarity, whilst at the same time focusing on the important stuff.
    But it needs to be more subtle. You can do that by telling us why she likes that place so much, and/or by telling us about the same geographical features again.
    In order to avoid being repetitive, you can contrast it to the earlier bits.
    This time it's night, so I'm guessing there's moonlight (otherwise she wouldn't be up here since there'd be no view, right?). Quite the sight to behold I presume.

    To get that point across, I want to quote the first time we were introduced to Mubsamat, in ch2p2:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    She stood on the western wall of the royal palace, the distant volcanic mountains gaping at her with their cones of black and leaden gray, dead teeth gnawing at the heavens. Unable to bear the brutish spectacle longer she began walking south along the parapet toward the long floodplains below the Great Dam, sadd al-'Arim.* Mubsamat walked alone, in silence, her hands clasped behind her back and her fair olive face pinched and scowling.
    You did that piece masterfully back then. You've always been good at depicting the scenery. Even better was that we didn't get to know her name straight away.
    The time spent reading the scenery has the added bonus that we readers have some time to wonder. Who is she? And then we are hooked and when we get to know her name it's so much more powerful. You described a similar effect when you commented on Albert Azzo in my story. I did that unintentionally.

    Now let's look at the second Mubsamat piece (ch2p3) which opens up as follows:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    Mubsamat was again walking alone along the ramparts of the palace walls, absorbed in thought.
    You might notice it's very similar to this opening. And yeah, that one isn't ideal. But there's one important difference:
    That part opened up with a Mun'at piece with a perfectly executed start. So by the time we get to Mubsamat we're already in a flow.

    This opening here in ch3p4 doesn't have that. It's the opener for the entire part, so it's important to get this right. And the fact that you already opened up in a very similar way doesn't do it any favours.

    Now granted, most people don't remember the earlier Mubsamat pieces that well. Especially because we read them when they came out.
    I faced that problem with OWAP a bit. But later readers might have less of a pause between the pieces and hence a better memory. And secondly, the good thing about rereferencing is that it doesn't have to matter that much. For those who don't remember the earlier bits, reading about the same scenery doesn't hurt. But those who do remember will feel a sense of pride for noticing if it was done correctly.

    The guards
    1: I don't get why those guards only ever get to guard that one post, nor why that post is only ever guarded by them. 2: Even assuming she has a huge guard of let's say 500 people, I'd still expect her to be familiar with most of their faces. For the simple reason that she's constantly surrounded by some of them and bound to see most of them again and again and again. So the same reasoning applies to them as with the scenery. I'd still expect her to notice something is off if it weren't the Hashid boy and the aging Bakil warrior, and a bit of subtle call backs would be nice (-> think of the readers like Pavlov's dogs). But a lot of the momentum and foreshadowing get's lost by you ensuring the reader knows he's been presented to those before.

    The end bit
    Quote Originally Posted by Kilo11 View Post
    Mubsamat breathed deeply, composure filling her with each intake of air, but before she could speak the man raised a hand as if to strike her and she flinched. A simple reaction, beyond her control really, but no less demeaning for that. And at that her battle was lost. The guards would not help her, she knew that now. She was alone, good and truly alone. The queen nodded meekly, not trusting her voice, and the interrogation began. It did not last long, she received no ill treatment, and by the end they had gained no real information, nothing but scraps of truth packaged in layered lies, but she had been interrogated nonetheless and she had yielded. The would-be Queen of all Saba' had broken to a petty tribal chieftain, and such weakness would not soon be forgotten.
    This criticism here is the most important one:
    Well, my problem with it remains the same as with the old part 4 (now part 5). Her sudden submission because of a feigned blow is hard to follow (it would've been, had it been a ruse by her) and worse still, it immediately get's destroyed by you ensuring the reader: Don't worry, she's not going to tell anyone anything. So the suspense is killed off and I don't get why she feels so humiliated by it if she immediately exploits it to feed them false information.

    But most importantly, this is a prime example of us being told instead of shown, when it should be the other way round.
    I'd very much liked to see that interrogation scene, it would surely have been a key moment for her. It would have revealed a new side of her to us readers.
    Mubsamat might've even surprised herself.
    Merely being told the outcome is not relatable and makes her a static character, rather than an organic one.

    The antagonist
    A strong character needs strong opposition. Thing is, I don't feel quite worried about her. Everything about those men, especially the most evil one, who threatens and almost hits her, screams irrelevancy. We know less about him than we do about the guards. With the guards I wonder what their relevancy is. But that one might be revealed later, so I don't object to that. With this one I know I need not fear him. The only information about him is his rank as the Qayl of the North pass. We don't know anything else about him. Nor that much about the others. Which is a shame since even if they were all killed off in the very next part, it'd be nice to have some familiarity with those guys she takes her revenge out on.

    As I said in the bit about the opening, withholding information can be a powerful thing. So I might be completely wrong since I don't know what's going to happen later. But the characters should be distinguishable in one way or another. It can also be a good thing if the antagonists are relatable as well. The only thing about the lord of the North pass I know other than his title, is that he's evil, and not particularly subtle or smart.


    All of this doesn't mean you have to change things. Because a lot of it comes down to different approaches to writing. All come with flaws. There's the conflict between being plot oriented and character oriented. It's hard to focus on either plot or character without the other suffering. Another problem is that a writer always has more information at hand than the reader.

    Even when disregarding that: My criticism can be completely off, and in that case you can disregard it. And even if you think parts of it are correct, that doesn't mean you need to rewrite everything again (though the opening line could use some spice). Rather it's best to move on and have this feedback in mind. Nothing is ruined and I still like your story a lot. Nothing stops her from revisiting whatever you want to include in either memories or dialogue, and the fact that I'm setting such high expectations with her (maybe too high) is a testament to your skill and her potential.
    I didn't write all this down because that much is ruined, but more because I'm a bit worried about the future parts. Mubsamat seems quite set to me, both physically and in her character. I fear she might become a bit of a princess in a castle for prince Charming to save. That's at least what has been hinted at.

    On the other hand I might have gotten carried away quite a bit. In the grander scheme of things, we're only talking about a few provinces in a huge map that spans from India til the British Isles, and yet I'm talking about her as if she should fill an entire book.

    "Cutting down forcefully" has a negative connotation to it, so I really hope I didn't do any damage here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    From Socrates over Jesus to me it has always been the lot of any true visionary to be rejected by the reactionary bourgeoisie
    Qualis noncives pereo! #justiceforcookie #egalitéfraternitécookié #CLM

  16. #116

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    I think we know each other well enough to know that criticism is appreciated, but I still feel I need to be careful...
    No worries. It is actually very nice to get the gritty comments about plot and character development. I can generally give good feedback about language, writing style, diction, grammar, etc., but I don't often have good commentary on the actual story itself. I know when I like it, and when I don't, but seldom can I point to exactly what's not working for me (unless there is something so glaringly off that it makes me want to "jump ship"). So it is good to have someone around with a feel for that (and yes, I think you have a good feel for that ).

    Now, some thoughts about your comments, and maybe a few small questions too.

    1: Opening sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    The first sentence is like a first impression. It's important to get it right. I disliked this one, especially the "once again"... telling us about the same geographical features again... you can contrast it to the earlier bits...
    I think you are right, and some small callback to the scenery or something could do well here. I will expand that sentence and give it a bit more "flash".

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    That part (ch2p3) opened up with a Mun'at piece with a perfectly executed start. So by the time we get to Mubsamat we're already in a flow.

    This opening here in ch3p4 doesn't have that. It's the opener for the entire part, so it's important to get this right. And the fact that you already opened up in a very similar way doesn't do it any favours.
    Hmm. I wonder if the "it opens the part" thing is really a problem. I am writing this with more of an eye to making it like a novel, so the "breaks" between parts aren't really supposed to be taken too strongly. I still usually try to have them begin an end in a nice fashion, but the idea you have above, that one can get away with some things when we're "already in the flow" should apply to all parts except for the first one of a chapter. I still think that opening line could do with a rewrite and fleshing out, but only because on its own terms it's a bit flat.

    Maybe when the new version is up you could have a quick look (if you've the time/will) and see what you think, but bear in mind this would all be within the same chapter, and so there shouldn't really be a proper break between one "part" and the next.

    The guards

    I think the stuff with the guards is okay. I didn't want to use new ones (then they'd have to be described, taking some space) and I figured the call-back might be a nice reminder for the attentive reader, as you mentioned in your points above. If you think there is really something to be improved there, press me though. I don't see it yet, but I am happy to be convinced!


    The end bit

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    This criticism here is the most important one:
    Well, my problem with it remains the same as with the old part 4 (now part 5). Her sudden submission because of a feigned blow is hard to follow (it would've been, had it been a ruse by her) and worse still, it immediately get's destroyed by you ensuring the reader: Don't worry, she's not going to tell anyone anything. So the suspense is killed off and I don't get why she feels so humiliated by it if she immediately exploits it to feed them false information.
    You are right about the suspense being cut off needlessly (and also in a way that hurts the power of the scene greatly). I will delete the last two sentences, as I think that preserves the suspense of the scene in a simple fashion, and leaves the reader wondering what happened until they get to the next part. The part about humiliation is because she lets herself be interrogated by men who are her inferiors (or so she thinks, at least). This is a slight to her, even if it gains them nothing, and is something that she will carry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    But most importantly, this is a prime example of us being told instead of shown, when it should be the other way round.
    I'd very much liked to see that interrogation scene, it would surely have been a key moment for her. It would have revealed a new side of her to us readers.
    Mubsamat might've even surprised herself.
    Merely being told the outcome is not relatable and makes her a static character, rather than an organic one.
    Hmm. I get what you're saying here, but I don't want to include the interrogation scene. Part of that is because I am not sure how it would go. I fear that if I get into the scene and write as I usually do (which is to let the scene lead me, and not to try to build the scene as I want it to go) then Mubsamat will be beaten or killed, things that will change the story in ways I can't deal with now. It would necessitate too much of a bloodbath in Saba' at this point, something that is not justified by the campaign, even if some infighting and political intrigue is. Hopefully with the outcome of the interrogation taken out the critique is somewhat handled, because I really do not think I even could put that scene in if I wanted to. Sorry about that.

    The antagonist

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    A strong character needs strong opposition. Thing is, I don't feel quite worried about her. Everything about those men, especially the most evil one, who threatens and almost hits her, screams irrelevancy. We know less about him than we do about the guards. With the guards I wonder what their relevancy is. But that one might be revealed later, so I don't object to that. With this one I know I need not fear him. The only information about him is his rank as the Qayl of the North pass. We don't know anything else about him. Nor that much about the others. Which is a shame since even if they were all killed off in the very next part, it'd be nice to have some familiarity with those guys she takes her revenge out on.

    As I said in the bit about the opening, withholding information can be a powerful thing. So I might be completely wrong since I don't know what's going to happen later. But the characters should be distinguishable in one way or another. It can also be a good thing if the antagonists are relatable as well. The only thing about the lord of the North pass I know other than his title, is that he's evil, and not particularly subtle or smart.
    Ah, well this critique can be ignored then, as I have some plans here. Like when I introduced Mubsamat that first time, I like to leave off distinguishing marks for a beat. This dude will come in again, and will butt heads a bit with some characters up through at least chapter 6 (but more likely well though 7), and more information on him will come in due time.

    And I must say, I find it interesting that you thought of him as "evil, and not particularly subtle or smart". I do not imagine him as any of those things, and I did not wish to portray him as such. He is attempting to intimidate her because he has ambitions similar to hers (an "if he's evil, then so is she", sort of thing) and because he thinks she may be up to something underhanded and possibly borderline traitorous. Some might even call him a patriot (after all, one man's freedom fighter is another's terrorist). As things develop, do let me know if you feel like later events do not fit well with this scene, but for now, I think I like that your initial assessment is somewhat off from what I intended. That kind of uncertainty can be useful later on for throwing in surprises and whatnot. I mean, all you really know here is that he's threatening her with some terrible things, but he doesn't actually do anything, and you don't know what his intentions are.

    On a more general point, I try my best to not have "good guys" and "bad guys". All characters are people, which means they will be bastards, thieves, cutthroats, lovers, fathers, mothers, traitors, liars, and honest men, as events unfold. My motto for many things is "people are people wherever you go", and I try to have that reflect in my writing. After all, if the main character of your story is Charles Manson, you might even start thinking of him as a "good guy", even though he is one of the most monstrous characters I have ever come across.


    One final thing you wrote that I think is interesting is the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    The fact that I'm setting such high expectations with her [Mubsamat] (maybe too high) is a testament to your skill and her potential.
    I didn't write all this down because that much is ruined, but more because I'm a bit worried about the future parts. Mubsamat seems quite set to me, both physically and in her character. I fear she might become a bit of a princess in a castle for prince Charming to save. That's at least what has been hinted at.
    This, I think, is similar to the points above about the Lord of the Northpass, in that I have plans here, and I think your impression of her is off. That's not to say you've read it wrong or something (that would be an incredibly dou**y thing for me to say), but more to point out that my intentions here have masked some of the more important details. And this "princess to be saved" estimation might well lead to a richer experience for the reader, as Mubsamat is certainly not that, and so her actions might surprise. I will try to make sure the writing covers exactly how we get there though, so nothing seems like it's been "cheaply" taken, but always earned.



    Finally, an administrative point: A friend of mine is visiting this weekend, so I won't have any time for revision or doing stuff on here, but next week I should have more time, and will try to make those edits. Once I do I will leave an update in the thread to let you (and everyone else) know the parts have been "fixed"/edited, in case anyone wants to have a look and see what they think. At any rate, I thank you again for the rich feedback, and would only ask that you get another update out for your own AAR so I can return the favor
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  17. #117

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Hey everyone, I would like to thank you all for the support and good vibes about my story here! I am still not feeling quite caught up enough with my real life work to fully dive back into this, but I can't keep leaving it be (I have too much fun "experiencing" the desert through this story). Given that, I am going to start posting updates again, but just not as regularly as before, or on such a tight schedule. The first new update is however already done and just needs to be typed up and proofread. I am gonna do that now and hopefully get it up tonight, as a little Christmas present from me to all of you! I hope it passes muster, and that I've not lost some of my touch in the last two months of delaying, but as always, if something is wrong or if any of you have suggestions or critiques (or praise - I love praise ) just say so. Anyway, I am going to get to transcribing now, and hope to be done in a couple hours.

    Oh, and I made a couple small changes to the first scene of Chapter 3 - Part IV (the one Cookiegod critiqued at length - which to be clear, was very nice of him ), so if anyone wants to check that out again, feel free.



    UPDATE: I got everything typed up now, but I'd like to reread it before I post the update. I think there is some down time planned in between the festivities for tomorrow, and I will try to do another read then and post as well. So, if everything goes as planned, you will all get a Christmas present from me, right on time!
    Last edited by Kilo11; December 24, 2018 at 10:16 AM.
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  18. #118
    Skotos of Sinope's Avatar Macstre Gaposal
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Yay! I'm dreaming of a sandy Christmas. Don't rewrite the thing to death though. The perfect is the enemy of the good, they say. I think a regular, but lighter schedule might be a good idea. Once a week is grueling, especially when there's a ton of research to do and graphical content that needs to be whipped up. (I can't manage an average of more than one every ten days, or quality suffers.)

    BTW, I myself am going to be sending you a WiS related Christmas present. (No, it's not my thoughts on the document you asked me to proofread. I'm still working on that and I really apologize for taking so long. I'll have it to you soon, I promise.)

  19. #119
    Cookiegod's Avatar Civus Divus Ex Clibane
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    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Yay! I knew the writer in the sand would not desert us! I look forward to the lord of the North pass getting his just desert, and now I'll stop with the forced bad puns.
    Did Skotos and I get the same sekrit document? You get your review around new year, when I return home. Read halfway through already, and I like what I read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    From Socrates over Jesus to me it has always been the lot of any true visionary to be rejected by the reactionary bourgeoisie
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  20. #120

    Default Re: Written in Sand (Nabataean AAR for EBII)

    Quote Originally Posted by Skotos of Sinope View Post
    Yay! I'm dreaming of a sandy Christmas. Don't rewrite the thing to death though. The perfect is the enemy of the good, they say. I think a regular, but lighter schedule might be a good idea. Once a week is grueling, especially when there's a ton of research to do and graphical content that needs to be whipped up. (I can't manage an average of more than one every ten days, or quality suffers.)

    BTW, I myself am going to be sending you a WiS related Christmas present. (No, it's not my thoughts on the document you asked me to proofread. I'm still working on that and I really apologize for taking so long. I'll have it to you soon, I promise.)
    No worries. I promise not to write it to death. I actually would like to expand it later and improve things, making significant enough changes to be able to submit it all to a publishing house, so it'll be fine if this here is a bit rougher around the edges. I mean, if what's posted is perfect, then I can't do a rewrite and get it published, and then I'll have to write another novel before getting my name out there. Who has time for that?

    And no worries about the other thing Skotos. You get to it when you get to it. I have no serious schedule with my work (other than my real work, which isn't being posted here).

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookiegod View Post
    Yay! I knew the writer in the sand would not desert us! I look forward to the lord of the North pass getting his just desert, and now I'll stop with the forced bad puns.
    Did Skotos and I get the same sekrit document? You get your review around new year, when I return home. Read halfway through already, and I like what I read.
    I'd never leave you Cookie! And you and Skotos did indeed get the same thing, so you guys can roundtable your critiques if you want. I'm glad you're liking what you've read so far though.


    And now, here is the next installment of Written in Sand! I hope you all like it. In this first part of chapter 4, the pace is a bit quicker, with many new characters popping in, but it will even out a bit in one or two more updates (which will definitely come, just not as quickly as they were coming before).
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