PDA

View Full Version : Shiyuan's Blatant Ego-Petting Thread : P



Shiyuan
2005-09-07, 09:40 PM
Hey all. Some of you may be familiar with me, some of you not. However, those who have come to recognize me here have pointed out one unerringly truthful characteristic of my posts... I write ALOT.

That being said, I am going to re-post a chapter for the unfinished novel I began in high school and never worked on since and hope for responses. I like analysis and I will appreciate constructive criticisms. Please provide feedback: Did you like it? Would you read more? Any ideas you would like to see implemented or changed? Stuff, people, stuff! : P

And now without much more ado, here is the first chapter of my work, Walker in the Rain:


(WARNING: This stuff is copyrighted.)






Chapter 1: "Happenstance"




Riley stirred at the sound. It was faint, but years had trained her ears to catch the slightest disturbances, from a fly’s fart to a cutpurse’s slinking in the dark. She made sure her body did not acknowledge the presence and slowly cracked her eyelids open, but only enough to give her a rudimentary vision. In the bruised mesh of night and a dying campfire, she spotted the tentative shape of a slight darkly-garbed figure making its way about her campsite, paying little attention to her while exhibiting a great interest in her belongings. Inwardly she smiled and made ready to give this night pilferer a little surprise.




He couldn’t seem to find anything of worth in these bags, only food and some spare cupru, and that measly pittance wasn’t worth the effort stealing. How could anyone subside on so little money? He didn’t really care, but his curiosity was piqued by this odd traveler who was either stupid enough or confident enough to sleep in the open in the wilderness. Be it, the sparsely wooded meadows were only two tetrains out from the city walls, but that was wild enough for this urban predator. He wouldn’t even be out this far from the city if he weren’t in dire straits. If the Scravers hadn’t staked out Screl as their new turf, then he’d be basking in the good life, where the cattle roamed in crowded herds, idyllic for the wily pilferer. But no, the bloody Machinists had to crack down on the black markets in Eventon and Gamaliel, kicking the Scravers out. Well, the Scravers still needed a place to ply their “trade”, so they headed on down to the River States, where the Machinists still lacked charters, and decided on Screl for their new base of operations. Which meant that all the resident independents had to clear out, for organized larceny was for more profitable than a thieves’ free-for-all. One of those unfortunates happened to be our thief, who continues to grumble about his ill luck. That is, until he heard that familiar “click” freeze the night behind him.

“Good eve, Dominie Thief,” mocked a firm feminine voice, “how do you find my wares this evening, would you like to pay in hard currency or would you like to place the costs on your tab?” A cold piece of metal pressed itself upon the nape of his neck. Our friend cursed his evil fortune with even greater fervor, this time with his tongue.

Riley was doing everything to stop herself from breaking out in stitches. Here she was, holding a man’s life in her hands and all he did was begin to curse and swear at his luck with great profusion. What an odd fellow, mused Riley. And he could also do well with a hair cut. With a perfunctory sniff, she added, and a long bath.

Just as suddenly, the sleek form of her captive blinked into motion. Blinked, as it was the only word she could apply to this man’s speed of action. He was out of her line of sight in a split second, leaving her momentarily dazed. Only her reflexes saved her from an incapacitation by a swift fist to her temple. Rolling with the blow, she tumbled across the patched virescent carpet of the glen, quickly bringing her pistol to bear on her assailant as she broke from her roll. The thief’s advantage had been underestimation, but that luck was ephemeral, she gave no second thought as she pulled the trigger. A raucous outburst bellowed through the nocturne wild, stirring beasts from their slumber.

She had missed. The fluid gait of the thief had carried him from the path of the metal ball and into the surrounding copse with mesmerizing speed. It was as if the man had read her mind before she even completed her tumble. That was disconcerting. Riley eased her breathing with a practiced exercise. Before the residual smoke had begun to drift apart in the evening wind, she had mechanically re-holstered her spent pistol and drew its sibling. Her trained eye warily scanned about her. The boreal monoliths surrounding the pond of grass obscured much of the moonlight; Mezo’s – the yellow moon - gaze peeked over the eastern treetops, shedding a much needed lunar illumination. Its rays, however, created a morass of gloom and light as it meshed with gun smoke, which served only to bewilder and frustrate Riley. She silently began cursing herself for her lax in caution.




Well, well, who’s cursing now. The man deftly maneuvered among the bases of the great trees that surrounded the strange break in the wilderness. Never liked the wilds, but these trees make damn good cover. In his hand he fondled the slight heft of his black jack. He watched the woman with curious eyes, circling the glen, not truly understanding why he had yet not taken to flight. He halted his movement as the barrel of the woman’s pistol began to pivot towards his direction. Silencing himself, he stood shock still, a level of self-control gained only through years of experience. The gun’s maw eventually passed over his location and went to rotate the premise again. By now the gun smoke had all but vanished into the air, leaving the man with an unobstructed view of his antagonist. She was a young woman, he estimated her around eighteen years, and of firm build. She was neither especially lithe nor noticeably protruding, her hair short-cropped and her face tanned and quite pleasing, but she was not a physical beauty of note. Her almost universally plain appearance was like a simple, sketched canvas left for the observer to complete with his own palette of colors. However, our thief did not delve further into the possibilities of this woman, as he was keenly aware of his own immediate danger.
He noticed the movement of her free hand as it reached beneath the rear fold of her jacket. His body tensed and the muscles of his legs bunched into a crouch. The night-refined shiver of reflected light betrayed the thin dirk as the woman unsheathed it. Definitely no fool I see, she’s got more brains than most of the other Exalted. In their arrogance, many Exalted often carried only a brace of guns for protection, confident in the near-superstitious fear that many non-Exalted had of firearms. Although, their overconfidence was the rogue’s greatest asset and our thief was no exception.

The rogue thought of using the small, single-handed crossbow he had recently purchased while visiting Screl from a particularly daring smuggler who had managed to make off with some second-line Guild designed weapons. The trinket had cost a hefty amount, and not to mention the considerable “trade tax” that the Scravers demanded from illicit purchases made in Screl. Although he had of course demanded a demonstration and then a personal examination of the item, he had yet to test the contraption on a live situation. Its light weight and clever composite break-apart construction, however, had already won over its new owner, at least partly.

As he reached for the hidden handle within his vest, his now alert ears picked up the muffled footfalls that crept up behind him. Reflex brought his head down just in time to duck under a flash of silver that would’ve taken his head off, rolling away from the following downward thrust by his would-be killer. The girl must’ve seen the shimmer of the flashing blade, as she quickly swung her pistol and fired. A strangled cry escaped from the darkness and both thief and girl watched as a cloaked body tumble forward from the wood.

While he could not see it in the evening gloom, the thief knew that a spreading pool of blood flowed from the wound of the dying man. He had seen it happen before, and always found a strange fascination with its sight. He judged by the gurgling of the death throes of the man that the bullet must’ve struck the assassin in the neck. An assassin, heh, more like a hired thug. There should be more…

His thought was rewarded by the sudden glint of drawn steel in the blackness behind the girl. Before he could stop himself, he heard himself cry out to her in warning. The girl immediately turned about in time to side-step a thrust by the advancing bladesman. With impossible grace, she spun her side-step into an entrancing pivot, circling once and suddenly stopping short to thrust a foot in a near perfectly vertical ascent into the chin of her assailant. Her legs were directly polar to one another, forming an unwavering spire of taut muscle from the earth to the man’s jaw, while her torso jutted off to the side, perpendicular to her lengthy limbs. The thief watched as the cowled bladesman was immediately stricken with the powerful blow and then collapse into an unconscious heap.

By the Gods, that girl’s body is as dangerous as any edge. The rogue looked to the body of the now still assassin lying nearby, with a bullet lodged somewhere in the dead man’s throat. Completing his previously aborted attempt to draw his crossbow, he turned his senses to everything besides the girl. With his free hand he drew out a thin dagger from his boot. Cautiously he began to circle the perimeter of the clearing, searching for new attackers. His boots’ padding and his personal training made his movement all but impossible to detect by ear. Yet this strange girl here somehow heard me… bah, I’ll get to her later. As he considered that oddity, he realized that somehow one of the bladesman had found him in the silent evening. This just gets worse and worse…




Riley spun out of her kick to flash the dirk in her hand across the throat of her would-be assassin, fanning a brief, airy splash of blood as she severed the arteries there, all in a single motion. A wheeze escaped the grinning wound as the assailant attempted to utter a death cry as he collapsed to the grassy earth. Before his body hit the ground, Riley already sped towards the whirling thief, who had so unexpectedly called out in her aid. She spotted the bladesman as he closed in on the larcenous stranger, only to bring herself to a full, graceful stop as she watched once again with a curious admiration for the thief’s incredible deftness and speed.

The attacker was undoubtedly skilled with his blade, and thrust his weapon in conservative, closing arcs, leaving no opening for the thief to strike back at. Yet, matched against the thief’s supple agility and infuriatingly calm demeanor, the each sinuous stab missed its mark, and the bladesman found himself abruptly halted bodily with a sudden full-body press initiated his intended victim after an irate thrust extended itself a bit too far, and allowed the rogue to duck under the sword arm. Suddenly standing only a breath apart from each other, the assassin had the piece of mind to draw a dagger with his offhand, but Riley flinched involuntarily at the odd, violent “whuff” sound she heard escaping from the bladesman as his eyes unexpectedly enlarged.

Riley could only wonder for a few seconds as she watched the cloaked figure’s eyes grow glassy and his body begin to drop limply before she heard the telltale footstep on grass behind her. With the added sound of the foot twisting and grounding into the earth, combined with the fact that slashes made too obvious a swishing noise for assassins to prefer their use, she once again quickly side-stepped the predicted thrust, and while stepping back with one foot and pivoting slightly, she deftly flipped her pistol in her grip, whipping it in a backhanded motion with the butt of her weapon at her opponent. To his credit, the man dodged the blow and with two-hands, brought his blade back and towards her from its extension in a draw-cut motion, only to be foiled by the dirk held reverse-gripped in the other hand. As their blades touched, Riley held only for a moment to feel his blade slow from her parry, and then she merely continued the motion, fully turning to face him as she stepped past him and she slid the dirk from the assassin’s edge to on top the flat of his blade, and glided her dirk across its surface, down its length, and across the wrists of his gripping hands. He screamed once before she brought her blade about again backhanded, driving her dirk deep into his meaty neck, sucking the bellow from his lips and out of the perforation in his throat with a bloody gush as she pivoted one last time to pull out her blade.

Scanning the area near her as she turned from the dying man, she concluded there were no more assailants, and then she heard the thief cry out, and peering into the wood, she saw that he was pinned down by two more men, seconds away from being fatally stabbed by a drawn dagger. She spun the pistol grip and butt back into the palm of her hand, and pulled the trigger as its barrel wheeled up to target the one with the dagger. A loud, resounding boom soared aloft the evening air as the dagger-wielder jerked up shock still, and then slumped over on to the struggling thief. The other man, eyes narrowing as Riley holstered her pistol, apparently did a quick reassessment of the situation and hastened off the still pinned rogue, making to disappear into the wood. Riley lightly tossed the dirk into her good hand, and threw it with a determined grace into the wood after the escaping assailant. A gratifying crunch of dead leaves answered her effort, and Riley nodded perfunctorily to herself as she made her to way to the gargled sounds of her odd, adversarial companion.

Pulling the body off of him, she noted that the assassin was well-muscled, and could have easily killed the thief with his bare hands if he had had the time to do so. Her rescue however, was reciprocated by a new stream of invective from the most ungrateful thief, as he cursed the assassin and the awful smothering he has just experienced. Seeing that the near-death encounter had not changed her newfound ally’s demeanor one bit, she chuckled sardonically and she shifted the corpse back onto the surprised and protesting thief. Walking back to her belongings, she held a secret smile as she busied to pack her belongings, listening to the stressed, but gradual efforts of the thief in dislodging himself from the offending body. Slowly, she allowed herself to drift into the rhythm of cleaning and packing, and a single idle thought popped into her head:

What an odd dream I was having tonight…

Millikin_Erreene
2005-09-08, 04:50 PM
Replace peaked with the word piqued.

Unless you plan on going into more detail later, provide a bit more information about what Scravers and Exalted are.

You have a habit of switching from present to past tense while describing actions from time to time. This can be kind of confusing for a reader who's trying to keep track of what's going on when multiple things are going on at once. Choose one tense and stay with it.

Starla
2005-09-08, 06:16 PM
What is wrong with the tenses? *I don't see a problem in the first five paragraphs. *Her style is very much like other action/adventure stories I have read. *
I hate it when people give a generalization like that without examples to back up the critique.

If is something like Sally finds the ball and threw it then I would agree with you but if it is
"If the Scravers hadn’t staked out Screl as their new turf, then he’d be basking in the good life, where the cattle roamed in crowded herds, idyllic for the wily pilferer. *But no, the bloody Machinists had to crack down on the black markets in Eventon and Gamaliel, kicking the Scravers out." *That is not a tense change. *In the process of the Machinist gang taking over the Scraver's territory they "Kicked" them out thus Kicking is the proper word to use there and is still with in the past tense phrase and basking is paired with he'd making that past tense but you are right if you say that should say He'd have been basking in the good life. *
Thus Sally found a ball and throwing it she broke a window. *Or Sally found a ball and threw it--braking a window. *(By the way English is the hardest language to learn and I learned it more thorougly when I took spanish than I ever learned it in elementary school)

There are a few typographical errors like peaked as Milikin pointed out. *But I was quite capable of understanding the story as my brain automatically fixed them so I could move on

Shiyuan
2005-09-08, 07:58 PM
Replace peaked with the word piqued.

Unless you plan on going into more detail later, provide a bit more information about what Scravers and Exalted are.

You have a habit of switching from present to past tense while describing actions from time to time. *This can be kind of confusing for a reader who's trying to keep track of what's going on when multiple things are going on at once. *Choose one tense and stay with it.



Ah indeed, piqued would be the correct word.

I do plan on providing some more information on the Exalted and the Scravers later. This being the first chapter, I decided to string out the background info rather than fart it out in one go in an extremely dense opening narrative.

The switching of tenses I can spot occassionally, as I wrote this in high school, and haven't had much time or reason to revise this document since. I'll try to fix what should be fixed. However, Starla is right to point out that some instances of alternating tenses were legitimate grammatical structures.

Thank you both for your input. ;D

@Starla: Btw, I am male. : P

Millikin_Erreene
2005-09-09, 12:23 AM
Ah indeed, piqued would be the correct word.

I do plan on providing some more information on the Exalted and the Scravers later. This being the first chapter, I decided to string out the background info rather than fart it out in one go in an extremely dense opening narrative.

The switching of tenses I can spot occassionally, as I wrote this in high school, and haven't had much time or reason to revise this document since. I'll try to fix what should be fixed. However, Starla is right to point out that some instances of alternating tenses were legitimate grammatical structures.

Thank you both for your input. ;D

@Starla: Btw, I am male. : P





I know some of them are legitimate structuring. There's a few sentences in the encounter with the swordsman assassin that jarred the flow of combat (for me) in reading it and I know sometimes that's a deliberate attempt on the part of the author to emphasize to the readers the specific action but mainly I'm referring to the last two paragraphs that switch to present tense.

Starla
2005-09-09, 01:27 AM
:-[ sorry I keep thinking female with your avatar...But it is still good writing.


I'm referring to the last two paragraphs that switch to present tense

Okay, I keep getting interupted while reading (being in the office does that ;) plus my son is whining so I have to go anyway. Hopefully I will continue to read your story tomorrow in my home...)

Kiirar
2005-09-09, 11:05 AM
Shiyuan's Blatant Ego-Petting

Huh...Isn't that some sort of fourth level spell?

Shiyuan
2005-09-09, 11:16 AM
I know some of them are legitimate structuring. There's a few sentences in the encounter with the swordsman assassin that jarred the flow of combat (for me) in reading it and I know sometimes that's a deliberate attempt on the part of the author to emphasize to the readers the specific action but mainly I'm referring to the last two paragraphs that switch to present tense.


Odd... I don't know if it's the early hour (it being just around 8:30 AM here) or just being tired from working at FedEx in the early shift, but I can't seem to notice the jarring change of tense in the last two paragraphs from my previous ones. Could you perhaps re-write a small section in how you view the tense should be properly handled, so that I may see what you're seeing?


Shiyuan's Blatant Ego-Petting

Huh...Isn't that some sort of fourth level spell?

Psssh... more like 9th level! :P Hehe

Millikin_Erreene
2005-09-09, 01:32 PM
Odd... I don't know if it's the early hour (it being just around 8:30 AM here) or just being tired from working at FedEx in the early shift, but I can't seem to notice the jarring change of tense in the last two paragraphs from my previous ones. Could you perhaps re-write a small section in how you view the tense should be properly handled, so that I may see what you're seeing?


Psssh... more like 9th level! :P Hehe

Scanning the area near her as she turned from the dying man, she concluded there were no more assailants, and then she heard the thief cry out, and peering into the wood, she saw that he was pinned down by two more men, seconds away from being fatally stabbed by a drawn dagger.

In this sentence, Riley scans for other assailants (present tense) but had already concluded (in the past tense) there was no threat and that she heard the thief call out. To me it simply didn't flow as a logical sequential progression of actions.

I'd write it along the lines of this: (paraphrased to omit details)

Riley turned away from the dying man to scan for other possible assailants when she heard the thief cry out and noticed he was being accosted by two others.

OR

Riley turns away from the dying man to survey the scene for other opponents and sees two attackers engaging the thief.


Pulling the body off of him, she noted that the assassin was well-muscled, and could have easily killed the thief with his bare hands if he had had the time to do so. Her rescue however, was reciprocated by a new stream of invective from the most ungrateful thief, as he cursed the assassin and the awful smothering he has just experienced. Seeing that the near-death encounter had not changed her newfound ally’s demeanor one bit, she chuckled sardonically and she shifted the corpse back onto the surprised and protesting thief. Walking back to her belongings, she held a secret smile as she busied to pack her belongings, listening to the stressed, but gradual efforts of the thief in dislodging himself from the offending body.

This paragraph basically has few grammatical tense changes within the same sentence.

Another partial revision suggestion:

As she pulled the well muscled body of the assassin from the thief she surmised that the assassin likely could have killed him bare-handed if given enough time.

OR

As she was attempting to shift the corpse of the fallen assassin off the cursing thief, Riley realizes that this assassin was probably capable of killing the thief with his bare hands if given enough time.

Shiyuan
2005-09-09, 03:34 PM
Scanning the area near her as she turned from the dying man, she concluded there were no more assailants, and then she heard the thief cry out, and peering into the wood, she saw that he was pinned down by two more men, seconds away from being fatally stabbed by a drawn dagger.

In this sentence, Riley scans for other assailants (present tense) but had already concluded (in the past tense) there was no threat and that she heard the thief call out. To me it simply didn't flow as a logical sequential progression of actions.

I'd write it along the lines of this: (paraphrased to omit details)

Riley turned away from the dying man to scan for other possible assailants when she heard the thief cry out and noticed he was being accosted by two others.

OR

Riley turns away from the dying man to survey the scene for other opponents and sees two attackers engaging the thief.




Pulling the body off of him, she noted that the assassin was well-muscled, and could have easily killed the thief with his bare hands if he had had the time to do so. Her rescue however, was reciprocated by a new stream of invective from the most ungrateful thief, as he cursed the assassin and the awful smothering he has just experienced. Seeing that the near-death encounter had not changed her newfound ally’s demeanor one bit, she chuckled sardonically and she shifted the corpse back onto the surprised and protesting thief. Walking back to her belongings, she held a secret smile as she busied to pack her belongings, listening to the stressed, but gradual efforts of the thief in dislodging himself from the offending body.

This paragraph basically has few grammatical tense changes within the same sentence.

Another partial revision suggestion:

As she pulled the well muscled body of the assassin from the thief she surmised that the assassin likely could have killed him bare-handed if given enough time.

OR

As she was attempting to shift the corpse of the fallen assassin off the cursing thief, Riley realizes that this assassin was probably capable of killing the thief with his bare hands if given enough time.

I see what's bothering you. Good eye.

Alhambra IV
2005-09-12, 01:35 AM
I know this is absolutely off topic, but I couldn't resist...


Shiyuan's Blatant Ego-Petting

Huh...Isn't that some sort of fourth level spell?






Psssh... more like 9th level! :P Hehe


Shiyuan’s Blatant Ego-Petting
Enchantment
Level: Sor/Wiz 9, Brd 6
Components: V,S,F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature Touched
Duration: 1 min. /level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell causes the recipient’s ego to swell to epic proportions. Shiyuan’s Blatant Ego-Petting counters and dispels fear effects, and renders the subject immune to them for the duration of the spell. The recipient is prone (50%) to begin a long, windy speech lasting 1d4 minutes per caster level upon having this spell cast upon him. All other intelligent (int 3 or greater) creature in hearing distance must make a Will save (DC 20 + number of minutes talking, rounded up) every 10 rounds (1 minute) or be put into a deep sleep as per the Sleep spell. Creatures afflicted by this affect recover 1d4 rounds after the subject has stopped speaking.
If the subject is unwilling, a melee touch attack roll must be made by the caster.
Shiyuan’s Blatant Ego-Petting does not function on non-intelligent creatures.

Focus:
A pair of eyeglasses or any part (or whole) of a textbook relating to ancient civilizations.



Hehe...

OOT-crazy
2005-09-12, 11:46 AM
*pets ego then wanders out of thread*

Shiyuan
2005-09-12, 04:06 PM
I know this is absolutely off topic, but I couldn't resist...




Shiyuan’s Blatant Ego-Petting
Enchantment
Level: Sor/Wiz 9, Brd 6
Components: V,S,F
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature Touched
Duration: 1 min. /level
Saving Throw: Will negates
Spell Resistance: Yes

This spell causes the recipient’s ego to swell to epic proportions. *Shiyuan’s Blatant Ego-Petting counters and dispels fear effects, and renders the subject immune to them for the duration of the spell. *The recipient is prone (50%) to begin a long, windy speech lasting 1d4 minutes per caster level upon having this spell cast upon him. *All other intelligent (int 3 or greater) creature in hearing distance must make a Will save (DC 20 + number of minutes talking, rounded up) every 10 rounds (1 minute) or be put into a deep sleep as per the Sleep spell. *Creatures afflicted by this affect recover 1d4 rounds after the subject has stopped speaking.
If the subject is unwilling, a melee touch attack roll must be made by the caster.
Shiyuan’s Blatant Ego-Petting does not function on non-intelligent creatures.

Focus:
A pair of eyeglasses or any part (or whole) of a textbook relating to ancient civilizations.



Hehe...

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!

Your children will be eaten first.

;D :P Nice one.