Page 11 of 21 FirstFirst ... 234567891011121314151617181920 ... LastLast
Results 301 to 330 of 611
  1. - Top - End - #301
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Wrong name man, but I'll try not to take it personal.


    Anyway, I'm stalling a bit on my homework. I'll post when I finish a snippet, it might be a while, though.
    Games I'm in:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Fortune's Favor as Lea

  2. - Top - End - #302
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Dammit!

    Obviously I just wanted to talk to you instead.

    I'm working (indirectly, trying to flesh out secondary characters) on the next Laelah post, as well as a new Brygar snippet and part 6 of the Joseph's Gap session. Get ready! (in like another couple weeks)
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  3. - Top - End - #303
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    FireEyes's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Waterloo, Ontario
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Thanks for the comments! Glad it's not just my party who thought it was funny.

    Question: Is editing snippets in place is OK? I only ask because it will make some of your comments no longer make sense.

    @Dr Bwaa, Paper Mustache
    Spoiler
    Show

    Interesting; you're either telling us a lot about your character, your setting, or both, but I'm not sure which. I don't know of any pathfinder settings with a minimum drinking age, anyway.
    I didn't even consider that there would be no such thing as a minimum drinking age... I was just trying to get across that he was young.

    Also, "still too young to drink".
    Whoops.

    Ohhh, mustaches are such fantastic descriptive pieces. Give me more about the mustache, even if it's just an extra word or two--bushy? Thin? Stiff? Peacock-like?
    Would be nice to see some clarity to the resolution to your backdoor sneaking attempt--did the half-giant appear there? Did he just chase you down?
    I was trying to skim on details here because it was coming back foggy. I'm not super thrilled with how it turned out, but I'm OK with it. Maybe I'll play with the paragraph later.

    And he's... okay? It sounds like his noggin split open like a watermelon. I mean, I know there are healers and all, but this doesn't seem like the kind of thing a quick cure light wounds will fix, and if he's stealing stuff he probably couldn't afford a resurrection.
    Gonna agree with PM here; this doesn't sound like the kind of injury you wake up from.
    He was dropped from full health to somthing like -6 in one hit. I was trying to go for a cracked skull, but I guess I got a bit carried away.

    Hurr hurr hurr selling his seed.
    This was my reaction too, lol.
    Real mature there . Qiz is a homebrewed sort of dryad. Instead of being connected to a tree, he is his connected to a literal seed that he is on a quest to plant. You know, if I hadnt've stolen it.

    Overall I thought your snippet was... charming .
    I c wut you did thar.

  4. - Top - End - #304
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    FireEyes: Yes! Editing snippets in-place is not only acceptable, but entirely recommended! That way I don't have to go back and fix the first-page catalog every time someone edits something, which means people's edits don't fall through the cracks. If you'd like me to take another look at something you've edited, just let me know that you've changed stuff and that you'd like another look at it. I'll usually just give a general impression on an edit, unless it's a big one or you specifically ask for an in-depth critique.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  5. - Top - End - #305
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Well, interest in my snippet offer seems nil, so I'll just post comments for others. Should have them up tomorrow.

  6. - Top - End - #306
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Well, interest in my snippet offer seems nil, so I'll just post comments for others. Should have them up tomorrow.
    Gah. No. Post your snippets. That is my vote. Why is there voting? Should I be making people vote for my self indulgent snippets? I think you should do what I do and just assume your snippets are awesome and why wouldn't everyone want to read them?

  7. - Top - End - #307
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    So Busy at the moment.

    More great snippets by everyone. In the meantime i offer a short snippet unrelated to anything i posted previously. Just a quick dramatization of something that happened back in the days of 3E when timestop and haste were still very much broken beyond reason!

    Six Seconds
    Spoiler
    Show
    As I watch the the imperial envoy closely, my enhanced vision reveals a multitude of auras flickering and dancing over the large contingent of dark elves in a complex web of colours and patterns. The tell tale signs of numerous wards and enhancements speak volumes about the strengths and weaknesses of our assembled opponents and a quick mental calculation confirms they are wrought with far more potent magic than we first suspected they might be. I glance quickly at our leader. Adrianna continues to discuss terms, most likely ignorant of the extent of the drow group's magical preparation. The templar's divine aura shines like a beacon of hope under the scrutiny of my arcane sight as she stands passively listening to a retort from the leader of the drow. She is young, and in my opinion, far too concerned with dogma , but there is no doubt of her mastery of the art of diplomacy and thus it is her that patiently tries to manoeuvrer the parley into a more favourable outcome. Unfortunately, the drow are negotiating from a position of perceived strength, for I am concealed in my own array of magics and observe the proceedings from a distance, unseen by mundane or magical eye. Nonetheless, my friend expertly shifts the subject of the discussion to the hostages and their return. In response to a terse demand from the dark elf priestess, the ransom is brought forward by Adrianna's token bodyguard to be presented as proof of our intent, accompanied by swiftly issued counter demand to see the hostages before we go any further.

    My precognition screams a warning, and in slow motion I see with perfect clarity, a premonition of what is to be.

    On seeing the ransom is present, the leader of the drow reaches under her cloak and pulls forth a handful of shuriken, fluidly casting them forwards whilst screaming an order at her entourage. As they spin lazily through the air towards our spokeswoman, I note on each of them, a thick oily coating that gleams in the gentle moonlight. The other dark elves begin to spring into action as the razor sharp throwing stars slide effortlessly into the chest, neck and face of my companion. Adrianna begins to collapse and my vision of what is about to happen starts to speed up as it converges with the temporal event horizon that prompted it.

    The premonition ends and I shout the word that will trigger my contingency just as the treacherous priestess whips the shuriken ahead of her. The throwing stars blaze through the night air and clatter harmlessly against the sphere of force that springs instantly into being around us at my urgent command. Adrianna stands dumfounded as the other drow spring into action. Whether her inaction it is because of the surprise attack, or my intervention, I do not know. And it does not matter. This is now my area of expertise, and I take charge.

    With a word and a gesture, I stop time relative to myself and the the world around me grinds to a halt.

    I now exist in the moment between the present and the future. I glance around, and my considerable mental faculties go into overdrive as I quickly take stock of the situation. In the dead silence of this moment between time, the minor details normally missed during the flow of real time present themselves to me as plain as the moon above. Adrianna's armour reflects the light from each individual star, making the already gleaming plate looks as though it is covered in a million tiny points of white. Two Song-Jays are paused mid take-off, no doubt startled from the bush they were nesting in by my cry of warning. The drow leader is frozen with a look of incredulity on her face, half turned to her assembled troops and reaching for a profane focus at her neck, she stands like a living statue with flecks of spittle from her screamed order hanging motionless in the air in front of her hate filled face. Her minions are similarly frozen mid action, some charging whilst beginning to draw weapons, others caught in the act of drawing arcane or divine power to themselves, but all with the same look of twisted malevolence etched into their grim, unmoving visages.

    Existence screams silently all around me, urging me to return to the temporal flow, my flagrant disregard for the natural order of things offends the universe in ways too profound to explain and a vortex of temporal discontinuity surrounds me, threatening to shunt me back into my proper place. In theory, I do not have long, and yet, in theory I have all the time in existence. The paradox never fails to entertain. My first act is to even further tamper with the flow of time. Reality threatens to buckle and come undone as I begin to move with supernatural haste. The conflicting patterns of temporal force resonate dangerously. Careful balance of the energies must be maintained lest I collapse the time stream itself. The resulting rupture would likely be catastrophic, not just for myself, but everything within several miles of the temporal detonation. I focus further and with my enhanced celerity I weave a myriad of other spells and effects. In a matter of thirty seconds of time relative to myself, I engineer the downfall of a drow contingent some forty strong. As I finish my final incantation, the very fabric of the universe groans as reality finally exerts itself over me. making time lurch forwards once more.

    The world, from my perspective, begins to move again.

    All hell breaks loose as the dark elf leader is surrounded by a cage of solid force imposed over a dimensional lock. She watches impotently as her throng is systematically destroyed in the time it takes to utter a few words. Torn to pieces by summoned creatures, imploded, obliterated by fire storms and sonic detonations, turned to solid stone statues, and a variety of other unpleasant ends. My demonstration is far from practical. The expenditure of arcane energy is grossly over the top compared to the actual requirement for a unconditional defeat of the enemy, but I want to make a point.

    I end the wards preventing my presence from being detected and I walk to wards the helpless dark elf. Laying a hand gently on my friends shaking shoulder I evaluate my prisoner and finally speak

    "Six Seconds" I let the words hang in the air for a while before continuing.

    "It took me but six seconds to crush your pitiful band" To emphasise the point, I motion at the carnage surrounding us.

    "Bare this in mind when I send you scurrying back to your masters. For when you return, you will deliver a message. You will tell them there will be no more negotiations. Tell them that by threatening the lives of my friends, they have declared war. Tell them, they cannot hide, and they cannot escape." I pause for a moment to let the message sink in.

    "Tell them the Chronomancer is coming for them, Yesterday!"
    Last edited by SanguisAevum; 2012-10-16 at 06:35 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #308
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by PaperMustache View Post
    Gah. No. Post your snippets. That is my vote. Why is there voting? Should I be making people vote for my self indulgent snippets? I think you should do what I do and just assume your snippets are awesome and why wouldn't everyone want to read them?
    That's certainly what I do.

    SS, you should definitely put up your next piece; I couldn't even manage to notice who I was replying to when I tried to respond to your last post so I don't know how you expect me to actually answer the questions you asked

    @SanguisAevum
    Spoiler
    Show
    as my friend discusses terms with them
    This is really vague. It's probable that "them" is the envoy (even though envoy is singular, and therefore not a valid replacement for "them"), and the "friend" just gives me no information at all--the first lines of your snippet need to set the scene in some way, even if you're starting in medias res, otherwise the reader can't picture anything and it's hard to get into it.

    Auras flicker and dance over the large group of dark elves in a complex web of colours and patterns.
    Like I mentioned above, this belongs before you start talking about what's going on. Besides, this has to do with your enhanced vision, not the friend discussing terms.

    The ransom is brought forward by our leaders token bodyguard to be presented as proof of our intent, and a demand is issued to see the hostages before we go any further.

    My precognition screams a warning, and In slow motion I see with perfect clarity, a premonition of what is to be.
    A couple typos here; thanks for grouping them together for me though *leader's, *in, no comma after 'clarity'. Also, you're still being strangely informal in places--if he's your leader, why doesn't he get a name? Surely you don't refer to him as "our leader" in your internal monologue, so while I see that this is just intended to avoid giving the reader too much exposition, it ends up coming off as rather forced.

    She begins to collapse
    See, I didn't even know the companion (same as "my friend" I assume?) was female. I need more description to be able to picture this appropriately, which is a shame because the rest of this is really well done--if I had a couple more paragraphs of setup at the outset, it would be much nicer.

    The premonition ends. And a snap decision is made. I will NOT allow this.
    I have a couple of problems with this. The first is that I just have a personal dislike for the phrase "snap decision". I don't know why; I just don't think it does justice to any particular notion that you might want to communicate. The second, admittedly more significant concern is why the speaker needs to make a decision not to allow a whole bunch of poison darts to cut down his "friend". That's not a decision; that's an instantaneous reaction. The feeling you're going for with the premonition and all the great time stuff you play with through the snippet really suffers here because of the slow, deliberate feeling of the phrase "decision", even a "snap" one. It shouldn't be a decision; deciding is slow. It should be a reaction; a reflex.

    At the same time as the Drow leader whips the shuriken ahead of her
    Use any other phrase. You've taken on the task of communicating six seconds of action in several paragraphs; you need to choose your phrasing carefully to give everything that bullet-time urgency.

    I now exist in the moment between the present and the future.
    Now, see, this is great. Not only is this a wonderful description of Time Stop, but you take a nice, full sentence to talk about a moment of stopped time, and use "I now exist" in there, immediacy coupled with length (in the sense of 'duration') to give that great bullet-time feeling.

    Careful balance of the energies must be maintained lest I collapse the time stream itself.
    Good moment; tell us what would happen if you were to do that. You've got all the time in the world, after all. Generally speaking, this whole timestopped bit could contain vast worlds of description--after all, no one is moving but you, and you have as much time as you need to explain every little detail to the reader. In fact, I'd probably replace some of the earlier talk about existence screaming around you and reality and universes--all very abstract thoughts--with extensive detail about the drow leader's face, or other concrete details. The reality stuff is good flavor, but it's hard to identify with or imagine, and you have such a wonderful opportunity to do some clever descriptive things here instead.

    All hell breaks loose.
    I don't like this on its own line.

    However, I want to make a point.
    I don't like this all alone either. They can just be tagged onto the paragraphs they follow. You're back in realtime, and specifically back in destroyed-in-seconds time. Breaking up your flow hurts that feeling.

    I walk to wards the helpless and now, alone, Dark elf.
    You're thinking too hard about this sentence, I think. You can't even use "alone" as an adjective that way, or I guess you could but it's really awkward "The alone guy was sad."

    "Six seconds is all It took for me to utterly crush your pathetic attempt at treachery. As you can see, I take threats to my personal friends, DEADLY seriously". To emphasise the word I motion at the carnage surrounding us.
    I'm going to give you some fantastic advice (or at least, I found it fantastic when someone told me this): say your characters' lines aloud. Then you'll realize how awkward some of them are, and you'll rephrase them, and then you'll do it again, and soon you've stumbled on good, natural-sounding dialogue. Here, the first sentence is... okay. The second is really pretty forced, and ending a threatening line with two adverbs is just...not threatening. Keep rephrasing and talk to yourself in the mirror until you can honestly say you feel like a total badass while saying it.

    "Bare this in mind
    *bear

    Time itself bends to MY will, and now that will is focused on them!
    Again, kind of weird. Your will is focused on them? Without context I would have no idea what that even means.

    Tell them the Chronomancer is coming for them, Yesterday!"
    This, however, is great, and a great ending. Overally I really loved this snippet; a touch more in the introduction and a little rephrasing here and there will help to clean up the tone and give you that nice, badass feeling from start to finish.
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-10-15 at 04:07 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  9. - Top - End - #309
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Here, have some more backstory about characters with really good ability scores as I keep posting in an attempt to make it seem like I'm writing things even though really this is just a bunch of old stuff. Please forgive me if it totally sucks; I haven't touched it in a while and I didn't edit it now (though I probably will later). There are a couple more parts of this backstory to go if anyone's interested in it. As usual, comments are appreciated =)

    Also I don't know if you saw it, Sanguis, but I edited some comments on your Chronomancer snippet into the previous post.

    Part I: Death
    Spoiler
    Show
    In southern Danusia, in the village of Zenlo, a most exceptional boy was born to the wife of a blacksmith. Not unusually large or otherwise physically outstanding, his uniqueness was discovered, instead, a few months into his life, when, at the age of four months, he spontaneously asked his mother for some stew, please.

    After the momentary shock wore off, the boy's mother got right down to business and explained kindly that he couldn't eat the stew, for it had pieces of goat meat in it which he could not chew. The tiny child furrowed his brow, and his mother spooned out, instead, a sip of the broth from her own bowl. Little Brygar slurped up the hot broth greedily and nodded his approval, smacking his lips.

    Little Brygar quickly became a village celebrity, and his vocabulary improved daily. Around six months of age, he began attempting to walk, but met with very little success despite his efforts. This led to a very frustrated infant, more so when the adults around him cooed and chuckled at him encouragingly, and despite his repeated attempts, the “child genius” (as he was being called) did not learn to walk until the age of ten months.

    Not that the months in between were wasted. On the contrary, Brygar continued to show an incredible propensity for learning. He consumed knowledge, seeking it from anyone who would listen and pushing himself to understand. Not only that, but he had another trait for which his parents were always grateful—he never got sick. Not once, not even a sniffle. This continued through his blessed childhood,into adolescence and his very early adulthood, when a large wedding brought a number of visitors from the nearby town of Nzulo to little Zenlo. At the wedding—or rather, afterward, during the celebration—Brygar met a beautiful young girl named Felira, daughter of Maiko, a well-known spice merchant in Nzulo with ties to House Celthoy. Here, his unfaltering fortitude failed him for the first time, as Brygar first discovered what it was to be sick—lovesick, anyway.

    As Brygar had matured, the constant praise he’d received had given him a powerful confidence. Coupled with his natural earnestness, genuine good nature, and local fame, the young man quickly won the heart of Felira. Before her father would give his blessing, however, he insisted that Brygar prove his ability to care for and look after his daughter—impressed as he was with the man's standing in the community, he was cautious and reluctant to give up his only daughter.

    The people of Zenlo—even Brygar's own parents—agreed with Maiko: the young man was meant for bigger, better things than the smith's shop. So, they arranged a meeting with a sage, pooling community resources for Brygar's benefit. As a result, when Brygar and the sage met, the young man was feeling nervous, excited, and tremendously indebted to his community.

    The old sage, after a lengthy interview with the young prodigy, declared that the people of the village had been right—Brygar was meant for bigger things, indeed. Declaring him one of the most talented individuals he had ever met, the sage announced that he would personally set up the boy's training, in a profession yet to be determined. Privately, then, he spoke to Brygar: "You, my boy, may do anything you wish. You may be anything you wish. You have the wits, the guts, the strength... what is it that you would like to do, my boy? Name it, and I will get you the best training there is, for you deserve to have that potential of yours unlocked!"

    Brygar, though, was singleminded in his intent. All he would say was, "I want only to learn to provide for a wife as deserving as Felira."

    As much as the sage tried to convince him to go into one of the noble professions—he even offered personal apprenticeship—Brygar would not be moved. His mind was made up, and in the end, the sage gave in. He summoned a Wild Man from the North, who came within a few days and took Brygar into the mountains for several weeks.

    When he returned, the old sage—who had stayed in Zenlo to see how Brygar turned out—was shocked. It became obvious to all the townsfolk that whatever training the young man had received was expected to take many months, at least, and here Brygar had seemingly completed it within a single moon cycle! As Brygar went immediately to his family, and from there, to Nzulo to ask for Maiko's favor, the Wild Man and the sage were the celebrities of the hour, both interrogated as to what Brygar might have learned, for the rumors had flown fast and thick.

    When the townspeople learned what the Wild Man had taught their Boy Genius, they were, truth be told, disappointed. He told them that Brygar had learned the ways of the forest; how to live sustainably, to hunt, fish, trap, and to create all manner of woodcraft, including entire houses. He told them also that Brygar had learned all manner of knowledge about the land and its inhabitants, savage and tame, natural and monstrous. The old sage corroborated his story in subdued tones, saying only: "Brygar wished to learn what he must know to provide for his wife-to-be. He would have nothing else I offered him."

    The much-anticipated wedding was held a month later, and though all were happy for the joyous, beautiful couple, there were discontented mutters among the elders of the village. Many still thought their town’s prized prodigy had thrown his life away. Some had been counting on him to bring fame to the tiny village, or to do this or that other grand feat in their eyes. But Brygar himself was oblivious to this, and for the most part, all were happy and excited to see the couple together at last.

    Soon, the young lovers bid good-bye to their parents, and headed joyfully down a sunlit path into the eastern forest. After but half a day's walk, they arrived at a grand house made of logs, complete with windows, plenty of firewood, and a chimney, all in a hand-cleared space in the midst of the woods. Brygar explained that he had built the cabin while in training with the Wild Man, and led her inside to find several different rooms, a kitchen stocked with assorted salted meats, and several other homemade accoutrements.

    Felira threw herself upon him in pure glee, and for several years they lived in their cabin, in love, content, and very, very happy. Brygar went hunting frequently, occasionally for several days at a time. Any time he was out for long, venturing deep into the forest, Felira knew it was because he was searching for something special to bring back to her. They always ate well, with rare meats and rarer herbs, and around their house they cultivated a beautiful garden. Not a week went by without friends or family from one of the couple's villages stopping by for a meal, for Felira's cooking with Brygar's exotic ingredients quickly became legendary. Sometimes people would stop by just to admire the garden, lush with flowers in every shade and variety, and many edible. The couple always had plenty to spare and gave freely of their ample foodstores, and soon the thought of Brygar's “folly” was all but forgotten.

    The frequency at which they received visitors only increased with the birth of their first child. Little Maiko was the spitting image of his namesake, but with his father’s eyes and precocious appetite for learning. From the moment the town learned that Felira was with child, he was nearly as much of a celebrity as Brygar himself had been, and when he was born that winter, his mother found herself entertaining well-meaning and curious townsfolk on a daily basis.

    Eventually the novelty began to die down, though of course everyone still insisted on being the first to know about any major developments in Maiko’s life, and many expressed their hopes openly that he would go on to accomplish all the great things that his father never did.

    Brygar returned home at dusk on his twenty-third birthday, humming contentedly after a four-day journey to the mountains. He'd been searching for the exceedingly rare Midnight Alyssum, and he'd finally found a few shoots, gently removed them from their rocky home and transported them carefully back. He smiled as he considered the tender flowers: Felira would plant them beside the little stone garden next to the house, and later, when they'd grown and multiplied, she would take a few seeds for cooking: Midnight Alyssum seeds, when ground, release a spice powder, more sensual and intoxicating than anything ever found on Utara.

    Entering the clearing, Brygar sensed something amiss. It was nothing he could see, exactly, just a feeling he got. His neck prickled. Perhaps it was the north wind whistling softly through the clearing; Brygar had always felt that a north wind heralded change. He quickened his pace just slightly, producing the two Alyssum stalks from a safepouch at his side and holding them excitedly in front of him. Felira would be so happy! She'd always wanted to try it—what a lovely birthday present he would give her!

    He frowned, though, as he stepped onto the neat pebbled path through the garden to the front door of the house. The normally tidy walk was scuffled, and pebbles strewn throughout the garden in some places. He bent to pick them up, whistling a tuneless ditty as he happily restored the path, pausing momentarily to lament a pale crocus that had gotten crushed somehow. Lifting the last stone in the fading light, he noticed a small green chute prodding the air from the ground underneath. Squatting low, Brygar curiously inspected the tiny stalk, and his eyes widened. Rare flowers, indeed—but Black Tuberose was nothing he'd ever planted. Its smell, when mature, would be deeper, darker than any other typical flower of that family, with a sultry richness almost tangible. Indeed, Black Tuberose was often seen as an ill omen by those inclined to believe such things, but Brygar was not much taken by omens and portents, and made a mental note to transplant the seedling to a more appropriate party of the garden—Tuberose needed full sun, and here this little sprout was on the wrong side of the house!

    Finally, he stepped up to the door, lit with the last rays of sunlight, and pulled it open, beaming. But for the first time in months, Felira did not greet him with her customary warm smile, her red-gold hair curling merrily around her face and Maiko babbling in her arms. Feeling a little silly, he walked into the house, glanced toward the kitchen and, seeing nothing, opened the door to the bedroom.

    Felira was waiting for him inside, but something was wrong. Her smile seemed off, somehow, her face not its usual perfect unison of rosy cheeks and gently curved chin and laughing eyes. There was a smell in the room, too... It was so familiar, but now he couldn't place it; it was just... out of place. Stopping a moment to take this all in, he remembered himself and offered her the Alyssum, loving smile back on his face.

    Felira stood, and closed with him, putting her hands over his holding the flowers. "They're lovely! Put them here by the bedside for just a moment; come here..." She pulled him towards the bed, slipping entirely out of her dress in the blink of an eye. "I have something special for you, Birthday Bear..."

    Brygar was stunned momentarily, a little crestfallen at her dismissal of his birthday gift to her, but that all was soon forgotten as he climbed into bed with her. She wrapped her body around his, powerfully—Gods, he didn’t remember her strength!—and pulled him close. Brygar buried his face in her neck, by the soft blanket, and that's when it hit him. The smell, overwhelming now, emanating from her body, from the bed itself, so familiar and so wrong!

    Blood. Yes, it was definitely blood. The bed, his wife, the whole room reeked of it, and as it hit him, he thrust her from him with sudden force. Head at a slight angle, her smile was mocking now, as he thought, then asked,"What happened? Why...?" He looked suddenly to the corner of the room, eyes falling on Maiko’s empty cradle. “Where’s Maiko?”

    Felira pushed herself up off the bed, pouting now. "Awww. He’s fine; he’s in the kitchen! Come to me again; I need to give you your birthday gift!"

    Brygar would have none of it. He stood, carefully picking up the Alyssum and placing it in a bowl by the door. "You smell of blood, Fellie! What's going on?"

    She stood, then, too. "Oh, well. I guess there's just no fooling you, is there? You can wash it and wash it, but it just doesn't come out!" She loosed a harsh laugh; a grin that didn’t belong on her sweet face. She lunged for him, then, and something truly wild was in her eyes.

    She gripped his arms—she was stronger than he! This could not be, what had come upon her while he was away? Brygar began stammering, and she began to mock him as she forced him quickly backwards, out the door. The bowl clattered to the floor, spilling its precious cargo onto the floor beneath the mad woman's feet. A snarl—a real, feral snarl—issued from his Felira, his beloved Felira, and she pushed him out of the bedroom, through the empty kitchen and, pausing to glance out the window, out the door into the garden.

    She fell upon him there, their bodies intertwining again, but now with deadly intensity. Brygar felt a prick at the side of his neck, and a spreading warmth. Everything smelled of blood, and in a flash as time slowed terribly before him, he saw. Human blood. His family’s blood. The disturbance, the smells, the behavior, and now... the teeth. That was it, he realized as time painfully sped back up, to its normal pace and beyond.

    Brygar pushed his wife off of him; saw her face covered in blood; felt dizzy; knew what was happening even as his heart screamed in denial. She crowed at him, "Hooo! Now that is a rush!" and wiping blood from her perfect chin, she came at him again.

    "Please, Fellie! Please don't do this!" he cried as he fell back before her advance. “What about Maiko? Where is our son?” She only grinned crookedly as she approached, and he remembered the first line from Stalker in the Night: “A man who has been turned to the Dark is no man; nor a woman a woman; nor a child a child: he is, and shall forever be, a Stalker in the Night.”

    He'd read that book long, long ago; it was a fairy tale. But he knew such monsters really did exist. If he hadn't believed it before, he certainly would now. Desperate thoughts cut through his mind like lightning, and with each one, its grim counter in a faraway voice:

    She can't be dead! She can.
    But, she's still my Felina! She is a creature of the Night, and no more.
    There must still be some part of her that remembers me! The girl you knew and loved is dead.
    But why?? Because another night creature has killed her, and replaced her soul with something wholly evil and corrupt.
    I can't kill my own wife! Then you will die.

    Tears streaming down his face, Brygar continued to back away, shaking his head and simply repeating: "No, no, no, no, no, no, no..." while his dead lover chanted "Yes, yes, yes, yes!"

    Gritting his teeth, he found what he'd been looking for. Edging backwards past the gardening shed he'd made for his wife, he clapped a hand to the side of his throat, blood leaking between his fingers. He sagged towards the ground; she followed him with that terrible, wild light in her eyes.

    He came up like a bolt of lightning, a well-used but equally well-cared-for trowel in his hand, and it was this hand with which he struck her off-guard, cutting her beautiful, hideous head messily from her shoulders.

    Trembling, Brygar fumbled for a wooden shaft, and found a spade. He shuddered as he broke the handle against the wall of the shed. He took a last look at the body of his love, and rammed the broken shaft through her heart.

    Unable to look any further; unable to do anything at all, Brygar turned to the woods, and he ran. He ran to get away; to wake up and find it was all a dream; to run and run and not have to feel. By the time he stumbled crazily to a halt, his eyes had long run out of tears, dawn was breaking somewhere in the east, and Brygar was alone in the Batiku Forest, with no idea which way to go. And somewhere, back at the place he'd called home, the Midnight Alyssum cried its own blood onto the floor of an abandoned house.
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-11-20 at 01:07 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  10. - Top - End - #310
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Decided to take a break from Andrew's back story. And my player is on my back again demanding something, so here's her first encounter with my BBEG.

    Discovering Potential

    Spoiler
    Show
    I could feel the raw energies of the Mirror Realm flowing through me, enhancing my senses as I sent the tendrils of my thoughts spiraling outward. I knew the rod had to be here. Not only had the Puppetmaster told me this exact location, but I could feel the Realm convulsing around this area, seeping into the mortal plane. I stared into the mirror I’d used to come here, staring beyond the reflection into the perfect world. Perhaps somewhere within the Realm would be the answer I sought. I only needed to look hard enough. I just needed…

    “I don’t want to interrupt, but is this yours?” a woman’s voice called out behind me. I spun around quickly, silently cursing myself as I saw the group of would-be-heroes standing at the foot of the staircase leading up to the mineshaft. More important, however, was the object the girl up front was holding; a rod shaped object wrapped in cloth.

    “That? That is an object of pure magic!” I growled back. The girl had no idea what she was holding, and if I didn’t get ahold of it quickly, I’d be fighting a war I was sorely unprepared for. “You will give it to me now, and I’ll spare your insignificant lives.” I ordered as I placed my hand upon the mirror, sending out a silent call to one of the girl’s companions from the Mirror Realm. Like an obedient hound a double of the barbarian of their group stepped out of the mirror.

    “Yes, yes of course,” the girl replied slowly, assumedly to hide the quiver in her voice. “But slow down. Are you aware you’re being investigated?”
    I lifted my gaze to stare into the girl’s eyes, trying to tell if she was deceiving me. She held no falsehoods in them, and so I returned my gaze to the rod, assured she’d continue prattling on.

    “We’ve been sent to gather information on you on behalf of a secret organization,” she said. I felt my blood go cold in my veins. Certainly they couldn’t have survived. I had been thorough. I’d made sure to deal with every loose end. No one with the strength of will to lead had been left alive. Yet somehow…

    “The Brotherhood…” was all I said out loud. Somehow my old organization still lived, despite having its heart ripped out.

    “Yes, that one,” the girl answered with a smile. I was beginning to realize that this girl had quite the tongue on her. She wielded it as well as a master swordsman, or at least she thought she did. I watched as she slapped the immensely powerful artifact into the palm of her other hand like a riding crop. Certainly she’d intended it as a means of reminding me she was in charge of the conversation. I merely saw it as a child trying to make sure she kept her parent’s attention. “Perhaps if we could negotiate somewhere more neutral, we could be of use to one another.”

    I smiled as I brought my gaze back up to the girl’s eyes. Perhaps she had more potential than I’d initially thought. Given the right prodding, she could turn out to be incredibly useful.

    “Certainly,” I said, moving to the side to indicate the mirror. “Come with me into the Mirror Realm. I assure you there is nowhere more neutral.” An obvious falsehood, but would she still accompany me?

    “Very well,” she said, a quick glint of fear passing through her eyes as she made her decision. “But to ensure my safe return, this will be staying here,” she continued, handing the rod to one of her companions. A simple enough matter to deal with once I got the girl out of harm’s way. I gave her a quick nod and offered the mirror again, invoking the power of the Realm to turn it into a doorway.

    “Ladies first,” I said with a smile.

    “We’ll go together,” she countered. She was good. Truly it would’ve been a waste to destroy someone with this much potential.

    “As you wish,” I replied, waiting for her walk over before stepping through myself.

    As soon as we reached the other side, I cast the protection spell on the girl’s mind, ensuring that the Puppetmaster didn't steal my latest project. I watched as she turned to look back at the mirror, and I commanded the mirror barbarian to deal with her companions. Probably futile, but a show of power was always a good idea when dealing with an adversary of unknown skill. I waited until she caught her breath and turned back to me before explaining.

    “They can’t hear or see us,” I assured.

    “Good,” she said. “So, the Brotherhood, they pose a threat to you?” She was fishing for information. They obviously hadn't old her anything.

    “The Brotherhood is an ancient organization with many agents and deep coffers,” I explained. “If they were to interfere, it could undo everything I’ve worked toward.

    “Everything you've worked for…?” she echoed. If she wanted information, I’d give it to her. Perhaps she would see the truth like so few others had.

    “The realm we are standing in now is one of completely perfection,” I replied. “A world free of suffering and weakness. I seek to bring perfection to the cesspit you come from. To purify it by joining it with the Mirror Realm.” Let her guess at the meaning, and wonder at the power I must possess to accomplish such a goal.

    “You say where I come from,” she began. “Does that mean you’re not from my world?”

    “Alas, I too am tainted by our world,” I admitted. “but I have been enlightened. Only the worthy can control this realm, and only the worthy shall share in my new world when I bring purity to it.” I fought to hide a smile, wishing I could read her thoughts after such a speech. Surely she must have thought me mad. It was always fun to play the madman when dealing with spies.

    “And how are you going to do that?” she asked. I decided the game was done. I didn't need her running back to the Brotherhood with too much if I was mistaken.

    “I’ve answered your questions,” I stated, reveling in the surprise in her eyes. “Now tell me what you know about the Brotherhood.”

    “I have been recruited by the Brotherhood,” she said. “They offered me quite a hefty sum of gold…” I couldn’t help but laugh at that. The fools tried to bribe heroes instead of giving them what they truly wanted. I never made such a mistake.

    “They offer you gold,” I said around chuckles.

    “…and initiation into their ranks,” she finished. I stared at her for a few seconds, deciding that she would best serve me on the other side of the lines. A silver tongued devil with the face of an angel could go far. Any information she could bring me would certainly be useful.

    “If I had an agent within the Brotherhood, then perhaps when the time came…” I paused, pretending to think, making sure to wait until she began to look impatient. “Yes. Join me and I promise you more than gold. You will have ultimate power and a place in my new world.” Surely she couldn’t resist such a lucrative offer.

    “Very good,” she replied smiling. “I will deliver the rod to them as proof of my loyalty and await your orders.”

    I fought the urge to strike the fool. Obviously I’d played my part too well. She believed me to be a trusting fool, completely willing to let her travel or betray me as she saw fit. I paid a price for hunting for the talent I needed, but I had to make sure the girl remembered her place.

    “No. That you will not do. You must give the rod to me.” It showed a weakness of mine, but I could not allow her to leave with the rod. If my deal with the Puppetmaster wasn’t completed within the week, I’d be in dire straits.

    “My companions won’t like that…” she said, obviously stalling. I didn’t have time for it.

    “Then I will destroy them,” I answered flatly. Surely a barbarian and a holy man couldn’t be worth more than one fireball.

    “No!” she cried out quickly, and I fought to hide another smile. The girl cared for her companions more than she let on it seemed. “The Brotherhood expects them along with me. It would raise suspicion for me to arrive without them.” A convincing lie and I decided to reward her for it. A show of trust helped me in the past. Perhaps all this girl needed was some acknowledgement of her desires.

    “Then what do you suggest?” I asked, deciding to let her choose her own fate. Knowing there would only be one outcome.

    “When, at the latest, do you need the rod?” she asked.

    “Within the week,” I replied firmly.

    “Mmm…knock me unconscious,” she eventually said. “Make it convincing. Attack my companions but let them escape with the rod. I will find a way to return it to you on our way to the next city after they’ve lost interest.” I gazed off behind her, thinking about every way she could betray me before nodding, deciding that even if she did, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Perhaps it would even make things interesting. My war would be starting early it seemed, but now I’d have an ace in the hole.

    “That will do,” I said at length. “But to ensure your loyalty, you swear to do this by blood.” I reached into my robes and brought out an elegant knife. A wise investment, for it added to the mysticism that disguised a powerful spell of my own creation. I brought the knife across my palm, barely flinching as the sharpened blade sliced open my flesh, blood flowing down the sides of my hand as I passed the blade to her.

    She cut her hand quickly, and surprised me by doing so without flinching. I brought up my hand and she clasped it, our blood mingling and the spell beginning to cast. It had to be now.

    “Now swear,” I ordered.

    “I swear to do everything in my power to return the rod to you within the week,” she said. I smiled as the spell cast, ripping the life force from the thrall I held within my mind and transferring a portion of my will through her very blood to her heart and mind. I could feel her trembling as her blood boiled, but ignored it as I began to search through her mind, now open to me like a book. I quickly discovered her scheme to use her own loophole to keep me away. A clever trick. I also found out that she believed the blood bond to be a compulsion. Perhaps I’d have a little fun with her whenever she started trying to slip the bonds I’d placed upon her.

    She quickly reached up to pull her shirt to the side, revealing the Mobius strip on her collarbone. A small bit of vanity that marked her as one of mine.

    “That is my mark,” I explained quickly. “It will allow me to keep track of you while you’re in my service.” Her body trembled and her eyelids fluttered as the pain began to push away her consciousness.

    “I will be watching,” I warned before kicking her through the mirror, stepping through myself a moment later. I exchanged words with her companions, who were understandably upset, before launching a fireball towards them, making sure it didn’t detonate until they were clear.

    As the fools fled with their unconscious little spy in tow, I leaned against the wall, pulling the mask off my face with a chuckle.

    “Please my dearest Kepesk…give me a good show.”
    Last edited by AIGilstad; 2012-10-16 at 01:35 AM.

  11. - Top - End - #311
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Bwaa, thanks for the (as ever) usefull comments.

    I went back and re-worked some of it. See what you think.

  12. - Top - End - #312
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @AIGilstad
    Sorry it took me so long to get to this one; I read it right away but it took some thinking to come up with meaningful critique--I should also mention that I'm really enjoying seeing these scenes from both points of view!

    Spoiler
    Show
    “I don’t want to interrupt, but is this yours?” a woman’s voice called out behind me. I spun around quickly, silently cursing myself as I saw the group of would-be-heroes standing at the foot of the staircase
    Your description is all very fluid and clean. This is a great moment, where people sneak up behind him even though he's looking in a mirror: the only suggestion I'd make is that rather than generically "cursing himself", he might be specifically cursing his inattentiveness/tunnel-vision etc--whatever he would choose to blame for the fact that their reflections were obviously present in the mirror, and yet he failed to notice them.

    The girl had no idea what she was holding, and if I didn’t get ahold of it quickly, I’d be fighting a war I was sorely unprepared for.
    The part I bolded feels like it belongs in the first paragraph, when he's thinking about the Rod in the first place, not here.

    Like an obedient hound a double of the barbarian of their group stepped out of the mirror.
    Is it plainly obvious in-character that he's a Barbarian-classed person? Or is it just that he's identifiable as a setting-barbarian? I'm assuming the latter because of the other snippets from this campaign, but some indication of how we know he's a barbarian would be nice here.

    “Yes, yes of course,” the girl replied slowly, assumedly to hide the quiver in her voice.
    Here's the start of the back-and-forth of this conversation with its hilariously differing perspectives between this snippet and PM's snippet of the same events. I do think a better word than "assumedly" would be good here; it's just too... past-tense-ish? I'm having trouble coming up with a reason for disliking it as much as I do. Maybe it just lampshades the difference in perceptions a little too much? "Presumably" or another word like that feels better to me, in any event. Also, as we're now in a completely two-person interaction, it would be really nice to get some description. We'd be getting occasional closeups in the movie version; the text version needs something similar to help picture the actors (both of them--it would be prudent to know at the outset that the speaker is masked the whole time, for instance!)

    assured she’d continue prattling on.
    As far as we know (given this snippet's perspective), she's speaking slowly and is frightened. It doesn't make sense for him to perceive her as "prattling" here.

    I was beginning to realize that this girl had quite the tongue on her. She wielded it as well as a master swordsman, or at least she thought she did.
    This is a little weird. First, why is he realizing here that Kepesk is a skilled wordsmith? Second, you flip-flop within one sentence between "she's a master of wordplay" and "she's really overconfident in her abilities." Sending mixed messages to the reader can be good if you're accomplishing something specific with it, but here it just feels odd.

    I merely saw it as a child trying to make sure she kept her parent’s attention.
    Again, contrasting pretty harshly with the praise from earlier in the paragraph (as well as the coming transition to "oh yes she'd be a fantastic servant", but we'll get to that in a minute).

    I smiled as I brought my gaze back up to the girl’s eyes. Perhaps she had more potential than I’d initially thought. Given the right prodding, she could turn out to be incredibly useful.
    Oh, I guess it's right here. You just got done calling her a child, and now she could be "incredibly useful"? This transition is simply not believable; we've seen nothing to make us suspect that she would, in fact, be useful in any capacity. Not only that, but the next thing she does is just blindly follow him into the Mirror Realm: how does that prove anything besides the fact that she's a naive, trusting fool?

    A simple enough matter to deal with once I got the girl out of harm’s way.
    Eh? Has he already decided to keep her? Based entirely on about ten sentences of dialogue, in which she really hasn't done anything that special except happen to be employed by the Brotherhood?

    “We’ll go together,” she countered. She was good. Truly it would’ve been a waste to destroy someone with this much potential.
    A seven-year-old could do this.

    It was always fun to play the madman when dealing with spies.


    A silver tongued devil with the face of an angel could go far.
    I'll stop harping on the fact that we really hhaven't objectively seen anything impressive from Kepesk diplomatically (in this snippet), and instead mention again that we also have not gotten any description of her whatsoever, so "face of an angel" comes completely out of nowhere.

    I didn’t have time for it.
    Why is he suddenly in a huge hurry? A few minutes shouldn't make any difference in his one-week deadline.

    even if she did, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Perhaps it would even make things interesting. My war would be starting early it seemed, but now I’d have an ace in the hole.
    She's now worth more than the Rod is?

    I also found out that she believed the blood bond to be a compulsion.
    Great teaser (since if the audience has read Kepesk's view on this encounter, they also believe it to be a compulsion).

    She quickly reached up to pull her shirt to the side, revealing the Mobius strip on her collarbone.
    This is a little weird, coming out of the blue like that. It would be less off-putting if you first mentioned adding the mark, then her reaching up to investigate it.

    I leaned against the wall, pulling the mask off my face with a chuckle.
    As I mentioned at the top-- huh? he's wearing a mask? We need to know that!

    Overall great snippet; as I said I loved the contrast with PM's version. I hope you guys keep doing this (difficult though it may make my bookkeeping--have either of you come up with an overall campaign name I can apply to this yet?).


    @SanguisAevum
    Spoiler
    Show
    This reads a lot better! The first paragraph could be split up, I think, and there are a couple of minor oddities here and there but the only part that really grated was this:

    In the dead silence of this moment between time, the minor details normally missed during the flow of real time present themselves to me as plain as the moon above.
    The rest of the stuff you added here was great, when you're showing the actual details. But, there's no need to tell us beforehand that you're going to show us details--we'll figure it out when you start doing so!

    I'd also probably touch up the last big speech to make the "tell them"s consistent--personally I prefer "You will tell them" on every one, and I think the "For" in "...back to your masters. For when you return..." is kind of silly. You're giving an order, not explaining yourself!

    If you'd like a more in-depth critique (as though it were the first draft), just ask; otherwise I stick to these impressionistic ones for revisions.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  13. - Top - End - #313
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Sorry I haven't been critiquing lately... or like posting anything. Here, have a snippet that should probably be two snippets! Maybe this board can be a thing again.

    And no, we still can't think of a good name. None of us. None of the names.

    Also thinking about changing the Barbarian's name to what the player actually calls him since he's started using it in the game. Anyone have an opinion? It's Malakar vs Variel.

    Friends and Masters Part 4
    Spoiler
    Show
    I was in good spirits in spite of my aches and fears as the city gates came into view once more. The horse moved at my command, my thoughts were my own, and the rod was as good as mine. Let the man in black spy on my thoughts, let my companions try to bind and gag me again, let the brotherhood keep their miserable gold. I was alive with my dignity intact. I had bent dragons to my will with less.

    I met Malakar before I reached the city gates. He had been unhorsed and he trudged on with a limp, but if he felt the pain of his injuries it did not show on his face. Barbarians were certainly a sturdy lot. I brought my horse to a walk beside him.

    “Hey, Malakar. Sorry about earlier.” I called to him.

    He responded with little more than a grunt. How annoying, I was trying to apologize! I wheeled the horse around to block his path.

    “I was under a compulsion…” I started to explain, but the barbarian paid me no mind. He started to walk around me. That’s when I realized what the man in black had meant.

    “Your companions are probably fighting each other by now.”

    “Of course!” I exclaimed to my dominated friend, “The man in black said you would be fighting each other. Milo must have gotten away.” Malakar did not confirm my theory.

    “That means he must still have the rod.” I called. Malakar perked up at the mention of the rod. Of course he did.

    “It just so happens, I know where he went.” I mentioned, walking the horse beside him again. By now we were within earshot of the men guarding the gate.

    “Follow my lead” I told him, “and I’ll get you the rod.” The man was in no condition to scrutinize my motivations. He followed me up to the gate and waited for my move.

    “Halt” the guard commanded. I slid down from the saddle and gave the man a courteous bow.

    “We don’t mean any trouble.” I promised.

    “That may be, but we have orders to question a couple of half-elves that match your description,” the guard answered suspiciously, “a man and a woman.”

    “That's probably us.” I didn’t bother lying, “It was that inquisitor, right? Said we were trying to rob him earlier?”

    “…yes. That was the story.” The guard responded, confused. Sometimes bare faced honesty was as powerful a tool as a well told lie. Rather than scrutinizing us as possible criminals, the guard stood waiting for an explanation.


    “Well we were. I was being controlled by a powerful wizard, but I managed to shake the compulsion.” I explained, gesturing to Malakar, “My friend here hasn’t been so lucky. I was hoping I could hire a mage in the city to fix him.”

    “Of course, I’ll take you to Rufus myself.” The man responded, nodding to a guard on the wall to let us pass.

    “Follow me, Malakar.” I said, leading the horse behind me, “Milo is this way.”

    The guard led us to a house near the edge of the city. It looked normal enough, save for an unusual number of windows. Upon closer inspection, each window showed an entirely different area on the other side. Some revealed what could have been the inside of the house, others showed deserts and swamps, some radiated with divine light, one seemed to look in on an erupting volcano. Wizards. They always had to advertise their power. I handed my horse to the guard and rapped on the door- itself a window that showed the side of a mountain.

    “Just a minute!” a man called from within, accompanied by the sound of glass breaking and papers ruffling. In time the door swung open to reveal a prematurely balding man with singed eyebrows and a nervous smile. He ignored me to address the guard.

    “Whatever it was, it wasn’t my fault.” He chittered, “Just feed it three salamander tails and it should dissipate by morning.” This seemed to make the guard nervous. I didn’t have the time.

    “You must be Rufus.” I exclaimed, arresting the wizard’s attention, “I’m Kepesk. I need your help.”

    “…so you’re not here about the ooze gators?” He mumbled suspiciously. “Well then come on in!” I ushered Malakar inside before the madman could change his mind, leaving the befuddled guard alone with the horse.

    The house was more remarkable inside than out. The mirrors changed the more you looked at them, flickering between alternate planes and mundane scenery. Every item not bolted to the floor, swords, cauldrons, tables, scrolls, and scraps of leather, could be recognized as magical to the trained eye. Even the fireplace in the corner and the comfortable looking chair beside it were obviously influenced by the arcane.

    “What can I do for ya?” Rufus asked after allowing me a moment to take in his dwellings.

    “My friend here is being dominated by a wizard.” I answered, “I was hoping you could dispel it.”

    “Hmm” the man seemed to think it over, “I don’t know, you’re talking about powerful magic here. Not just any old wizard could dispel such a thing, and even then not cheaply.” Wizards and their egos. This man was even less subtle than the ostentatious man in black with his delusions of perfection.

    “Well we were told you were the best.” I replied, giving him the admiration he craved before snatching it away, “But if it’s beyond you I’m sure there’s some sorcerer in the city who can help us.”

    “What?! The sorceress!” The man exclaimed, “That feather-brained heartbreaking devil woman couldn’t tell a dispel from a disjunction!” A rivalry between mages? How completely unpredictable.

    “I only meant that if you couldn’t help us…” I smiled, allowing him to interrupt me.

    “Of course I can help!” He insisted, right on cue. He grabbed Malakar by the shoulders and thrust him into the comfortable chair. The barbarian was too dazed to put up any resistance as Rufus conjured up a series of restraints to tie him down.

    “Now this might sting a little.” Rufus announced after Malakar was restrained. He snapped his fingers and a flash of arcane energy sprung from the chair, jolting my companion’s body momentarily before vanishing in an instant. Malakar squinted up at us from the chair, blinking as if he had just woken up.

    “Thanks.” He said simply, “That was horrible.” A cursory inspection for magical influences convinced me that he was clean. I bent to untie him from the chair.

    “No problem.” I smiled, “Happens to the best of us.”

    “Told you I was the man for the job!” Rufus reminded us, grinning wildly. If I soothed his ego, perhaps we could get out of this without paying.

    “You definitely showed me!” I said, taking a shot in the dark as to the identity of the magic, “Is that a disjunction spell cast on that chair?” It would still be a complement if I was wrong.

    “You bet it is.” He beamed, “Cost me an arm and a leg.”

    “I won’t ask whose!” I countered with a teasing smile. Men like this normally took well to such corny jokes and Rufus was no exception. His unrestrained laughter told me I had made a friend.

    “That you shouldn’t, girl!” He managed between chuckles, “That you shouldn’t.”

    I made polite conversation with him for a few minutes until Malakar’s patience began to wear thin. He wanted to find the inquisitor and get back to business after such an unusual week. It pleased me that he still wanted to travel with me after everything that had happened. I liked this group, or at least I liked Malakar. The half-elf was fair minded and indispensable in combat. If I was honest, he was also quite handsome. I could deal with the insufferable inquisitor if it meant I had finally found a group I could depend on.

    Which reminded me of another bit of unpleasant business. They really couldn’t depend on me. The blood bond no longer forced me to act against them, but I was sure it allowed the man in black to read my thoughts at any time. I did not know what that would mean for my companions. I didn’t even know what it meant for me. Did this mark tie me to him permanently? Could I act against him if I wanted to? I didn’t know anything about this kind of magic, but I had just made friends with someone who might.

    “Rufus,” I asked as he was showing us to the door, “do you know anything about blood magic?”

    “What, like poisons?” he replied, “Or some kind of demon summoning thing?”

    “No, nothing like that.” I clarified, “More like some kind of oath that relied on the mixing of the caster’s blood with the subject as a catalyst for the magic.”

    Rufus stroked his chin for a moment, “No… no oaths really. I mean, there are spells like that, but they’re rare and very dangerous.”

    “This is all completely hypothetical.” I assured. Rufus raised a singed eyebrow at that.

    “Well usually the magic serves to bond two people’s minds, but it’s a slippery concept.” He said seriously before breaking out into another silly smile, “One time I got my blood all mixed up with a red-backed salamander. Whatever you do, don’t blood bond yourself to one of those! It’s terrible!”

    “Oh yeah? What happened?” I asked, smiling back.

    “I had to feel it die.” He muttered absentmindedly, sending a shiver down my spine.

    “Well that’s unpleasant.” I remarked, trying to hide the discomfort from my voice. Rufus gave me a conspiratorial smile.

    “You know what? I’ve got something you might like.” He said suddenly before diving into the next room. Crashing and banging accompanied the odd expletive as he rummaged through his closets. He emerged a short while later with a scroll in one hand.

    “It’s not a lot, but this is what I’ve got on magic of this sort.” He explained, holding it out to me. I went to take it from him, but he yanked it back playfully. “But if I give it to you, you have to promise to do something for me.”

    “Sure, what did you have in mind?” I offered.

    “Oh it’s a small thing. There’s this woman, a sorcerer who lives on the other side of town.” He explained, “I just need a lock of her hair… for personal reasons.” Oh I could think of a few personal things a powerful wizard could do with a material component like that. Still, it wouldn’t be the most damning thing I had done recently. If she was smart, the woman would have protective spells for this sort of thing. If not, maybe this would teach her a well needed lesson.

    “No problem, we’ll see what we can do.” I promised. To my surprise, he put the scroll in my hands.

    “Good, get back to me as soon as you can.” He smiled knowingly, “Good luck with all of your hypothetical questions.” The gesture was not lost on me. A wizard who was too open with his knowledge would be exploited ruthlessly by his peers. Giving this to me now, and with no guarantee of payment, was a gesture of great trust and friendship.

    “I will.” I smiled, “Thank you, Rufus.”

    We finished our goodbyes and ferreted out the nearest taverns in the city. The closest was only a short walk down the road from Rufus, but Malakar had a feeling we would find Milo closer to the nearest temple, which was a longer walk. I tried to argue, but the barbarian was insistent. I dragged my feet behind him, grumbling all the way to the farthest tavern on our list.

    Malakar was right, unfortunately, about where Milo would be. We found him immediately. He was seated at the bar in the company of an apparently injured Tengu. His new companion was missing more than a few feathers, exposing pale white flesh where soft black down should have been. His left leg was bandaged tightly right down to his talons. He seemed to be in good spirits in spite of his injuries as he shared a drink with our inquisitor. Their backs were turned to us. I was about to suggest we go about rejoining him cautiously, in case he thought we meant to attack, but Malakar was already halfway across the room. I sighed and followed reluctantly.

    Milo noticed us before we could say anything and overreacted accordingly, drawing his holy symbols as if to repel us. The tengu regarded us with some confusion, cocking his head to the side. He kept his beak shut, thankfully.

    “Are you seriously trying to ward us off?” I muttered, appraising the holy symbols. Desna and Pharasma were certainly powerful deities, but I felt their symbols were lacking a certain effectiveness.

    “Maybe!” Milo managed, “If I have to!”

    “Oh dear, Malakar. What will we do?” I went on sarcastically, “He’s got a butterfly and a curly que.” Malakar glared down at me.

    “Show some respect, Kepesk.” I could all but hear my cleric sister chide. Fine. I guessed I should be trying to win him over.

    “Just a joke,” I smiled as convincingly as I could, “Sorry.” The man didn’t lower his holy symbols.

    “We’re not dominated anymore.” I rolled my eyes, “In case you were wondering.” He squinted at me suspiciously, muttering a quick prayer. The spell must have confirmed my story. He relaxed slightly.

    “You were dominated, then?” he asked.

    “Obviously,” I responded, “What? You thought we just turned on you for no reason?”

    “I don’t know…” he muttered, turning back to his drink. Malakar joined him and they started talking quietly. Malakar began with an apology and the two friends began catching up. The tengu was left out of the conversation. He looked uncomfortable, so I nodded to him politely.

    “Kepesk of the southern dragons.” I introduced myself, offering my hand.

    “Master Yu.” He replied, shaking my hand. He had an accent I couldn’t place, probably eastern. “I don’t actually know what I’m doing here. I’m looking for my apprentice… I think.”

    “You don’t remember?” I asked.

    “I got into a fight…” he trailed off. The man was obviously recovering from something traumatic. Silence hung over us awkwardly as I waited for him to finish. When he never did, I spoke up.

    “I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” I smiled politely, withdrawing myself from the addled bird-man. “I’m just going to head to bed. I’ll probably see you tomorrow.”

    “Squawk!” was the man’s only response. I took it as a farewell and walked away. I paid for a room and shut myself in for the night.

    The prospect of sleeping in a real bed again after such an uncomfortable week of travel was almost too tempting. I dropped my bag at my feet and flopped onto the small mattress. It was a cheap bed, even by tavern standards, but it didn’t matter. Compared with being bound down to my very fingers and slumped against some tree, it might as well have been the bed of a king. I wondered when other than now I might have time to study the blood bonding scroll. I had a lot to do tomorrow and if the inquisitor caught me with it he might start asking questions. I sighed. It had to be now.

    I fished the scroll out of my bag and sat up, making myself comfortable with my back against the wall. The scroll was written in a prohibitively technical tone. I was always amazed at some people’s abilities to make the most interesting of subjects boring and tedious. I skimmed the first few paragraphs which were basically an explanation of the ethical precautions taken by the researchers, and chewed through the rest more thoroughly.

    It wasn’t purely a compulsion, that was certain. In fact if I was reading it correctly it wasn’t a compulsion at all. The base of the spell was something like a telepathic link that was strengthened and modified by the mixing of blood. According to the text, blood mixing was a fairly standard (if dark) arcane catalyst which could be used for a lot of spells. It allowed for more powerful magic to be cast on a willing subject. In the case of this particular spell, the blood bond, it modified the spell effects to the parameters of the caster. The bond could be made one-way, so that only the caster could read the subject’s thoughts and communicate over it. It could also be set to punish undesirable behaviors as I had experienced on the journey. There was mention of the possibility of some kind of compulsive potential, but nothing near what I had experienced and the text described it as entirely theoretical. Spells could not be cast over the bond, which was a relief. There were other silly things casters could do with the bond, like sharing spells over a distance or using each other as homing points for planar travel. On the whole the information was largely irrelevant to me and boring.

    Interestingly, in most trials only one or two alterations could be made to the spell before it broke down and reverted to the base telepathic link. In trials where multiple effects were attempted and failed, all of the previously established effects were lost. If this study was accurate, most casters had only been able to make the bond one way. I recognized at least three effects from experience with the man in black’s version, which made him something of an anomaly. I already suspected that this man was the most powerful mage I had ever met. Now I was certain.

    After sifting through the poorly written material for what felt like an eternity, my neck started to ache and I decided to set it down. I made a half-hearted promise to myself to read the rest later. I stretched my arms and legs and shifted to a more comfortable position as I thought on what I had learned.

    First, it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. The man could read my thoughts at any time, but he wasn’t constantly conscious of me. I could probably still act against him if I wanted to. He knew my whereabouts at any given time, but I would have to be willing if he wanted to look through my eyes. He could use pain to keep me in line, but I had endured pain before. I might have to do some extra work to circumvent the established compulsion, but I could handle that. I found myself running my hands over the mark he had put on my shoulder absently. It hadn’t acted up since he let me go. What had he said about the compulsion?

    “You did not take well to it I see.”

    He had been right, of course. Perhaps he had suppressed it, or narrowed the contingencies that would trigger it to give me a wider range of options when infiltrating the Brotherhood. By the study of the spell as it was written, that shouldn’t be a possibility. The raw power of the catalyst had to be utilized for broad purposes, anything more detailed would simply be overrun, but the man in black had proven a more powerful mage than most.

    “I’m afraid you may have been more effective without it”

    No, I was wrong. That is what the man had said, but he hadn’t suppressed anything. He said I would be more effective without it, and then I had felt him release me. I had consciously noted the difference. It had been drastic and the change had been immediate. I knew enough of enchantment magic to know what that meant. He had dropped the effect.

    If I was correct, then he may have unintentionally reverted the spell to something close to its base! A telepathic link was a completely different situation. He could not set up another compulsion on me without refreshing the spell. He could not use the mark to cause me pain. In fact, if this was true, I would be able to turn the link on him. I could read his mind.

    Suddenly excited, I pulled my legs in towards me and my feet together in the position my sister used to meditate. I relaxed my shoulders and closed my eyes as I searched my mind for some thread that would lead me to the blood bond and confirm my theory. I turned my thoughts to the times it had exerted control over me and tried to remember where that power lead. It was tedious, but this was what I excelled in as a sorcerer, feeling my way through the magical potential that was already there. Even so, I found nothing in my understanding of the compulsion or the pain trigger. I recalled that the search had been equally fruitless when I had tried a few days ago when we were still travelling, but this time I could not prod the effects to trigger as I had then. I tried plotting openly against the man in black. I tried focusing on the goblin I had killed in the name of the puppet master to establish myself as an enemy. No response. No pain.

    I thought back to the only time since the man had released me that the bond had displayed any effect, when the man had threatened me telepathically. I isolated the experience and searched my consciousness for the place where I had received the message. Finally I found something useful, a part of my consciousness that had not been there before. I found the link to the blood bond soon after, an arcane tumor on my consciousness that could lead me to the man in black’s mind. I pressed on.

    Suddenly I found myself disconnected from my own mind, standing before a massive wall of arcane energy. This was the man in black’s mental barrier, his will manifested to keep out unwanted intruders. I walked along it, looking for a way to circumvent it. He was a well-guarded man, but I was determined to see this through. Eventually, after about twenty minutes of searching, I found a tiny crack in the foundation and slipped inside.

    Which was a storm of complete madness. The magic of the mirror realm permeated the space where his thoughts should have been. Fragments of thoughts reflected off of each other, coming out backwards and echoing infinitely. I had assumed the man was insane, but this level of chaos should prevent him from even the pretense of sanity. If these were his thoughts, if this was his mind, then it was a wonder that he could even interact with other people in a way they could understand. He shouldn’t be able to comprehend normality. He shouldn’t be able to function! There must be a place where he did his conscious thinking, separated from the rest of his mind. It was the only way such a man could appear rational.

    I observed the chaos, or perhaps the chaos observed me, for a few moments. I was being pulled away, swept into the madness. I heard the laughter of small animals and children all around me. Somehow the disembodied laughter seemed to be autonomous, like they were people I could meet in a tavern or walking down the street.

    “Excuse me.” I called out, “I’m looking for the man in black. Do you know where he is?”

    The sound of laughter smiled, but didn’t listen me anything.

    “Can you show me the way?” I asked.

    There was a pause. Then the laughter grew louder, encasing me with its presence. I was suddenly somewhere else, an underground fortress of some kind. The man in black was at the head of a large group of people. About half had faces. The rest were blank-faced and ambiguous, the way one would imagine a long forgotten acquaintance. To my surprise I recognized Gareth, the halfling who had sent me to find the man in black in the first place. He was standing next to an elven man with silver hair among the largest concentration of the faceless men. The man in black held a mirror before the crowd and the scene changed.

    The group was transported into the mirror realm. They paused to take in their surroundings. Silence for a split second, then the man in black doubled over in pain. In the next second, whatever had attacked him affected everyone. They sunk to their knees in unison, grabbing their heads in pain. The man in black let out a scream. I focused in on his face as pain gave way to understanding. He opened his mouth into a maniacal grin as he pivoted on his knees to face his men. With one swift motion and a magic word, half his army fell leaving only the faceless ones and a few others standing. Gareth and the elf were among them. The assaulting force subsided, allowing the survivors to rise to their feet and flee for the portal. I watched as they retreated. Their fallen comrades began to twitch to life once again. The man in black stopped outside of the portal to watch, laughing hysterically as the men he betrayed rose as puppets of flesh. Suddenly he paused to meet my gaze. His maniacal blue eyes seemed to look through me to something terrible and awesome.

    The sound of laughter grew dimmer, receding from me. I caught glimpses of a struggle. Experiments gone horribly wrong. Lives and loves lost in a mad quest for power. Terrifying insanity surrounded me on all sides, but I was not alone. At the center of the storm a small child cried hysterically. He had thick red hair, blue eyes red from tears.

    His name, I knew somehow, was Andrew.
    Last edited by PaperMustache; 2012-11-06 at 10:19 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #314
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Michigan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    This isn't really a game story per se, but I was directed here after I posted a thread asking for a critique on some character backstory. If this is the wrong place in which to do this, I apologize, and if you are interested I linked it here. If not, then without further ado:
    Spoiler
    Show

    This is for a human alchemist (vivisectionist) in a 3.p game

    Caelain Blackbottle and His Origins

    Caelain is of average height, lithely built. He wears his black hair in a longish fashion, although it is occasionally cropped close due to burn damage. This makes sharp contrast with his skin, which is rather pale. His eyes are a shockingly bright green—he attributes the enhanced coloration to an experiment gone awry. Caelain has a rather outlandish taste in clothing, but is well dressed in his choice of garb. A black velvet slouch hat with green ribbon and silver buckle can easily be pulled down to conceal his singular eyes when he so chooses, greatly aiding any attempts at disguise. A black duster worked with silver thread conceals dozens of tiny vials in secret pockets; the bulky nature of it is useful for concealing his movements, and on occasion, his identity. The coat is also crafted from sturdy leather, which has been very valuable over the course of his rather hazardous exploits. Under the jacket he wears a silk shirt and pants, customarily in dark green, blue, black, or some similarly somber color. Close-fitting boots crafted from soft leather encase his legs from the calf down, fastened with a column of silver buckles on the sides. Numerous belts and bandoliers replete with alchemical components and additional bottles of various substances complete the attire.

    Caelain is a decently attractive young man, and has a charming personality when he so chooses. However, this amicability is quickly forgotten by those with less zeal for his research than himself. Often performing acts with questionable or downright disagreeable ethical ramifications to further his studies, this heedless fervor eventually resulted in his exile and disinheritance. To worsen matters, Caelain is of a mercurial nature, and has little regard for the consequences of his actions upon others. He isn’t evil by nature, but this callous disregard for others is a contemptible trait. It may even be postulated that if it weren’t for the inconvenience that committing evil acts causes, and the fact that a stigma might be at times suboptimal, he would disregard morality entirely.

    Caelain is gifted with good manual dexterity and reflexes, a keen intellect, a hearty constitution, and on top of it all, is slightly stronger than most men. His solitary great failing is an incredible lack of wisdom, or as many would term it, good sense. To give an example, Caelain once murdered a city watchman, injured several others, attempted to escape from the guards of the town, failed, was cast into the desert, and brought a plague of undead down upon the aforementioned—and extremely unlucky—city, all because it was “easier” than admitting he had been trespassing in the sewers. Caelain often pays more attention to his own thoughts than his immediate surroundings, which has precipitated a great deal of misfortune. To alleviate this, Caelain relies upon his closest friend and confidante, Tybalt, King of Cats, Lord of Shadows and Lost Places. Tybalt is an extraordinarily attractive young cat, and is much tougher than the average alley cat. He joined Caelain as he left the city, and received his moniker due to his royal appearance and poise. Tybalt’s natural resilience is an extremely fortunate circumstance, when one considers Caelain’s penchant for finding himself in remarkably dangerous situations. Tybalt usually surveys the surrounds from a perch on Caelain’s shoulder, and even if he does not alert him to a danger, Caelain learned early on in their relationship—in a rather abrupt and painful manner—that it is best to duck when Tybalt runs for cover. Although Caelain initially fancied their relationship as a pet/master relationship, Tybalt quickly disabused him of that absurd notion. Ironically, Tybalt is better at manipulating Caelain than the reverse. More than one of Caelain’s dissections has been interrupted by Tybalt’s insistence upon the immediate removal of the choicest cuts of meat, which Caelain has learned to locate, regardless of species. Fortunately, Caelain has never dissected a fresh human corpse, or things would swiftly become very awkward. Despite his haughty refusal to do most anything Caelain requests, Tybalt does stay, and has chosen Caelain as his companion, although the reason for this adoption is anyone’s guess.

    Caelain originally put his extraordinary intellect to use studying at a wizards’ college. The son of a particularly wealthy and influential nobleman, combined with his good looks, made it only a matter of time before he succeeded the kingdom’s current court wizard. Caelain however, was impatient. He was clever, and had a knack for the arcane arts, but he lacked the self-discipline necessary for practicing wizardry. The first couple years of college he managed to get by using only his marvelous intellect. As his studies progressed though, his lack of work ethic manifested itself. Less and Less of his attention was focused on his studies, and more on his passions, alchemy and anatomy, disparate as those may seem. These two subjects were intensely interesting to him, much moreso than his teachers’ fruitless attempts to explain higher arcana. In an explosive—quite literally—finale, he was expelled when a singularly volatile concoction nearly destroyed the dormitories. Determined to show others his brilliance, he published a series of essays on both alchemy, anatomy, and their interrelation, postulating wild theories such as chemicals from the brain influencing people’s actions, even that the brain, not the heart was the seat of man’s soul and intelligence. He retracted these statements when he was accused of heresy by the church of Pelor. Adding to his ill circumstances was that neither of his chosen pursuits was held in good esteem. Alchemy was seen as insane experimentation mainly carried out by lunatics with a mediocre understanding of magic. Anatomists were held in even worse regards, only slightly better than necromancers. Because any injuries could be healed by a simple trip to the local cathedral, and the illegality of studying human remains, anatomists were widely held to be grave-robbing ghouls. The fact that such poor public support of the science made hiring thugs and criminals for “bodysnatching” did nothing to ameliorate the situation. His stunning intellect and wit was the only thing that made even these few publications as successful—meaning he was not lynched—as they were, he even managed to attract a small clique of followers. It was during this period that Caelain took his second name in a rather unusual manner. An opponent to his research compared his publications to "The noisome buzzings of the pestilential fly." Caelain noticed the potential irony and ran with it; Blackbottle is not, as one would think, merely a reference to his vocation, but a play on the green and bluebottle flies. . The final straw for Caelain’s father came when Caelain was discovered in a graveyard attempting to procure a cadaver for study, he was disinherited and driven out of the city with only his personal possessions (which was still a small fortune relative to the common man). It was then that Caelain made the decision to go adventuring. This would give him the opportunity to quickly rise to his former status in society, and to dissect a great deal of different specimens without inquiry. As an added bonus, opportunities to field test his various alchemical substances would abound. As struck out from his home city, a handsome young cat sauntered over to him from an alley.


    Edit: Woops... Forgot the link; it's fixed now.
    Last edited by White_Drake; 2012-11-01 at 03:17 PM.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Like one, that on a lonesome road
    Doth walk in fear and dread,
    And having once turned round walks on,
    And turns no more his head;
    Because he knows, a frightful fiend
    Doth close behind him tread.
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -- Samuel Coleridge Taylor

    Spoiler
    Show


  15. - Top - End - #315
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I am so very bad at getting things done. On the plus side, I should have a little more time in the coming weeks to work on stuff like this.

    @PaperMustache
    I've grown kind of used to Malakar but I don't really care that much--if you want to change it up, so much the better! If it were me, I probably would, since otherwise I'd worry about switching between the two names by accident later on.

    Spoiler
    Show
    “…yes. That was the story.” The guard responded incredulously.
    Eheh. I like the way she's handling this. I'm not sure "incredulously" is appropriate here though; it feels a little strong for the context.

    Wizards. They always had to advertise their power.
    To be fair, this is a really cool way of advertising arcane power.

    “Just feed it three salamander tails and it should dissipate by morning.” This seemed to make the guard nervous. I didn’t have the time.
    Ahaha. I love the little NPC-interaction details.

    ooze gators
    ...wizards.

    leaving the befuddled guard alone with the horse.
    Ehhh, he probably gets this all the time.

    This man was less subtle than the ostentatious man in black with his delusions of perfection.
    I need a qualifier here; some kind of value judgement from Kepesk to let me know how I'm supposed to read this. That is, you're stating a fact, but it's not clear whether Kepesk is viewing this fact in a positive or negative light. "even less subtle" would let me know by extension that she has even more distain for him than she does for the man in black. On the other hand, maybe she views his lack of subtlety as a refreshing change of pace, making her job easier.

    But if it’s beyond you I’m sure there’s some sorcerer in the city who can help us.
    How to tick off the wizard: say you'll find a sorcerer to do it.

    “What?! The sorceress!” The man exclaimed, “That feather-brained heartbreaking devil woman couldn’t tell a dispel from a disjunction!” A rivalry between mages? How completely unpredictable.
    Heartbreaking, eh? Also, as usual Kepesk is coming off as scathing, genre-savvy and hilarious. Nice work.

    “Told you I was the man for the job!” Rufus reminded us.
    I want to see Rufus's expression here; I don't know him well enough yet to predict how he looks right now. Is he beaming proudly? Is he indignant that they doubted him?

    “Is that a disjunction spell cast on that chair?”

    “You bet it is.” He beamed, “Cost me an arm and a leg.”
    Sweet Jesus. First, Kepesk must have rolled damn well to ID that at such a low level. Second, wow that is an expensive comfychair. Good lord.

    ...at least I liked Malakar. The half-elf was fair minded...
    Isn't Kepesk a half-elf, or am I misremembering that? Assuming I'm not wrong, it's a little weird for her to be referring to Malakar as "the half-elf". Like if I were to refer to my best friend as "the human".

    If I was honest, he was also quite handsome. I could deal with the insufferable inquisitor if it meant I had finally found a group I could depend on.
    Haha. Also I kind of expected some ominous snark/foreshadowing about the inquisitor; Kepesk doesn't seem like the type to just accept obnoxious party members on a permanent basis.

    “This is all completely hypothetical.” I assured. Rufus raised a singed eyebrow at that.
    lol. I do have to wonder why she's discussing this with Malakar right there, though; surely he can't be missing all this not-really-subtext.

    “Oh yeah? What happened?” I asked, smiling back.

    “I had to feel it die.” He muttered absentmindedly, sending a shiver down my spine.

    “Well that’s unpleasant.” I remarked, trying to hide the discomfort from my voice. Rufus gave me a conspiratorial smile.
    Spoiler
    Show


    “Oh it’s a small thing. There’s this woman, a sorcerer who lives on the other side of town.” He explained, “I just need a lock of her hair… for personal reasons.” Oh I could think of a few personal things a powerful wizard could do with a material component like that. Still, it wouldn’t be the most damning thing I had done recently. If she was smart, the woman would have protective spells for this sort of thing. If not, maybe this would teach her a well needed lesson.
    You're showing here very clearly just how easily Kepesk can justify all kinds of questionable actions to herself. Knowing (approximately) where she ends up, this actually turns out to be some great setup/foreshadowing.

    I dragged my feet behind him, grumbling all the way to the farthest tavern on our list.
    lol.

    Milo noticed us before we could say anything and overreacted accordingly, drawing his holy symbols as if to repel us.

    ...Desna and Pharasma were certainly powerful deities, but I felt their symbology was lacking a certain effectiveness.
    Awesome. Although I'm sure the word you were looking for was 'symbolism'. Symbology is the study of symbols. (Actually you probably just want to go with 'symbols' but I wanted to use the quote).

    “I’m sure you’ll figure it out.” I smiled politely, withdrawing myself from the addled bird-man. “I’m just going to head to bed. I’ll probably see you tomorrow.”

    “Squawk!” was the man’s only response. I took it as a farewell and walked away. I paid for a room and shut myself in for the night.
    The awkwardness is over 9000!

    It was a cheap bed, even by tavern standards
    Hey, if it's got a frame and is recognizable as a bed it's fancy stuff.

    I skimmed the first few paragraphs which were basically an explanation of the ethical precautions taken by the researchers
    Ethical wizards! Now there's a laugh!

    I already suspected that this man was the most powerful mage I had ever met. Now I was certain.
    Which is impressive, since you were buddy-buddy with a guy powerful enough to own a Disjunction item. As someone familiar with the system, the scale of the man in black's power is clear to me, but someone without that knowledge might need a little more here to fully grasp what it is that you're saying (which is essentially that this man could end your life with a thought).

    In fact, if this was true, I would be able to turn the link on him. I could read his mind.
    Kepesk is nothing if not preposterously arrogant. Lol. She just got done realizing that he's the most powerful mage she's ever met and that she really has a snowball's chance in hell of even inconveniencing him in any real way. Time to try to read his mind!

    an arcane tumor on my consciousness
    Great description.

    The sound of laughter smiled, but didn’t listen me anything.
    And again.

    In fact, the whole ending is great. Descriptively, I love it; you communicate things just enough to give the reader a foothold, but preserve the sense of chaos. The only issue I have with the whole ending sequence is actually sort of tangential to it, which is that, knowing the comparative power levels between these two, it's just not believable that Kepesk would be able to get into Andrew's mind so easily. Maybe if you elaborated on the semi-metaphorical brain-wall, gave some kind of reason (other than a preexisting "crack") to allow her to gain access, it would be easier to swallow. As it is, the description is all lovely but the actual fact of the matter is difficult to believe. It gives the appearance of Kepesk being a much more powerful mage herself, in contrast to all the other evidence we're presented with.

    Besides the justification problem (I realize how difficult it can be to create believable story arcs from actual campaign occurrences that frankly happened because the GM threw you a bone or the plot needed to advance), this was a great snippet. Excellent writing as usual!


    @White_Drake
    Welcome to the thread! Pretty much as long as you've got any story-like or otherwise even semi-literary RPG-related thing to share, this is a fine place to do so. I don't know if you have a particular kind of critique in mind, so I'll just give you my thoughts as they occur to me (maybe more literary-focued than you were looking for, but oh well). Also, you say it's not really a game story or snippetty--would you like me to add it to the snippet archive on the first page or not? (If you ever post more from this I'll put background there automatically, but if you're just looking for the critique then I'll leave it alone).

    Spoiler
    Show
    Okay, so I wrote a critique and then realized it was really long and comes off as kind of harsh, so I thought I'd preface it with more of a high-level broad-concepts evaluation, since that's probably what you wanted in the first place.

    First off, I like the character concept a lot; you've got a pair of very intriguing focuses in vivisection/alchemy (though you don't seem to touch on the 'vivi' part of vivisection in the background; he sticks right to cadavers from what I understood). The cat "familiar" is also a nice touch, riddled with plot hooks for your GM and generally flavorful. You don't mention it in the piece, but I take it that Tybalt named himself

    One of your weaker points, I think, is your organization: huge paragraphs tend to be a warning sign for that particular malady, but it's not really that bad. You've got your big main points (physical and mental description, combat style/mechanical abilities, and actual history); you could just do with drawing some lines between the various subsections and partitioning things out a little better; it'll likely help you clarify how you think about it.

    The biggest literary issue you have (and I'll only mention it briefly because I harped on it kind of a lot in the detailed run) is Telling when you should be Showing. Stories are a lot more fun to read when the narrator is describing action instead of reasoning or opinions, and as a result, any time you can communicate an idea by giving an example instead of just saying "he was smart", do so.

    There's not much of a narrative arc to this, but that's pretty much to be expected in a character description/background. It's worth considering, though--do you think you could communicate all the same things with just one quick physical description followed by a series of brief anecdotes? I think so, and personally I find that writing that way (or in a longer-form story-like narrative, for that matter) helps me understand the character much better than writing a stock description. If you decide to give it a try (or any other bits from this character's past or the game he's in), I hope you'll post it here!

    Before you bust into the spoiler, allow me to mention again that I think my critique comes across more harshly than I intended. Just because I have a lot to say about it doesn't mean I didn't like it; in fact rather the opposite. You should only really worry if I read your stuff and can't find anything to talk about So don't feel like I'm dumping on your writing when you get into the detailed comments; you asked in your original thread for a review of your writing, so I gave you one. Just remember that I did enjoy this background and I would love to see more from this campaign if you ever get the urge to write some.

    Detailed Stuff
    Spoiler
    Show
    it is occasionally cropped close due to burn damage.
    I can picture this as either "some times it's short because fire" or "some places it is short because fire".

    This makes sharp contrast with his skin, which is rather pale.
    It's not clear what "This" is referring to--presumably you mean "the fact that his hair is very dark", but I have to read the whole sentence before I can figure out what the subject is supposed to be, because it reads like the way he wears his hair is what's contrasting with his light skin. If you want to point out this contrast, make sure that the darkness of his hair is the thing that's being contrasted.

    His eyes are a shockingly bright green
    I just don't like this phrase; it feels redundant. Maybe that's just me though.

    Caelain has a rather outlandish taste in clothing, but is well dressed in his choice of garb.
    I cannot picture what this means, not least because I'm not privy to the fashion norms that "outlandish" is supposed to conflict with. The best I can do is assume that he wears expensive, yet unfashionable, clothes, but that leaves it up to me to decide what any of those qualities mean--maybe it means he likes to wear 20th-century designer jeans.

    greatly aiding any attempts at disguise
    You already told us he can cover his eyes; we can infer the reasoning as to why he might do that.

    A black duster worked with silver thread conceals dozens of tiny vials in secret pockets; the bulky nature of it is useful for concealing his movements, and on occasion, his identity.
    Same thing here. As the saying goes, "Show; don't Tell". If you describe him and his attire well enough physically, I'll be able to work out on my own things like what he uses his hat and coat for. Not only does this save you ink, but it prevents me, as the reader, from feeling like you're beating me to death with qualitative judgements. You'd never write "Before he slipped into the alley, he wrapped a dark cloak around himself because it made him very hard to see at night" or "He wore a gold cloak, which made him look really cool". It's redundant, and it alienates your readers by implying that they can't figure out the implications on their own.

    The coat is also crafted from sturdy leather, which has been very valuable over the course of his rather hazardous exploits.
    Now here's a different issue; I've already gotten that his exploits may be hazardous because you've hit me over the head with that fact, but more importantly, why are you telling me explicitly about his past while trying to describe his coat? Unless it's a family heirloom or there's a specific story attached to it that would help to literally describe something, telling me anything other than what it looks like doesn't help me to picture it.

    Close-fitting boots crafted from soft leather encase his legs from the calf down, fastened with a column of silver buckles on the sides. Numerous belts and bandoliers replete with alchemical components and additional bottles of various substances complete the attire.
    See, this is a perfectly nice description. Just enough specifics to give me things to picture, without any unnecessary diversions into how he uses his boot buckles or why he has alchemical components (if he has them, he is obviously some kind of caster or alchemist).

    Caelain is a decently attractive young man, and has a charming personality when he so chooses.
    Objection: Unless you have a particularly strange case of dissociative identity disorder, you can't choose your personality. Demeanor, perhaps, or simply "he can be charming". Also, this entire paragraph describes Caelain's personality and attitude, with the exception of the first seven words, which belong in the previous paragraph where you describe him physically.

    However, this amicability is quickly forgotten by those with less zeal for his research than himself.
    This would be a much easier sentence to read if you reorganized it a little so you don't have that crazy string of prepositional clauses at the end.

    this heedless fervor eventually resulted in his exile and disinheritance.
    Great, except you're describing his personality, so don't tell us backstory as if it's new information--especially since you're already assuming that we know where he was exiled from and from whom he was disinherited. Not that you can't have this information here, just don't call attention to the fact that it's new information. The focus is on his personality, so make it the only thing introduced as a new fact. Something like "This heedless fervor was the reason for his exile" tells us that he's been exiled but uses this information to show the extent of his zeal, rather than using his zeal to show his backstory, which is an awkward construction.

    has little regard for the consequences of his actions upon others.
    Got that already from the ethics discussion.

    He isn’t evil by nature, but this callous disregard for others is a contemptible trait.
    Needlessly draws attention to the game mechanics, and worse, presents value judgments from the narrator's point of view. That's fine when you've got an intentionally biased narrator, but that doesn't seem to be the point here. If you want to say people hate him, well, you already did that when you mentioned his exile.

    It may even be postulated that if it weren’t for the inconvenience that committing evil acts causes, and the fact that a stigma might be at times suboptimal, he would disregard morality entirely.
    There must be a better way to phrase this. This sentence is hard to parse even without the abrupt, unexpected shift in tone from the narrator. Suddenly you've gone from a normal-sounding description of a person to an extremely clinical "it may even be postulated" passive-voice narrative. Generally speaking, unless you're writing a lab report, just don't use the passive voice ever. Ever. It is Evil.

    is slightly stronger than most men
    This feels really weak compared to the rest of the sentence. Just add "goodly strength" or something to the list and end with something actually impressive if you want to keep the construction, or else don't mention it at all. There's no need at all (in fact I would very much encourage you to avoid) listing how he stacks up in every D&D attribute. Just show him doing something STRONG or SMART and be done with it.

    His solitary great failing is an incredible lack of wisdom, or as many would term it, good sense. To give an example, Caelain once murdered a city watchman, injured several others, attempted to escape from the guards of the town, failed, was cast into the desert, and brought a plague of undead down upon the aforementioned—and extremely unlucky—city, all because it was “easier” than admitting he had been trespassing in the sewers.
    ...Almost. As I mentioned above, there's no need to hit every single D&D ability score, but one high and one low is probably good. However, please never ever use "to give an example" in a narrative like this, for two reasons: first, it breaks every semblance of flow, the fourth wall, and the continuity of the narrative in general. Second and more importantly, any time you could use that phrase, it means that you just wrote a sentence where you were Telling instead of Showing, and that you're about to write something Showing the same thing. It will read much, much better if you cut out everything except your "example": showing us simply that he goes to all these great lengths to avoid a minor admission of guilt communicates so much more than just saying "he lacks common sense". A good way I like to write a quick character background sketch is to come up with the few most important things about the character, then come up with a short vignette (like the one above) showcasing each feature. Then erase the original descriptions and present the series of vignettes, and you've got a brief yet vivid character sketch. Actually now that I mention it maybe I'll post mine from a couple of my characters while I'm working on the more involved snippets.

    Caelain often pays more attention to his own thoughts than his immediate surroundings, which has precipitated a great deal of misfortune.
    Replace with an example.

    his closest friend and confidante, Tybalt, King of Cats
    Ahahahahahahahahahahahah

    Tybalt is an extraordinarily attractive young cat, and is much tougher than the average alley cat.
    Okay now I actually don't know if Tybalt is literally a cat or if there's just a lot of slang being thrown about.

    Tybalt’s natural resilience is an extremely fortunate circumstance, when one considers Caelain’s penchant for finding himself in remarkably dangerous situations.
    We already know all these things.

    Tybalt usually surveys the surrounds from a perch on Caelain’s shoulder, and even if he does not alert him to a danger, Caelain learned early on in their relationship—in a rather abrupt and painful manner—that it is best to duck when Tybalt runs for cover.
    Okay, I guess he is a cat. Describing him as "attractive" earlier is kind of weird... Also this sentence can also be replaced by an actual anecdote.

    Tybalt quickly disabused him of that absurd notion.
    Tybalt's perspective seems to have leaked into the narration here.

    Ironically, Tybalt is better at manipulating Caelain than the reverse.
    This isn't ironic, given that you've just finished telling us that the relationship is not master/pet. If you reworked this and the previous sentence such that we get "Caelin fancies their relationship as one of master and pet, but ironically Tybalt is better at manipulating Caelain than the reverse", then you've got irony.

    More than one of Caelain’s dissections has been interrupted by Tybalt’s insistence upon the immediate removal of the choicest cuts of meat, which Caelain has learned to locate, regardless of species.
    Nice. Any lingering doubts that Tybalt is literally a cat have now been erased.

    Fortunately, Caelain has never dissected a fresh human corpse, or things would swiftly become very awkward.
    You've got some tense issues here.

    I can't help but notice that your "paragraphs" are getting longer and longer. Some more line breaks are in order, just as a general note.

    studying at a wizards’ college.
    Name the college. You've got a free chance to do some world-building both for yourself and for your readers; take it!

    The son of a particularly wealthy and influential nobleman
    This belongs way up at the top.

    a matter of time before he succeeded the kingdom’s current court wizard. Caelain however, was impatient. He was clever, and had a knack for the arcane arts, but he lacked the self-discipline necessary for practicing wizardry.
    It seems that I have been lied to. Is he a wizard or isn't he?

    Less and Less of his attention was focused on his studies, and more on his passions, alchemy and anatomy, disparate as those may seem.
    No reason for that last part; subjectivity does not belong in an objective narrative.

    These two subjects were intensely interesting to him, much moreso than his teachers’ fruitless attempts to explain higher arcana.
    You just told me that.

    both alchemy, anatomy, and their interrelation
    You can't "both" three things together.

    He retracted these statements when he was accused of heresy by the church of Pelor.
    lol. Great detail, both in terms of his personal views and in terms of world-building.

    anatomists were widely held to be grave-robbing ghouls.
    Golden opportunity to mention whether or not this is, in fact, true, since you've got an omniscient narrator.

    The fact that such poor public support of the science made hiring thugs and criminals for “bodysnatching” did nothing to ameliorate the situation.
    This is not a sentence.

    It was during this period that Caelain took his second name in a rather unusual manner.
    I was wondering when we'd get to see this.

    Caelain noticed the potential irony and ran with it; Blackbottle is not, as one would think, merely a reference to his vocation, but a play on the green and bluebottle flies.
    Take out the narrative subjectivity and this is golden.

    The final straw for Caelain’s father came when
    I have literally never heard of Caelain's father before; don't drop a "final straw" on me as his introduction.

    driven out of the city with only his personal possessions (which was still a small fortune relative to the common man).
    It's not clear how or why this is the case. If he was living in his parents' house, he probably would not have any money (certainly not a small fortune) of his own. If he didn't live in his parents' house, what did he get kicked out from, and why didn't the town confiscate his cash?

    This would give him the opportunity to quickly rise to his former status in society
    His former status in society was a heretic, a "[lunatic] with a mediocre understanding of magic", and a "grave-robbing ghoul" "only slightly better than [a] necromancer".

    As he struck out from his home city
    Name the city; this just sounds weird if you avoid it.


    EDIT: no comments on Brygar's background part I? *tear*
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-11-06 at 06:49 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  16. - Top - End - #316
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Dr Bwaa in response to your comments
    Spoiler
    Show
    Sweet Jesus. First, Kepesk must have rolled damn well to ID that at such a low level. Second, wow that is an expensive comfychair. Good lord.
    ...the DM just described it as disjunction as if it were obvious and then we all decided that Rufus would be our best friend forever. Should probably change it around to fit the level. It's weird writing level 1 Kepesk who is only slightly above average at the things she thinks she's amazing at while at the same time writing what happens to level 11 Kepesk who is actually kind of absurdly good at the things she thinks she's good at.

    Isn't Kepesk a half-elf, or am I misremembering that? Assuming I'm not wrong, it's a little weird for her to be referring to Malakar as "the half-elf". Like if I were to refer to my best friend as "the human".
    She is, but I assume we don't call people "the human" because there aren't any other sapient species in our world. In a world where you run into orcs and elves and all manner of other species, wouldn't it be something you at least thought about?

    Haha. Also I kind of expected some ominous snark/foreshadowing about the inquisitor; Kepesk doesn't seem like the type to just accept obnoxious party members on a permanent basis
    What? Nooo nothing horrible happens to him at any point. Why would you expect that? Especially after the player had to leave the game and NPCed the character after throwing a wrench into an extremely well thought out scheme. It did not involve gouging out his eyes with his own holy symbols. It was not glorious.

    Awesome. Although I'm sure the word you were looking for was 'symbolism'.
    *shame*

    The awkwardness is over 9000!
    We were offered XP on a regular basis to kill this Tengu.

    On the power level issue, mechanically all that happened was I took 20 on a concentration check, and then in a moment of pure surrealism I asked if I could make a gather information check and the GM let me. I don't even know if that's a thing. The point was that he wasn't actively attempting to block me out because he wasn't aware that anything had gone wrong with the blood bond. Then the madness is another barrier that required a will save on my part that I didn't make for several months in game time. THEN I found where his actual thoughts were. It'll probably clearer in the future, but I'll work on making it seem like less of a success now. In any event, thanks for reading.


    Also...
    EDIT: If you haven't read this snippet yet, maybe don't do so? I left out something pretty huge; I'll remove this message when I fix it... somehow...
    ^ That's why I didn't comment on the last snippet. You said not to!
    Last edited by PaperMustache; 2012-11-06 at 10:55 PM.

  17. - Top - End - #317
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I haven't posted in too long. So, I'll put up a rundown of the whole story so far, and a hint of what happens next. Trying a style a little closer to a oral tradition telling for this.

    A fable's beginnings

    Spoiler
    Show
    The journal looks like what it should be: an old thing, of middling quality, carefully maintained. It doesn't feel so small as it looks. It bears the marks of the trials of it's owner. Scorched by brimstone, stained with blood, splotched by ectoplasm, and strangest of all, smelling of cinnamon.

    Kalach came from Toril, fleeing some great monster through an ancient portal. He had three allies, of which one survived: The kobold dragonwrought, Irthos. These four found themselves on a different Material Plane, one which had not known magic until an ancient legacy was awakened.

    They found themselves in the sea, and were rescued by silent fisherman, members of an order of monks that lived on the island nearby. The leader of the monks asked them to fight some dangerous beast of the forest, so that farms could be built there. The beast, however, was both mighty and wise. It was the guard of a hidden tower, built by wizards to reach out to the domains of gods. The lord of the Nine, Asmodeus, wished to claim these towers. The four set out to destroy the towers to prevent him from doing so.

    They faced legions of undead, mad cultists, and fled from beasts no ordinary mortal could face.

    Irthos, the dragonwrought, elected to assist a group of police officers defending the city. Elle, a thief they had captured, agreed to come with them rather than remain in their custody.

    Kaldrig, Favored of Tempus, fell to the undead, and rose up a zombie himself. Put down by his allies, entombed in a hidden realm within the broken tower.

    They found a Deck of Many Things, much to their sorrow. New allies Aileph and Kol saw no harm from it. They, and Elle, were filled with new power.

    Kalach and Logrim, however, had their souls torn from their bodies. Logrim would never return.

    Kalach came back to himself to greet a new friend. Kol, a military scout, had traveled with them a time. It was he that found the hellbred paladin, Aileph. Aileph, detecting the touch of evil on Kalach, took it on himself to observe him.

    Finally, they meet a half-celestial girl named Jessica. She offered her services as a healer, and together they felled two more towers.

    When that tower fell, the party dreamed that a rider in white was sent forth to conquer the nations. When they came to rest before the tower hidden in the desert, Aileph and Jessica walked away from the camp. Kalach and Kol, meanwhile, were felled by arrows from the horizon.

    But the story does not end there...
    Games I'm in:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Fortune's Favor as Lea

  18. - Top - End - #318
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    HalflingRogueGuy

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Michigan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @ Dr Bwaa: Thanks for the review, it's the most helpful input I've had on the backstory. I can't really add much beyond I will be rewriting, and almost certainly expanding on Caelain's doings. It will probably be a bit before I've finished another draft though, so don't think I'm dead, please. I would prefer that this not be indexed, but once I've completed a final draft, it might be a decent idea to do so.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Like one, that on a lonesome road
    Doth walk in fear and dread,
    And having once turned round walks on,
    And turns no more his head;
    Because he knows, a frightful fiend
    Doth close behind him tread.
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner -- Samuel Coleridge Taylor

    Spoiler
    Show


  19. - Top - End - #319
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by PaperMustache View Post
    ^ That's why I didn't comment on the last snippet. You said not to!
    Fair enough. I guess I should really get around to fixing that, huh...

    @Winds, I'll get you some comments hopefully this afternoon!
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  20. - Top - End - #320
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Torres Novas, PT
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Posting for comments; I'm not exactly sure how long a snippet can a snippet be before it stops being a snippet, so I hope *cough*two*cough* pages of text isn't unsnippetly. This isn't a background so much as a background for background, or better yet, part of a mythology. Savage it away.

    Disclaimer: As befits historical/mythological content, I tried to employ a more florid writing style and language than I'm used to. Thou hast been warned...eth?

    On the Liberation of Man, or, The Failings of Pride

    Spoiler
    Show

    Know, O pupils, that between the ages whereupon the gods made solid our world from the writhing matter of Limbo, and the ages of prosperity that blessed the realm of Man under the guidance of our grand Empire, fair lands languished under the rule of the incompetent and the oppressive, and its peoples suffered the pains of fear and starvation and destitution, and whose thugs guised themselves in a garb they named justice while fattening body and purse with ill-gotten gains taken from the worthy.
    And those were the ages of conquest, and those were the lands to be conquered, by the value of trade and by the power of words and by the strength of arms and by the display of wisdom. And by the ruling competence of the Titanolethes was the Empire made great and wide-reaching and did it come encompass so many lands of our world and of worlds beyond.

    Ages past, in a great island-continent far from the knowledge of outsiders, titans ruled supreme. It was Titanobasilei, the kingdom of titans, devoid of elves, whose last bastions had been choked by the minions of Flora, Titaness of Leaves, or turned to ashen piles by Pyros, Titan of Flame. No dwarfs dwelt in its mountains, their strongholds made void by the clutches of Umbra, Titaness of Darkness. Long ago had the halflings fled across the blue expanses of the ocean, hoping against all hope to survive the mercurial moods of Alma, Titaness of Waves.

    However, Man had nowhere to flee and no way to fight, and so he did scurry between the legs of the gigantic figures.

    But an age began whereupon strife took hold of the titans, the age of Titanantipoleme, and it is said the planes themselves quaked with the forces unleashed, until but nine titans warred, wearied forces equally matched.
    Many of the warriors of Strategia, Titaness of Tactics, had fallen and she hoarded their remnants, fearful of losing them against the savagery of Faunos, Titan of Beasts. But Faunos had been wounded and his higher mind had retreated to untouchable confines, and so he could not force himself to face the dark tendrils of Umbra. Umbra, who now stood wounded, her darkness lightened by the flames Pyros sent deep into her tunnels, burning bright in a star’s dying flare. And though Dnofos, Titan of Dusk, grew strong from their exertion, soon their dwindling would lead them to oblivion, and Dusk would follow, and so did Dusk fear to engage Aghnori, Titan of Valour, even though Valour stood spent, locked in combat with Adamas, the Titaness Undauntable, her once flawless skin chipped and cracked and marred. Likewise did Aghratos, Titan of Stone, and Sidara, Titaness of Metal, fight an endless battle for the vacated fortress of the long-gone dwarfs.

    And it was upon this scene of precarious balance that strode Auxh, Titan of Pride, rested and waxing in power. For though once Auxh had looked upon the war between his brethren and believed himself above his kin, he now saw opportunity to rule alone and undisputed over the fertile lands of Titanobasilei. With that goal did he lash against his weakened kin, bringing them low with his unspent power, and through the use of that power was it made possible that he gaze upon the dissolving corpses of the fallen upon his new domain, and for ten years did his laughter fill the world.

    And for those ten years did Auxh not partake of food or drink, nor did he close his eyes in sleep, for of the Titans of the Titanbasilei only he now stood, and only he held power in that land, and so did Auxh remain Auxh, but Pride became Hubris.

    Man, who throughout all of Titanantipoleme had hidden and scurried and died, now saw against Auxh the opportunity Auxh had seen against his warring kin. And so did Man come from hiding, filled with bravery no longer hoarded by Aghnori, from shadows emptied of Umbra, and from halls emptied of Aghratos. They came from forests made peaceful by Flora’s burning, and rode beats tamed by Faunos’s fall. Now that Sidara did not turn sharpness against flesh, they had forged powerful weapons now aimed at Auxh’s immortal body.

    And when Auxh noticed their assault, rage filled him and he bellowed his anger and set upon the audacious Man. And his mighty form swatted Man aside as gnats, and his dreadful powers scoured flesh from bone, but even so Man would not relent. And for a day and a night did legions fight the Titan, heedless of the carnage he inflicted upon them.

    And had Auxh been at the height of his power and not wearied by the fight against his brethren and a decade devoid of food or drink or rest, it may have come to pass that he was victorious. And had a single of his brethren been there with him, that they may make use Strategia’s cunning or Faunos’s savagery, it may have come to pass that he was victorious. Or that Aghratos’s stone protected his skin or Adamas’s will protected his mind, it may have come to pass that he was victorious. Or that Umbra’s darkness or Dnofos’s dusk clouded the vision of Man, it may have come to pass that he was victorious. Or that Pyros had been there, that his swathes of flames burn enemies away, or that Man had been denied Sidara’s metal or Aghnori’s bravery, it may have come to pass that he was victorious. But none of those held true, and Auxh’s Hubris stood alone and wearied against a fighting host of bravery, and thus it did not come to pass that he won.

    For he was as a bear besieged by wasps, and no matter how many he swept away, more surged to take their place. And for a day and a night, a hundred, a thousand, a million blows were struck against the great foe, such that he bled from countless wounds. And blades cut his skin, and arrows found his eyes, and Auxh flailed blind and bleeding, until at the dawn of the second day did his might finally leave him. But even in death, Auxh was the Titan of Hubris, and he could not conceive of his fall at the hands of creatures so his lesser.

    And thus as life left his great body did Auxh in the delusions of the dying believe Man was a ploy of treacherous kin, and in believing that his fall came to pass at the cunning of a Titan did Auxh, at last, entered the realm of Death.

    And so fell the last of the Titans of Titanobasilei, and Titanobasilei would bear that name no more, for those who were present at that great event would be forever changed by the blood and the belief of their vanquished foe, and though Man remained Man they would be Man no more.

    So great was their deed that their bodies would forever bear markings, of skin of golden shine, or of hair of strange hues, or of flecked eyes of odd glitter.

    And so it came to be that Man was now master of his own fate and free of the chains of the Titans, and the first of the Titanolethes took to the lands, to explore and to tame and to rule into prosperity.

    From the lectures of Sage Talidd, Professor of Pre-Empyreal History at Port Beachhead University

    Last edited by JBento; 2012-11-08 at 06:11 PM.
    Morituri nolumus morit - We who are about to die... don't want to

    "BUT, LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPERMAN." - Death, "Reaperman"

  21. - Top - End - #321
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Winds
    Spoiler
    Show
    The journal looks like what it should be
    I think I know what you mean here--it looks like an old journal--but there are a couple problems. First, it's sort of a weird thing to say--why not just actually describe it like you do in the rest of the sentence? And second, "looks like" really really doesn't mesh well with "what it should be"--something about the objectivity is wrong; I'd expect the construction "looks like it should" or something of that nature.

    an old thing, of middling quality, carefully maintained
    These things don't suggest the same things as each other, but they're related. The picture still comes across, but it would read better if you didn't treat each description identically, since they're too different and also too similar. Something like "an old thing of middling quality, but carefully maintained" doesn't change the meaning but makes it a little less weird to read.

    It doesn't feel so small as it looks.
    I love this.

    It bears the marks of the trials of it's owner.
    *its

    This isn't a sentence, and there's no need for it not to be a sentence. Maybe just put a colon at the end of the previous sentence and append this one to it.

    He had three allies, of which one survived
    The meaning of this is unclear. Did he used to have three allies, but only one made it through the portal with him? Or did he come through with three allies, but then most of them died? (I know the answer but someone reading this snippet from the first time, I think, would now be able to figure it out).

    one which had not known magic until an ancient legacy was awakened.
    This seems to indicate that the "ancient legacy" is magical in nature, and if it's ancient, then this Prime has known magic, but it was very long ago. That's how it reads, anyway.

    The leader of the monks asked them to fight some dangerous beast of the forest, so that farms could be built there.
    Kind of plain/weak/vague for the style you're going for, especially "some dangerous beast".

    It was the guard of a hidden tower, built by wizards to reach out to the domains of gods. The lord of the Nine, Asmodeus, wished to claim these towers. The four set out to destroy the towers to prevent him from doing so.
    I like how this starts, but then I stop liking it. Maybe stringing your sentences together a bit more to make it sound more natural--you're going for a speech pattern here, but this doesn't carry the rhythm I would expect from the second half of the first sentence onward. Also, you've so far been giving little narrative insight into things the heroes don't know, but then "Asmodeus wished to claim these towers" gives us narrative knowledge of a demon-god's wishes. I'd rather see it presented from the character viewpoint, even just as "they discovered that there were many of these towers [something you don't mention], and that Asmodeus, the Lord of the Nine, wished to claim them for himself".

    They faced legions of undead, mad cultists, and fled from beasts no ordinary mortal could face.
    This is weird. It's the appropriate time and place for this montage, but it needs a little bit of context; even just "In their journeys" at the start. Also, given the storytelling nature of the thing, the last clause needs more exaggeration: legions of undead and mad cultists are already supposed to be scary things, but they're presented as weaker compared to nondescript "beasts".

    Irthos, the dragonwrought, elected to assist a group of police officers defending the city. Elle, a thief they had captured, agreed to come with them rather than remain in their custody.
    The point of a summary is that the reader should be able to understand it without having read anything else. As a result, you need to include context. This paragraph, as well as the next several, are desperately lacking in context, especially considering how many pronouns you're using. There's no possible way a first-time reader could tell what's going on here. Storytelling, especially orally, is all about embellishment and painting pictures with words. Don't be afraid to spend some time on it.

    Kalach and Logrim, however, had their souls torn from their bodies. Logrim would never return.

    Kalach came back to himself to greet a new friend. Kol, a military scout, had traveled with them a time. It was he that found the hellbred paladin, Aileph. Aileph, detecting the touch of evil on Kalach, took it on himself to observe him.
    There are big narrative moments even within the context of a summary, but the time you spend describing things doesn't reflect their importance appropriately. You've got Kalach and Logrim losing their souls in one sentence, but then you spend a whole paragraph introducing yet more minor characters (from the perspective of the journal) and describing extremely mundane actions (like deciding to "observe" Kalach).

    When that tower fell, the party dreamed that a rider in white was sent forth to conquer the nations.
    First off, "that tower" doesn't even make sense, since the last thing you described was "two more towers". Second, it's a needless clause anyway--your entire narrative has been linear; the reader will already assume that the next thing you say happens after the previous thing.

    When they came to rest before the tower hidden in the desert, Aileph and Jessica walked away from the camp. Kalach and Kol, meanwhile, were felled by arrows from the horizon.
    You're falling into a trap here, I think, giving (much) more description than necessary to the more recent parts of the story. If you want to write a fable or oral summary, it needs to have consistency in its description. Compare how you've described this scene with how you described the initial montage. "Aileph and Jessica walked away from the camp" gets more screen time than "They faced legions of undead". That's a problem.

    Overall I really like the driving force behind this snippet; the narrator describing the journal and its contents is a great scenario that allows for a very nice perspective external to Kalach's own. The biggest issue is the pacing; you leap over some events at breakneck speeds while going on at length about mundane stuff that I wouldn't even expect to get a mention. You're also making a lot of assumptions of the reader that are inconsistent with the framework; there are several places you introduce something with "the" ("the city", "the broken tower", "the tower hidden in the desert"). Obviously you conceptualize these things with "the" because you have the whole picture, but someone listening to this tale would be really confused by all the things you're taking for granted.


    @White_Drake
    Sounds good! Let me know, also, if that kind of critique is what you were going for, or if you were looking for something broader (or narrower, for that matter).

    @JBento
    Welcome to the thread! If there's a two-to-three page limit on snippet length, probably half the content in the archives doesn't qualify, so feel free to post "snippets" as long or as short as you want! Gods know I do.

    Savage it away.
    You asked for it. Before you get into the spoiler, allow me to say that I did enjoy this snippet, despite all the criticism I have for it.

    Spoiler
    Show
    As befits historical/mythological content, I tried to employ a more florid writing style and language than I'm used to. Thou hast been warned...eth?
    Florid and anachronistic are different, but I don't mind either one of them... as long as they're done properly. Consider yourself warned.

    Know, O pupils,
    Fine.

    the ages whenupon
    "whenupon" is not a thing. You've got two options here: either use "when", or restructure the sentence so that you can use "whereupon" (which means approximately "immediately after which").

    the gods made solid our world from the writhing matter of Limbo
    Good, and good implication that other worlds do or did exist.

    and the ages of prosperity that came to the realm of Man under the guidance of our grand Empire
    The "ages" from earlier in the sentence carries through; don't repeat it here. "and the prosperity" is fine. I'd also try to find a better way to say what you're saying than "came".

    fair lands languished under the rule of the incompetent and the oppressive, whose peoples
    This is ambiguous. I think you're aiming for "whose" targeting "the incompetent and the oppressive", but it could just as easily refer to "fair lands" (or more awkwardly, only "the oppressive"). There's also the problem that if it's not targeting "fair lands", then "peoples" should probably be "people".

    taken from the productive worthy.
    Technically okay, but this is pretty damn rough.

    And those were the ages of conquest, and those were the lands to be conquered,
    Now it sounds like "fair lands" was the intended subject of the second half of that sentence after all. Either this or that needs to be fixed up so that these two clauses mirror the two main clauses of the first sentence correctly.

    by the value of trade and by the power of words and by the strength of arms and by displays of wisdom, and by proof of competence
    Parallel structure pretty much only works when the whole sentence makes use of it. I like it here, but then you ruin it in the fourth and fifth items. Either reword those things to maintain your "by the <noun>" structure, or move them to another sentence, or remove the parallelism. If you can't keep the "the", then it's not the same structure. Also, why do you suddenly add a comma in your list near the end?

    proof of competence of the Titanolethes
    That's a bit of a dissonant phrase. "Titanolethe" doesn't sound like the sort of thing that needs to prove its competence. It does sound kind of like a huge evil river, though.

    and by ... the Titanolethes was the Empire made great
    I'm pretty good at holding on to what's going on in a sentence, but when I got here I lost it, because the sentence all of a sudden has too many main verbs. Observe: "...and those were the lands to be conquered, by ... the Titanolethes was the Empire made great". See the problem? Turns out this is really two sentences. If you want to keep them mashed together, put a semicolon or an "and" after "conquered".

    was the Empire made great and all-spanning and did it come encompass so many lands of our world and of worlds beyond.
    If it's all-spanning it encompasses all such lands.

    And ages past, in a great island-continent far from the knowledge of outsiders, titans ruled supreme.
    "And" doesn't work here. It's a questionable way to start sentences anyway, even in this style (more on that later) , but here it simply doesn't belong. You're saying "This is the way the world is. And it used to be different". Starting with "But", or better yet just "Ages past", would be much better.

    their strongholds made void at the clutches of Umbra
    Almost certainly "by" would work better here. "At the hands of" is one thing, but it's idiomatic--it doesn't really translate to other words like "clutches".

    But Man had nowhere to flee and no way to fight, and so did he scurry between the legs of the gigantic figures.
    "did he" is silly and awkward here, since "so did he" means a totally unrelated thing. If you want to keep the words just make it "so he did".

    Until an age began whenupon strife took hold of the titans
    I don't even know what you're trying to do with "whenupon" here, but it's still not a word. Also, why is this sentence not simply attached to the previous one?

    For many of the warriors of Strategia, Titaness of Tactics, had fallen
    "For" is a bad way to start this sentence and doesn't make any sense in context, because it's not clear that you're explaining anything. Is this the reason that the forces are equally matched? I think probably not; that's the point of the whole next paragraph. Besides, you can't start a sentence with "for" in this sense anyway; you just end up with "For many of the warriors of Strategia, ramen was the food of choice."

    For though once Auxh had looked upon the war between his brethren and believed himself above his kin, he now saw opportunity to rule alone and undisputed over the fertile lands of Titanobasilei. And thus did he lash against his weakened kin, bringing them low with his unspent power. And thus did he look over the dissolving corpses of the fallen upon his new domain, and for ten years did his laughter filled the world.
    You're not shying away from long sentences; there's no reason to split this one up except to bother me with more sentence-starting "and"s. Also, *fill.

    And for those ten years did Auxh not partake of food or drink, nor did he close his eyes in sleep, for of the Titans of the Titanbasilei only he now stood
    I'm no Titan, so I don't know what societal things might be in effect here, but I have no idea why these things are related. This is the first time something I wanted explained is not effectively explained.

    For Man, who
    Again, start this another way. Besides, what is this even intended to explain?

    throughout all of Titanantipoleme had hid and scurried and died
    *hidden. If it read better as "hid" I could excuse it because of the style, but "had hid" doesn't exactly sound great, so just make it correct.

    And when Auxh noticed their assault
    I like to picture that this takes a couple of months or something, lol.

    and set upon the audacious Man.
    Too simple. With what?

    heedless of the mortality he inflicted upon them.
    Presumably the Men were already mortal. I like the thought, but I don't think you can use the word this way.

    had Auxh been at the height of his power and not wearied by the fight against his brethren and a decade devoid of food or drink or rest
    Again, I'm rather confused as to why he didn't eat anything the whole time. Was he just too busy laughing?

    it may had come to pass that he won.
    Always "may have", not "may had". It took me a while to decide what the other thing I disliked about this phrase was; I think it's just that "won" is a pretty boring word. You can find something better.

    more came to take their place.
    "came" is also, as earlier, a boring word.

    Auxh was Auxh and Titan of Hubris
    Awkward; you need more words, or fewer, to make this read better.

    at the hands of creature’s so his lesser.
    *creatures

    And thus as life left his great body did Auxh in the delusions of the dying believe Man was a ploy of treacherous kin, and in believing that his fall came to pass at the cunning of a Titan did death finally claim Auxh.
    This sentence switches subjects partway through, from Auxh to death. Look at this clause: "in believing that his fall came to pass at the cunning of a Titan did <X> <verb>". X is a noun, specifically the subject performing the next action. In the context of the sentence, it's very clear that X is still Auxh, but you throw "death" in there instead. That needs to be fixed ("...did Auxh finally succumb to death" or whatever), but the resolution of his death is kind of unfulfilling anyway. The last paragraph sets the reader up to expect that Auxh manages a dying act of some kind, but we get no such thing.

    would be forever changed by blood and belief
    What is belief doing in this sentence. I thought it would be explained but it's not, so this whole piece is just confusing.

    their bodies and those of their blood
    There is no reason whatsoever to mention their children. You just said that Man changed fundamentally; it's implied that this applied to all of them, not just the ones alive at the time.

    of skin of golden shine, or of hair of strange hues, or of flecked eyes which glittered oddly in the light.
    You broke your parallelism again.

    And so came to be that Man was now master of his own fate
    Either "and so Man came to master his own fate" (or similar) or "and so it came to be".

    to explore and to tame and to rule into prosperity.
    How does one rule into prosperity? I'd reconsider this bit.

    From the lectures of Sage Talidd, Professor of Pre-Empyreal History at Port Beachhead University
    Oh wow this is just so incredibly incongruous with the tone of the rest of the snippet.

    I like this snippet a lot! You've got an interesting mythology, if somewhat predictable; your description of it is strong and your tone is pretty consistent, with a couple exceptions. The biggest issue is that you lose the tone somewhat near the middle of the narrative. Your first paragraph is very obviously contstructed with care, but later on you drift into a lot of lists and repetition without much purpose. The snippet is framed at the beginning and the end by the lecturer ("O pupils" and the final line), but the narrative doesn't carry an awful lot of the characteristics you might expect from a legend told orally. It reads like a written legend, like you find in religious texts, but I think it could do with some reminders sprinkled throughout that this is meant to be spoken, not read.

    One of the big obstacles to reading this as a spoken lecture is your insistence on starting sentences and even paragraphs with conjunctions and prepositions. It's not a natural way to speak; when you're speaking, you start a new paragraph because you were done with the previous thought (ostensibly true when writing, but definitely true orally). It's a quick way to ensure that the reader notices that something different is going on with the language, but if you've written the rest well it really shouldn't be necessary. Here, for instance, I don't think there's any reason for it. If you want a quick way to beef up the foreignness of the language, look for weak words to replace with vivid ones, instead of relying on incorrect grammar and intentional awkwardness to make a statement.
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-11-08 at 07:31 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  22. - Top - End - #322
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    mebecronck's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Eastern U.S.A.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Hello everyone. Sorry I been away for so long. Things been pretty crazy for some time and I just haven't had the time to sit down and type. I wanted to, just couldn't. Hopefully tomorrow I will get a couple of things typed up.

    Spoiler
    Show
    I got three things planned out.

    First, since so many wanted to know more about him, I will write up something about Jessica's father. He is one of the first DnD characters I ever played and an evolution of a character that has been in my head for a long time.

    Second, I aim to write about a ... what would I call it in this context ... campaign device? Tool? Element? Whatever, it is something that I occasionally throw into my campaigns, and with the way it is designed you can, too.

    Finally, since Dr. Bwaa asked for it, Cronc goes to the WWE. I had a hard time with this one because of the questions, "How do I treat the WWE setting?" Should I pretend it is real or fake? I know that the wrestlers go through a lot of real pain and do put their bodies on the line, but they don't hate each other and are not really trying to kill each other.

    I decided to go with the premise of "Wrestling is Real". It will give the other characters in the story a better chance of surviving Cronc's rage, and doesn't come to a natural conclusion of "Cronc goes to jail for killing WWE superstars".


    On a side note, I picked up a text book meant to instruct about the writing process. Hopefully it will help my writing out.

    Some of Murphy's other laws.
    "Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs."
    "No plan survives the first contact intact."
    "If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid."
    -Capt. Edward A. Murphy-
    Newton's Law of the Road
    "The object with more mass has the right-of-way."

  23. - Top - End - #323
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Torres Novas, PT
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting


    @JBento
    Welcome to the thread! If there's a two-to-three page limit on snippet length, probably half the content in the archives doesn't qualify, so feel free to post "snippets" as long or as short as you want! Gods know I do.
    Thank you. Now that I'm in the thread, I suppose I'm going to take ganders at all snippets snippeted from now on, and throw in my comments as well.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Florid and anachronistic are different, but I don't mind either one of them... as long as they're done properly. Consider yourself warned.
    That was more of a warning that I've never written anything in this style, which may make attempts at sort-of-purple-prose result in something different (unfortunately, less likely in blue than in bright magenta, or perhaps a dab of octarine). Compound that with non-native language skills, and you may get an end result of... er, mess

    On to the snippet savaging. Obviously, only actual savaging is quoted and commented upon.
    "whenupon" is not a thing. You've got two options here: either use "when", or restructure the sentence so that you can use "whereupon" (which means approximately "immediately after which").
    Whenupon gone, here and below, and has now, by the magic of post editing, become whereupon. I shall deny any claims that it has ever been otherwise. >>

    The "ages" from earlier in the sentence carries through; don't repeat it here. "and the prosperity" is fine. I'd also try to find a better way to say what you're saying than "came".
    Those are different ages. It's a transformation of Robert E. Howard's (master of his art, and equalled by few, if any) paragraph that shows up at every Conan's story. "came to" is now "blessed."

    This is ambiguous. I think you're aiming for "whose" targeting "the incompetent and the oppressive", but it could just as easily refer to "fair lands" (or more awkwardly, only "the oppressive"). There's also the problem that if it's not targeting "fair lands", then "peoples" should probably be "people".

    Technically okay, but this is pretty damn rough.

    Now it sounds like "fair lands" was the intended subject of the second half of that sentence after all. Either this or that needs to be fixed up so that these two clauses mirror the two main clauses of the first sentence correctly.
    It's lands, changed, and fixed.

    Parallel structure pretty much only works when the whole sentence makes use of it. I like it here, but then you ruin it in the fourth and fifth items. Either reword those things to maintain your "by the <noun>" structure, or move them to another sentence, or remove the parallelism. If you can't keep the "the", then it's not the same structure. Also, why do you suddenly add a comma in your list near the end?
    Parallelism got. Also, new sentence parsing, to hopefully clean up the mess.

    That's a bit of a dissonant phrase. "Titanolethe" doesn't sound like the sort of thing that needs to prove its competence. It does sound kind of like a huge evil river, though.
    From what I could gather, Titanolethe means, literally, "slayers of Titans." What I could gather was gathered from an online dictionary (my native language isn't Greek, either), so take from that what you will.
    Changed to "ruling competence" - I don't care what fairy tales tell you, slaying the biggest monster around is NOT proof you can rule a kingdom half-way decently, damn you.

    I'm pretty good at holding on to what's going on in a sentence, but when I got here I lost it, because the sentence all of a sudden has too many main verbs. Observe: "...and those were the lands to be conquered, by ... the Titanolethes was the Empire made great". See the problem? Turns out this is really two sentences. If you want to keep them mashed together, put a semicolon or and "and" after "conquered".

    If it's all-spanning it encompasses all such lands.
    Super-sentence parser away!!!!

    "And" doesn't work here. It's a questionable way to start sentences anyway, even in this style (more on that later) , but here it simply doesn't belong. You're saying "This is the way the world is. And it used to be different". Starting with "But", or better yet just "Ages past", would be much better.

    Almost certainly "by" would work better here. "At the hands of" is one thing, but it's idiomatic--it doesn't really translate to other words like "clutches".

    "did he" is silly and awkward here, since "so did he" means a totally unrelated thing. If you want to keep the words just make it "so he did".

    I don't even know what you're trying to do with "whenupon" here, but it's still not a word. Also, why is this sentence not simply attached to the previous one?

    "For" is a bad way to start this sentence and doesn't make any sense in context, because it's not clear that you're explaining anything. Is this the reason that the forces are equally matched? I think probably not; that's the point of the whole next paragraph. Besides, you can't start a sentence with "for" in this sense anyway; you just end up with "For many of the warriors of Strategia, ramen was the food of choice."
    Changed. Also, archaeological digs suggest that the warriors of Startegia had burgers as their food of choice, but would eat pretty much anything that had mustard on it.

    You're not shying away from long sentences; there's no reason to split this one up except to bother me with more sentence-starting "and"s. Also, *fill.
    The "and" has packed his bags and relocated. He now no longer lives at the start of the sentence. The "filled" is almost inexcusable, though

    I'm no Tital, so I don't know what societal things might be in effect here, but I have no idea why these things are related. This is the first time something I wanted explained is not effectively explained.
    I thought it was clear as to the why when I was writing it, but re-re-reading I can see it's not. I'm not entirely sure how to handle that part yet, so I'll have to talk to the DM about it for clarity.

    [QUOTE]
    Again, start this another way. Besides, what is this even intended to explain?

    *hidden. If it read better as "hid" I could excuse it because of the style, but "had hid" doesn't exactly sound great, so just make it correct.
    [QUOTE]

    Changed.

    I like to picture that this takes a couple of months or something, lol.
    I wouldn't say months, but I'm pretty sure the first blows weren't noticed. Perhaps a day.

    Presumably the Men were already mortal. I like the thought, but I don't think you can use the word this way.
    I wasn't sure myself. "Mortality" is now "carnage," because I can't come up with a better word.

    Again, I'm rather confused as to why he didn't eat anything the whole time. Was he just too busy laughing?
    "Busy" isn't the most accurate term, but it comes close. Since he was now the only Titan, and he couldn't conceive of anything else being a credible threat, he didn't bother with it (Titans don't need to eat and drink per se).
    It' also possible he ran out of mustard. >>

    Always "may have", not "may had". It took me a while to decide what the other thing I disliked about this phrase was; I think it's just that "won" is a pretty boring word. You can find something better.
    Winning a war to the death is only boring if you're the one doing it. The losers get a LOT of excitement (granted, compressed into a very small span of time). Regardless, Auxh has no longer failed to win; instead, he has now failed to be victorious.

    "came" is also, as earlier, a boring word.
    I could. I could joke with this one as well. I choose not to. >>
    Man now longer comes, he surges... I hope no-one takes this out of context.

    Awkward; you need more words, or fewer, to make this read better.
    Words have been shot; there are now less of them.

    *creatures
    Unforgivable

    This sentence switches subjects partway through, from Auxh to death. Look at this clause: "in believing that his fall came to pass at the cunning of a Titan did <X> <verb>". X is a noun, specifically the subject performing the next action. In the context of the sentence, it's very clear that X is still Auxh, but you throw "death" in there instead. That needs to be fixed ("...did Auxh finally succumb to death" or whatever), but the resolution of his death is kind of unfulfilling anyway. The last paragraph sets the reader up to expect that Auxh manages a dying act of some kind, but we get no such thing.
    Sentence switched to (I hope) avoid subject switching.

    What is belief doing in this sentence. I thought it would be explained but it's not, so this whole piece is just confusing.
    I hope it's clearer now. If it's not, I'll have to talk to the DM directly in this part as well until I can come up with better.

    There is no reason whatsoever to mention their children. You just said that Man changed fundamentally; it's implied that this applied to all of them, not just the ones alive at the time.
    Funnily enough, it wasn't supposed to be applied to all of them. It now is. Setting stuff in my mind has now changed slightly, but still without great consequences.

    Also, the race of Man now has you to thank for a slight boost to their capabilities. Incidentally, every race that will ever fight the race of Man now hates your guts, but they would have to go through the race of Man first, so you're pretty safe.

    You broke your parallelism again.
    Why, parallelism, why? Perpendicularism never betrays me like that.

    Either "and so Man came to master his own fate" (or similar) or "and so it came to be".
    Changed.

    How does one rule into prosperity? I'd reconsider this bit.
    By... increasing productivity, wealth, and health for the population, while reducing unemployment? No? Or am I misemploying the... er... stylism? Is that how it's called in English?

    Oh wow this is just so incredibly incongruous with the tone of the rest of the snippet.

    I like this snippet a lot! You've got an interesting mythology, if somewhat predictable; your description of it is strong and your tone is pretty consistent, with a couple exceptions. The biggest issue is that you lose the tone somewhat near the middle of the narrative. Your first paragraph is very obviously contstructed with care, but later on you drift into a lot of lists and repetition without much purpose. The snippet is framed at the beginning and the end by the lecturer ("O pupils" and the final line), but the narrative doesn't carry an awful lot of the characteristics you might expect from a legend told orally. It reads like a written legend, like you find in religious texts, but I think it could do with some reminders sprinkled throughout that this is meant to be spoken, not read.

    One of the big obstacles to reading this as a spoken lecture is your insistence on starting sentences and even paragraphs with conjunctions and prepositions. It's not a natural way to speak; when you're speaking, you start a new paragraph because you were done with the previous thought (ostensibly true when writing, but definitely true orally). It's a quick way to ensure that the reader notices that something different is going on with the language, but if you've written the rest well it really shouldn't be necessary. Here, for instance, I don't think there's any reason for it. If you want a quick way to beef up the foreignness of the language, look for weak words to replace with vivid ones, instead of relying on incorrect grammar and intentional awkwardness to make a statement.
    Here's the crux of the issue: I'm not exactly sure of the style yet. The time that passes between the events described and the time of the lecture (if it even ends up as being part of a lecture) is not merely Huge, but Colossal+++. It's entirely possible for the whole thing to have gone through a variety of media in the process; oral tradition, religious scriptures, acted plays, etc. There are certainly no written accounts made close to the event that have survived. Changing "from the lectures" to "from the notes" COULD possibly make it SLIGHTLY less jarring.
    Morituri nolumus morit - We who are about to die... don't want to

    "BUT, LORD, WHAT CAN THE HARVEST HOPE FOR, IF NOT FOR THE CARE OF THE REAPERMAN." - Death, "Reaperman"

  24. - Top - End - #324
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @mebecronck
    since Dr. Bwaa asked for it, Cronc goes to the WWE.
    YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

    Cronc goes to jail for killing WWE superstars
    I'd be okay with this snippet too

    Looking forward to your next posts!

    @JBento
    Spoiler
    Show
    non-native language skills
    You've got a hell of a handle on this kind of writing for a non-native speaker. Good grief.

    How does one rule into prosperity? I'd reconsider this bit.
    By... increasing productivity, wealth, and health for the population, while reducing unemployment? No? Or am I misemploying the... er... stylism? Is that how it's called in English?
    It's just sort of a strange construction. I understand the intent, but I'm not certain that's really a thing you can do with those words. One could rule over an age of prosperity, or perhaps lead a nation to prosperity, but I don't think you can communicate it well with so few words. I guess one issue is really that "into prosperity" is only really a viable phrase in a couple of very specific contexts (eg. "the nation grew into prosperity"), and this isn't one of them. If you replaced "prosperity" with a more complex noun phrase like "a new age" it works a bit better. The other issue is that "explore", "tame", and "rule" are all kind of problematic verbs--it's technically okay to use them without objects (like you're doing), but it's not the primary interpretation--normally you explore something; you tame something; you rule someone. Subverting all that expectation by hitting the reader with a preposition, especially an unusual one like "into", just reads strangely. Honestly, I think that sentence would be better off if you just finished it at "to rule".

    It's entirely possible for the whole thing to have gone through a variety of media in the process; oral tradition, religious scriptures, acted plays, etc.
    I got this impression. My thoughts about the oral nature of the thing comes from the first three words, and the "lectures" on the last line--like I said, there isn't really anything in between to back it up. I think it probably doesn't matter too much what presentation style you pick, so long as you're aware of what that style should look like and you can do it consistently through the whole piece.

    changed stuff
    I haven't gone back and reread your changes yet, but I'll do that soon and give you some comments. Also, I apologize for all these typos I'm finding in my original comments.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  25. - Top - End - #325
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    mebecronck's Avatar

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Eastern U.S.A.
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Alright. Let us get right to it.

    Disclaimer: Read this before you read "You may call me Jack"
    Spoiler
    Show
    In the short back-story of Jack, I touch a little on the subject of slavery. It is important to note that this is not my viewpoint on slavery; it is in part Jack's viewpoint. I used this subject to illustrate the difference between being a slave (which is the closest that the readers may understand to what it is like to not have free will) to what it is actually like to not have free will. Please understand this before reading, and thank you.


    You may call me Jack
    Spoiler
    Show

    You may call me Jack, but it is important to note that Jack is not my real name. It is the name given to me by a friend, and the name to which I answer, but not my true name. For I am a deva and a deific entity. So knowing and utilising my true name would hold power over me.

    As a deva, I was one of many. I was a servant to a deific entity; my primary purpose was that of a soldier in the war between the Celestial Plane and the Nine Layers of Hell. The deity whom commanded the legion of devas would send us to battle the devils wherever they may rise, and we would throw ourselves into the fray without reservation.

    I had no free will. Free will is a burden that the mortal races still take for granted, or worse, forget completely about it. The mortal slaves complain that their free will is denied them. That they are forced to tend the fields and are used as living shields in war, but they forget that they can still choose to rise against their oppressors. They can think for themselves. They can complain, fight, run, or even do nothing in protest. They have free will, but choose not to exercise it to its fullest.

    I could not choose, nor could I think. When I had no orders to follow I stood like a statue in a garden and waited for my orders. No thought passed through my mind. I did not plan, nor did I anticipate what my order would be. I just stood at attention, and did nothing.

    When my orders were given I immediately carried them out exactly as they were given. I did not sway from the plan. Even if our enemy was prepared for our tactics, and a change in our strategy would be prudent, we stuck to our plan. Our style of fighting was dictated by our deity. How we swung our swords and raise our shields; how we availed armor and even how we wore our expressions; all these things were dictated by our deity.

    Even when we spoke it was only the words our deity willed us to speak.

    It is not that I had to check with my deity before I acted. He willed it to be and so I did.

    Even now devas reside in the Celestial Plane and they still live in this fashion. Do not feel remorse for them. They have no emotions to show. Even emotions are an exstention of free will.

    I am the second deva to be granted the burden of free will. When I first received it I did not have the presence of mind to ask why I was granted free will, nor did I know what to do with it. I was given this gift and left on the Material Plane to do what I will with it.

    I did not understand it.

    For a time, I am not sure how long, all I did was contemplate it. The questions surfacing in my mind over and over again. "What do I do?" "What is His will?" Instinct made me stand at attention, perfectly still, and wait for the answer to arrive, but my time spent was uneasy. The questions came to me again and again; my own mind answered the question. I convinced myself that it was His will finally answering me, but in my heart I know it wasn't true.

    I am a soldier, and I fight devils.

    From my own experience in fighting devils I know of many pathways into to the Nine Hells, and one was nearby that lead into the first layer. I charged headlong into the Gates of Hell, certain that I would feel His will in battle.

    Immediately entering the first layer of Hell the devils were upon me. Accustomed to fighting as one of many; the battles were hard won, and progress deeper into the Hells was slow. Instead of one of many I was one against many. No sooner did I fell a devil than another two were upon me. I fought as He once willed me to fight, but it was too predictable, and my enemy was gaining the advantage.

    My thoughts kept returning to something at first uneasy to me, and eventually they were too strong to ignore. My fighting style was changing. I adapted to my enemies movements and anticipated their plan. Instead of just blocking with my shield I used it, too, as a weapon. Soon my body was moving as if in its own volition to meet with an enemy before even my eyes perceived him.

    For the first time, I was learning.

    Over time, my victories became easier and easier. I fought nonstop. Ever moving forward at a pace that was steadily becoming quicker. Soon enough I was felling Lords of the Nine Hells, and moving into deeper levels. Second, third, fourth. The enemies were greater and stronger, but I was killing them quicker and easier. I have found the devils to be predictable.

    I do not know how long I was in Hell, what might have been decades felt like hours to me. The fighting did not stop until I got to the Ninth Layer of Hell and came face to face with Asmodeus himself. No deva ever got so far into Hell as to confront Asmodeus. This was my ultimate goal. Killing him would mean the victory of the Celestial Plane over The Nine Hells.

    When I stood against him the rest of the devil army stood back and paused for just a moment. Asmodeus began to open his mouth to speak.

    I didn't give him the chance.

    I rushed in, eager to quickly slay my opponent, as I did with the other Lords of Hell. When contact was made the rest of the devils joined. Even in the end I was one against many.

    Asmodeus was truly my greatest opponent, and he had every devil in hell fighting with him. This made things no less easy for me. He slashed at me with his unholy sword and stepped back for a second, every cut I made into him created pit fiends from his blood. Pit fiends were long ago just an annoyance to me. I moved through them like they were ants and returned to my enemy.

    I gave him no time to rest nor regroup. The way he kept stepping away felt like he was retreating. I did not know why, but I decided it was best to not take chances. I moved to his opposite side, standing between him and wherever he was moving to, and began the push to separate him from his destination.

    I never bothered to find out what plan he might have been employing. What relevance there might have been in his intended destination. I was focused on the fight, and I never took my eyes off of his.

    When my sword landed its final blow and Asmodeus fell to the ground all the remaining devils moved back. This was the first time I saw fear in the eyes of devils. I imagine the sight of a deva standing over the lifeless body of the Lord of the Nine Hells was somewhat intimidating to them.

    Now a new question came to mind. "What now?" I had just begun to contemplate this when instinct took over and I moved my shield to block a sword coming at me from behind. Asmodeus stood tall and healthy. As if he had never fallen to my blade. My fight continued, but this time victory was strangely easier than before.

    Asmodeus fell to my sword a second time, and this time I made certain he was dead. I destroyed his body. Leaving nothing behind but an unidentifiable paste that blended with the battle scarred landscape.

    Yet, still he returned. Over and over again my battle waged with Asmodeus, Each time victory came quicker. I was unsure if it was because he grew weaker, or because I grew stronger. I stopped thinking over the new question and just stood ready for Asmodeus to return.

    Near the end, instead of fighting, Asmodeus begged for me to stop. He commanded his devils to slow me down enough so that he may plea with me. To reason with me.

    The devils ignored him and ran. The ground was quaking and it seemed that all of the Nine Hells were about to collapse on both of us. The last two in Hell. Asmodeus and me.

    I was about to kill Asmodeus for what seemed like the thousandth time when all turned to white.

    I stood in the presence of Io.

    The God of Gods.

    He explained to me a concept that was very new to me. Actions have consequences. My decision to take a one man war into Hell had put the entire Material Plane at risk. I learned that Asmodeus is not just the being I killed over and over again, He is the Nine Hells; a result of his fall from the Upper Planes. In killing him repeatedly I almost destroyed the Nine Hells, and the Material Plane rests upon them.

    I wanted to ask Him, "What then is the purpose of the war between the Celestial Plane and the Nine Hells." I was too afraid to ask.

    He also explained to me that Asmodeus is a deific entity as well and each time I killed him I gained some of his deific power.

    I have worshippers.

    The first time I killed Asmodeus, mortals spoke of me and were regarded as mad men. The second time the mad men were regarded more seriously. Each successive time my worshippers grew in number, and now I have a responsibility to them.

    I worried.

    Through a single poor decision made from my newly acquired free will I almost destroyed the Material Plane. Now, I have worshippers that pray to me for guidance.

    I did have the courage to ask Io, "How do I give them guidance when I can't even guide myself?" He recommended that I spend time with the mortals disguised as one of them to better understand free will.

    I did this for about four thousand years. During this time many things happened. In the interest of time, of which mortals have very little, I will only tell the the tale of two significant moments.

    I took the time as an apprentice to many tradesmen. Learning through manual labor and service how to best use my free will. In a small town of no significance, under the rulership of a tyrant, I learned the craft of smithing through a lonely old man.

    Most people didn't even regard him by name. Simply calling him Smithy; I regarded him as Master, and bowed to him in reverence whenever I addressed him.

    He had no family, and no friends. He was not very gentle with those he dealt with. Most would say he was abrassive, but none knew his full anger until they discussed the tyrant king.

    He was very outspoken about him, and venomous with his words. The colorful language he used to describe him was almost humorous at times, and almost made me laugh. He hated him. The taxes the king levied were so high that my Master could barely afford the metals to work with. This lead him to frequently send me to work the mines myself so that he would have the resources to both fill orders and to teach me the trade.

    One day, I returned from the mines to find the front door of the store kicked in, and my master dead. A signpost was left on the front lawn as a warning to all those who would speak out against the king.

    Here I learned that inaction also has consequences. I also learned the feeling of loss. I knew well the tyrant king was cruel and executed those who spoke out against him, but I feared that if I took action I may make things worse instead of better. I thought it was safe to just do nothing and let the people solve their problems themselves.

    I blamed myself for my master's death. I could have killed the tyrant king and all who followed him with the greatest of ease. Yet, as a result of my inaction my master is dead.

    Evil only triumphs when good men do nothing.

    Within the next hour the tyrant king was dead; so, too, were all his followers. I made sure they knew I was coming and that they knew why I killed them. They knew my wrath, and I found my domain.

    Judgement.

    The town erected a new church in my honor, and praised the God of Judgement for saving them from the tyrant king. I left from there to continue my training as a blacksmith in another town that did not know me, and to continue to learn about free will.

    Far later on I took up a position as a master and took on an apprentice. In a town so small they did not have a way to readily supply the raw materials for a trade shop. So I had to utilise my teachings to recover the materials myself.

    I was a cobbler, a shoemaker. I hunted the animals to tan the leather. I sheared the sheep to make the wool to make the thread. I mined the ore to make the nails. I did it all and trained my apprentice to do it, too.

    He kept referring to me by a title that I was unfamiliar with. Something I thought to be regional, and payed it little mind. "Jack of All Trades". Soon, the whole town referred to me as such, until they just abbreviated it to simply, Jack. This became my given name, and one to which I answer.

    You may call me Jack.


    The Plane of Tournaments
    Spoiler
    Show

    This is a game device that I like to utilise to give players a place to (for lack of a better term) grind for xp and gold. This is an interdimensional space that is run by the Overdeity Io.

    History:

    Io upon seeing the multiple dimensions discovers mortal beings becoming powerful enough to put at risk whole planets, and in some cases whole solar systems. Yet, like many mortals do, they hold grudges, they fight, they become angry, and when they do; they could accidently, or even intentionally, destroy the planet or solar system they reside in.

    To prevent this sort of catastrophe, Io created a demiplane, and brought all the most powerful entities in the multiverse within it. Here they can fight out their grudges to their hearts content under the watchful eyes of Io, but more importantly, within a region he directly controls.

    In Use:

    There are four locations within the Plane of Tournaments. I will cover each as the player would interact with them.

    The Hotel:
    The Hotel is an infinity long hallway with many doors, a player will first appear inside one of the rooms and upon leaving find everyone in the hall walking in the same direction. Which leads out. When they leave and look back at the Hotel from the outside they will see the building is no bigger than a storage shed. It takes less than a minute to walk around it. This is the first sign to let the players know that powerful magic is at work here.

    The purpose of the Hotel is a private location where players can rest and store their belongings. Only the player who owns his room can open his room. When entering the Hotel traffic is always heading in the direction towards the rooms, and when exiting traffic is always leading to the exit door. This is the will of Io making things more efficient.

    Outside the Hotel, the world is in the design of the Roman Coliseum, if the Roman Coliseum is the size of Russia. Most players, however, tend to go to the next location I will describe first.

    The Store That Sells Everything:

    And I mean everything. It sells everything. If it is a noun, proper or otherwise, it sells it. From the outside it looks like a small shack with a line of patrons forming in front of it. When the players enter the line it moves rather quickly. Upon entering the store they find themselves by themselves with the store keeper.

    For thieves that wish to steal from the store. Sorry, the shopkeeper is always there and Io himself makes sure no method can succeed.

    It is important to note, this demiplane has its own economy. Only credits that are earned through winning matches in The Plane of Tournaments are accepted. Although they can also bet on matches, too, and there is an exchange rate for the currency of their world. This also means the price for whatever is in the store is whatever price you set on it. This makes sure that players don't get a hold of anything you don't want them to get a hold of.

    Also, when your DnD players ask for lightsabers and tactical nukes, ask them how do they know about those things? In game knowledge versus out of game knowledge, baby.

    The Coliseum:

    This is were the fighting takes place. You start of at the welcome desk, where you sign up to fight or make your bets. If you want to fight there is a color scale to match with how strong the opponents are, or divisions. It follows the pattern of the rainbow where red is the best of the best and purple is the worst of the worst. Each group has its own champion where in the champion of the Red League is called the Overall Champion of The Plane of Tournaments.

    Know this, if you take the premise seriously, we are talking about the best of the best of multiple dimensions. That means you can encounter anything here. I'm talking Darth Vader, Superman, Space Marines, Elminster, Invader Zim, Fred Fredburger, and a sentient watermelon. Although those last three probably can't make the cut, they could still be there. So when you set up the fights, feel free to use whatever you want. I personally built a version of Fred Fredburger utilising nachos and frozen yogurt as weapons and set him at the bottom of the Purple League. His win/lose record is 1/10^300. There was a brief discussion on who the heck lost to him.

    The Docks:

    This is the method to leave The Plane of Tournaments. You get on a boat and when it sets sail they find themselves in the exact location, at the exact time, and in the exact situation they were in when they left. They just now have new toys and levels to work with.

    Characters to take not of:

    Io:
    He is an overdeity. If you don't know the rules for overdeities allow me to explain. They are the same rules as for the DM. They can do anything and always succeed. They have infinity in all stats, and their at will powers are all the powers that exist or for that matter all the powers that don't exist, too. Their will be done. His presence is to explain the Plane of Tournaments and to enforce the two rules.

    Rule 1: No fighting outside the Arena.
    Punishment: Death, no warnings.

    Rule 2: You can't tell anyone about The Plane of Tournaments that don't know about it.
    Punishment: You can never return, also no warnings.

    Since you can't always be sure who knows about the Plane of Tournaments it is a good idea to just not talk about it.

    The Shopkeeper:

    He is a steam punk robot, and yes, he is an extension of Io's will. The wall behind him stays empty until the player asks for something. He then pulls a lever and the wall moves like series of conveyor belts to reveal some selections of the item you ask for.

    "You want a sword. What kind of sword? We got swords that deal fire damage, ice damage, shock damage, kitten damage ..." says the shopkeeper.

    "Kitten damage?" asks the player.

    "Yes, kitten damage. You swing the sword and a kitten magically appears and scratches your opponent's face. Like the sign says, this store sells everything."

    Conclusion:

    It is something I like to use sometimes, but you got to be careful on balancing issues. I like to give the players a way to return via magical items (I like to use door knockers) but you might want to use it as a one time thing. Also, to prevent the players from having to much ego ("I'm the best in the multiverse") you might want to make Red League overpowering.



    Cronc Goes to the WWE
    Spoiler
    Show

    ---------------
    First some details about a new character. This is all out of format from the actual story, I just didn't want to mix it into the narrative and intterupt the flow.

    Luise Leann Winchester a.k.a. Lue-Lee Gunner

    She is an orphan, 16, and a tom boy with a thing for old western movies. (John Wayne, Clint Eastwood). She lives off the land in the American desert wilderness of the west. She is an expert marksman that favors her antique M1 Garand. She has a "pet" coyote she named Toto. I say "pet" because he is as much a pet as any wild animal can be. Her relationship with Cronc is that of an adventuring buddy. She only recently got into the WWE as a fan and thought this would make a good bonding moment. A little "let's get to know each other outside of killing zombies in dungeons" sort of thing.

    --------------

    "The crowd is going crazy!" says 'Good ole' J.R. in his typical southern drawl, "The high-flyer Rey Mysterio is going to the top rope. He's looking to put his apprentice Sin Cara away."

    "With Mysterio and Sin Cara in the ring, the air becomes electrified. If you are just joining us, on Rawactive the audience decided to have a 'Master versus Apprentice' match with Rey Mysterio versus Sin Cara." Michael Cole explains, "This match has been amazing. The energy in the air is palpable."

    -------------

    In the audience, everyone is on their feet screaming, waving signs, chanting the name of their favorite superstar ... except for one ... sitting in his chair, asleep, Cronc drools and snores.

    "What did I miss?" asks Lue-Lee, returning from the concession stands, eyes locked onto the action in the ring, "Who won the last match?" She takes her eyes off the match to look at Cronc and notices that he is asleep. She elbows him in the gut and shouts, "WAKE UP, DAMMIT!"

    "Wut?" Cronc says grumpily, angry that his sleep was disturbed. He was dreaming about smashing dragons in the face with his bare hands. His favorite dream.

    "Why are you being so stubborn? I thought you liked fighting." she asks, honestly confused.

    "Cronc liek fite! Cronc liek be en fite! Cronc no liek wach fite!" Cronc says, struggling with the words to form so many sentences in such a short time.

    "Well you can't fight them. Only WWE personnel can get in the ring." Lue-Lee lets out a sigh, disappointed that she missed the outcome of the previous match, "Whatever, I got you some hot dogs, alright."

    Cronc grabs the hot dogs, 6 in all, and shoves them in his mouth, wrappers and all. After a few seconds of chewing he swallows, "Cronc wunt mor!"

    Lue-Lee puts her hand over her face and shakes her head back and forth, "If you want more, then go to the concessions yourself. I'm not missing the outcome of this match for your fat gut."

    With a scowl on his face, Cronc steps over the back of his seat and moves through the crowd, occasionally grabbing their hot dogs as he goes.

    Lue-Lee wonders for a moment if this was a bad idea, but then Sin Cara hits with the Tilt-a-Whirl DDT and she stops thinking about it, "No! DAMMIT! Come on Mysterio! KICK OUT!"

    -----------

    "Good evening WWE Universe. I'm Josh Matthews, and joining me now is one of the Superstars that will be competing in the Triple Threat match come Survivor Series for the WWE Championship, Ryback." The camera pans showing the always angry expression of Ryback, breathing deeply through his teeth.

    Lue-Lee watching this on the Titantron shouts out, "WOOT! Ryback!" The match between Mysterio and Sin Cara was so exciting that she didn't even noticed that Cronc did not return.

    "Now, Ryback. The WWE Universe wants to know, considering how you were robbed at Hell-in-the- ....

    "DIS NUT NUFF TU FEED CRONC!" a shout comes from the background. Both Josh Matthews and Ryback to turn to see where it came from. The camera starts to pan towards the shout, revealing first a table covered in a disarray of plates and pans.

    Lue-Lee sits down and covers her face, thinking maybe it was a bad idea to bring him to a wrestling show.

    Cronc appears on the Titan-tron, standing next to a WWE referee. The ref was just coincidentally next to the crew services table, now void of any food. Everything that Cronc doesn't like is either on the floor, or on the walls.

    "CRONC WUNT MOR FUD!" Cronc shouts. His stomach roars, adding to the demand.

    "How did you even get back here?" The ref asks, his voice shaky, just like the rest of his body.

    "FEED ... CRONC ... MOR!" Cronc practically roars, flipping a table over as he shouts each word.

    Ryback grabs Cronc's shoulder and turns him to face him. He looks Cronc in the eyes and unwavering says, "FEED ... ME .... MORE!" lifting and lowering his arms with each word.

    "NO! FEED CRONC MOR!"

    "FEED ... ME ... MORE!"

    "FEED CRONC MOR!"

    Ryback points in the direction of the entrance ramp and says, "I will take my meal in the ring." He then walks away, moving towards the same way he just pointed.

    Cronc, with an all to common confused expression on his face, looks at Josh Matthews and says, "Wut dat meen?"

    "I think he wants to fight you in the ring." Josh Matthews says, trying to slowly back away.

    The expression on Cronc's face changes instantly. He forgets that he is still hungry, he forgets that he is annoyed by the fact that watching the wrestlers was boring. He smiles showing his teeth, his brow lowers showing his eagerness, he let's out a beastly roar and charges towards the ring.

    --------

    "It looks like we are being treated to an impromptu match." J.R. says, "We have Ryback versus a man I assume is named Cronc! I assume this cause he seems to refer to himself in the third person."

    "Did you see the size of him?" Micheal Cole says with astonishment, "He is huge, and just as hungry to fight as Ryback is ... eh ... maybe even more so."

    "Well, we are about to treated to what I'm already sure is going to be a slobberknocker."

    "FEED ME!" Ryback's entrance music starts. Ryback steps out to the entrance ramp and begins to lift his arms, when Cronc comes out from behind and tackles him to the ground. Ryback falls limp on the steel ramp. Cronc lifts him over his shoulders and charges for the ring.

    Ryback starts to come to about half way down the ramp and starts throwing right hands into Cronc's head. Cronc staggers for a second, just long enough for Ryback to get to his feet. Ryback lifts both hands over his head and slams them down on Cronc's back.

    Now free from Cronc's grasp Ryback gets into the ring and taunts Cronc to follow.

    Lue-Lee moves down to the front row of the audience, in disbelief that Cronc is in a wrestling match.

    Cronc now enraged charges into the ring, The second he is in the ref calls for the bell. The match is officially underway.

    Cronc tackles Ryback and, using his greater size and strength forces Ryback into a corner. Cronc starts throwing punches left and right, and a headbutt for good measure.

    "This is incredible!" exclaims J.R., "Cronc has Ryback in a coner and is whipping him like a government mule."

    The ref begins the count, "ONE! ... TWO! ..."

    "But he better let him out of the corner before he gets disqualified." Michael Cole adds.

    "Break it up!" The ref shouts at Cronc, trying to get between him and Ryback.

    Cronc lets off on Ryback for a second and turns to the ref, ready to give him a few punches for trying to stop his fun. That second was all Ryback needed. Ryback throws a big right hand into Cronc's gut, and a kick to create just enough space for Ryback to land his signature maneuver.

    Ryback charges towards Cronc, landing the hook of his right arm across Cronc's neck and sending Cronc to the ground.

    "The Meathook Clothsline from nowhere!" shouts J.R.

    "COME ON CRONC! GET UP!" Lue-Lee shouts, now getting into the match, leaving her disbelief behind.

    Ryback shouts, "FINISH IT!" crossing both arms acroos his chest, signaling he is going to use his finishing move called Shellshocked, where he marches around the ring with his opponent on his shoulders. Ryback grabs Cronc by the head and pulls him up to his feet. Ryback then tries to lift his opponent.

    Cronc comes to, and wraps his arms around Ryback waist and lifts him up instead; throwing him over Cronc's back and out of the ring. Landing hard on the floor right in front of Lue-Lee.

    "Can you believe that reversal!" Michael shouts.

    "YAY! Take that Ryback!" Lue-Lee hollers, turning on her favorite Superstar.

    Cronc, not wanting to let up, jumps over the top rope and lands on top of Ryback. The fall hurts him just as much as it hurt Ryback, and it takes him a moment to get back up. Using the barricade to help him to his feet, he looks up to see Lue-Lee.

    "See Lu Lu, dis be funn!" Cronc says with a giant smile on his face. He is surprised by the strength of Ryback, and is overjoyed by the challenge he presents. Finally, someone that can give out some punishment as well as take it.

    The referee, still inside the ring, yells to the combatants, "GET BACK IN THE RING! ONE .... TWO ..." He begins the count-out.

    "You need to pin him! You can't win unless you pin him!" Lue-Lee shouts at Cronc, knowing that he doesn't know the rules to wrestling, "Get him back in the ring and hold his shoulders on the mat and keep them there until the ref counts to three."

    "Y du dat?" Cronc asks.

    "That is how you win!"

    "J.R. what do you think is going on here?" Michael Cole asks.

    "I think Cronc is getting wrestling advice from an audience member." J.R. answers.

    Ryback gets back to his feet and chargs at Cronc, trying to tackle him into the barricade.

    "LOOK OUT!" Lue-Lee shouts to Cronc.

    Ryback collides with Cronc, sandwiching him against the barricade. Ryback then starts banging Cronc's head against the barricade. After five times he then drags him to the side of the ring and rolls him inside. The ref is up to a ring-out count of eight before Ryback pulls himself up on to the side.

    Cronc is quick to his feet and, having shaken the cobwebs out of his head, he sees Ryback standing on the edge outside of the ropes. Cronc grabs him by the head with one hand and throws him inside the ring. Now on the mat inside Cronc grabs Ryback's head and starts slamming it on the mat.

    "HOU U LIEK EET!" Cronc shouts. Then, remembering what Lue-Lee said, he grabs Ryback's shoulders and holds them down to the mat.

    "That is a most untraditional pin in my book" J.R. says.

    "But it counts if he gets the three count." says Micheal Cole

    The ref counts it out, slapping his hand on the mat on each number. One, two, and ... almost, Ryback kicks out. This angers Cronc even more. He starts to slam his fists into Ryback's face, then he stands up and starts stomping his boots into his torso. Then he pins Ryback's shoulders to the mat, again .... by sitting on his chest.

    "Okay, that is the most untraditional pin in my book." J.R. says.

    "Still counts." adds Micheal Cole.

    One, Two, and Three. The audience goes crazy. Lue-Lee can't restrain herself and runs into the ring to congratulate Cronc.

    "This no-one from nowhere just handed Ryback his first loss." J.R. shouts in disbelief.

    "I think Ryback bit off more than he could chew with this guy." Michael Cole jokes.

    --------

    Later on, in the parking lot, Cronc and Lue-Lee are walking home.

    "Dat wus funn! HA HA!" Cronc says with a big smile on his face.

    "I still can't believe you got to fight against Ryback!" Lue-Lee says. She is still full of adrenaline and having a hard time keeping a slow pace for Cronc, who is still feeling the effects from the match.

    Someone grabs Cronc's shoulder. He turns around to face Ryback. Cronc stands between him and Lue-Lee, ready for a fight.

    "Hold on, player! I said hold on!" Booker T says, walking up behind Ryback, "Now Ryback told me he wants a rematch with Cronc on Friday Night Smackdown. I told him I can't do that since you don't have a contract with the WWE!"

    "Does that mean what I think it means?" Lue-Lee says, walking out from behind Cronc. Cronc and Ryback are to busy staring each other down to notice what is going on around them.

    "If he signs the contract it does. Who might you be, little girl?" Booker T asks Lue-Lee.

    "Lue-Lee Gunner," the little girl answers with a smile, "Cronc's Manager."
    Last edited by mebecronck; 2012-11-21 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Proofreading and fixing errors

    Some of Murphy's other laws.
    "Professionals are predictable, but the world is full of amateurs."
    "No plan survives the first contact intact."
    "If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid."
    -Capt. Edward A. Murphy-
    Newton's Law of the Road
    "The object with more mass has the right-of-way."

  26. - Top - End - #326
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    C/Mebecronc's work:

    This sort of thing is how our sessions go. Equal parts whatever seemed amusing to completely serious work. The two combine interestingly...and writing it is an interesting challenge. If you think Kalach IC is snarky, you should see how he reacted to the oddball stuff...


    C/Dr. Bwaa's comments

    I will never stop making mistakes! Always a learning experience. Sooner or later I'll get back to having time to edit as I should.
    Games I'm in:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Fortune's Favor as Lea

  27. - Top - End - #327
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Friends and Masters Part 5
    Spoiler
    Show
    Friends and Masters Part 5
    I gasped back to consciousness several hours later as the sun was rising. I had spent the entire night sorting through Andrew’s madness. No, I couldn’t call him by his name. I couldn’t place it, but I had a feeling his name was a secret he would keep safe at any cost. I had already tested his patience once. Knowing too much might get me killed if I continued to prove untrustworthy. My hands were shaking. I didn’t usually get this rattled. I clenched my fists and the shaking subsided. I focused on remembering the man in black as I had pictured him before. If I began thinking of him as insane, he would pick up on it next time he checked in on me. Something told me I was safe for now, that he was otherwise occupied for the time being.

    I had certainly failed to read his thoughts. I had witnessed something like a memory, more like a dream. It was disappointing, but my tampering with the blood bond had done something. Bits of the man in black’s consciousness were bleeding over to mine. Perhaps it was insanity, but dwelling on the possibility would not make me any saner for my trouble. For the time being I was gathering helpful information on the wizard who had lodged himself into my mind. I would try again to read his thoughts later, after I recovered from the last ordeal.

    Thinking about the insanity I had spent the night wading through reminded me of how exhausted I was. It wouldn’t be long before my companions were ready to start out again. Luckily I had not exerted myself much yesterday. I had retained most of my spell casting abilities. If I spread myself thin I could get through the day without anyone noticing. I sunk under the bed sheets for a quick nap before my companions came to fetch me. They would need to, I was the only one who knew where to collect our gold.

    It felt as if I had only just closed my eyes when there was a knock at the door. I ignored it and pulled the covers up over my face. Another knock. I heard a few voices arguing outside. One of them was the inquisitor. I willed myself out of bed.

    “I’m up.” I called, “Be right there.” I dressed myself in a hurry, almost forgetting to wear my cloak to cover the blood bond, and met my companions down stairs.

    “Morning.” Variel said when he saw me.

    “Morning.” I responded, noticing the empty plate in front of him. They had already eaten.

    “Was telling Milo about that favor Rufus asked us.” He muttered, “Sorceress hair, yeah?”

    “Yeah, lives on the other side of town.” I confirmed. I was surprised my barbarian friend was to eager to help.

    “Well, we’re in his debt.” Variel said, “Best to get it over with.” Of course, barbarian honor wouldn’t allow him to leave a favor unreturned.

    “Right. I’ll see what I can dig up on the way.”

    We set off for the other side of town. Rufus hadn’t done much in the way of describing the woman, but she turned out to be a bit of an eccentric herself. She lived in a treehouse in the middle of a residential district. We saw the multicolored feathers that adorned the outside from half a block away.

    Her name was Karrisa and she had a reputation for her love of flight. Locals told stories of the exotic guests she hosted and the colorful birds she kept. I figured it was enough to go on. I related the information to my companions.

    “So how are we going to get a cut of her hair?” I asked.

    “Don’t worry, I’ll handle this.” The inquisitor said with a raised eyebrow and a grin that I’m sure he thought looked charming. I was almost embarrassed for him as I watched him cross the road and climb the ladder up to her front door.

    The sorceress opened the door politely. I couldn’t tell what Milo was saying, but it was obviously making her uncomfortable. Eventually she closed the door on him and he returned to us.

    “Well, she can’t be reasoned with. That’s for certain.” The inquisitor huffed. Seeing his confidence taken down a notch made me smile.

    “How about you, birdman?” I smiled, “We know she likes feathers. I wonder if she’d trade?”

    The tengu bowed in a way I thought was dramatic, “It would be an honor.”

    He crossed the street and climbed the rope to the woman’s door. She opened it, a bit less kindly than she had before, and they began to talk. Any hostility she had shown vanished in the conversation. She seemed interested in what he had to say. Finally, he plucked a few of his feathers from his wing and offered them to her. In return she cut a lock of her hair and exchanged it with him. Success!

    The tengu went to descend the ladder once again when he hesitated. He caught the woman’s attention before she shut the door. They exchanged a few words and he returned the lock of hair. He bowed to her and descended the ladder to return to us.

    “What was that?!” I demanded as soon as he was close, “You had the hair! Why did you give it back?”

    “Karrissa told me that harm could come to her if the wrong person came into possession of her hair.” He explained, “I did not know what we intended to do with it, so I told her to keep herself safe.”

    “Oh for the love of…” Variel huffed, “Come on, Kepesk.” He grabbed me by the shirt collar and pulled me along across the street and up the rope ladder. He rapped on the door three times. Karrissa answered immediately.

    “Are you the ones who keep trying to take a piece of my hair?” she demanded.

    “Yes.” Variel responded before I could think of a good lie, “Rufus sent us. We owe him a debt. If you could oblige us we’d be very grateful.”

    “Rufus?” the woman said sadly, “The poor man. I’m sorry you got caught up with this. Come with me.” We had no choice but to follow her down the ladder.

    “We used to be a couple, he and I,” she explained as we followed her across town, “but some things changed and I had to break up with him. He has trouble letting go.” We found Rufus on the roof of his house installing a new window overlooking the sea.

    “Oh, hey lass.” He called down when he saw me, “Did you get the…” He stopped short when he saw Karrissa.

    “Karrisa… good to see you again.” He grinned sheepishly.

    “Rufus. You sent travelers to steal my hair.” She said through gritted teeth, “Why?”

    “Well I wasn’t going to clone you.”

    “RUFUS JAMES MCDONALL!” she shouted, “I expect better from you!”

    “Aw I just miss you is all.” Rufus groaned, floating down off the roof to talk to us.

    “Rufus I told you why I couldn’t be with you anymore. Remember? We had this talk.”

    “But I can’t do anything without you! All my experiments are going wrong. The constructs are acting up. I’m lost without you!” he begged.

    It was an awkwardly personal conversation. Back and forth, yelling and whining and bargaining. I wondered at who had time for it all. None of the arguments seemed to revolve around the sort of things couples usually squabbled about. Everything came back to spells or enchantments or ooze gators. It seemed the two could have a perfectly healthy relationship just working together. Wasn’t there a mage’s guild for this? There had been one in the south, a collective where official mages could share secrets and conduct studies in confidence. These two spoke as if the only time they had ever worked with another spell caster was during a romantic relationship.

    “Um, excuse me” I interrupted, “but why don’t you just share your research?” They looked at me like I had just said something more ridiculous than ooze gators.

    “No, really. Share your research. Get some other mages in the city together and form a collective. Trust me, it’ll save you a lot of trouble.” I explained.

    “Well that could work!” Rufus exclaimed suddenly.

    “But how do we know the other mages won’t just steal our work?” Karrissa reasoned, “I trust Rufus, but I don’t know about the others.”

    “Well you’ll all share the same amount. That way if they try to steal your work, everyone already knows you wrote it.” I replied.

    “I’m not sure. Maybe if we could talk to them all in one place we can work it out.” Karrissa said thoughtfully.

    “We still owe you a debt of gratitude.” Variel spoke up, “Give us their names and we’ll go talk to them.”

    We set a time when the meeting would take place. Karrissa wrote out a list of mages in the city that were likely to help. Old Ben the necromancer lived near the graveyard by the temple. Harrison, an evocation master, lived closer to the wall. Finally, an illusionist who no one quite knew the name of could be found on the outskirts of town. We set out to find the necromancer first.

    Milo was insistent on being difficult. His goddess of death had strong opinions on the undead, and he was loathe to treat a necromancer to anything other than the brunt of his mace. We talked him down, but his indignation returned when we saw Old Ben’s house. It looked about as inviting as one might expect a necromancer’s home to be. The grass outside was wilted and brown. Thorn bushes lined the path to the stone grey building which reeked of decay.

    “No no no no no.” Milo insisted, “We don’t need this guy.”

    “You don’t have to come.” I muttered, passing him by. He followed along with the others.

    I rapped on the door and an elderly man in grey robes opened the door. He leaned on a cane which, on closer inspection, resembled a human spine.

    “Yeah, what do you want?” He screeched.

    “Hello, my name is Kepesk. I’m here on behalf of Karrissa and Rufus.” I started.

    “Young, foolish, inexperienced. I know who they are. What do they want?”

    “Well, as it happens, they want your expertise.” I smiled, “They’re starting a mage guild to share resources in the city and they could use your experience.”

    “Of course they do. What’s in it for me?” he grumbled.

    “Well, you would have access to a wider range of research from the other mages.” I responded.

    “Fools. Children. Who needs ‘em?”

    “I’m sure there’s something you stand to gain from…” he cut me off. Something had caught his eye behind me. He pointed his cane at the inquisitor’s legs.

    “Can I see that?” he asked.

    “What?” Milo said suspiciously.

    “The immensely powerful magic item you’ve got stuffed in your trousers, boy!” the necromancer insisted, “You think I can’t sense it? If I could have a look at that I’d join whatever you want.”

    “Sorry, no.” Milo responded.

    “Let the man see the stupid rod, Milo.” I huffed, “You don’t know what it does anyway.”

    Milo made a motion as if to protest, but Variel caught his eye and he produced the rod.

    “Just give it back, okay?” Milo whined.

    Old Ben took the rod in his hands and tried to remove the cloth. When he realized it couldn’t be removed, he tried tearing at it. After a short while of poking and prodding the thing, he gave up and handed it back.

    “You hand this over to us when we get this guild together.” The necromancer insisted, failing to take the edge off his voice, “we’ll figure it out.”

    We gave him instructions for the meeting and bid him a short farewell before setting off for the next mage. Harrison was next on the list. We found his house next to the forge, a subtle place in comparison with the houses of the other mages, even small. Variel rapped on the door and a gnome with fiery red hair and singed robes answered.

    “What can I do for you?” the gnome asked with a voice deeper than I would have imagined for such a small man. I gave him the speech about the mage’s guild, helping Karrissa and Rufus, the possibility for expanded research and the like. He nodded appreciatively at each point.

    “Sounds wonderful!” He bellowed, “But I really can’t accept that easily.”

    “Why not?” Milo whinned.

    “Because I have to give you a test!” the gnome exclaimed, “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? I think it’s what you’re supposed to do. Come in!”

    He ushered us through the door into what appeared to be an arena. Stone walls and theater seating surrounded us on every side. Torches with smoking flames or crackling lightning lit the place. Harrisson’s voice echoed down to us from above.

    “Defeat your opponents, and you will have my support for your mages guild.” He called. In a puff of smoke, five creatures of living flame appeared before us.

    Variel charged first, assaulting one with his curved blade. I followed after him, unsure of how I could hurt the fire elementals with my usual lighting magic. I summoned my claws and swiped at one. My cloak caught fire immediately. I backed off as the tengu raced forward to engage them. The inquisitor shot crossbow bolts from behind. I spent most of the fight attempting to staunch the flames, but somehow my companions managed to defeat the elementals.

    Harrison looked disappointed as the last elemental vanished. I swallowed a healing potion and let Variel do the talking for once. Thankfully he didn’t accept the man’s offer for the best two out of three, gave the necessary information, and led us on our way.

    The illusionist lived far from the other mages. Her house was truly subtle and hard to find, pushed up against the wall as if recoiling from the city as a whole. I went to knock on the door, but my hand fell through an illusory replica. We stumbled around for a while before finding something solid to knock on. A small woman appeared before us.

    “I don’t want any visitors.” She said shyly, “Please leave.”

    “We’re here on behalf of some other mages in the city.” I explained,
    “They’re trying to form a guild and could use your expertise.”

    “Too many people.” She murmered, “no thank you.”

    “What if you could just mail your correspondence to them?” I asked, “Then you could share your findings with the guild without seeing anyone in person.” The woman seemed to wilt.

    “Okay.” She said quietly, “But I don’t know how much use I’ll be to them.”

    “Well you know a lot about illusions, don’t you?” I said kindly.

    “I guess so.” She trailed off.

    “There’s already something interesting for you all to investigate.” I mentioned, “A magic item.”

    “Yeah,” Milo chimed in, giving me a suspicious look, “One that can’t be opened. How do you unwrap something that can’t be unwrapped?” The woman seemed to think on this a moment before a small smile lit up her face.

    "You wrap it."


    The soft spoken illusionist hadn't meant to unleash absolute chaos with her words, but Milo and I made eye contact immediately and I knew this situation was about to go terribly wrong. I saw the culmination of all the hatred and mistrust I had planted during our journey in his eyes. He reached for the rod. I opened my mouth to say something. He bolted, much to the surprise of the shy magician who cried out and disappeared.


    I cast a spell that let me detect powerful magic that settled over the rod before he outran me. I gave chase, managing to keep up with him through the crowd. He was headed back to the tavern to investigate in private I guessed. I focused my efforts on cutting across to the tavern and found myself throwing open the door and scrambling inside just after him. He thought he had given me the slip. I took the stairs two at a time after him and jammed my foot in the door right as he attempted to slam it shut. Pain shot through my foot, but I did not budge even when he opened the door again just to slam my foot a second time.

    "Milo be reasonable." I insisted.

    "You’re crazy!" he shouted back, “I’m not letting you anywhere near this thing!”

    "I'm not going to do anything!" I let out an exasperated sigh. "I told you, everything I did before was to keep the rod safe. I think I deserve to see what it is."

    "You can't lie to me. I know you're working with the man in black!" he retorted. It gave me pause. The man had known I was plotting against him all along and still let me live. He had even seemed a bit impressed, a level of appreciation I hadn’t received from any of my companions. Madness aside, I would be remiss if I didn’t consider allying myself with him.

    "I am not." I didn't let the uncertainty taint my words, "and I'm not leaving. Just let me in and we can both see."

    Milo slammed my foot once more for good measure and then abandoned the door, letting me in.

    I watched as he wrapped the rod in the blanket from his bed. He waited for a second as if something climactic were supposed to happen. When it didn't we both made eye contact sheepishly. All this fuss for nothing.

    He went to fish the rod back from within the heap of covers. What he found was a long scroll case, ornately decorated with some sort of calligraphy in a language I did not know. The cloth clung to the blanket.

    He popped it open and began to read immediately. I scrambled to his side to get a look for myself. The handwriting was nigh illegible on its own, doubly so due to all of the letters being written backwards.

    "Well this is gibberish." Milo huffed.

    "It's a scroll from the mirror realm," I rolled my eyes, "It's meant to be read with a mirror, genius."

    Milo glared at me and crossed over to the mirror on the opposite side of the room. I hobbled after him.

    The text was readable in the mirror, but the words were alien to me. I gathered that it was an extremely powerful spell, it had something to do with puppets, and there was a dishearteningly long list of intended subjects at the bottom. I picked out "Human" "Baelor" and "Pitfiend".

    It occurred to me that the man in black had not had time to look at this scroll. It seemed like it would be important to anyone involved with the mirror realm. Given that the man had seen fit to spare my life, I braced myself against the mirror while reading and called out to him as a sort of thank you. I felt his presence flood my mind immediately.

    "A scroll?" his voice echoed, "Do you mind if I have a look?"

    I consented and the man's presence grew stronger. My eyes started sweeping the writing independently of my will. I could hear his thoughts as if they were my own, not a swarm of insanity but the mind of a genius.

    There wasn’t much to be gathered from the man’s thoughts at this moment. His mind mostly dwelled on particulars of the spell that I didn't understand. I did glean a bit of information on his situation in the mirror realm. The puppet master was some kind of deity in the mirror realm that the man in black was now at war with. The scroll was meant to be a peace offering to delay conflict between them, but my failure had made battle inevitable.

    Milo jerked the scroll back from the mirror as soon as he was done reading, giving no consideration to whether I was finished.

    "It's some kind of crazy undead thing!" the inquisitor was fuming, "We have to destroy it."

    I hadn't looked at the thing for five seconds and I knew this spell was very different from any necromantic magic I had ever heard of. This was probably Milo's Pharasmin loyalties getting the better of him. Leave it to a follower of the divine to completely miss the point of an arcane spell.

    "I don't think that's what it is." I said as kindly as I could. "The people who hired us will probably know what to do with it."

    "No. This spell can be used on living people!" he insisted. My stomach turned as he attempted to rip it in half in his hands. The paper bent but somehow remained intact. I was suddenly aware that the man in black was still sharing my mind.

    "It actually doesn't work like that." he sighed, "The subject needs to be dead first, but you're right at least. It isn't necromancy." This didn't strike me as the time for scholarly pedantics.

    "Look," I said to Milo, "That is a very powerful spell you have in your hands. If we can study it, we can work out a way to defeat it."

    In response the inquisitor bolted again, wadding up the scroll and flying past me without another word. I let out an exasperated sigh and took off after him yet again. As I dodged common folk in the street, the man in black spoke up again.

    "Good work, agent." The unexpected praise gave me a jolt of pride in spite of myself. "That was the puppet master's most powerful spell. He must have crafted it himself. No wonder he was willing to put the war on hold if I returned it to him! If only I had more time to study it, I could turn it against him." The man was excited, intrigued to the point of rambling. I found his enthusiasm contagious.

    "I'll do what I can." I promised. I felt the equivalent of an approving nod before his presence left my mind. By this time I had chased the inquisitor all the way back to the illusionist's house where the rest of our companions were waiting. He was talking hurriedly to the barbarian, but he stopped to glare at me as I approached at a jog.

    "Don't touch the scroll." I commanded, panting for breath, "It's important." The barbarian eyed me suspiciously. His mistrust wounded me.

    "She's lying!" the inquisitor snarled, struggling and failing again to rip the scroll in two, "She wants to use it on people!" Before I could respond to his accusation, Variel spoke up.

    "Doesn't look like that's working out for you," the barbarian observed, "give it here." Milo relinquished the scroll, which was a relief. Variel was a level headed man, I was sure he would be easier to reason with than the fanatical inquisitor. He smoothed the paper out carefully and spent a moment studying it.

    "Doesn't look like it can be ripped," he observed.

    "It's an advanced spell." I offered, "Usually you can't transfer a spell like that onto paper. The magic might be reinforcing it."

    Variel nodded thoughtfully.

    "What if we burn it?" Milo asked suddenly.

    "We can't destroy it!" I insisted, "It's too valuable!"

    "Well if the magic is reinforcing it like you think it is, then you've got nothing to worry about." Milo spat.

    "I don't know what's protecting it. That was just a guess!" I spat back, "You don't understand how unprecedented this is. It needs to be studied."

    "We are studying it. We're going to see if it burns." the inquisitor growled, lighting a torch from his bag. Variel did nothing to stop him. I wedged myself between the inquisitor and the scroll.

    "I won't let you destroy this scroll." I stated firmly, "This is the kind of information we were hired to find."

    "Information?" Variel asked, "I thought we were being paid to kill goblins."

    "I lied." I said quickly, "We were sent to find information on the man we found in the mines. A very powerful and secretive organization offered us a generous reward."

    "1000 gold?" the barbarian clarified.

    "5000" I admitted.

    "So you've been deceiving us this entire time." the barbarian judged, "Even before you were controlled by that man."

    "I told you we couldn't trust her," the inquisitor sighed, suddenly taking control of the situation. "We have to burn the scroll. Please, Variel." The barbarian consented.

    "No." I said again, charging my lightning spell as Milo tried to maneuver around me. When he ignored me, I grabbed his throat, discharging the electricity. He hardly seemed to feel it. A satisfied grin spread across his face as he acknowledged me for the first time. I realized too late that he had his mace in hand. He swung the ugly thing at me without skipping a beat. It hit me full in the face with a painful crack, flooding my vision with darkness.

    I did not feel myself fall backwards, but the next thing I knew I was on the ground clinging to consciousness. Through the hot, black, haze of pain that clouded my vision I made out the shapes of my companions standing over me with the scroll. The last thing I saw before I sank out of consciousness was the bright orange light of the scroll burning in Variel's hands.

    I came back to the waking world in a haze of pain, anger, and fatigue. I was laying on my back on a bed of some sort. A woman was holding a potion to my lips, propping up my head to ensure I didn’t choke. I met her gaze and she withdrew the bottle.

    “Good, you’re awake.” She said kindly, handing me the rest of the potion, “Finish this off and you’ll feel much better.”
    I did as I was told, mumbling a half-conscious thank you. All I could think about was the scroll. I had failed to protect it. Failed to return it to the brotherhood. Failed to research it for the man in black. I was so fatigued that I couldn’t make out the dissonance between the two failed objectives. I was just angry. Angry at Milo of course, but most of all Variel. I thought I had proven myself to him, but now I knew he didn’t trust me. After all I did for him. After I told him the truth about the Brotherhood’s gold. I made a conscious effort to put on a pleasant face for the woman, who was watching me closely.

    “Thank you.” I said a little more audibly than before, “Can you tell me what happened?”

    “I’m not supposed to say anything.” She murmured apologetically, “You’re supposed to give your story to the captain.”

    “I’m really hazy on the whole thing.” I grimaced.

    “The men who attacked you were arrested.” She said softly, “That’s really all I know.”

    “Thanks.” I smiled. I was in a position to make my companions squirm if they had been arrested for assaulting me.

    The healer left the room to let the guards know I was awake. She came back minutes later with two men in light armor. I searched them for the wolf’s head amulet I had seen Gareth and the old man wearing, but found nothing.

    “Come with us, miss.” One of the guards told me firmly, but not unkindly. I followed them willingly out of the healer’s facility and into another building. I was ushered into a dark room with high ceilings. Several guards were on duty, more than a few of which loomed over my companions. Milo had a black eye and was grumbling about the wrath of the gods. Master Yu looked confused and awkward between two men. Variel, however, had somehow managed to make friends with a few of the guards. They addressed him with good humor and seemed untroubled by the thought that he might escape. I shot him a murderous glare as I entered the room. He would be held responsible for the scroll. The captain of the guard joined us after we were all assembled.

    “Now.” He demanded, “One of you tell me what in the hells happened out there before I toss you all in jail.”

    “She’s evil! She electrocuted me!” The inquisitor began to insist.

    “Someone other than him.” The captain grumbled, “You. Barbarian. Tell me what happened.”

    “We found a scroll with immense power in Perth.” Variel explained, “He figured out what it did and told us that we had to destroy it or it would fall into the wrong hands. She didn’t want it destroyed. She hit him with a spell, he hit her with a mace, we burned the thing.” A confession. Excellent.

    “Gareth sent me.” I stated plainly to the guard captian. He didn’t seem surprised.

    “I figured you were the man Gareth sent.” He grimaced, “So instead of delivering the scroll, you burned it, huh?”

    “Who’s Gareth?” Variel asked. The guard captain looked frustrated at that.

    “I didn’t think they needed to know.” I said quietly.

    “Gareth told us that he had hired a group of adventurers to deliver the information.” The guard captain grimaced, “Four people in total.” He glared at me.

    “I must have misunderstood.” I replied.

    “And now you’ve failed the mission because of it.” The guard captain spat.

    “Not all of the mission!” I clarified, “I have information on the man in black. The masked mage who was in Perth.”

    The captain regarded me coldly for a moment, “Not here. Follow me. All of you.” He shot me an annoyed glance as he walked to the other end of the room and pulled open a trap door I hadn’t noticed.

    We followed him down a ladder. At the bottom we found ourselves in a long cavern leading further underground. Oil lamps hung from the ceiling, lighting the way. I followed the captain in complete silence, seething with indignation. It wasn’t my fault that my companions were idiots, yet I was being held responsible. My companions found nothing to say either. We walked for about ten minutes before the cavern opened up into a larger room. Stands lined the walls of the rounded room much like an arena. The first few rows were filled completely with robed figures, most of whom were hunched over paperwork. They regarded us with a dull interest as we entered. We didn’t merit their full attention until the guard captain called for it.

    “These people have information on the masked one.” He called. He proceeded to fill them in on what had happened, taking special care to describe the scroll and single me and Milo out for losing it. I clenched my fists in anger, struggling to maintain a pleasant demeanor for the audience. I did not know the extent to which my fate rested in their hands.

    “What information do they have on the masked one?” A woman’s voice called from the stands. The guard captain scanned our group expectantly, as if I wasn’t the only one who could relate this information. I stepped forward quickly.

    “I baited him into talking for quite a while.” I reported, “Could have gotten myself killed. He’s got some kind of connection to a new plane, a realm of mirrors. He seems to exercise some control over it, and wishes to use its power to bring about some form of utopia on this plane. He is currently fighting the god of this realm, the Puppet Master, for ultimate control. He wore black robes and a black mask, stood taller than the average man, and had a special interest in the scroll.”

    Murmers went up from the crowd as they discussed the information among themselves. Without the scroll it wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing. I had risked my life and my mind for these idiots, and I would be damned if they didn’t reward me as they’d promised.

    “The scroll is what I’m interested in!” a bespectacled man piped up from the first row, “Can either of you remember what you saw?”

    Milo stepped forward, “I was some kind of mind-controlling undead-making thing. It was definitely evil, and could be used on a bunch of things that you normally can’t make undead.”

    The crowd looked to me expectantly. I couldn’t remember most of it for the life of me. I had only read some of it before Milo had yanked it away. I tried hard to summon some understanding of it better than the horrifically oversimplified version the inquisitor had just related. Suddenly I felt the man in black’s presence in my mind again. Before I could question what he wanted I felt a burning as if my memory was on fire. My mind flashed back to the scroll as I had seen it in the mirror and the words burnt into my mind as if I had read and understood it fully myself. Some parts were still missing, but I suddenly knew the majority of the words as the man in black knew them. I spit them out immediately before I had the chance to forget them.

    “A spell to create puppets. Material components: sand and a length of twine. Verbal components: Illeisgar vur faestir wer pliso. Subject: one recently deceased creature, or one live creature who has been prepared properly…” I rushed through the lines so quickly that I didn’t fully comprehend them as I spoke. The people in the stands took hurried notes. The subject could be drained of all will and turned alive if necessary. The subject would rise under the caster’s control. The control involved strings of some sort. The man in black had gaps in his understanding of the spell, he hadn’t had enough time to study it properly. I found myself listing off an impressive amount of sentient races, beasts, devils and angels before his knowledge completely cut off. The crowd was deadly silent after I stopped talking. I could still feel the man in black’s presence in my mind. He may have just saved my life.

    “A great lot of good that does us.” The guard captain muttered, angering me further, “But I guess that will do for now. As it stands, you owe us more information. We’ll accept you into our ranks for now, and in exchange you will make reports to us about what you find in your travels.”

    I had never up to that point truly hated someone the way I hated every person in the room at that moment. The guard captain, Variel, Milo, every single worthless pair of curious eyes staring down at me. They should be grateful to me for the information I had provided, but instead they were playing games with their perceived authority. It was petulant, it was insulting, it was a child’s posturing to seem more important. I saw through this allegedly powerful brotherhood’s façade plainly. This was an organization which routinely sent inexperienced heroes for hire on needlessly dangerous missions. The ones who came back alive were initiated immediately. This kind of clumsy recruitment process hinted at either terrible management, or a desperate need for members. I entertained the idea of bringing it to ruin just to knock this insufferable captain down a peg. He was rambling on about initiation rites and benefits offered to Brotherhood agents in the city. If I wanted to play the faithful hound to a nebulous organization with limited regional control, I would have stayed with the blue dragons. They were cruel and a waste of my talents, but at least they controlled the entirety of the south. Anything less was an insult.

    “Don’t worry.” The man in black whispered, “When I bring about the perfect world, these fools will suffer before they are destroyed.” In that moment, the promise was good enough for me.

    At some point the guard captain handed me a wolf’s head amulet and a pouch containing the money he had promised. I let out a snort at the paltry gesture. Gold. I had no use for gold. As I followed my companions out of the room and back into the cavern, I turned my attention to the man in black. He was still watching me, waiting patiently for my response. Of all the powerful people who had sought to control me, he was perhaps the only one who merited my respect.

    I told him I was more than at his service.

    Hah! Take that early backstory! This is the final part of this set. There's a little bit of stuff that happens between this one and Amolarr, but I'm going to try to knock it out in one or two snippets because everything cool that happens is really really boring from Kepesk's perspective. Then I can write about cool stuff. Like dragon mafias.

    Also I'm totally going to get back on the critiquing thing after I get through this week. So there's that.

  28. - Top - End - #328
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I didn't leave you guys I promise! I'm just struggling my way through nanowrimo and I die a little inside whenever I think about writing anything, especially things that are not on-topic. 50000 is a lot of words.

    @mebecronck
    You May Call Me Jack
    Spoiler
    Show
    It is the name given to me by a friend
    Reads well enough here, but when we get to the end, there's nothing really to suggest that Jack considers the apprentice who ends up naming him a "friend". Just a thought.

    I had no free will.

    Free will is a burden...
    There's no reason for these to be in separate paragraphs.

    I could not choose, nor could I think.

    When I had no orders to follow...
    Same here.

    how we garnered armor
    "Garnered" means "gathered" or "collected". I don't know exactly what word you were aiming for here, but it probably wasn't this one.

    They have no emotions to show.
    Is "show" the right thing to say here? Is the display of emotion even relevant? I would think that it matters whether they feel it, not whether they show it. By the way, I think you do a very good job throughout here explaining what free will is and how it works. I don't know if you intended it, but the whole passage does come across as a bit bitter--understandable, but then it seems kind of weird in retrospect as we get to know Jack better.

    Accustomed to fighting as one of many the battles were hard won
    A little punctuation (of almost any kind, practically) would go a long way to making this readable.

    progress deeper into the Hells were slow
    *was

    I fought as He once willed me to fight, but it was to predictable, and my enemy was gaining the advantage.

    My thoughts kept returning to something at first uneasy to me, and eventually they were to strong to ignore.
    *too

    For the first time, I was learning.
    This is another really interesting moment, where we realize thatn oh yeah, having no free will means never learning anything, or maybe even having any concept of self, for that matter.

    I fought nonstop ever moving forward at a pace that was steadily becoming quicker.
    Punctuate!

    The enemies were greater and stronger, but I was killing them quicker and easier.
    I'd love some explanation for this. You explain it when a similar thing happens later, but this part seems very odd.

    I rushed in eager to quickly slay my opponent
    I know you're eager to get to the ass-kicking, but commas are your friends. Writing a fast-paced scene doesn't mean you have to do the actual writing at top speed.

    Even in the end I would still be one against many.
    Eh? Why are we suddenly in another tense?

    He would do his damage to me and step back for a second, every cut I made into him created pit fiends from his blood.
    The second part is great; the first part is boring. Don't describe it in game terms! I don't care if it is Asmodeus; "He would do his damage to me" is not exciting to read no matter who "he" is. Also, you switched back into some kind of semi-subjunctive tense thing for random parts of this paragraph, with your "would"s. There's no need for that; it just disrupts the story.

    I did not know why, but I decided it was best to not take chances. I moved to his opposite side, standing between him and wherever he was moving to, and began the push to separate him from his destination.
    You never explain this. Why do you never explain this?

    I would imagine the sight of a deva standing over the lifeless body of the Lord of the Nine Hells was somewhat intimidating to them.
    Do a find/replace for this word; I bet you can take out pretty much every one of them and make the story read that much better.

    I began to contemplate this when instinct took over and I moved my shield
    This is the first time you should be using another tense (but you're not): "I had just begun to contemplate this when...".

    As if he never fell to blade.
    This is a kind of awkward phrasing.

    (Eye-Oh)
    Noooooo. You don't tell people how to pronounce Asmodeus, do you? Pronunciation guides do not belong in a narrative (unless you can get them into dialogue without making a fuss about it).

    He recommended that I spent time with the mortals
    *spend

    In the interest of time, in which mortals have very little
    *of

    Within the next hour the tyrant king was dead; so, too, were all his followers.
    That... sounds like you just slaughtered most of a nation. Is that true?

    Judgement.
    Sounds more like Retribution to me. Hard to see such a mass slaughter as a mere act of Judgment, and it doesn't seem to fit with the earlier part of the narrative (his war against Hell), either. I don't think even Justice necessarily fits there, and Justice feels like it goes hand-in-hand with Judgment. Also, there's only one 'e' in that word. I do appreciate the tie-in to the free-will theme, though; that's definitely something the Judgment portfolio has going for it.

    This became my given name
    Great moment--as readers we suddenly realize that he would never have been given a name properly. It does beg the question though--what did he do all those years before people called him Jack? What did he call himself? Overall, very good snippet; you explain all your key concepts very clearly and do a really good job hitting the reader every so often with revelations about the alien nature of the character and his whole history and existence.


    The Plane of Tournaments
    Spoiler
    Show
    Not going to actually critique this one per se. I do like it though. Also, lol kitten damage. Do the kittens stay around or do they vanish after getting their allotted scratches in?


    Cronc Goes to the WWE
    Spoiler
    Show
    "The crowd is going crazy." says 'Good ole' J.R.' in his typical southern drawl
    A few weird things here. First, you stop the sentence inside the quote with a period, then continue the sentence anyway--so that should be a comma. Besides, it's kind of strange to say "The crowd is going crazy" with a period anyway, isn't it? If you're going to punctuate it, it deserves an exclamation mark! Next, you've got way too many single-quotes floating around near Good Ole JR. If one of those is an apostrophe as part of "ole", it doesn't belong there--either spell it ol' or ole, not a combination of both (I'm pretty sure in this case it's "Ol'"). And there's no need to put quotes around the guy's name; we know it's not his actual name from context.

    "On Rawactive the audience decided to have a 'Master versus Apprentice' match with Rey Mysterio versus Sin Cara." Micheal Cole explains
    It's fine to explain this, but there needs to be a reason to explain it. If there's no attempt made to disguise the fact that you're only explaining things for the reader, it feels very contrived.

    chanting the name of their favorite superstar in this match ... except one ... sitting in his chair, asleep, Cronc drools and snores.
    A couple things here just don't feel like they belong. I can't think of a reason to put in either of those ellipses, and the "in this match" is obvious from context; it's weird to read.

    "Wut?" Cronc says grumpily, angry that his sleep was disturbed. He was dreaming about smashing dragons in their face with his bare hands. His favorite dream.
    Ahaha. Love it. Also love the idea that Cronc only has two or three different dreams, and they all involve smashing things in the face with his bare hands. Small objection: "their" should either be a different word ("the" comes to mind) or else "face" should be "faces".

    to form so many sentences in such a short time.
    eheh.

    Well you can't fight them


    Lue-Lee puts her hand over her face and shacks her head back and forth
    *shakes.

    Cronc steps over the back of his seat and moves through the crowd of people. Pushing them over and occasionally grabbing their hot dogs.
    No reason to have two separate sentences here. At this point it's not like the second part comes as a surprise, so you might as well condense it. "...and pushes through the crowd, grabbing hot dogs here and there as he goes."

    the always angry expression of Ryback, breathing deeply through his teeth.
    Great image.

    "DIS NUT NUFF TU FEED CRONC!"
    Perfect entrance.

    a shout comes from the background causing both Josh Matthews and Ryback to turn to see where it came from.
    Basically, there's no reason to use "causing" in a sentence. If we can't figure it out from the context, then there are bigger problems with the narrative, and the word itself just feels contrived. You could split this into two sentences, or better, rearrange this and the next bit to be a little denser, e.g. "Josh Matthews and Ryback both turn towards the source of the shout, and the camera pans from them to a table covered in scattered plates and pans."

    Cronc shouts at a WWE referee that was just coincidentally next to the crew services table, now void of any food.
    Weird subject/timing things going on here. If it was void of food before, why didn't you tell us? And if it wasn't, why didn't we get to see Cronc flip it?

    Everything that Cronc doesn't like is either on the floor, or on the walls.
    Perfect.

    his voice shaky, just like the rest of his body.
    Again.

    Cronc shouts loudly, moving his body to accentuate each syllable.
    Is there some kind of quiet capslock shouting I should be aware of? Also, "moving his body"? Give me something more descriptive than that.

    starts throwing right hands into Cronc's head
    How many does he have? "Right hooks" or something of the kind I would understand. "Right hands" sounds anatomically inefficient.

    Lue-Lee moves down to the front row of the audience, still in disbelief that Cronc is in a wrestling match.
    We haven't seen her since the match (as it were) started, so how would we know she was in disbelief before?

    The second he is in the ref calls for the bell.
    I like this image of the ref hurriedly hitting the bell like it's going to somehow save him from Cronc's wrath if he decides Ryback isn't a good enough fight.

    Cronc let's off on Ryback for a second and turns to the ref, ready to give him a few punches for trying to stop his fun.
    *lets. Also, lol.

    Throwing a big right hand into Cronc's gut, and a kick to create just enough space for Ryback to land his signature maneuver.
    This is not, in fact, a sentence. You don't have a main clause.

    Ryback charges towards Cronc landing the hook of his right arm across Cronc's neck, sending Cronc to the ground.
    Your commas are in strange places. I would replace the one you have with an "and", and put a comma in right after "Ryback charges toward Cronc".

    "The Meathook Clothsline from nowhere!" shouts J.R.
    This is more in character than it was earlier. Much better.

    He pulls Cronc to his feet and puts his head under Ryback's arm, and throws Cronc's arm over the back of Ryback's neck. Ryback then tries to lift his opponent.
    The first part of this is really hard to visualize, but I don't know how it can be improved. Maybe it would be best just to drop some of the accuracy for the sake of readability. Also the last sentence is priceless.

    "J.R. what do you think is going on here?" Micheal Cole asks, confused by what he is seeing.

    "I think Cronc is getting wrestling advice from an audience member." J.R. says just as confused.
    Great exchange, but take out both mentions of them being confused. That's already plenty obvious from the context. "Michael Cole (by the way it's definitely "ae") asks... J.R. responds" is much cleaner and just as clear.

    After five times he then drags him to the side of the ring and rolls him inside. The ref is up to a count of eight before Ryback pulls himself up on to the side.

    Cronc is quick to his feet
    What? That's simply nonsensical; we see Cronc get the stuffing beaten out of him and he lies on the ground for a full eight-count, yet we're supposed to believe he's also "quick to his feet"?

    having shacked the cobwebs out of his head
    *shaken

    Cronc grabs him by the head and throws him inside the ring.
    By one hand? Please be using one hand.

    "That is a most untraditional pin in my book" J.R. says.

    "But it counts if he gets the three count." says Micheal Cole

    ...

    "Okay, that is the most untraditional pin in my book." J.R. says.

    "Still counts." adds Micheal Cole.

    ...

    "This no-one from nowhere just handed Ryback his first lose." J.R. shouts in disbelief.

    "I think Ryback bit off more than he could chew with this guy." Micheal Cole jokes.
    These two-line exchanges are great; very accurate sports-commentary style comment/response bits. Also, *loss.

    "I still can't believe you got to fight against Ryback!" Lue-Lee says, still full of adrenaline.
    This would be better above, where you describe them walking. If she's full of adrenaline, she's hopping, bouncing, practically running a few steps at a time and then turning to face Cronc as she talks/yells at him.

    "Lue-Lee Gunner," the little girl answers with a smile, "Cronc's Manager."
    Well obviously. Loved this one! I'd still totally read Cronc Goes to Jail for Killing WWE Superstars though.


    @PaperMustache
    Spoiler
    Show
    I gasped back to consciousness several hours later as the sun was rising.
    Personally I think "as the sun was rising several hours later" flows more nicely, but I don't have anything concrete to back that up.

    I clenched my fists and the shaking subsided.
    This feels too abrupt. I feel like this is the sort of calming moment that takes a couple of minutes.

    I had already tested his patience once. Knowing too much might get me killed if I continued to prove untrustworthy.
    ... I would try again to read his thoughts later, after I recovered from the last ordeal.


    They would need to, I was the only one who knew where to collect our gold.
    Semicolon instead of the comma here. Also, lol.

    She lived in a treehouse in the middle of a residential district.
    So, really tough to find, then. Great description, very memorable.

    “Don’t worry, I’ll handle this.” The inquisitor said with a raised eyebrow and a grin that I’m sure he thought looked charming. I was almost embarrassed for him as I watched him cross the road and climb the ladder up to her front door.
    Ahahaha. Oh gods I can't wait it will be so embarassing.

    The sorceress opened the door politely. I couldn’t tell what Milo was saying, but it was obviously making her uncomfortable. Eventually she closed the door on him and he returned to us.
    I wish you'd spent a little more time on this, though, if only to make me laugh.

    The tengu bowed in a way I thought was dramatic
    Seems like a weird thing to say. Overdramatic maybe, at least more elaborate than called for by the occasion? I just can't see describing such a situation as "dramatic" all by itself.

    She opened it, a bit less kindly than she had before
    How does one open a door unkindly?

    She seemed interested in what he had to say.
    Kind of bland.

    “Karrissa told me that harm could come to her if the wrong person came into possession of her hair.” He explained, “I did not know what we intended to do with it, so I told her to keep herself safe.”
    Obviously, Kepesk, jeez. The Gm is trying so hard to get you guys to kill this tengu already, haha.

    “Oh for the love of…” Variel huffed, “Come on, Kepesk.”
    I like his real name better. Good choice.

    We had no choice but to follow her down the ladder.
    This doesn't seem like a thing Kepesk would think.

    “Well I wasn’t going to clone you.”

    ...Rufus is my favorite.

    It was an awkwardly personal conversation.
    Perfect description to let the reader know that the party's just hanging out watching this fiasco without being too blunt about it.

    They looked at me like I had just said something more ridiculous than ooze gators.
    Well, you did.

    “We still owe you a debt of gratitude.” Variel spoke up, “Give us their names and we’ll go talk to them.”
    Oh my gods I would love this guy if I were his GM. GIVE ME THE PLOT HOOKS! I WANT ALL THE PLOT HOOKS!

    Old Ben the necromancer
    Please tell me this is Obi-Wan. The necromancer. It's not possible to have a reclusive dude named Old Ben without him being Obi-Wan, is it? I hope not.

    Thorn bushes lined the path to the stone grey building which reeked of decay.
    The "which" is kind of awkward; I'd probably just throw the smell on at the end, because let's face it--the building itself isn't the only thing that smells around here. Something like "...to the grey stone building, and the whole place reeked of decay."

    “No no no no no.” Milo insisted, “We don’t need this guy.”
    Lol.

    I rapped on the door and an elderly man in grey robes opened the door. He leaned on a cane which, on closer inspection, resembled a human spine.
    We are meeting a new character; specifically one who stands out from much of the population. His cane is great (as is his screeching voice), but I'd love a little more physical description.

    He pointed his cane at the inquisitor’s legs.

    “Can I see that?” he asked.

    “What?” Milo said suspiciously.

    “The immensely powerful magic item you’ve got stuffed in your trousers, boy!”
    This whole conversation is priceless.

    “Why not?” Milo whinned.
    *whined.

    “Because I have to give you a test!” the gnome exclaimed, “Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? I think it’s what you’re supposed to do. Come in!”
    Obviously.

    I summoned my claws and swiped at one. My cloak caught fire immediately.
    Very visually gripping without spending much time on it. Nice.

    I spent most of the fight attempting to staunch the flames, but somehow my companions managed to defeat the elementals.
    Ha. I kind of want an extra sentence at the end here, to the tune of "there weren't any left when I finally put myself out, anyway." Also I think it would be worth mentioning that she can't just remove her cloak, since she needs to cover up Andrew's symbol (although why does she feel like she needs to do that, anyway? Couldn't she just say it's a tattoo?).

    the man’s offer for the best two out of three
    I like Harrison the Gnome.

    “I don’t want any visitors.” She said shyly, “Please leave.”
    Nice.

    "You wrap it."
    Oh shizzle. It was supposed to be semi-rhetorical, lady! Now you've done it!

    He bolted, much to the surprise of the shy magician who cried out and disappeared.
    Nice touch.

    Milo slammed my foot once more for good measure and then abandoned the door, letting me in.
    He really has it coming, lol. Will we get to see his death (that you so eloquently mentioned in a note a bit ago), I hope?

    "It's a scroll from the mirror realm," I rolled my eyes, "It's meant to be read with a mirror, genius."
    Owned.

    I hobbled after him.
    What is this? Continuity?? (Good detail).

    I felt his presence flood my mind immediately.

    "A scroll?" his voice echoed, "Do you mind if I have a look?"

    I consented and the man's presence grew stronger.
    This seems like it should be a rather unpleasant experience; I'd like more detail on it. Presumably Kepesk wasn't inviting him to show up in her brain altogether; I imagine that would be a little shocking.

    "No. This spell can be used on living people!" he insisted.
    Ahhhhh, yes. Only evil spells can be used on living people!

    This didn't strike me as the time for scholarly pedantics.
    That's because you're not a wizard.

    "We are studying it. We're going to see if it burns."
    And if it doesn't burn, then it's definitely evil!

    I realized too late that he had his mace in hand. He swung the ugly thing at me without skipping a beat. It hit me full in the face with a painful crack, flooding my vision with darkness.
    Whoops.

    I was in a position to make my companions squirm if they had been arrested for assaulting me.
    Hahaha, perfect. How often do you get to arrest the PCs for beating each other up? Even better, how often do you (as a PC) get to have the town guard arrest someone and be glad for it?

    Milo had a black eye and was grumbling about the wrath of the gods.
    Par for the course, then.

    Master Yu looked confused and awkward between two men.
    "How did I get here? I'm a birdmonster, can't I just fly away? Did anyone even remember I existed until it was time for the party to wake up in captivity?"

    “Someone other than him.” The captain grumbled, “You. Barbarian. Tell me what happened.”
    Good choice, lol.

    “And now you’ve failed the mission because of it.” The guard captain spat.
    This is a pretty big leap, even for an NPC guard captain. I mean, he's already gotten to know Milo well enough to know exactly what he's about; why would he think it would have gone differently if the inquisitor had known they were working for a shadowy organization of some kind?

    Before I could question what he wanted I felt a burning as if my memory was on fire. My mind flashed back to the scroll as I had seen it in the mirror and the words burnt into my mind as if I had read and understood it fully myself.
    Was wondering if we'd get this. Well-described.

    This kind of clumsy recruitment process hinted at either terrible management, or a desperate need for members.
    That's what I was thinking.

    a nebulous organization with limited regional control
    Nice.

    They were cruel and a waste of my talents, but at least they controlled the entirety of the south. Anything less was an insult.
    Very nice.

    Gold. I had no use for gold.
    Great flashback to Andrew scoffing at the exact same gold when he first met Kepesk. This has been a most enjoyable snippet eleven more levels, you say?
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  29. - Top - End - #329
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Dr Bwaa When are you going to fix that snippet of yours so that it's fit to review, hmmm?
    Spoiler
    Show

    This feels too abrupt. I feel like this is the sort of calming moment that takes a couple of minutes.
    It's supposed to be foreshadowing as well as a hint that messing with the blood bond has had side effects. It's a mannerism that belongs to someone else who Andrew thinks of as "untrustworthy". I'll take it out if it's too distracting.

    He really has it coming, lol. Will we get to see his death (that you so eloquently mentioned in a note a bit ago), I hope?
    Not for quite a while I'm afraid, but eventually.

    Thanks as always for the great review.


    Hopefully for the next bit, the guy who plays Variel will write a snippet detailing what happens. Get on it, Tim. I know you're subscribed to this thread.

  30. - Top - End - #330
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Xerinous's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chaos
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post

    ...Rufus is my favorite.
    The best part is that he sounds like an angry Scotsman. It's awesome.

    I'll get around to posting what happens next soon, have to write it first though.

    I'm the one playing Variel, by the way.
    Tired soldier avatar by the excellent TinyMushroom.
    You should probably look for some white text in my posts. I'm sneaky like that.
    Spoiler
    Show
    I am:

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •