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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I'm new to this, but it seems interesting and I will try my hand at it.

    Kingdoms Will Fall
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    The old woman croaked, "You have destiny at your door. Three is the number, you shall see."
    He drew a card. A proud castle held its head high among storms of men and gods.
    "Throne."
    He flipped another over. A star blazed from the card, blazing with unnatural white.
    "Star."
    He turned a third. A dark claw reached off the card, grasping his neck and choking him.
    "Talon."
    He shook it off. Just an illusion. He knew he was too powerful to be destroyed by a mere devil. "Thank you. I'll now be off."


    The crown on his head was battered, missing two jewels. He had worked hard for it. His lone castle had become a mighty realm, ruled by him and his group of heroes. His sword had become the bane of evil nearly everywhere.

    That was yesterday.

    Now the demon lord Nairus, whose son and heir had been slain by Kylorin, was massing his clouds of wrath. Demons ripped the life out of his brave soldiers with talons of fire, clawing through fine plate, gleaming chain, and hard leather alike with unholy grace and ease. Green skulls gibbered, fireballs roared like the dragons of older days, sprays of ice and snow and rays of shadows chaotically flew through the air above the turret of marrble where Hexila, his chief witch, was battling with the mighty mages of the Abyss. Kalah Stronglance, a paladin of mighty Eranus, was dying to horrible wounds clawed in him by millions of denizens of the dark plane, his blue-lit sword broken and cracked into tiny pieces. Aline, his half-elven cleric, was battling hopelessly against hundreds of dark spirits in the courtyard, her flaming mace like a catapult of death onto the legions of unholy dead.
    He knew he was doomed.

    "Jantus, get a troop of soldiers and take the galleys out of port. Fit as many men and women as possible in our fleet, and sail to Green Island. May you fare well."
    Jantus hid trickling tears in his beard, shot with grey like a frosted wood in the moonlight. He descended the steps to the courtyard's inner sanctum, hoping to get off before it was too late.

    Kylorin's armor, forged by the finest dwarf artisans, glowed with calm light. His runed sword was in his hand, shining in paleogian letters of the spirit of war.
    His knees bent, and he jumped. Rock crumbled beneath him as he leaped over the void beneath.
    Hundreds of arrows hissed at him, but he was not only a warrior, but a king wise in the ways of magic, and the arrows were consumed by white flame as he plummeted from the dark battlements. He slowed, and hit the ground with a crunch of dead bones beneath him.
    Kylorin slashed through the ranks of dead like a whirlwind. His scything blade felled any that withstood him. He was wounded by thousands of demon claws that burned his flesh as he destroyed them, but he stood strong in the dying Kingdom of Kyloria.
    A shadowed figure stood before him, bedecked in black armor forged by evil spirits deep in the earth. The demon lord's sword, hooked like an eagle's talon, answered the hero's sword in runes that glowed with tainted grey.
    "And so we meet, Kylorin."
    The hooked sword hissed out towards the hero's leg. With devilish speed and strength, he ripped through the plate and slashed a hole in his leg. Kylorin retaliated with a blow that crushed the demon lord's arm plate and nicked his hand.
    The demon and the human fought with flickering blades, with crushing blows, with feints and distractions. They fought long and hard, as the last green light flickered out over the blasted marble tower, as the half-elf cleric finally succumbed to wounds, as the fleet launched off with the last of the heroes of Kyloria.
    They fought not a duel, for a duel has honor. They hacked at each other with an elementary brutality. The sun darkened and the moon came out. But it was red.

    The demon lord feinted towards the human's cheekbone, then slashed with a hissing blade and cleaved his arm off. Kylorin's eyes went wide, and he fell, virtually dead, to the ground. The demon lord laughed and raised his sword for one last stroke.
    An arrow hit him in the elbow, and his aim slipped, cleaving into the ground. He looked where it had come from.
    A slight, young woman had fired it through the window. Her blue eyes were wide with determination as she raised another to bear. Her raven hair, topped with a silver circlet that matched Kylorin's, blew in the dire breeze. She could not let her love and king die while she was alive.
    The demon casually fired off a barrage of spells at her, watching, as did Kylorin, as she withered into a pile of dust under incredible amounts of magic. Kylorin moaned, gathering his anger into strength, and his only chance. His dying muscles, only moving by anger at his queen's callous murderer.

    Nairus laughed, and turned his back on his dead enemies. He had better things to do.
    The demon collapsed with a red-runed sword in his back, twitched, and dissipated. His armor fell to the battlefield with a clank.
    The human hero had done his last act. His honor had died, his kingdom had died, and his queen had died. He just needed to avenge them, and he did.
    "I won."

    ---

    Battlefield crows pecked the bodies of the dead, ignoring one metal-shelled man who stared glassily at the sky. A chill wind brought the stench of death to the fleet of refugees, now moving out to the last island controlled by Kyloria. The battlefield smoked of demon-fire, a choking stench. The turrets of the great castle were lifeless against the sinking moon. Armor gleamed in the mocking light with cold, pale death. A few fires burned atop the walls and in the courtyard, signaling demon lords heating their mortal slaves to keep them alive for the conquest of Green Island. They left at the break of dawn.
    With a negligent flick of their heads, they decided he would be too much of a nuisance to pick out of the armor that enclosed him. With a flap of black feathers, the quorum of crows flew off into the smoke-black sky.
    Last edited by Drowlord; 2012-07-26 at 09:32 AM.
    Characters in Lords of Creation games:
    Aquaeris, Flowing Sheen.
    Xacha, the Metal Serpent.
    Viltasa, the Evening Star.
    Yash-Ko, the Flame of the Void.
    Argul Lugra, Lord of the Eyes.
    Vriset, the Glassblower.

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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Dr Bwaa: I suppose you are correct. I am overusing the speech format. I will try to mix things up a bit. As for Ree/Fluffy/Herodrith, he doesn't mind kind hearted NPCs nearly as much as he dislikes "weak" characters. He tolerated Clarice far better than Aerye because she was a more powerful class.

  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I always thought of it as the ultimate gift for the players

    I want to play in your games

    @Drowlord
    Welcome! This snippet was very enjoyable; I sincerely hope you stick around! It sounds like there is a lot more to this story--I hope you decide to keep telling it!
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    ...His sword had become the bane of evil nearly everywhere.

    That was yesterday.
    Heh, very nice. I like this opening a lot.

    Green lights, fireballs, cones of cold and rays of death
    "green lights" and "cones of cold", I think, could be more descriptive. You're describing an ongoing, rather chaotic battle here, and some more vivid descriptions of the spell slinging around would be nice. They don't even have to be particularly faithful to the spells they're describing; in fact I think this sort of thing works better if descriptions do not conform exactly to spells. A cone of cold, for instance, is unlikely to actually look like a code of cold except to someone with the knowledge to call it by its spell name--it's really more of a blast of elemental ice.

    "Jantus, get a troop of soldiers and take the galleys out of port. Fit as many men and women as possible in our fleet, and sail to Green Island. May you fare well."
    The strong fighter hid trickling tears in his beard, shot with grey like a frosted wood in the moonlight.
    This whole passage is fantastic, except that the part I bolded is unclear and feels very game-mechanics-y. First, "the strong fighter" seems like it might apply to either of them--who is the subject here? If it's Kylorin, the exposition is a little too forced. We already know that he's a sword-wielding type with a battered crown, so we can assume he is both strong, and a fighter. However, in the next sentence, "he" clearly refers to Jantus, so now I have to wonder if that's who was being described, instead. I think you should get away with just using a name here, or else just describing him less explicitly but more clearly (refer to something about him that elicits a feeling of strength, rather than stating it outright, then use Jantus' name in the next sentence. Or if the whole thing is describing Jantus, give a description that clarifies that; something that would apply to Jantus but not to Kylorin).

    Hundreds of arrows hissed at him, and he blocked them with a shield of white fire. For he was not only a warrior, but a king wise in the ways of magic.
    The same goes here. If he's conjuring a shield of white fire, it's obvious that he can use magic. In this case, though, the explicit statement reads better, since I (as the reader) am caught somewhat off-guard by the shield of white fire coming from a warrior type (and since the phrasing could be a little more vivid in general). I think this passage would read more smoothly with the order switched around a bit, something like "Hundreds of arrows hissed through the air at him, but Kylorin was not only a warrior, but a king wise in the ways of magic, and every shaft that approached him was consumed in a flicker of white fire."

    He was wounded, but he stood strong in the dying Kingdom of Kyloria.
    When did he get wounded? Just now? This could use some clarity.

    They fought not a duel, for a duel has principals
    *principles, though I think a different word might be better here, anyway.

    A slight, young woman had fired it through the window. Her blue eyes were wide with determination as she raised another to bear.
    The demon casually fired off a barrage of spells at her, watching, as did Kylorin, as she withered into a pile of dust under incredible amounts of magic.
    This is a good moment, but as a reader I really want to know who that woman is. In a moment you mention Kylorin's queen--is this her? If so, I would expect a reaction from Kylorin, even though he's at the edge of death. If it's not her, then who is this random person? She gets a bit of description, but no name or context, and is then disintegrated. I want to know more!

    Battlefield crows pecked the bodies of the dead, ignoring one metal-shelled man who stared glassily at the sky. He would be too much of a nuisance to pick out of the shell that enclosed him. With a flap of black feathers, the crow flew off into the darkening sky.
    I like this final scene; it feels a bit rushed though. The repeated "shell" is a little awkward, and I assume that final "crow" is supposed to be plural. In general I'd like this ending paragraph to be just a bit longer--it's supposed to (unless I'm mistaken) give a sense of desolation and stillness, and force the reader to reflect on the battle. Just another sentence or two of description would be nice; it's good to make the pacing of the prose line up with the feelings you're trying to convey. Picture this snippet as the final scene in a movie--this shot of crows pecking at the dead, perhaps with a couple of widows/children appearing to look for survivors, would be a pretty long closing shot, all things considered, even though nothing is actually happening. I find that to be a helpful way to think about how much time to spend on a given description; obviously there are exceptions.
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-07-24 at 09:51 AM.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    @Drowlord
    Welcome! This snippet was very enjoyable; I sincerely hope you stick around! It sounds like there is a lot more to this story--I hope you decide to keep telling it!
    Thank you. It is a part of a long story, and I do intend to keep writing snippets of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
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    Heh, very nice. I like this opening a lot.

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    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    "green lights" and "cones of cold", I think, could be more descriptive. You're describing an ongoing, rather chaotic battle here, and some more vivid descriptions of the spell slinging around would be nice. They don't even have to be particularly faithful to the spells they're describing; in fact I think this sort of thing works better if descriptions do not conform exactly to spells. A cone of cold, for instance, is unlikely to actually look like a code of cold except to someone with the knowledge to call it by its spell name--it's really more of a blast of elemental ice.
    Good advice. I sort of added it to show where the other members of Kylorin's party were. To make it more descriptive would add a lot to the story. I will add that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    This whole passage is fantastic, except that the part I bolded is unclear and feels very game-mechanics-y. First, "the strong fighter" seems like it might apply to either of them--who is the subject here? If it's Kylorin, the exposition is a little too forced. We already know that he's a sword-wielding type with a battered crown, so we can assume he is both strong, and a fighter. However, in the next sentence, "he" clearly refers to Jantus, so now I have to wonder if that's who was being described, instead. I think you should get away with just using a name here, or else just describing him less explicitly but more clearly (refer to something about him that elicits a feeling of strength, rather than stating it outright, then use Jantus' name in the next sentence. Or if the whole thing is describing Jantus, give a description that clarifies that; something that would apply to Jantus but not to Kylorin).
    Yeah, that was one of the confusing points. Kylorin was the main character here, Jantus being a lower-level fighter who escaped the ruin of Kyloria. I will change that to show the scene more clearly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    The same goes here. If he's conjuring a shield of white fire, it's obvious that he can use magic. In this case, though, the explicit statement reads better, since I (as the reader) am caught somewhat off-guard by the shield of white fire coming from a warrior type (and since the phrasing could be a little more vivid in general). I think this passage would read more smoothly with the order switched around a bit, something like "Hundreds of arrows hissed through the air at him, but Kylorin was not only a warrior, but a king wise in the ways of magic, and every shaft that approached him was consumed in a flicker of white fire."
    Changing the wording around is very much clearer; thanks for mentioning it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    When did he get wounded? Just now? This could use some clarity.
    Yes, just then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    *principles, though I think a different word might be better here, anyway.
    I will change that to 'honor' or something similar. Good catch.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    This is a good moment, but as a reader I really want to know who that woman is. In a moment you mention Kylorin's queen--is this her? If so, I would expect a reaction from Kylorin, even though he's at the edge of death. If it's not her, then who is this random person? She gets a bit of description, but no name or context, and is then disintegrated. I want to know more!
    She is indeed Kylorin's queen. That should indeed be stated. I will put that in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I like this final scene; it feels a bit rushed though. The repeated "shell" is a little awkward, and I assume that final "crow" is supposed to be plural. In general I'd like this ending paragraph to be just a bit longer--it's supposed to (unless I'm mistaken) give a sense of desolation and stillness, and force the reader to reflect on the battle. Just another sentence or two of description would be nice; it's good to make the pacing of the prose line up with the feelings you're trying to convey. Picture this snippet as the final scene in a movie--this shot of crows pecking at the dead, perhaps with a couple of widows/children appearing to look for survivors, would be a pretty long closing shot, all things considered, even though nothing is actually happening. I find that to be a helpful way to think about how much time to spend on a given description; obviously there are exceptions.
    The second 'shell' will be changed to case now. I cannot think of a better word here, strangely. The second 'crow' was indeed intended to be 'crows', and I indeed forced the end. Will put in more description. Thanks again for the good advice, and I will edit the original and put in the second snippet in the series soon.




    Kingdoms Will Fall II
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    The night had fallen on Kyloria.
    Jantus stood on the deck of the flagship of the fleet, the Glitterscales. The shadows were ink of the gods, stirred into the water by the pounding of the huge storm that had roared from the heavens. Tongues of lightning shot from the sky, careening madly across the surf.

    Night had fallen.
    Jantus' cloak fluttered in the wind, and he shivered in his armor as the sky split open with winds of death. He knew Kylorin was dead, deep in his heart, and that meant Kyloria was doomed. So was he. The demons had slain the mightiest and noblest warrior he knew. Jantus had lived long, and seen many things, but he was the last hero of Kyloria the fallen, doomed among doom. Green Island, the last city of Kyloria, remained, with a shipload of refugees coming towards it.

    Kyloria had fallen.
    The welcoming yellow light of the lighthouse shone into the night, and the ship swung towards it. The fleet glowed with eerie blue fire as it docked in the harbor. Armored men, small children, and frightened women poured out on the docks, stumbling to places to stay with their families, huddled for warmth against the booming sky.

    Honor had fallen.
    Jantus roared over the storm, "There are dry rooms and food for you all in the fortress. We have been making them comfortable for you. Please go there, save the Knights of Kylorin."
    Most of the masses on the docks slowly shuffled along the crowded timbers, as lightning staggered and reeled in the sky overhead. A small force, armored but cloaked to keep the rain off, stood awaiting orders.

    Justice had fallen.
    Jantus ordered them to ready positions along the coast. They were the elite soldiers of Kyloria, and they would be alert whenever the enemies came. Jantus knew better than to hope they would be stopped by the water. He set off down the windings of the huge city to the palace-fortress of the Six of Kyloria; Kylorin, his queen Alenta, the witch Hexila, the paladin Kalah, Aline the cleric, and him. Now he alone ruled the forces of Kyloria. He alone could save them or destroy them. His fingers hefted his axe's handle as he walked to the army in front of the fortress.

    Bravery had fallen.
    "Men of Kyloria, I come to you today to state one thing. We are strong.
    The demons are strong, and intelligent, and deadly. We are mere men. They are menace incarnate. What have we they have not?
    We are brave, and they are not. Let us shield ourselves with bravery. We have love. Let our love power us into defending our country and loved ones. We have honor. Our honor will be a cleansing flame to their wooden lies. We shall set their straw trickery alight, and we will be a beacon of glory and goodness."

    Light had fallen.
    He walked among them to thundering applause. No thunder of earth, though, could drown the heavens' mad howl of death and darkness. He began ordering groups to different sections of the city walls, putting only a small elite guard in the fortress, which was in the very center of the city. He walked into the central bastion, into the bedroom prepared for him. His armor clinked as he fell into bed in it, too tired to take it off, too depressed to bother, too worried to think of it. The guards spread out through the palace, taking care not to wake the last hero of Kyloria.

    Twilight had fallen.
    Long after, a quiet hiss echoed through the palace as a glowing swirl appeared in the air in the back of Jantus' room. The demon general Kalarah, with a troop of demon warriors, slowly marched through the portal.
    Jantus' eyes opened as one dropped a shield, clattering among the floor's stones. He sprung out of bed and roared in shock, swinging his now-glowing axe at a demon soldier, cleaving through dark leather and demonic flesh. The soldier screamed and clawed at his mail coat, entangling its claws. It hissed frustratedly as he poleaxed it to the ground, knocking it out of his way. The demon general smiled, pulling out a long, barbed whip that glowed with abyssal fire. Cracking it, he sent his troops out to combat the elite guard in the fortress.

    The sun had fallen.
    Jantus swiped at the demon with the axe, but Kalarah coated it in fire, reducing the metal blade to bubbling puddles on the floor and the handle to a charred stick. Jantus managed to whack the demon on the side with the handle, creating a spray of blood that dripped down the demon's cloak, but Kalarah leapt at the human, his hands burning with dark flames. They burned into his chest, melting metal and setting cloth on fire.
    The hero stumbled back, melting metal baking his chest, two burning handprints in his skin. Black spots danced before his eyes, and he didn't move as Kalarah slowly charged a fire in the palm of his hand.
    He kicked out with an armored boot, smashing the demon's already-bruised side. Kalarah howled and clutched his side in pain. In a flash the human was at the demon's throat, gripping hard enough for Kalarah to see red.
    A whip curled around his hands, burning them deep with fire. He leapt back, his hands dead, his chest burned with demon fire and with melted steel welded to it.
    The demon cracked it across his shoulder, then realized his mistake as the human used the momentum to trap the burning whip in the crook of his shoulder and ripped it from his hands. The human savagely kicked the off-balance demon in the same spot. He sank to the floor, doubled over. The human raised his iron boot to kick in Kalarah's face.
    "Fool. Look where your honor is now."
    "Honor? You lost yours millennia ago."
    "You deserve better, Jantus. I see fate for you. Death is at your door."
    The last hero of Kyloria kicked with savage derision, cracking the grinning face below him. The body dissapeared in a blast of hellfire.
    He sank to the floor, burning with pain and loss. Honor gone, life gone. He had nothing to live for. He had killed without honor, had been mocked by a demon righteously. His heart slowly ceased to beat, and a dull nothingness spread over him.

    The last hero had fallen.
    The elite guard had defeated the last of the demon warriors infiltrating the palace. They went to report to the chief general, out ton the ramparts of the greater fortress.
    They saw they were too late. The last of their soldiers were fighting desperately with the hugely reduced demon horde.
    Their leader knelt, tears in his eyes. "The rest of you, go and fight for your country. I have something to do."
    They obeyed wordlessly, understanding his grief and rage. With a swirl of his cloak, the leader ascended the stairs to Jantus' room.
    The lone warrior knelt before the dead hero. Jantus had been their last hope. He had destroyed the second-in-command of the demon army, though. No hero could hope for much more.
    He focused, and stepped into a swirl in the air.

    Night had fallen on Kyloria.
    Last edited by Drowlord; 2012-07-26 at 10:35 AM.
    Characters in Lords of Creation games:
    Aquaeris, Flowing Sheen.
    Xacha, the Metal Serpent.
    Viltasa, the Evening Star.
    Yash-Ko, the Flame of the Void.
    Argul Lugra, Lord of the Eyes.
    Vriset, the Glassblower.

    Drow Lord avatar by Dread Angel.

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    If my beta doesn't get back to me soon maybe I'll just post this hideous chapter as-is. Bluh.

    @Drowlord
    I like the changes you've made to the first chapter. It did take me a moment to figure out what word the forums censored there at the end, though Depending on how important it is to you, you might consider rephrasing that. Onwards, to the chapter two comments!
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    The shadows were ink of the gods, stirred into the water by the pounding of the huge storm that had roared from the heavens.
    Great image. As before, this snippet begins beautifully.

    he shivered in his armor as the sky split open with winds of death from the battle that had slain the mightiest and noblest warrior he knew
    There's a lot going on in this sentence; the beginning is great, but somewhere in the middle it loses focus a bit. I think this would be stronger if you broke it up; on the one hand you've got Jantus shivering in his armor agains the ugly ocean breeze off the land; on the other you've got the battle and the loss of a companion. They're related, but they don't need to be smashed together quite so closely, I don't think (or maybe I just object to the verb "split" used here as a thing that "winds of death" can do. Either way, I'd prefer Jantus shivering (not from the cold, but from the reminder, yes? Again, this is a good moment), then another sentence of reflection on the fallen Kylorin.

    He had lived long, and seen many things. But he was the last hero of Kyloria the fallen.
    This comes right after a partial-switch to talking about Kylorin, which makes the subject of these sentences unclear. I assume you're still referring to Jantus, but it's not very clear.

    One city remained, with a small fleet of refugees coming towards them.
    This sentence confuses me. It just needs a touch of cleanup; the only thing we know about is the ship. What city (or does this refer to the fleeing population of the fallen one)? Who is "them"?

    Armored men, small children, and women
    Parallelism is a way of making your phrases and sentences more cohesive; here, by not putting an adjective in front of "women", you break the parallel structure you had set up with the beginning of the sentence. It's not wrong by any means, but the sentence will be smoother if you put something there (even better if you can make each phrase have the same number of total syllables (lush berries, tart apples, and sweet peaches)).

    poured out on the docks, wandering to comfortable places to stay, huddled for warmth against the frothing sky.
    This is a little ambivalent. "Wandering" and "comfortable" suggest calm and perhaps melancholy, whereas "poured", "huddled", and "frothing" are all very energetic.

    Most of the masses on the docks slowly moved along the crowded timbers
    Shuffled, pressed, something more descriptive. Try not to use bland verbs like "moved" or "went" unless there's really no alternative.

    A small force, armored but cloaked to keep the rain off, stood in the deluging rain, waking orders.
    *Awaiting. Also, I would take out "in the deluging rain" altogether: "A small, armored force, cloaked to keep the rain off, remained on the dock awaiting orders." We already know it's pouring, and you mention it once already in this very sentence. Repetition without really hammering it intentionally just makes it feel awkward.

    Kylorin, his queen, Alenta, the paladin, Kalah, Alina, the cleric, and him.
    I can't make six out of this no matter what I do. You don't need commas when you're describing someone twice in a list like this (so "...Kalah, the cleric Alina, and him." Also, just a note: I'm pretty sure her name was Aline in the last snippet).

    "Men of Kyloria, I come to you today to state one thing. We are strong."
    "The demons are strong, and intelligent, and deadly. We are mere men. They are menace incarnate. What have we they have not?"
    "We are brave, and they are not. Let us shield ourselves with bravery. We have love. Let our love power us into defending our country and loved ones. We have honor. Our honor will be a cleansing flame to their wooden lies. We shall set their straw trickery alight, and we will be a beacon of glory and goodness."
    I'm assuming you don't mean for him to get interrupted in the middle, but that's how this reads. If that's intentional, it could be clarified a touch. If not, you should remove the end-quotes from Jantus' first two paragraphs (this shows that when the next quote arrives, it's still the same guy speaking).

    putting only a small elite guard in the fortress. He walked into the fortress...
    Are they not all in the fortress, if they're guarding the walls? Perhaps you're referring to the inner keep here?

    He sprung out of bed and yelled, swinging his now-glowing axe at a demon soldier
    Just "yelled"? His axe lights up and he springs out of bed, but "yelled" falls a bit flat.

    It hissed frustratedly as he poleaxed it to the ground
    When did he get a polearm?

    Jantus swiped at the demon with the axe
    Over the course of this fight, you say "the demon" about fifty times. We even know its name already; mix it up a bit and try to avoid the needless repetition. Obviously there's only so much you can do; it's a fight scene and it's important to avoid confusion, but still. The same goes for the word "fire".

    causing a highly painful bruise at least
    There has got to be a more descriptive way to say this. Or, if this is mean to be Jantus thinking semi-ironically to himself, say that! "Well, at least he'll have a bruise there in the morning. Probably, thought Jantus as the demon leaped at him, flaming fists outstreched." Of course, you haven't done any thought-process stuff yet, so even that may not flow so well without a touch of setup.

    The last hero of Kyloria kicked with savage derision on the grinning face below him.
    Do you really kick on things?

    He sank to the floor, dying of pain and loss, of all. Honor gone, life gone.
    I can see what you're doing here, but I don't think it comes across as clearly as you'd like it to. "Dying" is not as descriptive a word as you could use here, and the "of all" really breaks up the flow. A little more time on this description--he's essentially making a conscious decision to give up on life here (if I understand correctly--or else he's just dying with sorrow and grief as the last things in his heart). That's the kind of thing that deserves at least a little more description than you're giving it here.

    He focused, and with not a sound, created a swirl in the air he stepped into.
    Ahhhhh what? Who is this guy? I understand why he's leaving; that's fairly clear (apparently he doesn't think much about honor himself, though...), but who is he and why was his reaction to run to Jantus, see him dead, then gtfo? I really liked where this thing was ending, except that this left me just incredibly confused.

    <X> had fallen
    I like what you did with these; just thought I'd mention it. The very first one seemed a little awkward; I figured it would mirror the last one but it still doesn't parallel the rest of them, where it feels like it should. I don't really know how you could fix that though; maybe I'm just obnoxious that way.

    I liked this snippet a lot! It does seem like you rushed some things; there are some miscellaneous typos and tense/agreement issues, but I certainly enjoyed it. I was kind of expecting chapter one to be the end of the campaign--and now it seems like it's even ended-er--but now I'm mentally hooked into the past and future of this campaign, so well done. Looking forward to seeing where this goes/comes from!

    Holy cow these comments got away from me, didn't they.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Responses! All suggested changes made. As for the typos, my spellcheck is very odd. Indeed, the guy that escaped into the portal was intended to be mysterious. He comes up later.
    I might put a prequel or two here soon. The past of the story is indeed longer thank what happens after this, and a lot less dark.
    Characters in Lords of Creation games:
    Aquaeris, Flowing Sheen.
    Xacha, the Metal Serpent.
    Viltasa, the Evening Star.
    Yash-Ko, the Flame of the Void.
    Argul Lugra, Lord of the Eyes.
    Vriset, the Glassblower.

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  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    So, this is neither of the snippets I promised!

    Embrace
    You just had to take that five-dot mentor, didn't you?

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    "You shouldn't have bruised her."

    My body - especially my head - aches, and the way the unfamiliar voice echoes (where am I? This isn't McConnel's Bar and Grill) doesn't help the pain any. There's some kind of bag over my head and it reeks of sweat and blood.

    "Couldn't be helped, my Prince," a male voice (a deep rumble that makes my temples throb) replies with a faint trace of apology. "There were interlopers, and I had to get away quickly."

    I groan in pain, and the other voice (female, I think - light, but with a hard edge like sharpened glass) perks up.

    "She's awake! Do remove the bag, will you?"

    The bag is yanked from my head, but the darkness around me is not much brighter. I'm underground somewhere - an abandoned subway station, I think - and the only light comes from weak electric lanterns. I'm tied down to a chair, and a woman rests on her heels in front of me, looking up slightly to see me. She is not beautiful, but might be called attractive; pale, with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Her smile is disconcerting, and her teeth stained pink. She is perhaps seventeen, maybe nineteen on the outside.

    "Where am I? What do you want?"

    The woman's smile gets broader. I can feel, more than see, the male presence behind me.

    "A classic question, as common in this tongue as in any other," the woman replies conversationally. She stands and stretches, cat-like, before sauntering over to where I sit and settling down on my lap. I swallow hard and try not to shiver in fear when she leans in and sniffs me.

    "Am I needed further, my Prince?" the male voice rumbles. The woman - the Prince? - shakes her head and then returns her attention to me. Her eyes are wrong, somehow, though I can't place why I would say so.

    "Let's cut the crap out first, shall we? Your name is Elizabeth Shore. Your friends call you Lizzie, and your former boyfriend called you quite a few other names, usually while beating you. You work in a factory that smelts iron, and were rather delighted to eventually discover that it smelts people just fine too. I don't think he beats you any more."

    Her gaze was steady, and her little predatory smile was challenging me to deny her statements. A small sob tried to fight its way out of my throat, but I choked it down and nodded, just once. "How do you know all of this?" I asked quietly, trying not to let fear strangle my voice.

    "I know a lot of things," she evaded with that damn smile of hers. "You interested me, Elizabeth, so I decided that one of the things I wanted to know was you - and I'm not disappointed, let me tell you. He deserved all you gave him and more." She nuzzled against my neck and this time I did shudder. I could feel her tongue run against my jugular, and in shock I tried to slide backwards away from her, which succeeded only in bruising my back against the chair.

    Her amused chuckle echoed through the abandoned station.

    "What do you want?" I pleaded again. "I was just out drinking, I don't even know you."

    "Of course you don't, Elizabeth," she practically purred, "Very few people know me, really. Not even the ones who think they do. Elizabeth, I find myself in a position that I did not feel I would ever be in. I want...an heir, I suppose. Someone to manage my affairs while I am gone, and return them to me when I rise again. I think you could be that person, Elizabeth."

    She paused for a moment while she pressed her lips to my ear.

    "Elizabeth Shore," she whispered, "how much do you fear death?"

    She was very close and pressed into me, and there was no missing the fingers she trailed up my neck, tracing the path of my veins and leaving goosebumps behind them. I could smell something faint and coppery on her skin - all facts that I was noting instead of replying.

    How do you even reply to that?

    "Quite a bit, I'd gather," she continued, the purr growing more pronounced in her tone. "A shame, that, since you are going to die tonight. I am going to kill you, Elizabeth."

    Another sob forced down. I turned my head and stared her in her eyes, not letting my terror show even while my mind scrambled for some way out of this. Something about my desperate defiance made her chuckle, and her face got closer to mine until we were only the barest fractions of inches apart.

    "Why?" I finally demanded, fear coloring into anger. "What have I ever done to you?"

    "Absolutely nothing, pretty girl," she replied without missing a beat. "In fact, you've done quite a bit that I like. Which is why I am offering you something, too. I could simply slit your throat and bury you out back, because now you've seen too much. Or you can live forever. Your choice."

    "What's the catch?" my reply was instant, reflexive, and I almost regretted saying it, but my 'hostess' only nodded, as though complimenting my good sense.

    "Significant catches. For one thing, you still have to fear the death which sweeps in on raven's wings and does violence upon the living. For another, you'll have to serve me until such a time as I deem your education fit - and possibly for quite some time thereafter, depending on how loyal you are. My enemies will become yours, and you'll have to forsake and abandon your living friends and family. Of course, you'll also have eternal youth, power both mystical and political, and influence beyond your wildest dreams. There's significant benefits too, you know."

    Sweat ran into my eyes, and I blinked furiously to clear them. When my vision stopped swimming, the smiling teenager on my lap kissed me.

    It was a strange sort of kiss to get while restrained - passionate, almost affectionate - and it was very hard for me not to return it on instinct. I was a lonely person, and in a way that spoke more profoundly than words ever could or would, that kiss told me she was lonely too.

    "I'd rather not bury you out back," she murmured demurely. "But if it ever turns out that you don't like immortality, it's always an available option."

    "Do it," I croaked out, not trusting myself with anything further.

    When she leaned in again, I thought she was going to kiss me.

    She did not.

    * * *

    I awoke on the floor, fragments of memory competing for my attention. A passionate kiss. A puddle of my own blood steaming on the floor. Attractive lips turned upwards into a smile flecked with red.

    I died, didn't I?

    I was helped up to my feet, and when I saw the girl who had had me kidnapped something screamed in the back of my mind - a howling, furious terror that I only barely fought down. She stood up on her tip-toes and planted another playful kiss on my lips before turning and sauntering off, waving for me to follow her.

    "What now?" I demanded as I jogged up to her. She turned her head and smiled at me.

    "Now? Right now we find you a big side of beef. Then, we talk. I'm glad you chose to come with me, Elizabeth Shore."

    "I...think I am too, Prince." I spoke the last word with significant hesitation, not knowing if it was correct.

    She gave me an odd, but pleased look, "You learn quickly, but please, my name is Astrid. I think we'll get along just fine."


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Yay, new snippet!

    "I Think I Know This Guy!"
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    "Well, this is it!" Aerye exclaimed happily. "Here's the village!"

    The young elf gestured down into a valley toward a small town down in the middle of the vale. It seemed a peaceful place, and from where they stood the adventurers could see the vague shapes of people going about their business.

    Ree scoffed. "This place looks dull."

    "Don't worry," Jerea said as she clapped her companion on the shoulder, "I'm sure we'll find something to do soon enough."

    "I remember that the blacksmith said he needed help. Why don't we go talk to him?" Aerye suggested.

    ***

    "Fine bunch of lasses ye are," the burly dwarven blacksmith grumbled.

    "Hey, I'm not a girl!" Saitomi protested.

    The old dwarf laughed heartily, clutching at his sides in mirth. "Ye elves all look like lasses to me!"

    "Aerye said that you needed help with something," Jerea said.

    "Oh, aye, that I do, but ye tall folk ain't going far without supplies and armor now are ye?" the dwarf replied. "Take a look at me stock and take what ye need."

    "Chain shirt," Saitomi and Jerea said simultaneously.

    ***

    "There's no end to them!" Saitomi screamed.

    Jerea reared back and smashed in the skull of yet another centaur as he charged. "Keep fighting! We can't give up!"

    "I'm out of spells," Ree sighed resignedly. "Again."

    "I'm not surprised," Jerea muttered.

    A centaur's spear plunged through Saitomi's shoulder, but Aerye was by his side immediately to tend to the wound with her magic. The adventurers fought back to back as the seemingly never-ending horde of corrupted centaurs continued their relentless assault despite the corpses piling up around the four adventurers. Suddenly, the diseased horde pulled back as their leader strode forth.

    He was a massive centaur clad in thick black plate armor, and the fur on his horse-half was a dark grey. Wisps of spectral blue flame spurted from beneath his armor from every movement, and the air around the green-bladed halberd he wielded was distorted from the heat resonating from the weapon.

    "Foolish mortals," the creature roared, "you dare stand up to the might of Baron Madius?"

    Jerea tightened the grip on her maul as Saitomi stepped beside her, his bloody blades held firm despite the elf's exhaustion. "We won't let you terrorize the people of this land any longer!" the cleric shouted fiercely.

    "I'm not afraid anymore," Aerye said firmly.

    "I will make you suffer, little elf!" Madius bellowed.

    Ree folded her arms over her chest and smirked defiantly. "But ... suffering is magical!"

    "I'll kill you first, you impudent lout!" the spectral centaur snarled as her charged the sorceress.

    ***

    "I can't believe we did it!" Saitomi cried excitedly, jumping up and down atop the spectral centaur's remains.

    With Baron Madius defeated, the centaurs returned to their normal peaceful selves, tending to the adventurers' injuries and offering them what gifts they could.

    Jerea nodded to Saitomi. "It was hard fought, but we managed to come out on top."

    "Looks like Hecarim won his last blue ribbon," Ree snickered as she crushed the defeated foe's helmet beneath her boot.

    "Really?" a passing centaur grumbled dryly.

    Ree shrugged. "What?"

    "We should get going back to town," Jerea stated, "we need to take Aerye back to town and give her a proper burial."

    "Wait, she died?" Ree asked, confused.

    Saitomi sighed sadly as he looked down at the young elf's corpse in his arms. "Remember? She healed you instead of herself with her last healing spell. She saved you."

    "I thought she would have stabilized," Ree replied.

    Jerea shook her head. "I couldn't get to her in time."

    Ree gave a small shrug as she started slowly down the dirt road back to town. "I guess she wasn't so bad after all."

    Jerea and Saitomi looked at each other in surprise for a moment, then hustled to catch up with the sorceress. Unbeknownst to the three adventurers, a pair of eyes watched their every movement from the underbrush. The watcher squeezed a tiny gemstone, silently communicating to his allies.

    I've found them.

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    All right, I'm still not all that happy with this but my usual beta hasn't gotten back to me in a while so I did a "final" round of edits and now I'm just posting this thing. It may be subject to drastic change whenever he gets his comments to me; I'll mention it & edit this post if so. For now I want to get it posted so I can stop thinking about it and move on to the next chapter. Your comments and critiques would be very much appreciated; I would love to improve this chapter. [edit: big changes to this chapter coming this weekend!]

    When we last left our heroes, Claaus, Nim, and Filbert had been sucked into a pocket plane inside a treasure chest, where Nim made a deal with an Inevitable. Then the three of them were pulled into a copy of the treasure chest they were standing inside.
    Previous chapters: 1 2 3 4

    Mist and Light
    or: These Should Not Be CR 6

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    The transition is easier this time. With the release of the pressure comes a heavy, tangible clunk as my feet hit a real surface. I open my eyes to a curious sight. Rather than being returned to the bank of Joseph’s River, we’ve appeared in a large room of some kind. The ceiling, not quite a foot above my head, is made of wide, arrow-straight boards, and the room itself is wide and empty. The ground is made of finely-crafted wood as well, though about twenty feet out directly in front of us, the floor disappears into a heavy, silent fog. The only source of light is the mist itself, glowing dimly yellow.

    I draw a deep breath, relishing air that has a taste again despite the faint stench of rot marring the the sweetness of old timber. I turn towards Filbert, then to Nim, both of them shaking out their limbs and looking about. I free a torch from where it hangs on my pack, lighting it with an alchemical tindertwig. The extra light reveals little about our surroundings, except that now I can see a long, curved wall circling behind us before eventually disappearing into the gloom on either side. There’s only one way to go.

    Filbert apparently agrees with me; he pulls out a torch of his own and dips his sash over his eyes for a moment before lighting it. “Nim, your artifact is out in this mist someplace--I can’t tell where exactly.”

    Nim is quick to respond, as always. “Well, then let’s go look for it!” Rather than a torch, he pulls out the Nocturne, and strikes up one of his favorites--a light Elven marching tune called Faerie Fight. Without another word, he starts out for the glowing mist, and Filbert and I rush to catch up. I draw Honor Bound from its sheath, the Aegis from my back, and the three of us walk side-by-side into the thick fog.

    The reek of decay worsens immediately. The only sound is Nim’s playing, to the beat of our clear footfalls on the wooden floor, until my boot suddenly lands on something else. I freeze, holding out an arm to halt Nim’s progress beside me. I glance down to see a muddy line where the hard wood beneath our feet gives way abruptly to tall reeds and damp earth. Testing the ground for firmness for and finding purchase without difficulty, I lower my arm and step forward again, proceeding slowly now.

    “Watch your step. We might run out of solid ground at any time.” I glimpse Nim rolling his eyes, but nonetheless he joins Filbert and I in testing the ground ahead before taking each step.

    With his free hand, Filbert pulls the sash over his eyes again and immediately sighs. I turn to him, and he shakes his head and explains. “The fog itself is giving off Nim’s aura. It’s just as strong behind us as ahead.” He removes the blindfold, stopping for a moment to tighten the knot at the back of his head before resuming the careful process of walking across the bog.

    I frown and return my eyes to the ground in front of me. “Who knows; maybe it’ll clear up soon.”

    There’s a momentary pause as everyone fails to believe that little fantasy, until Nim interrupts his playing and points suddenly left. “Look! Someone else is in here with us!”

    Sure enough, a torchlight, barely visible through the heavy, glowing fog, dips and sways in the distance. “Hello there!” Nim calls out, his naturally-loud voice cutting through the thick air. Filbert I and both cringe, and I hiss “Nim!” He just smiles his most infuriating grin and yells again, “Who are you?”

    I don’t know whether to be relieved when no one responds to his shouts. The light just continues its erratic movement, fading slowly into the background glow as it moves away from us. “Follow it,” I say after a moment, “But be careful.”

    “Sure, dad,” Nim quips instantly. I glimpse Filbert shoot him a glare behind my back, and Nim goes back to his playing, mouth conspicuously shut, as I stomp forward, toward the glimmering light. Absently, I touch the flask my father gave me the last time I saw him. Last we heard, disgraced by my treasonous actions and desertion, my father had been stripped of his rank and pension, and “graciously” given the chance to re-enlist for a tour in the southern jungles. For all I know, he’s down there now, crawling through the mud and drinking that horse-piss liquor with men decades his junior. Fighting man-sized snakes and creatures warped by magic in the heart of the jungle. For all I know, he’s not coming back.

    I don’t even notice that I’ve almost caught up to the orange glow until there’s a loud splash as I miss solid ground and lurch into knee-deep, fetid water. “Claaus!” I hear Filbert call behind me, followed by his hurried footsteps. “I’m fine!” I yell back quickly, “step carefully! The ground is--”

    I’m cut off by an extremely bizarre, extremely painful sensation, like every muscle on my right side fell asleep at once. My fingers feel hot, full of splinters, wrapped tightly around Honor Bound’s hilt. I’ve felt this pain once before--when I was hit by an Antonian mage’s Lightning spell. I try to warn the others, but only manage to blurt out a strained “Gah!”

    It’s enough to get them to stop, at least long enough for the sensation to fade out to an unpleasant twinge, and I blink hard and look around for the source of the lightning.

    “What is it?” one of them calls out, not too far away by the sound.

    “Lightning!” I shout back, grabbing a fistful of reeds to pull myself up out of the muck. “Don’t know where it came from!”

    As if to provide the explanation for me, half a dozen more torchlights appear in front of me. Yet more drift into view behind Nim and Filbert. They dip low to the ground, too low for anyone to be carrying them, and too sudden. Dancing faerie globes of light lead trav’lers from their path at night...

    The children’s rhyme leaps to mind unbidden, a morbid tale of evil spirits that haunt blighted marshes... “Will-o-wisps!” I shout as I finally gain solid footing and ready my shield. “They’re will-o-wisps!”

    A beat, then a reaction I was entirely unprepared for: Nim stops playing and doubles over, hands on his knees, roaring with laughter. “Will-o-wisps!” he cries, “of course it’s will-o-wisps!” Filbert’s concerned face subsides for a moment in favor of a slight smirk, and Nim looks up at me expectantly. Honestly, I see nothing funny about the situation.

    “Don’t just stand around gawping! Kill them!”

    Once Nim gets serious about it, the fight is reasonably quick, though exhausting. I quickly discover that neither shield nor armor seem to offer any protection from the will-o-wisps’ shocking sting, but after one of the wretched spirits lands a touch on Nim and leaves him gasping for breath, I focus on keeping them off him while he slings knives through their spongy, circular bodies. Filbert crushes them in his bare hands; saying they don’t shock him as much because of one of his magical tattoos, but every time one dives at Nim, I knock it out of the way or interpose myself between them, lightning soaring under my skin. As much as Charlize’s arcane firepower would be a blessing here, I’m glad she’s not with us--I truly don’t know if I could protect them both. I’ve drunk all but one of my strongest healing potions just to remain standing by the time the last one falls.

    When it does, the three of us are left standing on our small hillock, panting and still looking around warily for more foes. Then, a familiar pressure seizes us, crushing down on skull and heart and lungs for what seems like an eternity, before releasing us as suddenly as before, and when I open my eyes, it’s to the glare of bright, natural afternoon sun on the east bank of Joseph’s River.

    Charlize and Namia jump back at our sudden appearance. It takes all of us a moment to realize what’s happened and lower our weapons. After a glance around to ensure that we’re no longer in danger, I drop my sword and shield carelessly and sink to my knees in the soft grass. I remove my helmet, tossing it to the ground in front of me. The world feels too quiet, but after a fight it always does.

    I pull off my gauntlets. My hands look how all my skin feels--burned, bloodied and raw, covered in weeping blisters. I massage them in slow, small circles, then move on to my face and temples, wincing silently at each touch. Eventually Namia appears in front of me, looking more concerned than usual. I can barely hear her when she speaks; it sounds like I’m underwater. “Claaus? Nim says you took quite a beating, and from the looks of you, he didn’t even have to exaggerate anything.” She reaches toward me with a damp cloth in hand--I take it from her and begin patting gingerly at my face, noticing how bloody my ears apparently are.

    I cough to break the silence. “What about Nim’s artifact? Did he find it?”

    Namia cringes and looks up over my shoulder; I turn around as much as my stiffening neck will allow. Nim hovers nearby, shifting his weight from foot to foot with an uncharacteristic look of concern of his face. I can’t see Charlize, but Filbert meets my eyes for a moment, then turns and slips his blindfold on, looking all about.

    Filbert says something to Nim, too quiet for me to hear, but Nim pulls his small satchel from his back, unfastens the clasps and pulls it open. Glancing inside, he quickly pulls something out--a dark shape that’s harder to focus my eyes on than everything else is. Only when he begins doing tricks with it, flipping it through the air like a shadow, do I figure out that what I’m trying to look at is the dagger of the Nocturne: the Will-O-Wisp.

    “Will-o-wisps...” I mutter. “Heh.” My voice feels syrupy in my ears. I turn back to Namia and start to chuckle, but end up coughing instead. Namia puts a cool hand to the side of my face; I can’t help but notice that it still comes away covered in blood. “Stay here a moment, Claaus,” she says, still so softly. She stands, goes to retrieve her bag of supplies. I don’t move, content to sit in silence, slowly wiping the blood from my ears and neck. When she returns, she’s holding her bag in one hand and a short ashwood staff in the other.

    Druidic healing feels very different than the clerical variety. When I drink a healing potion, it feels like the prickling wounds simply close up and disappear. When a druid uses healing magic, it feels more like growing entirely new skin and muscle in a matter of seconds. It is a disturbing sensation, but not altogether unpleasant, like a release of water from inside my ear.

    In less than a minute, I feel completely refreshed; every bit of my skin soft and new and a little pink. I smile gratefully at Namia and stand up, retrieving my gear from the grass. We walk to the edge of the riverbank to join the others, and they look up from their conversation and smile back--even Charlize is showing her relief. I sit down next to her, facing the sun over the plains, and begin slowly cleaning off each piece of equipment in turn. As Nim begins telling the women what happened, Filbert hands me a small river pebble, nodding up at him. “For when he starts lying,” he explains, smirking and revealing a handful more in his palm.




    And now, some very belated comments for you guys!

    @Gareth
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    You work in a factory that smelts iron, and were rather delighted to eventually discover that it smelts people just fine too.
    Hehehe. Your prose has been lovely as always prior to this as well, but I had to chuckle at this line.

    I am going to kill you, Elizabeth.
    This, and the whole scene following it, is great. Everything is crystal-clear and the language is very smooth.

    "I...think I am too, Prince." I spoke the last word with significant hesitation, not knowing if it was correct.
    Personally, I am picturing her saying "Prince" with a question mark, in which case you might as well put it in there. If that's not what you meant, the description of her speech could be clarified a bit.

    Overall, I really loved this one (obviously you still owe us the other two, and I'm still hoping you'll finish HoaTP eventually ). There are a couple of sort of strange things plot-wise that I didn't really notice until after, but it's unclear where the man went (or whether it matters, but as they're "underground somewhere" it might be nice to get anything else about him before the snippet ends (obviously he's not actually important, so Astrid wouldn't draw attention to him or anything, but still). Somewhat tangentially related, some more descriptive movement at the end would be nice--Astrid is far enough away that Lizzie has to jog to catch up to her (when does this happen, anyway? They're right next to each other; Astrid saunters away; Lizzie has to jog to keep pace?), but unless you're in the Matrix subway stations aren't just long empty hallways. If they're going upstairs, or wherever, it would be nice to get some more description of what that movement actually is.


    @SleepyShadow
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    The old dwarf laughed heartily, clutching at his sides in mirth. "Ye elves all look like lasses to me!"
    Oh my god this is wonderful.

    "I'm out of spells," Ree sighed resignedly. "Again."

    "I'm not surprised," Jerea muttered
    Heheheheh. "I hate playing below level 5." "You only ever roll casters!" "Yeah exactly."

    corpses piling up around the four adventurers.
    Do you mean to tell me that the players didn't try to construct a wall of deal zombies in the middle of the fight? For shame!

    "I can't believe we did it!" Saitomi cried excitedly, jumping up and down atop the spectral centaur's remains.
    This group just produces the weirdest scenes. I'm a bit curious what constitues "remains" for a spectral creature, though.

    "Looks like Hecarim won his last blue ribbon," Ree snickered as she crushed the defeated foe's helmet beneath her boot.

    "Really?" a passing centaur grumbled dryly.
    Aaaahahaha. To be fair, that was a pretty good reference

    "Wait, she died?" Ree asked, confused.

    Saitomi sighed sadly as he looked down at the young elf's corpse in his arms. "Remember? She healed you instead of herself with her last healing spell. She saved you."
    Okay, I take back what I said earlier about weird scenes; this is way funnier (/sadder/awkwarder--is nothing sacred to you? I feel so bad for laughing now!). Ree and Jerea talking to each other, the latter holding the limp body of the Healer NPC, and Ree's has no idea that she's dead. Awesome (and I really like the way you reveal this scene to the reader!).

    Excellent snippet; the only broad criticism I'd mention is that we're not getting a lot of character development (I'm aware that this is a hazard with your group, lol). I don't have any easy way to differentiate the non-Ree personalities in my mind at the moment, which I think is largely from them mostly interacting with Ree (since basically everyone seems like a friendly, good-aligned, generally cheerful person in comparison). If you can find a place to toss in some conversation just between Saitomi & Jerea (and any other NPCs they manage to find without killing I guess) it would help that a lot.
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-08-14 at 06:57 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

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    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

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  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    My computer has been unuseable for a while, however, I am near to accessing my pre-written snippets soon.

    So, coming soon:

    What on earth have you been up to while I was gone?
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  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    No One Likes A Paladin
    or: Since When Can The Elf Fight?
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    With the undead unable to follow us, it’s just Sulderis and Maga to keep any assailants away from Moroch and I. I hope the Elf is up to it; he’s been twitchy since he had a discussion with a couple Drow back at the Grim Procession. Maga seems tough enough, anyway.

    We enter the left door at the end of this short hallway. Inside, it’s what I’d expected: a cathedral. Row upon row of pews; the floor decorated with the same square-and-diamond pattern on the doors. Still Hallowed. Still—

    “Prepare yourselves, foul necromancers! Your stain will not sully these aged walls!” The brass voice calls out from the opposite side of the room, and then immediately come the sounds of hurried feet and more shouts about “evildoers”. Paladins. Terrific.

    Sulderis jumps a couple of pews, sending his light ahead of him so we can get a good look at three heavily muscled men with wolflike heads, clad in white and gold. Archon paladins. Of course they are.

    At least I know how to deal with archons. As their leader engages Sulderis, I draw the symbols in the air and force the words of power from my throat. The oppressive Hallow makes it feel like my mouth is full of potatoes and my hands swimming in mercury, but I force the spell through to completion. The walkway next to the Elf sizzles and flares with blinding energy as a fiendish grizzly bear roars into being next to him, blocking the archons’ path to the frailer members of the team.

    Not that that matters, of course. These savages have no idea how much trouble they’re in for against one bear. The leader does engage with the grizzly and the Elf, but the two others disappear, reappearing between Moroch and I with a thunderclap.

    Startled, I stumble back, into the side wall, and fumble for a bit of gauze in my spell pouch. I’ve no intention of going hand-to-hand with these sword-wielding brutes, so as Moroch turns to run back the way we came, I complete my transformation into a harmless mist, and drift gently upwards out of reach to watch the battle unfold.

    From my vantage point between the two rooms I watch Maga chase the two archons following Moroch—growing up as a slave to the trolls doesn’t leave much room for fear, I suppose. Moroch beats a hasty retreat to the skeletons in the next room, taking occasional hits from the archons but keeping his feet and wearing them down thanks to a fiery shield I’m not familiar with. Sulderis and the bear soon overpower the paladin fighting them, and as Moroch finally gets behind his skeletal monsters, Sulderis comes tearing out of the church toward the two remaining archons.

    They blink away from him, past the skeletons and next to Moroch once again, but Sulderis catches one on his blade mid-spell, and only a messy lower half of that archon arrives to block Moroch’s escape. The last archon, surrounded now by all the skeletons and the bear, yells some defiant challenge, but he barely has time to swing his blade before a Missile barrage from the Elf puts him down for good. I should find out what’s eating at him, maybe aggravate it. Whiny as he is, it’s making him a better fighter.
    Okay, so Lord_Gareth poked me via PM about this thread again today, so this is me sheepishly wandering back in. As of right now, I fully intend to read everything, but I probably won't comment on it - 6 pages is just too much - unless there is something that someone specifically requests I read (Gareth, wasn't there something you were badgering me about earlier?)

    I am however, commenting on this one above, because the ending made me snicker - I thought the battle itself was good, you gave enough information for us to understand what was going on and who was doing what, without getting bogged down in all the little details (which is what happens to me when I write battle scenes, you can pack a surprising amount into 6 seconds!). The only thing I'd suggest would be make the last two sentences a separate paragraph to give it more oopmh.


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  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    When we last left our heroes, Claaus, Nim, and Filbert had been sucked into a pocket plane inside a treasure chest, where Nim made a deal with an Inevitable. Then the three of them were pulled into a copy of the treasure chest they were standing inside.
    I enjoyed your snippet quite a lot. I think perhaps my favorite part was the differential made between clerical healing and druidic healing. It was quite an interesting bit of description.

    As a side-note, I must agree that will-o-wisps are a bit under CR'd.


    This snippet brings the party to a premature end, when an otherwise doable fight turns lethal.

    Blood In The Sand (or "What Should We Do Now?")
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    Jerea, Ree, and Saitomi spent several days in town spending their hard-earned wealth on armor, weaponry, and small magical trinkets. Given their status as outsiders to the area, it only took a few minutes of asking around for the dwarf blacksmith to track them down. Jerea was the first to be found, the young woman seated by the town square's fountain while she entertained the local children with stories of her adventures. The blacksmith approached with a stern nod.

    "I have a favor to ask you," he grumbled.

    Jerea shushed the excitable children, then smiled at the dwarf. "What can I do for you?"

    "A friend of mine needs some help," the blacksmith explained grimly. "His ship has been commandeered by a giant and his followers."

    "Who your friend and where can we find him?" Jerea asked, her smile fading to a frown.

    The dwarf sighed in relief. "Gildas is at the lighthouse keeping an eye on his ship. The giant's men have been loading crates on-board."

    "Don't worry, my friends and I will help him out," Jerea said determinedly, rising to her feet. "Are there any crewmen on the ship that need to be rescued?"

    "I don't know. There certainly could be," the blacksmith answered.

    With a smile of confidence, Jerea left to search for her friends, promising to tell the children more stories when she returned. Saitomi and Ree were easy enough to find. Neither had much creativity, so both had been hanging out in the tavern for the past few days. Ree sulked in the corner, while Saitomi sat at a large table with a group of locals, happily losing his money to them while playing cards. He stood up and waved excitedly at Jerea as she entered the tavern.

    "Hi Jerea!" he cried out, smiling widely.

    "Hello Sai-Sai," Jerea replied, using the pet name she had for him. "We have a mission."

    Ree knocked her mug of ale to the floor as she staggered to her feet. "It's about time. What are we doing?"

    "The blacksmith's friend's ship has been stolen by a giant," Jerea explained. "Gildas is at the lighthouse, so he'll probably have more information for us."

    "A giant?" Saitomi gasped.

    Jerea nodded sagely. "According to my research, giants are powerfully strong creatures capable of inflicting massive damage and hurling boulders as easily as we could throw pebbles."

    "Anyone who's flipped through the monster manual knows that," Ree grumbled. "Let's get going. Taverns are boring."

    ***

    The trio followed the merchant's road to the beach, their journey uneventful save for a brief skirmish with a band of goblins. The beach was a pristine white, the dark ocean waters glittering in the afternoon sun. A lighthouse overlooked the sandy shore, and much farther down the beach the three adventurers could see hurried activity taking place near a massive galleon warship.

    "Let's go see if we can find Gildas in the lighthouse," Jerea suggested.

    The three walked casually across the sandy beach toward the white-stone lighthouse. Suddenly the sand beside them erupted as a figure burst forth from hiding. A wicked barbed chain shot out and pierced into Ree's back, the chain ripping out through her chest. The figure wrenched the chain back out of Ree's body, and with a gurgling cry the sorceress collapsed to the ground.

    The figure was a tall, nimble creature garbed in a long hooded cloak almost identical in color to the sand. What at first appeared to be metal armor quickly became apparent as the creature's body as it stalked toward Jerea and Saitomi with murderous purpose, the bloody barbed chain clutched tightly in its metallic hands.

    "Sorcerer Ree eliminated," it droned out, its speech occasionally interrupted by whirs and clicks. "Mage Slayer mode activated. Primary target: Cleric Jerea."

    Jerea barely had time to ready her maul before the warforged struck with deadly accuracy. It lashed out with its barbed chain and yanked her feet out from beneath her, sending her crashing into the sand. With blinding speed it smashed its clawed foot into her chest, effortlessly cracking her ribs and knocking the wind out of her. Saitomi drew his blades and furiously attacked, but the metallic assassin nimbly evaded the clumsy attacks.

    "Fighter Saitomi assessment: minimal threat," it droned.

    Jerea staggered to her feet, but another barrage of attacks from the warforged sent her to the ground again, and this time she could not find the strength to get up again. Saitomi struck again and again, but his twin blades could not find purchase.

    "Stop hurting Jerea!" he cried out furiously. "Attack me! Attack me!"

    "Mage-Slayer mode deactivated," the warforged droned. "Target: Fighter Saitomi. Stealth mode initiated."

    The hooded assassin suddenly vanished from view. Saitomi looked around in a panic, but he could do nothing but scream as he felt the warforged's barbed chain rip through his body.

    "Targets eliminated. Objective complete," the assassin droned as he dropped Saitomi's lifeless corpse to the ground.

  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    Okay, so Lord_Gareth poked me via PM about this thread again today, so this is me sheepishly wandering back in. As of right now, I fully intend to read everything, but I probably won't comment on it - 6 pages is just too much - unless there is something that someone specifically requests I read (Gareth, wasn't there something you were badgering me about earlier?)

    I am however, commenting on this one above, because the ending made me snicker - I thought the battle itself was good, you gave enough information for us to understand what was going on and who was doing what, without getting bogged down in all the little details (which is what happens to me when I write battle scenes, you can pack a surprising amount into 6 seconds!). The only thing I'd suggest would be make the last two sentences a separate paragraph to give it more oopmh.
    I poked you about vampires


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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  14. - Top - End - #164
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @SleepyShadow

    Ah, the problems of unique encounters. It sounds like an interesting campaign...


    And now, I attempt a style change!


    Elle's account: While Kalach was gone


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    When I awoke, we were in another metal city, this one in ruins. Somehow the angles were wrong, but I didn't learn why until much later. When I awoke, I was in the air-ship, Logrim beside me. His body still lived, but his soul would not return.

    I don't know what Anderson did with the remains to this day.

    Elle and Kol returned to the ship eventually, with a man in plate mail in tow. The aura of righteousness radiating from him marked his nature as a paladin, the ram's horns jutting from his helm spoke to him being a hellbred. Elle and Kol themselves were...different. They carried themselves differently, with greater confidence than before. Their hair had turned white, though they hadn't aged. Kol didn't want to discuss it, and Elle...I didn't see her again until much later. This is a transcript of what they did while I was gone, from her perspective...


    So we all drew from that magic deck. You and that short guy just collapsed, which was really weird. Not as weird as the rest, though. When I drew my card, I just got this feeling, like...like someone hated me. The big guy with the horns, though, that was really weird. When he drew it, this light came on. I couldn't see for a while, but when it faded he was wearing this cape thing. Fur and sable, very fancy. I thought about trying to take it, but...really, how would I sell something like that? Even before the whole zombie thing.

    I remember that cloak. If you had taken it, it would have started complaing about you stealing it.

    ...Riiiight. Anyway, after that we found the doorknockers. When we mimed knocking on a door with them, a door appeared out of thin air. The door would lead to-

    I know. That's where we are now. Would you mind explaining about the city now?

    Yeah, yeah, keep your shirt on.

    I don't care how drunk we were, there is no way that was my idea.

    Then why were you wearing my stuff, moron? Anyway. The city, New York. I'd been there before, but it was really different...the streets...didn't add up, somehow. Anderson put the VTOL done on a building, so we could go find the tower thingy. The walls were covered in pictures, and what I think were words, but none of us could read them. Even looking at them made us feel sick.

    When we got out of the building, my thought about the streets turned out to be right. Everyting was off, in ways I still don't get.

    We did find the tower, on the edge of the harbor. On an island...sort of...I don't know what that stuff was. More importantly, there was a huge gate behind the tower. Like, the tower was just big enough to block the door. We didn't know what to do about that, so we went to the tower. The entrance was already open.

    No guardian?

    Well, there was a skeleton. Huge, winged thing, three heads, looked like it was made out of several different animals...it had a goat head, a lion head, and something I didn't recognize, since you ask.

    Sounds like a chimera. I don't think you could have talked past that very easily.

    Like I care! Inside, the big doorway was already open, and there were people inside, doing some kind of ritual. They had the sword, and it looked like they were gonna claim the tower. And, they did. For Cul...Cuth...Theelu...

    Ah. I know what you're refering to.

    You just keep gettting freakier, man. Anyway, I guess Culthegoo wasn't good enough, because the tower came down. The cultists seemed upset, they didn't even bother leaving.

    But when the tower came done, the giant gate opened. The thing that came out...it was kinda green, vaugely human-shaped...but it had big wings, and lots of tentacle things where the mouth should have been. I can barely think about that thing, even when it was that long ago. That's when our hair turned white. Anyway, the thing headed for the ocean. We tried to run, but no matter how we ran, it always seemed to be behind us. We did get clear, but we had to meet Anderson outside the city.

    Ah. That's about when I woke up.

    Yeah. Wearing different armor, and with that dark smoke coming off of you.

    Hmm. Put like that, I think I understand your upset now.

    Glad to hear it. It really was way freaky. So I decided to leave and do my own thing. This ring meant I didn't need food or water, and I could take catnaps and feel like I slept all night. So I didn't need anyone else.

    So are you done with the crappy reporter deal yet?

    I suppose so.

    Good. I'm outta here. See you around, I guess.
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  15. - Top - End - #165
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Here's an attempt of mine to write a story set in the Scion 'verse. Hopefully it's alright?

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    The diner was cool and unthreatening, glowing white under the fluorescent bulbs even at five AM. The windows were squares of blackness, thin barriers to hold back the quiet blank vastness. Shuffling wordlessly, Diane planted herself at one of the empty booths and nodded her thanks when the teenage waitress (trying to suppress a yawn, she noticed) set down a pitcher of coffee.

    She kind of hated coffee, and it was probably burnt anyway, but the caffeine was welcome right now. A generous dose of sugar and cream killed the bitterness, and she finished the first cup quickly before taking her time with the second. She almost imagined she could hear a clock ticking somewhere, counting out the seconds with an impassive beat.

    Ugh, she shouldn't be up this early - or late, as the case may be. It was making her internal monologue wax poetic. At this rate she'd be spinning lines about love-lorn hearts and drinking alone within--

    Ah. Grace is here.

    It was almost funny, in a not-very-funny-at-all way. Nothing about the woman really demanded attention, but every eye in the diner (not that there were many, at the moment) flicked briefly toward the door to note her. Not intentionally, or even really consciously, but they noticed her, Diane herself included.

    Between the denim jacket, cowboy boots, and curly golden locks, she looked vaguely like some country-music singer, but she pulled it off pretty well. Annoyingly well, actually; Diane couldn't help noticing that Grace probably looked better than she did herself, despite being almost twenty years older.

    There was nothing particularly seductive or theatrical about the way she walked, but it still made Diane mentally refer to it as a "strut" (and damn, those legs didn't help). The older woman eventually took a seat at the booth opposite her, nodding a greeting and pouring her own coffee -- black, of course. The waitress returned again, and the rumble of Diane's stomach got the better of her. She ordered a too-big plate of greasy breakfast food, and Grace chuckled in a way that made Diane blush slightly, then kick herself for letting the woman get under her skin so easily. She was supposed to be cool, impassive. Let Grace do the work trying to win her over.

    The waitress finally tucked her pencil behind her ear and left. Sensing Grace start to gather her thoughts, Diane took the opportunity to get in an opening shot.

    "So what's up, Mom?"

    Grace just sighed, like the calm mature one willing to let the jab slide, and leaned back slightly.

    "It's nice to see you in person. Have you given any thought to our last conversation?"

    Obviously. It's not every day your long-lost mother e-mails you to tell you that oh by the way, she's a Greek goddess and you're a demigod. She'd spent the last two weeks trying to dismiss it as insanity or some kind of sick joke, but that was the annoying part. She couldn't disbelieve the woman, it just wasn't something she was capable of. Everything she said just seemed so perfectly obvious, a self-evident truth like "one equals one" even in the complete absence of evidence. No supernatural displays, no confusing explanations... Grace just told her, and Diane believed it no matter how much she didn't want to.

    It was a moot point by now. She'd grudgingly come to accept it, and if she wasn't so dead-set on resenting the woman she might've actually been kind of excited. This was serious fantasy stuff, and her inner twelve-year-old actually had to restrain a squee when that giant brass-feathered condor swooped down on her a few days ago. Might've even killed her, but she'd managed to duck inside. She'd dug out one of those gorgeous metal feathers later where it had lodged itself two inches deep in a brick wall, but it rusted into a pile of dust that smelled like mothballs after a few hours.

    Which was supposedly the reason why Grace was here in person. To hand over her "birthright", whatever that meant. Diane was pretty much here to pick a fight, though. Years of resentment didn't just go away overnight. Diane was looking forward to seeing Grace do a little groveling, although she still wasn't sure if she planned to grudgingly forgive her or not.

    "Not really. Spent more time wondering how the hell you have the nerve to show up again after twenty years."

    Grace's gaze fell to the table at that, Diane noted with satisfaction.

    "I'm sorry. I was... younger back then. I can't make any excuses."

    "Younger than what, exactly? Western civilization?"

    "It doesn't work like that, dear. There was nothing I could-"

    "Like hell!"

    She snapped back without thinking, and was thankful to note that the diner's other occupants were utterly oblivious. Figures. Grace wouldn't want anyone else to notice such an embarrassing argument.

    "You could have changed his mind, or made him leave!You could have taken me with you, god! I just... why?!"

    Grace shifted suddenly, lifting her head to meet Diane's gaze, and the air seemed to chill around them. It was a subtle shift of her stance, her tone of voice, but it hit Diane like a hammer.

    "I could have, yes. I could have killed him, even. I could have shattered his mind, turned his friends against him, driven him to suicide and kept my hands clean. But I didn't."

    Diane was unconsciously recoiling, wishing she could pass right through the bench behind her or vanish into thin air. Every word Grace spoke was soft, but it pounded through her mind like thunder, engraving itself in her memory. Her eyes were like cold fire, her skin was like marble. She was beautiful, gorgeous, and seeing her angry or hurt felt like a knife in Diane's chest.

    "Why? Why am I here, talking to you like an equal? Why ask for your forgiveness, when I could make you get on your knees and beg for mine?"

    She'd do it, too. Diane could already feel herself trying to slide off the booth, to throw herself down and beg for forgiveness. All she felt was an icy spiral of shame and fear. She would give anything to make Grace happy, to erase that pain, to see her smile.

    Then Grace seemed to relax, to uncoil with a weary expression and a sigh, and the spell was broken. Diane's fluttering heart and clenching gut slowly returned to normal, her pale face re-colored, her tunnel vision subsided.

    "You can't be two things at once, Diane. You're going to have to make a decision, or someone else will make it for you."

    Grace was already standing up, sitting a wrapped package on the table.

    "I don't need you to forgive me. I don't need you to love me, or even like me. But I need your help."

    Feeling vaguely shell-shocked, Diane unfolded the small bundle and found a knife -- no, more like a dagger. Bright gold, with an oddly curved edge and an apple-shaped pommel. The blade was etched with something in Greek. As if hearing her thoughts, Grace nodded to the blade.

    "Its name is Eleftheria. Forged from the apple of discord, to cut ties and sever bindings. I figure it's about time the damned thing actually did some good."

    Grace picked up her purse, and gave Diane one last look.

    "I'm giving you a choice, which is more than most of you get. Turn the blade on yourself tonight, and the ties of fate and lineage will be severed. You'll be utterly mortal again. Otherwise, alea iacta est. For what it's worth, I'm sorry."

    And then she was gone. Simply ceased to exist, and it was like the room was a little dimmer and colder for her absence. And Diane just stared at the knife, mind blank.
    Last edited by Eurus; 2012-08-16 at 12:41 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Eurus View Post
    Don't thank me. Powerslamming old ladies is its own reward.
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Good to see you back Lady Moreta! Suggestion implemented! I'd love comments/suggestions on any of my snippets from the Wanderers campaign if you feel like it, but six pages is definitely a lot Glad to have you back in any case!

    Winds, SleepyShadow: I'll comment on your stuff tonight, if I can swing it!

    Eurus: Welcome! See above! Also if there's a campaign name or snippet name you want me to use, just let me know!

    @All: I'm so sorry for the quality of Mist and Light; I've made a bunch of changes and hopefully it doesn't suck quite so much now (though I'm glad you liked the old version anyway, SS ).
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-08-15 at 10:19 AM.
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  17. - Top - End - #167
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Eurus

    Interesting. I know little of the setting, but if your snippet does any justice at all, it needs to join my list of systems/settings to try.

    @Dr. Bwaa

    I would advise against revision. It may be a personal thing, but I find if I refise rather than redo, I never stop. Anyway, I found it good either way.
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  18. - Top - End - #168
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    @Dr. Bwaa

    I would advise against revision. It may be a personal thing, but I find if I refise rather than redo, I never stop. Anyway, I found it good either way.
    Agreed. I'd say leave it the way it was, Bwaa.

  19. - Top - End - #169
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    Re: editing:
    YOU'RE TOO LATE. AHAHAHAHAHAHA. I WILL NEVER STOP REVISING.
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    On to the comments.

    @SleepyShadow
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    His ship has been commandeered by a giant and his followers
    Yeesh. Giants are scary business.

    galleon warship
    A galleon is a warship by definition, no?

    "Fighter Saitomi assessment: minimal threat," it droned.
    Insulting the fighter while mauling his cleric/potential love-interest? Classy!

    "Targets eliminated. Objective complete," the assassin droned as he dropped Saitomi's lifeless corpse to the ground.
    an otherwise doable fight
    0_0 I'm... not sure I agree with your assessment here! This was incredibly one-sided, even one vs two! Will we ever get to find out what the deal was here? (Also I really just enjoyed reading this snippet, as painful as it was. I kept hoping Saitomi would get lucky even though you prefaced the thing with "they all die").


    @Winds
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    Yeah, yeah, keep your shirt on.

    I don't care how drunk we were, there is no way that was my idea.
    hehehehe. I'm glad you brought that back up

    Anderson put the VTOL done on a building, so we could go find the tower thingy.
    ...what? I'm just really confused here.

    Like I care!
    I like that we're getting to see more of Elle's personality here.

    So are you done with the crappy reporter deal yet?
    This being on its own paragraph and so abrupt was a bit jarring. It felt like the speaker should have changed, but it didn't. I think if Elle had mentioned the "reporter" jab earlier once so this would be a callback, or if she'd expressed some annoyance at having to recount their adventures, it would be a bit smoother. Overall, sounds like they had a hell of an adventure while Kalach was out


    @Eurus
    First, my customary welcome/warning! Welcome to the thread! I try my very best to comment on everything everyone posts. If you don't want me to critique your work, or if there's something in particular you'd like me to focus my critique on (style, tone, broad themes, close reading, etc), just let me know!
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    The windows were squares of blackness, thin barriers to hold back that quiet blank vastness that she couldn't stand.
    First, I really like the phrase "quiet blank vastness". Your two -ness nouns in a row here stand out a bit more than you probably intended, though, and the ending "that she couldn't stand" seems arbitrarily tacked-on; it doesn't flow with the rest of the sentence.

    the teenage waitress ... sat down a pitcher of coffee.
    *set
    "Sat down" is a thing you did; "set down" is a thing you did to something else.

    At this rate she'd be spinning lines about love-lorn hearts and drinking alone within--

    Ah. Grace is here.
    Nice moment. "Spinning lines" is a bit of an awkward phrase in my opinion, though.

    On the surface, she was unimpressive enough.
    You say this, and then follow up a full paragraph describing how good she looks.

    Diane couldn't help noticing that Grace probably looked better than she did herself, at almost twenty years older.
    This sounds like Diane is the one who is older (because of the proximity of "herself", which makes it kind of a weird sentence. But, we find out next paragraph that actually the opposite is true. When there's a 20-year difference between characters' ages, it's important to make sure it's clear which one is which.

    the rumble of her stomach got the better of her. She ordered a too-big plate of greasy breakfast food
    It's not clear who "she" is; the last subject you have is the waitress so that's obviously not right, but then before that it's Grace--which we find out later is also incorrect. There's nothing wrong with "the rumble of Diane's stomach".

    "So what's up, Mom?"
    Okay this is kind of weird given how much time we just spent ogling Grace's legs.

    her inner twelve-year-old actually had to restrain a squee when that giant brass-feathered condor swooped down on her a few days ago.
    That is some restraint!

    "Younger than what, exactly? Western civilization?"
    Lol. I like it, though Diane isn't showing as much discomfort with apparently being a demigod as I would have expected.

    She'd do it, too. Diane could already feel herself trying to slide off the booth, to throw herself down and beg for forgiveness. All she felt was an icy spiral of shame and fear. She would give anything to make Grace happy, to erase that pain, to see her smile.
    This is very well-done. We're seeing the strength of Grace's personality in a way that didn't come through in her introduction, because that was exposition, whereas this is demonstration.

    Diane unfolds the small bundle
    Watch your tenses.

    with an oddly curved shape and an apple-shaped pommel
    The repetetiveness detracts from the otherwise very elegant description here.

    Turn the blade on yourself tonight, and the ties of fate and lineage will be severed.
    Woah.

    I liked this snippet a lot! Your prose flows very well and you have some great descriptive moments. Both characters come off very well and you do a really good job with Diane's ambivalence. It's a great first contribution; I hope you're planning to stick around for more!
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-08-15 at 06:28 PM.
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  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I thought i might throw my hat in the ring here as i often drop in and read through bits and pieces that catch my interest, this is a first attempt and i would appreciate any pointers that anyone wants to offer...

    ... so here we go.

    Marigolds
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    The power that smell holds over ones memory baffles me at times. I stand here on the battle field surrounded by the blood and ash of the fallen and all it takes is the slightest hint of Marigold on the breeze and I am taken back to a time with out care, a time when I was youngling only a handful of seasons old kneeling in elder Turan’s tent watching his gnarled hands work the mortar and pestle.

    “It is all about balance Verdus that is my point…”

    He stops mid sentence and studies the contents of the bowl with a discerning eye, after a moment he adds a pinch of dried herbs I don’t recognise then sets to it with the pestle again.

    “You must distance your self from ideals such as good and evil boy, they are merely constructs of idle minds! pretty words given the illusion of true meaning.”

    At this he sets the Mortar down before him and adds more kindle to the small work fire that occupies the middle of the tent.

    “Good and evil are nought but words, powerful words true but words none the less. Many have and will take up the banner of these ideals and shed blood and die for them but when the sun sets they are little more then a cup that will hold no water, useless and empty.”

    The Elder snorts quietly in concentration as he sets his mixture to heat in a cobalt pot atop the flame.

    “You are to be a watcher, it lurks in your eyes like the waiting hunter boy and you must lift yourself above such trivialities and perceive the entire picture.”

    His hands wave to encompass the entire tent

    “Life requires opposition, it thrives on it! It drives us onwards where otherwise we may fall pray idleness, it breeds strength and determination.”

    The steam that rises from the simmering mixture lays thick in the air and fogs my mind, I notice the elder is lost in a thought far away from here as he absentmindedly pokes at the fire with a willow stick.

    “We must watch for the absence, the nothingness that is ever lurking on the edge of perception. It is foul creatures with out name that want nothing more then an end.”

    With these words the old Minotaur seems lost in the dancing flames of the fire, his battle scared features relax for a moment and it as tho the years slide from his face like water of the side of a tent. The moment of quiet stretches painfully long and I am forced to prompt him for fear of losing an end to his tale.

    “an end to what master?”

    I watch as his eye sharpen and the years return.

    “An end to everything.”

    Although I did not realise it at the time with those four words my future was set.
    Last edited by Kaun; 2012-08-15 at 09:57 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    0_0 I'm... not sure I agree with your assessment here! This was incredibly one-sided, even one vs two! Will we ever get to find out what the deal was here? (Also I really just enjoyed reading this snippet, as painful as it was. I kept hoping Saitomi would get lucky even though you prefaced the thing with "they all die").
    In theory it was doable. The baddie was only one level higher than them.

  22. - Top - End - #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    @Eurus
    First, my customary welcome/warning! Welcome to the thread! I try my very best to comment on everything everyone posts. If you don't want me to critique your work, or if there's something in particular you'd like me to focus my critique on (style, tone, broad themes, close reading, etc), just let me know!
    Oh, awesome! That's always appreciated.

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    First, I really like the phrase "quiet blank vastness". Your two -ness nouns in a row here stand out a bit more than you probably intended, though, and the ending "that she couldn't stand" seems arbitrarily tacked-on; it doesn't flow with the rest of the sentence.[/quote]

    Hmm, fair point with the repetition, didn't notice that bit.

    *set
    "Sat down" is a thing you did; "set down" is a thing you did to something else.
    Whoops.

    You say this, and then follow up a full paragraph describing how good she looks.
    Heh, oops. Probably one of those times where I started writing a paragraph and it ends up going off in a completely different direction than originally expected.

    This sounds like Diane is the one who is older (because of the proximity of "herself", which makes it kind of a weird sentence. But, we find out next paragraph that actually the opposite is true. When there's a 20-year difference between characters' ages, it's important to make sure it's clear which one is which.
    Good point, I'll try and fix it.

    It's not clear who "she" is; the last subject you have is the waitress so that's obviously not right, but then before that it's Grace--which we find out later is also incorrect. There's nothing wrong with "the rumble of Diane's stomach".
    Herp. Pronouns, they vex me.

    Okay this is kind of weird given how much time we just spent ogling Grace's legs.
    Hah! Okay, yeah. The intention was for it to be kind of scathingly sarcastic, but I did a poor job of expressing that.

    That is some restraint!
    Well, "squee" generally refers to a sort of excited fangirl-y noise (like "oh my god I'm living in a fantasy novel this is so cool if I survive the next five minutes"), so it would have been a little inappropriate at the time.

    Lol. I like it, though Diane isn't showing as much discomfort with apparently being a demigod as I would have expected.
    Ah, the idea is that she mostly came to terms with that over the past week or so (had been corresponding with Grace by e-mail and phone for a while), but perhaps I didn't make that clear.

    This is very well-done. We're seeing the strength of Grace's personality in a way that didn't come through in her introduction, because that was exposition, whereas this is demonstration.
    Well thank you! I hoped that I wasn't too crude or heavy-handed with it, I was kind of trying to express the idea of "mortal shell or not, this is still a goddess, and she's been playing nice with you until now".

    Watch your tenses.

    The repetetiveness detracts from the otherwise very elegant description here.
    Ah, good catches. Will fix.

    I liked this snippet a lot! Your prose flows very well and you have some great descriptive moments. Both characters come off very well and you do a really good job with Diane's ambivalence. It's a great first contribution; I hope you're planning to stick around for more!
    Well thank you very much! I actually might write up some more Scion scenes in the near future, it's a very fun setting.
    Last edited by Eurus; 2012-08-16 at 12:38 AM.
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Kaun
    Welcome! It's good to see more people starting to join in over here. As I mentioned to Eurus (and everyone), if there's anything specific you'd like me to focus my critiques on, let me know!
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    EDIT: Let me preface this by saying I really liked this snippet and I want to read more. I just have a tendency not to be very tactful when I'm writing critique, so please don't think that there was nothing I liked in here; I just didn't happen to point it out in the midst of this comment-storm. Sorry

    The power that smell holds over ones memory
    *one's

    battle field
    Pretty sure this is normally one word, but I don't know that it's actually wrong this way. Damn you for making me think!

    the blood and ash of the fallen
    Blood of the fallen I get. Ash of the fallen is a little more abstract. Clearly, people have been burned, but having this phrase so explicitly parallel "blood of the fallen" makes it seem like "of" should be filling the same role in both phrases--that is, "ash belonging to the fallen". Which is presumably not what you mean, and as a result it's a bit jarring.

    Marigold
    I have no idea what marigold smells like. Give me a bit of description here besides the name.

    all it takes is .... and I am taken back to a time
    This would be more sentence-like as "all it takes is...to take me back". Also, your point here is that despite where the speaker actually is, he/she is remembering the pleasant days of youth. This would come across more clearly if you were more explicit about the contrast "Though I stand..." or "...marigold on the breeze takes me back, away from the bloodied fallen, to a time..." Does that make sense?

    a time with out care
    *without

    I stand here on the battle field surrounded by the blood and ash of the fallen and all it takes is the slightest hint of Marigold on the breeze and I am taken back to a time with out care, a time when I was a youngling only a handful of seasons old kneeling in elder Turan’s tent watching his gnarled hands work the mortar and pestle.
    This sentence is enormous: consider breaking it up so you can focus more on the exposition of the past without confusing the reader with the long sentence structure. Some punctuation would help, as well (any time you write 25+ words with no punctuation, you should probably check to see if you need a comma or two). I've bolded a word you left out, as well.

    youngling only a handful of seasons old
    And more specifically, this is redundant. Just pick one or the other.

    “It is all about balance Verdus that is my point…”
    There are two possibilities here. The first is that you simply forgot the punctuation (there should be commas after "balance" and "Verdus"). The second is that, this being a memory, you left it out intentionally to give it more of a stream-of-consciousness feel. The problem with the second possibility is that actual quotations don't tend to work well in stream-of-consciousness, since they tend to be more specific than implied by the style, so if you want to do that (and by all means, I like the thought), you should take that into account and make it clearer what you're trying to do--string memories and quotes together more closely/vaguely; only show partial quotations--and then only from important moments. This goes for the other memory-dialogue in this piece as well.

    He stops mid sentence and studies the contents of the bowl with a discerning eye, after a moment he adds a pinch of dried herbs I don’t recognise then sets to it with the pestle again.
    This is at least two sentences; break it up (or at least use a semicolon instead of that comma). Also, given that this is a flashback, past tense would probably be sensible to use throughout this passage (eg. "He had stopped mid-sentence and studied..."), and would provide a nice, clear separation from the present-tense battlefield--again, making it clear that despite the current situation, the scent of marigolds has triggered a full-on flashback.

    “You must distance your self from ideals such as good and evil boy, they are merely constructs of idle minds! pretty words given the illusion of true meaning.”
    *yourself. Also there should be a comma after "evil"; there are other missing commas in the text but I'm not going to make any more mention of them.

    At this he sets the Mortar down before him and adds more kindle to the small work fire that occupies the middle of the tent.
    1. Is there a reason "mortar" is capitolized?
    2. If the fire's already going, it shouldn't need kindling, which is just for getting the fire started, only a step up from tinder (also, kindle is a verb; kindling is the noun). A lit fire gets stoked, or takes more fuel, but only needs to be kindled if it's in danger of going out. I think your intention was to show that the fire is small, but it's simply not the right use of the word here (also, you say "small" three words later). Honestly, if the reader has been paying attention they should already be able to assume that any fire inside a tent will not be particularly large.

    Good and evil are nought but words, powerful words true but words none the less.
    Okay I lied; I'll mention commas again. Commas! I'd also split this into two sentences for better flow.

    Many have and will take up the banner of these ideals and shed blood and die for them but when the sun sets they are little more then a cup that will hold no water, useless and empty.
    I like this sentence a lot, both in terms of phrasing and the actual metaphor. The only issue I can take with it is that "they are little more..." is unclear--the subject of the sentence is "Many [people]", so "they" naturally refers back to the subject, not "these ideals". Restructuring sentences to avoid misleading your audience is a good thing.

    The Elder snorts quietly in concentration as he sets his mixture to heat in a cobalt pot atop the flame.
    While I appreciate your quandary in trying to cover both action and speech in a memory, your structure is really unflexible:
    quote
    Action
    quote
    Action
    quote
    Action

    And it's not engaging to read structural repetition like this unless it's done with a purpose in mind. This particular setup also implies that Turan can only speak or act at a given time, whereas in reality he would presumably be speaking as he goes about his work. You can get this across better both explicitly, by saying "'blah blah,' he said, as he blahed", and structurally by putting his actions in the same paragraphs and sentences as his speech. Varied structures are (generally) much more pleasant to read than static repetition.

    “You are to be a watcher, it lurks in your eyes like the waiting hunter boy and you must lift yourself above such trivialities and perceive the entire picture.”
    For instance, here I'm having to work to figure out what "such trivialities" are. He presumably means "the concepts of good & evil", but because of the way your text is structured, with this in a new paragraph, I've mentally moved on from that topic. Also, "waiting hunter boy" is unclear--is this supposed to be a generic trope? An allusion to myth? This may be a situation where some capitalized words could come in useful, depending on the purpose of this reference (is there a story in their culture featuring a boy who is only ever named as "Waiting Hunter Boy", for instance?).

    His hands wave to encompass the entire tent
    Period at the end; and the passive-voice "His hands wave" implies a lack of control, like his hands are just flailing around--not very dignified for the village wise man, and probably not what you intended.

    “Life requires opposition, it thrives on it! It drives us onwards where otherwise we may fall pray to idleness, it breeds strength and determination.”
    More subject confusion here. In the first sentence, Life is the subject, and it works fine. In the second sentence, therefore, it's assumed that Life is still the subject (since you haven't said otherwise), but this is not what you intended. You could fix this by just replacing "It" at the beginning of the second sentence with "Opposition" (the repetition isn't a problem when you're using it to change subjects), or you could rephrase the first sentence to make Opposition literally the driving force of Life--if you make Opposition the subject, then you're doing with the structure the same thing you're doing in the text, which is a Good Thing.

    Also you left out a word.

    The steam that rises from the simmering mixture lays thick in the air and fogs my mind,
    *lies. Lying is a thing you do; laying is something you do to something else. Also, that comma should either be a semicolon or a period, since it's separating two complete sentences.

    I notice the elder is lost in a thought far away from here as he absentmindedly pokes at the fire with a willow stick.
    I'm sure you've heard the phrase "show; don't tell". Remember that you're in a flashback here, as well--you're not just noticing; you noticed long ago. But what, physically, did you actually notice? Tell the audience those things, and let them figure out (as the speaker did) that the Elder is lost in thought. Giving the audience some agency in understanding the story makes for a more engaging read.

    We must watch for the absence, the nothingness that is ever lurking on the edge of perception.
    What? I'm really just confused, here. Maybe he's just being cryptic, but usually you want your reader to be able to at least get a sense of what crypic things mean, or might mean.

    It is foul creatures with out name that want nothing more then an end.
    *without. You've also got some disagreement here; "it is" needs to refer to something singular, so "it" cannot be "creatures".

    With these words the old Minotaur seems lost in the dancing flames of the fire
    Woah what? Sorry to be racist, but if the dude's a Minotaur, you've got to say so up front so your audience doesn't go through the whole snippet picturing everything totally wrong. Also, you've got another instance of show/tell here; in fact it's almost the same one. Say he falls silent, staring at the fire, etc etc, but don't say "well he's pretty old so I figured he probably got distracted by the pretty flames and forgot to keep talking". Or actually, do say that (not that it's in-character for Verdus), or say anything besides simply telling the end result of the speaker's thought process.

    battle scared features
    "battle-scarred" should be hyphenated and include two rs. Generally speaking, hyphenate adjectives when they're both modifying the main noun, rather than one modifying the other, modifying the main noun. Or, as in this case, when the whole thing is really a contraction of a phrase "scarred-in-battle".

    tho
    Oh god please no. Say it with me: "thoUGH".

    The moment of quiet stretches painfully long and I am forced to prompt him for fear of losing an end to his tale.
    "moment of quiet" is kind of weird, since "quiet" is unusual to use as a noun in this way. Also since it's lasting more than a moment, so it's just incongruous--simply "His silence" is cleaner. Also, you've got a third show/tell moment here, although this one you do a little better by showing at least some of the speaker's motivation. Part of your problem comes from using passive voice--give the actor some agency, especially when it's the main character! "Fearful of losing the end of his tale, I prompt him to continue".

    I watch as his eye sharpen and the years return.
    Watch your plurality. Otherwise, I really like this moment (although it confused me briefly because the "tho" in the previous line distracted me so much I'd forgotten about your years/water metaphor (which I also really liked). This is a place where you could probably put a sort of value judgement: rather than just the years returning, you could have the weight of years return, or some other physical change in his face to notice as the years return to it.

    “An end to everything.”
    I'd understand this more if I understood the "absence; nothingness" line a few paragraphs back. As it is, I get the general gist but any deeper meaning or impact is lost.

    Although I did not realise it at the time with those four words my future was set.
    See, here you've got past tense--I still say you should be in the past for the entire flashback.

    Also, come on, you can't leave me hanging like that! You started in the present; either return to it at the end or take the scene from the present out entirely. On a related note, you need to do more with your title: I was expecting a clear reference to the smell of marigold in the flashback to explain why this memory is tied to it, but I didn't get one, so the title (and the whole present-day section) feels somewhat arbitrary.

    Wow I seem to have gotten carried away here. Let's see, 486-word snippet... 1771-word critique. Sorry about that. Please forgive my horrible douchebaggery; I really did enjoy reading this and I hope you continue. I very much want to see what is going on in this setting (and how Verdus got from there to here).


    @Eurus
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    Okay this is kind of weird given how much time we just spent ogling Grace's legs.
    Hah! Okay, yeah. The intention was for it to be kind of scathingly sarcastic, but I did a poor job of expressing that.
    Your sarcasm and tone come across fine--the problem is that it retroactively makes the ogling feel really awkward when we learn that Grace is her mom, and now suddenly the audience is distracted from the story by (presumably unintentional) incestuous overtones.

    Well, "squee" generally refers to a sort of excited fangirl-y noise (like "oh my god I'm living in a fantasy novel this is so cool if I survive the next five minutes"), so it would have been a little inappropriate at the time.
    I understood I just meant that she's got some serious restraint to be able to resist the urge--I'd certainly have trouble with it, at least.

    Ah, the idea is that she mostly came to terms with that over the past week or so (had been corresponding with Grace by e-mail and phone for a while), but perhaps I didn't make that clear.
    I considered not making a comment on this actually, since it was clear that this was your intent. I guess I really just had some trouble believing that she'd be over it so quickly--perhaps some specifics (earlier, when you're talking about this anyway) about how she's moved on from shocked disbelief to bitter resentment would make the line feel less unlikely.

    I actually might write up some more Scion scenes in the near future, it's a very fun setting.
    You'd better!
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  24. - Top - End - #174
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    @Kaun
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    EDIT: Let me preface this by saying I really liked this snippet and I want to read more. I just have a tendency not to be very tactful when I'm writing critique, so please don't think that there was nothing I liked in here; I just didn't happen to point it out in the midst of this comment-storm. Sorry
    Hehe don't worry, people pay me to get yelled for a living so you have to work hard before i take offence.

    I do apologies for my grammatical and spelling errors, i just can't seem to see them till there pointed out and then i am like... wow how did that slip through .

    Tho being my nemesis as i seem to slip it in in all the wrong places without me realizing.

    Thanks for the really in-depth critique! it has given me lots to think about when it comes to my structuring.

    I will think on what you have said for a while then play with it some more. I might start looking at the other stuff i did to for this character. (this started as an abstract chr history for a dnd game i was playing in.)
    Last edited by Kaun; 2012-08-16 at 05:49 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #175
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    @ Dr. Bwaa
    Well...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post

    hehehehe. I'm glad you brought that back up

    Somehow, I can't see Elle *not* needling him about it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    ...what? I'm just really confused here.
    Even from the air, it looked bad. So we picked a skyscraper with a helipad and hooved it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I like that we're getting to see more of Elle's personality here.
    That's a pity, as that was the last session she was a part of...



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    This being on its own paragraph and so abrupt was a bit jarring. It felt like the speaker should have changed, but it didn't. I think if Elle had mentioned the "reporter" jab earlier once so this would be a callback, or if she'd expressed some annoyance at having to recount their adventures, it would be a bit smoother.
    So noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Overall, sounds like they had a hell of an adventure while Kalach was out
    ...Pun intended, I suppose?
    But yes, that they did. And that's just the part Kalach found out about in character! The whole party experienced several months of time while the 'real' time of the plane saw only a couple days. More on that later.
    Last edited by Winds; 2012-08-16 at 09:15 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Kaun
    I'm glad I haven't frightened you off too much. I usually don't unleash any really crazy critiques until at least the second snippet. I definitely know the feeling when it comes to not being able to see obvious errors in your own work--like, I'll break rules that I hate when people break and just completely not notice no matter how many times I edit it.

    people pay me to get yelled for a living
    Your job sounds... unpleasant.

    @Winds
    ...Pun intended, I suppose?
    Of course! Looking forward to the next bit (as always, but if time shenanigans are involved? Sign me up).
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  27. - Top - End - #177
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Your job sounds... unpleasant.
    Ehh it pays well.

    Anyway.

    I played around with it some more and added some bits. Still not sure I'm happy but hey.

    Marigolds (3rd Edit)

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    The power that smell holds over one's memory baffles me at times. I stand here on the battlefield surrounded by swirling ash and the blood of the fallen but all it takes is the slightest hint of marigold on the breeze and I am taken back to a time without care. I am taken to a time when I was only a handful of seasons old, kneeling in elder Turan’s tent watching the Minotaur's gnarled old hands work the mortar and pestle.

    “It is all about balance, Verdus, that is my point…”

    He stopped mid sentence and studied the contents of the bowl with a discerning eye. After a moment he added a pinch of dried marigold which I didn't recognise at the time, then set to it with the pestle again.

    “You must distance yourself from ideals such as good and evil, boy. They are merely constructs of idle minds! Pretty words, granted the illusion of true meaning.”

    At this he set the mortar down before him and stoked the work fire that occupied the middle of the tent.

    “Good and evil are nought but words. Powerful words true, but words none the less. Many have and will take up the banner of these ideals, they will shed blood and die for them, but when the sun sets these words are little more then a cup that will hold no water, useless and empty.”

    To empahsize the point Elder Turan snorted quietly while carefully setting his mixture to heat in a cobalt pot atop the flame.

    “You are to be a watcher, Verdus. It lurks in your eyes like a waiting hunter, you must lift yourself above such trivial words and perceive the entire picture.”

    His hand gestured to encompass the entire tent.

    “Life requires opposition, it thrives on it! Opposition drives us onwards where otherwise we may fall pray to idleness, it breeds strength and determination.”

    The steam that eminated from the simmering mixture sat thick in the air and fogged my mind; It seemed that the elder forget my presence momentairly as he poked the fire with a willow stick.

    “We must watch for the absence, the hungrey void that is ever lurking on the edge of perception. It commands foul creatures without name and wants nothing more then an end.”

    With these words the old Minotaur fell silent, he seemed mesmerized by the dancing flames, reading meanings in the fire that I was blind too. His battle-scared features relaxed for a moment and it was as though the years slid from his face like water off the side of a tent. The silence stretched painfully long and although fearfull of disturbing him i pushed for a conclusion to his tale.

    “An end to what master?”

    I watched his eye's sharpen as the burden of years returned.

    “An end to everything.”


    Although I did not realise it at the time with those four words my future was set.

    An uncaring reality barges back in and I realize that I am staring at a wild marigold bush being licked by the creeping flames. To my right a figure approaches through the billowing smoke and as I turn, the wind catches a dried up flower bud from the bush and casts it free. The payload of seeds contained within the bud are spirited away from the destruction by the wind; at least there is hope something may spawn from this mess.

    With a disheartened snort I heft my weapon and shield.


    here is a small follow up.

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    The smell of ash.

    The sword comes in fast and bites deep. This Dragonkin is not like the others, she is undisciplined but there is a fire in her. Her crimson scales match the roaring flames that surround us. I drop back and heft my shield, testing my arm; she changes her stance and then huffs tendrils of smoke.

    “Why do you bring this pointless war to us Dragonkin?”

    The words sound empty as they leave my mouth. She replies eye's ablaze and voice of venom

    “It is you who brought this WAR ON US!”

    Words like ghosts return from the past …*

    ...you must lift yourself above such trivial words and perceive the entire picture.

    Powerful words from an old bull who’s body lays cooling not 30ft from where we stand.

    The moment is gone.

    The Dragonkin charges.


    There are probably spelling and grammatical mistakes there in spades but my spell check and I arn't getting along at the moment so...

    ....sorry! .
    Last edited by Kaun; 2012-08-21 at 06:57 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #178
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Kaun

    A few errors, yes, but whatever. The 'frame' for his flashback gives the work a more complete feel, and I like the hint of where his story is going.

    As for me...



    Nightmare Visions

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    When I awoke, Elle became...upset. The gear and power I was given for my return are not exactly comforting to sense. Still, it sounds like an excuse to me. The entire 'save the world' thing was something she only went with because it was better than where she was. I can hardly blame her for leaving. All that binds me to this quest now is hatred for the devils and sheer contrariness.
    In any case, Kol and his new friend stuck around. Kol wants to see this through so he can find some way home, and Aileph, the paladin hellbred, wants to do this as penance for his past life.

    I wonder if I will become hellbred when I die...

    The compass points across the sea, now. So we went to the harbor. I managed to broker a deal with a ship captain who was docked here-we will crew and supply one of the larger ships moored here, and it will be his after he drops us at our destination. Kol went to look for supplies, while Aileph and I helped repair and ready the boat. Being that it is a metal creation similar to the cars Elle got us, that was an...interesting few hours. The old man has quite a tongue on him.

    In any case, we're under way. Kol seems to have a military mindset, these journeys are rest time for him. But Aileph seems agitated. I suspect his holy powers are useless against the wrongness that pervades this area. I have only a limited time before he confirms his suspistions about my nature. He and Kol are useful. I would prefer to have them on my side...and come to that, if they work together, they may yet be able to kill me. That would be an embassingly swift end to my plans...

    During the night, we had a dream. Looking out over the sea, there was a storm. And rising from the water was...a monster. You could describe it like a dragon, but only as you might describe the ocean as 'damp'. It had many heads, and it was large enough to blot out the sky, though we were miles distant. And I heard the voice of Asmodeus command it.

    This I thought a welcome escape from my memories...until morning. My compatriots had this dream as well, in every detail save that they did not know whose voice it was. That, I kept to myself.

    Aileph did describe one thing more than we saw. A woman in the mirror, with flaming red hair and no face.

    Today however, the storm did come, the dragon rise, the voice command. The only thing missing was Aileph's red-haired woman.

    Are we going mad? Or are we so involved in this world now that it shows us what it fears?

    Which would be worse?
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    Fortune's Favor as Lea

  29. - Top - End - #179
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    And now, the long-awaited:

    The Host of a Thousand Princes
    Part V

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    Spring

    Spring's charge is stalling, and Natasha knows it. The battle lines are being redefined as the Host pulls its forces back, buying time to remake its formations and form a solid line against the surprisingly resilient Lost that combat the faerie host. The Darkling woman works her turntables furiously, making the Host pay the butcher's bill for every inch of ground they concede, but she can see their reinforcements pouring in and knows it isn't going to be enough.

    Then the raven lands on her shoulder.

    The sheer shock of it almost cause Natasha to punch the bird right in its beaked face, but the Darkling steels herself and switches off the music temporarily instead so she can hear the raven's message.

    "Seraphina says to buy time," the raven croaks out in a throaty voice. Natasha cocks an eyebrow at it, and the corvid shrugs in response. "Get creative," it advises before flying away.

    There is a moment or two of calm as the combined charge of the Lost's forces stalls and the Host of a Thousand Princes pauses to catch its breath.

    "You!" Natasha calls out, pointing at one of her fellow Spring Courtiers. "Get up here, and put in CD 24, Track 7. Play it when I tell you, got it?"

    The shocked courtier nods, and Natasha leaps off of her perch on the tank before jogging towards the front lines.

    Summer

    The boy with the small claws shakes his head again at the insanity of Natasha's plan, but he steps in front of the battle lines between his own forces and the Host of a Thousand Princes. Taking up the microphone that the Darkling had given him, he swallows hard and calls out across the no-mans-land.

    "My mistress demands entertainment! Your paltry offerings bore her - send forth a champion to face her in battle or else quit the field like the dogs you are!"

    A murmur passes through the ranks of the Host, and then they part like a sea to admit a loathly hag, her skin covered in putrescence and her nails like jagged flint, being carried on a litter made of living wood. The witch opens her mouth (her teeth all ragged with rot and blood) and calls out in return.

    "I am the Witch Who Crawls From the Muck. Who dares to challenge me?"

    Spring

    You got this? Natasha thinks at the wooden litter. Stirring to her Contract with plants and vines, a face appears on it and smiles at her. The Darkling grins, then bursts out of the lines of her own troops and takes up her microphone again.

    As she brings it before her lips, the wooden litter carrying the Witch Who Crawls From the Muck throws her to the ground as Natasha draws her saber and bursts into song.

    "Someone who loathes you, witch, so stand up and die! I only called you you so I could beat faerie ass a second time!"

    Ragged claws come up and block a savage saber blow; sparks fly into the hag's eyes.

    "Roar like an Ogre, cut like a Soldier, I'll beat your ass like an Oracle told ya!"

    Dark magic twists away from Natasha's form and she dances away with a manic grin, her siren's voice enrapturing the entire battlefield. Faerie and Lost alike witness her toying with her prey.

    "I strike down hard against a faerie, cut your spells out of the air - scary! I slam Contracts so focus I'll break that concentration ma'am!"

    Vines burst out of the ground and grab the Witch's hands and legs - a saber slash lays her stomach open from neck to waist, spilling insects onto the muddy ground.

    "I'm certified Spring Court you slut, so kiss my pristine silken butt! I'm gonna enjoy watching you die, and when I do, the crows will feast on your eyes."

    Summer

    "If I didn't know she was a lesbian, I would marry that woman."

    "I know, and I'm going to propose anyway."
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2012-08-20 at 08:45 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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  30. - Top - End - #180
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lady Moreta's Avatar

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    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    So... having said I would read and reply, I now finally get around to it... please excuse any typos, I am using a different keyboard to normal and it feels awkward... plus I have a sore wrist which is giving me trouble.

    Gareth
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    Vampires
    And as always, you manage to be creepy and fascinating all at the same time. I really don't know how you do it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    She is perhaps seventeen, maybe nineteen on the outside.
    I love your use of language... I am something of a geek (who isn't on this forum) but I love the older forms of language, Jane Austen-era speech and the like, and I married a complete linguist nut... I love it when people bring out phrases that haven't been used in ages... and it fits the tone of your snippet so very well.

    You work in a factory that smelts iron, and were rather delighted to eventually discover that it smelts people just fine too. I don't think he beats you any more."
    Murder is bad and wrong, but I still found this utterly hilarious

    Another sob forced down. I turned my head and stared her in her eyes, not letting my terror show even while my mind scrambled for some way out of this. Something about my desperate defiance made her chuckle, and her face got closer to mine until we were only the barest fractions of inches apart.
    I'm not sure exactly what it is, but something about this just doesn't ring true to me. I think it's that you've been talking about her as not showing that she's scared, or at least trying to not show it, but still giving the impression that the vampire is well aware she's afraid... and then all of a sudden she's hiding her fear and has desperate defiance. It just doesn't ring true...

    When she leaned in again, I thought she was going to kiss me.

    She did not.
    Very effective fade-to-black...

    "Now? Right now we find you a big side of beef. Then, we talk. I'm glad you chose to come with me, Elizabeth Shore."
    Was the 'side of beef' comment meant to be so delightfully ambiguous? Because it's cracking me up - the implication that the 'side of beef' is going to be some poor sod.

    Host of Lots of Royalty

    Best. Ending. EVER!

    Ahem...

    Spring's charge is stalling, and Natasha knows it. The battle lines are being redefined as the Host pulls its forces back, buying time to remake its formations and form a solid line against the surprisingly resilient Lost that combat the faerie host. The Darkling woman works her turntables furiously, making the Host pay the butcher's bill for every inch of ground they concede, but she can see their reinforcements pouring in and knows it isn't going to be enough.
    Again... I'm having trouble telling who is who in this... I think I figured out that Natasha is one of the Host and they're fighting the Lost, but it's not clear. And from what I remember of your other snippets in this group, I've had that trouble nearly every time. I'm just not sure if it's your writing style, which is otherwise excellent, or some feature of the fact that I don't know the system/game you're writing in.

    The sheer shock of it almost cause Natasha to punch the bird right in its beaked face, but the Darkling steels herself and switches off the music temporarily instead so she can hear the raven's message.
    Causes my friend... and music? oh wait... Darkling is a type of banshee isn't it? I remember reading a supernatural/horror book with a darkling in it, only there it was that a darkling is simply a male banshee. Realising that makes the whole music thing make much more sense. Otherwise I was going to be a little and a little because no matter what way you look at it, a DJ in the middle of a battle is always funny.

    "Seraphina says to buy time," the raven croaks out in a throaty voice. Natasha ***** an eyebrow at it, and the corvid shrugs in response. "Get creative," it advises before flying away.

    The boy with the small claws shakes his head again at the insanity of Natasha's plan, but he steps in front of the battle lines between his own forces and the Host of a Thousand Princes. Taking up the microphone that the Darkling had given him, he swallows hard and calls out across the no-mans-land.

    "My mistress demands entertainment! Your paltry offerings bore her - send forth a champion to face her in battle or else quit the field like the dogs you are!"

    A murmur passes through the ranks of the Host, and then they part like a sea to admit a loathly hag, her skin covered in putrescence and her nails like jagged flint, being carried on a litter made of living wood. The witch opens her mouth (her teeth all ragged with rot and blood) and calls out in return.

    "I am the Witch Who Crawls From the Muck. Who dares to challenge me?"
    Okay, on second reading, I'll admit that I'm now completely confused as to who is who. Summer and Spring are different forces are they not? See, at first this reads like the boy's mistress is Natasha... but now I'm thinking he's summer and she's spring so it can't be... and that his mistress is the hag. It doesn't change the excellence of the writing, but it does detract a bit because I'm now spending all this time trying to figure out what's going on.

    "I'm certified Spring Court you slut, so kiss my pristine silken butt! I'm gonna enjoy watching you die, and when I do, the crows will feast on your eyes."
    I loved the entire song sequence... you fit the words together really well and as someone who regularly sings and leads worship at her church, I can easily tell that if you whacked some music in there, it would be very singable. Songs are hard to write, well done.

    But... 'kiss my pristine silken butt!' made me burst out laughing...

    "If I didn't know she was a lesbian, I would marry that woman."

    "I know, and I'm going to propose anyway."
    And this? This made me applaud


    Kaun
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    This is much better than your first draft... which I did read, but the good doctor beat me to commenting and he said everything I was going to say so I didn't bother.

    I enjoyed this - it's a nice little vignette that really does a good job of showing something that is in fact, very true - the power of smell as associated with memory. I especially like that it's such a calm memory yet associated with a battlefield.

    One thing I will say at the outset - 'marigold' shouldn't be capitalised, not unless it's the name of a person. It's not a proper noun and doesn't need the capital. I know it's not a big issue, but I personally find that sort of thing a little jarring. Every time I notice it, it drags me out of the story and I have to struggle to get myself back into the flow.

    And in a similar vein - and again, this is very much a personal preference... but I find it a little jarring that of your dude's flashback, only the speech is italicised... in general (by which I mean, in every single thing I've ever read) all of a flashback is in italics - to make it clear that it's a flashback. Unless there is some specific in-story/stylistic reason not to do it. For example, yesterday I wrote a story in which the character was dreaming. I deliberately didn't italicise anything (normally dreams are done the same way as flashbacks) because to do so would have been to alert the reader to the fact that something was going on and it would have spoiled the later impact when the character woke up (the snippet started with the dream sequence). Here, every time you go back to simple description/story-telling, it drags me out of the flashback and I keep thinking that what you're writing is what's actually happening at the time and I have to keep reminding myself that it's still the flashback.

    If you don't want to use italics like that, then even a simple
    ***
    to separate the sections will do. We just need something to separate it from the main story...

    I am taken to a time when I was only a handful of seasons old, kneeling in elder Turan’s tent watching the Minotaurs gnarled old hands work the mortar and pestle.
    Minotaur's - with an appostraphe appostrophe appa - you know what I mean. That word is stupidly hard to spell.

    “You must distance yourself from ideals such as good and evil, boy. They are merely constructs of idle minds! Pretty words, granted the illusion of true meaning.”
    I must say, I enjoyed the wise-old-minotaur mentor thing I liked that what he was saying was kinda vague and didn't entirely make sense to me. It fit quite nicely with the image you created of this old man.

    Many have and will take up the banner of these ideals and shed blood and die for them but when the sun sets these words are little more then a cup that will hold no water, useless and empty.”
    More commas please I ran out of puff halfway through this sentence and totally lost track of what was going on. I'd stick one between 'and die for them, but' and possibly/probably between "ideals, an shed blood" as well.

    To empahsize the point Elder Turan snorted quietly while cearfully setting his mixture to heat in a cobalt pot atop the flame.
    This is totally me being a jerk, but - do you mean to say the pot is the colour of cobalt, or it's made of cobalt? It's been my understanding that it's too soft to use for something like that... then again, Wikipedia is telling me that the cobalt metal is a hard silvery metal so hey, I can be wrong!

    Also - typo "carefully"

    The steam that eminated from the simmering mixture sat thick in the air and fogged my mind; It seemed that the elder forget my presence momentairly as he absentmindedly poked the fire with a willow stick.
    I'd take out the 'absentmindedly' here - you've already made it clear that he's gone off into his own little world. It just feels - unnecessary.

    With these words the old Minotaur falls silent, he seemed mesmerized by the dancing flames, reading meanings in the fire that i was blind too. His battle-scared features relaxed for a moment and it was as though the years slid from his face like water off the side of a tent. The silence stretched painfully long and although fearfull of disturbing him i pushed for a conclusion to his tale.
    Capital 'I's thank you very much

    Also, I believe you have the wrong tense there with 'falls silent' - it should say 'fell silent'.

    An uncaring reality barges back in and i realize that i am staring at a wild Marigold bush being licked by the creeping flames. To my right a figure approaches through the billowing smoke and as i turn, the wind catches a dried up flower bud from the bush and casts it free. The payload of seeds contained within the bud are spirited away from the destruction by the wind; at least there is hope something may spawn from this mess.

    With a disheartened snort i heft my weapon and shield.
    Capitals again.

    Also, that last sentence feels a little - short, to me. It's a very abrupt ending... I'd like to know what he went off and did after he hefted his weapons.
    Last edited by Lady Moreta; 2012-08-21 at 04:40 AM. Reason: removing excess formatting


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