Page 7 of 21 FirstFirst 1234567891011121314151617 ... LastLast
Results 181 to 210 of 611
  1. - Top - End - #181
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    So many updates!

    Am so busy at the moment, struggeling to find time to offer comments... although most of what i would have said has allready been said by those far better placed to offer it than I.

    Dont even have time to write at the moment either... still here, still reading, watch this space for more.

  2. - Top - End - #182
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    If you recall Moreta, Natasha is a member of the Spring Court (that's from an earlier snippet). Darklings are a kind of Changeling (the Lost) and she's been leading the combined charge of Spring/Summer/US Army since Part III. It has been awhile though.

    As far as the boy with the claws and the mistress thing - in older societies, it would often be that when armies clashed they could resolve their dispute with a battle of champions. Natasha asked the boy to make the challenge for her, and his language was deliberately chosen to imply that his 'mistress' had enough nobility and power to make such a demand. They were banking on the idea that the True Fae would not resist such an insult.


    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.
    My extended homebrew sig

  3. - Top - End - #183
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Oh look what we have here! Most excellent.

    @Kaun
    Spoiler
    Show
    Moreta beat me to the punch this time for the in-depth commentary, but I'd still like to pop in and mention that this is certainly a big improvement over the first draft.

    Also, in the future (maybe I should put this in the OP...), it's easier for me to keep the snippet catalog up-to-date if, when you make edits/revisions, you just edit the post the original snippet was in and mention in a new post that you did so (if you want people to go reread it). That way I don't need to remember to change the link, and your revised versions won't get lost. If you'd rather not do in-place edits that's fine, just be aware that I may not remember to fix the links in the OP


    @Winds
    Spoiler
    Show
    The entire 'save the world' thing was something she only went with because it was better than where she was.
    This sentence really doesn't flow, mostly "better than where she was" I think. "better than the alternative" or something might be nicer.

    I wonder if I will become hellbred when I die...
    Is... that how that works? I was under the impression that hellbred were... you know... bred. Though I suppose it could be either a facet of your cosmology or else just Kalach being wrong. PCs aren't wrong often enough, in my opinion; I think it's because it's hard to convey a strongly-held misconception in snippet form without also deceiving the reader. /tangent

    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.
    I'm confused. What is the captain getting out of this? The ship is already his, no?

    Aileph and I helped repair and ready the boat.
    Ahh, it needs repairs... so that's what the PCs are trading in exchange for their passage?

    The old man has quite a tongue on him.
    I'd be interested to see how exactly Kalach interprets modern-era cursing--presumably the words are unfamiliar (or maybe not I guess, since everyone can speak to each other).

    That would be an embassingly swift end to my plans...
    What plans? I thought he was only in this out of spite.

    You could describe it like a dragon, but only as you might describe the ocean as 'damp'.
    This is great. I would probably say "as a dragon" though, to parallel the second clause a little more nicely.

    And I heard the voice of Asmodeus command it.

    This I thought a welcome escape from my memories...until morning.
    The voice of Asmodeus commanding a World Dragon is a welcome escape? I'd think this would be rather unsettling, given what his memories are, not comforting. Unless you're referring to something else, in which case this is really unclear. The second sentence is just sort of awkward no matter which way you look at it.

    A woman in the mirror, with flaming red hair and no face.
    For some reason I really like this image.

    Are we going mad? Or are we so involved in this world now that it shows us what it fears?
    I like the sentiment here and the way it's expressed, except that giving the world agency comes out of nowhere--why does the world fear these things? Especially if it's prophetic, is "fear" really the right thing? Some mention of how these events tie in to the grand scheme of things would be very nice.

    Also, way to end the snippet without telling us what happened, ya jerk Looking forward to the next one.


    @Gareth
    Spoiler
    Show
    Long-Awatited Ending Does Not Disappoint

    "Seraphina says to buy time," the raven croaks out in a throaty voice.
    Two things here. First, "croaks" already feels "throaty" to me--the description feels a little stilted/redundant. Second, and probably the only thing I wish was different about this snippet, is that this is the only place we get anything about Seraphina!! Last time we saw her, she was having a fantastic scene surrounded by tortured hellscholars out in the forest someplace ascending to somethinghood or something, and then she disappeared entirely, and now we don't get to see her?!?! How could you do this to me? Whyyyyyyyyyy.

    Ahem.

    Play it when I tell you, got it?
    She never tells him to. She should tell him to.

    a saber slash lays her stomach open from neck to waist
    That is quite the stomach she's got there.

    spilling insects onto the muddy ground.
    Oh very nice.

    I'm certified Spring Court you slut, so kiss my pristine silken butt!
    Ahahaha. I know Moreta already mentioned it but I love this line quite a lot.

    I also had a lot of the same issues that she did as far as knowing who was who and so on, and that was after going back and rereading parts 1-4 to refresh my memory on the whole thing. Part of it must be that I'm unfamiliar with the system, but I've had the same issue in the other snippets as well--I think part of the trouble is that since Spring and Summer have come together it's really hard to differentiate between them, but the label indicates that we should be able to differentiate between them-- thus latching on to random characters because they're the apparent difference between sections. I think the question to ask here is what you're trying to accomplish with the section breaks in this snippet? You've used them before to change scenes, but you're not really doing that now; you're just changing camera angles (so to speak). So what are the section breaks accomplishing here, if not actually switching the focus of the narrative?
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-08-21 at 03:27 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  4. - Top - End - #184
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Spoiler
    Show
    This sentence really doesn't flow, mostly "better than where she was" I think. "better than the alternative" or something might be nicer.
    Spoiler
    Show


    So noted. In short, she was in jail before the zombies showed up, got put to work after, then followed the party so she didn't have the hang around a strongpoint run by the police that put her there in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Is... that how that works? I was under the impression that hellbred were... you know... bred. Though I suppose it could be either a facet of your cosmology or else just Kalach being wrong. PCs aren't wrong often enough, in my opinion; I think it's because it's hard to convey a strongly-held misconception in snippet form without also deceiving the reader. /tangent
    It is an interesting misnomer. Kalach isn't nessesarily mistaken, but I agree, it would be good if there were more ways for PCs to get things wrong outside of 'THE PLOT SAYS SO' or similar. Anyway, paraphrased from the race fluff/mechanics: Hellbred were evil in life, but commited a very good act as or just before dying-they have devilish bodies due to briefly being in hell. The devil that claimed them still wants them, which makes it hard to revive them if they die again, and whatever good deeds they do usually aren't enough to prevent them from going to hell again anyway. Not, mind you, that they get any choice, since shifting to a nongood alighnment sends them there instantly.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Ahh, it needs repairs... so that's what the PCs are trading in exchange for their passage?
    That, and he gets to keep it. Guy showed up in a worn-out dingy.
    ...I can pronounce it, but not spell it.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I'd be interested to see how exactly Kalach interprets modern-era cursing--presumably the words are unfamiliar (or maybe not I guess, since everyone can speak to each other).
    Indeed, everone is speaking Common. That's a large part of why they thought it was still Faerun, at first.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    What plans? I thought he was only in this out of spite.
    Well-planned spite, but basiclly just spite nonetheless.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    This is great. I would probably say "as a dragon" though, to parallel the second clause a little more nicely.
    I think I meant to, but mistyped it. Ooops.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    The voice of Asmodeus commanding a World Dragon is a welcome escape? I'd think this would be rather unsettling, given what his memories are, not comforting. Unless you're referring to something else, in which case this is really unclear. The second sentence is just sort of awkward no matter which way you look at it.
    Well, his usual dreams at the time were of the relative years he spent with Asmodeus personally torturing him. Through that lens, big freaking dragon that isn't currently looking your way is just disconcerting.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    For some reason I really like this image.
    Good to hear...the next few snippets are mostly about her.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I like the sentiment here and the way it's expressed, except that giving the world agency comes out of nowhere--why does the world fear these things? Especially if it's prophetic, is "fear" really the right thing? Some mention of how these events tie in to the grand scheme of things would be very nice.
    An in-character way of trying to figure out how it is that the party sees there dreams. It's never actually explained.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Also, way to end the snippet without telling us what happened, ya jerk Looking forward to the next one.
    Glad to hear you're enjoying it, but the cliffhangers are gonna stick around.
    Games I'm in:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Only the Honor of a Paladin as Varas
    Fortune's Favor as Lea

  5. - Top - End - #185
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    So after some deliberation, some pizza, and some movie watching, my group and I have decided to forgo regular D&D in favor of trying something new. It's definitely an odd idea, but it certainly has merit in my eyes.

    Steam Punk + Dungeons and Dragons + Big Eyes Small Mouths + Call of Cthulhu!

    Our first adventure took place in an 1890's Victorian Style Greyhawk City. Currently, the party consists of Lupin the halfling gun mage (using the one from Iron Kingdoms), Lucy the cat-girl shapeshifter (from BESM), and Derive the human swordsage.

    Trouble in Paradise
    Spoiler
    Show
    "So what are we doing again?" Lucy asked for the umpteenth time.

    Lupin shook his head and sighed resignedly. "Alicia Green has had a very nasty accident, and her older sister Mary wants us to look into it."

    "At the theater?" the woman asked as she scratched her long furry ear.

    "Yes, The Paradise Theater," Lupin answered. "Metro Arts is restoring it, and Alicia was a volunteer there. Why can't you remember this?"

    Lucy looked sadly down at her feet. "I'm sorry. I'm really high right now."

    Derive snorted in laughter. The halfling sighed once more and led his companions down the dirty street. The theater itself was a very grand old building in this otherwise rundown neighborhood. Across the street from The Paradise an abandoned carriage sat in the gutter, its wheels stolen some time ago. It was covered in strange orange graffiti, and a dead dog sat in the open doorway, its erupted stomach roiling with maggots.

    As the three investigators approached the theater, a woman on a ladder called down to them. She placed a sign on the marquee, then climbed down to greet them properly. She flashed a wolfish grin at them.

    "Howdy," the woman said, "I'm Sara Landry. Ya'll must be them folk Mary sent, ya?"

    Derive nodded grimly. "That's right."

    "We need to go inside and look around, right?" Lucy slurred as she drunkenly staggered into the ladder.

    "Er, what's wrong with her?" Sara asked concernedly.

    Lupin shrugged his shoulders. "More than I'm qualified to diagnose."

    Sara laughed heartily. "Ya'll can go inside if ya'll like, but don't go and fall off them scaffolds, ya hear?"

    "Balance and Tumble are skills I'm good at," Derive replied confidently.

    The three investigators entered the theater lobby and saw an elderly gentleman and a young elf woman working together to fix the four sofas in the room. After a brief introduction, Frank and Jeanette allowed Lupin, Lucy, and Derive to enter the theater proper.

    The main hall of the theater was massive, with a curtained stage and a vaulted ceiling. The walls and ceiling were decorated with delicate carvings of nymphs, satyrs, and other fey creatures. The soft melody of Malaguena being elegantly played on the guitar echoed throughout the room. A scaffold was propped up near the left wall.

    "That must have been where Alicia had her fall," Lupin stated.

    Suddenly, a scuttling noise echoed from behind the curtain. Derive was the first to move, dashing up the stairs to the stage and throwing the curtains aside. A faint light in the shape of a doorway faintly sparkled at the far end of the otherwise dark stage. Cautiously, Lucy crept toward the doorway and reached out toward it. To her surprise, her hand was repelled by a sheet of cold glass.

  6. - Top - End - #186
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    Steam Punk + Dungeons and Dragons + Big Eyes Small Mouths + Call of Cthulhu!
    But... that's...

    Uh.

    I.

    Hrm.





    Moving on,

    umpteenth
    YESSS.

    Why can't you remember this?"

    Lucy looked sadly down at her feet. "I'm sorry. I'm really high right now."
    I love the characterization we're getting already.

    It was covered in strange orange graffiti
    I want more description of this. What makes it strange? The design? The color orange? The fact that there's graffiti? Given the setting, I (as the reader) have no idea what to expect--so what things are strange (as opposed to barely worth mentioning, like Lucy's ears)?

    a dead dog sat in the open doorway, its erupted stomach roiling with maggots.
    Ew. "Erupted" is a good choice of words here (though I'm not completely certain you can use it like that?) By the way, I'm not exactly getting a "paradisiacal" feel, here (I know; I know; it's the name of the theatre)

    Derive snorted in laughter. The halfling sighed once more and led his companions down the dirty street.
    If you hadn't given us the intro, this would have made me think Derive was the halfling. In fact, it did anyway.

    "Howdy," the woman said, "I'm Sara Landry. Ya'll must be them folk Mary sent, ya?"
    I am having a blast envisioning this woman's accent.

    "We need to go inside and look around, right?" Lucy slurred as she drunkenly staggered into the ladder.
    She's drunk now?

    Lupin shrugged his shoulders. "More than I'm qualified to diagnose."
    The one-liners, they continue to be hilarious.

    "Balance and Tumble are skills I'm good at," Derive replied confidently.
    Oh good, I was right about who was who.

    working together to fix the four sofas in the room.
    My first mental image here was the two of them scrambling around trying to fix four sofas simultaneously. Also, it would be nice if we saw what they were actually doing (eg. buried in upholstery making horrible sounds with a long apparatus of some kind), rather than the overall "fixing sofas".

    Frank and Jeanette allowed Lupin, Lucy, and Derive to enter the theater proper.
    "Allowed" seems weird here. it's the sort of word you use when permission has previously been asked, but denied.

    Suddenly, a scuttling noise echoed from behind the curtain. Derive was the first to move, dashing up the stairs to the stage and throwing the curtains aside. A faint light in the shape of a doorway faintly sparkled at the far end of the otherwise dark stage. Cautiously, Lucy crept toward the doorway and reached out toward it. To her surprise, her hand was repelled by a sheet of cold glass.
    I have a couple problems with this paragraph. The first sentence seems a little strange (I have a hard time picturing "sudden scuttling"). Derive is the first to move and the only one we see approach, but Lucy touches the glass. I'm not clear where this doorway is, and unless these are very different curtains than the ones I'm imagining, they're not the sort of thing that can be easily thrown aside--they have to be drawn back using a set of heavy ropes and counterweights. Finally, "repelled" makes me think she's literally being repelled, whereas I'm assuming her hand is just blocked.

    I am really, really excited for where this campaign/setting goes. I am also really, really curious how you're going to make it work.


    EDIT: and now everyone has delivered what they promised except me. Uh... too bad, I guess.
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-08-21 at 03:48 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  7. - Top - End - #187
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Kaun's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The DownUnderdark!
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Yay stuff!

    @Lady Moreta
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    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...
    Firstly thanks for commenting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    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!
    Was going for the colour. Maybe it was unnecessary?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    *snip*
    Typos, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will be the death of me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    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.
    While i'm not happy with the last sentence the intention was to leave it with the reader wanting to know what happened next. So i'm half way there i guess .

    Thank for all of your help by the way!


    @Dr Bwaa
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    @Kaun
    Also, in the future (maybe I should put this in the OP...), it's easier for me to keep the snippet catalog up-to-date if, when you make edits/revisions, you just edit the post the original snippet was in and mention in a new post that you did so (if you want people to go reread it). That way I don't need to remember to change the link, and your revised versions won't get lost. If you'd rather not do in-place edits that's fine, just be aware that I may not remember to fix the links in the OP
    My apologies i will keep this in mind for the future.
    Last edited by Kaun; 2012-08-21 at 07:11 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #188
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lady Moreta's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    If you recall Moreta, Natasha is a member of the Spring Court (that's from an earlier snippet). Darklings are a kind of Changeling (the Lost) and she's been leading the combined charge of Spring/Summer/US Army since Part III. It has been awhile though.
    I don't recall I think that's the problem. I probably should have gone back and read all the others first. And wait... Spring/Summer are on the same side? I'd assumed they were different, since you separate them out with the little heading thingies in the snippets.

    Having said that, you're good, so who cares?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Moreta beat me to the punch this time for the in-depth commentary, but I'd still like to pop in and mention that this is certainly a big improvement over the first draft.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Two things here. First, "croaks" already feels "throaty" to me--the description feels a little stilted/redundant.
    I don't know... there are a lot of ravens around where I live, and 'croaks' is an apt description of the way they sound. Stupid noisy birds.

    SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Steam Punk + Dungeons and Dragons + Big Eyes Small Mouths + Call of Cthulhu!


    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "So what are we doing again?" Lucy asked for the umpteenth time.
    Umpteenth is an awesome word and should be used more

    Lupin shook his head and sighed resignedly. "Alicia Green has had a very nasty accident, and her older sister Mary wants us to look into it."

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Lucy looked sadly down at her feet. "I'm sorry. I'm really high right now."
    I laughed out loud the first time I read this and I did it again just now. This line is awesome quite apart from the fact that it's just plain funny, it's also an excellent example of a wonderfully descriptive/very clear mental picture in a few words. This is a skill I wish I posess. I got a very clear mental picture of Lucy looking down and apologising and being all sheepish about it, but you didn't clutter things up with a bunch of extra words. Well done

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Derive snorted in laughter. The halfling sighed once more and led his companions down the dirty street.
    I gotta agree with the good doctor here... it does kinda sound like Derive is the halfling...

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    and a dead dog sat in the open doorway, its erupted stomach roiling with maggots.
    Ick. Again, excellent succint, yet graphic description. And yes Dr. Bwaa, 'erupted' is a perfectly acceptable word to use here. In fact, it's probably the word that really clued me in to how this poor dead dog looked.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "We need to go inside and look around, right?" Lucy slurred as she drunkenly staggered into the ladder.
    I wanted to see this further up... not necessarily these words obviously - but earlier when Lucy apologises for being high, I get the image of a girl who's - well, high and having trouble concentrating, but otherwise, she's upright and stable on her feet. Now all of a sudden she's wandering around drunkenly and slurring her words - she wasn't slurring before, so why is she now? And I assume you mean 'drunkenly' here as in 'moving as if they were drunk' not 'moving because they are drunk'. I understand what you mean, but a quick rephrase might help get across the idea that she's not drunk, she just looks that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Lupin shrugged his shoulders. "More than I'm qualified to diagnose."
    This is hilarious and I laughed. And yet for some reason, it made me think that Lupin was a Cleric and I found myself scrolling back up to check. I think it feels a bit off to me because a) I can't help but think it'd be that much funnier coming out of the mouth of a cleric, and b) because he's a gun mage, so presumably he's not qualified to diagnose anything but the phrasing makes it sound like he is. That said, I still laughed

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "Balance and Tumble are skills I'm good at," Derive replied confidently.
    Were you intending to deliberately use (and capitalise) the actual D&D skill names? Okay, I phrased that badly... is that how the skills would be described in-universe or were you just using the D&D names because well, that's what they are? This I admit, is a bit of a pet peeve for me (and I'm going to blame it on my husband, because he's the same only worse) - it bugs me when people drop skill names and other actual system labels/descriptions into snippets like these. The whole point of a story or snippet is to take the reader out of their world and into another. Suddenly using the system labels for things drags you rather abruptly, out of that world and dumps you back into the real world.

    All Derive needed to say was that he's quick and agile and has good balance so he'll be just fine. You get your point across, the reader can, if they so choose, play 'guess which skill the author is referring to' (which I'll admit, is fun in it's own right), but there's no abrupt dragging out of the story and the world in which the story is set.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    After a brief introduction, Frank and Jeanette allowed Lupin, Lucy, and Derive to enter the theater proper.
    I'd take out the three names here and just say that the 'group' were allowed to enter the stage. I'm having flashbacks to high school and a short story written by a guy in my English class - telling of the time he and four others went off exploring... every time he mentioned the group, he listed off their four names in sequence. I was ready to pull my hair out by the time he finished.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    The soft melody of Malaguena being elegantly played on the guitar echoed throughout the room. A scaffold was propped up near the left wall.
    Guitar is not an instrument I would associated with being played 'elegantly'. I confess, I have listened to classical guitar and it's very impressive, but the adjective here just doesn't gel for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Suddenly, a scuttling noise echoed from behind the curtain. Derive was the first to move, dashing up the stairs to the stage and throwing the curtains aside.
    As the good doctor said, stage curtains are heavy and not easily moved without the use of pulleys and counterweights. I can imagine that he shoved through the curtains, or pushed through, or shoved one briefly aside, but actually 'throwing' them aside - nuh-uh.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    A faint light in the shape of a doorway faintly sparkled at the far end of the otherwise dark stage. Cautiously, Lucy crept toward the doorway and reached out toward it. To her surprise, her hand was repelled by a sheet of cold glass.
    This is different to the stage where Derive is, is it not? It's a little hard to tell exactly what the setup is here - and I'm a little confused at the fact that we no longer know where Lupin is or what he's doing. And 'repelled' isn't quite the right word here. I know what you mean, but it doesn't quite fit.

    Finally, the ending is very abrupt. What happened next? Where is Lupin? What are the noises? You can't just leave it there!


    Kaun
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaun View Post
    Firstly thanks for commenting.
    You're welcome I warn you, I'm anal and I nitpick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaun View Post
    Was going for the colour. Maybe it was unnecessary?
    No, not at all. It was purely down to my misapprehension of the metal cobalt. I had it in my head that cobalt is a soft metal, but apparently it's not. My bad.


    My Characters
    Spoiler
    Show

  9. - Top - End - #189
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaun View Post
    My apologies i will keep this in mind for the future.
    No apologies neccessary It's no trouble to update the front page links and I don't mind doing it; I just can't promise that I'll always remember to actually do it. So in-place edits are just better for you (assuming you want the right stuff linked, of course )

    @Moreta, SleepyShadow (got kinda long)
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    Two things here. First, "croaks" already feels "throaty" to me--the description feels a little stilted/redundant.
    I don't know... there are a lot of ravens around where I live, and 'croaks' is an apt description of the way they sound. Stupid noisy birds.
    I liked "croaks"; it was "throaty" that felt redundant to me. Perhaps I should have actually said that XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    And yes Dr. Bwaa, 'erupted' is a perfectly acceptable word to use here. In fact, it's probably the word that really clued me in to how this poor dead dog looked.
    My problem wasn't with the word itself, as I definitely love it as a descriptor. I just wasn't convinced that it could be used to modify a noun in this kind of passive sense. It is a past participle though, so I suppose I need to just get over myself

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    he's a gun mage, so presumably he's not qualified to diagnose anything but the phrasing makes it sound like he is.
    Ha! I didn't even pick up on this contrast, but I actually think it makes it better (though maybe something to draw attention to the fact that he's not qualified to diagnose anything would be helpful).

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    Were you intending to deliberately use (and capitalise) the actual D&D skill names?
    I'll answer for him since I've seen all his other snippets and I got here first--yes, that was intentional. His group has one player in particular (the one playing Derive, in this case) who simply refuses to get into character, so the NPCs tend to treat the OOC things they say as IC, which makes things... funny. Take a look at some of his snippets from his Ravenloft campaign (for instance) to see what I mean (this one, for example).
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-08-22 at 09:59 AM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  10. - Top - End - #190
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    I don't recall I think that's the problem. I probably should have gone back and read all the others first. And wait... Spring/Summer are on the same side? I'd assumed they were different, since you separate them out with the little heading thingies in the snippets.

    Having said that, you're good, so who cares?

    *Blush*

    Alright, permit me to refresh the collective memories - the four Seasons are the Seasonal Courts, governing bodies among Changelings/The Lost. Normally, the four Courts share power by ceding it to each Court in its proper season - so in Spring, Spring rules, et cetera. All of them are joined in resisting the Gentry (also known as the True Fae), who compose the elite troops and generals of the Host of a Thousand Princes - a vast army of the Gentry come to claim the mortal world and incorporate it into Arcadia.

    Recently (as of Parts III and IV) Natasha came to the rescue of the hard-pressed armies of Summer, and is now leading their combined assault (the leader of Summer's forces, Jillian Fury, is somewhat...pressed...at the moment).


    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.
    My extended homebrew sig

  11. - Top - End - #191
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Dr Bwaa, Lady Moreta: Derive is not the halfling. I know I got the wording rather jumbled there. If you're wondering why Lucy suddenly went from high to drunk, well, you're asking the wrong person. I'm just the DM, I don't pretend to understand my players Yes, Moreta, as Bwaa said I do have a player that often breaks the fourth wall. I've come to accept and enjoy it. Lastly, I'm fairly certain that the swordsage with the 20 strength can do as he pleases with the stage curtains

    Now, onto the snippet!

    "Is That Good?"
    Spoiler
    Show
    "It's a mirror," Lucy said, puzzled.

    "Look, I'm melee for once," Derive grumbled irritably. "Just because you can rush ahead of me doesn't mean you should. Especially when everything is likely to sprout tentacles and attack you."

    Lucy looked over her shoulder at the swordsage worriedly. "Is it because eldritch horrors lurk around every corner in places such as this?"

    "Nope," Lupin said as he clambered up onto the stage. "You're a cat-girl in an anime horror game. Enough said."

    "Tentacles," Derive said darkly.

    Lucy thought for a moment then shuddered in horror. After a brief moment of deliberation, the group split up to search the stage more thoroughly. Suddenly the floor beneath Lucy's feet shifted and gave way, and she screamed in terror as she plummeted into the darkness below. Lupin and Derive rushed to where she had been and peered down the trap door.

    "Are you alright?" Lupin asked.

    "Yeah, I'm fine," Lucy called up from the darkness. "I think I found the basement."

    "I think I found the stairs," Derive said with a dry laugh.

    The swordsage withdrew a tiny clockwork pistol from his pocket and rapidly spun a small gear on the side. The tiny gadget clicked noisily for several moments until it produced a small flame from the barrel of the pistol.

    "Fine gnomish technology," Derive stated with a grin.

    Lupin folded his arms over his chest and snorted. "Did you pick that thing up at a flea market?"

    "Maybe."

    Lupin and Derive clambered down the rickety ladder and joined Lucy down in the basement. The wide stone chamber appeared to have once been some sort of tavern long ago, for the remnants of tables and chairs lay scattered about the floor, and at the far end of the room was a long wooden bar counter.

    "Think I could get a drink here?" Lucy asked hopefully.

    Lupin shook his head and let out a disapproving sigh. "I doubt it."

    "Oh," the cat-girl said in disappointment. "Does anyone mind if I light up?"

    "Jesus, how much devil weed did you buy?" Derive asked.

    Lucy giggled as she used the swordsage's lighter to ignite her spliff. "Silly boy, Jesus doesn't have anything to do with devil weed."

    "I'm going to take a look around," Lupin grumbled. "Would you two actually care to help?"

    Spurred into action by the angry halfling, the investigators began to search the long forgotten speak-easy. After several minutes of poking around, Derive called out to his companions from behind the bar.

    "Come take a look at this," Derive said as he slid back a small panel in the wall, revealing a narrow crawlspace.

    "Hey, be careful with stuff like that," Lupin said reproachfully. "It could have been trapped!"

    Derive nodded thoughtfully. "You're right. Hey Lucy!"

    "Huh?" the cat-girl called out in confusion, looking away from the particularly sparkly piece of dust she had found.

    "Want to come check out the hole?" Derive asked with a smile.

    Lucy stuck her tongue out in disgust. "Eww, no way. It's all dirty and gross."

    "I think they hid the booze back there," Lupin said dryly.

    Lucy sprang to her feet and dived through the narrow hole, giggling excitedly. Derive and Lupin looked at one another and sighed in unison. After a few moments, they heard Lucy call out to them.

    "Hey, I don't see any booze down here," the cat-girl whined. "Just people."

    "People?" Lupin repeated in surprise.

    The halfling scurried down the narrow crawlspace, Derive close behind him. The two emerged into a rectangular stone chamber just tall enough for the swordsage to stand upright. Projected onto gauzy silver screens were the images of men in black suits, each one adorned with a blank white mask with no mouth or eyes. Lucy sat in front of the screens, her eyes transfixed on the silent film before her.

    "It's a movie," Lupin said after a few moments. "Just pictures."

    "I can see the projectors on the other side of the screens," Derive stated.

    Lupin squeezed behind the screens to verify his companion's claim. "You're right. I don't see anything powering them, though."

    "Steam, I'd wager," the swordsage replied. "Gnomish technology."

    Lupin came out from behind the screens, holding onto a tattered yellow book. He scratched his head in puzzlement.

    "What's this?" he asked curiously.

    "It's a book," Derive replied with a malicious grin as he snatched it away from Lupin.

    Suddenly, the figures on the screen reached up in unison and pulled away their masks. However, before the investigators could see what was hidden behind the masks, the projectors came to a screeching halt and the images vanished, blanketing the tiny room in thick blackness.

    "Is that good?" Lucy asked nervously.

  12. - Top - End - #192
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lady Moreta's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    (for instance) to see what I mean (this one, for example).
    Heehee, that was hilarious

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Alright, permit me to refresh the collective memories - the four Seasons are the Seasonal Courts, governing bodies among Changelings/The Lost. Normally, the four Courts share power by ceding it to each Court in its proper season - so in Spring, Spring rules, et cetera. All of them are joined in resisting the Gentry (also known as the True Fae), who compose the elite troops and generals of the Host of a Thousand Princes - a vast army of the Gentry come to claim the mortal world and incorporate it into Arcadia.
    And all of a sudden things become clear. I think I had it in my head that the various Courts were on different sides. I have no idea why and now that I think about it, it seems an awfully silly thing to be thinking

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Yes, Moreta, as Bwaa said I do have a player that often breaks the fourth wall.
    My group tends to do the same thing fairly frequently. I just - ignore that, when I write.

    Other comments...
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "Nope," Lupin said as he clambered up onto the stage. "You're a cat-girl in an anime horror game. Enough said."

    "Tentacles," Derive said darkly.
    hilarious - I love it when they're genre-savvy

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Suddenly the floor beneath Lucy's feet shifted and gave way, and she screamed in terror as she plummeted into the darkness below.
    I have no idea why (so you may be better off ignoring me), but this sentence bugs me. I think it's the terror... it just seems a bit too strong an emotion. Nothing else up to this point really suggests that any of them are that freaked out (Lucy shuddering notwithstanding). It just feels like surprise would be a better emotion here... and perhaps the terror can be something lingering they can hear in her voice once they've checked she's all right.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    The swordsage withdrew a tiny clockwork pistol from his pocket and rapidly spun a small gear on the side. The tiny gadget clicked noisily for several moments until it produced a small flame from the barrel of the pistol.
    I love gadgets I like the description you give us here... it's good.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "Huh?" the cat-girl called out in confusion, looking away from the particularly sparkly piece of dust she had found.
    Heehee awesome. And I love the way they con her into coming over and checking it out anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Projected onto gauzy silver screens were the images of men in black suits, each one adorned with a blank white mask with no mouth or eyes. Lucy sat in front of the screens, her eyes transfixed on the silent film before her.
    Okay, creepy. I fully expected to find out Lucy had failed a will save or something... then she just starts up and moving around with no problems. I don't know if you did it deliberately or not, but it's very effective. Build up the tension and then - nothing happens. Reminds me of a scene in The Sixth Sense where they're doing everything they can with the action and the music and everything to build up the tension and then... a cat walks across the screen. (Scared the crap out of almost everyone in the cinema when I saw it.)

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Suddenly, the figures on the screen reached up in unison and pulled away their masks. However, before the investigators could see what was hidden behind the masks, the projectors came to a screeching halt and the images vanished, blanketing the tiny room in thick blackness.

    "Is that good?" Lucy asked nervously.
    And then you beautifully bring the creepy and the tension back. Love it and found myself wanting to shake my head at Lucy and tell her that no, it is not good.


    And... I actually wrote something the other day! Well, the other day and a year ago... The character is one I played for a couple of weeks in my RL campaign when my usual character died and we went on a side-quest to get enough diamonds to resurrect her. This is backstory from my temporary character... and I warn you in advance, it's not very good. I started writing this about a year ago, with a plan for where it was gonna go and all... then I stopped writing (for about a year) and found it the other day, when I decided that I just wanted the damn thing finished. And since I can't remember what the 'plan' was, I just whacked an ending on it. I personally, think it's a rather hodge-podge effort and it shows. I just don't care

    A New Name
    Spoiler
    Show
    My eyes were burning. I’d like to be able to deny that they were tears, but, as so many of my friends and classmates have told me, I am nothing if not honest. Ironic really, considering my choice of career. I stood in a pokey little room at the top of a tower in what was probably the oldest part of the Ariaethus. And considering it was run by a 500-year-old elf, that was pretty damn old. I’m sure the room had a proper and correct name, and once upon a time I would have cared. Honesty and curiosity. If there are two traits a person can possess more likely to get them killed than those two, I don’t know what they are. And I have both in spades. Lucky me.

    It was raining. Not a light summer shower that invited you out to run and chase a rainbow. Nor, alas, was it a heavy thunderstorm that made you glad to be inside and to have an excuse to curl up in front of a blazing fire with a hot drink. No, it was a type of rain fairly typical for this time of year, not that that made it any better. A steady heavy fall, more than a drizzle, but not so heavy as to be a storm. Dark grey clouds overhead, so tightly packed that, though they were probably moving steadily onwards, it was impossible to tell. Wasn’t it just my luck that I had to go out in that rain?

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Adventures never start out the way you want or expect them too. Not that this was an adventure. This was real life, my life. And when had my life ever gone according to plan?

    “He’s dead. We have to leave.”

    “No, I won’t leave him!”

    “You have to. Calia, your father was just about the only person holding the kingdom together! You have to know this wasn’t an accident. And that makes you a target.”

    “That’s ridiculous. I can’t take Father’s place; I haven’t reached my majority yet.”

    “You’re only a few years away. Do you want to spend the next six years constantly looking over your shoulder?”

    “I could…”

    “Take a bodyguard? Yes, you could. You could ask Marnd, he’d love the chance to die for you. Or perhaps a taster, to check for poison. You’ve always been fond of the servants here, which of them will you choose? Or will it be-“

    “ENOUGH! Enough Uncle. I take your point. What do you suggest I do?”

    “Leave. Don’t stop to pack, get out of the palace, steal a horse and ride. Don’t stop and don’t look back.”

    “Don’t you think stealing will make me just a tad conspicuous?”

    “Don’t be absurd Calia, you’re better than that. Get to that bardic school you’re always talking about. Learn, travel, understand. I’ll send for you when it’s safe.”

    “There’s really no other way?”

    “No. And Calia? You’ll need a new name.”


    And so here I stand, watching the rain fall, wondering if the old slate titles on this roof will continue to hold up under the onslaught. I’d almost forgotten that conversation. I remember thinking how unlike Father it was to be late for such an important event. I remember thinking he must have forgotten something and returned to our chambers to get it. I remember planning to tease him, for having an old grey head that forgot things.

    Instead I got the gut-wrenching sight of the only parent I had left, lying bloody and broken on the pavement. Uncle Norchan had taken one look and immediately realised he must have been pushed or throw from our apartments above. All I can remember is the ruin I made of the gown I had been wearing that night. My favourite dress, champagne silk and ivory, loose flowing sleeves, patterned sash. Father’s blood soaked into the long sleeves as I pulled him into my arms, desperate. Uncle Norchan had ripped the blood-stained parts of my dress away, sleeves and the long hem, and sent me pelting through the servant’s corridors out into the city and out of the country. Everything happened so quickly after that, that it wasn’t until I was well on my way that it occurred to me how much fear had been in his voice.

    But I did as I was told. I made it to the Ariaethus, looking nothing like the nobleman’s daughter I was, got accepted, and discovered that my voice was just as good as I’d always been told. And I had a new name.

    The rain is getting heavier. I should have left this morning, before the rains came. I could have been safely tucked away in a roadside inn by now – or at the very least, tucked away inside a tent. Instead, I’m standing out here, getting wetter by the second, and putting off the journey I know I must make. I’m honest enough (and there goes that word again) to admit that I’m afraid. I’m afraid that my new name will not protect me outside the confines of the Ariaethus. I am afraid that the sheltered life I have led has left me woefully unprepared for the life I now must live. I’m afraid of being caught, of being tortured, of being found out for who I am. I wish with all my heart that I was going somewhere else. I wish I was someone else.

    “Terryn? Are you ready to go?” I turned around at the sound of Lance’s voice behind me. He and I were to travel back to Celadia together and he had been surprisingly easy-going about my dragging my feet. From the kind and gentle look he was giving me, I think he knew I didn’t want to leave. I’m fairly certain though, he thought my reluctance had to do with the fiasco around Nadriene which to be honest, I’d forgotten all about. “We should get going,” he sounded apologetic, the poor man, when it was I who should be apologising to him.

    “Yes, of course,” I said, moving towards him. “I’m sorry…” I gave him a sheepish look and he smiled at me and moved backwards into the shelter of the tower. We walked in silence down the stairs to the main building. There was no one to farewell us, that had been done the previous night – only our packs and wet-weather gear waited by the side entrance. Somehow, as I tugged a hopefully rainproof cloak over my already sodden shoulders, that seemed appropriate. Slipping away into the night seemed entirely appropriate to my new profession. Lance checked the waterproof wrappings on his lute and handed me a warm scarf.

    “If we’re going to pay our way to Celadia, we need to protect our instruments” he said with a warm smile. I took the scarf and wound it around my throat, but all I could see were hundreds of childhood memories of someone, my father, my mother, my brother, wrapping a scarf around my neck. Then the images faded and I was left with the memory of my father’s blood soaking into my silk dress; the sight of my brother’s broken neck and my mother’s fever-wasted body. And I admitted that what I was afraid of most – was failing the people I loved and who had loved me.

    I shifted my shoulders and settled the pack so it was balanced. Uncle Norchan had reassured me that someone would meet me in Celadia. All I had to do was be on the lookout for this ‘Norrin’ person. I tugged the hood over my head, smiled at Lance and marched out into the rainy night.

    My name is Terryn Nor. I will make my family proud.
    Last edited by Lady Moreta; 2012-08-22 at 10:39 PM. Reason: fixing formatting


    My Characters
    Spoiler
    Show

  13. - Top - End - #193
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Moreta View Post
    Heehee, that was hilarious
    I do what I can to entertain

    Spoiler
    Show

    I love gadgets I like the description you give us here... it's good.
    Just wait until they find the gnomish horseless carriage.


    Heehee awesome. And I love the way they con her into coming over and checking it out anyway.
    My players do have their moments of awesome


    Okay, creepy. I fully expected to find out Lucy had failed a will save or something... then she just starts up and moving around with no problems. I don't know if you did it deliberately or not, but it's very effective. Build up the tension and then - nothing happens. Reminds me of a scene in The Sixth Sense where they're doing everything they can with the action and the music and everything to build up the tension and then... a cat walks across the screen. (Scared the crap out of almost everyone in the cinema when I saw it.)

    And then you beautifully bring the creepy and the tension back. Love it and found myself wanting to shake my head at Lucy and tell her that no, it is not good.
    Thanks. Writing horror is a bit tricky for me, so I'm glad to know I could pull it off well enough.


    I'll try to post some comments on your snippet sometime later. Definitely good work.

  14. - Top - End - #194
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @SleepyShadow
    If you're wondering why Lucy suddenly went from high to drunk, well, you're asking the wrong person.
    Ah. Of course.

    Lastly, I'm fairly certain that the swordsage with the 20 strength can do as he pleases with the stage curtains
    20 STR or no, the carriers up top must be made entirely of grease if anyone can just throw the things open more than a foot or two

    Onward!

    Spoiler
    Show
    Lucy looked over her shoulder at the swordsage worriedly. "Is it because eldritch horrors lurk around every corner in places such as this?"
    Lucy's player = Ed's player?

    "Tentacles," Derive said darkly.
    Ehehe. As Lady Moreta said, it's great when they're genre-savvy without necessarily being OOC

    Suddenly the floor beneath Lucy's feet shifted and gave way, and she screamed in terror as she plummeted into the darkness below.
    I agree with the good Lady here, too, but I think the problems I have are threefold: I think "gave way" suggests that it couldn't hold Lucy's weight; that it crumbled somehow. Obviously this isn't the case, but you could also give some more information to the reader by indicating more how this trapdoor opened: did it really "shift" (which makes me think it slid out to the side like it was activated on purpose (also kind of giving me problems because it contradicts "gave way" in that sense)), or did it fall? Also, the second half of the sentence feels a bit stilted because of the repeated structure ("she screamed in terror", "she plummeted into the darkness"). Finally, "screamed" feels like it goes on for a long time. Now, it very well might--but in that case, we should hear her screaming after she's fallen, not in the first moment she drops. "Shrieked" or something similar may be a little nicer.

    The swordsage withdrew a tiny clockwork pistol from his pocket and rapidly spun a small gear on the side. The tiny gadget clicked noisily for several moments until it produced a small flame from the barrel of the pistol.
    I love the Gnomish lighter. No, wait--it's a Gnoman Candle (awwww yeeaaaaaa)! Great stuff. Is the whole setting Gnome-punk, or are they just a contributor?

    Lupin and Derive clambered down the rickety ladder and joined Lucy down in the basement.
    I don't think the second "down" is necessary at all.

    "Oh," the cat-girl said in disappointment. "Does anyone mind if I light up?"
    Ha; I like the non-sequitur. It may be worth thinking about coming up with another way to say "light up"; idioms are a great way to build setting flavor.

    "I'm going to take a look around," Lupin grumbled. "Would you two actually care to help?"

    Spurred into action by the angry halfling,
    I don't get an "angry halfling" vibe from Lupin here, more of a "disgruntled babysitter" feeling. Just saying.

    the long forgotten speak-easy.
    I'm pretty sure speakeasy is one word. Also, there are two ways to fix the grammar here. It should either be "long-forgotten speakeasy" or "long, forgotten speakeasy". The first one means that the speakeasy has been forgotten for a long time. The second (which is closer in meaning to what you wrote) means that the speakeasy is both forgotten and long.

    "I think they hid the booze back there," Lupin said dryly.
    The more we see of Lupin's personality, the more I like him This is very effectively-phrased; you communicate a lot with few words.

    Lupin squeezed behind the screens
    He has to squeeze to get between gauzy screens? I don't actually understand how that works at all.

    "Steam, I'd wager," the swordsage replied. "Gnomish technology."


    the projectors came to a screeching halt and the images vanished, blanketing the tiny room in thick blackness.
    If they're not literally screeching, it's probably better to avoid that word here. If they are (definitely possible; this is Gnomish tech after all), maybe make a bigger deal out of it?

    "Is that good?" Lucy asked nervously.
    Nice. You've been doing some great character development with their one-liners; keep it up. I'm very intrigued; our heroes are pretty deep into this thing already without meeting any resistance besides creepiness--always a dangerous sign.


    @Lady Moreta
    Spoiler
    Show
    Huzzah! She's posting again! (I'm pretty sure you did another snippet with this character, right? It's not exactly a common name, but I seem to remember you saying something a while ago about a character you played for a month while awaiting resurrection in the Celadians campaign, and so maybe that's actually this one, considering that they're headed for Celadia? I've grouped this snippet with the other "Terryn" one, but if it belongs with the Celadians, let me know )

    And I know you said you think this snippet is not very good, but I'm going to critique it anyway so there.

    My eyes were burning. I’d like to be able to deny that they were tears
    I'm pretty sure "they" ends up referring to "My eyes" in this construction.

    I am nothing if not honest. Ironic really, considering my choice of career.
    When you get to "Ironic really", it sounds kind of like you're correcting/amending the previous statement. It becomes clearer that you mean the honesty is ironic, but it's a little garden-pathy.

    I stood in a pokey little room
    I.... have no idea what would make a room "pokey". I cannot envision this at all.

    And I have both in spades. Lucky me.
    I like how self-aware the speaker is. It's an interesting perspective.

    Not a light summer shower that invited you out to run and chase a rainbow. Nor, alas, was it...
    I'd probably adjust the first sentence to parallel the second's structure a little more ("It was not a light summer shower").

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Adventures never start out the way you want or expect them to. Not that this was an adventure. This was real life, my life. And when had my life ever gone according to plan?
    Typo in bold. This is a very interesting paragraph; I didn't like it when I quoted it but I'm appreciating it more as I look at it. It's very disorganized and has a lot of self-contradiction (especially concerning surprise/expectation), but I think maybe it actually works as a way to communicate a state of mind.

    “No. And Calia? [beat] You’ll need a new name.”
    I don't know what exactly I want there, but I definitely want something. Line break, actual statement of a pause, "...", something, because I definitely read a beat after the question, and it feels like the continuation comes too fast.

    wondering if the old slate titles on this roof will continue to hold up under the onslaught.
    I thought it wasn't a storm?

    I remember planning to tease him, for having an old grey head that forgot things.

    Instead I got the gut-wrenching sight...

    ...And I had a new name.

    The rain is getting heavier.
    The tense shifts bug me. I know you're doing reflection on a flashback, but I generally like to go with past perfect for those sorts of things; I find it less abrupt when you have to switch back to the present (so "Instead I'd gotten...", "But I'd done as I'd been told", etc).

    I turned around
    This tense shift actually didn't bother me very much; it matches the beginning where you shift into inner-monologue mode (and now we're back). I think it's effective.

    “We should get going,” he sounded apologetic, the poor man, when it was I who should be apologising to him.
    This whole paragraph is a great introduction; you communicate a lot about Lance's personality without doing so explicitly.

    There was no one to farewell us
    I've never seen "farewell" used as a single, transitive verb before? I don't think I mind it, though.

    a warm scarf.

    “If we’re going to pay our way to Celadia, we need to protect our instruments” he said with a warm smile.
    Aww. Lance is sweet (also you've got double "warm"s going on, but I'm mostly distracted by enjoying the moment).

    Then the images faded and I was left with the memory of my father’s blood soaking into my silk dress; the sight of my brother’s broken neck and my mother’s fever-wasted body.
    Aaaand it's gone.

    And I admitted that what I was afraid of most – was failing the people I loved and who had loved me.
    The "admitted" here is awkward. Presumably this is not a verbal admission, which means it belongs in Monologue Mode, and without the actual verb (or else, more explicit ("Okay, I admit--I'm most afraid of...")). I do like it as a sort-of segue into the final line (obviously it can't come right before the last paragraph because that would just be awkward; where it is is good).

    I shifted my shoulders and settled the pack so it was balanced.
    I get the image but the words don't flow.

    All I had to do was be on the lookout for this ‘Norrin’ person. I tugged the hood over my head, smiled at Lance and marched out into the rainy night.
    I want... something between the first and second sentences here. The nonsequitur bugs me. I don't know what I want, but I want it a lot.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  15. - Top - End - #195
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Drowlord's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Right then! The last (in chronological order) of the storyline! I will definitely include the campaign before it, so I'm not finished with this line of snippets.

    Kingdoms Will Fall III
    Spoiler
    Show
    The commander of the elite guard saw shifting, kaleidoscopic images spinning in the air as he dived through the portal. He saw shining sigils, symbols of war and peace, of law and chaos. Then dark red pentagrams emerged from the portal, coating him in darkness and smoke. He cried out once in shock, then was silent, standing firm as the images overtook him.

    A grey gap in the shape of a four-pointed star emerged from the writhing air of the half-dead plane. The commander fell from it, easily landing on the soft red soil of the dark plane. He looked furtively around him, his grey eyes flashing with reflected charnel light from the surrounding area. The demon-guards better not spot me, or I'm toast. Then I'll never report to my master. As he darted around oddly organic-looking rocks and into small pits in the bloated surface of the Karanta, the home of demons, his features became more and more demonic in the red light of the fuming torches that lit the dark realm. It might have been the light, but it looked oddly like he was taking on the features of the denizens of the plane.

    After hours of darting past lone sentries on crumbling towers like fingers reaching out of the trackless wastelands, he spotted the bleached white fortress that was the home of his master. The great one, whose name had once been Kaazen, had carved it out of the skull of a colossal demon while the giant was still living. The behemoth still lived, in fact: the plane's surface, for many feet down, was made of the rotting flesh of the still-living enemy, and occasionally, the heartbeat of the giant demon caused the ground to shudder. However, the demons of the plane were more pragmatic then that, and ignored the deathless heartbeat of the elder demon.

    Thud.

    The ground shook, and the commander shrugged off. It's a common occurrence here, no need to cause panic. His eyes slowly widened as he saw the cause of the shaking ground. That's not...

    Walking, ghastly in the infernal light from greasy torches their leaders carried, were millions of demonic creatures. In the front, masses of dead souls shambled, whipped from behind by the cowardly imp-soldiers. Behind those, the berserkers of the Karanta stalked, as tall as evil trees in patchwork armor that was covered in abyssal blood. Their huge axes were held with practiced ease. The demonic cavalry, in resplendent mockery of gilded armor, spread out to the flanks, pressed silently forward on their nightmare steeds. Behind them all, the blood-giants marched; rank upon rank of titan cadavers animated by the lord of the Karanta. It was an army the likes of which the commander had never seen before, and he'd been serving his master for a long time.

    His eyes widened- don't let them get me before I reach Master, please- and he dived behind two boulders on the slope of a nearby mountain as the army passed him. Evil horrors uncounted by rank and file went by. Finally, a magnificent warrior, taller than the mountain that the commander hid on the slopes of, cased in black armor and carrying a sword as big as a warship that emitted an aura of pain and torture (he knew that, a bit too well, from past experience) strode in yards-wide strides, came up behind his army.

    "Hello, master."

    The huge demon turned to him, red eyes blazing with soot and flame.

    "HELLO, RED SWORD. HOW GOES THE WAR?"

    The deomn lord's voice was an explosion. His teeth were curved tusks that pierced his bloodsteel helmet. They currently were in the features of a bestial smile, which seemed contrived on such a horrifying visage.

    "Not well for my former allies, I'm afraid."

    "GOOD."

    "What is this army? Our agreement was that you would clean up the remnants of the devils, but this army looks equipped to handle two armies. Don't try to lie to me and say you're overpreparing, because demons don't prepare."

    "POOR RED SWORD. YOU REALLY THINK A DEMON LORD WOULD PASS UP THE CHANCE FOR SO MANY SOULS TO EAT? YOU MUST BE LOSING YOUR TOUCH."

    "We had a deal!"

    "YEAH, LIKE A PERSONIFICATION OF CHAOS KEEPS DEALS ALL THE TIME."

    The commander gritted his teeth. "I. Will. Kill. You. So. Hard."

    "HOW? YOU'RE MY WARLOCK. MY KILLING OF YOUR PEOPLE IS A FAVOR. YOU WILL BE THE KING OF KYLORIA. KING OF THE FALLEN KINGDOM. HAS A NICE RING TO IT. DON'T THINK YOU CAN DO ANYTHING. WE ARE SOUL- BOUND, SO I CAN CONTROL YOU WHENEVER I WANT. REMEMBER THAT EXTRA LINE IN THE BOND THAT YOU HAD TO RECITE BECAUSE I WAS SO POWERFUL? THAT GAVE ME POSSESION OF ALL YOUR POWERS."

    He was right. I had to be so careless just once. The commander glumly trudged along beside his lord. "How will you get through to my city?"

    "I CAN EITHER ASK YOU NICELY TO LET US THROUGH, OR KILL YOU TO WIDEN THE PORTAL. YOUR CHOICE."

    The commander sighed, flexing his hand at the portal, and red energy pulled on the portal's seams, producing an eerie whistling noise. The dead souls first, the grinning legions of the Karanta poured into the dying city, crushing the unsuspecting devils beneath their rapid advance.

    * * *

    The hundred or so elite mages, soldiers, and knights left were desperate. Their commander had left them, and the devils were still killing them wantonly. They had only reduced the devils to about several thousand, as far as the eye could see at night.
    Then the demons came, and the devils focused on their hated enemies. The two evil armies attacked each other with elemental hatred, for now ignoring the few mortals huddled in the fortress's farthest end. The devils fought with clockwork efficiency, killing many demons each, but the demons were many more times numerous. As the chaotic fighting raged, a cloaked figure wove through the shadows to his countrymen.
    The youngest of the mages, shocked, pointed a trembling finger at the warlock.
    "You!"
    The warlock held out his hand in a gesture of peace.
    "Yes, me. I know what you saw; I made a deal with the demon lord to try to save you, and it backfired. You can join me to fight the evils I have unleashed, or you can escape and try to resist them in hiding. Your choice."
    His voice was weary but full of his former nobility and strength. His eyes scanned the crowd of warriors.

    About twenty of the very best, his former comrades before he had become the leader of the elite guard, stepped out and fanned around him, forming into a guard around him. The eldest of them, a mage only known as Old Timothy, rumbled, "We're with you."

    The rest silently went to the harbor, going down the empty streets to try to escape into the wild ocean. They were disgusted at their former commander, and didn't care about him any more. They just wanted to save their lives and as many civilians as possible with them. The few living civilians flocked to them, stumbling to the dark, rotting timbers of the dock under a mocking moon.

    * * *

    The devils had reduced the demons in number greatly but fled, and only a few thousand demons remained on the nearly-dead island to dispatch with the puny humans. The remaining forces were the demon elite: the blood demons, the nightmare cavalry, and the Demon Lord himself. The huge demon lord strode out to the commander.

    "WELL. SO IT ENDS. HAND THEM OVER, AND I WILL GIVE YOU YOUR PROMISED OVERLORDSHIP OF THE DEMONS AS MY LIEUTENANT. YOU DID A GOID JOB."

    The few weary warriors looked at the commander uneasily as the mocking moon leered at their laughable state. They were half-dead, a tiny force fighting thousands of elite demons. It was a cosmic joke.

    The commander hung his head. In drooping steps, he walked to his lord's foot and knelt before it.

    "GOOD."

    The huge, armored hand of the titanic demon lifted up the grey-cloaked warlock. The commander now saw the huge face of his lord, burning bright with ugly fires that were his eyes.

    "BY MY POWER, I KNIGHT THEE FIRST KNIGHT OF KANTARA, COMMANDER OF DEMONIC FORCES. YOU ARE NOW THE GREATEST MAN IN THE WORLD. DO YOU ACCEPT THIS LIFE OF LUXURY AND POWER UNLIMITED?"

    It was a ceremonial phrase, odd for a demon. But it was a great moment for the Demon Lord, so the archaic phrasing seemed ominously appropriate.

    "No."

    The warlock channeled all of his strength and leaped at the demon's eye, swinging his fist with fury. The human burst through the flames that were his outer eyes, landed in the area that was his slimy inner eye. With savagery, he bit and clawed into the center of the eye socket, tearing into the demon lord's brain.

    The demon howled and tore at the eye, ripping deep into his own head. The mountainous demon collapsed, fires spurting from his dead eyes. The dying, powerless, deep-burnt commander limped out of the eye and grimly smiled with his remaining teeth.

    "My name in Kerast Riventooth, and I like it. You kill my kingdom and break my deal and kill my chance of saving anybody, and then try to take my name? No. Bring it on, demons. You see your doom before you. Who's with me?"

    The twenty elite soldiers shouted, their unanimous assent ringing in the dead city for a short time. Too short.

    Then the demon hordes attacked, pouring into the twenty-one men. Swords clashed on sword, spells hissed through the air and demon claws ripped into armor among the empty towers and walls of the stone fortress. The final fight for Kyloria was on, and, though it was doomed, it would go out in a blaze of glory.
    Last edited by Drowlord; 2012-09-04 at 06:20 PM.
    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.

  16. - Top - End - #196
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lady Moreta's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Thanks. Writing horror is a bit tricky for me, so I'm glad to know I could pull it off well enough.
    You did it very well

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Ehehe. As Lady Moreta said, it's great when they're genre-savvy without necessarily being OOC
    Yes! That's what I was trying to say before. I couldn't find the right words, but I'm glad I got the intent across. It's something I miss a bit in my game. We're all (well, okay, myself and one other player) are pretty genre-savvy, but we have a hard time doing it in character. A lot of meta-gaming goes on at our table.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    No, wait--it's a Gnoman Candle (awwww yeeaaaaaa)!
    Oh you didn't...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I don't get an "angry halfling" vibe from Lupin here, more of a "disgruntled babysitter" feeling. Just saying.
    And actually, saying 'spurred on by a disgruntled babysitter halfling' is much funnier I didn't mind the 'angry' so much, but the potential for humour compelled me to comment on this anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    This is very effectively-phrased; you communicate a lot with few words.
    Indeed... I am jealous...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    He has to squeeze to get between gauzy screens? I don't actually understand how that works at all.
    I would imagine that the screens are fairly close to the wall and that he's trying to avoid touching them, hence the squeezing. Of course, I could just be reading a lot more into it than is there, based on my own experience in a high school production of A Midsummer Night's Dream where I did, in fact, have to squeeze between a wall and a screen (mostly to stop the screen from waving, as other people were on stage acting at the time).
    Spoiler
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I've grouped this snippet with the other "Terryn" one, but if it belongs with the Celadians, let me know )
    She belongs with the Celadians I got lazy naming characters a while ago and consequently ended up with two named Terryn.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    When you get to "Ironic really", it sounds kind of like you're correcting/amending the previous statement. It becomes clearer that you mean the honesty is ironic, but it's a little garden-pathy.
    But I'm so fond of gardens... and paths Seriously, I waffle... and I know that I waffle. It is the bane of my writing existence. I can't be succint to save my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I.... have no idea what would make a room "pokey". I cannot envision this at all.
    I could... but now I can't...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Typo in bold. This is a very interesting paragraph; I didn't like it when I quoted it but I'm appreciating it more as I look at it. It's very disorganized and has a lot of self-contradiction (especially concerning surprise/expectation), but I think maybe it actually works as a way to communicate a state of mind.
    I'd like to say it was deliberate, but it probably wasn't... I will say though, that she is a little messed up, so deliberate or not, it still works.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I don't know what exactly I want there, but I definitely want something. Line break, actual statement of a pause, "...", something, because I definitely read a beat after the question, and it feels like the continuation comes too fast.
    Good point. There is meant to be a substantial pause there... and there always is one when I read it to myself... I just - forgot to actually write it in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    The tense shifts bug me. I know you're doing reflection on a flashback, but I generally like to go with past perfect for those sorts of things; I find it less abrupt when you have to switch back to the present (so "Instead I'd gotten...", "But I'd done as I'd been told", etc).
    What is this 'past perfect' you speak of? Seriously, I can generally look at a piece of writing and say whether or not the tense is appropriate, but I don't really understand grammar rules and I haven't the foggiest when it comes to nomenclature. Having said that, I hate writing flashbacks because of the tense trouble, so please, educate me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I've never seen "farewell" used as a single, transitive verb before? I don't think I mind it, though.
    Neither have I now that you mention it... don't know what I was thinking there, but hey, if it works it works!

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Aww. Lance is sweet (also you've got double "warm"s going on, but I'm mostly distracted by enjoying the moment).

    Aaaand it's gone.
    Oops

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I get the image but the words don't flow.
    They really don't, do they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I want... something between the first and second sentences here. The nonsequitur bugs me. I don't know what I want, but I want it a lot.
    I'd say I'll go back and fix it, but honestly? I probably won't. This was purely a case of 'get it out of the way' and I'm not sure I care enough to do anything to fix the darn thing... I can be lazy like that. Maybe I'll make it an experiment.


    Okay, here's something I wrote last night... I'm doing homework for my game Long story short, my character has been possessed by a demon and we're going to have to find an out-of-the-box solution. This is from the perspective of the npc paladin (who I apparently get)... coming to some realisations about my character and her past.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Telia.

    Lord of Light could it get any worse?

    Silver looks horrified, confused – and angry, which seems odd, though I suppose if I’d just found out someone else had been controlling my actions for the last two minutes, I would probably be angry myself. Nera looks dismayed, and a little worried as she casts glances towards the crack in the floor the voices had just come from. Rifus is looking from Tanc, to Silver and back again – he looks almost relieved – as if he’s glad to know he’s not the only one who succumbed to this demon, and guilty for feeling relief. His eyes also flicker up to the phylactery on his forehead – the intelligent phylactery, if-you-please. I wonder what it thinks of all this? Tanc looks worried and a little ‘what are we going to do now?’ and I notice that he too, is flicking his eyes towards the phylactery, where I suppose he, it, and Rifus are having a council of war. Silver still looks confused, though now she’s added guilt and uncertainty to her expression. Her mouth is open slightly and she’s looking at each member of the party in turn, like she wants to ask a question but isn’t sure who she should ask, or even if she should ask.

    “Are you all right?” I move closer to her so I can ask my question quietly, but I still see Tanc’s eyes flick briefly to me, before returning to his telepathic conversation with Rifus’ phylactery. Silver jumps a little and her hands pause in their frantic motions – moving through her pack, her gear, her belongings I realise, wanting to see if anything is missing.

    “I’m fine.” She mutters, her hands flying back into action. “I don’t remember the last two minutes and I have no idea how that demon-” the word hisses through her teeth, “got its claws in me. But I’m fine.” She’s moved on to searching her pouch of spell components now, pulling out each little parcel, unwrapping it, counting the contents and putting it back in again. She swears angrily at herself when she accidentally pulls out the same package twice, and even goes so far as to stomp her foot. I’m about to point out that she is clearly not fine, when her expression goes from unhappy to stricken so fast I wonder what just happened, if the demon has tried to take control again. She doesn’t have anything in her hands, but her face when she turns to me is full of guilt.

    “What was I doing?” She whispers, almost too quietly to hear. “Before – all this…” she gestures towards the rest of the group. Nera, still looking worried, has appointed herself guard, and is kneeling by the crack in the floor, head tilted down, Persephone on her shoulder also angled towards the ground in a way that would look comical if it weren’t for the circumstances. Tanc and Rifus are still holding their quiet council and Silver – Silver looks like she’s just realised something and she desperately wants to be wrong.

    “Ahhh, we were moving quietly.” I start, trying to think back over those last two minutes and finding it much harder to remember than it should be. “We knew the Dark Servants were up ahead, Tanc and Rifus were scouting ahead and they heard the chanting. You were dancing; you said you were warming up for- What? What is it?” For Silver has gone white, paler than I think I’ve ever seen her before, and I have seen her dead. One hand reaches for the wall behind her and she curls her fingers around the rock like it’s the only thing keeping her upright. She looks horrified and angry and guilt-stricken… and quite frankly, she looks like she might throw up.

    “It was me…” again, her voice is so quiet as to be non-existent. “I did it.”

    “You did what?” I keep my voice quiet and gentle and take a step towards her, as much as Silver detests men (and is not afraid to tell them), she looks like she needs the support. “Silver? What did you do?”

    “The noise.” Green eyes, darkened with emotion, stare up at me. “Tanc said- someone said… there was some noise and then the Dark Servants realised we were here. It was me. I did that… I- I betrayed us…” her voice trails off and she sags back against the wall, and I finally realise what she means.

    “No you didn’t. Telia did. The demon used you. That doesn’t make you responsible.” She stares at me with hollow eyes and I can tell she is not convinced. “Silver… She possessed you. You are not responsible for what Telia did using your body.”

    She doesn’t answer, and as I lean forward to see her more clearly, I realise that she is no longer even looking at me. She is staring blankly ahead, at something I cannot see. For one moment I think that Telia has taken control again, then common sense – and my training – reasserts itself and I remember that with both Silver and Rifus, we had no indication there was anything wrong until they suddenly couldn’t remember past events. Clearly Telia is subtle and prefers to remain hidden as long as possible. And my training reminds me that a demon cannot exert control again so soon. No, this is all Silver – and yet, it is not. I have known this woman for almost a year now, and she never loses control. She is grace, and charm, and poise; she has a ready answer for everything and everyone. In fact, the only time I have ever seen her at a loss for words was when…

    And suddenly I know. I know what it is that has been disquieting me – so quietly, so subconsciously that I didn’t realise something was wrong until I also realised what was wrong.

    I have seen this expression, this blank nothingness, on Silver’s face before.

    When Telia confronted her and claimed to be her daughter.

    Of course, we knew Telia was evil at that point. And it was not long afterwards, that her true nature was revealed and she fled. After she had -- exerted control over Silver and drained her of life force… after she had spent all that time with Rifus. I suppose now I know why Telia chose these two for her attacks. Clearly prior contact has something to do with it. But now my subconscious is my conscious and I must examine the facts if we are to find a way out of this.

    One. Telia is possessing Silver, in the same way she possessed Rifus, though it appears she can only exert control for limited periods of time and not consecutively.
    Two. We no longer have the scroll that enabled us to summon the Deva which expelled Telia from Rifus. And as I recall, Silver herself cast that spell… I am – doubtful that any of the company would be comfortable having her in that role again. No, we must find another method to cast out this demon.
    Three. Silver is clearly distraught over this situation – beyond what it warrants, in my opinion. She, and her friends, have been doing this long enough that surely she must know they won’t hold her actions while controlled against her? Yet it is clear she feels she has betrayed them.
    Four. Her reaction now is very similar to her reaction then. So is it simply Telia as the common link, or is there some other reason? Something to do with her sense of betrayal?

    I turn my attention back to Silver; she seems to have returned to the present, for her eyes are focused on me – still green, but dark and shadowed and haunted. Even as I think the word and wonder why I chose it, I sense that it is the correct one. Silver is haunted… but by what?

    “Silver…” I hold out my hand towards her, hoping she will take it. Hoping she will let me help her, for I believe I am the only one who can. I am left staring dumbfounded when she shrinks away from me, her hands flying up defensively – that same angry expression back on her face. Only this time… this time it looks a lot like fear.

    Fear. Betrayal. Loss of control. Telia claiming to be her daughter. That blank expression.

    It suddenly occurs to me how little I know about Silver. I have heard little snippets, stories from the others, details of home life, funny stories, sad stories – reasons why they left, reasons why they stay. But none from Silver. And it occurs to me, how much more do her friends know about her? I would wager – if I were a betting man – that it’s not much more than I know, if any. And it occurs to me that sometimes – fear? Looks a lot like anger. Or hatred.

    Fear. Betrayal. ‘You were possessed’. ‘You are not responsible for what Telia did using your body’.

    I am beginning to see a picture here, and it is not one I like.

    That blank expression. Anger. Hatred. Fear. Grief. Loss of control… and a daughter.

    Five. What if…? What if Telia knew something about Silver that none of us knew? What if she used that then because she knew Silver would not be able to stop herself from responding… to the idea of a daughter. And what if…?
    Six. What if those – truths, for I am near-certain they must be, can be used to free Silver from Telia’s influence? If Silver can learn to be truthful, open and vulnerable – perhaps she can be freed.

    … in more ways than one.


    My Characters
    Spoiler
    Show

  17. - Top - End - #197
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Drowlord

    Hah. Gotta love the element of surprise. The overall snippet is well written, and I really like the portrayal of your demon lord. Nice work.




    Meanwhile, my snippet's party continues to have poor fortune: having their lives and souls at risk isn't bad enough, now their minds are as well!


    The mirror in my head


    Spoiler
    Show
    Ever since I drew that thrice-cursed Void card, I've been fighting to keep my sanity. First torture, then dreams...but now I'm having visions in waking hours. Only...they may not be...

    Suffice to say, I am concerned for my mental health.

    The old man left just after dropping us off. This place has a reputation for driving inhabitants mad, one he had no interest in testing. We weren't much concerned. However, the tower isn't here. The compass points to the center of town, but it isn't there, above or below. So, we began to search for the guardian.

    The town is long since deserted, so it was merely a question of searching until we found it, or it found us. The first thing of note was that I began to hear music outside an old tavern...and Kol, whose ears are far sharper, didn't.

    We walked into the place, and I found myself alone, and misplaced. You see, as I passed the doorway, I entered the tavern in days when it was lively and populated.

    I took a seat, and a drink, and thought about what to do next. Perhaps half an hour later, I glanced up from my drink to see a woman that matched Aileph's dream-woman...for a mere instant before I found myself in the tavern as it is now. The dust of years was thick around me, no foot prints to show me walking there, no tracks in the table where I had lifted and set my mug...the mug itself had aged in my hand.

    My compatriots returned later. As far as they were concerned, I had disappeared. They both spoke of seeing the dream-woman in mirrors, and that she had murdered their reflections. I took their word for it. My account was stranger, no doubt.

    We continued our search, finding nothing until we turned back toward the docks. We saw the ocean was red, and it flooded toward us. I was carried away, again, on a wave of blood. I sat up in the town center, with no sign of what had brought my there.

    Looking back, it seems like 'Something' wanted me separate from my allies...

    I went in search of them, this time. But when I turned the corner, the walls had changed. They were all mirrors, and there was the dream-woman, drawing a knife across 'my' throat.

    The mirrors disappeared...but no other mirror I found showed me in them.

    I caught up with my allies...again...and we went to investigate a building...and I got separated.

    AGAIN

    For a refreshing novelty, I was grabbed by something physical rather than...whatever the other things were. Of course, being grabbed by someone from the other side of a mirror may still qualify...

    I found myself in, of all things, what looked like a young girl's nursery. The red woman was there, only...not. 'She' is a twin. It seems that either of them can grab someone from the 'true' world...but the other decides where they come out.

    Yin, as she calls herself, explained this over tea. But there is much to do tomorrow, and I need sleep. More on this later.
    Games I'm in:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Only the Honor of a Paladin as Varas
    Fortune's Favor as Lea

  18. - Top - End - #198
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Lord_Gareth's Avatar

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    I'm having trouble developing a perspective for the promised Star Wars snippet. I don't want to do it from the PoV of my character specifically because it'd kinda remove from the impact of the scene, and I can't do it from the adversary's PoV because the GM didn't disclose a lot of essential information to me. The unfortunate bit is that due to circumstances that took place at the time the rest of the people (NPC and my fellow PCs) weren't able to act, which might cut from the emotional impact.

    Decisions, decisions....


    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.
    My extended homebrew sig

  19. - Top - End - #199
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Lady Moreta: Yes, you are correct. He was squeezing because touching the screens with the creepy people on them seemed like a bad idea at the time. As for comments on your snippets ...

    Spoiler
    Show
    #1: Overall, I liked your first snippet quite a lot. It had a good story going and could easily be continued further. A small complaint I had was that Lance seemed somewhat vague as to his position. I gathered that he was a bardic colleague, but is he a romantic interest or just a friend? He seemed to waiver back and forth between the two.

    #2: Forgive me for saying this, but until you said Silver was a woman I could not shake from my head the image of an old character of mine by the same name. Just a silly coincidence, I know Moving right along, I liked the writing as a whole, though I had a few things to point out.

    Perhaps I just missed someone saying it, but I never noticed the name of the character whose POV we are seeing this from. It's not necessary to know, but I just think it would be a nice touch for someone to say his name at some point.

    What is Persephone? Just curious.

    I felt that the list of the POV's thoughts was a little awkwardly written. In particular:
    Silver herself cast that spell… I am – doubtful that any of the company would be comfortable having her in that role again
    It may just be me being picky, but the floating hyphen added nothing to the sentence in my opinion.

    Lastly, I can agree with Silver. No one likes unexpected demon babies



    Alrighty, here we go now. More steam-powered anime Cthulhu goodness!

    Sound and Light
    Spoiler
    Show
    A few tense moments passed in the pitch blackness, the only sounds to be heard were Lucy's frightened breathing and the rapid clicking of Derive's clockwork fire-starter as he tried to relight it. At last, the three investigators were blessed with the dim glow from the tiny flame of the gnomish gadget. Lupin looked toward Lucy and smiled when he saw that she calmed down quickly.

    "Okay," Derive asked, "so what happened there?"

    Lucy held up her hand like a schoolgirl answering the teacher's question and smiled brightly. "The projectors broke."

    "How insightful," the swordsage grumbled. "Do you have any useful knowledge, or are you really that dumb?"

    "Does Profession (Bartender) count as useful?" Lucy asked, tilting her head slightly.

    Lupin quickly interposed himself between his two companions as Derive lunged for Lucy, reaching out to throttle the catgirl.

    "The projectors broke because they weren't gnome-built. They were dwarven craftsmanship," Lupin said quickly as he struggled to keep the swordsage away from Lucy, who cowered in fear of Derive's wrath.

    "I thought dwarves were only good at building weapons," Derive replied, ceasing his attempts to strangle the catgirl.

    Lupin nodded, glad to have stemmed the conflict for the time being. "They are. Projectors aren't supposed to run off of black powder, after all."

    Suddenly Lucy's tall furry ears perked up, and she looked around quizzically. "I hear someone out in the bar."

    Lupin nodded to Derive, and the swordsage placed his hand on the hilt of his sword as he crawled out of the hidden chamber. Lucy looked at Lupin nervously, and the halfling took her by the hand and pulled her along behind him as he followed close behind Derive.

    "Who's there?" a deep voice called out to them from across the room.

    Lupin squinted in the harsh light of the newcomer's hooded lantern, but smiled when he recognized the carpenter from the lobby.

    "Hi there, Frank," the halfling said cheerfully.

    "Oh, it's you three," Frank replied as he set his lantern down on a nearby table. "Did you find anything?"

    "Yeah," Derive answered. "Found that hidden chamber over there and I found this book here."

    "Hey, I found it," Lupin grumbled.

    Derive shrugged noncommittally. "Anyway, it says here that this place used to be a hideout for a group called The Order of Light and Sound, a group that worshiped something called The Watcher from Beyond. Does that ring any bells?"

    Frank looked at them very gravely and nodded. "Aye, it does ... do you know what films are made from?"

    "Talent, vision, and wonderful acting!" Lucy suggested with a smile.

    Frank shook his head. "Light and sound. Light and sound are what films are made of. It's what everything is made of. It Who Seeks is an unmaker, an antithesis of light and sound ... it is more than darkness and silence, it is nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing but sound and light and void ..."

    "Frank, you're scaring me," Lucy said worriedly, taking a step toward the back corner of the room.

    "Light and sound and void ... light and sound and void ..." Frank repeated over and over, saliva dribbling down his chin. "The void unmakes all ... but you can't know that ... I will unmake ... I will unmake the three of you!"

  20. - Top - End - #200
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lady Moreta's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    It had a good story going and could easily be continued further.
    It was originally intended to go somewhere else entirely - I just couldn't remember where.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    A small complaint I had was that Lance seemed somewhat vague as to his position. I gathered that he was a bardic colleague, but is he a romantic interest or just a friend? He seemed to waiver back and forth between the two.
    I have no idea.. he was a throwaway character I invented on the spot because I realised I needed someone else to get Terryn down off the tower and on her way.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Perhaps I just missed someone saying it, but I never noticed the name of the character whose POV we are seeing this from. It's not necessary to know, but I just think it would be a nice touch for someone to say his name at some point.
    No one does, largely because this is mostly an internal monologue on his part, and the only person he's really interacting with is Silver and she already knows his name (it's Lester). I wrote a companion piece, from Silver's PoV, where he is mentioned by name... I just hadn't written it when I posted the first one.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    What is Persephone? Just curious.
    Owl. Again, I deliberately didn't add info like that because this is just an internal monologue for the most part, and he already knows Persephone is an owl.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    It may just be me being picky, but the floating hyphen added nothing to the sentence in my opinion.
    Yeah, I wasn't happy with that sentence either... I had trouble putting pauses in the right places.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Lastly, I can agree with Silver. No one likes unexpected demon babies
    Demon babies? I didn't say anything about demon babies... if that's what you got out of that snippet, then I did something wrong.

    The entire thing was written as a way to get into my character's head (Silver is my character, Lester is an npc), because the DM and I came up with a novel way to get rid of the demon and I needed to work out Silver's perspective and responses. Apparently, the easiet way to do that was to write from the paladin's perspective first. But - and hopefully this will make things clearer... here is Silver's perspective of the same conversation.

    I warn you - it's a little disjointed in places - that's deliberate and is meant to show the somewhat screwed up place Silver is in right now.

    Spoiler
    Show
    “You can’t remember what happened? You can’t remember what happened like you just stopped paying attention can’t remember, or like Rifus couldn’t remember?” Tanc looks and sounds suddenly tense, everyone else looks suddenly worried, and I am…

    Oh. Oh no…

    Possessed. I’ve been possessed the same way Rifus was, only this time there’s no deva to get rid of it. No way to get free, no one to hear me screaming, no one to break the spell, no one to hear me crying, no one to save me. No control, no self, not me. Oh gods, it’s happening again… not again.

    It wasn’t me! It wasn’t my fault!

    “Are you all right?” The voice – Lester’s voice, a small, sensible, thinking part of my brain informs me – makes me jump and immediately I feel like I’m about to crawl out of my skin and I suddenly realise my hands are pawing through my things – my pack, the gear I keep close at hand, the pouch my spell components are kept in. And I realise I have no idea why I’m doing it – just that I’ve done it before. Just that I have to know things are still where they should be. Because nothing is where it should be… not any more. But I was supposed to be over this! I moved on! I made myself a promise – never again. Man or demon, they’re all the same…

    “I’m fine.” I mutter the words as the coherent part of my brain prompts me to speak. My hands pause briefly in their frantic searching and I wonder what else I can check. What else has been ripped from me? Stolen? Taken against my will… as I lay flat, straining, desperate and-- “I don’t remember the last two minutes and I have no idea how that demon-” the word comes out as a hiss and I’m surprised it doesn’t come out as a name, “got its claws in me.” I finish, forcing the words out through my teeth. “But I’m fine.”

    Yeah. I don’t believe it either.

    I push those bad thoughts (memories) back down where they belong and get blindsided by another thought – I am a spellcaster. Feeling a little more frantic every second, I start pulling out all the materials I’ve gathered over the years, each one wound up in paper and tucked carefully into its own place. Each one gets yanked out and compulsively checked and I can’t help the frustration when I find myself checking everything twice – enough that I grind my foot into the ground and start swearing. I’ve been down this road before – this obsessive checking of everything. Check everything…

    I close my eyes to concentrate better and feel it instantly. Something is wrong. Something is missing (gone missing gone and I’ll never get it back). I can feel the blood drain out of my face and I don’t want to ask, I don’t want to know but I have to know.

    “What was I doing?” Nothing, so how could this possibly be my fault. I’d done nothing, just walki- just scaling that trapped wall. “Before – all this…” I trail off and wave vaguely towards the rest of the group I can just see standing nearby. I force myself to focus on them instead of the tangle of now and then ricocheting around my head. Nera is kneeling by a crack in the floor, Tanc and Rifus are standing together, talking quietly and occasionally looking up at the phylactery Rifus now wears. I drag my eyes back to Lester – I don’t (need) want to know… but he will tell me the truth.

    Please don’t tell me what I think you’re going to tell me…

    “Ahhh, we were moving quietly. We knew the Dark Servants were up ahead.” He pauses, thinking. “Tanc and Rifus had gone ahead, scouting, they heard the chanting. You were dancing – you said you were warming up for- What? What is it?” He stopped abruptly, and I knew it was because of me – or more correctly the look on my face. What little colour I had left has surely gone and I gro- scramble for the wall behind me. The rock is hard and cold beneath my fingers and I cling to it, rock doesn’t hurt, rock doesn’t take, rock keeps you upright when you can’t stand on your own and what have I done?

    “It was me…” the words try to choke me coming out and I have to force myself to speak. “I did it.” ‘He did it.’

    “You did what?” A step closer – don’t Lester, just don’t. “Silver? What did you do?” ‘Nothing! I did nothing! He made me. I couldn’t stop him… I couldn’t make…’

    “The noise.” I stare up at the paladin, feeling like I’m bleeding from every pore, that every emotion I’ve ever felt must be written all over my face, wishing, wanting – like I’ve never wanted anything in my life, to just disappear into the rock behind me. “Tanc said – someone said…” it might have been Tanc, it might not have been, I can’t remember. I can only remember screaming… screaming in my head and making no noise.

    “There was some noise and then the Dark Servants realised we were here. It was me. I did that… I-” I did everything you told me to and you still blamed me. Told me I betrayed you, told me it was my fault… and then you took everything away from me and I- I betrayed…

    “I betrayed us” Them. I betrayed them. My voice trails off and I realise I’m no longer certain who I’m talking to or what I’m talking about. The demon in the here and now, or the demon- the man in the past. I lean against the wall behind me, sag hopelessly and wish helplessly for it all to just go away.

    “No you didn’t. Telia did. The demon used you. That doesn’t make you responsible.” Telia? I stare blankly at Lester, wondering when I’d missed the point we identified the demon. The demon who used me. “Silver… she possessed you. You are not responsible for what Telia(Jerik) did using your body.” Tell that to my mother, paladin. She blamed me for what Jerik did. I blame myself, why shouldn’t she have? I knew he wasn’t to be trusted, Lianna told me to be careful. Lianna… my friend. I refuse to believe she took- what was mine. No matter what my mother said, she wouldn’t. And yet, when we met, Lianna- Terryn wouldn’t say a word. Wouldn’t look me in the eye longer than she had to. Mother and Father and cousins wouldn’t look me in the eye – tainted, betrayer, your fault your fault your fault your fault… my fault. But I was trapped. I didn’t know then what I know now…

    “Silver…” a man’s voice, a deep voice… Jerik had a deep voice. A man’s hand reaching out to me. A man’s hand reaching to touch, to grab and pull and strike. I pulled way, shrank back against the rock, desperate to get away. My lips curled back and I snarled – no! No man will ever touch me again! I made that promise to myself long ago… when Jerik left me and I was alone and cold and I couldn’t move until Lianna found me and there was blood and everything was wet and cold and I couldn’t stop shaking and she told me it would be all right, but it would never be all right again and these memories just won’t go AWAY!

    "Silver, listen to me. You can fight this. Demons come at us through our weaknesses...” that voice is back, but there is no hand, no touch, no one to laugh at me while I can’t even scream. And the present slams back into me with the force… with the force of Tanc’s punch and that’s Lester’s voice.

    “… fear,” I don’t know any emotion but fear “lies,” lies are the only way to protect myself “anger,” keeps me safe, keeps those who would hurt me away “these are their weapons.” weapons to keep me safe…

    “But you're among friends. Friends... love... can defeat them. Trust, hope, these things are poison to demons. You can trust us, Silver. Break its weapons -- let go of anger. What fear is it using against you? What secrets does it know?”

    How did Telia know? How does Lester know? How have I hidden this for so long, turned fear to anger, lies to truth? and anger…? well, anger keeps the memories away. These are my weapons, the only weapons I had against a world who used me and hurt me and threw me away… I can’t let go, they’re all I have left. Even if they bleed me to death…

    I can’t let go…
    Last edited by Lady Moreta; 2012-08-27 at 02:48 AM.


    My Characters
    Spoiler
    Show

  21. - Top - End - #201
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    So much wriiittiiiiiiiingggggg.

    Good thing you guys are doing it though, because I've been in a bit of a slump.

    Oh you didn't...
    Oh yes I did

    Drowlord
    Spoiler
    Show
    he dived
    This made me go do research. Before now I'd only used "dived" (as opposed to "dove") in past-perfect constructions, but according to every source I have, the two words are actually identical and "dived" is considered the more correct. So good job.

    He saw shining sigils, symbols of war and peace, of law and chaos, flying around him at first. Then dark red pentagrams emerged from the portal, coating him in darkness and smoke.
    The part I bolded seems awkward and unnecessary. We've got these images kaleidoscoping through the air, so "flying around him" doesn't give much more information, and the "at first" is simply awkward--it reveals too early (in my humblefantastic opinion) that the images he's seeing will change--saying that he sees something BUT OH WAIT SOON IT WILL BE SOMETHING ELSE all within the same sentence doesn't have a very strong effect. Better is just "...law and chaos. Then they were replace by dark red pentagrams emerging from the portal, coating him in..."

    He cried out once, then was silent as the leering images overtook him.
    I have difficulty picturing a "leering" pentagram. Also, the pentagrams themselves are kind of cliche. Double also, why is he crying out? There's no stated reason for this, or for the symbols doing bad things besides obscuring him from sight--if something's happening to him, we should know about it!

    A grey portal in the shape of a four-pointed star emerged from the writhing air of the half-dead plane.
    This is great. I'd like to see "portal" replaced with something as descriptive as the rest of the passage, though.

    The commander fell from it, easily landing on the soft red soil of the dark plane.
    I get the impression that he didn't land on his feet (after all, last we heard of im he was screaming, and also elsewhere. For that matter, a *** sort of section break might be appropriate before this paragraph, since we're plane-shifting.). The "easily" makes it seem like he's just effortlessly hopping out of the portal, which is pretty incongruous with someone who was just screaming and being eaten by pentagrams.

    The demon-guards better not spot him, or he was toast. Then he'd never report to his master.
    This is really awkward; our narrator has not been omniscient up until this point, and suddenly we're getting stilted inner dialogue. Make this a proper internal thought or get rid of it, in my opinion.

    his features became more and more demonic in the red light of the fuming torches that lit the dark realm.

    After hours of darting past lone sentries
    ...but... you can't leave me hanging like that! Is he actually becoming more demonic, or is it a trick of the light? That's the kind of thing that's pretty important to let the reader know!

    he spotted the bleached white fortress that was the home of his master. His master had carved it out of the skull of his predecessor as the Lord of Karanta while his opponent was still living.
    We need another name for this guy really badly. Also, (un)holy badass castle, Batman! The castle itself is great, but the second sentence here could be rephrased; it's pretty hard to read.

    giant demon caused the ground to shudder. However, the demons of the plane were more pragmatic then that, and ignored the deathless heartbeat of the elder demon.*
    That's an awful lot of that word. I realize we're in Hell, but really. Also, what is that asterisk doing there?

    the commander shrugged it off. But then he did a double-take
    This is probably the most awkward possible double-take. You want it to read as a sudden realization, but putting a period after "shrugged it off" closes that thought, and "but" is a bad way to reopen it ("but" should also never be the first word in a sentence). "The commander was about to dismiss it as such a heartbeat when he noticed the true cause of the shaking ground."

    Standing, ghastly in the infernal light from greasy torches their leaders carried, were millions of demonic denizens.
    I like this a lot, except for "Standing", which is a fine word but sort of needs something else with it--if you just said "Before him, ghastly in the etc" I'd assume that they're standing.

    whipped from behind by the cowardly imp-soldiers.
    "cowardly imp-soldiers" don't strike me as taskmasters with whips.

    averaging ten feet tall
    So he's taking the time to identify all the berserkers, measure each of them, and do an average?

    patchwork armor that was covered in abyssal blood
    Extra words reduce clarity.

    Behind them all, the blood-giants marched
    Blood giants marching while the rest are standing seems like a recipe for disaster (for everyone but the blood giants). Reading on a paragraph, we find that the army is, in fact, marching--so why did you start the paragraph with "standing"? (and you have them standing in a couple other places, too).

    for a long time.*
    ASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSTERISKS!

    He nimbly hid behind two boulders
    nooo. "nimbly hid" is so bland, and doesn't give the reader any credit. You're telling us what the consequences of his actions were, and telling us how to evaluate them. Instead, just show the actions themselves; him spotting the army, eyes widening, leaping behind a boulder.

    evil horrors uncounted by rank and file went by.
    Well, there are definitely millions of them. And few enough berserkers to average.

    taller than the mountain that the commander hid on the slopes of
    awkward.

    cased in black armor and carrying a sword as big as a warship that emitted an aura of pain and torture strode in yards-wide strides, came up behind his army.*
    Sword the size of a warship: awesome. "emitted an aura of pain and torture" = you're telling again. Who even knows this fact? Does the commander know about the sword already? If so, why wouldn't we just learn that outright? Reading ahead we learn that he does, and that reveal is fine, but this kind of telling is just really awkward--there's no basis for the reader knowing that. "strode in yards-wide strides, came up behind his army.*" Besides the repetition, you've also got too many verbs. If the sentence is getting away from you, the chances of your readers understanding it are pretty slim.

    The huge demon turned to him, red eyes blazing with soot and flame.
    I'm not sure what "blazing with soot" looks like, but I don't really mind it here. The image isn't clear, but the feeling is.

    The deomn lord's voice was louder than an explosion.
    Give me a more direct comparison; this feels clunky. Again, you're using a lot of unnecessary words. You can just say "his voice was an explosion" and we'll get it.

    They currently were in the features of a bestial smile.
    What? I mean, I know what you mean, but this is just awkward ("his teeth... were in the features of a ... smile"???)

    "YEAH, LIKE A PERSONIFICATION OF CHAOS KEEPS DEALS ALL THE TIME."
    Is he... really this sarcastic? Sarcasm doesn't come across as threatening. At all.

    "I. Will. Kill. You. So. Freaking. Hard."
    This is well done (but I'd replace "freaking" with a setting-appropriate analogue. No time like the present for world-building!

    I AM SOUL-BOUND TO YOU, SO I CAN CONTROL YOU WHENEVER I WANT.
    "you are soul-bound to me". If the demon is the "bound" one, that implies the warlock in a position of control.

    The commander sighed and widened the portal.
    How? Again, show us the actions; don't tell us the result.

    a cloaked figure wove through the shadows to his countrymen.*
    "You!"

    "Yes, me. I know what you saw; I made a deal with the demon lord to try to save you, and it backfired. You can join me to fight the evils I have unleashed, or you can escape and try to resist them in hiding. Your choice."
    His voice was weary but full of his former nobility and strength. His eyes scanned the crowd of warriors.
    I know we're supposed to be somewhat in the dark here, but giving the reader no information about either person in the conversation just makes me lose interest int eh conversation, because it's happening between people I don't know and therefore can't care about.

    About twenty of the very best stepped out and fanned around him, forming into a guard around him. The eldest of them, a mage only known as Old Timothy, rumbled, "We're with you."
    How do we know? Again, random-yet-trivial omniscience from the narrator is disconcerting.

    They were disgusted at their former commander, and didn't care about him any more. They just wanted to save their lives and as many civilians as possible with them.
    Yes, obviously, since they just left. Take these two sentences out and replace them with description of the journey to the docks, or a few specific actions that showcase their disgust.

    The devils had reduced the demons in number greatly but fled
    You're mixing tenses here because of the weird construction. "...greatly reduced the demons in number, but were eventually routed".

    dispatch with the puny humans.
    You dispatch things; you don't dispatch with them.

    The warlock channeled all of his strength and leaped at the demon's eye, swinging his fist with fury. The human burst through the flames that were his outer eyes, landed in the area that was his slimy inner eye. With savage fury, he bit and clawed into the center of the eye socket, tearing into the demon lord's brain.

    The demon howled and tore at the eye, ripping deep into his own brain. The mountainous demon collapsed, fires spurting from his dead eyes. The dying, powerless, deep-burnt commander walked out of the eye and grimly smiled with his remaining teeth.
    This could stand to be expanded a bit; you've also got a lot of your usual word repetition making it kind of stilted to read. One specific thought: the commander just walks back out, but he's missing a few teeth? Have him crawl or stagger or something; anything but "walked".

    The final fight for Kyloria was on, and, though it was doomed, it would go out in a bang.
    This is a weird phrasing; can a fight "go out with a bang"?

    *
    And really, where did all these come from?

    Sorry for seeming super-critical on this one; it's really just the same couple things in several places, but they're things that really bug me so I feel compelled to point them out every single time. Don't get me wrong--I definitely enjoyed this snippet; I really want to see the events that led up to all this mayhem. Sounds like quite an adventure.


    @Winds
    Spoiler
    Show
    AGAIN
    This feels a bit too forceful for Kalach. I expect the word, but more of a snyde "...I got separated. Again." than a capslocked yell.

    'She' is a twin. It seems that either of them can grab someone from the 'true' world...but the other decides where they come out.
    Expand on this!! It's a super cool mechanic, but where did he actually "come out"? What is this nursery? Presumably it has significance...

    More on this later.
    Oh man I hope so. This is one of my favorite snippets in this story so far.


    @SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    Lucy held up her hand like a schoolgirl answering the teacher's question and smiled brightly. "The projectors broke."
    Awesome. As usual, Lucy's characterization is great.

    "Does Profession (Bartender) count as useful?" Lucy asked, tilting her head slightly.
    ...I don't know if she would be an awesome bartender or an awful one. I'm guessing both in equal measure.

    "They are. Projectors aren't supposed to run off of black powder, after all."


    Lupin nodded to Derive, and the swordsage placed his hand on the hilt of his sword
    Just felt a touch awkward. You also use "the swordsage" and "the catgirl" an awful lot in general; slimming down on those here and there would make things flow a little better as a whole (frequently I think you're being needlessly precise, like here, where you could just say "Lupin nodded to Derive, who placed his hand..."

    "Talent, vision, and wonderful acting!" Lucy suggested with a smile.
    lol.

    It Who Seeks is an unmaker, an antithesis of light and sound ... it is more than darkness and silence, it is nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing but sound and light and void ..."
    I was really liking this until the end, where you suddenly decide It is sound and light and void...? I thought the point was that It is elementally opposite to Light and Sound. Also, depending on what It is, "It That Seeks" is probably more correct.

    "Light and sound and void ... light and sound and void ..." Frank repeated over and over, saliva dribbling down his chin.
    That is really, really never a good sign. Start running, boys and girls.

    "The void unmakes all ... but you can't know that ... I will unmake ... I will unmake the three of you!"
    See, what did I tell you?

    In light of the way this snippet ends, I'd like to see more description when Frank reappears, and when he starts babbling. In fact, we've never gotten any description of Frank at all, besides him being "an elderly gentleman" and apparently a carpenter. If he's going to start going off the deep end like this, I need to be able to visualize it!


    @Lady Moreta
    Ooh another one of these Silver/Lester scenes? Count me in!

    Lester
    Spoiler
    Show
    Lord of Light could it get any worse?
    It can always get worse.

    Rifus is looking from Tanc, to Silver and back again
    I think "back and forth between Tanc and Silver" works better to communicate an ongoing focus-switch. "X to Y and back again" doesn't imply "and then back to Y and..." in my opinion, even though that's presumably what's happening here.

    – he looks almost relieved – as if he’s glad to know he’s not the only one who succumbed to this demon, and guilty for feeling relief.
    I'd move the dashes around; right now your last clause doesn't really have a subject. So "– he looks almost relieved, as if he’s glad to know he’s not the only one who succumbed to this demon – and guilty for feeling relief" or something of the sort.

    if-you-please
    I've never seen this hyphenated before; I don't think it should be.

    like she wants to ask a question but isn’t sure who she should ask, or even if she should ask.
    The imagery in this opening is very good. I like how you're conveying Lester's intuition and ability to read people--just be careful with it; you don't want him knowing anything he shouldn't know. I think the earlier "guilty for feeling relief" is the closest to "too much intuition" you get here, though.

    her hands pause in their frantic motions
    It would be good if the frantic motions were introduced earlier; I had the impression she was kind of sitting on the floor in stunned silence.

    “What was I doing?” She whispers, almost too quietly to hear.
    This is great. Very, very effective.

    “Before – all this…” she gestures towards the rest of the group.
    I want to know what "all this" will be referring to. It's not clear what she's talking about except for "the last two minutes", or why she would be gesturing. If they're in a cave full of baby corpses that weren't there two minutes ago, I need to know! Actually, some time spent earlier on the actual setting--rather than just the characters--would help set this scene a lot better, as right now there's a lot of uncertainty that I don't think is contributing positively to the scene.

    For Silver has gone white, paler than I think I’ve ever seen her before, and I have seen her dead.
    I don't think the "For" is useful here; it's clear what the sentence does without it. Also, great line

    One hand reaches for the wall behind her and she curls her fingers around the rock like it’s the only thing keeping her upright.
    I bolded the part I don't like. The sentiment is good, but I feel like she would have fallen if it was the only thing keeping her upright, so clearly that's not the case. Obviously it's meant to be metaphorical but I think messing with the "tense" (so to speak) of the metaphor would help place it better. A couple ideas for what I mean: she could "reach out to support herself on the wall behind" or "[curl] her fingers around the rock like she's afraid she'll lose the ability to stand without it." I'm not sure if I'm explaining this well; it's just a tiny point anyway that probably no one else will ever care about

    I keep my voice quiet and gentle and take a step towards her, as much as Silver detests men (and is not afraid to tell them), she looks like she needs the support.
    Semicolon after "towards her", and I think the parenthetical destracts from the scene.

    “No you didn’t. Telia did. The demon used you. That doesn’t make you responsible.” She stares at me with hollow eyes and I can tell she is not convinced. “Silver… She possessed you. You are not responsible for what Telia did using your body.”
    I want Lester's actions here, as well. Unless he's just sort of standing helplessly not-too-close, in which case I want to know that as well

    Of course, we knew Telia was evil at that point. And it was not long afterwards, that her true nature was revealed and she fled. After she had -- exerted control over Silver and drained her of life force… after she had spent all that time with Rifus. I suppose now I know why Telia chose these two for her attacks. Clearly prior contact has something to do with it. But now my subconscious is my conscious and I must examine the facts if we are to find a way out of this.
    I'm not sure what to do with this paragraph; it's a difficult transition you're trying to make here. Partially I think it's a tense issue--you're using three tenses in one paragraph, which is... too many (see below for your requested grammar lesson! ) I think if you split the present-tense stuff into a new paragraph and put rest of the flashback in the same tense, it'll read better: "Of course, we had known that Telia was evil at that point. And it was not long afterward, that her true nature had been revealed, and she had fled. After she had -- exerted control over Silver and drained her of life force… after she had spent all that time with Rifus."

    So is it simply Telia as the common link, or is there some other reason? Something to do with her sense of betrayal?
    Strictly speaking, we are no longer in the realm of facts.

    she seems to have returned to the present
    She's not the only one.

    her eyes are focused on me – still green,
    Would they not be? Is there a history of her eyes changing colors?

    I have heard little snippets
    Ha ha

    Five. What if…? What if Telia knew something about Silver that none of us knew? What if she used that then because she knew Silver would not be able to stop herself from responding… to the idea of a daughter. And what if…?
    Again, not in the realm of facts, but again it's not really an issue. This is a good tie-back into Lester's inner monologue.

    If Silver can learn to be truthful, open and vulnerable – perhaps she can be freed.

    … in more ways than one.
    Great ending (but good luck!). Oh Silver, you lovely, messed-up girl, you.

    Oh, also
    Lastly, I can agree with Silver. No one likes unexpected demon babies
    Demon babies? I didn't say anything about demon babies... if that's what you got out of that snippet, then I did something wrong.
    I think he was referring to Telia. Not so much a baby, but...


    Silver
    Spoiler
    Show
    Oh. Oh no…
    I think you could go more overboard here; Silver obviously has. If it were me, I wouldn't be content with just one "no". I'd definitely get through a full paragraph of "no" before I started having more cohereng thoughts like "I'm possessed the same way Rifus was".

    "Oh... Oh no. No.

    "No. No, no no no no nononononono..." (or maybe "nooo..."?)

    That's just how I read it, anyway.

    Oh gods, it’s not happening again… not again.
    Deny harder. It's denial time; it's extremes time; no reason to be rational about your writing.

    I suddenly realise my hands are pawing through my things
    So, I mentioned in the other one that Lester should notice that she's pawing through her things earlier. Based on this scene, I'd say she's started doing so before he asks if she's all right. Here, it's obviously perfect that she hasn't noticed until now.

    Man or demon, they’re all the same…


    I wonder what else I can check.
    Oh, very nice. This says so much.

    What else has been ripped from me? Stolen? Taken against my will…
    If fact it says so much that these bits seem redundant. Obviously she's not thinking coherently--but then why is she bothering to come up with new ways to say "stolen"? I think you can either trim these, or make them less different from each other--the point is that Silver is obsessing, so unless she's particularly verbose, she's unlikely to spend her time coming up with synonyms.

    Yeah. I don’t believe it either.
    The "yeah" I like; the rest I don't so much. It's clear that she's self-aware enough to know she's not okay; this seems a bit too explicit.

    I push those bad thoughts (memories) back down where they belong and get blindsided by another thought – I am a spellcaster.
    I think you could just take the second "thought" out here.

    I gro- scramble for the wall behind me.
    Poor screwed-up girl. This is an excellent detail--both in terms of the narrative, and in terms of her obsessive self-censorship.

    I refuse to believe she took- what was mine.
    The dash is a little weird here. Also this whole expository monologue feels just a little long overall--not that I mind learning it from a reader's perspective, but it does seem exceptionally coherent over a long time period for someone in Silver's position. I'd expect her to get stuck on something--on Jerik (only one sentence, where Lianna/Terryn gets mentioned by name four times?); on Lianna/Terryn; on one particular moment of betrayal or a look in someone's eye... this sort of linear montage doesn't seem natural for someone freaking out so much. I expect something more like the one in the next paragraph, with one scene unraveling in slow, excruciating detail.

    And the present slams back into me with the force… with the force of Tanc’s punch and that’s Lester’s voice.
    Eh? Besides the bold part this is a nice transition back; is Tanc actually hitting her? That doesn't seem plausible, but I can't think of another interpretation.

    I don’t know any emotion but fear “lies,” lies are the only way to protect myself “anger,” keeps me safe, keeps those who would hurt me away “these are their weapons.” weapons to keep me safe…
    Took me a while to figure out what you were doing here; I think the double "fear" threw me off.

    Friends... love... can defeat them.
    Oh my God Lester are you for real (I love it)

    Even if they bleed me to death…

    I can’t let go…
    Again, great ending. Unless you're Silver, I guess; she's probably not so happy about it. This whole thing was very well done (from both sides). Someone needs to explain to her that her Fear has already led to Anger, but that will soon lead to Hate, and Hate... to Suffering. Oh, wait. Okay maybe we're there already. Bring out the force lightning! Unlimited Power!


    @Grammar: Past Perfect

    I probably won't do a whole lot of these unless people request them. Actually I'll only do them if people request them, but that said, I'll be glad to do them on request. Also I apologize if it seems needlessly pedantic; I think things like this benefit from being as explicit as possible and taking nothing for granted. Hope it helps someone!

    Spoiler
    Show
    The Past Perfect tense has one basic use: it temporally relates (implicitly or explicitly) two or more past events, to clarify the order in which things occurred. Things in the past perfect always carry a sense of completion with respect to the present tense, and frequently also with respect to the simple past tense. This tense comes up a lot snippets and other storytelling, because it allows the narrative to jump back in time without confusing the audience.

    For example, picture a snippet written mainly in the simple past tense:

    After surveying the battlefield that was Gettysburg below, Tordek leaped from the tower, landing with a wet crunch on the shoulders of the Goblin below.
    Now, say the narrator wants to enter a flashback to indicate that Tordek often kills Goblins this way, using an example. You would clearly not want to continue with "He killed another Goblin the very same way at Helm's Deep", because you're still in the main tense of the story: your reader is now forced to assume that Tordek has left Gettysburg and arrived at the mythical stronghold of Helm's Deep, where he then jumped onto a Goblin. Nothing could be further from the truth! This is where the past perfect is used: we can show that the battle of Helm's Deep is in the past relative to the main narrative:

    He had killed another Goblin the very same way at Helm's Deep.
    This is the Simple Past Perfect, and now there's no ambiguity as to which even happened when. Praise Jarifus. But let's expound on this flashback--in fact, Tordek really does this sort of thing an awful lot, and in fact learned to do so when he was a kid (I like to think young Dwarves are called kids, in the same way that goats are). We can't say "In fact, he's been killing Goblins by jumping off things since the beardless age of five", because the narrative takes place in the past tense, and that sentence right there is actually the present! So instead, we use the Progressive Past Perfect to indicate a time period that continues right up to the point of reference:

    In fact, Tordek had been killing Goblins by jumping off things since the beardless age of five!
    Easy. Of course, it's not always so simple when you're writing: what if the main narrative is in the Present tense? Then maybe your flashbacks will only be in the Simple Past, and here's where some judgement comes in. Personally, I think that the Past Perfect should be used any time you have a completed action in the past--even if there's no simple past to compare to. This means that all flashbacks are in past perfect, unless they in turn need a sub-flashback. In that case you can use the Simple Past for the first flashback:

    After surveying the battlefield that was Gettysburg below, Tordek leaps from the tower and lands with a wet crunch on the shoulders of the Goblin below. He remembers the Goblin he killed the very same way at Helm's Deep. In fact, Tordek had killed his first Goblin by jumping off something at the beardless age of five!
    But I'm getting a bit off-topic, because if you're nesting flashbacks, you have a more complex storyline than I'm ready to deal with besides these contrived examples, and you should probably rearrange things to be less confusing, anyway. In essence, the Past Perfect is this: completed actions that are in the past (possibly relative to other things in the past). The Simple Past should generally only be used the way the Simple Present is--as the main tense of a narrative. So when you're writing a flashback, don't forget to put "had"s and "have"s in front of your verbs, and "had been" for continuing actions!

    God damnit I had been am such a dork.




    ...This whole post got a bit long; I'm just going to post it without proofreading because my lunch break is about over. Hopefully I didn't say anything too stupid. Keep the great work coming, everyone!
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-08-27 at 04:06 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  22. - Top - End - #202
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    This feels a bit too forceful for Kalach. I expect the word, but more of a snyde "...I got separated. Again." than a capslocked yell.
    It seemed to me that between having a forced shift to Evil, finding himself thinking of ways to keep his allies from killing him, and the things happening in the town, anger issues were appropriate. You're right, however, he does present himself more as dealing with it by snide remarks. This trait comes to the fore several times in later challenges, naturally.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Expand on this!! It's a super cool mechanic, but where did he actually "come out"? What is this nursery? Presumably it has significance...

    The location is the other side of the mirror, the reflection side. The 'reflections' that Yang killed are incarnations of the characters, who are, in fact, still lying dead where they were attacked. It's a pity we didn't have resurrection abilities then, the implications would have been interesting...As for Yin's nursery...it isn't really a nursery per se, so much as a child's room. Not that Yin is a child mind you, but she is fairly childlike in demeanor. The room itself is not significant other than that it showcases Yin's personality. It was a room in the city...somewhere. Where was unclear and largely irrelevant. The 'why' of that is something that comes into play in the next snippet, and I will try harder to get that across.



    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Oh man I hope so. This is one of my favorite snippets in this story so far.
    Always good to hear. Though, I do need to ask. Is it a favorite because the writing style is improving, or because of the content?
    Games I'm in:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Only the Honor of a Paladin as Varas
    Fortune's Favor as Lea

  23. - Top - End - #203
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Spoiler
    Show
    It seemed to me that between having a forced shift to Evil, finding himself thinking of ways to keep his allies from killing him, and the things happening in the town, anger issues were appropriate. You're right, however, he does present himself more as dealing with it by snide remarks. This trait comes to the fore several times in later challenges, naturally.
    Ahh, right. Forced alignment shenanigans must be one of the hardest things to write ever. Glad I haven't tried

    The location is the other side of the mirror, the reflection side.
    I got this impression; I was more wondering because if Yin & Yang can choose "where" people come out, that implies an entire Mirror Plane of sorts which would be really interesting to hear more about.

    Where was unclear and largely irrelevant. The 'why' of that is something that comes into play in the next snippet
    Got it.

    Always good to hear. Though, I do need to ask. Is it a favorite because the writing style is improving, or because of the content?
    In this one it's definitely both. The scene is captivating and the prose does a very good job communicating it. You may have noticed that about my only complaints were that we don't get to see more of everything--but that's a restriction imposed by character knowledge and predestined (or at least historical) plot (which are problems I'm very familiar with ).
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  24. - Top - End - #204
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lady Moreta's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Winds
    Spoiler
    Show
    I liked this I think I need to go through and read the entire series, I think I'm missing pieces of what's going on and I do so enjoy mess-with-your-head writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    We walked into the place, and I found myself alone, and misplaced. You see, as I passed the doorway, I entered the tavern in days when it was lively and populated.
    I'm a little confused by this bit... are they just passing by or actually going in? You say they walked in, but then your character is 'passing by the doorway' and entering at what appears to be the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    I took a seat, and a drink, and thought about what to do next. Perhaps half an hour later, I glanced up from my drink to see a woman that matched Aileph's dream-woman...for a mere instant before I found myself in the tavern as it is now.
    This has me puzzling a little too, though I'm not sure I can articulate why. It's something about the "dream-woman... for a mere instant" it's hard to get a feel for exactly what's going on here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    My compatriots returned later. As far as they were concerned, I had disappeared.
    Likewise here... there's just something about the 'returned later' that makes me think this person's companions were with them the whole time, except they obviously weren't, which makes it a bit jarring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    We continued our search, finding nothing until we turned back toward the docks. We saw the ocean was red, and it flooded toward us. I was carried away, again, on a wave of blood. I sat up in the town center, with no sign of what had brought my there.
    Creepy. Well done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Winds View Post
    I found myself in, of all things, what looked like a young girl's nursery. The red woman was there, only...not. 'She' is a twin. It seems that either of them can grab someone from the 'true' world...but the other decides where they come out.

    Yin, as she calls herself, explained this over tea. But there is much to do tomorrow, and I need sleep. More on this later.
    I'm with the Doctor on this one, I want more information on what's going on here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    I'm having trouble developing a perspective for the promised Star Wars snippet. I don't want to do it from the PoV of my character specifically because it'd kinda remove from the impact of the scene, and I can't do it from the adversary's PoV because the GM didn't disclose a lot of essential information to me. The unfortunate bit is that due to circumstances that took place at the time the rest of the people (NPC and my fellow PCs) weren't able to act, which might cut from the emotional impact.

    Decisions, decisions....
    Sounds like the npc/other pcs would be your best bet. And don't discount the impact you can get from telling a story from the point of view of someone who can't do anything and is simply forced to watch. It can be quite emotional. I'm also sure you're up to the challenge

    SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    At last, the three investigators were blessed with the dim glow from the tiny flame of the gnomish gadget.
    I'd take that last part out. We already know what type of gadget it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Lucy held up her hand like a schoolgirl answering the teacher's question and smiled brightly. "The projectors broke."
    I do like Lucy. She reminds me of me that is very much something I would do and again it's a beautiful word-picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "They are. Projectors aren't supposed to run off of black powder, after all."
    I don't know whether to be or Sounds like Dwarves are secretly Mythbusters

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Derive shrugged noncommittally. "Anyway, it says here that this place used to be a hideout for a group called The Order of Light and Sound, a group that worshiped something called The Watcher from Beyond. Does that ring any bells?"

    Frank shook his head. "Light and sound. Light and sound are what films are made of. It's what everything is made of. It Who Seeks is an unmaker, an antithesis of light and sound ... it is more than darkness and silence, it is nothing. Nothing at all. Nothing but sound and light and void ..."
    I'm a bit confused about why we've gone from talking about something called 'The Watcher from Beyond' to 'It Who Seeks'. It sounds like Frank is explaining the contents of the book, but he's using a completely different name with absolutely no context as to why.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "Light and sound and void ... light and sound and void ..." Frank repeated over and over, saliva dribbling down his chin. "The void unmakes all ... but you can't know that ... I will unmake ... I will unmake the three of you!"
    Okay... wasn't expecting that. Probably should've, considering, but still... well done I agree with Dr. Bwaa though, if Frank is suddenly an antagonist, I want to know more about him and what he looks like.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    So much wriiittiiiiiiiingggggg.
    Hey, you re-started the thread

    Good thing you guys are doing it though, because I've been in a bit of a slump.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Oh yes I did
    It's a good thing you aren't my husband - he gets slapped for making comments like that. Which he does on a daily basis.

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    It can always get worse.
    He's a paladin... isn't tempting fate a class feature or something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I think "back and forth between Tanc and Silver" works better to communicate an ongoing focus-switch. "X to Y and back again" doesn't imply "and then back to Y and..." in my opinion, even though that's presumably what's happening here.
    Good point. I think you're right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I've never seen this hyphenated before; I don't think it should be.
    I had a reason for that... gimme a minute and I'll remember what it was.

    I did it because I was trying to show how he was thinking/saying the words. It was meant to be slower than 'normal', but not so slow as to warrent a 'If. You. Please' type approach. I have a hard time showing pauses in speech and knowing which puncutation to use to describe what I mean. Having re-read it though, I think you're right. It looks silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    The imagery in this opening is very good. I like how you're conveying Lester's intuition and ability to read people--just be careful with it; you don't want him knowing anything he shouldn't know. I think the earlier "guilty for feeling relief" is the closest to "too much intuition" you get here, though.
    Personally, I don't think Lester is knowing anything he wouldn't be able to figure out. He's been with this group a long time (about a year if I remember rightly) and he has the highest sense motive of any of them (save Silver herself). And as for the guilty thing, he's also just recently watched Rifus (the guilty party in question) go through exactly the same thing. Only in his case, they had to summon a deva to get rid of the demon.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    It would be good if the frantic motions were introduced earlier; I had the impression she was kind of sitting on the floor in stunned silence.
    Yeah, that didn't work at all did it? Oops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I want to know what "all this" will be referring to. It's not clear what she's talking about except for "the last two minutes", or why she would be gesturing. If they're in a cave full of baby corpses that weren't there two minutes ago, I need to know! Actually, some time spent earlier on the actual setting--rather than just the characters--would help set this scene a lot better, as right now there's a lot of uncertainty that I don't think is contributing positively to the scene.
    It will become clear. I have plans for writing a snippet which will take us up pretty much to this exact moment, and will explain what is going on here. The reason that there's no real description is that they're in a cave and there isn't anything around save them. But now that I say that, I realise you are, of course, completely correct. The reader still needs to know that. I was supposed to be making dinner when I was writing this and I was rushing through it a little. Can I blame it on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I'm not sure if I'm explaining this well; it's just a tiny point anyway that probably no one else will ever care about
    You're explaining it perfectly well, you're nitpicking () but I'm used to that... and you've got a point too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Semicolon after "towards her", and I think the parenthetical destracts from the scene.
    This was another "I don't know what puncutation to use here" moment. I don't like using parentheses in internal monologue/first-person narration. I don't think it fits, but I wasn't sure how else to write it. It's meant to be a side-thought to his current thoughts and I wasn't sure how to write it. Plus, I didn't want to over-use hyphens, which I felt I was in danger of doing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I'm not sure what to do with this paragraph; it's a difficult transition you're trying to make here. Partially I think it's a tense issue--you're using three tenses in one paragraph, which is... too many (see below for your requested grammar lesson! ) I think if you split the present-tense stuff into a new paragraph and put rest of the flashback in the same tense, it'll read better: "Of course, we had known that Telia was evil at that point. And it was not long afterward, that her true nature had been revealed, and she had fled. After she had -- exerted control over Silver and drained her of life force… after she had spent all that time with Rifus."
    Rewrite it 'cause it's crappy? I reread it myself and I was finding that I was getting confused about what was going on or had gone on and I wrote the damn thing! I know what's going on and what had gone on and I was still confused.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Strictly speaking, we are no longer in the realm of facts.
    Shush They are facts in that they are 'things Lester knows' (or at least, is pretty darn sure he knows)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Would they not be? Is there a history of her eyes changing colors?
    Noooooo....

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Ha ha
    I freely admit, the 'snippets' thing was totally deliberate.


    Silver

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I think you could go more overboard here; Silver obviously has. If it were me, I wouldn't be content with just one "no". I'd definitely get through a full paragraph of "no" before I started having more cohereng thoughts like "I'm possessed the same way Rifus was".

    "Oh... Oh no. No.

    "No. No, no no no no nononononono..." (or maybe "nooo..."?)
    I see what you mean... I just have a passionate hatred for the repeated 'no' thing. I find it looks messy and I just don't like doing it. But you do have a point. I think at this point she was just kind of in shock and slack-jawed essentially. The panic kicks in later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Deny harder. It's denial time; it's extremes time; no reason to be rational about your writing.
    How?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    the point is that Silver is obsessing, so unless she's particularly verbose, she's unlikely to spend her time coming up with synonyms.
    Silver's not, but I am? seriously, I can't hold to a word limit if my life depends on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    The dash is a little weird here.
    The dash is meant to be another example of self-censorship. She was going to say something else (specifically mention the child in this case) but stopped herself. I think I needed to take that sentence further before cutting her off.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    this sort of linear montage doesn't seem natural for someone freaking out so much. I expect something more like the one in the next paragraph, with one scene unraveling in slow, excruciating detail.
    Yeah, okay, you can have that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Eh? Besides the bold part this is a nice transition back; is Tanc actually hitting her? That doesn't seem plausible, but I can't think of another interpretation.
    Of course not! Tanc is a gentleman She was searching for an appropriate metaphor and that's the one she settled on. I think it needs to be clearer that she's kind of mentally wondering aloud.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Oh my God Lester are you for real (I love it)
    In my defense, I didn't write that! My husband did. He's the DM for this game and he came up with the idea of forcing Silver to be honest and vulnerable as a way to drive the demon out - it was going to be Lester's 11th hour desperate attempt to fix things (because they can't summon a deva again and they don't have time to do anything else). I asked him what Lester was going to say to begin the 'Silver you have to be honest' conversation. Everything Lester says from "Silver, listen to me..." to the end was actually written by him.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    God damnit I had been am such a dork.
    Yeah, you really are Doesn't necessarily follow that's a bad thing though.


    My Characters
    Spoiler
    Show

  25. - Top - End - #205
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Lady Moreta
    Spoiler
    Show
    He's a paladin... isn't tempting fate a class feature or something?
    It's their best class feature Well, possibly second-best, next to Fight Evil.

    Personally, I don't think Lester is knowing anything he wouldn't be able to figure out.
    Oh, I agree. I didn't mean to imply that he had more information than he should, here. I just felt like any more Sensing of Motives would have been too much.

    I just have a passionate hatred for the repeated 'no' thing.
    Yeah, I have to say I'm not the biggest fan of that particular thing either, but I felt like it was excusable here just because I felt like I needed something more before real thoughts kicked in.

    Oh gods, it’s not happening again… not again.
    Deny harder. It's denial time; it's extremes time; no reason to be rational about your writing.
    How?
    I was referring to the "not" that I inserted (in bold), although I realize that that wasn't obvious at all. I just think it's more cohesive if she's denying what's going on consistently (at least at that moment) rather than admitting it and then denying it.

    She was going to say something else (specifically mention the child in this case) but stopped herself.
    I did get that; I think it's more the dash itself that bothers me. It works earlier when she literally cuts herself off mid-word, but here I think I'd prefer an ellipsis. I think the sentence itself is okay.

    Of course not! Tanc is a gentleman
    Glad to know my impressions of Tanc over your last however-many snippets haven't been totally off-base then!

    Everything Lester says from "Silver, listen to me..." to the end
    Paladins are so hilariously Power of Friendship // Evildoers Must Die it makes my eyes bleed. They are my favorites, and I love that Lester is such a big part of your campaign because I love reading him. There's a scene in my long campaign where we throw a great moral-quandary at Charlize's paladin-older-brother (execute your sister (sole living family member) and all her friends on the spot for being heretics, or allow them to escape). I'm looking forward so much to writing it. Actually every time that character shows up, OOC hilarity at the expense of Paladins ensues.

    grammar
    Was this helpful? Comments on anything I could do to make it better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Past Lady Moreta (one week ago)
    That word is stupidly hard to spell.
    Apostrophe
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-08-28 at 09:53 AM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  26. - Top - End - #206
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Dr Bwaa:
    I was really liking this until the end, where you suddenly decide It is sound and light and void...? I thought the point was that It is elementally opposite to Light and Sound. Also, depending on what It is, "It That Seeks" is probably more correct.
    Frank is crazy (and I was making up his dialogue on the spot at the time), so don't bother critiquing his grammar too much. Besides, I'm pretty sure that Yog-Sothoth can be whatever he/she/it/cat wants to be

    @Lady Moreta:
    Sounds like Dwarves are secretly Mythbusters
    They weren't until now

    I'm a bit confused about why we've gone from talking about something called 'The Watcher from Beyond' to 'It Who Seeks'. It sounds like Frank is explaining the contents of the book, but he's using a completely different name with absolutely no context as to why.
    *shrugs* At the time, I was about as confused as you are. The adventure I was running gave me very little to work with. It never explained to me why Frank referred to Yog-Sothoth by those names, or indeed why an old cultist was now a carpenter. I was just using what little it gave me and making up the rest as I went along.


    Anyway, moving right along ...


    "I Thought Monks Sucked"
    Spoiler
    Show
    Lupin quickly drew his pistol and aimed it at Frank's chest. "Don't make me do it, Frank. Just calm down."

    Frank drew in a long breath, seeming to compose himself. He wiped the dribble from his wrinkled face and slicked back his long grey hair. He removed the long black overcoat he wore, revealing the long white shirt and loose black trousers he wore. His soft black shoes slid gracefully along the dusty stone floor as he eased into a fighting stance, though he bore no weapons.

    "I am calm," the old man said firmly. "It is my duty to protect this sacred place from intruders such as you. Come at me with all your might."

    Lupin fired his pistol, the sharp noise reverberating throughout the room. However, Frank was already on the move, effortlessly stepping to the side before the halfling shot. Lucy quickly fired her bow, but the old man swept his hand through the air, shattering the arrow before it could reach him.

    "Stupid old man," Derive snorted, "don't you know that you've been outdated?"

    He struck with his short sword, the blade bursting into flame as he attacked, Frank narrowly avoided Derive's thrust, and he counterattacked with blinding speed, hammering his knee into the young man's stomach. Derive staggered backward, the wind knocked out of him. Frank pressed the advantage and spun through the air as he slammed his heel into the side of Derive's head. The young man flew across the room and smashed into the wall, then slumped to the floor.

    "I find your lack of faith in monks disturbing," Frank chuckled darkly.

    "Dodge this, old man," Lupin growled.

    A bolt of brilliant blue energy flew from the halfling's fingertips and flew unerringly toward Frank, exploding as it struck the old man in the chest. He stepped backward from Lupin, eyeing the gunmage warily.

    "Your powers are weak," Frank said calmly.

    Lucy fired another arrow at Frank, but the old man swatted the arrow out of the air without taking his eyes off of Lupin.

    "No fair!" Lucy shouted, stomping her foot.

    Frank leaped through the air, his gray hair fluttering behind him like the tail of a comet. He smashed his foot into Lupin's ribs with a sickening crack. Clutching at his chest with his free hand, Lupin whipped his pistol up and fired, but Frank smacked his arm away, causing the shot to fly wildly across the room. Before the halfling could react, the old man grabbed him by the throat, picked him up off his feet, and slammed his head into the floor. Lupin lay very still, blood trickling out his nose and mouth.

    Lucy took a panicked step away from Frank and fired her bow at his back. The arrow merely grazed his shoulder. The old man turned slowly to face the cat girl, his eyes filled with grim determination.

    "I have you now," Frank smirked.

    The old man hurtled through the air like a gray projectile, but Lucy proved faster and rolled out of the path of his attack. She landed on her feet and nimbly sprang into the air, firing her bow once more. Frank caught the arrow just before it could strike his head. He sprang into the air to meet Lucy, but the nimble cat girl kicked off from the ceiling, hurtling to the ground to avoid the old man's kick. She landed on the back of a chair as Frank came to rest atop the rotting chandelier hanging from the ceiling.

    "You are strong, young one," he admitted, "but your fight ends here."

    "Not yet," Lucy said as she fired her bow one last time.

    The arrow struck above Frank's head, severing the rope that held the chandelier aloft. The old man cried out in alarm as the heavy fixture came crashing to the ground and burst asunder as it slammed into the cold stone floor. Lucy sighed in relief and slid down into the chair once she saw that Frank lay very still atop the ruined chandelier.

  27. - Top - End - #207
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Dr Bwaa's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Boulder, CO
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    He removed the long black overcoat he wore, revealing the long white shirt and loose black trousers he wore.
    This takes a really long time (considering the situation). What is the party doing while Frank disrobes? Just standing around awkwardly, depite pointing a gun at him?

    "I find your lack of faith in monks disturbing," Frank chuckled darkly.
    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    "Dodge this, old man," Lupin growled.
    Hurr hurr the meeeeeeeeeemes.

    He stepped backward from Lupin, eyeing the gunmage warily.

    "Your powers are weak," Frank said calmly.
    This is strange. Why would he be eyeing Lupin warily if his powers are so weak? I'd expect his expression to be one of amusement, or maybe ironic disappointment.

    Lucy fired another arrow at Frank, but the old man swatted the arrow out of the air without taking his eyes off of Lupin.
    Good moment. This does make it seem like he considers Lupin a viable threat after all? If that's the case, I'd adjust the "Your powers are weak" line to reflect the fact that he doesn't actually think Lupin is irrelevant, even if that's only revealed to the readers.

    "No fair!" Lucy shouted, stomping her foot.
    Love it.

    the old man grabbed him by the throat, picked him up off his feet, and slammed his head into the floor.
    I think the manner in which he must have flipped Lupin over probably deserves a description, because it has the potential to be really badass (grab him by the threat --> whip him in a big arc over his head and facefirst into the ground on the other side?).

    "I have you now," Frank smirked.
    Obviously I'd kind of like his outfit to be more vader-esque (trying to think of a helmet/mask-analogue here) just to complete the picture.

    Also, he's gotta be someone's father at this point.

    ...I wonder if Profession(Bartender) will be useful when it comes to stabilizing her dying party members!


    EDIT: also, have you noticed that you have an almost perfect record of alternating your chapter titles between quotes and non-quotes? I have, because I'm the nerd keeping track of the compendium
    Last edited by Dr Bwaa; 2012-08-28 at 03:26 PM.
    For people who enjoy reading or writing.

    Spoiler
    Show

    Awesome banner/avatar by El_Frenchie!

    Play chess? Look me up! (bwaa)


    Formerly known as lordhenry4000

  28. - Top - End - #208
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    ...
    ...





    Right...as usual, the next snippet will continue the story from my/Kalach's point of view once I have have polished it to my specifications. Perhaps sometime tomorrow.
    Games I'm in:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Only the Honor of a Paladin as Varas
    Fortune's Favor as Lea

  29. - Top - End - #209
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lady Moreta's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Gender
    Female

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    Dr Bwaa
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    I did get that; I think it's more the dash itself that bothers me. It works earlier when she literally cuts herself off mid-word, but here I think I'd prefer an ellipsis. I think the sentence itself is okay.
    Good point. I think you're right about the ellipsis working better...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Glad to know my impressions of Tanc over your last however-many snippets haven't been totally off-base then!
    He'd never hit a girl. Unless she's a succubus.

    Or she really really deserved it (Tanc is Lawful Good, but he's lawful to his own set of morals)

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Paladins are so hilariously Power of Friendship // Evildoers Must Die it makes my eyes bleed. They are my favorites, and I love that Lester is such a big part of your campaign because I love reading him. There's a scene in my long campaign where we throw a great moral-quandary at Charlize's paladin-older-brother (execute your sister (sole living family member) and all her friends on the spot for being heretics, or allow them to escape). I'm looking forward so much to writing it. Actually every time that character shows up, OOC hilarity at the expense of Paladins ensues.
    Ooh, I look forward to that

    We're all very fond of Lester - and he's loosened up a lot since he started travelling with us. None of us were very happy about the fact that he did the 'evildoers must die' thing and smashed the (admittedly evil) black sphere that was summoning Shadows and got us stuck on the Shadow Plane for three months. He started loosening up not long after that. It's to the point that even though Nera hates Lester, Nera's player has frequently said how much she personally loves him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Was this helpful? Comments on anything I could do to make it better?
    It was, yes. Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Apostrophe
    Oh hush I can actually spell that, I just had a broken moment.


    SleepyShadow
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Frank drew in a long breath, seeming to compose himself. He wiped the dribble from his wrinkled face and slicked back his long grey hair. He removed the long black overcoat he wore, revealing the long white shirt and loose black trousers he wore.
    I quite like this transformation from dribbly old (and harmless) carpenter to 'I'm about to kick your ass' mode. Though I'd take out the second 'he wore' and replace it with 'underneath' - we know he's wearing them after all

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Lupin fired his pistol, the sharp noise reverberating throughout the room. However, Frank was already on the move, effortlessly stepping to the side before the halfling shot.
    The action here doesn't quite flow properly to my mind. You've got Lupin firing, and then all of a sudden we find out Frank moved before Lupin got the shot off. I think the dodging and the firing need to happen at the same time (it's not like a monk isn't capable of doing exactly that).

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    He struck with his short sword, the blade bursting into flame as he attacked, Frank narrowly avoided Derive's thrust, and he counterattacked with blinding speed, hammering his knee into the young man's stomach. Derive staggered backward, the wind knocked out of him. Frank pressed the advantage and spun through the air as he slammed his heel into the side of Derive's head. The young man flew across the room and smashed into the wall, then slumped to the floor.
    I liked this part. A lot It's consice, you used good descriptive words and we get to see very clearly just what Frank is capable of.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "I find your lack of faith in monks disturbing," Frank chuckled darkly.


    I love me a Star Wars reference. Bonus points for this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    "No fair!" Lucy shouted, stomping her foot.
    I love Lucy... she's so adorable and this is perfectly in character for her.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Frank leaped through the air, his gray hair fluttering behind him like the tail of a comet.
    That's... an interesting image... I like it, and I can easily picture it in my mind, having seen pictures of comet tails before. I'm just not sure it works here. It's a bit - poetic.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    Lucy took a panicked step away from Frank and fired her bow at his back.
    This is just making me think that she's literally firing her bow (rather than an arrow) at his back. Especially as you then say that the arrow grazed him. I know 'firing a bow' is the normal way to describe such an action and as far as I know it's correct... I would just - have written it another way in this instance.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    The old man hurtled through the air like a gray projectile, but Lucy proved faster and rolled out of the path of his attack. She landed on her feet and nimbly sprang into the air, firing her bow once more. Frank caught the arrow just before it could strike his head. He sprang into the air to meet Lucy, but the nimble cat girl kicked off from the ceiling, hurtling to the ground to avoid the old man's kick. She landed on the back of a chair as Frank came to rest atop the rotting chandelier hanging from the ceiling.
    Is Lucy firing her bow while she's in midair? That's quite a neat trick? if so, it needs to be clearer that's what's happening. It kind of reads now that she jumped into the air for no reason, then fired when she landed again. And for that matter - Frank jumping into the air to meet Lucy - there's a timing problem with this. It reads like Lucy jumped, then Frank jumped and Lucy was just hanging suspended in midair for a while waiting for him to join her. Obviously, that's not what happened... the action needs to move not faster, just - more together.

    Shoot, I'm not making any sense am I? It feels like there's a lot of time between each person's actions. I think it needs to be written in such a way as to remove that illusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyShadow View Post
    The arrow struck above Frank's head, severing the rope that held the chandelier aloft. The old man cried out in alarm as the heavy fixture came crashing to the ground and burst asunder as it slammed into the cold stone floor. Lucy sighed in relief and slid down into the chair once she saw that Frank lay very still atop the ruined chandelier
    Teehee, sucks to be Frank. Though I find myself wondering, if he's been so quick to avoid everything thus far, why did he get caught by surprise by this action? Not that he couldn't have been, I'd just like to see more of an explanation for it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Bwaa View Post
    Also, he's gotta be someone's father at this point.
    Yes please!

    In the meantime, have some backstory for a new character I've just started playing. This is my first foray into the Shadowrun setting, so some of the minor details might not match up properly. Also, be warned, I had a vague idea of where this one was meant to go and then it ran away and went somewhere else entirely. Contains mention of a sensitive topic. You have been warned.

    Leonora's Backstory
    Spoiler
    Show
    Don’t you judge me, for judgement belongs to God alone. Just remember – we aren’t all sinless.

    I was born March 3, 2049, daughter of Alvaro Calderón Vélez and Jenny Carter. Illegitimate, unwanted, and SINless. In fact, the only thing I had going for me, right from birth, was my twin brother – Lukas. Even when we were kids, right up to the point our parents kicked us out – he looked after me, protected me. I’ve heard the snide comments, seen the sly looks, ignored the innuendo – when people hear that I live in an apartment with my brother… If you’d lived the life I’ve lived, knowing your brother was the only person you could rely on, could trust… the only person who loved you… Well, you wouldn’t be so quick to laugh.

    Growing up was – different. And difficult. Different and difficult. Because most families consist of parents who love each other and love their children. Who want their children. And because that was harder than you might think. They weren’t neglectful, they weren’t abusive, they were simply – uninterested. We always had food, but once Lukas and I were old enough to feed ourselves – that’s what we did. It was either that or go hungry. Love – parental love – was in short supply in that house.

    And yet, it wasn’t so bad. I wasn’t alone, I had my brother. I think our parents’ indifference is the reason Lukas and I are so close. When it’s you and him against the world, you get close fast. And you stay that way. Our parents were SINners – and I only know that because Mom told me once in a drunken ramble, after a visit from someone I later found out was my maternal grandmother. I don’t know how she found us, and I don’t really care. I learned two lessons from that visit. The first – I can’t live without my brother. The second – if we wanted to stay together, we had to at least look like a happy family. I was five years old.

    Apparently Grandmother Carter (and yes, I know Carter wasn’t my mother’s real name, but it was the only name I had, so I used it. I was five.) noticed that we didn’t seem as happy and healthy as perhaps we might have. I can’t imagine why – it’s not like we weren’t wearing clothes two sizes too small. Mother and Father had been a clichéd forbidden love, determined to throw off the parental bonds and marry anyway. I can only assume this is how they ended up living in a too-small apartment under fake SINs. Grandmother Carter though, had a soft spot. Kids. And she was canny, I’ll give her that. The old broad took one look at Luka and me and knew something wasn’t right. So she threatened to take us away, split us up – unless our parents got their act together. Alvaro and Jenny didn’t care. Lukas and I did.

    I never saw Grandmother Carter again, but I’ve never been one to take chances. We made a promise that day, Luka and I. A promise that we’d look out for each other, look after each other. That we’d never leave each other. And if I one day broke that promise – just remember – all of us here are SINless, but as I said earlier, none of us are sinless.

    And we stuck together for years. I made sure we ate and Lukas made sure we had clothes that fit and shoes that had soles. I scrounged us an education – as best I could; and Lukas scrounged us protection – as best he could. He was eight the first time he got into a fight to protect me, 14 the first time he used a knife, and 16 the first time he shot a man – again, to protect me.

    He wasn’t the only precocious member of our little family. I believe I was seven the first time I realised big eyes and a shy smile could divert suspicion. I was 13 the first time I got us out of trouble with a flirty smile and a suggestive pose. I was 15 when I found that words alone could defuse a situation and save a life. And I was just in time, because it was when we turned 16 our parents decided they’d finally had enough and we were old enough to fend for ourselves – and they kicked us out of home. We did okay. Lukas was well on his way to being the biggest guy on the block and I was already notorious for being someone you didn’t want to cross if it wasn’t your fault, it would be by the time I was done talking.

    At 17, I learned what a valuable commodity negotiation was, and I learned to use it. I would talk, cheat, swindle and broker my way through deals. I became proficient – or semi-proficient in as many languages as I could find someone to teach me. It was all for the benefit of others, but ultimately, it was for the benefit of me and my brother. The more nuyen we could get, the better off we’d be. And that, ultimately, is how I ended up there.

    At 18, I learned that there is one thing a pretty girl has that is more valuable than her ability to broker a deal or arrange a truce. And at 19, I learned it was a price I was willing to pay. For Lukas. Always for Lukas.

    We were careful with our nuyen. Saved it, hoarded it, kept it safe – so we could get off the streets. Then a new gang moved into our area. And of course, our gangs started screaming bloody murder, foul play, and no fair. So the new lot agreed to negotiate, why I don’t know, since they could easily have wiped out our gangs and simply set up shop unhindered. But of course, they demanded a neutral negotiator – and all that effort I’d put in to stay out of gangs came back to bite me in the ass. I knew Luka had done some work here and there for the gangs in our area. He’d done everything from club bouncer, to bully-boy, to warehouse heavy lifting – and I was known to most of them. So when the newcomers said they wanted an unaffiliated mediator, all eyes turned to me. And times were hard and we needed the money (desperately needed the money), so I said yes.

    It just so happened, that the leader of this new gang was Spanish – or something close to it. And he took one look at me, with my dark hair and dark eyes and obvious Latina heritage – and he never looked back. I did my best, but my Spanish wasn’t so good in those days and I had a hard time keeping up. Eventually though, everything was settled to his satisfaction – and I began to understand. He didn’t use force if he could get what he wanted by other means. I only wish I’d realised that didn’t mean he wouldn’t use force.

    A week after the turf deal was done, he sent Marco Salmeri to our little corner of home. His boss had been impressed by me, by my looks and my obvious skill at negotiation. He wanted to make me an offer to come and work for him. He’d love to see what other talents I possessed. I’m not a complete idiot, I knew what he was asking. So I did was any self-respecting Catholic girl would do… I told him to take his offer and stick it where the sun don’t shine. And Marco left, looking unhappy, and as I stood in our doorway, arm wrapped around Lukas’s waist, and his heavy arm over my shoulder – I wondered why he looked so worried. It didn’t take long to find out.

    Nothing happened for two weeks, we had almost enough nuyen to pay for an apartment, and we’d both forgotten about Marco and his lascivious boss. Then I learned why the patient ones are always the worst. One of the smaller gangs still eking out an existence in the neighbourhood came to Luka. They had a shipment to move and would he please help them out. They were buddies, so Luka said yes. Five hours later, Este near pounded the door down. His head was dripping blood and his hand was wrapped in a blood-soaked and dirty rag – masquerading as a bandage. He was the sole survivor – they were all dead. Except Lukas. Este was distraught and kept switching languages, but I finally got the point.

    The whole thing had been a trap. Everyone killed, but Lukas was taken. Everyone dead, but Este left alive – as a messenger. And at 19, I learned patience could be terrifying; patience could kill; and patience could save a life.

    I read between lines I doubt Este even knew were there. Wait. Be patient. Someone will come to you.

    So I wasn’t all that surprised when Marco Salmeri knocked on our door a week after the attack. And I wasn’t surprised by the offer he gave me. I went with him, went willingly to his boss – and Luka would go free. I refused, my big brother would be killed and – once I had no protector any more, Marco and his boys would be back. No much of a choice after all.

    I’d always known I loved my brother, more than anyone. I’d always known that his needs came before anyone else’s, mine included. And I’d always known I couldn’t live without him. When I was 19, I learned I was going to have to learn how. And I learned the price I was willing to pay to keep him alive. Myself.

    Myself. My spirit, my soul. My immortal essence. That part of me I had faith would one day join with the angels and see the face of God. Not any more. I was pretty sure what I was about to do meant I’d never see heaven – or purgatory. Nope – straight to hell for sinners like me.

    And the hardest part about the whole thing was that look on Luka’s face when they brought him out of the van I’d not noticed and let him go. I never thought a single look could cause so much pain. Lukas looked awful, he’d been beaten, had rudimentary bandages around his head, arm and leg – and those were only the ones I could see. To this day I’ve not been able to work up the nerve to ask him what they did to him. But it was the look on his swollen, bruised, beaten-up face that hurt the worst. Hurt, horror, betrayal. Failure and guilt. Nobody knows guilt like a Catholic, and Lukas had it in spades. His purpose in life was to protect me and he’d failed. And now he had to live with the guilt.

    I couldn’t look at him after that. I closed my eyes; turned away and let Marco put his arm around me and led me to the van. By the time I turned back to look, Lukas was gone. It was the last time I saw him for over a year.

    At 19, I learned there was no price I wouldn’t pay if it meant my brother would be safe. At 20, I learned that some debts can be paid in full. Oddly enough, it was Marco Salmeri who taught me that. Marco and a Native American shaman named Ayelen.

    I needn’t tell you what went on during that year, right? I belonged exclusively to him which gave me a measure of protection, especially as he liked to keep my ‘hide’ intact for negotiation and mediation. But I was also a prize, a reward, for those who had pleased him. And they were not always so gentle. Suffice to say, during that year, I learned that virtue is cheap and purity is not the priceless gift the priests would have us believe. Oh, and I learned that it really is easier if you just relax.

    Ayelen had been called in because his first lieutenant was sick. I didn’t know, or care, what caused it – poison, toxin or regular bug – but conventional medicine wasn’t working. He demanded more drastic measures and apparently, that meant a Native American shaman with a reverence bordering on obsession for the sanctity of life. Oh, and she was also trying to survive in the city, and that means nuyen.

    But who am I to judge?

    Ayelen told me later that she saw hovering in the shadows the same spirit who guided her – the Dog – loyal and defensive – and that is why she acted as she did. Immediately, she informed him that she required help and that I had steady hands, a calm manner, and was clearly not needed for anything else. I will never forget the secretive smile she gave me once he left us alone in the room. She whispered a few words in her native tongue, then looked, not at me, but at a spot just to one side of me. I automatically followed her eyes – and there was a Dog – looking just like the floppy-eared spaniel puppy who’d lived down the street when Luka and I were kids. Ayelen just smiled at me, told me I too was a Dog, and bent down over the sick man. Then she said, in a voice so soft I barely heard her, “Puppy, don’t you think the debt has been paid?”

    I didn’t have to be a genius to figure out what she meant.

    I know what you’re thinking – how could Ayelen possibly have had enough influence to get me out of there? Truth is – she didn’t. But there is usually a way to get things done – if you look hard enough. And in this instance, she didn’t have to look far. Marco Salmeri. Marco who hadn’t been able to look me in the eye since I’d arrived. Marco who refused to speak to me unless I spoke to him first. Marco who had indirectly been responsible for separating me from my brother. Marco who clearly felt as guilty as sin.

    The funny thing is – I didn’t even blame him. Much.

    Ayelen and Marco refused to tell me what their plan was – and since what I didn’t know, I couldn’t divulge, I didn’t argue – I was simply told to be ready to move. You’re probably expecting some exciting tail of sneaking and running and shooting, but truth to tell, it was remarkably boring – even anticlimactic. Marco forged some orders that got me past the guards. Ayelen kept him distracted and we simply snuck out. Marco delivered me straight to Este, with a warning to get the hell out of the neighbourhood – like I needed to be told. Este was to take me to Lukas – except he couldn’t look me in the eye either. Apparently everyone was harbouring some degree of guilt over this one. That is, until I caught him glancing at the crucifix I was still stubbornly wearing. Then I realised why Este wouldn’t look at me – he knew what happened to girl like me when they came to the attention of gang bosses like him – and he knew I didn’t deserve to wear that emblem any more. As long as he kept his mouth shut and didn’t tell Lukas, I didn’t really care what he thought it wasn’t like we were going to be hanging around.

    As you might expect – I forgot all that the moment I saw Luka again. He was standing outside some run-down hovel, next to a massive Harley-Davidson I’d never seen before. None of which I cared about, not when the big brother I’d sacrificed everything for was standing there – alive. I saw relief mixed with fury on his face – and in that instant, even as I ran forward and threw myself into his arms – I vowed that I would never tell him the truth. If I’d thought he was over-protective before – that would be nothing compared to what he’d do if he’d found out the truth. And I knew there would be no second chances from him. So to keep my brother alive, I lied to him. Even as he swung me onto his Harley and nodded his thanks to Este, I promised myself that I would never tell him I was no longer the innocent, virtuous little sister he remembered.

    That was – oh, three years ago now. Things moved pretty fast after we ran. The Dog spirit lead me straight back to Ayelen. From her I learned some measure of peace – and the crucifix I could no longer stand to wear, but couldn’t bring myself to get rid of, became part of my first magical focus.

    I was restless – as you might expect, coming out of a year of bondage. I tried my hand at climbing the corporate ladder – hated it, but it got me some useful contacts. Saved the life of an idiotic Lone Star cop, got drunk a lot, had the tables turned when someone tried to use me to get to my brother. And now I have to spend half my time trying to convince Lukas he doesn’t have to resort to performance-enhancing drugs every time I someone takes a shot at me. Yes, I am exaggerating. But not by much.

    I still see Ayelen as often as I can – and she continues to call me ‘Puppy’. I stay in touch with Marco – he’s too scared of him to do much, but he lets me know where the gang is, what they’re up to, what areas to avoid. I even stayed for a time with an old Catholic priest – of course, I’d been shot in the stomach and I was delirious with fever the entire time – but I returned later to thank him.

    I’m 23 now, and I’ve lived more life than most. I’ve seen the best and the worst. I’ve tried living in the light of the megas and I hated it. By nature and by nurture, I belong in the shadows.

    I have learned that to run in the shadows is better than walking in the light. I have learned that there is nothing I won’t do for my brother.

    And strangely – I have learned that I am content.

    Can the same be said for you?


    My Characters
    Spoiler
    Show

  30. - Top - End - #210
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SleepyShadow's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Earth
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: D&D Snippets II: The Snippetting

    @Dr Bwaa: Just to be spiteful, I need to change the titles' pattern

    Also, he's gotta be someone's father at this point.
    "Lucy, I am your father!"

    "Is that good?"

    ""

    @Lady Moreta:
    Is Lucy firing her bow while she's in midair?
    Yes, she is. I suppose I should have clarified that.

    It reads like Lucy jumped, then Frank jumped and Lucy was just hanging suspended in midair for a while waiting for him to join her. Obviously, that's not what happened...
    Actually, that's exactly what happened. Since one of the rule books we are using is Big Eyes Small Mouths d20 (an anime game), no one saw any issue with DBZ style midair floating or other ridiculously awesome over-the-top combat maneuvers. Besides, she had the Hover ability at rank 1, so it even worked by RAW.

    Though I find myself wondering, if he's been so quick to avoid everything thus far, why did he get caught by surprise by this action?
    ... I fumbled his Reflex save.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •