Soul Wars

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    I eat Frogs AmericanTreeFrog's Avatar
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    Default Soul Wars

    Part one: Prologue

    I came awake with a startle, the images of flames and screaming people tearing through the labyrinth of my mind. I stopped to catch my breath as my lungs were devoid of air; I hadn’t realized I had been screaming in the dead of the night. The door to my room burst open as my uncle, gleaming sword in hand, came charging into my room, dressed only in cloth breeches. Right on his heels came my aunt in her robe. Seeing no danger, she walked over to my bed and sat besides me. I could tell she was talking, trying to soothe me, but all I could hear were sounds, my mind focused on the images seared into my very brain.

    Some time passed, I couldn’t tell how much, when my sanity returned. The sounds from my aunt turned into words of comfort and encouragement. She was still next to me while my uncle sat at the edge of the bed, the sword gone and being replaced with a cup.

    “I’m sorry, it was another nightmare.” I shuddered and tightly shut my eyes. “The images were so real, I could feel the heat baking my skin. It was like I was there.”

    My caretakers exchanged a glance before my aunt spoke. “It was just a dream, dear. You have nothing to worry about.”

    I mutely nodded as I turned my thoughts inward. These dreams had been happening for as long as I could remember, but only recently had they got so intense. Most of the nightmares remained the same, but sometimes I would see an old one that was longer or had more details in it. The latest even showed a couple looking down at me. I had quizzed my aunt and uncle, plus the other villagers, but nobody knew of me being in any kind of fire. My relatives never even talked about how I had come to live with them; they only said that my parents had died when I was a baby and that I had come to live with them since then.

    I gave my aunt a quick hug. “You guys can go now, I’m fine.”

    She turned her caring eyes to me. “You sure honey? We can stay longer if needed.”

    “No thanks, we all need some sleep,” I pointed out. Her blue eyes showed her concern but she simply nodded and rose from the bed, taking her husband’s hand in her own. When they had left I laid back down and tried to get some sleep. All the while, hoping that my dreams wouldn’t return to haunt me some more that night.

    When I woke up later I was greeted by shafts of sunlight bursting into my room. I groggily blinked my eyes until they had adjusted to the blinding light. A washbasin had already been placed next to my bed, no doubt placed there by my aunt. I pushed away the heavy deer pelt and walked over to the small hearth, which contained a small fire and a kettle filled with water. I hurriedly stripped and bathed before retrieving some fresh clothing from my wicker basket. I opened the door to see my brother, who was really my cousin but I called him that because we had grown up together, come out of his room. I gave him a fist bump and together we walked past the sleeping area and into the main room. My aunt was already up and getting work done. She was in the room next to us bent over a cooking pot.

    She raised her weathered face to look at us. “Good morning boys,” she started, “your father has already gone out to check on the cattle.” She turned to me. “Septimus, you’ll be in charge of the sheep today. Thomas, I want you to see to getting that south field ready for planting.” Her blue dress rustled lightly as she returned her attention to the kettle.

    I grimaced. I hated watching those sheep because the alpha ram hated my guts and tried at every opportunity to gore me. Which would not be too much of a hassle for him seeing as how his horns reached to my shoulder blades. That was considering my height was five six and he was average weight and height for his species. That being said, I didn’t envy Thomas’s work neither. In order to get that field ready he would have to use his earth powers to check the field, remove any large rocks and tree stumps before he could even start to till the land. No doubt, he had his work cut out for him. Fortunately for us both, we knew that today’s work would be a hard one. We both had picked breeches and light tunics. I wore green for the shirt, brown for the pants; while Thomas chose black for the shirt with the same colored pants. We both sat down at the family table, carved from stone, and attacked our food with a passion. A few minutes later when I was on my second bowl of oats, Thomas had already wolfed down four.

    We were both eighteen, but Thomas was huge. He stood at six two, shoulders broad, thick arms and legs, and a muscular body. To top that off, he weighed two hundred and eighty pounds. Thomas was by no means fat, he just had a large body type coupled with his affinity for earth powers. In total, that equaled one big dude. By contrast, I weighed one fifty and was still growing. My shoulders were beginning to broaden, and although I was thin, my large hands and feet called for a larger body. Going beyond that, Thomas had light brown hair with matching eyes and good looks that the local women seemed to fond over. Myself, I had the looks no one would call handsome, I had rough, rugged features that weren’t ugly, but gave me a serious look. My features were completed with shoulder length black hair and green eyes. Although similar in many ways, we both were vastly different.

    Just as we had finished eating, Thomas’s father, Brutus, walked in the room. His son was built from the same cloth as his father, down to the same type of features. The only differences was that Brutus’s hair was starting to show gray and his arms showed scars from long ago. He also happened to be dressed identical to his son. He gave my aunt a quick kiss on the cheek and sat down at the table and outlined for us both exactly what he wanted us to do.

    With his instructions done we both rose from the table and made ready to leave. When I walked outside I was greeted by the many sounds of nature and the dazzling sunlight. As usually in mid summer, the entire farm was dappled in color, from the many vegetation, to to man made implements.

    My uncle’s farm was situated at the northwest part of the kingdom in a valley. The town of Silversprings was nestled in the center of the valley with farms spread all around it. To the north was a giant mountain and beyond that the dangerous sea. To the west was the trading routes leading to the major cities and other small towns. To the south were the black hills; while the to the east sat the garrison to guard the border against the Aliarn nation. Although the valley was a great place to live, it was essentially considered untamed, compared to other parts of the kingdom. Out here wild Pokemon were plentiful and powerful. One would sometimes run into a peaceful Pokemon, but the vast majority didn’t abide human contact and could be violent if approached incorrectly.

    I walked over to the wooden stables next to the house and retrieved a midnight black stallion from among the horses there. Like most out here on the border, I went bareback on the mighty animal. With a quick tug in the right direction the horse was off to the cattle area at the back of the house. As usual, the sheep were all clustered around the oak fence. I got down from the horse and walked over to the gate, exactly were my old foe, the alpha ram, was. He looked at me with barely disguised hate and snorted loudly. The wickedly curled horns gleamed in the sunlight while his bountiful coat made him seem bigger than he actually was. I fixed the ram with my own baleful glare and opened the gate, retrieving the shepherding rod in the process. I quickly climbed back on my horse and waited for the two score flock to emerge from the pen.

    Even though the ram hated my guts, for reasons unknown, if I was firm but gentle with the flock the old ram wouldn’t give a care in the world. He started for the path that led to the black hills, but I used my rod to point him toward the north mountain. Brutus wanted me to water the flock at the river that flowed down the mountain to the valley. Once again the walking stew, as I fantasized, looked at me before baahing at his flock to follow him. I released a sigh I hadn’t realized I had been holding. Soon enough we were on the gentle dirt path leading to the bottom slopes of the majestic mountain. About two thirds of the mountain were rolling forests, while the top third was rocky terrain with a snow capped peak.

    It was about mid morning when we reached the spot of the river we used for watering the herds. The spot was a shallow part of the river, no more than twenty feet in width, and about eight feet deep. To either sides of the river were fields of lush emerald colored grass and beyond those the tall trees that covered the mountain side. While the flock drank from the cool waters and grazed the land, I kept a watchful eye for any wild Pokemon or the many predators that hunted this range. Normally it would take about two hours for the entire flock to get its fill of water; so Brutus had crafted a tree into the shape of a small tree house. It was one room containing only a simple chair and desk. And, seeing as how the tree was placed directly next to the river I had a clear view of the flock and the surrounding area while remaining hidden and safe from any predators. I dismounted from my house and strolled over to the tree. I placed a hand on the rough bark to let the tree know I was friendly, before a branch extended down and hauled me up into the room. When Brutus had crafted the tree he had his Pokemon’s powers to create an awareness within the tree. Because of that, it either identified humans as friendly or foe. I leaned my rod against the core of the tree and sat back to watch the flock.

    All was fine until half an hour into the watering when I saw a rustling in the trees directly in front me. I grabbed the weathered rod and squinted into the forest ahead. I could see an outline of something standing about four feet in height, but I couldn’t tell exactly what it was. A few seconds later a deer-like Pokemon emerged from the undergrowth. It had a brown pelt and long antlers topped its head while soft flowers grew up from the horns. A quick search through my memory revealed that it was a Sawsbuck. It wasn’t strong by Pokemon standards, but because it was a Grass type and we were in an area filled with vegetation it would have the advantage in any encounter. I silently hoped it wouldn’t come to that.

    The antler Pokemon looked at the flock by the river for a few tense seconds before it ambled off about twenty yards upstream so it could drink in peace. It must not have wanted to get into a tangle with the flock. It may have been a Pokemon but the rams of the flock wouldn’t be an easy fight for the lone warrior. Just in case though, with an effort of will, I had the tree lower me to the ground below, my rod firmly in hand. Nothing came of it though, the Sawsbuck drank its fill and bounded back into the quiet confines of the forest.

    It was just after midday when the flock had finished watering and partially grazed the land. I mounted up and led the flock back into the forest. Our destination one of the grazing fields lower on the mountain reserved for my uncle’s cattle.

    We were in a thick cluster of brambles when a growl to my right caused me to pull up short. I scanned the foliage around me, but my human eyes couldn’t spot the source. The flock, hearing the noise too, had already drawn up into a circle with the young sheep on the inside and the rams watching outward for any predators. I slowly dismounted from my ride and slid a hand over to the pack nestled on a thigh of the horse. A sound of metal clearing a scabbard filled the air as I withdrew a blade from the pack. It wouldn’t be much use against certain types of Pokemon, but for some it would be better than nothing and it could kill any wild predator that dared showed its hide.

    I was still scanning, my sword raised in a high guard, when a small red and black striped Pokemon appeared from under a bush. I inhaled a sharp intake of breath when I recognized the Pokemon as a Growlithe. It was little more than a puppy right now, but when it evolved into an Arcanine it would be a powerhouse in its own right. The small puppy had a tuff of cream colored hair around its neck, puffed straight up in a threatening manner. I lowered the blade into a low guard and waited to see what the Pokemon would do. If it charged me I knew I had the reflexes to sidestep the charge and slash at it with the blade. If it used a fire attack I would have to dodge and be quick about it if I didn’t want to get roasted alive.

    To my complete and utter shock the Pokemon looked at me for a few solid seconds then lowered the fur around its neck and lowered its lips over the once bared fangs. I kept my guard up just in case it was a trick, but my mind raced furiously to find out why the Pokemon was acting in this strange manner. Most wild Pokemon would have either attacked or run away by now. It was at that moment when I felt something deep inside me. It felt like something had exploded inside my very soul. I fell to one knee gasping for air, the sword point buried in the loamy dirt. A heat soon spread from my core that rippled throughout my entire body, the sensation felt so intense that I felt ready to collapse on my side. A sweat broke out on my brow as my whole body quivered. I spared a quick glance forward and saw the Growlithe laying on its side, tongue lolled out, panting heavily.

    The Pokemon rose shakily to its paws and stumbled over to me. Right then, I felt my end was near; I would surely die at this spot. I closed my eyes and braced my body for the blow to land, but when a few seconds passed and nothing happened I lifted my head up to see the Growlithe staring fiercely at me. Its snout mere inches from my face, I could feel the muggy, hot breath striking my face. The Pokemon appeared to be staring into my very soul. I felt the cool wetness and the rough dry texture of its tongue as it gently licked my face. It bent down to nuzzle my hand and when it did so a brilliant and vibrant orange colored light flooded the area. The sheep behind me bleated in alarm, but my attention was solely focused on the events in front of me. As the flash dissipated I felt all the feelings I had been experiencing abruptly vanish in an instant, except for one. Deep inside me there was something I couldn’t fully put into words. I could tell that something had changed. I looked around for the wild Growlithe, but I couldn’t see it, only a few floating leaves, as if they had been blown about.

    It was then that it dawned on me. I had just experienced my first soul bond. At first I was shocked beyond speech, but the next emotion of elation flooded my senses like one of the many wind storms that battered the area. I thought back to the lessons on soul bonding that Brutus had taught me and Thomas. Although Pokemon were very dangerous, they could be tamed by one method only. That method was through a soul bond between the Pokemon and human. Soul bonds could be started by two ways: the first way was when a human with one Pokemon already, battled a wild one. If that human won and had the skill plus will, he could initiate a bond with the defeated Pokemon. The second method was where the Pokemon initiated the bond with a person it felt a soul connection to. I had just experienced the later form.

    Now that I had successfully created a soul bond with a Pokemon it meant a few important things. For one thing it meant that whatever I felt or experienced, so would Growlithe, or Gruh, the Pokemon amended in my mind. That too, we could share thoughts when it was with me. While the Pokemon was ‘inside’ me I would be able to use powers of the type it was. That meant I would be able to summon fire with an effort of will. By that same rule, when I ‘summoned’ Gruh he would appear from my body to take physical form and at that point I would no longer have the ability to use its powers as I essentially manifested it to do battle. This bond also meant that if my Pokemon were to die I would have a chance to perish also. And conversely, if I were to die I could either release the Pokemon from our bond or it would die also.

    More alarmed bleating jolted me back to the present and away from my thoughts. I rose wearily to my feet, a soul exchange sapped both Pokemon and human unless one was strong in will. The flock was alright, they were just anxious to get away from the area. Seeing as how I was in no condition to lead the flock, I needed some rest. I decided to set off for home. By the time we returned to the farm I was all but ready to collapse off my horse. I was leading the sheep to their pen when I spotted my aunt milking a cow. She waved to me and I waved back.

    Just as I had finished securing the animals she strolled over. She turned her blue eyes to study me. “Are you okay?”

    I smiled faintly at her. “I’m okay, aunt Bertha. I just need some rest.” My body chose that moment to collapse on me. I heard her startled cry before a wave of blackness enveloped me in its warm embrace.

    When I awoke I was in my bed with a wet cloth placed above my head. I groaned aloud and sat up, I seemed to have acquired a headache from somewhere. Thomas came strolling into the room, a rather cheerful expression on his face.

    “I see you have got your first Pokemon?” His mood infused the words with a sense of cheer.

    I groaned again and waved a hand in a go away gesture. “Ugh, if I had known I would have got this bad a headache I would have resisted the bond.”

    He punched me lightly on the shoulder. “Get real, we both know you would never have done that.”

    I glared at him. “What time is it?”

    Just after three in the afternoon. You had everyone worried for a second there, that was until Bertha figured out you had your first bond,” his voice dropped to a conspiratory whisper. “What Pokemon was it?”

    “A Growlithe called Gruh.”

    His smile widened. “Cool, now you have a Pokemon like me.”

    The sound of horseshoes striking the ground drifted to the room. I frowned. “That sounds like at least five, and nobdy around here would approach like that. We better go check it out.”

    As I climbed from the bed, Thomas leaned down and placed his hand flush against wooden floor. I could tell he was using his earth powers, which stemmed from his own Pokemon, Sudowoodo. “Make that six.”

    Together we walked out of the house. Bertha and Brutus were already out there conversing with the group of riders. I concealed my surprise at our ‘guests’. All the men wore armor that had the black raven symbolizing the Lord of Riven. The city of Riven was a two day journey away from our farm. The men were armed to the teeth with weaponry, no doubt they had Pokemon with them as well. I didn’t see the telltale marks that signaled a specialty as knights, but that didn’t mean their Pokemon weren’t powerful.

    We caught the end of his message, “Are hereby ordered to report to the town square two hours from hence.”

    Finished with their errand, the group of soldiers turned their mounts around and rode towards the next farm further up the valley. Brutus turned to us. “Boys, pack up some supplies and get ready to head to the town,” he said gruffly before stalking off.

    We were about to question Bertha when she raised a hand in a stop gesture. “Do as your father said.” We passed a quizzical look at each other and walked back into the house while she followed Brutus.

    Soon enough we were all on the main road heading for Silversprings. When we reached the town square the whole town had already been gathered there and more stragglers were coming in from farms like ours. A Riven officer stood atop the town podium flanked by by two other soldiers on either flank. Another two score soldiers were scattered about the square. It was just after five when the last of the people arrived. The officer, most likely a centurion, nodded and held up a scroll of parchment.

    “Citizens and freedmen of Silversprings, by order of Arkus, Lord of Riven, these people are hereby ordered to step forward.” He held up a second piece of paper and listed off fifteen people, including Bertha and Brutus, who dutifully stepped forward. The man scanned the faces and gave another slight nod. His eyes then scanned the crowd, as if he was looking for someone. His eyes alighted at Thomas and I at the front of the crowd. His eyes narrowed in suspicion for a quick second before his face visibly paled beneath the fading glow of the sun. “Them two!” He pointed his baton at us. “Place them under arrest!”

    “No!” Brutus roared. He slammed a fist into the earth and a mini shockwave rapidly spread out, knocking most of the people off their feet. With another roar he summoned forth a Pokémon I didn’t know he possessed, a Rhyperior. Rhyperior was massive. It flexed the sienna with mottled patches of orange colored rocky plates that served as its skin. The large horn atop its head added to frightful appearance of the Pokemon..

    Our mouths agape in surprise, we stood rooted to the spot until Bertha stepped in front of us with the purple and black pig-like Pokemon called Grumpig. “Run!” she all but snarled at us as her Pokemon lept forward using its spiral tail as leverage.

    The square all but erupted in chaos as battles started to wage. Thomas still wasn’t moving but I seized his arm and hauled him to our horses. We had climbed atop the beasts when I saw my uncle, blade in hand, as he engaged five soldiers. His blade was a blur, so fast that I couldn’t track the movements, as he wielded it like a swordsmaster. Six heartbeats later all the soldiers were down as he moved onto the next batch. I wheeled the horses about and took off for the mountain to the north. She hadn’t told us where to go, but when we were both old enough to talk we were told to head to this mountain cave if anything was to happen, that’s where I guided our mounts now. As we thundered away I could hear the sounds of battle receding as we furthered the distance between us and it. Hearing sounds I looked back to see two riders on our heels when an invisible barrier knocked them from the horses. The horses cried out in panic, but the men were silent as they hit the ground with a bone crunching thud. It must have have been a Psychic attack I thought as I urged the horses for more speed. Soon the town was nothing more than a speck in the distance.

    When Thomas finally emerged from his shocked stupor I had him use Sudowoodo’s powers to cover our tracks. After we had reached the cave I hid the horses inside and we both waited, watching for any signs of movement. Two hours later Brutus and Bertha emerged, walking weary up the trail to the cave. We rushed over to meet them and half carried them up the rest of the way. We laid them on the floor of the cave and they prompt fell asleep. We studied the pair.

    The dress Bertha wore was shredded in parts and was covered in patches of dirt and blood. Brutus was also covered in splatters of blood, but none of it seemed to be his own, but there were multiple cuts dotting his tunic and pants. We tried rousing the two, but Thomas remembered that his father had once told us that when humans used or called upon Pokemon extensively it would weaken the user. Seeing as how they had faced over two score soldiers that was understandable. We both took watch that night while the couple slept. All throughout the night we could hear the braying sounds of horns and the beating of drums.

    The couple didn’t wake until the next morning, and by then myself and Thomas had a ton of questions we needed answered. The sun was just beginning to come over the horizon when they both finally stirred. When both had become awake enough we fired off questions as fast as we could. Finally Brutus spoke, “Quiet before you talk my head off my shoulders,” he growled.

    “Why don’t we get something to eat before we continue this discussion,” Bertha said quietly.

    Thomas and I went into a flurry of activity as we prepared bread and cheese. It wasn’t until both had ate before Brutus started to speak. “Let me provide some cover first.”

    With an effort of will he called forth a Sandile. The small four legged alligator cousin turned to look at us. Its sandy coat and black rimmed eyes blended well in the cavern. With a quick burst the Pokemon disappeared beneath a mound of dirt. The ground started to buckle and heave until the cavern slowly sank into the earth, until the cave entrance was only a horizontal line no bigger than the width of a hand.

    “Now that that is done, let’s get started. You both recall the end of the Troation war eighteen years ago?” He waited for us to nod affirmative. “The end of the war came about when a betrayer within the king’s advisor betrayed him to a Troation Lord. Six legions of over one hundred thousand men assaulted the capital that night. The crown legion engaged in a pitched battle with two auxiliaries against the foreigners. But vastly outnumbered they were defeated. During the battle the king and queen were slain, the capital burned to the ground, and our legions annihilated to a man.” A sad smile crossed his face. “Since then the Troations have established Lords to watch over regions of the land while a High Lord rules over everything. As you both know they also divided the population into Citizens, freedman, and slaves. With Citizens being those who can use Pokemon.”

    Thomas cut him off. “We know that. But how does that tie into us?”

    Brutus gave him a reproachful look. “Well, I was part of the royal guard attached to the king as his personal bodyguard.” This elicited a startled grasp from myself and Thomas. “But that is only the beginning.” He looked at me. “We are not related by blood, only by the bonds we share as a family. You, Septimus, are the rightful heir to the kingdom of Gramoen.”

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

    Last edited by AmericanTreeFrog; 28th August 2011 at 10:28 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: [SWC] Soul Wars

    Okay, I'll do this one.
    ChainReaction 6:09 pm
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  3. #3
    Virbank Gym Leader WinterVines's Avatar
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    Default Re: [SWC] Soul Wars

    This has been Graded and deleted for SWC.
    ChainReaction 6:09 pm
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    I eat Frogs AmericanTreeFrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: [SWC] Soul Wars

    Chapter One: The Past


    I sat there stunned for a few minutes as the words tried to sink in.

    I felt my aunt, Bertha -I corrected with a with a hint of sadness-, grab my hand. “It’s true, you are the sole heir to the land.”

    “If you wanted to find a way to get him out of this family you could have thought of something simpler,” Thomas said, a false cheer in his voice.

    Brutus fixed his son with a glare that would have melted ice. “This is not a matter worth joking about. This involves life and death, and not just for us.”

    “Those dreams the-” I broke off, my senses sill reeling from the news.

    “Let me start from the beginning.” Brutus shifted his weight to sit closer to his wife. “The story begins on a warm night eighteen years ago...”

    Eighteen Years Earlier

    My eyes roved the stone streets constantly alert for any signs of trouble or ambush. In the past month alone there had already been two attempts on my Lord’s life. Both attacks had been foiled by myself and the other men that served as the King’s personal bodyguard. Our steel-clad feet thumped against the stone as we made our way back to the castle. To the right I spotted a man huddled in a corner beneath a tattered cloak. Instinctively, my hand dropped to the sword belted at my waist. My fingers curled around the hilt in a tight but relaxed manner. The man saw us coming and bowed down to the royal retinue.

    There were thirty-two of us: the King, Queen, the Prince, the twenty guards of the king, the six guards for the queen and her three handmaidens. The royal couple had wanted to take a stroll after dinner with their newly born son this summer evening.

    The King was dressed in the royal colors of red and purple. The King was a handsome man that struck a cord with every person he came across. He had a healthy fuzz of facial hair for a beard and mustache. His shoulder length brown hair and sienna eyes completed his image. Tonight he was wearing the red armor of his house, which foretold his family’s aptitude for fire. Behind him trailed the purple cloak that was both a status symbol and a protective barrier that could protect the user from certain types of Pokemon crafting.

    To his right was his wife. Kayla dressed in matching light red dress and a purple cloak that fell just to the middle of her back. Kayla was called the most beautiful women in land for good reason. She had raven-black hair that fell to her waist and had the likeness of silk. Her skin had a bronze tint to it that just added to her ethereal beauty. Her bright green eyes led to sharp features and full lips. In her arms was the week old infant who would someday become king. Right now though he was just your average baby, except for the half dozen maids who doted on him.

    We were traveling along one of the main roads so it was packed with all types of people as they either headed home or to the downtown market that thrived all hours of the night. Even with the people making way for the king it was still a pretty crowded places.

    The smooth stone buildings, fashioned from the earth, stood gleaming in the many small lights that dotted the capital city. Besides the common candle lamps that were placed alongside houses, the only other mean to light up the cities during nights was if a fire master used his talents to create a fire lamp that would burn until the master wished it not to. And since this was the wealthiest city in the kingdom, masters of all types weren’t hard to come by.

    The sun had just began to set so already the night sky was being filled with the beginning twinkles of the stars. But because of the hot day it was still warm enough that one didn’t need a cloak to travel at night.

    We were almost to the castle when a booming sound rent the air. We all immediately turned to the south, where we judged the sound had originated. What I saw made the blood in my veins stop cold. The entire southern city wall was cast aglow in soft red light. Behind the wall I could see small pinpoints of light suddenly appear over the wall before falling.

    “We’re under attack,” I heard one of my comrades comment. I immediately snapped into combat mode. The capital city of Gamon hadn’t been attacked in hundreds of years, and that was with the current war going on. But our forces were tangled to the far south with the Troation armies. There was no way they could have defeated the multiple armies down there without us finding out about them.

    The King walked over, his authority immediately commanding my attention. “Half the guard will escort my wife and child back to the castle. The rest of you will follow me to the south wall.”

    With that said, he summoned forth a white horse with flames for a tail and mane. The horse snorted and tossed its head, the horn coming dangerously close to hitting someone on the head.

    I quickly summoned my own steed to carry me. Like the king, I had my own Rapidash to carry me about. When the rest of the men mounted up, to ride with us, the King took off down the street at a blistering speed. It took us no more than five minutes to reach the southern wall at the speed we were thundering to the place. It might have took shorter, but there were throngs of civilians fleeing the to the north, and that was not a good sign at all.

    The gate area was in chaos, soldiers rushed back and forth while civilians scurried about. The King reached out a giant hand and snagged a centurion that was running by.

    The officer gulped when he saw the king and hastily threw a salute. “Your highness.”

    “Report, soldier.”

    The man stood taller and his bearing took on more of a military stance. “Sire, we are under attack all along the southern wall. They were on us before we knew they were there. We had no warning from the forward outposts neither.”

    That last piece of news was most dreadful. Ringing the capital city were hidden outposts containing no more than five men each. If an enemy force was sighted the troops would trigger a signal fire and make way for the city. Once one fire went up the other outposts outside and inside the city would see the flames. But with no signal our forces were taken by surprise. Already, I could hear the cries of dead and dying men all along the wall as they traded crafting and projectiles with the enemy.

    The King nodded, his face a grim mask. “What about their numbers?”

    The soldier lowered his eyes ever so slightly. “Over fifty thousand milord.”

    I didn’t need any Psychic powers to feel the worry and surprise suddenly blossom from the King at this news. I couldn’t blame him either; this was some terrible news. With the crown guard and two of the new legions we had been raising, our force was no more than sixty thousand. The crown legion was filled with veterans who had been in numerous battles, but the other two legions were entire green troops raised from all around the country side. Under a well directed and large force those green legions would crumble soon enough.

    “Well, with the city guard we have about 80,000 men to guard the city,” the King mused. “Have the three legions fall back to the castle walls while the city guard holds the southern wall.” He fixed the officer with his most royal glare. “Can you hold for one hour?”

    The face of the soldier took on a determined look. “Sire, take as much time as you want, we’ll hold them here.”

    “Good man.” The King clapped him on an armored shoulder pad. “See to it.”

    After the centurion had rushed off, the King turned to us. “I need to head over to crown legion. I want two men dispatched to the green legions, get them to castle wall.” He fixed his dark eyes at me. “Titus, round up as many knights as possible and bring them to me at the crown legion. You!” He pointed at a different man. “Ride through the city and sounded the retreat bugles.”

    We put our fists to our heart and bowed at the waist, the salute to the King. We all headed in opposite directions, all focused on the task at hand.

    My job was among the hardest. Knights were Pokemon masters who had achieved mastery of a certain type and could still draw upon multiple disciplines. Myself for instance, I was a powerful earth crafter. I had obtained mastery of Rock, Ground and Metal types, my wide selection of Pokemon from those disciplines showed that. I was also close to becoming a master at Grass types. My wife, who owned a Whimsicott, had recently given me a Cottonee to go along with my Sceptile and Cradily. I also bonded with a Psychic type, but I could barely detect emotions unless they were strong. I had currently bonded with twenty-four Pokemon, which was often attributed to the noble blood that ran through my veins as only they could master multiple disciplines and bond with numerous Pokemon at once.

    There were seventeen Pokemon types, but those with normal mastery weren’t considered knights. Each discipline of knight-craft had certain benefits that went along with it. Certain knights were more powerful than others and would have the advantage in battle, but every knight was deadly in his own right. Battles would be won or lost based on knight numbers alone. But the most rare, and arguably most powerful type of knights, were the Dragon masters. Not only could they tame and ride the wild dragons because of their own Dragon Pokemon, they could wield the entire talents of their creatures. A single Dragon knight could wreck terror; and our kingdom had two hundred strong such masters. They were our ace in the hole. This caused a smile to creep to my lips as I proceeded to complete my master’s bidding.

    It took me a near hour to round up the many knight regiments under our banner. As I rode into the castle parade grounds I could easily make out the King, even in the near dark. The area around him was lit up by multiple fire craftings and he was surrounded by the banners of the royal army. He was dressed in his gold war armor and bent over a table looking at a map carved in sand using psychic energy.

    “The city guard has just abandoned the southern gate and are heading here as we speak.” He didn’t even glance at the soldier he was addressing. “What is the status of our people?”

    The general was dressed in metal armor also and bore the blue markings that signaled his proficiency in Water Pokemon. The man had a rugged look to him, complete with a long beard and mustache. His blond hair stood out among the dark haired generals. “Most are already behind the castle wall and ready to flee for the hills at any moment.”

    “Good, dispatch a battalion to keep those tunnels open and free from any blockages. When the fighting starts make sure that they’re heading back here, though. We are going to need all the help we can get.” He saw me approach and looked up. “What are the status of our knights?”

    “All are heading to their the formations.” I did a slight bow. “The dragon riders are waiting for your command.”

    A grin lit up the face of the King. “The enemy will be more than surprised when the dragons hit them.” A feral look crossed the King’s face briefly. “Let us prepare those bastards for slaughter shall we?” He pointed at the map, which shifted to show the whole capital. The outer wall surrounding the civilian buildings, then the inner wall which protected the castle and noble houses. Figurines of sand popped up at certain positions indicating units of soldiers. “Our earlier estimates of the enemy strength appear to be wrong; we now place their numbers somewhere between 100,000 and 140,000 strong, and they have a significant number of knights with them.” His voice hardend. “It doesn’t matter where they came from or how they got here, we just need to destroy them before they do it to us.” He paused for a moment to allow the words to sink in before continuing.

    He looked each man in the eye. “We must stick to the plan at all costs, you must hold. Now, here is what I intend to do. We are going to go out into the city so their numbers and Pokemon can’t play into effect. We are going to harass and draw them back towards the castle walls. Here is the hard part, we will not be using any of our knights during the harassing or when we hold the walls. Once the enemy has bunched significantly under the walls we are going to pour as much crafting as possible at them. Meanwhile, two thirds of each legion will mount up while the other parts protect the wall. When we hit them with our crafting I will lead a charge with the mounted units to hit them while they are disoriented. No more than ten minutes later our dragon riders will swoop down to wreck havoc like none those bastards will have ever seen. Let’s make it happen. Dismissed.”

    Everyone saluted and moved away from the table, making ready for the hammer to fall on those who dared to attack the capital. The King waved a hand over his map and the sand collapsed to erase the battle plans that had been there a second before. I walked over to have a word with him when the Queen walked up. Like her husband she was dressed in her own silver armor, albeit slightly slicker and more form fitting, but no less as strong.

    She kissed him on the cheek. “Have faith husband, we will make it though this night. While you’re off in battle, I’m going to be back here tending to the wounded,” she said. I wasn’t surprised in the least. While also a kind soul to be around, the Queen was a skilled Psychic master, and her healing abilities from that mastery would come in handy to keep our wounded men alive.

    The King took on a pained look. “How did I know you were going to say that?”

    Kayla’s mouth quirked in a smile. “Because you are mine, and I yours.” She gave him a passionate kiss and looked him directly in the eyes. “Be safe.”

    He returned the kiss. “You as well, protect our child.”

    Her eyes hardened like steel. “Let someone try.” More emotion than I had ever felt radiated off the Queen like hot steam. She gave her husband one last look and walked off.

    I turned to the King. “Where do you want me?”

    He turned his piercing brown eyes at me. “As my best blade I would normally have you at my side when I lead that charge, but instead I want you next to my wife all night after this first attack.”

    I placed a hand to my heart. “No harm will come to her or your child. I give you my world.”

    The King flashed me a smile and suddenly looked very old, and he was only thirty-two. I frowned. “Is something wrong, sire?”

    He looked deep in thought. “I have a feeling that I can’t place...”

    I made ready to reply but at that moment the castle was filled with the beating of drums. The enemy was drawing near. The King flashed me a quick grin and donned his crested helmet. “We better ready that first attack.”

    I looked at the King in frustration but knew there was no way I could persuade him from changing his mind. I pushed that emotion deep and donned my own helmet of the personal guard. Together, we walked to the enormous gates that protected the richest part of the city. The gates were crafted from and inlaid with steel to make the doors nearly impregnable to almost any type of attack. The doors were thirty feet tall and forty feet across. This made them extremely heavy. The only way they could be opened was through a pulley system operated by ten men using earth powers. We stopped at the head of the column preparing to go forth to meet the enemy. The King walked to the head and turned to face the men gathered there. Myself and the other nineteen guards stood to flank him.

    Even at night the golden armor shone brightly, drawing every eye to its wearer. “Tonight war has been brought to our doorstep,” the rich voice of the King carried throughout the courtyard so that every soul could hear as if he was standing next to him. “Already those heathens are slaughtering our people.” Every word uttered was infused with rage. “They will reap what they sow tonight.” The King drew his sword, which became wreathed in a coat of fire, and pointed the burning blade at the gates. “What they sow is death! Let us pay them tenfold for what they have done!” the King roared.

    The air was filled with the sounds of yells and weapons being beat against shields as everyone roared their approval.

    “Open the gates!” the King bellowed.

    The massive doors swung open and the King charged forward, his guard and forty-thousand armed men hot on his heels. The very ground shook from the impact of so many armored feet striking the ground at once. The King pointed his sword down different streets and the men slowly split off into groups of about eight-thousand. We didn’t have to wait long to see the enemy. The first group we spotted were chasing some women and children running for the safety of the walls. The tired people let out a cheer when they saw us coming thundering past. Myself and the other members of the personal guard ran ahead until we were about ten yards in front of the king and the main body of troops.

    Directly ahead of us was about a thousand troops of Troat, we could tell by the cerulean blue of their armor. I released a roar of age at seeing our old rivals. The forward group of Troations looked up in surprise at the scarlet capes of the personal guard when they could see us. The men howled right back at us and two seconds later we collided in a crash of metal and power.

    I was at the head of the group so I waited until the very last second to draw my sword. Slightly shorter than a long sword, but longer than the blade of the foot soldier, our blades were made for brutal efficiency in close quarters.

    My sword cleared the scabbard in a blur, the movement cutting the man in front of me in half. The sharp edge shearing through the plate mail of the Troation like it was a piece of cheese. The man was dead before he hit the ground, but that didn’t stop two more of his buddies from charging me like lunatics. I batted their blades away and with two passes of my blade each fell to the earth missing a limb. I tuned out their screams and focused on those still standing in front of me. More rushed our group of twenty, but we were ready. We had trained for years as a unit and our synchronization was superb. Unless we came across a master swordsman by accident in the mob of soldiers they were all dead, they just didn’t know it. We moved in a concert of blades and armor, all fighting as a deadly team. The first three ranks of the Troations were decimated before their companions knew there was so few of us. But when they did, they rushed us like crazed animals. Even twenty blade masters could hardly handle two hundred men at once, and we had just under a thousand in front of us. Our own advance faltered for a brief second, but a moment later the King came bounding into the battle like a bat out of hell. He fell on them like a scythe during harvest. We, his guard, were masters at what we did, but the King was in a league of his own.

    The enemy force tried to hold, but when our main body of troops entered the foray they broke and ran. The King placed the men in a phalanx and we moved forward, a wall of shield and bristling swords and spears.

    Thrice more we ran into groups of soldiers, and thrice more they fell under our merciless blades as we sowed death in their ranks. After the third engagement the King finally called for the retreat. After all the troops had returned to the walls and reformed the men back into their units, we found that we had only lost a couple thousand. The enemy had been filled with the urge to plunder and loot after they took the city walls. They hadn’t expected to meet fierce resistance immediately and they had suffered for it, easily losing more than ten times our number. Even so, there was still a lot more out there.

    In order for the second part of the plan to unfold, the defenders on the wall had to hold for at least fifteen minutes under intense pressure before the full might of our amy could be brought to bear. That also meant those who were to be in the counter attack had to be rested after the initial fight, while having their mounts ready to sally forth.

    I didn’t have time for rest, so I went looking for the Queen. I found her inside the tent that served as our medical center for the wounded. She was still in her armor and bent over the body of a young soldier. The young man had a gapping wound in his stomach, most likely from a thrown javelin or spear. Kayla had her hands hovering over the wound as she called upon her Psychic Pokemon. The wound slowly started to close as she willed the the skin to grow and heal the wound. It took thirty seconds but when she was done a fresh scar dotted the body of the young man. He was exhausted, but alive; and within half an hour he would be combat ready again.

    When she was finished, she snapped at another healer to bring her more wounded. I bowed low when she spotted me. “I’m here to serve you Milady.”

    She scowled at me. “You should be with my husband when he leads that charge.”

    I shook my head. “He would have none of it,” I said. “He is more worried about you and the heir than his own well being.”

    Her features softened. “Yes he is like that. I don’t suppose you are much of a healer?”

    “Sorry, your highness. My skills are mostly combat related.”

    “Very well,” she pointed a finger at a nearby corner, “go stand next to my child.”

    I bowed again. “As you wish.” The infant was in a nursing cradle, asleep, ignorant to the chaos around him. Soon though, he would be in charge of this kind of organized madness if we all survived this night and the coming months of combat that were sure to follow.

    For twenty minutes, I watched as men were brought to the Queen to be treated. As the demand for healers increased she called forth three different Psychic type Pokemon to help her. I knew she had more than that, which meant she was still saving most of her energy. Together the four of them easily healed over two hundred injured men, way more than a normal healer could manage. It easily attested to her powers.

    Outside, I heard the beating of the army drums. I looked over at the Queen. “It’s time.”

    She nodded and finished healing the men before her. After reabsorbing her Pokemon, she retrieved the infant and together we walked towards the forward battlements high atop the wall. Safe from harm, but able to see the battle clearly. The entire wall was lit up with flame as men died to protect and scale the wall. The pale moonlight shone down upon the city like a disappointed father watching his sons fight. I pointed at the courtyard where the sixty thousand were assembled. “There’s your husband, right at the head.”

    She smiled wistfully. “That’s the man I married.”

    No sooner had the words left her mouth when horns began to blare all across castle grounds. It was then that I felt the presence of thousands of Pokemon as the defenders hurled their friends at the Troation horde before them. Since we had been holding our Pokemon the enemy was surprised by the onslaught that suddenly enveloped them. The Troation Pokemon, like their masters, were also tired and tried to stem the tide. As Pokemon battles broke out all across the line another horn began to scream. At this sound the doors to the walls swung open and the cavalry rushed forth. The cavalry hit the horde like a hammer. The lines of the Troations began to weaken as their units were pushed back until their battles lines resembled a half circle instead of the normal straight line.

    Ten minutes later the battle still raged and I could spot the King right in the thick of it. He was easy to see due to the fact that his blazing sword was like a beacon to both friend and foe. This time the rumbling sound of drums filled the air and I couldn’t help but smile. That was the signal for the dragon riders to appear.

    I turned my head to the north from which they were to appear. Sure enough I could see small dark spots blotting out parts of the moonlight. From the battle below came the cries of our beleaguered defenders at the sight of the troops who would change the battle to our favor. I found my own voice joining those below. I turned to the Queen, a broad smile plastered across my face. “This is it, they’ll break now for sure.”

    The Queen didn’t reply so I returned my attention to the battle far below. I heard the roar of the dragons as they passed over the fields of men that made up the Troation army. But instead of swooping around to rain fire and death upon the enemy, the riders just continued to fly south until they could no longer be seen. All around me I could feel the utter disbelief of the men around me; I was feeling the exact same thing. The next emotion washed over me a moment after. It was a calm dejectedness. Our lines faltered and the enemy renewed their ferocious assault. I knew what every other soldier knew as well, we were going to die. Without those dragon riders we stood no chance of winning, there was just too many of the enemy. Our only hope was to break their fighting spirit and that had just failed miserably.

    “We’ve been betrayed.” I could feel the hurt and sadness emanating from the Queen. She knew what I did. Already tears began to fall on her rosy cheeks. I wiped the tears away and placed a hand on her shoulder.

    “We must leave now,” I said determined.

    The King had opened a psychic link to me and I could feel his thoughts and feelings. The King knew there was no way the men outside the walls could make it back to the walls while holding the enemy off. He was going to stay there and hold them off with his troops for as long as possible. While that happened he wanted me to lead his wife and son to safety.

    I radiated back the feeling of acceptance and I felt him sever the link. “We must hurry, our forces will not be able to hold out for very long.” I steered her towards the stairs that led back to the courtyard.

    The castle grounds were in chaos as soldiers rushed to the front lines while the wounded and civilians made for the escape tunnels. Instead of following the masses I led the Queen and the boy into the castle and to the throne room. I paid no heed to the splendid gold and granite design of the massive room. Instead, I made a beeline towards the Queen’s throne. Underneath her throne was a secret passage that led outside the city to appear at the hills behind the castle.

    I located the proper gold bar set into the throne and depressed it. With a slow rumble the throne slid forward to reveal some stairs that led to an underground passage. The underground tunnel was lit by eternal torches that would forever burn because of the fire crafted into them. The tunnel was fashioned from stone so it would endure any hardship, natural or man made. After we all had entered the escape tunnel I summoned forth the green and white Pokemon known as Cottonee.

    “Create a thorn barrier right here.” This would stop any pursuit for at least a few minutes. And that could mean the difference between living and dying. In a few short seconds long brown vines began to sprout from inbetween the rocks. Short green leaves grw on the vines as they slowly withered into a wall three inches thick. “Good enough.” I reabsorbed the Pokemon and moved onward.

    After we had traveled about a mile underground we came to a dead-end passage way. I placed a hand against the cool stone and with an effort of will from my Rock Pokemon I pushed the stone aside until it opened to reveal a damp and dark cave.

    “We must hurry,” I urged the Queen. “There are probably wild Pokemon around here and some scouts from the Troatians.”

    She nodded numbly as I led her from the cave. The cave opened up to the night clear night sky. We were on a wooded hilltop over looking the capital city. As we looked upon the city a loud roar shook the city and the entire country-side. I heard a gasp from the Queen as we looked at the once splendid city as it suddenly burst into a blazing inferno. With a sinking feeling I knew what had just happened. The King had just fallen in battle, but at his dying moment he had unleashed his fury at the invaders by using his powers to ignite the city. Killing many enemy soldiers while providing a screen for the civilians to flee. It was one last sacrifice by a great king in the defense of his people. I was momentary distracted as I felt one last thing from the King. I instinctively knew what it was but I pushed it to the back of my mind and focused on the problem at hand.

    I turned my attention to something else that had caught my eye. Well below and riding for the safety of the hills were a long stream of civilians. Then to my utter horror, I saw a long line of cavalry appear from the east and ride into the crowd. Even at a distance of half a mile I could hear the screams as the Troations slaughtered everyone still standing. I saw a hastily formed group of soldiers try to mount a small defense, but they were being cut down by mounted archers.

    “We can’t stay here any longer.” I grabbed the Queen’s hand and ran, oblivious to the branches and thorns that beat at my armor.

    We hadn’t run very long when we came across a group of about fifty civilians and soldiers fleeing along a road. Hot on their tracks came about two hundred calvary. “I must help them,” I heard the Queen say.

    “No,” I seized her by the arm and turned her to face me. “The King has ordered me to see you to safety. I cannot allow you to jeopardize that.”

    Her piercing green eyes turned to me. “You will follow my orders, soldier. Now take my baby and run.” She thrust the sleeping infant into my arms and drew her sword.

    With that, she turned and ran right towards the battle between the soldiers and cavalry. I had no choice but to remain hidden with the infant. With one last look at the Queen, I crept away from the small engagement and continued on. The weight of leaving the Queen pushing heavily own my soul, but if I fought besides her we would both die and the infant would soon perish.

    As the sounds of battle receded behind me I was momentarily surprised when I felt a women bump into me. I was further surprised to see it was my wife. I had no time to think or talk. I grabbed her by the arm and continued to flee.

    “Wait,” she gasped, pulling her arm from my grip. “Let me cover our tracks with my Whimsicott.”

    I mentally chided myself for my stupidity. I should have done that from the start, even I had a Grass type. I nodded and waited until she had summoned her Pokemon. I couldn’t see the Pokemon in the dark but I knew the cotton-like Pokemon would have climbed the nearest tree to bend the vegetation to hide our trail. I also called forth Cottonee and ordered he to do the same. With that accomplished we started to run again.

    Present

    With my story coming to a close, I looked at Thomas and Septimus. “Your mother and I had fled to the countryside where I loaned some money from a uncle to set up our farm.” I looked at Septimus. “That was how you came to live with me. Bertha was already round with child and Thomas came along shortly after that. We chose to raise you as our own until the time came when you would learn of your birthright. We were going to tell you when you turned twenty but this came up first.”

    Thomas looked flabbergasted. “So that mean’s we’re nobility while Septimus is royalty?”

    Bertha nodded, still unable to say much.

    “So,” Thomas continued, “What are our full names?”

    “My full and true name is Titus Brutus Tiberius. Your mother’s is Robin Bertha Tiberius, formerly of the house of Aria.”

    “But... Those were two of the richest and powerful houses in the realm,” Thomas sputtered.

    “Then, what is my name?” I finally spoke.

    Titus looked me directly in the eye. “Your full name is Septimus Arron Marshal Attis. Your father was King Logan Garth Attis and your mother Kayla Mary Marshal. You are the offspring of the two greatest houses of all Gramoen. The blood of strong masters flows through you. You just haven’t acquired the formal battle training.”

    “Those men who attacked us. Why did they act the way they did?” I asked.

    Robin finally spoke up. “The Troatians have long searched for members of the once ruling houses to kill them. This was one of their methods, they would arrest some people and have a full Psychic lord test them for truth. However, that centurion must have been at the battle all those years ago and remembered what the King looked like.” A faint smile appeared on her face. “You are beginning to look more like your father every day.”

    “What happened to him and those men that were chasing us?” Thomas injected.

    “I dealt with the soldiers while Robin covered your backs. She was the one who took out the soldiers who were chasing you with a psychic attack.”

    “So what happens now?” Thomas inquired.

    “Well,” Titus started, “I killed the centurion so your secret is safe for now. But they will search for us to take revenge for killing their men.”

    “What ever happened to those dragon riders.” I looked at Titus.

    A mask of pure rage descended over his features. “After leaving us high and dry they flew to the south to aid the other Troation armies there. It was their leader, Linus, who managed to sneak them into the country and it was he who led the riders. They now serve the First Lord here.”

    Robin placed a hand on her husband’s shoulder. “Our next decision is up to you, Septimus. We can either flee and hide, or we can take back your kingdom.”

    I shook my head at the sudden pressure I felt. “I don’t want to fight, but I can’t let our people continue to suffer as they have. We will fight.”

    Titus grinned. “Somehow I knew you would say that. You don’t know it, but you remind me so much of Logan. But first I have a gift from your father.”

    I blinked in total surprise. “A gift?”

    He nodded. “Remember when I said I felt something from your father. Well he gifted me a Darumaka baby egg. I kept it so it wouldn’t hatch until one month ago. I was going to give it to you as a present. But you can have it now.” He placed a hand over mine and closed his eyes. I immediately felt a surge of energy as I felt a new presence enter my body to nestle besides Growlithe.

    I could feel Gruh welcome the newcomer and the joy it felt at getting a new master. I slowly blinked away the tears that had started to form. “Thank you.”

    Titus shook his head. “Your father knew that as I did you would grow up into a great man.”

    “What is our next step?” I asked quietly.

    “We’ll need to wait a couple days for the search to die down then we are heading south.”

    “Why the south?” said the never silent Thomas.

    A wolfish grinned appeared on the face of Titus. “Because, when your father and mother were betrayed the army down south was surrounded and cut off. But some of them escaped and fled to the Ghost Forest. About fifty thousand live there now. The Troations don’t bother them because it would take too many soldiers to assault their fortress and because the soldiers never leave the region. But the Troations do have a force of one hundred thousand there just in case. So we would have to bypass them. Once we get there, you’ll be one step closer.”

    Last edited by AmericanTreeFrog; 12th September 2011 at 06:32 PM.
    League of Legends SN: ATF Crysis



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    Default Re: [SWC] Soul Wars

    me can has? o;

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    Default Re: [SWC] Soul Wars

    Introduction: The introduction, while not being utterly fantastic, was a good carry-on from your previous chapter. You see, the problem is that sometimes, people don't get a good introduction, as they skip the prologue - I know I've done that on various occasions, so usually a good idea to do with the first chapter is give us a fuller story, rather than leave a lot to our imaginations - of course, if you're considering this as the second chapter, then your introduction into this chapter is perfectly fine - we get the basis of the finishing line from your past chapter, which is actually quite a good technique - repetitiveness in moderation, i.e. what you've written here, gets the idea into their heads. It's not entirely necessary, but it is a good way to give an analytical reader the most important point in the opinion of the author - that's always a good thing.

    Try to avoid using things awkward to read, and check for typos, especially in the beginnings of your story. Of course, nothing was too jarring, and I'm certainly not trying to get a perfect story, but if a reader finds that something doesn't sound right (such as 'the words tried to sink in' - wherein 'sink in' doesn't sound right, and isn't actually something correct to use) they might go off the story a little bit, but nothing to worry about, just something to watch out for next time. Catch out typos and awkwardness before it bites you in the ass is my advice. Anyhoo, apart from the points I've raised, there's nothing else to say about this other than it was a good continuation to your past chapter - one quick note is to try and think up other ways to start up a chapter from your last one, as small varieties like this make reading more interesting. Just sayin', since you're planning on writing more chapters.

    Plot: OKAY, SUMMARY TIME FOR LIL' BUOYSEL: Main character has just had it revealed to him that he's the heir to some land - I didn't read the previous chapter very much, just skimmed over it - aaand he's looking for some kind of explanation. Soo, we have Brutus launching into a story. At this point, I got confused when the 'story' part started - since your main character is the one narrating up until then, so he's writing/speaking in first person... what's the deal, you ask? The thing is this: Brutus is the one telling the story as far as I could see, but there is initial conflict in that it seems that the main character could be telling it also. I suggest notifying us somehow that Brutus is definitely the one speaking, or the story seems disjointed and we don't know who's doing what/why.

    So, basically, Brutus tells us about a war, impending disaster, yada yada yada. However, I have a question, which simply is "What is the point?" I don't get why Brutus would get into a long-winded story about a war and things, but then again, it's not exactly clear what he's trying to explain. To me, it seems that he's not getting straight to the point, as he's describing every little detail, so he must be some kind of storyteller-type person, as he seems to be telling a fairly lengthy story. Again, if Brutus is telling the story, he definitely wouldn't remember the thing word-for-word, and the story doesn't seem like a diary entry... so we have an issue of how to place this story, exactly. It seems that Brutus's story took place quite a while ago, so of course he wouldn't have that good of a memory. Woo, a plot-hole.

    In telling a story, even if you're trying to have a load of grandeur going about it, you'd at least explain why people would do whatever, still being there years afterwards. Of course, there is the possibility that he simply never found out, but it's not what is implied by your story. In fact, I'd say that yeah, there's more to it, but why wouldn't Brutus explain it as he's going along - it'd save a lot of time, and his voice would probably get dry with saying everything he does. Of course, I could be getting it all wrong, but then again, you have explained quite a bit fairly poorly, so part of the story is generally confusing if you think about it from a realistic point of view. However, going past that, Brutus's story was actually very lively and I liked it a lot, and probably what I've pointed out did drag it down a little.

    ~quick random note from buoysel added in a rush: What @ Darumaka egg? Seems kinda random that the father would just leave behind an egg, and what was so special about Darumaka? Just something that I'd like an answer for, but additional chapters will do the job. Neato. Also, wtf @ Cottonee? I saw a Whimsicott in there, but that was about it. If I'm wrong at all about the lack of Cottonee in the story, please correct me, but reading through it, I really can't find anything significant about a Cottonee in the story. As far as I know, you can't capture a Pokémon if it doesn't really relate to the story.

    Grammar/spelling: A few issues, but I'll go over them quickly.

    -I corrected with a hint of sadness-
    This pops up at the very start of your story. Should have spaces in between the dashes and the words. Also, a quick note - if you don't have a dash button or whatever, you can use -- to rectify it. Optional, but just a note.

    sill = still
    Self-explanatory. Little typos like this popped up in several places in your story. Proof-read, or get someone else to if they're willing. [;

    Instinctively, my hand dropped to the sword belted at my waist.
    Yup, a comma belongs here. If you're starting the sentence with an adverb, please do use a comma after it. I think you got this right in other places, so I don't know what happened here.

    steel clad = steel-clad.
    thirty two = thirty-two.
    raven black = raven-black.
    Again, self-explanatory. We need hyphens, yo!

    To his right was his wife(,) Kayla, dressed
    The one in parenthesis is optional, but it is a must that you have the comma AFTER Kayla. I don't remember the reason why, but I had this noted so I thought I'd point it out. ;P

    Her bright green eyes le[a]d to sharp features and full lips.
    Omit the 'a'. 'Led' is the past version of 'lead', much to the confusion of many. If you're using 'lead', it makes the sentence seem like a tense switch, which is baaad!

    We were traveling along one of the main roads, so it was packed with all types of people as they either headed home or to the downtown market that thrived all hours of the night.
    The smooth stone buildings fashioned from the earth, stood gleaming in the many small lights that dotted the capital city.
    The infant was in a nursing cradle(,) asleep, ignorant to the chaos around him.
    Clauses, yo. Join them together with those commas. Dependents MUST be joined - 'ignorant to the chaos around him', 'stood gleaming ...' and 'so it was ...' are prime examples here. It grnnds mah gearz.
    Okay, just one more thing - addressing people! If addressing someone in speech, you put a comma before/after their name, depending on where the name of this thing is in the speech. ALL DONE.

    Detail/description: Solid, solid, solid. Of course, there is what I ranted about above - would Brutus really go into the bother of describing everything like you have. Of course, it's beautiful, and the imagery you've created is great - Kayla's slender, seductive appearance; the grandeur of the throne room; the absolute disaster on the battlefield... but is that really what he'd tell a story like? I know I wouldn't, and I know that any person I know wouldn't unless it was a tale written down. Perhaps this story would have been better written in third person, so it doesn't feel so personal to Brutus. Of course, there's downsides to either kind - if you're writing third person, you miss out a bit more on personality and general emotion, although you can create a good emotional effect; if you're writing first person, your story tends to have a bit less description and more personality and development.

    The question here is which one you should have used, and I'm still sticking with my opinion of third person. Choosing the right style for a story is important as anything else, as without it, you can create entirely the wrong feeling, and, of course, issues with reality. At any rate, you've got a good sense of any kind of description - again, smells and touch could come into play a bit more here - but visual description is spot-on. Good job here, definitely.

    Battle: To be honest, I really can't help you here. At all. This isn't even a regular Pokémon battle - this is really war, and I'm afraid that, as far as my expertise in battle goes (which isn't saying much), warfare is WAY out of my league, so again, I can't give you any advice on how to improve it. As far as I could see, though, it was quite a good battle/war-y thing. YEAH.

    Length: You're fine, d00d. Well above what you needed.

    Outcome: Darumaka is captured, but Cottonee is not captured. As I said, I couldn't see anything about a Cottonee in the chapter, except the Whimsicott, and you'd need more than just that to get off with a Medium capture. Sorry, but it's what I'm thinking at the moment. I have two solutions that could help you get Cottonee - one: you could try to give Cottonee some kind of role in the story, although that might be a bit too tough. Two: I'd like you to fix the MAJORITY of the grammatical mistakes I pointed out. You can improve upon the story in whichever way you see fit, but be sure to ask me for a regrade. [;

  7. #7
    noble roar Buoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: [SWC] Soul Wars

    Oh my, great job. You fixed everything and a little bit more for me, yo. THIS IS NOW A STORY I CAN ACTUALLY ENJOY WITHOUT GETTING SO CONFUSED. By the way, thanks for the explanations over PM so I understood a bit more, but the new layout of the chapter is great, AND COTTONEE IS NOW INVOLVED IN MORE WAYS. That makes me happy that you're not asking for a Pokémon that isn't there. >_>;

    Anyway, great job, and now this story is definitely a good one. Cottonee captured.

  8. #8
    I eat Frogs AmericanTreeFrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: [WWC] Soul Wars



    Chapter Two: The Path Forward

    By the time we had reached the top of the wooded hill I was sweating profusely. It was just after midday and already hot. Streaks of sunlight meandered through the leaves of the large trees, giving the forest a speckled pattern of the earthly browns, greens, and yellow. The shade from the woods helped to lower the temperature, but it could only do so much during the hottest days of the year. To make things worse, I had to send out my Darumaka and Growlithe. Fire types loved the heat, and their body temperature had soared so much that I had literally felt their burning presence within me. Since I had let them out, both had been having great fun running around the forest playing with one another. Every few minutes they would trade a fireball, but that was the extent of their Pokemon attacks. Both were too young to know many moves, and since I was on the run I didn’t have the time to properly train them. I had only just learned to create balls of flame. Soul bonding was easy, but actually using the bond was a lot harder than I originally thought.

    Luckily for me, I didn’t need to use my newfound powers to stop any of our pursuers. Once we had fled from the town of Silversprings, we hadn’t seen anymore soldiers, but Brutus assured me that his Ground Pokemon could sense them, and that he was using his Pokemon to hide our presence. Even though Brutus was a strong earth crafter, he cautioned that another knight equally as powerful could be on our trail and could mask his own presence and detect ours if he had a Lord’s skill. To solve this problem, he had purchased curved yew bows for myself and Thomas. He had bought a more powerful recurve with a one hundred and forty draw on it for himself. Our bows could punch through basic leather armor or mail armor with a direct shot, but his could shred plate mail as if it was butter.

    As for blades, Thomas and I had been practicing with those since we were old enough to walk. I couldn’t understand why uncle Brutus - I knew Brutus wasn’t related by blood, but he was the closest thing I had to father - would always lead us in blade training for two hours everyday, but that was before the events had caused us to flee. Now that I knew he was of high blood it made sense that he was preparing me for the day when I would lead the revolution to retake control of the kingdom. He could only guess what my actions would be when I got older, but if I was like my father as much as he said I was, it wouldn’t be too much beyond the truth to get me motivated. The truth plus the attack by the Riven troops had provided all the motivation I needed.

    I had the blade strapped across my back, while the yew bow was in my hands, an arrow nocked to its line string. My two young Pokemon were running around twenty yards to the right. I was point; Thomas was covering the left; Brutus - or Titus if I used his real name - the right; and Robin was bringing up the rear. We didn’t want to be spotted, but the Pokemon were fine because people would assume them to be wild. Once we passed this hill we would come to the small town of Sanderm, a village of around two hundred people known for its Sandile population. Brutus - or Titus, I had to keep reminding myself - knew a former royal guard who had retired there. We were running low on supplies and food, but we couldn’t purchase them without being seen. So, the plan was for Thomas to enter the village, find the soldier, and hammer out the details of the trade. Beyond the food, we needed arrows, replacement bows and strings, blankets, and an assortment of other materials. Our eventual plan was to purchase a trade wagon and team to use that to travel, but buying one this close to Riven would surely reach the ears of Arkus, Lord of Riven. Once we made it out of Riven and into the Dwelia we would buy the wagon, but for now, we would have to walk there.

    A sound directly ahead of me jolted me from my thoughts. I crouched to one knee and silently drew the bow to ear, pointing right at the spot I heard the sound from. I was about to release the wooden shaft when I felt a large hand on my shoulder. Titus had crept forward and was now kneeling next to me. “Cease, it’s only a wild boar,” he whispered softly.

    “We should kill and quarter it,” I replied, but letting go of the draw.

    Titus shook his head. “We don’t have the time, and a full grown boar is hard to kill without a direct shot to the heart,” he said. “One could easily maim or kill one of us with its tusks.”

    I felt a brief moment of disappointment when I realized what he said was true. I had to remember that because we were on the run, I couldn’t do certain things as I would have before.

    “Call Gruh and Joye,” he said, “we’re only a hour beyond the outskirts of Sanderm and I don’t want the two attracting the attention of the Sandile.”

    I felt him, rather than hear, leave a moment later as he returned to his position. Once he was gone, I closed my eyes and concentrated on the bonds I shared with my two Pokemon. I felt the bonds as two fiery points off to me right. Once I had actively opened the bond, I could feel their emotion of elation as they scampered through the woods. I felt a smile spring to my face at the antics of the young Pokemon. <Come,> I mentally thought.

    <Master!> came the reply not a moment later.

    Gruh came charging through the underbrush first, his pink tongue hanging out his mouth in pure joy. The orange puppy immediately began to lick my face. “Hey, Gruh,” I said aloud to the Growlithe. Growlithe looked like a cross between a dog and a tiger. It had the form of a dog, but had the coloring of a tiger, right down to the black strips.

    That was when my next Pokemon, Darumaka, appeared. Darumaka was what I would call a small jumble of joy. She was a round ball of red fur with short arms and legs. She was about the size of a Togepi, but instead of a Normal type, she was a Fire type.

    I held a special connection with both of my Pokemon. Gruh was my very first Pokemon, I had no idea that I would be able to Soul Bond until I had met with him. Joye also held a connection because she was a gift from my late father, king Logan Attis. He had gave the Pokemon, who was an egg, to Titus. I had never knew either of my parents, but this was the only thing I had from my father. It was a final gift to me as a baby before he perished in the battle for the capital city, which had burned to the ground and only a budding forest remained. My mother’s gift had been one of life. With Titus as her bodyguard, she had fled the city just before it was overwhelmed. But during the escape she was forced to provide a cover for Titus and myself. She had died while Titus fled with me in his arms.

    Since then, I had been raised by Titus and his wife Robin, with their son Thomas as my friend. It was only because Lord Arkus that I had found of my heritage so soon. After escaping the attack by the Lord’s men, we had fled to the southern wilds. Titus said that a remnant of the Gramoen army now lived in the Ghost forest, and if we reached them I would have a standing army in which I could retake the Kingdom and force the Troations out.

    But getting there was no easy feat. Not only was the forest located three hundred miles south, we had to dodge the pursuers on our tail, while evading the roving bands of soldiers ahead of us. We couldn’t be sure if the Troations knew where we were heading, but we had to act as if they did. And they meant being very careful. In the past week we had traveled about sixty miles, so we were just under a quarter of the way there.

    Getting past the town of Sanderm undetected was key. If we were spotted at this point in our travel we would be in big trouble. Obviously getting spotted was bad, but if we were seen here it would be double so because a strike force of one hundred Flying Knights billeted with a fort only twenty miles to the west. Twenty miles on foot was a day of travel, for Knights of the Flying type it was only thirty minutes away by air. You couldn’t get very far in that amount of time, even on horses.

    I touched the black button nose of Gruh and felt him inside me instantly. I placed a finger on the center marking of Darumaka and she joined him a second later. Both Pokemon were a tad tuckered out from playing, and promptly went to sleep, their fire souls temporary muted once they were asleep. I loved both to death, but the heat sometimes flustered me. Titus assured me that it wouldn’t be as uncomfortable as I grew accustomed to them, but I couldn’t wait for that to happen.

    In fifteen minutes we reached the edge of the forest and Sanderm came into view. Because the village was so small and so many Pokemon lurked outside, all the inhabitants lived inside a single building. Normally if a village was hounded by Pokemon, either a palisade was built around the perimeter, or a powerful Soul user could ward the Pokemon off. Being so small, Sanderm didn’t have the resources to build a wall. And by that same token they couldn’t afford to hire a Crafter of skill, and any person who showed talent at Crafting often left for a better job elsewhere.

    That left the inhabitants the one choice of living in one large structure. Having to provide enough room for two hundred plus people meant a building as large as most Lords. Built from wood, the front was about one hundred feet long, with two large double doors right in the center. Windows weren’t a good defense against an angry Pokemon, so none were present on the first floor. The second floor held a window approximately ever six feet, which was about one per bedroom. Judging from the smoking coming from the foundation, one could see the kitchen was located underground with the store rooms, and that wasn’t a bad idea either. It tended to be cooler than the rest of home and allowed for more expansion underground.

    The earth around the building was cleared for about fifty yards in every direction, and long grass grew in the places of former trees and growth. To the left of Sanderm was a long stretch of fertilized earth, that was where the people would grow the crops they couldn’t purchase at a nearby city. And on the opposite side of that was a series of dirt mounds. Immediately I could tell that was where the wild Sandile and its evolutions nested. Unlike their alligator and crocodile cousins, who spent a fair amount of time in water as they did ashore, Sandile were strictly ground Pokemon who never went into water unless it was for a very good reason. To escape the water, the Pokemon had become burrowers, digging large underground complexes.

    To me, I found the relationship between the humans and Pokemon fascinating. Confrontations could easily be avoided if either of the species just simply moved, but neither did and both remained weary of each other.

    “Sheathe your weapons, and don’t worry about the Pokemon,” Titus said, coming up behind me with Robin and Thomas. I nodded at him and traded a glance with Thomas, who simply rolled his eyes. Thomas was six-two, two-sixty, and large. When Thomas walked into a room, people noticed, even at eighteen. He looked exactly like his father, except for the graying hair and scars.

    I sighed but did as he said. I wrapped the bow in an oiled sheep skin, and placed a cap on my quiver, which would protect the fletchings from moisture. I heard Robin chuckle from behind when Thomas rolled his eyes. Unlike her husband and son, who were rather large in size, she was a slim woman. Also unlike the males in the family, she had a pair of bright blue eyes that sparked when she laughed. Like her family, she did have the brown hair. Thomas also happened to get his looks from his mother instead of his father. Titus, while not ugly wasn’t the best looking man around, the scar running along the right of his face might be part of that.

    At a glance, one could tell those three were related. But me, I was somebody else entirely not related. I had raven-black hair that fell to my shoulders, and emerald-green eyes. I was about two inches shorter than Thomas and weighed a good hundred pounds lighter. Where Thomas was large and strong, I was lithe and quick. My facial features could best be described as rugged, but not ugly. Robin told me that I got my build, hair, and eyes from my mother, but my looks from my father. But since all images of the couple had been wiped from any public statue, I could only take her word for it.

    With our weapons stowed, but visible, we started down the beaten path that led to the doors of Sanderm. A couple Sandile were lounging by the path, but scampered off as we approached. Pokemon wouldn’t usually pick on a group of human unless they had a specific reason to.

    When we reached the large wooden doors Titus stepped forward and rapped against the door with the hilt of his sword. A piece of steel moved away from the door to reveal a slit that showed a pair of hazel eyes. The eyes darted back and forth before the person slid the steel back into place. A moment after he did so, the doors creaked opened wide.

    Once the doors had opened fully, we walked into the area that served as a foyer or greeting hall. The space could have easily fit fifty standing people. It was built in a circular fashion with three different exits. The floor was simple stone while the walls were of wood. Small torches dotted the walls to provide light since there was no windows. Two people were there to greet us, one old and the other young The young one just slightly older than myself and Thomas. The old man was stooped with age and dressed in a brown robe with a yellow waist cord. The elderly man flashed us a gaped smile and raised a weathered hand in greeting.

    “Welcome, travelers. I’m Benedict, from the Totiar monastery just south of here. I’m the headmaster of our small parish.” He indicated the young man next to us. “This is my Grandson, Julius.”

    Unlike his grandfather, Julius wasn’t that all pleased to see us. He scowled at us, but still dipped his head in greeting.

    “Grace and peace be upon you.” Titus returned the greeting. “My name is Titus. This is my wife, Robin; Thomas, our son; and our nephew, Septimus. We’re travelers heading south, we just stopped by to say hello to an old friend of mine,” Titus said, indicating each of us in turn.

    “Who would that be? Perhaps I could tell you where he is.”

    “Certainly, his name is Orthas.”

    “Ah, yes. I know of the man, a fine gentleman if you were to ask me. Come this way, he is in the common area. You are also in good luck because lunch will be served in the great hall shortly. You are welcome to join us if you so desire.”

    “Your hospitality is appreciated,” Titus replied.

    Benedict waved off the thanks. “Please, we welcome all guests. Think nothing of it. Follow me and I’ll take you to Orthas.” Benedict made for the easternmost tunnel and followed the lights.

    To my surprise, the building was well lit with candles and torches. I sort of expected it to be dark in areas not containing people, but everything was easily visible with all the available light. And what I thought to be tunnel was, in fact, a rather large hallway, with open doors to either side. Each room seemed to be dedicated to one task and was filled people.

    Benedict noticed my curiosity and smiled. “Ah, the bottom floor we use for casual activities and our daily tasks. Below us are the storerooms, kitchens, and our well. The second floor is strictly sleeping quarters.”

    “Why are all these people out? Shouldn’t they be tending to your crops?” Thomas queried.

    “Normally, yes. But we are experiencing a heat wave and working in the fields in this heat isn’t productive in the slightest. Any work that needed done outside we completed this morning. The rest of the day will be devoted to indoor tasks.”

    Understanding dawned on Thomas. “Oh. We come from the north where it’s usually cooler.”

    Benedict folded his hands into his large sleeves. “Yes, I could tell by your accents. It often gets hot here because we live right of the gorge. The Totiar mountain range does nothing but channel the hot winds directly to us. You eventually grow accustomed to it.” The monk shrugged nonchalantly.

    “I see, it’s the inverse for us since we live near the northern ocean. The cooler air often creates for a wet, but mild climate.”

    “Exactly!” The monk turned his head to look at Brutus. “You have a smart one there. Anyway, here we are.”

    The room was about the size of our old home, with a large hearth in the center and people all around. Close to seventy people were inside the room doing a variety of chores. Some were sewing, others carving wood, and a myriad of other things.

    “You’ll have to excuse me,” Benedict said, giving us a curt bow. “Orthas is in the corner over there, and I must be off to other business.”

    “Many thanks,” Robin said.

    When the duo left, Brutus guided use to the corner Benedict had pointed out. The room was big and cluttered, so it took us about a minute to reach the corner. Since only Robin and Titus knew what Orthas looked like, Thomas and I couldn’t help in the slightest. Brutus pointed out a large man sitting in corner on a bench carving a toy horse.

    When I saw the man I couldn’t help but gap at the sheer size of him. I had thought Thomas and Titus to be large, but this guy was in a category by himself. I judged him to be about seven-one and weighing about two-sixty. He had blond hair cropped short and a small goatee. Corded muscle bulged from his arms and legs as the man worked over the toy rocking horse. He was almost done and was working on the detail of the head and mane when we walked over.

    Titus walked forward and seized the man by the shoulder, hauling him up. “Orthas, well, aren’t you a sight for old eyes.”

    At first I thought the man was going to punch Titus, but recognition flared in his crystal blue eyes. He reached a hand out to shake Titus’s. “I’ll be damned,” he about roared. “I thought you had been dead for near twenty years now.”

    Titus returned the shake vigorously. “I almost did all those years ago. Let’s catch up over lunch, we’ve been invited. But first, I would like to show you some people.” Titus led the towering man over to us. “You remember my wife, Robin.”

    Robin tried to give a small curtsey, but was cut off when Orthas lifted her up and squeezed her to his chest in a hug. “Fine as ever, Robin,” he bellowed.

    To my astonishment she giggled. “Nice to see you too Orthas. Mind putting me back down?”

    “Of course.” He placed her gently down and turned to stare at myself and Thomas, his thick arms crossed across his barrel chest. “And these two luggers must be your slaves.”

    Titus laughed. “The one on the left is my son Thomas. The other...”

    He was cut off as a loud bell rang throughout the complex. “It can wait,” Orthas started, “that is the lunch bell. Come, I’ll show you to the great hall.” He winked at Titus. “I even have a surprise to show you.”

    Titus gave him a friendly slap on the back. “I can’t wait, lead the way.”

    We soon found ourselves following the rest of the people. Instead of leaving through the door we came in, we went out a door that was on the south side of the building. The hallway was crowded with all the people heading to the great hall, but it was orderly enough.

    In a short time we reached the dining area. To my surprise, it was a giant room that ran along the entire southern half of the building. Two long tables ran the length of the room, but there was more than enough room as the table didn’t take up that much space. A long line of fireplaces ran along one wall, and about half were lit and tended to by women and older children. Also by the fireplaces was a large staircase that led underground, no doubt an access point to the kitchen judging by the amount of people exiting it with pots and pans in their hands.

    After almost everyone had found a seat at the tables, I found the room could have easily seated five hundred, with more standing space.

    “Wow,” Thomas whispered aside to Robin, “they made this place big.”

    “They have to, for natural growth and incase a natural disaster strikes. It’s better to have the room and not need it, than need it and not have it.”

    We then resorted to small talk while we waited for the meal to be portioned and passed out to everyone in the hall. Time ticked along slowly until Orthas suddenly waved at someone. I figured he was just waving a greeting, but a moment later a couple sat next to us. One was a petite woman, and I really mean petite. She was about five-two, slim, weighing about one-o-five if I guessed right. She had long brown hair and delicate features. She was wearing a simple brown dress and an apron. The other person was a teenager, but younger than myself and Thomas. The young man was the splitting image of Orthas, only about five inches shorter, sixty pounds lighter, no facial hair, and hair pulled into a small ponytail. He looked like a male version of the woman sitting next to him, same facial features, only different body size.

    Orthas smiled broadly. “I would like to introduce you to my lovely wife Amelia, and our son Raphael.” Although I could see this coming, I felt myself doing a double take. Orthas and Amelia were almost polar opposites in terms of size. It made a striking comparison. Raphael seemed to be a blend of the two, taking their best qualities.

    “Orthas,” Titus started, “I can honestly say I never expected you to marry. Hell, in our army days you were called the Black Blade, your presence alone was enough to inspire trepidation on our enemies.”

    Orthas chucked and Amelia smiled. “Ah yes, but that was long ago and I was but a young man. Things changed after that battle.” Orthas’s eyes became hooded.

    A shadow likewise fell over the eyes of Titus and Robin. Everyone knew what battle he meant, it was never spoken of in polite company. “Yes, things have changed,” Titus said darkly. He brightened a moment later. “But let’s leave dark history where it belongs, in the past. I’m glad to see you so happy.”

    Orthas smiled broadly and hugged his wife. “As am I. So, what are you doing here?”

    Titus lowered his voice and gave a quick look around to make sure nobody was listening in. “I have a situation.” In hushed tones, Titus proceeded to explain the events of the past week in a concise, but to the point manner.

    “So, you want me to help you?” Orthas asked quietly.

    “Of course not, we just need some supplies. I’m not going to ask you to place yourself in harms way over such a toxic issue.”

    “Thanks, I wouldn’t want to deny the help to a friend. What do you need?”

    Titus slid a parchment over to him with the supplies we needed written on it. “How long do you think it will take?”

    “I produce most of the weaponry myself, so that will be easy to get. The rest will take a hour or two to round up.”

    Orthas nodded and passed the list to Amelia, who gave it a once over before pocketing it. Robin then slid over a pouch containing some coins.

    Orthas raised an eyebrow. “That’s more than needed, especially since I’m not letting you pay for the weapons.”

    “You damn well are. This is your way of life, I’m not going to allow you to give us a break over this. Especially because you might get in trouble for helping us,” Titus responded fiercely.

    “Very well.” A serving girl walked over, bowls of soup in her hands. “We can talk later, let’s eat,” Orthas replied, taking the bowls and passing them out.

    The soup was a vegetable medley, but delicious, and was quickly devoured by those at the table. Most people took seconds, so it was about twenty minutes before the great hall started to clear out.

    We were going to go sit with Amelia and Raphael while Orthas collected our items, but before we could do so, Benedict approached Titus and asked if he could speak to us for a moment. Titus invited me along and we followed the leader to his quarters on the second floor. His quarters were very modest, a simple cot at the back of the room, a small desk, and a bookcase filled with tomes.

    Benedict sat behind the desk and steeped his hands in front of him. “I’m sorry you’ll have to stand, but there isn’t much room and I refuse to get a bigger place.”

    We both gave a slight bow to the monk and Titus said, “It’s no problem. How can we be of assistance?”

    “Right to the point I see. You may have noticed all the Sandile encamped outside our village?” He waited for us to nod before continuing. “I have sensed that your group has considerable Crafting ability, some more than others.” He looked pointedly at me when he said that. “What I would ask is that you two convince the Sandile to leave. There is a suitable breeding sight only a mile from here that would be more suited to both our needs.”

    Titus frowned. “That is a hard task, but one I think I can handle readily enough.”

    Benedict bowed deeply. “I would be most thankful. Please return to me when the task is completed.”

    Taking that as our cue to leave, we did just that. “What’s our plan?” I questioned Titus on the way outside.

    “You are going to do nothing. You don’t have any of the Earth types, so you are vastly limited in how you can help. However, there is one thing I think you can help with, but first I need you to get Thomas for me.”

    I got Thomas and we found Titus waiting outside the front door of Sanderm. “Okay, our goal is simple: guide the Ground Pokemon away from here. Thomas, you will use your Rock Pokemon to create a rock barrier beneath our feet to stop any of the Pokemon from coming up beneath us. Septimus, you’ll create a wall of fire between us and them on the surface.”

    I inhaled sharply at his request, but said I would do the best I can. With our somewhat shoddy plan made up, we headed for the Sandile nest. Thomas and Titus stopped about thirty feet away from the main hole heading underground, and kneeled to the earth. Both placed their palms against the ground and closed their eyes in concentration. I stood about ten feet behind them and knelt to the ground also, my legs crossed.

    I hadn’t much time to practice my Crafting, but I did know the mechanics behind it. While I could always feel the presences of Joye and Gruh, I had learned to ‘tune’ them out, so that I didn’t hear their thoughts or feel their emotions all the time. But in order to do what Titus wished, I had to open those bonds fully. With a quick mental thought, I was open and felt everything rush in. Immediately my human vision faded, and was replaced by that of my Pokemon. Gruh had better eyesight, so I chose to see things through his viewpoint.

    Soon as I did so, it was like I was in a whole new world. I could hear sounds of people talking from inside the building; I could see individual bugs crawling throughout the brush, and I could smell the rich earth. But one of the most astonishing features was that I could see body heat. For instance, both Titus and Thomas had a bright red glow around their outlines, I could see the heat emanating from their body. But I could also see the Sandile start to emerge from the dens. With the Sandile starting to come out, I knew my time was short, and I had to work fast. Gruh gave me a nudge that told me he was ready to assist in the plan, Joye was excited that we were going to be doing something.

    Merging my senses and thoughts with my Pokemon was relatively easy, channeling their powers to Craft would be the difficult part. I closed me eyes and tried to tune out as much of the sensory information as I could. Next I slowed my breathing and concentrated on Joye and Gruh. I felt their fiery souls and beckoned them to join me. Both did so eagerly and I quickly felt my body heat build up. With that part done, I forced all the energy I was feeling to my hands. Little by little, I forced as much of the heat into my palms as possible until I felt sweat break out on my brow. I now knew I had done as much as I was physically able, anymore and I would pass out.

    Keeping my concentration on the containment of the heat in my hands, I slowly opened my eyes and saw that my hands were wreathed in red flame. It licked at my hands but caused no damage. I could see Titus using his Pokemon to battle the Krookodile alpha, and Thomas using his Rock Pokemon to repel the burrowers. But my concern was focused on the three Sandile scuttling towards us as fast as their lithe limbs could carry them.

    Time was running short, I had to act. I visualized what I wanted the fire to do and let go of my control. I felt a rushing sensation that was quickly followed by a cooling feeling. The fire arched from my hands and encircled the area around us in a wall of flame. Despite letting go of most of my control, I had to keep focused to make sure the fire didn’t burn the brush around Sanderm, and to make sure that I kept the heat up around the areas the Sandile were probing. Sandile were Ground Pokemon and therefore resistant to fire, but that didn’t mean they were immune to it. If I projected a strong barrier to them, they would be unable to pass.

    With my wall successfully up, I felt the joy pour off my two Pokemon. It was the first time I had Crafted something as complex as a wall of flame. Now, I just had to wait for Titus to win the battle. But the longer I had to hold up the wall, the more energy I had to draw from Gruh and Joye, and they would eventually tire and I wouldn’t be able to call on them. Luckily for me, Titus defeated the Krookodile in only a few minutes. Once he had done so, he simply showed the Sandile their new home and asked them to leave. Because Titus had defeated the alpha male, the male ordered his clan to obey.

    Once they had left the area I was able to let the flames die down. Immediately I felt how sluggish and tired my muscles were from the exertion, both Gruh and Joye were grateful as well, and the duo promptly drifted off to sleep, invoking my jealously. The brush were my fire was was scorched black, but the rest remained perfectly fine. Together, the three of us walked back to the doors of Sanderm, where we found Benedict waiting for us.

    “Impressive show of Crafting.” He held up his hands to forestall our thanks. “You’re fine Titus, but the two lads are tired and must rest. My grandson will show them to our guest quarters, but I would like to speak with you once more.”

    Thomas had more experience with Crafting than I did, but he had to hold off more Pokemon than I, so he was equally tired. I didn’t pay any attention to our destination and was asleep as soon as my head hit the cot.

    Robin woke me up sometime later saying it was time to leave. I was still slightly exhausted, but had enough energy to make it through the day. To my dismay, even though I knew it was coming, I found that my pack of fifteen pounds had grew to about thirty-five. Titus and Robin had neatly packed everything, so I just hefted it on my shoulders and followed everyone to the exit. Orthas and his family accompanied us to the door.

    We had just said our good-byes and were making ready to leave when a young boy came running into the foyer saying that some armed soldiers on horseback were heading here. Titus narrowed his eyes and walked outside into the sun. He returned only a few seconds later, concern etched on his features. “Knights,” he said bitterly. “About twenty men-at-arms and five knights. I think Knights-Terra and Ferrous.” Knights-Terra were those proficient in Rock and Ground, while Ferrous used Steel.

    “They must be looking for us,” Robin added. “Is there another way out?” she addressed Orthas.

    “There is a back door, but I would be willing to bet that is being watched.”

    “No need to worry, I have a solution,” Benedict said, shuffling out of a hallway and heading towards us.

    Titus shook his head. “This our fight, I will not involve the people of Sanderm.”

    Benedict waved off the objections. “There is an additional exit in the kitchens that leads to the latrine in the back. It’s away from the back door and not as apparent. I doubt the soldiers will know of it. Take that exit and follow the path to my monastery, you will receive aid there.”

    “I don’t mean to sound ungrateful,” Titus started, “but why help us?”

    “Because you have helped us, and I know of your quest. My brethren will help.” Benedict turned to Orthas. “While they leave, I want you to follow me outside. They will be less willing to enter so quickly and will no doubt call any rovers from the woods to come to them in case of a confrontation with you.”

    “Wow,” Orthas said, “you’re crafty for a man of your age.”

    “I wasn’t always old,” the monk huffed. “Now hurry up and go.”

    “One more thing,” Orthas said to us. “Take my son Raphael with you. He is anxious to get out of here, and is handy in a fight. You’ll find him to be an excellent Wind and Ice Crafter.” He held up a calloused hand at his son. “Go. I know you want to.” Amelia produced a pack and handed it to her son. Raphael hugged his parents, tears in his eyes.

    Julius came up a moment later and indicated for us to follow him. In a short amount of time we were back in the noisy and colorful forest. “Thanks, Julius,” I said to the young man, as we entered the forest.

    “God speed.” Was all he said before heading back into the tunnel that ran beneath Sanderm.

    “Come, the soldiers should only be distracted for about twenty minutes before they start their search for us,” Titus command, setting off for the south, where the monastery was.

    “Do you think my parents will be okay?” Raphael asked, concerned.

    Titus chucked quietly. “Orthas was called the Black Blade for a reason, those knights will know who he is as soon as they lay eyes on him. Sanderm will be fine under his watch.” That quieted the young teenager and we continued on in silence.

    No words were spoken until we reached Totiar mountain three hours later. By then the sun was beginning it’s fall from the sky, and a summer storm was forming over the mountain.

    “Damn it,” Titus growled. “Those damned Ice Pokemon are creating an ice storm.”

    “What are those?” I asked, looking at the angry, dark clouds forming over the mountain peak.

    “Think of it like a flash blizzard with white lightening and lots of snow and hail.”

    “Sounds pleasant,” Thomas said sarcastically.

    “We best be reaching the monastery then,” Robin stated. “It is only two hours from this spot.”

    “Only,” Thomas said.

    Totiar was a large mountain range that run across the southern half of Riven and most of Dwelia. Totiar itself was a tall mountain, so much so that even though it was summer the top half was covered in snow, and would remain so year round. Sadly, the monastery was located there. Like the rest of the region, the bottom half was covered in a large forest, and we managed to climb this part of the mountain easily enough. But the snowy half was a place full of ravines and small crevasses, with only a smattering of wooded areas.

    The problem was that by the time we reached the upper half, the ice storm had descended with full fury upon the area. From below it looked like a shaw of dark clouds was wrapped around the mountain. But inside the storm, it was like a full blown blizzard. With copious amounts of snow falling, we had been forced to connect to each other with rope. Without being tethered together we would have been separated within minutes. As it was, we could only see a few feet in front of us. To help with our problems, Titus had asked me to move forward and Craft some light using Fire energy.

    I was the only one who possessed any Fire Crafting, so I was the obvious person for the point position. Plus, by being in the front I would take the brunt of the storm, and my Pokemon would keep me warm in the coldest weather. But half an hour into the storm we had to call it quits and wait out the storm, this was after nearly falling off a cliff twice and running into an angry Beartic who was eating a deer carcass.

    Thankfully, caves were aplenty and we soon found one big enough for us and our equipment. But as the others wearily shrugged off their gear and huddled under some blankets, Titus came up to me.

    “You’re doing good, Septimus. But I need you to go back out there and gather some wood for a fire. You can’t project enough heat for us.”

    “Won’t a fire consume all the oxygen in here though?”

    “Normally yes, but I spotted a shaft leading up and out, it’s just enough room for us to build a small fire without risk of suffocation.”

    I sighed. “Fine, but how am I going to find some firewood in this mess?”

    “There is a small grove of trees twenty yards to the right.”

    “How did you see that?”

    “Robin is a Flora Crafter, she could sense them.”

    “Fine, I’ll be back in a few minutes.”

    Titus gave me a pat on the back. “Be careful.”

    I covered my head with my fur cap, and walked back out into the storm. I once again called upon Gruh and Darumaka and was filled with their comfortable heat. Sure enough, I found the trees exactly where Titus said they would be. I quickly started to fill my arms with wood when a snapping branch above alerted me. I dropped the wood and rolled to the side as I caught an object out of the corner of my eye come hurling past. I rolled to my feet and reached for my sword by instinct. When my hands came away empty I remembered that I had left the sword back in the cave. A blade and arrows would be next to useless in this weather. I scanned the ground around me and picked up a long shaft of wood, it wasn’t much, but it would work. As I looked for my assailant, my eyes caught on a dark object. At first I thought it was nothing, but when it moved, I felt a small tug in my soul.

    I had felt such a tug before, when I met Gruh and we soul bonded. The Pokemon in front of me was a dark color, not quite a black, but a mixture of black and a dark blue. It was bipedal with two arms, and from its hands sprang sharp claws. When I saw the feathers on its head I knew what Pokemon I was facing, a Sneasal.

    Sneasal were a Dark and Ice type that were known for its speed and attack strength. And this one wanted to fight. It had felt the same tug I had, otherwise it would not have attacked. This Pokemon was to be mine, I could feel.

    I lifted an arm in the direction of Sneasal and said, “Gruh, come forth.” I felt a sensation move up my arm and Growlithe sprang forward from my palm, fangs bared at the Pokemon. Gruh crouched in the snow and growled at the Ice type. Sneasal cocked its head at my Pokemon and smiled darkly. I felt a sinking feeling that this was going to be a tough fight.

    Gruh was a young Pokemon and didn’t know that many moves, I could only hope that this Sneasal was in the same range as Gruh. Gruh had Bite, Ember, Roar, Odor Sleuth, Helping Hand and Flame Wheel at his disposal. Not much variation, but it was all I had. And if it got that bad, I could call out Darumaka as backup.

    “Alright, Gruh, let’s try an Ember attack on Sneasal!” Growlithe whipped his head and spat out three small balls of fire, each no bigger than a block of cheese, at Sneasal.

    Sneasal wasted no time in moving. The Pokemon crouched slightly and moved faster than my eye could detect. I didn’t see the Pokemon, but I saw a flurry of snowflakes whiz about as Sneasal passed through the area. This was a smart Pokemon, it had managed to dodge the attack while raising its speed at the same time. This result was that the Ember harmlessly fizzled out in the snow. My mind raced quickly for my next move, but I wasn’t fast enough because I saw Sneasal zoom by and swipe three times at Gruh’s nose with his claws. Growlithe yelped in pain and backed up, pawing at his nose.

    I think I had a plan. Normally a Roar attack would cause a Pokemon to flee with fear, but in some cases during a battle, the opposing Pokemon would flinch momentarily. It wasn’t much, but its speed coupled with the snow made for an intense battle and I needed to get momentum on my side.

    “Gruh, try and use your Roar attack, and if Sneasal stops, fire at it with another Ember attack.” Gruh nodded once and planted his paws firmly in the snow. He inhaled a big gulp of air through his nose, bared his fangs, and roared as loudly as he could. It sounded something between a loud bark and a growl. The sound caused snow that had built up in the trees to come crashing down. I was hit by a large batch of the white powder, but Growlithe was lucky as none fell on him. Sneasal must have been surprised by the move because it did flinch for just a second, but the single moment in time allowed Gruh’s Ember attack to hit Sneasal center-mass.

    “Excellent strike, Gruh. Now hit it with your Flame Wheel!” The orange fur of Growlithe was a stark contrast with the white, but now his body became wreathed in a coat of flame. My Pokemon challenged the foe with a yowl and leapt forward through the snow, the heat easily melting the fluffy stuff. Sneasal looked up in alarm as Gruh came barreling towards it. I expected Sneasal to try and dodge, but it went beyond that. Sneasal swiped a claw forward and a small gust of wind shot forward at Growlithe. It was an Ice type, not a Flying type, so I was curious to what it had been trying to do, but that was when I saw small ice crystals forming on the legs of Growlithe. Furthermore, the Icy Wind caused the Flame Wheel to lose heat and lower the power.

    With Gruh’s speed lowered, the Sneasal leapt lazily over the attack smirking at my Pokemon. I saw an opportunity and seized it. “Ember, quick!” Growlithe turned his head and fired another blast of fire at Sneasal as the Pokemon passed overhead.

    Sneasal landed in the snow and lay there breathing hard. “Try and use your Odor Sleuth now.” Odor Sleuth was usually used to detect a Pokemon when it tried to use evasion moves. In a normal battle it would be useless unless a Pokemon used such moves, but because the weather was so intense, the heightened smell would help Growlithe.

    As Growlithe tried to discern the scent of Sneasal readily, the wild Pokemon leapt up from the snow, anger in its eyes. With a snarl, it leapt forward and slashed at the flank of Growlithe with its claws. A sharp pain through my bond with Gruh alerted to me that the fact that the attack had drawn blood. I saw the snow around Sneasal fly up as the Pokemon skidded to a halt and come around for another hit. I had to stop the attack. “Turn and use Bite on his claws!”

    Only by my sharp command did Gruh manage to turn his head in time to bring his fangs down on the claws of Sneasal. The dual Pokemon hissed in pain at the contact, but brought his other claws up to strike Gruh with those. “Now! Flame Wheel!”

    Sneasal may have been fast, but summoning the flame was like breathing, and before Sneasal’s attack could hit, both Pokemon were enveloped by the flame. When the fire died down, I saw that Sneasal was leaning against one knee, momentarily stunned by the sudden onslaught. I knew I had to take this opportunity to capture Sneasal.

    I closed my eyes and concentrated on the soul of Sneasal. When I detected it with my own, I seized it. When my soul connected with Sneasal’s, I felt everything the Pokemon was feeling, including the pain from the battle. I felt the surprise of Sneasal when it felt my touch, and that surprise was replaced by determination a moment later. And so started a game of tug and war. Whoever exerted the most force would succeed. If I won, Sneasal would be mine. If not, the battle would commence once more. It was a few tense moments, but slowly, I felt the resistance melt away. As the last of the resistance faded away, I pulled and felt Sneasal enter me.

    With Sneasal captured I felt elation. This was the first Pokemon I captured through battling! And it was an Ice type no less! But that emotion faded a second later as weariness set in from the battle. I had been feeling Gruh’s pain before, but now I felt Sneasal’s on top of it. The pain forced me to my knees as I tried to suck air into my lungs. The pain didn’t pass, but I steeled my resolve, rose to my feet and walked over to the wood I had collected. I picked it up and trudged back to the cave, about ready to drop and sleep for a week.

    Although the cave was only twenty yards away, it felt like it was a mile, and when I reached it I was bone tired. Titus had placed a thick coat over the mouth, so I flung it open and walked in. The four were sitting there talking, but looked up when I walked in.

    “Here’s the wood, I’m going to sleep now.” I welcomed the blackness that followed a second later.
    League of Legends SN: ATF Crysis



  9. #9
    Senile EmBreon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soul Wars

    I got this. @_@

    Gimme a few days.

    Maybe seven.

    But probably one.

    *drags this story into her closet*

    urpg

  10. #10
    Senile EmBreon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Soul Wars

    Waaaah, why you wait so long....

    Story: This was really cool, and pretty unique. :O I liked your setting and adventure-esque mood that you crafted. Things felt "supernaturally realistic", I would say. As in - while this is obviously a fantasy world - there were plausible conflicts such as fatigue and stormy weather. It felt as though your characters truly were in danger at times, and not simply immune to the world and all of its hardships. I almost felt like I was playing an RPG while reading this, especially after receiving the side-quest to go rid the town of the Sandile infestation. Hah. You got some nice ideas here that don't get tossed around too often. So keep that up. :)

    Something to keep in mind when organizing your events, is to focus primarily on the 'important' ones. You, the author, deem which of these are the most important. But, unless I misinterpreted something, it seems the flow of this story does not compliment your design. For instance, a lot of time was spent telling of Sanderm and the building that housed everyone. Yet, an actual plot point (the battle to remove the pesky critters), lasted only a fraction of that time in comparison. In fact, the deciding factor was barely mentioned at all. Your main protagonist simply mentioned that the duel with Krookodile had been won, rather then let us (the reader) experience it as well. I understand he was busy with his soul-tapping, and fending off a few prevos of his own, but surely he heard sounds of clashing and some commotion behind him. Or, perhaps Septimus simply could have noticed gashes on Titus after he'd pulled off the feat. Small details like these, though seemingly insignificant, help craft your entire picture. This scene was probably meant to be exciting after the slow-ish starting momentum you portrayed, but it felt closer to: WOOT! THEY ARE FIGHTING...oh it's over.

    First-person perspective writing has a pesky habit of producing a tunnel-vision type of feel to it. It's difficult to pull off a wide setting and wholesome scenarios (in my opinion), because you are limited to that person's point of view. IT'S WHY I RARELY USE IT, BECAUSE I AM TOO LAZY TO ADJUST. BAHAHA The styling is different, not necessarily harder though. Put yourself in your character's shoes when you are writing. What would they see, hear, and feel. Or even smell. For the most part, you did a fantastic job of this throughout your story. It just seemed the focus tended to be put on more irrelevant things, than the ones that actually drove your story forward.

    --Characters: As a unit, I think your characters have good potential. The element crafting with the use of the Pokemon opens up a lot of doors for their development. They have pre-established relationships, which gives you lots of opportunity to implement chemistry. And your main character feels pretty badass. He set a grim an solid mood for the narration. However, your characters as individuals, could have used some love. They all sounded relatively the same - even the minor ones. ^^; At least in this chapter they did, as I didn't really read the others. :x One character that did stand out pretty significantly though, was Orthas. His personality shined brighter than all of the others, and I truly felt like I was reading about an actual person. He was jolly, husky, had some great lines with Titus, and all while brooding over a dark past. If you could spread around more of that individuality, I think you'll have a great handful of characters here.

    This was a strong story as a whole. Try to pace it out a little more flatteringly for your reader, but other than that, it was a very good read. :3

    Grammar: Super strong, bro. Hardly any errors at all. ME LIKEY. One or two things I should mention, though, I suppose...

    I was point; Thomas was covering the left; Brutus - or Titus if I used his real name - the right; and Robin was bringing up the rear.
    This happened at least twice that I remember. This many semicolons is icky, and the second two are actually incorrect. You could replace all three with commas and it would read perfectly fine. While you can use multiple semicolons in a single sentence, it is usually only done when listing things that themselves require a comma. It prevents confusion to the reader. (e.g. I have lived in the following places: Denver, Colorado; Atlanta, Georgia; Detroit, Michigan.) But otherwise, it tends to read awkwardly. Usually, if the writing could host multiple semicolons, it is generally best to split it somewhere into separate sentences instead.

    He had gave the Pokemon, who was an egg, to Titus. I had never knew either of my parents, but this was the only thing I had from my father.
    You are using past perfect tense here to portray events that happened prior to the event you are already telling of. You need to link the 'had's with the past participle version of your verb. Not regular past.

    He had given the Pokemon, who was an egg, to Titus. I had never known either of my parents, but this was the only thing I had from my father.

    This could have just been some mistypes, but I thought I'd mention it just in case. :P

    Details: Very thorough. You practically left nothing out at all. While this is a wonderful accomplishment, as most tend to have the opposite problem, be careful about the pendulum swinging in the other direction. It is possible to over-describe, and this doesn't give your reader vivid imagery: it drowns them in a sea of adjectives. An average mind can't comprehend a massive amount of details easily. When describing something, it is best to do so suggestively. Tell of a building as you walk by, or while you are having a conversation beside it. When you give all the details in one paragraph at first sight of your descript-ee, you lose both flow and interest.

    Once the doors had opened fully, we walked into the area that served as a foyer or greeting hall. The space could have easily fit fifty standing people. It was built in a circular fashion with three different exits. The floor was simple stone while the walls were of wood. Small torches dotted the walls to provide light since there was no windows. Two people were there to greet us, one old and the other young The young one just slightly older than myself and Thomas. The old man was stooped with age and dressed in a brown robe with a yellow waist cord. The elderly man flashed us a gaped smile and raised a weathered hand in greeting.
    We then resorted to small talk while we waited for the meal to be portioned and passed out to everyone in the hall. Time ticked along slowly until Orthas suddenly waved at someone. I figured he was just waving a greeting, but a moment later a couple sat next to us. One was a petite woman, and I really mean petite. She was about five-two, slim, weighing about one-o-five if I guessed right. She had long brown hair and delicate features. She was wearing a simple brown dress and an apron. The other person was a teenager, but younger than myself and Thomas. The young man was the splitting image of Orthas, only about five inches shorter, sixty pounds lighter, no facial hair, and hair pulled into a small ponytail. He looked like a male version of the woman sitting next to him, same facial features, only different body size.
    A few examples here. Alone, there is virtually nothing wrong with these paragraphs. Everything is correct, and well-described. But look at how much you are describing at once. I got lost in both of these examples especially and had to reread them just to understand and remember all that was said. Consider this a road-block. We are cruising along through your story at a smooth 45 miles an hour, and then BAM - construction. Now we have to go around this awkward detour just to get back on the path we were already driving on. You've got great talent, and you write impeccably. I think you can pull off implementing details fluently with little effort on your part if you make the effort to remember to do so. :P

    Plus, by being in the front I would take the brunt of the storm, and my Pokemon would keep me warm in the coldest weather. But half an hour into the storm we had to call it quits and wait out the storm, this was after nearly falling off a cliff twice and running into an angry Beartic who was eating a deer carcass.
    One last thing I am going to whine at you about (since you are my bro), is to try and avoid using the same word multiple times in a short amount of writing. It's not very appealing, for one; but, it is mostly a waste of a visual. We have already read you mention the storm once, so our imaginations already invented an image off of that word. If you describe it differently a second time (i.e. harsh weather), and then once again the third time (i.e. freezing winds), then not only does the sentence read more attractively, but it also gives us more atmosphere to imagine as well.

    You did have some truly wonderful moments, though. Don't get me wrong. I apologize if this feels like I am picking on you (I SUPPOSE I AM, KINDA. SINCE YOU ARE YOU), but your skills deserve more feedback than some average droning about how this story falls perfectly fine in its targeted level.

    When I saw the man I couldn’t help but gap at the sheer size of him. I had thought Thomas and Titus to be large, but this guy was in a category by himself.
    This was probably my favorite descriptive line. It was super simple, yeah, but I found it to be clever and effective.

    Outcome: Yeah, take your mons already. The story was great. Keep up the good stuff, and remember to wear your seat-belt.

    Sneasel and Growlithe captured/tapped!

    (Oh right, it is spelled Sneasel by the way. With an 'e'. HOW DARE YOU, ATF. I HOPE YOU ARE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.)
    Last edited by EmBreon; 21st March 2012 at 12:24 PM.

    urpg

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