Utterance

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  1. #1
    I eat Frogs AmericanTreeFrog's Avatar
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    Default Utterance

    “No.”

    A single powerful word. Every culture, every species had some form of this word, whether it be only verbal communication or with written word. This word could shape the destiny of people, one use of it and it could shatter a person’s dream. And in some cases it could mean the difference between life and death. That was the situation for me. It all started four months ago...

    Four Months Prior [1654]

    My name is Lyons, am I an excellent Pokemon master and dualist. Even though I was twenty-eight years of age I had been in countless battles along the frontlines and all over the globe. Through my veins ran the blood of a warrior, forged on battlefields of death. But after twelve years of service there had finally been a time of peace and I had chosen to retire from the army and get on with my life.

    Today I was dressed in tan breeches, a cream colored shirt, and an overcoat of fine red silk. My brown hair was neatly tied into a ponytail that fell to my neck, while I had shaved any remnants of facial hair. At my waist were my weapons of choice, a long dueling blade, and two red and white Pokeballs containing my first two Pokemon, Whimsicott and Politoed. I thought I looked rather dashing, my clothes weren’t of the major rich kind, but they told of my status of just below wealthily.

    The sun was shining brightly on the streets of London today, meaning that people were out in force. The cobbled streets were filled with people and horses. This all just added to my already good mood. I was almost to my destination when I saw a young women selling yellow lilies at a small stand. On an impulse I walked over the the stunning brunette and asked for a bouquet. It only costed a few pounds, something I could easily afford with my military savings.

    When I reached my destination I couldn’t help but stare in awe at the building as I did every time I saw it. It was a beautiful brown mansion that showcased the wealth of the family that lived there. Immaculate gardens encircled the house while two guards stood at the front gate. Normally, the red clothed guards of the British army wouldn’t be guarding the house of a rich person, but one of the King’s advisor lived here. He was the son of a merchant and his family had done very well in the trading business. His holdings stretched from the Americas, to the north of Africa and to the east.

    As I approached the gates, I gave each guard a nod and a salute. I had served with one of them in a unit in India, but I had rotated out and lost contact after six months.

    “Good day, Lyons. Check the gardens,” said one of the young men.

    “Thank you,” I said walking forward.

    The house was about twenty yards from the front gate so while I walked there I took the time to admire the land around the home. Bright green grass covered the land while two large trees provided shade. Sculpted bushes were lined up along the pathway leading to the home in the shape of Pokemon. This just showcased the wealth of the owner further because only many Grass Pokemon could keep the vegetation in such immaculate condition.

    I climbed the stone stairs to the door and knocked once with the brass knocker, only a young child knocked more than once. It only took twenty seconds for a young chambermaid to answer. She was wearing a black dress with a white apron and bonnet. She did a small curtsey then indicated for me to follow her.

    I had already been here numerous time so the women knew exactly where I wanted to go. She led me straight down the main corridor until we had reached the back of the home and two wide french doors. She opened them and admitted me to the back garden. The back gardens were cut off from the front by wrought iron bars that topped off at eight feet and were covered by spikes, a sign that nobody was to go back there without permission. And the only entrance was through the house, hence the maid.

    Although similar to the front lawn in a few ways there were some key difference that differentiated the two. For starters, the back had few plots of grass, it was mostly bushes and flower beds. At the very back was a single white gazebo that could seat at least ten people. In the center of that structure was a small fountain, often used by birds or other animals. On the right side of the garden was a small pond and to the left was a single tree over a plot of grass for casual conversation. What I liked about this garden was that it had the perfect mixture of shade and sunlight so that it resembled the outdoors without appearing faux. Another thing was that I liked was the soft scent of flowers that filled the air. The garden contained no fewer than thirty types of plants that blossomed. The strongest scent in the air right now was honeysuckle.

    But the center of my attention was focused on the young lady at the gazebo. She had soft blonde hair that to fell the area just below her shoulders. She was dressed in yellow today, a broad sunlight sat atop her head, while a lavender ribbon was weaved through her hair. A sun-dress and white gloves completed her clothing.

    She didn’t know I was there, her attention was focused on the black and white body of a Taillow bathing in the fountain. I slowly moved forward, not wanting to startle her. I was standing at the entrance to the gazebo when the Pokemon bathing finally looked up at me. it seemed to realize it had a audience. It squawked and flew away in a furious beating of wings. The woman watching the Pokemon turned around to see what had startled the Pokemon. Her blue eyes fell to my face and she smiled, showing her facial dimples.

    My world slowed in that second as the most beautiful woman in the world looked at me. Like a flower, she was delicate but nothing could match that ethereal beauty. Down to her full mouth, to the splattering of freckles on her face. Since my mind was lost somewhere my body seemed to know what to do. I handed her the flowers, “They match your dress.” Was all that managed to come out.

    She beamed me a smile full of white teeth and rose to her feet to retrieve the flowers. “They’re beautiful, thank you.”

    After she had smelled the flowers my brain finally returned and stopped acting like a sixteen year old. “If it pleases you, let me plant them.” I accepted the flowers back with one hand while the other depressed the button on one of my Pokeballs.

    The brown form of Whimsicott appeared. The white fur, resembling cotton, on its head quivered as it smelled all the scents teeming from the garden. I looked my oldest friend in the eye. “Please plant these here and here,” I said, pointing at spots next to the gazebo.

    The Pokemon turned its beady eyes at me and chattered something I couldn’t understand, it seemed my brain still hadn’t fully returned. The Pokemon looked at the flowers then took them. It split the bouquet in half and laid each half down at the spots I wanted. It then pointed at the earth and mumbled a few words. The flowers rose up and sprouted roots, which pushed into the loamy dirt with reckless abandon. In a few seconds it looked as if the flowers had been there all along and blended perfectly with the rest of the garden. I patted the soft fur of Whimsicott.

    “Thanks, you can play in the garden for a little bit.” After Whimsicott had scampered off to go play in some flowers somewhere I reached for my other Pokeball and called out the frog-like Pokemon known as Politoed. Politoed was a predominantly green creature with decorative yellow swirls on its abdomen. Politoed looked about and made a beeline for the small pond, probably hoping to find something to eat, that Pokemon loved to eat.

    I grabbed the hand of Lily and escorted her to the other side of the garden where we could talk in peace. I had met Lily after I had returned from war two years ago, we both were attending a party at the time and I was enchanted by her. Because she was of the highest class it took me calling in some favors, but I was finally able to formally meet her and court her. That was two years ago today.

    We chatted for about one hour before another servant brought out some lunch for us to eat. Although we had been talking for over an hour, I still hadn’t built up the nerve to ask her the question that was foremost on my mind.

    I grabbed her hand and placed it in my own. “Lily.” I waited for her eyes to meet mine before I continued. “We’ve been together for two years now. I want to take our relationship to the next level.” I rose to one knee and looked her dead center in her eyes. “Will you marry me?”

    She studied me intensely for a few seconds. “Under one condition: you beat me in a Pokemon battle,” she said coyly.

    I frowned. “Are you serious? Right now?”

    She turned a calm look my way. “Exactly. I’ll send Lilligant.”

    Lilligant was a green Pokemon that sort of resembled a human in a dress with a floral hat. The things that gave it away were her orange eyes and the many greens that made up her body. Small patches of white were on her body and face. The red flower that grew on her head was in full blossom with patches of yellow popping up.

    “Whimscott, time for battle.” Although both types were of the Grass type, Whimsicott knew a couple flying moves, and that could give it the edge in battle. Plus, Politoed would stand no chance against Lilligant.

    Whimsicott came bounding in, patches of leaves stuck in its white fur, but they blended well with the green patches to either side of its brown head.

    “Alright, start things off with a Gust, Whimsicott.”

    “That’s not going to work on me,” Lily said, “Lilligant, go with a Razor Leaf attack to disrupt their attack.”

    Whimsicott had already started my attack while she was calling out hers. Whimiscott was flying in a small circle as it built up a small tornado to fire at Lilligant. The cyclone of howling wind had just began to form when a flurry of razor sharp leaves entered the wind cyclone and disrupted the rotation, ending the attack. Whimsicott fell to the ground in surprise and was struck by a bright green and yellow ball of energy. Lilligant had fired off a Energy Ball attack while my Pokemon was disoriented.

    “Let’s try for a Psychic attack now,” I called to my Pokemon. Although it had just fallen from the sky and got hit by an attack, it didn’t suffer much damage because it was also a Grass type. I had ordered Psychic because I noticed Lilligant’s flower was starting to glow red and pulse slightly. This was no doubt the result of a Growth move. Whimsicott wasted no time with nonsense and immediately fired two magenta colored shards of Psychic energy at its foe.

    I thought the attacks were going to hit, but wall of vines sprang up from the earth to choke the attack and keep Lily’s Pokemon safe from harm. With the Psychic attack disrupted, the thorn covered vines moved in a snake-like manner in the direction of my Pokemon. I knew I didn’t have time for anything elegant, I just needed something to work.

    “Try a Cotton Guard.” Whimsicott started to shake its tuff of white fur until small pieces began to break off and form a wall of cotton. The vines slammed into the balls of cotton and were stopped cold, barely doing damage. “Fake Tears now.”

    When the vines receded into the ground and Whimsicott had a clear view of its foe it summoned small drops of tears to his eyes. Lillgant was readying an attack but when it saw the tears fall to the ground it lowered its arms and stopped the attack. I could hear Lily calling her Pokemon to finish the attack, but I had the Pokemon right in my trap. When Lilliigant took a step forward, Whimsicott moved forward in a blue of brown, white and green. It struck Lilligant and was at my side instantly in a U-Turn attack. Whimsicott has had a fierce smile plastered on its face, Lilligant on the other hand was quite furious.

    I heard Lily call out the next attack, but I was too engrossed in thinking what I had to do next. “Let’s go with a simple Light Screen and see what she does.”

    At first I couldn’t tell what was going on, Lilligant was just standing there, an intense look on its face as stared at Whimsicott; but then I noticed that every plant in the garden seemed to lean towards Lilligant, as if they was lending their power to her. I knew a moment later what was going to happen when I got buffeted by a large gust of wind that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. I couldn’t talk to Whimsicott over the roaring wind, as he was caught by surprise when the winds picked him up. When he was in the air, red shards of energy shaped like leaves started to enter the wind storm and they began to strike at Whimsicott. There was nothing I could do until the attack was finished, but the Light Screen I had called out would blunt some of the damage.

    The attack ended a few seconds later when the wind died down and Whimsicott was dumped unceremoniously at my feet. “You okay?” He looked at me and chattered a string of words before climbing to his feet. I didn’t know what he was saying but I got the idea. “Fine, Hurricane.”

    Whimsicott shot in the air until it was just hovering over the gardens. The once bright sky began to slowly change as clouds materialized and grew darker with every second. At first sheets of rain came crashing down and then came the real attack: wind. With a roar that shook the building, a gust of wind came howling down and picked Lilligant up like she was a feather and started to toss her around the garden.

    When the attack ended Lilligant was clearly on her last legs; she was leaning against a tree breathing heavily with exhaustion. When the sun began to shine once more Whimsicott returned to my side, still smiling.

    “Can we end this now?” I called to Lily.

    “Agreed,” she said, appearing at my side, umbrella in hand keeping her safe from the rain while I was soaked to the bone. I called back both my Pokemon while she retrieved hers.

    “So...” I started when she returned. “Does that mean yes?”

    “What do you think?” And she kissed me.

    We were wed one week later in a chapel near her father’s house. Her father wasn’t giddy that she had chosen me as her husband, but he soothed himself with the fact that I served Britain faithfully for many years.

    That day was the best in my life. But the following day was my worst. The day after our marriage we were sitting at the new house I had purchased when a knock sounded on the door. We both were at the table eating breakfast so it was early in the morning. I told her her I would get it and for her to stay there.

    At the door were four soldiers dressed in the red and white army colors and with rifles. A sergeant stepped forward. “Lyons Bartholomew Hughes.”

    “Before you.”

    “You’re under arrest for sedition and treason against the Crown.”

    “What?!” My protests were cut off as two of the guards seized me by the arms and escorted me to a carriage outside the door. As I was being forced inside I saw Lily coming running to the door. “Talk to your father!” I called to her before they shut the door.

    Time seemed to go on forever as I was sent to a local jail. The guards refused to answer any questions and didn’t speak to me once. It wasn’t until later that night that Lily’s father came to visit me. He was pale and seemed beside himself.

    “What’s going on?” I finally asked when the guard escorting him left.

    “Someone has accused you of sedition and treason against the Crown during your last overseas assignment.”

    “What evidence do they have?” I angrily asked. I had done nothing of the sort and for someone to tarnish my flawless record and say I was unpatriotic just made me mad to my very core.

    “None that I know of, but a Lord had accused you and is clamoring for you to be put to death.”

    A Lord? What had I done to deserve the wrath of such a powerful person? I hadn’t stepped on any important toes and I made sure to be cautious of every move around people of power. “Is there anything you can do?”

    “I’m trying, but it’s going to be difficult. I’m trying to call in markers, but a Lord holds a lot of sway in parliament.”

    I sat back defeated. “I guess we’ll have to wait for this to go before the house of Lords then.”

    “I’ll talk to some Lords I know. You are the life of my daughter, I will not let them take that away from her.” He called for the guard and left a moment later.

    After the first two days in that jail I was transferred to a prison somewhere outside the city and stayed there. I didn’t get a visitor until two days later. At first I thought it was Lily or her father but I was surprised to find it was neither. He stayed just outside of my cell bars and in the shadows that the torches couldn’t reach so I couldn’t see him.

    “Hello, Lyons. I hope you’re enjoying your time here.”

    “Who are you?”

    “I am the man who has put you here: Lord Roscoe Harper.”

    “For what? I’ve never wronged or met any Lord.”

    “Oh? Are you sure about that? Well, let me tell you what you did. You married Lily.”

    “What has that got to do with anything? I courted her with her father’s permission for two years!”

    “Yes, but you are just a commoner. The morning you proposed I had gone to her house and asked for her hand in marriage. She denied me, a Lord saying that she was already being courted. I was of course furious. So I intended to find out who she seeing.” His bitter laugh echoed through my cell. “Then I found out she had denied me over a common soldier.” He all but spat the words, like saying them was poison in his mouth. “I couldn’t challenge you to a duel for her honor because you are a commoner and that would be below my station.”

    “All this is because of the women I married?”

    I could tell he was surprised. “Yes.”

    “When I get out of this prison, expect me to come knocking.”

    He laughed again. “Good luck.” He left.

    At first, time passed in hours, then days, followed by weeks as I rotted in the cell. But my time wasn’t just in the cell. Everyday for six hours a day I was brought out of my cell and sent to a torture chamber. Everyday I was subjected to terrors not found on battlefields or spoken in polite company. They always said that I just needed to confess and it would all end. But every time I said, “No.”

    It was during those times that I learned how powerful words could be. Before, I just considered them to be a medium in which I could communicate my wishes to another person. But now, I had a whole new appreciation for them. With just a few words and nothing to back it up, I was thrown into this hell hole because of a jealous man.

    Four months later I was standing outside for the first time in months. My head was hooded and I was on a wooden platform. “Do you plead guilty to the charges?” the man droned on.

    “No.”

    “So be it,” he finished.

    A second past until I felt it, the weight settled on my shoulders and around my neck. After that I was in free-fall for a quick second before I felt a quick jerk and then nothing.

    Epilogue

    Lyons Bartholomew Hughes was hung at a prison outside of London for nothing at all. The warden in charge of the person, one Roscoe Harper, a Lord claimed it was a mixup and the wrong person was executed. This was because all charges against Lyons were found to be false and he was ordered to be released the day before. Everyone knew what had happened, but nobody had any evidence to confront the man.

    One week later Roscoe was found dead in his mansion, his throat slit. Nobody saw a thing and nobody cared. His death was deemed to be a suicide, but nobody questioned how he managed to do it with his hands tied behind his back. Or the Lilligant petals scattered around his corpse, when only one person in the region had the rare Pokemon.

    Five months after the death of her husband, Lily gave birth to a son named Lyons Thomas Hughes.




    Taking the Grass type.
    Last edited by AmericanTreeFrog; 19th October 2011 at 04:37 PM.
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  2. #2
    noble roar Buoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utterance

    Claimed.
    I'll try not to take as long with this as I did with soro's (11 days wut), but don't get your hopes up.
    I'LL DO IT AS SOON AS I CAN.

  3. #3
    noble roar Buoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utterance

    AmericanTreeFrog - Utterance.
    Introduction: "No." Hey, never seen that one before. But the thing is about the introduction is that you immediately slip from something that could have made it quite powerful into something similar to a diary entry. You seem to have this tendency to write down in your introductions "it all happened x ago" from what I've gathered from this story and the previous one I graded for you. Your introduction, if thought out in a different way, could have a better impact and a better lead into your story - you have a lovely, creative way of outlining the power of the word "no" and then we get the feel that it's turning into something a bit less complicated. Your timeslips that you include make the story feel a bit... basic, to be honest. Your style would be perfect for this kind of rustic story had you not made the statement "It all happened four months ago..." and I'm being perfectly serious.

    Also, just a small reality issue with the introduction to your story, and this also relates to the end - if he's four months on from the events that happened in the story, how is it that he's writing? Lyons dies in the end, if I've read correctly - again, this could be a misunderstanding on my part. If Lyons is not the one speaking in first person, which you allude to when you say "My name is Lyons...", then who is writing? Otherwise, Lyons is a strange case within the story, as he's alive but dead, if you get what I mean (that sentence is kinda nonsensical, but prod me with a stick if you don't understand and I'll try to make sense of it for you).

    Plot: We meet the mighty Lyons, who is an excellent participant in battling and the like. He also owns two trustworthy Pokémon, and gets accused by a Lord for something he hasn't done, resulting, unfortunately, in his execution. I like this story, probably because of the romance part (I am a sucker for sappy things like that) and it is a tragedy, and sometimes those appeal to me as well. However, I have a few qualms about the story in general, but they're not overly drastic. First is: "This all just added to my already good mood." - Why was Lyons in a good mood at the time? Was it because he was going to see his girlfrand, or some other reason? According to this sentence, he's in a good mood for no particular reason, and that is something that (for the most part) only clinically insane people get fo sho.

    Also, they're in Britain? What is this wonderfully magical world? I wish there were really Pokémon in Britain - that would make my life. Anyway, not so much of a deal, but takes away from the strangely otherworldish characteristics that I enjoy about this story - I certainly wouldn't have expected such things to take place in London, but meh. It's actually quite nice to visualise this happening in London, and it's an original element - plus and minus sides to this, as I'm sure you know. Also, wutwut about the whole "you have to beat me in a battle before you can marry me". As you say later on, they had been going out for two years, and if by that time she isn't aware of his prowess in battle, then I don't know about anything. I find that the whole competition thing was added in to lengthen it up, and although it is kinda romantic - the kissing in the rain, etc. - it's a strange condition, and she ends up letting him marry her anyway.

    The final thing is about the theme of the word "no". Yes, there is him denying any charges put against him and such, but I felt that the entire theme could have been played with a bit more - sure, the plot can have dents in it because the top Pokémon is only actually a Medium, but I think that if "no" played a more prominent role, perhaps as an antagonist or protagonist in itself, it would have made the story a whole lot better and given it another dimension, making for better analysis and the like. Just something to watch out for - the introduction should mostly be taking a big, big part in your story otherwise sometimes it's pointless putting it there in the first place.

    Grammar/spelling: Nothing of importance, but I will point out "dualist", an error made at the very start, because I don't want to bore you with pointless pointers on commas.

    Detail/description: Everything here is fine. I'm sure that I don't really need to go into detail here about how you should improve, as you know yourself (from being a grader, duh) what kind of description a story requires. GOOD JOB. ;}

    Length: Does this section exist?


    Outcome: ALAS, we come to the final frontier of frontierdom. Unfortunately, I cannot let you have neither Poliwag nor Cottonee. Neither of them make a single appearance in the story - and no, evolved forms don't count, and I've asked about this several times. One of the only rules about stories is that the Pokémon HAS to be featured, and we've even talked about this between ourselves. So simply, to fix the story, you could simply change Politoed and Whimsicott into Poliwag and Cottonee and edit the battle a little bit if necessary, or you can stick in a flashback of meeting them or whatever - they do have to be mentioned, I'm afraid.

    Cottonee and Poliwag are not captured.
    p.s. sorry about taking such a long time to grade.

  4. #4
    WhatWasOnceIsNoLongerWere Phantom Kat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utterance

    @AmericanTreeFrog ; @Buoysel

    To be honest, I’m not sure if using the evolved form of a Pokémon for a capture is against the rules. I faintly remember Emma making a comment about it way back when, but nothing was really put down as a rule. Point is, though, it was never in the actual rules. We understand how the lack of clarification could cause conflicting opinions, so we apologize for not clearing this matter before it became a matter.

    Scourge and I talked about this, and we came to a decision that might satisfy everyone.

    From now on, the evolved Pokémon may be used as the captured Pokémon in stories, but the real target, the unevolved Pokémon, would have to play a part in the story. We’re not asking for a main role, yet the targeted Pokémon should be more than a passing thought in a sentence. We do not want to limit the creativity an author can use into their story. However, part of an author’s challenge when writing a URPG story is how to incorporate their target Pokémon into the story itself, and a grader should still be able to take that into account in an outcome.

    As for this grade’s outcome, One Pokémon is captured! Neither of you is at fault, which is why we decided on a half-and-half outcome. ATF, if you wish to obtain the other Pokémon then please edit your story with the requirement listed above. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

    - Kat


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  5. #5
    I eat Frogs AmericanTreeFrog's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utterance

    Self-Biography: October the 5th, 1269.

    To he that reads this, I ask that you read my tale with an open heart and mind. Do not judge me by actions I had no control over. I ask that you remember the character within.

    April 15th, 1258, this was the day that changed my life.

    When something impacts a life I would have said it was a good thing, especially when it is a joyous occasion. When it is a bad thing, I would have said that it is like the mountains. One comes across peaks and valleys, and when one is going through a bad spot in the journey of life, one is in a ravine. But that is what I would have said. Now, I would say that peaks and valleys exist, but there are many more basins and each climb to reach the apex is harder than the last and not at all fulfilling. Each is summit is like scaling the mountains of Tibet in blizzards that no living thing could survive.

    One might disagree with me and say that I hold the world in a negative view because I only focus on the negative and never the positive. I would ask that person if they have ever lived in the real world. Do they refuse to see the waste and decadent state of our society? Certain individuals may have escaped from the valleys in life and have yet to descend from their peak, but rest assured, they will descend and feel just as others do. Everyone from the poorest man to the richest man will eventually enter a valley that does nothing but crush their soul. One would only have to review history to see that no peak ever lasts.

    One can ask how I was raised to have such a view of the world. I will say, “I wasn’t raised this way. I have seen this with my own eyes.” They will scoff at this and say, “There is nothing on this planet that could have given me that view.” I will laugh and reply, “Let me tell you a tale.”

    As I said, it all changed on the 15th of April eleven years ago. I was the son of a wealthy tailor then. My family owned a shop in the middle of the city, which catered to both the rich and poor. We had two homes, one in the city and the other in the country side. The city house was used in the summer and spring so we could be closer to our shops, and we spent the fall and winter at our countryside manor. I enjoyed doing my work at my father’s shop every summer and spring, but it was at the other home that I made some of my fondest memories. Those memories were shared with my two older sisters, and older brother.

    Like most rich children, I received the best education from the best tutors. Myself and my siblings were instructed in every worthy subject, that ranged from languages to math. I considered myself a very happy child at twelve years of age.

    But that was all stripped from me.

    On that fateful day the whole family was at our downtown tailor shop. I was in the front, tending the counter, with my older brother taking orders. My sisters and mother were taking down measurements for customers and my father was checking our books, as the king was rumored to issue a new tax in the coming months. I wonder now if we had known what was brewing in the council chambers, would things have turned out differently.

    It was about two in the afternoon of a wednesday. It was a busy day for nearly every person in town. The king’s son was to marry a princess from Matias in four days. Needless to say, everyone was in an uproar trying to get everything ready. This came as a surprise because the prince was supposed to have married a princess from Alamara. It came as a shock when the prince chose someone else, and rumor said that the king of Alamara felt insulted by the gesture, which came without a warning.

    I had only learned of some of those details because of my father’s affluence, and because I tended to eavesdrop on his conversations at night. But, as a child, I never felt any compulsion to care about those events. But for those who knew of the events, I’m sure they were surprised also.

    I had just finished with a man ordering a suit, when I heard many horse hooves striking the streets. When I glanced out a window, I saw armored men thundering past shouting orders. I couldn’t hear much over the din of the horses and clanging sounds. That was when the wooden doors to the shop burst from the hinges to show four large hairy men. Each wore a breastplate and armor and each had two swords in their hands. A single red eagle dotted the cress of each of the mans’ helmets. A long shaggy pelt of Beartic hide fell down each mans’ shoulders like a cape, giving them a savage and feral look.

    They roared at us and charged, their swords raised. I fell back, right into a table covered with colorful cloth. I upended the thing and fell flat, just in time to avoid a swinging blade from one of the men. My customer wasn’t so lucky, the swipe all but cleaved him in half at the waist. My father and older brother came rushing in just then, each carrying a sword. They set upon the men with their blades in a vigorous manner, but the barbarian’s armor and thick Beartic hide helped to soften any blows that connected.

    With the element of surprise, they managed to cut down two of the men, but by then ten more came charging into the shop. I was so focused on the fight in front of me that I didn’t hear the other bloodcurdling cries and screams coming from the street. I almost missed my father yell at me to run.

    I turned and fled for the stairs, but when I heard a sharp cry I couldn’t help but turn back, just in time to see my father and brother get cut down by two massive blades. As I bolted up the wooden stairs I ran into something soft. It was my mother. The words came out in a blur so fast that I can’t even remember what was said then. I remember her taking me and my sisters to a small bedroom in the back. She decided to leave the doors open and unlocked, while opening the back stairwell that led outside. Back then I thought she was crazy, but now I realize it was a smart plan. She was hoping that they would think that we had run and would go after us. But something we couldn’t foresee happened. The raiders stayed and started to ransack the shop.

    Anyway, we lay huddled in a small closet containing un-spun silk and cloth. We stayed there for a good fifteen minutes until they found us. What I remember of those next few hours are in fragments of shattered images. And what I do remember continues to haunt me, even though I would later see more of it as I continued to grow.

    They forced me to watch as they raped both my mother and sisters. After that, I had to watch as they were tortured until all three died. Afterwards, they savagely beat me until I went unconscious.

    When I awoke, it was dark and I was being roughly bounced around. My mouth was gagged and my hands and feet were roughly tied together. I was in a column of the raiders and all were on horseback. After a long day, the white Rapidash, which we rode, were worn out. Some bared marks from human weapons and others from Pokemon attacks. I was laying across the rump of the Rapidash, so I had to constantly turn my head away from the fire tail of the Pokemon. A few times I wasn’t so lucky and got burned on the face and hand.

    But as I was trying to avoid getting burned, I saw a city lit up by light. When the realization hit me, I felt unbidden tears spring to my eyes. It was my home city, and it was burning. From far away it looked like a painting. The large buildings of the rich were framed by a background of red and orange as the light from the fire danced in the sky.

    As the memories flooded in from the events of that day, I felt a piece of my younger self die right then. My childhood was gone, and I found myself thrust into a world I didn’t know, nor knew existed.

    After crying myself to sleep that night, I woke up the next morning to find the column was still on the trail. I figured the column to only be about three thousand, a small troop number as I would later find out. Each raider was just as hairy as the last and all of them wore the shaggy white coats of the Beartic. Because of my History and Geography courses I knew they hailed from the Bearin Clan high in the mountains of Alamara. While not often considered part of the Alamara empire, the Bearin tribes dominated the northern mountains that made up a fourth of the Alamara empire.

    The Bearin society was made up of about six different tribes who warred and hunted separately from one another. They would come together during feasts, special occasions, or when the nation went to war. They were often called some of the biggest brutes one could face during combat. Despite the fact that they wore giant Beartic hides, some of their stronger warriors would often have an accompanying Beartic when they rode into battle. It was also said that in the early days of the Alamara Empire, an entire brigade of ten thousand strong rode into the mountains, intent on bending the Bearin tribes to their will. None were ever seen again. After that the Alamaran leadership made peace with their countrymen and only used them sparing in combat, often as shock troopers or raiders.

    I didn’t know what fate awaited me, but I knew of their horror stories. I didn’t want to experience or see any of them. Luckily for me, the raiders didn’t have that intent this time around.

    After traveling for a couple of days, we eventually reached the border. My nation of Tyar was on the western edge of the continent. The western border opened up to the seas, and the north was a flat land that gave way to the mountains of Alamara. The south contained harsh deserts and the eastern front was a combination of woods and plains. I knew we where heading north because that’s where the raiders came from, and because I knew the land well.

    My path from this point in my journey could have been viewed as a blessing, or just one more tragedy in a long line of them. Instead of being sent with the raiders to return to their home, myself and about twenty others were dropped off at the newly crumbled wall of Tyar. The wall runs along the entire length of the northern front because for hundreds of years the nations of Alamara and Tyar had been at war. Only in the past fifty years had tensions eased up. The marriage between the heirs was to create a bond between the two nations. That clearly had gone up in flames.

    Hundreds of Alamara soldiers, dressed in their black armor, milled about absently, picking up corpses wearing the red of Tyar. I even spotted some trained Pokemon walking around too, but none seemed to be from my nation.

    I was grabbed roughly from the Rapidash and hauled over to a single clear spot behind the wall. If you can call no dead bodies, but lots of blood, clear. I was placed with a group of about twenty, all ranging from my age to what I guessed to be about twenty five. There was a mixture in terms of gender also.

    Since I was still trussed up like a pig, I wiggled my way backwards until I felt the cool stone of the wall. It was no more than a crumbled heap of stone and wood. I had seen the wall in its splendor a year earlier, when my father had gone to the coast for business, and I had been invited along. The wall stood about twenty-five feet in height, and was five feet thick at the base. Each stone brick weighed thirty pounds and were forged with fire from Pokemon, making them that much more resilient than normal brick. Archer towers were spaced every fifty feet and gates every ten miles. For further support, archer splits were built into the top layer so that archers could safely fire their missiles. The doors also weighed two tons apiece, requiring weights to open them. They were also three feet thick, strengthened by using Grass Pokemon to bind the wood with inlaid steel.

    The whole section of wall I was against had fallen in a section of what looked to be five hundred feet across. I glanced around, but I couldn’t see any siege engines at the location. There was no way they would have been moved, there was no need, as no city in Tyar had walls. There was also no tracks of any warcraft, meaning the invaders had to have used Pokemon to break down the wall. This was also a good place for an attack because it was a wide open area with no gates for miles. Because travelers had to pass through the wall to reach the inner region of the country, little towns sprang up around each gate to support a mini economy there. So if a force were to attack a gated section, there was not only more guards but the amount of people there would be too much to contain. Somebody would be able to escape and alert everyone else, causing reinforcements to reach the site in hours. By contrast, if one attacked the wall they would have a harder time doing so, but there would be less of a guard presence, and the chance of running into any travelers was also lower.

    I didn’t know for sure how the enemy had managed to bring down the wall, but they did so quickly, and managed to overwhelm the defenders stationed there without alerting the rest of their presence. Once they did that, it was a simple matter to sweep up behind the armies and ravage the countryside.

    My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by a soft clicking sound. Jolted from my thoughts by the strange sound, I looked around for the source of disturbance. The grass field we were sitting on was very wet from the previous night of rain and all the blood. The sound seemed to come from my right, so I checked that area first. When I had moved myself back against the wall, I had moved away from the others and was now surrounded by bodies. The body to the right was a corpse of one of the raiders. At least three arrows protruded from his body, but the cause of death was clearly a spear, as indicated by the gaping wound in his back. My attention was directed when I saw some movement beneath the snow-white Beartic hide of the body. Because my hands were tied in front of me I could still use them. I lifted the coat and was greeted by a small gray-colored ant. Pincers larger than my hands jutted from its mouth while two antennas glided over my skin. The Pokemon had been clicking its mandibles together as it called for its mother.

    This Pokemon wasn’t native to the land. It lived in a valley far to the north, meaning someone must have brought it here. Based on the size of the Durant it was a baby. I glanced around and found the body of the mother instantly. The fully grown Durant was curled up in a fetal position next to the dead raider, who must have been the trainer.

    I made a clicking sound and the baby Durant scurried over to my lap, clicking in earnest. It knew I wasn’t its mother, but it didn’t want to be alone. I looked around at the other captives, seeing if they had saw the Pokemon. This was because in my country you weren’t allowed to train a Pokemon until you were sixteen, and being caught with one before then was met with harsh punishment. I didn’t know what the customs of other nations were, but I wasn’t going to take a chance.

    The little ant Pokemon made some more noise before curling up and falling asleep. I waited a few minutes before I lifted the sleeping Pokemon and transferred it to one of my oversized pockets. I watched the people around me but I eventually drifted off to sleep.

    I was jolted from sleep when I felt a boot-clad foot roughly kick me in the side. I groaned and forced my eyes open. It was one of the blue eyed Bearin raiders, something all of them possessed besides their famous Beartic. To my surprise it was a women; dressed similar to the men, the only difference was that her leather armor bared more leg than the males, who in turned often bared their arms. She grunted something in her language and tossed a loaf of bread down to me. After she stalked off to deliver food to the rest of the people, I hurried ate half of the loaf. The remaining half I broke into small chunks and gave them to the Durant in my pocket.

    As the Durant crunched on its little meal, breaking pieces off with her pincers then eating the smaller ones. I took in my surroundings once more. Most of the bodies had been cleared so now only the destroyed wall and blood red ground looked out of place. The number of captives had swelled to about thirty people now and the number of invaders had also increased. Small tent camps had sprung up for as far as I could see on the northern hills. This had to be the staging for the campaign, otherwise there would be less troops as they spread out over the whole country and other attacking sites. But while all these military thoughts rambled through my thoughts, I couldn’t fathom a reason for such events to have taken place. War was big news and required a lot of capital and manpower.

    While the failed marriage between the prince and princess and been a catalyst for the events of that day, I wouldn’t find out the true reason behind the war until much later, when I could do nothing about it.

    I stayed at that makeshift camp for two days before things began to change. After two days of sitting in that blood soaked field, I was wet and tired. Each day we were given a single loaf of bread and two tins of water to drink. I hated sitting there all day doing nothing, not being allowed to move, except to use the bathroom. But over those two days the bond between myself and Durant began to grow. We were both now orphans and stuck in a hostile world neither of us wanted to be in.

    At first Durant would move away from me as she explored, but eventually she would return to me, clicking worriedly. It seemed like she looking for something. Seeing as how I had nothing to do but sit around, I used that free time to get to know the gray Pokemon more than I did. I found she was a very shy creature and only revealed herself to me because of her dilema, but I slowly showed her that I was her friend. She eventually began to place some of her trust in me.

    It was morning on the second day when the start of our new life began. Unlike the previous days, this day started out wet and windy. A fierce northern storm had swept down from the mountains and was battering the entire land. Since we were captives, no shelter was provided for us, we had to make do with what we had. Luckily for me, Durant was young but possessed a lot of strength. The Steel Pokemon moved some of the fallen stone around until she had formed a tiny roof for which we could huddle under. It was the first of many trials we would pass together.

    The rain still hadn’t let up when a group of Alamara soldiers strolled over and started hauling people to their feet. I didn’t want them to find my Pokemon, so I put her in a pocket and shuffled over to where the guards were lining up the others. Once everyone had been gathered in one spot, they moved to one of the dirt roads next to the wall and had us march. In the pouring rain, it took us four hours to make it to one of the gate cities, in what should have took no more than a hour.

    The town was still bustling with activity, and that was surprising to me. Surely most people would have gone home because of the war. But instead of the red-garbed Tyar guards I was used to see, all that were present were the Alamaran soldiers. Indeed, no signs of battle were about the town. Either the troops here had been annihilated or they had simply surrendered. Because I was so naive at this point and very loyal to the nation of Tyar, I didn’t know which of those outcomes scared me the most.

    Despite the rain, vendors were out in force trying to sell their wares as they would normally do. Now, unlike my home city, this town didn’t possess a separate, richer section in which the rich lived. Instead, for the first time in my life, I was subjected to the state of how poorer folk lived. I was filled with such disdain that people lived that way, wearing nothing but rags and just sitting in streets next to simple wooden structures that passed as houses. This was my naivete rearing its head again. I had lived in a bubble world, shielded from the every day horrors of real life.

    Shirtless men milled about the streets, begging everyone in sight for some money, they even approached the soldiers. The soldiers either looked at them with scorn or sent them sprawling with a kick, which illicted laughs from their comerades. I was of course unable to do anything and I silently swore revenge on the Alamaran Empire that day.

    I took us more minutes of walking through the muddy roads but eventually we reached the center of the town that served as a bazaar and open market. The streets were crowded with people and stall owners. I didn’t get to see much of what was being sold because the guards led us straight to a wooden platform directly in the middle. It was a simple structure that served as a speech platform for dignatories when they needed to give a speech.

    The soldiers pushed us over to the structure then proceeded to strip the clothes off of us. I was both astonded and angered by their actions. I spat some curse words at the soldiers but a slap to the face ended my opposition. They forced everyone to climb the platform and there we shivered in the rain. I was so utterly embarassed and ashamed that I kept my eyes down-cast and refused to look up. I was also worried that Durant would come out and be seen by somebody. Wtih my face down I could clearly see the stack off clothing beneath us in a large pile. From that pile, I saw a pair of gray anntanas poke out and swivel around. She caught sight of me and made to move forward, but I slowly shook my head. She stared at me for a full second with her black eyes before turing and retreating back her into her pocket. I sighed with relief and waited for the humiliation to end.

    In what seemed like hours, but was only a couple minutes, a crowd of people had gathered near the platform and were looking at us captives. I didn’t understand what was going until I heard the soldiers start to cry out prices. This brought on another wave of indignation and a bout of nausea. Slavery was something that had been outlawed in Tyar for a hundred years! Even indentured servants weren’t allowed in the country. But here were people bidding for us like animals. This was the second moment in my life that I experienced the true bestiality of human nature.

    When my turn came up, I tried to keep my face and genitals covered. But a guard stalked over, brushed my arm away from covering my nakedness, and roughly wrenched my face up so the crowd could see me. The entire crowd laughed at the spectacle, no doubt causing my face and eyes to noticeably redden, only causing them to laugh louder. That morning I was sold for a mere fifty copper pieces. I say mere because my family spent fifty pieces on a pair of shoes. The lowest piece of clothing at my family’s shop costed seventy-five silver Staraptors, which was 3,750 copper pieces.

    After being bought, I had to wait before everyone else was purchased before being removed from the stage. Out of the thirty plus people being sold, only one person hadn’t been bought, an older woman in her late thirties. Before my eyes, the soldiers forced her to kneel over before the severed her head, right in front of the crowd. I was so close to the decapitation that I felt a few warm splatters of blood strike my face. Next to the fate of my family, that event stuck with me for years. I would always remember her cries for mercy and the tears that ran down her face.

    In hindsight, I realize that the beheading, and the death of my family, never really sunk in, and I attribute that to shock. Only the friendship with the Durant kept me functioning. I’m sure that if any child witnessed those events and had time to process them, they would go mad with the imagery. I would later witness events like these many more times, but after each time I felt more detached. To me, it required no more thought than slaughtering Miltank for dinner.

    After the beheading, the soldiers left the body where it fell and herded the rest of us to our clothes. I dressed anxious, finally relieved to get covered up. I checked on Durant to make sure she was still there, and she was. It was after that that I met my new master. He was a round and bald man that walked with an air of authority. Behind him trailed two male servants, bearing an umbrella for their master. The overly obese man focused his beady eyes on me and signaled that I should move to stand by him. After moving to stand behind the man, he walked on. We walked through the crowd of new slaves, with my master grabbing two more boys who I judged to be in their late teens. After that, we walked over to one of the captains and the man handed over the proper amount of coins.

    I soon found our group on a couple of horses heading out of town. To my surprise, we were escorted by a group of rough looking soldiers. The odd thing was that their markings were none I had never seen, and I knew all the symbols of every nation on this continent. But besides their marking, their bearing also puzzled me. It spoke of a military lifestyle, but didn’t quite have the stiffness of a soldier, but they didn’t have the regality of a noble nor the humbleness of a commoner. In short, I couldn’t get anything off these green caped soldiers or their round master.

    For five days we traveled on horseback, stopping only once in the day and once at night. But to my further horror we continued to pick up more slaves as we journeyed onward, and not once did I spot the red of Tyar soldiers. At the end of the fifth day, the group of slaves had swelled to eighteen, sixteen male and two female. Our destination, as it turned out, happened to be the port of Cycrene, one of the bigger ports of Tyar.

    As we crested the wooded hill that led to Cycrene I was greeted with a sight that forced any hope I had in me away. Cycrene was built around a bay, so that the bay was surrounded by the massive city, enabling for a large amount of ships to dock. We were about five miles away and two miles high in the hills, but I could clearly see everything. Beyond the innumerable buildings of the city was the blue of the ocean. But that sight was ruined because in the water was smoking vessels. A great battle had taken place here, I didn’t know who lost, but I had a sinking feeling in my gut that I knew the answer.

    As we drew closer to the great city my suspicions were confirmed. Unlike my home city that showed no signs of battle, except when it was burnt to the ground, this city was covered with the scars of battle. The Pidgeot symbol colored red of Tyar was mixed with the blue-Arcanine of Alamara as corpses lay scattered throughout the city. Man wasn’t the only to have suffered, many Pokemon corpses were mixed with humans also. What had once been a great city was now a husk of the past. Rubble from buildings blocked streets while great holes ravaged every remaining structure. Signs of fiercely waged Pokemon battles were everywhere; giant puddles of mud gave way to scorch marks the size of catapults. Unnatural plant growth dominated some areas, and I could see human bodies behind the foliage. Black smoke clung to the city like a wet cloth. The harbors were no better. Ships as far as the eye could see dotted the horizon. Some were smashed to pieces, others aflame, and some just drifting lifeless.

    I was such in shock from the site of this total warfare that I have trouble remembering what transpired after we reached the docks. I do remember that everyone boarded a large sail boat and we were off to sea. For two weeks I was stuck in a cell no bigger than a Blastoise, with only my Durant to keep me company. To make a miserable experience even worse, I knew not where we going. I spent many a night crying aboard that vessel. With no one but my Pokemon to keep me company, I was but a frightened child.

    I was no fool though, naive yes, foolish no. I spent the majority of those two weeks training Durant for combat. When I had first caught her she only knew about five moves. But after two weeks the amount had swelled to thirteen.

    After those two long weeks at sea we finally made it to a distant shore. For the first time since the departure, I was allowed above deck. I was instantly blinded by the bright rays of sunshine. I shielded my eyes from the brutal glare of the sun and stumbled down the plank to the dock, being assisted by some unknown deckhand.

    But instead of landing at some giant port, we had docked at a small pier, tended by an elder man and woman. My master, I still didn’t know his name then, handed the couple a few gold Tauros and indicated towards one of the buildings in the back. The six guards and two servants herded the slaves over to the building where we had to wait. I took this free time to look around in an attempt to identify my new home.

    It was a bright sunny day, but a strong gust of wind would occasionally spring up. The shore where we docked was devoid of any life and was a rocky terrain. Beyond that it gave way to even more rocky bluffs and hills. Beyond shrubs and the occasional bush, there was no foliage what so ever. Since I was used to seeing a ton of plant life, this land was totally alien to me.

    Presently the master walked over with three carriages and nine single-rider Rapidash. The carriages were pulled by Bouffalant. I had never seen one of the Pokemon before but I knew what every Pokemon looked like because of my studies. Bouffalant were the large cousins of Tauros and much more powerful. Twin horns jutted from the sides of the Pokemon’s head, giving the brown Pokemon almost five feet of horn-span. A large hump of wool coated the Pokemon from the head to its shoulders. Each carriage was attached to two of the creatures.

    The guards, servants, and the master mounted the Rapidash while the rest of us were forced into the carriages. Not only were the carriages of the poor kind, rackety wooden things with no real seats and only a cloth roof, they had no open windows. I hadn’t had a bath in three weeks because of my newfound captivity, and I doubted most of the people in the carriage knew what a bath was. I quickly became nauseous from the stench, having to cover my mouth and nostrils, causing the others to give me dirty looks. I may have lost everything I owned, but I hadn’t lost my pride or civilized manners, yet.

    Thankfully we were only in that Rayquazza forbidden carriage for only a couple of hours. When the carriage stopped and we were let out, I finally got to see my new home for the next four years, even if I didn’t know it all the time.

    It was a white stucco house with fire-red tiles covering the roof. A large mansion stood to the side that would have put some of the dukes of Tyar to shame with its splendor. And to the right was a complex surrounded by twenty foot high clay walls and no roof, a single balcony from the mansion overlooked what I guessed to be a courtyard. A single steel gate was the only entrance to the courtyard while a large wooden door was the access to the house.

    The steel gate swung open and more of the green caped guards exited carrying chains. Everyone, including myself, was chained together at the ankles and wrists and led into the courtyard. The fat man simply walked into the house I assumed to be his.

    Then, to my surprise I found out that the courtyard wasn’t actually a courtyard, it was a training ground. To the right was a large water trough and an even longer table that could carry enough food for at least fifty people. Along the walls were simple wooden battle posts, some for sword and spear combat and the others for hand to hand. But straight ahead was a cliff, just like one of the ones I had seen when I came ashore. I couldn’t tell how far the drop was, but based on the land beyond it was pretty easy to deduce it was at least a mile above ground.

    I petted Durant in my pocket gently as she started to move about. I tried to soothe her because if she started clicking her mandibles then I would be caught.

    A door to the left swung open and a tall reedy man appeared on the balcony. He was dressed in purple robes that left his shoulders bare. If I could, I would have snickered, because in Tyar only women wore their clothing like that. But here, I didn’t want to know what would happened if I insulted the man.

    The man didn’t speak until all the captives had been lined up so that he could see each man clearly. What he said shocked me more than anything had for the past two weeks. He said that he was our new master and that he welcomed us to his school, a mercenary school.


    Last edited by AmericanTreeFrog; 14th December 2011 at 06:52 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Utterance

    okay, me claim. Don't expect it up too soon, however, as I still have a lot of exams this week.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Utterance

    Sorry for taking so much time to grade this. ._.
    Introduction: Your introduction is better than the last part of this particular story, but a thing I've noticed that, if this is the next part to Utterance, it doesn't seem to be continuing on the plotline. Perhaps a new thread for the story could avoid this confusion, as there's nothing relating to the first part of Utterance within the introduction... and generally there should be if this is actually a continuation. As far as that goes, however, there really isn't too much of a problem, since I can just judge this as a separate story anyway. Being confused this early on in the grade does not bode well for me. ._.

    Firstly, the writer/whatever asks people not to judge him by the actions that occurred, but remember the character within -- I'd say here that the inverse would work a tiny bit better. The character within is now kind of a negative figure, and so it is that attitude which would probably shine a different kind of light on the actions, if that makes sense. After all, a reader will judge the character more on personality than on the actions that happen around it. Even if the character is someone who's fantastically brilliant in every way and everything he/she does is beneficent, people will look at him/her only through their personality. Personalities are actually what colours the perceptions of readers, and their actions can be good, bad, or in-between depending on how they see them.

    The next thing I need to address is your use of dates and times, both in the introduction and sometimes throughout the story. While dates and times are all very well in an introduction, exact figures aren't necessary, and it's almost like a timeline has to be drawn up to make any sense of it -- especially in a made-up world. Considering that, I think you'd do well not to include these dates and times. You include them in almost every story you've written, and it kind of makes it seem a little... I dunno, childish? Same goes for the 'I will tell you a tale. Here is that tale...' part. These little intermissions are absolutely not necessary, and it detracts from the general grandeur that your stories tend to contain. Furthermore, your character's memory seems to be rather spot on, especially for someone who seems to not have had a diary, seeing as he's 'only just started' to write about his life, according to the notes at the start. Makes your story seem a bit unrealistic, as far as realism can go in fantasy worlds with Pokémon.

    The first big paragraph you include in your introduction needs a bit of reworking vocabulary-wise. Although the imagery of peaks and valleys is powerful, it is actually that that we need to focus on -- time to grab a thesaurus. As the imagery is actually memorable, usage of the word several times in a paragraph can become repetitive, and interest can be lost rather quickly in the foundation blocks of a story if a reader sees that at this stage it's already becoming rather repetitive. However, I have to say that the metaphors you've conjured up are particularly impressive, and they can definitely arouse interest, although not really due to the plot, which is what you should be focusing on. However, this entire paragraph builds up slowly a feeling of conflict, which is almost necessary in capturing attention.

    Plot: Sure, this is believable enough. Son of a wealthy tailor in industrial city, suddenly everything turns topsy-turvy yay conflict. Although I guess conflict isn't everything in a story. So, the Prince of wherever declines the hand of the Alamaran Princess for some other girl, and the main character hears of it because of his father's 'affluence'. Okay, I really don't get that part -- maybe it's a niggly part, but these little parts that don't make sense do count in a Complex-rank story, jsyk. So, his father knows this because he's wealthy -- uh, where does wealth come in when obtaining information? And secondly, why would the information be coming in solely at night? As I understand it, the situation is somewhat more known than this little anecdote makes it out to be -- after all, royal affairs are usually known throughout a city or wherever the palace is located. Additionally, the information doesn't really appear grave enough to cause night-time conversations, nor does the information seem important enough to only be spread around rich people.

    Anyway, you continue onwards from that point, sticking in, "But for those who knew of the events, I’m sure they were surprised also." All right, but then after that, you drop the entire situation. If you put something like this in a new paragraph/line all on its own, a reader is obviously going to interpret it as something important, which is a view that you simply don't convey during the rest of the story. Oh, wait -- MUCH later on in the story, you say that the prince/princess non-relationship (that is a term, okay?) was a catalyst for the events. Except, you know, it wasn't -- or at least you contradicted that. The true reason for the war was unknown, so yeah... the prince/princess thing wasn't the catalyst, evidently. That makes the whole idea pointless -- it just seems like a starting point for your story, but there's no real reason to including it if it didn't actually cause anything.

    Also, a note (or fifteen) about the Bearin tribe -- what exactly was their purpose in the story? They were sided with Alamara, then they're not, then they are...? Of course, it's stated that they stabilised relationships with each other, but sure, I can go along with this -- but that doesn't account for the fact that the Bearin were being Alamaran missionaries. Nor, actually, why Alamarans were able to use the Bearin as shock troops and raiders. Of course, this particular group of the Bearin tribe could have been patriots, but that wasn't otherwise stated in the story, and it just makes me wonder about their real purpose, since, y'know, their relationships with the kingdom wasn't explained properly, and this random stabilisation somehow doesn't make sense, but I can slide along with this for now.

    The bonding with Durant was perfect, and it at least happened over a decent span of time. You know, like a normal bond should. And then suddenly, the reason for being captured by the Bearin and the soldiers becomes clear -- they wish to sell the young boy as a slave to other people, but that doesn't make sense on other levels. Why did they kill the rest of the family? I'm pretty sure that the females in particular would have brought a good price, especially since they would have been known by the Bearin to have worked in the shop, therefore they'd know how to do several different things that could... uh... be potentially useful if they were slaves to someone or another. So yeah, the previous rape and torture doesn't particularly make sense. Although, you know, they could maybe be like sadistic and enjoy sex or something. /le idk

    All in all, though, the plot isn't exactly a plot -- it's almost like you've invented several subplots and, although they're all running concurrently, there's no converging point and certainly no clear structure. Currently, the story seems to me like a series of events with no particular meaning or reason -- the only thing that has any semblance of a reason is when you say "Oh, but I learned why when I was older". It would be absolutely fantastic if you could share those reasons, because the excuse is used endlessly, almost like you couldn't be bothered explaining why.

    Read: you've made a good plot (of sorts, it's more like several subplots), but you've gotten lazy in places and the reasons for various things are unclear. This is a Complex-rank Pokémon -- you've got to join the plot together, and reasons must be present, subtly or not. Cleverly put together, if you can manage it. Right now, it's not even a plot. It's a hazy, random event.

    Also, uh. /twinge. Since this is a fantasy, made-up world, the writer technically wouldn't know about Tibet -- making the whole imagery of Tibetan mountains obsolete. Just so you know.

    Grammar/spelling: You need to work on your grammar -- big time. In places, it was okay, but in others it was quite shaky, and some things didn't even make sense. Either you didn't proofread - which you should have - or you simply didn't know what you were doing. We'll go with the former, and I'll tell you to please proofread. Let's begin, shall we? Boldface is corrections, okay?

    Quote Originally Posted by You, silly.
    I will say, "I wasn’t raised this way. I have seen this with my own eyes." They will scoff at this and say there is nothing on this planet that could have given me that view. I will laugh and say, "Let me tell you a tale."
    Where in the world have your speech marks gone to? I don't see how I can give you marks for being competent if you can't even get the basic grammar right. Some of this is actually direct speech, and - yup, you guessed it - you need SPEECH MARKS for that. <-- Do you like the prettiful way I said speech marks there? I thought it was rather impressive myself. I may consider doing this in various places from now on.

    The city house was used in the summer and spring so we could be closer to our shops, and we spent the fall and winter at our countryside.
    lol nope. A semicolon doesn't belong here, but instead these magical comma things are used. FESTIVE. The reason is hard to explain -- it's one of the constraints on the use of semicolons. Perhaps you'll find out the real reason once you grow older (or maybe use Google, idk).

    I was in the front, tending the counter, with my older brother taking orders.
    Well, since there are two subjects in the sentence -- 'I' and 'my older brother', each needs a clause of their own, right? And, of course, in order to join those clauses, we need a comma. Also, a comma is needed before tending because you used a preposition directly before a gerund (an -ing word).

    My sisters and mother were taking down measurements for customers and my father was checking our books, as the king was rumored to issue a new tax in the coming months.
    There must be some kind of obsession with not using commas. Without them, sentences simply become too long. You could also put a comma before 'and', but that would bring the whole argument on the Oxford comma into place, and I really don't want to go down that road. Yeah.

    I wonder now, if we had known what was brewing in the council chambers, would things have turned out differently.
    The first comma is optional-ish, but let's just go with how I've corrected it. It's a lot neater, and not so... awkward. Also, note how I've practically corrected an entire paragraph. That should probably show you how bad your grammar was in places.

    ... rumor said that the king of Alamara felt insulted by the gesture, which came without a warning.
    Without the correction, this sentence generally insinuates that the king was insulted without a warning -- like, the king's insulted feeling came without a warning, not the gesture. Confusing, I guess, but yeah.

    in compulsion
    The compulsion would be better. ._.

    I didn’t figure out why until I was much older in life.
    Uhm uhm uhm, this doesn't get a correction, but it still doesn't make sense. "In life" just doesn't belong there. IT DOESN'T. *kicks it out of the sentence.* It has no real meaning for the sentence, and it's not like he'd be much older in anything else anyway, unless he loves role-play or something.

    While high above the stars and moon watched as countless died.
    Also comes without boldface corrections. This sentence is missing something -- what was watching, namely. Without proper commas inserted, it sounds like there's something above the stars and moon watching, although what it is you haven't said (and even if there was something in there, a comma would have to go before the noun). Also, "While high above, the stars and moon watched as countless died" is also bad -- the stars and the moon are always up there anyway, so the word 'while' becomes redundant. Stick in 'from', and you're fine (as long as you put in the commas too).

    Because of my History and Geography courses I knew they hailed from the Bearin tribe high in the mountains of Alamara. While not often considered part of the Alamara empire, the Bearin tribes dominated the northern mountains that made up a fourth of the Alamara empire.
    History and Geography, as they're being referred to as academic subjects, get a capital letter each. Oh, and conflict between nouns -- the underlined words show this. Tribe/tribes -- is there one Bearin tribe, or are there multiple? You can't have both, silly.

    To my surprise it was a woman
    This is where I found your grammar comical. A WOMEN LOL.

    She caught sight of me and made to move forward but I slowly shook me head.
    "I slowly shook me head no"... lmfaooo. I don't mean to laugh, but this was hilarious. A slightly Irish twang thrown in there. 'By' should have been 'but' for obvious reasons, and 'no' can be omitted.

    ... but there would be less of a guard presence and the chance of running into any travelers was also lower.
    Mix-up of tenses here, although slightly less obvious. 'There would be' is like past conditional or something (I don't know what to call it), and 'was' is some other tense. Shortly put, 'would be' should be there for where 'was' is and also be where it is at the moment (i.e. it should be there twice), or you could have 'was' be there in both instances. Sorry for not explaining that very well, but my ability to be coherent is rather poor.

    Also, various adverbs such as 'sparingly' and 'anxiously' are only written without their 'ly'. TRY TO AVOID THAT, OLD CHAP. I'm almost sure I had some other points to bring up, but I must have forgotten -- and oh, there are more errors in your stories, but I'll leave you to actually proofread your story. From grading others' stories, I'd imagine you'd know by now where you've gone wrong if you proofread. ;}.

    Detail/description: Your description is actually quite good -- you've got your senses all nailed. Apart from taste, but tasting things doesn't actually come up in your story, so I can let that slide. However, there's one major lacking detail in terms of your description -- emotional appeal and response. The indignation (or indignance, as I prefer to call it) in places gives development into your character, but sometimes it seems bland, and the character actually has a clinical detachment at some points -- like when the woman is beheaded. Sure, he feels a splatter of blood on his face, and it's imprinted in his memory, but there's none of the really horrifying imagery coming across, and none of the desperation that such a young boy might feel at this. Of course, since the man's writing this in real-time or whatever, he may have gotten over their emotions.

    However, I think that perhaps instead of making this first-person, you should have gone for an entirely narrative piece. Of course, that would maybe have cut a little bit more of the character's insight out, but there's ways to work around that -- you can add emotion in a different way, and the style you used clearly wasn't working out for you, and it seemed like you went through some trouble to actually try and explain the style. As such, I don't believe that experimenting with this style really suited you, and I personally don't believe that first-person suits longer stories (although I'm probably just biased, since I'm useless at writing in third-person myself). What I suggested, though, would perhaps be good -- a swap of a little bit of feeling for a lot more description could have worked out for you.

    As far as the emotion goes in this story, you, as I said, didn't convey it altogether well. I think you could throw in the character's opinions into certain areas to give it that much more emotional effect, and character development, as this story pretty much revolves around one sole character, is important (not to mention the Complex-rankness). I also think that your style required too much explaining, which, realistically, cannot happen if you're actually writing a story in life. For example, if you wrote this in an exam -- you couldn't waste time explaining this style, and if you didn't, the readers would be highly confused. I suggest selecting a style which isn't such an obvious merge -- you could just try for simple first- or third-person. Yeah, that.

    Battle: There was a lot of violence, but not actually a battle -- at least not a Pokémon related one. I'm so good at making excuses for not grading this section.

    Length: It's enough, and that's really all that matters.

    Outcome: Durant is not captured. Firstly because of your grammar, secondly because of your plot, and thirdly because of the lack of emotion in places, which kind of un-fleshes your character. In order to pass the story, I'd need to see evidence of proof-reading. I want you to fix everything I've already stated up in the grammar section, and more -- I'm sure you're able to read, so I'd love you to go over your own story and pick out as many grammar mistakes as you can find. And fix them. As for the second reason, I can't actually ask you to rewrite the story, but keep the points I've made in mind when you're writing another story. As for the third reason, I want you to, whilst proofreading, see which parts particularly lack emotion (in the more graphic bits; the rape, beheading, etc) and rectify that -- add anecdotes, more indignation, imagery, usw. (USW = UND SO WEITER. I didn't want to say 'etc.' again x].)

    Now go forth, slave, and fix these things for me. Goodbye, and thank you.
    Last edited by Buoy; 13th December 2011 at 12:15 PM.

  8. #8
    noble roar Buoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Utterance

    Regrade.

    Durant is captured. I need this post to edit, though. Just wanted to get the verdict down so that it wouldn't be delayed any further. CHECK BACK SOON FOR ADVICE. PLEASE.

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