Valiant [SWC]

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  1. #1
    TYKG SLCalamity's Avatar
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    Default Valiant [SWC]

    Okay, didn't think I'd get an entry in but I was looking through some past stories earlier today and saw this was unfinished at 17k characters and thought it had potential. SO HERE'S MY ENTRY. I don't think I'm going to win or anything, I just want my mons and quicker grading. Some of the story/names of characters were inspired by the book 'Bec' by Darren Shan.

    For: Scraggy and Ralts
    Needed: 20k-40k
    Length: Over 23000.

    EDIT: I SHOULD PROBABLY COPY AND PASTE THE STORY IN TOO *facepalm*

    VALIANT.

    Camlin McLennard came from a small, humble family who came from the Scottish province of Clydesdale. He had his hair cut short when he had reached the age of eighteen in a rite of passage, to symbolise that he was starting his life anew. Only a thin layer of his ginger hair was visible. Camlin had greyish-blue eyes and a rough face. He had been in a few scraps with wild animals already in his life, just to help toughen himself up. Adults in the community were expected to train as warriors, because dying in battle was the greatest honour that one could have. Bravery and obedience was demanded by the leaders of the tribe; it was an extremely tough lifestyle, but it had its bonuses. You had the respect of everyone else in the village; the elders admired you, the women wanted to marry you and the children looked up to you like a role model. Once you were in a regular regime, life started looking up again after the original hardships.

    Camlin was the average height for a boy of his age, if not slightly taller. His body was already quite worn out, though that could be expected for someone of his age. Men in the tribe died young in battle, so they had to father children young before they went to war. This is what Camlins father had done, meeting his mother at around the same age the boy was now, before being victorious in many a fight. Then one day, he went out one day and never returned. Weeks later, his body was found by some of the tribesmen as they went hunting one day, locked in a death embrace with an also dead tiger. Camlin didn't really realise what was going on that day, being only four, but he couldn't remember the screams and cries of his mother. Those memories still haunt him to this day.

    He was a muscular boy, much like anyone who was at all respectable in the clan. Even the elders, all five in total – Caddigan, Barnabus, Sheamus, Mikel and Saffron (the only female elder) – had muscles the size of bowling balls, despite their old age. And once again, like most of the men and women of the tribe, he walked around topless – it was all too easy to get your weapon snagged on the cloth of a robe in the case of a surprise attack – but they wore light shorts to keep the lower half concealed!

    The village itself where Camlin lived was simple; some of the local livestock from the farm was free to roam around. There were no roads as we knew them today, but just dusty paths that lead in all sorts of directions. There was no paving, just the earth. It wasn't the most beautiful place, but it was like this all over the country, so it wasn't as if only this area of Scotland was badly off.

    It had only been a week since Camlin had his full initiation ceremony into the tribe, but already his vigorous training schedule was to begin. One of the most respected but fierce tribesmen, Bran, was in control of the entire process. His strict rules had proven successful year after year – the tribe had won most of their battles, and had pillaged the remains of every other village who had even attempted to conquer them. The tribe itself (named the Medulli)consisted of a collection of small towns in the local area all joining together to create the mighty force that they were. The central town of the tribe was Erghoff, a market town, which happened to be the birthplace of Camlin. He was still living there all these years – at this time in history, it was uncommon for anyone – but not unheard about - to move away. Instead, many young adults were sent away on quests or missions, or chose to go on a journey on their own to grow stronger.

    One of the things that Camlin had been looking forward to the most was gaining his own Pokémon. These creatures had powers that some deemed as witchcraft, but recently people had learned how to harness their power and use them to their advantage as companions and warriors. They were regarded on equal level as humans after proving their worth in battle multiple times. Now, every person was given two once they had come of age. It was time for the young ginger to get his new warriors. He formed a line behind a couple other warriors who were around the same age as him, all bare chested, prepared to obtain the mysterious creatures. There were a bunch of Pokémon standing behind another member of the tribe, this time female – Fionula. She was fair looking. Her blonde hair was flowing gracefully down her neck, just barely touching her white and purple gown – one of the only people to wear one. Her skin was soft and pale, like a marshmallow which took human form. She was much fantasised about by many of the men in Erghoff, and it was easy to see why. She asked the men in turn which Pokémon they wanted, and they took time and a bit of careful deliberation in picking their team mates. There were a bunch of strong looking creatures in the selection – Machop, Timburr, Larvitar, Riolu – all trying to show off their respective skills. One by one, they were chosen by the men in front of Camlin, and it was finally his turn.

    “Camlin McLennard?” Fionula had asked. Her voice was gentle, however she had a noticible Scottish accent. “I'm sorry, but we don't have much choice for you. There are only two left – all of the others have been taken by the rest of the

    Camlin glanced behind the beautiful woman, and saw two scrawny Pokémon looking lonely. The first was a Scraggy. It had arms not too dissimilar in looks to twigs, and its pale yellow colour didn't really intimidate every one. It had put on what Camlin assumed to be its most menacing look. But for all he cared, it could have been its most friendly look – its semicircular mouth baring a few teeth. His eyebrows furrowed in, but it made no difference to the overall appearance of the creature.

    The second was something he hadn't ever seen before. It was really small, and had a thin, white body. It had a green, bowl shaped part which sat atop its head, looking almost like hair. This green section had a thin red boomerang protruding out of it. It had a constantly confused look upon its face, otherwise looking calm. It certainly was an odd sight to behold.”

    “Excuse me? Finn?” Camlin asked, calling Fionula by her nickname. “What is that?” he questioned, pointing at the unknown creature.

    “Ah,” she said. “This is a rare Pokémon me and Titus found when we were out hunting together. It's name is Ralts, and although it doesn't look like much, I'm sure it will become a strong and valiant fighter, and become a vital member of your team in some way or another.”

    “Alright then. It seems like I don't have any choice, so I guess I'll take these two then.”

    Camlin wasn't exactly overjoyed by the prospect of owning these two weak Pokémon, but then again it was much better than nothing. For him, it was definitely a mixed bag. All he could hope for was that either their looks meant nothing about their fighting ability, or at least they would become stronger as time progressed.

    Camlin walked slowly back to his small hut. Huts were the living places of many townspeople, because they were relatively cheap, and easy to disassemble and re-erect in the case of an emergency. He took in the musty country air, and smiled. He now only had to train before he would be allowed to battle. He thought himself to be at least emotionally prepared to kill for the good of the clan, but he still had much to learn physically – his tactics were shoddy, to say the least.

    He approached his minuscule house, his new Pokémon by side, when it dawned on him that it was the eve of his mothers birthday, and he had not yet bought her a gift. However, he would wait a bit. He wanted to show her his Ralts and Scraggy, before heading out into the wilderness to see what he could find for her. Camlin walked through the doorway, a grinning at his parent.

    His mother, April, was quite old for one of the tribe, at the age of thirty-seven. Even the women had a short life expectancy, due to all the diseases that the people had no knowledge of back then. Her hair matched her sons, though it had a hint more red in it. She was once an extremely beautiful woman, but as she grew older these good looks began to fade away, although some of her traits remained, such as her beautiful eyes, still the same, shining green that they always have been. She too, like Camlin, walked around with no top; nothing to cover her cleavage.

    “Mum, I got my two Pokémon,” he stated. “They don't look much, but I've been told that if trained correctly, they can become fearless beasts!”

    Camlins mother looked at the two Pokémon that were standing either side of the boy. What a sight that they were! Camlin looked so much more muscular standing between the two weak creatures. His grin turned into a weak smile as his mothers glaring eyes did not look impressed. Her hair turned even redder as her face started to contort into a look of rage and anger. She certainly did not look pleased, not even the tiniest amount.

    “What the hell are these?” She yelled, snapping her head to look at the Pokémon. “Why these? These must be the sorriest looking Pokémon I've ever seen! Your father would be so mad!”

    “But mum! These were the only two that were left when it was my turn to pick one. I didn't get a choice!”

    Through this argument, the Scraggy and Ralts just waited silently where they were. They were quite upset – their master only chose them because they were the last ones! And his mother didn't approve either! It was awful being in their position, standing in peace while wanting to shout out in anger.

    “So why didn't you turn up earlier, then? Being late is no excuse for having these weaklings by your side! I swear to God, you'd better get me something mighty fine for my birthday tomorrow, or I will set all the demons in Hell loose on you!”

    Camlin couldn't take this any more. Grabbing the hands of the Pokémon, and quickly snatching his knapsack from the floor, he stormed out in annoyance. His mother was annoyed at something out of his control, and didn't offer any support. Camlin hoped to prove the evil witch wrong, and make sure that he would get her a good enough gift, or else the scenario would never improve.

    Strangely enough, the last line of her speech had reminded the shaven adult about a poem she had once sung to him. And although he couldn't remember the words exactly, he still reminisced about the good times that the two had had while he was growing up. It made him feel much more better about being pretty much forced into getting his mother a gift. But where to start? There were some caves full of goblins to the hills in the north, which must contain at least a little bit of treasure inside. For the time being, with his Pokémon being so weak, Camlin had decided to go with that idea. He checked inside the knapsack, and saw little provisions. “This will have to do!” he said to himself quietly. “I'm sure there will be at least some food within the depths of the cave!”

    This first little adventure with his comrades seemed to make him forget his troubles from earlier on. It was his first true test, and he had to do it or his life would be hell. Picking up his small brass compass from his cloth bag, he found out which way was west, and proceeded in that direction. Camlin walked past one of the many farmers, Glynn, many cows trailing behind him. They must be heading towards the barn, Camlin thought, looking over at the large red structure on a mound to my direct left. Camlin could have sworn that Glynn had smiled, almost in hilarity, at the sight of him, Ralts and Scraggy. The youngster was getting annoyed at everybody smirking at him. It made him feel inferior to the others, maybe even separate to the rest of the tribe community. He just had to prove himself in some way.

    Onwards Camlin walked. Any normal person would not be able to have walked this far without feeling pain, but his weary self was used to enduring the pain of a long, long walk. He had been walking for a handful of hours, and as he had set off early, he saw the faint blur of the goblin caves just as the sun was at its highest point in its endless cycle. Every step he took closer to his destination, the larger this blur had become. In addition to this, it became more focused, so he could see the general shape of the mountains and the greys that made up the colour. The trip was relatively uneventful – Camlin hadn't met any passers-by either arriving from or heading to the caves.

    Eventually, after another ten or twenty minutes, Camlin had arrived at the foot of the mountain. Fortunately, the caves were somewhat near the base of the mountain, so it wasn't to be a strenuous climb at all. Putting both arms out against the face of the wall, Camlin searched for a bump or ledge that he could use to support himself. He found two, placing either of his palms on them and proceeded to climb. After he made it to about ten feet high, he looked down, and saw his two 'prized' Pokémon looking back at him. Camlin was going to leave them both there for the duration of his quest, before realising that he had forgot to pack any weapons with him! He had no way of defeating the goblins for a chance to gain their treasure, and it was too long of a journey to go back. The Pokémon had to come. Climbing down, he looked left and right, scouting the hill for a path he could take upwards, but to no ones surprise, there wasn't one. Sighing, he picked both of his creatures up, and carried them on his back. It made it slightly more difficult, but between them they couldn't have weighed more than twenty kilograms. He climbed at a slower pace, but eventually, he felt the smooth surface of the ledge he was aiming to get to.

    Using the last of his remaining energy, he pulled himself and his partners onto the top ledge, and sat down to rest. He would wait a couple of minutes before beginning to attack the creatures. Looking at the two creatures beside him, he hoped that they had some form of an special ability, deeply hidden away inside of them. After this short period of rest, they prepared for battle.

    “Okay you two,” said Camlin, signalling his comrades. “I'll try and help you with this, but if you need to work independently, don't be afraid, just do whatever you need to defeat these monsters. Is that okay with both of you?”

    Both seemed to nod slightly, and they were both confident that they were to prove their worth. Striding towards one of the caves, their noses could pick up the vile scent of the goblins. Their musty scent wafted through the cool air, and revolted the heroes. The cave itself was lit by torches bolted to the walls, the red and yellow flames flickering, creating uneven light all around. Once they took a step inside the cavern, Camlin, Ralts and Scraggy all noticed how moist and humid it was, almost being able to feel the water particles with every step that they took. It wasn't very well kept, with bones from a multitude of animals scattered along the dirty floor – presumably from their supper one night. Suddenly a large snapping noise which rung through the ears of Camlin, echoing off each of the walls. This was followed by a similar crunching noise which had the same deafening effect.

    As they turned a corner, they suddenly tried to hide as they found the beasts they were aiming to slay. In their language, there were talking, joking around. There were about ten of them (although Camlin suspected that there were more deeper into the cave), all sitting around a beautifully carved wooden table eating raw meat, surrounded by heaps of gold and jewels. These valuables glistened nicely in the light, seemingly highlighting their value. It was an extraordinary amount of wealth in that one place, all sitting there unused. Perfect for a small gift.

    The goblins were small, only about three foot high, with large, pointy ears. They had no hair (well, visible hair anyway) and wore extremely dirty rags as shirts. They were each holding a wooden club in one of their hands, even while eating at the dinner table; they were extremely cautious. The goblins had deep voices like an adult human. The females were a slightly lighter shade of green.

    There wasn't going to be any chance of getting treasure without being spotted, so on the count of three all of the heroes commenced the battle by running out and beginning to defeat the goblins. Almost immediately, all of them turned their heads and due to their naturally fast reflexes, instantly got up onto their feet and started charging.

    “Punch him, Scraggy!” Camlin called as one of the smaller goblins ran towards it. “Then follow up with a Hi Jump Kick!”

    Scraggy followed its command, launching a surprisingly powerful fist into the abdomen of the assailant. While it was dazed, it threw a foot at the weakened creature, knocking it out completely.
    It saw its next victim, and used a similar move to defeat him, first using an uppercut, before finishing with a Headbutt, which made the unsuspecting monster go flying across the cave – the Scraggy had a hard head.

    While Scraggy continued fighting the incoming goblins, Camlin directed his attention to the Ralts, who seemed to be having more problems. “C'mon Ralts,” he called. “Use a powerful punch, like Scraggy!”

    Ralts lifted up his arm, and thrust an arm at an enemy. Needless to say, it did very little damage, before the foe managed to pull off a strong hit with the club he was holding in his greasy hand. While the Ralts was down, the goblin took a few steps towards it, a menacing look across its face. It towered over the defenceless Pokémon, preparing to deliver the final blow. It raised its club up, over its head and started to swing down before it was blown across the room by a powerful wave of psychic energy, only stopping when it had made impact with the solid stone wall.

    Camlin looked at the weedy Pokémon in awe. He had never have thought that the Psychic-type would have the potential to perform such a devastating blast of energy. Suddenly full of confidence, the young man began to send more orders to his teammates. “Scraggy,” he yelled, “Keep fighting! Your kicks and punches are really effective on these scumbags. If you need any help, call out and I can get Ralts to step in.” Camlin directed his attention at Ralts. “I have no clue what you just did there, but it's working well. Try and focus your energy into a more concentrated shot, you might be able to finish them off a little easier, aye? Keep at it.”

    It turned out that the ginger was right about more monsters living deeper into the tunnel, as several more poured out of the darkness and into the dimly lit room. Wanting to join the fray as well, Camlin unsheathed his short sword. Almost instantly, he was charged at by several of the pungent creatures, but with one swift slice of his blade he beheaded several of them. He heard another goblin come from his behind and without looking stabbed the enemy through the chest. Both of the Pokémon seemed to be holding their own quite well, even with wave after wave of them attacking them. It looked like an easy enough victory. Slowly but surely, the number of goblins was depleting.

    The last goblin was finished off with a Hi Jump Kick to the face from the minuscule Fighting- and Dark- type Pokémon. The threesome surged forwards into the dining room, almost overflowing in gold, jewels and other valuables. Camlin noticed a stunning necklace, embedded with a large, uncut diamond. This was sure to be an adequate gift for his mother.

    “Scraggy and Ralts,” Camlin called. “Do me a favour and grab as much gold as you can handle. Let's get out of her-”

    The warrior was cut off by a booming noise, so loud that the ground wobbled very slightly. This was followed by another, and another, the volume of the boom and the fierceness of the vibrations becoming more intense with each extra sound. And then they saw it, a behemoth of a goblin. It was at least eight feet tall, as wide as two cows and gave off the most disgusting smell.

    “What the fuck is that thing?” Camlin asked out loud, to no one in particular. He had never seen anything like it. It was the same, deep green colour as the goblins and had the same, long, curly, greasy hair as the rest of them. It's face looked like it had been hit with a shovel, such was the degree of ugliness. And it looked angry.

    “Shokgh mval inueri hoklow!” it exclaimed, which Camlin could only guess meant 'get off my gold'. He had to defeat the beast.

    “Ralts, hit it with your magic powers! Scraggy, hold back for a bit. We need it to become weaker before you can begin to attack it. We need to hit it from a range first.”

    Both Pokémon dropped the currency which they were holding in their hands, ready to fight. Ralts obliged with the order, and the air rippled as it launched a burst of invisible energy at the goblin king. It stumbled a bit, but otherwise seemed unaffected. It took another huge step, and the shock waves from the stomp threw the Ralts to the floor. It struggled to stand up, and already it knew it stood very little chance of dealing a lot of damage. The gigantic troll continued walking and even Camlin had to try his very hardest not to fall. Already it was standing just in front of the Ralts, ready to finish it with a single stomp. Scraggy, sensing the endangerment of its friend, sprinted forwards and delivered a headbutt to the stomach of the goblin. Its fat cushioned the blow, and only wobbled slightly. It must have only felt like a light slap to the beast.

    Unfortunately, this had hurt Scraggy more than the opponent, and it was injured on the floor. The scenario was even worse than it was several moments ago – now both creatures were about to perish. Although he had only been partners with them for a few short hours, Camlin already sensed a bond between them.

    The goblin raised it's right leg, preparing the final blow. “No!” cried Camlin in desperation. He couldn't let his friends die for the sake of his mothers birthday.

    The foot crashed down. It was just a mere inches from the Pokémon before the Ralts used the last of its energy to shield the blow with a bubble of energy. And Camlin knew that he had to act now, while the goblin king was caught off-guard. Rushing forwards, he held his sword tightly and thrust it upwards, through the scrotum and continuing through its innards. As Camlin withdrew his blade, the goblin's intestines began to splurge out viscously. It fell to the floor with an almighty thud, and the floor rumbled. It was still breathing, albeit very lightly, despite the horrific injuries it had just obtained. Camlin walked over to the kings head and severed it to ensure it was dead.

    Camlin checked on his two Pokémon, who were fine and relatively unscathed. The cave system was now cleared of goblins, and the trio finally gathered up as much gold as they could handle before heading out of the cave. It was unlikely that they would return to pillage more valuables, as much stronger creatures or animals would inhibit the cave in the future.

    As they got to the cave mouth, they noticed it was dark – they had been in the cave for longer than they thought. They had to rush back to deliver April's present to her, as a token of apology. She would be more than pleased with the diamond necklace, and even happier that Scraggy and Ralts were not as weak as she initially thought. Things were looking up for the three of them, and there were surely going to be many adventures ahead.
    Last edited by SLCalamity; 31st July 2012 at 04:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Senile EmBreon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Valiant [SWC]

    Plot: Not bad at all. The setting was clever and the theme was cute. I'm always a sucker for underdog stories. I felt the moral of the story tied into "Don't judge a book by its cover", and we were left with a pleasant feeling of accomplishment by the end of this. While the storyline itself was a bit simple, you are going for some Medium pokes here, and that hits them just fine. I loved the fantasy realm mood and the climax with the goblins; it was overall nicely done. Great story. :)

    However, watch out for being too convenient. You want your events to feel real and believable, and often they felt forced and tacked on with no explanation or build into them. For instance, Camlin happening to be last to choose his Pokemon, and being forced to be paired with the worst of the pickings. It happening to be his mother's birthday the same day (BY THE WAY, CHICK'S A BITCH), and him happening to have forgotten her present. There happening to be a cave filled with treasure nearby... While stories are imaginative, and certainly written to be forced into chance, make sure that the reader doesn't realize that. Smooth them into a natural state. Have them unfold on their own rather than stating them mechanically in a monologue.

    Something else to be wary of: overwriting. It exists. It also makes your work rough and tedious to read. Mention things only when necessary. If it is redundant to the storyline, or is irrelevant reiteration of things you have already written, don't tack it on. It ends up actually harming you because it winds up feeling like forced character count, and is most importantly not fun to picture. Focus on breathing life into your characters and your reality, and develop a fun string of events instead.

    That aside, as I already said, this is a dandy attempt for Medium pogeys. I enjoyed it and I think you should write some more. :3


    Grammar:The most boring section of every grade. Here's a cool gif to lift your spirits:



    Unfortunately, this was the weakest part of your story. It seems like it wasn't proofread, because there were several common typos such as double wordings and mix ups of "its" and it's". Judging from this story, I get the impression that you already know the difference. But to clarify, "its" is possessive and "it's" = "it is".

    The majority of your sentences also packed a wallop of commas. A comma isn't necessary at every pause. And in addition to that, there were commas placed where there was not even a pause at all. Use them sparingly, because to be honest, less is more. If you can't think of a certain grammatical rule that would require the placement of a comma (such as in lists, with conjunctions, and after introductory words or phrases), then you probably don't need one. It is also not a requirement to always have a comma before a phrase starting with 'and'.

    Rereading your story is pretty crucial, because there are things that you don't or won't notice while typing it for the first time. You can't get a feeling for your flow when your brain is processing the keys you are pressing and forming an idea of what's to come next. Things can get muddied with over-compensated details, or left out in areas that are far too vague. I often don't realize what I have actually written down when I get going with a quick streak of writing, because while I see it it my brain, my fingers aren't fast enough to translate it to text and the scene will get completely skipped. BUT MAYBE THAT'S JUST ME.

    Either way, try not to rush it, even if you really just want the thing to be finished (I sure know the feeling). Because on the off chance that the plot wasn't good enough to carry you, you'll need your technicalities to have little flaw.


    Details: You covered just about everything. Every imaginative sense of mine was put to work in here; it was a very clean job. Try to avoid describing things all at once, though. Paragraphs packed with every minuscule detail about someone's appearance are very mundane. Spread these kinds of descriptions out over time as they become relevant. Yes, we want to know what things look like, but not at the expense of your story. The brain is slow and lazy; it won't remember things like shirt color paragraphs later when action unfolds unless it is written interestingly enough to grab attention. People tend to rave about the importance detail in stories as though the God of literature depends upon it - but it's really not true. The most important part of writing is... *drumroll* - Fun. Have fun. People read because they enjoy it. Details are an amazing tool used in creating a great story, but not to the point that they should be forced in where detail isn't necessary. Too much detail is as bad as too little when it is bland and factual data.

    Don't get me wrong though, there were several moments of pure gold in this story. Like this one:

    And then they saw it, a behemoth of a goblin. It was at least eight feet tall, as wide as two cows and gave off the most disgusting smell.

    “What the fuck is that thing?” Camlin asked out loud, to no one in particular. He had never seen anything like it. It was the same, deep green colour as the goblins and had the same, long, curly, greasy hair as the rest of them. It's face looked like it had been hit with a shovel, such was the degree of ugliness.
    I laughed out loud. :x


    Battle: MY FAVORITE. I felt like I was playing a Fable cavern or something. xD This was the most entertaining part of the story for me, and I felt it was written perfectly. The length felt right, it wasn't overly one-sided, and there was plenty of entertainment to keep it from becoming a stale/gameboy-styled duel. I just wish that Camlin kept all those jewels for himself because Alice sure doesn't deserve them. THAT WENCH.

    Look how long this section is.


    Outcome: Ralts and Scraggy - captured! This tale was superb. I hope you have fun with your weaklings.

    urpg

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