Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

For writers working on documentation, story prose, announcements, and all kinds of Wesnoth text.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby A-Red » July 15th, 2010, 2:33 am

Hey all,

I've finished writing the fan novel I've been working on for the last several months (and yes, at over 50,300 words it is novel-length), and am excited to finally be posting it for you to read. I would like to think of this as a contribution to the game in some way, though I don't know if that makes sense. I hope you enjoy.


Excerpt:

The next morning was sunlit and peaceful. Life had returned to the woodlands, flooding back in to fill the spaces it had deserted. Birds flitted from branch to branch, and beetles hummed through the air. It was as though the twin invasions of the day before had never happened; only the ground told otherwise. Kaltos was reminded of an old human legend he had once heard, in which a wizard had parted the ocean only to have it crash inward upon him as he attempted to cross. The natural world could not be conquered. It seethed with constant renewal, and with ageless vitality. Anything wrought upon it was swallowed whole—if not immediately, then eventually. It was so far beyond the measure of time that even patience held no meaning in its midst. That, Kaltos had always believed, was a part of its beauty.

They were in hill country, and the air was crisp with the first usherings of the day. It was mid-spring, and the grass was wet with the previous night’s mist. The troll party had kept to the low land wherever possible, but the path they followed was rugged nonetheless. He found it exhilarating.

“The scholar and runemaster Thrinval,” Parsothol intoned as they strode a few paces apart with the tract of rutted earth between them, “said of the trolls that they were incapable of anything more than the rudimentary elements of language, lacked most forms of logical reasoning, and were devoid of imagination. Such was their very nature, he said; he cited the shape of their skulls. Thrinval once had a young troll captured and caged, and tried to teach it mathematics and craftwork, but his efforts met only with inarticulate rage.”

Narthing snorted. “He should’ve seen that one coming.”

“He did it to prove his point, I think,” said Parsothol. “But tell me, Narthing: what would you have to say to a man who kept you in a cage?”

Edit: The most recent version of the story is now attached.
Attachments
Stone Remembers.rtf
(483.42 KiB) Downloaded 489 times
Last edited by A-Red on May 28th, 2014, 12:12 am, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
A-Red
Art Contributor
 
Posts: 495
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 1:21 am

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby Sapient » July 15th, 2010, 8:44 am

I wouldn't call this completed yet. The story is interesting enough, from what I've read so far, but the writing needs to be edited for some (mostly minor) mistakes.

Thanks for sharing it though. I can give some more feedback once I get a bit farther in. If you plan to keep working on it, that is.
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."
User avatar
Sapient
Developer
 
Posts: 4373
Joined: November 26th, 2005, 7:41 am

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby A-Red » July 15th, 2010, 8:58 pm

Sapient wrote:I wouldn't call this completed yet. The story is interesting enough, from what I've read so far, but the writing needs to be edited for some (mostly minor) mistakes.

Thanks for sharing it though. I can give some more feedback once I get a bit farther in. If you plan to keep working on it, that is.


Sure. I meant completed as in written from beginning to end. I'm open to criticisms.
User avatar
A-Red
Art Contributor
 
Posts: 495
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 1:21 am

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby A-Red » August 2nd, 2010, 10:15 pm

So I know it's not exactly bite-sized, but...has anybody read this, in full or in part?

I guess it's my own fault for not hyping beforehand.
User avatar
A-Red
Art Contributor
 
Posts: 495
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 1:21 am

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby Sapient » August 2nd, 2010, 10:32 pm

I just reached "The Underhalls". I put it down for a while then picked it back up. I am enjoying it but I am a slow reader, I guess. ;)

I think one problem is that there are so many dwarven characters to keep up with.
If it was a typical length novel you would probably introduce them a bit slower.
If you lose track of who is who, that can be a real impediment to enjoying the story.
Some novels have a glossary at the end to help you keep track.

Once I finish it I will post some feedback.
http://www.wesnoth.org/wiki/User:Sapient... "Looks like your skills saved us again. Uh, well at least, they saved Soarin's apple pie."
User avatar
Sapient
Developer
 
Posts: 4373
Joined: November 26th, 2005, 7:41 am

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby A-Red » August 3rd, 2010, 10:30 pm

Daikon in particular could use a better introduction, though I'm not entirely sure how best to go about it.

Otherwise, I thought I brought them in pretty slowly and carefully. Tritalas and Narthing are meant to be seen as a unit--at least at first, until later in the story when they get more individual development--but I could probably do more to emphasize that fact in the opening scenes. Any specific suggestions for how to handle the character introductions and differentiation (especially, which characters need it most)? If I added a glossary as suggested, do you think that would be enough?

On the other hand, there are only seven named dwarven characters (in a story that revolves entirely around Knalga, I might add), and only six at a time. That isn't *that* many, is it?
User avatar
A-Red
Art Contributor
 
Posts: 495
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 1:21 am

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby Anonymissimus » August 3rd, 2010, 11:27 pm

To let you know, I've read and enjoyed it, although it was hard since I'm no native speaker. I like this "burden of the history" feel that's in the whole story, disliked the quite sad open ending of it.
comments about ending:
Last edited by Sapient on August 4th, 2010, 6:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: spoiler tag
projects (BfW 1.12):
A Simple Campaign: campaign draft for wml startersPlan Your Advancements: mp mod
The Earth's Gut: sp campaignSettlers of Wesnoth: mp scenarioWesnoth Lua Pack: lua tags and utils
updated to 1.8 and handed over: A Gryphon's Tale: sp campaign
Anonymissimus
Developer
 
Posts: 2458
Joined: August 15th, 2008, 8:46 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby wesfreak » November 21st, 2010, 5:16 am

I didn't find the dwarf characters too much to keep up with (maybe it was a little confusing at first, but it clears up very soon.)

Overall, great story, (especially if you read the first sentence again right after finishing it). I especially like the way it expands on the troll civilazation and culture as well as that of necromancers, but it could use a bit of polishing: For example, a particular phrase pops up too often, (I forgot what it was right after reading the story :( ) and a few times non-humans are referred to as "men" rather than Dwarves or Elves, which might be misusing the term, although I'm not quite sure.
User avatar
wesfreak
 
Posts: 1020
Joined: October 28th, 2007, 1:11 pm
Location: in a land far far away

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby A-Red » November 21st, 2010, 5:27 am

Glad you liked it :)

I think dwarven men would think of each other as "men" rather than "dwarves." it's a generic term, and in a setting with only dwarves the narrative perspective should take their race for granted. If I passed a guy on the street, my internal monologue would be like "I just passed a guy on the street," instead of something overly specific like "I just passed an American on the street."
User avatar
A-Red
Art Contributor
 
Posts: 495
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 1:21 am

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby johndh » November 21st, 2010, 7:21 am

wesfreak wrote:I especially like the way it expands on the troll civilazation

I hadn't thought to comment on it at the time, but I agree. I love that the trolls weren't portrayed as mindless brutes, but rather misunderstood beings with the potential for intelligence and even eloquence.
a particular phrase pops up too often, (I forgot what it was right after reading the story :( )

This one?:
There was a sound like a hammer striking plate mail, magnified tenfold
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.
User avatar
johndh
 
Posts: 591
Joined: June 6th, 2010, 4:03 am
Location: Music City

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby wesfreak » November 21st, 2010, 2:32 pm

Not the whole phrase, but "magnified tenfold" or "magnified a hundredfold" were used a bit too often.
User avatar
wesfreak
 
Posts: 1020
Joined: October 28th, 2007, 1:11 pm
Location: in a land far far away

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby A-Red » November 21st, 2010, 5:11 pm

Fair enough. I was going for repetition (since it's always referring to the same sound), but it isn't a very good description.
User avatar
A-Red
Art Contributor
 
Posts: 495
Joined: May 6th, 2009, 1:21 am

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby DaBASCHT » March 9th, 2013, 1:46 pm

Yesterday I started to read this novel.

I think I’ll post everything that confuses me while I read it.

But I’m a slow reader and try to write a translation while I read it (to understand the whole story a bit better).

So there is an additional language barrier, which could lead to additional confusion in complexe scenes, but since BfW has an international community others may have the same issues.

I just started with page 3, but here is some feedback for the beginning:

First the positive:

I really like the idea of reading the tracks as a kind of story in the story

Some parts that could be improved:

You said
(in a story that revolves entirely around Knalga, I might add)
, I think it would be handy to mention that in the begining of the story like: Four Dwarves from Knalga examine the terrain two days out from their home.

What I thought and I when I read the names:

Kaltos — he assessed the clearing and no further information is given, so he must be a well known wise character from Wesnoth. I googled the name, but could not find anything and continued reading after a while.
Parsothol — Ah I’m in a dialog here
Narthing and Tritalas — They are hanging in the trees? Are they monkeys? How close to the main story line in this novel? Are they friend or foe? — Oh they are thumbing their weapons, they have to be foes, maybe some Goblins or Trolls who returned.
‘as the dwarves approached’ — Oh there were dwarvers, too. They were probably part of the battle, which took place in the clearing.
from ‘We’re two days out from Knalga,’ on I started to understand and the confusion vanished slowly
DaBASCHT
 
Posts: 1
Joined: July 24th, 2010, 1:21 pm
Location: Germany/Hesse

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby tr0ll » March 12th, 2013, 1:49 am

I didnt have any problem with the names or distinguishing the characters early in the text, but i grew up reading english so there is no language barrier.
The context is enough to figure out that Kaltos is a scout, Parsothol is a hybrid runesmith/dragonguard, and the others thunderguards and fighters. Can it be a Wesnoth-compatible story if the unit types don't follow the rules? I think for fiction it is within artistic licence to deviate a bit; anyway UMC authors do it all the time.
It might be more in keeping with the spirit of freedom in the GPL to distribute the novella using a publicly owned standard such as open document (ODT), instead of the Microsoft controlled RTF.
I noticed the repetition of "multiplied x-fold" as well, but took it in stride as a sort of trademark description of Deora's lightning attack. Speaking of the necromancer, using some of her lesser abilities might have helped her become more plausibly accepted by the dwarf leaders. That is, if her character were allowed to deviate from the strictly limited, combat-oriented set of abilities of her BfW unit-type.
Only a few typos, of no consequence.

All that said, i found it positively gripping and couldnt put it down (or rather, couldnt tear my eyes away from the screen). The characters have some depth to them, developed over the course of the story. There is tragedy, hope, humour, action (lots thereof), love, forbidden love, betrayal, bravery, sacrifice, philosophy and even music - what more could one ask!
The story would even seem to lend itself to adaptation as a campaign. I suppose the "young hero leading the last of his people on a desperate flight from extinction" trope has been well represented in existing campaigns, but i would welcome it just to see the cavern story art fleshed out and become mainline canon. Iirc one Knalga underhall campaign showcasing dwarven hubris has been done by Anonyssimus in The Earth's Gut UMC, and is easily compatible with this story (at a different time).
User avatar
tr0ll
 
Posts: 488
Joined: June 11th, 2006, 8:13 pm
Location: canada

Re: Stone Remembers: A Novel of Wesnoth (completed)

Postby Limabean » May 9th, 2013, 7:27 pm

I finished it and really enjoyed it, thank you for posting!

While I did notice the repeated phrases mentioned above, they didn't bother me. I liked that the Trolls weren't portrayed as mindless brutes, although I found myself craving a little more detail on their culture. They came across as stereotypical barbarian conquerors with little to suggest their culture was any different from other civilizations in that role in any other fantasy universe.

They're half made of rock, live for who knows how long, and regenerate when injured. That should all spice up their way of life to differentiate them from the average barbarian. Perhaps troll shamans would do the trick, or an ancient historical connection between them and the dwarves discovered in the underhalls
When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
-Arthur C. Clarke-
User avatar
Limabean
 
Posts: 350
Joined: August 26th, 2008, 2:14 pm
Location: New Hampshire, USA

Next

Return to Writers’ Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests