A Tale of Two Brothers: text overhaul

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Darker_Dreams
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Re: A Tale of Two Brothers: text overhaul

Post by Darker_Dreams »

Spoiler:
Spoiler:
Spoiler:

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A-Red
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Re: A Tale of Two Brothers: text overhaul

Post by A-Red »

I've been back over the whole thing using many of the suggestions made (all edits made to the original posts). There are a couple of bits of dialogue I'm still thinking about, but overall I think I've worked out the kinks.

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Darker_Dreams
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Re: A Tale of Two Brothers: text overhaul

Post by Darker_Dreams »

"animated corpses"
If you're not going to refer to them as "walking corpses" you should probably move further from the term- as it is it looks like you're trying to avoid the unit name... and it should never look like that (especially when its true).
A-Red wrote:Our outer defenses slowed them enough for the townspeople to quell the attack with only a few casualties, but we cannot survive many more nights like this one.
The undead first appeared a week ago and have struck sporadically since that time, but the people of Maghre have not once managed to respond quickly or effectively.
Vary your sentence structure. I advise against putting two ", but" sentences back to back.
A-Red wrote: When I was a student at Alduin I crafted a pair of amulets for us so that we could call to each other in times of need. For the second time in my life I have sent out that call. I do not know if he will come. I do not know if he has even kept the amulet. We have not spoken once in the four years since Toen Caeric.
This is the same kind of exposition we've been hunting and killing elsewhere. I'm going to swing at a version;
my try
I used the amulets I made at Alduin to try and call to my brother. I do not know if he even kept his part of the pair. If he comes it will be the first time we have spoken since Toen Caeric. With that memory as the only other time I called him thus I have little hope.

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boru
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Re: A Tale of Two Brothers: text overhaul

Post by boru »

A-Red, I'm really glad someone is finally doing this. :)

To look at the big picture for a moment: I've always felt the final scenario was a bit of a let down. We fight undead armies in the first, elves on their home turf in the second, an evil sorcerer in the third ... and then a bunch of orcs.

Tairach really needs some development before we can be convinced he's a campaign finale -worthy threat. In the current version, he has no lines. In your version, he has:
A-Red wrote:Tairach: You! The mage who scarred me with fire! KILL THEM!
You've answered a lot of questions with your rewrite, but new questions arise. Since Tairach arranged for Bjarn's capture, why is he not there to gloat over the capture? What are his plans for Bjarn, just kill him or something else? Why do the sorcerers obey Tairach? Why doesn't Tairach just send some of his elite orcs to kill Bjarn? As you've written it, Bjarn did something far worse to Tairach than burn his face ... he scared him and made him run away, while his clan was in battle. Maybe there were some repercussions to Tairach's cowardice, or maybe it's something unspoken.

Hope this helps.
“It is written in my life-blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other.” - J.R.R. Tolkien

My campaign: Swamplings - Four centuries before the founding of Wesnoth, the first wolf rider emerges from a tribe of lowly swamp goblins.

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A-Red
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Re: A Tale of Two Brothers: text overhaul

Post by A-Red »

boru wrote:
A-Red wrote:Tairach: You! The mage who scarred me with fire! KILL THEM!
You've answered a lot of questions with your rewrite, but new questions arise. Since Tairach arranged for Bjarn's capture, why is he not there to gloat over the capture? What are his plans for Bjarn, just kill him or something else? Why do the sorcerers obey Tairach? Why doesn't Tairach just send some of his elite orcs to kill Bjarn? As you've written it, Bjarn did something far worse to Tairach than burn his face ... he scared him and made him run away, while his clan was in battle. Maybe there were some repercussions to Tairach's cowardice, or maybe it's something unspoken.

It's tough to make everything clear with limited exposition, but what I meant to get across is that the two dark sorcerors are not working for Tairach--rather, they're on the run from him, and are trying to lift the bounty off of their own heads by delivering someone he wants even more. Consider Rotharik's line: "the orcs will still come for me; they have been scouring the borderlands and raiding the northern farm country in search of us." Tairach doesn't know where Bjarn is. He happens to be attacking the village of Maghre just because he's attacking villages (while looking for the sorcerors)--a coincidence that brings the characters together in a karmic fashion.

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esr
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Re: A Tale of Two Brothers: text overhaul

Post by esr »

Lord of Prose here. This rewrite is good stuff. I'll probably merge it into TB, adding archaisms and rephrasing where needed.

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A-Red
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Re: A Tale of Two Brothers: text overhaul

Post by A-Red »

Glad to hear it!

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esr
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Re: A Tale of Two Brothers: text overhaul

Post by esr »

OK, I've done the text merge.

Your new backstory - the tension between the brothers and the debacle at Toen Caric - has gone in whole. That was good thinking and good storytelling. With some very nice touches - Arne's echo of Bjarn's early line "You be the right hand, I'll be the left" just before the fight with Tairach was dead on.

All the the journal entries went in with only very light editing, except for Bjarn's first one. I thought the saga-style opening we already had was too good to throw away, so I used it as a lead-in to a much shorter journal entry that focuses on Bjarn's feelings about his brother.

I was more conservative with the dialog changes. The ones relating to new plot went in, but I didn't merge the merely wordsmithing ones unless I thought they were a very clear improvement. There are two reasons for this. One is that you aren't yet as good at hitting a consistent level of mild archaism (Victorian/Edwardian Tolkien-like feel, with occasional reversions to almost Shakespearean early modern English) as I want; thus, in some cases, your improvements weren't. The other reason is that I like to avoid small changes that create lots of translation work.

You missed a couple of opportunities. One, early on, was Arne's second line of dialog. Note how I've added "be content with that", ratcheting up the sense that Arne is angry or disdainful of his brother. Another: I understand why you wanted to delete Rotharik's death speech, but that was the perfect moment to re-introduce Tairach as a bit of a mystery. The grim fatalism of "Your hand or Tairach's, death is still death..." finishes Rotharik's character arc symmetrically with the bleak tone of his journal entry.

Overall you did very good work, and you'll get better at the house style with practice. This is actually something of a milestone - the first serious mainline campaign prose rewrite that is both up to my standards and done by someone who's not me. Congratulate yourself. :-)

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