Tale of Two Brothers

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Daravel
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Tale of Two Brothers

Post by Daravel »

I know the storyline for TTB was recently re-done, but I played through it yesterday and felt that some of the dialgoue could use some tightening up. Whether I have succeded however...

Wasn't sure if I should contact the maintainer directly (how do I find out who that is?) or post it on here, but I wanted to get some feedback first anyway. This is just the intro and first scenario to see what people think. Original text is followed by my revision in red.

Introduction:

The remote freehold of Maghre in the western reaches of the kingdom of Wesnoth was once a peaceful place, its inhabitants largely unaware of the comings and goings of the wider world. Wars and the rumor of wars touched them not, until the day a dark mage settled in the region and began seeking sacrifices for his evil summonings."
The remote freehold of Maghre in the western reaches of the kingdom of Wesnoth was once a peaceful place, its inhabitants largely unaware of the comings and goings of the wider world. Not even the rumors of war reached them, until the day a dark mage settled in the region seeking sacrifices for his evil works."

Skeletons and zombies killed cattle and fired fields. <i>“Fear and obey Mordak the Mage!”</i> they cried in fell voices as they did their foul deeds. People vanished from isolated farmsteads. Men and women began to fear the night, and their children even the bright day. But the nearest lord was more than a day’s ride distant, and messengers sent to seek his help did not return."
Skeletons and zombies butchered cattle and torched fields. <i>“Throw yourselves at the mercy of Mordak!”</i> they taunted in fell voices as they committed their foul deeds. Villagers vanished from isolated farmsteads, soon men and women feared the night, and their children trembled even at the day. But the nearest lord was more than a day’s ride distant and messengers sent to seek his help did not return."

There was a man named Baran who had shown talent as a mage when he was young, gone to the great Academy on the Isle of Alduin, and returned to work his magic in the land where he was born. The people looked to him for help and leadership. He found weapons half-forgotten from the times of their sires and grandsires hanging in many houses, and bade the villagers to take them down and clean and oil them. He set the smiths of Maghre to making spearheads and ax-blades for the rest."
One villager, a man named Baran, who in his youth and had attended the great mage academy on the Isle of Alduin had some experience in the art of war. The people looked to him for leadership. Baran bade the villagers take up the weapons that hung in many homes, half forgotten from the times of their grandsires. He set the smithies to work: sword, shield, arrow and spear and he led his people out to stand together against their oppressors.

Now Baran had a brother named Arvith who had also left Maghre to seek his fortune, and had become the leader of a small band of horsemen who hired out as guards to merchant caravans. Fortunate it was for all that when Baran was but an apprentice mage, he had made a pair of amulets for himself and his brother, with which they might call to each other when in dire need. Baran sent out that call."
Now Baran had an older brother, Arvith, who had also left Maghre to seek his fortune. More a man of steel than Baran, he led a small band of horsemen as mercenary guards for the merchant caravans. Fortune it was that Baran, as an apprentice, had enchanted a pair of amulets with which either brother could summon the other in times of need. Baran sent out that summons.

Excerpt from the journal of Baran of Maghre

If I could but face this ‘Mordak’! I think my magic might prove stronger than his. But he bides in the hills, well-guarded by his servants, and I muster frightened peasants to fight his minions with blades and sticks. I need my brother; he always had a better head for battle than I.

Will he heed the call? I do not know if he has kept the amulet; we have not spoken since that evil day at Toen Caric. If he will not come for me, perhaps he will return to aid our village in its hour of desperate need."
Excerpt from the journal of Baran of Maghre

If I could but face this ‘Mordak’! I daresay that my magic would prove the stronger. But he hides in the hills, well-guarded by his slaves, while I muster frightened peasants to fight his menace with blades and sticks. I need Arvith; he has a better head for battle than I.

Will he heed the call? I do not know if he has kept his amulet; we have not spoken since that evil day at Toen Caric. If he will not come for me, perhaps he will come for the village in its darkest hour.


Heeding the call of his amulet, Arvith gathered such men as he could and hurried to Maghre to help Baran.
Arvith felt the faintly familiar tingling sensation of the amulet, Maghre was in peril… Baran had called for aid. He felt a mixture of bitterness and desperation as he gathered such men as could be found and made haste to Maghre.

Scenario 1:

The villagers of Maghre have taken up weapons but they are not trained fighters; but we need your men, and you to lead them.
The villagers of Maghre have taken up weapons but they are not trained fighters; we need your men, and you to lead them."

All right. I will do this for the village. Can you keep the mage off our backs
I will do this, for the village... Can you handle this Mordak?

I will go stealthily with a handful of our best scouts and woodsmen. While you demonstrate against him and kill his creatures, I will try to defeat Mordak himself with magic at an unguarded moment. You shall be the right hand, I the left... aye, brother?"
I will take our best scouts and woodsmen through the forest. While you draw out and destroy his creatures, I will attempt to strike down Mordak at an opportune moment. You shall be the right hand, I the left… aye, brother?

"Baran should be in position by now. Press them, distract the adept so Baran can spring his trap!"
"Baran should be in position by now. Press them, distract Mordak so Baran can spring his trap!"

Baran has not made his attack
Why has Baran has not made his attack?

No... No. This is something else. I’m worried about him... but right now it means we have to deal with this Mordak ourselves
No... No. This is… something else. I am worried... Alas, it appears we must deal with Mordak unaided.

Sir, our scouts report that Baran was seen captured and carried away further north!
Sir, our scouts report a small band heading away north. Sir… They have prisoners.

That they should dare this! We will give chase at once
Baran… That they dare do this! To arms!

Your brother’s plan to ambush me has failed. He is our prisoner now
Ahahaha. Your pitiful attempt at assassination failed, your hero is now my master's prisoner.

My brother, kidnapped? I have failed you, Baran! And even now Mordak’s forces descend upon the village!
Baran… kidnapped? Ohh, I have failed you my brother and even now Mordak’s forces descend upon the village
Last edited by Daravel on February 8th, 2012, 12:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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8680
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Re: Tale of Two Brothers

Post by 8680 »

Wars and the rumor of wars touched them not -> Not even the rumors of war reached them
What about "Even the rumors of war reached them not", preserving the archaic-ish word order?
People vanished from isolated farmsteads -> Villagers vanished from isolated farmsteads
Wouldn't they have to live in a village, rather than an isolated farmstead, to be villagers?
Daravel
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Re: Tale of Two Brothers

Post by Daravel »

8680 wrote:
Wars and the rumor of wars touched them not -> Not even the rumors of war reached them
What about "Even the rumors of war reached them not", preserving the archaic-ish word order?
That works :) I wonder if the sentence is a bit too jumbled as "even" and "reached them not" are poor English (though it is archaic) that it makes it a lot harder for non-native English speakers to understand.
8680 wrote:
People vanished from isolated farmsteads -> Villagers vanished from isolated farmsteads
Wouldn't they have to live in a village, rather than an isolated farmstead, to be villagers?
I was assuming that they 'belonged' to the village even if they weren't physically part of it. I imagine that if there was a lonesome farmer a few miles away that they would be well known to the villagers and considered one of them. The main reason I changed it was because "people" is so generic and it was being overused.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Deusite
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Re: Tale of Two Brothers

Post by Deusite »

'Wars and rumours of wars' is a biblical reference to one of the Gospels of the New Testament in which the the author describes the end of the world, just sayin'.
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ivanovic
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Re: Tale of Two Brothers

Post by ivanovic »

I am the current maintainer of the campaign and am aware of the proposals. Currently I am not sure how to implement them and which of them to add/rework. Personally I prefer having some archaic/medieval style. Some of the changes from you improve this impression, though I am not too good for judging that as being a non native English speaker. Usually esr handles/handled our "prose polishing" but sadly he is rather inactive at the moment, so it is unlikely that he handles it this time...

Regarding your concerns for non English speakers: For those there are supposed to be translations anyway. ;)

Though there is a slight mistake at the end of the 1st scenario dialog: "your hero is now my prisoner". This is what the thrall says while basically dying. So yeah, he is a prisoner of the group of baddies, not the thrall itself. Regarding the question of "villagers or not villagers": Why not make them inhabitants?

Conclusion: I welcome your work and in case no one else with the ability to implement them in my campaign volunteers I'll eventually come to it, though I'd prefer to have it completed first. In general I like the direction your rework is taking so please continue.
Daravel
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Re: Tale of Two Brothers

Post by Daravel »

ivanovic wrote: Regarding your concerns for non English speakers: For those there are supposed to be translations anyway. ;)
That's true, but I imagine that a lot of players will use the English version if their own language is not supported or the translation is incomplete; additionally players may try to improve their English this way. Archaic is 'fantasy' but mixing the word order and using archaic phrases can be taken to the extreme and players may struggle to understand (even young native English speakers).
ivanovic wrote: Though there is a slight mistake at the end of the 1st scenario dialog: "your hero is now my prisoner". This is what the thrall says while basically dying. So yeah, he is a prisoner of the group of baddies, not the thrall itself.
Changed to "my master's prisoner". Good spot.
ivanovic wrote: Regarding the question of "villagers or not villagers": Why not make them inhabitants?
The issue is not what to call them but rather who is called a villager. The text says that people from isolated farmsteads were dissapearing. I didn't like the overuse of "people" as a word so I changed it to "villagers" except that people in isolated farmsteads are by definition not living in the village, or indeed, even close to it. However, the way I looked at it was that the villagers would consider the isolated farmers as part of their community as the farmer would rely on the village for contact, trade and protection.
ivanovic wrote: Conclusion: I welcome your work and in case no one else with the ability to implement them in my campaign volunteers I'll eventually come to it, though I'd prefer to have it completed first. In general I like the direction your rework is taking so please continue.
Thank you. I only paused word because I did not want to spend time revising it all and then be told to not bother or that my work was no good.
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