Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

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

Moderator: Forum Moderators

User avatar
Reepurr
Posts: 1088
Joined: August 29th, 2010, 5:38 pm

Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by Reepurr »

I've been quickly working on this fan-fic for a while now, and I haven't done much so far but hopefully someone will enjoy reading. :D
Prologue:
Chapter 1:
Last edited by Reepurr on December 1st, 2010, 4:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"What do you mean, "a dwarvish dragonguard with marksman is overpowered"?"

Story of a Drake Outcast | The Nonsense Era
Played HttT-Underground Channels? Thought it was rubbish? Help us develop it here!
User avatar
thespaceinvader
Retired Art Director
Posts: 8414
Joined: August 25th, 2007, 10:12 am
Location: Oxford, UK
Contact:

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by thespaceinvader »

One immediate thing that strikes me: using terminology from firearms for bow sound stupid. You don't load bows, you nock arrows. You don't fire bows, you loose or shoot. Also... if your archers have their arrowheads already pointing out of the arrow-slits, they don't need to nock arrows...
http://thespaceinvader.co.uk | http://thespaceinvader.deviantart.com
Back to work. Current projects: Catching up on commits. Picking Meridia back up. Sprite animations, many and varied.
User avatar
Reepurr
Posts: 1088
Joined: August 29th, 2010, 5:38 pm

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by Reepurr »

Good point about the arrows, I'll edit all that stuff to make it sound more medieval. (and with the arrowslits, make more sense)
"What do you mean, "a dwarvish dragonguard with marksman is overpowered"?"

Story of a Drake Outcast | The Nonsense Era
Played HttT-Underground Channels? Thought it was rubbish? Help us develop it here!
Myrien
Posts: 40
Joined: October 14th, 2010, 8:45 am

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by Myrien »

Not bad, but a few things could be improved:
What I noticed while reading it is a very close connection to the game; I felt as if you would say "However, they had a 40% resistance to blade" in the next sentence. Describing the different effectivenesses of the weapons less might help. In addition, there is a listing of Wesnoth units in places.
The sentence structure should vary more. As an example -

"Calm yourself, Enforticus," said the King, with a hint of nervousness in his normally mellow voice.
"I agree with yer Marshal, ye ken," grunted Lord Hamel of the dwarves, and, occasionally, the Northern Alliance.
"Let us send a force towards the North and destroy them!" roared the orcish warlord Gak'Dar, eager to spill blood.

The speech is named, the speaker and a verb, and then a further information about the person is given. I will take this passage to give an example for improvement:

"Calm yourself, Enforticus.", the King said, an unusual hint of nervousness in his voice. "I -"
A dwarf clad in lordly clothes interrupted him. "I agree, ye ken", he grunted.
"Here, here!" The orcish warlord, hunched on a chair that was far to large for the bulk of his body, lept to his feet. "Crush them!"


I look forward to part 2.
The Great Rings
Posts: 738
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 10:39 pm
Location: On the front line of battle, defying hopeless odds

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by The Great Rings »

The good: The Northern Alliance. Please can Tallin and company appear as well as Hammel? Also some fairly nice descriptive writing.

The bad: Its too short. A little more detail would be welcome.

The reference to Eloh seemed a bit odd. Wasn't she just a false god from Under the Burning Suns, not a Wesnothian deity? I believe the White Mages in Northern Rebirth made reference to "Lords of the Light" or something similar. Perhaps that would be a more appropriate theological reference.

The idea that the King of Wesnoth (I presume at this time it would be Konrad?) could be outvoted also seemed strange. Though as some of the others were heads of state or their representatives, I suppose they'd have equal say to the King of Wesnoth. However, why no mention of Li'sar? Wouldn't she be at least equal in rank to Konrad? Shouldn't she have been at the Council?

Those poor defenders of Carcyn though. I knew they were screwed as soon as you mentioned they had only bows and spears. :wink: And if I were a soldier in that army, I'd probably want to hit whoever decided to fight Undead with not a mage present.
"One man alone cannot fight the future"-
The X-files

"Send these foul beasts into the abyss"-Gandalf
User avatar
Midnight_Carnival
Posts: 836
Joined: September 6th, 2008, 11:08 am
Location: On the beach at sunset, gathering coral

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

Hey, Reepurr

This isn't so much criticism as a suggestion.

Does "it was a dark and stormy night..." sound familiar?
Fantasy literature is full of cliches, we come to almost expect them, sometimes people are even criticised for not using them.

But for myself, I'd start with the "The soldiers grabbed their spears and helmets and ran out of the barracks" bit, perhaps rewriting it so that the scenery comes into the description of the action if possible (?) You're building dramatic tension, good, but this is the prologue... I suggest throwing the reader straight into the action, let the starting off slowly and building up begin in the first chapter. Prologues can be confusing, you don't have to explain everything, all you have to do is get people's attention and somehow their interest.

I'd also suggest that you leave it as is, write the whole thing and then come back to it, see if you do need to change anything.

Enjoy writing.
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.
User avatar
bigkahuna
Posts: 657
Joined: September 11th, 2010, 6:24 pm
Location: In your mind.

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by bigkahuna »

Hey Reepurr, I read your fan-fic and it is fairly good. I just also have a few nitpicks :)
Reepurr wrote:He saw something, a thing that moved a tree nearby, but dismissed it. Then he saw it again, and pulled his conch horn out of his pouch. Blowing it, a loud parp echoed across the slumbering city, rousing the soldiers in the barracks from their sleep.
I don't know about you, but this seems an overly suspicious sentry. I wouldn't awake the city if I saw something moving in the forest. I like the 'loud parp' :wink:
Reepurr wrote:"Spear regiment at the ready!" yelled the infantry lieutenant. "Bow regiment at the ready!"
Wesnoth has faced undead attacks before. I assume Carcyn would know by now that bows and spears do no good. As they mention Eloh, I would also assume that it was ~100 years before the fall or at least the second sun, as Eloh was not mentioned until after the fall or as the Lady of Light, she came around fairly early (see Future History)
Reepurr wrote:The lieutenant immediately ordered the troops to surrender for the good of the forces.
People don't usually do this. In all the fan-fics/campaigns I've read, people are more like "Surrender? Never, foul ____ (insert derogatory noun here).
Reepurr wrote:But then, black energy coursed from Mal'Daokias' staff, right into the troops. They died and were resurrected as undead, and they attacked the surviving army.
I've never heard of a necromancer powerful enough to destroy half an army with a single blast.
Reepurr wrote:A few hours later, the very same happened in Rumyr, a recent acquisition of the Northern Alliance.
Rumyr has been part of the map for a while. And if you haven't noticed, it is a bit far from Carcyn... See image attached.
Reepurr wrote:royal guards, halberdiers, longbowmen, iron maulers and grand knights from Wesnoth, dwarvish sentinels and lords, fugitives and huntsmen, orcish warlords and slurbowmen
...Yeah. Lots of unit names here.
Reepurr wrote:"I agree with yer Marshal, ye ken," grunted Lord Hamel of the dwarves, and, occasionally, the Northern Alliance.
Kind of confusing description. I was kind of annoyed how you completely introduced them all at once, but left the king as 'the King'. King Who? of What?
Reepurr wrote:last surviving member of the Royal Wesnothian forces at Rumyr scowled.
The last surviving? Then why were there others? EDIT: oh yeah, the Northern Alliance. Might want to mention this.

I agree with Myrien that you spent too much dwelling on unit names and resistances.
Attachments
Wow
Wow
Check out my campaign Sweet Revenge!
Join the new R2D forum!
User avatar
Reepurr
Posts: 1088
Joined: August 29th, 2010, 5:38 pm

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by Reepurr »

LONG POST LONG POST
Myrien wrote:Not bad, but a few things could be improved:
:lol2: I agree that it might have too much "this is what this does" in the chapter, but then it's a Wesnoth fan-fiction...[/lousy excuse]
Right, I'll take that into consideration before I draft chapter 2, since it introduces the rest of the survivors.
Midnight_Carnival wrote:Does "it was a dark and stormy night..."
Yes it does sound familiar. That's why I tried my best to say "it was a dark night" without saying "it was a dark night" (if you get my gist).
The Great Rings wrote:The reference to Eloh seemed a bit odd. Wasn't she just a false god from Under the Burning Suns, not a Wesnothian deity? I believe the White Mages in Northern Rebirth made reference to "Lords of the Light" or something similar. Perhaps that would be a more appropriate theological reference.
Bingo, thank you, I knew there was something like that.
:eng: Eloh is a false god, yes, but a being with supernatural powers could probably be called a 'god' anyway. (no offence religious people)
Eloh is called, er, Eloh, by the elves, the Lady of the Light by humans, the Bringer of Light or something by the dwarves, and so on. Not sure if people think ****** [the so far unnamed survivor] should be damning her, whatever she's called, though, so I'll wait for peoples' opinions on that.
The Great Rings wrote:The idea that the King of Wesnoth (I presume at this time it would be Konrad?) could be outvoted also seemed strange. Though as some of the others were heads of state or their representatives, I suppose they'd have equal say to the King of Wesnoth. However, why no mention of Li'sar? Wouldn't she be at least equal in rank to Konrad? Shouldn't she have been at the Council?
arrrgh
Originally, the first part of the invasion was set in Parthyn, and I clearly said stuff like "the troops stumbled through the ruins of the village, charred partially to ashes by Malin Keshar's recent revenge" which explained pretty well that the King was Galdrad. Edited in. - And yes, most people there (sparing the Marshal and that warlord, come to think of it) would probably be equal to King Galdrad.
Midnight_Carnival wrote:But for myself, I'd start with the "The soldiers grabbed their spears and helmets and ran out of the barracks" bit, perhaps rewriting it so that the scenery comes into the description of the action if possible (?)
Uh probably. I just couldn't work out at the time how to introduce the soldiers to the battle with interesting words and probably should have thought about this longer than 10 seconds at the time.

And I refer to prologues as a "Here's what's happening" rather than a "Prepare to be amazed by this awesome and gripping story" because I'm stupid. :doh:
bigkahuna wrote:I wouldn't awake the city if I saw something moving in the forest.
That would be me not trying out this 'power of suggestion' thing. Edited to add the 'power of suggestion': 'Then he saw it again; realising what it was, he pulled his conch horn out of his pouch'?
bigkahuna wrote:Wesnoth has faced undead attacks before. I assume Carcyn would know by now that bows and spears do no good.
All the soldiers knew was that they were being attacked; conch horns don't distinguish between skeletons and humans. The lieutenant, on the other hand, hadn't been trained for this sort of thing.
bigkahuna wrote:The lieutenant immediately ordered the troops to surrender for the good of the forces.
If you had say 50 spearmen and 22 bowmen against unknown hundreds of skeletons, and a rather imposing necromancer suddenly appearing, would you think you could even scratch the enemy force? (but yeah, probably a bit stupid, I'll edit that bit as well, including the staff blast)
bigkahuna wrote:Rumyr has been part of the map for a while. And if you haven't noticed, it is a bit far from Carcyn... See image attached.
Rumyr is, was anyway, an orcish village. The Northern Alliance converts the orcs, hey presto, they own another village.
And why would an army commander divide their forces? A twin-pronged attack that defends one half of the force from being destroyed by a particularly large army at the cost of the other village, and it also inflicts terror in 'just what can this guy do?'
bigkahuna wrote:The last surviving? Then why were there others?
Theoretically, that's only foot soldiers, bowmen and the such. The Northern Alliance troops will become clear in Chapter 2. I just hope that...well, spoilers...
"What do you mean, "a dwarvish dragonguard with marksman is overpowered"?"

Story of a Drake Outcast | The Nonsense Era
Played HttT-Underground Channels? Thought it was rubbish? Help us develop it here!
User avatar
bigkahuna
Posts: 657
Joined: September 11th, 2010, 6:24 pm
Location: In your mind.

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by bigkahuna »

Reepurr wrote:'Then he saw it again; realising what it was, he pulled his conch horn out of his pouch'?
If I was a sentry, I would challenge the mysterious unknown shape once I realized it was a 'person'. I wouldn't raise the alarm until I saw they were hostile, they came out in numbers, or I saw an undead. I think I would also scream in a very loud and high-pitched scared voice, "UNDEAD!!!" so everyone could hear :lol2:

Just a thought :)
Check out my campaign Sweet Revenge!
Join the new R2D forum!
The Great Rings
Posts: 738
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 10:39 pm
Location: On the front line of battle, defying hopeless odds

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by The Great Rings »

Reepurr wrote: :eng: Eloh is a false god, yes, but a being with supernatural powers could probably be called a 'god' anyway. (no offence religious people)
Eloh is called, er, Eloh, by the elves, the Lady of the Light by humans, the Bringer of Light or something by the dwarves, and so on. Not sure if people think ****** [the so far unnamed survivor] should be damning her, whatever she's called, though, so I'll wait for peoples' opinions on that.
Right, but did belief in her exist at this time? This is way before Under the Burning Suns. Seems to me it would be kind of like an ancient Egyptian worshiping Jesus, or a Roman believing in Scientology. Though maybe her's is a very old cult.
Originally, the first part of the invasion was set in Parthyn, and I clearly said stuff like "the troops stumbled through the ruins of the village, charred partially to ashes by Malin Keshar's recent revenge" which explained pretty well that the King was Galdrad. Edited in. - And yes, most people there (sparing the Marshal and that warlord, come to think of it) would probably be equal to King Galdrad.
That doesn't fit the timeline does it? The Northern Alliance doesn't exist until the time of Konrad and Li'sar. Having Hammel be a representative of the Northern Alliance in this story means it pretty much has to be set way after the events of Descent Into Darkness.
"One man alone cannot fight the future"-
The X-files

"Send these foul beasts into the abyss"-Gandalf
AI
Developer
Posts: 2394
Joined: January 31st, 2008, 8:38 pm

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by AI »

Reepurr wrote:Bingo, thank you, I knew there was something like that.
:eng: Eloh is a false god, yes, but a being with supernatural powers could probably be called a 'god' anyway. (no offence religious people)
Eloh is called, er, Eloh, by the elves, the Lady of the Light by humans, the Bringer of Light or something by the dwarves, and so on. Not sure if people think ****** [the so far unnamed survivor] should be damning her, whatever she's called, though, so I'll wait for peoples' opinions on that.
Spoiler:
As for the appropriateness, both the name and the worshipping are misplaced.
User avatar
Midnight_Carnival
Posts: 836
Joined: September 6th, 2008, 11:08 am
Location: On the beach at sunset, gathering coral

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by Midnight_Carnival »

Easilly enough fixed... change it to some obscure reference, like "the powers of light", "the good lady", "the lady of heaven", and not further discussion is necessarry.
And I refer to prologues as a "Here's what's happening" rather than a "Prepare to be amazed by this awesome and gripping story" because I'm stupid. :doh:
I can't judge your level of inteligence by what you have posted, if we met I could form an opinion :)

But no, I don't regard you as stupid, and what you want your prologue to do is entirely you affair, any comment I may have made, however soul-destroying it might have seemed, was aimed at what your prologue does, not at your intentions. Not offering myself as a literary expert, and not commenting on your skills, just suggesting things I feel could improve your narrative.
If you did ask me to comment on your skill, I'd say that you need to mature, not as a person, I mean as a writer, you need to ...( :oops: never thought I'd use a phrase like this) 'find your own voice', nobody cares if what you write is a load of crap, as long as it's new and ineresting crap. You got the 'interesting' part (as you can see by the number of responses you are getting... hell, when I write something and post it it's generally the only post on the thread!), and the new... well, since you are writing a story set in someone else's universe, we can't expect too much originality. Best thing you can do in my opinion is to carry on writing and learn as much as you can while doing so.

-good luck with it.
...apparenly we can't go with it or something.
User avatar
johndh
Posts: 591
Joined: June 6th, 2010, 4:03 am
Location: Music City

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by johndh »

I guess I'd better put on my nit-picking gloves.
Reepurr wrote: It was a dark night in the outpost city of Carcyn; owls perching on the trees hooted loudly, and a full moon gazed [1] lazily out of the black bowl of the night sky, obscured by grey clouds. Oily lamps disturbed the blackness, throwing flickering light across the cobblestones that paved the roads. The night watchman gazed [2] out of his rickety wooden tower, gazing [3] over the stone boundaries and at the river. He saw something, a thing that moved a tree nearby, but dismissed it. Then he saw it again; realising what it was, he pulled his conch horn out of his pouch. Blowing it, a loud parp echoed across the slumbering city, rousing the soldiers in the barracks from their sleep.
See what I did there?
The soldiers grabbed their spears and helmets and ran out of the barracks, standing at the boundary line with their spears at the ready [1] and their shields held firmly in front of them. The archers clambered up ladders onto three thick stone towers dotted around the city, their bows at the ready [2], arrowheads aimed straight out of the slits in the stone walls. Suddenly, irregular silhouettes burst out of the foliage in the distance; they seemed to be skeletons, and they were heading straight at the city. "Spear regiment at the ready! [3]" yelled the infantry lieutenant. "Bow regiment at the ready! [4]"
And again.
The sergeants leading the bow and spear regiments took over from there. The sergeants commanding the bowmen began bellowing orders first. "Aim!" - a pause - "Fire!" The bowmen shot as one, their arrows shooting straight into the skeletons...and straight out. The skeletons, possessing no flesh, had no need to worry about damage from arrows; but the humans did, and the skeletons armed with rotting bows loosed their own arrows, piercing through the armour of the spearmen and killing them where they stood.
Sergeants in command of regiments? You may need to bone up on your military terminology.
In return, the spearmen were commanded to throw their javelins, but they had the same result as the bowmen: each spearman lobbed two javelins straight at the undead, but it was a waste of both steel and time; the undead continued their relentless march, and a figure appeared behind them.
That's not really how sentences work.
The figure had a black cloak draped over rusted iron armour, and in their his right hand they held a staff topped with a deer skull, its horns flickering with dark energy. "I am Mal'Daokias", the figure said, his voice quiet, yet echoing across the city. "If you wish your life to be spared, surrender."
1: So the fighting just kinda stopped when this guy stepped forward, or what?
2: Contrary to popular usage, "they" is not a gender-neutral singular pronoun. Plus, the next sentence establishes that he's male.
The lieutenant immediately ordered the troops to surrender for the good of the forces.
Awkward phrasing.
But then, black energy coursed from Mal'Daokias' staff, right into the troops. They died and were resurrected as undead, and they attacked the surviving army.
After reading this sentence, I don't really know what just happened. Somehow, there are undead where there used to be living people, but I have no idea how they got that way. If M'D can do that, then why did he need them to surrender? Couldn't he just soul-rape them while they were still fighting?
None survived the sacking of Carcyn.

A few hours later, the very same happened in Rumyr, a recent acquisition of the Northern Alliance. Thousands of the dwarves, humans and orcs who lived there were killed.
I'm feel like I'm watching 300, constantly jerking back and forth from fast-forward to slow motion.
Enforticus Reticius
:|
"I agree," muttered the King of Elensefar, waving his hand around and causing a cacophony with all the rich bracelets hanging from his arm.
Who waves their hands wildly while muttering? I don't really see it causing a cacophony, either. Maybe a slight jingle.
The allied forces gathered at the ruins of Rumyr:
Why there? Do they actually have any sort of plan, or do they just figure that a bunch of skeletons will show up if they wait around long enough?
royal guards, halberdiers, longbowmen, iron maulers and grand knights from Wesnoth, dwarvish sentinels and lords, fugitives and huntsmen, orcish warlords and slurbowmen from the Northern Alliance, and a small group of master bowmen from Elensefar, who couldn't spare many troops in case of their seafaring nation being attacked.
... and a partridge in a pear tree. Does that list help the reader in any way?
The skeletons marched confidently and quickly
Pray tell, how does one know when a skeleton is confident?
each shot that hit a skeleton charred its bones and it collapsed into a bony heap.
Do you really think a human skeleton is going to go up in flames when hit by a burning arrow?

I could continue, but... nah.
Midnight_Carnival wrote:Easilly enough fixed... change it to some obscure reference, like "the powers of light", "the good lady", "the lady of heaven", and not further discussion is necessarry.
Crystal Dragon Jesus? The Powers That Be™? Let's not.
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.
User avatar
Iris
Site Administrator
Posts: 6742
Joined: November 14th, 2006, 5:54 pm
Location: Chile
Contact:

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by Iris »

Oh hi.

I feel the need to correct AI’s spoiler.
After the Storm spoiler:
Author of the unofficial UtBS sequels Invasion from the Unknown and After the Storm (now available for Wesnoth 1.14.x and 1.15.4+).
User avatar
Reepurr
Posts: 1088
Joined: August 29th, 2010, 5:38 pm

Re: Wesnoth fan-fic: The Blackness Comes

Post by Reepurr »

shadowmaster wrote:I feel the need to correct AI’s spoiler.
Ah thanks shadowmaster.

Well, before this breaks out into a flamewar, I'm just going to stop the last surviving member of the Wesnothian military forces at Rumyr mentioning anything about gods.
"What do you mean, "a dwarvish dragonguard with marksman is overpowered"?"

Story of a Drake Outcast | The Nonsense Era
Played HttT-Underground Channels? Thought it was rubbish? Help us develop it here!
Post Reply