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Chapter 7.1 (Warmongers)

by TheSilverFox


Author's Notes: 872 words.  The NaNo writing ends at "It was not reassuring."  You can tell because the following writing is slightly better, slightly funnier, and has even more characters (I will never stop making them. :P).

It was mid-morning by the time the small gathering of some of the most prestigious people in that part of the world had commenced.

"The land of Haughein to the south will be yours, if you are so willing to move those in the area," spoke a gray-haired, blue-eyed orator, gracefully pointing to the spot on the map where the tiny state had been drawn elegantly.

At the front of the table, a massive, bipedal bear in a suit of armor that barely fit it, and had been partly ditched for a cloth around his waist, grumbled and gently scratched his chin. "If 'ou don't move all your victims there."

The orator chuckled gently. It was not reassuring.

The un-charming, un-charmed snake of Claec, Alsather Merione, rarely laughed in any form; it was not in his character. All bystanders froze, a shivering feeling working its way down their spines. His smile instantly turned into a frown, and he spoke slowly, deliberately. “It is costly and time-consuming to move my…resources…on such short notice, in or out of the land, as I should imagine your people will be entering that land quickly. I will do as I can, and you may deal with the rest; this has always been our agreement.”

The bear scowled, but waved in a man in armor and dark-blue leather, the latter carrying a metal chalice. Intimidated, he only thought of saying, “My children don’t want ta’ walk to your swamps and fight fools with pitchforks. Did ya’ know how long it took ta’ clear Rigismend?” He slurped the wine in the chalice.

A burly man beside the bear, wearing rugged and torn clothes underneath a few pieces of shining armor, sneered at the bear. “Kasimir won’t like the taste of that.”

That bear poked his head up, loosely wiping the wine dripping from the edges of his mouth and chin in a futile and lazy gesture. “What he don’t know don’t hurt him.”

“And how many snakes are there?” blurted out a small girl to Alsather’s side. Frail in her form, she wore a purple and black dress that stretched down to her knees, which were only partly covered by long, black boots. Blonde ringlets streamed from the back of her head as she stared up nervously into Alsather’s eerie stare. The girl had an unhealthy pallor in her face, itself too unnaturally smooth and pale. Her cheekbones were showing, and one of her ears wiggled slightly in what was a nervous tic. “A few dozen, I think. What about the people? How many thousands of them have to die or flee? Why are you harming my kind for the sake of yours? Aren’t we in the same country?”

The bear frowned at her. If it wasn’t for the fact she could barely look above the table, she may have noticed. As it stood, she was already cowering from Alsather. “Why da’ ya’ bring ‘er here?” he commented gruffly to Alsather after a few seconds. “She ain’t here but to hide under the table and treat ya’ like a king and master. Which you ain’t.”

Alsather’s frown grew deeper, but he ignored the bear’s commentary as he looked between the bear and the girl. “Cerin is the Queen of Claec,” he finally said, after some pondering. “I am her regent. Without her father and mother, she is but a naughty and inexperienced child. I bring her here to teach her a lesson for her irrational behavior. I would think that the leaders of Walenty would not resort to taking personal shots at their allies.”

In response, the burly man raised out his arm, palm outstretched in the direction of Alsather, his other hand gesturing to the rows of scars and cuts along the limb in question, including a missing finger. “I was a slave too,” he said simply, before rapidly shifting his form into that of a bipedal wolf. “And we’re allies, but the Mad King runs the real show. As for Kasimir, he made you give him your throne, even when he couldn’t take over the country himself. He is your ruler, and you don’t want to take shots at his men. Do you—”

“Enough!” The bear raised his chalice before slamming his fist on the table, rustling the maps in the center and causing Alsather to take a step back in surprise. Somebody struck their head against the underside of the table as he noted, “Our countries need each other, and I’m not gettin’ in the way of that. Just wanted to point it out, that she might be a child, and she was tryin’ to hold onto my leg a minute ago, but it’s like she’s always naughty, and the punishment is always somethin’ about lives.” Cerin, nursing a bump on her head, pushed her way out of the table and shivered as Alsather placed his hand on her shoulder. The bear sighed and set the goblet out in front of him, over the map. “He wants out ta’ lord over ya’ again, and I won’t argue anymore” – he switched from addressing Cerin to Alsather - “There ain’t any budging with ya’, so do what’cha will. I’ll get soldiers in there in a few days.”


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Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:39 am
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saentiel wrote a review...



Hello, TheSilverFox! I apologize in advance if my review isn't helpful. I've been trying to settle on a reviewing format that I love, but I'm still not sure what works for me and what doesn't. If this review isn't helpful, please let me know.

Grammar and Syntax

I didn't have any problems with your grammar or syntax, so I'll move onto the rest of the chapter!

Characters

Cerin sounds vaguely familiar, and it frustrates me that I can't remember why. I'm sure it'll hit me a few hours from now when I should be focusing on schoolwork instead of reviews, but oh well! Since the characters are all new, I can't make any comments on how you've been developing them. But I do like the unique accent that you gave the bear man! It made his character stand out to me. (There was also the part about him being in a bear form instead of a human form, but the accent definitely was the defining characteristic for me.)

Plot

Hello, politics! I think I understand what's going on in this chapter, but I'll suggest again that you make a glossary for the confused reader (like me). It would be a great reference for the reader when they're introduced to a new set of characters, and would also help to set up the politics of the world this story takes place in.

I'm not sure if you mean literal or metaphorical snakes in this chapter, but I'm thrilled at the thought of it being the first one - I strongly recall a character of yours who would fall into that category. But even if he doesn't show up in the new future, I love how you're setting it up so a major conflict is about to break out.

(As a side note, I can definitely see the shift in your writing! You've improved by a lot.)

I really enjoyed reading your work, and I'm sorry if any part of my review seemed harsh. Also, please feel free to PM me if something I said doesn't make sense. I'd be happy to explain it to you. Keep up the great work - which I doubt you'll have trouble with - and good luck on your writing endeavors!




TheSilverFox says...


Everybody likes bear adviser, it seems. XD

But yeah, thanks for the review! Cerin is perfectly new in the story, and I don't think you've seen her before. Since a lot of character names are similar (by accident), you might be confusing her with someone else. In any case, I'll keep your glossary idea in mind, as it should help readers work their way through the tangle of characters and plotlines that this story becomes. And I could be referring to metaphorical and literal snakes - that's just how this story rolls (XD). All in all, I'm glad you like the chapter, and that my writing has gotten better - thanks for the review!



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Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:06 am
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Ventomology wrote a review...



Hey yo! I'm gonna hit this review today so that tomorrow I won't use this as an excuse to put off my architecture homework even more.

Technical comments:

1. You forgot the bbcode again, Fox. *snorts*

2. Might I suggest cleaning up that first sentence? Or ditching it. It's mostly telling (you know, most prestigious people and stuff--it'd be better to imply that with some fancy titles), and to be honest, the sentence doesn't flow super well. It might be fun to get some good setting description in at that spot, and then divert into the action and dialogue.

Plot, Characterization, and Misc. Items:

1. I for real cannot keep track of all these people. There are too many. Call me lazy if you must, but I'm not going to remember characters that I don't see all the time or don't get attached to, and that's going to make it harder for the plot threads to all mesh together in my brain later on.

2. On the other hand, good job characterizing Alsather! I hate that name because it doesn't roll off the tongue, but his mannerisms and personality are very clear, and since he's mentioned constantly, he'll probably be the character I remember most from this new batch.

3. Omg I can't believe you put a bear dude in this story. The bird man was one thing, but an actual bear??

4. Hmm, this situation with Cerin looks like it'll be pretty important later, since it could mark a kind of power shift if she finds herself in the custody of nicer people (like an Anastasia situation of sorts). If I could just keep straight who's fighting who, then maybe I'd have more input on the politics, but as things stand, I'm still pretty lost on the kingdoms and their allies.

I'm going to call that a day. I like where things are going at the moment, but I'm kind of concerned that all these politics and magic-stuffs aren't going to mesh together at a pace that makes sense. Still, I believe in you. ;)

Later!
-Buggie




TheSilverFox says...


Egh, with my luck, I'll probably disappoint. >.>

Yeah, this story can be a bit of a memory game, I'll admit. Even in the politics: there are two clear sides in the form of the Alliance (Eimhin, Walenty, Claec, and Comas) and the rest of the Confederacy (Exedor and Wyandanch), but the former is not particularly stable, and the Doves are marginally separate from both Exedor and Wyandanch. There's generations of treaties, wars, and resentment at play here, and that's something that I'd like to convey more down the road, though it'll probably be a little confusing unless you're reading the story over a shorter period of time than weekly. tl:dr; It's complicated (and I regret nothing).


What BB code problems? I don't see any. >.> <.<

Otherwise, I'm glad you like the characters (Alsather is a rough name, but it fits his cold personality), especially the wonder that is bear adviser. Thanks for the review!




Reading is one form of escape. Running for your life is another.
— Lemony Snicket