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Home » Literary works » Short Story » Action / Adventure

E - Everyone

Ramla Pt.4

by GodfreysBouillon


17 May, 1102 A.D.





There was a road that ran along the coastline of the Levant, built by the Romans.

Despite being weathered by hundreds of years of blistering sun and tortuous winds, it was wide enough to fit four horsemen across its face.

The cobble was chiseled to perfection, and made up of the pale, bland limestone that dominated much of the Levant. With an unending clopping noise that drowned out the waves of the nearby Mediterranean Sea, King Baudouin marched his personal guard of cavalry down the path.

The King was parched after four hours of traveling, and reached for his wine sack strapped around the horn of his saddle, which was covered in a glossy red velvet. He took a moment to empty it, enjoying the feeling of the liquid running down his throat before turning to his main advisor.

“Atallah, how many miles till we reach Ramla? Perhaps I can store the prisoners there in the tower, and move on with our mission.”

The advisor was an Arab, dressed in long white robes that flowed over each side of the saddle as he rode. Atallah’s speaking was difficult to understand, as he struggled through the strange Frankish dialect.

Malik, we should be nearing city soon, before sun down. The um...prisoners will be...put in tower, as you wish, Malik.”

King Baudouin liked to watch people struggle, which is why he put Atallah as his personal retainer. The man was royal advisor to the sultan of Jerusalem, before the Crusade.

He had, of course, enslaved Atallah’s family in his royal court to ensure he remained loyal.

“Excellent! Inform the men of our destination.”

King Baudouin shook the last drops from his wine skin before throwing it down onto the sand to be trampled by the knights behind him.

+++

Estienne looked about.

His massive steed continued to lumber forward with the formation, so he let the reins loose. He had ridden near three other knights for the entirety of the journey so far.

One was the tall, popular Sicilian. Apparently his name was Savio. Two others were unknown to him, their sunburnt faces unfamiliar, and their helms bowed in boredom. It had been a long day.

Estienne looked forward down the road, searching the horizon. In the distance was the outline of a small city. He could see a few large buildings shimmer and bounce in the heat waves that reverberated off the stone path. Noticing Estienne’s gaze held forward, Savio looked as well.

“Well, sarò dannato. Is that the city of Ramla, or a mirage fooling our thirsty eyes?”

Estienne turned towards Savio, looking him up and down. He had an uncut swath of dark, curly hair that sprayed out from his helmet. Savio was younger than he was, looking to be in his late twenties.

“No mirage, Savio. We will soon take shelter in its walls, enjoying ourselves near the palm trees.” Estienne laughed, genuinely joyful.

Savio was confused. Didn’t he know he would be imprisoned there with his German friend as soon as they arrived?

“Norman...do you not know your fate?”

“What do you mean?” Estienne’s smile disappeared.

“Ramla is to be a temporary prison for you and the German until King Baudouin returns with the Fatimid party. I thought you knew this. Everyone does.”

Estienne’s features shriveled up in disgust.

“You lie, Sicilian! Why did I receive this armor from the King if I am a common criminal?”

Savio was a patient man, he knew Estienne’s anger was not truly directed towards him.

“The armor is but a cruel joke from Baudouin. I’m surprised you actually wore it….”

Estienne’s disgust turned to horrible realization, looking down at the silvery chainmail.

“Wha...where will I be taken after Ramla?”

“You will be most likely given a quick trial in Jerusalem sentencing you to...your end. I am sorry, Estienne. I wish there was something I could do, but the King is absolute. I-”

Savio opened his mouth for more words, but Estienne reared his horse up, sending it galloping down the road.

Estienne’s horse was bred to perform in quick bursts of energy, allowing him to ride up the formation with incredible speed.

Estienne couldn’t believe it. Why had his friend lied to him this whole time? Did Conrad simply not want him to know what was happening until the noose was wrapped around his neck? How could he do this? Estienne was trapped in the white hot realm of anger, but his perception was perfect. He charged down the column passing knight after knight, his brows furrowed as he searched.

A furious sweat dripped down from his helmet, but the rushing wind blew it away.

“Conrad!”

Estienne confronted his long time companion, furious. His horse skid to a stop, breathing heavily. Estienne gitted his teeth, drawing his sword to challenge the German.

“Face me, you traitorous lout! How could you lie to me this whole time?”

Conrad fumbled for words, soon drowned out by Estienne’s accusations.

“You told me this cursed armor was a gift! You told me we were to help the king on his journey, then we were to return to Europe! Y-you told me remission was ours! Two weeks ago on the boat, you said the Lord always offers another chance for forgiveness.”

Tears streamed down Estienne’s cheeks, collecting the sweat and dust from the day.

“Where is the second chance now, Conrad? We are to be sentenced to death! There is no holy forgiveness to be found in a noose hanging from the Tower of David!”

He raised his sword high up into the air. It shook in his feverish hands. He tensed to strike, and Conrad recoiled in fear. Estienne couldn’t bear the thought of striking his friend down. He rode away in anguish, his mouth sputtering with the poisonous feeling of betrayal.

Conrad was left alone, shocked. The knights nearby stared at him, whispering in hushed tones.

He felt terrible, he wanted to apologize to his friend for his lying. Estienne was the only friend he would have in these final days. Why did he ruin this friendship? Why didn’t he just confess the terrible fate they were both destined to experience? Perhaps at least then he would have someone to share the pain with.

Conrad called out to his friend, desperate to tell his true feelings.

“...Estienne!”

But he was gone.

Estienne forced his horse down the Roman road as fast as possible, madly stabbing his spurs into its flesh. The steed squealed in pain, sprinting as fast as it could. Estienne’s vision was hazed with red, his eyes blurred with tears, but he had found his target.

Nearing the top of a hill that overlooked the city of Ramla, was King Baudouin and his personal assistants. Estienne could see his bejeweled crown gleaming in the afternoon light, and knew exactly what he had to do. Steering his exhausted mount towards a cart of weapons, he snatched a steel lance from the pile, tucking it under his arm with practiced efficiency.

With Estienne riding towards the King at full speed, many of the knights reacted. Cries rang out, and many tried to force him to a stop. Each knight was trampled under his massive horse’s hooves, and left writhing on the cobblestones. Estienne’s horse slowed to a canter as it tried to summit the hill with its loose sand and uneven footholds. The Roman road here was weathered and broken.

He screamed into the horse’s ear, forcing it to go faster.

King Baudouin didn’t seem to hear him. The wicked king, his jailkeeper and judge, wasn’t even looking at him.

Snatched out of his anger for a moment, Estienne was puzzled by the King’s apparent uncaring attitude. Him and his advisors seemed to be focused on something else, pointing down at the valley before them. 

King Bauduoin’s face was fearful, but not because of Estienne. An uneasy feeling washing over him, Estienne let his horse take its time to clamber up the hill.

Surfacing at the summit, all of Estienne’s fury disintegrated, replaced with shock and awe.

The valley was filled with the biggest army Estienne had ever seen.

Three separate blocks of men that stood in formation, battle ready. Banners, flags and all the signs of war were scattered across the immense gathering, painted in the gaily colors of the Fatimid Caliphate, a deep red and a piercing yellow. He was struck dumb by the raw, malevolent energy the army before him mustered. Estienne saw an immense mass of Egyptian light cavalry, with their turbans wrapped around conical helmets. Each grasped a long lance similar to the Frankish knights.

There were multiple divisions of infantry, hardened desert Arabs armed with a spear that would mangle any horse thrown onto it. Supporting the main force was a square formation of archers, their skin black as night. Estienne had heard about these dark skinned peoples, but had never before seen them in the flesh. They came from the distant land of Sudan, and covered their black skin in white cloth that cooled them from the sun.

This was no small riding party sent to see off survivors,

This was an army of twenty thousand.

Atallah spoke up.

“That is the banner of Al-Musta'li! We are doomed!”

Leaning from his horse, King Baudouin grabbed Atallah by the throat, lifting him from his exquisite saddle.

“Saracen fool! It was your job to send out scouts! Why didn’t they mention...this?!”

Atallah could barely get any words out from his constricted windpipe.

“I h-had no idea, malik! I promise you! I se-”

With a hiss, King Baudouin drew his sword from its scabbard, goring it deep into Atallah’s chest. The royal sword slipped through his robes.

Atallah’s screams were silenced by the King’s hand around his throat. Dropping the blood-soaked Arab to the sand, King Baudouin yelled to his trumpeter, his face contorted with stress.

“Gather the men!”

Managing to pull his eyes away from the egregious army before him, the boy blew the signal for the knights to gather, two short, anxious blasts.

Soon all of Baudouin's personal guard were racing up the hill to catch a glimpse of what was causing all the commotion. The two hundred gathered around their king. Down below in the valley, multiple horns rang out. In the group of Sudanese bowmen, multiple green banners were raised, covered in golden Arabic script.

Estienne circled his horse back down the hill, searching for anyone he knew. Tensions from just moments ago were forgotten in the face of this new enemy.

“Conrad!” Estienne called out.

Estienne’s horse tramped about nervously. The animal could feel the rising pressure, and sensed his rider’s concern.

Conrad leaned closer to Estienne.

“What is it? What’s down in the valley?”

Savio cantered up next to them.

“Estienne! Were those horns? What is down there?”

“It’s an army, Savio. Twenty thousand or more, between us and Ramla.”

Estienne looked to each of his companions, seeing them react with pale faces.

Wir sind fertig.” mumbled Conrad, shaking his head.

Savio’s usually brilliant demeanor was shattered.

“What about the scouts? They-”

“They were wrong, Savio, hopelessly wrong.” explained Estienne.

Conrad spoke up, his voice shaky.

“Let us see the army, Estienne.”

The three joined the rest of the knights as they looked down into the valley.

“God save us!” cried a knight, placing his shaking hands on his helm to calm himself.

“We must surrender!” said another. “What chance do we have?”

King Baudouin, sensing his soldiers’ resolve start to slip, caught their attention.

“We will not surrender, you can be sure of that.”

In the valley, the banners of the Sudanese archers flipped around, revealing new colors. The entire division of archers moved in unison, each archer bending his back to pick up an arrow.

King Baudouin turned to his soldiers.

“They’re firing! Take cover!”

The entire crusader cavalry formation went into a panic, many knights frantically reaching for shields that were stowed away in leather packs on their saddles.

Estienne had kept his shield strapped to his arm, and was ready to raise it when he needed. Conrad and Savio had theirs in pouches, but managed to get them out quickly enough.

Estienne noticed many knights searched in vain, until an appalling realization dawned on them. Man had left theirs in a weapons cart somewhere far behind in the column of riders.

Estienne watched as the Sudanese archers raised their bows to the sky, aiming at a predetermined degree. His heart pounded through his chainmail.

With the twang of two thousand bows letting loose, a dark cloud soared up from the valley, rising like a dragon from the depths. The Frankish cavalry were paralyzed in fear, watching the flock of arrows fly ever closer and closer. Arrows darted and circled inside the cloud like Chinese fireworks, with a sickening whistling sound filling the air, growing louder as they approached.

Finally, the hail of jet-black arrows was too close to remain unacted upon. Each knight raised his shield, grimacing in anticipation.

An early arrow thudded into Conrad’s shield, pushing his arm back with its surprising power.

“They’re heavy arrows, Estienne! Armor pierc-”

Conrad’s words were cut off as the tenacious storm rained hell upon them.

The sound of arrows hitting everywhere was deafening, as their velocity came to a sudden stop.

Each knight’s shield was barraged with arrows, embedding themselves deep into the painted wood. Despite being nearly five feet long, the raised shields left the knight’s feet unprotected. Savio watched a knight roar in pain as an arrow bit deep into his chausses. His natural instinct was to recoil in pain, and he grabbed his foot with both hands, dropping his shield. Two more arrows perforated into his chest, dropping him from the saddle.

The knights without shields covered their heads in vain, being riddled with arrows. Each fell from the saddle, their muscles convulsing from the foreign objects stuck in their flesh.

Countless arrows lost themselves in the sea of sand, while many stuck into the horses. Estienne’s stallion took at least five arrows all along its body, squealing in pain. No other horse fared better. A horse behind Conrad took an arrow to the eye, rearing up and bucking its rider.

Gradually, the arrows fell less and less like the last drops of a dying rainstorm. Finally, it was over, leaving twenty knights dead and sixty others wounded.

Down in the valley, the Arab cavalry advanced, lances held up to the skies in the ready position.

King Baudouin drew his sword, yelling above the sounds of the dying men on the sand.

“Knights of Jerusalem! Crusaders of God! Hear my words!

Even now, their light cavalry advances, with the intent of finishing us off! These infidels, heathens of the false prophet Mohammed, expect us to fall quickly!”

The King urged his horse closer to his troops, waving his sword in circles. His natural charisma entranced his men, each loyal knights who had personally pledged their service to Baudouin years ago.

“Take your steel to the Moslems! Drag down as many to Hell as you can, whether by lance, sword, or your own teeth and fists! If you can escape from the gauntlet of fighting, fall back to Ramla. There we will gather in the courtyards.

In the name of St. Peter and St. John, vanquish all who fight you under the reviled banner of Islam! Lucifer awaits his wicked disciples, sentence them to their damnation!

Deus Vult!

With a rally cry, the knights gathered around their King, ecstatic to sacrifice themselves, taking down as many of the Fatimids as possible. They rose together, in one more chorus.

Deus Vult!

With cries of insane glee and yips of excitement, the knights of King Baudouin grabbed lances from their squires who had run in from the back with supplies.

Down in the valley, the Egyptian cavalry began to gain speed, forming into a perfect charging line, multiple ranks deep.

King Baudouin looked over the men that he had inspired, and saw that they were ready. They automatically formed into a wedge formation, practiced from years of drill in Europe. Savio instinctively fell in with the group, leaving Estienne and Conrad.

Conrad looked to his friend, grabbing the reins of his horse.

“We have to join them, Estienne. If you can, make it to the courtyard as he said. Hopefully we’ll see each other there.”

Estienne nodded his head, forming into the back of the wedge with Conrad.

The German grabbed a steel lance from servants, testing its weight.

King Baudouin once again gathered his men.

“Death in battle is the only true way to die, knights! Meet them with your lances!”

Rearing his steed up, King Baudouin trotted down the hill, followed by his personal guard.

One hundred and fifty knights began their charge against twenty thousand.

Baudouin’s guard stayed true to the wedge formation as their horses gained in speed, aided by the occasional jab from their spurs. The knights flowed over the hill like an ocean wave, emptying into the valley. Estienne made sure to remain close to Conrad as he rode. He felt the extravagant silver chainmail wear heavy on his chest, reminding him of its intentions. It was a gift meant to embarrass him, but that meant little now. He only hoped that it would hold up against Egyptian sabres.

With a tighter grip on his lance, he pulled it close to his torso. At the right moment, he would lower its point, aiming for an enemy. The power of the lance was his greatest tool in battle, and he had to use it wisely.

He shrugged his shield into a better position, caring little about the arrows that still remained from the storm just seconds ago. His eyes squinted against the blatant radiance of the setting sun, but he kept focus on the enemy ahead.

King Baudouin, riding at the point of the wedge, urged his horse into a canter. The crusaders automatically matched his speed. The knights, with a holy fervor pumping through their veins, raised their lances into the air. Some waved their swords in circles as they bounced on the saddle, roaring with excitement.

Estienne looked past the knights before him. The figures of the Fatimid cavalry grew on the horizon, coming closer. They too pushed into a faster pace, crying their own praises.

They matched the Franks’ ferocity with something else. Confidence. A cocky, prideful assurance that stemmed from the fact that their enemy was outnumbered in the thousands.

Noticing this, Estienne slammed his spurred boots down into his horse’s ribs. He drove the beast mad, and it sped forward across the plains, gritting down on its bits. The horse was transformed into a monster. Its mouth foamed with saliva, and its eyes opened wide.

There was no stopping the monster now.

The knights watched as Estienne flew ahead of the group, admiring how he worked his mount into a carnal fiend. They too pushed their horses into a realm of anger and pain, born of the heat and flames of battle. Their monsters were at full speed, rushing over the plains like a pack of wolves.

The two charging lines, one Fatimid and the other of Jerusalem, came closer and closer, each galloping over the plains. The Arab cavalry broke from their original flat charging formation. Two flanks of Arabs steered away from the main group, each side curving outwards. It was a flanking maneuver.

King Baudouin noticed this, but knew there was nothing he could do about it at this point. He was expecting this. It was a move any commander would make. There was no time for readjustments, no time for a new plan of attack.

There was only steel, and there was only death.

Estienne’s beast was surrounded by its brothers, one hundred and fifty Hellhounds from the deepest cage in Satan’s pleasure palace.

The two sworn enemies, enemies of the holy war, were now close. The knights, with one hand holding the reins of their monster, lowered their lances into striking position. They formed a perfect ninety degrees, still and unmoving with the powerful grips of the knights. The lances fell like trees in a forest, catching themselves perfectly straight upon the forest floor. Estienne dropped his lance into position, aiming for a hooded Egyptian rider ahead of him.

The man was doomed, hexed to receive the lance in his chest.

Estienne would make sure of it.

He heard one voice above all the others, above all the chaos they were forming. It was the King, the Frankish crusader veteran, with his voice loud and clear.

Chaarrge!

Estienne could do nothing now but prepare for impact. 


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841 Reviews


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Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:49 pm
Radrook wrote a review...



Radrook here a once again to offer some suggestions.
Apologies if i offend. It isn’t my intention.
Please feel full free to cast aside all things you deem not helpful.
But if you do be sure its true by being extra careful.

That having been said:

Thanks for sharing another chapter of your novel.
Another chapter of constant battle I see!
Interesting!

Suggestion:


The following serves as a very poignant example of how needless word repetition and verbosity just clutters the page. Notice the repetition of the word arrows.

Needless verbosity]

303 words

The Frankish cavalry were paralyzed in fear, watching the flock of arrows fly ever closer and closer. Arrows darted and circled inside the cloud like Chinese fireworks, with a sickening whistling sound filling the air, growing louder as they approached.

Finally, the hail of jet-black arrows was too close to remain unacted upon. Each knight raised his shield, grimacing in anticipation.

An early arrow thudded into Conrad’s shield, pushing his arm back with its surprising power.

“They’re heavy arrows, Estienne! Armor pierc-”

Conrad’s words were cut off as the tenacious storm rained hell upon them.

The sound of arrows hitting everywhere was deafening, as their velocity came to a sudden stop.

Each knight’s shield was barraged with arrows, embedding themselves deep into the painted wood. Despite being nearly five feet long, the raised shields left the knight’s feet unprotected. Savio watched a knight roar in pain as an arrow bit deep into his chausses. His natural instinct was to recoil in pain, and he grabbed his foot with both hands, dropping his shield. Two more arrows perforated into his chest, dropping him from the saddle.

The knights without shields covered their heads in vain, being riddled with arrows. Each fell from the saddle, their muscles convulsing from the foreign objects stuck in their flesh.

Countless arrows lost themselves in the sea of sand, while many stuck into the horses. Estienne’s stallion took at least five arrows all along its body, squealing in pain. No other horse fared better. A horse behind Conrad took an arrow to the eye, rearing up and bucking its rider.

Gradually, the arrows fell less and less like the last drops of a dying rainstorm. Finally, it was over, leaving twenty knights dead and sixty others wounded.


Modified to reduce the repetition of the word “ärrow” and word economy as well as a more believable description.


The Frankish cavalry were paralyzed in fear, as whistleing arrows approached in an arch.

Finally, they were too close to ignore and the knights raised their shields, grimacing in anticipation. One thudded into Conrad’s shield, forcing his arm back with unexpected power.

“They’re of the heavy kind, Estienne! Armor pierc-”

Conrad’s words were cut off as the tenacious storm rained hell upon them.

The sound of arrows hitting everywhere was deafening, as their velocity came to a sudden stop.

Soon, every knight displayed protrided shafts, embedded deeply into the painted wood of their shields. Despite being nearly five feet long, the raised shields left the knight’s feet unprotected. Savio watched a knight roar in pain as an arrow bit deep into his chausses. His natural instinct was to recoil in pain, and he grabbed his foot with both hands exposing the rest of his body. Two more thudded into his chest, dropping him from the saddle.

Those who had no shields covered their heads in vain. Each toppled from the saddle, their muscles convulsing. Countless struck only sand while many hit the horses. Estienne’s stallion, wounded thrice, began neighing in pain. Other horses fared no better. One behind Conrad, wounded in the eye, reared up and bucked its rider.

Gradually, the murderous barrage began to wane like a dying rainstorm. Then finally, it was over, leaving twenty knights dead and sixty others wounded.


242 words That’s sixty-one words less.
Used the word arrow only three times.
The original version repeated it eleven times unnecessarily.


Please note that the descriptions of arrow movements seemed unrealistic and forced. Very unbelievable. How can a cloud of black arrows be compared to Chinese fireworks? Same with the other comparison. It also comes across as over-dramatization. So removing them was deemed best.



More dialogue and less action abd description is needed.

With an unending clopping noise
[With an unending clopping . . . .] [Reader knows that clopping is noise.]

There was a road that ran along the coastline of the Levant, built by the Romans.

[The Levant was built by the Romans?]

[The Romans had built a road that ran along the coastline of the Levant.]


Despite being weathered by hundreds of years of blistering sun and tortuous winds, it was wide enough to fit four horsemen across its face.

[Despite being weathered by hundreds of years of blistering sun and tortuous winds, it was wide enough to fit four horsemen.]


The cobble was chiseled to perfection, and made up of . . . .
[The cobble was chiseled to perfection, composed of . . . .]

[Chiseled to perfection into what shape? Cobbles are naturally weathered stones.]

wine sack
[wine-sack]

wine skin
[wine-skin or wineskin ]

before sun down.
[before sundown.]

King Baudouin liked to watch people struggle,
[King Baudouin enjoyed watching people struggle, . . . .] [word economy]

. . . . aiming at a predetermined degree. [Bombast or purple prose!]

Robe = singular
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thawb

[If I say robes that means he wore two or more. Hyperthermia would ensue.]

He had ridden near three other knights for the entirety of the journey so far.
He had ridden beside three other knights for the whole journey. [Word economy. Avoiding Bombast!]

He raised his sword high up into the air.
[He raised his sword high.] [Word-economy. Reader knows that there is air there.]

Estienne forced his horse down the Roman road as fast as possible,
Estienne spurred his horse down the road at full gallop, . . . . [Word economy. More visual imagery. Reader already has been told that the road was built by Romans. A reminder adds NOTHING. ]

“Gather the men!”
[“Assemble the men!” Sounds more convincingly military. Butthat;’s up to personal preference.]

BTW

Digging spurs into a horses flesh in the savage cruel way you describe would not make it gallop. It would make it rear up in extreme pain and try to unseat the rider. It would risk seriously injuring the steed and might cause swelling and infection. There were no antibiotics back then. No knight that valued his horse would do that. It also portrays your hero as cruel.

Was that intentional?

-

He screamed into the horse’s ear, . . . .
“Attack!” he shouted into his steed’s ear.]

One was the tall, popular Sicilian. Apparently his name was Savio.
[One was the tall, popular Sicilian named Savio.] [Word economy]

Why had his friend lied to him this whole time?
Why had his friend been lying?” [Reader knows the duration of the lying.]


. . . . too close to remain unacted upon
[. . . . too close to ignore.] [Word Economy]
-

The um...prisoners will be...put in tower, as you wish, Malik.”]
[The above sentence reads unnaturally. Get rid of the ellipses and the quirky-looking: "Ummm".]

. . . . throwing it down onto the sand
[ . . . . throwing it onto the sand . . . .]
[If it landed on the sand, the reader knows that it had to travel down.]

-

You told me we were to help the king on his journey, then we were to return to Europe!

[You promised that after helping the king on his journey we would return to Europe!]
[Word economy and smoother flow.]

. . . . dark skinned peoples, . . . .]
[. . . . dark-skinned people, . . . .]
Two words serve as one adjective! Also, please notice that it is "people" not "peoples".

But of course the possessive of "people" is "people's".
But the noun "people" in itself is plural and needs no "s"added to make it MORE plural. LOL!.



He shrugged his shield into a better position, caring little about the arrows that still remained from the storm just seconds ago.

[He adjusted his shield caring little about the arrows.]
[The reader already knows what happened seconds before.]

There is much more that needs tweaking but at present I don't have the time nor inclination to continue. So I guess this is all.




ChieRynn says...


side note - spurring the horse like that is cruel but they would run to try and escape the pain. they might rear too, but their natural instinct as a prey animal is to escape from pain. the could very well rear but they'd also probably run like hell to get away from whatever was hurting them. And also if a horse's adrenaline is already pumped, their pain tolerance becomes decently higher. The reason why a terrified horse will still run with a serious injury like a bowed tendon.



Radrook says...


My opinion is based ion the observation of equine behavior when a rider makes it uncomfortable. They tend to buck and throw the rider. If the rider then approaches it on foot he runs the risk of getting kicked and many have gotten kicked after infliction pain . Also, damaging a horse that way by savagely digging spurs deeply into its flesh that way seems far fetched. A knight knew that a healthy horse was invaluable and that damaging it in that way would mean having to get another steed. The knight was also aware that injuries took time to heel. So he would not be inclined to do that. Well, that;'s the way the passage impressed me. So I guess we differ in opinion. Probably differ in opinion on many other statements that I made-right?





Hey!

Thanks for the many, many helpful additions you gave. Although I do disagree with some of your advice, much of it is very sound and helpful.
Many of those mistakes are things i aim to weed out as i become more experienced, hopefully as i get better as a writer those things will become clearer to me.
Also, what did you mean by how another chapter of full battle was interesting? Did you skip over the chapters before this that included dialogue and plot development?

Also, about digging the spurs into the flesh, keep in mind one thing.
This horse is a trained war horse, bred for battle. Undoubtedly any war horse would be trained not to just buck its rider at any pain. War horses were bred for war, and a mean jab of the spurs is nothing compared to what its supposed to handle. Like ChieRynn said, it would bolt as fast as it could to instinctively get away from the pain, thats the whole point of spurs. I talked to her cause she has horses and knows a lot about them, and she agreed with how i portrayed horses in this story.
I definitely get what you're getting at, a normal horse would freak out if its rider jabbed multiple sharp objects into its sides.

Once again I'd like to thank you for all your fixes and suggestions, i read each and i'll try my best to improve. You're a really good editor.

Is there anything you liked about this chapter? Anything I did well on that I can continue to do?





And your most recent message shows that you clearly aren't finished with the conflict, even though i am. Please once again, i urge you to forgive me for anything i said, lets just forget it.
I am sincere here, i really don't want to fight anymore. Its exhausting, it disabled your work, and it only creates problems in the future.



Radrook says...


True, other reviewers disagree with me just as other reviewers disagreed with you in your opinion of my recent work. Good point. But just as you I still remain convinced that my opinion is the right one.





Well it doesn't matter any more, I'm sorry your work got disabled, I never meant for that to happen, and you didn't either.



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Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:35 pm
SirenCymbaline wrote a review...



Again, well done with the sense of urgency. You're pretty good at causing and holding tension.

There were just a few times where I was confused as to whose perspective I was reading from, I think there might have been a little head-hopping going on near the beginning.

But damn, that was good. I was really feeling Estienne's rage and frustration.
And I could also feel myself dreading it coming, along with Conrad. So A+ for feelings.

There's only two things I'm unsure of. The first one is that I'm unsure of how the scouting party got their facts so wrong. Maybe you did explain that and I wasn't reading closely enough, or that's something that gets explained later?

The other thing is that when Estienne angrily charges toward King Baudouin before he learns about the army, I am unsure of what exactly he meant to do when he got there.
But I'm not entirely sure he knew what he meant to do either. Maybe he didn't have a plan.
I could believe that.

Man, yet another really effective battle. I was legit worried about those arrows, and especially the cavalry. Like damn, all those unhorsed knights are in so much trouble when the cavalry comes closer. (I'm just assuming the guys that still have horses were further back?)

Pumped for the rest of the battle in the next chapter, and the future of Estienne and Conrad's relationship. Man, I wanna believe that they'll live through a glorious battle and be friends again and get pardoned and ride off into the sunset with daisy chain friendship bracelets, but I'm legit worried that they might just die, or get hanged. I'm not convinced that I know how it's gonna end. I like that uncertainty.

Thanks for the good times, see you in the next chapter.






Thank you, thank you!

I'm really sorry about the head-hopping and perspective issues, thats something I'm really struggling with if you can tell. I can't see it as it all makes perfect sense to me as the author. Can you please show me where i went wrong on that? I've already looked this over multiple times for head-hopping issues and didn't find anything, it just proves by blindness in that area.

I'm glad to hear the characters are connecting with you!

About the scouting party thats something I never really explained too clearly, sorry about that. You're the first person to mention that and looking back, I can see i never made it clear other than the fact that Estienne saw a bunch of tracks and assumed it was just travel from friendly merchants in the area or their own party. I was meaning to say the scouts thought the same thing. Thats bad on my part.
Just know that the scouts, in this story and in history, reported back to king Baudouin that nothing was wrong and there were no parties in sight. I think I mentioned something about the sands being blown about in the wind and erasing all tracks. idk

When Estienne was charging towards King Baudouin, he grabs a lance from a weapons crate in the caravan and charges towards the King. I think its pretty obvious that he was trying to attack the King in his blind rage.

Another effective battle? What do you mean by that phrasing? That the battle was effective for the fatimids?
Yes, all the unhorsed knights were either trapped under their struggling steeds, or thudded with arrows themselves as they fell to the ground.

hahaha 'daisy chain friendship bracelets'
No spoilers here, but not quite.
I like how you're uncertain about the end, makes me excited to hear your thoughts on the next two chapters. You'll like them for sure if you haven't already read them.





The perspective confusion was in the conversation between Estienne and Salvio, and when the perspective shifts from Estienne to Conrad so you can describe what Conrad is thinking after Estienne rides away. I totally get why you did that, and don't have any advice for what you might have done otherwise. Sorry.

I understood that the scouting party got their facts wrong, I just wasn't sure how they got it wrong.

I did think that Estienne probably meant to attack him in a fit of rage, I was just so overtaken by dramatic disbelief that I wanted to make sure. I really don't think you need to change anything there. Just oes to show how immersive this stuff is.

By effective I mean it was effective at holding my interest and being easily understood. Sorry I didn't clarify that properly.





Oh, there was something else I like that I forgot to mention. The scene where King Baudouin stabs his Arab attendant. This story has been really heavy on the Christian-positive side, which makes sense because it's written from the perspective of the Christians, but learning just a bit about Atallah and his life and then seeing him die does humanise the Arabs a bit, and make the world seem more self-aware.
So props to that.





Sorry about all your confusion, like you said, its all really immersive.

Yes i really have been wanting to focus on the Arabic side of the Crusades throughout the entire time i was writing this. But being a Christian half the world away from the middle east and having only met one muslim in my lifetime, I don't want to start writing on something i know little about. Also I kept trying to introduce an Arab character into the story but it just kept seeming unneeded and interrupting.
I have been researching a lot more into Arabic culture in the Levant, and i'm seriously considering doing a story from the arabic side.



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Sun May 27, 2018 12:28 pm
Saen wrote a review...



Hello, GodfreysBouillon! I hope my review can do your work justice.

I wonder if Estienne is going to feel guilty about having noticed something that could have possibly suggested a large army and not saying something, although I suspect the end of this story will see him and Conrad applauded as great heroes. I love how you wrote Estienne's feeling of betrayal - I'm sure Conrad didn't want him to become even more depressed than he already was, but I doubt he'll get a chance to talk about it. I'm not sure how long this story is going to be. But if it's a short one, I suspect that one of the two might end up dead by the conclusion of this battle.

Nice title drop, by the way! I didn't realize they were heading to the place that story was named after, and it made me want to smile in an otherwise gloomy chapter when I saw the name of the city.

I'm curious to see if they'll be able to beat the opponent's army. I doubt it will be easy, but they have the power of protagonists on their side. Even if they're not completely defeated, they'll definitely leave a dent in their massive forces.

I really enjoyed reading your work. While there may have been a few rough spots, it's overall a wonderful piece of writing. If you feel like some parts of my review need further explanation or just aren't good enough, please let me know. I'd gladly clear up anything about this review.

Keep up the great work (which I doubt you'll have trouble with) and good luck on your writing endeavors!






Your reviews made my day a lot brighter.
I've had a bad day, and to come back to these wonderful reviews by someone who understands the story as well as i do....well, its quite awesome.
The story should be two more chapters, but i won't say anything else.
Glad you liked the title drop, thats always been my favorite part of many movies i've watched, so i wanted to write it into a book.

Also, in your last review you said my writing style helps you learn about the time period- the Crusades. I'm glad to hear that, but you should know that EVERYTHING in this story, yes everything, is based off of actual historical facts, people, and places. So if you need help on the background, open up a history book and turn to the Middle East around the year 1100. The city of Ramla? Real.
Estienne, Conrad, Hugues, King Baudouin? Real people.
The battles featured in the book? Real.
Just be careful for spoilers if you look at the real events, don't want you to ruin the ending for yourself. :D

Thanks so much, I should have the fifth chapter up soon and I'll tell you when its ready!





Actually, one last thing. You keep mentioning 'rough spots' in all my chapters. Tell me what they are! i want to fix every mistake I make.



Saen says...


Oh! That's actually an ending I have for all of my reviews - it's from ages ago, and I really need to change it. I couldn't find any "rough spots". Sorry about that!





Couldn't find any?...Wow!
I've certainly improved! haha



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Sun May 27, 2018 1:36 am
tcrowder1980 says...



I believe this is a very thought out and well designed chapter.... i believe you have a good talent. and to make this 250 characters... A 500 word essay is roughly one (1) page, single spaced or 250 words, double spaced. As an essay usually consists of at least three paragraphs: 1) an introduction, 2) the main body, and 3) a conclusion, most instructions for a short essay are to type a 250 word essay, to be double spaced.

A limitation of 250 characters seems awful short considering a single Tweet on Twitter is limited to 140 characters, which is roughly two or three short sentences.






Haha thank you for the review!



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Sat May 26, 2018 11:49 pm
ChieRynn wrote a review...



Howdy there, I’m here to review this! Well that’s obvious, but whatever ~

So let’s start with the glows. I enjoy seeing the furthering of your characters’ character. All of them, though since Estienne seems to be the main character, mainly him.

“This was an army of twenty thousand.” To quote something you said, “Now they’re screwed”.

You’re developing King Baudouin well, he’s becoming a solid jerk. Well done.

Ahhh the cavalry. Good job with the dramatic illustration too, it was placed perfectly. LIGHT CAV FTW.

About the horses: “There was no stopping the monster now.” Ohh yes.

Good cliffhanger! Leaves me wanting to read more. *hint* Part 5…


And for a few things here-

“Estienne turned towards Savio, looking him up and down.” <- “looking him up and down” seems a little confusing. Perhaps say “observing his features” or something of the sort.

“His horse skid to a stop” <- “skidded

Whatever happened to Hugues (spelling?)? I’m sure you’re going to tie him in again, but it might be wise to at least mention him somewhere in here so people don’t forget about him or wonder where the heck he is.

“He drove the beast mad, and it sped forward across the plains, gritting down on its bits.” <- the horse wouldn’t have two bits. Some disciplines such as advanced dressage use double bits, but not a charger horse like this. So just “bit”.

That’s all I have for correction and praise, and I look forward to seeing the next chapter! Good job!

Image






Sorry about the 'bits' part, only added that in last minute.
I did not even know there was a past tense version of skid lol

Thanks so much for your insight, I've already thanked you so many other times, so here's another.




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