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Soulswords, Prologue

by Phaix


Waahhh hello YWS! I'm very excited to be here :D This is a short extract from the Prologue of my book. I won't give any explanation - for that you'll have to keep reading! thank you :D

NOTE: edited 10/6/2010

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Peace, once shattered, seems to have been the shortest fleeting moment of light before the all consuming darkness of war. It was as beautiful as a butterfly, but just as easily crushed; as if it had never been at all. Quilantien had been a butterfly. From the Northern Shores to the Silver Isles, life had been sweet and plentiful, but conflict can never be stayed once its ugly head is roused. Love had kept the land together once. But now love tore it apart.

Mileneth knew the madness had to stop. Atop his red destrier, his fine metal plating shattered the failing light like mirrors. Moonclaw felt heavy in his hand. Each life the sword took weighed down upon him. 'Madness,' Mileneth thought. 'This is madness'. The air was thick with smog and cries, crashes and blood, and the long howl of war horns. The stench of death, foul and overwhelming, made it hard to breathe. Mileneth had seen nothing like it. Only a day past, the fields had been green and gentle, but now the soil was thick with blood and corpses, of both man and horse. The black clouds that had been gathering finally burst. Heavy, lamenting drops tumbled from the sky, and Mileneth felt hopeless.

He swung Natsura around, rain smashing against her heavy plating. Her muscles tensed and surged beneath her rider, his weight nothing compared to her strength. Mileneth pushed her forward, searching for an end to the chaos. A man in a dented helm roared and charged at him, swinging his sword wildly above his head. In one swift motion, Moonclaw made short work of his throat, spraying scarlet mist in every direction. The man fell, eyes wide as his life’s blood poured out. Similar men, brave but equally mortal, swarmed towards Mileneth's Sister colours and felt Moonclaw's bite. Mileneth struck them down with ease. He had always lived for battle; for the rush and blood lust, for the roaring beast that lived within him. It had feasted on the power and freedom. That was before. The beast in Mileneth's soul was gone. No animal would enjoy the taste of desperation.

“Imroth!” Mileneth cried, his voice barely a drop in the ocean of noise. “Imroth, face me!” Mileneth pushed on. He couldn't remember when the lines had broken, but as he looked around, all he could see was chaos, bloodied and screaming mayhem. Imroth had to be found. But everyone was faceless. In the dark and rain, the colours had been muted. These were men who were just fighting, fighting to survive, and both sides had forgotten why.


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Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:09 pm
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

Anyway let's get right to it,

Peace, once shattered, seems to have been the shortest fleeting moment of light before the all consuming darkness of war. It was as beautiful as a butterfly, but just as easily crushed; as if it had never been at all. Quilantien had been a butterfly. From the Northern Shores to the Silver Isles, life had been sweet and plentiful, but conflict can never be stayed once its ugly head is roused. Love had kept the land together once. But now love tore it apart.

Mileneth knew the madness had to stop. Atop his red destrier, his fine metal plating shattered the failing light like mirrors. Moonclaw felt heavy in his hand. Each life the sword took weighed down upon him. 'Madness,' Mileneth thought. 'This is madness'. The air was thick with smog and cries, crashes and blood, and the long howl of war horns. The stench of death, foul and overwhelming, made it hard to breathe. Mileneth had seen nothing like it. Only a day past, the fields had been green and gentle, but now the soil was thick with blood and corpses, of both man and horse. The black clouds that had been gathering finally burst. Heavy, lamenting drops tumbled from the sky, and Mileneth felt hopeless.


This is a pretty cool opening bit here. There are some proper hints to something big having happened in the background and I love how you manage to drop just enough details about it so that we know something pretty serious has gone down, but you don't go too far into detail about what this is all about. I think it makes for a pretty nice moment that way here.

He swung Natsura around, rain smashing against her heavy plating. Her muscles tensed and surged beneath her rider, his weight nothing compared to her strength. Mileneth pushed her forward, searching for an end to the chaos. A man in a dented helm roared and charged at him, swinging his sword wildly above his head. In one swift motion, Moonclaw made short work of his throat, spraying scarlet mist in every direction. The man fell, eyes wide as his life’s blood poured out. Similar men, brave but equally mortal, swarmed towards Mileneth's Sister colours and felt Moonclaw's bite. Mileneth struck them down with ease. He had always lived for battle; for the rush and blood lust, for the roaring beast that lived within him. It had feasted on the power and freedom. That was before. The beast in Mileneth's soul was gone. No animal would enjoy the taste of desperation.


Hmm, well this is building up quite epically from that earlier moment. I was wondering if this would be more of a reflective start considering that thought process from earlier, but it appears we're instead diving straight in here and things are definitely getting off to a pretty intriguing start with what we've got going on here in terms of the action.

“Imroth!” Mileneth cried, his voice barely a drop in the ocean of noise. “Imroth, face me!” Mileneth pushed on. He couldn't remember when the lines had broken, but as he looked around, all he could see was chaos, bloodied and screaming mayhem. Imroth had to be found. But everyone was faceless. In the dark and rain, the colours had been muted. These were men who were just fighting, fighting to survive, and both sides had forgotten why.


Well that is certainly a rather fitting end for a prologue to have there. Its just very appropriately rather vague in terms of most of the backstory here, but we know enough to know this is some sort of battle that's been going on for just a little too long to the point no one really wants to do it but they do. It creates a pretty interesting effect I think, and at any rate I find myself really wanting to read more and find out what's happening in this world here.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:29 am
Rubric wrote a review...



Hey. Couldn't spot anything that needed fixing in terms of spelling and such, so I've gon ewith a very subjective "this is how I would edit it if I was writing it" style. As such, feel free to ignore.

was as beautiful as a butterfly, but just as easily crushed; as if it had never been at all

This is cool, but just to give you another option:
"was as beautiful, and as easily crushed, as a butterfly. It was as if it had never been there at all"

but conflict can never be stayed

The shift in tense from "could" to "can" means you're talking about the gerneral concept of conflict, which again is fine, as long as that's what you mean to be talking about.

Mileneth knew the madness had to stop

This is a nice quick way to introduce the character against the backdrop of the trouble you've introduced in the first paragraph. You might be able to make it even better if you relate it more directly to the terms you use in that introduction. It might be better to replace "madness" with one of these ideas.

his red destrier

Cool, I love it when people get specific about their horses. Perhaps "red" could be more specific though, because in my head I originally assumed a bright vibrant fantasy red, which is both cool and pretty fantastical. If you're going for the more reddy-brown that appears in non-fantasy horses, go for something like "chestnut" or "auburn".

Moonclaw felt heavy in his hand. Each life the sword took weighed down upon him

Very cool way to introduce the sword. Very artfully done.

'Madness,' Mileneth thought. 'This is madness'

We've already kind of been exposed to this idea in the first sentence of the paragraph, so I think either this "madness" or the "madness" referred to in that first line needs to be changed to something else. It could even be changed to something with similar connotations like "chaos" "insanity" or perhaps even "anarchy". Repetition is something I fall afoul of, so it's something I can only really spot in other people :P.

Also, people tend to put thoughts in italics so they aren't confused with dialogue, but that's really a stylistic choice.

Mileneth had seen nothing like it.

The way this is phrased makes it sound as though you're referring to the preceding sentence rather than the following one, which is confusing since the following sentence is the one that refers to sight, rather than sound or scent. Perhaps giving a slight lead-in for the next idea instead of "it" would clear this up. If it read something like "Mileneth had seen nothing like the transformation that had unfolded before him" then it makes it clear you're dealing with a new idea rather than the one addressed in the previous sentence.

Heavy, lamenting drops tumbled from the sky, and Mileneth felt hopeless.

Very cool. Recently though, I've been trying to move away from adjectives so if I was to write this I might go for something like " Heavy drops tumbled from the sky in lamentation, and Mileneth felt hopeless.

Similar men, brave but equally mortal, swarmed towards Mileneth's Sister colours and felt Moonclaw's bite.

I think "similar" isn't really worth putting in here, you could go with another term like "his companions" to establish the link, but I think the reader with pick it up anyway. I assume "sister colours" refers to heraldry and if so it doesn't need to be capitalised. So yeah, I'd have it read something like this.

"Men swarmed toward Mileneth's sister colours, as though they were eager to feel Moonclaw's bite and prove their own mortality."

had always lived for battle; for the rush and blood lust, for the roaring beast that lived within him.

"had always lived for battle, for the rush of blood lust and the roaring beast that lived within him."
I'm trying to move away from semicolons, they're like crack cocaine to me.

It had feasted on the power and freedom. That was before. The beast in Mileneth's soul was gone. No animal would enjoy the taste of desperation.

Hmm this really goes beyond the scope of my understanding and I assume it involves both plot and characterisation that lies outside this except. I won't touch it.

“Imroth!” Mileneth cried, his voice barely a drop in the ocean of noise. “Imroth, face me!”

This is, potentially, a very evocative line. I think it might be a good idea to move the "drop in the ocean of noise" metaphor to the next sentence and replace it with description so that the reader can really grasp Mileneth's situation a bit more. Maybe something referring the the rain, like "Mileneth cried through the blinding rain." Then move the middle bit that you've gotto after "Imroth face me!"

These were men who were just fighting, fighting to survive, and both sides had forgotten why.

Cool way to link back to those earlier themes by comparing the physical realities of the battle to the timeless characteristics of war.

Overall it's a great piece, and it deals with some ideas that are similar to what I'm trying to tease out in my Exiles pieces (which are on YWS :P). I'd be a bit careful with names though. You've only got a few names in the piece so far, but they're all pretty exotic and "cool". That's fine, but just make sure you don't have names that sound like they're from different countries and cultures existing in the same family or community. "Moonclaw" is a good name for a sword. Well done and I look forward to reading some more.




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Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:36 am
Phaix says...



hey shadowlight! thank you so much for taking the time to review :D Natsura is Mileneth's 'red destrier' I've been thinking i need to clean that up anyways, i kind of forget half way through the scene he's supposed to me on a horse i think! secondly, i agree that 'mess' is the wrong word.

this will be fixed! thank you so much :D

guaranteed pm's for you and jackpot! xx




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Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:24 am
Shadowlight wrote a review...



Hi I'm Shadowlight,
You really caught my attention right from the get go. I could almost see, smell, and feel all the things your character was. Awesome job!! the whole piece was wonderful! :mrgreen:
there were two sort of nitpicks I have.
"He swung Natsura around..." I was a little confused by this. I thought his weapon's name was Moonclaw? I'm probably just missing something though.
The other thing is just a personal me nitpick. your prose are stunning and how you weave them together, but one word didn't seem to fit as well. you used the word mess to describe the battle field, now there is nothing wrong with the word mess and lets face it, battle fields are messy, but I think this prologue is written in more of an archaic style, and mess kind of jumps out as not really fitting the tone. (correct me if I'm wrong. it's just my personal preference) I think you could find a word that had more descriptive/visual meaning. maybe something more like Chaos, Confusion, Disarray, Mayhem, you get the idea.
This piece is wonderful and I can't wait to read more. P.M me when you get more up! and again I loved reading this. it sounds like the beginning of an awesome novel.




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Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:03 pm
Phaix says...



hey! thanks for the review! the second point you picked up on was supposed to be a thought, but i guess it wasnt too clear. ill clean that up! but thanks :D x




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Tue Jun 08, 2010 12:40 pm
JackpotJohnson wrote a review...



Hello, I am JackpotJohnson -JJ- Here for your first review. Red=Grammer Mistakes/ Blue=My Ideas! Lets Begin.

Phaix wrote:Peace, once shattered, seems to have been the shortest fleeting moment of light before the all consuming darkness of war.#0000FF ">This is a very interesting first sentence, you did a great job of capturing the readers attention! Keep up the good work on that! It was as beautiful as a butterfly, but just as easily crushed; as if it had never been at all. Quilantien had been a butterfly. From the Northern Shores to the Silver Isles, life had been sweet and plentiful, but conflict can never be stayed once its ugly head is roused. Love had kept the land together once. But now love tore it apart.

Mileneth knew the madness had to stop. Atop his red destrier, his fine metal plating shattered the failing light like mirrors. Moonclaw felt heavy in his hand. Each life it took made the blade feel heavy in his hand. This is#0000FF ">or was? The begining of this paragraph is past tense (Moonclaw [i]felt heavy in his hand. madness.[/i] The air was thick with smog and cries, crashes and blood, and the long howl of war horns. The stench of death, foul and overwhelming, made it hard to breathe. Mileneth had seen nothing like it. Only a day past, the fields had been green and gentle, but now the soil was thick with blood and corpses, of both man and horse. The black clouds that had been gathering finally burst. Heavy, lamenting drops tumbled from the sky, and Mileneth felt hopeless.

He swung Natsura around, searching for an end to this mess. A man in a dented helm roared and charged at him, swinging his sword wildly above his head. In one swift motion, Moonclaw made short work of his throat, spraying scarlet mist in every direction. The man fell, eyes wide as his life’s blood poured out. Similar men, brave but equally mortal, swarmed towards Mileneth's Sister colours and felt Moonclaw's bite. Mileneth struck them down with ease. He had always lived for battle; for the rush and blood lust, for the roaring beast that lived within him. It had feasted on the power and freedom. That was before. The beast in Mileneth's soul was gone. No animal would enjoy the taste of desperation.

“Imroth!” Mileneth cried, his voice barely a drop in the ocean of noise. “Imroth, face me!” Mileneth pushed on. He couldn't remember when the lines had broken, but as he looked around, all he could see was mess. Imroth had to be found. But everyone was faceless. In the dark and rain, the colours had been muted. These were men who were just fighting, fighting to survive, and both sides had forgotten why.

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My goodness, you can write! Your grammer, and punctiation were flawless. I am amazed, at how easily you draw the readers attention, and keep it held! Every sentence had something to give to the story in a way that did not confuse the reader. I can't wait to hear more from you, and PM me when you have finished your next step. I will give you another review. I am utterly speechless. Great Job!!!





It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.
— Mr Collins, Pride and Prejudice