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Chapter one of the Lost Legend - The Harvest Moon

by StoneHeart


Chapter one: The Harvest Moon.

Dimwalden Forest, Northern Caraca, Netheron:

A late autumn breeze wafted through the trees, loosing clouds of orange, yellow, and brown leaves from their holds, and leaving them to flutter down between the trunks of the massive oaks, maples, aspen, and birch that made up the forest, and finally come to rest on the silent forest floor.

Tauren Netharu gazed up from the small, rocky, forest stream he knelt by, scanning the dark forest about him with a hunters eye for his prey, a waft of the breeze swept down from the towering treetops, having made it through the dense foliage, ruffled his light brown hair and then wafted away into the forest behind him, his blue eyes, sharp and careful, snapped down to the small print in the soft mud by the creek, the deer he was tracking was close, he knew, for the mud it had stirred up in taking its drink had yet to be swept down the stream.

Slowly, with infinite care not to make any noise, he reached over to his side, and picked up his bow from where he had set it on the rocks, he slowly lifted an arrow from the quiver at his belt, and then slowly lay it’s maple shaft onto the aspen bow, he stood slowly and gazed intently at the spot in the underbrush on the other side of the creek where he was certain he had seen movement, slowly he tensed the bowstring, then, smoothly, without a single moment of hesitation leaped forward, vaulted off a rock and across the stream, landing with complete silence right behind the tree where he knew the deer was hiding.

He took a deep breath, it would not do to alert his prey to his presence and lose his only chance for the day, he needed this meat desperately, today was recruiting day for the Arrel army, and while chances were slim that he would be recruited this year, he had to be ready for any eventuality, and if his grandfather didn’t have enough money to stay alive for the next two years before Tauren got back from the allotted service period, then he would be terribly hard pressed to feed himself.

It wasn’t that Edrin Netharu was a weak old man, quite the contrary, he was fit, strong, and healthy, never having been able to quite loose his warriors touch that he had gained over his years of service in the Arrel army, but the people of the area didn’t trust him, indeed, they feared him, and though that was a good thing in the old man’s eyes, it was a huge hindrance in for him in trying to find some employment, and living off the land as Tauren did was ‘ dishonorable for a warrior ‘.

Tauren shook his head, clearing his mind of all thought, not wanting to argue with himself the fine points of his grandfather’s philosophy at the moment, that would never do, slowly he took a deep breath, and then, in a single movement, spun out from behind the tree, pulling the string back to his ear and loosing in a single movement, it was a shot that bordered on instinctive, he had guessed where the massive buck would be lying and the moment the arrow had begun its deadly flight, he knew that he had guessed correctly.

The huge buck was lying still on the leaves of the forest floor, its head raised, listening intently, its huge brown eyes alert, the instant it saw the blur of movement as Tauren leaped out from behind the tree, it had leaped up with incredible speed, and was in mid bound as Taurens arrow slammed into its heart, stopping it dead cold in the air and throwing it onto its side, its head slamming with a sickening snap against a tree trunk.

Tauren landed perfectly, and standing from his squat, replaced the arrow he had automatically applied to the bow string, in his quiver, and then paced over to the buck, gazing over its gallant head, its sweeping antlers, and at last resting his eyes on its beautiful brown fur, he felt a twinge of sadness at having to kill the majestic creature, there were plenty of them in the area but he still felt bad about the deed, he sighed, reaching inside his leather jerkin and pulling out his long, razor sharp, hunting knife, his grandfather had told him that it would be a bad thing if he felt no remorse at destroying beauty.

Carefully he knelt and cut out the arrow from where it had struck, trying not to make a mess, then, carefully replacing the arrow after having wiped it off on a patch of grass, he waited a moment for the crimson blood to stop flowing, then, with a few deft slices, he cut a piece of rope from the dozen yards of thin yet strong cord that he always carried strapped to his belt, he passed the piece of rope under the antlers of the fallen creature and then tied the ends together, then, replacing his knife, he unstrung his bow and slung it over his shoulder, then he reached down and grasping the thick antlers of the beast at their base, he heaved the whole body over his shoulder, looping the rope around him so as to leave him a free hand.

He sighed, holding the 400 pound creature easily; and headed into the underbrush, heading for the falling sun in the west, pushing the underbrush out of his way, and trying to be careful so as not to catch the antlers on anything.

The reasons that the people in the area didn’t trust Tauren and his mysterious grandfather where valid ones he thought, it would take three grown men to life the load he was now carrying, and Tauren knew it. What more, he was only 16, still, technically, a boy, and this was an easy load for him; they were different, there was no hiding from it, and though Tauren at times felt the pangs of being an outcast, overall he was content with his lot, the forest was his home, he had what friends he needed in the soldiers in the town, he told himself he could survive any test the world could pose, and need no friends other than the ones he had, his fellow outcasts in a foreign world.

It took him another half hour of brisk walking before he began to feel the weight of the buck on his shoulders, but he knew he didn’t have long to go, and pressed on through the underbrush, taking in the gentle light the forest allowed to filter down. It was one of the most beautiful sights in the world to him, he always felt so much more alert in the forest, his senses seemed so much more sensitive, time seemed to slow down till he could take in everything, he felt stronger, faster, ready for anything. Ahead he saw a bright light in-between the trees and knew that he had reached his destination, and a moment later he stepped out of the tree line, blinking in the sunlight, his eyes resting on a different sight than what he was used to.

There before him spread a small meadow, covered in thick, green grass; that small rocky stream he had been at only a few minutes before running through the middle of it, to one side he saw the dark form of the small log cabin where he and his grandfather lived, its thick log walls dark from the thick coating of moss that covered them, its thatched roof black from mold. He smiled to himself, it was so little, but it was home: his home,

Behind the cabin he heard a rhythmic pounding and crashing, and knew, before he saw, that his grandfather was chopping firewood, he crossed the clearing briskly, grinning in spite of himself at the thought of his grandfather, he turned around the edge of the house, a path of pebbles crunching under his feet, and came face to face with the old man.

Edrin Netharu was a tall man, much like his only grandson, but the family resemblance stopped there, he had long grey – white hair, in compare with Taurens brown and relatively short hair, he had a thin hawkish face with a long nose, and sharp black eyes, in compare with Taurens strong, muscled, but not thick, face, blue eyes, and more normal nose, he always wore the seemingly same black frayed robes, and was now carrying an axe over his shoulder, behind him, a heap of splintered firewood lying all over their back yard.

He grinned up at Tauren and glanced at the buck in surprise”. Hello boy, seems like you did well enough today.” He said with a nod at the buck.

Tauren pushed past him and lay the buck down on the rough pine boards of back porch of the cabin, the old man followed, stroking the soft fur of the bucks back.

Tauren nodded in agreement with his grandfather’s statement.” Yep, I caught him by surprise; he didn’t even get to run.” He still felt bad about having had to kill it though.

The old man nodded.” Well, why you don’t get this cleaned up here. I’ve got to finish this firewood.” The old man swung the axe to a ready position and paced back to the firewood, while Tauren began the messy work of cleaning the buck.

Some half an hour later Tauren finally looked up from his work, a heap of meat, wrapped in rough brown paper lay to his side on the porch, he saved the antlers and hide; they would sell well too.

The sun was getting quite low on the horizon, and he knew it would soon be time to head for Carmenton with the meat. He and his grandfather had decided the day before that Tauren and he would spend the night in town if Tauren caught anything, he had been hunting for two weeks now, and was glad that he had caught something at last, even if it had to be on the day before Recruiting day.

That night there would be a festival in the town where all the men between the ages fifteen and fifty would be gathered together, the next morning a group of judges would have a quick test for each man, assessing his abilities and attributes, and then one out of every five of them would be chosen, and sent to the army base in Fandrinad Province to be trained for three months before they were sent to Arreland for a 20 month service period.

The Arrels had been in control of Netheron for almost a hundred years, the story of how they had come to power was one that the Arrels did not encourage in spreading, and as a result, nobody spoke of it, and over the years it had slowly faded into legend, and that, even, was fading to myth.

Tauren had talked with his grandfather about it, but he had seemed to agree with the Arrels; the story should be suppressed, Tauren knew that his grandfather knew the truth, but his grandfather had refused to tell him, at the end of these refusals he had simply sighed and dropped the subject, after all, they had little to complain about under the Arrel rule, the taxes where light, the laws where simply enforcements of morality, and the Arrels only requirements where that there be a small force of their soldiers in every town with a population of more than five hundred, and of course, that one out of every five men between the ages of fifteen and fifty, be recruited every year to serve two years in that mysterious war with that mysterious land, Halavarde.

Even though that last rule was a hard one, and most every man who left to those wars didn’t come back, recruitment day came only once every 5 years, and chance had had it, that Tauren had just turned fifteen only a month before recruiting day.

He sighed, heaving the meat, antlers, and hide to his shoulder, and heading across the clearing to where there was a small pasture and stables, where they kept the two horses which they used to do the little traveling they did.

He saw his grandfather coming toward him from the cabin, he set his load down on the soft grass, then, unclipping the latch to the pasture gate, he called the two horses over to him, they tossed their heads and trotted over to him; they were small horses, both dark brown with white hooves and lower legs, but one had a white spot on his forehead, while the other had a black one.

His grandfather stepped up and took the one with the black spot, that one was his horse, T’hune, and led him over to the stables where he started saddling and bridling him with the hands of an expert. Tauren heaved his load up with one arm, and led his horse over to the space beside his grandfather, wishing for two things that his grandfather had, that ease and skill with horses, and a better knack for picking names, his poor horse was named White, a name that his grandfather called bland, and Tauren couldn’t help but agree.

It took them only a few minutes of silent work in the small straw strewn stables to get their horses saddled, and loaded with whatever they were bringing, Edrin swung easily into his saddle, mockingly holding a hand out to Tauren.” Need some help there?”

Tauren shook his head, a nervous feeling deep down in him, he was a hunter, not a warrior, his grandfather had taught him a bit about using a sword and spear, and of course he was a decent hand with his bow, but he wasn’t ready to go out to war and fight other men, fight people who were trying to kill him, and who knew that if they didn’t then he would have to kill them.

He sighed and leaped up onto his horse, the meat behind him, wrapped in the hide, while Edrin carried the antlers, he reached down and picked up his bow from where it lay, leaning against the wall of the stables, he nodded to Edrin, and together they turned their horses and headed by the still, silent cabin, and into the woods.

It was terribly unlikely that he wouldn’t be selected, he was strong, unnaturally so, he was healthy, he had some skill with weapons, his grandfather didn’t try to assure him he wouldn’t be and Tauren knew he knew the chances where against him not being selected. It wasn’t that he was afraid, not really, he was a bit, but he was ready, and confident in his own skills, he wasn’t afraid that he wouldn’t come back though.

The leaf strewn trail beneath them crunched as the horses headed through the trees, about them Tauren heard an occasional scuffle of movement as some small creature ran off into the underbrush, the breeze still blew through the treetops, sending leaves flowing down to rest about them.

They rode in silence for about an hour, drinking in the timelessness of the great forest, the amazing feeling of moving through the swirling leaves, the towering trees about them rustling quietly, the twilight about them enhancing the abundant colors; without paying too much attention to details, one began to feel as though the forest where . . . unearthly, majestic, and picture perfect.

As far as Tauren was concerned, they reached their destination far too soon, and he almost commented on it as they stepped out onto the banks of the Ivy Flow, the river that ran through the valley in which Carmenton lay, but he held his tongue, for there, before them, was Ivy Falls, and never had he seen it looking so majestic.

The Ivy Flow flew over the cliffs that bordered the northern valley, and then took a thousand foot, glistening, fall into a wide pool carved out of the earth at its base, before continuing its course down the valley, through the mat of fields, and by the little splotch of buildings that was Carmenton.

On the far side of the valley they could see the mountains rising above them, covered in forest. To their right the valley wound away for miles before it flattened out and joined the plains that constituted much of Netheron.

Edrin nodded, smiling.” Let’s go. Can’t enjoy the view till we faint and fall off this blasted cliff.”

Edrin didn’t like heights, but Tauren knew that he was enjoying the evening just as much as he was, he nodded in answer and they turned to their left, away from the rocky bed and flowing current of the Ivy, and began the slow trip down the side of the cliff.

A wide trail had been cut in it some years ago, by a people who had left no legacy for their deed; down this they went, hugging the white cliffs, and guiding their horses the best they could, being careful not to fall, for if they did they would have a straight fall for hundreds of feet, then a hard stop at the bottom.

At last they reached the base of the cliff and began their journey down the rough, grassy trail, through the sparsely wooded valley, and, at last, there came into sight the outer buildings of Carmenton: Carmenton was a small town, only a few hundred people living there, it was built on a hill, a small fort at the very top, the houses arranged disorderedly about it.

On most days the small meadow beside the town was empty, but today wasn’t just any day, it was the day of the Harvest Festival, a yearly gathering of all the farmers and townsfolk from the surrounding land; today, they had pitched dozens of tents in the meadow and already the people could be seen pouring in, mostly farmers in rough wagons, their produce with them, planning to sell what they had grown that year tonight.

They came out onto the main road, the thumping of the horses’ hooves on the grass turning to a clacking as they hit the stones on the road; their pace quickened and they soon where trotting through the town, buildings towering on either side of them, people running about, laughing, singing, and otherwise merrymaking. Tauren sighed, the townspeople didn’t accept them in any way; they fell silent when the two of them passed, he could smile to them and nod, but they would only return with blank stares. They had no place here.

But there were a couple houses in the small town where they were welcome; namely, the homes of the soldiers from the fort, Arrels for the most part; men, like them, who didn’t belong in Carmenton, they too where outcast, but they formed their own group of friends, and companions, that was separate from the townsfolk, a group that Tauren was proud to be part of.

The Arrels where good men, honest, honorable, and friendly, but they were different, on the outside they looked like normal men, but there was something about them that just made them feel different, it was rumored among the villagers that they dabbled in black magic, but then again, the same thing was rumored that Tauren and his grandfather did the same.

Tauren trusted them, and he knew Edrin did too.

A few minutes later they stopped in front of the small house right down from the fort where the Lieutenant of the guard in the town lived, a particular friend of Edrins. Edrin silently jumped off of T’hune and stepping through the gate walked over to the small white house and knocked, Tauren followed suit, jumping off of White, and holding T’hune for Edrin.

A few moments later they heard footsteps in the house, and the door swung open; there stood Lieutenant Marlan Darreck, a tall man; towering over Edrin, long black hair falling about his wide shoulders, and brown eyes watching what happened around him with an intensity that seemed to burn the life out of everything, he saw Edrin and smiled widely, embracing the old man.

“. Good afternoon, Edrin.” He chuckled. He glanced up at Tauren and nodded to him, Tauren nodded back.” Come on in.” He stepped to the side and held an arm out for them to inter the tiny, two roomed building that was his home.

Edrin nodded to Tauren.” Why don’t you go stable the horses up at the fort?” He suggested, grinning up to him, Tauren nodded silently and turned away, leaving the two men to enter the little house, while he led the horses up the stone road that led up to the wooden walls of the fort on the hill.

He had only gone a few dozen yards when he heard Marlans voice call to him, he turned back toward the cottage, Marlan stuck his head out of a window over a bed of flowers.” Would you call the off-duty men down here? We might as well have our own good time while the rest of them are having theirs.” He waved at the meadow from which already could be heard the sound of singing.

“. Sure.” Tauren called back, turning and continuing toward the fort.

The fort towered above him before he noticed it and a moment later he knocked at the sally port in the wall; a moment later a piece of steel in the door slid to the side and a pair of hard, grim eyes stared out at him, a kind of eyes that a person would only find on an Arrel in those parts.

Perhaps they recognized him from maybe casually meeting him on the fort grounds or the surrounding town and lands, but it only took his name to give him passage through the thick walls, past the thick, heavily armed and armored guards on either side of the door, and into the misty, but clean stables.

Edrin had worked hard to make his name one that any Arrel would hear and see a friend in, and to his great credit, he had broken past the hard shells of the warrior-like people, and could honestly say that many where his close friends.

Tauren decided he was proud to have them as friends, as he unsaddled the horses in the stables; no, he was honored to have them as friends.

Finished with the horses, he stopped by the barracks on his way out, leaning into the dark interior, called cheerfully.” Hoy, all off duty men to the Bunker.” Using the nickname for the Lieutenants house that the soldiers where fond of. He didn’t wait for an answer, knowing the men would come in a moment; and turning, trotted through the sally port, nodding to the guards, and back down the hill, through the empty streets, to the little cabin surrounded by flowers.

A strange mismatch: considering who lived inside.

He glanced around; taking in the glare of orange and yellow from the sun as it set over the distant mountains; the sound of music from the meadow to his right; the empty, darkening streets about him; and the silent smile on his lips as he considered that he had it pretty good in life. In a way.

He turned and stepped into the large living room of the small cottage; glancing around he quickly saw Edrin and Marlan over at the fireplace in a corner, tossing armfuls of vegetables and spices into a huge kettle boiling over the crackling flames.

They didn’t even seem to register his entrance seeing as their conversation didn’t even pause, so he silently went to a corner opposite them and sat down in a chair, listening to the conversation and musing over his thoughts.

He soon found himself paying a bit more attention to the conversation in the far corner than he intended to though.

“. Nc’Dutu’s orders where to pull out three weeks ago.” He heard Marlan say.” A lot of soldiers have already pulled out, but since we’re so remote the townspeople haven’t heard about it yet.”

“. That’s mad.” He heard Edrin say angrily.” Completely defying Arlons Treaty, he knows it, Clasheron can’t be supporting his orders though, and I know him well enough to know he’d never go against his dead friends wishes.”

He would’ve betted that Marlan nodded but he wasn’t looking, as he answered.” That’s part of the problem”. He heard him say.” The archdukes, Du’Renskold and his supporters mainly, are beginning to say that Clasheron is taking personal matters over duty these days, they’re challenging his authority, and after TriPrand things aren’t looking to be in his favor. His supporters are turning against him; even Herensword says that protecting Netheron is threatening Arreland.”

Edrin sighed in exasperation.” But this isn’t some personal matter for Clasheron, Arlons Treaty was a political event.-.”

“. Yes.” Cut in Marlan.” But all the events leading up to it where deeply influenced by Arlon and Clasherons friendship.”

“.That’s crazy, they, - “Edrin began angrily again.

Marlan tossed a casual glance at Tauren sitting in the corner.” Let’s not talk about it now, shall we.” He suggested.

Edrin followed his glance and nodded, continuing with his work in silence.

There were only a few moments of that still silence, and then Edrin spoke up again.” So you’re not leaving? “He asked, glancing up at his friend.

Marlan smiled.” No, I’m not; my allegiance is to Clasheron, not to any of his enemies, especially Nc’Dutu.” He chuckled.” After all, I can’t let you and Tauren get hurt, can I.”

Just then there was the sound of a dozen feet on the stairs outside, mingled with laughing voices, and the door burst open admitting a dozen Arrel warriors from the fort.

All were still lightly armed and armored under their white cloaks embroidered on the chest with the red Arrel dragon; they all had eerily similar looks, muscular and well balanced of course, as every warrior was.

But each one of them had the same clean shaven, blue eyed, black haired, faces, and all of them where of practically the exact same height (Somewhere above six feet).

Tauren had often wondered about this curious fact, a fact that had given him constant frustration in placing the right names on the right man, something that was practically a skill in itself. He knew it was part of that curious thing about the Arrels that made them so different form ordinary people, but he hadn’t ever had the nerve to ask one of them about it.

The men swarmed into the room, greeting Tauren, Marlan, and Edrin happily, and taking their seats all over the room on whatever surface was available.

Tauren found himself talking about his past few uneventful weeks with two chuckling Arrels named Durune and Nc’Ayel, two older men whom he had known for longer than he could remember, they in return tossed in interesting little pieces about things they had done that week, things that made Tauren feel like a boring clod. Chasing robbers, and hunting down cut throats was way out of his league.

The night wore on quickly. They ate the thick stew that Edrin and Marlan had made earlier. Then, over mugs of ale, coffee, and tea, they traded stories; afterwards the Arrels and Edrin sung songs, their deep voices chorusing and echoing in a deep guttural language that Tauren didn’t recognize.

After a couple songs he slipped silently out of the cottage, listening to the cheering from the men as the latest song ended.

He sighed contentedly, he never felt any different when he was with the Arrels, and if he was recruited tomorrow he hoped that war would affect him as it seemed to have affected the Arrels...

He glanced over at the violent glow of the bonfire off to his right, over in the meadow by the town, and casually listened to the music and voices coming from that direction.

He sighed again, glancing up at the sky above him, glittering with stars. There, forming a perfectly even five sided shape, where five of the moons of Netheron; a Harvest Moon.

That’s when the screaming started.


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Tue May 28, 2013 7:26 pm
xXTheBlackSheepXx wrote a review...



Chapter one: The Harvest Moon.
Dimwalden Forest, Northern Caraca, Netheron:
A late autumn breeze wafted through the trees, loosing clouds of orange, yellow, and brown leaves from their holds, and leaving them to flutter down between the trunks of the massive oaks, maples, aspen, and birch that made up the forest, and finally come to rest on the silent forest floor.

kind of a mouthful for a first sentence. I’d break it up into several smaller ones.

Tauren Netharu gazed up from the small, rocky, forest stream he knelt by, scanning the dark forest about him with a hunters
---hunter’s
eye for his prey,
--period not comma
a waft of the breeze swept down from the towering treetops, having made it through the dense foliage, ruffled his light brown hair and then wafted away into the forest behind him, his blue eyes, sharp and careful, snapped down to the small print in the soft mud by the creek, the deer he was tracking was close, he knew, for the mud it had stirred up in taking its drink had yet to be swept down the stream.
----another humongous sentence here that needs to be reworded and cut down.


Slowly, with infinite care not to make any noise, he reached over to his side, and picked up his bow from where he had set it on the rocks,
-- period not comma
he slowly lifted an arrow from the quiver at his belt, and then slowly lay it’s maple shaft onto the aspen bow, he stood slowly and gazed intently at the spot in the underbrush on the other side of the creek where he was certain he had seen movement, slowly he tensed the bowstring, then, smoothly, without a single moment of hesitation leaped forward, vaulted off a rock and across the stream, landing with complete silence right behind the tree where he knew the deer was hiding.
---you use the word slowly literally 5 times in this sentence. Try and change it up a bit; there are thousands of words out there and thesauruses to help you out.


He took a deep breath, it would not do to alert his prey to his presence and lose his only chance for the day, he needed this meat desperately, today was recruiting day for the Arrel army, and while chances were slim that he would be recruited this year, he had to be ready for any eventuality, and if his grandfather didn’t have enough money to stay alive for the next two years before Tauren got back from the allotted service period, then he would be terribly hard pressed to feed himself.
---what’s up with these sentences the sizes of paragraphs? Read it over again to yourself, and find any natural breaks to create new sentences.


It wasn’t that Edrin Netharu was a weak old man, quite the contrary, he was fit, strong, and healthy, never having been able to quite loose his warriors touch that he had gained over his years of service in the Arrel army, but the people of the area didn’t trust him, indeed, they feared him, and though that was a good thing in the old man’s eyes, it was a huge hindrance in for him in trying to find some employment, and living off the land as Tauren did was ‘ dishonorable for a warrior ‘.
--- another paragraph sized sentence.

Tauren shook his head, clearing his mind of all thought, not wanting to argue with himself the fine points of his grandfather’s philosophy at the moment, that would never do, slowly he took a deep breath, and then, in a single movement, spun out from behind the tree, pulling the string back to his ear and loosing in a single movement, it was a shot that bordered on instinctive, he had guessed where the massive buck would be lying and the moment the arrow had begun its deadly flight, he knew that he had guessed correctly.
-----ok seriously you need to fix these humungo sentences! XD I’m not going to point them out anymore, there’s just too many.

The huge buck was lying still on the leaves of the forest floor, its head raised, listening intently, its huge brown eyes alert, the instant it saw the blur of movement as Tauren leaped out from behind the tree, it had leaped up with incredible speed, and was in mid bound as Taurens
--Tauren’s
arrow slammed into its heart, stopping it dead cold in the air and throwing it onto its side, its head slamming with a sickening snap against a tree trunk.



Alrighty, I know you have a great story here. But for some reason I just can’t seem to get into it. I have to echo the other reviewers, they all have excellent points and advice, and I'm having trouble figuring out different ways to rephrase what they all said without sounding like a broken record x) Mostly it's just grammar and punctuation that you could work on, go back through this and edit it. Reread the other reviews and make the corrections they gave you, so that the next person who comes through and reads this will not have to read the same mistakes again x) That way, you'll get better reviews because your story will be better after every correction you make :) Small bits at a time!
Good luck! Let me know if you've got more questions!




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Sun May 26, 2013 3:51 am
Picklesole wrote a review...



Hello! On to Chapter One! So this is a good start to the novel, I think it definitely sets up the next chapters well. The ending is my favorite part, I like the descriptions you give of Carmenton, and then the sudden cliffhanger. :) Cliffhangers are the BEST, so kudos to you for not only using one, but using it correctly. Just beware of using it too much, otherwise it becomes redundant. But yeah, so far I like the characters you've introduced; the part where the Arrels and Edrin are singing reminded me of a more cheery version of the Misty Mountain scene in the Hobbit (everything is applicable to The Hobbit :D ) I do have some feedback though.

A late autumn breeze wafted through the trees, loosing clouds of orange, yellow, and brown leaves from their holds, and leaving them to flutter down between the trunks of the massive oaks, maples, aspen, and birch that made up the forest, and finally come to rest on the silent forest floor.


*Loosening. Okay so this entire paragraph is one sentence. This isn't even the worst one. Please, please, please fix this because I cannot focus on what you're writing if everything is a run-on sentence. I abhor run-on sentences and can't you see that run-on sentences are super bad, even if you use commas, because it doesn't help, and most the time you use it wrong anyway so might as well not use this many commas, but instead you'll use a semi-colon or two; but this as well does not help and the times you did use semi-colons you also used them wrong, and are you NOT noticing how I am writing a run-on sentence to prove my point; if you don't then that's really not good but if you do notice how the entire message in this sentence is downgraded because of the terrible grammar? Phew, that made me cringe inside just writing that. If you don't notice when something is a run-on sentence in your piece, PUT IT THROUGH SPELL/GRAMMAR CHECK IN GOOGLE DRIVE OR SOMETHING. It will help immensely. In particular, these paragraphs are what bothered me the most:

Tauren Netharu gazed up from the small, rocky, forest stream he knelt by, scanning the dark forest about him with a hunters eye for his prey, a waft of the breeze swept down from the towering treetops, having made it through the dense foliage, ruffled his light brown hair and then wafted away into the forest behind him, his blue eyes, sharp and careful, snapped down to the small print in the soft mud by the creek, the deer he was tracking was close, he knew, for the mud it had stirred up in taking its drink had yet to be swept down the stream.


I know you'll edit this later, but let me help on this one please.

Tauren Netharu gazed up from the small, [rocky forest] stream he knelt by, scanning the dark forest about him with a [hunter's] eye for his prey[. A] waft of [a] breeze swept down from the towering treetops, [making its way] through the dense foliage [to Tauren,] which ruffled his light brown hair then [gently] wafted away into the forest behind him. His blue eyes, sharp and careful, snapped down to [a] small [imprint] in the soft mud by the creek. [He knew] the deer he was tracking was close, for the [dirt] it had stirred up in taking its drink had yet to be swept down the stream.


So yeah. I won't do anymore, because I think you get it? I don't know. Oh, just so you know, in the last part I had changed the word mud to dirt, mainly because mud cannot be stirred up, but dirt can.

So my main problem with this is grammar and punctuation. Everything else I think it's excellent. I love the pictures you've painted, and the characters you've created (hey that rhymed :) ) Your style is awesome, I just really wish you'd pay more attention to punctuation. :D I guess I'm moving on to Chapter 2 now! :)






Don't worry, looking back at it it makes me cringe too.

Thanks, this was a quite helpful review!



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Sun May 26, 2013 1:31 am
Ivy19Elizabeth wrote a review...



Hi,

So I am going to start this review by saying something nice. This is a very detailed piece, but it was kind of dragging on. I was often tempted to skip down to the end. You should defidently fix that. I think you had a nice hook in the beginning, something I think is very important to a story. Above all else I was very intriuged by it. I think your characters were well devoloped and the setting was very realistic.

Some parts of this seemed a little unclear. Maybe you should have told a little more about exactly where he lived. Sometimes you used the same words maybe one too many times. A thesaurus would surely help. I know I use mine a lot. Despite all of that, you were very descriptive. I felt as if I was really a character inside the story. Good job on that.

Once again this was very long. If you are going to write something so long, you need to find new ways to keep the reader interested. Luckily, I didn't find very many grammar mistakes either (I can't stand grammar mistakes). I think you had a very good writing style, and overall it's very well written.

Keep writing, and I can't wait to read the next one.






Hey! Thanks for the review! Note that this is a first draft so the grammar mistakes will go away with reviewing only!

Technically speaking this is really a quite small novel chapter :)

But thanks for the review!



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Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:11 pm
SushiSashimi333 wrote a review...



Okay, this was bugging me throughout the story, each paragraph that you make is one sentence. There are not enough periods in this story and it's very distracting from the plot. Also you need to spread out the words you use, more of a variety. Like a buffet, you don't want eggs to cover the entire buffet table, that would make someone sick to eat all that. There was also this part that kept repeating "slowly", but maybe you did that on purpose for stylistic reason. Your plots are nice and slightly too detailed, although they will make a nice book. I shall continue reading.




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Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:40 pm
Wherethewindgoes wrote a review...



Salutations. You review a lot of my work, so I think it is only fair I return the favor.

So, one thing I noticed was your sentence length. A lot of your sentences were way too long and contained a lot of comma splices. I'll correct the first couple paragraphs in bold to show you what I mean (although some of this isn't sentence length, just other things I noticed):

A late autumn breeze wafted through the trees, loosing clouds of orange, yellow, and brown leaves from their holds, and leaving them to flutter down between the trunks of the massive oaks, maples, aspen, and birch that made up the forest, and finally come to rest on the silent forest floor.

In my opinion, this is way too long for a first sentence. Readers want a short, sharp sentence to catch their attention. The idea behind this is good for the first sentence, so shorten it and it will be good.

Tauren Netharu gazed up from the small, rocky, forest stream he knelt by, scanning the dark forest about around him with a hunter's eye for his prey. aA waft of the breeze swept down from the towering treetops, having made it through the dense foliage, ruffled his light brown hair and then waftedTry to use a different word away into the forest behind him. His blue eyes, sharp and careful, snapped down to the small print in the soft mud by the creek; the deer he was tracking was close, he knew, for the mud it had stirred up in taking its drink had yet to be swept down the stream.

Slowly, with infinite care not to make any noise, he reached over to his side, and picked up his bow from where he had set it on the rocks. He slowly lifted an arrow from the quiver at his belt, and then slowly lay its maple shaft onto the aspen bow. He stood slowly and gazed intently at the spot in the underbrush on the other side of the creek where he was certain he had seen movement. Slowly Perhaps use a different word here he tensed the bowstring, then, smoothly, without a single moment of hesitation, leaped forward, vaulted off a rock and sailed (or some other verb hereacross the stream, landing with complete silencesilently right behind the tree where he knew the deer was hiding.

He took a deep breath. It would not do to alert his prey to his presence and lose his only chance for the day; he needed this meat desperately. Today was recruiting day for the Arrel army, and while chances were slim that he would be recruitedchosen (in order to prevent repetition) this year, he had to be ready for any eventuality, and if his grandfather didn’t have enough money to stay alive for the next two years before Tauren got back from the allotted service period, then he would be terribly hard pressed to feed himself.

It wasn’t that Edrin Netharu was a weak old man, quite the contrary; he was fit, strong, and healthy, never having been able to quite looselose his warrior's touch that he had gained over his years of service in the Arrel army. But the people of the area didn’t trust him; indeed, they feared him, and though that was a good thing in the old man’s eyes, it was a huge hindrance in for him in trying to find some employment, and living off the land as Tauren did was dishonorable for a warrior'. (No spaces between quotation marks and the words. Also, make sure they face each other.)

Tauren shook his head, clearing his mind of all thought, not wanting to argue with himself the fine points of his grandfather’s philosophy at the moment[b];
that would never do. Slowly, he took a deep breath, and then, in a single movement, spun out from behind the tree, pulling the string back to his ear and loosing in a single movement. It was a shot that bordered on instinctive; he had guessed where the massive buck would be lying, and the moment the arrow had begun its deadly flight, he knew that he had guessed correctly.

The huge buck was lying still on the leaves of the forest floor, its head raised, listening intently, its huge brown eyes alert. the instant it saw the blur of movement as Tauren leaped out from behind the tree, it had (Keep tense consistent) leaped[b]jumped up with incredible speed, and was in mid bound as Tauren's arrow slammed into its heart, stopping it dead cold in the air and throwing it onto its side, its head slamming with a sickening snap against a tree trunk.

Tauren landed perfectly, and, standing from his squat, replaced the arrow he had automatically applied to the bow string, into his quiver. and thenHe paced over to the buck, gazing over its gallant head, its sweeping antlers, and at last resting his eyes on its beautiful brown fur. He felt a twinge of sadness at having to kill the majestic creature; there were plenty of them in the area, but he still felt bad about the deed. he sighed, reaching inside his leather jerkin and pulling out his long, razor-sharp hunting knife.his grandfather had told him that it would be a bad thing if he felt no remorse at destroying beauty.

Carefully he knelt and cut out the arrow from where it had struck, trying not to make a mess, then, carefully replacing the arrow after having wiped it off on a patch of grass, he waited a moment for the crimson blood to stop flowing. With a few deft slices, he cut a piece of rope from the dozen yards of thin yet strong cord that he always carried strapped to his belt. he passed the piece of rope under the antlers of the fallen creature and then tied the ends together, then, replacing his knife, he unstrung his bow and slung it over his shoulder. He reached down and, grasping the thick antlers of the beast at their base, he heaved the whole body over his shoulder, looping the rope around him so as to leave him a free hand.

He sighed, holding the 400 pound creature easily, and headed into the underbrush, heading for the falling sun in the west, pushing the underbrush out of his way, and trying to be careful so as not to catch the antlers on anything.

The reasons that the people in the area didn’t trust Tauren and his mysterious grandfather where valid ones, he thought; it would take three grown men to lift the load he was now carrying, and Tauren knew it. What more, he was only 16, still, technically, a boy, and this was an easy load for him; they were different, there was no hiding from it, and though Tauren at times felt the pangs of being an outcast, overall he was content with his lot. The forest was his home, and he had what friends he needed in the soldiers in the town. He told himself he could survive any test the world could pose, and needed no friends other than the ones he had, his fellow outcasts in a foreign world.

It took him another half hour of brisk walking before he began to feel the weight of the buck on his shoulders, but he knew he didn’t have long to go, so he pressed on through the underbrush, taking in the gentle light the forest allowed to filter down. It was one of the most beautiful sights in the world to him. He always felt so much more alert in the forest: his senses seemed so much more sensitive, time seemed to slow down till he could take in everything; he felt stronger, faster, ready for anything. Ahead he saw a bright light in-between the trees and knew that he had reached his destination; a moment later he stepped out of the tree line, blinking in the sunlight, his eyes resting on a different sight than what he was used to.


OK, so, I think you understand what I mean by this point. A lot of those don't have to be exactly as I suggested, but they should be somewhat similar in order to prevent comma splices and repeated uses of "and" and "then". A comma splice, if you were not aware, is when you have two complete sentences connected by only a comma, such as

"He walked the dog down to the market, he went to the store later with his friend."

You have a lot of these, so I will direct you here, if I may. That might be helpful.

Another thing: Dialogue

He grinned up at Tauren and glanced at the buck in surprise”. Hello boy, seems like you did well enough today.” He said with a nod at the buck.


So, here is an explanation of how to punctuate dialogue. Here, you have the first set of quotation marks backward. Also, there shouldn't be a space between the quotation marks and the words.
And when you have something such as "Hello," he said, there should be a comma after the dialogue, not a period.

Also, I noticed that a lot of times you didn't put apostrophes when you should have. When you say "the man's house", put an apostrophe between "man" and "s".

Also, there doesn't seem to be much character in the story. Readers need unique characters with interesting viewpoints on life so they can care about the story and so that they can be intrigued and made to want to read more. Here, your character doesn't really catch the readers' attention, although your plot and world do, somewhat.

OK, last thing: Descriptions.

For a first chapter, this is really slow. In my opinion, a lot of unnecessary details are used. The readers don't need to know exactly what a character is doing at every moment. The descriptions are well-written, but there's too much of them.

So, all in all, the story has a lot of potential with an interesting world and potentially interesting plot. I would suggest editing and cutting up long sentences as well as deleting any unnecessary detail that doesn't advance the story, only makes it go slower.
Good job, though, and good luck with the rest of the novel!




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Sun Feb 24, 2013 9:49 am
Auxiira wrote a review...



Hey Blackie! Auxiira here to review!

Somehow, think that you have a problem braking up your sentences.
For instance:

Tauren Netharu gazed up from the small, rocky, forest stream he knelt by, scanning the dark forest about him with a hunters eye for his prey. A waft of the breeze swept down from the towering treetops, having made it through the dense foliage, ruffled his light brown hair and then wafted away into the forest behind him. His blue eyes, sharp and careful, snapped down to the small print in the soft mud by the creek: the deer he was tracking was close, he knew, for the mud it had stirred up in taking its drink had yet to be swept down the stream.

I put at least three full stops in there where you had none. Brake up your sentences! They're too long! I noticed that you did this quite a lot, but I'm not gong to do all of them.

Somehow, I also think that there's a little problem in here too:
A waft of the breeze swept down from the towering treetops, having made it through the dense foliage, ruffled his light brown hair and then wafted away into the forest behind him.

A waft of wind? Didn't know one of them existed! But anyhow:
"A waft of the breeze swept down from the towering treetops, rustling through the dense foliage and ruffling his light brown hair, then wafting away into the forest behind him."
Maybe. There's just something about that sentence that doesn't seem right.

Somehow when you describe Edrin, you use "compare" a lot. In that context it doesn't actually mean much.
For example:
white hair, in compare with Taurens brown and relatively short hair
This sentence doesn't make much sense. You can put "in comparison" or lose the "in" and put "compared to". Also you have to put something after this sentence, as in "...relatively short hair was startlingly bright
Just an example. You also forgot an apostrophe on Taurens.

Somehow you also put your speech marks or full-stops in the wrong place quite a bit when you make your characters talk too.
in surprise”. Hello boy
and
“. Good afternoon, Edrin.”

The speech marks need to be before Hello, boy and the full-stop before Good doesn't need to be there.
You do this quite a bit.

Somehow this seems a bit far-fetched too:
ages fifteen and fifty

Wow! Really? 50? Won't they be a bit old? Most foot-soldiers are between 15 and 40 max in most armies....

Somehow, though, I really like this story and I'd love to read more!
Hope this helps and keep writing!
Auxiira^^




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Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:57 am
Mochi wrote a review...



Okay so I always write my reviews as I go. Just keep that in mind as some things might contradict themselves xD

“Slowly, with infinite care not to make any noise, he reached over to his side, and picked up his bow from where he had set it on the rocks, he slowly lifted an arrow from the quiver at his belt, and then slowly lay it’s maple shaft onto the aspen bow, he stood slowly and gazed intently at the spot in the underbrush on the other side of the creek where he was certain he had seen movement, slowly he tensed the bowstring, then, smoothly, without a single moment of hesitation leaped forward, vaulted off a rock and across the stream, landing with complete silence right behind the tree where he knew the deer was hiding."

I—wow. Wowowowow. That's a long sentence. Break it up, right now, reading it, my mind is running a marathon and is running out of breath trying to keep up. Give me some rests, slow down the pace, a few places to catch our breaths.

That being said, it continues, apparently. End the sentence not at the end of a paragraph but where you see it fit.

" Tauren shook his head, clearing his mind of all thought, not wanting to argue with himself the fine points of his grandfather’s philosophy at the moment, that would never do, slowly he took a deep breath, and then, in a single movement, spun out from behind the tree, pulling the string back to his ear and loosing in a single movement, it was a shot that bordered on instinctive, he had guessed where the massive buck would be lying and the moment the arrow had begun its deadly flight, he knew that he had guessed correctly."

Watch for repetition here. "Single movement" strikes itself as being overused. Again, please split up your paragraphs into sentences. It's not only hard to catch up but it becomes increasingly difficult to follow the action.

" Carefully he knelt and cut out the arrow from where it had struck, trying not to make a mess, then, carefully replacing the arrow after having wiped it off on a patch of grass, he waited a moment for the crimson blood to stop flowing, then, with a few deft slices, he cut a piece of rope from the dozen yards of thin yet strong cord that he always carried strapped to his belt, he passed the piece of rope under the antlers of the fallen creature and then tied the ends together, then, replacing his knife, he unstrung his bow and slung it over his shoulder, then he reached down and grasping the thick antlers of the beast at their base, he heaved the whole body over his shoulder, looping the rope around him so as to leave him a free hand."

Then, then, then... This is what happens when you typically write in gigantic sentences. Split up the actions, use different words to describe the order of things and how it happens. I suggest just reading it out loud. Does it seem too wordy? But at the same time too repetitive?

" What more, he was only 16, still, technically, a boy," would write out "sixteen" here.

"He grinned up at Tauren and glanced at the buck in surprise”. Hello boy, seems like you did well enough today.” He said with a nod at the buck."

If you're going to have a dialogue tag, I suggest using them properly... For instance it would be "...today," he said.

“. Good afternoon, Edrin.” He chuckled would be "Good afternoon, Edrin," he chuckled.

Aside from some dialogue issues (I think you can fix most of the quotation marks that's not a problem), it seems a bit slow. There are a few parts that could be picked up, but aside from what I mentioned above, it's pretty well written.

Anywho, keep writing!




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Sun Feb 24, 2013 12:34 am
Snoink wrote a review...



Okay! So, when you write a first chapter, what you want to do is to hook the reader and make them want to read more. So, for instance, many writers put an action scene in their hook so that their character is doing something awesome, so that you wonder what can happen next. Others make it so quirky, that you are confused and you want to see more.

…So, why am I quickly reviewing this definition?

Because you started off your chapter by describing the weather. The weather. How… exciting. How absolutely thrilling. I so totally want to read more.

It’s not to say that describing the weather and season is a bad thing! Of course it isn’t! But, you have to do it in a way that doesn’t put the reader asleep! For example… you have the hunt of a deer coming up really quickly. So, why not stick the fact that it’s autumn during the actual hunt? Something like:

Tauren Netharu thought he saw a deer. At first, he wasn’t sure whether he saw it. After all, it was autumn and the deer’s tawny skin blended in with all the trees that had just started losing their leaves. But the footprints in the mud were clear: the deer was close.

So, something like that, for instance! Is that as good as you could possibly make it? Probably not. That’s something that I wrote in a minute, after glancing after the beginning. But, I hope you realize that you can definitely liven up this story more and really spice up your description! After all, there is blood! There is death! There is an outcast who is a particularly good hunter and can carry quite a large load! You have all these awesome parts about the story, with all these intriguing ideas and everything. So, use this to your advantage!

Another thing that you need to be careful about! Make sure your character isn’t completely overpowered. While I am hesitant to say that your character is overpowered, seeing as this is only the first chapter, I think that this may be a danger that you will probably have to deal with in the subsequent chapters.

Anyway, good luck! I hope this helps. :)




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Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:58 pm
Caesar wrote a review...



Hey BlackNether12! Welcome to YWS! Hope you're having a good time :)

Okay, onto the review.

Firstly, I appreciated the effort you put into describing the landscaping. At times, it was actually rather well-done, I liked it. My favorite part was probably the second time around Tauren visits the forest, with his grandfather. You managed to implant abstract, pleasing images in my mind, and that was good. I also liked how you were meticulous in listing the names of the trees in the forest. Of course, in both cases it could always be helped by a well-placed adjective or two in places, but overall I have nothing to complain about. However, I wish you'd put the same effort into describing the buildings. I know Tauren probably prefers to admire the forest, but the readers would have liked to know what Edrin's cottage looked like, or, to a lesser extent, Marlan's home. Or at least, I would have liked to. A balanced, even description, punctuated by brief paragraphs of action or dialogue, make a piece really organic and well-balanced.

Now, while you do have that going in your chapter, I must confess, the flow was bad, horrible in some places. Now, this isn't due to heinous flaws in grammar or anything, no, rather, in the misuse or abuse of commas. Commas seem to be such insignificant things, don't they? Well, alas, they are very important. Let's take a look at the scene in which Tauren is gearing up to fire at the unfortunate buck.

Slowly, with infinite care not to make any noise, he reached over to his side, and picked up his bow from where he had set it on the rocks, he slowly lifted an arrow from the quiver at his belt, and then slowly lay it’s maple shaft onto the aspen bow, he stood slowly and gazed intently at the spot in the underbrush on the other side of the creek where he was certain he had seen movement, slowly he tensed the bowstring, then, smoothly, without a single moment of hesitation leaped forward, vaulted off a rock and across the stream, landing with complete silence right behind the tree where he knew the deer was hiding.


That made my teeth gnash in frustration, I must confess. Mayhaps if you'd read it again, you'll see what's the problem with it. Especially in action-packed scenes (that does not necessarily equate to epic duels), short, brief sentences are what I recommend. They keep the tension up, make things more natural. Jerky is good within limits. Let me re-write part of it below, altering only the use of commas. My point will come through no doubt.

Slowly, with infinite care not to make any noise, he reached over to his side. He picked up his bow from where he had left it on the rocks. Slowly, he lifted an arrow from the quiver at his belt, and then laid its maple shaft onto the aspen bow. He stood and gazed intently at the spot in the underbrush (...)


See what I mean? So much better. Incidentally, I did apply some edits above. You repeat 'slowly' far, far too much. Also, the tiny mistake with it's. Its is possessive, it's = it is. There are similar mistakes scattered about the piece, nothing a good proofreading won't correct. But do correct your use of commas, please. Such things put people off right away, at times.

So now, where were we?

Ah yes, nit-picking.

(...)it was so little, but it was home: his home,


Incorrect use of a colon there. Use a full-stop, and a full-stop again instead of that comma.

Now, another thing about your dialogue. It seems you always place a full-stop before the dialogue. That is incorrect. Perhaps a formatting error? It's the same when you misplace the speech marks. Do hit 'Preview' before 'Submit', trust me it helps.

And one other thing before I conclude. You mention Edrin is an outcast, yet Marlan treats him like an old friend. He even welcomes him into his mansion (Lieutenants are not really that rich) and offers a good mean. Have I missed something here?


To recap
-- work on your description of objects and homes
-- proofread to avoid incorrect use of commas and such
-- perfect your flow
-- proofread again.

However, apart from these very minor issues, this was a good piece. I'll enjoy reading more of it.

Hope this helped
~Ita






Thanks, this was a very useful review.

I really should have put a 'Unedited' note in there somewhere, because this chapter is completely unedited.
Anyway, all those grammar problems have been mentioned to me before and I've noticed them. I'm going to put aside a couple of hours some day here to fix them all up.

Thanks for the hint on the descriptions, that helps. I would never have payed any attention to that myself. I'll see what I can do about it.

Anyway, thank you.




People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.
— Leo J. Burke