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16+ Violence

Andre The White Wizard: The Quest To Old Pine

by GoodieGoat


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.

Many regions and peoples had maxims on the timeliness and purposefulness that came with the arrival of wise men and magical benefactors. However Andre could only laugh at the irony based on his own experiences. He often wondered what caused his timeliness whether it be some metaphysical force of heaven, or the happenstance of his own tramping around. Either way, the way in which he seemed to arrive when people needed him the most, when he hadn't determined the reason for his travel beforehand; it perplexed him.

That thought had long since departed. Thunderstorms had rolled in from the northeast three nights previously. But absent were the friendly sounds of rain falling upon the earth, nor were the sounds of thunder a captivating percussion nor lightning the natural spectacle. For from heaven knows where came the power of the Stormdrake Thunderthrore. Great and terrible was his presence and might. The winds and rain thrashed with hostility, and the deafening booms of thunder from wing flaps would unbalance those on the ground. Worst of all was its lightning breath. Mercy to the souls who perished to Thunderthrore's lightning, for their deaths were of agony and shock.

Then Andre had stood upon the hillside on the east road then as whole swaths of the outskirts of the Yárafaurë Forest went to hell. But gone was the orange flickering upon his face, for smoke casts no light. Yet the moonless sky still provided a marginal shine to the Wizard's white cloak.

Andre looked on mournfully at the burned out remains of what was once a beautiful forest, a sanctuary for the natural wonders that would dwell therein. He walked along the road thoughtfully, waiting for the unseen hand that had guided him here to make its play. He continued northeast until two hours before day's light he heard cries of inconsolability mixed with pitiful whimpers. The sight he stumbled across was a sorry one, a procession of elves. Gone was the usual splendor and majesty of their kind, it had been replaced with the miserable aura of those who had seen too much. Andre greeted them and spoke: "Hail. I beeth the wizard Andre. Three nights ago I saweth the awesome terror of the thunderdrake as he beset lightning against all Yárafaurë. Where thoust caught before its might?"

There was a soundless pause before one amongst them stepped forth and spoke saying, "I am Valalar, we are the survivors of the city Willowsweep. Our loved ones are dead, our homes burned." Andre bowed his head in compassion for their plight. "Wherest thou go? May I beeth of service or consolation?"

"Aye magic man. Can you resurrect? Can you restore our land to what it was before the sky cursed us with a thunderdrake?"

Andre's face grew even more somber, "Ever since the empowerment of The Enemy, any spell of resurrection doth been cursed to necromancy. Indeed I can raise the dead. But to doeth so would arise abominations, not thy ones beloved."

Valalar's face grew into a contortion of absolute rage, and the entire elven party began to mewl. Valalar spit before the Wizard and said, "Cursed be the useless magic man who is made null by one evil! And thrice cursed to the bowels of hell to any force that would tease the widower with lies of reanimation!"

Andre stood before Valalar and the elven crowd. He was a Wizard, he wouldn't be worth his station if the bereavement of others unleashed on him caused him upset. Neither would he be worth his station if he couldn't provide at least solace and closure to others despite powers greater than his own."Wherest to now? I will not leave ye company until the quest for closure be complete." Valalar growled back "Our company heads to the city of Old Pine. Chief city in Northern Yárafaurë of the forest elves. I go to give my people a home. The tales say of the court of its Lord Arassërochir, and the waters that sprout from the Maylithle Spring, how they bring healing and rejuvenation."

"Aye I have heardeth the stories of the amphitheaters of the Lady Gannoriel, and the enchantments of her bards, minstrels, and rhapsodomancers. How their artfulness and melodies can restoreth the health of the grievously ill, and the wills of the fatalists. Indeed thoust aren't simply tales. I have laid sight upon the city and its denizens, and heareth the songs of propriety."

Valalar looked at Andre angrily, without a word he turned heel and walked over to the remainder of Willowsweep. The White Wizard stood out of earshot in respect for the elves' privacy, however he already knew the outcome of their deliberations. Valalar returned to Andre and looked at him sternly, "Very well magic man. If you wish to accompany us on our way to this fabled city, we will not stop you. Some amongst the company argued in your favor based on your geographical knowledge and 'wizardry'. Others are beyond sadness over your magical ineptitude. Made null by the influence of a distant evil in a far off land. Nevertheless we are the minority, some have faith in magic yet. We shall rest here until two hours past dawn. Then we make haste for Old Pine. I suggest you get what rest you can magic man, you'll need it."

Andre awoke with the rest of the company. Despite the moodiness of the situation and the fact their quartering was open grass by the cobble road, Andre slept soundly. With sleep comes rejuvenation and Andre knew the gifts a good night's rest bestowed. He had dreamt of his previous visit to Old Pine many moons ago, for the steeds of the Elk Knights had become gravely diseased, and no elven medicine nor magic was successful. Gannoriel and Arassërochir had called upon him then to bring health back to their royal stables, and elves weren't known for forgetfulness nor pitilessness.

Andre looked over and Valalar stood grimly atop a hill, staring off into the northeast through ash thickets to wear Willowsweep once stood. He returned in time for a brisk breakfast of wild berries and maple soup. The rations the elves had scraped together was respectable but by no means enough. Andre opened his Compendium of White Magic and began an incantation to provide the party with needed sustenance:

The Lord once sateth on the side of the sea,

And the food for the crowd caused merriment and glee,

I now invoke the rising of the ferment,

For let no empty gut be cause for lament

Fine bread materialize in the foodstuff satchels of the Willowsweep party. The elves tittered at the taste of something filling. Valalar approached Andre with an inquisitive look, Andre spoke; "Aye my Lord, for I am indeed a magic man. It would be amoral of me to leave others in hunger when I doth can satiate and comfort."

The company made good progress. Around four hours past noon on continuous march an adolescent with many siblings whose parents perished to Thunderthrore began to carry his siblings as they were exhausted. However he had seven siblings and only two arms and the third child was beginning to succumb to sleepiness. Andre went over to him and offered to carry his brother and youngest sister. Before the two elf children could respond Valalar came over and cut off Andre. He said "I apologize young ones, we must make it to the river before nightfall to encamp. Forgive the impudent wizard he fancies himself helpful and upright. I will care for these two so they may rest." The adolescent responded, "My Lord Valalar forgive me, but my arms grow tired. My younger siblings aren't frightened by this Wizard. If it pleases you two could each of you carry two of my siblings? The remaining three will be manageable." Valalar once again looked contemptuously at Andre; "Very well" said Valalar, "Make yourself useful Wizard."

Sundown arrived four hours afterwards, the party was only a mile or so away from the River Nansemond. Both Valalar and Andre continued to help the young and weary along. But a large shadow hovered silently along the warm night air, the gaunt pale white slimmer of the crescent moon had company of two bright green, primeval eyes.

The elven procession had settled in and were beginning to drift off to sleep. Valalar and a company of elves took first watch, to which Andre weaved himself into their ranks much to Valalar's annoyance. For Andre knew that evil would descend once more from the sky that night; and he would be there to meet it.

Valalar ignored Andre's forewarnings, thinking them ramblings. Despite his willingness to help Valalar still was acrimonious over Andre's inability to resurrect without necromantic effects. Suddenly a earsplitting shriek cut the nightly forest ambiance. So terrible was the noise a few elves messed themselves, and the rest of the company both watchmen and those now awake cowered pitifully shivering with earthly terror. Valalar looked on in horror at the creature that now landed on the opposite of the river, though horrified he was still able to grasp mindlessly for his bronze arming sword. It crawled along as it landed then stood upright. Its eyes burned green, its ears pinned back like arrows. From it mass emanated two gangly limbs. Attached were razor talons and an imperfect leathery patchwork that were supposedly wings. Spindly vertebrae sprouted from the rotting back, and its left fibula laid expose and gnawed. It's size rivaled the bases of Yárafaurë's mighty oaks.

Valalar cussed under his breath and asked Andre; "What is that thing?!" Andre said; "That my Lord beeth a Fellflagger, a flittermouse whose ancestors were bred in the dungeons of The Enemy's strongholds." Valalar watched dumbfounded as Andre stepped forward and uplifted his staff as magical light began to shine from it. Andre continued to walk to the monster and waded into the river until it ran to his knees. Both the eyes of the elves and the light green malice were fixed on Andre. The fellflagger leaped forward and with a splash stood waist deep a few yards from the Wizard. Its chest expanded and out of its mouth came a dire shriek at Andre. Andre spoke; "Thoust were once a peaceful denizen of the night, like the deer or the owl. Now ye standeth before me perverted by diablerie from the pit. Regretfully in my power to return ye I haven't. Now taketh with you the solace of light in eternal sleep."

The Fellflagger lunged forward to attack as Andre raised his Wizard's Staff. From out of the staff shot a wide beam of enchanted light. It engulfed the monstrous bat and in an instant the darkness of night returned and nothing remained of the creature. Valalar and the rest of the elves looked around nervously and muttered talking began to start. For while they were still fearful, Andre's enchantment had removed the unbearable terror.

Valalar walked up to Andre as he left the river; "How?" "I have seen many years my Lord, and unknown powers have seeneth I can fulfill my stewardship."

The rest of the night everyone tried to sleep with mixed success as talk of what had happened rolled around the camp. Andre for his part didn't sleep, Valalar and the other elves were exhausted and had defaulted to the Wizard for the nightly watch.

The next few days they traveled uneventfully, until finally one afternoon Valalar halted the party and began to speak aloud to all; "As most of you are aware we have followed the River Nansemond to its confluence with the Great Dismal Swamp. For through it lies the way to Old Pine. It is well known among the dwellers of Yárafaurë that this area is treacherous. The folktales tell of parties entering never to be seen again, of ceaselessly shifty fogs and vegetation, of ghostly winds and cypress trees watching. We will be arranging ourselves with myself at the front, the Wizard at the rear, and our fighting men scattered in between. Young ones listen to your guardians and wander to your peril. When we camp and you go to scavenge or relieve yourself, nobody lose sight of the fires."

Three days have passed since the Willowsweep elves entered the swamp. Nothing direct had happened though some were beginning to develop a feeling of being watched. Rumors began to develop of people seeing faces on trees in their visual periphery, only for them to vanish when they directly looked, and movements within the fog of an ever so slightly darker gray.

One evening at dusk, when the sun cast an orange haze over the land, and trees far off in the distance turned to obscured pillars along the horizon. The party settled in after the day's march as they always did. Progressively after sunset the noises of wildlife began to quiet, until finally six and a half hours after sundown all went still. As the area became foggier the guards seamlessly slipped into sleep. A young elf awoke from the sounds of a faint motherly call somewhere beyond his kin away from everyone. "Hello?" he said, "Is anyone there?" A lithe blue hand stretched out from the fog and beckoned to him.

Dawn came with the screams of several frantic elves. Andre awoke and rushed to the nearest cry. There he ran into a hysterical woman that grabbed Andre and shook him yelling "My sons are missing!" Over on the other side of the encampment Valalar had a similar situation with an elf besides themselves over their missing niece. Valalar ran to the center of everyone and hollered "Everyone calm yourselves panicking won't help." They remained there for three days searching for the missing, but to no avail. In fact a squad of elves who went out searching never returned. The elves came to the decision that they needed to move on, they didn't have the provisions to last another night here. Andre could only cast so many spells to provide food.

A week passed and they soldiered on through the dank vastness. Every night despite tripling the number of elves on each watch and the casting of spells from Andre, all would inexplicably fall asleep, and every morning after would be outcries and increasing feelings of resignation. On the eighth day Andre and Valalar consulted privately on what to do. "Lord Valalar, we've done our best to see through the nights. Dawn bringeth the throes of desperation. No more, thou must continue on to the forests and the gates of Old Pine. I shall remain behind to bring opposition against our foe at nightfall." "Very well Wizard. It's a shame it has come to this. Perhaps we should have done it sooner. I will lead the elves out of this godforsaken hole. Do what you must, your sacrifice will be remembered."

Once again the glare of the sun gave way to the orangy haze of the dank twilight dew. No goodbyes were given the elves would continue marching through day and night until they reached the edge of the Great Dismal Swamp, a three days journey, or would die trying. Andre sat in a tree expectantly trying to be observable, occasionally launching fireballs to draw attention to himself, and listening intently as he waited. He wondered whether he was the rearguard or if they had made a folly and the elves were going to be attacked once more without him.

Andre looked ahead expressionless as he meditated and projected himself outward on his surroundings. In the serenity a furtive figure entered Andre's area of projection and began to circle him; waiting. Andre thought sharply as he felt a peaceful drowsiness overcome him. "No!" he shouted and threw himself out of the tree and into the dark water below. He slashed down and disappeared underneath the water. The surface of the water began to bubble and with an agonized growl Andre emerged, he was boiling himself to fight the urge to sleep.

There stood what supposedly had been their stalker and destroyer. It was a humanoid creature with brackish black hair of pale complexion. It was robed in washed out blue that seemed to be of the water itself. Behind it stood a cyan and aquamarine hippocampus equipped in saddlery. Andre wasted no time marveling, he whipped his staff towards it and torched it. It comforted him that these omnipresent things had some form of earthly transportation. Suddenly he realized something, the hippocampus may lead him to where other malevolent water sprite creatures of this sort may be. It would take several of them to put the many dozens of elves to sleep and snatch people away. He wrapped thorns around his arms and forehead, he pushed them in deep, blood began to drop into the swamp water, he had to stay awake. He hurried on to the hippocampus's saddle and spurred the animal forward into a frenzy and allowed it to go where it pleased.

Wearily the elves marched. They all longed to see the stars and the heavens, which they had departed with due to the canopy. They longed for the fresh air of the woods, to forget the torpid stank of the swamps. Most of all they yearned for the contentment and jollity they had in Willowsweep, which the lightning dragon Thunderthrore took from them, thoughts of perishing here and decomposing in this place, to become part of it; that was what they feared the most. As they slogged and stumbled some would fall, some could be woken, those that couldn't were carried, the elves wouldn't let any more of their rank be left behind. If they perished they would do so together. Whispers and cackles came from the outer darkness, as more and more elves collapsed and every awake elf now carried one or even two of their comrades, the voices and shadows would harry and torment.

The predator had decided that its prey was ripe for the plucking. For an instant blue and white would flash and elves would be dragged screaming into the darkness beyond the elves' torches. In one instant an elf collapsed to the ground clutching his throat and twitched out of consciousness. For as mystified and ethereal as the creatures were, so too were the elves. In the mayhem one elf was the first to strike, pitting his hatchet through a creature's collar bone and into the chest cavity. The sprite-thing let out a sudden wail but was silenced as the elf finished the job.

As the night rushed along more death and violence occurred. The musky swamp air began to smell like blood and sweat. Cries of defeat and pain were mixed with haunting wails of the swamp-sprites and the triumphant calls of elves and maniacal laughter of the darkness. Suddenly both monster and elf alike on the south side of the battle paused to behold the hurried snorting and the white cloak which flurried behind. The locality of elves began to cheer as Andre began vaporizing the enemy with the same magic he used against the Fellflagger and Andre shouted "Providence be with us! The enemy has met our folly with folly! They have given battle on our doorstep, thou mustn't allow them to pass back into shadow! Fight!"

One of the swamp sprites looked on from afar and snickered. It grabbed its head and with a snap broke it's own neck. The other creatures took notice, and with the multitude of them their briny skins fell limp to the ground as bluish phantoms withdrew back into the night. Most but not all of the water-things had their fill of fun, for several elves inexplicably collapsed dead on the ground as the phantoms passed through them and dragged elf souls braying beyond sight. Strangely stood Valalar, as he collapsed to his knees with a tortured look on his face. In front of him stood what to everyone was just two more of the creatures. But to Valalar stood a woman and child. "Honey?" He whispered; "Sweetheart?" The boy ran up to Valalar and hugged him, tears welled up in Valalar's eyes. "Hi Dad!" Said the child. Valalar looked up and the woman looked kindly at him and took his hand. Valalar lost all composure and collapsed into her arms. However he felt a sting and air flood his lung as she shivved him in the ribcage. He looked up and saw their real visages. Valalar lost it. The water-sprite portraying his dead son fled in terror, the one imitating his dead wife wasn't so lucky. Valalar had one hand over the stab wound trying to keep air out of his chest, with the other he swung his arming sword into the neck of the creature with barbarous intent. The creature yelped as green blood began squirting out from the laceration in its neck. It brought its hand up to the wound to stop the bleeding to wish Valalar tore through its fingers digging deeper into the neck. Out splashed more blood as Valalar went in for the third strike which brought the creature down. He knelt over the corpse and continued to hack until the corpse lay gutted and strewn about.

Andre and the elves stabilized the wounded, and held a funeral pyre for the dead. After about sixty hours of travel they finally made it out of the Great Dismal Swamp and entered the pine forests surrounding Old Pine, putting some distance between themselves and the swamps before camping. Andre approached Valalar's bedside, it was the first time they'd spoken since Andre gave himself up as a rearguard. "I'm sorry for your loss." Said Andre. Valalar glanced at him and was silent for some time before quietly sobbing to himself and spoke; "Thank you. Thunderthrore killed my wife and son during its attack. Besides going to Old Pine as refugees, my wife was from there." Valalar reached for a silver flask around his neck; "Here are some of the ashes of my wife and son, it was all that remained. I intend to give them a proper burial amongst our people." They sat in silence for a while as Valalar drifted in and out of crying before speaking again. "I'm sorry I've treated you like I have. I was upset that your magic cannot resurrect the dead. I've held it against you when it's not your fault, you've proven yourself worthy of your station. I'm sorry." Andre bowed and responded; "Aye, thou have acted reasonably. I'm sorry necromancy hath replaced resurrection, and that I am powerless against it."

Finally the shambling and disheveled Willowsweep elves reached the gates of Old Pine. Immediately the majesty of the place caused everyone to brighten and break out in song…

Hear now our mystifying ode to Old Pine

It lurks in the mind of all so beautiful is our song

Who can withstand the inebriating of spells bathed in secrets turpentine?

We have soldiered on through misery and harsh moonshine

By courage and kismet we carried on

Hear now our mystifying ode to Old Pine

We have lamented and languished the passing of those left behind

Now we memorialize them with uplifting voices strong!

Who can withstand the inebriating of spells bathed in secrets turpentine?

The melodies of Gannoriel, the courts of Arassërochir, glory entwined

To arise skyward on the wings of the swan

Hear now our mystifying ode to Old Pine

The tall towering pines are beyond any battlement ever designed

Awestruck we march the entirety of the throng

Who can withstand the inebriating of spells bathed in secrets turpentine?

To those now fallen, we love you, your memories we ever bring along

May you fly free now to heaven with the dawn

Hear our mystifying ode to Old Pine

Who can withstand the inebriating of spells bathed in secrets turpentine?

 When they entered everyone marveled in silence. The elves of Willowsweep, being from Yárafaurë, we're not strangers to magnificent and unique forests. But the pines in the vicinity of the city grew several hundred feet tall, and their perpendicular limbs didn't begin to sprout until a hundred and twenty feet, and their diameter could succeed twenty five feet. The horizon was illuminated in a ghostly white in every direction, the light source a mystery. The ground was covered in the orange remains of dead pine needles. The wildlife roamed freely, black bears would stand in the vicinity of deer, and vermin wouldn't flee before foxes or birds of prey. The city itself began from the gate and stairways and parapets led upward into the flets, bridges, supports, and pulley systems. The timber used was unstained native pine with a glossy elven finish, and buildings were constructed out of this and bricks of malachite and amazonite, along with polished brass when metal was used. The city center was supported by the largest and oldest pine, the city's namesake, being seven hundred feet tall and around thirty five feet in diameter. From the ground individual elves could be seen going about their business as they became increasingly harder to see as one looked higher into the treetops.

The party stopped and was greeted by the gatehouse captain. "Hail. You are the refugees from Willowsweep are you not?" They opened the gate, "Hurry, bring up your injured, they are in need of care." They were led inside and not long after men at arms and healers took on the wounded and everyone went up to the courts of the Lady and Lord. It was raining softly which only made the heavy mournful song of Gannoriel's theater more enchanting. The wordless voices floated ponderously in the air, and the sparse minor chords of harps hung on the wind. They entered the commons of the city center where stood the storied Maylithe Spring which the elves and the Wizard had discussed when they first met. It was grand and platinum in color, adorned with a single swan aquila. Andre stood back in admiration as the healers and men at arms would take water from the spring in silver chalices and splash the wounds of the Willowsweep elves, and would have the injured and wearied drink afterwards.

Seeing as the health of the wounded was reconstituted and the entire party envigored anew, Gannoriel and Arassërochir exited their residency on the far side of the city commons. As they took each other's hand and walked over, Andre looked on as the entire assembly was irradiated by their presence. Gannoriel's amphitheaters changed to another song, a single luthier began a bass melody that was like the sound of a cantering horse mixed with a waltz. Soon other lutes began to harmonize and everything built up frantically into a flurry of harmonics and snare rolls. Both had platinum hair, Arassërochir stood in sleek green armor, in hand were an emerald sword and a Corinthian helm with modest antler decoration. Gannoriel wore a copper helmet of rufous color, with great emerald stars about the forepart. It had seven spired outcroppings, each attached to the helmet with a bell shaped welding. Off putting as it covered the eyes.

Gannoriel spoke saying "I bid you all a hospitable welcome. We deeply apologize we couldn't come to your aid though we try as Old Pine stood overwhelmed when Thunderthrore attacked and in the aftermath we reeled from fire and the clouds of his malice. Though Old Pine may look fair now, it took much labor and copious and exhaustive amounts of magic to restore all to as it was, and to dispel the electric sorcery in the aftermath." Valalar looked at Andre and Andre nodded. Valalar step forward and said "Indeed my Liege, we all stand guiltily as to what can and cannot be done. Nevertheless you had woes to see gone and we are thankful for giving us sanctuary and home. Besides that we have one more request." This time Arassërochir spoke, "Aye, anything you ask." "Many have perished both to the dragon and on the journey here." Valalar pulled out the flask that held the cremated remains of his son and wife. "Whether they be from here or not, may we see them off in honor and respect?" "Happily." Said Gannoriel.

In an alcove on the forest floor by Old Pine the tree stood a great meadow. That evening as dusk descended the entirety of Old Pine and Willowsweep held a great funeral for the fallen. The musicians and singers performed a dirge that crawled along painfully. Yet the enchantments of the song dispelled all anguish, and amplified the commemorating and memorialization exponentially; such was the strange power of Gannoriel's bards. When the music stopped, Arassërochir stepped forth, raised his emerald sword, and shot forth a bright green spell that dispersed out into the meadow. A flower arose for every Willowsweep elf who had died, and Andre comforted Valalar as they watched where two Gladiolus plants grew and sprouted lime green flowers were Valalar had buried the ashes of his wife and son, next to were his mother and father in law also dwelled. Valalar plucked a single flower from each plant and placed them in the flask around his neck he'd carried their ashes in.

A month passed as everyone, Valalar, Andre, Gannoriel, and Arassërochir included, built new homes and commons for the new residences of Old Pine. The new area became known as New Sallowing. One morning as Andre discussed what all had happened during their journey, and Gannoriel and Arassërochir discussed what to do about the monsters in the Great Dismal Swamp, Valalar entered and asked Andre if he was coming with him. Andre looked at him expectantly; he knew, but asked anyway "Going where." Valalar gazed across the balcony to the north and spoke gravely this vow of vengeance, sealing himself to an oath to bring to Thunderthrore his due penalty saying;

The Stormdrake Thunderthrore did distill death from his filthy mouth,

And thus I now betroth myself to send him to infernal torment south

To be the avenger of death, to bring retribution to him for his great wrong,

To take up the sword, to sing to him in his demise the executioner's song 


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Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:27 pm
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GoodieGoat says...



Hello there Mint! I appreciate you taking the time to read this and voice your thoughts. It's always instructive and encouraging.

To answer your first question Valalar's curse was ment as an expression of anger. In regards to this worlds magic system I haven't preplanned anything and just sort of develop it as the plot goes along. In this story specifically I attempted to hint at a greater evil then the antagonist Thunderthrore when it says "Ever since the empowerment of The Enemy, any spell of resurrection doth been cursed to necromancy. Indeed I can raise the dead. But to doeth so would arise abominations, not thy ones beloved."

I've been getting alot of the names from J. R. R. Tolkiens elvish languages. Realelvish.net and elfdict.com have proven invaluable and I'm grateful for thier contributors. The name for the demon bat things 'fellflagger' was a mix of the word fell and 'flagger' which if I remember means bat in a few germanic languages. In the future I'd like to add more influences such as Hawaiian and Greenlandic.

I appriciate your feedback on the abrupt ending of the Valalar killing scene and the 'you'll need it' line. I'm currently working and the next section of this story and I'll be sure to keep those suggestions in mind like the ones from the other reviewer Vincian! Also thanks for your thoughts on the poem thingies I wasn't sure how they'd appear to others! :D

Thanks again for your time and thoughts I look forward to continuing this adventure.




Spearmint says...


=D Thank you for the response!! It means a lot to me that you read my review that thoroughly ^-^ Your explanations are wonderful too, and I love that you're thinking of adding influences from other languages! I wish you the best on this adventure!!



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Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:56 pm
Spearmint wrote a review...



Hi there, mint here with a review! ^-^ Okay, getting right to it...

Valalar's face grew into a contortion of absolute rage, and the entire elven party began to mewl. Valalar spit before the Wizard and said, "Cursed be the useless magic man who is made null by one evil! And thrice cursed to the bowels of hell to any force that would tease the widower with lies of reanimation!"

Ooh so here I'm wondering, does Valalar's curse have any effect on the Wizard, like causing him any physical pain or misfortune? Or is the elf just saying that to vent his anger? It doesn't seem like Andre is affected by it, but I was just wondering if it'd have any consequences later, and how exactly magic works in this world ^^

...We shall rest here until two hours past dawn. Then we make haste for Old Pine. I suggest you get what rest you can magic man, you'll need it."

Ah the language you use throughout this piece seems so elegant and refined, and I think it adds a lot to the overall vibe of the story!
Just a super small thing here-- the phrase "you'll need it" felt a little more modern to me, and I feel like it might work better as "you shall need it" or something. But it's completely up to you, of course!

The Fellflagger lunged forward to attack as Andre raised his Wizard's Staff. From out of the staff shot a wide beam of enchanted light. It engulfed the monstrous bat and in an instant the darkness of night returned and nothing remained of the creature.

Andre looks like quite a powerful Wizard! Also kind of a random note, but I love all the names you gave to these characters and creatures. They all sound so magical! C:

He looked up and saw their real visages. Valalar lost it.

Ah gosh, that must have been terribly painful for Valalar to be taunted with the images of his wife and child. :'( It's definitely understandable for him to lash out at the swamp spirits.
There's just a small suggestion I'd like to make-- I thought the ending of that scene was a little abrupt, and I'd appreciate more of a transition. Maybe Andre looks on in sadness, and thinks something about talking to Valalar later? Just a thought ^-^

Ooh and I loved reading the song when the elves reach Old Pine! Ahh the lines really do feel like lyrics, and I feel like it'd be super cool to hear people singing it :D
And the ending wrapped up the story very nicely, while leaving potential for a next one-- Valalar's quest for vengeance seems like it'll be full of adventure and excitement!

Wow honestly, I really enjoyed reading this piece-- it is rather long, but to me it was interesting the whole way through! I think your writing style is wonderfully descriptive, and it was awesome to read about all these fantastical adventures Andre and the elves had. I hope you keep writing, and have an amazing day/night!! =D




GoodieGoat says...


Sorry to not reply to you comment seperately Ive had difficulty with replies in the past based on length.



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Fri Jun 11, 2021 10:58 pm
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GoodieGoat says...



Hello! I appreciate you taking the time to read my story and critique it. As you had commented, it was long. Sorry this isn't formatted as a reply I couldn't seem to get it to load when I submitted this as a reply.

To answer your question in regards to whether this is part of a series or a stand alone piece my intent was to make "Andre the White Wizard" a serialized short story series contained within the same universe. As I thought of the plot for "The Quest To Old Pine" I decided to make 'arcs' where a few stories would combine into a larger adventure. The next installment of this I'm going to title "Executioner's Song" and will probably title it something like "Andre The White Wizard: Executioner's Song (A continuation of the Old Pine story). I'll need to annotate when an arc ends and when a new one begins.

When Valalar asks Andre if he can resurrect and Andre informs him magic related to resurrection has been replaced with necromancy due to 'The Enemy' and Valalar mentions 'A distant evil in a far off land.' I meant that as a hint to the larger scope of the setting. The 'Enemy' is this world's primary villain, the 'dark lord' who's name is Nyellonúlë.

Again I appreciate your critiquing. The next chapter involves some traveling so I'll be sure to be more economical with the plot and wording and concentrate on the action so the story doesn't come off distant. I'll also implement your suggestion to make a new paragraph when the speaker changes. I hope in the next chapter this makes the story wholly exciting.

The part of your feedback that caught my greatest attention is when you mention Andre came off to you as distant and uninvolved with the plight of the elves as this wasn't my intention. His statement of "I will not leave ye company until the quest for closure be complete." is intended as the start of his attachment to the elves. Initially Valalar hates Andre because he is still bitter over the death of his family and holds Andre's inability to rectify the situation against Andre. As the story progresses I intended for Valalar to grow to appreciate him for what he can do and develop a friendship. With the aftermath of Valalar killing the water-sprite as the breaking point and Valalar and Andre's bedside chat afterward to be the point where they become friends. The in between points of Andre providing food, helping the youth and weary along as the trip progresses, and giving himself up in the hope of delaying the water-sprites so the elves could escape were intended as the cause for Valalar's reconciliation. The matter with the demon bat was also geared towards this character progression but I don't find it hits as hard. If you have any thoughts as to how I can better portray Andre as I intended, feel free!

Thank you for yourself and all the other moderators for being so friendly. I appreciate it. I hope you have a wonderful day! :D




Vincian says...


Thank you so much for the thoughtful and in depth reply. I love having conversations with writers about their piece!!

Regarding your next piece, I do still recommend that you publish it in multiple parts if it is longer than 2000 words. Say, if it's as long as this part is, I would recommend splitting it in two or three pieces, depending on where you can find natural breaks.

I can't give specific examples right now but perhaps I can in the next piece regarding it feeling distant. However, I would recommend inserting some more reactions or emotions into the piece. So we can get a bit more into Andre's mind when things happen or people say things.

I totally understand on the plight of making Andre friends with Valalar. In the real world, we often say that actions speak louder than words. So, realistically, Andre would prove his bond and commitment with the elves and Valalar through his actions and show that, while he doesn't say much, his actions show that he does care.

However, in writing, it is far harder to show that through just actions. Instead, it makes the piece feel disconnected because it's hard to resonate with any character because we learn little about what's going on in their thoughts and mind. Their emotion is hard to convey through just actions or dialogue. Perhaps this is just your writing style or just how you intended it to be, but there are risks and difficulties in writing this way.

And, of course! I hope you feel welcome to the site and continue to interact with the community in different ways ^^ YWS is so much more than just a writing and writing feedback site.



GoodieGoat says...


Thank you I needed reminding of the importance of placing the reader inside the mind of the character.



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Tue Jun 08, 2021 7:45 pm
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Vincian wrote a review...



Hi there, GoodieGoat! Welcome to YWS! I hope you are finding your way around the site well enough. If you need any assistance, feel free to PM me or any other person in a green name. We're part of the staff of the site and would be more than willing to show you around ^^

First off, I noticed that this is a novel chapter. So, if you're looking to publish more chapters of this, you would need points. In order to get those points, all you would have to do is review other people's works (Just like what I'm doing for you!). Reviews are based on feedback from the reader to the writer, and a good base is the YWS Critique Sandwich. In order to get the full 100 points from a review, you'd want to write at least 1000 characters of your own feedback. I look forward to seeing more of these chapters and of you on the site.

I also noticed that this piece is pretty long. That makes it a bit difficult for people to review since there's so much to read and digest before even getting into the piece and it would take awhile for someone to review. In the future, I would suggest splitting your chapters into parts to publish, anywhere from 1000 words to 2000 words are the good medium ground. With that metric, this piece could have been split up around three times to keep the pace. You would get a lot more feedback that way ^^

Okay! Onto the piece!

Many regions and peoples had maxims on the timeliness and purposefulness that came with the arrival of wise men and magical benefactors. However Andre could only laugh at the irony based on his own experiences. He often wondered what caused his timeliness whether it be some metaphysical force of heaven, or the happenstance of his own tramping around. Either way, the way in which he seemed to arrive when people needed him the most, when he hadn't determined the reason for his travel beforehand; it perplexed him.


This is an incredibly wordy beginning of your story. It was hard for me to grasp what exactly you were wanting to come across with this. I'm a pretty decent reader, so it might be even harder for an average reader to interpret this and want to keep reading.

That thought had long since departed. Thunderstorms had rolled in from the northeast three nights previously. But absent were the friendly sounds of rain falling upon the earth, nor were the sounds of thunder a captivating percussion nor lightning the natural spectacle. For from heaven knows where came the power of the Stormdrake Thunderthrore. Great and terrible was his presence and might. The winds and rain thrashed with hostility, and the deafening booms of thunder from wing flaps would unbalance those on the ground. Worst of all was its lightning breath. Mercy to the souls who perished to Thunderthrore's lightning, for their deaths were of agony and shock.


This paragraph, though, is so much easier to read and far more enthralling for me! I would love to see this as the beginning, with a bit of the first paragraph (maybe condensed to be easier to read) because it would be far more captivating to the reader in my opinion.

Three nights ago I saweth the awesome terror of the thunderdrake as he beset lightning against all Yárafaurë. Where thoust caught before its might?


Did you mean "Were" instead of "Where"?

Andre stood before Valalar and the elven crowd. He was a Wizard, he wouldn't be worth his station if the bereavement of others unleashed on him caused him upset. Neither would he be worth his station if he couldn't provide at least solace and closure to others despite powers greater than his own."Wherest to now? I will not leave ye company until the quest for closure be complete." Valalar growled back "Our company heads to the city of Old Pine. Chief city in Northern Yárafaurë of the forest elves. I go to give my people a home. The tales say of the court of its Lord Arassërochir, and the waters that sprout from the Maylithle Spring, how they bring healing and rejuvenation."


I recommend splitting paragraphs when the speaker changes. This makes it easier to read and comprehend who is talking.

Others are beyond sadness over your magical ineptitude. Made null by the influence of a distant evil in a far off land.


Hmm methinks it was Valalar XD

Your writing is magnificent. You have a way with words that many people don't have, and you wield it incredibly well. It is a joy to read this story and you have a great deal of plot, lore, and history that is obvious just from reading a few paragraphs in. This is just waiting to be explored.

I feel like this story starts off to its own disadvantage, however. Usually, a story starts off with action, a prophecy, or something similar to draw people in and keep them reading. This story starts off well with the picture of destruction. However, it then goes to travel. Traveling is, well, boring. You write well, and I think you make do with the constraints of travel, but having this story start with traveling makes it hard to stay invested in the story. I also feel as though our protagonist, the wizard, is so removed from the problems and struggles of these elves emotionally or mentally that it shows through the story. On one hand, that's awesome that we can tell that from just the first chapter. It shows that you know this character and can write him incredibly well. On the other hand, doubled with the fairly boring plot of them traveling for a good half of this chapter, it makes it so, so difficult to remained invested in the storyline.

Now, travel sideplots or plots are perfectly doable and fine if they're positioned in the right place. Usually right after like the first arc, when the readers and characters are recovering from the first act climax. We can have character development and interactions, and we know the characters well enough and are invested with the story enough to sit through and be as invested in this character development as the characters themselves are.

Right now, it feels detached. Which may be what you're going for, but I don't know if it's a good choice for the beginning of a story that sounds and feels as promising as this one.

The action with the river sprites were good. I loved the vivid description. Apart from the Valalar part, though, it too felt detached. Like we were all but an observer in the action instead of being a part of it as a reader.

Also, this feels like a finished piece. I'm wondering, is this a short story?

Nevertheless, your prose is a sight to behold and read. It is incredible. I have pointed out some areas in the story itself that can be improved upon, but all in all it was a joy to read. I do hope to read more from you in the future!

I hope this helped! And please let me know if you have any questions or comments.




GoodieGoat says...


Hello again I'm replying to this message in the hopes you'll see it in your notifications as my main reply was glitching on me when I posted it as such so I plopped it in by commenting on the main piece.




Love is not an emotion. Love is a promise.
— 12th Doctor