z
  • Home

Young Writers Society


16+ Language Violence

Seraph: Aeon of Tongues 1.1

by R33SES


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

Let me paint for you the mural that is a silent field of war seeing dawn's first light after a dark and moonless twilight.

Let me streak with golden rays that kiss at the smoldered grass, once green, now only grey.

Let me splotch with blackened reds of dried life as the blood crusts on iron and cloth.

Let me splatter around arms and legs, horses and men, like they were nothing more than unwanted excess still clinging to the brush.

Could you tell which side had won? Could you meander the maze of bodies, dodging the flags still hanging by threads from spears thrust through chests, stepping over faces that show every emotion felt at the last moment of life…and could you know what purpose these men had for ruining by the sword?

I doubt even if you had the time to count every lost soul, and compare the numbers, you could not.

War rarely has any true victors.

~

“Bring him down! Bring him down!!”

The violent screams of a commander signaling his men to maintain their focus could barely be heard over the obnoxious raging of battle. Just the sound of swords clanging on armor, arrows sinking into shields, was enough to drown out all else, but the droning hum of the enemy’s war horns were deafening in the valley.

Amidst the tightened formations, a small break had ruptured where one assailant, nearly two feet taller than the rest, had stepped forward clad in a robust suit that deflected every weapon thrown or thrust at it. Wielding a massive hammer, he had crushed a hole in their defenses and was actively pressing it wider.

Gaermund the Bear, that is what he was called. The Myrians were famed for their long lineages of giants. Though much smaller than the fables of past times, they still dwarfed any normal man, and their strength went beyond anything possible.

“Don’t just stand there, swarm him!”

Still in shock at the pure power that was this great beast of a human, the surrounding soldiers clung to their shields in some hope that it would protect them, but they had just witnessed a dozen of their comrades pulverized by the sheer weight of his weapon. Metal would bend and wood crack regardless. But these were no common foot soldiers, they were the Azaralie Protectors, and within moments of this newfound threat being tossed into their ranks, the front line closed back together, reforming their tightly bound defense, and those within reach of Gaermund launched themselves at him, dropping shield and sword and instead driving at his trunks of legs. Unprepared for this move, he found himself suddenly lifted from the ground and onto his back. With ten men bearing their weight on him and pinning his limbs, he could do nothing more than struggle and roar like the wild animal he was.

It was high noon now, and the sun was glaring down at them, peaking between the shriveled clouds that had teased them with the thought of shade, but now only laughed as they all melted in their armor. Already men were passing out from the temperatures. Just an additional struggle of it all.

The left and center brigades had advanced halfway through the valley, pressing back the enemy. Myrian war tactics were often rudimentary, and despite still holding the eastern shores due to some incomprehensible victories, their armies had slowly dwindled into packs of mercenaries and farmers.

But the right flank was struggling to maintain their foothold, as the band of oversized soldiers posed a rather difficult threat to manage.

Commander Brexton had a few tricks up his sleeve, though.

At his command, four horses were brought forward, spaced a distance apart, dragging between them a large netting of metal bands with sharpened hooks laced every few inches. All at once those men that had jumped on Gaermund to subdue him released their captive, leaping aside as hooves took their place. Winded by the effort of trying to throw off so many ironclad bodies, the Bear instantly found himself locked underneath this net, and as he flailed his arms and legs in futile attempts at throwing it off, those barbs linked into the edges of his armor, effectively pinning him in place. The more he struggled, the more it closed in around him, soon binding him in a contorted ball of smoldering anger. His great breath could be heard echoing in his dungeon-like helmet.

“You bastards!” He screamed.

The men laughed and cheered. They had caged the beast. The rest would follow.

Forward at the far left, another commander was leading a cavalry charge that had proven too much to handle for the Myrians. Their lack of coordinated spears left large gaps in their lines, through which horses wearing thickened front plates simply marched at full speed, tossing aside anyone unlucky enough to be in their path. Trained from birth for this very task, and angered by aggressive flogging from their riders as well as mildly drugged with a special blend of alcohol and Wyrm’s Bane, they were a crazed wave of trampling aggression. Wielding clubbed lances, the Azaralie Chargers began turning the tide of the battle, shattering through the second and third ranks, and suddenly breaking into the rear archer formations that began fleeing towards the forested hills surrounding them.

Without support from their artillery, the foot soldiers would undoubtedly begin to succumb to the ever marching wall of shields pressing at their center. And without the cavalry to match, it already seemed a lost fight, despite only having begun at the first light of morning.

Their leaders were certainly not expecting such a large force to be sent so deep into enemy territory, but the Azaralie king had plans for taking control of certain fortresses that would cut off supply lines to the outer regions of the territory, and provide them a much easier task of expanding their dominance.

Tried and tested blue flags, adorned with the white dove, fluttered ever higher, slowly towering over the inferior Golden Crab. Odd, it was, that for so many hundreds of generations fishermen of the east, so skilled at naval warfare, had chosen to confine themselves to glade and glen, where lack of watery battlefronts would be their demise.

Commander Brexton sighed.

Not because they were losing the fight. And not because his orders weren’t being executed with exactness by every soldier in his brigade.

But because…because bloodshed was no more to the politicians than a game of Coins. He longed for the days when kings fought at the head of the march, and would fight to the death, one on one, purely for the sake of honor and to save the lives of their men. Now they fought off wanton women, and the disease that comes from gluttony.

- some concept art for your enjoyment -


Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
10 Reviews

Points: 531
Reviews: 10

Donate
Thu Feb 08, 2024 8:44 pm
1TryingBird says...



Not here for a review, because this is too good, but the middle concept art... I swear I have generated something like that prior, what did you use? I used Playground-v2. I swear they are the same.




R33SES says...


@1TryingBird I used the Perchance Ai Image Generator, it's free, super easy and basic, although limited especially when you select genre/styles. But for 99% of all Ai image generators, except Adobe and now Bing, it's pooling from the same sources, so I wouldn't be surprised if you've seen or generated a very similar one.



1TryingBird says...


Never heard of Perchance, and I have heard of a lot of "free" ones. And as soon as I go to them, and start generating, I have to use "credits" to generate more, and the only way to get credits is by buying them. :smile: Free.

Im gonna give perchance a chance. (see what i did there :wink:) And hopefully it works. Thanks man



R33SES says...


Nah perchance is legit. No sign up, unlimited, pretty versatile with the prompts. It's definitely got some random limitations that I can't seem to break past, but it's very useful for general things.



User avatar
91 Reviews

Points: 9639
Reviews: 91

Donate
Thu Feb 08, 2024 5:24 pm
RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello, My Friend!

Pleasure to meet you! I am Raven, and I'd like to review this prologue using my Familiar method today! It's inspired by the YWS'mores method, but with the touch of a fantasy-horror writer. Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh…

What The Black Eyes See...

This was a brilliant prologue! Short, sweet, and straight into the conflict. I already get a sense of a great war in a fantasy world, and I'm eager to learn more about both sides. I also really like the art you chose to display alongside it, and the eerie opening lines you chose. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

As far as errors go, I couldn't spy any! However, as a general recommendation, it would have to do with two specific lines. One here:

Odd, it was, that for so many hundreds of generations fishermen of the east, so skilled at naval warfare, had chosen to confine themselves to glade and glen, where lack of watery battlefronts would be their demise.


Especially toward the beginning, this sentence feels a bit...wordy, like it could be simplified and a little less broken up. Perhaps, "it was odd that hundreds of generations of fishermen from the east, so skilled at naval warfare, had chosen..." Something a little easier to read. Anyway, the second line is here:

"But because…because bloodshed was no more to the politicians than a game of Coins."


I don't think "Coins" needs to be capitalized, because currencies just aren't capitalized unless they have a name in it (e.g, Japanese yen or Indian rupee). Also, I understand the desire to add emphasis to the phrase by hesitating and repeating "because." However, I feel like it would be better fitted to dialogue than included in your third-person description. Maybe have the commander mutter this to himself, or make it its own line and italicize it, to show it as part of his internal dialogue. Or, of course, just leave out the repetition -the line is plenty powerful enough on its own.

Of course, I am not a professional, so please always take my advice with a grain of salt. And rest assured, none of this is meant to be negative, and none of it took away from the moment or enjoyability of the chapter.

Why The Grin Widened...

What stood out most were your opening lines, I feel like they really did wonders to introduce the story and the theme. It feels like you took your time to capture each horror of a grizzly battlefield and the resulting ruin, and that final line before the real prologue hits was like the icing on the cake.

War rarely has any true victors.


Brilliant!


Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, great prologue! It really does its job and draws the reader in, eager to see and discover more. Nicely done! :)

Image




R33SES says...


@RavenAkuma thank you for the detailed review! While reading yours I chuckled because much of what you said, Cupid below said an opposing opinion, which I suppose is both a good thing, and also proof that getting constructive feedback like this is crucial haha.

I 100% agree with you, my writing can be wordy at times. You should read some of my other stuff (that I won't be publishing here because it belongs in the dungeon of a Jules Verne museum....) I really try to craft a few excessive descriptions for those that like the image painted clearly, but if it's too much, especially for the general reader that just wants a smooth story, then I will have to rein it in a little.

Hopefully at a later date I can get you to come back and read another chapter or two of this and tell me what your impression is, that way I can see how consistent I'm being with it all. Your words help for sure!

P.S. the "Coins" is capitalized because it's referencing a game of chance that the people of this world play as children, which happens to use coins but it would be the same as referencing Monopoly or something, just an fyi.



RavenAkuma says...


No problem! And the conflicting opinions just go to show that impressions change so much from reader to reader (hence why it's helpful to have more than one, so you can compare and contrast). It always comes down to author's choice ~

Ah, and good to know that about the coins thing, I definitely read that wrong lol



User avatar
54 Reviews

Points: 8667
Reviews: 54

Donate
Thu Feb 08, 2024 2:49 pm
View Likes
Youbeaucupid wrote a review...



Hi there dear soul! Cupid here, I had the absolute pleasure of diving into your thrilling tale, so thought I'd fly over a short review for you haha. I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today! Let's fly in, shall we? 🩷🩷


🔶 Top Graham Cracker: First Impressions!

From the very first line, I was swept away into the chaos of battle alongside your characters. The clash of swords, the thunderous roar of war horns – it all felt so vivid and real! And Gaermund the Bear? What an intimidating presence! You've created a gripping atmosphere that immediately pulls the reader into the heart of the action. I couldn't tear my eyes away! o((>ω< ))o

🔥 Slightly Burned Marshmallow: Room for Improvement!

While your battle scenes are undeniably intense, there's room to deepen the emotional and psychological aspects of your characters. For instance, you could explore the inner turmoil and conflicting motivations of the soldiers facing Gaermund the Bear. Perhaps delve into the fear and desperation they feel as they confront such a formidable opponent. Providing insights into their personal histories or relationships could make their struggles more relatable and engaging for readers. For example, you could show a soldier grappling with the memory of a fallen comrade, adding emotional depth to the scene where Gaermund breaks through their defenses.

Additionally, moments of the battle could be expanded upon to heighten tension and suspense. Take the scene where Gaermund is ensnared by the metal netting, for instance. While the action is gripping, you could prolong the struggle, describing the sweat-soaked faces of the soldiers as they strain against the ropes, the metallic clang of Gaermund's armor as he thrashes against his confinement. This would draw readers further into the heart-pounding chaos of the battlefield, intensifying the drama and excitement of the moment.

Furthermore, consider fleshing out the political landscape and its impact on the characters' motivations and actions. You briefly touch upon the disillusionment felt by Commander Brexton, but expanding on this theme could add depth to the story. Show how the political machinations of the higher-ups affect the soldiers on the ground, perhaps through dialogue or internal monologue. For example, you could include a scene where Brexton reflects on the futility of war and the disconnect between those who give orders and those who must carry them out, adding nuance to his character and the overall narrative.

By delving deeper into the emotional complexities of your characters and expanding upon key moments of the battle, you can elevate your story to new heights of depth and resonance. Keep up the fantastic work, and don't be afraid to explore the depths of your characters' hearts and minds!

I hope this feedback provides some helpful guidance for strengthening your already captivating story! Keep writing and shining bright! ✨📝

🍫 Melty Hershey's Chocolate: Highlights of the Piece!

Oh, where do I even begin? Your story had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, but there were a few moments that made me jump out of my seat with excitement! ( •̀ ω •́ )✧

First off, let's talk about Commander Brexton's tactical brilliance. The way he orchestrated the capture of Gaermund the Bear was nothing short of genius. I mean, using horses to drag a netting of metal bands with sharpened hooks? That's next-level strategizing right there! And the way Gaermund was ensnared, struggling against the barbs as they closed in around him – it was like watching a master chess player outmaneuvering his opponent in the most epic game of capture-the-flag ever!

But that's not all. The cavalry charge led by another commander was an absolute game-changer. The sheer force and ferocity of the Azaralie Chargers as they thundered through the enemy ranks, trampling anyone in their path, sent chills down my spine! And wielding clubbed lances like seasoned warriors, they turned the tide of the battle in the blink of an eye. It was like witnessing the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object – pure cinematic magic!!

These moments of strategic brilliance and breathtaking action had me cheering out loud, my friend. They added layers of excitement and intensity to your story that I couldn't get enough of! Keep up the phenomenal work, and I'll be eagerly awaiting your next masterpiece! 🌟

🔥 Perfectly Toasted Marshmallow: Favorite Lines!

Commander Brexton sighed. Not because they were losing the fight...but because...because bloodshed was no more to the politicians than a game of Coins.


This line hit me right in the feels! It's like you peeled back the layers of the battlefield to reveal the harsh truth lurking beneath. So powerful!

"Gaermund the Bear, that is what he was called. The Myrians were famed for their long lineages of giants. Though much smaller than the fables of past times, they still dwarfed any normal man, and their strength went beyond anything possible."


This introduction of Gaermund sends shivers down the spine, painting a vivid picture of a legendary warrior whose very presence commands fear and respect. It's like stepping into a mythological realm where giants still roam the earth, their deeds etched in the cannals of history.

"Their leaders were certainly not expecting such a large force to be sent so deep into enemy territory, but the Azaralie king had plans for taking control of certain fortresses that would cut off supply lines to the outer regions of the territory, and provide them a much easier task of expanding their dominance."


This line hints at the intricacies of the political landscape and the high-stakes game of strategy being played out on the battlefield! It adds depth to the narrative, reminding us that war is not just a clash of arms, but a complex dance of power and ambition. :)

🔶 Bottom Graham Cracker: Closing Thoughts!

My dear soul, your story is an absolute masterpiece in the making! You've skillfully blended action, intrigue, and deeper themes to create a world that readers won't want to leave. With a little more focus on character depth and emotional resonance, I have no doubt this tale will soar to even greater heights! Thank you for sharing your incredible work with me, and I can't wait to see where your storytelling journey takes you next!! Keep shining bright, writer buddy! ✨

Fly high writer, Cupid. 💘




R33SES says...


Cupid, thank you for the very detailed and thoughtful review!! I always appreciate seeing time spent on them, especially when it's so easy to just say something basic and boilerplate, but you've really taken the time to read and study, and tell me what you think and I love it.

You're 100% right about the lack of depth to some of the action/emotions/character development. I laughed a little because, in many of my other stories, I tend to do the opposite which is immediately plunge my readers into some underground study of the characters and all that they are experiencing. Believe me, I plan to do this with this book, but I have some dastardly plans about that and a bit of a scheme as to tricking my readers that thought they were just reading some fantasy epic into eventually having a critical moment. But this is good knowledge to keep in mind at every page so I don't lose sight of this most important purpose for writing beyond just entertainment.




The fellow who thinks he knows it all is especially annoying to those of us who do.
— Harold Coffin