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The Adventures of Rose Hood Chapter 1: The dragon and the wolf

by keeperofgaming


Hi, my name is Hood, I have no actual name, so they just call me Red Riding Hood, on account of my red cloak. I am an enslaved dragon, of course, even my captors don’t know my identity. I know shift form. They think I’m a catkin.

“Hey, Hood, help me out here.”

“Got it, Sir.”

Mr. Roger, a villager. Husband of Dalla Roger, my Master. She’s a kind woman, and after buying me at a slave market, she made me call her Granny. She always made sure that slavers know I’m not on the market.

Despite the nation not liking the idea of slavery, its unfortunately quite common, especially among nobles. All villagers here know I am only a slave by technicality. One thing that confuses people is why I’m so loyal to Granny.

Of course, this fell into me actually being a dragon. Dragons have the most loyalty of any beast. If we make a deal, we are bound by powerful magic. So, technically, I couldn’t deny anything Granny asks of me. She, of course, didn’t know this. While I know she is good, humans can be easily tempted by potential power.

I am one of the last of my kind. We dragons used to rule the world, but now we hide as there are less than 10 of us left. I was still an adolescent dragon, barely 100. Now you may think that’s old, but dragons don’t fully mature until either they age to 1000 or kill 100000 humanoids.

Mr. Roger and I were working on building a new house. As he thought I’m a catkin, he gave me smaller loads, and allowed me to do the things that require agility.

“You’re so good at this.”

“Thank you, sir.”

“Please, Hood. If my wife sees you as family, then feel free to call me Gramps.”

“Doesn’t feel right.”

“I see, well, you know what’s happening today?”

“Finally sending knights to deal with wolfkin?”

“Yep, that man will cause trouble no longer. Frankly, I wish we could’ve been friends. I know not all beastkin are bad. You for example, are a wonderful person.”

“Wolfkin, either nicer or meaner.”

“Yeah. I actually heard that they are getting another wolfkin to sniff him out.”

“Should be quick then.”

“Yep, well let’s get back to town.”

You heard that right, a savage wolfkin was terrorizing our town. It had shift abilities, so no one could hunt it down. Frankly, I could easily kill it, but I don’t want to reveal myself. Beastkins follow a similar maturing as dragons, but to a lesser extent. Either get to 50 years or kill 50 humanoids. People thought he’s an adolescent because no one has actually died to him.

Me and Mr. Roger went to town square to greet the knights coming to help.

A dark furred wolfkin got off of his horse and addressed the people,

“I, Sir Royce, am here to deal with my kin who has harassed this town for 2 years. May I speak with the leader.”

“Hello, sir. I am the current leader of the village.”

“You are Dalla Roger? Well, you are much younger than they say.”

“On the contrary, I am half elf, therefore I am 68 despite looking only 20.”

“I see, well I am here to... Why is that catkin wearing a slave collar?”

He suddenly narrowed his eyes. As my contract is bound to the collar, removing it would cause the contract to fade and allow slavers that come through here to try to enslave me.

“Sir, please do not worry, her collar is to make sure no one can enslave her. I own her, so as long as her contract holds no slavers can take her.”

“I see, that makes sense. I apologize for assuming. As a former slave myself, I was concerned.”

Sir Royce is a well-known wolfkin that went from a slave to a Kingsguard. He was the son of a lord that got kidnapped, but upon discovery, his contract was ripped, freeing him, and allowing him to escape.

“Sir, that catkin... I think it’s a sorcerer.”

“A catkin sorcerer? What is your name, child?”

“I don’t have an official name, but I am called Hood.”

“Well, Hood, how much magic do you know.”

“I know a bit.”

“Would you like to help us? You could gain experience that’d allow you to defend yourself from future slavers. Maybe you’d even get to the point where Mrs. Dalla would be comfortable with you not wearing the collar.”

“That’s a great idea, Hood!”

Granny loved the idea, I would not only get stronger, but also, I would be defended.

“Do you mind us verifying your stats?”

“Not at all.”

Dragons have an extra facet of shift. We can disguise our stats.

“Project stats.”

“Hmm, not too powerful, but not weak either.”

“I’ve never actually checked Hood’s stats, could I see?”

------------------------------------------

(Nameless) Nickname:Hood

HP: 100/100

MP: 250/250

SP: 87/100

LV: 1

Race: Adolescent Catkin

Age: 19

Skills:

Flame: 1

Cat’s grace: 5

Inquisitive mind: 8

Title:

Free slave

Shy one

-----------------------------------

“Pretty impressive for a village girl.”

“A level 8 skill? That is impressive.”

“Only 3 skills though.”

“Of course, I doubt she’s ever fought before now.”

“Though what’s with the titles?”

“What do you mean?”

Granny didn’t know what the appraiser meant.

“I mean, Free slave makes sense, but what is Shy one.”

“I don’t know.”

Mr. Roger got an idea,

“When she first came to the village, she was scared and very shy, maybe that’s where she got it.”

“That makes sense, oh well, Hood.”

“Yes?”

“Let’s give you a sword.”

“Fight better hand to hand.”

“Alright... well, let's just go then.”

“Ok.”


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Tue Mar 26, 2024 1:10 am
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dragonight9 says...



This is more a comment than a review.

I just wanted to say I'm very interested to read more. Not sure if it was the title picture or the stats, but this reminds me of the start of the type of anime I really enjoy.

You might want to add a few descriptors of tone to help get the feeling across in the character's words a bit more, but that is totally preference. This style still works well so long as the conversation is between two characters or you make it clear who is talking. (which you did at least in this chapter)

I also like the unique maturing system you've set up. Very unique.




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Thu Mar 21, 2024 12:18 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Hello there, human! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!

Shalt we commence with the possessed S’more?

Top Graham Cracker - Rose Hood is a dragon, but most people think that she is a catkin from the way she presents herself. She’s offered an opportunity to go on an adventure, and have more protection than she already did. So off she goes, to go on her quest!

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - Just one question. The words in blue, are they linked to anything? Or is that just a style? If this is the case, then ignore this.

Chocolate Bar - I love the idea of a dragon that can shape shift. It’s interesting to see that these humans think that they know everything about Hood when in actuality, they know very little. There’s more to her than meets the eye.

Closing Graham Cracker - A fun little chapter that introduces us into this fairytale world, I will be certain to read more on her adventures, and what is to become of Rose Hood.

I wish you a lovely day/night!




keeperofgaming says...


Don't actually know why they are blue, could be I italicized them or bolded them and it didn't translate well.

Thanks for the review



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Tue Feb 27, 2024 9:45 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello, My Friend!

Keeping to my word, I shall review the first chapter of this story with my Familiar method! It’s pretty much the YWS’more method with the touch of a fantasy-horror writer. Let’s dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh…

What The Black Eyes See...

What a fascinating intro to a story! I'm already interested in seeing more. Hood actually seems to be lucky despite her unsavory 'slave' label, as she is owned by people who actually care about her. That feels like a unique situation and relationship already. The world you've introduced is interesting in the sense of its beastkin, their relationship to humans, and that characters' power can be judged by stats. Likewise, right into the action, I'm excited to see Hood's character elaborated on with this upcoming mission. Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

Okay, so there are a couple of recommendations I could make, free to take or leave.

First, just generally speaking, I think your descriptions could use a little more love. I understand the fear of info-dumping, especially with fantasy stories, but especially as this is an opening chapter, we could use at least a baseline to picture the setting and these great characters. Perhaps, when mentioning Hood's trademark red cloak, you could mention how a certain shade of locks spill out from it, how it shrouds the (white, gray, black, etc) clothes she wears, if those clothes are reminiscent of a peasant or someone with better standings, what makes her seem like a sorceress, and the hue and style of her collar (a rough leather strap, an intricately-engraved silver band, etc). Perhaps a quick description of what a catkin looks like would help too. A human with cat traits? Which ones, if so? The same goes for wolfkin as Royce is introduced.

And, as for setting, maybe mention a backdrop -rolling hills, pine woods, rugged mountains in the distance, etc. The roads and general style of the town, and some clues to the technology they may have (a "torches and candles" kind of era, a "gas lamps" kind of era, something more fantastical?). Even elaborating on what the stats mean, how they're assigned and viewed, could help a lot.

Finally, I have no problem with casual dialogue -I quite enjoy it actually, but especially since this story seems heavily reliant on dialogue to tell the story, I feel like just a little more detail could have come through. Particularly here:

I am an enslaved dragon, of course, even my captors don’t know my identity. I know shift form. They think I’m a catkin.


"I know shift form" read a bit awkwardly. Remember, new readers aren't familiar with this world's terminology yet, so perhaps specify with "I know how to shift my form" or "I know the spell 'shift form.'"

- and on a somewhat nitpicky note, from a grammatical point of view, I recommend adding commas to 1000 and 100000.

Of course, I am not a professional, so please always take my advice with a grain of salt. I mean nothing negative by this either, I still enjoyed the chapter quite thoroughly!

Why The Grin Widened...

So, like I said, the worldbuilding regarding beastkin and stats stood out a lot, as very interesting mechanics and relations in the world. I like how you gave us a taste of the conflict regarding the treatment of beastkin, with how it's practiced despite being unpopular, and Hood has to call herself a slave to Dalla just so she won't be enslaved by someone else. It certainly shows that beastkin are seen as "second-class" in much of this world. Showing Sir Royce's disdain as he sees Hood's collar was also good for generating that picture.

Speaking of which, the characterization of Royce was great; someone who comes from slavery, likely without the luxury of a merciful owner, that is now a noble knight. He may be the son of a lord, but it still shows that beastkin can become something great in this world, and perhaps a similar fate is awaiting Hood. Maybe Royce will even help her move toward it? That's what seems to be happening, with this exciting prospect:

“Would you like to help us? You could gain experience that’d allow you to defend yourself from future slavers. Maybe you’d even get to the point where Mrs. Dalla would be comfortable with you not wearing the collar.”


That sounds like it'd be some great progress for Hood, being able to protect herself instead of relying on an owner to ward off others. Likewise, it really helped the characterization of Royce as I mentioned, how he is quick to pose this offer and help the girl. Awesome addition to the overall introduction of this story!

The idea that a wolfkin is terrorizing the town was a strong enough hint, but the system of maturation for beastkin also added to the worldbuilding. I feel like it showed a glimpse of the relationship between at least some groups in this community and humans, and why there could be such a bad reputation for beastkin. Sure, a beastkin could choose to wait 50-100 years to mature, or they could possibly try to speed up the progress by killing humanoids. That would certainly set the foundation for chaos, especially with a dragon (I mean, 100,000 humanoids?!). Either way, this alone allows me to generate a lot of theories, so I am interested ~

The stat system is also interesting. I assume it's part of the magic system in this world, but it also seems to evaluate physical prowess. And if Hood is using her ability to hide her real stats, how different are the real ones? Was hood just changing her race, or does she have some hidden abilities up her sleeve? It's exciting to imagine; I hope to learn more about this soon!

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, I see the beginning of a great story and a snippet of a fascinating new fantasy world, and I'd like to discover more of it soon! Nicely done! :)

Image




keeperofgaming says...


It's not mentioned until way later into the story, but the reason that they don't give absolutely heavy descriptions is because [the characters are actually narrating, but they dont realize. So, why elaborate to nothing?]



keeperofgaming says...


Well, that didn't work.



RavenAkuma says...


Okay, I can understand that. It was just my opinion, and I still enjoyed regardless ~



keeperofgaming says...


Yeah and I understand thank you for the review



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Thu Feb 22, 2024 5:48 pm
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goodolnoah wrote a review...



Hello stranger! I found this story and it felt like a blast from my own past. I used to write in a manor quite similar to the way you write. Either way, let’s get onto my review!

Writing Commentary

I think the writing here isn’t too bad. Certainly a great start and descriptions are solid enough. If I had any criticisms (please, take this with a grain of salt) I would say that it seems to lack an “oomph” I would be looking for. It’s very dialogue heavy. I would like if there was some more description pieces describing what characters are doing. Even small idiosyncrasies that help bring their personalities out more. I think this could help make your writing more dynamic!

Story Commentary

Pretty good start! It does a good job of introducing characters as well as the concept of the story. The power level system is well-introduced as well. Leveling systems are hard because many of them run into balancing issues/inconsistencies due to lack of explanation. You do a good job of explaining what the numbers actually mean in relation to Hood.

On the end of the story - I wish there was a nice hook that grabs the reader to jump into the next chapter! I feel like the conversation just kind of ends…

Characters

Hood - I think this is a good start. She seems pretty laid back due to having to hide her power, with a very important code of honor. I think something that sticks out about her is the rules that she follows due to her secret identity as a dragon. It would be cool if you could go more into this!

Closer

A good start, and I am interested in what the world has to offer. If I had to ask for anything, it would be more descriptions and personalization of each character. Hood seems like a potentially interesting character, and I will definitely read more!




keeperofgaming says...


Thanks, I do go into the descriptions a lot more in the future chapters, but would you please be able to look at chapter 2 as it is currently out.



goodolnoah says...


Certainly bro!



keeperofgaming says...


Thank you :)



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Thu Feb 22, 2024 4:55 pm
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APoltergeist wrote a review...



(No template for me today, just going through with my thoughts.)

Hello Keep (can I call you Keep?), I'm Pol and I'll be reviewing your work today! :D

Honestly, I've read this (and the second chapter which I will be reviewing later) multiple times and each time, I found new things that I liked. I love the different species and creatures you have and the stats remind me of video games, which is always fun.

It has a unique take on combining common video game features with writing and it's done very well in this piece. Some of my favorite quote from this story is;

“Pretty impressive for a village girl.”

“A level 8 skill? That is impressive.”

“Only 3 skills though.”

“Of course, I doubt she’s ever fought before now.”

“Though what’s with the titles?”

“What do you mean?”

Granny didn’t know what the appraiser meant.


This set of dialogue gives us an understanding of how the levels and stats in this universe work. Three skills is low, but having one of those skills at level 8 is good for someone so young.

The only problems that I notice is that you do a lot of telling and not showing. The first paragraph is a good example of this;

Hi, my name is Hood, I have no actual name, so they just call me Red Riding Hood, on account of my red cloak. I am an enslaved dragon, of course, even my captors don’t know my identity. I know shift form. They think I’m a catkin.


It introduces our MC, Hood, but instead of hinting that's she's a dragon throughout the story, it simply straight out says it. I do love the few terms you add in such as 'shift form' and 'catkin' which aren't explained fully and are instead thrown around. Since this is in first person POV, you have to think about how the main character would think. Would she really introduce herself as a capture dragon?

All just suggestions and personal preference, obviously you don't have to make any changes.

Your friendly neighboorhood ghost,
Pol!




keeperofgaming says...


I understand the concerns, but this story is actually pretty far, and her sudden introduction is moreso explain why she is open later, because:
SPOILER

















at this point, she isn't aware that she is narrating.



APoltergeist says...


Oh, that makes sense. Also you'll have to do brackets ;) like [ spoiler ] [ / spoiler ] (no spaces)



keeperofgaming says...


Oh, thanks, how do I edit replies tho



AmayaStatham says...


Sadly, you can't edit replies. Only comments and reviews.



keeperofgaming says...


alright, thanks



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Thu Feb 22, 2024 4:33 pm
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Coffeewriter wrote a review...



I love this already, great story!! I love how there are different ‘species’ and how Hood is hiding how much power she truly has and how she’s shown quite reserved yet loyal at heart. I especially love the suspense that’s been created as not much has been revealed but it’s enough that the reader doesn’t get bored or doesn’t understand what’s happening. Well done I love it and can’t wait to read more!!


Edit-I have no idea what happened to the comment I posted in reply about Chapter 2, it’s weird.




keeperofgaming says...


Thank you for the critique, I hope you continue to enjoy. The second chapter is also out if you want to read it



Coffeewriter says...


Yes sadly I am only half way through the 2nd chapter as alas I have to study for a science test:( I love it so far though I don%u2019t understand some parts though heh)



keeperofgaming says...


Yay, and don't worry, I'm open to answering questions.



Coffeewriter says...


:D




Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
— Mark Twain