Well, it is that time again. That special Friday (at least, that's the day it should've been) that only comes once a month. The one of mockery. The one of poor writing. The one of much sarcasm.
Yes, it's Humble Beginnings time once more! Let's see how the story flops today, shall we?
Yes, it's Humble Beginnings time once more! Let's see how the story flops today, shall we?
Before I get into it, the chapter we're looking at today is titled . . . "Battle in Malanthiv." Seriously. That's got to be one of the most boring titles I've ever seen in my life. If you've read anything of mine from the past few years, you'll know I'm much more into creative titles, like ones that utilize funny wordplay. Not this boring "Battle in Malanthiv" stuff.
Xander groaned. "You mean the rebels actually let them march in?"
I still don't know how I feel about this "rebel" stuff. I think it was done poorly, much like the rest of the story. What else is new?
"How many?" David queried.
Smits shook his head. "You'll want to see this," he said grimly.
Ah, the ever-popular-and-very-cliché quote! This is, what, the third time he's said it in the story so far? Maybe the fourth? Once was bad enough, thank you!
As they jogged to the armory, Mark looked at Warren and said, "You know, that's gotta be the third time he's said that."
Warren grinned. "It's probably a quote of his."
Believe it or not, I actually hadn't seen this part yet when I made the above comment. That's awesome! It's not really breaking the fourth wall, but it kinda is? Well, actually, it's more like the characters are a bit self-aware. I like that. I don't know why, but I do.
"Bless me beard," Reuben exclaimed. "There's a lot of 'em. I would say 'bout . . . fifteen thousand."
Brook whistled. "That's triple our forces, at the most. Not nice odds."
You guys only have a five thousand-strong army? Is it just me, or is that kinda small? *makes a mental reminder to double-check numbers like these in the future*
The knights roared with approval, long and loud. When they were doing so, Mark felt as if he should look behind him. There was nothing unusual, just a farmer, oblivious to the nearing creatures, leading several horses with a farmhand. A blacksmith was cleaning up some corseques, and another man was putting the finishing touches on chariots that would be able to have two men stand side-by-side.
Suddenly, the gears of his mind clicked. He tapped Brook's arm and spoke softly with him. Brook turned to the high general, his eyes gleaming. "Mark has a plan."
Let's go over what's wrong with this scene. These people are completely unaware that a massive army is bearing down on their city? HOW THE BRICK IS THIS? Are they deaf to the sound of the approaching enemy? Are they blind and can't see the good guys rallying around the wall? Are the soldiers not evacuating civilians to prevent needless casualties? What's going on here?! And then to top it all off, we have the convenient "silent conversation" that we should technically be hearing if we're really in Mark's head. What a mess . . .
King Bweu of the creal at the city wall that loomed closer and closer. It flew down to the one in charge of this army's terrax. "Sarkes," it said in a voice neither male nor female, "where is Commander Klund of the arabon?"
Bweu? How in the world do you say that name? And the creal are genderless, huh? . . . I better move on before I start making "politically incorrect" comments. You guys remember Sarkes, though, right? You know, the dude from part three of this series? Yeah, well, he's back, so that's a thing that happened.
"Good. We'll continue a straight course to the city, break through the wall, and kill the Chosen Ones."
Another glance, and Sarkes hesitated. "But Bweu, wouldn't it be better if we would divide forces and battle in more than one way?"
Sarkes would be excellent at my job.
All of a sudden, chariots raced down the road at full speed. Two fully-armored knights stood in each one, gripping lances. Corseques were attached to the horses and designed to impale foes.
Sarkes was barely able to jump out of the way of one. The chariots slammed into the ranks and began paving roads of death.
It was a good thing those civilians all conveniently decided not to seek shelter because they were conveniently working on these things that conveniently go together to make a convenient way for the good guys to start winning. Conveniently, of course. (Not going to deny it, I also love the "paving roads of death" phrase.)
"Is that a--?" The terrax's question was cut short when the object careened into a trebuchet. Siege weapons were reduced to splinters as rocks plunged onto them from perfectly placed catapults.
Really? Perfectly placed? Stop with the convenient ways out, younger me!
The creals descended so as to fight at a closer range. One swung its mace toward an archer near Mark and made contact. Blood squirted from the man's throat, landing upon the Canadian's hauberk.
We're back to the violence now, are we?
Just as he sprang forward, the creal descried him and shrieked. Mark hacked off its head so hard it flew a short distance. He exhaled, letting the sour fury out. "Not a very Christ-like thing to do."
In other news, scientists have discovered that water is actually wet!
"So so," the young man replied. He wiped sweat from his stringy brown hair that clung to his forehead. His face had very distinct German features. "Thanks for helping me with that, that thing." He spat on the creal's fallen body.
Mark had to ask, "How come you hardly have an accent?"
I see a few things wrong here. One, what are "distinct German features," and would it be considered racist to call them such? Two, it's "that . . . that thing," not "that, that thing." Three, what spitting on an enemy corpse gain you, aside from a slightly drier mouth? Four, REALLY, MARK? You're asking about accents on the battlefield?
"Then let's go. These creal won't kill themselves, unfortunately."
Mark liked Vince already.
Because he made a suicide joke? *raises an eyebrow* Also, I see I was once again plagued by inconsistent pluralization. I called the creatures "creals" before, but now Vince is calling them "creal"? What gives?
David's sword whirled through the arabon's ribs, adding another point to his fellow knights' score. He was entertained slightly by imagining that this was a game.
"He swings, he scores!" David commentated as he fought. He threw a knife that plowed deep into a terrax's eye. The creature arms jerked, then he flopped to the ground, dead.
"Another one bites the dust," cried David. He went like that for awhile until he bumped heads with Commander Klund, literally.
David, what is wrong with you? Someone, take this man off the battlegrounds! He's not fit for duty. He thinks this is a BRICKING GAME. And I forgot to add an apostrophe "s" to "creature." Way to catch all them mistakes, self!
Klund was ducking a slash from a knight, and David had lowered his head to ram into the commander, whom he had mistaken for a regular arabon. Their helmet-protected craniums collided with a brutal force. Klund and David staggered back a few paces, slightly dazed. The knight who had attacked the arabon was engaged by another foe.
As comical as this is, I'm having trouble picturing the scene. How did Klund duck the slash? Did he lean back or to the side, and then David just comes charging in without fear of catching the tail end of the sword's movement? I'd also like to know if they got concussions from this, as they apparently hit each other brutally.
David mowed down a few creatures and leaped upon the back of a reptror, giving chase. As he neared the commander, Klund turned and saw him. He snarled a deep noise in his throat. David stabbed at him, but he blocked in the last second. Klund was about to make a move when David grabbed his neck and pulled him off the chariot. The human took out a knife that Klund feel go into his spine. He stiffened and jabbed David's stomach with his pointly elbow. David felt himself slip off, hitting the ground sharply.
Then everything faded into a buzzing blackness.
So the reptror allow just anyone to hop on them and ride them wherever they please? If these are enemy mounts, shouldn't they be trained to, I dunno, buck humans off and trample them or something? And don't you usually snarl in your throat? Or are there people who snarl elsewhere? What about blocking "at," not "in," the last second? Why do Klund English bad and feel knife go in spine? Why does David feel himself falling off the reptror? SO MANY QUESTIONS AND LITERALLY NO ANSWERS!
Sarkes was on a killing spree when he found it. Or maybe it found him. It soared a good distance from the ground in an arc before landing at Sarkes' feet. It was Bweau's head.
Was this how golf was invented in Erador? Because that's plagiarism.
Warren swung his hammer point-blank at the arabon he was facing. The arabon's ribs caved in, and he died speedily.
Oh, thank heavens! I would have never had guessed what would happen to someone's ribs if they were hit by a hammer. I'm so glad I was told this . . . NOT.
Sarkes growled and dashed off. Warren wondered what the terrax captain was doing. He got his answer when he saw Sarkes coming at him on a fierce reptror.
Let me get this straight: Warren was just standing there like an idiot, waiting for Sarkes to come back and attack him? Someone, get this man off the battlefield! He doesn't belong here!
Warren decided to try Lucas's move in the Battle of the Levgalne. He leaped, gripped a horn, and swung his legs. Sarkes was hit, but he didn't fall off like the raider chieftain had. Warren began to fall and managed to pull himself up. The reptror, however, disliked the movement. Warren felt the stead tense and knew what was about to happen, so he started to strangle Sarkes with his beefy arms.
I feel Warren's like a guy saw the hero in a movie pull off an epic stunt and tries to imitate it, only to be like, "Oh, crap, this is harder than it looks, and now I might die." Or something similar. But Sarkes is just taking it all, not even fighting back. At least this reptror is better trained than the last. (Is it just me, or is that sentence about Warren falling and pulling himself up just super underwhelming? It's such a boring sentence!)
Sarkes punched first, but Warren caught the blow. Then he struck Sarkes' nose with a granite hand. Bone cracked and blood spurted out of his nose. Sarkes stumbled backwards, clutching his now broken nose.
Well, who NOSE how violent this story going to keep getting? Sorry, couldn't resist.
Three hours later, the humans arrived at Juinq, a bustling city what was almost as grand as Malanthiv, though in a different way. They were too late to catch the arabon, terrax, and creal army remainder, who were finished getting onto their ships and sailing out of the inlet. And the worst part was that none of the rebels were trying to stop them.
A three hour chase? That's pretty long, and the perfect opportunity for the bad guys to attack the city from the other side. *shrugs* But I'm not a tactician, so what do I know? I apparently know nothing of good descriptions for cities, that's for sure. At least, back then. And can someone explain to me why ALL of the rebels are just letting the baddies escape? Not one of them has a shred of good in them? Unbelievable, in more ways than one.
"I SAID SHUT IT!" Alex screamed. "Maybe this will teach you to listen better." He prepared to slam his hands against Mark's ears, which, if done hard enough, could cause a person to become deaf.
And now for random fact insertion from a floating invisible head's POV.
Warren shoved the measly soldier into a house wall. "This will teach you to make an effort to harm my friends." He kneed Alex in the groin, then placed a finger under his nose and pushed strongly upward. There are a lot of nerves in that area, so such an action would cause much pain.
Take a chill pill, dude! Just break Alex's nose like you did to Sarkes. And while you're at, QUIT INSERTING TRIVIA!
"Hey, where is David?" questioned Smits.
*facepalm* You guys are only noticing his disappearance now? Some friends you are.
Warren nodded his agreement. "That's the last time I think the name Taylor sounds stupid for a male."
Heeey, Warren, don't be so SWIFT to judge. (Plus, I actually like the name Taylor for a guy.)
"And that doesn't help the problem with the creal eggs running out." Leviathan's brow dipped. "Did you even see the Chosen Ones?"
See? This is a prime example why Leviathan is a stupid villain. The creal are going extinct, yet he puts one--a dumb one at that--in charge of a large army and is miffed when the creal die. Like, what the brick, man?
"I saw Lance and Reuben, but not Xander," Alex answered.
Ha. Ha ha. Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! HA HA HA HA HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
You guys think Lance, Reuben, and Xander are the Chosen Ones? You literally have no reason to even believe that for one millisecond! And if you have no reason, the reader definitely doesn't! *covers my face with my hands* The Chosen One trope definitely doesn't belong in this story . . .
"And what about you, Commander Klund?" queried Leviathan.
The arabon was standing at an odd angle. His right eye was split in two, one half dangling out. "I was assaulted by a knight who throws knives well." Klund gestured to his eye.
I'm not sure whether to be grossed out by the injury, or amused by Klund's delivery, or both. He's boss, though. He managed to get back to the base with a knife to the spine. Give this man--er, monster--a medal!
Leviathan paused, then spat an orb of fire than engulfed the commander. Klund's left eye widened. Soon, all that remained was a smoking pile of ashes.
"Sarkes, go tell Ryl that he got promoted to commander," the dragon instructed. Sarkes bowed his head and went.
Or, you know, just burn him instead. He doesn't even scream when being fried to a crisp. He just stands there. Boss, I tell ya.
Leviathan tapped his chin. "If I assist you in getting revenge, will you return the favor?"
You kill Klund, but not Alex? No consistency there.
"Ssen and Hcol!" Leviathan called. The virockel lumbered into the private chambers. Virockel are broad and humanoid, and completely rock, except for their glowing lava veins.
See what I did there? They're names are Loch Ness, but just flipped around! . . . I have no idea why. And what amazing word skills! Evidently, I was terrible at descriptions for anything back in the day.
"Tall, black hair and beard, muscular."
Alex is just as bad, because this description of Warren could be anyone! If Leviathan hadn't told the virockel their target's name, they would've been killing a bunch of random people. It's just a generic, bland way to describe Warren.
Leviathan watched Alex leave. The human knew the consequences of failure. "Soon," Leviathan thought almost gleefully, "I will strike the enemy's heart. And Lurkum shall rule."
*yawns (actually yawned in real life)* Oh, I'm sorry, were you making a threat/malevolent statement? It was so boring, I almost fell asleep there.
And that's the end of it for today! Hopefully the next one can be the vlog edition of this post. What did you guys think? Was I sarcastic enough for you? Was there sufficient violence? WAS IT INDEED A FLIP-FLOP?!