Friday, June 15, 2018

Coincidence? I Think So /// Humble Beginnings, Part 11

Can I get some hype for another Humble Beginnings post?!

source; instantly regrets putting this in before writing enough to hide it

. . . That's it. The intro's over. Let's move on, please! Before our eyes hurt from that crazy Toad. I will just quickly insert here that the chapter is called "Silent Shadows," which seems a bit unnecessary. Last I checked, my shadow has always been the strong, silent type.

The table occupied most of the [meeting] hall, its round shape symbolizing that there was no head or tail; everyone was equal, and ideas could be shared freely.

This isn't a negative thing, but I just wanted to point it out because it makes me think of a humorous scene in the Ninjago show that was later imitated in the movie as well. Lord Garmadon, in both scenes, needed his minions to help come up with a plan to stop the Ninja, insisting that there was no such thing as a bad idea. But whenever someone suggested something he didn't like, he had them thrown off the ship (the show) or literally fired them out of his volcano base (the movie). Random, I know, but that's just how my brain thinks.

Soon, all that was left were ten empty spots. "Who are those for?" [Mark] asked John.
The former tank gunner stopped rubbing his stubble and said, "Oh, they're for the rebel delegates. See, when we need to discuss battle tactics here in Castle Wurlenit, they send 'ambassadors' to help."
"But why? Wouldn't they add negativity to the atmosphere?"
"Most aren't that bad. They just need a different cause."

Hold up for a minute. We need to discuss something a few things about this blurb. First, that's cute and all that they invite the rebels, but why? What if the rebels decide to sell them out? They could easily hand over all that info to Lurkum. I mean, they didn't care about Revier, so . . . I know, I know, different generation, sins of the father, and all that stuff. But still, has no one considered this?

Secondly, I'm getting tired of the whole "call the person by their job" trick that I overused in this story. I'm not joking when I say it's kinda getting on my nerves, and I have no idea why.

Thirdly, what the heck is the name Wurlenit? That's the dumbest name for a castle I could've come up with.

And fourthly, younger me, make up your EVER-LOVING MIND about the rebels. Are they good or are they bad? You don't seem to know, and if you don't, your readers won't either. Don't make me slap you upside the head; get your act together!

The men clasped hands tightly and shook. John whispered to Mark, "He's the rebel chief, or leader. Samuel and Richard are friends from way back. Unfortunately, that doesn't give a hoot to the rift between Followers and rebels."

Again, inconsistency with whether the rebels are decent or not. If the leaders are friends, does that literally have no effect whatsoever on their people? Also, incorrect use of "giving a hoot."

Richard raised a palm. "Your turn, Taylor."
The man who had helped David seemed hesitant. "We heard your bomb was finished, so we request that we use it to destroy a castle near Levgalne."
Samuel's jaw dropped. "The Rachendax? Not only does the maraconda baron dwell, but Leviathan is also stationed inside. Any attempt to blow up the castle would be extremely challenging, if not a sure death."

Hey, remember Taylor? You know . . . Taylor? C'mon, how could you forget such a memorable a guy like . . . wait, what his name again? Ah, that's right: Taylor! I feel like I reused characters I already named just because, if they wouldn't logically be wherever the scene was taking place.

Smooth exposition there, Samuel. I'm also glad you know how to speak and didn't forget any words in what you said, because that'd be awkward. Especially when you're trying to make the reader scared for the characters who are probably going to take up this suicide mission.

"At least it would be more useful than going to Zracs and signing a parchment before freezing to death," another delegate exclaimed.

Lemme fill you in by saying I didn't include Harvey's comment about them making a treaty with the wraithclaw tribe before launching an assault. Does this idiot delegate not think that their chances of success are higher if their forces are larger? How was he/she chosen to represent the rebels?

"Besides," Richard added a lot more gently, "I thought the chosen ones were supposed to do it." He then quoted a prophecy: "The ones who are chosen/Will bring out their best/If they will succeed/The wanting heart's test/But those who are not/Will harden the race/They will destroy/Like the spikes of a mace."

Eh . . . definitely not a great prophecy, or even a well-written one. I wouldn't rely on it too much. The prophet was probably drunk at the time.

"And that's just it," Smits said. "We know who the Chosen Ones are."
A hush blanketed the hall immediately. Richard broke it by saying a hopeful tone, "If you know, then who are they?"

Ooh, I wonder if it's Lance, Reuben, and Xander, just like the stupid villains thought! I can't stand the anticipation. Richard, by the way, you speak in a hopeful tone. Get it right next time.

"These three," replied Samuel, pointing to David, Mark, and Warren. "We translated a Toreth tablet by first looking at its reflection and unscrambling the words. It was a quote by an unknown philosopher that read, 'Detrius created love to be a rock in life's race.' The word race refers to when an apostle named Paul said that he had finished the race. David has firm Follower beliefs, therefore, relating to the 'race' of a believer. Warren is like a rock with his physical strength and solid friendships. And Mark is loving, besides the fact he is in love with Michelle."

. . . Are. You. BRICKING. SERIOUS?! What the actual brick, younger me? Explain to me how a random quote by a random philosopher randomly placed on a random tablet that randomly says "The Chosen Ones' Description" on top is talking about these three? It could apply to just about anyone. Heck, the baddies could've actually been on to something, and their guesses were the absolute worst. If you're going to do Chosen One/prophecy tropes, do them right, man! Not like this junk.

"We have the advantage of surprise now. We need to use it before it's snatched out of our grasps," a delegate argued. "We have siege towers, ballistas, catapults, men, horses, and the bomb. There's no time to waste. And if you don't give us permission to use the Chosen Ones, we may take them by force."


For your information, the proper pluralization of ballista is ballistae. You're also being a little forward, assuming that the Followers are gonna hand over their bomb to you when you've done nothing to deserve it.

Warren cleared his throat and felt eyes turn his way. "I have a compromise. We go with the attack, but should trouble show, we run and sail to Zracs."

Yes, this is a compromise, but it is by no means a good strategy. I'm a little surprised/not surprised that none of the rebels see this.

Ian made sure the coast was clear before he left the darkness the barracks provided from the moonlight. He had two important jobs to do tonight, both with swiftness and stealth. The less people that saw him, the better. Because he had instructions to eliminate any that noticed him. So hopefully, no one had been awake when he passed by the barracks window.

As per usual, I've got a couple of bones to pick with this, but I'm gonna do it rapid-fire. The first sentence feels awkward; the "because" sentence feels like an afterthought; and Mark did see Ian (just didn't include that part), except he thought it was his imagination, so I guess Ian's in the clear.

He dashed from shadow to shadow, avoiding patrols that made their rounds. His eyes scanned the area, searching for a high vantage point. Catching sight of a tree, Ian ran to it. He scrambled up the branches, wanting none to hear or see.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't dashing make you more noticeable to the patrols? Surely they'd sense movement in their peripheral vision and check it out. I'd also like to see a demonstration of someone climbing a tree quietly.

At a high part, he looked over the gigantic courtyard. He finally spotted the prison building a good distance away. Satisfied, he hurried to the solid ground.

Let me get this straight: this dude somehow convinced his superiors to station him in front of the room where they were deciphering the tablet, but he DOESN'T KNOW THE WAY TO THE PRISON?! This . . . I . . . I have no words.

"Ian," a watchman said."What brings you out here at the late hours of the night? You anxious for the fight tomorrow or something?"
Ian cursed his foolish actions. He had forgotten there was a tower close to the tree. He turned and looked at the man, who was illuminated by a torch. The traitor produced a blowgun, targeted the watchman, and blew out. The arrow whizzed into the guard's throat, sending poison to his heart. The watchman buckled, cracking his skull on the hard floor.

And now he's forgetting about nearby towers? I'm starting to think Leviathan chose the wrong guys to work for him on Adiryulle. Now all the patrols within earshot should be wondering why there was no response to the watchman's questions. If only they knew he was killed by conveniently-fast-acting poison.

He reached the prison with ease. The building was dull and set low in the earth, stairs leading down to the doorway. A sentry stood in front of the steps, his helmet on the ground next to him. Seeing Ian approach, he waved and started to say his greeting. Unfortunately for him, Ian's flail was already in action. The spiked ball slammed the side of his head. A severe crunch sounded and the sentry fell, his mortal wound leaking a thick substance. Ian took the fellow's key ring and stepped to the door, unlocked it, and going inside.

*gags* Blegh . . . that is morbid and gross and disgusting and what was wrong with you, Josiah? Why did the sentry have his helmet off? How did he not see Ian start to make a move for his head? I will say, I love the tense change in the last sentence. Best idea for the story so far.

"You failed," Ian said flatly.
"Ssen flunked his job," Hcol growled. "If he hadn't, I would have succeeded my part. Now hurry up!"

Yeah, about that . . . both you virockel spy dudes failed. He was a poor imitator, and you showed up at the trail disguised like someone already there. Just saying, is all. Oh, and by the way, you might want to take an English course. "Succeeded my part" sounds pretty bad, and if it is correct, that's plain stupid.

As Ian took off the shackles on his hands and feet, he asked, "Hcol, do virockels have a weak spot?"
Hcol glared. "Yes, one." He pointed to the base of his skull on the back of his neck. "That's where."
"Interesting." Ian pulled off the neck shackle. "Well, you just may want to keep that part covered."
"Somebody might do this." Ian whipped his flail at the soft area full force. It connected, and the virockel stumbled forward.
"You'll . . . pay," Hcol grunted, fury alight in his taut face.
"Nah. Leviathan would have you executed anyway, so die, won't you?" Ian shoved Hcol, who in turn toppled onto his back. Green and blue blood mingled in an oozing mess.

Wow. So there's no one you can trust in the bad guy army, can you? Everyone's gonna double-cross you, and then they'll get double-crossed by someone else. To be fair, if someone asks about your weak spot, you probably should be concerned. (Also, I used to think Ian's last line to Hcol was so cool, but now it's just meh.)

Ian left the building and headed for the stables. Now that the job was done, there was another to tend to, which was telling Alex the assault plans.
The Followers and rebels were in for a nasty surprise.

You do realize you're gonna have to pick up the pace, right, buddy? If Leviathan wants to get a drop on the heroes, Alex is going to need to book it back to the castle as fast as he can. Just make sure he doesn't kill ya first. And ooh, such suspense! I'm shaking in me boots.

It's so weird to think that there are only three chapters left. Does that news bring heartache to you? I hope you enjoyed this part regardless. Did I up my sarcasm enough? (Pretty sure I did.) 


  1. Oh yay! I always look forward to these! The sarcasm was so, so strong in this one. I loved it. XD I was DYING over the quote on the Toreth tablet. The logic there was HILARIOUS. They were kinda grasping at straws on that one. XDDD

    I also loved the: "I will say, I love the tense change in the last sentence. Best idea for the story so far." Bwahahaha!

    And then Hcol just so obliging letting the dude know exactly where his weak spot is. "Oh yes, it's right in this spot, see? This doesn't seem suspicious at all."

    Man, I'm gonna miss these!

  2. HA!! This is so funny, Joe... aaaah it's hilarious seeing Younger Joe's work!! I loved your comments lol!!
    You were so fervent, so dramatic, so going inside. XD XD XD
    But Young Megs was also very much like that!! :O I totally remember naming my characters by their professions. Sheesh, I did that a lot - "said the first mate!" "exclaimed the inexperienced mechanic..." "the navigator shook his head!" and super cringe-worthy things like that.
    Also, inserting random poetry/prophecies + exposition into daily conversations.
    Guilty... XD

  3. Wurlenit... That name belongs in an old video game. Just me? XD

    "The prophet was probably drunk at the time." <~ I'M LAUGHING SO HARD. How hilarious would it be if he'd ACTUALLY been drunk and everyone thought it was some amazing prophecy? XD Now I want that to happen in a story...

    As always, the sarcasm is lethal and on point. ^_^ I will be so sad when this story is over!