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The Hunger - Zond
Digression: I am old. I suppose it must happen to most of my thinking kin, this acceptance of one's immortality, this understanding you have no limits, that you will eventually succeed all life. True, with me, it has been more gradual, than most, but still, I had honestly thought I was mortal. But I look in the mirror, and I have patches of grey at my temples, I see Morr's feet around my eyes. My teeth aren't what they were. How long do I have I wonder? Ten years? Fifty? Another hundred? Then I look down at what I hesitate to call hands. Bony claws, then slick, grasping tentacles, then rippling purple fire. In that instant I can feel them laughing at my delusions, my torment.
The amusement of The Cabalist at Its lowly servant is of course a secondary concern at the moment. My primary concern is maintaining perspective. That is what It wants, a still human mind to observe and report. It cannot need my viewpoint, again I assume It wishes only to derive humour from my immortal irony. Stop. Focus.
Situation: I am three days out of the Grunewald Lodge, a structure more fortress than leisurely retreat. I marvel at my ability to still sense the passage of time.
"How much further Foerst?"
"I don't know, Koertig. These caves probably take us either into the heart of the The Great Forest or out towards the Grey Mountains. Either is a likely guess. I tend toward the former. The King's Hunger would be well hidden and protected in the heart of the provinces. "
"That's William Sieger de Vries von Koertig to you."
Digression: A throaty gurgle manifests in my throat. A laugh. Koertig and his pretensions amuse me. I miss men like that.
Situation: I try to pen down an image so I can give my full recollection to The Cabalist later, but all I can see is his thread. I can see the events and opportunities, both taken and missed, that brought Koertig to this point; an exchange of coin, a spurned lover, desperation and fear.
"Very well William Sieger de Vries von Koertig, I hope I never have to shout you a warning."
"I suppose that etiquette can be disposed of in a cave. Tell me once again Foerst of what you know of the King's Hunger."
"Silence would be preferable, but very well. Little is known of the artifact. Some say it is simply a magic sword that has led to the demise of various nobility. Others claim it is a rare collection of lore, a combination of Elven brilliance and Halfling hearth wisdom; a collection of recipe books that allow you to create provisions to last any siege and provide strength to trembling, fatigued limbs. I believe however that the King's Hunger was a gift from the Dwarfs. It allows a man of noble character to rally men, to improve their skill to simply through his integrity. At this point however it doesn't matter. Grunewald Lodge will fall if those Things in the forest break through the fortifications. We need every edge, no matter how desperate it seems."
I pour over tomes in my mind. Images of scrolls and iron bound flesh hide books appear, and I see little mention of this King's Hunger. I feel the curiosity of It peak, and Its gaze lingers longer than I wish. I shudder and direct my attention back towards the two mortals.
"I will be the man to wield the King's Hunger, Foerst."
"So you continually say. Let us hope the aranoprol agree."
"Aranoprol? Spider children? I did not know you were trained in Classical."
"What you do not know Herr Sieger, would take us all day to get through. Regardless, the aranoprol are mentioned in the legends."
They begin to bicker, and I lose my focus. The Children of the Spider are legends, nothing more.
Digression: It becomes more and more painful to think as I once did. I long, I hunger to feel as these men did. I wish to feel the exhilaration of exploration, the pressure of dependence and the anxiety of discovery. I wish to feel alive. My grasp of the present slips. I feel the raw emotion suppress my analytical skills. The laughing echoes around my mind.
Development: It has been time. I am intrigued that I have lost my temporal bearings. We have emerged into a dank, dark wood. Foerst was right. Foerst is dead. His body is impaled on a broken branch. I do not know how, why or when. I drifted for longer than I believed. Koertig is babbling. I stand behind him and lean low, listening to his terrified whispers. An accident. Suicide. A sign from the gods that he alone is worthy to wield the King's Hunger. A large spider scuttles forward then stops. It looks at Koertig. No. It looks at me. It... it laughs?
Digression: I have drifted for too long once again. Koertig still advances doggedly. An unknown variable has forced me into the tangled web of knowledge, schemes and plots. Web. I give another throaty chuckle. I stop. Eight glossy, black orbs have turned towards me. This should not be happening. This cannot happen. I begin to lo-
Situation: I understand why no one has found the King's Hunger. I emerge from my reverie to see Koertig torn to pieces, the giant arachnids tearing out his heart with their fangs. His gurgling screams fascinate me. Now the spiders are in a semi-circle and they are looking at me, as I stand lost in my own thoughts. This is embarrassing. The spiders begin to tremble. Chitinous limbs snap back and bodies contort. Now standing before me are wiry, willow green children. Through the shadows of the forest, a toothy yellow grin flashes my way. Goblins. Aranoprol. I run. I feel cheated. I feel confusion at the unknown. I feel mortal. A final wave of amusement rolls around my being. My hunger is sated.
Good to be an Orc - TripleJ7007
"BOSS! BOSS! WE GOT PROBLEMS!"
"Wut you yelling bout you stupid git? We iz lootin dis stuff before I make dis my proper castle. Every gud Waagh needs a base. You better have a real good reason to bug me!" Cragnar stared at the quivering goblin annoyed. "Bu-bu-bu boss you needz to come outside and see dis." The goblin was shakin,"We gotz more fightin me thinkz." Cragnar slapped the table aside scattering books and other trinkets. Reaching down and snatching the goblin up so it was face level he growled "If dis is something stupid like some 'umie patrol trying to spy on us I's gunna feed you to da' squigs. Now show me wut iz so important." Drop punting the gobbo out the door he then followed the scurrying creature out.
"Look boss! Dey aint 'umies. Dey iz bigger and red! Dey have horns!" The gobbos eyes were wide, frantically jumping up and down pointing. Cragnar grabbed his choppa and pointed at the goblin, "Tell da boyz get ready, we iz gunna smash deez things gud." The goblin scurried off but not without another kick in the arse.
He had fought these things before. Da 'umies called 'em "Bloodletters". He remembered something he heard from a shaman dat dey wuz something from da 'umies bad gods. Some war god or something, not a proper god of fighting like Mork or Gork. Not everyone could be lucky and be an Orc. Only Orcs knew how to fight!
Cragnar was excited, he could feel his head throbbing, his blood rushing. Dis was a real fight. One like Gork and Mork promised he thought. He had his bestest Black Orc boyz with him and sitting on top of the meanest and toughest pig in the army Cragnar knew he was unstoppable. His Waaaaggh was going to cover the world. It all started with the castle he has just taken from the silly metal 'umies. Dey was dumb finking dat horses could go against wolves, spiders and pigs. He had laughed when the last 'umie tried to challenge him and Craganr just let the squigs loose on him.
Cragnar laughed out loud. "BOYZ! Dis iz da' fight! Da' 'umies wuz just a warm-up! I haz fought Dark pointy earz, tree pointy earz, stupid goat 'umies, silly red goat thingz lik deez and nothing can keep me down! HAHA! Deez is tough. Dey is mean but dey have a problem! DEY AINT A PROPER GREEN!" His army gave a throaty growl. Cragnar motioned for the Doom Divers to begin launching. Kicking his boar in the sides he charged towards the sea of red. "TIME FOR DA FIGHT! WAAAAGGGGHHH! His army surged forth. Squig hoppers and Wolf riders meeting flesh hounds, Black Orcs taking a charge from looked what like a giant metal boar and swamping it. Cragnar laughed as he saw the Black Orcs pound the monstrosity into scrap. Night goblins being overrun by daemons but not before unleashing their crazed brothers, swinging gigantic balls and chains, bowling over daemons and goblins alike. Cragnar stabbed and stabbed with his spear, roaring and laughing. It was gud to be da orcs.
and so i shall cast the first sto... vote.
tough choice, i like both stories.
Zond certainly has a few advantages over TripleJ. Beautifully written lines almost poetry :p The bad part is, you seem to be stalling the story, and it it reads tough because of the insanity.
I'm suddenly quite happy i didnt sign up for daemons myself.
Im going for TripleJ < because i like how easy it reads and how well he translates the Orcish simpleness. Im right in the middle of it straight from the start untill end.
Last edited by Digger; April 14th, 2010 at 15:24.
Warchief Diggah o da Bloodmoon Squiggahs
Of the two, I'll go with you, Zond simply because your story has layers, allusions to allusions and I like that!
Triple, I like that you story is direct and stays on track, but while I love Orc banter, it's a little like an Irvine Welsh novel to me, sans prostitution and drug abuse, which is to say, the dialect seems a bit of a gimmick.
The legions of Palos[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
I wish white lizard preserved the spacing in all the stories. It's a little hard to read these stories without the lines being broken up here and there. Anyway, on to voting.
Both stories had good dialog and an interesting plot, but both suffered from the same problem: a lack of action. In Zond's story, the action keeps happening 'off camera', so to speak. TripleJ's story ends just as the action starts, which seems a bit abrupt.
Still, I feel Zond did a little bit more with the story.
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."
I didn't know where to put this so I'm just throwing it in here. Whilst obviously I can't vote, I love your story TripleJ7007! You completely capture the childish and slapstick nature of the Orcs whilst still making them feel like a credible threat. I also like how you've chosen to focus your story on what I call the "Independance Day Speech". I love how you take a common thing and Orc it up a notch. It's like a movie script from the viewpoint of the barbarians you're not supposed to empathise with. It's just a shame we couldn't see how the battle turned out with the 1000 word limit.
Thanks for the constructive criticism so far guys. With a thousand words at play and a limited timeframe, I may have made a subconscious decision simply to choose between combat and dialogue. Hopefully I'll make it a bit more exciting for you next time grax and for you Digger. I didn't mean to make it so stilted.
Again thanks for the comments and I'll get you next time TripleJ007!
I liked both of these stories but got lost at the start with where Zond was going - I forgot Zond was writing Daemons which are not easy.
Both got into the mindset well but the Zond's character felt ethereal throughout the journey until the last part where he can suddenly be seen. TripleJ's character showed the traits of Orc's and Goblins well but lacked some added description for me to feel that I was there with them, everything was seen or said, no smell or touch. Both enabled me to see in my mindseye what was going on.
Good work both of you I enjoyed reading these, thanks.
"The nature of Mon Keigh was irrepressible!"
The Hunger - Zond
A very nice take on the theme - the siege just being background to the main story. And I really like the way this one is written.
Good to be an Orc - TripleJ7007
Well starting with the obvious, it's very short. Having tried to write Orc stuff before I know it can be difficult, but I would have liked to see a bit more to this in order to give it a higher vote.
Zond - 4/5
TripleJ7007 - 3/5
They're both good stories.
Zond, your story does a pretty good job at conveying a sense of insanity and disjointedness. It would've helped if the spacing was there to offset the different portions, but my understanding is that this was not your fault, so I won't say anything else about it.
I can hardly criticize you for writing from the perspective of a mutated cabalist rather than a true Demon, because as I stated- I'm not even sure how you would accurately capture a demon (although your stream-of-conscious style could come very close). Instead, you did a good job of showing that Cabalists are not always willing subjects of their gods, and that they do retain a great deal of humanity. It reminds me of the Mortien Everblight character from my old fluffshop, wracked by ever-fading memories of a human past.
The downside to your writing, Zond, is that it seems mechanical. Anyone who has played 'Knights of the Old Republic' will remember the assassin droid, and how he always started lines of dialogue in a computerized manner such as,
"Query: must you always state the intention of the sentence prior to the sentence itself?"
I understand that this makes the dialogue easier to read, and may be a necessary evil at 1000words, but I wonder what would happen if you left us wondering if he was speaking to himself, to another person, or speaking internally.
TripleJ7007, your story was also quite good. I also wrote for Orcs this round, and I think it's funny that we both alluded to events outside the game. Mine being the Normandy invasion during WW2, and yours being the speech from Independence Day. The language is spot on for the typical orc, and the battlelust and slapstick humor in the interaction between Big'uns and the smaller gits in the army. I was laughing aloud at his names for each of the different races he had fought, especially Goat 'Umies as opposed to 'Red' Goat 'Umies. A truly orcish point of view.
The downside is that your story didn't feel like 1000 words. I'm not sure why, but it seemed to end before it really got started. We both chose to cop out on the violence, but it seemed that yours focused on a much smaller window of time prior to the battle.
Orcs do benefit from a bit of slapstick, and also from a little dialogue, but you have to remember to run a story line through it. That's the most important part. From there, you can fluff out what you want with speech and humor.
This 1000 word limit is tough. My post here was probably very close to that, and that was just for criticism. It's strange to write in such short bursts, when I'm used to writing 3-4 pages of material for the Arena and the Fluffshop (when it reopens). I think that it adds a lot of challenge, and the deciding factor in a lot of these stories is how much a writer is able to cram into that tiny bit of text.
Did either of you cover a siege in any capacity though?
I'm going to have to go with these scores:
Same as Zond I'm not sure where to throw this so here it is. Dude, your story is like poetry. I love it. Hell if I lose this thing Im not going to be mad going up against writing like that. As far as me dropping off when I did it was mainly a confidence issue. I didnt want to write a boring battle. Of course looking over GW's fluff I think I could just put "fought 50 days no food or water" and "Bodies stacked 40 feet high" and they would hire me. Best of luck to you Zond! I love this contest!
Green iz da' BEST!
Orkz is made fer' two fings! Fightin', and winnin'!
great to hear people enjoying this, and getting so much out of it, just a shame about the sloppy management hey........