A shadow in the Dark, Eldar story. - Warhammer 40K Fantasy
 

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brother Razhiel's Avatar
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    A shadow in the Dark, Eldar story.

    Hey all,

    a new army and thus a new story for me. this time starring my Eldar.
    fluff can be found Here.
    as always, C&C is more then welcome, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it.

    BR


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  3. #2
    Senior Member Brother Razhiel's Avatar
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    Chapter One

    The sun had gone hours ago, but the landscape was still covered in a ghostly blue-ish glow due to Maranza's three full moons. Dorsair could see a fox like creature hunting in the distance, it's ears pointed backwards and slightly crouched on its legs in an attempt to hide in the tall grass. A wounded deer lay on the ground, just fifty meters from the predator.
    Suddenly a large black shape emerged from behind the deer, a thundering roar echoed through the night as a large tusked bear assaulted the small unfortunate predator, it was over in a flash, the tusked bears' large fangs were forced through its' unfortunate victim. Such was life, a never ending struggle for survival with unexpected events just around the corner. A predator could turn into a prey in mere seconds.
    "Dorsair, it is time, the Imperials are here." A woman clad in the armour of an Howling Banshee said to the Warlock.
    "So, the patrol is near. What do we know of our target Falsia?" Dorsair replied, his voice grim.
    " Ten man infantry, and two walkers of them about twenty meters behind them, they have learned from their errors from last time." said Falsia her voice twisted in a ghostly tone by her helmet.
    Dorsair shrugged, uneasy by the sound, somehow he had never gotten used to it.
    "So it seems." he replied while grabbing the hilt of his sword. It was time for their trap to be laid, he would be the tusked bear and the humans would be the fox, a predator that would soon be the prey.

    "Sarge, how far until we are at the dig site?" a voice echoed from the rear.
    "Still about twelve clicks away, we've slowed down since we've entered the forest." Daniels replied.
    He hated this planet, every breathing thing seemed to be out to kill them, predators were everywhere and were able to remain unseen despite of those three throne damned moons that gave everything a hellish glow. As if he was amongst the dead. He wasn't the only one on edge, he had led his patrol for the last two days now and they were well under way to the dig site. There they would make a base camp and wait for the rest of the expeditionary force. But the strange environment, the predators lurking everywhere and of course those damned Eldar that kept launching raids at them has put him and his men on edge. Dead seemed to be everywhere.
    Suddenly a Guardsman fired wildly into the foliage on the left flank, shouting curses in the process. The whole patrol fell in disarray as other joined him, firing their weapons in a blind spree whilst other sought cover.
    "Cease Fire! Cease Fire!" Daniels shouted.
    "Next one to fire will be executed! You damned cowards! We are Guardsmen, not a bunch of scared civilians."
    Slowly the patrol fell back in formation. Daniels walked towards the Guardsman that had started firing.
    "Lithswiki, report." Daniels barked at the shivering soldier, a dark spot between his legs showed that the man had wet himself.
    "I-I-I saw an Eldar S-Sir! He appeared out of nowhere, clad in white and green armour and he had an extra pair of arms, h-h-he almost looked like a spider. But before I could even raise my lasgun he disappeared again." Lithswiki replied, his voice broken and high pitched.
    "Anyone else saw this 'Spider Eldar'?" Daniels asked the others, some shook their heads while others remained silent.
    "Lithswiki, you just earned yourself a double guard duty, move to the rear so we can protect you from the ghost you apperently sa-".
    An explosion was heard about 30 meters behind them, roughly where the Sentinels were. A scream of pain was heard in the distance.
    "Everybody form up, defensive formation, weapons ready. Report any possible contact an shoot on sight!" Daniels barked while dropping on one knee.
    "Saber One and Two, report!"
    But there was only static as another explosion signalled the end of both Sentinels.
    The Eldar were coming.

    His plan was going perfectly, the Warp Spiders had caused an distraction amongst the humans, leaving the path free for the Rangers and Howling Banshees to engage the walkers. According to plan the Banshees were now withdrawing and moving to outflank the Guardsmen, while the Rangers suppressed them from a distance, hidden in the foliage.
    He would join the Banshees in their final assault and the Warp Spiders would charge from the other flank, striking the weakened foe from two directions. They stood no chance. Dorsair couldn't help but grin as he thought about the fox and the bear.
    An explosion shook him out of his thoughts, he feared for some hidden reinforcements but was soon reassured when he saw that it was one of the humans' plasma weapons that had malfunctioned. Dorsair saw the Banshees taking position and ran towards them, it was time to unleash their wrath upon the humans.

    Dorsair extended his mind, letting it flow free from his body. He searched for the leaders of each squad and through his mind he spoke to them. He told the Warp Spiders to engage the moment the Banshees charged, and told the Rangers to stand down and fall back to their base. Dorsair felt that there were no injured amongst his troops, and he even dared to scout for enemy Psykers. His mind flowing over the field of battle, a spirit freed from the chains of a physical form. He felt the fear of the humans, the fear of death, the fear of pain, yet he also felt a stubborn resolve from what had to be their leader. A blind faith in their Emperor, that somehow seemed to tear at him, as if it was defending the human from Dorsair' psychic form. Surprised by this Dorsair decided it was best not to take any risks and slowly melted his mind back with his physical form, he felt heavy as the burden of his body once again took over and caged his mind.
    Dorsair unsheathed his sword, green energy crackled from the blade as Dorsairs' psychic powers flowed through it.

    A roar of fury emerged from his throat as he surged through the foliage straight into the heart of the Guardsman, striking two of them down with blows from his sword even before they had the chance to react. The Banshees ran past him left and right, screams of pain were heard as Guardsmen were sliced apart limb from limb, others went crazy by the screams that sounded from the Banshees' helmets and dropped to the ground clutching their ears, some just fell to the ground, the sheer terror stopping their heart, ending their lives.
    One man stood in the middle of this carnage, a sword in his hand. Blind rage in his eyes. He didn't even seem to notice the various cuts and holes in his body. The man' eyes were fixed on Dorsair, and Dorsair accepted the challenge.

    He ran towards the human, sword slightly raised to his right. Dorsair sliced in an downward motion but to his surprise found his strike blocked by the man, who had raised his own blade. Dorsair felt how air was kicked out of him as the man's boot crashed in his stomach, and he was forced to take a step back. The sergeant lunged towards Dorsair, the sword scraping his white armour, the runes on it glowing bright green as the magic within them protected Dorsair from harm.
    With a sudden burst of anger, Dorsair jumped forwards. Ramming his shoulder hard in the humans' face throwing him of his feet. Dorsair turned the tip of his sword down and slammed it hard in the gut of the man, pinning him to the ground. With a roar of rage Dorsair slashed upwards, slicing the man apart from his gut to his head. Intestines and brains mixed with blood as it spilled over the ground.
    Dorsair straightened himself and looked around, no human was left alive. The fight was over, the bear had caught the fox.
    Last edited by Brother Razhiel; March 5th, 2012 at 12:59. Reason: formatting etc

  4. #3
    Sir Proofreader Deadstar_MRC's Avatar
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    I hope my criticisms won't sound too harsh, but I do have a few. Seeing as you implied you were after some

    At the beginning, the way you describe things seems a little awkward; I think in this case simply because of the way you're ordering your descriptions. For example, and I suppose this is only my opinion, but the first sentence could be changed from...

    "The sun had gone hours ago, but because of the three moons that Maranza has and it being full moon, the whole landscape was covered in a blue-ish light giving everything a ghostly appearance."

    To something like...
    "The sun had gone hours ago, but the landscape was still covered in a ghostly blue-ish glow due to Maranza's three full moons."
    Or...
    "The sun had gone hours ago, but Maranza's three full moons still cast the landscape in a ghostly blue-ish glow."

    Either option still conveys everything you've said with your original wording, but I think it does it in a much more streamlined way. Maybe I'm unfairly focusing on the first sentence, but if you don't have a good opening it discourages people from reading further, so you've got to make a good start!

    Once you got in to the bulk of the story it seems to flow much better. Perhaps a little rephrasing here and there wouldn't hurt, but again, my opinion versus yours here to if it reads alright to you it may be best to leave it as is.

    The only other thing that jumped out at me as I was reading was...
    "Dorsair unsheathed his sword, green energy crackled from the sword as Dorsairs' psychic powers flowed through it. "

    This is something I keep catching myself doing too - repeating words too close to one another. Again, its one of those things that, for me, really interrupts the flow of the story, and thus its something I try to avoid and encourage others to do the same! There are plenty of other words you can use for sword; blade, edge, weapon... probably lots more but you get the idea. In the above sentence you could simply swap 'sword' for another equivalent, or you could rephrase the second half so you don't even need to make mention of the weapon.

    Just a few points to think about, I guess. Hope they're of some use

    Also I should probably say I enjoyed the way you sprung the trap - the suspect sightings of the Eldar distracting the guardsmen so the sentinels can be engaged, and the sense of impending doom the guardsmen experience as they hear the explosions claim the walkers. Good work there!

    EDIT: I just realised after I posted that I may have rambled on a bit, and I've made this quite long. Sorry about that, hope you can still read through it all.
    Last edited by Deadstar_MRC; February 29th, 2012 at 04:59. Reason: Apologies?
    Rabbit; Our Tau community has the talent of figuring out how to turn a feather into a timebomb. Macgyver would be jealous.
    8people; Honey, why is my fluffwars story your shopping list?

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  6. #4
    Senior Member Brother Razhiel's Avatar
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    Thanks for the commentand criticism! No harmed feelings here.

    English is not my native language and I find it difficult to proper phrase certain things, in example the beginning you've mentioned. Your phrasing seems much better and I'll edit it as soon as I can (on my mobile phone at the moment.).

    And I believe we indeed have the same problem in regards to the sword thing, I always try to edit them before posting but sometimes one or two just slip through.

    I just watched a thing on Animal Planet before I wrote this piece :-p and the whole trap/ambush/psychological warfare thing fit the Eldar imho.

    Glad you liked the perspective switch and that I got the impending doom feeling written in there, I find it hard to properly put such things on paper.

    Feel free to tell me if there's anything else, and thank you again for your time and well explaines criticism. Don't worry about being to elaborate about something, I enjoy a good read ;-).

    BR

  7. #5
    Senior Member Brother Razhiel's Avatar
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    Chapter Two whoop die dooo.
    It's not finished yet, but I'm not entirely sure about this piece, so want to get some C&C before I continue. So, feel free to help

    Chapter Two

    Dorsair felt how his mind left his body, once again freed from the burden of his physical form. His mind flowed though the infinity Circuit and entered the skein. He saw threads, reaching further beyond imagination and there were untold billions of them, all closely woven together. Some winded together to separate again at one point. Some threads just ended, meaning the end of a life.
    Dorsair wasn't on the Path of the Seer long, and he still struggled with his war mask. His time as an Warp Spider had left him with many memories he'd rather forget, and his war mask protected his mind from those.
    "Let your thoughts roam free Dorsair, pick one thread and focus on that thread alone, see what is yet to come."
    Dorsair recognised the voice of his mentor, Farseer Elwynth. He picked a thread at random and tried to grasp it with his physical energy, trying to flow alongside it. But the thread was filled with darkness, death, anger and those emotions awakened the warrior within Dorsair, he felt his war mask rising to the surface and caught himself whispering the chant of his Shrine. His mind filled with chaos, thoughts seemed to clot his mind and he felt overwhelmed by al the emotions, all the thoughts that went through his mind.
    "Clear your mind Dorsair, do not heed the call of your mask. Do not give in to its' thirst for blood." Dorsair heard Elwynth's voice in his mind, suppressing the chaos that was his thoughts. Dorsair sought desperately for something with which he could sooth his mind, yet he started to feel dizzy. His body loosing the fight to process all that was thundering inside his head.

    Suddenly, tiny sparks of bright light,pin pricks of energy, swarmed around Dorsair. It were the Warp Spiders of the Craftworlds' Infinity Circuit, small spider like creatures that protect the Infinity Circuit from taint. They came to investigate Dorsair, his energy still somewhat strange to them. They soon recognised him and entered a playful state, tickling him when they collided with his psychic form. It was a welcome distraction for Dorsair and he played with them for a little while, trying to catch them and following them around the skein. It eased his mind, his war mask sunk back and he felt much clearer. Somehow Dorsair couldn't help but feel as if the Craftworld was trying to help him.
    Dorsair followed the bright energy that gave away Elwynth' presence, she was like a torch in a pitch black cave and it was easy for him to find her.
    "Dorsair, I must cut our session short, other matters need my attention now." Elwynth said speaking in his mind. Dorsair saw how she followed the thread he tried to grasp, a strange rune he had never seen before hovering over the thread.

    ....

  8. #6
    EWOP adamwelton's Avatar
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    There should be no excuses as Svensk is almost the same as English, even in the grammar! Never mind that though-I have seen considerably worse efforts from mature native English speakers.

    However, I like it. It's well laid out and the idea is firm in my mind how it's intended to play out, even though we humans try pathetically to fathom the infinite pathways of the xenos mind, especially those pointy-eared bastards!
    Last edited by adamwelton; March 5th, 2012 at 17:28.
    Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

  9. #7
    Senior Member Brother Razhiel's Avatar
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    Thanks, but I'm Dutch, and English and Dutch do differ on some points :-p. But glad it's at least readable.

    Isn't it too foggy? Do you get the basic idea of how/what the skein is?

    Thanks for the help,
    BR

  10. #8
    EWOP adamwelton's Avatar
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    Sorry, yes. I'm getting my members all muddled up. Dutch is a right bastard indeed! That said, you're doing well. Many writers get into some sort of style early on, where they put themselves into their story which is usually based on something they've read, seen in a film or on telly, or even experienced in real life. Dan Abnett is a twat for this sort of thing. He seems to write everything as if it's going to be adapted as a screenplay. This appeals to mass audiences (yanks, teenagers, Warhammer 40,000 geeks...) who want to read that sort of thing but when you're after a thoughtful account of something and a bit more character depth instead of "he did this, then that, then said something" sketch, Ben Counter is better, even if he rambles in in detail for whole chapters about single epic events and nothing else. His detail is very good, fleshing out every character and going into depth about the reasons for their decisions. The super-mega in-depth whole back history gets touched upon, where Abnett gets quite carried away about what's happened and leaves the depth of the characters right out.

    Those are two very different styles, and I prefer Ben Counter myself. Your style is quite simple-touching on things the characters would notice instead of going berserk about what colour underwear they're wearing, or trying to explain why they're there in the first place. You build the picture nicely and add other items to increase the story slowly, and not throwing us into the depths of your own fantasy work that only you can understand the meaning of. This is a very good beginning for someone for whom English isn't a first language. Keep it up and your style of narration will get better.
    Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

  11. #9
    Senior Member Brother Razhiel's Avatar
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    Hehe no problem at all.
    I see what you are getting at. And my style indeed is quite straight forward, but I do try to go more in depth, hence my doubts.

    I don't want to go all underwear crazy, but at least give a feel for whats going on, who the characters are and their personality.

    BR

  12. #10
    EWOP adamwelton's Avatar
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    I find that a way to help yourself and your readers is to start small by putting a simple character in then expanding your story as his experience increases. It's easy for you to come up with ideas, and good for your readers as they become impatient for the next instalment. You've managed to accomplish this so far, so go on-you've got my interest.
    Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world.

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